27th Sep Prelims Sure Shot
MERCHANT DISCOUNT RATE
Why in news?
The government has mandated that neither the customers nor the merchants will have to pay the socalled Merchant Discount Rate (or MDR) while transacting digital payments.
About Merchant Discount Rate
Merchant Discount Rate is the sum total of all the charges and taxes that a digital payment entails.
It is alternatively referred to as the Transaction Discount Rate or TDR.
For instance, the MDR includes bank charges, which a bank charges customers and merchants for allowing payments to be made digitally.
Similarly, MDR also includes the processing charges that a payments aggregator has to pay to online or mobile wallets or indeed to banks for their service.
Who will bear the MDR costs?
Customers and merchants don’t have to pay MDR.
RBI and Banks will absorb these costs from the savings that will accrue to them on account of handling less cash as people move to these digital modes of payment.
Necessary amendments are being made in the Income Tax Act and the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to give effect to these provisions.
NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE (NDRF)
Why in news?
NDRF has deployed 40 teams along the coastal areas of Gujarat and Union Territory of Daman and Diu ahead of the anticipated landfall of severe cyclonic storm ‘Vayu’.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialised force constituted for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The Apex Body for Disaster Management in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
o The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is under the National Disaster Management Authority.
NDRF is a distinguished, unique Force across the country functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, within the overall command, control and leadership of the Director General, NDRF.
The responsibility for disaster management in India’s federal system is that of the State Government.
When ‘calamities of severe nature’ occur, the Central Government is responsible for providing aid and assistance to the affected state, including deploying, at the State’s request, of Armed Forces, Central Paramilitary Forces, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and such communication, air and other assets, as are available and needed.
At present, National Disaster Response Force consist of 12 battalions, three each from the BSF and CRPF and two each from CISF, ITBP and SSB.
All the 12 battalions have been equipped and trained to respond natural as well as man-made disasters.
Battalions are also trained and equipped for response during chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies.