AFPA

Annual Political Dialogue- By India and GCC Troika

India as well as the GCC Troika conducted their annual Diplomatic Dialog on 3rd November 2020 in a virtual format.

Outlines:

The Indian delegation was headed by Minister of Foreign Relations Dr S. Jaishankar, whereas the GCC was described at the troika stage by Secretary-General of the GCC, including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain as well as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, UAE. Delegates from Saudi Arabia, along with Kuwait as well as Qatar also engaged in the dialogue.

As to the Dialogue:

The members of India as well as the GCC have carried out a thorough analysis of their relations. They were appreciative of the upward trend that their relations have seen over the last few years. Leaders have shown their pleasure at the strong collaboration between India and the GCC countries during the Covid 19 pandemic.

India-GCC during the Covid period-19:

India assured the supply chains from India to the Gulf would not be broken in the middle of the locks during the pandemic. The GCC countries have taken care of the large Indian diaspora in their countries.

India assured the return of Indian health workers to GCC countries, the availability of drugs and vital goods during the pandemic. Both countries have developed stainable travel bubble agreements between them. In addition, the GCC accepted the inclusion of India as a non-permanent member of the UNSC from January 2021.

Ahead of Lane:

India and the GCC have agreed to continue their effort to overhaul the multilateral institutions. Both parties vowed to work together to resolve problems such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, Terrorism, Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

Council for Gulf Cooperation (GCC):

It is a federal inter-governmental political and economic union. The Council shall be composed of all the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Iraq is not a member of the Council. The Charter creating the GCC was signed on 25 May 1981.

 

 

CMS joins hands with USAID

CMS has launched a collaboration with the USAID to help India’s answer to the COVID-19 outbreak. For 2 years, USAID has given $3 million to sustain the COVID Action Collab (CAC) collaboration, which was officially announced today via a virtual meeting. The funds will be used to provide integrated health, livelihoods and social security assistance to disadvantaged populations. At the case, attendees addressed the value of using mutual knowledge to create sustainable societies. Upwards of 150 civil society groups, development partners and private organizations participated in the virtual launch gathering.

What is CAC?

COVID Action Collab (CAC) seems to be a people-centric, partnership-led, multidisciplinary forum to help the most disadvantaged groups who have been overwhelmingly impacted by COVID-19 to sustain and grow. Civil society, private sector, industry, academics and individuals pool their expertise to provide relief and rehabilitation and help develop collective resilience, concentrating on both the short-term and long-term impact of the pandemic and maintaining not just health, but also livelihoods and social security. CAC has more than 287 partners and is active in all 28 States and 8 Union territories. In the last 7 months, it has extended assistance to 3 million people and delivered services to 1,5 million.

Parameters for CAC:

CAC defines its performance by using three parameters: at least 10 million marginalised people, including people with disabilities, domestic helpers, sex workers, transgender people, street children, small farmers, unorganised workers, street vendors and homeless people around the world are helped by relief and rehabilitation and are robust enough to survive across the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond; For the next two years, CAC will improve the ability of 100 local agencies, involve 10 local councils to prepare to collaborate with disadvantaged populations, and work intensively with 15 groups of health care professionals, independent merchants and street vendors on their unique priorities and challenges relevant to the pandemic.

 

 

30 Cities in India Faces Severe Water Risk

WWF recognizes 100 cities, which has 30 in India, that face an ‘extreme water risk’ before 2050.

These cities would just have to create ‘resilience’ if they were to handle this shortage.

By 2050, towns will face a ‘grave water risk’ owing to a drastic rise in their demographic level to 51% before 2050, from 17% before 2020.

WWF WATER RISK FILTER 2020 Study:

Name:

Water Vulnerability Scenarios – TCFD – Compatible Scenarios To Support Businesses And Investors Transform Risk into Resilience.

Released By:

Worldwide Nature Fund

Highlights:

  • More than half of the cities found to come from China and India.
  • Cities wanted to do more in natural solutions.
  • They should improve the health of river basins, watersheds and wetlands in order to create resistance to flood hazards.
  • In order to finance these projects, a public investment pool needed to be set up in partnership with the private sector to spend, minimise risk and maximise returns.
  • Cities have needed to embrace stronger global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent these scenarios.
  • India’s future was still in its towns. The need for economic development would only rise with an increase in urbanisation.
  • In order to re-evolve and rethink their future, Indian cities wanted to break free from the existing collection of problems by looking to create more natural solutions.
  • Due to the lack of details, a lot of planning becomes difficult.
  • The data available at the moment was at least ten years ago and the truth of the supply and use of water was much different from that portrayed in the data.

