+91 9004418746enquiry.aashah@gmail.com
+91 9004078746aashahs.ias@gmail.com

Current Events 11 January 2017

 

NEWS

11 JANUARY 2017

 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: POLITY – NGO’s

SC orders audit of 30 lakh NGOs

2.

GS III:  ENVIRONMENT

NGT panel to inspect major waste generators

3.

GS III:  ENERGY

Make solar rooftops mandatory: CSE

4.

GS II : POLITY - JUDICIARY

Effects of Endosulfan devastating: SC

5.

GS III : ECONOMY

Maharashtra banks in doldrums

6.

GS II: POLITY - JUDICIARY

Cash for land is just not done: SC

7.

GS II : POLITY - ELECTIONS

EC starts screening of government ads

8.

GS II :  POLITY - ELECTIONS

EC issues warning

9.

GS II:  INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

India opposed to inclusion of ‘new issues’ in WTO

10.

GS III: ECONOMY

Tata Sons asks NCLT to dismiss Mistry’s petition

11.

GSII:  INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

H1B reform to add pressure on IT firms’ margins

 

GS II: POLITY – NGOs

SC orders audit of 30 lakh NGOs

  • The Supreme Court directed the government to audit nearly 30 lakh NGOs which received public funds but consistently failed to explain how they spent the money.
  • It ordered that any NGO found to have cooked its books or indulged in misappropriation should be subject to immediate criminal prosecution. Besides, the government should initiate civil recovery proceedings against such rogue organisations.
  • The judicial order is unprecedented because defaulting NGOs so far have been only blacklisted by the government.
  • The court was taken aback as the government seemed to be unaware that General Financial Rules, 2005 mandate a regulatory mechanism for the NGOs.
  • The Bench addressed the Rural Development Secretary and Director of Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), which comes under the Rural Development Ministry, “There can be no doubt that the amounts disbursed by CAPART is public money and needs to be accounted for... the only exercise so far against those who have failed to file their balance sheets is blacklisting.
  • It is necessary to start criminal and civil action by the Central government and CAPART,” the Supreme Court said.


 

  


GS III:  ENVIRONMENT

NGT panel to inspect major waste generators

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) constituted a committee to inspect major waste generators in the Capital, including five-star hotels, malls, hospitals, educational institutions with hostels and housing societies.
  • The NGT expressed concern that public authorities lacked infrastructure and appropriate technical capacity to handle such huge quantity of waste — the city generates nearly 14,100 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste a day.
  • The Tribunal said that mass generators of waste cannot be equated to households generating trash.“Generators of mass municipal solid waste and sewage must ensure strict enforcement of the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000,” the Bench said.


 

Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016

  • The Environment Ministry has notified rules making it incumbent on a wide range of groups — hotels, residential colonies, bulk producers of consumer goods, ports, railway stations, airports and pilgrimage spots — to ensure that the solid waste generated in their facilities are treated and recycled. 
  • Though the onus on garbage management would continue to be the responsibility of municipal bodies, they would be allowed to charge user fees and levy spot fines for littering and non-segregation.
  • Though these rules would take effect from April 6, there would be a “transition period” of two to five years, beyond which fines would be imposed, said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • The rules on solid waste management have been amended after 16 years and a key provision is to formalise the profession of rag-picking. “
  • According to the new rules, local bodies with a population of one lakh or more were required to set up solid waste processing facilities within two years, census towns below a lakh would be given three years and old and abandoned dump sites would have to be closed or bio-remedied within five years.
  • This is an essential component of Swachh Bharat (Mission) … only 70 per cent of garbage is collected and of that 30 per cent is treated.


