Insights Daily Current Events, 16 February 2016

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Events, 16 February 2016

Archives


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Swachh Sarvekshan Survey

The results of the Swacch Sarvekshan Survey conducted by the Quality Council of India were recently announced by the centre.

  • The survey was commissioned in 73 cities as part of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. Of the cities surveyed, 51 cities had population more than 10 lakh.

Purpose of the survey:

The purpose of the survey is to encourage cities to fix their sanitation and sewerage infrastructure by showing them the performance of the other cities. Competition makes one strive better.

The survey evaluated six aspects of sanitation and hygiene including:

  • Strategies for tackling open defecation and integrated solid waste management.
  • Efforts for education and behavioural change.
  • Methods for sweeping and door-to-door collection and transportation.
  • Processing and disposal of solid waste.
  • Provision of public and community toilet seats.
  • Construction of household individual toilets.

Highlights of the survey:

  • Karnataka’s Mysore was voted India’s cleanest city. Mysuru has retained this position second time in a row.
  • Chandigarh, Tiruchirapalli and the New Delhi Municipal Council were the other three names topping the list.
  • Vishakapatnam is placed at the 5th
  • The two cities of Gujarat got the place in the list. Surat received the 6th place while Rajkot 7th. The eight postition went to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
  • Maharashtra’s two cities also found place in top 10 cleanest cities of the nation. Pimpri Chindwada received the 9th, while Greater Mumbai has been palce on 10 positions.

About Swachh Bharat Mission:

It was officially launched on 2 October 2014 and is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive. The mission seeks to achieve clean India and aims to provide access to toilets to all households in the country.

Objectives of the mission:

  • Eliminate open defecation.
  • Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets.
  • Eradication of manual scavenging.
  • 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal reuse/recycle of Municipal Solid Waste.
  • To bring about a behavioral change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices.
  • Generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.
  • Strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems.
  • To create enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital Expenditure and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs.

The components of the programme are:

  • Construction of individual sanitary latrines for households below the poverty line with subsidy (80%) where demand exists.
  • Conversion of dry latrines into low-cost sanitary latrines.
  • Construction of exclusive village sanitary complexes for women providing facilities for hand pumping, bathing, sanitation and washing on a selective basis where there is not adequate land or space within houses and where village panchayats are willing to maintain the facilities.
  • Setting up of sanitary marts.
  • Total sanitation of villages through the construction of drains, soakage pits, solid and liquid waste disposal.
  • Intensive campaign for awareness generation and health education to create a felt need for personal, household and environmental sanitation facilities.

sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Policy for capital goods introduced

The government has unveiled a National Capital Goods Policy to give an impetus to the capital goods sector and a leg up to the Make in India initiative.

  • This is for the first time that a national policy has been framed for the sector.
  • This announcement is part of the government’s commitment to turn the country into a world class hub for capital goods.

Objective of the policy:

To increase production of capital goods from Rs. 2.30 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 7.50 lakh crore in 2025 and raise direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.

Highlights of the policy:

  • The policy envisages making India a net exporter of capital goods and aims at facilitating improvement in technology across sub-sectors, increasing skill availability, ensuring mandatory standards and promoting growth and capacity building of MSMEs
  • Some of the key issues addressed include availability of finance, raw material, innovation and technology, productivity, quality and environment-friendly manufacturing practices, promoting exports and creating domestic demand.
  • The key policy recommendations include strengthening the existing scheme of the DHI (Department of Heavy Industry) on enhancement of competitiveness of capital goods sector by increasing budgetary allocation and increasing its scope to further boost global competitiveness in various sub sectors and enhancing export of Indian made capital goods through a ‘Heavy Industry Export and Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA)’.
  • It has also made provision for introducing a Technology Development Fund, upgrading existing and setting up a new testing and certification facility, making standards mandatory in order to reduce sub-standard machine imports and at the same time providing opportunity to local manufacturing units by utilising their installed capacity and unveiling scheme for skill development for capital goods sector.

sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

SEBI chief gets extension

The government has extended the term of SEBI chairman by 1 year. With this, U.K. Sinha will remain Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman till March 1, 2017.

  • The extension was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.

About SEBI:

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India.

  • It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 12 April 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.

SEBI is composed of-

  • The chairman who is nominated by Union Government of India.
  • Two members, i.e., Officers from Union Finance Ministry.
  • One member from the Reserve Bank of India.

The remaining five members are nominated by Union Government of India, out of them at least three shall be whole-time members.

Important functions performed by SEBI:

  • Approve by−laws of stock exchanges.
  • Require the stock exchange to amend their by−laws.
  • Inspect the books of accounts and call for periodical returns from recognized stock exchanges.
  • Inspect the books of accounts of financial intermediaries.
  • Compel certain companies to list their shares in one or more stock exchanges.
  • Register brokers.

Commodities markets regulator FMC was also recently merged into SEBI.

sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Supreme Court refuses to disclose data on pending verdicts

The Supreme Court recently dismissed a plea to maintain the data on its pending judgments and make the information public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

  • Fifteen years ago in its verdict, the Supreme Court had observed that the confidence of litigants would be shaken if judgments were kept pending for years.

Background:

  • The court’s refusal to be made accountable under the RTI Act is despite the decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to disclose the number of pending or “reserved” judgments.
  • The Commission’s decision was upheld by a single judge of the Delhi High Court in a case in which the Supreme Court itself was an opposing party.
  • However, the single judge’s order was set aside by a Division Bench on January 7, 2016 following an appeal by the Registrar representing the Supreme Court.

The CIC’s decision was based on the SC’s 2001 judgment in Anil Rai vs. State of Bihar. The ruling had also pointed out that “the confidence of the litigants in the results of the litigation is shaken if there is an unreasonable delay in rendering a judgment after reserving the same”.

sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Supreme Court upholds Army’s Command Exit policy

The Supreme Court has upheld the Indian Army’s 2009 “command and exit policy” allowing preferential promotion for officers serving in the command unit.

  • While delivering the verdict, the apex court also asked the government to create 141 additional vacancies for promotion of combat unit officers.
  • The decision was taken keeping in view that the personnel of combat unit serve for a short span to maintain a young profile of the fighting arms.

Background:

The decision comes nearly a year after the Armed Forces Tribunal struck down the policy, calling it ‘discriminatory’ and violative of Article 14 of the Indian constitution which enforces equality. The policy was first approved by the Defence Ministry in 2009.

  • The policy was based on the recommendation of an expert committee set up immediately after the 1999 Kargil War to enhance operational preparedness and achieve combat peaks.

Supreme Court’s observations:

The court has observed that there is nothing perverse, unreasonable or unfair about the policy that lowers the age of officers serving in Combat Arms and Combat Arms Support by creating additional vacancies to be allotted on Command Exit Model.

  • It rejected the contentions raised by certain officers that the promotion model denied pro rata distribution of vacancies to the Service stream of the Army and focussed only on Arms and Arms Support.
  • The court also observed that the policy intends to render the Indian Army more efficient and better equipped for combat situations.
  • The court pointed out that commanding officers in Japan, China and Pakistan armies got their promotions at a younger age compared to the Indian Army.

The SC delivered the verdict on appeals by the Centre challenging the Armed Forces Tribunal’s March 2, 2015 order quashing the government’s January 20, 2009 policy circular.

sources: the hindu.