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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 29 July 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. Privileges and immunity are no shield for criminal acts in the House, says Supreme Court.

2. Academic Bank of Credit.

3. What is Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme, and why has it drawn criticism?

4. How resolution ‘pre-packs’ for MSMEs can speed up insolvency cases?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Unnat Krishi Shiksha Yojana (PDDUUKSY).

2. Food Systems Summit.

3. ‘Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021’.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Raja Mircha.

2. INDRA 2021.

3. Puri becomes the first city in country to have ‘drink from tap’ facility.


GS Paper  :  1


 

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

Privileges and immunity no shield for criminal acts in House, says Supreme Court:


Context:

The Supreme Court has held that lawmakers cannot indulge in criminal acts on the Parliament or Assembly floors and then take cover behind the right to free speech.

 

What’s the case?

Kerala government has appealed to withdraw prosecution of top Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders accused of vandalism and wanton destruction of public property on the Assembly floor during a Budget speech in 2015.

  • These leaders had claimed parliamentary privilege, arguing that the incident occurred inside the Assembly hall. They claimed immunity from criminal prosecution.

 

Observations made by the Court:

  1. Acts of vandalism cannot be said to be manifestations of freedom of speech and be termed as ‘proceedings’ of the Assembly.
  2. It was not the intention of the drafters of the Constitution to extend the interpretation of ‘freedom of speech’ to include criminal acts by placing them under a veil of protest.
  3. Legislators cannot unleash violence, run riot in Parliament or a Legislative Assembly and then claim parliamentary privilege and immunity from criminal prosecution.
  4. Boundaries of lawful behaviour apply to all, including MLAs who hold responsible elected office in the Legislative Assembly.

 

True essence of Privileges as per the court:

  1. The purpose of bestowing privileges and immunities to elected members of the legislature was to enable them to perform their “essential functions” without hindrance, fear or favour.
  2. The ‘essential’ function of the House is collective deliberation and decision-making.
  3. These privileges are not a mark of status which makes legislators stand on an unequal pedestal.

 

What are Parliamentary Privileges?

Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.

  1. Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech in Parliament and right of publication of its proceedings.
  2. Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the continuance of the meeting of the House or of a committee thereof and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.

 

Motion against breaches:

When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.

  • A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.

 

Role of the Speaker/Rajya Sabha (RS) Chairperson:

The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.

The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.

  • If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under relevant rules, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.

 

Applicability:

  1. The Constitution also extends the parliamentary privileges to those persons who are entitled to speak and take part in the proceedings of a House of Parliament or any of its committees. These include the Attorney General of India.
  2. The parliamentary privileges do not extend to the President who is also an integral part of the Parliament. Article 361 of the Constitution provides for privileges for the President.

 

Insta Curious: 

Read the curious case of Origin of Parliamentary Privileges. Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Which provisions of the Constitution protect the privileges of the legislature?
  2. What is the procedure to be followed in cases of alleged breach of the legislature’s privilege?
  3. Composition and functions of Privileges Committees in Parliament and State Legislatures.
  4. What is the punishment for an individual who is found guilty of breaching the legislature’s privilege?
  5. Can the Courts intervene in matters involving breach of privileges of state legislatures?

Mains Link:

What do you understand by legislative privileges? Discuss the problem of legislative privileges as seen in India time to time.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to Education.

Academic Bank of Credit:


Context:

Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), proposed under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, will be unveiled.

 

What is the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC)?

Set-up by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

  • Under the ABC, students will be given multiple entry and exit options.
  • This enables students to leave a degree or course and get a corresponding certification and rejoin studies after a certain time and be able to start from where they had left.
  • It will also provide students with the flexibility to move between institutes while pursuing one degree or leave a course.

 

How does it work?

ABC will keep records of the academic credits of a student. It will not accept any credit course document directly from the students for any course they might be pursuing, but only from higher education institutes, who will have to make deposits in students’ accounts.

min_edu

 

Benefits:

ABC will help in credit verification, credit accumulation, credit transfer and redemption of students, and promotion of the students. Know more about the National Education Policy here: Read here

national_education_policy

 

Insta Curious: 

ABC has been drafted on the lines of the National Academic Depository. What is the National Academic Depository? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NEP.
  2. What is ABC?
  3. Features.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of ABC.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of the society.

What is Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme, and why has it drawn criticism?


Context:

Dalit Bandhu is the latest flagship programme of the Telangana government envisioned as a welfare scheme for empowering Dalit families.

 

What is the Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme?

