Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 November 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 November 2017


 

Paper 1:

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

 

Chennai now part of UNESCO’s ‘creative cities network’

 

Chennai has been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition. Including Chennai, a total of 64 cities from 44 countries have joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Jaipur and Varanasi are the other Indian cities that feature on the list.

 

UnescoCreativeCities

 

About Creative Cities Network:

What is it?

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Objective:

The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Paper 2:

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Island Development Agency

Islands-Development-Agency-to-focus-on-Holistic-Development

 

Context:

The recently held second meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA) was chaired by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. The Island Development Agency reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of 09 islands – four in A&N Islands i.e. Smith, Ross, Long, Avis and five in Lakshadweep i.e. Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli

 

About the Island Development Agency (IDA):

What is it?

The IDA was set up on June 1 this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting for the development of islands. The meetings of the agency are chaired by the Union Home Minister.

Composition:

Members of the IDA include cabinet secretary, home secretary, secretary (environment, forests and climate change), secretary (tourism) and secretary (tribal welfare).

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

India’s Second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC)

 

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, has signed an Institutional agreement with Anna University to establish India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR), Anna University, Chennai, under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program.

India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) will come up at Patent Information Centre, Punjab

 

About TISC:

tisc

 

What is it?

These centres will be set up under WIPO’s Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) program. The programme provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their intellectual property (IP) rights.

The objective of the TISC  –

is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India.

 

Key facts:

  • The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) is designated as the National Focal point for the TISC national network.
  • As the national focal point, CIPAM will identify potential host institutions, assess their capacities and support them in joining the TISC project.
  • CIPAM will also act as the main intermediary between WIPO and TISC host institutions and coordinate all the activities of the national TISC network.

 

Services offered by TISCs may include:

  • Access to online patent and non-patent (scientific and technical) resources and IP-related publications.
  • Assistance in searching and retrieving technology information.
  • Training in database search.
  • On-demand searches (novelty, state-of-the-art and infringement).
  • Monitoring technology and competitors.
  • Basic information on industrial property laws, management and strategy, and technology commercialization and marketing.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

 

Belt and Road Initiative

 

one belt one road

 

Context:

China recently counselled India to shed its objections to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which had already drawn wide international support.

India was among a handful of countries that had skipped attendance in Beijing of the Belt and Road Forum in May, objecting to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passed through Kashmir.

 

About BRI:

What is it?

The initiative is the centrepiece of China’s foreign policy and domestic economic strategy. It aims to rejuvenate ancient trade routes–Silk Routes–which will open up markets within and beyond the region. Through this initiative, China’s plan is to construct roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure across Asia and beyond to bind its economy more tightly to the rest of the world.

Is the initiative a threat or an opportunity for India?

The answer undoubtedly ticks both boxes. Chinese political expansion and economic ambitions are two sides of the same coin. To be firm while responding to one facet, while making use of the opportunities that become available from the other, will largely depend on the institutional agency and strategic imagination India is able to bring to the table.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

International Energy Agency (IEA)

 

 

 

Context:

The 2017 IEA Ministerial Meeting was recently held in Paris. The focus of the meeting was on global energy challenges and how they can be overcome.

Participants included representatives from the 29 IEA member countries; accession countries Chile and Mexico; association countries China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore and Thailand; and partner countries Brazil and South Africa. CEOs from 30 top global energy companies also attended the meeting.

 

iea members

 

About IEA:

What is it?

Founded in 1974, the IEA was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil, such as the crisis of 1973/4. While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded significantly.

 

The four main areas of IEA focus are:

  • Energy Security: Promoting diversity, efficiency, flexibility and reliability for all fuels and energy sources;
  • Economic Development: Supporting free markets to foster economic growth and eliminate energy poverty;
  • Environmental Awareness: Analysing policy options to offset the impact of energy production and use on the environment, especially for tackling climate change and air pollution; and
  • Engagement Worldwide: Working closely with partner countries, especially major emerging economies, to find solutions to shared energy and environmental concerns.

 

Functions:

  • The IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues including oil, gas and coal supply and demand, renewable energy technologies, electricity markets, energy efficiency, access to energy, demand side management and much more.
  • Through its work, the IEA advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its member countries and beyond.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

India demands transparency in UN Security Council reform

 

India has demanded transparency in the UN Security Council reform process so that the people could know what is preventing the members from translating discussions into a negotiating text for the much- needed revamping of the world body’s top organ.

 

unsc

 

About UNSC:

What is it?

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

 

Members:

  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

 

Proposed reforms:

Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship. There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.

 

Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?

  • India was among the founding members of United Nations.
  • It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
  • Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
  • India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Paper 3:

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Composition scheme

 

Context:

The advisory group set up to suggest changes to the GST Act recently deliberated on how to expand the scope of the composition scheme as well as rationalise the reverse charge mechanism process.

 

About the Composition scheme:

 

composition scheme

 

What is it?

The composition scheme is an alternative method of levy of tax designed for small taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs 1 crore — Rs 50 lakh in the case of eight north-eastern states and the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh.

The objective behind it is to bring simplicity and reduce the compliance cost for small taxpayers.

Benefits:

While a regular taxpayer has to pay taxes on a monthly basis, a composition supplier is required to file only one return and pay taxes on a quarterly basis. Also, a composition taxpayer is not required to keep detailed records that a normal taxpayer is supposed to maintain.

 

Key facts:

  • The scheme is optional under which manufacturers other than those of ice cream, pan masala and tobacco products have to pay a 2% tax on their annual turnover. The tax rate is 5% for restaurant services and 1% for traders.
  • As per the Central GST Act, businesses are eligible to opt for the composition scheme if a person is not engaged in any inter-state outward supplies of goods and not into making any supply of goods through an electronic commerce operator who is required to collect tax at source.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Facts for Prelims:

 

  • Asian Boxing Championships:

Mary Kom has won the gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championships in the Light Flyweight category, defeating DPR Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi. This is Mary Kom’s sixth medal in the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships and fifth gold medal, having won four gold medals and one silver medal in previous editions of the tournament.