Ojaank IAS Academy




17 September 2022 – Current Affairs

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SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Varanasi nominated as the first-ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital at the 2022 SCO Summit.
In details
  • The city of Varanasi has been nominated as the first-ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital during the period 2022-2023 at the 22nd Meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had participated in the Summit.
  • The nomination of Varanasi as the first ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital will promote tourism, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between India and the SCO member Countries.
  • It also underlines India’s ancient civilizational links with Member States of SCO, especially the Central Asian Republics.
  • Under the framework of this major cultural outreach program, a number of events will be hosted in Varanasi during 2022-23, for which guests will be invited to participate from SCO Member States.
  • These events are expected to attract Indologists, scholars, authors, musicians and artists, photo journalists, travel bloggers and other invited guests.
  • The regulations for nomination of the SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital were adopted at the Dushanbe SCO Summit in 2021 with an objective of promoting cooperation between the SCO Member States in the field of culture and tourism.
About Varanasi
  • Varanasi is a famous city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also called ‘Banaras’ and ‘Kashi’.
  • The city of Varanasi is located in the central Ganges valley of northern India, at the eastern end of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on the left bank of the Ganges River.
  • It is considered a holy city in Hinduism and is called AvimuktKshetra. Apart from this, it is also an important city in Buddhism and Jainism.
  • It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.The city is mentioned in many Hindu texts including Skanda Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the oldest Veda, Rigveda.
  • Varanasi is often referred to by adjectives like ‘City of Temples’, ‘Religious Capital of India’, ‘City of Lord Shiva’, ‘City of Lights’, ‘City of Knowledge’ etc.
  • This city has been the cultural and religious center of India, especially of North India, for thousands of years. The Banaras Gharana of Hindustani classical music was born and developed in Varanasi itself.
  • Goswami Tulsidas wrote the Ramcharitmanas, the most revered book of Hindu religion, here and Gautam Buddha gave his first discourse here at Sarnath.
  • The residents here mainly speak Kashika Bhojpuri, which is a dialect of Hindi.
  • Four major universities are located in Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya.

SCO Summit 2022

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting is being held in Samarkand which was attended by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.
In details
  • this yearthe SCO summit held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 15-16 September 2022. The last time this conference was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. SCO Summit is organized once every year.
  • On 16 September 2022 ThePrime Minister Narendra Modi attended the SCO Summit. During this, the Prime Ministers of Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan were also present with him. PM Modi addressed all the heads of state in Hindi after the meeting.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The PMO said that the two leaders discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.
  • Simultaneously, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Uzbekistan Shaukat Mirziyoyev held a meeting in Samarkand on the sidelines of the SCO summit.
About SCO –
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001.
  • SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and security organization.
  • In terms of geographic scope and population, it is the world’s largest regional organization, covering approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population, and more than 30% of global GDP.
  • The SCO is the successor to the Shanghai Five, a mutual security agreement formed in 1996 between China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
  • On 15 June 2001, the leaders of these nations and Uzbekistan met in Shanghai to announce a new organization with deeper political and economic cooperation; the SCO Charter was signed on 7 July 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
  • The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
  • In 2021, the decision was made to start the accession process of Iran to the SCO as a full member, and Egypt, Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia became dialogue partners.
  • Since its inception in 2001, the SCO has mainly focused on regional security issues, its fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism and religious extremism. To date, the SCO’s priorities also include regional development.
  • The SCO has been an observer in the UN General Assembly since 2005.
  • To strengthen mutual trust among member states, promote mutual effective cooperation in defence, politics, trade, economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection and other fields of the Group is the main objective.
  • SCO has also been making constant efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.

