Flash-Cards-Quiz-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-51
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#52 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Goldilocks zone; Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT); Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS); Project ‘Sashakt’; Billion Tree Tsunami; Berne Convention; WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT); ‘Pad abort test’ (PAT); Article 338A of the Constitution of India; Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill 2017;
By IT's Core Team
May 12, 2019

 

 

 

What is MOVE Summit? And what is its significance?

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Answer:

About MOVE Summit:

  • Move Global Mobility Summit was organised by NITI Aayog on 7th and 8th September 2018.
  • The summit was announced on 3rd July 2018.
  • The step was taken to showcase innovation and build a platform to shape the future of mobility.
  • The aims to bring together and engage with key stakeholders within the rapidly transforming global mobility landscape and to evolve a public interest framework for a shared, connected, zero emission agenda for the future.
  • Move Summit will seek to integrate India’s efforts around sustainable development, urbanization, clean energy and more, through the unique lens of mobility.
  • It will be organized in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners.
  • The Summit will constitute three designated components – The Conclave, the Expo and the Featured Events.

Objectives:

  • To encourage synergies between indigenous industries such as Automobile Manufacturing, Information Technology, Electronics, Telecommunications to integrate with global supply chains.
  • To envisage mobility as a key driver for generating employment, accelerating economic growth and providing innovative solutions to improve efficiency and efficacy of transport sector.

Themes of the summit:

  • The Summit will be organised along key ‘tracks’ to anchor debate and deliberations on towards preparing a collective mobility agenda.
  • These tracks or themes are:
    • Asset Utilization and Services
    • Comprehensive Electrification
    • Alternative Energy
    • Reinventing Public Transit
    • Logistics and Goods Transport
    • Data Analytics and Mobility

Significance:

  • The Summit will help drive Government’s goals for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth, thus, speeding up India’s transition to a clean energy economy.
  • It expects the presence of over 1200 expected participants from across the world including government leadership, industry leaders, research organizations, academia, think tanks and civil society organisations.
  • Together, government, industry, academia, civil society and media will set the base for a transport system which is safe; clean, shared and connected; and affordable, accessible and inclusive.
  • The stakeholders from across the sectors of mobility and transportation will gather to co-create a public interest framework to revolutionize transport.
  • The summit will consist of focused high-level panel discussions around both foundational and cutting-edge aspects of mobility.
  • The Mobility Expo will focus on state-of-the-art technologies for sustainable urban transportation and provide a forum to explore potential pathways for innovation in transport.
  • Parallel events will allow a greater diversity of stakeholders to conduct smaller-scale, in-depth and personalized conversations around specific topics of expertise.

 

 

 

What is Goldilocks zone?

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Answer:

About Goldilocks zone:

  • The Goldilocks Zone refers to the habitable zone around a star where the temperature is just right – not too hot and not too cold – for liquid water to exist on a planet.
  • Liquid water is essential for life. Its presence enables life also.
  • Looking for planets in the Goldilocks Zone is a way that allows scientists to search for Earth-like planets that could contain life.
  • If it’s possible for the presence of the liquid water on the planet, then it’s also possible that the planet may be habitable.
  • The location of a Goldilocks Zone around another star depends on the type of star.
  • Bigger hotter stars have their Goldilocks Zones further out, while smaller cooler stars have habitable zones much closer in.
  • Just because a planet or moon is in the Goldilocks Zone of a star, doesn’t mean it’s going to have life or even liquid water.
  • It depends on the atmosphere of the particular planet as well.
  • This means life should have lots of time to evolve and develop around such as star.
  • In our solar system, Earth isn’t the only planet in the Sun’s Goldilocks Zone – Venus and Mars are also in this habitable zone, but aren’t currently habitable.
  • As our sun grows and gets bigger the goldilocks zone will keep changing.
  • In 5.4 billion years from now when the sun becomes a red giant and swallows Venus and Mercury and possibly Earth, the goldilocks planet would possibly be Jupiter.
  • In 2015, Astronomers with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have discovered eight new planets within the so-called Goldilocks — or habitable — zone of their stars.

 

 

 

What are the salient features of Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill 2017?

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Answer:

About Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill:

  • Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, 2017 seeks to protect and enhance the depositors’ existing rights.
  • It also brings in a comprehensive and efficient resolution regime for financial firms.
  • The FRDI Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 10, 2017.
  • The bill is similar to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • It also aims to inculcate discipline among financial service providers in the event of financial crises, by limiting the use of public money to bail out distressed entities.
  • Once enacted, a resolution corporation will be setup to strengthen the stability and resilience of the entities in the financial sector.

What was the need?

  • There is no comprehensive and integrated legal framework for resolution, including liquidation, of financial firms in India presently.
  • The powers and responsibilities for resolution of financial services providers are given under multiple laws to regulators, Government and the Courts, which does not facilitate development of specialised resolution capabilities.
  • Also, because of this dispersed role definition, resolution of financial conglomerates becomes difficult.
  • The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 (FRDI Bill) will replace the existing resolution regime by providing a comprehensive resolution regime that will help ensure that, in the rare event of failure of a financial service provider, there is a system of quick, orderly and efficient resolution in favour of depositors.

Salient features of the bill:

  • The Bill establishes a Resolution Corporation to monitor financial firms, anticipate risk of failure, take corrective action, and resolve them in case of such failure.
  • The Corporation will also provide deposit insurance up to a certain limit, in case of bank failure.
  • The Resolution Corporation or the appropriate financial sector regulator may classify financial firms under five categories, based on their risk of failure.
  • These categories in the order of increasing risk are:
    • (i) low, (ii) moderate, (iii) material, (iv) imminent, and (v) critical.
  • The Resolution Corporation will take over the management of a financial firm once it is classified as ‘critical’.
  • It will resolve the firm within one year (may be extended by another year).
  • Resolution may be undertaken using methods including: (i) merger or acquisition, (ii) transferring the assets, liabilities and management to a temporary firm, or (iii) liquidation. If resolution is not completed within a maximum period of two years, the firm will be liquidated.
  • The Bill also specifies the order of distributing liquidation proceeds.

Significance of the bill:

  • The FRDI will provide a comprehensive resolution framework to deal with bankruptcy situations in financial sector entities such as banks and insurance companies.
  • It provides for establishment of a resolution corporation with powers relating to transfer of assets to a healthy financial firm, merger or amalgamation, liquidation to be initiated by an order of the National Company Law Tribunal.
  • The bill is about issues that can arise when companies go bankrupt or insolvent, except that this Bill deals only with the companies that are in the financial sector.
  • The FRDI Bill seeks to decrease the time and costs involved in resolving distressed financial entities.
  • The FRDI Bill does not prohibit the Government from extending support to banks.
  • It seeks to protect customers of financial service providers in times of financial distress.
  • The Bill would help in maintaining financial stability in the economy by ensuring adequate preventive measures, while at the same time providing the necessary instruments for dealing with crisis events.
  • It aims to strengthen and streamline the current framework of deposit insurance for the benefit of retail depositors.

What are the concerns?

  • The bill gives power to a government entity to use depositors money to save a bank on the verge of bankruptcy.
  • The government entity can declare the bank doesn’t owe you any money though you have deposited your hard-earned money with it.
  • The Bill says that in case of a bank failure, the proposed corporation will provide deposit insurance up to a certain limit, which has not been specified.
  • Currently, bank deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh are insured.

Resolution Corporation:

  • The Resolution Corporation will have the power to enter into contracts, power to sue or get sued, and power to acquire/hold/dispose properties.
  • The members will include representatives from various financial regulators as well as the Ministry of Finance.
  • Some key functions and powers of the corporation are:
    • Provide deposit insurance to banking institutions;
    • Specify the criteria for classification of a specified service provider into one of the categories of risk to viability;
    • Act as an administrator for service providers that have been classified in the category of critical risk to viability;
    • Exercise powers in relation to certain termination rights in respect of specified service providers;
    • Resolve a specified service provider which has been classified in the category of critical risk to viability;
    • Act as a liquidator for a specified service provider against which an order of liquidation has been made;
    • Any other powers and functions as may be prescribed.

 

 

 

Article 338A of the Constitution of India deals with?

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Answer:

About Article 38A:

  • Article 3338A deals with National Commission for scheduled tribes.

Background:

  • The National Commission for SCs and STs came into being consequent upon passing of the 65th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1990.
  • The Commission was established under Article 338.
  • The aims to monitor all the safeguards provided for the SCs and STs under the Constitution or other laws.
  • In 1999, a new Ministry of Tribal Affairs was created to provide a sharp focus to the welfare and development of the STs.
  • In order to safeguard the interests of the STs more effectively, it was proposed to set up a separate National Commission for STs by bifurcating the then existing combined National Commission for SCs and STs.
  • 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 Amended Article 338 and inserted a new Article 338-A in the Constitution.

National Commission for scheduled tribes:

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes was constituted w.e.f. 19th February 2004.
  • It is a constitutional body which was constituted under Article 338A of the Indian constitution.
  • It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members, appointed by the President.
  • President also determines the conditions of service and tenure of office.
  • The Commission presents an annual report to the President which he places before Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken on the recommendations made by the Commission.
  • The memorandum should also contain the reasons for the non-acceptance of any of such recommendations.
  • The President also forwards any report of the Commission pertaining to a state government to the state governor, that is place before state legislature along with the memorandum.

Functions of the commission:

  • Investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the STs and to evaluate their working;
  • Inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the STs;
  • Participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state;
  • Present to the President, annually and at such other times as it may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • Make recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or a state for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the STs; and
  • Discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the STs as the President may specify.

Powers of the commission:

  • It has the power to regulate its own procedure.
  • It has all the powers of a civil court, while investigating any matter or inquiring into any complaint.
  • Matters for which it has powers of civil court are:
    • summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;
    • requiring the discovery and production of any document;
    • receiving evidence on affidavits;
    • requisitioning any public record from any court or office;
    • issuing summons for the examination of witnesses and documents; and
    • any other matter which the President may determine.
  • The Central or State governments have to consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting the STs.

 

 

 

What is ‘pad abort test’ (PAT)?

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Answer:

About pad abort test:

  • A pad abort test is a test of a launch escape system to determine how well the system could get the crew of a spacecraft to safety in an emergency on the launch pad.
  • ISRO Pad Abort Test was an Indian Space Research Organisation pad abort test of its crew module as part of Indian human spaceflight programme.
  • The successful test took place on 5 July 2018.
  • The Pad Abort Test demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module (the astronaut cabin) in case of any exigency at the launch pad.
  • It is a trial run for a spacecraft’s launch abort system (sometimes called a launch escape system).
  • This system is designed to quickly get the crew and spacecraft away from the rocket in the event of a potential failure.
  • It is similar to an ejection seat for a fighter pilot, but instead of ejecting the pilot out of the spacecraft, the entire spacecraft is “ejected” away from the launch vehicle.
  • It is the first in a series of tests to qualify a crew escape system technology of a manned mission in the future.
  • The teams also tried out at least five new secondary technologies related to satellite communication, navigation and telemetry during the test.
  • The rockets are solid-fuel powered and specially designed for quickly ejecting the crew module and astronauts to a safe distance without exceeding the safe G-levels.

Why in news?

  • In July 2018 ISRO conducted pad abort test for Indian human space flight program.

 

 

 

What is WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT)? And how is it related with Berne Convention?

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About WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT):

  • The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) is a special agreement under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
  • The Treaty was concluded in 1996 and entered into force in 2002.
  • This Treaty does not have any connection with treaties other than the Berne Convention, nor it prejudice any rights and obligations under any other treaties.
  • It deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors in the digital environment.
  • In addition to the rights recognized by the Berne Convention, they are granted certain economic rights.
  • The Treaty also deals with two subject matters to be protected by copyright:
    1. computer programs, whatever the mode or form of their expression; and
    2. compilations of data or other material (“databases”).
  • Apart from the rights recognized by the Berne Convention, the Treaty also grants:
    1. the right of distribution;
    2. the right of rental; and
    3. a broader right of communication to the public.
  • The WCT and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, are together termed WIPO “internet treaties”.
  • Protection given by the treaty:
    1. The WCT emphasizes the incentive nature of copyright protection, claiming its importance to creative endeavours.
    2. It ensures that computer programs are protected as literary works (Article 4), and that the arrangement and selection of material in databases is protected (Article 5).
    3. It provides authors of works with control over their rental and distribution in Articles 6 to 8 which they may not have under the Berne Convention alone.
    4. It also prohibits circumvention of technological measures for the protection of works (Article 11) and unauthorized modification of rights management information contained in works (Article 12).

Berne convention:

  • The Berne Convention is also known as the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
  • It is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.
  • It deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors.
  • It is based on three basic principles:
    1. principle of “national treatment”
    2. principle of “automatic” protection
    3. principle of “independence” of protection.
  • It contains a series of provisions determining the minimum protection to be granted, as well as special provisions available to developing countries that want to make use of them.

About WIPO:

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN).
  • WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.
  • The predecessor to WIPO was the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property.
  • It had been established in 1893 to administer the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • WIPO was created in 1967, by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 191-member states.
  • It administers 26 international treaties.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The current Director-General of WIPO is Francis Gurry.
  • It aims to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
  • It helps governments, businesses and society realize the benefits of IP.
  • Objectives:
    • to encourage creative activity
    • to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among States and, where appropriate, in collaboration with any other international organization,
    • to ensure administrative cooperation among the Unions.
  • 188 of the UN member states as well as the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue are members of WIPO.
  • Non-members are the states of Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and South Sudan.
  • Palestine has permanent observer status.

What is Intellectual Property?

  • Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
  • IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, Geographical Indications, Industrial Design and trademarks.
  • It enables people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
  • it maintains the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest.
  • The IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

 

 

 

What is Billion Tree Tsunami?

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About

  • The Billion Tree Tsunami was launched in 2014, by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan.
  • It was a response to the challenge of global warming.
  • North-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are alive with newly planted saplings.
  • Pakistan’s Billion Tree Tsunami restores 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land to surpass its Bonn Challenge commitment.
  • project aimed at improving the ecosystems of classified forests, as well as privately owned waste and farm lands, and therefore entails working in close collaboration with concerned communities and stakeholders to ensure their meaningful participation through effectuating project promotion and extension services.
  • The projected was completed in August 2017, ahead of schedule.

 

 

 

What is Project ‘Sashakt’?

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About Project Sashakt:

  • Project Sashakt is a comprehensive policy on stressed assets unveiled by Finance Minister of India in July 2018.
  • It has been announced to address the problem of NPAs of non-performing assets of government banks in the country.
  • It aims to strengthen the credit capacity, credit culture and credit portfolio of public sector banks and to create a vibrant market which includes online trading of these stressed assets.
  • The policy has been prepared based on the report of the committee formed under the chairmanship of Sunil Mehta.
  • The committee has set a five-prong strategy towards resolution of stressed assets.
  • An independent Asset Management Company (AMC) would be set up to focus on asset turn around, job creation and protection.
  • AMC will be fully market based and more than one AMC can be formed in the country. It can also include foreign-foreign companies.
  • This independent body would be aligned with Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) process and IBC laws.
  • The AMC will be set up by state-run banks for resolution of loans above Rs 500 crore.
  • The government will not interfere in the resolution process; it would entirely be led by banks.
  • The benefit of this scheme will be that the hassles of collecting the loans from these customers will not remain on the banks.

What is the idea?

  • The banks will sell stressed asserts to Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARC) and these ARCs will in turn transfer the ownership of asset to the Alternate Investment Fund (AIF).
  • The AIF then becomes the effective owner because the intent is that the promoter if at all he is there becomes the minority.
  • His control goes below 24%.
  • The new owner which is the ARC and AIF are the ones that controls the asset and hence their stake will be 76% and above.
  • No one, even the promoter, should have blocking rights.

Key Features of ‘Sashakt’ Project:

  • A steering committee will be constituted in every bank for disposal of stranded loan accounts up to 50 million rupees. The advantage will be to the small and medium companies that they have NPAs up to Rs 50 crore.
  • The committee will decide about these accounts within 90 days that they need to pay more or they need to close their accounts.
  • It has been decided for NPA account of Rs 50 to 500 crores that a decision will be taken to settle the debts of Lead Bank headed by them.
  • More than one bank lenders to the account holders of this category, hence a settlement will be made between the lending banks.
  • Other NPA accounts of more than Rs 500 crores, which will not be settled through AMC, will be settled only under Bankruptcy Act.
  • To implement this, a screening committee of these banks will also be constituted which will see whether the rules are being followed in a transparent manner or not.

 

 

 

Recently, the RBI has tightened norms for LRS by making quoting of Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory even for transactions below $ 25, 000. What does ‘LRS’ stand for? And what is LRS?

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Answer:

About Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS):

  • Under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, Authorised Dealers may freely allow remittances by resident individuals up to USD 2,50,000 per Financial Year (April-March) for any permitted current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.
  • The Scheme is not available to corporates, partnership firms, HUF, Trusts, etc.
  • The Scheme is available to all resident individuals including minors.
  • Remittances are permitted for overseas education, travel, medical treatment and purchase of shares and property, apart from maintenance of relatives living abroad, gifting and donations.
  • Individuals can also open, maintain and hold foreign currency accounts with overseas banks for carrying out transactions.
  • It does not allow remittances for trading on the foreign exchange markets, margin or margin calls to overseas exchanges and counterparties and the purchase of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds issued by Indian companies abroad.
  • Sending money to certain countries and entities identified as posing terrorist risks is also barred.
  • It is initial steps towards dismantling controls on foreign exchange movements in and out of the country.
  • The Scheme is available to all resident individuals including minors.

 

 

 

What are the functions of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)?

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About Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT):

  • The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is the agency of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India responsible for administering laws regarding foreign trade and foreign investment in India.
  • DGFT is a government organization in India responsible for the formulation of Exim guidelines and principles for indian importers and indian exporters of the country.
  • Before 1991, DGFT was known as the Chief Controller of Imports & Exports (CCI&E).
  • DGFT is responsible for implementing the Foreign Trade Policy or Exim Policy with the main objective of promoting Indian exports.
  • Keeping in line with liberalization and globalization and the overall objective of increasing of exports, DGFT has since been assigned the role of “facilitator”.
  • The shift was from prohibition and control of imports/exports to promotion and facilitation of exports/imports, keeping in view the interests of the country.
  • Officials DGFT works in close coordination with other related economic offices like Customs Commissionerate’s, Central Excise authorities, DRI authorities and Enforcement Directorate.
  • It has 36 regional offices and an extension counter at Indore.
  • All regional offices provide facilitation to exporters in regard to developments in international trade, i.e. WTO agreements, Rules of Origin and anti-dumping issues, etc. to help exporters in their import and export decisions in an internationally dynamic environment.

Functions of DGFT:

  • To implement the Exim Policy or Foreign Trade Policy of India by introducing various schemes and guidelines through its network of DGFT regional offices thought-out the country.
  • DGFT perform its functions in coordination with state governments and all the other departments of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • DGFT provides a complete searchable database of all exporters and importers of India.
  • The search can be completed only if full IEC code and first three letters of company name are entered.
  • To Grant Exporter Importer Code Number to Indian Exporter and Importers. IEC Number is a unique 10 digit code required by the traders or manufacturers for the purpose of import and export in India.
  • DGFT IEC Codes are mandatory for carrying out import export trade operations and enable companies to acquire benefits on their imports/exports, indian customs, export promotion council etc in India.
  • It is the licensing authority for exporters, importers, and export and import business.
  • It can prohibit, restrict and regulate exports and imports.
  • DGFT permits or regulate Transit of Goods from India or to countries adjacent to India in accordance with the bilateral treaties between India and other countries.
  • To promote trade with neighbouring countries.
  • To grant the permission of free export in Export Policy Schedule 2.
  • DGFT also play an important role in controlling DEPB Rates.
  • Setting standard input-output norms is also controlled by the DGFT.
  • Any changes or formulation or addition of new codes in ITC-HS Codes are also carried out by DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade).
  • DGFT also acts as a trade facilitator.
  • It also deals with the quality complaints of the foreign buyers.
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