Daily Current Affairs for 01th Jan 2023

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16th Finance Commission

Why In news?

Arvind Panagariya has been appointed as the chairman of the 16th Finance Commission. The commission will submit its report for the five-year period (2026-27 to 2030-31) to the President by October 31, 2025. The Union Cabinet last month approved the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the 16th Finance Commission.

What are the 16th Finance Commission’s major terms of reference?

  • Distribution of Tax Proceeds: Under Chapter I, Part XII of the Constitution, recommending the allocation of taxes between the Union Government and the States.
    • This involves dividing the profits of these taxes among the states.
  • Grants-in-Aid rules: Establishing the rules that govern grants-in-aid to states from the Consolidated Fund of India.
    • This includes assessing the sums to be paid to the states as grants-in-aid under Article 275 of the Constitution for purposes other than those specified in the provisos to clause (1) of that article.
  • Enhancing State Funds for Local Bodies: Identifying strategies to improve a state’s Consolidated Fund.
    • Based on suggestions made by the State’s Finance Commission, this is intended to enhance the resources available to Panchayats and Municipalities throughout the state.
  • Evaluation of Disaster Management financial: The Commission may conduct an examination of the present financial systems for Disaster Management activities.
    • This entails reviewing the funds established under the Disaster Management Act of 2005 and making appropriate suggestions for enhancements or changes.

What is the Finance Commission?

  • The Indian Finance Commission is a constitutional body created under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution.
      • Its principal role is to suggest how financial resources should be distributed between the federal government and the states.
  • On November 27, 2017, the Fifteenth Finance Commission was established. Through its Interim and Final Reports, it provided recommendations for a six-year period beginning on April 1, 2020.
      • The Fifteenth Finance Commission’s proposals are applicable until the fiscal year 2025-26.



Aadhaar-linked pay made mandatory for MANREGS Workers

Why in News

The fifth extension of the mandatory ABPS payment method deadline ended on December 31, 2023, causing a significant increase in MGNREGA job card deletions. Activists attribute this to the mandatory imposition of this payment method, with 34.8% of job card holders still ineligible as of December 27.

Why Aadhaar Based Payment System

The fifth extension of the mandatory ABPS payment method deadline ended on December 31, 2023, causing a significant increase in MGNREGA job card deletions. Activists attribute this to the mandatory imposition of this payment method, with 34.8% of job card holders still ineligible as of December 27.

  • Crores of workers still ineligible: – Active workers are those who have worked for at least one day over the last three financial years.
  • Till December 27, 12.7% of these active workers are still not eligible for ABPS. Of the 25.25 crore registered workers under the flagship rural jobs scheme, 14.35 crore are categorised as active workers.
  • 7.6 crore job cards deleted: – States have deleted 7.6 crore workers from the Aadhaar system over the last 21 months due to pressure from the Union government to have 100% ABPS-eligible job cards.
      • This includes discrepancies between Aadhaar and job cards, such as different spellings of workers’ names. LibTech India, a consortium of academics and activists, argues that the number of workers deleted is far higher than those ineligible for payment.
  • Denying right to work’: – “Compelling the use of ABPS with more than one-third of the total MNREGA registered workers rendered ineligible will inevitably lead to the denial of the right to work.

About Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (APBS)

  • APBS is a gateway created by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to facilitate the transfer of funds to Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts of beneficiaries.
  • The system uses a person’s Aadhaar number as their financial address, simplifying the process of receiving bank transfers.
  • To join APBS, a bank account must be linked with the customer’s Aadhaar number and connected to the NPCI mapper, which serves as a repository of Aadhaar numbers linked with specific banks.
  • This mapping process is known as “mapping.” If multiple accounts are associated with the same person, APBS automatically sends money to the latest-mapped account.

Benefits of APBS

  • The ABP System aims to promote financial inclusion by re-engineering the government’s subsidy management program.
  • It has led to the electronification of retail payment transactions, eliminating delays and paper-work.
  • The system transfers benefits and subsidies seamlessly and directly into the Aadhaar Enabled Bank Account, eliminating the need for multiple bank accounts.
  • Customers can now receive benefits and subsidies directly into their Aadhaar Enabled Bank Account by opening one account and seeding their Aadhaar number.
  • APBS transfers are effective in removing fake beneficiaries and duplicates, minimizing funds leakage to unintended beneficiaries. However, the system faces problems that increase the burden on the poor and destitute, particularly the elderly, who are the most affected.

