Daily Current Affairs: January 16, 17, 2017

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SEBI introduces new merger norms

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has introduced new rules for mergers and amalgamations by Indian companies with the purpose of safeguarding interests of the public shareholders.
  • The market regulator amended rules in an effort to make listing process more transparent and ensure wider public holding, prevent mergers of large unlisted firms with small ones.
  • New rules will ensure that all classes of shareholders get an equitable treatment during mergers and acquisitions. It will also stop practice using route of merger to get an indirect listing for an unlisted company.

New Rules

  • Holding of public shareholders post the merger cannot be less than 25%. Similar threshold must be for institutional shareholders of the unlisted entity as well, post-merger.
  • Unlisted company can be merged with a listed company only if the latter is listed on a stock exchange having nationwide trading terminals.
  • e-voting will be mandatory in cases wherein the stake of public shareholders reduces by more than 5% in the merged entity. In case of merger of an unlisted company with a listed company, the unlisted company will have to disclose all the material information.
  • Companies must follow the pricing formula for stocks as per SEBI’s ICDR (issue of capital and disclosure requirements) norms during mergers.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the statutory regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in 1988 and given statutory powers through the SEBI Act, 1992. It was established in the aftermath of Harshad Mehta Scam with the aim to protect interests of investors in securities, promote the development of securities market and to regulate the securities market. 
  • It has three functions: quasi-legislative (drafts regulations in its legislative capacity), quasi-judicial (passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity) and quasi-executive (conducts investigation and enforcement action in its executive function).

SEZ India App launched by Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI)

  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has launched a mobile application named “SEZ India” under its e-Governance initiative to help the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Units and Developers.
  • It seeks to help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions like Bill of Shipping/Entry Bill etc through an Online System.
  • The App provides important information and tools such as Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), Hand Book of procedure, Customs & Excise Notification, Duty Calculator and MEIS Rates. In addition to this, it consists of contact details of all Development Commissioners Office, DG System, DGFT, DGCI & S and SEZ online. 

Gonsalves committee: Reservation for Girls in IITs 

  • Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will have reservation for girl students up to 20% supernumerary seats for girls out of the total number of seats.
  • This recommendation has been made by a committee under Professor Timothy Gonsalves to address the issue of drop in number of female students entering the prestigious institutes.
  • No decision has been taken about when will this come into effect.
  • This reservation will only apply to candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced. The reservation for girl students will not affect the number of seats for male candidates.
  • It is aimed at helping achieve the target of one lakh students in IITs by 2020.
  • Prof. Timothy Gonsalves is currently Director of IIT Mandi.

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to be implement in Delhi NCR to combat air pollution 

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR Delhi region.
  • GRAP defines the measures to be taken based on air quality on the basis of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the atmosphere.
  • Air quality will be classified in four ways : Emergency, Severe, Very Poor and Moderate poor. It will be enforced by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).
  • Under this plan, emergency measures will be automatically enforced in NCR if level of PM2.5 breaches 300 micrograms per cubic metre (µgm/m3) and PM10 levels stay above 500 (µgm/m3)for two consecutive days.
  • Emergency-Measures like odd-even car rationing scheme and ban on construction activities to combat air pollution will be implemented.
  • Very poor- Diesel generators will be banned and parking fee will be increased by three to four times, closing brick kilns, stone crushers, hot mix plants and intensifying public transport services and increasing the frequency of mechanised cleaning and sprinkling of water on roads.
  • Particulate Matter (PM): PM are tiny particles of dust which can cause very serious respiratory disorders and even damage the lungs.

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