Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 8th November – 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 08-11-2021

                                                                                                  

 

Topics

  • Palestinian calls for Indian support
  • Graded Response Action Plan and The National Capital Region of Delhi
  • Technical Textiles- The production-linked incentives (PLIs)
  • The Global Ecology and Biogeography on Increased Risk of Extinction: Leopards
  • Edible oil prices-dropped and stabilised across the country

                                                                                                                                                        

 

 1. Palestinian calls for Indian support

#GS2- India & Foreign Relations

Context

  • Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Palestinian Prime Minister, has stated that India may play a stabilising role in West Asia by maintaining cooperation with all countries involved.

In depth information

Relations between India and Palestine

  • India has a long history of supporting the Palestinian people’s rights.
  • It also plays an important role in the country’s foreign policy.
  • India supports the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the creation of a Palestinian state.
  • In 1974, India became the first non-Arab country to recognise the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the Palestinian people’s sole and legitimate representative.
  • India takes an independent and consistent stance on Palestine. It is shaped by individual viewpoints and interests, rather than being dictated by a third party.

What makes India’s assistance so important?

  • For the years 2021-22, India will be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
  • For the years 2022-24, India was re-elected to the Human Rights Council.
  • Palestine is looking for help in multilateral forums.
  • In addition, India has recently abandoned its long-standing support for Palestine at the United Nations.
  • In 2019, India voted in favour of Israel at the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) to reject a Palestinian group called Shahed observer status.
  • At the Human Rights Council, India abstained from voting on a resolution calling for an investigation into Israeli actions in Gaza.
  • To attain security and stability in the Middle East and West Asia, India’s position in multilateral organisations necessitated hard efforts in collaboration with all relevant parties.
  • The Indian government donated $ 2 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)

The role of India in the Middle East

  • After the Abraham Accord (normalisation agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates), India will be able to move away from bilateral relations and toward an integrated regional policy.
  • Delhi’s reach and impact will undoubtedly be widened and deepened as a result of regional coalitions.
  • The Arab world and Israel are frequently at odds over Palestine.
  • India’s new foreign policy of collaboration with Israel and the Arab world at the same time
  • The “new Quad,” a newminilateral between the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel, is being discussed for the Middle East.
  • The combination of India’s size, Israeli ingenuity, and Emirati wealth has the potential to yield enormous benefits.
  • Furthermore, the United States’ strategic support would be a major force in the region.

India’s Policy of Looking West

  • Look West Policy is a strategy for dealing with the countries of West Asia.
  • The Indian government adopted it in 2005, and it has since been strengthened.
  • When the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) did not take a firm stance against India, this tactic was successful.

Conclusion

  • India must take all necessary steps to maintain its current position in the Middle East, allowing it to maintain flexibility and strategic autonomy while simultaneously prioritising the country’s national interests.
  • India’s decisions are informed by a thorough awareness and assessment of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • West Asia has now become multipolar, with powers dispersed throughout numerous regions and extra-regional actors.

 

2. Graded Response Action Plan and The National Capital Region of Delhi

#GS3- Environmental Pollution & Degradation

 Context

  • For the first time since the Graded Response Action Plan went into effect, residents in Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida breathed the worst air of the season.
  • C. Mehta vs. Union of India, in detail: A Graded Response Action Plan has been established for implementation in the National Capital Region of Delhi under different Air Quality Index (AQI) categories, namely Moderate & Poor, Very Poor, and Severe, as per the National Air Quality Index.
  • The action plan has been in place in Delhi and the NCR for three years.
  • Only as a last resort: GRAP is only used as a last resort.As a result, the plan excludes state-level actions that will be implemented throughout the year to reduce industrial, vehicular, and combustion emissions.

The Plan’s Importance

  • Step-by-step plan: Developing a step-by-step plan for the Delhi-NCR region as a whole.
  • Bringing on board a number of organisations, including all pollution control boards, industrial area authorities, municipal corporations, India Meteorological Department regional officials, and others.
  • Fixing accountability and deadlines: GRAP’s most significant achievement has been in the area of accountability and deadlines. Executing agencies are clearly designated for each action to be conducted under a certain air quality category.
  • The closure of the thermal power plant in Badarpur, the delivery of BS-VI fuel to Delhi ahead of schedule, and the ban of Pet coke as a fuel in Delhi-NCR are all policy choices attributable to EPCA and GRAP.

The EPCA, as well as GRAP, have been criticised.

  • The EPCA, as well as GRAP, has been chastised for their emphasis on Delhi. While other governments have been able to postpone various steps due to a lack of resources, Delhi has always been the first to implement harsh measures.
  • The city with the most pollution is: When a World Health Organization research revealed that Delhi was the world’s most polluted city in 2014, fear swept among the federal and state governments.
  • Focus on other states: The next challenge for GRAP and EPCA is to effectively spread the measures to other states.

What is System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)?

  • The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune was the first to design it.
  • The India Meteorological Department is in charge of it (IMD).
  • The goal is to provide a real-time air quality index with colour coding 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as a 72-hour weather forecast.
  • Another purpose is to offer health advisories in advance to prepare citizens.

 What is the National Air Quality Index, and how does it work?

  • Launched in 2014 with the slogan “One Number – One Color – One Description” to let the average person estimate the air quality in his neighbourhood.
  • Particulate Matter (PM10), PM2.5, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Ammonia (NH3), and Lead are the eight contaminants used to quantify air quality (Pb).
  • The Air Quality Index (AQI) divides air quality into six categories: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.

 

3. Technical Textiles- The production-linked incentives (PLIs)

#GS3- Growth & Development Employment

 Context

  • The government would promote production-linked incentives (PLIs) for the textile sector in states that encourage development and provide affordable infrastructure for textile manufacturing, such as cheap land and power, according to the Textile Minister.

In depth information

  • A technical textile is a textile product made for non-aesthetic objectives with the primary requirement of utility.
  • Automotive textiles, medical textiles, geotextiles, agrotextiles, and protective garments are all examples of technical textiles.

The National Technical Textiles Mission

  • In 2020, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the establishment of a National Technical Textiles Mission with a budget of Rs. 1,480 crore.
  • The goal is to establish the country as a global leader in technical textiles and to boost technical textile utilisation in the home market.

The Mission will run for four years, from 2020 to 2021, and will consist of four parts:

  • The first component, with a budget of 1,000 crore, will focus on research and development and innovation. In geo, agro, medicinal, sports, and mobile textiles, as well as the development of bio-degradable technical textiles, research will be conducted at both the fibre and application levels.
  • The second component will focus on market development and promotion for technical textiles. By 2024, the Mission hopes to increase the size of the domestic market to $40 billion to $50 billion.
  • The third component would focus on export promotion, with the goal of increasing technical textile exports from 14,000 crore to 20,000 crore by 2021-2022, with a 10% average annual growth rate until the Mission finishes.
  • Education, training, and skill development will be the final component.

What are technical textiles, and what do they do?

  • Technical textiles are textile materials and products that are designed primarily for their technical performance and utilitarian capabilities, rather than for their aesthetic and decorative qualities.
  • Technical Textiles are grouped into 12 major groups based on their application areas: Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech.

Benefits

  • It will give domestic industry a significant boost.
  • Prepare the industry to make a significant influence on global markets in accordance with AtmaNirbhar Bharat’s spirit.
  • It will also assist in attracting additional investment into the sector.
  • It will also aid in the creation of more jobs.

The Textile Industry’s Importance in India

  • After China, India is the world’s second-largest manufacturer and exporter.
  • India’s textile industry contributed 2.3 percent to the country’s GDP.
  • In FY20, it contributed 12% to India’s export revenues.
  • In FY20, it generated 13% of the industry’s output.
  • India is the world’s sixth largest producer of technical textiles, with a 6% global share (12 percent CAGR), and the world’s largest producer of cotton and jute.
  • Around 4.5 crore people are working in the textile business, with 35.22 lakh of them being handloom workers, accounting for 21% of total employment.
  • In FY19, the domestic textiles and apparel market was predicted to be worth US$ 100 billion.
  • India’s textile and clothing sector accounts for 5% of global trade.
  • From April 2000 to June 2020, the sector (including dyed and printed) attracted US$ 3.45 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • Cotton farming employs 5.8 million farmers and 40-50 million workers in related industries.
  • India is also the world’s second largest producer of silk, and it produces 95 percent of the world’s handwoven cloth.

In this regard, the government has made the following efforts:

  • India became a net exporter of technical textiles in less than two years after the government released 207 HSN Codes for technological textiles in January 2019.
  • In February of last year, it also revealed the National Technical Textiles Mission.
  • 92 technical textile goods encompassing agriculture, horticulture, roadways, trains, water resources, and medicinal applications have been deemed required for usage by government organisations.

 

4. The Global Ecology and Biogeography on Increased Risk of Extinction: Leopards

#GS3-ConservationGovernment Policies & Interventions

Context

  • According to a study published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, roadkill has elevated the leopard’s risk of extinction by 83 percent in North India.

In depth information

  • The leopard population in North India is the most vulnerable to extinction among four animal groups selected as the most vulnerable to extinction in the next 50 years if current roadkill levels continue.
  • The maned wolf and the tiny spotted cat, both of Brazil, and the brown hyena, both of southern Africa, trail the leopard.
  • The study indicates that the North Indian leopard population will be extinct in 33 years, based on an 83 percent greater chance.
  • In South India, the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) have both been determined to be severely endangered.
  • The study highlights Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia as countries where roads can result in mammalian biodiversity loss, and hence areas where future road development and mitigation must be carefully considered.

 

5. Edible oil prices-dropped and stabilised across the country

#GS3-Major crops.

 Context:

  • In the run-up to Diwali, the prices of most major cooking oils have reduced and stabilised across the country.

In depth information

Price reductions are due to the following factors:

  • Price stability on a global scale.
  • Duty reductions
  • Major private players have slashed wholesale prices.
  • Using the terms of the Essential Commodities Act, the Centre imposed stock limitations.

What caused the earlier rise in oil prices?

  • Commodity prices around the world are sky-high. COVID-19 is a significant factor, interrupting supply chains and shutting down businesses.
  • In many nations, there is a labour shortage in the oil producing industry.
  • China is buying a lot of edible oil.
  • Many big oil companies are adopting aggressive biofuel programmes and diverting their edible oil crops to that end.
  • In India, government taxes and tariffs account for a significant portion of the retail price of edible oils.

The Dependence of India on Edible Oil:

  • India is the world’s largest importer of vegetable oil.
  • India imports over 60% of its edible oil, putting the country’s retail pricing at risk from international influences.
  • Palm oil is imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, soy oil is imported from Brazil and Argentina, and sunflower oil is imported primarily from Russia and Ukraine.

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