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Daily Current Affairs : 07-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE

  2. 15TH FINANCE COMMISSION HAS REDUCED THE VERTICAL DEVOLUTION FROM 42% TO 41%

  3. INTERNATIONAL GANDHI AWARDS FOR LEPROSY

  4. NATIONAL MEANS-CUM-MERIT SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME

  5. LUCKNOW DECLARATION ON DEFENCE

  6. NAMASTE ORCHHA

  7. FIT INDIA

  8. FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

  9. PUBLIC SAFETY ACT

  10. SECOND NATIONAL JUDICIAL PAY COMMISSION SUBMITS ITS REPORT


MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE

Why in news?

  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das today said that the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to maintain status quo on policy rates for the second time in a row, must not be viewed as a pointer for future action.


Highlights:

  • This is the second straight policy review meeting where the rates have been kept unchanged. The RBI reduced the rates by 135 bps between February and October 2019 before pressing the pause button in the December policy review.

  • The central bank took two measures that could ease lending rates further.

  • One, it opened a window to extend ₹1 lakh crore to the commercial banks at the repo rate, which is 5.15%. In order to ensure availability of adequate liquidity in the banking system, the RBI Governor announced that it will soon start conducting long-term repos of one-year and three-year tenors of appropriate sizes for up to a total amount of 1,00,000 crore rupees.

  • Second, banks have been exempted from maintaining the cash reserve ratio (CRR) — which is 4% of the net demand and time liabilities now for home, auto and MSME loans that are extended from January 31 to July 31.

Source: The Hindu



15TH FINANCE COMMISSION HAS REDUCED THE VERTICAL DEVOLUTION FROM 42% TO 41%

Why in news?

  • The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FC) has considered the 2011 population along with forest cover, tax effort, area of the state, and “demographic performance” to arrive at the states’ share in the divisible pool of taxes.


Highlights:

  • The report of the Fifteenth FC, along with an Action Taken Report, was tabled in Parliament on 1st February, 2020.

  • The Commission has reduced the vertical devolution — the share of tax revenues that the Centre shares with the states — from 42% to 41%.

  • The 1 per cent decrease in the vertical devolution is roughly equal to the share of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, which would have been 0.85% as per the formula described by the Commission.

  • The Commission has said that it intends to set up an expert group to initiate a non-lapsable fund for defence expenditure.


  • The terms of reference of the Commission included considering the Centre’s demand for funds for defence and national security.


  • FINANCE COMMISSION Article 280 of the Constitution of India provides for a Finance Commission as a quasi judicial body.It is constituted by the president of India every fifth year or at such earlier time as he considers necessary.

  • COMPOSITION The Finance Commission consists of a chairman and four other members to be appointed by the president. They hold office for such period as specified by the president in his order.

  • They are eligible for reappointment.The Constitution authorises the Parliament to determine the qualifications of members of the commission and the manner in which they should be selected.Accordingly, the Parliament has specified the qualifications of the chairman and members of the commission.

  • The chairman should be a person having experience in public affairs and the four other members should be selected from amongst the following:

  • A judge of high court or one qualified to be appointed as one.A person who has specialised knowledge of finance and accounts of the government.A person who has wide experience in financial matters and in administration.A person who has special knowledge of economics.

  • FUNCTIONS The Finance Commission is required to make recommendations to the president of India on the following matters:The distribution of the net proceeds of taxes to be shared between the Centre and the states, and the allocation between the states of the respective shares of such proceeds.The principles that should govern the grants-in-aid to the states by the Centre. The measures needed to augment the consolidated fund of a state to supplement the resources of the panchayats and the municipalities in the state on the basis of the recommendations made by the state finance commission.Any other matter referred to it by the president in the interests of sound finance.

  • Under Article 280(3)(a), the Commission must make recommendations to the President “as the distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or may be, divided between them under this Chapter and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds”.Accordingly, the Commission determines a formula for tax-sharing between the states, which is a weighted sum of the states’ population, area, forest cover, tax capacity, tax effort and demographic performance, with the weights expressed in percentages.This crucial role of the Commission makes it instrumental in the implementation of fiscal federalism.

Source: Indian Express



INTERNATIONAL GANDHI AWARDS FOR LEPROSY

Why in news?

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has said that in the fight against Leprosy, India has achieved a lot over the years and successfully accomplished levels of leprosy elimination defined as less than one case per ten thousand populations.


Highlights:

  • Presenting the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu and the Leprosy Mission Trust in New Delhi.

  • Mr Kovind said, the stigma and prejudice against leprosy have reduced considerably due to constant work of scientists, researchers, organizations and community workers.

  • He said, new cases continue to occur and high-burden pockets of the disease do exist.

  • Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation, Wardha, a pioneering organisation established in 1951 in the field of leprosy in India, has instituted the award titled “International Gandhi Award” in 1986.

  • Periodicity: The Award is presented once in two years and consists of Rs. 2 lakhs as cash award, a Medallion and a Citation.

  • Number of Awards: Two awards are presented either to individuals or institutions.

  • Eligibility: The Award is given to a Leprosy Worker or Institution who/which has undertaken work in the field of leprosy for a period of not less than 10 years. The Award is open to medical, paramedical or non-medical and social workers in leprosy field.

Source: PIB



NATIONAL MEANS-CUM-MERIT SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME

Why in news?

  • The Central Sector Scheme ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’ (NMMSS) is being implemented since 2008 with the objective to award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them to continue the study at secondary stage.