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Current Affairs 05 May 2023


  1. PoSH Act
  2. Manipur’s widespread unrest
  3. ESMA’s derecognition of Indian CCPs
  4. World Press Freedom Index 2023
  5. World Bank
  6. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL): Navratna status
  7. Channapatna Toys

PoSH Act


More than half — 16 — of India’s 30 national sports federations do not have an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), a legal requirement under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act, 2013.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What exactly is the law against sexual harassment of women at the workplace?
  2. What led to the creation of the PoSH Act?
  3. What are the key provisions of the PoSH Act regarding the complaints committee?
  4. What constitutes sexual harassment under the PoSH Act?
  5. What protection does the Act provide against false complaints of sexual harassment?

What exactly is the law against sexual harassment of women at the workplace?

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, commonly known as the PoSH Act, was passed in 2013.
  • It defined sexual harassment, lay down the procedures for complaint and inquiry, and the action to be taken in cases of sexual harassment.

What led to the creation of the PoSH Act?


  • In 1992, a social worker named Bhanwari Devi fought against the marriage of a one-year-old baby girl.
  • As retribution, she was allegedly gang-raped.
  • Women’s rights groups, including one called Vishaka, filed a case in court over the incident.

Vishaka Guidelines:

  • In 1997, the Supreme Court laid down the Vishaka Guidelines in response to the case.
  • The guidelines defined sexual harassment and placed three obligations on institutions: prohibition, prevention, redress.
  • The guidelines required institutions to establish a Complaints Committee to investigate matters of sexual harassment of women in the workplace.
  • The court made the guidelines legally binding.

What are the key provisions of the PoSH Act regarding the complaints committee?

Internal Complaints Committee (ICC):

  • The PoSH Act mandates that every employer with 10 or more employees must constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch.
  • The ICC is responsible for investigating complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • The ICC must have at least one external member who is familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment.

Definition of sexual harassment:

  • The PoSH Act defines various aspects of sexual harassment, including physical, verbal, and non-verbal acts.
  • The Act covers all women, whether employed at the workplace or not, who allege to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment.

Protection for women:

  • The PoSH Act protects the rights of all women who are working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity.
  • The Act ensures that women can file complaints without fear of retaliation or victimization.

What constitutes sexual harassment under the PoSH Act?

Under the 2013 law, sexual harassment includes “any one or more” of the following “unwelcome acts or behaviour” committed directly or by implication:

  • Physical contact and advances
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

A ‘Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace’ published by the Ministry of Women & Child Development contains more detailed instances of behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment at the workplace. These circumstances include, broadly:

  • Sexually suggestive remarks or innuendo; serious or repeated offensive remarks; inappropriate questions or remarks about a person’s sex life;
  • Display of sexist or offensive pictures, posters, MMS, SMS, WhatsApp, or emails;
  • Intimidation, threats, blackmail around sexual favours;
  • Threats, intimidation or retaliation against an employee who speaks up about these;
  • Unwelcome social invitations with sexual overtones, commonly seen as flirting; and
  • Unwelcome sexual advances.

The Handbook says “unwelcome behaviour” is experienced when the victim feels bad or powerless, and when it causes anger/ sadness or negative self-esteem. Unwelcome behaviour is “illegal, demeaning, invading, one-sided and power-based”.

In addition, the PoSH Act mentions five circumstances that amount to sexual harassment:
  • Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment;
  • Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment;
  • Implied or explicit threat about the complainant’s present or future employment status;
  • Interference with the complainant’s work or creating an offensive or hostile work environment;
  • Humiliating treatment of the complainant that is likely to affect her health or safety.

What is the procedure for complaint under the Act?

  • It is not compulsory for the aggrieved victim to file a complaint for the ICC to take action. The Act says that she “may” do so — and if she cannot, any member of the ICC “shall” render “all reasonable assistance” to her to complain in writing.
  • If the woman cannot complain because of “physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise”, her legal heir may do so.
  • Under the Act, the complaint must be made “within three months from the date of the incident”.
  • However, the ICC can “extend the time limit” if “it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the woman from filing a complaint within the said period”.
  • The ICC “may”, before inquiry, and “at the request of the aggrieved woman, take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation” — provided that “no monetary settlement shall be made as a basis of conciliation”.
  • The ICC may either forward the victim’s complaint to the police, or it can start an inquiry that has to be completed within 90 days.
  • The ICC has powers similar to those of a civil court in respect of summoning and examining any person on oath, and requiring the discovery and production of documents.
  • When the inquiry is completed, the ICC must provide a report of its findings to the employer within 10 days. The report must also be made available to both parties.
  • The identity of the woman, respondent, witness, any information on the inquiry, recommendation and action taken, should not be made public.

What is the process after the ICC has filed its report?

Action by employer:

  • If the allegations of sexual harassment are proved, the ICC will recommend to the employer to take action in accordance with the provisions of the service rules of the company.
  • The recommended action may vary from company to company.


  • The ICC may recommend that the company deduct the salary of the person found guilty as it may consider appropriate.
  • The compensation awarded is based on several factors, including the suffering and emotional distress caused to the woman, loss in career opportunity, her medical expenses, income and financial status of the respondent, and the feasibility of such payment.


  • If either the aggrieved woman or the respondent is not satisfied with the decision, they may appeal in court within 90 days.

What protection does the Act provide against false complaints of sexual harassment?

Section 14:

  • Section 14 of the Act deals with punishment for false or malicious complaints and false evidence.
  • In such a case, the ICC may recommend to the employer that action be taken against the woman or the person who made the complaint in accordance with the provisions of the service rules of the company.

Protection against false complaints:

  • The Act makes it clear that action cannot be taken for mere inability to substantiate the complaint or provide adequate proof.
  • This means that if the complaint is not proved, action cannot be taken against the complainant solely based on lack of evidence.

-Source: Indian Express

Manipur’s Widespread Unrest


Manipur has been restive since February when the BJP-led government launched an eviction drive seen as targeting a specific tribal group. The drive led to protests but not on the scale of the one on May 3 triggered by the Manipur High Court’s direction to the State to pursue a 10-year-old recommendation to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the non-tribal Meitei community.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Manipur’s ethnic composition?
  2. Meitei Community
  3. What is the Meitei argument?
  4. Tribal groups in Manipur are against granting ST status to the Meiteis.
  5. What led to the unrest?

What is Manipur’s ethnic composition?

  • Geography has a lot to do with Manipur’s problems.
  • The State is like a football stadium with the Imphal Valley representing the playfield at the centre and the surrounding hills the galleries.
  • Four highways, two of them lifelines for the State, are the valley’s access points to the world beyond.
  • The valley, which comprises about 10% of Manipur’s landmass, is dominated by the non-tribal Meitei who account for more than 64% of the population of the State and yields 40 of the State’s 60 MLAs.
  • The hills comprising 90% of the geographical area are inhabited by more than 35% recognised tribes but send only 20 MLAs to the Assembly.
  • While a majority of the Meiteis are Hindus followed by Muslims, the 33 recognised tribes, broadly classified into ‘Any Naga tribes’ and ‘Any Kuki tribes’ are largely Christians.

Meitei Community

  • The Meitei people are the predominant ethnic group of Manipur State in India.
  • They speak the Meitei language, which is one of the 22 official languages of India and the sole official language of Manipur State.
  • Most Meiteis live in the Imphal Valley region of Manipur, but there is also a significant population in other Indian states and neighbouring countries.
  • The Meitei ethnic group comprises approximately 53% of Manipur’s population.
  • They are divided into clans, and members of the same clan do not intermarry.
  • Rice cultivation on irrigated fields is the basis of their economy.
  • A majority of Meiteis follow Hinduism, while more than 8% are Muslims.

What is the Meitei argument?

  • Court’s Directive: The Manipur High Court has directed the State government to submit a 10-year-old recommendation to the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry for the inclusion of the Meitei community in the ST list within four weeks.
  • Demand for ST Status: The Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) has been demanding ST status for the Meitei tribe since 2012.
  • Historical Recognition: The petitioners argued that the Meiteis were recognised as a tribe before the merger of the State with the Union of India in 1949.
  • Need for Preservation: The Meitei tribe believes that the ST status is necessary to preserve their community and save their ancestral land, tradition, culture, and language.
  • Safeguards Against Outsiders: The STDCM believes that the Meiteis need constitutional safeguards against outsiders as they have been kept away from the hills while tribal people can buy land in the Imphal Valley.

Tribal groups in Manipur are against granting ST status to the Meiteis.

  • The tribal groups argue that the Meiteis already have demographic and political advantages, and are academically and economically advanced compared to the tribal groups.
  • They fear that granting ST status to the Meiteis would lead to loss of job opportunities and allow them to acquire land in the hills, which would push the tribals out.
  • The All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur has pointed out that the Meitei language is already included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, and many Meiteis have access to benefits associated with SC, OBC, or EWS status.
  • According to Jawaharlal Nehru University lecturer Thongkholal Haokip, the demand for ST status by the Meiteis is seen as a ploy to attenuate the political demands of the Kukis and Nagas, and a strategy by the dominant valley dwellers to make inroads into the hill areas of the State.

What led to the unrest?

  • Pro-government groups in Manipur claim some tribal groups with vested interests are trying to scuttle Chief Minister’s crusade against drugs.
  • The anti-drug drive began with destroying poppy fields and the theory that “illegal settlers” from Myanmar — ethnically related to the Kuki-Zomi people of Manipur — are behind clearing forests and government lands to grow opium and cannabis.
  • The first violent protest on March 10 was against the eviction of the residents of a Kuki village.
  • This made the State government withdraw from the suspension of operations with two Kuki extremist groups accused of inciting the protesters.
  • The large-scale arson and violence claiming the life of at least one person on May 3 and 4 followed a “tribal solidarity rally” against the reported move to include the Meiteis in the ST list.

-Source: The Hindu

ESMA’s Derecognition of Indian CCPs


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Union’s financial markets regulator, has derecognized six Indian Central Counterparties (CCPs) from April 30, 2023, in accordance with the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Why has ESMA Derecognized Indian CCPs?
  2. Central Counterparties (CCPs)
  3. ESMA and EMIR

Why has ESMA Derecognized Indian CCPs?

  • The six Indian CCPs derecognized by ESMA are Clearing Corporation of India (CCIL), Indian Clearing Corporation Ltd (ICCL), NSE Clearing Ltd (NSCCL), Multi Commodity Exchange Clearing (MCXCCL), India International Clearing Corporation (IFSC) Ltd (IICC) and NSE IFSC Clearing Corporation Ltd (NICCL).
  • ESMA derecognized these CCPs because they did not meet all EMIR requirements.
  • Indian regulators, including RBI, SEBI, and IFSCA, did not establish “no cooperation arrangements” with ESMA.
  • ESMA aims to supervise these six CCPs, but Indian regulators believe that as they operate in India and not the EU, they should not be subject to ESMA regulations.
  • Indian regulators maintain that these CCPs have strong risk management and do not require foreign regulatory oversight.

Impact of ESMA’s derecognition of Indian CCPs

  • Following the withdrawal decisions, the six derecognized Indian CCPs cannot offer services to EU-based clearing members and trading venues.
  • European banks operating in India will be affected by this decision.
  • These banks may need up to 50 times more capital to conduct trades with Indian CCPs or will have to unwind their positions with the CCPs in the next 6 to 9 months.

Central Counterparties (CCPs)

Definition of CCPs:

  • Financial institutions that facilitate clearing and settlement process in financial markets
  • Act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers in derivatives and equities markets

Goal of CCPs:

  • Increase efficiency and stability in financial markets

Benefits of CCPs:

  • Reduce risks associated with various issues such as counterparty, operational, settlement, market, legal, and default
  • Act as a counterparty to both buyers and sellers, ensuring the terms of the trade are guaranteed
  • Collect money from each party involved in the trade

Functions of CCPs

  • Clearing and settlement are the main functions of CCPs
    • Clearing involves validating trade details and verifying sufficient funds for transaction completion
    • Settlement involves transferring ownership of the asset or security being traded from seller to buyer.

