Thursday, 15th September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial summit

●  

Report on modern slavery - Edukemy Current Affairs

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International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit 2022

2   Terms & Concepts

●  

Windfall Tax: Balancing Profit & Fairness

●  

Registered Unrecognized Political Parties

●  

Red Eared Sea Turtle - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

3   Editorial of the day

●  

Heritage Conservation: CAG Report's Findings

●  

Enhancing Education Access: India's HDI Challenge

4   Case Study of the Day

●  

Queen Elizabeth: The Monarch to survive the longest

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial summit


In news

The first in-person Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial summit was concluded in Los Angeles recently.

About IPEF

  • It is a US-led initiativethat aims to strengthen economic partnerships among participating countries to enhance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific Region.
  • It was launched by the United States (US) President in Tokyo on May 23, 2022.
  • The partners of IPEF include Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, together which represent 40% of world GDP, and 28% of global goods and services trade.

  • Except for Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, other Southeast Asian nations are a part of the IPEF.
  • IPEF is not a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  • It has not involved, nor has it promised to involve in the future, negotiations to remove tariffs or increase market access.
  • However, the framework will focus on the following four key pillars:
    • Connected Economy: This involves pursuing high-standard road rules in the digital economy, including standards on cross-border data flows and localization.
    • Resilient Economy: This would involve seeking supply chain commitments, by establishing an early warning system, mapping critical mineral supply chains, improving traceability in key sectors, and coordinating diversification efforts.
    • Clean Economy: This would involve accelerating efforts to tackle the climate crisis, including in the areas of renewable energy, carbon removal, energy efficiency standards, and new measures to combat methane emissions.
    • Fair Economy: This will seek commitments to enact and enforce effective tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery regimes. These will include provisions for the exchange of tax information, and the criminalization of bribery in accordance with UN standards.

About India and IPEF

  • Initially, while some countries had expressed interest in joining negotiations, India did not declare a definitive position for some time.
  • Later, India joined the IPEF and the Indian Prime Minister attended the launch event along with other leaders from partner countries.
  • However, at the recent Los Angeles conference, India was comfortable with the outcome and text and joined the declaration.
    • So far, India has agreed to three pillars relating to supply chains: tax, anti-corruption and clean energy, but the fourth pillar on trade is yet to be completely agreed upon.
    • This is because India is in the process of firming up its own digital framework and laws, particularly regarding privacy and data, and it would wait for more information.
    • Also, India is not yet ready to negotiate on digital commerce or link trade with the environment and labour, say experts.

Source:

  • The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF): An Asean perspective
  • FACT SHEET: In Asia, President Biden and a Dozen Indo-Pacific Partners Launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity
  • India accepts three out of four pillars of US-led IPEF, so why has it stopped short of a total agreement?
  • Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial summit concludes in Los Angeles' 

Image source

  • https://twitter.com/michaeltanchum/status/1568897080864772096/photo/1 

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests: IPEF, USA, India, Asia, Pacific.
News Snapshot

Report on modern slavery - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News:

Recent UN findings have highlighted the worldwide status of modern slavery.

About the News:

  • United Nations (UN) has recently released the report on ‘The Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, according to which around 50 million people globally were living in "modern slavery" in 2021.
  • The report is published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the international human rights group Walk Free.
  • The reports are presented as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular to Target 8.7, which calls for effective measures to end forced labour, modern slavery, and human trafficking, as well as child labour in all its forms.
  • The number of people in modern slavery has risen significantly in the last five years, with 10 million more people in modern slavery in 2021 compared to 2016, with women and children remaining disproportionately vulnerable.
  • The report has also highlighted an increased risk of forced marriages in countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Egypt in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ending modern slavery will require a multi-faceted response that addresses the array of forces – economic, social, cultural, and legal – that contribute to vulnerability and enable abuses.
  • In this regard, an attempt has been made through suggested recommendations which can help in ensuring that all migration is safe, orderly, and regular.

Important findings of the report: 

  • About: Modern slavery occurs in almost every country in the world, and cuts across ethnic, cultural and religious lines with more than half of all forced labour and a quarter of all forced marriages can be found in upper-middle-income or high-income countries.
  • Outlook: Out of the 50 million people in modern slavery, nearly 28 million are in forced labour and 22 million are trapped in forced marriage.
  • Forced marriages: They take place in every region in the world however, nearly two-thirds of all forced marriages happen in Asia and the Pacific followed by Africa and then Europe and Central Asia.
    • Regional distribution: The Arab States is the region with the highest prevalence of forced marriage at 8 per thousand people, followed by Asia and the Pacific at 3.3 per thousand.
    • Factors: Of the total people living in forced marriage, more than 85% of cases were driven by family pressure.

    • COVID-19: It has led to an increased risk of forced marriage in every region owing to mobility restrictions, safety and ethical considerations, delays in response services, or deprioritisation.
    • Increase in child marriage: An increase in child and forced marriages was reported in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Senegal, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Forced labour: Nearly 86% of occurrences of forced labour occurs in the private sector while State-imposed forced labour accounts for 14 per cent.
    • Sectoral: Forced labour in sectors other than commercial sexual exploitation accounts for 63 per cent of all forced labour, while forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 23 per cent of all forced labour.
    • Gender distribution: Almost four out of five of those in forced commercial sexual exploitation are women or girls.
    • Age variation: Almost one in eight of all those in forced labour are children which is nearly 3.3 million.
    • Migrants: These workers are more than three times more likely to be in forced labour than non-migrant adult workers.

Major recommendations of the report:

The report proposes a number of recommended actions which, taken together and swiftly, would mark significant progress towards ending modern slavery. These include:

  • Improving and enforcing laws and labour inspections;
  • Ending state-imposed forced labour;
  • Stronger measures to combat forced labour and trafficking in business and supply chains;
  • Extending social protection, and strengthening legal protections, including raising the legal age of marriage to 18 without exception.
  • Addressing the increased risk of trafficking and forced labour for migrant workers,
  • Promoting fair and ethical recruitment, and greater support for women, girls and vulnerable individuals.

Source:

  • https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/50-million-globally-were-living-in-modern-slavery-in-2021-un-report-3341229

Original report:

  • https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575479.pdf

 

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Keywords: General studies III: International report, Labour
News Snapshot

International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit 2022


In news:

The International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit (IDF WDS) 2022 was recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister at the India Expo Centre & Mart in Greater Noida.

  • The last such summit on dairy issues took place in India in 1974, which was around 50 years ago.

 

About International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit ( IDF WDS 2022)

  • Organizer: International Dairy Federation
    • The International Dairy Federation is the go-to resource for all parties involved in the dairy supply chain for scientific and technical knowledge.
    • Since 1903, the IDF's network of dairy experts has served as a means for the dairy industry to come to an understanding of how to contribute to the provision of safe and sustainable dairy products for the world's population.
  • Host: India
  • Objective: To enable delegates to exchange information and concepts about how the global dairy industry may help feed the world's population through safe and sustainable dairying.
    • Participants will have the chance to learn about the most recent research findings and experiences that are pertinent to the whole global dairy business.
  • Theme: ‘Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood’

About Dairy Sector

  • India is the top producer of milk, accounting for 23% of the world's milk output, followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan, and Brazil.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the highest milk-producing state (14.9%), followed by Rajasthan (14.6%), Madhya Pradesh (8.6%), Gujarat (7.6%), and Andhra Pradesh (7.0%).

Importance of Dairy Sector

  • In addition to boosting the rural economy, the dairy industry's potential provides millions of individuals with a significant source of income worldwide.
  • More than 8 crore families in the nation are employed in this sector.
  • Women make up more than one-third of dairy cooperative members in India.

Challenges in Dairy Sector

  • Feed & Fodder Shortage: In order to use the available feed and fodder, there are too many unproductive animals that compete with productive dairy animals.
    • Because of industrial expansion, the grazing area is drastically shrinking each year, which makes it difficult to meet the need for feed and fodder.
  • Health Issues: Animals receive insufficient health care since veterinary hospitals are spread out in remote locations and there are fewer cattle than there are hospitals.
    • Additionally, there is no regular and periodic immunization schedule followed, and the usual deworming program is not completed on time, which causes a high death rate in calves, particularly in buffalo.

Government Initiatives

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission: It was started in December 2014 with a budget of Rs 2025 crore for the improvement and preservation of native breeds through breeding tract selection and genetic improvement of the unremarkable bovine population.
  • National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP): It is a flagship program that was introduced in September 2019 to manage Foot & Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by immunizing all cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and pigs for FMD and all female cow calves between the ages of 4 and 8 months for brucellosis (2019-20 to 2023-24).
  • Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund: It aims to aid in increasing meat processing capacity and product diversification, opening up the organized dairy market to more unorganized dairy producers.
  • Dairy Sahakar Scheme: At a celebration for Amul's 75th anniversary of its founding in Anand, Gujarat, the Union Minister of Home Affairs and Corporation introduced the "Dairy Sahakar" program.
    • To accomplish the aim of "from collaboration to prosperity," NCDC under the Ministry of Cooperation would implement the Dairy Sahakar with a total investment of Rs 5000 crore.

Goberdhan Yojana

  • Lack of Hygiene & Sanitation Facilities: Many cattle owners neglect to give their animals the required shelter, leaving them vulnerable to harsh weather conditions that worsen the circumstances of mastitis.
  • Export Restrictions: Market access concerns in China, the EU, South Africa, and Mexico, as well as the high import duties levied by SAARC and nearby nations like Bangladesh (35%) and Pakistan (45%), are some of the export restrictions now in place.
  • Issues related to Remunerative Pricing: Despite the fact that the value of milk production in India exceeds the value of wheat and rice combined, there is no official estimate of the cost of production and minimum support price for milk.

Content Source Link:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1858661,
  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/pm-modi-to-inaugurate-international-dairy-federation-world-dairy-summit-2022-today-11662944585982.html

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail/dairy-farming-6352939412.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Food Processing, Economics of Animal rearing
Terms & Concepts

Windfall Tax: Balancing Profit & Fairness


  • Context: The Finance Minister has recently defended the windfall tax imposed by the Centre on domestic crude oil producers, stating that it was not an ad hoc move but was done after full consultation with the industry.
  • A windfall tax is a higher tax rate on sudden big profits levied on a particular company or industry.

  • The tax targets those who are gaining from something they were not responsible for.
  • Domestic producers sell crude oil at international parity prices, to domestic refiners. Thus, they make windfall gains and attract windfall tax.
  • It is a one-time taxmore than the normal rates of tax, imposed on profits.
  • In the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,energy companies are gaining profit from the sale or export of oil and there has been no improvement in their domestic processes.
  • Thus, governments are imposing a windfall tax on profits being earned by these companies that will help in boosting the government’s financesas well as help in funding the efforts being made by the government for protecting vulnerable sections from inflation.
  • However, since windfall taxes are imposed retrospectively and are often influenced by unexpected events, they can brew uncertainty in the market about future taxes.
  • Also, introducing a temporary windfall profit tax reduces future investment because prospective investors will internalize the likelihood of potential taxes when making investment decisions.
  • There is another argument about what exactly constitutes true windfall profits and how can it be determined what level of profit is normal or excessive. 

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/why-is-windfall-tax-being-imposed-on-the-energy-sector/article65857808.ece

Image source:

  • https://www.wallstreetmojo.com/windfall-tax/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Global Crude Oil Price, Windfall Tax.
Terms & Concepts

Registered Unrecognized Political Parties


  • Context: The Election Commission of India has recently delisted 86 'non-existent' registered unrecognised political parties which failed to comply with the electoral rules.
  • These RUPPs were found to be non-existent and violating provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The EC also barred them from availing of benefits of the Symbol Order, 1968.

  • So far, the poll panel has delisted 537 such political parties. 
  • The EC registers political parties and grants them recognition as national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance.
  • Although EC does not have the power to deregister a political party. However, it can take up the issue of financial irregularities and seek mandatory compliance from parties like sources and manner of donations, details of bank account etc.
  • RUPPs are either newly registered parties or those which have not secured enough percentage of votes in Assembly or General Elections to become a state party or those which have never contested elections since being registered.
  • The major issue associated with them is that they crowd out political parties actually contesting elections and also create a chaotic situation for voters. They are also accused of misusing Income Tax exemption on donations given to registered parties.

 Source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/election-commission-delists-86-more-non-existent-registered-political-parties-11663123140949.html

Image source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly-elections-2017/unrecognised-political-parties-are-a-thriving-business-in-up-117030900266_1.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Polity: Election Commission of India, Registered Unrecognized political parties, Representation of People Act, 1951.
Terms & Concepts

Red Eared Sea Turtle - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The scientific community have expressed the concern that the presence ofinvasive and non-native south Red-Eared Slider Turtles would lead to the extinction of native species of their own kind.
  • The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is native to the south-eastern USA and Mexico but has found its way into India through the trade of exotic animals.
  • They can tolerate a wide range of habitats and are sometimes found in estuaries and coastal wetlands with brackish water.

  • This species can live for months without food, slowing its metabolism when resources are scarce. And when food is prevalent, they keep growing. They may feed upon a variety of food, including fish, insects, and vegetation, unlike native species.
  • Red-eared slider turtles are classified as controlled pest animalsunder the Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
  • They are categorized as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List and are N/A under the CITES and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • The red-eared slider turtle is a popular pet in India and once the turtle becomes an adult though, unaware pet owners prefer to release it into water bodies.
  • India is home to 29 freshwater turtles and tortoise species of the 356 turtle species recognised worldwide and around 80% of them are threatened.
  • The species is aggressive and poses a threat to all species of its kind, including soft-shell and hard-shell turtles and is widely found in urban wetlands, such as -Sukhna lake in Chandigarh, temple ponds of Guwahati, lakes of Bengaluru, Sanjay Gandhi national park in Mumbai, Yamuna River in Delhi among other water bodies.

Source

  • Invasive south red-eared slider turtle poses threat to Indian biodiversity (downtoearth.org.in)

Image source:

  • https://scroll.in/article/999003/these-cute-turtles-may-not-look-dangerous-but-they-are-among-the-worlds-worst-invasive-species

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Environment and Ecology: Red Eared Sea Turtle, IUCN, Least Concern, CITES
Terms & Concepts

National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)


  • Context: The revised List of NLEM 2022 has been released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM 2022) has 384 drugs, up from 376 in 2015. The list is usually revised every three years, but this time it was done after seven years.
  • The primary purpose of NLEM is to promote the rational use of medicines considering three important aspectse. cost, safety and efficacy.

  • It also helps in optimum utilisation of healthcare resources and budget; drug procurement policies, health insurance; improving prescribing habits; medical education and drafting of pharmaceutical policies.
  • This will contribute towards a reduction in “Out-of-Pocket” Expenditure on healthcare for the citizens.
  • Medicines under NLEM automatically come under price control under Drug Price Control Order (DPCO).
  • NLEM was first compiled in 1996 and it was revised in 2003, 2011, and 2015.
  • Drugs in NLEM are included in the scheduled category and their price is regulated by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

Source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/essential-medicines-list-updated-adds-34-new-drugs-and-drops-26-122091300552_1.html

Image source:

  • https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/story/national-list-of-essential-medicines-nlem-2022-govt-adds-34-new-drugs-four-anti-cancer-medicines-347146-2022-09-13

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Science and Technology: General Science, NLEM
Editorial of the day

Heritage Conservation: CAG Report's Findings


Essence – The editorial discusses the status of monuments and heritage under ASI in light of the recently tabled report by CAG in the parliament. It presents the case of Anang Tal of Mehrauli to highlight the abysmal state of historical monuments in our country. It mentions that there is a lack of studies with respect to the functioning of  ASI. Later it points out some of the important findings of the CAG report. There it mentions about lack of national policy on archaeological exploration, excavation and antiquities; insufficient budgetary allocation; lack of convergence among different agencies involved in the conservation; complacency in implementation of the AMASR Act 1958.

Ultimately, it compares the modern keepers of historical material with Muslim invaders in terms of destroying the historical record.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the state of monuments and heritage under ASI.
  • To know about the various agencies involved in the protection and conservation of historical records in India.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/nayanjot-lahiri-writes-cag-report-abysmal-state-heritage-conservation-anang-tal-mehrauli-8123799/

 

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Keywords: GS1, Indian Art and Culture
Editorial of the day

Enhancing Education Access: India's HDI Challenge


Essence - The article highlights the dimensional inequalities in the Human Development Index (HDI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and calls for government actions to bridge the highlighted gaps. A closer look at the HDI reveals that while India has performed reasonably well compared to previous years in terms of the per capita income index, its performance has decreased in health and education-related indices. 

The global annual rate of progress in HDI has declined to around 0.4% from 0.8% during 2010-2021. India’s global ranking has slipped from 129 in 2019 to 131 in 2020 and 132 in 2021-22. Also, India’s per-capita income in terms of PPP has gone down by 5% compared to a 2% increase for developing countries during 2021 and 2021-22.

The article highlights that India’s high inequality in different dimensions of HDI is a concern, and India’s inequality-adjusted rank is 134. The inequality also highlights that the benefits of development are not evenly distributed in the country. Heath and education inequality are high for most countries in the low HDI rank category, while it is less for high HDI countries. This clearly highlights the patterns and hints for India to work on minimizing the inequalities in health and education.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To understand the state of Human Development in India.
  • The article is a good comparative analysis of the HDI report and suggests the key indicators that should be taken into consideration for government planning.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-solution-to-indias-stunted-improvement-on-the-human-development-index-improving-access-to-quality-education-8149358/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3, Human Development Index, HDI, UNDP
Case Study of the Day

Queen Elizabeth: The Monarch to survive the longest


Background

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, recently died at age 96, after she was placed under medical supervision for failing health.

About Queen Elizabeth

  • As head of state for the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, her 70-year reign spanned more than a dozen U.S. presidents and nine popes.
  • Currently, only three other monarchs have reigned for more than seven decades.
  • Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London in 1926, the eldest of two daughters to parents who would later become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
  • In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

  • Following the death of her father King George VI in 1952, Elizabeth became queen at 25.
  • Beginning in November 1953 the queen and the duke of Edinburgh made a six-month round-the-world tour of the Commonwealth, which included the first visit to Australia and New Zealand by a reigning British monarch.
  • In 1961 she made the first royal British tour of the Indian subcontinent in 50 years, and she was also the first reigning British monarch to visit South America (in 1968) and the Persian Gulf countries (in 1979).
  • Her Achievements include:
    • During World War 2, Elizabeth lifted up the spirits of children all across the nation. She periodically made radio broadcasts during the war in a bid to bring joy to her people.
    • In the wake of the coalition victory in the Gulf War, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress on May 16, 1991.
    • Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her life to the welfare of Commonwealth nation She was instrumental in bringing several socio-economic benefits to these countries.
      • Further, from the early 1950s up to the 1990s, the Queen helped many of those countries in gaining independence or some sort of autonomy.
    • Queen Elizabeth II changed the long-standing royal succession law of “male primogenitor” which favoured the succession of male heirs over females to the English crown, by ensuring the passing of the Crown Act (2013), in the British Parliament.
    • The Queen often broke royal rules and tradition, paving the way for modernity in the monarchy. She made sure that the royal family stayed updated and relevant to the times.

Source:

  • Queen Elizabeth II no more: Biggest achievements of the world's second-longest reigning monarch
  • Queen Elizabeth II: 10 Major Achievements

Image source:

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61605149

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: History of the World: Queen Elizabeth, King Charles, Proclamation, United Kingdom
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