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  • UPSC Key—19 October, 2023: Minimum Support Price, Marsquakes and ‘Backwards’ among OBCs | UPSC Current Affairs News

UPSC Key—19 October, 2023: Minimum Support Price, Marsquakes and ‘Backwards’ among OBCs | UPSC Current Affairs News


SC pulls up two from NCLAT, issues contempt notice: ‘Shows the rot there’

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Main Examination: General Studies II: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Observing that the National Company Law Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal “have got down to a rot now”, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to two NCLAT members, asking them to show cause as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for allegedly defying its directions in a dispute relating to Finolex Cables.

• What is National Company Law Tribunal?

• What is the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal?

• What is the difference between National Company Law Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal?

Festive offer

• Why Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to two NCLAT members?

• What is the role of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in India?

• National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)-Statutory Body or Constitutional Body?

• National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)-Members and their Appointment

• Functions and Role of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)

• Landmark Judgements of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)

• What is the role of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in India?

• Competition Commission of India (CCI)-Statutory Body or Constitutional Body?

• Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) and Competition Act, 2002-Compare and Contrast

• Composition of Competition Commission of India (CCI)-Members and their Appointment

• Functions and Role Competition Commission of India (CCI)

• Landmark Judgements of Competition Commission of India (CCI)

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍NCLAT refuses interim relief to Google on CCI’s Rs 936-cr penalty in Play Store policies matter

Ahead of Assembly polls, Centre hikes MSP for wheat, 5 other rabi crops

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment, Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- WEEKS BEFORE the crucial Assembly elections in five states, the Centre on Wednesday announced hikes in the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat and five other rabi crops for the 2024-25 marketing season.

The hike in wheat MSP — by Rs 150 per quintal or 7 per cent — is significant as it is the second largest crop after paddy in terms of area coverage. In the crop year 2022-23, the area under wheat in the country stood at 318.25 lakh hectare, while production is estimated to be 110 million tonnes.

• What is minimum support price (MSP)?

• Map Work-top five wheat producing states in the country

• What Commission for Agricultural Cost & Prices (CACP) recommended?

• What are the issues and challenges with the hike of MSP?

• Kharif and Rabi Crops-Compare and Contrast

• MSP (minimum support price) and effectiveness of MSP implementation-discuss

• Which are the Crops Covered under MSP?

• How MSP is calculated (paid out costs, labour etc.) and Crops covered under the MSP

• The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP)-Know in Detail

• The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) and Minimum support prices (MSP)-Connect the dots

• How Government fix MSPs of crops before every planting season?

• What are the demands by Farmers in the context of MSP in the recent scenario?

• “Right to MSP”-is it possible to implement and if not, then what are the issues and Challenges?

• Kharif, Rabi crops, MSP and Doubling Farmers Income-How they are interconnected?

• Recommendation of Ashok Dalwai Committee and M. S. Swaminathan Committee on MSP-Key highlights

• What do you understand by the term ‘comprehensive cost of production of a crop’?

• Demand for legal guarantee for MSP-Pros and Cons

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Explained: What is minimum support price (MSP), and how is it fixed?

📍The 360° UPSC Debate | Should Minimum Support Prices Be Made A Legal Right?

GOVT & POLITICS

SC to hear pleas seeking relook at its PMLA verdict

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Mains Examination: 

• General Studies II: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

• General Studies III: Money-laundering and its prevention

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- DESPITE VEHEMENT objections from the Centre and Enforcement Directorate regarding procedure, the Supreme Court decided Wednesday to go ahead with the hearing of a batch of pleas seeking reconsideration of its July 2022 judgment upholding provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and the probe agency’s powers under it.

• What was the verdict given by Supreme Court in ‘Vijay Madanlal Chaudhary’ case?

• What was the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC), in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) sweeping powers under the PMLA?

• ‘International delegation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is visiting India in November to review the working of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act’- What is Financial Action Task Force?

• What is Enforcement Directorate’s powers under Prevention of Money Laundering Act?

• “Over the past few years, major amendments in key Acts have given teeth to central agencies”-Discuss

• Directorate of Enforcement (ED)-Role and Function

• Enforcement Directorate is a statutory body-True or False?

• Directorate of Enforcement (ED) comes under which Ministry or Organisation?

• The Directorate of Enforcement is a multi-disciplinary organization mandated with investigation of offence of money laundering and violations of foreign exchange laws. The statutory functions of the Directorate includes enforcement of certain acts-What are those acts?

• What makes Enforcement Directorate so powerful?

• The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)-Know key highlights

• What is the ‘Burden of proof’?

• What Is Money Laundering?

• What Section 3 of PMLA says?

• How Money Laundering works? What do you understand by placement, layering and integration?

• What is the offence of money-laundering?

• What are the norms for arrest?

• What are the Bail Conditions defined under Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)?

• What was the key highlight in the amendment of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002?

