06, May 2017

1.The promulgation of Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017

Source: PIB

The Ordinance enables the Union Government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets

The promulgation of Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 will lead to effective resolution of stressed assets, particularly in consortium or multiple banking arrangements.

Key facts:

  • The promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 inserting two new Sections (viz. 35AA and 35AB) after Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 enables the Union Government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process, where required.
  • The RBI has also been empowered to issue other directions for resolution, and appoint or approve for appointment, authorities or committees to advise banking companies for stressed asset resolution.
  • This action of the Union Government will have a direct impact on effective resolution of stressed assets, particularly in consortium or multiple banking arrangements, as the RBI will be empowered to intervene in specific cases of resolution of non-performing assets, to bring them to a definite conclusion.
  • The Government is committed to expeditious resolution of stressed assets in the banking system.
  • The recent enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 has opened up new possibilities for time bound resolution of stressed assets.
  • The SARFAESI and Debt Recovery Acts have been amended to facilitate recoveries. A comprehensive approach is being adopted for effective implementation of various schemes for timely resolution of stressed assets.

2.The facility of online registration of Child Care Institutions launched by the WCD Minister

Source: PIB

The WCD Minister, said that online registration will provide a centralized system where all the information will be readily available about the CCIs in the country.

  • It will be possible to know on a real time basis as to how many children are available in each CCI, how many are available for adoption, which children need help and what type of assistance needs to be provided to them.
  • The new online registration process there will be transparency in the system now and it will be possible to offer greater care and protection to the children.
  • The module for online registration of CCIs has been developed by the WCD Ministry with the assistance of NIC. This will facilitate and streamline the functioning of State Governments/UT Administrations and set in place a uniform registration process throughout the country. In this regard the Ministry held various consultations and meetings with representatives from different States/UTs, NIC to finalize the module for registration of CCIs.

Background:

  • The proposed system is in accordance with Rule 21 (12) of Juvenile Justice Central Model Rules 2016 which states that “The Central Government shall facilitate developing a model online system for receipt and processing of applications and grant or cancellation of registration and in the interim the systems existing in the States and Union Territories shall continue”.
  • Further, Section 41 (1) and Section 42 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 (JJ Act), provides for mandatory registration of all Child Care Institutions with penal provisions in case of non-compliance with imprisonment which may extend to one year or a fine of not less than one lakh rupees or both.
  • At present there is a system of manual registration of CCIs followed by States/ UTs due to which there is no national data base on the number of CCIs being registered under the JJ Act in the country. Further there is a lack of transparency and it is difficult to monitor the Child Care Intuitions and their functioning due to lack of data available.

The States/UTs need to designate one nodal officer at State level and one District level nodal officer in each of the district to make them responsible in the implementation of online registration process. Further, the States/UTs shall also designate an officer who shall be the Registration Authority at State/UT level to grant registration.

3.Indian Warships visit Alexandria, Egypt

Source: PIB

As part of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West Coast of Africa, two Indian warships, INS Mumbai and INS Aditya, arrived at Alexandria on 05 May 17 for a three-day visit.

  • The warships will engage extensively with the Egyptian Navy during their stay in harbour.
  • Apart from professional interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are also planned, which would go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding between these two important and capable navies.

India and Egypt ties:

  • India and Egypt are two of the world’s most ancient civilizations with a rich history of close contact. Building upon the rich and longstanding relations that have existed between India and Egypt, both nations have developed warm relations in several spheres.
  • Training co-operation between the two militaries exist at the highest levels. One such significant milestone in defence cooperation was the training of Egyptian pilots by Indian Air Force pilots and the joint venture to manufacture the famous Helwan 300 fighter jet.
  • The setting up of the Indo-Egypt Joint Defence Committee (JDC) in 2006 was another significant step in strengthening the relations between the two nations. A number of such bilateral agreements for defence co-operation and cultural exchanges exist between the two nations, many of which were signed during the Presidential visit to India in 2013.
  • Trade between India and Egypt remains vibrant with many Indian corporate houses having strong interests in Egypt.

With governments of both countries keen on sustaining strong diplomatic ties, the current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries and, in particular, to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Egypt.

