The NITI Aayog has recently begun work on developing a set of objective criteria to track value addition by companies that receive financial incentives under Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes.
The empowered group of secretaries, established in June 2020, was tasked with identifying bottlenecks in PLI schemes, coordinating between states and companies for faster approvals, evaluating and ensuring timely investments in PLI schemes, and ensuring overall project turnaround.
The Cabinet Secretary chairs the group, which includes the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, the secretaries of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Economic Affairs, and the Secretary of the concerned ministry.
The NITI Aayog plans to enlist the help of an external agency – state-owned IFCI Ltd or SIDBI – to design and prepare a centralised database to track progress in the PLI schemes across sectors.
This database will track value addition, actual exports versus committed exports, and job creation.
A dashboard will also be created to identify roadblocks at the state level.
There was no common set of parameters for understanding the value addition by companies that have received or are likely to receive PLI incentives.
Currently, different ministries monitor the value addition of their respective PLI schemes, and it is impossible to compare two different schemes.
There are also a variety of deliverables, such as the number of jobs created, an increase in exports, and quality improvement, and there is no centralised database to track all of these.
Departments and ministries that interact with companies in their sector face unique challenges.
For example, the target for companies to qualify for incentives can be too high at times.
Until the end of the fiscal year, only three or four of the fourteen companies that had been approved had met the incremental sales targets required to qualify for the PLI scheme.
Unlike global companies, most domestic companies rely on one or two supply chains that have been severely disrupted, and these companies will not qualify for the incentive due to no fault of their own.
The PLI scheme was designed to increase domestic manufacturing capability while also increasing import substitution and job creation.
In Budget 2022-23, the government has set aside Rs 1.97 lakh crore for PLI schemes in various sectors, with an additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore for PLI for solar PV modules.
The incentives, calculated on incremental sales, range from as little as 1% for electronics and technology products to as much as 20% for the production of critical key starting drugs and certain drug intermediaries.
In some sectors, such as advanced chemistry cell batteries, textile products, and the drone industry, the incentive will be calculated based on sales, performance, and local value addition over a five-year period.
So far, the government has announced PLI schemes for 14 industries, including automobiles and auto components, electronics and IT hardware, telecom, pharmaceuticals, solar modules, metals and mining, textiles and apparel, white goods, drones, and advanced chemistry cell batteries.
The government implemented this scheme to reduce India’s reliance on China and other foreign countries.
It promotes labor-intensive industries and aims to increase India’s employment ratio.
This scheme aims to reduce import bills while increasing domestic production.
PLI Yojana, on the other hand, encourages domestic enterprises to expand their production units and invites foreign companies to set up their units in India.
The Government of India recently announced that Hindi would be made mandatory up to Class 10 in the eight northeastern states.
Hindi is referred to as “India’s language.”
However, the move has sparked outrage from a number of organisations in the Northeast. Several south Indian states have also condemned the central government’s decision.
Instead, these groups support a three-language policy that includes English, Hindi, and the local language.
Sixth Schedule: The state is protected by the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule, and the Centre would be unable to impose Hindi on students.
Discrimination: The move by the Centre will give Hindi-speakers an economic, academic, and administrative advantage, allowing them to control non-Hindi-speaking regions of the country in the long run.
Linguistic Organization of States: In India, the majority of states were formed on the basis of linguistics.
Due to India’s limited resources, conflicts over identity, particularly over languages, tend to escalate.
Linguistic Division Examples: In the past, the status of language has been a critical issue that has resulted in state division.
Andhra Pradesh (the first state formed on linguistic grounds), Punjab, and Gujarat were all formed as a result of linguistic demand for statehood.
Language Policy as a Conflict Management Tool: Language policy is one method by which governments attempt to manage ethnic conflict.
As a result, state autonomy over language policy may be a more viable option for developing federal cooperation than imposing a three-language formula.
What is the Three-Language Formula and Why Is It Necessary?
