Daily Prelims Notes 5 December 2022
- December 5, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
5 December 2022
Table Of Contents
- Rice, integral to Madagascar, may be hastening the decline of its unique biodiversity; here is how
- The Great Barrier Reef is ‘in danger’: Australia pushes back
- World Soil Day: 5 December
- In Kaziranga, Indo-French partnership bears fruit
- Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano erupts, top alert status triggered
- Green customs initiative
- Basel Convention
- Stockholm Convention
- Rotterdam Convention
- The Kashmir Issue and UN
- Following months of protests, Iran regime scraps morality police
- GST Rate structure
- Employees State Insurance Corporation
- Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP CMA)
- Crowding out effect and debt trap
- Social Hostilities Index (SHI) and Government Restrictions Index (GRI)
- Millet production and trade of India
- J C Bose: A Satyagrahi Scientist
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
- Rajaji National Park
- Rice, the main food crop of Madagascar, could be hastening the deforestation and loss of biodiversity in the fourth-largest island of the world due to the practice of shifting agriculture, according to two exhaustive studies published in the Science journal.
More on the news-
- Study named- Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity: Evolution, distribution, and use
- Climate change has wrought havoc on the island, with the latest being Tropical Storm Ana earlier this year.
Rice and zebu cattle-
- Rice cultivation was brought a millennium ago to Madagascar by Austronesian peoples.
- Rice is integral to Malagasy cuisine. On average, each Madagascan eats 120 kilograms of rice or varies per year.
Change in Madagascar’s landscape-
- Rice is currently widely cultivated both in the Central Highlands (using paddy production) and in the humid east, where swidden agricultural methods are used (ie, shifting cultivation involving clearing forest for conversion to cropland, usually by burning).
- Slash-and-burn cultivation depleted soils rapidly.
- This caused farmers to abandon land for long fallow periods with further vegetation being cleared at a new location.
- Agriculture primarily led to deforestation on the island. Some 44 per cent of the land covered by native forest in 1953 was deforested by 2014.
- The rate of deforestation has steadily increased.
- It was 99.0 kilohectare per year between 2010 and 2014 and 72.9 Kha/per year from 2014-2020.
- Deforestation in Madagascar reflects global patterns and is primarily driven by the small-scale but widespread practice of swidden agriculture (also known as shifting cultivation; in Madagascar referred to as tavy for rice cultivation in humid and subhumid areas and hatsake for cassava and maize in dry and sub-arid areas).
- Additionally, cash crop production, particularly maize and peanut, had become a major driver of deforestation alongside the production of products for international markets, such as forest-derived vanilla.
- Natural system modifications add to deforestation.
- They threaten 23.2 per cent of vertebrates and 68.9 per cent of plants.
- Some predictions indicate that in the absence of an effective strategy against deforestation, 38 to 93 per cent of forest present in 2000 will be no longer present in 2050.
Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot-
- Most of the plants, animals, insects and fungi found on the island are found nowhere else in the world.
- Some 56 per cent of the island’s birds, 81 per cent of freshwater fishes, 95 per cent of mammals, and 98 per cent of reptile species are endemic.
- Madagascar, along with India, was part of Gondwana,one of two supercontinents formed millions of years ago.
- South America, Africa and Australia too were part of the great landmass.
- Madagascar latersplitand moved till it reached its present position in the Indian Ocean, separated from Africa by the Mozambique Channel.
- This relative isolation enabled the high endemism among its biota.
- A joint report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre (WHC) expressed concern about the status of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia, recommending that it “be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.”
What does the IUCN-WHC report say?
- The panel of two scientists made 10 priority and 12 additional recommendations to preserve the “Outstanding Universal Value” (OUV) of the coral reef system.
- The GBR is adversely and significantly impacted by climate change factors, affecting its resilience to sustain and regenerate itself.
- Frequent bleaching events have made many reefs sterile.
- Degraded water quality poses a particular threat.
- The management of the property lacks clear climate change goals.
- The implementation of existing plans to conserve the GBR has been falling short, specifically in relation to the management of water quality and fishing activities.
- Inshore land-based activities, often outside the protected area, are particularly responsible for the degraded water quality in GBR.
- Pollutants from agricultural and construction activities have been damaging.
What the report has suggested-
- Adding the GBR to the List of World Heritage in Danger.
- Monitoring and evolving farming practices,
- greater commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
- addressing land erosion on the coast, and
- adopting sustainable fishing practices.
What does putting GBR on the List of World Heritage in Danger entail?
- The List of World Heritage in Danger is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
- Under the 1972 World Heritage Convention, inscribing a site on the List allows the WHC to allocate immediate assistance from the World Heritage Fund to the endangered property, while simultaneously gathering international support and attention to the site.
- It is difficult for UNESCO to enforce any of its recommendations, and being put on the list does invite greater scrutiny for the site.
- Inclusion in such a list can have a tangible impact on all kinds of developmental projects, which may be politically significant for governments.
What is the Great Barrier Reef?
- Located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the GBR is the world’s largest coral reef system with over 2,900 individual reefs,900 islands and an area covering approximately 344,400 square kilometres.
- The GBR is one of the biggest biodiversity hotspots in the world as well as one of its largest carbon sinks.
- For Australia, the GBR is a crucial contributor to the economy, supporting over 64,000 jobs and bringing in billions of annual revenue.
- As much as 99 per cent of the property lies within the GBR Marine Park in order to protect it from wanton exploitation.
- It is managed as a “multiple-use area”, with a range of commercial and tourism activities permitted.
Management of Great Barrier Reef (GBR)-
- A zoning plan is at the cornerstone of GBR’s management, determining what is permitted and where.
- Development and land use activities in coastal and water catchments adjacent to the property also have a critical influence on the property and are managed by the Queensland Government.
- Aboriginal populations undertake traditional use of marine resource activities to provide traditional food, practise their living maritime culture, and educate younger generations about traditional and cultural rules and protocols. They are one of GBR’s most important custodians.
Understanding Australia’s response
- If Australia were to adopt the recommendation of the panel to phase out “gill net fishing” which indiscriminately harms marine life (not just the intended catch), it would have to make substantial investments to compensate fisheries which rely on such a method.
- It may also lose political goodwill amongst fishermen who form a voting block in Queensland.
What is the List of World Heritage in Danger?
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) compiles the list of World Heritage in Danger.
- The List contains world heritage sites that are threatened by various conditions such as natural disasters, armed conflicts, wars, pollution, unchecked urbanisation, poaching, and uninhibited tourist development.
- UNESCO maintains the list of World Heritage Sites recognising sites of distinctive cultural or physical importance which is considered of outstanding value to humanity.
- According to the World Heritage Convention, the World Heritage Committee (that administers the Convention) adds World Heritage Sites to the danger list if the site satisfies one of the criteria in either of the two categories below.
- Cultural properties-
The property is faced with specific and proven imminent danger, such as:
The property is faced with threats which could have deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics. Such threats are, for example:
- Natural properties-
The property is faced with specific and proven imminent danger, such as:
The property is faced with threats which could have deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics. Such threats are, for example:
Some examples of Sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger
- There are 52 properties that the World Heritage Committee has decided to include on the List of World Heritage in danger in accordance with Article 11 (4) of the Convention.
- The following are some of the sites that are on the List of World Heritage in Danger as of July 2021.
- Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan)
- Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria)
- Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
- Abu Mena (Egypt)
- Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia)
- Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq)
- Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Jerusalem, proposed by Jordan)
- Ancient Cities of Aleppo, Damascus, Bosra (Syria)
- Everglades National Park (USA)
- Old City of Sana’a (Yemen)
- No site from India find a place in the list.
- It was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002.
- The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness-raising platform under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership.
- 5th December 2014 was designated as the first official WSD by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
- 5th December was chosen because it corresponds with the official birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event.
FAO gives two awards in line with this day:
- The King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award: An annual award that honours individuals, communities, organizations and countries that organized remarkable and engaging World Soil Day activities or campaigns in the previous year.
- The Glinka World Soil Prize: An annual award for dynamic change-makers dedicated to solving one of our world’s most pressing environmental issues: soil degradation.
- It honours individuals and organizations whose leadership and activities have contributed, or are still contributing to the promotion of sustainable soil management and the protection of soil resources.
Soils: where food begins
- Soil is made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components that provide food for humans and animals through plant growth.
- Soils need a balanced and varied supply of nutrients in appropriate amounts to be healthy. Agricultural systems lose nutrients with each harvest, and if soils are not managed sustainably, fertility is progressively lost, and soils will produce nutrient-deficient plants.
- Soil nutrient loss is a major soil degradation process threatening nutrition.
- Over the last 70 years, the level of vitamins and nutrients in food has drastically decreased, and it is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide suffer from a lack of micronutrients, known as hidden hunger because it is difficult to detect.
- Soil degradation induces some soils to be nutrient depleted losing their capacity to support crops, while others have such a high nutrient concentration that represent a toxic environment to plants and animals, pollute the environment and cause climate change.
- World Soil Day 2022 (#WorldSoilDay) and its campaign “Soils: Where food begins” aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.
- 95% of our food comes from soils.
- 18 naturally occurring chemical elements are essential to plants. Soils supply 15.
- Agricultural production will have to increase by 60% to meet the global food demand in 2050.
- 33% of soils are degraded.
- Up to 58% more food could be produced through sustainable soil management.
India Initiatives to Improve Soil Health:
- Soil Health Card Scheme
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare introduced the scheme on December 5, 2015.
- Soil Health Card (SHC) is a printed report which contains the nutrient status of soil with respect to 12 nutrients: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Organic Carbon (OC), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Copper (Cu) of farm holdings.
- SHC is provided to all farmers in the country at an interval of 3 years to enable the farmers to apply recommended doses of nutrients based on soil test values to realize improved and sustainable soil health and fertility, low costs and higher profits. Farmers can track their soil samples and also obtain their Soil Health Card report.
- It is a field-specific detailed report of soil fertility status and other important soil parameters that affect crop productivity.
- National Productivity Council
- It is a national-level organization to promote productivity culture in India.
- Established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India in 1958, it is an autonomous, multipartite, non-profit organization.
- Organic Farming
- According to FSSAI,’ organic farming’ is a system of farm design and management to create an ecosystem of agriculture production without the use of synthetic external inputs such as chemical fertilisers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or genetically modified organisms.
- Organic farming uses natural fertilizers which are a better alternative, as they replenish the soil with essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; while offering the added benefit of providing the soil with organic matter.
- Natural fertilizers include livestock manure, mulch, municipal sludge, and legume plants such as alfalfa or clover.
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, launched in 2015 is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of the major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
- Under PKVY, Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic villages by cluster approach and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification.
- Fertilizer Self-Sufficiency
- Digital Agriculture
- Digital Agriculture is “ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and data ecosystems to support the development and delivery of timely, targeted information and services to make farming profitable and sustainable while delivering safe nutritious and affordable food for all.”
- Agricultural biotechnology is a range of tools, including traditional breeding techniques, that alter living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses.
- Precision agriculture (PA) is an approach where inputs are utilised in precise amounts to get increased average yields, compared to traditional cultivation techniques such as agroforestry, intercropping, crop rotation, etc. It is based on using ICTs.
- Digital and wireless technologies for data measurement, Weather monitoring, Robotics/drone technology, etc.
- AgriStack: The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has planned creating ‘AgriStack’ – a collection of technology-based interventions in agriculture. It will create a unified platform for farmers to provide them end to end services across the agriculture food value chain.
- Digital Agriculture Mission: This has been initiated for 2021 -2025 by the government for projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, remote sensing and GIS technology, use of drones and robots etc.
- Carbon Farming
- Carbon farming (also known as carbon sequestration) is a system of agricultural management that helps the land store more carbon and reduce the amount of GHG that it releases into the atmosphere.
- It involves practices that are known to improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and soil organic matter.
- Carbon farming is successful when carbon gains resulting from enhanced land management or conservation practices exceed carbon losses.
- The Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme
- It has been implemented from April 2010 by the DoF.
- Under NBS, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) fertilizers depending on its nutrient content.
- It aims at ensuring the balanced use of fertilizers, improving agricultural productivity, promoting the growth of the indigenous fertilizers industry and also reducing the burden of Subsidy.
In the news-
- The Kaziranga project is a part of a larger Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC) for which the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has committed funding of €80.2 million for a 10-year period, between 2014-2024.
Measures to be taken under the Indo-French initiative at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam-
- Artificial highlands where animals can escape during floods;
- engagement with local communities and alternate livelihood training for them
- biodiversity conservation- reforestation of 33,500 hectares of land,
- wildlife management ( 457sq km Kaziranga National Park)
- The illegal timber trade is one of the main reasons for the degradation of forests around the reserve.
- The “protection strategy” adopted by Kaziranga involves setting up 223 anti-poaching camps across the park.
- There are 35 six-seven-foot tall embankments or highlands that have been constructed in various areas around the park, that animals can climb onto and seek refuge during the annual flooding.
- The project has also developed infrared-based early warning systems, triggered by elephant footfall, to either scare off herds from human habitat or warn villagers.
About Kaziranga national park-
- Kaziranga National Park is one of India’s oldest reserve areas.
- It is located in Golaghat and Nagaon, in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam in northeast India.
- The park is administered by the forest department of the Assam State Government.
History of Kaziranga National Park
- Mary Curzon took the initiative to declare the area ‘protected’, with her husband Lord Curzon after she failed to spot a single rhinoceros in the area.
|1905||Established as Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest.|
|1950||Renamed to Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary|
|1974||The Government of India declared the area as a National Park. By this time, the area of the park had increased to about 430 sq.km from the original 232 sq.km|
|1985||UNESCO declared Kaziranga National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was home to 2/3rd of the world’s population of rhinoceroses.|
|2006||The Indian Government declared it as a Tiger Reserve after the Tiger Population dropped. Now, it has one of the highest densities of tigers in the world.|
- The park also has elephants, swamp deer, wild water buffalo, etc. It also has a wide range of flora.
- It also has 15 threatened species of fauna. It is also a breeding ground for many species of big cats like leopards and Bengal tigers.
- The park has about 2413 rhinos.
- In March 2020, Kaziranga National Park was selected as one among the 17 Iconic Tourist Sites of the country by the Indian Government.
- The National Highway 37 passes through the parking area.
- The Kaziranga National Park has 250 plus seasonal water bodies, besides the Diphlu River running through it.
- Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.
- It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
- It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
In the news-
- Indonesia’s Mount Semeru erupted Sunday spewing hot ash clouds a mile into the sky and sending rivers of lava down its side, prompting authorities to raise the alert status to the highest level.
Details about the eruption-
- Located on Indonesia’s main island of Java, around 800 kilometres (500 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta.
- Caused by piles of lava at the tip of the 3,676-metre (12,000 feet) volcano slid down after the eruption.
One year after the last eruption-
- Mount Semeru last erupted exactly one year ago, killing at least 51 people and damaging more than 5,000 homes.
- Semeru’s alert status had remained at its second-highest level since its previous major eruption in December 2020, which also forced thousands to flee and left villages covered.
Why volcanic eruption in Indonesia-
- Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.
- The Southeast Asian archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes.
- A volcano in the strait between Java and Sumatra islands erupted in late 2018, causing an underwater landslide and tsunami that killed more than 400 people.
About Mount Semeru-
- The Semeru or Mount Semeru is an active volcano located in East Java, Indonesia.
- It is located in a subduction zone, where the Indo-Australian plate subducts under the Eurasia plate.
- It is the highest mountain on the island of Java.
- The name “Semeru” is derived from Meru, the central world mountain in Hinduism, or Sumeru, the abode of gods.
- This stratovolcano is also known as Mahameru, meaning “The Great Mountain” in Sanskrit.
- The Green Customs Initiative, launched in 2004, is an unprecedented informal partnership of international organisations cooperating to prevent the illegal trade in environmentally-sensitive commodities and substances and to facilitate legal trade.
- Its objective is to enhance the capacity of customs and other relevant border control officers to monitor and facilitate legal trade and to detect and prevent illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities covered by the relevant conventions and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
- These commodities include ozone-depleting substances (ODS), toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes, endangered species and living-modified organisms.
- This is achieved through awareness-raising on all relevant international agreements as well as the provision of assistance and tools to the customs community.
- Green Customs Initiative is designed to complement and enhance existing customs training efforts under the respective agreements.
- The Green Customs Initiative provides opportunities for coordinated and cost-effective development of tools, delivery of training and awareness-raising of customs officers and other border control officers through its umbrella partnership involving multiple organisations with diverse mandates.
- Customs administrations need and regularly request coordinated training such as that delivered under the Green Customs Initiative.
- Such coordinated training is not provided through other means.
- The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland.
- Basel Convention’s thrust at the time of its adoption was to combat the “toxic trade”.
- The Convention entered into force in 1992.
- India is a signatory to the Basel Convention
- To protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.
- Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of wastes defined as “other wastes” – household waste and incinerator ash.
Aims and provisions-
- reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal;
- restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management;
- and regulatory system applying to cases where trans-boundary movements are permissible.
Under the Basel Convention, illegal traffic is defined as a transboundary movement of hazardous wastes:
- without notification pursuant to the provisions of the Convention to all States concerned;
- without the consent of a State concerned;
- through consent obtained by falsification, misrepresentation or fraud;
- that does not conform in a material way with the documents; or
- that results in deliberate disposal (eg. dumping) of hazardous wastes in contravention of the Convention and of general principles of international law.
- The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Adopted in 2001, the Stockholm Convention bans or severely restricts production, trade, and use of twelve POPs known as the “dirty dozen.”
- Most of these chemicals are no longer manufactured or used in industrialized countries; however, the nature of POPs means that people can be seriously impacted by releases of POPs that occur hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
- The Stockholm Convention contains provisions for the disposal and treatment of POPs wastes and stockpiles. It also establishes procedures for listing additional POPs that may be banned or severely restricted.
- India is a signatory to the Stockholm Convention
- The Convention creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.
- It was built on the voluntary PIC procedure, initiated by UNEP and FAO in 1989 and ceased on 24 February 2006.
- The main objectives of the Rotterdam Convention are as under
- to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm;
- to contribute to the environmentally sound use of those hazardous chemicals, by facilitating information exchange about their characteristics, by providing for a national decision-making process on their import and export and by disseminating these decisions to Parties.
- The Convention promotes the exchange of information on a very broad range of chemicals. It does so through:
- the requirement for a Party to inform other Parties of each national ban or severe restriction of a chemical;
- the possibility for the Party which is a developing country or a country in transition to inform other Parties that it is experiencing problems caused by a severely hazardous pesticide formulation under conditions of use in its territory;
- the requirement for a Party that plans to export a chemical that is banned or severely restricted for use within its territory, to inform the importing Party that such export will take place, before the first shipment and annually thereafter;
- the requirement for an exporting Party, when exporting chemicals that are to be used for occupational purposes, to ensure that an up-to-date safety data sheet is sent to the importer; and labelling requirements for exports of chemicals included in the PIC procedure, as well as for other chemicals that are banned or severely restricted in the exporting country.
Green customs related articles in the convention on hazardous substances
Subject :International relations
How Kashmir issue got internationalized:
- Both the British government and Lord Mountbatten, who was the first Governor General of India after Independence from August 15, 1947 to June 21, 1948, believed that the UN could help resolve the Kashmir dispute.
- Mountbatten suggested this to Muhammad Ali Jinnah at a meeting between the two men in Lahore on November 1, 1947.
- After Nehru met Liaquat Ali Khan in Lahore the following month, Mountbatten was convinced that the deadlock was complete and the only way out now was to bring in some third party in some capacity or other.
- India was not prepared to deal with Pakistan on an equal footing. But in December 1947, Nehru agreed to refer the dispute to the UN under article 35 of the UN Charter.
- Consequently, on December 31, 1947, Nehru wrote to the UN secretary general accepting a future plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The UN Security Council took up the matter in January 1948.
- India was unhappy with the role played by the British delegate, Philip Noel-Baker, who it believed was nudging the Council towards Pakistan’s position.
- On January 20, 1948, the Security Council passed a resolution to set up the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate the dispute and to carry out any mediatory influence likely to smooth away difficulties.
What is the difference between Article 35 and Article 51 of UN Charter
- There has been some debate on whether India chose the wrong path to approach the UN.
- Article 35 only says that any member of the UN may take a dispute to the Security Council or General Assembly
- Whereas Article 51 says that a UN member has the “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence” if attacked, till such time that the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
What is United Nations Security Council Resolution 47
- It is concerned with the resolution of the Kashmir conflict.
- According to it, Pakistan was to withdraw its nationals who had entered the State for the purpose of fighting and to prevent future intrusions.
- The five member UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) reconstituted through this resolution urged India and Pakistan to hold a plebiscite after the restoration of law and order.
- The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was meant to supervise the Cease Fire Line (CFL) established in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1949 under the Karachi Agreement.
- UNMOGIP is funded through the UN’s regular budget.
What is Karachi Agreement:
- After the 1st Indo-Pak armed conflict in 1948,under the supervision of the UNCIP, military representatives of both Pakistan and India met in Karachi and signed the Karachi Agreement on 27 July 1949.
- It established a cease-fire line (CFL) in Kashmir.
What is UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
- It was established in January 1949.
- In January 1948, the UNSC adopted Resolution 39, establishing the three-member United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate and mediate the dispute.
- In April 1948, by its Resolution 47, the UNCIP was reconstituted as UNMOGIP.
- UNMOGIP has 44 military observers, 25 international civilian personnel from 10 countries and 47 local civilian staff.
- The headquarter of UNMOGIP is Islamabad (November to April) and Srinagar (May to October)
What is the Function of UNMOGIP
- UNMOGIP’s military observers conduct field tasks like field trip, area recce, field visit and observation post along LoC.
- As part of the 1949 Karachi Agreement, it also conducts investigations into alleged ceasefire violation complaints, which two parties i.e India and Pakistan can submit to it.
- Its findings of investigations are shared with the UN Secretary-General and summary of investigations with two parties.
- UNMOGIP has six field stations in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PAK) and four field stations in Indian-administered Kashmir (IAK) to monitor ceasefire.
Subject :International relations
- Iran has scrapped its morality police after more than two months of protests triggered by the death of MahsaAmini following her arrest for allegedly violating the country’s strict female dress code.
Background of the issue:
- In mid-September, Iran’s so-called morality police arrested 22-year-old JinaMahsaAminiin Tehran for wearing what they deemed inappropriate clothing.
- They then took her to a police station, where she slipped into a coma. Three days later, she died in hospital.
- Amini’s death sparked widespread anger, leading to anti-government rallies and protests against the mandatory rule of wearing Hijab.
What is the morality police of Iran:
- Gasht-e-Ershad, which translates as guidance patrols, is widely known as the morality police.
- It is a unit of Iran’s police force established under former hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- It is supervised by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. However, the elected government has a say in their activities through the Interior Ministry.
- Both men and women officials are part of the morality police.
- The first organized morality police in post-revolution Iranwas a paramilitary volunteer militia called “Basij,” which was formed to encourage volunteers to participate in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).
What are the functions of morality police:
- Not only the enforcement of hijab, but the implementation of other rules on public appearance and conduct are the responsibility of the morality police
- In 2010, for instance, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issued a template for suitable haircuts for men in order to halt Western influence on culture.
- The morality police were tasked with enforcement at salons.
How the Gasht-e Ershad Works:
- The Gasht-e Ershad patrols usually use a van with both a male and a chador-clad female crew.
- Their job is to stand and observe people in busy public places like shopping centers and subway stations, after which they detain women for, among other dress code “violations,” not wearing hijabs in a manner that they perceive to be “proper.”
- What is proper and what isn’t often depends on the patrol agents on the scene. It could be anything ranging from too short a hijab to too much makeup
What is the history of Hijab in Iran:
- During the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1936, the hijab was actually banned in an effort to modernize the country.Thepolice would then remove the hijab from the heads of women seen wearing it in public.
- Wearing the hijab became mandatory in Iran in 1983.
- A force was constituted to enforce the rules on morality and the public appearance of women only in the 1990s.
