22 April, 2020 76 Min Read
|GS-I||Child abuse and violence - Criminal law amendment bill - NCPCR (National commission for the protection of Child Rights)||Social issues|
|GS-II||Interstate Migrant Workmen Act 1979||Governance|
|Consumer Protection act||Governance|
|Oil Crisis Past to Present||International Relations|
|SAGAR programme- Indian Ocean Rim association (IORA)||International Relations|
|GS-III||e-Commerce and recent Rules-FDI||Economy|
|PT Pickups||TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions||Science and Technology|
|TIFAC plans to come up with white paper||Science and Technology|
|New Development Bank financial assistance||International Organisations|
|One more institute of CSIR started whole-genome sequencing of coronavirus||Science and Technology|
GS-I : Social issues
Child abuse and violence - Criminal law amendment bill - NCPCR (National commission for the protection of Child Rights)
Part of: GS-I- Social issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
336% increase in child rape cases from 2001 to 2011. Figures are under reported as majority of child rape cases are not reported to the police. 9/10 rapes and sexual assaults are carried out by people known to the victim. Insensitivity and unhelpful attitude of police, lawyers and untrained hospital staff makes prosecution and conviction difficult.
NOTE: 1 in 6 BOYS experience some form of sexual abuse/ 1 in 4 GIRLS experience some form of sexual abuse.
Why Child Rapes are Increasing?
What are the issues with Child Abuse in India?
Salient features of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018
Demerits of the Capital Punishment/ Arguments against the provisions:
Capital punishment is a debatable subject and criminologists, sociologists and the legal fraternity are always divided on this issue.
POCSO Act Significance
However, the provisions of POCSO are not properly applied by the police and other parties. Consequently, child offenders get away despite a stringent law. There is a need for greater awareness, training and familiarization of application of the law by police.
Child Pornography: SC Stand
Aarambh Initiative – Country’s first ever hotline to curb sexual abuse of children through Internet & to remove child pornographic content online.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has set up an Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSAE) Prevention/Investigation Unit at its headquarter in New Delhi.
Functions of the Unit
The Ministry has enacted the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act (CPCR), 2005, extending pan-India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir, under which National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is mandated to function for protection and promotion of child rights. The Commission may inquire into complaints and take suomotu notice of matters relating to-
Functions and Powers
The Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely:
GS-II : Governance
Interstate Migrant Workmen Act 1979
Part of: GS-II- Labour Act (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to regulate the condition of service of inter-state labourers in Indian labour law. The Act's purpose is to protect workers whose services are requisitioned outside their native states in India. Whenever an employer faces shortage of skills among the locally available workers, the act creates provision to employ better skilled workers available outside the state.
The employment system of interstate migrant labour was an exploitative system prevalent more or less in all over India. It was rampantly institutionalized in Orissa and in some other states. In Orissa the migrant labour (called dadan labour locally) through contractors or agents (called Sardars / Khatedars) are sent for work outside the state in large construction projects. This system lends itself to various abuses. Sardar promising at the time of recruitment that wages would be calculated on piece rate basis would not be settled every month as promised. Once the worker came under clutches of the contractor he took him to a far off place on payment of railways fare only. No working hours were fixed for interstate migrant workers and they had to work on all the days in a week under extremely bad working conditions.
Twenty eighth State Labour Ministers conference held on 21-10-1976 recommended for setting up of a small compact committee to examine all issues and suggest measures for eliminating the abuses prevalent in the interstate workers deployment. The compact committee which was constituted in February 1977, recommended the enactment of a separate central legislation to regulate the employment of interstate migrant workers.
Rights of interstate workers
In addition to the general labour laws applicable to all workers, the interstate workers are entitled with
Role of contractors
Registration of all contractors who employs or employed five or more Interstate Migrant Workmen on any day of the preceding 12 months.
