Serious Fraud Investigation Office

Consider the below statements with reference to Serious Fraud Investigation Office, which is often in news:

1.      It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

2.      The agency is a multidisciplinary organisation having experts for prosecution of white collar crimes and frauds under the companies law.

3.      It has powers to arrest people for violations of companies law.

Which of the above given statement(s) is/are correct?

a       1 and 2 only
b       1 and 3 only
c       2 and 3 only
d       1, 2 and 3
Explanation:

Solution (d)

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has started investigating 75 companies for alleged fraud in the current fiscal (2017-18).

The agency comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is implementing the Companies Act.

Government had setup SFIO on 9 January 2003 based on Naresh Chandra Committee on corporate governance.

It was set up in the backdrop of stock market scams as also the failure of non-banking companies resulting in huge financial loss to the public.

The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the co-ordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

It is a multi-disciplinary organization having experts from financial sector, capital market, accountancy, forensic audit, taxation, law, information technology, company law, customs and investigation.

These experts have been taken from various organizations like banks, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Comptroller and Auditor General and concerned organizations and departments of the Government.

Its headquarters is in Delhi.

The Companies Act, 2013 has enlarged the scope of SFIO to a statutory recognition and SFIO has been vested with police power in their investigation.

Koala Bear

Consider the below statements with reference to Koalas:

Koala bears are carnivoran mammals of the family Ursidae.
They are found on the continents of North America, Europe, and Australia.
They are considered to be vulnerable according to IUCN.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a       1 only
b       3 only
c       2 and 3 only
d       1 and 3 only
Explanation:

Solution (b)

About Koalas

·         IUCN Status: Vulnerable

·         Endemic to Australia. Koalas are found in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia.

·         It is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia.

·         Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours a day.

·         Koalas get almost all their moisture from the leaves they eat, and rarely drink water.

·         Eucalyptus leaves are super tough and poisonous! Luckily for koalas, they have a long digestive organ called a cecum which allows them to break down the leaves unharmed.

PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation)

Consider the following statements with respect to PRAGATI

1.      It is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments

2.      It involves Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a       1 Only
b       2 Only
c       Both 1 and 2
d       None of the above
Explanation:

Solution (c)

PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation)

·         It is an ICT-based multi-modal platform for monthly interaction by the PM with top officials of the states via video-conferencing.

·         The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.

·         The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology. It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Consider the following statements about United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

1.     It was formed aftermath of 1948 Arab Israel conflict

2.     It is the only agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict

Select the correct statements

a     1 Only
b     2 Only
c      Both 1 and 2
d     Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation:

Solution (c)

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

·      Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, UNRWA was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950.

·      In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2017.

·      The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States.

·      UNRWA also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations, which is used mostly for international staffing costs.

·      The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.

·      Aid is provided in five areas of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR.

UNRWA & UNHCR

·      UNRWA is the only agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.

·      Formed in 1950, UNHCR is the main UN refugee agency, which is responsible for aiding other refugees all over the world.

·      Unlike UNRWA, UNHCR has a specific mandate to aid its refugees to eliminate their refugee status by local integration in current country, resettlement in a third country or repatriation when possible.

·      Both UNRWA and UNHCR allow refugee status to be inherited by descendants.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

Consider the following about Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

1.      It is specifically designed to target only the Below Poverty Line (BPL) households

2.      The beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalization coverage up to Rs. 30,000/- per annum on family floater basis, for most of the diseases that require hospitalization.

Select the correct statement/s

a       1 only
b       2 only
c       Both
d       None
Explanation:

Solution (b)

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) a Health Insurance Scheme for the Below Poverty Line families with the objectives to reduce OOP expenditure on health and increase access to health care.

RSBY was launched in early 2008 and was initially designed to target only the Below Poverty Line (BPL) households, but has been expanded to cover other defined categories of unorganised workers, covering:

Building and other construction workers registered with the Welfare Boards
Licensed Railway Porters
Street Vendors
MNREGA workers who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding financial year
Beedi Workers
Domestic Workers
Sanitation Workers
Mine Workers
Rickshaw pullers
Rag pickers
Auto/Taxi Driver
RSBY has two fold objectives:

To provide financial protection against catastrophic health costs by reducing out
To improve access to quality health care for below poverty line households of pocket expenditure for hospitalization and other vulnerable groups in the unorganized sector
The beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalization coverage up to Rs. 30,000/- per annum on family floater basis, for most of the diseases that require hospitalization.

