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Here are the topics covered for 14 August 2023: 19th Round of India-China Corps Commander Talks, RBI to use Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Court Vacations, Parliament Privileges, Three New Bills, POCSO, Remittances, Vindhyagiri, PM-USHA, Maya OS.
19th Round of India-China Corps Commander Talks
- India and China are set to hold the 19th round of Corps Commander talks on 14th August at Chushul as part of ongoing efforts to resolve the standoff in eastern Ladakh.
- Recent Developments:
- The Indian delegation at the talks is going to seek completion of the disengagement process in the remaining friction points at the earliest.
- Both India and China troops are locked in an over three-year standoff in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh.
- During the 18th round of the military dialogue India has strongly pressed for resolving the lingering issues at Depsang and Demchok.
- Leaders of both countries have highlighted the need to stabilize bilateral relations during the G-20 Summit in Bali in 2022.
- India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in 2022, pointed out that the situation in the western sector on the India-China boundary since 2020 had ‘eroded the strategic trust and the public & political basis’.
- India has maintained its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.
- Reasons for Border Dispute between India & China:
- On the Western side, Johnson’s line shows Aksai Chin under India’s influence, while McDonald’s line is under China’s influence.
- On the Eastern side, the McMahon Line is regarded as illegal by China. China claims that the majority of Arunachal Pradesh is a part of Southern Tibet.
- Along the LAC, China claims around 90,000 sq km of India’s domain in the upper east, including Arunachal, while India says 38,000 sq km of land in China-involved Aksai Jaw ought to be a piece of Ladakh.
RBI to use Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- The Reserve Bank of India has selected McKinsey & Company, Accenture Solutions to develop systems using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for its supervisory functions.
- The RBI is looking to extensively use advanced analytics, AI and ML to analyse its huge database and improve regulatory supervision over banks and NBFCs.
- The RBI is also planning to hire external experts to better implementation.
- The RBI in September 2022, has also invited expressions of interest (EoI) for engaging consultants for the use of advanced analytics, AI and ML for generating supervisory inputs.
- Based on the EoI document, the central bank had shortlisted seven applicants to participate in the request for proposal process (RPF) for the selection of consultants.
- RBI’s Supervisory Jurisdiction:
- The RBI is already using AI and ML in its supervisory process, it now intends to upscale it to ensure that the benefits of advanced analytics can increase to the Department of Supervision in the central bank.
- With this development, the RBI is aiming that the Department of Supervision shall explore the data to identify its attributes that can be leveraged to generate new and improved supervisory inputs.
- The supervisory jurisdiction of the RBI extends over banks, urban cooperative banks, NBFCs, payment banks, small finance banks, local area banks, credit information companies and select all Indian financial institutions.
- It undertakes supervision of entities with the objective of assessing their financial soundness, solvency, asset quality, governance framework, liquidity, and operational viability to protect depositors’ interests and financial stability.
- A recent report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice recommended that the entire High Court going on vacation en masse causes deep inconvenience to the litigants.
- About the Report:
- The recommendations made in the 133rd report of the parliamentary panel reiterated a suggestion made by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) R.M Lodha on court vacations.
- The report highlighted the two reasons for doing away the court vacations:
- Huge pendency of cases in High Courts
- The inconvenience faced by the litigants during court vacations
- The report suggested that High Court judges shall take turns going on vacation to tackle the mounting pendency of cases.
- Other Recommendations:
- The Law Commission in its 230th report ‘Reforms in the Judiciary, suggested that the courts’ vacations be cut down by 10-15 days at all levels of the judiciary to help cut the backlog of cases.
- The Malimath Committee in 2003 recommended that the period of vacation should be reduced by 21 days. It also suggested that the Supreme Court should work for 206 days, and the High Courts for 231 days a year.
- Current Scenario:
- The Supreme Court has 193 working days a year.
- Supreme Court takes seven weeks break starting at the end of May.
- It also takes week-long breaks for Dussehra and Diwali and two weeks at the end of December.
- Whereas, the High Courts work for 210 days, and trial courts for 245 days.
- High Courts have the power to structure their calendars according to the service rules.
- Despite these vacations, the Supreme has many working days as compared with the highest courts in other countries.
- With respect to important cases, Vacation Benches comprising two or three judges hear important cases that cannot wait such as bail, eviction, etc.
- The Supreme Court has 193 working days a year.
- Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar has directed the Rajya Sabha Privileges Committee to investigate the complaints that accused AAP member Raghav Chadha of proposing their name for a House panel without their consent in violation of rules.
- What are Parliamentary Privileges?
- Parliament and its Members have certain rights and immunities that enable them to function effectively in their legislative roles. These are called parliamentary privileges.
- These privileges are defined in Article 105 of the Indian Constitution.
- Parliamentary privileges are a mix of provisions in the Constitution, statutes, House procedures and conventions.
- The Code of Civil Procedure of the Privileges protects members from arrest and detention under civil cases (and not criminal cases) during a parliamentary session, and for a specified period before it begins and after it ends.
- The Breach of Privilege:
- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have the authority to take suitable action against anyone who breaches the privileges of its members or commits contempt of the House.
