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Goaltide Daily Current Afffairs 2021

Oct 04, 2021

Current Affair 1:
How Geographical Indications (GI) tags can become a source for economic and soft power?

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  1. GI can strengthen e-commerce in rural areas and actively promote agricultural special product brands in lesser developed areas. (Using GI tag China has increased its rural online retail sales. A 2017 UNCTAD report has cited China's e-commerce driven growth as inclusive. In India, Amazon's local to global programme has taken Indian producers and their products to over 200 countries and exporting $2 billion dollar of Made in India goods in the last two years)
  2. GI has the potential to empower MSMEs to compete with large companies on the same stage, with no geographic boundaries.
  3. GI helps in fostering quality production and better distribution of profits resulting in higher economic gains
  4. GI encourages the preservation of biodiversity, local know-how and natural resources which has wider positive benefits, especially for local communities. And this is where India can do well.
  5. GI will automatically resolve the three major challenges faced by India — poor pay for talent, low female participation in the labour force, and urban migration, in the following ways.
  • First, it will convert talent into entrepreneurship with gig workers, and create a “passion” economy, that is, a new way for individuals to monetise their skills and scale their businesses exponentially.
  • Second, the labour-intensive nature of GI offers the best solution to boosting the employment-to-population ratio in India which is an abysmal 43% as compared to global average of 53%. Monetising artisanal work done at home will increase India’s low female labour force participation rate, which at 21 per cent in 2019 was half the 47 per cent global average.
  1. Third, the hyper-localised nature of GI offers solutions to reverse urban migration and conserve India’s ancient crafts, culture and food.
  2. As GI businesses are micro, they face several challenges of capacity-building, formal or easy access to credit, forming marketing linkages, digital literacy, research and development, product innovation and competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.
  3. The Indian GI economy can be a platform for India to showcase to the world a model for ethical capitalism, social entrepreneurship, de-urbanisation, and bringing women to the workforce, on the back of a robust digital system.

Current Affair 2:
Worshipping Waghoba

 

The Warli tribe, an indigenous community that lives in northwest Maharashtra, believes that the cat-God Waghoba will protect them from the negative impacts of sharing spaces with leopards.

Scientists conducted a preliminary exploratory study to understand this relationship between the Warlis and their Waghoba.

The Warlis worshipped the Waghoba for protection from diseases, calamities and big cats (they believe that the wagh or leopard is the “king of the jungle”, and it would protect them when they roam forests).

Such cultural, traditional concepts are relevant to current-day wildlife conservation because they act as “tolerance-building mechanisms” and could help people share space with leopards in the area, suggest the scientists.

Current Affair 3:
Why the decision to impose stock limits on pulses is flawed policy?

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The Union government’s decision on July 2, 2021, to impose stock limits on pulses till October 31 has once again fuelled the long-held perception that the country’s food policies are not even consistent, let alone being relevant.

  1. On June 5, 2020, the Union government issued the Essential Commodities (Amendment) (ECA) Ordinance, 2020, which was later legislated into an Act.
  2. It said a stock limit would be imposed only if there was a 100 per cent rise in retail prices of perishable food items in the last one year or five years.
  3. The rationale for this amendment was that India was food surplus in most agricultural commodities. Farmers were not able to realise fair prices due to lack of investment in warehousing and processing capacities because of regulatory mechanisms prescribed under the ECA, 1955.
  4. The lack of ‘ease of doing business’ was also cited for the poor investment in storage and processing infrastructure by the Economic Survey 2015-16 and the Arvind Subramaniam Committee Report on Pulses (2016).
  5. Farmer unions, which are demanding repeal of the ECA, 2020, along with two new farm Acts, now argue that the recent stockholding limits contradict the Act.
  6. The price of chana dal at the end of June 2021 was barely higher than the one-year average. The price of tur dal was only 4.6 per cent higher than the average over the last year and 13 per cent higher than that of the last five years.
  7. Importers claim lower stocking limits would make imports costlier as container costs and prices would go up.
  8. In India, pulses are under minimum support price (MSP), but farmer awareness is poor as procurement is not effective.
  9. Combined with the high variation in procurement price of pulses, this means that at the farmer level, the differences in social and private returns from pulses are large, like 101 per cent in chana and 95 per cent in urad, due to no value being placed on the positive externalities of pulse crops like nitrogen fixation ability and lower water and chemical consumption.

In this context, a focus on domestic production by small farmers in dry regions, with effective MSP-based procurement, would be a win-win for all.

Some important images form the article:

 

Current Affair 4:
The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 2021 Report.

 

We will mention points which this report says about India. That is important.

Although the coverage gap in South Asia remained relatively unchanged from 2019 to 2020 (6% and 5% respectively), significant gains have been made since 2014, when the coverage gap stood at 44%. Following the leap in 4G coverage in India, other countries in the region have also expanded 4G coverage, notably Bangladesh and Nepal.

 

Although the coverage gap in South Asia remained relatively unchanged from 2019 to 2020 (6% and 5% respectively), significant gains have been made since 2014, when the coverage gap stood at 44%. Following the leap in 4G coverage in India, other countries in the region have also expanded 4G coverage, notably Bangladesh and Nepal.

 

India has been at the forefront of this growth, with smartphone adoption among adults increasing from 22% in 2017 to 51% in 2020. India’s smartphone users are also among the largest users of data worldwide, due in part to near-universal 4G coverage and affordable data and smartphones, as well as the introduction of the JioPhone (an LTEenabled handset launched by Jio).

 

Smartphone ownership in rural areas has also increased significantly in India, Kenya and Nigeria over the last two years.

 

The notable exception is India, where average data usage per user is among the highest in the world. This has been driven by an increasing number of 4G users and more affordable handsets and data plans. While data demand is primarily urban, it is also growing in rural areas. For example, rural India accounted for 45% of total traffic in India at the end of 2020, compared to 40% before the pandemic.

Current Affair 5:
Linkage between voters’ IDs with Aadhaar numbers is back in the news.

 

It was reported on June 8 that the chief election commissioner had written to the Union law minister requesting the minister to expedite a long list of proposals for electoral reforms. Linking of voter ID information with the Aadhaar database of the UIDAI was one of the prominent proposals.

 

The Election Commission of India (ECI) taking up this proposal once again was a surprise. It is not a new proposal. The first attempt was made in March 2015 when the Election Commission of India (ECI) launched “a comprehensive programme”, called the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) “with the prime objective of bringing a totally error-free and authenticated electoral roll”. One of the objectives of the NERPAP was to link and authenticate the EPIC (Electoral Photo Identity Card) data with the UIDAI’s Aadhaar data.

They have given four broad reasons in support of the linkage:

  • improving the accuracy of the electoral rolls, by weeding out duplication and misrepresentation in electoral rolls;
  • assistance in the ECI’s plans to implement advanced mechanisms such as electronic and internet-based voting;
  • giving ‘remote’ voting rights to domestic migrants; and
  • to facilitate proxy voting which may require Aadhaar backing for voter verification.
  • The government has already passed an amendment in the Lok Sabha to allow NRIs to participate in elections via proxies.

Wait for updates.

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