07, October 2017

“Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM)

Source: PIB

  • The “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM)-2017” will be held from 7th to 9th October, 2017 in India’s 1st World Heritage City i.e Ahmadabad, Gujarat. Ms. Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture addressing the media persons Ahmadabad, Gujarat
  • The Mahotsav will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk music and dance, theatre to literature and the visual arts and would offer the chance to experience the best in established and emerging virtuosity.
  • The inscription of the historic walled city of Ahmadabad on UNESCO’s world heritage list will also be celebrated. A handloom and handicrafts-utsav is part of the proposed event. The gastronomic culture of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and several other partnering states will be showcased through a food festival.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Fast Track Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2017 .
  • According to theAmended Regulations, a Resolution Plan shall include a statement as to how it has dealt with the interests of all stakeholders, including financial creditors and operational creditors, of the Corporate Debtor.

IBBI- Ministry of Corporate Affairs

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India was set up on 1st October 2016 under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code).
  • It is a unique regulator: regulates a profession as well as transactions. It has regulatory oversight over the Insolvency Professionals, Insolvency Professional Agencies and Information Utilities. It writes and enforces rules for transactions, namely, corporate insolvency resolution, corporate liquidation, individual insolvency resolution and individual bankruptcy under the Code.
  • It is a key pillar of the ecosystem responsible for implementation of the Code that consolidates and amends the laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner for maximization of the value of assets of such persons, to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders.

1.First ever conference of Partner NGOs to be inaugurated-Schemes and Programmes for Women and Children

Source: PIB

The first ever Conference of Partners NGOs is being organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on 9th October, 2017 in New Delhi.

  • The subject of the conference is “Implementation of Policies, Schemes and Programmes for Women and Children: Challenges and Way Forward”.

Significance of this move:

  • The aim of the daylong conference is to sensitize partner NGOs across the country for the implementation of various WCD schemes and to give them an opportunity to share their experiences and insights. The challenges confronted at the grassroots level for the welfare of women and children will also be deliberated upon.
  • Ensuring prevention and wellbeing of women and children is not only a constitutional commitment but is also absolutely necessary for natural growth and development.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has made various intervention and created legislative and supportive institutional mechanisms for preventing crime against women and facilitating access to justice.
  • Similarly, measures have also been taken by the Ministry for the safety and protection of children.

The conference will be based on the following broad themes:

  • Violence Against Women: Prevention and Facilitating Access to Justice
  • National Policy for Women: Policy Interventions for Gender Parity
  • Trafficking of Women and Children: Role of State Institutions
  • Cyber Crime and Children: Prevention and Harm Reduction
  • Implementation of JJ Act: Structural Challenges and Mainstreaming of Children

2.Ministry of Women and Child Development to celebrate the BBBP Week

Source: PIB

National wide activities and awareness generation campaigns to mark the celebration of BBBP Week

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week from 09th to 14th October, 2017.
  • The week is being celebrated in view of the International Girl Child Day on 11th October, 2017. The theme of the program will be “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week- The Daughters of New India”

Key facts:

  • The week-long celebration will witness various awareness generation activities and community engagement programmes such as Oath ceremonies, prabhat pherries, rallies, nukkad natraks, street plays, joint door to door campaigns by AWWs and ASHAs, etc.
  • At the National level, the occasion will also be marked by a Panel Discussion coinciding with the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl –“Girls Progress=Goals Progress: What Counts for Girls” to engage key sport influencers and women and girls role models from the field, to generate support through their voice and reach.

 BBBP

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched in January, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
  • The scheme is aimed at promoting gender equality and the significance of educating girls.
  • The Scheme is targeted at improving the Child Sex Ratio through multi sectoral interventions including prevention of gender biased sex selection and promoting girls’ education and her holistic empowerment.
  • It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.

Scheme:

  • The collective and coordinated efforts undertaken at national, state and districts level has been successful in establishing a substantial improvement in the number of girls being born in the target districts.
  • As per the HIMS data for the 161 districts of BBBP, an increasing trend in Sex Ratio at Birth is visible in 104 BBBP Districts during 2016-17 as compared to the period 2015-16. Similarly, 119 districts have reported progress in registration of pregnancies in the first trimester during 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16.
  • During the same period, Institutional deliveries against the total reported deliveries have improved in 146 districts in comparison to the previous year.

