9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 7th, 2020

India joins Indian Ocean Commission as observer 

News:India has joined the Indian Ocean Commission(IOC) as an observer state.




About Indian Ocean Commission(IOC):

    • It is an intergovernmental organization that was created in 1982 at Port Louis,Mauritius and institutionalized in 1984 by the Victoria Agreement in Seychelles.


  • Member States:Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France) and Seychelles.
  • Observer States: China, Malta, European Union, International Organisation of La Francophonie(OIF) and now India.



Objectives of IOC:

  • Political, diplomatic, economic and commercial cooperation
  • Sustainable development in a globalisation context, cooperation in the field of agriculture, maritime fishing and the conservation of resources and ecosystems
  • Strengthening of the regional cultural identity, cooperation in cultural, scientific, technical, educational and judicial fields.


Gender Social Norms Index(GSNI)

News:The United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) has released the Gender Social Norms Index(GSNI).




About the index:

  • The index measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work and education.
  • It contains data from 75 countries covering over 80 percent of the world’s population.


Key takeaways from the index:

  • Only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women and there are only 10 female heads of government out of a possible 193. About 50% of the world’s men and women feel that men make better political leaders.


Additional information:


About UNDP:

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network established in 1965.It is headquartered in New York,US.
  • The various reports published by UNDP are a) Gender inequality index b) Human Development Index(HDI) among others.


SCORES mobile app

News:Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has launched SCORES mobile application for lodging investor grievances. 




About the app:

  • SCORES stands for Sebi Complaints Redress System (SCORES).Its web portal was launched in the year 2011.
  • The platform allows investors to lodge their complaints online with SEBI pertaining to securities market against listed companies, SEBI registered intermediaries and SEBI recognised market infrastructure institutions.


Additional information:


About SEBI:

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was established in 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act,1992 (SEBI Act).
  • The basic functions of the SEBI is to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote and regulate the securities market.


Solar Charkha Mission

News:Recently, the Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises has given information about the subsidies provided under the Solar Charkha Mission.




About the mission:

  • Launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME).
  • It is implemented by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).


Objectives of the mission:

  • To ensure inclusive growth by the generation of employment, especially for women and youth, and sustainable development through solar charkha clusters in rural areas.
  • To boost the rural economy and help in arresting migration from rural to urban areas.
  • To leverage low-cost, innovative technologies and processes for sustenance.


SC order paves way for faster land acquisition,reduced litigation 

News:The Supreme Court has held that proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act 1894 will not lapse if the compensation has been tendered by deposit in treasury.




What was the issue?

  • The issue was the interpretation of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.This act had replaced the colonial 1894 land acquisition law.
  • Section 24(2) states that in case of land acquisition proceedings, if a developer fails to take possession of land acquired under the old laws for five years or if compensation is not paid to the owner,the land acquisition process would lapse. 
  • The process would then have to be re-initiated under 2013 Act which would allow the owner to get better compensation.


About the Judgement:

  • The court has ruled that the compensation would be considered paid if the amount is put in the Treasury. 
  • There was no obligation that the amount should be deposited in the court in order to sustain the land acquisition proceedings under the 2013 Act.
  • Hence,the landowners who had refused to accept the compensation under the earlier Act cannot take benefit of deemed lapse of acquisition under Section 24 of the new act of 2013.


North East Venture Fund(NEVF)

News:The Government has informed the Parliament that North East Venture Fund(NEVF) has disbursed over Rs.18 crore to 12 start-ups till February,2020.




About NEVF:

    • Launched in 2017 by the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited(NEDFi) in association with the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region(M-DoNER).


  • Aim:To contribute to the entrepreneurship development of the NER and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through long term capital appreciation by way of investments in privately negotiated equity related investments.


  • It focuses on startups in five sectors namely  a) food processing b) healthcare c) tourism d) aggregation of services and e) IT and IT-enabled services.
  • It is a close ended fund with capital commitment of Rs 100 crore.Each investment will be limited to a minimum of Rs.25 lakh and a maximum of Rs.10 crores with long term investment horizon of 4-5 years.


Additional information:


About NEDFi:

  • North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) was incorporated as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956 in 1995.
  • It is also categorized as Non-Banking Financial Company(NBFC)-Loan Company and was registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2002.


Female Labour-force in India Down from 34% to 24%:UN Study

News:United Nations Global Compact(UNGC) has released a study on women’s participation in India’s labour force.




Key Highlights of the Study:

  • India is the only country among the 153 surveyed countries where the economic gender gap is larger than the political gap.
  • Female labour-force participation in India has declined from 34% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2020.
  • Raising women’s participation in the labour force to the same level as men can boost India’s GDP by 27%.


Additional information:


About UNGC:

  • The United Nations Global Compact is a non-binding United Nations pact formed in 2000.
  • It aims to encourage companies worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies based on 10 principles categorised into human rights, anti-corruption, environment and labour.


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