Daily Current Affairs : 24th July

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Floor Test
  2. Kisan Vikas Patra
  3. Tiangong 2
  4. Biometric-based self-boarding facility
  5. Finance Bill

1 . Floor Test

Context : The 14-month Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka collapsed on Tuesday, with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy losing the confidence motion on the floor of the Assembly by six votes.

What is a floor test?

  • A floor test is a constitutional mechanism. It is used to determine if the incumbent government enjoys the support of the legislature. This voting process happen in the state’s Legislative Assembly or the Lok Sabha at the central level.
  • Technically, the chief minister of a state is appointed by the Governor. The appointed chief minister usually belongs to the single largest party or the coalition which has the majority.
  • However, at times, a government’s majority can be questioned. The leader of the party claiming majority has to move a vote of confidence.
  • If some MLAs remain absent or abstain from voting, the majority is counted on the basis of those present and voting. This effectively reduces the strength of the House and in turn brings down the majority-mark.
  • The voting process can happen orally, with electronic gadgets or a ballot process.
  • The Governor can also ask the Chief Minister to prove his or her majority in the House if the stability of the government comes into question.

2 . Kisan Vikas Patra

Context : In view of falling interest rates, the government has increased the time period by 1 month for doubling the money invested in Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) to 9 years and 5 months. The interest rate on KVP has been lowered to 7.6% for the September quarter, compared with 7.7% in the April-June period. 

About Kisan Vikas Patra

  • Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) is a small savings scheme issued by the Government of India, and is quite popular among risk-averse investors.
  • This small savings scheme was originally introduced in 1988, though this scheme was successful right from its inception, later it was discontinued in 2011 based on the recommendation of the committee setup by GoI. This scheme was later re-introduced by GoI with some changes in 2014.
  • KVP certificates can be purchased from any Post Office in India or designated Bank branches and the certificate can be encashed after two-and-a-half years from the date of issue.
  • Individuals can invest their money in KVP in multiples of ₹1,000 and there is no upper ceiling for investments. KVPs are issued in denominations of ₹1,000, ₹5,000, ₹10,000 and ₹50,000.

Who can invest in KVP?

  • Resident Individuals: An adult resident individual can purchase KVP in his own name or on behalf of a minor.
  • However, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are not permitted to invest in KVP.

3 . Tiangong 2

About Tiangong 2

  • Tiangong-2 was a manned Chinese space station that was destroyed upon its controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Tiangong-2 was retired from service after it had completed its experiments in space.
  • It was launched on September 15, 2016 and, in late 2016, hosted two Chinese astronauts for 30 days in what was China’s longest manned space mission so far.
  • The recently decommissioned space lab followed the Tiangong-1, China’s first space station. China had launched Tiangong-1 in 2011 as proof-of-concept of technologies for future stations. The lab was visited by two teams of Chinese astronauts for 11 days and 13 days respectively.
  • Unlike Tiangong-1, scientists were always in control of Tiangong-2. The space lab, which China had never intended to be a permanent post in space, was visited by an uncrewed mission in April 2017. The mission refuelled the station, tested out a new spacecraft, and conducted some “robotic demonstrations”. Tiangong means “Heavenly Palace”.
  • Most of Tiangong-2 burnt up in the atmosphere, and the remaining debris fell near Point Nemo, the most remote location on Earth
  • China expects to complete its space station, Tianhe, which will be able to host three astronauts for long durations, around 2022

4 . Biometric-based self-boarding facility

Context :

About the Facility

  • Facility seeks to minimise paperwork for air travel under a digital system or e-boarding process for airport entry and boarding flights using documents such as a passenger’s Aadhaar number and mobile phones, among others
  • Under the digital boarding process, the passengers can simply enrol their ID and biometric data, combined with their flight details, before entering the terminal. As they travel through the airport, passengers can put their travel documents away, as they will be authenticated and verified at every touchpoint by the biometric technology
  • This process offers the highest degree of safety and security while ensuring stringent standards of privacy.
  • The biometric data is used only for authentication and verification of passengers to assist the boarding process and not for recognition. In addition, the passenger data is deleted within a few hours of flight completion

About Digi Yatra

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation is adding a Digital experience for Air Travellers through DigiYatra Platform.
  • The ‘DigiYatra’ is an industry-led initiative co-ordinated by the Ministry in line with the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Digital India’s vision to transform the nation into a digitally empowered society.
  • Digi Yatra – Digital processing of passengers at the airports. Passengers will be automatically processed based on facial recognition system at check points like; Entry point checkEntry in to Security CheckAircraft Boarding, Additionally this will also facilitate self-Bag Drop and Check-in, using facial recognition to identify passengers and data recall. Digi Yatra will facilitate paperless travel and avoid identity check at multiple points.

5 . Finance Bill

Context : Rajya Sabha on Tuesday returned Finance Bill (No 2), 2019, and Appropriation Bill (No 2), 2019. Both being Money Bills, the Rajya Sabha does not vote on them, and can only return them. The Bills are passed only in the Lok Sabha.

About the Finance Bill

  • A Finance Bill is introduced every year to give effect to the financial proposals of the Government of India for the following financial year and includes a Bill to give effect to supplementary financial proposals for any period.
  • This largely relates to a change in taxes or levies and ordinarily introduced once in a year in the Budget session.
  • A Finance Bill can be further classified as Finance bill category A and B. Category A bills contain provisions dealing with any of the matters specified in sub-clauses (a) to (f) of clause (1) of Article 110 and other matters.
  • Money bills also concern with the same clauses but for a bill to be introduced as a Money Bill, the government has to convince the speaker. As per the provisions of article 109 of the Constitution, the Rajya Sabha has limited powers with respect to Money bills and even if it has objections to it, Lok Sabha can override them.
  • Category B finance bills involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India and can be introduced in either house of the parliament, unlike Finance Bill category A or a Money bill which needs to be introduced in Lok Sabha 

Finance Bill and Money Bill

  • A Finance Bill is a Money Bill but not all money bills are Finance Bills. Under Article 110(1) of the Constitution  a money bill is defined as follows…
  •  110(1) a Bill is deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely:
    • the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax; 
    • the regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India, or the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations undertaken or to be undertaken by the Government of India; 
    • the custody of the Consolidated Fund or the Contingency Fund of India, the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of moneys from any such fund; 
    • the appropriation of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund of India; 
    • the declaring of any expenditure to be expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure; 
    • the receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a State; or 
    • any matter incidental to any of the matters specified in sub-clauses (a) to (f).
  • (2.)  A Bill is not deemed to be Money Bill by reason only that it provides for the imposition of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment of fees for licences or fees for services rendered, or by reason that it provides for the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body for local purposes….
  • Finance Bill is generally limited to Article 110(1)(a) & (g) – the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax and any matter incidental thereto.

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