We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Filter By Article

Filter By Article

Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF

Date: 08 May 2019

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

  • Initiatives by Commerce Ministry to Boost Trade with African Countries
  • The Commerce Ministry and Indian High Commissions and Embassies of eleven African countries arranged an interaction over Digital Video Conference (DVC) over two days, on 3rd and 6th May 2019, with the Indian business community in Africa. The interactions with Indian Diaspora were held in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Mauritius, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, and Madagascar. This initiative was held in order to build an effective engagement withthe Indian Diaspora in Africain order to further deepen and strengthen India-Africa trade ties
  •  The DVC was attended by over 400 members of Indian business community in 11 African countries.
  • India’s total trade with the African region during 2017-18 was USD 62.69 billion (8.15% of India’s total trade with the World). India’s share of exports to African countries as a percentage of India’s total exports to the world was of the order of 8.21% in 2017-18.
  • Africa region’s share in India’s total imports from the World accounted for 8.12% in 2017-18. Today, African countries present immense opportunities for India with the world’s largest land mass, 54 countries, a population growing to be almost equivalent to that of India, huge mineral resources, oil wealth, a youthful population, falling poverty levels and increasing consumption patterns.
  • Thus, Africa has a huge demand for new business models for market entry, stable market access, entrepreneurship and investments in transport, telecom, tourism, financial services, real estate and construction.
  • This initiative of the Commerce Ministry emphasizes the need for a multipronged strategy for further enhancing trade and investment ties between the two regions. Commerce Ministry recognizes that for formulating an effective export strategy it is imperative to engage the Indian business community in Africa for mutual gain for both sides as trade relations between the people of same origin instill greater confidence amongst trade partners.
  • The Indian community in Africa is playing a vital role in all fields like politics, business and education. As per the latest available estimates the current strength of the Indian Diaspora in the African countries is 2.8 million out of those 2.5 million are PIOs and rest 220967 are NRIs.
  • Total overseas Indians are 30.83 million of which 17.83 million are PIOs and 13 million are NRIs. (Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, 2016). Indian Diaspora in Africa constitutes 9.11% of the total Diaspora of India.
  • The inherent strength of India in Africa is its rich and vast Diaspora which has established strong links with the political, economic and social fabric of the African continent. In order to formulate astrategy to boost India-Africa Trade & Investment, the Indian Diaspora in Africa has to be leveraged furtherin order to ensure that the strategy is effective. Suggestionswere sought from the India business community.
  • The major issues highlighted by the Indian Business Community in these 11 countries are:
  • Improving the Line of Credit system and developing a facility for an affordable and competitive funding.
  • Setting up of Indian Banks/financial institutions in Africa
  • Enhanced Buyers’ Credit facility for promotion of trade between the two regions
  • Reviewing and liberalizing visa policies from both sides
  • Need for direct flights between the India and African countries
  • Exploring the possibility of rupee trade to address the issue of shortage of dollars in region.
  • Creation of common database of buyer-suppliers in the two regions for facilitating matchmaking for enhancement of bilateral trade.
  • Development of a robust trade dispute settlement mechanism
  • More frequent and structured country/sector specific trade exhibitions in Africa
  • Establishment of country chapters of FICCI or CII in Africa
  • Frequent visits of policy makers, chamber of commerce and investors for familiarization with local business and investment regime for informed decisions

Ministry of Defence

  • 59th BRO Raising Day
  • Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is celebrating its 59th Raising Day here today. BRO is a leading road construction agency under the Ministry of Defence with a primary role of providing road connectivity in border areas.
  • It executes road construction and maintenance works along the Northern and Western frontiers primarily to meet the strategic requirements of the Army and is responsible for over 53,000 Km roads. The BRO has also constructed roads in friendly foreign countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan etc. thus contributing towards our strategic objectives in the region.
  • In 2018-19, BRO executed 991 Km of Formation Cutting, 1965 Km Surfacing, Rs. 1518 Crores Permanent Works, 2817 M of Bridge construction and undertook resurfacing of 1778 Km roads along our Northern and Western Borders. The works done by BRO saw a jump of more than 12% in 2018-19 over the previous financial year.
  • In line with the overall thrust of the Government to enhance overall strategic connectivity along our borders, the BRO is fully geared up to meet the challenges that lie ahead and has accordingly undertaken an exercise for organizational re-structuring and simplification of procedures with adequate delegation of financial powers to executives.
  • Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Bangladesh Delegation meets I&B Ministry
  • Co-production of film on the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and documentary on Bangladesh Liberation War finalized
  • Working Agreement on cooperation between AIR and Bangladesh Betar agreed upon – to be operationalized from June, 2019
  • DD Free Dish to carry Bangladesh TV on its platform
  • A Delegation from Bangladesh led by H.E. Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Adviser to Prime Minister of Bangladesh, including H.E. Mr. Syed Muazzem Ali, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India and other delegates met Shri Amit Khare, Secretary and other officials of I&B Ministry today.
  • The meeting focussed on various aspects of making of feature film on the life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, co-production of which had earlier been announced by the Hon’ble Prime Ministers of both the countries.
  • The movie will be directed by acclaimed filmmaker Shri Shyam Benegal who, along with scriptwriter of the movie Shri Atul Tiwari, was also present during the meeting.
  • The Bangladesh Delegation assured full cooperation in ensuring smooth logistics for shooting the movie in Bangladesh. Shri Atul Tiwari, script writer, would travel to Bangladesh to do background research for the project – he will be assisted by Shri Piplu Khan, noted film personality from Bangladesh.
  • Co-production of documentary on Bangladesh Liberation War was also discussed in the meeting. It was mutually agreed that the director of the documentary would be from Bangladesh who would be assisted by a co-director from India.
  • It was also announced that Prasar Bharati has decided to not only carry Bangladesh TV on DD Free Dish platform, but also to waive carriage fees for the same. As a reciprocal gesture, Bangladesh Delegation announced that a Doordarshan channel will be adopted on the soon to be launched DTH platform of Bangladesh.
  • A working agreement on cooperation between All India Radio and Bangladesh Betar was also agreed upon between the two countries, implementation of which would start from June, 2019.
  • The Indian Delegation also highlighted the strong network of Community Radio in both the countries and offered the services of Indian Institute of Mass Communication for training of Bangladesh personnel, along with exploration of sharing of content and best practises in this field.

MCQ 1

Consider the following statements about Indian Blackbuck which is/are correct

  1. Indian Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope and is the only living species of the genus Antilope.
  2. Hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  3. 1 only
  4. 2 only
  5. Both 1 and 2
  6. None of the above
  • Indian Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope and is the only living species of the genus Antilope.
  • It is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah.
  • The horns of the blackbuck are ringed with one to four spiral turns and the female is usually hornless.
  • Habitat:
  • Blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas.
  • Due to its regular need of water, it prefers areas where water is perennially available.
  • It is found in Central- Western India (MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha) and Southern India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu).
  • Protection Status:
  • Hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • It has been categorised least concerned in IUCN Red Data Book.
  • The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known worldwide for their conservation efforts to blackbuck and Chinkara.
  • Why in news?
  • Blackbuck's population is on rise.
  • The Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet has approved Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in trans-Yamuna belt near PrayagRaj (Allahabad). It will be first of its kind conservation reserves in India exclusively dedicated to blackbuck.

MCQ 2

  • Which one is incorrect about Gangetic River Dolphin
  1. National Aquatic Animal of India
  2. They are freshwater dolphins.
  3. It is found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
  4. IUCN Status : Vulnerable
  • Gangetic River Dolphin
  • National Aquatic Animal of India
  • They are freshwater dolphins.
  • It is one of the four freshwater dolphin species in the world. The other three are found in Yangtze river, Indus river in Pakistan and Amazon river.
  • It is found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • IUCN Status : Endangered
  • It is also placed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Major threats:
  • Fishing nets
  • Hunting for their oil and meat
  • Water pollution
  • MoEFCC had launched Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme in 1997 to build a scientific database of their population status and also study their habitat quality of the dolphins’ distribution range.
  • Fresh water dolphin species are practically blind. They rely on biosonar method to move around and catch their prey.
  • Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary located in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district of Bihar is India’s only dolphin sanctuary is spread over 50 km along the Ganges.
  • National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will be set up on the banks of the Ganga river in Patna University campus in Patna.

MCQ 3

  •  With reference to “UN’s Global Compact on Migration”, consider the following statements
  1. It is the first ever UN global agreement on the common approach to international migration in all its dimensions.
  2. It is legally binding in nature.
  3. India is one of the signatories of it.
  • Which of the above is/ are incorrect.
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 3 only
  • The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is an intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, that describes itself as covering "all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner".
  • The compact was formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2018.
  • As the Compact is not an international treaty, it will be non-binding under international law.
  • The Crown Law Office of New Zealand published an opinion as guidance to the New Zealand Government, affirming the Compact will be non-binding, but will not be legally irrelevant, and "courts may be willing...to refer to the Compact and to take the Compact into account as an aid in interpreting immigration legislation“
  • On 19 September 2016, the nations of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The Declaration recognized a need for more cooperation between nations to manage migration effectively.The declaration set off a process leading to the negotiation of the Global Compact for Migration.

MCQ 4

  • Consider the following about Neelgiri Tahr and Find out incorrect :
  1. It is state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  2. It is endemic to Western Ghats from the Nilgiris to Kanyakumari.
  3. It is confined to a narrow belt of higher elevation (altitudes) of Shola Forests in Western Ghats.
  4. IUCN in its red data book has classified it as Critically Endangered.
  • It is state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is endemic to Western Ghats from the Nilgiris to Kanyakumari.
  • It is confined to a narrow belt of higher elevation (altitudes) of Shola Forests in Western Ghats.
  • Protection Status:
  • IUCN in its red data book has classified it as Endangered (number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals).
  • Besides it is protected species under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.

MCQ 5

  • Consider the following statements about Bhitarkanika National Park
  • Which is/are correct
  1. Surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  2. The sanctuary is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India
  • Choose correct :

 (A)Only 1

(B)Only 2

(C)Both

(D)none

  • Bhitarkanika National Park
  • It is a national park located in Kendrapara district of Odisha
  • National Park since 1998
  • Ramsar Convention site since 2002
  • Surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary lies to the east
  • It is home to Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), White Crocodile, Indian python, King Cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna.
  • The sanctuary is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
  • The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by a number of rivers - Brahmani, Baitarni, Dhamra, Pathsala
  • The park is famous for its green mangroves, migratory birds, turtles, estuarine crocodiles and countless creeks.
  • It is said to house 70% of the country’s estuarine or saltwater crocodiles, conservation of which was started way back in 1975.

MCQ 6

  • Which one is a wrong match –
  1. 1971: Convention on Wetlands of International Importance ("Ramsar Convention")
  2. 1972: Stockholm Declaration
  3. 1973: Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild flora and fauna (CITES)
  4. 1982: Vienna vonvection

Timeline

  • 1971: Convention on Wetlands of International Importance ("Ramsar Convention")
  • 1972: Stockholm Declaration 1973: Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild flora and fauna (CITES)
  • 1982: Nairobi Declaration
  • 1985: Vienna convention for the protection of ozone layer
  • 1987: Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
  • 1987: Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development ("Brundtland Report")
  • 1992: Agenda 21
  • 1992: Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • 1992: Convention on Biological Diversity
  • 1997: Protocol to the UNFCCC ("Kyoto Protocol")
  • 1998: Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade ("Rotterdam Convention")
  • 2000: The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety ("Cartagena Protocol")
  • 2001: Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants ("Stockholm Convention")
  • 2010: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (‘Nagoya Protocol’)
  • 2012: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – RIO +20 • 2015: Paris Agreement (To replace Kyoto Protocol)