PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Chandra Shekhar Azad
- Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India
- Curbing mechanism for wilful default
- Executive Council of Insurers
- Code on Wages Bill, 2019
- Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019
- Rashtriya Aajeevika Mission
1 . Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Context : The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tribute to Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, on his birth anniversary.
About Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak, was popularly known as Lokmanya, and dedicated his life for the cause of “Purna Swaraj”
- He was called ‘The Father of the Indian Unrest’ by the British people who ruled India till 1947.
- Being the first and foremost leader of the Indian Independence Movement, Bal Gangadhar Tilak became popular as the ‘Father of Swaraj’.
- To ensure that youngsters in India attain quality education, Bal Gangadhar Tilak found the Deccan Education Society in 1884.
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress Party in the year 1890.
- Before Independence, Bal Gangadhar Tilak started weeklies such as Kesari (The Lion) and Mahratta. Kesari was Marathi language weekly while Mahratta was English weekly. Through these newspapers Tilak became widely known for his criticisms of British rule.
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak had popular leaders such as Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai as his political companions. The three were popularly known as ‘Lal-Bal-Pal triumvirate.’
- When Bal Gangadhar Tilak was imprisoned during the freedom struggle, he wrote a book titled ‘Gita-Rahasya’ from behind the bars.
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded the Indian Home Rule League and served as its president and in 1916 he concluded the Lucknow Pact with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, which provided for Hindu-Muslim unity in the nationalist struggle.
2 . Chandra Shekhar Azad
About Chandra Shekhar Azad
- Chandra Shekhar Azad was an Indian revolutionary who reorganised the Hindustan Republican Association under its new name of Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) after the death of its founder, Ram Prasad Bismil, and three other prominent party leaders, Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan.
- He was the chief strategist of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
- Bhagat Singh joined Azad following the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, after he was beaten by police officials. Azad trained Singh and others in covert activities.
- He became very popular after the Kakori Train robbery in 1925 and the killing of the assistant superintendent Saunders in 1928.
- He was martyred at Alfred Park, which was renamed as Chandra Shekhar Azad Park.
3 . Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India
About the Scheme
- The Government of India has initiated a scheme known as “Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India”.
- Under this scheme, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore works on protection, preservation and documentation of all the mother tongues/ languages of India spoken by less than 10000 people.
- University Grants Commission (UGC) is also providing financial assistance for creation of centres for endangered languages at Central and State Universities to undertake research projects and thereby works towards preservation of endangered languages.
4 . Curbing mechanism for wilful default
About Wilful Default
- According to the RBI, a wilful default is deemed to have occurred in any of the following four circumstances:
- When there is a default in repayment obligations by the unit (company/individual) to the lender even when it has the capacity to honour the said obligations. There is deliberate intention of not repaying the loan.
- The funds are not utilised for the specific purpose for which finance was availed but have been diverted for other purposes.
- When the funds have been siphoned off and not been utilised for the purpose for which it was availed. Further, no assets are available which justify the usage of funds.
- When the asset bought by the lenders’ funds have been sold off without the knowledge of the bank/lender.
Mechanisms in place to deter wilful defaulters, curb incidence of wilful defaults, and effect recovery from wilful defaulters.
- PSBs have been asked to examine all accounts exceeding Rs. 50 crore, if classified as Non-Performing Asset (NPA), from the angle of possible fraud and to immediately initiate examination of the issue of wilful default once a fraud is reported.
- Wilful defaulters have been acted against comprehensively. As per data reported by PSBs, till 31.3.2019, suits for recovery have been filed in 10,022 cases. In cases involving secured assets, action under the provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 has been initiated in 8,067 cases. Further, in accordance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s instructions of initiation of criminal proceedings wherever necessary, FIRs have been registered in 3,154 cases.
- To deter wilful defaulters, as per RBI instructions, wilful defaulters are not sanctioned any additional facilities by banks or financial institutions, and their unit is debarred from floating new ventures for five years. Further, vide Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2016, wilful defaulters and companies with wilful defaulters as promoters/directors have been debarred from accessing capital markets to raise funds. In addition, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has debarred wilful defaulters from participating in the insolvency resolution process.
- For effective action against wilful defaulters fleeing Indian jurisdiction, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 has been enacted to provide for attachment and confiscation of property of fugitive offenders and has disentitled them from defending any civil claim.
- Government has advised PSBs to decide on publishing photographs of wilful defaulters, in terms of RBI’s instructions and as per their Board-approved policy.
- Government has advised PSBs to obtain certified copy of the passport of the promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing loan facilities of more than Rs. 50 crore.
- Heads of PSBs have been empowered to request for issue of Look Out Circulars.
5 . Executive Council of Insurers
About Executive Council of Insurers
- The Executive Council of Insurers, previously known as Governing Body of Insurance Council (GBIC) has been established under the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017, to set-up and facilitate the Institution of Insurance Ombudsman in India. The Executive Council of Insurers consists of nine members including the Chairperson.
The Members of Executive Council of Insurers shall comprise of –
- Two persons representing life insurers nominated by the Life Insurance Council ;
- Two persons representing General Insurers, other than stand-alone health insurers, to be nominated by the General Insurance Council ;
- One person representing stand-alone health insurers nominated by the General Insurance Council ;
- One representative of the IRDAI; and (v) one representative of the Central Government in the Ministry of Finance from the Department of the Financial Services not below the rank of Director;
- The Chairman, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC of India) established under the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956( 31 of 1956) or the Chairman, General Insurers’ (Public Sector Association of India (GIPSA) established under the General Insurance Business(Nationalisation) Act, 1972(57 of 1972) provided they are not acting as Chairperson of the Executive Council of Insurers
Objective of Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017 – The objective of these Rules are to resolve all complaints relating to settlement of claim on the part of insurance companies in cost effective, efficient and impartial manner.
6 . Code on Wages Bill, 2019
Context : Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar introduced The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha today to amend and consolidate the laws relating to wages and bonus and matters connected therewith.
About the Code on Wages Bill 2019
- The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 subsumes relevant provisions of The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. After the enactment of the Code on Wages, all these four Acts will get repealed.
The Salient features of the Code
- The Code on Wage universalizes the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling. At present, the provisions of both Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a particular wage ceiling working in Scheduled Employments only. This would ensure “Right to Sustenance” for every worker and intends to increase the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40% to 100% workforce. This would ensure that every worker gets minimum wage which will also be accompanied by increase in the purchasing power of the worker thereby giving fillip to growth in the economy. Introduction of statutory Floor Wage to be computed based on minimum living conditions, will extend qualitative living conditions across the country to about 50 crore workers. It is envisaged that the states to notify payment of wages to the workers through digital mode.
- There are 12 definitions of wages in the different Labour Laws leading to litigation besides difficulty in its implementation. The definition has been simplified and is expected to reduce litigation and will entail at lesser cost of compliance for an employer. An establishment will also be benefited as the number of registers, returns, forms etc., not only can be electronically filed and maintained, but it is envisaged that through rules, not more than one template will be prescribed.
- At present, many of the states have multiple minimum wages. Through Code on Wages, the methodology to fix the minimum wages has been simplified and rationalised by doing away with type of employment as one of the criteria for fixation of minimum wage. The minimum wage fixation would primarily based on geography and skills. It will substantially reduce the number of minimum wages in the country from existing more than 2000 rates of minimum wages.
- Many changes have been introduced in the inspection regimes including web based randomised computerised inspection scheme, jurisdiction-free inspections, calling of information electronically for inspection, composition of fines etc. All these changes will be conducive for enforcement of labour laws with transparency and accountability.
