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22nd January Current Affairs

NCAVES India Forum 2021

In News:

Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of the Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) India Forum-2021 is being organised by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).


India is one of the five countries taking part in this project – the other countries being Brazil, China, South Africa and Mexico.

The NCAVES Project:

The Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) project seeks to advance the theory and practice of environmental and ecosystem accounting in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

The project has been jointly implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).

It aims to assist the five participating partner countries, to advance the knowledge agenda on environmental-economic accounting, in particular ecosystem accounting.

The project will have a duration until the end of 2021.

Funding: The project is funded by the European Union through its Partnership Instrument (PI).


The objectives of the National Forum would be:

To present India’s achievements in the domain of Natural Capital Accounting (NCA);

To prioritize the emerging opportunities for NCA in India;

To familiarize stakeholders with the work undertaken by the different international agencies in the area of NCA; and

To provide a platform to selected Research Institutions to present their research conducted in the valuation of ecosystem services.

About NCAVES India Forum 2021:

In India, the NCAVES project is being implemented by the MoSPI with collaboration of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).

NCAVES India Forum 2021 is being organised in a virtual format.

Key Focus area:

The Forum aims to build a stronger awareness about the different perspective to Environment and to show a way forward towards realizing the contribution of the natural capital to achieve a “better environment, better tomorrow”.


The participation in the project has helped MOSPI commence the compilation of the Environment Accounts as per the UN-SEEA System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) framework.

The MOSPI has also released environmental accounts in its publication “EnviStats India” on an annual basis since 2018.

Several of these accounts are closely related to the social and economic attributes, making them a useful tool for the Policy.

China holds third South Asia multilateral meet

In News:

China has held its third multilateral dialogue with countries from South Asia to take forward closer cooperation on fighting COVID-19.


It also strive to coordinate their economic agendas, reflecting a new approach in Beijing’s outreach to the region.

Key points:

The third dialogue, held virtually on January 6, brought together every country in the region barring India, Bhutan and the Maldives.

It was aimed at “anti-epidemic cooperation and poverty reduction cooperation”.

South Asia multilateral meet:

All three dialogues have been attended by Pakistan and Nepal, which are emerging as two lynchpins in China’s regional strategy.

The first such meeting was convened by China in July, and was attended by Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.

The second meet was held in November by a five-member grouping attended by China, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The third and recent January 6 meeting was attended by all five countries that have taken part in these dialogues — Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

CPEC extension:

At the July quadrilateral dialogue with Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan, China’s Foreign Minister proposed extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan.

China discussed about taking forward an economic corridor plan with Nepal, called the Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network.

The four countries were “connected by mountains and rivers”, and china also offered to share China’s expertise and capacities on COVID-19 vaccines.

 Significance and implications of the meet:

The virtual meet seen as a bid to strengthen cooperation among the four nations in pandemic response and economic recovery.

The two virtual meets appear part of China’s growing engagement in the region, in the wake of the global pandemic.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

In News:

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court about the 2017 rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and said that there was a difference between seizure and confiscation of animals, while responding to a petition.

The Centre’s response came after last week the court had asked it to amend a rule in the Act pertaining to confiscation of animals before an accused is convicted under the legislation.

What’s the issue?

A plea was filed by Buffalo Traders Welfare Association, challenging the validity of the rules that allow authorities to seize vehicles used in cattle transportation and send the animals to shelters. The petition pointed out that the transporters, farmers and cattle traders were being threatened since the rules were notified.

What has the Centre said?

While seizure is temporary in nature and merely takes possession of property, confiscation amounts to transfer of ownership in the property and is supposed to be carried out only after final adjudication of the rights of the parties in a given case.


Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017:

Framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The Rules allow a Magistrate to forfeit the cattle of an owner facing trial under the Act.

The animals are then sent to infirmaries, animal shelters, etc.

The authorities can further give such animals for “adoption”.

Concerns expressed by traders:

The traders have claimed that they were being forcibly deprived of their cattle which is sent to Gaushalas.

These frequent lootings are also threatening the rule of law and generally emboldening groups of persons to take the law into their own hands.

Moreover, these incidents are acting as triggers for communal polarisation of society.

Way ahead:

If not halted effectively and immediately, will have disastrous consequences on the social fabric of the country

About the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960:

Seeks to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals”.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.

This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals. The Act defines animals and different forms of animals.

It provides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.