News (Text)


When:
June 11, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-06-11T01:00:00+05:30
2018-06-11T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

11 JUNE 2018 

Sr. No. Topic News
1. GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-CHINA Xi to visit India in 2019 for Wuhan-style informal meet
2. GS II: MULTILATERAL – SCO India rebalancing ties with Pak. to open path to Eurasia
3. GS II: MULTILATERAL – SCO SCO calls for global front to fight terror groups
4. GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY Threat to Bannerghatta buffer zone
5. GS II: SOCIAL – PROTEST Former colleagues come out in support of activist Raut
6. GS II: GOVERNANCE – AADHAAR In Jharkhand, starvation and ration woes
7. GS I: CULTURE The legend of Sheikh Chehli
8. GS III: S&T – HEALTH Conquering the emperor of maladies
9. GS III: S&T – HEALTH A new ally in the cancer fight
10. GS III: SECURITY Army foils infiltration bid in Kupwara, kills 6 militants
11. GS III: SECURITY 16 arrested in Assam lynching case
12. GS II: POLITY – BILL/ACT ‘Draft pesticide Bill will hurt farmers’
13. GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY Govt. opens doors to lateral entry
14. GS I: HISTORY Bankim is BJP icon in Bengal
15. GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-MAURITIUS Mauritius to host global Hindi meet
16. GS II: MULTILATERAL Rise in India-ASEAN naval games
17. GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS Plea to make poll offences cognizable
18. GS II: MULTILATERAL Trudeau stabbed us in the back: U.S.
19. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA Syrian Kurds rebuild Kobane, sans govt. assistance
20. GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING ICICI Bank, Kochhar under SEC lens
21. GS III: ECONOMY – CCI Walmart-Flipkart: CCI may suggest changes
22. GS III: ECONOMY – MINING Challenges may dampen glee over Deocha Pachami
23. GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING Insolvency Code: what’s new
24. GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN British women celebrate 100 years of right to vote

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-CHINA

Xi to visit India in 2019 for Wuhan-style informal meet

  • India and China have expanded on the “spirit” of the Wuhan informal summit, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreeing to a string of official engagements, including a fresh round of boundary talks and new mechanism to step up exchange of films.
  • The meet, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, saw Mr. Xi accepting Mr. Modi’s invitation for another “informal summit” in India in 2019 and describing Wuhan as a “new starting point” in India-China relations.
  • An MoU on sharing hydrological information on the Brahmaputra river by China and another pact on amendment of the protocol on phytosanitary requirements for exporting non-Basmati rice from India to China were signed after the talks.

GS II: MULTILATERAL – SCO

India rebalancing ties with Pak. to open path to Eurasia

  • In a significant gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit at Qingdao.
  •  China is the host and chair of the SCO.
  • Asserting India’s continued opposition to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Mr. Modi said mega connectivity projects must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries.
  • The Prime Minister also spelt out his new mantra applicable to the SCO, which he termed as SECURE: ‘S’ for security of citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and ‘E’ for environmental protection.
  • Mr. Xi stressed that SCO members would uphold the authority and efficacy of WTO rules, strengthen an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading regime, and oppose trade protectionism of any form.
  • “We point out that economic globalisation and regional integration are the compelling trend of our times,” Mr. Xi said.

GS II: MULTILATERAL – SCO

SCO calls for global front to fight terror groups

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has resolved to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism with a renewed vigour in the next three years, and called for a unified global counter-terrorism front under the coordination of the UN.
  • The grouping of eight countries, including China, India and Russia, came out with. a declaration at the end of its two-day annual summit, with a resolve to deepen cooperation to contain terrorism, extremism and separatism
  • It said all the member countries were for reaching a consensus on adopting the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and emphasised the importance of comprehensive measures to reach a peaceful settlement of international and regional conflicts.
  • The SCO leaders adopted a Joint Appeal to Youth, in which they asked them not to get influenced by extremist ideologies.
  • “The member states note that the interference in the domestic affairs of other states under the pretence of combating terrorism and extremism is unacceptable, as well as the use of terrorist, extremist and radical groups for one’s own purposes,” the declaration said.
  • In the summit, the leaders also talked about the special role of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in the fight against “the three evils” — terrorism, extremism and separatism — to ensure regional security.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Threat to Bannerghatta buffer zone

