Daily Current Affairs : 25-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. JUSTICE DEEPAK GUPTA ON DISSENT

  2. KISAN SAMMAN NIDHI

  3. SCHOOLS IN KASHMIR

  4. HARVEY WEINSTEIN AND METOO MOVEMENT

  5. UK’s NEW VISA SYSTEM

  6. MICROSOFT – 100*100*100 PROGRAM

  7. FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSE

  8. LONG TERM REPO OPERATIONS (LTRO)


JUSTICE DEEPAK GUPTA ON DISSENT

Why in news?

  • Justice Deepak Gupta made important observations during a lecture on “Democracy and Dissent” organised by Supreme Court Bar Association. His speech received standing ovation.


Highlights :

  • A dissenter is not anti-national. Holding a contrary view to that of the government doesn’t make one an anti-national.

  • He red-flagged the hike in sedition cases against activists, lawyers and students and branding voices of dissent as “anti-national.”

  • Majoritarianism is an anti-thesis to democracy.

  • A political party getting 51% mandate in the polls did not mean that the other 49% of the country ought to remain silent for the next five years. A democracy is for 100% of the people. Government is for everyone. Everyone plays a role in democracy.

Source : Hindu



KISAN SAMMAN NIDHI

Why in news?

  • One year after the launch of the scheme, the centre has revised the farmer income support scheme beneficiary target down to 12 crore from 14 crore. So far, 8.5 crore people have benefitted from it.


Highlights :

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India.

  • Under the Scheme an income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in three equal instalments of Rs.2000/- each every four months.

  • Definition of family for the Scheme is husband, wife and minor children.

  • The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT Governments.

  • The fund is directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

  • For enrollment, the farmer is required to approach the local patwari / revenue officer / Nodal Officer (PM-Kisan) nominated by the State Government. The Common Service Centres (CSCs) have also been authorized to do registration of the farmers for the Scheme upon payment of fees.

  • Farmers can also do their self-registration through the Farmers Corner in the portal.


Exclusion criteria :

  • All Institutional Land holders.

  • Farmer families in which one or more of its members belong to following categories

  • Former and present holders of constitutional posts

  • Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers and former/present Members of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils, former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations, former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.

  • All serving or retired officers and employees of Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments and its field units Central or State PSEs and Attached offices /Autonomous Institutions under Government as well as regular employees of the Local Bodies (Excluding Multi-Tasking Staff /Class IV/Group D employees)

  • All superannuated/retired pensioners whose monthly pension is Rs.10,000/-or more (Excluding Multi-Tasking Staff / Class IV/Group D employees) of above category

  • All Persons who paid Income Tax in last assessment year

  • Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.


Challenges :

  • West Bengal refused to join the scheme due to political considerations.

  • Bihar’s approach to the scheme has been to wait for the applicant leading to more than 60% of potential beneficiaries being yet to register.

Source : Hindu and PMKISAN.GOV.IN



SCHOOLS IN KASHMIR

Why in news?

  • After over 200 days, schools reopened in the valley. Since the abrogation of Article 370, schools have remained shut.


Highlights :

  • Weeks after the centre’s decision to bifurcate J&K, the state administration had ordered the opening of schools in a gradual manner after restrictions across the valley were eased. However, students remained away fearing for their safety.

  • Nearly 60% of the students attended the school after opening. Since some areas are still snow-covered, it will take at least a week for all the students to come.

Source : Indian Express



HARVEY WEINSTEIN AND METOO MOVEMENT

Why in news?

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault and rape by a New York jury. It is a milestone verdict for the #Metoo movement.


Highlights :


About Metoo movement:

  • The Me Too movement, with a large variety of local and international related names, is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault.

  • The phrase "Me Too" was initially used in this context on social media in 2006, on Myspace, by sexual harassment survivor and activist Tarana Burke.

  • It seeks to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly Black women and girls, and other young women of colour from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing.

  • Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is the fiscal sponsor of the ‘me too’ movement.


