OCI - Overseas Citizens of India
GS Paper 2 - Citizenship
Why in News?
- The government has notified a consolidated list of rights that Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) enjoy, spelling out that holders of OCI cards would need prior permission for a set of activities that include research, journalism, mountaineering, missionary or Tablighi work, and visits to restricted areas.
- In March 2020, when the nationwide lockdown was in force following the coronavirus outbreak, over 2,500 Tablighi Jamaat members were found to be residing at the organisation's headquarters in Delhi despite the guidelines and orders issued against large congregations of people.
- These rights and restrictions are not new, due to confusion over certain rights given to OCI cardholders with regard to their appearance for competitive exams in India, a consolidated notification had to be issued with some clarifications.
Who are OCI Citizens ?
- OCI citizens are of Indian origin but they are foreign passport holders and are not citizens of India. India does not allow dual citizenship but provides certain benefits under Section 7B(I) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 to the OCIs.
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 introduced OCI Act because of the constant demands for dual citizenship by the Indian dispersion.
- Overseas citizens were provided many of the rights available to Indian residents due to this Act.
Provisions by Constitution
- From Articles 5 to 11 under Part II of constitution, citizenship provisions are mentioned. It identifies the persons who became citizens of India on 26th January 1950.
- Parliament is empowered to enact a law in regards with the matters relating to citizenship. It has enacted the Citizenship Act, 1955, which has been amended in 2015.
Government of India may register any person as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) under section 7A.
- A person having a citizenship of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, constitution was commenced; or
- A person having a citizenship of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time constitution was commenced;.
- A person having a citizenship of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947.
- Any person who is a child or a grand-child of an aforementioned citizen.
- Any person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned above.
- If the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible to be registered as OCI.
The category was introduced by the government in 2005 and the Government of India via Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015 merged the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) category with OCI category in 2015.
The notification in the Gazette for OCI card holders:
- OCI cardholders will enjoy parity with Non Resident Indians (NRIs) in adoption of children, appearing in competitive exams, purchase or sale of immovable property barring agricultural land and farmhouses, and pursuing professions such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and chartered accountants.
- The right of multiple entry lifelong visa for “any purpose” can be enjoyed provided the OCI obtains a special permission from “the competent authority” or the FRRO for the following activities:
- to undertake research;
- to undertake any Missionary or Tabligh or Mountaineering or Journalistic activities;
- to undertake internship in any foreign Diplomatic Missions or foreign Government organisations in India or to take up employment in any foreign Diplomatic Missions in India;
- to visit any place which falls within the Protected or Restricted or prohibited areas as notified by the Central Government or competent authority.
- OCIs can appear for all-India entrance tests such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (Mains), Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) or such other tests to make them eligible for admission only against any Non-Resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat.
- The OCI cardholder shall not be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens.
- Exemption from registration with the FRRO can be enjoyed provided the OCI cardholder intimates the FRRO by email whenever there is a change in their permanent residential address and occupation.
- There will be no restriction in visiting religious places and attending normal religious activities like attending religious discourses.
- However, preaching religious ideologies, making speeches in religious places, distribution of audio or visual display/pamphlets pertaining to religious ideologies, spreading conversion etc. will not be allowed
- The OCI cardholder shall have the same rights and privileges as a foreigner, in respect of all other economic, financial and educational fields not specified in the notification or the rights and privileges not covered by the notifications made by the Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999).
Source: https://www.indiatimes.com/ + Indian Express + https://ociservices.gov.in/
Judicial process reforms
GS Paper 2 - Judiciary
- The objective of the judicial system is not merely to resolve disputes, but also to uphold justice. This could be implemented by removing obstacles like delay in the delivery of justice. - Honourable President of India.
Why in News?
- President of India inaugurates the All India State Judicial Academies Directors’ Retreat.
The use of Information Communication Technology in the judicial system has increased rapidly. Due to which transparency and speed of processes has been increased exponentially in judiciary.
- More than 18,000 courts have been computerized in the country.
- Till January 2021 including the lockdown period, around 76 lakh cases were heard in virtual courts across the country.
