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14th September Current Affairs

Groundswell report on climate change

(GS-III: Conservation related issues)

In News:

The Report was recently released by the World Bank. It examined how the impacts of slow-onset climate change, such as water scarcity, decreasing crop productivity and rising sea levels, could lead to millions of what it describes as “climate migrants” by 2050.

Highlights and key findings of the report:

The report considers three different scenarios with varying degrees of climate action and development. These include:

Most pessimistic scenario with a high level of emissions and unequal development: The report forecasts up to 216 million people moving within their own countries across the six regions analysed. Those regions are Latin America; North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Eastern Europe and Central Asia; South Asia; and East Asia and the Pacific.

In the most climate-friendly scenario, with a low level of emissions and inclusive, sustainable development, the world could still see 44 million people being forced to leave their homes.

In the worst-case scenario, Sub-Saharan Africa — the most vulnerable region due to desertification, fragile coastlines and the population’s dependence on agriculture — would see the most migrants, with up to 86 million people moving within national borders.

Other impacts:

Hotspots of internal climate migration could emerge as early as 2030 and continue to spread and intensify by 2050.

The report provides a series of policy recommendations that can help slow the factors driving climate migration and prepare for expected migration flows, including:

  • Reducing global emissions and making every effort to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Embedding internal climate migration in far-sighted green, resilient, and inclusive development planning.
  • Preparing for each phase of migration, so that internal climate migration as an adaptation strategy can result in positive development outcomes.
  • Investing in better understanding of the drivers of internal climate migration to inform well-targeted policies.

Battle of Saragarhi

(GS-I: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues)

In News:

September 12 marks the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi that has inspired a host of armies, books and films, both at home and abroad.

What is the Battle of Saragarhi?

The Battle of Saragarhi was fought on 12 September 1897. It is considered one of the finest last stands in the military history of the world.

Twenty-one soldiers from British Army were pitted against over 8,000 Afridi and Orakzai tribals but they managed to hold the fort for seven hours.

Though heavily outnumbered, the soldiers of 36th Sikhs platoon led by Havildar Ishar Singh, fought till their last breath, killing 200 tribals and injuring 600.

Importance of Saragarhi:

Saragarhi was the communication tower between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan.

The two forts in the rugged North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now in Pakistan, were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but renamed by the British.

Saragarhi helped to link up the two important forts which housed a large number of British troops in the rugged terrain of NWFP.

The legacy:

Making a departure from the tradition of not giving gallantry medals posthumously, Queen Victoria awarded the 21 dead soldiers — leaving out the non-combatant — of the 36th Sikh the Indian Order of Merit (comparable with the Victoria Cross) along with two ‘marabas’ (50 acres) and Rs 500 each.

The British, who regained control over the fort after a few days, used burnt bricks of Saragarhi to build an obelisk for the martyrs.

They also commissioned gurdwaras at Amritsar and Ferozepur in their honour.

National Commission for Minorities

(GS-II: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies)

In News:

Former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, has been chosen as chairman of National Commission for Minorities.

About the NCM:

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) was set up under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

It Monitor the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the state legislatures.

Please note, Six religious communities, viz; Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified in Gazette of India as minority communities by the Union Government all over India.

Background:

Setting up of the Minorities Commission (MC) was envisaged in the Ministry of Home Affairs Resolution In 1978.

In 1984, the ‘Minorities Commission’ was detached from the Ministry of Home Affairs and placed under the newly created Ministry of Welfare.

In 1992, with the enactment of the ‘National Commission for Minorities Act (NCM Act), 1992’, the MC became a statutory body and was renamed as the ‘National Commission for Minorities’ (NCM).

In 1993, five religious communities The Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority communities.

In 2014, Jains were also notified as a minority community.

Composition:

NCM consists of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and five members and all of them shall be from amongst the minority communities.

Total of 7 persons to be nominated by the Central Government should be from amongst persons of eminence, ability and integrity.

Each Member holds office for a period of three years from the date of assumption of office.

Other constitutional provisions to safeguard the Minorities:

  • Article 15 and 16.
  • Article 25.
  • Article 26.
  • Article 28.
  • Article 29.
  • Article 30.
  • Article 350-B: The 7th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1956 inserted this article which provides for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

(GS-III: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth)

In News:

The Supreme Court has said “judicial delay” was the main reason for the failure of the insolvency regime in India prior to the 2016 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), as it urged company law tribunals to “strictly adhere” to the timelines under the new law and clear pending resolution plans.

What’s the issue?

The IBC mandates a 330-day outer limit for conclusion of the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).

However, a parliamentary panel report published last month stated that more than 71% cases have been pending before the tribunals for over 180 days.

Reasons for delays:

  • The national company law appellate tribunal taking considerable time in admitting CIRPs.
  • Multiplicity of litigation.
  • Appeals to the NCLAT and the Supreme Court.

Impacts of such delays:

Long delays in approving the resolution plan by the adjudicating authority (NCLT) affect the subsequent implementation of the plan.

These delays, if systemic and frequent, will have an undeniable impact on the commercial assessment that the parties undertake during the course of the negotiation.

Also, they cause commercial uncertainty, degradation in the value of the corporate debtor and makes the insolvency process inefficient and expensive.

About the IBC:

The IBC was enacted in 2016, replacing a host of laws, with the aim to streamline and speed up the resolution process of failed businesses.

The Code also consolidates provisions of the current legislative framework to form a common forum for debtors and creditors of all classes to resolve insolvency.

The Code creates various institutions to facilitate resolution of insolvency. These are as follows:

  • Insolvency Professionals.
  • Insolvency Professional Agencies.
  • Information Utilities.
  • Adjudicating authorities: The National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT); and the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT).
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board.