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“Innovate for Accessible India” campaign
News:Microsoft India and NASSCOM Foundation have launched the ‘Innovate for Accessible India’ campaign.
About the campaign:
- Launched in partnership with Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(DEPwD), Department of Science & Technology(DST) and ERNET (National Research and Education Network under MeitY).
- Aim: To empower people with disabilities with the technology and tools required for better integration into society and access to equal opportunities.
- The campaign will use technology solutions developed using Microsoft Cloud, Artificial Intelligence and other technologies to address the gaps faced by people with disabilities.
- It will focus on the 21 disabilities that are covered under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act,2016
- The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) was established in 1988 as a non-profit organisation.
- It is a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
RBI announces Rs 10,000 crore Open Market Operations(OMO)
News:The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has announced Rs 10,000 crore open market operations in a bid to increase liquidity and enhance confidence in the market amid the coronavirus crisis.
About Open Market Operations(OMO):
- Open market operations is the sale and purchase of government securities and treasury bills by RBI or the central bank of the country.
- Objective:To adjust the rupee liquidity conditions in the market on a durable basis.
- The central bank carries out the OMO through commercial banks and does not directly deal with the public.
- When the RBI feels that there is excess liquidity in the market, it resorts to sale of securities thereby sucking out the rupee liquidity.
- Similarly, when the liquidity conditions are tight, RBI may buy securities from the market thereby releasing liquidity into the market.
Supreme Court invokes special powers, removes Manipur minister
News: The Supreme Court has invoked special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to remove the Manipur Minister against whom disqualification petitions were pending before the Speaker since 2017.
About the Judgement:
- The Supreme Court removed the minister from the state cabinet and restrained him from entering the Legislative Assembly till further orders.
- A disqualification petition under Tenth Schedule(Anti-defection law) was pending before the Speaker since 2017 but the Speaker failed to take the decision within a reasonable time period.
- According to Article 212, the courts in India including the Supreme Court cannot interfere in the proceedings of the Legislature of state.
- However, this has been overruled by the Supreme Court in this matter by invoking special powers under Article 142.
About Article 142:
- Article 142 provides for the enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court.It consists of two clauses:
- Article 142(1):It states that the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and the orders shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.
- Article 142(2): It states that the Supreme Court shall have the power to make any order for the purpose of (a)securing the attendance of any person, (b)the discovery or production of any documents or (c)the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself.
About Tenth Schedule:
- The Anti-Defection Law was passed in 1985 through the 52nd amendment to the Constitution.It added the Tenth Schedule to the Indian Constitution.The main intent of the law was to combat political defections.
- The grounds on which a member of a legislature can be disqualified are a) if he/she voluntarily gives up the membership of his/her party and b) if a legislator votes in the House against the direction of his/her party and his/her action is not condoned by his party.
- There is an exception that has been provided in the law to protect the legislators from disqualification.The 10th Schedule says that if there is a merger between two political parties and two-thirds of the members of a legislature party agree to the merger, they will not be disqualified.
RBI releases new guidelines for payment aggregators
News:The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released guidelines for regulating activities of Payment Aggregators(PAs) and Payment Gateways(PGs) in the country.
About: Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has defined Payment Gateways and Payment Aggregators as those entities who:
- provide technology infrastructure to route and / or facilitate processing of an online payment transaction and perform other functions without actually handling the funds.
- facilitate e-commerce sites and merchants to accept various payment instruments from the customers for completion of their payment without the need for merchants to create a separate payment system of their own.
- Payment Aggregators(PA) should have a minimum net worth of ₹15 crore at the time of application for authorisation and ₹25 crore has to be maintained at all times thereafter.
- Non-bank PAs will require authorisation from the RBI under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSSA).They should be a company incorporated in India under the Companies Act,1956 / 2013.
- PAs need to check their merchant customers are not involved in selling of prohibited or fake items and should also set up designated nodal offices to deal with customer grievances.
News: INCOIS has said that the Oceansat Satellite data are used to prepare the Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories on the potential rich fishing areas and provide to the sea faring fishermen in all states.
About Potential Fishing Zone(PFZ):
- Potential fishing zones (PFZ’s) are those regions where the fishes aggregate due to an abundance of food and they are demarcated by tracing those regions in the ocean.
- These zones are identified using chlorophyll concentration(Chl) obtained from ISRO’s Oceansat-2 satellite and the sea surface temperature from National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA / USA satellites).
- OceanSat-2 was launched in 2009 by the Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) to provide service continuity for Oceansat-1.
- Objectives: a) To study surface winds and ocean surface strata, b) observation of chlorophyll concentrations, c) monitoring of phytoplankton blooms d) study of atmospheric aerosols and suspended sediments in the water.
- Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services(INCOIS) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
- It is located in Hyderabad & was established in 1999 under the MoES and is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO).
- It is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community.
News: World Health Organization(WHO) has launched the Safe Hands Challenge in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
About the Challenge:
- The campaign urges everyone to wash their hands regularly for 40 seconds to keep themselves safe and prevent the transmission of Coronavirus disease.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
- It was established in 1948.It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Beggars
News:The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has proposed to restructure & formulate a scheme namely Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Beggars.
About the Scheme:
- Implementation: It will be implemented in the selected cities having large concentrations of Beggar community during the financial year 2020-2021.
- Coverage: It will cover persons engaged in the act of begging to provide identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, education, skill development with the support of State Governments /UTs/Local Urban Bodies and Voluntary Organizations.
- Funding: The Central Government will provide 100% Assistance under the Scheme to the States/UTs for its implementation.
News:GreenCo Rating has been acknowledged in India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution(INDC) document submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) in 2015.
About GreenCo Rating:
- GreenCo Rating has been developed by the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII).
- Aim:To facilitate companies to make a substantial improvement in their environmental performance thereby saving both natural and financial resources.
- Under this,companies are evaluated on major environmental areas including- energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, waste management, resource conservation, green supply chain and life cycle assessment.
- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization founded in 1895.
- It works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.