PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- Sub categorization of OBC’s
- Indian Medical council Amendment bill
- Special Economic Zone
- Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019
- New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill 2019
- Merchandise Export Investment Scheme
1 . Sub categorization of OBC’s
Context : Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has accorded ex-post facto approval for the extension of the term of the Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes, by two more months i.e. upto 31st July 2019. This is the sixth extension to the commission whose term would have expired on May 31, 2019.
About the Commission
- The President in exercise of the powers conferred by article 340 of the Constitution appointed a Commission in 2017 to examine the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.
- Sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.
- The Commission is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini
- The Commission was required to present their Report to the President within a period of twelve weeks of assumption of charge by the Chairperson of the Commission but the term now has extended for the fourth time
Terms of Reference
- To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of Other Backward Classes with reference to such classes included in the Central List
- To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such Other Backward Classes
- To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories
- The extension of the tenure of the commission would enable it to evaluate the issue of Sub-categorization of OBC’s in the Central list based on wider consultations with various stakeholders. It will enable the commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue.
2 . Indian Medical council Amendment bill
Context : Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved theIndian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to replace the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019 through an Act of Parliament. The move will ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country.
- It amends the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and replaces the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018. The Act sets up the Medical Council of India (MCI) which regulates medical education and practice.
- Supersession of the MCI: The 1956 Act provides for supersession of the MCI and its reconstitution within a period of three years. The Bill amends this provision to provide for the supersession of the MCI for a period of one year. In the interim period, the central government will constitute a Board of Governors, which will exercise the powers of the MCI.
- The Act provides for the Board of Governors to consist of up to seven members including persons of eminence in medical education, appointed by the central government. The Bill amends this provision to allow for eminent administrators to be selected in the Board. Further, the Bill provides for the Board of Governors to be assisted by a Secretary General appointed by the central government.
- The number of members in the Board of Governors will be increased from existing 7 to 12.
3 . Special Economic Zone
Context : The Union Cabinet has approved to introduce a Bill, namely, the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that is the Bill to replace the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 (12 of 2019). The Bill will be introduced in ensuing session of the Parliament. After the amendment of sub-section (v) of section 2 of the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, a trust or any entity notified by the Central Government will be eligible to be considered for grant of permission to set up a unit in Special Economic Zones.
- Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a specifically delineated duty-free enclave and shall be deemed to be foreign territory for the purposes of trade operations and duties and tariffs.
- In order words, SEZ is a geographical region that has economic laws different from a country’s typical economic laws. Usually the goal is to increase foreign investments.
- Any private/public/joint sector or state government or its agencies can set up an SEZ. Foreign agency can set up SEZs in India.
- In all SEZs the statutory functions are controlled by the government. Government also controls the operation and maintenance function in the seven central government controlled SEZs. The rest of the operations and maintenance are privatised.
- The functioning of the SEZs is governed by a three tier administrative set up. The Board of Approval is the apex body and is headed by the Secretary, Department of Commerce. The Approval Committee at the Zone level deals with approval of units in the SEZs and other related issues. Each Zone is headed by a Development Commissioner, who is ex-officio chairperson of the Approval Committee.
Main objectives of the SEZ Act
- generation of additional economic activity
- promotion of exports of goods and services
- promotion of investment from domestic and foreign sources
- creation of employment opportunities
- development of infrastructure facilities
The SEZ Rules provide for:
- Simplified procedures for development, operation, and maintenance of the Special Economic Zones and for setting up units and conducting business in SEZs
- Single window clearance for setting up of an SEZ
- Single window clearance for setting up a unit in a Special Economic Zone
- Single Window clearance on matters relating to Central as well as State Governments
- Simplified compliance procedures and documentation with an emphasis on self certification
4 . Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019
Context : Union Cabinet, chaired approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. The decision is expected to go a long way in meeting the people friendly and citizen centric nature of Aadhaar.
- The decision would enable UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhar.
- Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament.
- For the convenience of general public in opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The salient features of the amendments are as follows—
- Provides for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder;
- Provides for use of twelve-digit Aadhaar number and its alternative virtual identity to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual;
- Gives an option to children who are Aadhaar number holders to cancel their Aadhaar number on attaining the age of eighteen years;
- Permits the entities to perform authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security specified by the Authority; and the authentication is permitted under any law made by Parliament or is prescribed to be in the interest of State by the Central Government;
- Allows the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002;
- Proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to use of Aadhaar by private entities;
- Prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication;
- Provides for establishment of Unique Identification Authority of India Fund;
- Provides for civil penalties, its adjudication, appeal thereof in regard to violations of Aadhaar Act and provisions by entities in the Aadhaar ecosystem.
5 . Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019
Context : Union Cabinet approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 by replacing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019
- The Bill would ensure gender equality and gender justice to Muslim women. The Bill would also help in protecting the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands. The Bill will be introduced in the forthcoming session of the Parliament.
- The Bill propose to declare the practice of triple talaq as void and illegal.
- It also makes an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine.
- It also provides for payment of subsistence allowance to married Muslim women and dependent children.
- The Bill also proposes to make the offence cognizable, if information relating to the commission of an offence is given to an officer in charge of a police station by the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced or by any person related to her by blood or marriage.
- The offence is made compoundable with the permission of the Magistrate at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced.
