Daily Current Affairs : 25th June 2020

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

  1. FATF Greylist
  2. IN-SPACe
  3. Global Education Monitoring Report
  4. Co-Operative Society
  5. Mudra Yojana
  6. Sub categorization of OBC
  7. Lal-Bal-Pal

1 . FATF Greylist

Context: Pakistan received another extension on the “greylist”, as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session decided to continue to keep all countries that were on the list under scrutiny for Terror Financing and Money Laundering until October 2020. 


  • Pakistan was due for a decision on whether it would be kept on the “greylist” or downgraded to the blacklist for failing to meet the finance watchdog’s 27-point action plan on countering terror financing and anti-money laundering (CFT/AML) measures.
  • Pakistan has received two extensions to comply with its action plan since October 2019

US Country report for terrorism

  • The U.S. released its 2019 country report for terrorism, according to the report Pakistan had continued to “ serve as a safe haven” for regional terrorist groups.
  • Pakistan allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, as well as groups targeting India, including LeT and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM, to operate from its territory
  • The report also added that while Pakistan had taken “modest” steps in 2019 to tackle terror financing and restrain some India-focused terrorist organizations after the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama last year, it still had not taken “ decisive action” that would undermine the operational capability of India and Afghanistan focused terrorists.
  • The report also took note of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed’s arrest last year but pointed out that JeM founder Masood Azhar and Sajid Mir were at large. Azhar was designated a global terrorist by the U.N. last year.
  • The report praised Pakistan that it had played a “constructive role” in facilitating U.S. talks with the Taliban.

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.

2. Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe)

Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe)

About IN-SPACe

  • Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
  • It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.
  • It will function autonomously and parallel to ISRO
  • IN-SPACe will have its own directorates for technical, legal, safety and security, monitoring and activities promotion.
  • IN-SPACe, a new entity of the Department of Space, will have its own chairperson and Board, and regulate and promote building of routine satellites, rockets and commercial launch services through Indian industry and start-ups.


  • This will not only result in an accelerated growth of this sector but will enable Indian Industry to be an important player in global space economy. 
  • It will enable Indian Industry to become an important player in global space economy.
  • This can create an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and also India becoming a Global technology powerhouse
  • Space sector can play a major catalytic role in the technological advancement and expansion of our Industrial base. The proposed reforms will enhance the socio-economic use of space assets and activities, including through improved access to space assets, data and facilities.
  • These reforms would allow the Indian Space Research Organsiation (ISRO) to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme

New Space India Limited (NSIL)

  • New Space India Limited (NSIL), has been incorporated as a wholly owned Government of India Undertaking/Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE), under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS) to commercially exploit the research and development work of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Centres and constituent units of DOS.
  • Functions of NSIL
    • Small Satellite technology transfer to industry, wherein NSIL will obtain license from DOS/ISRO and sub-license it to industries
    • Manufacture of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with Private Sector
    • Productionisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through Indian Industry
    • Productionisation and marketing of Space based products and services, including launch and application;
    • Transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centres and constituent units of DOS;
    • Marketing spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad; and any other subject which Government of India deems fit.

3 . 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report: UNESCO

Context :he COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in education systems across the world. According to a UNESCO repor about 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not supported learners at risk of exclusion during this crisis, such as the poor, linguistic minorities and learners with disabilities.

About the Report

  • Global Education Monitoring Report is the tool of the international community for the follow up and review of progress towards education goal, SDG 4. In line with its mandate, the 2020 GEM Report assesses progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. 
  • The Report also addresses inclusion in education, drawing attention to all those excluded from education, because of background or ability.
  • The Report is motivated by the explicit reference to inclusion in the 2015 Incheon Declaration, and the call to ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education in the formulation of SDG 4, the global goal for education.

Key Observations of the Report

  • About 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not supported learners at risk of exclusion during this crisis, such as the poor, linguistic minorities and learners with disabilities.
  • The efforts to maintain learning continuity during the pandemic may have actually worsened exclusion trends. During the height of school closures in April 2020, almost 91% of students around the world were out of school.

