The HINDU Notes – 15th April

📰 THE HINDU – CURRENT NOTE 15 April



🌐 PM launches BHIM-Aadhaar application

  • On the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM-Aadhaar in Nagpur
  • BHIM(Bharat Interface for Money)-Aadhar would be an “economic giant” like the Constitution, through which Dr. Ambedkar empowered the common man.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched two new offers to reward BHIM users. These two schemes are:   a. BHIM Referral Bonus Scheme (For Individuals)
    • The Referral Bonus scheme will incentivize existing BHIM users for bringing new users on the BHIM platform and encouraging the new users to do transactions with others using BHIM or by referring new users on BHIM. Hence, the bonus will be paid to both the referrer and the new user of BHIM (referee).
    • The referral will be considered successful only after 3 unique successful financial transactions have been completed by the new user.
    • On completion of minimum 3 unique successful transactions totaling only Rs 50 to any 3 unique users (either to customers or to merchants), the referrer and the referee will be notified about the bonus amount via notification in BHIM app. The referrer will get Rs 10 per successful referral, while the new users will get Rs 25 for downloading and transacting from BHIM App.

        b. BHIM Merchant Cashback Scheme

    • The scheme incentivizes not just one-time adoption of BHIM by merchants, but will also encourage transactions via BHIM mode (either QR code or VPA or Mobile number or ‘Pay to Aadhaar’).
    • The cashback to the merchant can be up to Rs 300 per month, with each merchant eligible to win up to Rs 1800 in 6 months.
What is BHIM Aadhar app?
  • BHIM Aadhar is a new Aadhar Payment App
  • A new Android smartphone application to encourage the use of digital payments.
  • BHIM Aadhar Pay smartphone payment app would also eliminate the fee currently being charged by the private card companies such as ‘MasterCard’ and ‘Visa’

Image result for PM launches BHIM-Aadhaar application

Who should install Aadhar Pay app?

  • Aadhar Pay App is need to be installed by merchants only i.e. only the shopkeepers, showrooms need to install aadhar pay app and the users who wants to pay using aadhar pay only need to link their aadhar number with their bank accounts.
  • Shopkeepers/ Merchant can download aadhar pay to take payments from customers from their aadhar linked bank accounts using their biometric scan.

How it works?

  • Merchants would be required to download the BHIM Aadhar Pay payment app on their android smartphone connected to a biometric reader.
  • The biometric reader is currently available for just Rs 2000. If a customer wants to make payment, then he/she just need to enter his Aadhar Number in the app and select the bank from which the payment is to be made and use the biometric scan as the password for the transaction.
  • Upon entering the Aadhar Number, the app would automatically fetch the bank accounts linked with your Aadhar number, then the customer can make the selection of bank for payment as per his/her choice

How will it help?

  • Image result for PM launches BHIM-Aadhaar applicationThe Aadhar Pay App for merchants would help eliminate the long waiting period and hassle of getting a new POS (Point of Sale) machine.
  • BHIM Aadhaar Pay app is made available on a merchant’s smartphone. Customers can pay the merchant by selecting the Bank’s name and filling only one field on the merchant’s phone – the Aadhaar number. The customer’s fingerprint is the password used to authenticate the transaction.
  • Customers need not use debit or credit cards, download mobile applications or even carry a mobile to make cashless transactions. The solution eliminates the hassles of remembering passwords, account numbers, or setting up of virtual payment addresses and using USSD codes to transfer money.
  • The acceptability of digital payments has also been very poor among the merchants in the country. One of the biggest reasons behind this is India being a cash dominated country and 2%-3% charges taken by the card companies such as Visa and MasterCard.
  • The lack of connectivity has also made it difficult for the merchants in the country to adopt digital payment systems. There are about 5 Crore merchants in the country at present and only 15 lakh POS machines for a population of more than 125 crore.
  • Not only for the merchants, the BHIM Aadhar Payment would also be helpful for customers to get rid of their stacks of plastic money, confusing sets of passwords and their digital payment accounts passwords being stolen. Also, the customers need not to download a digital payment wallet or even a smartphone.

Customer benefits

  • Customers don’t need to have an android phone or any other technology to make payments.
  • No service tax or any other extra charge on the payments using Aadhaar payments app.
  • There is no need to carry debit card or credit card.
  • No need to remember PINs, MPINs and passwords.
  • Instant Payments through aadhaar bridge system this is similar to Aadhaar Enabled Payment system (AEPS).
  • Affordable payment solution for merchants as well as customers.

🌐 Keep out non-serious parties: MPs’ panel

Image result for Election commission Non serious parties to delist

  • Election Commission Of India has delisted around 255 political parties which have not contested any polls since 2005.
  • Election Commission wrote to the Income-Tax department asking it to look into the finances of 255 political parties it has ‘delisted’ for not contesting elections.

Why it has delisted?

  • Election commission is of the opinion that most of parties exist on paper to help people convert their back money into white by accepting donations.

Parliamentary Panel take on this issue

  • There is a need to keep non-serious parties out of the political system, and to ensure they do not misuse facilities like tax exemption.
  • Their registration should be regulated by law.

No power to de-register

  • While the poll watchdog has the mandate to register a political party, it lacks power under electoral laws to deregister one.Section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951, empowers EC to register associations and bodies as political parties. However, there is no constitutional or statutory provision that empowers the EC to de-register political parties.

🌐 Giant U.S. bomb kills 36 suspected IS militants

  • The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said that the decision to deploy one of the largest conventional bombs ever used in combat, the9,797 kg GBU-43 bomb,was tactical, and made as part of the campaign against Islamic Statelinked fighters.
  • As many as 36 suspected Islamic State militants were killed in the strike on 13 April 2017 evening in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghan defence officials said.
  • There were no civilian casualties, they said.

Read more in detail…..


🌐 60,000 under I-T scanner

  • In the second phase of ‘Operation Clean Money’ (OCM), launched on 14 April 2017 to unearth black money, the I-T department will probe over 60,000 individuals including 1,300 high risk persons for alleged excessive cash sales post demonetisationon November 8 last year.
  • Over 6,000 transactions of high value property purchases and 6,600 cases of outward remittances shall be subjected to detailed investigations, an official statement said.
  • Post demonetisation, over 2,362 search, seizure and survey actions have been conducted by the ITD during November 9, 2016 to February 28, 2017, leading to seizure of valuables worth more than Rs. 818 crore, which includes cash of Rs. 622 crore, and detection of undisclosed income of over Rs. 9,334 crore.
  • More than 400 cases have been referred by ITD to the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI.
  • This has resulted in a 21.7 % increase in the returns of income received in FY 2016-17, 16% growth in gross collection (the highest in the last five years) and 14% growth in net collection (the highest in last three years), the statement said.


🌐 ‘Digital trade zooms 23 times’

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  • About 15,000 institutions have become cashless, following its digidhanmela initiative held across 100 cities in the country with an aim to create awareness about digital payments, the government think-tank NITI Aayog said.
  • “[A] 100-day-long information, education and communication campaign, led by NITI Aayog, was held to make digital payments a mass movement in India,” the Aayog said in a statement.
  • Volume of all digital transactions increased by about 23 times with 63,80,000 digital transactions for a value of Rs. 2,425 crore in March 2017 (since demonetisation) compared to 2,80,000 digital transactions worth Rs. 101 crore till November 2016 (January- November),” it added.
  • Aadhaar-enabled payments have increased from 2.5 crore in November 2016 to more than 5 crore in March 2017, the release said, adding that Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions have gone up from 3.6 crore to 6.7 crore during the same period.
  • “BHIM App has already created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016,” the Aayog said.
  • The Aayog further said more than 15 lakh people from cities, small towns and villages attended the melas, which helped enable lakhs to open new bank accounts as well as create new Aadhaar cards.

🌐 A Saturn moon may host life

  • Could icy moons like Saturn’s Enceladus in the outer solar system be home to microbes or other forms of alien life?
  • Intriguing new findings from data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggest the possibility.
  • Plumes of gas erupting out of Enceladus – a small moon with an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust – contain hydrogen.
  • Scientists infer a lot from that: that there are hydrothermal chemical reactions similar to those that occur at hot fissures at the ocean bottoms on the earth.
  • On Earth at least, hydrothermal vents thrive with microbial life, offering up the potential that icy moons far away from Earth could be habitable.
  • The tidal forces of Saturn pulling and squeezing Enceladus appear to generate enough heat to melt the ice.
  • This is the latest discovery by Cassini, a spacecraft that is heading into its final months after 13 years of exploring Saturn, its moons and rings.
  • On April 22, Cassini begins a journey that will take it between the planet and its rings for 22 orbits before its mission finally ends with a crash into Saturn’s atmosphere in September.
  • Cassini’s findings also show that levels of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane measured in the Enceladus plume were out of equilibrium, an imbalance that could provide an energy source that organisms could tap into for food, according to a paper published in the journal Science.
  • In a separate paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, another team of researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope once again spotted what appears to be a similar plume rising from Europa, one of Jupiter’s big moons that also possesses an ocean beneath an icy exterior.

🌐 BORI digitising rare manuscripts

  • Precious manuscripts in Sanksrit and its related languages, Pali and the Prakrits, are soon to be preserved for posterity with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) launching an e-library and commencing a major digitisation process of its treasure trove in Indology.
  • T2he Institute, named afterlegendary IndologistRamkrishnaGopalBhandarkar, was set up in Pune in 1917.
  • At present, about 12,000 extremely rare manuscripts and books have been scanned.
  • In 2003, the National Mission for Manuscripts (NAMAMI) selected BORI as one of the 32 manuscripts resource and conservation centres across the country.

🌐 Oman may hold clues to reversing climate change

  • Geologists are searching the al-Hajjarmountains, the jagged red mountains of Oman for an efficient way to remove carbon dioxide from the air and oceansand perhaps begin to reverse climate change.

  • The unique rock formation herepulls carbon out of thin air.
  • They are coring samples from one of the world’s only exposed sections of the Earth’s mantletouncover how a spontaneous natural process millions of years ago transformed carbon dioxide into limestone and marble.
  • The sultanate boasts the largest exposed sections of the Earth’s mantle, thrust up by plate tectonics millions of years ago. The mantle contains peridotite, a rock that reacts with the carbon in air and water to form marble and limestone.
  • As the world mobilises to confront climate change, the main focus has been on reducing emissions through fuel efficient cars and cleaner power plants.
  • But some researchers are also testing ways to remove or recycle carbon already in the seas and sky.
  • Scientists are extracting dozens of core samples, which they hope to use to construct a geological history of the process that turns carbon dioxide into carbonate.
  • They hope to answer the question of how the rocks managed to capture so much carbon over the course of 90 million years and to see if there’s a way to speed up the timetable.
  • Prof. Kelemen thinks a drilling operation could cycle carbon-rich water into the newly formed seabed on oceanic ridges far below the surface.
  • Just like in Oman’s mountains, the submerged rock would chemically absorb carbon from the water. The water could then be cycled back to the surface to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere, in a sort of conveyor belt.
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