16 January, 2020
18 Min Read
|GS-II||India-Malaysia trade-dispute||International Relations|
|China’s move on J&K|
|National Investigation Act, 2008|
|GS-III||RBI tightens debit, credit card usage norms||Economic Issues|
|Bru refugee crisis||Miscellaneous|
Syllabus subtopic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the move to curb imports from Malaysia and its impact on trade relations between the two countries
News: Trade tensions between India and Malaysia have aggravated with the Narendra Modi government’s latest move to restrict palm oil imports from the latter.
India has a trade deficit of $4.4 billion with Malaysia in FY19. Malaysia’s palm oil exports to India grew 73% in January-November 2019.
What’s the backdrop for the stand-off?
What measures has India taken so far?
How do India’s import curbs impact Malaysia?
Palm oil is crucial for the Malaysian economy as it accounts for 2.8% of gross domestic product and 4.5% of total exports. State-owned and private Malaysian refineries will likely have to scramble to find new buyers for their refined product. Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil after Indonesia.
Where does Malaysia stand on trade ties?
How has Malaysia reacted to the curbs?
Mahathir has expressed concern over India’s move to restrict import of palm oil from his country, while insisting that he would continue to speak up. Meanwhile, Malaysian Trades Union Congress, members of which include palm workers, has urged the two countries to resolve the matter through talks.
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 bills and heir significance; concerns raised by various stakeholders
News: The government has hinted it will go slow on big-ticket labour reforms and will encourage a larger debate on proposed labour codes after a nationwide strike by workers drew millions last week.
The Industrial Relations Code 2019 and the Code on Social Security 2019, introduced in Parliament last month, have been forwarded to the standing committee on labour by the Lok Sabha Speaker for evaluation and suggestion, the ministry of labour and employment announced on Wednesday.
Why is govt. wary of going ahead with the reforms
Prelims and Mains focus: about the details of OALP-V; HELP and OALP: their significance
News: India’s Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) on Wednesday opened the fifth round of bidding for oil and gas blocks, offering 11 areas up for grabs.
About the move
About Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP)
Syllabus subtopic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the China’s move to raise Kashmir issue in UN and its implications; about UNSC; bifurcation of J&K
News: For the third time since August, Beijing raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council late Wednesday night. Vietnam, which is the UNSC President for the month of January, allowed the issue to be brought up by China.
About the meeting
The closed-door meeting of the UNSC was called to discuss issues related to Mali, an African country, and China made a request to discuss the Kashmir issue under the agenda of “Any Other Business Points”.
Was China able to move ahead with the issue?
However, members of the UNSC, including France and the US, blocked the attempt by China for a discussion on the Kashmir issue. Sources said the plan was to tell Beijing that this is not the appropriate forum.
Diplomatic sources said that France has noted the request of a UNSC member to raise the Kashmir issue once again in the powerful body and it is going to oppose it like it did on a previous occasion. French sources said that the Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally (between India and Pakistan). The sources said this has been stated on several occasions, and it will continued to be reiterated to partners in the UN Security Council
Syllabus subtopic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the concerns raised against the NIA act; About Article 131; about NIA: vision and mission
News: A day after Kerala invoked Article 131 of the Constitution to challenge the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the Supreme Court, the Congress government of Chhattisgarh too cited the same provision to move the top court, challenging the Constitutional validity of the National Investigation Act, 2008.
Why is the Chattisgarh govt. against the NIA Act?
What does the Chattisgarh govt.’s petition contend?
What does Article 131 of Constitution of India say?
Article 131 of the Constitution states “subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute
(1) between the Government of India and one or more States; or
(2) between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or
(3) between two or more States, if and in so far as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends: Provided that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to a dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, covenant, engagements, and or other similar instrument which, having been entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution, continues in operation after such commencement, or which provides that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute”.
About National Investigation Agency (NIA)
The National Investigation Agency aims to be a thoroughly professional investigative agency matching the best international standards. The NIA aims to set the standards of excellence in counter terrorism and other national security related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership oriented workforce. NIA aims at creating deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals. It aims to develop as a storehouse of all terrorist related information.
Syllabus subtopic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the RBI’s move and its significance; frauds in transactions from credit/debit card and attempts to address them
News: Tightening the rules for credit and debit card issuance and use in the wake of rising frauds related to card transactions, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday asked banks to allow only domestic card transactions at ATMs and point of sale (PoS) terminals in India at the time of issuance or reissuance of a card.
Banks are now issuing international debit cards to most of their customers, thereby increasing the risk of frauds.
Changes in the usage norms
The new rules will improve user convenience and increase the security of card transactions.
About Merchant Discount Rate (MDR)
Syllabus subtopic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the resettlement agreement to be signed and its significance; about Bru tribe
News: An agreement to end the 22-year-old Bru refugee crisis may be signed on Thursday when Union Home Minister Amit Shah meets Chief Ministers of Mizoram and Tripura and representatives of Bru tribes.
About the agreement
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