Water Stress Index, formulated by
London-based risk analytics firm Verisk Maplecroft, has listed India as the
46th highest risk country in the world.
to the index, 11 of India’s 20 largest cities face an ‘extreme risk’ of water
stress and seven are in the ‘high risk’ category. Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru,
Hyderabad, Nashik, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Indore are among the cities facing
to the study, Bengaluru and Surat are experiencing the greatest surge in demand
for water and are most at risk of facing scarcity. Further, Chennai and Delhi
are also extremely vulnerable.
index measured the water consumption rates of households, industries and farm
sectors and the available resources in rivers, lakes and streams. It then
plotted the index with projected population growth trends to rank the cities
facing the biggest threat to their water resources.
Further, India is rated ‘high risk’
in the Climate Change Vulnerability Index. It indicates that effects of climate
change like an ‘extended dry season’ would deteriorate water stress situation
in Indian cities. The study has noted that many Indian cities are
projected to experience a higher number of consecutive drought days when
precipitation is less than 1 mm
government has introduced Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019,
and the Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of
Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019.
Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019 seeks to protect the constitutional
rights of vulnerable persons and punish the acts of lynching through trial
in the designated courts, besides rehabilitating the victims and their
provides for life imprisonment and fine up to ₹5 lakh for the offence of
lynching. It also provides for appointment of a nodal officer of the rank
of Inspector-General of Police to prevent lynchings and establishment of
relief camps in safe zones for the victims.
The bill defines
lynching as an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob
on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language,
dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation and
Court in 2018 in the case of Tehseen S. Poonawalla vs. Union of India had
recommended the central government to enact a legislation to create a
separate offence for lynching
Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in
the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019 provides for death penalty or
life sentence and fine up to ₹5 lakh for killing a couple or either of
them on the basis that their marriage had dishonoured or brought disrepute
to the caste, community or family
A group of
fishermen have been conducting plastic collection drive to combat plastic
pollution in the Vembanad Lake. Plastic bottles are the most prevalent
form of plastic pollution in the lake.
In June 2018,
the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) had issued a direction to
hotels, resorts, houseboats and hospitals with more than 500 beds in the
State to stop usage of plastic bottles for supply of drinking water.
Lake is the longest lake in India. It is located in the district of
Kerala. The lake is bordered by Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam
districts. It is situated at the sea level, and is separated from the
Laccadive Sea by a narrow barrier island.
Vembanad Lake is
in List of Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar
Convention. There are 27 Ramsar Wetland Sites in India.
Convention on Wetland is an intergovernmental treaty, signed in 1971,
which provides the framework for national action and international
cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their
The Lok Sabha
has passed the Consumer Protection Bill,2019.The bill replaces the
Consumer Protection Act,1986.
The bill defines
a consumer as a person who buys any goods or avails a
service for a consideration.It does not include a person who obtains a
good for resale or a good or service for commercial purposes.
The bill covers
transactions through all modes including offline and online through
electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling.
provides the central government to set up a Central Consumer
Protection Authority(CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the
rights of consumers.
regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade
practices, and misleading advertisements.The CCPA will have an
investigation wing headed by a Director-General which may conduct an
inquiry or investigation into such violations.
provides for an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism. Mediation
cells will be attached to Consumer Forum.The bill also ensures ease of
approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of Adjudication
provides for Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) to
be set up at the district,state and national levels.
defines product liability as the liability of a product
manufacturer, service provider or seller to compensate a consumer for any
harm or injury caused by a defective good or deficient service.
become the first state in the country to adopt automated multimodal
biometric identification system(AMBIS).
comprises a computer terminal,a camera and iris,fingerprint, and palm
scanners.It also includes a portable system to dust off and capture
fingerprints from crime scenes.
collates data and enables automated identification of criminal records
using fingerprint, face and iris recognition.The system was developed in
France and adapted to meet the state’s requirements with the help of
Indian Institute of Technology professors,
investigators trace suspects and ascertain whether a suspect has a
criminal record.The system has a capacity to store the data of 20 lakh
criminals.It can go through its archives and give results in 0.45
from AMBIS can be shared with the National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) and
investigation agencies from other states and courts, including foreign
agencies like Interpol.
Deputy Chairman has written to MPs for seeking their suggestions on how to
address various problems plaguing the MP Local Area Development
MPLADS is a
centrally sponsored scheme fully funded by the government.The Ministry of
Statistics and Programme Implementation formulates the guidelines,releases
funds and monitors implementation.
MPs five crore rupees per annum to identify and fund development projects
in their constituencies as per the guidelines drawn up by Parliament.
The role of MPs
is limited to ‘recommending’ works as the actual implementation is done by
local authorities.Therefore,the scheme does not violate separation of
powers.The MPs may recommend projects in sectors such as infrastructure
development, public health, sanitation, water among others.
of the Lok Sabha can suggest developmental works in their constituency,
while elected members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works in one or more
districts of their State.Further,the nominated members of Lok Sabha or
Rajya Sabha can recommend works in one or more districts anywhere in the
chairman referred to a 1998 CAG which pointed at several instances of
mismanagement,misuse of funds and lack of proper accounting of the scheme.
also quoted a programme evaluation report of the erstwhile Planning
Commission in 2001 that identified issues such as (a)improper maintenance
of records (b)percentage utilisation of the fund being lower than
officially reported (c)inflated reporting of expenditure and (d)poor
maintenance of assets created.
chairman also referred to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report which
noted large gaps between the funds available to district authorities and
the actual expenditure on the scheme.
Lok Sabha has
passed the Code on Wages Bill, 2019.The Bill seeks to subsume existing
laws related to workers’ remuneration.
The bill will
replace the (a)Payment of Wages Act,1936, (b)Minimum Wages Act,1948
(c)Payment of Bonus Act,1965 and the (d)Equal Remuneration Act,1976.
provides that the Central Government will fix minimum wages for certain
sectors including railways and mines while the states would be free to set
minimum wages for other category of employment.
The code also
provides for setting up of a national minimum wage.The Central Government
can set a separate minimum wage for different regions or states.The Bill
also says that the minimum wage would be revised every five years.
The bill has
introduced many changes in the inspection regimes including web based
randomised computerised inspection scheme, jurisdiction-free
inspections,composition of fines among others.All these changes will be
conducive for enforcement of labour laws with transparency and
on Wages bill is one of the four codes that would subsume 44 labour
laws.The four codes will deal with (a)wages (b)social security,
(c)industrial safety and welfare and (d)industrial relations.
Court has observed that excessive quota may impact the right to equal
opportunity guaranteed under the Constitution.
was made while hearing several petitions which have asked for a
Constitution Bench to examine the validity of 103rd Constitutional
(103rd Amendment) Act provides for 10% reservation in government jobs and
educational institutions for the economically weaker sections in the
The Act amends
Article 15 and 16 to provide for reservation based on economic
argued that the economic reservation violated the 50% reservation ceiling
limit fixed by a nine-judge Bench in the Indra Sawhney case.Further,the
1992 judgment had barred reservation solely on economic criterion.
The act has also
been criticised on the grounds that it violates the basic Structure of the
constitution as it is violative of the equality principle enshrined in
Article 14 of the Constitution as it excludes OBCs, SCs and STs from the
scope of economic reservation.
also challenged the law on the ground that it provides for reservation in
private unaided educational institutions which has been clearly barred by
the SC in previous judgements.
government has justified to the apex court that the 10% economic quota law
was a move towards a classless and casteless society.It said the law was
meant to benefit a large section of the population who are mostly lower
middle class and below the poverty line.
Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will soon allow the
use of regulatory sandbox(RS) to promote new, innovative products and
processes in the industry.
sandbox is an infrastructure that helps fintech players live test
their products or solutions before getting the necessary regulatory
approvals for a mass launch, saving start-up time and cost.
2019,the IRDAI had recommended setting up a regulatory sandbox to test new
digital and tech-based innovations before launching them in the market.A
committee was also set up by the IRDAI.It has already submitted its final
For the IRDAI
sandbox,an applicant should have a net worth of Rs 10 lakh and a proven
financial record of at least one year.Companies will be allowed to test
products for up to 12 months in five categories.
has suggested the setting up of a core sandbox committee with dedicated
personnel to monitor and supervise the digital innovations and also
facilitate the roll-out of experiments and to provide the ecosystem required
for the experimentation.
has also recommended strict requirements of confidentiality to protect the
data of policyholders and has also proposed defined entry and eligibility
criteria, boundary conditions along with appropriate controls for
protection and risk management.
financial technology is an industry comprising companies that use
technology to offer financial services.These companies operate in
insurance,asset management and payment and numerous other industries.
Affairs Minister has inaugurated a national conference of Central Wakf
Council(CWC) in New Delhi.
said here that the Central Government has set a target to achieve 100%
digitisation of Waqf properties across the country in its first 100
days.There are more than 6 lakh registered Waqf properties across the
also awarded 8 Mutawalis under “Qaumi Waqf Board Taraqiati Scheme” for
better management of Waqf properties in their respective state Waqf
boards.Mutawalli are Custodian of the Waqf properties.
The minister has
also said that the report of a five-member committee, constituted to
review Waqf properties lease rule headed by Justice (Retd) Zakiullah Khan
has been submitted.
Council is a statutory body established in 1964 by the Government of India
under Wakf Act,1954.The council advises the government on matters
pertaining to working of the State Wakf Boards and proper administration
of the Wakfs in the country.
Wakf is a
permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious,
pious or charitable purposes as recognized by Muslim Law, given by
Ministry has imposed anti-dumping duty on all imports of purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) from South Korea and Thailand.
PTA is the
primary raw material in the manufacture of polyester chips, which in turn
are used in a number of applications in textile, packaging, furnishings,
consumer goods, resins and coatings.
Dumping is the
practice whereby the exporting nation sells its goods and services at a
price lower than the price at which the importing nation sells the same
goods and services within its domestic market.
The objective of
dumping is to increase market share in a foreign market by driving out
competition and thereby create a monopoly situation where the exporter
will be able to unilaterally dictate price and quality of the product.
duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes
on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.
tabled the Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG) audit report on the Goods
and Services Tax(GST) in the Parliament.
The report has
said that the government had failed to try out the GST system before its
rollout leading to inadequate compliance mechanisms, and lower tax
The report has
also pointed out that the complexity of the return mechanism and the
technical glitches in invoice-matching has rendered the system prone to
Input Tax Credit(ITC) frauds.
The report said
that post-implementation,the Centre’s revenue from GST has registered a
decline of 10% in 2017-18 compared to revenue of subsumed taxes in
The audit report
has also said that the Central government has not been following the rules
set out regarding the transfer of revenue to the States.
GST (Goods and
Services Tax) is an indirect tax that has replaced many Central and State
taxes like excise duty, VAT and service tax.It is a single comprehensive
tax levied on all goods and services produced in India as well as those
imported from other countries.
credit is the tax that a business pays on a purchase and that it can use
to reduce its tax liability when it makes a sale.In other words,
businesses can reduce their tax liability by claiming credit to the extent
of GST paid on purchases.
and Auditor General (CAG) of India is an authority established by
Article 148 of the Constitution of India.The CAG is appointed by the
President of India following a recommendation by the Prime Minister.
The Reserve Bank
of India(RBI) has decided to relax the end-use restrictions relating to
external commercial borrowings(ECB).
RBI has allowed
ECBs with minimum average maturity period of 10 years for working capital
purposes and general corporate purposes.It has also permitted borrowing
for on-lending by non-banking financial companies(NBFCs) for the 10 year
also allowed ECBs with a minimum average maturity period of 7 years for
repayment of rupee loans availed domestically for capital expenditure.
This move is
aimed at providing access to cheaper and longer term funds for the
corporate sector,especially liquidity-starved non-banking finance
The defaults by
IL&FS had affected the entire NBFC sector.Several NBFCs have also been
struggling to raise funds.Liquidity woes has also led to payment delays by
housing mortgage firm DHFL.
basically a loan availed by an Indian entity from a nonresident
lender.Most of these loans are provided by foreign commercial banks and
are in the form of bank loans, buyers credit, suppliers credit and
securitized instruments with a minimum average maturity of three years.
ECBs availed of
by residents are governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999
along with the Foreign Exchange Management (Borrowing or Lending in
Foreign Exchange) Regulations,2000 as amended from time to time.
Science and Environment(CSE) has released a report titled – ‘Grain by
Grain’.The report is the complete assessment of the environmental
performance of fertilizer industry in India.
The project was
undertaken by CSE along with its Green rating project(GRP).The Project had
earlier rated the pulp and paper, automobile,chloro-alkali,cement,iron and
steel and thermal power sectors.
The report has
found that the country’s fertilizer sector is among the best in the world
in energy use and greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions.
fertiliser industries staggering records on water use,water pollution and
plant safety is a cause of concern.
The report has
also found that the areas surrounding at least one-third of the fertiliser
plants found to have very high levels of nitrogen in groundwater.
This was mainly
because as part of their mandate to recycle used-water, the plants were
using it for watering horticulture and other crops in their premises.This
has lead to nitrogen seeping into the water table.
major concern was the age of the India’s fertiliser plants.The report has
said that most plants need to upgrade their on-site and off-site disaster
management plans and communicate them to the concerned authorities and the