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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB Summary – 03 December 2019

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB Summary – 03 December 2019

Table of contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. Administration of Oath in legislature.
  2. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
  3. Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).
  4. National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons.

GS Paper 3:

  1. Blue flag programme.

Facts for prelims:

  1. Power of Siberia.

  2. First woman pilot in Navy.

  3. India’s first maritime museum in Gujarat.

  4. Hornbill Festival.

 


GS Paper 2


Topics Covered:

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Administration of Oath in legislature

What to study?

For Prelims: How is oath administered?

For Mains: Can it be altered? Who is the ultimate authority to decide?

 

Context: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has alleged that the oath-taking ceremony of the new government had violated the Constitution- The format of the oath was not followed.

 

What the constitution says?

Article 164(3) says: “Before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.”

The Third Schedule requires the taker of the oath to either “swear in the name of God” or to “solemnly affirm” to “bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution…”.

 

Can it be altered?

Art 164 makes it clear that the text of the oath is sacrosanct, and the person taking the oath has to read it out exactly as it is, in the given format.

If a person wanders from the text, it is the responsibility of the person administering the oath — in this instance the Governor — to interrupt and ask the person being sworn in to read it out correctly.

 

Role of the Governor:

The Governor’s approval is key.

  • According to experts, if the person administering the oath approves the oath, the matter is closed. Immediately on taking the oath, the person who has been sworn in, must sign a register.
  • The register is attested by the Secretary to the Governor, which means it has been approved by the Governor.
  • Once Governor takes it as read, and the Secretary to the Governor has attested that the oath has been administered, and the gazette notification has come out, then it is no longer an issue, it cannot be legally challenged.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: NCLAT- objectives, composition and significance.

Context: Government to set up National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Bench in Chennai.

About NCLAT:

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) was constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Functions:

  1. It hears appeals against the orders of National Company Law Tribunal(s) (NCLT), with effect from 1st June, 2016.
  2. It is the Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by NCLT(s) under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).
  3. It is the Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India under Section 202 and Section 211 of IBC.
  4. It is the Appellate Tribunal to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction issued or decision made or order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Composition:

The President of the Tribunal and the chairperson and Judicial Members of the Appellate Tribunal shall be appointed after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

The Members of the Tribunal and the Technical Members of the Appellate Tribunal shall be appointed on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of:

  1. Chief Justice of India or his nominee—Chairperson.
  2. A senior Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of High Court— Member.
  3. Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs—Member.
  4. Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice—Member.
  5. Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance— Member.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

 

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: About PVTGs, spread in different states, issues related to their protection and statutory rights given to them.

 

Context: The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs recently informed about the funds released under the PVTGs scheme, to the Parliament.

 

About ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)’:

PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.

  • They have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.
  • They generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.

 

Identification:

In 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups, while in 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes, spread over 18 states and one Union Territory (A&N Islands) in the country (2011 census).

Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12).

 

Scheme for development of PVTGs:

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs implements the Scheme of “Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)” exclusively for them.

  • Under the scheme, Conservation-cum-Development (CCD)/Annual Plans are to be prepared by each State/UT for their PVTGs based on their need assessment, which are then appraised and approved by the Project Appraisal Committee of the Ministry.
  • Priority is also assigned to PVTGs under the schemes of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Scheme(TSS), Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution, Grants-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations working for the welfare of Schedule Tribes and Strengthening of Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts.

 

The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are as under:

  1. A pre-agriculture level of technology.
  2. A stagnant or declining population.
  3. Extremely low literacy.
  4. A subsistence level of economy.

Sources: Down to Earth.


 

Topics Covered:

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

 

National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features, eligibility of the scheme.

For Mains: Need for and significance of the scheme.

 

About the scheme:

It is a pension scheme for the Vyaparis (shopkeepers/retail traders and self-employed persons) with annual turnover not exceeding Rs 1.5 crore.

  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme.
  • The enrolment under the scheme is free of cost for the beneficiaries.
  • The enrolment is based upon self-certification.
  • It has a provision for minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000/- monthly on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government shall give 50 % share of the monthly contribution and remaining 50% contribution shall be made by the beneficiary.