  • At least 73 eco-sensitive villages, of which 22 are ‘red list’ villages, have been left out of the buffer zone of theBannerghatta National Park, which remains Bengaluru’s last big, urban forest.
  • ‘Red list’ comprises villages that are adjacent to the forest and are highly eco-sensitive.
  • The initial draft Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) notification had put the ESZ at 269 sq.km., which has now been cut down by a third to just 181.57 sq.km.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests does allow for buffer zone to be reduced to 100 metres in densely populated areas, and this makes sense in the context of the northern edge where Bengaluru lies. But, there is no logical reason, apart from vested interests, to exclude villages with low built-up area in the central and southern boundaries of the park,” says an activist.

GS II: SOCIAL – PROTEST

Former colleagues come out in support of activist Raut

  • Seventy-nine former Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellows (PMRDFs) have come in support of Mahesh Raut, their former colleague in Gadchiroli, arrested by the Maharashtra police for alleged Maoist links and involvement in organising Elgar Parishad in Pune in 2017 after which riots took place in Bhima Koregaon area.
  • Terming Mr. Raut’s arrest “a hasty action by the police, done haphazardly and wrongful on many accounts”, the PMRDFs have demanded his unconditional and immediate release.
  • They claimed that Mr. Raut has neither attended the Pune Elgar Parishad nor was a part of the organising committee.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – AADHAAR

In Jharkhand, starvation and ration woes

  • Around half-a-dozen people have allegedly died of starvation in Jharkhand in the last six months.
  • Most of them were reportedly denied rations from the Public Distribution System shops for failing to have Aadhaar-based biometric authentication.
  • Two women — one in Giridih and the other in Chatra district — died of alleged starvation last week, prompting Chief Minister Raghuvar Das to order a probe.
  • The government reports said the women were sick; family members claimed they died of hunger.
  • All these deaths took place after the State government cancelled 11.6 lakh ration cards, saying they were not linked to Aadhaar.
  • Though the Supreme Court has said Aadhaar linkage is voluntary, at the village and panchayat levels in Jharkand, little appears to have changed. For a person who gets foodgrains through the PDS, it is mandatory for him or her to follow the Aadhaar-Based Biometric Authentication (ABBA) system that is the practice of using an electric point of sale (PoS) machine for each transaction.
  • For implementing the ABBA system, it is necessary to have Aadhaar seeding, which is to get one’s Aadhaar number linked to the ration card.
  • To get benefits under the PDS, biometric authorisation is required and this calls for technological necessities which villages lack: uninterrupted power supply, a functioning PoS machine, adequate mobile and Internet connectivity and ensuring that data repository servers are running smoothly. So, every time a person has to get rations from a PDS shop, he/she has to pray that all these variables work.
  • The government says it has begun rechecking the details of those left out of the Aadhaar linkage, but officials admit the process is moving at a slow pace.
  • The government has made Aadhaar seeding compulsory but many tribals, unaware of this requirement, are denied access to food.
  • The government feels that by linking ration cards to Aadhaar, it will remove the corruption in the PDS system.
  • The government has also announced that it has achieved 100% Aadhaar seeding but experts said lakhs of people covered by the PDS are not linked with their Aadhaar numbers.

GS I: CULTURE

The legend of Sheikh Chehli

  • As a child, my favourite bedtime story used to be about a simpleton called Sheikh Chilli, whose life was a never-ending saga of goof-ups.
  • I knew that these stories were fictitious and that no such character existed, but I loved them.
  • Imagine my surprise when I found that there was actually someone with the same name — a Sufi saint whose tomb is in Thanesar and who was supposedly Dara Shukoh’s spiritual master!
  • Dara Shukoh, the mystic prince and eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan, was a gifted scholar, so no master of his could have been foolish.
  •  The word ‘chehli’ means 40 in Persian.
  • Subhash Parihar’s 1999 book, Some Aspects of Indo-Islamic Architecture describes it as a madarsa — one of three built by the Mughals.
  • A madarsa means a place for study.
  • Two of them are in Delhi — the Khairul Manazil, opposite Purana Qila, and Ghaziuddin Khan Ka Madarsa, which is now the Anglo Arabic College, near Ajmeri Gate.
  • The third was built in Thanesar, Haryana, as this city was on the Grand Trunk Road.
  • I walked up the stairs and reached a large platform with a very low octagonal marble base around which ran a marble rail. On the base stood the splendid octagonal marble tomb. There were exquisite jaalis on all sides.
  • thanesar was a well known centre of the Sufi Chishti silsila and, according to Parihar, it is possible that Dara Shukoh built the madarsa to promote the Qadriya order.

