Daily Current Affairs 13th August – Topics
- 60th Public Enterprises (PE) Survey 2019-20
- Quality of Life for Elderly Index
- National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
- Sudan and International Criminal Court
- World Biofuel Day
- Kaziranga National Park
1.60th Public Enterprises (PE) Survey 2019-20
#GS3 #Effects of Liberalization on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth #Infrastructure
Context: The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), Ministry of Finance, once a year brings out the Public Sector Enterprises Survey on the performance of various Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
- Recently, the 60th Public Enterprises (PE) Survey 2019-20 was released.
About Public Enterprises (PE) Survey:
- It is the single principal source of statistics on Central Public Sector Enterprises and forms a foundation for informed policy creation.
- The government has recently moved the Department of Public Enterprises to the finance ministry from the ministry of heavy industries.
- Survey records crucial statistical figures for all CPSEs on various financial and physical aspects from various perspectives by segregating these organisations into various sectors such as Agriculture, Mining & Exploration, Manufacturing, Processing & Generation, Services, and Enterprises Under Construction.
- The Survey includes data from those CPSE’s wherein Union government holds more than 50% equity.
- Subsidiaries of these companies, if registered in India, in which CPSE(s) has more than 50% equity stake are also categorised as CPSEs.
- As per the PE Survey 2019-20 as on 31st March, 2020 there are 256 operational CPSEs.
- It does not cover departmentally run public enterprises, banking institutions and insurance companies.
- CPSEs are classified into 3 categories namely Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna.
- Presently, there are 10 Maharatna, 14 Navratna and 74 Miniratna CPSEs.
Highlights of PE survey 2019-20:
- The number of CPSEs falling within the scope of this year’s PE Survey as on March 31, 2020 is 366, of which 256 are operating CPSEs, 96 are CPSEs Under Construction, and the rest are under closure/liquidation.
- Of these, 58 are listed CPSEs with a total Market Capitalisation of ?8.2 lakh crore, representing approximately 7.2% of the total Market Capitalisation.
Role of Central Public Sector Enterprises in Indian economy:
- The CPSEs have played a major role in the growth of the Indian economy.
- Apart from direct contribution to the economic output of the country, the range of products and services offered by the CPSEs helps create a significant downstream impact.
- This impact may be in the form of generating MSME growth opportunities, creating direct/indirect employment, driving Government’s strategic agenda, contributing to the Government income and also driving technological progress and innovation.
- The CPSEs were set up primarily for promoting economic growth, business excellence, regional development, and meeting social obligations.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan – Contribution by CPSEs:
- The CPSEs have taken a variety of initiatives as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan in the direction of Union government’s ‘self-reliant India’
- The initiatives comprise policy reforms, strategic partnerships, administrative actions, operational readjustment and capacity building.
- The goal is to start a phased shift in the direction of greater sustainability in operations while keeping the efficiency, competitiveness and resilience.
The initiatives by the CPSEs can be divided under five broad categories as shown below:
- Enhancing local capacity to support Government’s larger strategic objectives.
- Promotion of cooperation between CPSEs to explore synergies.
- Providing a platform for greater participation of domestic firms/MSMEs.
- Rationalising import dependency to ensure long term sustainability.
- Development of indigenous technology and promoting technology transfer to CPSEs.
2.Quality of Life for Elderly Index
#GS2 # Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections- Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act # Issues Relating to Development & Management of Social Sector/Services
Context: ‘Quality of life for elderly index’ that measures well-being of India’s ageing population was recently released by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
Ageing and Elderly:
- Ageing is a nonstop, permanent, universal process, which begins from conception till the death of an individual.
- However, the age at which one’s productive contribution drops and one tends to be economically dependent can probably be treated as the onset of the aged stage of life.
- National Elderly Policy defines people in the 60+ age group as elderly.
- The share of elders, as a percentage of the total population in the country, is expected to increase from around 7.5% in 2001 to almost 12.5% by 2026, and surpass 19.5% by 2050.
About the Index:
- The Index has been created by the Institute for Competitiveness at the demand of EAC-PM and it throws light on challenges often not mentioned- challenges faced by the elderly.
- The report recognizes the regional patterns of ageing across Indian States and evaluates the overall ageing condition in India.
- The report offers a profundity into how well India is doing to support the well-being of its ageing population.
- It will encourage healthy competition among States through impartial rankings and highlights the pillars and indicators they can work on.
- The Index framework includes 04 pillars: Financial Well-being, Social Well-being, Health System and Income Security, and
- 08 sub-pillars: Economic Empowerment, Educational Attainment & Employment, Social Status, Physical Security, Basic Health, Psychological Wellbeing, Social Security and Enabling Environment.
Highlights of the Index:
- Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in Aged and Relatively Aged States, respectively.
