fbpx

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 22nd May 2021

  • IASbaba
  • May 22, 2021
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Personal Guarantors Liable for Corporate Debt : SC

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Economy 

In news

  • The Supreme Court upheld a government move to allow lenders to initiate insolvency proceedings against personal guarantors, along with the stressed corporate entities for whom they gave guarantee.
  • These personal guarantors are usually the promoters of big business houses. 

Key takeaways 

  • It held that the November 15, 2019, government notification which allowed creditors (usually financial institutions and banks), to move against personal guarantors under the Indian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code (IBC) was “legal and valid”.
  • The government had also decided that corporate debtors and their personal guarantors should be dealt with by a common forum — National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) — through the same adjudicatory process.
  • Besides, Section 60(2) of the IBC had required the bankruptcy proceedings of corporate debtors and their personal guarantors to be held before the NCLT.

New rules notified under the Insurance Act

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy 

In news

  • As per the new rules notified under the Insurance Act, Indian promoters of insurance joint ventures with foreign partners will no longer be able to nominate a majority of the board members. 

Key takeaways 

  • This follows the recent amendments to enhance the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector from 49% to 74% 
  • However, a majority of board members, key management persons (KMP) need to be resident Indian citizens. 
  • Also, at least one of the three top positions — the chairperson of the board, the MD and CEO – need to be resident Indian citizens. 
  • This new norm will apply to all insurers, irrespective of the stake held by the foreign partner.
  • Further conditions have also been specified on the composition of the board for firms where foreign investors’ stake exceeds 49%. 

GST on Imported Oxygen Concentrator unconstitutional: Delhi HC

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Health; Judiciary 

In news 

  • The Delhi High Court held the government’s imposition of GST on oxygen concentrators imported for personal use as “unconstitutional”.

Key takeaways 

  • It said that oxygen concentrators constitute a life-saving device during the COVID-19 pandemic and during a pandemic a different approach needs to be adopted.
  • Government’s May 1 notification levied 12% GST on such imports from 28% earlier. 
  • The court had asked the government to consider temporarily dropping the 12% GST levied on such imports altogether, citing the shortage of oxygen in the second wave of the pandemic.

Do you know? 

  • Article 21 of the Constitution enshrines the fundamental right to life.
  • An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream.

World Bee Day

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Technology; Animal rearing

In news

  • May 20 is observed as World Bee Day annually.
  • 2021 theme: “Bee Engaged – Build Back Better for Bees”.

Key takeaways 

Efforts by the Indian government

  • Government is promoting Beekeeping as part of its aim to double farmers’ income.
  • The Government has allocated 500 crores towards Beekeeping under the Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan.
  • The National Bee Board has created four modules to impart training as part of the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) 
  • 30 lakh farmers have been trained in beekeeping. 
  • They are also being financially supported by the Government.
  • The Government has launched ‘Honey Mission’ as part of ‘Sweet Revolution’.

Do you know? 

  • India is among the world’s top five honey producers.
  • Compared to 2005-06 honey production has risen by 242% and exports have increased by 265%.
  • As per Food and Agricultural Organization database, in 2017-18, India ranked 8th in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes) while China stood first (551 thousand tonnes).

Related articles

Guidelines to Support Artisans in Beekeeping & Pottery Activities released


White fungus

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Health; Sci & Tech 

In news

  • Rising cases of ‘white fungus’ or ‘candidiasis’ have been detected recently in India.

Important value additions 

  • This infection can be caused due to low immunity or if people come in contact with things that contain these moulds like water, etc.
  • Patients of white fungus show Covid-like symptoms but test negative. 
  • The infection can be diagnosed through CT-Scan or X-ray.
  • It is a fungal infection caused by a type of fungus called Candida.
  • White fungus can affect not just the lungs but also other parts of the body including nails, skin, stomach, kidney, brain, private parts and mouth.
  • However, it is regarded as just a normal fungal infection.

