Daily Current Affairs – 06-09-2023

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    Laws governing forests of the Northeast

    Syllabus :GS 2/Governance/GS 3/Environment 

    In News

    • The Mizoram Assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023, “to protect the rights and interest of the people of Mizoram”. 
    • The Nagaland Assembly will also face strident demands to pass a resolution against the Amendment. 

    Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023

    • The amendment allows the diversion of forest land for roads, railway lines or “strategic linear projects of national importance and concerning national security” within 100 km of India’s international borders or lines of control, without a forest clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA) 1980.
      • Most of India’s Northeast falls in this 100 km range. 

    Applicability to the Northeast

    • Special constitutional protections, such as Article 371A for Nagaland and 371G for Mizoram, prohibit the application of any law enacted by Parliament that impinges on Naga and Mizo customary law and procedure, and ownership and transfer of land and its resources. 
      • Such laws can be extended to these States only if their Legislative Assemblies decide thus in a resolution.

    State Wise Details 

    • In 1986, Nagaland extended the application of the FCA “to government forests and such other forests and Wildlife Sanctuaries under the control of [the] State Government”. 
      • In December 1997, the Home Ministry confirmed that the FCA is covered under the term “land resources” and is not applicable to Nagaland, as its Legislative Assembly had not adopted any resolution to apply FCA to the State. 
      • In November 1998, the Environment Ministry informed the Nagaland government that FCA is indeed applicable to the State as clarified by the Ministry of Law and Justice. 
    • Mizoram:  In 1986, the Union Territory became a State with the 53rd amendment of the Constitution, adding Article 371G to the Constitution
      • It stipulated that all Central Acts in force before 1986 are extended to the State, including the FCA. 
    • The FCA is applicable in the rest of the Northeast — in Meghalaya and Tripura, the Sixth Schedule Areas within these States, and in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Manipur. 
    • Arunachal Pradesh ranked first among these States in FCA clearance (21,786.45 ha)

    What is RFA?

    • Over a million hectares of forest have been diverted nationwide under FCA since 1980. 
    • FCA exists to deforest the forest, under the Indian Forest Act 1927 or its State versions. 
    • In 1996, the Supreme Court expanded the term “forest land” in the FCA in the Godavarman case to “not only include ‘forest’ as understood in the dictionary sense, but also any area recorded as forest in the Government record irrespective of the ownership”, thus extending the FCA to unclassed forests.
      • These are recorded forests but not notified as forests. 
    • More than half of the Northeast is Recorded Forest Area (RFA). 
    • The apex court’s 1996 order brought unclassed forests under the FCA’s purview everywhere. 

    Current Status 

    • In the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (FRA) 2006, “forest land” includes unclassified forests, undemarcated forests, existing or deemed forests, protected forests, reserved forests, Sanctuaries and National Parks. 
      • This complied with the 1996 Supreme Court redefinition.
    •  The Ministry of Tribal Affairs can also issue legally enforceable directions under Section 12 of the FRA, paving the way for this. 
    • The Environment Ministry mandated FRA implementation and prior informed consent of the Gram Sabha in 2009 to admit a forest diversion proposal. 
    • The responsibility was delegated to the District Collector, who ironically also headed the District Committee that issues FRA titles.
    • The Ministry’s 2022 Forest Conservation Rules eliminated compliance with the FRA before final approval altogether.

    Challenges in implementation 

    • None of the Northeast States have implemented FRA except for Assam and Tripura. 
    • The reasons include the FRA being ‘irrelevant’ as communities, clans, chiefs and individuals own most of the land, that their rights are already being enjoyed and a lack of forest-dwellers who are totally forest dependent.

    Conclusion and Way Forward 

    • States can formulate and take legal measures to ensure mandatory fulfilment of the FRA before recommending a forest diversion proposal, and ensuring Gram Sabha consent before handing over forest land. 
    • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs can also issue legally enforceable directions under the FRA, or even enact a separate law, to recognise and settle forest rights.
    • This way, the States and the Tribal Affairs Ministry have a way to provide tenurial security to forest-dwellers and protect the forests.

    Source:TH

    Vaccine Diplomacy

    Syllabus: GS2/Issues related to Health; International Relations

    Context

    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in history, three non-Western powers — Russia, China and India — dominated international vaccine diplomacy.