- There are two mechanisms by which parliament takes up these matters:
- A member raising the issue on the floor of the House
- Then the House decides on it
- The House then send the matter for a detailed examination to their Privilege Committee. The Committee then recommends to the House a course of action which is then accepted by it.
- MPs can also bring matters of breach of privilege to the notice of the presiding officers of their respective Houses who will decide whether or not to send the case to the Privileges Committee.
- Actions Taken by the Committee:
- The Committee has the power to recommend to the House for issuance of admonitions, reprimands, suspension and, in rare cases, expulsion from the House.
- In 1978, Lok Sabha Privileges Committee recommended the expulsion of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
- In 2009, in a case of BJP MPs displaying bundles of cash in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the confidence motion, the committee held their actions to be contempt of the House.
- The Rajya Sabha Privileges Committee in its 2009 report, said that a responsibility lay on the senior members of a political party to restrain their MPs from disrupting the House.
Three New Bills
- The union Home minister has recently tabled three new bills in Parliament. These bills were set to repeal the Indian Penal Code of 1860; the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 (reenacted in 1973) and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.
- The three new Bill were named as follows:
- The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023,
- Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) Bill, 2023, and
- the Bharatiya Sakshya (BS) Bill, 2023.
- Features of the Bills:
- As many as 313 changes have been proposed in the three criminal laws and the objective is to ensure that people who approach the courts get justice within three years.
- Among the significant changes proposed in the BNS Bill is the scrapping of Section 124A, which deals with sedition, along with the addition of a new section to prescribe punishments for secession, armed rebellion, subversive activities, separatist activities, or activities that endanger the sovereignty, or unity and integrity of India.
- The bill proposes punishment for mob lynching which can go up to the death penalty.
- A new provision has been inserted with 10 years imprisonment for sexual intercourse with women on the false promise of marriage.
- The bill, however, states that “sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under eighteen years of age, is not rape”.
- For crimes against women, video recording of the statement of survivors has been made compulsory.
- If a case punishable by seven years or more is to be withdrawn, the police must consult the victim before doing so.
- On prosecution of government officers, the law proposes to decide prosecution sanction against civil servants within 120 days, or else it will be deemed to be permitted.
Facts for Prelims
- Enacted in June 2012 with the title of ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012’.
- The Act comes under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Ministry defined this Act as follows:
- An Act to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and provide for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- Before the implementation of the POCSO Act, the Goa Children’s Act, 2003, was the only specific piece of child abuse legislation.
- “Children” according to the Act are individuals aged below 18 years. The Act is gender-neutral.
- Adequate provisions are made to avoid re-victimization of the Child at the hands of the judicial system.
- As per Finance Ministry, the remittances in India by non-resident Indians rose 26% on year to about $112.5 billion in FY23. The remittances in FY2022 were $89.1 billion.
- India continues to be the top recipient of remittances globally for the last several years.
- The increased remittances indicate that the trend of sustained and fast paced increase in “personal transfers” to India.
- The surge in remittances is at a time when FDI flows across national borders seem to have slowed.
- The RBI data from 2021-21, showed that the USA was the top source with a share of 23.4% in total remittances.
- Private remittances are a major boost to India’s current account, even as the country’s merchandise trade often results in a deficit.
- President Droupadi Murmu will launch Vindhyagiri, a Project 17A frigate, at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata, on August 17.
- Named after a mountain range in Karnataka, Vindhyagiri is the sixth ship of the Project 17A frigates.
- Under the Project 17A programme, four ships by Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) are under construction.
- The project’s first five ships were launched by MDL and GRSE, between 2019-2022.
- INS Vindhyagiri—which was the sixth and last of the Nilgiri class frigates—in its nearly 31 years of service from 8 July 1981 to 11 June 2012, had seen many multinational exercises and performed maritime surveillance, coastal patrol and anti-piracy operations. It was decommissioned after being damaged in an accident with a merchant vessel in 2011.
- The Project 17A ships have been designed in-house by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau.
- According to the Navy, as much as 75% of the orders for equipment and systems of Project 17A ships are from indigenous firms, including MSMEs.
- PM-USHA is the new name for the Ministry’s scheme to improve the quality of higher education in State Universities — through curricular and programme changes, teacher training, physical and digital infrastructure, accreditation, and enhancing employability — while ensuring equity, access, and inclusion.
- It provides an outlay of ₹12,926.10 crore between 2023-24 and 2025-26.
- The MoU is being signed to show the willingness of States and UTs to participate in the PM-USHA scheme and it will help in the better implementation of the scheme. So far 22 states have signed MoUs.
- India’s Defence Ministry has decided to replace the Microsoft Operation System (OS) in all its computers that can connect to the Internet with Maya, an Ubuntu-based OS built locally.
- The new OS is currently being rolled out only in the Defence Ministry computers, and not the three Services.
- Maya has been developed by the Indian government agencies within six months, and it is aimed at preventing malware attacks by cybercriminals who are increasingly targeting critical infrastructure and government agencies.
- The new OS will be backed by a protection system called Chakravyuh.
- This end point system is also being deployed in the computers that have Maya installed.