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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 9 December 2022

 

InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Need to upgrade sports infra in villages for podium finishes

2. Bill to amend Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act introduced in LS

 

GS Paper 3:

1. The Great Jobs Hunt: Too few Indians are employed and even fewer are employed in quality jobs

2. Bill to amend energy conservation act introduced in RS

3. India to almost double its renewable power capacity in the next 5 years

4. Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill 2022

 

Facts for Prelims: 

1. What it takes to become a National Party in India?

2. Appointment of Ad hoc Judges

3. Global Pandemic Treaty

4. EAGLE ACT: Bill to eliminate per-country quota for Green Cards

5. Razorpay becomes 1st payment gateway to support credit cards on UPI

6. Kilonova

7. Mapping

 


 

Need to upgrade sports infra in villages for podium finishes

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

 

Source: IE

 Context: Recently, during a Parliamentary discussion on promotion of sports in India, MPs raised the issue of limited spending on sports, inadequate infrastructure and inclusivity.

 

Background:

  • Sports being a ‘State’ subject, the responsibility for development of sports, including opening sports schools, rests with the State/ UT governments.
  • India’s poor performance at international sporting events such as the Olympics, as evidenced by the country’s low medal record, is cause for concern.

 

Issues faced by the Indian sports sector:

  • Inadequate funding: Though India is a 3.5-trillion economy, it spent just Rs 11,482.77 crore (in the last 5 years) for the development of sports.
  • Inadequate infrastructure: Low number of sports academies, stadiums and equipment.
  • Rural-urban gap: Most of the facilities are concentrated in urban India.
  • Lack of inclusivity in sports: In terms of economic, class, caste and gender.

 

Way ahead:

  • There is a need to support talent from the villages.
  • Mega events and sports in the urban and the practising academies should be concentrated in villages.
  • Making sports mandatory in schools and schools must have a sports ground and a sports teacher.
  • Inviting CSR funding and Public Private Partnerships in Indian sports.
  • Ensuring more participation of children, women, and trans-sportspersons.

Related news: The scheme of National Centre of Sports Science and Research (NCSSR)

 Source: PIB 

Context: The scheme of NCSSR being implemented by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, aims to support high level research education and innovation in respect of high performance of elite athletes.

 

About the scheme:

●       It is implemented through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) – an Autonomous Body under the Ministry and selected universities/institutes/medical colleges in the country.

●       Under the scheme, medical care and management as well as rehabilitation of injuries of athletes at the SAI National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) is undertaken.

 

Other schemes to promote sports in India: 

  1. Fit India Movement: Launched in 2019, the movement’s goal is to influence people’s behaviours and encourage them to live more physically active lifestyles.
  2. Khelo India 2020 program: The government would train the athletes and their coaches to improve their performance on the world stage (Olympics).
  3. Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS): Its goal is to find, develop and prepare future medal contenders for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  4. The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF): It gives athletes opportunities to train with renowned international coaches, technical, scientific support.
  5. Mission Olympics 2024: To assist India in winning 50 medals in the 2024 summer Olympics, NITI Aayog has developed a short- and medium-term action plan.

 

Insta Links:

National air sports policy

  

Mains Links:

Q. Analyse the importance of reviving the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports. (250 words)

Bill to amend Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act introduced in LS

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Governance

 

Source: The Hindu, Live Mint

 Context: A Bill to amend the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha recently.

 

Background:

  • Multi-State Cooperatives: MSCS is a Cooperative Society with objects to serve the interest of the members in more than one State.

 

MSCS Act, 2002

  • The MSCS Act was passed to govern such cooperatives whose members and areas of operation are spread across more than one state.
  • At present, India has more than 1,500 multi-State cooperative societies.

 

Need for amendment:

  • To strengthen governance, reform the electoral process, improve the monitoring mechanism, and ensure ease of doing business in multi-State cooperative societies.
  • To improve the composition of boards and ensure financial discipline, besides enabling the raising of funds in the multi-State cooperative societies.

  

Key amendments suggested:

  • To establish a “cooperative election authority”.
  • To make provisions for the “appointment of cooperative information officer”.
  • To appoint one or more “cooperative ombudsmen” with territorial jurisdiction to inquire into members’ complaints.
  • Insert a new Section related to the “establishment of the Cooperative Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Development Fund” for the revival of “sick multi-state cooperative societies”
  • Insert Section relating to “concurrent audit” for such multi-state societies with an annual turnover or deposit of more than the amount as determined by the Centre.
  • The merger of “any cooperative society” into an existing multi-state cooperative society.

  

Federal Issues concerning the bill:

  • No provision of the Constitution makes way for merging a cooperative society, which is incorporated under State law with a Multi-State Cooperative Society.
  • The Centre is indirectly encroaching on the rights of State Co-operative Societies through the introduction of the clause concerning the merger.
  • Beyond the legislative competence of the Union as State cooperative societies are within the exclusive jurisdiction of States.

 

Constitutional Provisions regarding Cooperative Societies:

  • 97th Constitutional Amendment Act 2011
  • The right to form cooperative societies is a fundamental right (Article 19).
  • New Directive Principle of State Policy on the Promotion of Cooperative Societies (Article 43-B).
  • A new Part IX-B to the Constitution is titled “The Co-operative Societies” (Articles 243-ZH to 243-ZT). 

Creation of a new Ministry of Cooperation – which gave more acknowledgement to cooperative societies.

 

Related news: The government is planning to set up a “National Cooperative Export Society” to help boost India’s exports.

Insta Link:

Urban, multi-State cooperative banks to come under RBI supervision

 

Mains Link:

Q. The concept of cooperatives builds on the idea of communities creating infrastructure by using local materials and family labour, which is a vital component of inclusive development. Elaborate. 15M

The Great Jobs Hunt: Too few Indians are employed and even fewer are employed in quality jobs

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment

 

Source: ToI 

Context: Among other things, the quality of economic growth is best measured by how well it translates into good quality jobs – a metric on which India falls short.

 

Status of employment in India:

  • As per the NSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey, India’s unemployment rate was 8% as of November 2022.
  • This means, around 3.5 – 3.9 crore Indians of working age population, who are willing and able to search for jobs, aren’t able to get one.
  • The labour force participation rate (LFPR) – the fraction employed or looking for a job, is currently around 46% (in 2021, in Brazil – 58%, Indonesia – 68%, all OECD – 60%). So, for every 100 Indians of working age, 54 do not participate in the labour force.

 

Issues related to employment in India:

  • Lack of reliable jobs data: As such data helps the government to make more informed policy decisions.
  • Problems in the available data: For example,
    • The unemployment rate excludes a 24-year-old preparing for public sector jobs or a 35-year-old who has given up looking.
    • Silent on the quality and productivity of jobs. For instance, excludes data on disguised unemployment – 5 people tilling a small field, when only 2 would be sufficient.
  • Missing women – gender discrepancy is enormous: At 19%, the female LFPR in India is even lower than Saudi Arabia. In 2019, only 30% of Indian females (81% – males) with tertiary education participated in the labour force (ILO).
    • It signifies both rising family incomes (females are not required to undertake jobs) and shortage of safe and secure, attractive jobs for women.
    • This led to productivity losses, loss of new ideas and innovations.
  • Increasing youth unemployment: It was 22% in 2019, 28% in 2021 as compared to 18% in 2010.
  • Quality and number of non-agricultural jobs decreased:
    • The PLFS indicates 46.5% of the labour force works in the agriculture sector today as compared to 42.5% in 2019.
    • This increase is not just a pandemic effect, as between 2018-2020, agricultural employment increased by 3.4 crore while industry and services only by 93 lakh.
    • Regular salaried employees too have dropped from 24% in 2018-19 to 21% in 2020-21.

 

Recent initiatives to boost employment rate in India:

  • Production Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme: 8 lakh jobs will be created over the next 5 years by directing subsidies into capital-intensive industries.
  • Indian military’s Agnipath Scheme

 

Some employment Generation Schemes of Government of India

Sr. No. Name of the Scheme/ Programme Ministry Remarks
1 Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) Ministry of Labour and Employment It was launched with effect in 2020 as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat package 3.0 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic.
2 Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) It was launched in 2016 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment.
3 National Career Service (NCS) Project Project for transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of career related services like job matching, career counselling, vocational guidance, information on skill development courses, etc.

Programmes that have the potential to generate productive employment

1 Digital India MeitY Digital India seeks to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
2 Stand up India Scheme Ministry of Finance Stand-Up India Scheme for financing SC/ST and/or Women Entrepreneurs. The objective of the Stand-Up India scheme is to facilitate bank loans for setting up a greenfield enterprise.
3 Startup India DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry Startup India intends to catalyse startup culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Challenges ahead:

  • 50 million job seekers will join the labour market over the next 5 years period and crores are already looking for jobs.
  • The unexpected outburst of youth in response to the Agnipath Scheme adds to the evidence that India is failing to create jobs.

 

Way ahead: Government, private sector and civil society must come together to find a sustainable way to create more and better jobs.

 

Insta Links:

Unemployment in India

 

Mains Links:

Q. Examine the causes behind unemployment in India. What measures are needed to ensure adequate job creation in order to reduce the rate of unemployment? (250 words)

Bill to amend energy conservation act introduced in RS

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

 

Source: TH 

Context: The Union Minister of Power introduced the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022 in Rajya Sabha.

 

Background:

  • The bill seeks to amend the Electricity Conservation Act 2001 to include changes such as incentivising the use of clean energy through the issuance of carbon saving certificates.
  • The Electricity Conservation Act 2001
    • Specify norms and standards of energy efficiency for appliances, industrial equipment and buildings.
    • Prohibit the manufacture/ sale/ purchase of equipment unless it conforms to specified norms.
    • Established the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
    • Empowers the Centre to issue energy savings certificates providing for a framework for energy tradinggiven to industries that consume less and can be sold to industries that consume more.
    • Violators attract a penalty of Rs 10 lakh and consumers will be penalised as per their excess consumption.
    • Appeals will be heard by the appellate tribunal established under the Electricity Act, 2003.

 

Need to amend the above Act:

  • To consolidate on the current Act’s success. According to BEE, measures for efficient energy use saved approx. 28 million tonnes of oil equivalent energy in 2019-20.
  • To facilitate the achievement of COP-26 goals to ensure faster decarbonisation of the Indian economy.

 

Key features of the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2022:

  • Carbon credit trading scheme: Carbon credit implies a tradable permit to produce a specified amount of CO2 or other GHG emissions.
    • The central government/ authorised agency may issue tradable carbon credit certificates to entities compliant with the scheme.
  • Obligation to use non-fossil sources of energy: Designated consumers (such as industries) may be asked to meet a minimum share of energy consumption from non-fossil sources.
  • New Energy Conservation and Sustainable Building Code: Unlike the old code, this will also apply to the office and residential buildings with consumption above a threshold.
  • Standards for vehicles and vessels: Apart from equipment and appliances, the Bill expands the scope to include vehicles and vessels (ships, boats).
  • Strengthening BEE: By changing the composition of its governing council including representatives of industries and consumers.
  • Promoting green hydrogen: As an alternative to the fossil fuels used by industries.
  • Penal provisions: Failure to comply with standards will be punishable with a penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh.

 

Main objectives of the Bill:

  • Its goal is to reduce GHG emissions and combat climate change.
  • To expand India’s carbon market and promote the use of clean technology.
  • To achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, by 2030.

 

Key issues that need to be addressed:

  • Appropriate Ministry to regulate the carbon credit trading scheme: The Ministry of Power/ the Ministry of Environment?
  • There is no clarity on whether renewable energy, energy savings and carbon credit trading schemes involve the same or different activities.
  • Meeting non-fossil energy use obligations may adversely impact the competitiveness of the industry.

 

Insta Links:

An Insight – The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022

 

Mains Links:

Q. Evaluate the role that the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 can play in ensuring greater use of renewable energy and enforcing penalties on industrial polluters for carbon emissions. (250 words)

India to almost double its renewable power capacity in the next 5 years

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation, Energy

 

Source: DTE

Context: According to International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy will comprise 90 per cent of global electricity capacity expansion in the next five years and much of it will be in India.

  

Reasons for such a spike:

The first truly global energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has sparked unprecedented momentum for renewables. 

The favorable policies and market reforms the world over.

 

Key highlights of the report:

  • China, the United States and India all to double their renewable capacity expansion in the next five years, accounting for two-thirds of global growth.
  • The global solar photovoltaic (PV) supply chain is diversifying, but China will continue to dominate manufacturing.
  • Waste and residues are a key growth area for biofuels but require action to prevent a supply crunch
  • Renewables become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025, surpassing coal.
  • Solar PV’s installed power capacity is poised to surpass that of coal by 2027, becoming the largest in the world.
  • Global wind capacity has almost doubled, with offshore projects accounting for one-fifth of the growth.

 

Initiatives taken by India to transition to renewables:

  • The creation of a separate Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • At CoP26, India committed 50% of its total power generation from Renewable Energy.
  • The Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI)scheme is to enhance the manufacturing sector for the production of raw materials for renewable energy.
  • India’s decision to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2070 has made reasonable progress by reaching nearly 110 GW of RE by the end of March 2022.

  

Challenges associated with Renewable Energy

  • Shortage of Skilled Personnel
  • High Installation Cost.

  

Insta Links:

Renewable Energy

  

Mains Link:

Q. Examine the various obstacles to an energy-secure India. How can the government ensure energy security while honouring its net zero commitments? 10M

Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill 2022

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation

 

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

 Context: Rajya Sabha passed the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2022 which seeks to conserve and protect wildlife through better management of protected areas and rationalise schedules which list out species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

  

 

Features of the bill:

  • Implement the provisions of the CITES
    • CITES is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plantsdoes not threaten the survival of the species.
  • Provides much more power at the hands of the Central Government:
    • The central government can designate a Management Authority, which grants export or import permitsfor the trade of specimens.
    • Central Government can regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession or proliferation of invasive alien species (plant or animal species which are not native to India and whose introduction may adversely impact wildlife or its habitat)
    • The central government may also notify a conservation reserve ( typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries)
  • Reduces the number of schedules from Six (currently) to Four now: Currently, there are six schedules: protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and vermin species (one). The new bill removes the schedule for vermin species (Vermin refers to small animals that carry diseases and destroy food e.g. Monkeys, Nilgai)
Reduces the number of schedules to Four
Schedule I Animal species that will enjoy the highest level of protection
Schedule II  Animal species that will be subject to a lesser degree of protection
Schedule III  Protected Plant species
Schedule IV Specimens listed in the Appendices under CITES (scheduled specimens)
  • Control of Sanctuaries to Chief Wildlife warden: The Act entrusts the Chief Wildlife Warden to control, manage and maintain all sanctuaries in a state.
    • The Chief Wildlife Warden is appointed by the state
  • Registration certificate for live specimens of scheduled animals: People possessing live specimens of scheduled animals must obtain a registration certificate from the Management Authority.
  • Voluntary surrender of captive animals: The bill provides for any person to voluntarily surrender any captive animals, without any compensation and consequent authority over the animal)
  • Exception for ‘live elephant’: The Bill allows for Commercial Trade In Live Elephants. The Bill, therefore, allows for commercial trade in elephants
    • This is contrary to the previous act (Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972) which specifically prohibits trade in Wild Animals including captive and wild elephants.
  • For sanctuaries falling under Scheduled Areas (where FRA 2006 is applicable and comes under the 5th Schedule), the management plan must be prepared after due consultation with the Gram Sabha concerned
  • States can declare areas adjacent to National parks and Sanctuaries as Conservation Reserve, for protecting flora and fauna, and their habitat.
  • Increases the Penalties: For General violation ( increases to Rs 1,00,000 from Rs25,000) and for specially protected animals ( increases to 25,000 from Rs 10,000)

 

Issues with the Bill:

  • The exemption given to ‘live elephant’ for commercial trade: Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Jairam Ramesh objected to the blanket exemption, recommending to limit it only to temple elephants kept for religious purposes
  • Centre’s hold over ‘vermin’ declaration continues: Last year, Kerala’s requests for declaring wild boars as vermin have been turned down repeatedly by the Environment ministry.
  • The bill severely curtailed the ability to graze across pastoral spaces in the conservation areas
  • Impact on tribal communities: The Van Gujjars are a semi-nomadic pastoral community (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh) that may be impacted.

 

Conclusion

The recent amendment has taken a progressive step to foster the participation of forest dwellers within national parks while determining the management plan. However, there is an imminent need to expand the definition of invasive alien species to include invasive native species. Also, the amended bill should not disrupt the role of the State Board for Wildlife.