Related articles

Mucormycosis


Miscellaneous

Sunderlal Bahuguna 

  • Well-known environmentalist and Gandhian Sunderlal Bahuguna passed away at the age of 94 due to COVID-related complications.
  • Sunderlal Bahuguna (1927 – 2021) was an Indian noted Garhwali environmentalist. 
  • He was one of the founders of the Chipko movement, in the 1970s to save Himalayan forests from cutting down by forest contractors.
  • He later spearheaded the Anti-Tehri Dam movement (1980s to early 2004).
  • He also fought against untouchability and later started organising hill women in his anti-liquor drive from 1965 to 1970. 
  • In 2009, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan Award for environment conservation.

 (Mains Focus)


GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Weberian Bureaucracy and its challenges

Context: Despite its efforts, bureaucracy has emerged as a major concern for the ineffective response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Present Model

  • Weberian bureaucracy prefers a generalist over a specialist. Specialists in every government department have to remain subordinate to the generalist officers
  • The justification is that the generalist provides a broader perspective compared to the specialist.
  • A generalist officer (IAS and State civil service officials) is deemed an expert and as a result, superior, even if the officer works in one department or ministry today and in another tomorrow. 
  • Pandemic Situation: Healthcare professionals who are specialists have been made to work under generalist officers and the policy options have been left to the generalists when they should be in the hands of the specialists. 

Issues

  • Weberian bureaucracy prefers leadership based on position
  • Traditional bureaucracy is still stuck with the leadership of position over leadership of function
  • Bureaucracy has become an end in itself rather than a means to an end. 
  • The rigid adherence to rules has resulted in the rejection of innovation
  • Administrative reform movement promotes privatisation and managerial techniques of the private sector as an effective tool to seek improvements in public service delivery and governance. But this isn’t a viable solution, not the least in India where there is social inequality and regional variations in development.

Way Forward – Collaborative Governance

  • Collaborative governance is a model in which the public sector, private players and civil society, especially NGOs, work together for effective public service delivery.
  • There is no domination of public bureaucracy as the sole agency in policy formulation and implementation. 
  • As part of new public governance, a network of social actors and private players would take responsibility in various aspects of governance with public bureaucracy steering the ship rather than rowing it. 
  • During the pandemic, we see civil society playing a major role in saving lives. As part of new public governance, this role has to be institutionalised.

Connecting the dots:

  • Minimum Government, Maximum Governance

ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 

Inflation, Unemployment and Inequality

Issues

  • The labour force participation rate in India has fallen for three consecutive months, and was barely 40% in April. 
  • the unemployment rate has gone up to 8% as per CMIE
  • Poverty ratio went up by 15% in rural areas and 20% in urban areas during March to October 2020 as per survey conducted by Azim Premji University.
  • On the other hand, the stock market is bestowing increasing wealth and capital gains on rich thus increasing inequality.
  • Wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation for April is now above 10%. Of this, the fuel sub-component was at 20%.
  • The informal sector, consisting of small and medium enterprises, is still struggling.

Solution

  • The best way to tackle this double challenge of inflation and loss of incomes is through direct fiscal support to hard-hit households.
  • Cash injections of ₹5,000 per month to all those covered by the public distribution system (PDS) would be advisable for at least three months.
  • An extension of higher grain provisions for food security, as carried out last year, is also necessary.
  • The immediate priority is to attend to our health crisis, for which we need universal and free vaccination as quickly as possible.

Connecting the dots:


(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Consider the following statements:

  1. India is among the world’s top five honey producers.
  2. Compared to 2005-06 honey production and exports have decreased drastically.

Which of the above is or are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding White fungus and Black fungus: 

  1. Both are fatal diseases  
  2. White fungus is caused by candida while causative agent of black fungus is unknown.

Which of the above is or are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

Q.3 which of the following article deals with the fundamental right to life? 

  1. Article 19
  2. Article 22 
  3. Article 21 
  4. Article 24

ANSWERS FOR 21st May 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

C
C

Must Read

On deferring second dose of COVID-19 vaccine:

The Hindu

On AIDs experience on patent for COVID vaccines:

The Hindu

About Live-in relationships:

Indian Express

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Search now.....