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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 December 2016
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Proposal to amend law for cashless wage payments
The Centre has proposed amending a law to empower States and allow industries to pay wages by cheque or by direct credit into bank accounts.
- In this regard, the Union Labour ministry has proposed changes to the Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act of 1936.
- The proposal states that State governments may specify the industry through official notifications where the payment of wages shall be made through cheques or direct credit in bank accounts.
The present law states that all payment of wages should be made in cash, with a provision enabling employers to obtain written permission of the worker to pay either by cheque, or by crediting the wages to his or her bank account.
Significance of this move:
One of the reasons for the ineffective enforcement of payments of wages to workers is the payment of wages in cash. So, the payment of wages only through cheque or through bank transfer in the bank account of employed persons will reduce the complaints regarding non-payment or less payment of minimum wages, besides serving the objectives of digital and less cash economy.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Amazon rolls out Launchpad in India
Amazon Inc. has announced the launch of its global programme for start-up products, Launchpad, in India.
What is it?
Launchpad is a destination for start-ups to showcase unique products to millions of consumers world over.
- As part of the Launchpad programme, Amazon globally lists consumer products from start-ups to customers through its online marketplace.
- Amazon provides the marketing, discovery and logistics support for these products, which it claims get access to a global consumer base of over 300 million.
- India is the seventh country where Launchpad has started. Other countries include the US, Germany, China, France and UK, among others.
- Overall, Launchpad lists products from 600 start-ups across these seven markets.
- As minimum criteria, these start-ups are required to have a ready, consumer facing physical product that can be ordered and shipped.
Paper 3 Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Panel suggests one-time licensing for drugs
The drugs technical advisory board recently recommended one-time licensing for manufacture and sales of drugs, with a rider that there be at least one annual inspection and in cases where risk is high, more.
At present, the renewal of licences for each formulation rests with state regulators and is around three years.
Other proposals made:
- The board has also asked for separate rules for manufacturing, import, sale and distribution of cosmetics. It has suggested the European Union’s model.
- It has proposed making influenza drugs Oseltamivir and Zanamvir available widely at all pharmacies, by putting it in the Schedule H1 list. The two drugs have been treated as Schedule X drugs, available at select pharmacies.
- Another recommendation is to retain the four-year approval threshold for ‘new drugs’. The domestic industry felt if the definition of a new drug is extended to 10 years, innovation will take a back seat and wanting the four-year period to be retained.
Significance of the new move:
It will help in ‘ease of doing business’ and the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative at a time when the country is slipping in the competitiveness index. It will give a boost to industry and give comfort to our customers.
Paper 2 Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
MPs submit plea to remove Hyderabad High Court judge
Sixty-one Members of Parliament have submitted a petition to initiate removal proceedings against Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy of the Hyderabad High Court, to Rajya Sabha chairperson, Hamid Ansari. Mr. Ansari is yet to give any ruling on it.
There is an allegation made by a Mr. Rama Krishna, formerly principal junior civil judge, Rayachoty, Kadapa district, currently under suspension, that he was forced by Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy to remove the name of a Mr. Pavan Kumar Reddy, who happens to be the brother of Justice Reddy, from a declaration recorded by Mr. Rama Krishna when he was posted as magistrate at Rayachoty. Mr. Pavan Kumar Reddy is the additional public prosecutor of Rayachoty courts.
Removal of Judges:
Article 124(4) and the Judges Inquiry Act 1968 determine the procedure of removal of the judges:
- A motion of impeachment addressed to the President is to be signed by at least 100 members of the Lok Sabha or 50 members of the Rajya Sabha and then delivered to the Speaker of Lok Sabha or the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
- The motion is to be investigated by a Committee of 3 judges of the Supreme Court and a distinguished jurist.
- If the Committee finds the judge guilty of misbehavior or that he suffers from incapacity, the motion along with the report of the committee is taken up for consideration in the House where motion was moved.
- The judge is then removed by the requisite majority, i.e. majority of total and 2/3 of its members present and voting.
- A member of the higher judiciary, which means the Judges and Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of India and the state High Courts, can be removed from service only through the process of impeachment under Article 124 (4) of the Constitution.
- A judge is removable from his office, only on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity.
- Parliament is empowered to regulate the procedure for the investigation and proof of such misbehavior or incapacity.
- A judge may be removed from his office only by an order of the president.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims
- KONKAN 16 is the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy. It is being held at Mumbai and Goa.
- Exercise KONKAN, named after the Western coastal region of India, was institutionalised in 2004. Since then, the exercise hosted in rotation by both the Navies, has grown in complexity, scale and intensity.
- The exercise will involve sharing of best practices and lessons learnt from recent operations, especially in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
- KONKAN 16 will be an important chapter in the maritime interactions under the aegis of KONKAN series as it will familiarise both forces with each other’s planning processes and further enhance synergy and inter-operability.
NIDHI Aapke Nikat programme:
- Nidhi Aapke Niakat is a public outreach programme. It is held on the 10th of every month in all the 122 field offices of Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and is presided over by the officer-in-charge.
- It is an endeavour by the Organization to bring together all its different stakeholders on a common platform.
- The various new initiatives in the interest of employees/employers taken by the Organization are explained during the programme.
- It encourages employees and employers to give their suggestions and feedback regarding the different issues affecting the Organization besides redressing grievances.
- Approximately 17,000 grievances were received by EPFO since its inception in July, 2015. Efforts are to resolve these grievances on the spot itself. Out of the total grievances, as on date, only 268 grievances are pending.
- Nidhi Aapke Nikat not only adopts participatory and broad-based approach in dealing with its stakeholders, but also disseminates information regarding the new initiatives taken in their interest. Such measures shall, in due course, bring about greater public awareness of the rights and responsibilities of all the stakeholders and will in turn, check the number of grievances.