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29 October Current Affairs

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)

In News:

Department of Consumer Affairs & NCDRC had recently organized a conference to review functioning of State Commissions and District Fora.

Details:

The Conference was attended by Presidents of State Commissions and Secretaries in charge of Consumer Affairs of States and UTs.

Significance:

The Conference is being held to discuss the issues relating to the functioning of the Consumer fora such as pendency of case and filling up of vacancies in the post of President and Members of the Commissions.

The Conference is being held at a crucial time, when the Government has introduced a new Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha repealing the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 with substantial changes for meeting the emerging challenges faced by consumers in the new markets.

About NCDRC:

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), India is a quasi-judicial commission in India which was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

The commission is headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Statutory provisions:

Section 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 posits that the National Consumer shall have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint valued more than one crore and also have Appellate and Revisional jurisdiction from the orders of State Commissions or the District fora as the case may be.

Section 23 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, provides that any person aggrieved by an order of NCDRC, may prefer an Appeal against such order to Supreme Court of India within a period of 30 days.

Source: PIB

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

In News:

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded approval for the Mid Life Upgrade of 17 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs. 950 crore. The upgrades will be carried out by M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft manufacturer of India.

Background:

ICG is also the nodal agency in India for maritime pollution response. The Coast Guard has a fleet of Dornier aircraft which play a pivotal role in maritime surveillance. In order to enhance the capabilities of the fleet, DAC accorded approval for upgradation of these aircraft with state-of-the-art technology, spares, Special Maintenance Tools (SMT) and Special Test Equipment (STE).

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC):

To counter corruption and speed up decision- making in military procurement, the government of India in 2001 decided to set up an integrated DAC. It is headed by the Defence Minister.

Objective: The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces, in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.

Functions: The DAC is responsible to give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans. It also clears all acquisitions, which includes both imported and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license.

Source: PIB

Electoral bond scheme

In News:

The Finance Ministry has authorised the sale of sixth tranche of electoral bonds. The State Bank of India, will issue and encash them from November 1 to November 11 via its 29 authorised branches.

About Electoral bonds:

Electoral bonds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary.

Key features: Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest. The electoral bond, which will be a bearer instrument, will not carry the name of the payee and can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.

Eligibility: As per provisions of the Scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a citizen of India, or entities incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals. Only the registered Political Parties which have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha elections or the State Legislative Assembly are eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.

Need: The electoral bonds are aimed at rooting out the current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to the generation of black money in the economy.

Source: PIB

IMPRESS Scheme

In News:

Union HRD Ministry has launched the web portal of IMPRESS scheme with an aim to build a research ecosystem in educational institutions.

IMPRESS Scheme:

The objective of Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS) is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.

It will provide an opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country which includes all universities (central and state) and also a few private institutions meeting the requirement.

The scheme will focus on broad thematic areas such as state and democracy, urban transformation; media, culture and society; employment, skills and rural transformation; governance; innovation and public policy; macro-trade and economic policy and social media and technology.

Under IMPRESS, 1,500 research projects will be awarded for two years to support social science research in the higher educational institutions.

The Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.

The scheme will be implemented till March, 2021.

Source: The Hindu

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)

In News:

An ADIP-RVY Distribution Camp for free of cost distribution of Aids and Assistive Living Devices to Divyangjans and Senior Citizens in BPL category under Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY) was organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment Department recently.

Details:

The event was organized by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a PSU working under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

About Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:

The Scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age related disability/infirmity Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested.

This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund“.

Under the scheme, free of cost distribution of the devices, commensurate with the extent of disability/infirmity that is manifested among the eligible senior citizens will take place.

In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.

Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.

As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.

Background:

As per the Census figures of 2011, the population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore.  More than 70% of the population of senior citizens live in rural areas of the country. A sizeable percentage (5.2%) of the senior citizens suffers from some sort of disabilities related to old age. Projections indicate that the number of elderly population will increase to around 173 million by 2026.

Source: PIB

11 Global Agriculture Summit – 2018

In News:

11th Global Agriculture Leadership Summit & Awards were recently organised by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) with support of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare; Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Commerce.

Outcomes of the 2018 summit:

11th Global Leadership Awards were announced and the Agriculture Year Book 2018 was launched.

Leveraging upon its past experiencing, ICFA has launched 1st World Agriculture Prize and MS Swaminathan Global Dialogue on Climate Change and Food Security to come up with blue print for sustained agriculture growth in changing face of climate and weather extremes.

Global Agriculture Summit:

Global Agriculture Summit is an annual event organized by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture to discuss the broad scenario and trends in agriculture sector, trade, technology, investments and the need for appropriate policy initiatives on the part of the Government by bringing together eminent personalities of Indian and global agriculture on one platform.

The summit aims to discuss the broad issues in agriculture and agribusiness, and measures to empower farmers and unleash the potential of India’s agriculture sector by deliberating upon national and global challenges for farmers, agribusinesses and startups, the issue of employment and agriculture development and bring out a road map for the same.

About Global Leadership Awards:

ICFA had established the Agriculture Leadership Awards in 2008 to recognize the leadership roles played by individuals and institutions positively impacting the lives of farmers and rural masses.

Notable facts and winners:

Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu was awarded the Policy Leadership Award for his proactive policies for uplifting the farming community by focusing on irrigation, investment, global partnerships, marketing initiatives and zero budget natural farming.

Best States in Various Fields: The best fisheries State Award was given Jharkhand for efforts in augmenting the production potential of the state in fisheries segment. Further, Bihar is Best Animal Husbandry State, Nagaland is best Horticultural state, Gujarat is Best Agriculture State and Haryana has been conferred with Program Leadership Award.

About ICAF:

Indian Council of Food and Agriculture is an apex think tank for addressing policy issues concerning farmers, food and agro industries. ICFA is serving as global platform for trade facilitation, partnerships, technology, investments and agribusiness services.

Source: PIB

Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)

In News:

The World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement body has set up a panel to examine the US complaint against certain export-subsidy measures by India as both the sides failed to resolve the issue at consultation level.

Details:

In March, the US dragged India to the global trade body’s dispute settlement mechanism over export subsidies, saying that these incentives were harming the American companies. The US has challenged India’s export subsidy programmes such as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme in the WTO, asserting that these initiatives harm its companies by creating an uneven playing field.

Dispute Settlement Body:

The General Council convenes as the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to deal with disputes between WTO members. Such disputes may arise with respect to any agreement contained in the Final Act of the Uruguay Round that is subject to the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU).

The DSB has authority to establish dispute settlement panels, refer matters to arbitration, adopt panel, Appellate Body and arbitration reports, maintain surveillance over the implementation of recommendations and rulings contained in such reports, and authorize suspension of concessions in the event of non-compliance with those recommendations and rulings.

About MEIS- What is it?

Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) under Foreign Trade Policy of India (FTP 2015-20) is one of the two schemes introduced in Foreign Trade Policy of India 2015-20, as a part of Exports from India Scheme.

Objective of Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) as per Indian Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 (FTP 2015-20) is to offset infrastructural inefficiencies and associated costs involved in export of goods/products, which are produced/manufactured in India, especially those having high export intensity, employment potential and thereby enhancing India’s export competitiveness.

Source: The Hindu

Mahila Mall

Mahila Mall, the first mall in the country with an all-women crew, is coming up in Kozhikode. The mall, a venture of Unity Group under the Kozhikode Corporation Kudumbashree CDS, houses business establishments run by around 75 women entrepreneurs or groups.

Electoral Bonds

  • Union government has announced the sales of electoral bond, which is designed to be a bearer instrument like a Promissory Note in effect, it will be similar to a bank note that is payable to the bearer on demand and free of interest.
  • It can be purchased by any citizen of India or a body incorporated in India.
  • Only the Political Parties registered under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
  • The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
  • It may be noted that Electoral Bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.
  • The Electoral Bond deposited by an eligible Political Party in its account shall be credited on the same day.

Capitulation

  • Capitulation is when investors give up any previous gains in any security or market by selling their positions during periods of declines. Capitulation can happen at any time, but typically happens during high volume trading and extended declines for securities.
  • A market correction or bear market often leads investors to capitulate or panic sell, The term is a derived from a military term which refers to surrender.

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