PIB Analysis

PIB – Mains Special – August 2018 Complilation

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DESIRE IAS

PIB

Mains Special

August 2018

 

Index

GS-1 or GS-3

1-NITI Aayog launches 5 Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region

GS-1 or GS-2

2-Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace

GS-1 or GS-2

3- 195 One Stop Centres are functional in the country to support women-affected by violence

GS-2

1-Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018

2-Dam Safety Bill

3-Pending RTI Applications

4- Cases pending in Supreme Court and NGT

International Relationship (GS-2)

1-Memorandum of Understanding between India and USA

2-MoU between India and Republic of Korea

3-MoU between India and Bulgaria

4-India-Japan Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue

5-Cabinet approves MoU between India and Indonesia on Health cooperation

6-Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

7- SAARC

8- G-20

GS-3

1- India Post Payments Bank

2- Review of Penal Provisions of Company Act 2013

3- Special Package to Boost Export of Textiles

4- PM reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors of Transport and Housing

5- Affordable Solar Power

6- Integrate to Innovate Programme for energy Startups

7- Need to Address Root Cause Behind Man-Animal Conflict”

8-  Cabinet approves raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force

9- PM visits Kerala

DEFENSE 

1- New Defense Production Policy

2- Import of Weapons/ Military Equipment

3- Maoist and Naxal activities in the country

Special Event

1- The Prime Minster Speech on the 72nd Independence Day

 

 

 

 

GS-1 or GS-3

1-NITI Aayog launches 5 Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region

  • NITI Aayog had set up 5 Working Groups (WGs) to prepare a roadmap for actions in 5 thematic areas.

The themes include:

  • Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security,
  • Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region,
  • Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation,
  • Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas and
  • The call for actions include setting up of a Himalayan Authority for coordinated and holistic development of entire Himalayan region and launching of “Himalaya Calling”: An Awareness to Action Campaign as people’s movement.

Suggestions:

  • Setting up of Mission on Spring Water Management in Himalayas,
  • National Mission/Program on Transforming Shifting Cultivation in North Eastern States,
  • Demand driven network of skill and entrepreneurship development Centres in Himalayan States, Consortium of institutions of high learning for mountain specific research and technology,
  • Link with Hindukush Himalaya Monitoring and Assessment program (HIMAP) and
  • Setting up Central Data Management Agency for Himalayan Database at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development.

 

GS-1 or GS-2

2-Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act in the Annual Reports of Private companies now made Mandatory: Ministry of Corporate Affairs amends the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014

In order to ensure safe workplaces for Women in the private sector, the Ministry of Women and Child had requested Hon’ble Minister for Corporate Affairs to mandate the disclosure regarding implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in the Directors Report of every company.

  • It may be noted that Section-134 of the Companies Act, 2013 provides the disclosure framework which the Directors of every company are required to comply with in the Annual Reports.
  • This section also includes the penal provisions for non-disclosure.
  • The inclusion of the compliance under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act in the non-financial disclosures will ensure that the issue gets into the focus into Board of Directors of the companies
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been making continuous efforts to mainstream the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013. Detailed Rules under the Act were issued.
  • It was ensured that all the ministries/ departments under the central government as well as the organizations working directly under them constitute the Internal Complaints Committee as mandated under them Act.
  • A number of instructions have been issued by the DoPT on the request of the ministry to provide immediate relief to the women working in central government against sexual harassment at workplace.
  • The ministry has also empaneled a number of entities who can provide training to any organization on effective implementation of the provisions of the Act. The ministry has provided a facility to all working women to file complaints under this Act directly with the ministry through the SHE-Box.

GS-1 or GS-2

3- 195 One Stop Centres are functional in the country to support women-affected by violence

  • The Ministry is implementing Scheme for setting up One Stop Centre since April 2015 to support women-affected by violence.
  • Under the scheme, it has been envisaged that One Stop Centre would be set up in every district across the country in phased manner.
  • So far,195 One Stop Centres are functional in the country to provide single window services such as medical aid, police assistance, legal aid/case management, psychosocial counseling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence.

Ministry has approved setting up of five One Stop Centres at Thiruvanatapuram, Thissur, Mallapuram, Kannur, Wayanad districts of Kerala

GS-2

1-Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill,2018 which was passed by the Lok Sabha on 6th August 2018, has been passed by the Rajya Sabha today. Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot today moved the Amendment Bill, 2018 in Rajya Sabha.

Point-wise details:  Section 18A has been inserted to nullify conduct of a preliminary enquiry before registration of an FIR, or to seek approval of any authority prior to arrest of an accused, and to restore the provisions of Section 18 of the Act.

Section 18A, inserted in the Act, states that:-

(1) For the purpose of the PoA Act,-

(a) preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person; or

(b) the investigating officer shall not require approval for arrest, if necessary, of any person, against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under the PoA Act has been made and no procedure other than provided under the PoA Act or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, shall apply.

