Unregulated Deposit Schemes
- The Union Cabinet approved the official amendments to an Act that classifies any deposit scheme not registered with the government as an offence and bans it.
- The Cabinet has given its approval to move official amendments to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018.
- The amendments will further strengthen the Bill in its objective to effectively tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities, and prevent such schemes from duping poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is unlikely to give in to the government’s demand of transferring funds that was set aside for contingency reserves in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
- There was no precedence of such a dividend being paid, that is, from funds that have already been set aside for contingencies.
- The government has been demanding more funds as dividend from the RBI which has become a bone of contention.
- A six-member committee headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan has been formed to review the economic capital framework of the central bank.
- The Cabinet has approved the setting up of a unified authority that would regulate all the financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSC), such as the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.
- This is to be done through the International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019.
- An IFSC is aimed at encouraging Indian companies that are conducting business in foreign financial centres such as London and Singapore, to bring that business to India by providing them with a global-standard regulatory and business environment.
- It would provide Indian corporates easier access to global financial markets.
- IFSC would also complement and promote further development of financial markets in India.
- Currently, the banking, capital markets and insurance sectors in IFSCs are regulated by multiple regulators, i.e. RBI, SEBI and IRDAI.
- The unified agency will have a chairperson and one member each to be nominated by RBI, Sebi, IRDAI and PFRDA, apart from two members who nominated by the Centre and two whole-time or full-time or part-time members.
- So far, India has only one IFSC at GIFT City, Gandhinagar.
Category: Social sector
- Four years after the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), just 20 per cent houses have been completed under the scheme against the sanctioned number of houses.
- In line with the government’s vision of “Housing for All” by 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is implementing PMAY-U since June 2015 for providing assistance to States/Union Territories (UTs) in addressing the housing requirement of the people belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Lower Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) categories in urban areas.
- The government aims to build 1 crore houses under the scheme.
- Based on their demand for housing under the PMAY -U, the States/UTs formulate project proposals and they are approved by the concerned State Level Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (SLSMC) which is chaired by the Chief Secretary of the concerned State.
- After approval from the concerned SLSMC, the States/UTs submit the proposals to the Ministry for approval of Central assistance by the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee.
- The government has allowed export of bio-fuels from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and export-oriented units (EoUs) with certain conditions.
- In August 2018, the government imposed restrictions on export of bio-fuels for non-fuel purposes.
- After this restriction, exporters operating from SEZs and EoUs made representations to remove this prohibition stating they only use imported material for export of final product.
Category: Social sector
- India is second only to sub-saharan Africa in how many poor children live in the country.
- India consists of 30.3 per cent of extremely poor children living across the world.
- In 2017, India expanded the nationwide extension of conditional cash transfer programme for pregnant and lactating women as a part of Maternity Benefit Programme (a cash transfer of ₹6,000 paid in 3 installments — at the early registration of pregnancy, at the time of instituitional delivery and three months after delivery if the child is registered)
- However, it later limited the maternity benefit to one child only (instead of two, as was previously announced in January 2017).
- Bihar rolls out MukhyamantriKanyaUtthan Yojana, which transfers close to $800 (over ₹57,000) to a girl starting from birth going upto primary, secondary and then college graduation level, and maximum of two girls can benefit from the family for the scheme.
India Size Project
- The Union Minister for Textiles launched the India Size project.
- A first-of-its-kind project in the history of India, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardized sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.
- A size chart that is specific to Indian consumers’ measurements will be developed.
- This will help Indian apparel manufacturers to tailor their cuts closer to the actual body measurements of consumers. This will benefit consumers, manufacturers and the industry as a whole.
Category : Physical Geography
Category : Science & Technology