News: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to probe alleged violation of various legal provisions by three NGOs — the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust (IGMT).
About Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002:
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted by the NDA government to prevent money-laundering and to provide for confiscation of property derived from money-laundering.
PMLA and the Rules notified there under came into force with effect from July 1, 2005.
The Act and Rules notified there under impose obligation on banking companies, financial institutions and intermediaries to verify identity of clients, maintain records and furnish information in prescribed form to Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND).
The PMLA seeks to combat money laundering in India and has three main objectives:
To prevent and control money laundering
To confiscate and seize the property obtained from the laundered money; and
To deal with any other issue connected with money laundering in India.
Punishment for money-laundering: The Act prescribes that any person found guilty of money-laundering shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from three years to seven years and where the proceeds of crime involved relate to any offence under paragraph 2 of Part A of the Schedule (Offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985), the maximum punishment may extend to 10 years instead of 7 years.
Adjudicating Authority: The Adjudicating Authority is the authority appointed by the central government through notification to exercise jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred under PMLA. It decides whether any of the property attached or seized is involved in money laundering.
The Adjudicating Authority shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure,1908, but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to the other provisions of PMLA. The Adjudicating Authority shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.
Burden of proof: A person, who is accused of having committed the offence of money laundering, has to prove that alleged proceeds of crime are in fact lawful property.
Appellate Tribunal: An Appellate Tribunal is the body appointed by Govt of India. It is given the power to hear appeals against the orders of the Adjudicating Authority and any other authority under the Act. Orders of the tribunal can be appealed in appropriate High Court (for that jurisdiction) and finally to the Supreme Court
About Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010:
The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010 is an act of the Parliament of India, by the 42nd Act of 2010.
It is a consolidating act whose scope is to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Objective of FCRA 2010
Regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individual associations or companies.
Prohibit the acceptance and utilization of foreign hospitality or foreign contribution for any activities unfavourable to national interest and for matters related to therewith or incidental thereto.
Normal Registration:In order to be eligible for the normal registration, there are a few prerequisites:-
The applicant must be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860
or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or registered as Section 8 Company as per the Companies Act, 2013 or any such Act as may be required.
Must have made reasonable contributions by undertaking activities in its chosen field for the benefit of society.
Must have spent a minimum of Rs. 10,00,000 in the last 3 years towards achieving its objectives (Excludes administrative expenditure).
Must submit the copies of the financial statements of the last 3 years that are duly audited by qualified Chartered Accountants.
If a newly registered entity likes to get foreign contributions, then an approval for a specific purpose, specific activity, and from a specific source can be made to the Ministry of Home Affairs via the Prior Permission (PP) method.
Prior Permission Registration:The Prior Permission route is ideally suited for those organizations which are newly registered and would like to receive foreign contributions. This is granted for receipt of a specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out specific activities/projects. The association must:
Be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or registered as Section 8 Company as per the Companies Act, 2013 or any such Act as may be required.
Submit a specific commitment letter from the donor to the Ministry of Home Affairs which indicates:
Amount of contribution given
Purpose for which it is proposed to be given
Where the Indian recipient organization and foreign donor organization have common members, the following conditions need to be met:
The Chief Functionary of the Indian organization can’t be part of the donor organization.
At least 51% of the members/office-bearers of the governing body of the Indian recipient organization should not be employees/members of the foreign donor organization.
Where the foreign donor is an individual:
He cannot be the Chief Functionary of the Indian organization.
2. At least 51% office bearers/members of the governing body of the recipient organization should not be the family members and close relatives of the donor.
2. OPEN SKY POLICY
News: In civil aviation, an Open Skies policy means liberalisation and ease of access and rules of use of national airports for foreign airlines. It is joined in order to increase the tourist flow and to develop the potential as a regional air hub.
About Open Sky Policy:
Open sky refers to an agreement between two countries to allow any number of airlines to fly from either of them without any restriction on number of flights, number of destinations, number of seats, price and so on.
As per National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, Government has planned to enter into an ‘Open Sky’ Air Service Agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC countries and countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5000 km radius from New Delhi.
So far, India signed open sky agreement with Greece, Japan,Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka. India and US had signed bilateral open sky agreement in 2005. India also had signed open sky agreement with the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2003.
News: A forty-year-old puzzle regarding the production of lithium in stars has been solved by Indian researchers.
Stars, as per known mechanisms of evolution, actually destroy lithium as they evolve into red giants. Planets were known to have more lithium than their stars — as is the case with the Earth-Sun pair. However, leading to a contradiction, some stars were found that were lithium-rich.
Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3.
It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.
Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil. When cut, it exhibits a metallic luster, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish.
It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals, which were once the main source of lithium.
Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines. Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.
The nucleus of the lithium atom verges on instability, since the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have among the lowest binding energies per nucleon of all stable nuclides.
Because of its relative nuclear instability, lithium is less common in the solar system
Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production, lithium batteries, and lithium-ion batteries.
These uses consume more than three quarters of lithium production.
Lithium salts have proven to be useful as a mood-stabilizing drug in the treatment of bipolar disorder in humans.