(2) The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under the Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.

Background :

  • The directions of the Hon’ble Court to conduct a preliminary inquiry within seven days by the Dy. S.P. concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the PoA Act and that arrest in appropriate cases may be made only after approval by the S.S.P., would delay registration of First Information Report (FIR) and will impede strict enforcement of the provision of the POA Act.
  • It may also be difficult to get the preliminary inquiry conducted within seven days as sufficient number of Dy. S.P level officers are usually not in place.
  • Typically, the Dy. S.P. are located at the district level and not at taluk/block level. Other repercussions of the said directions of the Hon’ble Court are that delay in registration of FIR would result in delay in payment of admissible relief amount to the victims of atrocities admissible only on registration of FIR.
  • All this would adversely affect the very objective of the Act to prevent commission of atrocities against members of SC and ST and be severely detrimental especially in heinous offences like sexual exploitation of   SC/ST women including rape, gangrape, acid attacks and murder etc.

 

2-Dam Safety Bill

Context

  • The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.
  • The Bill provides for constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose.
  • The Bill provides for establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which shall discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country.
  • The Bill provides for constitution of a State Committee on Dam Safety by State Government.

Functions of the National Dam Safety Authority:

  • It shall maintain liaison with the State Dam Safety Organisations and the owners of dams for standardisation of dam safety related data and practices.
  • It shall provide the technical and managerial assistance to the States and State Dam Safety Organisations.
  • It shall maintain a national level data-base of all dams in the country and the records of major dam failures.
  • It shall examine the cause of any major dam failure.
  • It shall publish and update the standard guidelines and check-lists for the routine inspection and detailed investigations of dams and appurtenances.
  • It shall accord recognition or accreditations to the organisations that can be entrusted with the works of investigation, design or construction of new dams.
  • It will also look into unresolved points of issue between the State Dam Safety Organisation of two states, or between the State Dam Safety Organisation of a State and the owner of a dam in that State, for proper solution.
  • Further, in certain cases, such as dams of one State falling under the territory of another State, the National Authority shall also perform the role of State Dam Safety Organization thereby eliminating potential causes for inter-state conflicts.

Need for a legislation:

There are over 5200 large dams in India and about 450 are under construction. Plus there are thousands of medium and small dams. Due to lack of legal and institutional architecture for dam safety in India, dam safety is an issue of concern. Unsafe dams are a hazard and dam break may cause disasters, leading to huge loss of life and property.

3-Pending RTI Applications

  • Central Information Commission (CIC) has informed that 23,978 second appeals/complaints are pending as on 26-07-2018.

4- Cases pending in Supreme Court and NGT

  • The number of cases related to environmental issues pending in the Supreme Court of India is around 110 and 3573 in the National Green Tribunal

 

International Relationship (GS-2)

1-Memorandum of Understanding between India and USA

  • Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between India and USA in insurance regulatory sector.

Impact:

  • The MoU provides a framework for cooperation and coordination, including for the exchange of information and research assistance with respect to each Authority’s overview and other lawful responsibilities.
  • Both the countries intend to share their experiences on various regulatory functions and to provide mutual assistance including training activities.
  • India and USA have also agreed to continue to facilitate cooperation on international standard-setting activities, financial stability and the development and implementation of consumer protection through sound prudential regulation of the insurance sector.

Background:

  • IRDAI is a body set up under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance and re-insurance business in India. Similarly, in USA, Federal Insurance Office (FIO) is vested with the authority to monitor all aspects of the insurance sector and to represent the USA on prudential aspects of international insurance.
  • India and USA have strong business relations with each other and both the countries have been in regular discussions at various political and official levels.
  • Various institutional mechanisms have also been put in place over time to strengthen bi-lateral cooperation on wide ranging multi-sectoral issues between the two countries.
  • USA is one of the major contributors of foreign direct investment in India and many insurance companies have set up joint venture with USA based insurance companies. With increase in foreign investment cap to 49%, there is further scope for foreign investments in Indian insurance sector particularly from USA based companies. Hence the bilateral MoU between IRDAI and FIO, USA holds lot of potential for the two countries.

 

2-MoU between India and Republic of Korea

  • Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Republic of Korea on the cooperation in the field of railways.

Impact:

  • The MoU will provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector with its Korean counterpart.
  • It will facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars/ workshops focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing.

Details:

  • Planning and execution of Joint research for the mutual interests;
  • Co-operation in setting up of latest railway R&D facilities in India;
  • Planning and execution of Technical seminar or forum;
  • Short Term Training Programme for RDSO personnel by KRRI;
  • Exchange Programme of Personnel between KRRI & RDSO for limited period, for specific Projects;
  • Consultancy for the development of railway industry of both the countries; and
  • Any other form of cooperative activities agreed upon by the Parties.