- This was created after the war broke out with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the regime felt the need to centralize its power and underline an Iranian national identity.
A Group of Ministers, under the convenorship of Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj SomappaBommai, is going through rate reform exercise.
3-rate structure by adopting 8, 15 and 30 per cent for revenue neutrality.
- Over 1,200 goods and services except those in negative list attract GST.
- Four primary GST rates: 5, 12,18 and 28 per cent.
- The 28 per cent slab in GST contributes 16 per cent to the gross GST revenue, while the major chunk of 65 percent comes from the 18 percent slab.
- The slabs of 5 per cent and 12 per cent contribute 10 per cent and 8 per cent of the total gross GST revenue, respectively.
- Some special rates such as 0.25 per cent, 1.5 and 3 per cent.
- Some of the items are in NIL rates.
- This type of supply attracts a GST of 0%.
- Input tax credit cannot be claimed on such supplies.
- Example-grains, salt, jaggery, etc.
- Some items are Exempted.
- This supply includes items which are used for everyday purposes.
- They are basic essentials, and do not attract any GST at all.
- Input tax credit cannot be claimed on such supplies.
- Some examples include bread, fresh fruits, milk, curd, etc.
- Some items are Zero-Rated
- Supplies made overseas and to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) or SEZ Developers come under the zero-rated supplies.
- This supply attracts a GST of 0%.
- Input tax credit can be claimed on such supplies.
- Some items of goods are also considered Non-GST
- Supplies which don’t come under the scope of the GST are termed as Non-GST supplies.
- These supplies can attract taxes other than the GST as per the jurisdiction of the state or the country.
- Some examples of such supplies include alcohol for human consumption, Petroleum products such as petroleum crude, motor spirit (petrol), high speed diesel, natural gas and aviation turbine fuel etc., electricity has been kept outside the purview of GST at present.
Government allows Employees State Insurance Corporation to invest up to 15% of its surplus funds into equity through exchange traded funds.
The investment will be confined to Exchanged Traded Funds on Nifty and Sensex. It will be managed by fund managers of asset management companies (AMSs).
Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
- It is a state-run organisation under the 1948 Employee State Insurance Act.
- The organisation provides social security to the majority of the labour force-employees who earn below Rs 25,000 in India.
- Similar to the Provident Fund (PF), the ESI gathers premium by deducting 1.75 percent of the employee’s salary and employers contribute 4.75 percent to ensure the security of their employees.
- State governments are also responsible for 1/8th of the cost of medical benefits
- The ESIC works like an insurance company and take the pooled funds as premium and allows the insured parties to avail many benefits not only for themselves but also for their families.
- Under Section 2A of the ESI Act and Regulation 10-B, it is the employer’s legal responsibility to register their factory/ establishment under the ESI Act within 15 days of its applicability to them.
- The Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana offers unemployment allowance – The beneficiary who was unemployed after being insured three or more years, due to the loss, closure of the company or retrenchment or permanent invalidity will get an allowance equal to 50 percent of wage up to two years.
- The medical benefits will also apply and the benefit will give a chance to the unemployed by upgrading their skills.
- ESIC Pehchan Card and the medical schemes they offer in their own hospitals.
- The ESIC Pehchan card-the beneficiary will get two cards – one for the family to avail medical benefits and one for the beneficiary.
- The ESIC has set up hospitals and clinics across the country for the beneficiaries and their families to receive the maximum benefit.
- The ESIC Medical Institution also offers MBBS courses.
- ‘Nirman Se Shakti’ initiative
- It is launched by the Minister of Labour and Employment
- It is an initiative to strengthen and modernize the infrastructure of ESIS hospitals and dispensaries in a phased manner.
India jumps to 48th place in ICAO aviation safety ranking
- India is now at the 48th position, a “quantum leap” from the 102nd rank it had in 2018.
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) got the highest Effective Implementation (EI) score of 85.49 per cent.
- The rankings are for 187 countries.
- Under ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach–an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) was undertaken from November 9 to 16.
- Other countries’ ranking
- Republic of Korea-3rd
- Georgia-48th (along with India)
International Civil Aviation Organisation
- ICAO was created in 1944 by the Chicago Convention in order to promote the safe and orderly development of civil aviation around the world.
- The Chicago Convention established the core principles permitting international transport by air, and also led to the creation of the ICAO
- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).
- ICAO is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency.
- Its objective is to foster the planning and development of international air transport so as to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world.
- India is among its 193 members.
- It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
- The ICAO laid the foundation for the standards and procedures for peaceful global air navigation.
- It works to reach a consensus on the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies for international civil aviation.
- These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.
- The ICAO is governed by the ICAO Council, which is headed by a President.
Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP CMA)
- The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) was established in 1999.
- It aims to promote global aviation safety.
- It is done through regular audits of ICAO Member States to determine their ability to maintain their safety oversight systems.
- This enables the State to ensure the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and associated procedures and guidance material.
