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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 28 November 2016

 

 


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 28 November 2016


 

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

 

All India Conference of CAT

 

Two-day All India Conference of CAT was recently held in Delhi. The Conference was inaugurated by Shri Justice T. S. Thakur, Chief Justice of India.

  • The Judges of Supreme Court of India, Judges of High Court, Government officials and Advocates attended the conference.
  • The Conference is held to discuss and deliberate upon the problems faced by the institution and to bring improvement in the judicial/administrative system so as to achieve higher disposal in the shortest possible time.

 

About CAT:

The Central Administrative Tribunal was established by an Act of Parliament namely Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 as sequel to the 42nd amendment of the Constitution of India inserting Article 323 A.

 

Functions of the tribunal:

  • The tribunal adjudicates disputes and complaints with respect to Recruitment and Conditions of Service of the persons appointed to the Public Services and Posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or any State or of any other Local Authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.
  • Apart from above the Tribunal also has the jurisdiction on the employees of 208 Public Sector Undertakings/ Organizations notified by the Government.

 

Key facts:

  • The Principal seat of Central Administrative Tribunal is at New Delhi and it has 16 Outlying Benches scattered all over the Country.
  • The Tribunal is headed by the Chairman and 65 Members, 33 from Judicial (including Chairman) and 33 from the Administrative stream.
  • The Chairman is normally a retired Chief Justice of a High Court.

Sources: pib.


 

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.

 

e-Pashuhaat

 

e-pashuhaat portal was recently launched to connect farmers and breeders of bovine animals. The portal was launched on the occasion of birth anniversary of the father of India’s White Revolution Verghese Kurien and National Milk Day.

 

Key facts:

  • The Centre through the portal will provide all details at a single platform, including availability of bovine germplasm.
  • It will be a platform for sell of bovines, including information on semen, embryos and live animals with all the agencies and stake holders in the country.
  • The portal would make the farmers aware of availability of quality disease free bovine germplasm with different agencies in the country.
  • Animal fodder varieties, its volume and price information is also available in this portal. Farmers willing to purchase bovine animals can also avail the information of animal transport facilities in this e-pashu haat portal.
  • Since there is no authentic organised market for animals, the portal is likely to help fill in the vacuum.
  • The portal will also connect the farmers with the milk cooperatives in the country.

 

Background:

India has the largest bovine population in the world. India accounts for 14% of the world cattle population, while share for buffalo alone is 53%. The indigenous varieties are endowed with quality of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and survive with little inputs.

Sources: pib.


 

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

 

RBI introduces incremental CRR to manage excess liquidity

 

The Reserve Bank of India has increased the cash reserve requirement (CRR) for incremental deposits between September 16 and November 11 to 100%. The move is estimated to suck out around Rs 3.24 lakh crore excess liquidity from the system.

 

Why such move?

One of the main reasons for the RBI move is the rising amount of excess funds that banks were keeping with RBI through its reverse repo window. With the withdrawal of the legal tender status of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination bank notes beginning November 9, there has been a surge in deposits relative to the expansion in bank credit, leading to large excess liquidity in the system.

  • As per RBI data, total deposits rose from Rs 97 lakh core in the September 16 fortnight to Rs 101.1 lakh crore in the November 11 fortnight.
  • The new move is intended to absorb a part of the surplus liquidity arising from the return of specified bank notes to the banking system, while leaving adequate liquidity with banks to meet the credit needs of the productive sectors of the economy.

 

Implications of this move:

The RBI move will require all excess deposits that banks in India are getting because of the demonetisation move, is to be kept with the central bank for which the banks will not earn any interest. Banks will pay interest rate of 4% to depositors, but will earn nothing from RBI on the incremental deposits. So far, the banks which were keeping those extra funds with the RBI, were earning interest at up to 6.24% yearly rate.

The RBI measure could also lead to a rise in interest rates through sharp spike in yields.

 

What next?

