Daily Current Affairs for 22nd September 2020

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Current Affairs September 2020
  4. »
  5. Daily Current Affairs for 22nd September 2020

Govt. unveils 2.6% hike in wheat MSP amid protests


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in news?

The Cabinet has approved MSP hikes for six crops, including a 2.6% increase in the rate for wheat. Last year, MSP for wheat had seen a 4.6% increase.

Key details:

  • This comes in the midst of a vehement protest by farmers.
  • The MSP for wheat will be increased by 2.6% or ₹50 per quintal to ₹1,975 per quintal for the upcoming rabi or winter crop season.
  • MSP rates were also hiked for five other winter crops — barley, gram, masur dal, safflower, and rapeseed and mustard.
  • There is demand from farmers that the government include a legal guarantee for MSP to ensure that neither public nor private buyers pay less than MSP rates, whether sales take place within or outside mandis.

What is MSP

  • MSP is essentially a form of market intervention undertaken by the government to provide a safety net to farmers in case of a price drop.
  • It is a price for crops that the government guarantees to the farmers at all costs and under all circumstances.
  • The rise in MSP has been necessitated because of falling margins of profit for farmers, according to a report. This has caused widespread farm distress. The Centre aimed to double farmer incomes by 2022.
  • The MSP is based on a calculation of at least one and a half times the cost of production incurred by farmers.
  • The crops procured under the MSP are used in supplying them at cheaper (than free market prices) cost through the public distribution system to end consumers.

Who sets the MSP?

  • The Swaminathan Committee’s original recommendation was to fix the MSP at levels “at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production”.
  • The government fixes the MSP of 22 mandated agricultural crops based on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
  • The list of crops shielded by price fluctuations include 14 kharif crops, six rabi crops, and two commercial crops.
  • The CCAP is also responsible for fixing the fair and remunerative price (FRP) of sugarcane.
  • The CACP takes into consideration factors such as domestic and international prices, intercrop price parity, the overall demand-supply situation, and also the likely effect of the MSP on inflation.

DPCC shuts down 30 illegal vehicle scrapping units in outer Delhi


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in news?

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has shut down 30 illegal vehicle scrapping units in outer Delhi for causing air pollution.

Scrapping causes pollution

  • The processes of dismantling and scrapping of End of Life Vehicles [ELVs] often in an unscientific manner generate toxic fumes, chemicals which affect air quality.
  • Vehicular pollution has been top-of-mind for the government, which has been taking various measures over the last few years to tackle this.
  • The ban on vehicles over a certain age from plying in the National Capital Region, the leap to BS VI emission norms from BS IV and the thrust on electric vehicles have all been directed at combating pollution.
  • As the country transitions to BS VI vehicles from April 1, 2020, a scheme to scrap old trucks will help the sale of new BS VI trucks which have the capacity to drastically reduce emission of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide.

Vehicle scrappage policy

  • Scrappage policy refers to the provision of financial incentives to the owners of vehicles to get them to scrap outdated models and replace them with newer vehicles.

  • When it was originally conceived in May 2016 as the Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme, it was decided that vehicles, mainly trucks, older than 10 years or those below BS IV emission standards would be eligible for incentives if they were scrapped and replaced with new ones.
  • A 50 per cent waiver on excise duty on new vehicles and discounts from the auto manufacturers were envisaged as incentives.
  • In March 2018, the age of vehicles to be scrapped was increased to 20 years and the implementation date was set to April 2020.

Parliament passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy code bill


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in news?

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, which provides that insolvency proceedings against defaulting companies will not be initiated for at least six months starting from March 25.

Key details

  • It was earlier passed by the Rajya Sabha.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Code was not a recovery law.
  • The creditors, including MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), had several other options to recover their claims.
  • The proposed amendments, brought in the form of an Ordinance on June 5, suspended the application of three provisions to prevent any company, stressed due to the COVID-19 situation, from being pushed into insolvency proceedings.
  • A provision for further extension of six months has also been given. The initial six-month period would end on September 24.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill 2020

  • It suspended the application of three provisions (Sections 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC) to prevent any company, stressed due to the COVID-19 situation, from being pushed into insolvency proceedings.
  1. Sections 7 and 9 pertain to the initiation of corporate insolvency proceedings by a financial creditor and an operational creditor, respectively.
  2. Section 10 relates to filing an application for insolvency resolution by a corporate.
  • The Code provides a time-bound process for resolving insolvency in companies and among individuals.
  • Insolvency is a situation where individuals or companies are unable to repay their outstanding debt. 
  • When an organisation is unable to honour its financial obligations or make payment to its creditors, it files for bankruptcy. A petition is filed in the court for the same where all the outstanding debts of the company are measured and paid out if not in full from the company’s assets.
  • The Bill seeks to temporarily suspend initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) under the Code. 
  • It replaces the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on June 5, 2020.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, 2016

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy.

Features of Insolvency and Bankruptcy code

  • Insolvency Resolution: The Code outlines separate insolvency resolution processes for individuals, companies and partnership firms. The process may be initiated by either the debtor or the creditors. A maximum time limit, for completion of the insolvency resolution process, has been set for corporates and individuals.’
  • Insolvency regulator: The Code establishes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, to oversee the insolvency proceedings in the country and regulate the entities registered under it. The Board will have 10 members, including representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Law, and the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Insolvency professionals: The insolvency process will be managed by licensed professionals. These professionals will also control the assets of the debtor during the insolvency process.
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency Adjudicator: The Code proposes two separate tribunals to oversee the process of insolvency resolution, for individuals and companies:
  • The National Company Law Tribunal for Companies and Limited Liability Partnership firms; and The Debt Recovery Tribunal for individuals and partnerships.

Unchecked digital media a threat: Centre


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in news?

A three-judge Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had asked the government for suggestions to improve the self-regulatory mechanism for electronic media. The government replied, asking the court to instead focus on digital media rather than mainstream one.

Key details

  • It can tarnish reputations of institutions and individuals.
  • It is the need of the hour that the court start first with ‘web-based digital media’ which includes ‘web magazines’ and ‘web-based news channels’ and ‘web-based newspapers.
  • They not only have a very wide reach but are completely uncontrolled.


  • The court’s move had come in the aftermath of an injunction ordered on Sudarshan TV’s ‘Bindas Bol’ programme.
  • This show had accused Muslims of “infiltrating” the civil services with the help of funding from terror-linked organisations abroad.
  • Justice Chandrachud said the court was “very concerned about the balance between free speech in the media and the right of dignity of a community.”
  • The judge asked the lawyers to lead arguments on whether the court could order a blanket injunction of a programme or should restrict itself to only those portions which hurt a community.

Regulation of media in India

  • Media in India is mostly self-regulated.
  • In India, a statutory body — the Press Council of India (PCI) — governs the conduct of the print media.
  • The chairman, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India, heads the PCI.
  • It is a statutory, quasi-judicial institution that works under the aegis of the Press Council Act of 1978.
  • The electronic media has to comply with ‘The Central News Media Accreditation Guidelines, 1999’ which says that if a media organisation is held to have provided any false or fraudulent or forged details or documents the representative media organisation shall be debarred form accreditation up to a maximum of five years but not less than two years, as decided by Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC).
  • The television media has associated its own ‘self’ regulatory mechanism – News Broadcasting Standards Authority.

World faces a surplus of multilateral challenges


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in news?

Speaking at the United Nations’ 75th anniversary commemoration, Secretary General António Guterres said the world had a surplus of multilateral challenges but not enough multilateral answers to these.

What U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said

  • Never in modern history have we gone so many years without a military confrontation between the major powers, this is a great achievement of which Member States can be proud and which we must always strive to preserve.
  • He called gender inequality the “greatest single challenge for human rights” globally.
  • Biodiversity “collapsing”, hatred that was engendering geopolitical tensions and increasing the threat from nuclear weapons, were among the challenges the Secretary General listed.
  • The UN charter was signed on June 26, 1945.
  • The UN itself was established later that year, in October when enough signatory countries had ratified it.
  • The UN75 Declaration resolves to take action on a range of subjects from digital cooperation to reform of the UN.

PM’s message

  • In his message to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter and the adoption of a Commemorative Declaration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the UN but said the institution faced a “crisis of confidence.”
  • The Declaration also acknowledges the need for reform of the United Nations itself. We cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures. Without comprehensive reforms, the UN faces a crisis of confidence.

Need for reform

  • The reform of the Security Council is of the utmost importance in strengthening the U.N. in the political field.
  • The primary objective of Security Council Reform is to strengthen its function by enhancing its legitimacy and effectiveness.
  • In view of the changing international situation, the legitimacy and credibility of the Security Council cannot be ensured unless the Security Council is composed in such a way that it reflects the general will of the member states.
  • Even though U.N. membership has risen from 51 to 185 countries, the number of seats on the Security Council has only been increased from 11 to 15, since 1965.
  • Opportunities to participate in the work of the Security Council as non-permanent members have become inequitable among regional groups. Such regions as Asia, Africa and Latin America have been underrepresented.
  • Three powerful members of the UNSC — Russia, China, and the U.S. — are opposed to any major restructuring of the Council. While Russia and the U.S. have said they would support India’s UNSC bid, when it comes to proceedings at the UN their positions represent a far cry from the promises they make at bilateral meetings.
  • The U.S. favours only a “modest expansion” of the UNSC, while Russia doesn’t want any change in the veto arrangement.

Current Affairs

Recent Posts