- In addition, it provides ICAO with a means to continuously monitor the States’ fulfillment of their safety oversight obligations.
- The programme is managed by the Monitoring and Oversight office within the Air Navigation Bureau.
State has transitioned over the years from being “debt-stressed” to “debt-trapped”, generating a typical crowding out effect on private investment in Punjab.
- The debt trap is a vicious cycle wherein one borrows new loans in order to clear the already existing borrowings. In other words, we incur in a debt to clear a debt, and in so doing fall into the trap.
- Such a situation arises due to the higher interest rates and most typically when our debt obligations exceed our capacity to repay.
- Individual households are not the only ones impacted by the debt trap; it is a distress that also affects the nations and their economies presumably because a household is the basic unit of an economy.
Crowding out effect:
- A situation when increased interest rates lead to a reduction in private investment spending such that it dampens the initial increase of total investment spending is called crowding out effect.
- Sometimes, the government adopts an expansionary fiscal policy stance and increases its spending to boost economic activity.
- This leads to an increase in interest rates. Increased interest rates affect private investment decisions.
- A high magnitude of the crowding out effect may even lead to lesser income in the economy.
- With higher interest rates, the cost for funds to be invested increases and affects their accessibility to debt financing mechanisms. This leads to lesser investment ultimately and crowds out the impact of the initial rise in the total investment spending. Usually the initial increase in government spending is funded using higher taxes or borrowing on part of the government.
Subject : Indices
Context: India was among a handful of countries that saw religious hostilities in the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020, said a report released on Tuesday by the US think-tank Pew Research Center.
Social Hostilities Index (SHI)
- The SHI measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups. The index comprises 13 metrics, including religion-related armed conflict or terrorism and mob or sectarian violence.
- The report covered 198 countries, by the US think-tank Pew Research Centre.
- Questions used to compute the SHI included whether the country saw violence motivated by religious hatred or bias, whether individuals faced harassment or intimidation motivated by religious hatred or bias and whether there was mob violence against those of particular religious groups.
- Among the most populous countries, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh had “very high” social hostilities involving religion, according to the report.
- The country had the highest rate of social tensions along religious lines globally in 2020.
- Social Hostilities Index (SHI) in 2020 India’s score was 9.4 out of a maximum possible score of 10, was worse than neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a further increase in its own index value for 2019.
Government Restrictions Index (GRI).
- This index looks at laws, policies and state actions restricting religious beliefs and practices.
- The GRI comprises 20 measures, including efforts by governments to ban particular faiths, prohibit conversion, limit preaching or give preferential treatment to one or more religious groups.
- China ranked the worst, with a score of 9.3. India’s 34th rank was enough to categorize it among countries with “high” levels of such government restrictions.
- India was one of just four countries in the world that saw pandemic-related social hostilities against religious groups involving physical violence or vandalism by private individuals or organizations. Argentina, Italy and the US were the others.
- India was also among the countries in which private individuals or organizations linked the spread of the coronavirus to Minority religious groups.
Context: The ‘Millets-Smart Nutritive Food’ Conclave to be held in New Delhi is being organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry through its apex agricultural export promotion body, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) with the objective of promoting the export of millets. The Conclave is to be a pre-launch event of the ‘International Year of Millets – 2023’
- India is one of the leading producers of millets in the world with an estimated share of around 41 percent in the global production.
- As per FAO, world production of millets in the year 2020 was 30.464 million metric tonnes (MMT) and India’s share was 12.49 MMT, which accounts to 41 percent of the total millet production.
- India recorded 27 percent growth in millet production in 2021-22 as compared to millet production in the previous year was 15.92 MMT.
- India’s top five millet producing states: Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
- There are 16 major varieties of millet produced and exported:Sorghum (Jowar), Pearl Millet (Bajra), Finger Millet (Ragi) Minor Millets (Kangani), Proso Millet (Cheena), Kodo Millet (Kodo), Barnyard Millet (Sawa/Sanwa/Jhangora), Little Millet (Kutki), Two Pseudo Millets (BuckWheat/Kuttu), Ameranthus (Chaulai) and Brown Top Millet.
- As per the DGCIS data, India registered a growth of 8.02% in the export of millets in the financial year 2021-22 as the export of millets was 159,332.16 metric tonne against 147,501.08 metric tonne during the same period last year.
- Share of export of millets is nearly 1% of the total millet production. Exports of millets from India include mainly whole grain and the export of value-added products of millets from India is negligible.
- India’s major millet exporting countries: U.A.E, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Oman, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, U.K and U.S.A. The varieties of millets exported by India include Bajra, Ragi, Canary, Jawar, and Buckwheat.
- The major millet importing countries in the world: Indonesia, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Italy, the U.S.A, United Kingdom, Brazil and Netherlands.
- However, it is estimated that the millets market is set to grow from its current market value of more than USD 9 billion to over USD 12 billion by 2025.
Steps taken :
- APEDA would also organise food sampling and tasting at the retail level and in key local bazaars of targeted countries where individual, household consumers can gain familiarity with millet products.