Sexual Harassment :

  • As per 2013 Act, Sexual harassment includes any one or more of thefollowing unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication), namely:

  • Physical contact and advances, or

  • A demand or request for sexual favours, or

  • Making sexually coloured remarks, or

  • Showing pornography, or

  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, non verbal conduct of sexual nature


Issues highlighted by the movement :

  • Gender-Equal Workplace is still a Dream?#MeToo movement shows that women are highly vulnerable to sexual harassment at work placeEven after Vishakha Guidelines and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act,2013 --> workplaces are still not gender-sensitive.Absence of Internal Complaints Committee in most of the organisationsSuperior-subordinate relations are being misused by the bossesPatriarchy and Sexism in widely prevalent in Indian SocietyIt shows the wide prevalence of patriarchy and sexism among all the sections of Indian society.Women are suffering the sexual harassment silentlySocial impunity of patriarchy that privileges class and social location to its perpetrators. The difficulty of fighting each case also depends upon the class, social and institutional location of survivors and complainants.Failure of Due Process of LawWomen who tried to get the redressal of their grievances had not get the justice from the system:Tarun Tejpal Case (even after fast-tracking the case, it is languishing from last 5 years)R. K. Pachauri Case --> Board of Directors of TERI had supported him in the beginning and only after huge hue and cry they took some action.Women have started breaking their silence#MeToo movement shows that time’s up for the silent suffering of women

Source : Hindu, Wire, Print, Metoo website etc.



UK’s NEW VISA SYSTEM

Why in news?

  • The UK has announced the launch of Britain's new points-based visa system, which will come into effect from January 1, 2021.


Highlights :

Features of new visa system :

  • The new points-based immigration system will come into effect on January 1, 2021.

  • The new UK visa system will assign points, to be set by the government, for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. Visas will only be awarded to those who gain enough points.

  • The minimum salary threshold has been set at 25,600 pounds or $33,000.

  • Skilled workers will need to meet a number of relevant criteria, including specific skills and the ability to speak English, to be able to work in the UK.

  • The new visa system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally.

  • It will give top priority to those with the highest skills including scientists, engineers and academics.

  • A government advisory group estimated last month that 70% of EU workers already in the UK wouldn’t have qualified for visas under the new rules.

  • All applicants will be required to have a job offer with some exceptions for certain professions, including science and research.

  • Under the new system, EU immigrants will be treated the same as applicants from outside the bloc -- a rule that extends to student visas, the government said.

  • EU students will now also have to prove they speak English, have an offer to study at an educational institution and can financially support themselves.

Source : Livemint



MICROSOFT – 100*100*100 PROGRAM

Why in news?

  • Reinforcing its commitment to accelerate the start-up ecosystem in India, Microsoft launched the 100X100X100 program for B2B SaaS start-ups in India.


Highlights :

  • B2B SaaS refers to companies that sell software to other businesses as a service.

  • This initiative will bring together 100 committed companies and 100 early and growth start-ups that have enterprise-ready solutions to offer. Each participating company will commit to spending $100,000 over 18 months on solutions provided by the SaaS start-up

  • More than 50 start-ups are part of the programme at launch.

  • It will help build scale and create amazing opportunities for start-ups. Businesses can now fast-track their digital journeys through easy adoption of enterprise-grade solutions.

  • It will make available a variety of curated, ready-to-launch, enterprise-grade solutions from start-ups with a proven track record. At the same time, it will aim to create a profitable domestic market for the fast-growing Indian B2B SaaS start-up segment by increasing their revenue and customer base.

Source : THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE


FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSE

Why in news?

  • The Finance Ministry has classified the coronavirus outbreak as a natural calamity, and covered by the force majeure clause (FMC).


Highlights :

  • Extraordinary events beyond human control, such as wars, riots, crimes and natural calamities, can be classified as force majeure. This clause can free both the parties in a contract from contractual liability in fulfilling their obligations.

  • The clause does not excuse a party’s non-performance entirely — it only suspends it for a period.

  • It should be notified as soon as it occurs and not claimed ex-post facto (retrospectively).

  • If the performance in whole or in part or any obligation under this contract is prevented or delayed by any reason of force majeure for a period exceeding 90 days, either party may at its option terminate the contract without any financial repercussion on either side

Source : THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE


LONG TERM REPO OPERATIONS (LTRO)

Why in news?

  • RBI has announced the infusion of 1 lakh crore into the system in phases through the LTRO.


Highlights:

  • LTRO is a tool under which the Central bank provides 1-3 years money to banks at the prevailing repo rate, accepting government securities with matching or higher tenure as the collateral.

  • While the RBI’s current window of liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) and marginal standing facility (MSF) offer banks money for their immediate needs ranging from 1-28 days, the LTRO supplies them with liquidity for 1-3 years.

  • LTRO are intended to prevent short term interest rates in the market from drifting a long way away from the repo rate.

  • RBI believes that offering banks durable longer-term liquidity at the repo rate (5.15 per cent), can help them lower the rates they charge on retail and industrial loans, while maintaining their margins

  • The LTRO will also help bring down the yields for shorter-term securities (in the 1-3-year tenor) in the bond market.

Source : THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE

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