- The Bill further provides for hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced, before the accused is released on bail by the Magistrate.
What is instant triple talaq?
- In the practice of talaq-e-biddat, when a man pronounces talaq thrice in a sitting, or through phone, or writes in a talaqnama or a text message, the divorce is considered immediate and irrevocable, even if the man later wishes to re-conciliate.
- The only way for the couple to go back to living together is through a nikah halala, which requires the woman to get remarried, consummate the second marriage, get divorced, observe the three-month iddat period and return to her husband.
- Instant triple talaq or talaq-e-bidat is a practice that was challenged in the court and ruled that the practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional. It is different from the practice of “talaq-ul-sunnat”, which is considered to be the ideal form of dissolution of marriage contract among Muslims.
- Under talaq-ul-sunnat , once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife has to observe a three-month iddat period covering three menstrual cycles during which the husband can arbitrate and re-conciliate with the wife. In case of cohabitation between the couple, during these three months, the talaq is revoked. However, when the period of iddat expires and the husband does not revoke the talaq either expressly or by consummation, the talaq is irrevocable and final.
6 . New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill 2019
Context : The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved today the Bill New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill, 2019 for introduction in the ensuing session of Parliament.
- It has been the endeavor of the Government of India to establish an independent and autonomous institution for resolving International and domestic commercial disputes expeditiously by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.
- In this regard, a High-Level Committee (HLC), headed by Mr. Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, was constituted in the year 2017.
- The HLC recommended that the Government may take over the International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR), an existing institution which has been established in the year 1995 using the public funds and develop it as an Institution of National Importance.
- Taking into consideration the HLC’s recommendations, a Bill, namely the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill 2018 was approved for introduction in the Parliament by the Cabinet.
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018 could not be taken up for consideration and passing by the Rajya Sabha in its 248th Session. Thereafter, the Parliament was adjourned sine die on 13th February, 2019.
- The benefits of institutionalized arbitration will be manifold for the Government and its agency and to the parties to a dispute.
- This will result in quality experts being available in India and also an advantage in terms of cost incurred.
- It will facilitate India becoming a hub for institutional arbitration.
- The Bill provides for setting up of an independent an autonomous body for institutional arbitration and to acquire and transfer the undertakings of International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) to New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC)w.e.f a specified date 2nd march, 2019.
- The Bill replaces the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance, 2019, promulgated by President on 02.03.2019 for the creation of an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalized domestic and international arbitration and establishing India as an International Hub of Arbitration.
- The Bill provides for the repeal of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance, 2019 and saves all the actions done or taken under the Ordinance which will be deemed to have been done or taken under the provisions of this Bill.
- The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, law or management, to be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
- It will also have two Full-time or Part-time Members from amongst eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration in both domestic and international.
- One representative of a recognized body of commerce and industry shall be nominated on rotational basis as a Part-time Member.
- The Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice, Financial Adviser nominated by Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and Chief Executive Officer, NDIAC will be ex-officio Members.
Aims and objectives of NDIAC
- bring targeted reforms to develop itself as a flagship institution for conducting international and domestic arbitration
- provide facilities and administrative assistance for conciliation, mediation and arbitral proceedings;
- maintain panels of accredited arbitrators, conciliators and mediators both at national and international level or specialists such as surveyors and investigators;
- facilitate conducting of international and domestic arbitrations and conciliation in the most professional manner;
- provide cost effective and timely services for the conduct of arbitrations and conciliations at Domestic and International level;
- promote studies in the field of alternative dispute resolution and related matters, and to promote reforms in the system of settlement of disputes; and
- co-operate with other societies, institutions and organisations, national or international for promoting alternative dispute resolution.
7 . Merchandise Exports from India Scheme
- Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) under Foreign Trade Policy of India (FTP 2015-20) is one of the two schemes introduced in Foreign Trade Policy of India 2015-20, as a part of Exports from India Scheme.
- The Government of India has brought in the Merchandise Exports Incentive Scheme (MEIS), replacing five other similar incentive schemes present in the earlier Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14. The schemes that have been replaced by the MEIS scheme include:
- Focus Product Scheme (FPS)
- Focus Market Scheme (FMS)
- Market Linked Focus Product Scheme (MLFPS)
- Agri. Infrastructure incentive scheme
- The Objective of the MEIS SchemeTo offset infrastructural inefficiencies and the associated costs of exporting products produced in India giving special emphasis on those which are of India’s export interest and have the capability to generate employment and enhance India’s competitiveness in the world market.
Details of the Scheme
- Scheme provides incentive in the form of duty credit scrip to the exporter to compensate for his loss on payment of duties.
- The incentive is paid as percentage of the realized FOB value (in free foreign exchange) for notified goods going to notified markets.
- To determine the quantity of incentive, the countries have been segregated into three groups.
- Incentives on export of each product at 8-digit level (ITC HS codes), depend on the group in which its destination country belong.
- There are essentially three country groups.
- Group A has India’s traditional destinations such as the EU countries and USA.
- Group B has the maximum number of countries and covers almost all of India’s major export destinations globally. It is worth mentioning here that Group B has the highest quantum of incentive.
- Group C on the other hand has no incentive at all. It can be divided into, SAARC, Australia and New Zealand, some EU and African countries.