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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Jul 20, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Western Indian Ocean (WIO) Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Outlook

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The Marine Protected Areas Outlook, released recently, indicates that almost half of the total area was brought under protection in the seven years since the 2015 adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 14.5, which committed countries to conserving at least 10 percent of their marine and coastal areas by 2020.

This Outlook examines the current and future status of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Comoros, Kenya, France (in its Western Indian Ocean territories), Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, and Tanzania, emphasizing the increased commitment of countries to strengthen marine protection.

The Western Indian Ocean region has declared 143* marine and coastal areas as protected – an area covering 553,163 square kilometers, representing 7 percent of the total Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the region – according to a new publication by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-Nairobi Convention and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association.

Though countries in the region have made significant strides in protecting its marine and coastal areas, the Outlook outlines best practices, challenges, and several opportunities to build on this progress to ensure the entire region meets future Global Biodiversity Framework targets on marine protected areas.

About the Nairobi Convention

The Nairobi Convention, signed by Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania, aims to promote a prosperous Western Indian Ocean region with healthy rivers, coasts, and oceans. It provides a platform for governments, civil society, and the private sector to work together for the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment.

Current Affair 2:
Supreme Court Strikes Down part of 97th Constitutional Amendment

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The Supreme Court in a 2:1 majority verdict upheld the validity of the 97th constitutional amendment that deals with issues related to effective management of cooperative societies but struck down a part related to their setting up and functioning.

The 97th constitutional amendment, which dealt with issues related to effective management of cooperative societies in the country, was passed by parliament in December 2011 and had come into effect from February 15, 2012.

The change in the constitution has amended Article 19(1)(c) to give protection to the cooperatives and inserted Article 43 B and Part IX B, relating to them.

While Article 19(1)(c) guarantees freedom to form association or unions or cooperative societies subject to certain restrictions, Article 43 B says that states shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of cooperative societies.

The Part IX B of the constitution inserted by the 97th amendment deals with incorporation, terms of members of the board and its office bearers and effective management of cooperative societies. The Centre has contended that the provision does not denude states of their power to enact laws with regard to cooperatives.

The bench unanimously held that the 97th Constitutional Amendment required ratification by at least one-half of the state legislatures as per Article 368(2) of the Constitution, since it dealt with a entry which was an exclusive state subject (co-operative societies). Since such ratification was not done in the case of the 97th Constitutional amendment, it was liable to be struck down.

As per Article 368(2), ratification of one-half of state legislatures is required for an amendment which makes changes to an entry in the state list. Since co-operative societies was a state subject as per Entry 32 in List II of the Seventh Schedule, the amendment introducing Part IX B required ratification as per Article 368(2).

Current Affair 3:
Contact Group on Economic and Trade issues (CGETI)

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For the year 2021, India is the Chair of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa). Of the various groups of BRICS, the Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) is responsible for economic and trade matters. The Department of Commerce is the national coordinator for the BRICS CGETI.

The Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) is a key platform for BRICS Members to exchange views on a range of economic, trade and investment related issues. The exchange of policy perspectives and priorities lays an essential basis for enhanced coordination and cooperation among the BRICS Members on these issues.

Meeting of the CGETI was held from 12-14 July 2021.During the three-day meeting, the BRICS Members deliberated on the following proposals circulated by India, for strengthening and increasing the Intra-BRICS cooperation and trade:

  • BRICS Cooperation on Multilateral Trading System;
  • BRICS Framework for ensuring Consumer Protection in E-Commerce;
  • Non-Tariff Measures (NTM) Resolution Mechanism for SPS/TBT Measures;
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Working Mechanism;
  • Cooperation framework for protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions;
  • BRICS Framework on Cooperation in Professional Services.

Current Affair 4:
Departmentally Related Standing Committee

 

If you learn about basic about anybody, you will never forget. Read now.

These DRSCs replaced the earlier three Subject Committees constituted in August 1989. The 17 Departmentally Related Standing Committees were formally constituted with effect from April 1993.  After experiencing the working of the DRSC system for over a decade, the system was re-structured in July 2004 wherein the number of DRSCs was increased from 17 to 24.

Ok, one thing you remember here, that DRSC, are mentioned in the Rules of House of both Lok Sabha (331C) and Rajya Sabha (268).

 

 

 

Composition:

Till 13th Lok Sabha, each of these Standing Committees used to consist of 45 members—30 nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 15 members nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of Rajya Sabha. However, with re-structuring of DRSCs in July 2004 each DRSC consists of 31 members—21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.

Minister not to be a Member of the Committee:

A Minister is not eligible to be nominated as a member of any of the Standing Committees and if a member, after her/his nomination to any of the Standing Committees, is appointed a Minister, she/he ceases to be a member of the Committee from the date of such appointment.

Term of Office:

The term of office of the “members” of the committees shall not exceed one year. Thus, it is the term of office of the members and not that of the committees per se that is one year. Remember this small thing

 

The Committees do not consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the concerned Ministries/ Departments. The Committees also do not generally consider the matters which are under consideration by other Parliamentary Committees.

Current Affair 5:
Forex Reserves

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With India’s forex reserves at $608.99 billion as on June 25, 2021 stood, India has emerged as the fifth largest foreign exchange reserves holder in the world after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia.

RBI takes regular steps for diversification of forex reserves by scaling up operations in forex swap and repo markets, acquisition of gold and exploring new markets/products, while adhering to safety and liquidity standards. Variation in India’s forex reserves is primarily the outcome of RBI’s intervention in the foreign exchange market to smoothen exchange rate volatility, valuation changes due to movement of US dollar against other international currencies in the reserve basket, movement in gold prices, interest earnings from deployment of foreign currency assets and inflow of aid receipts.

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