Insights Daily Current Affairs, 04 February 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 04 February 2017


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Consultation to discuss issues related to India’s accession to Hague Convention

 

The Ministry of Women and Child Development recently held a National Consultation to discuss issues related to India’s accession to Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, in New Delhi.

  • The consultation was attended by judges of various high courts and members of law commission.
  • Based on the discussions and guidance given by the Hon’ble Judges, it was decided that the Chandigarh Judicial Academy Chandigarh along with NRI Commission of Punjab will examine in detail the legal issues involved by taking all viewpoints into account including those of suffering women.
  • They will give recommendations as to how the problems of parents and children involved in such situations can be addressed. They will also study the draft Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016.
  • It was also decided that if a model legislation is required to safeguard the interests of parents and children, the same will be drafted. It was decided that this exercise will be completed in four months.

 

Background:

Currently, there is no specific Indian legislation addressing issues related to abduction of children from and into India. However, Law Commission of India had submitted the 218th Report titled “Need to accede to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980” on 30th March, 2009. In view of this report, before acceding to the Convention, the Ministry of Women and Child Development prepared a draft Bill titled “The Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016”. The draft Bill was placed on the Ministry’s website for comments and suggestions from various stakeholders.

The Law Commission of India has recently suggested some modifications in the Bill and re-named it as the “The Protection of Children (Inter-country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016”.

 

About Hague convention:

Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty which came into existence on 1st December, 1983. The convention seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.

  • The convention is intended to enhance the international recognition of rights of custody and access arising in place of habitual residence, and to ensure prompt return of the child who is wrongfully removed or retained from the place of habitual residence.
  • It seeks to return children abducted or retained overseas by a parent to their country of habitual residence for the courts of that country to decide on matters of residence and contact.
  • The convention shall apply to any child, up to the age of 16 years who is a habitual resident of any of the contacting states.

Sources: pib.


 

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

 

Trai imposed Rs 11 cr penalty on telcos for poor service: Govt

 

Telecom regulator Trai has imposed over Rs 11 crore penalty on service providers, highest on Aircel, for poor service quality including call drops.

 

Key facts:

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has imposed over Rs 3 crore penalty on Aircel for not meeting set quality parameters for 2G service and Rs 1.56 crore for poor 3G service quality.
  • Penalty of Rs 2.27 crore has been imposed on BSNL, Rs 1.64 crore on Reliance Communications (including Reliance Telecom), Rs 89 lakh on Tata Teleservices, Rs 84 lakh Vodafone, Rs 40 lakh on Bharti Airtel, Rs 13.5 lakh on Telenor, Rs 3 lakh on Sistema and Rs 1.5 lakh on MTNL for failing to meet 2G service quality parameters.
  • Apart from Aircel, Trai has imposed Rs 70 lakh penalty on BSNL and Rs 2.5 lakh on Vodafone for breaching 3G service quality benchmark.

 

About Trai:

  • It is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.
  • It was established in 1997 by an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.
  • In January 2000, TRAI act was amended to establish the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory functions of the TRAI.
  • The TDSAT was set up to resolve any dispute between a licencor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers. In addition, any direction, TRAI orders or decisions can be challenged by appealing to TDSAT.

Sources: toi.


 

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

 

UIDAI clamps down on 50 fraud sites offering Aadhaar services

 

In a massive crackdown on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public, UIDAI has got shut down 12 such websites and 12 mobile apps.

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has further directed authorities for closure of another 26 such fraudulent and illegal websites and mobile applications.

 

Background:

Some websites and mobile apps were luring citizens to share their basic information and Aadhaar number under the pretext of getting them Aadhaar card or offering other Aadhaar related services.

 

What the law says?

As per Section 70 of the IT Act, the Government has declared the UIDAIs Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) facilities, Information assets, logistics infrastructure and dependencies installed at UIDAI locations to be critically protected system. And at present, any Aadhaar-related demographic information can only be shared following the procedures laid down in the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

Any violation is punishable under Section 38 and Chapter VII of the Aadhaar Act that provides punishment for “Whoever, not being authorised by the Authority, intentionally accesses or secures, downloads, copies or extracts any data from the Central Identities Data Repository or stored in any removable storage medium.”

 

About UIDAI:

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

  • Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog).
  • UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India that is (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy, cost-effective way.
  • Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and also required to ensure the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.