It will be the mother tongue or a regional language as the first language.
Second language: Other modern Indian languages or English will be used in Hindi-speaking states. It will be Hindi or English in non-Hindi speaking states.
Third Language: English or a modern Indian language will be used in Hindi-speaking states. It will be English or a modern Indian language in non-Hindi speaking states.
The main goal is to promote multilingualism and national harmony.
According to the Kothari Committee’s report, learning languages is an important part of a child’s cognitive development.
State governments were to use the three-language formula at the secondary stage.
Apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking states, it included the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages.
Hindi should be studied alongside the regional language and English in ‘non-Hindi speaking States.’
Problems with Implementation: Under a three-language formula, states in the hindi belt (such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) could not promote learning of south Indian languages.
Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Tripura were not ready to include Hindi in their school curricula.
Instead, they demanded that this issue be left alone.
Article 29 of India’s Constitution safeguards the rights of minorities. The Article states that any group of citizens who have their own language, script, or culture has the right to preserve it.
Article 343 deals with the Union of India’s official language. According to this Article, it should be written in Hindi in Devnagri script, with numerals following the international form of Indian numerals.
This Article also states that English will be used as an official language for the next 15 years, beginning with the adoption of the Constitution.
Article 346 deals with the official language used for communication between states and between a state and the Union.
The “authorised” language will be used, according to the Article. However, if two or more states agree to communicate in Hindi, then Hindi may be used.
Article 347 empowers the President to recognise a language as the official language of a given state if the President is satisfied that a substantial proportion of that state’s population wants the language to be recognised.
This recognition can be for a portion of the state or for the entire state.
Article 350A provides for primary school instruction in the student’s mother tongue.
The establishment of a Special Officer for linguistic minorities is provided for in Article 350B.
The Officer will be appointed by the President and will investigate all issues concerning linguistic minorities, reporting directly to the President.
The President may then present the reports to each house of Parliament or send them to the governments of the affected states.
The union government has the authority under Article 351 to issue a directive for the development of the Hindi language.
The Indian Constitution’s Eighth Schedule contains a list of 22 recognised schedule languages.
India’s strength has always been its unity in diversity. As a result, in the context of language-related identity and India’s federal polity, both the centre and the states should follow cooperative models and avoid language hegemony/chauvinism.
The President advocated for the concept of mediation in the judicial process while speaking at the National Judicial Conference on Mediation and Information Technology.
Mediation is a voluntary, legally binding process in which a neutral and impartial mediator assists disputing parties in reaching an agreement.
A mediator does not impose a solution; rather, he or she creates an environment in which disputing parties can resolve all of their differences.
Mediation is a tried-and-true alternative dispute resolution method. It has been a huge success in Delhi, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Nagpur, Chandigarh, and Aurangabad.
Mediation is a structured process in which a neutral third party employs specialised communication and negotiation skills. Litigants who have taken part in the mediation process have unanimously supported it. It is a process by which disputing parties reach mutually acceptable agreements.
Other dispute resolution methods besides mediation include Arbitration, Negotiation, and Conciliation.
A mediator can be anyone who completes the 40-hour training required by the Supreme Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee.
To be eligible for accreditation as a qualified mediator, he must also have completed at least ten mediations that resulted in a settlement and at least 20 mediations in total.
Lack of Codification: In January 2020, the Supreme Court, in MR Krishna Murthi v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd, emphasised the urgent need for India to enact uniform mediation legislation.
Fear of Mediation & Lack of Awareness – Mediation has never received a warm welcome from the legal community.
Training sessions and seminars should be held to familiarise judges with the benefits of mediation in order to popularise it as a dispute resolution mechanism.
Concerns about infrastructure and quality control– A greater emphasis on mediation will directly increase the workload on mediation centres that lack administrative strength.
This can result in cases languishing, which contradicts the basic tenet of mediation, namely, the resolution of disputes as quickly as possible.
