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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

13 June 2022 – Current Affairs

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WTO Ministerial Conference

(Paper 2 important international institutions)

Why in news?

The  WTO Ministerial Conference began on 12 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland after a gap of nearly five years.

Key Points –

  • The Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference began on 12 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, after a gap of almost five years.
  • The 12th Ministerial Conference will be held in Geneva  from 12 to 15 June 2022.
  • It may be recalled that the meeting was earlier scheduled to be held last year (2021)  between November 30  and December 3, but at the same time it was postponed after the outbreak of the new variant of coronavirus, omicron, in European countries.
  • It is worth mentioning that the Ministerial-Level Conference (MC)  is the highest policy-making body of the WTO.

Important issues –

  • The key areas of discussion and negotiation at this year’s conference include the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) response to the pandemic, grant-in-aid (subsidy) negotiations on fisheries, farm issues including public stockholding for food security, WTO reform and moratorium in customs (customs duties) on electronic transmission.
  • A strong Indian delegation to the conference is led by The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal.

What topics will we talk about?

Agriculture โ€“

  • On exemptions granted by DG-WTO to world food programme from export restrictions
  • On the protection of India’s foodgrain procurement programme at  minimum support price (MSP)
  • Exemption from application of export restrictions to food items purchased by the World Food Programme (WFP) for non-commercial humanitarian purposes
  • Advance notification of export restrictive measures including improvement in compliance with the existing notification requirements.

WTO Fisheries Dialogue โ€“

  • India is keen to finalise the fisheries agreement in the upcoming MC-12 as irrational giving and overfishing by several countries is hurting Indian fishermen and their livelihoods.
  • India believes that the fisheries agreement should be seen in the context of existing international instruments and laws of the sea. The sovereign rights of coastal states to locate and manage living resources within their maritime jurisdiction, which is enshrined in international provisions, must be protected.
  • Protection of the environment has been rooted in the Indian ethos for centuries and this has been repeatedly emphasised on this at various international forums. India is committed  to making this dialogue decisive as long as it provides equal development and freedom for members to develop the ability to fish for the future without being imprisoned in a perpetually damaging arrangement.

E-commerce โ€“

  • India believes that given the highly heterogeneous nature of the existing global e-commerce space and the lack of understanding on the implications of the multidimensional dimensions of issues related to e-commerce, negotiations on rules and topics in e-commerce would be ahead of time.
  • Developing countries need to maintain the flexibility to implement policies for “catch-ups” with developed countries in the digital sector.
  • We first need to focus on improving the domestic physical and digital infrastructure, creating supportive supportive policies and regulatory frameworks, and developing our digital capabilities.
  • With this in mind, India has not joined the JSI on e-commerce as we believe that multilateral pathways are the most appropriate to achieve inclusive and growth-oriented outcomes.
  • Wto members have agreed not to impose customs duty on electronic transmission since 1998 and this agreement has been extended from time to time to postponement at ministerial conferences.

Intellectual Property โ€“

With regard to intellectual property, India –

  • identify the difficulties faced by developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) in using TRIPS resilience to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  • Trips under the announcement of responses seeks a reconfirmation of the waiver decision.

 Reforms of the WTO โ€“

  • India believes that the discussion of WTO reforms should strengthen its fundamental principles at this time., Special and differential treatment (S&DTs) should focus on preserving in which consensus based decision-making, non-discrimination, Special and differential treatment is involved and during this time neither should the inherited inequalities be preserved nor should they further worsen the existing imbalances.

What is the World Trade Organization ?

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO)  is an  international organization to initiate global trade and globalization.
  • The WTO was established under the “Marrakesh Agreement”, which was signed in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1994.
  • It was established on January 1, 1995, to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) signed after World War II.
  • It is an institution that liberalizes the rules of trade between different countries. It is also known as the multilateral trading system. The main objective of the WTO  is to promote world trade.
  • This organization issues guidelines for world trade. It is the world’s most prominent monetary organization. The Organization provides loans to its member countries as per the need.
  • The WTO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the current Director-General of the World Trade Organization  .

Note โ€“ Angozhi Okonjo-Iwela is the first African official as well as the first woman to be appointed to the post of Director General of the World Trade Organization.

