FATF hands out 10-point action plan to Pakistan :-
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) hands out a 10-point action plan to Pakistan for compliance with its guidelines after agreeing to put Pakistan in the grey list for inaction against terror funding. Whereas Pakistan’s failure in implementing the elaborate action plan may result in it being included in the black list the next year.
The country has been instructed to take measures demonstrating that UN-designated terrorists and banned terror outfits such as Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, Taliban and Haqqani Network, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and their affiliates, are deprived of their resources and their sources of funding are choked.
Political commitment :-
The FATF, in its Paris Plenary that concluded on Friday, observed that Pakistan had this time round made a high-level political commitment to work with the global watchdog and the Asia Pacific Group, of which it is a member, to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter terror-financing regime.
Remedial measures :-
- Pakistan will have to take steps to ensure that terror funding risks are properly identified, assessed and that supervision is applied on a risk-sensitive basis.
- It will also be required to show that remedial measures are being taken to prevent financial institutions from indulging in money laundering and terror funding.
- The country will have to take stringent action against illegal financial operations, identify cash couriers and enforce controls on illicit movement of currency.
- It has been told to improve coordination between the provincial and federal authorities on combating terror funding and enforce effective prosecution and conviction of the designated persons, entities and their affiliates.
- The FATF has also sought actions demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.
NIN Launches Personal Nutrition Advisor App :-
The Nutrify India Now app has launched by the Hyderabad-based Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) can be downloaded from Android and iOS platforms.
About Nutrify India Now :-
- It acts as a nutri-guide that would help users keep track of energy balance, while providing comprehensive nutritional information on Indian foods, and common Indian recipes, including calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- It is authentic since it uses specifically Indian guidelines prescribed by the ICMR, well-researched India-specific databases, Indian foods and recipes and their nutrition information. .
- It also makes available raw food names in 17 Indian languages, apart from scientific names.
- According to Hemalatha, Director of ICMR-NIN, information regarding 19 nutrients is provided in the app and these include Protein (g), Fat (g), Fibre (g), etc. Wherever required, text information of the particular component is provided for easy understanding.
- Users can also search foods by nutrients, which enables them to look up for the foods that are rich in nutrients of their interest and even access such information only if the food’s name is known in local language.
- There are six components of the app — My nutrient requirements, Nutrients in my foods, My Diet and Activity, Search foods by nutrients, Foods by language and Info.
It is also going to be an important part of the Prime Minister’s National Nutrition Mission.
Reform 101 :-
The provisions of the new Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Bill drafted by the Centre have far-reaching implications for the expansion and quality of human resource development, at a time when access to skill-building and educational opportunity are vitally important.
Earlier attempts to introduce reforms :-
Previous attempts at system reform involving expert committees and even legislation to create a new body for higher education and research had advocated changes, with an emphasis on promoting autonomy, access, inclusion and opportunity for all. That challenging goal will fall to the HECI, the proposed successor body to the University Grants Commission.
For this very reason, the Centre should give sufficient time to academia, the teaching community and society at large to submit considered opinions on the draft proposals.
Future Role of Multiple Regulatory Bodies :-
The Yash Pal Committee had recommended that multiple regulatory bodies that currently exist for engineering, medicine & law, they should be brought under the ambit of a single commission & There is a case to include other professional education streams as well, including architecture and nursing.
Therefore, the aim should be to set academic benchmarks for each stream, with sufficient autonomy to innovate on courses and encourage studies across disciplines.
Issues in the Draft Bill Proposing HECI :-
- Centre’s decision to shift grant-giving powers for higher education institutions to the Ministry of Human Resource Development or a separate body. The UGC has been doing this so far, covering a variety of functions, and whatever the flaws, it ensured a separation of funding decisions from political considerations. Maintaining a balance on allocation of funds and ensuring transparency will now depend on the proposed advisory council to the HECI.
- States are represented on the advisory council, giving it a federal character, although it is the Centre that will have the final say in all matters, not even the apex HECI.
Challenges to Higher Education :–
- Fast-paced technological changes affecting the economy
- The need to create a workforce that has the requisite skills.
Reform should, therefore, lead to the creation of an agency that has the intellectual corpus to help universities and colleges adapt, and the vision to plan for public funding in the emerging spheres of activity.