Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 04 November 2019
Table of contents:
GS Paper 2:
- All visitors to Meghalaya must first register.
- East Asia Summit.
- SCOJTEX 2019.
GS Paper 3:
- Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion report.
- ‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ atlas and CFLOWS-Chennai.
Facts for prelims:
- National Waterway -2.
- India and Bangladesh using the Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes.
- India International Science Festival (IISF).
- National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
- Coastal Flood Warning System app for Chennai (CFLOWS- CHENNAI).
- Dustlik 2019.
GS Paper 2:
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
What to study?
For Prelims and mains: Changes introduced and overview of MRSS Act, ILP- features, significance and issues.
Context: Meghalaya has brought an ordinance that makes registration on entry mandatory for visitors who intend to spend more than 24 hours in the state.
- An amendment to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 has been passed to include this provision amid demands for an inner line permit (ILP) system to stop illegal immigration into the state.
- Exemption: Central and state government employees are exempt from the new entry rule.
Rationale behind this move:
The amendment comes in the backdrop of demands by civil society and political leaders, that people excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam might try to enter Meghalaya.
Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA) 2016 aims to ensure the security of the tenants as well as the safety and security of the citizens of the state.
- It provides for verification and regulation the tenants residing in rented houses in the state.
- It also establishes District Task Force and Facilitation Centres for effective enforcement of various laws for the safety and security of the citizens.
What is an ILP?
Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document required by Indian citizens residing outside certain “protected” states while entering them. The ILP is issued by the Government of India and is obligatory for all those who reside outside the protected states. With the ILP, the government aims to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
Origin of ILP:
ILP’s origin dates back to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, which protected the British Crown’s interest in tea, oil and elephant trade.
It prohibited “British subjects” or Indians from entering into these protected areas.
After Independence, in 1950, the word “British subjects” was replaced by Citizens of India and the focus of the ban on free movement was explained as a bid to protect tribal cultures in northeastern India.
Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
It can be issued for travel purposes solely.
Sources: the Hindu.
- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: EAS- composition, objectives, significance for India and issues associated.
Context: The latest edition of the East Asia Summit (EAS) is being held in Bangkok.
About East Asia Summit:
- EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.
- It is a forum held annually by leaders of 18 countries in the East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian regions.
- EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings.
- The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005.
- There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS. These are – Environment and Energy, Education, Finance, Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases, Natural Disaster Management, and ASEAN Connectivity. India endorses regional collaboration in all six priority areas.
- EAS, representing nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population and over 20 per cent of global trade,is a mega gathering and is a testimony to the rise of Asia.
- EAS is a region of strong and fast growing economies. It is considered the third pole of world economy after the US and Europe. Its four major economic players namely Japan, China, India and Korea are among the twelve largest ranking global economies.
- Financial and monetary cooperation between ASEAN+6 or EAS countries could be an area of fruitful cooperation in view of the fact that their combined foreign exchange reserves exceed $ 3 trillion.
Significance for India:
- For India, EAS acts as an alternative to the APEC in which India doesn’t enjoy the membership.
- India’s membership to the EAS is a recognition of its fast growing economic and political clout.
- Act East policy of India:In order to build multi-faceted relations with ASEAN and other multilateral nations and strengthen bilateral relations India has emphasised upon its Act East Policies for which EAS will prove crucial.
- China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and the nature of its growing investments has led the ASEAN countries to view India as a potential power that could balance a rising China.
- India’s strength lies in service sector and information-technology and Japan has a sound capital base. Thus there are complementarities in trade and production structures of the EAS members.
- India’s deep cultural and civilizational links with the EAS countries are widely known. India can play a major role in cultural and people to people cooperation with the region, which can reinforce the economic momentum for community building.
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: SCO- objectives, members, functions, significance, various organs and issues associated, SCOJTE.
What is it? Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue.
The latest edition is being held in India.
- Hosted by NDRF.
- Aim to rehearse the disaster response mechanism, share knowledge, experience, technology & also for mutual coordination, etc.
- The participants of all 08 member countries namely China, India, Kazakhastan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan shall be participating in this exercise.
- Main focus shall be to test the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of Inter- governmental interaction for immediate response.
What is it? The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai.
Founding members: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The cooperation was renamed to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation after Uzbekistan joined the organisation in 2001.
The SCO’s main goals are: strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
Presently, the SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;.
The SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia.
The SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
GS Paper 3:
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
What to study?
For Prelims: Key findings, about the report.
For Mains: Challenges for India and ways to address them.
Context: The Economist Intelligence Unit has released the 2019 edition of Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion report.
The 2019 edition of Global Microscope report features 11 new gender focussed indicators that measure financial inclusion for both women as well as men.
India- specific observations:
- India is among top nations with most conducive environment for financial inclusion in terms of allowing non-banks to issue e-money, proportionate customer due diligence and effective consumer protection.