- There were instances that due to smaller limitation period, the claims of the workers could not be raised. To protect the interest of the workers, the limitation period has been raised to 3 years and made uniform for filing claims for minimum wages, bonus, equal remuneration etc., as against existing varying period between 6 months to 2 years.
- It can be said that a historical step for ensuring statutory protection for minimum wage and timely payment of wage to 50 crore worker in the country has been taken through the Code on Wages besides promoting ease of living and ease of doing business.
7 . Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019
Context : The Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar introduced The Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working ConditionsBill, 2019 in Lok Sabha today to amend the laws regulating the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions of the persons employed in an establishment.
About the Bill
- With the ultimate aim of extending the safety and healthy working conditions to all workforce of the country, the Code enhances the ambit of provisions of safety, health, welfare and working conditions from existing about 9 major sectors to all establishments having 10 or more employees.
- The proposed Code enhances the coverage of workers manifold as it would be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more workers, where any industry, trade, business, manufacture or occupation is carried on, including, IT establishments or establishments of service sector.
- Further the varying threshold of applicability has been made uniform at 10 workers for all establishments except mines and dock where the Code would be applicable even with 1 worker. In order to ensure wider coverage, the definitions of Working Journalists and Cine worker have also been modified to include workers employed in electronic media and all forms of audio visual production.
- Similarly, the definition of inter-state migrant worker has also been proposed to be modified to include those migrant workers who are being employed directly by the employer from other States without contractor or agent. This proposal would enhance the coverage of the safety, health and working conditions provisions manifold as compared to the present scenario.
- The Code provides basic broad legislative framework with enabling provisions for framing rules, regulations, standards, and bye-laws as per the requirements of different sectors which has Resulted in reduction of 622 sections to 134 sections in the Code. This would result in simple legislation with flexibility in changing the provisions in tune with emerging technologies and makes the legislation dynamic.
- The Bill proposes one registration for an establishment instead of multiple registrations. Presently 6 labour acts out of 13 provide for separate registration of the establishment. This will create a centralized data base and promote ease of doing business. At present, separate registration is required to be obtained under 6 Acts.
- Employer to provide free of cost annual health checks-up for employees above prescribed age for prescribed tests and for prescribed establishments. Increases productivity as it would be possible to detect diseases. Coverage of employees above a certain age for health check-up would promote inclusion.
- First time statutory provision to issue appointment letter to every employee of the establishment with the minimum information prescribed by the appropriate government. The provision of appointment letter will result in formalization of employment and prevent exploitation of the worker.
- The multiple committees under five labour Acts have been substituted by one National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board. The National Board is of tripartite nature and has representation from trade unions, employer associations, and State governments. This will result in reduction in multiplicity of bodies/committees in various Acts and simplified and coordinated policy-making.
- Enabling provision for constituting a bi-partite Safety Committee in any class of establishment by appropriate government. It will promote safe and healthy working conditions in an establishment. The participatory nature of the committee will encourage implementation of decisions taken by the management.
- A part of the penalty for contravention of provisions relating to duties of employer leading to death or serious bodily injury to any person may be given to the victim or the legal heirs of the victim by the Court. The part of penalty would help in rehabilitation of injured worker or would provide financial support to the family of deceased.
- Presently, different applicability thresholds exists for welfare provisions like crèche, canteen, first aid, welfare officer etc in different Acts. The proposed Code has envisaged uniform threshold for welfare provisions for all establishment as far as practicably feasible.
- Women permitted to work beyond 7 PM and before 6 AM subject to the safety, holidays, working hours or any other condition as prescribed by appropriate government in respect of prescribed establishments. However, only after taking their consent for night work. This will promote gender equality and is in tune with demands from the various forums including international organizations as it leads to protective discrimination. Further, the condition of taking consent/ willingness of the women employee for night work would avoid any kind of misuse of the provision.
- The provision of one license and one return in place of multiple licenses and returns in existing 13 labour laws subsumed in this Code to save time, resources and efforts of establishments.