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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 28 July 2023

 

InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill 2023
  2. The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023
  3. The Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023
  4. Jharkhand issues PESA draft rules for consultations

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. Cooling solutions
  2. Intelligent Traffic Management System

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Bharat Mandapam
  2. Bengaluru 1st Indian city to be a member of the cultural forum
  3. Byculla railway station (Mumbai)
  4. Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Amendment Bill, 2023
  5. Persons with Disabilities
  6. India’s Rice Export Ban
  7. INDIAai

 


 

The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability

 

Source: TH

Context: The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill 2023 is set to be taken up during the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament.

 

Objective of the Bill:

  • To redefine the regulatory landscape of the country with decriminalisation of minor offences under 42 Acts.
  • To reduce compliance burden and promote ease of living and doing business in the country.

  

More about the Bill:

  • The Bill was tabled in Parliament by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry (December 2022) and then referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
  • As per reports, most recommendations of the JPC have been approved by the Union Cabinet, clearing the way for its passing.

 

Salient provisions of the Bill:

  • Decriminalising: 180 offences across 42 laws governing environment, agriculture, media, industry and trade, etc.
  • Completely remove/ replace imprisonment clauses: With monetary fines.
  • Compounding of offences in some provisions.
  • Removes all offences and penalties under the Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
  • Changes in grievance redressal mechanisms: Appointment of one or more Adjudicating Officers for determining penalties.
  • A periodic revision of fines and penalties: An increase of 10% of the minimum amount every 3 years for various offences in the specified Acts.

 

Some key laws covered in the Bill:

  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • The Agricultural Produce (Grading & Marking) Act, 1937
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000
  • The Copyright Act, 1957
  • The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
  • The Cinematograph Act, 1952
  • The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, etc

 

Need for the Bill:

  • A large number of compliances govern doing business in India:
    • Currently, there are 1,536 laws which translate into around 70,000 compliances that govern doing business in India.
    • Among these, 26,134 have imprisonment clauses as a penalty for non-compliance.
  • Lengthy processing times for the needed approvals: Escalating costs and dampening the entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Implications:
    • Excessive compliances have proved burdensome for business enterprises, especially MSMEs.
    • Creating barriers to the smooth flow of ideas and the creation of jobs, wealth and GDP.

 

Significance of the Bill:

  • Reducing the compliance burden gives impetus to the business ecosystem and improves the well-being of the public.
  • Smoother processes will attract more investment.
  • It will reduce judicial burden, as settlement by compounding method, adjudication and administrative mechanism will save time, energy and resources.
  • In short, the Bill seeks to bolster ‘trust-based governance’ – promoting ease of doing business and ease of living.

 

Concerns:

  • Quasi-decriminalisation: The monetary fines or penalties are not a good enough attempt at decriminalisation.
  • Remove the deterrence effect of the environmental legislation: The blanket removal of imprisonment provision might remove deterrence, especially for large corporations profiteering from the offence.
  • Adjudicating Officers may lack the technical competence: Necessary to decide all penalties under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.
  • Many offences (like theft or misappropriation of postal articles) proposed to be removed have nothing to do with its objective of decriminalisation to promote ease of doing business.

 

Conclusion:

  • The cornerstone of democratic governance lies in the government trusting its own people and institutions and a web of outdated rules and regulations causes trust deficit.
  • After resolving the above issues, the Jan Vishwas Bill will help to clear the burdensome collection of old and outdated legislation.

 

Insta Links: 

Good Governance Practices

The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

 

Source: IE

 

Context: Rajya Sabha passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023, which cracks down on film piracy along with changing how movies are certified by the censor board.

 

The background:

  • The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2019 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha proposing changes related only to film piracy.
  • This Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Information Technology, whose recommendations included age-based categories of certification.
  • The revised Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the final version (2023 Bill) were drafted after consultations with industry stakeholders and the public.

 

About the 2023 Bill:

  • Introduced by the Ministry of I&B, the Bill seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act 1952.
  • The 1952 Act authorises the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to require cuts in films and clear them for exhibition in cinemas and on television/ refuse the exhibition of a film.

 

Why does the Cinematograph Act 1952 need amendments?

  • To harmonise the law with various executive orders, SC judgements, and other legislations like the Copyright Act, 1957 and the IT Act (IT) 2000.
  • To improve the procedure for licensing films for public exhibition by the CBFC, and
  • To expand the scope of categorisations for certification.
  • To curb the menace of piracy, there was a huge demand from the film industry to address the issue of unauthorised recording and exhibition of films, which is causing them huge losses (Rs 20,000 crore annually).

