Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 6th to 12th January, 2019
IBBI amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016
The amendment clarifies that a person, who is not eligible under the Code to submit a resolution plan for insolvency resolution of the corporate debtor, shall not be a party in any manner to a compromise or arrangement of the corporate debtor under section 230 of the Companies Act, 2013.
It also clarifies that a secured creditor cannot sell or transfer an asset, which is subject to security interest, to any person, who is not eligible under the Code to submit a resolution plan for insolvency resolution of the corporate debtor.
The amendment provides that a secured creditor, who proceeds to realise its security interest, shall contribute its share of the insolvency resolution process cost, liquidation process cost and workmen’s dues, within 90 days of the liquidation commencement date.
It shall also pay excess of realised value of the asset, which is subject to security interest, over the amount of its claims admitted, within 180 days of the liquidation commencement date. Where the secured creditor fails to pay such amounts to the Liquidator within 90 days or 180 days, as the case may be, the asset shall become part of Liquidation Estate.
The amendment provides that a Liquidator shall deposit the amount of unclaimed dividends, if any, and undistributed proceeds, if any, in a liquidation process along with any income earned thereon into the Corporate Liquidation Account before he submits an application for dissolution of the corporate debtor.
It also provides a process for a stakeholder to seek withdrawal from the Corporate Liquidation Account.
Year End Review 2019- Department of Higher Education
National Education Policy: In the year of 2019 Dr K. Kasturirangan Committee submitted the Draft National Education Policy. The Government of India had initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
Launched Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program (DHRUV) to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge.
Five-year vision plan ‘Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)’ finalised and released by HRD Ministry:
- Sets out to deliver further on principles of Access, Inclusion, Quality, Excellence and enhancing employability in Higher Education.
- EQUIP is a vision plan aiming at ushering transformation in India’s higher education system by implementing strategic interventions in the sector over five years (2019-2024).
- Currently EQUIP has been submitted for in principal approval of EFC.
Institution of Eminence (IoE) declared
- 10 institutions in public sector and 10 institutions in private sector have to be declared as IoE.
- Each Public institute (IoE) will be eligible to receive Rs. 1000 crore during next 5 years.
- 10 Public Institutions are IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, University of Hyderabad, Banaras Hindu University, University of Delhi, Jadavpur University & Anna University.
- 10 Private institutions are BITS Pilani, MAHE Karnataka, Jio Institute, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Tamil Nadu , Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Odisha, O.P. Jindal Global University, Haryana, Bharti Institute, Satya Bharti Foundation, Mohali, Shiv Nadar University, Uttar Pradesh.
Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS)
- To be implemented, monitored and managed by IISc, Bangalore.
- For providing extra mural funding to faculty of HE institutions for research projects in basic sciences.
Launch of Impactful Policy Research in Social Science (IMPRESS) to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making.
- To offer Online Degree Programmes through SWAYAM by Top Ranking Universities
- Higher Scalability and Performance
- Enhanced features for faculty and students
- Improved assessment and evaluation
- Translation to Indian languages
- Local chapters and mentors
SWAYAM PRABHA- DTH Educational Channels
- Project for telecasting high quality educational programs through 32 DTH channels on 24×7 basis to reach out to student/learners of India with wide reach and minimal cost.
- It aims to support those students who do not have good learning options like lack of teacher or internet etc.
- It also aims to provide dedicated channels ‘IITPAL’ to assist the students of 11 and 12 standards aspiring to join premier educational institutions in the country.
Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS)
- A new scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS) was launched for providing industry apprenticeship opportunities to the general graduates exiting through the National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS).
- The program aims to enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT)
- Finalized a newly proposed scheme i.e. National Education Alliance of Technologies (NEAT) through PPP Model between MHRD and EdTech companies
- For offering Adaptive and personalized learning through Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the students with specific emphasis on students from economically and socially backward regions.
Year End Review 2019 – Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare
Launch of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY)
- PM-KMY provides for payment of minimum pension of Rs.3000/- per month to the eligible small and marginal farmers on attaining the age of 60 years.
- It is voluntary and contributory pension scheme, with entry age of 18 to 40 years.
- The monthly contribution by farmer ranges between Rs.55 to 200. Central Government will contribute an equal amount in the pension scheme.
- Till now 19, 19, 802 beneficiaries have been registered.
Launch of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
- PM-KISAN Scheme provides for transfer of an amount of Rs. 6000/- per year in three equal instalments each of Rs. 2000/- directly into the bank account of beneficiary farmer families.
