Daily Current Affairs : 14th June

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Golden Cat
  2. Financial Action Task Force
  3. Employee State Insurance Act
  4. Facts for Prelims : World Investment Report, Hormuz Straits, Bailadila / NMDC

1 . Golden Cat

Context : Golden is no longer the only colour the elusive Asiatic golden cat can be associated with. Its coat comes in five other shades in Arunachal Pradesh, scientists have discovered.

About Asiatic Golden Cat

  • Asian golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to the northeastern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world’s fastest regional deforestation.
  • It is also called Temminck’s cat and Asiatic golden cat

About the Findings

  • Bhutan and China were known to have two morphs of the golden cat — one the colour of cinnamon and the other with markings similar to the ocelot, a small wild cat found in the Americas.
  • Researchers have discovered six colour morphs of the golden cat in Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. The findings have contributed to an evolutionary puzzle because no other place on earth has so many colours of wild cats of the same species.
  • ZSL scientists believe that the wide variation displayed in the cat’s coats provides them with several ecological benefits such as occupying different habitats at different elevations — from wet tropical lowland forests to alpine scrubs — and providing camouflage while preying on pheasants and rabbits.

2 . Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Context : Pakistan has been under the FATF’s scanner since last June, when it was put on the greylist for terror financing and money laundering risks, after an assessment of its financial system and law enforcement mechanisms.


  • Pakistan has been under the FATF’s scanner since last June, when it was put on the greylist for terror financing and money laundering risks, after an assessment of its financial system and law enforcement mechanisms.
  • FATF and its partners such as the Asia Pacific Group (APG) review Pakistan’s processes, systems, and weaknesses on the basis of a standard matrix for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.
  • In June 2018, Pakistan gave a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime, and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies. Based on this commitment, Pakistan and the FATF agreed on the monitoring of 27 indicators under a 10-point action plan, with deadlines.
  • Successful implementation of the action plan and its physical verification by the APG will lead the FATF to move Pakistan out of the greylist; failure by Pakistan will result in its blacklisting by September 2019.

About FATF

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. 
  • The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
  • The FATF has developed a series of Recommendations that are recognised as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • They form the basis for a co-ordinated response to these threats to the integrity of the financial system and help ensure a level playing field. 
  • The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.  
  • The FATF currently comprises 36 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations ( GCC, European Commission) representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe.
  • India is a member of FATF while Pakistan is not a member
  • India is a voting member of the FATF and APG, and co-chair of the Joint Group where it is represented by the Director General of India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

What is the FATF black list?

  • The FATF black list is shorthand for “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
  • It has been issued since 2000 and lists countries that have been openly hostile and non-cooperative in the fight against money laundering and terror funding.
  • Although the list did initially include offshore financial centres, the set of recommendations were soon amended to make tax havens compliant with all of the FATF’s criteria.
  • As of now, the FATF black list comprises Iran and North Korea.

How is the FATF grey list different from the black list?

  • The grey list includes countries that are deemed to be lax in combating terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan was on this list previously between 2012 and 2015.
  • But inaction over terror attacks on Indian targets by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and  Jaish-e-Mohammed has prompted Pakistan’s return to the grey list.
  • India was not part of the group that moved the resolution to greylist Pakistan last year in Paris. The movers were the US, UK, France, and Germany; China did not oppose.
  • While the black list represents countries which are hostile to external regulation of its economy, the grey list includes countries which continue to shield certain banned groups from greater institutional scrutiny and regulation.
  • The countries which are presently on the grey list are Syria, Sri Lanka Tunisia, Serbia, Yemen, Ethiopia and Iraq.

What are the restrictions placed on listed nations?

  • In addition to the negative picture painted of a country’s national institutions, laxity in dealing with groups banned by multilateral organisations reflects the government’s covert engagement with such entities.
  • The most adverse impact will be on the economy, especially for countries reliant on foreign aid and development loans.
  • Apart from loans solicited from international lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the Asian Development Bank (ADB), figuring on the FATF’s “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” list could see the migration of foreign capital and privately-owned foreign companies from those countries.
  • Loans for infrastructure development could also be jeopardized if lenders are not confident of the security of their investments, and also a potential misappropriation of sanctioned funds for terrorism-related activities. Foreign banks with footprints spanning the globe, such as Citibank or Standard Chartered, could pull out, affecting the financial services sector in the country.

3 . Employees State Insurance Act

Context : The total contribution towards ESI was reduced from 6.5% of an employee’s wages to 4%, with the employer’s share cut to 3.25%, from 4.75%, and the employee’s contribution lowered to 0.75% of wages, from 1.75%, the government announced. This would benefit 3.6 crore employees and 12.85 lakh employers.

About the ESI Act

  • Dr.B R Ambedkar was appointed by the Government of India to create a report on the health insurance scheme for industrial workers. The report became the basis for the Employment State Insurance (ESI) Act of 1948
  • The ESI Act 1948 was the first major legislation on social security for workers in independent India.
  • Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), established by ESI Act, is an autonomous corporation under Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India
  • It provides for health-related events, such as sickness, maternity and temporary or permanent disability. It also covers occupational disease or death due to employment injury, resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity — either total or partial.
  • Under the Act, employers and employees contribute their share, respectively, with the rate of contribution being decided through the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • Currently, all employees who earn upto Rs 21,000 per month are eligible for ESI benefits — the ceiling was raised in 2017.


  • The employees registered under the scheme are entitled to medical treatment for themselves and their dependents, unemployment cash benefit in certain contingencies and maternity benefit in case of women employees.
  • In case of employment-related disablement or death, there is provision for a disablement benefit and a family pension respectively.
  • Outpatient medical facilities are available in ESI dispensaries and through some private medical practitioners. Inpatient care is available in ESI hospitals and 42 hospital annexes. In addition, several state government hospitals also have beds for the exclusive use of ESI Beneficiaries.
  • Cash benefits can be availed in any of ESI centres throughout India.
  • Recent years have seen an increasing role of information technology in ESI, with the introduction of Pehchan smart cards as a part of Project Panchdeep.
  • In addition to insured workers, poor families eligible under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana can also avail facilities in ESI hospitals and dispensaries.

4 . Facts for Prelims

World Investment Report 2019

  • World Investment Report is released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 
  • 2019 ranks India among the top 20 host economies for FDI inflows in 2017-18.
  • As per the report Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India grew by 6 per cent to USD 42 billion in 2018, with strong inflows in the manufacturing, communication and financial services sectors, and cross-border merger and acquisition activities.

Hormuz Strait

  • Lies between Oman and Iran
  • Links the gulf in the North, with the gulf of Oman to the South and the Arabia Sea beyond
  • It is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points
  • On the north coast lies Iran, and on the south coast the United Arab Emirates and Musandam an exclave of Oman
  • Almost fifth of the oil trade passes through the strait

Bailadila Range, Iron Ore and National Mineral Development Corporation

  • Bailadila range is located in the northeastern area of the Deccan Plateau.
  • A public sector enterprise, NDMC currently operates two mines in Bailadila in Chhattisgarh.
  • Iron-ore from this region is known to be super high grade having over 66 per cent iron content, free from sulphur and other deleterious material and the best physical properties needed for steel making.
  • National Mineral Development Corporation is India’s single largest iron-ore producer and exporter. NMDC is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel, Government of India. Since inception involved in the exploration of wide range of minerals including iron ore, copper, rock phosphate, lime stone, dolomite, gypsum, bentonite, magnesite, diamond, tin, tungsten, graphite, beach sands etc.

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