Why in news? In February 2018, Transparency International (TI) released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), 2017.
CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX (CPI):
Transparency International(TI) has published the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) since 1995, annually ranking countries “by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.”
The CPI generally defines corruptionas “the misuse of public power for private benefit”.
The CPI currently ranks 176 countries “on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt)”.
Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world, ranking consistently high among international financial transparency.
CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX (CPI), 2017:
The corruption perceptions index ranks India at number 81 with a score of 40.
Despite stable political leadership corruption is ingrained in India at multiple levels.
The index cautions China which is ranked at the 77th spot and Pakistan stands at 117.
According to report, are the worst offenders in the Asia Pacific region.
The report terms India along with Philippines and Maldives as one of the “worst offenders” in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of corruption and press freedom.
TI is an international non-governmental organizationwhich is based in Berlin, Germany, and was founded in 1993.
Its nonprofitpurpose is to take action to combat global corruption and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption.
It publishes for example the Global Corruption Barometerand the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Transparency International has the legal status of a German registered voluntary association (Eingetragener Verein) and serves as an umbrella organization.
Its members have grown from a few individuals to more than 100 national chapters which engage in fighting corruption in their home countries.
TI confirmed the dis-accreditation of the national chapter of United States of Americain 2017.
FACT # 2
National Pension Scheme (NPS)
Why in news? PFRDA has decided to make bank account and mobile number details mandatory for national pension scheme subscribers.
National Pension Scheme (NPS):
National Pension Scheme (NPS) is a government-sponsored pension scheme.
It was launched in January 2004 for government employees.
However, in 2009, it was opened to all sections.
The scheme allows subscribers to contribute regularly in a pension account during their working life.
On retirement, subscribers can withdraw a part of the corpus in a lump sum and use the remaining corpus to buy an annuity to secure a regular income after retirement.
It is the most economical and least knownGovernment approved pension scheme for Indian citizens in the 18-60 age group.
PFRDA has set up a Trust under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 to oversee the functions of the Pension Fund Managers (PFMs).
The NPS Trust is composed of members representing diverse fields and brings wide range of talent to the regulatory framework.
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA):
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), a statutory body, is the pension regulatorof India which was established by Government of India in 2003.
The PFRDA is a Central Autonomous Body.
Like other financial sector regulators namely Reserve Bank of India(RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), PFRDA is a quasi-government organization having executive, legislative and judicial powers.
PFRDA promotes old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension fundsand protects the interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and related matters.
Currently, PFRDA is regulating and administering the National Pension System(NPS) along with administering the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) which is a defined benefits pension scheme for the unorganized sector, guaranteed by the Government of India.
PFRDA is responsible for appointment of various intermediate agencies such as Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), Pension Fund Managers, Custodian, NPS Trustee Bank, etc.
FACT # 3
COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS
Why in news? Prince Charles is slated to be the next commonwealth head.
The Commonwealth of Nations:
The commonwealth of nations (formerly the British Commonwealth) is an intergovernmental organisationof 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.
The Commonwealth operates by intergovernmentalconsensus of the member states, organised through the Commonwealth Secretariat and non-governmental organisations, organised through the Commonwealth Foundation.
The Commonwealth dates back to the mid-20th century with the decolonisationof the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories.
It was formally constituted by the London Declarationin 1949, which established the member states as “free and equal”.
The symbol of this free association is Queen Elizabeth IIwho is the Head of the Commonwealth, and while there are over 31 republics and five monarchies who have a different monarch, the Queen is head of state and reigning monarch of 16 members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms.
The position of The Crownremains legally distinct from the position of monarch and the position of the Head of the Commonwealth.
The Queen has since ceased to be the head of state or have any formal position in several nations of the Commonwealth including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysiaand Singapore.
Member states have no legal obligation to one another.
Instead, they are united by language, history, culture and their shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, and the rule of law.
These values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.
Objectives of the Commonwealth:
The Commonwealth’s objectives were first outlined in the 1971 Singapore Declaration, which committed the Commonwealth to the institution of:
promotion of representative democracyand individual liberty
the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism
the fight against poverty
ignorance, and disease
To these were added opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender by the Lusaka Declarationof 1979.
And environmental sustainabilitywas added by the Langkawi Declaration of 1989.
These objectives were reinforced by the Harare Declarationin 1991.