Pakistan to remain in terror financing watchdog’s ‘Grey List’
The International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has recommended that Pakistan be retained on the ‘Grey List’, given its failure to completely implement the 27point action plan to check terror financing.
Financial Action Task Force –
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris.
- The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
- Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
- As of 2020, FATF membership consists of thirty-seven member jurisdictions. India is one of the members.
- The FATF Plenary is the decision making body of the FATF. It meets three times per year.
Other information –
FATF has two lists –
- Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.
- Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to send its first expedition to study the sun. Named Aditya-L1, the mission, expected to be launched early next year.
- It will be the first scientific expedition to study the Sun by ISRO.
- It will observe the Sun from a close distance and try to obtain information about its atmosphere and magnetic field.
- It is categorised as 400 kg class satellite and will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- It will also be ISRO’s second space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat.
- It will have seven payloads to study the Sun’s Corona, solar emissions, solar winds and flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and will carry out round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.
- The Corona is the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
International protection for Great Indian Bustard, Bengal Florican and Asian Elephant
India’s proposal to include Great Indian Bustard, Asian Elephant and Bengal Florican in Appendix I of UN Convention on migratory species was unanimously accepted at the ongoing thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in Gandhinagar.
Asian Elephant –
- The Government of India has declared Indian elephant as National Heritage Animal.
- Indian elephant is also provided highest degree of legal protection by listing it in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Great Indian Bustard –
The Great Indian Bustard, an iconic, critically endangered and conservation dependent species, exhibits transboundary movements, and its migration exposes it to threats such as hunting in boundary area of Pakistan-India and power-line collisions in India.
Bengal Florican –
The Bengal Florican an iconic, critically endangered species of topmost conservation priority, exhibits transboundary movements, and its migration exposes it to threats such as land use changes, collision with power transmission line at boundary area of India-Nepal and probable power-line collisions.
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals –
- In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force since 1983, under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
- Also referred to as the Bonn Convention, it provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats and brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
- APPENDIX I – Under this convention, migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I and Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
- APPENDIX II – Migratory species that need conservation and management or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
24th February, 2020 is the 1st anniversary of starting of a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN).
- The scheme was started with a view to augment the income of the farmers by providing income support to all landholding farmers’ families across the country.
- Under the Scheme an amount of Rs.6000/- per year is transferred in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000/- directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.
- The Scheme was formally launched on 24th February, 2019 at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
- The Common Service Centres (CSCs) have also been authorised to do registration of the farmers for the Scheme upon payment of fees.
- The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares.
- Its ambit was later expanded w.e.f. 01.06.2019 to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.
- Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as Income Tax payers in last assessment year, professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc and pensioners pensioners drawing at least Rs.10,000/- per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees).