Ministry of Corporate
Affairs(MCA) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for data exchange between the
two regulatory organizations.
The MoU comes in the
backdrop of increasing need for surveillance in the context of Corporate
Frauds affecting important sectors of the economy.
The MoU will facilitate
the sharing of data and information between SEBI and MCA on an automatic
and regular basis.It will enable sharing of specific information such as
(a)details of suspended companies (b) delisted companies (c)shareholding
pattern from SEBI (d)returns of allotment of shares and (e)audit reports
relating to the corporates.
SEBI and MCA will also
exchange with each other any information available in their respective databases
for the purpose of carrying out scrutiny, inspection, investigation and
Further,a data exchange
steering group has also been constituted which will meet periodically to
review the data exchange status and take steps to further improve the
effectiveness of the data sharing mechanism.
The Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market
in India.It was established in 1988 and given statutory powers in 1992
through the SEBI Act,1992.
Congress leader has
said that the single largest party in Lok Sabha deserves the post of
Leader of Opposition(LoP).He alleged that the rule cited to deny the LoP
post to Congress was unconstitutional.
Leader of Opposition is
a statutory office provided for in the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of
Opposition in Parliament Act,1977.
The act says that
(a)the leader of the party in opposition to the government which has the
greatest number becomes the Leader of the Opposition and (b)Speaker needs
to recognise him/her as the Leader of the Opposition.
But the rule that a
party should have at least 10% of the members of the House for the Speaker
to recognise someone as the Leader of the Opposition is not part of this
However,G V Mavalankar
who is the first Lok Sabha Speaker had said that the main opposition
party’s strength must equal the quorum which is 10% of the total strength.
This point was later
incorporated in Direction 121(1) of the Directions by the Speaker, Lok Sabha
and Leaders and Chief Whips of Recognised Parties and Groups in Parliament
(Facilities) Act of 1998.
The Election Commission
has issued a formal order stating that dissent views will not be made part
of orders relating to model code of Conduct (MCC) violation cases.
This decision was taken
as MCC matters were not quasi-judicial proceedings and hence did not
require dissent or minority views to be conveyed as part of the final
Recently,one of the
Election Commissioner had dissented with the opinion of other Election
Commissioners in five different matters pertaining to alleged violations
of the MCC.
Commissioner has also recused himself from all meetings on MCC violations
in protest over inaction on his suggestion seeking quick disposal of MCC
complaints and his minority decisions going unrecorded in the EC’s final
Section 10(Disposal of
business by Election Commission) of The Election Commission(Conditions of
Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act,1991
lays down that all business of the Commission shall as far as possible be
However,If the Chief
Election Commissioner(CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs) differ
in opinion on any matter,such matter shall be decided according to the
opinion of the majority.
Model code of
Conduct(MCC) are the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India
for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.
The US Democratic Party
senators have introduced a bill called “Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019”.
The bill aims at
removing unfair barriers for science, technology, engineering and
maths-educated international students who want to work in the US after
completing their degrees.
The bill provides that
STEM graduates could obtain green card if two conditions are met.First, he
or she has to obtain a job offer or employment from a US employer in a
field related to his/her degree.The pay for this position should be above the
media wage level in that particular geographic area
Second, the concerned
employer must have obtained an approved labor certification for this job
position.This certificate requires the Secretary of Labor to determine and
certify that no qualified US workers are available for the position and
that the wages and working conditions of US workers are not
adversely affected by the hiring of the foreign worker.
US issues 1.40 lakh
employment based green cards annually.However, not more than 7% can go to
nationals of any one country.With a high influx of the Indian diaspora in
the US,it has resulted in a heavy backlog.
Further,a recent study
has shown that due to per-country limit for a green card and the heavy
influx of the Indian diaspora in the US,Indians with advanced degrees have
to wait for Green card as high as 151 years.
Green Card is an
identification card which gives one the status of a permanent resident
along with legal rights to work in the USA.
State Bank of
India(SBI) has announced to introduce a repo rate-linked home loan product
from July 1,2019.This move seems to be in line with the RBI ‘s direction
to the banks to link home loans to an external benchmark.
SBI had taken this
decision even though RBI had deferred the plan to link the rate of
interest to external benchmarks like the repo rate or Treasury Bill rate
following opposition from other banks.
Repo stands for
‘Repurchasing Option’.It refers to the rate at which commercial banks
borrow money from the RBI.It is one of the main tools of RBI to keep
inflation under control.
Bank of India(RBI) had proposed a major change in the way banks price
their loans.It had said that banks will now have to link the interest
rates charged by them on different categories of loans to the external
benchmark like Repo rate or Treasury Bill rate instead of the used
internal benchmark like marginal cost of fund based lending rate (MCLR).
MCLR is an internal
benchmark rate that depends on various factors such as fixed deposit
rates,source of funds and savings rate.The price of loan comprises the
MCLR and the spread or the bank’s profit margin.Spread refers to the
difference in borrowing rates and lending rates of financial institutions.
