IASbaba PIB Weekly: Press Information Bureau – 26th to 2nd December, 2018
Nine Point Agenda Suggested by India to G-20 for Action Against Fugitive Economic Offences And Asset Recovery
(Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate)
- Strong and active cooperation across G-20 countries to deal comprehensively and efficiently with the menace fugitive economic offenders.
- Cooperation in the legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime; early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined.
- Joint effort by G-20 countries to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to all fugitive economic offenders.
- Principles of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC), especially related to “International Cooperation” should be fully and effectively implemented.
- FATF should be called upon to assign priority and focus to establishing international co-operation that leads to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the competent authorities and FIUs.
- FATF should be tasked to formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders.
- FATF should also develop a set of commonly agreed and standardized procedures related to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with fugitive economic offenders to provide guidance and assistance to G-20 countries, subject to their domestic law.
- Common platform should be set up for sharing experiences and best practices including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance, etc.
- G-20 Forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.
- Founded in 1999 with the aim to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability
- An international forum for the governments and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
India’s Blue Economy
(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)
India has a strategic location in the Indian Ocean region, and on this basis, it endorses the growth of the Blue Economy in a sustainable, inclusive and people centred manner through the framework of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
India is developing its maritime infrastructure as well as its inland waterways and coastal shipping through the launch of the ambitious “Sagarmala Programme” which will revolutionize maritime logistics and port led developments in the country. India’s national vision about the sector is clearly articulated in the term “SAGAR”- Security and Growth for All in the Region coined by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- India’s ambitious Sagarmala programme has identified 600 plus projects entailing huge investment of around Rs 8 lakh crore (120 billion dollars) by the year 2020. This will save the country nearly six billion dollars per annum in logistics costs besides creating 10 million new jobs and boosting port capacity by 800 Million Metric Tonne per Annum (MMTPA) to an overall 3500 MMTPA.
- Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) are being developed under Sagarmala with a proposed investment of 150 Million dollars per location. The CEZs will become a microcosm of the blue economy wherein industries and townships that depend on the sea and contribute to global trade through sea connectivity are envisaged.
- The programme is also focussing on the development of coastal communities and people through skill gap analysis, skill development centres to train coastal communities in the sustainable use of ocean resources, modern fishing techniques and coastal tourism.
- An investment of $1.10 Bn is planned across various coastal districts in India for this purpose. In addition to this, several green initiatives are also being taken in the coastal regions like 31 MW of captive solar power generation being planned at various ports, installation of oil spill response facilities and study to identify ways to re-use waste water at ports.
Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) sign $200 Million Loan
(Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate)
Aim: To improve State Highways in Bihar – finance widening and upgrading of about 230 Kilometers State Highways in Bihar to all-weather standards with road safety features.
- meet the minimum two-lane standard with better surfaces and improved road safety leading to improved connectivity.
- The improved roads under the Project will contribute to savings in vehicle operating cost and travel time, reduce vehicle emissions, and improve road safety.
- The Project will also establish a State-level Road Research Institute to improve technical and management capacity of the Road Agency Staff.
- The Project will also build institutional capacity of the State for road design and maintenance and incorporate appropriate new technologies in the State’s road sub-sector.
Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Signs $75 Million Loan to Improve Urban Services in Karnataka
(Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate)
Aim: To provide 24 x7 water supply in Karnataka’s four coastal towns of Kundapura, Mangalore Puttur and Udupi and improve sanitation infrastructure for Mangalore town.
- Improve urban water resource management in selected river basins in Karnataka through modernization and expansion of urban water supply and sanitation infrastructure and strengthening institutions to improve water use efficiency, water resource planning, monitoring and service delivery
- Provide continuous piped water supply to people, and promote efficient and sustainable use of water.
- Adopt information technology based smart water management system and undertake community awareness programs on water conservation and demand management
- Helping the urban local bodies to become efficient and responsive urban water utility service provider
Progress made in the Agriculture Sector
Foodgrain production in 2017-18 (4th Advance Estimate) stood at 284.83 million tonne as compared to 255.59 million tonne average production in 2010-14. The production of pulses also rose by 40% from 18.01 million tonne in 2010-14 to 25.23 million tonne (4th Advance Estimate) in 2017-18. Production of horticulture crops recorded 15.79% growth, fisheries production under Blue Revolution 26.86% and animal husbandry & milk production 23.80%.
- In order to reduce the cost of production, Soil Health Card, use of neem-coated urea and schemes related to ‘per drop more crop’ are being targeted and implemented.
- To promote organic farming, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) was initiated in 2014-15 and for north east Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCD-NER) was started.
- National Agriculture Market (eNAM), a new market mechanism has been started in order to ensure remunerative price for the farmers’ produce while advancing towards ‘one nation one market’.
