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Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Imp: Most Important Keywords in Economy for Prelims 2022

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  1. Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs)
  • According to the central bank, D-SIBs are financial institutions that are large enough where they cannot be allowed to fall.
  • A failure of any of these banks can lead to systemic and significant disruption to essential economic services across the country and can cause an economic panic.
  • Therefore, y. In events of distress, the government supports such banks.
  • In order to be listed as a D-SIB, a bank needs to have assets that exceed 2 percent of the national GDP.
  • ICICI and HDFC are in first slab while SBI is in third. Bucket five represents the most important D-SIBs.

2. HARBINGER 2021 – Innovation for Transformation

  • Theme: ‘Smarter Digital Payments’
  • RBI’s first global hackathon that invites participants to develop solutions that have the potential to make digital payments accessible, Enhance security of digital payments, Enhance ease of payments.
  • In order to be listed as a D-SIB, a bank needs to have assets that exceed 2 percent of the national GDP.
  • ICICI and HDFC are in first slab while SBI is in third. Bucket five represents the most important D-SIBs.

3. NEO BANKS

  • A neobank is a digital bank that does not have any branches. It is entirely online.
  • Neobanks bridge the gap between the services that traditional banks offer and the evolving expectations of new-age customers. they tie up with RBI lesenced banks to provide services like Banking, Loans, Credit card etc.
  • Neobanks bridge the gap between the services that traditional banks offer and the evolving expectations of new-age customers.

4. Central Bank Digital Currency

  • CBDC or Central Bank Digital Currency is a legal tender issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • It is an electronic record or digital token of a country’s official currency, which fulfils the basic functions as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, and standard of deferred payment.
  • It is same as the currency issued by RBI(Physical form) in digital manner.
  • It can be exchanged by Cash well.
  • CBDC will eliminate the need for interbank settlement.

5. Co Lending or Co Originating Model

  • is a set-up where banks and non-banks enter into an arrangement for the joint contribution of credit for priority sector lending.
  • Benefits: Lower cost and Greater Reach.
  • NBFCs are required to retain at least a 20 per cent share of individual loans on their books. This means 80 per cent of the risk will be with the banks — who will take the big hit in case of a default.
  • NBFCs will be the single point of interface for consumers and they enter into loan agreements with the borrowers.

6. Renewable Energy Certificates

  • Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are a market-based instrument that certifies the bearer owns one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from a renewable resource.
  • The REC received can then be sold on the open market as an energy commodity.
  • REC acts as a tracking mechanism for solar, wind, and other green energies as they flow into the power grid.
  • In India, RECs are traded on two power exchanges — Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange of India (PXIL).

7. Waterfall Approach, Agile Approach and Barbell Strategy

  • Waterfall: an upfront analysis of the issue, detailed planning and finally meticulous implementation.
  • Agile framework is based on feed-back loops, real-time monitoring of actual outcomes, flexible responses, safety-net buffers and so on.
  • Barbell Strategy is a dual approach that combines two extremes, one safe and one speculative, and typically emphasizes the requirement for antifragility.

8. Inverted Duty Structure

  • An inverted duty structure comes up in a situation where import duties on input goods are higher than on finished goods.
  • In other words, the GST rate paid on purchases is more than the GST rate payable on sales.
  • When manufacturers cannot set off the taxes paid on raw materials against the tax on the final product, the excess tax paid on inputs gets built into the price of the product.This makes an Indian-made product more expensive than the imported finished product, affecting the competitiveness of Indian makers.

9. Credit Deposit Ratio

  • As the name suggests that it is the ratio which shiows how much a Bank lends out of its deposits it has mobilised.
  • High ratio means more dependency on deposits for lending purpose as well as high utilisation. Low ratio means Banks are not utilising the deposits properly or they are not earning as much as they can.

10. Important Index/ Report

  • Consumer Confidence Index: RBI
  • Interest Subvention Report: RBI
  • Financial Stability Report: RBI
  • RESIDEX: NHB
Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Imp: Prelims 2022 || Must Read Locations for Prelims 2022 Part-II

Talk to our mentors for a Roadmap to 2023 Attempt. Click Here


  1. ‘Sankalp Smarak’ dedicated to the nation by CINCAN: Recently, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) has inaugurated Sankalp Smarak at Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    What is Sankalp Smarak?
    • Sankalp Smarak is a monument dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
    • It is a tribute not only to the resolve of the soldiers of the Indian National Army and their innumerable sacrifices but also reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji himself.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose & Andaman and Nicobar Islands

•During World War II (1942–45), Japan had conquered the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the
•British and handed it over to Netaji and his army, the Azad Hind Fauj.
• Netaji then arrived at Andaman and Nicobar Island on 29th December 1943 and declared the island
•free from British rule, much before India got its Independence in 1947.
• On the next day,Netaji hoisted the national flag for the first time on Indian soil, at Port Blair.
• During his visit, he also visited the Cellular Jail and met the freedom fighters lodged there.
• Before his departure, he renamed Andaman as Shaheed (“Martyrs”) Island, and Nicobar as Swaraj (“Freedom”) Island.

2. ‘Askot wildlife sanctuary declared eco-sensitive zone: Askot Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh has been finally declared as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).

About Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
• The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, established in 1986, was established to protect the endangered Musk Deer and its habitat.
• The sanctuary area is known as ‘Green Paradise on the Earth’.
• It is located in Askot, a small hamlet in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
• In the sanctuary there are 2600 plants, 250 birds and 37 mammal species like snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, serow besides musk deer.
•Among the fauna are species like loong, monal, kalij pheasant and cheer pheasant.
• The sanctuary also has rare varieties of 2,600 Himalayan herbs and 250 varieties of birds and 37 varieties of reptiles.

What Are Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ)?
• Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) is a buffer or transition zone around highly-protected areas such as National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
• The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.

3. : Srinagar is now a part of UNESCO ‘Creative Cities Network: Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Srinagar as a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

About the designation
• The Srinagar city has been designated the creative city in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts – the only second city in India in this category after
• It will not only provide international recognition for the city of Srinagar but also help it with international funding, networking and vocational
universities and pitching arts as a product.
• With this, Srinagar (the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir) has entered the club of 295 creative cities network across the world.
• Every year, UNESCO seeks applications for various cities across the globe for putting them under its UCCN project.
• In India, the applications are routed through the Ministry of Culture. Indian Cities on UCCN.

4. 39th World Heritage Site of India declared:

Rudreswara Temple, (also known as the Ramappa Temple), Telangana has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It was the only nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage site tag for the year 2019.

About
• A brief description of Rudreswara (Ramappa)Temple
• The Rudreswara temple was constructed in 1213 AD.
• It is also known as ‘Thousand Pillar Temple’.
• It was constructed under the reign of the Kakatiya Empire by RecharlaRudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.
• The Ramappa temple is named after its architect, Ramappa who executed the work in the temple for 40 years.
• The presiding deity here is RamalingeswaraSwamy.
• The triple shrine (Trikutalayam) is dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, and Surya.
• The temple stands on a 6 feet high star-shaped platform.
• The walls, pillars, and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings attest to the unique skill of the Kakatiyan sculptors.
• The temple was called the “brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan” by European travelers.

5. Kuril Islands:

•Kuril Islands are stretched from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula separating Okhotsk Sea from the North Pacific ocean.
•It consists of 56 islands and minor rocks.
•The chain is part of the belt of geologic instability circling the Pacific and contains at least 100 volcanoes, of which 35 are still active, and many hot springs.
•Earthquakes and tidal waves are common phenomena over these islands.

6. China constructing bridge to connect Pangong Tso lake:

China is constructing a bridge in eastern Ladakh connecting the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (lake), which will significantly bring down the time for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to move troops and equipment between the two sectors.

About the lake
• Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake spanning eastern Ladakh and West Tibet.
• It is divided into five sublakes, called
Pangong Tso
Tso Nyak
Rum Tso (twin lakes)
Nyak Tso
• Approximately 50% of the length of the overall lake lies within Tibet China, 40% in Ladakh India and the rest is disputed and is a de-facto buffer zone between India and China.
• During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
• It has a land-locked basin separated from the Indus River basin by a small elevated ridge, but is believed to have been part of the latter in
prehistoric times.

7. Razzaza Lake, Iraq’s second largest lake drying up:

Iraq’s Razzaza Lake was once a tourist attraction known for its beautiful scenery and an abundance of fish that locals depended on. Now, dead fish litter its shores and the once-fertile lands around it have turned into a barren desert.

About the lake
• Razzaza Lake, also known as Lake Milh, Arabic for Salt Lake, is located between Iraq’s governorates of Anbar and Karbala.
• It’s the second largest lake in Iraq and is part of a wide valley that includes the lakes of Habbaniyah, Tharthar and Bahr al-Najaf.
• The lake was constructed as a measure to control floods in the Euphrates and to be used as huge reservoir for irrigation purposes. Iraqis and tourists frequented the lake as a recreational spot to cool down during Iraq’s hot summers.
• Razzaza Lake is the latest victim of a water crisis in Iraq, known as the “Land Between the Two Rivers”, the Tigris and the Euphrates.
• Upstream dams in Turkey, Syria and Iran have shrunk the rivers and their tributaries, seasonal rainfall has dropped and infrastructure has fallen into disrepair.

8. The Crisis in Ukraine’s Donbass Region: President Vladimir Putin recently told his Security Council that Russia should consider
recognising the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic in Donbass as independent.

About the crisis:
• The Donbass region, comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
of Ukraine, has been at the centre of the conflict since March
2014 when Moscow invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
• In April 2014, pro-Russia rebels began seizing territory (with
Russia supporting them through hybrid warfare) in Eastern
Ukraine and in May 2014, the rebels in the Donetsk and Luhansk
regions held a referendum to declare independence from Ukraine.
• Since then, these predominantly Russian speaking regions (more
than 70% speak Russian) within Ukraine have been witnessing
shelling and skirmishes between the rebels and Ukrainian forces.

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Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Imp: Prelims 2022 || Must Read Locations for Prelims 2022 Part-I

Talk to our mentors for a Roadmap to 2023 Attempt. Click Here

  1. Assam-Meghalaya border dispute partially resolved:

With the signing of a “historic agreement”, Assam and Meghalaya have partially resolved a 50-yearold border dispute in six of the 12 sectors along
their 885-km boundary.


About the Dispute
• Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972 but the new state had challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, leading to dispute in 12 locations in the border areas.
• These include the areas of Upper Tarabari, Gazang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah, Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah Block I and Block II, Khanduli and Retacherra.
• A major point of contention between Assam and Meghalaya is the district of Langpih in West Garo Hills bordering the Kamrup district of Assam.
• Langpih was part of the Kamrup district of Assam during the British colonial period but after India’s Independence in 1947; it became part of the Garo Hills and Meghalaya.
• Another point of contention is the Mikir Hills, which Assam considers to be its part.
• Meghalaya has questioned Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills, now Karbi Anglong region, being part of Assam.

2. India’s 1st E-waste Park to be in Delhi: The Delhi government will build India’s first electronic waste eco-park in the national capital.


• The e-waste eco-park will consist of an authorized refurbishing market as a secondary product sale market for batteries, electronic goods, laptops, chargers, mobiles and PCs.
• This facility will consist of dismantling, refurbishing, segregation, plastic recycling, material wise storage, and testing, and precious metal extraction facilities, from Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) through high-end technologies.
• There will be end-to-end processing of e-waste and zero landfill will be ensured.
• It will provide integrated and environmentally-safe disposal of e-waste, using innovative technologies.

3. Konark is going to be the first model town in Odisha: Konark is going to be the first model town in Odisha to shift from grid dependency to green energy. The Odisha government has planned to run the Sun Temple completely on solar energy.

About Konark Sun Temple
•The Sun Temple built in the thirteenth century was conceived as a gigantic chariot of Sun God, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven pairs of horses at Konark on the coastline of Odisha, India.
•“Konarka” , the place bears a name composed of two World elements: Kona meaning corner and ARKA meaning the Sun.
•The Sun god worshiped in Ark Kshetra is also called Konark.
•The temple is attributed to king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
•It is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya.
•This temple was called the “Black Pagoda” in European sailor accounts.
•It forms part of the golden triangle of Odisha, along with Puri and
Bhubaneswar, and attracts tourists, pilgrims, and history and art lovers.
• The Sun Temple, Konârak is protected under the National Framework of India by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958) and its Rules (1959).

4. Seagrass protection project underway along AP coast: The Centre has initiated a project across the states of Andhra Pradesh,
Maharashtra, and Odisha on enhancing climate resilience of India’s
coastal communities by protecting and restoring India’s natural
ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrasses.

About the Programme
• The project had been undertaken at a total cost of US $130.269
million (around Rs 1,000 crore) which includes a grant of US
$43.419 million by Global Climate Fund (GCF) covering 24
ecosystems in these selected states.
• It aims to strengthen the climate resilience of coastal communities by
protecting and restoring India’s natural ecosystems such as
mangroves and seagrasses.
• Under the programme, study of seagrasses along the coastlines is
prominent.
• Andhra Pradesh coast is an area of major study in the programme.

5. Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh becomes 100th ‘Har
Ghar Jal’ District
: Jal Jeevan Mission has achieved the significant milestone of
providing tap water to every home of 100 districts across the country.

About Jal Jeevan Mission
•Jal Jeevan Mission is a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
•It aims to ensure access to piped water for every household in India.
•The mission’s goal is to provide to all households in rural India safe and adequate water through individual household tap connections by 2024.

6. Himachal Pradesh gets 1st Biodiversity Park at
Mandi
: Recently, Himachal Pradesh got the first biodiversity park to make its contribution towards the conservation of endangered Himalayan herbs.

What are Biodiversity parks?
•Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat.
•Biodiversity is measured by two major components: species richness, and species evenness.
•Biological diversity is a precious resource intended for the continued existence of mankind, and hence, conserving biodiversity is concerned with restoring the equilibrium between humans & the atmosphere.

7. Atal Tunnel makes it to World Book of Records: Recently, Atal Tunnel has officially been certified by the World Book of Records as the ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel above 10,000 Feet’, during a landmark ceremony in New Delhi.

8. Chauri Chaura Incident: Recently, 100 years have passed since the Chauri Chaura incident which took place on February 4, 1922 at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of British India.

About ‘Chauri Chaura’ Incident
• The incident took place on 4 February 1922 at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the United Province.
• A large group of protesters participating in the Non-Cooperation Movement clashed with police who opened fire.
• In retaliation the demonstrators attacked and set fire to a police station, killing all of its occupants.
• The incident led to the death of three civilians and 22 policemen.
• Mahatma Gandhi, who was strictly against violence, halted the non-co-operation movement on the national level on 12 February 1922, as a direct result of this incident.

09. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve bags TX2 award: Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Erode district, Tamil Nadu) has been given the prestigious TX2 award after its tiger numbers doubled to 80 since 2010.

About STR
• Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is a protected area and tiger reserve along the Western Ghats in the Erode District of Tamil Nadu.
• First declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 2008 and enlarged in 2011, it covers a forest area of 1,411.6 km2 (545.0 sq mi) and is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
• In 2013, it became the fourth tiger reserve as a part of Project Tiger in the state of Tamil Nadu.

10. : Adi Shankaracharya’s birthplace to become A National Monument:

About Adi Shankaracharya
•Adi Shankaracharya was born in Kalady in Kerala in 788 C.E and disappeared in the year 820 C.E at the young age of 32.
•He was an exceptional child as Adi Shankara had become fluent in Sanskrit by the age of two. By four, he was comfortably reciting scriptures including Vedas.
•The burning quest for attaining superior knowledge from an early age pushed Adi Shankara to leave his home and set on the search for a guru.
•His quest ended with Govid Bhagvatpad at Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh) on the bank of Narmada river.
•Adi Shankaracharya championed the Advait branch of philosophy that declared that god and humans were not two. He then set out to spread the message of his guru.

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Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Imp: Score 100% in Polity Questions & Must Read Acts in News

Talk to our mentors for a Roadmap to 2023 Attempt. Click Here


Indian polity plays a very crucial role in the Prelims exam. If you want to ensure the cutoff marks then you can not expect a single mistake in Indian polity questions. To ensure that you follow these few pointers. We have also included some examples to ensure that you understand the points

Read the Each keyword very carefully: Polity is a game of words, even a single change will change the answer. 

Consider the following statements:

  1. According to the Constitution of India a person who is eligible to vote
    can be made a minister in a State for six months even if he/she is not a member of the Legislature of that State
  2. According to the Representation of People Act, 1951, a person
    convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for five years is permanently disqualified from contesting an election
    even after his release from prison
    Which of the statements given above is are correct?
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (c) Both 1 and 2
    (d) Neither 1 nor 2

    In above question, At first S1 seems correct but when we look carefully it says any eligible voter but the criteria is above 25 years. Similarly S2 says Permanently, but it is temporary

Read all the options very carefully: Even if you know that the first option is the correct answer, look for other options as well. There are chances that according to the question it is not the most appropriate one.

The Preamble to the Constitution of India, is
(a) part of the Constitution but has no legal effect
(b) not a part of the Constitution and has no legal effect either
(c) a part of the Constitution and has the same legal effect as any other part
(d) a part of the Constitution but has no legal effect independently of other parts.

In the above question A looks correct but when we read all options then D looks more appropriate.

Go through the PYQs properly: Understanding PYQs will not help in Polity but in the entire paper. For example take a question from 2017

Which one of the following is not a feature to Indian federalism?

(a) There is an independent judiciary in India. 

(b) Powers have been clearly divided between the Centre and the States.

 (c) The federating units have been given unequal representation in the Rajya Sabha. 

(d) It is the result of an agreement among the federating units

Above question indicates that Independent Judiciary is a feature, Now look at 2021 question

Which one of the following in Indian polity is an essential
feature that indicates that it is federal in character?
(a) The independence of judiciary is safeguarded.
(b) The Union Legislature has elected representatives from
constituent units.
(c) The Union Cabinet can have elected representatives
from regional parties.
(d) The Fundamental Rights are enforceable by Courts of
Law

Understand NCERTs carefully: Nowadays UPSC has a tendency to ask questions from NCERTs, especially from 11th ncert. 

Avoid using elimination rules: UPSC expects you to remember Indian Polity therefore the scope is very narrow to use Tikdam rules.

Revision: Most of the questions in Polity are from very spefic chapers or source. They are 11th ncerts, Historical Background, Preamble, Fundamental Rights, DPSPs, Parliament, State Legislature, President, Governor, Supreme Court and High Courts. Make sure that you have the best command on the above topics.


Important Acts in News

  1. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2021)
  • The Act provides for the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into the Union Territory of J&K and Union Territory of Ladakh. 
  • The Act provides that Article 239A of the Constitution, which is applicable to the union territory of Puducherry, shall also apply to the union territory of J&K.  Article 239A provides for the constitution of a union territory of Puducherry with: (i) a legislature, which may be elected, or partly nominated and partly elected, or (ii) a Council of Ministers. 
  • In addition to Article 239A, any other provision of the Constitution which refers to elected members of a legislative assembly of a state and is also applicable to the union territory of Puducherry, will apply to the union territory of J&K.
  •  The Act specifies that the members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service serving in the state of J&K would continue to serve in the two union territories, based on allocation decided by the central government.
  1. The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021
  • The Bill seeks to introduce a uniform regulatory framework for inland vessel navigation across the country.
  • The central government will prescribe the: (i) classification, (ii) standards of design, construction, and crew accommodation, and (iii) type and periodicity of surveys, for these vessels.  Construction or modification of such vessels will require prior approval of a designated authority, as prescribed by the central government.
  • To operate in inland waters, all such vessels must have a certificate of survey, and a certificate of registration. The certificate of survey will be granted by state governments, in a form as prescribed by the central government.
  • The central government will prescribe the minimum number of people that vessels must have, for various roles.
  • Vessels will discharge or dispose of sewage, as per the standards specified by the central government.  The central government will notify the list of pollutants which will be prohibited for discharge or disposal.  State governments will grant vessels a certificate of prevention of pollution.
  • The Bill provides for a development fund.
  • The Bill empowers state governments to delegate certain functions related to non-mechanically propelled inland vessels to their local governments. 
  1. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021
  •  The Act empowers the central government to reserve any mine (other than coal, lignite, and atomic minerals) to be leased through an auction for a particular end-use.The Bill provides that no mine will be reserved for particular end-use.
  • The Bill empowers the central government to specify a time period for completion of the auction process in consultation with the state government.  If the state government is unable to complete the auction process within this period, the auctions may be conducted by the central government.
  • The Act provides that the period of mining leases granted to government companies will be prescribed by the central government.
  1. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Code provides a time-bound process for resolving the insolvency of corporate debtors (within 330 days) called the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).
  • The Bill introduces an alternate insolvency resolution process for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), called the pre-packaged insolvency resolution process (PIRP).  Unlike CIRP, PIRP may be initiated only by debtors.
  • Application for initiating PIRP may be filed in the event of a default of at least one lakh rupees.
  • During PIRP, the debtor will be provided with a moratorium under which certain actions against the debtor will be prohibited.  These include filing or continuation of suits, execution of court orders, or recovery of property.

CIRP: Under CIRP, a committee of creditors is constituted to decide on the insolvency resolution.  The committee may consider a resolution plan which typically provides for the payoff of debt by merger, acquisition, or restructuring of the company.  If a resolution plan is not approved by the committee of creditors within the specified time, the company is liquidated.  During CIRP, the affairs of the company are managed by the resolution professional (RP), who is appointed to conduct CIRP.

  1. The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The Bill amends the Constitution to allow states and union territories to prepare their own list of socially and educationally backward classes. 

List of socially and educationally backward classes:

          The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was established under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

             The 2021 Bill amends this to provide that the President may notify the list of socially and educationally backward classes only for purposes of the central government.  This central list will be prepared and maintained by the central government.  Further, the Bill enables states and union territories to prepare their own list of socially and educationally backward classes. 

  1. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  • The bill provides that the electoral registration officer may require a person to furnish their Aadhaar number for establishing their identity. 
  • Persons will not be denied inclusion in the electoral roll or have their names deleted from the roll, if they are unable to furnish Aadhaar number due to sufficient cause as prescribed. 
  • The Bill provides four qualifying dates in a calendar year, which will be January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Earlier it was only 1 i.e. January 1.
  1. The Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  •  It replaces the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.  The Bill seeks to amend the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.  The 2003 Act provides for the constitution of a Central Vigilance Commission to conduct inquiries into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.  
  • Under the 2003 Act, the Director of Enforcement is appointed by the central government, on the recommendation of a Committee.This Committee is chaired by the Central Vigilance Commissioner, and includes the Secretaries from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Personnel, and the Revenue Department. 
  • The Bill adds that the tenure of the Director may be extended by up to one year at a time, till the completion of five years from the initial appointment.  Such extensions may be granted in public interest, on the recommendation of the Committee.
  1. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020
  • Under the Act, certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution.  These include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others
  • The Amendment prohibits the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person.
  • The Act states that a person may accept foreign contribution if they have: (i) obtained a certificate of registration from central government, or (ii) not registered, but obtained prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution
  • Under the Act, a person who receives foreign contribution must use it only for the purpose for which the contribution is received.Further, they must not use more than 20% of the contribution for meeting administrative expenses.
  1. The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020
  • The Bill will apply to the major ports of Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar, and Vishakhapatnam.
  • The Bill provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.  These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts. 
  • Under the 1963 Act, the Board has to seek prior sanction of the central government to raise any loan.
  • The Bill provides that the Board may use its funds for providing social benefits(Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • The Bill provides for the constitution of an Adjudicatory Board by the central government.
Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Imp: UPSC Prelims 2022 || Important British Commissions and Committees

10th May, 2022

Educational Commissions

(1) Charles Wood Despatch – 1854
  • Objective: Wood’s despatch proposed several recommendations in order to improve the system of education.
  • According to the recommendations, it was declared that the aim of the Government’s policy was the promotion of western education. In his despatch, he emphasized on the education of art, science, philosophy and literature of Europe.
  • In short, the propagation of European knowledge was the motto of the Wood’s Despatch.
  • According to the despatch, for higher education, the chief medium of instruction would be English.
  • However, the significance of the vernacular language was no less emphasized as Wood believed that through the mediums of vernacular language, European knowledge could reach to the masses.
  • Wood’s Despatch also proposed the setting up of several vernacular primary schools in the villages at the lowest stage.
  • Moreover, there should be Anglo-Vernacular high schools and an affiliated college in the district level.
  • Wood’s Despatch recommended a system of grants-in-aid to encourage and foster the private enterprise in the field of education.
  • The grants-in-aid were conditional on the institution employing qualified teachers and maintaining proper standards of teaching.

(2) Hunter Commission – 1882

  • Appointed by: Viceroy Lord Ripon
  • Objective: Hunter Education Commission was a landmark commission with objectives to look into the complaints of the non-implementation of the Wood’s Despatch of 1854; the contemporary status of elementary education in the British territories; and suggests means by which this can be extended and improved.
  • Headed by: Sir William Wilson Hunter
  • He submitted its report in 1882.

Commission suggestions:

  1. There should be two types of education arrangements at the high school level, in which emphasis should be given on giving a vocational and business education and other such literary education should be given, which will help in admission to the university.
  2. Arrangement for emphasis on the importance of education at the primary level and education in local language and useful subjects.
  3. Private efforts should be welcomed in the field of education, but primary education should be given without him.
  4. Control of education at the primary level should be handed over to the district and city boards.

(3) Hunter Commission of 1882 on Primary Education:

  • Primary education should be regarded as the education of the masses. Education should be able to train the people for self-dependence.
  • The medium of instruction in primary education should be the mother tongue. Normal Schools should be established for the training of teachers.
  • The curriculum should include useful subjects like agriculture, elements of natural and physical science and the native method of arithmetic and measurement, etc.
  • The spread of primary education for the tribal and backward people should be the responsibility of the Government.
  • Fees should be an example to students on the basis of their financial difficulties.

(4) Raleigh Commission – 1902

  • Appointed under: Raleigh Commission was appointed under the presidency of Sir Thomas Raleigh on 27 January 1902.
  • Objective: To inquire into the condition and prospects of universities in India and to recommend proposals for improving their constitution and working.
  • Evidently, the Commission was precluded from reporting on primary or secondary education.
  • As a result of the report of the recommendations of the Commission the Indian Universities Act was passed in 1904.
  • The main objective of the Act: to improve the condition of education in India and upgrade the system to a better level

Important changes introduced for the upliftment of University Education:

  1. Universities were empowered to appoint their own staff including the teaching staff.
  2. The number of Fellows of a University was limited within 50 to 100.
  3. The number of elected Fellows was fixed at 20 for the Bombay, Madras and Calcutta Universities and 15 for others.
  4. The Governor-General was now empowered to decide a University’s territorial limits and also affiliation between the universities and colleges.
  5. After the implementation of the provisions of the University Act, though the number of colleges declined, yet the number of students increased considerably.

Government Resolution on Education Policy (1913)

  • In 1906, the progressive state of Baroda introduced compulsory primary education throughout its territories. In its 1913
  • Resolution on Education Policy, the government refused to take up the responsibility of compulsory education, but accepted the policy of removal of illiteracy and urged provincial governments to take early steps to provide free elementary education to the poorer and more backward sections.
Timeline: Vernacular education development in India

(5) Sadler Commission – 1917

  • In 1917, the Calcutta University Commission (Sadler Commission) was appointed by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of Mr. Michel Sadler, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.

Recommendations:

  1. All the teaching resources in the city of Calcutta should be organized so that the Calcutta University may become entirely a teaching university.
  2. A separate teaching and residential university should be established at Dacca.
  3. There was a need for a coordinating agency. Hence an inter-University Board should be set up.
  4. Honors courses should be instituted and they should be distinctly different from the Pass courses.
  5. Full time and salaried Vice-Chancellor should be appointed to be the administrative head of the university.
  6. The Senate and the syndicate should be replaced by the Court and the Executive Council respectively.
  7. Universities should be freed from excessive official control.
  8. Government interference in the academic matters of universities should stop.

(6) Hartog Commission – 1929

  • Sir Philip Joseph Hartog committee was appointed by the British Indian government to survey on the growth of education in India.
  • The Hartog committee (1929), had devoted more attention to mass education than the secondary and University education.
  • The Hartog committee highlighted the problem of wastage and stagnation in education at the primary level.
  • It recommended the policy of consolidation instead of multiplication of schools. The duration of the primary course was to be fixed to four years.
  • It recommended for the improvements in quality, pay, and service conditions of teachers and relating the syllabus and teaching methods to the local environment of villages and locality
  • The Hartog committee on education recommended for the promotion of technical and commercial education by universities to control the problem of unemployment.
  • The recommendation of the Hartog committee of 1929 was an attempt for consolidation and stabilization of education. The Hartog committee of 1929 was seen as a torchbearer of the government’s effort to improve the quality of education.
  • However, these recommendations of Hartog committee of 1929 remained only on paper and could not be implemented due to the great economic depression of 1930-31.

(7) Sargent Plan – 1944

  • The Sargent plan of education came after Sir John Sargent was given the task to prepare a comprehensive scheme of education for India in 1944.

Recommendations:

  1. Pre-primary education for children between 3 to 6 years of age. Universal, compulsory and free primary or basic education for all children between the ages 6—11 (junior basic) and 11—14 (senior basic).
  2. High school education for six years for selected children between the years 11—17.
  3. Degree course for three years beginning after the higher secondary examination for selected students
  4. Technical, commercial, agricultural and art education for full time and part-time students, girls schools are to teach domestic science.
  5. The liquidation of adult illiteracy and the development of a public library system in about 20 years.
  6. Full provision for the proper training of teachers.
  7. Educational provision is made for the physically and mentally handicapped children.
  8. The organization of compulsory physical education.
  9. Provision to be made for social and recreational activities.
  10. The creation of employment bureaus.
  11. The creation of the Department of Education in the centre and in the states.
  12. The use of mother tongue is to be used as the medium of instruction in all high schools.

Famine Commissions during British Rule in India

(1) Campbell Commission
  • In 1865-66, a famine engulfed Orissa, Bengal, Bihar, and Madras and took a toll of nearly 20 lakhs of lives with Orissa alone loosing 10 lakh lives, since the famine was most severe in Orissa; it is called the Orissa famine.
  • The Government officers though forewarned took no steps to meet the calamity.
  • The Government adhered to the principles of free trade and the law of demand and supply, the Government did provide employment to the table booked men leaving the work of charitable relief to the voluntary agency.
  • But the famine proved a turning point in the history of Indian famines for it was followed by the appointment of a committee under the chairmanship of Sir George Campbell.

(2) Stratchy Commission

  • It was set up in 1878 under the Chairmanship of Sir Richard Strachey.
  • The commission recommended state interference in food trade in the event of famine. India witnessed another major famine in 1896-97.

(3) Lyall Commission

  • It was constituted in 1897 under the Chairmanship of Sir James Lyall. This commission recommended the development of irrigation facilities.

(4) MacDonnell Commission

  • It was set up in 1900 under the Chairmanship of Sir Anthony (Later Lord) McDonnel to re-evaluate and recommend changes in report of the previous commission, based on the findings of the recent famine.
  • This Commission recommended that the official machinery dealing with a famine must work around the year so that the scarcity of food grains could be controlled well in time.

Law Commission

  • Law Commissions in India have a pre-independence origin. The first Law Commission was formed in 1834 as a result of the Charter Act, 1833 under the chairmanship of TB Macaulay.
  • The first commission’s recommendations resulted in the codification of the penal code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • Three other law commissions were constituted before independence by the British government.
  • All four pre-independent law commissions have contributed to the statute books immensely.
  • After independence, the first Law Commission was constituted in 1955 in a continuance of the tradition of bringing law reforms in the country through the medium of law commissions.
  • Second Pre-Independence Law Commission,1853 – Sir John Romilly.
  • Third Pre-Independence Law Commission, 1862- Sir John Romilly.
  • Fourth Pre-Independence Law Commission, 1879 – Dr Whitley Stokes.

Currency Commission

(1) Mansfield Commission by Dufferin in 1886
  • The Indian Currency Committee or Fowler Committee was a government committee appointed by the British-run Government of India on 29 April 1898 to examine the current situation in India.
  • Until 1892, silver was the metal on which Indian currency and coinage had largely been based. In 1892, the Government of India announced its intent to “close Indian mints to silver” and, in 1893, it brought this policy into force.

Other Commissions on Currency:

  1. Fowler Commission by Elgin II in 1898
  2. Babington Smith Commission by Chelmsford in 1919
  3. Hilton Young Commission by Linlithgow in 1926

Other Important Commissions

  1. Scott-Moncrieff Commission (Irrigation) by Curzon in 1901
  2. Fraser Commission (Police Reforms) by Curzon in 1902
  3. Hunter Commission (Punjab Disturbances) by Chelmsford 1919
  4. Butler Commission (Indian States relation with British Crown) by Irwin in 1927
  5. Whiteley Commission (Labour) by Irwin in 1929
  6. Sapru Commission (Unemployment) by Linlithgow in 1935
  7. Chalfield Commission (Army) by Linlighgow 1939
  8. Floud Commission (Tenancy in Bengal) by Linlighgow in 1940

Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Imp: UPSC Prelims 2022 || Schemes Regarding Agriculture & Allied Sectors

6th May 2022

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1.1 Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

Objective

  • To achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level.
  • To enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
  • To explore the feasibility of reusing treated municipal wastewater for peri-urban agriculture.
  • To attract greater private investments in irrigation.
  • To promote extension activities relating to water harvesting, water management and crop alignment for farmers and grass root level field functionaries.

Salient features

  • Decentralized State level planning and projectized execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP). These plans need to be prepared in order to access the PMKSY fund.
  • It will be supervised and monitored by the Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under PM with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries. A National Executive Committee (NEC) is to be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation.
  • PMKSY has been formulated amalgamation ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP); Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP); and On-Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • Water budgeting is done for all sectors namely, household, agriculture and industries.
  • Investments will happen at farm level. So, farmers know what is happening and can provide valuable feedback.
  • Recently, the Long Term Irrigation Fund has been instituted under PMKSY in NABARD for funding and fast-tracking the implementation of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects.

1.2 Large Area Certification Scheme

Background

   Despite deep inroads of modern agricultural practices, still, there are large contiguous areas in hills, tribal districts, desert and rained areas in India that continue to remain free from chemical input usage. With little efforts, such traditional/ default organic areas can be brought under organic certification almost immediately.
  Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare under its flagship scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY) has launched a unique quick certification programme “Large Area Certification” (LAC) to harness these potential areas under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yajana.

 Salient features

  • LAC is a Quick certification process that is cost-effective and farmers do not have to wait for 2-3 years for marketing PGS(Participatory Guarantee System) organic certified products. Whereas As per the established norm of organic production systems, the areas having chemical input usage history are required to undergo a transition period of minimum 2-3 years to qualify as organic. 

  • Under LAC, each village in the area is considered as one cluster/group.  
  • Documentations are simple and maintained village-wise.
  • Plan based on agro-climatic conditions, availability of appropriate technology and natural priorities.
  • All farmers with their farmland and livestock need to adhere to the standard requirements and on being verified get certified en-mass without the need to go under conversion period. Certification is renewed on annual basis through annual verification by a process of peer appraisals as per the process of PGS-India.

1.3 NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MISSION

Objective

  • Increasing production of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals and commercial crops through area expansion and productivity enhancement in a sustainable manner.
  • Restore soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level.
  • Enhancing farm level economy.

Salient features

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which was launched in 2007.
  • The approach of the scheme is to bridge the yield gap in respect of these crops through dissemination of improved technologies and farm management practices while focusing on districts which have high potential but relatively low level of productivity at present.
  • Major Components – National Food Security Mission – Rice, National Food Security Mission – Wheat, National Food Security Mission – Pulses,
  • National Food Security Mission – Coarse Cereals and National Food Security Mission –Commercial Crops.

1.4 GRAMIN BHANDARAN YOJANA

Objective of this Scheme:

  • Create scientific storage capacity with allied facilities in rural areas.
  • To meet the requirements of farmers for storing farm produce, processed farm produce and agricultural inputs.
  • Promotion of grading, standardization and quality control of agricultural produce to improve their marketability.
  • Prevent distress sale immediately after harvest by providing the facility of pledge financing and marketing credit by strengthening agricultural marketing infrastructure in the country.

 

1.5 SOIL HEALTH CARD SCHEME

Objective

  • To issue soil health cards every 3 years, to all farmers of the country, so as to provide a basis to address nutrient deficiencies in fertilization practices.
  • To strengthen the functioning of Soil Testing Laboratories (STLs) through capacity building, the involvement of agriculture students and effective linkage with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) / State Agricultural Universities (SAUs).
  • To diagnose soil fertility related constraints with standardized procedures for sampling uniformly across states.
  • To build capacities of district and state level staff and of progressive farmers for promotion of nutrient management practices.

Salient features

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme launched by the Government of India in 2015.
  • It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.
  • Assistance is provided to the State Government to issue Soil Health Card and also develop a database to improve service delivery.
  • Soil Health Card issued to farmers carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for the individual farms.
  • The experts will analyze the strength and weaknesses (micronutrients deficiency) of the soil collected from farms and suggest measures to deal with it.
  • It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macronutrients); S (Secondary nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters).

1.6 PM FASAL BIMA YOJANA

Objective

  • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  • To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
  • To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
  • To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.
  • Intended beneficiary – All farmers including sharecroppers and tenant farmers growing notified crops in a notified area during the season who have insurable interest in the crop are eligible.

Salient features

  • It replaced all other existing insurance schemes except the Restructured Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (uses weather parameters as proxy for crop yield in compensating the cultivators for deemed crop loses).
  • A uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy so farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
  • The difference between the premium paid by farmers and the actuarial premium charged was paid by the Centre and state government in the ratio of 50:50.
  • It is compulsory for loanee farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas and voluntary for non-loanee farmers.
  • Yield Losses: due to non-preventable risks, such as Natural Fire and Lightning, Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado.
  • Risks due to Flood, Inundation and Landslide, Drought, Dry spells, Pests/ Diseases also will be covered.
  • Post-harvest losses are also covered.
  • Mandatory use of technology: Smart phones, drones etc., will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
  • The Scheme shall be implemented on an ‘Area Approach basis’. Defined Area (i.e., unit area of insurance) is Village or above. It can be a Geo-Fenced/Geo-mapped region having homogenous Risk Profile for the notified crop.
  • Presently, 5 public sector insurers (Agriculture Insurance Company of India, United India Insurance Company etc.) and 13 private insurance companies are empanelled for implementation of the scheme.
  • Recently, states have been allowed to set up their own insurance companies for implementing the scheme.

1.7 National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management and synergizing resource conservation.

Objectives

  • To make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific Integrated/Composite Farming Systems
  • To conserve natural resources through appropriate soil and moisture conservation measures
  • To adopt comprehensive soil health management practices based on soil fertility maps, soil test based application of macro & micro nutrients, judicious use of fertilizers etc.
  • To optimize utilization of water resources through efficient water management to expand coverage for achieving ‘more crop per drop’.
  • To develop capacity of farmers & stakeholders, in conjunction with other on going missions e.g. National Mission on Agriculture Extension & Technology, National Food Security Mission, National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) etc., in the domain of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
  • To pilot models in select blocks for improving productivity of rainfed farming by mainstreaming rainfed technologies refined through NICRA and by leveraging resources  from other schemes/Missions like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), RKVY etc.; and
  • To establish an effective inter and intra Departmental/Ministerial coordination for accomplishing key deliverables of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under the aegis of National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

1.8 PARAMPARAGAT KRISHI VIKAS YOJANA

Objective

  • Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
  • pesticide residue free produce and improved health of consumer
  • Raise farmer’s income and create potential markets for traders.
  • Motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production.
  • Increase domestic production and certification of organic produce by involving farmers.

Intended beneficiary

  • Farmers doing organic farming
  • Farmers from NE India such as Sikkim
  • Food processing industries
  • Organic foods – export industry

Salient features

  • “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) under National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • Cluster Approach: Fifty or more farmers form a cluster having 50 acre land to take organic farming. Each farmer will be provided Rs. 20000 per acre in three years for seed to harvesting crops and to transport them to market.
  • Government plans to form around 10 thousand clusters in three years and cover an area of 5 Lakh hectares under organic farming.

Components –

  • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification through cluster approach – mobilization of farmers, form clusters, identification of land resources and training on organic farming and PGS Certification and quality control.
  • Adoption of organic village for manure management and biological nitrogen harvesting through cluster approach –action plan for Organic Farming, Integrated Manure Management, Packing, Labelling and Branding of organic products of cluster.

1.9 NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL MARKET (NAM)

Objective

  • To promote genuine price discovery
  • Increases farmers’ options for sale and access to markets
  • Liberal licensing of traders / buyers and commission agents. One license for a trader valid across all markets in the State
  • Harmonisation of quality standards of agricultural produce
  • Single point levy of market fees, i.e on the first wholesale purchase from the farmer.
  • Provision of Soil Testing Laboratories in/ or near the selected mandi to facilitate visiting farmers to access this facility in the mandi itself

Intended beneficiary

  • 585 regulated wholesale markets in states/union territories (UTs).
  • Farmers
  • Local traders
  • Bulk buyers, processors
  • Farm produce exporters
  • Overall economy of the nation

Salient features

  • NAM is a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing APMCs and other market yards to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has been selected as the lead agency to implement it.
  • Central government will provide the software free of cost to the states and in addition, a grant of up to Rs. 30 lakhs per mandi or market or private mandis will be given for related equipment and infrastructure requirements.
  • New Features added to the scheme such as E-NAM Mobile App, BHIM Payment facility, MIS dashboard for better analysis and insights, grievance redressal mechanism for Mandi Secretaries and integration with Farmer Database to ease the registration and identification process will further strengthen e-NAM.
  • Fund Allocation – The Scheme is being funded through AgriTech Infrastructure Fund (AITF).

1.10 Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)

Objective

  • ZBNF is a set of farming methods, and also a grassroots peasant movement, which has spread to various states in India.
  • Subhash Palekar perfected it during the 1990s at his farm in Amravati district in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Vidarbha region.
  • According to the “zero budget” concept, farmers won’t have to spend any money on fertilisers and other agricultural inputs.
  • Over 98% of the nutrients that crops require — carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, solar energy — are already present in nature.
  • The remaining 1.5-2% are taken from the soil,

Four wheels of ZBNF

The “four wheels” of ZBNF are ‘Jiwamrita’, ‘Bijamrita’, ‘Mulching’ and ‘Waaphasa’.

  • Jiwamrita is a fermented mixture of cow dung and urine (of desi breeds), jaggery, pulses flour, water and soil from the farm bund.
  • This isn’t a fertilizer, but just a source of some 500 crore micro-organisms that can convert all the necessary “non-available” nutrients into “available” form.
  • Bijamrita is a mix of desi cow dung and urine, water, bund soil and lime that is used as a seed treatment solution prior to sowing.
  • Mulching, or covering the plants with a layer of dried straw or fallen leaves, is meant to conserve soil moisture and keep the temperature around the roots at 25-32 degrees Celsius, which allows the microorganisms to do their job.
  • Waaphasa, or providing water to maintain the required moisture-air balance, also achieves the same objective.

1.11 MERA GAON-MERA GAURAV

Objective

  • To promote direct interface of scientists withthe farmers and hasten the land to lab process.
  • To imbibe a sense of ownership among the agricultural scientists
  • To provide farmers with required information, knowledge and advisories on regular basis by adopting villages.

Intended beneficiary

  • Scientists with ground level experience
  • Farmers

 Salient features

  • This scheme involves scientists of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and state agricultural universities.
  • Groups of four multidisciplinary scientists each will be constituted at these institutes and universities. Each group will “adopt” five villages within a radius of maximum 100 km.

1.12 Price Stabilization Fund

Objective: to safeguard the interest of the growers and provide them financial relief when prices fall below a specified level.

Scheme:

  • Central Sector Scheme.
  • To support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticultural commodities.
  • PSF will be used to advance interest free loan to State Governments and Central agencies to support their working capital and other expenses on procurement and distribution interventions for such commodities.
  • Procurement of the commodities will be undertaken directly from farmers or farmers’ organizations at farm gate/mandi and made available at a more reasonable price to the consumers.
  • Initially the fund is proposed to be used for onion and potato only. Losses incurred, if any, in the operations will be shared between the Centre and the States.

Framework and Funding:

  • States will set up a revolving fund to which theCentre and State will contribute equally, i.e. 50:50.
  • The ratio of Centre-State contribution to the State-level corpus in respect of Northeast States will, however, be 75:25.

1.13 Mission Fingerling

  • It is a programme to enable holistic development and management of the fisheries sector in India.
  • The mission aims to achieve the target to enhance fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt by 2020-21 under the Blue Revolution.

Programme:

  • Government has identified 20 States based ontheir potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Fingerling production and Fish Seed infrastructure in the country.
  • This program will facilitate the establishment of Fingerling rearing pond and hatcheries.
  • This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually, which will in turn benefit about 4 million families.
  • The implementation of this program will supplement the requirement of stocking materials in the country up to a large extent, which is a much needed input to achieve the enhanced fish production.

1.14 Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution — Krishonnati Yojana

Aim

These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity and better returns on produce.

The Schemes that are part of the Umbrella Schemes are :-

  1. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)
  2. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
  3. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
  4. Submission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE)
  5. Sub-Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP)
  6. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM)
  7. Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plan Quarantine (SMPPQ)
  8. Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economics and Statistics (ISACES)
  9. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation (ISAC)
  10. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Marketing (ISAM)
  11. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP-A) The Schemes/Missions focus on creating/strengthening of infrastructure of production, reducing production cost and marketing of agriculture and allied produce.

1.15 Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)

  1. The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
  2. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmers’ income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with the State Governments.

The three schemes that are part of AASHA are:

  1. the Price Support Scheme (PSS)
  2. the Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
  3. the Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPPS)
  • These three components will complement the existing schemes of the Department of Food and Public Distribution.
  • They relate to paddy, wheat and other cereals and coarse grains where procurement is at MSP now.
  • PSS – Under the PSS, physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies.
  • Besides, NAFED and Food Corporation of India will also take up procurement of crops under PSS.
  • The expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by the Centre.
  • PDPS – Under the PDPS, the Centre proposes to cover all oilseeds.
  • The difference between the MSP and actual selling/modal price will be directly paid into the farmer’s bank account.
  • Farmers who sell their crops in recognised mandis within the notified period can benefit from it.
  • PPSS – In the case of oilseeds, States will have the option to roll out PPSS in select districts.
  • Under this, a private player can procure crops at MSP when market prices drop below MSP.
  • The private player will then be compensated through a service charge up to a maximum of 15% of the MSP.

1.16 Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

What is the news:

  • The Central Government notified a decision to extend the benefit of ₹6,000 per year under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding.
  • Central sector scheme

Objective

○ To provide income support to all farmer families having cultivable land.

○ To supplement the financial needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income.

Salient Features:

  • The revised Scheme is expected to coveraround 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries.
  • Responsibility of identifying the landholder farmer family eligible for benefit under the scheme shall be of the State/UT Government.
  • The lists of eligible beneficiaries would be published at the village level to ensure transparency.
  • Exclusions: Certain categories of beneficiaries of higher economic status such as institutional landholders, former and present holder of constitutional posts, persons who paid income tax in the last assessment year etc. shall not be eligible for benefit under the scheme.
    • Professionals like doctors, engineers and lawyers as well as retired pensioners with a monthly pension of over ₹10,000 and those who paid income tax in the last assessment year are also not eligible for the benefits.
    • For the purpose of exclusion State/UT Government can certify the eligibility of the beneficiary based on self-declaration by the beneficiaries.
  • A dedicated PM Kisan Portal will be launched for the implementation of the scheme.
  • This is a Central Sector Scheme and will be funded fully by the Government of India

Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

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It is a part of our Nikaalo Prelims 2022 Initiative. You can join our official space on habitat to ask your doubts with the mentors and decode Prelims.

These keywords are taken from Upinder Singh book which is a very high relevant source for Prelims but bulky for an Aspirant to cover.


Agrahara: Land or village gifted by a king 

Ahimsa: Non-injury, non-violence 

Ajivikas: An ancient religious sect, associated with Makkhali Gosala 

Akam: Sangam love poems 

Alvars: The Vaishnava saint-poets of early medieval South India

Anekantavada: The Jaina doctrine of the manifold nature of reality

Antarala: The vestibule or antechamber of a temple

Araghatta: The Persian wheel, or a similar contrivance

Aranyakas: literally ‘forest books’; part of the Vedic corpus

Ardhamandapa: The hall preceding the sanctum in a temple

Ariya-sachchani: The Four Noble Truths related to suffering; an important part of the Buddha’s teaching

Ayyavole: A powerful merchant guild of early medieval South India 

Bands: Small and usually nomadic communities, usually related to each other through kinship

Brahmadeya: Land gifted to Brahmanas, generally by kings.

​​Charana: School of Vedic study 

Charvaka: An atheistic materialism philosophical school, also known as Lokayata

Dhamma: A Pali word (Sanskrit, dharma), referring to the ideal conduct of an individual living in society.

Dhammachakka-pavattana: Pali, literally ‘turning the wheel of dhamma’; the Buddha’s first sermon in the deer park near Benaras 

Dhamma-mahamatas: A new cadre of officials created by Ashoka to propagate dhamma.

Dvija: literally ‘twice born’: Those entitled to the performance of the upanayana (sacred thread) ceremony, which is considered analogous to a second birth, viz., the upper three varnas, namely the Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas.

Four Noble Truths(Ariya-sachchani): An important part of the Buddha’s teaching, viz., there is suffering; it has a cause; it can be eliminated; and the way to eliminate it is to follow the Eight-fold Path

Gahapati: Pali for Sanskrit grihapati, i.e., householder; a wealthy property-owner 

Gaja-Lakshmi: A popular representation of the goddess Lakshmi, flanked by two elephants, sometimes holding jars in their trunks gana: a word which has many meanings, including an oligarchy 

Garbha-griha: The inner sanctum of a temple, where the image of the main deity is placed and worshipped.

Hundikas: Bills of exchange used by traders in early medieval India

Kani rights: Rights over land in early medieval South India, sometimes also associated with certain duties and obligations 

Kara-shasanas: Tax-paying agraharas

kottam: Settlement clusters in the Pallava kingdom, similar to the nadus 

Kraya-shasana: A secular land-sale deed 

Kshatra: Secular power kshatrapa: a viceroy or subordinate ruler of the Scytho-Parthians; a title assumed by kings of the Kshaharata and Kardamaka dynasties

Madhayamaka: A major Mahayana school founded by Nagarjuna, in which the idea of shunyata (emptiness) is of great importance.

Mandapika: A local centre of exchange, in between small periodic markets and larger trade centres Manigramam: a powerful merchant guild of early medieval South India.

Mahakshatrapa: Viceroy, subordinate ruler; a title assumed by some kings of the Kshaharata and Kardamaka dynasties

Menhir: A type of megalithic burial, marked by a single, large, standing stone.

Nagarakkani: Land owned and managed by the nagaram 

Nagarams: Market or commercial centres in early medieval South India N

Agarattar: The corporate organization of the nagaram

Nattar: The leading men of the nadu (locality) in early medieval South India.

Nibbana: A term used often in the Buddhist tradition for liberation from the cycle of birth and death

Niyoga: levirate; the ancient custom of a widow cohabiting with her brother-in-law or another man in order to produce sons.

Paramitas: Perfections whose attainment led to the bodhisattva path; a Mahayana idea Paribbajaka: Pali, literally, ‘wanderer’, renunciant pariharas: exemptions and privileges granted to donees in royal land grants parinibbana: the passing away of the Buddha Patichcha-samuppada: Pali, the law of dependent origination; a part of the Buddha’s teaching

Periyapuranam: A 12th century work containing hagiographies of the Nayanmar saints

Pramanas: grounds of knowledge 

Prashasti: Panegyric 

Pravara: The names of one, two, three, or five supposed ancestral rishis, connected with the gotra system of the Brahmanas

Puram: War poems of the Sangam corpus 

Purva Mimamsa: A school of Vedic exegesis

Samana: A Pali word (Sanskrit shramana); literally, ‘one who strives’, a renunciant 

Samanta: Subordinate ruler; feudatory 

Samhita: A collection of hymns, associated with the Vedas 

Samkhya: A very ancient philosophical school which views the world as consisting of two fundamental categories of purusha (the spiritual principle) and prakriti (matter or nature)

Sandhara: A temple style with an enclosed passage for circumambulation

Sangam literature: Texts in old Tamil, comprising the earliest parts of the Ettutokai, Pattuppattu, and Tolkappiyam.

