22nd May 2020 Current Affairs

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

These are the 22nd May 2020 current affairs. These current affairs are prepared from relevant sources like The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, BusinessLine.

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

22nd May 2020 Current Affairs
22nd May 2020 Current Affairs

Keeping in mind the need of UPSC IAS Exam, 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY compilation has been prepared. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source. These “22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS” includes topics form  The HinduThe Indian ExpressBusiness StandardPress Information Bureau, etc.

As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic in 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY compilation has been handpicked for you.



DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: 21st MAY 2020: THE HINDU + PIB

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS QUIZ: 20th-21st MAY 2020: THE HINDU + PIB



J&K Civil Services (Decentralization & Recruitment) Act 2010

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source | Press Information Bureau


GS Paper I: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

Context: Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Jammu & Kashmir (Adaptation of State Laws) Second Order, 2020 issued under section 96 of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

  • This order has further modified the applicability of Domicile conditions to all level of jobs in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir under the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act, 2010.

J&K Civil Services


What you need to know about Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Order (2020)?

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Order would allow citizens from other states to become permanent residents of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Previously, Article 370 reserved lands and jobs only for ‘permanent residents’, the definition of which has been altered to domiciles through the approval of the new order.

Under this new law, any person or children of a parent who has resided in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for at least 15 years or who has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10 or 12 examinations in an educational institution located in the territory will be eligible to become a permanent resident.

Furthermore, central government officials who have served in the region for at least 10 years will also be provided domicile status along with their children.


Read More: GILGIT-BALTISTAN REGION



A migrant registered by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner of the Union Territory will also be eligible to be domicile.

This notification was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in exercise of the powers provided by section 14 under section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, referred to as the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment Act).

This law would allow people with a domicile status to apply for gazetted or non-gazetted jobs.

Initially, the Home Ministry issued an order that provided protection to domiciles in “Group D and entry-level non gazetted government posts,” i.e. a post carrying a pay-scale of not more than level 4. However, political parties in Kashmir showed discontent to this new law stating it was discriminatory towards the citizens of the state.

Hence, on April 3, 2020, a fresh order was issued that would reserve any post in the government for the domiciles including senior positions in the group A and B categories.


Read More: GLOBAL TERRORISM INDEX (GTI) 2019


PRELIMS Background Bites


About Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 contains provisions to reconstitute the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, a part of the larger region of Kashmir which has been the subject of dispute among India, Pakistan, and China since 1947, into two Indian-administered union territories called Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, on 31 October 2019.

A bill for the act was introduced by the Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, in the Rajya Sabha on 5 August 2019 and was passed on the same day.

The introduction of the bill was preceded by a presidential order under Article 370 of the Indian constitution that revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.


Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source | Press Information Bureau


GS Paper II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context: Union Cabinet has approved the launch of new Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs, HFCs and FMIs to improve their liquidity position.

  • It had been announced in the Budget Speech of 2020-21 that a mechanism would be devised to provide additional liquidity facility to NBFCs/HFCs over that provided through the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme (PCGS).
SPECIAL LIQUIDITY SCHEME FOR NBFCs


Read More: NBFCs seeks RBI Permission to use Reserves


Key Highlights of the new Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs

  • With the help of this Special Liquidity Scheme, the Government has proposed a framework for addressing the liquidity constraints of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs).
  • An Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be set up to manage a Stressed Asset Fund (SAF).
  • The special securities of the Stressed Asset Fund (SAF) would be guaranteed by the Government of India and purchased by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) only.
  • The proceeds of sale of such securities would be used by the SPV to acquire short-term debt of NBFCs/HFCs.
  • The responsibility for the administration of the Scheme lies with the Department of Financial Services, which will issue the detailed guidelines.

Also Read: Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)


How this Scheme would be implemented?

