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CURRENT AFFAIRSTHE HINDU : AUGUST 2019

Daily Current Affairs : 1st August 2019 : The Hindu News Analysis

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CABINET NOD ON INDUCTION OF MORE JUDGES IN SUPREME COURT

The Union Cabinet has decided to increase the number of Supreme Court Judges from present 31 to 34. The move comes against the backdrop of rising number of cases in the Supreme Court which is at present nearly 60,000.

At present, the Sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court is 30, excluding the Chief Justice of India.

It was in 1988, when the number of Supreme Court judges were increased from 18 to 26 and then later in 2009, the number is further increased from 26 to 31 including the Chief Justice of India in order to keep pace with the increasing number of cases in the Supreme Court. 

END-USE NORMS EASED FOR EXTERNAL COMMERCIAL BORROWINGS

According to the RBI, the relaxation was for the working capital requirements, general corporate purposes and repayment of rupee loans.

Eligible borrowers will now be able to raise ECBs with a minimum avg. maturity period of 10 years for working capital purposes and general corporate purposes.

The ECBs with a minimum avg. maturity period of 7 years can be availed by eligible borrowers for repayment of rupee loans, availed domestically for capital expenditure, as also by Non-Banking Financial Organizations for on-lending for the same purpose.


For repayment of rupee loans availed domestically for purposes other than capital expenditure and for on-lending by NBFCs, the minimum average maturity period of the ECB is required to be 10 years.

RBI has also decided to allow corporate borrowers to raise ECBs for repayment of rupee loans availed domestically for capex in manufacturing and infrastructure, if classified as SMA-2 (Special Mention Account) or NPA, under One-Time Settlement (OTS) with lenders.

MHRD REPORT ON IIT DROP-OUTS

According to the report to the Rajya Sabha, Ministry of Human Resource and Development stated that more than 2,400 students have dropped out of the most sought after IITs in the past two years.

Of the 2,461 dropouts recorded from the 23 IITs, about 57% were from the IIT-Delhi and the IIT-Kharagpur.

The IIT-Delhi recorded 782 dropouts and Kharagpur at 622. The number in the other IITs like Kanpur, Bombay and Madras was far less.



Another interesting aspect which emerges from the data is that 1,171 of the dropouts, which is 47.5%, are from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class category.


INTER-STATE RIVER WATER DISPUTE RESOLUTION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019

It seeks to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 and provides for the adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-state rivers and river valleys. 

Key Highlights of the Bill
  • Under the Act, a state government may request the central government to refer an inter-state river dispute to a Tribunal for adjudication. If the central government is of the opinion that the dispute cannot be settled through negotiations, it is required to set up a Water Disputes Tribunal for adjudication of the dispute, within a year of receiving such a complaint.
    •  The Bill seeks to replace this mechanism. 
  • Dispute Resolution Committee : Under the Bill, in case of a request from a state regarding any water dispute, the central government will set up a Disputes Resolution Committee (DRC), to resolve the dispute.
    • The DRC will comprise of a Chairperson, and experts with at least 15 years of experience in relevant sectors, who are to be nominated by the central government. 
    • It will also comprise one member from each state (at Joint Secretary level), who are party to the dispute, who are to be nominated by the concerned state government. 
    • The DRC will seek to resolve the dispute through negotiations, within one year (extendable by six months), and submit its report to the central government.

  • Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal : The central government will set up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal, for the adjudication of water disputes.
    • Composition of the Tribunal : It will consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, three judicial members, and three expert members all appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a Selection Committee. 
    • Each Tribunal Bench will consist of a Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, a judicial member, and an expert member. 
    • The central government may also appoint two experts serving in the Central Water Engineering Service and who are not from the state involved in the dispute, as assessors to advise the Bench in its proceedings.
    • Under the Bill, the proposed Tribunal must give its decision on the dispute within two years, which may be extended by another year.  
    • In case the matter is again referred to the Tribunal for further consideration, then according to the new Bill, Tribunal must submit its report to the Central Govt. within one year which may be extended only upto 6 months.
  • Decision of the Tribunal : The Bill removes the requirement of publication of decision in the official gazette. It adds that the decision of the Bench of the Tribunal will be final and binding on the parties involved in the dispute.
  • Provision for Data bank : Under the Act, the central government maintains a data bank and information system at the national level for each river basin.  
    • The Bill provides that the central government will appoint or authorize an agency to maintain such data bank.


QUICK FEEDS
  • 34th edition of symposium held in Capital on Premchand Jayanti under the title 'AN ENIGMA CALLED NATION & THE QUESTION OF IDENTITY'.
    • Makarand Paranjape, Purushottam Agarwal, Ananya Vajpaye, Faizan Mustafa, Hartosh Singh Bal were the guests of the 34th edition of the symposium.
  • Goa planning to reserve 80% jobs in factories for the locals.
  • Ghar Ghar Dastak, Ghar Ghar Pustak is a scheme of Delhi Public Library. Under this umbrella scheme,  Mobile Library Bus Service has been flagged off under which books will be provided to the citizens of Delhi, especially to those who are from resettlement colonies, slums and rural areas.
  • Assam tea broke its own record to peg at Rs. 70,501 per kilogram within the 24 hours bracket.
  • THAILAND is in talks with INDIA to buy BrahMos Cruise Missile.
  • 10% quota for EWS of Jammu and Kashmir will be given as per the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) BIll, 2019 in jobs and educational institutions.

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