GS Paper I- History and Geography of the world and Society.

Iceland Becomes The First Country To Legalise Equal Pay At Workplace.

Background

  • Iceland has stepped up for gender equality and has become the first country in the world to legalise equal pay.
  • According to a law passed by the parliament in June, 2017, all companies, both private and public, need to prove that their wage practices don’t discriminate against women.
  • The only difference in wages that may exist, should be on the basis of education, output, and skills.
  • In case any firm fails to prove itself, it can result in imposition of daily fines.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The law seeks to eliminate the current pay gap of around 5.7 per cent between men and women. In fact, the country aims to eradicate gender pay inequality by the year 2022.
  • In many other countries, it is illegal to pay men and women differently. But Iceland, became the first nation to make it mandatory for both private and public firms to have equal pay.
  • Companies with more than 25 employees will be required to get an ‘equal pay certification’ which must be renewed every three years.
  • Large scale companies with more than 250 employees need to get the certificate by the year end, whereas small scale firms have time till the end of year 2021.
  • According to World Economic Forum, Iceland already ranks first in terms of global gender equality index. In 2017, it bagged the first place for the ninth consecutive year.

Sources- INDIA TODAY.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Cabinet Okays 100% FDI In Single Brand Retail Via Automatic Route.

Background

  • The Union Cabinet on 10th January, 2018 allowed foreign airlines to invest upto 49 per cent under approval route in Air India.
  • However, this nod comes with two conditions – foreign investment including that of foreign Airlines should not exceed 49 per cent either directly or indirectly and substantial ownership and effective control of Air India would continue to be vested in Indian national.
  • The other amendments in FDI Policy include 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for single brand retail trading. Also, 100 per cent FDI under automatic route in construction development has been allowed.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) / Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have been allowed to invest in power exchanges through primary market. The definition of ‘medical devices’ has been amended in the FDI policy.
  • The existing FDI policy on Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT) allows 49 per cent FDI under automatic route, and FDI beyond 49 per cent and up to 100 per cent through Government approval route.
  • It has now been decided to permit 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for SBRT, the release added.
  • It has been decided to permit single brand retail trading entity to set off its incremental sourcing of goods from India for global operations during initial 5 years, beginning April 1 of the year of the opening of first store against the mandatory sourcing requirement of 30 per cent of purchases from India.
  • For this purpose, incremental sourcing will mean the increase in terms of value of such global sourcing from India for that single brand (in INR terms) in a particular financial year over the preceding financial year, by the non-resident entities undertaking single brand retail trading entity, either directly or through their group companies.
  • After completion of this 5 year period, the SBRT entity shall be required to meet the 30 per cent sourcing norms directly towards its India operation, on an annual basis.
  • The FDI policy has been amended to stipulate joint audits in investee companies (receiving foreign investments) in situations where the foreign investor wishes to specify a particular auditor/audit firm having international network for the Indian investee company. One of the auditors should not be part of the same network, according to the amended FDI policy.
  • Prior to this change, the FDI policy did not have any provisions in respect of specification of auditors that can be appointed by the Indian investee companies receiving foreign investments.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

 

GS Paper III- Security, Technology.

Boeing To Set Up P-8I Anti-Sub Aircraft Training Unit In TN.

Background

  • Boeing will set up a training facility for its P-8I warfare aircraft at the naval air station INS Rajali, near Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.
  • The 60,000-sq ft facility for P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft will be commissioned by March 2021.
  • The India training facility will be the second for Boeing globally, the first one being in Australia.
  • In addition, as part of the contract, a dedicated Maintenance Simulator would also be commissioned at the Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT).

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The P-8I Training Solution, along with 10-year comprehensive maintenance service, will be brought from Boeing for ₹1,949.32 crore.
  • The order was cleared by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 4th January, 2018 towards training of the P8I pilots, observers, ordnance and technical personnel. After completion of the 10-year period, the training facility will be run by the Navy.
  • The first P-8I aircraft was inducted in Indian Navy in 2013 and as of date, eight aircraft, based at INS Rajali, have been fully integrated into Indian Naval operations. In 2016, the Defence Ministry placed a follow-on order for four additional P-8Is, the delivery of which will begin in 2020.
  • The training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems. It will help the Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training, according to the Defence Ministry.
  • The training centre will have capacity to train additional crew as the Indian Navy accepts delivery of four new aircraft. Boeing will also be responsible for maintaining the simulators. It also plans to use several local partners to support hardware and software requirements, and for supporting maintenance of simulators.
  • Boeing provided factory training to five aircrew and 68 maintenance technicians as part of the original P-8I aircraft contract.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.