National Logistics Polic

Paper 3 – Economy
Why Should You Know?
On September 17, 2022 the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is going to launch National Logistics Policy.
In details –
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will launch the National Logistics Policy (NLP) on 17th September, 2022 at 5:30 PM at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • The need for a national logistics policy was felt since the logistics cost in India is high as compared to other developed economies.
  • It is imperative to reduce the logistics cost in India for improving the competitiveness of Indian goods both in domestic as well as export markets. Reduced logistics cost improves efficiency cutting across various sectors of the economy, encouraging value addition and enterprise.
  • Since 2014, the government has put significant emphasis on improving both Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living. National Logistics Policy, a comprehensive effort to address issues of high cost and inefficiency by laying down an overarching interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional framework for the development of the entire logistics ecosystem, is yet another step in this direction.
  • The policy is an endeavour to improve competitiveness of Indian goods, enhancing economic growth and increasing employment opportunities.
  • It has been the vision of the Indian government to develop world class modern infrastructure through integration of all stakeholders in holistic planning and implementation so that efficiency and synergy is achieved in the execution of the project.
  • The PM GatiShakti – National Master Plan for muti-modal connectivity – launched by the Prime Minister last year, was a pioneering step in this direction. PM GatiShakti will get further boost and complementarity with the launch of National Logistics Policy.
What is Logistics?
  • Logistics is the process of planning and executing the efficient transportation and storage of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption.
  • The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items.
  • Originally, logistics played the vital role of moving military personnel, equipment and goods. While logistics is as important as ever in the military, the term today is more commonly used in the context of moving commercial goods within the supply chain
  • The goal of logistics is to meet customer requirements in a timely, cost-effective manner

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture(ITPGRFA)

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
India is gointto host 9th Session of Governing Body of the ITPGRFA from 19-24th September, 2022 in New Delhi.
In details
  • India will host the 9th Session of Governing Body of the ‘International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture’ (ITPGRFA) from 19-24th September, 2022 in New Delhi.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare today organized a pre-programme briefing/preview related to hosting the “Ninth Session of the Governing Body” of the ‘International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture’.
  • ITPGRFA will provide a common platform for all the participating countries to deliberate upon the pivotal issues related to the development, conservation and protection of Plant Genetic Resources for the benefit of farming community.
  • the scientific exchange of technological advancement among the countries will help mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change and food security globally.
What is ITPGRFA?
  • ITPGRFA is a legally binding comprehensive agreement adopted in November, 2001 at Rome during the 31st session of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which entered into force on June 29, 2004and currently has 149 Contracting Parties, including India.
  • The treaty provides solutions to achieve food and nutritional security as well as climate resilient agriculture. Countries are inter-dependent for PGRFA and consequently a global order is essential to facilitate access and benefit sharing.
  • Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India participated in the 8th session of the Governing Body (GB8) in 2019 at Rome and proposed to host the GB9 in India.
About 9th Session of Governing Body
  • The GB9 is being held under the theme “Celebrating the Guardians of Crop Diversity: Towards an Inclusive Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”.
  • The theme aims to acknowledge the contribution of the world’s small-holder farmers to the effective management of PGRFA, while providing an opportunity to consider how the Treaty and its community will contribute to the new global biodiversity framework.
  • The GB9 will consider the options for encouraging, guiding and promoting the realization of Farmers’ Rights as set out in Article 9 of the Treaty, developed by an ad hoc Technical Expert Group on Farmers’ Rights.
  • The GB9 is expected to deliberate on the outcome of informal consultations as well as status of Treaty’s Multilateral System (MLS) implementation to guide future steps necessary for the enhancement of the MLS, which is considered vital for agricultural research, development and global food security.
  • The GB9 is expected to consider (i) capacity-development strategy for the Treaty; (ii) Funding strategy, resource mobilization and the budget; (iii) conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA and agriculture; (iv) compliance (v) cooperation with other organizations and bodies; and (vi) the Multi-year Programme of Work, including digital sequence information. Dialogues will also be held to further strengthen clauses under the Treaty and in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Nagoya Protocol, Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Global Crop Diversity Trust, and new Global Biodiversity Framework to pursue a more robust Treaty implementation.
  • India is endowed with rich crop genetic resources and has successfully established legal, institutional and scholastic infrastructure to utilize the genetic diversity for breeding new varieties.
  • With this unique status and as GB9 host, India is expected to play a crucial role in minimizing the dissonance between technology-rich developed and gene-rich developing countries to achieve functional resolutions on critical agenda items.
  • The GB9 provides an excellent opportunity to convey the steadfast commitment of India to conservation and sustainable utilization of plant genetic diversity as well as farmers’ rights.