GS III: S&T – HEALTH

Conquering the emperor of maladies

  • The title that the cancer specialist, Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee chose for his Pulitzer-prize winner book on cancer was “The Emperor of All Maladies.”
  • It signifies both the awe and a sportsman-like admiration of the challenge posed by the opponent, cancer.
  • Each year, 2.5 million new cancer cases are reported in India, with apparently one cancer death every 8 minutes.
  • Cancer occurs when an otherwise healthy cell is damaged, leading to uncontrolled growth, affecting the health of the body.
  • Damage can occur either because of inborn or inherited errors in one or more genes affecting the cell, or due to lifestyle and environmental factors.
  • While normal cells are programmed to multiply and grow to a certain size and stay so, cancer cells, whose DNA is mutated by such damage, go on rampant growth leading to tumours.
  • The cancer specialist removes these errant cancer cells and tumour by medication or surgery.
  • But the big challenge is not the first treatment alone, but that it should not recur and/or metastasise (move to and affect other parts of the body).
  • The fight against cancer is thus to uproot the cause of the damage once and for all.
  • White blood cells play the main role here.
  • In particular, there is the group of cells called B-lymphocytes which recognise the shape of the molecules in the invader, and make proteins called antibodies which lock on to the invader and removes it. (Importantly, this shape is ‘remembered’ so that when a fresh attack by this same invader occurs, B cells are prepared!)
  • Another set called T cells release chemicals that push the invading cells to commit suicide. In this process, these T-killer cells are aided by a group called T-helper cells.
  • In addition, there is another group called dendritic cells which help activate both the B- cells and T-killer cells, enabling them to respond to specific threats.
  • Each cell has on its surface a little marker, a small molecular ID- card or a biometric, called an antigen. These are small molecular fragments found on the cell surface.
  • Antigens in the normal cells of the body are recognized as “self” by the immune system of the body and left alone.
  • But when “foreign” cells such as those of an invading microbe or virus enter the system, their ‘non-self’ antigens are detected, attacked and thrown out of the body by the B and T lymphocytes.
  • This is also the basis of vaccines. In a vaccine, we introduce the disease- causing germs (either in the dead from or highly- disabled “live” form) into the body. This causes the immune system to recognise the “non-self” foreign antigen, grab it (using the antibody proteins) and throw it out of the body. Plus, the immune system ‘remembers’ this non-self antigen and when the invader comes again, has the B cells make antibodies against it and remove it from the system, thus offering protection for a long time.
  • This is the basis behind vaccination against many diseases, including cancer-causing viruses such as human papilloma virus (HPV) and the hepatitis B and C viruses.
  • Cancer cells too have antigens on their surface. These form the cancer-associated antigens, including some that have not been seen previously by the body’s immune system. These are called neo-antigens. They are foreign to the body, and come from the invader.
  • In the current excitement on the cure of the cancer, this idea of using our immune system and make an anti-cancer vaccine is on the high table. This is not a preventive vaccine (as the HPV or hepatitis vaccines are) but a therapeutic (or treatment) vaccine. Here, the doctor first treats the cancer by existing methods. In order that it does not recur, nor metastasise, he/she then takes a piece of the cancer tissue from the patient, and has the neo-antigens identified.
  • Next, he/she works with a group of scientists who use computer methods to check which fragment will trigger the patient’s immune system best to fight the cancer cells.
  • The so-chosen neo-antigen is used to make the vaccine, and once the vaccine is made, use it on the patients to protect them from further recurrence of the illness and thus get rid of the cancer, hopefully forever.
  • Some cancer vaccines are already in the market; for example, HER2 against breast cancer, Provenge against prostate cancer, and T-VEC against melanoma.
  • Increasingly though, some researchers want to read the patient’s genome, sequence the DNA or RNA of the tumor there, identify the mutations therein and make a specially constructed ‘personalised’ vaccine for the individual.

