AFPA

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention

 

Recently, the website for the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2021 was launched by the Minister of State for External Affairs Shri V Muraleedharan. He also proclaimed that Prime Minister Modi is to initiate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention on January 9.

Pravasi Divas Convention

About four conferences are to be held throughout the Pravasi Divas Convention. They are based on the following themes-

  • Role of Diaspora in Promotion of Indian Culture Dialogue with Diaspora Business Leaders and CEOs-Targeting 5 trillion USD Regional PBD-GCC: India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference Forging Media and Entertainment Partnership to showcase India.
  • The Pravasi Divas Convention will offer an opportunity for all the Indians to come together and interact in search of socio-economic solutions to the challenges presently faced by India.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

  • Every year on 9 January the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated. The day is renowned to mark the contributions made by the non-resident Indians to the growth of the country. It is celebrated on January 9 as Mahatma Gandhi came back from South Africa on January 9, 1915.
  • The celebrations of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas are subsidized by the Minister of External Affairs, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Confederation of Indian Industries, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • On this day the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards are presented.
  • The choice to rejoice the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with the references made by the High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora. The Committee was set up by the Government of India underneath the chairmanship of L.M.Singhvi.
  • It is called Non-Resident Indian Day in English.

Present Scenario

Presently, there are 31 million Indians residing overseas. Of these 31 million Indians, 13 million are PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) and 17 million are NRIs (Non-Resident Indians). During the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention held in Hyderabad in 2006, the idea of Overseas Citizens of India was launched.

What is OCI?

It is a form of permanent residency accessible to the people of Indian origin and their next of kin. The status allows these people to live and work in India forever. However, it does not grant the right to vote in Indian elections.

 

 

What is Pagri Sambhal Jatta Movement?

 

The continuing farmer protests against the recently enacted farm laws is similar to the farmer protests in 1907. The peasants then remonstrated against three British laws namely Punjab land colonization act, Doab Bari act and the Punjab land alienation act.

Background

In 1879, the British administration built a Canal to draw water from the Chenab river to Lyallpur (now Faisalabad, Pakistan). The canal was named the Upper Bari Doab canal. This was done to setup settlements in a deserted area. Also, the Britishers assured allotment of free land with several amenities. This involved ex-serviceman from Amritsar, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur as well. Therefore, the farmers from these districts left behind their land and property and settled in the new areas to make the barren land fit for cultivation. The hardworking agriculturalists rapidly made the land fertile and productive. The British government passed three laws that eventually declared the Britishers the master of the land and deprived of the ownership rights of the farmers. The laws compact the agriculturalists to sharecroppers. They could neither build houses nor fell trees on these lands. The laws also said that if the oldest son died before reaching adulthood, then the land will become the property of Administration and not reach the younger son. This led to the Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement

Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement

  • In 1907, Bhagat Singh’s uncle Ajit Singh Sandhu led a movement against the laws. This was later named the Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement. Pagri Sambhal Jatta was a song composed by Banke Dayal. He was the editor of Jhang Sayal. Shortly, the song became the anthem of the movement.
  • Ajit Singh penned An Autobiography called “Buried Alive”.

Bharat Mata society

It was also termed Mehboobane Watan. It was a secretive organisation formed by Ajit Singh and his Associates. The organisation’s main objective was to re-enact the revolution of 1857.

Outcome

The Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement initiated to spread from the farmers to the Army. And thus, the British government withdrew its laws. Also the ownership of the land was returned to the peasants.

 

 

The first eco-bridges for smaller mammals and reptiles built by the Ramnagar Forest Division in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand

 

What are Eco-Bridges?

The Eco-Bridges or Eco-Ducts are built to improve the flora and fauna connectivity that are usually disturbed due to logging or highways. It contains existing underpasses, canopy bridges or overpass tunnels, amphibian tunnels. These bridges are generally overlaid with implanting from the area to give a touching look with the landscape. The eco-bridges also comprise overpasses, fish ladders, green roofs, tunnels, canopy bridges.

Necessity

According to the Wildlife Institute of India, about 50,000 kilometres of road plans have been built in India in last five to six years. Also, numerous highways have been progressed to four lanes. Major animal corridors are cut by the National Highways, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority. These include the State Highway 33 through Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, National Highway 37 through the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam. Therefore, it is important to build these animal pathways to stop from disorderly their natural co-habitation.

