Daily Prelims Notes 22 July 2021
- July 22, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
22 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Privilege motion
- Call options
- Parliamentary Committees
- Commercial paper
- La Niña
- Primary market
- HC stays Arunachal’s entry permit notification
- U.K. wants new trade deal for N. Ireland
- Lightweight anti-tank missile tested by DRDO
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India Amendments
- India signed 26 pacts to fight drug menace
- National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) going to bebe renovated
- Gwalior and Orchha cities have been selected by UNESCO under ‘Historic Urban Landscape Project’
- Schemes to encourage cottage industries
- MSME Schemes
Context: The Opposition is planning a privilege motion against an answer in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State Bharati Pravin Pawar that no one has died because of non-availability of oxygen.
Privilege motion is concerned with the breach of parliamentary privileges by a minister.
Breach of Privileges
- Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.
- When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
- A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.
Role of the Speaker/Rajya Sabha (RS) Chair
- The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.
- The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament. If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under relevant rules, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.
Rules governing Privilege
- Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook governs privilege.
- Rules say that a member may, with the consent of the Speaker or the Chairperson, raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or a committee thereof.
- It is a Standing Committee. It examines the cases of breach of the privileges of the House and its members and recommends appropriate action.
- The Lok Sabha committee has 15 members, while the Rajya Sabha committee has 10 members.
Context: The selling of call options has reached a fever pitch hitting a new record this week, indicating low possibility of a sharp market crash. The pace of trading in index options is seen as a barometer of stock market sentiment.
Call options are financial contracts that give the option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy a stock, bond, commodity or other asset or instrument at a specified price within a specific time period. The stock, bond, or commodity is called the underlying asset. A call buyer profits when the underlying asset increases in price.
A call option may be contrasted with a put, which gives the holder the right to sell the underlying asset at a specified price on or before expiration.
- A call is an option contract giving the owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy a specified amount of an underlying security at a specified price within a specified time.
- The specified price is known as the strike price and the specified time during which a sale is made is its expiration or time to maturity.
- Call options may be purchased for speculation, or sold for income purposes. They may also be combined for use in spread or combination strategies.
Context: Amid Opposition’s demand for a judicial probe into the reports of tapping of phones of top politicians, Army officers, judges and journalists using the Pegasus spyware, a Parliamentary Standing Committee, headed by Shashi Tharoor, has decided to examine the matter.
Parliamentary Committee means a Committee which is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker and which works under the direction of the Speaker and presents its report to the House or to the Speaker and the Secretariat for which is provided by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds:
- Itare permanent and regular committees which are constituted from time to time in pursuance of the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
- The work of these Committees is of continuous nature.
- The Financial Committees, DRSCs and some other Committees come under the category of Standing Committees.
Ad hoc Committees
- They are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report.
- The principal Ad hoc Committees are the Select and Joint Committees on Bills. Railway Convention Committee, Joint Committee on Food Management in Parliament House Complex etc also come under the category of ad hoc Committees.
- The Constitution of India makes a mention of these committees at different places, but without making any specific provisions regarding their composition, tenure, functions, etc. All these matters are dealt by the rules of two Houses.
Accordingly, a parliamentary committee means a committee that:
- Is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker / Chairman
- Works under the direction of the Speaker / Chairman
- Presents its report to the House or to the Speaker / Chairman
- Has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha
- The introduction of 17 department-related standing committees (DRSCs) on March 31, 1993 was a significant innovation that increased parliamentary scrutiny and gave MPs a larger role in examining legislation and important decisions of the day.
- There are 24 DRSCs — 16 from Lok Sabha and 8 from Rajya Sabha. Each committee has 21 MPs from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.
- The role: Given the volume of legislative business and the time constraints it is not possible for MPs to discuss and scrutinise all bills in the House.
- Parliamentary committees, either formed for a specific bill (select committee) or permanent (standing committees that are reconstituted annually) allow for a scrutiny with the possibility of tapping subject experts from outside and other stakeholders in an environment where MPs are not bound by party positions or whips.
Context: Commercial paper issuance is picking up steam among Indian corporates and a growing number of domestic firms are turning towards these short-term debt instruments to meet their working capital needs even as riskaverse banks continue to sit on a huge liquidity.
- According to RBI data, the monthly fresh issuance of commercial papers (CP) jumped over 37 per cent year on-year to ₹1.71-lakh crore in June 2021
- Commercial paper is an unsecured form of promissory note that pays a fixed rate of interest. It is typically issued by large banks or corporations to cover short-term receivables and meet short-term financial obligations, such as funding for a new project.
