Penalty on Google
Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?
Recently, the Competition Commission of India has imposed a fine of Rs 1,337.76 crore on Google for unfair activities.
In detail –
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore on Google.
- The action was taken for misusing its strong position in the market in the Android mobile devices sector.
- Further, the CCI has directed the leading internet company to stop and stop unfair business activities.
- Google has also been directed to revise its way of functioning within a stipulated time-frame, the commission said in a statement.
- In April 2019, the CCI had ordered a detailed probe into the matter following complaints from consumers of Android-based smartphones in the country.
- According to reports, a two-year investigation ordered by the CCI found that Google India was guilty of competition and innovation in the market to maintain its dominance in search, music, browser, app library and other key services.
Reason behind Penalty
- Smart mobile devices require an operating system (OS) to run apps and programs.
- Android OS is a mobile operating system that was acquired by Google in 2005.
- Google operates and manages the Android OS (Operating System) and also issues licenses to other companies for this.
- Google’s OS and app are used by OEMs i.e. original equipment manufacturers for their mobile devices.
- Many agreements are being made regarding the use of OS and app, such as mobile application distribution agreement (MADA) and anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA), these are accused of unfair business practices.
- The investigation also alleges that Google imposes unilateral contracts on devices and app manufacturers.
Google fined before
- Earlier, according to the CCI order, on February 8, 2018, Google was fined Rs 135.86 crore.
- At that time too, the CCI had found Google guilty of misusing its strong position in the online search and advertising market.
- Significantly, the amount of penalty on Google was Rs 135.86 crore, 5 percent of the average revenue earned by the company in India in fy 2013, 14, and 15.
Other Actions of CCI
- Earlier, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had also taken action against MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and OYO for unfair trade practices.
- These companies were fined a total of Rs 392 crore by the CCI.
- In its 131-page order, the commission said a penalty of Rs 223.48 crore has been imposed on MakeMyTrip-Goibio (MMT-GO) and Rs 168.88 crore on OYO.
- MMT-GO was accused of enforcing price parity in its agreements with hotel partners.
About Competition Commission of India
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a regulatory body in India.
- The objective is to promote clean competition so that the market can be made an instrument of interest for consumers.
- It is a statutory body within the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and is responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 to promote competition and prevent activities that have a considerable adverse impact on competition in India.
- The CCI looks into the cases and examines them to see if this has a negative impact on competition.
- The Commission was set up on 14th October, 2003 under the Competition Act, 2002.
Why the need?
- Fair competition in the market ensures consumers have easy access to a wide range of goods and services at competitive prices.
- Business enterprises adopt a variety of strategies and tactics to protect their interests.
- They get together to gain more power and influence that can be detrimental to consumers’ interests.
- Many times, methods such as wrong pricing, deliberate reduction in product inputs to increase prices, creation of barriers to entry, allocation of markets, alliances in sales, overpricing and discriminatory pricing are adopted by them.
- Therefore, it is necessary not only to prevent the formation of monopolies or business combinations, but also to promote a fair and healthy competition so that consumers can get a better price for their purchases.
Keeping in view the economic development of India, the Competition Act provides for the establishment of a Competition Commission so as to achieve the following objectives:
- Preventing practices that adversely affect competition
- promote competition in the market and maintain
- Protecting the interests of consumers
- To ensure freedom of trade to be done by other participants for matters connected connected with or other than the Indian market
Composition of commission
- As per the Competition Act, the Commission consists of a Chairperson and six members appointed by the Central Government.
- The Competition Commission of India is presently functioning with a Chairman and two members.
- The current Chairman of CCI is Ashok Kumar Gupta, who was appointed to the role in 2018 besides two other members Smt. Sangeeta Verma and Shri Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi.
Functions and powers of CCI
- The Competition Commission of India should undertake the task of preventing anti-competitive agreements and misuse of monopolies through an investigative process and to regulate combinations (mergers or alliances or acquisitions).
- The authority constituted under any law (statutory authority)/ should give its opinion on the competition issue in respect of the reference received from the Central Government.
- CCI is also mandated to provide advocacy, public awareness and training on competition issues.
- The Central Government or any State Government or an authority constituted under any law can refer for investigation.
- The commission itself can initiate an inquiry on the basis of its knowledge or knowledge. In cases of anti-competitive agreement and abuse of key positions, the Commission may pass the following orders:
- During the course of investigation, the Commission may grant interim relief to one party by preventing it from an anti-competitive agreement or abuse of dominant position.
- Penalty maximum 10 per cent of the gross turnover of the enterprise and three times the profit received from the cartel in respect of the cartel or ten per cent of the gross turnover of the enterprise, whichever is higher.
- After investigation, the Commission may direct the erring enterprise to refrain from anti-competitive agreement or misuse of dominant position and not to re-enter into it.
- provide compensation
- Improve the agreement
- To recommend its division to the Central Government if an enterprise is taking advantage of the dominant position.
Sources – TH
Paper 3 – Environmental Pollution
Why Should You Know?
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched Mission Life at the Statue of Unity in Ekta Nagar, Kevadia, Gujarat, after participating in a bilateral meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Shri Antonio Guterres, on 20 October 2022.
In detail –
- Mission LiFE is a global initiative by India to help the world in the fight against climate change and lead a sustainable way of life to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.
- “The mantra of Mission LiFE is ‘life-style for environment’. It combines the powers of the people for the protection of this earth and teaches them to use them better.
- Mission LiFE democratizes the fight against climate change in which everyone can contribute to the best of their ability.
- Mission LiFE makes all of us trustees of the environment. A trustee is one who does not allow indiscriminate use of resources. A trustee works as a nurturer and not as an exploiter.
- This mission inspires us to protect the environment. People can save the environment by improving their lifestyle.
- Unity is the most important factor in life against climate change and people have to understand it.
- Mission LiFE will include every lifestyle related to the conservation of nature, which was adopted by our ancestors and which can be made a part of our lifestyle today.
Theory of Mission LiFE
- Mission LiFE works on the principle of strengthening the concept of P-3 model. P-3 i.e. Pro-Planet- People.
- Mission LiFE connects the people of the earth as pro planet people, incorporating everyone into their thoughts, making them one.
- It runs on the basic principle of ‘Lifestyle of the Planet, for the Planet and by the Planet’. It motivates people to make changes in their routine that can secure the environment.
Objective of Mission LiFE
- ‘Mission LiFE ‘ aims to follow a three-tier strategy to change people’s collective attitude towards sustainability.
- The first of all is to motivate people to do environmentally friendly tasks in their daily lives.
- This is followed by enabling industries and markets to respond swiftly to changing demand (supply) and influencing government and industrial policy to support long-term consumption and production (policy).
- ‘Mission LiFE’ will appeal to the world for a new beginning. It will inspire us to take an oath to save the environment and work towards conservation besides becoming a fighter.
- Awareness will also be created about small things in Mission LiFE.
- This includes the use of cloth bags in place of plastic bags, keeping the engine of the vehicle closed at traffic signals and preventing misuse of water and respecting food.
- ‘Mission LiFE’ was launched by Prime Minister Modi at the COP26 Summit on Climate Change held in Glasgow in November 2021.
- LiFE stands for Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE ).
- It aims to mitigate the impacts of climate change by implementing large-scale measures and actions at the individual and community level.
- It is now expected to become a global mass movement led by India.
Source – TH
The Russia-Ukraine War and the Crisis in Europe-Asia
Paper 3 – International Issues
Why Should You Know?
The European economy is being badly affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. The Western alliance is fighting tensions. Recently, the British Prime Minister also resigned due to the same crisis.
In detail –
- Liz Truss’s exit as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in just 45 days in office adds an additional element of uncertainty to the region that was already in deep crisis.
- If the Russia-Ukraine war is affecting only Europe and the West, then it is not so at all. Its effect is clearly visible throughout Asia.
- China is already facing a drought disaster that has put power generation in crisis. Even after importing oil from Russia in India, the demand for energy is also increasing rapidly. Therefore, it also needs to move fast towards clean energy.
- At the same time, nuclear energy is also being considered due to the energy crisis in Japan and South Korea.
- Indonesia has its own problems, so Ukraine is finding it difficult to overcome its internal economic crisis due to the war with Sri Lanka. There is no doubt that the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war is deepening on Asia.
Massive economic pain
- Since the beginning of the war, there has been a massive strategic change in Europe, which could not have been imagined until nine months ago.
- European nations suppressed deep differences and united as liberal democracies against vladimir putin’s aggression.
- They are now more committed to strengthening the base of NATO and collective security and the transatlantic partnership with the US than at any time since World War II.
- Finland and Sweden are set to join the security group.
- Berlin’s decision to abandon seven decades of pacifism to strengthen its military, build more weapons and send weapons to Kiev was a turning point.
- The European Union has relaxed its immigration laws to accommodate refugees from Ukraine.
- War has had serious consequences across the continent. Economic suffering continues to increase daily, and with no end to the fight, Europe is bearing the brunt of energy shortages, high inflation, and angry people.
- Forty percent of Europe’s gas comes from Russia – Germany is the largest consumer – and even after the sanctions, EU countries continued with gas imports.
- Punitive cuts by Putin have reduced supplies by about 90 percent. European leaders accused Moscow of supplying “armed” gas.
- Nord Stream, a 1,200-km-long gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, has been closed since August, when Russia shut it down for maintenance work.
- EU countries around the Baltic Sea fear the war could come geographically closer.
- Inflation in Germany is increasing at the rate of 10 percent. Earlier this month, Germany announced it would immediately implement a 96 billion euro plan to ease pressure from rising gas prices on consumers.
- Four German think tanks – the IFO Institute in Munich, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the Halle Institute for Economic Research, and the RWI-Leibniz Institute for Economic Research – that make twice-yearly forecasts on the German economy cut their April growth projections from 3.7 per cent to 1.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent to -0.4 per cent for 2023.
- In a joint statement, the institutions said rising gas prices would push Germany into recession.
Tough test for alliance
- The concern is whether this economic pressure can ease – and perhaps end? The meeting in Brussels on October 20-21 is expected to strengthen the coalition against this tension.
- In this, the European camp is showing division, in which one side believes that only Ukraine can end this war, while some believe that the end of the war is only in Putin’s hands.
- European Council President Charles Michel said that the energy crisis is currently on Europe’s agenda. Their immediate objective is to reduce demand, ensure security of supply and control prices.
Energy crisis in Asia
- Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, a kind of energy crisis appears in the world.
- Europe is no longer getting natural gas from Russia and Europe is looking at alternative sources of energy.
- Many countries of the world are already facing inflation and the countries of Asia are no exception.
- The decisive time has come whether the countries of Asia will eliminate all their fossil energy sources or will have to produce twice the clean energy.
China and India
- There is China and India where rising demand is a huge challenge and it is bound to have an impact on the whole world. Everything will be determined by what these countries do for supply.
- China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and has set a target of net zero by 2060 , but due to the war, China has not only taken oil from Russia but has also increased its coal production.
- But the crisis with China is bigger. The drought there has not only destroyed the crops, the transportation of the rivers there has also come to a standstill and the effect of the closure of hydropower schemes is also visible.
- But China is also moving towards renewable energy, but how quickly it is able to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and end it remains to be seen.
- India lags behind China in terms of NetZero’s target and ranks third among global emitters. But India is the only country where the demand for energy is going to increase very fast and very much.
- India will need $223 billion to achieve its clean energy targets by 2030.
- But the problem is that right now India cannot end dependence on fossil fuels. Given the high demand, it will have to invest heavily in clean energy.
- India is also investing more in renewable energy, it intends to meet its energy requirement with clean energy by 2030 .
- The Russia-Ukraine war has forced India to rethink its energy policy.
Absence of peace efforts
- There is no clarity or consensus on the consequences of the war. The minimum is probably that Ukraine should get all its territory back, but does it include Crimea? What should Russia’s defeat look like?
- Any intermediary diplomatic effort to end the war must be able to give all parties a sense of winning something if not a war. Europe should know this from experience.
- But all efforts so far have begun on the grounds that Ukraine cannot be allowed to lose and Russia cannot be allowed to win. Perhaps this is why diplomacy has failed to make any contribution.
- The most serious attempts to bring the two sides to the table were made by Turkey in March, when russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Ankara, but the effort ended in failure.
- At this point, war can be called a stalemate – but it is not yet the hurtful stalemate that usually brings warring sides to the table.
Source – IE
Paper 3– Security
Why Should You Know?
Recently, the German Chancellor accused Russia of using the “Scorched-Earth strategy”, let’s know what this strategy is.
In detail –
- The scorched-earth policy is a military strategy aimed at destroying anything that may be useful to the enemy.
- It can target any assets that can be used by the enemy, usually including weapons, transport vehicles, communication sites, and industrial resources.
