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, 25th September 2020

IIIT LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL 2020


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

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Context

  • The government has passed the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) bill in the Rajya Sabha. 

  • The bill will confer the status of National Importance to five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) — Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Raichur.

 

Objective

 

  • The institutes will now be able to use the nomenclature of Bachelor of Technology (BTech) or Master of Technology (MTech) or PhD degree.

  • The Bill will also enable the Institutes to attract enough students required to develop a strong #research base in the country in the field of Information Technology.

 

Salient features

 

  • The Bill seeks to declare five IIITs set up under the PPP mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.

  • Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas. 

  • On being declared institutions of national importance, the five institutes will be granted the power to grant degrees.

  • The Bill seeks amendment to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-private Partnership) Act, 2017.

  • The central government will contribute fifty percent towards the expenses of institutes functioning under the PPP mode. 

  • 35 per cent will be borne by the states and fifteen per cent by the industries.

  • As a special impetus to north eastern states, central government will bear over fifty seven per cent of the expenses whereas industries will contribute around seven percent to the Institutes there.


Source: Indian Express.


THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, HEALTH AND WORKING CONDITIONS CODE, 2020


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

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Context

  • Lok Sabha passed the Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020. 

  • The 2019 Bill permitted the appropriate government to exempt any establishment or class of establishment from any provisions of the Code.  

  • The 2020 Bill empowers the state government to exempt any new factory from the provisions of the Code in order to create more economic activity and employment.

 

Highlights

 

  • The 2019 Bill defined a factory as any premises where manufacturing process is carried out and it employs more than: (i) 10 workers, if the process is carried out using power, or (ii) 20 workers, if it is carried out without using power.  This was same as the Factories Act, 1948, which is being subsumed by the Bill.

  • The 2019 Bill defines an establishment as a place where any business, trade, or occupation is carried out with 10 or more workers.  The 2020 Bill includes all establishments where any hazardous activity is carried out regardless of the number of workers.

  • The 2019 Bill applied to establishments or contractors employing 20 or more contract workers (on any day in the last one year). 

  • The 2019 Bill empowered the government to prohibit employment of contract labour in some cases including where: (i) the work is of a perennial nature, or (ii) the work performed by contract workers is necessary for the business carried out by the establishment, or (iii) the same work is carried out by regular workmen in the establishment.

  • The appropriate government will decide whether an activity of the establishment is a core activity or not.

  • The Bill allows the appropriate government to exempt contractors from the provisions of the Bill in case of an emergency, subject to such conditions as may be notified. 

  • The 2019 Bill provided that it will not be applicable to the offices of the central and state governments.

  • Under the 2019 Bill, construction works employing 10 or more workers were considered as building or other construction works.  The 2020 Bill removes this condition.

 

Source: PIB.


NSS AWARDS FOR 2018-19


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Context

  • President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the National Service Scheme Awards for the year 2018-19 through virtual mode. 

  • The NSS Award for the year 2018-19 was presented to 42 awardees in three different categories like University, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers. 

 

About NSS

 

  • NSS is a Central Sector Scheme which was launched in the year 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. 

  • The ideological orientation of the NSS is inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • The NSS volunteers work on issues of social relevance, which keep evolving in response to the needs of the community, through regular and special camping activities. 

  • Such issues include literacy and education, health, family welfare and nutrition, environment conservation, social service programmes, rescue and relief during calamities.


Source: AIR News.

 

THE NATIONAL FORENSIC SCIENCES UNIVERSITY BILL, 2020

 

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Parliament has passed the National Forensic Sciences University Bill 2020 with the Rajya Sabha clearing it. 

  • The Lok Sabha has already approved the Bill.

About the Objectives

  • The objectives of the University include: 

  • (i) promoting academic learning in the field of forensic science in conjunction with applied behavioural science studies, law and other allied areas to strengthen the criminal justice institutions in India, 

  • (ii) fostering research and applied applications in forensic science, applied behavioural science studies, and law, 

  • (iii) coordinating with the central and state governments to improve investigations, crime detection and prevention through research, and 

  • (iv) assisting the central government in creating and maintaining a national forensic database for criminal investigation, including DNA and fingerprints.

Highlights

  • The Bill establishes the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar (established under the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University Act, 2008) and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, New Delhi, as a University called the National Forensic Sciences University at Gujarat.  

  • The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance.

  • The Board of Governors will be responsible for all administrative affairs of the University.  The members include: (i) the Vice-Chancellor (appointed by the central government), (ii) the Financial Adviser, Ministry of Home Affairs, ex officio and (iii) five persons of eminence from fields such as forensic science and criminology.  Nominated members will hold office for three years.

  • The University will maintain a Fund which will be applied towards its expenses.  

  • The following amounts will be credited to the Fund: (i) contributions by the central or state government, (ii) grants, gifts, and donations, (iii) income from fees, and (iv) amounts received from any other source.  

  • These amounts will be invested based on the recommendations of the Finance Committee.


Source: The Hindu.


THE RASHTRIYA RAKSHA UNIVERSITY BILL, 2020


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

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Context

  • Parliament has passed the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020. 

  • The Rajya Sabha cleared this Bill on September 22, while the Lok Sabha had passed it earlier.

Objectives

The key objectives of the University include: 

  • (i) providing dynamic and high standards of learning and research, 

  • (ii) providing a working environment dedicated to advancing research, education and training in the domain of policing, and 

  • (iii) promoting and providing public safety. 

About the features

  • The Bill establishes the Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat (established under the Raksha Shakti University Act, 2009) as a University called the Rashtriya Raksha University in Gujarat.  

  • The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance.  

  • The Bill also repeals the 2009 Act.  

  • The Bill provides for several authorities under the University. 

  • These include: (i) the Governing Body, to frame the broad policies and programmes of the University, (ii) the Executive Council, which will be the principal executive body, and (iii) the Academic Council, which will specify the academic policies of the University. 

  • The functions of the University include: (i) providing instructions and research in police sciences, including coastal policing and cyber security, (ii) establishing and maintaining colleges, and (iii) prescribing courses, holding exams, and granting degrees and other distinctions. 

  • The Governing Body will be responsible for all administrative affairs of the University.  

  • It will consist of up to 15 members.  

  • The members will include: (i) the Vice-Chancellor (appointed by the central government), (ii) one representative of Ministry of Home Affairs nominated by the central government, not below the rank Joint Secretary, (iii) one representative of State Police Universities by rotation, and (iii) three persons having expertise in defence, policing, internal security and allied fields.  Nominated members will hold office for three years.  

 

Source: The Hindu.


THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CODE, 2020


Focus: GS3.

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

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Context

  • Labour falls under the Concurrent List of the Constitution.  Therefore, both Parliament and state legislatures can make laws regulating labour.  

  • The central government has stated that there are over 100 state and 40 central laws regulating various aspects of labour such as resolution of industrial disputes, working conditions, social security and wages.

 

Background

 

  • In 2019, the Ministry of Labour and Employment introduced four Bills to consolidate 29 central laws. 

  • These Codes regulate (i) Wages, (ii) Industrial Relations, (iii) Social Security, and (iv) Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.  

  • While the Code on Wages, 2019 has been passed by Parliament, Bills on the other three areas were referred to the Standing Committee on Labour.  

  • The Standing Committee has submitted its report on all three Bills.

  • The government has replaced these Bills with new ones on September 19, 2020.   

 

About the features

 

  • The 2019 Bills provided that the central government will act as the appropriate government for any central public sector undertaking (PSUs). 

  • The 2019 Bills specified that the central government would be the appropriate government for certain industries including railways, mines, telecom, and banking.

  • The 2019 Bills allowed for compounding (settling) of offences which were not punishable with imprisonment, or with imprisonment and fine, subject to certain conditions.  Compounding was allowed for a sum of 50% of the maximum fine provided for the offence. 

  • The appropriate government may exempt any new industrial establishment or class of establishments from the provisions of the Code in public interest.

  • The 2019 Bill provided that all industrial establishment with 100 workers or more must prepare standing orders on the matters listed in a Schedule to the Code. 

  • The 2019 Bill provided that the central government may make the provisions related to standing orders applicable to establishments with less than 100 workers through a notification.   The 2020 Bill removes this provision.   

  • The 2019 Bill provided that once an establishment is covered under the provisions related to standing orders, these provisions will continue to apply even if its employee strength reduces below the threshold (100 workers) at any time thereafter.   The 2020 Bill removes this requirement.

 

Source: The Hindu.


ABHYAS


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • India successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) vehicles from a test range in Odisha, defence sources said.

  • The trial, carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here, was tracked by various radars and electro-optic systems, the sources said.

 

About ABHYAS

 

  • ABHYAS has been designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the DRDO.

  • The air vehicle is launched using twin underslung boosters.

  • It is powered by a small gas turbine engine and has an Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with a Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control.

  • The vehicle has been programmed for fully autonomous flight.

  • The check out of the vehicle is done using laptop- based Ground Control Station (GCS), a defence statement said.

  • During the test campaign, the user requirement of 5 km flying altitude, vehicle speed of 0.5 mach, endurance of 30 minutes and 2g turn capability of the test vehicle were successfully achieved, it said.

 

Source: Indian Express.

 

AI BASED MODULE

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Context

NITI Aayog, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Module rolled out for students in Indian schools.


About the mission

 

  • The AI-Base Module has been introduced with an objective for students to leverage the full potential of AIM’s Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) and further empowers them to innovate and create valuable solutions benefiting societies at large.

  • The module contains activities, videos and experiments that enable students to work through and learn the various concepts of AI.

  • Atal Innovation Mission housed at NITI Aayog is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • At the school level, AIM is establishing Atal Tinkering Lab (ATLs) in all districts across India.


Source: LiveMint.


MAJOR PORT AUTHORITIES BILL, 2020


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

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Context

  • Lok Sabha passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020.

  • The Bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in the country and provide greater autonomy to these ports.

 

Highlights

 

  • It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

  • The legislation provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port. 

  • These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.

  • The bill will help the ports develop world class infrastructure and will also enhance transparency in their functioning.

 

Source: AIR News.


Map of the Day–Malacca Strait

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Quote for the Day


“Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.” ― Thomas Alva Edison

 

Mains Answer Writing


  1. Discuss the importance of Antarctica in a rapidly warming globe. (250 Words).

  2. Accredited social health activists (ASHAs), despite being at the forefront of health activism and acting as crucial link in the institutionalisation of state health service delivery in India, face myriad of problems. Comment. (250 Words).

  3. The right to privacy, as conceptualised in K Puttaswamy v Union of India, addresses many concerns that feminists have had with this right. Applied logically and robustly, this judgment has the potential to transform the landscape of women’s entitlements under the law. Discuss. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge



  1. With reference to the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020, consider the following statements:

    1. It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1993.

    2. The legislation provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.

    3. The bill will help the ports develop world class infrastructure and will also enhance transparency in their functioning.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. A hackathon named “KRITAGYA” has been planned by:


      1. NITI Aayog

      2. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

      3. Union Ministry of Education

      4. NABARD

 

  1. With reference to the Laser Guided Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), consider the following statements:

    1. The missile employs a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles.

    2. It has been developed with multiple-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from gun of MBT Arjun.

    3. It was developed by ISRO.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration are related to

 

      1. World War II

      2. Srilankan civil war

      3. United Nations reforms

      4. Palestinian issue

 

  1. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organisation, was constituted under


      1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

      2. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

      3. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

      4. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980


Answers

  1. C 2.B 3.A4.C 5.A


 
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