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11 December, 2019

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Paper Topics Subject
GS-II New bill lets personal data be used without consent in some cases
SC flags delay in appointment of judges
Nagaland brings ILP in Dimapur
India proposes extended deadline for commitments at climate summit
Arms Bill gets Rajya Sabha nod
GS-III Fiscal deficit may not matter much during slowdown Economic Issues
‘U.S., Saudi Arabia at bottom of climate class’
Govt plans PDS portability for 12 states by January
GS-II :
New bill lets personal data be used without consent in some cases

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: key features of the bill, its merits and demerits,

News: The Personal Data Protection Bill, which is to be tabled in Parliament, seeks to allow processing of personal data without the consent of the owner for several “reasonable purposes” ranging from the operation of search engines to whistle-blowing, according to an official with knowledge of the matter.

 

Key highlights of the bill:

  • The bill categorizes data into three categories—critical, sensitive and general.

 

  • Sensitive data—financial, health, sexual orientation, biometrics, transgender status, religious or political beliefs and affiliation—can be stored only in India. However, data can be processed outside India with explicit consent.

 

  • Critical data will be defined by the government from time to time and has to be stored and processed in India. Any personal non-critical and non-sensitive data will be categorized as general data with no restriction on where it is stored or processed.

 

  • The bill also proposes setting up of a “regulatory sandbox” for entities engaged in developing new technologies in the nature of artificial intelligence and machine learning. These entities, for instance, startups, can avail of certain exemptions from purpose, storage and consent requirements of data.

 

  • In a first, the data protection bill wants social media platforms to create a mechanism that will enable registered users to voluntarily verify their accounts. The provision is largely aimed at checking social media trolling.

 

  • The bill, while seeking to preserve the sanctity of individual consent, allows for several exemptions for prevention and detection of any unlawful activity including fraud; whistle blowing; mergers and acquisitions; network and information security, credit scoring; recovery of debt; processing of publicly available personal data; and operation of search engines.

 

  • According to the draft, personal data may be processed without obtaining consent if such processing is necessary for the purposes specified by regulations after taking into consideration certain factors such as public interest.

 

  • Personal data may be “processed” if this is necessary for the performance of “any function of the state authorized by the law” for any public service and for compliance with any order of a court or tribunal.

 

  • Under the proposed law, the government is also entitled to direct a fiduciary—any person or entity that processes data— to get access to non-personal data to provide better services to citizens. For instance, the government can use non-personal or anonymous data for research or any other purpose.

 

  • While the (changes in the bill) would arguably help enable certain types of businesses, other changes such as lack of a clear implementation road map, transition provisions and the requirement to share anonymized and non-personal data under certain circumstances may be of concern to businesses.

 

  • The bill empowers users with the “right to be forgotten”. This will allow users, termed “data principal” under the proposed bill, to erase their personal data published online and give them the freedom to ask entities such as Facebook and Twitter to delete any data they do not want in the public domain.

 

  • People can ask for restricting or preventing continued disclosure of data once the purpose for which it was collected has been served, or is no longer necessary. Such data will also need to be withdrawn if the data principal has withdrawn consent for the purpose it was given for, said the official cited earlier.

 

Responsibilities imposed

  • The bill places a few responsibilities on data principals.

 

  • They will have to file an application with an adjudicating officer in case they wish to withdraw consent or want to limit the use of data, according to the official.

 

  • Data principals will have to convince the officer that their right or interest in preventing or restricting the continued disclosure of their personal data overrides the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to information of any other citizen.

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GS-II :
SC flags delay in appointment of judges

Syllabus subtopic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the delay in the appointments of judges in High courts and lower judiciary and its implications on justice delivery system

News: Two hundred and thirteen names recommended for appointment to various High Courts are pending with the government/Supreme Court Collegium, the Supreme Court said in a judicial order.

 

What does the judicial order say on appointments?

At least the names on which the Supreme Court Collegium, the High Courts and the governments had agreed upon should be appointed within six months, the order said.

