Daily Current Affairs : 25th June

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
  2. RBI Deputy Governor
  3. Lunar Evacuation system assembly
  4. Jal hi Jiwan
  5. Facts for Prelims : goAML (Anti Money Laundering System)

1 . RCEP

Context : Government officials said it would be “premature” to suggest that India could be cut out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) being negotiated by 16 countries led by the ASEAN bloc, if it doesn’t agree to join it by the year-end.

About RCEP

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
  • The RCEP members include 10 ASEAN members – Brunei Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their 6 free trade agreement partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

India and RCEP

  • India already has a free trade agreement with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan and South Korea and it is negotiating similar pacts with Australia and New Zealand.
  • India is pushing for liberalizing norms to promote services trade as the sector accounts for about 55 % of India’s GDP. India is looking for a balance trade agreement as it would cover 40% of the global GDP and over 42% of world’s population.
  • Members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership want India to eliminate or reduce customs duties on maximum number of goods it trades with them. But, lower level of ambitions in services and investments, a key area of interest for India, does not augur well for the pact that seeks to be comprehensive
  • India’s main opposition to RCEP is the prospect of opening up its markets to China. Even though the grouping has accepted dual tariff rates for trade with China and other RCEP members, Indian industry has opposed RCEP for the larger impact on steel and aluminium, copper, pharmaceuticals and textile products and of allowing RCEP countries especially China and South Korea to “flood the Indian market.”
  • India is the only RCEP country without a free trade pact with China, and has trade deficits with 11 of 16 RCEP countries.

2 . RBI Deputy Governor

Context : Viral Acharya, one of the four Deputy Governors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has resigned six months before the end of his term, citing “unavoidable personal” reasons.

About Deputy Governor

  • The RBI Central Board of Directors consists of official directors, who include the Governor and up to four Deputy Governors, non-official directors, who include up to ten directors from various fields and two government officials, and one director from each of four local boards of the RBI.
  • The Governor and Deputy Governors hold office for not more than five years, the ten directors nominated by the government hold office for four years, and the government officials are to hold a term on the RBI Board as long as the government sees fit.
  • Deputy Governors are appointed by the Central Govt
  • The Governor or, if for any reason unable to attend, the Deputy Governor authorised by the him to vote for him, presides the Board meetings.

3 . Lunar Evacuation system assembly

Context : Among preparations for NASA’s 2024 Moon mission, one has been to test a device called Lunar Evacuation System Assembly, or LESA.

About LESA

  • It is developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), LESA is a pyramid-like structure whose purpose is to rescue an astronaut should he or she suffer an injury on the lunar surface.
  • Astronauts will be wearing heavy extravehicular activity (EVA) suits hence there is no way an astronaut could carry their fallen crewmate over their shoulder while wearing an EVA suit.
  • LESA can be operated by a single astronaut to rescue a fallen colleague.
  • It enables an astronaut to lift their crewmate onto a mobile stretcher in less than 10 minutes, before carrying them to the safety of a nearby pressurised lander
  • Astronauts are testing LESA under the sea. With its rocky, sandy terrain and buoyant salt water, the bottom of the ocean floor has much in common with the lunar surface

4 . Jal hi Jawan

Context : Farmers in 7 paddy-growing districts agree to switch to maize under govt scheme to save groundwater

About Jal hi Jawan Scheme

  • After it emerged that the groundwater level has depleted in 76% area of the state, Khattar had in May launched a pilot scheme ‘Jal Hi Jiwan’.
  • The objective of the scheme is to replace paddy with maize in seven major paddy-growing districts: Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Karnal and Sonipat.
  • The ‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ scheme envisages diversification of 50,000 hectare area of non-basmati rice mainly into maize, pulses or oilseeds to achieve the target.
  • Apart from seeds and financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per hectare, the farmer’s share of crop insurance will also be borne by the government.
  • Officials estimate that if farmers opt for maize in place of rice, the water saved per hectare will be about 14 lakh litres per crop season.
  • The government says that Haryana is the first state to implement a water-saving scheme involving sowing maize as an alternative crop.

5 . Facts for Prelims

goAML (Anti Money Laundering System)

  • The goAML application is a fully integrated software solution developed specifically for use by Financial Intelligence Units (FIU’s) and is one of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s strategic responses to financial crime, including money-laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Financial Intelligence Units play a leading role in any anti-money laundering regime as they are generally responsible for receiving, processing and analyzing reports made by financial institutions or other entities according to the requirements of domestic anti-money laundering laws and regulations.
  • Such reports and other information gathered by FIU’s often provide the basis for investigations into money laundering, terrorist financing and other serious offences.
  • goAML is specifically designed to meet the data collection, management, analytical, document management, workflow and statistical needs of any Finance Intelligence Unit.
  • The goAML application was developed by the Information Technology Service (ITS) of UNODC in partnership with the UNODC Global Programme Against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML).

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