 

Salient features The Cinematograph Act 1952 The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023
Additional certificate categories Under the Act, film may be certified for exhibition: without restriction (‘U’); without restriction, but subject to guidance of parents or guardians for children below 12 years of age (‘UA’); only to adults (‘A’), or only to members of any profession or class of persons (‘S’). The Bill adds certain additional certificate categories based on age. It substitutes the UA category with the following three categories to also indicate age-appropriateness: UA 7+, UA 13+ or UA 16+.

 

This is in line with the Shyam Benegal committee’s (2017) recommendations.

Separate certificate for television/other media   Films with an ‘A’ or ‘S’ certificate will require a separate certificate for exhibition on television, or any other media prescribed by the central government.

 

 

The Board may direct the applicant to carry appropriate deletions or modifications for the separate certificate.

Unauthorised recording and exhibition to be punishable Provides for certain exemptions – use of copyrighted content without owner’s authorisation in case of reporting of current affairs, etc. In order to stop piracy, the Bill prohibits carrying out or abetting the unauthorised recording and unauthorised exhibition of films.

 

 

Exemptions under the Copyright Act 1957 will also apply to the above offences.

 

 

The above offences will be punishable with: imprisonment between 3 months and 3 years, and a fine between 3 lakh rupees and 5% of the audited gross production cost.

Validity of certificates For 10 years Perpetually/always valid
Revisional powers of the central government Empowers the central government to examine and make orders in relation to films that have been certified or are pending certification.  The Board is required to dispose of matters in conformance with the order. Removes this power of the central government.

  

Significance of the Bill:

  • It will make the certification process more effective, in tune with the present times.
  • By comprehensively curbing the menace of film piracy, it will help in faster growth of the film industry and boost job creation in the sector.

 

Concerns:

  • OTT platforms out of the purview of the Bill: What if an uncut movie is broadcast on OTT?
  • Age-appropriate categories are self-regulatory: It places the onus on parents and guardians to determine if the material is appropriate for viewers of a particular age range.

 

Insta Links:

 The draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021

The Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

 

Source: ET

 Context: The Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2023 to amend the offshore areas mineral law was introduced in Lok Sabha.

 

About the bill:

The bill, prepared by the Ministry of Mines, seeks to amend the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act 2002, to allow auction of minerals mined offshore.

 

Purpose behind amending the 2002 Act:

  • To mine rocks under the sea: Under the original Act, not even a single rock could be not mined out from the sea bed mainly due to pending litigations.
    • Hence, the Bill allows the use of the national wealth in the sea for the use of the people of the country.
  • To provide an auction of minerals mined offshore: The original Act does not allow the auction of such minerals.
  • To facilitate private sector participation: In the mining of non-atomic minerals in India’s territorial waters and continental shelf.
    • Meanwhile, the bill includes a provision to grant mineral concession without competitive bidding to Government companies or corporations.
    • However, private companies might be encouraged to contribute cutting-edge technologies for the execution of complex mining operations.
  • To improve transparency in the allocation of mineral resources: With a provision for granting production leases only through auction, Mint reported.
  • To grant an exploration licence or production lease: Only to a government company in case the quality of minerals in that particular area is equal to or above the threshold value decided by the Centre.
  • To propose area under a production lease: Such areas shall comprise contiguous standard blocks and shall not exceed an area of 15 minutes latitude by 15 minutes longitude.
  • To promote ease of doing business: A provision has been made for easy transfer of exploration licence, composite licence or production lease.
  • To remove discretion in the grant of renewals: The provisions for renewal of production leases have been removed and the period of production lease has been increased to 50 years.
  • To grant powers to the central government: To revise the order made by the Administering Authority, issue directions and call for information from the Administering Authority, in the public interest.

 

What India gains from this Bill?

  • As India aims to become a high-growth economy, it needs to harness its maritime resources to its optimal capacity.
  • The bill encourages the participation of the public-private sector.
  • The private sector will bring the necessary expertise and technology to explore and mine the mineral resources present in the EEZ.

 

Insta Links:

Amendment to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act

Jharkhand issues PESA draft rules for consultations

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Programme and Policies

 

Source: IE

 

Context: The Jharkhand government has released draft rules for public consultation to implement The Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) enacted in 1996.