- As with any other type of bond or debt instrument, the issuing entity offers the paper assuming that it will be in a position to pay both interest and principal by maturity. It is seldom used as a funding vehicle for longer-term obligations because other alternatives are better suited for that purpose.
- The commercial paper provides a convenient financing method because it allows issuers to avoid the hurdles and expense of applying for and securing continuous business loans, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not require securities that trade in the money market to be registered.
- It is usually offered at a discount with maturities that can range from one to 270 days, although most issues mature in one to six months.
Context: Global climate models suspect that the ‘neutral’ conditions (neither El Nino nor La Nina) in the Equatorial Pacific might give way to a return of La Nina conditions into the autumn and winter even as the annual monsoon in India, a known La Nina beneficiary, readies to cross the half-way stage
The neutral phase
- In the neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) trade winds blow east to west across the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, bringing warm moist air and warmer surface waters towards the western Pacific and keeping the central Pacific Ocean relatively cool.
- The thermocline is deeper in the west than the east.
- Warm sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific pump heat and moisture into the atmosphere above. In a process known as atmospheric convection, this warm air rises high into the atmosphere and, if the air is moist enough, causes towering cumulonimbus clouds and rain.
- This now-drier air then travels east before descending over the cooler eastern tropical Pacific. The pattern of air rising in the west and falling in the east with westward moving air at the surface is referred to as the Walker Circulation.
It is a weather pattern that can occur in the Pacific Ocean every few years. In a normal year, winds along the equator push warm water westward. Warm water at the surface of the ocean blows from South America to Indonesia.
- As the warm water moves west, cold water from the deep rises up to the surface. This cold water ends up on the coast of South America.
- In the winter of a La Niña year, these winds are much stronger than usual. This makes the water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator a few degrees colder than it usually is.
- Even this small change in the ocean’s temperature can affect weather all over the world.
- Rain clouds normally form over warm ocean water. La Niña blows all of this warm water to the western Pacific. This means that places like Indonesia and Australia can get much more rain than usual.
- However, the cold water in the eastern Pacific causes less rain clouds to form there. So, places like the southwestern United States can be much drier than usual.
- The 2020-2021 La Niña event has ended and neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) are now likely to prevail over the tropical Pacific in the next few months, said the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Weather Changes due to La Nina:
- The Horn of Africa and central Asia will see below average rainfall due to La Niña.
- East Africa is forecast to see drier-than-usual conditions, which together with the existing impacts of the desert locust invasion, may add to regional food insecurity.
- It could also lead to increased rainfall in southern Africa.
- It could also affect the South West Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone season, reducing the intensity.
- Southeast Asia, some Pacific Islands and the northern region of South America are expected to receive above-average rainfall.
- In India, La Niña means the country will receive more rainfall than normal, leading to floods.
Context: The floodgates for primary market issuances are now open in GIFT City with the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) coming out with a comprehensive listing framework that will enable Indian and foreign issuers to issue and list securities on GIFT IFSC platform.
A primary market is a source of new securities. Often on an exchange, it’s where companies, governments, and other groups go to obtain financing through debt-based or equity-based securities.
- Primary markets are facilitated by underwriting groups consisting of investment banks that set a beginning price range for a given security and oversee its sale to investors.
- Once the initial sale is complete, further trading is conducted on the secondary market, where the bulk of exchange trading occurs each day.
- In the primary market, new stocks and bonds are sold to the public for the first time.
- In a primary market, investors are able to purchase securities directly from the issuer.
- Types of primary market issues include an initial public offering (IPO), a private placement, a rights issue, and a preferred allotment.
- Stock exchanges instead represent secondary markets, where investors buy and sell from one another.
- After they’ve been issued on the primary market, securities are traded between investors on what is called the secondary market—essentially, the familiar stock exchanges.
Initial Public Offering
- IPO is the selling of securities to the public in the primary market.
- Primary market deals with new securities being issued for the first time. It is also known as the new issues market.
- It is different from secondary market where existing securities are bought and sold. It is also known as the stock market or stock exchange.
- It is when an unlisted company makes either a fresh issue of securities or an offer for sale of its existing securities or both for the first time to the public.
- Unlisted companies are companies that are not listed on the stock exchange.
- It is generally used by new and medium-sized firms that are looking for funds to grow and expand their business.
Subject: International Organisations
Context: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has flagged safety concerns in dried oregano product imported by Keya Foods
- The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) is a global network of national food safety authorities, managed jointly by FAO and WHO with the secretariat in WHO.
