Daily Prelims Notes 12 February 2022
- February 12, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
12 February 2022
Table Of Contents
- Taxing Cryptos- a sovereign right
- NOC refusal to a Movie by the Defence Ministry
- RBI accepts plea for penalty waiver
Context: Australia has now officially listed Koalas as ‘Endangered’ species after widespread bushfires, drought and land clearing for agriculture and Urban settlements which destroyed much of their habitat.
- As per WWF report, Koala population inhabited parts of Australia 25 million years ago but, today only one species remains- the Phascolarctos cinereus.
- Koalas are found in the southeast and eastern sides of Australia – in coastal Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
- They survive on a strict diet of up to a kilogram of eucalyptus leaves per day.
- Due to low nutrition value of these leaves, Koalas tend to sleep for extended periods (often up to 18 hours a day) to conserve energy.
Why Australian government declared Koalas Endangered?
- Koalas has been on the row of extinction for over two decades. According to The Guardian report, Koalas declined between 33% and 61% since 2001 in NSW and decreased by at least half in Queensland.
- In 2012, Koalas were classified as “Vulnerable”.
- 2019 catastrophic bushfires (now known as “Black Summer”) impacted 60,000 Koalasby destroying their Eucalyptus rich habitat.
- Another major threat is the spread of Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease that causes blindness and cysts in Koalas reproductive tract.
How Change in status makes difference?
- Endangered status will ensure greater protection of Koalas and their forest home under Australia’s environmental law. In other words, the status will not only protect the iconic animal but many other species living alongside them.
- Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.
- The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyse action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.
- The IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction. It divides species into nine categories: Not Evaluated, Data Deficient, Least Concern, Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, and Extinct in the Wild and Extinct.
2. Taxing Cryptos- a sovereign right
Context: Finance Minister on replying to a debate on the general discussion on the Budget in the Rajya Sabha said taxing Cryptocurrency is the right of the sovereign and banning it or not is another issue.
- The Budget has termed Virtual Digital Asset (VDA) has been posed to levy a 30% tax besides the 1% TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) on all profits from transactions in such assets.
- Also, gifting of such assets will be taxed in the hands of the recipient.
- Moreover, sale of these assets cannot be set off against any other income.
- The cryptocurrency tax comes at a time when the government is considering the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill.
- RBI vociferously opposed the rollout of legalizing private cryptocurrencies due to their deleterious impact on country’s financial stability. RBI Governor said, “Cryptocurrencies have no underlying (value), not even a tulip.”
- In 2018, RBI announced a ban on Cryptocurrencies and in 2020, the Supreme Court quashed the RBI curb on cryptocurrency trade in India.
- In 2022, the government is framing new laws (inserting Section 115 BBH in the Income Tax Act) before introducing Crypto in the public domain.
Context: Union Rural Development Minister informed Lok Sabha that only one-fourth of the required number of Disha meetings have taken place as many MPs have complained that Disha meetings are not taking place in their constituencies.
- District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee, also known as Disha, is responsible for monitoring the implementation of 43 government schemes and programmes including NREGS and PMGSY.
- It is headed by an MP elected from the district.
- A Disha is required to meet at least once in a quarter. In a year, at least four meetings of Disha are required to be held.
4. NOC refusal to a Movie by the Defence Ministry
Context: The Defence Ministry refused to grant a ‘No Objection Certificate’ to a movie based on a homosexual army officer as it portrays romantic relations between him and a local Kashmiri boy.
- According to the Defence Ministry, NOC is refused to the filmmakers/producers for movies based on defence-related themes that bring disrepute to the armed forces/government/country.
- Further, the approval process “is not arbitrary/discriminatory in nature nor does it violate Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
- The process is not violative of freedom of speech and expressions, guaranteed under Article 19(1) (a)as each case is considered based on its own merits keeping in view the factors like national security, the defence of India, situation of law and order in the country/various states, maintenance of discipline in the armed forces, ethos/customs of military service and general sentiments of the citizens and image of the armed forces in the minds of the citizens of India/general public.”
- In 2020, Ministry of Defence has now formally written to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), MeITY and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to advise production houses to obtain NOC from the Ministry of Defence before the telecast of any film/ documentary/ web series on Army theme in public domain.
- The need was felt after complaints of distorted depiction of Indian Army Personnel, Military Uniform and incidents that hurt the sentiments of Defence personnel and veterans were received.
- The Indian Army has granted NOCs for 16 out of 18 films/web series/documentaries in the last one year (01 is rejected and 01 is still pending).
- 01 proposal for the NOC has been received by Indian Navy during the last ten years which is IAF has received 13 proposals in the last three years and none have been rejected.
5. RBI accepts plea for penalty waiver
Context: The RBI has accepted the stakeholders’ (Banks, White Label ATM Operators & managed service providers) plea to waive penalty at times ATMs cannot be replenished with cash due to unforeseen circumstances.
- According to the RBI’s 2021 circular on ‘Monitoring the availability of cash at ATMs’, a flat penalty of Rs. 10,000 per ATM would be imposed on an ATM operator if an ATM is cash-out for more than 10 hours in a month. In case of White Label ATMs (WLAs), the penalty would be charged to the bank which is meeting the cash requirement of that particular WLA. The bank, may, at its discretion, recover the penalty from the WLA operator.
- The reason behind its issuance is not to cause inconvenience to the public due to cash-outs at ATM.
- Movement of cash for banks and ATMs prohibit loading of cash after a certain time as per 2018 MHA guidelines.
- Industry players would have weeded out the ATMs that were incurring losses due to penalties.
- Deployment of new ATMs in rural and semi-urban areas would have come to a
- Logistics infrastructure challenges: the very small aperture terminals for data communication not working, the machine developing a snag, power supply issues etc.
- With the RBI’s move for waiver of penalty, ATM operators are expected to expand their networks with renewed vigour.