fbpx

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th June 2021

  • IASbaba
  • June 26, 2021
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Guidelines for Other Service Providers (OSPs)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Telecommunications 

In news

Important Features of New Policy

  • Distinction between Domestic and International OSPs has been removed. 
    • A BPO centre with common Telecom resources will now be able to serve customers located worldwide including in India.
  • Now, the interconnectivity between all types of OSP centres is permitted.
  • The Electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange (EPABX) of OSPs can now be located anywhere in the world.
  • Removed the requirement of OSPs submitting their reports to the DoT on a period basis.
  • Other Provisions:
    • Exempted OSPs from requirement of any registration.
    • No Bank Guarantees are to be furnished.
    • Work from Home and Work from Anywhere also permitted.
    • Penalties for violations were removed altogether

Benefits

  • The move is expected to provide a fillip to the BPO sector as well as create jobs. 
  • The new guidelines will add to India’s attractiveness in ease of doing business,

About Business process outsourcing (BPO)

  • BPO is a business practice in which an organization contracts with an external service provider to perform an essential business task.
  • OSPs or Other Service Providers are companies or firms which provide secondary or tertiary services such as telemarketing, telebanking or telemedicine for various companies. 

Enforcement Directorate transfers assets of Fugitive Economic Offenders

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Money Laundering 

In news

  • The Enforcement Directorate has transferred assets worth Rs. 8,441.50 crore to public sector banks that suffered losses to the tune of Rs. 22,585.83 crore due to frauds committed allegedly by Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
  • All the three have been declared ‘Fugitive Economic Offenders’ by PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) Court in Mumbai.

About Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018

  • It seeks to confiscate properties of economic offenders who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution or refuse to return to the country to face prosecution.
  • Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO) 
    • A person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing an offence listed in the Act and the value of the offence is at least Rs. 100 crore.
  • Some of the offences listed in the act are:
    • Counterfeiting government stamps or currency.
    • Cheque dishonour.
    • Money laundering.
    • Transactions defrauding creditors.
  • Upon confiscation, all rights and titles of the property will vest in the central government, free from encumbrances (such as any charges on the property).
  • The central government may appoint an administrator to manage and dispose of these properties.

About Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)

  • Money laundering is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 7 years and Fine.
  • The property is believed to be “proceeds of crime” and can be provisionally attached for 180 days. 
  • Such an order is required to be confirmed by an independent Adjudicating Authority
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is responsible for investigating offences under the PMLA

About Enforcement Directorate

  • It is a specialized financial investigation agency. 
  • It comes under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • ED enforces the following laws:
    • Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA)
    • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)

Do you know? 

  • Money laundering is concealing or disguising the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources.

Special Purpose Vehicle for Mission Karmayogi

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Policies and interventions 

In news

  • Recently, a three-member task force has been formed to help the government in bringing major bureaucratic reforms through its ambitious “Mission Karmayogi”.
    • The Centre had recently approved the ‘National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building – Mission Karmayogi’ to effect a transformational shift from rule based training to role-based capacity development of all civil services in the country.

About the task force

  • A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), namely ‘Karmayogi Bharat’, would be set up as a not-for-profit company.
  • It will be set up under section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 as a 100% government-owned entity.
  • The SPV will be responsible: 
    • to deliver and manage design, 
    • implement, enhance and manage a digital platform  
    • manage and deliver competency assessment services 
    • manage governance of telemetry data and ensure provision of monitoring and evaluation.
  • The task force shall submit its recommendations on organisational structure for the SPV aligning its vision, mission and functions.

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020: IRENA

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – International Relations and GS III – Renewable Resources

In news

Key highlights of the report

  • 38% of the total global energy capacity now has higher operating costs than new utility-scale photovoltaics and onshore wind energy.
  • Replacing this expensive coal power with renewables will save operators USD 32 billion a year and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by around three billion tonnes.
  • The year 2020 was a record year for renewables deployment despite the Covid-19- pandemic, with 261 GW installed. 
  • Around 162 GW or 62% of total renewable power capacity added last year had lower costs than the cheapest new fossil fuel option.
  • The growth was due to:
    • advancements in technologies, 
    • consistent fall in component costs,
    • cost-competitive supply distribution channels,
    • learning by using 
    • commercial-scale availability.