Members

  • At present, the WTO comprises of 164 member states including the European Union and 25 countries like Iran, Iraq, Bhutan, Libya etc. enjoy observer status.
  • India became a founding member of the GATT and the WTO in 1947.
  • India  has been a founding member of the Wto since  January 1, 1995  and has been a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since July 8, 1948.

India’s view –

  • India believes in a transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system. At the same time, we are committed to working to strengthen the WTO.
  • The basic principles of the WTO need to be preserved, including, without any bias, consensus-based decision-making and special and differential treatment for developing countries.

Source โ€“ The Hindu

25th Meeting of the Western Regional Council

(Paper 2 Governance)

Why in news?

Recently, The Union Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah chaired the 25th meeting of the Western Zonal Council, let us know about it

Key Points –

  • The Union Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah chaired the 25th meeting  of the Western Zonal Council in Diu on 11june 2022.
  • The meeting was attended by the Chief Minister of Goa, Gujarat and administrators of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, senior ministers of Gujarat and Maharashtra, Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretaries of the Member States of Western Region, Secretaries, Senior Officials of Central and State Ministries and Departments including Inter-State Council Secretariat.
  • This is the first time that the western zonal council meeting has been held in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

What issues were discussed –

  • A total of 36 issues were discussed at the 25th meeting of the Western Regional Council  in Diu  on  June 11, 2022 and the 12th meeting of the Standing Committee  in  Panaji  on  January 28, 2022.
  • Six of these issues have been identified as important topics at the national level and are being regularly discussed and monitored in the meetings of various Regional Councils.
  • The themes are: improvement in banking services in rural areas, monitoring of cases of rape and sexual offences against women and children, implementation of fast track courts for such cases, verification of identity of marine fishermen at sea, development of local contingency plan by coastal states for large scale rescue operations in the seas,  and, promotion of Make in India through preference in public procurement.
  • Of the 30 topics discussed in the 25th Western Regional Council, 27 have been resolved and only three are left for further discussion.
  • The Western Regional Council also reviewed the action taken on decisions taken at its last meeting. Expressing satisfaction over the progress made on the issue of providing QR code based PVC Aadhaar cards to marine fishermen, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister urged the coastal States to make efforts to ensure that 100 per cent of sea going fishermen, including migrants and seasonal, should have Aadhaar cards which can be verified easily.
  • Highlighting the need for an all-inclusive local contingency plan and its role in mass rescue operations, Shri Amit Shah advised to identify the existing infrastructure along the coast and integrate them with disaster mitigation plans.
  • The council meeting held at Diu also resolved the issue of water rates supplied by the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board to Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. Further, through discussions, an agreement was also reached between the Railways and the Government of Maharashtra on the issue of pending forest and wildlife clearances for two important railway projects such as gauge conversion on Akola-Khandwa section and new third line project of Bortalao-Gondia section.
  • The regional council meeting appreciated the inclusion of a window for uploading notifications of non-forest land identified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the initiative of the Standing Committee to enhance compensatory afforestation as reserve forests/protected forests in its ambient portal.

What is Regional council ?

  • Regional Councils have been constituted under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
  • The regional councils provide a platform to discuss issues affecting one or more states or issues between the Centre and states in a structured manner.
  • Section 15 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 states that there shall be a Regional Council for each of the five regions of the country. The present structure of each Regional Council is as under:-
  • The Northern Zonal Council includes the Union Territories of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, NCT of Delhi and Chandigarh;
  • The Central Zonal Council includes the states of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh;
  • The Eastern Zonal Council  includes the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal;
  • western regional council, In Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli are included; and
  • The Southern Zonal Council comprises of the Union Territories of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Puducherry.

Functions of the Councils –

  • Each Regional Council shall be an advisory body and may discuss any matter on which some or all the States represented in that Council, or the Union and the Multiple States represented in that Council have a common interest and may advise the Central Government and every State Government concerned to take action on any such matter.
  • Without prejudice to the generality of the above provisions, a Regional Council may, in particular, discuss and make recommendations in respect of the following:-
  • On any matter of equal interest in the field of economic and social planning,
  •  on any matter relating to border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-state transport;  and
  • on any matter relating to or arising out of the reorganisation of the States under this Act.

