Feb 11 th, 2016
Misc CANo Comments

Current Affairs – RS, Sendai Framework, CCI Penalties on Airline, Aditya – 1, Tianhe – 2, Env. Laws, November 26, AMRUT, Talangana’s 1st Mega Food park, Cashless Economy

Multipic - 3

Rajya Sabha

“The current NDA government is in minority in indirectly elected Council of States, hence facing issues related to implementing their legislative agendas.
The upper house is the result of first bicameral legislature of 1919 known as Montagu-Chelmford Reforms. Several times questions against it’s credibility are raised but our constitution makers decided to retain it.
Benefits of Upper House:
– It gives representation to states in giving their opinion on country affairs, it is also a permanent house and being it is small in size provides it an advantage of better discussion
Can carry some functions necessary when Lok Sabha is not in session
– It is independent of government which neither elects it nor is responsible to it
– It has many experts from private sector, sports persons etc. of some fields which gives a second opinion on bills
– It helps in maintaining authority of states by not giving unlimited power to centre, it keeps a check on it
– Some people are of the view that regions and states have adequate representation in LS now
People with power like fund raisers for party, people who lost elections, capitalists etc. become its members
Party having majority in RS and minority in LS can take undue political advantage by not letting the bill of government to pass to become a law
Unnecessary increases the time for a bill to pass and is unnecessary financial burden on exchequer
Improvement that can be done:
Making their election directly by citizens of state hence will reduce favoritism
Check by state legislature who are electing them
– Giving priority to state over party in various functions of house by members
Good practices by political parties”

Imp. Points:

Current government is in minority in RS,
RS – 1919 Montagu-Clemsford Reforms,
What are its benefits? – representation to states, permanent, small, experts, independent of government
What are its disadvantages? – People with power, Leads to undue advantages, Increase in time of passage of bill,
Chances of improvement? – Direct election, Check, Good practices

Sendai Framework

Kiren Rijiju has been designated as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champion for the Asia Region by UNISDR. He is the first regional champion for DRR after Sendai Agreement.
Sendai Framework: It has seven targets and four priorities
– It was adopted for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015.
– It is voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognizes state’s role to reduce disaster risk and also the responsibility sharing with other players like local government, private sector etc.
– It is the successor of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015
– Sendai framework includes taking institutional measures to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, improving preparedness for response and recovery.
Four priorities include understanding risk, strengthening related governance, investing for reducing risk and enhancing preparedness.

Imp. Points:

Kiren Rijiju – DRR Champion – Asia region by UNSIDR,
Adopted for risk-reduction, 2015-2030, Sendai – Japan, march 2015,
Voluntary and Non-Binding,
Successor of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA),
Four priorities.

CCI Penalty on Airlines

Three airlines were penalized viz. Jet Airways, Indigo and Spicejet
a. They were acting in collusion to fix fuel surcharge rates hence indirectly interfering in determining rates of air cargo transport
a. It affects economic development of country as it unnecessary fluctuates prices for end consumer
CCI was established in October, 2003 to enforce The Competition Act, 2002 and it’s main functions are:
a. Promoting competition, b. Prohibiting anti-competitive practices, c. Protecting interests of consumers by regulating. combinations like acquisition, merger and acquisition etc.
d. Training people in competition related issues, creating public awareness etc.”

Imp. Points:

3 Airlines – Jet, Indigo and Spicejet – penalized – fixing fuel charges – affecting prices for end consumers,
CCI – extd – October, 2003 – Enforcing The Competition Act, 2002

Solar Mission of India: Aditya-1

Salient Features:
a. It is India’s first solar mission to study sun’s outer layers like corona, chromospheres etc.
b. It will collect data about coronal mass ejection and in weather prediction of space
a. It will help in finding the suitability of different models related to origin of solar storms and other activities going on in or near to sun.

Imp. Points:

Solar Mission of India – Aditya 1 – India’s first for studying sun’s outer layers – collect data

World’s Fastest Supercomputers

China’s Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2 is the world’s fastest supercomputer with the speed of 33.86 petaflops per second (Ptflop/s).
US’s Titan is second with speed of 17.59 Pflop/s.

