Tuesday, 5th July 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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RBI’s Payments Vision 2025 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Service Charge - Edukemy Current Affairs

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NIA Takes Over Rajasthan Tailor Murder Probe

2   This Day in History

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Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica

3   Terms & Concepts

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Brachystelma attenuatum Rediscovered in HP

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Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Take Home Ration - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Chakmas - Edukemy Current Affairs

4   Editorial of the day

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Asia Diversifying Security Amid China's Rise: IE

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The problem with our university vision: The Hindu

5   Case Study of the Day

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Eco-Friendly Home - Edukemy Current Affairs

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

RBI’s Payments Vision 2025 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

RBI has recently released the Payments Vision 2025.

About the Payments Vision 2025

  • Payments Vision 2025 leverages India’s efforts and builds on the focus of G-20 to enhance cross-border payments by addressing the four key challenges of cost, speed, access and transparency.
  • The document talks about ring-fencing of domestic payment systems, including the need to mandate domestic processing of payment transactions, in view of the emerging geopolitical risks.
  • The core theme of the vision documents is 'E-Payments for Everyone, Everywhere, Everytime' (4Es), with an overall objective to provide every user with safe, secure, fast, convenient, accessible, and affordable e-payment options.
  • Payments Vision 2025 builds on the initiatives of Payments Vision 2019-21.
  • RBI has been providing strategic direction and implementation plan for structured development of the payment and settlement systems in India through periodic Payments Vision documents right from the year 2001.

Ten Expected Outcomes during the Vision period

  • Volume of cheque-based payments to be less than 0.25% of the total retail payments;
  • More than 3x increase in number of digital payment transactions;
  • UPI to register average annualised growth of 50% and IMPS / NEFT at 20%;
  • Increase of payment transaction turnover vis-à-vis GDP to 8;
  • Increase in debit card transactions at PoS by 20%;
  • Debit card usage to surpass credit cards in terms of value;
  • Increase in PPI transactions by 150%;
  • Card acceptance infrastructure to increase to 250 lakh;
  • Increase of registered customer base for mobile based transactions by 50% CAGR; and
  • Reduction in Cash in Circulation (CIC) as a percentage of GDP.

The Initiatives to Achieve the Goals

Source:

Keywords: Payments Vision 2025, RBI, economy, GS Paper 3
News Snapshot

Service Charge - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has recently issued guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices, and to protect the interest of consumers with regard to levy of service charge in hotels and restaurants.

CCPA’s Major Guidelines

The CCPA has issued five major guidelines regarding the levy of service charge by restaurants and hotels, which has for long been a contentious issue and has periodically triggered complaints from consumers.

The guidelines state that

  • No hotel or restaurant shall add service charge automatically or by default in the bill;
  • Service charge shall not be collected from consumers by any other name;
  • No hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional, and at the consumer’s discretion;
  • No restriction on entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers; and
  • Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.

Steps in case of violation of the guidelines

The consumer has four options at different levels of escalation in case she/he spots the levy of service charge in the bill.

  • He/she can make a request to the hotel or restaurant to remove the service charge from the bill.
  • He/she can lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternative dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level.
    • The complaint can be lodged by making a call on the number 1915, or on the NCH mobile app.
  • The consumer can complain to the Consumer Commission, or through the edaakhil portal.
  • The consumer can submit a complaint to the District Collector of the concerned district for investigation and subsequent proceedings by the CCPA.

Why such guidelines and what are laws they are issued under?

Need:

  • There have been persistent grievances and complaints regarding restaurants and hotels levying service charge by default, without first asking or informing consumers.
  • Therefore, in 2017, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution came up with a robust framework to ensure strict compliance of its guidelines which prohibited the levy of service charge.
  • It said that the restaurants cannot ask customers to pay hidden charges.
  • However, there was not restriction/bar on raising wages of the workers by raising rates.

Legal Status:

  • The CCPA has issued guidelines under Section 18 (2) (I) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • The guidelines are in addition to the Centre’s 2017 guidelines which prohibit the levy of service charge on consumers by hotels and restaurants, and terms the charging for anything other than “the prices displayed on the menu card along with the applicable taxes” without “express consent” of the customer as “unfair trade practices”.

About CCPA

  • The CCPA was established in July 2020 under The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, to promote, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers as a class, and to investigate, prosecute, and punish violators.
  • Under its recent guidelines, consumers can lodge complaints against hotels and restaurants by calling the number 1915.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Service charge, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), unfair trade practices, The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, Consumer Commission, National Consumer Helpline (NCH).
News Snapshot

NIA Takes Over Rajasthan Tailor Murder Probe


In News

 The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has recently taken over the probe into the killing of a tailor in Rajasthan's Udaipur over a social media post supporting a politician.

All About National Investigation Agency (NIA):

  • What is it?: It is a central agency mandated to investigate all the offences affecting
    • The sovereignty, security and integrity of India,
    • Friendly relations with foreign states,
    • The offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations which include:
      • Terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and
      • Infiltration from across the borders.
    • The agency has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in such offences.
    • It is headquartered in Delhi, and has branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Chennai, Imphal, Bengaluru and Patna.

  • Origin:
    • In the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, the government had decided to establish the NIA.
    • In this backdrop, the National Investigation Agency Bill was introduced that was passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
    • The agency was constituted under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008 and started functioning in 2009.Till date, the NIA has registered 447 cases.
  • Jurisdiction:
    • The law under which the agencyoperates extends to
      • the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country.
      • Persons in the service of the governmentwherever they are posted.
      • Persons on ships and aircraft registered in Indiawherever they may be.
      • Persons who commit a scheduled offencebeyond India against the Indian citizen or affecting the interest of India.
    • The agency is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes across stateswithout special permission from the states under written proclamation from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

How does it take up a probe:

  • Referral:

State government:

    • As provided under Section 6 of the Act, State governments can refer the casespertaining to the scheduled offences registered at any police station to the Central government (Union Home Ministry) for NIA investigation.
    • After assessing the details made available, the Centre can then direct the agency to take over the case.
    • State governments are required to extend all assistance to the NIA.

       Central government:

    • In India:When the Central government is of the opinion that a scheduled offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under the Act, it may, suo motu, direct the agency to take up the probe.
    • Outside India:Where the Central government finds that a scheduled offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends, it can also direct the NIA to register the case and take up investigation.
  • Sanction:
    • For prosecuting the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA)and certain other scheduled offences, the Agency seeks the sanction of the Central Government.
      • The sanction is granted under the UAPA based on the report of the ‘Authority’constituted under section 45 (2) of the UAPA.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 2: Polity: National Investigation Agency, National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
This Day in History

Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica


On July 5, 1687, Isaac Newton’s great work Principia published by the Royal Society in England, outlining his laws of motion and universal gravitation. In Principia, its full title is the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Newton lays out his laws of motion, law of universal gravitation and an extension of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. It is a book that helped define the Age of Reason and it is Newton’s most celebrated achievement.

He proposed that the universe is mainly empty space criss-crossed by powerful but invisible gravitational forces. Whether tiny atomic particles or giant planets, the attractive pull between two objects is proportional to the product of their masses and decreases with the square of the distance between them.

Source:

Keywords: Principia Mathematica, Issac Newton, History, GS Paper 1, Laws of Motion, Physics, Education, GS Paper 2
Terms & Concepts

Brachystelma attenuatum Rediscovered in HP


  • Context: A plant species, Brachystelma attenuatum, which scientists had presumed extinct has been rediscovered in Hamirpur and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh after 188 years.

  • The last record of the rare plant dates back to 1835 in Doongie village of Himachal Pradesh. Since its first collection, the species was never recorded again, and therefore was presumed extinct.
  • As per research, the species is endemic and threatened, and the geographical distribution of Brachystelma attenuatum is limited.
  • Brachystelma is a genus of more than 100 species in the Apocynaceae family found in Africa, Asia, and Australia, with the majority found in South Africa.
  • In India, the genus is represented by 40 species, primarily distributed in the Western Ghats, with only four species reported from northern India.

Source:

Keywords: Extinct Plant, Himachal Pradesh, Brachystelma attenuatum, Ecology, environment, GS Paper 3
Terms & Concepts

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Recent studies have mandated the need to save Chenkurinji trees from climate change.
  • Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful natural haven located in Kollam district in Southern Kerala.

  • It was established in 1984 and covers a total area of 171 sq. km.
  • It is situated on the banks of Shendurney river.
  • The wildlife sanctuary, which is a part of Agsthyamali Biosphere Reserve, owes its name to the endemic species, Ghuta Travancorica, locally known as ‘Chenkurunji’.
  • Belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, Chenkurunji tree was once abundant in the hills on the southern parts of Aryankavu Pass but its presence has been fast receding from the area over the years.
  • The tree is reported to have medicinal properties and is used to lower blood pressure and treat arthritis.
  • Forest Types found here include West coast tropical evergreen, Southern hilltop tropical evergreen, West coast tropical, semi-evergreen, Southern secondary moist mixed deciduous forest etc.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Environment and Ecology, Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary
Terms & Concepts

Take Home Ration - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: NITI Aayog along with World Food Program has recently released a report titled-Take Home Ration-Good Practices throughout the State/Union Territories.
  • The report presents a set of good and innovative practicesadopted in the implementation of the Take Home Ration value chain by the States and UTs.