Source โ€“ Indian Express

Spread of tax literacy through the โ€˜learn by playโ€™ initiative

(Paper 3 Economics)

Why in news?

Recently,  the Income Tax Department launched a new initiative to spread tax literacy among children through games, riddles and comics.

Key Points –

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has  adopted an innovative approach to spreading tax literacy through ‘learning from sports’, moving beyond text-based literature, awareness seminars and workshops.
  • The CBDT has introduced new products for concepts related to taxation for high school students through board games, puzzles and comics, often considered complex.
  • It may be mentioned that  these products will initially be distributed to schools through a network of Income Tax offices spread across the country. The proposal to distribute these games through bookstores is also being considered.
  • Launching the initiative, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a series of communication and public interaction products with an aim to spread financial and tax awareness at the valedictory function of the prestigious Week of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at Panaji, Goa. Smt Sitharaman also distributed the first set of games to select the school students present at the event.

Which products were launched?

The new products submitted by cbdt are as follows:

Snakes, ladders and taxes:

  • This board presents good and bad habits with regard to game tax events and financial transactions.
  • This game is simple, intuitive and educational in which good habits are rewarded through ladders and bad habits are punished by snakes.

Building India:

  • It  conceptualises the importance of payment of taxes through the use of 50 memory cards based on collaborative game infrastructure and social projects.
  • The aim of this game is to convey the message that taxation is collaborative in nature, not competitive.

India Gate โ€“ 3D Puzzle:

  • This game consists of 30  pieces, each containing information about the various rules and concepts related to taxation.
  • Adding these pieces together will create a 3-dimensional structure of India Gate which will convey the message that taxes create India.

Digital Comic Books :

  • The Income Tax Department has collaborated with Lotpot Comics to spread awareness about the concepts of income and taxation among children and young adults.
  • It has messages through highly witty and tickling dialogues by motu-patlu’s extremely popular cartoon characters.

What is the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) ?

Formation โ€“

  • , which is  a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.
  • All cases related to direct taxes in India were handed over to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) with effect from January 1, 1964.
  • First of all, as the apex body of the Department, the Central Board of Revenue, the responsibility of tax management,  came into existence as a result of the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1924.
  • Initially, the Board was entrusted with the responsibility of both direct and indirect taxes.
  • But when the management of the tax proved to be challenging for one Board to handle, the Board was divided into two parts on January 1, 1964, which was renamed as the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Central Board of Excise and Customs.
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes headquarters is located in New Delhi.

Structure โ€“

  •  The chairman and members of the CBDT are selected from the Indian Revenue Service and the premier civil service of India.
  • These members constitute the top management of the Income Tax Department.

Work –

  • The CBDT provides necessary inputs for direct tax policies and schemes in India as well as it is  responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department.

Source – PIB

Elimination of Child Labour Week

(Paper 1 Social Issues)

Why in news?

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is celebrating the Child Labour Eradication Week from June 12 to 20.

Key Points –

  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is celebrating the Child Labour Eradication Week at 75 places as part of the “75th Anniversary of India’s Independence” โ€“ “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”  to mark the World  Day for The Prohibition of Child Labour.
  • It is being organized from 12th June to 20th June, 2022 to address the problem of child labour in various districts and to give importance to the task of finding ways  to eliminate it.
  • In this regard,  with the assistance of  the State Commission (SCPCR), District Authorities, Child Welfare Committee, DLSA, Child Line, Police/SJPU, Labour Department and other stakeholders  at 75 locations in scrap and automobile markets across the country during  June 12 to 20, 2022,  Where children are involved in labour work, rescue operations will be carried out.
  • For these rescue operations,  virtual meetings were held through video-conference with the DM, SCPCR, DLSA, SJPU, labour department officials, Childline and other stakeholders to discuss the process of rescue operations to be carried out by them during the Child Labour Eradication Week. More than 800 officials from 18 States/UTs  participated in these meetings  .
  • The NCPCR   has   prepared a draft SOP on the rescue and post-rescue process of child labour incorporating all the provisions of various Acts relating to children, which apply in these cases. An attempt has been made to simplify the understanding of the procedure laid down for the investigation and rehabilitation of children victims of child labour cases.
  • In addition,  the Commission  is in the process of creating a separate link for the process of rescue and rehabilitation of child labourers in the Childswaraj portal of the NCPCR  .

What is the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)?

Formation –

  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been constituted by the Government of India  in March 2007  as a statutory body under Section 3 of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, which deals with the protection of child rights.
  •  Under Section 13(1) of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, certain functions have been provided for to ensure the rights of children, especially those who belong to the most vulnerable and marginalised sections.
  • In addition,  the Commission has also been mandated to monitor the implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 and the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Structure โ€“

As per  the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, the Commission shall consist of the following members:

  • The President who has done extraordinary work to promote the welfare of children.
  • Six members (out of which at least two will be women) from the following fields who will be appointed by the  Central Government from amongst the eminent, competent, honest and eminent and experienced persons in these fields:
  • education;
  • child health, care, well-being and child development;
  • juvenile justice or care for neglected or disadvantaged children or children with disabilities;
  • eradication of stress in child labour or children;
  • child psychology or social sciences, and
  • Laws relating to children.

Note โ€“

  • The current chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is Priyank Kanungo. The Central Government on 13 October 2021 once again appointed Priyank Kanungo as the Chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
  • Earlier, Kanungo was appointed chairman of the commission on 13 October 2018.
  • This time his new term will start from October 17, 2021 and he will discharge the responsibility for a period of three years or until further orders.

Source – PIB

S P Garg Committee Report

(Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution)

Why in news?

Recently, a committee headed by Justice S P Garg has submitted its report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), let us know the salient features of this report

Key Points –

  • The report submitted by the committee headed by Justice S P Garg to ngt has said that the policy of zero tolerance should be followed in case of unnecessary honking. Along with this, the committee has also recommended to the court to raise awareness on noise pollution.
  • The case relates to the growing problem of noise pollution in Delhi. Significantly, the S P Garg committee has submitted the report  to the court on the orders of the NGT on August 11, 2020 and February 3, 2022.
  • According to the report, the noise caused by the vehicles in the cities is the cause of increasing noise pollution. It has been reported that 60 to 70 per cent of the noise in the city is being caused by road traffic. In such a situation, the committee has advised to plant trees and make minimal use of horns to limit the noise caused by vehicles. He also said that people need to be made aware of this.
  • At the same time, it has also been said to adopt other measures like reining in the speed of vehicles. At the same time,  the committee has made a new recommendation that the draft guidelines for construction works being prepared by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) should be finalized expeditiously.  
  • The analysis report prepared by the joint committee has revealed that most of the industries in Indore’s Sanwer Road industrial area in Madhya Pradesh are engaged in illegal exploitation of groundwater. Not only this, the report has also revealed that most of the industries there are using groundwater without taking noc from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). 
  • Along with this, the Committee has also analysed the samples of ground water which has shown that the amount of harmful components (dissolved solids) present in the ground water there is more than the prescribed standards. According to the report,  this is probably because for a long time the industries in that area had been releasing the dirty water on such land, because they did not have the provision of a normal sewage and effluent treatment plant.
  • Along with this, another reason given in the report is that untreated domestic waste from the residential colonies located near the river is being released in such a way, which could be the reason for the increasing pollution in this groundwater. It is worth mentioning that these colonies are located near narwar nallah located on the upper side of the industrial area, which passes through the industrial area.

Sand mining takes place on the banks of the Jhampar river-

  • The committee has submitted its report to the NGT on the issue of sand mining on the banks of river Jhampar  . The mining was going on at Barach village in Jaisinghnagar tehsil of Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The report submitted by the joint committee to the NGT after the inspection  has informed that the mining lease owner there has got all the necessary permissions and valid approvals from the concerned authorities.
  • The report also said, “It appears that the matter raised in the complaint is based on probabilities and unfounded and faulty assumption. The present situation is that mining activities in these mines have  been stopped since the beginning of January 2022 and due to monsoon, there is  no possibility of re-mining till September 2022.

What is the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ?

