Flash-Cards-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-32
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#32 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Talanoa Dialogue; India Water Impact Summit 2018; Water Conservation Fee (WCF); Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018; UN climate change conference (COP24); Overall Mitigation in Global Emissions (OMGE); National Pension System (NPS) Scheme; MCA21; States’ Start-up Ranking 2018; Witness Protection Scheme-2018; Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;
By IT's Core Team
April 22, 2019

 

 

 

What is the objective of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety?

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Answer:

  • The objective of the Cartagena Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of ‘living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology’ that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements.

Enrich Your Learning:

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety:

  • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement on biosafety as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity effective since 2003.
  • The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
  • The Biosafety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the precautionary principle and allow developing nations to balance public health against economic benefits.
  • It will for example let countries ban imports of genetically modified organisms if they feel there is not enough scientific evidence that the product is safe and requires exporters to label shipments containing genetically altered commodities such as corn or cotton.
  • The Protocol had 171 parties, which includes 168 United Nations member states, the State of Palestine, Niue, and the European Union.
  • The Protocol applies to the transboundary movement, transit, handling and use of all living modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

This Protocol states in its preamble that parties:

  • Recognize that trade and environment agreements should be mutually supportive;
  • Emphasize that the Protocol is not interpreted as implying a change in the rights and obligations under any existing agreements; and
  • Understand that the above recital is not intended to subordinate the Protocol to other international agreements.

 

 

 

What are the objectives of the Witness Protection Scheme-2018?

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Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

Objectives of the Witness Protection Scheme-2018

  • To enable a witness to give testimony in a judicial setting or to cooperate with law enforcement and investigations without fear of intimidation or reprisal.
  • To ensure that the investigation, prosecution and trial of criminal offences is not prejudiced because witnesses are intimidated or frightened to give evidence without protection from violent or other criminal recrimination.
  • To promote law enforcement by facilitating the protection of persons who are involved directly or indirectly in providing assistance to criminal law enforcement agencies and the overall administration of Justice.
  • To give witnesses the confidence to come forward to assist law enforcement and Judicial Authorities with full assurance of safety.
  • To identify a series of measures that may be adopted to safeguard witnesses and their family members from intimidation and threats against their lives, reputation and property.

 

 

 

States’ Start-up Ranking 2018 was released by?

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Answer:

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) released States’ Start-up Ranking 2018.

Enrich Your Learning:

State Start-up Ranking 2018:

  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) announced results of the first ever States’ Start-up Ranking 2018 in New Delhi. DIPP began this exercise from January, 2016.
  • States have been identified as leaders across various categories such as Start-up policy leaders, incubation hubs, seeding innovation, scaling innovation, regulatory change champions, procurement leaders, communication champions, North-Eastern leader, and hill state leader.

On the basis of performance in these categories, the States have been recognised as the Best Performer, Top Performers, Leaders, Aspiring Leaders, Emerging States and Beginners, as follows:

  • Best Performer: Gujarat
  • Top Performers: Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Rajasthan
  • Leaders: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana
  • Aspiring Leaders: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal
  • Emerging States: Assam, Delhi, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand
  • Beginners: Chandigarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Tripura

 

  • Fifty-one officers from States and Union Territories have been identified as “Champions”, who have made significant contributions towards developing their State’s Start-up ecosystem.
  • The key objective of the exercise was to encourage States and Union Territories to take proactive steps towards strengthening the Start-up ecosystems in their states.
  • The methodology has been aimed at creating a healthy competition among States to further learn, share and adopt good practices.
  • The entire exercise was conducted for capacity development and to further the spirit of cooperative federalism.
  • Awareness workshops in all States, knowledge workshops in leading incubators, pairing of States for intensive mentoring, international exposure visits to US and Israel and intensive engagement between the States with Start-up India team, and video conferencing have helped many States initiate effective measures to support Start-ups.
  • DIPP consulted all stakeholders of the Start-up ecosystem and came up with 7 key reform areas as the basis of the States’ Start-up ranking framework.
  • An online portal was launched, which was instrumental in enabling States seamlessly submit their initiatives across these reform areas.
  • A total of 27 States and 3 Union Territories participated in the exercise. Evaluation committee comprising independent experts from the Start-up ecosystem assessed the responses across various parameters.
  • Many parameters involved getting feedback from beneficiaries. More than 40,000 calls were made in 9 different languages to connect with beneficiaries to get a real pulse at the implementation levels.

Background:

What is a startup?

  • A startup is a company that is in the first stage of its operations.
  • These companies are often initially bankrolled by their entrepreneurial founders as they attempt to capitalize on developing a product or service for which they believe there is a demand.

 

 

 

What is the objective of MCA21 application?

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Answer:

  • The MCA21 application is designed to fully automate all processes related to the proactive enforcement and compliance of the legal requirements under the Companies Act, 1956, New Companies Act, 2013 and Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008. This will help the business community to meet their statutory obligations.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • MCA21 is an e-Governance initiative of Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA), Government of India that enables an easy and secure access of the MCA services to the corporate entities, professionals and citizens of India.

Benefits:

  • Enables the business community to register a company and file statutory documents quickly and easily.
  • Provides easy access of public documents
  • Helps faster and effective resolution of public grievances
  • Helps registration and verification of charges easily
  • Ensures proactive and effective compliance with relevant laws and corporate governance
  • Enables the MCA employees to deliver best of breed services

Why in news?

  • When the Central Statistics Office (CSO) moved to a new base year of 2011-12 for national accounts in January 2015, it was faced with a peculiar situation.
  • The CSO faced issues in evaluating GDP with the new base year for years preceding 2011-12 due to lack of availability of the MCA-21 database.
  • MCA-21, an e-governance initiative of the Ministry of Company Affairs was launched in 2006, to allow firms to electronically file their financial results.
  • With the shift to the new base year 2011-12 from 2004-05, wherein the CSO did away with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor cost, and adopted the international practice of valuing industry-wise estimates as gross value added (GVA) at basic prices, the MCA-21 database also got used in addition to the volume index of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and establishment-based dataset of Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).
  • Three years after the shift to the new base year of 2011-12, the CSO and NITI Aayog, released the back series detailing growth numbers for 2005-06 to 2011-12.

 

 

 

Which is the regulating agency for National Pension System (NPS) Scheme?

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Answer:

National Pension System (NPS) Scheme is regulated by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

Enrich Your Learning:

National Pension System:

  • National Pension System (NPS) is a pension cum investment scheme launched by Government of India to provide old age security to Citizens of India.
  • It brings an attractive long term saving avenue to effectively plan your retirement through safe and regulated market-based return.
  • The Scheme is regulated by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
  • National Pension System Trust (NPST) established by PFRDA is the registered owner of all assets under NPS.

Eligibility:

  • Any individual citizen of India (both resident and Non-resident) in the age group of 18-65 years (as on the date of submission of NPS application) can join NPS.

 

  • The National Pension System works on defined contribution basis and will have two tiers – Tier-I and II.
  • Contribution to Tier-I is mandatory for all Government servants joining Government service on or after 1-1-2004, whereas Tier-II will be optional and at the discretion of Government servants.
  • In Tier-I, a Government servant will have to make a contribution of 10% of his basic pay plus DA, which will be deducted from his salary bill every month by the PAO concerned.
  • The Government will make an equal matching contribution. However, there will be no contribution from the Government in respect of individuals who are not Government employees.
  • Tier-I contributions (and the investment returns) will be kept in a limited partial withdrawable Pension Tier-I Account.
  • Tier-II contributions will be kept in a separate account that will be withdrawable at the option of the Government servant. Government will not make any contribution to Tier-II account.
  • A Government servant can exit at or after the age of 60 years from the Tier-I of the Scheme.
  • At exit, it would be mandatory for him to invest 40 per cent of pension wealth to purchase an annuity (from an IRDA-regulated Life Insurance Company) which will provide for annuity for the lifetime of the employee and his dependent parents/spouse.
  • He would receive a lump-sum of the remaining pension wealth which he would be free to utilize in any manner.
  • In the case of Government servants who leave the Scheme before attaining the age of 60, the mandatory annuitization would be 80% of the pension wealth.

 

 

 

What is the aim of “Overall Mitigation In Global Emissions” (OMGE)?

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Answer:

  • The aim to deliver an “overall mitigation in global emissions” is to take carbon markets beyond the offsetting approaches of the existing markets like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Enrich Your Learning:

Overall Mitigation in Global Emissions (OMGE):

  • The aim to deliver an “overall mitigation in global emissions” is a central and critical new element of the market mechanisms under Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement, that takes carbon markets beyond the offsetting approaches of the existing markets like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
  • The mandates under A6.2 and A6.4 bring the focus on the primary purpose of mechanisms: to deliver on cost-effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than creating carbon markets for their own sake.
  • One of the risks is that market mechanisms can become simply off-setting mechanisms, or worse, by bad design can create ways of avoiding action and increasing total emissions beyond what would otherwise have occurred in the absence of the mechanism.
  • For many years, small islands have called for the market mechanisms to go beyond offsetting to deliver measurable, net mitigation that the atmosphere actually sees: a real reduction in emissions.
  • The discussions under Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement in Paris Agreement Work Programme to be agreed here at COP24 now need to deliver this.

The submission by the Alliance of Small Islands States lays out how market mechanisms should be designed. They should:

  • Ensure that use of market-based mechanisms does not erode the environmental integrity of Nationally Determined Contributions, individually or in aggregate;
  • Ensure that Article 6 delivers a substantial overall mitigation of global emissions;
  • Ensure that use of Article 6 tools is only supplementary to domestic mitigation efforts and does not replace them;
  • Provide centralized oversight over all units generated under the UNFCCC;
  • Establishing a common international accounting framework to ensure no double counting;
  • Direct a substantial share of proceeds to support the adaptation needs of particularly meaningfully utilised to support the adaptation needs of particularly vulnerable developing countries and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Paris Agreement goals;
  • Create opportunities and positive incentives to support mitigation ambition, while avoiding incentives that run contrary to the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement.

 

  • In the context of the Paris Agreement rule book, small islands call for a mandatory cancellation or discounting – essentially a set aside – for an Overall Mitigation in Global Emissions (OMGE) that no Party can use towards its NDC, applied to activities under both Articles 6.2 and 6.4.
  • As the costs of purchasing offset credits increase, the cost of achieving overall mitigation is borne by the buyers of the offset credits.

 

 

 

What is the Talanoa Dialogue under UN climate change conference (COP24)?

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Answer:

The Talanoa Dialogue aims is to find practical and local solutions for how countries can increase their ambition in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which describe their individual efforts to reduce national emissions.

Enrich Your Learning:

UN climate change conference COP 24:

The annual UN climate change conference (COP24) opened in the Polish city of Katowice on December 3, 2018 with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Key topics:

During COP24, the Polish Presidency plans to focus its attention on three key topics:

  • Technology: To show that there are climate-friendly modern solutions, such as electromobility allowing for sustainable urban development, clean air and an opportunity for modern jobs.
  • Human: Emphasizing the need to lead change together with people through the solidarity and fair transformation of regions and industrial sectors.
  • Nature: Including multifunctional and sustainable forest management as part of climate neutrality and the role of forests as greenhouse gas sinks, and support for a synergic view of the three UN key conventions: on climate, on biodiversity and on desertification.

Vision for COP24:

Adopting a decision ensuring full implementation of the Paris Agreement:

  • Specifically, the parties involved in the conference will strengthen international cooperation by ensuring that national contributions to the global effort are transparent, responsibility is shared fairly and progress on reducing emissions and building resilience can be accurately measured.

Meeting the 1.5C target:

  • The conference is being held hot on the heels of the Global Warming of 1.5C report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as a cascade of UN and other reports on increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions and on health and other serious impacts.

Talanoa Dialogue:

  • COP24 will also conclude the year-long, Fiji-led Talanoa Dialogue, the first-ever international conversation of its kind to assess progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the goal of limiting global temperature increases.
  • One of the dialogue’s aims is to find practical and local solutions for how countries can increase their ambition in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which describe their individual efforts to reduce national emissions.
  • During the high-level event that will conclude the Talanoa Dialogue, ministers will consider the IPCC’s 1.5 degree Celsius report and its relevance in the context of future actions.

India’s stand:

  • India said the Paris climate agreement was ‘non-negotiable’ and there could be no compromise on the basic principles such as equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).
  • India and the other developing countries strongly resisted their move, citing the historical responsibility of the developed nations in emitting carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming.

 

 

 

Describe briefly about the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018.

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Answer:

Enrich Your Learning:

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 which was last reviewed and issued in 2011, with periodic amendments to some clauses.

Benefits:

  • The proposed CRZ Notification, 2018 will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions.
  • It will not only result in significant employment generation but also to better life and add value to the economy of India.
  • The new notification is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities.

Salient Features:

  • Allowing FSI as per current norms in CRZ areas: As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, for CRZ-II (Urban) areas, Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen as per 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels.
  • In the CRZ, 2018 Notification, it has been decided to de-freeze the same and permit FSI for construction projects, as prevailing on the date of the new Notification. This will enable redevelopment of these areas to meet the emerging needs.
  • Densely populated rural areas to be afforded greater opportunity for development: For CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have now been stipulated as below:
    • CRZ-III A – These are densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the HTL as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011 since such areas have similar characteristics as urban areas.
    • CRZ-III B – Rural areas with population density of below 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL.
  • Tourism infrastructure for basic amenities to be promoted: Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc. have now been permitted in Beaches. Such temporary tourism facilities are also now permissible in the “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas as per the Notification. However, a minimum distance of 10 m from HTL should be maintained for setting up of such facilities.
  • CRZ Clearances streamlined: The procedure for CRZ clearances has been streamlined. Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward) shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level with necessary guidance.
  • A No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters has been stipulated for all Islands: For islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land, in wake of space limitations and unique geography of such regions, bringing uniformity in treatment of such regions, NDZ of 20 m has been stipulated.
  • All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance: Specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans have been drawn up as a part of the CRZ Notification.
  • Pollution abatement has been accorded special focus: In order to address pollution in Coastal areas treatment facilities have been made permissible activities in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
  • Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation.

Background:

  • With the objective of conservation and protection of the coastal environment, Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change notified the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification in 1991, which was subsequently revised in 2011.
  • The notification was amended from time to time based on representations received.

 

 

 

Under the revised guidelines for ground water extraction, Water Conservation Fee (WCF) would be levied for?

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Answer:

Under the revised guidelines for ground water extraction, Water Conservation Fee (WCF) would be levied for use of ground water depending on the category of area, type of industry and quantum of ground water withdrawal.

Enrich Your Learning:

Water Conservation Fee:

  • One of the important features of the revised guidelines for ground water extraction is the introduction of the concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF).
  • As per these revised guidelines, Water Conservation Fee (WCF) would be levied for use of ground water depending on the category of area, type of industry and quantum of ground water withdrawal.
  • There was no provision for exemption from WCF to Government infrastructure, water supply agencies and mining projects.
  • The WCF payable varies with the category of the area, type of industry and the quantum of ground water extraction and is designed to progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas and from low to high water consuming industries as well as with increasing quantum of ground water extraction.
  • Through this design, the high rates of WCF are expected to discourage setting up of new industries in over-exploited and critical areas as well as act as a deterrent to large scale ground water extraction by industries, especially in over-exploited and critical areas.
  • The WCF would also compel industries to adopt measures relating to water use efficiency and discourage the growth of packaged drinking water units, particularly in over-exploited and critical areas.
  • Levying a WCF is, therefore, perceived as a silver bullet which would ‘discourage setting up of new industries in over exploited and critical areas.

 

 

 

India Water Impact Summit 2018 was jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and?

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Answer:

India Water Impact Summit 2018 was jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (c-Ganga).

Enrich Your Learning:

India Water Impact Summit 2018:

  • Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation inaugurated India Water Impact Summit 2018, being jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) from 5-7 December 2018 in New Delhi.
  • The India Water Impact Summit is an annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate and develop model solutions for some of the biggest water related problems in the country.
  • The discussions this year was on rejuvenation of the Ganga River Basin.
  • There was a multi-country dialogue on the subject, with showcasing of technological innovations, research, policy frameworks and funding models from India and abroad.
  • The efforts may take various forms including (but not limited to): data collection (sensors, LIDAR, modelling etc), hydrology, e-flows, agriculture, waste water and more.

The Summit focused on three key aspects:

Spotlight on 5 states:

  • Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi and Bihar.
  • The objective is to showcase the efforts and works going on within the respective states.

Ganga Financing Forum:

  • The 2018 Summit also introduces the inaugural Ganga Financing Forum that will bring a number of institutions to a common knowledge, information and partnership platform.
  • The Hybrid Annuity Model has redefined the economic landscape of water and waste-water treatment in India. All tenders have been successfully bid out and financial closures being achieved.
  • Additionally, the Government is also now encouraging development of smaller decentralised waste water treatment projects.
  • The Financing Forum will bring together financial institutions and investors interested in Namami Gange programmes.

Technology and Innovation:

  • Implementation of the pilot/demonstration programme known as the Environment Technology Verification (ETV) process.
  • This will provide an opportunity to technology and innovation companies from around the world to showcase their solutions for addressing the problems prevalent in the river basin.
  • Nearly 200 domestic and international participants from nearly 15 countries and more than 50 Central, State and Municipal Government representatives participated in the summit.
  • There were sessions on Afforestation and Biodiversity, Urban River/Water Management Plans, creating a Global Ecosystem for financing the Ganga Rejuvenation Programme and tapping into global capital markets for long term project finance.
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