Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 11th March 2019

IRDAI moots norms on conflict of interest

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Image result for irdai moots norms on conflict of interest

Context

A set of guidelines to address conflicts of interest arising from appointment of common directors in the insurance sector is on the cards with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India issuing an exposure draft.

Background

The draft IRDAI (Conflict of Interest) Guidelines, 2019 prescribes do’s and don’ts in the event of there being common directors between insurance firms, insurance company and insurance intermediaries and common promoters of health and general insurers.

Highlights

  • Where a promoter of a general insurance company wants to be a promoter of a health insurance company or vice versa, the application for issuance of requisition of registration certificate filed by such promoter needs to be accompanied by a note approved by the board of directors. 
  • The note should detail the manner in which segregation of business between the general insurer and the standalone health insurer would take place.
  • The draft guidelines said it would be the responsibility of the board of the insurance companies to formulate policy to address conflict-of-interest situations. 
  • For a director or officer who becomes aware of a material conflict of interest, two options will be available — either to eliminate the conflict or resign in 30 days.
  • In cases where the insurer becomes aware of the conflict of interest situation, “immediate steps shall be taken by the insurer to ensure the powers/authority delegated to such a director or officer is ceased and he/she is not allowed to participate in the day-to-day activities.” 
  • An enquiry, headed by an independent director, is also to be conducted and if found guilty, the director or officer would no longer be “fit and proper” to continue.
  • Common directorships among insurance firms; an insurance company and its promoter company; and insurance firms and insurance intermediaries will be subject to conditions.
  • No permission, would, however, be needed when the common director is an independent director in both the companies under the same group and where the annual remuneration is below ₹10 lakh.

Source: The Hindu.

Scientists discover different kind of killer whale off Chile

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Image result for Scientists discover different kind of killer whale off Chile

Context

  • An international team of researchers says they found a couple dozen of these distinctly different orcas roaming in the oceans off southern Chile in January. 
  • Scientists are waiting for DNA tests from a tissue sample but think it may be a distinct species.

Background

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration felt confident enough to trumpet the discovery of the long-rumoured killer whale. 
  • Some outside experts were more cautious, acknowledging the whales are different, but saying they’d wait for the test results to answer the species question. 

Highlights

  • In the Southern hemisphere, killer whales are considered all one species, classified in types A through C. 
  • This one is called type D or sub-Antarctic killer whales.
  • Scientists have heard about these distinctive whales ever since a mass stranding in New Zealand in 1955.
  • Scientists initially thought it could be one family of killer whales that had a specific mutation, but the January discovery and all the photos in between point to a different type.
  • The type D killer whale lives in the most inhospitable waters on the planet. It’s a good place to hide.
  • After weeks of waiting, about 25 of the whales came up to the scientist’s boat, looking like they expected to be fed.

Source: The Hindu.

No photographs of Armed forces for electoral campaign: EC directs parties

Focus: GS 2.

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People's Act.

Image result for no campaigning with defence staff posters

Why in News?

The Election Commission of India (ECI), in a letter, directed to all the political parties and its leaders to not use the photographs of Defence personnel in advertisements and campaigns as part of their electoral propaganda ahead of the Lok Sabha elections this year. 

Background

  • This notice by Election Commission (EC) came after a complaint by the Ministry of Defence. 
  • The press statement wrote, “The Ministry of Defence has brought to the notice of the Commission that the photographs of the Defence personnel are being used by the political parties, their leaders and candidates in advertisements as a part of their election propaganda and requested the Commission to issue suitable instruction in this regard.”  

Highlights

  • According to reports, the notice comes after the billboards featuring the ruling government leaders – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah along with the Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman came up in certain parts of the national capital.
  • The poster reads the slogan of the BJP for the 2019 campaigns “Modi hai toh mumkin” (Everything is possible under PM Modi).
  • In the notice, EC brought all the parties’ attention to ECI’s letter dated December 4, 2013, that mentioned the reasons for not using the armed forces in poll campaigns.
  • “It is pertinent to mention here that the Armed Forces of a nation are the guardian of its frontiers, security and the political system. 
  • They are apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy. 
  • It is therefore necessary that political parties and leaders exercise great caution while making any reference to the armed forces in their political campaigns,” the statement said.
  • After the release of the Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistani authorities after an aerial dogfight with India on February 27, many BJP leaders, including Union Minister Smriti Irani, attributed his immediate release within two days to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts.

Source: The Hindu.

Relaxation of rules to aid red-flagged Andamans tourism project

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Image result for relaxation of rules to aid red flagged andamans tourism project

Context

The Environment Ministry has amended laws that now allow a proposed tourism project in the Aves island, of the Andaman and Nicobar island (A&N) territory, to come up. 

Background

  • The project was the only one of three high-profile proposed tourism projects that did not get a clearance from an expert committee on coastal clearance in February. 
  • This was because the proposed Aves island project was located 20 m away from the High Tide line (HTL) and existing rules required such projects to be at least 50 m away.

Highlights

  • An official said that while the new rules did ease the way for the Aves island project, it was also done to broadly align the changes in coastal zone regulations in the country’s mainland States with the island regions. 
  • “What is important is that there is no other industrial development in the A&N and tourism is a major thrust area that we have to consider. 
  • However, there continue to be stringent provisions on how infrastructure and development projects can be executed,” an official, who did not want to be identified, told The Hindu. 
  • These were “high end” eco tourism projects and had to strictly adhere to the island management plan, the official added.
  • In December, the government had issued a coastal regulation zone notification that largely allows tourism and development projects located near coasts in mainland States to come up closer to the sea. 
  • It also issued an Island Zone Protection Notification in January 2019 to allow similar relaxations in the A&N Islands.
  • In January, an expert committee of the Union Environment Ministry “deferred” clearance to a ₹100 crore proposal by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited to develop an island resort, as well as put up “premium tents” and “tree houses,” on the grounds that it did not account for the biodiversity of the islands’ coast.

Source: The Hindu.

Cloud seeding back in Karnataka for two monsoons.

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Image result for cloud seeding to be back for two monsoons

Why in News?

  • As 176 taluks reel under drought, the State government is hoping to influence the upcoming monsoon and capture as much water as possible from the rain clouds.
  • On March 8, the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department pushed a tender call for cloud seeding operations to enhance rainfall during the monsoons of 2019 and 2020. 
  • The project is expected to cost ₹50 crore each year.

Background

Cloud seeding uses planes to spray clouds with chemicals to condense smaller particles into larger rain droplets.

About the mission

  • The department is aiming to replicate the ₹35-crore ‘Varshadhare’ project two years ago that was called a success by an independent evaluation committee. 
  • Its report, submitted to the State government in 2018, estimated that rainfall was enhanced by 27.9% and there was an extra inflow of 2.5 tmcft into Linganamakki reservoir. 
  • On account of procedural delays and inconsistent monsoon season, the two planes could only fly for 37 days. 
  • However, experts involved said the outcome addressed the scepticism about the exercise.
  • Despite the positive response, the department could not obtain approvals in time for cloud seeding in 2018. Moreover, two key recommendations of the evaluation committee — that the State government should purchase three Doppler radars worth ₹10 crore each and that it should establish a division for cloud seeding — have seen no progress.

Source: The Hindu.

Map of the Day

Black Sea

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Quote for the Da

"The life of Gautama Buddha illustrates the power of service, compassion and, most importantly, renunciation. He was convinced that material wealth is not the sole goal.” ― Narendra Modi

Mains answer writing

1.Critically analyse the salient features of IRDAI (Conflict of Interest) Guidelines, 2019.
2.Discuss the changes did recently to the Model Code of Conduct.
3.Explain the significance of the newly amended laws for Island Tourism.


Test your Knowledge

1. Consider the following statements regarding Official Secrets act

1) Law is applicable on government servants and citizens.

2) Both, person receiving the sensitive information and person passing the information can be punished.

3) Public authorities are not allowed to disclose any information under RTI which is prohibited by Official Secrets act.

Which of the statements given above is/re correct?

 a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above

2. Which of the following statement is incorrect regarding Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013? 

a) Chairperson of the Lokpal must be the one, who has been a Chief Justice of India.

b) Lokpal will have maximum 8 members.

c) not less than 50% of the members should belong to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, minorities, and women. 

d)  Act mandates establishment of body in every State.

3. Which of the following will be an impact of according large hydro projects the status of renewable energy projects?

1) India will meet its renewable energy target by 2022.

2) It will make the hydro power tarrif expensive due to many additional obligations.

3) LHPs would now be able to sell renewable energy certificates.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

 a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) All of the above

4. Consider the following statements regarding Regional Connectivity Scheme

1) There is no  lower limit set for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions for applicability of the scheme.

2) States are expected to contribute 20 per cent to the Regional Connectivity Fund.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) All of the above

5.Cabinet has recently cleared new coal linkage rules with the object 

a) To reduce mining of low quality coal and promote the mining of high grade coal only. 

b) To provide greater coal availability to stressed thermal power projects.

c) To allow thermal power plants to import coal according the power production of previous year.

d) None of the above

Answers

  1. A 2.A 3.B 4.C 5.B