Formation –

  • The National Green Tribunal has been set up on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 to provide for enforcement of any legal right relating to environment including environment protection and forest conservation and other natural resources and to provide for relief and compensation for the person or property damaged and to dispose of the matters connected therewith in an effective and expeditious manner.
  • It is a body equipped with all the necessary mechanisms to conduct environmental disputes in a well-informed manner, including multi-disciplinary matters.
  • This Tribunal is not committed to the procedure laid down by the Civil Procedure of 1908 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.
  • The dedicated jurisdiction of the Tribunal will provide speedy environmental justice in environmental matters and help in reducing the burden of litigation of the High Courts. The Tribunal is under edema to seek disposal of the applications and petitions within six months from its misalignment.
  • NGT can hear civic matters under 7 laws related to environment:
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
  • The Bio-Diversity Act, 2002
  • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

Structure โ€“

  • Section 4  of the NGT Act provides that the NGT shall have a full-time chairperson, at least 10 judicial members and10 expert members.
  • But this number should not exceed 20 full-time judicial and expert members.
  • The Chairman is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
  • A selection committee is constituted by the Central Government for appointment of judicial and expert members.

Source โ€“ Down to Earth

United Nations passes resolution on Hindi language adoption

(Paper 2 International Relations, Issues)

Why in news?

Recently, for the first time in the United Nations, a resolution was passed  to  adopt Hindi  language, let’s know what it means, how big a success for India?

Key Points –

  • India’s resolution on multilingualism has been passed by the UNITED NATIONS General Assembly. The United Nations has included Hindi in its languages. The resolution also mentions for the first time that the Hindi and other languages are promoted in the functioning of the United Nations.
  • It is worth mentioning that the Government of India has been making efforts for a long time to promote Hindi. In many Hindi conferences, there has been a demand for official recognition of the Hindi at the United Nations. Amidst all this, only last month, the Indian government had given a support of 800,000 US dollars to promote the use of Hindi language at the United Nations.

Hindi @ UN’ campaign –

  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti informed that the ‘Hindi @UN’  project was launched in 2018  to promote  Hindi at the UN.
  • The aim is to promote the Hindi of un-public information and to create greater awareness of global issues among millions of Hindi-speaking people around the world.
  • Under the mission, India   has been partnering with the UN’s Department of Global Communications (DGC) since 2018  . The UN is giving additional funds to broadcast and mainstream news and multimedia content in Hindi.

UNGA Official Languages –

  • The United Nations General Assembly currently has six official languages.
  • These include Arabic, Chinese(Mandarin), English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  • Apart from this, English and French are the kamkami languages of the United Nations Secretariat.
  • But, now, Hindi have also been included in it. This clearly means that information about the working of the United Nations, its objectives  will now be available on the UN website in Hindi as well. 

What is  the UN’s multilingualism proposal?

  • On February 1, 1946, in the first session, the UNSC passed a resolution. Under Resolution 13(1), the UN said,  “The United Nations cannot achieve its objectives unless the people of the world are fully aware of its objectives and activities.”
  • On multilingualism, India has  been trying to recognise Hindi in the UN for many years.
  • In this order, a proposal was moved from The Indian side. It is also mentioned for the first time that the promotion of Hindi and other languages in the functioning of the United Nations has been mentioned.
  • The resolution passed states that the UN encourages the continued dissemination of important communications and messages in official and non-official languages, including Hindi language. For the first time this year, the proposal mentions Hindi language. Bangla and Urdu are also mentioned for the first time in this resolution.

Source โ€“ Economics times

Dinosaur’s ‘Abnormal’ egg found in India

(Paper 3 Biodiversity)

Why in news?

Recently, a team of researchers from The University  of Delhi discovered an ‘Abnormal’ eggs of fossil dinosaurs in India.

Key Points –

  • In this discovery, the researchers revealed  a rare phenomenon, they found that this dinosaur’s egg was located inside another egg.  It is worth mentioning that this was so far only in birds,  it was not yet seen in reptiles.
  • Thus, this new discovery will present the relationship between reptiles and avian (bird) evolution in a new way.
  • The researchers made the discovery in the tiger town in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh state, which  was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
  • Researchers reported 52 nests of dinosaurs of the Souropod family  in the village of Padlia in the town of Bagh  , one of which found 10 eggs, one of which  was an ‘Abnormal’ egg.
  • It is worth mentioning that dinosaurs of the Soropod family  are one of the largest liferow of this  land that lived millions of years ago in the area that is now located  in India. Fossils of these animals have  been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya in India.
  • This ‘Abnormal’ egg had two consecutive and circular outer layers, with a large gap between them, exactly as was found in birds so far.
  • It is worth mentioning that before this discovery, such a two-layered structure was not found in the ando of which of the series to date.
  • The egg has two continuous and circular eggshell layers separated by a wide gap like that observed in birds. Until this discovery, no eggยญinยญegg fossil egg was found in dinosaurs and other reptiles such as turtles, lizards and crocodiles.
  • It was believed that dinosaurs had a reproductive function similar to that of turtles and other reptiles (unsegmented oviduct) in contrast to segmented reproductive tract of crocodiles and birds with separate regions of membrane and shell deposition.
  • Though crocodiles have separate regions of shellmembrane and mineralised shell deposition, they ovulate and release all the eggs simultaneously like turtlesand other reptiles. In birds, ovulation is sequenced andeggs are laid one at a time.
  • โ€œThe new discovery of an ovumยญinยญovo egg, which is characteristic of birds, in titanosaurids argues for a segmented oviduct like in crocodiles and birds, and possible sequential laying of eggs like in birds,โ€ the authors note

Source โ€“ The Hindu

World Day against Child Labour

(Paper 1 Social Issues)

Why in News?

Every year, World Day against Child Labour is celebrated on June 12.

Key Points –

  • Every year, 12th June is celebrated as World Day against Child Labour across the world. It was started 19 years ago by the International Labour Union.
  • The purpose of celebrating this day is to make children below the age of 14 years aware not to work hard to educate them and move forward, so that children do not lose their dreams and childhood.
  • On this day, many events are organized all over the world.  The main purpose of celebrating this day is also to ban child labour.  Every year, it is tried that world day on June 12 to highlight the plight of child labourers.
  • Governments, employers and labour organisations, civil society as well as millions of people around the world are made aware and many campaigns are also run to help them. There are many children who lose their childhood at a very young age.  Children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in work that deprives them of a normal childhood and are away from education and health.
  • It is worth mentioning that every year World Day against Child Labour is celebrated with a theme. This year’s theme for 2022 is ‘Universal Social Protection to and Child Labour’.
  • This theme means that everyone needs to work together to stop child labour. Only if everyone tries together, the childhood of the children can be saved.
  • Through this theme, every section of the society has been asked to make efforts to save the childhood of children.
  • The theme of world no-child labour day 2021 was ‘Act now: End child labour’.
  • This day is also important because it focuses on the things needed for the development and rights of children.

What is child labour ?

  • Children around the world are regularly engaged in paid and non-paid types of labour that are not harmful  to  them.
  • But they fall into the category of child labour when they are too young to do that job or they are engaged in some harmful work such as child labour in a firecracker factory.
  • Working at a young age has a negative impact on their physical, mental and social or educational development.   
  • If we   talk about statistics, more than one in four children in less developed countries, who  are between the ages of 5  and 17 years) are engaged in child labour. Such a situation is more prevalent in Africa, Asia, South and Central America and Oceania countries.

Background –

  • The ‘World Day against Child Labour’ was started by the International Labour Organization (ILO)   in the year 2002.
  • The International Labour Union (ILO) first raised the issue of stopping child labour, after which in 2002 a unanimous law was passed that made it a crime to make it a crime to make children under the age of 14. The International Labour Union (ILO) has 187 member states. The ILO has passed several conventions to improve the conditions of labour in the world. Moreover, it also gives necessary guidelines on matters of wages, working hours, favorable environment, etc.
  • In 1973, the ILO convention number 138 was adopted to focus people’s attention on the minimum age for employment. The aim of which was to increase the minimum age of employment to the Member States and to abolish child labour.

Source โ€“ Indian Express

Environment Index

(Paper 3 Environment)

Why in News?

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI)-2022 report  was recently published by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University’s Centre for International Earth Science Information Network.