- INFOSAN is a key element of FAO’s Emergency Prevention Programme on Food Safety (EMPRES Food Safety) to exchange information pertaining to food safety with member states Who are
- Each country designates one INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point and one or more INFOSAN Focal Point(s). Membership is restricted to government authorities responsible for national food safety.
INFOSAN aims to:
- Promote the rapid exchange of information during food safety related events
- Share information on important food safety related issues of global interest
- Promote partnerships and collaboration between countries, and between networks
- Help countries strengthen their capacity to manage food safety emergencies
- Monitor a variety of information sources to detect food safety events
- Assess and verify events in collaboration with network members
- Facilitate information gathering and dissemination for food safety events
- Share alerts on urgent issues
- In collaboration with FAO and WHO emergency operation teams, provide technical assistance upon request to respond to food safety emergencie
- Develop guidance and training tools related to food safety emergency management and international reporting
- Link INFOSAN outputs and recommendations with long-term capacity building activities conducted by FAO and WHO
- INFOSAN is a key element of FAO’s Emergency Prevention Programme on Food Safety (EMPRES Food Safety) to exchange information pertaining to food safety with member states Who are
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: On Sunday Nirmala Sitharaman the finance minister has announced the PM eVIDYA program for students. This program is announced for the top 100 universities of the country and for schools also.
PM eVidya is a unique and innovative venture by the Ministry of Education, Government of India to facilitate multi-mode access to digital/online teaching-learning contents of various types among students and teachers.
The uniqueness of the PM e-Vidya lies with its comprehensive accessibility for all as it caters the education content to all with its multi-mode set-up of remote learning platforms including internet, radio, community radio, podcast, and TV.
Major initiatives of PM eVidya is
- DIKSHA (one nation, one digital platform)is the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content for school education in states/UTs and QR coded Energized Textbooks for all gradesare available on it.
- One earmarked SwayamPrabha TV channel per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel).
- Extensive use of Radio, Community radio and CBSE Podcast- Shiksha Vani.
- Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube.
Subject : Governance
Context :Arunachal Pradesh had recently issued a notification allowing temporary entry permits for “developmental works in public and private sectors” only to those vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The Itanagar Bench of the Gauhati High Court has stayed the Arunachal Pradesh government’s notification mandating vaccination for temporary entry permits.
- The bench held that the notification classifying people into vaccinated and unvaccinated for the purpose of issuance of temporary permits violates Articles 14, 19 (1) (d) and 21 of the Constitution of India.
- Article 14 deals with equality before law. As per the article, the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. It prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
- Article 19(1)(d) notes that all citizens shall have the right to move freely throughout the territory of India.
- Article 21 of the Constitution of India states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedures established by law.
- The bench noted that there is no evidence available in the public domain that COVID-19 vaccinated persons cannot be infected with the COVID-19 virus, or he/she cannot be a carrier of COVID-19 virus and consequently a spreader of the COVID-19 virus.
Inner Line Permit:
- Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the concerned state government to allow the inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram are protected by the Inner Line, and lately, Manipur was added. The concept originates from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873.
- The document is an effort by the government to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
Subject : International Relations
Context : After rioting and business disruption hit the province of Northern Ireland, the U.K. has demanded the European Union to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol – post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Protocol:
- The protocol aimed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which remains part of the EU, by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market.
- The Northern Ireland Protocol requires checks on goods arriving from mainland Britain. Many pro-U.K. supporters see it as creating a de facto border in the Irish Sea with mainland Britain.
- Faced with all the new bureaucracy, some British companies have stopped supplying stores in Northern Ireland, saying they simply can’t handle the added paperwork now needed.
- The EU has rejected the offer and ruled out any renegotiation. It has instead offered to seek creative solutions, within the framework of the Protocol.
Subject : Defence
Context : A new generation of Akash surface-to-air missile and indigenously developed Anti-Tank Missiles were successfully flight-tested by the DRDO from an integrated test range off the Odisha coast.
- Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited.
- The new variant of the Akash missile (Akash-NG) has a slightly better range compared to the original version that can strike targets at a distance of around 25 km. This will help boost the air defence capabilities of the IAF.
Anti Tank missile:
- The MPATGM, or Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile, is an Indian third-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile derived from Nag ATGM.
- It has been indigenously developed.
- The man-portable missile is launched using a tripod is designed for a maximum range of 2.5 km with a launch weight of less than 15 Kg.
Subject : National Organisations
Context : Recently, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2016.
- A corporate debtor (CD) may have changed its name or registered office address prior to commencement of insolvency.
