Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - July 11, 2018

Ease of Doing Business

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana Top Rankers in Ease of Doing Business

Organising Ministry

  • DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all States and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP).

WHAT

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, released the final rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business
  • The top rankers are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana. Jharkhand and Gujarat stood fourth and fifth respectively.

Objective

  • The aim of this exercise is to improve delivery of various Central Government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.
  • States and UTs have conducted reforms to ease their regulations and systems in areas such as labour, environmental clearances, single window system, construction permits, contract enforcement, registering property and inspections.
  • States and UTs have also enacted Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act to enforce the timelines on registrations and approvals.

BRAP 2017

  • The current assessment under the BRAP 2017 is based on a combined score consisting of Reform evidence score that is based on evidences uploaded by the States and UTs and Feedback score that is based on the feedback garnered from the actual users of the services provided to the businesses.

Introduction of new initiatives

  • It is for the first time that DIPP has introduced taking feedback to ensure that the reforms have actually reached ground level.
  • Another practice introduced in the current reform exercise was handholding support provided by the higher scoring States.
  • DIPP identified partner States to mentor another State and UT to facilitate implementation of reforms in States and UTs needing support.
  • Telangana and West Bengal held extensive workshops to support Tripura and Nagaland respectively.

Why it is important

  • The citizens have the right to information and matters of constitutional and national importance can be live-streamed.
  • If livestream of the top court’s proceedings is not possible, alternatively the video recording should be allowed
  • This writ petition is filed as pro bono for enforcement of public interest, to advance the rule of law and to bring accessibility and transparency in the administration of justice

Judiciary

Choosing a partner is a person’s fundamental right – Supreme Court Hearing on a Constitution Bench of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 377

  • Choice of a partner is a person’s fundamental right, and it can be a same-sex partner, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
  • The observation came on the first day of hearing by a Constitution Bench of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a colonial-era provision that criminalises private consensual sex between adults.
  • The five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra

Hadiya case reference

  • Justice Chandrachud drew his observations from the March 2018 judgment in the Hadiya case, which held that neither the state nor one’s parents could influence an adult’s choice of partner.
  • That would be a violation of the fundamental right to privacy.
  • Hadiya, a Hindu girl from Kerala, converted to Islam and chose to marry a Muslim man.

Constitutionality of Section 377

  • The Test will be whether Section 377 stood in conformity with Articles 21 (right to life), 19 (right to liberty) and 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution.
  • The Bench should first decide the constitutionality of Section 377.
  • The right to sexual orientation was meaningless without the right to choose a partner.
  • The court should not confine itself merely to a declaration whether Section 377 was constitutional or not. It could examine the wider concept of “sexuality” to include co-habitation etc.

Health Sector

Eat Right Movement The Food Safety and Standards Authority’s programme aims at engaging citizens to make correct diet choices

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) unveiled ‘The Eat Right Movement’, built on two broad pillars of ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’.
  • The programme aims to engage and enable citizens to improve their health and well-being by making the right food choices.

The Eat Right Movement

  • The movement can grow organically as a self-perpetuating movement, co-owned and co-led by various partners using the broad framework and resources put together by professionals and experts in the field of food and nutrition.
  • Its aim was to cut down salt/sugar and oil consumption by 30% in three years
  • The FSSAI is looking at robust food labelling and cleaning up the claims space.”

Parliamentary affairs

Rajya Sabha and Senate of Rwanda agree to promote dialogue, capacity building and cooperation Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu becomes first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign an MOU

WHAT

  • Rajya Sabha has, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.
  • The three Senator delegation from Rwanda led by Shri Makuza is the first such a delegation exclusively from the Upper House of any country to visit India.
  • The MOU with 6 articles of cooperation seeks to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, Capacity building of parliamentary staff, Organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges, Collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.

Enlighten about Rwanda

  • Rwanda officially the Republic of Rwanda is a sovereign state in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland.
  • Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country.
  • The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year.
  • Parliament of Rwanda has 60% of women legislatures.
  • Rwanda elected as the Chair of the African Union in January this year
  • Rwanda successfully hosted the assembly meeting of the African Union in the capital city Kigali that resulted in the signing of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.

Bilateral Relations

India & Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) The first ever ministerial visit from India to Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI)

WHAT

  • The Union Minister of State (MoS) for Human Resource Development Shri Upendra Kushwaha is on an Official Visit to the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI)
  • This is the first ever Ministerial visit from India to Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).

India and RMI

  • India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) in April 1995.
  • Both the nations reviewed bilateral relations and reaffirmed their commitment to further advance ties in a host of areas such as blue economy, adaptation-mitigation practices for climate change, disaster preparedness, health, education, renewable energy among others.
  • India committed to extend a grant of USD 300,000 for a Water and Sanitation Project Proposal of Aur Atoll Local Government.
  • Since 2005, India has extended grant assistance to the tune of USD 1.35 million for various projects relating to purchase of equipment, disaster relief, national export strategy, community and local government projects harnessing solar energy among others.
  • India also offers five slots to nationals of RMI at the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.

Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC).

  • India engages with the Pacific Island Countries on a wide range of issues including climate change.
  • FIPIC was formed in November 2014, to strengthen India’s relationship with the Pacific Island Countries.
  • Itis a multinational grouping developed in 2014 for cooperation between India and 14 Pacific Islands nations which include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
  • All heads of state or heads of government of the above countries met in Suva, Fiji in November 2014 for the first time where the annual summit was conceptualised.
  • The first FIPIC summit was held at the level of Heads of Government in November 2014 in Suva, Fiji, followed by the FIPIC-II summit held in August 2015, in Jaipur, India.
  • Government of India also hosted a ‘India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference’ in Suva, Fiji from 25 to 26 May, 2017.

India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre Inaugurated

WHAT

  • The India-Korea Technology ExchangeCentre has been established at the National Small Industries Corporation premises in New Delhi.
  • TheIndia-Korea Technology Exchange Centre was Inaugurated by The Minister of SMEs and Start-ups of Republic of Korea, Hong Jong-hak

Objective

  • The purpose of the Technology Exchange Centre is to create a platform for micro, small and medium enterprises of India and Korea where they can be assisted to identify and exchange latest technologies, share management expertise, product development and technology applications for product development.
  • The Technology Centre will also work towards building reliable alliances in Space, Solar Energy, Nano technologies and some other upcoming technologies.
  • Korea has strong industrial base with well-developed small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, especially in advanced manufacturing technologies such as machinery & equipment, electronics, electrical machinery & equipment and robotics.
  • SMEs of both the countries can learn from each other to enhance their comparative advantages and be competitive in the world.
  • The India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre will work towards identifying Indian technologies which can be exported to Korea and find suitable Korean partners for the same, initiating various cooperative MSME projects complimenting each other’s strengths in MSME sector,creating Technology Data Bank from each side to encourage technology transfers, production of high quality products in India and encouraging Joint Ventures and business matching between Indian and Korean SMEs, besides others.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , Livemint