The biggest problem
with the MCLR system was lack of required transmission of policy rates to
the borrowers.The new system of linking interest rate to repo rate is
expected to bring in more transparency in fixing rates and faster
transmission of rates
The Reserve Bank of
India has released the results of the May,2019 round of its Consumer
Confidence Survey (CCS).
The survey was
conducted in 13 Indian cities and was based on responses from several
households.The survey indicates optimism above 100 and pessimism below
The survey seeks
qualitative responses from households regarding their sentiments on
(a)general economic conditions (b)overall price situation, (c)employment
(d)income and (e)spending scenario.
The survey found that
consumer confidence index has fallen to 97.3 from 104.6 in March,2019.The
consumer confidence has dropped down due to the deterioration in
sentiments on the economic situation and employment.
returning to pessimistic category adds to the challenge of government
which is trying to boost consumption and investments in the economy.
The exhibition of art
created by a humanoid Artificial intelligence (AI) robot named as Ai-Da
was unveiled recently at the University of Oxford.
Aida is the world’s
first ultra-realistic humanoid artist able to draw creatively due to an
in-built AI technology.
Ai-Da is named after
British mathematician and computer pioneer Ada Lovelace.The collection of
art aims to explore the boundaries between AI, technology and organic
Ai-Da can draw from
sight due to the cameras in her eyeballs and AI algorithms created by scientists
that help produce co-ordinates for her arm to create art.
is a way of making a computer-controlled robot or software perform
human-like tasks.It refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive
tasks like thinking,perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision
national Education Policy, 2019 has recommended that there should
be common (all-India) entrance examinations for admissions to
undergraduate courses in all government-funded universities and
colleges, w.e.f. 2020. Further, private universities should also be
encouraged to make use of the common admission tests.
It has suggested that
the National Testing Agency (NTA) should conduct common entrance tests
multiple times each year for admissions and fellowships in higher educational
Tests should be
conducted in various aptitude based subjects like logic, quantitative
reasoning, and languages, to more specialised subject examinations in the
sciences, arts, and vocational subjects. The preferred modality will be computer-based
The draft policy has
advocated that such a system would reduce burden on students by
eliminating the stress of overemphasis on 12th board
grades and that of appearing in multiple university examinations.
Further, it would eliminate
the need of the universities to devise their own examinations.
University will be able to assess each student’s individual subject
portfolio, and admit students into their programmes based on individual
interests and talents.
Established in 2018,
the National Testing Agency (NTA) is an autonomous,
specialist and self-sustained testing organization. It has been
established to conduct entrance examinations for admission/fellowship in
higher educational institutions.
Bhutan’s lower house of
parliament has voted to scrap laws criminalising homosexuality.
The lower house
scrapped Sections 213 and 214 of the penal code, which criminalised
unnatural sex.However,the amendment is yet to be ratified by the upper
House of Parliament.
are not recognised under Bhutanese law and as such aren’t protected from
employment or housing discrimination and can’t marry or adopt.
In 2018,Indian Supreme
Court had also decriminalised same-sex relationships by partially striking
down the provisions of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC).
criminalised voluntary carnal intercourse against the order of nature with
any man, woman or animal.Though the law did not explicitly mention LGBTQI
community,the phrase against the order of nature came to be referred for
same-sex sexual relations.
Further,Bhutan which is
famous for its gross national happiness index formulates government policy
based on the perceived happiness of citizens rather than potential economic
development.Bhutan had first held elections in 2008.Before that,it was an
India is planning to
conduct its first ever simulated space warfare exercise titled
The exercise will
basically be a table-top war-game with all stakeholders from the military
and scientific community taking part in it.
The main aim of
‘IndSpaceEx’ exercise is to assess the requisite space and counter-space
capabilities that are needed by India.The exercise will also help India
better grasp the strategic challenges in space that need to be handled.
This exercise comes in
the backdrop of India successfully testing an anti-satellite(A-Sat)
missile and initiating the establishment of a new tri-service Defence
successfully conducted Mission Shakti.Mission Shakti is an
anti-Satellite(ASAT) missile test.ASAT are missile-based systems to attack
moving satellites.The ASAT test has been carried out by bringing down one
of the Indian satellites in the low earth orbit.The test was aimed at
strengthening the capability to safeguard space assets and India’s overall
introduced a draft bill on Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of
Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019.
The draft bill says
that anybody who mine, hold, transact or deal with cryptocurrencies in any
form whether directly or indirectly through an exchange or trading can
attract a jail term of one to 10 years.
The draft also proposes
a monetary penalty of up to three times the loss caused to the exchequer
or gains made by the cryptocurrency user whichever is higher.
The bill also proposed
that any person holding cryptocurrencies will be required to declare and
dispose of it within 90 days from the date of commencement of the
act.Further,a regulator may also be appointed under the act to monitor
The draft bill has also
proposed the introduction of an official digital rupee in consultation
with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Crypto currency is a
digital currency.It allows transacting parties to remain anonymous while
confirming that the transaction is valid one.It is not owned or controlled
by any institution including both government institutions and private
institutions.Various cryptocurrencies used globally are Bitcoin,Ethereum