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THE HINDU DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS 26TH FEBRUARY 2020

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Q.1 Consider the following statements regarding Fold
Mountains.
1. Fold mountains are created through a process
called orogeny.
2. They are created at convergent plate
boundaries, sometimes called continental
collision zones or compression zones.
3. Most fold mountains are composed primarily of
igneous rock.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1, 2
b) 1, 3
c) 2, 3
d) 2 only
Solution: a)

Q.2 The term Boddhisattvas have been subject to
multiple interpretations in Buddhism. Which of the
following statements is/are correct regarding various
interpretations?
1. Bodhisattva was primarily used to refer to
Gautama Buddha in his former life.
2. Bodhisattva was someone who became
enlightened by the good karma of the Sangha.
3. Bodhisattva meant someone on the path to
liberation.
Select the correct answer code:
a) 1, 2
b) 1, 3
c) 2, 3
d) 1, 2, 3
Solution: b)

Q.3 The prominent construction works undertaken
during Akbar’s reign are:
1. Agra Fort
2. Ibadat Khana
3. Buland Darwaza
Select the correct answer code:
a) 2 only
b) 1, 2
c) 2, 3
d) 1, 2, 3
Solution: d)

CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT

NEWS: 

Clashes triggered on Sunday by pro- and anti-CAA protesters continued for the third day on Tuesday in northeast Delhi as the death toll mounted to 13. Most of the deaths were due to gunshot wounds, the families of the victims have told The Hindu.

Mobs carrying lathis roamed the streets of northeast Delhi, attacking shops and burning vehicles even as Delhi police PRO M.S. Randhawa claimed that the “situation was under control”. Rioters also opened fire and threw stones at each other.

Late in the evening, curfew was imposed at Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Chandbagh and Karawal Nagar. Shoot-at-sight orders in parts of northeast Delhi were also issued. Also, police sources said the anti-CAA protest site in the troubled area had been “cleared”.

WHAT DOES THE ACT CONTAINS?

The ACT seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 by seeking to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

The ACT says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally.

The ACT shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram , Manipur and Nagaland protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP).

ACT has reduce the time period required for naturalization from 11 years to 5 years for members of these communities.

TRUMP’S VISIT TO INDIA

NEWS:

India and the United States on Tuesday strengthened their partnership with agreements on healthcare and energy, and issued a joint statement that designated the two countries as “Comprehensive Global Strategic partners”.

The statement followed bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump, during which the latter renewed his offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and discussed the issue of “religious freedom”.

He also referred to the $3 billion purchases of helicopters and other military hardware as a key takeaway of the visit.

LNG pipeline infrastructure has been signed between Indian Oil Corporation, and US companies ExxonMobil and Chart industries.

The two sides agreed to a “joint working group” (JWG) on fighting narcotics as part of their homeland security dialogue and two MoUs on mental health and safety of medical products were signed.

Both sides also took note of the efforts of the ASEAN region to create a code of conduct in the South China Sea region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Trump also agreed to undertake development activities in third countries and intensify cooperation in the space domain.

AIR POLLUTION IN INDIA

NEWS: 

India was the fifth most polluted country in 2019 with Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region ranking as the most polluted city in the world, according to a global compilation of PM2.5 particulate pollution data by a company that primarily works on air filtration.

On the whole, air pollution in India decreased in 2019 from 2018 though about half of the 50 most polluted cities were in India, the report by IQAir noted.

India launched a ‘National Clean Air Programme’ (NCAP) in 2019 that commits to reduce air pollution in 102 most polluted cities by a maximum of 30% by 2024.

ABOUT NCAP

The National Clean Air Programme is a pollution control initiative that was launched by the Ministry of Environment with the intention to cut the concentration of coarse (particulate matter of diameter 10 micrometer or less, or PM10) and fine particles (particulate matter of diameter 2.5 micrometer or less, or PM2.5) by at least 20% in the next five years, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.

NCAP is envisioned as a five year action plan with 2019 as the first year.

There would be review every five years.

INSTITUTE OF EMINENCE

NEWS:

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Tuesday lashed out against the university’s “hasty and authoritarian move” to push forward with its proposal to get an Institute of Eminence (IoE) status without prior statutory approvals, it said.

The union argued that prima facie, the proposal was a “blueprint for steady commercialisation of the university through an undertaking to start self-financing courses and online degree programmes at a massive scale..”

It also bound the university to an obligation to raise at least ₹95 crore towards meeting recurring expenses like salaries and ₹350 crore towards non-recurring capital expenditure by 2025, the statement read.

WHY IT IS BEING OPPOSED?

  1. Increased privatization
  2. Increased fees
  3. Shift focus on revenue generation rather than on core values of research.

ABOUT INSTITUTES OF EMINENCE SCHEME

The IoE scheme is aimed at developing 20 world-class institutions which would put India on the global education map.

Institutions will come up in top 500 of the world ranking in 10 years and in top 100 of the world ranking eventually overtime.

To achieve the top world ranking, these Institutions shall be provided with greater autonomy

  1. to admit foreign students up to 30% of admitted students;
  2. to recruit foreign faculty upto 25% of faculty strength;
  3. to offer online courses upto 20% of its programmes;
  4. to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking Institutions without permission of UGC;
  5. free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction;
  6. flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree;
  7. complete flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus, among others.

Each public Institution selected as ‘Institution of Eminence’ will get financial assistance up to Rs. 1000 Crore over the period of five years under this scheme.

KARTARPUR CORRIDOR

NEWS:

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday that the Kartarpur Corridor would remain open regardless of security concerns.

His remarks in the Assembly came amid the furore over Director-General of Police Dinkar Gupta’s statement on the threat from the Kartarpur Corridor.

The Assembly passed a resolution seeking waiver of passport and a more simple process for visiting the Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. It urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to talk Pakistan into cutting the $20 fee charged from Indian pilgrims.

ABOUT KARTARPUR CORRIDOR

Kartarpur Corridor will be a link between Gurdaspur (Dera Baba Nanak) in Indian Punjab and Kartarpur (Gurudwara Darbar Sahib)  in Pakistani Punjab.

Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.

It is the place where Guru Nanak Dev breathed his last.

It is located on the banks of river Ravi.

Kartarpur Corridor will provide a visa free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Kartarpur Corridor was  opened on 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November 2019.

ANTI MICROBIAL RESISTANCE

NEWS: 

Veterinarians on Tuesday called upon the Madhya Pradesh government to map and register poultry farms, in effect draw up regulations to track and better guide the industry, in a bid to combat drug resistance in humans caused by excessive use of antibiotics in poultry.

Last year, Madhya Pradesh had followed Kerala’s lead in chalking out the plan to deal with the resistance, a natural phenomenon accelerated by usage of growth promoters in poultry, use of chemicals, including antifungal chemicals, in agriculture, and unhygienic conditions in hospitals causing infections. This results in prolonged illness, extended therapy duration and a higher mortality rate and cost of treatment.

Since 1987, no new antibiotic has been discovered, and developing resistance to the existing ones can prove fatal.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

  • Anti microbial resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics) that are used to treat infections.
  • As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
  • Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is now regarded as a major threat to public health across the globe.

How it Happens?

  • Some bacteria due to the presence of resistance genes are intrinsically resistant and therefore survive on being exposed to antibiotics.
  • Bacteria can also acquire resistance. This can happen in two ways:
    • by sharing and transferring resistance genes present in the rest of the population or
    • by genetic mutations that help the bacteria survive antibiotic exposure.
  • Once the resistance has been acquired, it can spread in the rest of the population of bacteria through reproduction or gene transfer.

Reasons for Spread of AMR

  • Antibiotic consumption in humans
    • Unnecessary and injudicious use of antibiotic fixed dose combinations could lead to emergence of bacterial strains resistant to multiple antibiotics.
  • Social factors
    • Include self-medication.
    • Access to antibiotics without prescription.
    • Lack of knowledge about when to use antibiotics.
  • Cultural Activities
    • Mass bathing in rivers as part of religious mass gathering occasions.
  • Antibiotic Consumption in Food Animals
    • Antibiotics which are critical to human health are commonly used for growth promotion in poultry.

CLAUSE 6 OF ASSAM ACCORD 

NEWS:

The high-power committee that the Centre constituted in July last for the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord submitted its report to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday. Barring three leaders of the All Assam Students’ Union, all members of the panel, headed by former Gauhati High Court judge Biplab Kumar Sarma, were present at the event.

Clause 6 envisages constitutional, legislative and administrative measures to safeguard, protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. It also seeks to ascertain who fits into the definition of an Assamese.

What is Assam Accord?

  • The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985.
  • The accord brought an end to the Assam Agitation and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.
  • Some of the key demands were – All those foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 were to be given full citizenship, including the right to vote.
  • Those who had done so after 1971 were to be deported; the entrants between 1961 and 1971 were to be denied voting rights for ten years but would enjoy all other rights of citizenship.
  • A parallel package for the economic development of Assam, including a second oil refinery, a paper mill and an institute of technology, was also worked out.
  • The central government also promised to provide ‘legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, and linguistic identity and heritage’ of the Assamese people.
  • Though the accord brought an end to the agitation, some of the key clauses are yet to be implemented, which has kept some of the issues festering.
  • Clause 6 envisages constitutional, legislative and administrative measures to safeguard, protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. It also seeks to ascertain who fits into the definition of an Assamese.

GISAT 1

NEWS:

GISAT-1, the country’s first earth imaging satellite in a geostationary orbit, will be launched on the evening of March 5 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

ABOUT GISAT 1

  • It will be the first of two planned Indian EO spacecraft to be placed in a geostationary orbit of around 36,000 km.
  • It will apparently be in a fixed spot looking over the Indian continent at all times.
  • It will have high-resolution cameras which will help to monitor any changes in borders and the overall geographical condition of the country, etc.

NHRC

NEWS:

The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday said it had started a Twitter account to boost awareness on human rights. The Twitter handle — @IndiaNhrc — is not a platform to register complaints of human rights violation, the panel said.

ABOUT NHRC

India, enacted the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, with a view to bring about greater accountability and strengthen the dominion of human rights in the country. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was established on October 12, 1993.

NHRC was constituted under Section 3 of the 1993 Act .

It is autonomous i.e. it has been created by an Act of Parliament.

It has powers of a civil court.

The Chairperson and the Members of the Commission are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendations of a Committee consisting of:

The Prime Minister (chairperson)

The Home Minister

The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha

The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha

CHAIRPERSON OF NHRC: a person who has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a Judge of the Supreme Court will be the chairperson of the NHRC.

OTHER MEMBERS

Chairpersons of various commissions such as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, and National Commission for Women are members of the NHRC, National Commission for Backward Classes, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

TENURE: the term of office to three years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

The president can remove the chairman or any member from the office under certain circumstances.

FIRST EDITORIAL: VIOLENCE IN DELHI

Editorial highlights the sequence of violence in Delhi:

Communal violence in parts of Delhi, an earshot away from the nerve centre of the government of India, has claimed 13 lives and left over 150 injured.

Mobs of pro-CAA demonstrators and anti-CAA protesters wielding sticks and weapons have taken over parts of the city.

There was arson and violence on December 16, in areas around the Jamia Milia Islamia, to which the police responded by indiscriminately unleashing violence on students inside the university.

A group of masked rioters went from room to room in student hostels in JNU on January 5 and the police stood passively.

The Delhi police did nothing when a gunman opened fire at anti-CAA protesters on January 30.

REASON FOR THE VIOLENCE

Varying grades of incitement and silent consent to communal mobilisation by the BJP that is in power at the Centre.

Speeches of Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent Assembly election campaign in Delhi were clearly meant to encourage communal polarisation. Lower rung leaders acted on cue and turned Delhi into a communal cauldron over recent months

CONCLUSION

Communal violence any time, anywhere happens only due to the inefficiency or collusion or both of those in power. The Prime Minister and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal must prove their efficiency and administrative skills by clamping down on violence, whatever it takes.