  • Dalit Bandhu enables entrepreneurship among Dalits through a direct benefit transfer of Rs 10 lakh per family.
  • This is going to be the biggest cash transfer scheme in the country.
  • To promote Dalit entrepreneurship, the government has decided to start a system of reservation for Dalits in sectors where the government issues licences. This includes wine shops, medical shops, fertiliser shops, rice mills, etc.

 

Dalit Security Fund:

  • Apart from monetary assistance, the government plans to create a corpus called the Dalit Security Fund permanently to support the beneficiary in the event of any adversities.
  • This fund will be managed by the district collector concerned, along with a committee of beneficiaries.

 

Why has the Dalit Bandhu scheme faced criticism?

The intentions and rationale behind the scheme are being questioned. The government has also faced criticisms for failing to uphold existing legislation and schemes for the protection and empowerment of Dalits.

 

Insta Curious:

How the word ‘Dalit’ traces its Origin in Gandhi and Ambedkar’s Poona Pact? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme.
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

How resolution ‘pre-packs’ for MSMEs can speed up insolvency cases?


Context:

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was recently passed by Lok Sabha. It has proposed ‘pre-packs’ as an insolvency resolution mechanism for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

 

What are ‘pre-packs’?

  • A pre-pack is an agreement for the resolution of the debt of a distressed company through an agreement between secured creditors and investors instead of a public bidding process.
  • This system of insolvency proceedings has become an increasingly popular mechanism for insolvency resolution in the UK and Europe over the past decade.

In India’s case, such a system will require that financial creditors agree on terms with potential investors and seek approval of the resolution plan from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

  1. The approval of at least 66 per cent of financial creditors that are unrelated to the corporate debtor would be required before a resolution plan is submitted to the NCLT.
  2. The NCLTs will be required to either accept or reject an application for a pre-pack insolvency proceeding before considering a petition for a the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).
  3. The pre-pack is limited to a maximum of 120 days with only 90 days available to stakeholders to bring a resolution plan for approval before the NCLT.

 

What is the need for pre-packs?

Slow progress in the resolution of distressed companies has been one of the key issues raised by creditors regarding the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under the IBC.

  • At the end of March 2021, 79 per cent of the 1,723 ongoing insolvency resolution proceedings had crossed the 270-day threshold.
  • A major reason for the delays is the prolonged litigation by erstwhile promoters and potential bidders.

 

What next?

The pre-pack mechanism is effective in arriving at a quick resolution for distressed companies, and that the regime should be rolled out to all corporations over time as legal issues are settled through case law.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know the differences between insolvency and bankruptcy? Reference: here

Do you know about Keep & Pay? Read Here (Topic related to Bankruptcy)

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is insolvency and bankruptcy?
  2. Various institutions established under the IBC code.
  3. NCLT- composition and functions.
  4. What are debt recovery tribunals?
  5. Sections 7, 9 and 10 of IBC.
  6. Threshold for invoking insolvency under IBC.
  7. Composition of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board.

Mains Link:

Discuss how suspension of initiation of fresh insolvency proceedings will help shield companies impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Unnat Krishi Shiksha Yojana (PDDUUKSY):


Context:

So far, 108 training programmes have been organised across 24 states/UTs under the scheme.

 

About PDDUUKSY:

 

Objectives:

  1. To build skilled Human Resource at village level who are relevant for development organic farming and sustainable agriculture.
  2. Provide rural India with technical support in the field of Organic Farming or Natural Farming or Rural Economy or Sustainable Agriculture.
  3. To extend other activities of this Yojana at village level through there established centres.

 

The designated Centers may select the farmers for this initiative, subject to the conditions that:

  1. The farmers must be assessed in terms of their interest in organic farming, natural farming and cow-based economy prior to their selection.
  2. Priority must be attached to the farmers who are currently practising organic farming, natural farming or cow-based economy.
  3. Farmers of all communities must be given a fair representation.
  4. The selection shouldn’t involve any gender discrimination.

 

Significance of the Cow-Based Economy:

India’s traditions and practices, at least some of them, holds greater value than what was thought in the dawn of its modern state; and so is the case with the way the nation has always treated its cows.

  • This domestic animal has been an integral part of rural India since the days of yore.
  • With respect to agriculture, Indian cow breeds are proven to possess genetic capacity that produces better quality milk.
  • The milk so produced contains a higher level of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which is anti-carcinogenic.
  • Apart from that, cow urine can be used as a bio-fertilizer and post repellant which helps in increasing crop production with reduced costs.

Given these facets, the government considers cow farms among its major focal areas.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about Fukuoka’s Natural Farming? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme.
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Benefits.

Mains Link:

What is cow based economy? Discuss the significance of such economies.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Food security related issues.

Food Systems Summit:


Context:

It is taking place in Rome.

  • The Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit will set the stage for the culminating global event in September.

 

Background:

Originally announced on 16 October 2019 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Food Systems Summit, including a Pre-Summit, was conceived following conversations with the joint leadership of the three Rome-based United Nations agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme – at the High-level Political Forum in July 2019.

 

About the Summit:

  • The Food Systems Summit is convened as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
  • The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.
  • Guided by five Action Tracks, the Summit will bring together key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers.

 

Why food systems?

The term “food system” refers to the constellation of activities involved in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food.

  • Food systems touch every aspect of human existence.
  • The health of our food systems profoundly affects the health of our bodies, as well as the health of our environment, our economies and our cultures.
  • When they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities and nations.

 

Concerns/Challenges:

  • Too many of the world’s food systems are fragile, unexamined and vulnerable to collapse, as millions of people around the globe have experienced first-hand during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • When our food systems fail, the resulting disorder threatens our education, health and economy, as well as human rights, peace and security. As in so many cases, those who are already poor or marginalized are the most vulnerable.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know the difference between Hunger and Food insecurity? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Summit.
  2. Objectives.
  3. What are food systems?
  4. What are SDGs?

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- waterways.

‘Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021’:


Read Here

Context:

The Parliament has passed the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021, which will repeal the Lighthouse Act, 1927, an over nine-decade-old law governing the traditional navigation aid, i.e. lighthouses.

 

Highlights of the Bill:

Application: The Bill applies to the whole of India including various maritime zones including territorial waters, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone.

The Bill provides that the central government will appoint the Director General of Aids to Navigation. The Director General will advise the central government on matters related to aids to navigation, among others.

The central government may appoint a Central Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting of persons representing the interests affected by the Bill, or having special knowledge of the sector.

The government may consult the CAC on matters including: (i) establishment of aids to navigation, (ii) additions, alteration, or removal of, any such aids, (iii) cost of any proposal relating to such aids, or (iv) appointment of any sub-committee.

The central government will be responsible for the development, maintenance, and management of all general aids to navigation and vessel traffic services.

The Bill provides that no person shall be allowed to operate on any aid to navigation (including any ancillary activities), or any vessel traffic service in any place unless he holds a valid training certificate.

Dispute redressal: Any dispute related to the marine aids to navigation dues, expenses, or costs, will be heard and determined by a civil court having jurisdiction at the place where the dispute arose.

 

Need for a new law on this:

The need for enactment of a new Act is necessitated to provide an appropriate statutory framework which reflects the modern role of marine aids to navigation and to be in compliance with India’s obligations under International Conventions.

 

Benefits of the new law:

  1. Improved Legal Framework for Matters related to Aids to Navigation & Vessel Traffic Services.
  2. Enhanced safety and efficiency of shipping.
  3. Skill development through Training and Certification.
  4. Marking of “Wreck” in general waters to identify sunken / stranded vessels for safe and efficient navigation.
  5. Development of Lighthouses for the purpose of education, culture and tourism, which would tap the tourism potential of coastal regions and contribute to their economy.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

Overview of the Bill.

About the Lighthouse Act, 1927.

Rules and regulations related to international Shipping.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Raja Mircha:

  • Also known as ‘Bhoot Jolokia’ or ‘Ghost pepper’, it is a famous chilli from Nagaland.
  • In 2008, it received GI certification.
  • It has long been regarded as the world’s hottest chilli, consistently ranking in the top five on lists of the hottest chillies in the world based on Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).

 

INDRA 2021:

  • It is an Indo-Russia joint military Exercise.
  • The 12th edition of the exercise will be held at Volgograd, Russia.
  • The exercise will entail conduct of counter terror operations under the United Nations mandate by a joint force against international terror groups.

 

Puri becomes the first city in country to have ‘drink from tap’ facility:

  • Odisha government has declared Puri as the first city in the country to have city-wide safe drinking tap water that can be used directly for drinking and cooking without further filtration or boiling.
  • Under Drink From Tap-Sujal Mission, people of Puri will be able to fetch water directly from the tap to drink. There is no need for storage or a filter. Tap water will be available 24×7.
  • Benefits: The move will now eliminate the usage of 3 crore plastic water bottles. This would mean the city will now be free from nearly 400 tonnes of plastic waste.

The Sujal Mission was launched on October 13 last year to ensure quality tapped drinking water for more than 1.5 million people in more than 15 urban areas. It includes a 24/7 helpline centre with IVRS for grievance redressal, a mobile water testing laboratory and a quick response team for rapid redressal of water supply complaints.


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