- POSTPONEMENT OF CAFÉ REGULATIONS
- INDIA DOWNGRADED ITS STATUS IN FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2021 REPORT
- 17 COUNTRIES ALONG WITH INDIA FACE U.S. ANTI-DUMPING TAX
- WORLD HEARING DAY
Postponement of BS CAFÉ regulations
Context: Recently, Carmakers from the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) requested Ministry for Road Transport to postpone implementation of BS VI CAFÉ Phase II regulations.
- The request for postponement is that the industry is still recovering from the impact of COVID.
- CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency) regulations are similar norms to BS VI.
- CAFÉ regulations are in force in many advanced as well as developing nations, including India.
- In India, CAFE regulations were first mooted in 2017 by the Union Ministry of Power (MoP) under Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is the nodal agency responsible for monitoring and reporting a summary of annual fuel consumption by automobile manufacturers at the end of each fiscal year.
Mainly focus on COx emissions
Focuses on overall emissions such as SOx,NOx
Focuses to improve fuel efficiency of vehicles and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
Focuses more on reducing harmful exhaust gases from the tailpipe of new vehicles
- The‘corporate average’refers to sales-volume weighted average for every carmaker
- under CAFE, average corporate CO2 emission must be less than 130gm/km till 2022 and below 113gm/km thereafter.
- The norms are applicable for petrol, diesel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) passenger vehicles.
- The reduced carbon footprint leads to increased fuel economy.
- The idea of CAFÉ is to push manufacturers to achieve fuel efficiency targets by producing and selling more fuel-efficient models, including electric vehicles
- Serve the twin purposes of reducing dependence on oil for fuel and controlling pollution as They aim at
- lowering fuel consumption (or improving fuel efficiency) of vehicles by lowering Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
India downgraded its status in Freedom in the World 2021 Report
Context:Recently, The Freedom in the World 2021 report has downgraded India’s status from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free’.
- In 2020 India ranked at the 83rd position along with Timor-Leste and Senegal
- India’s score was 67, a drop from 71/100 from last year (reflecting 2019 data) downgrading it from the free category last year (based on 2020 data).
- The decline in global democracy over the last 15 years can be seen as nearly 75% of the world’s population lived in a country that faced deterioration over the last year
- Finland, Norway and Sweden scored 100 and were the most free countries
- least free with a score of 1 are Tibet and Syria
- The U.S. dropped three points over one year, down to 83/100.
- China, classified as ‘not free’, dropped a point from last year going down to 9/100.
- USA based human rights watchdog Freedom House
- It is largely funded through USA government grants
- It has been tracking the course of democracy since 1941.
- Political rights indicators such as the electoral process, political pluralism and participation and government functioning.
- Civil liberties indicators related to freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, the rule of law and personal autonomy and individual rights.
- Countries are declared as “free”, “partly free” or “not free”.
Analysis on India’s downfall
- Uttar Pradesh’s law prohibiting forced religious conversion through interfaith marriage
- Regarding CAA – government actions on protesters
- journalists arrest who criticized official’s pandemic response
- elevating Hindu nationalist interests and creating anti Muslims feeling – for example The ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus.
- shut down of Internet connectivity in Kashmir as well as on Delhi’s borders
- dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers because of lockdown
17 countries along with India face U.S. anti-dumping tax
Context:The U.S. Department of Commerce is preparing to tax aluminium sheet exporters from 18 countries after determining that they had benefited from subsidies and dumping.
- The US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent body, must approve the final decision by April 15 to impose anti-dumping or countervailing duties.
Harmed by competing imports
- The investigation, launched under the Donald Trump administration, had been requested by nearly a dozen U.S. aluminium alloy manufacturers, including Arconic and Aleris Rolled products, which felt they were being harmed by competing imports at lower prices.
- President Joe Biden‟s administration determined that imports from Germany in particular ($287 million in 2019) benefited from dumping, ranging from 40% to 242%.
- The same is true for aluminium alloy sheets from Bahrain ($241 million), which the administration said benefited from pricing below the cost of production or the local market of 83%.
- In international trade practise, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.
- Dumping impacts the price of that product in the importing country, hitting margins and profits of local manufacturing firms.
- Anti-dumping duty is imposed to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect.
- Anti-dumping duty is different from countervailing duty. The latter is imposed in order to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers
WORLD HEARING DAY
Context:World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year
- It aims to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.
- World Hearing Day 2021 will mark the launch of the first-ever World Report on Hearing (WRH).
- Theme for 2021: Hearing Care for ALL! Screen, Rehabilitate, Communicate
- The Report has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA70.13), adopted in 2017 as a means of providing guidance for Member States to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.
- The report proposes a set of key H.E.A.R.I.N.G. interventions that must be delivered through a strengthened health system to realize the vision of ‘Integrated people-centered ear and hearing care’ (IPC-EHC).
- According to WHO 2018 report the disabling hearing loss affected 2.9% of the population and was noted to effect communication, education and work.
- The prevalence of total hearing loss, unilateral &bilateral was found to be as high as 9.93%.
- National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness will target over 6% of India’s population with Disabling Hearing Loss. The program was launched in 2006.