Sapindas: People who are held to be related to each other, an important category in Dharmashastra discussions on rules of marriage, inheritance, and rules of purity and impurity to be observed among relatives when a person died 

Saptanga rajya: Literally ‘the seven-limbed state’, the Arthashastra concept of the state as consisting of seven elements.

Setthi: Pali (Sanskrit sreshthin); a high-level businessman associated with trade and money-lending 

Shakha: A recension of a Veda

Siddhamatrika: An ancient script, known from the 6th century CE; also known as Kutila

Syadavada: Literally ‘doctrine of maybe’; the Jaina doctrine of the partial nature of all statements about reality

Taniyur: A special status given to certain brahmadeyas in early medieval South India, making them independent of the nadu wherein they were located

Tevaram: A collection of hymns, part of the canon of South Indian Shaiva bhakti

Tipitaka: Pali, literally ‘the three baskets’ or ‘three collections’, Buddhist canonical texts; the Pali Tipitaka is the canon of the Theravada school 

Tirthankara: Literally, ‘ford builder’; a Jaina saint 

Tirumurai: The canon of South Indian Shaiva bhakti 

Tiruttondar-Tiruvantai: A work by Nambi Andar Nambi, which gives a short hagiography of the Nayanmar saints 

Tiruttondar-Tokai: A work by Sundarar, which lists 62 Nayanmar saints torana: the gateway of a shrine

Vatteluttu: An ancient South Indian script used for writing Tamil

Vellala/vellalar: Cultivating groups of South India 

Vellanvagai: Non-brahmadeya villages of early medieval South India; same as ur 

Vendar: The three ‘crowned kings’ of early historical South India, i.e., the Cholas, Cheras, and Pandyas

Viragal: The word for a ‘hero stone’ in the Tamil Nadu area

Yajamana: The person for whom the yajna (sacrifice) is performed and who bears its expenses Yajna: sacrifice 

Yakshas: Deities associated with water, fertility, trees, forests, and the wilderness 

Yakshis: Female deities associated with fertility, consorts of yakshas 

Yavana: Greeks, foreigners from the West 

Yoga: A philosophical school which aimed at focusing the mind to achieve complete tranquility and control 

Yogachara: A major Mahayana school which attached great importance to meditation as a means of attaining the highest goal
Yupa: Sacrificial post

Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Prelims Spotlight: Schemes, Project, and Policies Regarding Science and Technology

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04th May 2022

1. SATHI

The Department of Science & Technology has launched a unique scheme calledSophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes(SATHI)”.

Objectives of the Scheme

  • SATHI will address the problems of accessibility, maintenance, redundancy and duplication of expensive equipment in the institutions.
  • This will also foster a strong culture of collaboration between institutions and across disciplines to take advantage of developments, innovations and expertise in diverse areas.

2. National Blockchain Strategy

The ‘National Strategy on Blockchain’ as brought out by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, is the move in the direction towards enabling trusted digital platforms creating blockchain framework for the development of applications based on this technology.

About NBS

  • Aim: To provide trusted digital platform for providing e – governance services using blockchain technology.

    Objectives
  • Creation of trusted digital platforms through blockchain.
  • To make India a global leader in Blockchain Technology.
  • Provide trusted, secure and transparent service delivery to citizens and businesses.

3. Project MANAV: Human Atlas Initiative

  • For the first time, Indian scientists will be mapping every single tissue of the human body to have a deeper understanding of the roles of tissues and cells linked to various diseases.
  • Department of Biotechnology (DBT) launched MANAV: Human Atlas Initiative towards improving knowledge on human physiology.
  • It is a project funded by DBT, which aims at creating a database network of all tissues in the human body from the available scientific literature.
  • It is a project that involves scientific skill development for annotation, science outreach along with handling big data.
  • It will involve gaining better biological insights through physiological and molecular mapping, develop disease models through predictive computing and have a holistic analysis and finally drug discovery.
  • The student community, who will be the backbone on assimilating the information, will be trained and imparted with skills to perform annotation and curation of information that will ultimately form the online network.
  • DBT has invested funds shared between two institutions in Pune – National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune.
  • Besides, Persistent Systems Limited has co-funded the project and is developing the platform.

4. Project Cosmic Microwave Background-Bharat

  • CMB stands for Cosmic Microwave Background, and the scientific space project CMB-Bharat has been presented as a proposal to ISRO and is under consideration.
  • In the workshop, project CMB-Bharat, which could help us listen to the faintest murmurs of the early universe, was discussed.
  • CMB-Bharat is a proposal for comprehensive next-generation Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) mission in international collaboration with major Indian contribution.
  • This referred to quantum gravitational waves, which are different from what LIGO detectors had observed that were classical in nature.

5. Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission

Objectives

  • Rs 50 crore Mission aimed at conservation and cultivation of endangered and threatened endemic medicinal plants, and discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using the rich traditional ethnobotanical knowledge and biodiversity of these states and at the same time also improve the availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on a sustainable basis for a boom in the phyto-pharmaceutical industry
  • Nodal Ministry –Ministry of Science & Technology

6. Biotech-PRIDE Guidelines

The Union Ministry for Science & Technology has released “Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines” developed by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

Biotech-PRIDE

  • These guidelines aim at providing a well-defined framework and guiding principle to facilitate and enable sharing and exchange of biological knowledge, information and data.
  • They will facilitate this and enable the exchange of information to promote research and innovation in different research groups across the country.
  • They will be implemented through the Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at Regional Centre for Biotechnology supported by the Department of Biotechnology.

7. Drone Rules, 2021

Some of the key features are as under:

Number of forms: The rules propose to reduce the number of forms required for manufacturing, importing, testing, certifying and operating drones in India from 25 to six.

Abolishing authorization number: The draft seeks to abolish the unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, and certificate of conformance that were previously required for approval of drone flights.

Digital Sky Platform: Digital Sky, a platform launched by the government in December 2018, will become a single-window system for all approvals under the newly proposed rules.

Airspace map: An airspace map segregating the entire landmass of India into Green, Yellow and Red zones will be published on the platform within 30 days of notification of the new rules, the government said. The map will also be machine-readable through an Application Programming Interface (API) for easier plotting of drone flight paths.

Airport Perimeter: The draft rules reduced the airport perimeter from 45 km to 12 km. The rules state that no flight permissions would be required to fly up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.

Drone corridors: The government will also publish a policy framework for Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) within 60 days of notifying the rules. This will also include frameworks for developing “drone corridors” for the safe transfer of goods by drones.

Drone Promotion Council: The Rules also propose the setting up of a Drone Promotion Council, with the aim of facilitating a business-friendly regulatory regime for drones in India, the establishment of incubators for developing drone technologies and organizing competitive events to showcase drones and counter-drone solutions.

Others: To implement safety features such as “no permission, no take-off”, real-time tracking and geofencing, drone manufacturers, importers and operators will get six months’ time to comply from the date of notification of the rules.

8. CYBER Attacks in India

Common types of cyber-attacks are:

(1) Backdoor Trojan

  • A backdoor Trojan creates a backdoor vulnerability in the victim’s system, allowing the attacker to gain remote, and almost total, control.
  • Frequently used to link up a group of victims’ computers into a botnet or zombie network, attackers can use the Trojan for other cybercrimes.

(2) Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack

  • XSS attacks insert malicious code into a legitimate website or application script to get a user’s information, often using third-party web resources.

Denial-of-service (DoS)

  • DoS and Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks flood a system’s resources, overwhelming them and preventing responses to service requests, which reduces the system’s ability to perform.
  • Often, this attack is a setup for another attack.

(3) DNS tunnelling

  • Cybercriminals use DNS tunnelling, a transactional protocol, to exchange application data, like extract data silently or establish a communication channel with an unknown server, such as a command and control (C&C) exchange.

(4) Malware

  • Malware is malicious software that can render infected systems inoperable. Most malware variants destroy data by deleting or wiping files critical to the operating system’s ability to run.

(5) Phishing

  • Phishing scams attempt to steal users’ credentials or sensitive data like credit card numbers.
  • In this case, scammers send users emails or text messages designed to look as though they’re coming from a legitimate source, using fake hyperlinks.

(6) Ransomware

  • Ransomware is sophisticated malware that takes advantage of system weaknesses, using strong encryption to hold data or system functionality hostage.
  • Cybercriminals use ransomware to demand payment in exchange for releasing the system. A recent development with ransomware is the add-on of extortion tactics.

(7) Zero-day exploit

  • Zero-day exploit attacks take advantage of unknown hardware and software weaknesses. These vulnerabilities can exist for days, months or years before developers learn about the flaws.

9. VAJRA

Objectives –

  • The Government of India recently launched VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme by the Department of Science and Technology which enables NRIs and overseas scientific community to participate and contribute to research and development in India. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department will implement the Scheme.
  • International Faculty / scientists/technologists including Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) / Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) are offered adjunct / visiting faculty positions in Indian Institutions / Universities for a period of 1-3 months under this scheme. The faculty can also undertake the role of teaching /mentoring apart from R&D.
  • Public funded institutions and national laboratories are allowed to host the VAJRA faculty.
  • Nodal Ministry –Ministry of Science & Technology

10. National Initiative for Developing & Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI)

Objectives

A programme to address the complete chain of innovation ecosystem right from scouting to mentoring to scaling up innovations. launched by DST. Establishment of a research park at IIT Gandhinagar has been supported at a cost of Rs.90 cr.

11.Surya Jyoti

Objectives

  • In order to capture daylight and concentrate the same inside a dark room, particularly in the urban slum or rural areas which lack electricity supply, a low cost and energy-efficient Micro Solar Dome (Surya Jyoti) has been tested and developed. -Potential users of this device are10 million households.
  • According to preliminary estimates, if this technology is adopted in 10 million households only, it has the potential of saving 1750 million units of energy.
  • It would also lead to an emission reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2 equivalent, hence giving a fillip to the mission of ‘Clean India, Green India’.
  • The manufacturing process, being labour-intensive, would also generate huge job opportunities in the economy.
  • Nodal Ministry – Department of Science & Technology.

12. Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan is running successfully to motivate children to learn Science, Maths and Technology through observation and experimentation.
  • It was launched on 9th July 2015 by Late Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.
  • Nodal Ministry-HRD Ministry.

Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Important Summits, Conventions, and Declarations

3rd May 2022

 

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1.RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands

Brief Intro

  • The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975 after UNESCO, the Convention’s depositary received the instruments of accession from the countries.
  • The RAMSAR Secretariat is based at the headquarters of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gland, Switzerland.
  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2nd.

Key Objectives-

  • An intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Year-1971

Place – Ramasar

Key Terms-The Montreux Record – a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character are of concern. It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.

India specific – India currently has 27 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).

2.The World Heritage Convention

Brief Intro

The Convention recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.

Key Objectives-

The Convention defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List under UNESCO

Year-1972

3.Stockholm Conference

Brief Intro

Stockholm Declaration contains 26 principles. These principles provide the basis of an International Policy for the Protection and improvement of the environment.

Key Point-The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been established by the UNGA in pursuance of the Stockholm Conference.

Year-1972

4.CITES

Brief Intro

To ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants.

Key Objectives-

  • It is a multilateral treaty drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws.

India Specific –

The Government of India signed the Convention in July 1976, which was ratified in October 1976

5.Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC)

Brief Intro

Seeks to establish a uniform global legal regime for compensation to victims in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident. It was adopted on 12 September 1997. It can enter into force after ratification by at least 5 countries having a minimum of 400,000 units of installed nuclear capacity.

Key Objectives-

  • It provides a uniform framework for channelling liability and providing speedy compensation after the nuclear accident.
  • Seeks to encourage regional and global co-operation to promote a higher level of nuclear safety in accordance with the principles of international partnership and solidarity.
  • All states are free to participate in it regardless of their presence of nuclear installations on their territories or involvement in existing nuclear liability conventions.
  • It has been framed inconsistent with the principles of the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (1963) and the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (1960).

India Specific –

India has ratified Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), 1997 which sets parameters on a nuclear operator’s financial liability.

6.Nuclear security summit

Brief Intro

The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is a world summit, aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe. The first summit was held in Washington, D.C., United States, on April 12–13, 2010. The second summit was held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2012. The third summit was held in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 24–25, 2014. The fourth summit was held in Washington, D.C. on March 31–April 1, 2016.

Key Objectives-

Aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.

India specific-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the NSS 2016 in Washington

7.Ashgabat Agreement

Brief Intro

Ashgabat Agreement is an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

Key Objectives-

  • The transit agreement provides for a transit corridor across Central Asia and the Middle East through the continuous landmass between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran before reaching the Persian Gulf and into Oman.
  • The objective of this agreement is to enhance connectivity within Eurasian region and synchronize it with other transport corridors within that region including the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

8.The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA)

Brief Intro

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

Key Objectives-

It is a forum based on the recognition that there is close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and in the rest of the world.enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

India Specific-

India is a member of CICA

9.Beijing declaration

Brief Intro

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) is an international declaration of women’s rights set up at the UN’s landmark Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995.

Key Objectives-

  • The BPfA covers 12 key critical matters of concern and areas for action including women and poverty, violence against women and access to power and decision- making.
  • It was supported by 189 countries, including the UK, at the 1995 World Conference.gender equality and the empowerment of all women, everywhere.1995.
  • It was the outcome of The Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace convened by UN.

12.The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)

Brief Intro

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is a treaty adopted by the 56th World Health Assembly held in Geneva,Switzerland on 21 May 2003.

Key Objectives-

  • It became the first World Health Organization treaty adopted under article 19 of the WHO constitution.To protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke” by enacting a set of universal standards stating the dangers of tobacco and limiting its use in all forms worldwide.
  • The FCTC established two principal bodies to oversee the functioning of the treaty: the Conference of the parties and the permanent Secretariat. In addition, there are over 50 different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations who are official observers to the Conference of the Parties.

India Specific-

India has hosted 7th Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

10.G-7

Brief Intro

  • The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—that meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy.
  • Russia belonged to the forum from 1998 through 2014—then the Group of Eight (G8)—but was suspended after its annexation of Crimea in March of that year.

11.G-20

Brief Intro– It was started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis.

Key Objectives-

  • The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making.
  • It is deliberating forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies on economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. The group had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis. It comprises total 19 countries plus the European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population. Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU. 4.The 2016 summit was held in Hangzhou China.
  • It was established for studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.

India Specific-

India is a founding member of G-20

12.International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Brief Intro

It is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims at guaranteeing food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), as well as the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use.

Key Objectives-

  • It also recognises Farmers’ Rights, subject to national laws the protection of traditional knowledge relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
  • The right to equitably participate in sharing benefits arising from the utilisation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture;
  • The right to participate in making decisions, at the national level, on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
  • It is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

India Specific-

India has signed the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

13.Marrakesh treaty

Brief Intro

  • The treaty requires signatories to introduce national law provisions that facilitate the availability of published works in formats like Braille that are accessible to the blind and allow their exchange across borders by organizations working for the visually impaired.

Key Objectives-

  • The pact will help import of accessible format copies from the member countries by the Indian authorized entities such as educational institutions, libraries and other institutions working for the welfare of the visually impaired.
  • The treaty will also ease translation of imported accessible format copies and export of accessible format copies in Indian languages.To create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled (VIPs).

14.London Declaration

Brief Intro

  • The London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases is a collaborative disease eradication programme launched on 30 January 2012 in London.
  • It was inspired by the World Health Organization 2020 roadmap to eradicate or negate transmission for neglected tropical diseases.
  • Officials from WHO, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s 13 leading pharmaceutical companies, and government representatives from US, UK, United Arab Emirate, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mozambique and Tanzania participated in a joint meeting at the Royal College of Physicians to launch this project.

15.Declaration of Montreal

Brief Intro

The Declaration of Montreal on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Human Rights is a document adopted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 29, 2006, by the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights which formed part of the first World Outgames.

Key Objectives-

  • The Declaration outlines a number of rights and freedoms pertaining to LGBT and intersex people that it is proposed to be universally guaranteed.
  • It encompasses all aspects of human rights, from the guarantee of fundamental freedoms to the prevention of discrimination against LGBT people in healthcare, education and immigration.
  • The Declaration also addresses various issues that impinge on the global promotion of LGBT rights and intersex human rights.

16. Istanbul Convention

Brief Intro

  • The Istanbul Convention is the first legally-binding instrument which “creates a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women” and is focussed on preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and prosecuting accused offenders. The convention aims at prevention of violence, victim protection and “to end with the impunity of perpetrators.
  • The Council of Europe. Only European countries have signed this convention.

17.vienna convention on diplomatic relations

Brief Intro

It is a treaty that came into force in 1964 2.It lays out the rules and regulations for diplomatic relations between countries as well as the various privileges that diplomats and diplomatic missions enjoy.

Key Objectives-

  • One of these privileges is legal immunity for diplomats so that they don’t have to face prosecution as per their host country’s laws.
  • The Vienna Convention classifies diplomats according to their posting in the embassy, consular or international organisations such as the UN. A nation has only one embassy per foreign country, usually in the capital, but may have multiple consulate offices, generally in locations where many of its citizens live or visit.
  • Diplomats posted in an embassy get immunity, along with his or her family members. While diplomats posted in consulates too get immunity, they can be prosecuted in case of serious crimes, that is, when a warrant is issued.
  • Besides, their families don’t share that immunity.It has been ratified by 187 countries, including India.

18.Jaipur Summit

Brief Intro

  • The Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) was launched during Hon’ble Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to Fiji in November 2014.
  • FIPIC includes 14 of the island countries – Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
  • The second summit of the Forum for India Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC-2) in Jaipur on 21-22 August 2015 has made significant progress in strengthening India’s engagement with the 14 Pacific Island countries. Increase Cooperation Between India and 14 Pacific Countries.

Key Objectives-

  • Though these countries are relatively small in land area and distant from India, many have large exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and offer promising possibilities for fruitful cooperation.
  • India’s focus has largely been on the Indian Ocean where it has sought to play a major role and protect its strategic and commercial interests. The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India’s engagement in the Pacific region.
  • At this moment, total annual trade of about $300 million between the Indian and Pacific Island countries, where as exports are around $200 million and imports are around $100 million.

19.NPT

Brief Intro

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

Key Objectives-

  • The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970.
  • To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

India Specific-

India has not signed the treaty as India argues that the NPT creates a club of “nuclear haves” and a larger group of “nuclear have-nots” by restricting the legal possession of nuclear weapons to those states that tested them before 1967, but the treaty never explains on what ethical grounds such a distinction is valid.

20.CTBT

Brief Intro

  • The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.
  • It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 but has not entered into force as eight specific states have not ratified the treaty. Nuclear weapon-free
  • The treaty thus awaits signature and ratification from India, Pakistan, and North Korea and in addition requires the United States, China, Israel, Iran and Egypt (which have already signed) to formally ratify it.

India Specific-

Even though it is yet to sign the CTBT, India has supported the treaty’s basic principle of banning nuclear explosions by declaring a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. India’s expressed support to the essential requirement of the treaty makes it a de facto member of the CTBT.

21.Convention on biological diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity has been in force since 1993.

Objectives-

  • It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity.
  • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.,fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
  • The CBD, one of the key agreements adopted during the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, is the first comprehensive global agreement which addresses all aspects relating to biodiversity.

22.International Whaling Commission (IWC)

The IWC is an Inter-Governmental Organisation set up by the terms of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) signed in Washington, D.C in 1946. It aims to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry. The body is the first piece of International Environmental Legislation established in 1946.

23.Global Digital Health Partnership Summit

The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) is an international collaboration of governments, government agencies and multinational organisations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their citizens through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.

Objectives-

  • Governments are making significant investments to harness the power of technology and foster innovation and public-private partnerships that support high quality, sustainable health and care for all. The GDHP facilitates global collaboration and co-operation in the implementation of digital health services.The GDHP is committed to improving health and care through promoting its principles of equality, co-operation, transparency and responsibility.
  • Equality: All participants will have an equal opportunity to participate and contribute to the development of the GDHP deliverables and share in the lessons learnt and outputs of the GDHP.
  • Co-operation: Participants are helpful and supportive and participate in debates thoughtfully, constructively and respectfully.
  • Transparency: Participants act with openness in their engagement with fellow participants to contribute to improved health services, promote innovation and create safer and healthier communities.
  • Responsibility: Participants are responsible for their country’s input through their active contribution to GDHP activities that are guided by the annual work plan. Each participant shall endeavour to ensure that outcomes from meetings, such as tasks appointed to them or in general, are carried out effectively and efficiently. Participants will make decisions and participate in discussions in a transparent and fair manner, using evidence, and without discrimination or bias, ensuring they act in the public interest and not for commercial purposes.

24.TIR

The Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets is a multilateral treaty that was concluded at Geneva on 14 November 1975 to simplify and harmonise the administrative formalities of international road transport.

Objectives-

  • The TIR Convention establishes an international customs transit system with maximum facility to move goods:in sealed vehicles or containers;
  • from a customs office of departure in one country to a customs office of destination in another country;
  • without requiring extensive and time-consuming border checks at intermediate borders;
  • while, at the same time, providing customs authorities with the required security and guarantees.

25. 1 Trillion Trees Initiative

It aims to ensure the conservation and restoration of one trillion trees within this decade. Initiative is led by UNEP and initiated by WEF.

Objectives-

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030, which is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, identifies investing in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for resilience and to build back better in reconstruction as priorities for action towards reducing disaster risk.
  • Similarly, Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes disaster resilient infrastructure as a crucial driver of economic growth and development.
  • Besides reducing infrastructure losses, disaster resilient infrastructure will also help achieve targets pertaining to reduction in mortality, number of affected people and economic losses due to disasters.

26.International Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.

Key points of the Convention

Objectives-

  • Prohibition of production and use of chemical weapons
  • Destruction (or monitored conversion to other functions) of chemical weapons production facilities
  • Destruction of all chemical weapons (including chemical weapons abandoned outside the state parties territory)
  • Assistance between State Parties and the OPCW in the case of use of chemical weapons
  • An OPCW inspection regime for the production of chemicals which might be converted to chemical weapons
  • International cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry in relevant areas

27.Convention on Supplementary Compensation for nuclear Damage (CSC)

The Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage is a 1963 treaty that governs issues of liability in cases of a nuclear accident. It was concluded at Vienna on 21 May 1963 and entered into force on 12 November 1977. The convention has been amended by a 1997 protocol. The depository is the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Objectives-

  • The Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) aims at establishing a minimum national compensation amount and at further increasing the amount of compensation through public funds to be made available by the Contracting Parties should the national amount be insufficient to compensate the damage caused by a nuclear incident.
  • The Convention is open not only to States that are party to either the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage or the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (including any amendments to either) but also to other States provided that their national legislation is consistent with uniform rules on civil liability laid down in the Annex to the Convention.

28.Hague Code of Conduct

The International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, also known as the Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC), was established on 25 November 2002 as an arrangement to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles.

Objectives-

  • The HCOC is the result of international efforts to regulate access to ballistic missiles which can potentially deliver weapons of mass destruction. The HCOC is the only multilateral code in the area of disarmament which has been adopted over the last years.
  • It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles.
  • The HCOC does not ban ballistic missiles, but it does call for restraint in their production, testing, and export.

29. Tropical Forest Alliance

Global PPP launched at Rio+20 summit. It aims halving deforestation by 2020 and ending it by 2030 in tropical rainforest countries. The secretariat of the Alliance is hosted by the World Economic Forum.

30.Biological weapons convention

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons.

Objectives-

  • Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:
  • Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes;
  • Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.”
  • The United States Congress passed the Bioweapons Anti-Terrorism Act in 1989 to implement the Convention. The law applies the Convention’s convent to countries and private citizens, and criminalizes violations of the Convention.

31.Sendai Framework

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) is an international document which was adopted by UN member states between 14th and 18th of March 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June 2015. It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), which had been the most encompassing international accord to date on disaster risk reduction.

Objectives-

  • The Sendai Framework sets four specific priorities for action:
  • Understanding disaster risk;
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience;
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

32.Outer Space Treaty

The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies, and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space.

33.Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 UNFCCC that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the premise that

(a) global warming exists and (b) human-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

Objectives-

  • The main feature of the Protocol is that it established legally binding commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases for parties that ratified the Protocol.
  • The commitments were based on the Berlin Mandate, which was a part of UNFCCC negotiations leading up to the Protocol.
  • Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change.

34.U.N. Frame Work Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Objectives-

  • A framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were inevitable.
  • The primary goals of the UNFCCC were to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at levels that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the global climate.
  • The convention embraced the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities which has guided the adoption of a regulatory structure.

35.Basel Convention

  • The industrialized world in the 1980s had led to increasing public resistance to the disposal of hazardous wastes, in accordance with what became known as the NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) syndrome, and to an increase of disposal costs.
  • This, in turn, led some operators to seek cheap disposal options for hazardous wastes in the developing countries.
  • Environmental awareness was much less developed and regulations and enforcement mechanisms were lacking. The objectives of the convention are to reduce trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes, to minimize the creation of such wastes and to prohibit their shipment from developed countries to the LDCs.

36.Montreal Protocol

Objectives-

  • The protocol set targets for reducing the consumption and production of a range of ozone-depleting substances.
  • In a major innovation, the protocol recognized that all nations should not be treated equally.
  • The agreement acknowledges that certain countries have contributed to ozone depletion more than others.
  • It also recognizes that a nation‘s obligation to reduce current emissions should reflect its technological and financial ability to do so.
  • Because of this, the agreement sets more stringent standards and accelerated phase-out time tables to countries that have contributed most to ozone depletion

37.World Conservation Strategy

Objectives-

  • It set out fundamental principles and objectives for conservation worldwide and identified priorities for national and international action.
  • It is considered one of the most influential documents in 20th-century nature conservation and one of the first official documents to introduce the concept of sustainable development.

38.Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention)

Objectives-

  • Aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • The Convention facilitates the adoption of strict protection measures for endangered migratory species, the conclusion of multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species, and co-operative research activities.

39.World Sustainable Development summit

  • WSDS has replaced TERI’s earlier called Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS). The first DSDS was organised in 2005. It underscored the need for businesses and the private sector to take lead in poverty reduction and to ensure rapid and sustained adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • It had brought together Nobel laureates, decision-makers political leaders from around the world to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development.
  • The aim of the summit is to provide various stakeholders with a single platform in order to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community.

40.Kigali Agreement

The Kigali Amendment amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol to now include gases responsible for global warming and will be binding on countries from 2019.

Objectives-

  • It also has provisions for penalties for non-compliance.
  • It is considered absolutely vital for reaching the Paris Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise to below 2-degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.
  • Under it, developed countries will also provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally. The exact amount of additional funding from developed countries will be agreed at the next
  • Meeting of the Parties in Montreal in 2017 to reduce the emissions of category of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which leads to hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs)

41. Glassgow Summit

The Glasgow meeting was the 26th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP26.

Achievements:

  1. Mitigation: The Glasgow agreement has emphasised that stronger action in the current decade was most critical to achieving the 1.5-degree target.
  2. Adaptation: Most of the countries, especially the smaller and poorer ones, and the small island states have been demanded that at least half of all climate finance should be directed towards adaptation efforts.
  3. Finance: In 2009, developed countries had promised to mobilise at least $100 billion every year from 2020, which did not happen. The developed nations have now said that they will arrange this amount by 2023.
  4. Accounting earlier mistakes: Asked the developed countries to provide transparent information about the money they plan to provide
  5. Loss & Damage: The frequency of climate disasters has been rising rapidly, and many of these caused large scale devastation. One of the earlier drafts included a provision for setting up of a facility to coordinate loss and damage activities.
  6. Carbon markets: This meeting has allowed carbon credits to be used in meeting countries’ first NDC targets to the developing nations.


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[Prelims Spotlight] Important UN Organizations

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Important UN Organizations in News


27 Apr 2022

United Nation Overview:

  • The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945.  It is currently made up of 193 Member States.  The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
  • Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.
  • The UN also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the Organization has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.
  • The main organs of the UN are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat.  All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

General Assembly

  • The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.
  • Each year, in September, the full UN membership meets in the General Assembly Hall in New York for the annual General Assembly session, and general debate, which many heads of state attend and address. Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.
  • Decisions on other questions are by a simple majority.  The General Assembly, each year, elects a GA President to serve a one-year term of office.

Security Council

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security.  It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions. The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of the settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.  The Security Council has a Presidency, which rotates, and changes, every month.

Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as the implementation of internationally agreed development goals. It serves as the central mechanism for activities of the UN system and its specialized agencies in the economic, social and environmental fields, supervising subsidiary and expert bodies.  It has 54 Members, elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. It is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.

Trusteeship Council

The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence.  The Trusteeship Council suspended operation on 1 November 1994. By a resolution adopted on 25 May 1994, the Council amended its rules of procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as occasion required — by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the Security Council.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America). The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

Secretariat

The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and tens of thousands of international UN staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization’s other principal organs.  The Secretary-General is the chief administrative officer of the Organization, appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year, renewable term. UN staff members are recruited internationally and locally, and work in duty stations and on peacekeeping missions all around the world.  But serving the cause of peace in a violent world is a dangerous occupation. Since the founding of the United Nations, hundreds of brave men and women have given their lives in its service.

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Prelims Spotlight: Important Traditional Crafts, Music and Dance schools in India

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Prelims Spotlight: Foreign Travellers in Ancient and Medieval India

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18th Apr 2022

Travellers Visited India

Contemporary Rulers

Contribution.

Deimachos

Period: (320-273 BC)

Who: Greek Ambassador

Came India in the reign of Bindusara.

Megasthenes

Period: (302-298 B.C.)

Who: Greek ethnographer & ambassador.

Ambassador of Seleucus Nicator, who visited in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

Wrote an interesting book Indica.

Ptolemy

Period: 130 A.D.

Who: From Greece and Geographer.

Wrote “Geography of India” which gives the description of Ancient India.

Fa-Hien

Period: (405-411 A.D.)

Who: Chinese Buddhist Monk

Came to India in the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.

–          Visited the birth place of Buddha, Lumbini.

–          His Travelogue “Records of Buddhist Kingdoms”.

–          Wrote Fo-Kyo-Ki.

Hiuen-Tsang

Period: (630-645 A.D.)

Who: Chinese Buddhist Monk

Visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana.

–          Came through Tashkent and Swat Valley.

–          Book is “Si-Yu-Ki or the records of western world”.

I-tsing

Period: ( 671- 695 A.D.)

Who: Chinese traveller

Visited India in connection with Buddhism.

–          His works are Biographies of Eminent Monks.

–          Gives useful information about the social, religious and cultural life of the people of this country.

Al-Masudi

Period: (957 A.D.)

Who: Arab Traveller

Gives an extensive account of India in his work “Muruj-ul-Zahab”.

Al- Beruni or Abu Rehan Mahamud

Period: (1024-1030 A.D.)

Who: Muslim Scholar and Polymath

Came along with Mahmud Ghazni during one of his Indian raids.

–          First Muslim Scholar to study India also known as founder of Indology.

–          Wrote “ Tahqiq-i-Hind/Kitab-ul-Hind.

Marco Polo

Period: (1292-1294 AD)

Who: Venetian Traveller

Visited South India in 1294 A.D during the reign of Pandyan ruler of Madurai, Madverman, Kulshekhara (1272-1311)

His work “The Book of Sir Marco Polo” which gives an invaluable account of the economic history of India.

Ibn Batuta

Period: (1333-1347 A.D.)

Who: Morrish traveller

Visited India during the reign of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq.

His book “ Rehla” (the travelogue)

Shihabuddin al-Umari

Period: (1348 A.D.)

Who: Came from Damascus

He gives a vivid account of India in his book “ Masalik albsar fi-mamalik al-amsar

Nicolo Conti

Period: (1420-1421 A.D.)

Who: Venetian traveller

Came during the rule of Devraya I of Sangam Dynasty of Vijayanagar empire.

Given a graphic account of Vijayanagaras capital.

Abdur Razzaq

Period: (1443-1444 A.D.)

Who: Persian traveller, Ambassador of Shahrukh of Timurid dynasty.

–          Came during the rule of Devraya II of Sangam dynasty of Vijaynagar Empire.

–          Came in India at Zamorin’s Calicut.

Given a brief account of this countryside, in his Matla us Saddin wa Majuma ul Baharain.

Athanasius Nikitin

Period: (1470- 1474 A.D.)

Who: Russian merchant

Visited South India in 1470.

-He describes the condition of the Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III (1463-82).

– His narrative “ The journey beyond 3 seas”

Duarte Barbosa

Period: (1500-1516 A.D.)

Who: Portuguese traveller

He has given a brief description of the government and the people of Vijayanagar Empire.

Domingo Paes

Period: (1520-1522 A.D.)

Who: Portuguese traveller

Visited the court of Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar Empire.

Fernao Nuniz

Period: (1535-1537 A.D.)

Who: Portuguese merchant

Came during the rule of Achyutdeva Raya of Tuluv dynasty of vijayanagar Empire.

Wrote history of the empire from its earliest times of the closing years of Achyutdeva Raya’s reign.

John Hughen Von Linschotten

Period: (1583 A.D.)

Who: Dutch traveller

Given a valuable account of the social and economic life of South India.

William Hawkins

Period: (1608-1611 A.D.)

Who: Ambassador of James I, king of England.

Came in India at the reign of Jahangir,the great Mughal Emperor. William finch came with him.

Sir Thomas Roe

Period: (1615-1619 A.D.)

Who: Ambassador of James I, king of England.

Came in India at the reign of Jahangir,the great Mughal Emperor.

Edward Terry

Period: (1616 A.D.)

Who: Ambassador of Thomas Roe.

Describe about Indian social (Gujarat) behaviour.

Franciso Palsaert

Period: (1620-1627 A.D.)

Who: Dutch traveller stayed at Agra.

Gave a vivid account of the flourishing trade at Surat, Ahmadabad, Broach, Cambay, Lahore, Multan etc.

Peter Mundy

Period: (1630-34 A.D.)

Who: Italian traveller

Came in the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan.

Gives valuable information about the living standard of the common people in the Mughal Empire.

John Albert de Mandesto

Period: (1638 A.D.)

Who: German traveller

Reached Surat in 1638 A.D.

Jeen Baptiste Tavernier

Period: (1638-1663 A.D.)

Who: French traveller

Visited India 6 times in the reign of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.

Nicolao Manucci

Period: (1653-1708 A.D.)

Who: Italian traveller

He got service at the court of Dara Shikoh.

Francois Bernier

Period: (1656- 1717 A.D.)

Who: French physician and Philosopher.

Danishamand Khan, a noble of Aurangzeb was his patron.

Jean de Thevenot

Period: (1666 A.D.)

Who: French traveller

Given an account of cities like Ahmadabad, Cambay, Aurangabad and Golconda.