Indian Initiatives for Renewable Energy:

About International Renewable Energy Agency

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation, officially founded in Bonn, Germany, in January 2009.
  • Currently it has 164 members, India is the 77th Founding Member of IRENA.
  • Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Major Functions:
    • It supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, 
    • It promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, 

World’s First Genetically Modified Rubber: Assam

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III – Sci and tech 

In news 

  • Recently, the world’s first Genetically Modified (GM) rubber plant developed by Rubber Research Institute was planted in Assam.

About the GM Rubber

  • Genetic modification (GM) technology allows the transfer of genes for specific traits between species using laboratory techniques.
  • The GM rubber has additional copies of the gene MnSOD, or manganese-containing superoxide dismutase, inserted in the plant, which is expected to tide over the severe cold conditions during winter in the northeast.
  • Why is it done? 
    • Natural rubber is a native of warm humid Amazon forests and is not naturally suited for the colder conditions in the Northeast, which is one of the largest producers of rubber in India.
    • Growth of young rubber plants remains suspended during the winter months. This is the reason for the long immaturity period of this crop in the region.

About natural rubber

  • Rubber is made from the latex of a tree called Hevea Brasiliensis.
  • It is an equatorial crop, but under special conditions, it is also grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
  • Temperature: Above 25°C with moist and humid climate.
  • Rainfall: More than 200 cm.
  • Soil Type: Rich well drained alluvial soil.
  • Cheap and adequate supply of skilled labour is needed for this plantation crop.
  • India is currently the sixth largest producer of NR in the world. 
  • Top Rubber Producing States: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.
  • Government Initiatives
    • Rubber Plantation Development Scheme and Rubber Group Planting Scheme 
    • 100% FDI in plantations of rubber, coffee, tea, cardamom, palm oil tree and olive oil tree.
  • Major Producers Globally: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and India.
  • Major Consumers: China, India, USA, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Miscellaneous

Gujarat International Maritime Arbitration Centre (GIMAC)

  • Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Gujarat Maritime University and International Financial Services Centres Authority in GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) City.
  • This will be the first centre of its kind in the country that will manage arbitration and mediation proceedings with disputes related to the maritime and shipping sector.
  • The GIMAC will be part of a maritime cluster that the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) is setting up in GIFT City at Gandhinagar.
  • Benefits:
    • Facilitate faster dispute resolution.
    • Enhance the attractiveness of GIFT Special Economic Zone (SEZ) among the International Maritime Community.
    • Increase the ease of doing business.
    • Reduce burden on courts.

(Mains Focus)


JUDICIARY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

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

Unclogging the Courts

Context: Recently, a senior judge of the Supreme Court of India, while hearing a case, stated that frivolous cases have been making the Court dysfunctional.

  • Frivolous cases were adding to the burden of the Supreme Court and collaterally harming other litigants by delaying hearing of their cases.
  • Frivolous cases also lead to wastage of time of judges and court system bringing down the efficiency of justice delivery system.

The problem of frivolous cases, although identified, continues because of following reasons:

  1. Government as a major litigant
  • The Ministry of Law and Justice in the Action Plan to Reduce Government Litigation (2017) stated that approximately 46 per cent pending cases before the courts pertain to the government. 
  • Supreme Court has imposed fines on governments and litigants for filing frivolous litigations. However, this has not discouraged them from indulging in such litigations.
  1. Ignoring National Litigation Policy 2010
  • One of the provision of the policy which states that “litigation will not be resorted to for the sake of litigating”, is not working.
  • The policy has not deterred the government authorities from filing frivolous cases
  • Imposition of costs on government authorities for frivolous cases is being ultimately paid from the public exchequer, leading to inefficient usage of public funds.
  1. Non-appointment of judges
  • Many high courts have 40 to 50 per cent vacancies at times. 
  • According to a government statement in the Lok Sabha, there were 5,135 vacancies in district and subordinate courts as on June 30, 2018. 
  • Special courts are created for specific disputes giving the impression of expedited hearing and disposal. But judges for these courts have to be provided by the high courts from the existing common pool of judges.
  • Inadequate judge strength makes frivolous cases linger for longer period of time because existing strength cannot dispose them off in short period amidst huge burden of cases.

      4. Other issues that lead to clogging of the system include the refusal to increase the number of sanctioned posts, lack of infrastructure in the district courts, absence of training of judges, stalling of police reforms etc

Way Ahead

  • The responsibility of unclogging the judiciary is with the central and state governments since they are the biggest litigants in the courts.
  • Governments should approach the courts only if necessary, and not just to pass the buck.
  • Vacancy in Judiciary should be addressed immediately by the government.
  • Government has to follow National Litigation Policy, 2010 in letter & spirit.

Connecting the dots:


EDUCATION/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources 
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

English Language in Education

Context: Recent Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to make English the medium of instruction for all undergraduate courses (save, of course, the language subjects).

  • State government has maintained that Telugu will remain a compulsory subject at the school level so that students get to learn the language

Arguments against AP Government’s decision.

  • Disproportionately impacts rural students: Critics contend this would leave many students, especially from the rural areas and from economically weaker sections who are likely to have been educated in Telugu medium schools thus far, seriously disadvantaged.
  • Fears of sub-optimal learning: Forcing such students to shift to English so late in their academic pursuit, critics fear, may cause sub-optimal learning vis-a-vis the students’ actual competence and aptitude.
  • Attack on Culture: The opposition have sought to position the decision as an attack on Telugu culture and sacrificing the protection of Telugu language. 

Arguments in Favour of AP Government’s decision.

  • Needed for increasing PG Education: The language of instruction in post-graduate courses is English. Continuing with Telugu as the medium of instruction at the UG level would further delay the shift for a set of students. It would be tantamount to indirect gate-keeping of PG education.
  • Aligned with people’s choices: The set of students from a Telugu-medium background who opted for the same medium at the UG level in 2020-21 was merely a quarter of the pool that joined degree courses, and the state government says the larger share of Telugu-medium students entering UG courses have themselves opted for English instruction.
  • Push towards White Collar Jobs: There is a strong case for teaching in English in the later years as it is the de facto language of white-collar employment, which provides better income & social security.
  • Enhances employability of students:  English-learning at the undergraduate level increases the employability of students in globalised world. Survey shows that English fluency results in a difference of up to 34% in hourly wages for Indian men, with the advantage going up commensurately with the degree of relative fluency.
  • Getting Future Ready: English skills are likely to become far more important in the future; for future jobs in the technology sector (AI, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics), English proficiency will become as key as technical training. Therefore, the state has to ensure that students get all the support needed to transition from Telugu to English.

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. BPO is a business practice in which an organization contracts with an external service provider to perform an essential business task.
  2. OSPs or Other Service Providers are companies or firms which provide secondary or tertiary services such as telemarketing, telebanking or telemedicine for various companies. 

Which of the above is/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 Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)

  1. Money laundering is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 7 years and Fine.
  2. The property is believed to be “proceeds of crime” and can be provisionally attached for 180 days. 

Which of the above is/are correct?

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

Q.3 Where is Headquarters of International Renewable Energy Agency located?

  1. UAE
  2. France
  3. Belgium
  4. Gurugram

ANSWERS FOR 25th June 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 B

Must Read

On dowry deaths:

Indian Express

On gender disparities in vaccine rollout:

Hindustan Times

On BIMSTEC & India’s NER:

ORF

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

Search now.....