22nd April Current Affairs
April 22, 2021
24th April Current Affairs
April 24, 2021
Show all

23rd April Current Affairs

NATO to exit Afghanistan along with U.S

In News:

NATO has announced that Foreign troops under NATO command will withdraw from Afghanistan in coordination with a U.S. pull-out by September 11.

Details:

After withdrawing, the U.S. and NATO aim to rely on Afghan military and police forces, which they have developed with billions of dollars in funding, to maintain security though peace talks are struggling and the insurgency is resilient.

Background:

September 11 is a highly symbolic date as it will be 20 years since al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. with hijacked airliners, triggering military intervention in Afghanistan.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance.
  • Established by Washington treaty.
  • Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
  • Headquarters of Allied Command Operations — Mons, Belgium.

Composition:

Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.

NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”

Objectives:

Political – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.

Military – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.

India’s public debt level among highest in emerging economies

In News:

As per Moody’s Investors Service, India’s public debt level is among the highest in emerging economies with a quantitative easing programme underway, while its debt affordability is among the weakest.

What is Public Debt?

Public debt is the total amount borrowed by the government of a country.

In the Indian context, public debt includes the total liabilities of the Union government that have to be paid from the Consolidated Fund of India. It excludes liabilities contracted against Public Account.

Sources of Public Debt:

  • Dated government securities or G-secs
  • Treasury Bills or T-bills
  • External Assistance
  • Short term borrowings

Public Debt definition by Union Government

The Union government describes those of its liabilities as public debt, which are contracted against the Consolidated Fund of India. This is as per Article 292 of the Constitution.

Types:

It is further classified into internal & external debt.

Internal debt is categorised into marketable and non-marketable securities.

Marketable government securities include G-secs and T-Bills issued through auction.

Non-marketable securities include intermediate treasury bills issued to state governments, special securities issued to national Small Savings Fund among others.

What is Debt-to-GDP ratio?

The debt-to-GDP ratio indicates how likely the country can pay off its debt. Investors often look at the debt-to-GDP metric to assess the government’s ability of finance its debt. Higher debt-to-GDP ratios have fuelled economic crises worldwide.

Is there an acceptable level of debt-to-GDP?

The NK Singh Committee on FRBM had envisaged a debt-to-GDP ratio of 40 per cent for the central government and 20 per cent for states aiming for a total of 60 per cent general government debt-to-GDP.

Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project

In News:

National Green Tribunal has allowed the Tamil Nadu government to proceed with the Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project and has dismissed an application seeking a stay on the project.

What’s the issue?

The application claimed that prior environmental clearance was not obtained before work for the project commenced.

It also alleged irregularity in the construction of the project and said the project was envisaged in total disregard of riparian rights of the delta farmers.

Also, since the project involved the interests of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, clearance from the Central government was required.

What has the NGT said?

The proposed irrigation area under the project was 4,238 acres of land, which was less than 2,000 hectares and as per the amended 2018 EIA Notification, the project fell under the category of minor irrigation systems that are expressly exempted from the requirement of environmental clearance.

Besides, the water received from Karnataka was only being regulated and that water from the Mettur dam was not being shared by any two States and was being utilised only for the benefit of Tamil Nadu. Hence, there was no necessity for obtaining permission from any other authorities.

About the Project:

Being implemented by Tamil Nadu Government.

The project is aimed at irrigating 4,200 acres of land in Edappadi, Omalur, Sankagiri and Mettur taluks, diverting surplus water from Mettur reservoir through 100 tanks, lakes and ponds.

Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project

In News:

National Green Tribunal has allowed the Tamil Nadu government to proceed with the Mettur-Sarabanga lift irrigation project and has dismissed an application seeking a stay on the project.

What’s the issue?

The application claimed that prior environmental clearance was not obtained before work for the project commenced.

It also alleged irregularity in the construction of the project and said the project was envisaged in total disregard of riparian rights of the delta farmers.

Also, since the project involved the interests of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, clearance from the Central government was required.

What has the NGT said?

The proposed irrigation area under the project was 4,238 acres of land, which was less than 2,000 hectares and as per the amended 2018 EIA Notification, the project fell under the category of minor irrigation systems that are expressly exempted from the requirement of environmental clearance.

Besides, the water received from Karnataka was only being regulated and that water from the Mettur dam was not being shared by any two States and was being utilised only for the benefit of Tamil Nadu. Hence, there was no necessity for obtaining permission from any other authorities.

About the Project:

Being implemented by Tamil Nadu Government.

The project is aimed at irrigating 4,200 acres of land in Edappadi, Omalur, Sankagiri and Mettur taluks, diverting surplus water from Mettur reservoir through 100 tanks, lakes and ponds.