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25-05-2024

12:00:AM

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GS 1 : Geography: Important Geophysical Phenomena 

 

Cyclone Remal

  • Naming: The name 'Remal' in the list of tropical cyclones is given by Oman. It will be the first cyclone to hit the region this 2024 pre-monsoon season.
  • 'Remal,' meaning 'sand' in Arabic.
  • Origin: Bay of Bengal (BoB).
  • Potential Impact: The cyclone may impact the Sundarbans region if the landfall happens on the Indian coast and coincides with high tide, potentially causing partial damage to the fragile ecosystem.
  • Previous Cyclones: The cyclone scare comes close to the anniversaries of previous devastating cyclones, such as Yaas (2021), Amphan (2020), Cyclone Fani( 2019), and Aila (2009) which caused massive damage in the Sundarbans and other parts of West Bengal.

What is cyclones

  • Cyclones are rapid inward air circulation around a low-pressure area. The air circulates in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.
  • Cyclones are usually accompanied by violent storms and bad weather.
  • The word Cyclone is derived from the Greek word Cyclos meaning the coils of a snake. It was coined by Henry Peddington because the tropical storms in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea appear like coiled serpents of the sea. 

Classification of cyclones

  • There are two types of cyclones:
  1. Tropical cyclones :- Tropical cyclones develop in the region between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.
  2. Extra Tropical cyclones (also called Temperate cyclones or middle latitude cyclones or Frontal cyclones or Wave Cyclones):- Extra tropical cyclones occur in temperate zones and high latitude regions, though they are known to originate in the Polar Regions.


GS 3 : [Economy : World Trade]

 

About Investment Facilitation for Development

  • It is a joint Initiative launched at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in December 2017 on a plurilateral basis by 70 countries.
  • This was done through a process known as the Joint Statement Initiative.
  • Aim: This agreement aims to create legally binding provisions to facilitate investment flows.
  • It also aims to develop predictable, transparent and open investment rules that will contribute to more efficient investment flows and increased business confidence and it is now in a formal negotiation phase. 
  • Objective: A core objective of the framework is to facilitate greater participation by developing and least-developed WTO Members in global investment flows.
  • The IFD agreement was finalised in November 2023 and at present around 120 of 166 WTO member countries (more than 70% of the membership) back this agreement.

Key areas included in the IFD Agreement to promote and facilitate investment

  • Improving regulatory transparency and predictability: such as publishing investment-related measures and establishing enquiry points;
  • Streamlining and speeding up administrative procedures: such as removing duplicative steps in approval processes and simplifying applications;
  • Enhancing international cooperation and addressing the needs of developing members – such as providing technical assistance and capacity-building for developing countries and least developed countries; and
  • Other issues: such as implementing provisions to encourage responsible business conduct.

India is not a part of this initiative.

 

What are the present concerns of the Indian government regarding the Plurilateral Agreement (PA)?

  • Principle Concerns: India does not seem to be exceedingly concerned about the text of the IFD agreement. India’s principal concerns are two-fold.
  • The question of whether investment can be part of the WTO.
  • The process followed to make the IFD agreement a part of the WTO rulebook.
  • Challenge of Legal Mandate and Mutual Consensus: The IFD Agreement will require states to augment regulatory transparency, and streamline administrative procedures to bolster foreign investment inflows.
  • Since all countries never agreed to launch negotiations on an IFD Agreement, according to India, IFD negotiations and the subsequent text that came up for adoption are illegal. (According to the Article X.9 of the WTO Agreement)
  • On Dispute Resolution: The IFD does not contain provisions on market access, investment protection, and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
  • Given the existing structure of the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism, where only states can bring legal claims against other states, it is implausible that ISDS can be a part of it.

Current Dilemma between ‘Investment’ and ‘Trade’: 

  • The current dilemma is whether the investment is part of the WTO or not because investment per se is not trade. However, the recent scenario talks on contrast such as follows:
  • According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), about 70% of international trade occurs through global value chains, which are characterized by trade and investment, thus proving the close relationship between the two.
  • Therefore, several modern-day free trade agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership include detailed investment provisions covering both facilitation and protection.
  • India’s newly minted trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association also contains provisions on investment, though it is restricted to facilitation and promotion measures.


GS3: Indian Economy: Issues relating growth and development, employment


Highlights

  • With almost 85% informal labour generating more than half of the GDP, India requires a structural shift towards structured and formal employment, said the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), the apex body representing the country’s contract-staffing industry. 
  • ‘‘The plight of lower-income and semi-skilled workers underscores the pressing need for concerted action,” said ISF ED Suchita Dutta
  • “Income inequality and rising poverty levels serve as stark reminders of the challenges we face.”
  • It was imperative to initiate a structural shift towards formalisation to ensure equitable opportunities and sustainable livelihoods for all.
  • The apex body also unveiled a blueprint for formalisation of informal workforce and implementation of labour codes in the country.
  • As per the document, ISF was going beyond stop-gap solutions, inviting inclusion through formalisation in the labour market.

Formal Employment

  • About:
  • Formal employment refers to a type of employment where the terms and conditions of work are regulated and protected by labor laws and employment contracts.
  • It is characterized by certain features that distinguish it from informal or casual employment.
  • Key Features:
  • Written Contracts: Formal employment typically involves a written employment contract that outlines the terms of employment, including job responsibilities, working hours, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions.
  • Social Security: Formal employees are often entitled to social security benefits such as health insurance, retirement funds, Provident fund, unemployment benefits, and other forms of financial protection.
  • Labor Rights: Formal employees have specific Labor Rights protected by law, such as the right to join trade unions, collective bargaining, protection against unfair dismissal, and access to legal recourse in case of disputes.
  • Regular Payment: Formal employees receive regular wages or salaries, usually on a fixed schedule, which provides a stable income source.

Informal Employment:

  • Informal employment refers to work that is not regulated or protected by labor laws, lacks formal employment arrangements, and often operates outside the scope of government oversight.
  • Informal employment can lead to precarious working conditions and hinder economic growth as it may result in lower productivity and higher income inequality.


GS 2 : [Polity & Governance]


  • The Indian Army is preparing for future conflicts by drawing insights from ancient Indian texts like the Vedas, Puranas, and the Mahabharata.

About Project Udbhav:

  • Launched in: 2023
  • Project Udbhav is a bold initiative aimed at gleaning wisdom from India's rich heritage to enhance its preparedness for future conflicts.
  • This project marks a significant departure from the conventional reliance on Western military strategies.
  • Central to Project Udbhav is a deep dive into ancient Indian texts, including the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, and Arthashastra.
  • These texts offer invaluable insights into governance, strategy, and the ethics of warfare, providing a treasure trove of knowledge for contemporary military planning.

Ancient Indian knowledge system

  • The ancient Indian knowledge system is rooted in a 5000 years old civilisational legacy.
  • Among the key works being revisited are Kautilya's Arthashastra, Kamandaka's Nitisara, and Thiruvalluvar's Tirukkural.
  • These texts offer nuanced perspectives on statecraft, diplomacy, and ethical conduct, aligning with modern military codes of ethics and principles such as the Geneva Convention.
  • Inspiring examples: The empires of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, and the Cholas, Ahom Kingdom.
  • One notable example highlighted by Project Udbhav is the Naval Battle of Saraighat in 1671, led by Lachit Borphukan.
  • This battle illustrates the effective use of diplomatic negotiations, psychological warfare, and military intelligence to secure victory against the Mughals.

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