Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 22 Apr 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

22 Apr 2022-Friday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Vagsheer Submarine

Why in the news?

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders recently launched Project-75’s sixth Scorpene Submarine ‘Vagsheer.’

What is a Submarine of the Scorpene Class?

The diesel-electric propulsion systems power the Project-75 Scorpene Class submarines.

Scorpene is one of the most advanced submarines, capable of performing a variety of missions such as anti-surface ship warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, and area surveillance.

The Scorpene class is the Navy’s first modern conventional submarine series in nearly two decades, following the acquisition of INS Sindhushastra from Russia in July 2000.

What exactly is Submarine Vagsheer?

Vagsheer is named after the Indian Ocean’s deep sea predator, the sand fish.

The first Russian submarine, Vagsheer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in December 1974 and decommissioned in April 1997.

It is the final Scorpene class submarine built under the P75 project and is expected to join the Navy fleet in 12-18 months after sea trials.

Vagsheer is a diesel attack submarine that is designed to perform both sea denial and access denial warfare against the adversary.

It has a C303 anti-torpedo countermeasure system.

It is capable of carrying up to 18 torpedoes or Exocet anti-ship missiles, or 30 mines in lieu of torpedoes.

Its superior stealth features include advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, a hydrodynamically optimised shape, and the ability to launch a crippling attack using precision guided weapons, both underwater and on the surface.

What exactly is Project-75?

The P 75 is one of two submarine lines, the other being the P75I, that were approved in 1999 as part of a plan for indigenous submarine construction using technology from overseas firms.

The contract for six P75 submarines was awarded to Mazgaon dock in October 2005, with delivery scheduled to begin in 2012, but the project has been delayed.

The programme has been carried out with the assistance of technology transferred from the French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).

INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, and INS Vela have all been commissioned under P75.

Vagir is undergoing sea trials.

The sixth is Vagsheer, whose production was delayed due to the pandemic.

Smart Cities Mission: Integrated Command and Control Center

Why in the news?

Under the Smart Cities Mission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recently announced that all 100 smart cities will have Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCCs) (SCM).

These ICCCs are located in various states that have been developing Smart Cities, with Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat leading the way in terms of the total number of ICCCs established.

What exactly is an Integrated Command and Control Centre (IC&C)?

About: The ICCC will serve as the city’s “nerve centre” for operations management, handling day-to-day exceptions and disaster management.

ICCCs provide smart solutions to the city’s municipal corporation and aid in the management of city safety and surveillance.

The facilities include video walls for real-time monitoring, an emergency response system, critical operations planning, and manual maintenance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Smart living, smart environment, smart economy, smart governance, smart population, and smart mobility are all being enabled by the establishment of these centres.

The centre will also provide valuable insights by aggregating complex data sets to derive intelligence for better planning and policymaking.

The ICCCs are now linked to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems) network.

Aim:

 To aggregate data from multiple applications and sensors deployed throughout the city and provide actionable data with appropriate visualisation to decision-makers.

What is the Mission of Smart Cities?

It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme that was launched in June 2015 with the goal of transforming 100 cities to provide the necessary core infrastructure as well as a clean and sustainable environment to enable their citizens to live a decent quality of life through the use of “Smart Solutions.”

Through various urban development projects, the mission aims to meet the aspirations of India’s urban population.

Status:

The implementation period for SCM has been extended until June 2023.

So far, the SCM has covered over 140 public-private partnerships, 340’smart roads,’ 78 ‘vibrant public places,’ 118’smart water,’ and over 63 solar projects.

What are the other urban development initiatives?

  • Atal Mission for Urban Renewal and Transformation (AMRUT).
  • Pradhan Urban Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-U).
  • 0 Assessment Framework for Climate Smart Cities
  • TULIP stands for The Urban Learning Internship Program.

Fincluvation

Why in the news?

The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) recently launched the Fincluvation Platform to promote innovative solutions in collaboration with fintech startups in order to accelerate financial inclusion among the underserved and unserved populations.

Fintech (Financial Technology) refers to software and other modern technologies that are used by businesses to provide automated and improved financial services.

What exactly is Fincluvation?

Fincluvation will be an ongoing IPPB platform for co-creating inclusive financial solutions with participating start-ups.

The IPPB and the Department of Post (DoP) serve nearly 430 million customers through post offices and at their doorsteps, with over 4,00,000 Post Office employees and Gramin Dak Sevaks, making it one of the world’s largest and most trusted postal networks.

It is a first-of-its-kind industry initiative to build a powerful platform to mobilise the start-up community toward the development of meaningful financial products aimed at financial inclusion.

Startups are encouraged to create solutions that fall into one of the following categories:

Creditization entails creating innovative and inclusive credit products that are aligned with the use cases of target customers and delivering them to their doorsteps via the postal network.

Digitization – Provide convenience by combining traditional services with Digital Payment Technologies, such as by transforming the traditional Money Order service into an Interoperable Banking service.

Market Led Solution – Any Market-led solution that can assist IPPB and/or DoP in serving the target customers in solving any other problem.

Fincluvation mentors will work closely with startups to tailor products to customer needs and align go-to-market strategies with IPPB and DoP operating models.

What is the Fincluvation Need in India?

To Seize New Chances: The convergence of technology and financial services, combined with traditional distribution networks, is generating a new set of business opportunities.

To Improve the User Experience: Banks’ traditional model of technology procurement-led product creation frequently lacks value in user experience, resulting in a significant gap between customer expectations and service delivery.

Failure of Traditional Technologies: Due to a lack of ownership in product creation, traditional technology firms fail to meet customer service expectations. Indian citizens have a wide range of and complex needs that necessitate careful consideration, empathetic product design, and rapid prototyping among users.

What exactly is the India Post Payments Bank?

The Prime Minister established the IPPB in 2018, with the Government of India owning 100 percent of the equity.

It is an Indian postal payments bank that operates through a network of post offices and nearly 4 lakh postmen. The Reserve Bank of India is in charge of it (RBI).

The bank was founded with the goal of becoming India’s most accessible, affordable, and trusted bank for the common man. The IPPB’s primary mission is to remove barriers for the unbanked and underbanked and to reach the last mile.

IPPB is dedicated to accelerating the transition to a cashless economy and contributing to the vision of Digital India.

What exactly is Financial Inclusion?

Financial inclusion is the process of mainstream institutional players ensuring access to appropriate financial products and services needed by individuals and businesses, including vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low-income groups, at an affordable cost in a fair and transparent manner.

What Are Some Other Financial Inclusion Initiatives?

  • Stand-Up India Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
  • Pradhan Mantri Jyoti Jeevan Bima Yojana
  • Pradhan Suraksha Mantri Bima Yojana
  • Pension Atal Yojana
  • Pradhan Mantri The Jan Dhan Yojana

Special Purpose Acquisition Firms (SPACs)

Why in the news?

Given the recent recommendations of the Company Law Committee 2022, the government is considering incorporating a regulatory framework for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) into the statutes to facilitate the possible listing of Indian companies in the country via this route.

In 2019, the Company Law Committee was formed to make recommendations to improve the ease of doing business in India.

What exactly are SPACs?

A Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is a corporation formed solely to raise capital through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) (IPO).

SPACs have no existing business operations or even stated acquisition targets at the time of their IPOs.

A business structure like this allows investors to contribute money to a fund, which is then used to acquire one or more unspecified businesses that will be identified after the IPO.

As a result, in the popular press, this type of shell firm structure is frequently referred to as a “blank-check company.”

When funds are raised from the general public, they are held in an escrow account and can be accessed during the acquisition process.

If the acquisition is not completed within two years of the IPO, the SPAC is delisted and the investors’ money is returned.

What were the Company Law Committee 2022’s recommendations?

It suggests creating an enabling framework to recognise SPACs under the Companies Act of 2013, as well as allowing entrepreneurs to list a SPAC incorporated in India on domestic and global exchanges.

In order to align SPACs with the existing scheme of the Act, the Committee has also recommended that shareholders who do not agree with the target company’s selection be given an exit option.

Furthermore, because SPACs do not have their own operating business, provisions relating to striking off companies must be appropriately modified in their application to SPACs.

What Is the Importance of SPACs?

Cost-effective:

If a company merges or is acquired by a SPAC, it can go public within months.

SPACs, in particular, position investors as one-of-a-kind opportunities for niche Indian businesses seeking to list on foreign stock exchanges without incurring the exorbitant costs associated with the process.

The recent listing of Renew Power Private Limited, an Indian renewable energy company, on NASDAQ (an American Stock Exchange) through an internationally incorporated SPAC in August 2021, for example, demonstrates the popularity of SPACs.

Minimize Risk and Assure Security: Listing through SPACs is noteworthy because the entire process is governed by a binding agreement, resulting in minimal risk and guaranteed certainty.

Dissenting Shareholders Are Safeguarded: It also protects the interests of dissenting SPAC shareholders by allowing those who vote against the proposed acquisition to exit by selling their shares to the SPAC promoters.

These are appealing to investors despite the fact that they are essentially shell companies, as the blank-cheque companies are people sponsoring.

Opportunity for Exposure to Countries and Consumer Bases: SPACs also provide an opportunity for certain businesses to gain exposure to countries and consumer bases where demand for such niche products exists, allowing such companies to achieve higher valuation.

Shell Corporations

A shell company is a business that does not conduct any economic activities but is formally registered, incorporated, or legally organised in the economy.

These are occasionally used illegally, such as to conceal business ownership from law enforcement or the general public.

The sale of securities to the general public in the primary market is known as an initial public offering (IPO).

The primary market is concerned with new securities that are being issued for the first time. It is also referred to as the new issues market.

It differs from the secondary market, which buys and sells existing securities.

Account Escrow

It is a legal term that refers to a financial instrument in which a third party holds an asset or escrow money on behalf of two other parties who are in the process of completing a transaction.

The funds are held by a third party until both parties have met their contractual obligations.

Escrow is commonly associated with real estate transactions, but it can apply to any situation in which money is transferred from one party to another.

What are the Issues Concerning SPACs?

Retail investors’ returns may be limited:

The surge in investor firms seeking SPACs and then target companies has tipped the scales in favour of investee firms. This has the potential, theoretically, to limit post-merger returns for retail (individual) investors.

Not all SPACs are capable of attracting targets:

Many SPACs are scrambling to find appealing target businesses because they are required to begin seeking a target entity after listing, and the overall transaction is expected to be completed within a strict timeline.

Deal may lead to a hasty decision:

The time-bound hunt for an appealing deal – SPACs exist for two years – could result in hasty decisions, causing dissenting shareholders to exit and reducing overall gains for investors.

Disappointing Results May Prompt Investigations:

In a number of cases, disappointing results have prompted shareholders to file class action lawsuits and launch investigations against SPAC sponsors in the United States.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States has stated that more disclosures to investors are needed, as well as greater protection against fraud and conflicts of interest.

The Way Forward

India Should Reap the Benefits of SPACs: Given the instances of underwhelming performance by SPACs that have slowly emerged, India should approach SPACs with cautious optimism and increased regulatory oversight.

To strengthen the regulatory framework that governs them and mitigate associated risks, such companies must be granted statutory recognition and sophisticated safeguards to protect investors’ interests.

SPACs should also be permitted to list on global exchanges: It is critical that SPACs incorporated in India be permitted to list not only on domestic stock exchanges, but also on global exchanges, in order for target companies to ride the SPACs wave and realise their full potential.

Analyze the Issues Concerning SPACs:

While the inclusion of SPACs within the purview of the Companies Act is a positive step, it may necessitate a more sophisticated analysis of SPAC-related issues based on current market practises, in consultation with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Furthermore, foreign listing of Indian-incorporated SPACs is only possible after the implementation of Sections 23(3) and 23(4) of the Companies Act, which allow certain types of companies to list their securities on stock exchanges in permissible foreign jurisdictions.

Other’s News

Two-finger Test

The Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench ordered the state to prohibit the “two-finger test” on victims of sexual offences, particularly minor victims.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the Two-Finger Test and its interpretation violated rape survivors’ rights to privacy, physical and mental integrity, and dignity (right to privacy).

A “per vaginal” or two-finger test is an explicitly intrusive physical examination in which a doctor inserts two fingers inside the vagina of a rape survivor to determine whether or not the hymen is intact, as well as the size of the vaginal opening and vaginal laxity.

It examines vaginal laxity to determine whether or not the woman has engaged in or has been subjected to sexual intercourse.

According to WHO, the two-finger test cannot determine whether or not a woman has had a vaginal intercourse.

The technique is based on the assumption that a hymen can be torn as a result of sexual intercourse and that the appearance of female genitalia can reveal a woman’s sexual history.

Controversy – Virginity testing is a patriarchal idea that violates ethics, ethical medical practises, and the victim’s privacy.

However, for decades, the two-finger test was the only way to confirm rape.

In addition to being medically unnecessary, it is only performed on women, and often without their consent.

The practise is rooted in gender and power imbalances, in which a woman’s body is a subject of archaic ideas and/or can be regulated according to men’s desires.

Water Adalat

A Water Adalat was held by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

The Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board pioneered the concept of water adalat (BWSSB).

It was established to settle disputes concerning water billing, water supply delays, sanitary connections, and conversion from non-domestic to domestic connections.

It is held on the first Wednesday (now Thursday) of each month to address public concerns about the aforementioned water issues.

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