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9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief – 22nd October 2016


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Front Page / NATIONAL

 [1]. U.P. tops list of rights cases lodged by NHRC 

The Hindu

Context

Article highlights certain observations based on the data released on NHRC’s foundation day on 21st October 2016

As per the data released,

  • Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of cases of human rights violation lodged by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the past year, with 44 per cent of the total number of cases registered with the NHRC pertaining to the State
  • the number of cases from Uttar Pradesh was more than total number of cases from the next five States combined — Odisha, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar and Rajasthan. One of the reason is Uttar Pradesh’s population, 19.98 crore as per the 2011 Census, which is more than the populations of Odisha, Haryana, Delhi and Bihar put together
  • U.P. also had the most number of deaths in judicial custody. It is also the State with the highest number of deaths in police custody.
  • U.P. also had the highest number of cases of child labor and bonded labor

[2]. Racial violence against NE people 

The Hindu

Context

Supreme Court has informed Centre about the proposal to set up a nodal agencyto coordinate on the issue of hate crimes and racial violence, especially against the people of Northeast living in other States.

Backdrop

The apex court on October 18 had expressed displeasure over the steps taken to address the issues of Northeastern people, many of whom have fallen victims to hate crimes and racial violence in the past.

  • The apex court had stressed that there should be a nodal agency to address the issues of the Northeastern people and such an agency could be asked to implement measures and coordinate with various departments

[3]. Rules for Rs. 40,000 cr. forest fund to be ready in a month

The Hindu

Context

The Environment Ministry will frame rules, within a month, to help States use a Rs. 40,000 crore corpus earmarked to restore forests.

Backdrop

Drafting of rules is a follow-up step to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill that was passed in the monsoon session.

  • The CAF Bill proposes to dispense the corpus that has, over the years, collected money from projects that have diverted forest land for infrastructure development.

Utilization of the money

  • Most of the money will be used to restock and improve degraded forest, which make up more than 40 % of the total forest cover of the country
  • Creation of more than 15-crore man days of direct employment. Many of these jobs will be in tribal and backward areas.
  • Utilization of money will result in increased availability of timber and various other non-timber forest products, and will thus help in improvement of the overall living standards of the forest dependent communities.

Division of funds

About 90 per cent of the roughly Rs. 40,000 crore will be transferred to States and the remaining will be with the Centre to monitor and evaluate activities to be undertaken by the States/UTs

  • From these funds, the Central government will provide research and technical support to the States to ensure that these amounts are efficiently used

INTERNATIONAL

[1]. Ladakh drill not aimed at third country

The Hindu

Context

China has described as “normal exchange” the first-ever Sino-Indian joint military exercise in eastern Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir and said the drill was not targeted against any “third country”

Backdrop

The 1st ever Sino-Indian joint army exercise was held in eastern Ladakh on October 19 amid tensions between India and Pakistan after the Uri terror attack and the surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

  • The border troops of the two countries jointly held a small routine tactical exercise in the Chushul region of the western section of the China-India border close to the Line of Actual Control

China’s view

This activity is simply a normal exchange between the frontier troops of China and India to properly deal with border affairs

  • It does not target any third country nor has anything to do with China’s position on the Kashmir issue

ECONOMY

[1]. India’s dissent over capping aviation emissions baffles IATA

The Hindu

Context

Global airline body International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed disappointment over India’s opposition to a global pact for curbing aviation emissions proposed by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal recently.

What is the pact all about?

A meeting of 2,000 delegates at the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO), a UN agency, in Montreal has settled upon a global emissions-reduction scheme that will apply to passenger and cargo flights that generate more than 10,000 tonnes of annual greenhouse gases.

