Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Jan 23,2021

New land allotment policy of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)

Why in News?

A new policy has been approved for Jammu and Kashmir.  The policy focus on the allotment of land to industrial entrepreneurs.

What are the objectives of the policy?

  • To address various land-related issues that are creating hurdles in the industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir. It will be done by a framework to regulate zoning of industrial areas, project appraisal, and evaluation.
  • To promote inclusive growth through sustainable industrialization and employment generation. It also includes provisions of a fair and transparent mechanism for land allotment for industrial use.

Key Features of the Policy:

  • Land Allotment: The policy covers allotment of land to industrial entrepreneurs, health institutions/ medi-cities, and educational institutions/Edu-cities.
  • Zoning of Areas: It proposes zoning (divides land into areas called zones) of industrial areas at block and municipality levels. Zoning will be done after taking into account existing levels of industrial development in the area, its location, and level of urbanization.
  • Committees: The policy provides for the constitution of;
    • Divisional Level Project Appraisal and Evaluation Committees to scrutinize applications received for allotment of industrial land within 30 days
    • Apex Level Land Allotment Committee, High-Level Land Allotment Committee, and Divisional Level Land Allotment Committee to decide and allot industrial land worth Rs 200 crore, Rs 50-200 crore, and up to Rs 50 crore respectively. The time limit for allotment is within 45 days.
  • Duration of Allotment: The land will be allotted to the investors on lease for a period of 40 years initially, which could be extended to 99 years.
  • Cancellation: The allotted land will be cancelled in the following cases.
    • Failure of the investor to take effective steps within the stipulated time of two years
    • Failure of the industrial unit to come into production within three years
    • Violation of provisions under the lease deed and
    • Non-cooperation of an enterprise for a period of five years.
  • Renting out Allotted Land: The policy allows renting out of 60% of the built-up area of a business enterprise for setting up an ancillary industrial enterprise through a tripartite agreement.

Source: Indian Express

When passed Bills do not convert into functioning laws?

Why in News?

Over the years, Parliament has repealed several laws. But there have also been examples when the government has not brought an already passed law into force.

Few such Examples

  • Two such examples are the National Environment Tribunal Act and the Delhi Rent Control Act which Parliament passed in 1995 but had never brought these laws into force.
  • Further, there are also multiple instances where a law specifies when it will come into effect. The 2013 land acquisition law put an outer limit of three months for the Centre to bring it into force after the President approved it.


Bringing/removing a law: Parliament has the power to make a law and to remove it from the statute books (Judiciary can also strike down a law if it is unconstitutional). But the passing of a Bill does not mean that it be implemented from the next day. There are more steps, for it to become a functioning law:

First Step, President’s Assent:

  • Article 111 of the Constitution specifies that the President can either sign off on the Bill or withhold his assent. However, the Constitution does not specify a time limit for the President to approve a Bill.
  • The President rarely withholds assent to a Bill. The last time it happened was in 2006 when President A P J Abdul Kalam refused to sign a Bill protecting MPs from disqualification for holding an office of profit.
  • A Bill is sent to Parliament for reconsideration if the President withholds his or her assent on it. And if Parliament sends it back to the President, he has no choice but to approve it.

Second Step, giving effect to a Law:

  • It is deciding the date on which the law comes into effect. In the majority of cases, Parliament delegates the power to determine this date, to the government.

Third Step, Farming Rules & regulations

  • A passed Bill is just an outline of a law. For the law to start working on the ground, a ministry or department needs to be empowered to administer it.
  • The implementing ministry also needs to finalize forms to gather information and provide benefits or services. These day-to-day operational details are called rules and regulations.
  • Government is responsible for framing rules and regulations. If the government does not frame them, the law or any parts of it, will not get implemented. The Benami Transactions Act of 1988 is an example of a complete law remaining unimplemented in the absence of regulations.

Source: Indian Express

4-tier structure for regulation of NBFCs

Why in News?

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a tighter regulatory framework for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) by creating a four-tier structure. The intensity of regulations will be greatest at the top layer and lowest at the base layer.

Objective: It is to keep the big NBFCs in good financial health. It has become important after the failure of extremely large NBFC like IL&FS.

Four Tier Structure:

Base layer: This layer will include the large number of small NBFCs in the country and will subject to the least regulation. It is because they have a limited impact on systemic stability. The proposals for this set of NBFCs include:

  • Entry-level net owned funds required to be raised to Rs 20 crore from Rs 2 crore.
  • NPA classification norm of 180 days will be harmonized to 90 days.
  • Disclosure requirements will be widened by including disclosures on types of exposure, related party transactions, customer complaints.

Middle Layer: It will consist of NBFCs that currently fall in the ‘systemically important’ category along with deposit-taking non-bank lenders. Housing Finance Companies, Infrastructure Finance Companies, Infrastructure Debt Funds, Core Investment Companies. The proposals for this set of NBFCs include:

  • It will be subjected to tighter corporate governance norms.
  • No changes proposed in the capital-to-risk-assets ratio (CRAR) of 15% with a minimum Tier-I ratio of 10%.
  • These NBFCs cannot provide loans to companies for buy-back of securities.
  • NBFCs with 10 or more branches will be required to adopt core banking solutions.

Upper Layer: It will include about 25-30 NBFCs and will be subjected to bank-like regulation.