  • The government of India provides Take Home Ration under the Supplementary Nutrition component of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to fill the gap in nutrition among children as well as Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW).
  • It offers fortified rationsfor use at home, provided in two ways:
    • Take-Home Rationsand Hot-Cooked Meals at Anganwadi Centers.
    • It's given as raw ingredientsor in packets that have already been cooked.
  • However, various challenges related to Take Home Ration include:
    • Leakages in Delivery Mechanism
    • Poor Quality Items
    • Poor Implementation and
    • Lack of Transparency

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Take Home Ration, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), World Food Program, NITI aayog
Terms & Concepts

Chakmas - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Deputy Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district to submit its Action Taken Report (ATR) on false prosecution of Chakma villagers.
  • Chakma are ethnic people who lived in the Chittagong Hill Tracts,most of which is in Bangladesh.

  • They are predominantly Theravada Buddhists.
  • They predominantly live in the Chittagong Hills Tracts of Bangladesh, Chin and Arakan provinces of Myanmar (Burma), in the North-Eastern Indian states of Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and a few families in West Bengal.
  • They fled erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1964-65 and came to Indiaand settled in Arunachal Pradesh as they lost their land to the development of the Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River, Bangladesh.
  • They celebrate Bizu Festival and Chakma language is a part of the Indo-Aryan family of languages.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 2: Polity/GS Paper 1: Geography- Tribes of India, Chakmas, Arunachal Pradesh, NHRC, Indo-Aryan family of languages.
Editorial of the day

Asia Diversifying Security Amid China's Rise: IE


Essence: In alliances like QUAD and AUKUS, author sees strategic integration of the Asian and European geopolitical theaters driven by fears of expansionism of Russia and China.  In between all this India has a tough balancing act to make between old ally Russia and new friends Western world. Focus on creation of more sophisticated national military capabilities by Indo-Pacific countries and forging of alliances with European and American countries can be explained by Chinese aggression.

Why should you read this article?

  • To understand the changing dynamics of security concerns in Indo-pacific.
  • To understand challenges being faced by India on the security front.

Source:

Keywords: Indo-Pacific, Chinese expansionism, Quad, UPSC, GS Paper 2, national security, IR
Editorial of the day

The problem with our university vision: The Hindu


Essence: The author explores the status of Indian Universities. Although the number of universities has increased in QS Rankings, there is no serious debate on the abysmal performance of Indian universities barring the Institutes of Eminence (IOE). The author is critical of the aim of NEP, 2020 for creation of multidisciplinary education. He emphasizes the need for development of specialized universities like IISc, JNU etc. which have secured high rankings.

Why should you read this article?

  • To understand the problems being faced by Indian Universities and reasons for it.
  • To understand the need for developing specialized universities.

Source:

Keywords: India Universities, Institutes of Eminence, QS Rankings, Education, GS Paper 2
Case Study of the Day

Eco-Friendly Home - Edukemy Current Affairs


Background

Popular Malayalam writer Echmukutty and her architect husband Padmakumar built an eco-friendly home in Kerala. Made of recycled bricks, stones, mud, recycled frames and glass, the house has a slice of nature in every corner.

About the House

  • There are three major sustainability principles followed by the architect in its construction:
    • First, the advantage of designing and building for disassembly. Whenever it occurs that the structure has to be dismantled, almost 95 per cent of the materials can be salvaged and reused.
    • Second is the use of second-hand materials. Almost all the items used to construct the house are reusable materials.
    • The third is the fact that not even a sack of cement was used for the construction. Instead, lime and mud did the job.
  • The House also has a rainwater harvesting system and a pond which collects the rainwater falling into the plot.
  • Padmakumar’s inspiration came from his work with Laurie Baker, a British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost and energy-efficient architecture as well as designs that maximise space, ventilation and light.

Quote:

“There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn’t spoil the sky, or the rain or the land” - Paul McCartney

Source:

Keywords: Sustainability, Eco-friendly, Ecology, environment, GS Paper 3, Case study
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