- Centre has created the Nutri Cereals Export Promotion Forum to give impetus to the export of potential products, including millets, and to remove the bottlenecks in the supply chain of Nutri cereals.
Subject :Science and Technology
Context: On the occasion of 164th birth anniversary of legendary Indian scientist Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava, Vijnana Bharati and Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India organized an “International conference on the contributions of J C Bose: A Satyagrahi Scientist”, at Inter-University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi.
- Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, born November 30, 1858, Bengal, India (now in Bangladesh).He was named the Father of Radio Science by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
- After earning a degree from the University of Cambridge (1884), Bose served as professor of physical science (1885–1915) at Presidency College, Calcutta (now Kolkata), which he left to found and direct (1917–37) the Bose Research Institute (now Bose Institute) in Calcutta.
- His books include Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926).
- In 1900, his paper titled “On the Similarity of Responses in Inorganic and Living Matter” at the International Congress of Physics, Paris garnered huge appreciation,led to the discovery of the common nature of the electrical response to all forms of stimulation, in animal and plant tissues as well as in some inorganic models.
- He was Indian plant physiologist and physicist whose invention of highly sensitive instruments for the detection of minute responses by living organisms to external stimuli enabled him to anticipate the parallelism between animal and plant tissues noted by later biophysicists
- Bose’s experiments on the quasi-optical properties of very short radio waves (1895) led him to make improvements on the coherer, an early form of radio detector, which have contributed to the development of solid-state physics.Bose was thus a key figure in the invention of the modern radio and also in sonic technology.
- He was the first to demonstrate the wireless transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves
- He was knighted in 1917 and elected the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920 for his amazing contributions and achievements.
Subject :National organisation
Context: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is celebrating its 65th Founding Day on 5th-6th December, 2022 this year.
- The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, is the apex agency of the Indian Customs in the field of anti-smuggling in India.
- DRI enforces the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 and over fifty other allied Acts including the Arms Act, NDPS Act, COFEPOSA, Wildlife Act, Antiquities Act etc.
- DRI undertakes collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of intelligence relating to smuggling, carries out investigations, adjudication of cases and prosecution of the arrested persons. Ever since its inception in 1957, DRI has discharged its responsibilities with commitment and professionalism and has made a significant contribution in safeguarding India’s interest, at home and abroad and in ensuring national security
- Foreign Currency
- Trade Based Money Laundering
- Under invoicing
- Misuse of End Use and Other Notifications:
- Misuse of Foreign /Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA/PTA)
- Misuse of Importer Exporter Code
- Crime against environment
The Government of India is a signatory to various treaties and conventions under which trans-border movements of specified commodities are regulated, such as the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction (CWC), the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety, Montreal Protocol on substances that delete the ozone layer, the Rotterdam Convention on the prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides etc. As the enforcement agency responsible for securing the economic frontiers of the country, one of DRI’s mandates is to ensure that compliance of national laws is met with respect to goods entering or leaving the country. Relevant provisions in the Customs Act, 1962 empower the customs officers to intercept any goods which do not comply with the provisions of other Acts, insofar as import and export are concerned.
Subject : Government scheme
Context: Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture in association with Department of Post unveiled Daakroom, the renowned letter writing carnival today at the Gandhi Darshan at Raj Ghat, New Delhi.
- The one-of-a-kind letter writing event, supported by India Post, Ministry of Culture and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti is aimed to give a digital detox with the aim of reviving the art of letter writing in India.
- The unique carnival conceptualized to re-introduce children & larger audiences to letter writing in innovative, creative, and engaging ways, also hosted competitions and workshops around writing and post.
- It also included music, theatre, dance, stand-up comedy, shopping, food and interactive demos from the Postal Department, deploying fun ways to get people of all age groups excited about letter writing.
Subject : Geography
Context: Underlining that “conservation priority of the forest area far out weighs the commercial transport needs of the state government”, the Central Empowered Committee(CEC) of the Supreme Court has recommended against blacktoppinga4.7-kmstretchof a key forest road in the buffer zone of Uttarakhand’s Rajaji tiger reserve.
Rajaji National Park
- It is nestled between the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic plains.
- Broadleaved deciduous forests, riverine vegetation, scrubland, grasslands and pine forests form the range of flora in this park.
- The park is spread over three districts of Uttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun and PauriGarhwal.
- The Ganga and Song rivers flow through the park.
- It is at the northwestern limit of distribution for both elephants and tigers in India and has the largest population of elephants in Uttarakhand.
- The Park is also home to the Great Pied Hornbill, Himalayan Pied Kingfisher and the fire tailed sunbird.
- This area is the first staging ground after the migratory birds cross over the Himalayas into the Indian subcontinent.
- In 2015, Rajaji National Park was notified as a tiger reserve by the central government. Benefits of Tiger Reserve – Protected area for Tigers, Tourist attraction, Huge Development fund for the park, Eco-Tourism development.