Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Environment Special: Secure Himalaya Project

This is a 6 year project launched by the Union Environment Ministry in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which will cover 4 states, viz., Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.
  • Objective is to protect Snow leopards by saving their habitats and to improve the ecology of life of the Himalayan ranges and hill communities (which are victims of climate change). Also this project aims to prevent snow leopard smuggling and hunting.
The SECURE – securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems –includes
  1. Changthang (Jammu and Kasmir),
  2. Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh),
  3. Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and
  4. Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim).

Economics Special: Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code Amendment Bill, 2017.

The Bill amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016. The bankruptcy code lays down provision for resolving insolvencies.

  • Resolution applicant has been defined in code as a person who submits a resolution plan after receiving an invite by the insolvency professional to do so.
  • It states that insolvency professional is allowed to invite only those resolution applicants to submit a plan, who fulfil certain criteria laid down by him with approval of committee of creditors and other conditions which may be specified by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board.
  • The bill prohibits certain people from submitting a resolution plan (specifying details of restructuring a defaulter’s debt).  These persons include: (i) wilful defaulters, (ii) disqualified directors, (iii) promoters or management of the defaulting company, and; (iv) any person who has committed these activities abroad.
  • The bill prohibits sale of property of a defaulter to such persons who is ineligible to be a resolution applicant during liquidation.
  • The bill penalizes contravention of any provisions of IBC, for which no penalty has been specified, with fine ranging between Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 crore.

Culture Special: Tapta Mudradharna

It is a special ritual followed by the Madhwa sect and Vaishnavas. It is usually performed on the First Ekadashi of Ashada Month of the Hindu Calendar, which is called Shayani Ekadashi due to its significance of starting Chatur Masya Vrat (Chaturmasa).
  • Process: Mudras are usually made of gold or copper, which heated on coal fire and stamped 5 times (ladies and children are stamped only two times)at various parts of the body. It is to be noted that scriptures mention that the stamping is meant to be performed by Sanyasis only and one must not perform this ritual on themselves.
  • Reason: The belief behind the such stamping is that stamping of these mudras (Shanka, Chakra, Gada, Padma) at specified spots on the human body activate the chakras that lie beneath them. This has a special mention in scriptures (Vayu Purana, Ramamruta Maharnava etc.) and is prescribed to be done annually.
  • Scientific Reason: Scientifically,  It is believed that such act improves the immune system during rainy season and also has positive impact on the nervous system.