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02 Mar, 2021

24 Min Read

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) -Pakistan still in grey list

GS-II : International organisation Financial Action Task Force

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) -Pakistan is still in the grey list


  • To Islamabad’s deep disappointment, the Paris-based 39-member Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided once again to keep Pakistan on its “grey list” of countries under “increased monitoring”, giving it another three months to complete its commitments.

27-point action list

  • After being removed from that list in 2015, Pakistan was put back on it in June 2018 and handed a 27-point action list to fulfil.
  • On Thursday, FATF President Marcus Player announced that although Pakistan has made “significant progress”, it had three remaining points of the 27 that were only partially addressed, notably all in the area of curbing terror financing.

Pakistan’s remaining tasks in the 27-point action list

  • The body listed the remaining tasks:
    • Terror-funding prosecution: Demonstrating terror-funding prosecution is accurate, effective and dissuasive,
    • Financial sanctions: Thoroughly implementing financial sanctions against all terrorists designated by the UN Security Council, which include LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, JeM chief Masood Azhar, other leaders of terror groups in Pakistan, and those belonging to al Qaeda.

Pakistan’s response

    • Pakistan’s former Interior Minister Rehman Malik has protested the decision most vociferously, even suggesting that the FATF should be taken to The Hague, given that other countries that have completed nearly all the points on their task lists have been dropped from the grey list.

Impact of ‘grey-list’ on Pakistan

  • Economic loss: Pakistan has lost $38 billion because of its time on the grey list (2008-2015 and 2018-the present).
  • India-Pakistan ceasefire: First signs of a thaw between India and Pakistan since 2016. The decision of the Directors General of Military Operations, also on Thursday, to strictly observe the ceasefire agreement at the LoC.
  • Improving India-Pakistan relations: Both the countries are committed to resolving “core issues” that lead to violence between the two sides, indicating more dialogue between India and Pakistan could be on the cards.
    • There are no political, trade, cultural ties at present.
  • Actions taken by Pakistan: Pakistan’s next steps on the FATF directive to successfully prosecute terrorists and terror financers identified by the grouping are in its own interests.

Way ahead

  • Mr. Pleyer (FATF Head) advised Pakistan to complete the remaining tasks by June 2021, when the FATF will meet again to vote on the issue.
  • Any proposed New Delhi-Islamabad engagement in the next few months would get a much-needed boost if Pakistan traverses this ‘last mile’ on the FATF grey list, addressing India’s main grievance on cross-border terror that emanates from its soil.

Source: TH

Financial Action Task Force

GS-II : International Relations International Organizations

Financial Action Task Force

Paris-based 39-member Financial Action Task Force has decided once again to keep Pakistan on its “grey list”.

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standard and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
  • Member Countries: it consists of 39 member jurisdictions.
  • India is one of the members.
  • FATF has two lists:
    • Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list.
    • Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist.
      • These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities.
  • The FATF Plenary is the decision-making body of the FATF.
  • It meets 3times per year.

Source: TH

Iran Nuclear Deal- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

GS-II : International Relations Iran

Iran Nuclear Deal- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Iran Nuclear Deal- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

  • Commonly called the Iran nuclear deal is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna in 2015.
  • It was signed between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany) together with the European Union.
  • Under JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years.
  • For the next 15 years Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time.
  • Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years.
  • To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities.
  • The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and UNSC nuclear-related sanctions.

About IAEA

  • Widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family, the IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
  • The IAEA was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology.
  • Headquarter: Vienna, Austria.
  • The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
  • In 2005, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a safe and peaceful world.
  • It is an independent international organization that reports annually to the United Nations General Assembly.
  • When necessary, the IAEA also reports to the UN Security Council in regard to instances of members’ non-compliance with safeguards and security obligations.

Source: TH

PSLV C-51 Launched by NSIL

GS-III : S&T Space mission

PSLV C-51 Launched by NSIL

PSLV-C51 was successfully launched by ISRO recently.

  • This was the 53rd flight of ISRO’s launch vehicle and the first dedicated mission of its commercial arm, NewSpace India Ltd.
  • The mission was undertaken under a commercial arrangement with Spaceflight Inc., U.S.

Satellites onboard:

  • It carried 19 satellites (Including Brazil’s optical earth observation satellite, Amazonia-1, and 18 co-passenger satellites — five from India and 13 from the U.S.).
  • Amazonia-1 is the first fully Brazilian-made satellite, which would help to monitor the Amazon forests.
  • The Amazonia-1 was injected into its precise orbit of 758 km in a sun-synchronous polar orbit.

The satellites from India are:

  • The Satish Dhawan SAT (SDSAT) built by Space Kidz India. It has an engraving of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the top panel.
  • A nano-satellite intended to study the radiation levels, space weather and demonstrate long-range communication technologies.
  • The UNITYsat, a combination of three satellites for providing radio relay services.
  • The Bhagavad Gita was also sent on board an SD card to give the scripture, which teaches oneness as the highest form of humanity, the highest honour.

What is PSLV?

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is an indigenously-developed expendable launch system of the ISRO.
  • It comes in the category of medium-lift launchers with a reach up to various orbits, including the Geo Synchronous Transfer Orbit, Lower Earth Orbit, and Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • All the operations of PSLV are controlled from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota.

Difference between PSLV and GSLV:

  • India has two operational launchers- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
  • PSLV was developed to launch low-Earth Orbit satellites into polar and sun synchronous orbits.
  • It has since proved its versatility by launching geosynchronous, lunar and interplanetary spacecraft successfully.
  • On the other hand, GSLV was developed to launch the heavier INSAT class of geosynchronous satellites into orbit.
  • In its third and final stage, GSLV uses the indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage.

Source: TH

One District One Focus Product

GS-III : Economic Issues Agriculture

One District One Focus Product

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and the Ministry of Food Processing Industries have finalized the products for One District One Focus Product (ODOFP).
  • Products - Agricultural, horticultural, animal husbandry, poultry, milk, fisheries, aquaculture, marine and processed food sectors.
  • These products are finalized after taking inputs from States/UTs and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • They will be promoted in a cluster approach through the convergence of the schemes, to increase the farmers’ income and the value of the products.
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare will support ODOFP from its ongoing centrally sponsored schemes -Mission for Integrated Development of Agriculture, National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries will support these products under the PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM-FME) scheme - which provides incentives to promoters and micro-enterprises.
  • This scheme needs to be implemented by State Governments.

Source: TH

Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions

Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme

The government is planning to replace the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) with a new programme MERITE Project.

About the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme:

  • It was started in 2002 by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development with the assistance of the World Bank and is being implemented in a phased manner.
  • It aims to upscale the quality of technical education and enhance the capacities of institutions.
  • The Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme III (TEQIP-III) was started in 2017 and will be completed by 2021.
  • The Objective is to improve quality and equity in engineering institutions in focus states such as in low-income states.

About MERITE Project:

  • The project has an objective to improve technical education like the TEQIP.
  • However, the MERITE Project is still in the conceptual stage and has not yet received Cabinet approval.

Source: TH

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