• In Nikesh Tarachand Shah vs Union of India (2017), the two-judge bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, had declared the ‘twin test’ of bail under PMLA as unconstitutional since it was manifestly arbitrary. But the Supreme Court also overruled its own order of November 2017 that had declared the bail criteria unconstitutional-What was that ‘Twin test’ of Bail?

• ‘Section 45 is a drastic provision which turns on its head the presumption of innocence which is fundamental to a person accused of any offence’-Decode the quote

• “Section 3 of the 2002 Act has a wider reach and captures every process and activity, direct or indirect, in dealing with the proceeds of crime and is not limited to the happening of the final act of integration of tainted property in the formal economy”-Decode the quote

• What is the punishment for money-laundering?

• Money Laundering and its impact? What influence does money laundering have on economic development?

• How does fighting money laundering help fight crime?

• Steps Taken by Government of India to Prevent Money Laundering

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Big Brothers of investigation

EXPLAINED

OBCs and subcategories

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-The Minister for Backward Classes Welfare in Andhra Pradesh said on Wednesday (October 18) that the state will begin a backward classes census “from November 15, one week here and there”. C Srinivasa Venugopala Krishna said the 139 backward-class communities in the state were unaware of their numerical strength, and the data would help the government serve them better.

The publication of the results of the caste survey in Bihar earlier this month had raised the possibility that other states too would announce similar exercises as the country enters a new cycle of elections. The enumeration of castes, as well as the sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in order to ensure equity in the distribution of reservation benefits have been hot-button issues for long.

• Who are the Other Backward Classes (OBCs)?

• What is sub-categorisation of OBCs?

• Who are ‘Backwards’ among OBCs?

• What is the extent of OBC recruitment in central jobs?

For Your Information-There is no precise estimate of India’s OBC population. The National Commission for Backward Classes lists over 2,600 castes in the central list of OBCs for 27% reservation. The Mandal Commission said OBCs were 52% of the population. A report based on the National Sample Survey Organisation’s 61st round, released in October 2006, put this figure at 41%

• In 1953, the government of Jawaharlal Nehru set up the first Backward Classes Commission (the expression ‘OBC’ was not in wide use at the time) under the chairmanship of whom?

• Why Mandal Commission was appointed?

• Do You Know-The FIRST OBC COMMISSION headed by Kaka Kalelkar, was constituted by Jawaharlal Nehru’s government on January 29, 1953, and submitted its report on March 30, 1955. To identify socially and educationally backward classes, the commission adopted the following criteria: low social position in the traditional caste hierarchy of Hindu society; lack of general educational advancement among the major section of the caste/ community; inadequate or no representation in government service; and inadequate representation in trade, commerce and industry.
The First OBC Commission prepared a list of 2,399 backward castes or communities in the country, categorised 837 of them as “most backward”. The Commission also recommended enumerating castes in the 1961 census, providing 25-40% reservation at different levels of government jobs, and 70% reservation for admission to technical and professional institutions.
The report was never discussed in Parliament and never implemented as the government decided that “any all-India list drawn up by the Central Government would have no practical utility”.
The SECOND OBC COMMISSION was the B P Mandal Commission, which was appointed in 1979 by Morarji Desai’s Janata government, but the implementation of which was announced only in 1990 by the government of V P Singh.
The Mandal Commission identified 3,743 castes and communities as OBCs, estimated their population at 52%, and recommended 27% reservation in government jobs and admissions to all government-run scientific, technical, and professional institutions.
No subcategories were recognised within the 27% OBC quota, even though one of the members, L R Naik, said in his dissent that OBCs should be split into intermediate backward classes and depressed backward classes.
The Centre’s Official Memorandum on the implementation of the Mandal recommendations, issued on September 25, 1991, said: “Within the 27%…reserved for SEBCs, preference shall be given to candidates belonging to the poorer sections of the SEBCs…”. However, the central government has always implemented the quota treating the entire OBC population as one block after excluding the “creamy layer” of affluent candidates on the basis of criteria fixed after a Supreme Court ruling.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Explained: Sub-categorising OBCs

WHAT CAUSED LARGEST ‘MARSQUAKE’?  WHY ANSWER SURPRISED SCIENTISTS

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

Mains Examination: General Studies I: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-On May 4, 2022, NASA’s InSight lander detected the largest quake yet recorded on Mars, one with a 4.7 magnitude, fairly modest by Earth standards but strong for our planetary neighbour. “We concluded that the largest marsquake seen by InSight was tectonic, not an impact.

• Tectonic activity on Mars-what is known so far?

• Marsquakes and earthquakes-Differentiate

• Why this study is significant?

• What do you understand by tectonic plates and plate boundaries?

• What is seismic waves or earthquake waves?

• What is Body waves and Surface waves?

• Know in detail-Primary waves (p-waves), Secondary waves (s-waves), L-waves and Rayleigh waves

• Why does the earth shake when there is an earthquake?

• What are the Major and Minor Plates?

• The movement of the tectonic plates creates three types of tectonic boundaries-What are they?

• For Your Information-As we know, the earth’s outermost surface, crust, is fragmented into tectonic plates. The edges of the plates are called plate boundaries, which are made up of faults. The tectonic plates constantly move at a slow pace, sliding past one another and bumping into each other. As the edges of the plates are quite rough, they get stuck with one another while the rest of the plate keeps moving. Earthquake occurs when the plate has moved far enough and the edges unstick on one of the faults.

• Why earthquakes remain unpredictable?

• What is continental drift and how does it differ from plate tectonics?

• Do You Know-Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth’s land masses are in constant motion. The realization that Earth’s land masses move was first proposed by Alfred Wegener, which he called continental drift.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍100 yrs on, Wegener plates move and kill

📍Continental Drift versus Plate Tectonics

WHY SC ORDER ON TELCOS’ LICENCE FEE TAX HAS INDUSTRY WORRIED

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-In a blow to telecom companies in the country, the Supreme Court has held that payment of entry fee as well as variable annual licence fee made by telcos will be considered capital expenditure and not revenue expenditure, and taxed accordingly.

The decision could bring in additional tax liabilities for telecom companies – especially for older telcos Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – to the tune of $1 billion in the current fiscal year, according to industry estimates.

• What did the Supreme Court rule?

• For Your Information-Disposing an appeal by the Income Tax Department clubbed with 33 similar petitions, a Division Bench comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan said: “We hold that the payment of entry fee as well as the variable annual licence fee paid by the respondents-assessees to the DoT (Department of Telecommunication) under the (New Telecom) Policy of 1999 are capital in nature and may be amortised in accordance with Section 35ABB of the (Income Tax) Act.”
This essentially means that instead of deducting the entire expenditure all at once, the company will need to deduct a portion of the total fee over each year for tax purposes. As part of its judgement, the top court also set aside a Delhi High Court order that categorised licence fees before and after July 31, 1999, differently, as capital expense and revenue expense, respectively.

• How will the order impact telcos?

• For Your Information- Currently, telecom companies treat licence fees as an expense, claiming deductions on account of variable licence fees on a year-to-date basis for computing their tax liability. But, experts said, due to the accounting change that the order forces them to make could lead to lower cash flow.
“…after the judgement, the licence fee would have to be treated as a capital expense, with a provision for amortisation of the licence fee over the licence period. Prima facie, the accounting change would lead to higher EBITDA/PBT and lower cashflow on higher tax outgo initially, but would likely even out over the licence holding period,” according to a Kotak Institutional Equities report.
It is worth noting that the Supreme Court’s order has not clarified whether the changes to the accounting structure will have to be made on a retrospective basis. According to the Kotak report, the income tax authorities are expected to raise demand for the shortfall in tax payment for the prior period, along with applicable penalties.
Telecom companies are likely to file a review petition and the actual tax liability could get delayed, as per the report. In an update to the stock exchange Tuesday, Bharti Airtel said that the company was examining the order and its impact and will decide the next course of action in due course.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍TRAI moots entry fee cut for mobile, other tel service licences; suggests merger of bank guarantees

Vizhinjam port: latest row over mega project

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-Soon after Kerala Chief Minister on Sunday (October 15) flagged in the first-ever cargo ship at the under-construction Vizhinjam international seaport project, the country’s first deepwater transshipment port, a war of words was sparked between the ruling CPI (M) and Opposition Congress over the origin of the project. Meanwhile, the BJP has termed the reception for the ship a publicity stunt to create the impression that the project has been completed.

• What is the Vizhinjam International Seaport Project?

• What triggered the row between CPI(M) and Congress?

• Why India needs a container transshipment port?

• Do You Know-India has 13 major ports. However, the country lacks a landside mega-port and terminal infrastructure to deal with ultra-large container ships. Hence, nearly 75 per cent of India’s transshipment cargo is handled at ports outside India, mainly Colombo, Singapore, and Klang.
In fiscal 2021-22, the total transshipment cargo of India was about 4.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), out of which about 4.2 million TEUs were handled outside India.
Developing a port into a Transshipment Hub will accrue significant benefits such as forex savings, foreign direct investment, increased economic activity at other Indian Ports, development of related logistics infrastructure, employment generation, improved operation/logistics efficiencies and increase in revenue share.
Several other allied businesses viz. ship chandlery-ship supplies, ship repair, crew change facility, logistics value-added services, warehousing and bunkering also come up at the transshipment port.
A deepwater container transshipment port can attract a large share of the container transshipment traffic which is now being diverted to Colombo, Singapore and Dubai. It can also ensure India’s economic development and open up immense job opportunities.

• What are the features of the Vizhinjam port?

• Where the project stands — and the missed deadlines?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

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