Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 19 January 2021

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 18 January

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Task force on marriage age submits report to PMO.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. SC directive on quota in promotions.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Balance sheet of a bad bank.

2. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).

3. GI tag sought for India’s costliest mushroom

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Desert Knight-21.

2. Rakshita.

3. Tsari Chu river.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.

Task force on marriage age submits report to PMO:


Context:

The task force was set up to take a re-look at the age of marriage for women has submitted its report to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  • It was headed by Jaya Jaitley.

When was the task force set up?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech last year proposed a panel on the “age of a girl entering motherhood” to lower maternal mortality rates and improve nutrition levels.

But when the decision to appoint a task force was announced, its terms of reference included examining “the correlation of age of marriage and motherhood” with health and nutritional status of mothers and infants.

Criticism:

Women’s rights activists have opposed the suggestion of raising the age of marriage from 18 to 21 for women and have cited evidence to show that such a move may be used to incarcerate young adults marrying without parents’ consent.

What the law says?

Currently, the law prescribes that the minimum age of marriage is 21 and 18 years for men and women, respectively.

The minimum age of marriage is distinct from the age of majority, which is gender-neutral.

  1. An individual attains the age of majority at 18 as per the Indian Majority Act, 1875.
  2. For Hindus, Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 sets 18 years as the minimum age for the bride and 21 years as the minimum age for the groom. Child marriages are not illegal but can be declared void at the request of the minor in the marriage.
  3. In Islam, the marriage of a minor who has attained puberty is considered valid under personal law.
  4. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 also prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men respectively.

Why is the law being relooked at?

  • From bringing in gender-neutrality to reduce the risks of early pregnancy among women, there are many arguments in favour of increasing the minimum age of marriage of women.
  • Early pregnancy is associated with increased child mortality rates and affects the health of the mother.
  • Despite laws mandating minimum age and criminalising sexual intercourse with a minor, child marriages are very prevalent in the country.
  • Also, according to a study, children born to adolescent mothers (10-19 years) were 5 percentage points more likely to be stunted (shorter for their age) than those born to young adults (20-24 years).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Jaya Jailtley committee was constituted for the purpose of?
  2. Legal provisions related to minimum age of marriage for men and women in India.
  3. Key provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  4. Overview of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

Mains Link:

Do you think minimum age for marriage for men and women should be raised? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

SC directive on quota in promotions:


Context:

The Supreme Court has asked Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to compile the various issues being raised by States with regard to the application of a Constitution Bench judgment of 2006 in M. Nagaraj case.

  • The court in M. Nagaraj case had upheld the application of creamy layer principle to members of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in promotions.
  1. Nagaraj Case:

On June 17, 1995, Parliament, acting in its constituent capacity, adopted the seventy-seventh amendment by which clause (4A) was inserted into Article 16 to enable reservation to be made in promotion for SCs and STs.

  • The validity of the seventy-seventh and eighty-fifth amendments to the Constitution and of the legislation enacted in pursuance of those amendments was challenged before the Supreme Court in the Nagaraj case.
  • Upholding the validity of Article 16 (4A), the court then said that it is an enabling provision. “The State is not bound to make reservation for the SCs and STs in promotions. But, if it seeks to do so, it must collect quantifiable data on three facets — the backwardness of the class; the inadequacy of the representation of that class in public employment; and the general efficiency of service as mandated by Article 335 would not be affected”.
  • The court ruled that the constitutional amendments do not abrogate the fundamentals of equality.

Constitutional basis- Article 335:

Article 335 recognises that special measures need to be adopted for considering the claims of SCs and STs in order to bring them to a level-playing field.

Need:

  • Centuries of discrimination and prejudice suffered by the SCs and STs in a feudal, caste-oriented societal structure poses real barriers of access to opportunity.
  • The proviso contains a realistic recognition that unless special measures are adopted for the SCs and STs, the mandate of the Constitution for the consideration of their claim to appointment will remain illusory.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 335.
  2. Article 16(4).
  3. Right to equality.
  4. M. Nagaraj case.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for reservation in promotions.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Balance sheet of a bad bank:


Context:

The idea of setting up a bad bank to resolve the growing problem of non-performing assets (NPAs), or loans on which borrowers have defaulted, is back on the table.

Concept of Bad Bank:

  • A bad bank is a bank set up to buy the bad loans and other illiquid holdings of another financial institution.
  • The entity holding significant nonperforming assets will sell these holdings to the bad bank at market price.
  • By transferring such assets to the bad bank, the original institution may clear its balance sheet—although it will still be forced to take write-downs.

Why be concerned about bad loans?

