Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 26 June 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. FATF
  2. Enhanced Pinaka Rocket
  3. AMRUT mission
  4. Smart Cities Mission and PMAY(U)
  5. LiDAR survey


News Summary

FATF has said at the end of its last plenary session which was held virtually from June 21 to June 25 that Pakistan will be retained on the Greylist or the list of countries under increased monitoring.

Prelims GS – International Relations

  • FATF refers to the Financial Action Task Force
  • FATF is the watchdog of global money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • FATF is an inter-governmental body and was established by the G-7 summit held in Paris in 1989.
  • There are 39 members in FATF.
  • India is a member of FATF.
  • Besides these, there are associate members and observer organizations.
  • It has some important associate members like the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG ), Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), etc.

FATF has 2 lists. They are:

  • Greylist
  • Blacklist
Black List:
  • High-risk jurisdictions have significant strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of proliferation.
  • For all countries identified as high-risk, the FATF calls on all members and urges all jurisdictions to apply enhanced due diligence, and, in the most serious cases, countries are called upon to apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system from money laundering,  terrorist financing, and proliferation financing (ML/TF/PF) risks emanating from the country.
  • This list is often referred to as the “blacklist”.
  • Eg: North Korea, Iran
Grey List:
  • Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.
  • When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolving swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring.
  • This list is often referred to as the “grey list”.
  • Eg: Pakistan

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – International Relations

Consequences of Greylist for the countries:
  • Economic sanctions will be imposed on the Greylist countries from the IMF, World Bank, and ADB.
  • Those countries cannot get loans easily from IMF, World Bank, ADB, and other organizations.
  • In these countries, there will be a reduction in international trade
  • Also, there will be an international boycott on these countries.

Click here to view the official website of FATF

2. Enhanced Pinaka rocket

News Summary

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired an extended-range version of an indigenously developed Pinaka rocket from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) on 24th and 25th June 2021 at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

Prelims GS – Science & Technology

Enhanced Pinaka Rocket:
  • The enhanced range version of the Pinaka Rocket System can destroy targets at distances up to 45 km.
  • The rocket system has been developed jointly by Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) with manufacturing support from M/s Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur.
  • The development of the Enhanced Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance.

Click here to view the PIB release.

3. AMRUT mission

News Summary

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) organized an online event on here today to commemorate 6 years of the three transformative Urban Missions vis. Smart Cities Mission (SCM), Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), which were launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on 25th June 2015.

Click here to view the official PIB release.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation is known as AMRUT.
  • AMRUT comes under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • All cities having a population above 1 lakh are covered under Mission
  • The purpose of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is to
    • Ensure that every household has access to a tap with an assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
    • Increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks) and
    • Reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling). All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA ) in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs).
  • The Mission will focus on the following Thrust Areas:
    • Water Supply
    • Sewerage and septage management
    • Storm Water Drainage to reduce flooding
    • Non-motorized Urban Transport
    • Green space/parks
  • AMRUT has a reform agenda with a focus on e-Governance, energy audit, the credit rating of ULBs, efficient town planning, an online building permission system, and raising funds by floating municipal bonds by ULBs.

Click here to view the official website of AMRUT.

4. Smart cities Mission and PMAY Urban

News Summary

Indore & Surat won the City Award jointly this year for their overall development and Uttar Pradesh won the State award for their work under the Smart Cities Mission.

Click here to view the official PIB release.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • Smart Cities Mission(SCM) was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 25 June 2015.
  • The main objective of the Mission is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment, and give a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’.
  • The Mission aims to drive economic growth and improve quality of life through comprehensive work on social, economic, physical, and institutional pillars of the city.
  • The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development by the creation of replicable models which act as lighthouses to other aspiring cities.
  • The Mission is operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • The strategic components of area-based development in the Smart Cities Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment), and city extension (greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.

Click here to know more about SCM on the official website.

PMAY – Urban:
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U), a flagship mission of the Government of India being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), was launched on the 25th June 2015.
  • In line with the vision of Prime Minister- ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, PMAY-U has registered outstanding success.
  • The Mission addresses urban housing shortage among the EWS/LIG and MIG categories including the slum dwellers by ensuring a pucca house to all eligible urban households by the year 2022 when Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
  • Components of PMAY Urban:
    • In-situ Slum Redevelopment
    • Credit Linked Subsidy scheme
    • Affordable Housing in partnership
    • Beneficiary Led Construction
  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has initiated Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs), a sub-scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U). This will provide ease of living to urban migrants/ poor in the Industrial Sector as well as in the non-formal urban economy to get access to dignified affordable rental housing close to their workplace.
  • MoHUA has initiated the Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC-India) which aims to identify and mainstream a basket of innovative construction technologies from across the globe for the housing construction sector that is sustainable, eco-friendly, and disaster-resilient.

Click here to view the official website of PMAY Urban.

5. LiDAR survey

News Summary

Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar in a virtual event released the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of LiDAR-based survey of forest areas in ten states namely Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura.

Click here to view the PIB release.

Prelims GS – Science and Technology

  • Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth.
  • It Uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure an object’s variable distances from the surface of the earth.
  • It illuminates the target body with a laser and measures the distance through the reflection with a sensor.
  • Two types of lidar are topographic and bathymetric.
  • Topographic lidar typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land.
  • Bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.

Click here to know more about LiDAR on the official website of the US NOAA

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Science and Technology

Applications of LiDAR:

LiDAR is used in

  • Oceanography- to measure the depth of the ocean surface to locate any objects in the oceans
  • Agriculture- to analyze the seed dispersions, crop yield rate, planning of crop plantation
  • Archaeology- to understand domestic and defensive architecture like moats and fortifications in the area and also any buried mounds.
  • Geology- to analyze mining areas
  • Construction of roads, buildings, and bridges as LiDAR will help in the easy creation of a terrain model using a 3D representation of the specified terrain.
  • LiDAR technology used in forest surveying will help augment water and fodder in jungles areas thereby reducing human-animal conflict, help in groundwater recharge, help local communities.
  • LiDAR technology provides the 3-D(three dimensional) DEM (Digital Elevation Model), imagery, and layers of the project areas which are used for recommending different types of Soil & Water conservation structures such as Anicut, Gabion, Gully Plug, Mini percolation tank, Percolation Tank, Field bund, Sunken pond, Farm pond, etc.




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