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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th November 2019
Published on Nov. 29, 2019, 12:43 p.m.

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th November 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Ministry forms expert committee to review Sports Code

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II - Governance

In News

  • Olympic bronze-medallist shooter Gagan Narang, former football captain Bhaichung Bhutia and national badminton coach P. Gopi Chand have been named in a 13-member expert committee formed by the Sports Ministry to review the Draft National Sports Code 2017.
  • The expert committee will be headed by Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd.) Mukundakam Sharma as its chairman.
  • The draft code proposes drastic changes in the 2011 Code, including barring of ministers, members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies and government servants from holding office in the IOA and NSFs, tenure restrictions and age cap of 70 years.
  • The panel will also feature a representative from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which has rejected the code in current form as it seeks to put an age and tenure cap on sports administrators
  • The committee will try to strike a balance between autonomy of National Sports Federations vis-a-vis need for transparency and autonomy

Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – Indian Polity

In News

  • Lok Sabha passed the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli has just one district while Daman and Diu has two. The combined population of the two UTs is 5 lakh 80 thousand.
  • Having two separate constitutional and administrative entities in both the Union Territories leads to a lot of duplicacy, inefficiency and wasteful expenditure and causes an unnecessary financial burden on the government.
  •  In view of the policy of the government to have 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance', considering small population and limited geographical area of both the Union Territories and to use the services of officers efficiently, government has decided to merge the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu into a single union territory,
  • The Bill amends the First Schedule to merge the territories of the two UTs: (a) Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and (b) Daman and Diu. At present each UT has one seat in Lok Sabha and the Bill provides for the allocation of two Lok Sabha seats to the merged UT.
  • The Bill provides that the jurisdiction of the High Court of Bombay will continue to extend to the merged UT.

U.S. to cut spending on NATO budget

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – International Affairs

In News

  • The U.S. is to cut its contribution to NATO’s operating budget with Germany increasing payments.
  • Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticised European members for freeloading on the U.S., singling out Germany for lagging behind on an alliance commitment to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.
  • Washington currently pays 22.1% of the NATO budget — which totalled $2.5 billion in 2019 — and Germany 14.8%, under a formula based on each country’s gross national income.
  • Under the new agreement, the U.S. will cut its contribution to 16.35% of the total, Germany’s will rise to the same level and other allies will pay more.

About NATO

  • NATO also called the North Atlantic Alliance isbased on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in 1949. 
  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance between North American and European countries. 
  • 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. 
  • The National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2020 was passed by the United States Senate recently. This legislative provision gives India NATO ally-like status; it brings India at par with America's NATO allies and countries like Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation. 

National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – Education

In News

  • The Parliament has passed the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
  • It declares the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad as an institution of national importance.
  • It also seeks to declare 4 National Institutes of Designas institutions of national importance.
  • They are located at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Jorhat in Assam and Kurukshetra in Haryana.
  • Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.
  • On being declared institutions of national importance, the four institutes will be granted the power to grant degrees and diplomas.

Significance of National Importance Tag

  • It will help to produce highly skilled manpower in design sector which in turn, will create job opportunities, both direct and indirect. 
  • It will also provide sustainable design interventions for handloom, crafts, rural technology, small, medium (SMEs) and large scale enterprises (LSEs); and outreach programmes for capacity, capability and institution building.

NuGen Mobility Summit-2019

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III - Infrastructure

In News

  • Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, NuGen Mobility Summit-2019 (to be held from 27 to 29 November 2019) at International Center of Automotive Technology (ICAT) in Manesar, Haryana. 
  • It is the largest automotive technology event covering relevant topics of alternate fuel systems and E-Mobility
  • Theme of event is setup around new generation topics like: e-mobility, Hydrogen Mobility, Connected Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).  It focuses on developing new technological solutions according to global requirements.
  • Automotive technology experts from 15 countries including India will be presenting more than 120 technical research papers. Over 200 companies producing vehicles and components will display their products.
  • Significance: The benefits of event will be found in finding suitable alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) running for about 125 years in country and world as well as emphasizing on New Generation Mobility which shall be Green, safe and affordable
  • ICAT, Manesar is a division of NATRIP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project) Implementation Society (NATIS) under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