Key Points –

  • Denmark topped the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) recently published by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University’s ‘Centre for International Earth Science Information Network’.
  • This is followed by Britain and Finland.
  • The index, published by Yale and Columbia University,  used 40 performance indicators across 11 categories to assay countries in terms of climate change, environmental health and the importance of ecology.
  • According to the 2022  report of the Environment Performance Index, India has got the lowest marks, with India (18.9), Myanmar (19.4), Vietnam (20.1), Bangladesh (23.1) and Pakistan (24.6).  
  • China is ranked 161st with a score of 28.4, most of the low-scoring countries that have prioritized economic growth over stability, or countries that are struggling with unrest and other crises.
  • The report predicts that by 2050, China will be the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, while India will be at number two in this regard, despite the recent promise of reducing pollution from these countries, despite the fact that the future situation looks worrisome in the projections.
  • The report said that there are only a few countries like Denmark and the UK that can reach the position of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050,  while important countries like China, India and Russia are moving in the opposite direction, which means that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing here.
  • According to the EPI projection, if the current trend of greenhouse gas emissions continues, more than 50 per cent will be from just four countries China, India, the US and Russia.
  • An analysis of epi data shows that financial resources, good governance, human development and regulatory quality matter in enhancing the stability of the country.

The situation in India –

  • With a rank of 180 and a score of 18.9, India has fallen from rank 168 and a score of 27.6 in 2020.  India comes after Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar, the poorest performers. Denmark tops the list with a score of 77.9.
  • India ranks close to the bottom on a number of indicators including ecosystem vitality (178th), biodiversity (179th), biodiversity habitat index (170th), species protection index (175th), wetland loss, air quality (179th), PM 2.5 (174th), heavy metals such as lead in water (174th), waste management ( 151st) and climate policy (165th) including projected greenhouse gas emissions (171st).
  • India has also scored low on rule of law, control of corruption and government effectiveness, according to the report.

India’s side –

  • The Union Environment Ministry has rejected the Environment Performance Index-2022, placing India at the bottom of the list of 180 countries in the ongoing index on environment.
  • According to the Environment Performance Index report, India ranks at the bottom of the rankings with hazardous air quality and rising greenhouse gas emissions. India has been described as worse than Myanmar, Vietnam,  Bangladesh and Pakistan.

What is the Environmental Performance Index?

  • The EPI is an international ranking system of countries based on their environmental health.
  • It is a biennial index, first started in 2002 as the Environment Sustainability Index by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University Center for International Earth Information Network.
  • EPI 2022 uses 40 performance indicators to assess and rank 180 countries. The report says it uses the most recent data, and the indicators โ€œmeasure how close countries are to meeting internationally established sustainability targets for specific environmental issuesโ€.

Source โ€“ Indian Express

Avani Lekhara won gold medal

(Paper 2  Health, Education, Sports, Human Resources Subjects)

Why in News?

Recently Avani Lekhara won gold medal at Chateauroux 2022 in France.

Key Points –

  • Avani Lekhara has won the gold medal at the Chateauroux 2022 World Cup.
  • Lekhara shot 458.3 in the R8 – Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 finals to take the gold ahead of experienced Paralympic stars Veronica Vadovicova (456.6) of Slovakia and Sweden’s Anna Normann (441.9). Vadovicova and Normann took the silver and bronze respectively.
  • Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history last year as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event in Tokyo.

About Avani Lekhara –

  • Avani Lekhara (born 8 November 2001) is an Indian Paralympian and rifle shooter.
  • In a car accident in 2012, at the age of 11, left her with complete paraplegia. Her father encouraged her to join sports, training in archery but moving to shooting in which she found her true passion. She currently studies law in Rajasthan, India.
  • She was student of Kendriya Vidyalaya 3 (Jaipur), where she received her first gold medal in regional match of shooting.
  • She began shooting in 2015, inspired by former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and has since won several national and international titles.
  • . Lekhara also won India’s first gold medal at the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
  • On 3 September 2021, she became the first Indian female Paralympian to win two medals in Paralympics history after claiming bronze in women’s 50m air rifle standing event.

Source โ€“ livemint


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