Table of Contents:
A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
D. GS4 Related:
2. Tax Evasion
4. Social Audit
5. Industry 4.0
Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
B. GS2 Related
What’s in news?
- AIADMK’s “Two Leaves” symbol frozen by The Election Commission, prohibiting its use in the coming R.K. Nagar by-election in Chennai.
- Reason and other restrictions
- Split in the party – two groups
- Till the final settlement of the dispute, neither group was permitted to use the name ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
- Groups to choose their own names and if desire link that with their parent party
- Both the groups shall also be allotted different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purpose of the byelection.
- Guidelines to resolve the dispute:
- Supreme Court has upheld Test of majority in case of a split in the party as per Para 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order.
- Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) order, 1968
- Relates to specification, reservation and allotment of symbols
- Order also makes provisions for the recognition of parties as National and State Parties
- Para 15 of the Symbols Order, 1968, states: “When the Commission is satisfied that rival group or section claim the party symbol then EC consider all the available facts ,circumstances and hearing and give judgment which is binding on all sections and group”.
- Orissa High Court upholds Fundamental rights granted under Constitution of India
- If permission is refused, reasonable grounds should be given in the rejection order.
- Groups to choose their own names and if desire link that with their parent party
- If no action is taken by the authority concerned within three days or 72 hours, whichever is later from the date/time of the receipt of the application, it will be deemed that the permission has been granted.
- A new Institutional mechanism to improve safety in India’s 5300-odd dams.
- Currently, guidelines in this regard are not effectively enforced by the States.
- The new law proposes a Central authority and State-level bodies that will enforce regulation.
- Dam and project proponents falling short could face a fine.
- Safety Criteria’s
a) Increasing the spillway (a design structure to ease water build-up)
b) Preventing ‘over-topping’ in which the dam overflows and causes it to fail.
- Present scenario: Recent analysis of the state of India’s dams found that half of the dams did not meet contemporary safety standards.
- Kerala and Tamil Nadu fights over threats posed by the Mullaperiyar dam on the river Periyar.
- In 2014, an unscheduled release of water from the Larji hydroelectric project into the Beas River drowned 25 students from Hyderabad.
- 1979 Machchu dam failure in Morbi, Gujarat, is estimated to have killed at least 25,000.
- December 15, 2016 judgment: Supreme Court has banned sale of liquor within 500 meters of National and State highways.
- Ban was necessary to curb drunken-driving. Main culprit behind a large number of road accidents and tragic deaths.
What’s in news?
- The Tamil Nadu government has moved an application in the Supreme Court for modification of its previous judgment on banning liquor within 500 metres of National and State highways.
- The State, which originally moved the Supreme Court in appeal against a Madras High Court decision, sought the distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of the highways to be reduced to a distance of 100 metres.
- The State has also asked the Supreme Court to extend the time for re-location of retail liquor vending shops located on the highways till the expiry of their licence period.
- Tamil Nadu has further requested the apex court to exempt those shops located on highway stretches which come under the corporation and municipality limits.
- In order to circumvent the ban, States are converting State highways to other form of roads like major district roads, district roads and village roads.
- The Supreme Court summoned Chief Secretaries of nine drought-affected States, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, for having failed to implement the National Food Security Act.
- Lack of proper implementation depicts lack of concern towards Parliamentary statute.
- It is a violation of Article 21 [protection of life and personal liberty] of the Constitution.
- State Food Commissions, as mandated by National Food Security Act, have not been appointed
- State governments have failed to frame rules for the appointment or designation of the District Grievance Redressal Officer
- The court has also directed the Chief Secretaries to inform whether a social audit can be conducted, as provided under the Food Security Act.
- The Centre has decided to wind up eight tribunals:
- The Competition Appellate Tribunal
- The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT)
- The Cyber Appellate Tribunal
- The EPF Appellate Tribunal and others
- The National Highways Tribunal
These tribunals currently deal exclusively with disputes pertaining to employees’ provident fund or EPF, Competition law, Airports’ economic regulation, Information Technology law, National highways, railways, copyrights and foreign exchange.
- The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT) and The Cyber Appellate Tribunal, —will now be discharged by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
- PRS Legislative Research- the TDSAT may not have the expertise to adjudicate matters relating to pricing of airport services.
