Weekly Current Affairs Prelims (28th November to 4th December, 2018)

India's first hyperspectral imaging satellite

Weekly Current Affairs Prelims (28th November to 4th December 2018)

 

Topic: Why Chinese researcher’s claim of gene editing of babies is problematic

Topic in Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Gene editing of babies is problematic

Why in news?

Recently Chinese researcher, He Jiankui of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, created an international sensation with his claim that he had altered the genes of a human embryo that eventually resulted in the birth of twin girls earlier this month.

 

More about on news:

  • it would be the first instance of human offspring having been produced with specific desired attributes, using newly-developed tools of gene “editing”.
  • In the case of the new-born Chinese babies, the genes were “edited” to ensure that they do not get infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to the claims.
  • Gene “editing” capabilities now exist with hundreds of researchers and laboratories across the world.
  • CRISPR technology that was used to “edit” genes in the Chinese case, have for long been calling for a “global pause” on clinical applications of the technology in human beings, till such time as internationally accepted protocols are developed.

 

Gene editing:

  • Genome editing (also called gene editing) is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA.
  • These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome
  • Genes contain the bio-information that defines any individual.

Gene editing

  • Physical attributes like height, skin or hair colour, more subtle features like intelligence or eyesight, susceptibility to certain diseases, and even behavioural traits can be attributed to information encoded in the genetic material.
  • An ability to alter this information gives scientists the power to control some of these features.
  • Gene “editing” — sometimes expressed in related, but not always equivalent, terms like genetic modification, genetic manipulation or genetic engineering — is not new, and is widely practiced in agriculture, to increase productivity or resistance to diseases, etc.
  • But even in agriculture, genetic modification is a subject of major debate, especially in developing countries, including India. Tampering with the genetic code in human beings is even more contentious.

How does gene editing work

 

CRISPR-Cas9 technology:

  • CRISPR (short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology is a relatively new, and the most efficient, tool for gene “editing” developed in the last one decade.
  • The technology replicates a natural defence mechanism in bacteria to fight virus attacks, using a special protein called Cas9.
  • CRISPR-Cas9 was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria.
  • The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays.
  • The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to “remember” the viruses (or closely related ones). If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses’ DNA.
  • The bacteria then use Cas9 or a similar enzyme to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus.
  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology behaves like a cut-and-paste mechanism on DNA strands that contain genetic information.

 

Applications and implications of CRISPR-Cas9 technology:

  • CRISPR-Cas9 has a lot of potential as a tool for treating a range of medical conditions that have a genetic component, including cancer, hepatitis B or even high cholesterol.
  • Many of the proposed applications involve editing the genomes of somatic? (Non-reproductive) cells but there has been a lot of interest in and debate about the potential to edit germline (Reproductive) cells.
  • Because any changes made in germline cells will be passed on from generation to generation it has important ethical implications.
  • Carrying out gene editing in germline cells is currently illegal in the UK and most other countries.
  • By contrast, the use of CRISPR-Cas9 and other gene editing technologies in somatic cells is uncontroversial. Indeed they have already been used to treat human disease on a small number of exceptional and/or life-threatening cases.

How CRISPR works

 

Issues:

  • The technology was used to solve a problem potential infection to HIV that already has alternative solutions and treatments. It was not necessary to tamper with the genetic material, which can have unintended, and as yet unknown, consequences.
  • The technology is extremely precise, but not 100% precise every time.
  • There is a possibility that some other genes also get targeted. In such scenarios, unintended impacts cannot be ruled out,”
  • Then there is this highly problematic issue of trying to produce “designer” babies or human beings.
  • The most promising use of the CRISPR technology is in treatment of diseases. For example, in sickle cell anaemia, a single gene mutation makes the blood sickle-shaped. This mutation can be reversed using gene editing technology.

 

Sample Question:

Which of the fowling statement is/are are correct with respect to CRISPR-Cas9 technology

  • The technology replicates a natural defence mechanism in bacteria to fight virus attacks, using a special protein called Cas9
  • The technology is extremely 100% precise every time.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a) 1 only

 


 

Topic: Logix India 2019’ to improve India’s logistics cost factor in global trade 

Logix India 2019

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Economy

 

Why in news?

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, launched the logo and brochure of Logix India 2019 in New Delhi.

 

More about on news:

  • Delegates of more than 20 countries are expected to participate in the upcoming Logistics Meet ‘Logix India 2019’, which will be held from January 31 to February 2, 2019, in New Delhi.
  • “India is now one of the fastest growing economies of the world, and is seeking superior logistics linkages with nations all over the world,” Commerce Minister said.
  • Government is preparing a comprehensive strategy for increasing exports and an Integrated Logistics Policy, which will benefit India’s economy by cutting cost and increasing the speed of cargo movement that will lead to massive job creation.

