News: The Government on Saturday appointed Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer Neelam Shammi Rao as the Central Provident Fund Commissioner in the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
About Employees Provident Fund Organisation:
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is the statutory body under the ownership of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India that is responsible for regulation and management of provident funds, pensions and the mandatory life insurance in India.
The EPFO administers the mandatory provident fund and the mandatory pension and life insurance schemes for the Indian workforce.
It also manages social security agreements with other countries. International workers are covered under EPFO plans in countries where bilateral agreements have been signed. As of May 2021, 19 such agreements are in place.
The EPFO’s apex decision making body is the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), a statutory body established by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
As of 2018, more than ₹11 lakh crore (US$157.8 billion) are under EPFO management.
The first Provident Fund Act, passed in 1925 for regulating the provident funds of some private concerns, was limited in scope.
In 1929, the Royal Commission on Labour stressed the need for creating provident funds for industrial workers.
In the Indian Labour Conference held in 1948, it was generally agreed that the introduction of a statutory provident fund for industrial workers should be undertaken.
The Coal Mines Provident Fund Scheme was launched in 1948. The success of this fund led to demand for its expansion to other industries.
2. NORTH ALANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION (NATO)
News: Moscow has said that a U.S. plane threatened civilian aircraft but “catastrophe” was avoided when a Russian passenger plane dived to avoid the NATO reconnaissance aircraft that crossed its path above the Black Sea.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 28 European countries, 2 North American countries, and 1 Asian country.
The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
NATO constitutes a system of collective security, whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
The NATO headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.
Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30.
The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020. NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine as aspiring members.
The combined military spending of all NATO members in 2020 constituted over 57% of the global nominal total.
Members agreed that their aim is to reach or maintain the target defence spending of at least 2% of their GDP by 2024.
About Black Sea:
The Black Sea is a marginal mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia; east of the Balkan Peninsula (Southeast Europe), south of the East European Plain in Eastern Europe, west of the Caucasus, and north of Anatolia in Western Asia.
It is supplied by major rivers, principally the Danube, Dnieper, and Don.
The watersheds of many countries drain into the sea beyond the six that share its coast.
News: Two explosions hit UN camps in the northern Mali city of Gao on Sunday, causing damage but no casualties.