- The Competition Appellate Tribunal, whose work will now be transferred to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
- The EPF Appellate Tribunal’s remit would be transferred to the Industrial Tribunal that examines matters under the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947
- Cases under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 would be transferred from the dedicated tribunal for foreign exchange matters to the Appellate Tribunal constituted under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act of 1976.
- Highway disputes will now be adjudicated by the Airport Appellate Tribunal.
- The Railways Rates Tribunal for hearing matters under the Railways Act of 1989 will also cease to exist, with its workload transferred to the Railway Claims Tribunal set up under a 1987 law.
- The Copyright Act of 1957, decisions under which are currently reviewed by the Copyright Board, will now be transferred to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board set up under the Trademarks Act of 1999.
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- China turning its attention towards West Asia.
- ‘Made in China-2025’ strategy of transitioning China’s manufacturing to the advanced level by leveraging the Internet, Big Data and robotics among the key tools.
- China is pursuing the industry 4.0 model pioneered by Germany.
- China – Israel
- Announced : Innovative comprehensive partnership
- Maximising absorption of Israel’s technology in hi-tech and other advanced domains.
- Top priority area- clean energy, agriculture, investment, finance and medical services
- China-Saudi Arabia
- Focus: Energy and infrastructure.
- China to support “Saudi Vision 2030” plan — a blueprint for reducing Riyadh’s dependence on oil, and reliance on other drivers of the economy such as infrastructure development.
- China is having good relationship with Iran.
- China and Russia have been active partners preventing “regime change” in Syria, which is also strongly backed by Iran.
- China’s ability to influence the region still lags behind the U.S., the EU and even Russia. So China should mainly focus on economic cooperation in this are rather than geopolitical interests.
C. GS3 Related
Major hurdles facing the economic:
- Uncertain Oil Prices
- Slow Global Growth
- Ramping up private investment
Why in news?
- The first order issued by the recently-established Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is expected to set in motion a chain of events at many firms, including well-known consultancies that are eyeing the huge market for stressed assets and debt resolution.
- Entities will have to form a separate subsidiary with dedicated resources related to insolvency.
- Practitioners in the segment say that the order has made it clear that IBBI is not going to grant registration to individuals in such a scenario and so entities that want to be registered will have to form a separate subsidiary with dedicated resources related to insolvency and bankruptcy work.
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings and entities like Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPA), Insolvency Professionals (IP) and Information Utilities (IU) in India.
- It was established on 1 October 2016 and given statutory powers through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which was passed by Lok Sabha on 5 May 2016.
- It covers Individuals, Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships and Partnership firms. The new code will speed up the resolution process for stressed assets in the country.
- It attempts to simplify the process of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. It handles the cases using two tribunals like NCLT (National company law tribunal) and Debt recovery tribunal.
What’s in news ?
- Chennai-based state lender Indian Overseas Bank will get Rs 1,100 crore as “turnaround-linked capital” infusion from the government.
- The government has approved the second tranche of capital infusion in public sector banks to enhance their capital base.
- The first tranche was announced in July with the objective of enhancing their lending operations and enabling them to raise more money from the market.
- The capital requirement of Indian banks would cross the Rs 5 lakh-crore mark while meeting the global Basel III banking norms by March 2019.
- Given the credit growth expected in the short-to-medium term, the capital requirement of Indian banks would cross a huge level of Rs 5 lakh crore while meeting the globally mandatory Basel III banking norms by March 31, 2019.
- On the other hand, banks in the public sector may find it very challenging to meet the Basel III requirements as a big chunk of funds is required to be inducted by the central government, which owns a majority stake in them.
Basel III banking norms
What is ‘Basel III’?
- Basel III is an international regulatory accord that introduced a set of reforms designed to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management within the banking sector.
- The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published the first version of Basel III in late 2009, giving banks approximately three years to satisfy all requirements.
- Largely in response to the credit crisis, banks are required to maintain proper leverage ratios and meet certain minimum capital requirements.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Basel III’
- Basel III is part of the continuous effort to enhance the banking regulatory framework.
- It builds on the Basel I and Basel II documents, and seeks to improve the banking sector’s ability to deal with financial stress, improve risk management, and strengthen the banks’ transparency.
- A focus of Basel III is to foster greater resilience at the individual bank level in order to reduce the risk of system-wide shocks.
Minimum Capital Requirements
- Basel III introduced tighter capital requirements in comparison to Basel I and Basel II.
