6th December 2019 : Prelims Sure Shot
- A ‘Zero FIR’ is a document that can be registered by any police station when a complainant approaches them for a cognizable offence, whether the case is in their jurisdiction or not.
- Normally, an FIR is registered by a serial number in the police station having territorial jurisdiction to investigate the Crime.
- Zero FIR can only be registered but not numbered. Such unnumbered FIR is then forwarded to the concerned police station where it gets numbered and then proceeded for investigation.
- Justice Verma Committee Report recommended the provision of Zero FIR, after the December 2012 gang rape in Delhi (Nirbhaya Case).
Global Carbon Project (GCP)
Why in news?
India’s carbon dioxide emissions this year was likely to be considerably lower than in the last few years.
From the news:
- India’s emissions in 2019 (2.6 billion tonnes or gigatonnes) was likely to be only 8 per cent higher than in 2018.
- It is significantly lower than the 8% growth that India showed last year and the more-than-5% average growth over the last ten years.
What arrested the growth?
- Weak economic growth in India has led to slower growth in oil and natural gas use.
- With a weakening economy, growth in India’s generation of electricity has slowed from 6 per cent per year to under 1 per cent in 2019, despite electrification of villages adding to potential demand.
- Moreover, the addition of a very wet monsoon led to very high hydropower generation and a decline in generation from coal.
- Note – The Global Carbon Project estimates the carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 alone to be about 2.6 billion tonnes.
- They do not give the estimates of emissions of other greenhouse gases.
Global Carbon Project (GCP):
- The GCP is a Global Research Project of Future Earthand a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme.
- Formed in 2001, towork with the international science community.
- to establish a common and mutually agreed knowledge base
- to support policy debate and action,
- to slow down and ultimately stop the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- Its projects include global budgets for three dominant greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide — and complementary efforts in urban, regional, cumulative, and negative emissions.
Going Online as Leaders (GOAL)
Why in news?
The information regarding GOAL Project was given by Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
Going Online as Leaders
- GOAL (Going Online as Leaders) is a digitally-enabled mentorship initiative of Facebook for empowering tribal youth to become leaders for tomorrow in the respective fields.
- GOAL Project is stated to aim at identifying and mobilizing renowned people from industry (policy makers and influencers), known for their leadership skills or roles, to digitally empower and personally mentor tribal youth from tribal communities across multiple locations of India. The initiative has been designed to identify and attach 1 Mentor who is expert in their respective fields, to four tribal youth, who will be trained and mentored.
- Facebook had started a pilot project on its own in March 2019 in 5 states of India i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, wherein they have identified 100 Tribal Mentees and 25 Mentors.
- Further, Facebook envisages to identify 5000 tribals from various fields to be mentored by 1250 mentors in 5 years in a phased manner.
- GOAL (Going Online as Leaders) is a Facebook initiative.
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs was not associated with the pilot project implemented by the Facebook.
Bhimrao Ambedkar: revered reformer, forgotten economist
Three days after completing his final manuscript ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma’, Ambedkar died in his sleep on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi. The 6th of December is observed as Dr. Ambedkar Mahaparinirvan Diwas.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s contributions:
- Bhimrao Ambedkar is celebrated for his immense vision and contributions to the legal and social framework of the Indian Republic, he was, also by training, one of the foremost Indian economists of his time.
- He first set his mind to the emancipation of smallholder farmers, who were trapped in cycles of debt, with access to inputs restricted to those of privileged castes. As a result, marginal farmers were destined to stay marginalised. Babasaheb was in favour of the pooling of land among small farmers with cooperative management of land. However, he was more concerned with the factors of production and productivity.
- His solution was for the state to attempt to control farm input prices. The idea was central to the planned agricultural growth of the first 50 years of free India. However, the problem today for marginal farmers is not much different than it was in 1918, with input costs still prohibitively high for smaller farmers. The M.S. Swaminathan National Commission on Farmers identified the same truths that Ambedkar had, and suggested a solution of setting an MSP at least 50% higher than the cost of production, as opposed to market-linked mechanisms. The Delhi government earlier this year became one of the few states to implement the panel’s recommendations.
- His next goal was to break open the obscure financial relationship between the Centre and States (imperial versus provincial governments). He concluded that a system where fiscal powers were shared between the two entities would be the most stable, an idea which is enshrined in the Constitution. His key finding was that leaving all fiscal powers with either entity had led to more corruption and weaker linkages between revenue and development of a province. This finding is relevant even today, as the Centre with a new tax regime tries to influence the polity of States and territories like Delhi.
- Babasaheb was also instrumental in introducing major labour reforms, making the case for state intervention in labour relations in his writings as “what is called liberty from the control of the state is another name for the dictatorship of the private employer”.
- More significantly, the idea of women as a potent force for economic change owes its legal existence in India solely to Ambedkar. He was instrumental in drafting specific laws to protect the rights of women in mines and factories, as well as recognising maternity in the law. Maternity rights in modern India owe their existence to Babasaheb.
- He was also the driving force behind Employees’ State Insurance and the collection of industrial and labour statistics to track the progress of labour.
- Ambedkar used his status as the Viceroy’s Cabinet Minister on Water and Power to provide a vision for the nation’s path to modernity, predicated on free access to utilities without discrimination. Under his leadership, the Central Water Commission and the Central Electricity Authority were convened, and until this day ensure that large-scale water and power management projects account for the needs of all Indians.
- Perhaps his most enduring economic research is focussed on the debates around colonial India’s monetary policy, a subject on which he authored two books. In 1934, the Hilton Young Commission was set up to debate this topic. Every member of this Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance held a copy of Ambedkar’s book, The Problem of the Rupee, as Ambedkar argued his case for fiscal stability. As a result, the committee drafted the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934 with the express purpose of protecting markets from currency fluctuations through state control. Babasaheb’s vision that strong monetary policy and robust institutions were required to ensure economic growth in India still rings true.
Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA)
- In its letter to NITI Aayog anticipating lower supplies, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies has cited the diversion of ethanol for bio-fuel blending by oil marketing companies, and recent floods in Maharashtra and Karnataka that have adversely affected sugarcane crop in the region.
- Anticipating shortage of domestic supplies, they have sought a reduction in duty to make it cost-effective for them to import Extra Neutral Alcohol from global markets.
What is it?
- Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) is the primary raw material for making alcoholic beverages.
- It is a colourless food-grade alcohol that does not have any impurities. It has a neutral smell and taste, and typically contains over 95 per cent alcohol by volume.
- It is derived from different sources — sugarcane molasses and grains — and is used in the production of alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, vodka, gin, cane, liqueurs, and alcoholic fruit beverages.
- Like ethanol, ENA is a byproduct of the sugar industry and is formed from molasses that are a residue of sugarcane processing.
- ENA also serves as an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products such as perfumes, toiletries, hair spray, etc.
- Given its properties as a good solvent, ENA also finds industrial use and is utilised in the production of some lacquers, paints and ink for the printing industry, as well as in pharmaceutical products such as antiseptics, drugs, syrups and medicated sprays.