1)Foreign Contribution Regulation Bill 2020:
Context: Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha passed FCRA act
- It puts many question mark on the viability of NGOs
- The government claims that its aim is to bring about transparency in the working of nonprofit organizations
What is FCRA?
- The act regulates foreign donations
- First enacted in 1976, amended in 2010
- FCRA is applicable to all associations, groups and NGOs which intend to receive foreign donations
- It is mandatory for all search NGOs to register themselves under the FCRA
- The registration is initially valid for 5 years and it can be renewed subsequently if they comply with all norms
Non-governmental organizations in India:
- Worldwide the term is used to describe a body that is neither part of a government nor a conventional for profit business organization
- NGOs are a group of ordinary citizens that are involved in a wide range of activities that may have charitable, social, political, religious or other interest
- NGOs are helpful in implementing government schemes at grassroots
- In India and NGOs can be registered under a plethora of acts such as the Indian society registration act 1860, religious endowment act 1863, Indian trust act etc.
- India has possibly largest number of active NGOs in the world, one NGO for less than 400 Indians
- Only a handful of NGOs get government funds
- And they also receive funds from abroad if they are registered with home ministry under foreign contribution Regulation Act
- Without this no NGO can receive a cash or anything of value higher than rupees 25000
What are the new amendments?
- Under the act certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution
- These include election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, member of any legislature and political parties among others
- The bill adds public servants as defined under the Indian penal code to the list
- Under the act foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless that person is also registered to accept foreign contribution
- The bill amends this to prevent the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person
- The term person under the act includes an individual and Association or a registered company
Aadhar for registration
- The act states that a person must accept foreign contribution if they have
- Obtain the certificate of registration from the central government or
- Not registered but obtain prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution
- In case of a foreigner they must provide a copy of the passport for overseas citizen of India card for identification
- Under the act registered person must accept foreign contribution only in a single branch of a scheduled bank specified by them
- However they may open more accounts in other banks for utilization of the contribution
- The bill amends this to state that foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as FCRA account in such branch of the State Bank of India New Delhi as notified by the central government
- No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account
Restriction in utilization of foreign contribution
- If a person accepting foreign contribution is found guilty of violating any provision of the act or unutilized or and received foreign contribution may be utilized or received only with the approval of Central Government
- The bill adds that the government may also restrict usage of unutilized foreign contributions for persons who have been granted Prior permission to receive such contribution
Renewal of license
- Under the act every person who has been given a certificate of registration must renew the certificate within six months of expiration
- The bill provides that the government may conduct an enquiry before renewing the certificate
Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes
- Under the act a person who receives foreign contribution must use it only for the purpose for which the contribution is received
- Further they must not use more than 50% of the contribution to meeting administrative expenses, the bill reduces this limit to 20%
Suspension of registration
- Under the act government may suspend the registration of a person for a period not exceeding 180 days
- The bill at that such suspension may be extended up to an additional 180 days
2) Detention camps in china:
Australian strategy policy Institute identified more than 380 suspected detention facilities in the region
- Where China is believed to have held more than 1 million Uighurs, and other mostly Muslim Turkic speaking residents
- The number of Facilities is around 40% greater than previous estimates
- Using satellite imagery, eyewitness accounts, media reports and official construction tender documents the institute tells at least 61 detention sites have been seen as new construction and expansion work between July 2019 and July 2020
- 14 more facilities where under construction in 2020 and around 70 have had fencing for perimeter was removed indicating their use has changed or they have been closed
- Beijing denied the existence of detention sites, the government says that they are vocational training centres used to counter extremism
- US lawmakers recently voted to ban imports from Xinjiang citing the alleged use of systematic forced labor
- Beijing Recently published a paper defending its policies in Xinjiang in where it says training programmes schemes and better education mean life has improved
3) GUARD – Urban cooperative banks cyber security:
The Reserve Bank of India has come out with a document to enhance cyber security of urban cooperative banks
The technology vision for cyber security for urban cooperative banks 2020-2023 has been formalized based on inputs from various stakeholders
It plans to achieve its objective through a five pillar strategic approach GUARD
- Governance Oversight
- Utile Technology Investment
- Appropriate Regulation and Supervision
- Robust Collaboration and
- Developing Necessary IT, Cyber security skills sets
The vision document with its 12 specific action points, aspires to involve
- More board oversight over cyber security
- Enable UCBs to better manage and Secure IT assets
- Implement an offsite supervisory mechanism framework for UCBs on cyber security related controls
- Develop a forum for UCBs so that they can share best practices and discuss practical issues and challenges
- Implement a Framework for providing awareness or training for all UCBs
Cyber security landscape will continue to evolve with wider adoption of digital banking channels thus necessitating the UCBs to manage the associated risk effectively
Active collaboration within UCBs and stakeholders would be necessary for sharing and coordinating various measures taken on cyber security aspects
4) Non personal data policy:
Startups say no for non-personal data policy
- A committee headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has suggested that non-personal data generated in a country be allowed to be harnessed by various domestic companies and entities
- It also suggested setting up of new Authority which would be empowered to monitor the use and mining of such non-personal data
What is non-personal data?
- Non-personal data is any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information
- This in essence means that no individual or living person can be identified by looking at such data
5) Offset policy:
Context: Rafael vendors yet to confirm technology transfer
CAG noted that obtaining technology transfer has been a particular failure
Of the total value of the assets only 3.5 % was contracted to be discharged through FDI
The CAG audit said, did not find a single case where the foreign vendors has transferred high technology to Indian industry
Adopted by India in 2005 for all capital defence purchases above rupees 300 crores made through imports
The foreign vendors or original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) was required to invest at least 30% of the value of purchase in India’s
Defence for Aerospace sectors
There are several ways for original equipment manufacturers to meet their offset obligations
- Including foreign direct investment
- Offering free transfer of technology to Indian firms
- Purchase of eligible products manufactured by Indian forms
To discharge these obligations OEMs need to select these organizations as partners
Context: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the portal in Lucknow on September 24, 2020.
- The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a unified portal called ‘U-Rise’- Unified Re-imagined Innovation for Student Empowerment.
- The portal will guide students in learning, career counselling, and getting employment in the state.
- The programme will connect students with practical and technical knowledge.
- Uttar Pradesh is the first state to launch a unified portal along with the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) -2020.
- Around 20 lakh students and technical experts will get benefit from this portal who are getting vocational and technical education.
- The e-content, e-library, and online courses from this portal will be accessible by students even in the remote areas of the state.
7) Five States:
Context: Union Finance Ministry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has granted permission to raise additional financial resources of Rs. 9,913 crore to five states through Open Market Borrowings (OMBs).
The five states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa, and Tripura.
Why these States have been granted permission?
- The permission has been granted because these States have successfully implemented the One Nation One Ration Card System.
- Further, In light of the unprecedented pandemic the Central Government had also allowed additional borrowing limit of up to 2% of Gross State Domestic Product (GDP) to the States for the current financial year.
Open Market Borrowing or Open Market Operation
- The buying and selling of government securities in the open market is termed as open market operations.
- It is done by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) only.
- When RBI wants to infuse liquidity or money into the monetary system, it purchases government securities in the open market.
- Thus, providing liquidity to the commercial banks. On other hand it sells securities to curbs liquidity.
Thus, RBI indirectly controls the money supply and influences short-term interest rates.
One Nation One Ration Card
- It is an ambitious plan of Department of Food & Public Distribution on order to ensure the delivery of food security entitlements to beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
- It provides food security entitlements irrespective of their physical location anywhere in the country.
8) China’s stand on G4’s push for UNSC reforms:
- China’s long held stance that the reform process cannot go ahead quickly is unlikely to change
- Chinese analysts have long been dismissive of the G4, and have in the past indicated that China would not favor the inclusion of at least three of its members for different reasons
- India and Japan considering their historical difficult relations with China and Germany because it is not a developing country
9) UNLFWSEA – United National Liberation front of west of South East Asi:a
Myanmar based conglomerate of banned outfits such as NSCN-K, United Liberation Front of Assam ULFA-I, NDFB-S and KLO
- Had taken resolution to take assistance from a third Nation to achieve their goal
- The conglomerate was formed in 2015
- Accordingly UNLFWSEA first preferred China to seek for assistance
- China refused to provide assistance directly or indirectly
- The Tribunal was constituted under the unlawful activities prevention act after Union home ministry extended the ban on the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in 2019 for 5 years
- The Tribunal upheld Ban and declared NDFB an unlawful association for a period of 5 years