08 Jul, 2020
55 Min Read
|GS-II||China's Security Law on Hong Kong||International Relations|
|GS-III||MGNREGA and annual work limit||Economic Issues|
|Indian Railways & Renewable Energy|
|New National Logistics Law||Economic Issues|
|Performance Assessment of Highways||Economic Issues|
|World Bank's Support to India||Economic Issues|
|National Career Service||Economic Issues|
|SATAT Initiative||Biodiversity & Environment|
|PT Pointer||Ambarnaya river||Human Geography|
|Donyi-Polo||Art and Culture|
|Nagarahole National Park: Man Animal Conflict|
|Kaziranga National Park: Floods|
|Expat Quota Bill Approved in Kuwait||International Relations|
|Mahajobs Portal||Economic Issues|
Part of: GS-II- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, several countries have proposed measures to protect Hong Kong residents fleeing potential political persecution from China's new National Security Law. China’s new security law criminalizes what it deems secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country.
It has opened the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchange Office in order to help facilitate asylum for people fleeing Hong Kong. Taiwan was the first state which pledged to support Hong Kong residents seeking asylum, in May 2020.
China also claims Taiwan to be part of China and threatens to use force to take over the island. China has proposed to Taiwan that it follow the “one country, two systems” model to unite with China. But the Taiwanese reject any idea of uniting with mainland China.
United Kingdom’s Response:
It has described the security law as a clear and serious violation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration under which it handed back its colony to China in 1997. Under the Joint Declaration, China had promised to maintain Hong Kong’s capitalist and more open political system for 50 years under "one country, two systems".
Since the handover, Hong Kong residents have accused China of overstepping its authority. The Umbrella Movement was a series of protests in 2014 that called for more transparent elections for the city’s chief executive. In 2019 protests erupted in Hong Kong over a proposed bill to allow extradition to mainland China.
It has decided to offer British citizenship to around three million residents of Hong Kong. It is also rethinking its provisional decision to allow Huawei (China’s Company) to be involved in the development of Britain's 5G infrastructure.
Other Country’s Response
Chinese Reaction to Global Response:
New Security Law in Hong Kong
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, earlier known as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed on 7th September 2005 to augment employment generation and social security in India. It covers all districts of India except the ones with 100% urban population.
The following are the eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme:
Key facts related to the scheme:
Role of Gram Sabha:
Roles of Gram Panchayat:
Responsibilities of State Government in MGNREGA:
According to the central scheme database of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA), at least 1.4 lakh poor rural households have completed their quota of 100 days of work for the first three months of the year. Therefore, they will not be eligible for further benefits under the rural employment guarantee scheme for the rest of the year.
Government Initiatives: It was announced in March that the workers under the MGNREGA would get a hike of Rs. 2000 each on an average. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan was started to provide employment to migrant labourers who returned home during the lockdown. The scheme covers six states — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. It has as a provision to grant 125 days of employment to migrants.
Gram panchayats need to be provided with adequate resources, powers, and responsibilities to sanction works, provide work on demand, and authorise wage payments to tackle the crisis of the migrant workers. MGNREGA has come to the nation’s aid in combating growing poverty. Even programmes like Swacchh Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana are being merged to leverage its utility, reach and value.
Therefore, it needs an urgent extension for those who have already completed the work limits. Initiatives must be taken to impart skills in the workers so that they can take alternative livelihoods during such situations.
Indian Railways & Renewable Energy
Part of: GS-III- Environment (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Indian Railways has decided to be self-reliant for its energy needs by utilizing its vacant lands for Renewable Energy (RE) projects. It will utilize solar energy for meeting its traction (action of drawing or pulling something over a surface) power requirements.
Enhancing the speed and safety of trains.
Reduction of infrastructure costs due to direct injection of solar power into the traction network.
Railway Energy Management Company Limited
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is considering replacing the Multimodal Transportation of Goods Act, 1993 (MMTG) with a National Logistics Efficiency and Advancement Predictability and Safety Act (NLEAPS). MMTG provides for the regulation of multimodal transportation of goods from any place in India to any place outside India.
Multimodal transportation refers to a combination of more than one mode of movement, such as rail, road or sea, for end-to-end delivery of goods. It was introduced to facilitate the exporters and give them a sense of security in transporting their goods.
Reason Behind New Law:
Effective implementation of the Act would help provide an impetus to trade, enhance export competitiveness, and improve India’s ranking in the Logistics Performance Index and Ease of Doing Business.
Logistics Performance Index (PT)
The Logistics Performance Index (LPI), developed by the World Bank Group, is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance.
The logistics performance (LPI) is the weighted average of the country's scores on the six key dimensions:
**India ranked 44th on the LPI in 2018.
Performance Assessment of Highways
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to undertake performance assessment and ranking of the highways in the country. The assessment activity majorly intended to improve the quality of roads in the country.
Parameters for Assessment:
National Highway Authority of India
National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) was launched in 1998 with the objective of developing roads of international standards which facilitate smooth flow of traffic. It envisages creation of roads with enhanced safety features, better riding surface, grade separator and other salient features. National Highways constitute only 2% of the total road length in the country but carry 40% of the total traffic.
NHDP is being implemented by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), an organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The programme is being implemented in the following seven phases;
Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the World Bank (WB) and the Government of India has signed the USD 750 million agreement for an Emergency Response Programme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Emergency Response Programmes are dedicated towards enhancing the resilience of communities and livelihoods in order to address fragility, poverty and vulnerability to conflict and disaster.
The MSME sector is central to India’s growth and job creation and will be key to the pace of India’s economic recovery, post-Covid-19. The financial support by the World Bank is a part of reforms that are needed to propel the MSME sector over time. The Indian government has announced Rs.3-lakh crore collateral-free assistance or sovereign credit guarantee under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
However, the immediate need is to ensure that the liquidity infused into the system by the government is accessed by MSMEs. Equally important is to strengthen the overall financing ecosystem for MSMEs.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has started offering free online career skills training through its National Career Service (NCS) project for job-seekers registered with it.
Implemented By: Directorate General of Employment, Ministry of Labour & Employment.
Three Pillars: The NCS project reaches out to the people of this country through its three essential pillars i.e.
Context: Indian Oil, NTPC and SDMC have signed an MoU to develop a waste-to-energy facility at Delhi's Okhla landfill site using gasification technology.
About the SATAT initiative:
How it work?
How did the leak happen?
Recently, the Karnataka Forest Department has decided to put in place a traffic monitoring mechanism along the roads adjacent to Nagarahole National Park.
Time-stamped Card System: The forest department will introduce a time-stamped card system for vehicles passing through the roads, adjacent to Nagarahole National Park, which have high traffic density 24x7.
According to Kaziranga National Park authorities around 80% of its area has been inundated due to floods. Location: It is located in the State of Assam and covers 42,996 Hectares (ha). It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain over Mikir and Rengama hills.
It was declared a National Park in 1974. It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2006. It has a total tiger reserve area of 1,030 sq km with a core area of 430 sq. km.
International Status: It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
Species Found: It is the home of the world's most one-horned rhinos. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of one-horned rhinos in the world and the second highest number of Rhinos in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.
Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga is focused on the 'big four' species— Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo. The 2018 census yielded 2,413 rhinos and approximately 1,100 elephants.
As per the figures of tiger census conducted in 2014, Kaziranga had an estimated 103 tigers, the third highest population in India after Jim Corbett National Park (215) in Uttarakhand and Bandipur National Park (120) in Karnataka. Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.
The National Highway 37 passes through the park area.
The park also has more than 250 seasonal water bodies, besides the Diphlu River running through it.
Other national parks in Assam are:
Recently, the legal and legislative committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly approved the draft ex-pat (expatriate) quota bill. According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15% of the population and if it is enacted into law, over 8 lakh Indians could be forced out of Kuwait. Kuwait is a country located in the Persian Gulf region.
GS-PAPER-III DISEASES (PT-I.V)
Recently, scientists have identified a new strain of Swine Flu (H1N1) virus namely, G4 EA H1N1. It has started infecting Chinese pigs and also has the potential of triggering a pandemic.
G4 EA H1N (also known as G4) replicates efficiently in human airway paths and so far, has infected a few people without actually making them ill.
Thus, greater vigilance in monitoring people is needed because humans have no inbuilt immunity against this new strain of the virus, much like SARS-CoV-2.
Regional Disease Surveillance:
Global Level Surveillance:
The main objective of the network is to provide technical support to the WHO Member States experiencing a human health emergency due to various threats including disease outbreaks, food safety, chemical toxins, zoonosis, natural and manmade disasters etc.
The Maharashtra Government has launched a portal named ‘Mahajobs’ for job seekers and employers, owing to the economic situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aim: To make local manpower available to companies and employment opportunities to workers.
The job seekers and providers/industrial units can register themselves on the Portal. The Portal has identified 17 sectors including engineering, logistics, and chemicals, and provides for selecting jobs across 950 trades mainly for local youth who would need to produce domicile certificates.
There would be regular reviews of the jobs provided. There would be a study on the kind of problems faced by employers as well as youth seeking employment.
Developed by: Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
Corresponding Initiative at the National Level: National Career Service Project, implemented by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, works towards bridging the gap between job seekers and employers.
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