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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

16 Nov, 2022

24 Min Read

The Indian Tea Industry

GS-I : Indian Geography Agro based industries

The Indian Tea Industry

  • A Union Minister recently spoke at the International Small Tea Grower's Convention of the Indian Tea Association (ITA).
  • The ITA is the oldest and most prestigious association of Indian tea growers, having been established in 1881. It has had a multifaceted impact on creating policies and getting things moving in the direction of the industry's development and expansion.

How is the Indian tea industry doing right now?

  • India is the second-largest tea producer in the world.
  • Assam and West Bengal generate the majority of the nation's yearly tea production, which will account for 83% of the total in the northern region of India in 2021–22.
  • Assam's two tea-growing areas are the Assam valley and Cachar.
  • The three main tea-producing regions in West Bengal are the Dooars, Terai, and Darjeeling.
  • The biggest producing states are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, which together account for 17% of the nation's overall production.
  • For the fiscal year 2020–2021, India produced 1,283 million kg of tea.
  • India is one of the top tea-drinking nations in the world, with domestic consumers consuming 80% of the nation's tea production.
  • India ranks among the top 5 global exporters of tea, accounting for 10% of global exports.
  • India exported tea for a total of approximately USD 687.9 million in 2021.
  • India sends tea abroad to more than 25 different nations.
  • Some of the top countries importing tea from India are China, Russia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
  • India exported 201 million kg of tea in total between 2021 and 2022.
  • Black tea accounts for around 96% of all tea exports from India and is the most common type.
  • Black tea, regular tea, green tea, herbal tea, masala tea, and lemon tea are among the varieties of tea exported through India.
  • Black tea, normal tea, and green tea account for roughly 80%, 16%, and 3.5% of the total amount of tea shipped from India, respectively.
  • The teas from Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri in India are among the best in the world.
  • Due to strong geographical indications, significant investment in tea processing facilities, ongoing innovation, an expanded product mix, and strategic market growth, Indian tea is among the best in the world.

Tag for Geographical Indication (GI)

  • The first GI tag product was Darjeeling Tea, also known as the "Champagne of teas" due to its floral aroma.
  • Green and white tea, the other two Darjeeling tea varieties, also have GI tags.
  • The Indian tea industry is being developed and promoted by the Tea Board of India.

What is the Tea Board of India?

  • In order to advance the Indian tea business, a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce was established in 1953. It began operating in 1954.
  • Vision: The organisation set up a number of programmes and plans with the goal of making the nation a major producer of tea on a global scale.
  • Members: The Board is made up of 31 people (including the Chairman), including members of Parliament, tea growers, traders, and consumers as well as government officials from the major tea-producing states and trade unions.
  • Every three years, the Board is reconstituted.

Bureaus in India:

  • The board has 17 other offices spread out over India in addition to its headquarters in Kolkata.
  • Foreign Offices: The Tea Board currently has two abroad offices, one each in Moscow and Dubai.

What initiatives has the Indian Tea Board taken?

Advertisement for boxed Indian-made tea

  • The program offers assistance with promotional efforts, including up to 25% of the cost reimbursement, exhibition in international department stores, creation of product literature and websites, and up to 25% of the cost of inspection fees reimbursed.

Subsidies for Domestic Exporters:

  • The Tea Board also offers domestic exporters financial assistance so they can attend international expos and fairs.

Tea Promotion and Development Program:

  • The Tea Board of India introduced this programme in November 2021 for the years 2021–26.
  • This program's goal is to increase India's productivity and quality.

How might the Indian tea industry be encouraged to expand?

  • The One District and One Product (ODOP) program can aid in promoting Indian Tea's fame.
  • The "AROMA" of tea needs to be improved in order for the industry to become profitable, viable, and sustainable:
  • Support small farmers to raise production to satisfy domestic and international demand while improving quality and sustainability.
  • Create infrastructure to boost exports and concentrate on high value markets like the EU, Canada, South America, and the Middle East to re-energize.
  • Promote GI tea and organic tea using brand marketing and promotion.
  • Modernization: To help local supply networks be strengthened and tea producers to become self-sufficient
  • Adaptability: Focus on the importance of a risk proof ecosystem, that is, the need for sustainable solutions to make tea plantations meet the challenges of climate change.

Source: PIB

Conservation of Wetlands

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Biodiversity & Environment

Conservation of Wetlands

  • Every aspect of the Earth's environment has been impacted by humans in this Anthropocene period. The loss of Shallow Wetlands like lakes and ponds is becoming a serious worry as a result of these human-induced changes.
  • The most recent period in Earth's history when human activity began to have a significant impact on the planet's climate and ecology is referred to as the Anthropocene Epoch. This term refers to an unofficial unit of geologic time.

The Shallow Water Wetlands: What are they?

  • These wetlands are small-flowing, permanent, or semi-permanent water habitats. Vernal ponds, spring pools, salt lakes, and volcanic crater lakes are a few of them.
  • They are crucial for humans and the environment (such as drinking water and inland fisheries).
  • The water body's shallowness allows sunlight to reach the bottom.
  • Isothermal temperature and ongoing mixing are present (circulating top-to-bottom on a regular basis, especially in a tropical country like India).

Concerns:

  • Sediments from the catchment gradually fill these water bodies.
  • As a result, the water column's depth steadily decreases. It is evident that this type of water body would experience a cascade of ecological repercussions with even a slight change in the temperature and rainfall pattern.
  • India's average temperature increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius between 1901 and 2018. A 2020 report by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences attributes the increase to changes in land use and land cover as well as heat brought on by greenhouse gases.
  • The pattern of rainfall will be affected by such variations in regional temperature and heat dispersion. India's natural ecosystems, freshwater resources, and agriculture are thus under increasing threat. This has an effect on biodiversity, food security, public health, and society as a whole.
  • Surajpur Bird Sanctuary is an example of an urban wetland in the Yamuna River basin.
  • The Surajpur Wetlands had low water levels, significant algae production, and odour problems in October 2019.

About Wetlands:

  • Wetlands are regions where water plays a major role in regulating the environment and the plant and animal life that goes along with it. They manifest themselves where the land is submerged in water or where the water table is at or close to the surface of the ground.
  • "Lands transitioning between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems where the water table is typically at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water" is how wetlands are described.
  • Wetlands, sometimes known as "nature's kidneys" and "nature's grocery," provide food, water, and flood and storm surge control for millions of people.

Types:

Coastal Wetlands:

  • The areas between land and the ocean that are not influenced by rivers, such as shorelines, beaches, mangroves, and coral reefs, are known as coastal wetlands.
  • Mangrove wetlands, which can be found in protected tropical coastal settings, are an excellent example.
  • Marshes: These are characterized by herbaceous (non-woody) flora that is adapted to moist soil conditions and are seasonally saturated, flooded, or ponded by water. Tidal marshes and non-tidal marshes are further classifications for marshes.
  • Trees and bushes predominate in swamps, which are predominantly nourished by surface water sources. Swamps can be found in saltwater or freshwater floodplains.
  • Bogs: In historic lake basins or other natural depressions, bogs are wet peatlands. Bogs receive almost all of their water from rainfall.
  • Estuaries: The transitional zone between fresh and salt water where rivers meet the sea can support a very diverse range of biodiversity. These wetlands consist of salt marshes, tidal mudflats, and deltas.

What Function Do Wetlands Serve?