Role of principal employers
Role of state governments
The Interstate Migrant Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2011 is proposed to make this Act gender neutral by amending its title and replacing the word ‘workman and workmen’ by the words ‘worker and workers’ respectively. However, the lawmakers have not thought of bringing additional provisions to implement this Act strictly with more accountability and punishments for violations.
Consumer Protection act
Part of: GS-II- Rights/Consumer rights (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Lok Sabha passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 after due consideration and discussion. The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that the bill aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute, to simplify a number of rules, quick redressal of their complaints and consumers will be able to get speedy justice. He said the government aims to simplify the entire process of redressal of consumer grievances.
Under the Bill, there is provision for central government to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers and will be empowered to investigate, recall, refund and impose penalties. It will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements. There is also a provision for class action law suit for ensuring that rights of consumers are not infringed upon. The authority will have power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to 10 lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement.
Several countries like Canada, Estonia have devised advertisement regulations for unhealthy foods targeted at children. Countries such as the UK, Ireland and Belgium have specifically banned celebrity endorsement of unhealthy foods. The impact of such restrictions has been reported to be significant.
The present passed Bill seeks to replace the three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Salient Features of the Bill
1. Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): Executive Agency to provide relief to a class of consumers. The CCPA will be empowered to-
2. Simplified Dispute Resolution process
i) Pecuniary Jurisdiction enhanced to-
ii) Deemed admissibility after 21days of filing
iii) Empowerment of Consumer Commission to enforce their orders
iv) Appeals only on question of law after second stage
v) Ease of approaching consumer commission
4. Product Liability
A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller to be responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services
The Basis for product liability action will be:
New Bill- Benefit to Consumers
Presently Consumer only have a single point of access to justice, which is time consuming. Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the bill through Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)
Deterrent punishment to check misleading advertisements and adulteration of products
Product liability provision to deter manufacturers and service providers from delivering defective products or deficient services
Ease of approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of Adjudication process
Scope for early disposal of cases through mediation
Provision for rules for new age consumer issues: e-commerce & direct selling
Rights of consumers: Six consumer rights have been defined in the Bill, including the right to:
The bill proposes strict action against the advertiser in case of misleading advertisements but not against the media through which the advertisement is being publicised.
Celebrities can be fined up to ?10 lakh. For repeat offences, this may rise to ?50 lakh, with a jail term of up to five years.
The principle of separation of powers:
Independence of these quasi-judicial bodies:
Unfair trade by rivals and penalizing misleading celebrity endorsement:
Standing Committee recommendations not addressed:
Suggestion for Improvement
Misleading ads, tele-marketing, multi-level marketing, direct selling and e-commerce pose new challenges to consumer protection and will require appropriate and swift executive intervention to prevent consumer detriment.
However, certain issues such as the appointment of mediators to settle disputes are contentious as this would lead to arm-twisting of the weaker parties and may encourage corruption.
The Bill does not address the fundamental problem of protracted and complicated litigation, the bane of consumer forums constituted under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. Instead, it provides an alternative to the consumer forums, in the form of mediation.
The setting up of a Consumer Authority and absence of provisions to streamline the conducting of cases in courts may only lead to greater regulations and complexities.
Addressing these issues is necessary to ensure that the new amendments bring about definitive improvements in the CPA.
India is likely to cross China’s population by 2024 and consumerism is growing fast.
With the passage of the Consumer Protection Bill in Parliament, consumer rights are set to receive a massive boost. The new regulations put more responsibility on companies for misleading advertising and faulty products.
In a global first, it also lays out penalties for celebrities endorsing or promoting false advertising and adulterated goods.
The emergence of global supply chain, rise in global trade and rapid development of e-commerce have led to a new delivery system for goods and services and also provided new options and opportunities for consumers.
Oil crisis during 1973-74 :
Oil Crisis 1978-79:
Reason for drop in oil prices by 2014
Why oil prices have come down to Rs.1/barell during COVID-19?