KRITAGYA 3.0- A National level Hackathon

Paper 3- Agriculture
Why Should You Know?
Indian Council of Agricultural Research with its National Agricultural Higher Education Project and Crop Science Division is organizing Hackathon 3.0 ‘’KRITAGYA” on promoting ‘speed breeding for crop improvement’.
In details
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research with its National Agricultural Higher Education Project and Crop Science Division is organizing Hackathon 3.0 ‘’KRITAGYA” on promoting ‘speed breeding for crop improvement’.
  • Taking forward the vision of Indian government through National Education Policy-2020, this program will provide an opportunity to students/faculties/entrepreneurs/innovators and others to showcase innovative approaches and technology solutions to promote innovation for crop improvement.
  • Under the guidance of the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, such initiatives will give impetus to the desired rapid results in the crop sector with the ability to learn, innovation and solutions, employability and entrepreneurship. It will also encourage greater adoption of technology enabled solutions in the country.
  • According to Dr. Rakesh Chandra Agrawal, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Education) and National Director, National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), the definition of KRITAGYA is: KRI for Krishi meaning Agriculture, TA for Taknik meaning Technology and GYA for Gyan meaning Knowledge.
  • In this competition, students, faculty and innovators/entrepreneurs from any university/technical institute across the country can apply and participate in the program as a group.
  • The participating group shall consist of maximum 4 participants, with not more than one faculty and / or more than one innovator or entrepreneur. Participating students can collaborate with local start-ups, students from technology institutes and can win up-to INR 5 Lakhs. The registration for event shall take place till 26thSeptember 2022.
  • During 2020-21 and 2021-22 NAHEP in association with Agricultural Engineering and Animal Science Divisions of ICAR organized Hackathon 1.0 and 2.0 to promote the innovation in Farm Mechanization and in Animal Science, respectively.
  • The events witnessed immense participation across the country where more than 784 teams i.e., 3,000 participants actively participated in hackathon 1.0 and more than 269 teams participated in hackathon 2.0. At national level, 4 teams were awarded by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Tomar with a cash prize of Rs. 9 lakhs.
  • This event is also extending the support to winners for further development in their concept propositions, its scalability and future plan in collaboration with Agri Business Incubators, MSMEs and other investors through support of ICAR.
  • ICAR commenced NAHEP with the assistance of World Bank (WB) in November 2017.
  • The overall objective of NAHEP is to support participating Agricultural Universities (AUs) and ICAR in providing more relevant and higher quality education to the students.
What is ICAR?
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research  (ICAR) is an autonomous body under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education in the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
  • Registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, it was established  on July 16, 1929, in pursuance of the Report of the  Royal Commission on Agriculture.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi. The first name of this society was the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research.
  • It aims to promote and educate about science and technology programmes in the field of agricultural research |
  • The Council is directly involved in research activities in traditional and marginal sector to conserve and manage resources in agriculture sector to overcome problems related to crops, animals and fish and related fields etc. It plays an important role in developing new technology in the agriculture  sector
  • The Council is an apex body for coordination,  guidance and research management and education in the field of agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the country.
  • It has 103 ICAR institutes and 73 agricultural universities spread across the country and thus is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world. 
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has played a leading role in the development of the country’s agriculture sector through its R&D after bringing green revolution in the country.From 1951 to 2014, the country’s food production increased by 5 times., 9.5 times in horticultural crops, 12.5 times in the field of fisheries , It has been able to increase milk production by 7.8 times and egg production by 39 times, thus reflecting a clear impact on national food and nutritional security.
  • The Council has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture. The Council has been engaged in working in innovative areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally known in their disciplines.

ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting

Paper 2- International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Recently Minister of State for Commerce and IndustrySmt. Anupriya Patel Co-Chaired 19th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Siem Reap City, Cambodia.
In details
  • Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry along with H.E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia co-chaired the 19th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ meeting held on 16th September 2022 in Siem Reap City, Cambodia.
  • The Economic Ministers or their representatives from all the 10 ASEAN countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam attended the meeting.
About the meeting
  • The Ministers noted that trade and economic relations between ASEAN and India are starting to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the two-way trade between ASEAN and India reached USD 91.5 billion in 2021 increasing by 39.2 per cent year-on-year.
  • The Ministers also took note of the recommendations made by ASEAN India Business Council (AIBC) to enhance the ASEAN India economic partnership and the activities undertaken by AIBC in 2022.
  • The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to take collective actions to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and work towards a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery.
  • The Ministers welcomed ASEAN and India to forge collective actions in securing a robust supply chain connectivity to maintain the flow of essential goods and services through the launching of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) Upgrade Negotiations, mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination, vaccines production, public health surveillance, and medical technologies in moving forward with the post-pandemic recovery responses and facing future health crises.
  • Smt. Anupriya Patel briefed the meeting about the progress made by India in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic with its current focus on vaccinating all eligible citizens and the major milestone of administration of 2 billion vaccine doses including booster doses achieved in July 2022, 18 months after the vaccination scheme started in January 2021.
  • She also shared information on the steps taken by India in liberalising and simplifying its FDI policy resulting in the ever-increasing volumes of FDI inflows, setting new records. She invited ASEAN countries to invest in India and be partners in its success.
  • The Ministers welcomed the successful outcomes of the Twelfth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference held on 12-17 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland and reiterated their support for a rules-based, non-discriminatory, open, fair, inclusive, equitable, and transparent multilateral trading system, as embodied in the WTO.
  • In a significant development, the Ministers endorsed the Scope of the Review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses, as well as responsive to the current global and regional challenges including supply chain disruptions. The Ministers also activated the AITIGA Joint Committee to undertake the review of AITIGA expeditiously.
  • Smt. Anupriya Patel reiterated India’s commitment to supporting a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN and also to equitable and sustainable trade which balances the aspirations of both the partners.
  • ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • It is  a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration between its members and countries in the Asia-Pacific.
  • ASEAN was preceded by an organisation formed on 31 July 1961 called the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), a group consisting of Thailand, the Philippines, and the Federation of Malaya.
  • ASEAN itself was created on 8 August 1967, when the foreign ministers of five countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, signed the ASEAN Declarationin Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
  • Later Brunei (1984), Vietnam (1995), Laos and Myanmar (1997), and Cambodia (1999) joined the member states.
  • Thus, it currently has 10 member countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
  • ASEAN’s first summit meeting, held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976.
  • In 2006, ASEAN was given observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.In response, the organisation awarded the status of “dialogue partner” to the UN.
  • To accelerate economic development,  social progress and cultural development for the prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian countries.
  • Promote regional peace and stability through respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the UN Charter.
  • Promote active cooperation and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
  • To cooperate more effectively in greater use of  agriculture and industries, expansion of trade, improvement of transport and communication facilities and improvement of living standards of the people.
  • To promote Southeast Asian studies.
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations.

