Krishi Kalyan TAX and various Important Terms for Upcoming CDS Paper
With the recent trend followed in the UPSC Pre paper we are lining up the same set of current affairs notes for the CDS/NDA Aspirants
TERMS for CDS
Krishi Kalyan Cess
Krishi Kalyan Cess of 0.5 per cent, proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech, will come into effect from Wednesday and is expected to make restaurant bills, mobile phones, cinemas, visits to beauty parlours, air travel, insurance, DTH, credit and debit cards, courier, healthcare, banking and professional consultancies costlier. With this move the government proposes to collect Rs 5,000 crore during the remaining 10 months of the current fiscal.
Swachh Bharat Cess
The Swachh Bharat Cess has become effective from 15 November 2015 at the rate of 0.5% on all taxable services.
This effectively amounts to a 14.5% tax including service tax of 14% plus Swachh Bharat Cess of 0.5% on taxable services.
Swachh Bharat Cess is not leviable on services that are fully exempt from service tax or those covered under the negative list of services.
The Swachh Bharat Cess is collected in the Consolidated Fund of India and is proposed to be used for financing and promoting Swachh Bharat initiatives of the government.
This tax is levied, charged, collected and paid to the Government, independent of service tax and thus must be charged as a separate line item in the invoice .
Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF)
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) will begin raising funds for the ₹20,000 crore dedicated long-term irrigation fund announced in this year’s budget.
Elaborating on the plans for the fund mop up, Nabard will raise the funds in several tranches under two types of bonds. One type of bond will be in which the Centre will take the liability for repayment, and the other in which Nabard will bear the obligation to repay the bonds.
Of the targeted funds mop up of close to ₹20,000 crore, the water resources ministry will bring in ₹1,500 crore (budgetary allocation), the bonds for which Centre will take the repayment obligation will amount to about ₹6,300 crore, and the balance amount of about ₹12,000-13,000 crore will be directly raised by Nabard.
The total fund mop up — which will happen throughout this fiscal – could even exceed ₹20,000 crore. The first set of bonds will be issued within a month and about ₹3,000 crore will be raised.
Bhanwala also made it clear that all the bonds issued will be on private placement basis and no public issue is being planned for this purpose.
Nabard bonds will have tenure of 15 years and coupon on such bonds is likely to be about 8.2 per cent
A privilege motion is a notice by any member of either House of a state legislature or Parliament, against anyone who is accused of breach of privilege. Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by MPs, MLAs and MLCs, individually and collectively, so that they can effectively discharge their functions. When any of these rights and immunities is disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament or the state legislature. Each House also claims the right to punish as contempt actions which, while not breach of any specific privilege, are offences against its authority and dignity.
Examples of Privilege Motions moved in Parliament: In 1961, Blitz editor RK Karanjia was held guilty of gross breach of privilege of the Lok Sabha in 1961. Blitz had published an article that lampooned veteran leader JB Kripalani. He was summoned to the bar of the Lok Sabha and reprimanded, while the Lok Sabha gallery pass of his correspondent, RK Raghavan, was cancelled.
Discussions under Privilege Motion: Privilege Motion A privilege motion is moved against breach of parliamentary privileges. Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by MPs, MLAs and MLCs, individually and collectively, so that they can effectively discharge their functions. When any of these rights and immunities is disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament or the state legislature. Each House also claims the right to punish as contempt actions which, while not breach of any specific privilege, are offences against its authority and dignity.
Short – Duration Discussions
Notice for raising discussions
193. Any member desirous of raising discussion on a matter of urgent public importance may give notice in writing to the Secretary-General specifying clearly and precisely the matter to be raised:
Provided that the notice shall be accompanied by an explanatory note stating reasons for raising discussion on the matter in question:
Provided further that the notice shall be supported by the signatures of at least two other members.
Speaker to decide admissibility and allotment of time
194. (1) If the Speaker is satisfied, after calling for such information from the member who has given notice and from the Minister as he may consider necessary, that the matter is urgent and is of sufficient importance to be raised in the House at an early date, he may admit the notice:
Provided that if an early opportunity is otherwise available for the discussion of the matter the Speaker may refuse to admit the notice.
194. (2) The Speaker may allot two sittings in a week on which such matters may be taken up for discussion and allow such time for discussion not exceeding [two] hour at or before the end of the sitting, as he may consider appropriate in the circumstances.
No formal motion
195. There shall be no formal motion before the House or voting. The member who has given notice may make a short statement and the Minister shall reply shortly. Any member who has previously intimated to the Speaker may be permitted to take part in the discussion.
Time limit for speeches
196. The Speaker may, if he thinks fit, prescribe a time limit for the speeches.
In order to create awareness on human trafficking across the rural areas, Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM) has launched a campaign called ‘Swaraksha Caravan’, which will tour the areas taking the message far and big. A poster of the campaign was unveiled at the VMM office here on Saturday.
aim of the Swaraksha Caravan campaign was to enable women and girl children to learn about their rights, privileges, safety and to avoid inconvenient situations. The programme is supported by the US Consulate, Hyderabad. The Caravan would reach about to places like Mylavaram, Gannavaram, Vuyyuru, Machilipatnam, Avanigadda besides Vijayawada starting from February 29.
At every place, the Caravan would reach out to public in a particular place. Talks would be rendered on the theme to sensitize the women. The Caravan started off the journey of campaign from January 8 to tour 53 districts within a period of five months will enter Krishna district on Monday. Deputy Speaker Mandali Budha Prasad, Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, DIG Ramulu, MP Kesineni Srinivas, MLAs and others would participate in the event, added Vidya.
13th Amendment, 17th Amendment and 19th of SL
Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon has clearly voiced India’s view on the 13th Amendment of Sri Lanka’s Constitution emphasizing on the need for Colombo to fulfill its commitment to India and the international community regarding the same.
Sri Lanka has also shared the development being taking place towards the implementation of the 13th Amendment. It has formed a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to reach a consensus on the implementation of the 13th Amendment. The PSC, which was constituted in June 2013, presently has 19 members, all from the ruling coalition — United People’s Freedom Alliance — led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
Sri Lankan President has explained the practical problems in devolving land and police powers to the provinces of a small country such as Sri Lanka and stressed that the structure that is implemented should apply and be acceptable to all parts of the country. The President also urged India to encourage the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to participate in the PSC and said the government was committed to taking the process forward despite obstacles.
Challenges before PSC: Despite all efforts of the PSC, there is still a cynicism as some politicians doubt over the PSC’s ability to arrive at a fair decision on the 13th Amendment. The United National Party (UNP), the main Opposition led by Ranil Wikremesinghe, has not nominated its representative to the PSC as yet. The TNA, an amalgam of Tamil parties which has significant support base in the primarily Tamil-speaking north of Sri Lanka, has opposed the PSC. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) in the ruling alliance, which has been in favor of implementing the 13th Amendment in its original form, is not part of the PSC, either.
What is the 13th Amendment of Sri Lanka’s Constitution?
The Thirteenth Amendment (13A) to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka which created Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka.This also made Sinhala and Tamil as the official language of the country and English as link language.
Signed on July 29, 1987 b/w India and Sri Lanka.
The Indo-Sri Lanka Accord is also known as the Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord, after its architects — Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayewardene.
On November 14, 1987 the Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987 to establish provincial councils.
The 19th Amendment (19A) to the Constitution of Sri Lanka was passed by the 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament with 215 voting in favor, one against, one abstained and seven were absent, on 28 April 2015. The amendment envisages the dilution of many powers of Executive Presidency, which had been in force since 1978.It is the most revolutionary reform ever applied to the Constitution of Sri Lanka since JR Jayawardhane became the first Executive President of Sri Lanka in 1978.
The amendment was a result of promise made by President Maithripala Sirisena leading up to the 2015 Presidential Election.The main prospect of the amendment was to repealing the 18th Amendment which gave the President extreme powers and to reinforc democracy in the country. It establishes a Constitutional Council (Sri Lanka) which will exercise some executive powers previously held by the President. The 19th amendment restores many components of the 17th amendment letting the Constitutional Council to set up the proposed Independent Commissions;
The Election Commission.
The Public Service Commission.
The National Police Commission.
The Audit Service Commission.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.
The Finance Commission.
The Delimitation Commission.
The National Procurement Commission.
The University Grants Commission.
Optogenetics and CLARITY
Science has always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind. Optogenetics and Clarity are recent scientific methods devised to enhance the study of the human brain. Both however differ in their reach and efficacy though serving the same function.
OPTOGENETICS- In optogenetics specific targeted cells are infused with a gene that directs the production of a light-sensitive protein (derived from algae or other microbes) that can then turn brain cells on or off in response to a focussed light signal. This “illuminates” the brain, enabling researchers to manipulate electrical activity. This process however doesn’t give the picture of the brain in its entirety. Hence, Clarity was developed to fill in the gaps.
CLARITY- This process makes brains transparent, by building a hydrogel inside the brain, removing lipids that make the brain opaque. This allows scientists to study the wiring of a three-dimensional brain in its entirety, without having to laboriously dissect and reassemble tissues as has been the practice. Clarity has been developing faster than optogenetics for its enhanced results.
APPLICATIONS- Both can be used in figuring out the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons and other mental conditions like anxiety, stress and frustration.
Aerosol Optical Depth
Aerosol Optical depth is the degree to which aerosols,a colloid of fine solid particles or liquid droplets,prevent the transmission of light” in the atmosphere. It’s used in environmental studies as a tool to estimate particulate pollutant levels.
A Greenpeace report based on NASA data stated that Indian cities are worse for than Chinese counterparts. It is a stark reminder of the needful actions lacking in this direction.
Tackling Air Pollution:
Short term :
Strict regulation norms for construction activities ,stringent industrial norms for dust emission
Ban biomass burning,use of old diesel vehicles & encourage alternate fuels like CNG,LPG
Publicise pollution data to create public awareness as in case of odd-even scheme in Delhi
Making ‘Cleaner Air’ a key aspect of Swach Bharat Abhiyan
Affordable Health facilities especially for the affected poor
Long term :
Broadening National Ambient Air quality index to include a range of pollutants & expansion of ‘real time data ‘collection centres across India (only 23 as of now )
Adoption of green technology,clean fuels (Bharat stage 6) & expanding green belts
Improving Public transport infrastructure, tax levies on high end diesel cars & Bureau of Energy efficiency (BEE) ratings to vehicles
Industry location policy as per environmental sustainability. Eg: thermal power plants in Delhi have worsened air quality
Industry-policy makers-academician-civilian dialogue platforms to sustain the initiatives
Call for collective movements & mobilising civil society for the cause to build pressure on policy makers
Need of the hour is a dedicated policy action & time bound application for securing our future and also in meeting commitments of the Paris agreement.
Indra Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana
It is being implemented using the platform of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
This scheme is for the pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above forfirst two live births to contribute to a better enabling environment by providing conditional cash transfer for improved health and nutrition and to also promote health and nutrition seeking behaviour in them.
It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
It provides cash maternity benefit to the women. The pregnant women of 19 years of age and above is entitled to a cash incentive of Rs. 4000 in three installments for first two live births.
Pregnant Women & Lactating women of 19 years of age and above for their first 2 live births.
Women hve to register pregnancy at the Anganwadi centre (AWC) within fourmonths of conception
Women have to register the birth
All Government/PSUs (Central & State) employees are excluded from the scheme as they are entitled for paid maternity leave
IGMSY was launched in 2010. What are some of the issues that plague its implementation?
Leveraging the Integrated Child Development Scheme’s (ICDS) platform, in 2010, the IGMSY programme was piloted in 53 districts across the country
In September 2013, the IGMSY cash incentive was increased from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 6,000 to comply with the minimum maternity entitlement provision of theNational Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013
The causes for poor implementation are invariably the same:
It was found that most beneficiaries were unaware or misinformed about the scheme.
Under the IGMSY, cash is only deposited into an account. Opening and accessing accounts is often expensive and time consuming because banks and post offices are often far from villages.
IGMSY guidelines specify that the accounts should have to be zero-balance no-frill accounts. Here again, the misinformation proved to be the menace
Since women were unaware, they were asked to cough up and maintain a minimum deposit which went against the incentive of opting for the scheme
In few of the study states – there was a delay in payment by up to 1 year. Such delays undermine the objective of the scheme — to provide partial wage compensation during pregnancy to enable adequate rest.
What’s required to get things in order?
You will invariably find that the solution to the mal-implementation of any govt. scheme lies in these 4 pillars. Might as well memorise them for a generic answer template:
Establishment of implementation cells,
A responsive grievance redress mechanism and
A publicly accessible management information system
Born in 1936, Norphel comes from a farming background and has served in the government service for more than 36 years before he had to take an early retirement due to his bad health. Being at home was not something Norphel enjoyed doing, and at the same time, the poor living conditions in Ladakh constantly troubled him. He thought of putting his engineering skills to a better use.
Awards and Recognition :
He is a recipient of the Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 2010
He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.
Documentary film-maker Aarti Shrivastava also directed a short film on his life titled White Knight, which was screened at film festivals in India and abroad.
Ladakh’s beautiful mountains is a paradise for tourists.
His simple idea has received acclaim across the globe.
By 2012, Norphel had built 12 artificial glaciers. Norphel’s largest glacier is the one at the Phuktsey village. It is 1,000 ft long, 150 ft wide and 4 ft in depth. It can supply water for the entire village of 700 people.
Today, he is called the “Ice Man of India” and has created 10 artificial glaciers in Ladakh to help people deal with water scarcity in this cold, mountainous region.
He has proved that if man is the one responsible for disturbing nature, he also has the capacity to save it….
PRAGATI Designed in-house by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) team with the help of National Informatics Center (NIC).
Uniquely bundles three latest technologies including Digital data management, geo-spatial technology and video-conferencing.
Three-tier system that brings PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States at one stage. Thus, offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism.
Prime Minister can directly discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation.
The system will work on strengthen and re-engineer the data bases of Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) along with Project Monitoring Group (PMG) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Dhirio is a Bull fight that takes place between two bulls. Bull fight is known as ‘Dhirio’ in Konkani and is a simple game in which the bulls fight one another.
The bulls are bred and trained to fight and the game attracts huge crowds. It usually takes place in an open area with a bamboo fence created outside the village.
Goan bull fighting involves huge betting of money done by the owner on their bulls. The people in the crowd back their favourites and a lot of money is made or lost in one game. The game involves a lot of excitement and sometimes one can witness some frantic sprinting and even bloodshed at times.
Bullfighting was banned in Goa in 1998. However some illegal bull fight games still take place at some parts in Goa and people are informed about it in about 30 minutes.
John B Gurdon
Sir John Bertrand Gurdon (born 2 October 1933), is an English developmental biologist. He is best known for his pioneering research in nuclear transplantation and cloning.He was awarded the Lasker Award in 2009. In 2012, he and Shinya Yamanaka were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells.
Gurdon was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1971, and was knighted in 1995. In 2004, the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Institute for Cell Biology and Cancer was renamed the Gurdon Institute in his honour. He has also received numerous awards, medals and honorary degrees.In 2005, he was elected as an Honorary Member of the American Association of Anatomists. He was awarded the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research award and in 2014 delivered the Harveian Oration at the Royal College of Physicians.
In 2012 Gurdon was awarded, jointly with Shinya Yamanaka, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”.His Nobel Lecture was called “The Egg and the Nucleus: A Battle for Supremacy
CARINGS – Central Adoption Resource Information Guidance System
Union Women and Child Development Ministry has notified revised guidelines for governing adoption of children issued by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) that would replace the 2011 Adoption Guidelines.
“The revised guidelines have been framed keeping in mind the issues and challenges faced by CARA, Adoption Agencies and Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) and are intended to provide for more effective regulation for adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children and would bring more transparency and efficiency in the adoption system,” an official statement from the ministry said.
With the new guidelines, it would become possible for PAPs to track the status of their application making the entire system more user friendly. Accordingly, Central Adoption Resource Information Guidance System (CARINGS), as an e-governance measure created for the purpose of facilitating adoption of children, has been revamped.
“CARINGS will facilitate the adoption of maximum number of adoptable children and ensure a smoother adoption process by curbing undue delays,” the statement said. CARINGS will contain a centralized data bank of adoptable children and PAPs.
Clear cut timelines for domestic and inter-country adoption have been laid down to ensure early deinstitutionalization of such children.
“All District Child Protection Units (DCPUs) will be connected online to CARINGS. They will be responsible for making newspaper publications of abandoned children and the expenditure, if required, could be incurred under Integrated Child Protection Units Fund. One DCPU member will also be part of the Adoption Committee,” it said.
The features of the guidelines governing adoption of Children include option for PAPs to select an adoption agency of their choice for conducting Home Study Report (HSR) and preferred State.
According to the new guidelines, The HSR of PAPs can be prepared by State Adoption Resource Agency/DCPU empanelled social worker, Seniority of PAPs would be maintained from the date of registration.
The maximum combined age for married couple has been increased from 105 years to 110 years to encourage adoption of older children. It also prescribes adoption expenses for different category of PAPs.
Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA) would have a provision of renewal after a period of five years and allows all adoptions (in-country or inter-country) to proceed on CARINGS while adoption outside CARINGS is strictly prohibited.
The road transport and highways ministry has decided to more than double the rate at which national highways are being built—from 16 km a day to 41 km a day in 2016-17.
This is around 2.5 times the current rate of construction.
Highways minister Nitin Gadkari has decided to award 25,000 km of national highways in the 2016-17 compared to 10,000 km in the last fiscal, and raised the construction target to 15,000 km as against the 6,000 km constructed last year, the ministry said in a press statement on Wednesday.
It said the minister has expressed confidence that the pace of development that was established last year will result in even better outcomes during the current year.
“At present the current average price of road construction isRs.2 crore per kilometer, which means work order worthRs.50,000 crore would be awarded. The minister’s idea is that quick allocation of work is the only way to fuel the economy as it will generate employment,” said a senior highway ministry official on condition of anonymity.
He added that the projects would be available on all formats hybrid annuity, engineering, procurement and construction and public private partnership (PPP) model too but in a new avatar.
Giving details, the official said of the total length of national highways targeted for allocation, 15,000 km will come under the National Highway Authority of India and 10,000 km under the ministry and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL). Similarly, NHAI’s target for construction has been fixed at 8,000 km while for the ministry and NHIDCL, the target is 7,000 km, the ministry said.
However, officials from the NHAI are skeptical of the targets. “Where will the money come from? The government’s focus is now shifting from quality to quantity and this could be dangerous. Voices of dissent are not there anymore in the ministry. Last year, the then road secretary Vijay Chhibber had always maintained a stand that we should not try to do more but try to do it right and focus on improving quality.”
The road transport and highway ministry claims that year 2015-16 was very positive for them as the construction of more than 10,000 km was awarded. The completion of 6000 km of highways marked a year-on-year increase of nearly 36%.
\The speeding up of national highway projects is attributed to several policy interventions like increased threshold for project approval, enhanced inter-ministerial coordination, exit policy, promoting innovative project implementation models like Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM), amendments to the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) for BOT (build–operate–transfer) projects, segregation of civil cost from capital cost for NH projects for appraisal and approval, rationalized compensation to concessionaires for languishing NH projects in BOT mode for delays not attributable to them, delegation of powers to chief engineers regarding periodic renewal, delegation of powers to road transport and highways regional offices regarding utility shifting and delegation of powers to evaluate and award tenders of up to Rs.300 crore.
Negative Arctic Oscillation
The Arctic Oscillation influences winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere; when it is negative, arctic air slides south. It brings a blast of cold Siberian winds to the Indian region. The degree to which Arctic air penetrates into middle latitudes is related to the AO index, which is defined by surface atmospheric pressure patterns. When the Arctic oscillation (AO) index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the middle latitude jet stream to blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. When the AO index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds, and greater movement of frigid polar air into middle latitudes.
Jashn-e-Rekhta is the first of its kind Urdu festival in India
The 2015 edition witnessed the attendance of 15,000 Urdu lovers from across India and the sub-continent.
Scheduled from 12th to 14th February, the second edition will celebrate the quintessential spirit of Urdu, its inclusive ethos, creative richness and linguistic heritage
Malegaon yatra, the second biggest animal fair in the country after Rajasthan’s Pushkar mela, continue to be as glorious without its donkeys, horses and camels? The number of animals traded at the annual yatra which takes place in the month of Pousya (December-January) has fallen drastically over the last three years since the clampdown on the ‘jaat’ panchayats at the place.
The fair goes back at least 350 years in this small town in Loha taluka of Nanded district in Maharashtra and reflects the culture and traditions of the notified castes and dependent communities in areas that were once part of the Hyderabad State under the Asaf Jahi rulers. It served as a meeting place for the scattered families of communities like Vaidu, Kaikari, Potharaju, Masanjogi, Chudbudkewale, Wadderas and Pardis from the Telangana-Marathwada-Karnataka regions. Apart from the trade in cattle, the fair was also an occasion to hold panchayats to settle disputes among the scattered communities.
The Malegaon yatra, or jatra, revolves around the temple of Khandoba, the deity worshipped as Mallanna and Mailara in Telangana and Karnataka by many communities. “The assemblage of communities which depended on donkeys as a means of livelihood elevated the fair as an important donkey market which subsequently became a horse and camel trading centre
The annual event is believed to have started during the reign of the Qutub Shahi kings in the Deccan and given its present colour and shape by the Nizams of Hyderabad.
The Telangana government recently celebrated the eagerly awaited ‘Festival of Flowers’ (Bathukamma) for which the State is known.
About the festival:
The festival known as Bathukamma is Telangana’s floral festival, traditionally celebrated by women across the state.
Every year this festival is celebrated as per Telugu version of Hindu calendar in the Bhadrapada Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar.
The festival is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri.
It represents cultural spirit of Telangana.
In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma’ means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’.
It is the state festival of Telangana
Reserve Bank of India acts as Bankers to bank. Like individual consumers, businesses and organisation of all kinds, banks need their own mechanism to transfer funds and settle inter-bank transaction such as borrowing from and lending to other banks and customer transactions. As the banker to banks, the Reserve Bank fulfills this role.
As Bankers to Bank, Reserve bank of India enables smooth and swift clearing and settlements of inter-bank transactions. RBI provides efficient means of funds transfer for all banks. It also enables banks to maintain their accounts with RBI for statutory reserve requirements and maintenance of transaction balances.
In order to facilitate a smooth inter-bank transfer of funds, or to make payments and to receive funds on their behalf, banks need a common banker. By providing the facility of opening accounts for banks, the Reserve Bank becomes this common banker, known as ‘Banker to Banks’ function.
How RBI performed the function of Bankers to bank
The RBI performed the function of Bankers to Bank through the Deposit Accounts Department (DAD) at the Reserve Bank’s Regional offices. The Department of Government and Bank Accounts oversees this function and formulates policy and issues operational instructions to DAD.
(RBI has 19 regional offices, most of them in state capitals and 9 Sub-offices.)
Centralised Funds Management System
The Reserve Bank has also introduced the Centralised Funds Management System (CFMS) to facilitate centralised funds enquiry and transfer of funds across DADs. This helps banks in their fund management as they can access information on their balances maintained across different DADs from a single location. Currently, 75 banks are using the system and all DADs are connected to the system.
The Reserve Bank facilitates remittance of funds from a bank’s surplus account at one location to its deficit account at another. Such transfers are electronically routed through a computerised system called e-Kuber. The computerisation of accounts at the Reserve Bank has greatly facilitated banks’ monitoring of their funds position in various accounts across different locations on a real-time basis.
Why banks are allowed to open their account in RBI
The Reserve Bank continuously monitors operations of banks accounts to ensure that defaults do not take place. Among other provisions, the Reserve Bank stipulates minimum balances to be maintained by banks in their accounts. Since banks need to settle transactions with each other occurring at various places in India, they are allowed to open accounts with different regional offices of the Reserve Bank.
Lender of Last Resort
As a Banker to Banks, the Reserve Bank also acts as the ‘lender of the last resort’. It can come to the rescue of a bank that is solvent but faces temporary liquidity problems by supplying it with much needed liquidity when no one else is willing to extend credit to that bank. The Reserve Bank extends this facility to protect the interest of the depositors of the bank and to prevent possible failure of the bank, which in turn may also affect other banks and institutions and can have an adverse impact on financial stability and thus on the economy.
As Banker to Banks, the Reserve Bank focusses on:
Enabling smooth, swift and seamless clearing and settlement of inter-bank
Providing an efficient means of funds transfer for banks
Enabling banks to maintain their accounts with the Reserve Bank for statutory reserve requirements and maintenance of transaction balances
Acting as a lender of last resort
According to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (as amended from time to time), the RBI enjoys extensive powers of supervision, regulation, and control over commercial and co-operative banks.
Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act
Recently, the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks has come up with a new guideline to be followed when deciding on applications related to software and hardware related inventions for its officials. The new guidelines will replace the earlier guideline which invited criticisms and protests from some of the IT groups.
Patent offices across the world are facing the issue of patentability of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs). Creators of knowledge in the domain of CRIs are looking for appropriate protection of their IPRs. . This subject has grabbed the international attention in the recent past. There should be uniform examination guidelines/manuals for examination of patent applications to address the challenges of processing patent applications in the field of computer related inventions and related technologies. So, the Indian Patent Office has come up with guidelines to foster uniformity and consistency in examination of such applications, and also to bring clarity in terms of exclusions expected under section 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act to enable fast examination of patents related to CRIs.
Provisions under section 3(k) of Indian Patent Act
Section 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act provides that a mathematical or business method, or a computer programme per se, or algorithm, is not patentable unless embedded in hardware.
Salient features of the new guidelines for examination of CRIs
The existing chapter of the manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure, containing provisions pertaining to Section 3(k) of the Patent Act 1970 is left untouched. So, if the contribution of the invention lies only in computer program, the patent claim shall be denied by the examiner. It is held that the computer program in itself is never patentable. If such a contribution is received, then the examiners need to check whether it is claimed in conjunction with a novel hardware and then proceed with the other steps to determine patentability. This provision is expected to ensure that the applications for patents solely in the field of software are rejected and the applications claiming a novel hardware component along with software are accepted for examination.
While examining the CRI applications, the examiners have to rely on three stage test, starting with construing the claim and identifying the actual contribution.
If the contribution lies only in mathematical method, business method or algorithm, then the patent claim should be denied.
The Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), the iSPIRT (Indian Software Product Industry Round Table) and Knowledge Commons, which were protesting against the guidelines issued in august 2015, have hailed the new guidelines by saying that the new guidelines are in line with the spirit of Section 3(k) of the Patents Act and would ensure software patents are barred in the country. The previously released guidelines provided that some of the advancement in the software compared to the prior art could get a patent. This could have resulted in a flood of patents being granted in the field of software, which would have adverse implications for the Indian IT industry, especially the start ups Indian start-ups, product companies, research organizations, a range of academics, organizations like Society for Knowledge Commons, Free Software Movement of India, which are at the forefront of innovation, have welcomed the guidelines.
The criticism for the new guidelines have come from the legal fraternity who fears that the new guidelines would result in less patent litigations and thus resulting in a loss of business, and from those multinational corporations (MNCs) with business models based on proprietary software. Their criticisms does not find merit as the world at large have already concluded that patents does not make sense in the world of software.
About Open Source
Software Open source software (OSS) is computer software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone. The copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Technologies which we are using in our day-to-day lives like web browsers, Linux-based mobile phones, Facebook, set-top boxes, Twitter etc., are based on open source. The OSS does not rely on patent protection. Even Apple uses open source at its core, and the irony is that those companies which uses Linux have opposed the new guidelines, while the Linux foundation itself does not support patents.
Why patent free open source software is important?
Lack of distraction on account of patents will offer conducive environment for innovations in India. Many innovations have the potential to address the problems faced by the Indian economy. For example, the government-funded SHAKTI processor programme at IIT-Madras works to replace proprietary processors by creating an open-source mobile and server processors. The existence of the web is attributed to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which committed the Web’s fundamental technologies, including initial Web-serving and Web-browsing programmes, to the public domain. The freely available scripting languages such as Perl and PHP are behind the various open-source foundations like the Mozilla, Linux, Apache, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, Tumblr and various other start-ups.
Given the amount of litigation that the software patents have created in the US, the new CRI guidelines, which is very much in line with Section 3(k) of the Patents Act 1970 is a wise move taken by the Indian Patent Office to encourage the business of innovation. The guidelines portray the importance India attaches on the innovation economy.
A Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC) was commissioned by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development across 29 States during November, 2013 with technical and financial assistance from UNICEF India. The key objective of the survey was to assess the situation of children and women in the country with special emphasis on access and utilization of services under the ICDS Scheme and to provide baseline data for the restructured ICDS Scheme.
About the Survey
The results of Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC) are intended to strengthen the data system on children and women, based on a nationwide household cum facility based survey in 28 states and Delhi.
This survey provides level of selected indicators at national and state level.
The indicators mainly focus on the wellbeing of children below 6 years and their mothers covering aspects of child development, maternal care, school /college attendance among persons aged 5-24 years.
