IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains
Focus)- 1st December 2018
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
International Labour Organisation’s Global Wage Report
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Gender pay gaps; Labour/Wage inequality issues; Economy
According to ILO’s Global Wage Report –
- Global wage growth, adjusted for inflation, slowed to 1.8% in 2017 (lowest rate since 2008).
- During the financial crisis in 2008, Global wage growth stood at 3.4 per cent.
- 2017 Global wage growth would fall further to 1.1 per cent if China, which made a significant contribution to this growth, were to excluded from the list.
- Among all regions, workers in Asia and the Pacific got the highest real wage growth over the period 2006-17 with countries like China, India, Thailand and Vietnam remaining on top, the report revealed.
Real wage growth
- Real wage growth is calculated using gross monthly wages, rather than hourly wage rates, which are less frequently available, and fluctuations, therefore, reflect both hourly wages and the average number of hours worked.
What Global Wage Report says about India?
- India registered highest average real wage growth during 2008-2017 in south Asia.
- India and Pakistan has the highest gap of 34.5 per cent and 34 per cent respectively between what men and women earn. This wage gap was the worst among all the 73 countries for which data was compiled.
- Women continued to be paid around 20 per cent less than men globally and the gap was lowest in high-income countries and highest in low and middle income countries.
G20 summit and trilateral meetings JAI and RIC
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International Relations; Multilateral organization or ties
- India held its first trilateral meeting with US and Japan, Modi; named partnership as ‘JAI’.
- “JAI” (Hindi for success or victory) – name for the triumvirate of Japan, America (the United States) and India.
- Leaders of JAI exchanged views on Indo Pacific, maritime and connectivity issues.
- The three leaders reaffirmed the importance of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision for global stability and prosperity, and pledged to deepen trilateral cooperation.
Do you know?
- The second Russia-India-China ‘RIC’ Trilateral Summit took place in Buenos Aires after a gap of 12 years.
- The leaders discussed cooperation and coordination in various areas which could contribute to global peace and stability.
- India has emerged common factor in two G-20 trilaterals
G20 summit, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- The G20 is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. Its membership comprises 19 countries plus the European Union.
- The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.
- In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held, and the group played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis.
- G20 leaders have met nine times since 2008.
- Over the past six years, the G20 has framed the world’s efforts to restore growth and build the resilience of financial institutions and national economies.
- The G20 is supported by international organisations, including the Financial Stability Board, the International Labour Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. These and several other organisations are invited to attend key G20 meetings.
- In Argentina’s G20 summit many issues will be discussed such as global economy, sustainable development, climate change, and fugitive economic offenders.
- India is a member of G20.
Climate talks set to begin in Katowice, Poland
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Climate Change;
- India to resist attempts by countries to renegotiate the Paris Agreement
- India wants CoP-24 to be balanced, inclusive and consistent with the Paris Agreement
- The landmark Paris Agreement deal agreed to in 2015 exhorts countries to take steps to avoid temperatures from rising beyond 2C of pre-industrial levels, and even 1.5 C as far as possible, by the end of the century.
- Currently global emissions are poised to warm the world by 3C by the end of the century.
- The United States opted out of the deal last year but continues to be part of discussions as a complete withdrawal — as per terms of the UN convention — takes up to four years.
- India’s first international indigenous film festival will take place in February next year in Odisha.
- Kerala undertook its first-ever captive elephant census. As many as 521 elephants were enumerated in the massive exercise undertaken by the Forests and Wildlife Department on the basis of a Supreme Court order.
- Bachan Singh (1980) case – The Constitution Bench judgment of Supreme Court of India in Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980) made it very clear that Capital punishment in India can be given only in rarest of rare cases.
TOPIC:General studies 3
- Environment and climate change
- Workforce in Indian economy and Agriculture
Cool it: Health and labour loss due to heatwave
The Lancet countdown on health and climate report was released recently. Coming on the eve of the UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland, the report of the Lancet panel for 2018 brings clarity, placing connected issues in perspective for governmental action.
Adverse Health Impacts of Climate Change
- The world is facing the biggest health challenge of 21st century due to climate change amid rising global temperature.
- There has been increase in frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves in India which has resulted in increased deaths due to heat stroke, heart failure, acute kidney failure and frequent cases of dehydration.
- Because of heat waves, there has been loss of work hours and labour capacity. The maximum impact of heat wave has been in the agricultural sector – a large section of the population that depends on farming.
- This has resulted in decline in household income. As per World Bank estimate, in India there will be high socio-economic cost which may lead to erosion of 2.8% of GDP by 2050.