Impact of Fortified Rice

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Recently experts highlighted the positive impact of fortified rice on public health in an IEC campaign conducted at 5 locations in 4 states: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
In details
  • In order to popularise and create awareness about the benefit of Fortified Rice specially in Tribal Areas of the country, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) is coordinating with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana Rajasthan, Kerala to organize workshops and seminars in the sensitive areas of tribal belts and districts that have population that are vulnerable to Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anaemia.
  • So far, workshops/seminars have been organised in 5 locations across 4 States namely: Valsad in Gujarat, Nandurabar and Nashik in Maharashtra, Kanker in Chhattisgarh and East Singhbhum, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.
  • The experts discussed the importance of Fortification and how it will boost nutritional requirements of the people of the country.
  • NoteblyFortification is the process of adding Fortified Rice Kernels (FRK), containing FSSAI prescribed micronutrients (Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12) to normal Rice (Custom Milled Rice) in the ratio of 1:100 (Mixing 1 Kg of FRK with 100 Kg custom milled rice).
  • Fortified rice is nearly identical to traditional rice in aroma, taste, and texture. This process is done in the rice mills at the time of milling of rice.
  • Rice fortification ecosystem has been enhanced significantly on boarding rice millers, FRK manufacturers, industries and other stakeholders for production and supply of fortified rice to meet the target requirement.
  • There are more than 9000 rice mills in the country which have installed blending infrastructure for production of fortified rice and their cumulative monthly production capacity is around 60 LMT which is increased by more than 4 times since last year.
  • Fortification of rice is found to be a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets with low turnaround time (TAT) and a step towards nutritional security and helps in fighting anaemia and malnutrition in the country. This strategy is implemented in many geographies in the world.
What is Fortification?
  • Nutrients (vitamins and minerals) reach our body through food. But in today’s era, due to changing eating habits and unbalanced food of the poor class, their shortage has increased.
  • To overcome this, vitamins and minerals made by companies are added to foods through processing.
  • That is, separate vitamins and minerals are delivered to our food. This whole process is called food fortification.
What is Fortified Rice?
  • Fortification of rice, thus, is the way to increase the amount of micronutrients required in rice and improve the nutritional quality of rice. It is a process similar to making salt iodized.
  • Fortified rice is rich in nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, folic acid compared to normal rice. Due to the good amount of these nutrients in rice, their nutritional value is also very high. And anyone who eats this rice is not a victim of malnutrition.
  • According to FSSAI norms, 1 kg of fortified rice should contain iron (28mg-42.5mg), folic acid (75-125 micrograms) and vitamin B-12(0.75-1.25 micrograms). In addition, rice is mixed with micronutrients, single or in combination, with zinc (10mg-15mg), vitamin A (500-750 micrograms RE), vitamin B1(1mg-1.5mg), vitamin B2(1.25mg-1.75mg), vitamins B3(12.5mg-20mg) and vitamin B6(1.5mg-2.5mg) can also be strengthened at the level per kilogram.
Need in India
  • There is no exact data available on the status of nutrients among the citizens of the country. For this, based on the survey of various agencies, it is believed that about 60-70 percent of the people of the country are deficient in nutrients.
  • According to the report of the National Institute of Nutrition, the food received by children in 40 percent of the households in the country is unbalanced. 55% of children under the age of five are underweight.
  • Similarly, the amount of vitamin A in children up to the age of five years is less than normal. 52 percent of children are underweight. At the same time, 35 percent of men and women are facing energy shortage.
  • Apart from this, the amount of protein, iron, calcium, thiamine in people’s food is constantly decreasing.
  • Malnutrition is a serious problem in India. India’s number in the Global Food Security Index of 113 countries was 71st in 2021. According to the Food Ministry, on an average, every second woman in the country is anaemic and every third child is weak.
  • According to the National Family Health Survey-4, 38.4 per cent of children under the age of five in India are underweight. Of the women and girls, 53.1 per cent were anaemic. When women suffering from anemia give birth to a child, they are also likely to have anemia.

Small Companies

Paper 3- Economy
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Ministry of Corporate Affairs amended the paid-up capital limit of “Small Companies”
In details
  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has taken several measures in the recent past towards ease of doing business and ease of living for the corporates. 
  • These included decriminalisation of various provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 & the LLP Act, 2008, extending fast track mergers to start ups, incentivising incorporation of One Person Companies (OPCs) etc.
  • Earlier, definition of “small companies” under the Companies Act, 2013 was revised by increasing their thresholds for paid up capital from “not exceeding Rs 50 lakh” to “not exceeding Rs 2 crore” and turnover from “not exceeding Rs 2 crore” to “not exceeding Rs 20 crore”.
  • This definition has, now, been further revised by increasing such thresholds for paid up Capital from “not exceeding Rs. 2 crore” to “not exceeding Rs. 4 crore” and turnover from “not exceeding Rs. 20 crore” to “not exceeding Rs. 40 crore”.
  • Small companies represent the entrepreneurial aspirations and innovation capabilities of lakhs of citizens and contribute to growth and employment in a significant manner.
  • The Government has always been committed to taking measures which create a more conducive business environment for law-abiding companies, including reduction of compliance burden on such companies.
  • Some of the benefits of reduction in compliance burden as a result of the revised definition for small companies are as under:
  • No need to prepare cash flow statement as part of financial statement.
  • Advantage of preparing and filing an Abridged Annual Return.
  • Mandatory rotation of auditor not required.
  • An Auditor of a small company is not required to report on the adequacy of the internal financial controls and its operating effectiveness in the auditor’s report.
  • Holding of only two board meetings in a year.
  • Annual Return of the company can be signed by the company secretary, or where there is no company secretary, by a director of the company.
  • Lesser penalties for small companies.

