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Insights Daily Current Events, 19 August 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 19 August 2015

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SC warns Devaswoms of criminal prosecution

The Supreme Court recently took note of pleas alleging cruelty meted out to captive elephants in Kerala, particularly in temples, and has directed the top wildlife officer to undertake a headcount of all of them and act against those keeping them without the requisite permission.

What else has the Court said?

  • It shall be the duty of the State, the District Committee (set up under the Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules, 2012, devaswoms, temple managements and elephant owners to see that no elephant is meted out any kind of cruelty. If it is found, apart from lodging of criminal prosecution, they shall face severe consequences, which may include confiscation of the elephants by the State.
  • Devaswoms should get themselves registered with the respective district committees under the 2012 Rules within the next six weeks to ensure “proper and effective control” of their conduct. The onus is on the State to ensure that the devaswoms comply with the directive. The devaswoms should intimate the number of elephants used in a festival to the district committee.
  • Festival committees should strictly adhere to Rule 10 of the 2012 Rules, which lists a series of 18 conditions before making an elephant a part of the festivity. These include sufficient space between elephants in a procession or parade; sick, pregnant or elephants in musth should not be used; chains or hobbles or spike should not be used; ensure that elephants are not made to walk on tarred roads without long periods of rest; no bursting of crackers near an elephant; provision for food and water; presence of a vet; protection from bodily harm and taunts, ensure the mahouts are not drunk, etc.

The court has directed the Chief Wildlife Warden to make an exact count of captive elephants in Kerala on the basis of data already available with his office for giving ownership certificates under the Protection of Wildlife Act, 1972. The court has asked the Warden to take appropriate action in law against those who did not apply for ownership certificates.

The court has also directed that the owners should comply with Rule 6 of the 2012 Rules and maintain an ‘Elephant Data Book’ as specified by the Chief Wildlife Warden for each captive elephant.

Sources: The Hindu.

ICICI Bank launches fully automated digital locker

ICICI Bank has launched the first of its kind fully automated digital locker which would be available to customers even on weekends and post banking hours.

Details:

  • The locker is named ‘Smart Vault’.
  • It is equipped with multi-layer security system, including biometric and PIN authentication and debit cards, among others.
  • Customers can access it without any intervention by the branch staff.
  • ICICI bank has said that the ‘Smart Vault’ is an example of ‘Make In India’ programme as it has been designed and manufactured by Indian partners.
  • The vault uses robotic technology to access the lockers from the safe vault and enables customers to access their lockers at any time of their preference.

Sources: The Hindu.

State Bank of India launches mobile wallet app ‘Buddy’

State Bank of India recently launched a mobile wallet app, SBI Buddy, in collaboration with Accenture and Mastercard.

About SBI Buddy:

  • The service will be available to existing as well as non-SBI customers.
  • The mobile wallet app can be used to send money to new and registered customers, book for movies, flights, hotels as well as for shopping.
  • It also has features like reminders to settle dues, recharge and pay bills instantly.

Sources: The Hindu.

Anti-dumping duty imposed on ‘linen’ fabric from China, Hong Kong

The Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on ‘flax’ or ‘linen’ fabric imports from China and Hong Kong.

  • This duty would be applicable only on those flax fabrics with flax content of over 50%.
  • This duty would be effective for a period of five years (unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier) from August 12, 2015.
  • The duty has been imposed based on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti Dumping duty (DGAD).

Anti-dumping duty on flax or linen fabric having flax content of more than 50% was first imposed in December 2009. Subsequently, a review was carried out as a subsidiary company of Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited filed a petition seeking continuation of the duty on such fabric imports from China and Hong Kong.

About Linen:

  • Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum.
  • Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very absorbent and garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.
  • ‘Flax’ and ‘linen’ are synonymous and these fibres are used to produce yarn and fabric.

The anti-dumping duty is levied on distrustfully low-priced imports, so as to protect the domestic manufacturers.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

S.P. Misra among three recommended for Dhyan Chand Award

Former Davis Cup captain S.P. Misra, India volleyball captain T.P.P. Nair and Olympian hockey goalkeeper Romeo James have been recommended for this year’s Dhyan Chand Award.

  • The award selection committee, headed by ex-India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal, picked these three sportspersons out of 60 applicants at a meeting held recently.

About the Award:

  • Dhyan Chand Award is India’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports and games. The award is named after the legendary Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand.
  • It is given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
  • The award carries a cash prize of INR 500,000, a plaque and a scroll of honour.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

RBI cancels licences of 7 NBFCs

The RBI has cancelled the certificate of registration of seven NBFCs.

  • Following the cancellation of registration certificate, these companies cannot transact NBFC operations as laid down under clause (a) of Section 45-I of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • However, the RBI has not clearly stated the reasons for cancellation.

NBFCs:

Non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) are financial institutions that provide banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank, i.e. one that does not hold a banking license. These institutions typically are restricted from taking deposits from the public depending on the jurisdiction. Nonetheless, operations of these institutions are often still covered under a country’s banking regulations.

  • The Reserve Bank of India is entrusted with the responsibility of regulating and supervising the Non-Banking Financial Companies by virtue of powers vested under Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Difference between Banks and NBFCs:

NBFCs lend and make investments and hence their activities are akin to that of banks; however there are a few differences as given below:

  • NBFC cannot accept demand deposits;
  • NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself;
  • deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks.

Sources: The Hindu, RBI.

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