Regulators for CCPs in India

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is responsible for CCPs that clear money market instruments and foreign exchange derivatives.
  • Under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, CCPs are authorized by the RBI to operate in India.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulates CCPs that clear securities and commodity derivatives.


  • ESMA is an independent EU authority.
  • Its goals include investor protection and promoting stable financial markets.
  • ESMA supervises specific financial entities, such as credit rating agencies, securitization repositories, and trade repositories.
  • EMIR is an EU regulation that came into effect in August 2012.
  • Its aim is to reduce systemic, counterparty, and operational risk in the OTC derivatives market.
  • EMIR sets higher prudential standards for CCPs and trade repositories.
  • It enhances risk mitigation techniques for non-cleared derivatives.
  • EMIR also establishes a framework for recognizing and supervising third-country CCPs.

-Source: Economic Times

World Press Freedom Index 2023


On the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) (3rd May), the World Press Freedom Index 2023 was published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About World Press Freedom Index
  2. World Press Freedom Day
  3. Key highlights of the World Press Freedom Index 2023

About World Press Freedom Index

  • The World Press Freedom Index is an annual report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an independent NGO based in Paris.
  • The report ranks 180 countries based on their level of press freedom, taking into account factors such as censorship, media independence, and the safety of journalists.
  • RSF has consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF).
  • OIF is a collective of 54 French-speaking nations.
  • However, the Index is not an indicator of the quality of journalism.
  • The Index’s rankings are based on a score ranging from 0 to 100 that is assigned to each country or territory, with 100 being the best possible score (the highest possible level of press freedom) and 0 the worst.
  • Each country or territory’s score is evaluated using five contextual indicators:
    • Political context
    • Legal framework
    • Economic context
    • Sociocultural context
    • Safety.

World Press Freedom Day

  • World Press Freedom Day is a day proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 to raise awareness of the importance of press freedom and the protection of journalists’ rights.
  • The day also commemorates the 1991 Windhoek Declaration, which was adopted by UNESCO. The main objective of this day is to promote free and independent media worldwide.
  • The theme for World Press Freedom Day 2023 is ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for All Other Human Rights’.

Key highlights of the World Press Freedom Index 2023 are:

Top and Bottom Ranked Countries:

  • Norway, Ireland and Denmark are the top three countries with the highest level of press freedom.
  • Vietnam, China and North Korea are the bottom three countries with the lowest level of press freedom.

Improvement and Deterioration in Ranking:

  • Sri Lanka has made significant improvement in its ranking, moving up from 146th in 2022 to 135th this year.
  • Pakistan is ranked at the 150th position.
  • The situation has deteriorated in three countries: Tajikistan, India, and Turkey, with their rankings dropping to 153rd, 161st, and 165th respectively.

India’s Performance Analysis:

  • India is ranked 161st among 180 countries, with a score of 36.62, down from 150th in 2022.
  • India’s ranking has been consistently falling since 2016 when it was ranked 133.
  • The reasons behind India’s fall in ranking are the increased violence against journalists and a politically partisan media.
  • The acquisition of media outlets by oligarchs who maintain close ties with political leaders also restricts the free flow of information.
  • Many journalists in India are forced to censor themselves due to extreme pressure.

-Source: The Hindu

World Bank


Indian origin Ajay Banga was confirmed as the next President of World Bank.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Leadership of the World Bank: Key Points
  2. World Bank
  3. World Bank Group
  4. Introduction to the 5 organizations of World Bank Group

Leadership of the World Bank: Key Points

  • The President of the World Bank (WB) is responsible for overseeing the entire WB Group and managing the Bank’s operations.
  • Traditionally, the President of the Bank has always been a U.S. citizen, nominated by the United States, the largest shareholder in the bank.
  • The nominee must be confirmed by the board of executive directors and serves a five-year, renewable term.
  • The boards of directors consist of the WB Group President and 25 executive directors. The President chairs the meetings and has the power to break a tie, but ordinarily has no vote.
  • Executive directors cannot exercise any power, commit or represent the Bank unless specifically authorized by the boards.

