GS 2 Related
Category: GOVT. POLICIES
- Jute Bag Packaging mandatory
The issue in news
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved that 100% of the food-grains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags
The decision will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.
- The decision also mandates that initially 10% of jute bags for packing food grains would be placed through reverse auction on the Gem portal.
- In a reverse auction, the sellers compete to obtain business from the buyer and prices will typically decrease as the sellers underbid each other.
- Price discovery is the process of determining the price of an asset in the marketplace through the interactions of buyers and sellers.
- Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987, also known as the JPM Act.
- Government has expanded the scope of mandatory packaging norms. The Government is required to consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities.
- The approval will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
- Jute is included in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime of the country.
Government Initiatives for Promoting Jute Industry
Jute-Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise:
- Jute ICARE aims to support the small and marginal jute growers with certified seed, mechanization in sowing and weed control and to accelerate retting by using microbial consortium so that the jute growers can grow good quality jute and receive higher price for their produce.
- It is a platform for procurement of jute sacking
Definitive Anti-Dumping Duty:
- It has been imposed on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal with effect from 5 January 2017 to protect the domestic sector.
Collaboration between the National Jute Board and the National Institute of Design:
- It aims to support the diversification of the jute sector through a Jute Design Cell.
- National Jute Board under the Ministry of Textiles, acts as the apex body for the promotion of the products in India and abroad.
- Jute is a rainy season crop.
- Jute requires a warm and humid climate with temperature between 24° C to 37° C.
- Constant rain or water-logging is harmful.
- The new gray alluvial soil of good depth, receiving salt from annual floods, is best for jute.
- Jute is harvested any time between 120 days to 150 days when the flowers have been shed, early harvesting gives good healthy fibers.
- The jute plant’s fibres lie beneath the bark and surrounded the woody central part of the stem.
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- Turkey and France
The issue in news
Rift between France and Turkey – two NATO members has widened.
- The trigger for the latest clash was the French government’s support for Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine to republish the cartoons.
- Charlie Hebdo’s office was attacked by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in January 2015 over its publication of a set of caricatures of Prophet Muhammed.
- Ankara, under Mr. Erdogan’s AK Party, has projected itself as a defender of (selective) Muslim causes worldwide, and had slammed Mr. Macron earlier over his push to reform Islam in France.
- It added fuel to the raging tensions between France and Turkey
Background of the issue:
- In the recent years Turkey and France have clashed over a number of geopolitical issues.
- Recently, a teacher in a suburb of Paris was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen after he showed his students caricatures of the Prophet.
- Following the murder, the French government started an operation to crackdown on Islamist organisations.
- President of Turkey – Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a personal attack on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron following the latter’s call for reforming Islam.
- Turkey’s Erdogan called for a boycott of French goods and questioned Emmanuel Macron’s sanity, after the latter declared that “Islam is a religion that is in crisis today all over the world”.
- France recalled its Ambassador from Turkey, for the first time.
- While France (the EU’s most powerful military) is trying to assert itself under Mr. Macron, Mr. Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman foreign policy is ready to pick up fights wherever it sees an opening.
Macron’s reform plan
- Macron outlined the substance of a long-awaited law which his government is planning to introduce to regulate the practice of Islam in France.
- While unveiling the essence of the Bill, the President said the law was being brought in to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he opined often results in the creation of a counter-society.
- He said that it will crackdown on foreign influence in French Muslim communities and allow the government to track funding for mosques from overseas.
- It was said that the government will create a certificate programme for the imams and ban homeschooling.
- Also, he had defended blasphemy, saying that the right to caricature is an essential part of being French.
- As Turkey is trying to expand its influence to the erstwhile Ottoman territories, France has stood in its way.
- In Libya, where Turkey is backing the Tripoli-based government, France has supported the Tobruk-based parallel government and the military campaign of the renegade General Khalifa Haftar against Tripoli.
- In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has launched a gas exploration mission, clashing with Greece and Cyprus, while France has stood in support of the fellow EU members and even sent French warships to the region.
- In the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Turkey offered unconditional support to the Azeri military offensive, while Mr. Macron slammed Ankara’s intervention.
- In all these cases, France and Turkey emerged as two opposing poles in the West and the East, respectively.
GS 3 Related
- Centre relaxes Air India sale terms yet again
The issue in news
The Centre has revised the bidding parameters for 100% stake sale in Air India.
- The centre has allowed private players to quote an enterprise value (EV) for the airline.
- According to the latest development, enterprise value shall mean the combined value of debt and equity of AI as assessed by the bidder in its financial bid.
- The only change is that there is no pre-determined debt.
- This, however, would not mean that Air India sale will be debt-free. It means that the debt will be determined in the market.
- The government has extended the deadline multiple times due to lack of interest from prospective buyers.
- This is the government’s third effort to garner the interest of the buyers.
- Bidders will be given seven days to pose queries on the new bidding parameters after which they can submit their bids.