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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 8 June 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, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. SC urged to stop illegal adoption.

2. G7 corporate tax deal.

3. China hosts ASEAN Foreign Ministers.

4. Maldives wins UNGA election, India seeks close cooperation.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. (NARCL).

2. What is the ‘sea snot’ outbreak in Turkey?

3. Haryana’s “Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme”, and Oxy Van (Oxygen Forests).


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

SC urged to stop illegal adoption:


Context:

The Supreme Court has agreed to intervene after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sounded the alarm on a spate of complaints about illegal adoption of COVID orphans through private individuals and organisations.

What’s the issue?

NCPCR statistics shows that 3,621 children were orphaned, 26,176 children lost either parent and 274 children were abandoned between April 1, 2021 to June 5, 2021. The second wave of the pandemic was at its worst form during this period, leaving a trail of death across the country.

  • NCPCR had received many complaints in May that private individuals and organisations have been actively collecting data on these children while claiming that they want to assist families and children in adoption.
  • Social media posts are circulating that children are up for adoption. This is plainly illegal and violates the Juvenile Justice Act.
  • The Act also prohibits the disclosure of identity of children with regard to the name, school, age, address or any information which would reveal the essential details of the child.

What is the procedure to be followed with children who have been orphaned?

  1. If someone has information about a child in need of care, then they must contact one of the four agencies: Childline 1098, or the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or the helpline of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
  2. Following this, the CWC will assess the child and place him or her in the immediate care of a Specialised Adoption Agency.
  3. When there is a child without a family, the State becomes the guardian.

About JJ Act, 2015:

  1. Aim: To Comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
  2. It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.
  3. Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  4. All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know about the Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents? Read here

Read in brief about Adoption Procedure For Non-Resident Indian, Overseas Citizens Of India And Foreign Prospective Adoptive Parents. Read Here

Do you know what Adoption Medicine is? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key Provisions.
  2. About CARA.
  3. Registration of Childcare institutions as per the Act.
  4. Latest amendments proposed.
  5. About NCPCR.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Juvenile Justice law.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

G7 corporate tax deal:


Context:

Finance ministers from wealthy G7 nations have endorsed a new global corporate tax deal.

  • The agreement will now be discussed in detail at a meeting of G20 financial ministers and central bank governors in July.

Highlights of the new deal:

  1. The aim is to counter tax avoidance to make companies pay in the countries where they do business.
  2. The agreement commits states to a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to avoid countries undercutting each other.

Need for a minimum rate:

  1. The decision to ratify a 15% floor rate follows from a declaration of war on low-tax jurisdictions around the globe by the US.
  2. The rationale behind this move is to discourage the shifting of multinational operations and profits overseas.

Focus of the plan:

  1. The minimum rate is tailored to address the low effective rates of tax shelled out by some of the world’s biggest corporations, including digital giants such as Apple, Alphabet and Facebook. These companies typically rely on complex webs of subsidiaries to hoover profits out of major markets into low-tax countries such as Ireland or Caribbean nations.

Issues/problems with the plan:

  1. Impinges on the right of sovereign nations to decide a nation’s tax policy.
  2. A global minimum rate would essentially take away a tool that countries use to push policies that suit them.
  3. Also, a global minimum tax rate will do little to tackle tax evasion.

Is this the end of tax havens?

If the deal does not kill off tax havens entirely, it will make them far less attractive for many firms looking to cut their tax bill but also burnish their credentials with investors focusing on environmental, social and corporate governance.

Impact on India:

Since India’s effective tax rate is above the global minimum tax rate, it would not impact companies doing business in India. The global minimum rate impacts companies using low-tax jurisdiction to achieve low global tax cost. Moreover, India attracts foreign investment owing to its large internal market, quality labour at competitive rates, strategic location for exports, and a thriving private sector.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know what Tax Cheat is? Read Here

Do you think there is any difference between Tax Cheat and Tax Fraud?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About G7 nations.
  2. What are G20 and G8 groups.
  3. Corporate tax structure in India.
  4. Equalisation levy in India.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for a global minimum corporate tax.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

China hosts ASEAN Foreign Ministers:


Context:

China is hosting Foreign Ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries. The event also marks the 30-year anniversary of relations.

  • ASEAN is being seen as a key space where Chinese and Quad initiatives may rub up against each other.

Concerns for China:

There are possibilities that Quad members will further rope in ASEAN members to counter China as Southeast Asia is of great significance to the U.S.’ Indo-Pacific Strategy.

  • China recently called the Quad as “an Asian NATO”.

What is ASEAN?

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.

The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.

Genesis:

Established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers.

Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Ten Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Significance of ASEAN for India:

  1. Against the backdrop of aggressive moves by China, including the Ladakh standoff, India placed the ASEAN at the centre of India’s Act East policy and held that a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is essential for security and growth for all in the region.
  2. ASEAN is necessary for the success of the Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) Vision.
  3. The region is significant for diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
  4. It is India’s 4th largest trading partner with about USD 86.9 billion in trade.

 

Insta Curious:

India has progressed to be a Strategic partner to  ASEAN in 2012 from Sectoral Dialogue Partnership in 1992. Read here. (Know about the different forms of partnerships that exists)

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Geographical location of asean countries.
  2. Total population of asean countries.
  3. Chairmanship of ASEAN.
  4. When and where Asean summits are held?
  5. What are Free-trade agreements (FTAs)?

Mains Link:

Examine the significance of ASEAN for India’s economic, geo-strategic and security imperatives?

