9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 22th, 2020

World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO) report:ILO

News:The United Nations International Labour Organization(ILO) has released the World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2020 (WESO) report.

Facts:

About the report:

  • The report analyses key labour market issues, including unemployment, labour underutilisation, working poverty, income inequality, labour income share and factors that exclude people from decent work.

Key findings of the report:

  • The number of people unemployed around the world stands at some 188 million in 2019.This is projected to increase further by around 2.5 million in 2020.
  • Around 267 million young people aged 15-24 are not in employment, education or training and many more endure substandard working conditions.
  • Around 285 million are considered underemployed meaning they either work less than they want to or have given up searching for work or otherwise lack access to the labour market.
  • The percentage of the global workforce who work in the informal economy are around 60%.
  • Around 630 million people in 2019 have lived in working poverty meaning they made less than $3.20 per day in purchasing power parity.

Recommendations for reducing unemployment:

  • The report has suggested that countries should ensure that economic growth and development occurs in a way that leads to the reduction of poverty and better working conditions.
  • It has also recommended for structural transformation, technological upgrading and diversification in global as well as national economies.

Additional information:

About ILO:

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 to promote social justice and thereby contribute to universal and lasting peace.
  • It is responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards.
  • It is the only tripartite United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting decent work for all.
  • The six conventions of ILO which have been ratified by India are (a) Forced Labour Convention (b) Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (c)Equal Remuneration Convention (d) Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (e) Minimum Age Convention and (f) Worst forms of Child Labour Convention.
  • The other two conventions namely (a) Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organised Convention (b) Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention has not been ratified by India.

Govt sets up National Startup Advisory Council

News:Government has set up the National Startup Advisory Council to advise the government on nurturing the culture of innovation among the citizens.

Facts:

About National Startup advisory Council:

  • National Startup Advisory Council was formed with an aim to drive sustainable economic growth and generate employment opportunities.

Composition of the Council:

  • The Council will be chaired by commerce and industry minister.
  • Joint secretary of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will be the convener of the body.
  • It will also consist of non-official members to be nominated by the government from various categories such as founders of successful startups, veterans who have grown and scaled companies.
  • The term of the non-official members of the council will be for a period of two years.
  • The nominees of the ministries or departments concerned will not be below the rank of joint secretaryThey will be nominated as the ex-officio members of the council.

Mandate of the Council:

  • The Council will suggest measures to foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students in particular, promote innovation in all sectors of the economy across the country.
  • It will also suggest measures to facilitate public organisations to assimilate innovation with a view to improving public service delivery, promote creation, protection and commercialization of intellectual property rights.
  • It will also suggest measures to make it easier to start, operate, grow and exit businesses by reducing regulatory compliances and costs, promote ease of access to capital for startups.

Jharia most polluted place in India in 2018, Greenpeace report

News:Greenpeace India has released an annual report on the most polluted cities in India.

Facts:

About the report:

  • The report is based on analysis of particulate matter data across 287 cities.
  • It has used Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) data to rank the most polluted cities in India.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Jharia in Jharkhand which is known for its underground coal fires was ranked as the most polluted city in the country in 2018.
  • Dhanbad in Jharkhand was ranked as the second-most polluted city in India.
  • Delhi was 10th most polluted city in 2018 an improvement by two ranks as compared to 2017.
  • Lunglei in Mizoram was the least polluted city in India followed by Meghalaya’s Dowki.
  • Further,Six of the top-10 polluted cities are in Uttar Pradesh namely Noida, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad and Firozabad.

Additional information:

About Greenpeace:

  • Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization established in 1971.It is headquartered at Amsterdam,Netherlands.
  • It’s goal is to ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity and focuses its campaigning on global issues such as climate change, deforestation, anti-nuclear issues among others.

Iran says it may pull out of nuclear treaty over Europe dispute

News:Iran has warned to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) if the European countries refer the dispute over its Nuclear programme to the United Nation Security Council.

Facts:

About the issue:

  • Britain, France and Germany launched a process last week charging Iran with failing to observe the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
  • This move could result in the UN Security Council reimposing international sanctions on the country.
  • Hence,Iran has warned to withdraw from the NPT if the European countries refer the dispute to the United Nation Security Council.

About Non-proliferation Treaty of Nuclear Weapons(NPT):

  • The Non-proliferation Treaty is an international treaty signed in 1968 and came into force in 1970.
  • The treaty aims to (a) prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology (b) promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and (c)further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

Key provisions of the treaty:The treaty classified its state-parties into 2 groups namely:

Nuclear Weapon States(NWS):

  • The nuclear-weapon states(NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT.The treaty legitimizes these states nuclear arsenals but has also mandated that they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons in perpetuity.
  • The other nuclear armed states—India, Israel and Pakistan have not joined the treaty.Further,North Korea and South Sudan have also not signed the treaty.

Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS):

  • The treaty prohibits the Non Nuclear Weapon States(NNWS) from developing nuclear weapons.

Why has India not signed the treaty?

  • India did not sign the treaty as it argued that treaties like NPT were selectively applicable to only non-nuclear powers and legitimized the monopoly of nuclear power by a few.

India 5th among countries with corporate commitments to science-based targets: Report

News:Recently,a carbon disclosure report has been released by the Global Reporting Initiative,a non profit organisation.

