Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Unnat Krishi Shiksha Scheme

It was launched to promote agricultural education.
Under the scheme 100 centres are opened with a fund of Rs.5.35 crore.
“Attracting and retaining youth in Agriculture (ARYA)” is a project sanctioned by the Indian Council of Agriculture (ICAR) and is being implemented at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs).
The main objective of the project was to provide complete knowledge and skill on processing, value addition and marketing of coconut and banana products through capacity building programmes involving research and development organizations.

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Everything about INS Kalvari

INS Kalvari

• INS Kalvari is a Scorpene-class submarine described as a “deadly predator”.

• It is one of six built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai as a part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.

• Kalvariis a potent Man o’ War capable of undertaking offensive operations spanning across the entire spectrum of Maritime Warfare.

• Kalvari is named after a deep sea tiger shark and weighs about 1,600 tonnes.

• The state-of-the-art features of the Scorpenes include superior stealth and ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons.

• The boat also has two 1250 kW MAN diesel engines for rapidly charging batteries.

• The submarine boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.

• India has just about 15 submarines, a mix of Russian-origin Kilo-class vessels and German HDW submarines.

Everything about special courts for politicians

• The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it will set up at least 12 special courts to try exclusively criminal cases involving MPs and MLAs.

Issues

• Criminalisation of politics has remained a key issue. In 2014, as many as 1,581 lawmakers were facing prosecution in a mind-boggling 13,500 cases.

• It took years, probably decades, to complete the trial against a politician and by this time, he or she would have served as a Minister or legislator several times over.

• On average, 4,200 cases are handled by each of the 17,000 subordinate courts hence there is need to set up special courts.

Special Courts

• The SC had in 2015 laid down that special courts to be set up exclusively to try criminal cases involving “political persons” on the lines of the fast track courts and decide cases within a year.

• However Centre argued that it is not averse to setting up special courts to try criminal cases/offences involving politicians. It was for the state governments to set up additional courts as the issue comes within their jurisdiction.

• Hence setting up special courts would depend on the availability of funds with the States. And this has delayed the overall process.

Recent SC direction

• In November-2017, hearing a PIL which sought a lifetime ban on all convicted politicians, Court made determined effort to cleanse politics of criminality and corruption.

• Countering Centre argument on fund availability for special courts, Supreme Court gave direction to the  government to frame a Central scheme for setting up special courts across the country.

• The scheme should give the details of the funds that are required to set up such courts.

• The court also directed the Centre to place before it details of 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by the politicians at the time of filing their nominations during the 2014 general elections.

• Supreme Court would directly interact with the State governments on issues like the appointment of judicial officers, public prosecutors, court staff and other requirements of manpower and infrastructure for the special courts.

Centre’s response and Scheme

• In response to SC direction, the government, in an affidavit, said it had allotted ₹7.8 crore and framed a scheme to set up the special courts.

• The Centre told the SC today that it will start with 12 such special courts.

• Hence it also sought some time from the Supreme Court to collect data on cases pending against elected representatives across the country, so it can better decide on how many special courts it needs to set up in total.

Election Commission’s view

• SC also pulled up the EC for not taking a stand on the issue and asked how the commission could afford to be silent on it.

• In response, EC said, it had already recommended to the Centre to amend an existing law to incorporate a life ban provision against convicted lawmakers. The existing law calls for a six-year ban after the lawmaker has completed their sentence.

• EC said for the first time that convicted MPs and MLAs must be debarred from contesting polls – ever.

• However the Centre refused to take a stand on the issue and said that the the government was examining the recommendations of the Law Commission and EC for imposing a life ban on convicted MPs and MLAs from electoral politics.

• During a hearing, the EC told the court that a law was needed to curb the growing menace of criminalisation of politics.

Everything about TFA, GATS and  WTO Ministerial Conference

  • The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the WTO and meets at least once every two years.

Main points of discussion in MC11

  • Service negotiation under GATS will be on priority:
    • Domestic regulation: to address the contentious issue of professional visa fee hikes by the likes of the US and UK, which India has been claiming are discriminatory.
    • Agreement on Trade Facilitation in Service (TFS)
    • Global rules on services and e-commerce: While EU proposed it and wants to finalize but India wants to avoid these rules.
  • India will also push for others pending issues like progress of Doha Development Agenda (DDA), commitment on Public stock-holding, new mechanism for domestic support for food procurement, seeking sharp cuts in support to farmers in the US and Europe etc.

What is GATS?

  • While services currently account for over 60 percent of global production and employment, they represent no more than 20 per cent of total trade (BOP basis).
  • In order to facilitate the trade in service sector by simplifying or removing complexity in trade rules & regulation by member state in service sector, it was needed to have General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) with same objectives as its counterpart in merchandise trade, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
  • GATS entered into force in January 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations to provide for the extension of the multilateral trading system to services.
  • The GATS is the first multilateral, legally binding set of rules covering international trade in services.
  • The objective of GATS:
    • Creating a credible and reliable system of international trade rules
    • Ensuring fair and equitable treatment of all participants (principle of non-discrimination)
    • Stimulating economic activity through guaranteed policy bindings
    • Promoting trade and development through progressive liberalization
  • All Members of the World Trade Organization are signatories to the GATS and are committed to entering into further rounds of services negotiations.

Modes of Supply of services:

The definition of services trade under the GATS is four-pronged, depending on the territorial presence of the supplier and the consumer at the time of the transaction.

  • Mode 1 — Cross border trade: A user in country A receives services from abroad through its telecommunications or postal infrastructure.  Such supplies may include consultancy or market research reports, tele-medical advice, distance training, or architectural drawings.
  • Mode 2 — Consumption abroad: Nationals of A have moved abroad as tourists, students, or patients to consume the respective services.
  • Mode 3 — Commercial presence: The service is provided within A by a locally-established affiliate, subsidiary, or representative office of a foreign-owned and — controlled company (bank, hotel group, construction company, etc.).
  • Mode 4 — Presence of natural persons: A foreign national provides a service within A as an independent supplier (e.g., consultant, health worker) or employee of a service supplier (e.g. consultancy firm, hospital, construction company).

Major areas of services negotiations under GATS:

  • Services negotiations covers four areas:
    1. Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS)
    2. Services related to e-commerce – Set of rules to facilitate online service transactions focusing on the issues of electronic contracts, electronic authentication and trust services, consumer protection and unsolicited commercial electronic messages
    3. Market Access- Negotiations to liberalize market conditions for trade in services
    4. Domestic Regulation – It relate to how WTO members should develop licensing & qualification-related measures and technical standards to ensure that these measures & standards are impartial and adequate. These should be based on objective and transparent criteria that do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services.
  • The first such round started in January 2000. Since 2001 the services negotiations became part of the “single undertaking” under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), whereby all subjects under the negotiations are to be concluded at the same time.

What is Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS)?

  • TFS will be like the Trade Facilitation Agreement (“TFA”). TFA, adopted recently, will facilitate trade in goods.  Similarly a well-structured TFS will significantly enhance the potential for trade in services.
  • India is pushing for TFS Agreement, which also aims to ensure easing rules regarding movement of professionals and skilled workers across borders for temporary work/projects.
  • The objective behind India’s proposal for an Agreement on TFS is to initiate discussions at the WTO on how to comprehensively address the numerous border and behind-the-border barriers, across all modes of supply, which are impediments to the realization of the full potential of services trade.

India’s submission

  • On TFS:

    • Through TFS, India wants issues related to easier access for Indian software and accounting professionals along with nurses and doctors.
    • It particularly emphasised hurdles faced by natural persons supplying services in foreign jurisdictions.
  • On Domestic rule:

    • India has highlighted the difficulties faced by services suppliers from developing economies in complying with complex domestic regulations brought out by developed country Members.
    • India also rejected attempts by some WTO Members such as European Union and Canada to include ‘gender equality’ in the services trade negotiations agenda under DR discipline as it will create service trade barrier.
  • On e-commerce:

    • There is fear that under the banner of e-commerce several other aspects are sought to be introduced that will leave countries like India with little flexibility in seeking domestic content for programmes such as Digital India and may also make it tough to depend on open source software.
    • Plus, it limits the government’s ability to tailor rules that serve its interests instead of policies that benefit only Amazon or Alibaba.
  • On Doha Round

    • For the last 16 years, WTO has been negotiating the Doha Round – which includes agriculture, services and import duty on industrial goods – but has made little headway due to the reluctance of the US and the EU to play ball.
    • Instead of discussing and negotiating issues of Doha round like agriculture farm subsidy, public stock-holding etc., these countries instead want new issues such as e-commerce, investment facilitation and a global regime for MSMEs.
  • The other issue that is likely to be clinched is a global agreement on support for fisheries although the agenda has now been reduced only to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. On this issue too Indian officials said, they would seek a postponement as it will impact poor fish farmers who receive support from the state governments.

India’s support

  • India is banking on support from the African Group to block the launch of negotiations, which may culminate in global standards.
  • But there is a split with many African countries indicating their backing for the move from Japan, South Korea and Singapore, with tacit support from the US.
  • In past, India and China have joined hands to get the developed world for many negotiations like reduce subsidies offered to their farmers etc. But China too is not in favour of international disciplines but is open to a more accelerated work programme.

Way forward

  • Due to short time duration, no outcome in the form of an agreed text can be expected in Buenos Aires in these areas, and the proponents agree with this assessment.
  • In terms of post-Buenos Aires work on these two topics, India and the EU have communicated their intention to re-engage on services trade facilitation and online transactions, respectively.

Effects of Globalization on Indian Culture and Society

Effects of Globalization on Indian Culture

Globalisation has affected what we eat and the way we prepare food (Mcdonaldization), what we wear , purchase etc( Walmartization).

There is trend toward homogenization of culture with similar food habits, dressing pattern, music, news , TV programs, movies etc. However, there is also increasing tendency toward Glocalization of Culture.

Glocalization refers to mixing of Global with Local. Eg Foreign TV channels like Star, Sony , Cartoon Network use Indian languages.

Other Effects:-

1. Development of Hybrid Culture– Due to increase exposure to different cultures, there emerge a 3rd culture or hybrid culture. It accept the change and preserve the tradition in social and cultural life.

2. Language– Globalization give rise to increased use of English with people becoming more bilingual and multilingual than before. On the other hand, over emphasis on English leads to decline and even extinction of various language. Eg BO

3. Religion– Globalization leads to changes in the religion and practices. Now, secular aspect of religion like honesty, non violence, brotherhood are promoted. There is also increasing commodification of various religious practices with rise of sects and cults.

4. Festivals– There is general trend toward decline in ritual aspect of culture and growth of secular festivals. Eg Father’s day.

Effects of Globalization on Indian Society

1. Marriage– With Globalization, there is increasing trend toward civil marriage over ritual marriage, love marriage over arranged marriage. Inter caste and inter religious marriages are also increasing.

2. Family– Globalization has increased the pace of transformation of families from Joint families to either Nuclear families or Extended families. Due to declining Joint family system, Elderly population suffers from isolation, powerlessness and depression.

3. Education– Globalization catalyses the rate of literacy. It also increases investment in education and global education system. However there is more and more commercialization of education.

Everything about INDIA- SINGAPORE Relations.

INDIA- SINGAPORE RELATIONS

• India’s connection with Singapore dates back to the Cholas who are credited with naming the island and establishing a permanent settlement.

• The close relationship shared by India and Singapore is based on convergence of economic and political interests.

• The process of economic reforms in India since the early 1990s created a strong basis for cooperation with Singapore, opening up possibilities for significant presence in each other’s economies.

• Singapore has played an important role in reconnecting us to the countries of South East Asia since the inception of our Look East Policy in the early 1990s.

Political relations

• India was among the first countries to set up diplomatic relations after the independence of Singapore on 24 August 1965.

• Singapore’s Foreign and Law Minister was the first minster from any ASEAN nation to  meet the new government.

• Former Singapore’s PM was awarded Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International understanding in 2004.

Economic relations

• Bilateral Trade has expanded significantly from $ 12.4 million in 1980-81 to $2.18 billion in 2013-14.

• Singapore has emerged as the 2nd largest source of FDI amounting to US$ 31.9 billion (April 2000 – Feb 2015), which is 13% of total FDI inflow.

• Singapore was the largest source of FDI into India for the year 2013-14 overtaking Mauritius.

• Outward Indian FDI to Singapore increased from US $351 million in 2004-05 to US $37.4 billion (April 2015), making Singapore one of the top destinations for Indian investments.

• In June 2005, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed by India with Singapore.

• Singapore has largest air connections to India with 6 airlines flying 232 weekly services.

Cultural Relations 

• To promote inter-governmental cooperation in culture, a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Arts, Archives and Heritage was concluded in 1993.

• Given the large and diverse Indian community in Singapore, cultural activities receive considerable support from community organizations.

• A number of cultural societies, namely Temple of Fine Arts, Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, Nrityalaya, Kalamandir, among others, promote Indian classical dance and arts.

• Deepawali is regarded as the premier Indian cultural celebration.

Visa & Consular 

• India introduced a visa requirement for Singapore citizens in 1984 while Singapore introduced it in 1985.

• Tourists from Singapore are allowed ‘eTourist Visa (eTV)’ in select airports in India since 2010 on unilateral basis.

Indian Community 

• Ethnic Indians constitute about 9.1 per cent or around 3.5 lakhs of the resident population of 3.9 million in Singapore.

• Tamil is one of the four official languages of Singapore.

• Approximately two-thirds of the Indian community in Singapore are of Tamil origin. Punjabis, Malayalis and Sindhis are the other major Indian communities

Naval Agreements

• The bilateral agreement for naval cooperation includes:

1 Maritime security

2 Joint exercises

3 Temporary deployments from the naval facilities of each other

4 Mutual logistical support

Logistic Support

• Indian Navy will have a full-fledged logistics facility that is 2,177 km east from its nearest base at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

• This is the first such military logistics agreement with a country east of Malacca indicating a shift eastwards for the Indian Navy.

Lanes of communication

• Both Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea are the key sea lanes of communication.

• India and Singapore should increase their participation and activity in these regions.

• Indian Navy has started its Malacca patrol in June this year to protect the sea lanes of communication (SLOCs).

Choke point of commerce

• The Strait of Malacca is considered a critical choke point for global commerce.

• It is critical for the transportation of natural gas and oil.

• It is seen by China as vulnerable for its energy security.

Strait of Malacca

• It is waterway connecting the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and South China Sea (Pacific Ocean).

• It runs between the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west and peninsular Malaysia and extreme southern Thailand to the east.

• It has an area of about 25,000 square miles (65,000 square km).

• The Strait derived its name from the trading port of Melaka (formerly Malacca) which was of importance in the 16th and 17th centuries on the Malay coast.

Everything about Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)

• It is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world.

• It was started by U.S. government in 2010.

• It serves as a vital link between governments and the private sector and convenes global participants to showcase projects, network, exchange ideas and champion new opportunities for investment.

Aim

• It aims to highlight entrepreneurship as means to address some of the most intractable global challenges.

GES-2017, Hyderabad

• It is the eighth annual GES summit.

• It is the first GES summit being held in South Asia.

• Since 2010, it has been hosted by Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and last year it was held in Silicon Valley in the US.

• The Theme of GES-2017 is ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’.

• The main focus will be on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

Areas of focus:

The GES 2017 will focus on four key industry sectors:

1 Energy and Infrastructure

2 Healthcare and Life Sciences

3 Financial Technology and Digital Economy

4 Media and Entertainment