  1. Indian banks’ pile of bad loans is a huge drag on the economy.
  2. It’s a drain on banks’ profits. Because profits are eroded, public sector banks (PSBs), where the bulk of the bad loans reside, cannot raise enough capital to fund credit growth.
  3. Lack of credit growth, in turn, comes in the way of the economy’s return to an 8% growth trajectory. Therefore, the bad loan problem requires effective resolution.

Benefits:

  1. This helps banks or FIs clear-off their balance sheets by transferring the bad loans and focus on its core business lending activities.
  2. Large debtors have many creditors. Hence bad bank could solve the coordination problem, since debts would be centralised in one agency.
  3. It can effect speedier settlements with borrowers by cutting out individual banks.
  4. It can drive a better bargain with borrowers and take more stringent enforcement action against them.
  5. It can raise money from institutional investors rather than looking only to the Government.

What are the Concerns or demerits of such banks?

Suppose, say for example, a bank sells bad loans. Then, it has to take a haircut because when Rs 100 goes bad, the actual amount that can be expected is lower than Rs 100 and that leads to haircut. When it takes haircut that will impact the P&L (Profit & Loss).

So, till that particular aspect is not addressed, creating a new structure may not be as potent in addressing the problem.

Way forward:

The K V Kamath Committee, has said companies in sectors such as retail trade, wholesale trade, roads and textiles are facing stress.

  • Sectors that have been under stress pre-Covid include NBFCs, power, steel, real estate and construction.
  • Setting up a bad bank is seen as crucial against this backdrop.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is an Asset Reconstruction Company?
  2. What is a bad bank?
  3. Who can set up a bad bank in India?
  4. What are stressed assets?
  5. What are non performing assets?

Mains Link:

Discuss the merits and demerits of setting up of bad banks.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP):


Context:

Govt. to amend LLP Act to spur ease of business.

  • Decriminalising various offences and permitting LLPs to issue non-convertible debentures are among the changes being proposed under the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act.

What is a LLP?

A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a partnership in which some or all partners have limited liability. It therefore exhibits elements of partnerships and corporations.

  • In an LLP, one partner is not responsible or liable for another partner’s misconduct or negligence.

Salient features of an LLP:

  • An LLP is a body corporate and legal entity separate from its partners. It has perpetual succession.
  • Being the separate legislation (i.e. LLP Act, 2008), the provisions of Indian Partnership Act, 1932 are not applicable to an LLP and it is regulated by the contractual agreement between the partners.
  • Every Limited Liability Partnership shall use the words “Limited Liability Partnership” or its acronym “LLP” as the last words of its name.

Composition:

Every LLP shall have at least two designated partners being individuals, at least one of them being resident in India and all the partners shall be the agent of the Limited Liability Partnership but not of other partners.

Need for and significance LLP:

  • LLP format is an alternative corporate business vehicle that provides the benefits of limited liability of a company but allows its members the flexibility of organizing their internal management on the basis of a mutually arrived agreement, as is the case in a partnership firm.
  • This format would be quite useful for small and medium enterprises in general and for the enterprises in services sector in particular.
  • Internationally, LLPs are the preferred vehicle of business particularly for service industry or for activities involving professionals.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between LLP and companies.
  2. Difference between LP and LLP.
  3. What is a body corporate?
  4. Roles and functions of LLP partners.

Mains Link:

Write a note on limited liability partnerships.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: IPR related Issues

GI tag sought for India’s costliest mushroom:


Context:

A geographical indication (GI) tag has been sought for one of the costliest mushrooms in the world that grows in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district.

Key Points:

  • Locally called Gucchi, or Morel, the mushroom, priced at over ₹20,000 a kg, is a forest produce collected by local farmers and tribals.
  • It is said to have medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It is found in the temperate forests.

About GI tag:

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

  • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Security:

Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

Who is a registered proprietor of a geographical indication?

  • Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
  • Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.

How long the registration of Geographical Indication is valid?

  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.

In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is GI tag?
  2. Who grants?
  3. GI products in India and their geographical locations.
  4. Other IPRs.

Mains Link:

What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag? Discuss it’s significance.

Sources: the Hindu BusinessLine.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Desert Knight-21:

  • It is a bilateral Air exercise held between Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace).
  • The latest edition will be held at Air Force Station Jodhpur.

Rakshita:

  • It is a bike-based casualty transport emergency vehicle.
  • Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi based DRDO laboratory, handed over Rakshita to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • The bike ambulance will help in overcoming the problems faced by Indian security forces and emergency healthcare providers.

Tsari Chu river:

  • Satellite image shows China built new village in Arunachal.
  • The settlements are situated on the banks of Tsari Chu river in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal.
  • The village lies south of the McMahon Line. The McMahon Line demarcates between Tibet and India’s Northeast, which is disputed by China.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

1. Star tortoise.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos