Daily Prelims Notes 10 June 2020
- June 11, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Role of HC and SC in protection of FR
- QS Rank and Institution of Eminence
- WHO clarifies on asymptomatic patients
- Monsoon session of Parliament: A hybrid session
- Why Indian forex reserve rising?
- Consolidation and Strategic sale of PSUs and New PSE policy
- FDI from Cayman Island (Tax Haven and Rountripping)
- Social Vaccine
Supreme Court ordered states and Union Territories to complete the process of sending migrants back to their home states within 15 days.
- Migrants are one of the hardest hit groups in COVID pandemic. Many of them without access to food, transport walked to their homes.
- Having refused several times earlier to intervene on the issue of migrant labourers, the Supreme Court asked states to consider withdrawing cases registered against the migrants for trying to walk to their homes flouting lockdown rules, and urged states and UTs to work on the next stage of attending to their needs
- As the protector and guardian of fundamental rights, from the very beginning the Supreme Court has adopted the stance that it acts as the sentinel in relation to fundamental rights and has stressed this role in several cases.
- The Constitution underlines this role of the court through article 32(1), which reads: The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this article.
- The Constitution-makers made the right of a citizen to move the Supreme Court under article 32, and claim an appropriate writ against the unconstitutional infringement of his fundamental rights, itself a fundamental right.
- However, the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is not exclusive.The high courts are also empowered to issue writs for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights under Article 226.
- Similarly Article 13 provides shield to fundamental rights by declaring that all laws, which are inconsistent with or in derogation of any of the Fundamental Rights, shall be void to the extent of their inconsistency. It imposes an obligation on the State to respect and implement the Fundamental Rights and provides the Judicial Review power.
Subject: Scheme/ Social sector
Most of India’s top higher education institutions including at least 10 Institution of Eminences (IoE) have slipped in the latest edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR) released recently.
- Overall, 21 Indian universities and institutes have found a place this year among the world’s top 1,000. But last year it was 25.
- The ranking agency attributed the “regressive performance” of Indian institutions to low levels of internationalization and faculty-student ratio.
- While no Indian institution is among the world’s top 100, there are, however, 26 Asian universities that have made it. Of them, Mainland China and South Korea have six each, Hong Kong and Japan have five each, Singapore has two universities and Malaysia and Taiwan have one each.
Institution of Eminence
- Institutions of Eminence scheme has been launched in order to implement the commitment of the Government to empower the Higher Educational Institutions and to help them become world class teaching and research institutions, as announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in his budget speech of 2016.
- Ten public and ten private institutions are to be identified to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions. This will enhance affordable access to high quality education for ordinary Indians.
- Every institute which has been accorded the status of Institute of Eminence will enjoy benefits which include additional funding, autonomy in recruitment, assessment patterns The detailed benefits have been listed out below:
- Government Institutions to get additional funding upto 1000 Cr.
- The selected Institutions under IoE shall have complete academic and administrative autonomy. The Institutions of Eminence will have complete financial autonomy to spend the resources raised and allocated, subject to general conditions & restrictions of the Statutes and GFR.
- Academic collaborations with foreign higher educational institutions (in top 500) would be exempt from government approvals.
- Freedom to hire personnel from industry, etc, as faculty who are experts in their areas but may not have the requisite higher academic qualifications.
- Freedom to recruit faculty from outside India (limit of 25% of its faculty strength for public institution).
- Freedom to offer courses within a program as well as to offer degrees in newer areas, including inter-disciplinary ones, after approval of its Governing Council and conforming to the minimum prevailing standards.
- Students enrolment capacity to be 10,000 in 15 years. (Lower figure permitted with justification)
- Faculty Student Ratio should be 1:20 at the time of Notification and should increase to 1:10 in five years.
Subject: Science and tech/IR
World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier said that transmission of Covid-19 from asymptomatic carriers is “very rare”, and then clarified that modelling studies have put the extent of asymptomatic transmission to about 40%
- Asymptomatic spread is the transmission of the virus by people who do not have symptoms and will never get symptoms from their infection.
- They are also called as “silent spreaders” — people who have no idea they are infected.
Parliament is going to have hybrid monsoon session where some members being physically present in the House while others attending on a virtual platform
- After assessing the physical and digital infrastructure for the options to conduct Parliament sessions amid the pandemic, it was found that chambers face space constraint, given the physical distancing norms, and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that provides cyber infrastructure for the Indian government cannot enable capacity for virtual participation of all members.
- However, any change in the rules of conducting the session would require a motion to be carried in both Houses of Parliament.
Rules of Lok Sabha
- The Constituent Assembly (Legislative) Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in force immediately before the commencement of the Constitution of India were modified and adopted by the Speaker of Lok Sabha in exercise of the powers conferred on the Speaker by article 118(2) of the Constitution and published under the title “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House of the People” in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated the 17th April, 1952.
- Those Rules were amended by the Speaker from time to time on the recommendations of the Rules Committee of the House until September, 1954.
- In September, 1954, Rules Committee decided that their recommendations should be approved by the House before amendments were given effect to. Consequently, the procedure for amendment of the rules as given in rule 306 of the Fourth Edition (Rule 331 of the Present Edition) came into force with effect from the 15th October, 1954.
