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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 2nd August 2019

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  • August 2, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 2nd August 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Triple Talaq Act

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS- I – Indian Society

In News

  • President has given his assent to the Triple Talaq Bill that makes giving instant oral triple talaq a criminal offense with provisions of jail term up to three years.
  • The triple talaq law or the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights On Marriage) Act, 2019, has come into effect retrospectively from September 19, 2018.
  • The law now gives a police officer the power to arrest the offender without requiring a warrant
  • However, to check misuse, the police takes cognisance only if the complaint is filed by the aggrieved woman or any of her relation by blood or marriage. 
  • The Bill also provides for bail by a magistrate but only after hearing the aggrieved woman
  • The aggrieved woman is entitled to demand a maintenance for her and her dependent children under the Act

Do you know?

  • In August 2017 the Supreme Court, by a majority of 3:2, set aside the practice of triple talaq in Shyara Bano Case. 
  • The judgment held triple talaq to be unconstitutional under Article 14 read with Article 13(1) and concluded that the practice is not essential to the practice of Islam(Article 25)
  • The practice of “triple talaq” was abolished in 38 countries including Muslim-majority countries of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Afghanistan and Pakistan

National Medical Commission(NMC)

Part of: Mains GS II – Issues relating to development and management of Health.

In News

  • National Medical Commission Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha.
  • The bill proposes to repeal Indian Medical Council Act, set up an NMC replacing MCI
  • Proposed NMC will approve medical colleges, conduct MBBS examinations, regulate course fees
  • The bill has a provision for constitution of 4 autonomous boards. These boards will look after issues related to UG education, PG education, assessment & accreditation of institutions, registration of practitioners.
  • The bill proposes a common final-year MBBS exam, the National Exit Test (NEXT), before an individual starts practising medicine and for seeking admission to post-graduate medical courses.
  • The NMC will regulate fees for half of the seats in medical colleges at both MBBS and postgraduate level in all private and deemed universities. 
  • The bill empowers the government can grant licence to Community Health Providers (CHPs) to practice modern medicine for primary and preventive healthcare,
  • This means CHPs (presently 2.5 lakh) can then prescribe limited allopathic medicines –a power which so far possessed only by those who hold an MBBS degree.

Chimera

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS III- Science & Technology

  • Chimera is an organism containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting,

In News

  • The Japanese government has allowed to conduct human-animal embryo experiments, with the ultimate goal of someday creating organs to be transplanted into humans
  • The cutting-edge — but controversial — research involves implanting modified animal embryos with human “induced pluripotent stem” (iPS) cells that can be coaxed into forming the building blocks of any part of the body
  • The research involves generating animal embryos — mice, rats or pigs — that lack a particular organ such as a pancreas.
  • The modified embryos are then implanted with human iPS cells that can grow into the missing pancreas. 
  • The embryos would be transplanted into wombs where they could theoretically be carried to term with a functioning human pancreas.

Indus Script

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS I- Indian Culture

In News

  • Discovered from nearly 4,000 ancient inscribed objects, including seals, tablets, ivory rods, pottery shards, etc., the Indus inscriptions are one of the most enigmatic legacies of the Indus Valley civilization 
  • They have not been deciphered due to the absence of bilingual texts, extreme brevity of the inscriptions, and ignorance about the language(s) encoded by Indus script.
  • A new research says that a majority of these inscriptions were written logographically (by using word signs) and not by using phonograms (speech sounds units)
  • The inscribed seals and tablets were used in some administrative operation that controlled the commercial transactions prevalent in the trade-savvy settlements of the ancient Indus valley Civilisation. 
  • The research points out that the inscriptions can be compared to the structured messages found on stamps, coupons, tokens and currency coins of modern times.

https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/il8bbi/article28787526.ece/ALTERNATES/FREE_460/2th-HinduFig


(MAINS FOCUS)


ECONOMY

Topic:

General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

Context:

  • The low rate of greenfield investment could reflect poor demand for credit and supply-side problems among NBFCs

What are MSMEs

  • Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are small sized entities, defined in terms of their size of investment. 
  • They are contributing significantly to output, employment export etc. in the economy. 
  • They perform a critical role in the economy by providing employment to a large number of unskilled and semi-skilled people, contributing to exports, raising manufacturing sector production and extending support to bigger industries by supplying raw material, basic goods, finished parts and components, etc.

