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December 10, 2020
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December 12, 2020
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11th December Current Affairs

Technical Specifications of Floating Structures

In News:

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways issues draft guidelines of Technical Specifications of Floating Structures for public consultation.

Details:

The Ministry intends to promote floating jetties for various usages all along the Indian Coastline.

The benefits of floating jetties over the conventional quay and fixed concrete structures are as follows:

It is a cost-effective solution and much cheaper than conventional structures price.

Setting up of floating structures is much faster as compared to conventional jetties. Usually, floating structures can be built in 6-8 months as compared to 24 months for conventional structures.

Its environmental impact is minimal.

Expansions are easily feasible due to modular construction techniques.

It is easily transportable in case of reconfiguring of the port.

It provides constant freeboard between jetties and boats.

Background:

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has successfully implemented a few pilot projects in the recent past by following the international guiding principles.

These include setting up of passenger floating jetties in Goa, water-aerodromes at Sabarmati River & at Sardar Sarovar Dam (for the seaplane services).

Tharu tribals

In News:

The Uttar Pradesh government has recently embarked upon a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.

Details:

The scheme involves creating homestays. The idea is to offer tourists an experience of living in the natural Tharu habitat, in traditional huts made of grass collected mainly from the forests.

Who exactly are the Tharu people?

The community belongs to the Terai lowlands, amid the Shivaliks or lower Himalayas. Most of them are forest dwellers, and some practice agriculture.

The word tharu is believed to be derived from sthavir, meaning followers of Theravada Buddhism.

The Tharus live in both India and Nepal. In the Indian terai, they live mostly in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

Tharu women have stronger property rights than is allowed to women in mainstream North Indian Hindu custom.

How Mount Everest got 3 feet higher, endorsed by both Nepal and China?

In News:

The Foreign Ministers of Nepal and China jointly certified the elevation of Mount Everest at 8,848.86 metres above sea level 86 cm higher than what was recognised since 1954.

About Mount Everest:

Mount Everest rises from the border between Nepal and China.

Everest is also known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Mount Qomolangma in China.

Background:

No other mountain has perhaps been the subject of as much debate. Over the years, there have been debates on issues like whether it should be “rock height”, or whether the snow cladding it, too, should be accounted for.

How and when was the earlier measurement of 8,848 m done?

Earlier measurement was determined by the Survey of India in 1954, using instruments like theodolites and chains, with GPS still decades away. The elevation of 8,848 m came to be accepted in all references worldwide except by China.

In 1999, a US team put the elevation at 29,035 feet (nearly 8,850 m).

We won’t order any step that will hobble economy: SC

In News:

The Supreme Court has orally said it would not pass any order that would risk the economy going “haywire”.

What’s the issue?

The Supreme Court is hearing the government’s response to separate pleas made by industry, real estate and power sectors and others for debt relief, including waiver of interest, during the moratorium.

The Court said this after the Union government revealed that a blanket waiver of interest on debts incurred by all classes and categories of borrowers for the moratorium period would mean forgoing an estimated over ₹6 lakh crore.

Why is the Centre concerned?

A possible crippling of the banking sector was one of the main reasons for “not even contemplating waiver interest” and restricting relief to “deferment of payment of instalments”.

If the banks were to bear this burden, it would necessarily wipe out a substantial and a major part of their net worth, rendering most of the banks unviable and raising a very serious question mark over their very survival.

For every loan account, there were about 8.5 deposit accounts in the Indian banking system. Therefore, the government cannot do anything which would topple the economic scenario.

Various measures by the Government:

The Ministry of Finance, under the Disaster Management Act, and the RBI have acted proactively.

The government had sanctioned over ₹90,800-crore liquidity injection for the power distribution companies. This would enable them to pay their outstanding dues to power producers and transmission companies.

In the real estate sector, a government advisory was issued allowing the extension of registration and completion dates of projects under Real Estate Regulatory Authorities by treating COVID-19 as an event of force-majeure.

The government spelt relief for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector by launching an emergency credit line of up to ₹3 lakh crore, backed by 100% government guarantee to enable the MSMEs to get back to regular operations. A sum of ₹1.87 lakh crore had been sanctioned.

The resolution framework announced by the RBI took care of the apprehensions raised about the possible downgrading of loan accounts from standard to non-performing asset (NPA) and consequent impact on ratings.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India had issued circulars to relax the “recognition” of defaults committed during moratorium.

The Kamath Committee set up by the RBI has recommended financial parameters for debt restructuring of 26 sectors affected by COVID-19.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)

Constituted under Companies Act, 2013.

Functions:

It hears appeals against the orders of:

  • NCLT under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India under Section 202 and Section 211 of IBC.
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Composition:

The President of the Tribunal and the chairperson and Judicial Members of the Appellate Tribunal shall be appointed after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

The Members of the Tribunal and the Technical Members shall be appointed on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of:

  • Chief Justice of India or his nominee—Chairperson.
  • A senior Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of High Court— Member.
  • Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs—Member.
  • Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice—Member.
  • Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance— Member.

Eligibility:

Chairperson – Should be/been judge of the Supreme Court or should be/been Chief Justice of the High Court.

Judicial Member – Is/has been a judge of a High Court or is a judicial member of a tribunal for 5 years or more.

Technical member– Person with proven ability, integrity and standing having special knowledge and experience of 25 years or more (in specified areas).

Term:

Term of office of chairperson and members is 5 years and they can be reappointed for additional 5 years.