CAO The Hindu NOTES – 15th Mar, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

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Date:- 15th Mar 2018

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NEUTRINO PROJECT GETS ENVIRONMENTAL NOD (GS 3 ENVIRONMENT)

The proposed India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) has finally got a green signal from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF).

MOEF’s Special Appraisal Committee for Infrastructure granted the permission as a special case but made it clear that it would still require a thumbs up from the Wild Life Boards and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

Environmental clearance was given for the project in 2011, but was quashed by the judiciary. The MoEF panel in the current round was informed that there would be no scope for radioactivity, leaching of water or any adverse effect to forest life.

The project would require wild life clearances because the Mathikettan Shola National Park in Idukki, Kerala is barely five km from the proposed site for the INO.

About the project

Neutrino is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particles. They are abundant in the universe, and can move easily through matter

The proposed INO project primarily aims to study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300-m deep cavern in the Bodi West Hills in Theni district, Tamil Nadu.

Neutrinos hold the blueprint of nature, which the INO project aims to use to understand some of the unsolved mysteries of the universe.

Numerous baseless allegations and fear spread in the area and procedural lapses have pushed this project into a limbo.


LOK SABHA PASSES FINANCE BILL WITHOUT DISCUSSION (GS 2 POLITY)

The Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill and the Appropriations Bill without debate after some of the tax proposals were amended.

Finance bill is one of the main mechanism through which the legislative exerts control over the executive. And it is important to have discussions and the bill be debated thoroughly for a parliamentary system to maintain its efficacy. This is only the third time since 2000 that the Budget has been passed without discussion

The finance bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha. However, since it is a money bill, the Upper House can only suggest changes to it which may or may not be accepted by the Lok Sabha.

About fiancé Act and Appropriation Act

Constitution says that no money shall be withdrawn from the consolidated fund of India except under the appropriation made by law. Thus, the Appropriation Bill authorizes the amount which can be drawn out of the Consolidated Fund of India for meeting the expenditures

Similarly Constitution (Article 265) says that no tax shall be levied or collected except by authority of law. Consequently, a Finance Bill dealing with such law is introduced to authorize the government to raise funds through taxation

While Appropriation act legalizes the expenditure side of the budget, Finance act legalizes the income side (Taxes) of budget.

No amendments can be moved or passed in case of appropriation bill but amendments can be moved in the case of finance bill.


PUNE TOPS QUALITY OF GOVERNANCE LIST (GS 1 URBANISATION)

Pune, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Bhubaneswar have the best quality of governance among Indian cities in 2017, according to the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS)

The report scored the cities based on the quality of laws, policies, institutions and institutional processes that together help govern them.

The report addresses five major issues, and suggests solutions at the local body, State and Central government levels.

The report finds that Indian cities, have a weak urban planning framework, and the problem can be addressed by a well-made and executed spatial development plan.

Other problem identified are,

  • stability of finances
  • lack of skilled staff and poor management of human resources
  • Fragmentation of governance
  • low levels of empowerment of mayors and councilors

The key finding of the survey is that India’s cities are improving at a snail’s pace, scoring between 3 and 5.1 out of 10 in the City-Systems framework. Global benchmark cities like London and New York score 8.8 on the same framework of evaluation, while Johannesburg, a city in a similarly placed developing country, scored 7.6.

About ASICS

The survey is done by urban governance watchdog Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. It evaluates the quality of governance in India’s cities by assessing laws, policies and institutional processes currently in place. It spans 23 Indian cities and factors in answers to 89 questions.


ED SEEKS RED NOTICE AGAINST NIRAV, CHOKSI

The Enforcement Directorate has sought issuance of Interpol Red Notice against diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in connection with the Rs. 13,578 crore PNB scam

About red notice

An Interpol notice is an international alert circulated by Interpol to communicate information about crimes, criminals, and threats from police in a member state (or an authorised international entity) to their counterparts around the world.

There are 8 types of notices are issued by the Central Secretariat of Interpol, on the request of the National Central Bureau (NCB) and other authorized agencies of the member countries. Red corner Notices are issued for individuals sought for prosecution or to serve a sentence. This notice alert the international police to arrest a suspected/accused person.

What is Enforcement Directorate (ED)

The Enforcement Directorate is economic intelligence and law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.

It functions under the aegis of the Department of Revenue, Union Ministry of Finance.

It has a mandate to enforce two of most stringent laws in the country. They are Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to check black money and hawala trade cases.


LOU BAN TO HIT IMPORTERS AS COSTS RISE (GS 3 ECONOMY)

The Reserve Bank of India’s directive barring banks from issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) has brought the buyers’ credit market to an abrupt standstill.

LoU was a key instrument to source of low-cost trade finance for the country’s importers from foreign banks.

Many exporters were using the LoUs to help fund their imports of raw materials and the central bank’s decision would likely hurt their competitiveness.

Earlier through the route of LoU importers were availing dollar funding which was cheaper than rupee funding

*refer CAO notes for 14-3-18 for “RBI bans LoUs”.

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