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Daily Current Affairs : 22-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. PAKISTAN RETAINED ON GREY LIST OF FATF

  2. STERLISATION TARGETS IN MADHYA PRADESH

  3. SUTRA-PIC

  4. NAMASTE TRUMP

  5. IRAN PLACED IN BLACK LIST OF FATF

  6. NATURAL GAS PRICING

  7. 13th CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES ON CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS (CMS COP13)


PAKISTAN RETAINED ON GREY LIST OF FATF

Why in News?

  • Pakistan has been retained in the “Grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force for another four months with a stern warning to complete the 27 point action plan by June 2020 of face the risk of being blacklisted.


Highlights

  • Pakistan needs to continue to work on eight specific areas including

  • Identifying and investigating” all terror-financing activities in the country,

  • Freezing the funds of all designated terrorists and

  • Prosecutions resulting in “effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions” against all terror entities.

  • Tightening terror financing laws.

  • Improving banking security norms.

  • Shutting down funding to UNSC designated terrorist organisations such as Taliban, al-Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed

  • In November 2019, Pakistan was cleared of only four points out of 27.

  • Pakistan is amongst the 12 countries on the grey list that are being reviewed for actions to stop terror financing and money laundering.

Meaning of Grey list and Black list :

  • Grey List (Official name - Compliance document) : It contains those countries that have deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes but have committed to address these loopholes.

  • Black list (Official name – Public statement) : The countries that failed to live up to their commitments of addressing the loopholes in the AML/CFT regime.

Impact :

  • Economic Impact:

  1. IMF : Pakistan’s $6 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be threatened. It will become difficult for Pakistan to get foreign loans from IMF, WB or ADB.

  2. International Bond Market : Grey-listing could also lead to a downgrade in Pakistan’s debt ratings, making it more difficult to tap into the international bond markets.

  3. Cost of Doing Business : It can dry up the foreign investment in the country and increase the countries cost of doing business by manifolds. No company wants to be doing business with a country that has possible ties with terrorist funding activities or lacks a process that prevents such activities.

  4. Annual Loss : Pakistan faces an estimated annual loss of $10 billion if it stays in the greylist; if blacklisted, its already fragile economy will dealt with a powerful blow.

  5. Global Reputation:

  6. Being in the blacklist is not good for any countries reputation.


Source : FATF website and Hindu


STERLISATION TARGETS IN MADHYA PRADESH

Why in news?

  • MP Government rescinded its order to health workers that warned male multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs) of no pay and compulsory retirement if they failed to mobilise at least one man for sterilisation in 2019-20.


Highlights :

  • As per National Family Health Survey – 4 just 0.5% of men opted for the sterilisation procedure in Madhya Pradesh.

  • Even though India is in significant need of population control but the law is being criticised as “Emergency part 2” for its draconian provision.

  • However, the data suggests that around 1.35 lakh women went sterilisation in eight months until December, just 1254 men opted for vasectomy. This raises the question of the inequality and the continuance of patriarchal values.

Source : Hindu



SUTRA-PIC
  • Why in news? 400 scientists have petitioned the Department of Science and Technology to withdraw a proposal that solicits research into indigenous cows.


Highlights :

  • SUTRA-PIC : Scientific Utilisation Through Research Augmentation-Prime Products from Indigenous Cows


Aim :

  • Perform scientific research on the complete characterization of milk and milk products derived from Indian indigenous cows;

  • Scientific research on nutritional and therapeutic properties of curd and ghee prepared from indigenous breeds of cows by traditional methods;

  • Development of standards for traditionally processed dairy products of Indian-origin cow


Themes –

  • Uniqueness of Indigenous Cows

  • Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Medicine and Health

  • Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Agricultural Applications

  • Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Food and Nutrition

  • rime-products from Indigenous Cows-based Utility Item.


Funding and Ministry : It is being funded by multiple scientific ministries, however, SUTRA PIC is being led by Department of Science and Technology (DST)


Criticisms :

  • The key concern raised by the researcher is that the programme the belief that indigenous cows had “special” and “unique” qualities and this opened the possibility of money being “wasted to investigate imaginary qualities derived from religious scriptures”.

  • The programme is being criticised as being unscientific as it doesn’t encourage fair comparison with other cow breeds around the world or other bovine species within India.


Source : Hindu and DST website.