Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 8 October 2017

Finance Ministry makes Aadhaar mandatory for small saving schemes

The government has made biometric identification Aadhaar mandatory for all post office deposits, PPF, the National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra. Existing depositors have been given time till December 31, 2017 to provide the 12-digit unique identification number.

Ministry of Finance has issued four separate Gazette notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for opening all post office deposit accounts, Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra deposits.

The move is the latest by the government in a series of measures to crack down on tax evaders and black money. Earlier, the Finance Ministry had also made it mandatory to link Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number and bank accounts and also quote it in income tax returns. The deadline for seeding PAN and bank accounts with Aadhaar has also been set as December 31.


Snow leopard photographed in Arunachal Pradesh

Scientists have obtained the first evidence of the elusive snow leopard in Arunachal Pradesh. Camera traps have captured images of the big cat at Thembang village’s Community Conserved Area, a community-owned reserve, in West Kameng district. The presence of the species outside protected areas highlights the importance of community support for conservation as well as landscape-scale planning.

The camera-trapping, part of a State-wide survey initiated in March 2017 by WWF-India in collaboration with the Arunachal Pradesh Environment and Forest Department, focused on unexplored snow leopard habitats.

In 2004, WWF-India introduced the concept of CCAs in the State to empower local communities to become active decision-makers and implement conservation initiatives. Local communities in these CCAs form committees to undertake wildlife monitoring, patrolling and community-based tourism activities. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the 22 priority landscapes of the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program.


Chhattisgarh bans PVC used in carry bags

The Chhattisgarh government has banned the use of chlorinated plastic and short-life Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) in the state. The state government has also banned the manufacture, storage, import, sale, transport and use of such plastic-borne goods.

The advertising and promotion of materials like PVC banners, flex, and hoardings have also been banned with immediate effect. The latest notification in this effect has been issued by the Department of Housing and Environment.

As the chemicals dispensed from PVC and chlorinated plastic contaminate the water, soil and air which cause a wide range of health effects.

From the Article 48-A of the Constitution of India, it is expected that every state will try to conserve and improve the environment.


Centre sets up group to study problems of people along IB, LOC

A study group has been set up by the government to examine the problems being faced by the people residing near the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

The group will meet people living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, security forces deployed there, district administration officials and local public representatives and submit its report within two months.

Special secretary in the home ministry Rina Mitra will head the team. The study group will prepare a detailed report of the issues being faced by the public living near IB and LOC and submit its recommendations on the remedial action that needs to be taken to address these issues.

India shares a 3,323 km long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LOC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.