Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 April 2018


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 April 2018


 

Paper 2:

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

NCLT

Context: The government is planning to have more benches of the National Company Law Tribunal on the basis of case load, amid rising number of insolvency cases coming up before the NCLT.

 

Background:

Currently, there are 11 NCLT benches in different parts of the country, including two in the national capital.

 

About National Company Law Tribunal:

What is it? National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a quasi-judicial body that will govern the companies in India. It was established under the Companies Act, 2013 and is a successor body of the Company Law Board.

Powers: NCLT will have the same powers as assigned to the erstwhile Company Law Board (which are mostly related to dealing with oppression and mismanagement), Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR)(revival of sick companies) and powers related to winding up of companies (which was available only with the High Courts).

Background: The setting up of NCLT as a specialized institution for corporate justice is based on the recommendations of the Justice Eradi Committee on Law Relating to Insolvency and Winding up of Companies.

 

What’s important?

For Prelims and Mains: NCLT.

 

Sources: the hindu.


Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Competition Commission of India

 

Context: The Union Cabinet has given its approval for rightsizing the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from One Chairperson and Six Members (totalling seven) to One Chairperson and Three Members (totalling four).

Section 8(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act) provides that the Commission shall consist of a Chairperson and not less than two and not more than six Members.

 

About Competition Commission Of India:

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established under the Competition Act, 2002 for the administration, implementation and enforcement of the Act, and was duly constituted in March 2009. Chairman and members are appointed by the central government.

The following are the objectives of the Commission: 

  • To prevent practices having adverse effect on competition.
  • To promote and sustain competition in markets.
  • To protect the interests of consumers.
  • To ensure freedom of trade.

 

Functions of the commission:

  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.

 

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.

 

What’s important?

For Prelims and Mains: CCI, Competition Act.

 

Sources: pib.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018

 

Context: The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country.

 

Salient Features of the Bill:

  • It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
  • It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
  • It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and
  • It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.
  • It proposes to amend the term of office of Chairperson and Members of National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission to make it in consonance with the terms of Chairperson and Members of other Commissions.

 

Benefits:

The Amendment will strengthen the Human Rights Institutions of India further for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the amended Act will be in perfect sync with the agreed global standards and benchmarks towards ensuring the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual in the country.

 

Background:

The amendment to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 will make National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) more compliant with the Paris Principle concerning its autonomy, independence, pluralism and wide-ranging functions in order to effectively protect and promote human rights.

 

What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Key features of the bill, NHRC and SHRC.
  • For Mains: Human Rights related issues.

 

Sources: pib.


Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

 

Kishanganga project

Context: Pakistan has informed the World Bank about India’s completing of the Kishanganga hydropower project during the bank’s “pause” period and has urged it to “recognise its responsibility” under the Indus Waters Treaty.

 

What’s the issue?

Pakistan has approached the World Bank, the mediator between the two countries of the water distribution treaty, in the past and raised issues over Kishanganga and Ratle projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

It has been flagging concern over designs of India’s five hydroelectricity projects – Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) – being built/planned in the Indus river basin, contending these violate the treaty.

 

Background:

In December 2016, the world bank had announced that it had “paused” the process for either appointing a Court of Arbitration (COA) or a neutral expert and started mediation between the two countries on how to advance and develop consensus in the light of the treaty on the mechanism for resolution of faulty designs of the two projects. Since then, the bank has arranged two rounds of talks between the two sides.

 

About the projects:

The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is an $864 million dam which is part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin. It is located 5 km north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir, India and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW. Construction on the dam was temporarily halted by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River (called the Neelum River in Pakistan). In February 2013, the Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum amount of water for power generation.

The Ratle Hydroelectric Plant is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power station currently under construction on the Chenab River, downstream of the village of Ratle in Doda district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The project includes a 133 m (436 ft) tall gravity dam and two power stations adjacent to one another.

 

What’s important?

  • For Prelims: IWT, Kishanganga and Rattle projects.
  • For Mains: IWT and related issues.

 

Sources: the hindu.


Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

UN Disarmament Commission

 

Context: India has voiced opposition to the “weaponization” of outer space, saying it should not become an area of conflict while calling for collective efforts to strengthen safety and security of the space-based assets. India voiced its concerns in the recently held UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) session.

 

About UNDC:

The United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) is a deliberative body and a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly which is mandated to consider and make recommendations on various disarmament related issues and to follow up the relevant decisions and recommendations of the special sessions devoted to disarmament held so far.

  • The Disarmament Commission was re-established at the first Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament in 1978 to succeed an earlier Disarmament Commission, which ceased to convene after 1965.
  • Since 1978, the Disarmament Commission has dealt with numerous disarmament related questions, both nuclear and conventional, and has submitted guidelines and principles on various subject items, including guidelines for appropriate types of confidence-building measures, guidelines and recommendations for regional approaches to disarmament within the context of global security, and guidelines and recommendations for objective information on military matters.

 

Significance of UNDC:

At a time of growing mistrust and rising international tensions as well as numerous challenges to both the disarmament agenda and the disarmament machinery, the role of the UNDC as a platform for dialogue and cooperation assumes a greater significance.

 

What’s important?

  • For Prelims: UNDC.
  • For Mains: Need for disarmament and need for international cooperation in this regard.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Paper 3:

Topic: Infrastructure.

 

Char Dham project

Context: Ministry of road, transport and highway (MORTH) in their affidavit submitted recently before the National Green Tribunal(NGT) in matter of Char Dham widening road in Uttarakhand stated that in all the total 53 projects/stretches of Char Dham, none is above 100 km which is why no environmental clearance was obtained.

 

Background:

Stretches upto 100 km are exempted from environmental clearance under Environmental Clearance Notification.

 

What’s the issue?

A petition was filed which said that the entire project of 900 km was misleadingly fragmented into segments which are actually continuous stretches of five national highway to avoid environmental clearance. It stated that the criteria of Cumulative Impact Assessment and carrying capacity study must be followed for Himalayan terrain while considering any infrastructural projects.

 

Chardham project:

The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores. The roads will be widened from 12m to 24m and the project will involve construction of tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways and viaducts.

 

Sources: et.


Topic: Cybersecurity.

 

‘Internet Security Threat Report’

 

Context: ‘Internet Security Threat Report’ has been released by Symantec. Countries are ranked based on their vulnerability. These rankings are based on eight parameters – malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers.

 

Indian scenario:

  • India is the third-most vulnerable country in terms of cyber threat risks including malware, spam, ransomware and one of the most recent and difficult-to-detect ones – cryptominers.
  • India continues to be second-most impacted by spam and bots and third-most impacted by network attacks and fourth-most impacted by ransomware.
  • In terms of cryptomining activities, India has ranked second in Asia-Pacific and Japan region (APJ), and ninth globally.

 

Global scenario:

The US was was most vulnerable to attacks at 26.61% followed by China at 10.95%.

 

Concerns:

  • With the threat landscape becoming more diverse, attackers are working harder to discover new avenues of attack and cover their tracks.
  • From the sudden spread of WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya, to the swift growth in coinminers, 2017 that digital security threats can come from new and unexpected sources.
  • Cryptojacking has captured the top slot at the attacker toolkit, which signals a massive threat to cyber and personal security. Cryptojacking is defined as the secret use of a computing device to mine cryptocurrency.
  • There is also a 200% increase in attackers injecting malware implants into the software supply chain in 2017. Threats in the mobile space continue to grow year-over-year, including the number of new mobile malware variants rising 54%.

 

What’s important?

  • For Prelims: Cryptojacking, wannacry and petya.
  • For Mains: Cyber security threats- challenges and solutions.

 

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

 

India pips Japan, becomes second largest manufacturer of crude steel:

Context: India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February. Growth is attributed to Centre’s steps to curb imports, ‘Make in India’ among others.

Key facts: At present, China is the largest producer of crude steel in the world, accounting for more than 50% of the production.