3.Framing of rules in respect of Country-by-Country reporting and furnishing of master file

Source: PIB

  • In keeping with India’s commitment to implement the recommendations of 2015 Final Report on Action 13, titled “Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting”, identified under the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, Section 286 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (‘the Act’) was inserted vide Finance Act, 2016, providing for furnishing of a Country-by-Country report in respect of an international group by its constituent or parent entity.

Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting- OECD Base Erosion Profit Sharing

  • This report contains revised standards for transfer pricing documentation incorporating a master file, local file, and a template for country-by-country reporting of revenues, profits, taxes paid and certain measures of economic activity.
  • The revised standardised approach will require taxpayers to articulate consistent transfer pricing positions and will provide tax administrations with useful information to assess transfer pricing and other BEPS risks, make determinations about where audit resources can most effectively be deployed, and, in the event audits are called for, provide information to commence and target audit enquiries.
  • Country-by-country reports will be disseminated through an automatic government-to-government exchange mechanism.
  • The implementation package included in this report sets out guidance to ensure that the reports are provided in a timely manner, that confidentiality is preserved and that the information is used appropriately, by incorporating model legislation and model Competent Authority Agreements forming the basis for government-to-government exchanges of the reports.
  • Section 92D of the Act was also amended vide Finance Act, 2016 to provide for keeping and maintaining of Master File by every constituent entity of an international group, which was to be furnished as per rules prescribed in this regard.
  • Accordingly, subsequent to the aforesaid amendments to the Act, it is proposed to insert rules 10DA, 10DB and form nos. 3CEBA to 3CEBE in the Income-tax Rules, 1962 (‘the Rules’), laying down the guidelines for maintaining and furnishing of transfer pricing documentation in the Master File and Country-by-Country report.

Base erosion and profit shifting

Developed in the context of the OECD/G20 BEPS Project, 5 actions are set out equip governments with domestic and international instruments to address tax avoidance, ensuring that profits are taxed where economic activities generating the profits are performed and where value is created.

  • Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations.
  • Under the inclusive framework, over 100 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating to implement the BEPS measures and tackle BEPS.
  • The inclusive framework brings together over 100 countries and jurisdictions to collaborate on the implementation of the OECD/ G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Package.
  • Monitoring implementation and the impact of the different BEPS measures is a key element of the work ahead. The OECD has established an inclusive framework on BEPS, which allows interested countries and jurisdictions to work with OECD and G20 members on developing standards on BEPS related issues and reviewing and monitoring the implementation of the whole BEPS Package.
  • The inclusive framework will also support the development of the toolkits for low-capacity developing countries. The G20 Development Working Group (G20 DWG) has requested the IMF, the OECD, the UN and the WBG to work together on the development of toolkits and guidance to support low-capacity developing countries to address BEPS issues.

4.Centre proposes three-year licence for contractors

Source: The Hindu

The government has proposed a major overhaul in the contract labour law. It has proposed changes to the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.

  • The proposed law is in line with International Labour Organisation Convention 181 [on private employment agencies].

Proposed changes:

  • Contractors will no longer require a licence for undertaking each project. No individual permits required for each project.
  • A three-year licence will be given for contractors to work across the country instead of a separate one for new work orders.
  • If the contractor wants to work in a single State for up to three years, the permit needs to be obtained from the State Government. However, the contractor will need to inform the government whenever it receives a work order from a company, failing which the licence may be cancelled.
  • The proposed law also seeks to make a distinction between contractors who provide services and those who provide human resources. Contractors who provide human resources to a company will no longer be responsible for providing canteen and restroom facilities to the workers.
  • If a work order is given to a contractor who has hired employees on payroll, then the workers will not be treated as contract workers under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.
  • The government has also proposed to make wage payment “primarily” through electronic mode instead of cash payment.

5.Embryo transfer technology to be used to carry out 440 embryo transfers in cattle in 9 days

Source: The Hindu

In a bid to conserve indigenous breed of cattle, the government has undertaken a Mass Embryo Transfer programme in Indigenous Breeds under the scheme, National Mission on Bovine Productivity.