- Banks’ regulatory capital is divided into Tier 1 and Tier 2, while Tier 1 is subdivided into Common Equity Tier 1 and additional Tier 1 capital.
- The distinction is important because security instruments included in Tier 1 capital have the highest level of subordination.
- Common Equity Tier 1 capital includes equity instruments that have discretionary dividends and no maturity, while additional Tier 1 capital comprises securities that are subordinated to most subordinated debt, have no maturity, and their dividends can be cancelled at any time. Tier 2 capital consists of unsecured subordinated debt with an original maturity of at least five years.
- Small, micro sector form the backbone of job creation.
- The government is looking beyond the criterion of capital employed to better define MSME sector for growth.
- The conventional definition of micro, small and medium enterprises is based on different slabs of investments ranging from Rs. 10 lakh to over Rs. 5 crore.
- However, with MSMEs constituting the backbone of employment generation, the government plans to include parameters such as employment generation and turnover in defining the sector.
- The role of MSMEs in employment generation is being increasingly recognised. It is second only to agriculture in generating jobs.
- In the WTO, for instance, developed countries are keen on bringing in a MSE forum in the context of the potential of the sector for job generation. While this is a welcome step, India is concerned on the possibility of labour issues becoming a non tariff barrier to markets.
- India in not in favour of a MSE forum in the WTO because of concerns over labour issues.
Challenges faced by MSMSE Sector
- The major challenges facing the sector are credit flow, technology development, skilled human resource, regulatory compliance and affirmative action. The US can help Indian MSMEs in all these issues.
- India can be a cost effective base for US MSME production emulating the automobile sector. An Indo-US forum for MSMEs would benefit mutual cooperation.
- India’s public procurement order reserving 20 per cent for MSME sector is a part of affirmative action. The US has a well established system.
- With the shift to GST around the corner, compliance cost is a major concern of the MSMEs as it does not distinguish between large and small companies.
Present MSME Classification
Nature of activity of the Enterprise
Investment in plant and machinery excluding land and building for enterprises engaged in manufacturing or production, processing or preservation of goods
Investment in equipment excluding land and building for enterprises engaged in providing or rendering of services (loans up to Rs 1 crore)
Not exceeding Rs.25.00 Lakhs
Not exceeding Rs.10.00 Lakhs
More than Rs.25.00 lakhs but does not exceed Rs.500.00 lakhs
More than Rs.10.00 lakhs but does not exceed Rs.200.00 lakhs
More than Rs.500.00 lakhs but does not exceed Rs.1000.00 lakhs
More than Rs.200.00 lakhs but does not exceed Rs.500.00 lakhs
Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
What’s in news?
- Campaign has been launched by a team of scientist to restore planet hood status to Pluto
- In a paper presented at an international planetary science conference at The Woodlands, Texas, the scientists explained that geological properties, such as shape and surface features, should determine what constitutes a planet.
At present Pluto has been considered as Dwarf Planet along with Ceres as per International Astronomical Union Classification.
- Ceres: The biggest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
- Dwarf Planets: A dwarf planet is an object in orbit around the Sun that is large enough (massive enough) to have its own gravity pull itself into a round (or nearly round) shape. Generally, a dwarf planet is smaller than Mercury. A dwarf planet may also orbit in a zone that has many other objects in it. For example, an orbit within the asteroid belt is in a zone with lots of other objects.
At present there are five dwarf planets- Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea.
- IAU Classification of planets:
A planet is a celestial body that
(a) Is in orbit around the Sun,
(b) Has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and
(c) Has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
- Kuiper Belt: Beyond the gas giant Neptune lies a region of space filled with icy bodies. Known as the Kuiper Belt, this chilly expanse holds trillions of objects, remnants of the early solar system.
In 1951, astronomer Gerard Kuiper predicted the existence of a belt of icy objects that now bears his name. Some astronomers refer to it as the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt.
Astronomers are now hunting for a planet in the Kuiper Belt, a true ninth planet, after evidence of its existence was unveiled on Jan. 20, 2016. The so-called “Planet Nine,” as scientists are calling it, is about 10 times the mass of Earth and 5,000 times the mass of Pluto.
What’s in news?
- An Indian-origin surgeon in the UK, with the help of a 3D printer, has successfully reconstructed a 53-year-old cancer patient’s jaw using bone from one of his legs.
What is 3D printer?