  • In Jharkhand, Scheduled Areas are identified by the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, covering 13 out of 24 districts in the state.

 

The draft rules grant gram sabhas in Scheduled Areas certain rights, such as resolving traditional and family disputes, hearing specific cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and maintaining peace and order in accordance with the principles of the Constitution.

  

About PESA Act:

  • The PESA Act was enacted in 1996 “to provide for the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats to the Scheduled Areas”.
  • Part IX, comprising Articles 243-243ZT of the Constitution, contains provisions relating to municipalities and cooperative societies.

 

Under the Act, Scheduled Areas are those referred to in Article 244(1), which says that the provisions of the Fifth Schedule shall apply to the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in states other than Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

 

The Fifth Schedule provides for a range of special provisions for these areas.

Ten states — Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Telangana — have notified Fifth Schedule areas that cover (partially or fully) several districts in each of these states.

  

Purpose:

Self-governance recognises the right of tribal communities and empowers Gram Sabha.

 

 

Insta Links:

PESA Act

 

Mains Link:

The PESA Act is considered to be the backbone of tribal legislation in India, in this backdrop do you think proper implementation of it can rejuvenate self-governance in the tribal pockets of the country? Analyse.

Cooling solutions

Content for Mains Enrichment

 Source: DTE

 India has introduced a Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) that aims to achieve a 20% reduction in cooling load through climate-appropriate building envelopes and a 30% reduction in cooling energy through improved efficiency and practices.

The key to providing thermal comfort lies in recognizing the appropriate cooling technologies for different climatic conditions.

 

Examples include:

  • Ceiling fans for heat dispersal
  • Desert coolers for hot and dry months
  • Ventilation and dehumidification for humid climates

Innovative Cooling solutions include:

  • Using the Earth’s potential as a heat sink through tunnels embedded underground
  • Evaporative cooling by passing air through water-saturated mediums
  • Indirect evaporative cooling cools incoming air without adding moisture
  • Dehumidification for extremely humid weather conditions.

Usage: These cooling solutions offer energy-efficient alternatives to conventional air conditioners and can significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the building and construction sectors.

Intelligent Traffic Management System

 

Source: TH

Mysuru city will introduce Intelligent Traffic Management System, equipped with AI-powered cameras at 25 locations. The system will automatically capture violations such as helmetless riding, triple-riding on two-wheelers, driver-on-call, seat belt violation, and signal jump. Once a violation is captured, a challan will be generated, and a notice will be sent to the vehicle owner’s address.

A similar type of Traffic Management System is operational in cities like Bengaluru, Ahmedabad etc.

Usage: Such an example can be used in governance questions related to urban management.

Bharat Mandapam

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: ET

 Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the international exhibition-cum-convention Centre (IECC) complex named Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

  • The IECC complex is India’s largest MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) destination and features state-of-the-art facilities, including a convention centre, exhibition halls, and an amphitheatre.

The architectural design of the convention centre incorporates elements from India’s traditional art and culture, representing the nation’s rich heritage and modern achievements.

The term ‘Bharat Mandapam’ is derived from Lord Basaveshwara’s concept of ‘Anubhav Mantapa,’ which was a significant institution in the 12th century. Anubhav Mantapa is considered one of the earliest parliaments in human history, where poets and socio-spiritual reformers known as Sharanas discussed and deliberated on various reforms.

 

In this historical context:

  • Prabhudeva, a renowned Yogi, served as the President, while Lord Basaveshwara acted as the Prime Minister.
  • The members of the Anubhav Mantapa were not elected by the people; instead, they were chosen or nominated by the higher authorities of the Mantapa.

Bengaluru 1st an Indian city to be a member of the cultural forum

 

Source: TOI

 Context: Bengaluru has become the first Indian city to join the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF), an organization founded in 2012 by the office of the Mayor of London.

  • With 40 member cities already in its portfolio, Bengaluru becomes the 41st member of the forum. The city’s inclusion was attributed to its dedication to an inclusive and globalized culture.

 

The WCCF will collaborate with the Unboxing BLR Foundation, and together, they plan to organize a ‘city festival’ to facilitate the exchange of cultural learning as part of the forum’s global outreach.

Bengaluru is seen as a microcosm of the new aspirational India, showcasing a vibrant design and theatre community, numerous museums, and a cosmopolitan food culture, which will be highlighted and structurally presented through the WCCF platform.