If recommendations of the High Court Collegium meet with the approval of the Supreme Court Collegium and the government, at least their appointments must take place within six months. This is not to say that in other cases the process should not be completed within six months,” a Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph said in an order dated December 6 and made available on Tuesday.

It emphasised that the appointments required “a continuous, collaborative and integrated process, where the government is an important consultee”.

 

Why is the judicial order significant?

The order is significant, coming at a time when inordinate delays in the appointment of High Court judges and depleting numbers in the higher judiciary threaten to affect the justice delivery mechanism.

The court has asked for a list with details of the 213 names, including when their files were forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the time taken by the Law Ministry to forward them to the PMO.

 

Process of appointments of judges

Once the Supreme Court collegium clearing the recommendees, the Union Law Ministry has to put up within three weeks the recommendations to the Prime Minister who would advise the President on the appointment.

However, no time limit has been prescribed for action by the Prime Minister and the President.

 

 

Falling appointments

The number of judges appointed to the High Courts has steadily dipped since 2017. Judicial appointments to High Courts have nearly halved in 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018. Only 65 judges have been appointed to High Courts in 2019. It was 115 in 2017 and 108 in 2018. The High Courts are functioning at nearly 50% of their sanctioned judicial strength. Of a total 1,079 judges sanctioned in the High Courts, there are 410 vacancies.

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GS-II :
Nagaland brings ILP in Dimapur

 

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Prelims focus: About ILP and the areas where it is required, CAB, NRC

Mains focus: Concerns of the northeast states against Citizenship Amendment Bill, its consequences

 

News: Even as the Lok Sabha debated the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, on Monday, the Nagaland government extended the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to Dimapur, the commercial hub of the State.

 

What does it mean?

The decision makes it mandatory for “every non-indigenous person” who entered the district after November 21, 1979, to obtain an ILP within 90 days. They would have to produce documents as evidence to get a certificate from the Deputy Commissioner for exemption from the permit system.

 

Background

There have been protests across the northeastern States against the Bill that nullifies the 1985 Assam Accord, which called for detection and deportation of anyone who entered the State after March 24, 1971.

The Bill makes the Accord redundant as it is likely to benefit non­Muslims among the over 19 lakh people excluded from the National Register of Citizens.

 

 

Other areas/states where ILP is required

Except Dimapur, the ILP has been applicable to the rest of Nagaland. Known as “mini India”, Dimapur district has a mixed population.

Exempt from CAB Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, protected by the ILP requirement, have been exempted from the provisions of the CAB along with the whole of Meghalaya, Mizoram and the tribal areas of Tripura and Assam as covered in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Residents of other States have to mandatorily obtain an ILP to visit the protected States.

 

ILP extended to Manipur

Manipur would be brought under the ILP system, exempting it from provisions of the CAB. Except non­tribal areas in Assam and Tripura, the entire northeast has been exempted from the CAB.

 

About Inner Line Permit

  • Inner Line Permit is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system. The system is in force today in three Northeastern states viz Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
  • No Indian citizen can visit any of these states unless he or she belongs to that state, nor can he or she overstay beyond the period specified in the ILP.

 

History

  • The concept comes from the colonial area. Under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, the British framed regulations restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas.

 

  • This was to protect the Crown’s own commercial interests by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.

 

  • In 1950, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”. This was to address local concerns about protecting the interests of the indigenous people from outsiders belonging to other Indian states.

 

Concerns

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill aims to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.

 

  • If it is implemented with provisions for excluding from its ambit the states under the ILP regime, it means that beneficiaries under CAB will become Indian citizens but will not be able to settle in these three states.

 

  • The North East Students’ Organisation, an umbrella body of all powerful students’ bodies of the regions had reiterated its demand for overall implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in all NE states.

 

  • The three states that have seen the highest migration and likely to be affected from Citizenship Bill are Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, none of which has an ILP system.

 

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GS-II :
India proposes extended deadline for commitments at climate summit

Syllabus subtopic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests

Prelims and Mains focus: key takeaways from the ongoing climate meet, about Kyoto Protocol, India’s efforts to fulfill its INDCs

News: India proposed that developed countries make good commitments on providing finance to developing countries by 2023, instead of 2020 at 25th Session of the Conference of Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25), currently under way.

Background: COP-25, which started on December 2 and concludes on December 13, is an important conference on climate change as countries prepare to move from pre-2020 period under the Kyoto Protocol to post-2020 period under the Paris Agreement.


In September, during the Climate Action Summit convened by the UN Secretary-General, PM Modi had announced India's plan to scale up the renewable energy target to 450 GW and called for responsible action by all on the principles of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability (CBDR-RC).

 

India’s efforts in fulfilling its INDCs

India has been leading the world in pursuit of solar energy capacity. It has also emphasised that developed countries should take the lead in taking ambitious actions and fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising $100 billion per annum by 2020. 

India is on its way to achieving voluntary targets it has set for itself to curb emissions. It has reduced emissions intensity of GDP by 21% and is “on track” to achieve the goal of 35% emissions reduction as promised in Paris.

 

India’s INDCs under Paris Agreement

 

 

About Kyoto Protocol and its assessment

 

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GS-II :
Arms Bill gets Rajya Sabha nod

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: About the key features of the bill and its significance in curbing crimes in India

News: The Rajya Sabha passed The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by a voice vote with members across party lines lauding the government’s decision to increase punishment for celebratory firing. The Bill has already been approved by the Lok Sabha.

 

Key features of the Bill

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Arms Act, 1959.  It seeks to decrease the number of licensed firearms allowed per person and increase penalties for certain offences under the Act.  It also introduces new categories of offences. 

 

  • License for acquiring firearms: Under the Act, a license must be obtained to acquire, possess, or carry any firearm.  A person can obtain a license for up to three firearms (with certain exceptions, such as for licensed firearms dealers).  The Bill reduces the number of permitted firearms from three to one.  This includes licenses given on inheritance or heirloom basis.  The Bill provides a time period of one year to deposit the excess firearms with the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station or with a licensed firearm dealer as specified.  If the owner is a member of the armed forces, the firearm may be deposited with a unit armoury.  The excess firearms will be delicensed within 90 days from the expiry of the one-year period.
     
  • The Bill also increases the duration of the validity of a firearm license from three years to five years.
     
  • Ban on firearms: The Act bans manufacture, sale, use, transfer, conversion, testing or proofing of firearms without license.  It also prohibits shortening of firearm barrel or conversion of imitation firearms into firearms without a license.  The Bill additionally prohibits obtaining or procuring un-licensed firearms, and the conversion of one category of firearms to another without a license.  It also allows members of rifle clubs or associations to use any firearm for target practice instead of only point 22 bore rifles or air rifles.

 

  • Increase in punishment: The Bill amends the punishment in relation to several offences.  The Act specifies the punishment for: (i) dealing in un-licensed firearms, including their manufacture, procurement, sale, transfer, conversion, (ii) the shortening or conversion of a firearm without a licence, and (iii) import or export of banned firearms.  The punishment for these offences is between three years and seven years, along with a fine.  The Bill increases the punishment to between seven years and life imprisonment, along with a fine.
     
  • The Act punishes acquisition, possession or carrying of prohibited ammunition without a license, with imprisonment between five and ten years, along with fine. The Bill increases the punishment to imprisonment between seven and 14 years, along with fine.  A court may impose a punishment of lesser than seven years, with recorded reasons. 
     
  • The Act also punishes dealing in prohibited firearms (including their manufacture, sale and repair) without a license, with imprisonment between seven years and life imprisonment, along with fine. The Bill increases the minimum punishment from seven years to 10 years.  The punishment for cases in which the usage of prohibited arms and ammunition results in the death of a person has been revised from the existing punishment of death to death or life imprisonment, with fine.  
     
  • New offences: The Bill adds news offences.  These include: (i) forcefully taking a firearm from police or armed forces, punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life imprisonment, along with fine, (ii)  using firearms in a celebratory gunfire which endangers human life or personal safety of others, punishable with imprisonment of up to two years, or fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both.  Celebratory gunfire refers to use of firearms in public gatherings, religious places, marriages or other functions to fire ammunition.
     
  • The Bill also defines offences committed by organised crime syndicates and illicit trafficking. “Organised crime” refers to continuing unlawful activity by a person, either as a member of a syndicate or on its behalf, by using unlawful means, such as violence or coercion, to gain economic or other benefits.  An organised crime syndicate refers to two or more persons committing organised crime.  Possession of firearms or ammunition by a member of a syndicate, in violation of the Act, will be punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life, along with a fine.  This punishment will also apply to to anyone dealing in un-licensed firearms (including its manufacture or sale), converting a firearm without license, or importing or exporting firearms without license, on behalf of a syndicate.
     
  • The Bill defines illicit trafficking to include the trade, acquisition, sale of firearms or ammunitions into or out of India where the firearms are either not marked as per the Act or violate the provisions of the Act. Illicit trafficking is punishable with imprisonment between 10 years and life, along with a fine.
     
  • Tracking of firearms: The central government may make rules to track firearms and ammunition from manufacturer to purchaser to detect, investigate, and analyse illicit manufacturing and trafficking.

Concerns raised by MPs

  • Members raised questions about heirloom weapons as the legislation proposes to allow only one licensed weapons against three permitted earlier. To this, the govt. replied that the Heirloom weapons can be deactivated and kept. Most of the deaths in celebratory firings were by unlicensed weapons; only two of 959 deaths in Bihar, 14 of 792 in Jharkhand and 181 of 1,483 in Uttar Pradesh were by licensed weapons. The government is putting in place a system in which every ammunition will have a serial number.

 

  • The legislation does not make any changes to the licensing regime for sportspersons.

 

  • MPs asked about safeguards in the Bill for those in remote areas for whom guns are a means of self-defence. Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa said that holders of gun licences are not criminals but “respectable people” and they should be treated as such. BJD’s Prasanna Acharya said that guns are not a status symbol.
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GS-III : Economic Issues
Fiscal deficit may not matter much during slowdown

Syllabus subtopic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Prelims focus: About fiscal deficit, revenue deficit, primary deficit, FRBM Act

Mains focus: about the impact of fiscal deficit on inflation, different steps taken by the govt. to check inflation

Context: India’s economic slowdown has led to a severe revenue shortfall in direct and indirect taxes. As expenditure expands while revenue falls short of budgeted expectations, the fiscal deficit will rise.

 

 

What exactly is a government deficit?

Government finances are adequately discussed during the budget and at times of slowdown. One such indicator of interest is the deficit of the government. There are three measures of government deficits:

  1. Revenue deficit is the difference between the total expenditure of the government and its total revenue.
  2. Fiscal deficit is the difference between total expenditure and its total revenue except borrowings.
  3. Primary deficit is the difference between fiscal deficit and interest payments.

Fiscal deficit is one of the most discussed of the three, as it is the money the government borrows to meet its expenditure.

 

So, is it bad if the fiscal deficit increases?

A natural inclination is to believe that if the expenditure is greater than the revenue, then it must be a bad thing. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. A prolonged fiscal deficit above 4% is likely to be problematic, but there’s little difference between a deficit of 3.5% or 3.8%. More than the amount of fiscal deficit, what really matters is how the borrowed money is being utilized. If it is utilized for construction of physical infrastructure, then it is not necessarily a bad thing. But if it is used for farm loan waivers or other such subsidies, then a high fiscal deficit should be a cause of major concern.

 

What is the expected fiscal deficit for FY20?

The budget estimates indicated a fiscal deficit close to 3.3% of GDP that seemed unrealistic given the extent of the current economic slump. The FRBM Act allows a 0.5 percentage point relaxation in deficit in the event of a severe slowdown. This allows the government a fiscal deficit till 3.8% without violating the provisions of the FRBM Act.

 

How does fiscal deficit impact inflation?

Conventional wisdom has been that fiscal deficits result in undue inflationary pressures. This is based on India’s experience with high deficits in the 1980s and since 2009 onwards, when inflation and fiscal deficits were both high. But an important fact during these two periods was high international prices of global commodities and high minimum support prices for farmers. Moreover, not all deficits are inflationary: if the additional money is utilized for investments rather than subsidies, inflation is likely to be muted.

