Today Current Affairs: 3rd March 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
One Rank One Pension (OROP) Policy:
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to show how many persons in the Armed forces have benefitted from ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) policy.
- The court also said that Centre’s stand on OROP presented a much “rosier picture” than what is actually given to the pensioners of the Armed forces.
- OROP means the payment of the same pension to military officers for the same rank for the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.
- Before OROP, ex-servicemen used to get pensions as per the Pay Commission’s recommendations of the time when they had retired.
- Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have the highest number of OROP beneficiaries.
- Armed Forces Personnel who had retired till 30th june 2014 are covered under it.
- The implementation of the scheme was based on recommendation of the Koshiyari committee, a 10 member all-party parliamentary panel formed under the chairmanship of Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.
Implementation Of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID):
The Indian Army commenced implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging of its ammunition inventory.
- Earlier in 2021, the Union Government integrated the E-Way Bill (EWB) system with FasTag and RFID.
- RFID is a type of passive wireless technology that allows for tracking or matching of an item or individual.
- The system has two basic parts: Tags and Readers.
- The reader gives off radio waves and gets signals back from the RFID tag, while the tag uses radio waves to communicate its identity and other information.
- A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within the direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked.
- The technology has been approved since before the 1970s but has become much more prevalent in recent years due to its usages in things like global supply chain management and pet microchipping.
- The RFID implementation has been steered by the Ordnance Services Directorate of the Indian Army, in conjunction with Munitions India Limited (MIL), Pune, the newly created entity formed post corporatisation of the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB).
- The RFID tagging is in conformity with global standards in consultation with GS-1 India, a Global Standards organisation set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The RFID tags will be interpreted and used for asset tracking by the Enterprise Resource Application run by the Computerised Inventory Control Group (CICG) of the Ordnance Services Directorate
Minimum Assured Return Scheme: PFRDA
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has proposed a guaranteed return scheme, Minimum Assured Return Scheme (MARS), which will provide savers and people from the salaried class an option for their investments.
- This will be the first scheme from the pension regulator that will offer a guaranteed return to investors.
- India’s pension assets under management have already crossed the Rs 7-lakh crore mark and are expected to touch RS 7.5-lakh crore by end March this fiscal 2021-22.
- PFRDA is aiming for an AUM (Assets Under Management) of Rs 30-lakh crore by 2030.
- To have a separate scheme that can offer a guaranteed minimum rate of return to NPS (National Pension System) subscribers, especially those who are risk averse.
- Currently, the NPS gives returns annually, based on prevailing market conditions.
- The actual returns will depend on the market conditions. Any shortfall will be made good by the sponsor, and the surplus will be credited to the subscribers’ account.
National Pension System:
- The Central Government introduced the NPS with effect from January 2004 (except for armed forces).
- In 2018 to streamline the NPS and make it more attractive, the Union Cabinet approved changes in the scheme to benefit central government employees covered under NPS.
- NPS is implemented and regulated by PFRDA.
- National Pension System Trust (NPST) established by PFRDA is the registered owner of all assets under NPS.
- NPS is structured into two tiers:
- Tier-I account:
- This is the non-withdrawable permanent retirement account into which the accumulations are deposited and invested as per the option of the subscriber.
- Tier-II account:
- This is a voluntary withdrawable account which is allowed only when there is an active Tier I account in the name of the subscriber.
- The withdrawals are permitted from this account as per the needs of the subscriber as and when claimed.
- Tier-I account:
- NPS was made available to all Citizens of India from May 2009.
- Any individual citizen of India (both resident and Non-resident) in the age group of 18-65 years can join NPS.
Madhabi Puri Buch: First Woman To Head The Market Regulator
Madhabi Puri Buch, former whole-time member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has been appointed as its new chairperson — the first woman to head the market regulator. She will hold the position for three years.
- Earlier in January 2022, SEBI launched Saa₹thi – a mobile app on investor education.
- SEBI is a Statutory Body (a Non-Constitutional body which is set up by a Parliament) established on 12th April, 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
- The basic functions of SEBI is to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote and regulate the securities market.
- The headquarters of SEBI is situated in Mumbai. The regional offices of SEBI are located in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.
- SEBI Board consists of a Chairman and several other whole time and part time members.
- SEBI also appoints various committees, whenever required to look into the pressing issues of that time.
- Further, a Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has been constituted to protect the interest of entities that feel aggrieved by SEBI’s decision.
- SAT consists of a Presiding Officer and two other Members.
- It has the same powers as vested in a civil court. Further, if any person feels aggrieved by SAT’s decision or order can appeal to the Supreme Court.
- SEBI is a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial body which can draft regulations, conduct inquiries, pass rulings and impose penalties.
- It functions to fulfill the requirements of three categories:
- Issuers: By providing a marketplace in which the issuers can increase their finance.
- Investors: By ensuring safety and supply of precise and accurate information.
- Intermediaries: By enabling a competitive professional market for intermediaries.
What Is Genocide Convention?
Ukraine has filed an application before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), instituting proceedings against Russia.
- Ukraine has accused Russia of falsely claiming that “acts of genocide have occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine”, and of using that as a pretext to recognise the independence of these regions and of going to war against Ukraine.
- The dispute is concerning 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”).
- The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
- It is the only one of the six principal organs of the UN that is not located in New York City.
- It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the UN and began work in April 1946.
- The court is the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was brought into being through, and by, the League of Nations.
- PCIJ held its inaugural sitting at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, in February 1922.
- After World War II, the League of Nations and PCIJ were replaced by the UN and ICJ respectively.
- The PCIJ was formally dissolved in April 1946, and its last president, Judge José Gustavo Guerrero of El Salvador, became the first president of the ICJ.
- Its role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies.
- The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) is an instrument of international law that codified for the first time the crime of genocide.
- The Genocide Convention was the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on 9 December 1948.
- It signified the international community’s commitment to ‘never again’ after the atrocities committed during the Second World War.
- Its adoption marked a crucial step towards the development of international human rights and international criminal law as we know it today.
- According to the Genocide Convention, genocide is a crime that can take place both in time of war as well as in time of peace.
- The definition of the crime of genocide, as set out in the Convention, has been widely adopted at both national and international levels, including in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- Importantly, the Convention establishes on State Parties the obligation to take measures to prevent and to punish the crime of genocide, including by enacting relevant legislation and punishing perpetrators, “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals” (Article IV).
- That obligation, in addition to the prohibition not to commit genocide, have been considered as norms of international customary law and therefore, binding on all States, whether or not they have ratified the Genocide Convention.
- India is a signatory to this convention.
Suez Canal :Increased Transit Fees
Cash-strapped Egypt has increased transit fees for ships passing through the Suez Canal with hikes of up to 10%.
- The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway running north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt, to connect the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
- The canal separates the African continent from Asia.
- It provides the shortest maritime route between Europe and the lands lying around the Indian and western Pacific oceans.
- It is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, carrying over 12% of world trade by volume.
Global Chip Shortage: Amid Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Russia and Ukraine are important centres of the global semiconductor supply chain, providing rare metals like palladium, and gases like neon, that are needed in the production of the silicon wafers present in almost all modern devices and equipment.
- Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, it is expected that the situation may worsen global chip shortage.
- Just as Russia supplies the global semiconductor industry with rare metals, Ukraine supplies (speciality) gases required by the chip-making industry.
- Thus, there is potential to extend the stress in the supply chain of semiconductors, which are key to manufacturing autos and other electronic equipment in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Semiconductors are materials which have a conductivity between conductors and insulators. They can be pure elements, silicon or germanium or compounds; gallium, arsenide or cadmium selenide.
- Semiconductor Chips are the basic building blocks that serve as the heart and brain of all modern electronics and information and communications technology products
- They are now an integral part of contemporary automobiles, household gadgets and essential medical devices such as ECG machines.
- The Covid-19 pandemic-driven push to take sizable parts of daily economic and essential activity online, or at least digitally enable them.
- The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns across the world also forced shut crucial chip-making facilities in countries including Japan, South Korea, China and the US.
- India currently imports all chips and the market is estimated to touch $100 billion by 2025 from $24 billion now.
NASA’s first crewed landing of the Artemis program on the moon is expected to take place in 2026. Meanwhile, NASA will launch Artemis 1 in May 2022.
- NASA said it needed time to develop and test the human landing system and NASA’s next generation spacesuits.
- Artemis stands for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun.
- It is NASA’s next mission to the Moon.
To measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology.
- With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.
- NASA’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft nearly a quarter million miles from Earth to lunar orbit.
- Astronauts will dock Orion at the Gateway and transfer to a human landing system for expeditions to the surface of the Moon.
- They will return to the orbital outpost to board Orion again before returning safely to Earth.
NASA will fly two missions around the Moon to test its deep space exploration systems.
- Artemis 1 is aiming to send an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon using a combination of the never-flown Space Launch System rocket, along with the once-flown Orion spacecraft.
- NASA hopes to extend the program with the moon-orbiting crewed Artemis 2 mission in 2024, then a landing on Artemis 3 in 2025, ahead of other crewed missions later in the 2020s.
With tensions escalating between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis, India, which has major defence cooperation with Moscow and also with Kyiv, faces uncertainty over timely deliveries in the near future in addition to the lingering threat of U.S. sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) over the S-400 deal.
- In the past, tensions between Russia and Ukraine had considerably delayed the modernisation of the AN-32 transport fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- So, the latest concern is that this war could result in delays in deliveries from Russia both due to their own domestic commitments as well the sanctions imposed by the West.
- While Russia has been a traditional military supplier sharing platforms and technologies that others wouldn’t, the cooperation has further deepened in recent years.
- For instance, with the $5.43bn deal S-400 air defence systems as well as other big ticket deals, the defence trade between the two countries has crossed $15bn since 2018.
- Even today, over 60% of Indian military inventory is of Russian origin, especially with respect to fighter jets, tanks, helicopters and submarines among others, while several major deals are in the pipeline.
- India had also signed a separate deal with Ukraine for eight Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine engines for the frigates.
- Ukraine is also upgrading over 100 An-32 transport aircraft of the IAF under a deal finalized in 2009.
- The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
- It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
- Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
- Enacted in 2017.
- Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.