1. IRDAI approves 33 proposals of non-life insurance companies under sandbox regulations
- IRDAI has approved 33 proposals of non-life insurance companies under IRDAI (Regulatory Sandbox) Regulations, 2019.
- IRDAI had received a total of 173 proposals from non-life insurance companies.
- Earlier, IRDAI has approved ICICI Lombard General Insurance's Pay As You Use (PAYU) and Pay How You Use (PHYU) policies for private cars.
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance is also having plans to start pay as you consume insurance for motor vehicles. It involves premiums either according to kilometers used by insured or according to the time period insured plans to drive car.
- IRDAI has also approved Edelweiss General Insurance's app-based multi-vehicle, usage-based floater policy for motor OD (own damage).
- IRDAI (Regulatory Sandbox) Regulations, 2019 allow starting of products on a pilot basis and their completion from February 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.
- After testing of the product for six months under the Sandbox approach, IRDAI will permit the final launch of the product.
- As per IRDAI guidelines, Fintech Company making an application for approval of innovative proposals with the potential to increase insurance penetration should have a net worth of Rs 10 lakh. A proven financial record of a minimum of one year is also required.
2. India at the top in World Bank's WBL Index
- India has achieved the top rank in the South Asian region in Women, Business and Law (WBL) Index 2020.
- India's score in the WBL index 2020 is 74.4 out of 100. It gained 4% from last year.
- Earlier, Maldives had score the highest in South Asia. But, India is currently having the highest score in South Asia.
- The report says Maharashtra has removed legal conditions and limitations that restricted the ability of women to work in jobs seen as dangerous.
- Among the BRICS countries, India is placed at 4th place after South Africa, Brazil and China in WBL 2020.
- India scored 100 on indicators like mobility, workplace and marriage. In terms of pay and parenthood, India's respective scores were 25 and 40.
- While India scored 75 on both entrepreneurship and pension indicators, its score on assets was 80.
- Economies like Belgium, France, Latvia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Iceland and Luxembourg scored 100 in WBL 2020.
- Women, Business and Law (WBL) report was a biennial report till 2018. First WBL was released in 2010 and WBL 2018 was the fifth edition of WBL.
- WBL 2020 says that the current edition is the sixth edition. But, World Bank has also released the WBL report in 2019.
- In WBL 2020, laws affecting the economic inclusion of women in 190 economies were studied through eight parameters. They include workplace, pay, mobility, marriage, parenthood, pensions, assets and entrepreneurship.
3. Approval of amendment to CGST Act, 2017 and UT GST Act, 2017 and Daman as headquarters of recently merged UTs
- Cabinet has recently approved amendment to CGST Act, 2017 and UT GST Act, 2017 and designation of Daman as headquarters of recently merged UTs.
- After the amendment, Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017, will be called Central Goods and Service Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020.
- After the amendment, the Union Territory Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 will be called Union Territory Goods and Service Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020.
- Cabinet has also permitted the designation of Daman as headquarters of recently merged Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
- Cabinet also approved the amendment to Dadra and Nagar Haveli Value Added Tax Regulation, 2005. After the amendment, it will become Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Value Added Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020.
- Cabinet has also approved the closing of loss- making Hindustan Fluorocarbons Ltd (HFL). It is a subsidiary of Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd (HOCL). HOCL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals.
- Cabinet has also approved Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) to build permanent campuses of NITs by March 31, 2022. These National Institutes of Technology (NITs) were formed in 2009 and operational since 2010-11.
- Cabinet also gave the approval to extend the term of Justice Rohini Commission till July 31, 2020.
- Justice Rohini Commission was formed on 2nd October 2017. It was loss-making under Article 340. The commission was formed to study the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
- Cabinet has also approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Brazil to ensure cooperation in the field of oil and natural gas as well as in the field of geology and mineral resources.
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 was passed by Rajya Sabha on December 03, 2019. Lok Sabha passed the bill on November 27, 2019.
4. India's rank and score in Democracy Index declines
- In Democracy Index 2019, India's score declined from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 and India's ranking declined to 51st position.
- Democracy Index is released by a UK-based company known as Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
- The 2019 index puts India in the flawed democracy category and says that civil liberties have declined in India.
- Norway, Iceland and Sweden are the top three countries in Index and North Korea (167th) is lowest in rank.
- Democracy Index was first released in 2006 and the current edition is 12th.
- The Democracy Index, 2019 assessed state of democracy in 165 independent states and two territories under the following five categories.
- Electoral process and pluralism
- Civil liberties
- The functioning of government
- Political participation
- Political culture
- The Democracy Index uses 60 indicators and puts countries into any of the following four types of regime.
- Full democracy (countries scoring more than eight)
- Flawed democracy (countries scoring more than six and less than or equal to eight)
- Hybrid regime(countries scoring more than four and less than or equal to six)
- Authoritarian regime (countries scoring less than or equal to four).
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Which of the following companies has planned to introduce pay as you consume insurance for motor vehicles?
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
- Edelweiss General Insurance
- ICICI Lombard General Insurance
- Acko General Insurance
- Bharti AXA General Insurance
2. How many economies were included in Women, Business and Law (WBL) Index 2020?
3. Which of the following has been recently approved as headquarter of recently merged Union Territories of Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli?
- Nagar Haveli
4. Which of the following countries has been ranked lowest in Democracy Index, 2019?
- North Korea