Institutional Challenges

  • The Aadhaar Payment Bharat System (APBS) is facing numerous institutional challenges, including diverted payments, rejected payments, and forcing it on millions of poor and underprivileged individuals without consent.
  • The system should be based on an explicit request from the customer, but for poor people, consent is often fiction.
  • Bank accounts have been mass-mapped onto the APBS without any semblance of consent, and the two steps of seeding and mapping are essentially confused, leading to a serious problem of transferring subsidies or pensions in accounts to which the beneficiary is unrelated.
  • This premature and coercive imposition has resulted in instances of elderly people dying of hunger after their pensions were diverted to someone else’s account, particularly in Jharkhand.
  • The system suffers from a pervasive lack of accountability, making it opaque and difficult for people to understand.
  • Bank managers are unable to help people with payment problems due to the absence of guidelines for resolving payment problems. Additionally, agencies promoting the APBS and related financial technologies continue to exhibit a lackadaisical attitude in resolving this issue.



Houthi rebels shoot by USA in Red Sea

why in news?

The U.S. military opened fire on Houthi rebels after they attacked a cargo ship in the red sea, killing several of them in escalation of the maritime conflict linked to war in Gaza.

The white house official said we are going to act in self-defence.

How it followed?

  • The crew of the USS gravely destroyer first shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired at the Singapore flagged Maersk Hangzohu .
  • It was after vessel reported getting hit by a missile earlier that evening as it was sailing through the southern red sea.
  • Four small boats then attacked the same cargo ships with small arms fire early Sunday and rebels tried to board the vessel.
  • The USS gravely and helicopters from the USS Dwight D Eisnhower aircraft carrier responded to the maserk Hangzhou distress call and issued verbal warnings to the attackers.

Why USA did?

  • They did it to protect shipping.
  • The United States has significant national security interest in the region and they will be going to put the kind of forces they need in the region to protect those interest.
  • U.S. made it clear to the Houthis that we take these threats seriously and they will make the right decisions.



Tehreek e Hurriyat declared illegal

why in news?

  • The union home ministry on Sunday declared Tehreek e Hurriyat, Jammu and Kashmir an unlawful association under Section 3 of anti-terror law, the unlawful Activities Act (UAPA).

What is Tehreek e Hurriyat?

  • The is one of the constituents of the All-party Hurriyat conference and was founded by separatist Syed Ali shah gellani, who died in 2021.
  • The pro Pakistan group was earlier headed by late separatist leader syed Ali shah Geelani, who was succeded by Masarat Alam bhat.
  • Bhat is also known for his anti-India and pro Pakistan propaganda.
  • Bhat is currently in jail and his party the Muslim league of Jammu and Kashmir was declared a banned organisation on December 27.

Why party is banned?

  • The home minister posted on X, the outfit is involved in forbidden activities to separate J&K from India and establish Islamic rule.
  • The group is found spreading anti India propaganda and continuing terror activities to fuel secessionism.
  • Narendra Modi ji’s zero tolerance policy against terrorism, any individual or organization found involved in Anti- India activities will be thwarted forthwith.
  • The objective of the party is to separate Jammu and Kashmir from India and establish Islamic rule.

What is UAPA?

  • UAPA is an Indian law aimed at prevention of unlawful activities association in India.
  • Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.



National Investigation agency with the conviction rate of 94.7 %.

Why in news?

The National investigation Agency achieved a phenomenal conviction rate of 94.7 % arrersted 625 accused and attached assets worth about 56 crores in 2023.

What is NIA?

  • The NIA is the central counter terrorism law enforcement agency of India mandated to investigate all the offences affecting the sovereignty, security, and integrity of India.
  • It was constituted under the National Investigation Agency NIA act, 2008.
  • The agency is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes from the states under the written proclamation from the ministry.

what is achieved?

  • The agency cracked down on the nexus between pro Khalistan operatives, gangsters and drug smugglers and carried out operations against module linked to the Islamic state and other banned terror outfits.
  • There is increase of nearly 28 % in the number of arrests compared with 490 in 2022.
  • Among those arrested were 65 allegedly related to IS,114 in other ‘Jihadi terrorist’ ,45 accused of human trafficking, 28 accused terrorist and organised criminal activity and 76 linked to leftwing extremism case.

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