Background:

  • Ministry of Railways have signed MoUs for technical cooperation in the Rail sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways. The identified areas of cooperation include high speed corridors, speed raising of existing routes, development of world class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, etc.

 

3-MoU between India and Bulgaria

  • Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Bulgaria in the field of tourism.

Objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding are:

  • To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector
  • To exchange information and data related to tourism
  • To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including Hotels and Tour operators,
  • To   establish   exchange   programme   for cooperation   in   Human   Resource Development.
  • To exchange visits of Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism
  • To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management.
  • Foster bilateral cooperation through film tourism for promoting the two countries as attractive tourism destinations and
  • To promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.

Background:

  • India and Bulgaria had previously signed an Agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism in 1994. Bulgaria is a potential tourism markets for India (India received approximately 5288 tourists from Bulgaria in 2017).

 

4-India-Japan Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue

  • The Ministers shared the recognition that it is important for the two countries to further strengthen defence and security cooperation under the ‘Japan-lndia Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ that aligns Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’ with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ to work together in achieving common objectives.

Promote cooperation and exchanges in the following areas:

  • Institutionalised Dialogue and Mutual Visits
  • Exchanges between the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) and the Indian Army.
  • Exchanges between the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and the Indian Navy.
  • Exchanges between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force
  • Education and Research Exchanges
  • Cooperation in Defence Equipment and Technology
  • The Ministers noted the effort made by both countries regarding the cooperation on US-2 amphibious aircraft.

5-Cabinet approves MoU between India and Indonesia on Health cooperation

The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation: –

  • Research and development, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and IT-based medical equipment;
  • Human Resource Development;
  • Health services; and
  • Any other area as may be mutually agreed upon.

 

6-Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
  • The BIMSTEC comprises of seven countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand
  • The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population
  • The region has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.7 trillion. In the last five years, BIMSTEC member states have been able to sustain an average 6.5% economic growth trajectory despite global financial meltdown

 Why BIMSTEC so much important for India?

  • The BIMSTEC is a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • The two Southeast Asian countries in the grouping, Myanmar and Thailand, have a crucial place for India’s ambitious connectivity plans for North Eastern region.
  • Myanmar is only Southeast Asian country India has a land boundary with. An India-Myanmar-Thailand highway is one of the key projects that figures in a big way in the government’s Act East (earlier Look East) policy.
  • With the India-Pakistan bickering coming in way of a smooth functioning of the SAARC, groupings such as BIMSTEC can take forward the concept of regional cooperation in a different manner.
  • BIMSTEC aims to encourage cooperation at the multilateral level among member countries from two different regions of Asia and does not work as substitute to SAARC.

Positive points

  • BIMSTEC is a natural choice for strengthening India’s footprints in the neighbourhood under its Act East Policy as it includes Thailand and Myanmar both ASEAN member
  • Absence of Pakistan, makes it easier for India to have meaningful discussion and engagement with neighbours.
  • Bimstec more naturally lends itself to regional integration physical connectivity as well as economic cooperation. Therefore, Bimstec seems an attractive alternative to Saarc.
  • India and other South Asian nations can have closer cooperation with the economically prospering region of Southeast Asia.
  • BIMSTEC has huge economic potential given the region’s economic dynamism, huge markets and rich natural resources

Despite its promise it has remained low profile for following factors

  • Members of BIMSTEC have acquired memberships in various other regional/sub-regional organisations which also promote cooperation at different levels.
  • Lack of political will has also limited the prospects of BIMSTEC. Countries like Thailand focus more on groups like ASEAN.
  • Region lacks physical connectivity. The tri-lateral highway connecting India-Myanmar-Thailand has been a non-starter.
  • Growth of intra-regional investment is negligible.
  • Lack of good infrastructure has acted as barrier to trade by raising cost and time.

In order to harness potential of BIMSTEC steps like signing FTA in goods and services, improving physical and digital connectivity by building ports, economic corridors etc need to be taken.

India which is one of the fastest growing economy and rising global power needs play an important role.

7- SAARC

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia.
  • Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  SAARC was founded in Dhaka in 1985. Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu.
  • The organization promotes the development of economic and regional integration. It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006.
  • SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nation as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities.

Observers of SAARC: – 

States with observer status include Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.

Objectives of SAARC: –

The objectives shall be:

  • To promote the welfare of the peoples of SOUTH ASIA and to improve their quality of life.
  • To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.
  • To provide all individuals with the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potentials.
  • To promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of SOUTH ASIA
  • To contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another are problems.
  • To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.
  • To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries.
  • To strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forums on matters of common interests.
  • To cooperate with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes.

