Daily Prelims Notes 10 December 2021
- December 10, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
10 December 2021
Table of Contents
- Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF)
- Global Health Security Index 2021
- Judicial review of Speaker’s decision
- WTO TRIPS
- World Gold Council (WGC)
- Retail Inflation
- Algorithmic trading
- Non-Convertible Debentures
- Collective Strength Initiative
- Scheduled Status of a Bank
- Inter Creditor Agreement
- Gig Worker
- Crypto as Securities of Special Class
- No line of succession for CDS
- “Challenge” Feature Length Film
- Bird Flu
- Cyclones in Arabian Sea
- Institution of National Importance
- Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019
Subject – Governance
Context – No coercive action against digital media without our approval, says Madras HC
- The Madras High Court asked the central government not to take any coercive action against digital media companies that are members of Indian Broadcasters and Digital Media Foundation, under key provisions of the new IT Rules, 2021, without seeking its permission.
About Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF)
- IBDF is a unified representative body of the television broadcasters in India.
- The organisation was founded in the year 1999. Over 250 Indian television channels are associated with it.
- Recently, in May, 2021, The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the apex body of broadcasters, was expanded to cover digital streaming platforms and renamed as the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF).
- The move brought the broadcasters and OTT (over-the-top) platforms, which had seen a substantial jump in their viewership base after the pandemic, under one roof.
- IBDF also formed a self-regulatory body named as Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC) for digital OTT platforms.
- DMCRC is a second-tier mechanism at the appellate level and is similar to Broadcast Content Complaint Council (BCCC), which IBF had implemented for the linear broadcasting sector way back in 2011.
- The IBDF is the parent organisation of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) which was set up in the year 2011. The BCCC examines content-related complaints relating to all non-news general entertainment channels in India.
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
- Social media intermediaries, with registered users in India above a notified threshold, have been classified as significant social media intermediaries (SSMIs).
- SSMIs are required to observe certain additional due diligence such as appointing certain personnel for compliance, enabling identification of the first originator of the information on its platform under certain conditions, and deploying technology-based measures on a best-effort basis to identify certain types of content.
- The Rules prescribe a framework for the regulation of content by online publishers of news and current affairs content, and curated audio-visual content.
- All intermediaries are required to provide a grievance redressal mechanism for resolving complaints from users or victims. A three-tier grievance redressal mechanism with varying levels of self-regulation has been prescribed for publishers.
Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA)
- It is a13-member collective of the country’s biggest news media companies.
- DNPA is an organisation of the digital arms of leading media companies of the country, representing both print and television entities.
- Formed in 2018, the DNPA includes: IE Online Media Services of The Indian Express Group, ABP Network, Amar Ujala, DainikBhaskar Corp, Express Network, HT Digital Streams, Jagran Prakashan, Lokmat Media, NDTV Convergence, TV Today Network, The Malayala Manorama, Times Internet Limited and Ushodaya Enterprises.
Subject – Governance
Context – World unprepared for future pandemics: Global Health Security Index 2021
- The Global Health Security Index is an assessment of global health security capabilities in 195 countries prepared by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
- The world remains unprepared for future epidemic and pandemic threats. Countries across all income levels remain dangerously unprepared to meet future epidemic and pandemic threats, according to the new 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index released December 8, 2021.
- The world’s overall performance on the GHS Index score slipped to 38.9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019.
- In South Asia, India, with a score of 42.8 (out of 100) too, has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019.
- In 2021, no country scored in the top tier of rankings and no country scored above 75.9, the report showed.
- It has assessed countries across six categories, 37 indicators and 171 questions, using instantly available information.
The six categories are –
Subject – Polity
Context – Supreme Court sets aside Manipur Speaker’s order disqualifying three MLAs for defection
- Constitutional courts cannot judicially review disqualification proceedings under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) of the Constitution until the Speaker or Chairman makes a final decision on merits.
- A 28-year-old judgment of the Supreme Court in the Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu and Others has said that “judicial review cannot be available at a stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speaker/Chairman and a quiatimet action would not be permissible. Nor would interference be permissible at an interlocutory stage of the proceedings.”
- “The only exception for any interlocutory interference being cases of interlocutory disqualifications or suspensions which may have grave, immediate and irreversible repercussions and consequence.”
- Conditions for judicial review: The February 1992 judgment had said that even the scope of judicial review against an order of a Speaker or Chairman in anti-defection proceedings would be confined to jurisdictional errors, that is, “infirmities based on violation of constitutional mandate, mala fides, non-compliance with rules of natural justice and perversity.”
- The Constitution Bench had upheld the anti-defection law.
- The reason for limiting the role of courts in ongoing defection proceedings is that the “office of the Speaker is held in the highest respect and esteem in parliamentary traditions.”
- But the Speaker’s decision was subject to judicial review as he acted as a tribunal while deciding cases under the anti-defection law.
- The Speaker of the House does not have the power to review his own decisions to disqualify a candidate.
- Ignoring a petition for disqualification is not merely an irregularity but a violation of constitutional duties.
To know about Anti-Defection law, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – IR
Context – PepsiCo Controversy: Globally, India Has Always Refused to Give in on IPR on Plant Varieties
- India is a member of multilateral trade rules, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), since 1995.
- One of the WTO agreements, namely the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), introduced the idea of intellectual property rights (IPR) on life forms as a global minimum standard.
- It was due to the push of the seed, pharma and biotech corporations that the TRIPS Agreement was put in the WTO.
- The move had no social backing in India, particularly from farmers.
- While the TRIPS Agreement still came to be, we chose to opt out of patents on plants, using Article 27(3)(b) of TRIPS that allows WTO members to exclude plants from patentability.
- Section 3(j) of the Indian Patents Act makes it clear that plants, including seeds, varieties and species, and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants are not inventions.
- India therefore does not subscribe to patents on plants and provides for IPR through plant variety protection (PVP) instead. That is the point of genesis of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, which is an IPR law.
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is the international law that recognises farmers’ contributions in PGR for food and farming.
- The treaty entered into force in 2004.
- It has specific provisions on Farmers’ Rights in Article 9.
- India is a member of the seed treaty and has provided for farmers’ rights in its domestic legislation.
- The Registrar General of the PPV&FR Authority is a co-chair of the Technical Expert Group set up under the treaty to give guidance to member countries on how to effectively implement farmers’ rights.
- The Registrar General is also the registrar in charge of farmer rights in the country.
- Pushed by its Human Rights Council, in December 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
- This was the result of a 17-year-long process, initiated by the international peasant movement La via Campesina, supported by numerous social movements and allied organisations.
- Article 19 of the declaration is dedicated to farmers’ seed rights. This includes the right to save, use, exchange and sell their farm-saved seed or propagating material.
- Under the declaration, states have to ensure that seed policies, plant variety protection and other intellectual property laws, respect and take into account the rights, needs and realities of smallholder farmers.
- The Indian government voted for this declaration.
Treaty on Transnational Corporation (TNC’s)
- This alliance for a binding treaty on Transnational Corporation (TNC’s) gathers global networks and alliances, which collectively represent more than 500 groups world-wide who are determined to stop corporate human rights violations.
- In 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution “to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.”
- The Indian delegation, which includes the Ministry for Corporate Affairs, has studied the zero draft in detail and is of the opinion that thorough and detailed deliberations on various elements of the draft are required.
- Nonetheless, it has expressed commitment to the negotiations.
To know about Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Authority, please refer December 2021 DPN.
Subject – IR
Context – Imports made up 86% of gold supply in 2016-20, says WGC
- The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry.
- Its purpose is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold, provide industry leadership, and be the global authority on the gold market.
- It is a non-profit association of the world’s leading gold producers.
- Headquartered in London, the WGC covers the markets which comprise about three-quarters of the world’s annual gold consumption.
- It is a market development organization for the gold industry which includes 25 members and many gold mining companies as well.
Subject – Economy
Context – ‘India’s retail inflation likely accelerated in Nov. to 5.1%’
- The change in the consumer price index over a period of time is referred to as CPI-based inflation, or retail inflation.
- The CPI is an index measuring retail inflation in the economy by collecting the change in prices of most common goods and services used by consumers.
- The CPI is calculated for a fixed list of items including food, housing, apparel, transportation, electronics, medical care, education, etc.
- The CPI specifically identifies periods of deflation or inflation for consumers in their day-to-day living expenses.
The CPI is used as a:
- Macroeconomic indicator of inflation;
- Tool by the central bank and government for inflation targeting and for inspecting price stability; and
- Deflator in the national accounts.
Consumer Price Index in India
- In India, there are four consumer price index numbers, which are calculated, and these are as follows:
- CPI for Industrial Workers (IW)
- CPI for Agricultural Labourers (AL)
- CPI for Rural Labourers (RL) and
- CPI for Urban Non-Manual Employees (UNME)
- The Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation collects CPI (UNME) data and compiles it but the remaining three are collected by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour.
Subject – Economy
Context – SEBI mulls norms to regulate algo trading by retail investors
- Algorithmic trading (also called automated trading, black-box trading, or algo-trading) uses a computer program that follows a defined set of instructions (an algorithm) to place a trade.
- The trade, in theory, can generate profits at a speed and frequency that is impossible for a human trader.
- The defined sets of instructions are based on timing, price, quantity, or any mathematical model.
- Apart from profit opportunities for the trader, algo-trading renders markets more liquid and trading more systematic by ruling out the impact of human emotions on trading activities.
Algorithmic trading in India
- Algorithmic trading was introduced and allowed in India in 2008 by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
- Initially, it started with Direct Market Access (DMA) and was restricted to institutional investors only, but due to the cost advantage and better execution, the trading community welcomed it with open arms.
Benefits of Algorithmic Trading
- Trades are executed at the best possible prices.
- Trade order placement is instant and accurate (there is a high chance of execution at the desired levels).
- Trades are timed correctly and instantly to avoid significant price changes.
- Reduced transaction costs.
- Simultaneous automated checks on multiple market conditions.
- Reduced risk of manual errors when placing trades.
- Algo-trading can be back tested using available historical and real-time data to see if it is a viable trading strategy.
- Reduced the possibility of mistakes by human traders based on emotional and psychological factors.
Subject – Economy
Context – Several companies, including IIFL Home Finance, India bulls Housing Finance and Edelweiss Financial Services, have announced public issues to raise funds through non-convertible debentures, offering interest rates between 8.25–9.7%.
- Debentures are long-term financial instruments which acknowledge a debt obligation towards the issuer.
- Some debentures have a feature of convertibility into shares after a certain point of time at the discretion of the owner.
- The debentures which can’t be converted into shares or equities are called non-convertible debentures (or NCDs).
- Non-convertible debentures are used as tools to raise long-term funds by companies through a public issue.
- To compensate for this drawback of non-convertibility, lenders are usually given a higher rate of return compared to convertible debentures.
- Besides, NCDs offer various other benefits to the owner such as high liquidity through stock market listing, tax exemptions at source and safety since they can be issued by companies which have a good credit rating as specified in the norms laid down by RBI for the issue of NCDs.
- In India, usually these have to be issued of a minimum maturity of 90 days.
- The major players in the NCD market are housing finance companies, gold loan companies and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) which found it a good avenue for funds with the decline in interest rates in the system.
- Apart from retail investors, banks, mutual funds and insurance companies also invest in NCDs.
Types of debentures
There are two types of NCDs-secured and unsecured.
- A secured NCD is backed by the assets of the company. If the company fails to pay the obligation, the investor holding the debenture can claim that through liquidation of those assets.
- Unsecure non-convertible debentures have no backing even if company defaults.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – 10 countries simulate cyberattack on global financial system
- Israel led a 10-country simulation of a major cyberattack on the global financial system in an attempt to increase cooperation that could help to minimize any potential damage to financial markets and banks.
- The simulated “war game”, as Israel’s Finance Ministry called it and planned over the past year, evolved over 10 days, with sensitive data emerging on the Dark Web.
- The simulation also used fake news reports that in the scenario caused chaos in global markets and a run on banks.
- Participants in the initiative, called “Collective Strength”, included treasury officials from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Thailand, as well as representatives from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements.
Subject – Economy
Context – Scheduled status to Paytm Payments Bank
- Paytm Payments Bank has been given the scheduled bank status by the Reserve Bank of India.
- According to the bank, it has been included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
- With the scheduled bank status, the bank can explore new business opportunities, including participation in government and other large corporations issued request for proposals, primary auctions, fixed-rate and variable rate repos, and reverse repos
- Scheduled banks are banks that are listed in the 2nd schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
- The bank’s paid-up capital and raised funds must be at least Rs5 lakh to qualify as a scheduled bank.
- Scheduled banks are liable for low-interest loans from the Reserve Bank of India and membership in clearinghouses.
- They must, however, meet certain requirements, such as maintaining an average daily CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) balance with the central bank at the rates set by it.
- The RBI allows Scheduled Banks to raise debts and loans at bank rates.
Scheduled banks consist of
- Scheduled commercial banks
- Scheduled cooperative banks
The scheduled commercial banks are divided into following categories:
- Public sector banks(which are further classified as nationalised banks and State Bank of India [SBI] banks);
- Private sector banks(which are further classified as old private sector banks and new private sector banks that emerged after 1991);
- Foreign banks in India; and,
- Regional rural banks(which operate exclusively in rural areas to provide credit and other facilities to small and marginal farmers, agricultural workers, artisans, and small entrepreneurs).
Subject – Economy
Context – RCF: Authum resolution plan gets debenture holders nod
- ICA is an agreement among banks that have dues from a borrower in stress. The pact mandates the lead bank to formulate a resolution plan that will be executed in a time bound manner.
- It was framed under the aegis of Indian banks association, following the recommendation of Sunil Mehta Committee on stressed assert resolution.
- Around 22 public sector banks (including India Post Payments Bank), 19 private lenders and 32 foreign banks signed the inter-creditor agreement (ICA) to fast track the resolution of stressed assets.
- Applicability – The ICA is applicable to all corporate borrowers who have availed loans for an amount of 50 crore or more under consortium lending / multiple banking arrangements.
- The agreement is part of the proposed Project Sashakt.
- “Sashakt” plan is approved by the government to address the problem of resolving bad loans.
- The objective is to use this ICA for faster facilitation of resolution of stressed assets.
Subject – Economy
Context – Europe takes on Uber, Deliveroo and other gig economy firms, workers to get employee rights
- Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers.
- A person who works temporary jobs typically in the service sector as an independent contractor or freelancer is a gig worker.
What is Gig Economy?
- A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements
- Examples of gig employees in the workforce could include freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers and temporary or part-time hires.
- Global Gig Economy Index report has ranked India among the top 10 countries.
- The report says there has been an increase in freelancers in India from 11% in 2018 to 52% in 2019, thanks to various initiatives including Startup India and Skill India.
Does new version of labour code offer any relief to Gig workers?
- The three new labour codes passed by Parliament recently acknowledge platform and gig workers as new occupational categories in the making
- Defining gig workers is done in a bid to keep India’s young workforce secure as it embraces ‘new kinds of work’, like delivery, in the digital economy.
- In the Code on Social Security, 2020, platform workers are now eligible for benefits like maternity benefits, life and disability cover, old age protection, provident fund, employment injury benefits, and so on.
Subject – Economy
Context – Treat crypto as securities of special class, says CII
- The term “security” refers to a fungible, negotiable financial instrument that holds some type of monetary value.
- It represents an ownership position in a publicly-traded corporation via stock; a creditor relationship with a governmental body or a corporation represented by owning that entity’s bond; or rights to ownership as represented by an option.
- Securities are tradable financial instruments used to raise capital in public and private markets.
- There are primarily three types of securities: equity—which provides ownership rights to holders; debt—essentially loans repaid with periodic payments; and hybrids—which combine aspects of debt and equity.
- Publicly traded securities are listed on stock exchanges, where issuers can seek security listings and attract investors by ensuring a liquid and regulated market in which to trade.
What are government securities?
- Government securities or G-Secs are essentially debt instruments issued by a government.
- These securities can be issued by both the central government and the state governments of India.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – No clear line of succession, CCS to decide on next CDS
- Unlike the structures for the military, where the second-in-command to every officer, whether in the field or as a service chief, officiates if the lead officer becomes indisposed, sources said there is no immediate line of succession envisaged for the CDS — although there is an unofficial Vice Chief of Defence Staff, who is a three-star officer.
- For example, if a serving chief of the Army, the Navy or the Air Force becomes incapable of holding his position, the Vice Chief of that force officiates as the chief until the government appoints a full-time chief. It does not necessarily have to be the Vice Chief, though.
- Sources said the appointment of the CDS/DMA Secretary is more akin to that of a secretary than that of a service chief. There is no deputy to the CDS, who would have automatically officiated in his role in his absence.
- CDS is a military officer, but is a bureaucrat like a secretary, which is why there is no direct “line of succession”. It is an appointment made by the political leadership. He is “not in active military service, but parts of bureaucracy related to the military, which were looked after by the civilian bureaucracy, was handed over to the DMA and the CDS as its secretary”.
- The CDS was the permanent head of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC), which includes the three service chiefs. Before the post of CDS was created, the senior-most service chief would be the chairman of CoSC.
- There is also the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), headed by a three-star officer from the services called Chairman IDS to the Chairman COSC (CISC), who enjoys the rank of a Vice Chief of a service. When the post of CDS was created, the CISC was expected to be made VCDS.
- Although the CISC does stand-in for the CDS if the latter is unavailable for ceremonial roles, this is not for executionary powers.
- For the three-star CISC, officiating over the CoSC with four-star officers can be an issue.
Cabinet Committee on Security
- The committee is responsible for debates, discussions and appointments of/in the national security bodies.
- Major decisions with respect to the significant appointments, issues of national security, defence expenditure of India are taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
- CCS is chaired by the Prime Minister of India.
- The following are the members of the CCS:
- Prime Minister
- Minister of Defence
- Minister of Home Affairs
- Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs
- Minister of External Affairs.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Billionaire Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa reached the International Space Station (ISS) for a 12-day trip, during which time he will complete 100 tasks in space, including playing a game of badminton.
- The Challenge or Doctor’s House Call is an upcoming Russian space drama film by KlimShipenko.
- It is the first feature-length fiction film shot in outer space.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Bird flu triggers alert in Alappuzha
- Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet birds and wild birds.
- Occasionally mammals, including humans, may contract avian influenza.
- Influenza A viruses are classified into subtypes based on two surface proteins, Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). For example, a virus that has an HA 7 protein and NA 9 protein is designated as subtype H7N9.
- Avian influenza virus subtypes include A(H5N1), A(H7N9), and A(H9N2).
- HPAI A(H5N1) virus occurs mainly in birds and is highly contagious among them.
- HPAI Asian H5N1 is especially deadly for poultry.
- Prevention: Strict biosecurity measures and good hygiene are essential in protecting against disease outbreaks.
- Eradication: If the infection is detected in animals, a policy of culling infected and contact animals is normally used in an effort to rapidly contain, control and eradicate the disease.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI):
- The two virus types identified so far in the outbreaks — H5N1 and H5N8come under the category of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), which is of major concern to those keeping birds, because it leads to disease and death of fowl and causes economic havoc. H5N1 is a known threat to humans as well
- Out of the three types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C), influenza A virus is a zoonotic infection with a natural reservoir almost entirely in birds. Avian influenza, for most purposes, refers to the influenza A virus.
- Though influenza A is adapted to birds, it can also stably adapt and sustain person-to-person transmission.
Mode of transmission:
- Avian influenza is most often spread by contact between infected and healthy birds, though can also be spread indirectly through contaminated equipment.
- The virus is found in secretions from the nostrils, mouth, and eyes of infected birds as well as their droppings.
- HPAI infection is spread to people often through direct contact with infected poultry, such as during slaughter or plucking.
Is this influenza airborne?
- Though the virus can spread through airborne secretions, the disease itself is not an airborne disease.
Human to human transmission:
- In its present form, human-to-human infection is not known — human infections have been reported only among people who have handled infected birds or carcasses.
Subject – Geography
Context – More cyclones in Arabian Sea recently, Minister tells RS
- The frequency of “very severe cyclonic storms” has increased in recent years over the Arabian Sea. However, this has not measurably increased the threat to India’s western coast, as most of these cyclones were making landfall in Oman and Yemen.
- A very severe cyclone is defined as one with wind speeds touching 220 kmph. It is the fourth highest category of cyclones, just below “extremely severe cyclones”.
Factors responsible for this –
- Surface temperatures in the Arabian Sea have increased rapidly during the past century due to global warming. Temp. Now is 1.2–1.4 °C higher than the temperature witnessed four decades ago. These warmer temperatures support active convection, heavy rainfall, and intense cyclones.
- The rising temperature is also enabling the Arabian Sea to supply ample energy for the intensification of cyclones.
- The Arabian Sea is also providing conducive wind shear for cyclones. For instance, a higher level easterly wind drove the depression of Cyclone Ockhi from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea.
- Greater occurrence of El Niño Modoki. It is a climate phenomenon that creates conditions that are not conducive for cyclogenesis in the Bay of Bengal. However, this condition is conducive for the formation of cyclones in the Arabian Sea.
To know about Tropical Cyclones, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – Governance
Context – The Rajya Sabha passed the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- An Institution of National Importance refers to an autonomous institute established under an Act, with the power to hold examinations, grant degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions or titles.
- These institutes of national importance receive funding from the central government.
Benefits of Institute of National Importance
- Functional autonomy to enhance efficiency, quality and accountability.
- Increased funding.
- Have a better quality of education imparted, and improved research facilities.
- Faster decision-making capabilities.
- Minimal interference from the political executive.
- Such institutions might be able to provide more scholarships to the students.
- They can also provide more sports facilities, seminars, etc.
The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- It seeks to amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998.
- The 1998 Act established the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Punjab and declared it as an Institution of National Importance.
- The Bill declares six additional National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research as Institutions of National Importance.
- These institutes are located in: (i) Ahmedabad, (ii) Hajipur, (iii) Hyderabad, (iv) Kolkata, (v) Guwahati, and (vi) Raebareli.
- The Bill provides for a Council to coordinate the activities among the institutes under the Bill to ensure development of pharmaceutical education and research and maintenance of standards.
Institutions of Eminence (IoEs)
- The institutes of eminence scheme under the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry aims to project Indian institutes to global recognition.
- The selected institutes will enjoy complete academic and administrative autonomy.
- The selection shall be made through challenge method mode by the Empowered Expert Committee constituted for the purpose.
- Grant: The public institutions under IOE tag will receive a government grant of 1,000 crore, while the private institutions will not get any funding under the scheme.
Subject – Governance
Context – Two years on, CAA rules not notified
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides various ways in which citizenship may be acquired. It provides for citizenship by birth, descent, registration, and naturalisation and by incorporation of the territory into India.
- In addition, it regulates the registration of Overseas Citizen of India Cardholders (OCIs) and their rights. An OCI is entitled to some benefits such as a multiple-entry, multipurpose lifelong visa to visit India.
Key Features of CAA
- Citizenship on the basis of religion: The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955, and for the first time, will grant citizenship on the basis of religion to non-Muslim communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
- Non – Muslim Communities Included: Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian. This implies that migrants, who identify themselves with any group or community other than those mentioned here, from the above mentioned countries won’t be eligible for citizenship.
- Exceptions: The provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to two categories – states protected by the ‘Inner Line’, and areas covered under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- Inner Line Permit (ILP): This is a special permit that citizens from other parts of India require to enter a state protected by the ILP regime. Without an ILP granted by the state government, an Indian from another state cannot visit a state that is under the ILP regime.
- Sixth Schedule: The Sixth Schedule relates to special provisions in administration of certain Northeastern states (Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura). It provides special powers for Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in these states.
Citizenship by Naturalization
- Under The Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, as well as for 11 of the previous 14 years.
- The amendment relaxes the second requirement from 11 years to 5 years as a specific condition for applicants belonging to the specified six religions, and the above mentioned three countries.
- Additional Ground for Cancelling Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Registration i.e. violation of any law notified by the central government.
- However, the Bill does not provide any guidance on the nature of laws which the central government may notify.