Can the govt keep on spending as it wants?

Not at all. Though fiscal deficits may not impact inflation, they do impact interest rates—the cost of government borrowings. A higher cost of borrowing constrains government borrowings. In the present situation, the government must respond with a countercyclical fiscal policy. Luckily, that has been the stance of the finance ministry; however, it must share a credible long-term, medium-term fiscal consolidation road map.

 

FRBM Act – Objectives, targets, Amendments 

Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM Act) was introduced in Parliament as the FRBM Bill in December 2000. It seeks to foster fiscal discipline on the Central Government and achieving a balanced budget with effective revenue management. The Act was passed on August 26, 2003, therefore it is also called Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBMA), 2003. FRBMA was brought into effect from July 5, 2004.

Objective:

The objective of FRBM Act was to inculcate the habit of fiscal discipline in the governance structure of the country. It sets targets and suggests means of reducing fiscal and revenue deficits.

Targets:

The targets that were set in original version of act were:

  • Reduction and Elimination of revenue deficit by 2008-09
  • Thereafter build up adequate revenue surplus
  • Reduction of fiscal deficit to no more than 3 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008-09
  • Reduce the Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) by March 31, 2008

Statements mandated under FRBM Act

The Central government shall lay in each financial year before both houses of Parliament the following statements of fiscal policy along with the annual financial statement and demands for grants:

  1. The Medium-term Fiscal Policy Statement
  2. The Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement
  3. The Macro-Economic Framework Statement

Exemptions

Section 4 of the FRBM Act, 2003 states that “due to ground or grounds of national security or national calamity or such other exceptional grounds as the Central Government may specify”, the set targets for revenue and fiscal deficit can be exceeded

Amendments in FRBM Act

More than 15 years has passed since FRBM Act was first introduced. But still the government is nowhere near the targets set under the act. The subsequent governments at Centre have amended the act to achieve fiscal prudence. Here are the amendments that have been done in the act so far:

  • FRBM Rules 2004
    1. To bring down the GFD to not more than 3 per cent of GDP at end of March 31, 2008. To achieve this target of GFD the Central Government shall reduce the GFD by an amount equivalent to 0.3 percent or more of GDP at end of each financial year beginning with financial year 2004-05.
    2. To achieve target of RD by March 31, 2008, Central government shall reduce RD by an amount equivalent to 0.5 percent or more of GDP at end of each financial year, beginning with 2004-05.
    3. The Central government shall not give guarantees aggregating to an amount exceeding 0.5 percent of GDP in any financial year beginning with financial year 2004-15

 

  • FRBM Rules 2013: It introduced two changes:
    1. The concept of effective revenue deficit was introduced
      effective revenue deficit = revenue deficit – grants to states for creation of capital assets
    2. Medium Term Expenditure Framework Statement: medium-term framework provides for rolling targets for expenditure, imparting greater certainty, and encourages prioritization of expenditure
    3. To bring down the GFD to not more than 3 per cent of GDP at the end of March 31, 2017. To achieve this target of GFD, Central Government shall reduce the GFD by an amount equivalent to 0.5 percent or more of GDP at end of each financial year beginning with financial year 2013- 14.
    4. To achieve the target of RD by March 31, 2015 Central government shall reduce RD by an amount equivalent to 0.6 percent or more of GDP at end of each financial year, beginning with 2013-14.
    5. In order to achieve target of effective revenue deficit by March 31, 2015, Central Government shall reduce such deficit by an amount equivalent to 0.8 per cent or more of GDP at end of each financial year, beginning with financial year 2013- 2014.

 

  • FRBM Act Amendment 2015
    1. GFD not more than 3 per cent of GDP at end of March 31, 2018 with annual reduction by an amount equivalent to 0.4 per cent or more of GDP at end of each financial year beginning with Financial Year 2015-16
    2. RD of not more than 2 percent of GDP by March 31, 2018 with annual reduction by an amount equivalent to 0.4 per cent or more of GDP at the end of each financial year beginning with Financial Year 2015-16.
    3. In order to achieve target of effective revenue deficit by March 31, 2018, Central Government shall reduce such deficit by an amount equivalent to 0.5 per cent or more of GDP at end of each financial year, beginning with financial year 2015-2016

 

  • Budget 2018-19
    1. The central government shall reduce the fiscal deficit by an amount equivalent to 0.1 percent or more of the gross domestic product at the end of each financial year beginning with the financial year 2018-19, so that fiscal deficit is brought down to not more than 3 percent of the GDP by 31st day of March, 2021
    2. It proposed to bring down fiscal deficit to 3.3 percent, 3.1 percent and 3 percent of the gross domestic product by 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21

 

FRBM Review Committee (N.K Singh Committee)

The government formed the committee to review the FRBM Act, 2003 to suggest changes in the act. The committee was headed by Mr. N K Singh (politician, economist and former Indian Administrative Service officer). Recommendations of the committee were:

  • Debt to GDP ratio: The Committee suggested using debt as the primary target for fiscal policy. A debt to GDP ratio of 60% should be targeted with a 40% limit for the centre and 20% limit for the states. The targeted debt to GDP ratio should be achieved by 2023.

  • Fiscal Council: The Committee proposed to create an autonomous Fiscal Council with a Chairperson and two members appointed by the centre. To maintain its independence, it proposed a non-renewable four-year term for the Chairperson and members. Further, these people should not be employees in the central or state governments at the time of appointment.
  • The Committee suggested that grounds in which the government can deviate from the targets of FRBM should be clearly specified, and the government should not be allowed to notify other circumstances

 

  • Borrowings from the RBI: The draft Bill restricts the government from borrowing from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) except when: (i) the centre has to meet a temporary shortfall in receipts, (ii) RBI subscribes to government securities to finance any deviations from the specified targets, or (iii) RBI purchases government securities from the secondary market
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GS-III :
‘U.S., Saudi Arabia at bottom of climate class’

Syllabus subtopic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: About CCPI and its key findings, their significance, India’s performance in the index

 

News: The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are among major polluters showing “hardly any signs” of reducing their greenhouse gas production, a global assessment of countries’ emissions trajectories said at United Nations climate talks.

 

About CCPI

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) measures the emissions, renewable energy share and climate policies of 57 countries and the European Union.

 

 

Its findings:

  • It found the U.S. ranks last, followed by Saudi Arabia and Australia, although several countries did report falls in emissions last year, largely due to an industry-wide fade out of coal.

 

  • While climate performance varied greatly — even within the EU, with Sweden leading the way — the report found that none of the countries surveyed were currently on a path compatible with the Paris climate goals.

 

  • China, the world’s largest single emitter, was found to have taken “medium action” due to its high investment in renewables.

 

India’s performance

  • India, for the first time, ranks among the top 10 in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) presented at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid.

 

  • The current levels of per capita emissions and energy use in India, ranked 9th in the “high category”, are still comparatively low and, along with ambitious 2030 targets, result in high ratings for the green house gas emissions and energy use categories, said the report.
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GS-III :
Govt plans PDS portability for 12 states by January

Syllabus subtopic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: About One Nation, One Ration Card scheme and its significance in food security

 

News:  In a step towards the launch of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ by June next year, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is working to integrate 12 states on a single portability platform that will enable beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to purchase subsidised food grains from any fair price shop in these states.

 

Objective

It is planned that inter-state portability through One Nation, One Ration Card system shall be launched in four other states of Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura and Jharkhand and these shall be integrated along with the eight existing states into the single portability platform — Public Distribution System Network (PDSN) — with effect from January next year.

 

On-boarding/integration of the remaining states/UTs on the PDSN platform shall be done as and when the process of national de-duplication is completed for all beneficiaries and biometric/Aadhaar authentication distribution is enabled in all FPS of the states/UTs.

 

It is expected that nearly a total of 20 states/UTs shall be brought under the fold of National Portability by June 2020 in a phased manner.

 

One Nation One, Ration Card Scheme

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