1. India gives emergency visas for 111 Afghan Hindus, Sikhs
- Front Page.
- GS 2, 3; Citizenship, Population related Issues, IR, Growth and Development, Govt Policies and Interventions.
- The Union Home Ministry granted emergency visas to 111 Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan, hours after Saturday’s terror attack at a gurdwara in Kabul. All had applied for visas in September 2021, but the applications were cleared only after the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), a terrorist group, attacked the gurdwara on Saturday killing two persons including a Sikh granthi, a member representing the community said.
2. The EPI may rankle but India can recast policies
- Page 6.
- GS 3, Growth and Development, Environment, Conservation.
- The latest Environmental Performance Index (EPI) placing India last among all 180 assessed countries has naturally touched a raw nerve. The assessment with an emphasis on climate change mitigation, has become controversial for prioritising the flow of greenhouse gases from countries while reducing the emphasis on the stock of carbon dioxide from industrialised countries that is warming the globe. The EPI report estimates that China, India, the United States, and Russia are expected to account for over 50% of global residual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
3. Revisiting social justice under the Dravidian model
- Page 6.
- GS 1,2; Society, Polity.
- Davidian politics in Tamil Nadu has played a significant role in democratising the public space for wider participation. As emphasised by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu recently, social justice has been the integral part of the Dravidian development model. Social justice principles in Tamil Nadu were initially emphasised and propagated by Periyar, who fought for community-based representation while fighting the evils of the caste system.
4. Petty patents can boost R&D
- Page 7.
- GS 3, Economy, Growth and Development, Innovation and Technology.
- Innovative activity is the key driver of competitiveness and economic growth. In that context, India’s rank of 46 in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021, up from 81 in 2015, is encouraging. This finding corroborates an earlier one by UNCTAD in its Digital Economy Report 2021 where India was seen as exceeding expectations. While these findings are encouraging, India, which aspires to emerge as one of the largest economies of the world, needs to move up further in the innovation rankings, for building self-reliance in technology, especially in the context of the incipient digital revolution. China occupies the 12th rank in GII, ahead of Japan at 13th. This shows that it is possible to move up the ladder with sustained effort.
5. Indian interests at the WTO Ministerial Conference
- Page 8
- GS 2,3; Global Groupings, IR, Growth and Development.
- On June 17, member countries of the WTO wrapped up the Ministerial Conference’s twelfth outing (MC12) securing agreements on relaxing patent regulations to achieve global vaccine equity; ensuring food security, according subsidies to the fisheries sector and continuing moratoriums relevant to eCommerce, among others. Together they constitute the “Geneva Package.” Negotiators could not reach agreements on issues such as permissible public stockholding threshold for domestic food security, domestic support to agriculture, cotton, and market access.
6. Auctioning 5G spectrum bands
- Page 8.
- GS 2,3; Govt Policies and Interventions, Technology, Growth and Development.
- The Union Cabinet gave its nod for the auction of spectrum that can be used to offer 5G services, at its meeting held on June 14. A total of 72 Ghz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put on sale towards the end of July. The two issues that the industry has highlighted with regards to the upcoming auctions are high reserve prices for the spectrum and direct allotment of spectrum to enterprises for setting up captive private networks. 5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as IoT and machine to machine communications, thereby supporting a much larger range of applications and services, such as tele-surgery and real time data analytics.
7. Agniveer to have distinct rank and insignia
- Page 10.
- GS 2,3; Govt Policies and Interventions, Employment, Human Resources, Growth and Development.
- On discharge after completion of four years, Agniveers will be paid a Seva Nidhi package to enable them to return to society for pursuing employment in other sectors, both the Indian Army and the IAF said, which would approximately be ₹11.71 lakh. “Agniveers will not be eligible for any kind of pension or gratuity, neither will they be eligible for Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), Canteen Stores Department (CSD) facilities, Ex-Serviceman status and other related benefits,” the terms state. “Agniveers will be barred from disclosing classified information gained during service to any unauthorised person or source under Official Secrets Act, 1923.”