SECOND EDITORIAL: CRISIS IN MALAYSIA

RESIGNATION OF PM

The abrupt resignation of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday has triggered the first major political crisis in the country since the 2018 general election and could upturn the reform process initiated by the coalition government.

His decision appears to be a calculated move to prevent handing over power to Anwar Ibrahim, his one-time colleague-turned-nemesis-turned coalition partner.

Mr. Mahathir, who was in power from 1981 to 2003, and Mr. Anwar, who had once served in Mr. Mahathir’s cabinet until he was jailed for sodomy in the late 1990s, joined hands prior to the 2018 election to take on the Malay nationalist United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which had ruled the country for six decades.

SOURCE OF CRISIS

The source of the crisis is this delicate power-sharing deal. Mr. Mahathir refused to give a firm commitment or timeline to hand over power to Mr. Anwar despite requests from the latter’s party. The coalition was in trouble as a rival bloc within Mr. Anwar’s party had accused him of trying to topple Mr. Mahathir.

Malaysia is expected to see some dirty political fights in the coming days. And if neither side manages to win a majority, the country will go to the polls.

CONCLUSION

Ideally, Mr. Mahathir should have honoured the understanding he reached with his partners and allowed the coalition to complete its term. But it does not seem to be his priority any more.

LEAD ARTICLE: BALANCING THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

WHY THERE IS DEBATE BETWEEN FR AND FD?

At an International Judicial Conference 2020 this weekend, the Chief Justice of India, S.A. Bobde, drew attention to the Constitution’s Fundamental Duties chapter. He then went further, and citing Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj, observed that “real rights are a result of [the] performance of duty.”

DUTY EMPHASIS: HALL MARK OF THE DICTATORIAL REGIMES

Fundamental Duties were added to the Indian Constitution by the Indira Gandhi government by 42nd Amendment during emergency.

These duties are being again emphasized by the current regime which is seen by many as dictatorial.

LOGIC OF DUTIES

Peaceful co-existence requires a degree of self-sacrifice, and that if necessary, this must be enforced through the set of sanctions.

LOGIC OF RIGHTS

Rights, on the other hand, follow a different logic entirely.

The first role of the fundamental rights chapter, therefore, was to stand as a bulwark against dehumanisation. Every human being no matter who they were or what they did had a claim to basic dignity and equality that no state could take away, no matter what the provocation. One did not have to successfully perform any duty, or meet a threshold of worthiness, to qualify as a rights bearer. It was simply what it meant to be human.

The second role of rights, thus, was to stand against hierarchy. Through guarantees against forced labour, against “untouchability”, against discriminatory access to public spaces, and others, fundamental rights were meant to play an equalising and democratising role throughout society, and to protect individuals against the depredations visited on them by their fellow human-beings.

REAL PROBLEM: CONFLATION OF RIGHTS AND DUTIES

Author highlights that rights and duties should not be conflated.

The rhetoric of duties has often been deployed euphemistically by those whose true purpose is a return to tradition won by limiting the rights of others.

A good example of this is a Supreme Court judgment from the early 1980s, which upheld the differential treatment of male and female flight attendants on the ground that women had a “duty” to ensure the “good upbringing of children” and to ensure the success of the “family planning program” for the country.

The judgment is a stark reminder that without the moral compass of rights and their place in the transformative Constitutional scheme the language of duties can lead to unpleasant consequences. It can end up entrenching existing power structures by placing the burden of “duties” upon those that are already vulnerable and marginalised.

CONCLUSION

It is time to update Hind Swarajfor the constitutional age: “real duties are the result of the fulfillment of rights”.

 

SECOND ARTICLE: IRRELEVANCE OF NOTA

The recently-concluded Delhi Assembly elections were the 45th Assembly polls since the inception of the none of the above (NOTA) option in 2013. Delhi has now provided data from five elections with the NOTA option: three Assembly (2013, 2015, 2020), and two Lok Sabha (2014, 2019); no other state has yielded this yet. And Delhi, although mostly urban, is widely regarded as the microcosm of India.