Byculla railway station (Mumbai)

 

Source: IE

 Context: The 169-year-old Byculla railway station in Mumbai, which has been restored to its original glory, received the prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage award.

 

The Byculla railway station is one of the oldest railway stations in India still in use. Additionally, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Stepwells of Golconda (Hyderabad) and Domakonda Fort (Telangana) also won the highest award of excellence in the UNESCO Asia Pacific awards in 2022 in different categories.

The first train was run by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (now Central Railway) between Bori Bunder (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) and Thane, a distance of 34 km (21 mi), on 16 April 1853.

Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Amendment Bill, 2023

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Amendment Bill, 2023, proposes to create digital birth certificates that will serve as comprehensive documents for various purposes.

Aim: It aims to eliminate the need for multiple documents to prove the date and place of birth.

Key features:

  • The Bill introduces significant amendments to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.
  • Provides for the appointment of a Registrar-General, India for issuing general directions for registration of births and deaths.
  • Create a National and State level database of registered births and deaths which would help in updating other databases.
  • The Bill makes it mandatory for States to register births and deaths digitally on a centralized portal called the Centre’s Civil Registration System (CRS).
  • Medical institutions will be required to provide a certificate stating the cause of death to the Registrar.

Applicability:

  • The digital birth certificate will be used for admission to educational institutions, driving licenses, government jobs, passports, Aadhaar, voter enrollment, and marriage registration.

Benefits:

  • The centralized register will facilitate the efficient and transparent delivery of public services and social benefits.
  • The database will also update the National Population Register (NPR), ration cards, and property registration records.
  • It will also simplify the registration process for adopted, orphaned, abandoned, surrendered, and surrogate children.

Persons with Disabilities

 

Source: TH

 

Context: The Union government is facing criticism from rights activists and the Opposition for omitting disability-related questions in the sixth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

  • The government’s response to the Parliamentary committee’s earlier recommendations explained that data on PwDs is primarily derived from decennial censuses and sample surveys on disability.
  • The government also introduced Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards for individuals covered under disability schemes, but the committee found this approach insufficient, as the number of issued UDID cards did not match the estimated PwD population.

 

Recommendation:

The committee emphasized the need for innovative solutions and recommended that the government collaborate with State governments and other departments/organizations involved in PwD welfare schemes to arrive at a realistic assessment of the PwD population in the country.

  

About Persons with Disabilities:

  • Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) refer to individuals who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments that may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
  • As per Census 2011, at the all-India level, disabled persons constitute 2.21% of the total population.

India’s Rice Export Ban

 

Source: TH

 Context: IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas stated that India’s decision to restrict exports of certain types of rice could contribute to food price inflation and should be reversed.

 

Previously, India has implemented restrictions on non-basmati white rice exports to ensure sufficient availability in the domestic market at reasonable prices. The export ban is also intended to support the ethanol-blending program, reduce costly oil imports, and benefit the animal husbandry and poultry sectors by lowering animal feed costs.

 

India’s status in rice exports:

India is the second-largest producer of rice in the world, after China. India has become the largest rice exporter globally, accounting for nearly 40% of global rice exports in 2022/23. Non-basmati white rice constitutes approximately 25% of the total rice exported from the country.

 

Impact of the ban:

  • IMF predicts a potential rise of 10-15% this year in international rice prices.
  • Countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which heavily rely on India as a major supplier of rice, may face vulnerability due to potential disruptions in the rice market.

INDIAai

 

Source: PIB

 

Context: INDIAai is an initiative under Digital India Corporation, and Meta, India, has signed an MoU to foster collaboration in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emerging Technologies.

 

What is INDIAai?

It is a joint venture between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), and NASSCOM. It is a knowledge portal, research organization, and ecosystem-building initiative focused on preparing the nation for an AI-driven future.

 

Objectives:

  • To establish a framework for cooperation and to make Meta’s open-source AI models available for use by the Indian AI ecosystem.
  • To advance research and development in AI and Emerging Technologies, seeking breakthroughs in AI technology and its applications.
  • Establishing a Centre of Excellence to nurture the startup ecosystem of AI and other Emerging Technologies.
  • Building datasets in Indian Languages to enable translation and large language models, prioritizing low-resource languages to foster social inclusion and improve government service delivery.
  • Enhance accessibility to AI compute resources for researchers, startups, and organizations with limited resources.
/ 28 July 2023, Today's Article

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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