Home Current AffairsDaily Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs – 30th Jan. 2021

Daily Current Affairs – 30th Jan. 2021

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Daily Current Affairs

Given below are the daily current affairs for 30th Jan 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.

POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

Government tightens oversight on funds received by NGOs

Context:

The Union Home Ministry has laid out a series of guidelines and charter to make NGOs and banks comply with the new provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

  • It says that donations received in Indian rupees by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations from any foreign source even if that source is located in India at the time of such donation should be treated as foreign contribution.
  • It added that “donations given in Indian rupees (INR) by any foreigner/foreign source including foreigners of Indian origin like OCI or PIO cardholders” should also be treated as foreign contribution.

Details:

  • As per the existing rules, all banks have to report to the Central government within 48 hours the “receipt or utilisation of any foreign contribution” by any NGO, association or person whether or not they are registered or granted prior permission under the FCRA.
  • In September 2020, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, was amended by Parliament.
    • A new provision was inserted that makes it mandatory for all NGOs to receive foreign funds in a designated bank account at the State Bank of India’s (SBI) New Delhi branch.
    • All NGOs seeking foreign donations have to open a designated FCRA account at the SBI branch by March 31, 2021.
    • The NGOs can retain their existing FCRA account in any other bank but it will have to be mandatorily linked to the SBI branch in New Delhi.
  • FCRA regulates foreign donations and ensures that such contributions do not adversely affect the internal security of the country.

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA):

  • FCRA regulates foreign donations and ensures that such contributions do not adversely affect the internal security of the country.
  • The Act, first enacted in 1976, was amended in the year 2010 when a slew of new measures was taken by the Union Home Ministry to regulate foreign donations.
  • In 2020, the FCRA Amendment Bill was passed by both Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha.

Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021:

Context:

The Budget session of Parliament is likely to consider this bill, which prohibits all private cryptocurrencies and provides for an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

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The purpose of the law has been described as:

  1. to create a facilitative framework for an official digital currency issued by the RBI.
  2. to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India”.

The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

Background:

The Supreme Court, last year, set aside an April 6, 2018, circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that prohibited banks and entities regulated by it from providing services in relation to virtual currencies (VCs).

What did the Court say?

  1. RBI has not come out with a stand that any of the entities regulated by it namely, nationalised banks/scheduled commercial banks/cooperative banks/NBFCs, have suffered any loss or adverse effect directly or indirectly, on account of virtual currencies (VCs)
  2. Hence, the RBI circular is “disproportionate” with an otherwise consistent stand taken by the central bank that VCs were not prohibited in the country.
  3. Besides, the court found that the RBI did not consider the availability of alternatives before issuing the circular.
  4. Besides, the court referred to the Centre’s failure to introduce an official digital rupee despite two draft Bills and several committees.

What are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.

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ECONOMY

Economic Survey predicts 11% growth next fiscal

Context:

The Economic Survey 2021 was tabled in the parliament on the first day of the Budget Session ahead of the Union Budget 2021.

Economic Survey:

  • The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance presents the Economic Survey of India in Parliament every year, just before the Union Budget.
  • This document is submitted to both houses of Parliament during the Budget Session.
  • The Economic Survey reviews the developments in the Indian economy over the previous 12 months.
  • It highlights the policy initiatives of the government, summarizes the performance on major development programs, and shows the growth prospects of the economy.

Plea seeks appointment of PMLA tribunal chief

Context:

The Supreme Court asked the government to respond to a petition seeking reasons for the delay in appointment of chairman and members to the appellate tribunal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Details:

  • A plea was filed stating that the appointments to the appellate tribunal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) should be made on a priority basis.
  • According to the plea, the tribunal in New Delhi is struggling to dispense justice.
    • Particularly in the absence of its chairman and three members out of the sanctioned strength of four.
    • Also due to the acute shortage of administrative staff.
  • The plea argued that the very object for constituting tribunals is to supplement the functions of High Courts and other courts and to ensure that the consumer of justice gets speedy redress.

Prevention of Money Laundering Act:

  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was enacted by the Indian Parliament in 2002 to prevent money laundering in India.
  • The act was amended in 2019 to further empower the Enforcement Directorate in dealing with money laundering cases.
  • The chief objective of this legislation is to fight money laundering, that is, the process of converting black money into white.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Myanmar poll panel rejects fraud claims

Context:

Myanmar’s Election Commission rejected allegations by the military that fraud played a significant role in determining the outcome of elections, in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won the majority of seats.

Background:

  • In the November 2020 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party captured 396 out of 476 seats in the November 8 polls, allowing them to form the government for five more years.
  • The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won 33 seats.
  • Ever since, the military has been calling on the government and the Union Election Commission to review the results stating that it found irregularities in voter lists.
  • Myanmar’s military chief also said that the Constitution could be revoked if the laws are not being properly enforced.

Details:

  • The Election Commission said there was no evidence to support the military’s claims with respect to irregularities in voter lists.
  • The decision came amid heightened tensions after the military refused to rule out the possibility of a coup if their complaints were ignored.
    • The military had ruled Myanmar for five decades until 2015.

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