- It can target anything useful to the advancing enemy, including food stocks and agricultural areas, water sources, and even local people.
- Significantly, under the Geneva Convention of 1977, harm to civilians has been banned under this strategy.
- According to the Oxford reference, “The term was first used in English in a report of the Sino-Japanese conflict in 1937, and is a translation of the Chinese jiaoti.” “
- This exercise can be carried out by the Army in enemy territory or during the invasion of its home territory.
- This strategy tries to deplete enemy resources to sustain the war, and also breaks the morale of combatants and noncombatants alike by inflicting heavy suffering.
Russia is using this strategy.
- Over the past week, Russia has rained missiles on Ukraine’s cities, destroying civilian infrastructure, including power and water supply lines.
- As the winter season approaches, there is a possibility of severe damage due to power shortage.
- According to the information , the cities of Ukraine are highly dependent on reliable power supply and centralized heating. Any of these disruptions during winter can cause pipe bursts and make high-rise buildings uninhabitable.
- Experts have commented that tactics are being used by Russia on the real battlefield, with its military facing setbacks.
- Scorched earth policy has been part of the war since ancient times, using tactics in the war against the Persian Achaemenid Empire led by the nomadic Scythian king Darius the Great (who ruled from 522 BC to 486 BC).
- Nomadic herders hid in the steppes after destroying the Scythian food supply and poisoning the wells.
- A notable example of the use of this strategy came during the American Civil War in 1864, when Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his troops burned everything as they marched through Confederate territories.
- Including world wars, Russia has used scorch-earth tactics in the past. In 1915, the Imperial Russian Army, when retreating from the Imperial German Army, destroyed anything that served the invaders for more than 600 miles, including crops, railway lines, and habitats.
- During World War II, in 1941, the Russian army again destroyed the telegraph network and electrical and industrial resources when invaded by Germany.
Example of this strategy in India
- During 1019 and 1022 AD, the Chandela Empire was attacked by Mahmud of Ghazni. The Chandelas adopted the policy of scorched earth. Mahmud, had to retreat and eventually established a friendly relationship with the Chandelas.
- In the Maratha Empire, Shivaji Maharaj had introduced the scorched-earth strategy, known as Ganimi Kawa.
- His army looted merchants and merchants from Aurangzeb’s Mughal Empire and burnt their cities, but he was strictly ordered not to rape or hurt innocent civilians and to insult any religious institution in any way.
Source – IE
Warning of increase in pollution
Paper 3 – Environment
Why Should You Know?
Recently, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) has said that pollution levels increase in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas as soon as the winter season arrives.
In detail –
- However, this time the sky has been clear since the beginning of winter, pollution levels have been lower than every year even during the Covid pandemic, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)said.
- The time for harvesting kharif crops is going on. Meanwhile, incidents of paddy stubble burning have started increasing. In such a situation, the level of pollution can once again reach dangerous levels.
- According to the Centre for Science Environment (CSE), the level of pollution in Delhi will depend on what long-term steps have been taken to prevent pollution.
- Measures taken to deal with pollution after the Covid pandemic can also prove to be helpful in keeping pollution low.
- The Center for Science Environment has also released data about this. According to the CSE, the pollution level remained at an average of PM2.5 till the beginning of this cold after the epidemic.
- However, on October 16, pm2.5 levels have gone above 90 micrograms per cubic metre (“poor” AQI breakpoint).
- This pollution level is still lower than previous years. Given the incidents of Diwali and stubble burning, it is expected to increase.
The situation is likely to worsen.
- According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, the contribution of stubble fumes to Delhi’s PM 2.5 levels was around 3 per cent on October 17.
- This is happening now because cases of stubble burning have started coming in Punjab-Haryana-Delhi.
- The total radiation power of these fires in Punjab-Haryana-Delhi reached 2,000 watts on October 16. If stubble burning incidents are not stopped, the situation may worsen.
- According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ System of Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, there is a 20 per cent improvement after post-pandemic pollution compared to the winter of 2015-18.
- However, this situation has remained stable for some time. Smog has started stopping in Delhi-NCR for a long time.
- This is creating serious conditions for everyone’s health. Despite the improvement, the pollution average is still 150 per cent higher than the 24-hour standard and almost four times higher than the annual standard.
About the Centre for Science and Environment
- The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a non-profit public interest research and advocacy organization based in New Delhi, India.
- Established in 1980, CSE operates as a think tank on eco-development issues in India.
- This organization raises issues related to environment, poor planning, climate change and better implementation of pre-existing policies etc. in India.
- This organization creates awareness among the people regarding environment, development and health.
- The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) releases the ‘State of Environment Report’.
- In the year 2018, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) was awarded the Indira Gandhi Award for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
Sources – IE
Paper 3 – Science and Technology
Why Should You Know?
Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Defspace Mission’ with 75 challenges at DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
In detail –
- The space programme aims to develop innovative solutions for the defence forces through industry and startups.
- Importantly, this initiative will prepare India for future prospects in the space sector and enhance the country’s preparedness even further.
- With India’s liberal space diplomacy shaping new definitions, and giving rise to new possibilities, there are over 60 developing countries with which India is sharing its space science. Many African countries and many other small countries are benefiting from this.
- The ‘South Asia Satellite’ is an effective example of this. By next year, ten ASEAN countries will also get real-time access to India’s satellite data.
- Developed countries like Europe and the US are also using India’s satellite data
- The initiative to capitalise on space technology is an example of what security will mean for any strong nation in the future.
- The programme will focus on various challenges in the region that have been reviewed and identified by the three defence services.
ISRO’s growing role
- The Indian space agency has repeatedly shown its capability at the global level to remain relevant in the space race.
- Over the years, ISRO’s workspace, PSLV, has made over 53 successful flights and the rocket has attained operational status.
- Since 1990, ISRO has been providing satellite launch services through PSLV, launching 345 customer satellites from 34 countries around the world (as of July 2022).
- It has paid dividends in the form of ISRO through its commercial weapons, which has almost earned.
- $279 million in foreign exchange by launching satellites for global customers. Union Minister Jitendra Singh gave this information in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
- “The total foreign exchange revenue earned through the launch of foreign satellites is USD 56 million (one million = 10 lakh) and about 220 million euros,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh mentioned in a written reply in the Lok Sabha in July this year. “
India’s share in global space economy
- Putting the global space economy in the picture, which currently stands at $447 billion, and in comparison, India’s space economy is valued at ₹36,794 crore (about USD 5 billion only), indicating that India still needs to cover a huge gap.
- India currently accounts for only 2% of the space economy, putting the country behind important economies like the US and China.
- To bridge this gap, India is making great strides in fulfilling its space ambitions by opening up the space sector to domestic private firms, innovative start-ups to give them a chance to explore their untapped potential.
- Until a few years ago, no one thought of start-ups in the space sector in India. Today they number more than a hundred.
- The space sector has shown a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs and private businesses with the aid of government policies and reforms.
- In nearly two years since the Indian Space Department and ISRO were opened to the private sector, over 55 start-ups have registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), department of space.
- A look at the numbers shows that startups in the space sector have crossed the total number of 100, of which 47 were set up in 2021. In 2019, only 11 new startups were added to the sector.
- In addition to these policy interventions, as space is recognized as the next frontier of human development, budget allocations for this particular sector have been increasing year after year.
- Referring to the budget allocation for the year 2022 – the Department of Space has been allocated Rs 13,700 crore in the annual budget, of which Rs 7,456.60 crore has been earmarked for capital expenditure.
Sources – TH
‘First Mile Connectivity’ Projects
Paper 3 – Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
Coal Ministry launches 68 First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects for seamless evacuation from coal mines to distribution centres
In detail –
- The Coal Ministry has set a target of producing 1.3 billion tonnes of coal in FY25 and 1.5 billion tonnes by FY30.
- The aim is to strengthen India’s energy security and promote self-reliant India by using domestically mined coal in place of imported coal.
- Significantly, the development of cost-effective, fast and environmentally friendly coal transport is an important goal of the country.
- Keeping in view the increase in future coal evacuation, Ministry of Coal is working on development of national coal operations including first mile connectivity from coal mines to distribution centres through railway facilities near coal mines and strengthening of rail network in coal fields.
- The Coal Ministry has chalked out a strategy to develop an integrated approach to eliminate road transportation of coal in mines and has taken steps to update mechanised coal transportation and loading systems under ‘First Mile Connectivity’ projects.
- Coal management plants (CHPS) and SILOS (SILOS) with rapid loading systems will have benefits such as slicing coal, giving them prescribed shape and computer-assisted loading.
- Ministry of Coal has taken up 51 First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects of 5.22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) capacity Coal India Limited (CIL) 44 – Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) 4 and NLCIndia Limited (NLCIL) 3, out of which 8 projects are (6-CIL and 2-SCCL).
- These 51 projects will cost around Rs 18000 crore and all of them will be commissioned by FY25.
- As CIL has taken up new projects in coal production, it is proposed to implement 17 additional FMC projects with a capacity of 317 MT during FY 2020-27.
- The environmental and cost benefits of FMCs were studied through the National Environmental Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, in 2020-21.
- The report calls for an annual reduction in carbon emissions, a reduction in the density of movement of trucks and significant savings in annual diesel consumption and costs.
- FMC projects will reduce human intervention, reduce loading time and use better quality coal.
- The lowering of the loading time causes the rake/rake. The availability of wagons will increase.
- Reducing the pressure on the road network also promotes a cleaner environment and savings on diesel.
- It will be an all-round win-win situation for the company, railways and consumers.
Source – PIB
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?
The Department of Consumer Affairs has invited applications through online mode to fill up one existing and four predictable vacancies of members in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.
In detail –
- The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is an appellate authority established under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
- Where various appeals are considered under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
- It also hears and decides consumer complaints relating to bad goods and defective services, besides unfair trade practices, among other issues.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 provides for setting up of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRCs) at national, state and district levels.
CDRC deals with the following types of complaints:
- Overcharging or charging a vague price
- Unfair or restrictive trade practices
- Sale of life-threatening goods and services
- Sale of defective goods or services
About Consumer Protection Act 2019 –
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is a consumer protection law passed by the Government of India in the year 2019 to protect the interests of the consumers of the country and to prevent frauds against them .
- This Act has come into effect from July 20, 2020. This new Act replaces the old Consumer Protection Act 1986. The first draft of this new law was prepared in 2014.
- Earlier this law was to be implemented in January 2020, but after that it was delayed due to Corona. Apart from the consumer court, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will also be constituted under the new law.
Salient features of the Act:
Definition of Consumer
- According to this Act, a person who buys and consumes goods and services to meet his needs is called a consumer.
- The special thing is that the person who buys goods and services to sell or for commercial purpose has not been considered a consumer.
Establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 provides for the establishment of a CCPA which will protect, promote and enforce the rights of consumers.
- The authority will also look into cases related to unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and violation of consumer rights.
- It will also have the power to impose fines on violators and pass orders to withdraw goods sold or withdraw services, stop unfair trade practices and get back the price paid by consumers.
- The authority will be headed by the Director General.
Rights of consumers
The Act provides consumers with the following rights;
- The right to obtain information about quantity, quality, purity, capacity, price and standard of goods or services
- Right to be safe from hazardous goods and services
- The right to be protected from unfair or restrictive trade practices
- Availability of different types of goods or services at competitive prices
Jurisdiction of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has fixed the jurisdiction of the National, State and District Disputes Redressal Commissions by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRCs).
- The National Disputes Redressal Commission will hear complaints worth over Rs 10 crore while the State Disputes Redressal Commission will hear complaints that are more than Rs 1 crore but less than Rs 10 crore.
- The District Disputes Redressal Commission, will hear complaints in cases in which the complaint has committed fraud of more than Rs 1 crore.
Sources – PIB
“Kashi Tamil Sangamam”
Paper 2 – Art and Culture
Why Should You Know?
Recently Union Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan along with Shri L. Murugan announced “Kashi Tamil Sangamam” and launched the website for the registration process
In detail –
- “Kashi Tamil Sangamam” will be held in Varanasi (Kashi) from 16 November to 19 December 2022.
- The Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti (BBS) has come up with this proposal to rediscover, strengthen and celebrate the age-old ties between Tamil culture and Kashi, which have existed for centuries.
- Academic exchanges – seminars, discussions etc. – seminars, discussions etc. – will be organized between experts/scholars on various aspects of these two ancient manifestations of Indian culture where the focus will be on bringing forward the relationship and shared values between the two.
- Its broad objective is to bring these two traditions of knowledge and culture closer, build an understanding of our shared heritage and strengthen mutual relations between these regions and peoples.