  • For the purpose of implementation of the Scheme, a large public sector bank would set up an SPV to manage a stressed asset fund which would issue interest bearing special securities guaranteed by the Government of India, to be purchased by RBI only.
  • The SPV would issue securities as per requirement subject to the total amount of securities outstanding not exceeding Rs. 30,000 crore to be extended by the amount required as per the need.
  • The securities issued by the SPV would be purchased by RBI and proceeds thereof would be used by the SPV to acquire the debt of at least investment grade of short duration (residual maturity of upto 3 months) of eligible NBFCs / HFCs.

How this Scheme would benefit the NBFCs, HFCs or MFIs?

This facility would supplement the liquidity measures taken so far by the Government and RBI. The Scheme would benefit the real economy by augmenting the lending resources of NBFCs or HFCs or MFls.


Read More: Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme | Govt eases norms



PRELIMS Background Bites


About NBFCs

A Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 2013 of India, engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares, stock, bonds, hire-purchase insurance business or chit-fund business.

However, it does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture, industrial activity, purchase or sale of any goods (other than securities) or providing any services and sale/purchase/construction of immovable property.

  • The working and operations of NBFCs are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) within the framework of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and the directions issued by it.
  • On November 9, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a notification outlining norms for outsourcing of functions/services by Non-Bank Financial Institution (NBFCs).
  • As per the new norms, NBFCs cannot outsource core management functions like internal audit, management of investment portfolio, strategic and compliance functions for know your customer (KYC) norms and sanction of loans.

Different types of Committees to Review existing framework of NBFCs are:

  • James S. Raj Committee: In June 1974, study group recommended ban on Prize Chit and other Schemes and directed the Parliament to enact a bill which ensures uniformity in the provisions applicable to chit funds throughout the country.
  • Chakravarty Committee: In December 1982, Dr Manmohan Singh, Governor of RBI appointed committee under the Chairmanship of ‘Prof. Sukhamoy Chakravarty’ to review functioning of monetary system in India.

What is the difference between the Banks and the NBFCs?

NBFCs perform functions similar to that of banks but there are a few differences-

  • Provides Banking services to People without holding a Bank license.
  • An NBFC cannot accept Demand Deposits.
  • An NBFC is not a part of the payment and settlement system.
  • An NBFC cannot issue Cheques drawn on itself.
  • Deposit insurance facility of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available for NBFC depositors, unlike banks.
  • An NBFC is not required to maintain Reserve Ratios (CRR, SLR etc.).
  • An NBFC cannot indulge Primarily in Agricultural, Industrial Activity, Sale-Purchase, Construction of Immovable Property.
  • In case of an NBFC, foreign investment up to 100 % is allowed.
  • An NBFC accompanies working in Financial Body and Money handling.


Also Read: Measures by RBI for Financial Stability


Coir Geotextiles in Road Constructions under PMGSY

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source: Press Information Bureau


GS Paper II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context: Under the third phase of PM Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) i.e., PMGSY-III, coir geotextiles are to be used for the construction of roads.

  • This was announced by the National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency under Union Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India.
  • The decision will give a big boost to the coir industry especially in these difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic.
coir geotextiles; 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary


Also Read: E-Gram Swaraj Portal: All you need to know


What you need to know about PMGSY new technology guidelines for use of coir geotextiles in road construction?

According to the PMGSY new technology guidelines for road construction, 15% length in each batch of proposals, is to be constructed using new technologies.

  • Out of this 5% roads are to be constructed using IRC accredited technology.
  • The IRC has now accredited coir Geo textiles for construction of rural roads.
  • As per these instructions, 5% length of the rural roads under PMGSY-III will be constructed using Coir Geo textiles.
  • Accordingly road will be constructed using coir geo textiles in following 7 states of the country namely,
    1. 164 km in Andhra Pradesh
    2. 151 km in Gujarat
    3. 71 km in Kerala
    4. 328 km in Maharashtra
    5. 470 km in Odisha
    6. 369 km in Tamil Nadu
    7. 121 km in Telengana.
  • Thus, 1674 km road will be constructed using Coir Geo textiles for which there will be a requirement of 1 Crore Sq. meter of coir Geo-textiles, estimated cost of which would come to Rs.70 Crore.


What you need to know about Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana?

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a nationwide plan in India to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages. This Centrally Sponsored Scheme was introduced in 2000 by the then-prime minister of India Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The PMGSY is under the authority of the Ministry of Rural Development and was begun on 25 December 2000. It is fully funded by the central government.

During November 2015, following the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, it was announced that the project will be funded by both the central government (60%) and states (40%).


Read More: THE KARNATAKA GRAM SWARAJ AND PANCHAYAT RAJ (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020


The aim was to provide roads to all villages

  • With a population of 1000 persons and above by 2003.
  • With a population of 500 persons and above by 2007.
  • In hill states, tribal and desert area villages with a population of 500 persons and above by 2003.
  • In hill states, tribal and desert area villages with a population of 250 persons and above by 2007.

Of 178,000 (1.7 lakh) habitations with a population of above 500 in the plains and above 250 in the hilly areas planned to be connected by all-weather roads, 82% were already connected by December 2017 and work-in-progress on the remaining 47,000 habitations was on-track for completion by March 2019.

The average speed of road construction under the PMGSY was 98.5 kilometers per day from 2004 to 2014, it rose to 130 km per day in by 2016-17.



Read More: Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)


PRELIMS Background Bites


What is Coir?

Coir or coconut fibre, is a natural fibre extracted from the outer husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes and mattresses. Coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut.

It has the advantage of not sinking, so can be used in long lengths on deep water without the added weight dragging down boats and buoys.

Coconut fibre (coir) is also using as a construction material because Fibres which are eco friendly, pollution free and do not adverse impact on the environment and its constituents are called natural fibres. If these material fibres are used in construction materials, it could save the bio-reserves.

Properties of Coconut Fibre

  • Coconut fibre has superior physical and chemical properties.
  • It is resistant to thermal conductivity, high toughness, ductility, durability and is renewable and is cheap.
  • Also it is capable of taking strain, four times more, than other fibres.
  • Hence coconut fibre can be a better alternative as construction materials.
  • It was observed in experimental study that with partial replacement of 2% CF with cement, the compressive strength is increased.

What are Coir Geotextiles?

  • Basically, Geotextiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain. Coir Geotextiles are permeable fabric, natural, strong, highly durable, resistant to rots, moulds and moisture, free from any microbial attacks.
  • Coir (coconut fiber) geotextiles are popular for erosion control, slope stabilization and bioengineering, due to the fabric’s substantial mechanical strength.
  • Geotextiles and related products have many applications and currently support many civil engineering applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, bank protection, coastal engineering and construction site silt fences or geotube.
  • Usually geotextiles are placed at the tension surface to strengthen the soil. Geotextiles can improve soil strength at a lower cost than conventional methods.

Also Read: Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)


Platform for detecting Carcinogenic compounds in food

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source | Press Information Bureau


GS Paper III: Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context: Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, has developed an electrochemical sensing platform for detecting carcinogenic or mutagenic compounds found in food.

Platform for Detecting Carcinogenic Compounds in Food; 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary


Read More: Ashwagandha against COVID-19


What you need to know about this platform for detection of carcinogenic compounds in food?

The study is for the detection of carcinogenic or mutagenic compound N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA) sometimes found in food items like cured meat, bacon, some cheese, and low-fat milk.

  • It was achieved by developing a modified electrode by immobilizing carbon nanomaterials (carbon dots) in DNA.
  • Most of the techniques used for detection of Nitrosamine have detection limits in μM. In this study published, the detection limit was determined to be 9.9×10−9 M and 9.6×10−9 M for NDMA and NDEA, respectively.

Working of the Platform

The electrochemical biosensor platform was developed using the ability of NDMA and NDEA, to alter the DNA. The Carbon dots (CDs), a carbon-based nanomaterial, was used, which is already established as a biocompatible and environmentally friendly material.

  • Naturally derived chitosan, (natural biopolymer obtained from the shells of shrimp, lobster, and crabs) is an environment-friendly sustainable material that was used to synthesize carbon dots.
  • As this is an electrochemical sensor, electrode was developed by depositing carbon dots (carbon nanoparticles) and then immobilizing bacterial DNA on them. This electrode system was used to measure the current peak.
  • Both NDMA and NDEA alters the chemical structure of DNA present in the electrode, making it more conducting, which ultimately results in the increased current peak.

Read More: 73rd World Health Assembly via Video Conference


What is the need of such a Platform?

  • According to the scientists, with changing food habits of urban Indians, they are exposed to harmful chemicals belonging to Nitrosamine family in cured meats, bacon, some cheese, low-fat dry milk, and fish.
  • Such chemicals include carcinogenic ones like NDMA and NDEA, which may also alter the chemical composition of our DNA.
  • Hence it is important to develop detection techniques to detect them.


Also Read: Parkinson’s Disease | Tool developed for deep study


PRELIMS Background Bites


DNA and Its Structure

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a molecule that contains the instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce. These instructions are found inside every cell, and are passed down from parents to their children.

  • DNA is made up of molecules called nucleotides.
  • Each nucleotide contains a phosphate group, a sugar group and a nitrogen base.
  • The four types of nitrogen bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C).
  • The order of these bases is what determines DNA’s instructions, or genetic code.
  • Human DNA has around 3 billion bases, and more than 99% of those bases are the same in all people.

DNA was first observed by a German biochemist named Frederich Miescher in 1869. It was not until 1953 that James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin figured out the structure of DNA — a double helix — which they realized could carry biological information.

Watson, Crick and Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1962 “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.”


Read More: Inactivated PiCoVacc Vaccine for COVID-19


9 Latest RBI Measures to Strengthen Economy in 2020

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source: Press Information Bureau


GS Paper III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced yet another set of nine measures to smoothen the flow of finance and preserve financial stability in the turbulent and uncertain times ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic.

rbi measures to strengthen economy in 2020; 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary


Read More: RBI’S COVID-19 ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE


Reduction in Repo Rate

The Governor has announced a reduction in major policy rates, in order to revive growth and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target. Following changes has been made by the RBI.

Policy RatesPrevious RatesNew Rates
Repo Rate4.4%4%
Marginal Standing Facility Rate4.65%4.25%
Bank Rate4.65%4.25%
Reverse Repo Rate3.75%3.35%
Major Policy Rate Changes announced by RBI as part of new measures

Key Highlights of 9 Latest RBI Measures to Strengthen Economy in 2020

These are the set of regulatory and developmental measures which will complement the reduction in the policy rate and also strengthen each other.

Measures related to the Improvement in the Functioning of Markets

1. Extension of the Refinance Facility to SIDBI for another 90 days
  • A special refinance facility of Rs. 15,000 crore to SIDBI at RBI’s policy repo rate for a period of 90 days was announced on April 17, 2020. It has now been extended for another 90 days to enable increased supply of affordable credit to small industries.
2. Relaxation of Rules for Foreign Portfolio Investment under Voluntary Retention Route
  • The Voluntary Retention Route is an investment window which is provided by RBI to Foreign Portfolio Investors, which provides easier rules in return for a commitment to make higher investments.
  • According to the rules at least 75% of the allotted investment limit be invested within three months.
  • Keeping in mind the difficulties being faced by investors and their custodians, the time limit has now been revised to six months.

Also Read: Measures by RBI for Financial Stability



Measures for supporting Exports and Imports

3. Increase in Maximum Limit of Availing Bank Loans for Exporters
  • The maximum permissible period of pre-shipment and post-shipment export credit sanctioned by banks to exporters has been increased from the existing 1 year to 15 months, for disbursements made up to July 31, 2020.
4. Facility of Loans to Exim Bank
  • A line of credit of Rs. 15,000 crore has been announced to the EXIM Bank, for financing, facilitating and promoting India’s foreign trade.
  • The loan facility has been given for a period of 90 days, with a provision to extend it by 1 year.
  • The loan is being given in order to enable the bank to meet its foreign currency resource requirements, especially in availing a US dollar swap facility.
5. Extension of the time required by Importers to Pay for Imports
  • The time period for import payments against normal imports (i.e. excluding import of gold/diamonds and precious stones/jewellery) into India has been extended from six months to twelve months from the date of shipment.
  • This will be applicable for imports made on or before July 31, 2020.

Measures Focused on Easing the Financial Stress

6. Regulatory Measures extended by another 3 months

The RBI has extended the applicability of certain regulatory measures which were announced earlier, by another three months from June 1, 2020 till August 31, 2020.

These measures will now be applicable for a total period of six months (i.e. from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020). The aforesaid regulatory measures are:

  • 3-month moratorium on term loan instalments;
  • 3-month deferment of interest on working capital facilities;
  • Easing of working capital financing requirements by reducing margins or reassessment of working capital cycle;
  • Exemption from being classified as ‘defaulter’ in supervisory reporting and reporting to credit information companies;
  • Extension of resolution timelines for stressed assets; and
  • Asset classification standstill by excluding the moratorium period of 3 months, etc. by lending institutions.


7. Conversion of Interest on Working Capital into Interest Term Loan
  • The lending institutions have been allowed to convert the accumulated interest on working capital facilities over the total deferment period of 6 months (i.e. March 1, 2020 up to August 31, 2020) into a funded interest term loan.
  • The loan is to be fully repaid during the course of the current financial year, ending March 31, 2021.
8. Increase Fund Flow to Corporates by Increasing Group Exposure Limit
  • The maximum credit which banks can extend to a particular corporate group has been increased from 25% to 30% of the bank’s eligible capital base.
  • This has been done in order to enable corporates to meet their funding requirements from banks, keeping in mind the current difficulties being faced by corporates in raising money from the markets.
  • The increased limit will be applicable up to June 30, 2021.

Measures to ease financial constraints faced by State Governments

9. States allowed to borrow more from Consolidated Sinking Fund
  • The Consolidated Sinking Fund is being maintained by state governments as a buffer for repayment of their liabilities.
  • The rules that governs the withdrawal from this Fund have now been relaxed, in order to enable states to enable them to repay their borrowings from the market, which become due in 2020-21.
  • The change in withdrawal norms will come into force with immediate effect and will remain valid till March 31, 2021.


Also Read: Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme | Govt eases norms


Ecologically Sensitive Areas of Western Ghats

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source | Press Information Bureau


GS Paper III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context: In a recent interaction between Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Chief Ministers of six states through a video conference, issues relating to notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to Western Ghats were discussed.

  • These six states include Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA); 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary


Read More: Scientists warns about Rise in Ocean Level by 2100


What are Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA)?

Eco-Sensitive Areas (ESAs) are the areas located within 10 kms around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. These are notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) under Environment Protection Act 1986.

  • The basic aim is to regulate certain activities around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries so as to minimise the negative impacts of such activities on the fragile ecosystem encompassing the protected areas.

How did Ecologically Sensitive Areas come up?

The government had constituted a High Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan in order to conserve and protect the biodiversity of Western Ghats while allowing for sustainable and inclusive development of the region.

As per of the recommendations by the Committee, few identified geographical areas falling in the six States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are to be declared as Ecologically Sensitive Areas.

  • The Committee recommended to bring just 37% of the Western Ghats under the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) zones — down from the 64% suggested by the Gadgil Committee report.

