10th March, 2018-IAS Current Affairs
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(GS2: Global groupings)
Issue: 11 Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, Australia and Canada, signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in Chile.
About the agreement:
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP11 is an agreed in principle trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The CPTPP incorporates most of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) provisions by reference, but suspended 22 provisions the United States favored that other countries opposed, and lowered the threshold for enactment so the participation of the U.S. is not required. The TPP was signed on 4 February 2016, but never entered into force as a result of the withdrawal of the United States.
All original TPP signatories – except the US – agreed in May 2017 to revive it and reached agreement in January 2018 to conclude the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The formal signing ceremony was held on March 8, 2018 in Santiago, Chile
The economies included in the CPTPP account for 13.5 percent of world GDP – worth a total of US$10 trillion.
However, concerns about this agreement have been raised with respect to patents, labour regulations, Environmental regulations etc.
Biplab Kumar Deb sworn in as new Chief Minister of Tripura
(Facts that can be asked in Prelims)
Biplab Kumar Deb took oath as chief minister, Jishnu Deb Burman as deputy chief minister, along with seven other ministers, including Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) chief N C Debbarma.
‘Death Penalty for child rape in Rajasthan’
(GS2: State Legislature)
Issue: Rajasthan became the second State, after Madhya Pradesh, to pass a Bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. The State Assembly passed the Bill seeking to amend the Indian Penal Code with the insertion of new provision by voice vote.
The Bill will become a law after it gets the Presidential assent. The Rajasthan Assembly has conveyed its feelings to the President
Some statistics related to child rape in India
According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have seen a steady increase in Rajasthan. The State recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which was 3.8% of the crimes against children registered across the country. In 2015, the State had registered 3,689 cases of crimes against children.
New sections added to the bill are:
Section 376-AA provides for capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment ranging between 14 years and lifelong incarceration. Section 376-DD makes a similar provision for gang-rape of a girl child, while laying down death penalty or imprisonment from 20 years to lifelong incarceration for those convicted of the offence. Each of the persons constituting the gang will be deemed to be guilty of the offence.
(GS3: Conservation of Environment)
Issue: A young male tiger that had been detained by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department after it killed a woman, romped back to freedom as the Forest Department and wildlife conservationists released it into the wilderness of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
Apart from the U.P. Forest Department, two non-governmental organisations — the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India) — participated in the operation.
Some of the tiger conservation related programmes and institutes in India
1.NATIONAL TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY/PROJECT TIGER
The Government of India has taken a pioneering initiative for conserving its national animal, the tiger, by launching the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973. From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 47 at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states. This amounts to around 2.08% of the geographical area of our country. The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area. The Project Tiger aims to foster an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of tiger reserves, with an inclusive people oriented agenda in the buffer. Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body of the Ministry, with an overarching supervisory / coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Providing central assistance to States under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger for 44 tiger reserves, for activities (recurring / non-recurring), as reflected in the Annual Plan of Operations of tiger reserves, based on their Tiger Conservation Plans is an important activity. This, inter-alia, includes protection, habitat amelioration, day to day monitoring, eco-development for local people in buffer areas, voluntary relocation of people from core/critical tiger habitats, and addressing human-wildlife conflicts, within the ambit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and guidelines of Project Tiger / National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The NTCA / Project Tiger also conducts the country level assessment of the status of tiger, co-predators, prey and habitat once in four years, using the refined methodology, as approved by the Tiger Task Force.
The illegal demand for body parts and derivatives of tiger outside the country continues to be a serious threat to wild tigers. Therefore, protection is accorded topmost priority in Project Tiger / NTCA. The States are engaged in an ongoing manner through the NTCA Headquarters as well as Regional Offices, while issuing alerts, besides closely working with the CBI, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Police Departments. The following actions are taken in this context:
- Alerting the States as and when required
- Transmitting backward / forward linkages of information relating to poachers
- Advising the States for combing forest floor to check snares / traps
- Performing supervisory field visits through the National Tiger Conservation Authority and its regional offices
- Providing assistance to States for anti-poaching operations
- Using information technology for improved surveillance (e-Eye system) using thermal cameras launched in Corbett
- Launching tiger reserve level monitoring using camera trap to keep a photo ID database of individual tigers
- Preparing a national database of individual tiger photo captures to establish linkage with body parts seized or dead tigers
- Assisting States to refine protection oriented monitoring through monitoring system for tiger’s intensive protection and ecological status (M-STrIPES)
- Providing grant through NTCA for patrolling in tiger rich sensitive forest areas outside tiger reserves
- Assisting States to deploy local workforce in a big way for protection to complement the efforts of field staff [In all, approximately 24 lakh mandays are generated annually with 50% central assistance amounting to around Rs. 24 crores (excluding matching 50% share given by States) under Project Tiger. Many local tribes constitute such local workforce (besides non-tribals), eg. Baigas, Gonds in Madhya Pradesh, Gonds in Maharashtra, Chenchus in Andhra Pradesh, Sholigas in Karnataka, Gujjars in Uttarakhand and Irulas in Tamil Nadu to name a few. The deployment of such local tribals has been fostered / encouraged in the last two years].
- Supporting States for raising, arming and deploying the Special Tiger Protection Force
The important thrust areas for the Plan period are:
- Stepped up protection/networking/surveillance
- Voluntary relocation of people from core/critical tiger habitat to provide inviolate space for tiger
- Strengthening of protection infrastructure and habitat management as per Tiger Conservation Plans of tiger reserves
- Use of information technology in wildlife crime prevention
- Addressing human-wildlife conflicts
- Addressing the issue of resource dependency of local people through sustainable livelihood options
- Capacity building of frontline personnel
- Developing a national repository of camera trap tiger photographs with IDs
- Active management for rescuing moving tigers from human dominated landscape
- Conducting the next round of country level assessment of tiger, co-predators, prey besides habitat status monitoring
- Conducting the next round of the independent management effectiveness evaluation
- Strengthening the regional offices of the NTCA
- Declaring and consolidating new tiger reserves
- Fostering awareness for eliciting local public support
- Fostering Research
- Global tiger initiative:
The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) was launched in 2008 as a global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, the conservation and scientific communities and the private sector, with the aim of working together to save wild tigers from extinction. In 2013, the scope was broadened to include Snow Leopards. The GTI’s founding partners included the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Smithsonian Institution, Save the Tiger Fund, and International Tiger Coalition (representing more than 40 non-government organizations). The initiative is led by the 13 tiger range countries (TRCs). In November 2010, leaders of the tiger range countries (TRCs) assembled at an International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia to adopt the St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation and endorsed its implementation mechanism, called the Global Tiger Recovery Program. Their overarching goal was to double the number of wild tigers across their geographical area from about 3,200 to more than 7,000 by 2022
Within two years of the summit in St. Petersburg the implementation of the Global Tiger Recovery Program moved forward with notable progress on the frontlines in many of the tiger range countries.
Among other actions, GTI partners launched a two-week hands-on training for 815 wildlife conservation professionals from national parks and protected areas in South East Asia on sharing best conservation practices that could help those in tiger range countries, enhanced by GTI partners’ scientific, technical, and management expertise.
Other successes include:
- In India, Tiger Population in India increases from 1706 in 2010 to 2226 in 2015, an impressive 30.5 percent increase.
- 60 percent increase in tiger numbers in Nepal between 2009 and 2012.
- Alternative livelihoods provided under the World Bank/GEF India Eco-development Project resulted in a group of poachers completely giving up poaching at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Indian state of Kerala.
- The Bangladesh Forest Department conducted a census of Bengal tigers in the country and used the data to monitor the size and density of tiger population in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.
- 30 Bangladesh forestry department officials completed a certificate training course on wildlife management at the Wildlife Institute of India. In total, more than 800 forest department officials have received in-country training.
- Implementation of 34 subprojects on habitat improvement, eco-tourism development and human-wildlife conflict mitigation.
Challenges to Tiger Conservation
- Threats to Habitats and Connectivity: Threats to tiger habitats remain significant and are predicted to intensify with rapid infrastructure development and investment in extractive industries.
- Poaching and Wildlife Crime Control: Poaching and wildlife crime continue to be major concerns, with poaching remaining a significant issue, while it remains to accurately pinpoint overall trends and indicators of wildlife crime and assessments of law enforcement efforts.
- Capacity Building: Developing institutional capacity and national centers of excellence are priority activities to scale up current efforts.
- Scientific Monitoring: Monitoring results are essential for guiding management interventions, such as identification of poaching corridors around the world.
- Demand Elimination: Eliminating demand for tiger products remains a significant hurdle.
- Rebuilding Tiger Populations: Sharing existing experience on how to rebuild tiger populations is a priority and essential for countries that are working to prevent the extinction of the species.
‘Basel-III norms for banks’
(GS3: Indian Economy)
Issue: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that the Basel III capital regulations has been implemented from April 1, 2013 in India in phases, for full implementation by March 31, 2019. Norms/guidelines regarding the capital required to be maintained by banks in India including the Basel III capital regulations, are issued by RBI
What are Basel-III norms?
Basel III is an internationally agreed set of measures developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in response to the financial crisis of 2007-09. The measures aim to strengthen the regulation, supervision and risk management of banks.
Basel III is part of the continuous effort to enhance the banking regulatory framework. It builds on the Basel I and Basel II documents, and seeks to improve the banking sector’s ability to deal with financial stress, improve risk management, and strengthen the banks’ transparency. A focus of Basel III is to foster greater resilience at the individual bank level in order to reduce the risk of system-wide shocks.
Basel III is an effort of ‘Bank for International Settlements’
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018
(Facts that can be asked in prelims)
Issue: India put up a vastly improved performance to recover from an upset a day earlier to beat Ireland 4-1 in a fifth-sixth classification match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (Hockey) 2018 in Ipoh, Malaysia
About Sultan Azlan Shah cup
The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an annual international men’s field hockey tournament held in Malaysia. It began in 1983 as a biennial contest. The tournament became an annual event after 1998, following its growth and popularity. The tournament is named after the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah, and an avid fan of field hockey.