- The Aged States refer to States with an elderly population of more than 5 million, whereas Relatively Aged States refer to States with an Elderly population of less than 5 million.
- Chandigarh and Mizoram are top-scoring regions in Union Territory and North-East States category respectively.
- Telangana ranks last.
- The Health System pillar witnesses the highest national average, 66.97 at an all-India level, trailed by 62.34 in Social Well-being.
- Financial Well-being witnesses a score of 44.7, which is dropped by the low performance of 21 States across the Education Attainment & Employment pillar, which show shows the potential for improvement.
- States have performed predominantly worse in the Income Security pillar because over half of the States have a score below the national average in Income Security, which is the lowest across all pillars.
- These pillar-wise evaluation aids States measure the condition of the elderly population and recognize existing gaps that obstruct their growth
Challenges associated with the ageing population:
- One of the leading problems of population ageing is the “Feminization of Ageing”, that is many more women than men reaching older ages.
- Income security is another big problem facing by ageing population as social security mechanisms in India is very fragile where it only spends 1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on pensions.
- As the life expectancy of older people increases in India, there is a need to ensure that people, while living longer, live healthier lives, which will translate into more significant opportunities and lower costs to older persons, their families and society.
- This index widens the way we comprehend the needs and opportunities of the elderly population in India.
- The index highlights that the best way to improve the lives of the current and future generations of older people is by investing in health, education and employment for young people today.
- India is often depicted as a young society, with a subsequent demographic dividend. But, as with every country that goes through a fast process of demographic transition, India also has a greying combined with aging problem.
- For the wellbeing and care for the older persons, we must emphasis on the protection of already prevailing social support systems/traditional social institutions such as family and kinship, neighbourhood bonding, community bonding and community participation must be revived and kins should show sensitivity towards elderly citizens.
3.National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
#GS3 #Dispute redressal mechanisms # Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Context: The Supreme Court has given the Centre and the States 08 weeks to fill the vacancies in the consumer disputes redressal commissions.
- The Court has also asked the Centre to conduct a comprehensive “legislative impact study” on the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 within 04 weeks.
- Legislative Impact Study is the assessment of the bearing of a law (being made and enforced) on the society over a period of time.
- It is a technique of estimating the possible impacts of legislative proposals and government policies, before and after they are adopted and enacted.
Observation by Supreme Court:
- The Supreme court was hearing a Suo motu case on delay in appointing president and members/staff of Districts and State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and poor infrastructure across India.
- Court expressed its concerns over vacancies and how they are hurting consumers by deferring redressal of disputes.
- The court also questioned if governments, both at the Centre and in the States, had intentionally kept the vacancies pending to discourage people from filing complaints.
- It’s the 03rd time in 02 weeks that the Supreme Court has spoken regarding vacancies across courts, tribunals and dispute resolution bodies in India and conveyed its concerns.
Centre’s justification for the delays:
- As per the union government, it is waiting for the verdict on a litigation regarding the tenure of tribunal members to move further on filling the vacancies.
- Also, the to and fro of litigation and legislation had caused “confusion”, delaying appointments.
Dispute redressal under Consumer Protection Act, 1986:
- The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) is a quasi-judicial commission in India which was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
- Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
- It is chaired by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.
- The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides for a 3-tier structure of the National and State Commissions and District Forums for prompt resolution of consumer disputes.
- Every District Forum is headed by a person who is or has been or is eligible to be appointed as a District Judge and Every State Commission is headed by a person who is or has been a Judge of High Court.
- In order to execute the objectives of the Consumer Protection Act more efficiently, the National Commission has also been conferred with the powers of administrative control over all the State Commissions by calling for periodical returns regarding the institution, disposal and pendency of cases.
- The provisions of the Act addresses ‘goods’ as well as ‘services’.
- The goods are those which are manufactured or produced and sold to consumers through wholesalers and retailers.
- The services are in the nature of transport, telephone, electricity, housing, banking, insurance, medical treatment, etc.
- A written complaint can be filed before the Forum/Commission
- However, no complaint can be filed for alleged deficiency in any service that is given free of charge or under a contract of personal service.
- In the complaint under the Act, a consumer is required to pay only a nominal fee.
- If a consumer is not satisfied by the decision of a District Forum, he can appeal to the State Commission. Against the order of the State Commission a consumer can come to the National Commission.
1986 Act v/s 2019 Act:
4.Sudan and International Criminal Court
#GS2 # Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate #Human rights issues
Context: Sudan has decided to handover its long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court along with other officials wanted over the Darfur conflict.
- Bashir, aged 77, has been wanted by the ICC for more than a decade over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Sudanese region.
- The Sudan’s cabinet’s decision to hand him over came during a visit to Sudan by ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan recently.
- Recently, Sudan’s cabinet also voted to ratify the Rome Statute of ICC, which further facilitated the decision on Mr. Bashir.