    Brief Background

    • Traditionally, Western powers have been the major donors of health aid while non-western nations have been the recipients.
    • Aid of this kind has been a part of a country’s diplomatic toolkit, to be deployed judiciously in pursuit of geopolitical goals.
    • During the Cold War, the two big powers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, both developed and delivered vaccines against smallpox and polio, in what came to be known as ‘vaccine diplomacy’.

    Reasons for domination of Non-Western countries

    • These countries, Russia, China and India, were more proactive than Western powers in distributing vaccines to emerging markets, because of:
    1. Countries were in desperate need of vaccines;
    2. Western nations were hoarding vaccines.
    • This provided an opening for non-Western powers to step in with their geopolitical aims and political, economic and technological constraints determined the nature and scope of vaccine diplomacy, with the focus on:
      • Vaccine R&D: Countries with an advantage in vaccine R&D would be more open to technology transfer;
      • Manufacturing: Countries with greater manufacturing capability would be more likely to keep vaccine production within their borders than outsourcing it overseas;
      • Delivery: Countries with expansive distribution networks would prefer bilateral to multilateral distribution.

    Role of Russia: Russia, which is strong in vaccine R&D and weak in production and distribution, has relied on outsourcing vaccine production with technology transfer, having advantages like:

    • It is to promote sales when its vaccines have low global credibility and or encourage offshore production has limited domestic production capacity.
    • It is to secure vaccine supply to developing countries and to develop their pharmaceutical industry.

    Role of China: China’s vaccine diplomacy is the costliest, with tremendous investments in vaccine development, production, and distribution.

    • It provided preferential access only to African and ASEAN countries — regions that are focus areas of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

    Role of India

    • India was producing about 60% of the world’s vaccines even before the Covid-19, and it was characterised by mass-production of Western-invented vaccines, prompt bilateral donations, and large-scale sales to bilateral buyers and multilateral COVAX initiative.
      • The ‘Western-invented’ Covishield was the major currency of India’s vaccine diplomacy, as it leveraged the massive capacity of SII, the world’s largest vaccine producer.
    • Vacciner Maitri: It is a large-scale bilateral program launched by India to help world countries, with priority access to its neighbouring countries, under the ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy and having sizeable populations of Indian diaspora.
      • Nepal and Myanmar, sharing a border with both India, are the big beneficiary of India’s vaccine diplomacy.
    • Geo-Political Balance: India concentrated donations on countries with which it has strong geopolitical and economic ties, but it sold a much larger sum to relatively wealthy countries beyond its geopolitical reach.
      • India balanced geopolitical interests and financial reality by carefully deciding vaccine donation and/or commercial sales to countries of geopolitical importance.
      • India exported nearly 80% of vaccine doses on a commercial basis to developed countries; and,
      • Only Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal received more than 1 million vaccine doses as a donation.

    Issues with India’s Vaccine Diplomacy

    • India’s vaccine diplomacy was interrupted by the second wave of COVID-19, because of high domestic demand amid spiralling infection rates, it banned all vaccine exports, which provided an opportunity for China to step up and fill the gap.
    • Both Russia and China invested heavily into vaccine R&D, but India did not.
      • In India, SII and Bharat Biotech had to finance their own production without support from the Indian government.
      • It was only after the Delta wave of Covid-19, the Indian government agreed to provide $600 million to these two companies to expand production.
    • Slow and limited governmental support made it unavoidable for India to delay its promised vaccine delivery to COVAX and bilateral buyers by half a year, affecting India’s reputation as a reliable vaccine supplier.
    • India, with less advanced R&D, sought to sustain the image of a humanitarian actor who supplies advanced Western pharmaceuticals at affordable prices.

    Way Forward

    • India is regarded as the vaccine manufacturing hub of the world, contributing 60% to the global vaccine supply.
    • For over two decades, India has acquired the reputation of being the ‘pharmacy of the world’ as its strong generic pharmaceutical industry has been supplying affordable medicines conforming to quality standards to the global markets.
    • Vaccine diplomacy, at least in the short-term, mitigates outright conflicts between the rising powers, with the help of interdependence of each other.
      • For example, when Russia (a member of BRICS countries, which are intertwined in the complex structure of vaccine enterprise) received bulk orders from Brazil, it outsourced production to China and India and China that had conducted clinical trials in Brazil and Russia.

    TH

    Controversy on India To Be Called Bharat

    Syllabus: GS2/ Polity & Constitution 

    In News

    • Recently, an official invitation to a G20 dinner stated that it is hosted by “The President of Bharat” instead of the usual “President of India”.

