Daily Current Affairs: 6th and 7th February

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Flamingo National Park
  2. Ayushman Bharat
  3. Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018
  4. Review Petition
  5. International Financial Services Centres (IFSC)
  6. Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited (ANIIDCL)
  7. World Meteorological Organisation

1 . Flamingo National Park

Context : A committee, chaired by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, has accorded wildlife clearance to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train corridor that encroaches upon a flamingo sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park

About Flamingo Sanctuary

  • This Sanctuary is Maharashtra’s second Marine sanctuary after Malvan (marine) Wildlife Sanctuary which was declared in 1987.
  • It is located on the western bank of the Thane Creek between the Vashi and Airoli bridges that connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai. Thane Creek is an inlet in the shoreline of the Arabian Sea that isolates the city of Mumbai from the Indian mainland. Thane creek has been formed due to seismic fault lying below it which runs from Uran to Thane
  • It is spread over an area of 1,690 hectares which include 794 hectares of adjacent water body and 896 hectares of mangroves. The adjoining mangrove areas on either side of the creek will be the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of the Sanctuary.
  • These areas are already have been notified as Reserve Forests. This is managed by the ‘Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit’ under the aegis of Mangrove Cell.
  • Every year Thane Creek has been attracting migratory flamingos in large numbers since 1994. The flamingos along with their chicks in the month of November migrate to Mumbai (Thane creek region) and occupy the mudflats and the bordering mangroves in this region. They stay in this region till May after which they migrate to the Bhuj area of Gujarat for breeding.

About Sanjay Gandhi National Park

  • Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a protected area near Mumbai in Maharashtra State
  • In 1969, the park was expanded to its present size by acquiring various reserve forest properties adjoining the park. After this, an independent unit of the Forest Department called ‘Borivali National Park Sub-division’ administered the area.
  • Krishnagiri National Park was later renamed as ‘Borivali National Park’. In 1981, it was re-dedicated as ‘Sanjay Gandhi National Park’ in memory of Sanjay Gandhi, the son of ex-Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi.
  • The park is a bustling forest, with an estimated 800 types of mauve. This flower is native to the park and the surrounding regions, including Karnala, the Yeoor hills, Tungareshwar and some parts of Goregaon’s Film City. The park is also home to a small population of leopards.

2 . Ayushman Bharat Mobile App

Context : The minister launched the Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) mobile app through a live demo, said that the States which had not opted for Ayushman Bharat were denying the poor the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.

About the App

  • The app has been introduced within just four months since the launch of the scheme and is aimed at helping users get easy access to information on the scheme, check eligibility, find hospitals nearby and get assisted help.

About Ayushman Bharat

  • Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).


  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities.
  • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.
  • One of the core principles of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states.
  • For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
  • States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
  • To ensure that the funds reach SHA on time, the transfer of funds from Central Government through Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission to State Health Agencies may be done through an escrow account directly.
  • In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction.

3 . Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018

Context : The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister  Narendra Modi, has given its approval to move official amendments to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, pursuant to the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF). The official amendments will further strengthen the Bill in its objective to effectively tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country, and prevent such schemes from duping poor and gullible people of their hard earned savings


  • The Finance Minister in the Budget Speech 2016-17 had announced that a comprehensive Central legislation would be brought in to deal with the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes, as in the recent past, there have been rising instances of people in various parts of the country being defrauded by illicit deposit taking schemes.

Salient Features

  • The Bill contains a substantive banning clause which bans Deposit Takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme. The principle is that the Bill would ban unregulated deposit taking activities altogether, by making them an offence ex-ante rather than the existing legislative-cum-regulatory framework which only comes into effect ex-post with considerable time lags;
  • The Bill creates three different types of offences, namely, running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.
  • The Bill provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as deterrent.
  • The Bill has adequate provisions for disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.
  • The Bill provides for attachment of properties / assets by the Competent Authority, and subsequent realization of assets for repayment to depositors;
  • Clear-cut time lines have been provided for attachment of property and restitution to depositors;
  • The Bill enables creation of an online central database, for collection and sharing of information on deposit-taking activities in the country;
  • The Bill defines “Deposit Taker” and “Deposit” comprehensively;
  • “Deposit Takers” include all possible entities (including individuals) receiving or soliciting deposits, except specific entities such as those incorporated by legislation;
  • “Deposit” is defined in such a manner that deposit-takers are restricted from camouflaging public deposits as receipts, and at the same time, not to curb or hinder acceptance of money by an establishment in the ordinary course of its business; and
  • Being a comprehensive Union Law, the Bill adopts best practices from State laws, while entrusting the primary responsibility of implementing the provisions of the legislation to the State Governments.

4 . Review Petition

Context : A Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, on Wednesday reserved for orders a series of petitions seeking re-consideration of a Supreme Court judgment that lifted the bar on menstruating women from worshipping at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

About Review Petition


5 . International Financial Services Centres (IFSC)

Context : The Cabinet has approved the setting up of a unified authority that would regulate all the financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSC), such as the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.