  • It will have to implement differential standard asset provisioning and also the large exposure framework as applicable to banks.
  • The concept of Core Equity Tier-1 will be introduced for this category and is proposed to be set at 9%.
  • They will also be subject to a mandatory listing requirement.

Top Layer: This layer will be empty for now and will be populated with NBFCs, where the RBI may see an elevated systemic risk.

Source: Indian Express

ShramShakti Portal and ShramSaathi module for Tribal Migrants

Union Minister of Tribal Affairs has virtually launched the Shram Shakti Portal for data related to Tribal migrants. The Minister also launched the tribal training module- ShramSaathi.

Shram Shakti portal:

The portal has been launched to tackle the challenge of lack of real-time data on the migrants with the Governments.


  • ShramShakti Portal: It is a National Migration Support Portal that aims to collect data related to tribal migrant workers and link them with the existing welfare schemes.
  • The various data that will be recorded via the portal include demographic profile, livelihood options, skill mapping, and migration pattern.
  • Significance:
    • The portal would be able to successfully address the data gap and empower tribal migrant workers, who generally migrate in search of employment and income generation.
    • It would also effectively help in the smooth formulation of state and national level programs for migrant workers.

ShramSaathi – Training module

It is a tribal training module. It aims to ensure the process of livelihood migration is safe and productive for tribal migrants. Once training is done the tribal migrant worker can demand and access services, rights and entitlements etc.

Reason for the launch of module:

    • Tribal migrants have low awareness about their rights and entitlements
    • They also do not know the ways to access services and social security in source and destination areas

Source: TOI, PIB

Vaccine Diplomacy | Myanmar, Mauritius and Seychelles receive Covishield

Why in News?

India has sent shipments of Covishield vaccines to Myanmar, Mauritius, and Seychelles under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ (vaccine diplomacy) drive.

  • Vaccine diplomacy: It is the branch of global health diplomacy in which a nation uses the development or delivery of vaccines to strengthen ties with other nations.

Read MoreSignificance of Vaccine Diplomacy

India’s Vaccine Diplomacy:

  • Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, and Nepal have already received their Covishield vaccines from India.
  • In the cases of Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, India is awaiting confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.
  • India has also carried out capacity building and training workshops for neighbouring countries.
  • However, the only exception to India’s vaccine diplomacy is Pakistan which has not been named as a neighbouring country for vaccine delivery.

Source: Indian Express

India’s draft Arctic policy

Why in News?

Indian Government has presented the draft Arctic policy. The policy is open to public comments until January 26.

  • The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Sciences is the nodal agency for India’s Polar research programme, which includes Arctic studies. The Ministry of External Affairs provides the external interface to the Arctic Council.

India’s Arctic Policy:

Pillars of the Policy: India’s Arctic policy will rest on five pillars:

  • Science and research
  • Economic and human development cooperation
  • Transportation and connectivity
  • Governance and international cooperation
  • National capacity building

Key Objectives:

  • To better understand the scientific and climate-related linkages between the Arctic and the Indian monsoons.
  • To promote domestic scientific research capacities by expanding earth sciences, biological sciences, geosciences, climate change and space-related programmes, dove-tailed with Arctic imperatives in Indian Universities.
  • To put in place Arctic-related programmes for mineral/oil and gas exploration in petroleum research institutes. It also aimed at encouraging tourism and hospitality sectors to engage with Arctic enterprises.

Significance of Arctic Policy

Other than the benefits related to oil and exploration, the Arctic influences tropical climate also. It has an impact on the atmospheric, oceanographic and biogeochemical cycles of the earth’s ecosystem.

Loss of Ice-Caps at the Arctic will lower the Ocean salinity and increase the temperature differential between land and oceans in the tropical regions.

The Study on the Arctic will also be helpful in studying melting rates of the third pole — the Himalayan glaciers.

Additional Facts:

India And The Arctic – A History Of Cooperation

  • India’s engagement with the Arctic began in 1920 when it signed the Svalbard Treaty in Paris.
  • In 2007, India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic.
  • In 2008, India had set up a research station ‘Himadri’ in the international Arctic research base at Ny-Ålesund in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. Himadri is manned for about 180 days a year.
  • IndArc, the country’s first multi-sensor moored observatory was deployed in Kongsfjorden in 2014. In 2016, India’s northernmost atmospheric laboratory was established at Gruvebadet.

Arctic Council:

  • It was formally established in 1996 by The Ottawa Declaration. It is an intergovernmental forum for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction between the Arctic States.
  • Members: a) Canada b) Denmark, c) Finland d) Iceland e) Norway f) Russia g) Sweden and h) United States.
  • India: India has received the ‘Observer’ country status in the Arctic Council in 2013 and is one among the 13 countries across the world, including China, to have that position. The status was renewed in 2018.

Source: The Hindu

Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)

Why in News?

Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) has conducted a successful trial of the indigenously developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) off the Odisha coast from the Hawk-I jet of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL).


  • Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon(SAAW): It is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad.
  • The weapon is designed to strike ground targets, especially adversary airfield infrastructure or similar strategically important installations.
  • The weapon is capable of engaging ground enemies airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, and runways up to a range of 100 kilometres.

Additional Facts:

  • RUDRAM: It is India’s first indigenous anti-radiation air-to-surface missile for Indian Air Force(IAF). The missile is integrated on SU-30 Mk1 fighter aircraft.
    • Purpose: It is designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary’s radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources which are generally part of their air defence systems.

Source: Indian Express

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