9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – December 30, 2020

9 PM DAILY BRIEF

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GS 1

What are the implications of Emigration of India’s brightest youth?

GS 2

Importance of creating Resilient supply chains

GS 3

Striking balance between interest of different section of farmers

Inequality of emission targets among developed and developing world


9 PM for Preliminary examination

Factly News articles for December 30, 2020


 

What are the implications of Emigration of India’s brightest youth?

Source: Indian Express

GS-1: Issues associated with population

Synopsis: recent trends that suggests increasing emigration of brightest youth from India, have implications for India.

Background

  • Even after the renewed calls from the PM Narendra Modi for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, emigration of India’s best and brightest has not stopped.
  • Recent findings by Indian Express have shown that, during the two decades of 1996-2015 the toppers (i.e., first rankers in Class 10 and Class 12 examinations from CBSE and ISC) had migrated and were studying or employed overseas, mostly in the US.
  • Also, according to most recent data collected from high-profile private schools in New Delhi, has shown that post-2015, that the trend of out-migration of Indian talent (around 70% of their students) and wealth has accelerated.
  • Apart from the CBSE and ISC students, there is now a growing number of International Baccalaureate (IB) students (who, study and prepare only to pursue their higher education abroad).

What are the implications of rising Emigration from India?

  • First, there is a flight of financial capital to overseas. The Reserve Bank of India’s liberalised remittances scheme (LRS) for “studies abroad” has increased more than threefold, from US$ 1.54 billion in 2016-17 to US$ 4.99 billion in 2019-20.
  • Second, it leads to the “secession of the successful” when wealthy families from big cities send their children to schools that in fact equip them only for further studies and life overseas
  • Third, with flight of human capital, as the data suggests that an increasing number of non-resident Indians (NRIs) have become “not-returning” Indians, and are contributing more to their host countries than to their home country the PM’s belief that “brain drain” could help create a “brain bank” for India’s development is not going to happen.
  • Fourth, there is now an emerging category of Indians migrating out and opting to stay out of India because they feel the sense of alienation in their motherland and this perception has grown especially among minorities which disturbs the very cultural fabric of India.
  • Fifth, an equally worrying trend is the increasing number of India’s super rich is opting for the dual status of owning and managing business in India while living overseas.

It is high time that instead of attracting foreign nationals to work here, India focus on retaining its brightest minds, who are assisting other countries in achieving technological and economical breakthroughs.


Importance of creating Resilient supply chains 

Source: click here 

Syllabus: GS 2 – international relations

Synopsis: The Covid-19 pandemic once again proved the importance of creating resilient supply chains that can survive the tough times.  

Introduction 

Creating supply chains that can withstand the disruptions is extremely important. Disruptions through the times is something inevitable as it can be manmade or natural. For example, The Tahoka Earthquake of 2011, followed by the Tsunami, led to a nuclear disaster caused a sharp drop in Japanese automobile exports to the United States. 

State some examples of supply chain disruptions around the world 

To avoid global disruption in the supply chain system, the robust framework is required. Causes of Supply Chain Disruption can be natural or man-made.   

  • Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries were attacked by terrorist drones resulting in a drop of 5.7 million barrels of oil per day. This caused a sudden fall in Saudi Arabia’s stock market and a rise in global oil prices. 
  • China cut off exports of rare earth to Japan after the arrest of their fishing trawler captain in 2010 near the disputed Senkakuislands by the Japanese officials.  
  • Coronavirus had an immediate effect on supply chains emanating from China.
  • The United States government-imposed restrictions on the export of microchips to China’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer. The US felt that there was an unacceptable risk that equipment supplied to it could be used for military purposes. 

How vulnerable is India to this disruption? 

China has weaponised its trade and investment. Indias’ dependency on china for the following makes it vulnerable to supply chain disruption for many imp. Goods and services in the near future;  

  • India’s pharma sector depends on China’s Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). It creates vulnerabilities in the value chain. 
  • India imports 27% of its requirement of automotive parts from China and after the pandemic it faced a huge difficulty given the sudden shortage of braking components, electrical components, interiors and lighting fixtures. 
  • India has an import dependency of 80%even after becoming the 4th largest market in Asia for medical devices. Among the biggest exporters to India in this field are China, the U.S., Germany, Singapore and Japan. 

What are the steps taken by India and other countries to ensure SCR? 

  • The Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) was started by India, japan and Australia which tends to focus on automobiles and parts, petroleum, steel, textiles, financial services and IT sectors.
  • Japan aimed at diversification of investments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India and Bangladesh.
      • 89 Japanese companies availed subsidies to diversify out of China. Of these, 57 companies relocated to Japan, 30 to Southeast Asia and two to India.
  • The Indian government is providing a big boost to defence manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ programme. It has identified a negative import list of 101 items. 
  • Australia has demonstrated strong political will in countering uninformed Chinese sanctions imposed on its key exports of grain, beef, wine, coal and much else.  
      • Australia has demanded an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus and advocated a strong Indo-Pacific vision. 

