Sarat Chandra IAS Academy




SC on pendency of cheque cases

Context:A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court proposed setting up fast-track courts for a limited time to clear dishonored cheque cases.

  • Dishonored cheque cases form over 30% of the backlog in courts across the country
  • The five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India termed the pendency of cheques cases a “grotesque” problem
  • The Bench suggested that even retired judges could preside in these “temporary” additional courts to clear pending cheque cases.
  • Solicitor General welcomed the proposal of additional courts from the Bench, but said the idea would require “wide-ranging consultations” at the highest level.
  • The court agreed and scheduled a hearing for March 10.

Fast-track courts (FTCs)

  • In the backdrop of delayed and pending cases in lower courts especially cases related to sexual harassment the Fast-Track Courts (FTCs) were established in Indian in the year 2000.
  • The main focus of FTC is to clear the long-pending Sessions and other lower judicial cases and to provide speedy justice to a large number of pending cases in a specified time.
  • Judges are appointed on ad hoc basis and retired judges are eligible for selection.
  • These are special kind of courts which have exclusive jurisdiction over a particular category of law i.e. case of sexual assault and children’s cases.

Dishonoured Cheque

  • A cheque is said to be honoured, if the banks give the amount to the payee. While, if the bank refuses to pay the amount to the payee, the cheque is said to be dishonoured.

Technology and Innovation Report 2021

Context:Recently, country readiness index was released by the Technology and Innovation Report 2021

  • India was the biggest ‘overperformer’ in frontier technologies than the country’s per capita Gross Domestic Products (GDP)
  • The report examines the likelihood of frontier technologies widening existing inequalities and creating new ones.
  • It also addresses the national and international policies, instruments and institutional reforms that are needed to create a more equal world of opportunity for all, leaving no one behind.
  • Report is released by – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Key findings of the report

  • It calls for strengthened international cooperation to build innovation capacities in developing countries, facilitate technology transfer
  • Envisages increase women’s participation in digital sectors, conduct technological assessments and promote an inclusive debate on the impact of frontier technologies on sustainable development.

Frontier Technologies

  • Frontier technologies are defined as potentially disruptive technologies that can address large-scale challenges or opportunities.
  • They include artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, big data, blockchain, 5G, 3D printing, robotics, drones, gene editing, nanotechnology and solar photovoltaic.


  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 to promote development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy.
  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body headquartered at Geneva in Switzerland.
  • Some of the reports published by it are:
    • Trade and Development Report
    • World Investment Report
    • The Least Developed Countries Report
    • Information and Economy Report
    • Technology and Innovation Report
    • Commodities and Development Report

Ease of Living & Municipal Performance Index 2020

Context:Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs released the final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020.

  • Million+ category: Bengaluru emerged as the top performer followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.
  • In the Less than Million category: Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

Municipal Performance Index:

  • It is an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index.
  • It seeks to examine local government practices in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology and governance.
  • It also seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability.
  • The five verticals under MPI are Services, Finance, Policy, Technology and Governance.
  • The assessment framework under MPI 2020 has classified municipalities based on their population:
  • Million+ (municipalities having over a million population) and
  • Less than a Million Population

Ease of Living Index

  • It is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development.
  • It aims to enable cities to systematically assess themselves against global and national benchmarks and encourage them to shift towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management.
  • It also examines the outcomes that lead to existing living conditions.
  • Across 13 categories such as Education, Health, Housing and Shelter, Buildings, Energy Consumption, and City Resilience, that account for 70% of the overall outcome.


Context:Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (IMPCL) has entered into a tie up with the Government e-Market (GeM) portal for selling its products online.

  • GeM created 31 categories covering 311 medicines, which are live in the marketplace and IMPCL can now upload these medicines on GeM Portal.
  • With this decision of GeM, the Ayurvedic and Unani medicines of IMPCL will figure on the GeM portal to hundreds of government sector buyers, at prices finalised by Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure.
  • IMPCL is the public sector manufacturing unit of the Ministry of AYUSH.
  • IMPCL is the only CPSE under Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and its prices are vetted and finalised by the Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure) for their Ayurvedic & Unani Medicines.


Context: Chief Minister of Uttarakhand recently declared in the state assembly the town as a new administrative division of the state, a third commissionerate after Kumaon and Garhwal.

  • It has been a year announcing Gairsain in Chamoli district as the summer capital of Uttarakhand
  • On March 4 last year, CM had announced in the Budget Session of the Assembly held in Gairsain that the town will become summer capital of the state. Three months later, Governor had given her assent for declaration of Bhararisen (Gairsain) as the summer capital.
  • Gairsain, a tehsil in Chamoli district, is located nearly 270-km from the existing temporary capital of Dehradun.
  • Gairsain division would be comprised of four hill districts, including Almora and Bageshwar (both in Kumaon) and Rudrapyarag and Chamoli (in Garhwal).
  • A commissioner and a DIG will be deployed in Gairsain.
  • Even when Uttarakhand was carved out as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000, statehood activists had contended that Gairsain was best suited to be the capital of the mountainous state since it was between both Kumaon and Garhwal regions.
  • But it was Dehradun in the plains that was named the temporary capital.


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