John Fryer

Period: (1672-1681 A.D.)

Who: English traveller

 

Given a vivid account of Surat and Bombay.

Gemelli Careri

Period: (1695 A.D.)

Who: Italian traveller who landed at Daman.

His remarks on the Mughal emperor’s military organisation and administration are important.

 

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Important Groupings Related to India

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15th Apr 2022

Trans-Pacific Partnership

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States (until 23 January 2017) and Vietnam
  • The TPP began as an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) signed by Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore in 2005
  • The TPP contains measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade and establish an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism
  • The agreement will enter into force after ratification by all signatories if this occurs within two years
  • APEC members may accede to the TPP, as may any other jurisdiction to which existing TPP members agree. After an application for membership is received, a commission of parties to the treaty negotiates conditions for accession.

BRICS

  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
  • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20.
  • Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 2017, while Brazil hosted the most recent 11th BRICS summit on 13-14 November 2019.

New Development Bank and the Fortaleza Declaration

  • During the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014), the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • In the Fortaleza Declaration, the leaders stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
  • The bank was established in July 2015 by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
  • The aim of the bank is to mobilize funding for infrastructure and sustainable development.
  • Its ownership structure is unique, as the BRICS countries each have an equal share and no country has any veto power.
  • In this sense, the bank is a physical expression of the desire of emerging markets to play a bigger role in global governance.
  • NDB was created to help fill the funding gap in the BRICS economies and was intended to grow its global scope over time.
  • The bank, with its subscribed capital base of US$50bn, is now poised to become a meaningful additional source of long-term finance for infrastructure in its member countries.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a trade deal that was being negotiated between 16 countries.
  • They include the 10 ASEAN members and the six countries with which the bloc has free trade agreements (FTAs) — India, Australia, China, Korea, Japan, and New Zealand.
  • The purpose of the deal is to create an “integrated market” spanning all 16 countries.
  • This means that it would be easier for the products and services of each of these countries to be available across the entire region.

RCEP – India

  • It comprises half of the world population and accounts for nearly 40% of the global commerce and 35% of the GDP. RCEP would have become the world’s largest FTA after finalisation, with India being the third-biggest economy in it.
  • Without India, the RCEP does not look as attractive as it had seemed during negotiations.
  • Divided ASEAN – ASEAN has been keen on a diversified portfolio so that member states can deal with major powers and maintain their strategic autonomy. ASEAN member states have tried to keep the U.S. engaged in the region.
  • Act East policy has been well received. With China’s rise in the region, ASEAN member states have been keen on Indian involvement in the region.
  • Indo-Pacific – India’s entire Indo-Pacific strategy might be open to question if steps are not taken to restore India’s profile in the region.
  • Rejected China’s dominance – India signalled that, despite the costs, China’s rise has to be tackled both politically and economically.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the then security and economic architecture in the Eurasian region dissolved and new structures had to come up.
  • The original Shanghai Five were China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
  • The SCO was formed in 2001, with Uzbekistan included. It expanded in 2017 to include India and Pakistan.
  • Since its formation, the SCO has focused on regional non-traditional security, with counter-terrorism as a priority:
  • The fight against the “three evils” of terrorism, separatism and extremism has become its mantra.
  • Today, areas of cooperation include themes such as economics and culture.

India’s entry to the SCO

  • India and Pakistan both were observer countries.
  • While Central Asian countries and China were not in favour of expansion initially, the main supporter — of India’s entry in particular — was Russia.
  • A widely held view is that Russia’s growing unease about an increasingly powerful China prompted it to push for its expansion.
  • From 2009 onwards, Russia officially supported India’s ambition to join the SCO. China then asked for its all-weather friend Pakistan’s entry.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South-East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.
  • BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.  The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economies. In the last five years, BIMSTEC Member States have been able to sustain an average 6.5% economic growth trajectory despite a global financial meltdown.

SAARC & SAARC Countries

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia.  Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  SAARC was founded in Dhaka in 1985.
  • Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu.
  • The organization promotes the development of economic and regional integration.
  • It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006.
  • SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nation as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities.
  • Observers Of SAARC: – States with observer status include Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries
  • It promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration amongst its members and other Asian countries
  • It members are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam
  • ASEAN shares land and maritime borders with India, China
  • ASEAN is an official United Nations Observer.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

  • The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.
  • One of the critical elements for inclusion into the NSG is that the member countries need to signatories of the NPT, a proposal which India has categorically disagreed.
  • However considering India’s history of nuclear non-proliferation, the US and subsequently the NSG have shown some recognition and granted India with the waiver of dealing with other countries for nuclear technology.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

  • OPCW is an intergovernmental organization and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997
  • The OPCW, with its 193 member states, has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons
  • The organization promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction
  • Verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by member states and onsite inspections
  • The OPCW has the power to say whether chemical weapons were used in an attack it has investigated
  • The organization was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”

The Australian Group

  • The Australia Group is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) and an informal group of countries (now joined by the European Commission) established in 1985 (after the use of chemical weapons by Iraq in 1984) to help member countries to identify those exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons
  • The group, initially consisting of 15 members, held its first meeting in Brussels, Belgium, in September 1989. With the incorporation of India on January 19, 2018, it now has 43 members, including Australia, the European Commission, all 28 member states of the European Union, Ukraine, and Argentina
  • The name comes from Australia’s initiative to create the group. Australia manages the secretariat
  • The initial members of the group had different assessments of which chemical precursors should be subject to export control
  • Later adherents initially had no such controls
  • Today, members of the group maintain export controls on a uniform list of 54 compounds, including several that are not prohibited for export under the Chemical Weapons Convention but can be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons
  • In 2002, the group took two important steps to strengthen export control
  • The first was the “no-undercut” requirement, which stated that any member of the group considering making an export to another state that had already been denied an export by any other member of the group must first consult with that member state before approving the export
  • The second was the “catch-all” provision, which requires member states to halt all exports that could be used by importers in chemical or biological weapons programs, regardless of whether the export is on the group’s control lists.
  • Delegations representing the members meet every year in Paris, France

WTO

  • US, UK and a few other countries set up, an interim organisation about trade named GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade) in 1947
  • GATT was biased in favour of the developed countries and was called informally as the Rich men’s club.
  • So, the developing countries insisted on setting up the International Trade Organisation (ITO)
  • That’s the reason, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was set up in 1964 as an alternative, on the recommendation of the UN committee
  • Next development comes in Uruguay Round of GATT, it sought to expand the scope of the organisation by including, services, investment and intellectual property rights (IPR)
  • Agreements were ratified by the legislatures of 85 member-countries by year-end 1994.
  • On such rectification, the WTO started functioning from Jan 1, 1995, Marrakesh Agreement>

Functions of WTO

  • The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries.
  • It provides a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments.

G20

  • Formed in 1999, the G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
  • Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 percent of the Gross World Product (GWP), 80 percent of world trade.
  • To tackle the problems or the address issues that plague the world, the heads of governments of the G20 nations periodically participate in summits.
  • In addition to it, the group also hosts separate meetings of the finance ministers and foreign ministers.
  • The G20 has no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.

Aims and objectives

  • The Group was formed with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • The forum aims to pre-empt the balance of payments problems and turmoil on financial markets by improved coordination of monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
  • It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organisation.

Member Countries

The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).

  • The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The European Union is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank.

 Who are the G20 Sherpas?

  • A Sherpa is the personal representative of a head of state or government who prepares an international summit, particularly the annual G7 and G20 summits.
  • Between the summits, there are multiple Sherpa conferences where possible agreements are laid out.
  • This reduces the amount of time and resources required at the negotiations of the heads of state at the final summit.
  • The Sherpa is generally quite influential, although they do not have the authority to make a final decision about any given agreement.
  • The name is derived from the Sherpa people, a Nepalese ethnic group, who serve as guides and porters in the Himalayas, a reference to the fact that the Sherpa clears the way for a head of state at a major summit.

G7

  • The G7 or the Group of Seven is a group of the seven most advanced economies as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • The seven countries are Canada, USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy. The EU is also represented in the G7.
  • These countries, with the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion).
  • The G7 countries also represent more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on nominal values, and more than 32% of the global GDP based on purchasing power parity.
  • The requirements to be a member of the G7 are a high net national wealth and a high HDI (Human Development Index).

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[Prelims Spotlight] Budget and Eco Survey

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Prelims Spotlight: Budget and Economic Survey


14th Apr 2022

The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs has presented the Economic Survey 2021-22 in Parliament.

[1] State of the Economy

  • Economic growth: Indian economy estimated to grow by 9.2 percent in real terms in 2021-22 (as per first advanced estimates) subsequent to a contraction of 7.3 percent in 2020-21. 
  • GDP growth: GDP projected to grow by 8- 8.5 percent in real terms in 2022-23.  
  • Agriculture and allied sectors: In line with the longer term trend, the area sown in the Kharif cycle of 2021-22 was again higher than in the previous year. In contrast to the steady performance of the primary sector, the industrial sector went through a big swing by first contracting by 7 per cent in 2020-21 and then expanding by 11.8 per cent in this financial year.

[2] Fiscal Developments

  • Revenue receipts: These have gone up by 67.2 percent (YoY) as against an expected growth of 9.6 percent in the 2021-22 Budget Estimates.
  • Gross Tax Revenue: It registered a growth of over 50 percent during April to November, 2021 in YoY terms. 
  • Borrowings: With the enhanced borrowings on account of COVID-19, the Central Government debt has gone up from 49.1 percent of GDP in 2019-20 to 59.3 percent of GDP in 2020-21.

[3] External Sectors

  • India’s merchandise exports and imports rebounded strongly and surpassed pre-COVID levels during the current financial year.
  • Net capital flows: These were higher at US$ 65.6 billion in the first half of 2021-22, on account of continued inflow of foreign investment, revival in net external commercial borrowings, higher banking capital and additional special drawing rights (SDR) allocation.
  • India’s external debt: It rose to US $ 593.1 billion at end-September 2021, from US $ 556.8 billion a year earlier, reflecting additional SDR allocation by IMF, coupled with higher commercial borrowings.
  • Foreign Exchange Reserves: It touched US $ 633.6 billion in Dec 2021 making India the fourth largest forex reserves holder in the world after China, Japan and Switzerland.

[4] Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation

  • Repo was maintained: The liquidity in the system remained in surplus. Repo rate was maintained at 4 per cent in 2021-22.
  • GSAP: RBI undertook various measures such as G-Sec Acquisition Programme and Special Long-Term Repo Operations to provide further liquidity.
  • NPAs declined: The Gross Non-Performing Advances ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) declined from 11.2 per cent at the end of 2017-18 to 6.9 per cent at the end of September, 2021.

[5] Prices and Inflation

  • Control over food inflation: The decline in retail inflation was led by easing of food inflation. Proactive measures were taken to contain the price rise in pulses and edible oils.
  • Supply constraints eased: Effective supply-side management kept prices of most essential commodities under control during the year.
  • Fuel price reduction: Reduction in central excise and subsequent cuts in Value Added Tax by most States helped ease petrol and diesel prices.

[6] Sustainable Development and Climate Change

  • Sustainable development: India’s overall score on the NITI Aayog SDG India Index and Dashboard improved to 66 in 2020-21 from 60 in 2019-20 and 57 in 2018-19.
  • Rise in forest cover: India has the tenth largest forest area in the world. In 2020, India ranked third globally in increasing its forest area during 2010 to 2020. In 2020, the forests covered 24% of India’s total geographical, accounting for 2% of the world’s total forest area.
  • Plastic waste management (PWM): In August 2021, the PWM Amendment Rules, 2021, was notified which is aimed at phasing out single use plastic by 2022.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic: Draft rules for plastic packaging was notified.
  • Pledge on Net-Zero Emissions: The PM participated at COP-26 in Glasgow. He announced ambitious targets to achieve net-zero by 2070.

 

[7] Agriculture and Food Management

    • Minimum Support Price (MSP) policy: It is being used to promote crop diversification.
    • Allied sector growth: Allied sectors including animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries are steadily emerging to be high growth sectors and major drivers of overall growth in agriculture sector.
    • Food security:  Government has further extended the coverage of food security network through schemes like PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
    • Income Support: Timely release of PM-KISAN Funds.

[8] Industry and Infrastructure:

  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP): It grew at 17.4 percent (YoY) during April-November 2021 as compared to -15.3 percent in April-November 2020.
  • Extent of road construction per day: This has increased substantially in 2020-21 to 36.5 Kms per day from 28 Kms per day in 2019-20 – a rise of 30.4 percent.
  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: It gave a major boost to infrastructure-both physical as well as digital.
  • In contrast to the steady performance of the primary sector, the industrial sector went through a big swing by first contracting by 7 per cent in 2020-21 and then expanding by 11.8 per cent in this financial year.

[9] Services Sector

  • Growth despite pandemic: Overall service Sector GVA is expected to grow by 8.2 percent in 2021-22.
  • Opening up of space sector to private players: Major government reform.
  • India becomes start-up hub: India has become 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world after US and China.
  • Unicorns in India: 44 Indian start-ups have achieved unicorn status in 2021 taking overall tally of unicorns to 83, most of which are in services sector.

[10] Social Infrastructure and Employment

  • Universal vaccination: 157.94 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered (as on 16th January 2022).
  • Employment recovery: As per the quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PFLS) data up to March 2021, employment in urban sector affected by pandemic has recovered almost to the pre-pandemic level.
  • Expenditure on social services (health, education and others): This expenditure by Centre and States as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 % in 2014-15 to 8.6% in 2021-22.
  • National Family Health Survey-5:
  1. Total Fertility Rate (TFR) came down to 2 in 2019-21 from 2.2 in 2015-16
  2. Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), under-five mortality rate and institutional births have improved in 2019-21 over year 2015-16
  3. Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM): Under this, 83 districts have become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ districts.
  4. Continuance of MGNREGS: Increased allotment of funds to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) to provide buffer for unorganized labour in rural areas during the pandemic.

[11] Investment: Gross Fixed Capital Formation

  • Statistically it measures the value of acquisitions of new or existing fixed assets by the business sector, governments and “pure” households (excluding their unincorporated enterprises) less disposals of fixed assets. GFCF is a component of the expenditure on gross domestic product (GDP), and thus shows something about how much of the new value added in the economy is invested rather than consumed. GFCF is called “gross” because the measure does not make any adjustments to deduct the consumption of fixed capital (depreciation of fixed assets) from the investment figures.
  • Investment, as measured by Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) is expected to see strong growth of 15 per cent in 2021-22 and achieve full recovery of pre-pandemic level. Government’s policy thrust on quickening virtuous cycles of growth via capex and infrastructure spending has increased capital formation in the economy, lifting the investment to GDP ratio to about 29.6 per cent in 2021-22, the highest in seven years.
    BARBELL STRATEGY, SAFETY NETS & AGILE RESPONSE:
  • “Barbell Strategy”: It combined a bouquet of safety-nets to cushion the impact on vulnerable sections of society/business, with a flexible policy response based on a Bayesian updating of information. This is a common strategy used in financial markets to deal with extreme uncertainty.
  • The Agile approach is a well-established intellectual framework that is increasingly used in fields like project management and technology development. In an uncertain environment, the Agile framework responds by assessing outcomes in short iterations and constantly adjusting incrementally.
  • The Waterfall approach entails a detailed, initial assessment of the problem followed by a rigid up-front plan for implementation. This methodology works on the premise that all requirements can be understood at the beginning and therefore pre-commits to a certain path of action. This is the thinking reflected in five-year economic plans, and rigid urban master-plans.