Way forward 

India has the capacity and the potential to become one of the world’s largest destinations for investments after the pandemic gets over. 

  • There is a terrific opportunity for foreign companies to enter into tie-ups with reputed Indian defence manufacturers to tap into the growing defence market in India.
  • AtmanirbharBharat’ is aimed at strengthening India’s capacities to participate more robustly without being prey to supply chain disruptions. 

SCRI can get strengthened in the future after the involvement of France, though this might depend on the European Union’s position and the United Kingdom has also shown interest in the SCRI.


Striking balance between interest of different section of farmers

Source- The Indian Express

Syllabus- GS 3- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

Synopsis – present market structure is not favorable for marginal farmers, government should adopt a balanced approach to reach a solution on farm bills.

Background

  • A set of three laws passed in September aims to deregulate India’s enormous agriculture sector aimed at “liberating” farmers from the tyranny of middlemen.
  • But many farmers fear that they stand to lose more than they could gain from the new regulations and these are the following concerns of farmers-
      • End of MSP- Their main worry is about a possible withdrawal of the MSP and a dismantling of the public procurement of grains.
      • Promote corporate control– The farmers contend the federal government is making ready to withdraw from the procurement of food grain and hand it over to the company gamers.

Although all of the concerns of farmers are not misplaced, but these concerns have definitely been blown out of proportion for political reasons.

What are the issues in present Agri. Market structure?

Present Agri. Market structure which suffers from the lacunas of MSP system, restrictive Mandi system and APMC market structures, is doing more harm than benefits to the marginalized farmers.

  • First, CRIER-OECD study on agricultural policies showed that over the period 2000-01 to 2016-17, Indian agriculture was implicitly taxed to the tune of almost 14 per cent of its value.
  • What this implies is that Indian farmers have been implicitly taxed heavily through restrictive marketing and trade policies [export controls, stocking limits and restrictive mandi system]
  • Second, the procurement system and MSP mechanism are beneficial particularly for the rich farmers of Punjab and Haryana
      • The NSSO’s Situation Assessment Survey [2012-13] revealed that Only 6 per cent of the farmers in India are fully covered and benefitted by the MSP, and 84 per cent are located in the states of Punjab and Haryana.
      • The MSP and APMC system primarily helps those who have large surpluses, mainly the large farmers.

How FPOs can be helpful for small and marginal farmers?

In India, 86 per cent of farmers are small and marginal (less than 2 ha), who do not get the benefit of MSP system.

  • Farmer’s Producer’s organizations (FPOs) at village level, consisting of small farmers, supplemented by the mechanism of new farm laws will benefit them.
  • The creation of an additional 10,000 FPOs and the promised Agri-infra Fund of Rs.1,00,000 Crore will aid this process.

How government can eliminate the fears of agitating farmers?

  • First, MSP to be continued– The government need to assure farmers in writing that the new laws discontinue APMC and MSP system.
  • Second, Government needs to clarify about the contract farming that that the contract will be for the produce, not the farmers land.
  • Third, farmers can take disputes to district courts.
  • Forth, Government can also approve 25,000 Crore alternate fund under the Price Stabilization Scheme to support market prices in case when prices fall below 10 percent the MSP

However, The Food Corporation of India is already overloaded with grain stocks that are more than 2.5 times the buffer stock norms.

  • To deal with such situation, Government can either limit the quantity of procurement or go for Price deficiency Payment system for those who buy “put options” at MSP to address the gaps in MSP based procurement of crops.
  • An expert committee will have to be set up to look into its operational guidelines and further announcement of a diversification package for the Punjab-Haryana region can be done.

Conclusion

  • On the one hand, repealing of new farmer’s law would be unfair for small and marginal farmers as they never got any benefit from the MSP system. On another hand, High price to farmers also mean high food prices for consumer.
  • Thus, there is a requirement to strike a balance between the interest of various stakeholders of Indian farming system and its consumers.

Inequality of emission targets among developed and developing world

Source: The Hindu

Gs3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation,

Synopsis: The current Climate change policy is designed to favour the interest of developed world over the interest of countries in the process of development, like India.

Background:

  • India, during the Climate Action Summit in Paris avoided the commitments to cap emissions but agreed on intended nationally determined contribution to reduce global temperature below 1.5degree Celsius.
  • Currently, with India’s per capita emissions at one-third of the global average, India is set to meet its Paris Agreement target for 2030.
  • Whereas the western and EU countries which are responsible for majority of the resources use, and have achieved well-being of their people, are not committed in the proportion of their contribution to climate change.

Why India’s stand on not committing to cap emissions is justifiable?

Main problem doesn’t lie with the Indian model of development but with the colonial model of Industrialisation and urbanisation i.e., overly resource-intensive and defining progress as material abundance. This model has created the inequality, which western countries are not acknowledging.

