Daily GS Mains Notes or Mains Content Enrichment for Civil Services Exam
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- Three NGOs linked to Congress under Home Ministry scanner
Why in news
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to probe alleged violation of various legal provisions by three NGOs — the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust (IGMT).
- The violations being probed pertain to the legal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Income Tax Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
- As per the MHA website, both the RGF and the RGCT are registered FCRA associations, a pre-requisite for NGOs and other associations to receive foreign donations. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust is not an FCRA registered association.
- Any NGO or association that intends to receive foreign funds has to compulsorily register under the FCRA, monitored by the Union Home Ministry.
- Under the 2010 Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contributions for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.
- Rental housing scheme for migrants cleared
Why in news
A scheme for providing affordable rental housing to about 3 lakh urban migrants has been approved by the Union Cabinet.
- Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) scheme will be a sub-scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban that is implemented by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
- The target beneficiaries would be workers who come from rural areas or towns to work in manufacturing, hospitality, health, construction, etc.
- Also, existing vacant government-funded housing complexes will be converted into ARHCs through a concession agreement for 25 years.
- ARHCs will create a new ecosystem in urban areas making housing available at affordable rent close to the place of work. Investment under ARHCs is expected to create new job opportunities. ARHCs will cut down unnecessary travel, congestion and pollution.
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- Trump starts withdrawal of U.S. from WHO
Why in news
President Donald Trump has formally started the withdrawal of the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The withdrawal is effective in one year — July 6, 2021. And could be reversed by a new administration or if circumstances change. The U.S. is WHO’s largest donor and provides it with more than $450 million per year, but owes about $200 million in current and past dues.
WHO is the only body capable of leading and coordinating the global response to COVID-19. Terminating the US relationship would undermine the global effort to beat this virus and could jeopardize global health.
- Since assuming office in January 2017, Trump had pulled the US out of many global organisations and treaties — the most notable being the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- He pulled out of Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade deal covered nearly 40 % of the world’s economy and was negotiated by countries like the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, among others with an aim to boost growth, improve economic ties and reduce tariffs.
- Following the US withdrawal, the remaining 11 countries renegotiated parts of the TPP and later signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP-11.
- Trump pulled the US out of UNESCO in 2017, citing anti-Israel bias as Washington was upset with UNESCO for granting full membership to Palestine. The US pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018 citing it as a hypocritical body that “makes a mockery of human rights.”
- UAE in support of open skies agreement with India
Why in news
According to the UAE’s ambassador to India A.R. Albanna, UAE is keen to have an open sky agreement with India.
- Albanna stated that India has an open skies policy with SAARC countries and those beyond the 5,000-km radius, which implies that nations within this distance need to enter into a bilateral agreement and mutually determine the number of flights that their airlines can operate between the two countries.
- It is this policy that the Ambassador wants India to revisit. The issue of fifth and sixth freedoms of air has been a sore point between airlines in India and the UAE.
Freedoms of the air:
- The freedoms of the air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country’s airlines the privilege to enter and land in another country’s airspace.
- The first freedom of air allows a carrier to take off from its home state, the second freedom of air allows it to land in a second country.
- The third and fourth freedoms of air allow the airline to take off from the country it has landed in and come back to land at its home base.
- The fifth freedom allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country. Sixth freedom is the right to carry passengers or cargo from a second country to a third country by stopping in one’s own country.
- An open sky air service agreement allows for airlines from the two countries to have an unlimited number of flights as well as seats to each other’s jurisdictions.
- Indian trawlers are back, say Sri Lanka’s fishermen
Why in news
Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen have reported a sudden increase in the number of Indian trawlers being spotted in the island’s territorial waters.
- Fishermen along the northern coast of Jaffna Peninsula, especially Point Pedro, have complained about the large Indian trawlers that were reportedly in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters.
- The Indo-Lanka fisheries conflict became a strain on the countries’ bilateral ties, with talks at the highest levels and among fisher leaders on both sides proving futile for years.
- The issue started because of Indian fishermen using mechanized trawlers, which deprived the Sri Lankan fishermen (including Tamils) of their catch and damaged their fishing boats.
- In the last couple of years, Sri Lanka introduced tougher laws banning bottom-trawling, and heavy fines for trespassing foreign vessels.
- While the Sri Lankan Navy arrested over 450 Indian fishermen in 2017, they arrested only 156 in 2018 on charges of poaching.
- A total of 210 arrests were made in 2019, while 34 have been made so far in 2020.
- Familiar with the brutal impact that Indian trawlers had on their fish production and the marine habitat in the post-war decade — scooping out marine organisms, including fishes and prawns — the northern Tamil fishermen fear that their livelihoods, now under strain due to the coronavirus pandemic that has impaired exports, would be further hit by the