About Eco-Bridges

  • The two main features considered in building the eco bridges are size and location. These bridges are to be built based on the animal movement patterns.
  • Scientist Divya Mudappa of Nature Conservation Foundation made canopy bridges for Nilgri Langurs and lion-tailed Macaques. The IUCN Red List of endangered species lists Lion Tailed Macaque and Nilgri Langur as “Endangered”. Around six bridges were constructed across three kilometers of stretch.

First Five Animal Bridges in India

The bridges have been strategic to avoid disorders in Ranthambore Wildlife Corridor. On the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway first five animal bridges are planned. These animal bridges will help evade man-animal conflict. The Ranthambore National Park is situated in Rajasthan. It was professed as the Project Tiger Reserve in 1973.

Smuggling in India report 2019-20

 

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman freshly released the Smuggling in India Report 2019-20. The report was released during the 63rd founding day celebrations of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.  The report examines the smuggling trends on narcotic drugs, gold and foreign currency, security and commercial frauds.

Overall Results of the Report

  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has so far noticed 412 cases of smuggling that resulted in the confiscation of 1,949 crores of rupees in the year 2019-20.
  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has detained 837 economic offenders.
  • It has unearthed 761 Complex cases of customs duty evasion. This amounted to 2,183 crores of rupees.

Key Conclusions of the Report

Gold

  • According to the report, around 120 tonnes of gold were smuggled into India in 2019-20. This is 15% to 17% of the annual claim of the country according to the World Gold Council. The gold smuggling through the land borders has risen diverse in the recent years. The permeable International borders of India with other countries such as Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh help the gold smugglers.
  • There is a 16 kilometer of a free movement Regime between India and Myanmar. This allows the people to travel without visa limitations. This region is used by the gold smugglers and is also a part of the China Myanmar smuggling network.

Narcotic Drugs

  • In April 2019, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence along with the support of Assam Rifles directed a secret operation in the fall of Manipur. During the operation around 1 lakh methamphetamine tablets were detained. These tablets are commonly known as YaBa tablets.
  • The Directorate Revenue of Intelligence did a total of 72 seizures under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances act in the year 2019-20. The highest number of captures was reported in Uttar Pradesh followed by Maharashtra, Telangana & Tamil Nadu.

Cigarette and tobacco products

  • According to the report, India has become the fourth major illegal cigarette market in the world. In 2019-20, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has seized Rs 76.95 crores of cigarettes.

Wildlife smuggling

  • The Red Sandalwood is an endangered species of Indian wild flora. It is endemic to the southern Eastern Ghats. It is registered under appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna). The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence detained around 174 metric tonnes of Red Sanders or the Red Sandalwood in 2019-20 when it was to be spread to countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan and China.
  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has detained more than 9,120 star tortoise in the country in 2019-20. The Indian star tortoise are susceptible species and are found in North Western India and South Eastern Pakistan, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, eastern Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It falls under schedule IV of Wildlife Protection Act. It has been listed under Appendix I of CITES.

 

 

Climate Change Performance Index

 

  • The Global Climate Change Performance Index was newly released by the New Climate Institute, German watch and CAN (Climate Action Network). The index has been rating the fifty-seven greenhouse emitters in the world since 2005. These countries account to 90% of global emissions. The index aims to enable comparison of mitigation efforts, enhance transparency in worldwide climate politics.

Key Findings

  • India continued in the top ten in the Climate Change Performance Index for the second consecutive year. China, one of the major contributors of greenhouse gases ranked 33rd. In 2020, India slid a spot to the tenth. India was at 31st position in 2014.
  • According to the index, only two G20 countries India and UK were among the high rankers. The rest of the six such as Saudi Arabia, USA, South Korea, Australia and Russia were at the bottom of the index.
  • None of the countries were in top three ranks. This was because none of the countries were in the path of meeting their Paris Agreement commitment. Sweden was at fourth place followed by UK, Denmark, Morocco, Norway, Chile.

About the Index

  • The index is organized by assessing the performance of fifty-seven countries in four groupings namely renewable energy, GHG emissions, climate policy and energy use.

 

 

Urban Governance Index

 

  • The Praja Foundation just released the Urban Governance Index. Odisha topped the list of states and Manipur and Nagaland were at the bottommost.
  • According to the Urban Governance Index, Odisha was followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Delhi rank 13th in the list. The states were marked amid 0 and 100 based on the themes authorized City administration, elected representatives and legislative structure and authorized citizens and physical empowerment.
  • Maharashtra scored 55.15%, Odisha scored 56.86%. The Other top performers were Chhattisgarh with a score of 49.68%, Kerala with a score of 48.77% and Madhya Pradesh with the score of 45.94%.
  • Insufficient substructure and Service Distribution are the major issues that continue to impede cities to attain their true financial potential.

About the index

  • The ranking was done based on urban governance reforms. In order to make the index the Praja Foundation directed a study for three years across 40 cities and in the national capital territory. The ranks have been awarded to the states based on their local self-Government and grassroots democracy.
  • According to the findings of the study none of the states could score 60 out of hundred. This designates that the municipal bodies are lagging to provide effective governance at the local level. The study also said that not a single state has evolved all the 18 functions to the municipal bodies in spite of the fact that it has been 28 years after Parliament passed the constitutional alteration on municipalities. The 74th constitutional amendment was passed in 1993 that renowned Municipal governments.
  • The 18 functions comprise regulation of land use, urban planning, planning for economic and social development, fire service, water supply, protection of the environment, urban Forestry, promotion of ecological aspects, etc. These functions aim to empower the local urban bodies and democratic devolution of the local governance.

UNESCO World Heritage City

  • Orchha and Gwalior cities of Madhya Pradesh have been involved in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Cities.

Orchha city

  • The city is famous for its palaces and temples and was the capital of Bundela Kingdom in the 16th century. The famous places in the city are Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal, Rai Praveen Mahal, Ram Raja temple and Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. After the city is included in the world heritage City list, the historic spots such as Gujri Mahal, Mansingh palace and Sahastra Bahu Temple will be preserved chemically. This is to be done to make the art engraved in these places more visible. Also, guards are to be posted in these spots to welcome the tourists according to the Indian traditions.

Gwalior

  • The city of Gwalior is known for its temples and palaces. The Gwalior Fort is retrieved via a winding road lined with holy Jain statues and occupies a sandstone plateau. It is now an archaeological museum with high walls of 15th century. The city of Gwalior was recognized in the 9th century and was ruled by Rajvansh, Baghel Kachvaho, Tomar and Scindias.

UNESCO World Heritage site

  • The World Heritage site tags are provided by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. The tags are provided for natural heritages and cultural heritages spread all over the world. These heritages are measured to be outstanding in adding value to the humanity.
  • The World Heritage site list is directed by the UNESCO World Heritage committee. The committee includes of 21 state parties and are elected by the United Nations General Assembly. The programme was initiated by the UNESCO in 1972 and so far, 193 countries have approved the agreement.
  • In order to get incorporated in the list, the place should have a unique landmark. They should be historically and geographically recognizable.

 

 

UN Investment Promotion award to Invest India

 

  • The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently declared “Invest India” as the winner of the UN Investment Promotion Award, 2020. The award is known for outstanding attainments of investment promotion agencies ranging all over the world. About 180 such agencies were seeded for the award in 2020.

Background

  • The UNCTAD had created a team to screen Investment Promotion Agencies in the world. The team was created in March 2020, generally to observe the best practices adopted in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The IPA reply has become the evaluation of 2020 UN Investment Promotion Award. This proves that in spite of being the second most populated country in the world, India’s modernisation helped to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

UN Conference on Trade and Development

  • The UNCTAD deals with trade, investment and development matters. The key goal of the organization is to make the most of trade and investment. It was established in 1964. It publicized reports such as Trade and Development Report and World Investment Report.

World Investment Report, 2020

  • The report was revealed by UNCTAD in June 2020. According to the report, the FDI flows reduced by 40% in 2020 as compared to 2019. For the first time, the global FDI flows will be under 1 trillion USD since 2005. It is predicted that FDI will further decline by 5% to 10% by 2021.
  • According to the report, India hopped to 9th position in FDI flows in 2019. The FDI flows into India were 51 billion USD. India was at 12th rank in 2018.

Trade and Development Report

The report said that the public outside debt might rise to 2 trillion USD to 3.6 trillion USD in 2020-21. Even before COVID-19 hit developing countries, many were confined in debt spiral. The report suggested the following to improve the situation-

  • To acquire Automatic Temporary standstills. This will provide macroeconomic breathing space for all developing countries.

Debt relief and restructure programmes

It recommended that the international developing country debt authority should lay controlling foundations to guide the debt reformation in the future.