- The Scheme initially covered only small and marginal farmer families with land holding upto 2 hectares as beneficiaries, subject to certain exclusion criteria for higher income status.
- The Government later extended the scheme with effect from 1st June 2019 to all farmer families irrespective of land holding size, subject to applicable exclusions.
- Since the launch of PM Kisan till now about 8.12 crore farmer families have been benefitted and more than Rs. 48,937 crore has been released under the scheme.
- A new facility has been provided on PM-KISAN Web-portal (www.pmkisan.gov.in) through ‘Farmers’ Corner’ Link to facilitate the farmers for self-registration, edit his/her name in PM-Kisan data base as per Aadhar Card, access the beneficiary list and status of payment. The farmers are being facilitated for self-registration and data correction through Common Service Centers.
e-NAM –One Nation One Market
- 421 new mandis have been approved for integration under the e-NAM.
- Along with these, FPOs have also been on-boarded on e-NAM portal and they have started uploading their produce for trading from their premise.
Other Initiatives and Achievements:
- 25 Seed-Hub Centres have been sanctioned across the country for increasing availability of quality seeds of Nutri-Cereals (Millets)
- 12.40 lakh Soil Health Card has been distributed to farmers under Model Village Project.
- Under Farm Mechanization 1,44,113 machineries have been distributed and 2300 Custom Hiring Centres have been established during current year (2019-20). During 2019-20, 32,808 machineries have been distributed and 8662 Custom Hiring Centres have been established under Crop Residue Management Programme.
- Muti lingual Mobile App “CHC-Farm Machinery” was launched, which helps the farmers for getting rented farm machinery and implements through Custom Hiring Service Centres (CHC) in their area. As on date, 41,992 CHCs with 1,33,723 Agricultural machinery for renting out are registered on this Mobile app.
- During current year (2019-20) 73,658 hectare additional area has been covered under Horticulture Crops and 59 Nurseries have been established.
In-depth Review of India’s Energy Policies report
By: International Energy Agency (IEA)
Vision: Energy Access + Energy Efficiency + Energy Sustainability + Energy Security + Energy Justice
During the period 2015 to 2018, investments in the energy sector in India recorded the second highest growth in the world.
- Ujjwala Yojana: The remotest corners of India have been touched for cleaner fuel access under it.
- India’s transformation to a gas-based economy and developing indigenously produced biofuels, apart from renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, can potentially achieve the much-needed carbon reductions. As part of the energy transition, decarbonisation of the energy sector is picking up momentum in India.
- An estimated investment of 100 billion dollar in oil and gas infrastructure has been lined up. The gas pipeline network will soon be covering the length and breadth of the country; from Kutch in Western India to Kohima in the East, and from Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South.
- Government has approved viability Gap Funding/ Capital Grant at 60 percent of the estimated cost of Rs 9265 crore for the North East gas grid project to develop gas pipeline grid of 1656 Km in the eight States of the North-eastern region
- Working to build City Gas Distribution Network covering more than 400 districts of India. This network will serve 72% of India’s population with cleaner and affordable gas over more than 50 % of India’s geography.
- Enhancing international engagement on global oil security issues is already an active goal being pursued by the Ministry. Energy has become an essential commodity in our bilateral trade engagements with several key trading partners and in positioning India as an important strategic player in global energy landscape.
- On the way to achieve 20% ethanol blending in petrol and 5% bio-diesel in diesel by 2030. Indeed, to promote energy sustainability, our new National Biofuel policy focuses on waste-to-wealth creation and targets to generate various types of bio-fuels from agriculture residue and municipal waste
Agreement between India and Mongolia on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful and Civilian Purposes
- This Agreement shall enable pursuing the following potential interest areas of cooperation such as, space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.
- The Agreement would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRO and Communications and Information Technology Authority of the Government of Mongolia, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this Agreement.
Memorandum of Understanding between India and Sweden on cooperation in Polar Science
- India and Sweden are both signatories to the Antarctic Treaty and to the Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection.
- Sweden as one of the eight “Arctic States” is one of the Member State in the Arctic Council whereas India has the Observer Status in the Arctic Council.
- Sweden has a vigorous scientific program in the Polar Regions, both in Arctic and Antarctic. India likewise, has sustained scientific research programs in both the Polar Regions as well as in the oceanic realm.
Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Kingdom for Enabling Energy Self Sufficiency for Indian Railways
- Each Participant will, subject to the laws, rules, regulations and national policies from time to time in force governing the subject matter in their respective countries, endeavour to take necessary steps to enable energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency for Indian Railways.