India’s foreign exchange reserves hit an all-time high of $493.48 billion for the week ended May 29, according to the RBI data
- The Forex Reserves (‘foreign exchange reserves’) of an economy is its ‘foreign currency assets’ added with its gold reserves, SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve Tranche in the IMF.
- The RBI Act, 1934 provides the overarching legal framework for deployment of reserves in different foreign currency assets and gold.
- Of total foreign currency assets in forex, 64 per cent is held in the securities like Treasury bills of foreign countries, 28 per cent is deposited in foreign central banks and 7.4 per cent is also deposited in commercial banks abroad, according to the RBI data.
- India also held 653.01 tonnes of gold as of March 2020, which are held overseas in safe custody with the Bank of England and the Bank for International Settlements as well as in domestic
Need for forex:
- The International Monetary Fund says official foreign exchange reserves are held in support of a range of objectives like supporting and maintaining confidence in the policies for monetary and exchange rate management including the capacity to intervene in support of the national or union currency. It will also limit external vulnerability by maintaining foreign currency liquidity to absorb shocks during times of crisis or when access to borrowing is curtailed.
Reason for spike
- Rise in forex reserves is the rise in investment in foreign portfolio investors in Indian stocks and foreign direct investments (FDIs).
- Foreign investors had acquired stakes in several Indian companies in the last two months. After pulling out Rs 60,000 crore each from debt and equity segments in March, Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs), who expect a turnaround in the economy later this financial year, have now returned to the Indian markets and bought stocks worth over $2.75 billion in the first week of June.
- Fall in crude oil prices has brought down the oil import bill, saving the precious foreign exchange.
- Overseas remittances and foreign travels have fallen steeply.
Government is looking for second “generation reform” that is necessary to give a structural push to growth by consolidating and privatizing CPSEs.
- Finance Minister said a new coherent PSE policy will be announced, opening all sectors to private players with public sector enterprises (PSEs) playing an important role in defined areas.
- The policy on Public Sector Enterprises will make it very clear, strategic sector and non-strategic sectors.
- In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed. To minimize wasteful administrative costs, number of enterprises in strategic sectors will ordinarily be only one to four; others will be privatized or merged or brought under holding companies.
- The policy on PSEs is being prepared in consultation with NITI Aayog. NITI Aayog has earlier finalised a list of government companies and their individual assets for strategic sale.
- Currently, there is no clear definition of strategic sector.
- According to department of public enterprises document, strategic areas include arms & ammunition and the allied items of defence equipments, defence aircrafts and warships; atomic energy (except in the areas related to the operation of nuclear power and applications of radiation and radio-isotopes to agriculture, medicine and non-strategic industries); and railway transport.
- Disinvestment of government stakes in companies have become a major source of non-tax revenue in recent years with collections of Rs 1 lakh crore in FY18, Rs 85,000 crore in FY19 and Rs 50,300 crore in FY20. With market conditions not conducive, the Centre might nearly halve the disinvestment revenue target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore for FY21.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Cayman Islands has emerged as the fifth largest investor in India, with foreign direct investment from the nation increasing over three-fold to USD 3.7 billion in 2019-20
- India had received FDI worth USD one billion in 2018-19 and USD 1.23 billion in 2017-18 from Cayman Islands, which is UK Overseas Territory.
- Similarly, FDI from Cyprus too increased by about three-times to USD 879 million in the last financial year.
- Cayman Islands has become one of the most preferred jurisdictions for routing investments due to the absence of direct taxes costs.
- Additionally, this new trend caused wary among regulators as investments from tax havens do carry a comparatively higher perceived risk of laundered money, round tripping issues etc
- A tax haven is generally an offshore country that offers foreign individuals and businesses little or no tax liability in a politically and economically static environment.
- Tax havens also share limited or no financial information with foreign tax authorities.
- Tax havens do not typically require residency or business presence for individuals and businesses to benefit from their tax policies.
- In the context of black money, it leaves the country through various channels such as inflated invoices, payments to shell companies overseas, the hawala route and so on.
- After cooling its heels overseas for a while, this money returns in a freshly laundered form; thus completing a round-trip.
- This route is far from simple or straightforward. Those indulging in this game are past masters who make the money flow through multiple layers consisting of many entities and companies.
- The money could be returned by investment in offshore funds that in turn invest in Indian assets. The Global Depository Receipts (GDR) and Participatory Notes (P-Notes) are some of the other routes that have been used in the past.
Subject: Science and tech
The Union Health Minister has said “social vaccines” are available solution to fight the pandemic (Covid-19).
- A social vaccine is a metaphor for a series of social and behavioural measures like social distancing, wearing masks that governments can use to raise public consciousness about unhealthy situations through social mobilization.
- Social mobilization can empower populations to resist unhealthy practices, increase resilience, and foster advocacy for change.
- When applied to pandemics, the effectiveness of a social vaccine is determined by the extent of dissemination and uptake of accurate information about personal infection risk and methods to reduce the risk through consistent core messages disseminated through a variety of means.