India Japan Strategic Relationship

Strategic partnership:

Defence ties

  • Both the countries have agreed to enhance exchanges between their forces with more bilateral exercises and exchanges in the field of technology at a time when India wants to increase domestic defence production.
  • The Armies of both nations will hold a joint exercise on anti-terrorism in 2018 for the first time.
  • The talks are on to include bilateral training between the two navies and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training to expand cooperation.
  • Both the countries seek to strengthen cooperation between their Air Forces.

Cooperation in Defence and technology

  • There will be collaboration between Acquisition, Technology and Logistic Agency (ATLA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for research in the areas of Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Robotics.

Malabar 2017

  • India-US-Japan successfully undertook this trilateral naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. This is necessary to maintain freedom of navigation in the South China sea to counter Chinese hegemony.

Disaster relief

  • Japan has invited India to participate in a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise held by Japan Ground Self Defence Force as an observer.

Diplomacy

  • 2+2 dialogue between the Foreign Ministries and Defence ministries of both the nations will take place in 2018.

Infrastructure

  • Japan funds many road projects in the Northeast India to help bridge the gap between the strategically important Northeastern states. This would provide trade routes in the region and give it economic-push.
  • Bullet train: Japan is helping India in building bullet trains. It has invested $12 billion for India’s first bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.

Cooperation in Africa:

  • Japan and its banks are cooperating with India for investment in Africa. This is very important so as to counter China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR).
Advertisements

Everything about OIL SPILL

OIL SPILL: 

An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon or naturally extracted oil into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity and is a form of pollution.

Remedies:

1.Dispersant:

  • Dispersants are chemicals that when applied to oil floating on the surface greatly increases the rate of dispersal and breakdown of the oil. Dispersants assist the natural process where the mechanical action of the water can break down oil into small droplets.
  • Dispersants are categorised into:

Type 1: Hydrocarbon solvent-based dispersant used undiluted

Type 2: Concentrates, diluted 1:10 with water before use

Type 3: High efficacy concentrates used undiluted

2.Demulsifiers

  • These are chemicals used to separate oil and water. They can be used with dispersants when the type of oil prevents chemical dispersion.

3.Surface cleaners

  • Surface cleaners are chemicals that when applied to oil covered hard surfaces increase the rate of dispersal from the surface, aiding cleaning.

4.Bioremediation products

  • Bioremediation accelerates the natural degradation process through adding nutrients, micro-organisms, or both.

5.Oil Zapping:

  • Oil Zapping is a bio-remediation technique involving the use of ‘oil zapping’ bacteria.
  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has developed the oil zapping bacteria.
  • The Oil Zapping project was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (Government of India) and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • There are five different bacterial strains that are immobilized and mixed with a carrier material such as powdered corncob. This mixture of five bacteria is called Oil Zapper.
  • Oilzapper feeds on hydrocarbon compounds present in crude oil and the hazardous hydrocarbon waste generated by oil refineries, known as Oil Sludge and converts them into harmless CO2 and water.
  • The Oilzapper is neatly packed into sterile polythene bags and sealed aseptically for safe transport. The shelf life of the product is three months at ambient temperature.

6.Sorbents

  • Sorbents absorb oil and are usually in the form of powder, granules or beads.
  • They are either absorbent (they take some liquid into themselves) or adsorbent (forms a layer on the surface of the oil) materials and can be synthetic or natural, packaged or loose.

7.Degreasers

  • Degreasers are used for cleaning grease from machinery of ships and marine structures

Air Pollution – Particulate Matter

Fine Particles, Particulate Matter 2.5:

  • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in air are high.
  • PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated.
  • Outdoor PM2.5 levels are most likely to be elevated on days with little or no wind or air mixing.

What is Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)?

  • The term fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width.
  • Outdoor air levels of fine particles increase during periods of stagnant air (very little wind and air mixing), when the particles are not carried away by wind, or when winds bring polluted air into the state from sources outside the state. In general, as the levels of PM2.5 in outdoor air increase, the air appears hazy and visibility is reduced.

Where does PM2.5 come from?

  • There are outdoor and indoor sources of fine particles.
  • Outside, fine particles primarily come from car, truck, bus and off-road vehicle (e.g., construction equipment, snowmobile, locomotive) exhausts, other operations that involve the burning of fuels such as wood, heating oil or coal and natural sources such as forest and grass fires. Fine particles also form from the reaction of gases or droplets in the atmosphere from sources such as power plants. As fine particles can be carried long distances from their source, events such as wildfires or volcanic eruptions can raise fine particle concentrations hundreds of miles from the event.
  • Some indoor sources of fine particles are tobacco smoke, cooking (e.g., frying, sautéing, and broiling), burning candles or oil lamps, and operating fireplaces and fuel-burning space heaters (e.g., kerosene heaters).

How can PM2.5 affect health?

  • Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs.
  • Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath.
  • Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, asthma, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.
  • People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5.
  • Chronic exposure to high pollution is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and early labor in pregnant women and low birth weight.

Commodity and Exchanges

What is a commodity?

  • Commodities are products that can be bought, sold or traded in different kinds of markets.
  • Commodities are the raw materials that are used to create products which are consumed in everyday life around the world, from food products in India to building new homes in Europe or to running cars in the US.

There are two main types of commodities:

  • Soft commodities  agricultural products such as corn, wheat, coffee, cocoa, sugar and soybean; and livestock.
  • Hard commodities  natural resources that need to be mined or processed such as crude oil, gold, silver and rubber.

What are the main differences between commodity spot and derivatives markets?

  • There are two types of commodity markets: spot (physical) and derivatives (such as futures, options and swaps).
  • In a spot market, a physical commodity is sold or bought at a price negotiated between the buyer and the seller.
  • The spot market involves buying and selling of commodities in cash with immediate delivery.
  • There are spot markets for individual consumers (retail market) and the business-to-business (wholesale market) category.
  • Spot markets also include traditional markets such as Delhi’s Azadpur Mandi that deal in fruits and vegetables.
  • On the other hand, a commodity can be sold or bought via derivatives contract as well.
  • A futures contract is a pre-determined and standardized contract to buy or sell commodities for a particular price and for a certain date in the future.
  • For instance, if one wants to buy 10 tonne of rice today, one can buy it in the spot market.
  • But if one wants to buy or sell 10 tonne of rice at a future date, (say, after two months), one can buy or sell rice futures contracts at a commodity futures exchange.
  • The futures contracts provide for the delivery or receipt of a physical commodity of a specified amount at some future date.
  • Under the physically settled contract, the full purchase price is paid by the buyer and the actual commodity is delivered by the seller.
  • But in a futures contract, actual delivery takes place later.
  • In practice, most futures contracts do not involve delivery of physical commodity as contracts are settled in cash through an exchange.
  • The financial investors prefer cash settlement because of no interest in buying or selling the underlying commodity, and lower transaction costs.
  • Nowadays, the entire process of futures trading in commodities is carried out electronically throughout the world.
  • For instance, a farmer enters into a futures contract to sell 10 tonne of rice at $100 per tonne to a miller on a future date. On that date, the miller will pay the full purchase price ($1,000) to the farmer and in exchange will receive the 10 tonne of rice.
  • However, under the cash-settled futures contract, the farmer and the miller would simply exchange the difference between the spot price of rice on the settlement date and the agreed upon price as mentioned in the futures contract and there would be no actual delivery of rice.
  • Following the above example, if on the settlement date the price of rice was $80 per tonne, while the agreed upon price of futures contract was $100 a tonne, the miller will pay $20 to the farmer in cash and there will be no delivery of rice to the miller.
  • If, on the settlement date, the price of rice was $120 a tonne, the farmer will pay $20 to the miller in cash and no delivery of rice will take place.

Commodity Market in India:

  • The first milestone in the 125 years rich history of organized trading in commodities in India was the constitution of the Bombay Cotton Trade Association in the year 1875.
  • India had a vibrant futures market in commodities till it was discontinued in the mid 1960’s, due to war, natural calamities and the consequent shortages.
  • In 2002, the Government of India allowed the re-introduction of commodity futures in India.
  • Together with this, three screen based, nation-wide multi-commodity exchanges were also permitted to be set up with the approval of the Forward Markets Commission. These are:
  • National Commodity & Derivative Exchange:
  • This exchange was originally promoted by ICICI Bank, National Stock Exchange (NSE), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Subsequently other institutional shareholders have been added on.
  • NCDEX is popular for trading in agricultural commodities.
  • Multi Commodity Exchange:
  • This exchange was originally promoted by Financial Technologies Limited, a software company in the capital markets space.
  • Subsequently other institutional shareholders have been added on.
  • MCX is popular for trading in metals and energy contracts.
  • National Multi Commodity Exchange of India:
  • This exchange was originally promoted by Kailash Gupta, an Ahmedabad based trader, and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC).
  • Subsequently other institutional shareholders have been added on.
  • NMCE is popular for trading in spices and plantation crops, especially from Kerala, a southern state of India.

International Treaties fro Hazardous Substance Management

Hazardous Substance Management

To promote safe management and use of hazardous substance in order to avoid damage to the health and env.

International conventions

  • Basel convention – control the transboundary mvmt of hazardous waste
    • Non binding agreement
    • Reduce the movement of hazardous waste between nations
    • Prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed country
    • USA, UK dumping e-waste in India, Pak and China
  • Rotterdam convention – Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for certain chemicals and pests in intl trade
    • Legally binding
    • Shared responsibility in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals
    • Like using proper labelling, directions on safe handling etc.
  • Stockholm convention – Persistent Organic pollutants (POP)
    • Legally binding
    • Under aegis of UNEP
    • POPs are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio accumulate through the food web and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment
  • Minamata convention on mercury 

Right to Freedom of religion

Right to Freedom of religion

Art 25:  P3 -Profess,Practice,Propagate

  • Conscience – inner freedom
  • Profess -declare openly
  • Practice – rituals and use signs
  • Propagate – spread but not force
  • Opinion & belief – no state interference
  • Conduct & practice – state can

Art 26: Religious denomination 

  • Est. institutions for religion and charity
  • Manage its affairs
  • Right to property
  • Administer its property
  • State can take over with compensation

 Art 27: Taxation for religion 

  • No collecting tax to promote religion
  • Fees is ok to provide service like safety
  • State is neither religious nor irreligious nor anti religious  but is non religious
  • Sarva Dharma Sambhav
  • Equidistant from all religion
  • West – don’t patronize
  • India – patronize without discrimination

Art 28: Religious instruction 

  • Religious instruction in schools
  • State wholly owned – strictly no
  • State administered but est. by religious denomination – permitted
  • State recognized – optional
  • State sponsored – optional

Nature Conservation – International Treaties

Nature Conservation

Under Biodiversity conservation scheme, there are two main subcomponents

  • Bio Diversity
  • Bio Safety

 Bio Diversity

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • Legally binding
  • Aichi target 
  • India enacted the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 to give effect to the provisions of CBD.
  • National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was created to implement the provisions of BDA, 2002.
    • Located at Chennai
    • Autonomous body
    • Statutory body
    • Regulatory body
    • Decentralized – national, state and local
  • Nagoya protocol 
    • Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
    • Adopted under the aegis of CBD
    • Legally binding

 

Bio Safety

  • Cartagena Bio safety protocol
    • Under the aegis of CBD
    • Legally binding
    • Safe transfer, handling and use of Living Modified Organisms (LMO) resulting from modern biotech that may have adverse effect
    • Seeks to protect the world from GMOs resulting from modern biotech.
    • Advanced Informed Agreement – procedure to LMOs across border