• Current Affairs, 24thJanuary 2020

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. PM pays tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his Jayanti

     

     

     

     

    • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his Jayanti.
    • On 23rd January 1897, Janakinath Bose wrote in his diary, “A son was born at midday.” This son became a valorous freedom fighter and thinker who devoted his life towards one great cause- India’s freedom. I refer to Netaji Bose, who we proudly remember on his Jayanti today.
    • India will always remain grateful to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose for his bravery and indelible contribution to resisting colonialism. He stood up for the progress and well-being of his fellow Indians” the Prime Minister said.
    • He was an Indian nationalistwhose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India,but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy. The honorific Netaji (Hindustani: “Respected Leader”), first applied in early 1942 to Bose in Germany by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, was later used throughout India.[
    • Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congressin the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939.However, he was ousted from Congress leadership positions in 1939 following differences with Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress high command.[17] He was subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in 1940.
    • With Japanese support, Bose revamped the Indian National Army(INA), then composed of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore.To these, after Bose’s arrival, were added enlisting Indian civilians in Malaya and Singapore.
    • The Japanese had come to support a number of puppet and provisional governments in the captured regions, such as those in Burma, the Philippinesand Manchukuo. Before long the Provisional Government of Free India, presided by Bose, was formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Bose had great drive and charisma—creating popular Indian slogans, such as “Jai Hind,”—and the INA under Bose was a model of diversity by region, ethnicity, religion, and even gender.
    • However, Bose was regarded by the Japanese as being militarily unskilled, and his military effort was short-lived. In late 1944 and early 1945, the British Indian Armyfirst halted and then devastatingly reversed the Japanese attack on India. Almost half the Japanese forces and fully half the participating INA contingent were killed. The INA was driven down the Malay Peninsula and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore. Bose had earlier chosen not to surrender with his forces or with the Japanese, but rather to escape to Manchuria with a view to seeking a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to be turning anti-British.
    • He died from third-degree burns received when his plane crashed in Taiwan. Some Indians, however, did not believe that the crash had occurred, with many among them, especially in Bengal, believing that Bose would return to gain India’s independence

     

    1. History should inspire our children and they should read the life stories of the heroes of our freedom struggle.

     

     

    • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that time has come to revisitour history textbooks and to give adequate importance to freedom fighters from all parts of the country.
    • Unveiling the statue of NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose in Raj Bhawan, Chennai, on the occasion of his Birth Anniversary today, the Vice President said that the history should inspire our children and they should read the life stories of the heroes of our freedom struggle.
    • Shri Naidu expressed disappointment that many of the stalwarts of Indian independence movement, such as SardarVallabhbhai Patel, NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose, Veer Savarkar, Shri Chidambaram Pillai, Subramania Bharti, AlluriSeetharamaRaju and VeerapandiyaKattabomman did not find adequate place in our history text books.
    • He further said that the history should be comprehensive and re-capture our past glory and instill a sense of pride in India’s rich culture and heritage.
    • Referring to the sufferings underwent by several freedom fighters at Cellular Jail including Veer Savarkar, the Vice President said that some people are trying to belittle their contributions, either due to ignorance or due to their leanings.
    • Calling upon the youth to take inspiration from the life of NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose, Shri Naidu asked themto strive towards building a progressive, harmonious and inclusive India.
    • The Vice President also said that Netaji’s vision and his nationalistic outlook can be an important guiding light for building a New India.
    • Referring to the diversity of philosophies and approaches in our freedom struggle, the Vice President said it was a bouquet of individual and collective actions, ranging from peaceful satyagraha to more organized resistance.
    • “Even as Gandhiji was turning ‘ahimsa’ into a powerful weapon of our struggle, the likes of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose continued with their efforts of unsettling the British”, he said.
    • Although Gandhiji was not in favor of Netaji’s militant approach, he respected him and once referred to him as the ‘patriot of patriots’.
    • Highlighting his leadership of Azad Hind Fauj, Shri Naidu said that Netaji Bose unfurled the Tricolor in Port Blair on 30th December 1943 and declared Andaman and Nicobar Islands to be the first Indian Territory to be free from British Raj.
    • Recalling the close connection of the people of Tamil Nadu with Indian National Army, the Vice President paid rich tributes to Shri MuthuramalingaThevar who was a close confidante of Netaji.
    • “Shri MuthuramalingaThevar was an influential leader who was instrumental in establishing Shri Subhash Chandra Bose’s strong presence in Tamil imagination”, Shri Naidu said. Shri MuthuramalingaThevar also launched a Tamil Weekly Nethaji and was one of the founding pillars of Forward Bloc.
    • He had played an instrumental role in mobilizing huge support for INA, VP said.
    • He also lauded the daredevilry of Lakshmi Swaminathan who had had set up the Rani of Jhansi Regiment in INA and came to be known as Captain Lakshmi Sahgal.
    • Expressing pride in the fact that we Indians are inheritors of a five thousands years old civilization, Shri Naidu highlighted that Netaji firmly believed in our civilizational values and its history. This history should form the bedrock of our national pride and collective self-confidence, he added.
    • Lauding the Government’s decision to declassify all records and files associated with Netaji, the Vice President said that researchers will now be able to delve deep into his life and come up with many more meaningful publications on the life story of this great patriot.
    • The statue of NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose unveiled in Raj Bhawan, Chennai today has been sponsored by BharatiyaVidyaBhawan.

     

    1. Cabinet approves Extension, of tenure of the Commission constituted under Article 340 of the constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes in the Central List

     

     

     

     

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the extension of the term of the Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes, by six months that is up to 31.7.2020.
    • The Cabinet has also approved addition of following Term of Reference to the existing Terms of Reference of the “Commission” –
    • “iv. to study the various Entries in the “Central List of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.”
    • The Communities in the existing list of OBCs which have not been able to get any major benefit of the scheme of reservation for OBCs for appointment in Central Government posts & for admission in Central Government Educational Institutions are expected to be benefitted upon implementation of the recommendations of the Commission. The Commission is likely to make recommendations for benefit of such marginalized communities in the Central List of OBCs.
    • The expenditure involved are related to the establishment and administration costs of the Commission, which would continue to be borne by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • All persons belonging to the castes/communities which are included in the Central List of SEBCs but which have not been able to get any major benefit of the existing scheme of reservation for OBCs in Central Government posts & for admission in Central Government Educational Institutions would be benefitted.

     

    1. Cabinet approves Revised Cost Estimates for establishment of permanent campus of new NITs

     

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) for establishment of permanent campuses of new National Institutes of Technology (NITs), at a total cost of Rs.4371.90 crore for the period till 2021 – 2022.
    • These NITs were established in the year 2009 and started functioning from academic year 2010-2011 in their respective temporary campus with very limited space and infrastructure. The projects at the permanent campus could not be completed in the manner envisaged due to late finalization of land required for construction and also the cost approved for construction works was far below the actual requirements.
    • With the approved Revised Cost Estimates, these NITs will be fully functional from their respective permanent campuses by 31st March, 2022. The overall student capacity in these campuses will be 6320.
    • NITs are Institutions of National Importance known to be among the best teaching Institutions in the field of engineering and technology and have made a remarkable presence with their high-quality technical education. These Institutes are capable of producing high quality technical manpower which will fuel entrepreneurship and generation of job opportunities throughout the country.
    1. Cabinet approves Amendments/Extension/Repeal in Acts dealing with Goods and Services Tax

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved amendments/extension/repeal in the following Acts and Regulations dealing with Goods and Services Tax (GST), Value Added Tax (VAT) and State Excise, and for designation of Daman as Headquarter:
    1. the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 (No.12 of 2017) to be amended as Central Goods and Service Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020;
    2. the Union Territory Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 (No. 14 of 2017) to be amended as Union Territory Goods and Service Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020;
    • the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Value Added Tax Regulation, 2005 (No.2 of 2005) to be amended as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Value Added Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020;
    1. the Daman and Diu Value Added Tax Regulation, 2005 (No.1 of 2005) to be repealed as Daman and Diu Value Added Tax (Repeal) Regulation, 2C20;
    2. the Goa, Daman and Diu Excise Duty Act, 1964 (No.5 of 1964) to be amended as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Excise Duty (Amendment) Regulation, 2020;
    3. the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Excise Duty Regulation, 2012 (No.1 of 2012) to be repealed as Dadra and Nagar Haveli Excise Duty (Repeal) Regulation, 2020;
    • Designation of Daman as Headquarter of Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
    • These amendments will lead to “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” by way of having common taxation authorities: better delivery of services to the citizens by reducing duplication of work and improving administrative efficiency, will help in bringing more uniformity in Laws relating to GST, VAT and STATE EXCISE and it will also help to avoid any legal complications in the levy and collection of GST Tax, VAT, State Excise, including recovery of arrears Moreover, the said amendments not only bring uniformity in taxation laws but also strengthen the system of laws.
    • The U.T. Administration of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have taken a big step to realize vision of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” for the people of the two UTs, besides saving to government exchequer and ensuring uniformity, stability and consistency in day to day functioning of taxation authorities. This is achieved by making Amendments/extension/repeal in Acts dealing with Goods and Services Tax (GST), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise, and by designation of Daman as Headquarters of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu in view of merger of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on appointed date of 26.01.2020.

     

    1. Cabinet approves Closure of Hindustan Fluorocarbons Limited (HFL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals

    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval as under:

    Shutting down the operations of the plant/unit of Hindustan Fluorocarbons Limited (HFL) and closure of the company.

     

    (ii)   Separating the employees rendered surplus through VRS/VSS, after payment of all their outstanding salary/wages and statutory dues, except for the skeletal staff required to implement the closure of the company. Employees not opting for VRS will be retrenched as per Industrial Disputes Act.

     

    (iii)   Grant of interest free loan of Rs.77.20 crore by the Govt. to HFL for expenditure exclusively on closure of HFL viz. implementation of VRS/VSS, payment of outstanding salary & statutory dues, etc. and salary/wages and administrative expenses of HFL’s skeletal staff to be retained for implementing the closure of HFL.

     

    (iv)   Above interest free loan of Rs.77.20 crore is to be repaid to Gol from the disposal of land and other assets of HFL after settling all closure related liabilities. If the land/ assets sale proceeds are not sufficient to repay the loan amount, then the balance loan amount is to be written off.

     

    (v)     After repayment of the loan of Rs.77.20 crore and settlement of all other closure related liabilities of HFL, surplus proceeds from disposal of land and assets will be used for repayment of HFL’s outstanding Gol loans (Rs.15.80 crore) and interest, with freezing of interest up to 31.03.2019. Full or part of the principal loan amount and interest thereon remaining unpaid due to insufficient sale proceeds is to be written off/waived.

     

    (vi)   Appointment of NBCC (India) Ltd. as Land Management Agencies (LMA) for facilitating disposal of HFL’s land assets subject to outcome of the decision of Telangana Govt./TSIIC on purchasing land of HFL.

     

    (vii)    Disposal of plant/machinery and movable assets will be done by HFL through e-auction by MSTC Ltd.

     

    • HFL has only one plant/unit located at Rudraram, District Sangareddy in Telangana.

     

    Financial Implications:

    • Financial implications of the proposal for closure of HFL involves providing financial support of Rs.77.20 crore(cash) to HFL in the form of interest free loan for settling closure related liabilities of HFL viz. (a) implementation of VRS/VSS, payment of outstanding salary & statutory dues, payment of suppliers/contractors/utilities dues and repayment of SBI working capital credit and (b) salary/wages and administrative expenses of HFL skeletal staff to be retained for implementing the closure plan for two years. Above interest free loan is proposed to be repaid from the proceeds of the disposal of land and other assets of HFL after settling all the liabilities relating to closure of the company. If the land / assets sale proceeds are not sufficient to fully repay the loan amount, then the balance loan amount is to be written off.

     

    Implementation schedule:

    • Taking date of receipt of CCEA approvalas ‘T’

     

    1. Notice to Employees for VRS/VSS: T+10 days.
    2. Request for budgetary support / bridge loan from D/o Expenditure: T+15 days.
    • Approval by HFL and HOCL Board and shareholders and information of the decisionto BSE: T+80 days.
    1. Settlement of salaries/ wages and statutory dues of employees and separation ofemployees  through  VRS/VSS   (except skeletal  staff and  those  not  opting  for VRS/VSS): T+120 days.
    2. Retrenchment of employees not opting for VRS/VSS: T + 180 days.
    3. Disposal of movable assets/ plant & machinery through e-auction by MSTC: T180 days.
    • Disposal of land assets through NBCC (LMA) subject to decision of Telangana Govt. on purchasing the land: T+ 240 days.
    • Application to SEBI/BSE for exit option to shareholders and Voluntary winding upand Delisting under provisions of Companies Act, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code and SEBI regulations: 400 days.

     

    Impact:

    • With unviable scale of operations, very old plants & technology and only one revenue earning product (HCFC-22) but of no strategic significance, sustainable revival of HFL is not economically viable. Moreover, the inevitable reduction in HCFC-22 quota of HFL in 2020 will make the company’s operations completely non-viable from March, 2020 onwards. Closure of the company’s operations will not only avoid any future risks / liabilities but also protect the interest and welfare of HFL employees by separating them through VRS/VSS. Thereafter, disposal of the company’s land assets will enable their redeployment for more productive use which can attract both domestic and foreign investments.However, interest and welfare of employees rendered surplus will be protected by payment of all their outstanding salary & statutory dues and giving VRS / VSS compensation to them as per DPE guidelines.

     

    Background:

    • Hindustan Fluorocarbons Limited (HFL) is a subsidiary company of Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd. (HOCL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the administrative control of the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals. HFL is engaged in the manufacture of Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (PTFF) and Chloro Di Fluoro Methane (HCFC-22 or CFM-22). The company has been making losses since 2013-14 and has negative net worth. As on 31.3.2019, it had accumulated losses of Rs.62.81 crore and negative net worth of (-)Rs.43.20 crore. It was also registered with the erstwhile Board for Industrial and Financial Construction (BIFR) as a sick company.

     

    • HFL manufactures HCFC-22 and also uses the same for conversion to PTFE. Due to uneconomic plant capacity and old technology, conversion of HCFC-22 to PTFE is not financially viable and the company is constrained to sell higher quantity of HCFC- 22 directly as refrigerant gas. Under the provisions of Montreal Protocol on phasing out of ozone depleting substances, HFL’s HCFC-22 non-feedstock production quota is only about 392 MT per calendar year which was enhanced to 1100 MT during the last 3 years by the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) based on the exemption request of this Department. The HCFC-22 quota is to be reduced further by 25% from calendar year 2020 and the MoEFCC is not likely to agree to any further exemptions for HFL. The reduced HCFC-22 quota of about 282 MT would be sufficient for plant operations only up to March / April, 2020, and, thereafter, HFL would be forced to shutdown its plant for the remaining months of the year. Since HFL’s operations are not likely to be sustainable after March, 2020 onwards, it is necessary to expeditiously close down the operations of the company and separate its employees through VRS/VSS.

     

    1. 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture

    • In its 70th year of inception, Election Commission of India has decided to institute an Annual Lecture Series as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sukumar Sen. Sh Sen (1898-1963) commendably conducted the first two General Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies, thereby putting India firmly on the mapof democracyThe rationale behind instituting the lecture is to make a positive and constructive intervention in the democratic discourse of the nation within the constitutional mandate of the Election Commission of India.
    • Former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, has kindly consented to deliver the first of the Lectures on 23rd January 2020. In 2019, Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the Republic, was conferred upon him, for his achievements in public affairs. Spanning over a career of more than fifty years, Sh Mukherjee had occupied varied Ministerial posts of Finance, Commerce, External Affairs and Defence Minister at different times. Shri Mukherjee has extensive diplomatic experience and has served on the Board of Governors of Multilateral Institutions such as IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank. Shri Mukherjee is a widely respected savant known for his encyclopedic knowledge of economic, constitutional and historical affairs. A prolific reader, he has authored several books on the Indian economy and the nation building.
    • While announcing the institution of Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture Series on behalf of Election Commission at a book launch in New Delhi on 7th February 2019, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora had observed “It would be Commission’s endeavor to involve a wide cross-section of civil society including political parties, media, constitutionalists, legal luminaries, academia etc. This lecture would be delivered by an eminent person from the democratic world, whose contribution for the spread and furtherance of democratic values and ideals is widely known and recognized”.
    • Shri Sukumar Sen was born on 2 January, 1898. He was educated at Presidency College, Kolkata and University College, London. Shri Sen joined the Indian Civil Services in 1922. During his service, he held several important posts, including as Chief Secretary of West Bengal (1947-1950). He served as the first Chief Election Commissioner of India from 21st March 1950 till his retirement 19th December, 1958. He conducted the first two Lok Sabha elections of India held in 1952 and 1957 simultaneously with the Legislative Assembly Elections based on universal adult franchise under challenging circumstances and little precedence to guide him.
    • Shri Sen is also credited with conducting the first general elections in the then Sudan in November-December, 1953 as the Chairman of the International Election Commission. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his distinguished contribution to public life. He was one of the earliest recipients of that award in 1954.
    • On this occasion a reprint of the Report on India’s First Election would be released by Shri Pranab Mukherjee as also a postal stamp in memory of Shri Sukumar Sen would be unveiled.

     

     

    1. ICCW National Bravery Award

     

     

    • President Ram Nath Kovind presented the ICCW National Bravery Award 2019 to 10 girls and 12 boys.
    • President Ram Nath Kovind presented theICCW National Bravery Award 2019 to 10 girls and 12 boys. He also awarded 16-year-old Muhammed Muhsin, who drowned while saving three of his friends in the rough sea in April 2019, from Kozhikode in Kerala posthumously. He was chosen for the ICCW Abhimanyu Award.
    • Awardees:
      Sartaj Mohidin Mugal, Mudasir Ashraf, Venkatesh, Kamal Krishna Das, Gita Siddhartha, Situmoni Das, Adithya K, Alaika, Everbloom K Nongrum, Lourembam Yaikhomba Mangang, Muhhamed Muhsin EC, Purnima Giri, Sabita Giri, Kanti Paikra, Bharneshwari Nirmalkar, Aarti Kiran Shet, Zen Sadavarte, Akash Machindra Khillare, Lalliansanga, Carolyn Malsawmtluangi, Vanlalhriatrenga.
    • Indian Council for Child Welfare Award:
      The National Bravery Award, ICCW award, was instituted in 1957 byIndian Council for Child Welfare. The award recognizes children who perform outstanding deeds of bravery and meritorious service. So far, the award has been awarded to 1,004 children, of which 703 are boys and 301 are girls.

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. MoRD signs MoU with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen grassroots institutions

    • As per the MoU, the Ministry will make use of the foundations expertise, and leverage its network, to provide technical assistance and support to the DAY-NRLM.
    • TheMinistry of Rural Development (MoRD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana, National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
    • The MoU aims to strengthen grassroots institutions of the rural poor.
    • The MoU was signed by Smt. AlkaUpadhyaya, Additional Secretary and Mission Director NRLM on behalf of MoRD and by Shri AlkeshWadhwanion behalf of BMGF in presence of Secretary, Shri Rajesh Bhushan who appreciated the initiative and collaboration between the two parties.
    • The MoU reiterates DAY-NRLM and the Foundation’s shared focus on improving the lives of India’s poor and the marginalized with the aim of reducing poverty through institutions of marginalized rural women for promotion of diversified and gainful self-employment while creating skilled wage employment opportunities.
    • The MoU will remove barriers such as gender inequality and lack of opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship and poor health.
    • It will provide access to financial institutions and markets.
    • As per the MoU, the Ministry will make use of the foundation’s expertise, and leverage its network, to provide technical assistance and support to the DAY-NRLM.
    1. India achieved complete phase out of ozone depleting chemicals

     

    • The government announced the prohibition of the import of HCFC-141 b and has completely phased out the important ozone-depleting chemical.
    • Indiahas successfully achieved the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b. HCFC-141b is not produced in India and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. The government announced the prohibition of the import of HCFC-141 b and has completely phased out the important ozone-depleting chemical.
    • It is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals afterChlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). 
    • HCFC-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
    • India has decided to make provide environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies and phase outOzone Depleting Substances (ODSs).
    • India is one of the few countries globally and a pioneer in some cases in the use of technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

     

    1. MoUs among India, Tunisia and Papua New Guinea

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the proposal of the Legislative Department for allowing the Election Commission to enter into Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia (ISIE) and the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission(PNGEC) for elections for cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
    • Impact:
    • The MOUs would promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance/ capacity support for the Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia (ISIE) and the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission(PNGEC) for elections for cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration, envisaging cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration and providing a leg-up to such bodies in conducting elections in their respective countries. This would also result in bolstering India’s international relations.
    • Background
    • The Election Commission has been participating in promoting cooperation in the field of election matters and electoral processes across the world with certain foreign countries and agencies by adopting the mode of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the concerned parties. The Election Commission, a constitutional body, conducts the largest electoral exercise in the world. It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to organise free and fair elections in the country of about 85 crore voters with diverse socio-political and economic backgrounds. In recent years, the role being played by the Election Commission ensures greater participation of people in political affairs. India, today, is considered as the world’s ‘largest’ democratic country. The success of democracy in India has attracted the attention of almost every political system around the world.
    • In its pursuit of excellence, the Election Commission has been receiving various proposals from foreign electoral bodies for developing bilateral relations in the field of election and matters connected therewith. The Election Commission forwarded a proposal to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Legislative Department relating to signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by it with the Election Commission of Maldives on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
    • These MoUs contain standard articles/clauses which broadly express promotion of cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration including promotion of exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process; support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations; etc.

     

    1. India and Brazil on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Agreement between the Republic of India and the Federative Republic of Brazil on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters has to be signed.
    • The Agreement aims to enhance effectiveness of both the countries in investigation and prosecution of crime through cooperation and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. In the context of transnational crime and its linkages to terrorism, the proposed Agreement will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation with the Federative Republic of Brazil in investigation and prosecution of crime as well as in tracing, restraint and confiscation of proceeds and instruments of crime as well as the fund meant to finance terrorist acts.

     

     

    1. ICJ orders Myanmar to take emergency measures to prevent genocide of Rohingyas

     

     

     

    • The Hague-based International Court of Justice has ordered Myanmar to take emergency measures to prevent the genocide of the Rohingyas.
    • The court also ordered Myanmar to report to them in four months on what measures the country has taken to comply with the order. The court asked to report every six months as the case moves slowly through the world court.
    • According to the ICJ, the court has the power to order provisional measures when irreparable prejudice could be caused to rights which are the subject of judicial proceedings. The court found that the condition of urgency had been met in this case.
    • The court’s President Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said the International Court of Justice is of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable.
    • The court added that its order for so-called provisional measures intended to protect the Rohingyas is binding and creates international legal obligations on Myanmar.
    • In November the Gambia filed a suit against Myanmar alleging it was committing ongoing genocide against its minority Rohingyas population and violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.
    • The ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) came days after a Myanmar commission concluded that some soldiers likely committed war crimes against the minority group but that the military was not guilty of genocide.
    • African nation Gambia brought the case against Myanmar after 740,000 Rohingyas fled over the border into Bangladesh, carrying accounts of widespread rape, arson, and mass killings.
    • The Gambia brought the case with the backing of the 57-nation Organization for Islamic Cooperation. Canada and the Netherlands have since also lent their support.

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    1. MP to give incentives for medal winners in Khelo India Youth Games

    • The government will give an incentive of Rs.1 lakh to the gold medal winner, Rs.75,000 to the silver medalist and Rs.50,000 to the bronze medalist of the Khelo India Youth Games.
    • Madhya Pradesh state government has announced incentives for the players who performed well in Khelo India Youth Games 2020 in Guwahati, Assam.
    • The state players will be provided international level sports infrastructure, sports equipment, training in the modern and scientific methods, and all other required facilities.
    • The government will give an incentive of 1 lakh to the gold medal winner,Rs.75,000 to the silver medalist and Rs.50,000 to the bronze medalist of the Khelo India Youth Games.
    • Madhya Pradesh had won a total of 46 medals including 15 gold and 11 silver medals. In 2019, the state won only 8 gold medals in Khelo India 2019.
    • In the Khelo India Youth Games 2020, the Madhya Pradesh state players have achieved these medals by excelling in judo, archery, athletics, wrestling, swimming, table tennis, shooting,  badminton, weightlifting, and boxing.

     

    1. World Archery lifts suspension on India enabling Indian archers to represent country

    • The World Archery today conditionally lifted the suspension on India, less than a week after the embattled national federation held its elections.
    • the World Archery said the federation needs to comply with good governance and activity portions of the World Archery constitution and rules. Must report every three months.
    • The Indian archers, who had to compete as neutral athletes at the Asian Championships because of the suspension, can now represent the country under the Tricolour. The next international tournament is Indoor World Series in Las Vegas in three weeks’ time.
    • Union Minister Arjun Munda was on Saturday elected President of the Archery Association of India (AAI) after the much-delayed elections were held in presence of three observers, including one from the World Archery.
    • The elections were held as per the Delhi High Court order and the two bitter rivals clashed for the first time. World Archery had sent an Observer in Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol.

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