- The overall environment for financial inclusion has improved globally with India, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico having the most favourable conditions for inclusive finance.
- Within the overall framework for promoting digital financial inclusion, the report identified four basic enablers – allowing non-banks to issue e-money, presence of financial service agents, proportionate customer due diligence and effective financial consumer protection.
- India was among the top countries that safeguard e-money via some sort of deposit insurance or protection.
Efforts by India:
- In India, the Reserve Bank has prepared a draft National Strategy for Financial Inclusion to deepen financial services’ coverage in the country.
- The long-awaited strategy is expected to be finalised in 2019 and will cover a five-year period.
- The RBI has set up a high-level committee to review the existing status of digitisation and devise a medium-term strategy for increasing digital payments.
- In August 2019, the RBI released the Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox (RS), which creates the basis for a regulatory sandbox that will allow fintech start-ups to live-test innovative products and services.
About the report:
Produced by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of The Economist Group.
Created in 1946 and is the world leader in global business intelligence.
The Microscope report was first published in 2007 and was originally developed for countries in Latin American and Caribbean regions but in 2009 it was expanded into a global study.
The report is a benchmarking index that assesses enabling environment for financial access in 55 countries across 5 categories.
Five parameters across which countries are assessed:
- Government and Policy Support.
- Products and Outlets.
- Stability and Integrity.
- Consumer Protection.
Sources: the Hindu.
- Disaster and disaster management.
What to study?
For Prelims and mains: Features, need for and significance of the Atlas and CFLOWS.
Context: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu recently unveiled the ‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ atlas and the ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’ for flood mitigation in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
What is Red Atlas Action Plan Map?
- It is a first of its kind ready reckoner map, prepared by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences to aid state government of Tamil Nadu in effective flood mitigation in Chennai which witnessed the worst deluge in 2015.
- The atlas is aimed at flood mitigation, preparedness, operations and management aspects.
- The manual besides showcasing the probable scenarios for different rainfall periods also provides information on corporation wards that are likely to be affected due to flooding, and the areas that may need evacuation in Chennai by taking into account all historical datasets.
Coastal Flood Warning System app for Chennai (CFLOWS- CHENNAI):
- Launched by NIOT.
- It is India’s first integrated coastal flood warning system.
- It is an integrated GIS-based decision support system to provide forecast on potential inundation 10 days in advance.
- It will be hosted and made operational at National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) with meteorological data inputs from India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
- The system can simulate the scenario and predict what will happen in a particular area.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for prelims:
National Waterway -2:
Context: First ever movement of container cargo on Brahmaputra (National Waterway -2) begins.
The journey of a container took place between Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) terminal at Pandu in Guwahati.
The 12-15 days voyage will be an integrated IWT movement via National Waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-97 (Sunderbans), Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route and NW-2 (river Brahmaputra).
Where is NW 2?
It is a section of the Brahmaputra River having a length of 891 km between the Bangladesh border near Dhubri and Sadiya in Assam.
India and Bangladesh using the Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes:
Context: The traffic on NW-1 has grown from 5.48 million tonne in 2017-18 to 6.79 million tonne in 2018-19. Out of the total traffic of 6.79 million tonne on NW-1, approximately 3.15 million tonne is the EXIM trade between India and Bangladesh using the Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes.
What is IBP route?
The IBP route extends from Kolkata (India) on NW-1 to Silghat (Assam) on NW-2 (River Brahmaputra) and Karimganj (Assam) on NW-16 (River Barak).
Two stretches of Bangladesh inland waterways viz. Sirajganj–Daikhawa & Ashuganj-Zakiganj on the IBP route are being developed at a total cost of Rs 305.84 Cr. on 80:20 cost sharing basis (80% being borne by India & 20% by Bangladesh).
Significance: The development of these two stretches is expected to provide seamless navigation to and from North East India through waterways via the IBP route.
India International Science Festival (IISF):
Context: Fifth India International Science Festival is being held at Kolkata.
Objective: To instill scientific temper among the masses, showcase India’s contribution in the field of S&T over the years and encourage translation of its benefits to people. It aims to build a strategy for inclusive advancement of Science and Technology.
India International Science Festival (IISF) is an annual event organised jointly by science and technology related Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha).
Theme: ‘RISEN India – Research, Innovation, and Science Empowering the Nation’.
National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT):
Established in November 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- NIOT has developed niche technologies to mine manganese nodules from deep sea, has developed several deep sea systems like remotely operable vehicles, etc. and is striving hard to bring India on par with developed Nations in the area of Ocean Technology.
- NIOT will be the nodal institution for implementing the proposed Deep Ocean Mission, which encompasses all the areas of Ocean technology like development of manned submersible, offshore large scale desalination, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), extensive survey of the oceans, acquisition of new ships etc.
- It is the first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise.
- Being held at Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
- The exercise will enable sharing of best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries and would lead to greater operational effectiveness.
- The primary focus will be on counterterrorism.