Key facts:

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, in co-operation with 12 states has planned to carry out 440 embryo transfers during October 2 to 10, 2017 throughout the country.
  • The programme is implemented with the objective of conservation and development of indigenous breeds under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
  • Under this programme, embryos of higher genetic merit indigenous bovines are being transferred into surrogate cows.
  • Embryos of indigenous breeds such as Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Ongole, Deoni and Vechur have been proposed to be transferred under this programme.

ETT:

  • Embryo transfer technology (ETT) has revolutionized the breeding strategies in bovines as a tool to optimise the genetic improvement in cattle.

6.Snow leopard photographed in Arunachal

Source: The Hindu

Scientists have obtained the first evidence of the elusive snow leopard in Arunachal Pradesh. Camera traps have captured images of the big cat at Thembang village’s Community Conserved Area, a community-owned reserve, in West Kameng district.

  • The presence of the species outside protected areas highlights the importance of community support for conservation as well as landscape-scale planning.
  • Arunachal Pradesh is one of the 22 priority landscapes of the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program and while locals and researchers knew that there were snow leopards in the area, scientists had not been able to get photographs thus far.

Community Conserved Area (CCA)

  • In 2004, WWF-India introduced the concept of CCAs in the State to empower local communities to become active decision-makers and implement conservation initiatives.
  • Local communities in these CCAs form committees to undertake wildlife monitoring, patrolling and community-based tourism activities.

Main objectives:

  1. Reasons that motivate communities to start conservation initiatives
  2. Social and ecological processes that are involved in these initiatives
  3. Constraints that these communities face and opportunities that are available to them
  4. The manner in which internal differences and inequities in a community impact the conservation efforts and vice versa
  5. Effective legal and policy changes needed to facilitate these initiatives
  6. Area of the country that is under such conservation
  7. The reasons because of which these initiatives succeed or fail
  8. Role of these initiatives in sustaining local livelihoods
  9. Role of these initiatives in achieving conservation of resources and protection of species

Snow Leopard:

  • The conservation status of snow leopard was recently improved from “endangered” to “vulnerable”.
  • They inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations.
  • Their habitat extends through twelve countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. China contains as much as 60% of all snow leopard habitat areas.
  • In India, their geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas.
  • The snow leopard, like all big cats, is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which makes trading of animal body parts (i.e., fur, bones and meat) illegal in signatory countries. It is also protected by several national laws in its range countries.

7.India – EU Joint Statement during 14th India-EU Summit

Source: PIB

The leaders reviewed the wide-ranging cooperation under the India-EU Strategic Partnership. Recognising that India and the EU are natural partners, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights and territorial integrity of States.

India- EU Summit:

  • The leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress made towards implementing the India-EU Agenda for Action 2020 – the roadmap for bilateral cooperation endorsed during the 13th India-EU Summit.
  • The leaders committed to work in a result-oriented and mutually beneficial manner to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership by deepening their trade cooperation, enhancing investment flows in both directions and broadening dialogue and engagement on global and regional issues, including climate change, as well as migration and the refugee crisis, and resolved to further strengthen their bilateral and multilateral cooperation in these areas.
  • They agreed that India and the EU, as the world’s largest democracies, share a desire to work closely together and with all relevant players to support a rules-based international order that upholds agreed international norms, global peace and stability, and encourages inclusive growth and sustainable development in all parts of the inter-connected and multipolar world. They welcomed the growing convergence on contemporary global issues and agreed to enhance India-EU cooperation in all multilateral fora. They also recognised their common responsibility towards ensuring international peace and security, and an open and inclusive international order.
  • The leaders confirmed their commitment towards conflict prevention and sustaining peace as fundamental aspects of promoting security and prosperity, fostering non-proliferation and disarmament, and agreed on the need for the global community to unite to address the menace of terrorism and safeguard the security of the global commons – sea lanes, cyber space and outer space.
  • They welcomed the 5th India-EU Foreign Policy and Security Consultations
  • India and the EU reaffirmed their commitment to enhance maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean and beyond. Both sides noted the recent joint manoeuvres (PASSEX) between the EU Naval Force and the Indian Navy off the coast of Somalia, as a successful example of naval cooperation. The EU looks forward to India’s possible participation in escorting World Food Program vessels in the near future.

More details: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=171462



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