Tuesday, 9th August 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot


Iran nuclear Deal and it significance for India:


Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021


New RAMSAR Sites

2   Terms & Concepts


Corporal Punishment


Recognition of Prior Learning


Live-fire exercises


Udyam Portal

3   Editorial of the day


RBI’s choice: An inflation target of 4% or a soft economic landing: Livemint


India, Bangladesh, Pakistan: What east can teach west: The Indian Express

4   Case Study of the Day


The Sans of Namibia

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News Snapshot

Iran nuclear Deal and it significance for India:

In News

A fresh round of talks over Iran’s Nuclear deal had taken place recently to revive the agreement on Tehran’s atomic ambitions.

About the News:

  • After a gap of five months, Iran, Russia, China and the European countries have resumed negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • The 2015 JCPOA agreement sought to cut Iran off a possible path to a nuclear bomb in return for lifting of economic sanctions.

What is JCPOA?

  • The JCPOA was the result of prolonged negotiations from 2013 and 2015 between Iran and P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States).
  • Under the deal, Iran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water,all key components for nuclear weapons.

  • It also agreed to implement a protocol that would allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to access its nuclear sitesto ensure Iran would not be able to develop nuclear weapons in secret.
  • Following this, the West had agreed to lift sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear proliferation. The US committed to lifting sanctions on oil exports, but continued to restrict financial transactions,which have deterred international trade with Iran.
  • However, after suffering years of recessions, currency depreciation, and inflation, Iran’s economy, stabilized significantly after the deal took effect,and its exports had significantly increased.
  • Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, strongly rejected the deal,and other countries like Saudi Arabia refused its involvement in the negotiations even though Iran’s nuclear programme posed security risks for every country in the region.
  • After the US abandoned the deal and reinstated sanctions on banking and oil, Iran ramped up its nuclear programmereaching to approximately 97% of its pre-2015 nuclear capabilities.

Consequence of the US pulling out of the deal:

  • When US announced its intention to snap back sanctions in 2020, the other partners objected to the move, stating that since the US was no longer part of the deal, it could not unilaterally reimpose sanctions.
  • Initially following the withdrawal, several countries continued to import Iranian oil under waivers granted by the US administration. After a year, the US ended the waivers and significantly curbed Iran’s oil exports.
  • The other powers, in an attempt to keep the deal in action had launched a barter system known as INSTEXto facilitate transactions with Iran outside the US banking system. However, INSTEX only covered food and medicine, which were already exempt from US sanctions.
  • In January 2020, after the US assassinated the top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, Iran announced that it would no longer limit its uranium enrichment.

Expected outcomes of the deal

  • Act as a curb on the nuclear program: Proponents of the deal said that it would help prevent a revival of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
  • Increasing regional engagement: It would thereby reduce the prospects for conflict between Iran and its regional rivals, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Impacts on India of Restoration of JCPOA

  • Restoration of JCPOA may ease many restrictions over the Iranian regime, which may directly or indirectly help India. This can be reflected in the following examples:
  • Boost to Regional Connectivity: Removing sanctions may revive India’s interest in the Chabahar Project, Bandar Abbas port, and other plans for regional connectivity.
    • This would further help India to neutralize the Chinese presence in Gwadar port, Pakistan.
    • Apart from Chabahar, India’s interest in the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC), which runs through Iran, will improve connectivity with five Central Asian republics, may also get a boost.
  • Energy Security:Due to the pressure linked to the US’ Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), India has to bring down oil imports to zero.
    • Restoration of ties between the US and Iran will help India to procure cheap Iranian oil and aid in energy security.

Source link:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-nuclear-talks-restart-in-vienna/article65726620.ece

Image Source Link:

  • https://ccbs.news/

Keywords: GS paper 2: International Relations:, India & its Neighbourhood
News Snapshot

Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

In news

A Joint parliamentary committee reviewing the proposed Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, submitted its report recently in Parliament, accepting several amendments proposed by the government.

About the Amendment Bill

  • Access to biological resources and intellectual property rights (IPR): The present 'Biological Diversity Act, 2002', provides for the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) which regulates access to biological resources, and the sharing of research results on such resources. The entities must seek approval from the NBA for obtaining biological resources, and before applying for IPR. Amongst these entities, the Bill amends to include ''any foreign-controlled company registered in India'', as a category for NBA’s approval before the grant of IPR.
  • Exemptions: Under the Act, certain communities are exempted from intimating the State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) before obtaining any biological resource for commercial utilisation. The Bill extends the exemption to registered AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) practitioners, and cultivated medicinal plants and their products.

  • Composition of National Biodiversity Authority: The present act provides for a 16-member National Biodiversity Authority. However, the Bill provides for 11 additional members in the Authority.
  • Threatened species: The Bill allows the central government to delegate the power to notify any species which is near extinction as threatened species, to the state government as well. However, before notifying any threatened species, the state government must consult the NBA.
  • Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC): The Bill specifies that the state government will prescribe the composition of the BMCs, and they must have between seven to eleven members. Further, state governments may also constitute BMCs at the intermediate or district Panchayat level.
  • Offences: The Bill deletes the provision, of making the offences cognizable and non-bailable.

Key Issues

  • Ambiguity in the exemption for codified traditional knowledge
    • The 2002 Act requires users of biological resources and associated knowledge to share benefits with local communities. The Bill exempts users of “codified traditional knowledge” from this requirement, but the Bill has not defined the term ‘codified traditional knowledge’.
    • A broad interpretation of this term might exempt almost all traditional knowledge from benefit sharing requirements.
  • Local communities may not have a direct say in benefit sharing
    • The Bill removes the direct role of local bodies and benefit claimers in determining mutually agreed terms.
    • The Act states that while granting approvals for various activities, National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) will determine terms for benefit sharing.
    • Such approval should be in accordance with the mutually agreed terms between the applicant, concerned local bodies, and benefit claimers.
  • Inconsistency in the definition of “foreign-controlled company”
    • Under the Bill, a “foreign-controlled company” means a foreign company as per Section 2(42) of the Companies Act, 2013, which is under the control of a foreigner.
    • Section 2(42) of the Companies Act defines a foreign company as a company or body corporate incorporated outside India.
    • Hence, the Bill creates a contradiction by requiring NBA approval for a company incorporated in India (Clause 5 of the Bill), which is incorporated outside India (Section 2(42) of the Companies Act).


  • Bill Summary
  • The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Image source:

  • Biological Diversity Amendment Bill, 2021

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Awareness in the fields of Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights: Conservation: Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Biological Diversity Act 2002, IPR
News Snapshot

New RAMSAR Sites

In News:

The Government has recently notified 10 new wetlands as ‘RAMSAR sites’ in India







Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary

Tamil Nādu

  • It is a significant man-made wetland which covers an area of 72.04 ha.
  • This is the largest reserve for breeding resident and migratory water birds in South India.
  • It is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area forming part of the Central Asian Flyway.


Satkosia Gorge


  • It spreads along the magnificent gorge over the mighty river Mahanadi in Odisha.
  • Established in 1976 as a wildlife sanctuary, it supports a rich ecosystem, representing a diverse population of floral and faunal species.
  • It is the meeting point of two biogeographic regions of India; the Deccan Peninsula and the Eastern Ghats, contributing immense biodiversity.
  • It also helps in maintaining a specific desirable depth of water crucial for the endangered gharial population.


Nanda Lake


  • The majority of the area is intermittent freshwater marshes that lie adjacent to rivulets of the Zuari River.
  • This lake is habitat for notable faunal species including Black-headed ibis and Common kingfisher.


Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve

Tamil Nadu

  • It is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South & South -East Asia.
  • It is one of the most biologically diverse regions in India, comprising different species of corals, fishes, sea turtles and sea grasses besides mangroves.
  • The Reserve is also home to several globally important and highly threatened species like the Dugong, whale shark, sea horses, Balanoglossus, green sea turtle, Hawksbill turtle, dolphins, sacred chanks etc.


Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary


  • The site has been enlisted as one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Karnataka and India by Bombay Natural History Society.
  • It is an ecologically important riverine wetland of India, rich in biodiversity.
  • The site supports several threatened taxa including mugger crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris), smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the river waters harbour the endangered hump-backed masheer (Tor remadevii).


Vembannur Wetland Complex

Tamil Nadu

  • It is a human-made inland tank.
  • It forms the southernmost tip of peninsular India.
  • It forms part of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and hence part of BirdLife International Data Zone.
  • The site hosts around 12% of the total non-breeding population of garganey.
  • The tank is believed to have been constructed in the regime of Pandyan king Veeranarayana.


Vellode Bird Sanctuary

Tamil Nadu

  • It is provincially known as Periyakulam Yeri is one of the 141 Prioritized wetlands in Tamil Nadu.
  • Spread over an area of 77.185 ha, this site forms part of the Central Asian Flyway.


Sirpur Wetland

Madhya Pradesh

  • It is an important site for its aesthetic value besides being an important ecological terrain.
  • Presently, the wetland is being developed as a bird sanctuary and ecological learning center.


Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Tamil Nadu

  • It is one of the oldest bird-protected areas in India.
  • This site is also recognized internationally, as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).
  • It belongs to the Coromandel Coast biotic province.


Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary

Tamil Nadu

  • It is an important bird sanctuary famous for several species of waterbirds.
  • The notable species observed at the site are oriental darter, glossy ibis etc.,
  • It is one of the important breeding sites for the darter & Eurasian spoonbill.



  • https://static.pib.gov.in/WriteReadData/specificdocs/documents/2022/aug/doc20228380201.pdf

Keywords: General Studies 3: Environment:, RAMSAR Sites.
Terms & Concepts

Corporal Punishment

  • Context: School teachers in Pune have been booked under Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) over thrashing Class 10 students.
  • By definition, corporal punishment means punishment that is physical in nature.
  • There is no statutory definition of 'corporal punishment' targeting children in the Indian law.
  • However, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 prohibits ‘physical punishment’ and ‘mental harassment’ under Section 17(1) and makes it a punishable offence under Section 17(2).

  • Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act prescribes punishment for cruelty to children.
    • Whenever a child is assaulted, abused, exposed or neglected in a manner to cause physical or mental suffering by any person employed by or managing an organisation, which is entrusted with the care and protection of the child, the punishment would be rigorous imprisonment upto five years and fine up to Rs 5 lakh.
    • If the child is physically incapacitated or develops a mental illness or is rendered mentally unfit to perform regular tasks or has risk to life or limb, then imprisonment may extend upto ten years.
  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) guidelines for eliminating corporal punishment against children require every school to develop a mechanism and frame clear cut protocols to address grievances of students.


  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-the-law-says-on-protecting-children-against-corporal-punishment-8063964/

Image source:

  • https://menafn.com/1099445984/Abolish-corporal-punishment

Keywords: GS Paper 2: Governance: Juvenile Justice Act, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
Terms & Concepts

Recognition of Prior Learning

  • Context: National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has initiated a project to recognise the prior skills of 75,000 people and upskill them in association with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
  • Recognition of Prior Learning is a Component of Skill India’s flagship scheme PMKVY (Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana).

  • It aims topromote decentralization and local governance for better planning and implementation of skill development programmes.
  • It is being implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
  • It recognizes the value of learningacquired outside a formal setting and provides a government certificate for an individual’s skills.
  • Candidates receive exposure to concepts of digital and financial literacyand accidental insurance coverage for three years at free of cost.
  • No fee is chargedfrom a candidate for participating in the RPL programme and every successfully certified candidate receives Rs. 500.
  • MSDE is supporting the State Skill Development Missions(SSDMs) and District Skill Committees (DSCs) in the selection and onboarding of the Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) and facilitating the successful execution of the programme.
  • The process helps in aligning the competencies of the unregulated workforce of the country to the standardized National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).


  • Skill India launches Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program in Delhi to upskill 75,000 workers in NDMC jurisdiction

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/pib_india/status/1415543156435685376

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Skill India Initiative, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program
Terms & Concepts

Live-fire exercises

  • Context: China has recently begun its live-fire exercise near Taiwan by launching at least 11 ballistic missiles into the country’s coast.
  • Through this, China has demonstrated the ability to blockade Taiwan in the event of war.
  • Live -fire exercises are primarily used by military personnel, in which live ammunition is used to create training conditions that are as close to real combat scenarios as possible.
  • Such exercises are invaluable in maintaining combat readiness of troops, the cohesiveness of units, and instilling confidence in their ability to use their weapons and equipment correctly.

  • It also trains them to act calmly in real-life emergency situations in the future.
  • In the recent case in the Taiwan Strait, live-fire exercises allow countries to brandish their military prowess and capacity for destruction.
  • The drills involving warplanes, ships and missiles are designed to show the level of lethal force that China could unleash on Taiwan, if the country refuses to toe the line set by Beijing.


  • Surrounded! In live-fire exercises, China demonstrates the ability to blockade Taiwan in the event of war | Washington Examiner
  • China Taiwan tensions: What are live-fire exercises, conducted by China? (indianexpress.com)

Image source:

  • https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-says-it-begins-live-fire-military-drills-all-around-taiwan/ar-AA10hlFP

Keywords: GS Paper 2: International Relations, China-Taiwan Relations, live-fire exercise.
Terms & Concepts

Udyam Portal

  • Context: The Ministry of MSME celebrated the landmark of 1 crore registrations on its Udyam Portal.
  • Udyam Portal is an online system for registering MSMEs, launched by the Union MSME ministry in 2020.
  • This new portal assists the government in aggregating the data on the number of MSMEs in the country.
  • It is linked to the databases of the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).

  • GSTN is a unique and intricate IT enterprise that establishes a channel of communication and interaction between taxpayers, the central and various state governments, and other stakeholders.
  • It is fully online, does not require any documentation, and is a step towards Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs.
  • So far, as many as 1 crore MSMEs have registered on the Udyam portal on a voluntary basis and have declared that they employ 7.6 crore people, of which 1.7 crore are women.


  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1847452

Image source:

  • https://udyamregistration.gov.in/Government-India/Ministry-MSME-registration.htm

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Udyam Portal, MSME, Ease of Doing Business
Editorial of the day

RBI’s choice: An inflation target of 4% or a soft economic landing: Livemint

Essence – The editorial talks about the consistent hawkish approach of MPC to bring down the inflation and its effect on growth. It tells that the more important goal should be to ensure that the economy does not run into the recessionary phase. It cites the US, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to emphasise on the fact that in post covid situation the chances of achieving soft landing (controlling inflation without compromising growth) is narrower. It gives evidences like higher growth projections, Indian growth cycle getting in sync with global growth cycle, in support that India can continue the hawkish stance. At the same time, it mentions that controlling CPI inflation will be the difficult as food and fuel has maximum weight.

Towards the end it recommends further increase in the policy rate to bring CPI inflation near 4% as in case of India, recession is less likely.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the relation between policy rate and the growth.
  • In what situation we should focus on controlling inflation?


  • https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/rbis-choice-an-inflation-target-of-4-or-a-soft-economic-landing-11659973976750.html

Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy, Monetary policy
Editorial of the day

India, Bangladesh, Pakistan: What east can teach west: The Indian Express

Essence- The article talks about the comparison of situation between the eastern and western frontiers of India Mainland. The relations between India and Bangladesh (on the eastern frontier) have seen rapid changes and the two sides are cooperating on several fronts including cross-border trade, cooperation in the region, and solving border disputes.

The situation on the western frontier with Pakistan continues to be a bottleneck in the development of the region. The two countries have several points of contention including Kashmir, cross-border trade; and enmity that dates back to partition.

The cooperation between Bangladesh and India in this regard can act as a model (and a hope) for the improvement of relations between India and Pakistan. The article outlines the process that led to trust building between India and Bangladesh, and how this can be used to soften India-Pakistan relations.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • The article outlines the process that led to the improvement of India-Bangladesh relations.
  • The article provides insights into political dynamics at play in the region.


  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/india-bangladesh-pakistan-what-east-can-teach-west-8078070/

Keywords: GS Paper 2: India-Bangladesh, International relations, India-Pakistan
Case Study of the Day

The Sans of Namibia

In news

The issues of marginality, inequality, and oppression can be learnt from the plight of the San people in Namibia. 

About San people

  • Historical accounts indicate that the San people are the first indigenous people of Southern Africa.

  • As hunter-gathers, they foraged the entire southern African region, living modestly and sustainably with nature.
  • Their issues include:
    • 80% of the San people have been dispossessed of their ancestral lands and resources, and they are now some of the country’s poorest and most marginalized peoples.
    • The reasons for dispossession include: European colonisation and post-colonial nationalisation, and arrival of other tribes from central Africa.
    • They are being rendered to an ‘underclass’ status; high level of political, social, and economic exclusion; and limited access to social services.
  • Despite recognition of San as a ‘development priority', by the Namibian government, the development initiatives have yielded limited success.
  • Going ahead, the struggle by Dalits in India and other oppressed classes across the globe to organise around issues that affect them, should be instructive in fighting oppression and exclusion.


  • The Sans of Namibia. A life on margins of society

Image source:

  • https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Map-of-Southern-Africa-Showing-Distribution-of-San-including-Hai-om_fig1_277969598

Keywords: GS Paper 1: Social Empowerment: Sans, Namibia, Tribes
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