Category: SOCIAL ISSUES
1.Prohibition of unlawful religious conversions ordinanace 2020
The issue in news
The UP Cabinet cleared an ordinance to ban religious conversion for marriage. The new law will put the onus on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.
- The Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, recommends 1-5 years imprisonment if an accused fails to prove that the conversion of the woman was not for marriage or by use of force, allurement etc.
- The jail sentence for the offence would be 3-10 years if the woman is from the SC/ST community or is seen as part of mass conversion.
- The notice period to the district magistrate for the religious conversion has been doubled to two months from a month in an earlier draft.
Important Info :
- The ordinance comes days after the Allahabad high court said in a verdict that the right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty. The verdict also said earlier court rulings that ‘religious conversion for marriage was unacceptable’ was not good in law.
- UP CM Yogi Adityanath cited earlier HC verdicts to support his government’s decision to bring a law against ‘love jihad’, a term to call what they believe is a conspiracy by Muslims to convert Hindu women by luring them into love and marriage
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
The issue in news
India and Bahrain have agreed to strengthen their ties in areas of defence and maritime security along with historic ties.
- India and Bahrain have agreed to strengthen Their bilateral ties in the areas of trade and investment, defence, space technology and maritime security, infrastructure, hydrocarbon and renewable energy, IT, FinTech and health
- Both India and Bahrain expressed satisfaction on the engagement of the Air Bubble arrangement between the two countries.
- The Air Bubble Pact is a bilateral agreement between two countries to allow flyers travel freely without registering with the government.
- India renewed invitation to Bahrain for visiting India for the 3 India-Bahrain High Joint Commission meeting to be held in the upcoming months.
Bilateral Agreements/Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs):
- Extradition Treaty (January 2004)
- MoU on cooperation in the field of Information and Communication Technology (May 2012)
- MoU on the establishment of a Joint High Commission (February 2014)
- MOU on Water Resources Development and Management (February 2015)
- Agreement on cooperation in combating international terrorism, transnational organised crime and trafficking in illicit drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances and precursors chemicals (December 2015)
- MoU for cooperation in the fields of Renewable Energy and Healthcare and Agreement on Exemption from Short Stay Visa for Holders of Diplomatic and Special/Official Passport (July 2018)
- MoU on cooperation in the exploration and uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes (March 2019)
Trade and Economic Relations:
- Indian Exports Mineral fuels and oils, inorganic chemicals, organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals of rare earth, cereals, nuts, fruits, articles of apparel and clothing accessories etc to Bahrain
- Indian Imports Crude oils, mineral fuels and their bituminous substance, distillation, aluminium, fertilizers, ores/slags/ashes of aluminium, iron and copper, pulp, etc from Bahrain.
- Govt. allots 2,000-cr. for infra funding
The issue in news
The Cabinet approved the infusion of 6,000 crore as equity into a new debt platform to raise up to 1.1 lakh crore for financing infrastructure projects by 2025. It has approved 2,000 crore for disbursal this year subject to the funds being required.
- Finance Minister had announced the plan to provide equity capital to the debt platform sponsored by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), as part of the last round of stimulus measures.
- The NIIF’s infrastructure debt financing platform is expected to contribute almost 1 lakh crore in debt to the infrastructure sector over the next five years.
- This will act as a catalyst in attracting more investments into the infrastructure sector as envisaged in the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
- Also, it would help free up space for banks to lend to new greenfield projects.
It is expected that a well-capitalised, well-funded and well-governed NIIF debt platform can play a major role in infrastructure financing and development of the bond market in India by acting as a AAA/AA-rated intermediary between the bond markets and infrastructure projects and companies.
The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
Some of the major objectives of NIIF are as follows:
- To raise funds through suitable instruments which also included the off-shore credit enhanced bonds.
- To attract the anchor investors for their participation as partners in NIIF.
- Servicing of the investors of the fund.
- To consider and approve the candidate companies, institutions, and projects for investments.
- To invest in the corpus created by the Asset Management Companies (AMCs) to invest in private equity.
- To provide advisory service and prepare a shelf of infrastructure projects
Types of NIIF Funds
- Master Fund:The Master Fund was founded primarily by investing in well-established enterprises having a long-term agreement and which are operating in a regulated environment with a good history. This fund also invests in infra-related projects and follows the strategy of establishing sector-specific companies in association with prominent companies.
- Fund of Funds:It aims at investing in funds that are managed by the renowned fund managers with an excellent track record. It also invests as anchor investors, thus, allowing the fund managers to accumulate more funds from the institutional investors. Fund of funds may also enter into joint ventures with the fund managers.
- Strategic Fund:This fund invests primarily in equity and equity-linked instruments and is registered as an Alternative Fund II under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
- Navy inducts 2 drones on lease from the U.S.
The issue in news
The Indian Navy has inducted two MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones procured from the U.S. on lease.
- The drones are on lease for one year. All planning, execution and operations will be with the Indian Navy.
- The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will play a support role for maintenance as laid down in the agreement.
The recently released Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 has introduced an option for leasing military platforms.
As part of its force restructuring to offset budgetary constraints, the Navy has been looking to induct more unmanned solutions, both aerial and underwater.
Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020
- The Defence Ministry removed the offset clause requirement in Inter-Governmental Agreements (IGA).
- From now on there will be no offset clause in government-to-government, single vendor and IGAs.
- It also introduced a new category for leasing of military equipment.
- Other proposed measures include:
- Making after-sales support a part of the capital acquisition contract
- Higher indigenous content in acquisitions
- Incentives for local material and software and emphasis on product export under offsets.
- Leasing has been introduced as a new category for acquisition in addition to the existing ‘Buy’ and ‘Make’ categories.
- This would substitute huge initial capital outlays with periodical rental payments.
- A new procedure has been included as a new chapter in Defence Acquisition Procedure and structured as an enabling provision for Services to procure essential items through Capital Budget under a simplified procedure in a time-bound manner