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Daily Current Affairs – 20th Jan. 2021

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Daily Current Affairs

Given below are the daily current affairs for 20th Jan 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.

ECONOMY

SC upholds threshold for filing insolvency plea against realty developers

Context:

The Supreme Court upheld amendments in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code that prescribes that at least 100 allottees from the same real estate project should support the initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against their property developer.

Background:

  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act of 2020 had introduced a threshold that required a minimum of 100 allottees, or 10% of the total allottees of a project, whichever was less, to jointly apply for corporate insolvency resolution in the NCLT.
  • The allottees should be from the same real estate project. Aggrieved allottees drawn from different projects of the same developer cannot form the 100.

Details:

  • A third amendment had given a 30-day deadline for existing applicants to find the requisite number of supporters to meet the threshold of 100, else their plea pending in the tribunal even before the commencement of the 2020 Act would be deemed as withdrawn.
  • Under the erstwhile regime, even a single allottee could initiate the corporate insolvency resolution process against his property developer. There was no need to garner support from other allottees.
  • The court agreed with the legislature that having a single allottee approach the tribunal would be risky, considering that a corporate insolvency resolution may also entail a complete overhaul or replacement of the developer’s company management.
  • Such an initiative by a lone allottee would derail the plans of other allottees, who still had faith in the existing developer or were pursuing other legal remedies.

DEFENCE

Exercise Desert Knight-21

Context:

Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace) will conduct a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 at Air Force Station Jodhpur from 20 to 24 Jan 2021.

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About Ex Desert Knight:

  • It is a bilateral air exercise between India and France.
  • The French side is participating with:
    • Rafale
    • Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT)
    • A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft
    • 175 personnel (approx.)
  • Indian Air Force aircraft participating:
    • Mirage 2000
    • Su-30 MKI
    • Rafale
    • IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft
    • AWACS and AEW&C aircraft
  • The exercise is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premier Air Forces.

Background:

  • As part of Indo-French Defence cooperation, Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force have held six editions of Air Exercises named ‘Garuda’, the latest being in 2019 at Air Force Base Mont-de-Marsan, France.
  • As measures to further the existing cooperation, the two forces have been gainfully utilising available opportunities to conduct ‘hop-exercises’.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

India to fly out vaccines to neighbours

Context:

India will begin to ship out lakhs of doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine to neighbouring countries.

Details:

  • Announcing the shipments, the PM had said that India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community.
  • The first batches are expected to reach Bhutan and the Maldives among several countries by special planes as a grant or gift.
  • Shipments to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles have been confirmed, while those to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius are awaiting necessary regulatory clearances.
  • The only exception to India’s regional vaccine diplomacy is Pakistan, that has neither requested nor is India discussing supplies to it at present.

Significance:

  • The release of the shipments is part of the government’s “Neighbourhood First” initiative.
  • This will make India the first country to reach COVID-19 vaccines in South Asia, ahead of China (which has promised but not so far delivered), the World Health Organization and GAVI’s vaccine alliance programme.

Military specialists to get S-400 training in Moscow

Context:

The US has yet again warned India that it could face sanctions over it acquiring five Russian Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air (SAM) systems for $5.5 billion.

  • India is unlikely to get a waiver over Washington invoking its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on the Indian Air Force (IAF) for its S-400 buy.

What is CAATSA, and how did the S-400 deal fall foul of this Act?

  • Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
  • The Act primarily deals with sanctions on Russian interests such as its oil and gas industry, defence and security sector, and financial institutions, in the backdrop of its military intervention in Ukraine and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

But why does the US have a law like CAATSA to begin with?

  • Following the US elections and allegations of Russian meddling some call it collusion in the US elections, the strain between Washington and Moscow has reached a new level.
  • Angry with Moscow’s actions around the world, US lawmakers are hoping to hit Russia where it hurts most, its defense and energy business, through CAATSA.

MISCELLENOUS

Special Tiger Protection Force

  • In 2008, the Govt of India announced the establishment of the ‘Special Tiger Protection Force’ (STPF) at the state level.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2009-10 advised important tiger states to recruit and train special police personnel for patrolling the tiger reserves to protect the tigers, co-predators and prey animals as well as to protect habitats.
  • Based on the one time grant of Rs. 50 crore provided to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for raising, arming and deploying a Special Tiger Protection Force, the proposal for the said force was approved by the competent authority for 13 tiger reserves.
  • The STPF has been made operational in the States of Karnataka (Bandipur), Maharashtra (Pench, Tadoba-Andhari, Nawegaon-Nagzira, Melghat), Rajasthan (Ranthambhore), Odisha (Similipal) and Assam (Kaziranga), out of 13 initially selected tiger reserves, with 60% central assistance under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger.

Netaji’s birth anniversary to be celebrated as ‘Parakram Divas’

Context:

The Union Culture Ministry has announced that January 23, birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose, would be celebrated as “Parakram Divas”, day of courage, every year.

  • 2021 will be 125th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose.

About Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose:

  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had announced the establishment of the provisional government of Azad Hind in occupied Singapore in
  • Known as Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, it was supported by the Axis powers of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Italian Social Republic, and their allies.
  • He had launched a struggle to free India from British rule under the banner of the provisional government-in exile during the latter part of the Second World War.
  • Under his provisional government, the Indians living abroad had been united.
  • Under the provisional government, Bose was the head of the state, the prime minister and the minister for war and foreign affairs.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose was twice elected President of the Indian National Congress, (1938-Haripur and 1939-Tripuri).
  • He resigned from the Congress Presidentship in 1939 and organised the All India Forward Bloc a faction within the Congress in Bengal.

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