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The Hindu Newspaper 18/05/2020

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 1)“Global Terrorism Index Report” is published annually by?

a.  INTERPOL

b.  Economist Intelligence Unit

c.  Institute for Economics and Peace

d.  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

A report compiled recently by the NITI Aayog has questioned the methodology adopted by an Australian-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to rank India as the seventh worst terrorism affected country in its Global Terrorism Index Report, 2019.

India has moved to the seventh position from the previous year’s eighth.

The countries ahead of it are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia.

2)Consider the following statements with respect to naming of Tropical Cyclones

  1. Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC), New Delhi is responsible to name tropical cyclones forming over the North Indian Ocean including Bay of Bengal & the Arabian Sea following a standard procedure.
  2. The names of the tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean, once used, will cease to be used again.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

New list of names of tropical cyclones was adopted by WMO/ESCAP Panel Member Countries in April 2020 for naming of tropical cyclones over North Indian Ocean including Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

The new names will be used after the name ‘Amphan’ from the previous list which is utilized.

Naming of Tropical Cyclones:-

Worldwide there are six regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) mandated for issuing advisories and naming of tropical cyclones.

India Meteorological Department is one of the six RSMCs to provide tropical cyclone and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under WMO/ESCAP Panel including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

RSMC, New Delhi is also mandated to name the Tropical Cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) including the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Arabian Sea (AS).

The names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean will not be repeated. Once used, it will cease to be used again.

Thus, the name should be new. It should not be there in the already existing list of any of the RSMCs worldwide including RSMC, New Delhi.

3)Covid-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program” is an initiative of which of the following?

a.  The World Bank

b.  New Development Bank

c.  Asian Development Bank

d.  African Development Bank

Answer : c

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently announced $1.5 billion loan (over Rs. 11,400 crore) to India for its fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding is part of the Covid-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program.

News:- Centre throws open all sectors to private players : 5th Phase of Aatma Nirbhar bharat has been announced.

News:- Odisha braces for Amphan impact

Amphan is a tropical cyclone.

India Meteorological Department is one of the six RSMCs to provide tropical cyclone and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under WMO/ESCAP Panel including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Amphan name was given by Thailand. It was the last name of last series. Now the 13 countries give 13 name each. So the new series names will start now.

News:- Afghan President, rival sign power  sharing  deal

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and political rival  Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power sharing agreement two months after  both  declared  themselves the winner of last  presidential election.

The deal callsfor Abdullah to lead the country’s  National Reconciliation High Council and some members of Abdullah’s team would be  included in Ghani’s Cabinet. 

The Reconciliation Council has been given the  authority to handle and approve all  affairs related to Afghanistan’s peace process. 

News :- Her Lockdown Story :- Asma Khatun and 35 of her coworkers at the Women’s  Leadership  Training Centre (WLTC), an Assam based  feminist organisation that also works for Cis and trans-sexual people.

Editorial of the Day :- Getting India back to the Afghan high table

Author says inspite of India’s role in Afghanistan , Salma Dam or Parliament Building or Zaranj Delaram Highway, Afghanistan has not considered India to be an important member for Afghanistan Peace process.

The United Nations Secretariat organised a  meeting on Afghanistanwhere it invited the six  current physical neighbours of Afghanistan—China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

 In addition, invitations were extended  to  the  United States, Russia and the Ghani government. But India was not invited.

It is sad that despite all that India has done in  Afghanistan over the past 18 years since the  Taliban were ousted from Kabul in 2001,  it finds  itself on the margins of international diplomacy  on Afghanistan.

Author says Afghanistan is very important for India, not just as an International diplomacy, but also for Security. So India should strive for becoming a part of Afghanistan peace process.

India needs to take corrective diplomatic action  even at this latestage, and even in the time of  COVID-19. It must begin openly talking  to  the  Taliban and with all political groups in the  country. It must realise that its Afghan policy needs changes.

Editorial 2:- Labour rights are in free fall

Author Pointed out Flexible labour and  environmental laws are key instruments through which improvement in ranking is sought  (incidentally, India’s rank jumped  from  130  in 2016 to 63 in 2019). 

Issue in Recent Reforms:– Four labour codes  aimed at consolidating 44 central labour laws (these are on wages, industrial relations, social  security and occupational safety, health and working conditions). 

However, what is surprising is the undemocratic manner, by promulgating ordinances and  notifying rules, in which labour rights are  suspended without tripartite discussion. 

National Floor Wages:- Code on Wages, 2019  makes a distinction between  national minimum  wage (calculated on the basis of an objective  formula)  and national floor wage  (without  providing a methodology to calculate it).

This was done on purpose, for the minimum  wage calculated by a government appointed  committee in 2018 was ₹375 per day,  whereas, the national floor wage in the sameyear was a  mere ₹176 per day;  however, State governments, under the wages code, are  directed to set their  minimum wages only above the national floor wage. 

Thus, States, vying for private investments,  would essentially consider the national floor  wage, and  this in effect would dilute the idea of  minimum  wage.

In effect Author is saying that the States are changing the laws on their Whims and Fancis. This should not happen.

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