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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 04 April 2019


MCQ 1

  • Consider the following statements with regards to All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN)
  1. It is a government agency to increase access and improve the rational use of essential medicines
  2. It works under National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
  •  Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above
  • All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) is an independent network of several non government organizations working to increase access and improve the rational use of essential medicines.
  • AIDAN is working towards a world where all people, especially the poor and disadvantaged are able to exercise their human right to health, which requires equitable access to affordable quality health care and essential medicines.
  • AIDAN and its partners recognize that poverty and social injustice are the greatest barriers to health and sustainable development. Partners are working for just societies where people can participate equitably in all decision making that affects their health and well being, including the allocation of resources.

AIDAN works:

  • To promote the essential medicines concept, that fewer than 350 medicines are necessary to treat more than 90% of health problems requiring medicines.
  • To increase access to these essential medicines and ensuring that they are available at affordable prices when treatment is needed, especially for the poor.
  • For greater transparency in all aspects of decision making around pharmaceuticals, for example, by reducing industry secrecy and control over important clinical data.
  • To promote the rational use of medicines: that all medicines marketed should meet real medical needs, have therapeutic advantages, be acceptably safe and offer value for money.
  • For better controls on drug promotion and the provision of balanced, independent information for prescribers and consumers
  • All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) is an national network of several non government organisations founded in 1981 who advocate for a rational drug policy and to increase access and improve the rational use of essential medicines. It works to promote Essential medicine Concept, for better controls on drug promotion and the provision of balanced, independent information for prescribers and consumers.
  • The member organisations of the network are:
  • Drug Action Forum – Karnataka
  • Low Cost Standard Therapeutics
  • Jan Swasthya Sahoyog
  • Saathi – CEHAT
  • Lawyers Collective
  • TEST Foundation
  • AID India
  • Community Health Cell
  • Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
  • AIDAN is a part of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan coalition.

MCQ 2

  • Consider the following statements with regards to Securities Appellate Tribunal
  1. Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) is a statutory body established under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992
  2. The mandate of SAT is to hear and dispose of appeals against the orders passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India only
  • Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
  • Since these powers make SEBI a very powerful body, an appeal process has been created to ensure accountability. For the quasi judicial functions, there is a Securities Appellate Tribunal, which is a three-member tribunal. A second appeal lies directly to the Supreme Court.
  • The first SAT was formed in 1995, through a notification issued by the Central Government and therefore, is a statutory body established under the provisions of Section 15K of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 .
  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal has only one bench that sits at Mumbai and has jurisdiction over all of India.
  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal is not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but is be guided by the principles of natural justice and, subject to the other provisions of Depositories Act, 1996.
  • The Tribunal is a three-member body composed of a Presiding Officer and two other members who are to be nominated via a notification by the Central Government. The Union Government also reserves the right to notify as many SAT’s as is needed.
  • Every proceeding before the Securities Appellate Tribunal is deemed to be a judicial proceeding and the tribunal has all the powers of a Civil Court.
  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal has powers to regulate its own procedure including the places at which it shall have its sittings.
  • To hear and dispose of appeals against orders passed by the securities and exchange board of india or by an adjudicating officer under the act; and to exercise jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on the tribunal by or under this act or any other law for the time being in force.
  • Consequent to government notification no.DL-33004/99 dated 27th may, 2014, SAT hears and disposes of appeals against orders passed by the pension fund regulatory and development authority (PFRDA) under the PFRDA act, 2013.
  • Further, in terms of government notification no.DL-(N)/04/0007/2003- 15 dated 23rd march, 2015, SAT hears and disposes of appeals against orders passed by the insurance regulatory development authority of india (IRDAI) under the insurance act, 1938, the general insurance business (nationalization) act, 1972 and the insurance regulatory and development authority act, 1999 and the rules and regulations framed there under.

MCQ 3

  • Consider the following statements
  1. India is the world’s second largest producer of Turmeric.
  2. Andhra Pradesh is the largest grower of turmeric in the country.
  • Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
  • India is the world’s largest producer of Turmeric.
  • Andhra Pradesh occupies 40 per cent of total turmeric area followed by Orissa and Tamil Nadu occupying 17 per cent and 13 per cent of total turmeric area respectively.
  • On Foundation Day, Odisha receives GI tag for 'Kandhamal Haldi'

MCQ 4

  • Consider the following statements about Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana –“Saubhagya”
  1. Poor households identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 would be provided with free electricity
  2. Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) is the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme
  3. Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) have been subsumed under the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme
  • Select the correct statements
  1.  1 and 2
  2.  2 Only
  3.  1 and 3
  4.  1, 2 and 3
  • The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data. However, un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) is the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) envisage creation of basic electricity infrastructure in villages / habitations, strengthening & augmentation of existing infrastructure, metering of existing feeders / distribution transformers / consumers to improve quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas.
  • Besides this, last mile connectivity and free electricity connections are also provided to BPL households only identified by the States as per their list. However, in villages which are electrified in past for a long period, many households do not have electricity connections for many reasons.
  • Some of the really poor households do not have BPL cards but these households are not capable of paying applicable initial connection charges. There is also lack of awareness as to how to get connection or taking connection is not an easy task for illiterate people. There may not be electricity pole nearby and the cost of erection of additional pole, conductor is also chargeable from the households for obtaining a connection.
  • Similarly in urban areas, Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) provides for creation of necessary infrastructure to provide electricity access but some households are not yet connected mainly on account of their economic condition as they are not capable of paying the initial connection charges.

MCQ 5

  • Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)’
  1. It focuses on feeder separation (households & agricultural)
  2. It focuses on strengthening of sub-transmission & distribution infrastructure including metering at all levels in rural areas
  • Select the correct statements
  1. 1 Only b)
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
  • Integrated Power Development (IPDS) scheme launched by Modi Government was basically a new avatar of Restructured Accelerated Power Development Program of UPA
  • Power Finance Corporation is nodal agency for this scheme.
  • Integrated Power Development Scheme" (IPDS) with the objectives of:
  • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network in the urban areas;
  • Metering of distribution transformers /feeders / consumers in the urban areas.
  • IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network under R-APDRP for 12th and 13th Plans by carrying forward the approved outlay for RAPDRP to IPDS.
  • Schemes for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and IT enablement of balance urban towns are also included under IPDS. Scope of IT enablement has been extended to all 4041 towns as per Census 2011. The scheme will help in reduction in AT&C losses, establishment of IT enabled energy accounting / auditing system, improvement in billed energy based on metered consumption and improvement in collection efficiency.

MCQ 6

  • PRAAPTI App and web portal is associated with
  1.  Power Purchases
  2.  Coal Block Allocation
  3.  Road Safety
  4. Trafficking of Women and Children
  • PRAAPTI App and web portal has been developedto bring transparency
    in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms.
  • A Web portal and an App namely PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators) has been developed to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms.
  • The App and Web Portal will capture the Invoicing and payment data for various long term PPAs from the Generators.
  • This will help the stakeholders in getting month-wise and legacy data on outstanding amounts of Discoms against power purchase.
  • The app will also allow users to know the details related to the payments made by the Discoms to the power generation company and when they were made.
  • PRAAPTI will also enable the consumers to evaluate financial performance of their Discoms in terms of payments being made to the generation companies. The Portal would also help DISCOMs and GENCOs to reconcile their outstanding payments. The portal would facilitate relative assessment of various State DISCOMs on “Ease of making payments” to various Generation Companies, and will also help make transactions in the power Sector more transparent. PRAAPTI App and web portal has been developedto bring transparency in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms.

MCQ 7

  • City located between Caspian sea and Black sea
  1. Ankara
  2. Ashgabat
  3. Tehran
  4. Tbilisi

Serious Setback

  • Quashing of the ‘February 12 circular’ could undo credit discipline in the banking system
  • The Supreme Court order quashing a circular issued by the RBI on resolution of bad loans is a setback to the evolving process for debt resolution. The voiding of the February 12, 2018 circular could slow down and complicate the resolution process for loans aggregating to as much as ₹3.80 lakh crore across 70 large borrowers, according to data from the ratings agency ICRA.
  • The circular had forced banks to recognize defaults by large borrowers with dues of over ₹2,000 crore within a day after an instalment fell due; and if not resolved within six months after that, they had no choice but to refer these accounts for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Mounting bad loans, which crossed 10% of all advances at that point, and the failure of existing schemes such as corporate debt restructuring, stressed asset resolution and the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) to make a dent in resolving them formed the backdrop to this directive.
  • The circular was aimed at breaking the nexus between banks and defaulters, both of whom were content to evergreen loans under available schemes. It introduced a certain credit discipline — banks had to recognise defaults immediately and attempt resolution within a six-month timeframe, while borrowers risked being dragged into the insolvency process and losing control of their enterprises if they did not regularise their accounts.
  • RBI data prove the circular had begun to impact resolution positively.
  • It is this credit discipline that risks being compromised now. It is not surprising that international ratings agency Moody’s has termed the development as “credit negative” for banks.
  • It is true that the circular failed to take into account the peculiarities of specific industries or borrowers and came up with a one-size-fitsall approach. It is also true that not all borrowers were deliberate defaulters, and sectors such as power were laid low by externalities beyond the control of borrowers.
  • The RBI could have addressed these concerns when banks and borrowers from these sectors brought these issues to its notice. By taking a hard line and refusing to heed representations, the RBI may only have harmed its own well-intentioned move. That said, it is now important for the central bank to ensure that the discipline in the system does not slacken. The bond market does not allow any leeway to borrowers in repayment, and there is no reason why bank loans should be any different.
  • The RBI should study the judgment closely, and quickly reframe its guidelines so that they are within the framework of the powers available to it under the law.
  • Else, the good work done in debt resolution in the last one year will be undone.

Turf issues in fighting corruption

  • How the Lokpal, the CVC and the CBI coordinate will be crucial
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 is complicated. This could perhaps not be avoided, given that what was being attempted was a new and bold experiment to pull the anti-corruption campaign out of oblivion. This law was badly needed, if only to lend a modicum of credibility to the process of enhancing the accountability of those in high places, who were cocking a snook at all efforts to demonstrate to the world that India is not second to any other nation in making its public administration clean and fair.
  • Surprisingly, the appointment of India’s first Lokpal has not been received with great excitement. The preoccupation with the general election of all those likely to be affected by the Act may perhaps explain the apathy. Nevertheless, the working of the Act may be expected to be closely followed in the months to come, both by the polity and the legal fraternity, which is how it ought to be in a vibrant democracy.
  • The corruption of public servants in India has become such a menace that something drastically new had to be tried, and appointing the Lokpal at least partially meets this crying need. There is guarded optimism in a few quarters, and considerable cynicism in others, over the likely efficacy of the Lokpal. However, any high expectations that the new mechanism against corruption will measurably transform the scene seem misplaced.

ACTORS AGAINST CORRUPTION

  • There are now three principal actors at the national level in the fight against graft:
  • The Lokpal, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • Some people have misgivings over the independence of the Lokpal. They wonder how it will work with the other two so that the objective of cleansing public life is achieved with reasonable satisfaction. Some critics allege that the Lokpal’s composition was dictated solely by the establishment led by the Prime Minister.
  • But what about the Chief Justice of India, or his nominee, another important member of the Selection Committee? Casting aspersions on the neutrality of the highest judicial authority in the country is unacceptable unless one can prove with reasonable material that he acted in a biased manner in choosing the first Lokpal.
  • The decision of the ‘special invitee’ to stay away from the process on the ground that he was a mere invitee and not a full-fledged member of the Selection Committee is regrettable. The accusation that the process of selection of the Lokpal was not transparent falls flat if someone in the Opposition abstains from participating in the Committee’s decision and denies himself and the nation the chance of knowing and evaluating how open-minded or not the other members were in choosing the members and chairperson of the Lokpal.
  •  â–ª The names proposed by the search committee would be scrutinised by the selection committee
  • Headed by Prime Minister and comprising of Speaker of Lok Sabha,
  • Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha,
  • Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI and an
  • Eminent jurist to be nominated by President of India on basis of recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee through consensus

Jurisdiction Issues

  • To my mind, what is worrying is how well the CVC and CBI are going to play a complementary role in upholding the objective for which the Lokpal has been appointed.
  • The Lokpal has jurisdiction over Group A and B public servants. This does not deprive the CBI of its own jurisdiction over these two groups.
  • The Lokpal Act permits using the CBI (referred to by the Act as the Delhi Special Police Establishment, from which the CBI was born) for examining a complaint against a public servant for misconduct. Although the Lokpal has its own Inquiry Wing, it can nevertheless forward a complaint to the CBI for a preliminary inquiry, and thereafter for registering a regular case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • It is not clear what happens when such a complaint is already being inquired into by the CBI. Legally speaking, the government, in addition to the Lokpal, is competent to order a preliminary inquiry and permit the CBI to proceed with a regular case.
  • What is also to be remembered is that the CBI can register a case even without the government’s nod in instances in which a public servant is caught red-handed while receiving a bribe.
  • If an individual lodges a complaint with the government and the Lokpal, what should the Lokpal do? Does it have the authority to give direction to the CBI to keep its hands off the matter and wait for the Lokpal’s own Inquiry Wing to handle the matter?
  • The Act creates a Prosecution Wing exclusively for the Lokpal. How will that body coordinate with the CBI’s Director of Prosecution in respect of a matter handled by both of them? It is a common practice for complainants in India to dash off their complaints to a host of agencies. There is a distinct prospect of a clash between the government (which has greater powers of superintendence over the CBI than the Lokpal) and the Lokpal over a wide spectrum of issues.
  • The Act gives the impression that superintendency over the CBI is shared by the Lokpal and the government, and neither is in exclusive command of the former. Can the Lokpal order the CBI to suspend its inquiry in respect of a complaint and report on it to the exclusion of the government?
  • The initial days are going to be difficult in terms of coordination. Everything will depend on how well the Lokpal and the government sink their egos and concentrate on the fundamental objective of striking at corruption without getting bogged down by technicalities.
  • All these imponderables, however, do not reduce the utility of a highly placed ombudsman. It may finally boil down to Justice Ghose’s perception of what his role is. He can certainly shape the future of this experiment.