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8th July Current Affairs

In Bali meeting with Wang, Jaishankar raises LAC issues

(GS-II: India and its neighbours, bilateral, regional and global grouping etc)

In News:

External Affairs Minister and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor held talks on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bali.

Details:

The two sides discussed resolving the border standoff that began in April 2020.

India and China crossed swords over the Prime Minister’s birthday greetings to the Dalai Lama, and Enforcement Directorate (ED) searches at the offices of the Chinese Company Vivo in India.

Key Highlights:

Three mutuals: India-China relationship is best served by three mutuals:

  • Mutual respect
  • Mutual sensitivity
  • Mutual interests

Early resolution: The External Affairs Minister called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

Complete disengagement: EAM reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

Regular contact at military and diplomatic levels: The two Ministers agreed that they should continue regular contact at military and diplomatic meetings and looked ahead to the next 16th round of Senior Commanders meeting at the Chushul Moldo border point.

No mention of LAC by China: The Chinese readout made no mention of the LAC crisis, instead emphasizing remarks calling on both sides to “strengthen coordination and cooperation and jointly promote more democratic international relations and a fairer international order”.

Both sides maintained communication: China said both sides had “maintained communication and exchanges” and “effectively managed differences”.

Assured support: China assured support for India’s upcoming G20 and SCO presidency.

Gender Budgeting Act

(GS-II: Government policies and interventions aimed at development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

In News:

Development, Monitoring and evaluation office (DMEO) (an attached office of Niti Aayog) has pitched in for the Gender Budgeting Act to the mainstream of gender-based budgeting across all ministries.

Details:

According to the report, gender budgeting is not practised in most states and is also not captured for many schemes in different sectors.

Recommendations by DMEO:

Improve social acceptance of transgenders: Under report titled ‘Gender Mainstreaming in Governance’ also said there is a need to improve social acceptance of transgender persons in society.

More allocation of funds: The report recommended that the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) should encourage state governments to increase their budgetary allocation towards women and child development, protection and welfare schemes

Policy on women: There is a need to ‘finalise the National Policy for Women with revision in 2016 draft policy’.

Provide gender-disaggregated data: absence of such data makes it difficult to measure the true impact of the schemes resulting in poor strategy design.

What is Gender Budgeting?

Gender budgeting means preparing budgets or analyzing them from a gender perspective. Also referred to as gender-sensitive budgeting, this practice does not entail dividing budgets for women.

Gender Budgeting is a powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men.

Facts related to Gender budgeting in India:

India has a gender budget component since 2005-06 wherein schemes having allocations at least 30% for women is highlighted.

Beijing declaration and platform for action 1995: Recommended Gender Budgeting

Influenced both expenditure and revenue policies: India’s gender budgeting efforts is unique because they have not only influenced expenditure but also revenue policies (like differential rates for men and women in property and Income tax rates)

Gender Budgeting Cells (GBC): has been mandated in each ministries/Department

India ranked poor 140 (out of 156) in latest Global gender gap report

In the budget this year:

  • India has shifted its focus from women’s development to women-led development.
  • Over 1.7 lakh cr has been allocated for women-centric schemes under the gender budget 2022-2023, which is an increase of 5 per cent

Steps taken by RBI to defend Indian Currency

(GS-III: Indian Economy)

In News:

RBI easing norms may arrest outflows from NRE accounts

Steps taken in Recent times to arrest the rupee slide against dollars:

India has eased rules for foreign investors to invest in Indian debt instruments

Temporarily removed CRR, SLR and Interest rate cap on the interest rate on NRE deposits: Reserve Bank has eased norms governing the Foreign Currency Non-Resident Bank [FCNR(B)] and Non-resident External (NRE) deposits. Banks will be able to offer higher returns to NRIs on their deposits.

This will increase NRI investment and thus help reduce the slide of the Indian rupee.

About NRE accout:

NRIs can open an NRE account – introduced in 1970 — with funds remitted to India through a bank abroad. This is a repatriable account and transfer from another NRE account or FCNR(B) account is also permitted.

About NRO account:

NRO accounts may be opened / maintained in the form of savings, recurring or fixed deposit accounts. These are Rupee accounts opened for the purpose of depositing income earned in India. These accounts can be held jointly with NRI / resident Indians.

About FCNR account:

An FCNR account is a term deposit account that can be maintained by NRIs and PIOs in foreign currency. Thus, FCNRs are not savings accounts but fixed deposit accounts.

What is difference between NRE and NRO account?

An NRE account is a bank account opened in India in the name of an NRI, to park his foreign earnings; whereas, an NRO account is a bank account opened in India in the name of an NRI, to manage the income earned by him in India. These incomes include rent, dividend, pension, interest, etc.

Large year-round ozone hole over tropics

(GS-I: Geography: Atmosphere)

In News:

Scientists revealed a large, all-season ozone hole in the lower stratosphere over the tropics comparable in-depth to that of the Antarctic hole, but roughly seven times greater in area

Details:

It is an all-season ozone hole — defined as an area of ozone loss larger than 25% compared with the undisturbed atmosphere.

About Ozone:

Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) and lower atmosphere (the troposphere).

Conventions:

Vienna convention: The Vienna Convention is the first international agreement dedicated to the protection of the ozone layer. The Convention commits all countries to take measures to protect human health and the environment resulting from modifications to the ozone layer.

Montreal Protocol: The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer.

Kigali Agreement: Around 197 countries, including India, China and the USA, agreed at Kigali to reduce the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by roughly 85% of their baselines by 2045, by amending the 1987 Montreal Protocol.