STAR-C Initiative: India is considering expanding its Solar Technology and Application Resource Centres (STAR -C) initiative to a number of Pacific Island countries. The programme aims to boost solar power ecosystems in the poorest countries. The initiative is run by the International Solar Alliance in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). It aims to create a strong network of institutional capacities within ISA member states to enhance quality infrastructure for the uptake of solar energy products and services. The project is also funded by France.
Programme’s objectives: Building solar workforces, standardizing products, setting up infrastructure, and raising awareness among policymakers in developing countries.
Through this initiative, India aims to enhance the institutional capacities of International Solar Alliance member states and contribute to the development of quality infrastructure for solar energy uptake.
Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023: It seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act 1952.
It has provisions for harsher punishment for film piracy and the introduction of new-age categories for classifying films. It has provisions to classify films on the basis of age group instead of the current practice of rating them “U” (unrestricted public exhibition), “A” (restricted to adult audiences), and “UA” (unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12). The amendments seek to add new classifications – ‘UA-7+’, ‘UA-13+’, and ‘UA-16+’ in place for 12 years. It also seeks to bring about uniformity in the categorisation of films and content across platforms. The Bill holds stricter punishment for those responsible for piracy. This includes three years of imprisonment and a Rs 10 lakh penalty for those engaged in piracy. Once the Bill is released, the act of piracy will be considered an offence legally and will include even transmitting pirated content punishable.
Cinematograph Act 1952: It was enacted by the Parliament to ensure that films are exhibited in accordance with the limits of tolerance of Indian society. It establishes the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC, popularly known as the censor board) appointed by the Central Government to sanction and certify films.
The Board scrutinizes the film in its entirety and based on the contemporary standard of Indian society following the procedure laid down under the Act. The board can either make a speaking order of rejection or grant the certificate, which shall be valid for ten years.
The Act also authorizes the police to conduct search and seizure if the film is being exhibited in contravention of any of the provisions of the Act.
Expected Credit Loss (ECL) regime: Private sector lender ICICI Bank recently said the bank is ready to move to an expected credit loss (ECL) framework for provisioning. Under this practice, a bank is required to estimate expected credit losses based on forward-looking estimations rather than wait for credit losses to be actually incurred before making corresponding loss provisions. As per the proposed framework, banks will need to classify financial assets (primarily loans) as Stage 1, 2, or 3, depending on their credit risk profile, with Stage 2 and 3 loans having higher provisions based on the historical credit loss patterns observed by banks. This will be in contrast to the existing approach of incurred loss provisioning, whereby step-up provisions are made based on the time the account has remained in the NPA category.