- The increase in heat wave may also result in pre-mature deaths, increase in vector borne disease, decrease in labour capacity and it will also adversely affect food production leading to food insecurity.
What should be India’s response?
- Identification of heat spots by tracking meteorological data and promoting development of local Heat Action Plan.
- India should review occupational health standards and regulate safety of work force amid rising temperature.
- It is vital that India gets more ambitious about cutting back on carbon emissions, even as it presses for the fulfillment of the climate finance obligations of developed countries under the Paris Agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- A further reduction in the share of coal in the energy mix through sustained support for renewable energy, particularly solar photovoltaics, must form the cornerstone of national policy.
- This must be matched by a shift away from use of fossil fuels for transport, and the induction of more electric vehicles.
- To address adverse weather events (like Kerala floods), India must be well prepared in their disaster management efforts and also force the global community to release adequate funds to combat the impact of climate change.
- The importance of funds for adaptation is underscored by Lancet’s finding that 99% of losses from climate-related events in low-income countries were not insured.
- The consensus on climate change is that it has begun to affect the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.
- India’s approach to adaptation should prepare for catastrophes with a well-considered plan to provide relief and rehabilitation.
- The increased exposure to heatwaves needs a policy response at national and global fronts.
Connecting the dots:
What are heatwaves? Increased exposure to heatwaves needs a policy response, nationally and globally. Comment.
TOPIC:General studies 2&3
- Various government institutions; their regulation and autonomy
- Banking, Monetary policy and RBI
In a spirit of accommodation
- In the wake of ongoing spat between central government and RBI, some important questions have arisen.
- These questions relate to the relationship between the RBI and the government and between the RBI management and its board. Even if one cannot come to definitive conclusions, it is important to note the ramifications of the issues raised.
Two aspects of RBI’s Autonomy
- The RBI must enjoy autonomy which can be seen in two aspects- autonomy as monetary authority and autonomy as a regulator.
- The recent change in the monetary policy framework setting up the Monetary Policy Committee and giving it full freedom to determine the policy rate is a giant step forward in terms of giving the RBI autonomy.
- However, since the mandate of the RBI as a regulator is broad and vague, the autonomy of the RBI as a regulator is blurred.
Relationship between RBI and Government
- The Section 7 of the RBI act provides for a legal framework for the nature of relationship between RBI and Government.
- This section enables the government to issue directions to the RBI in public interest. In spite of this enabling provision, the government has not issued directions so far.
- For example; Benegal Rama Rau resigned as RBI Governor in 1957 on an issue on which he differed from the government. The government clearly stated that monetary policies must necessarily depend upon the larger policies which a government pursues.
- During the recent controversy, the fact that the Government desisted from invoking section 7 was a wise move since it would have impinged on the RBI’s autonomy and sent out wrong signals both at home and abroad.
Relationship between RBI Management and its Board
- According to the interpretation of the RBI act, both the Central Board and RBI Governor enjoy concurrent powers in almost all the matters.
- However, some of the members of the central board are nominated by the Government from various fields including the private sector. This can create a conflict of interest as the decisions taken by the RBI could directly affect their interest as well. Hence, as per the tradition, the Board has so far functioned as an adviser.
- The Federal Reserve System in US takes decision through the voting of the board, if it finds necessary.
However, the nature of relationship which has evolved over a period of time in India between the Board and Governor is a good one, where in the Board has by and large played an advisory role.
- It can be concluded that while the Governor can act on his own, he must listen to what the members feel and the sense of the board must be fully reflected in his actions.
- The crux of the problem is that the RBI, the board and the government must understand the limits to which they can push. A spirit of accommodation must prevail.
Connecting the dots:
The nature of relationship between the Government and RBI, and between RBI management and its board must be based on spirit of accommodation, mutual trust and respect. Comment.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
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Q.1) Global Wage Report is released by –
- World Bank
- World economic forum
- International Labour Organisation
- Amnesty Internattional
Q.2) Consider the following statements about G20
- It is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors of 20 European countries
- It operates without permanent secretariat or staff
- The 2018 G20 summit is held at Buenos Aires, Argentina
Select the INCORRECT statements from options given below
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- 1 only
Q.3) Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980) deals with –
- Limited power of Parliament to amend the Constitution
- Harmony and balance between fundamental rights and directive principles
- Khalistan movement or Sikh separatist movement
- Capital punishment
Together in an uncertain world
Cyclone Gaja: Destruction in the delta
Paris to Katowice
Terror as commodity
Temple, then and now