- 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
- The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
- A printable organ is an artificially constructed device designed for organ replacement, produced using 3D printing techniques. The primary purpose of printable organs is in transplantation.
3D printing allows for the layer-by-layer construction of a particular organ structure to form a cell scaffold. This can be followed by the process of cell seeding, in which cells of interest are pipetted directly onto the scaffold structure.
Modified inkjet printers have been used to produce three-dimensional biological tissue. Printer cartridges are filled with a suspension of living cells and a smart gel, the latter used for providing structure. Alternating patterns of the smart gel and living cells are printed using a standard print nozzle, with cells eventually fusing together to form tissue. When completed, the gel is cooled and washed away, leaving behind only live cells.
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
- Pachyderm may refer to any of the Pachydermata, an obsolete 19th-century taxonomic order of mammals which included elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses.
- Tax evasion is an illegal practice where a person, organization or corporation intentionally avoids paying his true tax liability (illegal on payment as well as illegal under payment). Those caught evading taxes are generally subject to criminal charges and substantial penalties.
- Tax avoidance is the use of legal methods to modify an individual’s financial situation to lower the amount of income tax owed. This is generally accomplished by claiming the permissible deductions and credits. This practice differs from tax evasion, which uses illegal methods, such as underreporting income to avoid paying taxes.
- Social audit is a process of reviewing official records and determining whether state reported expenditures reflect the actual money spent on the ground.
- Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory”. Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, and via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain.
- Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems (A cyber-physical system (CPS) is a mechanism controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms, tightly integrated with the internet and its users.), the Internet of things and cloud computing.
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy.
- Insolvency Resolution : The Code outlines separate insolvency resolution processes for individuals, companies and partnership firms.The process may be initiated by either the debtor or the creditors. A maximum time limit, for completion of the insolvency resolution process,has been set for corporates and individuals. For companies, the process will have to be completed in 180 days, which may be extended by 90 days, if a majority of the creditors agree.
- Insolvency regulator: The Code establishes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, to oversee the insolvency proceedings in the country and regulate the entities registered under it. The Board will have 10 members, including representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Law, and the Reserve Bank of India
- Insolvency professionals: The insolvency process will be managed by licensed professionals. These professionals will also control the assets of the debtor during the insolvency process.
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency Adjudicator: The Code proposes two separate tribunals to oversee the process of insolvency resolution, for individuals and companies: (i) the National Company Law Tribunal for Companies and Limited Liability Partnership firms; and (ii) the Debt Recovery Tribunal for individuals and partnerships.
|BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS||Link to Refer|
|The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act)||
Rice at 3 per kg
Wheat at 2 per kg
Coarse grains (millet) at 1 per kg
Penalty : Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.
|Article 324: Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission||
(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice President held under this Constitution shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission)
(2) The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President
(3) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission
(4) Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by clause ( 1 )
(5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine; Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment: Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner
(6) The President, or the Governor of a State, shall, when so requested by th Election Commission, make available to the Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission by clause ( 1 )
|Article 19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc||
(1) All citizens shall have the right
(a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and
(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
(2) Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause ( 1 ) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence
(3) Nothing in sub clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause
(4) Nothing in sub clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order or morality, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause
(5) Nothing in sub clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe
(6) Nothing in sub clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause, and, in particular, nothing in the said sub clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to, or prevent the State from making any law relating to,
(i) the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or
(ii) the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise.
Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam:)
Question 1: Which among the following is / are dwarf planets?
Choose the correct answer
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 4
- 1 ,2 and 3
- All are correct
Question 2: A new digital payments app called “BHIM”, was recently launched. In this context, consider the following statements:
- Users can send money to people who don’t have the app.
- The app is based on the United Payments Interface.
- It will support Aadhaar-based payments.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 Only
- 1 and 3 Only
- 1 , 2 and 3
Question 3: Recently Basel III norms was in news. They are related to which of the following?
- Norms regarding free and fair international trade
- Norms regarding stricter regulation of intellectual property rights
- Norms to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management within the banking sector.
Question 4: Consider the statements about classification MSME sector:
- In manufacturing, investments not exceeding Rs.25.00 Lakhs are considered as small enterprise.
- In services, investments not exceeding Rs.10.00 Lakhs are considered as small enterprise.
Which of the above statements is/are correct ?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
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