Also Read: New species of fishes in Western Ghats



What you should know about the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel or “Gadgil Committee”?

The Gadgil Committee headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil also known as the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) was set up by the government in 2011.

  • The committee recommended that all of the Western Ghats be declared as the Ecological Sensitive Areas (ESA) with only limited development allowed in graded zones.
  • The panel had classified the Western Ghats into Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) 1, 2 and 3 of which ESA-1 is high priority, almost all developmental activities (mining, thermal power plants etc) were restricted in it.
  • It specified that the system of governance of the environment should be a bottom to top approach (right from Gram sabhas) rather than a top to bottom approach.
  • It also recommended the constitution of a Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA), as a statutory authority under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, with the powers under Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • The report was criticized for being more environment-friendly and not in tune with the ground realities.

Read More: World’s Largest Cave Fish found in Meghalaya


Kasturirangan Commission

This Kasturirangan Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan sought to balance the development and environment protection in contrast to the system proposed by the Gadgil report. The committees major recommendations were:

  • Instead of the total area of Western Ghats, only 37% of the total area to be brought under ESA.
  • Complete ban on mining, quarrying and sand mining in ESA.
  • No thermal power projects to be allowed and hydropower projects be allowed only after detailed study.
  • Red industries i.e. which are highly polluting to be strictly banned.
  • Exclusion of inhabited regions and plantations from the purview of ESAs making it a pro farmer approach.

46th G-7 SUMMIT via Videoconferencing

22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary

Source | The Hindu


GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


Context: Recently, an announcement to host the 46th G7 summit in-person instead of remotely by videoconference was made by the US President Donald Trump.

  • The annual G7 summit was scheduled to be held on June 10 to June 12, 2020 in Camp David, United States.
46th G-7 Summit via videoconferencing; 22nd MAY 2020 CURRENT AFFAIRS+PIB Summary


Read More: Historic Travel Bubble amid COVID-19


What you need to know about Group of Seven (G-7)?

  • Group of Seven (G-7) is a bloc of industrialized democracies i.e. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada.
  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975.
  • The bloc meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
  • The G7 was known as the ‘G8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997.
  • The Group returned to being called G7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
  • The world’s biggest population and second-biggest economy, China has relatively low levels of wealth per head of population. Thus it is not considered as an advanced economy like other G7 members. Hence China is not a member of G7.

The G-7 Summits

  • Summits are held annually and hosted on a rotation basis by the group’s members.
  • The host country not only holds the G7 presidency but also sets the agenda for the year.
  • The groundwork for the Summit, including matters to be discussed and follow-up meetings, is done by the sherpas, who are generally personal representatives or members of diplomatic staff such as ambassadors.
  • The leaders of important international organizations like European Union, IMF, World Bank and the United Nations are also invited.

Read More: 73rd World Health Assembly via Video Conference



What are the Challenges and Concerns associated with G-7?

  • Internally the G7 has a number of disagreements, e.g. clash of the USA with other members over taxes on imports and action on climate change.
  • The organisation has also been criticised for not reflecting the current state of global politics or economics.
  • There are no G7 members from Africa, Latin America or the southern hemisphere.
  • It is also facing a challenge from fast-growing emerging economies, like India and Brazil are not members of the G7.

What is the India’s stand on G-7?

  • The India’s participation at the 45th summit in Biarritz, France, is a reflection of deepening strategic partnership and recognition of India as a major economic power.
  • While India has found it difficult to navigate diplomatically in the jurisdiction of European Union, a better relationship between India and European Union is emerging as a policy priority under G-7.
  • Further, the ability of India to safeguard its core sovereign concerns such as trade, Kashmir issue and India’s relations with Russia and Iran can be discussed with G7 members.
  • India raised issues on climate change and at meetings which signaled India’s growing willingness to lead on issues that are points of contention for countries like China and the USA.

Also Read: New Political Map of Nepal | All you need to Know


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