Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 03 July 2019
Relevant articles from pib:
GS Paper 3:
- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: key features, need for and significance of the scheme.
About Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY):
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
- Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through the adoption of the organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.
- Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50-acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme.
- The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improving the health of the consumer.
Organic farming and its significance:
Organic cultivation doesn’t involve the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and thus helps to maintain a harmonious balance among the various complex ecosystems. Also it improves the quality of the soil which further improves the standards of the crops produced there. In the long term, organic farming leads in subsistence of agriculture, bio-diversity conservation and environmental protection. It will also help in building the soil health resulting in sustainable increased crop production.
GS Paper 2:
- Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
- e-technology in the aid of farmers.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: KCC scheme- features and significance.
Context: The Government of India has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs.
Kisan Credit Card Scheme:
The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was announced in the Budget speech of 1998-99 to fulfil the financial requirements of the farmers at various stages of farming through institutional credit.
The model scheme was prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on the recommendation of V Gupta committee.
The KCC scheme is being implemented by the all Co-operative banks, Regional Rural Banks and Public Sector Banks throughout the country.
Scheme covers risk of KCC holders against death or permanent disability resulting from accidents.
- To provide adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers at the cheap rate of interest.
- To provide credit at the time of requirement.
- To support post-harvest expenses.
- To provide Working capital for maintenance of farm assets and activities allied to agriculture.
- Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities (land development, pump sets, plantation, drip irrigation etc.)
- Consumption requirements of farmers.
Other Salient features of the Scheme:
- Revolving cash credit facility involving any number of drawals and repayments within the limit.
- Limit to be fixed on the basis of operational land holding, cropping pattern and scale of finance.
- Entire production credit needs for full year plus ancillary activities related to crop production to be considered while fixing limit.
- Card valid for 5 years subject to annual review. As incentive for good performance, credit limits could be enhanced to take care of increase in costs, change in cropping pattern, etc.
- Conversion/reschedulement of loans also permissible in case of damage to crops due to natural calamities.
- Operations may be through issuing branch (and also PACS in the case of Cooperative Banks) through other designated branches at the discretion of bank.
- Crop loans disbursed under KCC Scheme for notified crops are covered under Crop Insurance Scheme, to protect the interest of the farmer against loss of crop yield caused by natural calamities, pest attacks etc.
GS Paper 2:
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
What to study?
For Prelims: What are NCDs?
For Mains: NCDs- concerns, challenges posed and need for international cooperation in fighting NCDs.
Context: According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) report entitled “India: Health of the Nation’s States”, Contribution of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to total death in the Country was 61.8% in 2016, as compared to 37.9% in 1990.
- In the States of Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu, due to epidemiological transition, fewer deaths are recorded for Communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases, thereby raising share of NCDs in total deaths.
- Risk factors for NCDs inter alia include ageing, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, , high blood sugar, high cholesterol and overweight.
What are NCDs?
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviours factors.
The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.
What are the socioeconomic impacts of NCDs?
NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
Poverty is closely linked with NCDs. The rapid rise in NCDs is predicted to impede poverty reduction initiatives in low-income countries, particularly by increasing household costs associated with health care. Vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people get sicker and die sooner than people of higher social positions, especially because they are at greater risk of being exposed to harmful products, such as tobacco, or unhealthy dietary practices, and have limited access to health services.
In low-resource settings, health-care costs for NCDs quickly drain household resources. The exorbitant costs of NCDs, including often lengthy and expensive treatment and loss of breadwinners, force millions of people into poverty annually and stifle development.
mKisan SMS Portal for farmers enables all Central and State government organizations in agriculture and allied sectors to give information/services/advisories to farmers by SMS in their language, preference of agricultural practices and location.
Relevant articles from various news sources:
GS Paper 2:
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of the bill, implications if encated, overview of NATO.
Context: The US Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India on par with Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) allies and countries such as Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.
The National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA for fiscal 2020, that contained the proposal was passed by the US Senate recently.
What it contains?
The legislative provision provides for increased US-India defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean in areas of humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism, counter-piracy, and maritime security.
The US has already recognized India as a “major defence partner” in 2016. This allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America on par with that of the closest allies and partners of the US, and ensures enduring cooperation in this sphere. The passage of the NDAA clarifies in greater detail what the closer defence cooperation actually means and entails.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the name for each of a series of United States federal laws specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense. The first NDAA was passed in 1961.
About North Atlantic Treaty Organization (North Atlantic Alliance):
It is an intergovernmental military alliance.
Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
Headquarters of Allied Command Operations — Mons, Belgium.
Significance: It constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
Political – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
Military – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: BEPS- meaning, concerns associated and measures in place.
Context: The government has ratified the international agreement to curb base erosion and profits shifting (BEPS)– Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures, a bid to stop companies from moving their profits out of the country and depriving the government of tax revenue.
What is BEPS?
