Daily Prelims Notes 27 July 2021
- July 27, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
27 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- The Advertisement Standards Council of India
- Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC).
- Collateral margin
- Definition of ‘Forest area’
- The Wasteland Atlas 2019
- Antiviral drug
- The National Commission for Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
- 6 policemen killed in Assam-Mizoram border row
- Microbes from human, animal excreta found above desirable limits in Yamuna
- An emigration Bill that does not go far enough
- Thane sanctuary proposed as MMR’s Ramsar site
- Puri becomes India’s first city to provide quality drinking tap water
- Special Mention
Subject: National Organisation
Context: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), was inundated with complaints about Covid-related claims in various advertisements.
According to its annual report, of the 332 ads with Covid-related claims that it picked up, only 12 were able to substantiate the claims.
The Advertisement Standards Council of India
- The Advertisement Standards Council of India (hereinafter, “ASCI”) was established in the year 1985 under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
- It has been defined as a “voluntary, self-regulatory council” which has been registered as a non-profit company.
- The ASCI team consists of a Board of Governors, members of the Consumer Complaints Council and a Secretariat.
- The Board of the ASCI consists of a governor and 16 members, which comprise of members of reputable firms including media agencies, advertisers and other individuals involved with the advertising business.
- It is important to note that the ASCI is not a government body and is not responsible for formulating rules for the general public.
- The Consumer Complaints Council is the body responsible for examining and investigating complaints from consumers and the public at large in relation to any contravention of the Code of Conduct of the News Broadcasting Associations and advertisement ethics.
- The ASCI has adopted a self-regulating code, in its commitment to further the interests of the consumers.
- The ASCI also invites complaints from consumers against any such unfair, untruthful and false claims and advertisements; all of such complaints are examined independently by the Consumer Complaints Council.
- ASCI picked up advertisements of several other categories such as paints, apparel, detergents, skin care, ACs, fans, water purifiers, plywood and laminates, supplements and food – all promising Covid-related benefits,
- It deals with complaints related to online real money gaming ads in Jan-March 2021 and released detailed guidelines for the sector
- It examines whether the advertisements are in violation of The Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.
Laws relating to unfair trade practices
- Anti-trust or competition law in India has provisions to protect the consumers against “unfair trade practices”. The Competition Act, 2002 prohibits the making of any representation to the public which is false or misleading in a “material respect”.
- An unfair trade practice means the practice of promoting sale, use or supply of any goods or services in a manner that involves an “unfair method” or “unfair deceptive practice”.
- Rule 7(9) of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 provides that “No advertisement which violates the standards of practice for advertising agencies as approved by the Advertising Agencies Association of India, Bombay, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service.
There can be said to be two categories of misleading advertisements.
- The first kind pertains to the violation of the consumer’s right to information and to choice. Such advertisements relate to non-health issues that can cause mental agony and, or financial loss to the consumer.
- The second kind of misleading advertisements include health and nutrition related claims, and they are a violation of the right to safety of the consumer and can cause prejudice to the health of consumers.
- Ministry of AYUSH issued a directive to clamp down on misleading ayurveda ads, and asked the ASCI to identify ads that violated its advisory.
- ASCI had issued advisory urging advertisers to fully substantiate their Covid-related claims through recognised testing facilities.
- It has implemented the influencer advertising guidelines, making it mandatory for influencers to label promotional content in their posts.
- In the year 2016, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting cast a mandate on all commercials and advertisements to follow the ASCI Code
Context: As part of its effort to rein inflation, the Finance Ministry on Monday cut to zero the import duty on masur dal. However, the lentil will attract 10 per cent Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC). The Centre cut the cess on all lentils to 10 per cent from 20 per cent as part of its effort to control the rising prices.
- Cess is a kind of special-purpose tax which is levied over and above basic tax rates. The AIDC was introduced in the Budget 2021
- The purpose of the new AIDC is to raise funds to finance spending on developing agriculture infrastructure. Due to low private investment in agriculture, the Centre now seeks to raise a dedicated fund to meet these expenses
- The new cess will be levied on 29 products, prominent among which are gold, silver, imported apple, imported alcohol (excluding beer), imported pulses, imported palm oil, imported urea, and petrol/diesel including branded ones
- The AIDC is proposed to be used to improve agricultural infrastructure aimed at not only boosting production but also in helping conserve and process farm output efficiently.
- A cess imposed by the central government is a tax on tax, levied by the government for a specific purpose. Generally, cess is expected to be levied till the time the government gets enough money for that purpose.
- For example, a cess for financing primary education – the education cess (which is imposed on all central government taxes) is to be spent only for financing primary education (SSA) and not for any other purposes.
- A cess is different from the usual taxes like excise duty and personal income tax as it is imposed as an additional tax besides the existing tax (tax on tax).
- For example, the education cess of 3% on personal income tax of 30% is imposed as a tax on the prevailing 30%. As a result, the total tax rate goes up to 30.9% (30% basic rate + 3% (cess) of the 30%).
- But some cess like the Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC) is imposed as percentage tax on total value. Here the SBC is 0.5% of the value of the services.
- Tax revenue from Cess are first credited to the CFI and the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament, utilise the money for the specified purposes.
- For example, the proceeds are kept as Central Road Fund (CRF) in the case of fuel cess (on petrol and diesel).
- Another major feature of cess like surcharges is that the Centre need not share it with states.
- At present, the main cess are: education cess, road cess or (fuel cess), infrastructure cess, clean energy cess, krishikalyancess and swachhbharatcess.
Power to levy Cess
- Articles 270 and 271 of the Constitution, gives power to the Centre to collect cess and deposits it in the Consolidated Fund of India. However, the money is then supposed to be transferred to a segregated fund to be used for specific purpose.
- The money collected through cess and surcharge are not part of the divisible pool, from which devolution of Central taxes takes place to the States
- The tax component in the final price will remain the same for most of the products.
- The consumer will not see any change in his/her bill and it is the duty of the importer and producer to make specific entry while filing tax/duty returns.
- It is States that need to worry as they may get less money in line with the devolution formula. This could affect some States’ specific welfare schemes
Context: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) came up with a fresh circular last week to strengthen the collateral margin reporting mechanism in the stock markets.
Collateral margin is the extra funds received for trading or investing by pledging securities held in clients demat account.
- The collateral amount is essentially a loan offered by a stockbroker against the shares held in client’s demat account. The collateral amount is also referred to as the collateral margin. It can help client increase trading limit by increasing the amount of funds available in trading account.
- When the client avail this service, client basically pledge the shares held in client’s demat account with stockbroker. The stockbroker, in turn, provides client with a loan by enhancing client’s trading limit instead of disbursing cash
- In exchange for providing this service, the broker usually charges a fixed percentage of interest.
- When client pledge the securities available in client’s demat account, they are held as collateral and are temporarily blocked. This prevents client’s from selling the securities till the margin availed by client’s is repaid to stockbroker in full. Upon repayment of the margin along with the accrued interest, the collateral held is released.
- Clients are then free to either sell or transfer the shares as per the needs. In case client unable to repay the collateral amount, the stockbroker is free to sell the pledged shares and recover the loan amount.
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) came up with a circular last week to strengthen the collateral margin reporting mechanism in the stock markets.
- According to it, Trading members, clearing members and clearing corporations now have to provide client-wise collateral information. The market intermediaries will need to report disaggregated information about client pledging through a web portal. This portal will have all the information on the value of securities pledged
- The facility is not restricted to shares and can be availed against mutual fund units, bonds, gold ETFs and fixed deposits
- According to SEBI’s new collateral margin reporting mechanism will come into effect on October 1, 2021,
Need for rules
- Reports of stock market investors losing access to the shares held in their demat account because their brokers had pledged their securities without their knowledge, to meet collateral requirements of other clients.
- It was common practise to hold client collateral in a shared pool which could be used at the broker’s discretion. Clients gave their brokers as power of attorney (POA) to deal with their demat on their behalf.
- The broker automatically appropriated shares of equivalent value from client’s demat account. But the rule implemented in September changed the mechanism so that the pledging process can only be initiated by client. Unless client avail of margin, the broker would simply say that the trade could not be executed because of insufficient margin.
- SEBI’s new rules have added more steps to the once seamless process of availing collateral margin,
- It gives client the control over the securities held demat account, cannot transfer them even if client have given a POA. This also prevents the potential misuse of securities by brokers through pooling of collateral.
- If client’s shares are pledged, these will also not move out of client’s demat account. Instead, they will be tagged as pledged so that they cannot be sold unless the pledge is released.
- The details of the pledged shares will be available in the web portal.
- This move aims to increase the transparency of the decision of SEBI where it put in place a mechanism for pledging of securities.
Context: Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change on Monday informed Rajya Sabha that the recorded forest area in the country is 7,67,419 sq km, as surveyed by the India State of Forest Report, 2019.
The recorded forest area in the country, 4,34,853sq km fall under the Reserved Forests category, 2,18,924 sq km under the Protected Forests category, and 1,13,642 sq km are of unclassed forests.
- The term ‘forest’ is yet to be defined by the Centre.
- “The word ‘forest’ is not defined in any Central Forest Act, namely the Indian Forest Act (1927), or the Forest Conservation Act (1980).
- Rights such as that of grazing of animals are often not recorded, and the local community does not need to be consulted if the land were to be reclassified as ‘forest’ and diverted by the forest department. This often leads to disputes between local communities and governments
The Indian Forest Act, 1927
- The Indian Forest Act,1927 aimed to regulate the movement of forest produce, and duty leviable forest produce. It also explains the procedure to be followed for declaring an area as Reserved Forest, Protected Forest or a Village Forest.
- This act has details of what a forest offence is, what are the acts prohibited inside a Reserved Forest, and penalties leviable on violation of the provisions of the Act. After the Forest Act was enacted in 1865, it was amended twice (1878 and 1927).
- The Central government has not laid down any criterion to define forest
- The land that is demarcated as forests under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 by the Forest Department this kind of land may or may not actually have a forest standing on it.
- In case of a tussle between the Forest and the Revenue Departments over land, it is the state which is responsible for categorising forest land, and it is the states that resolve dispute between these two departments.
- The Indian Forest Act, 1927 gives states the rights to notify Reserved Forests in their areas.
Types of forest
- Reserved Forests: Reserve forests are the most restricted forests and are constituted by the State Government on any forest land or wasteland which is the property of the Government.
- In reserved forests, local people are prohibited, unless specifically allowed by a Forest Officer in the course of the settlement.
- Protected Forests: The State Government is empowered to constitute any land other than reserved forests as protected forests over which the Government has proprietary rights and the power to issue rules regarding the use of such forests. This power has been used to establish State control over trees, whose timber, fruit or other non-wood products have revenue-raising potential.
- Village forest: Village forests are the one in which the State Government may assign to ‘any village community the rights of Government to or over any land which has been constituted a reserved forest’.
- Degree of protection:
Reserved forests > Protected forests > Village forests
The Forest Conservation Act (1980)
- This Act has made the restrictions on the State government and other authorities to make decisions in some matters without the prior permission of the central government.
- Under this Act, the whole power is in the hand of the Central government to carry out the laws of this Act.
- This Act also provides penalties for the infringement of the provisions of this Act.
- Under this Act, an advisory committee may be formed for advising the Central government in matters related to forest conservation.
- It was published by the Ministry of Rural Development, in collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Department of Space.
- The total wasteland in the country is 5,57,665.51sq km.
- Wasteland is defined not as desertified land, but land that not used for agriculture, commercial use or as forest land. For instance, it could use grasslands that are used by communities for grazing.
- A reduction in the wasteland area was observed in the categories of land with dense scrub, marshy land, sandy areas, and degraded pastures.
- The wastelands have undergone a positive change in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and West Bengal.
- The majority of wastelands have been changed into categories of croplands, plantation and industrial areas.
- The Supreme Court in the Godhvarman case post 1996 ordered for bringing under purview of the Forest Conservation Act 1980 those forests which fall under the dictionary meaning of ‘forests’ irrespective of the legal category. They had also instructed the Environment Ministry to clarify the definition and the categories, including which are deemed forests
- The MoEF in June had signed a joint communication with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for the proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 to ensure the grant and protection of rights of tribal people in the country.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: The researchers have analysed viral proteins across 27 coronavirus species and thousands of samples from Covid-19 patients, identifying highly conserved sequences that could make the best drug targets.
- Drugs often bind inside “pockets” on proteins that hold the drug snugly, causing it to interfere with the protein’s function.
- Scientists can identify potential drug-binding pockets from the 3D structures of viral proteins.
- The team used a computer algorithm to identify drug-binding pockets in the 3D structures of 15 SARS-CoV-2 proteins.
- The researchers then found corresponding proteins in 27 coronavirus species and compared their sequences in the drug-binding pockets.
- The two most conserved “druggable” sites involved proteins (called nsp13 and nsp12 respectively) that are involved in viral RNA replication and transcription.
Antiviral drug, any agent that is used in the treatment of an infectious disease caused by a virus.
Virus and Host cell
- Viruses consist of nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) and a protein
- Because viruses do not have the enzymes that are needed to manufacture cellular components, they are obligate parasites, which means they must enter a cell for replication to occur.
- The nucleic acid of the virus instructs the host cell to produce viral components, which leads to an infectious virus.
- In some cases, as in herpes infections, the viral nucleic acid may remain in the host cell without causing replication of the virus and damage to the host (viral latency). In other cases, the production of virus by the host cell may cause the death of the cell.
- A major problem in treating some viral diseases is that latent viruses can become activated.
Many factors account for the difficulty in developing antiviral agents.
- The structure of each virus differs, and specific therapy is often unsuccessful because of periodic changes in the antigenic proteins of the virus (antigenic proteins provoke an immune response in the host).
- The need for a host cell to support the multiplication of the virus makes treatment difficult because the agent must be able to inhibit the virus without seriously affecting the host cells.
- Viruses can mutate their protein pockets so that drugs no longer fit.
- But some drug-binding pockets are so essential to the protein’s function that they can’t be mutated, and these sequences are generally conserved over time in the same virus, and in related viruses
An antiviral agent must act at one of five basic steps in the viral replication cycle in order to inhibit the virus:
- attachment and penetration of the virus into the host cell,
- Uncoating of virus (e.g., removal of the protein surface and release of the viral DNA or RNA),
- Synthesis of new viral components by the host cell as directed by the virus DNA,
- Assembly of the components into new virus, and
- Release of the virus from the host cell.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: Russia’s space agency Roscosmos will be attaching a significantly larger module called Nauka, which will serve as the country’s main research facility on the space station.
- Pirs, a Russian module on the International Space Station (ISS) used as a docking port for spacecraft and as a door for cosmonauts to go out on spacewalks, was on Monday detached from the 22-year-old floating laboratory.
- Pirs, meaning “pier” in Russian, a considerably smaller structure that was only used as a docking port for Russian spacecraft and allowed for cosmonauts to enter or leave the ISS for spacewalks.
- Pirs was pulled away from the ISS using a Progress MS-16/77P cargo ship, which had remained docked to the module since February.
- it will be replaced by , Russia’s space agency Roscosmos’s larger module called Nauka,
- It will serve as the country’s main research facility on the space station
- It is a pathbreaking collaborative effort between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada).
- Nauka, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 21 using a Proton rocket, is scheduled to be integrated with the ISS on Thursday.
- Nauka, which is 42 feet long and weighs 20 tonnes, was supposed to be launched as early as 2007, as per the ISS’s original plan.
- Nauka meaning “science” in Russian is the biggest space laboratory Russia has launched to date, and will primarily serve as a research facility
- It is also bringing to the ISS another oxygen generator, a spare bed, another toilet, and a robotic cargo crane built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
- This new module was sent into orbit using a Proton rocket the most powerful in Russia’s space inventoryon July 21, and will take eight days to reach the ISS
- On the ISS, Nauka will be attached to the critical Zvezda module, which provides all of the space station’s life support systems and serves as the structural and functional centre of the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) (the Russian part of the mammoth floating laboratory.
Subject: National Organisation
Context: The Ministry, vide Gazette Notification dated 12.02.2014 had constituted National Commission for De-Notified and Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for the period of 3 years from the date of Notification.
- The term ‘De-notified Tribes’ stands for all those communities which were once notified under the Criminal Tribes Acts, enforced by the British Raj between l87l and I947. These Acts were repealed by the Independent lndian Government in l952, and these communities were “De-Notified”. A few of these communities which were listed as de-notified were also nomadic.
- Terms such as nomads and semi-nomads are applied to ‘social groups who undertook a fairly frequent, usually seasonal physical movement as port of their livelihood strategy in the recent past. The term semi-nomad is mostly used to describe those sections of nomads whose duration, distance and frequency of movement is comparitively less than others.
- The distinction between nomads and semi-nomods do not involve distinguishable ethnic categories or social groups, it rather describes the degree of mobility practiced by them.
- It has been estimated that South Asia has the world’s largest nomadic population. In India, roughly 10 per cent of the population is Denotified and Nomadic.While the number of Denotified Tribes is about 150, the population of Nomadic Tribes consists of about 500 different communities.
- While the Denotified Tribes have almost settled in various States of the country, the Nomadic Communities continue to be largely nomadic in pursuit of their traditional professions.
- The Renke Commission (2008) was earlier commissioned to identify and list the DNT communities.
The National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
- The National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes(NCDNSNT) is a national commission set under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, to study various developmental aspects of denotified and nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes in India.
- The Commission was first was set up on 22 November 2003 and reconstituted on 16 March 2005.
- The Government had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and to suggest appropriate measures in respect of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes that may be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Government.
- The Idate Commission submitted its report in January 2018. It mentioned that a permanent commission for Denotified, Semi Nomadic, and Nomadic Tribes should have a prominent community leader as its chairperson, and a senior Union government bureaucrat, an anthropologist, and a sociologist as members.
- A Development and Welfare Board for De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DWBDNCs) has been constituted and a Committee has also been set up by the NITI Aayog to complete the process of identification of the De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs).
- The survey work of identification of DNT Communities and placing Sthem in a category of SC/ST/OBC is also under process in NITI Ayog and Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI).
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing the following schemes for the welfare of the DNTs.
Dr.Ambedkar Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship for DNTs :
- This Centrally Sponsored Scheme was launched w.e.f. 2014-15 for the welfare of those DNT students who are not covered under SC, ST or OBC. The income ceiling for eligibility is Rs. 2.00 lakh per annum. The scheme is implemented through State Governments/UT Administrations.
- The expenditure is shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25.
Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme of Construction of Hostels for DNT Boys and Girls.
- This Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in 2014-15 is implemented through State Governments/ UT Administrations/ Central Universities. The aim of the scheme is to provide hostel facilities to those DNT students; who are not covered under SC, ST or OBC; to enable them to pursue higher education. The income ceiling for eligibility is Rs. 2.00 lakh per annum.
- The Central Government provides a maximum of 500 seats per annum throughout the country. The cost norm is Rs. 3.00 lakh per seat plus Rs. 5000/-per seat for furniture. The expenditure is shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25.
- From the year 2017-18, the scheme “Assistance to Voluntary Organization working for the Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs)” has been extended for DNTs and EBCs as “Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Skill Development of Backward Classes (OBCs)/ De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs)/ Economic Backward Classes (EBCs)”.
Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNT Communities (SEED) for welfare of this community having following four components:-
- To provide coaching of good quality for DNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.
- To provide Health Insurance to them.
- To facilitate livelihood initiative at community level; and
- To provide financial assistance for construction of houses for members of these
Subject : Internal Security
Context: Assam-Mizoram border dispute: The violence spotlights the long-standing inter-state boundary issues in the Northeast, particularly between Assam and the states that were carved out of it.
The history of dispute:
- The boundary issue between Assam and Mizoram has existed since the formation of Mizoram — first as a union territory in 1972, and then as a full-fledged state in 1987.
- In India, Inter-state disputes are multifaceted, besides disputes over boundaries, there are disputes over sharing of water (rivers)and migration also impacts the federal polity of India.
- Mizoram (earlier Lushai Hills) was part of Assam which was later carved out as a Union Territory and later achieved statehood in the year 1987 via the State of Mizoram Act of 1986.
- Mizoram was granted statehood in 1987 by the State of Mizoram Act, 1986.
- The boundary issue between present-day Assam and Mizoram dates back to the colonial era when inner lines were demarcated according to the administrative needs of British Raj.
- The Assam-Mizoram dispute stems from two notifications passed under British era.
- The Government of Mizoram is of the view that the boundary should be demarcated as stated in the 1875 notification, derived from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873, while the Government of Assam believes that the 1933 demarcation must be followed.
- 1875 notification- Marks a boundary between Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar
- 1933 notification- Marks a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur. Mizo society was not consulted.
- There is a 164.6-km inter-state border that separates Assam and Mizoram, with the three Assam districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj sharing a border with Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts of Mizoram.
- Further, the boundary between Mizoram and Assam follows naturally occurring barriers of hills, valleys, rivers and forests, and both sides have attributed border skirmishes to perceptual differences over an imaginary line.
- In the Northeast’s complex boundary equations, clashes between Assam and Mizoram residents are less frequent than they are between other neighbouring states of Assam, like with Nagaland.
The biggest river in Mizoram is Chhimtuipui, also known as Kaladan (or Kolodyne). It originates in Chin state in Burma and passes through Saiha and Lawngtlai districts in the southern tip of Mizoram, goes back to Burma’s Rakhine state.
Subject : Environment
Context :As per a Delhi government report, levels of fecal coliform (microbes from human and animal excreta) is above desirable limits.
- Fecal coliform is above desirable limits in all points tested in the Yamuna in Delhi with an exception at Palla where the river enters the Capital.
- The report also stated that in the absence of a minimum environmental flow (flow of water) it is very difficult to achieve even bathing quality standards of the river water.
- Minimum environmental flow for the dilution of the polluted water is required to meet the desired water quality levels in the river for bathing purpose.
- For bathing in a river, the desirable level of fecal coliform in the water is 500 MPN/100 ml or lesser, as per the Central Pollution Control Board.
- The level was as high as 1,40,000 MPN/100 ml (280 times the desired level) at Okhla.
- According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an environmental flow is the water provided within a river, wetland or coastal zone to maintain ecosystems and their benefits where there are competing water uses and where flows are regulated.
Subject : Legislations
Context : The Emigration Bill 2021 is likely to be introduced in Parliament.
- The Emigration Bill 2021 seeks to consolidate and amend the existing Emigration act of 1983.
- The Emigration Bill 2021 marks some improvements over the 1983 Act.
- It launches a new emigration policy division in the Ministry of External Affairs, establishes help desks and welfare committees for migrant workers.
- It mandates manpower agencies to conduct pre-departure briefings for migrants.
- It increases accountability of brokers and other intermediaries who are involved in labour hiring.
- There has been growing number of reports of exploitative practices like large recruitment charges, contract substitution, deception, retention of passports, non-payment or underpayment of wages, poor living conditions, discrimination and other forms of ill-treatment of the Indian migrant workers.
Emigration act, 1983:
- Labour migration is governed by the Emigration Act, 1983. It prescribes a mechanism for hiring of Indians for work in foreign countries.
- The recruiting agents must be government-certified.
- It outlines certain obligations for recruiting agents like conducting due diligence of prospective employers.
- It also lays certain regulations of the recruiting agents like the setting of a cap on service fees.
Subject : Environment
Context : A proposal has been submitted to declare Thane creek Flamingo Sanctuary as a Ramsar site.
- Maharashtra Mangrove Cell has submitted the proposal for approval to the State Wetland Authority.
- With this, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is likely to get its first Ramsar site at the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and third in the Maharashtra to be designated as Wetlands of International Importance.
- Nandur Madhameshwar became the first site designated from Maharashtra. The Lonarlake in Buldhana district was declared as the 41st Ramsar site of India and second in the state.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands:
- A Ramsar site is a wetland area designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental environmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention for the conservation of wetlands was called the ‘Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat’.
- The convention got its name of Ramsar Convention from the city of Ramsar in Iran where it was signed in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
- India joined the convention in 1982 and since then 42 sites have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).
Subject : Governance
Context: Puri became the first city in India where people can avail high quality drinking water directly from the tap on 24-hour basis.
- Puri has enabled the people of the city to collect quality drinking water directly from the tap.
- Henceforth, people need not have to store or filter drinking water.
About ‘Drink from Tap Mission’
- The project is being undertaken with financial support from UNICEF, which will hopefully help in achieving state government’s target.
- As providing safe drinking water to every household in the state is one of top priorities of Odisha government, the project will be launched on a pilot basis for about 1.2 lakh people involving 22,000 families in pockets of Puri and Khurda district of Odisha.
- The pilot project will also be implemented in five areas of Bhubaneswar and two areas of Puri and will be completed by March 2020. It will be extended to other parts of the state in next phases.
- The women self-help groups (SHGs) will also be engaged and trained for the implementation of programme.
Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge reiterated the demand that under Rule 267, other House businesses should be suspended to have a discussion on the Pegasus issue in the presence of the Prime Minister or the Home Minister.
Special Mention In Rajya Sabha:
- Special Mention is yet another device through which a member can raise an issue of public importance in the House.
- It is based on the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha. Prior to July 2000, the procedure for making a Special Mention was not included in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha; it was based on the practice obtained in the House.
- A matter which cannot be raised during question hour, half-an-hour discussion, short duration discussion or under adjournment motion, calling attention notice or under any rule of the House can be raised under the special mention in the Rajya Sabha.
- The selection of a Special Mention to be made by a member in the House is entirely the prerogative of the Chairman. Under normal circumstances, only one Special Mention is allowed to be made by a member during a week unless the Chairman directs otherwise.
- Number of Special Mention matters per sitting: As regards the number of Special Mentions per sitting, it has been provided in rule 180D(2) that it is not to exceed seven. But the Chairman considering the state of business, importance of the subject and other relevant matters while permitting Special Mentions at a sitting of the House may permit more than the prescribed number.
- Supplementaries are not allowed on special mentions.
- When Special Mentions are made in the House, as a general practice, the Ministers, who may be present in the House, do not react immediately to the matters so mentioned by members. If the concerned Minister is present and wishes to reply, he is permitted to do so but it is not obligatory for him to reply.