Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 July 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 July 2017


 

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

 

Untrained teachers get 2 years to qualify

 

The Lok Sabha has passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill.

right-to-education-act

Key facts:

The bill allows teachers appointed on or before March 31, 2015 to acquire minimum qualifications within a period of four years from the date of commencement of the Act. This gives the 8.5 lakh unqualified teachers, appointed after implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) law, another chance to get recognized degrees.

 

What necessitated this move?

Many new schools had come up in the days of educational expansion under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the RTE, and many teachers who were hired did not have requisite degrees, some having studied only till school. They were given five years to train themselves, and many did, but 5-6 lakh private schools teachers and 2.5-lakh government school teachers still did not have the requisite degrees. The qualifications are deemed necessary to ensure that teachers are well-qualified to ensure quality of education.

 

Background:

According to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which came into force on April 1, 2010, a teacher, who did not possess minimum qualifications, was required to acquire them in five years.

The Act was enacted to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the age of six and 14 years. The central government subsequently received requests from states for extension of the period to enable them complete the training process for in-service untrained teachers.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

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

 

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

 

The India-Japan Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy entered into force on July 20, 2017 with the exchange of diplomatic notes between Dr. S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary and H.E. Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India.

  • The pact was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan on November 11, 2016.

india japan nuclear deal

 

Key facts:

  • India is the first non-member of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to have signed such a deal with Japan. The deal will help India access Japan’s nuclear market.
  • The deal includes the option that Japan can give a year’s notice before terminating it in case India breaks the nuclear testing moratorium that it had extended to the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008.
  • The deal is significant as it will help guarantee Japan’s continued support to India’s civil nuclear programme.
  • The deal will bring Japan into the Indian nuclear market where France and Russia have already have a strong presence.

 

Significance of this move:

  • This Agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.
  • It seeks to promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.
  • The deal is essential for bringing a network of nuclear energy cooperation for India, especially with the U.S. as prominent American nuclear companies are owned by the Japanese nuclear majors.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 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.

 

Government mulls insurance cover for digital transaction frauds

 

The government is “very seriously” considering the recommendations of the Chandrababu Naidu committee on digital payment security, including insurance cover for the victims of fraudulent digital transactions.

digital security

Important recommendations made by the committee:

  • The Committee of Chief Ministers on Digital Payment, chaired by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu, has in its interim report suggested several measures for digital payment security, including an insurance scheme to cover losses incurred in digital transactions on account of fraud, etc.
  • The report suggests that in order to address the apprehension of the general public in adopting digital payments, the scheme should target low-ticket transactions to cover the vulnerable sections like small merchants, farmers etc.

 

Need for digital security:

The number of digital transactions in the country was rising and hence the concern for their security.

  • Around 1,200 crore digital transactions take place annually in the country. Of these, between 0.005% and 0.007% are fraudulent transactions.
  • The number of cases of frauds involving credit cards, ATM/debit cards and Internet banking during 2015-16 was 16,468 and in 2016-17 it was 13,653.
  • As per incidents reported to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), 40 phishing incidents affecting 19 financial organisations and 10 incidents affecting ATMs, Point of Sale (POS) systems and Unified Payment Interface (UPI) have been reported during November 2016 to June 2017.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

India performs miserably in war on inequality

 

The index and the inequality report was recently released by the international NGO Oxfam and Development Finance International.

  • It measures the efforts of governments that had pledged to reduce inequality as part of the sustainable development goals.
  • The index mainly focusses on redistributive actions governments can take, rather than those that would prevent rising inequality in the first place.

fight for equality

Performance of various countries:

  • India has been ranked 132 out of 152 countries.
  • OECD countries headed by Sweden ranked the highest while Nigeria was at the bottom.
  • The US had the highest level of inequality among developed countries, though it is the wealthiest country in history.
  • Bhutan, known for coining the term `Gross National Happiness’, is ranked even lower than India at 143.
  • Of India’s immediate neighbours, all but Nepal (81) and China (87) ranked between 138 and 150.

 

Sources: et.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

NGT directs Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh to submit guidelines on forest fire

 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh governments to submit the national forest fire prevention and control guidelines.

  • The court has also asked both the state governments to inform it about the total number of forest fires till date starting from 2016.
  • The tribunal had earlier directed the states to submit crisis management plan for prevention and control of forest fires to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

ngt

Background:

In Himachal Pradesh during 2016-17, there were 1,545 forest fires which affected 13,069 hectare causing loss of Rs 1.53 crore, whereas, in 2015-16, there were 672 fire incidents which caused harm in 5,749.95 hectare area causing loss of Rs 1.34 crore.

 

National Green Tribunal (NGT):

The National Green Tribunal has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

  • It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues. The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
  • The powers of tribunal related to an award are equivalent to Civil court and tribunal may transmit any order/award to civil court have local jurisdiction.
  • Any person aggrieved by an award, decision, or order of the Tribunal may appeal to the Supreme Court within 90 days of commencement of award but Supreme Court can entertain appeal even after 90 days if appellant satisfied SC by giving sufficient reasons.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

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

 

Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

 

The National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) has been released.

 

What you need to know about the NTFAP?

The Action Plan aims to transform cross-border clearance ecosystem through efficient, transparent, risk-based, co-ordinated, digital, seamless and technology driven procedures which are supported by advanced sea ports, airports, and land borders.

  • The NTFAP aims to achieve improvement in ease of doing business by reducing cargo release time and cost, promote paperless regulatory environment, transparent and predictable legal regime and improved investment climate through better infrastructure.
  • NTFAP also awards specific responsibilities to all regulatory agencies like Customs, FSSAI, Drug Controller, Plant Quarantine, DGFT, etc to be completed in a time-bound manner.
  • This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and Ease of Doing Business which goes beyond TFA.
  • Apart from activities under the ambit of TFA, the Action Plan also goes beyond to what has been defined as TFA Plus category. It covers many activities in the areas of infrastructure augmentation, particularly the roadways and railways leading to ports and the infrastructure within ports, airports, ICDs, land customs stations that cuts across all stakeholders for which various ministries like shipping, civil aviation, railways, road transport and highways, Home Affairs, Finance, Commerce etc have been assigned specified targets.
  • All actions covered under the plan have been categorized by prioritizing the activities into short term, midterm and long term. The National Plan would be monitored by the Steering Committee (the operational arm of the NCTF) chaired by the Revenue Secretary and the Commerce Secretary. The plan would be reviewed by the Cabinet Secretary.

 

Trade facilitation:

The Trade Facilitation Agreement forms part of the Bali Package agreed by members at the Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali.

  • The agreement contains provisions for faster and more efficient customs procedures through effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
  • It also contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
  • It is being believed, especially by the proponents of the agreement that deal could add $1 trillion to global GDP and also can generate 21 million jobs by slashing red tape and streamlining customs.

 

Sources: the hindu.