About World Bank

  • The World Bank (WB) is an international organization which provides facilities related to “finance, advice and research to developing nations” in order to bolster their economic development.
  • It provides loans and grants to the governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.
  • It comprises two institutions: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA).
  • The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

World Bank Group

  • The World Bank Group is an extended family of five international organizations, and the parent organization of the World Bank, the collective name given to the first two listed organizations, the IBRD and the IDA:
    1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
    2. International Development Association (IDA)
    3. International Finance Corporation (IFC)
    4. Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
    5. International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • With 189 member countries, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.
  • The Bank Group works with country governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, regional development banks, think tanks, and other international institutions on issues ranging from climate change, conflict, and food security to education, agriculture, finance, and trade.

Introduction to the 5 organizations of World Bank Group

  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lends to governments of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries.
  • The International Development AssociationThe International Development Association (IDA) provides interest-free loans — called credits — and grants to governments of the poorest countries. It is called the soft loan window of the World Bank. Together, IBRD and IDA make up the World Bank.
  • The International Finance CorporationThe International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. It helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
  • The Multilateral Investment Guarantee AgencyThe Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) was created in 1988 to promote foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfils this mandate by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders.
  • The International Centre for Settlement of Investment DisputesThe International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) provides international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.

-Source: The Hindu

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL): Navratna status


Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways, has been granted Navratna status.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About  Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL):
  2. What is Navratna status and how does it benefit RVNL?
  3. What was RVNL’s previous status and when did it receive Navratna status?

About Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL):

  • RVNL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways.
  • It was established in 2003 to implement railway infrastructure projects and raise extra-budgetary resources for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
  • RVNL began operations in 2005 and is responsible for undertaking Rail project development and execution of works, creating project-specific SPVs, and handing over completed railway projects to the relevant Zonal Railway for operation and maintenance.

What is Navratna status and how does it benefit RVNL?

  • Navratna status is a recognition given by the Indian government to select public sector enterprises (PSEs) that have financial and operational autonomy.
  • The grant of Navratna status to RVNL provides it with more operational freedom, financial autonomy, and enhanced delegation of powers.
  • This status enables PSEs to invest up to Rs. 1000 crore without any approval from the central government, giving them more flexibility in decision making, personnel management, and joint ventures.
What was RVNL’s previous status and when did it receive Navratna status?
  • RVNL was granted Mini-Ratna status in 2013.
  • It has now been granted Navratna status.

-Source: The Hindu

Channapatna Toys


Toy manufacturers in Channapatna, Karnataka, applauded the Government’s decision to prohibit the import of toys from China and said that the government’s action is contributing to augmenting their profitability.


GS I: History, Facts for Prelims

About Channapatna Toys:

Location and History:

  • Channapatna toys are a form of wooden toys and dolls that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka.
  • Channapatna is also known as Gombegala Ooru (toy-town).
  • Tipu Sultan, the historic ruler of Mysore, is credited with introducing these wooden toys to Channapatna by inviting artists from Persia to train the local artists in wooden toy making.

Handmade and Chemical-Free:

  • Most Channapatna toys are handmade and painted in organic colours extracted from vegetables, plants, and natural dyes.
  • This makes them 100% chemical-free and safe for children.
  • Traditionally, they are mostly made of Ivory Wood, but nowadays, sandalwood and mango wood are also used.

Shapes and Safety:

  • The shapes of Channapatna toys are mostly round and cubes with blunt edges, making them completely safe for kids.
  • Geographical Indication:
  • Channapatna toys received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2005, recognizing them as a unique product of the town and ensuring their authenticity.

-Source: The Print

December 2023