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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Jan 10, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021

 

The Department of Consumers Affairs recently on 28 December 2021, notified the Consumer Protection (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021. These rules specify the compliance requirements for direct selling agents.

As per the definition provided in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, Direct selling means

“Marketing, distribution and sale of goods or provision of services through a network of sellers, other than through permanent retail location.” Direct selling is one of the approaches for the promotion and sale of goods & services.

The new rules bring in regulation to hitherto largely unregulated market

This segment has largely remained unregulated in India, and the current rules are aimed at bringing in some form of regulation.  With the lack of a specific regulation related to direct selling, direct sellers used to be covered under – The Prize Chits and Money Circulation (Schemes), Banning Act, 1978.

The rules explicitly prohibit any form of Pyramid schemes under the guise of Direct selling

The Consumer Protection & Direct Selling Rules, 2021 state that these Rules are applicable to all the goods & services that are bought or sold through direct selling, to all models of direct selling, to all direct selling entities offering goods & services in India, etc.

Thus, these rules are applicable to all one-to-one sales, multi-level marketing, etc. However, Pyramid schemes are strictly prohibited. In its definition of the direct selling entity, the Rules explicitly state that it does not include an entity that is engaged in a Pyramid scheme or Money circulation scheme.

The Rules also clearly define a Pyramid scheme as one that has a multi-layered network of subscribers who are involved in enrolling more subscribers to receive any benefit, either directly or indirectly.

A few of the important rules for the Direct selling entities include:

  • To mandatorily maintain documents such as the Certificate of incorporation, PAN, TAN, IT Returns, GST registration FSSAI licence in case of food items, etc. among various others.
  • Entities to have at least one physical location in India and obtain necessary trade registrations as per Indian law.
  • Mandatory to store customer-sensitive data in Indian and make adequate safeguards.
  • Entities are to be responsible for monitoring the direct sellers and taking care of grievances arising out of goods sold by direct sellers.
  • To have a grievance redressal officer.
  • Maintain a well-functioning website and provide the prescribed information to increase transparency with customers.
  • To regulate the direct sellers to curb any malpractices adopted by sellers while selling the products or services.

All the entities that fall within the definition of Direct seller are to ensure compliance with these rules within 90 days.

Current Affair 2:
Soil organic carbon (SOC)

 

Soil organic carbon is a measurable component of soil organic matter. Organic matter makes up just 2–10% of most soil's mass and has an important role in the physical, chemical and biological function of agricultural soils.

Organic matter contributes to nutrient retention and turnover, soil structure, moisture retention and availability, degradation of pollutants, and carbon sequestration.

Soil organic carbon (SOC) content is important for climate change mitigation, but it is equally important for farmers and biodiversity.  Increasing soil carbon has the effect of drawing down carbon from the atmosphere, while simultaneously improving soil structure and soil health, soil fertility and crop yields, water retention and aquifer recharge. A soil must have at least 5% organic matter to be considered healthy.

In recent years, “carbon farming” has gained traction. It is the process of changing agricultural practices or land use to sequester carbon in soil and litter, as well as emission avoidance through better land management.

Also see Soil Organic Matter (SOM)

What is soil organic matter?

SOM is composed mainly of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and has small amounts of other elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, potassium, calcium and magnesium contained in organic residues. It is divided into ‘living’ and ‘dead’ components and can range from very recent inputs, such as stubble, to largely decayed materials that are thousands of years old. About 10% of below-ground SOM, such as roots, fauna and microorganisms, is ‘living’ (Figure 1).

SOM exists as 4 distinct fractions which vary widely in size, turnover time and composition in the soil:

  • dissolved organic matter
  • particulate organic matter
  • humus
  • resistant organic matter.

Current Affair 3:
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

 

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank that aims to improve economic and social outcomes in Asia.

The bank was proposed by China in 2013 and the initiative was launched at a ceremony in Beijing in October 2014.

AIIB aims to create a better tomorrow for billions of people by investing in sustainable infrastructure in Asia and beyond.

AIIB began operations in 2016 with 57 founding Members (37 regional and 20 nonregional). By the end of 2020, we had 103 approved Members representing approximately 79 percent of the global population and 65 percent of global GDP.

In 2018, AIIB was granted Permanent Observer status in the deliberations of both the United Nations General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, the two development-focused principal organs of the global body.

Voting Rights:

 

China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % voting shares in the bank followed by India (7.6%), Russia (6.01%) and Germany (4.2 %).

Where is AIIB headquartered?

AIIB is headquartered in Beijing, China.

Current Affair 4:
What is the greenhouse effect?

 

The Earth’s surface absorbs about 48 per cent of incoming solar energy, while the atmosphere absorbs 23 per cent. The rest is reflected back into space. Natural processes ensure that the amount of incoming and outgoing energy are equal, keeping the planet’s temperature stable,

However, GHGs, unlike other atmospheric gases such as oxygen and nitrogen, are opaque to outgoing infrared radiation. As the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere increases due to human-caused emissions, energy radiated from the surface becomes trapped in the atmosphere, unable to escape the planet. This energy returns to the surface, where it is reabsorbed.

Since more energy enters than exits the planet, surface temperatures increase until a new balance is achieved. This temperature increase has long-term climate impacts and affects myriad natural systems.

What are the major greenhouse gases?

Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide are the major GHGs. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for up to 1,000 years, methane for around a decade and nitrous oxide for approximately 120 years. Measured over a 20-year period, methane is 80 times more potent than CO2 in causing global warming, while nitrous oxide is 280 times more potent.

What are the other greenhouse gases?

Fluorinated gases – such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride – are GHGs that do not occur naturally. Hydrofluorocarbons are refrigerants used as alternatives to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which depleted the ozone layer and were phased out thanks to the Montreal Protocol. The other gases have industrial and commercial uses.

While fluorinated gases are far less prevalent than other GHGs and do not deplete the ozone layer like CFCs, they are still very powerful. Over a 20-year period, the various fluorinated gases’ global warming potential ranges from 460–16,300 times greater than that of CO2.

Water vapour is the most abundant GHG in the atmosphere and is the biggest overall contributor to the greenhouse effect. However, almost all the water vapour in the atmosphere comes from natural processes. Human emissions are very small and thus relatively less impactful.

 

 

 

Current Affair 5:
Aceh and Andaman Nicobar Island connectivity

 

India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Indonesia's foreign minister discussed a range of issues including the Aceh and Andaman Nicobar Island connectivity.

Sabang port in Aceh is around 90 nautical miles from the Indian islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Important to note, Sabang sits at the entrance of the Strait of Malacca, which is considered to be a key global choke point.

Just see Map.

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