IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 27th March 2018
New Vehicle Scrappage Policy
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Government interventions
- The new vehicle scrappage policy targets to take polluting vehicles out of the roads and help the automobile industry register higher sales.
- The draft policy, released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in May 2016, mentioned about vehicles older than 15 years becoming eligible for benefits under the scrappage scheme but the criteria was reworked with benefits being applicable to vehicles older than 20 years.
- The scheme would come in effect from April 1, 2020, coinciding with the implementation of the BS-VI norms.
- Medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M & HCVs) that typically have a life of 20 years, would be eligible under the scheme.
How effective the policy will be?
- Very few vehicles would actually be older than 20 years in the current vehicular population- CRISIL Research said in its policy analysis.
- Analysts said the benefit offered under the scrappage policy would be 15% of the vehicle’s price. But this advantage would be muted as prices of diesel vehicles were expected to rise 10-15% once the new norms (BS-VI) come into force.
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Draft Defence Production Policy, 2018
Part of: Mains GS Paper II, III- Government interventions, Indian Economy
- The draft Defence Production Policy, 2018 aims to create up to 30 lakh jobs and a total turnover ₹1.7 lakh crore in defence goods.
- It has suggested further liberalisation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), by permitting up to 74% FDI under the automatic route.
At present, up to 49% FDI is allowed through the automatic route, though no significant investment has come into the sector.
- It also hopes to achieve exports of ₹35,000 crore “in defence goods and services by 2025” and make India a global leader in cyberspace and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies.
- The policy says the vision is to make “India among the top five countries of the world in the aerospace and defence industries, fulfilling the objective of self-reliance as well as the demand of other friendly countries.”
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General Studies 3
- Awareness in the fields of IT, computers,
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
- Linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
General Studies 2
- Important aspects of governance.
Keeping Cyberspace safety and effective
The poisoning of a Russian double agent in the United Kingdom led to reports that the British government was considering the use of cyber weapons in response.
That, in turn, led to a warning by Russia that it would retaliate in kind.
In the event, the United Kingdom finally responded through that traditional expression of state displeasure, expulsion of diplomats.
The above incident is indicative of the fact that the militarisation of cyberspace is gathering pace, and that efforts have to be redoubled to ensure that cyberspace continues to be used for peaceful purposes.
The call for paying renewed attention to securing cyberspace has been made in recent months in various fora ranging from the private-sector led World Economic Forum (WEF) to the annual gathering of security experts, the Munich Security Conference.
- The WEF’s Global Risks Report 2018 identified cybersecurity threats as one of the top five global risks and, in keeping with the new found focus on cybersecurity, has set up a Global Centre for Cybersecurity, expected to be launched in March in Geneva.
- At the Munich Security Conference, the UN Secretary General described the current scenario as one of “episodes of cyberwar between states” and “a permanent violation of cybersecurity”.
The present setup has failed:
Though the number of fora and commissions discussing cybersecurity keep proliferating, they have largely lost their relevance-
- They have failed to provide fresh out-of-the-box thinking for official bodies to consider and take forward.
- They are also seen as too closely aligned with Western interests to have the credibility required to be taken seriously by all countries.
Norm competition in cyberspace-
- While many states still see utility in evolving norms, the focus seems to have shifted from negotiating norms with adversaries to shaping norms by like-minded countries, which sets the stage for norm competition in cyberspace.
These developments could result in a further entrenchment of the rival country positions and the eventual fragmentation of cyberspace.
Under-capacity of developing countries to raise the voice-
- An open, secure, stable and global cyberspace is required, especially for developing countries that are only now beginning to enjoy the fruits of digitalisation.
But they neither have the heft nor the internal and external capacities to make their voice count in cyberspace.
At the Global Conference on Cyber Space held in New Delhi in November 2017, following steps were listed:
- An International Cyber Disarmament Commission or a forum similar to the existing Conference on Disarmament.
- An open-ended working group or a smaller committee nominated by the UN General Assembly.
Above all to tackle the challenges associated with cyberspace, States must be sufficiently enthused to work together on establishing regulatory frameworks, be it in the form of treaties or binding norms.
Connecting the dots:
- The issue of militarization of cyber space has become a prominent one in recent time. Discuss how the global community can tackle the challenge.
TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
Bringing the MOTTAINAI concept of Japan to India: Keeping Environment Clean
The concept of MOTTAINAI
MOTTAINAI is a Japanese word that literally means “wasteful”.
It is used to express dismay at wasteful actions. It conveys the feeling of veneration that the Japanese people have towards the environment, and their firm resolve to protect it.
The culture of MOTTAINAI in Japan:
- In Japan, children are taught to eat every last grain of rice in their bowl, because even a single grain is too precious to be wasted, given the energy and resources invested in producing it.
- Japanese people perceive nature to be sacred. The ancient Japanese belief of Shintoism says that God is everywhere in nature, including the trees, mountains, and rice fields.
This sense of reverence towards nature is also shared by the Indian people, since the environment is deeply embedded into the scriptures of Hinduism and Buddhism.
- Cherishing the “mottainai” spirit, Japan has cultivated a culture that follows the 3Rs: reduce (garbage), reuse, and recycle.
One practical example of the 3Rs is the segregation of garbage. In Japan, it is obligatory to sort garbage before throwing it away. All garbage must be segregated into combustible and non-combustible piles; recyclable items must also be separated. This has become a habit, and it is done naturally and autonomously by each family as a regular activit
Way ahead for India: Lessons from Japan
- Raising awareness and mobilizing the public.
No tool works more efficiently and effectively than the education system and the network it wields. The youth must be encouraged to imbibe the “mottainai” spirit.
- Japan also once suffered from severe environmental pollution. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Japan enjoyed a period of high economic growth, riding on the booming heavy and chemical industries sector.
Environmental problems still exist in the world, but there are many previous examples that India can use as references.
- A key solution is technology.
During the period of heavy pollution in Japan, Japanese companies developed numerous state-of-the-art technologies to help reverse the situation.
Technology for suppressing the production of dioxins released from garbage incineration is one such example.
The harnessing of biomass energy from agricultural residues is another area in which Japanese companies are making enormous headway.
Japan has also become a world leader when it comes to electric vehicles. Japan also has a long history of producing eco-friendly hybrid vehicles.
The “Blue Sky Initiatives”:
The Embassy of Japan in India has launched the “Blue Sky Initiatives”, which aim to mitigate air pollution by ensuring that the best and latest technologies will be made available to India.
For instance, exhaust from coal thermal power plants is one of the primary causes of air pollution in India. Japanese companies have developed equipment that can filter out particulate matter.
Japan and India enjoy an unprecedented level of mutual trust and friendship.
By combining Indian resolve with the technological expertise of Japan, the two nations can win the fight against pollution and regain cleaner and greener environment.
Connecting the dots:
- The Japanese culture of MOTTAINAI is something which Indians needs to learn. Discuss.
The non-politics of outrage
Enterprising Indian states- leaders and laggards
How the state and the market failed farmers
World income shave risen the wrong way