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29-December -2023

1. Ministry of Corporate Affairs Year Ender 2023

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government Policies – Interventions for development in various sectors
UPSC candidates must grasp corporate governance reforms in 2023, reflecting India’s dynamic regulatory environment and economic facilitation. 
  • In 2023, India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs enacted reforms, including C-PACE for swift corporate closures, empowering RDs for speedy merger approvals, and amendments for ease in accounting standards.
  • The Competition Bill streamlined approvals, while procedural flexibility and automation further enhanced the business environment.
Corporate Exit Facilitation
  • C-PACE Operationalization: The Central Processing for Accelerated Corporate Exit (C-PACE) became operational on May 1, 2023. This initiative, in line with the Union Budget announcement in 2022, aims to expedite approval processes for companies voluntarily closing operations.
Merger Approval Expedited
  • RD Empowerment: Amendments to the Companies (Compromises, Arrangements and Amalgamations) Rules, 2016 empower Regional Directors (RDs) to hasten the approval of mergers.
Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  • CCI Approval Threshold: The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023, passed in both Houses and receiving Presidential assent, mandates CCI approval for transactions exceeding Rs 2,000 crore. The final order timeline for combination transactions is reduced to 150 days from 210 days.
  • Expanded Scope: The amendment broadens the scope of entities in anti-competitive agreements, now including those not engaged in similar businesses. It introduces a framework for settlement and commitment, expediting the resolution of investigations.
Accounting Standards Enhancement
  • IndAS Amendments: The Companies (Indian Accounting Standards) Amendment Rules, 2023, effective from April 1, 2023, bring crucial changes to IndAS 1, IndAS 8, and IndAS 12, addressing material accounting policies, definition of accounting estimates, and deferred tax related to assets and liabilities arising from a single transaction.
Corporate Procedures Flexibility
  • Cost Removal in Office Shifting: Amendments in the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014, remove processing costs for shifting registered offices, streamlining the process.
Straight Through Process for E-forms
  • Automated Approvals: Adoption of the Straight Through Process (STP) for additional e-forms eliminates manual intervention, facilitating electronic approvals and enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Collectively, these achievements underscore the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ commitment to fostering a dynamic, efficient, and responsive corporate ecosystem in India.

2. Year End Review 2023- Achievements & Initiatives of Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government Policies.
UPSC aspirants must grasp India’s food processing sector reforms, vital for economic growth, job creation, and sustainable agriculture.
  • In 2023, India’s Ministry of Food Processing Industries reported a 73% increase in budget allocation, significant growth in processed food exports.
  • The article also underlines achievements in employment, loan sanctions, and global events, highlighting the sector’s substantial progress and contributions.
Sectoral Assistance Increase
  • Budget Allocation Growth: The Ministry’s budget for the development of the food processing sector in 2023-24 increased by about 73%.
Processed Food Exports Surge
  • Export Share Expansion: The share of processed food in agricultural exports rose significantly from 13.7% in 2014-15 to 25.6% in 2022-23, highlighting the sector’s growing contribution.
Employment Impact
  • Organized Sector Employment: The food processing sector, a vital contributor to organized manufacturing, provides 12.22% of employment in the total registered/organized sector.
Millet Celebrations
  • International Millet Year Activities: Celebrating the International Year of Millets 2023, the Ministry organized Millet Roadshows, conferences, and exhibitions across 27 districts, emphasizing the importance of millets in food processing.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY) Achievements
  • Project Approvals: Under PMKSY, a total of 184 projects have been approved, contributing to a processing & preservation capacity of 13.19 lakh MT.
Production-Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industries (PLISFPI)
  • Scheme Components: The PLISFPI scheme aims to create global food manufacturing champions and support Indian brands.
International Year of Millets (IYM) Focus
  • Millet-Based Proposals: Under IYM, 30 Millet-based proposals for Production Linked Incentive with an outlay of Rs 800 Crore have been approved. Additionally, Millet festivals, roadshows, and conferences were organized across various districts.
PYQ: Elaborate on the policy taken by the government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2019)

3. Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA).

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government Policies – Interventions for development in various sectors.
UPSC aspirants need to comprehend SHRESHTA’s role in advancing education and socio-economic development for Scheduled Castes, fostering inclusivity. 
  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment’s SHRESHTA scheme aims to uplift Scheduled Castes through quality education, with two modes focusing on school selection, financial support, and rigorous monitoring.
SHRESHTA scheme:
  • The Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA) aims to provide quality education in targeted areas.
  • It focuses on high school students, emphasizing residential education to enhance learning outcomes.
  • The scheme aims to bridge educational gaps in underserved regions, promoting inclusivity.
  • Residential facilities ensure a conducive learning environment, fostering holistic development.
  • SHRESHTA targets specific areas identified for educational upliftment, addressing regional disparities.
  • The scheme incorporates a comprehensive curriculum, promoting academic excellence and skill development.
  • Specialized faculty and resources are allocated to ensure high-quality education.
  • By providing residential accommodations, the scheme aims to overcome challenges related to access and attendance.
  • SHRESHTA aligns with broader educational goals, fostering talent and empowering students in targeted regions.
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are in place to assess the impact and effectiveness of the scheme.

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