Daily Current Affairs - 04-02-2021

The Rajya Sabha Chairman, M. Venkaiah Naidu, recently warned MPs against using the mobile phones to record the proceedings of the House.

Highlights

The chairman said that. unauthorised recordings and its circulation on social media are a breach of Parliamentary privilege and it will be considered as contempt of the House. He also asked the media who started telecasting the clips to stop doing the same since “it is not authorised”. He further said that the media could be “liable for consequences”.

What is the issue?

Recently, in the Rajya Sabha, Some Opposition MPs used their mobile phones to record the disruption in proceedings. There was disruption in the house proceedings over the farmer’s protest and the farm bills. These videos then shared on social media and it was telecasted on television channels as well.

What does the rule say?

The Parliamentary rules does not allow the usage of mobile phones within Rajya Sabha chambers”.

Rajya Sabha or Council of States

It is the upper house of the Parliament of India. The house has a maximum membership of 245.  Out of them, 233 are elected by the legislatures of the states and union territories through the single transferable votes while 12 members are appointed by the President. The 12 members are nominated for their contributions in literature, art, science, and social services. The Rajya Sabha is the continuing chamber and is not subjected to dissolution. However, one-third of its member are retired every second year.  The Vice-chairman of India is the ex-officio chairman of the upper house. Allocation of seats in Rajya Sabha is done in accordance with the fourth schedule of the Indian constitution.

How Members are elected in RS?

The members are elected using the method of proportional representation by the elected members of state legislative assemblies.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently released its report titled “Democracy in sickness and in health?” and also published the Democracy Index 2020.

Key Findings

Why India’s rank has declined?

The report highlights that, multiple instances of “crackdowns” on civil liberties and the “democratic backsliding” by authorities has degraded the India’s ranking. However, India was ranked higher than most of its neighbouring nations. In the index, India has been classified as a ‘flawed democracy’. The other flawed democracies include U.S., France, Brazil and Belgium.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

The EIU has been headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the leading resource that provides the forecasting and advisory services through the  economic and business research across the world.

The Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers’ Conclave was hosted by India on February 4, 2021. The event took place in the backdrop of Aero India 2021 which is the largest Aero show of Asia.

Highlights

Indian Ocean Region Conclave

  1. Defence Industry co-operation among the IOR countries.
  2. Maritime surveillance and cooperation
  3. Sharing the resources that are available in the Indian Defence Shipyards. Resources that will be utilized for the purpose of designing and shipbuilding.
  4. Sharing the Indian ports with friendly nations.
  5. Sharing of the Information to increase the awareness in maritime domain.
  6. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
  7. Development of technologies and capabilities to harness the marine resources.
  8. Marine Pollution Response Activities.

Participating countries

The conclave was attended by 18 countries.  Among them, the Defence Ministers of 4 countries Comoros, Maldives, Madagascar, and Iran took part in the conclave. From six countries namely Australia, Kenya, Myanmar, Kuwait, Mauritius and Seychelles, six High Commissioners or Ambassadors participated. From 10 countries, the service Chief participated besides, the Defence Secretary of Sudan.

Recently, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) stated that a panel of Ministers would take final decision regarding the number of public sector companies that will be retained in each of the strategic sectors. The panel of ministers will comprise of Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister and Nitin Gadkari, the Road Transport Minister.

Background

  1. Transport and Telecommunications;
  2. Power, Petroleum, Coal and other minerals;
  3. Atomic energy, Space and Defence; and
  4. Banking, Insurance and financial services.

What is the Plan?

  1. National security
  2. Critical infrastructure.
  3. Energy and minerals and
  4. Financial services.

Strategic Disinvestment

It means transfer of the ownership and control of the public sector entity to other entity. Usually, the ownership is transferred to a private sector entity. It is a king of privatization unlike the simple disinvestment where the government sale of assets to raise money.

The Central Government has confirmed in a written reply to Lok Sabha about the presence of 1600 tonnes of lithium deposits in Mandya district of Karnataka. However, the significance and the quantity of the lithium in the region can only be confirmed after exploring the entire area. Further, commercial exploitation for the deposits can start only after the technical, social and economic feasibility studies are done.

Highlights

About Lithium

India’s first Lithium plant

The first Lithium plant of India has been set up at Gujarat in the year 2021. This refinery will be set up with the help of investment of Rs 1000 crore made by the Manikaran Power Limited. This refinery will make use of Lithium ore to produce the base battery material and make Gujarat a hub for Lithium-ion batteries.

India-Argentina deals on Lithium

Indian firm, Khanij Bidesh India Limited and Argentinian firm had signed an agreement in the year 2020 to jointly prospect the lithium in the South American nation. The South American nation has 17 million tonnes of lithium metal reserves.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on has introduced a risk-based internal audit (RBIA) system. It has made it mandatory for select non-banking financial companies and urban co-operative banks (UCBs).

What has changed now?

What is the need of new system?

What is RBIA System?

It is an audit methodology that links the overall risk management framework of an organisation. It also provides an assurance to the board of directors and the senior management regarding the quality and effectiveness of risk management, internal controls and systems & processes related to the governance.

Background

RBI had also introduced the RBIA system for the scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) in the year 2002.

How the RBIA system will work?

RBIA system will evaluate the internal risk management systems and control procedures in various aspects of operations in the NBFs and UCBs. It will also test the transaction in order to anticipate risks and mitigate it.

The Rating agency Moody’s have recently forecasted that the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India will rise closer to 17% in the Financial Year 2021.

Key Highlights

Moody’s Corporation or Moody’s

It is an American business and financial services company which was founded in 1909 by John Moody. It is the holding company for Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) and Moody’s Analytics (MA).

Recently, the Villupuram district administration in Tamil Nadu has issued the first declaration under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The declaration was issued in a bid to declare Kaliveli wetlands as a bird sanctuary.

Key Facts

The Kaliveli wetlands

Why it is being converted to bird sanctuary?

As per the 2004 report by the Indian Bird Conservation Network and Bird Life International, the Kaliveli wetlands supports around 20,000 birds every year. The lake also works as a feeding ground for long-distance migrants who migrates from the cold subarctic Central Asia and Siberia. Some of the migratory birds include Black-tailed Godwits, White Stork, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff and Dublin. This is why, there is a demand to covert the wetlands into a bird sanctuary.

Significance

  1. The declaration will ensure that no construction take place in the surroundings.
  2. The declaration will help in maintaining the natural biosphere and biodiversity of the area.
  3. It will also create jobs for the local residents through eco-tourism.
  4. Further, the wetlands have large area that will help in recharging the ground water table.

What are the Challenges?

Creation of check-dam downstream could impact the water levels and salinity in the wetlands. Further, the Creation of the check-dam will have negative impact on the plan of creating a fishing harbour in the estuary of the lagoon system.

The year-long Birth Centenary celebrations of legendary classical singer Pandit Bhimsen Joshi will begin on February 04, 2020.

More in news

Who was Pandit Bhimsen Joshi?

Awards

He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in the year 1998. It is the highest honour which is conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. In the year 2009 he received, the India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna.

Hindustani classical music

It is the classical music of northern regions of the India.  It is also called as the North Indian classical music or the shastriya sangeet. The origin of the shastriya sangeet dates back to the 12th century CE. In the 12th century, the Hindustani Classical Music got diverged from the classical music of southern Indian regions called the Carnatic Music.

Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has identified 50 religious places to carry the interventions in order to ensure zero tolerance towards child labour.

Highlights

How NCPCR will undertake the situation?

NCPCR will undertake the:

  1. Preventive Measures such as linking vulnerable and deprived families with the different centre and state government schemes. This will help in the sustainable rehabilitation of the child.
  2. Curative Measures such as penal action against the perpetrators including the organized nexus who involves the children in begging, labour, and trafficking, etc.

Child Labourers in India

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that there are around 12.9 million Indian children aged 7 to 17 years old who are engaged in work.  The children are often doing unpaid work. Because of this, they are less likely to attend school or they attend the school only intermittingly. This in turn is trapping these children in the poverty cycle.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

It is the apex body operating under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The body works for protecting the child rights in India. It was established in the year 2007. The headquarter of the NCPCR is in Delhi.

The Home Minister have recently presented the crime data in Parliament in the ongoing Budget Session.

Crime Data

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

It is an Indian government agency which is responsible for collecting and analysing the crime data. The crime data are analysed in accordance with the definition of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The agency is headquartered in New Delhi. It works under the aegis of or is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Presently, the Director of NCRB is Ramphal Pawar (IPS).

Background

NCRB was set up in the year 1986 on the recommendation of Task force (1985) and National Police Commission (1977). In order to set up the agency, Directorate of Coordination, Police Computer (DCPC) and the Inter State Criminals Data Branch & Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI were merged.

Function

The NCRB function as a repository of information on crime and criminals.  These information are used to assist the investigators to link the crime and the perpetrators.

The Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh have jointly launched a unified web portal. This web portal will be used for monitoring the progress of GOBARDHAN activities in India.

Key Points

GOBARDHAN Scheme

This scheme was launched by the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation GOBAR-DHAN scheme stands for Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources – DHAN scheme. This scheme is the part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). The scheme has its focus on keeping the villages clean, increasing the income of rural households. It also seeks to generate energy from cattle waste.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

This mission comprises of the two main components in order to create clean villages. Two components include- to create open defecation free (ODF) villages and to manage the solid & liquid waste in villages. Under the scheme, 3.5 lakh villages, 374 districts and 16 States or Union Territories of the country have been declared ODF till date. Thus, time has come to is set up the ODF-plus activities. The ODF-plus comprise of the measures so as to enhance Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM). The GOBARDHAN scheme is also an element under the ODF-plus strategy.

The 16th edition of Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ will begin in Rajasthan from February 8 and it will be concluded in February 21, 2021.

About Yudh Abbhyas 2021

Who will represent the Armies?

Yudh Abhyas

Yudh Abhyas between two armies is held since 2004. The exercise has been designed to promote the cooperation between both the armies. Both the sides share their training techniques, their culture and build the joint operating skills.

Significance of the exercise

The Yudh Abhyas between the Indian and the US army in significant with respect to the security challenges, like terrorism, faced by both the nations of global terrorism. This exercise will be held with the objective of enhancing the level of defence cooperation between both armies. This in turn will also boost the bilateral relations of both the nations. The exercise also signifies the key role that India plays into the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise is also significant with respect to the recent development on the northern border with China.