4.GSLV Successfully Launches South Asia Satellite

Source: PIB

India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) successfully launched the 2230 kg South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) into its planned Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

  • Launch of GSLV was its eleventh and took place from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India.
  • This is the fourth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage.
  • In its oval shaped GTO, the South Asia Satellite is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 36,105 km with an orbital inclination of 20.65 deg with respect to the equator.
  • Soon after separation from GSLV, the two solar arrays of the satellite were automatically deployed in quick succession and the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka assumed control of the satellite.
  • South Asia Satellite is a communication satellite built by ISRO to provide a variety of communication services over the South Asian region. For this, it is equipped with Ku-band transponders.

The South Asian Satellite – Some highlights

  • Space diplomacy has touched new heights with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unique gift in the sky to South Asian neighbours.
  • The gift of a communications satellite for use by neighbours at no cost has perhaps no precedent worldwide.
  • The satellite, which weighs over 2 tonnes, has been fabricated in three years at a cost of over Rs. 230 crore.
  • Its footprint that extends all over South Asia.
  • The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India’s neighbours can utilise to increase communications.
  • Each country will get access to at least one transponder through which they could beam their own programming.
  • The satellite will facilitate DTH television, VSAT links, tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support. It will provide critical communication links in times of disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and tsunamis.
  • Heads of Government from all the seven South Asian nations who are benefiting from the satellite, connected via video conference, in a unique celebration of the successful launch.

Although the satellite is intended to serve the SAARC region, Pakistan has opted out of the program, while Afghanistan has not pledged their commitment

5.Set up database of children in orphanages, SC tells govt

Source: The Hindu

The Supreme Court has passed a slew of directions, including setting up of a database of children living in orphanages and child care institutions to ensure their safety and welfare.

  • The verdict came on a PIL petition filed on the basis of a 2007 newspaper report alleging that orphanages in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, run by NGOs as well as government institutions, were reportedly involved in systematic sexual abuse of children.

Directions include:

  • The Centre, States and union territories (UTs) should complete the registration of all child care institutions by year-end. The registration process should also include a database of all children in need of care and protection and update it every month.
  • Authorities concerned should ensure confidentiality and privacy in maintaining the database.
  • Every child in need of care and protection must not be necessarily placed either in a child care institution and alternative option like adoption and foster care could seriously be considered.
  • The Union government and the governments of States and UTs must concentrate on rehabilitation and social re-integration of children in need of care and protection.
  • Centre’s schemes such as skill development and vocational training must be taken advantage of keeping in mind the need to rehabilitate such children.
  • States and UTs should set up ‘Inspection Committees’ before July 31 to conduct regular inspections of child care institutions and prepare reports of such inspections so that the living conditions of kids there undergo positive changes. The first report after conducting the inspection should be filed before the government concerned by December 31.
  • The process for preparing individual child care plans must be initiated immediately and an individual plan must be prepared for each child in each such centre on or before December 31.
  • The process of conducting a social audit must be taken up in right earnest by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights as well as by each State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.

6.Entire Assam declared ‘disturbed’

Source: The Hindu

The Centre has declared the entire State of Assam a “disturbed” area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for three more months, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB and others.

AFSPA

  • AFSPA, enacted in 1958, gives powers to the army and state and central police forces to shoot to kill, search houses and destroy any property that is “likely” to be used by insurgents in areas declared as “disturbed” by the home ministry.
  • The Act provides army personnel with safeguards against malicious, vindictive and frivolous prosecution.
  • Security forces can “arrest without warrant” a person, who has committed or even “about to commit a cognizable offence” even on “reasonable suspicion”.

What are ‘disturbed’ areas?

  • The state or central government considers those areas as ‘disturbed’ “by reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”
  • Section (3) of the Afspa empowers the governor of the state or Union territory to issue an official notification in The Gazette of India, following which the Centre has the authority to send in armed forces for civilian aid. Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976.

State government’s role

The state governments can suggest whether the act is required to be enforced or not. But under Section (3) of the act, their opinion can be overruled by the governor or the Centre.

 

 



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