New Incidents change dynamics of India-China Border
India has recently increased its patrolling in the Line of Actual Control. This in turn increased bolstering of Chinese troops in the Aksai Chin Region.
Since May 2020, India has been entering China occupied region. India has recently constructed defence facilities across the border in the Galwan Valley region. This is the main reason behind the recent India-China border issue being rising up.
Following this, on May 5, 2020, Indian and Chinese army clashed in the Pangong Tso Lake Area in Ladakh. There was similar face-off near Naku La Pass in North Sikkim after four days of the clash.
These incidents have led to the increased army presence of both the countries in the border.
What is the issue?
Both India and China claim the regions of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. The military clashes are occurring as the countries have not come to conclusion in demarcating the boundary.
India demands for two lines in the border. A line that Chinese do not cross and another line that India will not cross.
China demands for a comprehensive code of conduct for the forces of both the countries. India is reluctant to accept the code of conduct as the proposal limits modernization of Indian military. It will also enable China to preserve to military advantage of Tibet.
The above mismatches are the main reasons for the countries being not able to come to conclusion over the border.
Why are Indian Actions being called illegal?
The Indian patrolling along the border is being called illegal. This is mainly because according to 2013 Border Defence Cooperation Agreement that was signed by India and China, “Patrols shall not be allowed on other sides where there is no common understanding”.
Exploration underneath Assam National Park receives Environmental Clearance
The major exploration by the Oil India Limited beneath the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park of Assam received environmental clearance. There were concerns that the project would affect the flora and fauna in the region. The park is the only region in India that supports feral horses.
The Oil India Limited (OIL) has received environmental clearance from MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) to extend drilling and testing of hydrocarbons.
The OIL is to implement extended reach drilling technology for which the company had obtained permission in 2016.
The company will down carry out hydrocarbon exploration 1.5 km outside the demarcated area of the park. The company has been performing explorations in the region for more than 15 years.
The Feral horse is not a true wild horse. The only true wild horse that exists today is the Przewalski’s horse, that are native to Central Asia. The Prezewalski horse was first classified as extinct by the IUCN red list. Later, they were reclassified as critically endangered in 2008 and endangered in 2011.
Australia has the largest population of feral horses in the world.
Extended Reach Drilling:
The Extended Reach Drilling Technology is directional drilling beneath the earth. The technology aims to reach larger area and longer distances. It is done to maximize productivity and drainage capability.
May 21: International Tea Day
Every year, on May 21, the United Nations observes International Tea Day. The resolution to celebrate International Tea Day was adopted in 2019 by the United Nations food and Agriculture Organization.
The International Tea Day is being celebrated since 2005 in major tea producing countries of the world namely Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, Malaysia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. It aims to draw the attention of citizens, governments about the impact of global tea trade.
The main goal of the day is to promote sustainable production of tea and increase awareness in fighting poverty and hunger.
Intergovernmental Group on Tea:
The Intergovernmental Group of Tea operating under Food and Agriculture Organization proposed the concept of International Tea Day in 2015.
Sustainable Development Goals:
The tea production helps to achieve the following goals
Goal 1: Reduce Poverty
Goal 2: Fight Hunger
Goal 5: Empowerment of Women
Goal 15: Sustainable use of Terrestrial Ecosystems
Tea Production is sensitive to climate changes. Tea can be produced only in agro-ecological conditions. There are very limited countries that produce tea.
Therefore, the tea producing countries must integrate the climate challenges along with their tea production. This is the main objective of celebrating International Tea Day.
India is the second largest tea producing country after China. Also, India is the largest consumer of tea in the world. India consumes around 30% of global tea output.
The International Tea Day is celebrated on the motto, “Harnessing Benefits for all From Field to Cup”. This is not the theme of the day. This is the motto under which the day is celebrated every year.
India: The Second Largest Manufacturer of PPE in the world
India became the second largest producer of Personal Protective Equipment in the world. China is the leading producer of PPE in the world.
The Ministry of Textiles has been taking several measures to maintain the quality of PPE alongside manufacturing.
Initially India faced several challenges in increasing quality PPE products. This includes importing machines from China and also increasing prices. Apart from these, there were delay in imports and non-availability of domestic manufacturers.
The above reasons made India turn indigenous in PPE production. This increased the production of PPE.
It is to be noted that the Textiles Committee recently launched the Synthetic Blood Penetration Testing Equipment. This will help increase PPE testing potential of the country.
Potential of India:
India is now producing 2.06 lakh PPE kits every day. This is the maximum capacity of the country. On an average, India produces 1 lakh kits. A PPE kit consists of shoe cover, gloves, eye shield, mask and gown. The data was provided by the Ministry of Health.
In January 2020, India had 2.75 lakh PPE kits and they were then being imported. Today India has more than 15.96 lakh PPE kits as stock buffer.
GoI amends General Financial Rules
The Government of India amended General Financial Rules to make sure the goods and services that are of value less than Rs 200 crores are procured from domestic firms.
The GFR 2017 (General Financial Rules) have been amended by the Central Government. Under the new amendment, global tenders henceforth will be disallowed in government procurement that are of value Rs 200 crores. This was announced in Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
General Financial Rules:
The GFR are set of rules that deal with matters that involve public finances. They were first issued in 1947 bringing together all the existing orders. They are instructions that pertain to financial matters.
The GFRs were modified in 1963 and 2005.
The GFR 2017 was revised in 2017 to make sure an organization manages its business without compromising its flexibility.
Tendering is a process where bids for a project are accepted. Now, global tendering is tenders from foreign countries or through foreign investment. “Disallowing Global Tenders” is stopping foreign investments to a particular threshold to boost indigenous companies.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana: Coir Geo Textiles approved for rural road construction
Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the Coir Geo Textiles are to be used in rural road development. This is to be done by the National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency.
They are made of coir and last up to 3 to 5 years. The coir geotextiles degrades into humus. This enriches the soil.
Geo Textiles are permeable fabrics that have the ability to filter, separate, reinforce, drain and protect. They are made from polypropylene.
Geotextiles are used to protect fossil foot prints. In combination with steel wire fencing the geotextiles can contain explosive debris in building demolition. They help to strengthen soil at lower cost. Geo textiles are used to secure slopes.
Their main applications are in the civil engineering industry. They are used in airfields, embankments, reservoirs, canals, dams, silt fences, etc. They have widened uses in erosion control, especially in hill slopes.
Geo textile sand bags are also used in forming artificial reefs.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana III:
The Phase III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was launched in December 2019. It focuses on consolidation of 1,25,000 km of routes. It mainly includes major rural links. The aim is to connect the Gramin Agricultural markets, hospitals and higher secondary schools.