 

Logix India 2019:

  • Logix India will enable effective international trade logistics and help provide efficient and cost-effective flow of goods on which other commercial sectors depend.
  • The mega logistics event is being organized by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) as a major initiative to improvelogistics cost effectiveness and operational efficiencies for India’s global trade.
  • Over 20 countries are sending delegations to explore logistics partnerships with India and FIEO is focusing on logistical solutions for difficult to reach markets.
  • Over 100 international delegates are expected to attend Logix India 2019.
  • It will also focus on investment opportunities in infrastructure development, warehouse consolidation, technology integration and IT enablement andskilling of manpower at the three-day meet.

 

India’s logistics sector:

  • India ranked 44 in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index 2018.
  • As per the Economic Survey 2017-18, India’s logistics industry which is worth around USD 160 billion is likely to touch USD 215 billion in the next two years.
  • This sector provides employment to more than 22 million people and is expected to grow at the rate of 10.5 per cent over the next 5 years.
  • India’s Logistics sector is expected to grow to USD 360 billion by 2032 from the current USD 115 billion. Increasing globalization of Indian economy, along with renewed manufacturing vigour attributed to Make in India Campaign and growth of e-commerce business all forecast rapid growth in Indian logistics sector.

 

Need of the hour:

  • The need for integrated Logistics sector development has been felt for quite some time in view of the fact that the logistics cost in India is very high compared to developed countries.
  • Logistics is the backbone of EXIM trade and it also creates business opportunities and employment. In order to strengthen the logistic sector, the Ministry is working on an integrated logistics strategy.
  • Need for India to have more robust trade relations with countries in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, Middle East and ASEAN.

 

Sample Question:

Consider the followings

  1. Logix India will enable effective international trade logistics and help provide efficient and cost-effective flow of goods on which other commercial sectors depend.
  2. Logix India 2019 event is being organized by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)
  3. India ranked 55 in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index 2018.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below

a). 1 and 3 only

b). 2 and 3 only

c). 1 and 2 only

d). All of the above

Answer: c) 1 and 3 only

 


 

Topic: Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti

Topic in Syllabus: Security Issues

Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti

 

Why in news?

Recently Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has formally launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’.

 

More about on news:

  • The event showcased salient inventions and innovations achieved by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories (OFs) which have resulted in successful filing of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) applications.
  • A panel discussion was held with participation of Chairman and Managing Directors of all DPSUs to formulate a strategy for the future in this regard
  • The efforts of Department of Defence Production and Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) for focused efforts in spreading awareness about IPR, thus promoting a culture of innovation and creation of Intellectual Property.
  • India has always been a knowledge hub since ancient times, however, due to lack of awareness on modern legal framework for protection of IP rights, our knowledge and creativity have often not been utilized to its full potential.

 

Mission Raksha GyanShakti:

  • The Department of Defence Production has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha GyanShakti’.
  • It aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.
  • The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme.
  • The event brought out that the end objective of ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ is to inculcate IP culture in Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem.

 

Sample Question:

With respect to Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti, consider the following statements

  • Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti has been instituted by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) as a part of the ongoing initiatives to enhance self-reliance in defence.
  • It aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b) 2 only

 


 

Topic: Isro launches India’s first hyperspectral imaging satellite along with 30 foreign satellites

Topic in Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

India's first hyperspectral imaging satellite

Why in news?

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C43) on Thursday successfully launched 31 satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.

 

More about on news:

  • HysIS, the country’s first hyperspectral imaging satellite for advanced Earth observation, is slated for launch.
  • About 30 small satellites of foreign customers will be its co-passengers on the PSLV launcher, numbered C-43,
  • After separation, the two solar arrays of HysIS were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru gained control of the satellite.
  • The satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration in the next few days.
  • The space agency tested hyperspectral imaging technology twice a decade ago. In April 2008, a small 83-kg demonstration microsatellite called IMS-1 (Indian Mini Satellite-1) was launched as a secondary passenger with Cartosat-2A.
  • In October the same year, it put a HySI or Hyperspectral Imager on the first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 and used it to scan Moon’s surface for minerals.

 

Hyper-Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS):

  • HysIS is an earth observation satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg.
  • The mission life of the satellite is five years.
  • A hyper spectral imaging camera in space can provide well-defined images that can help to identify objects on Earth far more clearly than regular optical or remote sensing cameras,
  • HysIS will be ISRO’s first full-scale working satellite with this capability.
  • While the technology has been around, not many space agencies have working satellites with hyperspectral imaging cameras as yet.
  • HysIS had the company of one micro and 29 nano-satellites from eight countries, including Australia (1), Canada (1), Columbia (1), Finland (1), Malaysia (1), Netherlands (1), Spain (1) and USA (23).
  • These foreign satellites launched are part of commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited and customers.
  • The total weight of these satellites was about 261.50 kg.

PSLV-C43 successfully launches HysIS

 

Advantages:

  • The primary goal of HysIS is to study the earth’s surface in both the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Data from the satellite will be used for a wide range of applications including agriculture, forestry, soil/geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters, etc.
  • A hyperspectral imaging camera in space can provide well-defined images that can help to identify objects on Earth far more clearly than regular optical or remote sensing cameras.
  • The technology will be an added advantage of watching over India from space for a variety of purposes such as defence, agriculture, land use, minerals and so on.
  • While the ISRO coyly puts it down as another variety in remote sensing, knowledgeable sources have earlier conceded that it can be highly useful in marking out a suspect object or person and separate it from the background. This could aid in detecting transborder or other stealthy movements.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV):

  • PSLV is a four stage launch vehicle with a large solid rocket motor forming the first stage, an earth storable liquid stage as the second stage, a high performance solid rocket motor as third stage and a liquid stage with engines as fourth stage.
  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle of India.
  • It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • After its first successful launch in October 1994, PSLV emerged as the reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017.
  • During 1994-2017 period, the vehicle has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.
  • Besides, the vehicle successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 – that later traveled to Moon and Mars respectively.

 

Sample Question:

Which of the following statements are correct with respect to Hyper-Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS)

  1. HysIS is an earth observation satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg.
  2. The mission life of the satellite is seven years
  3. HysIS will be ISRO’s first full-scale working satellite with this capability.

Choose the correct answer from the above statements

a). 1 and 2 only

b). 1 only

c). 1 and 3 only

d). All of the above

Answer: c) 1 and 3 only

 


 

Topic: Union Home Minister launches Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for Himachal Pradesh

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Governance

Emergency Response Support System (ERSS)

 

Why in news?

Recently The Union Home Minister launched Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for Himachal Pradesh at Mandi.

 

More about on news:

  • ERSS was launched during the Formation Day of Nagaland and the inaugural day of Hornbill Festival 2018
  • Himachal Pradesh is the first state to launch pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS.
  • Citing the success of Himachal Pradesh in rolling out the ERSS project, minister requested other States and Union Territories to make all out efforts to commence rollout of their ERSS project.

 

Emergency Response Support System (ERSS):

  • With the launch of the emergency response support system, the residents of the state would not require to remember multiple helpline numbers.
  • Nagaland is the first amongst the North-Eastern States and the second State in India to launch Pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS.
  • The residents could dial ‘112’ or use panic button on their phones or ‘112 India’ mobile App to connect to a single number based emergency service, which will connect to police, fire, health and other helplines through an emergency response centre in the State.
  • The Emergency Response Vehicles fitted with mobile device terminals were also flagged off on the occasion.
  • The Union Government has allocated Rs 321.69 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund for the implementation of the ERSS project across the nation. Nagaland alone has been allocated Rs 4.88 crore for the project.
  • The ‘112 India’ mobile app will be subsequently rolled out in all states and union territories to help people across the country access the unified emergency services.
  • The Emergency Response Centre is capable of receiving emergency calls through voice call to 112, email, panic buttons activated calls and 112 India mobile App.
  • The 112 India mobile app includes a unique ‘SHOUT’ feature to ensure the safety of women.
  • The feature allows victims to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from contacting the Emergency Response Centre.

 

SHOUT feature:

  • The 112 India mobile app includes a unique ‘SHOUT’ feature to ensure the safety of women
  • As a special feature, to ensure safety of women, a unique ‘SHOUT’ feature has been introduced in 112 India mobile App.
  • This allows victims to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from contacting Emergency Response Centre.
  • The SHOUT feature is exclusively available to women.

 

Sample Question:

The 112 India mobile app includes a unique ‘SHOUT’ feature which will ensure safety for

a). Children

b). Aged persons

c). Cottage labours

d). Women

Answer: d)  

 


 

Topic: 8 States achieve 100% household electrification under Saubhagya total 15 States now have 100 % household electrification

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Economy – Infrastructure

 

Household electrification under Saubhagya

Why in news?

Recently the Power Minister announces that 8 States have achieved 100% saturation in household electrification under Saubhagya namely Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, J&K, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal.

 

More about on news:

  • Thus total 15 States in the countrynow have 100 % household electrification.
  • Many more State like Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc. are left with small number of un-electrified households and expected to achieve saturation any time
  • With the present pace of electrification, Nation is expected to achieve 100% saturation in the country by 31st December, 2018.
  • Achievement of 100% household electrification in the country would be a major milestone in the direction to achieve 24×7 power for all.
  • The Government is committed to ensure 24×7 access to electricity for all by 31st March 2019.”

 

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana “Saubhagya”

  • The Prime Minister launched a new scheme Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana –“Saubhagya” to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas
  • The total outlay of the project is Rs. 16, 320 crore while the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) is Rs. 12,320 crore.
  • The Government of India will provide largely funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs.
  • The States and Union Territories are required to complete the works of household electrification by the 31st of December 2018.
  • The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
  • However, un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.

 

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - Saubhagya

 

The expected outcome of the Scheme is as follows:

  • Environmental up gradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes
  • Improvement education services
  • Better health services
  • Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc.
  • Increased economic activities and jobs
  • Improved quality of life especially for women

 

Award Scheme under Saubhagya:

  • For creating healthy competition amongst various DISCOMs/Power Departments of States, an award scheme has been instituted with awards of more than Rs 300crore to be won by States/Discoms.
  • For the purpose of award, States have been divided into 3 categories and award would be given in each of these categories.
  • The States completing 100% household electrification by 31st Dec. 2018 will also receive additional grant of 15% of the project cost (5% for special category States) sanctioned under Saubhagya.

 

Sample Question:

Consider the followings with respect to Saubhagya – Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana.

  1. Under the scheme, government will provide free electricity to all households identified poor under Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data 2011.
  2. Under this scheme The BPL cardholders will get free electricity connections.
  3. The Central Government will provide largely funds for the Scheme to selected States/UTs.

Choose the correct answer from the above statements

a). 1 only

b). 1 and 2 only

c). 1 and 3 only

d). All of the above

Answer: b) 1 and 2 only

 


 

Topic: Country’s first owl festival in Pune from November 29

Topic in Syllabus: Ecology and Environment

Country’s first owl festival in Pune

 

 

Why in news?

The Indian Owl Festival, the country’s first owl fest, will be held at Pingori village in Purandar taluka of Pune from November 29.

 

More about on festival:

  • For the conservation of the owl birds which are in danger due to superstitions and misconceptions them, the rst ‘Uluk Mahotsav’ (owl festival) has been organized in Pingori in Purandar taluka
  • The two-day festival, organised by Ela Foundation, an NGO working towards nature education and conservation
  • festival will give information on owl conservation and feature art forms like pictures, paintings, lanterns, lamp shades, posters, origami, stitched articles, poems and stories on owls
  • Skits will be performed and short films on owls will also be screened.

 

Significance:

  • It is a first-of-its-kind festival in the country that is being organised with the intention of creating awareness about owl as a bird and debunking numerous superstitions associated with it.
  • It will be conducting exhibitions of art works sent to us by around 1,200 students, exhibition of owl photos from some of the leading owl photographers, sculptures, and rangolis all free of cost.

 

Importance of owls:

  • Of the 262 species of owls that are found in the world, 75 feature in the red data book — meaning they are threatened.
  • Major causes behind this are superstitions and habitat loss — both are man-made.
  • Despite lots of research being done on owls worldwide, conservation was not happening.
  • Owls eat rats, rodents, bandicoots, and mice. Most of the species that owls consume are harmful to agricultural croplands.
  • So these birds are actually very beneficial to farmers.

 

Owls in India:

  • According to a report published by Traffic India, a wildlife trade monitoring body, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2010.
  • According to report “owls were found to be consumed and traded for a wide variety of purposes, including black magic, street performances, taxidermy, private aviaries/zoos, and food and in folk medicines”.
  • Despite being protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, the report has found owls to be “highly prized and in demand for black magic purposes”.

 

Sample Question:

The India’s first owl fest will be held at

a). Bharatpur

b). NalSarovar

c). Ranganthittu

d). Pune

Answer: d) pune

 


 

Topic: India to Chair Kimberley Process from 1st January 2019

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs

India to Chair Kimberley Process

 

Why in news?

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018, was held in Brussels, Belgium, from 12th-16th November 2018.EU handed over the Chairmanship of KPCS to India from 1st January, 2019.