India-Chile double taxation avoidance treaty

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III - Economy

In News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Chile. 
  • The tax agreement helps tax-payers in these countries avoid being taxed twice for the same income. 
  • This will help in elimination of double taxation as well as prevention of fiscal evasion and avoidance with respect to taxes on income.
  • A DTAA applies in cases where a tax-payer resides in one country and earns income in another.
  • Clear allocation of taxing rights between contracting states through these type of agreement will provide tax certainty to investors and businesses of both countries, thus attracting foreign investment. 
  • The agreement will implement minimum standards and other recommendations of G-20/OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project

About BEPS

  • Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax planning strategies used by multinational enterprises that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to avoid paying tax. 
  • Developing countries’ higher reliance on corporate income tax means they suffer from BEPS disproportionately. BEPS practices cost countries USD 100-240 billion in lost revenue annually. 
  • Working together within OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS, over 130 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating on the implementation of 15 measures to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment.

FASTags

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Economy/Science & Technology

In News

  • From December 1, lanes on national highway toll plazas across India will accept toll only through FASTag.The objective is to remove bottlenecks and capture all toll electronically.
  • FASTag is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology sticker that can be installed on the windshield of any vehicle.
  • By this, toll payments can be made directly from the pre-paid account linked to it, thus avoiding the need of vehicles to stop at toll plazas for payment of fees.
  • RFID technology is similar to that used in transport access-control systems, like Metro smart card.
  • Under a new “One Nation One FASTag” scheme, the NHAI is trying to get states on board so that one tag can be used seamlessly across highways, irrespective of whether it is the state or the Centre that owns/manages it

(MAINS FOCUS)


POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

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

Locals First Policy

Context:

  • The Maharashtra government, has promised to enact a law to reserve 80 per cent of jobs in the private sector for “local/domicile” youths.
  • Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh also reserved 75 per cent jobs factories for Andhra Pradesh youths, making it the first state in the country to introduce such a provision in the private sector. 
  • Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nathalso  announced that his government was considering a quota for locals in private sector jobs in the state. 
  • The Assam government had made similar attempts for reservation in state government jobs, legislative assembly and local bodies for indigenous Assamese people

The Locals First Policy

Why?

With the growth in industries, the demand for land for industrial use has been increasing. Since most of the requirement is met by acquiring private agricultural lands, the owners are being displaced and deprived of their livelihood. Therefore, there is a demand from land losers, apart from the local population, to provide employment.

Though there were promises by the industrial managements to meet these demands at the initial phases of setting up of their industries, more often than not, the objectives are not met. In some instances, even though the local people are employed as per the initial commitments, they are generally employed as gardeners, house-keeping personnel and other low income jobs. This is causing dissatisfaction in the local community and leading to industrial unrest

Define ‘local’

If the company doesn’t find suitable persons in the immediate vicinity, they need to try to look for candidates in the neighbouring villages. The scope will then expand to the district and finally to the entire state, where they will be able to find a suitable candidate for any job profile. There is therefore a need to collaborate on training the locals with skills required for the jobs they provide.

Criticisms

  • While the legislation only generally talked about 75 per cent jobs to be filled by locals and makes no mention about the cadres within these jobs in a factory, it has, however, left the issue open for a future debate by pointing out that only low-paying jobs were being given to locals in certain instances.
  • Under the law, if skilled personnel are not available for the jobs at hand, these industrial units cannot ‘import’ labourers from elsewhere; the burden of imparting the requisite skills to, and of employing, locals will fall on the units.
  • It will almost certainly push up the cost of doing business in such geographical entities that embrace this policy, and make a mockery of the concept of the ‘Indian Common Market’, which rests on the foundational premise of unfettered labour mobility.
  • Significantly, a reservation for local populations is also a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of every citizen to work, live and move freely within the country.