- Till March 2018, the target of integrating 585 mandis with e-NAM has been achieved.
- Besides this, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was initiated from Kharif 2016 to overcome the risks related to agriculture against disasters. This scheme covers all foodgrains, oilseeds and commercial/ horticultural crops. All risks – prior to the crop sowing, during the harvest and after harvest – are included in the scheme.
- Government is also promoting quality in agriculture through food processing. Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana has been started with an allocation of Rs 6,000 crore.
- The forward and backward linkage of agro processing clusters is being developed in order to enhance food processing capabilities. Close to 20 lakh farmers are being benefitted while also creating employment opportunities for about 5.5 lakh people.
Prelims specific Notes:
World AIDS Day: 1st December
Hornbill Festival: Nagaland
EX INDRA 2018: Indo-Russian joint military exercise
Adoption of our Constitution: On November 26, 1949
Ganga Museum: To be established as an instrument for public outreach, depicting the river’s history and mythology, its importance for the livelihood of a huge population, as well as efforts for Ganga Rejuvenation.
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan: Complete ante-natal check-up facility is provided to all pregnant women across the country, including HIV testing. In 2017-18 more than 2 Crore HIV testing among pregnant women was undertaken
HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017: This Act provides an enabling environment to HIV affected and infected population where they get a seamless access to services and a comprehensive grievance redressal mechanism with ombudsman at the Centre and Complaints Officer at establishments.
Cumulative number of houses sanctioned under PMAY(U) now is 65,04,037.
Powered India: 8 States achieve 100% household electrification under Saubhagya; total 15 States now have 100 % household electrification. Nation expected to achieve 100% household electrification by 31st December, 2018.
Golden Peacock Award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI): Donbass’ directed by Sergei Loznitsa; tells the story of a hybrid war taking place in a region of Eastern Ukraine, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies perpetrated on a mass scale by separatist gangs.
Launch of Digital Sky Platform: India to start registration of drones, pilots, and operators Registration portal for online permission
- The Drone regulations come in effect from today
- Nano drones in India can start flying legally from today.
- For micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal
Launch of Vehicle (PSLV-C43)
- Injected India’s Hyper-Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS) into a 645 km sun-synchronous polar orbit 17 minutes and 19 seconds after the lift-off.
- Later, 30 foreign satellites were injected into their intended orbit after restarting the vehicle’s fourth stage engines twice.
HysIS is an earth observation satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg. The mission life of the satellite is five years. The primary goal of HysIS is to study the earth’s surface in both the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Data from the satellite will be used for a wide range of applications including agriculture, forestry, soil/geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters, etc.
PSLV is a four-stage launch vehicle with a large solid rocket motor forming the first stage, an earth storable liquid stage as the second stage, a high performance solid rocket motor as third stage and a liquid stage with engines as fourth stage.
Mission Raksha GyanShakti: Aims to
- Provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.
- Inculcate IP culture in Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem.
Launch of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) segment of Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP): The path-breaking initiative will provide near-real-time data to policy makers for detecting outbreaks, reducing the morbidity and mortality and lessening disease burden in the populations and better health systems. It is to strengthen early outbreak detection and informed public health response.
Paisa – Portal for Affordable Credit & Interest Subvention Access” Launched Under Day-NULM:
- A centralized electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) launched
- Effort by the government to connect directly with the beneficiaries, ensuring that there is greater transparency and efficiency in delivery of services. DBT of subvention on monthly basis under DAY-NULM will give the necessary financial support to small entrepreneurs in a timely manner
Task Force for drafting a New Direct Tax Legislation: In order to review the Income-tax Act, 1961 and to draft a new direct tax law in consonance with the economic needs of the country, the Government has appointed Shri Akhilesh Ranjan, Member (Legislation), CBDT as Convenor of the Task Force.
Protocol amending India-China DTAA:
- Updates the existing provisions for exchange of information to the latest international standards.
- Further, the Protocol incorporates changes required to implement treaty related minimum standards under the Action reports of Base Erosion & Profit shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India had participated on an equal footing.
- Besides minimum standards, the Protocol brings in changes as per BEPS Action reports as agreed upon by the two sides.
E-pashuhaat portal: An effort to double farmers’ income
- Created and integrated with UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) application
- The portal is playing a crucial role in connecting farmers, breeders and other agencies to trade in disease-free germplasm, namely live animals, frozen semen and embryos
- Embryo transfer technology is extremely effective for increasing production and breed improvement
Recent Reforms in Transport Sector
- By increasing the Axle load of trucks by 20 to 25 per cent, their load carrying capacity has increased phenomenally. It has not only added to the income of transporters, but has also resulted in lesser pollution.
- In view of modern technology in automobiles, fitness test requirement for commercial vehicle has been changed. In place of the earlier provision of yearly tests, now they need to get it done every two years.
- Total exclusion of new commercial vehicles from mandatory fitness tests has resulted in fewer visits to RTOs, saving time and money.
- Transporters are now free to paint their trucks in the colour of their choice, instead of the mandatory brown colour. They can now utilize this space for advertisements, etc further adding to their income. This will also bring cleanliness in trucks.
- All commercial vehicles are required to be kept completely covered to avoid pollution from dust etc.
- Mandatory fixing of fastags in all new vehicles and transport vehicles has started showing saving in time – as they do not need to stop at toll plazas, and money – as they get 5% rebate. Tracking of vehicles is now easy, and the drivers do not need to carry cash for payments etc. The system is proving beneficial for toll operators, with better collection of toll and reduced pollution.
Dr Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC), 15 Janpath, New Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate and enhance research activities and policy formulation aimed at Socio-economic Transformation and Sustainable Development. It will facilitate and enhance research activities and policy formulation aimed at Socio-economic Transformation and Sustainable Development.
The 24th meeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): At Katowice, Poland; it is expected to finalise guidelines for implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted in 2016.
India expects that COP-24 should be able to frame guidelines, which are pragmatic and gives due consideration to challenges and priorities of developing countries inter alia different starting points as compared to developed countries, their vulnerabilities, development priorities like eradication of poverty, food security, energy access, providing health infrastructure etc.
India strongly supports the objective of the Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. India considers it important from the point of view of eradicating poverty and caring for the poor and the marginalised. The Agreement also focuses on developing country parties’ need to adapt to adverse impacts of climate change, in a manner that it does not put an additional burden on them.
During the COP-24, India would like to emphasise its concern for climate change and reaffirm its commitments to finalisation of the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP). India would like to ensure that Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances, are operationalised in all elements of the PAWP. The outcome of the PAWP should support the enhancement of ambition without backsliding.
Note: The United Nations’ highest environmental honour, UNEP “Champions of the Earth” award was conferred on 3rd October 2018 on the Prime Minister of India in the policy leadership category for his pioneering work in championing the ISA and for his unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.
President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind
On Indian Constitution
- Constitution is the modern scripture of independent India. It is our suprema lex. However, it is more than just a collection of articles and clauses. For us Indians it is an inspirational and living document, an ideal of the society we are and the even better society we are striving to be.
- Constitution framers allowed for flexibility in amending the Constitution and were accommodative of various streams of thought. Above all, they trusted the wisdom of future generations to expand the frontiers of freedom and liberty, justice and fraternity, fairness and equality. They trusted future generations to not just amend the Constitution’s text, but to constructively re-imagine and re-interpret it for changing times. If we continue to be true to this spirit, the Constitution can serve India for all times to come.
- People of India are the ultimate custodians of the Constitution. It is in them that sovereignty vests and it is in their name that the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution empowers the citizen, but the citizen too empowers the Constitution – by following it, by adhering to it, by protecting it, and by persevering to make it more meaningful with words and deeds. The Constitution is nobody’s preserve – and it is everybody’s preserve.
- Perhaps the most moving word in the Constitution is “justice”. “Justice” is a single word. “Justice” is a complex and liberating expression. And “justice” is both the means and the goal of our constitutional and nation-building process. Justice must also be seen in a wider context – in terms of society’s evolution and its changing beliefs, lifestyles and technologies.
- Given the diverse history of our people, and given imbalances and hierarchies that have sometimes marked our past, social justice remains a touchstone of our nation building. At the simplest level, it implies the removal of societal imbalances and the harmonisation of rival claims and needs of different communities and groups. Social justice is about providing equal opportunities.
- The most tantalising influence on justice is that of technology. Technology is an enhancer of justice as well as a challenge. It calls for us to think of technology justice as a subset of economic justice. This is very true in the context of access to technology for our poorer and less-privileged fellow citizens.
On saving lives from opting for Suicide
- A National Suicide Prevention Strategy is the need of the hour
- Nobody has any right to ill-treat patients with mental illness. Modern medicines and proper treatment would enable people suffering from psychiatric disorders to lead normal productive lives even if they had faced the problem for a long-term.
- Yoga, meditation and spiritualism will provide mental equilibrium and solace at times of depression
- We need to strengthen our age-old family system, which can provide support for people suffering from dispersion.
- At least 13.7 per cent of India’s general population has been projected to be suffering from a variety of mental illnesses and 10.6 per cent of this requires immediate intervention. In all, nearly 150 million Indians are in a need of active medical intervention, according to the National Mental Health Survey 2015-2016 submitted by NIMHANS to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- India that was placed in a uniquely advantageous position because 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 years, the Vice President stressed the need to hugely step up our efforts to help youth who are prone to bouts of depression to get rid of the problem. Apart from strengthening public health care system, he called for including Psychiatric disorders in Medical Insurance.
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