SAARC criticism

  • Ever since it was launched in Dhaka with its first meeting in 1985, the platform has been hijacked by the India-Pakistan rivalry.
  • It was a multilateral platform with a bilateral agenda.
  • Victim card will be played by Pakistan. It will say that India is using its economic power and size to isolate Pakistan in the region.
  • The member states except India have still not reached the take-off stage to be able to pursue the program of economic integration and collaboration.
  • Different countries have varied political systems like democracy, military dictatorship, presidential and monarchy form of govt, creating hurdles in aligning the ideology.
  • Indo-Pak conflict – Two of the biggest powers have fought 3 wars since 1947 and harbour utter distrust for each other and even led to the nuclearization of the region.
  • Increased Chinese influence in the region
  • Widespread socio-economic problems– hunger, terrorism, ethnic rivalries, political turmoil, the leadership crisis.

Agreements Under SAARC: –

SAFTA

  • A Free Trade Agreement confined to goods, but excluding all services like information technology. The agreement was signed to reduce customs duties on all traded goods to zero by the year 2016.

SAPTA

  • South Asian Preferential Trading Agreement for promoting trade amongst the member countries came into effect in 1995.

 Why is SAARC important for India?

  • If charity begins at home, then the foreign trade should definitely begin with neighbours. A meaningful cooperation can materialise only when there are mutual trust and willingness among member countries to resolve and overcome bilateral differences and apprehensions for the greater good of their own people.
  • The most important factor is that India is the only country, which shares borders with all the SAARC countries, barring Maldives and Afghanistan. The implication of this geographical reality is that India has to facilitate the establishment of strong economic linkages with the neighbouring countries.
  • Maintaining peaceful relation with Pakistan is utmost important in-order to focus on development, otherwise, India cannot fulfil its aspirations to be one of largest economies.
  • The ethnic ties is a parallel string of connection with neighbouring countries which will strengthen our relations which are important for country’s holistic development.
  • Development of Afghanistan is in the interest of India for peace in the region from problems of terrorism and Afghanistan economy can be a better bet for Indian businesses to spread their presence.
  • South Asian neighbours are a valuable resource for economic integration of India and they can benefit immensely with their growing population and needs. The problems of terrorism, border disputes, tax issues if solved, these nations will add to Indian economic growth.

8- G-20

  • It is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
  • Founded in 1999
  • Its aim was to review policy decisions to enhance international financial stability
  • It now deliberates on global economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • First Head of State Summit was held in 2008 (Due to Economic Crisis)
  • 20 Members ( EU + 19 Countries) :

Advantages

  • It provides forum for Developing countries in deliberation on important matters of international importance
  • First met in 2009 – Was to play a pivotal role in stemming economic and financial crisis of Recession – It set a framework for preventing  future financial crises, while securing sustainable and balanced global, restraining protectionism
  • Central bank governors and finance ministers work on coordinated action to eliminate terrorist financing, Black money issues
  • Issues of Tax Haven – Members agreed to share tax information – Agreed to adopt OCEDs BEPS measures to stop transferring of profit by MNCs without paying taxes
  • Since 2010, G-20 agenda widened to issues like Agriculture, Food security, Trade, Investment, Employment, Taxation, Anti corruption, energy, climate, SME
  • G 20 is transforming from flexible and informal institution into Group with Working parties, Expert group on different subjects

Criticism

The process of determining which nations were to be invited to join the G20 and which nations would not appear to have been very informal.

  • A 2011 report had criticised the G20’s exclusivity, highlighting in particular its under-representation of the African continent.
  • The G20 is a self-appointed group. It may be more representative than the G8, but it is still arbitrary.
  • Critics say that G20 basically was an extension of the G7.
  • It’s not population, it’s not GDP, it’s not financial reserves, it’s just a decision taken on what we assume are the important economies of the world.
  • The G20’s transparency and accountability have been questioned by critics, who call attention to the absence of a formal charter and the fact that the most important G20 meetings are closed-door.
  • G20 summits have also attracted protesters from a variety of backgrounds, including information activists, opponents of fractional-reserve banking and anti-capitalists

GS-3

1- India Post Payments Bank

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will launch the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on September 1st, 2018.
  • IPPB has been envisioned as an accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man, to help speedily achieve the financial inclusion objectives of the Union Government.
  • It will leverage the vast network of the Department of Posts, which covers every corner of the country with more than 300,000 Postmen and Grameen Dak Sewaks. IPPB will hence significantly augment the reach of the banking sector in India.
  • On the day of the launch, IPPB will have 650 Branches and 3250 Access Points spread across the country. Simultaneous launch events will be held at these branches and access points.
  • All the 1.55 lakh Post Offices in the country will be linked to the IPPB system by December 31, 2018.
  • IPPB will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments.
  • These products, and related services, will be offered across multiple channels (counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, SMS and IVR), using the bank’s state-of-the-art technology platform.

 

2- Review of Penal Provisions of Company Act 2013

  • The Committee constituted by Government of India in July 2018 to review the existing framework dealing with offences under the Companies Act, 2013 and related matters and make recommendations to promote better corporate compliance, has submitted its report.

