Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Terror Monitoring Group
- Fiscal Council
- Facts for Prelims -Current Account Deficit, Interest Derivative, Earthquake swarms
1 . Terror Monitoring Group
Context : To take action against “hard core sympathisers among government employees, including teachers, who are providing covert or overt support” to terror-related activities, the Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a Terror Monitoring Group (TMG).
About Terror Monitoring Group
- Multi-disciplinary terror monitoring group (TMG) will ensure synergised and concerted action against terror financing and other terror-related activities in Jammu & Kashmir
- TMG will identify all key persons, including leaders of the organisation(s), who are involved in supporting terrorism in any form and take concerted action against them.
- TMG will “investigate the networks of various channels being used to fund terror and terror activities and take coordinated action to stop flow of such funds.The group will meet on a weekly basis and submit action-taken report regularly to the MHA.
- The TMG will be chaired by Additional Director General of Police, CID of J&K Police, and include Inspector General of Police of J&K and Additional Director of Intelligence Bureau, J&K, as members. It will also have representatives from the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.
2 . Fiscal Council
Context : Stressing on the need to have uniform rules for fiscal consolidation of states and Centre, Fifteenth Finance Commission’s Chairman NK Singh on Thursday called for institutional mechanism like a ‘Fiscal Council’ to enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation.
- Article 293 (3) provides a constitutional check over borrowings for state govt liabilities but there are no such restriction on the Centre
Need of Fiscal Council
- To enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation
- Fiscal council tends to boost accuracy of fiscal projections even as it helps countries stick to fiscal rules better.
- Fiscal councils are able to discipline lawmakers through ‘comply or explain’ obligations—which entail governments to at least explain why they diverge from the fiscal council’s views
Fiscal Council as per the Recommendations of NK Singh Committee
- The Committee proposed to create an autonomous Fiscal Council with a Chairperson and two members appointed by the centre. To maintain its independence, it proposed a non-renewable four-year term for the Chairperson and members. Further, these people should not be employees in the central or state governments at the time of appointment.
Role of the Council
- The role of the Council would include: (i) preparing multi-year fiscal forecasts, (ii) recommending changes to the fiscal strategy, (iii) improving quality of fiscal data, (iv) advising the government if conditions exist to deviate from the fiscal target, and (v) advising the government to take corrective action for non-compliance with the Bill.
3 . Facts for Prelims
Current Account Deficit
- Context : India’s current account deficit (CAD) for the third quarter narrowed to 2.5% of the GDP compared with 2.9% in the preceding quarter, latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed. In absolute terms, CAD was $16.9 billion in Q3 compared with $19.1 billion in the second quarter.
- Definition : The current account measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country. We run into a deficit if the value of the goods and services we import exceeds the value of those we export. The current account includes net income, including interest and dividends, and transfers, like foreign aid.
- An interest-rate derivative is a financial instrument with a value that increases and decreases based on movements in interest rates.
- Interest-rate derivatives are often used as hedges by institutional investors, banks, companies and individuals to protect themselves against changes in market interest rates, but they can also be used to increase or refine the holder’s risk profile.
- Swarm is a series of many (sometimes thousands) low-intensity earthquakes without a discernible main shock that can occur over weeks in active geothermal areas
- In India, sequences of low-intensity quakes are common in areas that have been hit previously, like Saurashtra in Gujarat and Koyna in Maharashtra, but they are also seen in areas without a history of seismic activity