IASCLUB Daily Current Affairs : 24 September 2019

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Multipurpose National ID card

Topic: GS –II: Governance

Speaking on the occasion of laying the foundation for a new office building for the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner in New Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about the potential of using the upcoming 2021 Census data for future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes.

More in news:

  • Amit Shah said the fact that this would be the first Census where data would be collected digitally would have wide-ranging ramifications and uses. For instance, “can’t we link the registration of birth and death with the country’s voter list,” he said. This way, he argued, no one would have to apply for a voter card when they reach the voting age – it would happen on its own. Similarly, if someone dies, the voter list would be updated on its own.
  • The Home Minister clarified that although there was no such scheme in the offing, it was possible to get rid of excess processes and cards such as the Aadhaar card, the voter card, the identity card etc. He further argued that if this Census was done properly and in the right format, it was possible that there could be just one single card in which all the other cards could reside. In other words, a single card that has your bank card, voter id card, Aadhaar card, and passport. Amit Shah said the forthcoming digital Census will form the base for bringing all these strands together.

Relevance of Multipurpose National Identity Card

  • The Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) that was first suggested by a 2001 report on “Reforming the National Security System” by an empowered Group of Ministers during the AtalBihari Vajpayee government. The eGOM report itself was a response to the K Subrahmanyam-led Kargil Review Committee, which was instituted in the wake of the Kargil conflict of 1999.
  • The eGOM recommended MPNIC in relation to the growing threat from illegal migration.
  • Moreover, technology has taken a giant leap since the MPNIC was first proposed in 2001. A good example of that is the existence of the Aadhaar database, which now has almost all residents of India on it.
  • The government also expected to launch the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)by the start of 2020, to scour data real-time from 21 databases such as airline travel, credit card transactions etc with the aim to track and prevent terror and illegal immigration activities.
  • The existence of the Natgrid would obviate the original need of MPNIC – that of tracking terror suspects and illegal immigrants.
 National Intelligence grid (NATGRID)

·         This central agency aims to have an integrated intelligence grid that will link databases of several departments and ministries of the Government of India in order to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by multiple agencies.

·         Thus it will help to identify, capture and prosecute terrorists and help pre-empt terror plots.

·         It will provide platform to share and disseminate intelligence information among 22 government agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Financial intelligence Unit (FIU), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI).

 Background

·         The idea of NATGRID was first conceptualised by former Home Minister P Chidambaram after the Mumbai 26/11 attack and was approved by the Cabinet committee on Security during UPA regime.

India’s help to Mongolia’s space flight dreams

Topic: GS –II: International relations

Last week, India and the landlocked nation of Mongolia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation and usage of outer space for civilian purposes. AnMoU on disaster management was also signed during Mongolian President KhaltmaagiinBattulga’s State Visit to India.

More in news:

  • In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mongolia, which strengthened bilateral relations between the two countries, which are governed by the Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation, signed in February 1994.

Mongolia and space

  • AnMoU similar to the one signed Thursday was signed in 2004 between the Department of Space, Government of India and the Ministry of Infrastructure, Government of Mongolia. That agreement provided a framework for the two countries in the areas of space science and technology.
  • It included activities in the areas of satellites, sounding rockets, balloons and ground facilities for space research. The agreement also covers studies related to satellite communications, satellite-based remote sensing and satellite meteorology, satellite ground stations and satellite mission management, training facilities and exchange of scientists.
  • In April 2017, Mongolia launched its first satellite, the Mongol Sat-1, in partnership with telecom and broadcast provider Asia Broadcast Satellite, in order to “diversify its resource-dependent economy”. Later that same year, it launched a ‘CubeSat’ miniature satellite called Mazaalai, named after the highly endangered Gobi bear of Mongolia.
  • Mazaalai was launched as part of the SpaceX CRS-11 mission, carried on a Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, United States. CubeSats are meant for space research, and Maazalai was launched along with CubeSats from Japan, Nigeria, Ghana, and Bangladesh.
  • The central aim of Mazaalai was to be able to conduct independent space research, develop accurate maps, and to be able to prevent natural disasters.

Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS)

Topic: GS -III: Economic Development

Context:

The head of India’s food safety regulator has said that she expects the Union Agriculture Ministry’s Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS) to incentivize more farmers to grow organic food.

Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS)

  • PGS is a process of certifying organic products, which ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality standards. The certification is in the form of a documented logo or a statement.
  • According to ‘Participatory Guarantee System for India [PGS-India]’, an ‘Operational Manual for Domestic Organic Certification’ published in 2015 by the National Centre of Organic Farming, Ghaziabad, under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, PGS is a “quality assurance initiative that is locally relevant, emphasize[s] the participation of stakeholders, including producers and consumers, and (which) operate[s] outside the framework of third-party certification”.

Four pillars of PGS

  • PARTICIPATION: Stakeholders such as producers, consumers, retailers, traders, NGOs, Gram Panchayats, and government organisations and agencies are collectively responsible for designing, operating, and decision-making. Direct communication among the stakeholders helps create an integrity- and trust-based approach with transparency in decision-making, easy access to databases and, where possible, visits to farms by consumers.
  • SHARED VISION: Collective responsibility for implementation and decisionmaking is driven by a common shared vision. Each stakeholder organisation or PGS group can adopt its own vision conforming to the overall vision and standards of the PGS-India programme.
  • TRANSPARENCY: At the grassroots level, transparency is maintained through the active participation of producers in the organic guarantee process, which can include information-sharing at meetings and workshops, peer reviews, and involvement in decisionmaking.
  • TRUST: A fundamental premise of PGS is the idea that producers can be trusted, and that the organic guarantee system can be an expression and verification of this trust. The mechanisms for trustworthiness include a producer pledge made through a witnessed signing of a declaration, and written collective undertakings by the group to abide by the norms, principles and standards of PGS.

Advantages and limitations

Advantages are:

  • Procedures are simple, documents are basic, and farmers understand the local language used.
  • All members live close to each other and are known to each other. As practising organic farmers themselves, they understand the processes well.
  • Because peer appraisers live in the same village, they have better access to surveillance; peer appraisal instead of third-party inspections also reduces costs
  • Mutual recognition and support between regional PGS groups ensures better networking for processing and marketing.
  • Unlike the grower group certification system, PGS offers every farmer individual certificates, and the farmer is free to market his own produce independent of the group.

Limitations of PGS.

  • PGS certification is only for farmers or communities that can organise and perform as a group within a village or a cluster of continguous villages, and is applicable only to farm activities such as crop production, processing, and livestock rearing, and off-farm processing “by PGS farmers of their direct products”.
  • Individual farmers or group of farmers smaller than five members are not covered under PGS. They either have to opt for third party certification or join the existing PGS local group.
  • PGS ensures traceability until the product is in the custody of the PGS group, which makes PGS ideal for local direct sales and direct trade between producers and consumers.

Renewable energy target to be more than doubled

Topic: GS-III: Environment

India’s renewable energy target will be increased to 450 GW, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

Important point mention by Indian prime minster:

  • Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the creation of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 under the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • India would spend approximately $50 billion “in the next few years” on the Jal Jeevan Mission to conserve water, harvest rainwater and develop water resources.
  • India planned to considerably increase the proportion of the biofuel blend in petrol and diesel.
  • India had plans to make the transport sector green through the use of electrical vehicles.
India’s INDC Targets

·         To put forward and further propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation.

·         To adopt a climate friendly and a cleaner path than the one followed hitherto by others at the corresponding level of economic development.

·         To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level.

·         To achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund (GCF).

·         To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent through the additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

·         To better adapt to climate change by enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, Himalayan region, coastal regions, health and disaster management.

·         To mobilize domestic and new & additional funds from developed countries to implement the above mitigation and adaptation actions in view of the resource required and the resource gap.

·         To build capacities, create a domestic framework and international architecture for quick diffusion of cutting-edge climate technology in India and for joint collaborative R&D for such future technologies.

Russia formally accepts 2015 Paris climate accord

Topic: GS-III: Environment

Russia said it would implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to fight climate change after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved a government resolution signifying ’s final acceptance of the deal.

More in news:

  • The same resolution said Russia would not technically ratify the accord however due to a legal nuance. Mr. Medvedev said Moscow would adapt the accord to existing legal norms. It was unclear what, if any, the legal implications of failing to technically ratify the pact were.
  • Russia is the world’s fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the biggest emitter not to have ratified the landmark global climate deal.

Editorial section:

 Making the grand Indian PSB mergers work -The Hindu

Texan outreach-The Hindu

Climate justice through judicial diktat-The Hindu

Credibility deficit-The Hindu

The importance of listening well-The Hindu

Inequality of another kind-The Hindu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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