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22 August, 2019

4 Min Read

Paper Topics Subject
GS-II Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted
CBI Autonomy
Notified Disease.
GS-III Global assessment of forest biodiversity by WWF
Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA)
GS-II :
Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted

Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted

Context

Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted to Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister.

Recommendations

  • The Competition Law Review Committee headed by Injeti Srinivas has submitted its report to the Government.
  • Government had constituted Competition Law Review Committee in 2018 to review the existing framework and recommend changes to strengthen it.
  • The committee has recommended a ‘Green Channel’ for faster regulatory approvals for mergers and acquisitions that may have no major implications on competition.
  • It has also said that combinations arising out of the insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code should also be eligible for Green Channel approvals.
  • The report has also suggested setting up of Competition Commission of India(CCI) offices at the regional level for non-adjudicatory functions such as research and advocacy.
  • The Committee has also recommended that a dedicated bench be introduced in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) for hearing appeals under the Competition Act.
  • The report has asked CCI to issue guidelines on imposition of penalty to ensure more transparency and faster decision making which will encourage compliance by businesses.
  • It has also recommended for strengthening the governance structure of CCI with the introduction of a Governing Board to oversee advocacy and quasi-legislative functions leaving adjudicatory functions to the Whole-time Members.

Background

The Government constituted a Competition Law Review Committee on 1st October, 2018 to review the existing Competition law framework and make recommendations to further strengthen the framework to inter alia meet new economy challenges

The Competition Act

The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
CBI Autonomy

GS- III: CBI Autonomy

Context

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recommended a comprehensive legislation to make the Central Bureau of Investigation functional as an efficient and impartial investigative agency.

Problems with CBI

  • The agency is dependent on the home ministry for staffing many of its investigators come from the Indian Police Service. The agency depends on the law ministry for lawyers and also lacks functional autonomy to some extent.
  • The CBI, run by IPS officers on deputation, is also susceptible to the government’s ability to manipulate the senior officers, because they are dependent on the Central government for future postings.
  • The 19th and 24th reports of the parliamentary standing committees (2007 and 2008) recommended that the need of the hour is to strengthen the CBI in terms of legal mandate, infrastructure and resources.
  • CBI which handles cases which are of national importance has been criticised for its mishandling of several scams due to political pressure. It has also been criticized for interfering in the investigation of prominent politicians, such as P. V. Narasimha Rao, Jayalalithaa, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav; this tactic leads to their acquittal or non-prosecution. Some of the examples in which CBI was misused are Bofors scandal, Hawala scandal, 2G spectrum scam, coal scam, etc.

CBI Autonomy

 SC raised the question of CBI’s independence and said that “The CBI has become the state’s parrot. Only screaming, repeating the master’s voice” The SC had then asked the Centre to make the CBI impartial and said it needs to be ensured that the CBI functions free of all external pressures.

SC over CBI’s autonomy:

In the Vineet Narain case, 1997 The Supreme Court agreed that the CBI had failed in its responsibility to investigate allegations of public corruption.  It laid down guidelines to ensure independence and autonomy of the CBI and ordered that the CBI be placed under the supervision of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), an independent governmental agency intended to be free from executive control or interference. 

About CBI

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating agency of India.
  • Operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the CBI is headed by the Director.
  • CBI, India’s first agency to investigate corruption, the Special Police Establishment, was set up in 1941, six years before independence from British rule to probe bribery and corruption in the country during World War II.
  • In 1946, it was brought under the Home Department and its remit was expanded to investigate corruption in central and state governments under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
  • The special police force became the Central Bureau of Investigation after the Home Ministry, which is in charge of domestic security, decided to expand its powers and change its name in 1963.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
Notified Disease.

GS-II: Notified Disease

Context

A month after Union Health Minister asked the Delhi government to make malaria and dengue notifiable diseases, the local authorities has initiated the work to notify malaria in the capital.

What is a notifiable disease?

  • A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities.
  • The collation of information allows the authorities to monitor the disease, and provides early warning of possible outbreaks.
  • The World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, 1969 require disease reporting to the WHO in order to help with its global surveillance and advisory role.
  • Registered medical practitioners need to notify such diseases in a proper form within three days, or notify verbally via phone within 24 hours depending on the urgency of the situation.
  • This means every government hospital, private hospital, laboratories, and clinics will have to report cases of the disease to the government.
  • The onus of notifying any disease and the implementation lies with the state government.
  • The Centre has notified several diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, encephalitis, leprosy, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis, measles, yellow fever, malaria dengue, etc.

Why notify diseases?

  • Making a disease legally notifiable by doctors and health professionals allows for intervention to control the spread of highly infectious diseases.
  • The process helps the government keep track and formulate a plan for elimination and control. In less infectious conditions, it improves information about the burden and distribution of disease.
  • Any failure to report a notifiable disease is a criminal offence and the state government can take necessary actions against defaulters.

 

 

 

 

Source: Indian Express

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GS-III :
Global assessment of forest biodiversity by WWF

GS-III: Global assessment of forest biodiversity by WWF

Context

World Wide Fund for Nature released the first-ever global assessment of forest biodiversity.

Background

Forest biodiversity had never been assessed, but forest area was often used as a proxy indicator. The new findings were based on the Forest Specialist Index, developed following the Living Planet Index methodology  an index that tracks wildlife that lives only in forests.

Keys of report

  • There has been a 53 per cent decline in the number of forest wildlife populations since 1970, according to the first-ever global assessment of forest biodiversity by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • Wildlife is an essential component of natural and healthy forests. They play a major role in forest regeneration and carbon storage by engaging in pollination and seed dispersal.
  • While the decline was consistent in these years among mammals, reptiles and amphibians (particularly from the tropical forests), it was less among birds (especially from temperate forests).

Threaten by Climate Change

  • 43% of amphibian populations
  • 37% of reptile population.
  • 21% of bird population.
  • Loss of habitat due to logging, agricultural expansion, mining, hunting, conflicts and spread of diseases accounted for almost 60 per cent of threats.
  • More than 60 per cent of threatened forest specialist populations faced more than one threat.

Main Concern

Protecting wildlife and reversing the decline of nature requires urgent global action. The need is to preserve harmonious land use in our region, including forest management and protect the most valuable surviving ecosystems.

 

Source: Indian Express

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GS-III :
Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA)

GS-III: Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA)

Context

Former IAS officer has been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

What is Public Safety Act in Jammu and Kashmir

  • The act brought into 1978,primary to adopt a tough measure against timber smuggling in the state. It was much later that the act was frequently used to control militancy-related incidents. Under this act, government can declare any area as ‘protected’ and exercise authority to regulate entry of any citizen in the protected area.
  • The ‘PSA’ gives J&K government the power to detain anyone who acts in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance  of public order .
  • The PSA allows for administrative detention for up to two years “in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State”, and for administrative detention up to one year where “any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order”.
  • Detention orders under PSA can be issued by Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates.

Criticism of PSA

Human rights group are almost unanimous in their stand- PSA result wrongful detentions. Amensty International has been aggressively churning out reports on number of people detained over the past . Many innocent people become prey to politician because this act giver power to the ruling party.

According to the rights activist, Jammu and Kashmir uses PSA to keep people they can’t convict through proper legal channels locked up and out of the way.On the other side PSA has been criticized for denying citizen the right to fair  trial and justice.

Source: The Hindu

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