Online portal for Raksha Mantri’s Awards

Paper 3 –Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Recently Ministry of Defence launched an online portal for filing applications for Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence in Defence and Aerospace Sector 2021-22
In details –
  • On September 16, 2022 the Ministry of Defence has launched an online portal for filing applications for Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence in Defence and Aerospace Sector 2021-22.
  • The objective of Raksha Mantri’s Awards, managed by Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) under Department of Defence Production (DDP) is to give further boost to Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, for achieving self-reliance in Defence manufacturing and reward excellence in the fields of Indigenization, Innovation and Exports by the Indian Defence Industries (both Private as well as DPSUs/PSUs).
  • This initiative will facilitate widening of Industrial base in the Defence and Aerospace sector, identify ‘hidden gems’ from Private Industries especially from the MSME/Start-Up segments and promote them as role models for others.
  • Applications for Raksha Mantri’s Awards under various categories will be accepted only through the online Portal  and the processing of applications for the Awards will also be done online.
  • Last date of filing online applications is September, 29, 2022. RM Award Cell of DGQA will be managing the portal and the helpline facility.
  • The awards for the year 2021-22 will be presented during DEFEXPO-22, scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 18 to 22 October 2022.

World Ozone Day

Paper 3 – Environment

Why Should You Know?
World Ozone Day is observed every year on 16 September.
In details
  • World Ozone Day is celebrated on 16th September each year to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol that came into force on this day in 1987.
  • World Ozone Day is celebrated every year to spread awareness among people about the depletion of Ozone Layer and the measures taken and to be taken to preserve it. 
  • The theme of World Ozone Day 2022 is “Montreal Protocol@35: global cooperation protecting life on earth”.
What is Montreal Protocol?
  • The Montreal Protocol is related to the protection of the Earth’s ozone layer, the original Montreal Protocol was adopted on 16 September 1987, which came into effect from the year 1989.
  • In this meeting, the reduction of chlorofluorocarbons, CTC halon, methyl bromide, methyl chloroform and carbontetrachloride were discussed. This resolution was passed by 197 countries around the world.
  • United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) played a major role in this agreement Montreal Protocol is a binding agreement based on emissions
India’s achievements in Implementation of the Montreal Protocol
  • India, as Party to the Montreal Protocol since June 1992, has been successfully implementing the Montreal Protocol and projects and activities for phasing out of ozone depleting substances, in line with the phase out schedule of the Protocol.
  • India phased out Chlorofluorocarbons, Carbon tetrachloride, Halons, Methyl Bromide and Methyl Chloroform for controlled uses as on 1 January 2010, in line with the Montreal Protocol schedule. Currently, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are being phased out as per the accelerated schedule of the Montreal Protocol. 
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage – I has been successfully implemented from 2012 to 2016 and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage – II is under implementation since 2017 and will be completed by 2023. 
  • Stage III of the HPMP, the last of the HPMPs to phase out remaining HCFCs, will be implemented from 2023 – 2030.  The phase-out of HCFCs in all manufacturing sectors, comprising refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturing sectors, will be completed by 1.1.2025 and the activities relating to the servicing sector will be continued till 2030.
  • The study on reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) under the Montreal Protocol implementation in India.
  • The study carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change estimates that the reduction of GHG emissions due to phase-out of ODS till 2022 is 465 million tonne C02 equivalent, while it is expected that the reduction of GHG emissions till 2030 is expected to be 778 million tonnes of C02 equivalent.
  • Implementation of actions emerging from India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) will supplement efforts in adopting climate-friendly alternatives and promotion of energy efficiency during the implementation of HFC phase-out under the Kigali Amendment.
  • This will significantly contribute to India’s climate action in achieving the net zero emissions by 2070, through the ‘Panchamrits’, committed by the Prime Minister of India, at the Climate Change Conference of Parties in 2021.

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