    Use of ‘Bharat’

    • Article 1 of the Constitution uses the two names interchangeably: “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” 
    • Several names such as Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Railways already have Hindi variants with “Bharatiya” in them.

    History of “Bharat” to ”India”

    • Puranic literature:  The roots of “Bharat”, “Bharata”, or “Bharatvarsha” are traced back to Puranic literature, and to the epic Mahabharata
      • The Puranas describe Bharata as the land between the “sea in the south and the abode of snow in the north”.
    • Name of a king: Bharata is also the name of the ancient king of legend who was the ancestor of the Rig Vedic tribe of the Bharatas, and by extension, the progenitor of all peoples of the subcontinent.
    • Religious and socio-cultural entity: Social scientist Catherine Clémentin-Ojha explained Bharata in the sense of a religious and socio-cultural entity, rather than a political or geographical one. 
      • ‘Bharata’ refers to the “supraregional and subcontinental territory where the Brahmanical system of society prevails”.
    • British India: From the late 18th century onwards, British maps increasingly began to use the name ‘India’, and ‘Hindustan’ started to lose its association with all of South Asia. 
      • “Part of the appeal of the term India may have been its Graeco-Roman associations, its long history of use in Europe, and its adoption by scientific and bureaucratic organisations such as the Survey of India”.
    • Making of Constitution: In his monumental ‘Discovery of India’, Nehru referred to “India”, “Bharata” and “Hindustan”.
      • But when the question of naming India in the Constitution arose, ‘Hindustan’ was dropped, and both ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ were retained.

    Various arguments on ‘Bharat’ or ‘India’

    • Constituent assembly: Several members of the constituent assembly expressed themselves against the use of ‘India’, which they saw as a reminder of the colonial past. 
      • A popular demand by several members was also to underline that India was a substitute for Bharat in “English language”.
      • Many assembly members argued that the word ‘India’ was only a translation of Bharat.
    • Choosing ‘Bharat’ before ‘India’: Critics also feel that the assembly should have put the words “Bharat known as India” instead of “India, that is Bharat”.
    • Historians and philologists: Historians and philologists have delved deep into this matter of the name of this country, especially the origin of this name Bharat. All of them are not agreed as to the genesis of this name Bharat. 
      • A few suggested “Bharat” or “Bharatvarsha” or “Bharatbhumi” as possible names that are derived from scriptures.
    • Opinions on recent change: Unless any intention to the contrary is made explicit, the terminology is only a question of semantics.
      • One of the constitutional experts said there was nothing wrong in sending an invitation as the “President of Bharat”. However, it should not be seen as the first step towards doing away with the use of the English language.
    • Global examples: According to a few, Sri Lanka eschewed the name Ceylon long ago, but we cling to the name left behind by the invaders.

    Supreme Court’s opinion

    • In 2020, the Supreme Court had dismissed a PIL seeking to remove “India” from the Constitution and retain only Bharat in order to “ensure the citizens of this country get over the colonial past”. 
    • Apex court opined that, “India is already called Bharat in the Constitution itself.”
    • CJI upheld the right of the individual to choose between the two names.

    Way ahead

    • The government may decide to make ‘Bharat’ the official name of the country.
    • However, they will be required to introduce a bill in the Parliament to amend Article 1 of the Constitution.
    • While there is no constitutional objection to calling India ‘Bharat’, completely dispense with ‘India’ which has incalculable brand value is futile.

    Source: TH

    Malaviya Mission

    Syllabus:GS2/ Education

    News

    • The Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship launched the Malaviya Mission.

    About

    • Malaviya Mission – Teacher Training Programme is organized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), in association with the Ministry of Education.
    • The two-week online programme shall focus on various themes identified for course curriculum/content for capacity building of faculty members at higher educational institutions. 
    • The 8 themes include Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education, Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS), Academic Leadership, Governance and Management, Higher Education and Society, Research and Development, Skill Development, Student Diversity and Inclusive Education and Information and Communication Technology. 
    • The UGC has established a dedicated portal for faculty members to register for the capacity-building programmes.It was also announced to rename the Human Resource Development Centres (HRDCs) as Madan Mohan Malaviya Teachers Training Centre.

    Significance

    • The programme shall help develop innovative teaching methods and high-level institutional facilities in all the constituent areas of higher education.
    • It aims to improve the quality of teachers training, build leadership skills in teachers and help realize the goals of National Education Policy (NEP).

    NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads Teachers Holistic Advancement)

    • NISHTHA is a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha in 2019-20.
    • It has been launched by the Department of School Education and Literacy.
    • It is a capacity building programme for “Improving Quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training”
    • It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage.It is the world’s largest teachers’ training programme of its kind.

    Source:PIB

    Marine Sand Extraction

    Syllabus: GS3/Conservation of Environment

    News: 

    • “Around six billion tonnes of sand is being extracted annually from the floor of the world’s oceans, causing irreparable damage to benthic life,” according to a data platform, Marine Sand Watch.

    About:

    • The new data platform, Marine Sand Watch, has been developed by GRID-Geneva, a Centre for Analytics within the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
    • The platform will track and monitor dredging activities of sand, clay, silt, gravel, and rock in the world’s marine environment, including hotspots like the North Sea, Southeast Asia, and the East Coast of the United States.
    • The platform has estimated that between four and eight billion tonnes of sand are being dredged from the ocean floor every year. 
    • Even more alarmingly, this number is expected to rise to 10 to 16 billion tonnes per year, which is the natural replenishment rate or the amount that rivers need to maintain coastal and marine ecosystem structure and function.

    Impacts of Marine Sand Extraction:

    • The extraction of sand increases the turbidity of water. 
    • It changes nutrient availability and causes noise pollution, thus affecting marine organisms greatly.
    • Not just benthic organisms, people living in coastal communities will also be severely affected by this magnitude of sand dredging, according to the UNEP.  
    • Shallow sea mining for sand and gravel poses a threat to coastal communities in the face of rising sea levels and storms.
    • Coastal or near-shore extraction can also affect the salinisation of aquifers and future tourist development.

    Way Ahead: 

    • Some countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia have banned marine sand export in the last 20 years, while others lack any legislation and /or effective monitoring programmes.
    • The UNEP had called for better monitoring of sand extraction and use in its 2022 Sand and Sustainability report. 
      • It had also recommended to stop the sand extraction on beaches and the active beach-nearshore sand system for the purpose of mining sand as a resource and
      • to establish an international standard on sand extraction in the marine environment. 

    Source: DTE 

    Ecocide

    Syllabus: GS3/Conservation of Environment

    News: 

    Mexico’s ‘Maya train’ project has been criticised as a “megaproject of death” causing an ecological disaster in the region. 

    About:

    • The project has acquired a contradictory reputation. Some describe it as a “Pharaonic project”(renaissance period), with a route connecting tourists in the Caribbean with historic Maya sites. 
    • It has also been described as a “megaproject of death” because it imperils the Yucatán peninsula and its rich wilderness, ancient cave systems, and Indigenous communities. 
    • The Tribunal for the Rights of Nature said the project caused “crimes of ecocide and ethnocide”.

    What is ecocide?

    • Ecocide, derived from Greek and Latin, translates to “killing one’s home” or “environment”. 
      • Such ‘killing’ could include port expansion projects that destroy fragile marine life and local livelihoods; deforestation; illegal sand-mining; and polluting rivers with untreated sewage. 
    • The biologist Arthur Galston in 1970 is credited with first linking environmental destruction with genocide, when referring to the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange(a chemical herbicide used to clear trees and vegetation) in the Vietnam War. 
    • British lawyer Polly Higgins became the linchpin when in 2010 she urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to recognise ecocide as an international crime.
      • Today, the Rome Statute of the ICC deals with four atrocities: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression but not the ecocide.
    • There is no accepted legal definition of ecocide, but a panel of lawyers in June 2021 for the Stop Ecocide Foundation proposed, ecocide constitutes the “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.”
    • Polly Higgins describes Ecocide as “Extensive loss, damage to or destruction of ecosystems … such that the peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished.”

    Why should ecocide be a crime?

    • Ecocide is a crime in 11 countries, with 27 others considering laws to criminalise environmental damage that is wilfully caused and harms humans, animals, and plants. 
    • The European Parliament voted unanimously this year to enshrine ecocide in law. 
      • Most national definitions penalise “mass destruction of flora and fauna”, “poisoning the atmosphere or water resources” or “deliberate actions capable of causing an ecological disaster.” 
    • The ICC and Ukraine’s public prosecutor are also investigating Russia’s role in the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam, which unleashed a flood that drowned 40 regions, and released oils and toxic fluids into the Black Sea.
    • Over a third of the earth’s animal and plant species could be extinct by 2050. Unprecedented heat waves have broken records worldwide. Changing rainfall schemes have disrupted flood and drought patterns. 
    • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reiterated in March 2023 that global climate action remains “insufficient”.
    • In this milieu, an amendment to the Rome Statute could prompt countries around the world to draft their own laws, and individual countries that have incorporated ecocide in their laws could in turn build pressure on the ICC.
    • Ecocide laws could also double up as calls for justice for low- and middle-income countries disproportionately affected by climate change. 
      • Small nation-states like Vanuatu and Barbuda are already lobbying the ICC to declare crimes against the environment to be violations of international law.

    Limitations to defining ecocide

    • Some experts have called the concept and its definition ambiguous and as setting a very low threshold to implicating an entity. 
      • Words like “long-term” or “widespread damage” are abstract and leave room for misinterpretation, Prof. Siddiqui said. 
    • It also constructs a development-versus-environment narrative and some argue it could mean that it is ‘okay’ to destroy the environment as long as it benefits humans.
    • The threshold to prove ‘ecocide’ may also be too high. Countries like Belarus and Moldova specify “intentional” or “deliberate” destruction, but environmental disasters are not caused intentionally or deliberately. 
    • The ICC also has limited legal powers as well as an uneven track record of converting prosecutions and convictions.
      • Specifically, the court’s power is limited to “natural persons,” so without any significant changes, the ICC will not be unable to hold corporate entities criminally liable.

     

    • Even if you’re able to define ecocide, how will you define the idea of jurisdiction?” Experts have noted that most ‘crimes’ are transnational in nature: corporations have private or State-owned corporations in other countries (which are not members of the Rome Statute) that are responsible for polluting activities. 
      • For example, Coca-Cola was accused of poisoning land in South India with waste sludge and pushing thousands of farmers out of work by draining the water that fed their wells.

    What has been India’s stance?

    • Some Indian judgments have affirmed the legal personhood of nature by recognising rivers as legal entities with the right to maintain their spirit, identity, and integrity.
    • In Chandra CFS and Terminal Operators Pvt. Ltd. v. The Commissioner of Customs and Ors (2015), the Madras High Court noted: “the prohibitory activities of ecocide has been continuing unbridledly by certain sections of people by removing the valuable and precious timbers”.
    • In an ongoing case, T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union Of India & Ors, the Supreme Court called attention to an “anthropogenic bias” and argued that “environmental justice could be achieved only if we drift away from the principle of anthropocentric to ecocentric”.
    • India’s legislative framework vis-à-vis environmental and ecological governance includes the Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act (CAMPA) 2016, as well as separate Rules to prevent air and water pollution. 
    • Notably, the National Green Tribunal, India’s apex environmental statutory body, does not have the jurisdiction to hear matters related to the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the Indian Forest Act 1927, and other State-enacted laws.
    • Indian laws are themselves in a state of conflict: the Parliament passed the controversial Forest Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2023 and Biodiversity (Amendment) Bill 2023, which experts have said will dilute current legal protections and will lead to the loss of 20-25% of forest area in the country and the attendant biodiversity and ecosystem issues.

    Way Ahead

    • One critical challenge that needs to be addressed is to tackle problems of liability and compensation – a “friction between committing to environmental protection and actual action.” 
    • For example, survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster are still fighting for compensation. The disaster’s had an intergenerational impact on health and widespread contamination of soil and groundwater.
    • Implementation is the key: Several independent investigations have also alleged that funds earmarked for CAMPA have been misused and/or diverted for other purposes.
    • Even before ecocide laws come up internationally, India needs to first bring its environmental laws in tune with the idea of ecocide.

    Source: TH

    Facts In News

    Centre signs MoU with Adobe to help children learn AI

    Syllabus: GS 2/Governance

    In News

    • The Union Ministry of Education signed an agreement with global software major Adobe to help children develop creative expression in classrooms using the application Adobe Express. 

    About MoU 

    • Training and certification in creativity and digital literacy will be provided to about 20 million students and 5,00,000 teachers by 2027 using Adobe Express-based curriculum. 
    • Under the programme, Adobe will provide schools across the country with free access to Adobe Express Premium and the professional development of educators.
    • Curriculum, training and certification based on Adobe Express tools and capabilities will be rolled out to empower students and educators with topics covering creativity, generative AI, design, animation, video and other emerging technologies.
    •  Students and teachers will be able to use Express, which according to Adobe, is an easy content creation application with generative AI capabilities.

