Daily Prelims Notes 5 February 2021
- February 5, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
5 February 2021
All 6 CSE Prelims Qualified
4 CSE Mains Qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY
- PARDONING POWER OF PRESIDENT
- NCT OF DELHI ACT
- DOUBLE TAXATION FOR NRI
- HELD TO MATURITY
- INTENATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
- G ROHINI COMMISSION
- NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS
- SEROLOGICAL SURVEY
- LCA TEJAS
- PM MATRU VANDANA YOJANA
- LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP
- PROFORMA NPA
Subject: Science & tech
Context: On Thursday, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council held its maiden meeting and approved the establishment of the world’s largest radio telescope.
- SKAO is a new intergovernmental organisation dedicated to radio astronomy and is headquartered in the UK.
- At the moment, organisations from ten countries are a part of the SKAO.
- These include Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.
Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
- The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area.
- Objectives: The SKA will eventually use thousands of dishes and up to a million low-frequency antennas that will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence.
- Significance: Its unique configuration will give the SKA unrivalled scope in observations, largely exceeding the image resolution quality of the Hubble Space Telescope.
- It will also have the ability to image huge areas of sky in parallel a feat which no survey telescope has ever achieved on this scale with this level of sensitivity.
- Whilst 10 member countries are the cornerstone of the SKA, around 100 organisations across about 20 countries are participating in the design and development of the SKA.
- Location: Thousands of SKA antenna dishes will be built in South Africa (in the Karoo), with outstations in other parts of South Africa . Another part of the telescope, the low-frequency array, will be built in Western Australia.
- A radio telescope is a specialized antenna and radio receiver used to detect radio waves from astronomical radio sources in the sky.
- Radio telescopes are the main observing instrument used in radio astronomy, which studies the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by astronomical objects, just as optical telescopes are the main observing instrument used in traditional optical astronomy which studies the light wave portion of the spectrum coming from astronomical objects.
- Unlike optical telescopes, radio telescopes can be used in the daytime as well as at night.
- Since astronomical radio sources such as planets, stars, nebulas and galaxies are very far away, the radio waves coming from them are extremely weak, so radio telescopes require very large antennas to collect enough radio energy to study them, and extremely sensitive receiving equipment.
Context: Three days after the Centre assured the Supreme Court that Tamil Nadu Governor was set to take a call on release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict, the Governor’s office, , left a decision on pardon of all the convicts in the case to President .
Clemency powers of the President under article 72:
- It says that the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.
- Pardon –A pardon completely absolves the offender from all sentences and punishment and disqualifications and places him in the same position as if he had never committed the offence.
- Commutation– Commutation means exchange of one thing for another. In simple words to replace the punishment with less severe punishment. For example for Rigorous imprisonment-simple imprisonment.
- Reprieve– Reprieve means temporary suspension of death sentence. For example- pending a proceeding for pardon or commutation.
- Respite – Respite means awarding a lesser punishment on some special grounds. For example- the Pregnancy of women offender.
- Remissions– Remission means the reduction of the amount of sentence without changing its character, for example, a sentence of 1 year may be remitted to 6 months.
- The President can exercise these powers:
In all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court martial;
In all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
- The pardoning power of President is wider than the governor and it differs in the following two ways:
- The power of the President to grant pardon extends in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial but Article 161 does not provide any such power to the Governor.
- The President can grant pardon in all cases where the sentence given is sentence of death but pardoning power of Governor does not extend to death sentence cases.
- This power of pardon shall be exercised by the President on the advice of Council of Ministers.
- Further, the constitution does not provide for any mechanism to question the legality of decisions of President or governors exercising mercy jurisdiction.
- But the SC in EpuruSudhakar case has given a small window for judicial review of the pardon powers of President and governors for the purpose of ruling out any arbitrariness.
- The court has earlier held that court has retained the power of judicial review even on a matter which has been vested by the Constitution solely in the Executive.
Context: Manish Sisodia accused the Centre of trying to govern the national capital through the “backdoor”, claiming the Union cabinet has cleared a proposal to give more powers to the Lieutenant Governor.
- It is an Act to supplement the provisions of the Constitution relating to the Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers for the National Capital Territory of Delhi and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- This Act may be called the ‘Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991’ and provides for ,
- Assembly Constituency– constituency provided under this Act for the purpose of elections to the Legislative Assembly.
- Capital– the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
- Election Commission– the Election Commission referred to in article 324.
- Legislative Assembly– the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
- Scheduled Castes– in relation to the Capital, such castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within such castes, races or tribes as are deemed under article 341 to be Scheduled Castes in relation to the Capital.
Legislative Assembly and its composition:
- The total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly shall be seventy.
- Delhi should be divided into single-member assembly constituencies in accordance with the provisions of Part III.
- Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes in the Legislative Assembly and the provisions of the Article 334 shall apply to such reservation.
- The number of said seats shall bear the same proportion to the total number of seats in the Assembly as the population of the SCs in Delhi bears to the total population of Delhi.
Qualifications for membership of Legislative Assembly:
- A person will be qualified to be a member of the Legislative Assembly provided:
(a) The person is a citizen of India.
(b) The person is not less than twenty years of age.
(c) Must pose other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by the Indian Parliament.
Duration of Legislative Assembly:
- The duration of the Legislative Assembly will be five years from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless sooner dissolved.
- However, the period may be extended if a Proclamation of Emergency, issued under clause (1) of Article 352 is in operation, be extended by the President by order for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to operate.
Sessions of Legislative Assembly, prorogation and dissolution:
- The Lieutenant Governor shall summon the Legislative Assembly to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, from time to time. However, LG should not intervene for six months between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.
- The LG may, from time to time (a) prorogue the Assembly (b) dissolve the Assembly.
A procedure as to lapsing of Bills:
- A Bill which is pending in the Legislative Assembly shall not lapse due to the prorogation of the Legislative Assembly.
- A Bill which is pending in the Legislative Assembly shall lapse on a dissolution of the Assembly.
Assent to Bills:
- When a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly, it shall be presented to the LG and he shall assent/withhold assent/reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President of India.
- LG may return the Bill, presented to him for his assent, if it is not a Money Bill, with a message requesting that the Assembly will reconsider the Bill or any specified provisions by the LG.
- When a Bill is returned, the Assembly will reconsider the Bill, and if it is passed again with/without amendment and presented to LG for assent, he shall either assent the Bill or reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President of India.
- LG shall not provide his assent/reserve Bill for the consideration of the President of India, if:
(a) if it will reduce the powers of the High Court or will endanger the position which that Court is, by the Constitution, designed to fill, upon becoming a law.
(b) the President may by order direct such a Bill to be reserved for his consideration.
Context: The new Section 89A aims to solve the issue of double taxation on retirement accounts of NRI employees
- Mobile employees are required to mandatorily open social security / retirement fund accounts in the host country; it also acts as an effective way of tax deferral in such countries as income from such contributions are tax deferred to the year of withdrawal / closure of such accounts.
- This is a common tool adopted by most Indian employees who are seconded to countries like the US and in majority of such cases, the employees are non-resident in India in the year of opening the accounts / making contributions whereas at the time of maturity / closure of the account, such employees who are already back home, become tax resident in India.
- Taxation of income from such contributions poses a major challenge for such employees in India.
- Taking a cognisance of this difficulty and various representations in this regard, the finance minister has proposed to introduce a mechanism via a new provision, viz. Section 89A in the Income Tax Act, 1961, to reduce the hardship caused to such employees with effect from financial year 2021-22.
- The proposed section provides tax income accrued to a specified person in a specified account in such manner and in such a year as may be prescribed.
- Double taxation is a tax principle referring to income taxes paid twice on the same source of income.
- It can occur when income is taxed at both the corporate level and personal level.
- Double taxation also occurs in international trade or investment when the same income is taxed in two different countries.
Context: RBI to hike banks’ HTM limit by 4% of book (Rs 6,136 billion/$84 billion), atop 2.5% in FY21, till FY26 (from FY23 now). This should incentivise banks to invest their money market surplus, of almost $80 billion, in G-secs .
- Held-to-maturity (HTM) securities are purchased to be owned until maturity.
- Bonds and other debt vehicles—such as certificates of deposit (CDs)—are the most common form of held-to-maturity (HTM) investments.
- Held-to-maturity (HTM) securities provide investors with a consistent stream of income; however, they are not ideal if an investor anticipates needing cash in the short-term.
- HTM securities are only reported as current assets if they have a maturity date of one year or less. Securities with maturities over one year are stated as long-term assets.
Open Market Operations (OMOs)
- Open Market Operations (OMOs) are market operations conducted by RBI by way of sale/purchase of government securities to/from the market with an objective to adjust the rupee liquidity conditions in the market on a durable basis.
- If there is excess liquidity, RBI resorts to sale of securities and sucks out the rupee liquidity.
- Similarly, when the liquidity conditions are tight, RBI buys securities from the market, thereby releasing liquidity into the market.
- It is one of the quantitative (to regulate or control the total volume of money) monetary policy tools which is employed by the central bank of a country to control the money supply in the economy.
Subject: International Organisations
Context: The International Criminal Court convicted victim-turned-perpetrator Dominic Ongwen of war crimes committed during two decades of insurgency in northern Uganda.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
- It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
- Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.
- Funding: Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.
Composition and voting power:
- The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.
- Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote.
- The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.
- It does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.
- Critics of the Court argue that there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges and insufficient protection against politicized prosecutions or other abuses.
- The ICC has been accused of bias and as being a tool of Western imperialism,only punishing leaders from small, weak states while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful states.
- ICC cannot mount successful cases without state cooperationis problematic for several reasons. It means that the ICC acts inconsistently in its selection of cases, is prevented from taking on hard cases and loses legitimacy.
Context : On January 21, the Centre has extended the tenure of The Commission to Examine Sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) headed by Justice G Rohini, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court. The commission now has until July 31 to submit its report.
- Headed by Justice (Retd.) G Rohini, the commission was constituted under Article 340 of the Constitution with the approval of the President .
- Article 340 deals with the appointment of a commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes.
- It had been constituted to complete the task of sub-categorising 5000-odd castes in the central OBC list so as to ensure more equitable distribution of opportunities in central government jobs and educational institutions.
- In 2015, the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) had recommended that OBCs should be categorised into extremely backward classes, more backward classes and backward classes.
- The benefits of the reservation in OBCs are being cornered mostly by the dominant OBC groups over the years so there is a need to recognise sub-quotas for the extremely backward classes within the OBCs.
- NCBC has the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
- Examine the uneven distribution of reservation benefits among different castes in the central OBC list. For example, certain castes were left out of the ambit because of a difference in spelling in a State.
- Work out mechanism and parameters for sub-categorisation of OBCs, to identify castes, sub-castes and communities and classify them into sub-categories.
- Submit a comprehensive report after consultation with various stakeholders so that Census 2021 can include comprehensive data on OBCs.
Subject : National Organisations
Context : After raids by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) at two children’s homes, the Delhi Police registered a case and conducted an enquiry at the two children’s homes for alleged violation of norms under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
- NCPCR is a statutory body set up in March 2007 under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005.
- It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
- The Commission’s mandate is to ensure that all laws, policies, programmes, and administrative mechanisms are in consonance with the child rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- It inquires into complaints relating to a child’s right to free and compulsory education under the Right to Education Act, 2009.
- It monitors the implementation of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
- This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.
- All of them are appointed by Central Government for three years.
- The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Nearly one in five Indians had been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus until December 2020, the third round of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Serological Survey found.
- The serological survey was meant to detect whether the person being tested had developed antibodies against the coronavirus.
- Since it is not possible to test everyone, detecting antibodies in random sets of people is an indirect way of estimating the extent of disease spread in a community.
- The antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight external organisms like viruses that try to enter the body.
- These are produced only after the infection has happened, and are specific to the attacking virus or bacterium.
- The presence of antibodies, therefore, is an indication that an infection by that particular virus or bacterium has already occurred.
- Subsequent attempts to infect the body can be thwarted by these antibodies.
Context: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is actively looking for exports of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) with countries in South East Asia and West Asia showing interest in buying it.
- The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme was started by the Government of India in 1984 when they established the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme.
- It replaced the ageing Mig 21 fighter planes.
- Designed by: Aeronautical Development Agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development.
- Manufactured by: State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- The lightest, smallest and tailless multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in its class.
- Designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision-guided, weapons.
- Air to air refuelling capability.
- Maximum payload capacity of 4000 kg.
- It can attend the maximum speed of Mach 1.8.
- The range of the aircraft is 3,000km
Variants of Tejas:
- Tejas Trainer: 2-seater operational conversion trainer for training air force pilots.
- LCA Navy: Twin- and single-seat carrier-capable for the Indian Navy.
- LCA Tejas Navy MK2: This is phase 2 of the LCA Navy variant.
- LCA Tejas Mk-1A: This is an improvement over the LCA Tejas Mk1 with a higher thrust engine.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: The government’s maternity benefit scheme, or Pradhan MantriMatruVandanaYojana, has crossed 1.75 crore eligible women till financial year 2020, the Centre informed Parliament on Thursday.
- Pradhan MantriMatruVandanaYojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 1st January, 2017.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme being executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme: Cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.
- All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
- All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family.
Benefits under the Scheme:
Beneficiaries receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three installments on fulfilling the following conditions:
Early registration of pregnancy
Registration of the birth of the child and completion of first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family.
- The eligible beneficiaries also receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6,000.
- Distinctive Feature: Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan MantriMatruVandanaYojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).
- PMMVY-CAS is a web based software application that enables tracking the status of each beneficiary under the scheme, resulting in expedited, accountable and better grievance redressal.
Subject : Economics
Context : The Corporate Affairs Ministry on Wednesday said it plans to decriminalise 12 offences as well as omit a provision entailing criminal liability under the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act, 2008, for greater ease of doing business for law-abiding LLPs.
- LLP is an alternative corporate business form that gives the benefits of limited liability of a company and the flexibility of a partnership. Hence LLP is called a hybrid between a company and a partnership.
- All limited liability partnership is governed under the limited liability partnership act of 2008.
- The Corporate Affairs Ministry implements the Act.
LLP vs Traditional partnership firm:
- Under “traditional partnership firm”, every partner is liable, jointly with all the other partners and also severally for all acts of the firm done while he is a partner.
- Under LLP structure, liability of the partner is limited to his agreed contribution. Thus, individual partners are shielded from joint liability created by another partner’s wrongful acts or misconduct.
LLP vs a Company:
- The internal governance structure of a company is regulated by statute (i.e. Companies Act, 1956) whereas for an LLP it would be by a contractual agreement between partners.
- The management-ownership divide inherent in a company is not there in a limited liability partnership.
- LLP will have more flexibility as compared to a company.
- LLP will have lesser compliance requirements as compared to a company.
Subject : Economics
Context : Almost all private sector banks, housing finance companies and NBFCs as well as a few public sector lenders have reported performances for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 with higher pro forma gross non-performing assets compared to the reported gross NPAs.
- Supreme Court in its interim order dated 03.09.2020 directed that the accounts that were not declared NPA till 31.08.2020 shall not be declared NPA till further orders.
- Banks, while following SC’s order, are disclosing Proforma NPA as additional disclosure(in addition to gross NPA) for better understanding of financial performance & increasing provision thereon to cover for contingencies.
- Pro forma NPA includes non-performing assets created in 2020 when the RBI allowed banks to standstill recognition of fresh stressed assets.