December 14 : Current Affairs UPSC : IAS DAILY

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PM to dedicate naval submarine INS Kalvari to the nation tomorrow

NEWS : PM Modi will commission the INS Kalvari to Indian Navy.

WHAT IS INS KALVARI (S50) > It is diesel-electric attack submarine. The ship is named after a tiger shark in Malayalam symbolizing agility, strength and predatory power.

WHO BUILT IT> It is built in India with French Collaboration. It represents a significant success for the "Make in India" initiative.

WHAT IT CAN DO> It is capable to wage a undersea warfare.

HOW > It comprises a cluster of advanced weapons and sensors integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). • The sonar suite is Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) capable enabling long rage detection and classification. • Post classification, she may choose to engage the enemy by utilising either the sea skimming SM 39 EXOCET missiles (Flying Fish in French) or the heavy weight wire guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes. • Towards self-defence, she is fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys.

HISTORY OF SUBMARINE ARM IN INDIA :

• A modest beginning was made when a team of officers were trained at HMS Dolphin, UK in 1962. • The Submarine Arm came into being on 08 Dec 1967 when the Tricolour was hoisted on the first INS Kalvari. • The induction of the 877 EKM (Sindhughosh class) and Type 209 (Shishumar class) brought advancements in technology and fire power. • The commissioning of the first Indian built (by MDL) submarine INS Shalki on 07 Feb 1992 heralded the country’s indigenous submarine construction capability. • Commissioning of the nuclear powered Chakra–I in 1988 and Chakra–II in 2012 leapfrogged the IN into a select group of nuclear submarine operating navies.

Consider the following statements: 2009 - UPSC PRELIMS. 1. INS Sindhughosh is an aircraft carrier. 2. INS Viraat is a submarine. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only (b) 2 only (c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2

ANS : INS Sindhughosh, as you have learnt in the history of submarines, is a submarine. INS Viraat is an aircraft carrier.

India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for US$ 250 Million for “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion” (SANKALP) Project

A Financing Agreement for IBRD loan of USD 250 million (equivalent) for the “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) Project” was signed with the World Bank.

WHY> To enhance institutional mechanisms for skills development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for the work force.

KEY RESULT AREAS FOR THE PROJECT : The Key result areas for the project include Institutional Strengthening at the National and State Levels for Planning, Delivering, and Monitoring High-Quality Market-Relevant Training; Improved Quality and Market Relevance of Skills Development Programs; Improved access to and completion of skills training for female trainees and other disadvantaged groups; and Expanding skills training through private-public partnerships (PPPs).

The closing date for the project is 31st March, 2023.

Which of the following constitute the World Bank Group? 1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2. International Finance Corporation 3. International Development Association 4. International Monetary Fund Codes: (a) 1, 2 and 3 (b) 1 and 2 (c) 3 and 4 (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

ABOUT WORLD BANK : • The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital programs. • It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). • The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group. • The World Bank's stated official goal is the reduction of poverty. The World Bank is different from the World Bank Group, an extended family of five international organizations: • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) • International Development Association (IDA) • International Finance Corporation (IFC) • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

Prepare plan mapping air pollution sources: SC

NEWS : Supreme Court directed the Centre to notify a comprehensive action plan mapping the sources of air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

WHO SHOULD NOTIFY > Ministry of Environment + Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) within 2 weeks.

ABOUT THE COMPREHENSIVE ACTION PLAN : • This is the first ever mandatory plan that earmarks short-, medium- and long-term measures for all key sources of pollution with deadlines, and makes agencies responsible for implementation. • If implemented with urgency and stringency and in a time-bound manner, this can help this region make sustained improvement in air quality. • Delhi-NCR may require to reduce particulate pollution by at least 74% to meet clean air standards.

A 3-nation Indo-Pacific compact

NEWS : India, Japan and Australia have “growing convergences” in the Indo-Pacific region.

CONVERGENCES IN THE AREAS OF • maritime security and domain awareness and • disaster response capabilities. • to fight the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed the need for enhanced cooperation on counter-terrorism.

ASEAN-India summit : India is hosting a commemorative ASEAN-India summit in Delhi on January 25, while all 10 ASEAN-nation leaders will be the chief guests at the coming Republic Day parade. THEME : Three “C’s” of Commerce, Connectivity and Culture, and would also underline similar convergence on issues in the Indo-Pacific, as the East Pacific-Indian Ocean region is popularly referred to.

WTO: India resolute on food security

NEWS : India was bargaining hard for improving an already available mechanism that safeguards government purchase of staple foodgrain from low-income and resource-poor farmers at subsidised prices for stockpiling, and then distributing them to the country’s economically weak.

U.S. RESPONSE : U.S. refused to agree to the demands of developing nations on the issue.

WHAT EXACTLY INDIA WANTED> A foolproof mechanism as “permanent solution”i.e., an amendment of WTO rules on dispute settlement, to entirely prevent countries from legally challenging its food security programmes.

WHY> It was agreed during the Ministerial Conference (or MC — the WTO´s highest decision-making body) in 2013 to find a ‘permanent solution’ by the 2017 meet.

NOW IS THIS A PROBLEM? No. Because in 2015 Nairobi MC - Peace clause mechanism was introduced.

SO WHAT> This ‘Peace Clause’ mechanism shields developing countries like India from being dragged by other countries to the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism for breaching the ceiling on product-specific domestic support (10% of the concerned crop’s value of production). This mechanism is available to developing nations, including India, till a ‘permanent solution’ is found by the WTO members to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes.

WHY CAN’T WE JUST CONTINUE WITH PEACE CLAUSE MECHANISM > The Peace Clause’s onerous conditions (on notification etc.) make it tough for developing countries to use.

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