12th Feb Current Affairs
February 12, 2021
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February 15, 2021
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13th Feb Current Affairs

Iran rules out changes to Nuclear Deal

In News:

The election of Joe Biden, who supports a US return to the agreement, has spurred some expectations of renewed diplomacy.

But Rouhani’s refusal puts this possibility at the end.

The United States since 1979 has applied various economic, trades, scientific and military sanctions against Iran. U.S. economic sanctions are administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Iranian Nuclear Agreement:

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is a landmark accord reached between Iran and several world powers, including the US, in July 2015.

Under its terms, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections in exchange for billions of dollars’ worth of sanctions relief.

What were the goals of JCPOA?

The P5+1 wanted to unwind Iran’s nuclear program to the point that if Tehran decided to pursue a nuclear weapon, it would take at least one year, giving world powers time to respond.

Heading into the JCPOA negotiations, U.S. intelligence officials estimated that, in the absence of an agreement, Iran could produce enough nuclear material for a weapon in a few months.

Who are the participants?

The JCPOA, which went into effect in January 2016, imposes restrictions on Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program.

At the heart of negotiations with Iran were the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) and Germanycollectively known as the P5+1.

The European Union also took part.

Prior to the JCPOA, the P5+1 had been negotiating with Iran for years, offering its government various incentives to halt uranium enrichment.

Disruptions after trump:

The deal has been in jeopardy since President Donald J. Trump withdrew the US from it in 2018.

In response to the U.S. departure, as well as to deadly attacks on prominent Iranians in 2020, including one by the United States, Iran has resumed some of its nuclear activities.

Why isn’t the deal yet enforced?

In April 2020, the United States announced its intention to keep back sanctions.

The other P5 members objected to the move, saying the US could not unilaterally implement the mechanism because it left the nuclear deal in 2018.

Meanwhile, the wide range of U.S. sanctions unrelated to the nuclear program has added to the damage.

Iran’s current nuclear activity:

Iran since Trump’s decisions started exceeding agreed-upon limits to its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

It began enriching uranium to higher concentrations (though still far short of the purity required for weapons).

It also began developing new centrifuges to accelerate uranium enrichment; resuming heavy water production at its Arak facility.

One District One Product Scheme

In News:

To support the production of horticultural items under the “One District One Product (ODOP)” scheme and provide better nutrition to school children, the Uttar Pradesh government may introduce Sunahri Kand, also known as orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, in the hot-cooked food scheme of Anganwadis and the mid-day meal scheme in primary schools.

Background:

Under the initial phase of the ODOP programme, 106 Products have been identified from 103 districts across 27 States.

State Export Promotion Committee (SPEC) and District Export Promotion Committee (DEPC) have been constituted in all states and districts of India, except districts of the state of West Bengal.

About the Scheme:

First started by the Uttar Pradesh government.

ODOP is aimed at giving a major push to traditional industries synonymous with the respective districts of the state.

The objective of the ODOP is to optimise production, productivity and income, preservation and development of local crafts, promotion of art, improvement in product quality and skill development.

Background:

ODOP is basically a Japanese business development concept, which gained prominence in 1979. It is aimed at promoting a competitive and staple product from a specific area to push sales and improve the standard of living of the local population. Over time, it has been replicated in other Asian countries as well.

The main objectives of the One District One Product Scheme of Uttar Pradesh are as follows:

  • Preservation and development of local crafts / skills and promotion of the art.
  • Increase in the incomes and local employment (resulting in decline in migration for employment).
  • Improvement in product quality and skill development.
  • Transforming the products in an artistic way (through packaging, branding).
  • To connect the production with tourism (Live demo and sales outlet – gifts and souvenir).
  • To resolve the issues of economic difference and regional imbalance.
  • To take the concept of ODOP to national and international level after successful implementation at State level.

Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

In News:

Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has decided that in cases where the employer has shown “Zero” contribution in respect of an employee for some months before exiting him from the system, the relief under ABVKY for such period of “Zero” contribution, shall also be allowed.

What’s the issue?

It was brought to the notice of ESIC that in some cases employers have struck off their employees from the rolls few months after actually terminating them from service.

During this period, ESI contribution was also not filed by the employers for these employees in the system.

As the relief under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana is available only in case of unemployment of the Insured Persons, such employees though terminated from service became ineligible for relief under this scheme.

About the scheme:

  • It is a welfare measure being implemented by the Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation.
  • It offers cash compensation to insured persons when they are rendered unemployed.
  • The Scheme was introduced in 2018.

In 2020, eligibility criteria for availing the relief were relaxed, as under:

The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50% of average of wages from earlier 25% of average wages payable upto maximum 90 days of unemployment.

Instead of the relief becoming payable 90 days after unemployment, it shall become due for payment after 30 days.

The Insured Person can submit the claim directly to ESIC Branch Office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment shall be made directly in the bank account of IP.

The Insured Person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her unemployment and should have contributed for not les than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum 78 days in one of the remaining 3 contribution periods in 02 years prior to unemployment.