 

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Prelims Spotlight: Irrigation Application Methods and Sources

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13th Apr 2022

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Prelims Spotlight: Major Rivers in India

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12th Apr, 2022

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Prelims Spotlight: Protected Areas

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11th Apr 2022

NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES IN INDIA

NATIONAL PARKSSTATES
Papikonda National ParkAndhra Pradesh
Rajiv Gandhi National ParkAndhra Pradesh
Lanjamadugu Wildlife SanctuaryAndhra Pradesh
Namdapha National ParkArunachal Pradesh
Dibang Wildlife SanctuaryArunachal Pradesh
Manas National Park (UNESCO)Assam
Nameri National ParkAssam
Rajiv Gandhi Orang National ParkAssam
Kaziranga National Park (UNESCO)Assam
Dibru Sai Khowa National ParkAssam
Gautam Budha Wildlife SanctuaryBihar
Valmild National ParkBihar
Rajgir Wildlife SanctuaryBihar
Indravati National ParkChhattisgarh
Achanakmar Wildlife SanctuaryChhattisgarh
Kanger Valley National ParkChhattisgarh
Tamor Pingla Wildlife SanctuaryChhattisgarh
Guru Ghasi Das (Sanjay) National ParkChhattisgarh
Gomarda Wildlife SanctuaryChhattisgarh
Bhagwan Mahavir National ParkGoa
Vansda National ParkGujarat
Kutch Desert Wildlife SanctuaryGujarat
Indian Wild Ass SanctuaryGujarat
Marine National Park (First Marine National Park)Gujarat
Black Buck National ParkGujarat
Gir Forest National ParkGujarat
Kalesar National ParkHaryana
Sultanpur National ParkHaryana
Lippa Asrang Wildlife SanctuaryHimachal Pradesh
Tundah Wildlife SanctuaryHimachal Pradesh
Inderkilla National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Great Himalayan National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Pin Valley National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Khirganga National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Simbalbara National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Sechu Tuan Nala Wildlife SanctuaryHimachal Pradesh
Salim All National ParkJammu & Kashmir
Kishtwar National ParkJammu & Kashmir
Hemis National Park (Largest in Area)Jammu & Kashmir
Changtang Wildlife SanctuaryJammu & Kashmir
Dachigam National ParkJammu & Kashmir
Kara Koram Wildlife SanctuaryJammu & Kashmir
Hirpora Wildlife SanctuaryJammu & Kashmir
Lachipora Wildlife SanctuaryJammu & Kashmir
Betla National ParkJharkhand
Hazaribagh National ParkJharkhand
Lawalong Wildlife SanctuaryJharkhand
Nagarhole National ParkKarnataka
Cauvery Wildlife SanctuaryKarnataka
Kudremukh National ParkKarnataka
Bannerghatta National ParkKarnataka
Bandipur National ParkKarnataka
Arabithittu Wildlife SanctuaryKarnataka
Nugu Wildlife SanctuaryKarnataka
Pushpagiri Wildlife SanctuaryKarnataka
Chinnar Wild Life SanctuaryKerala
Idukki Wildlife SanctuaryKerala
Periyar National ParkKerala
Silent Valley National ParkKerala
Eravikulam National ParkKerala
Parambikulam Wildlife SanctuaryKerala
Malabar Wildlife SanctuaryKerala
Anamudi Shola National ParkKerala
Pampadum Shola National ParkKerala
Pench National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh National Park (Highest Numbers of Tigers)Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Madhav National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Panna National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Satpura National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Van Vihar National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Gandhi Sagar SanctuaryMadhya Pradesh
National Chambal SanctuaryMadhya Pradesh
Mandla Plant Fossils National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Pachmari Wildlife SanctuaryMadhya Pradesh
Phen Wildlife SanctuaryMadhya Pradesh
Ratapani Tiger ReserveMadhya Pradesh
Sanjay National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Chandoli National ParkMaharashtra
Gugamal National ParkMaharashtra
Sanjay Gandhi (Borivilli) National ParkMaharashtra
Koyna Wildlife SanctuaryMaharashtra
Navegaon National ParkMaharashtra
Tadoba National ParkMaharashtra
Dhakna Kolkaz Wildlife SanctuaryMaharashtra
Phansad Wildlife SanctuaryMaharashtra
Wain Ganga Wildlife SanctuaryMaharashtra
Keibul Lamjao National ParkManipur
Yagoupokpi Lokchao Wildlife SanctuaryManipur
Nokrek National ParkMeghalaya
Nongkhyllem Wildlife SanctuaryMeghalaya
Balphakram National ParkMeghalaya
Khawnglung Wildlife SanctuaryMizoram
Murlen National ParkMizoram
Ngengpui Wildlife SanctuaryMizoram
Phawngpui Blue Mountain National ParkMizoram
Pulebarze Wildlife SanctuaryNagaland
Intanki National ParkNagaland
Simplipal National ParkOrissa
Chilka Wild Life SanctuaryOrissa
Baisipalli Wildlife SanctuaryOrissa
Bhitarkanika National ParkOrissa
Debrigarh Wildlife SanctuaryOrissa
Kuldiha Wildlife SanctuaryOrissa
Ranthambore National ParkRajasthan
Sariska National ParkRajasthan
First National Park in the world, which was successfully adapted by Royal Bengal Tiger] 
Darrah National ParkRajasthan
Desert National ParkRajasthan
Keoladeo National Park (UNESCO)Rajasthan
Mount Abu Wildlife SanctuaryRajasthan
Jawaharsagar Wildlife SanctuaryRajasthan
Phulwari Wildlife SanctuaryRajasthan
 Keladevi Wildlife SanctuaryRajasthan
Fambonglho Wildlife SanctuarySikkim
Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim
Kyongnosla Alpine SanctuarySikkim
Pangolakha Wildlife SanctuarySikkim
Shingba Rhododendron SanctuarySikkim
Mukurthi National ParkTamilnadu
Shenbagathoppu Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife SanctuaryTamilnadu
Satyamanglam wild Life SanctuaryTamilnadu
Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) National ParkTamilnadu
Guindy National ParkTamilnadu
Mudumalai National ParkTamilnadu
Vettangundi Wildlife SanctuaryTamilnadu
Gulf of Mannar Marine National ParkTamilnadu
Mrugavani National ParkTelangana
Sipahijola Wildlife SanctuaryTripura
Bisan (Rajbari) National ParkTripura
Gumti Wildlife SanctuaryTripura
Clouded Leopard National ParkTripura
Chandra Prabha Wildlife SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Dudhwa National ParkUttar Pradesh
Ranipur SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Rajaji National ParkUttarakhand
Gangotri National ParkUttarakhand
Nanda Devi National Park (UNESCO)Uttarakhand
Jim Corbett National Park (Oldest Park)Uttarakhand
Valley of Flowers National Park (UNESCO)Uttarakhand
Askot Musk Deer SanctuaryUttarakhand
Govind Pashu ViharUttarakhand
Kedarnath Wildlife SanctuaryUttarakhand
Sundarbans National ParkWest Bengal
Gorumara National ParkWest Bengal
Buxa National ParkWest Bengal
Jaldapara National ParkWest Bengal
Neora Valley National ParkWest Bengal
Singalila National ParkWest Bengal
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands
Rani Jhansi Marine National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands
Saddle Peak National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands
Middle Button Island National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands
South Button Island National ParkAndaman &Nicobar Islands
Mount Harriet National ParkAndaman &Nicobar Islands
North Button Island National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands
Campbell Bay National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands
Galathea National ParkAndaman & Nicobar Islands

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Prelims Spotlight: Important Rebellions and Peasant Movements

08th Apr, 2022

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Government Bodies Related to Environment in India/Important Declarations, Conventions, Protocols Regarding UNFCCC COPs

 
7th Apr 2022

Government Bodies Related To Environment

Central Pollution Control Board

Established: It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

Objective: To provide technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Key Functions:

  • Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.
  • Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution
  • Coordinate the activities of the State Board and resolve disputes among them
  • Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution, and for their prevention, control or abatement
  • Plan and organise training of persons engaged in the programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution
  • Organise through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution
  • Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control or abatement;
  • Prepare manualscodes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts;
  • Disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control
  • Lay downmodify or annul, in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the standards for stream or well, and lay down standards for the quality of air.
  • Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Government of India.

National Biodiversity Authority

Established When: It is a statutory autonomous body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India established in 2003, after India signed Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992

Headquarter: Chennai

The objective of the body: Implementation of Biological Diversity Act, 2002

Key Functions:

It acts as a facilitating, regulating and advisory body to the Government of India “on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.”

Additionally, it advises State Governments in identifying the areas of biodiversity importance (biodiversity hotspots) as heritage sites.

National Tiger conservation authority

Established: It was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.

Headquarter: Delhi

Objective:

  • Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives become legal.
  • Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
  • Providing for oversight by Parliament.
  • Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.

Key Functions:

  • to approve the tiger conservation plan prepared by the State Government under sub-section (3) of section 38V of this Act
  • evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable land use such as mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserves;
  • provide for management focus and measures for addressing conflicts of  men and wild animal and to emphasize on co-existence in forest areas outside the National Parks, sanctuaries or tiger reserve, in the working plan code
  • provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, estimation of population of tiger and its natural prey species, the status of habitats, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, reports on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit including future plan conservation
  • ensure critical support including scientific, information technology and legal support for better implementation of the tiger conservation plan
  • facilitate ongoing capacity building programme for skill development of officers and staff of tiger reserves.

Animal Welfare Board of India

Established When: It was established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960.

Headquarter: Ballabhgarh

Objective: To advise Government on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.

Key Functions:

  • Recognition of Animal Welfare Organisations: The Board oversees Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs) by granting recognition to them if they meet its guidelines. The organisation must submit paperwork; agree to nominate a representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India on its Executive Committee, and to submit to regular inspections. After meeting the requirements and inspection, the organisation is considered for grant of recognition.
  • The AWBI also appoints key people to the positions of (Hon) Animal Welfare Officers, who serve as the key point of contact between the people, the government and law enforcement agencies.
  • Financial assistance: The Board provides financial assistance to recognised Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs), who submit applications to the Board. Categories of grants include Regular Grant, Cattle Rescue Grant, Provision of Shelter House for looking after the Animals, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme, Provision of Ambulance for the animals in distress and Natural Calamity grant.
  • Animal welfare laws and Rules: The Board suggests changes to laws and rules about animal welfare issues. In 2011, a new draft Animal Welfare Act was published for comment. Guidance is also offered to organisations and officials such as the police to help them interpret and apply the laws.
  • Raising awareness: The Board issues publications to raise awareness of various animal welfare issues. The Board’s Education Team gives talks on animal welfare subjects, and trains members of the community to be Board Certified Animal Welfare Educators.

Forest Survey of India

Established When:  It is a government organization in India under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for conducting forest surveys and studies. The organization came into being in, 1981.

Headquarter: Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Objective

The objective of the organization is monitoring periodically the changing situation of land and forest resources and present the data for national planningconservation and management of environmental preservation and implementation of social forestry projects.

Key Functions

  • The Functions of the Forest Survey of India are:
  • To prepare State of Forest Report biennially, providing an assessment of the latest forest cover in the country and monitoring changes in these.
  • To conduct an inventory in forest and non-forest areas and develop a database on forest tree resources.
  • To prepare thematic maps on 1:50,000 scale, using aerial photographs.
  • To function as a nodal agency for collection, compilation, storage and dissemination of spatial database on forest resources.
  • To conduct training of forestry personnel in the application of technologies related to resources survey, remote sensing, GIS, etc.
  • To strengthen research & development infrastructure in FSI and to conduct research on applied forest survey techniques.
  • To support State/UT Forest Departments (SFD) in forest resources survey, mapping and inventory.
  • To undertake forestry-related special studies/consultancies and custom made training courses for SFD’s and other organizations on a project basis.

Forest Survey of India assesses forest cover of the country every 2 years by digital interpretation of remote sensing satellite data and publishes the results in a biennial report called ‘State of Forest Report'(SFR).

Central Zoo Authority of India

Established: It was established in 1992 and constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.

Headquarter: Delhi

Objective 

The main objective of the authority is to complement the national effort in the conservation of wildlife.

Standards and norms for housing, upkeep, health care and overall management of animals in zoos have been laid down under the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992.   

Key Functions

  • Since its inception in 1992, the Authority has evaluated 513 zoos, out of which 167 have been recognized and 346 refused recognition.
  • The Authority’s role is more of a facilitator than a regulator.  It, therefore, provides technical and financial assistance to such zoos which have the potential to attain the desired standard in animal management. Only such captive facilities which have neither the managerial skills nor the requisite resources are asked to close down.
  • Apart from the primary function of the grant of recognition and release of financial assistance, the Central Zoo Authority also regulates the exchange of animals of the endangered category listed under Schedule-I and II of the Wildlife (Protection Act) among zoos.  
  • Exchange of animals between Indian and foreign zoos is also approved by the Authority before the requisite clearances under EXIM Policy and the CITES permits are issued by the competent authority.  
  • The Authority also coordinates and implements programmes on capacity building of zoo personnel, planned conservation breeding programmes and ex-situ research including biotechnological intervention for the conservation of species for complementing in-situ conservation efforts in the country.

Major UN climate negotiations under UNFCCC- Timeline

1992—

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted and opened for signatures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit.

154 signatories to the UNFCCC agreed to stabilize “greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.”

The treaty is not legally binding because it sets no mandatory limits on GHG emissions. Instead, the treaty provides for future negotiations to set emissions limits. The first principal revision is the Kyoto Protocol.

1994—

The UNFCCC Treaty entered into force after receiving 50 ratifications.

1997—

KYOTO PROTOCOL

COP 3 was held in Kyoto, Japan. On December 11, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted by consensus with more than 150 signatories.

The Protocol included legally binding emissions targets for developed country Parties for the six major GHGs, which are-

  • Carbon dioxide.
  • Methane.
  • Nitrous oxide.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons.
  • Perfluorocarbons, and
  • Sulfur hexafluoride.

Annex of the Kyoto Protocol

  • Annex 1 – Industrialised Countries (mainly OECD) plus economies in transition (mainly former soviet block countries) – They would mandatorily reduce GHGs, base year – 1990
  • Annex 2 – Subset of Annex 1,  Industrialised Countries (mainly OECD), would also provide finances and technology to non annex countries
  • Non annex – not included in annex, all other countries, no binding targets
  • Annex A – gases covered under Kyoto <name those 7 gases>
  • Annex B – Binding targets for each Annex 1 country i.e Japan will reduce emission by X%, Australia by Y% 

The Protocol offered additional means of meeting targets by way of three market-based mechanisms:

  • Emissions trading.
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
  • Joint Implementation (JI).

Under the Protocol, industrialized countries’ actual emissions have to be monitored and precise records have to be kept of the trades carried out.

India ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

2000—

COP 6 part I was held in The Hague, Netherlands. Negotiations faltered, and parties agreed to meet again.

COP 6part II was held in Bonn, Germany. The consensus was reached on what was called the Bonn Agreements.

All nations except the United States agreed on the mechanisms for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The U.S. participated in observatory status only.

2001—

COP 7 was held in Marrakesh, Morocco. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol were adopted and called the Marrakesh Accords.

The Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) was established to “finance projects relating to: adaptation; technology transfer and capacity building; energy transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management; and economic diversification.”

The Least Developed Countries Fund was also “established to support a work programme to assist Least Developed Country Parties (LDCs) carry out, inter alia [among other things], the preparation and implementation of national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs).”

2005—

COP 11/CMP 1 were held in Montreal, Canada. This conference was the first to take place after the Kyoto Protocol took force. The annual meeting between the parties (COP) was supplemented by the first annual Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP).

The countries that had ratified the UNFCCC, but not accepted the Kyoto Protocol, had observer status at the latter conference.

The parties addressed issues such as “capacity building, development and transfer of technologies, the adverse effects of climate change on developing and least developed countries, and several financial and budget-related issues, including guidelines to the Global Environment Facility (GEF).” (UNFCCC)

2007—

COP 13/CMP 3 were held in Bali. COP parties agreed to a Bali Action Plan to negotiate GHG mitigation actions after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. The Bali Action Plan did not require binding GHG targets for developing countries.

2009—

June – As part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, governments met in Bonn, Germany, to begin discussions on draft negotiations that would form the basis of an agreement at Copenhagen.

December – COP 15 was held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It failed to reach agreement on binding commitments after the Kyoto Protocol commitment period ends in 2012.

During the summit, leaders from the United States, Brazil, China, Indonesia, India and South Africa agreed to what would be called the Copenhagen Accord which recognized the need to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C based on the science of climate change.

While no legally binding commitments were required by the deal, countries were asked to pledge voluntary GHG reduction targets. $100 billion was pledged in climate aid to developing countries.

2012—

COP 18 was held in Doha, Qatar.

Parties agreed to extend the expiring Kyoto Protocol, creating a second commitment phase that would begin on January 1, 2013 and end December 31, 2020. India ratified the second commitment period in 2017.

Parties failed to set a pathway to provide $100 billion per year by 2020 for developing countries to finance climate change adaptation, as agreed upon at COP 15 in Copenhagen.

The concept of “loss and damage” was introduced as developed countries pledged to help developing countries and small island nations pay for the losses and damages from climate change that they are already experiencing.

2013—

COP 19 was held in Warsaw, Poland.

Parties were expected to create a roadmap for the 2015 COP in Paris where a legally binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is expected to be finalized (in order to come into effect in 2020).

Differences of opinion on responsibility of GHG emissions between developing and developed countries led to a flexible ruling on the wording and a plan to discuss further at the COP 20 in Peru.

A non-binding agreement was reached among countries to set up a system tackling the “loss and damage” issue, although details of how to set up the mechanism were not discussed.

Concerning climate finance, the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Program, aimed at preserving the world’s forests, was formally adopted.

Little progress was made on developed countries committing to the agreed upon plan of providing $100 billion per year by 2020 to developing countries.

2015—

PARIS AGREEMENT

COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris.

Aims of the Paris Agreement-

1.Keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

2.Pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

3.Strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

COP 23 – BONN(GERMANY)

First COP to be hosted by a small Island developing nation.
Countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement will work from 2020 onwards.

COP 24 – KATOWICE(POLLAND)

  • Countries settled on most of the tricky elements of the “rulebook” for putting the 2015 Paris agreement into practice.
  • This includes how governments will measure, report on and verify their emissions-cutting efforts, a key element because it ensures all countries are held to proper standards and will find it harder to wriggle out of their commitments.
    Read in detail here

COP 26: Glasgow Agreement

What was achieved?
1. Mitigation:

  • The Glasgow agreement has emphasised that stronger action in the current decade was most critical to achieving the 1.5-degree target.

2. Adaptation:

  • The Glasgow Climate Pact has:
  1. Asked the developed countries to at least double the money being provided for adaptation by 2025 from the 2019 levels.
  2. Created a two-year work programme to define a global goal on adaptation.

3. Finance: 

  • In 2009, developed countries had promised to mobilise at least $100 billion every year from 2020.
  • The developed nations have now said that they will arrange this amount of 100 billion annual fund by 2023.

4. Accounting earlier failures:

  • The pact has expressed “deep regrets” over the failure of the developed countries to deliver on their $100 billion promise.
  • It has asked them to arrange this money urgently and in every year till 2025.

5. Loss and Damage:

  • There is no institutional mechanism to compensate nations for the losses, or provide them help in the form of relief and rehabilitation after suffering from climate disasters.
  • The loss and damage provision in the Paris Agreement seeks to address that.
  • Thanks to a push from many nations, substantive discussions on loss and damage could take place in Glasgow.

6. Carbon Markets:

  • The Glasgow Pact has offered some reprieve to the developing nations.
  • It has allowed these carbon credits to be used in meeting countries’ first NDC targets
    Read in detail here

NATIONALLY DETERMINED CONTRIBURTIONS (NDCs)

  • The national pledges by countries to cut emissions are voluntary.
  • The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
  • This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
  • In 2018, Parties will take stock of the collective efforts in relation to progress towards the goal set in the Paris Agreement.
  • There will also be a global stock take every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.

Some facts-

  • It entered into force in November 2016 after (ratification by 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions) had been met.
  • The agreement calls for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century.
  • In the adopted version of the Paris Agreement, the parties will also “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.”
  • The 1.5 °C goal will require zero-emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, according to some scientists.
  • The developed countries reaffirmed the commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020 and agreed to continue mobilizing finance at the level of $100 billion a year until 2025.
  • In 2017, United States announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.
  • In accordance with Article 28 of the Paris Agreement, the earliest possible effective withdrawal date by the United States cannot be before November 2020. Thus, The U.S. will remain a signatory till November 2020.

RATIFICATION TO KIGALI AGREEMENT

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer for phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India.

What is Montreal Protocol?

  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international agreement made in 1987.
  • It was designed to stop the production and import of ozone-depleting substances and reduce their concentration in the atmosphere to help protect the earth’s ozone layer.
  • It sits under the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

What is the Kigali Amendment?

  • It is an international agreement to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
  • It is a legally binding agreement designed to create rights and obligations in international law.
  • While HFCs do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, they have high global warming potential ranging from 12 to 14,000, which has an adverse impact on climate.
    Read in detail here

Categories
Announcements Nikaalo Prelims

Prelims Spotlight: Important Keywords Regarding Budgeting, Fiscal Policy, and Taxation

 
6th Apr 2022

Dear Aspirants,

This Spotlight is a part of our Mission Nikaalo Prelims-2022

Session Details

Morning 12 PM  – Prelims Spotlight Session

Evening 06:30  PM  – TIKDAM/MCQs Session

Noon 03:00 PM – CSAT Google Meet Session

Evening 08 PM  – Tests on Alternate Days

Download Habitat app from the Playstore Join our Official Civilsdaily Space for GS and CSAT Here

Annual financial statement:

The Union Budget is the annual financial statement that contains the government’s revenue and expenditure for a fiscal year.

It may also include planned sales volumes and revenues, resource quantities, costs and expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows.

The statement details the revenues from all sources, and expenditure on all activities that the government will undertake for the fiscal year. The fiscal year is calculated from 1 April-31 March.

Under Article 112 of the Constitution, the government has to present a statement of estimated revenue and expenditure for every fiscal. This statement is called the annual financial statement. This document is divided into three sections: For each of these funds, the central government is required to present a statement of revenue and expenditure.

1. Consolidated Fund:

The Consolidated Fund of India, created under Article 266 of the Indian Constitution, includes the revenues received by the government and expenses made by it.

All the revenue that the government receives through direct (income tax, corporation tax etc.) or indirect tax (Goods and Services Tax or GST) go into the Consolidated Fund of India.

Revenue from non-tax sources like dividends, profits from the PSUs, and income from general services also contribute to the fund. Recoveries of loans, earnings from disinvestment and repayment of debts issued by the Centre also contribute to the fund.

Howeverno money can be withdrawn for meeting expenses until the government gets the approval of the Parliament. Examples of expenditure include wages, salaries and pension of government employees, and other fixed costs. The repayment of debts incurred by the government is also done through the Consolidated Fund of India.

The Consolidated Fund of India is divided into five parts:

  • Revenue account – receipts,
  • Revenue account – disbursements,
  • Capital account – receipts,
  • Capital account – disbursements, and
  • Disbursements ‘charged’ on the Consolidated Fund of India.

Disbursements ‘charged’ on the Consolidated Fund of India is a special category within the Consolidated Fund of India which is not put to vote in the Parliament.

This means whatever comes under this category need to be paid, whether the Budget is passed or not.

The salary and allowances of the President, speaker and deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha, chairman and deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, salaries and allowances of Supreme Court judges, pensions of Supreme Court and High Court judges come under this category.

2.Contingency fund:

Like the Consolidated Fund of India, the Contingency Fund of India constitutes a part of the annual financial statement.

Established under Article 267(1) of the Indian Constitution, the fund is maintained by the ministry of finance on behalf of the President of India.

As the name suggests, the Contingency Fund of India is an account maintained for meeting expenses during any unforeseen emergencies.

Parliamentary approval for such unforeseen expenditure is obtained, ex- post-facto, and an equivalent amount is drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India to recoup the Contingency Fund after such ex-post-facto approval.

3. Public account.

Article 266 of the Constitution defines the Public Account as being those funds that are received on behalf of the Government of India.

Money held by the government in a trust — such as in the case of Provident Funds, Small Savings collections, income of government set apart for expenditure on specific objects like road development, primary education, reserve/special Funds, etc — are kept in the Public Account.

Public Account funds do not belong to the government and have to be finally paid back to the persons and authorities that deposited them.

Parliamentary authorisation for such payments is not required.

However, when money is withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund with the approval of Parliament and kept in the Public Account for expenditure for a specific purpose, it is submitted for a vote in Parliament.

Appropriation bill

Appropriation Bill is a money bill that allows the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet its expenses during the course of a financial year.

As per Article 114 of the Constitution, the government can withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund only after receiving approval from Parliament.

To put it simply, the Finance Bill contains provisions on financing the expenditure of the government, and Appropriation Bill specifies the quantum and purpose for withdrawing money.

Vote-on-account

The Constitution says that no money can be withdrawn by the government from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law.

For that, an appropriation bill is passed during the Budget process.

However, the appropriation bill may take time to pass through the Parliament and become a law. Meanwhile, the government would need permission to spend even a single penny from April 1 when the new financial year starts.

Vote on the account is the permission to withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund of India in that period, usually two months.

Vote on the account is a formality and requires no debate. When elections are scheduled a few months into the new financial year, the government seeks vote on account for four months. Essentially, vote on account is the interim permission of the parliament to the government to spend money.

Corporation tax:

Corporation tax is a direct tax imposed on the net income or profit that enterprises make from their businesses. Companies, both public and privately registered in India under the Companies Act 1956, are liable to pay corporation tax. This tax is levied at a specific rate according to the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Fringe benefits tax (FBT):
The taxation of perquisites – or fringe benefits – provided by an employer to his employees, in addition to the cash salary or wages paid, is fringe benefits tax. It was introduced in Budget 2005-06. The government felt many companies were disguising perquisites such as club facilities as ordinary business expenses, which escaped taxation altogether. Employers have to now pay FBT on a percentage of the expense incurred on such perquisites.

Direct Tax:

A direct tax is paid directly by an individual or organization to the imposing entity. A taxpayer, for example, pays direct taxes to the government for different purposes, including real property tax, personal property tax, income tax, or taxes on assets. Direct taxes are based on the ability-to-pay principle. This economic principle states that those who have more resources or earn a higher income should pay more taxes.

Indirect Tax
In the case of indirect taxes, the incidence of tax is usually not on the person who pays the tax. These are largely taxes on expenditure and include Customs, excise and service tax.

Indirect taxes are considered regressive, the burden on the rich and the poor is alike. That is why governments strive to raise a higher proportion of taxes through direct taxes. Moving on, we come to the next important receipt item in the revenue account, non-tax revenue.

Non-tax revenue:

Other than taxation being a primary source of income, the government also earns a recurring income, which is called non-tax revenue. While sources of tax revenue are few, the sources of non-tax revenue are many, with the number of collections per source. Although there are many sources of non-tax revenue, the amount per source is much less than that for tax revenue.

For example, when citizens use services offered by the government, they pay bills, which are categorised as non-tax revenue, as the government provides infrastructure support to implement the services. Non-tax revenue also includes the interest collected by the government on the loans or funds offered to states.

Grants-in-aid and contributions
The third receipt item in the revenue account is relatively small grants-in-aid and contributions. These are in the nature of pure transfers to the government without any repayment obligation.
These include expense incurred on organs of state such as Parliament, judiciary and elections. A substantial amount goes into administering fiscal services such as tax collection. The biggest item is the interest payment on loans taken by the government. Defence and other services like police also get a sizeable share. Having looked at receipts and expenditure on revenue account we come to an important item, the difference between the two, the revenue deficit.

Revenue deficit:

Revenue deficit arises when the government’s revenue expenditure exceeds the total revenue receipts.

Revenue deficit includes those transactions that have a direct impact on a government’s current income and expenditure. This represents that the government’s own earnings are not sufficient to meet the day-to-day operations of its departments. Revenue deficit turns into borrowings when the government spends more than what it earns and has to resort to the external borrowings.

               Revenue Deficit= Total revenue receipts – Total revenue expenditure.

Revenue Deficit deals only with the government’s revenue receipts and revenue expenditures.

Note that revenue receipts are receipts which neither create liability nor lead to a reduction in assets.

It is further divided into two heads:

  • Receipt from Tax (Direct Tax,  Indirect Tax)
  • Receipts from Non-Tax Revenue

Revenue Expenditure is referred to as the expenditure that does not result in the creation of assets reduction of liabilities. It is further divided into two types

  • Plan revenue expenditure
  • Non-plan revenue expenditure

Fiscal Deficit:
The fiscal deficit is defined as an excess of total budget expenditure over total budget receipts excluding borrowings during a fiscal year. In simple words, it is the amount of borrowing the government has to resort to meet its expenses. A large deficit means a large amount of borrowing. The fiscal deficit is a measure of how much the government needs to borrow from the market to meet its expenditure when its resources are inadequate.

Primary deficit:

Primary deficit is defined as a fiscal deficit of current year minus interest payments on previous borrowings.

         Primary deficit= Fiscal deficit – Interest payment on the previous borrowing

In other words, whereas fiscal deficit indicates borrowing requirement inclusive of interest payment, the primary deficit indicates borrowing requirement exclusive of interest payment (i.e., amount of loan).

We have seen that borrowing requirement of the government includes not only accumulated debt, but also interest payment on the debt. If we deduct ‘interest payment on debt’ from borrowing, the balance is called the primary deficit.

Public debt:

Public debt receipts and public debt disbursals are borrowings and repayments during the year, respectively. The difference is the net accretion to the public debt. Public debt can be split into internal (money borrowed within the country) and external (funds borrowed from non-Indian sources). Internal debt comprises treasury bills, market stabilisation schemes, ways and means advance, and securities against small savings.

Ways and means advance (WMA):

One of RBI’s roles is to serve as banker to both central and state governments. In this capacity, RBI provides temporary support to tide over mismatches in their receipts and payments in the form of ways and means advances.

CESS:
This is an additional levy on the basic tax liability. Governments resort to cess for meeting specific expenditure.

Dividend distribution tax:

A dividend is a return given by a company to its shareholders out of the profits earned by the company in a particular year. Dividend constitutes income in the hands of the shareholders which ideally should be subject to income tax.

However, the income tax laws in India provided for an exemption of the dividend income received from Indian companies by the investors by levying a tax called the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) on the company paying the dividend. This tax has been abolished in the 2020-21 budget.

FRBM Act 2003:

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM Act), 2003, establishes financial discipline to reduce the fiscal deficit.

What are the objectives of the FRBM Act?

The FRBM Act aims to introduce transparency in India’s fiscal management systems. The Act’s long-term objective is for India to achieve fiscal stability and to give the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) flexibility to deal with inflation in India. The FRBM Act was enacted to introduce a more equitable distribution of India’s debt over the years.

Key features of the FRBM Act

The FRBM Act made it mandatory for the government to place the following along with the Union Budget documents in Parliament annually:

1. Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement

2. Macroeconomic Framework Statement

3. Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement

The FRBM Act proposed that revenue deficit, fiscal deficit, tax revenue and the total outstanding liabilities be projected as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in the medium-term fiscal policy statement.

Fiscal Performance Index (FPI)

  • The composite FPI developed by CII is an innovative tool using multiple indicators to examine the quality of Budgets at the Central and State levels.
  • The index has been constructed using UNDP’s Human Development Index methodology which comprises six components for holistic assessment of the quality of government budgets, subsidies, pensions and defence in GDP
  • Quality of capital expenditure: measured by the share of capital expenditure (other than defence) in GDP
  • Quality of revenue: the ratio of net tax revenue to GDP (own tax revenue in case of States)
  • Degree of fiscal prudence I: fiscal deficit to GDP
  • Degree of fiscal prudence II: revenue deficit to GDP and
  • Debt index: Change in debt and guarantees to GDP

Other measures of FPI

  • As per the new index, expenditure on infrastructure, education, healthcare and other social sectors can be considered beneficial for economic growth.

Sabka Vishwas-Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme

  • This Scheme is introduced to resolve and settle legacy cases of the Central Excise and Service Tax.
  • The proposed scheme would cover all the past disputes of taxes which may have got subsumed in GST; namely Central Excise, Service Tax and Cesses.
  • The Government expects the Scheme to be availed by a large number of taxpayers for closing their pending disputes relating to legacy Service Tax and Central Excise cases that are now subsumed under GST so they can focus on GST.
  • The Scheme is, especially, tailored to free a large number of small taxpayers of their pending disputes with the tax administration.

Components of the Scheme

  • The two main components of the Scheme are dispute resolution and amnesty.
  • The dispute resolution component is aimed at liquidating the legacy cases of Central Excise and Service Tax that are subsumed in GST and are pending in litigation at various forums.
  • The amnesty component of the Scheme offers an oppor­tunity to the taxpayers to pay the outstanding tax and be free of any other consequence under the law.
  • The most attractive aspect of the Scheme is that it provides substantial relief in the tax dues for all categories of cases as well as full waiver of interest, fine, penalty,
  • In all these cases, there would be no other liability of interest, fine or penalty. There is also a complete amnesty from prosecution.

Direct Tax Code:

  • The Direct Tax Code (DTC) is an attempt by the Govern­ment of India to simplify the direct tax laws in India.
  • It will revise, consolidate and simplify the structure of direct tax laws in India into a single legislation.
  • When implemented, it will replace the Income-tax Act, 1961 (ITA), and other direct tax legislation like the Wealth Tax Act, 1957.
  • The task force was constituted by the government to frame draft legislation for this proposed DTC in November 2017 and review the existing Income Tax Act.

Direct Tax:

  • These are the taxes, paid directly to the government by the taxpayer. Under the direct tax system, the incidence and impact of taxation fall on the same entity, which cannot be transferred to another person.
  • It is termed as a progressive tax because the proportion of tax liability rises as an individual or entity’s income increases.
  • Examples- Income tax, corporate tax, Dividend Distri­bution Tax, Capital Gain Tax, Security Transaction Tax.
  • The system of Direct taxation is governed by the Cen­tral Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.

Corporate Tax

  • A corporate tax also popularly known as the company tax or the corporation tax is the tax levied on the capital or income of corporations or analogous legal entities.
  • In most countries, such taxes are levied at the national level, and a tax that is similar to that imposed at the na­tional level could be imposed at the local or state levels.
  • The taxes could also be termed as capital tax or income tax.
  • Generally, Partnership firms are not taxed at the entity level.
  • In most of nations, the corporations functioning in a country are taxed for the income from that country.
  • Many countries tax all income of corporations incorpo­rated in the country or those deemed to be resident for tax purposes in the country.
  • The income of the company that is to be taxed is computed similarly to the taxable income for individuals.
  • Tax is generally imposed on net profits.
  • In India, companies, both private and public which are registered in India under the Companies Act 1956, are liable to pay corporate tax.

Securities transaction tax (STT)

  • Sale of any asset (shares, property) results in loss or profit. Depending on the time the asset is held, such profits and losses are categorised as long-term or short-term capital gain/loss.
  • In Budget 2004-05, the government abolished long-term capital gains tax on shares (tax on profits made on the sale of shares held for more than a year) and replaced it with STT.
  • It is a kind of turnover tax where the investor has to pay a small tax on the total consideration paid/received in a share transaction.

Banking cash transaction tax (BCTT)

  • Introduced in Budget 2005-06, BCTT is a small tax on cash withdrawal from bank exceeding a particular amount in a single day.
  • The basic idea is to curb the black economy and generate a record of big cash transactions

Cess

  • This is an additional levy on the basic tax liability Governments resort to cess for meeting specific expenditure. For instance, both corporate and individual income is at present subject to an education cess of 2%.
  • In the last Budget, the government had imposed another 1% cess – secondary and higher education cess on income tax – to finance secondary and higher education.

Countervailing Duties (CVD)

  • Countervailing duty is a tax imposed on imports, over and above the basic import duty CVD is at par with the excise duty paid by the domestic manufacturers of similar goods
  • This ensures a level playing field between imported goods and locally-produced ones.
  • An exemption from CVD places the domestic industry at the disadvantage and over long run discourages investments in affected sectors.

Export Duty

  • This is a tax levied on exports. In most instances, the object is not revenue, but to discourage exports of certain items.
  • In the last Budget, for instance, the government imposed an export duty of Rs 300 per metric tonne on the export of iron ores and concentrates and Rs 2,000 per metric tonne on the export of chrome ores and concentrates.

Pass-through Status

  • A pass-through status helps avoid double taxation. Mutual funds, for instance, enjoy pass-through status.
  • The income earned by the funds is tax-free. Since mutual funds’ income is distributed to the unit-holders, who are in turn taxed on their income from such investments any taxation of mutual funds would amount to double taxation.
  • Essentially, it means the income is merely passing through the mutual funds and, therefore, should not be taxed.
  • The government allows venture funds in some sectors pass-through status to encourage investments in start-ups.