  • Wetlands are a type of highly productive environment that are responsible for roughly two-thirds of the world's fish harvest.
  • Integral Function in the Watershed's Ecology: The formation of organisms that serve as the foundation of the food web and sustain numerous species of fish, amphibians, shellfish, and insects is made possible by the combination of shallow water and high nutrient levels.
  • Carbon Sequestration: Microbes, plants, and animals found in wetlands are involved in the world cycles of water, nitrogen, and sulphur. Instead of releasing carbon dioxide into the sky as carbon monoxide, wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil.
  • Wetlands serve as natural barriers that progressively hold back and release flood waters, rainwater, snowmelt, and surface water, lowering flood levels and reducing soil erosion. Wetland vegetation also lessens soil erosion and slows the speed of flood flows, lowering flood heights.
  • Critical to Life on Earth and Humanity: 40% of all species on earth live and breed in wetlands, and more than a billion humans rely on them for their livelihood.

What are the Threats to Wetlands?

Urbanization:

  • The urge to create residential, industrial, and commercial facilities on wetlands close to urban centres is growing. Urban wetlands are crucial for maintaining the availability of public water.
  • According to estimates from the Delhi Wetland Authority, Delhi has more than 1,000 lakes, wetlands, and ponds.
  • However, the majority of these are endangered by invasive development (both intentional and accidental), contamination from the discharge of solid waste, and building debris.

Agriculture:

  • Huge wetlands stretches have been transformed into paddy fields. The hydrology of the nearby wetlands was considerably changed by the construction of numerous reservoirs, canals, and dams for irrigation purposes.
  • Wetlands serve as natural water filters, reducing pollution. However, they are only able to remove fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural runoff and not other types of pollutants, such as mercury from industrial sources.
  • Concern over how industrial pollution affects wetlands' biological variety and drinking water supplies is on the rise.

Climate Change:

  • Wetlands may be impacted by rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more frequent storms, droughts, and floods, a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and sea level rise.
  • Dredging is the process of removing soil from a riverbed or marsh. The water table in the area is decreased and nearby wetlands are dried up by stream dredging.
  • Wetlands are drained by digging canals into the earth that collect and move water away from the wetland. The wetland dries up and the water table drops as a result.

Wetlands are an important ecosystem that needs conservation efforts from all stakeholders for protecting biodiversity and preserving the effective ecosystem services it provides.

Read Also: Water Pollution: Yamuna Project

Source: News on air

US Currency Monitoring List

GS-III : Economic Issues India-USA trade relations

US Currency Monitoring List

India is one of the few countries that has recently been removed from the Department of Treasury's United States Currency Monitoring List.

What is the Currency Monitoring List of the United States?

  • It is a twice-yearly report to Congress.
  • The report examines the policies of the United States trading partners over the last four quarters, ending in June 2022.
  • It has also removed Italy, Mexico, Vietnam, and Thailand from the list.
  • The report also includes a look at the c."
  • The list closely monitors the currency practices and policies of some of the United States' major trading partners.
  • According to the report, economies that meet two or three criteria in the 2015 Act are placed on the list.
  • Once on the list, an economy will stay there for at least two consecutive reports, allowing the Treasury to determine whether any improvements in performance are long-term and not due to temporary factors.

The Treasury Department must evaluate the macroeconomic and exchange rate policies of the United States' trading partners based on three criteria:

  • A significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States is one that exceeds $15 billion in goods and services.
  • A material current account surplus is one that exceeds 3% of GDP or one that the Treasury estimates has a material current account gap using Treasury's Global Exchange Rate Assessment Framework (GERAF).
  • Persistent, one-sided intervention occurs when net purchases of foreign currency occur at least 8 times out of 12 months and total at least 2% of an economy's GDP over a 12-month period.

What exactly is a currency manipulator?

  • Currency manipulators are countries that engage in "unfair currency practises" to gain a trade advantage, according to US government officials.
  • Placing a country on the Currency Monitoring List indicates that the country is artificially depreciating its currency in order to gain an unfair advantage over others.
  • This is because a lower currency value will result in lower export costs from that country.

Which countries are on the United States' currency watch list?

  • China
  • Japan\sKorea\sGermany
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan

Why was India taken off the list?

  • India and four other countries were removed from the Monitoring List because they no longer met all three criteria in two consecutive reports.
  • For about two years, India has been on the list.
  • China's failure to publish foreign exchange intervention and broader lack of transparency around key features of its exchange rate mechanism distinguishes it among major economies and necessitates close scrutiny by the Treasury.

Implications/ Importance

  • Effective exchange rate management: This means that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can now take robust measures to effectively manage exchange rates without being labeled a currency manipulator.
  • Growing role of India: This is a significant market victory that also reflects India's growing role in global growth.
  • It denotes strong trade; investment and people-to-people ties contribute to bilateral, economic, and financial relationships, which are critical components of the India-US partnership.

Read Also: India on US’s Currency Watch list

Source: The Indian Express

National Press Day

GS-III : Economic Issues Government policies and interventions

National Press Day

Every year on November 16th, India celebrates National Press Day to commemorate the establishment of the Press Council of India.

About India's Press Council

  • It was founded in 1966 under the Indian Press Council Act, 1965, on the recommendations of the first Press Commission, with the dual goal of preserving press freedom and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.
  • It was re-established as a quasi-judicial autonomous authority in 1979 by an Act of Parliament, the Press Council Act of 1978.
  • In its duty to protect the press's independence, the Press Council of India is the only body with authority over state instruments.

Structure:

  • The Council is a corporate body with perpetual succession that consists of a Chairman and 28 members.
  • The Chairman is chosen by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, and a member elected by the Council's 28 members.

Objectives:

  • Press freedom must be protected.
  • To maintain and improve the standards of Indian newspapers and news agencies.

Responsibilities and Roles:

Role:

  • The council may conduct research and express its opinion on any bill, legislation, law, or other matter relating to the press, and it may communicate its findings to the government or the individuals concerned.
  • In cases of public importance, the Council may take cognizance and form a Special Committee to conduct an on-the-spot investigation.

Responsibilities:

  • To assist newspapers and news organisations in maintaining their independence.
  • To create a code of conduct for newspapers, news organisations, and journalists that adheres to high professional standards.
  • To ensure that newspapers, news organisations, and journalists maintain high standards of public taste and foster a proper sense of both rights and responsibilities.

Read Also: Unabating attacks on journalists

Source: PIB

Acharya Kripalani

GS-I : Modern History Personalities

Acharya Kripalani

The Indian Prime Minister recently honoured Acharya Kripalani on his Jayanti.

About Acharya Kripalani:

  • He was born in Hyderabad, Sindh, on November 11th, 1888.
  • Although Acharya Kripalani was his more well-known moniker, his real name was Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani. He was an advocate for Indian independence, a politician, and an educator.
  • Educationist: He taught at numerous locations between 1912 and 1927 before fully committing to the independence cause.
  • Around 1922, while he was a teacher at the Gujarat Vidyapith, which had been established by the Mahatma a few years earlier, he acquired the title "Acharya."
  • He was an environmentalist who participated in preservation and conservation efforts throughout the 1970s alongside Vinoba Bhave.
  • Independence activist: By 1917, after Gandhi had taken up the cause of Gujarat's indigo workers, he had formed a relationship with Gandhi.
  • He participated in the Quit India Movement, the Civil Disobedience Movement, and the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920–22). (1942).
  • At the time of independence, he presided over the Indian National Congress (INC). He participated in both the Indian Constituent Assembly and the Interim Government of India (1946–1947).
  • Political career: After leaving Congress for independence, he helped create the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party (KMPP).
  • He was a member of the Praja Socialist Party and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952, 1957, 1963, and 1967.
  • In 1963, soon following the India-China War, he introduced the first-ever resolution of no confidence in the Lok Sabha (1962).
  • In 1963, Sucheta Kripalani, a Congress leader, became the first woman Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, while her husband Acharya continued to support the Congress.
  • He disapproved of both Indira Gandhi's leadership and Nehru's programs. His arrest occurred during an emergency (1975).
  • Books: His autobiography, My Times, which was released posthumously in 2004.
  • Several publications by Kripalani, including Gandhi: His Life and Thought (197).

Source: PIB

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