23rd Sep, 2020



Recently, over 2100 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) were filed by banks with the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The FinCEN files shall identify at least USD 2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 flagged as possible evidence of money laundering or other criminal activity by compliance officers of banks and financial institutions.

Individuals and companies being probed by Indian agencies in different cases are part of the SAR flagged to FinCEN.

Like, transactions of Indian entities named in scams such as the 2G scam, the Agusta-westland scandal, etc. cases have all been listed with the FinCEN.


It was set up in 1990.

It serves as the leading global regulator in the battle against money laundering.

It collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

Suspicious Activity Report

SAR is a document filed by banks and financial institutions to report suspicious activity to the USA FinCEN.

These are used to detect crime but cannot be used as direct evidence to prove legal cases

Money laundering: Concealing or disguising the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources. It is frequently a component of crimes such as drug trafficking, robbery or extortion.

The Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) performs the same functions as FinCEN in the USA. Under the Finance Ministry, this was set up in 2004 as the nodal agency for receiving, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.


No Confidence Resolution against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman

Rajya Sabha members of 12 opposition parties moved a no-confidence resolution against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman over the passage of two controversial farm Bills by the voice vote.

Relevant Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business

Rule 256, Suspension of member: This is decided by the presiding officer of the house on the grounds like a member disregarding the authority of the Chair or abusing the rules of the Council.

Rule 258 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha makes a provision to enable a member to raise a point of order. 

Point of order: An objection to the pending matter or proceeding which is in violation of a written and unwritten rule of the House.

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from amongst its members.

The post of the Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chairman.

He performs the duties of the Chairman’s office when: (1) It is vacant; (2) When the Vice-President acts as President; (3) When the Chairman is absent from the sitting of the House.

While presiding over the House, he cannot vote in the first instance; he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.

Article 90: Deals with the removal of the Deputy Chairman


Chendamangalam Saree: Kerala

The Care 4 Chendamangalam (C4C) initiative is supporting the 2018 Kerala flood-affected weavers.

Kerala Kasavu Sarees

It refers to the zari (gold thread) used in the border of the Kerala saree. 

The identity of the saree comes from the geographical cluster they are associated with.

The Indian government has identified three clusters in Kerala – Balaramapuram, Chendamangalam and Kuthampully – that have been given a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Chendamangalam Saree 

It is recognisable by its puliyilakara border, a thin black line that runs side by side with the sari’s selvedge.

It has extra-weft chuttikara and stripes and checks of varying width.


MSP Raised for Rabi Crops

Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has marginally increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of six rabi crops for 2021-22.

MSP rates were hiked for wheat, barley, gram, masoor dal (lentil), safflower, and rapeseed and mustard.

The increase in MSP is in line with the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average Cost of Production as announced in Union Budget 2018-19.

Minimum Support Price

The MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers.

It is to counter price volatility of agricultural commodities due to the factors like variation in their supply, lack of market integration and information asymmetry.

The MSP is fixed for 23 crops based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Ministry of Agriculture.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal central agency of the Government of India, along with other State Agencies undertakes procurement of crops.

Rabi crops are agricultural crops that are sown in winter and harvested in the spring in India. Eg. Wheat, barley, mustard etc.


PVTGs of Odisha infected with COVID-19

Six members of two Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (Bondas and Didiayis) in Odisha have recently contracted Covid-19.

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has sought a report from the state government and has termed it a “matter of grave concern”.

Bondas and Didiayis Tribes

They are found in the Malkangiri district of Odisha

The Bondas are believed to have come to India as part of the first wave of migration out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.

The Didayis are an Austro-Asiatic tribe.

The population of Didayis is 7,250 according to the 2011 Census. 

They live in the Konda Kamberu hills of Malkangiri.


Komodo Dragon could become extinct

A recent study conducted by Australian universities has found out that the Komodo dragon could become extinct in the next few decades due to climate change.

Komodo dragon 

Scientific Name: Varanus komodoensis.

They are the largest and heaviest lizards on Earth. 

They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.

They can eat almost anything, including invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

They have venom glands loaded with toxins which secrete anticoagulants.

Habitat: Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is situated in the Island of Komodo (eastern Indonesia) and is the only habitat for this lizard species.

Threats: (1) Anthropogenic factors; (2) Less prey; (3) Climate change 

Conservation: (1) IUCN Status: Vulnerable; (2) CITES: Appendix I

In February 2019, the Australian government officially declared the first known extinction of a mammal (Bramble Cay melomys) as a result of human-induced climate change.


International Day of Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September.

Theme for 2020: Shaping Peace Together

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.