Base erosion and profit shifting refers to the phenomenon where companies shift their profits to other tax jurisdictions, which usually have lower rates, thereby eroding the tax base in India.
About the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting:
The Convention is an outcome of the OECD / G20 BEPS Project to tackle base erosion and profit shifting through tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid.
The Convention implements two minimum standards relating to prevention of treaty abuse and dispute resolution through Mutual Agreement Procedure.
The Convention will not function in the same way as an Amending Protocol to a single existing treaty, which would directly amend the text of the Covered Tax Agreements. Instead, it will be applied alongside existing tax treaties, modifying their application in order to implement the BEPS measures.
The Convention ensures consistency and certainty in the implementation of the BEPS Project in a multilateral context. The Convention also provides flexibility to exclude a specific tax treaty and to opt out of provisions or parts of provisions through making of reservations.
A list of Covered Tax Agreements as well as a list of reservations and options chosen by a country are required to be made at the time of signature or when depositing the instrument of ratification.
Benefits for India:
- The Multilateral Convention will enable the application of BEPS outcomes through modification of existing tax treaties of India in a swift manner.
- It is also in India’s interest to ensure that all its treaty partners adopt the BEPS anti-abuse outcomes.
- The Convention will enable curbing of revenue loss through treaty abuse and base erosion and profit shifting strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out and where value is created.
BEPS is of major significance for developing countries due to their heavy reliance on corporate income tax, particularly from multinational enterprises. Estimates since 2013 conservatively indicate annual losses of anywhere from 4 to10 per cent of global corporate income tax revenues, or $100-$240 billion annually.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
- Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: LoP- status, roles, significance and what needs to be done to strengthen the office of LoP?
Context: Congress seeks Leader of the Opposition post.
Who is the Leader of Opposition?
The LOP is leader of the largest party that has not less than one-tenth of the total strength of the house.
It is a statutory post defined in the Salaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.
Significance of the office:
- LoP is referred to as the ‘shadow Prime Minister’.
- She/he is expected to be ready to take over if the government falls.
- The LoP also plays an important role in bringing cohesiveness and effectiveness to the opposition’s functioning in policy and legislative work.
- LoP plays a crucial role in bringing bipartisanship and neutrality to the appointments in institutions of accountability and transparency – CVC, CBI, CIC, Lokpal etc.
What reforms are needed?
There arises a problem when no party in opposition secures 55 or more seats. In such situations, the numerically largest party in the opposition should have the right to have a leader recognised as leader of the opposition by the speaker.
Besides, the 10% formulation is inconsistent with the law ‘the salary and allowances of leaders of opposition in Parliament Act, 1977’ which only says that the largest opposition party should get the post.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for prelims:
What is it? It is a bilateral air exercise between Indian Air Force and French air force. The latest edition is being held in France.
It is aimed at enhancing interoperability level of French and Indian crews in air defence and ground attack missions.
Jagannath Rath Yatra:
Popularly known as the ‘Festival of Chariots’, Rath Yatra festival in honour of Puri’s Lord Jagannath is grand celebration.
The festival is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, his sister Goddess Subhadra and elder brother Balabhadra.
All the three deities of the temple – Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra – travel in three different chariots during this festival. The chariots are called Nandighosha, Taladhwaja, and Devadalana respectively.
New chariots for all the three deities are constructed every year using wood even if the architect of the chariots remain similar. Four wooden horses are attached to each chariot.
Summaries of important Editorials:
How global warming could impact jobs in India?
Context: The report, ‘Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work’ anticipates an increase in “heat stress” resulting from global warming. It projects global productivity losses equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs in 2030, and the projection of 34 million jobs would make India the worst affected.
How global warming impacts jobs?
Effects: Excess heat during work is an occupational health risk and restricts workers’ physical functions and capabilities, work capacity and thus, productivity.
Loss in jobs: In 2030, 2.2% of total working hours worldwide will be lost because of higher temperatures, a loss equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs. This is equivalent to global economic losses of US$2,400 billion.
Concerns for India:
Asia: The region projected to lose the most working hours is southern Asia, at 5% in 2030, corresponding to around 43 million jobs, respectively. A third of the southern Asian countries have already incurred losses greater than 4%.
India, which lost 4.3% of working hours in 1995 because of heat stress, is projected to lose 5.8% of its working hours in 2030, which corresponds to 34 million jobs.
Sector- wise Impact: The report projects losses in working hours as 9.04% in agriculture (in shade), 5.29% in manufacturing, 9.04% in construction, and 1.48% in services. Although most of the impact in India will be felt in the agricultural sector, more and more working hours are expected to be lost in the construction sector, where heat stress affects both male and female workers.
Globally, the two sectors projected to be hit worst are agriculture and construction, with agriculture worse affected.
The ILO says 940 million people around the world work in the agricultural sector, which is projected to account for 60% of working hours lost due to heat stress by 2030. In construction, an estimated 19% of global working hours is likely to be lost.