Early childhood care and the enabling environment, like access to drinking water and use of toilet facilities are also covered in the survey.
The survey maps the ICDS programme in terms of its infrastructural facilities, awareness and utilization of the six services by the target groups.
The Nati folk dance of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in second week of January 2016 was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest folk dance in the world.
Nati entered in the book as the largest folk dance in terms of participants’ number. Total 9892 women participated in this folk dance in their traditional colourful Kulluvi on 26 October 2015 during International Dussehra festival.
The event, phrased as Pride of Kullu, was dedicated to girl child, was recorded in several cameras.
Kullu Dussehra is a centuries-old festival and celebrations begin on Vijaya Dashami, the day when the festivities end in rest of the country.
The folk dance entered the Limca Book of Records in 2014 after about 8760 artists performed it at the Kullu Dussehra festivities.
Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR)
The interest coverage ratio is a debt ratio and profitability ratio used to determine how easily a company can pay interest on outstanding debt. The interest coverage ratio may be calculated by dividing a company’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) during a given period by the amount a company must pay in interest on its debts during the same period.
The method for calculating interest coverage ratio may be represented with the following formula:
Interest coverage ratio is also often called “times interest earned.”
Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent of physical or paper certificates such as drivers’ licenses, passports or membership cards. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a driver’s license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. Likewise, a digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove a person’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally. A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. In India, a Certifying Authority (CA) means a person who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000.
Types of Digital Signatures:-
There are basically 3 types of Digital Signature Certificates viz. Class-1, Class-2 & Class-3 having increased level of level of security from 1 to 3. The MCA21 program, which has been launched for easy and secure access to MCA services in a manner that best suits the businesses and citizens, the class 2 and class 3 digital certificates are needed. In Class 2, identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database. In Class 3, which is the highest level, the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/ her identity. DSC of Class 2 and Class 3 category issued by a licensed Certifying Authority (CA) needs to be obtained for efiling on the MCA Portal. Please note that there is a cost of getting digital signatures. Then, in India, the Digital Signatures are legally admissible in a Court of Law, as provided under the provisions of IT Act 2000.
Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls) that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka. This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization, administered by the Government of Karnataka. As a result of the popularity of these toys, Channapatna is known as Gombegala Ooru (toy-town) of Karnataka. Traditionally, the work involved lacquering the wood of the Wrightia tinctoria tree, colloquially called Aale mara (ivory-wood).
ICEGATE stands for the Indian Customs and Central Excise Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data interchange (EC/EDI) Gateway. ICEGATE is a portal that provides e-filing services to the trade and cargo carriers and other clients of Customs & Central Excise Department (collectively called trading partner). At present, about 8500 users are registered with ICEGATE.
ICEGATE is an infrastructure project that fulfils the department’s EC/EDI and data communication requirements. Through this facility the department offers a host of services, including electronic filing of Bill of Entry( import goods declaration) and Shipping Bills (export goods declaration) and related electronic messages between Customs and the trading partners using communication facilities (E-mail, Web-upload & FTP) including the communication protocols commonly used on the internet. The airlines and shipping agents can file manifests on the internet filed using this facility. Besides, data is exchanged between Customs and the various regulatory and licensing agencies such as DGFT, RBI, Ministry of Steel and DGCIS. The National Import database (NIDB) and Export Commodity Database (ECDB) for Directorate of valuation are also being serviced through ICEGATE. All electronic documents/ messages being handled by the ICEGATE are processed at the Customs’ end by the Indian Customs EDI System (ICES), which is running at 40 customs locations. Department has embarked upon Centralization of its infrastructure and in due course all customs locations will be shifted to centralized infrastructure hosted at Data Centre. 5 Custom locations at Dadri have already been moved to the Data Centre.
The ICEGATE also provides for 24X7 helpdesk facility for its trading partners. To ensure secure filing, it is proposed to use digital signatures on Bill of Entry and other documents/ messages to be handled on the gateway.
ICEGATE is working through a MPLS based Wide Area Network (under implementation), linking 582 departments buildings all over the country.
In addition to e-filing, ICEGATE also provides host of other services like E-payment, on-line registration for IPR, Document Tracking status at ICEGATE and ICES, online verification of DEPB/DES/EPCG licences, IE code status, PAN based CHA data and links to various other important websites/information pertaining to Customs business.