05 March, 2020 14 Min Read
|GS-II||Amendments to Companies Act||National and Political Issues|
|European Union’s Green Deal||International Organisations|
|GS-III||SC lifts curbs on cryptocurrencies||Science and Technology|
|Internet Shutdowns in India||Miscellaneous|
|NRIs permitted to own 100% stake in Air India||Economy|
GS-II : National and Political Issues
Syllabus subtopic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the amendments and their significance; about CSR
News: The Union Cabinet approved the proposal to amend 65 sections of the Companies Act.
The amendments are based on the recommendations of a high-level panel set up in September 2019. If passed by Parliament, these would be the second set of amendments to the Act over the last year, as the law was already amended last July 2019.
Objective of the amendment:
Significance of the amendments
The changes are expected to significantly enhance the confidence of Indian corporates in the government’s resolve to provide greater ease of doing business and accord highest respect to honest wealth creators in the country and reduce the burden on the justice system.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
Corporate Social Responsibility in India
The methodology of CSR
CSR is the procedure for assessing an organization’s impact on society and evaluating their responsibilities. It begins with an assessment of the following aspects of each business:
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus subtopic: Important International Institutions, agencies and fora - their Structure, Mandate.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the proposed law and its objective; about EU’s Green deal and its significance
News: Amid fierce criticism from environmental activists, the European Commission (EU’s executive arm) is unveiling plans for its first ever climate law — the basis of the European Union’s Green Deal aimed at making the 27-country bloc climate neutral by 2050.
Objective of the proposed law
With its proposals, the EU’s executive arm wants to make its ambition of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero by mid-century irreversible, and legally-binding for all member states.
About the draft law
According to a leaked draft of the proposals establishing the 2050 goal, the European Commission is proposing a mechanism for regularly raising the EU’s emissions reduction target over the next three decades.
About European Green Deal
It also includes:
It also leans on Horizon Europe, to play a pivotal role in leveraging national public and private investments. Through partnerships with industry and member States, it will support research and innovation on transport technologies, including batteries, clean hydrogen, low-carbon steel making, circular bio-based sectors and the built environment.
About Horizon Europe
Source: Indian Express
GS-III : Science and Technology
Syllabus subtopic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.
Prelims and Mains focus: about cryptocurrencies: merits and demerits
News: In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had barred regulated entities such as banks from dealing in bitcoins and other virtual currencies. The Supreme Court has now lifted the restriction.
What exactly are cryptocurrencies?
Do cryptocurrencies carry a lot of risk?
Are state-backed digital coins a better option?
Yes, as state-backed digital coins can combine the positives of digital and sovereign currencies. RBI has no plans to introduce digital coins, but China is likely to launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment and Central Bank Digital Currency. Russia has been working on a state-backed cryptoruble. Sweden has its e-krona project.
Why is RBI worried about cryptos?
What is the future of such currencies?
Syllabus subtopic: Challenges to Internal Security through Communication Networks, Role of Media and Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges,
Prelims and Mains focus: about the study and its key findings; trends in internet shutdowns in India
News: Data on internet shutdowns in India which is available in public domain and compiled by Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC).
Difference between Preventive and Reactive internet shutdown
What are the rules regarding internet shutdown?
Are the Telegraph rules being followed?
Misuse of Section 144 of CrPC
How is the internet shutdown executed?
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus subtopic: Effects of Liberalization on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the move to privatize Air India and its significance; about Air India
News: The Union cabinet approved a proposal to let non-resident Indians (NRIs) own up to a 100% stake in Air India Ltd as the government attempts to make a success of its second attempt to completely privatize the debt-laden airline.
The government, which aims to divest its entire stake in Air India, in February began the stake sale process by inviting offers from potential investors after a costly turnaround plan and an earlier effort to sell a controlling stake in the flag carrier failed. To sweeten the deal, the Centre has also reduced Air India’s debt from about Rs.56,334 crore to about Rs.23,287 crore.
About the move
The cabinet, headed by Prime Minister, has approved an amendment to the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy to permit FDI in Air India by NRIs up to 100% under the automatic route.
Significance of the move
The cabinet decision will give the government more flexibility to receive bids for Air India.
Investment rules for NRIs
About Air India