Study Summary:

  • Water is the backbone of our communities and economies; it is important for both individuals and industries.
  • However, 17% of the world’s population including 10% of the world’s GDP actually come from high-water-risk areas.
  • By 2050, this will climb to 51% and 46% respectively.
  • Environment threats and benefits are undoubtedly intertwined with those related to water.
  • Other socio-economic drivers have an effect on water availability and demand, such as regulatory, business and demographic shifts.
  • The new WWF Water Vulnerability Filter tool facilitates the inclusion of water in the TCFD-aligned scenario study.
  • This would improve the disclosure and evaluation of the sensitivity of businesses to future scenarios.

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 promulgated

Hon’ble President Ram Nath Kovind perpetuated the Arbitration and conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 that will further revise the Arbitration and conciliation Act.

Ordinances:

  1. Strives to promote that stakeholders can seek an unquestioning stay of arbitral awards in instances where the “arbitration agreement or contract is caused by fraud or corruption.”
  2. It also removes the 8th Schedule from the Act, which enclosed the required qualifications for the certification of arbitrators.
  3. A provision has been introduced in Section 36 of the Arbitration Act and will come into force retrospectively as of 23rd October 2015. According to that amendment, if the court determines that a prima facie case is established that an arbitration agreement or contract which is the basis of the award has been induced or caused by fraud or corruption, the award will remain unconditionally pending the disposition of the challenge to the award according to Section 34.

Background:

Until recent times, an arbitration award was enforceable even if an appeal against it was brought before the court under Section 36 of the Law. The court may, however, grant a stay on the award on the terms it considers appropriate.

Showcases of Arbitration and Conciliation Act:

The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘the Act’) has provisions on domestic and international arbitration and explains the law for the conduct of conciliation proceedings. The no. of commercial conflicts has multiplied due to the globalization, industrial development and economic reforms. Arbitration has progressively become such a best method to settle commercial disputes both globally and in India. The time needed to reform the Act was therefore needed to achieve an effective and efficient arbitration system for the resolution of commercial disputes.

To make India a centre of institutional arbitration in both internal and overseas arbitration, and to remain competitive with international arbitration practices, some amendments are suggested in the 2018 Arbitration (Amendment) Bill. For this reason, the Arbitration and Reconciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018 had been introduced in Lok Sabha on 18th July 2018 and carried by Lok Sabha on 10th August 2018 and was pending in Rajya Sabha. The 16th Lok Sabha was dissolved, however, and the Bill lapsed. As a result, the 2018 bill, with minor amendments, was introduced as the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2019 (‘new bill’) on 15 July 2019 and passed by Rajya Sabha on 18 July 2019.

 

 

Curbing stubble burning pollution

Recently, scientists successfully built a bio-decomposer strategy labelled ‘PUSA Decomposers’ for turning seed stubble into compost.

Delhi and several other North Indian regions are filled with smoke mostly during winter seasons due to the burning of stubble in the nearby areas by farmers.

Main facts on PUSA Decomposers:

PUSA Decomposers – Decomposers are in the form of capsules made by removing fungi strains that allow the paddle straw to decompose at a far faster pace than normal. Fungi continue to provide the necessary enzymes for the process of degradation.

Decomposer Mixture-This includes producing a liquid solution using decomposer capsules and fermenting it for 8-10 days, and then spraying the mixture into fields of crop stubble to ensure rapid bio-decomposition of the stubble.

Farmers should prepare 25 litres of the liquid mixture with 4 capsules of jaggery and chickpea flour. This mixture is adequate to cover 1 hectare of land.

Decompose time-It takes about 20 days to complete the degradation process.

In normal conditions, the shredded and watered paddy straw, which is mixed with dirt, will take minimum 45 days to decompose.

Farmers have not enough room to plant fields for wheat crops on time.

