COLONEL’S DAILY NEWSPAPER ANALYSIS 8th JUNE
TOPIC: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
- The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
- To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
- To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
- To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
#India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of her foreign policy and the foundation of Act East Policy. India has a separate Mission to ASEAN and the EAS in Jakarta.
India and ASEAN already has 25 years of Dialogue Partnership, 15 years of Summit Level interaction and 5 years of Strategic Partnership with ASEAN.
TOPIC: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega-regional economic agreement being negotiated since 2012, between ASEAN and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) member partners.
- To Boost economic growth and equitable economic development, advance economic cooperation and broaden and deepen integration in the region through the RCEP.
- It aims to cover the trade in goods and services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property and dispute resolution.
- To achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners.
#The RCEP came into force in November 2020 without India. The signatories of the agreement include 10 ASEAN countries – Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines and 5 key partners (China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).
TOPIC: GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND INTERVENTIONS.
- Jal Jeevan Mission.
Jal Jeevan Mission, a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, aims to ensure access of piped water for every household in India.
- The mission’s goal is to provide to all households in rural India safe and adequate water through individual household tap connections by 2024.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water.
- The mission will include information, education and communication as key components.
The programme aims to implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, and rain water harvesting
- DBT-ILS ESTABLISHES ANIMAL CHALLENGE STUDY PLATFORM.
TOPIC: GS Paper2, Government Policies and Interventions.
COVID-19 is causing a major global pandemic. The scientific and clinical community are actively engaged to develop effective preventions and treatments.
A key strategy to protect humans from this corona virus pandemic is the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics.
- While multiple clinical trials are currently underway, in parallel, preclinical research on in vitro and model organisms is also needed,
- Both to understand the virus and to test therapeutic agents for safety and efficacy.
- Animal models that closely resemble the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2−induced disease in humans are essential for research on disease mechanisms and for the evaluation of potential vaccines and antiviral drugs.
- Small animals like mice and Syrian hamster are advantageous to study SARS-CoV-2, as they reproduce faster and faithfully reproduce COVID-19 pathology in humans.
- Among different available animal models, so far hamsters have been widely utilized in SARS-CoV-2 infection studies.
- Hamster model of COVID-19 mimics a mild pattern of human disease with full recovery.
#The experimentation with these animals needs people with multiple expertise and specialised animal biosafety level 3 laboratories (ABSL3).
- Realising the importance of these requirements for developing antiviral and vaccine candidates for SARC-COV-2,
- The scientists at the Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar have established these animal models and a ABSL3 laboratory.
This platform at ILS has been established with the support from Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under Mission COVID Suraksha.
THE PROTEOMIC STUDIES:
The COVID-19 research team of this institute has recently established and characterised hamster models of SARS-CoV-2 infection by using a local virus isolate cultured and characterised at ILS.
- The proteomic studies carried out at ILS shows the similarities between SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans and hamsters.
- This along with analysis of clinical parameters it has been observed that tissue samples show the pathophysiological manifestation of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection similarto that reported earlier in COVID‐19 patients.
- This provided strong molecular evidence that supports the clinical relevance of this model in COVID-19 research.
- The findings of this study have recently been published in a prestigious journal, FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal.
#This facility will be operating on a fee-for-service mode or on a partnership mode, and will be available for use by researchers from academics, industry and start-ups from India and abroad.
- CHINA HOSTS ASIAN MINISTERS.
Gs Paper2, International Relations.
China is hosting foreign ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries on Monday and Tuesday, with Beijing pushing for closer economic cooperation and aligning COVID-19 recovery efforts even as it looks to push back against the recent regional outreach of the Quad grouping.
PROMOTING ECONOMIC RECOVERY:
Chinese officials have in recent weeks stepped up criticism of the Quad — the informal India, Australia, Japan and United States grouping — and of Washington in particular.
- During recent visits to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, China’s Defence Minister called on both countries to reject “military alliances” — a term that some Beijing are using to describe the Quad, but a label that the group rejects.
- China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a statement the China-ASEAN foreign ministers meeting, in the city of Chongqing,
- It would mark the 30-year anniversary of relations and also “focus on combating COVID-19, promoting economic recovery, and better dovetailing strategic plans.”
- A vaccine passport connecting China and ASEAN countries is also being discussed.
#China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold bilateral meetings with all the visiting ministers, and also chair a meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Deepening economic cooperation, particularly following the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal,
- It would be China’s focus, analysts in Beijing said, even as it grapples with disputes over the South China Sea.
Recently, China and the Philippines have clashed over the presence of Chinese vessels near a disputed reef, while Malaysia alleged the intrusion of 16 Chinese aircraft into its airspace.
CHINA WATCHFUL OVER QUAD ALLIANCE:
After the first Quad leaders’ summit held in March and the announcement of a regional vaccine initiative, many Chinese analysts framed ASEAN as a key space where Chinese and Quad initiatives may rub up against each other.
- China “cannot rule out the possibilities that Quad members will further rope in ASEAN members to counter China as Southeast Asia is of great significance to the US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy,”.
- The framing of the Quad as “an Asian NATO” by Beijing has been criticised by the group’s members.
India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in April described the using of words such as “Asian NATO” as “a mind game which people are playing”.
SOURCE: THE HINDU
- MALDIVES WINS UNGA ELECTION BY BIG MARGIN.
TOPIC: Gs Paper2, International Relations- Important Global Institutions.
In a first for the Maldives, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid was elected the President of the United Nations General Assembly for 2021-22, winning 143 votes or nearly three fourths of the 191 countries that voted in the annual election, while his rival, former Afghanistan Foreign Minister ZalmaiRassoul won 48.
A GREAT HONOUR FOR MALDIVES:
Mr. Shahid’s win was welcomed in particular in New Delhi, where Indian diplomats had been active behind the scenes in helping the Maldives canvass for him,
- After Maldives announced its candidate for the 76th General Assembly Presidency a year ago.
- Sources confirmed that given the close cooperation between both countries,
- Maldives is in discussions with the Indian mission for India’s deputy Permanent Representative at the UN Nagaraj Naidu to officiate as Mr. Shahid’s Chef de Cabinet.
#Maldives President Ibrahim Solih called the election win “resounding” and a “great honour for the Maldives”,
while former President and Maldives speaker Mohammad Nasheed said it was a “great day” for small island states and for “climate vulnerable countries everywhere”.
TOWARDS STRENGTHENING MULTILINGUALISM:
“This is a testimony as much to [Mr. Shahid’s] own stature as to the standing of Maldives. We look forward to working with him to strengthen multilateralism and its much-needed reforms,” said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
- India had made it clear to Afghanistan’s government that it would be unable to support Mr. Rassoul as it had declared its support for Maldives publicly in November, long before Afghanistan announced its candidature in January this year.
- The announcement had caused an awkward tussle within the Asia Pacific group, whose turn it is to take the Presidency of the General Assembly, and especially for India, which has close ties with both countries.
- Sources said the announcement was a “surprising development”, and that it was important for Maldives to take the position that it has, unlike Afghanistan, never held before.
- “Both Maldives and Afghanistan have excellent ties with India and both candidates are friends of India.
- However, since India had already committed its support to Maldives at a time when no other candidate was in the fray, India voted in favour of Maldives,” the sources said.
- Shahid’s win will also come as a relief for New Delhi, given adverse comments against India by the previous PGA from Turkey VolkanBozkir on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
In contrast, it is expected that Mr. Shahid’s tenure, which will last until September 2022 while India’s tenure at the UN Security Council will last until December 2022, will see a period of smooth coordination between India and the Maldives at the UN.
SOURCE: THE HINDU
- WORLD OCEANS DAY 2021.
Gs Paper2, International Relations- Important Global Institutions.
It is reminds every one of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our Planet and a major source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere.
- The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean,
- To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
- The second fully virtual celebration of United Nations World Oceans Day, on 8 June 2021, will highlight the theme of The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods.
- It is Produced by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, in partnership with the non-profit organization Oceanic Global, and presenting partner Blancpain,
- This year’s annual event will shed light on the wonder of the ocean and how it is our life source, supporting humanity and every other organism on Earth.
- This year’s theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030.
The Decade will strengthen international cooperation to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.
SOURCE: THE HINDU
- INDIA’s COMMITMENT TO PROMOTE RENEWABLE ENERGY.
Gs Paper3, Indian Economy- infrastructure (Renewable Energy).
Ministry of Power has circulated a Discussion paper on redesigning the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Mechanism for comments of stakeholders in power sector today.
Discussion paper on the requirement of redesigning the REC Mechanism has been prepared in order to align it with the emerging changes in power scenario and to promote new renewable technology.
Salient features of changes proposed in REC mechanism are:
Validity period of RECs; Floor & Forbearance Price. The REC validity period may be removed. Thus, the validity of REC would be perpetual ie till it is sold.
- As RECs are perpetually valid then the floor and forbearance prices are not required to be specified as RECs holders would have the complete freedom to decide the timings to sell.
- CERC will be required to have monitoring and the surveillance mechanism to ensure that there is no hording of the RECs and creation of artificial price rise in the REC market.
- CERC may intervene if such case of malpractices is observed in the REC trading.
Period for which the RECs are to be issued to RE generators:
The RE generator who are eligible for REC, will be eligible for issuance of RECs for 15 years from the date of commissioning of the projects. The existing RE project that are eligible for REC would continue to get RECs for 25 years.
- Promotion of new and high cost technologies in RE and the provision of multiplier for issuance of RECs
- The concept of multiplier can be introduced, under which less mature RE technologies can be promoted over other matured renewable technologies.
- The concept of negative list and sunset clause may also be considered for various technologies depending upon their maturity level.
- Any RE technologies which need to be promoted may be identified say 2 years in advance.
For such RE projects at least 15 years policy visibility would be provided to attract investments and promotion of such technologies in the renewable energy.
A technology multiplier can be introduced for promotion of new and high priced RE technologies, which can be allocated in various baskets specific to technologies depending on maturity.
- The multiplier would also take care of vintage depending on the date of commissioning of the project.
- Incentivising Obligated Entities for procurement of RE Power beyond RPO.
- No REC to be issued to the beneficiary of the concessional charges or waiver of any other charges.
- The role of trader can be enhanced in the REC trading which will bring in two key advantages,
- It will give long-term visibility to the buyers of the REC and they can easily fulfil the RPO.
- Further, the small buyers can bank on the traders for buying REC as an ease of purchase.
This will ensure even the small buyers who finds difficulty in trading in REC market will be able to fulfil his RPO.