Imp. Points:

China’s – Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2 – first – 33.86 ptflop/s
US’s Titan – 17.59 ptflop/s

Environmental Laws (Amendment) Bill

Seeing the increasing pollution in cities especially NCT which is the most polluted city in the world where limit of PM10 has been breached (PM10 are particulate matters with size less than 10 micrometers). And so with this bill it is being tried to penalize environmental damage.
Ambiguity with the Bill:
a. It focuses only on environmental damage caused by the bill and not other sources of damage.
b. Bill suggests three kinds of damages viz. substantial, non-substantial and minor; but there is no criteria to differentiate between them
c. It does not include damage to wild species and places
d. Comprehensive details are not there about how to penalize for what, and the citizens have to go through a process to file a case with NGT which is complicated in case penalised party fails to pay the penalty
Possible Improvements:
a. Measure damage by identifying effects on other services as well like soil fertility, coral reef damage etc. i.e. increasing damage definition by diversifying it to other areas as well apart from human centric definition
b. Can make laws inspired by other well developed practices from other nations and can take their help to train our individuals in this field as well.

Imp. Points:

NCT – PM10 limit breached,
Bill – to penalize environmental damage,
Ambiguity – Only environmental damage, no criteria,
Improvement chances – diversify criteria and definition, Learning from best practices

Constitution Day, November 26

HRD Ministry has decided to engage schools in activities related to our constitution on November 26, with instructions have been issued to schools to read preamble of the constitution of India during school assembly.
Novermber 26th is being chosen as date for Constitution Day as it was on this day in 1950 when constitution was adopted in Constituent Assembly.

Imp. Points:

November 26 – In 1950 this day constitution was adopted in constituent assembly
HRD Ministry – instruction to read preamble during school assembly

AMRUT Action Plan

AMRUT is a modified JNNURM with full form Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. Recently, action plan under it for 81 cities across 5 states i.e. MP, TN, Jharkhand, Mizoram and Odisha has been prepared for betterment of basic infrastructure i.e. water supply and sewerage connections.
Salient Features:
a. It is basically to infrastructure betterment including water, sewerage connections, drains, green spaces, parks etc.
b. Budget allocation to states and UT’s based on achievement of reforms in previous year
c. States have the flexibility to design schemes according to the need of the areas, and it will be implemented across 500 location in India with population of one lakh plus.
d. For cities and towns with upto 10 lakh population central assistance is 50% and for towns with more than 10 lakh population assistance is 33% i.e. one-third.”

Imp. Points:

Modified JNNURM – infrastructure betterment – Budget allocation on previous year basis – Flexibility to states
Town < 10 lakh population - 50% central assitance and for >10 lakh 33%

Telangana’s First Mega Food Park

It is planned in Lakkampally and Chimrajpally village of Telangana, which will employ approximately 6,000 people and will benefit around 30,000 farmers.
Aim of Mega Food Parks:
a. Linking agricultural production to market by bringing farmers, processors and retailers together, thus maximizing value addition, decreasing wastage etc. by providing modern infrastructural support
a. Value addition to products and gicing better market linkages to farmers, hence giving them better profits
b. Generation of additional employment,
c. Increase in standards of products available in Indian market by improving quality and hygiene during value addition to food products
d. It will reduce supply chain cost, reduce post harvest losses and wastage across food value chain.

Imp. Points:

Telangana’s First Mega Food Park – Lakkampally and Chimrajpally village
Advantages – Linking of agriculture with market – value addition – employment – will benefit 30000 farmers – decrease in supply chain cost and losses

Cashless Economy

In India less than 5% payments are done electronically. India’s cash to GDP ratio is approximately 12.42% in 2014 compared to China’s China’s 9.47% and Brazil’s 4%, which means that India uses too much cash for transactions. In value terms India has approximately 76.47 billion currency notes in circulation in 2012-13.
In cashless economy most of the money transaction takes place electronically via IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer) and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), cards etc.
Advantages of Cashless Economy:
a. Chances of money laundering will decrease, direct transfer to accounts will increase efficiency and black money issue or corruption issue will decrease, transaction cost will also come down etc.
b. No need to carry cash money, money will be secure in their account, all the money will be registered with the government while transaction and chances of person asking for corruption will reduce.
a. Lack of skilled people and infrastructure to implement it, secondly most of the people in India are still not aware of it like in unorganized sector
b. So cash is accepted everywhere but it is not the same with cards and so making economy fully cashless is a hindrance
c. Sometimes payment gets failed but money deducted from the account which makes people prefer cash than cards etc.
With efforts like Jan Dhan Yojana, financial literacy campaign by taking help with NGO’s and banks, giving incentives for promoting culture of using cards, digital india initiative etc. can help India in moving forward in making it’s dream true of becoming a cashless economy.

Imp. Points:

India <5% - e-transactions Cash to GDP ratio - India : 12.42% (76.47 bn currency notes - 2012-13), China : 9.47%, Brazil - 4% IMPS, RTGS, NEFT - advantages many - hindrances

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