Contents

  1. SC introduces FASTER system to send records
  2. FDI inflows grew 62% in first 4 months of F.Y. 2021-22
  3. U.S. envoy to Haiti resigns

SC introduces FASTER system to send records

Context:

The Supreme Court has introduced a new system – the “Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records” (FASTER) system.

Relevance:

GS-II: Governance (Transparency and Accountability, e-Governance, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Supreme Court on FASTER System
  2. Data regarding Delay in Justice
  3. Reasons for delay in Justice
  4. Way Forwards

Supreme Court on FASTER System

  • Through the “Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records” (FASTER) system, crucial decisions, including orders on bail and stay of arrest, can be communicated electronically to prison authorities and investigating agencies through a secure channel.
  • The introduction of this system comes as a big boost to the fundamental rights of life, dignity and personal liberty.
  • The system would also prevent unnecessary arrests and custody of people even after the court had already granted them its protection.
  • It may even communicate a stay on an execution ordered by the final court on time.
  • The Bench also asked State governments to file their reports about the Internet connectivity in their jails to prevent technical glitches in future.

Why was the system needed?

  • The Court took this initiative after people given bail by courts, even by the Supreme Court have to wait for days before prison authorities release them.
  • Prison authorities who insist on receiving by hand the “authentic” hard copy of the bail order regardless of the fact that the personal liberty of people suffers.

Data regarding Delay in Justice

  • As per the National Judicial Data Grid:
    • Around 17% of all cases in district and Taluka Courts are three to 5 years old;
    • More than 20% of all cases in High Courts are 5-10 years old, and over 17% are 10-20 years old.
    • Over 66,000 cases are pending before the Supreme Court
    • Over 57 lakh cases are pending before various HCs
    • Over 3.5 crore cases are pending before various District and Subordinate courts – the number could have increased to more than 4 crores due to the pandemic.
  • According to the National Crime Record Bureau, lakhs of people who are lodged in jail are waiting for their pleas to be heard. Thousands are in jail for petty crimes and have spent more jail time than are required by law.
  • In 2016, there were at least 18,000 women prisoners in central jails across the country and of them, the hearing of cases of 6328 women had not even been started in Courts.

Reasons for delay in Justice

  • Across India, there are vacancies against even the sanctioned strengths of courts and in the worst performing states those vacancies exceed 30 per cent. Due to this, the average waiting period for trial in lower courts is around 10 years and 2-5 years in HCs.
  • District courts across the country also suffer from inadequate infrastructure and poor working conditions, which need drastic improvement, particularly if they are to meet the digital expectations raised by the higher judiciary.
  • Also, there is a yawning digital divide between courts, practitioners and clients in metropolitan cities and those outside. Overcoming the hurdles of decrepit infrastructure and digital illiteracy will take years.
  • The budget allocated to the judiciary is between 0.08 and 0.09 per cent of the GDP. Only four countries — Japan, Norway, Australia and Iceland — have a lesser budget allocation and they do not have problems of pendency like India.
  • On an average, there is just one judge for 73,000 people in India. In contrast, the US has one judge for every 13,000 people. If better salaries and better perks are provided, then better lawyers would be interested in becoming judges.

Way Forwards

  • There should be wide introspection through extensive discussions, debates and consultations to identify the root causes of delays in our justice delivery system and providing meaningful solutions to improve the justice delivery system in India.
  • Government rules, orders and regulations should be thorough and comprehensive after wide consultations with stakeholders to avoid unnecessary litigations.
  • Speedy Justice is not only a fundamental right but also a prerequisite of maintaining the rule of law and delivering good governance. In its absence, Judicial system ends up serving the interests of the corrupt and the law-breakers.
  • One of the solutions is to substantially increase the strength of the judicial services by appointing more judges at the subordinate level — improvements must start from the bottom of the pyramid. Strengthening the subordinate judiciary also means providing it with administrative and technical support and prospects for promotion, development and training.
  • The Supreme Court should mandate summary disposal of all ‘hibernating’ PILs – those pending for more than 10 years before HCs – if they do not concern a question of significant public policy or law.
  • Women judges, and judges from historically-marginalised castes and classes must finally be given a fair share of seats at the table.

-Source: The Hindu


FDI inflows grew 62% in first 4 months of F.Y. 2021-22

Context:

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows grew 62% during the first four months (April-July period) of current FY 2021-22 over corresponding period last year (2020).

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy, External Sector)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  2. FDI in India
  3. FDI Routes in India
  4. Recent updates regarding FDI
  5. Government Measures to Promote FDI

About Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished from a Foreign Portfolio Investment by a notion of direct control.
  • FDI may be made either “inorganically” by buying a company in the target country or “organically” by expanding the operations of an existing business in that country.
  • Broadly, FDI includes “mergers and acquisitions, building new facilities, reinvesting profits earned from overseas operations, and intra company loans”. In a narrow sense, it refers just to building a new facility, and lasting management interest.