- Initiatives like National Judicial Data Grid, Unique Identification Code and QR Code are being appreciated globally.
- With the help of e-courts, video conferencing, e-proceedings, e-filing and e-seva centers, it is easier for the judicial administration to dispense justice.
- Another benefit of this technological intervention is that due to these initiatives, use of papers has decreased, which helps conserve the natural resources.
- Supreme Court has made available translations of its decisions in nine Indian languages. Some High Courts are also providing translations of their verdicts in local languages.
- To provide 'speedy delivery of justice', it is essential that besides extensive judicial training, there is need to introduce the use of technology in judicial processes.
- It is necessary for the judiciary to play a pro-active role while being vigilant in resolving the loop-holes present in court proceedings and procedures.
- This goal can be achieved by adopting innovations taking place at national and international levels and sharing best practices.
Questions for Practice.
What can we do to use the technology in order to simplify the processes for the people, in their own language, with the aim to provide speedy, accessible and affordable justice?
How can we expand the scope of alternative justice systems like arbitration, mediation, Lok Adalats?
What steps can be taken to reduce the number of government lawsuits?
Hoshangabad district renamed to Narmadapuram
GS Paper 2 - Governance
History of nomenclature
- Hoshangabad was named after Hushang Shah Gauri, the second sultan of Malwa who is said to have ruled the region between 1405-1435.
- The place was known as Narmadapuram in the seventh century but was renamed after Hushang arrived there.
Why in News?
- The Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a private motion to rename Hoshangabad district as Narmadapuram.
- It was a long pending demand of the people of Hoshangabad district, who live along the banks of the river Narmada to rename Hoshangabad.
- Since, Narmada is the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh they wanted Hoshangabad to be renamed after the lifeline Narmada and not after Hoshang Shah who is considered as an attacker by them.
- This is a matter of respecting the public sentiments.
- Narmada is India’s 6th longest river flowing a distance of 1312 km through the Central Indian highlands, which is a globally significant biodiverse region that supports more than 30% of India’s tiger population.
- The river and its basin of 23 million acres provides water, food and livelihood to more than 25 million people, as well as supports roughly 8 million acres of forests.
- Restoring the Narmada is a national priority for India, and the government has launched a massive effort to undertake large scale reforestation activities along its riverbanks to protect riparian zones.
- Reforesting Narmada’s riverbanks would increase natural habitat and improve connectivity between important forests for safe movement of wildlife; contribute to India’s climate commitment of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 – 3 billion tonnes of CO2 eq through reforestation; as well as create income and jobs for rural communities, along with providing ecosystem services.
Gripen Fighter Aircraft
GS Paper 3- Defence
- The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB.
Why in news?
- PM of India reiterates defense ties with Sweden.
- Swedish company Saab, is interested in making fighter jets in India, and claims to offer a totally Make in India solution, including technology transfer and setting up of local capabilities.
- Saab makes the fighter jet “Gripen”, which is one of the seven companies in the race for the multi-billion dollar multi-role fighter aircraft (MRFA) project. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has floated a tender to seek 114 such jets and is looking for a make in India in partnership with a foreign supplier.
Refuge crisis in India due to unrest in neighbourhood
GS Paper 2 - International Relation
Why in News?
- Due to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, many Myanmar Nationals are trying to find the refuge in India.
- More than 100 people have crossed over from Myanmar to escape a military crackdown there.
- 15 people took refuge in Champhai district and eight in Serchhip district.
- Mizoram government has issued a standard operating procedure for the identification of the refugees.
- People from across the border have been trickling in after crossing river Tiau that runs along a long stretch of Mizoram’s 404 km border with Myanmar.
- More than 100 people must have come in and more are desperate to come in Farkawn village and her helped by local residents on humanitarian grounds as directed by the local authorities.
- Farkawn is in Champhai district and close to the border with Myanmar.
- Assam Rifles personnel have prevented some 80 Myanmar nationals from entering.
- Indian government is regarding refugees and providing shelter and protection to those who are in danger of persecution from the Myanmar military junta.
Source- The Hindu
China’s Defence Budget
GS Paper 2 - International Relations
GS Paper 3 - Defence
Why in News?
