Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 12th November -2020

 

1) CCI to probe Google’s ‘abuse’ of position.
2) Union Home Ministry Amends FCRA rules.
3) India’s m-RNA vaccine could be ready in March.
4) India, Maldives sign four MoUs to boost ties.
5) Academic credit banks, degree with entry and exit option soon.

 

1) CCI to probe Google’s ‘abuse’ of position:

Relevant to: GS Prelims

Context: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered an investigation into allegations of abuse of dominance against Google.

What is the issue?
It is alleged that google has been dominating the market by exclusively using Google Pay (GPay) for buying apps, for billing in super markets and other stores as mode of payment.

Competition Commission of India (CCI):

  • Legality: It is a statutory body of the Government of India established in 2003 by the Competition Act, 2002.
  • Structure: It consists of a Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.
  • Ministry: It functions under Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Functions:

  • To enforce the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.
  • The Commission aims 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.
  • It also undertakes competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.

Competition Act, 2002:

  • The Competition Act, 2002 as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, follows the philosophy of modern competition laws.

The act prohibits

  1. Anti-competitive agreements
  2. Abuse of dominant position by enterprises and
  3. Regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and mergers and acquisitions) which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.

 

2 ) Union Home Ministry Amends FCRA rules:

Relevant to: GS Prelims

Key points

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has relaxed norms for farmer, student, religious and other groups who are not directly aligned to any political party to receive foreign funds if the groups are not involved in “active politics”.
  • The Ministry notified new rules under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010 thereby amending the FCRA Rules, 2011.
  • As per the FCRA, members of legislatures, political parties, government officials, judges and media persons are prohibited from receiving any foreign contribution.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010:

  • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • The Acts ensures that the recipients of foreign contributions adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
  • Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.

Who cannot accept Foreign Contribution?

  1. Election candidate
  2. Member of any legislature (MP and MLAs)
  3.  Political party or office bearer thereof
  4. Organization of a political nature
  5. Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publishers of a registered Newspaper.
  6. Judge, government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body controlled on owned by the Government.
  7. Association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news, audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode
  8. Any other individuals or associations who have been specifically prohibited by the Central Government.

 

3 ) India’s m-RNA vaccine could be ready in March:

Relevant to: GS Prelims

Context: It is predicted that India’s very own mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine will be ready by March.

Key points

  • As the vaccine is a biological product that requires genetic manipulation, it needs to be cleared by the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM).
  • Later it will be sent to the Drug Controller General of India for human trials.

What is m-RNA vaccine& how it works?

  • mRNA means messenger RNA, which carries the genetic formula for the coding of a specific protein messenger RNA puts DNA instructions into action.

Significance of m-RNA vaccines?

  • mRNA vaccines are synthetically developed — they don’t need the virus to be cultivated in the labs.
  • They can be produced in large scale.
  • The vaccine is not infectious, meaning that the chance of it giving you the disease is zero

Review Committee on genetic Manipulation (RCGM):

  • It is established under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and technology
  • It approves trial procedures on biological products that involve genetic manipulation. These can include modified vaccine candidates or DNA.

Functions:

  • To monitor the safety related aspects in respect of on-going research projects and activities (including small scale field trials) and
  • Bring out manuals and guidelines specifying procedure for regulatory process with respect to activities involving geneti­cally engineered organisms in research, use and applications including industry with a view to ensure environmental safety.

 

4) India, Maldives sign four MoUs to boost ties:

Relevant to: GS2: International Relations, Topic: Bilateral Relations, Sub

Context: India and Maldives signed four MOUs

Highlights of the MOUs:

  1. A $100 million Indian grant for an ambitious connectivity project.
  • This is a part of India’s “$500 million package” for the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP).
  • The two governments had earlier inked a deal for a $400 million line of credit from the Exim Bank of india

2. Two MoUs for “high impact” community development projects.
3. MoU on cooperation in sports and youth affairs

 

5) Academic credit banks, degree with entry and exit option soon:

Relevant to: GS2: Polity and Governance, Topic: Issues related to education

Context: The first National Agricultural Education Policy will be implemented soon.

Highlights of the Policy:

  • This new policy is meant to bring some changes to the academic life of students of agricultural universities in line with the National Education Policy.
  • The policy is set to bring: Academic credit banks.
  • It may facilitate the integration of the campuses and distributed learning systems, by creating student mobility within the inter and intra university system.
  • It may help in seamlessly integrating skills and experiences into a credit based formal system by providing a credit recognition mechanism.
  • It will digitally store academic credits earned from recognised Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) an allow for credit redemption in order to be awarded a certificate, diploma or degree.

Challenges involved in implementing the policy:

  • For agricultural universities, the challenge could be the push for multi-disciplinarily.
  • Another major challenge is to ensure that experiential learning is made available to all Students if the multiple entry-exit system is implemented.

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