UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 11th March 2022
Topics for the day:
- NGT pulls up contractors in Odisha
- MSME Innovative Scheme (Incubation, Design and IPR)
- RBI’s $5 billion dollar-rupee swap mean?
- National Party status
- Dharma Guardian exercise
- Rule change regarding mankading
NGT pulls up contractors in Odisha
- National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed two contractors engaged in construction of earth bed of Angul-Duburi-Sukinda railway line in Odisha to pay ?20 crore as interim compensation for not adhering to stipulations.
- The allegation was since it is forest category land, clearance was required to be obtained under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 but the railways had not done the same
More about the NGT :
- It is a specialized body set up under the National Green Tribunal Act (2010) for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
- India became one of the first countries to enact the Act after NZ,Australia
- NGT is mandated to make disposal of applications or appeals within 6 months of filing the same.
- The NGT has five places of sittings, New Delhi is the Principal place of sitting and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are the other four.
- Composition of the NGT :
- The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members. They shall hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment.
- The Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with Chief Justice of India (CJI).
- A Selection Committee shall be formed by central government to appoint the Judicial Members and Expert Members.
- There are to be at least 10 and maximum 20 full time Judicial members and Expert Members in the tribunal.
Jurisdiction of the NGT :
- The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving substantial question relating to environment
- It has both original and appellate jurisdiction when it comes to cases
- The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, but shall be guided by principles of ‘natural justice’.
- While passing any order/decision/ award, it shall apply the principles of :
- sustainable development
- the precautionary principle
- the polluter pays principle
- The NGT Act also provides a procedure for a penalty for non compliance:
- Imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years
- Fine which may extend to ten crore rupees
- Both fine and imprisonment.
- An appeal against order/decision/ award of the NGT lies to the Supreme Court, generally within ninety days from the date of communication.
- The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
- The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
- The Biological Diversity Act, 2002
- However two important acts – Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 have been kept out of NGT’s jurisdiction.
MSME Innovative Scheme (Incubation, Design and IPR)
- Union Minister for MSME launched the MSME Innovative Scheme (Incubation, Design and IPR) along with the MSME IDEA HACKATHON 2022
More about the scheme :
- The MSME Innovation Scheme will act as a hub for innovation activities – facilitating and guiding development of ideas into viable business proposition which benefits society directly.
- MSME Innovative is a holistic approach to unify, synergize and converge 3 sub-components and interventions with a single purpose.
- The primary objective of the scheme is to promote and support untapped creativity and to promote adoption of latest technologies in MSMEs at the proof-of-concept level.
- Financial assistance up to Rs. 15 lakh per idea and up to Rs. 1 crore for relevant plants and machines will be provided.
- The objective of this component is to bring the Indian manufacturing sector and Design expertise/ Design fraternity on to a common platform.
- Financial assistance up to Rs. 40 lakh for design projects and up to Rs. 2.5 lakh for student projects will be provided.
IPR (Intellectual Property Rights):
- The objective of the scheme is to improve the IP culture in India with a view to enhance the awareness of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) amongst the MSMEs and to encourage creative intellectual endeavor in the Indian economy.
RBI’s $5 billion dollar-rupee swap mean?
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has conducted a $ 5 billion dollar-rupee swap auction as part of its liquidity management initiative, leading to infusion of dollars and sucking out of the rupee from the financial system.
What is a Dollar Rupee Swap auction?
- It’s a forex tool whereby the central bank uses its currency to buy another currency or vice versa.
- In a Dollar Rupee buy/sell swap, the central bank buys dollars (US dollars or USD) from banks in exchange for Indian Rupees (INR) and immediately gets into an opposite deal with banks promising to sell dollars at a later date.
Why is RBI resorting to it now?
- Surplus liquidity in the system is pegged at Rs 7.5 lakh crore, which needs to be curbed to keep a tab on inflation.
- Usually, the central bank will resort to traditional tools such as increasing the repo rate or increasing the cash reserve ratio (CRR), but this can have a negative implication on the economy.
- Therefore, the RBI used a different toolkit variable rate reverse repo auction (VRRR) last year.
Impacts of the swap :
- Forex swaps are intended for liquidity management. Therefore, their impact on currency is only incidental.
- The RBI resorting to selling USD in two tranches will keep a check on Rupee’s volatility and help curb its depreciation to some extent.
- For the bond market, the exercise may have a pronounced impact. Bonds yields are already on an incline.
- Liquidity intervention through swaps indicates the RBI’s plan to use a different toolkit rather than the traditional ones, and this leaves room for the central bank to buy bonds when needed.
- Consequently, the strategy will contain bond yields
National Party status
- Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is on the verge of becoming a national party after winning the punjab elections
Registration of political parties:
- Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- A party seeking registration under the said Section with the Election Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
To be eligible for a ‘National Political Party of India:
- It wins at least two percent seats in the House of the People (i.e.11 seats in the existing House having 543 members), and these members are elected from at least three different States.
- Get at least six per cent votes in four states in addition to four Lok Sabha seats.
- Be recognised as a ‘state party’ in four or more states.
To be eligible for a ‘State Political Party:
- It must secure six per cent of the votes during the Assembly elections and two Assembly seats;
- Six per cent of votes in the Lok Sabha from the state and an MP from the state;
- Three per cent of total Assembly seats or three seats (whichever is greater);
- One MP from every 25 Lok Sabha seats or eight per cent of total votes in the state during the Lok Sabha election from the state or the Assembly polls.
Benefits of being recognised:
- If a party is recognised as a State Party’, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the State in which it is so recognised, and if a party is recognised as a `National Party’ it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India.
- Recognised `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost at the time of revision of rolls and their candidates get one copy of electoral roll free of cost during General Elections.
- They also get broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
- The travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.
Dharma Guardian Exercise
What is the dharma guardian ?
- Exercise Dharma Guardian is an annual exercise between Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Force.
- The latest edition was concluded at Belgaum
- To promote military cooperation between India and Japan, the first edition of the Dharma Guardian was held at Counter Insurgency Warfare School of the Indian Army at Vairengte in November 2018.
Rule change regarding mankading
What is mankading ?
- Mankading is a method of run out where a bowler dismisses a non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease.
- Though this is a legally permissible dismissal, it is considered against the spirit of the game.
- The method is named after legendary Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad.
Why in News?
- The Marylebone Cricket Club has announced its new code of laws, under which Mankading has been made a normal mode of running out the non-striker.
UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 11th March 2022
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