News: June 01, 2020
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan or Self-Reliant India Movement, is a campaign launched by the Central Government with an economic stimulus package of 20 lakh crores, equivalent to 10% of India's GDP.
- It has five pillars - Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography, and Demand.
- The package emphasises on land, labour, liquidity and laws.
- The package is aimed at providing the much needed financial & policy support to the cottage industry and MSMEs in India.Startups were not specifically covered under it.
Following key measures were proposed under the economic package
- Increase in borrowing limits: The borrowing limits of state governments will be increased from 3% to 5% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the year 2020-21.
- Privatisation of Public Sector Enterprise (PSEs): A new PSE policy has been announced with plans to privatise PSEs, except the ones functioning in certain strategic sectors which will be notified by the government. In strategic sectors, at least one PSE will remain, but private sector will also be allowed.
Measures for businesses (including MSMEs)
- Collateral free loans for businesses: All businesses (including MSMEs) will be provided with collateral free automatic loans of up to 3 lakh crore rupees.
- Corpus for MSMEs: A fund of funds with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore will be set up for MSMEs
- Schemes for NBFCs: A Special Liquidity Scheme was announced under which Rs 30,000 crore of investment will be made by the government in both primary and secondary market transactions in investment grade debt paper of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)/Housing Finance Companies (HFCs)/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). The central government will provide 100% guarantee for these securities.
- Disallowing global tenders: To protect Indian MSMEs from competition from foreign companies, global tenders of up to Rs 200 crore will not be allowed in government procurement tenders.
- Ease of doing business for corporates: Direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions will be allowed. Private companies which list Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) on stock exchanges will not be considered listed companies.
- Definition of MSME: The definition of MSMEs will be changed by amending the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006. As per the proposed definition, the investment limit will be increased from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore for micro enterprises, from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore for small enterprises, and from Rs 10 crore to Rs 20 crore for medium enterprises. The turnover limit for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises will be Rs 5 crore, Rs 50 crore, and Rs 100 crore, respectively.
- Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi Scheme (PM SVANIDHI) - By Minsitry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Vendors will be able to apply for a working capital loan of up to ₹10,000, which is repayable in monthly installments within a year.
- Initiation of insolvency proceedings: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 will be amended, with minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings to be increased from one lakh rupees to one crore rupees
Agriculture and Allied sectors
- Agri Infrastructure Fund: A fund of one lakh crore rupees will be created for development of agriculture infrastructure projects
- Emergency working capital for farmers: An additional fund of Rs 30,000 crore will be released as emergency working capital for farmers. This fund will be disbursed through NABARD to Rural Cooperative Banks (RCBs) and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) for meeting their crop loans requirements.
- Support to fishermen: The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will be launched for integrated, sustainable, and inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries.
- Employment push using CAMPA funds: The government will approve plans worth Rs 6,000 crore under the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to facilitate job creation for tribals/adivasis
- Amendments to the Essential Commodities Act: The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 empowers the central and state governments control the production, supply and distribution of certain commodities to avoid scarcity in the country. The Act will be amended to deregulate food items including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato.
- One Nation One Card: Migrant workers will be able to access the Public Distribution System (Ration) from any Fair Price Shop in India by March 2021 under the scheme of One Nation One Card.
- Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) for Migrant Workers / Urban Poor: The migrant labour/urban poor will be provided living facilities at affordable rent under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). This will be achieved by: (i) converting government funded housing in the cities into ARHCs through PPPs, and (ii) incentivising manufacturing units, industries, institutions, associations to develop ARHCs on their private land and operate them.
- FDI limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route will be increased from 49% to 74%.
- Privatisation of power distribution: Power departments/utilities in union territories will be privatised
- Commercial coal mining: In March 2020, the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill was passed, which opened up the coal sector for commercial mining. Auctions will be conducted for allocation of coal mines. Any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market.
- Public health: The National Digital Health Blueprint will be implemented, which aims at creating an ecosystem to support universal health coverage in an efficient, inclusive, safe and timely manner using digital technology.
- Allocation for MGNREGS: To help boost rural economy, an additional Rs 40,000 crore will be allocated under MGNREGS taking it to Rs 1,01,500 crore (65% increase) for 2020-21
- Technology driven education: PM eVidya will be launched for multi-mode access to digital/online education. This program will include facilities to support school education in states/UTs under the DIKSHA scheme (one nation, one digital platform). National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched by December 2020 to ensure that every child attains learning level and outcomes in grade 5 by 2025.
- July, 20
- Coal India Ltd. (CIL) introduces a new category of spot e-auction for importers only, and aimed at replacing 150 million tonne of imported coal with domestic supply.
- First mission in 2010
- SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft took two NASA astronauts in June, 20, and successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS)
- The Dragon spacecraft is equipped with 16 Draco thrusters used to orient the spacecraft during the mission, including apogee/perigee maneuvers, orbit adjustment and attitude control.
Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe)
The Central government has decided to open up Indian space sector by setting up Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) which will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
- IN-SPACe will act as a national nodal agency to promote private endeavours in space sector and for this ISRO will share its technical expertise as well as facilities.
- It is an autonomous nodal agency which is being established under Department of Space as a separate vertical for permitting and regulating the activities of private industry in space sector.
- ISRO to focus on research and development (R&D) of new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme
- June, 20
- SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft took two NASA astronauts in June, 20
- Aug, 20
- SpaceX with NASA crew is back home
Attorney General of India
- Article 76 : Attorney General of India
- President shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court to be Attorney General for India. In other words, he should have been a high court judge for five years or an high court advocate for 10 years
- In the performance of his duties the Attorney General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India
- The Attorney General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine
- Duties - Attorney General is required to appear on behalf of government
- in all the cases in Supreme Court in which the Government of India is concerned.
- in any reference made by the president to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the constitution.
- in any case in a high court in which the Government of India is concerned, if Government of India requires so.
- He has right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
- He can be part of parliamentary committees to which he is a member.
- He has the right to speak or to take part in the proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament and their joint sittings [Article 88], but without a right to vote. He enjoys all privileges and immunities that are available to member of parliament
- Attorney General can not defend accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the permission from government
Solicitor General of India
- Attorney General has two law officers Solicitor General of India (SG) and Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG). Law officers have a tenure of 3 years, and can be terminated with a 3 months notice by either side
- They are statutory posts and not constitutional. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) recommends the appointment and president officially appoints the Solicitor General
Contempt of Court Act, 1971
Contempt refers to the offence of showing disrespect to the dignity or authority of a court. The Act was based on the recommendations of Sanyal committee
- The Act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.
- Civil contempt refers to the wilful disobedience of an order of any court.
- Criminal contempt includes any act or publication which: (i) ‘scandalises’ the court, or (ii) prejudices any judicial proceeding, or (iii) interferes with the administration of justice in any other manner.
- ‘Scandalising the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary.
- Fair and accurate reporting of judicial proceedings will not amount to contempt of court. Nor is any fair criticism on the merits of a judicial order after a case is heard and disposed of.
- The punishment for contempt of court is simple imprisonment for a term up to six months and/or a fine of up to ₹. 2,000.
- Article 129: The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself
- Article 142: The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it
- Article 142(2): Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, Supreme Court shall have power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself
Judgements in focus
- February 2020 Supreme Court judgment on criminalisation in politics
- Political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that goaded them to field suspected criminals over decent people.
- Information should be published within 48 hours of selection in a local as well as a national newspaper as well as the parties’ social media handles
- June, 20
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on PIL about migrants
- Aug, 20
- Plea in SC against contempt law by Prashant Bhushan
- Article 142 for implementation of Ayodhya verdict
- Galwan river - Galwan river is a tributary of Shylok river, a tributary of Indus river. It flows from Aksai chin to Ladakh.
- Pangong Tso - Lake in Ladakh and Tibet. Not part of Ramsar Convention
- Five fingers of the Tibetan palm - Cited in the 1950s by Chinese officials, Xizang (Tibet) was China’s right palm, and it was its responsibility to 'liberate' the fingers, defined as Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, or Arunachal Pradesh).
- Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1993
- Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means.
- Two sides shall strictly respect and observe the line of actual control. No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control
- Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1996
- Neither side shall use its military capability against the other side.
- The two sides reiterate their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question.
- Reaffirmed in 2003 in Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China
- Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India–China Border, 2005
- The differences on the boundary question should not be allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations
- The two sides will give due consideration to each other’s strategic and reasonable interests, and the principle of mutual and equal security.
- The boundary should be along well-defined and easily identifiable natural geographical features to be mutually agreed upon between the two sides.
- In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas.
- Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination of India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), 2012
- WMCC is focussed on management of relations between the troops on the ground in border areas, the Special Representatives mechanism between the two countries is engaged in finding a solution to the vexed boundary issue between the two neighbours.
- It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides
- Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between India and China, 2013
- The two sides shall implement border defence cooperation by exchanging information, by jointly combating smuggling, by assisting other side if a personnal or livestock crosses other's side.
- Resolve border deference through flag meetings and periodic meetings
- Work with the other side in combating natural disasters or infectious diseases that may affect or spread to the other side
- Two sides may establish Border Personnel Meeting sites in all sectors, as well as telephone contacts and telecommunication links
- The two sides agree that they shall not follow or tail patrols of the other side in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control
- In case a doubtful situation arises with reference to any activity by either side in border areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, either side has the right to seek a clarification from the other side.
- The Chinese and Indian armies have agreed to not use unmanned aerial vehicles at the friction points in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
- China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), erstwhile One Belt One Road, in 2013 to improve connectivity and cooperation on a transcontinental scale.
- Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) is not part of initiative after India's reservations over China's expansion
- CPEC : India opposes it as the road is bound to pass through Gilgit-Baltistan
- East China sea
- Senkaku Islands / Diaoyu Islands - disputed island between Japan and China
- East China sea
- June, 20
- border talks
- July, 20
- Pakistan committed to completion of CPEC
- Japan accuses China for sending its ships to Senkaku Islands
- Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service), Act, 1979
- All establishments hiring inter-state migrants to be registered, and contractors who recruit such workmen be licensed.
- Contractors are obligated to provide details of all workmen to the relevant authority. Contractors are also required to ensure regular payment, non-discrimination, provisioning of suitable accommodation, free medical facilities and protective clothing for the workmen.
- Migrant workmen are entitled to similar wages and benefits as other workmen
- Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
- Centre and states to constitute Building and Other Construction Workers’ Advisory Committee
- Every employer to register his establishment in sixty days
- Building workers are entitled to benefits provided by Board from its fund.
- Payment of pension to the beneficiaries who have completed the age of sixty years
- Fix working hours, with wages for overtime, and medical expenses for treatment of major ailments of a beneficiary
- Centre to appoint Director-General of Inspection responsible for laying down the standards of inspection
- According to the Census of India, 2011, more than 450 million Indians (37%) are internal migrants who change their residence within a country’s national borders. About 30% of the migrants are youth aged 15-29 years and another 15 million are children
- Women migrants are less represented in regular jobs and more likely to be self-employed than non-migrant women.
- Surat at 58% has the highest percentage of migrant labour population, followed by Mumbai and Delhi
- Illegal migrants can be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.