GS III:  ENERGY - SOLAR

Make solar rooftops mandatory: CSE

  • Solar panels on rooftops should be made mandatory for new residential societies, recommended the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in a policy brief.
  • After studying the electricity consumption of five residential societies in Delhi, Jaipur and Ghaziabad, the CSE found that by switching from diesel generator (DG) sets to solar power for backup, the facilities would be saving lakhs of rupees every year.
  • The CSE recommended that solar rooftops should become a part of the applications for construction approvals, with the builders keeping a certain portion of the plinth area “shadowfree” to aid solar panels.
  • It recommended that fiscal incentives, including rebate on building tax, could be considered in order to encourage the switch to solar power.


 

 

GS III : POLITY - JUDICIARY

Effects of Endosulfan devastating: SC

  • Describing the effects of Endosulfan as “devastating,” the Supreme Court directed the Kerala government to release the entire compensation to over 5,000 victims, mostly newborns, and their families in three months.
  • A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar said the State of Kerala can initiate legal proceedings to recover the compensation money from pesticide companies responsible for the production and sale of the highly controversial but cheap agrochemical.
  • The apex court said the State government can also approach the Central government, State corporations and entities for the recovery of compensation.
  • Kerala has earmarked over Rs.180 crore for payment of compensation to victims, some of whom are terminally-ill from the effects of the pesticide which was aerially sprayed on cashew plantations adjoining habitats where the victims are located.
  • In 2011, the Supreme Court ordered the immediate ban of Endosulfan while disregarding pleas of over 150 private export companies.
  • Endosulfan, already banned in 81 countries and its use not permitted in another 12 nations.


 


 

GS III : ECONOMY

Maharashtra banks in doldrums

  • Maharashtra’s banking infrastructure remained deficient more than a month after demonetisation, with fewer functional ATMs and Banking Correspondents (BCs) in rural areas.
  • The latest bank data also shows abnormally poor disbursement of crop loans under various central schemes, with only 17% target achieved for the Rabi season as opposed to 88 per cent in the Kharif season, clearly signalling that an overburdened banking system was unable to cope with the demands of demonetisation.
  • The latest data submitted by State’s 36 major banks to the Union Ministry of Finance show a higher number of ATMs, as many as 14,490, were recalibrated (for Rs 2,000 notes) between November 8, 2016 and December 20, 2016.
  • But 5,846 or 34 per cent of the total ATMs remained inactive as on December 20, along with 6,306 or 41 percent of the Banking Correspondents (BCs) not functional as on December 20,2016.
  • The data presented during the during the 133 SLBC held in Mumbai on December 30 also shows that as many as 36,54,471 RUPAY card pins remained un-distributed, which simply meant as many cards were inactive as on December 20.


 

GS II: POLITY - JUDICIARY

Cash for land is just not done: SC

  • Agreeing to hear the plight of the landless victims of the Sardar Sarovar Project in detail, the Supreme Court observed that giving cash instead of land to farmers who lost their fertile lands to the mega dam project is “tentatively” not acceptable.
  • Earlier, the apex court had dismissed an application by the Madhya Pradesh government and the Narmada Valley Development Authority for a modification of the apex court judgments of 2000 and 2005 upholding land rights for adult sons of the Sardar Sarovar Project affected farmers.

 


Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)

  • Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a social movement consisting of adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against a number of large dams being built across the Narmada River, which flows through the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. 
  • Sardar Sarovar Project is one of the many dams under the Narmada Dam Project. The main aim of the project is to provide irrigation and electricity to people in these states.

 

GS II : POLITY - ELECTIONS

EC starts screening of government ads

  • The Election Commission reiterated that government funded advertisements, which publicise achievements of political functionaries or parties, violate the Model Code of Conduct guidelines.
  • According to a 2004 order, no political party or functionary can use public resources to eulogise themselves or enhance their image..
  • However, government hoardings with general messages on social welfare schemes and awareness campaigns are allowed.
  • The Commission has also instituted screening committees for carrying out speedy screening and granting clearances to advertisements being put out by the government.
  • The candidates have been directed to submit no-objection certificates issued by owners of private properties where their posters or hoardings are displayed.
  • Otherwise, the cost involved will be included in their accounts.


