Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Jan 17, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Tea Production in India and world


Tea Cultivation:

Tea grows best in misty, rainy regions at altitudes of 2,000 to 7,000 feet in the tropics and lower elevations in temperate regions. The best tea is produced in regions that have dry days and cool nights. Slow growth under some stress brings out the best flavour in tea but yields are lower under these conditions.

Tea bushes are pruned to about one meter in height so they can be easily plucked. If left unattended they would grow into 12-meter-high trees. The bushes produce a white flower and a hazelnut-size fruit with three compartments, each with a seed.

The most suitable condition of growing tea is average temperature between 12.5-13 degrees Celsius or more, and in winter time, the temperature do not stay –15 degrees Celsius or less for a long hour, 1500mm rains will be needed annually (especially between April to October, 1000mm rains will be needed), Ph 4.5 to 5 and less acid soil with excellent drainage. Additional to the above requirement, fewer days of low temperature and brightly sunny days make extra fine tea.


India Tea scenario:

Nearly 55% of tea produced in India is from Assam, with the state supplying 80% of the country’s exports of the commodity.

Other important data:


Organisation of the Board: The present Tea Board is functioning as a statutory body of the Central Government under the Ministry of Commerce.

The Board is constituted of 31 members (including Chairman) drawn from Members of Parliament, tea producers, tea traders, tea brokers, consumers, and representatives of Governments from the principal tea producing states, and trade unions. The Board is reconstituted every three years.

The present Tea Board set up under section 4 of the Tea Act 1953 was constituted on 1st April 1954.

Current Affair 2:
Black Carbon


Black carbon, or soot, is part of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) and contributes to climate change.

Black carbon is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels. Complete combustion would turn all carbon in the fuel into carbon dioxide (CO2), but combustion is never complete and CO2, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and organic carbon and black carbon particles are all formed in the process. The complex mixture of particulate matter resulting from incomplete combustion is often referred to as soot.

Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere.

During this short period of time, black carbon can have significant direct and indirect impacts on the climate, the cryosphere (snow and ice), agriculture and human health.


Short-lived climate pollutants are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than carbon dioxide (CO2), yet their potential to warm the atmosphere can be many times greater. Certain short-lived climate pollutants are also dangerous air pollutants that have harmful effects for people, ecosystems and agricultural productivity.

The short-lived climate pollutants black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons are the most important contributors to the man-made global greenhouse effect after carbon dioxide, responsible for up to 45% of current global warming. If no action to reduce emissions of these pollutants is taken in the coming decades, they are expected to account for as much as half of warming caused by human activity.

Current Affair 3:
United Nation General Assembly


Established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprised of all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter. It also plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law.

Each member has one vote.

All UN Member States are represented in the General Assembly. Each Member State has one vote. Decisions on such key issues as international peace and security, admitting new members and the UN budget are decided by a two-thirds majority. Other matters are decided by simple majority. Many decisions are reached by consensus without a formal vote.

In recent years, an effort has been made to achieve consensus on issues, rather than deciding by a formal vote, thus strengthening support for the Assembly’s decisions.

How President is elected?

Any Member State can put forward a candidate for President of the General Assembly (PGA).  He/she is not required to be, but always has been, a citizen of the Member State presenting the candidacy. The PGA is elected in his/her personal capacity and for the duration of the term of office represents the membership as a whole.

The Member State of the PGA cannot at the same time hold the office of Vice-President or Chair of a Main Committee.  Thus, the five permanent members of the Security Council, who are always Vice-Presidents, cannot hold the office of the PGA.

The President is elected by a simple majority vote of the GA.  The President is elected at least three months before formally assuming office, usually in mid-June.  This allows him/her to prepare and to assemble a team before the GA session begins in September.

What is the role and mandate of the PGA?

The PGA is the guardian of the GA Rules of Procedure but has no say in the actual decision-making of the GA – in fact, the PGA does not have a vote in the GA.  Even on procedural matters, the PGA always remains under the authority of the GA.

The Charter of the UN establishes only the function of the PGA.  The exact role and mandate have been defined and agreed on by the GA and are described in the GA Rules of Procedure, in GA revitalization resolutions, and in other GA resolutions which assign responsibilities and tasks to the PGA.

Just read once:

How are the Vice-Presidents elected?

The GA elects the twenty-one Vice-Presidents for the next session on the day of the election of the PGA.  Like the PGA, the Vice-Presidents formally assume office at the opening of the GA session.  The five permanent members of the Security Council are always among the Vice-Presidents.  To ensure balanced geographical representation, the remaining Vice-Presidencies are distributed among the regional groups as follows:

  • 6 members from the Group of African States
  • 5 members from the Group of Asian States
  • 1 member from the Group of Eastern European States
  • 3 members from the Group of Latin American States
  • 2 members from the Western European or other States Group

Current Affair 4:
Why is India challenging WTO verdict on sugar?

Source Link

The above is news from Hindu. The following are some relevant points.

Few days back, India lost a case at WTO regarding sugar subsidies. Now as per today's news, India has filed an appeal in the WTO's Appellate Body against the judgement of the Dispute Settlement Body of WTO.

First let me explain how the Indian sugar sector works:


Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP)/ State Advised Price (SAP) is announced by the Centre/State at which Sugar Mill owners are bound to purchase sugarcane from the farmers.

As FRP/SAP of sugarcane increases annually (like MSP) which is an INPUT to the sugar industry, but SUGAR, (which is the output) prices fluctuates means it can decrease also.

As Indian sugarcane farmers are assured of FRP/SAP, so they produce more sugarcane and since sugar mill owners are bound to procure it at FRP/SAP, so production of sugar increases and prices of sugar dips in the market. This results into loss to the sugar mill owners. As this loss is because of Govt. regulated FRP/SAP, so Govt. tries to provide support to sugar mills in the form of:

  1. Interest free loan so that mill owners are able to pay the sugarcane dues of the farmers
  2. Govt. provides financial support to those mills who will export a minimum quantity of sugar
  3. other support related to marketing and transportation
  4. When the sugar mills are not able to pay loans of Govt. then Govt. introduces loan restructuring schemes.
  5. Mandatory blending of ethanol with petrol and diesel. Here Govt. fixes the price of ethanol and generally Govt. keeps a higher price of ethanol so that, it helps the sugar mills to earn some revenue and more procurement of sugarcane

What is the issue at WTO ??

Australia, Brazil and Guatemala complain that these support/subsidies to the sugar sector are prohibited under WTO. But India in its appeal has said that all these above support/subsidies are not directly given to the agriculture farmers but are indirect support and hence does not break any WTO rule.

What is Peace Clause:

This clause says that even if the support/subsidy of Govt. crosses the 10% (of value of production) level, no member country can drag other member country to the dispute settlement body till WTO finds a solution to the problem. Earlier this peace clause was only till 2017 (starting from 2013) but now its for indefinite time period till WTO finds a solution to the problem.

So, why cannot India take the protection of 'Peace Clause' under WTO?

Peace clause says that 'whatever support/subsidy was given in the year 2013, even if its more than 10%, can continue. BUT no new/extra (amount of) support/subsidy should be given under peace clause. Now what I believe is the Govt. subsidy/support has increased from the year 2013 under various heads to the sugar sector.

WTO 'Appellate Body' do not have the minimum number of members required to hear an appeal. (This is another issue.)

So, the Appellate Body will not be able to pronounce any judgement and till then India can continue with the subsidy/support anyway. And if in future Appellate Body starts functioning and pronounces judgement against India  and if India does not comply then the complaining countries can impose 'retaliatory' tariffs.

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