Main Recommendations:

  • Restructuring of Corporate Offences to relieve Special Courts from adjudicating routine offences:
  • Rre-categorization of 16 out of the 81 compoundable offences by shifting them from the jurisdiction of special courts to an in-house E-adjudication framework;
  • Rremaining 65 compoundable offences to continue under the jurisdiction of special courts due to their potential misuse;
  • Status quo recommended in respect of all non-compoundable offences, which relate to serious corporate offences;
  • Instituting a transparent online platform for E-adjudication and E-publication of orders; and
  • Necessitating a concomitant order for making good the default at the time of levying penalty, to achieve better compliance.

De-clogging the NCLT by:

  • Enlarging the jurisdiction of the Regional Director with enhanced pecuniary limits for compounding of offences under section 441 of the Companies Act 2013 (the Act);
  • Vesting in the Central Government the power to approve the alteration in the financial year of a company under section 2(41); and conversion of public companies into private companies under section 14 of the Act.

Recommendations related to corporate compliance and corporate governance:

  • Re-introduction of declaration of commencement of business provision to better tackle the menace of ‘shell companies’;
  • Greater disclosures with respect to public deposits, particularly in respect of transactions exempted from the definition of public deposits under section 76 of the Act to prevent abuse and harming of public interest;
  • Huge reduction in time-limit for filing documents related to creation, modification and satisfaction of charges and stringent penal provisions for non-reporting;
  • Once a company obtains restrictions under section 90(7) relating to significant beneficial ownership, in respect of shares whose ownership remains undetermined, such shares should be transferred to the Investor Education and Protection Fund if rightful owner does not claim ownership within a year of such restrictions;
  • Non-maintenance of registered office to trigger de-registration process;
  • Holding of directorships beyond permissible limits to trigger disqualification of such directors; and
  • Imposition of a cap on independent director’s remuneration in terms of percentage of income in order to prevent any material pecuniary relationship, which could impair his independence on the board of the company.

 

3- Special Package to Boost Export of Textiles

  • India has the potential to become one stop sourcing destination for brands and retailers from ASEAN.
  • There are opportunities for textile manufacturers from ASEAN to invest here and cater to domestic market as well as exports because of competitive advantages available in India including availability of raw material, trained man-power and presence of the entire textile value chain. Further, 100% FDI is allowed in the textile sector under automatic route.
  • To increase exports of textile and apparel, Government has announced a Special Package for garments and made-ups sectors.
  • the rates under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) have been enhanced from 2% to 4% for apparel and made-ups from November 2017.
  • Government is also providing interest rate subvention for pre and post shipment credit for the textile sector and gives assistance to exporters under Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme.

Further, following steps are being taken by the Government for promoting the export of Handloom and Handicrafts:

  • Assistance for marketing study, branding, participation in Fairs and Exhibitions, Buyer-Seller Meets in India and abroad etc. through Marketing and other Schemes.
  • setting up of 8 mega clusters in the country for increasing manufacturing and exports.
  • providing skill upgradation training to artisans and carpet weavers.
  • refunding excise and customs duties for importing inputs through Duty Drawback channel.
  • Providing assistance for manufacturing new and Innovative designs as per need.
  • Providing modern and improved tools to improve the production technique of artisans.

Objectives:

  • Employment generation and export by encouraging apparel and garment industry, which will provide employment to women in particular and increase India’s share in global exports.
  • Promotion of Technical Textiles, a sunrise sector, for export and employment
  • Promoting conversion of existing looms to better technology looms for improvement in quality and productivity
  • Encouraging better quality in processing industry and checking need for import of fabrics by the garment sector.

The amended scheme would give a boost to “Make in India” in the textiles sector; it is expected to attract investment to the tune of one lakh crore rupees, and create over 30 lakh jobs.

4- PM reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors of Transport and Housing

Key points

  • The average road length constructed per day in FY 17-18 was 26.93 km, as compared to 11.67 km in FY 13-14.
  • The Prime Minister was informed about progress made in digitisation of the transport sector. Over 24 lakh RFID tags have been issued so far, and over 22 percent of toll revenue now comes from electronic toll collection.
  • The “Sukhad Yatra” App, which provides information about road conditions, and facilitates lodging of complaints, has seen over one lakh downloads so far.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, rural roads have now connected 88 percent of all eligible habitations. Over 44,000 villages have been connected in the period from 2014 to 2018, as compared to about 35,000 in the preceding four year period.
  • The “MeriSadak” App has been launched in 10 regional languages,
  • GIS Mapping of roads is underway, and 20 States have so far been hosted on the Geospatial Rural Road Information System (GRRIS). Green technologies, and non-conventional materials such as waste plastic and fly ash, are being used in rural road construction.
  • In the railways sector, there has been significant addition in capacity and rolling stock. Additions in “new lines, doubling and gauge conversion” between 2014 and 2018, was to the extent of 9528 kilometres, which is 56 percent higher than the preceding four year period.
  • Similarly, in the aviation sector, passenger traffic has grown by over 62 percent in the four year period between 2014 and 2018, as against 18 percent in the preceding four year period. Under the UDAN scheme, 27 airports are now operational in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
  • In the ports sector, traffic volume in major ports increased by 17 percent in the period between 2014 and 2018.