  • Offsetting scheme: Instead of facing a cap or charge on emissions, airlines will be involved in an offsetting scheme whereby forest areas and carbon-reducing activities will be funded, costing about 2% of the industry’s annual revenues
  • Benchmark: Global aviation emissions in 2020 will be used as a benchmark, with around 80% of emissions above 2020 levels offset until 2035
  • Voluntary: The new system will be voluntary until 2027
  • Review period: the deal includes review periods every three years and it rules out “double counting” of offsets to ensure that forest protection efforts elsewhere aren’t used to negate aircraft emissions

India’s position

  • European and American aviation markets can cap their carbon emissions because they are mature with little scope for growth.
  • However, in a country like India, the ICAO agreement will not only impose an inappropriate economic burden on the emerging sector but also depriving its people from accessing airlines.
  • Technical Hurdle: If the developing countries such as Brazil, China and India were given the emission reduction targets by 2022, they have to invest in more efficient engines, lighter aircraft and use of bio-fuels. That could further hamper the growth of the passenger aircraft industry. It will also lead to overt dependence of the West for technology to curb carbon emissions.

Criticism

  • Offsetting has received criticism: Offsetting does not lead to emission reductions but merely shift emissions from one sector to another.
  • Voluntary clause:The voluntary clause in the proposal has caused much discontentment among members of EU nations.  According to them, this approach will erode the ambitious plan of reducing emissions and also limit the scope of encouraging finance in clean technology.

[2]. Regional connectivity scheme to take off in Jan., Centre offers slew of sops

The Hindu

Context

The Centre unveiled a regional connectivity scheme, known as UDAN (UdeDeshkaAamNagrik), with flights priced at Rs.2,500 for one hour of flying time to and from regional airports, but raised the subsidy amount to be paid to regional airlines from the level proposed in a draft scheme.

Scheme

The government will provide subsidies to regional airlines to offer half the seats on a discounted rate.

16 airports are ready to fly under the regional connectivity scheme from January

  • Airlines will be offered a number of sops at smaller airports such as waiver of landing and parking charges.
  • Extending the airports benefits for flights operating from small to major airports under the scheme is under active consideration of the government.

Concerns of the airlines

Airlines expressed concerns on the modalities of the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme.

  • Airlines have expressed their views stating that concessions need to be extended to large airports to which flights will be connected from regional airports.

Indian Express

[3]. Deepening ties:

Indian Express

Context

India-EU have signed a MoU on water co-operation. Article brings forth further opportunities and areas of collaboration between EU and India.

MoU signed

India & EU recently signed the Memorandum of Understanding on water cooperation at the World Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi.

  • It will facilitate the exchange of experiences on water law and governance, promote research and innovation and encourage sustainable commercial involvement.
  • Employment opportunities: There are currently more than 9,000 SMEs in the European water sector. They employ almost 500,000 people out of a total working population of 300 million. In India, this corresponds to several million jobs in the water sector alone.

Water & UN

In 2015, at the United Nations, world leaders adopted clean water and sanitation as the sixth of 17 sustainable development goals for 2030.

Importance of water

Water-associated risks are one of the greatest global dangers to the world economy.

  • It has been confirmed by the 2016 United Nations World Water Development Report Water and Jobs, according to which three out of four jobs worldwide are water-dependent.
  • Drinking water, irrigation and sanitation are pre-conditions for life and livelihood
  • Water scarcity also exacerbates conflicts between neighbours, states and countries.

 Areas of collaboration for India-EU

Water-Research & Innovation: Application of natural water treatment systems as well as new technologies for the treatment of wastewater has brought up several low-cost options

  • In addition to its participation in the EU Research Programme Horizon 2020, India is in the process of negotiating its participation in the EU Joint Programming InitiativeWater challenges for a changing world”. Once finalised, it will strengthen research and innovation cooperation between India, the EU and EU member states in the field of water

Work done in Rajasthan

In Rajasthan, the recently concluded EU-India State Partnership (Rs. 500 crores) has supported the development of a policy for Integrated Water Resources Management and its application to 3,200 villages of 82 blocks in 11 districts.

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