  • Firstly, Inequity is built into the climate treaty, which considers total emissions, size, and population, making India the fourth largest emitter, not the per capita emission.
      • For example, China, with four times the population of the U.S., accounts for 12% of cumulative emissions while India, with a population close to that of China’s accounts for just 3% of cumulative emissions, have almost same commitments.
      • According to the United Nations, the richest 1% of the global population emits more than two times the emissions of the bottom 50%.
  • Second, North America and Europe were responsible for half of the global construction material use before 1970s, the share declined after the development started in Asia
      • Reconstruction in the West after World War II led to acceleration of material use, resulting emissions and sharp rise in global temperature around 1970, before growth commenced in Asia.
  • Third, Targets of ‘carbon neutrality’ are not justified for the countries like India, which are already on the path of less energy-intensive development and is on the pathway to reach comparable levels of well-being of the west.
  • Fourth, India is already performing better than the West in certain sustainability benchmark like housing size and density, public bicycle transport and eliminating food waste.
      • For example, the meat industry, especially beef, contributes to one-third of global emissions. Indians eat just 4 kg of meat a year compared to those in the European Union who eat about 65 kg and Americans who eat about 100 kg.
      • Also, it is to be noted that the average American household wastes nearly one-third of its food.
  • Fifth, While the Transport emissions which is one of the fastest-growing emissions worldwide and regarded as the symbol of Western civilisation account for a quarter of global emissions they are not on the global agenda.
  • Sixth, India is under pressure to stop using coal, which powered colonialism, even though India’s per capita coal use for electricity generation is one-tenth that of the U.S.. Also, India’s measures to shift to electric vehicles and eliminate oil has not been recognised.

Way forward

India should push for an alternate 2050 goal in the UN for the countries with below average per capita emission by utilising it credibility based on its civilisational and long-standing alternate values for the transition to sustainability.

The goals should be aimed at well-being of people within ecological limits, Sustainable Development Goals and multilateral technological knowledge cooperation around electric vehicles.


Dilemma of tribal rights and forest conservation  

Source: click here 

Syllabus: GS 3- Environment conservation-related issues

Synopsis: Indigenous people are in a state of unrest ever since the ministry of environment and forests started identifying potential heritage sites. The dilemma of tribal rights and forest conservation requires an urgent solution.  

Background 

  • The indigenous people of the Western Ghats, including the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, constitute 44.2% of the tribal population of 6.95% of Karnataka 
  • The Western Ghats are also home to a substantial population of communities like Gowlis, Kunbis, Halakki Vakkala, Kare Vakkala, Kunbi, and Kulvadi Marathi. 
  • In the context of the Forest Rights Act, they are treated as ‘other traditional forest dwellers’ since they have been living there for at least three generations prior to December 13, 2005 and depend on the forest or forest land for their livelihood needs. 

However, these tribal are facing an uncertain future, ever since the World Heritage Site recognition to the 39 areas in western ghats including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and reserved forests.  

How the Declaration of heritage sites will impact the indigenous tribes? 

2012, UNESCO recognition of World Heritage Site to areas of Western Ghats is critical for due to their biodiversity value. Ten of them are in Karnataka. But it will have consequences for indigenous tribes; 

  • These tribal depend on the forest or forest land for their livelihood needs by collecting ‘minor forest produce’ such as cinnamon and kokum from the forest. 
  • The record of Karnataka is dismal in providing recognition to tribal claimsGovt. recognized only 5.7% of the total claims made and disposed of 70% of the claims. 
  • The majority of the claims rejected were of other traditional forest dwellers that were not backed by evidences.  
  • Indigenous people fear for their existence in lands that they had inhabited for decades. The restrictions on movement following the declaration of these territories as ecologically sensitive areas distressed them further. 
  • An approach adopted to isolate the indigenous people from their natural habitats to protect biodiversity could emerge as the root cause of conflict between them and conservationists. 
  • The Global Environment Outlook Report 5 mentions that there is decreased biodiversity across the globe even as ‘protected areas’ have been expanding. 
  • As per the government, until 1980, 43 lakh hectares of forestland encroached both legally and illegally. But nothing concrete has been done on this behalf.
      • Whereas, the combined stretch of land claimed by OTD is smaller than the land which is used for building dams, mining, laying railway lines and roads, power plants, etc.

The way forward 

  • First, the rights of the people who depend on the forest are equally important as is the declaration of the Western Ghats as a World Heritage Site. 
  • Second, as confirmed internationally, preserving biodiversity requires the legal empowerment of the people living in those areas.  
  • Third, the government must make an effort to build trust between its agencies in the area and the people who depend on these forests by treating them as equal citizens like everyone else in the country. 

People living in nature’s surroundings are integral to conservation as they relate with it in a more integrated and spiritual way. 


Factly News articles for December 30, 2020

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