Ministry of Corporate Affairs & SEBI enter into a pact to tighten regulatory oversight
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential
A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for data exchange between the two regulatory organizations.
More about the news :
The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between SEBI and MCA on an automatic and regular basis.
It will enable sharing of specific information such as details of suspended companies, delisted companies, shareholding pattern from SEBI and financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports relating to corporations.
The MoU will ensure that both MCA and SEBI have seamless linkage for regulatory purposes.
In addition to regular exchange of data, SEBI and MCA will also exchange with each other, upon request, any information available in their respective databases, for the purpose of carrying out scrutiny, inspection, investigation and prosecution.
The MoU comes in the wake of increasing need for surveillance in the context of Corporate Frauds affecting important sectors of the economy.
As the private sector plays an increasingly vital role in economic growth, the need for a robust Corporate Governance mechanism becomes the need of the hour.
Source :- PIB
First World Food Safety Day
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurates the first-ever World Food Safety Day being celebrated by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
World Food Safety Day :
June 7 is set to be celebrated as the first World Food Safety Day. This was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2018.
Theme : ‘Food Safety, everyone's business’.
WHO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is pleased to facilitate Member States effort to celebrate the World Food Safety Day.
Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
Food safety is key to achieving several UN Sustainable Development Goals and is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers.
State Food Safety Index (SFSI) :
In an effort to motivate states to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has developed the first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States on five parameters of food safety.
The categories included : Human Resources and Institutional Arrangements; Compliance ; Food Testing- Infrastructure and Surveillance ;Training and Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
It is a hand-held battery operated device which performs rapid detection (in less than 1 minute) of economically driven adulteration in edible oils, fats and ghee.
The equipment tests more than 250 samples per battery charge, collects and stores data on the cloud using a smart device.
Food Safety Magic Box:
It is an innovative solution to take food safety to schools.
This do-it-yourself food testing kit comprises a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants, which schoolchildren can use in their classroom laboratories.
Eat Right Awards:
FSSAI has instituted the ‘Eat Right Awards’ to recognize the contribution of food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options, which would help improve their health and well-being.
Source :- PIB; Down To Earth
Centre silent on appointment of Justice A.A. Kureshi
GS PAPER - 02 POLITY - Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Disregarding the recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium, the Centre has notified the appointment of Ravi Shanker Jha as the acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court with effect from June 10.
On May 10, the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recommended Justice A.A. Kureshi, currently the senior-most judge at the Gujarat High Court, as the most suitable candidate to be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The Collegium's decision came as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth was scheduled to retire on June 9.
More about the news :
Though, the Collegium recommendation is pending, the Centre issued a notification stating, "by the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Justice Ravi Shanker Jha, senior-most judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of the High Court with effect from 10 June, 2019 consequent upon the retirement of Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth, Chief Justice, Madhya Pradesh High Court".
Source :- The Hindu
Home Ministry warns NGOs
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Home Ministry has warned NGOs, who have changed their office-bearers and key functionaries without informing the Ministry, with penal action, if they fail to do so within a month.
Ever since the Narendra Modi-led government came to power in 2014, the central government has started scrutiny of the activities of NGOs leading to cancellation of their FCRA registration, which allows them to get foreign funding.
There were a total of 23,176 FCRA registered NGOs in 2016-17, which has now come down to around 12,000.
Regulations of Foreign Funding:
All NGOs and associations registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, which makes them eligible to receive foreign funds and donations, have to submit online application for addition, deletion and change of details about office-bearers and key functionaries within one month.
As per norms, all associations, granted a certificate of registration under Section 11 and 12 of the FCRA, 2010 have reported details of their office-bearers and key functionaries while applying for registration.
Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA):
The FCRA was enacted in 1976 in order to maintain strict control over voluntary organisations and political associations that received foreign fundings.
In the year 1984, an amendment was made to the act requiring all the Non Governmental Organisations to register themselves with the Home Ministry.
In 2010, the act was repealed and a new act with strict provisions was enacted. It is a consolidating act passed by the Government of India.
It seeks to regulate the foreign contributions or donations and hospitality (air travel, hotel accommodation etc) to Indian organizations and individuals and to stop such contributions which might damage the national interest.
It is an act passed for regulating and prohibiting the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by companies, associations or individuals for such activities that could prove to be detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Since the Act is internal security legislation, despite being a law related to financial legislation, it falls into the purview of Home Ministry and not the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Source :- The Hindu
FCI plans to increase its storage space
GS PAPER - 03 ECONOMY - Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
The Food Corporation of India has commissioned a new roadmap to speed up silo construction to meet its target of 100 lakh tonnes of storage space by 2022.
More about the news:
With record harvests and high procurement over the last few years, the FCI is sitting on a reserve stock of foodgrains that is almost double the required level, straining capacity and forcing the use of cover and plinth storage which is not entirely weather-proof.
The previous government had constructed 6.75 lakh tonnes of storage capacity while work is ongoing for 22 lakh tonnes.
The FCI was also in talks with its unions to streamline its labour force and bring all 40,000 workers under a uniform direct payment system.
Source :- The Hindu
Policy moots all-India entrance tests for UG courses in public colleges
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
The Draft National Education Policy, 2019 has recommended that there should be common (all-India) entrance examinations for admission to undergraduate courses in all government-funded universities and colleges
Common entrance Exam - UG courses:
The draft has suggested that the National Testing Agency (NTA) should conduct common entrance tests multiple times each year for admissions and fellowships in higher educational institutions.
Tests should be conducted in various aptitude based subjects like logic, quantitative reasoning, and languages, to more specialised subject examinations in the sciences, arts, and vocational subjects. The preferred modality will be computer-based testing.
The draft policy has advocated that such a system would reduce burden on students by eliminating the stress of overemphasis on 12th board grades and that of appearing in multiple university examinations.
Further, it would eliminate the need for the universities to devise their own examinations. University will be able to assess each student’s individual subject portfolio, and admit students into their programmes based on individual interests and talents.
Source :- The Hindu
Indians turn pessimistic as job worries weigh on confidence :survey
GS PAPER - 03 ECONOMY - Growth , development and Employment
Consumer confidence in India dropped in May, as people fretted about jobs and slowing growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
More about the survey:
The survey was conducted in 13 Indian cities and was based on responses from several households.The survey indicates optimism above 100 and pessimism below that mark.
The survey seeks qualitative responses from households regarding their sentiments on general economic conditions ,overall price situation, employment ,income and spending scenario.
The survey found that consumer confidence index has fallen to 97.3 from 104.6 in March,2019.The consumer confidence has dropped down due to the deterioration in sentiments on the economic situation and employment.
Further,sentiments returning to pessimistic category adds to the challenge of government which is trying to boost consumption and investments in the economy.
Source :- Livemint
India to hold first simulated space warfare exercise next month
GS PAPER - 03 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
India is planning to conduct its first ever simulated space warfare exercise titled ‘IndSpaceEx’.
Main objective of the exercise is to understand the possible challenges in space warfare and to counter China's growing influence in this domain, which poses a major threat to India's national security interest.
India took the first step towards developing a credible counter-space capability under ‘Mission Shakti’ when it launched a 19-tonne interceptor missile to destroy the 740-kg Microsat-R satellite, at an altitude of 283 km in a ‘hit-to-kill mode’ on 27th March, 2019.
The purpose of the exercise is to understand the possible challenges in space warfare and to counter China's growing influence in this domain, which poses a major threat to India's national security interest.
When India tested A-Sat, China started developing military capabilities in space in terms of both kinetic and non-kinetic (lasers, electromagnetic pulse) weapons.
IndSpaceEx underlines the seriousness with which India is taking the need to counter likely threats to its space assets from countries like China.
Source :- The Times Of India
Draft bill moots 10-year jail for crypto dealing
GS PAPER - 03 SECURITY - Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
Government has introduced a draft bill on Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019.
Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019 :
Key Features :
The "Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019" draft has proposed 10-year prison sentence for persons who "mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies.
Besides making it completely illegal, the bill makes holding of cryptos a non-bailable offence.
The draft also proposes a monetary penalty of up to three times the loss caused to the exchequer or gains made by the cryptocurrency user whichever is higher.
The bill also proposed that any person holding cryptocurrencies will be required to declare and dispose of it within 90 days from the date of commencement of the act.Further,a regulator may also be appointed under the act to monitor activity.
The draft bill has also proposed the introduction of an official digital rupee in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Crypto currency :
Crypto currency is a digital currency.
It allows transacting parties to remain anonymous while confirming that the transaction is valid one.
It is not owned or controlled by any institution including both government institutions and private institutions.
Various cryptocurrencies used globally are Bitcoin,Ethereum and Ripple.
Source :- The Times Of India
In a first, trains services opened in Arctic
GS PAPER - 03 ECONOMY - Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
In a first, train services have been opened in the Arctic region with the launch of Zarengold by Russia.
In Russia, the first tourist train traveling through Russia's Arctic region and on to Norway, set off from St. Petersburg station with 91 passengers aboard for the inaugural trial journey.
The train, named, Zarengold will travel from Saint Petersburg. The tourists came from seven countries including the US, Germany, Norway and Russia.
Russia hopes to become the top economic and military power in the Arctic, foreseeing new trading routes as global warming breaks up glaciers.