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Maldives wins UNGA election, India seeks close cooperation:


Context:

In a first for the Maldives, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid was elected the President of the UN General Assembly for 2021-22.

Note: We have Covered this article in-depth previously on: Click here

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. (NARCL):


Context:

Lenders have decided to initially transfer 22 bad loan accounts of ₹89,000 crore to the proposed National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), aiding the cleanup of their balance sheets.

  • The aggregate amount of bad loans likely to be transferred in trenches will be ₹2 trillion.

What is NARCL?

  • Setting up of NARCL, the proposed bad bank for taking over stressed assets of lenders, was announced in the Budget for 2021-22.
  • The plan is to create a bad bank to house bad loans of ₹500 crore and above, in a structure that will contain an asset reconstruction company (ARC) and an asset management company (AMC) to manage and recover dud assets.
  • The new entity is being created in collaboration with both public and private sector banks.

How is NARCL different from existing ARCs? How can it operate differently?

  1. The proposed bad bank will have a public sector character since the idea is mooted by the government and majority ownership is likely to rest with state-owned banks.
  2. At present, ARCs typically seek a steep discount on loans. With the proposed bad bank being set up, the valuation issue is unlikely to come up since this is a government initiative.
  3. The government-backed ARC will have deep pockets to buy out big accounts and thus free up banks from carrying these accounts on their books.

What is an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC)?

It is a specialized financial institution that buys the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) from banks and financial institutions so that they can clean up their balance sheets. This helps banks to concentrate on normal banking activities.

  • The asset reconstruction companies or ARCs are registered under the RBI.

Legal Basis:

The Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 provides the legal basis for the setting up of ARCs in India.

Capital Needs for ARCs:

  • As per amendment made in the SARFAESI Act in 2016, an ARC should have a minimum net owned fund of Rs. 2 crores. The RBI raised this amount to Rs. 100 crores in 2017.
  • The ARCs also have to maintain a capital adequacy ratio of 15% of its risk weighted assets.

Need for:

The total stress in the banking system would be in excess of Rs 15 lakh crore. The banks burdened with stressed assets and limited capital will find it difficult to manage the NPAs. There is also limited capital that the government can provide. This is where the bad bank model would step in and help both the government and banks.

 

Insta Curious:

Do Cooperative Banks come under banking Definition of Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949? Does SARFAESI Act apply to Co-operative Banks as well? Read here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are ARCs?
  2. What is SARFAESI Act?
  3. Sudarshan Sen committee is related to?
  4. About NARCL.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of ARCs.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

What is the ‘sea snot’ outbreak in Turkey?


Context:

Turkey’s Sea of Marmara, that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, has witnessed the largest outbreak of ‘sea snot’. The sludge has also been spotted in the adjoining Black and Aegean seas.

What is sea snot?

  • It is a slimy layer of grey or green sludge, which can cause considerable damage to the marine ecosystem.
  • It is formed when algae are overloaded with nutrients.
  • A ‘sea snot’ outbreak was first recorded in the country in 2007. Back then, it was also spotted in the Aegean Sea near Greece.

Overloading of nutrients happens because of warm weather caused by global warming, water pollution, uncontrolled dumping of household and industrial waste into the seas etc.

What are the impacts? Concerns?

  1. It has spread through the sea south of Istanbul and also blanketed harbours and shorelines.
  2. It is posing a severe threat to the marine ecosystem of the country- it has caused mass deaths among the fish population, and also killed other aquatic organisms such as corals and sponges.
  3. If unchecked, this can collapse to the bottom and cover the sea floor, causing major damage to the marine ecosystem.
  4. Over a period of time, it could end up poisoning all aquatic life, including fishes, crabs, oysters, mussels and sea stars.
  5. Besides aquatic life, the ‘sea snot’ outbreak has also affected the livelihoods of fishermen.
  6. It can also cause an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera in cities like Istanbul.

Steps taken by Turkey to contain its spread:

  1. Turkey has decided to declare the entire Sea of Marmara as a protected area.
  2. Steps are being taken to reduce pollution and improve treatment of waste water from coastal cities and ships.
  3. A disaster management plan is being prepared.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Not all algal blooms are harmful, some can actually be beneficial. Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a sea snot?
  2. What are algal blooms?
  3. About Black Sea.
  4. About Aegian Sea.
  5. Where is sea of Marmara?

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the formation of sea snots.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Haryana’s “Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme”, and Oxy Van (Oxygen Forests):


Context:

These schemes were announced by Haryana Government on the occasion of World Environment Day.

What is the Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme (PVDPS)?

  • It is an initiative to honour all those trees which are of the age of 75 years and above and have served humanity throughout their life by producing oxygen, reducing pollution, providing shade and so on.
  • Such trees will be identified throughout the state and these will be looked after by involving local people in this scheme.
  • For maintenance of trees older than 75 years, a “pension amount” of Rs 2,500 would be given per year in the name of PVDPS. This ‘tree pension’ shall continue to increase every year, on lines similar to the Old Age Samman Pension Scheme in the state.
  • The pension shall be given by the Urban Local Bodies department for the upkeep of the trees, installing plates, grilles etc.

What is an Oxy Van (Oxygen Forest)?

  • Oxy Van are identified pieces of land, on which as many as 3 crore trees would be planted.
  • The Oxy Vans will occupy 10 per cent of the 8 lakh hectares of land across Haryana.
  • These van will house different varieties of plants and trees.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know what Clonal Forestry is? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Oxy Vans.
  2. About PVDPS.
  3. Key features of these schemes.
  4. How is oxygen produced by plants?

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of these schemes.

Sources: Indian Express.


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