 

More about on news:

  • India was handed the Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) by the European Union during the KPCS Plenary 2018,
  • India as a KP Chair, from 01st January 2019, will be committed to make the KPCS a stronger process in terms of inclusiveness, strengthened administration and implementation.
  • India is sensitive to the issues and challenges of Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining (ASM) and acknowledged the contribution made by the KP members, observers and agencies for the upliftment of ASMs.
  • India, during its Chairmanship will continue with the tradition and aim to support the ASMs with capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation, differentiation between natural and lab grown diamonds, importance of legal and formal mining practices.
  • The 4-day Plenary also witnessed discussion on environmental challenges in diamond mining and industry responsibility.

 

India and KPCS:

  • India is the founding member of KPCS and is actively involved in KP activities to ensure that almost 99% of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free.
  • India is committed to maintain KP as an efficient and effective process in order to ensure the conflict diamond free status.
  • India is at the forefront in addressing the issue of differentiation between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds and ensure responsible business in this area.

 

Kimberley Process

  • The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is the process established in 2003
  • to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the mainstream rough diamond market by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/56 following recommendations in the Fowler Report.
  • The process was set up “to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
  • It has proven to be an effective multilateral tool for conflict prevention in stemming the flow of conflict diamonds.
  • It has also made a valuable developmental impact in improving the lives of most people dependent on the trade in diamonds.
  • The effectiveness of the process has been brought into question by organizations such as Global Witness, which pulled out of the scheme on 5 December 2011, claiming it has failed in its purpose and does not provide markets with assurance that the diamonds are not conflict diamonds.

 


 

Topic: G20 summit: India presents 9-point agenda on fugitive economic offenders

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs

G20 Summit India presents 9-point agenda

 

Why in news?

India recently presented a nine-point agenda to G20 member nations calling for strong and active cooperation among them to comprehensively deal with fugitive economic offenders.

 

More about on news:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the agenda in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems on Friday.
  • Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined, the agenda read.
  • “Principles of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC), especially related to ‘International Cooperation’ should be fully and effectively implemented,”
  • It said the G-20 forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.
  • India also advocated setting up of a common platform for sharing experiences and best practices including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance.
  • For the first time, India will host the annual G20 summit in 2022, coinciding with the country’s 75th anniversary of Independence.

 

9 Point Agenda:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed cooperation among G20 countries on issues related to the global economy, trade tensions, crude oil prices, terrorism, and fugitive economic offenders.
  • He highlighted the current challenges which the global economy face, the threat of increasing financial vulnerabilities mainly arising from the monetary policies of advanced economies and oil price volatility.
  • The prime minister talked about the escalating trade tensions and the collateral damage it causes to the least developed countries and other emerging economies, referring mainly to the ongoing US-China trade war.
  • The prime minster highlighted and stressed the price stability of crude oil because any instability in crude prices causes a lot of pressure, especially on domestic economies to adapt their economic policies because of price fluctuations.
  • Another important point which Modi highlighted was the need for carrying out reforms in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • PM stressed that reforming the WTO is very necessary to carry forward the dialogue on trade, in services and promoting the global value chain in the agricultural sector.
  • PM also stressed that it is time to fully implement and operationalise the various aspects of the 11-point agenda against terrorism which was issued last year as a part of the Hamburg Declaration.
  • He advocated strengthening of the United Nations’ counter-terrorism network and urged the BRICS and G20 nations to work unitedly towards that goal.

 

India on economic offenders

  • The prime minister also highlighted the issue of economic offenders and the need to bring them to justice. He received support from other BRICS leaders on the issue.
  • Presenting a nine-point action programme against fugitive economic offenders at the second session of the G20 Summit on Friday, Modi said there was a need for a joint effort by member countries to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to all fugitive economic offenders.
  • He suggested that the G20 forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.
  • “Cooperation in the legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined,” PM said.
  • PM added that the principles of UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC), especially related to international cooperation, should be fully and effectively implemented.
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should be tasked to formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders, Modi said in his nine-point agenda.
  • He added that the FATF should develop a set of commonly agreed and standardised procedures related to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with such offenders to guide and assist G20 countries, subject to their domestic law.

 

G-20:

  • G-20 is made up of 19 countries and the EU.
  • The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The other invited members are Chile, Netherlands, Spain and representatives of regional groups of Jamaica, Rwanda, Singapore and Senegal.
  • G-20 members represent 75% of international trade, half of foreign direct investment flows, half of foreign flows and 80% of global production.

 

Sample Question:

The G20 summit 2022 will be host by

a). Indonesia

b). Italy

c). India

d). Brazil

Answer: c)