 

Additional Information

Constitution of Various Bodies:

The WPA act provides for the constitution of bodies to be established under this act such as the National and State Board for Wildlife, Central Zoo Authority and National Tiger Conservation Authority.

 

Constitutional Provisions for Wildlife:

  • The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976,Forests and Protection of Wild Animals and Birds was transferred from State to Concurrent List.
  • Article 51 A (g) of the Constitutionstates that it shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and Wildlife.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that, Given the highest legal protection in 1977, the elephant is the only animal in WLPA’s Schedule-I that can still be owned legally — by means of inheritance or gift.

 

Mains Links

Q. Critically analyse the features of the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill 2022. (15M)

 

Prelims Links

If a particular plant species is placed under Schedule VI of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, what is the implication? (2020)

(a) A licence is required to cultivate that plant.
(b) Such a plant cannot be cultivated under any circumstances.
(c) It is a Genetically Modified crop plant.
(d) Such a plant is invasive and harmful to the ecosystem.

 

Ans: (a)

Plants in Schedule VI: Cultivation of specified plants without a licence is prohibited. As per Section 17C of the Act, no person shall cultivate a specified plant except under and in accordance with a licence granted by the Chief Wild Life Warden or any other officer authorised by the State Government on this behalf.

 

Facts for Prelims


What it takes to become a National Party in India?

Source The Hindu, Indian Express

 Context: With 12.9% seats, AAP is set to be recognised as the 9th national party by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

What is a National Party? (ECI Criteria)

  • It is ‘recognised’ in at least four states; OR
  • if its candidates polled at least 6% of valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and have at least four MPs in the last LS polls; OR
  • if it has won at least 2% of the total seats in LS from not less than three states.

 

What is a State Party?

  • At least 6% vote share in the last Assembly election and at least 2 MLAs; OR
  • 6% vote share in the last LS elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; OR
  • At least 3%of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; OR
  • At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in Lok Sabha; OR
  • At least 8% of total valid votes in the last Assembly election or LS election from the state.

 

Advantages of being a National Party

  • Right to have reserved symbol for its candidates contesting across the country
  • Entitled to land or building for national headquarters at Delhi.
  • Candidates need only one proposer to file nominations (2 in case of other parties)
  • Get dedicated broadcast slots on Doordarshan and All India Radio during general elections.
  • Can have up to 40 Star campaigners (20 for other parties)
  • Expenditure on campaigning and star campaigners isn’t added to the candidate’s spending limit.

The Case of AAP-

  • Delhi and Punjab – large vote share
  • Goa – 6.77 % of the votes
  • Himachal Pradesh – 1% of the votes
  • Gujarat – 13% of the votes

 

Appointment of Ad hoc Judges

 Source – The Hindu

 Context: The Supreme Court suggested a less cumbersome and even “out-of-the-box” thinking, including roping in senior lawyers to act as ad hoc judges in High Courts, to meet the rising tide of pendency.

 

Constitutional Provision – Article 224 A

  • Under the Article, the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of judge of that court or of any other High Court to sit and act as a judge of the High Court for that State.
  • Such a judge is entitled to such allowances as the president may determine. He will also enjoy all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of a judge of the Supreme Court.

What the SC says?

  • Retired judges willing to come back to the Bench will bring their experience in dealing with arrears.
  • Once a Chief Justice recommends, the appointment should happen in a matter of days.
  • Out-of-the-box thinking – roping in senior lawyers to act as Ah Hoc judges in High Courts to meet the rising tide of pendency.

 

Additional and Acting Judges –

The President can appoint duly qualified persons as additional judges of a high court for a temporary period not exceeding two years when:

  1. there is a temporary increase in the business of the high court; or
  2. there are arrears of work in the high court.

 

The President can also appoint a duly qualified person as an acting judge of a high court when a judge of that high court (other than the chief justice) is:

  1. unable to perform the duties of his office due to absence or any other reason; or
  2. appointed to act temporarily as chief justice of that high court.

An acting judge holds office until the permanent judge resumes his office.

However, both the additional or acting judge cannot hold office after attaining the age of 62 years.

 

Global Pandemic Treaty

Source- Down to Earth

Context: Pandemic treaty draft negotiations to begin in Feb 2023.