GS III: S&T – HEALTH

A new ally in the cancer fight

  • In a first, researchers from India will study the proteins and genes of cancer tumours simultaneously.
  • The aim of the merger between the two promising sciences (proteomics and genomics) is to derive new medications as well as offer personalised cancer therapies.
  • India became the 12th country to join the International Cancer Proteogenome Consortium (ICPC) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), U.S. It is a forum for collaboration among the world’s leading cancer and proteogenomic research centres.
  • In the Indian team, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) is to study proteomics and the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai, India’s premier cancer institute, is to study the genomics of three cancers, breast, head and neck, and cervix.
  •  The field of genomics involves studying all the possible genes in the system or the organism and also analysing their mutations.
  • Through an intricate process, DNA, which is the storehouse of genetic instructions, makes proteins. Tweaking this manufacture can mean influencing the kind of protein products, and consequently, vital molecules for life.
  •  While there are an estimated 20,000 genes, there are many more proteins. Proteins are in the millions and thus complicated to study. We don’t have any accurate estimates as they further get modified.
  • According to the NCI, previous studies have shown that genomic changes are not always present at the protein level. This suggests that the additional level of proteomic analysis can lead to an enhanced understanding of tumour resistance and/or toxicity to therapy and can one day offer the ability to predict treatment response by examining drug response or toxicity.

GS III: SECURITY

Army foils infiltration bid in Kupwara, kills 6 militants

  • The Army said it foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Keran sector of Kupwara and killed six militants.
  • Meanwhile, two Al-Badr militants, hailing from Kupwara, killed in a gunfight along the LoC two days ago, were buried in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

GS III: SECURITY

16 arrested in Assam lynching case

  • The police have arrested 16 people, including a Facebook instigator, in connection with the lynching of two vacationers by a mob at a village in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on suspicion that they were khupadhora or child-lifters.
  • The two had driven to the village, about 200 km east of Guwahati, in an SUV asking for directions to a waterfall.

GS II: POLITY – BILL/ACT

‘Draft pesticide Bill will hurt farmers’

  • A group of Indian pesticide manufacturers says that the proposed Pesticides Management Bill, will harm both farmers and the domestic industry by not making it mandatory for the active ingredients of pesticides to be revealed in the registration process.
  • The draft Bill will allow importers to register readymade products without registering the active ingredients.
  • He said that this would prevent Indian manufacturers from registering ‘me-too registrations’, and producing pesticides at a cheaper rate.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

Govt. opens doors to lateral entry

  • In an apparent bid to bring in expertise from the private sector and infuse talent into the country’s bureaucracy, the Union government has invited “outstanding individuals” to join the government at the level of Joint Secretaryat the Centre.
  • For starters, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has invited applications for 10 senior-level positions in the departments of Economic Affairs, Revenue, Commerce and Highways and others.
  • The notification issued by the DoPT says it is looking for 10 “outstanding individuals”, who are willing to contribute towards nation building.
  • The notification invites individuals working at comparable levels in private sector companies, consultancy organisations, international/multinational organisations with a minimum of 15 years’ experience, besides those working in central public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, statutory organisations, research bodies and universities.
  • The recruitment will be on contract basis for three to five years. The intake will be made in 10 departments initially but will expand to other categories in the second phase, the DoPT said.
  • The post of Joint Secretary (JS) is crucial for policy making and implementation of government programmes and schemes, with most crucial decisions in Ministries and departments taken by officials at that level.
  • Though the idea of lateral entry into the administrative framework has been under discussion for some years now, this is the first move towards implementing the idea, which is generating curious debate on the pros and cons of the move.
  • The notification specifies a minimum age of 40 and minimum qualification of graduation from a recognised university or institute, while higher qualification will be an added advantage.

