fbpx
Prelims Booster

2nd October – Prelims Booster

RAISE 2020

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NITI Aayog have organised a Global Virtual Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI), RAISE 2020 (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020).

Details –

  • Industry analysts predict that AI could add up to USD 957 billion to India’s economy by 2035.  India plans to leverage AI for inclusive development, representing the country’s ‘AI for All’ strategy.
  • Directed by the Prime Minister’s vision, India will soon stand out in the international community not just as a leader in the Artificial Intelligence field, but also as a model to show the world how to responsibly direct AI for social empowerment.
  • From agriculture to fin-tech and healthcare to infrastructure, artificial intelligence can be a truly transformative force. India is uniquely positioned to become the AI laboratory of the world and contribute to inclusive development and growth through empowerment.
  • The RAISE 2020 Summit will serve as a platform for discussion and consensus building to help create a data-rich environment, which is a stepping stone to eventually transform lives globally.
  • It will facilitate an exchange of ideas to create mass awareness about the need to ethically develop and practice AI.

About RAISE 2020 –

  • RAISE 2020 is a first of its-kind, global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI.
  • Organised by Government of India along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NITI Aayog, the event will witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives and academia.

UN Biodiversity Summit

The United Nations Summit on Biodiversity was convened by the President of the General Assembly on 30 September 2020, at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Details –

  • The Summit highlighted the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development.
  • It also provided an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021.

Significance of the summit –

  • As we approach the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020, progress towards global biodiversity targets including those of the SDGs has been insufficient. While there are many local examples of success, biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with growing impacts on people and our planet.
  • Recent assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) concluded that species extinction rates are tens to hundreds of times higher now than historical averages.
  • The Summit is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and commitment to improve our relationship with nature, addressing the causes of change, and ensuring that biodiversity and the contributions it provides to all people are at the heart of sustainable development and the fight against climate change.

India at the UN Biodiversity Summit –

  • India has set an aim to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, and achieve land-degradation neutrality by 2030.
  • With only 2.5% of Earth’s landmass, India has 8% of the world’s recorded biodiversity. During the course of last decade, India has enhanced the combined forest and tree cover by 15,000 square kilometres to reach nearly 25%.
  • India has operationalised a system for access and benefit-sharing provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity through a national network of 250,000 Biodiversity Management Committees across the country involving locals and 170,000 Peoples Biodiversity Registers for documentation of biodiversity.

About Convention on Biological Diversity –

  • Known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals:
    • Conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);
    • Sustainable use of its components; and
    • Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources
  • In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.
  • The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. 2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity.
  • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.
  • On 22 December 2010, the UN declared the period from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. They, hence, followed a recommendation of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010.
  • The convention recognised for the first time in international law that the conservation of biological diversity is “a common concern of humankind” and is an integral part of the development process.
  • The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources. It links traditional conservation efforts to the economic goal of using biological resources sustainably.
  • It sets principles for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, notably those destined for commercial use.
  • It also covers the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology through its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, addressing technology development and transfer, benefit-sharing and biosafety issues. Importantly, the Convention is legally binding; countries that join it (‘Parties’) are obliged to implement its provisions.

International Day of Older Persons

Every year 1st October is celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons, as declared by United Nations, to recognise, enable and expand the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large and to raise awareness towards issues of ageing.

Background –

  • On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons. This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.
  • In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.

International Day of Older Persons 2020 –

  • The year 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons.
  • This year has also been recognised as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. International Day of Older Persons 2020 will highlight the role of the health care workforce in contributing to the health of older persons, with special recognition of the nursing profession, and a primary focus on the role of women – who are relatively undervalued and in most cases inadequately compensated.
  • The 2020 observance will also promote the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030) and help bring together UN experts, civil society, government and the health professions to discuss the five strategic objectives of the Global Strategy and Action plan on Ageing and Health while noting the progress and challenges in their realisation.
  • The global strategy is well integrated into the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs), while ageing issues cut across the 17 goals, especially Goal 3 which aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being of all at all ages”.

NCRB Report on crimes against SC/STs

The annual Crime in India 2019 report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has shown that the crime against members of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) saw an increase of over 7% and 26% in 2019 compared with the 2018 figures.

Due to “non-receipt of data” from West Bengal for 2019, the 2018 data had been used to arrive at national and city-wise figures.

Findings of the report –

A total of 45,935 cases were registered for committing crime against the SCs, showing an increase of 7.3% over 2018 when 42,793 such cases were recorded. At 11,829 cases, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes against the SCs in 2019, followed by 6,794 cases in Rajasthan and 6,544 cases in Bihar.

Crimes against women –

  • In the number of cases of rape of women belonging to the SCs, Rajasthan topped the list with 554 cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 537 and Madhya Pradesh at 510.
  • A total of 8,257 cases were registered for crimes against the STs, an increase of 26.5% over 2018 when 6,528 such cases were registered. Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of cases against the STs with 1,922 cases, followed by Rajasthan with 1,797 and Odisha 576. The highest number of incidents of rape of tribal women (358) was registered in Madhya Pradesh.

Defence Offsets

In the recently released Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020, the government has decided to remove the clause for offsets if the equipment is being bought either through deals or agreements between two countries, or through an ab initio single-vendor deal.

What are defence offsets?

  • In simplest terms, the offset is an obligation by an international player to boost India’s domestic defence industry if India is buying defence equipment from it.
  • Since defence contracts are costly, the government wants part of that money either to benefit the Indian industry, or to allow the country to gain in terms of technology.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in a report submitted recently, defined offsets as a “mechanism generally established with the triple objectives of –
  1. partially compensating for a significant outflow of a buyer country’s resources in a large purchase of foreign goods,
  2. facilitating induction of technology and
  3. adding capacities and capabilities of domestic industry”.
  • An offset provision in a contract makes it obligatory on the supplier to either “reverse purchase, execute export orders or invest in local industry or in research and development” in the buyer’s domestic industry, according to CAG.