- The amendment requires an insolvency professional (IP) conducting CIRP to disclose all former names and registered office address(es) so changed in the two years preceding the commencement of insolvency along with the current name and registered office address of the CD.
- The interim resolution professional (IRP) or resolution professional (RP) may appoint any professional, including registered valuers, to assist him in discharge of his duties in conduct of the CIRP.
- The amendment provides that the IRP/RP may appoint a professional, other than registered valuers, if he is of the opinion that the services of such professional are required and such services are not available with the CD.
- The RP is duty bound to find out if a CD has been subject to avoidance transactions, namely, preferential transactions, undervalued transactions, extortionate credit transactions, fraudulent trading and wrongful trading, and file applications with the Adjudicating Authority seeking appropriate relief.
- The amendment requires the RP to file Form CIRP 8 on the electronic platform of the Board, intimating details of his opinion and determination in respect of avoidance transactions.
Subject : Governance / IR
Context :Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reply in the Lok Sabha on the measures taken to combat drug trafficking in India.
Efforts taken by India to curb drug menance
- India is a signatory to the UN Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 which prescribe various forms of control aimed to achieve the dual objective of limiting the use of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes as well as preventing the abuse of the same.
- India has signed 26 bilateral pacts, 15 memoranda of understanding and two agreements on security cooperation with different countries for combating illicit trafficking of narcotics, drugs, psychotropic substances and even their chemical precursors.
- The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been coordinating with various international organisations for sharing information and intelligence on transnational drug trafficking.
- The basic legislative instrument in this regard is the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
- For better coordination among various Central and State agencies, the Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) mechanism was set up. The NCORD system has been further extended into a four-tier scheme up to the district level for better coordination. This has ensured more effective drug law enforcement.
- A Joint Coordination Committee was set up to monitor the investigation into cases involving large seizures.
- The MHA has launched an e-portal called ‘SIMS’ (Seizure Information Management System) for digitisation of pan-India drug seizure data.
Subject : National organisations
Context : Union Culture Minister said the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here would be renovated and reorganised as a part of the commemoration of the 75th Independence Day next year.
- The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is the premier art gallery which aims to acquire and preserve works of modern art from 1850s onward.
- It is run and administered as a subordinate office to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
- Its collection includes works by artists such as Thomas Daniell, Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil as well as foreign artists.
- The main museum in New Delhi was established in 1954 by the Government of India, with subsequent branches at Mumbai and Bangalore.
Subject : Culture
Context : In Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior and Orchha cities have been selected by UNESCO under ‘Historic Urban Landscape Project’, which was started in the year 2011, for the inclusive and well-planned development of fast-growing historical cities while preserving the culture and heritage.
- Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan virtually launched UNESCO’s ‘Historic Urban Landscape’ project for Gwalior and Orchha cities of the state through video conferencing.
- Six cities of South Asia, including Ajmer and Varanasi in India are already involved in this project.
- Orchha and Gwalior have been included as the 7th and 8th cities.
- The cities will be jointly developed by UNESCO, Government of India and Madhya Pradesh by focusing on their historical and cultural improvement.
- This project will help MP tourism get a new dimension. Additional employment opportunities will also be created along with the development of tourism.
Small farmers are being encouraged to set up cottage industries to increase their income through the following schemes/programmes:
i. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)is a major credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans (primarily small farmers) and rural/urban unemployed youth. The major verticals in the cottage industries where the small farmers are setting up micro enterprises under PMEGP are as follows:
- Agro Based & Food Processing Industry
- Forest Based Industry
- Handmade Paper and Fibre Industry
ii. Ministry is implementing Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI). The focus of the scheme is to organize traditional industries and artisans/small farmers into clusters and provide them with sustainable employment by making their products competitive through value addition.
iii. Ministry also implements GramodyogVikasYojana focussing on development of Village based industries. Two major components of the scheme are as follows:
- Honey Mission (Beekeeping Programme): To supplement the income of farmers, Adivasies and unemployed youth of the country, KVIC launched Honey Mission during 2017 – 18 providing farmers with 10 bee boxes with live bee hives
- KumbharSashaktikaran Programme (Mineral Based Industry): Under the programme, for up-liftment of the small farmer/rural potters’ livelihood, skill up-gradation training and new home scale energy efficient equipments like electric pottery wheels, blunger, pug mill, kiln etc. are provided for producing quality products.
A number of schemes are being implemented by Ministry of MSME for MSMEs including
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)
- Credit Linked Capital Subsidy for Technology Upgradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS)
- Schemes for Khadi& Village Industries and Coir, International Cooperation Scheme
- Procurement and Marketing Support Scheme, Scheme for Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises
- National SC/ST Hub