To address this, the practise of mediation in India should be formalised.
Inconsistency between existing Mediation laws– In a case, the Supreme Court stated that the terms “mediation” and “conciliation” are synonymous.
In contrast, the language of Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 demonstrates that the section’s legislative intent was to distinguish between mediation and conciliation.
As a result, the existing ambiguity has resulted in a great deal of ambiguity in the mediation process.
In India, mediation is primarily governed by two legislative acts: the Civil Procedure Code of 1908 and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996. (ACA).
The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of mediation as a method of dispute resolution. The plethora of cases initiated by the pandemic necessitates prompt and effective resolution, and mediation may be the ideal solution.
However, there are numerous obstacles that limit the effectiveness of mediation. The existing framework of having different mediation rules for different High Courts has added to the uncertainty in the mediation process.
As a result, enacting a statute solely for mediation would be the most important step toward recognising mediation as an effective tool for conflict resolution.
The Mediation Bill, 2021, should be passed as soon as possible, with all necessary input from all stakeholders.
The statute should work to address the issues of enforcement and quality control.
However, care must be taken to ensure that the legislation does not infringe on the autonomy of the parties involved in mediation.
The enactment should supplement mediation’s flexibility and aid in standardising the procedures involved in mediation.
Additionally, efforts should be made to promote mediation by making it a mandatory step prior to litigation.
While keeping the Fixed Reverse Repo Rate at 3.35 percent, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) at a 3.75 percent interest rate to absorb excess liquidity and control inflation.
The Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) was established nearly 8 years after the Patel Committee advocated for an independent, transparent, non-collateralized concurrent offering.
It will allow banks to park their excess funds without the need for collateral from the RBI.
It will be set at a rate 25 basis points lower than the policy rate (Repo rate).
As the floor of the Liquidity Adjustment Facility corridor, the SDF will replace the Fixed Rate Reverse Repo (FRRR).
No collateral – In 2018, the RBI Act was amended to allow the introduction of the SDF, a new tool for absorbing liquidity that does not require collateral.
The SDF strengthens the operating framework of monetary policy by removing the RBI’s binding collateral constraint.
Because the SDF comes with the condition that no collateral of G-secs will be given to banks by the RBI, it will free up securities from banks’ Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) holdings.
As a result, excess SLR holdings will be reduced, resulting in an increase in bond demand.
The primary goal of the SDF is to reduce the system’s excess liquidity of Rs 8.5 lakh crore and to control inflation.
At this time, it will only apply to overnight deposits.
It would, however, retain the flexibility to absorb longer-term liquidity as needed, with appropriate pricing.
In addition to its role in liquidity management, the SDF is a financial stability tool.
With the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) at the upper end of the policy corridor at 4.25 percent, the SDF will round out the pair of standing facilities – one to absorb and one to inject liquidity.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022, was passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha.
The purpose of the bill is to amend the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act of 2005.
The 2005 Act outlawed the production, transportation, and transfer of weapons of mass destruction, as well as their delivery systems.
In accordance with India’s international obligations, it will be amended to prohibit the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
Biological and chemical weapons are defined in India’s WMD Act of 2005.
Microbial or other biological agents or toxins of types and quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes; and Weapons, equipment, or delivery systems specifically designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.
Toxic chemicals and their precursors, unless used for peaceful, protective, or certain specified military and law enforcement purposes; Munitions and devices specifically designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals; and Any equipment specifically designed for use in connection with the employment of these munitions and devices.
The term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) is widely thought to have been coined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England, in 1937.
During the Spanish Civil War, it was used to refer to the aerial bombing of civilians in the Basque town of Guernica by German and Italian fascists in support of General Franco.
It refers to something that has the capability of causing mass casualties and/or destroying or rendering high-value assets useless.
While there is no single, authoritative definition of a WMD in international law, the term is commonly used to refer to nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons.