Insights Daily Current Events, 11 January 2016
Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
CRZ amendment raises hackles
The amendment to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2011 permitting the use of reclaimed land for construction of roads in notified areas has triggered a wave of concern among coastal communities, amid fears that it would trigger further dilution of CRZ norms.
- Along with the coastal communities, even the scientists have raised their voices against these amendments.
- Scientists feel that the amendment would spark a spree of construction activities along the coast, endangering the marine and coastal ecosystems.
- They also allege that the government move is dictated by powerful lobbies with an eye on ecologically sensitive coastal areas.
- Environmentalists are also worried as the amendment would permit roads to come up in the CRZ1 region comprising ecologically sensitive areas and classified as a ‘no development zone’.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) through an extraordinary gazette notification on December 30, 2015 issued amendments the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2011.
- These amendments permits the use of reclaimed land for roads, mass rapid or multimodal transit systems, and the construction and installation of associated public utilities and infrastructure to operate such systems within the CRZ area. It says such roads should not be taken as authorised for permitting development on the landward side till the existing High Tide Line.
- The notification adds that construction of roads would be permitted only on the recommendation of the Coastal Zone Management Authority concerned and the clearance of MoEFCC. It also mandates compensatory afforestation to replace the mangroves cut or destroyed for road construction.
Local communities have demanded revocation of the amendment immediately. They have also asked the government to hold National level consultation in all the coastal States before making any amendment in CRZ 2011, as done earlier.
CRZ notification, 2011:
The existing policy on coastal management as laid down in the CRZ notification and Island Protection Zone (IPZ) notification 2011 issued under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 envisages ensuring livelihood security to the coastal communities, to conserve and protect coastal stretches and marine areas and promote sustainable development on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea level rise.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian economy – growth and employment.
Tax on seed funding to be scrapped
The government has decided to scrap a tax on seed funding provided to start-ups by Indian angel investors in the upcoming Union Budget, to help domestic financiers bankroll new entrepreneurial ventures under its Start Up India campaign.
Why is it necessary to scrap this tax?
- This tax treats infusion of funds by domestic angel investors as income in the hands of the start-up. This also makes India the only country in the world to penalise local angel investors in such a manner. This tax roughly takes away 30% of the investment from the start-up’s cash flow.
- Tax on seed funding is one of the key reasons that 90% of Indian start-ups are financed by foreign venture capital and angel funds.
- Since this tax applies only to domestic investors, it acted as a disincentive to local funding for start-ups.
The tax treatment and difficulties of doing business in India as start-ups attain scale, make it attractive for such ventures to relocate out of India to countries like Singapore; 65% of successful start-ups that began in India have moved out of the country. According to estimates by the team of officials working on the Start Up India programme, start-ups in the country received around 9 billion dollars of funding in 2015.
Finance Act 2013 introduced a tax on seed capital provided to start-ups by local angel investors.
Angel investor is an investor who provides financial backing for small startups or entrepreneurs. Angel investors are usually found among an entrepreneur’s family and friends. The capital they provide can be a one-time injection of seed money or ongoing support to carry the company through difficult times.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life; Awareness in biotechnology.
Hisar institute becomes second centre to clone buffalo
Scientists at the Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) in Hisar, Haryana claimed to have successfully produced a cloned buffalo offspring ‘Cirb Gaurav’.
- This cloned buffalo calf is distinct from the earlier clones produced in India. As this is produced from cells of ventral side of tail of superior bull buffalo, this part is least exposed to sunlight and may have less mutation rate, and can be a good choice for isolation of donor cells to produce healthy clones.
- With this achievement, CIRB becomes the world’s third and India’s second institute to produce cloned buffalo. National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal was the first to produce a cloned calf in India.
- This achievement has been made under the project entitled- Cloning for conservation and multiplication of superior buffalo germplasm.
What is cloning?
Cloning is the process of creating genetically identical copies of biological matter. This may include genes, cells, tissues or entire organisms.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources.
Telangana becomes first State to make gender education compulsory
Telangana has become the first State to introduce compulsory gender education at the graduate level; without repeating gender stereotypes in its bilingual textbook titled, ‘Towards a World of Equals.’
- The book introduced on a pilot basis in engineering colleges affiliated to the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU-Hyderabad) discusses gender in its composite form without limiting itself to crime against women.
- From information on unacknowledged women writers of Telangana to problems of sex selection and women’s work in politics and economics, the book attempts to cover it all.
- It also touches upon complex subjects like female-centric history and male-female relationships.
- Structured in simple language and form to suit under-graduates, the book discusses different strands of women’s movements across the world, introducing students to political movements of Afro-American, Caribbean, African, Dalit and minority women.
- The book is also coupled with the collection of visual teaching tools which include documentary films.
- The book discusses construction of gender stereotypes through pictures on male and female hairstyles, clothing and discussions on popular songs like ‘Kolaveri’, advertisements and films.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure.
Governor’s Rule in J&K
Governor’s Rule has been imposed in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is for the sixth time that the governor’s rule is being imposed in the state.
- Based on the recommendation from the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and with the approval of the President of India, Governor’s rule has been imposed in the State under Section 92(1) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
Governor’s rule in J&K:
- In the event of failure of constitutional machinery in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor’s Rule is imposed by invoking Section 92 of Jammu & Kashmir State constitution.
- Governor’s rule proclamation is issued by Jammu & Kashmir State Governor after obtaining consent of the President of India.
- Under section 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir constitution, the governor is empowered to recommend six months of Governor’s rule to the Indian president.
- If it is not possible to revoke Governor’s rule before within six months of imposition, President’s Rule under Article 356 of the Constitution of India is imposed.
- Jammu and Kashmir is the only state that has a constitution of its own which is applicable concomitantly with the Indian constitution.