30 August 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Questions

The first multilateral bloc to declare climate emergency is

 a) ASEAN

 b) BIMSTEC

 c) European Union (EU)

 d) G20 Members

2)Kuka Revolt of Punjab is aimed at

 a) Achieve justice for the martyrs of Punjab in the 1857 Revolt

 b) Freeing the Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) from the control of ignorant and corrupt Mahants

 c) Making Sikh land independent from British control

 d) Reforming the Sikh religion by removing all the abuses, superstitions and ill-practices

3)Which of the following act for the first time explicitly defined the constitutional position of the British territories in India.

 a) Pitt’s India Act of 1784

 b) Charter act of 1813

 c) Charter act of 1833

 d) Charter act of 1853

Prelims Specific News Items

1) NITI bats for tax breaks to achieve monetisation goal :- To make the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) a success, the government should give Income Tax breaks to attract retail investors into instruments such as Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), the NITI Aayog has recommended.
The Centre’s think tank driving the NMP, estimated to raise almost ₹6 lakh crore for the exchequer over four years, has also called for bringing such trusts within the ambit of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to provide greater comfort to investors.

READ ALL ABOUT ASSET MONETIZATION AND NATIONAL MONETIZATION PIPELINE FROM HERE

2) Is climate change killing Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetlands? :-

The Pantanal wetlands are located in the heart of South America and are the world’s largest tropical wetlands. Home to a wealth of biodiversity, they stretch from Brazil into Paraguay and Bolivia.

Unlike the Amazon rainforest, vegetation in the Pantanal has evolved to coexist with fire — many plant species there require the heat from fires to germinate. Often caused by lightning strikes, those natural fires spring up at the end of the dry season, but the surrounding floodplains prevent them from spreading.

The Pantanal is a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical wetland area, and the world’s largest flooded grasslands.

It is located mostly within the Brazilian and extends to some portions of Bolivia and Paraguay.

It sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometer.

Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing a biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping to support a dense array of animal species.

3)Issues with National Mission on Edible Oils :-

But the National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) hopes to address a major problem — India is the largest importer of edible oil, over half of which is made up of palm oil imports from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. 

The Union Cabinet has approved Rs 11,000 crore for the scheme, with an ambitious target to increase palm oil area production by more than three times. 

Issues ? :-

Environmental concerns

There are concerns that water-guzzling crops such as palm, which grows best in tropical areas, will trigger water scarcity and massive reduction of forest cover in biodiverse and ecologically sensitive zones in the northeast and Andaman. 

India’s four biodiversity hotspots fall in the palm oil aspirational regions, two of which are in the northeast (Indo-Burma region) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Sundaland). 

Author also says that this push for Oil palms wil disturb the social fabric of the tribals.

Great Deserts :- According to reports, the growth of palm oil plantations has replaced rich tropical ecosystems in southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia with monocultures – “green deserts” destroying native animals and plants in the process.

2020 Malaysian study found that natural forests were much better carbon sinks compared to oil palm monocultures. 

Higher gestation period is there and thus will not be good for smal farmers.

India’s national palm oil mission

The National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) hopes to end India’s dependency on imports for cooking oil.

It will offer farmers an assured fixed price on the lines of the minimum support price (MSP). As reported earlier by ThePrint, in case of market volatility, palm oil farmers will be paid the price difference via direct benefit transfer (DBT). 

The scheme will also increase planting material assistance from Rs 12,000/hectare(ha) to Rs 29,000/ha with special assistance of Rs 250/plant to rejuvenate old gardens. The government said that it will fix a formula price, on a monthly basis derived from 14.3 per cent of the crude palm oil market prices.

Such numerous incentives are needed because palm trees produce fruits ready for oil extraction only after 4-5 years of planting, making cultivation impossible for small farmers.

Moreover, according to estimates, palm produces 10-46 times more oil/ha than other oilseed crops, making it a leading candidate with enormous cultivation potential.

4)India, Russia to expand cooperation in Central Asia :- India and Russia are expecting to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement, Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS), and a Navy to Navy cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) when Russian Defence Minister Gen Sergei Shoigu visits India later this year.

5)

Maritime zones are drawn using what the LOSC calls “baselines.” Unlike inland waters, coastal waters rise and fall in tides. Rather than having moving maritime boundaries, the baseline is fixed to begin at the low-water line along the coast. The low-water line is derived from the coastal State’s own charts.1

These zones are measured using nautical miles, a measurement based on the circumference of the Earth.2 One nautical mile equals roughly 1.15 miles on land.

As seen in the graphic below, the LOSC divides the ocean into six different zones:

1. Internal Waters 3. Contiguous Zone5. Continental Shelf2. Territorial Sea4. Exclusive Economic Zone6. High Seas & Deep Ocean Floor

Maritime Zones Schematic:-

Internal Waters

Internal waters are all the waters that fall landward of the baseline, such as lakes, rivers, and tidewaters. States have the same sovereign jurisdiction over internal waters as they do over other territory. There is no right of innocent passage through internal waters.

Territorial Sea

Everything from the baseline to a limit not exceeding twelve miles is considered the State’s territorial sea. Territorial seas are the most straightforward zone. Much like internal waters, coastal States have sovereignty and jurisdiction over the territorial sea. These rights extend not only on the surface but also to the seabed and subsoil, as well as vertically to airspace. The vast majority of States have established territorial seas at the 12 nautical mile limit, but a handful have established shorter thresholds.

While territorial seas are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the coastal States, the coastal States’ rights are limited by the passage rights of other States, including innocent passage through the territorial sea and transit passage through international straits.

Contiguous Zone

States may also establish a contiguous zone from the outer edge of the territorial seas to a maximum of 24 nautical miles from the baseline. This zone exists to bolster a State’s law enforcement capacity and prevent criminals from fleeing the territorial sea. Within the contiguous zone, a State has the right to both prevent and punish infringement of fiscal, immigration, sanitary, and customs laws within its territory and territorial sea. Unlike the territorial sea, the contiguous zone only gives jurisdiction to a State on the ocean’s surface and floor. It does not provide air and space rights.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

Unlike other zones whose existence derived from earlier international law, the EEZ was a creation of the LOSC. States may claim an EEZ that extends 200 nautical miles from the baseline. In this zone, a coastal State has the exclusive right to exploit or conserve any resources found within the water, on the sea floor, or under the sea floor’s subsoil. These resources encompass both living resources, such as fish, and non-living resources, such as oil and natural gas. 

States also have exclusive rights to engage in offshore energy generation from the waves, currents, and wind within their EEZ. Article 56 also allows States to establish and use artificial islands, installations and structures, conduct marine scientific research, and protect and preserve the marine environment through Marine Protected Areas.

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