However, Delhi’s preference to NOTA is less than the national average. From 0.63% in 2013, Delhi polled 0.39% of those favouring NOTA in 2015, a statistically significant reduction indeed. It now increased to 0.46% in 2020; again statistically significant.

Interestingly, in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, despite being 1.8%, NOTA got more votes than any political party other than the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (except the Independents). Again, in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election, NOTA became a runner-up in two constituencies — Latur (Rural) and Palus-Kadegaon. Do these cases mark any significant shift in the voter mindset?

In 2013, India became the 14th country to institute negative voting through NOTA. However, it is not a “right to reject”. NOTA in India is a toothless option;, former Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi, had observed in an article.

Certainly NOTA provides democratic means to express resentment anonymously rather than boycotting the polls outright.

There have been pleas to extend the scope of NOTA. In 2018, a former CEC, T.S. Krishnamurthy, has recommended holding elections again in those constituencies where the victory margin is less than the total numbers of NOTA. A PIL has been filed in Madras High Court seeking the full right to reject in place of NOTA.

SUGGESTION: MAKE IT NONE OF THE BELOW

Although there is no such concrete study to gauge the Indian voter’s mindset that I know, I wonder whether using NOTB (‘none of the below’) instead of NOTA — with such an option as the first on the electronic voting machine — might produce a significantly different outcome or not. An experiment, after changing the rule suitably, can be attempted, at least.

OP-ED 

FIRST ARTICLE: COMPARASION BETWEEN RISE OF GERMANY AND CHINA

RISE OF GERMANY

Imperial Germany’s rise as an industrial and military power after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the subsequent unification of Germany disrupted the power dynamic in Europe, which was dominated by Great Britain and France. Germany’s quest for new markets (colonies) for its products, backed by the national big business and the financial oligarchy, heightened tensions between colonial powers.

The economic tensions spilled into the military arena, with Germany adopting Weltpolitik (world politics, its expansive foreign policy doctrine).

Threatened by a resurgent Germany, Britain and France joined Russia to form the Triple Entente. This, in turn, heightened Germany’s paranoia that its natural rise was being curtailed. To break this ‘maximum moment’ (where its natural rise had come to a stall), Germany was ready to go to war. The result was the First World War.

RISE OF CHINA

The rise of China is an epochal development that could change the international system drastically. If China was primarily an agrarian, feudal, backward country in 1949 at the time of the revolution, it is radically different today. Decades of economic reforms under the tight control of the Communist Party has transformed the country into an industrial and technological powerhouse. It is only a matter of time before China overtakes the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy.

Similar to how imperial Germany’s rise upset Great Britain, China’s rise has upset the reigning superpower, the U.S. And similar to how Britain and France joined hands with Russia to contain Germany, the U.S. is doing its best, through alliances in the Pacific, to contain China.

WILL RISE OF CHINA LEAD TO ANOTHER WORLD WAR OR COLD WAR

First, China is not seeking to build an ideological bloc against the U.S. Its focus is on its own economic rise and in reshaping the international order. Second, the world is more dynamic today. There are many regional powers on the rise: Russia continues to be a geopolitical hegemon in Central Asia and Eastern Europe with global ambitions; India is a rising big power in South Asia; and Turkey seeks to be a dominant power in West Asia. In effect, the U.S. and China are competing in a multidirectional world, dissimilar to the bipolar world which saw the Soviet-American rivalry.

First, an anti-China strategic alliance is yet to take shape despite the U.S.’s earnest efforts. Even India is wary of joining an American defence bloc aimed at containing China. This is largely because the global system is multipolar. There’s no NATO yet in the Asia-Pacific. Second, even the trade and tech wars launched by the U.S. are not meeting their declared goals. Earlier this year, after months of a tariff war, the U.S. and China agreed to sign phase one of a trade deal.

CENTRAL ARMED POLICE FORCES

NEWS:

The Army has written to the Ministry of Defence, saying that the police and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel must stop using combat fatigues. The move came after some CAPF and police personnel with the Delhi police were seen wearing Army pattern combat fatigues during security duties at the protest against the citizenship law on Sunday. The Army said it could be misinterpreted as the Army being deployed for internal security duties.

ABOUT CAPF

There are seven Central Armed Police Forces which functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

  1. CRPF( Central Reserve Police Force) : 1939: New Delhi
  2. CISF (Central Industrial Security Force): 1969: New Delhi
  3. ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police): 1962: New Delhi
  4. SSB (Shashtra Seema Bal): 1963: New Delhi
  5. Assam Rifles(Oldest Paramilitary 1835): Shillong
  6. National Security Guard : 1984: New Delhi
  7. Border Security Force : 1965: New Delhi

BS VI NORMS

 NEWS:

Even as India is gearing up to switch over to the world’s cleanest fuel from April 1, 2020, Indian OMCs (oil marketing companies) have made a representation to the government to recover about ₹35,000 crore invested in upgrading their refineries to produce BS VI fuel.

The OMCs plan to recover this money by imposing a cess ₹0.70 to ₹1 on every litre of petrol and diesel.

BPCL alone has invested about ₹7,000 crore in upgrading its refineries to produce BS VI-compliant fuels.

Sulphur content

India adopted Euro-III equivalent (or Bharat Stage-III) fuel with a sulphur content of 350 ppm in 2010 and then took seven years to move to BS IV that had a sulphur content of 50 ppm. Transition from BS IV to BS VI took just three years. In, BS VI, petrol and diesel contain just 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur.

ABOUT BS NORMS:-

  • Bharat stage norms are emission standards instituted by Government to regulate output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The standards and timeline for implementation are set by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change.
  • The standards are based on European regulations and were first introduced in2000.
  • Since then, various stages Bharat Stage compatible fuel and ungraded and modified vehicles were introduced throughout the country.
  • The harmful emissions that are identified for regulations in different Bharat Stages (BS) are carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons (HC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate matter (PM).
  • Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released, Higher the Bharat Stage goes lesser it emits pollutants. BS-I, BS-II and BS-III stages were launched in 2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively.

BS VI Norms

  • The BS-IV compliant fuels have Sulphur concentration of 50 parts per million (ppm).
  • It will come down to 10 ppm in BS-VI compliant fuels and auto engines.
  • It will result in lower level of harmful emissions and reduced incidence of lung diseases.
  • Moreover, switch to BS-VI norms will also reduce concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons, nitrous oxide (NOx) and particulate matter from emissions.

FOREIGN PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT

NEWS:

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has clarified that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from Mauritius will continue to be eligible for registration as foreign investors in India but subject to increased monitoring.

The regulatory clarification was necessitated after the island nation was placed in the list of ‘jurisdictions under increased monitoring’ — commonly referred to as the grey list — leading to apprehensions that the Mauritius-based FPIs will not be able to trade in the Indian capital market.

This assumes significance since Mauritius accounts for the second-largest chunk of foreign investments, as per data from the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). In January 2020, Mauritius-based FPIs had total assets under custody (AUC) of ₹4.37 lakh crore, second only to that of the U.S. with₹11.63 lakh crore.

Meanwhile, the capital market regulator further clarified that the FATF website mentions that when a jurisdiction is placed under increased monitoring, it construes that the country has committed to swiftly resolve the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed time frames and is subject to increased monitoring.

ABOUT FOREIGN PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT

Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) is investment by non-residents in Indian securities including shares, government bonds, corporate bonds, convertible securities, infrastructure securities etc

SEBI has recently stipulated the criteria for Foreign Portfolio Investment. According to this, any equity investment by non-residents which is less than or equal to 10% of capital in a company is portfolio investment. While above this the investment will be counted as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

FACTUAL NEWS FOR ONE DAY TYPE EXAMS/STATE PCS

Q. Hyderabad House is located in

NEW DELHI

Q. Kartarpur Corridor is located on the banks of which river

RAVI

Q. Assam Accord was signed in the year

1985

Q. 2020 Olympics will be held in

TOKYO (JAPAN)

 

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