Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 24th October -2020

 

General Studies- 2

Governance, Constitution and polity

  1. India assumes the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization
  2. ILO
  3. India and ILO
  4. ILO Conventions
  5. ESI scheme to Arunachal Pradesh

General Studies -3

Economic Development and Planning

  1. India Energy Forum

 

1) India assumes the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization:

Why in news:

  • After 35 years, India has assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization, marking a new chapter in the 100 years of productive relationship between India and ILO.
  • Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary (Labour and Employment) has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the period October 2020- June 2021.
  • The Chairperson of the Governing Body of ILO is a position of international repute.

Governing body of ILO

  • The Governing Body (GB) is the apex executive body of the ILO which decides policies, programmes, agenda, budget and elects the Director-General.
  • At present ILO has 187 members.
  • Shri Apurva Chnadra will be presiding over the upcoming meeting of the Governing Body to be held in November 2020, at Geneva
  • At Geneva, he would have the opportunity to interact with the senior officials and social partners of the member states.
  • It will also provide a platform to appraise participants of the transformational initiatives taken by Government in removing the rigidities of labour market besides making its intention clear about universalization of social security to all workers whether in organised or unorganised sector.

About the ILO

The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States , to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work.
  • It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues.
  • The ILO has a unique structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives.
  • The ILO has 187 member States and is one of the oldest.
  • The ILO is founded as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended the First World War, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace cannot be achieved without social justice.
  • 1919 The ILO becomes the first specialized agency of the United Nations.
  • 1946 The Declaration of Philadelphia states that labour is not a commodity and establishes basic human and economic rights for States to uphold.
  • 1944 The Organization is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The ILO’s Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a global network of technical experts and field offices in more than 40 countries.
  • The International Labour Conference (ILC) meets once a year to adopt new international labour standards and to approve the ILO’s work plan and budget.
  • The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO and meets three times a year in Geneva.

Mission and impact of the ILO

Promoting jobs, protecting people

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace.
  • Today, the ILO’s Decent Work agenda helps advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.

Fundamental Conventions

The ILO Governing Body has identified eight “fundamental” Conventions, covering subjects that are considered to be fundamental principles and rights at work:

  • Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour
  • The effective abolition of child labour;
  • And the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • These principles are also covered by the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998).

The eight fundamental Conventions are:

  • Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
  • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
  • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) (and its 2014 Protocol)
  • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
  • Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)
  • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
  • Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)
  • Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)

Governance (priority) Conventions

  • The ILO Governing Body has also designated another four Conventions as governance (or priority) instruments, thereby encouraging member States to ratify them because of their importance for the functioning of the international labour standards system.
  • The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, in its Follow-up, emphasizes the significance of these Conventions from the viewpoint of governance.

The four governance Conventions are:

  • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
  • Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122)
  • Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129)
  • Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144)

ILO in India

  • India, a Founding Member of the ILO, has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body since 1922.
  • The first ILO Office in India started in 1928.

It has a two-directional focus for socio-economic development:

  • Overall strategies and
  • Ground-level approaches.

The ILO’s overarching goal is Decent Work, i.e., promoting opportunities for all women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.

  • DW is at the heart of ILO’s strategies for economic and social progress, central to efforts to reduce poverty and a means to achieve equitable, inclusive and sustainable development India’s 11th Plan’s vision of faster and inclusive growth through a process which yields broad-based benefits and ensures equality of opportunity for all – with a strong emphasis on decent working and living conditions for all.
  • A number of India’s 11th Plan targets are in consonance with the DW agenda.
  • The DW concept is translated into Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs), prepared and adopted by the tripartite constituents and ILO, at country levels.

The DWCP-India (2007-12), aligned to the 11th Plan and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, focuses on 3 priorities.

  • Priority 1: Opportunities enhanced for productive work for women and men, particularly for youth and vulnerable groups, especially through skills development;
  • Priority 2: Social protection progressively extended, particularly in the context of informalization;
  • Priority 3: Unacceptable forms of work progressively eliminated.

The cross-cutting issues are special focus while implementing the DWCP under the three priority areas are:

  • Social dialogue and strengthening of partners;
  • Informal economy; and
  • Gender equality.

ILO’s current portfolio in India centers around child labour, preventing family indebtedness employment, skills, integrated approaches for local socio-economic development and livelihoods promotion, green jobs, value-addition into national programmes, micro and small enterprises, social security, HIV/AIDS, migration, industrial relations, dealing with the effects of globalization, productivity and competitiveness, etc.