- But this decision to hand him over still needs the approval of Sudan’s transitional ruling body, the sovereign council, comprised of military and civilian figures.
- Bashir, ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 yeear before being deposed amid popular protests in 2019.
- ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, later adding genocide to the charges.
- Bashir was ousted by the military and detained in April 2019 after 04 months of mass nationwide protests against his rule.
- He was convicted in December 2019 for corruption, and has been on trial in Khartoum since July 2020 for the Islamist-backed 1989 coup which brought him to power. He faces the death penalty if found guilty.
- Amnesty International has previously called for Bashir to be held accountable for “horrific crimes”, referring to the genocide in Darfur.
What is Darfur conflict?
- The conflict in Sudan’s Western Darfur Region have developed from several separate events.
- The first was a civil war that happened between the Khartoum national governments and two rebel groups in Darfur
- The rebel groups were initially formed in February 2003 due to Darfur’s “political and economic marginalization by Khartoum”.
- In April 2003, when the rebel groups attacked the military airfield and kidnapped an air force general, the government launched a counterattack. It led to a response from the Khartoum government where they armed militia forces to eliminate the rebellion. This resulted in mass violence against the citizens in Darfur.
- A second factor is a civil war that has occurred between the Christians, the animist Black southerners, and the Arab dominated government since Sudan’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1956.
- The United Nations says 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced in the Darfur conflict.
- The Darfur genocide is the systematic killing of ethnic Darfuri people which has occurred during the ongoing conflict in Western Sudan.
- It has become known as the first genocide of the 21st century.
- The genocide, which is being carried out against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa tribes, has led the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict several people for crimes against humanity, rape, forced transfer and torture.
- ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court which entered into force on July 01, 2002.
- It is governed by an international treaty called ‘The Rome Statute’.
- It investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the serious crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.
- It is currently located in The Hague, Netherlands.
- India is not a party to Rome Statute along with US and China.
5.World Biofuel Day
#GS3 # Biodiversity and environment # Prevention & Control of Pollution & Degradation
Context: World Biofuel Day is celebrated every year on 10th August to raise awareness about the significance of non-fossil fuels as an substitute to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the Government in the biofuel sector.
- This day is observed in honour of the research experiments by Sir Rudolf Diesel who ran an engine with peanut oil in the year 1893.
- His studies had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.
- 2021 Theme: “It is based on the promotion of biofuels for a better environment”
India and Biofuel Day:
- In India, it is celebrated by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas since 2015.
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy along with United Nations Development Industrial Organisation and Global Environment Facility launched 02 schemes on this occasion which are:
- Interest Subvention Scheme
- It offers financial aid to innovative waste to energy bio methanation projects and business models.
- GIS based inventory tool of organic waste streams.
- The tool provides district level estimates of available urban and industrial organic wastes and their energy generation potential across India.
- Biofuel’s programme is also in synergy with Government’s initiative of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Make in India, Swachh Bharat and doubling farmers’ income.
- Any hydrocarbon fuel that is produced from an organic matter (living or once living material) in a quick period of time is considered a biofuel.
- Examples of Biofuel include ethanol, biodiesel, green diesel and biogas.
- Biofuels help in reducing the dependence on crude oil and fostering a cleaner environment.
- It also generates additional income and employment for rural areas.
- Biofuels have the benefits of reducing import dependency on crude oil, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas.
6.Kaziranga National Park
#GS3 #Biodiversity and environment #Conservation- In-situ & Ex-Situ, Eco-Sensitive Areas, Ecological Hotspots
Context: Kaziranga national park has become the 1st in India to use satellite phones, which are generally used by the law-enforcing agencies.
- These phones provide an advantage to the forest staffs over the poachers and also during emergencies like floods.
- The general public is not permitted to use satellite phones in India.
- The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) acquired the 10 satellite phones for Kaziranga at an estimated cost of ? 16 lakh. BSNL will be the service provider.
- BSNL has trained forest staffs to operate the satellite phones in shadow areas where mobile phones do not function.
- The communication challenge will be addressed with the use of satellite phones deep inside the park.
About Kaziranga national park:
- It is situated in Assam and covers 42,996 Hectare (ha). It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.
- It is a recognised National Park, Tiger Reserve and an Important Bird Area.
- It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
- Park hosts two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceroses
- ‘Big four’ species of Kaziranga— Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic water buffalo on which much of focus is on regarding their conservations efforts.
- As per 2018 census, there are a total of 2,413 rhinos and approximately 1,100 elephants.
- Kaziranga had an estimated 103 tigers, the 03rd highest population in India after Jim Corbett National Park (215) in Uttarakhand and Bandipur National Park (120) in Karnataka.
- Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.
- National Highway 37 passes through the park area.
- Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park has more than 250 seasonal water bodies.
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