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Today’s important articles/news in various newspapers (10th April)

Dear aspirants, following are the links of various articles taken from various newspapers. Click the link to read further. To get notification, follow the blog. Thank you

1. Right to convert is part of fundamental right of choice: Supreme Court

Right to choose a religion

  1. The Supreme Court has held that a person’s right to choose a religion and marry is an intrinsic part of her meaningful existence
  2. Neither the State nor “patriarchal supremacy” can interfere in her decision

SC’s reasoning

  1. Freedom of faith is essential to his/her autonomy
  2. Choosing a faith is the substratum of individuality and sans it, the right of choice becomes a shadow
  3. Matters of belief and faith, including whether to believe, are at the core of constitutional liberty
  4. Constitution protects the ability of each individual to pursue a way of life or faith to which she or he seeks to adhere

2. CVC witnesses a dramatic drop in complaints

CVC witnesses a dramatic drop in complaints

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) saw a dramatic drop in the total number of complaints 

  1. The 23,609 complaints was received in 2017 by the CVC
  2. This number was less than half of almost 50,000 complaints received in 2016, and the lowest in the previous five years

Possible reasons behind this drop

  1. According to officials, the system for weeding out duplication of complaints is improved
  2. Also, a few other streamlining exercises undertaken in recent years helped in decreasing the number of fake reports
  3. In majority of complaints the allegations were found to be either vague or unverifiable
  4. However,some experts, said a deeper study was required to assess if the public was losing its trust in anti-corruption bodies because of their perceived inefficiency, quality of investigations and possible manipulations at various levels
    The CVC’s annual report
  5. The annual report itself highlights one possible reason why there is a general public disenchantment with anti-corruption mechanisms
  6. When it receives a complaint, the CVC calls for inquiry reports from the appropriate agencies
  7. As per the laid down procedure, the inquiry/ investigation reports are required to be sent to the Commission within a period of three months
  8. However, it is observed that in a majority of cases, there is considerable delay in finalising and submitting reports to the Commission

3. Taming the hydra

CBSE examination paper leaks are symptomatic of a deeper rot in the system. It needs to be overhauled using technology to secure exam papers, process.

Ranging from mass copying in Bihar to incidents of paper leaks of various exams, portray the deep rooted malaise in our education system. However, rather than improving the education system, present technology offers us various solutions to manage examinations. This can be asked in UPSC mains examination and is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading; Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and issues relating to intellectual property rights. It is also related to GS-2 syllabus; Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,Education, Human Resources.

4. How banks can improve recoveries under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

PSU banks have not been able to achieve significant improvement in recoveries even post the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). We believe banks need to realign their strategies to taste success under IBC.

Why does India need a Bankruptcy law?

Currently it takes, on an average, more than 4 years to resolve insolvency in India. The proposed Bankruptcy Code will replace over a century-old archaic insolvency act – The Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909.

  • Delays in making decisions on the viability of business.
  • Sometimes, company promoters try to delay reorganisation or attempts to sell-off assetsor change of management.
  • Delays in disposing off cases by Debt Recovery Tribunal.
  • Continued litigation at various levels and delays in appellate level.
  • Currently, there are 4 different agencies viz. the HC, the Company Law Board, the BIFR and the DRTs that handle insolvency-related cases.

How can a modern law help?

  • Speedy closure will help firms on the verge of brink in two ways, i.e. either restructure the firm or sell-off the assets to recover the money.
  • It will promote efficient allocation and greater availability of credits for businesses, as it frees up capital.
  • Development of financial markets such as bond market, due to clarity on repayment for debtors.

What is the international experience in this regard?

  • US Bankruptcy Code provides for fairly quick liquidation or reorganisation of the company.
  • In UK, once the cases are filed, then after 12 months, either the part of assets are discharged to pay-off debt or court-appointed administrators handle the case, if company can be turned around.

Was any committee formed to suggest Insolvency reforms?

  • The Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee (BLRC) was set up in August, 2014 under the chairmanship of Mr. T.K. Vishwanathan.
  • It was the first committee with the mandate of suggesting comprehensive and not incremental reforms.
  • The BLRC extensively studied the insolvency regime within India as well as various international jurisdictions.

What was the recommendation of the Committee?

  • The committee proposed an all-encompassing law for corporate and individual insolvency, reflecting the best practices from across the globe.
  • The corporates should assess the viability of an enterprise in the early stages of insolvency, such that the creditor and the debtors can negotiate a financial arrangement while preserving the economic value of the enterprise.
  • However, if the negotiations fail, then the enterprise is liquidated. The insolvency resolution is required to be done within a period of 180 days.
  • It also suggested fast track insolvency resolution for certain entities which is required to be completed within 90 days.

What are the provisions of draft Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code?

The code aims to bring modern framework to deal with bankruptcy and insolvency of variety of economic players, including individuals, but excluding financial firms.

  • It will restore some power to creditors, both financial and operational.
  • It will fast-track mechanism of insolvency resolution process may be applicable to certain categories of entities.
  • The corporate insolvency would have to be resolved within a period 180 days, extendable by 90 days.
  • It also provides for fast-track resolution of corporate insolvency within 90 days.
  • Debt Recovery Tribunals will be adjudicating authority over both individual & unlimited liability partnership firms.
  • National Company Law Tribunal will be adjudicating authority with jurisdiction over companies with limited liability.
  • It has a clause to provide for insolvency professionals who will specialize in helping sick companies. <These professionals will help revive control the management of distressed firm to revive it>
  • It also provides for information utilities that will collate all information about debtors to prevent serial defaulters from misusing the system
  • To setup Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India to act as a regulator for these utilities and professionals.
  • The bill also seeks to establish Insolvency and Bankruptcy Fund of India.

What about Financial Sector Insolvencies?

  • FSLRC recommended creation of a resolution corporation to monitor financial firms and intervene before they go bust.
  • The aim is to close-down the firms which can’t be revived or change their management to protect investors or depositors.

The reform is dubbed as 2nd most important reform after GST, as it will also improve the ease of doing business in India.

5. Narendra Modi govt planning to support ‘yogik’, ‘gou mata’ farming:

Promoting obscure methods of cultivation

  1. The agriculture ministry plans to offer cash incentives to farmers who take up ‘yogik’ farming, ‘gou Mata kheti’ and ‘rishi krishi’
  2. According to revised guidelines of the center’s flagship scheme to promote organic farming, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), farmers will be eligible for an assistance for a three-year period for adopting these traditional methods of cultivation

Traditional farming promotion

  1. Farmers practicing traditional methods of organic farming like yogik farming, gou mata kheti, Vedic farming, Vaishnav kheti, Ahinsa farming, Adhvoot Shivanand farming, and rishi krishi will be eligible for financial assistance
  2. This will be in addition to those adopting standard organic farming practices like zero-budget natural farming and permaculture

Vedic systems of farming

  1. Rishi krishi is based on pre-Vedic, Vedic and medieval texts like Vishvavallava, Kashyapiyakrishisukti, and Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda
  2. Gou mata kheti is a system of farming which uses cow dung and urine from indigenous breeds of lactating cows

Basics:-

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

  1. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
  2. Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through the adoption of the organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification
  3. Groups of farmers would be motivated to take up organic farming under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
  4. Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50-acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme
  5. The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improving the health of the consumer

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