Background –

  • In December 2021, the World Health Assembly agreed to start a global process to draft the pandemic treaty.
  • The need for an updated set of rules was felt after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the shortcomings of global health systems.
  • The Health Assembly adopted a decision titled “The World Together”

 

About the treaty-

  • The document will help address global public health challenges made conspicuous by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • These include equitable distribution of vaccines and health services among and within countries, knowledge and data sharing as well as realising capability-based responsibilities of various economies.
  • It also includes data sharing and genome sequencing of emerging viruses.

 

Article 19 of WHO’s Constitution

  • Article 19 of the WHO Constitution gives the World Health Assembly the authority to adopt conventions or agreements on matters of health.
  • A two-thirds majority is needed to adopt such conventions or agreements.
  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was set up under Article 19 and it came into force in 2005.

International Health Regulations (IHR)

 

EAGLE ACT: Bill to eliminate per-country quota for Green Cards

Source: The Hindu

Context: This week, the House of Representatives in the US is scheduled to vote on the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022

 

What is the current system?

Under the current system, there is a cap of per-country limit of 7% from a single country. As per the research, the employment-based green card backlog for skilled Indians reached 7.19 lakh in September 2021, with an expected wait time of 90 years

 

What will the EAGLE Act do?

  • Eliminate a per-country cap on employment-based green cards — a policy that disproportionately affects Indian immigrants
    • If passed, this legislation would phase out the per-country caps over the course of nine years to ensure that eligible immigrants from less populated countries are not excluded
    • It will allow individuals who have been waiting in the immigrant visa backlog for two years to file their Green Card applications
  • Scrap the discriminatory system: The per-country cap on Green Cards is a relic of a discriminatory system that excluded Asian immigrants entirely in the past

 

Benefits of eliminating such quotas:

  • Will reduce the immigrant visa backlog
  • Indian-Americans is set to benefit
  • S. employers can focus on hiring people based on merit, not their birthplace
  • The bill would also keep families together by ensuring that children of employment-based immigrants do not age out of dependent status

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.

 

Razorpay becomes 1st payment gateway to support credit cards on UPI

Source: Indian Express

Context: With the aim to further strengthen digital payments and boost India’s credit penetration, the platform announced its readiness to support Credit Card Transactions on Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Present scenario

  • UPI enables customers to make transactions through their bank accounts.
  • Linking credit cards with UPI will ensure that customers will no longer have to carry their credit cards with them at all times for payments.
  • As per RBI’s data, despite growing steadily at the rate of 30% over the last three years, remains primarily underpenetrated with only 6% of Indians having access to a credit card.
  • On the other hand, UPI has recorded over 731 crore transactions in Oct 2022 alone being used by more than 40% of Indians.
  • With RuPay credit cards being enabled on UPI, Razorpay merchants can begin accepting credit card payments on UPI, with minimal changes to their existing setup.

What are Payment Gateways?

It is a technology used by merchants to accept debit/credit card purchases from customers. It includes physical card reading devices found in brick-and-mortar retail stores and the payment processing portals found in online stores.

 

Kilonova

Source: DTE

Context: The flash of light or a gamma-ray burst (GRB) was witnessed on December 11, 2021. The source was found to be an astronomical event called a kilonova.

Kilonova explosions take place during the merger of two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole releasing Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB)

What are GRBs?

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are immensely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the most energetic and luminous electromagnetic events since the Big Bang. Bursts can last from ten milliseconds to several hours

GRBs can be divided into two classes:

  • Long-duration (2 seconds to several minutes): mainly due to Supernova
  • Short-duration (a few milliseconds to 2 seconds): mainly due to Kilonova

Stellar black holes are made when the centre of a very big star falls in upon itself or collapses. When this happens, it causes a supernova — an exploding star that blasts part of the star into space.

Why this event was first of its kind?

Both kilonova and supernova produce GRBs ( Kilonova – short duration, and Supernova- long duration). However, this new event (from a Kilonova), generated a GRB that lasted roughly 50 seconds (long-duration), puzzling scientists.

This breaks the long-held traditional GRB paradigm that massive star collapses produce long GRBs and supernovae and neutron star mergers produce short GRBs and kilonovae.

 

Mapping:


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