14 May, 2020 70 Min Read
|GS-II||RERA Act,2016||National and Political Issues|
|GS-III||Desert Locusts||Food Security|
|Liquidity lifeline: On Nirmala’s MSME package||Economy|
|Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA),2010||Internal security|
|Smart Metering Programme (SMP)||Energy and Power|
|PT Pickups||FORCE (‘Fiscal Options and Response to Covid-19 Epidemic’)||Economy|
|BIO International Convention||International treaties and conventions|
|TIR Convention||International treaties and conventions|
|New Green Building Code||Environment and Sustainable development|
|Cartosat-2||Science and Technology|
|First Total Yoga Village||Art and Culture|
GS-II : National and Political Issues
Objectives of RERA
Establishment of state level regulatory authorities- Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA): The Act provides for State governments to establish more than one regulatory authority with the following mandate:
GS-III : Food Security
Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar interacts with Pesticide Industry representatives on the Desert Locust Control.
Central and State Governments are working together on the Desert Locust Control measures and have been able to check its spread. New machines have been ordered from the United Kingdom and will arrive soon.
About Desert Locusts
Reasons for its uncontrolled spread
Dangers of a Desert Locusts
Steps taken by the Indian Government to control Desert Locusts
Liquidity lifeline: On Nirmala’s MSME package
The first tranche of announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan on Wednesday is impressive indeed.
Fiscal package for MSMEs
Subordinated debt is riskier than unsubordinated debt. Subordinated debt is any type of loan that's paid after all other corporate debts and loans are repaid, in the case of borrower default. Borrowers of subordinated debt are usually larger corporations or other business entities. Subordinated debt is the exact opposite of unsubordinated debt in that senior debt is prioritized higher in bankruptcy or default situations.
When a corporation takes out debt, it normally issues two or more bond types that are either unsubordinated debt or subordinated debt. If the company defaults and files for bankruptcy, a bankruptcy court will prioritize loan repayments and require that a company repay its outstanding loans with its assets. The debt that is considered lesser in priority is the subordinated debt. The higher priority debt is considered unsubordinated debt.
Fiscal Stimulus to NBFCs
The Minister has also done well in addressing the liquidity issues of power distribution companies through a ?90,000 crore infusion that will be securitised on their receivables and backed by a State government guarantee.
While the headline numbers appear big, the reality is that the government will be called upon to bear the liability only if the economic situation becomes hopeless; it may not come to that.
A decision by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to donate $3.6 million to Indian labs and research agencies to assist in countering COVID-19 pandemic could run into delays, given that the agency has been placed on a “watch list” since Decemver 2019.
Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) is a consolidating act passed by the Government of India in the year 2010. It seeks to regulate the foreign contributions or donations and hospitality (air travel, hotel accommodation etc) to Indian organizations and individuals and to stop such contributions which might damage the national interest.
Since the Act is internal security legislation, despite being a law related to financial legislation, it falls into the purview of Home Ministry and not the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Need for FCRA:
The act aims at keeping a check on foreigners influencing the Indian electoral politics, journalists, public servants etc. for wrong purposes or activities detrimental to the public interest. Those violating the provisions of FCRA can be jailed up to a term of 5 years.
Salient features of FCRA 2010:
The FCRA was enacted in 1976 in order to maintain strict control over voluntary organisations and political associations that received foreign fundings.
In the year 1984, an amendment was made to the act requiring all the Non Governmental Organisations to register themselves with the Home Ministry. In 2010, the act was repealed and a new act with strict provisions was enacted.
Provisions of the FCRA 2010:
A provision was made for the cancellation of registrations of NGOs if the Home Ministry believes that the organisation is political and not neutral.
The registration certificate granted to the NGOs under the 2010 act came with a five year validity.
A provision was inserted stating that the assets of the person who has become defunct needs to be disposed off in a manner stated by the government.
A separate account needs to be maintained by the organisations to deposit the Foreign Contributions received and no other funds except for Foreign Contributions shall be deposited in that account.
Every bank would be obligated to report to the prescribed authority, the amount of foreign remittances received and other related details such as the source, manner of receipt etc.
Who can accept Foreign Contribution?
Organizations working for definite cultural, social, economic, educational or religious programs, if and only if they are
Who are debarred from receiving Foreign Contribution?
Global Nutrition Report
The Global Nutrition Report was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013. The first report was published in 2014.
It acts as a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative, consisting of a Stakeholder Group, Independent Expert Group and Report Secretariat.
Smart Metering Programme (SMP)
Part of: GS-III- Energy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
According to the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), the Smart Metering Programme (SMP) is helping electricity distribution companies (discoms) generate 95% of billing efficiency during the lockdown. The discoms using smart meters have seen 15-20% average increase in monthly revenue per consumer. EESL, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, is the designated agency to implement the smart metering programme in India.
Benefits of Smart Meters
GS-IV : Ethics
Forced to adopt new habits-COVID-19
Starting new habits is tough and requires overcoming inertia. Most of the time humans like maintaining the status quo.
The majority of us don’t change the default settings when we buy a new mobile phone.
Nor we do change the default settings of any new app we download.
The tendency to stick with defaults happens across different aspects of our lives, from personal to social to office work.
Rise of New habits
Physical distancing habit in India
One habit that we Indians are not used to is maintaining sufficient physical distance from one another in public spaces.
There are many reasons for this are:
Maintaining physical distancing
PT Pickups : Economy
FORCE (‘Fiscal Options and Response to Covid-19 Epidemic’)
A group of 50 IRS officers thought it their duty to help the government in this hour of crisis. They prepared a report titled ‘Fiscal Options and Response to Covid-19 Epidemic’, or FORCE, and submitted it to the government.
In order to tide over the financial crisis, the report suggested :
1. Raising the highest slab rate to 40% for income above ?1 crore
2. Re-introducing the wealth tax for those with wealth of ?5 crore or more
3. Providing an additional one-time cess of 4% on taxable income of ?10 lakh and above for COVID-19 relief
4. Providing tax relief for sectors hit hard by COVID-19
5. Re-introducing the inheritance tax.
BIO International Convention
The BIO International Convention is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). India is represented by Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.
India became the 71st country to ratify the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention. TIR Convention is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It came into force from 1975.
Rhododendron is a large genus of flowering plants and is found mainly in Eastern Himalayas, Western Himalayas and Nilgiris. Some plants of Rhododendron are evergreen and some are deciduous in nature.
New Green Building Code
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) launched a code for new commercial buildings in the country. Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2017 was developed by Ministry of Power and BEE.
Cartosat – 2 launched through PSLV C-38. Cartosat is a series of earth observation satellites placed in Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (PSSO).
Operation Swarn is launched by the Railway Ministry to improve services in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains.