Daily Current Affairs : 20th March

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Mizoram Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019.
  2. Draft code of Ethics
  3. Permanent Finance Commission
  4. Facts for Prelims

1 . Mizoram Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019

Context : Mizoram Assembly unanimously passed a Bill on Monday which aims to create registers containing the names, details and photographs of every resident of the state, on a household basis, in an effort to detect illegal foreigners staying and “eating away” benefits of development schemes.

About the Bill

  • Under the law a comprehensive data base of residents will be maintained. The government wants to provide individual identification system through which it will arrest slippage of benefits of development schemes to those who are not entitled. 
  • President of village council, town committee will be the registering authority. They will maintain two registers one will list the residents in the area and another non-residents. The register will be updated every three months. 
  • The law provide that for offence committed under this act a citizen may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine of Rs 3000 for willfully making false statement or destroy the whole or any part of the form. 

2 . Draft code of Ethics

Context : Election Commission Tuesday urged social media platforms including Google, Facebook and Twitter to develop a “Code of Ethics” for the election-related operational details within 24 hours.

About the Draft Code

  • EC suggested the platforms should consider incorporating deterrents like some punitive actions against users and adding “a clear clause” of voluntary agreement that would bind users to not “misuse social media platforms for election or political purposes. 
  • The EC also suggested that the platforms should frame a code for the “immediate context” that can also become a “lasting document in the long run.”
  • Md evolving a ‘notification’ mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of R.P. Act, 1951 and preventing misuse of these platforms.
  • The issues of appointment of dedicated grievance channel for expeditious action by the organisations, pre-certification and transparency in expenditure of political advertisements were also taken up

Section 126 of the Representation of People Act

  • Section 126 of the Representation of People Act prohibits advertising and campaigning on TV and other electronic media during the silent period, which is 48 hours before the end of polling.

3 . Permanent Finance Commission

Context : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das called for a permanent status to Finance Commission

Need

  • According to the RBI governor, finance commissions have over the past several decades adopted different approaches with regard to principles of tax devolution, grants to be given to states and fiscal consolidation issues.
  • While at one level, Das said, there has to be a framework for fresh and innovative thinking by every finance commission, at another, there is a need to ensure broad consistency between finance commissions so that there is some degree of certainty in the flow of funds, especially to the states.
  • “This has become even more critical in the post GST scenario. In other words, there has to be continuity and change between finance commissions. Increasingly, therefore, it is felt that there is a need to give permanent status to the finance commission.
  • The commission can function as a leaner entity in the intervening period till the next finance commission is set up in a full-fledged manner. During the intervening period, it can also address issues arising from implementation of the recommendations of the finance commission

4 . Facts for Prelims

Hostile Takeover ( L&T Mindtree Issue)

  • The rules do not quite define a hostile takeover, except to say that it is broadly an unsolicited bid or attempt by a person without any arrangement or a memorandum of understanding with the persons currently in control of the targeted company.
  • A hostile takeover, in other words, is the acquisition of one company (target company) by another (the acquirer) that is accomplished by going directly to the company’s shareholders or by fighting to replace the management to get the acquisition approved. 
  • The takeover regulations in such cases stipulate that the acquirer will have to make an open or public offer for buying out 26% from the minority shareholders (in Mindtree).
  • To achieve this, L&T will need to depend not just on such shareholders but also on institutional shareholders such as investment institutions and overseas investors. It has offered to buy 31% at Rs 980 a share, which will mean spending Rs 5,027 crore. The other possibility is that the existing promoters manage to bring a strategic partner — known as a white knight for stepping in to support the incumbent promoters — or raise funds to buy back shares.

Abel Prize

  • Karen Uhlenbeck Is First Woman to Win Abel Prize for Mathematics. Dr. Uhlenbeck helped pioneer geometric analysis, developing techniques now commonly used by many mathematicians.
  • The prize is named after the 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel. It is awarded annually to recognize contribution to the field of Mathematics

Right to Self Defence

  • The right to self-defence extends not only to one’s own body but to protecting the person and property of another as per Supreme Court

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