GS I: HISTORY

Bankim is BJP icon in Bengal

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal will celebrate Bengali author Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, who wrote the national song Vande Mataram, rather than Rabindranath Tagore.
  • State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said there is nothing new about Tagore to celebrate.
  • The 19th century author’s novel Anandamath — which was set in the background of the Sanyashi Bidroho(rebellion of monks in late 18th century) — is considered to be one of key works on Bengal’s nationalism.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-MAURITIUS

Mauritius to host global Hindi meet

  • The 11th World Hindi Conference shall be held in Mauritius from August 18 to 20, 2018.
  • The World Hindi Conference is a major event organised every three years by the External Affairs Ministry.
  • Interestingly, though the World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) supported by India is located in Mauritius, the government of the country does not promote Hindi on its website; nor is the language acknowledged officially.
  • The website mentions English and French as the languages spoken in Mauritius, but leaves out Hindi referring merely to existing “Asian languages.”
  • The WHS will be the organising authority of the event.
  • has become an ill-conceived, ill-organised chaotic event. It is a fair without any intellectual and linguistic rigour and direction. The event has become unbecoming of both Hindi and India,” noted literary figure Ashok Vajpeyi said.

GS II: MULTILATERAL

Rise in India-ASEAN naval games

  • India is instituting a series of bilateral and multilateral naval exercises with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries as part of the increasing military-to-military cooperation.
  • This is in addition to assisting the countries in capacity-building and sale of military hardware.
  • Later in June 2018, the Navies of India and Indonesia will hold their first bilateral exercise in the Java Sea.
  • The bilateral with Indonesia is in addition to the Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) that the two sides conduct.
  • India will stage a new trilateral exercise with Thailand and Singapore soon.
  • Similarly, the Navy recently conducted maiden bilateral exercises with Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. “The Indian Navy has had extensive interactions with Vietnam People’s Navy, particularly in training, repairs, maintenance and logistics support aimed at capacity building,” the Navy said.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

Plea to make poll offences cognisable

  • A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court to direct the government to make electoral offences cognisable with a punishment of minimum two years in jail.
  • The offences listed are bribery, undue influence, impersonation, false statement, illegal payments and non-filing of accounts.
  • Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay said in his petition that successive governments did not act on the Election Commission’s recommendations since 1992 for harsher punishment.
  • The result was the erosion of public trust in the electoral system.
  • Parties and candidates used bribery not only in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections but also in byelections, it said.
  • Bribery, undue influence and impersonation are non-cognisable, with punishment of one year in jail, or fine, or both.
  •  “In 1992, the Election Commission proposed that punishments for these offences be enhanced to two years [in jail], and these offences be made cognizable. Since 1992, it has reiterated the proposals many times, but the successive governments did nothing to implement them,” Mr. Upadhyay said.

GS II: MULTILATERAL

Trudeau stabbed us in the back: U.S.

  • The U.S. blamed Canada for the disastrous ending to the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada, saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “stabbed us in the back”, while American allies held responsible.
  • Mr. Trudeau told reporters that Mr. Trump’s decision to invoke national security to justify tariffs on steel and aluminium imports was “kind of insulting” to Canadian veterans who had stood by their U.S. allies in conflicts dating back to the First World War.
  • Mr. Trudeau said he had told Mr. Trump “it would be with regret but it would be with absolute clarity and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us.”

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Syrian Kurds rebuild Kobane, sans govt. assistance

  • Much of the border town along Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey was left in ruins after U.S.-backed Kurdish forces ousted the Islamic State (IS) from it in early 2015.
  •  Many residents returned to Kobane after the battles had stopped and were shocked by the huge destruction in the town.
  • Central government forces withdrew from Kurdish-majority areas in northern Syria in 2012, leaving local authorities to set up semi-autonomous institutions.
  •  As IS began grabbing swathes of northern Syria, it attacked Kobane in late 2014.
  • The four months of fighting it took to push the jihadists out pulverised about half the city, mostly in its north and east.
  • Remittances have been crucial for rebuilding individual homes as authorities did not have the budget to help. They focussed instead on rehabilitating the gutted infrastructure, bringing water and electricity to residents, and rebuilding a dozen schools.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

ICICI Bank, Kochhar under SEC lens

  • As a multi-agency probe continues in India into alleged lapses involving ICICI Bank’s chief Chanda Kochhar and her family members, the matter has also come under the scanner of the U.S. markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Besides, the Indian regulators and investigative agencies are mulling seeking help from their overseas counterparts, including in Mauritius, as part of their own probes, officials said.
  • The ICICI Bank has already instituted an independent enquiry into allegations of ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘quid pro quo’ in Ms. Kochhar’s dealing with certain borrowers.
  • The cases under scanner include the bank’s Rs. 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012 and the involvement of Kochhar family members in the restructuring of the loan.

GS III: ECONOMY – CCI

Walmart-Flipkart: CCI may suggest changes

  • Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) might recommend structural changes to the proposed Walmart-Flipkart deal to address possible competition concerns, according to officials.
  • The CCI might take cues from a ruling in South Africa with respect to Walmart- Massmart deal, which was announced in 2010.
  • In May 2018, Walmart Inc. announced the acquisition of 77% stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion (Rs. 1.05 lakh crore).
  • The retail giant has approached the CCI for approval, saying deal does not raise any competition concerns.
  • However, various trade organisations have opposed the deal.
  • Officials said the CCI might take a cue from the South African example and might even recommend setting up of a long-term fund to modernise kiranas going forward besides supporting local manufacturing by SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).

GS III: ECONOMY – MINING

Challenges may dampen glee over Deocha Pachami

  • Several challenges would need to be tackled by the West Bengal government, which is currently in a euphoric mood after getting sole rights to mine the Deocha Pachami block in Birbhum district.
  • It holds immense potential but needs some new thinking.
  • The State government had initially been nominated for this allocation along with six other States.
  • However, that model did not work and there was little progress on the project.
  • Persistent follow-up by the State paved the way for the West Bengal government to be declared the sole allottee.
  • Deocha Pachami, with an inferred or indicated reserve of more than 2 billion tonnes, is among the biggest coal mines in the world.
  • But it may also turn out to be the toughest to mine, due to the depth at which the deposits are believed to be lying (200-300 metres) and beneath layers of basalt rocks.
  • India does not have the technology to mine this deposit.
  • At a time when the utility of coal as a fossil fuel is under threat, against dipping prices of renewable energy, the chances of using the Deoacha Pachami coal to feed power plants was limited, as West Bengal is a power-surplus State and export options are limited, by grid availability as well as competitive tariff.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Insolvency Code: what’s new

  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to promulgate the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code (Amendment) Ordinance 2018.
  • In a major change, homebuyers would now be treated as financial creditors or, in other words, on par with banks.
  • The amendment enables homebuyers (either as an individual or group) to initiate insolvency proceedings against errant builders.
  • Homebuyers shall have the right to be represented in the committee of creditors (CoC), which takes the key decision regarding revival of the company or its liquidation.
  • The amendment now defines related party in relation to an individual running the firm and they would be barred from bidding for the firm under the resolution process.
  • Prior to the amendment, related party was defined only with reference to a company facing insolvency.
  • The amendment has changed the voting share required in CoC meetings.
  • For extending the insolvency process beyond 180 days till 270 days and for appointment of the resolution professional (who oversees the process), now a voting share of 66% is sufficient, compared with earlier requirement of 75%.
  • Unless a specific approval is required in the Code, all other decisions of the CoC can be taken with 51% voting share against the earlier norm of 75%.
  • Withdrawal from the insolvency process is permitted with the approval of 90% of voting share of the CoC (the norms for which would be prescribed).
  • A company can file an insolvency application, provided it seeks shareholders’ approval and at least three-fourth of the stakeholders approve the proposal.
  • Under the insolvency process, an interim resolution professional (IRP) is appointed first and then, a resolution professional. As per the amendment, the tenure of the IRP would continue till the appointment of the resolution professional (RP), compared with the earlier 30-day fixed tenure.
  • Also, for the appointment of the RP, a written consent from the professional is required in a specified format.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN

British women celebrate 100 years of right to vote

  • Thousands of women turned British cities into rivers of green, white and violet on 10 June 2018 to mark 100 years since the first women won the right to vote in the U.K.
  • These are the colours of the suffragette movement that fought for the female franchise.
  • In 1918, Parliament enacted the Representation of the People Act, which granted property-owning British women over 30 the right to vote.
  • It would be another decade before women won the same voting rights as men.

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