Given below are the daily current affairs for 23rd Jan 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
RBI moots scale-based tighter regulatory framework for NBFCs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a discussion paper on the revised regulatory framework which is formulated on a scale-based approach.
- RBI has suggested a tougher regulatory framework for the non-banking finance companies (NBFC) sector.
- It aims to prevent recurrence of any systemic risk to the country’s financial system.
- The regulatory and supervisory framework of NBFCs will be based on a four-layered structure — the base layer (NBFC-BL), middle layer (NBFC-ML), upper layer (NBFC-UL) and the top layer.
- When the framework is visualised as a pyramid,
- The bottom of the pyramid, where least regulatory intervention is warranted, can consist of NBFCs currently classified as non-systemically important NBFC (NBFC-ND), NBFCP2P lending platforms, NBFCAA, NOFHC and Type I NBFCs.
- Moving up, the next layer may comprise NBFCs currently classified as systemically important NBFCs (NBFC-ND-SI), deposit-taking NBFCs (NBFC-D), HFCs, IFCs, IDFs, SPDs and CICs, where the regulatory regime is stricter.
- The next layer may consist of NBFCs identified as ‘systemically significant’. This layer will comprise of NBFCs having a large potential of systemic spill-over of risks and the ability to impact financial stability.
- NBFCs residing in the upper layer will constitute a new category.
- The revisions applicable to lower layers of NBFCs will automatically be applicable to NBFCs in the higher layers, unless there is a conflict or otherwise stated.
- The current threshold for systemic importance, which is ?500 crore now, is proposed to be revised to ?1,000 crore.
- The extant NPA classification norm of 180 days will be reduced to 90 days.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
India proposes to expand research, tourism in the Arctic
India has unveiled a new draft ‘Arctic’ policy.
- Among other things, the policy commits to expanding scientific research, sustainable tourism and mineral oil and gas exploration in the Arctic region.
- Other objectives of the policy include:
- Putting in place Arctic-related programmes for mineral/oil and gas exploration in petroleum research institutes.
- Encouraging tourism and hospitality sectors in building specialised capacities and awareness to engage with Arctic enterprises.
- India expects the Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research to lead scientific research and act as a nodal body to coordinate among various scientific bodies to promote domestic scientific research capacities by expanding “earth sciences, biological sciences, geosciences, climate change and space-related programmes, dove-tailed with Arctic imperatives in Indian universities.”
- The document notes that Arctic research will help India’s scientific community to study melting rates of the Himalayan glaciers, which are endowed with the largest freshwater reserves in the world outside the geographic poles.
India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean in 2007 and opened a research base named “Himadri” at the International Arctic Research Base at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway in July 2008 for carrying out studies in disciplines like Glaciology, Atmospheric sciences & Biological sciences.
Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM)
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and adjoining areas has begun the process of setting up a Decision Support System (DSS) having a web, GIS and multi-model based operational and planning decision support tool.
- This tool will help immensely in capturing the static and dynamic features of the emissions from various sources.
About the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM):
The Commission for Air Quality Management was formed by an ordinance in October 2020, the “Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance 2020”.
Chairperson: To be chaired by a government official of the rank of Secretary or Chief Secretary.
It will be a permanent body and will have over 20 members.
- The Commission will be a statutory authority.
- The Commission will supersede bodies such as the central and state pollution control boards of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan.
- It will have the powers to issue directions to these state governments on issues pertaining to air pollution.
Exclusive jurisdiction over the NCR, including areas in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, in matters of air pollution, and will be working along with CPCB and ISRO, apart from the respective state governments.
Will this new body also have penal powers?
Yes, the Commission will have some teeth. If its directions are contravened, through say, the setting up of an industrial unit in a restricted area, the Commission will have the power to impose a fine of up to Rs 1 crore and imprisonment of up to 5 years.
Shramshakti Digital Data Solution
- To be launched jointly by Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Goa Government.
- It is a national migration support portal aimed at the smooth functioning of national and state level programmes for migrant workers.
Smart Anti Airfield Weapon
- DRDO has successfully conducted captive and release trial of indigenously developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Hawk-I of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) off the Odisha coast.
- Smart Anti Airfield Weapon is a 125 Kg class smart weapon, capable of engaging ground enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, and runways, etc. up to a range of 100 kms.
- Spices Board is a body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- It was constituted in 1987 under the Spices Board Act, 1986 by merging the Cardamom Board and the Spices Export Promotion Council.
- The Spices Board is one of the five commodity boards functioning under the Commerce Ministry.
- It is an autonomous body responsible for the promotion of the 52 scheduled spices and the development of small and large cardamom.
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