What is Super Contango ?
What this means for the global economies?
What does this mean for India?
India’s Fiscal Federalism
In India, the Finance Commission and the Planning Commission promote fiscal federalism by carrying out systemic fiscal transfers in the nature of devolution or conditional ones but with the replacement of Planning Commission by NITI Aayog there is an urgent need for revisiting and redefining the fiscal architecture of India.
India’s Fiscal Federalism:
Need for Redefining India’s Fiscal Federalism
Horizontal imbalances and rising regional inequalities: Replacing the Planning Commission (which was mandated to give grants to the states as conditional transfers using the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula) with NITI Aayog (Government think tank with no resources to dispense) has reduced the policy outreach of government by relying only on single instrument of fiscal federalism i.e Finance commission. This approach if not reviewed can lead to a serious problem of increasing regional and sub-regional inequities.
Restructuring the Fiscal Federalism
India’s Fiscal Federalism needs to be restructured around the four pillars namely Finance Commission, NITI Aayog, GST and decentralization in order to eliminate the inadequacies of vertical and horizontal imbalances.
Challenges of fiscal federalism
SAGAR programme- Indian Ocean
Part of: GS-II- SAGAR Doctorine and Indian Ocean (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
India has for a long time had a “continental outlook,” with insufficient attention paid to maritime aspects of security. But this has begun to change over the last two decades, a reflection of India’s growing economy and the resultant need for secure trade routes and the growing security competition in the maritime space as a consequence of China’s naval expansion.
One aspect of this shift has been India’s efforts to build security partnerships in the Indian Ocean region. On this score, the record of India’s strategic shift is at best mixed. Indeed, while there are often headlines about India’s successes, with an example being India’s outreach to Indonesia with India gaining access to a strategically vital Sabang port earlier this month, in fact, India’s efforts to partner with other states have actually been less than successful, be it an agreement with Seychelles or the Maldives.
Significance of Indian Ocean
The geo-political significance of the Indian Ocean stems from the fact that it is a centre piece in the wider Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The combination of economic growth and slowdown, military expansion, increasing demand for natural resources, demographics combined with the geo-political situation, increased presence of nuclear capable actors and variances in regional structures of governance, highlights the geo-political significance of this area.
Major points that merit attention are: -
SAGAR Programme (Security and Growth for All in the Region)
SAGAR Doctrine was unveiled by India in 2016 underlining the growing salience of the Indian Ocean and global maritime commons in India’s strategic calculus. It calls for intensifying cooperation among navies and maritime agencies of the world to engineer virtuous cycles of cooperation. It is a maritime initiative which gives priority to Indian Ocean region for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of India in Indian Ocean region.
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)?
Member Countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
United Arab Emirates
Dialogue Partners of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Objectives
Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD)
The Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) is a flagship initiative of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), with its origins in the 13th Council of Ministers meeting, held in November 2013 in Perth, Australia.
The IORA Sustainable Development Program (ISDP)
The ISDP is a project-based program intended to meet the needs of the Member States of the IORA. Project proposals are formulated by the Member countries in collaboration with IORA Secretariat. As an instrument of sustainable development, the ISDP Program is expected to strengthen regional cooperation and forge new partnerships within the IORA Member States and with Dialogue Partners.
IORA Council of Members Meeting 2019
Objectives of SAGAR MAITRI
The IOR countries, include Oman, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar.
GS-III : Economy
e-Commerce and recent Rules-FDI
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Electronic commerce or e-commerce is a business model that lets firms and individuals buy and sell things over the Internet. Propelled by rising smartphone penetration, the launch of 4G networks and increasing consumer wealth, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion in 2017.
India’s e-commerce revenue is expected to jump from US$ 39 billion in 2017 to US$ 120 billion in 2020, growing at an annual rate of 51%, the highest in the world. The Indian e-commerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second-largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034.