RBI said the incremental CRR is intended to be a temporary measure within its liquidity management framework to drain excess liquidity in the system and shall be reviewed on December 9 or even earlier.  

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

WHO settles India, EU medicine dispute

 

In a significant victory for the global access to medicines campaign, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dropped the term ‘counterfeit’ and retained ‘falsified’ to describe medicines of inferior quality.

 

WHO euBackground:

The terms were being used interchangeably to confiscated Indian made generic drugs exported to other countries by showing that they were in violation of intellectual property.

 

What has the WHO said?

Settling a long standing dispute between India and the European Union (EU), WHO clarified that ‘counterfeit’— will now be used by member States with respect to protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

 

What’s the issue?

The European Union Free Trade Agreement (EU FTA) had reached a deadlock after affordable, safe-to-use generic drugs made in India were confiscated as ‘illegal’ and ‘counterfeit.’ Nearly 20 shipments of generic drugs, including basic antibiotics and anti-retrovirals, were detained while in transit from India to several developing countries via Europe between 2008 and 2009, derailing the free trade agreement negotiations.

 

Significance of this decision:

This decision by the WHO settles a long-standing battle about labelling of drugs. For far too long, genuine generic medicines have been labelled as counterfeit. The confusion had taken away the much needed attention from the substandard medicines — which is a bigger public health problem for developing countries. Additionally, big pharmaceutical companies were using the term ‘counterfeit’ to describe generic medicines and disrupting trade of generic medicines.   

 

Concerns:

Under international law, — the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) — the definition of counterfeit is clearly targeted at one particular area: wilful infringement of trademark on a commercial scale.

But, in reality, campaigns and legislation against counterfeit drugs often have nothing to do with concerns about drug quality. Major U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in limiting competition from generic drugs, and are using increased enforcement of intellectual property laws as a tool to clamp down on the legitimate trade in high-quality generic medicines between developing countries. 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims

 

13th World Robot Olympiad Commences:

  • The 13th World Robot Olympiad is being held in India.
  • It is jointly organized by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF).
  • The theme for this year’s event is ‘Rap the Scrap’.
  • Over 2000 students from 51 countries are participating in this international championship and will showcase innovative solutions using robotics technology to reduce, manage and recycle waste.
  • The competition is being held for students in the 9-25 years age group in the following four categories – Regular category (Elementary, Junior High, Senior High), WRO Football, Open category and Advanced Robotics Challenge.

National Milk Day:

  • November 26 was observed as National Milk across the country Day to mark the birth anniversary of Father of the White Revolution Dr. Verghese Kurien.
  • The idea of observing National Milk Day was first mooted by Indian Dairy Association in 2014 on the lines of World Milk Day observed on June 1 under the aegis of UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The first NMD was observed on 26 November 2014 by all Indian diary sector majors including National Dairy Development Board, Indian Dairy Association along with state level milk federations.
  • Verghese Kurien had dedicated his entire life for a cooperative movement which boosted the production of milk in India. Dr Kurien was an Indian social entrepreneur known as the ‘Father of the White Revolution’ for launching Operation flood — the world’s largest agricultural development programme.
  • Known as the ‘milkman of India’, Dr Kurien was the founder-Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) from 1965 to 1998, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) from 1973 to 2006 and the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) from 1979 to 2006, which are owned and managed by farmers and run by professionals.
  • India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 18.5 % of world production, achieving an annual output of 146.3 million tonnes during 2014-15 as compared to 137.69 million tonnes during 2013-14 recording a growth of 6.26 %. Whereas, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported a 3.1 % increase in world milk production in 2014.
  • The per capita availability of milk in India has increased from 176 grams per day in 1990-91 to 322 grams per day by 2014-15. It is more than the world average of 294 grams per day during 2013.

New Pakistan Army Chief:

  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister has picked Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa to replace outgoing army chief Raheel Sharif.
    Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa
    Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa
  • The army chief is arguably the most powerful person in Pakistan, with the military having ruled the country for more than half its 69-year history since independence from Britain.