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Daily Current Affairs : 30th July 2019 : The Hindu News Analysis

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Amphibious Ship LCU L-56 inducted in Indian Navy

It is the sixth of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MKIV class ships. It is an amphibious ship with its primary role being transportation and deployment of main battle tanks, armoured  vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore.

The ship would be administered and based in Port Blair under the NAAVC in Andaman Nicobar Command.

The Ship with a displacement of 900 tonnes, the ship measures 62 metres in length. It is manned by a team comprising four officers and 56 sailors and also 150 troops. 

The induction of LCU 56 will add to maritime and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capability of Andaman and Nicobar Command.

The ship will be deployed for multi-role activities such as beaching operations, search and rescue missions, disaster relief, coastal patrol, and surveillance operations along the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

List of  'iconic tourist sites'

In July 2018, the then Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons had said 17 'iconic tourist sites' would be developed. These includes the following :

  • Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri  in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra.
  • Humayun's Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar in Delhi.
  • Colva Beach in Goa.
  • Amer Fort in Rajasthan
  • Somnath  and Dholavira in Gujarat.
  • Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Hampi in Karnataka.
  • Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.
  • Kaziranga in Assam.
  • Kumarakom in Kerela.
  • Mahabodhi in Bihar.
Recently, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to Mr. Prahalad Patel ( Union Culture and Tourism Minister of State (Independent Charge)) to include Odisha's Konark Sun Temple and Jagannath Temple, Puri  in the List of Iconic Tourism Places. 

National Medical Commission Bill,2019 passed

The Bill seeks to regulate and monitor the medical education and practice in India. Earlier, in 2017, a similar Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha which lapsed due to the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

What is the present status of regulation of  Medical Education and Practice is regulated in India ?

The sole body who is responsible for the regulation and monitoring of the medical education and practice in the country is Medical Council of India (MCI).

But, with time there arises several issues with the functioning of the MCI w.r.t. its regulatory role, composition and lack of accountability. Therefore, the 2019 Bill  repeals the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and dissolves the current MCI. 

What are the key Highlights of the 2019 Bill?

The  Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC) as an umbrella regulatory body with other bodies under it.  It will subsume the MCI and will regulate medical education and practice in India.  

Under the Bill, states will establish their respective State Medical Councils within three years.  These Councils will have a role similar to the NMC, @state level.

Composition of NMC :

It will consist of 25 members, including :

  • Director Generals of the Directorate General of Health Services and the Indian Council of Medical Research;
  • Director of any of the AIIMS;
  • 5 members (part-time) to be elected by the registered medical practitioners, and 
  • 6 members appointed on rotational basis from amongst the nominees of the states in the Medical Advisory Council.
  • Of these 25 members, at least 15 (60%) are medical practitioners.  
What are the functions of the NMC ?
Its functions includes the following :
  • Laying down policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals.
  • Assessing the requirements of human resources and infrastructure in healthcare.
  • Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils with the regulations made under the Bill.
  • Framing guidelines for determination of fee for up to 50% of the seats in the private medical institutions.
Which regulatory bodies are set up under the NMC ?

The Bill sets up four autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC.  Each board will consist of a President and four members (of which two members will be part-time), appointed by the central government (on the recommendation of a search committee). These includes :
  • The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) and the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)
    • There responsibilities will revolve around formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines for medical education, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels respectively.
  • The Medical Assessment and Rating Board: 
    • The Board will have the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and the PGMEB.  It will also grant permissions for establishing new medical colleges, starting postgraduate courses, and increasing the number of seats in a medical college.
  • The Ethics and Medical Registration Board
    • This Board will maintain a National Register of all the licensed medical practitioners in the country, and also regulate professional and medical conduct.  Only those included in the Register will be allowed to practice as doctors.  
    • The Board will also maintain a register of all licensed community health providers in the country.
What are the changes in the eligibility guidelines for the medical practice ?
There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate super-specialty medical education in all medical institutions regulated under the Bill. 

Bill introduces a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test for students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice. 

This test will also serve as the basis for admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions under this Bill.  Foreign medical practitioners may be permitted temporary registration to practice in India. However, the Bill does not specify the validity period of this license to practice.

Banning of Unregulated Deposits Schemes Bill 2019, passed by Rajya Sabha

The Bill provides for a mechanism to ban unregulated deposit schemes and protect the interests of depositors.  It seeks to amend three laws :
  • The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, 
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 and 
  • The Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002.

Key Highlights of the Bill
  • Definition of Deposit 
    • The Bill defines a deposit as any amount of money which is received through an advance, a loan, or in any other form, with a an assurance to be returned with or without interest.  Such deposits may be returned either in cash or as a service, and the time of return may or may not be specified.  
    • Amounts received in the form of loans from relatives and contributions towards capital by partners in any partnership firm will not be covered under deposit.
  • Ban on Unregulated Deposit Schemes 
    • The Bill bans unregulated deposit schemes.  A deposit-taking scheme is defined as unregulated if it is taken for a business purpose and is not registered with the regulators listed in the Bill. 
  • Definition of Deposit Taker 
    • The Bill defines deposit takers as an individual, a group of individuals, or a company who asks for (solicits), or receives deposits.  Banks and entities incorporated under any other law are not included as deposit takers.
  • Provisions for Competent Authority
    • One or more government officers, not below the rank of Secretary to the state or central government, shall be appointed as the Competent Authority who will be reported about the offences committed under the Bill.
    • Police officers (not below the rank of an officer-in-charge of a police station) may enter, search and seize any property believed to be connected with an offence under the Bill, with or without a warrant.
    • Competent Authority shall have the powers similar to those vested in the civil courts. He can :
      • provisionally attach the property of the deposit taker, as well as all deposits received, 
      • summon and examine any person it considers necessary for the purpose of obtaining evidence, and 
      • order the production of records and evidence.
  • Provisions for Designated Courts 
    • The Bill provides for the constitution of one or more Designated Courts in specified areas.  
    • This Court will be headed by a judge not below the rank of a district and sessions judge, or additional district and sessions judge. 
  • Provision for a Central Database 
    • The Bill provides for the central government to designate an authority to create an online central database for information on deposit takers.
  • Provision for the Punishments 
    • The Bill defines three types of offences, and penalties related to them.  These offences are: 
      • Running (advertising, promoting, operating or accepting money for) unregulated deposit schemes, 
      • Fraudulently defaulting on regulated deposit schemes, and
      • Wrongfully inducing depositors to invest in unregulated deposit schemes by willingly falsifying facts.
    • Accepting unregulated deposits will be punishable with imprisonment between 2-7 years, along with a fine ranging from 3 to 10 lakh rupees.  Defaulting in repayment of unregulated deposits will be punishable with imprisonment between 3 and 10 years, and a fine ranging from 5 lakh rupees to twice the amount collected from depositors.  
    • Further, repeated offenders under the Bill will be punishable with imprisonment between 5 to 10 years, along with a fine ranging from Rs 10 lakh to 5 crore rupees.

  • Odisha Secretariat renamed as Lok Seva Bhawan.
  • Narendra Modi soon to be featured in Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, India.

  • The Rasagola, a popular dessert of Odisha, has received the Geographical Indication Tag from the Registrar of Geographical Indication.
    • The registration was conferred on 'Odisha Rasagola' under Section 16(I) or of authorised Section 17(3)(c) of Geographic Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. 

Also Read : 29th July 2019 Current Affairs; 31st July 2019 Current Affairs

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