 

5- Affordable Solar Power

  • The panelists of Pravasi Bharatiya Panel on “Role of Indian Diaspora in Capacity Building for Affordable Solar Power” called on Prime Minister.
  • They presented the outcomes of their discussions over last two days in areas such utility scale solar, off-grid and microgrid solutions, solar storage, next generation solar technologies and innovative financing options for the renewable sector.
  • Prime Minister welcomed the practical recommendations and directed Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to take forward these expert interactions and factor relevant outcomes in policy-making.

6- Integrate to Innovate Programme for energy Startups

  • Invest India has joined hands with energy sector companies to offer a unique lab-to-market opportunity for Indian startups through the Integrate to Innovate Programme.
  • Integrate to Innovate is a 3-month corporate acceleration programme for energy startups housed at the corporate premises.
  • The application for the programme is hosted on Startup India Hub – an online platform bringing together all stakeholders of the Indian startup ecosystem. The programme provides an opportunity for collaboration and conversation around valuable energy transitions, offering startups an opportunity to bring their ideas to life with the guidance and support from corporates.
  • The selected startups will receive a cash prize grant of upto ₹ 5 Lakh per startup along with an opportunity to pilot their product with corporates.
  • The corporates would offer them access to technology, technical and commercial mentorship and access to potential customers through the corporate network of partners.
  • Entries are invited from innovators across various stages of the energy life-cycle—generation, transmission and distribution, storage and consumption—in multiple sectors such as households, farm, industry, infrastructure, building, utility and transport.
  • The winners will be assessed on select parameters such as the breakthrough nature of the innovation, business viability and scalability potential.

In these categories specific areas of interest for the Integrate to Innovate programme include:

Household

  • Home Automation
  • E-commerce marketplaces for smart home products and installer/support services
  • Rooftop solar & home energy storage

Transport

  • EV and EV infrastructure
  • Gas powered trucks

Farm

  • Waste to Value

Infrastructure

  • Renewables
  • Grid and micro-grids
  • Storage battery
  • Sensors, drones, data analytics, workforce mobility
  • Cybersecurity

Utility

  • Metering, Billing & Customer analytics
  • Demand response & distributed energy resource management systems
  • Transactive energy, blockchain based energy trading and energy marketplaces

Building

  • Energy efficiency and cooling
  • B2B e-markets
  • Automation efficiency
  • Predictive asset management (IoT and AI)

 

7- Need to Address Root Cause Behind Man-Animal Conflict”

  • Strongly emphasizing the need to address the root cause behind the man-animal conflict, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, pointed out that the man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not for the animals, but for human beings.
  • underlined the fact that protection of wilderness and forests is a must to protect any wildlife species.
  • The Minister stressed the urgent need to focus on human population to optimize conservation efforts.

Background 

  • Current population estimates for Asian elephants in the country, as per 2017 Census, are about 30,000.  Asian elephants are confined to South Asia and South East Asia and about 60 per cent of global population of Asian elephants is found in India
  • In order to conserve the Asian Elephants the Project Elephant started in 1992, with the objectives of
  • conservation and protection of viable population of wild elephants in their natural habitats in the country;
  • restoration of natural habitats and traditional corridors/migratory routes or movement paths used by the elephants, wherever necessary, through eco-restoration, acquisition etc;
  • ensuring safeguards against poaching and other threats;
  • mitigation and control of human elephant conflicts;
  • welfare and management of captive elephants; and
  • creating a viable mechanism to ensure inter-state and regional and national level coordination in protecting and conserving the elephant and its ranges.

causes of man-animal conflict

  • Increased disturbance due to collection of fuel wood, fodder, NTFPs, water etc. from the forests has also increased the incidences of man-animal conflict
  • people have to go deeper and deeper, year by year for fetching firewood Decreased prey base
  • Habitat fragmentation and shrinking of habitats

impact of man wildlife conflict

  • Injury or loss of human lives or animals
  • Crop damage , livestock depredation
  • Damage to human property and destruction of habitat

way forward

  • Capacity building of forest guards
  • Increased vigilance and protection of identified locations using hi-tech surveillance tools like sensors for knowing Animal movements – Eg. Buxa forest
  • Construction of highways/railways bypassing wildlife rich areas like Trans-Canada Highway bypassed Banff National park
  • Expansion of protected reserves : in-situ and ex-situ habitat conservation measures will help in securing animals their survival and reduced conflict with humans
  • Safe animal zones creation: re-locating of animal habitats away from residential and commercial centres will serve to minimize animal-man conflict for illegal and self-interested motives
  • Community based rehabilitation measures: making community responsible for resolution of animal-man conflict will aid in decentralized approach of governance for wildlife preservation. For ex it is done Keibul Lamjao National Park, Kaziranga national park, Sundarbans etc;