Types of e-Commerce in India
Marketplace and Inventory-Based Model
Advantages of e-Commerce
Disadvantages of e-Commerce
Government Initiatives Regarding e-Commerce in India
DRAFT NATIONAL eCommerce POLICY
New Rules –FDI
The government has issued new rules regarding Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in e-commerce.
New Rules by DIPP
Why New Rules?
Impact of DIPP Norms
FDI guidelines for e-Commerce
In India 100% FDI is permitted in B2B e-commerce, however, No FDI is permitted in B2C e-commerce. 100% FDI under automatic route is permitted in the marketplace model of e-commerce, while FDI is not permitted in inventory based model of e-commerce.
e-Commerce has become an important part of many multilateral negotiations such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), WTO, BRICS etc. e-Commerce still faces various issues like international trade, domestic trade, competition policy, consumer protection, information technology etc. As a growing sector with huge interest from both domestic and international players, it becomes pertinent to regulate it keeping in mind the interest of both entrepreneurs and consumers. A conducive environment and a level playing field should be encouraged.
JAI HIND JAI BHARAT
PT Pickups : Science and Technology
TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits
The Technology Development Board (TDB) has approved financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions, Pune, for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits. Mylab Discovery Solutions is the first indigenous company to develop real-time PCR based molecular diagnostic kit which screens and detects COVID 19 from samples. The support from TDB will ensure ramp up in the production of the kits through automation of the facility. This aid is supposed to increase the capacity to one lakh tests per day from the current numbers of thirty thousand. The kit has been approved by ICMR and CDSCO and will be put to use in a short time, considering its urgent requirement. TDB is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology.
TIFAC plans to come up with white paper on strategising revival of Indian economy after COVID -19
The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous technology think tank under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), has planned to come up with a white paper on strategising revival of Indian economy after COVID-19.
The key focus is reported to be on strengthening Make in India initiatives, commercialization of Indigenous technology, developing a technology-driven transparent Public Distribution System (PDS) among others. ,Navigating the way ahead with the COVID-19 virus required well thought out actions which could minimize adverse impact on human health and maximise economic well being. TIFAC’s team of scientists from a range of disciplines are exploring the best methods to revive the Indian economy and reduce the impact on it post COVD-19.
New Development Bank financial assistance OF 5 billion dollars to BRICS countries
INDIA appreciated efforts of New Development Bank on fast tracking of financial assistance of about five billion dollars to BRICS countries including Emergency Assistance of one billion dollar to India to combat COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors through video conference yesterday, Ms. Sitharaman also suggested that, assistance under this facility to be enhanced to 10 billion dollars. She also mentioned about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of creating a COVID-19 Emergency Fund and India’s efforts in supplying critical medicine to the needy countries to tackle the COVID-19. The Finance Minister of Brazil thanked India for the timely help it received from India in the form of critical drugs.
The NDB was established by the BRICS countries -Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in 2014. NDB has so far approved 14 Indian projects for an amount of 4,183 million dollar. The purpose of the Bank is to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries to complement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.
One more institute of CSIR started whole-genome sequencing of coronavirus
One more institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has started whole-genome sequencing of novel coronavirus. Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) has taken up the task of large-scale genome sequencing of the virus. Earlier, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Genomic and Integrated Biology had started working on it.
The complete genome sequence information will enable researchers to gain insights about the origins of the virus, the different types of strains circulating in India and how it has spread across the length and breadth of the country. He said, the genomic resource obtained from this sequencing will also allow identification of new targets for diagnosis and drugs for COVID-19.
The whole-genome sequencing is a method used to determine the complete DNA sequence of a specific organism’s genome. As the Institute is known for its specialization in microbial and genomic research, CSIR-IMTech will perform sequencing of the SARS-Cov-2 RNA genome isolated from clinical samples.
So far, 9000 samples have been sequenced internationally as per Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) - a public platform started by the WHO in 2008 for countries to share genome sequences.