GS 2


  1. Pak. likely to remain on FATF greylist

The issue in news

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF’s) plenary session for October 2020 has been scheduled. The FATF plenary was earlier scheduled in June but was postponed due to Covid-19.

  • Pakistan is unlikely to exit the Financial Action Task Force (FATF’s) greylist, with six key areas outstanding where Pakistan has yet to show progress.
  • As per its latest evaluation, Pakistan has cleared 21 of 27 action points laid down by FATF for it to be removed from the “grey list”.
  • If Pakistan comes out of the FATF ‘Grey List’, it will be easy for the country to get financial aid from the IMF, World Bank, ADB and the European Union, helping improve its precarious financial situation.
  • If not removed off the list, Pakistan may move to a blacklist of countries that face severe economic sanctions.
  • The blacklist refers to countries for whom there has been a call to action or are placed under strict banking and international financial sanctions. The blacklist of FATF presently includes Iran and North Korea.
  • In February 2020, the FATF had given Pakistan a four-month grace period to complete its 27-point action plan against money laundering and terror financing (ML&TF) committed to the international community.


  1. India-Mexico Bilateral High Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation (BHLG)

The issue in news

The fifth meeting of the India-Mexico Bilateral High Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation (BHLG) was held in October 2020 through video conference.

Main points

  • Several Ministries, Departments and Business Chambers from both countries participated in the meeting.
  • Both sides discussed a number of bilateral ongoing and outstanding issues, ranging from Audio-visual Co-production, Bilateral Investment Treaty, market access for agricultural products, a cooperation framework on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) & Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) measures between the two countries, co-operation in the Intellectual Property Rights, and exploring ways to promote tourism and people-to-people contact between India and Mexico.
  • Two business to business MoUs were signed, to foster the cooperation in the respective domains.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between the Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) of India and the Mexican Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technologies (CANIETI) was signed.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Mexican Business Council of Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE) for promoting the development of business relations between India and Mexico was also signed.



  1. eVIN network for COVID-19 vaccine supply

The issue in news

Recently the Union Health Ministry announced that the eVIN network is being repurposed for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Main points

  • eVIN is an indigenously developed technology system in India that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
  • eVIN network can track the latest vaccine stock position, the temperature at a storage facility, geo-tag health centres and maintain a facility-level dashboard.


  1. Single SBI branch for all FCRA accounts: govt.

The issue in news

As Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 was passed in the Parliament in September 2020, The Home Ministry has directed all NGOs seeking foreign donations to open a designated FCRA account at the State Bank of India’s New Delhi branch by March 31, 2021 – as per the recent amendments.


Main points

  • The Home Ministry has directed all NGOs seeking foreign donations to open a designated FCRA account at the State Bank of India’s New Delhi branch by March 31, 2021 – as per the recent amendments.
  • The Ministry’s order has made it clear that the NGOs registered under FCRA shall not receive any foreign donations in any other bank account from April 1, 2021.
  • All persons/associations/NGOs who are already registered under FCRA will get sufficient time to transition to the new system and can open accounts at NDMB (New Delhi Main Branch) till March 31, 2021.
  • All fresh applicants for a certificate of registration or prior permission under the FCRA, 2010, shall have to first open the FCRA account in the NDMB to receive any foreign contribution.


  1. Mehbooba Mufti released after 14 months

The issue in news

The Jammu & Kashmir administration has revoked the detention of former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

She was under arrest for more than 14 months.


What is Jammu and Kashmir’s Public Safety Act?

  • The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law.
  • Under the Act, a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”.
  • It is very similar to the National Security Act that is used by other state governments for preventive detention.
  • By definition, preventive detention is meant to be preventive, not punitive.
  • It comes into force by an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner or by the District Magistrate and not by a detention order by police based on specific allegations or for specific violation of laws.
  • In 2015 new rules were notified and some authority was given to the Home Department to issue such orders that were earlier done by the Divisional Commissioner or District Magistrate


Changes in Public Safety Act:

  • In the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the J&K Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020. The notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made changes to the Public Safety Act (PSA).
  • A clause that prohibited J&K residents booked under the Act to be lodged in jails outside has been removed.
  • It changes the criteria for appointing the PSA advisory board on the recommendation of a search committee headed by the Chief Secretary instead of the Chief Justice of the J&K High Court.
  • It also bars sitting High Court judges to be made part of the board without the Chief Justice’s consultation. The board has a crucial role to play in the release of detenus.
  • The order scraps a clause that dealt with the power to regulate the place and conditions of detention


GS 3

Category: ECONOMY

  1. Centre allows additional borrowing by 20 States

The issue in news

The GST Council has failed to arrive at a consensus on the mode of borrowings to meet compensation shortfalls facing the States.

 Finance Ministry has permitted 20 States to raise 68,825 crore through open market borrowings.


Main points

  • These 20 States had conveyed their acceptance of the first borrowing option offered by the Centre to meet GST compensation shortfalls.
  • Under this, States could borrow 1.1 lakh crore from the market with principal and interest payments to be paid out of GST cess collections whose levy has been extended beyond 2022.



  1. Increase in Human-Leopard Conflict

The issue in news

A recent study done across Karnataka indicated that the human-leopard policy guidelines have very less impact on the ground level and it has not  led to decrease in human-leopard conflict.

These guidelines were brought out in April 2011 by the Govt. to reduce every type of conflict with leopards

Main points

  • Since 2011 The number of leopards captured and translocated per month has increased three times from 1.5 to 4.6 and from 1 to 3.5 respectively  .
  • A recent study by TRAFFIC India revealed that of the total of 747 leopard deaths between 2015-2019 in India, 596 were linked to illegal wildlife trade and activities related to poaching.
  • The Government of India launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in 2019, to mark the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day (23 October).

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