The Decent Work Technical Support Team (DWT) for South Asia stationed in New Delhi, through its team of Specialists, provides technical support at policy and operational levels to member States in the sub-region.

India has ratified six out of the eight-core/fundamental ILO conventions. These conventions are:

  • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
  • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
  • Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
  • Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
  • Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
  • Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)

India has not ratified the two core/fundamental conventions, namely Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98).

The main reason for non-ratification of ILO conventions No.87 & 98 is due to certain restrictions imposed on the government servants.

The ratification of these conventions would involve granting of certain rights that are prohibited under the statutory rules, for the government employees, namely, the right to strike, to openly criticize government policies, to freely accept a financial contribution, to freely join foreign organizations etc.

Trade Unions at the ILO

  • Trade unions play a crucial role in developing policy at the ILO, Worker group representation is drawn from national trade union confederations.
  • The Bureau for Workers’ Activities at the secretariat is dedicated to strengthening independent and democratic trade unions so they can better defend workers’ rights and interests.

Reports of ILO:

  1. World Social Protection Report
  2. World Employment and Social Outlook
  3. World of Work Report
  4. Global Wage report

 

2) ESI Scheme to Arunachal Pradesh:

In its continuous endeavor to cover more workers under ESI Scheme, Govt. of India has now extended the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme for the first time to Arunachal Pradesh, with effect from 1st November, 2020.

  • All factories located in the district of Papum Pare of Arunachal Pradesh employing 10 or more persons shall become eligible for coverage under ESI Act 1948.
  • The facility of online registration under ESI Scheme is available on the website www.esic.in and also on the “Shram Suvidha Portal” of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
  • The employees working in these factories, earning wages up to Rs. 21,000/- per month (Rs. 25 thousand per month for persons with disability) shall be eligible for coverage under the ESI Scheme.
  • The covered employees and their dependants shall become eligible for host of benefits including Cashless Medical Care Services, Sickness Benefit, Maternity Benefit, Employment Injury Benefit and Dependant Benefit in case of death due to employment injury, Unemployment Benefit etc.
  • Arrangements for medical care are being made through a newly opened Dispensary Cum Branch Office (DCBO) at Itanagar.

 

3) ESI Scheme in India:

The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation is a pioneer Social Security organization providing comprehensive social security benefits like reasonable Medical Care and a range of Cash Benefits in times of need such as employment injury, sickness, death etc.

  • It is covering about 3.49 Crores of family units of workers and providing matchless cash benefits and reasonable medical care to its 13.56 crore beneficiaries.
  • Today, its infrastructure has increased many folds with 1520 Dispensaries (including mobile dispensaries)/307 ISM Units and 159 ESI Hospitals, 793 Branch/Pay Offices and 64 Regional & Sub-Regional Offices.
  • The ESI Scheme today stands implemented in 568 districts in all the States and Union Territories, except Lakshadweep.
  • Apart from various benefits, the employees covered under ESI Scheme are also entitled to unemployment allowance.
  • There are two unemployment allowance schemes namely Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna (ABVKY) and Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojna (RGSKY).

 

4) India Energy Forum:

Why in news?

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will interact with CEOs of leading Global Oil & Gas Companies in the annual event organized by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
  • India is an important player in the global Oil and gas sector being the 3rd largest consumer of crude oil and the 4th largest LNG importer.

Realizing the need for India to graduate from a passive consumer to an active and vocal stake-holder in the global Oil & Gas value chain.

  • NITI Aayog initiated the first roundtable of global Oil & Gas CEOs in 2016.
  • This the 5th such event organized by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • The objective behind the meeting is to deliver a global platform to understand best-practices, discuss reforms, and inform strategies for accelerating investments into the Indian Oil and Gas value chain.
  • The event also grows in stature with the rise of India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, which is likely to see over USD 300 billion investment by 2030 in the Oil & Gas sector to meet rising demand.

Key topics to be explored during India Energy Forum include:

  • Impact of the Pandemic on India’s future energy demand
  • Securing supplies for India’s economic growth
  • What does energy transition and the climate agenda mean for India?
  • Natural gas in India’s Energy Mix: What’s the path?
  • Refining & petrochemicals: Strategies midst surplus
  • The pace of innovation: Biofuel, hydrogen, CCS, electric vehicles and digital transformation and
  • Market and regulatory reform: What is ahead?

India Energy Forum by CERAWeek

  • Thousands of delegates from Indian, regional, and international energy companies, institutions, and governments will gather virtually for the 4th India Energy Forum by CERAWeek under the patronage of Honourable Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the Indian Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • CERA- Cambridge Energy Research Association

 

5) Pakistan to stay on FATF grey list till 2021:

In news:

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday decided to keep Pakistan on the “grey list” till the next review of its compliance with the recommendations made in February next year.
  • Pakistan has now almost four months to comply with the recommendations as its performance will now be put to scrutiny in the next plenary in February 2021.
  • The points on which Pakistan failed to deliver included inaction against charitable organisations or non-profit organisations linked to terror groups banned by the UNSC.

Value Added Information

About FATF:

  • What is it? The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.
  • It is a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Roles and functions:

  • Initially it was established to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
  • In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering.
  • In April 2012, it added efforts to counter the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Composition:

  • The FATF currently comprises 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations, representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe. It also has observers and associate members.

Objectives:

  • To set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

What is blacklist and grey list?

  • Black List: Countries knowns as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.
  • Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list.

This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.

Considered in the grey list may face:

  1. Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB.
  2. Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries.
  3. Reduction in international trade.
  4. International boycott.

 

6) Oli move on Nepal map hints at softer stand:

In news:

  • After months of simmering dispute with India over the Kalapani issue, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli indicated a softer line on Friday when he used an old map of Nepal to greet everyone on the festival of Vijaya Dashami.
  • The old map does not show the region of Kalapani-Lipulekh-Limpiyadhura, which is part of India’s Pithoragarh district.
  • The triangular piece of land is, however, shown as part of Nepalese sovereign territory in the new map, which was unveiled on May 20, and made part of the insignia of the Nepalese state by an amendment on June 13.
  • Prime Minister Oli’s use of the national insignia of Nepal carrying the old map has drawn strong reactions from the political class of Kathmandu, with leaders expressing surprise about the use of the old map during Dussehra, which is the biggest festival in the Himalayan country.

 

7) A mistake to have left Quad, says Australia:

In news:

  • Australia should not have walked out of the Quad, and subsequently the Malabar exercises with India, but was “delighted” at New Delhi’s decision to invite it to participate in this year’s naval exercises in November, Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell said.

Key takeaways:

  • Referring to his government’s announcement in 2008 that it would not participate in the Quad exercises with India, Japan and the United States, he said it probably became the reason India took three years to accept Australia’s request to rejoin the exercises, despite requests from 2017-2020.
  • While Australia pulled out from the grouping a decade ago after China’s protests at the time, India’s hesitation in reinviting it back to the exercises in the past few years was also understood to be over China’s sensitivities over a possible “military alliance” in the Indo-Pacific ranged against it. However, experts believe that growing concerns in both countries over China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific and on the border with India have accelerated the pace of Quad cooperation this year.
  • India and Australia would continue talks on a trade deal, although they would be delayed until after the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was completed later this year, which India decided to walk out from. Despite several requests from RCEP countries, especially Australia, the Modi government has refused to reconsider its decision, citing worries over Chinese goods flooding the Indian market.

Value Added Information

What is the RCEP?

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a free trade agreement originally devised to consist of 16 countries across the Asia-Pacific region. The pact looks to drop tariffs and duties between the members so that goods and services can flow freely between them.
  • At the RCEP’s administrative core is ASEAN: an intergovernmental grouping of 10 Southeast Asian countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It was proposed that the ASEAN bloc will be joined with six dialogue partners: China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

 

8) India to chair key ILO forum after 35 years:

In news:

  • India assumed the role of chair of the International Labour Organisation’s governing body from October 2020 till June 2021, the Labour Ministry said on Friday. It is taking up the role after a gap of 35 years.
  • Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra will preside over its meeting in November. The ILO body decides on matters of agenda and budget as well as elects the Director-General.

Value Added Information

About International Labour Organization:

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019.
  • It is the only tripartite U.N. agency. It brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

History of the ILO

  • Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations.
  • Became the first affiliated specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founding Mission: social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace.
  • Promotes internationally recognized human and labour rights.
  • Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
  1. For improving peace among classes
  2. Pursuing decent work and justice for workers
  3.  Providing technical assistance to other developing nations

The organization has played a key role in

  1. Ensuring labour rights during the Great Depression
  2. Decolonization process
  3. The creation of Solidarno?? ( trade union) in Poland
  4. The victory over apartheid in South Africa

Today it is providing substantial support in the building of an ethical and productive framework for fair globalization.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *