Ojaank IAS Academy




15 June 2022 – Current Affairs

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WPI inflation hits 30-year peak

Paper 3 – Economy

Why Should You Know?

•India’s inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) hit a fresh high in May, rising to 15.88 percent, according to data released by the commerce ministry on June 14 2022.it was was 15.08 percent in April 2022 and 13.11 percent in May 2021.

•It is the highest Since September 1991 as a surge in price pressure in food and fuel overwhelmed a moderation in the dominant manufactured product segment.

•Inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) has remained in double digits for 14 months now, mirroring elevated global commodity prices, especially of oil, according to the official data released.

•According to Analysts it is expected that WPI inflation to remain elevated in June as well, as a waning base effect, further rise in Indian crude oil basket (it hit a 10-year high on June 9) and a weak rupee will likely offset any direct or indirect impact of the government’s move to cut fuel taxes and ease supply-side bottlenecks (the first monthly impact will be reflected in the June data). Much will also hinge on the progress and distribution of monsoon showers.

•It is worth mentioning that the divergence, the highest in six months, is mainly due to the different composition of the two price gauges (food items account for as much as 46% of the consumer price index). Still, the sharp rise in the WPI adds to uncertainties around the overall inflation outlook and raised the possibility of another round of rate hike in August.

•Inflation in primary articles, led by food items, jumped the highest in the current WPI series (with 2011-12 base) to 19.71%, while price pressure in fuel and power, comprising petrol, diesel and LPG, accelerated second fastest in the current series (40.62%). Primary food inflation climbed to 12.34% in May from 8.35% in April, driven substantially by a massive 56.36% spike in vegetable prices. Interestingly, inflation in wheat, exports of which were banned last month, eased to 10.55% from 10.70% in April.

•Unsurprisingly, inflation in crude petroleum and natural gas jumped to 79.50% in May from 69.07% in the previous month.

•However, core inflation eased to 10.4% in May from a four-month peak of 11.1% in the previous month, as price pressure in manufactured products moderated to 10.11% from 10.85%, albeit on a somewhat conducive base.

What WPI means?

•WPI which is wholesale price index, is a price index representing the wholesale prices of a basket of goods.

•In several countries such as India it is used to measure the inflation, the general rise in the prices of goods.

•Thus WPI is a price index representing the wholesale prices of a basket of goods.

•WPI is released by the Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

•The purpose of WPI is to inspect movement in prices of goods that reflect supply and demand in industry, construction and manufacturing.


Paper 3 – Security

Why Should You Know?

•The Union Cabinet approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. The scheme is called AGNIPATH and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.

•Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually, and most will leave the service in just four years.

•Of the total annual recruits, only 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission. The move will make the permanent force levels much leaner for the over 13-lakh strong armed forces in the country.

•Ukraine has sown about seven million hectares of spring crops so far, 25-30% less than in the corresponding period of 2021.

•Under the Agnipath scheme, aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply. The recruitment standards will remain the same, and recruitment will be done twice a year through rallies.

•Once selected, the aspirants will go through training for six months and then will be deployed for three and a half year

•During this period, they will get a starting salary of Rs 30,000, along with additional benefits which will go up to Rs 40,000 by the end of the four-year service.

•At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free. They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years.

•In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.

•At the same time, if any Agniveer becomes disabled, then he will be given an amount of up to Rs 44 lakh. Apart from this, the salary of the remaining job will also be available.

BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF)

Paper 2 – International relation

Why Should You Know?

•The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a Memorandum of Association (MoA) by India for establishment of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) was signed by the BIMSTEC member countries at the 5th BIMSTEC Summit held at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

•It is worth metioning that this MoA was signed by the BIMSTEC member countries at the 5th BIMSTEC Summit held at Colombo, Sri Lanka on 30th March, 2022.

•The TTF shall have a Governing Board and the overall control of activities of the TTF shall be vested in the Governing Board.  The Governing Board shall consist of one nominee from each Member State.

Objectives –

•The main objectives of the BIMSTEC TTF are to coordinate, facilitate and strengthen cooperation in technology transfer among the BIMSTEC Member States by promoting the transfer of technologies, sharing of experiences and capacity building.

•The TTF shall facilitate transfer of technologies among the BIMSTEC Member States, amongst other things, in the following priority areas Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, Space technology applications, Agricultural technology, Food processing technology, Pharmaceutical technology automation, New and renewable energy technology automation, New and Renewable energy technology, Oceanography, Nuclear Technology Applications, E-waste and solid waste management technology, Health Technologies, Technologies pertinent to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.

Outcomes –

The expected outcomes of the BIMSTEC TTF are –

•Databank of technologies available in BIMSTEC Countries,

•Repository of information on good practices in the areas of technology transfer management, standards, accreditation, metrology, testing and calibration facilities,

•Capacity building, sharing of experiences and good practices in development, and

•Transfer and use of technologies among BIMSTEC countries.


