12th March Current Affairs
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March 15, 2021
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13th March Current Affairs

Minimum selling price for sugar

In News:

The Indian Sugar Mills’ Association (ISMA) has asked the government to raise the minimum selling price for sugar to ₹34.50 a kg.

Sugar Pricing Policy:

Price of sugar are market driven & depends on demand & supply of sugar. However, with a view to protect the interests of farmers, concept of Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of sugar was introduced in 2018 so that industry may get atleast the minimum cost of production of sugar, so as to enable them to clear cane price dues of farmers.

In exercise of the powers conferred under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, Government has notified Sugar Price (Control) Order, 2018.

Under the provisions of said order, Government will fix the Minimum Selling Price (MSP).

MSP of sugar has been fixed taking into account the components of Fair & Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane and minimum conversion cost of the most efficient mills.


The Federal/Central Government announces Fair and Remunerative Prices which are determined on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and are announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which is chaired by Prime Minister.

Anti-dumping Duty

In News:

The U.S. Department of Commerce is preparing to tax aluminium sheet exporters from 18 countries including India after determining that they had benefited from subsidies and dumping.


The US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent body, must approve the final decision by April 15 to impose anti-dumping or countervailing duties.

What is Dumping?

In international trade practise, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.

Dumping impacts the price of that product in the importing country, hitting margins and profits of local manufacturing firms.

What is anti-dumping duty?

Anti-dumping duty is imposed to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect.

According to global trade norms, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime, a country is allowed to impose tariffs on such dumped products to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers.

How is it different from CVD?

Anti-dumping duty is different from countervailing duty. The latter is imposed in order to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers.

Countervailing Duties (CVDs) are tariffs levied on imported goods to offset subsidies made to producers of these goods in the exporting country.

CVDs are meant to level the playing field between domestic producers of a product and foreign producers of the same product who can afford to sell it at a lower price because of the subsidy they receive from their government.

HC punishes two Collectors for contempt

In News:

The Sircilla collector and his two subordinates were sentenced to three months’ jail by the Telangana high court for wilful violation of the court’s order in a contempt case.


The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 2,000 and directed the convicted officials to pay Rs 10,000 towards legal costs to each of the 11 farmers who moved the court against the errant officials.

What’s the issue?

Petitioners said land and houses were taken over by the state for constructing Ananthagiri reservoir as part of its Kaleswaram irrigation project.

They were dispossessed from their fields without awarding compensation and rehabilitation as laid down under the land acquisition Act, 2013.

Upon completion of the construction of the reservoir, water was released from it resulting in the submergence of their fields and houses.

El Salvador becomes first central American country to be declared malaria-free

In News:

El Salvador has become the first country in central America and the third in all Americas to get the malaria-free certificate from the World Health Organization (WHO) in recent years.


Malaria elimination certificate is awarded to a country when the chain of indigenous transmission of the disease has been disrupted nationwide for at least three consecutive years.

The only other countries in the WHO Regions of Americas to have eliminated malaria in recent years are Paraguay (2018) and Argentina (2019).

High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) initiative:

Initiated by WHO in 11 high malaria burden countries, including India.

In India, Implementation has been started in four states i.e. West Bengal and Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

About Malaria:

Caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.

Spread: Female Anopheles mosquitoes deposit parasite sporozoites into the skin of a human host.

Four kinds of malaria parasites infect humans:

Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. In addition, P. knowlesi, a type of malaria that naturally infects macaques in Southeast Asia, also infects humans, causing malaria that is transmitted from animal to human (“zoonotic” malaria).

Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) initiative:

Among states, Odisha’s Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN)initiative is significant.

The initiative aims to deliver services to the most inaccessible and hardest hit people of the State. The initiative has in-built innovative strategies to combat asymptomatic malaria.

The programme is jointly implemented by Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR-NIMR), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Odisha and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

India reaffirms Lanka defence ties

In News:

With the participation of the Indian Air Force Chief and 23 aircraft in the three-day event in Colombo to mark the 70th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), India sought to reaffirm its strong defence cooperation with Sri Lanka.


The last time Indian aircraft took part in such an event was in 2001, on the occasion of the SLAF’s 50th year.

India Lanka Defence ties- a historical background:

During Sri Lanka’s over three decade-civil war, India has played a crucial role, politically and at times, using its military.

The controversial Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was present in Sri Lanka.

India also launched ‘Operation Poomalai’ of 1987 — when the Indian Air Force dropped food supplies in Jaffna.

In Sri Lanka’s post-war era, Indo-Lanka military partnership has focused mostly on training and capacity building. About 1,200 Sri Lankan military personnel are trained in India every year.

In 2020, Indian Navy and Coast Guard personnel helped the Sri Lankan Navy in a crucial fire-fighting operation, when an oil tanker went up in flames, off the island’s east coast.

Geopolitical Significance of Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka’s location in the Indian Ocean region as an island State has been of strategic geopolitical relevance to several major powers.

Some examples that highlight Western interests in Sri Lanka’s strategic location are the British Defence and External Affairs Agreement of 1948, and the Maritime Agreement with USSR of 1962.

Post 2015, Sri Lanka still relies heavily on China for Port city project and for continuation of Chinese funded infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.

China’s string of pearl’s strategy is aimed at encircling India to establish dominance in the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka’s location can serve both commercial and industrial purposes and be used as a military base.

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port is the 25th busiest container port in the world and the natural deep water harbor at Trincomalee is the fifth largest natural harbour in the world.

Port city of Trincomalee was the main base for Eastern Fleet and British Royal Navy during the Second World War.