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CURRENT AFFAIRSTHE HINDU : AUGUST 2019

Daily Current Affairs : 14th August 2019 : The Hindu News Analysis


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Consumer Protection Act 2019

Process has began for the preparation and finalizing rules under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. According to the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that the Act will be more holistic and and stringent to protect the consumer's interests.

With the help of this new Act, the examination of manufactured products can be done on multiple levels such as before, during or after the purchase and if the product is found to be faulty at any level then the entire batch of the product will be withdrawn from the market.



The Act proposes for setting up of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class. The CCPA would make interventions to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices.

The Act also envisages simplified dispute resolution process, has provision for Mediation and e-filing of cases.

Read the complete summary of the Act : The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019


STATE OF THE ART GALLERY

The State of the art Gallery was inaugurated by Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development at National Crafts Museum in New Delhi.



The other galleries of the museum i.e. Folk and Tribal Art, Cultic and Courtly Craft galleries have remained very famous amongst the visitors especially the foreign tourists.

The collection has a vision to help people explore, enjoy, and rediscover the world of Indian textiles through design and technology. The Gallery consists of more than 230 different types of textiles collections divided into categories of over more than 30 traditions.

The concept of display has been based on three categories:
  1. Pre Loom “Ikat”, where the design is already visualized and transferred to the yarn before the yarn is placed on the loom.
  2. On- Loom, the design is entered on the loom while weaving brocade, muslin, jamdani, weaved shawls, weaved sarees.
  3. Post Loom, the techniques that can be done on cloth after it is woven-block printing, embroidery and kalamkari comes in this category.

There are five zones in the gallery and each zone has been named as weaving, embroidery, dying (Ikatpatola), pattern (Bandhej, Kalamkari, and Leheria) and TanaBana based on the intricacies of the textiles.




OPERATION NUMBER PLATE

This special drive has been launched by the Railway Police Force (RPF) to identify and verify all vehicles parked in Railway premises, circulating area, parkings and even in the ‘No Parking’ areas for longer duration.


Important points regarding the drive :

  • This was conducted as a special drive from 9th August to 11th August at 466 Railway Stations all over Indian Railways.
  • During the drive, 04 vehicles were recovered which were reported to be stolen and cases were registered previously by the Police.
  • 3943 Vehicles were found parked unattended/unclaimed for more than 05 days in the authorized parking lots of Railway stations.  

  • Credential of suspected 894 such vehicles is being verified and suitable action will be taken as per the outcome of enquiry.
  • Similarly, 2034 vehicles were found parked in ‘No Parking’ zones for more than 01 day.  Credential verification of 28 such vehicles, which are suspected, is being inquired into.   
  • During the operation 549 vehicles were towed away and have been deposited with Police for further investigation.
  • A fine of Rs. 59000/- have been recovered as the charges for unauthorized parking.


SWACHH SARVEKSHAN 2020

The fifth edition of the annual cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) was recently released by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing & Urban Affairs. 

SS 2020 will be conducted in January 2020.  A major thrust of Swachh Survekshan has always been on citizen engagement, be it through citizen feedback or indicators involving citizen participation

Alongside, the Swachh Survekshan 2020 Toolkit, SBM Water PLUS Protocol and Toolkit, Swachh Nagar – an integrated waste management app and AI enabled mSBM App were also launched.

The event also saw the release of a special Swachh Survekhan theme song featuring Kangana Ranaut, singers Kailash Kher and Monali Thakur. 



Swachh Survekshan 2020 Toolkit

The toolkit contains the detailed survey methodology and component indicators with scores to help cities to prepare themselves for the survey.

Water PLUS protocol

Moving beyond ODF, ODF+ and ODF++, the Water PLUS protocol aims to provide a guideline for cities and towns to ensure that no untreated wastewater is released into the environment 
thereby enabling sustainability of the sanitation value chain.

This is in line with the Government’s focus on water conversation and reuse under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and also aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation.

Swachh Nagar Mobile App

This app, with features such as tracking of waste collection by ULBs through route and vehicle monitoring, notification to citizens, online collection of user fee for waste collection and an effective grievance redressal mechanism, will be the answer to issues such as lack of monitoring, collection of segregated waste, and tracking the movement of waste vehicles and waste pickers, etc.

AI enabled mSBM App

This mobile app is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that helps detect the beneficiary face and toilet seat in the photo uploaded using Artificial Intelligence (AI) model at the backend. 

This app will not only facilitate the applicants of Individual Household Toilets (IHHL) under SBM-U know the status of their application in real-time after uploading the photograph but also help them upload the correct photo. 

The App will also help the respective ULB nodal officer to verify and approve the application thereby significantly reducing the processing time for applicants.




Scheme to provide a one-time partial credit guarantee to PSBs

The Scheme would enable the public sector banks (PSBs) to purchase pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs amounting to Rs. one lakh crore.


Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech for the Union Budget 2019-20 had made announcement to support fundamentally sound NBFCs in getting continued funding from banks.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SCHEME

Name of the Scheme 

 'Partial Credit Guarantee offered by Government of India (GoI) to Public Sector Banks (PSBs) for purchasing high-rated pooled assets from financially sound Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)/Housing Finance Companies (HFCs)’.

Objective 

To address temporary asset liability mismatches of otherwise solvent NBFCs/HFCs without having to resort to distress sale of their assets for meeting their commitments.

Validity of the scheme 

The window for one-time partial credit guarantee offered by GoI will open from the date of issuance of the Scheme by the Government for a period of six months, or till such date by which Rs. 1 lakh crore assets get purchased by banks, whichever is earlier.

Eligibility Criteria
  • For the Assets
    • Assets originated up to 31.3.2019 will only be eligible under this scheme.
    • Assets should be standard in the books of NBFCs/HFCs on the date of sale.
    • The pool of assets should have minimum rating of 'AA' or equivalent at fair value prior to the partial credit guarantee by GoI.
    • Each account under the pooled assets should have been fully disbursed and security charge should have been created in favour of the originating NBFCs/ HFCs.
    • NBFCs/HFCs can sell up to a maximum of 20% of their standard assets as on 31.3.2019 subject to a cap of Rs. 5,000 crore at fair value. Any additional amount above the cap of Rs. 5,000 crore will be considered on pro rata basis, subject to availability of headroom.
    • The underlying assets should represent the debt obligations of a homogeneous pool of obligors and individual asset size in the pool is capped at Rs. 5 crore (i.e. asset pool should be sufficiently granular).
    • Originating NBFCs/HFCs cannot assign the following assets under this Scheme:
      • Revolving credit facilities;
      • Assets purchased from other entities; and
      • Assets with bullet repayment of both principal and interest.
  • For the NBFCs/HFCs
    • The NBFCs registered with RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, excluding those registered as Micro Finance Institutions and Core Investment Companies.
    • HFCs registered with National Housing Bank (NHB) under the National Housing Bank Act.
    • The CRAR of NBFCs/CAR of HFCs should not be below the regulatory minimum (i.e. 15% for NBFCs and 12% for HFCs) as on 31.3.2019.
    • Their net Non-Performing Asset should not be more than 6% as on 31.3.2019.
    • They should have made a net profit in at least one of the last two preceding financial years (i.e. FY 2017-18 and 2018-19).
    • The NBFCs/HFCs should not have been reported under SMA category by any bank for their borrowings during last one year prior to 1.8.2018.
    • Micro Finance Institutions and Core Investment Companies are not covered under the Scheme.  


THE ISSUE OF PET BOTTLES

A comprehensive evaluation by the CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFRTI) Mysore has determined that Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottles, are safe to use.

What has been the issue so far?

For years there has been a debate at international level that whether PET bottles, which are the mainstay of plastic bottles and disposable food container, leach harmful chemicals when exposed to high temperatures.

The CFRTI concluded that antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, mercury, selenium and zinc were below their detection limits (BDL) of 0.001 mg/kg.

According to the report, Bis-Phenol A or BPA-which is a synthetic organic compound and used in manufacture of PET bottles- was below its detection limit of 0.02 mg/kg. But, it is now phased out after research found a link between the presence of BPA and the disruption of hormone regulation, as well as breast cancer.

The report also states that the levels were also below the European Union regulation norms of the "specific migration limit", which is the max amount of a substance that can migrate from a food packaging material or food container to food.




QUICK FEEDS
  • 'WATAN' is a song produced by Doordarshan to mark the occasion of Independence Day, 2019 in New Delhi.
    • The song pays tribute to New India.
    • It highlights several path breaking initiatives of the government including the determination and vision behind the recent successful launch of "Chandrayaan 2".  
    • The song also pays tribute to the bravery and valour of our armed forces and the martyrs of the country. 
    • Sung by famous Bollywood singer Shri Javed Ali, penned by lyricist Shri Alok Shrivastav and musically composed by Shri Dushyant, this special song has been produced by Doordarshan, Prasar Bharati.
  • MoU Between Indian Navy and Cochin International Airport Limited(CIAL)
    • The memorandum was signed in connection with commencement of naval air operations from the Naval Air Enclave (NAE), a naval aviation facility comprising an independent dispersal, aircraft hangar, administrative building and taxy track, located on the northwest side of CIAL.
    • The MoU lays down Standard Operating Procedures and their adherence by CIAL and the Indian Navy, for ensuring safe, secure and uninterrupted military air operations.
  • Assam tea sets a new record at Rs. 75,000 a kilogram.
    • The tea is named "Golden Butterfly tea". 
    • This is a new international record, bettering the previous high record of Rs. 70,501 per kilogram less than a fortnight ago.
  • Rajasthan has bagged the "best innovation and initiative leadership award"  for its achievements in higher education in the World Education Summit 2019 held in New Delhi.

Also Read : 13th August 2019 Current Affairs; 12th August 2019 Current Affairs

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