 

Eligibility:

  1. Beneficiary is required to have an Aadhaar card and a saving bank/ Jan-dhan Account passbook only.
  2. He/ She should be within 18 to 40 years of age group.
  3. GSTIN is required only for those with turnover above Rs. 40 lakhs.
  4. The beneficiary should not be income tax payer and also not a member of EPFO/ESIC/NPS (Govt.)/PM-SYM.

 

Significance:

This scheme will target enrolling 25 lakh subscribers in 2019-20 and 2 crore subscribers by 2023-2024. An estimated 3 crore Vyaparis in the country are expected to be benefitted under the pension scheme.

Sources: pib.


Topics covered: 

Issues related to health and Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Bill banning e-cigarettes passed

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key provisions, e-cigarettes- concerns, effects on health, need for regulation, challenges associated and measures needed.

 

Context: Parliament has passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019.

Provisions of the bill:

  1. The Bill categorizes production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement of e-cigarettes and similar devices as cognizable offences.
  2. The bill stipulates that persons found in violation of the law for the first time will face a jail term of up to one year or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. For subsequent offences, a jail term of up to three years and fine upto Rs 5 lakh.
  3. It further punishes storage of e-cigarettes with imprisonment up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000, or both. Once the Bill comes into force, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes will have to declare and deposit these stocks at the nearest office of an authorized officer.

What are Electronic-cigarettes?

Battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine, which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.

These include all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices.

Why prohibit?

  1. Their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children.
  2. Apart from nicotine, e-cigarettes may also be used for delivery of other psychoactive substances.
  3. Widespread use and unchecked proliferation of e-cigarettes and the like devices would seriously undermine and derail Government’s efforts to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use.

Significance of the decision:

  • The decision to prohibit e-cigarettes will help protect population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through E-cigarettes.
  • Enforcement of the Ordinance will complement government’s efforts for tobacco control and will help in reduction of tobacco use and reduction in associated economic and disease burden.
  • The WHO has also urged member countries to take appropriate steps including prohibiting these products.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper 3


Topics Covered:

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Blue flag programme

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Key features, eligibility criteria and significance of the scheme.

Context: The MoEFCC has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country.

Beaches identified in India:

13 pilot beaches have been identified for the certification.

These include Ghoghala Beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod (Karnagaka), Kappad beach (Kerala) etc.

Chandrabhaga beach of Odisha’s Konark coast was the first to complete the tag certification process will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification.

Blue flag programme:

The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).

  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.
  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.

Criteria:

There are nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification, such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, have first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for prelims:


Power of Siberia:

What is it? It is a massive gas pipeline linking one of the most remote parts of Russia with a far-flung region of China.

  • The pipeline stretches more than 3,000km (1,864 miles).
  • Under this pipeline project, Russia will deliver 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China over the next 30 years.
  • The pipeline will pass through the deltas of the Yangtze and Amur rivers of China.

 

First woman pilot in Navy:

Sub Lieutenant Shivangi Swaroop is the first pilot in the Indian navy. She recently qualified as a Dornier pilot.

Background: Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh are the first women pilots in the Indian Air Force.

 

India’s first maritime museum in Gujarat:

A National Maritime Heritage Museum will be established at Lothal in Gujarat.

  • The museum will act as an independent research center for archaeology of boat building, reconstruction of maritime history and materials traded.
  • It will hold display of salvaged materials from shipwreck sites in Indian Ocean waters.

 

Hornbill Festival:

  • hornbill festivalNagas celebrate this festival to revive, protect, sustain and promote the richness of the Naga heritage and traditions.
  • It occurs during 1 – 10 December on an annual basis.
  • It is also called the “Festival of Festivals”.
  • The festival pays tribute to Hornbill, the most admired and revered bird for the Nagas for its qualities of alertness and grandeur.
  • It is organized by State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments and also supported by Union Government.
  • Hornbill Festival was established on 1st December 1963 and was inaugurated by the then President Dr. S Radhakrishnan.