Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
International Relations [Paper-II]: India’s Foreign Policy, International Organisations, International Treaties and Forums, their structure and mandate
- Mauritius called the UK an “illegal colonial occupier”, after it ignored a UN mandated deadline to return the Chagos Islands, a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean, to Mauritius.
- United Nations had given UK six months to process the transfer. The decision of UN was bitterly resisted by UK and the US.
What is Chagos Islands dispute about?
- Chagos had been part of Mauritius since the 18th century when the French first settled the islands.
- All of the islands forming part of the French colonial territory of Isle de France (Mauritius) were ceded to the British in 1810 under the Act of Capitulation signed between the two countries.
- In 1965, Diego Garcia was seperated from the rest of the archipelago for setting up the military base, in collaboration with the U.S.
- Mauritius achieved independence in 1968 but the U.K. refused to return the Chagos archipelago, claiming sovereignty over the islands.
- Chagos Islands is referred to by the British as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
- The U.K. depopulated Diego Garcia by expelling all its inhabitants, to facilitate the building of the military base, paying just £4 million as compensation to Mauritius.
- In violation of international human rights laws, from 1967 to 1973, the U.K. forcibly moved around 1,500 Chagossians to Mauritius and Seychelles, and prevented them from returning to their homes.
Recent ICJ ruling
- Mauritius rightly claimed sovereignty over Chagos and challenged the U.K.’s stand.
- In February 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had ruled that the U.K. had “illegally” detached Diego Garcia from the archipelago and split the islands.
- The ruling, also non-binding, observed that the decolonisation of Chagos was incomplete and the U.K. had the obligation to complete the decolonisation process.
[Source: Indian Express]
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Recent fiscal and monetary policy issues and their impact, structure of Indian Banking and Non- Banking Financial Institutions and reforms
Former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), H R Khan was appointed as the first chairman of the steering committee of the Code for Responsible Lending (CRL) in micro-credit.
What is CRL?
- It is a self-regulatory step for the micro-credit industry making diverse entities like banks, NBFC-MFIs and NBFCs adhere to standards of customer protection.
- It aims to ensure uniform principles for customer-conduct in micro-credit. It is sector-specific and entity agnostic.
- It was launched in September 2019 by MFIN and Sa-Dhan, an RBI-recognised association of Micro Finance Institution (MFIs), along with Finance Industry Development Council (FIDC), an association of NBFCs.
- CRL was envisaged to be guided and supervised by a steering committee representing banks, Small Finance Banks, NBFC-MFIs, NBFCs and industry associations under an eminent independent chair.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Institutes and Organization in India promoting intergration of S&T
and Innovation, their activities and contributions
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the India chapter of its new initiative, Accelerator Labs.
India Accelarator Lab
- India chapter of the Accelerator Labs is an innovative new initiative by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Germany and Qatar, to find 21st century solutions to today’s complex new challenges.
- The project was launched in collaboration with the government’s Atal Innovation Mission and will look to solve issues through innovative solutions.
- The vision of the project is to make faster progress in meeting the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the U.N. by 2030.
- It seeks to address some of the most pressing issues facing India, including air pollution, through innovation.
- It will also seek to address sustainable water management and client-resilient livelihoods.
- India’s Accelerator Lab will be part of a network of 60 global labs that will test and scale new solutions to global challenges like climate change and inequality.
- In addition to partnerships with Germany and Qatar, UNDP has also created partnerships with Italy’s Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea Protection, Nesta, MIT and the India-based Honeybee Network.
- The partnership with the Honeybee Network is aimed at developing innovative solutions from the grassroots, for the grassroots.
[Source: The Hindu, undp.org]
FACTS OF THE DAY
INDIA’S GDP GROWTH
- According to official data released by National Statistical Office (NSO), India’s economic growth slipped to 4.5 per cent in the July-September period of 2019.
- India’s annual growth in gross domestic product or GDP fell down from 5% in the previous three months and 7% for the corresponding period of 2018.
- The previous low was recorded at 4.3 per cent in the January to March period of 2012-13.
- The low rate of expansion was mainly on account of a weak manufacturing, falling consumer demand and private investment, and a drop in exports due to a global slowdown.
INDIA’S COLD WAVE REGIONS
- India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) seasonal temperature outlook till February 2020 was released recently.
- According to the Report, India’s cold-wave regions will have a warm winter this year.
- India’s cold-wave zone covers the north Indian states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and also other states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar.
- IMD’s forecast of a pronounced warm winter in cold-wave zones applies to India’s colder states/union territories like Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
- A trigger for the warm winter is the warm surface waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
- According to the experts, Warm winters are a sign of global warming.
- India on an average is 0.5 degree Celsius warmer than 50 years ago.
- Rising temperatures lead to warmer than average ground temperatures and consequently a rise in minimum temperatures.
- 6th Asian Dendrochronology Conference was held at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow.
- This is the first time that the conference is being held in India.
- Dendrochronology is the study of tree rings that hold a wealth of information about not only a tree’s past but also that of the ecosystem in which it lives.
- Tree rings are layers of growth that a tree acquires in a year. The colour of old wood is always darker than a comparatively newer wood which creates a contrasting pattern of rings year on year.
- In the years of good growth, characterised by a healthy supply of resources, the ring is thick. It is thin when the ecosystem has scarcity of resources.
- Trees can be great records for past and recent climates, much better than climate records as their density in a region is much greater than climate observatories and their information is close enough to actual conditions.
55TH JNANPITH AWARD 2019
- Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri was chosen for the 55th Jnanpith Award, 2019.
- Born in 1926, Akkitham is one of the most revered names in Malayalam poetry.
- Apart from poetry, his literary excellence has footprints in genre like drama, reminiscence, critical essays, children literature, short stories and translations.
- He has authored 55 books out of which 45 are collections of poems including Khanda Kavyas, Katha Kavyas, Charitha Kavyas and songs.
- Some of his celebrated creations include Veeravadam, Balidarsanam, Nimisha Kshethram, Amrita Khatika, Akkitham Kavithakal, Epic of Twentieth Century and Antimahakalam.
- In addition to Padma Shri, he has won several literary accolades including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1973), Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1972 and 1988), Mathrubhumi Award, Vayalar Award and Kabir Samman.
FIRST COMPANY TO LIST ITS COMMERCIAL PAPERS ON THE STOCK EXCHANGES
- Aditya Birla Finance Ltd (ABFL), the NBFC arm of Aditya Birla Capital became the first company to list its commercial papers on the stock exchanges.
- The move comes after the exchanges, the BSE and the NSE, came out with a framework for listing of commercial papers (CPs), in a bid to broaden investors’ participation in such securities.
- Listing of Commercial Papers will lead to efficient transmission of information regarding corporate borrowings and liquidity positions to market participants.
- It will also contribute effectively towards development of the commercial paper market and is expected to have a positive effect on the debt capital market.
- ABFL is a well-diversified non-banking finance company (NBFC) with a long-term credit rating of AAA (stable) from both ICRA as well as India Ratings.
- Commercial Paper is an unsecured money market instrument issued in the form of promissory notes that enables highly rated corporate borrowers to diversify their sources of short-term borrowings and provides an additional instrument to investors.