Today’s Current Affairs: 26th Oct 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Kasturi Cotton Bharat:
The Union Minister of Textile, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution launched website of Kasturi Cotton Bharat.
- Kasturi Cotton Bharat is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Textiles, the Cotton Corporation of India, Trade Bodies & Industry.
- Objective is to work on the principle of self-regulation by owning complete responsibility of Branding, Traceability and Certification of Indian Cotton to enhance its’ competitiveness in the global market and create a sustainable ecosystem for all stakeholders involved.
- The website provides a digital platform for necessary information and updates on this initiatives and highlights the registration process for ginners to produce Kasturi Cotton Bharat Brand.
- All the ginners in the country have been empowered to produce Kasturi Cotton Bharat brand as per stipulated protocol.
- Besides this, to provide complete traceability of Kasturi Cotton Bharat across the supply chain, QR based certification technology will be used at each stage of the processing and a blockchain based software platform will provide end to end traceability and transaction certificate.
International Migration Outlook 2023:
The ‘International Migration Outlook 2023’ was released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
- India saw the highest migration flows to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in 2021 and 2022.
- In terms of nationalities, 0.13 million Indian citizens acquired the nationality of an OECD country in 2021.
- Inflows of refugees from Ukraine reached the highest level on record, OECD-wide, due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war; more than 10 million people have become either internally displaced or refugees in the OECD region.
- In terms of workers, migration flows from India (+172 percent), Uzbekistan (+122 percent), and Turkey (+240 percent) rose sharply, making them primary countries of origin after Ukraine.
- It is an international organisation of 38 countries committed to democracy and the market economy.
- Its members are typically democratic countries that support free-market economies.
Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) Card:
The Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards are the ID cards of the cellular world, and they have evolved in step with cellular networks.
- Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card is an integrated circuit, or a microchip, that identifies the subscriber on a given network.
- In order for a mobile phone to connect to any cellular network that follows the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, a SIM card is mandatory.
- This relationship is established using a unique authentication key—a piece of data that a user needs to ‘unlock’ access to the network.
- Every SIM card stores this data, and it is designed such that the user can’t access it through their phone.
- Instead, signals sent by the phone into the network are ‘signed’ by the key, and the network uses the signature to understand whether the phone’s connection is legitimate.
- SIM cards also store information about its own ID number (the integrated circuit card identifier), the IMSI, the subscriber’s location area identity (i.e. their current location), a list of preferred networks (to whom the subscriber can connect when roaming), and, emergency numbers.
A self-help group (SHG) recently launched a flower nursery as part of the UMEED scheme in Budgam.
- The UMEED scheme under the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) is a centrally sponsored scheme to encourage women to be self-dependent and self-sufficient.
- The main objective of the scheme is to help the rural poor across Jammu and Kashmir.
- It also encourages women to make small savings so that their Self-Help Groups (SHGs) eventually become bankable at a reduced rate of interest.
- It helps women entrepreneurs exhibit and market their products.
- It is implemented by the Jammu & Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Society.
Intelligence Bureau: Exempted From RTI
The Delhi High Court recently ruled that the Intelligence Bureau stands exempted from the rigours of RTI Act by virtue of Section 24 (Act not to apply to certain organisations) thereof.
- IB is an internal intelligence agency of India that is used to gather intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks.
- In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas, following the 1951 recommendations of the Himmatsinhji Committee (also known as the North and North-East Border Committee), a task entrusted to military intelligence organizations, prior to independence in 1947.
- It comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The IB activities are highly confidential, and no publications other than the internal ones reveal their arcane workings.
Global Tax Evasion Report 2024:
The European Union Tax Observatory has released ‘Global Tax Evasion Report 2024’ highlighting several critical issues related to tax evasion, the Global Minimum Tax (GMT) on billionaires, and measures to combat tax evasion.
- The report investigates the effects of international reforms adopted over the past 10 years, such as the automatic international exchange of bank information, and the international agreement on a global minimum tax for MNCs, among other issues.
- Tax evasion is the illegal act of not paying taxes that one owes to the government by underreporting income, inflating deductions, hiding money in offshore accounts, or using other fraudulent means to reduce one’s tax liability.
- It is a deliberate and unlawful attempt to reduce tax obligations by misrepresenting or concealing financial information.
Highlights of the Report:
- Offshore tax evasion has decreased over the past decade. In 2013, 10% of the world’s GDP was stored in global tax havens, but now only 25% of this wealth remains untaxed.
- Global billionaires have effective tax rates equivalent to 0% to 0.5% of their wealth, due to the frequent use of shell companies to avoid income taxation.
- US billionaires have an effective tax rate equivalent to 0.5% of their wealth and French billionaires a tax rate of zero.
- Multinational corporations (MNCs) have shifted around USD 1 trillion to tax havens in 2022, equivalent to 35% of the profits they earned outside their headquarters countries.
- The report red-flagged the trend of “Greenwashing the Global Minimum Tax” wherein MNCs can use ‘green’ tax credits for low carbon transition to reduce their tax rates way below the minimum of 15%.
- Tax evasion, wealth concealment, and profit shifting to tax havens are not natural occurrences but results of policy choices or the failure to make necessary choices.
- There is a need to evaluate the consequences of tax policies and make improvements for sustainable tax systems.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023:
Parliamentary Committee has reviewed the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) 2023 Bill, proposing significant changes to India’s Criminal Justice System, recommendations including a gender-neutral provision criminalizing adultery.
- The BNS Bill, introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs, seeks to replace the colonial-era IPC (Indian Penal Code).
Key Highlights of the Proposed Changes in BNS:
- The parliamentary committee has recommended including a gender-neutral provision that criminalizes Adultery.
- This move comes after the Supreme Court (SC) declared Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalized adultery, as unconstitutional in 2018.
- The panel seeks to protect the institution of marriage but in a gender-neutral way.
- The committee is considering a clause to criminalize non-consensual sex between men, women, or transpersons, as well as acts of bestiality.
- This indicates an effort to address various forms of sexual offenses comprehensively.
- The committee has suggested better definitions for terms like “community service” and “life imprisonment” in the bill.
- The new draft code has included the removal of Section 124A (Sedition) and provisions for prosecuting offenses committed in foreign countries.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out a widespread crackdown on cyber criminals in India in an operation known as ‘Operation Chakra-2.’
- This operation involved searches at 76 locations across the country and was prompted by the registration of five separate cases of cyber-enabled financial fraud, including a ₹100-crore cryptocurrency scam.
- The fraud scheme posed as a fake crypto mining operation and targeted unsuspecting Indian citizens.
- The cases were registered based on information provided by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
- The agency is collaborating with various international law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, INTERPOL, and others, to follow up on leads.
- ‘Operation Chakra-1’ was conducted nearly a year ago in collaboration with Interpol, the FBI, and police forces from various countries, involving searches at 115 locations.
Hamoon : Cyclonic Storm
The cyclonic storm “Hamoon” that has formed over the Bay of Bengal has rapidly intensified into a severe cyclonic storm as per recent reports.
- Cyclone Hamoon is brewing near India over the Bay of Bengal.
- Southern states in India are likely to witness rainfall this week.
- According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a deep depression over the West central Bay of Bengal likely to intensify into a Cyclonic Storm during the next 6 hours.
- Cyclones Tej and Hamoon are considered to be twin cyclones that developed over the north Indian Ocean.
- The last such twin cyclones ‘Luban’ and ‘Titli’ were recorded in 2018.