Importance:

  1. Decomposer increases soil fertility and productivity as stubble acts as manure and compost for crops, and lower fertiliser use is expected in the future.
  2. The soil loses its diversity due to the burning of stubble and thus kills beneficial bacteria and fungi in the soil, aside from causing damage to the ecosystem.
  3. It is an efficient and reliable, quicker, feasible and practical strategy to avoid the burning of stubble.
  4. It is an economically friendly and technically useful device and will lead to the achievement of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

IIT-M joins hands with TAKANO

The International Center for Clean Water (ICCW) will partner with DG TAKANO, a Japanese corporation, to implement new clean water technologies in India.

A Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU) on the relationship between ICCW and DG TAKANO has recently been signed to partner on sustainable water initiatives and create innovative products that will resolve emerging social and environmental issues in the field of clean and safe drinking water worldwide.

Issue:

India is among the most water-stressed nations in the world. As per the UNICEF, India faces an economic pressure of nearly $ 600 million a year attributable to infectious diseases.

Main points:

DG TAKANO will have expertise in state-of-the-art Japanese sustainability technology and assist ICCW in partnering with Japanese businesses to create new goods and technologies. It will also recruit IIT Madras interns. ICCW and DG TAKANO will jointly develop new products and services related to the programmes.

Decision

ICCW and DG TAKANO would also pursue new projects as well as conducting effective R&D to help solve the water shortage. Projects would concentrate on the introduction of proven technology, field testing of advanced technologies, the development of innovative technologies, learning and internship programmes.

ICCW would provide technological abilities, such as groundwater analysis, including clean water, treated water, evaluation of water safety, identification and training among the most available equipment and its application, local technical installation and equipment support.

 

 

USA’s exit from the Paris Climate Change Agreement

The United States formally withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement on 04th November 2020. With all that in mind, the US seems to have become the sole country to officially withdraw from the agreement since it has been embraced in 2015.

The Paris climate agreement was made in 2015 to protect the earth from the deteriorating effects of the climate problem. According to the regulations of the agreement, a nation cannot announce its intention to withdraw before a total year of notification to the UN. The United States informed the UN of its discontinuation on 4th November 2019.

Reasons to withdraw:

  • Underneath the Paris Pact, developed nations are obliged to mobilise at least $100 billion each year from 2020 on climate policy for the developing world. The amount has been set to be revised upwards after 5 years.
  • US President Donald Trump objected this step and named it “unfair” and therefore a withdrawal.

Agreement on climate change in Paris:

  • In December 2015, just at 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris, 195 nations implemented the Paris Climate Agreement to fight global warming and to step up actions for low-carbon development.
  • It is a contract inside the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has been in force since November 2016.

Remarks:

  • Approximately 189 nations stay committed to the Paris agreement of 2015.
  • The Paris Agreement seems to be a historic international agreement that tends to bring just about 200 nations to establish a popular choice for the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change.
  • The pact seeks to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to try to reduce the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius even further.
  • To this end, each country has committed itself to implement targeted action plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Agreement calls on advanced and developed nations to provide capital and institutional assistance to the developing world in its efforts to combat and mitigate climate change.

 

 

SAARCFINANCE Meeting Inaugurated

The 40th Meeting of the SAARCFINANCE Governors’ Group took place practically under the guidance of Prof. Shaktikanta Das, who is the Governor, RBI. The Governors of SAARC Central Banks attended the event. Even during meeting, Mr Das also launched the SAARCFINANCE Sync, a shuttered user group for a secure communication system.

About Sync SAARCFINANCE:

In his inaugural speech, Governor Shri Das underscored the strong collaboration and collaboration between member nations in the joint fight against the outbreak.

The group has taken stock of the macro-economic scenario in the SAARC area; debated the existing SAARCFINANCE projects, and the manner forward.

The Governors demonstrated their commitment to full support and the exchanging of knowledge with the Central Bank.

SAARCFINANCE seems to be a channel of central bank governors as well as finance secretaries from the SAARC region.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is currently chaired by SAARCFINANCE.

The meeting was conducted by the Governors of SAARC Central Banks:

Mr Fazle Kabir, who is in the Bank of Bangladesh;

Mr Dasho Penjore, who is in Bhutan’s Royal Monetary Authority;

Shri Shaktikanta Das (Chairman), Indian Reserve Bank;

Mr Ali Hashim, Currency Authority of the Maldives;

Mr Maha Prasad Adhikari, who is in the Bank of Nepal Rastra;

Dr Reza Baqir, who is in the Pakistan State Bank;

Prof. W. D. Lakshman, who is in the Sri Lankan Central Bank.

Governor Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) was portrayed by a senior DAB executive.