GS II :  POLITY - ELECTIONS

EC issues warning

  • The Election Commission issued a stern warning to political parties against making statements that might trigger disharmony in society on the basis of religion and hamper free and peaceful conduct of Assembly elections in the five poll-bound States.
  • Stating that the Model Code of Conduct was in place, the Commission said various provisions of the Indian Penal Code provided that political parties and their leaders should desist from making statements to create disharmony between different sections of society on the basis of religion, as the same disturb peace and tranquility.
  •  The Commission also quoted the Supreme Court judgment in January 2017 on the use of religion and caste, terming it a ‘corrupt practice’.


GS II:  INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

India opposed to inclusion of ‘new issues’ in WTO

  • Ahead of a special meeting of trade ministers on the sidelines of the forthcoming World Economic Forum at Davos, India opposed attempts by some developed nations to introduce ‘new issues’ including ecommerce and investment into the formal agenda of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level negotiations on liberalisation of global trade.
  • India had on earlier occasions too rejected the attempts of the developed world to make such ‘new issues’ part of the ongoing Doha Round talks saying it will ‘dilute’ the ‘development agenda’ of the negotiations.
  • The World Economic Forum is scheduled to take place between January 17 and 20.


 


 

 

 

World Economic Forum (WEF)

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva.
  • Recognized by the Swiss authorities as an international body, its mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".
  • The foundation also acts as a think tank, publishing a wide range of reports. In particular, "Strategic Insight Teams" focus on producing reports of relevance in the fields of competitiveness, global risks, and scenario thinking.
  • The "Competitiveness Team" produces a range of annual economic reports (first published in brackets):

1.      The Global Competitiveness Report (1979) measured competitiveness of countries and economies;

2.      The Global Information Technology Report (2001) assessed their competitiveness based on their IT readiness;

3.      The Global Gender Gap Report examined critical areas of inequality between men and women;

4.      The Global Risks Report (2006) assessed key global risks; the Global Travel and Tourism Report (2007) measured travel and tourism competitiveness;

5.       The Financial Development Report (2008) aimed to provide a comprehensive means for countries to establish benchmarks for various aspects of their financial systems and establish priorities for improvement; and the Global Enabling Trade Report (2008) presented a cross-country analysis of the large number of measures facilitating trade among nations.

 

GS II: POLITY

Tata Sons asks NCLT to dismiss Mistry’s petition

  •  Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has urged the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to dismiss a petition filed by the investment firms of ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry as it felt that the petition was not maintainable as per the requisite norms of The Companies Act.
  • According to the reply filed by the holding company of the diversified conglomerate, the two firms — Cyrus Investments Pvt. Ltd and Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt. Ltd — do not hold enough stake in the company to file a petition under Section 244 of The Companies Act.
  • The regulations state that only those entities that own at least one-tenth stake in the company can file a petition under Section 244.
  • In the combined capital, the two firms own 2.17% stake, which, as per Tata Sons, make them ineligible to file a petition.
  • Tata Sons has also denied all the other major allegations made by Mr. Mistry regarding corporate governance, mismanagement, interference and oppression by the board members of the company.

 

GSII:  INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

H1B reform to add pressure on IT firms’ margins

  • IT firms’ margins will come under more pressure if the U.S. Government clears the H1B visa reform Bill — ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act’, rating agency India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said.
  • The key proposal in the Bill is to increase the salary of H1B visa holder to $100,000 (₨. 66 lakh) from $60,000 per annum and the cessation of an exemption of having a master’s degree.
  • The cash cushion and low debt levels that IT companies enjoy, however, will mean the squeeze on margins will be credit neutral.
  • The salary level that has been proposed is significantly higher than the average employee cost of Indian IT companies of under ₨.1 million (Rs. 10 lakh).

H-1B Visa:

  • It is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
  •  If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for and be granted a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer (subject to application for adjustment of status and/or change of visa), or leave the U.S.                 
Back to Top