FDI in India

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India.
  • It has been the endeavor of the Government to put in place an enabling and investor friendly FDI policy. The intent all this while has been to make the FDI policy more investor friendly and remove the policy bottlenecks that have been hindering the investment inflows into the country.
  • The steps taken in this direction during the last six years have borne fruit as is evident from the ever-increasing volumes of FDI inflows being received into the country. Continuing on the path of FDI liberalization and simplification, Government has carried out FDI reforms across various sectors.

FDI Routes in India

  • Foreign investment was introduced in 1991 under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), driven by then FM Manmohan Singh.
  • There are three routes through which FDI flows into India. They are described in the following table:
Category 1Category 2Category 3
100% FDI permitted through Automatic RouteUp to 100% FDI permitted through Government RouteUp to 100% FDI permitted through Automatic + Government Route
  • Automatic route: By this route, FDI is allowed without prior approval by Government or RBI.
  • Government route: Prior approval by the government is needed via this route. The application needs to be made through Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal, which will facilitate the single-window clearance of FDI application under Approval Route.
  • Global Depository Receipts – GDR
  • Foreign Depository Receipts – FDR
  • Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds – FCCB
  • Foreign institutional investors – FII

Recent updates regarding FDI

  • FDI equity inflow grew by 112% in the April-July period of FY 2021-22 (USD 20.42 billion) compared to the FY 2020-21 period.
  • The Automobile Industry has emerged as the top sector with 23% share of the total FDI Equity inflow followed by Computer Software & Hardware (18%) and Services Sector (10%) respectively.
  • Karnataka is the top recipient state for the period with 45% share of the total FDI Equity inflows followed by Maharashtra (23%) and Delhi (12%).

Government Measures to Promote FDI

  • Factors such as favourable demographics, impressive mobile and internet penetration, massive consumption and technology uptake, played an important role in attracting the investments.
  • Launch of Schemes attracting investments, such as, National technical Textile Mission, Production Linked Incentive Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana, etc.
  • The government has elaborated upon the initiatives under the Atmanirbhar Bharat to encourage investments in different sectors.
  • As a part of its Make in India initiative to promote domestic manufacturing, India deregulated FDI rules for several sectors over the last few years.

Click Here to read more about tightening the norms for FDI from neighbors (in 2020)

-Source: PIB


U.S. envoy to Haiti resigns

Context:

The U.S. special envoy to Haiti resigned in protest in a letter that blasted the Biden administration for deporting hundreds of migrants back to the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation from a camp on the U.S.-Mexican border in recent days.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-II: International Relations (Important Political developments in foreign countries), Maps

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Current Issue in Haiti
  2. About Haiti

Current Issue in Haiti

  • Haiti’s latest instability revolves around a dispute over Jovenel Moise’s presidency. He was elected in 2016 to a five-year term, but because of contention over election results, he did not take office until the next year.
  • Under Jovenel Moise’s administration, the political and economic situation in Haiti further deteriorated.
  • Jovenel Moise insisted that it entitled him to another year in power — a claim that Haiti’s opposition rejected.
  • In February 2021, when Moïse’s opponents said his term ended, they declared their Supreme Court Judge as interim president. Jovenel Moise called it a coup attempt, and 23 opponents were arrested.
  • At the same time there has been a surge in kidnappings, rapes and killings as rival gangs battle each other and the police for control of Haiti’s streets.
  • The human rights activists have accused Jovenel Moise’s government of having ties to the gangs.
  • So far this year, at least 278 Haitians have been killed in gang-related violence.
  • The unprecedented level of violence and subsequent displacements is creating a host of secondary issues.

About Haiti

  • Haiti is a country in the Caribbean Sea that includes the western third of the island of Hispaniola and such smaller islands as Gonâve, Tortue (Tortuga), Grande Caye, and Vache.
  • It occupies the western three-eighths of the Hispaniola island (in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea) which it shares with the Dominican Republic.
  • It lies to the east of Cuba and Jamaica and south of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The capital is Port-au-Prince.
  • Its population is almost entirely descended from African slaves, won independence from France in 1804, making it the second country in the Americas, after the United States, to free itself from colonial rule.
  • The island was originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people, who originated in South America It is the world’s first independent Black-led republic.
  • The nation underwent about two centuries of Spanish colonial rule and more than a century of French rule.
  • Over the centuries, however, economic, political, and social difficulties as well as a number of natural disasters have beset Haiti with chronic poverty and other serious problems.
  • It is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, has a painful history of foreign interventions, economic exploitation and dictatorial rule.

-Source: The Hindu

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