Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI)
In a move to counter China’s dominance of supply chain in the Indo-Pacific region, trade ministers of India, Japan and Australia have formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI).
What is it?
The SCRI aims to create a virtuous cycle of enhancing supply chain resilience with a view to eventually attaining strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the region.
Initially, SCRI will focus on sharing best practices on supply chain resilience and holding investment promotion events and buyer-seller matching events to provide opportunities for stakeholders to explore the possibility of diversification of their supply chains.
Possible policy measures under the initiative may include:
(i) supporting the enhanced utilization of digital technology.
(ii) supporting trade and investment diversification.
The SCRI aims to reduce dependence on China amid a likelihood of rechurning of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
It seeks to build upon the existing bilateral frameworks like the Asean-Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan and India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership and attract foreign direct investment in the region.
Report on trends in global military expenditure
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its report on trends in global military expenditure in 2020.
The five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The world’s top military spenders saw their military spending go up compared to 2019, even during a pandemic year.
The US spent a total of $778 billion, China spent $252 billion and India’s military expenditure was $72.9 billion.
In total, the global military expenditure rose to $1981 billion last year, an increase of 2.6 per cent in real terms from 2019.
The Sweden-based SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
It was established in 1966 on the basis of a decision by the Swedish Parliament and receives a substantial part of its funding in the form of an annual grant from the Swedish Government.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday that Israel is committing the crime of “apartheid” by seeking to maintain Jewish “domination” over Palestinians and its own Arab population.
It pointed to measures, including movement restrictions, land confiscation, forcible population transfer, denial of residency rights and suspension of civil rights.
The report finds that the Israeli government is the “single authority” with control “over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea”.
What has the Israel said?
Currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes, Israel blasted HRW’s accusations as “preposterous and false”, accusing it of having “a long-standing anti-Israeli agenda”.
About Human Rights Watch:
Founded in 1978, it is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.
The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, and the group often works on behalf of refugees, children, migrants, and political prisoners.
Headquartered in New York.
‘Large Area Certification’ scheme
14,491 ha area of UT of A&N Islands has become the first large contiguous territory to be conferred with organic certification under ‘Large Area Certification’ scheme.
About the ‘Large Area Certification’ scheme:
Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare under its flagship scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY) has launched this unique quick certification programme to harness these potential areas.
Under LAC, each village in the area is considered as one cluster/group.
All farmers with their farmland and livestock need to adhere to the standard requirements and on being verified get certified en-mass without the need to go under conversion period.
Certification is renewed on annual basis through annual verification by a process of peer appraisals as per the process of PGS-India.
Benefits of LAC:
As per the established norm of organic production systems, the areas having chemical input usage history are required to undergo a transition period of minimum 2-3 years to qualify as organic.
During this period, farmers need to adopt standard organic agriculture practices and keep their farms under the certification process.
On successful completion, such farms can be certified as organic after 2-3 years. The certification process also requires elaborate documentation and time to time verification by the certification authorities.
Whereas under LAC requirements are simple and the area can be certified almost immediately.
The foundation stone of the integrated Solar Dryer and Pyrolysis pilot plant was recently laid at Chennai.
The pilot is part of the Indo-German project ‘Pyrasol’, launched to transform urban organic waste into biochar and energy in smart cities.
It was awarded to CSIR-CLRI by the Indo-German Science & Technology Centre.
The project will ultimately lead to technology development for the joint processing of Fibrous Organic Waste (FOW) and Sewage Sludge (SS) of Indian smart cities into hygienic and highly valuable biochar associated with energy recovery, carbon sequestration and environmental improvement.
The project focuses on managing and organising collection, treatment, and disposal systems of urban wastes in Indian Smart Cities as well as in other urban centres with an integrated and interactive approach.
About Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC):
Established by India and Germany to facilitate Indo-German R&D networking with emphasis on industry participation, applied research and technology development.
IGSTC through its flagship program ‘2+2 Projects’, catalyses innovation centric R&D projects by synergising the strength of research and academic institutions and public/private industries from India and Germany.