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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Sep 29, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Relation between total Production and Procurement at MSP

See all the data carefully. Prelims exam needs this preparation only.

In this topic, we will look at numbers relating to MSP and the MSP procurement trend across the country and understand what proportion of the total production in the country is procured at MSP. We also look at state-wise MSP procurement (for wheat and rice) trends to understand which states benefit the most today from the MSP regime.

MSP of Jowar and Ragi increased the greatest over the last 10 marketing years

The MSP for Rice and Wheat, the largest produced crops has only marginally increased over the 10-year period (2011-21). For the Marketing year 2011-12, the MSP provided by the government for Paddy of Common type was Rs.1080 per quintal, while that of Grade-A paddy was Rs.1,110 per quintal. After a marginal increase year-on-year, there was a considerable increase for Marketing year 2018-19. For the Marketing year of 2020-21, the MSP for the two variants of Paddy is Rs. 1868 and Rs. 1888 respectively i.e. an increase by 73% and 70% respectively in these 10 years.

During the same period, the MSP of Wheat increased by 64.5% i.e. from Rs. 1350 in 2012-13 to Rs. 1975 in 2020-21.

Meanwhile, the MSP for few of the coarse grains has increased considerably compared to Rice and Wheat.  The two variants of Jowar i.e. Maldandi and Hybrid have increased by around 165% during the 10-year period.
 

Currently, Ragi is the crop which receives the highest MSP. For the Marketing year 2020-21, the MSP for Ragi is Rs. 3295 per quintal. It also has the highest increment during the 10-year period, the MSP has more than tripled from Rs. 1050 in 2011-12 to Rs. 3295 in 2020-21.

 

The proportion of Rice procured at MSP has slightly increased over the last two years
 

During the five-year period 2015-20, the total production of Rice has increased from 1,044.88 lakh tons to 1,179.39 lakh tons.  During this period, the MSP for Paddy (common) has increased from Rs. 1410 per quintal to Rs. 1815 per quintal.

Slight increase in the proportion of wheat procured but still below the set target

In 2015-16, the total wheat production in India is 922.88 lakh tons, whereas the procurement by the government was only around 25% of the total produce i.e. 229.62 lakh tons. This was also below the set procurement target of 330 lakh tones.

The quantum of MSP procurement is highly uneven across the states 

It is apparent from the data that the government procurement of Rice and Wheat at MSP across the states is highly uneven. MSP is helping the rice & wheat producing farmers, but only in a few states where the government is procuring substantial amounts. In the case of the other crops, the MSP procurement is very little across the country. 

   

Current Affair 2:
U.S. keen on finalizing BECA at 2+2 dialogue

Source Link

The U.S. is keen that India sign the last foundational agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA), at the next India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue likely to held in October end.

Beginning 2016, India has signed three foundational agreements: The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) while the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed a long time ago. An extension to the GSOMIA, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed at the last 2+2 dialogue.

Let us understand the agreements.

India-US foundational agreements

US requires its strategic partners to sign 4 foundational agreements to enable the strategic engagement including sharing of information, technology transfer, extension of logistic facilities etc.

The 4 foundational agreements include GSOMIA, BECA, LEMOA, COMCOSA.

Being a ‘Major Defence Partner’ of the US, it is imperative for India to sign the foundational pacts which allows greater interoperability between critical technologies and smooth facilitation of classified information. So far, India has signed 3 of the foundational agreements, namely, GSOMIA (in 2002), LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, 2016) and COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement, 2018).

About foundational agreements

GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement)

This is an agreement signed to safeguard the information that is shared during a technology transfer. India signed this agreement in 2002, however so far this covered only Indian government and PSUs. Now with the defence cooperation deepening and most deals signed under Strategic Partnership model which includes the private sector, it is necessary to sign the ISA annexure to GSOMIA in order to safeguard information shared to private sector during the technology transfer.

LEMOA (signed in 2016)

  1. Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement
  2. Modified version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA).
  3. It will enable access to each other’s military facilities for purposes of refueling and replenishment.

COMCASA

  • Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement
  • Will safeguard information with respect to communications equipments in weapons such as precision armament, air-to-air missiles, UAVs, fighter jets, space systems and navigation systems etc.
  • Signed in 2018

BECA

  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Information and Services Cooperation
  • Will enable sharing of geospatial and satellite data.
  • A meeting of the Quad Foreign Ministers is scheduled to take place in Tokyo in October, the source said. Earlier, the meeting was expected to be held in New Delhi.
  • The U.S. wants BECA to be signed at the ministerial 2+2 in October.

Current Affair 3:
Two Environment related news

Asian openbill stork

Telukunchi village’s community in Andhra Pradesh welcomes Asian openbill storks every monsoon in the hope of good rains and prosperity. The community has framed rules to punish those who harm the birds.

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The Asian Openbill Stork ( Anastomus scitans) is one major species among the 11 stork species in Asia and apart from India it is found in small numbers in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in South Asia.

The storks migrate to north India in June and to the southern part of the country in November every year.

Dumna Nature Reserve (DNR) in Madhya Pradesh

Spread over hundreds of hectares and home to a rich variety of wildlife, the Dumna Nature Reserve (DNR) in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur area, is being threatened by a series of projects with the latest being a tiger safari, aimed at promoting tourism to the area. However, there is an ongoing movement to keep the reserve undisturbed and at least three public interest litigations (PILs) have been filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court for this.

Dumna is among the most well-preserved ecological habitats in an urban area and it is also a catchment area for the Khanderi Lake which is an important source of drinking water supply to the city. It has a population of nine leopards, more than 2,000 deer, host of other wildlife such as cheetal, barking deer, four-horned antelope, jungle cat, Asiatic wild cat, wild boar, crocodile and more than 300 species of birds (both migrant and resident).

Current Affair 4:
Ambedkar Social Innovation & Incubation Mission (ASIIM) launched

Source Link

 

Objectives:

Benefits:

  1. 1,000 SC youth would be identified in the next 4 years with start-up ideas through the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) in various higher educational institutions.
  2. They will be funded @ Rs. 30 lakhs in 3 years as equity funding so that they can translate their start-up ideas into commercial ventures.
  3. Successful ventures would further qualify for venture funding of up to Rs. 5 Crore from the Venture Capital Fund for SCs.

Who is eligible for support under ASIIM?

Current Affair 5:
ESG Funds Becoming Popular in India

Source Link

The ESG funds are increasingly becoming popular in the mutual fund industry in India. The ESG funds, which factor in the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance aspects of a company during investment, are sought after abroad. In India, their popularity is fairly new but is increasing rapidly.

The first ESG mutual fund was launched by the State Bank of India - SBI Magnum Equity ESG Fund.

Some of the challenges faced by SBIFMPL in starting the first ESG based fund and the strategy adopted to overcome the challenges: Just read

ESG Fund: This is important

  1. ESG is a combination of three words i.e. environment, social and governance.
  2. It is a kind of mutual fund. Its investing is used synonymously with sustainable investing or socially responsible investing.
  3. Typically, a mutual fund looks for a good stock of a company that has potential earnings, management quality, cash flows, the business it operates in, competition etc.
  4. However, while selecting a stock for investment, the ESG fund shortlists companies that score high on environment, social responsibility and corporate governance, and then looks into financial factors.
  5. Therefore, the key difference between the ESG funds and other funds is 'conscience' i.e. the ESG fund focuses on companies with environment-friendly practices, ethical business practices and an employee-friendly record.
  6. The fund is regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Reason for Popularity:

  1. Modern investors are re-evaluating traditional approaches and look at the impact their investment has on the planet. Thus, investors have started incorporating ESG factors into investment practices.
  2. The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN-PRI) (an international organization) works to promote the incorporation of environmental, social, and corporate governance factors into investment decision-making.

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