- The parties agree for Energy planning for Indian Railways i.e. Solar & Wind Energy sector, Adopting energy efficiency practices, Enabling Fuel efficiency, Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure deployment, Battery operated Shunting Locomotives.
- Capacity development like training programmes, industrial visits, field visits etc. or any other form co-operation may be approved in writing by the Participants.
Amendments to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019: Amendments will ensure concurrence of the State Governments while formulating National Transport Policy and making schemes for national, multimodal and inter-state transportation of goods and passengers by the Central Government.
Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on cooperation in the field of Health
- To reduce maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality, improve key nutrition outcomes, by improving the reach, coverage and quality of essential primary health, immunization and nutrition services.
- To increase the basket of choice and quality for family planning methods, especially for reversible methods, and increase access amongst younger women.
- To reduce the burden of select infectious diseases [TB, Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL), Lymphatic Filariasis(LF)]
- To strengthen health systems, including aspects such as budget utilization, management and skills of human resources for health, digital health, strengthening supply chains and monitoring systems.
Ratification of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France:
- The Agreement represents a major milestone in enhancing people-to-people contacts, fostering mobility of students, academics, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides.
- The Agreement is a testimony to India’s rapidly expanding multi-faceted relationship with France and symbolizes the increasing trust and confidence between the two sides.
Prelims oriented news
Karmayoddha Granth: On the life of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence: Eminent Agricultural Scientist Dr M S Swaminathan
Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service: Dr. Gutta Muniratnam
PURVODAYA: Accelerated development of eastern India through integrated steel hub in Kolkata, West Bengal; will script rise of Eastern India by accelerated development of steel sector
Four Refurbished Heritage Buildings in Kolkata
- Old Currency Building
- Belvedere House
- Metcalfe House
- Victoria Memorial Hall
Plans to launch Indian Institute of Heritage Conservation: In order to generate resources, take care of the management of these iconic cultural heritage centres, the union government is considering to launch Indian Institute of Heritage Conservation which would be given the status of a deemed university.
BEE Notifies New Energy Performance Standards for Air Conditioners: The 240C default setting has been made mandatory from Jan 1, 2020 for all room air conditioners covered under the ambit of BEE star-labelling program vide this notification. Additionally, the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) as per the new standards will range from (3.30 – 5.00) for split and (2.70 – 3.50) for window air conditioners
Steep reduction in pendency of Vigilance complaints: There has been a steep reduction in the pendency of vigilance complaints in the last few years.
Administrative Ministry: Department of Personnel & Training
- From an average of 3,000 in the last three preceding years to 876 in 2019, of which 683 pertain to December, 2019.
- A large number of old pending cases of over 5 to 10 years’ duration were reviewed and most of the cases were disposed of, thereby drastically reducing pendency from 1,500 cases of the last three years to about 950 at the end of December 2019.
Launch of a robust and comprehensive online reporting mechanism for Chief Vigilance Officers of various Ministries/Departments/Organizations under the Commission: This new mechanism has enabled a more focused and timely review of vigilance and anti-corruption cases in various wings and departments of the Central government organizations. In addition, Preventive Vigilance booklet has been brought out with the objective to share the case studies on systematic initiatives/improvements undertaken.
Launch of Paperless Licensing process for Petroleum Road Tankers to provide ease of doing business
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched paperless licensing process through Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for road tankers for transportation of petroleum under the Petroleum Rules, 2002.
- A significant move towards paperless and green India that will provide simpler mechanism, ease of living and business to the petroleum road tanker owners
- Moving towards digitisation, the process will include filing the applications online. This will also include online payment of fees which will go directly to the concerned officer’s ID without any manual interface.
- Applicants, at each stage of processing of the application, will be intimated via SMS and email, whether discrepancy or grant of licence or approval. This will be in addition to the same being reflected in the applicant’s profile.
- The new process will update the applicant at each stage triggering an e-mail and SMS immediately when the licence is granted by the officer concerned and is dispatched electronically. All this process will be without any need for printing and physical dispatch.
- This extraordinary and forward looking initiative is directly going to benefit more than one lakh petroleum road tanker owners who together hold more than half of total licences issued under the Petroleum Rules, 2002.
- An added advantage of this move is that the authenticity of the licence can be verified through public domain available on PESO’s website. This automation is going to revolutionise the petroleum & gas industry benefitting it immensely.
Something to ponder upon: ‘The present century might be yours, but the 21st century will belong to India’. Do you agree? Explain.