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In news:

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) issued an open call for R&D proposals on February 14, 2020 on the topic of indigenous cow breeds, broken down into five themes.

In brief:

  • The initiative under which the proposals will be organised has been called Scientific Utilisation Through Research Augmentation-Prime Products from Indigenous Cows (SUTRA PIC).
  • The five themes are, “uniqueness of indigenous cows, prime-products from indigenous cows for medicine and health, for agricultural applications, for food and nutrition, and for utility items.”
  • SUTRA PIC counts the Department of Biotechnology, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ministry for AYUSH and the Indian Council of Medical Research as its “partners”. However, the secretaries of these bodies except the AYUSH ministry have professed ignorance of the initiative’s plans.
  • The Indian scientific community has slammed the initiative and are seriously concerned and they are urging the government not to waste time, money and effort based on imaginary qualities derived from religious scriptures.

Visit of Maldives’ Home Minister

In news:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah held extensive deliberations with his Maldivian counterpart Sheikh Imran Abdulla in New Delhi to further increase mutual cooperation between the two countries in the area of security and law-enforcement.

About India-Maldives relations:

  • India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity.
  • Except for a brief period between February 2012 and November 2018, relations between the two countries have been close, cordial and multi-dimensional.
  • India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.
  • Maldives is barely 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy and 300 nautical miles away from India’s West coast.
  • The water body between Minicoy and Maldives is Eight Degree Channel

Iran Remains On Black List

In news:

  • FATF placed Iran on blacklist after it failed to comply with international anti-terrorism financing norms.
  • The decision came after more than three years of warnings from the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) urging Iran to either enact terrorist financing conventions or some counter-measures imposed.

About FATF:

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.
  • Headquarters – Paris
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards 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.
  • The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.

Grey List:

  • FATF grey lists a country which it considers as a safe haven for terror funding and money laundering.
  • Though, inclusion in the list is not as severe as being black listed.
  • It is a warning to the country to tackle the issues. If the country is not actively tackling money laundering or terror funding, it is then blacklisted.
  • So far, only two countries have been blacklisted, they are Iran and North Korea.

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.

Consequences of being in the FATF black list:

  • Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB
  • Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries
  • Reduction in international trade
  • International boycott

M.P. Govt Rescinds Sterilisation Target Order For Health Officials

In News:

Madhya Pradesh (MP) government revoked the order that earlier sought to penalise 3,850 multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs) with “no work, no pay” and be given “compulsory retirement if they failed to achieve male sterilisation target”.

In Brief:

  • The government also removed the National Health Mission’s (NHM) State Director for issuing the controversial order.
  • According to NHM ,While 1.35 lakh women underwent sterilisation in eight months in the State until December, just 1,254 men opted for the birth control surgery, despite being offered a higher standard incentive.

GOM Meet discusses Juvenile Justice Act

In brief:

A Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by Home Minister met to discuss proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015.

The 2015 Act addressed two key issues:

  • “Apprehension, detention, prosecution, penalty or imprisonment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of children in conflict with law”.
  • “Procedures and decisions or orders relating to rehabilitation, adoption, re-integration and restoration of children in need of care and protection”.

About Juvenile Justice:

  • Juvenile justice is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts.
  • In most states, the age for criminal culpability is set at 18 years. Juvenile law is mainly governed by state law and most states have enacted a juvenile code.