Print Friendly, Pdf &Amp; Email

Daily Current Affairs

29-September-2023

1. What is the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance?

Topic: GS2 – International collaboration.

What is the five eyes:

  • ‘Five Eyes’ is a multilateral intelligence-sharing alliance consisting of five countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.
  • It primarily focuses on surveillance and signals intelligence (SIGINT) and shares classified intelligence documents among member countries.
  • The alliance originated during World War II and aimed to counter the Cold War Soviet threat by sharing intelligence related to signals, including radio, satellite, and internet communications.
  • The formal agreement, known as the British-U.S. Communication Intelligence Agreement (BRUSA, now UKUSA Agreement), was signed between the U.S. and the U.K. in 1946 and later extended to include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The existence of the alliance remained highly secretive for decades, with public knowledge of the agreement emerging only in recent years.
  • Each member country has specific SIGINT mandates, covering various regions and intelligence domains.
  • Over time, the focus of ‘Five Eyes’ has shifted from the Cold War era to address contemporary challenges such as terrorism and the influence of China.
  • The alliance has expanded its activities to include ocean surveillance, medical intelligence, counterterrorism, and intelligence sharing through a collective database known as ‘Stone Ghost.’
  • Concerns have been raised about privacy, security, and the working methods of the intelligence alliance, particularly after Edward Snowden’s disclosures in 2013, which characterized it as a “supranational intelligence organization” not bound by its own countries’ laws.

2. MGNREGS social audit unit in a state of paralysis in many States

Topic: GS2 – governance

 Context:

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) faces criticism for alleged corruption, despite having social audit units designed to detect malpractice.
  • Statistics from the Union Rural Development Ministry show that in the current financial year, less than 14% of the amount flagged by auditors for misappropriation has been recovered.
  • Recovery rates in previous financial years have also been low, with only a small fraction of the flagged amounts being recovered.

Importance of social audit in government programs:

  • Accountability: Social audits help hold government programs accountable for their actions and spending, ensuring transparency and reducing the risk of corruption.
  • Citizen Participation: They encourage citizen involvement in the monitoring and evaluation of government initiatives, promoting democracy and empowering communities.
  • Improved Governance: Social audits can lead to more efficient and effective governance by identifying areas of improvement and recommending necessary changes.
  • Trust Building: When citizens see that their government is committed to transparency and accountability, it builds trust and confidence in public institutions.
  • Identifying Gaps: Social audits can reveal gaps in program implementation, helping authorities address issues and reach the intended beneficiaries more effectively.
  • Resource Allocation: They assist in ensuring that resources are allocated equitably and reach marginalized and vulnerable populations.
  • Preventing Mismanagement: By regularly reviewing program performance, social audits can prevent mismanagement of funds and resources.
  • Learning and Adaptation: Social audits provide opportunities for learning and adapting programs to changing circumstances and needs.

Mains question: Discuss the significance of social audits in government programs and their role in promoting transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in governance.

3. Current account deficit widens QoQ to $9.2 bn on trade gap

Topic: GS3 – Indian economy.

Context:

  • India’s current account deficit (CAD) increased to $9.2 billion (1.1% of GDP) in the April-June quarter.

More about this news:

  • This widening of CAD is primarily due to a higher trade deficit, lower surplus in net services, and a decline in private transfer receipts.
  • Net services receipts fell due to a decline in exports of computer, travel, and business services, although they remained higher on a year-on-year basis.
  • Private transfer receipts, representing remittances, moderated to $27.1 billion from $28.6 billion in the previous quarter.
  • The fall in remittances is concerning, especially amid slowing global growth, and it could impact CAD, which was expected to rise in the first quarter.
  • Factors like higher merchandise trade deficit, softening in services trade surplus, and rising oil prices contribute to the upward pressure on CAD estimates.
  • Net income outgo decreased to $10.6 billion, reflecting payments of investment income.
  • Net foreign direct investment declined to $5.1 billion, while net foreign portfolio investment recorded inflows of $15.7 billion.
  • Net external commercial borrowings saw an inflow of $5.6 billion in Q1.
  • The foreign exchange reserves increased by $24.4 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

What is current account deficit (CAD):

  • The Current Account Deficit (CAD) is a measurement in the balance of payments of a country’s economy.
  • It represents the difference between the value of a country’s exports of goods and services and its imports of goods and services during a specific period, usually a quarter or a year.
  • In other words, CAD reflects the net flow of money into or out of a country due to its international trade and investment activities.

Mains question: Discuss the implications of a widening Current Account Deficit (CAD) on India’s economy. Analyze the factors contributing to the recent increase in CAD and suggest measures to address the challenges posed by a persistent CAD.

4. Russia to hike its defence spending by 70% in 2024.

Topic: GS2

Context:

  • Russia is planning to increase its defense spending by nearly 70% in 2024, according to a Finance Ministry document.

What is in the news?

  • This increase in defense spending is primarily driven by Russia’s full-scale offensive in Ukraine, which has led to heightened military activity and arms manufacturing.
  • Despite facing challenges like high inflation and a weaker ruble, Russia is allocating significant resources to its military, with defense spending accounting for around 6% of its GDP.
  • This level of defense spending surpasses allocations for social policies, education, environmental protection, and healthcare combined.
  • The Russian government’s economic policy is shifting towards promoting national development goals, including strengthening defense capacity and integrating Ukrainian regions like Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
  • Russia’s central bank has warned of potential economic slowdown and inflation above target levels, but officials, including President Vladimir Putin, appear focused on the Ukraine offensive.

For Enquiry

Search By Categories
29 Feb 2024 : Daily Answer Writing
Mains Answer Writing 29-February-2024 Q1) The transfer of judicial powers to quasi-judicial bodies has...
29 Feb 2024 : Daily Current Affairs
Daily Current Affairs 29-February-2024- Top News of the Day 1. Genome India Initiative: Mapping the...
29 February 2024 : The Hindu Editorial Notes PDF
The Hindu Editorial 29-February-2024 1. Vignettes of a Janus-faced economy Topic: GS3 – Indian...
29 February 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC
PIB Summary for UPSC 29 February -2024 1. India calls for restoration of Appellate Body and Dispute...
29 Feb 2024 : Indian Express Editorial Analysis
Indian Express Editorial Analysis 29-February-2024 1. We, the consumers Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy...
Magadha Empire (544-320 BCE): Ancient India's Glorious Kingdom (Ancient History Notes)
Magadha Empire The Magadha Empire was a significant ancient Indian kingdom, renowned for its contribution...
28 Feb 2024 : Daily Answer Writing
Mains Answer Writing 28-February-2024 Q1) The Lokpal Act aimed to establish an institution that would...
28 Feb 2024 : Daily Current Affairs
Daily Current Affairs 28-February-2024- Top News of the Day 1. India Unveils Astronauts for Gaganyaan...

© Copyright  99Notes.in  All Rights Reserved

Address

Head Office :- Office No-2 & 3 ,LGF,Apsara Arcade,Adjacent Karol bagh Metro,Old Rajinder Nagar ,New Delhi-110060

2nd Office:- Metro station, 2nd floor, 5B, Pusa Rd, opp. to Metro Pillar no. 110, near Karol Bagh, Block B, Karol Bagh, New Delhi, Delhi 110005