Insights Daily Current Affairs, 13 February 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 13 February 2017


 

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

 

‘Indradhanush 2.0’ on anvil for recapitalization of PSBs

 

Government plans to come out with ‘Indradhanush 2.0’, a comprehensive plan for recapitalisation of public sector lenders, with a view to make sure they remain solvent and fully comply with the global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III.

  • ‘Indradhanush 2.0’ will be finalised after completion of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) by the Reserve Bank, which is likely to be completed by March-end.

 

Background:

The RBI had embarked on the AQR exercise from December 2015 and asked banks to recognise some top defaulting accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs) and make adequate provisions for them. It has had a debilitating impact on banks’ numbers and their stocks. The central bank has set a deadline of March 2017 to complete the AQR exercise.

 

About Indradhanush mission:

Under Indradhanush roadmap announced in 2015, the government had announced to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in state-run banks over four years while they will have to raise a further Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the markets to meet their capital requirement in line with global risk norms, known as Basel-III.

  • The mission includes the seven key reforms of appointments, board of bureau, capitalisation, de-stressing, empowerment, framework of accountability and governance reforms.
  • In line with the plan, public sector banks were given Rs 25,000 crore in 2015-16, and similar amount has been earmarked for the current fiscal. Besides, Rs 10,000 crore each would be infused in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Centre aims to invest ₹2,200 cr. in electronic technology start-ups

 

The Centre is targeting an investment of about ₹2,200 crore by 2019 in start-ups working on new technologies in the electronic sector under the Electronics Development Fund (EDF).

  • The EDF would put in 10% of the capital in ‘daughter funds’ and the rest would be invested by venture capitalists. Hence, a targeted investment of ₹2,200 crore by the government will help mobilise ₹22,000 crore for the ‘daughter funds,’ which will then invest primarily in start-ups.

 

About Electronics Development Fund (EDF):

The EDF is a ‘fund of funds’ that works with venture capitalists to create funds, known as ‘daughter funds,’ which provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in the area of electronics, nano-electronics and IT.

  • The fund is an attempt to develop the electronics system design and manufacturing sector in the country to achieve “net zero imports” by 2020.

 

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.

 

Commerce ministry plans merger of commodity boards

 

The commerce ministry is planning merger of the commodity boards and set up an umbrella organisation in order to improve production and exports of plantation crops like tea, coffee and spices.

 

Why?

Some of these boards were set up way back in 1940s and their merger could help in harmonising their activities and in turn, enhance the quality and boost exports. Besides, one board will provide better services.  

 

Background:

The five commodity boards, under the ministry of commerce, are responsible for production, development and export of tea, coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco.

The Coffee Board is a statutory organisation constituted under the Coffee Act, 1942. Similarly, the Rubber Board was constituted under the Rubber Act, 1947. Tea Board was set up on 1st April, 1954 under the Tea Act, 1953. The Tobacco Board was constituted in January, 1976, while the Spices Board was formed in February, 1987.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

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

 

SC strikes down provisions of Karnataka quota law on promotion

 

The Supreme court has set aside provisions of the ‘Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the posts in the civil services of the State) Act’, 2002, which did away with ‘catch up’ rule and provided consequential seniority to persons belonging to Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in promotion.

  • The court observed, “In order to provide reservation in promotions, the states must first determine whether the criteria of ‘inadequacy of representation’, ‘backwardness’ and ‘overall efficiency’ are fulfilled.”
  • Relying on a constitution bench judgement, the court said the provisions of the Act are ultra vires to Articles 14 (right to equality) and 16 (equality of opportunity in Government service) of the Constitution.

 

What is catch up rule?

‘Catch up’ rule means that if a senior candidate of general category is promoted after SC/ST candidates, he would regain his seniority in promotion over the juniors promoted ahead of him under the reserved vacancies.

 

What else has the court said?

Under the 85th amendment to the Constitution, liberty has been given to states to give reservation in promotion with consequential seniority under Article 16(4A), if warranted under the criterias of ‘backwardness, ‘inadequacy of representation’ and ‘overall efficiency’.

Thus, it is clear that exercise for determining ‘inadequacy of representation’, ‘backwardness’ and ‘overall efficiency’, is a must for exercise of power under Article 16(4A). Mere fact that there is no proportionate representation in promotional posts for SCs and STs is not by itself enough to grant consequential seniority to promotees who are otherwise junior and thereby denying seniority to those who are given promotion later on account of reservation policy.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: indigenization of technology and developing new technology.    

 

Prithvi missile interceptor

 

India successfully test-fired what is hailed as a gen-next state-of-the-art interceptor missile from a defence base off Odisha coast recently, achieving a significant milestone in its ongoing Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme.

  • The homegrown anti-ballistic missile, dubbed Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), travels at supersonic speed and is capable of destroying targets at a high altitude of more than 120 km in the exo-atmospheric region.

 

Key facts:

  • Prithvi Defence Vehicle is the interceptor indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Prithvi Defence Vehicle interceptor missile is capable of killing an incoming missile with a strike range of around 2,000 km outside the earth’s atmosphere.
  • India is the fifth nation in the world to have a robust Ballistic Missile Defence system. Other countries are US, Russia, Israel and China.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims

 

Hunar Haat:

  • The second edition of Hunar Haath has begun in New Delhi.
  • It is being organized by the Minority Affairs Ministry to encourage, promote and provide national and international market to master artisans/craftsmen belonging to the Minority communities from across the country.
  • Theme: “Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam”.
  • “Hunar Haat” is being organized through National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme of Ministry of Minority Affairs.

 

India’s first ship to use solar energy on board:

  • The Indian Navy has installed solar panels on board survey ship INS Sarvekshak, based in Kochi.
  • With this, Sarvekshak has become the first ship in India, perhaps first in the world, to use solar energy on board.
  • The solar panels have the capacity to produce 5.4 KV of electricity, which is sufficient for internal lighting of the vessel round-the-clock.