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Current Affairs

DPIIT on accredited investors

  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is working on definition ‘accredited investors’, which can include trusts, individuals, family member of a startup and unlisted companies.They can be provided tax incentives for investments in startups and may get exemption from angel tax under section 56(2) (viib) of Income Tax Act, 1961, beyond the Rs 25 crore limit. DPIIT has already prepared a draft definition and is now seeking views of stakeholders.
  • Three categories of investors – listed companies, non-residents and alternate investments funds category like venture capital funds also get exemption.

IBC takes 300 days, BIFR took 5-8 years

  • The entire process of debt resolution under Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRF) takes nearly 300 days compared to 5-8 year time taken under the process prescribed by Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) .The cost of resolution process is 0.5 per cent of money realized but in BIFR, the cost was 9 per cent.
  • The insolvency board regulator chairman said that, one has to also look at the cost incurred along with the less time take to understand the impact of IBC. Apart from the companies undergoing CIRP, there are a large number of companies, which have opted to settle the debts of the lenders before they are admitted for insolvency by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

Chairman of IBBI– M S Sahoo

Headquarter- New Delhi

WhatsApp on Fake News

  • WhatsApp on Tuesday unveiled its’checkpoint tipline’, where subscribers can check the authenticity of information received as part of its effort to check fake news ahead of the general elections in the country. WhatsApp has over 200 million subscribers in the country.
  • “Launch by Proto, an Indian Start-up, this tipline will help create a database of rumors to study misinformation during elections for Checkpoint- a research assisted by WhatsApp,” said by the company.

Low Services Sector Output

  • Due to a slower expansion in new work, the country’s services sector activity eased in March with slowest pace of output growth in six-months. Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index fell to 52 in March from 52.5 in February, indicating the slowest expansion since last September.
  • Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index: dipped from 53.8 in February to a six- month low of 52.7 in March.

Amazon to launch 3000 satellites

  • com Inc confirmed its plan to build a network of over 3,000 satellites through”Project Kuiper” to provide high speed internet. The project will launch a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites to people globally who lack basic access to broadband internet, the company said.
  • Details of the project were filed with the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union last month.
  • Amazon’s satellite project faces stiff competition from similar ventures from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s. Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin also signed a deal with Canada’s Telesat to launch part of Satellite Constellation.

L&T- Mindtree Deal

  • L&T has made an unsolicited offer to acquire majority stake in Mindtree& a committee of the IT firm’s independent directors is looking into it. Larsen & Toubro’s proposed acquisition of up to 66.15 per cent stake in IT firm Mindtree Ltd; the Competition Commission has approved it.
  • Deals beyond a certain threshold require clearance from the fair trade regulator.
  • L&T has acquired Cafe Coffee Day- owner V G Siddhartha’s 20.32 per cent steke in Mindtree. The total deal value is estimated to be around Rs 10,800 crore

Plea Against Aadhaar Ordinance

  • President Ram NathKovind had last month given his assent to the Aadhaar Ordinance that allowed voluntary use of Aadhaar as ID proof for obtaining mobile SIM cards and opening bank accounts.
  • The Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear pleas challenging the constitutional validity of recent Aadhaar ordinance brought by the Centre and asked the petitioners to approach high court on the issue high court with their grievances. A bench of justices S ABobde and S A Nazeer said it is not expressing anything on the merits of the case and would like to have the view of the high court on the issue.
  • The amendments provide for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar violation of privacy. It bans storing of core biometric information as well as Aadhaar number by service providers in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication. A five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court had in September last year declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.
  • Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number that can be obtained by residents of India, based on their biometricand demographic data The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established in 28 January 2009 by the government of India.

Ericsson RCom

  • NCLAT reiterated that Ericsson may have to refund the recovered Rs 578 crore, if IBC triggered.
  • Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya said,” Why should one party take the amount and other creditors suffer and why should banks suffer? Why should the Indian economy suffer?”

NCLAT on ArcelorMittal

  • National Company Law Appellate Tribunal asked the NRI billionaire LN Mittal-led firm to be ready for upfront payment of the promised amount without any further procrastination and hinted to deposit the money with an escrow account of either the insolvency court (NCLT) or the appellate tribunal itself in the next hearing, scheduled on April 23.

Raids on Kamal Nath’s aides

  • I-T department raided locations in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. CBDT detected widespread and well-organised racket of collection of unaccounted cash amounting to nearly Rs 281 crore.
  • EC had written to I-T department to be neutral in its conduct also keep the chief elections officers informed of such actions during the election period.

Current Economic Atmosphere

  • IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath described current global economic atmosphere as “a delicate moment”, the global economy continues to grow at a reasonable rate and a global recession is not in the baseline projections, there are many downside risks. Beyond 2020, global growth is expected to stabilize at around 3 per cent mainly by growth in China and India and their increasing weights in world income.

Fiscal deficit target

  • The government has met the fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in FY19 by reducing its spending and higher borrowings from small savings funds. The government missed the tax collections target by over 1 lakh crore, including about Rs 50,000 crore shortfall in direct tax and Rs 65,000 crore in indirect tax receipts.
  • fiscal deficitoccurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. A fiscal deficit is regarded by some as a positive economic event.

HDR rankings

  • National Institutional Ranking Framework: 4th edition

Overall best-

  1. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras
  2. IISc Bangalore
  3. IIT-Delhi
  • Best University
  1. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
  2. JNU
  3. BHU
  • Best College- Miranda House, Delhi

R&D in India Universities

  • National Institutional Framework Rankings 2019 conducted under the aegis of HRD Ministry as it is considered independent and elaborate exercise. Its aim is to produce an objective ranking of our institutions.
  • The 2019 ranking exercise has evaluated a larger pool of institutions, a total of 4,867 on 5 broad parameters.
  • Most universities have average scores in research. Research and knowledge creation still are not the prime focus of universities. For India to become a knowledge economy we need to cultivate high quality human resource. For that we need high quality production of new knowledge & good universities can deliver it.

Essar Steel insolvency case

  • The Supreme Court on 12th April asked Essar Steel’s resolution professional (RP) to maintain status quo with regard to distribution of ArcelorMittal’s bid amount of Rs 42,000 crore between financial and operational creditors. The SC was hearing three appeals by the committee of creditors of Essar Steel, SBI and ICICI Bank which had claimed that it was outside the appellate tribunal’s jurisdiction to ask the creditor’s panel to reconsider hiking the share of SCB.

GeM portal

  • The Centre has now made it mandatory to buy commonly-used goods and services items through GeM for its various departments. GeM was set up in August 2016 to improve transparency as well as efficiency of the public procurement system.
  • According to the latest official data, purchases by various states via GeM touches Rs 9,209 crore in 2018-19 against Rs 7,947 crore by the Central government.
  • GeM has replaced Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D).

Lateral Entry

  • The UPSC has inducted nine sectoral experts as joint secretaries in central government departments. “Lateral Entry initiative” the government’s move is an attempt to harness expertise and efficiency from outside the UOSC umbrella to give government functioning a fillip.
  • Given roping in talent from outside the government is a common feature across many developed nations, India is already late to the game.
  • NITI Aayog batted for inducting private sector specialists to improve government functioning only in 2018. The government (both the Union and the states) should consider making lateral entry a permanent feature rather than a one-off or episodic initiative.

DIPAM gets strict with Central PSUs

  • Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)
  • Central Public sector enterprises (CPSEs) will now be denied budgetary support while their staff will lose on their performance-linked pay, if these firms fail in meeting the goals of monetizing their assets.

The list of Assets-

  • Issued guidelines which said state run companies will have 12 months to monetize non-core assets identified by a ministerial panel headed by the finance minister, without having to forgo Budget funds. DIPAM also included asset monetization as one of the targets in the customary MoUs that the CPSEs sign with the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). This could result in a firm’s rating downgrade and consequent reduction in variable pay of its staff.
  • Currently, performance-related pay can be as high as 150% of basic pay for CMDs while it is 40% for the lowest grade officers if the rating of the PSU performance is ‘excellent’
  • The proceeds to the Centre from asset monetization would be counted as disinvestment receipts, which so far only included receipts from equity sales in CPEs and other entities.

Jet Airways grounded

  • Jet Airways suspended its total operations temporarily from 17th April 2019, due to failing to get an emergency funding of Rs 400 crore from the lenders. The operations started over 25 years ago cannot be continued further without critical interim funding by the bank’s consortium headed by SBI. The airline is not in a position to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going, in a statement by Jet Airways.
  • Civil Aviation Ministry: bank-led resolution process is still underway and expected to end by May 10.
  • Trouble at the airline began last August when it asked employees to take up to 25% salary cut to save costs. Jet has not employees March salaries, and pilots have not been paid since January other employees also remain unpaid.

Founder-  Naresh Goyal

Founded in– 1 April 1992

Amazon Plans to close Chinese marketplace

  • com Inc, the e-commerce giant plans to shut down its Chinese marketplace business in July. Amazon will keep running its other businesses in China, including Amazon Web Services, Kindle e-books, and cross-border operations that help ship goods from Chinese merchants to customers abroad.
  • The pullback is the latest sign that Amazon is ceding China so it can focus on India where it stands a better chance of becoming a dominant player.

Arvind Panagariya on Reforms

  • Eminent economist & first Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya questioned that what priorities should be of the government that comes into power when India’s mammoth and crucial general elections end next month?
  • India must focus on growth of labour-intensive sectors to create decent jobs for the masses as well as give ”serious thought” to privatizing the public sector banks (PSBs)
  • His personal view is that India must complete its reform process in the coming 5 years. We need firms in these sectors that are globally competitive and capture the space in export markets that China has been quitting due to its high wages. This requires flexible labour and land laws and an ecosystem that is yet friendlier to large firms.
  • The Deepak and Neera Raj Centre in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University provides research and expertise necessary to inform policy decisions, deliver increased prosperity, and deliver increased prosperity, and define India’s future role in the global economy.
  • Experience has shown that public sector ownership creates perverse incentives that have repeatedly manifested themselves in episodes of accumulation of non-performing assets (NPAs) in PSBs while the same has not been a problem in private and foreign banks,” he said. Also the consolidation of numerous transfers into single cash transfer and we must also introduce a sunset clause to all Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Sector Schemes. Ministries running these schemes should be subject to the burden of justifying continuation of this scheme beyond a certain date.
  • Public ownership has also resulted in dual regulation of PSBs and two different RBI regulatory regimes for PSBs and private banks.
  • Panagariya also emphasized on the need for major reforms in the area of education, saying the Right to Education Act has wholly “neglected quality.” This law has to be amended such that it rewards schools and teachers for superior outcomes while also sanctions them for poor delivery. Colleges and universities should come to be governed by their boards with minimum interference by the government.

Nandan Nilekani on Data empowerment

  • Addressing FICCI members at the National Executive Committee Meeting on ‘Digital India and its Impact on Economy and Industry’ in Bengaluru. Nilekani said Aadhaar has been a great enabler as a digital identity. India’s digital infrastructure would play a major role in reviving the economy.
  • Data is becoming central to people and governments across the world and data empowerment architecture in India would benefit all segments of the economy.
  • Country has witnessed dramatic transformation through Aadhaar-based eEKYC and online payments. While aadhaar eKYC has been revolutionary in making life simpler for people, it has been the basis for direct benefits transfers in any segment, he said.

Active Company Tagging Identifies and Verification

  • The new e-form INC 22A, which is also known as e-Form ACTIVE was notified as part of Companies (Incorporation) Amendment Rules, 2019.
  • There is no free charged if the form is filled within due date, but companies will have to pay Rs 10,000 by way of penalties after the deadline of April 25.