Insights Daily Current Events, 19 April 2016
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Services corner bulk of FDI inflows
According to an analysis of the official data by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and Citi Research, more than half of total FDI inflows in 2015 came into the services sector, comprising software, financial services, trading, hospital and tourism.
- Although India received an all-time high annual foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2015, the surge is led by the inflows into the services sector.
- In 2014, the services sector accounted for about a third of the gross inflows. FDI into the sector in 2015 was 111% higher than in 2014.
- The inflows into the manufacturing sector are up 6% in 2015 after the 19% fall in 2014. FDI into infrastructure in 2015 was marginally lower than in 2014.
- Inflows to construction surged 188% from $1527 million to $4,405 million. Insurance received $581 million against $236 million, a 146% jump.
- FDI in Railways declined 67% to $71 million from $213 million in the previous year. Air transport too saw lower inflows — $50 million against $73 million. For mining the fall was from $666 million to $547 million. The defence sector is yet to receive FDI.
- In the 20 months of the NDA government, India has received total FDI of $85 billon compared to $59 billion in a similar period before that. FDI outflows (Indians investing overseas) declined 37%, confirming the change in investor sentiment.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 1 Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
Kohinoor given away voluntarily to British: Govt.
The centre has told the Supreme Court that the Kohinoor was given away voluntarily to British. This was stated by the centre during a hearing of a petition filed by an NGO, on whether the government intends to make a bid to get back the Kohinoor.
What the centre says?
The heirs of Maharaja Ranjit Singh gave the Kohinoor to the British as voluntary compensation to cover the expenses of the Anglo-Sikh Wars.
The court has asked the petitioner to file a comprehensive affidavit covering all possible dimensions of the matter after consulting the Ministry of External Affairs and the Union Ministry of Culture.
The return of Kohinoor diamond to India has been a long-standing demand, with many claiming that the diamond was taken forcibly. The fight to get back the diamond has been ongoing since India’s independence.
The Indian government, believing the gem was rightfully theirs, made the first demand for the return of the Kohinoor diamond soon after independence. A second request followed in 1953, the year of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Each time, the British government refuted the claims, saying that ownership was non-negotiable.
In 2000, several members of the Indian Parliament signed a letter calling for the diamond to be given back to India, claiming it was taken illegally. British officials said that a variety of claims meant it was impossible to establish the gem’s original owner.
Who owns the diamond, anyway?
It is not just India that is claiming ownership of the diamond; the list includes Pakistan and Aghanistan, too.
- The diamond belonged to the Sikh Ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- It has been in British possession for more than 150 years.
- It is now priced at 100 million euros.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Are there no rights violations in Union Territories, SC asks Centre
In what could be a first step towards Union territories getting better access to justice, the Supreme Court has questioned why people in these central government regulated regions were to come to Delhi to file their complaints regarding human rights violations.
What the Centre says?
The Centre has told the Supreme Court that Delhi cannot have a State Human Rights Commission as it is a Union Territory and not a State. It says, “Delhi has to continue without an SHRC until Parliament amends the law.”
The court’s question came on a contempt petition filed against the government for failing to set up a state human rights commission (SHRC) in Delhi. The apex court, in a verdict last year, had directed Delhi, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh to set up SHCs in their respective states within six months. The petition was filed for the alleged violation of this verdict.
- It should be noted here that Delhi accounts for the second largest human rights violation cases, after Uttar Pradesh, with the National Human Rights Commission.
State Human Rights Commission:
The Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993 provides for the creation of not only the National Human Rights Commission but also a State Human Rights Commission at the state level.
A State Human Rights Commission can inquire into violation of human rights only in respect of subjects mentioned in the State List (List-II) and the Concurrent List (List-III) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. However, if any such case is already being inquired into by the National Human Rights Commission or any other Statutory Commission, then the State Human Rights Commission does not inquire into that case.
- The State Human Rights Commission is a multi-member body consisting of a chairperson and two members.
- The chairperson should be a retired Chief Justice of a High Court and members should be a serving or retired judge of a High Court or a District Judge in the state with a minimum of seven years experience as District Judge and a person having knowledge or practical experience with respect to human rights.
- The chairperson and members are appointed by the Governor on the recommendations of a committee consisting of the chief minister as its head, the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the state home minister and the leader of the opposition in the Legislative Assembly.
- In the case of a state having Legislative Council, the chairman of the Council and the leader of the opposition in the Council would also be the members of the committee.
- A sitting judge of a High Court or a sitting District Judge can be appointed only after consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the concerned state.
- The chairperson and members hold office for a term of five years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
- After their tenure, the chairperson and members are not eligible for further employment under a state government or the Central government.
Appointment and removal:
- Although the chairperson and members of a State Human Rights Commission are appointed by the governor, they can be removed only by the President (and not by the governor).
- The President can remove them on the same grounds and in the same manner as he can remove the chairperson or a member of the National Human Rights Commission.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- IndianOil Corporation has inked an MoU with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation to examine the possibility of jointly working on setting up a LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) import terminal at Chittagong port and other downstream infrastructure in that country. The agreement would help India use the Chittagong port for importing LPG and then transporting it to Tripura through pipeline for use in northeastern states.
- Scientists have identified three new species of mouse lemurs in Madagascar, taking the total number of known mouse lemur species to 24. Mouse lemurs are small, nocturnal primates, which are only found in Madagascar – and they all look very similar with their brown fur and large eyes. The three new discovered species are named- Ganzhorn’s mouse lemur, Microcebus manitatra and Microcebus boraha. According to the “Red List” of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) more than 100 known species of lemurs are threatened by extinction and represent the world’s most endangered group of mammals.
- Reliance Jio has announced the launch of its 8,100-km Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) offering direct connectivity to South East Asia and the Middle East. The undersea cable landing facility is housed in Chennai. BBG connects India to South East Asia and the Middle East, with onward connectivity to Europe, Africa and Far East Asia via connections to other cable systems. It has an initial capacity of 9 Tbps, based on 100-Gbps wavelengths. Other members of the consortium include Dialog Axiata, Etisalat, Omantel, Telecom Malaysia, and Vodafone. The consortium awarded a construction contract for the submarine cable systems in 2013 to Alcatel-Lucent. BBG uses high-speed broadband fibre optic technology; dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) which allows the capacity to be increased without any additional submarine intervention.
- The Government has released a Rs.200 commemorative coin and a Rs.10 circulation coin on the occasion of the Martyrdom day of Tatya Tope, one of the outstanding Indian leaders of the 1857 revolt against the British. Tatya tope fought during 1857 revolt along with Jhansi ki Rani and Nana Sahib. He was defeated by General Napier’s British Indian troops at Ranod and after a further defeat at Sikar abandoned the campaign. He was executed by the British Government at Shivpuri on April 18, 1859.
- Maharashtra government has decided to make it mandatory to have a hologram on every alcohol bottle manufactured and sold in the state in order to check sale of spurious liquor.