Sources: toi.


 

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

 

Bill in LS to make holding of scrapped notes punishable

 

Government has introduced in Lok Sabha the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill that provides for holding, transfer and receiving of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes a criminal offence, punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000.

 

Key facts:

  • The Bill seeks to end the liability of RBI and the government on the currency notes demonetised in November last.
  • Once passed by Parliament, the bill will replace an ordinance promulgated on December 30 last which provides for a fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher, on holding of more than 10 banned 1,000 and 500 Rupee notes.
  • The bill states that the government took the demonetisation decision on the recommendations of the RBI’s central board to eliminate unaccounted money and fake currency notes from the financial system.
  • Apart from aiming at ceasing the liability on old notes, the bill also provides that an Indian citizen, who was outside the country between November 9 and December 30, will be entitled to tender the demonetised noted within the grace period under rules provided by the RBI.
  • It also prohibits the holding, transferring or receiving of these notes from December 31, 2016.
  • It also seeks to impose penalty for contravention of the ordinance, which it will replace, and to confer power upon the court of a first class Magistrate to impose penalty.

  

Background:

The ordinance provided for amending the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 to provide legislative support for extinguishing the central bank and government’s liability on the demonetised banknotes that are not returned.

The main objectives of the ordinance were to provide clarity and finality to the liability of the RBI and the Government of India for the specified bank notes (of 1,000 and 500); to provide an opportunity to those persons who were unable to deposit the SBNs within the time provided; and to declare holding, transferring or receiving SBNs as illegal, with provisions for penalty for contravention of any of the provisions of the Ordinance.

Sources: toi.


 

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

 

Govt introduces bill for wage payment via e-mode, cheques

 

Government has introduced a bill in Lok Sabha to enable Centre and states to specify the industries which will have to pay wages to workers only through cheques or crediting it to their bank accounts.

 

Key facts:

  • The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill 2017 seeks to enable employers to pay wages to workers through cheque or crediting to their bank accounts without obtaining written authorisation of the employees.
  • The bill will replace the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 15, 2016 and also seeks to repeal the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 promulgated on December 28, 2016.
  • The bill provides that “appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the industrial or other establishment, the employer of which shall pay to every person employed in such industrial or other establishment, the wages only by cheque or by crediting the wages in his bank account”.
  • The amendment enables the Centre as well as state governments to notify industries where employers shall have pay wages either through cheque or crediting that into workers’ bank accounts.
  • The bill also enables employers to pay through cheque or e-mode without the written authorisation of the worker. It provides that non-notified industries will have the option to pay “in current coin or currency notes or by cheque or by crediting wages in the bank account of the employee”.
  • As per the bill, the new procedure will serve the objective of “digital and less-cash economy”.
  • At present, with the written authorisation of an employee, wages can be given through cheque or transferred to his or her bank account.

Sources: toi.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

India to host key RCEP meeting at Hyderabad in July

 

India in July would host the negotiations for mega trade deal RCEP which aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries.

  • Hyderabad has been chosen to host the meeting.

 

About RCEP:

RCEP is the proposed mega-regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 16 Asia-Pacific countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10-member ASEAN bloc.

  • The RCEP seeks to achieve a modern and comprehensive trade agreement among members.
  • The core of the negotiating agenda would cover trade in goods and services, investment, economic and technical cooperation and dispute settlement.
  • The partnership would be a powerful vehicle to support the spread of global production networks and reduce the inefficiencies of multiple Asian trade agreements that exist presently.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims

 

Underwater harbour defence, surveillance system launched: 

  • An Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System was recently inaugurated in Mumbai.
  • The system will enhance the security of valuable assets against asymmetric threats.
  • The IUHDSS is a state of the art system with integrated radars, electro optic cameras and sonars.
  • IUHDSS is a state-of-the-art automated system capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and generating warning for surface and underwater threats.

 

RTI Act comes into force in Sri Lanka:

  • The Right to Information (RTI) Act has come into force in Sri Lanka.
  • This legislation is aimed at restoring transparency and good governance in a country that has been plagued by corruption and misrule.
  • The government had last week gazetted the categories of public authorities that fall within the purview of the RTI.
  • The authorities are bound to respond to these requests as per the specified guidlines, within a maximum period of 28 days.