- China’s defence budget will for the first time cross $200 billion with the government announcing a 6.8% hike in defence spending for 2021.
- India also announced a record 18.5% increase in capital outlay to ₹1.35 lakh crore ($18.4 billion).
- In China, spending on pensions is not entirely from the defence budget, as it is also shared by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and provincial (state) governments, although part of the budget’s personnel allocation goes towards pensions.
- China also spends less than India on import acquisitions.
- China’s defence spending has evolved to reflect its ongoing modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with a shift away from the traditionally dominant army and a greater share going to the PLA Navy, the Rocket Force which is in charge of missiles, and the Strategic Support Force, which includes cyber warfare.
- This year, China will launch its third aircraft carrier, which will be its second homegrown one. The PLA Navy in 2019 unveiled its first home grown aircraft carrier, and two more are under construction.
- This will take China’s defence spending to more than four times India’s $49.75 billion budget, not including pensions.
- China has also announced a target for the PLA to complete its modernisation by 2050, by when it hopes its military will be “world class”.
Source- the Hindu
OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer
GS Paper 3 - Manufacturing Sector - Atmnirbhar Bharat
- An Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM is a company that manufactures and sells products or parts of a product that their buyer, another company, sells to its own customers while putting the products under its own branding.
- OEMs commonly operate in the auto and computer industries.
Why in News?
- The auto sector pitched for incentives to encourage domestic value addition to leverage on the $25billion import substitution opportunity, cautioning that such schemes should not ‘cannibalise’ the existing exporters by incentivising new players.
- There is a need to incentivise, encourage and support Indian auto OEMs and auto component companies to develop on a global scale and create large Indian MNCs.
- The industry recommended that investments in technology development, R&D and innovation should be incentivised along with a need for longterm, stable, mutually agreed technology and a regulatory roadmap to encourage localisation.
SIAM - Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers
- The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is a non for profit apex national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India.
- SIAM works towards supporting sustainable development of the Indian Automobile Industry with the vision that India emerges as the destination of choice in the world for design and manufacture of automobiles.
- It works towards facilitating enhancement of the competitiveness of the Indian Automobile Industry, reducing cost of vehicles, increasing productivity and achieving global standards of quality.
- SIAM provides a window to the Automobile Industry in India and works closely with stakeholders in the formulation of the economic and commercial policies, regulations and standards relating to automobiles.
- It provides economic and statistical information as well as technical and public policy services to the stakeholders on behalf of Indian Automobile Industry.
- It publishes Monthly Industry Statistics, Monthly Commodity Price Monitor and other periodic reports.
- It also organises seminars and workshops on the topics of topical relevance and interest to the industry. For carrying out various public policy activities, particularly in the field of road safety and environment, SIAM has partnered with other stake holders and set up the Society for Automotive Fitness & Environment (SAFE).
- SIAM works closely with the Government and with international bodies. SIAM aims to promote safety, address air quality improvement, compliance with standards and promotes growth with responsibility.
To achieve this, SIAM focuses on several area:
- Improve Indian automotive industry’s competitiveness
- Promote development of a sustainable mobility eco-system
- Promote development of Alternative Energy Vehicles
- Achievement of leadership in innovative technology
Source : The Hindu + https://www.siam.in/ + https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/
RBI - Reserve Bank of India
GS Paper 3 - Banking Sector
Why in News?
- The government is expected to retain the medium term inflation target at 4 per cent, with inflation band at 2-6 per cent, for the next five years.
- There was a proposal before the government to increase the band from the current level in the wake of the sluggish growth induced by the Covid pandemic.
- The institutional framework was endorsed in the amendment of the RBI Act.
- Agreement on the Monetary Policy Framework was set in August 2016 for a five-year period which is ending in March 2021.
- The pact between the government and the central bank for the next five-year period is expected to be signed soon. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to rein in the inflation within the band agreed to by the government and the RBI.
- If the MPC fails to keep inflation in the band for three consecutive quarters, the RBI governor would have to write to Parliament as to why it failed and what corrective action needed to achieve the target.
- The RBI recently proposed modification in the definition of failure from the current three consecutive quarters norm of inflation remaining outside the tolerance band to four consecutive quarters.
- Flexibility must be built into the framework, without undermining the discipline of the inflation target, to ensure that inflation expectations are firmly anchored over the medium term to facilitate decisions on investment, savings and consumption.
- The inflation targeting agreement, formulated in line with the recommendations of the Urjit Patel committee, is expected to smoothen the monetary policy reviews, providing a predictable policy stance on inflation that will help investors, especially in the debt market. Besides, the large fiscal deficit because of the Centre’s borrowings is likely to impact inflation and bond yields.
Source : PIB
Tech Bharat 2021
GS Paper 3 - Science & Tech
- Tech Bharat is facilitating interactions & deliberations between thousands of domestic & global participants, including policy makers, government representatives, industry members, investors & start-ups to nurture resourceful partnerships and boost growth in the sectors.
Why in News?
- Laghu Udyog Bharati and IMS Foundation have organized the 2nd edition the e-conclave bringing together stakeholders from HealthTech & Edutech sectors.
Key Points of e-Conclave
- Increase of 137 percent in budgetary allocation which is the total sum of more than 2.2 lakh Crore for the healthcare sector ensures-Healthier lives of citizens
- Employment opportunities
- Strengthening of India’s healthcare infrastructure
- Will focus on areas of preventive health and holistic well-being.
- The funding for the healthcare sector needs to be stepped up greatly so that there is equity in the delivery of healthcare.
- This means the improvement in government facilities for the poor along with lowering of prices of essential drugs and health equipment.
Need to go back to Indian roots-
- There is a need to incorporate science-backed, research-based benefits of India’s traditional practices of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha in the delivery of healthcare and encourage country’s medical fraternity to incorporate these as part of a holistic healthcare package ensuring physical, mental and spiritual well-being of an individual.
Contribution of Mission Poshan Scheme 2.0-
- Will strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes.
- This will merge supplementary nutritional programmes and Poshan Abhiyan and is proposed to adopt and intensify strategy to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts.
Schemes focussing on the holistic health of Citizens-
- Jal Jeevan Mission, the second phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) and the Clean Air Initiative are designed to reduce the disease burden of communicable diseases by curbing their transmission and prevent those caused by pollution.
Pradhan Mantri Aatma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana
- The scheme with a massive outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over the next 6 years, will develop capacities of primary, secondary and tertiary care, health care systems, develop institutions for detection and cure of new and emerging diseases and strengthen the existing National Health Mission independent of it.
- The scheme will strengthen 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres, set up integrated public health labs in all districts and 3,382 block public health units in 11 States establish critical care hospital blocks in 602 districts and 12 central institutions.
Source : PIB
Mud Hive Beekeeping Technology
- This technology, adopted by farmers have enhanced apple production resulting in an increase in the income of apple growers about 1.25 times.
- The technology has brought about better colony growth & less swarming as compared to earlier used wooden boxes because of the favourable conditions they created.
- Introduction of indigenous bees, which can survive better in the apple growing areas, to replace the Italian bees through this technology has helped increase the average productivity of apple orchards by around 25 percent.
- In existing mud hives, provisions for easy cleaning inside mud hive were introduced by putting aluminium sheets at the base of mud hive.
- This sheet is sealed with cow dung paste and can be removed for cleaning without opening the mud hive.
- The rooftop of mud hive was also made up of stone slate, which gives better protection and maintains favourable temperature inside mud hive. The technology has also helped in the extraction of honey in hygienic manner using honey extractors as in wooden boxes and introduced better management practices, such as feeding, inspection, union, and division of colonies as compared to traditional wall hives.
- A common facility centre (CFC) has been established in the village, and farmers have been trained in processing and packing honey. They are also selling honey at Rs. 500-600/kg at the local level.
Mud Hive Technology is a combination of wall hive & wooden hive technology, with a habitat like wall hive. It has inbuilt provision for putting frames inside the mud hive and more favourable conditions, especially temperature for bees throughout the year as compared to wooden hives.
- The need-based S&T interventions have helped farmers of Chamba, an aspirational district, and Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh taste new options of livelihood and dream for a better life.