May 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

[pib] ‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ campaign

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the campaign

Mains level : Curbing illicit trade in wildlife



News

  • UN Environment and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has launched an awareness campaign for the protection of wildlife in the backdrop of rising illegal wildlife trade through airports.

“Not all animals migrate by choice” Campaign

  • Campaign launched by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India and UN Environment aimed at airports across India.
  • The campaign complements worldwide action on illegal trade in wildlife through UN Environment’s global campaign, Wild for Life.
  • In collaboration with the Airports Authority of India and GMR Group, the campaign will travel across 22 airports across India over the next year.

Which animals are included?

  • In the first phase of the campaign, Tiger, Pangolin, Star Tortoise and Tokay Gecko have been chosen as they are highly endangered due to illegal trading in International markets.
  • Phase two will see more threatened species and explore other routes of trafficking.

Why these animals?

  • Tiger is traded for its skin, bones and body parts.
  • Pangolin, the most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet is trafficked for its meat and its scales are used in traditional medicines.
  • Star Tortoise for meat and pet trade and Tokay Gecko in traditional medicine mostly into South East Asia and particularly Chinese Markets.

Why such move?

  • Recent media reports on seizures of illegally traded species and their parts at airports is a growing indication of rampant wildlife trafficking.
  • Some of the major wildlife species being smuggled through airports are star tortoises, live birds, Shahtoosh shawls, tiger and leopard body parts, ivory, rhino horns, pangolin and pangolin scales, sea shells, sea-horse, Sea-cucumber, red sanders, agarwood, deer antlers, mongoose hairs, reptile skins, live snakes, lizards, corals, orchids and medicinal plants.

About Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

  1. WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the GoI under the MoEFCC, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
  2. Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities.
  3. It aims to:
  • disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals;
  • establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank;
  • co-ordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act;
  • assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control;
  • capacity building of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes;
  • and advise the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws.
  1. It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

[pib] Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction

Mains level : Multiple facets of Disasters in India and thier effective management



News

  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India.

Why this Award?

  • Mishra was awarded for his concentrated efforts and dedication towards serving the communities that are most exposed to disasters.
  • He has selflessly worked to the cause of social inclusion to reduce inequality and poverty, ultimately benefitting the socially and economically marginalized in the country.

Sasakawa Award

  • The UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction is awarded to an individual or institutions that have taken active efforts in reducing disaster risk in their communities and advocates for disaster risk reduction.
  • It was instituted in 1986 and is jointly organized by the UNDRR and the Nippon Foundation.
  • A total grant of USD 50,000 is distributed among the winners which can be either organizations or individuals.
  • The theme of the 2019 Sasakawa award was “Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies”.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

[pib] 7th Economic Census 2019

Mains Paper 3 : Indian Economy |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Economic Census

Mains level : Importance of the Economic Census



News

  • In the run up to upcoming 7th Edition of Economic Census, a national training workshop of the Master Trainers was organized by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI).
  • The census is to begin in June this year.

7th Economic Census -2019

  • The 7th Economic Census -2019 is being conducted by MoSPI to provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.
  • MoSPI has partnered with Common Service Centres, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the MEITY as the implementing agency for 7th
  • An IT based digital platform for data capture, validation, report generation and dissemination will be used in this Economic Census.

About Economic Censuses

  • In 1976, Government of India launched a plan scheme called Economic Census and Surveys.
  • It is the census of the Indian economy through counting all entrepreneurial units in the country which involved in any economic activities of either agricultural or non-agricultural sector which are engaged in production and/or distribution of goods and/or services not for the sole purpose of own consumption.
  • It provides detailed information on operational and other characteristics such as number of establishments, number of persons employed, source of finance, type of ownership etc.
  • This information used for micro level/ decentralized planning and to assess contribution of various sectors of the economy in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Censuses till date

  • Total Six Economic Censuses (EC) have been conducted till date.
  • In 1977 CSO conducted First economic census in collaboration with the Directorate of Economics & Statistics (DES) in the States/UTs.
  • The Second EC was carried out in 1980 followed by the Third EC in 1990. The fourth edition took place in 1998 while the fifth EC was held in 2005.
  • The Sixth edition of Economic Census was conducted in 2013.
Economic Indicators-GDP, FD,etc

[op-ed snap] Power shift

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Lt. Governor

Mains level : Madras High Court Judgement will resolve power tussle in Puducherry.


CONTEXT

The Madras High Court verdict that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry should not interfere in the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory is a serious setback to the incumbent Administrator, Kiran Bedi. She has been locked in a prolonged dispute over the extent of her powers with Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, who says she has been disregarding the elected regime and seeking to run the Union Territory on her own.

Verdict

1. Decisions are Binding on officials -The court has laid down that “the decision taken by the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister is binding on the Secretaries and other officials.”

2. Inspired by Supreme Court –  Inspired by the Supreme Court’s appeal to constitutional morality and trust among high dignitaries, the High Court has also reminded the Centre and the Administrator that they should be true to the concept of democratic principles, lest the constitutional scheme based on democracy and republicanism be defeated.

3. L-G has no independent decision-making powers –

  • The judgment is based  in last year’s Constitution Bench decision on the conflict between the elected regime in the National Capital Territory (NCT) and its Lt.Governor.
  • The five-judge Bench had ruled that the L-G has to either act on the ‘aid and advice’ of the Council of Ministers, or refer to the President for a decision any matter on which there is a difference with the Ministry, but has no independent decision-making powers.
  • The High Court also says the Administrator is bound by the ‘aid and advice’ clause in matters over which the Assembly is competent to enact laws.
  • The L-G’s power to refer any matter to the President to resolve differences should not mean “every matter”, the court has cautioned.

Difference between Delhi and Puducherry

1. The difference in status – Justice R. Mahadevan, who delivered the Madras High Court judgment, is conscious of the difference in status between Delhi and Puducherry.

2. Constitutional and parliamentary Law – The Puducherry legislature is the creation of a parliamentary law, based on an enabling provision in Article 239A of the Constitution, whereas the NCT legislature has been created by the Constitution itself under Article 239AA.

3. NCT is sui generis – The Supreme Court had described the NCT as sui generis. At the same time, the NCT Assembly is limited in the extent of its legislative powers, as it is barred from dealing with the subjects of public order, police and land.

More Power to representative Government

  • However, looking at the Business Rules as well as other statutory provisions on Puducherry, the judge has sought to give greater credence to the concept of a representative government.
  • He has set aside two clarifications issued by the Centre in 2017 to the effect that the L-G enjoys more power than the Governor of a State and can act without aid and advice.
  • In view of the Constitution Bench judgment on Delhi, he has differed with another Madras High Court decision of 2018 in which the LG’s power to act irrespective of the Cabinet’s advice was upheld.

Conclusion

In the event that the latest judgment is taken up on appeal, a key question may be how far the decision of the five-judge Bench on the limits of the Delhi L-G’s powers would indeed apply to Puducherry.

Delhi Full Statehood Issue

[pib] Exercise Varuna 19.1

Mains :

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 is being held off the Goa coast.

Exercise Varuna 19.1

  • The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
  • Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, this exercise exemplifies the strong relations between the two nations, in line with the Joint Strategic Vision of India-French Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The Varuna exercise aims at developing interoperability between the two navies and fostering mutual cooperation by learning from each other’s best practices to conduct joint operations.
  • The exercise underscores the shared interests and commitment of both nations in promoting maritime security.
  • The second part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti.
Foreign Policy Watch: India-France

[pib] Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF)

Mains Paper 3 : Mobilization Of Resources |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IEPF

Mains level : Investers education


News

  • In a major success, the IEPF Authority has been able to enforce a company to transfer deposits worth about Rs 1514 Cr to IEPF.
  • This depositor’s money was pending with the company for the last 15 years.

Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF)

  • IEPF is a fund where unclaimed dividend, refunded application money, matured company deposits and debentures, as well as the interest on them, is used, provided it is not claimed within seven years.
  • It is a fund set up under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to help promote investor awareness and protection of investor interests.

About IEPF Authority

  • IEPF Authority has been set up under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India as a statutory body under Companies Act 2013 to administer the IEPF with the objective of promoting Investor’s Education, Awareness and Protection.
  • The Authority takes various initiatives to fulfil its objectives through Investor Awareness Programmes and various other mediums like Print, Electronic, Social Media, and Community Radio etc.
  • Secretary Ministry of the Corporate Affairs is the Chairperson of the Authority.
  • Joint Secretary Ministry of the Corporate Affairs is the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.
Capital Markets: Challenges and Developments

[pib] Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress

Mains Paper 1 : Climatic Change |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : RCAP

Mains level : Building climate resilient urban infrastructure


News

  • The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress 2019 was organized by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific

  • RCAP is the annual global platform for urban resilience and climate change adaptation.
  • It is convened by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and co-hosted by the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the City of Bonn.
  • It was launched in 2010 with the goal of forging partnerships and dialogues that matter.
  • The success of the series ‘Resilient Cities – The Annual Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation’ that attracts hundreds of participants to Bonn, Germany, every year since 2010 is a clear indication of how pressing the issue of adaptation and resilience is perceived among local governments worldwide.
  • The RCAP is a response to heightened demand from the Asia Pacific Region, which encouraged ICLEI to expand the congress series to include Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific, bringing the event and the focus to the Asia-Pacific region, catering to the situation, challenges and opportunities of local governments specifically in this region.
  • It aims to provide an Asian platform for urban resilience and climate change adaptation where partnerships are forged and concrete dialogues are happening, with the ultimate goal of identifying solutions and creating lasting impacts for cities in the region.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

[pib] Exercise Bold Kurukshetra

Mains Paper 3 : Various Security Forces, Agencies & Their Mandates |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Exercise

Mains level : Not Much


News

Exercise Bold Kurukshetra

  • The 12th edition of joint military exercise between India and Singapore culminated on 11 April 2019 after an impressive closing ceremony held at Babina Military Station (UP).
  • The Exercise is aimed at attaining a high level of interoperability between the armies of both the nations through mutual understanding and familiarization with each other’s operational procedures and equipment.
  • The troops learnt about each other’s organisations and best practices being followed in combat.
  • The exercise was a grand success and taught valuable lessons to troops of both the participating nations.
Indian Army Updates

[pib] Technical Analysis of FAME II Scheme 

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAME II

Mains level : Issues related to the (possible) early adoption of the EVs in India.


News

  • The NITI Aayog and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has released a report on opportunities for the automobile sector and government under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles II (FAME II) scheme.

India’s Electric Mobility Transformation

  • The report is titled ‘India’s Electric Mobility Transformation: Progress to Date and Future Opportunities’.
  • It quantifies the direct oil and carbon savings that the vehicles incentivized under FAME II will deliver.
  • According to the analysis, if FAME II and other measures – in public and private space – are successful, India could realize EV sales penetration of 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial cars, 40% of buses and 80% of two and three-wheelers by 2030.
  • For example, achieving these levels of market share by 2030 could generate cumulative savings of 846million tonnes of CO2 over the total deployed vehicles’ lifetime.

Key highlights from the report:

  • The electric buses covered under FAME II will account for 3.8 billion vehicle kilometers travelled (e-vkt) over their lifetime
  • In order to capture the potential opportunity in 2030, batteries must remain a key focal point as they will continue to be the key cost driver of EVs.
  • EVs sold through 2030 could cumulatively save 474 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) worth INR 15 lakh crore and generate net CO2 savings of 846 million tonnes over their operational lifetime.

What more is needed?

  • India needs auto industry’s active participation to ease electric mobility transition.
  • The auto and battery industries could collaborate to enhance customer awareness, promote domestic manufacturing, promote new business models, consider new business models to promote EVs
  • Government should focus on a phased manufacturing plan to promote EVs, provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for phased manufacturing of EVs and batteries.

To read more about FAME II Scheme, navigate to the page:

Second phase of fame to electrify public transport

Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] Solidarity Human Chain

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Solidarity Human Chain, WHO

Mains level : Not Much


News

Solidarity Human Chain

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with World Health Organization (WHO) formed a Solidarity Human Chain as part of the World Health Day celebrations.
  • It aims to reaffirm their commitment to bridging gaps and working collaboratively towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day.
  • This year’s World Health Day will focus on equity and solidarity.
  • From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the WHO.
  • Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

[pib] NuGen Mobility Summit 2019

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NuGen Mobility Summit

Mains level : Issues related to adoption of the EVs in India


News

NuGen Mobility Summit, 2019

  • The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) is organizing a NuGen Mobility Summit, 2019, at Manesar, NCR.
  • The objective of the Summit is to share new ideas, learnings, global experiences, innovations and future technology trends for faster adoption, assimilation and development of advanced automotive technologies for a smarter and greener future.
  • The event aims to bring together the automotive OEMs, professionals, researchers, academic experts, vehicle system suppliers, test equipment supplier, quality managers, product planners, component developers, SAE members and students from all over the world.

About ICAT

  • The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Manesar, located in the northern automotive hub of India, is a leading world class automotive testing, certification and R&D service provider under the aegis of NATRiP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project).
  • It is a division of NATRIP Implementation Society (NATIS) under the Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India.
  • It provides services for testing, validation, design and homologation of all categories of vehicles.
  • It has a mission to assist the automotive industry in adopting cutting edge technologies in vehicle evaluation and component development in new generation mobility solutions.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] Indian Advance Pricing Agreement

Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level :  IAPA, BAPA

Mains level : The problem with multilateral agreements and what India needs to do to gain most from them


News

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes has entered into 18 APAs in the month of March 2019, which includes 03 Bilateral APAs (BAPAs).

What is an APA?

  • The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) program allows the taxpayer and the tax authority to avoid future transfer pricing disputes by entering into a prospective agreement.
  • An APA is a contract, usually for multiple years, between a taxpayer and at least one tax authority specifying the pricing method that the taxpayer will apply to its related-company transactions.
  • These programmes are designed to help taxpayers voluntarily resolve actual or potential transfer pricing disputes in a proactive, cooperative manner, as an alternative to the traditional examination process.
  • APAs gives certainty to tax-payers, reduces disputes, enhance tax revenues and make the country an attractive destination for foreign investments.
  • These agreements would be binding both on the taxpayer as well as the government. Similarly, they lowers complaints and litigation costs.

The International Transactions covered in all these Agreements, inter alia, include the following, – 

  • contract manufacturing
  • provision of software development services
  • back office engineering support service
  • provision of back office (ITeS) support services
  • provision of marketing support services
  • payment of royalty for use of technology and brand
  • trading
  • payment of interest
Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc.

[pib] Community Radio Stations and SWEEP

Mains Paper 2 : Representation Of People's Act |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SVEEP, Community Radio Stations

Mains level : Ensuring Voters awareness


  • In a first of its kind initiative, the ECI has reached out to over 150 Community Radio stations from across the country to help educate and inform the voters.
  • The main purpose of the workshop was for training and capacity building of Community Radios for voter education and awareness.

Community Radio Stations

  • Community radio is a radio service offering a third model of radio broadcasting in addition to commercial and public broadcasting.
  • They serve geographic communities and communities of interest.
  • They broadcast content that is popular and relevant to a local, specific audience but is often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters.
  • Community radio stations are operated, owned, and influenced by the communities they serve.

Why need community radios?

  • Community radio plays an important role in dissemination of information about government schemes and policies to the common people in local languages.
  • India is a land of diversity in terms of language, social practices, dialects and culture, a community radio can be a powerful tool to revive culture and languages that are dying.
  • It can help give voice to the voiceless in the backward community.

About Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP)

  • It is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India.
  • Since 2009, it has been working towards preparing India’s electors and equipping them with basic knowledge related to the electoral process.
  • SVEEP is designed according to the socio-economic, cultural and demographic profile of the state as well as the history of electoral participation in previous rounds of elections and learning thereof.
Electoral Reforms In India

[pib] GI Certification for five varieties of Indian coffee

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy| Issues relating to intellectual property rights

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Various varieties of coffee mentioned

Mains level: GI Indications and their importance


News

  • The DPIIT has recently awarded Geographical Indication (GI) to five varieties of Indian coffee.
  • The recognition and protection that comes with GI certification will allow the coffee producers of India to invest in maintaining the specific qualities of the coffee grown in that particular region.
  • It will also enhance the visibility of Indian coffee in the world and allow growers to get maximum price for their premium coffee.

GI Tag for 5 Indian Coffee varieties

  1. Coorg Arabica coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the region of Kodagu district in Karnataka.
  1. Wayanaad Robusta coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the region of Wayanad district which is situated on the eastern portion of Kerala.
  1. Chikmagalur Arabica coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the region of Chikmagalur district and it is situated in the Deccan plateau, belongs to the Malnad region of Karnataka.
  1. Araku Valley Arabica coffee 
  • It is coffee from the hilly tracks of Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha region at an elevation of 900-1100 Mt MSL.
  • The coffee produce of Araku, by the tribals, follows an organic approach in which they emphasise management practices involving substantial use of organic manures, green manuring and organic pest management practices.
  1. Bababudangiris Arabica coffee 
  • It is grown specifically in the birthplace of coffee in India and the region is situated in the central portion of Chikmagalur district.
  • Selectively hand-picked and processed by natural fermentation, the cup exhibits full body, acidity, mild flavour and striking aroma with a note of chocolate.
  • This coffee is also called high grown coffee which slowly ripens in the mild climate and thereby the bean acquires a special taste and aroma.

Coffee cultivation in India

  • In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers of which 98% are small farmers. Coffee cultivation is mainly done in the Southern States of India:
  1. Karnataka – 54%
  2. Kerala – 19%
  3. Tamil Nadu – 8%
  • Coffee is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (17.2%) and North East States (1.8%).
  • The Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, a unique specialty coffee from India, was given GI certification earlier.

Unique features of Indian Coffee

  • India is the only country in the world where the entire coffee cultivation is grown under shade, hand-picked and sun dried.
  • India produces some of the best coffee in the world, grown by tribal farmers in the Western and Eastern Ghats, which are the two major bio-diversity hotspots in the world.
  • Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market and sold as premium coffee in Europe.
  • Recently the Coffee Board of India has collaborated with Bengaluru-based digital Eka Software Solutions (Eka Plus) for development of a blockchain-based marketplace application.
GI(Geographical Indicator) Tags

[pib] Exercise Mitra Shakti-VI

Note4students

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ex Mitra Shakti

Mains level:  India-Sri Lanka Strategic relationship


News

Exercise MITRA SHAKTI

  • It is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka.
  • The joint exercise for the year 2018-19 will be conducted in Sri Lanka.
  • Troops from 1st Battalion the BIHAR Regiment of the Indian Army and Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army would be jointly undertaking the exercise.
  • The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
  • The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations.
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Sri Lanka

[pib] India Energy Modelling Forum

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Energy Modelling

Mains level: Move for energy modelling in India


News

India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF)

  • The NITI Aayog and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized the first workshop on development of the India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF).
  • The IEMF seeks to provide a platform for policy makers to study important energy and environmental issues and ensure induction of modelling and analysis in informed decision making process.
  • The Forum aims to improve cooperation and coordination between modeling teams, the Government of India, knowledge partners and think-tanks, build capacity of Indian institutions, and identify issues for joint modeling activities and future areas of research.

What is Energy Modelling?

  • Energy modeling or energy system modeling is the process of building computer models of energy systems in order to analyze them.
  • Such models often employ scenario analysis to investigate different assumptions about the technical and economic conditions at play.
  • Outputs may include the system feasibility, greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative financial costs, natural resource use, and energy efficiency of the system under investigation.
  • Governments maintain national energy models for energy policy development.

Outcomes of the forum

  • Discussions on energy modelling in India and the world explored how energy modelling can play an important role in decision-making.
  • The panelists laid focus on bridging the rural-urban divide and factoring in energy pressures from the informal economy within models.
  • Deliberations included a spotlight on how the impact of the evolving character of India’s cities, industries and especially the transport sector should be included in the any India-centric models.
  • The shift towards electric mobility, an increasing emphasis on mainstreaming of renewable energy options and overarching environmental concerns were also stated as key factors for determining India’s energy future.
Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.

[pib] UNNATEE (UNlocking NATional Energy Efficiency Potential)

Note4students

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: UNNATEE

Mains level: Not Much


News

UNNATEE

  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has developed a national strategy document for accelerating energy efficiency in India.
  • PwC India has assisted BEE in executing this assignment.
  • The strategy document titled UNNATEE (Unlocking NATional Energy Efficiency potential) describes a plain framework and implementation strategy to establish a clear linkage between energy supply-demand scenarios and energy efficiency opportunities.
  • The document offers a comprehensive roadmap to address India’s environmental and climate change mitigation action through energy efficiency measures.
  • This exercise is first of its kind, clearly delineating the energy efficiency targets for the respective demand sectors upto the state levels.
  • Developing India’s blueprint of effective energy efficiency strategy is a leap towards stimulating energy efficiency ecosystem and enabling reduction of the pressure on demand.

About BEE

  • The BEE is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • It assists in developing policies and strategies with the primary objective of reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • BEE coordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies, and other organizations to identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.
Renewable Energy – Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, etc.

[pib] Cabinet approves accession to three new agreements for IPR

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: All three agreements mentioned

Mains level: IPR protection in India


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for accession of India to:

The Nice Agreement concerned with the International classification of Goods and Services for the purposes of registration of marks

The Vienna Agreement establishing an International Classification of the figurative elements of marks

The Locarno Agreement establishing an International classification for industrial designs.

About these agreements

  1. These are open to States party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).
  2. Instruments of ratification or accession must be deposited with the Director General of WIPO.

Impact

  • Accession to these will help the Intellectual Property Office in India to harmonize the classification systems for examinational of trademark and design applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.
  • It would give an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems.
  • The accession is expected to instill confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India.
  • The accession would also facilitate in exercising rights in decision making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement.
Intellectual Property Rights in India

[pib] Exercise Al Nagah III 2019

Note4students

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ex Al Nagah

Mains level:  India-Oman strategic relationship


News

Exercise Al Nagah III 2019

  • It is a joint military exercise between Indian and Royal Army of Oman (RAO) held in Oman.
  • The Indian side was represented by troops of Tenth Battalion The Garhwal Rifles Regiment.
  • The exercise will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in semi-urban scenario in mountainous terrain under UN mandate.
  • It will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s military as also facilitate in tackling the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism.
  • Due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries which is crucial for success of any joint operation.
Indian Army Updates

[pib] India Urban Observatory & Video Wall

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social Issues | Urbanization – problems and remedies

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  India Urban Observatory, Smart cities mission

Mains level: Making the cities data-smart


News

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory and Video Wall.

What is Urban Observatory?

  • It is a platform that uses data from different sources to enable analysis and visualization over a geospatial platform can make this possible.
  • The concept of Urban Observatories was formally initiated at the UN Habitat-II Conference in 1997 in Istanbul.
  • Some examples of well-established Urban Observatories are the Global Urban Observatory network, the Dublin Dashboard and the City Dashboard of London.
  • Such platforms churn out interesting analyses and visualizations by collating massive datasets.

India Urban Observatory

  • It is an important component of the recently launched DataSmart Cities strategy that envisions creating a ‘Culture of Data’ in cities, for intelligent use of data in addressing complex urban challenges.
  • Making cities ‘DataSmart’ is key to realizing the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities.
  • The Data Smart Cities Policy allows cities to open their data to public view, such as number of hospitals, gardens, people, public toilets and other city management, the official added.
  • It will be a separate portal for Smart Cities under the data.gov website.
Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.