19th August Current Affairs
August 25, 2021
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August 25, 2021
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20th August Current Affairs

China for adoption of cultural symbols, language in Tibet

(GS-II: India and its Neighborhood- Relations, Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

In News:

At a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, a top Chinese official said  that “all-round efforts” are needed to ensure Tibetans speak standard spoken and written Chinese and share the “cultural symbols and images of the Chinese nation.

China-Tibet issue:

  • Tibet is a region on the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, spanning about 2.4 million km2 – nearly a quarter of China’s territory.
  • It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres.
  • The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, rising 8,848m above sea level.
  • The People’s Republic of China asserts that Tibet has been a part of China since the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty
  • In 1951 Tibetan leaders were forced to sign a treaty dictated by China.
  • The treaty, known as the “Seventeen Point Agreement”, professes to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and to respect the Buddhist religion but also allows the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters at Lhasa (Tibet’s capital).
  • The Chinese government regards the Seventeen Point Agreement as a legal contract that was mutually welcomed by both governments and by the Tibetan people.
  • However, the Tibetan people – including the 14th Dalai Lama – consider it invalid and as having been signed under duress.
  • Tibet has been occupied and ruled over by China and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since 1951 in “a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities” according to the 14th Dalai Lama.
  • This has often been described by the Tibetan people as a cultural genocide (Goldstein, 1998).
  • Eight years of occupation and repression led to the Tibetan Uprising of 1959, in which Tibetans rebelled in an attempt to overthrow the Chinese government; instead, the uprising led to the fleeing of HH the Fourteenth Dalai Lama into India, where he has lived in exile ever since.
  • A few hundred Tibetans initially followed the 14th Dalai Lama into exile, and since then hundreds of thousands have followed

Loan scheme to be notified soon

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)

In News:

Delay in actualizing a loan guarantee scheme announced by the government in the aftermath of second wave of the pandemic in India


A Rs 60,000 crore loan guarantee scheme was announced by the government hit hardest by second wave of the Covid-19

This credit support was part of the Rupees 1.1 Lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors

Rupees 50,000 crore in this was earmarked for healthcare projects in non-metro cities and was approved by the Union Cabinet

For other sectors which were badly hit due to the pandemic (Ex: Tourism), a Rupees 60,000 crore loan guarantee scheme was promised with the interest on such loans capped at 8.25% as opposed to prevalent rates of 10-11%

Delay in actualizing the loan guarantee scheme is hurting the chances of survivability of the tourism sector which has been one of the worst affected sectors due to the pandemic

Business have also highlighted how lenders have not been processing their applications for loan restricting under the existing ‘Emergency Credit Line guarantee scheme’

About ‘Emergency Credit Line guarantee scheme’:

It was launched by government of India as a special scheme in view of the pandemic

The ECLGS aims to provide 100 percent guaranteed coverage to the banks, NBFCs and other lenders in order to enable them to extend emergency credit to businesses hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and struggling to meet their working capital requirements.

In November 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of ECLGS 2.0 by extending the Rs 3 lakh crore scheme to support 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector.

These sectors included power, construction, iron and steel manufacturing, roads, real estate, textiles, chemicals, consumer durables, non-ferrous metals, pharma manufacturing, logistics, gems and jewellery, cement, auto components, hotels-restaurants-tourism, mining, plastic product manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, auto dealerships, aviation, sugar, ports and port services, shipping, building materials, and corporate retail outlets.

US not interested in trade pact

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)

In News:

Recent comment by Minister of Commerce and Industry about the prospects of US-India bilateral free trade agreement being very bleak now

Other key highlights of the speech:

This is the first time the position of the new administration has been made official by both the government

Despite this, both the countries have resolved to step up effort to resolve trade issues between them

Some of the trade issues between the two countries include: non-tariff barriers, entering mutual recognition agreements, aligning of quality international standards

The minister also hoped a bilateral FTA would be signed with Bangladesh soon

He also expressed confidence that India would soon be signing ‘Early harvest deal’ with Australia soon

Similar treaty is expected to signed between UK, UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in due course of time

Key terminologies to be understood and remembered:

Free trade agreement:

A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.

Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.

The benefits of free trade were outlined for the first time in On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, published by economist David Ricardo in 1817.

According to the Asian Development Bank Institute, as of now, India has 42 trade agreements (including preferential agreements) either in effect or signed or under negotiation or proposed.

Early harvest deal: An early harvest deal is a precursor to a free trade agreement (FTA), in which trading partners reduce tariff barriers on limited goods to promote trade.

Tariff and non-tariff barriers:

Tariff barriers are the tax or duty imposed on the goods which are traded to/from abroad. On the contrary, non-tariff barriers are the obstacles to international trade, other than tariffs.

These are administrative measures implemented by the country’s government to discourage goods brought in from foreign countries and promote domestically produced items.

Tariff barriers is imposed through Taxes and Duties

Non-tariff barriers are imposed through Regulations, Conditions, Requirements, Formalities, etc.

Activists flay exemption to disability quota rule

(GS-II: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)

In News:

The Social Justice Ministry issued a notification saying that Section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 , which provides for 4% reservation in jobs for PwD in government establishments, would not apply to all categories of posts of IPS, the Indian Railway Protection Force Service and the police forces of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.


At the same time, the Ministry issued another notification making a distinction between combat and non-combat roles in the security forces.

The Ministry exempted all combat posts in the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Sashastra Seema Bal and the Assam Rifles from the non-discrimination and reservation provisions of the RPD Act.


The provisions of the Act did not intend to give blanket exemptions from hiring PwD, but to make sure that combat roles are not assigned to them.

There are many roles that PwD could fill within police forces and exempting all categories of roles is wrong, as per rights groups.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016:

  • It replaced the 1995 Act.
  • It brought Indian law in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.
  • Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  • The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.
  • Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time.
  • Acid Attack Victims have been included.
  • In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.
  • The appropriate governments have been given the responsibility to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
  • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
  • Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.
  • It provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.