Daily Current Affairs : 6-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. LINKING AADHAR WITH EPIC

  2. THE FREEDOM IN THE WORLD REPORT, 2020

  3. VADHAVAN PORT, MAHARASHTRA

  4. FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT

  5. FARM INPUT SUBSIDY AT WTO


LINKING AADHAR WITH EPIC

  • Why in news? Law ministry while replying to an unstarred question has revealed that Election Commission has proposed linking of Aadhar with the Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC).


Highlights:

  • It seeks to ensure preparation of error free electoral roll and to prevent duplication of entries.

  • It will need amendment to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to enable linking the electoral roll data with the Aadhar system.

  • It will allow migrant labour and workers to vote even if they are away from their homes at the time of elections.


Source : Hindu


THE FREEDOM IN THE WORLD REPORT, 2020

Why in news?

  • India has become one of the world’s least free democracies, according to the report, which warned that “the Indian government’s alarming departures from democratic norms under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP could blur the values-based distinction between Beijing and New Delhi”


Highlights :

  • The Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India at the 83rd position, along with Timor-Leste and Senegal.

  • This is near the bottom of the pile among the countries categorised as “Free”, with only Tunisia receiving a lower score.

  • India’s score fell by four points to 71, the worst decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies this year.

  • The annulment of autonomy and the subsequent shutdown of Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, as well as the crackdown on mass protests have been listed as the main signs of declining freedom in the report

  • It is published by Freedom House, a U.S.-based watchdog, which has been tracking global political and civil liberties for almost half a century.

  • The report slammed the Internet blackout in Kashmir, terming it the longest shutdown ever imposed by a democracy. It said freedom of expression was under threat in India, with journalists, academics and others facing harassment and intimidation when addressing politically sensitive topics.📷

  • India scored 34 out of 40 points in the political rights category, but only 37 out of 60 in the civil liberties category

  • The report treats “Indian Kashmir” as a separate territory, which saw its total score drop precipitously from 49 to 28 this year, moving it from a status of “Partly Free” to “Not Free”.


Source : Hindu


VADHAVAN PORT, MAHARASHTRA

Why in news?

  • Government of India has accorded in-principle approval to develop port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra on landlord model by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) incorporated under Companies Act, 2013 with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as a lead Partner.


Highlights :

  • The project is proposed to be financed through a blend of equity and debt. The SPV will provide equity and raise debt from multilateral financial institutions.

  • The Project has been planned to be completed in two phases. First phase is planned to be ready for operation in five years, subject to necessary statutory clearances and investment approval.

Landlord model :

  • In the landlord port model, the publicly governed port authority acts as a regulatory body and as landlord while private companies carry out port operations—mainly cargo-handling activities.

  • The port authority maintains ownership of the port while the infrastructure is leased to private firms that provide and maintain their own superstructure and install own equipment to handle cargo.

  • In return, the landlord port gets a share of the revenue from the private entity.

  • The role of the landlord port authority would be to carry out all public sector services and operations such as the award of bids for cargo terminals and dredging.


Source : PIB


FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Why in news?

  • Scientists at International Advanced Research for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad, an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST) have developed Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells (PEMFC).


Highlights :

  • PEMFC, in its entireness, have an advantage of operational capability at low-temperatures with applications in decentralised power generation systems.

  • Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) backed with 10 kW system along with fuel cell stack (providing sustainable electricity using hydrogen gas without the need of grid power), air moving sub systems, power control devices and control and monitoring system is being planned as a natural disaster management measure.

  • EOCs respond immediately during an emergency situation with State-of-the-Art communication systems. This helps in providing immediate support during the Golden Hour of the disaster.


Source : PIB


FARM INPUT SUBSIDY AT WTO

Why in news?

  • India has said it will not accept any limits on subsidies on farm inputs such as seeds and fertilisers, at the on-going negotiations of the World Trade Organisation, to support low-income and resource-poor farmers as it was a livelihood issue.


Highlights :

  • WTO members are trying to reach an agreement to limit farm subsidies at the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan in June, but in a recent submission made by India’s representative, it was clarified that the country was not going to give up its flexibility of not capping its agriculture input subsidies.

  • Article 6.2 of the Agriculture Agreement allows developing countries additional flexibility in providing domestic support which includes input subsidies generally available to low-income or resource-poor producers.

  • Such input subsidies are not subjected to caps as other farm subsidies, like price and income support, which are all included in the Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) category that has limits (called de minimis entitlements) of 5 per cent of agriculture production for developed countries and 10 per cent for developing countries.


Source : Business line

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