Interstate Movements:

  • The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of movement and consequently employment within India through several provisions.
  • Article 19 ensures that citizens can “move freely throughout the territory of India".
  • Article 16 guarantees no birthplace-based discrimination in public employment. 
  • Article 15 guards against discrimination based on place of birth and 
  • Article 14 provides for equality before law irrespective of place of birth.
  •  Some of these Articles were invoked in a landmark 2014 case—CharuKhurana vs. Union of India—when a trade union had declined membership to a make-up artist because she had not lived in Maharashtra for at least five years, as per the union’s rules. The trade union lost the case.
[caption id="attachment_53692" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th November 2019 Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th November 2019[/caption]

SRC: Live Mint

Conclusion

Providing vocational training and education — responsibilities of the State — could have been a long-term solution. But with the mandatory reservation of 75 per cent of all jobs for local people, the state government has shifted this responsibility onto the industrial sector. Further, mobility of labour is necessary to give industries the opportunity to select the best talent and remain competitive. A reservation such as the one in Andhra Pradesh will thus hamper the ease of doing business, discouraging industrial investment in the state and causing unemployment to shoot up further.

Affirmative action was once a tool to bring the most economically and educationally backward sections on a par with the rest of the population. At the hands of populist governments, it has been turned into an assurance — albeit a false one — of a shortcut to success. The reservation for Marathas — an economically and socially dominant segment — in Maharashtra is a case in point. The underlying causes for demands for reservation are, among other factors, agricultural and economic crisis, the lack of social security nets, unemployment and iniquitous access to education.

Connecting the Dots:

  • Will jobs-for-locals quota set off a wave of parochial politics? Discuss.

ENVIRONMENT

TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Context:

  • The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, is to be is planned to be held in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019
  • The conference will incorporate the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol (CMP15), and the second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA2).
  • will be the role of market-based mechanisms for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon offsets
  • Negotiators in Madrid are set to discuss what kind of offsets, if any, should be used to meet the targets set out in the 2015 Paris agreement and how they should be monitored, following some cases where emissions cuts did not materialise.

Significance:

  • Carbon offsetting allows a country to help reach its own emissions reduction targets by funding emission reductions in another country. 
  • Companies are also increasingly using carbon credits to offset their emissions.
  • The first major offsetting scheme, the U.N.s clean development mechanism (CDM), was set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, in which 190 countries agreed country-by-country emission reduction targets.
  • Underlines India’s leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice.
  • Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under commitment period in accordance with Sustainable Development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM):

  • The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. 
  • Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.
  • The mechanism is seen by many as a trailblazer. It is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument, CERs.
  • A CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers.
  • The mechanism stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction or limitation targets.

Background

  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) seeks to stabilise Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize interference with the climate system.
  • Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations.
  • Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997
  • First commitment period was from 2008-2012.
  • At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the 2nd commitment period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted for the period 2013- 2020. Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the ‘opt-in’ provisions of the Doha Amendment.
  • India has always emphasized the importance of climate actions by developed country Parties in the pre-2020 period. Besides, it has advocated climate actions based on the principles and provisions of the Convention, such as the principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR & RC)

Connecting the dots:

  • Critics say offsetting emissions reduces incentives for the drastic emissions cuts needed to slow global warming and does not always bring the intended benefits. Analyze

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1) Consider the following statements about NuGen mobility Summit 2019

  1. It is held in Pune which is the largest automotive technology event in country so far.
  2. Automotive technology experts only from SAARC countries except Pakistan are participating in this summit.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Double Taxation Avoidance agreement (DTAA)

  1. A DTAA applies in cases where a tax-payer resides in one country and earns income in another.
  2. It will help in elimination of double taxation as well as prevention of fiscal evasion and avoidance with respect to taxes on income.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Fastags

  1. It employs Radio Frequency Identification technology which is similar to that used in transport access-control systems, like Metro smart card
  2. It will help to remove bottlenecks at tolls and capture all toll payments electronically.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.4) Consider the following Statements about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

  1. 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. 
  2. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium
  3. India which was earlier not a part of NATO has now become a member of NATO after signing foundational agreements like COMCASA, LEMOA and BECA with USA

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Q.5) Consider the following statements about The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (merger of union territories) bill, 2019

  1. The two Union Territories are being merged for better administration and to prevent duplication of work in line with government’s policy of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance
  2. The Bill provides that the jurisdiction of the High Court of Delhi will continue to extend to the merged UT.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS FOR 28 Nov 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 D
3 C
4 A
5 B

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