6, December 2016

1.Impact of India’s INDC Commitment

Source: PIB

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) is comprehensive and balanced, incorporating all its development priorities.

  • India’s contribution takes into account its commitment to conservation of nature, along with development challenges like poverty eradication, food security, universal access to education, health and energy etc.
  • India’s NDC allows Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow, while reducing the emissions.

Paris agreement:

    • Under the Paris Agreement, the developed countries have committed to mobilise US $100 billion per year and agreed to enhance it by 2025 beyond US $100 billion per year.
    • Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention.

 

  • India is an eligible country for accessing GCF.

 

National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change:

Government of India has established the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) with a budget provision of Rs 350 crore for 2015-16 and 2016-17 to assist States and Union Territories to undertake projects and actions for adaptation to climate change. Rs. 182.27 crore has been released for 18 projects for sectors including agriculture and animal husbandry, water resources, coastal areas, biodiversity and ecosystem services.

2.Konkan 16

Source: PIB

  • KONKAN 16 is the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy. It is being held at Mumbai and Goa.
  • Exercise KONKAN, named after the Western coastal region of India, was institutionalised in 2004. Since then, the exercise hosted in rotation by both the Navies, has grown in complexity, scale and intensity.
  • The exercise will involve sharing of best practices and lessons learnt from recent operations, especially in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
  • KONKAN 16 will be an important chapter in the maritime interactions under the aegis of KONKAN series as it will familiarise both forces with each other’s planning processes and further enhance synergy and inter-operability.

3.India crosses $300 billion milestone

source: Indian Express

India has received over US $300 billion US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) milestone between April 2000 and September 2016.

The cumulative FDI inflows during the period amounted to US $310.26 billion. With this, India firmly established its credentials as a safe investment destination in the world.

Key facts:

  • 33% of the FDI came through the Mauritius route. India received US $101.76 billion dollar from Mauritius between April 2000 and September 2016.
  • Top Destinations: Mauritius route is preferred by investors because they wanted to take advantage of India’s double taxation avoidance treaty (DTAA) with the island nation.
  • Besides Mauritius, other big investors have been from Singapore, US, UK and the Netherlands.
  • Sector wise: India’s services sector received maximum 18% of the cumulative equity FDI inflows. It was followed by construction development, computer software & hardware, telecommunication and automobile.
  • Liberalisation of the FDI policy framework supplemented by major national development programmes such as Make in India, Skill India and Digital India besides increasing competitiveness, have made India the preferred choice for investors globally.

FDI status:

  • According to the World Investment Report 2016 released by UNCTAD, global FDI flows rose by 38% to $ 1.76 trillion.
  • It is the highest level since the global economic and financial crisis began in 2008.  However, it still remains some 10% short of the 2007 peak.
  • The FDI flows in 2016 are expected to decline by 10-15%, reflecting fragility of global economy, persistent weakness of aggregate demand, effective policy measures to curb tax inversion deals.
  • Besides, elevated geopolitical risks and regional tensions may further amplify the expected downturn of FDI flows.

4.Amazon launches global startup program ‘Launchpad’ in India

  • E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its global startup program ‘Launchpad’ in India. The program will enable Indian startups to sell their products overseas.
  • In this regard, Amazon India has tied up with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)’s Start Up India and NASSCOM.
  • Amazon also has partnered with NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups and Indian Angel Network (IAN) along with NITI Aayog, Governments of Maharashtra, Telangana and TiE to help roll in startups.
  • India is the seventh country where Launchpad has started. Other countries include the US, Germany, China, France and UK, among others.

5.Proposal to amend law for cashless wage payments

Source: The Hindu

  • The Centre has proposed amending a law to empower States and allow industries to pay wages by cheque or by direct credit into bank accounts.
  • In this regard, the Union Labour ministry has proposed changes to the Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act of 1936.
  • The proposal states that State governments may specify the industry through official notifications where the payment of wages shall be made through cheques or direct credit in bank accounts.

The present law states that all payment of wages should be made in cash, with a provision enabling employers to obtain written permission of the worker to pay either by cheque, or by crediting the wages to his or her bank account.

Significance:

One of the reasons for the ineffective enforcement of payments of wages to workers is the payment of wages in cash. So, the payment of wages only through cheque or through bank transfer in the bank account of employed persons will reduce the complaints regarding non-payment or less payment of minimum wages, besides serving the objectives of digital and less cash economy.

6.Panel suggests one-time licensing for drugs

  • The drugs technical advisory board recently recommended one-time licensing for manufacture and sales of drugs, with a rider that there be at least one annual inspection and in cases where risk is high, more.
  • At present, the renewal of licences for each formulation rests with state regulators and is around three years.
  • The board has also asked for separate rules for manufacturing, import, sale and distribution of cosmetics. It has suggested the European Union’s model.
  • It has proposed making influenza drugs Oseltamivir and Zanamvir available widely at all pharmacies, by putting it in the Schedule H1 list. The two drugs have been treated as Schedule X drugs, available at select pharmacies.
  • Another recommendation is to retain the four-year approval threshold for ‘new drugs’. The domestic industry felt if the definition of a new drug is extended to 10 years, innovation will take a back seat and wanting the four-year period to be retained.

Significance:

It will help in ‘ease of doing business’ and the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative at a time when the country is slipping in the competitiveness index. It will give a boost to industry and give comfort to our customers.

7.NIDHI Aapke Nikat programme

Source: PIB

  • Nidhi Aapke Niakat is a public outreach programme. It is held on the 10th of every month in all the 122 field offices of Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and is presided over by the officer-in-charge.
  • It is an endeavour by the Organization to bring together all its different stakeholders on a common platform.
  • The various new initiatives in the interest of employees/employers taken by the Organization are explained during the programme.
  • It encourages employees and employers to give their suggestions and feedback regarding the different issues affecting the Organization besides redressing grievances.
  • Approximately 17,000 grievances were received by EPFO since its inception in July, 2015. Efforts are to resolve these grievances on the spot itself. Out of the total grievances, as on date, only 268 grievances are pending.
  • Nidhi Aapke Nikat not only adopts participatory and broad-based approach in dealing with its stakeholders, but also disseminates information regarding the new initiatives taken in their interest. Such measures shall, in due course, bring about greater public awareness of the rights and responsibilities of all the stakeholders and will in turn, check the number of grievances.


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