Background –

  • The policy was adopted on the recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar Committee in 2005. The idea was that since we have been buying a lot of defence equipment from foreign countries, so that we can leverage our buying power by making them discharge offset obligations, which is the norm world over.
  • The first policy said that all defence procurements exceeding Rs 300 crore, estimated cost, will entail offset obligations of at least 30%, which could be increased or decreased by the DAC (Defence Acquisition Council).
  • The first offset contract was signed in 2007.
  • The government stated the “objective for defence offsets” for the first time on August 1, 2012: “The key objective of the Defence Offset Policy is to leverage capital acquisitions to develop Indian defence industry by (i) fostering development of internationally competitive enterprises, (ii) augmenting capacity for Research, Design and Development related to defence products and services and (iii) encouraging development of synergistic sectors like civil aerospace, and internal security”.

How can a foreign vendor fulfil its offset obligations?

Until 2016, the vendor had to declare around the time of signing the contract the details about how it will go about it. In April 2016, the new policy amended it to allow it to provide it “either at the time of seeking offset credits or one year prior to discharge of offset obligations”.

The August 2012 Defence Ministry note mentioned these avenues –

  • Direct purchase of, or executing export orders for, eligible products manufactured by, or services provided by Indian enterprises.
  • Foreign Direct Investment in joint ventures with Indian enterprises (equity investment) for eligible products and services.
  • Investment in ‘kind’ in terms of transfer of technology (TOT) to Indian enterprises, through joint ventures or through the non-equity route for eligible products and services.
  • Investment in ‘kind’ in Indian enterprises in terms of provision of equipment through the non-equity route for manufacture and/or maintenance of products and services.
  • Provision of equipment and/or TOT to government institutions and establishments engaged in the manufacture and/or maintenance of eligible products, and provision of eligible services, including DRDO (as distinct from Indian enterprises).
  • Technology acquisition by DRDO in areas of high technology.

Will no defence contracts have offset clauses now?

  • Only government-to-government agreements (G2G), ab initio single vendor contracts or inter-governmental agreements (IGA) will not have offset clauses anymore. For example, the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets, signed between the Indian and French governments in 2016, was an IGA.
  • “Ab initio single vendor means that when you start the process you have only one vendor… There can be a situation when you start with two or three vendors and issue Request for Proposals (RFP) to them, and are left with a single vendor, which is called a resultant single vendor situation,” Cowshish said. The Defence Ministry issues the RFP to only one vendor.
  • IGA is an agreement between two countries, and could be an umbrella contract, under which you can go on signing individual contracts. G2G is transaction specific, or an acquisition specific agreement.
  • According to DAP 2020, all other international deals that are competitive, and have multiple vendors vying for it, will continue to have a 30% offset clause.

Why was the clause removed?

Apurva Chandra, Director General of Acquisitions, said that vendors would “load” extra cost in the contract to balance the costs, and doing away with the offsets can bring down the costs in such contracts.

MCQs

1. Apurva Chandra Committee relates to the –

  1. Privatisation of Indian Railways
  2. Digitisation of land records
  3. Defence Acquisition Procedure
  4. None of the above

Answer – C

Explanation – Raksha Mantri had approved constitution of Main Review Committee under Chairmanship of DG (Acquisition) Shri Apurva Chandra in August 2019 for preparation of DAP-2020. DAP 2020 will be applicable with effect from 01 October 2020.

2. Which of the following can be classified as a component/components of a ‘defence offset’ contract obligation by a foreign vendor?

  1. Reverse purchase
  2. Investment in local industry
  3. Investment in research and development in buyer’s domestic defence industry.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 only
  4. All of the above

Answer – D

Explanation – The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in a report submitted recently, defined offsets as a “mechanism generally established with the triple objectives of –

  1. partially compensating for a significant outflow of a buyer country’s resources in a large purchase of foreign goods,
  2. facilitating induction of technology and
  3. adding capacities and capabilities of domestic industry”.

An offset provision in a contract makes it obligatory on the supplier to either “reverse purchase, execute export orders or invest in local industry or in research and development” in the buyer’s domestic industry, according to CAG.

3. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘International Day of Older Persons’?

  1. It was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in the year 1990 to mark 30th September as the International Day of Older Persons.
  2. It aimed to recognise, enable and expand the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large.
  3. The year 2020 has also seen the observance of 2020-2030 as the decade of healthy ageing.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the above

Answer – B

Explanation – Every year 1st October is celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons, as declared by United Nations, to recognise, enable and expand the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large and to raise awareness towards issues of ageing. On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons. This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly. In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’?

  1. It was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in the year 1992.
  2. It aims to conserve biodiversity, promote sustainable use of its components and ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
  3. It is an international legally binding treaty.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the above

Answer – B

Explanation – Known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals: Conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); Sustainable use of its components; and Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. 2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity.

5. RAISE 2020 is a –

  1. A multilateral friendly naval exercise under the auspices of QUAD initiative.
  2. A bilateral defence exercise between the air forces of India and the UAE.
  3. A bilateral naval exercise between India and Australia.
  4. None of the above

Answer – D

Explanation – RAISE 2020 is a first of its-kind, global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI. Organised by Government of India along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NITI Aayog, the event will witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives and academia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

izmir eskort Bornova escort izmir escort Alsancak escort bayan denizli eskort antalya escort antalya escort escort ankara eryaman escort Ankara escort izmir escort izmir escort
ankara escort
anadolu yakası escort