June 2018
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India flouting global laws by taxing international air tickets: IATA


Mains Paper 2: IR | Important International institutions, agencies & fora, their structure, mandate

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

Mains level: GST implementation on various segments and its impact on international relations


ICAO resolutions prohibiting tax

  1. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has castigated India for taxing international tickets
  2. India was taxing international tickets in contravention of the resolutions of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
  3. India helped develop ICAO resolutions prohibiting a tax on international tickets

GST net on tickets

  1. The Indian government had announced the implementation of the GST from 1 July 2017
  2. The tax covers airline products and services including tickets, ancillary, change, refund and other products and fees


International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

  1. The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations
  2. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth
  3. Its headquarters are located in the Montreal, Canada
  4. ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation
  5. ICAO is distinct from other international air transport organizations, like the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association representing airlines; the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), an organization for Air navigation service providers (ANSPs); and the Airports Council International, a trade association of airport authorities
  6. The Council of ICAO is elected by the Assembly every 3 years and consists of 36 members elected in 3 categories: PART I – (States of chief importance in air transport), PART II – (States which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation), PART III– (States ensuring geographic representation)
Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Arctic sea route not possible even if it is ice free


Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies & politics of developed & developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Arctic Council

Mains level: Untapped resources in arctic and their importance for India


Navigation in the Arctic not possible

  1. The Arctic would still not be an easily navigable route even after the fast melting ice
  2. It will not be practical for container traffic, it may be ok for bulk carriers carrying gas
  3. Despite no ice, the waters would be tough to navigate due to sub-zero temperatures and would pose serious challenges to ships

Why such talks?

  1. The Arctic region which has permanently frozen ice is melting at an increasing rate due to global warming and is expected to be ice free by 2060
  2. Already several countries have sent their ships and icebreakers in the summer months to demonstrate the navigability
  3. It is seen as an alternate shipping route to cut time and costs and also circumvent the global choke points

Impact on India

  1. China and Japan are investing in infrastructure development in the Arctic
  2. There is an increasing concern in India as China makes inroads in the strategically important Arctic region which has a large amount of untapped minerals and fossil fuels

Arctic Council meeting

  1. Finland is holding the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 2017-19
  2. It has called for a greater Indian role in the region as an observer in the Arctic Council


Arctic Council

  1. The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and people living in the Arctic region
  2. The first step towards the formation of the Council occurred in 1991 when eight Arctic countries signed the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS)
  3. The Ottawa Declaration of 1996 formally established the Arctic Council
  4. The Ottawa Declaration named eight members of the Arctic Council: Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the United States, Sweden, and Finland
  5. Observer states consist of the following (2017): Germany, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, France, Spain, China, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

At Changi base, a naval honour for PM Modi


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Changi Naval Base, INS Satpura

Mains level: India’s partnerships with various nations in Indian and Pacific ocean regions to counter Chinese growing footprints


Visit to Changi base

  1. PM Modi visited the Changi Naval Base in Singapore
  2. He also interacted with the officers and sailors on board the Indian Navy’s Shivalik class stealth frigate INS Satpura

Importance of the visit

  1. India and Singapore have signed implementation agreement between their Navies concerning mutual coordination, logistics and services support for naval ships, submarines and naval aircraft (including ship-borne aviation assets) visits
Foreign Policy Watch: India-ASEAN

Odisha beach is Asia’s first to get ‘Blue Flag’ tag


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Blue Flag certification, Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

Mains level: India’s efforts for marine environment conservation and various initiatives related to it


Blue Flag certification

  1. The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification
  2. It will be awarded the honour on World Environment Day on June 5
  3. The Environment Ministry embarked on the Blue Flag project in December 2017

More beaches on the way

  1. Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) in accordance with the Blue Flag standards
  2. SICOM is an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas

Blue flag standards

  1. To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system
  2. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities
  3. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area
  4. The standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985
Coastal Zones Management and Regulations