- Kashi-Tamil Sangamam will be an ideal platform to understand unity in India’s civilisational wealth through two historical centres of knowledge and culture.
- To be held under the overall framework and spirit of “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”, this Sangamam will build a bridge between ancient India and the contemporary generation.
- Kashi Sangamam will reconnect the link between these two ancient centres of knowledge, culture and heritage.
About the program
- Kashi-Tamil Sangamam various aspects of knowledge-literature, ancient texts, philosophy, spirituality, music, dance, drama, yoga, Ayurveda, handloom, handicrafts as well as modern innovation, business exchanges, It will focus on topics like edutech and other next generation technologies etc.
- Seminars, discussions, lectures, workshops etc. will be organized on these topics, for which experts from related subjects will be invited.
- The event will be a unique experience for students, scholars, academicians, professionals etc. to learn about various aspects related to Indian knowledge system, education and training related practices, art and culture, language, literature etc.
- These discussions should benefit genuine seekers associated with the fields of knowledge. To ensure this, it has been proposed that apart from experts, common seekers from different groups from different parts of Tamil Nadu are brought for an 8-day visit to Varanasi and its surrounding area.
- Potentially students, teachers, litterateurs (writers, poets, publishers), cultural experts, professionals (art, music, dance, drama, folk art, yoga, Ayurveda) , entrepreneurs, (SMEs, 12 such groups including start-ups, businessmen (community business groups, hoteliers, artisans, heritage experts (archaeologists, tour guides, bloggers etc.) spiritual, rural, organizations associated with different sects) have been identified.
- These people will participate in educational programs, interact with the people of Varanasi associated with the same area and visit the sights of Varanasi and its surrounding areas.
- It is proposed that around 210 people from different parts of Tamil Nadu may be included in a group for a period of 8 days. The 12 such groups will comprise around 2500 people and they can travel in a month.
- At the end of the Sangamam programme, the people of Tamil Nadu will get a comprehensive experience of Kashi and the people of Kashi will also get an opportunity to know the cultural richness of Tamil Nadu through healthy exchange of experiences related to events, visits, conversations, etc.
Sources – TH
Pilot project of ‘Balvatika 49 Kendriya Vidyalayas’
Paper 3 – Education
Why Should You Know?
recently Union Minister for Education & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage and pilot project of ‘Balvatika 49 Kendriya Vidyalayas’ across the country.
In detail –
- Now, instead of LKG and UKG, Bal Vatika I, II and III will be taught.
- The admission of children below five years of age will be held at Bal Vatika in the session 2022-23. Balvatika classes are being started for students in the age group of 3+, 4+ and 5+ years in a cluster of 49 Kendriya Vidyalayas.
- Online applications were invited from children in the age group of three to six years for admission to Bal Vatika by October 10. 159 candidates applied. After which the process of admission was completed according to merit.
- In Bal Vatika, children will be motivated to read by telling inspirational stories with the help of audio videos instead of copy-books.
- Since more than 85% of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of 6, it is very important for every child to provide proper care to activate their brain and provide the necessary support in their physical and emotional development.
- All these measures are aimed at achieving the following three developmental goals:
- Maintaining good health and happiness,
- to make effective communicators or communicative, and
- Creating active learners.
What is a Balvatika?
- Bal Vatika is a program in which children are given the foundation for early brain and child development for one year before primary class.
- By playing such games, reading, writing and understanding numbers are taught.
- In bal vatika, children are properly taken care of in their early years and their brain stimulation is also developed, so that more creativity comes in the children and the children can be well prepared to take education.
- According to the new education policy, state governments are also providing bal vatika, which is one year, in all government schools of their state. In which children before primary class can participate so that their initial brain development can be done well.
- For the first two years, the children will stay in the anganwadi, after which they will be put in the bal vatika for one year.
Classes will run in three category
- Admission will be taken in three sections in bal vatika to be operated in Kendriya Vidyalayas.
- Children who have completed 3 years of age in Bal Vatika I, 4 years in Bal Vatika II and 5 years of age in Bal Vatika III will be admitted.
- At present, online applications were invited for admission to Bal Vatika 1.
The objective of bal vatika programme is very positive and useful. In this, full attention is given to the activities related to child development and elementary education of children.
- Physical and mobility development
- knowledge development
- Communication, language, early literacy and the development of numeracy.
- Cultural and artistic development
- Socio-emotional moral development
Sources – PIB