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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 31 October 2020

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically.

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Who is a star campaigner?

2. New wage code bars bonus for those facing sex abuse charges.

3. China gears up for ‘strategic period’.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is Rural Development Fund?

2. Draft model Act on land titles.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. WII to conduct study on Olive Ridley turtles.

2. Punjab waives vehicle tax for bus operators.

3. SERB – Power scheme for women scientists.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Who is a star campaigner?


What?

Status of Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath as a star campaigner for the party revoked.

Who?

The status has been revoked by the Election Commission.

Why?

For “repeated violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and for completely disregarding the advisory issued to him”.

Implications:

Now, the entire expenditure on any campaigning by Mr. Nath for the November 3 by-election would be borne by the candidate in whose constituency he campaigns.

Who are star campaigners?

They can be described as persons who are nominated by parties to campaign in a given set of Constituencies. These persons are, in almost all cases, prominent and popular faces within the Party. However, there are no specific definitions according to law or the Election Commission of India.

Benefits:

The expenditure incurred on campaigning by such campaigners is exempt from being added to the election expenditure of a candidate. However, this only applies when a star campaigner limits herself to a general campaign for the political party she represents.

Recently, the Election Commission has revised norms for star campaigners for polls during the pandemic. As per the revised norms:

  1. Maximum number of star campaigners reduced from 40 to 30 for a recognised party.
  2. For unrecognised registered parties, the number of star campaigners has been reduced from 20 to 15.
  3. Besides, they now require permission from the district election official 48 hours prior to campaigning.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who is a star campaigner?
  2. How they are recognised?
  3. Recommended limits on their number by Election Commission.
  4. Benefits.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

New wage code bars bonus for those facing sex abuse charges:


Context:

There is a Provision in the Code on Wages that says those indulging in sexual harassment of any form could run the risk of losing out on bonus dues from their employers.

  • The new Code is expected to become operational once the government notifies the rules.

Related provisions in the new wage code:

  • The new code includes ‘conviction for sexual harassment’ as a ground for denying bonus payouts to employees.
  • As per the extant law, bonus dues are barred only in case of employees dismissed for fraud, violent conduct and theft or sabotage.

Significance:

The prospect of losing one’s benefits may make employees more careful of their conduct, and they should be made aware of this provision.

This serves as an additional deterrent apart from the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) law of 2013.

 As per the PoSH law guidelines:

  1. Firms are required to form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to inquire into complaints.
  2. The Committee is required to make recommendations to employers on the action required pursuant to its inquiry in such complaints.
  3. If the ICC upholds a complaint, it could be construed as a conviction.
  4. ICC has the powers to decide if someone is guilty and report it further to the police, though not all sexual harassment cases translate into a police case.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) law of 2013.
  2. About the Internal Complaints Committee.
  3. Powers of ICC.

Mains Link:

The prospect of losing one’s benefits may make employees more careful of their conduct. Discuss this in the context of a Provision in the Code on Wages that says those indulging in sexual harassment of any form could run the risk of losing out on bonus dues from their employers.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

China gears up for ‘strategic period’:


Context:

China’s ruling party-Communist Party of China (CPC)– sets long-term targets for boosting economy and military power.

Key targets announced: 

It announced three goals to be achieved by 2025, 2027 and 2035:

  1. Boosting domestic consumption and innovation.
  2. A national security and defence modernisation plan ahead of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) centennial in 2027.
  3. A ‘Vision 2035’ longer-term economic blueprint that calls for “big leaps” in economic strength and technological prowess.

Significance:

The new economic blueprint would broadly push for China to double its GDP and current per capita GDP of $10,000 by 2035.

  • The plan is also to realise what it called “the unity of a rich country and a strong Army”.
  • It stressed the importance of informatisation and to “strengthen military training and war preparation”.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.

What is Rural Development Fund?


Context:

The Centre has asked the Punjab Government to explain its utilisation of the Rural Development Fund (RDF) that it gets largely from the Food Corporation of India (FCI). This has enraged the state government.

What is Rural Development Fund or RDF?

RDF is the 3 per cent cess levied on the purchase or sale of agricultural produce under the Rural Development Fund Act, 1987 which is executed by Punjab Rural Development Board (PRDB) with the Chief Minister as its chairman.

From where does Punjab get this fund and what is it used for?

It comes mainly from central government’s purchase agency, Food Corporation of India, which buys around 13 million tonnes of wheat and 16 million tonnes of paddy every year.

  • This fund is supposed to be used for the creation and maintenance of rural infrastructure in and outside mandis. But there have been charges in the past that it was diverted by the state for other purposes.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About RDF.
  2. How is it funded?
  3. What is it used for?
  4. Powers of Centre wrt to RDF.

Mains Link:

What is Rural Development Fund? What is its significance? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Land reforms in India.

Draft model Act on land titles:


Context:

The NITI Aayog has released the draft model Act and rules for states on conclusive land titling.

Objective: To reduce litigations and ease the land acquisition process for infrastructure projects.

Under The Model Act:

  1. State governments will have the power to order for establishment, administration and management of a system of title registration of immovable properties.
  2. The land dispute resolution officer and land title appellate tribunal are one-shot institutions which will fade away as the work reduces.
  3. After three years of its notification, the register of title attains conclusivity without any external action.
  4. Conclusive land titles are guaranteed by the state for correctness and entail provision for compensation by the state in case of any dispute.
  5. Any person aggrieved may file an objection before the Title Registration Officer within three years from the date of such notification. Following this, the Title Registration Officer shall make an entry to that effect in Register of Titles and in the Register of Disputes and refer the case to the land dispute resolution officer.
  6. A party aggrieved with an order of the land dispute resolution officer may file an appeal before the Land Titling Appellate Tribunal within 30 days of passing of such an order.
  7. A special bench of High court shall be designated to deal with appeals against the orders passed by the Land Titling Appellate Tribunal.

Need for and significance of Conclusive Land titles:

Conclusive land titles are guaranteed by the state for their correctness and entail provision for compensation by the state in case of any disputes.

  • Conclusive land titling will facilitate easy access of credit to farmers and reduce a large number of land-related litigations.
  • It will also enable transparent real estate transactions and land acquisition for infrastructure development.
  • Guaranteed title systems have been developed and adopted in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

fream_work

Sources: Economic Times.

 


Facts for Prelims


WII to conduct study on Olive Ridley turtles:

The Odisha government has requested the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to conduct a fresh study for identifying the movement of Olive Ridley sea turtles, which would help the State renew its conservation efforts along its coast.

Key facts:

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
  • They inhabit warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • Rushikulya rookery coast in the Ganjam district of Odisha, Gahirmatha beach and the mouth of the Debi River, are the major nesting sites in Odisha.

fream_work

Punjab waives vehicle tax for bus operators:

The Punjab government has ordered 100% waiver on motor vehicle tax till December 31 for all stage carriage, mini and school buses, while deferring payment of arrears of taxes, without interest and penalty, to March 31, 2021.

Power scheme for women scientists:

POWER- Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research.

  • It is a scheme to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research funding in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.
  • Launched by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

It will have two components namely: (1) SERB-POWER Fellowship; (2) SERB- POWER Research Grants.

power_scheme

 


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