Companies Act Current Affairs - 2019
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The Defence India Startup Challenge has been launched by the Defence Innovation Organisation to boost innovations under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme. The initiative has been launched with support from the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Atal Innovation Mission and NITI Aayog.
The Defence India Startup Challenge calls for proposals to address specific technological needs of the Indian defence establishment.
Problem Statements under the Defence India Startup Challenge
The Ministry of Defence has stated 11 problem statements for prospective solutions to be provided by the Indian startup ecosystem. The problem statements are:
- Individual Protection System with built-in sensors
- See Through Armour
- Carbon Fibre Winding (CFW)
- Active Protection System (APS)
- Secure hardware based offline Encrypt or Device for Graded Security
- Development of 4G/LTE based Tactical Local Area Network
- Development of Advanced Technology Based Desalination System (Water Purification) and Bilge Oily Water Separation System
- Artificial Intelligence in Logistics & SCM
- Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles
- Remotely Piloted Airborne Vehicles
- Laser Weaponry
Start-ups showing capability, intent, and promise to be able to produce functional prototypes or to productise existing technologies in areas listed in the problem statement will be awarded up to Rs. 1.5 crores, on a milestone basis in the form of grant/equity/debt/other relevant structures along with incubation and mentoring support.
Defence Innovation Organisation
Defence Innovation Organisation is a ‘not for profit’ company under section 8 of the Companies Act. The Defence Innovation Organisation is funded by two Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), namely Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The headquarters of the Defence Innovation Organisation is located at Bengaluru.
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme is aimed at the creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Startups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs. The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) will function as the executive arm of the Defence Innovation Organisation.
Union Cabinet has approved proposal for promulgation ordinance to amend the Companies Act, 2013. The ordinance had received assent from President Ram Nath Kovind under Article 123 and has been promulgated. The amendments to the Act are aimed to promote ease of doing business as well as ensure better compliance levels.
The ordinance to change Companies Act seeks to declog National Company Law Tribunals (NCLTs) and decriminalise minor offences by companies. The ordinance will transfer 90% of the cases to regional directors under Ministry of Corporate Affairs from NCLTs. Moreover, it will retain status of all non-compoundable offences since they are serious in nature.
Union Government-appointed Committee (headed by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas) had suggested various changes to Act, including restructuring of corporate offences under companies law and in-house adjudication mechanism to ensure that courts get more time to deal with serious violations.
Apart from restructuring of corporate offences to relieve special courts from adjudicating routine offences, the committee had mooted re-categorisation of 16 out of 81 compoundable offences under the Act. This move was recommended to bring down NCLT’s load as it looks at insolvency and bankruptcy cases as well.
It also recommended disqualification of directors in case they have directorships beyond permissible limits and capping an independent director’s remuneration. It also had suggested that remuneration any independent director gets from company should be capped at 20% of his gross income in year to prevent any material pecuniary relationship, which could impair their independence on the board.