29th November 2019 – The Hindu Self Analysis
Topic-RS passes chit fund Bill
- Parliament has passed the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
- The Chit Funds Act of 1982 was amended to incorporate stringent measures to stop alleged fraud.
- The bill increases the limit of chit funds to 3 lakh for those run by up to four individuals and Rs. 18 lakh for those operated by more than four partners.
- The Bill has increased the amount and commissions for foremen to account for inflation.
- The maximum commission for foreman, who is responsible for managing the chit, is proposed to be raised from 5 per cent to 7 per cent. The bill also allows the foreman a right to lien against the credit balance from subscribers.
- The bill also introduces words such as fraternity fund, rotating savings and credit institution to make chit funds more respectable.
- Among other amendments, chits are supposed to be drawn in the presence of at least two subscribers, and also allow subscribers to join through video conferencing.
- The Rajya Sabha passed it by voice vote. The Lok Sabha also cleared it. It will now require the President’s assent to become a law.
- Chit funds are legal and registered and are different from ponzi schemes as well as unregulated deposits.
- In a chit fund, people periodically pay a fixed amount. Thereafter, one of the subscribers get the prize money, which is determined by an auction or lottery.
- Such funds are mostly, alternative source of finance and saving for the poor.
- Chit funds play a crucial role in India’s rural economy, providing people with access to funds and investment opportunities, especially in regions where banks and financial institutions do not have a presence.
GS-2 or 3 Mains
Topic-Google warned 500 Indians on phishing
- Google sent out over 12,000 warnings to users globally, including about 500 in India, during the period from July to September 2019, alerting them to “government-backed” phishing attempts against them.
- Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
- This comes close on the heels of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp disclosing that an Israeli spyware, Pegasus, was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists globally, including 121 people in India.
- In a blog post, Google said its Threat Analysis Group (TAG) works to counter targeted and government-backed hacking against Google and its users. The TAG tracks more than 270 targeted or government-backed groups from more than 50 countries.
- These groups have many goals, including intelligence collection, stealing of intellectual property, targeting dissidents and activists, destructive cyberattacks, or spreading coordinated disinformation.
- As per the data shared on the blog post, about 500 warnings were issued to users in India.
- Over 90% of these users were targeted via “credential phishing emails” where attempts are made to obtain the target’s password or other account credentials to hijack their account.
Topic-U.S. to cut spending on NATO budget, Germany to pay more
- The U.S. is to cut its contribution to NATO’s operating budget, with Germany increasing payments as the alliance tries to appease President Donald Trump ahead of a summit.
- Trump has repeatedly criticised European members for freeloading on the U.S., singling out Germany — the continent’s economic powerhouse — for lagging behind on an alliance commitment to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.
- While most of Mr. Trump’s anger has been focused on European national defence budgets, American officials have also grumbled about how much Washington contributes to NATO’s running costs.
- “Under the new formula, cost shares attributed to most European allies and Canada will go up, while the US share will come down,” a NATO official said.
- Washington currently pays 22.1% of the NATO budget — which totalled $2.5 billion in 2019 — and Germany 14.8%, under a formula based on each country’s gross national income.
- Under the new agreement, the U.S. will cut its contribution to 16.35% of the total, Germany’s will rise to the same level and other allies will pay more.
GS-2 or 3 Mains
Protest against Industrial Relations Code Bill in LS
- Union Labour Minister introduced the Industrial Relations Code Bill 2019 in the Lok Sabha amid protests from the Opposition members. Terming the Bill “anti-labourers,” the Opposition demanded that it be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour.