National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 26th January 2019

SC upholds bankruptcy code

1.

Topic: Economy

IN NEWS: In a whoop of victory for credits markets and entrepreneurship, the Supreme Court  upheld the constitutionality of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), saying the law sends a clear message that India is no longer “the defaulter’s paradise”.

More on the Topic:

  • The IBC, on the other hand, adopts a two-pronged approach. It provides a time-bound resolution mechanism, aimed at protecting the maximum value of the assets of the corporate debtor.
  • It also, while doing so, promotes entrepreneurship and credit markets. The court noted that the working of the Code is being monitored by the Centre through expert committees. The Code is constantly evolving, bettering itself.
  • Approximately 3,300 cases have been disposed of by the adjudicating authority based on out-of-court settlements between corporate debtors and creditors which themselves involved claims amounting to over Rs. 1,20,390 crore.

About Insolvency and  Bankruptcy Code:

  • The insolvency and bankruptcy code is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy.
  • The bankruptcy code is a one stop solution for resolving insolvencies which at present is a long process and does not offer an economically viable arrangement.
  • A strong insolvency framework where the cost and the time incurred is minimised in attaining liquidation has been long overdue in India.
  • The code will be able to protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing business a less cumbersome process.
  • The Code offers a uniform, comprehensive insolvency legislation encompassing all companies, partnerships and individuals (other than financial firms). The Government is proposing a separate framework for bankruptcy resolution in failing banks and financial sector entities.
  • One of the fundamental features of the Code is that it allows creditors to assess the viability of a debtor as a business decision, and agree upon a plan for its revival or a speedy liquidation.
  • The Code creates a new institutional framework, consisting of a regulator, insolvency professionals, information utilities and adjudicatory mechanisms, that will facilitate a formal and time bound insolvency resolution process and liquidation.

The Code proposes two independent stages:

  • Insolvency Resolution Process, during which financial creditors assess whether the debtor’s business is viable to continue and the options for its rescue and revival; and
  • Liquidation, if the insolvency resolution process fails or financial creditors decide to wind down and distribute the assets of the debtor.

Model Mains Question:Money laundering poses a serious security threat to a country’s economic sovereignty. What is its significance for India and what steps are required to be taken to control this menace?

Source:Hindu

Neglected diseases

Topic: Health related Issues

IN NEWS: A new report has found that the Indian government is the fourth largest funder for research and development into neglected tropical diseases.

More on the Topic:

  • The findings come from an analysis of global investment into research and development (R&D) on new products for neglected diseases in developing countries, as part of the eleventh annual G-Finder survey.
  • The survey looks at funding for a number of diseases like trachoma, buruli ulcer, rheumatic fever, meningitis, leptospirosis and also for HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, dengue, hepatitis C and leprosy.
  • It examines funding from government sources, philanthropies, private sector funding and other types of organisations.

Details of the Report:

  • With USD 1,595 million, the US government is the largest funder.
  • The Indian government, which contributes USD 72 million, comes 4th.
  • Among other low and middle income countries (LMICs), India is credited with being responsible for the “lion’s share” of public funding.
  • India also records the strongest global growth in public funding for R&D on neglected diseases since 2009.

Need for and significance of R&D into neglected tropical diseases:

  • The need for drugs for neglected diseases and also for drug R&D is high in India. The country tops the number of cases for 11 different neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis, visceral leishmaniasis, trachoma, tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, dengue and leprosy.
  • In 2017, there were around 2.8 million new cases of TB, which brought down the global decline of TB. One third of all TB deaths worldwide happen in India.
  • The National Policy on Treatment of Rare Diseases (2018) includes infectious tropical diseases and identifies a need to support research on treatments for rare diseases. It has not yet prioritised diseases and areas for research funding or how innovation would be supported.

Source:The Hindu

Bharat Ratna Award

3.

Topic: Honours and Awards

In news: President Ramnath Kovind conferred the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour on former president Pranab Mukherjee, along with social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumous), and Assamese musician Bhupen Hazarika (posthumous).

More on the Topic:

  • The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order”, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.
  • The award was originally limited to achievements in the arts, literature, science, and public services, but the government expanded the criteria to include “any field of human endeavour” in December 2011.
  • The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award. Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.

Source: The Hindu

 INS Kohassa

4.

Topic: Science and Technology

In news: (Indian Naval Station) INS Kohassa has been commissioned at Diglipur on North Andaman.

More on the Topic:

  • Indian Navy will have full command over the new airbase, which will play an important role in strengthening the monitoring capabilities of Indian Navy in this part of the Indian Ocean. This region of Indian Ocean is very critical because it has been witnessing a lot of muscle-flexing by China.
  • Indian Navy will have full command over the new airbase, which will play an important role in strengthening the monitoring capabilities of Indian Navy in this part of the Indian Ocean. This region of Indian Ocean is very critical because it has been witnessing a lot of muscle-flexing by China.
  • Located in the region close to the opening of the Straits of Malacca, INS Kohassa is just 90 km from Indonesia, 45 km from Myanmar and 550 km from Thailand. It is interesting to note that around 80% of all cargo going to and from China passes through the Malacca.

Source:Hindu

Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Topic: Environment And Ecology

In news: The differences of opinion between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways over the proposal to construct elevated roads through sections of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve have given a sliver of hope to the State government to tackle the night traffic ban on National Highway 766.

 More on the Topic:

  • The contention between the two Central Ministries on the issue, in which Kerala and Karnataka have stakes, had led the Supreme Court to ask the Centre to arrive at a consensus within six weeks.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has not concurred with the project for an elevated 5-km road over Bandipur while the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is willing to construct five elevated sections, of which four will be in Bandipur and one in Wayanad.

About Bandipur National Park

  • Located in Karnataka.
  • Together with the adjoining Nagarhole National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, it is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve making it the largest protected area in southern India and largest habitat of wild elephants in south Asia.
  • The park is flanked by the Kabini river in the north and the Moyar river in the south. The Nugu river runs through the park.
  • The highest point in the park is on a hill called Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta.

Source:Hindu

E-Court Service

7.

Topic: e-Governance

In news:   Court case information of all computerized district and subordinate courts of the country was made available across all Common Service Centers in the country recently.

More on the Topic:

  • Court case information are judicial proceedings/decisions, case registration, cause list, case status, daily orders, and final judgments.
  • The Government of India had initiated second phase of the e-Courts project as one of the National e-Governance projects in 2015.
  • The e-Courts project has made significant progress under the guidance of e-Committee of Supreme Court of India in computerizing district and subordinate courts of the country.
  • It was done through installation of case information software, hardware and local area network in courts.
  • They are also being connected on Wide Area Network through a dedicated network offering bandwidth up to 100 Mbps.
  • E-Courts services have now been successfully rolled out through SMS, email, web, mobile app etc. benefiting millions of litigants and advocates.
  • Now the Department of Justice has decided to deliver e-Courts services to them through around 2 lakh Common Service Centers (CSCs) to bridge the digital divide among citizens.
  • CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.

Source: Hindu

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