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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 12 February 2024

  1. The Impact and Evolution of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016
  2. Celebrating Women in Science


Context:

The enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in 2016 represents a significant turning point in recent Indian legislative history. Designed to enhance and accelerate the resolution process for financially troubled businesses, the IBC has had profound effects on India’s economic landscape and global standing.

Relevance:

GS3- Indian Economy

  • Banking Sector & NBFCs
  • Growth & Development

GS2- Government Policies & Interventions

Mains Question:

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code IBC of 2016 has played a major role in streamlining insolvency resolution processes and bolstering investor confidence. Comment critically. (15 Marks, 250 Words).

Background:

  • The IBC of 2016 emerged as a response to the urgent necessity for a comprehensive insolvency framework in India.
  • Prior to its enactment, the country struggled with a disjointed and inefficient system, resulting in prolonged legal disputes and value erosion for all stakeholders.
  • Acknowledging the crucial role of a robust insolvency framework in fostering economic growth and investor trust, the Indian government undertook the task of revamping the existing system.
  • The implementation of the IBC in 2016 represented a significant shift in India’s approach to insolvency resolution.
  • Introducing a unified legal framework that streamlined the resolution process and prioritized creditor rights, the IBC aimed to hasten the resolution of distressed assets while maximizing value for all stakeholders.
  • Noteworthy provisions of the IBC included the establishment of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), along with the formation of Insolvency Professionals (IPs) and Insolvency Professional Entities (IPEs) to facilitate the resolution process.

Impact of IBC:

  • The enactment of the IBC has had a profound impact on India’s Ease of Doing Business Index, leading to a consistent improvement in rankings since its implementation.
  • From its inception, India’s position in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index has steadily risen, advancing by an additional 14 places to reach 63 in 2019.
  • This positive shift can be largely attributed to the IBC’s success in efficiently and effectively resolving insolvency cases, contributing to an enhanced overall business environment in the country.
  • Specifically, India’s standing in the resolution of insolvency experienced a remarkable surge of 56 places, reaching 52 in 2019.
  • This unprecedented improvement highlights the IBC’s positive influence in expediting the resolution process, reducing both time and costs associated with insolvency cases, and optimizing the value recovered by creditors.
  • The achievements of the IBC are also credited to the efforts of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), the regulatory body responsible for overseeing IBC implementation.
  • Since its establishment, the IBBI has played a pivotal role in shaping and refining the insolvency framework, issuing regulations, guidelines, and circulars to ensure the smooth and effective execution of the IBC.

Evolution of the IBC:

  • Over its seven-year journey, the IBBI has introduced six amendments to the IBC, all aimed at further improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the insolvency resolution process.
  • These amendments have addressed various challenges and loopholes, fortifying the framework and making it more resilient to emerging complexities in the insolvency landscape.
  • A key focus area for the IBBI has been the regulation of Insolvency Professionals (IPs) and Insolvency Professional Entities (IPEs), pivotal entities in the insolvency resolution process.
  • The IBBI has implemented several amendments to the regulations governing IPs and IPEs, seeking to enhance their roles and capabilities in successfully resolving insolvency cases.
  • As an illustration, the IBBI has implemented changes permitting IPs to resign from their positions under specific circumstances, addressing concerns regarding prolonged tenures without remuneration.
  • Furthermore, amendments have been introduced to allow IPEs to involve their partners or directors in insolvency assignments, thereby broadening their capacity and expertise in the resolution process.
  • Moreover, the IBBI has instituted amendments to streamline the appointment process for IPs by establishing a panel of eligible candidates for adjudicating authority appointments.
  • This has expedited the appointment process, ensuring a more transparent and efficient resolution process.
  • Beyond amendments related to IPs and IPEs, the IBBI has also introduced changes to other regulations governing the insolvency process. For instance, modifications have clarified the role of monitoring committees in the resolution process and simplified the billing process for insolvency professionals.
  • Overall, the introduced amendments by the IBBI have addressed various challenges and complexities in the insolvency resolution process, enhancing its efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness.
  • These amendments have further fortified the IBC and solidified India’s standing as a leader in insolvency reform.

Way Forward:

  • Looking forward, the IBBI remains dedicated to continual improvement and refinement of the insolvency framework, ensuring responsiveness to the evolving needs and challenges of the insolvency landscape.
  • By cultivating an environment conducive to efficient and effective insolvency resolution, the IBBI aims to support India’s economic growth and development goals, bolstering investor confidence in the country’s business environment.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the 2016 IBC underscores India’s commitment to cultivating a business-friendly environment and improving the ease of doing business in the country. Through its robust framework and proactive regulatory measures, the IBC has significantly contributed to advancing India’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index and boosting investor confidence in the business environment. With ongoing support and efforts from regulatory bodies like the IBBI, India is poised to further fortify its insolvency framework and drive economic growth and development in the years ahead.



Context:

Yesterday marked the celebration of the International Day of Women in Science, a day dedicated to acknowledging and honoring the accomplishments of women in the scientific field. This annual occasion serves as a reminder of the invaluable contributions women have made to scientific progress and innovation throughout history.

Relevance:

GS-2

  • Gender
  • Education
  • Government Policies and Interventions
  • Issues Related to Women

GS3-

  • Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology
  • Indigenization of Technology
  • Developing New Technology

Mains Question:

Despite their significant contributions, women in science still face systemic barriers, including gender bias, unequal representation and limited access to opportunities. Comment. (10 Marks, 150 Words).

India’s Progress in Women in STEM:

  • During the presentation of the interim Budget 2024, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted a noteworthy development, stating that female enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses has reached an impressive 43 percent, ranking among the highest globally.
  • She emphasized, “Female enrollment in higher education has increased by 28 percent over the past decade. In STEM courses, girls and women constitute 43 percent of enrollment—one of the highest rates globally.
  • These indicators reflect the growing participation of women in the workforce.” Sitharaman also underscored the empowerment of women through initiatives related to entrepreneurship, ease of living, and dignity, mentioning, “Thirty crore Mudra Yojana loans have been granted to women entrepreneurs.”
  • In contemporary times, women scientists are assuming leadership roles in groundbreaking initiatives such as Chandrayaan-3 and the Aditya-L1 solar mission, showcasing their enduring influence and expertise in pushing the boundaries of scientific exploration.
  • Women engaged in STEM fields in India have been consistently challenging stereotypes and making substantial contributions across various disciplines. Trailblazers like Dr. Tessy Thomas, recognized as the “Missile Woman of India,” have broken through traditionally male-dominated fields, symbolizing the significant strides made by Indian women in areas like space technology, biotechnology, and mathematics.
  • Women have achieved groundbreaking progress in an array of scientific domains, spanning astronomy, biology, engineering, and computer science. Their discoveries, innovations, and leadership have not only enriched our understanding of the world but have also propelled technological advancements.

Historical Background:

From trailblazers like Savitribai Jyotiba Phule, the inaugural female educator in India who established the first girls’ school, to Lady Abala Bose, the pioneer Indian woman pursuing medicine at Madras University, to Kamala Sohonie, the first Indian woman to attain a PhD in a scientific field, to Ayyalasomayajula Lalitha, India’s inaugural woman engineer, and Shakuntala Devi, renowned as the “Human Computer,” women consistently make a lasting impact on the scientific realm.

Government Initiatives:

  • The government has taken substantial steps to fortify STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, recognizing its crucial role in propelling innovation, economic prosperity, and societal progress.
  • Initiatives like the Vigyan Jyoti Scheme, led by the Ministry of Science and Technology, are dismantling gender barriers by empowering young girls in STEM fields through exposure and mentorship programs.
  • Programs like INSPIRE promote innovation among students through scholarships and research opportunities, while Atal Tinkering Labs cultivate creativity and problem-solving skills among school students.
  • The Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan fosters a culture of innovation in schools, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world applications.
  • Additionally, the government provides research fellowships and grants, digital learning resources through the National Digital Library, and skill enhancement programs via Skill India, all aimed at cultivating a skilled workforce and fostering growth in STEM-related industries.
  • These coordinated efforts underscore the government’s dedication to nurturing a robust ecosystem for scientific inquiry and technological advancement in the country.
  • The government’s Vigyan Jyoti scheme further aims to promote STEM education and careers among young girls, fostering inclusivity.

Way Forward:

  • While women have played a pivotal role in shaping the scientific landscape, their contributions have often been overlooked or undervalued.
  • The celebration of the International Day of Women in Science aims to redress this imbalance, drawing attention to the remarkable achievements of women scientists.
  • It is imperative to showcase diverse role models in science to inspire young girls and women, encouraging them to pursue their passions and dismantle existing barriers in the field.
  • Despite some progress, women in science continue to face numerous challenges, including gender bias, lack of representation, and unequal opportunities across various scientific fields.
  • The imperative is to actively work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable environment for women in science. Providing equal opportunities, mentorship, and support is crucial to empowering women to thrive and contribute their unique perspectives to scientific advancements.

Conclusion:

Even though women in science have made significant contributions, systemic barriers persist. By promoting and highlighting the accomplishments of women in science, the goal is to spark a passion for discovery and innovation among young girls, ultimately paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive scientific community.


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