PAPER 3 – Science & Technology

PAPER 2 – Governance

Why Should You Know?

•Union Minister of Civil Aviation awarded the first Type Certificate (TC) under Drone Rules, 2021 to IoTechWorld Avigation Pvt Ltd.

•The Gurugram based company was established in April 2017 and is one of India’s leading manufacturers of kisan drones.

•IoTech has received the Type Certificate in barely 34 days after submission of its online application on the DGCA’s DigitalSky Platform on 11 May 2022. 

•This is despite the fact that the Drone Rules, 2021, allow 60 days to Quality Council of India (QCI) or the Certification Bodies (CB) and 15 days to DGCA for issuing the Type Certificate (i.e 75 days in total), provided all the necessary documents and test reports are as per specifications.

•The Drone Rules, 2021 were notified on 25 Aug 2021 and the ‘Certification Scheme for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CSUAS)’ for obtaining Type Certificate (TC) for drones was notified on 26 Jan 2022.

•There are three globally-renowned Certification Bodies (CB) approved by QCI namely – TQ Cert, UL India and Bureau Veritas.  Drone manufacturers are free to approach any Certification Body for testing their drone prototype.

About drone certification scheme –

•The drone certification scheme of January 2022 was developed by the Quality Council of India in consultation with drone startups, industry, academia and defence experts. The Government played the role of that of a facilitator and problem solver.

•The drone certification scheme is likely to create an eco-system for world class drones to be manufactured in India and sold all across the world. 

•There are 14 drone prototypes that are currently undergoing the certification tests.  The number of Type Certified prototypes may exceed 100 over the next three years.

Greenfield Airport Dholera

Paper 3- Infrastructure

Why Should You Know?

•The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for development of Phase I of New Greenfield Airport at Dholera, Gujarat

•It’s estimated cost is Rs. 1305 crore, and it to be completed within 48 months.

•The project is being implemented by Dholera International Airport Company Limited (DIACL), which is a Joint Venture Company comprising Airports Authority of India (AAI), Government of Gujarat (GoG) and National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT).

•The New Greenfield Airport at Dholera is situated at an aerial distance of 80 Km from Ahmedabad, Airport. The Airport is planned for operationalization from the year 2025-26 and initial passenger traffic is estimated to be 3 lakh passengers per annum, expected to grow to 23 lakh over a period of 20 years.  The annual cargo traffic is also estimated from the year 2025-26 at 20,000 tonne, which would increase to 2,73,000 tonne over a period of 20 years.

What is a greenfield airport ?

•A greenfield airport is one which is built from scratch on a new (undeveloped) site. The word ‘greenfield’ originates from software engineering. It means a project that does not have any constraints imposed by prior work. Such airports are constructed to support the projected requirements of traffic of the existing airport.

•To cater to the rising air traffic, the government of India has been working towards increasing the number of airports.

•The Government of India has formulated a Greenfield Airport Policy, 2008 which provides extant guidelines for the development of greenfield airports in the country.

Sugamya Cane Device

Paper 2- Social Issues

Why Should You Know?

•Sugamya Cane Device is an Assistive Aids consisting of Sugamya Cane Sensor and a Normal Foldable White Cane, assists to a Visually Impaired Person intelligently in mobility and direction-finding.

•Sugamya Cane assists in walking and detects obstacles that come within detection zone of sensor. Sensor is mounted on foldable White Cane which can be easily folded as and when required by user with help of hanging elastic provided at right side of hand grip for strapping the folded cane. 

How It works ?

•The Sugamya Cane have the Ultrasonic sensors to detect the numerous objects, which comes in the path of the user in certain direction & distance range and conveys message as a vibratory patterns produced by a vibrator Device can be powered on using the Power ON/ OFF sliding switch provided at the Left side of Sensor and below the Charging slot.

•To Power ON the device, slide the switch in the direction of Embossed power symbol. While turning ON the device short beeps will be generated along with Vibrations signaling which indicate power are turned ON.

•Two mode of detection has been provided in the Sugamya Cane, while moving in outdoor environment, longer range can be convenient and for Indoor environment Shorter range can be convenient. A slide switch for range selection provided at the right side of sensor is used to select the two detection range of sensor i.e. short range and long range.

•Sugamya Cane device has a re-chargeable Lithium Ion Battery, Provides the enough back up for user while using the device. It required approx. 5 Hrs to full charge the battery and once it charged fully, may be used for 3 to 4 days by user.

User friendly device

•Comfortable and extended Handle provided as a Hand grip. A Hand grip at the handle helps the user feel the vibrations generated during detection of obstacle in sensing range of Sensor.

• It is obligatory for the user to hold the Hand grip of the device in such a way that the sensor is directed forward in the direction of approaching/ stationary obstacles. Sugamya Cane is combination of Sensor and White Cane. White Cane is set of 04 piece of Pipe and Sensor is mounted on the Top piece of pipe. All 04 pieces of pipes are attached to each other in such a way that it can be easily folded. Hanging Elastic provided at the Top of device is used for strapping the folded cane.

Bahrain Mango Festival

Paper 3- Agriculture

Why Should You Know?

•Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) launched an eight-day Mango Festival in the Kingdom of Bahrain on June 13 2022 in collaboration with the Indian Embassy and Al Jazira Group.

•At the show, 34 varieties of mangoes from the eastern states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha are on display at eight different Al Jazira group supermarkets in Bahrain.

•All 34 varieties of Indian mangoes were on display at Al Jazira stores in Bahrain, including Hamala, Mahooz, Zing, Juffair, Budaiya, Adilya, Seef, and Riffa. Aside from mangoes in general, the festival featured several mango preparations such as mango cake prepared by Al Jazira bakery, juices, various varieties of mango shakes, and so on.

•Twenty-seven of these varieties were obtained from West Bengal, while two each from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh. All mango varieties were obtained directly from farmers and two Farmer Producer Organizations. The mango exhibition will run until June 20, 2022.

•West Bengal mango varieties include Bhavani, Daud Bhog, Amrapali, Golapkhas, Rogni, Dilshad, Chatterjee, Bimli, Ratan Kewra, Mallika, Ananras, Sahebpas and, Kishen Bhog, Lakshman Bhog, Madhu Latika, Rasagolla, Dwarika, Raja Bhog, Amrit Bhog, Arajanma, Nilanjan Jharkhand’s Kamli and Biju are on display, while Bihar’s Jardalu, a GI-tagged variety, and Langra are on display at the Bahrain Mango Festival. The show also features the Benganpalli, Himsagar, and Dusseri varieties from Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

About the festival –

•The Bahrain mango show is part of APEDA’s new initiatives to explore international markets for Indian mangoes under the banner of the ‘Mango Festival 2022.’ As a result of APEDA’s commitment to providing a global platform for Indian mangoes, 34 varieties of mangoes from eastern states were showcased in Bahrain for the first time.

•It is worth mentioning Mango is known as the ‘King of Fruits’ in India and the Kalpavriksha (wish-granting tree) in ancient scriptures. While most Indian states have mango plantations, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka produce the majority of the fruit. India’s top export varieties include Alphonso, Kesar, Totapuri, and Banganpalli. Mango exports are mostly in three varieties: fresh mango, mango pulp, and mango slice.

Fisheries subsidy

Paper 3- International trade

Why Should You Know?

•India rejected the current framework for negotiations on fisheries subsidies. it said that The World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries engaged in fishing in remote waters should be banned from providing subsidies for 25 years.

Inequality in this area is high:

•Union Minister Goyal said, “There is such a disparity in the sector and now efforts are being made to institutionalize it through the present draft.” The minister said that in adverse weather conditions to sustain income and livelihood and to provide social security to the socially backward fishermen community, the situation of over-fishing cannot be created.

•India said, this sector in developing countries is still in its early stages. There should be a transition period of 25 years for these countries not fishing in remote waters.

Policy steps necessary for fishermen:

•Goyal said that India has demanded a period of 25 years for change, this is not a permanent arrangement. It should be for countries like ours. We believe that unless a transition period of 25 years is agreed upon, it is impossible for us to bring the negotiations to a final conclusion. The reason for this is the need for policy steps for long-term sustainable growth for our low-income fishermen.

WTO member countries are talking about it :

•WTO member countries are negotiating a fisheries subsidy agreement. Its objective is to eliminate subsidies for legal, irregular and uninformed fishing, curb subsidies for overfishing and promote sustainable fishing.

•It is worth mentioning that About 90 lakh families in India are dependent on government aid and support.

Agreement signed between the member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Paper 2 – International Relations

Why Should You Know?

•On 14 june 2022 The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised about the Agreement signed among the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states on cooperation in the field of youth work among the authorized bodies of the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

•Consequent upon the adoption of the agreement on 17.09.2021 by the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on cooperation in the field of youth work, the agreement was signed by the Hon’ble Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of the Republic of India. The official working language of the SCO Secretariat is Russian and Chinese.

Areas of cooperation –

•The areas of cooperation includes; strengthen cooperation in the field of work with youth and public youth organizations (associations) implementing state youth policy, as well as support initiatives aimed at enhancing international youth cooperation.

•The areas of cooperation further includes training of professional staff in the sphere of work with youth; exchange of scientific, reference and methodological materials, work experience of state bodies, youth public organization, other organizations and associations involved in the implementation of state youth policy and support of youth initiatives; carrying out joint research and activities on various youth policy issues and youth cooperation; exchange of scientific publications, research works on topical issues of preventing youth involvement in destructive structures; promote joint economic and humanitarian initiatives aimed at engaging youth in entrepreneurship and innovative projects to increase their employment and well-being; supporting the activities of the SCO Youth Council.

objective of the Agreement –

•The objective of the Agreement is to strengthen mutual trust, friendly relations and cooperation among young people of SCO member States.

•Recognizing the importance of ensuring the development of youth cooperation as an element of deepening friendly relations among the SCO Member States. Seeking to further improve the conditions for youth cooperation based on international experience.

International Buyer Seller Meet

Paper 3 – Agriculture

Why Should You Know?

•Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in collaboration with Union Territory of Ladakh today organized an International Buyer Seller Meet (IBSM).

•IBSM aimed at boosting exprots of Apricots and other agri products from Ladakh.

•Eighteen entrepreneurs from UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir displayed a range of Apricots and other Agri Products. Twenty buyers from India, USA, Bangladesh, Oman, Dubai participated in this event.

•More than 30 producers of Ladakh Apricots and other agro products and stakeholders from UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir participated to interact with the importers and exporters providing platform to growers, entrepreneurs from UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir to display their products and facilitate B2B interactions.

•It is worth mentioning that Leh Ladakh is endowed with conducive climatic conditions for the production of a large number of Apricots and other Agri Products.  The farmers and entrepreneurs of UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir need exposure to the international trade opportunities with specific reference to temperate fruits such as Apricots, Walnuts, Apples, etc.

•IBSM provided an opportunity to the producers and processors of UT of Ladakh along and Jammu and Kashmir to show case their products to promote the exports as well as their wholesale and retail sale.

•APEDA, under its initiative to boost exports from Himalayan Region is encouraging States and UTs to harness their potential of agricultural produce exports. A platform will be created for the buyers to get the products directly from the producer group and the processors

•This event is aimed to link the producers and processors of UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir and buyers from other parts of the country as well as abroad which in turn will broaden the base of the export basket from the region, including UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir to increase the employment opportunities thereby improving the livelihood of the people.

•APEDA organizes International Trade Fairs for participation of exporters and provides a platform to the exporters to market their food products in the global marketplace. APEDA was also given priority and was provided to participation from UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir in the national and international events organized by it such as AAHAR, Organic World Congress, BioFach India etc. to promote agro product exports from these regions.

•As a result the exporters and entrepreneurs from UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir have started participation in national and international events during the recent past

•Despite pandemic situation and travel restrictions, Geographical Indication (GI) certified products such as Kashmir Saffron from Srinagar to Lulu FMCG Dubai and other Middle Eastern markets was exported during 2021. The focus was to ensur that GI products from UT of Jammu and Kashmir are available in the international market and at the same time the producers also realize remunerative prices from the global market.

•APEDA has also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology on mutual areas of cooperation such as technical support and promotional activities for enhancing productivity and promotion of potential products from the region.

•Shipment of Mishri variety Cherries was carried out from UT of Jammu and Kashmir to Dubai for the first time creating international market for Indian Cherries during 2021. The shipment was handled by local entrepreneurs from UT of Jammu and Kashmir with the established exporter from Mumbai to their counterpart in Dubai.

• Shipment of UT of Jammu and Kashmir fragrance rice Mushkbudji and Acacia honey have been exported in 2021 by the startups/new entrepreneurs to Lulu Group Dubai, Oman and other Middle Eastern markets. Shipment of Apples from UT of Jammu and Kashmir were carried out during 2021 by the startup/new entrepreneur to Oman, Qatar, Dubai, and other Middle Eastern markets.

•Stakeholders from UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are regularly participating in virtual and physical domestic and international buyer seller meets organized by APEDA and other departments to generate business enquiries.

•Shipment of Ladakh Apricots was carried out from Leh to Dubai for the first time followed by commercial shipments of Ladakh Halman Apricot creating an international market for Indian Apricots during the month of August-September 2021.

•Taking into consideration, the taste, texture and soothing aroma of Ladakh Apricots repeat orders were received from overseas market for the produce on a regular basis. The shipment was handled by local entrepreneurs from Kargil with the established exporter from Mumbai to their counterpart in Dubai.

•APEDA also facilitated exports of Solar dried Apricots from Kargil to Singapore by Startup company for establishing export chain to enter into international market from UT of Ladakh products.

•APEDA has been regularly mobilizing startups and entrepreneurs from UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir to the national and international physical and virtual events for promotion of products from these regions to international market.

What is APEDA?

•The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

•It was established  by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by parliament in December 1985.

•Apart from providing infrastructure for export of agricultural produce of the country, its major activities include promotion of export of agricultural and processed food products, guidance to farmers to ensure better harvest and their fair price, providing financial assistance, surveying and studying the potential of agricultural produce and also developing industries related to export of scheduled products.

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