    Significance 

    • In the time of digitisation, new ideas, new innovation and creativity, the partnership will create a new standard and benchmark for students. 

    Source:TH

    National Teachers’ Award

    Syllabus: GS2/ Education

    Context

    • The President of India has conferred the National Teachers’ Award to 75 teachers on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. 

    National Teachers’ Award

    • The purpose of the National Teachers’ Award is to celebrate the unique contribution of teachers in the country and to honor those teachers who, through their commitment and dedication, have not only improved the quality of education but also enriched the lives of their students. 
    • Each award carries a certificate of merit, a cash award of Rs. 50,000 and a silver medal. 

    Why is Teacher’s day celebrated in India?

    • It is celebrated on 5th September every year to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on this day in 1888. 
    • India celebrated its 50th National Teacher’s Day. 

    About Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

    • Literary Works:
      • Radhakrishnan’s philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta.
      • He also authored the book ‘The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore’ in 1917. 
      • His other works include Indian Philosophy, (1923-27), The Philosophy of the Upanishads (1924), An Idealist View of Life (1932), Eastern Religions and Western Thought (1939), and East and West: Some Reflections (1955).
    • Awards and Honours:
      • He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1954.
      • He received a knighthood in 1931 and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. 
      • He was elected chairman of UNESCO’s executive board in 1948.
    • Contributions to the Society:
      • He was one of the founders of Helpage India, a renowned NGO for elderly underprivileged in India.
      • He was the first Indian to hold a chair at the University of Oxford – the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics (1936-1952).
      • He defended Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism” and played a major role in the formation of contemporary Hindu identity.

    Source: PIB

    One-hour trade settlement

    Syllabus: GS3/Economy

    News

    • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), is planning to implement one-hour settlement of trades from the existing T+1 settlement.

    What is trade settlement?

    • Settlement is a two-way process that involves the transfer of funds and securities on the settlement date. As of now, there is a lag between trade and settlement — the settlement date is different from the trade date. 
    • A trade settlement is said to be complete once purchased securities of a listed company are delivered to the buyer, and the seller gets the money.

    T+1 settlement

    • The current cycle of ‘T+1’ in India means trade-related settlements happen within a day, or within 24 hours of the actual transaction. The migration to the T+1 cycle came into effect in January 2023.
    • India became the second country to start the T+1 settlement cycle in top listed securities after China, bringing operational efficiency, faster fund remittances, share delivery, and ease for stock market participants.

    One-hour trade settlement

    • In a one-hour settlement, if an investor sells a share, the money will be credited to their account in an hour, and the buyer will get the shares in their demat account within an hour.
    • Benefit:The move is expected to increase volume in the cash segment as one would be able to move from one stock to another on the same date instead of waiting for settlement of one’s trade after one day or two days.

    Source:IE

    Global Consensus on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)

    Syllabus:GS3/ Economy

    News

    • G20 Digital Economy Ministers reached a consensus on how to effectively shape digital public infrastructure (DPI) of the future.

    About

    • In the meeting the Global Consensus was achieved on Digital Public Infrastructures definition, framework, and principles.
    • Description of DPI: It has been adopted as a set of shared digital systems that should be secure and interoperable, that can be built on open standards and promote access to services for all, with governance and community as core components of DPI. 
    • The consensus between nations focused broadly in three key areas – Digital  Public Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Digital Skills.

    Key outcomes

    • India has entered into eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with countries such as Armenia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Papua New Guinea, and Mauritius, offering them the India Stack and DPI at no cost and with open-source access.
      • These nations now have the opportunity to adopt and utilize these resources within their borders, further developing their unique innovation ecosystems.
    • The G20 India Presidency in partnership with UNDP launched two knowledge products on DPI to help countries advance their digital transformation journey;
      • The DPI SDG Compendium which presents a global snapshot of the potential and impact of DPI across all 17 SDGs, and 
      • The DPI Playbook which provides practical resources on how countries can go about building their inclusive and rights-based DPI. 

    ‘One Future Alliance’ (OFA)

    • It is a voluntary initiative proposed by the G20 India Presidency with support from UNDP and its knowledge partners. 
    • It aims to bring together governments, the private sector, academic and research institutions, donor agencies, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders and existing mechanisms to synergize global efforts in the DPI ecosystem.

    Source:PIB