Distance Learning – Imperfect Substitutes

  • Education systems responded with distance learning solutions, all of which offered less or more imperfect substitutes for classroom instruction,” said the report, noting that while many poorer countries opted for radio and television lessons, 55% of low-income, 73% of lower-middle-income and 93% of upper-middle-income countries adopted for online learning platforms for primary and secondary education.
  • India has used a mix of all three systems for educational continuity. “Even as governments increasingly rely on technology, the digital divide lays bare the limitations of this approach. Not all students and teachers have access to adequate internet connection, equipment, skills and working conditions to take advantage of available platforms,” said the report.

How it affected Children with Learning Disabilities

  • School closures also interrupted support mechanisms from which many disadvantaged learners benefit.
  • Resources for blind and deaf students may not be available outside schools, while children with learning disabilities or those who are on the autism spectrum may struggle with independent work in front of a computer or the disruption of daily school routines, said the report.

Other Concerns

  • For poor students who depend on school for free meals or even free sanitary napkins, closures have been a major blow.
  • Cancellation of examinations in many countries, including India, may result in scoring dependent on teachers’ judgements of students instead, which could be affected by stereotypes of certain types of students, said the report.
  • Higher drop-out rates are also a concern; during an earlier Ebola epidemic in Africa, many older girls never returned to school once the crisis was over.

How Countries are dealing with it

  • In order to combat the situation, 17% of low and middle-income countries are planning to recruit more teachers, 22% to increase class time and 68% to introduce remedial classes when schools reopen.

4 . RBI will supervise co-operative banks

Context: To protect depositors, the Centre has decided to bring all urban and multi-State cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI. The Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to this effect.


  • The urban cooperatives and multi-State cooperative banks, which are 1,540 in number and have a depositor base of 8.6 crore, who have saved ₹4.84 lakh crore, a huge amount have been brought under RBI supervision process, which is applicable to scheduled banks.
  • Currently, these banks come under dual regulation of the RBI and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

Need for direct Supervision

  • This move has been taken after several instances of fraud and serious financial irregularities, including the major scam at the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank last year.
  • In September, the RBI was forced to supercede the PMC Bank’s board and impose strict restrictions.
  • The co-operative banking sector has suffered from poor governance and frequent political interventions in their operations, forcing the RBI to announce punitive measures on many of these banks.


  • This is a welcome move from the perspective of safety of depositors. Till now, co-operative banks have suffered from loose regulation as the RBI didn’t have complete control over the regulation of these banks, unlike commercial banks.
  • With this amendment, the RBI will have more power to audit the books of urban co-operate banks and deal with wrongdoers.
  • Till now, regulation of UCBs was split between the RBI and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, while that of smaller co-operative banks is divided between National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and RCS. RCS reports to the central government. With the changes in the Banking Regulation Act, the RBI will finally get more power over UCBs.

About Co-Operative Banks

  • A co-operative bank is a financial entity which belongs to its members, who are at the same time the owners and the customers of their bank.
  • Co-operative banks are often created by persons belonging to the same local or professional community or sharing a common interest.
  • Co-operative banks generally provide their members with a wide range of banking and financial services (loans, deposits, banking accounts etc.).
  • Co-operative banks in India are registered under the States Cooperative Societies Act. The Co-operative banks are also regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and governed by the Banking Regulations Act 1949, Banking Laws (Co-operative Societies) Act, 1955.

 Co-operative banking structure is a three tier federal one.

  • A State Co-operative Bank works at the apex level (ie. works at state level).
  • The Central Co-operative Bank works at the Intermediate Level. (ie. District Co-operative Banks ltd. works at district level)
  • Primary co-operative credit societies at base level (At village level)

Types of Co-operative Banks

  • Primary Co-operative Credit Society: It is an association of borrowers and non-borrowers residing in a particular locality. The funds of the society are derived from the share capital and deposits of members and loans from central co-operative banks. The borrowing powers of the members as well as of the society are fixed. The loans are given to members for the purchase of cattle, fodder, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
  • Central co-operative banks: These are the federations of primary credit societies in a district and are of two types those having a membership of primary societies only and those having a membership of societies as well as individuals. The funds of the bank consist of share capital, deposits, loans and overdrafts from state co-operative banks and joint stocks. These banks provide finance to member societies within the limits of the borrowing capacity of societies. They also conduct all the business of a joint stock bank.
  • State co-operative banks: The state co-operative bank is a federation of central co-operative bank and acts as a watchdog of the co-operative banking structure in the state. Its funds are obtained from share capital, deposits, loans and overdrafts from the Reserve Bank of India. The state cooperative banks lend money to central co-operative banks and primary societies and not directly to the farmers.
  • Multi state Cooperative banks : Its main objects are to serve the interests of members in more than one state and its bye-laws provide for social and economic betterment of its members through self-help and mutual aid in accordance with the co-operative principles.
  • Land development banks: The Land development banks are organized in 3 tiers namely; state, central, and primary level and they meet the long term credit requirements of the farmers for developmental purposes. The state land development banks oversee, the primary land development banks situated in the districts and tehsil areas in the state. They are governed both by the state government and Reserve Bank of India. Recently, the supervision of land development banks has been assumed by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development (NABARD). The sources of funds for these banks are the debentures subscribed by both central and state government. These banks do not accept deposits from the general public.
  • Urban Co-operative Banks: The term Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs), though not formally defined, refers to primary co-operative banks located in urban and semi-urban areas. These banks, till 1996, were allowed to lend money only for non-agricultural purposes. This distinction does not hold today. These banks were traditionally centered on communities, localities, work place groups. They essentially lend to small borrowers and businesses. Today, their scope of operations has widened considerably.

5 . Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

Context : The Cabinet approved a scheme to provide interest subvention of 2% for a 12-month period to small borrowers with loans up to ₹50,000 under the Shishu category of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. This relief had been announced as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package last month.

About Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched for providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
  • These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY.
  • These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs and NBFCs.
  • The borrower can approach any of the lending institutions mentioned above or can apply online through this portal www.udyamimitra.in .
  • Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation / growth.
    • Shishu – Loans upto 50,000
    • Kishore – Loans above Rs 50000 upto Rs 5 Lakhs
    • Tarun – Loans above Rs 5 Lakh upto Rs 10 Lakhs

6 . Sub Categorization of OBC

Context : The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a six-month extension to the commission appointed to examine sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.

About the Commission

  • The President in exercise of the powers conferred by article 340 of the Constitution appointed a Commission in 2017 to examine the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.
  • Sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.
  • The Commission is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini
  • The Commission was required to present their Report to the President within a period of twelve weeks of assumption of charge by the Chairperson of the Commission but the term now has extended for the fourth time 

Terms of Reference

  • To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of Other Backward Classes with reference to such classes included in the Central List
  • To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such Other Backward Classes
  • To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories

Impact including employment generation potential:

  • The Communities in the existing list of OBCs which have not been able to get any major benefit of the scheme of reservation for OBCs for appointment in Central Government posts and for admission in Central Government Educational Institutions are expected to be benefitted upon implementation of the recommendations of the Commission. The Commission is likely to make recommendations for benefit of such marginalized communities in the Central List of OBCs.


  • All persons belonging to the castes/communities which are included in the Central List of SEBCs but which have not been able to get any major benefit of the existing scheme of reservation for OBCs in Central Government posts & for admission in Central Government Educational Institutions would be benefitted.

Implementation schedule

  • Orders for extension of the term of the Commission and addition in its Terms of Reference will be notified in the Gazette in the form of an Order made by the President, after receipt of the approval of the Hon’ble President to the same.

7 . Lal – Bal – Pal

Context : In a bid to revive the Independence-era spirit of the ‘Lal-Bal-Pal’, named after nationalists Lala Lajpat Rai, ‘Lokmanya’ Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal, and to mark the death centenary of Tilak, Pune-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) ‘Sarhad’ will launch a series of literary and cultural programmes to strengthen connections between Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Historical connection between Maharashtra & West Bengal

