|GS-II||Latin America seeks more missions||International Relations|
|India and Pakistan should encourage bilateral trade||International Relations|
|Beyond words, India – Pak Relations||International Relations|
|GS-III||TRAI calls for zero telecom equipment imports by 2022||Economic Issues|
|Biodiversity Conservation: Role of Local Participation (UPSC GS Paper 3)|
|PT Pointer||Drones to monitor tiger reserve||Biodiversity & Environment|
|Important GS Topics||Rajasthan First State to Implement Biofuel Policy||Indian Economy|
|Cabinet Clears Bill to restore the provisions of SC/ST Act:||Important Bills|
|Data Localisation is no solution||Government policies and interventions|
|U.S.-China trade war can make Indian products competitive, says CII report||Economic Issues|
|J&K tense ahead of SC hearing on Article 35A||Indian Polity|
|World Bank has launched the world’s first public bond created and managed using only blockchain||Economic Issues|
|Rebooting the system for a skills upgrade||Economic Issues|
Coastal Erosion is the process of wearing away of the land by the sea due to corrosion, abrasion, hydraulic action, attrition and corrosion/solution.
India has a long coastline of 7,516.6 km giving it a large coastal area. Due to high polulation growth, increasing maritime trade and enormous pace of developmental activities, the settlements and associated infrastructure is moving closer to the seas. Such usage of coastal land is often done without properly understanding the coastal dynamics, leading to long-term damage, majorly to the local communities.
Various reasons responsible for Coastal Erosion are:
Measures to deal with Coastal Erosion:
The coastal regions where land and water meet are ecologically dynamic and sensitive regions, as marine and coastal ecosystems continuously impact on each other. These regions has rich ecosystem such as mangroves, water bodies, seaweeds coral reefs, fisheries and other marine life, and other coastal and marine vegetation. These ecosystems protect the region from saline winds, cyclones, tsunami waves etc., promote carbon sequestration and promote biodiversity as well as provide raw materials for a number of manufacturing activities. Hence, this is an alarming situation for us to overcome from the coastal erosion.
India’s Efforts towards Coastal Management
India’s efforts towards coastal development were initiated in 1997, when Government of India implemented the Environment Management Capacity Building (EMCB) programme for 5 years, funded by the International Development Association through the World Bank. Since then, India has made continued efforts in this direction.
Currently, Ministry of Earth Sciences is responsible for monitoring the shoreline changes along the Indian coast on an annual basis. According to MoES,
1. 89% of the shoreline of Andaman and Nicobar islands is eroded by the Bay of Bengal.
2. The shoreline of Tamil Nadu facing the process of accretion (a gradual deposition by water of mud, sand to form dry land), that causes 62% of its coast gaining land.
A National Centre for Coastal Research under Ministry of Earth Sciences is an attached office in MoES dedicated to coastal research. NCCR is mandated to promote research and addressing issues related to coastal processes, ecosystems, shoreline erosion, pollution, hazards and coastal vulnerability.
The major activities of the centre are as follows:
1. Coastal Processes & Hazards
2. Coastal Water Quality
3. Coastal Habitats & Ecosystems
4. Capacity Building & Training
Another research institute, National Institute for Sustainable Coastal Management works under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Its mission and role: To support integrated management of coastal and marine environment for livelihood security, sustainable development and hazard risk management by enhancing knowledge, research and advisory support, partnerships and network and coastal community interface
Source: The Hindu
1. Latin America seeks more missions
Theme: India relations with Latin America
Embassy is not important:
Embassy is important
The Indian elephant has already engaged the tigers of Asia. It is now the turn of the pumas of the Pacific
India and Pakistan should encourage bilateral trade
Theme: India-Pakistan Bilateral relations
Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) Study on informal trade:
What drives informal trade?
Which commodities are traded?
How does informal trade take place?
Land or water route?
Area of Co-operation:
How to improve relationship?
Beyond words, India – Pak Relations
Theme: India-Pakistan Relations
Since the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony in Pakistan, there have been many
substantive exchanges between New Delhi and Islamabad.
1) TRAI calls for zero telecom equipment imports by 2022
Theme: Indigenous telecommunication equipment manufacturing
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has called for imposition of import duties on telecom products outside the ambit of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-1) and incentivising their local design and manufacturing with an aim to eliminate India’s dependence on imported telecom gear by 2022.
Topic: Biodiversity Conservation: Role of Local Participation
GS Paper 3
Source: The Hindu
The CRUX of The Hindu Article:
Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity has been an integral part of Indian ethos. The varied eco-climatic conditions coupled with unique geological and cultural features have contributed to an astounding diversity of habitats, which harbor and sustain immense biological diversity at all levels. With only 2.4% of the world's land area, India accounts for 7-8% of recorded species of the world. In terms of species richness, India ranks seventh in mammals, ninth in birds and fifth in reptiles. In terms of endemism of vertebrate groups, India's position is tenth in birds with 69 species, fifth in reptiles with 156 species and seventh in amphibians with 110 species. India's share of crops is 44% as compared to the world average of 11%. India also has 23.39% of its geographical area under forest and tree cover. Of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots, India harbor 3 hotspots, i.e., Himalaya, Indo Burma, Western Ghats, and Sri Lanka. The Western Ghats are also included in the World Heritage list. It is very rich in flora and fauna and serves as the cradle of biodiversity. One of the most pressing environmental issues today is the conservation of biodiversity. Many factors threaten the world's biological heritage.
A report that highlighted the role of Indigenous People
According to a recent Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES), Biodiversity is declining everywhere at an unprecedented rate, but this rate is lower in areas where indigenous people own land
This finding is highly important for our country because of the domination of indigenous people in our forests. One of the classic examples of this is the Dongria Kondh tribal people of the Niyamgiri Hills who are known for their spirited defense of their forested habitat against shortsighted industrialisation. They are among the best conservationist communities of the world.
According to the IPBES report, 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and thousands of these would become extinct within decades. The report also highlighted that though the rate of biodiversity decline is less in the land inhabited by the indigenous people, it has also been facing high pressure. The areas managed (under various types of tenure and access regimes) by indigenous people and local communities are facing growing resource extraction, commodity production, mining and transport, and energy infrastructure, with various consequences for local livelihoods and health. Some climate change mitigation programmes have had negative impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities. But the Indigenous people and local communities have been proactively confronting such challenges in partnership with each other and with an array of other stakeholders, through co-management systems and local and regional monitoring networks and by revitalizing and adapting local management systems.
The report further points out that "Recognizing the knowledge, innovations and practices, institutions and values of indigenous peoples and local communities and their inclusion and participation in environmental governance often enhances their quality of life, as well as nature conservation, restoration and sustainable use, which is relevant to broader society."
An older reference to the same issue was made in 2014 when a report by World Resources Institute found that legal forest rights for communities and government protection of their rights tend to lower carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation.
India's Current Scenario
The report holds importance in the current scenario as a few months back, the proceedings against the forest rights act of India was in news. In a writ petition 109 of 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the eviction of illegal claimants must be carried on in the forestland. It also directed the Forest Survey of India to make a satellite survey and place on record the encroachment positions and also state the positions after the eviction as far as possible. This is an important judgment considering that 17 States have rejected a total of 11.91 lakh claims after going through due processes prescribed under the FRA, with two levels of appeal to ensure justice, it is important to note that Gram Sabhas themselves have rejected 14.77 lakh claims as ineligible.
Active participation by the indigenous people, especially who reside in the forests of India is a quintessential requirement for the conservation of the biodiversity. Being the original home for these communities, people from these communities have a fair idea of the local conditions and know how to preserve the area. India is a land where nature has been worshipped since time immemorial and still some of the indeginous communities consider it to be their duty to conserve nature. Thus, the need of the hour is that instead of evicting forest dwellers from their homes, we should be encouraging them to conserve and nurture their habitats. The claims of the forest dwellers thus must be re-considered in this backdrop.
Source: The Hindu, PIB
Source: The Hindu
Drones to monitor tiger reserve
Theme: E-bird Project:
The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) in Uttar Pradesh will soon be under complete drone camera surveillance
Theme: Biofuel Policy
National Policy on Biofuels:
National and Political Issues
1) Cabinet Clears Bill to restore the provisions of SC/ST Act:
Theme: SC/ST Act (GS-II)
The Supreme court had introduced the provision of anticipatory bail by reading down the Section 18 of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in march 20, 2018 to protect people against arbitrary arrests. SC also issued other guidelines to protect people against arbitrary arrests under the Act. They are:
The ruling was greeted by a storm of protest from Dalit groups, which said the order diluted the law. Facing pressure from Dalit leaders within the ruling alliance as well as from the Opposition, the Centre has decided to introduce a Bill to restore the original provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which the Supreme Court had struck down in a March ruling.
The Amendment Bill seeks to insert three new clauses after Section 18 of the original Act:
2) Misadventures in Education:
Theme: Educational Reforms (GS-II)
Features of the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Bill:
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has attracted much attention in recent weeks for two reasons.
Concerns about the HECI Bill:
However, there are some problems with the UGC. Both the National Knowledge Commission Report (2006) and the Yashpal Committee on Higher Education (2009) made a solid case for bringing in a new regulator.
The Right To Education (RTE) Act:
Consequences of Detention:
What is ‘No-Detention’ policy?
Reasons why ‘no-detention policy’ is criticized
Question is whether the no-detention policy will improve the learning outcomes of children if it is brought back.
Why No-detention policy seems a practical failure?
It is the no-detention policy because of which we have achieved near universalization of enrolment at elementary education level. It is a successful policy in this sense. But for improved learning outcomes, this policy needs to be supplemented by other provisions of RTE Act, 2009, such as;
Funding in Education:
The phenomenon of poor learning outcomes is the product of many factors which influence learning, and should not be conveniently pinned to the door of the no-detention policy. The steps that can be taken to improve learning outcomes can be:
3) Scaled up solutions for future of water scarcity
Theme: Water scarcity
Precious evolutionary living resources, natural infrastructure, are going extinct. While we thoughtlessly build artificial infrastructure, we forget that this kills natural infrastructure which took evolution aeons to create and cannot be engineered. We are missing the essential point that this is our lifeline on the planet. Forests, rivers, mountains, aquifers and soil are being lost at an alarming rate. Today, India is in the midst of a suicidal water crisis as urban and rural landscapes go thirsty.
Over the years, activists, scientists and experts from across India working on bottom-up schemes to revive and rejuvenate lakes, wetlands, streams and other small water bodies. While these movements have brought about a significant change at the local level, the scale of our water problems is much larger
The scale of loss of water:
There are two intractable issues:
Natural mineral water:
Solutions for Water Scarcity:
Data Localisation is no solution
Theme: Data Protection: Right to Privacy and National Security [GS-II(Governance) & GS-II(Cyber security)]
The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018
Criticism on Data localization:
CLOUD(Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act?
This, however, requires an executive agreement between the U.S. and the foreign country certifying that the state has robust privacy protections, and respect for due process and the rule of law.
Why India need to partner with US?
1) U.S.-China trade war can make Indian products competitive, says CII report
Theme: Trade War
2) Solar duty may do more harm than good
Theme: Safeguard Duty
What is Safe Guard duty:
Safeguard duty is tariff barrier imposed by government to ensure that imports in excessive quantities do not harm the domestic industry. It is temporay.
Why was the safeguard duty introduced?
3) The problem at the WTO
Theme: WTO Crisis
WTO and it’s evolution:
Principles of the Trading system:
Some exceptions are allowed. For example:
This principle of “national treatment” (giving others the same treatment as one’s own nationals) is also found in all the three main WTO agreements (Article 3 of GATT, Article 17 of GATS and Article 3 of TRIPS).
National treatment only applies once a product, service or item of intellectual property has entered the market. Therefore, charging customs duty on an import is not a violation of national treatment even if locally-produced products are not charged an equivalent tax.
Major agreements of WTO:
Agreement on agriculture stands on 3 pillars viz. Domestic Support, Market Access, and Export Subsidies.
The Amber Box contains category of domestic support that is scheduled for reduction based on a formula called the “Aggregate Measure of Support” (AMS).
The AMS is the amount of money spent by governments on agricultural production, except for those contained in the Blue Box, Green Box and ‘de minimis’.
It required member countries to report their total AMS for the period between 1986 and 1988, bind it, and reduce it according to an agreed upon schedule. Developed countries agreed to reduce these figures by 20% over six years starting in 1995. Developing countries agreed to make 13% cuts over 10 years. Least – developed countries do not need to make any cuts.
As we can note that Subsidies were bind to levels of 1986-1988, there was inequality at very beginning of the agreement. At that time subsidies which latter came under ‘Amber Box’ were historically high in western countries. In developing countries, including India these subsidies were very limited. It is only now under pressure of Inflation in prices of agricultural Inputs, and wide differences between market prices and Minimum support Price, subsidies have grown to this level. In effect developed countries are allowed to maintain substantially higher amount of trade distorting subsidies.
Special safeguard mechanism:
TRIPS( Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights):
Negotiations is services under GATS are classified in 4 modes, interests of different countries depend upon this classification:
Dispute Settlement Crisis at WTO:
Other Concerns Related to Dispute Settlement at WTO:
Who could be WTO’s saviour?
Theme: Article 35A
In news: Last week, the State government, currently under Governor’s Rule, moved a plea in the Supreme Court to defer the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, citing the upcoming panchayat and urban local body elections.
How did it come about?
Theme: Right to Information Act
Objective of the Right to Information Act:
World Bank has launched the world’s first public bond created and managed using only blockchain
Theme: Blockchain Bonds
Block Chain Technology:
The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
For more understanding:
Advantages of Blockchain technology:
Challenges of Blockchain technology:
Is Blockchain technology safe to use:
Benefits of Blockchain Bonds:
Rebooting the system for a skills upgrade
Theme: The Report of the standing Committee on Labour
Explaining the Scale up:
What are the concerns and findings of the Somiya committee report:
The somiya committee report is scathing in its tone and specific in details. It outlines instances of responsibility outsourcing, no oversight, connivance and ownership tussle between central and state governments.
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