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UPSC NEWS DIARY FOR TODAY (12 August, 2022) | DAY LONG CURRENT AFFAIRS DIGEST FOR UPSC

 

UPSC News Diary For Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary For Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.

In the ”UPSC News Diary For Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.

 

Digital Lending Rules of RBI

 

  • Reserve Bank of India has issued detailed guidelines for digital lending according to which digital loans must be credited directly to the bank accounts of borrowers and not through any third party.
  • RBI also said that digital lending entities and not the borrowers should pay fees or charges payable to Lending Service Providers in the credit intermediation process.
  • While issuing these guidelines RBI mentioned concerns primarily related to unbridled engagement of third parties, mis-selling, breach of data privacy, unfair business conduct, charging of exorbitant interest rates, and unethical recovery practices.

 

Brief Intro Of Arunachal Pradesh

 

  • Arunachal Pradesh is a northeastern state of India.
  • Arunachal is also called the land of the rising sun.
  • It is the largest of the northeastern states.
  • Arunachal Pradesh was made a union territory in 1972.
  • On 20 February 1987, Arunachal Pradesh got full state status along with Manipur.
  • Its capital is Itanagar.
  • The main spoken language of the state is Hindi.

 

‘UN and Global Terrorism’

 

  • Terrorism has been a threat not only to India’s democracy but countries worldwide affecting almost every sphere of human life, be it economic or political or social.
  • At a recent meeting of the UN Security Council, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end.
  • As the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee India will be hosting a Special session in Mumbai and Delhi on 28-29 October this year, highlighting the nature of this threat, member states’ capacity gaps and best practices, and exploring further course of action to effectively deal with this threat.

 

Mass Bleaching Event Hits The Great Barrier Reef

 

About The Great Barrier Reef

  • The Great Barrier Reef of Australia, located off the country’s northeastern coast, contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs.
  • Stretching over 2,300km (1,400 miles) off Australia’s north-east coast, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.
  • The Great Barrier Reef has been World Heritage-listed for 40 years due to its “enormous scientific and intrinsic importance” as one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.
  • The reef has also been damaged by coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and tropical cyclones which generate damaging waves.

UPSC NEWS DIARY FOR TODAY (12 August, 2022) | DAY LONG CURRENT AFFAIRS DIGEST FOR UPSC_40.1

What is a Mass Bleaching Event?

  • Bleaching occurs when corals stressed by warm water temperatures expel the algae living within them that gives them colour and life.
  • Only two mass bleaching events had ever been recorded before 2016.
  • This year’s bleaching event was the first to occur during a La Niña, a weather phenomenon which typically brings cooler water temperatures.
  • The first mass bleaching event was seen in 1998. It was again observed in 2002, 2016, 2017 and 2020.

The Editorial Analysis- A Timely Gesture

 

Tax Devolution to States- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Federalism- Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

UPSC NEWS DIARY FOR TODAY (12 August, 2022) | DAY LONG CURRENT AFFAIRS DIGEST FOR UPSC_50.1

 

Tax Devolution to States in News

  • Recently, the Central Government decided to transfer a large chunk of tax devolution dues to States in one go.
  • The norms for the ₹1 lakh crore interest-free loans offered to States for discretionary projects this year could also be reviewed to help it gain greater traction with State governments.

Capex push: Proactive Tax Devolution to states

 

Tax Devolution to States

  • Reason: Higher than anticipated buoyancy in tax receipts has nudged the Finance Ministry into raising the States’ monthly share of the divisible pool of taxes from about ₹48,000 crore in the first quarter of 2022-23, to ₹58,332.86 crore for August.
    • Surplus cash balances with the exchequer have created room to transfer two months’ dues to States in one go, translating into a significant lump sum of nearly ₹1.17 lakh crore.
  • Significance: It is a pragmatic step that will not only lend impetus to fresh capital spending on the ground but also temporarily soothe tempers amid a fresh round of unease between the Centre and States.

 

Why this Move is Important for States?

  • End of GST Compensation Phase: States no longer have the fallback option of assured revenues from GST Compensation in the five years till June 30, 2022.
    • Even for the GST dues that accrued this year, the Centre frontloaded the release of around ₹87,000 crore to States for April and May.
    • Although accruals in the GST Compensation Cess account at the time were just ₹25,000 crore, by dipping into its own coffers.
    • With another ₹35,000-odd crore of GST dues outstanding for June, the overall recompense for States from GST will be around ₹1.22 lakh crore, less than half of the ₹2.5 lakh-odd crore in 2021-22.
  • Changes in the Borrowing Norms of States: There is another uncertainty facing States that has led to extremely tentative behaviour from their treasuries in recent auctions of State development loans- changes in their net borrowing norms.
    • While the Centre had pegged States’ borrowing limit at 3.5% of their Gross State Domestic Product for the year, this ceiling is to be pared in accordance with off-budget debt raised by States since 2020-21.
    • However, Finance Ministry clarified that only their off-budget debt for 2021-22 will be adjusted against the ceiling and that too, in a staggered manner between this year and 2025-26.

 

 

Conclusion

  • These steps should help States, which expressed concerns about dwindling revenues at the recent NITI Aayog governing council meet, back the effort to rev up the economy with a capex spree.
  • Friction points between the Centre and States will persist with fluctuating intensities, but a rising economic tide will ease constraints for both.

 

15th Finance Commission

 

Russia-Turkey Economic Cooperation-Concerns For Europe

 

Russia- Turkey Economic Cooperation- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Russia- Turkey Economic Cooperation in News

  • Recently, Russia and Turkey agreed to enhance economic cooperation at a meeting held in the city of Sochi, Russia.
  • The US sanctioned Turkey in 2020 under its Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), for purchasing the S-400 air defence missile system from Moscow.
    • India has also purchased this system but got an exception from the imposition of CAATSA by the US government.

Impact of Russia Ukraine War on Indian Economy

 

Russia- Turkey Economic Cooperation Agreement

  • Russia-Turkey had touched upon gas exports to Turkey. Turkey also agreed to partially pay for them in Russian currency, the ruble.
  • According to a Bloomberg report, five Turkish banks have adopted Russia’s Mir payments system for payment in rubles.
  • They also agreed to “meet one another’s expectations on the economy and energy”.
  • Other areas of cooperation mentioned in a Joint Press Statement released afterwards were transportation, commerce, agriculture, industry, finance, tourism and construction.

 

Associated Concerns of the European Countries

  • Russia-Ukraine War: It is concerning for Europe, especially at a time when the West has sought to reduce the scope of its economic relations with Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine.
  • Financial System: Another source of concern could be Russia’s Mir payment system which has been adopted by 5 Turkish banks.
    • With Visa and Mastercard suspending their operations in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian tourists in Turkey can now use their Mir card, effectively circumventing some Western sanctions.
  • Member of NATO: Closeness between Russia and Turkey raises concerns for NATO countries of which Turkey is a member.
    • This is a serious concern, especially when Russia’s relationship with the Western and European countries is going through its low due to Russia-Ukraine war.
    • It also holds the key to allowing Sweden and Finland admission into NATO, which the alliance might be eager to do given the events in Ukraine.
  • Turkey’s Importance for Europe: On the whole, Turkey is an important partner with the West and taking action against it could lead to a new range of issues cropping up for the West. For Example-
    • Turkey’s instrumental role in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis.
    • Turkey hosted around 3.7 million Syrians as part of a deal with the EU, and “helped to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

S-400 Triumf Missile System

 

Asian Regional Forum Meet-Summit for Electoral Democracy

 

Asian Regional Forum Meet- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Asian Regional Forum Meet

  • Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) hosted a virtual meet of the ‘Asian Regional Forum’ 2022.
  • Regional Forum meet was a precursor to the “Summit for Electoral Democracy” to be hosted by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico in the coming month.

 

Asian Regional Forum Meet 2022

  • About: India hosted the Asian Regional Forum meet of the Election Management Bodies (EMBs) to reflect upon the changing geo-politics, emerging technologies and their use in election management in view of the challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic.
    • As part of this ‘Global Summit for Democracy’, five Regional Forums namely Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and countries of the Arab States have been created.
  • Theme: Asian Regional Forum Meet 2022 was organized on the theme “Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative” at Nirvachan Sadan.
  • Participation: Representatives from EMBs of Mexico, Mauritius, Philippines, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Maldives, International IDEA, Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) participated in the meet.
    • Senior officials from Election Commission of India were also present during the meet.