Facts:

About Carbon disclosure report:

  • It is an annual report on carbon reduction activities of different countries and their firms.
  • The report ranks countries based on their corporate responsibilities of carbon reduction.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • United States topped the list based on their corporate responsibilities of carbon reduction or based on the transparency of the disclosures.It was followed by Japan,UK and France.
  • India has been ranked 5th among the countries surveyed for corporate commitments to science-based targets(SBT).
  • Around 58 Indian companies disclosed their environment related activities to the organization.
  • Based on their disclosure,the report concludes that 98% of the top Indian companies have now formed committees to address climate related issues.
  • Further,the top corporate managements in India have also integrated climate concerns in performance evaluation of key personal with nearly 90% providing incentives to senior staffers to help meet targets.

Additional information:

About GRI:

  • Global Reporting Initiative(GRI) is an independent international organization that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997.
  • It helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being.

India, Brazil to sign Strategic Action Plan

News:Brazilian President will be visiting India as the Chief Guest of the Republic Day celebrations from January 24-27,2020.

Facts:

About the visit:

India and Brazil are expected to sign 20 various agreements across defence, energy, agriculture, healthcare and minerals.Among them,the major ones are:

  • Strategic Action Plan:India and Brazil will upgrade their strategic partnership with a strategic action plan.The Action Plan will serve as an umbrella agreement to increase defence cooperation, technology sharing and a logistics agreement.
  • Bilateral investment treaty:The two countries are also expected to sign a Bilateral Investment Treaty which will be the first revised one that India will sign with any country since 2015.
  • Social Security Agreement(SSA):The two countries will also exchange a Social Security Agreement (SSA) first signed in March 2017.It will allow investments in each other’s pension funds to help business processes and encourage the flow of investment.

Additional information:

India-Brazil Relations:

  • India and Brazil diplomatic bilateral relations were established in 1948.The relations are based on a common global vision, shared democratic values and a commitment to foster economic growth of both countries.
  • They share a close and multifaceted relationship at bilateral level as well as in plurilateral level such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance among others.
  • The Bilateral relations were elevated to a Strategic Partnership level in 2006.
  • In 2018, India was the 11th biggest exporter to Brazil and the tenth biggest importer from the country.The bilateral trade stands at about $8 billion.
  • In 2018,Indian investments in Brazil were around U.S.$ 6 billion and Brazilian investments in India are estimated at U.S.$ 1 billion.
  • Brazil is also among the top ten oil producers in the world. Major reforms are being undertaken in Brazil’s energy sector which will help to increase not only production but also oil exports.

Manipur tribes call truce after decades of conflict

News:The organisations of Naga and Kuki tribes namely Naga National Political Groups(NNPGs) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) have signed a declaration to settle contentious issues and inter-community differences peacefully.

Facts:

About Naga-Kuki conflict:

  • The Kuki–Naga conflict which was mainly fought on land and identity issues has resulted in the uprooting of hundreds of villages with the loss of more than 1,000 lives and enormous internal displacement.
  • The British colonial policy of governance in the north-east frontier of India and the rise of ethnic nationalism among both the Kukis and Nagas in the post-independence period were the roots of the conflict.

About Nagas:

  • Naga is an umbrella term for several indigenous communities in North-East India and Upper Burma.They belong to Indo-Mongoloid Family.
  • It covers a number of tribes that reside in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh states of India and also in Myanmar.
  • Some of the major Naga tribes are Angami, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Phoms, Rengma, Sema, Pochury and Zeliang.
  • Naga tribes’ biggest festival is New year festival of January 15th called Kaing Bi festival.

About Kukis:

  • The Kukis constitute one of several hill tribes within India, Bangladesh, and Burma.
  • In Northeast India, they are present in all states except Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Some fifty tribes of Kuki people in India are recognised as scheduled tribes.
  • The majority of Kukis are Christians.The main festival of Kuki tribe is Mim Kut.

SC seeks response on PIL seeking implementation of electric mobility mission

News:The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre on a public interest litigation(PIL) seeking directions to implement the recommendations of National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020.

Facts:

About the petition:

  • The petitioner argued that e-vehicles are more viable since the combustion process in compressed natural gas (CNG) enabled vehicles also causes global warming.
  • Hence,a proper infrastructure for Electric Vehicles(EV) operated vehicles also needs to be developed.
  • Further,the plea also suggested ways including preferential parking, exemption from toll fee, subsidised private ownership for charging infrastructure in sync with international practices to boost the adoption of EV’s.

About National Electric Mobility Mission Plan(NEMMP) 2020:

  • The NEMMP 2020 is the National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of Electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • The plan aims to enhance national fuel security, to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation and to enable the Indian automotive industry to achieve global manufacturing leadership.
  • The mission targets to achieve an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles by the year 2020.
  • Under the plan,the government has also launched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME India) scheme.

Additional information:

About Fame India Scheme

  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme was launched in 2015.It is implemented by Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.
  • It aims to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing ecosystem.
  • The main objectives of the scheme are a) encourage faster adoption of Electric and hybrid vehicle by way of offering upfront Incentive on purchase of Electric vehicles and b) establish necessary charging Infrastructure for electric vehicles.
  • Further, FAME II is an expanded version of FAME I which aimed to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing ecosystem.
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