How MSMEs are classified?

The MSMEs are classified in terms of investment made in plant and machineries if they are operating in the manufacturing sector and investment in equipment for service sector companies.

Though the primary responsibility of promotion and development of MSMEs is of the State Governments, the center has passed an Act in 2006 to empower the sector and also has formed a Ministry (Ministry of MSMEs).  

 

Manufacturing sector
Enterprises Investment in plant & machinery
Micro Enterprises Does not exceed twenty five lakh rupees
Small Enterprises More than twenty five lakh rupees but does not exceed five crore rupees
Medium Enterprises More than five crore rupees but does not exceed ten crore rupees
Service sector
Enterprises Investment in equipments
Micro Enterprises Does not exceed ten lakh rupees:
Small Enterprises More than ten lakh rupees but does not exceed two crore rupees
Medium Enterprises More than two crore rupees but does not exceed five crore rupees

New Classification:

  • A micro enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover does not exceed five crore rupees;
  • A small enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than five crore rupees but does not exceed Rs 75 crore;
  • A medium enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than 75 crore rupees but does not exceed Rs 250 crore.
  • Additionally, the Central Government may, by notification, vary turnover limits, which shall not exceed thrice the limits specified in Section 7 of the MSMED Act.

Organizational structure

  • The primary responsibility of promotion and development of MSMEs is of the State Governments
  • The role of the Ministry of MSME and its organisations is to assist the States in their efforts to encourage entrepreneurship, employment and livelihood opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs
  • The Ministry of MSME consists of Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) Division, Agro & Rural Industry (ARI) Division, Integrated Finance (IF) Wing and Data Analytics and Technical Coordination (DATC) Wing, the Office of the Development Commissioner (DCMSME) and other attached organizations.

What is the potential of India’s MSME sector?

  • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a vital role in the growth of Indian economy by contributing 45% of industrial output, 40% of exports.
  • It employs 60 million people, creates 1.3 million jobs every year and produces more than 8000 quality products for the Indian and international markets.
  • There are approximately 30 million MSME Units in India and 12 million persons are expected to join the workforce in the next 3 years.

Importance of MSME in India:

  • It creates large-scale employment:  Enterprises that are inclusive in this sector require low capital to start up new business. Moreover, it creates a vast opportunity for the unemployed people to avail. India produces about 1.2 million graduates per year out of which the total number of engineers are around 0.8 million. There is no economy so far that could provide that large number of freshers in one year only. MSME is the boon for the fresh talent in India.
  • Economic stability in terms of Growth and leverage Exports: It is the most significant driver in India contributing to the tune of 8% to GDP. Considering the contribution of MSME to manufacturing, exports, and employment, other sectors are also benefitting from it. Nowadays, MNCs are buying semi-finished, and auxiliary products from small enterprises, 
  • Encourages Inclusive Growth: The inclusive growth is at the top of the agenda of Ministry for Medium, and small and Medium-sized enterprises for several years. On the other hand, poverty and deprivation are a deterrent to the development of India. Besides, it includes marginalized sections of a society which is a key challenge lying before the Ministry of MSME.
  • Cheap Labor and minimum overhead: While in the large-scale organizations, one of the main challenge is to retain the human resource through an effective human resource management professional manager. But, when it comes to MSME, the requirement of labor is less and it does not need a highly skilled laborer. Therefore, the indirect expenses incurred by the owner is also low.
  • Simple Management Structure for Enterprises: MSME can start with limited resources within the control of the owner. From this decision making gets easy and efficient. On the contrary, a large corporation requires a specialist for every departmental functioning as it has a complex organizational structure. Whereas a small enterprise does not need to hire an external specialist for its management. The owner can manage himself. Hence, it could run single-handedly.
  • The main role in the mission of “Make in India”: The signature initiative by the Prime Minister of India “Make in India” has been made easy with MSME. It is taken as a backbone in making this dream a possibility. In addition, the government has directed the financial institution to lend more credit to enterprises in the MSME sector.

The list of the problems that are faced by existing/new companies in SME sector are as under:

  • Absence of adequate and timely banking finance
  • Limited capital and knowledge
  • Non-availability of suitable technology
  • Low production capacity
  • Ineffective marketing strategy
  • Constraints on modernisation & expansions
  • Non availability of skilled labour at affordable cost
  • Follow up with various government agencies to resolve problems due to lack of man power and knowledge etc

The problem of low investment in MSMEs and what we can do

 Structural problems retarding growth in pre-existing MSMEs:

  • The Economic survey is more about the structural problems retarding growth in pre-existing MSMEs rather than the immediate problem, which is the lack of fresh investment.
  • The chapter 3 of Economic survey  provides evidence that firms in India, whether they start out above or below the 100 worker line, do not grow as much over time as they do elsewhere because of these restrictions
  • One of the many reasons why the generalized fear of being laid off from a job is particularly intense in India is because, until recently, pensions under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) often died with the job, since the EPFO number was not portable.

An age-related sunset clause to downsizing flexibility (as recommended by the ES) could switch off investment in MSME:

  • A start below the downsizing threshold, despite the scale economies of being bigger, could be because of high downside risk to demand projections, which would vary by sector. 
  • Then there is also a spatial dimension to the issue. Investment within agglomerations is less risky than stand-alone units in a provincial location
  • Provincial MSME startups may be especially sensitive to an age-related sunset to downsizing flexibility.
  • there are multiple thresholds that a small, young firm may not wish to cross. The goods and services tax (GST) has added another threshold, defined in terms of turnover, below which compliance is less burdensome. 
  • All these thresholds would have to carry age-related sunset clauses for the incentive to work, but the most likely impact would be to discourage MSME startups altogether. 

On the supply of credit:

 Since banks have to now move in where NBFCs fear to tread, there could be process delays resulting from difficulties in due diligence, especially for locations spatially removed from major urban centres.

Steps taken by the Government:

  • Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro & Small Enterprises (CGTMSE): Ministry of MSME and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), established a Trust named Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) to implement Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises and provide financial assistance to MSMEs.
  • A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE): It aims to set up a network of technology centers, incubation centres to accelerate entrepreneurship and also to promote start-ups for innovation and entrepreneurship in rural and agriculture based industry
  • Micro & Small Enterprises Cluster Development (MSE-CDP): It aims to support the sustainability and growth of MSEs by addressing common issues such as improvement of technology, skills and quality, market access, access to capital, etc.
  • National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme: The objective is to develop global competitiveness among Indian MSMEs. This programme targets at enhancing the entire value chain of the MSME sector.
  • SFURTI-SI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries, Credit Guarantee Scheme): The scheme aims to organize the traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and provide support for their long term sustainability and economy of scale
  • Technology Centre Systems Programme (TCSP): Under this programme, technology centres have been developed for giving technical education and support to MSMEs
  • MUDRA (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd.): The establishment of the MUDRA (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd.) bank under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana has been a major initiative. The Bank gives loans for working capital and additional requirements to income generating small business activity in manufacturing, processing, services or trading.
  • Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS): CLCSS aims at facilitating technology upgradation of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) by providing 15% capital subsidy (limited to maximum Rs.15 lakhs) for purchase of Plant & Machinery.
  • Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP): The major objective is to generate employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas of the country through setting up of new self- employment ventures/ projects/ micro enterprises.
  • Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM): It is a simple one-page registration form aimed at easing out registration process.
  • MSME SAMADHAAN: The Ministry of MSME launched a portal samadhaan.msme.gov.in. to facilitates MSEs to file their delayed payments related complaints online.
  • Market assistance Scheme: It aims to help MSMEs to participate domestic and international exhibitions/trade fairs etc.

Conclusion:

  • MSME is the backbone of the Indian economy. This sector has proven the instrumental in the growth of the nation, leverage exports, creating huge employment opportunities for the unskilled, fresh graduates, and the underemployed. 
  • It also extended the opportunities to banks for giving more credit to enterprises to MSME Sector. 
  • The government should take the special care by addressing the importance of MSME in terms of providing more and more MSME Registration advantages by implementing better regulations and enable financial institutions to lend more credit at less interest rate for sustainability of this sector.

Connecting the dots:

  1. Analyse the challenges that make Indian manufacturing less competitive globally? How can India ensure a greater share in global GDP from manufacturing?
  2. Do you think the micro, small and medium industries hold the key to India’s industrial growth? Examine.

POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

National Medical Commission(NMC)bill 2019

Context:

  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2019 has been passed by Rajya Sabha on August 1, 2019 even as hundreds of doctors are protesting across India. The Bill is replacing Medical Council of India (MCI) with National Medical Commission.

National Medical commission bill 2019

  • Lok Sabha, the central government has made a fresh bid to replace the controversial Indian Medical Council (IMC) with a National Medical Commission (NMC) to regulate medical education and practices in India. 
  • While the Medical Council of India (MCI) was an autonomous body with two-third of its members (160 plus) being directly elected by the medical fraternity, the new one would have 25 members with no directly elected member.

What the Bill provides?

The National Medical Commission Bill of 2019 proposes to have four autonomous boards to take care of its different functions:

(i) Under-Graduate Medical Education Board to set standards and regulate medical education at undergraduate level

(ii) Post-Graduate Medical Education Board to set standards and regulate medical education at postgraduate level

(iii) Medical Assessment and Rating Board for inspections and rating of medical institutions and

(iv) Ethics and Medical Registration Board to regulate and promote professional conduct and medical ethics and also maintain national registers of (a) licensed medical practitioners and (b) Community Health Providers (CHPs).

  • As for admissions and licensing, the Bill provides for a National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all undergraduate and post-graduate “super-speciality” medical education, while providing for another one, National Exit Test (NEXT) for granting “license” to practice and admission to postgraduate “broad-speciality courses”.
  • The Bill also proposes for the NMC to “frame guidelines for determination of fee and other charges” for 50% of seats in private medical institutions and deemed to be universities.
  • Currently, state governments determine fees for 85% of seats in such institutions and the rest are left for the management.
  • Other powers of the NMC include permission to establish new medical colleges, start post-graduate courses, increase the number of seats, recognition of medical qualifications in and outside India etc

IMA’s four major concerns

  • The first one is over the CHPs being allowed to practice modern medicine. The Bill does not define who they are or what qualifications they hold and yet they are to be given licenses to the extent of one-third of the total number of licensed medical practitioners in India
  • The second major objection is to the proposed National Exit Test (NEXT) for giving both licenses for practice (to those who have already cleared the MBBS exam) as well as for admission to post-graduate “broad-speciality courses”
  • The third major objection is to “frame guidelines” to determine fees and all other charges for 50% of seats in private medical institutions and deemed to be universities (the MCI did not have such powers).
  • The fourth major objection is about the power the Bill gives to the central government to give policy and other directives to the NMC and its autonomous boards which will be binding and final.

Six reasons why governments would like to regulate medical education:

  1. To ensure that doctors are appropriately trained and skilled to address the prevailing disease burden
  2. To ensure that medical graduates reflect a uniform standard of competence and skills
  3. To ensure that only those with basic knowledge of science and aptitude for the profession get in
  4. To ensure ethical practice in the interest of the patients
  5. To create an environment that enables innovation and research
  6. To check the corrosive impact of the process of commercialisation on values and corrupt practices.

Conclusion:

  • No law is perfect. It is dependent upon the people who interpret and implement it. Government has, under this Bill, arrogated to itself an unprecedented power to appoint people in the various arms of the proposed structure. The quality and integrity of these people will then define the future of the health system in India.

Connecting the dots:

  • Healthcare is an important area for development of nation and thus matters the quality of healthcare practitioners. Critically examine the salient features of National Medical Commission Bill 2019.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the following statements

  1. The Bill becomes an act only after the President has given assent to it
  2. The President can give assent or withhold assent to a Constitutional Amendment Bill
  3. The enactment of ex-post-fact laws (having retrospective effect) is prohibited only on Criminal laws and Tax laws and not on civil laws.

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Q.2) Consider the following statements about National Medical Commission(NMC)

  1. NMC will replace the Medical Council of India
  2. NMC has the power to regulate the fees of 50% of seats in private medical colleges
  3. NMC is purely a Central body with no representation from States

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Q.3) Consider the following statements.

  1. Stem cells are basic cells that can become almost any type of cell in the body
  2. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell–like state
  3. Recently UK government has allowed researchers to implant human iPSCs into animal embryos with aim to develop human organs

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2, and 3

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