 

Asian Regional Forum Meet- Key Activities

Asian Regional Forum Meet had two following sessions-

  • First Session: on ‘Inclusive Elections: Enhancing Participation of Youth, Gender and Citizens in Remote Areas’.
    • It was co-chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner from Mauritius and Nepal.
  • Second Session: on ‘Accessible Elections: Enhancing Participation of Persons with Disabilities & Senior Citizens’.
    • It was co-chaired by the Commissioner, COMELEC, Philippines and CEC of Uzbekistan.

 

Summit for Electoral Democracy

  • About: Summit for Electoral Democracy is organized to strengthen electoral processes within democratic processes.
  • Key Objective: to create a synergy among international organizations, and electoral authorities and bodies from around the world to promote an intellectual and institutional mobilization to strengthen electoral democracy in the world.
  • Implementation: the main goal of the Summit for Electoral Democracy is to be achieved through the conduction of regional Forums: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and countries of the Arab States.
    • These will take place within June through August, culminating with the Global Forum, which will take place in September.

 

About ECI

  • The ECI is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
  • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.

 

Organizational structure

  • ECI consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  • Secretariat: It has a dedicated secretariat located in New Delhi.
  • At the state level, ECI is assisted by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) who is generally an IAS rank officer.
  • At the constituency level, ECI appoints a Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer in consultation with the government of State or Union Territory as the case may be.

 

Democracy Cohort on Election Integrity | Summit for Democracy

 

Internationalisation of Higher Education

 

Internationalisation of Higher Education- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Internationalisation of Higher Education in News

  • Recently, the Minister of State for Education informed Lok Sabha about various initiatives taken by the government to promote Internationalisation of Higher Education as per mandate of National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.

National Education Policy

 

NEP 2020 on Internationalisation of Higher Education

NEP 2020 stipulates various measure to promote India as global study destination and Internationalisation. For example-

  • Facilitating research / teaching collaborations and faculty /student exchange with high-quality foreign HEI and signing of relevant mutually beneficial MOUs with foreign countries;
  • Encouraging high performing Indian universities to set up campuses in other countries;
  • Selected universities e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India;
  • Setting up of International Student Office at each HEI for welcoming and supporting students arriving from abroad;
  • Counting credits acquired in foreign universities, wherever appropriate as per requirement for each HEI; and
  • Courses and programmes in subjects, such as Indology, Indian Languages, AYUSH systems of medicines, yoga, arts etc.

 

Government Initiatives to Promote Internationalisation of Higher Education

In line with the recommendations of National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, several measures have been initiated to strengthen Internationalization of the Higher Education, such as:

  • Guidelines on Internationalization of Higher Education were notified by UGC in July, 2021.
    • It includes provisions like setting up of Office for International Affairs and Alumni Connect Cell in the campus of Universities hosting foreign students.
  • 179 Universities have established Office for International Affairs and 158 Universities have set up Alumni Connect Cells.
  • Academic Collaboration: In order to foster academic collaboration between Indian HEIs and foreign HEIs, “University Grants Commission Regulations, 2022” have been notified in 2022.
  • World-class foreign universities and institutions will be allowed in the GIFT City, Gujarat to offer courses in Financial Management, FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
    • These will be free from domestic regulations, except those by International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA).
    • It aims to facilitate availability of high-end human resources for financial services and technology.
  • Offshore Campuses: UGC Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations have been amended to allow Institutions of Eminence to set up Off-Shore campuses.

 

Key points About NEP-2020

  • It is the third education policy of our country. The earlier two was launched in 1968 and 1986.
    • This national policy came after a gap of 34 years.
  • It is based on the recommendations of Kasturirangan committee.
  • It renames the Ministry of Human Resource Development to Ministry of Education.
  • It proposes a 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure.

 

Stages Years Class Features
Foundational 3-8 3 years of pre-primary and 1-2 Flexible, multi-level, activity-based learning
Preparatory 9-11 3-5 Light textbooks, more formal but interactive classroom learning
Middle 12-14 6-8 Introduction of subject teachers for learning of more abstract concepts, experimental learning
Secondary 15-18 9-12 Reading in-depth, critical thinking, greater attention to life aspirations

 

Implementation of NEP-2020

  • There will be an apex body called Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), which will resolve disputes among the following bodies.
Bodies Features
NHERA (National Higher Education Regulatory Authority) Light but tight regulation
NAC (National Accreditation Commission) Meta-accrediting agency
HEGC (Higher Education Grants Council) Responsible for funding
GEC (General Education Council) frame expected learning outcomes for higher education programmes.

Reforms in Higher Education: Parliamentary Standing Committee Submits Report

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