  • “Punjab, Bengal and Maharashtra have played significant roles during the struggle for Indian Independence. The historical association and cultural bonds among the three States was solidified in the modern era by the trinity of ‘Lal-Bal-Pal’. In a way, these leaders also represent the bonds that writers, poets and artists from these States have shared over so many years,” Mr. Nahar said.
  • The triumvirate had played a stellar role in the second phase of the Swadeshi movement which gathered momentum after the partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon in 1905, and which called for the boycott of all imported items and the use of Indian-made goods.
  • “After Independence, while the socio-cultural bonds between Maharashtra and Punjab have grown stronger, ties with Bengal have somewhat weakened, despite a rich pedigree of literary and cultural affinity in the past
  • ForExample : Rabindranath Tagore’s older brother Satyendranath, who was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service (ICS), had momentous interactions with several notable figures of Maharashtra, including Tilak and the legendary Indologist R.G. Bhandarkar, during his numerous postings in the State.
  • “Satyendranath Tagore had translated Tilak’s Geetarahasya and Sant Tukaram’s abhangs [devotional poetry] into Bengali, while Rabindranath Tagore had penned a poem on Chhatrapati Shivaji. In the mid-1970s, eminent Marathi litterateur P.L. Deshpande, known as ‘Pu La’, had visited Tagore’s Shantiniketan and had penned his masterful Vang-Chitre soon after

About Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak, was popularly known as Lokmanya, and dedicated his life for the cause of “Purna Swaraj”
  • He was called ‘The Father of the Indian Unrest’ by the British people who ruled India till 1947.
  • Being the first and foremost leader of the Indian Independence Movement, Bal Gangadhar Tilak became popular as the ‘Father of Swaraj’.
  • To ensure that youngsters in India attain quality education, Bal Gangadhar Tilak found the Deccan Education Society in 1884.
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress Party in the year 1890.
  • Before Independence, Bal Gangadhar Tilak started weeklies such as Kesari (The Lion) and Mahratta. Kesari was Marathi language weekly while Mahratta was English weekly. Through these newspapers Tilak became widely known for his criticisms of British rule.
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak had popular leaders such as Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai as his political companions. The three were popularly known as ‘Lal-Bal-Pal triumvirate.’
  • When Bal Gangadhar Tilak was imprisoned during the freedom struggle, he wrote a book titled ‘Gita-Rahasya’ from behind the bars.
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded the Indian Home Rule League and served as its president and in 1916 he concluded the Lucknow Pact with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, which provided for Hindu-Muslim unity in the nationalist struggle.

About Lala Lajpat Rai

  • He was born in Punjab and grew up in a family that allowed the freedom of faith. His father, Munshi Azad was a scholar of Persian and Urdu and was a teacher at a Government school.
  • Even before he focused his efforts towards a self-sufficient India, Rai believed in the principle. In 1895, he started the Punjab National Bank—the first Indian bank to begin solely with Indian capital, and that continues to function till date.
  • Rai had travelled to America in 1907 and immediately caught up similarities between the ‘colour-caste’ practised there and the caste system prevalent in India. In 1917, he even founded the Indian Home Rule League of America there.
  • In 1920, Rai presided over a session of the Congress in Calcutta. It was the same year when the non-cooperation movement was launched, and Rai was an active participant. The revolution mainly opposed the Rowlatt Act—one that allowed British officials to arrest an Indian that they perceived as a threat— without actual evidence.
  • His proactive, brave participation in the protest earned him the title of the Lion of Punjab or Punjab Kesari. In a coincidence, Bal Gangadhar Tilak had founded a newspaper by the same name—Kesari—to voice his radical views against the British government.

About Bipin Chandra Pal

  • The father of revolutionary thoughts, Bipin Chandra Pal, was born to a wealthy family in Sylhet, Bengal Presidency (now in Bangladesh). H
  • He was of a strong opinion that a mass reliance on Swadeshi goods would help people get rid of their poverty.
  • The Bengal partition of 1905 shook Bipin Chandra Pal deeply, as it did hundreds of thousands of other Indians. The convulsions of this division of people along communal lines led Indian nationalists to announce an unprecedented boycott of British goods, bringing India’s colonial rulers face to face with the strongest resistance since 1857.
  • A journalist by profession, Pal served as the founder editor of Paridarshak, before going on to edit several other English and Bengali newspapers from Calcutta, Lahore, Allahabad and London.
  • At the age of 28, he decided to join the Indian National Congress, set the stage for his emergence as a national leader.
  • In the wake of the Bengal partition, a journal he had founded earlier, New India, took a fresh turn as a political chronicle meant to create social awareness.
  • In 1906, Pal started a daily called Vande Mataram. He also set up a school — Anushilan Samiti — and began a tour of the country to propagate his philosophy.
  • In 1920, Pal was among the senior Congress leaders who opposed Gandhi’s resolution on non-cooperation over the fact that it didn’t address self-government.

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