The coverage extends to maximum five members of the family which includes the head of household, spouse and up to three dependents. Additionally, transport expenses of Rs. 100/- per hospitalisation will also be paid to the beneficiary subject to a maximum of Rs. 1000/- per year per family.

The beneficiaries need to pay only Rs. 30/- as registration fee for a year while Central and State Government pays the premium as per their sharing ratio to the insurer selected by the State Government on the basis of a competitive bidding.

Public Credit Registry (PCR)?

Which of the following is correct about Public Credit Registry (PCR)?

a       The purpose of PCR is to manage the foreign exchange of India.
b       The purpose of PCR is to address the twin balance sheet problem of the banking sector and the corporate sector.
c       The purpose of PCR is to keep the records of government borrowings.
d       None of the above
Explanation:

Solution (b)

A Public Credit Registry (PCR) is an extensive database of credit information for India that is accessible to all stakeholders.

PCR was in news recently as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a 10-member ‘High Level Task Force on Public Credit Registry (PCR) for India’, chaired by Y M Deosthalee.

A PCR is set up by the central bank and reporting of loan details to the Registry by lenders and/or borrowers is mandated by law.

The Reserve Bank of India made a strong case for setting up a public credit registry in India to address the twin balance sheet problem of the banking sector and the corporate sector.

Public credit registry coverage reports the number of individuals and firms listed in a public credit registry with current information on repayment history, unpaid debts, or credit outstanding.

The repository can capture and certify details of collaterals, enable writing of contracts and prevent over-pledging of collateral by a borrower.

A PCR will help in

Credit assessment and pricing by banks;
Risk-based, dynamic and countercyclical provisioning at banks;
Supervision and early intervention by regulators;
Understanding if transmission of monetary policy is working, and if not, where are the bottlenecks; and,
How to restructure stressed bank credits effectively.
PCR is expected to enhance efficiency of the credit market, increase financial inclusion, improve ease of doing business and help control delinquencies.

Alternative Investment Fund

For a developing economy like India investment is crucial for public infrastructure. Which of the following is incorrect w.r.t Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs)?

1.      Category I AIFs are those who invest in start-ups or early stage ventures or social ventures that government considers socially or economically viable.

2.      Category II AIFs are those funds are allowed to invest anywhere in any combination, but cannot take debts, except for day-to-day operation purposes.

3.      Category III AIFs are funds that make short-term investments and then sell, like hedge funds, come under this.

Select the correct answer

a       1, 2 and 3 only
b       1 and 2 only
c       1 and 3 only
d       None of the above
Explanation:

Solution (d)

All are correct

Types of AIFs

AIFs are categorized into the following three categories, based on their impact on the economy and the regulatory regime intended for them:

Category I AIF are those AIFs with positive spillover effects on the economy, for which certain incentives or concessions might be considered by SEBI or Government of India; Such funds generally invests in start-ups or early stage ventures or social ventures or SMEs or infrastructure or other sectors or areas which the government or regulators consider as socially or economically desirable. They cannot engage in any leverage except for meeting temporary funding requirements for not more than thirty days, on not more than four occasions in a year and not more than ten percent of the corpus.eg. Venture Capital Funds, SME Funds, Social Venture Funds and Infrastructure Funds. Giving effect to the announcement by Union Finance Minister on angel investor pools in the Union Budget 2013-14, SEBI in June 2013 has approved a framework for registration and regulation of angel pools under a sub- category called ‘Angel Funds’ under Category I- Venture Capital Funds.
Category II AIF are those AIFs for which no specific incentives or concessions are given. They do not undertake leverage or borrowing other than to meet the permitted day to day operational requirements, as is specified for Category I AIFs. eg. Private Equity or debt fund.
Category III AIF are funds that are considered to have some potential negative externalities in certain situations and which undertake leverage to a great extent; These funds trade with a view to make short term returns. These funds are allowed to invest in Cateogy I and II AIFs also. They receive no specific incentives or concessions from the government or any other Regulator.eg. Hedge Funds (which employs diverse or complex trading strategies and invests and trades in securities having diverse risks or complex products including listed and unlisted derivatives).