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: 11 May 2019

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

  • WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries in New Delhi
  • A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019. Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC)(Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda)and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.
  • Ministers from Bangladesh, CAR and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Vice Ministers, senior officials and ambassadors willbe representing other countries.
  • The two-day meeting will be interactive in order to provide an opportunity to the Ministers to discuss various issues and the way forward. On the first day, there will be a meeting of senior officers of the participating countries followed by a dinner hosted by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry for the heads of delegations. On the 2nd day, the Ministerial Meeting will be held.
  • The meeting is being held at a time when the multilateral rule-based-trading system is facing serious and grave challenges. In the recent past, there have been increasing unilateral measures and counter measures by members, deadlock in key areas of negotiations and the impasse in the Appellate Body, which threaten the very existence of Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO and impacts the position of the WTO as an effective multilateral organization. The current situation has given rise to demands from various quarters to reform the WTO.
  • This meeting at New Delhi is an effort to bring together the developing countries and Least Developed Countries on a platform for sharing common concerns on various issues affecting the WTO and work together to address these issues.
  • The two-day meeting also provides an opportunity to the developing countries and LDCs to build consensus on how to move forward on the WTO reforms, while preserving the fundamentals of the multilateral trading system enshrined in the WTO. The deliberations will aim at getting a direction on how to constructively engage on various issues in the WTO, both institutional and negotiating, in the run up to the Twelfth Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020.

MCQ 1

  1. Consider the following statements
  2. Champion Sectors are identified by the Group of Secretaries for promoting their development and achieving their potential in their respective sectors.
  3. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion would spearhead the initiative for the Champion Sectors in manufacturing. 3. Department of Commerce would coordinate the proposed initiative for the Champion Sectors in Services.
  • Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 2 only

  • The Group of Secretaries in their recommendations to the Prime Minister, had identified ten Champion Sectors, including seven manufacturing related sectors and three services sectors, for promoting their development and achieving their potential.
  • It was subsequently decided that Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the nodal department for ‘Make in India’, would spearhead the initiative for the Champion Sectors in manufacturing and Department of Commerce would coordinate the proposed initiative for the Champion Sectors in Services.
  • Champion Services Sectors refers to the 12 identified sectors where the Government wants to give focused attention for promoting their development, and realizing their potential. These include Information Technology & Information Technology enabled Services (IT& ITeS), Tourism and Hospitality Services, Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Accounting and Finance Services, Audio Visual Services, Legal Services, Communication Services, Construction and Related Engineering Services, Environmental Services, Financial Services and Education Services. A dedicated fund of Rs. 5000 crores has been proposed to be established to support initiatives for sectoral Action Plans of the Champion Sectors.
  • The respective line Ministries/Departments finalizes the Action Plans and the implementation timelines along with a monitoring mechanism to monitor implementation under the overall guidance of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) under Cabinet Secretary. The idea was launched and accepted on 28 February 2018.
  • Rationale and Objective
  • This initiative is expected to enhance the competitiveness of India's service sectors thereby creating more jobs in India, contributing to a higher GDP and export of services to global markets.
  • Targets
  • The share of India's services sector in global services exports was 3.3% in 2015. Based on this initiative, a goal of 4.2% has been envisaged for 2022. The share of services in Gross Value Added (GVA) was about 53% for India in 2015-16 (61% including construction services). This initiative is expected to raise the share of services in GVA to 60% (67% including construction services) by the year 2022.
  • Origin
  • The Group of Secretaries in their recommendations to the Prime Minister, had identified ten Champion Sectors, including seven (7) manufacturing related sectors and three (3) services sectors, for promoting their development and achieving their potential. It was subsequently decided that Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the nodal department for 'Make in India', would spearhead the initiative for the Champion Sectors in manufacturing and Department of Commerce would coordinate the proposed initiative for the Champion Sectors in Services. Accordingly, Department of Commerce, with wide stakeholder consultation coordinated the preparation of draft initial sectoral reform plans for several services sectors and, subsequently the action plan.

MCQ 2

  • Consider the following statements about ‘Sustainable Blue Economy Conference’.
  1. The first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya.
  2. The conference was held on momentum of UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  3. India did not participate in the Conference.
  • Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a)1, 2

(b) 2, 3

(c) 1, 3

(d)1, 2, 3

  • The first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in Nairobi, capital of Kenya.
  • It was organized by Kenya and co-hosted by Japan and Canada.
  • It builds on the momentum of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and the UN Ocean Conference 2017“Call to Action”.
  • “India endorses the growth of the Blue Economy in a sustainable, inclusive and people centered manner through the framework of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)”.

MCQ 3

  • Consider the following statements about Ramsar Convention.
  1. It is the United Nations Convention that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
  2. Almost 90% of UN member states, have acceded to become “Contracting Parties”.
  3. It does not consider underground aquifers and human-made sites as wetlands.
  4. Montreux Record is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
  • Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

(a)1, 3

(b) 2, 4

(c) 1, 2, 3

(d) 2, 3, 4

  • The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
  •  The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states, from all the world’s geographic regions, have acceded to become “Contracting Parties”.
  •  The Convention uses a broad definition of wetlands. It includes all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human
  • Montreux Record under the Convention is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
  •  It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.

MCQ 4

  • Consider the following statements about Agriculture Export Policy, 2018
  1.  It aims to double agricultural exports by 2022.
  2. Establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Department of Agriculture as the nodal Department.
  3. Promote indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products exports.
  • Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2

b) 2, 3

c) 1, 3

d) 1, 2, 3

  • The Cabinet has approved the proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Commerce as the nodal Department with representation from various line Ministries/Departments and Agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments, to oversee the implementation of Agriculture Export Policy.

Objectives of the Agriculture Export Policy

  • To double agricultural exports from present ~US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
  • To diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables.
  • To promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products exports.
  • To provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
  • To strive to double India’s share in world agriexports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest.
  • Enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.

MCQ 5

  • Consider the following statements about programme ‘PARIVESH’.
  1. It is a web-based single-window system for environmental clearances from Central and State level authorities only.
  2. It seeks to get Environment, Forests, Wildlife clearances and not CRZ clearances.
  3. It is under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

a) 1 only

b) 1, 2, 3

c) 3 only

d) 1, 2

 “PARIVESH” – an environmental single window hub for Environment, Forest, Wildlife and CRZ clearances launched

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched PARIVESH (ProActive and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub) on the occasion of World Biofuel Day(10 August).
  • PARIVESH is a Single-Window Integrated Environmental Management System, developed in pursuance of the spirit of ‘Digital India’ initiated by the Prime Minister and capturing the essence of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.
  • In a series of tweets, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted that PARIVESH automates the entire process of submitting the application and tracking the status of such proposals at each stage of processing. Dr. Vardhan emphasized that with the launch of PARIVESH, the vision of the Prime Minister for E-Governance and enhancing Ease of Doing Responsible Business is being translated into action by MoEF&CC.
  • He said that with PARIVESH, MoEFCC has become more of a facilitator, than a regulator. The Minister said that “PARIVESH” is a workflow based application, based on the concept of web architecture. He pointed out that it has been rolled out for online submission, monitoring and management of proposals submitted by Project Proponents to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), as well as to the State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAA), to seek various types of clearances (e.g. Environment, Forest, Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone Clearances) from Central, State and district-level authorities. He said that the system has been designed, developed and hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, with technical support from National Informatics Centre, (NIC), New Delhi.
  • The Minister said that the main highlights of PARIVESH include - single registration and single sign-in for all types of clearances (i.e. Environment, Forest, Wildlife and CRZ), unique-ID for all types of clearances required for a particular project and a single Window interface for the proponent to submit applications for getting all types of clearances (i.e. Environment, Forests, Wildlife and CRZ clearances).
  • Highlighting that PARIVESH offers a framework to generate economic growth and strengthens Sustainable Development through EGovernance, he also stated that with automatic highlighting of non-compliance by the system, PARIVESH helps in improving the overall performance and efficiency of the whole appraisal process.
  • The Minister highlighted that PARIVESH also helps the processing authorities, as it has a Single Window System for Central, State and District level clearances, auto-generation of agenda (based on first come, first served principle), minutes of the meetings and online generation of approval letters, resulting in ease and uniformity in processing of clearance applications, online submission and monitoring of compliance reports including geo-tagged images of the site by regulatory body / inspecting officers even through the Mobile App for enhanced compliance monitoring. He added that the facility of Geographic Information System (GIS) interface for the Appraisal Committee will help them in analyzing the proposal efficiently, automatic alerts (via SMS and emails) at important stages to the concerned officers, committee members and higher authorities to check the delays, if any. “PARIVESH enables project proponents, citizens to view, track and interact with scrutiny officers, generates online clearance letters, online mailers and alerts to state functionaries in case of delays beyond stipulated time for processing of applications”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.

MCQ 6

  • Consider the following statements about World Air Quality Report 2018.
  1. It was released by World Health Organisation(WHO).
  2. The main objective behind the report was to measure the presence of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5.
  3. India has progressed in controlling air pollution and of the 10 cities with highest pollution only 2 are in India.
  • Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2

b) 2 only

c) 2, 3

d) 1, 3

  • IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace have released World Air Quality Report 2018.
  • The main objective behind the report was to measure the presence of fine particulate matter known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, which has been recorded in real-time in 2018.
  • Of the 10 cities with highest pollution, seven are in India, while one is in China and two are in Pakistan.
  • The only non-Indian city in the top five list of most polluted cities is Faisalabad, Pakistan. Delhi was ranked as the most polluted capital in the world, with Dhaka at second and Kabul at third position.
  • India’s Gurugram led the list of most polluted cities in the world in 2018, followed by Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities

MCQ 7

  • FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 for performing which of the following functions?
  1. To provide scientific advice to both Central and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct bearing of food safety and nutrition.
  2. Provide training programmes for persons who are involved in food businesses.
  3. Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
  • Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2

b) 2, 3

c) 1, 3

d) 1, 2, 3

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
  • FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 for performing the following functions:

  • Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
  • Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
  • Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
  • To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
  • Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various, contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system.
  • Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
  • Provide training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
  • Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.
  • Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.