Partnering with WWF which provide tailor made solutions to man wildlife conflict with community and species in consideration

8- Cabinet approves raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force
Details:

  • The objective of raising four additional battalions is to reduce the response time keeping in view the vast geographic area of the country.
  • These four battalions will initially be raised as two battalions in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and one battalion each in Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles (ARs).
  • Later these four battalions will be converted into NDRF battalions. Based on the vulnerability profile, these four battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region.

Background:

  • NDRF is a specialized force, which has been created in the year 2006 for the purpose of specialist response during the natural and man-made disaster or threatening situation.
  • At present there are 12 battalions in NDRF which are deployed strategically across the country to provide immediate response.
  • Government has allowed 100% FDI under automatic route in educational institutions
  • As per consolidated FDI Policy, 2017, the Government has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100% under automatic route in the educational institutions subject to applicable laws/sectoral rules/regulations/ security conditions.

 

9- PM visits Kerala

  • The Prime Minister visited Kerala to review the situation arising out of floods in the State

Relief announcements:

  • The Prime Minister announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the State.
  • He also assured the State Government that relief materials including food grains, medicines etc would be provided, as requested.
  • PM also announced ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those seriously injured from PM’s National Relief Funds (PMNRF).
  • PM has directed Insurance Companies to hold special camps for assessment & timely release of compensation to the affected families/beneficiaries under Social Security Schemes.
  • PM has directed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to repair main national highways damaged due to floods on priority.
  • The Central Public Sector like NTPC and PGCIL have also been directed to be available to render all possible assistance to the State Government in restoring power lines.
  • Villagers, whose kutcha houses have been destroyed in the devastating floods, would be provided Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin houses on priority irrespective of their priority in the Permanent Wait List of PMAY-G.
  • Under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, farmers would be provided assistance for replantation of damaged horticulture crops.

 

DEFENSE

1- New Defense Production Policy

  • A draft Defence Production Policy 2018 has been prepared which provides a focused, structured and significant thrust to development of defence design and production capabilities in the country.
  • The draft policy has been shared with all concerned stakeholders for their views before notification.

Salient features of the Draft Policy

  • Creation of a dynamic, robust and competitive defence and aerospace industry as an important part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Creation of a tiered defence industrial ecosystem in the country.
  • Reducing current dependence on imports and strive to achieve self-reliance in development and manufacture of weapon systems / platforms.

The Policy mandates for Transfer of Technology or enhanced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for domestic production in the event of non-availability of manufacturing capabilities in the country.

2- Import of Weapons / Military Equipment

Key points

  • During the last three years and current year (upto June, 2018), 106 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors and 62 have been signed with foreign vendors including those from Russia, Israel, USA, France, UK and Germany for procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces.
  • The major defence equipment imported include Radars, Rockets, Artillery Guns, Rifles, Aircraft, Helicopters, Laser Designation Pods, Pods for Aircrafts, Missiles, Weapons, Simulator and Ammunition.

 

3- Maoist and Naxal activities in the country

  • The Left Wing Extremism (LWE) situation in the country has been improving consistently and is now well under control.
  • Currently 30 districts in 07 States are most affected by LWE violence.
  • Total 30 districts contributed 88% of violent incidents and 94% of deaths in 2017.

1- The Prime Minster, Shri Narendra Modi today addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 72nd Independence Day.:

Following are the highlights from his speech

  • The next year will mark 100 years of the Jalliwanwallah bagh massacre. The masses had sacrificed their lives for the country’s freedom; and the exploitation had crossed all limits. The Jalliwanwallah bagh incident inspires us of the sacrifices made by those brave hearts. I salute all those brave hearts from the bottom of my heart.
  • India has become the sixth largest economy of the world.
  • After independence, an highly inclusive constitution was drafted under the leadership of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. It came with the resolve of making a new India.
  • Had we worked at the speed of 2013 , it would have taken centuries in making India 100% open defecation free or electrifying every part or even providing the LPG gas connection to every woman in rural and urban areas. Had we worked with the speed of 2013, an entire generation would have taken to connect the country with optical fibre. We will go by such speed to achieve all these goals.
  • The mission of Skill Development is being encouraged by establishing new centres in small places.
  • Start-up programmes have mushroomed in Tier II and Tier III cities.
  • Efforts are in progress to compile a ‘common sign’ dictionary for disable persons.
  • Modernisation and technology has entered into the field of agriculture.  Our farmers are using micro irrigation, drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation methods.
  • We have decided with great courage to give attractive prices for the products of farmers.  The minimum support price for many crops has been increased to more than 1.5 times the input costs.
  • With the help of small traders, their openness and their aptitude to accept new things, the country has successfully implemented the GST.  It has brought a new confidence among the traders.
  • Benami Property Law has been implemented with great courage and intention for the good of the country.
  • There was a time when the world used to talk of Red Tape’.  However, today the issue of ‘Red Carpet’ is being discussed. We have reached 100th position in the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking. Today, the entire world is looking at our achievement with pride.
  • There was a time when for the world India meant – ‘policy paralysis’ and ‘delayed reforms’. However, today India is being discussed for – ‘reform, perform and transform’.
  • There was a time when the world counted India among the ‘fragile five’. However, today the world has been saying that India has become the destination for multi-trillion dollar investment.
  • We are getting progressive news about highways, railways, airways, waterways and information ways (I-ways) from North East.
  • Our youths from the North East are establishing BPO in their areas.
  • The North East region has turned to be a hub of organic farming.  Sports university is being set up in North East.
  • There was a time when North East felt distant from Delhi but within last four years we have succeeded to get Delhi to the threshold of North East.
  •  In our country 65% of our population consists of 35 year old people.  Our youth has brought a paradigm shift in the nature of job.  Whether it is startup, BPO or e-commerce or the field of mobility, our youth has entered into new fields.  Now a days our youth is committed to take this country to new heights.
  • 13 crore people have availed MUDRA LOAN which is a great achievement.  Of this 4 crore are youth who have availed loan for the very first time and are self-employed and progressing independently. This in itself is an example of changing atmosphere.Our youth are managing common service centres in three lakh villages and they are linking every village and citizen with the world in seconds by utilizing information technology.
  • With the spirit of innovation our scientists, we are going to launch ‘NAVIC’ which will be very useful for the fishermen and others.
  • India has resolved to send manned spacecraft to the space by 2022.  India will be the fourth country to do this.
  • We want to expand the horizons of agriculture with the help of modernization.  We want to adopt value addition right from ‘seeds – to –market’.  For the first time we are progressing in the path of Agriculture Export Policy so as to enable our farmers to emerge powerful in the world market.
  • Now new avenues of organic farming, blue revolution, sweet revolution, solar farming have emerged on which we plan to move ahead.
  • In fisheries, India has emerged second largest country of the world.
  • The export of honey has doubled.
  • It is a matter of pleasure for the sugarcane farmers that the production of ethanol has tripled.
  • Now the sale of Khadi has doubled.
  • Our farmers are now focussing on solar farming.  Due to this he can contribute to agriculture and at the same time earn money by sale of solar energy.
  • Along with economic progress and development, we also want to focus on dignity of human life which is supreme.  Hence we are also planning to continue with those schemes which enable a common man to lead his life with pride, respect and dignity.
  • According to WHO report 3 lakh children have been saved because of Swachchta Campaign.
  • Taking inspiration from Gandhiji who had organized satayagrahis, we have succeed to mobilize ‘Swatchagrahis’.  On the occasion of 150th birth anniversary crores of “Swatchagrahis’ plan to pay tribute in deed and action to respected Bapuji in the form of Swatch Bharat.
  • In order to provide free health services to the poorest people, Government of India has launched Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojanaAbhiyan.  Now under this scheme any person can get relief from diseases by going to the good hospitals.
  • Under the scheme Ayushman Bharat 10 crore families are able to get health insurance benefits, it means nearly 50 crore citizens will be covered. Each family will get 5 lakh rupees health coverage annually.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaAbhiyan will be launched on 25th September, 2018 as a result from now on, common man need not suffer from problems of dreaded diseases.
  • New avenues are emerging for middle class families and youth in the field of health.  New hospitals will be constructed in 2 tier and 3 tier cities.  Medical staff will be established in huge numbers.  Employment opportunities will be more in the years to come.
  • Government is making efforts to close all the leakages.  We are on the path of removal of corruption and black-money.  Due to all these efforts we were able to mobilize 90000 crore money to the Government Exchequer.
  • Upto 2013, for the past 70 years the direct tax payers were only 4 crore people.  Now the numbers has doubled and grown to 7.25 crores.
  • For the period of 70 years, indirect tax officials were able to mobilize 70 lakhs of revenue.  Whereas by implementation of GST, within a year we were able to mobilize 16 lakhs of revenue.
  • In order to maintain transparency, we have launched online process.  We have utilized Information Technology to the maximum level.
  • Asserting that India is today brimming with self-confidence, the Prime Minister mentioned developments such as the success of Navika Sagar Parikrama by six young women naval officers, and the achievements of young Indian sportspersons from humble backgrounds.
  • He mentioned the blooming of Neelakurinji flowers in the Nilgiri hills, a phenomenon that occurs once every 12 years