About International Financial Services Centres 

  • Financial centres that cater to customers outside their own jurisdiction are referred to as international (IFCs) or offshore Financial Centers (OFCs). All these centres are ‘international’ in the sense that they deal with the flow of finance and financial products/services across borders.
  • An IFSC is thus a jurisdiction that provides world class financial services to non-residents and residents, to the extent permissible under the current regulations, in a currency other than the domestic currency (Indian rupee) of the location where the IFSC is located.
  • Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) multi services special economic zone (SEZ) has set up the first International Financial Service Centre in India (IFSC)

Types of IFSCs

  • Global Financial Centers (GFCs ): These are centres that genuinely serve clients from all over the world in the provision of the widest possible array of international financial services (IFS); eg. London, New York, Singapore
  • Regional Financial Centers (RFCs): They serve their regional economies rather than their national economies; examples of such RFCs would be Dubai or Hong Kong
  • Non-global and non-regional, ordinary international IFSCs: These are centres like Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Sydney that provide a wide range of IFS but cater mainly to the needs of their national economies rather than their regions or the world. In a way they connect their financial systems to the world.
  • Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs): These are centres that are primarily tax havens for wealth management and global tax management rather than providing the fully array of IFS.

Products and Services at IFSCs

  • Fund Raising for individuals, corporations and governments (sovereign and sub-sovereign)
  • Asset Management and Global Portfolio Diversification
  • Personal Wealth Management (PWM) for high-net worth individuals (HNWIs).
  • Global Tax Management and Cross- border Tax Liability Optimisation
  • Global/Regional Corporate Treasury Management Operations which involves fund raising, liquidity investment and management, asset-liability and duration matching, and risk-management through insurance and traded derivative products for currency, interest-rate, credit and political risk exposure
  • Global/Regional Risk Management Operations and Insurance/Re-insurance which involves highly developed exchange traded and tailored derivatives (futures, options, swaps, swaptions, caps and collars) as well as world class derivatives exchanges that trade a variety of global contracts.
  • Global/Regional Exchange Trading of Financial Securities, Commodities and Derivatives Contracts in Financial Instruments/ Indices and in Commodities
  • Financial Engineering and Architecture for Large Complex Projects
  • Global/Regional Mergers and Acquisitions Activity
  • Financing for Global/Regional Public- Private Partnerships:
  • Global Transfer Pricing: This is an activity which most governments looks doubtfully but often practiced by transnational corporations.

International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019 


  • Currently, the banking, capital markets and insurance sectors in IFSC are regulated by multiple regulators, i.e. RBI, SEBI and IRDAI.
  • The dynamic nature of business in the IFSCs necessitates a high degree of inter-regulatory coordination. It also requires regular clarifications and frequent amendments in the existing regulations governing financial activities in IFSCs. The development of financial services and products in IFSCs would require focussed and dedicated regulatory interventions.
  • Hence, a need is felt for having a unified financial regulator for IFSCs in India to provide world class regulatory environment to financial market participants. Further, this would also be essential from an ease of doing business perspective.
  • The unified authority would also provide the much needed impetus to further development of IFSC in India in-sync with the global best practices.

Main features of the Bill

  • Management of the Authority:  The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson, one Member each to be nominated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority(PFRDA), two members to be dominated by the Central Government and two other whole-time or full-time or part-time members.
  • Functions of the Authority:  The Authority shall regulate all such financial services, financial products and FIs in an IFSC which has already been permitted by the Financial Sector Regulators for IFSCs. The Authority shall also regulate such other financial products, financial services or FIs as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time. It may also recommend to the Central Government such other financial products, financial services and financial institutions which may be permitted in the IFSCs.
  • Powers of the Authority: All powers exercisable by the respective financial sector regulatory (viz. RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, and PFRDA etc.) under the respective Acts shall be solely exercised by the Authority in the IFSCs in so far as the regulation of financial products, financial services and FIs that are permitted in the IFSC are concerned.
  • Processes and procedures of the Authority: The processes and procedures to be followed by the Authority shall be governed in accordance with the provisions of the respective Acts of Parliament of India applicable to such financial products, services or institutions, as the case may be.
  • Grants by the Central Govt.:  The Central Govt. may, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, make to the Authority grants of such sums of money as the Central Government may think fit for being utilized for the purposes of the Authority.
  • Transactions in foreign currency: The transactions of financial services in the IFSCs shall be done in the foreign currency as specified by the Authority in consultation with the Central Govt.

6 . Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited (ANIIDCL)

Context : An expert committee of the Union Environment Ministry has “deferred” clearance to a ₹100 crore proposal by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited (ANIIDCL) to develop an island resort, as well as put up “premium tents” and “tree houses”, on the grounds that it doesn’t account for the biodiversity of the islands’ coast


  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited was incorporated on 28th June 1988 under the Companies Act 1956 for rapid economic growth of the Islands.
  • The main objective of the corporation is to develop and commercially exploit the natural resources for the balanced and environment friendly development of the territory.


  • Trading of iron and steel, petroleum products, liquor and milk.
  • Megapode Resort, Megapode Camping Resort, and air-ticketing agency
  • Financial assistance to industrial concerns.
  • Infrastructure Development: Tourism and fisheries.

7 . World Meterological Organisation

Context : Two U.S. agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization analysed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion Wednesday: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017.

About World Meterological Organization

  • WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) with 192 Member States and Territories. It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.
  • As weather, climate and the water cycle know no national boundaries, international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation.

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