Contents

  1. Environmentalism at the core
  2. MSP Basis and Fixing Explained
  3. Way to regulate TV news channels

ENVIRONMENTALISM AT THE CORE

Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Introduction

  • The United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the World Bank Group’s global practices have recognised sustainability as an essential issue of global importance.
  • Economic, social and other forms of sustainability have evolved over the years, but it is environmental sustainability that has gained significant popularity.

Between Governments and Corporates

  • Environmental sustainability is understood as buying greener products, avoiding hazardous materials, energy optimisation, and waste reduction.
  • While some firms are still reluctant to engage in environmentally beneficial activities as they are afraid to compromise on the economic benefits, some others have positioned environmental practices at the forefront due to legislation, and industry and government commitments.
  • In several firms, high importance has been given to environmentalism due to compelling regulatory norms, and a potential to manage costs, risks and optimise eco-friendly practices.
  • However, in this process, organisations, especially in the manufacturing sector, get so serious about the low-hanging fruits of waste reduction and energy efficiency improvements that they fail to recognise the need for restructuring their learning imperatives and see the big picture of environmentalism.
  • While government norms, organisational policies and corporate environmental responsibility projects drive environment-friendly practices, these are merely short-term actions towards environmental sustainability.

Long-lasting benefits: Green Supply Chains

  • Only through organisational learning can people be urged to work towards long-lasting benefits.
  • Green supply chain practices include green procurement, green manufacturing, green distribution, and reverse logistics.
  • With practices starting from acquisition of eco-friendly raw material to disposal/ reuse/ recycle of used products, employees, suppliers, distributors, retailers and customers will be able to integrate environmental concerns in the daily operations of a firm.
  • Thus, green supply chain practices enable organisational learning in environmental sustainability.
  • A research conducted in India points to the inter-linkages between green supply chain practices, organisational performance and learning.
  • The research shows that these inter-linkages not only lead to a long-lasting natural drive towards environmental performance, but also to higher economic performance.

Understanding links

  • Drawing linkages between green supply chain practices, corporate environmental performance, corporate economic performance and the dimensions of learning organisations in firms is necessary for an organisation’s progress and environmental protection in society.
  • Understanding these inevitable links will enable managers and experts to shape their organisational values, work practices, and performances for the greater good of society.
  • Policymakers should support this thinking by not merely imposing environmental practices as regulatory norms but by emphasising on the creation of green supply chain-based learning systems in manufacturing.

-Source: The Hindu


MSP BASIS AND FIXING EXPLAINED

Focus: GS-III Agriculture, Indian Economy

Why in news?

  • The recently enacted law dismantles the monopoly of APMC (agricultural produce market committee) mandis, thereby allowing sale and purchase of crops outside these state government-regulated market yards.
  • It fails to include a provision safeguarding the continuance of the existing minimum support price (MSP)-based procurement regime – i.e., The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill does not give any statutory backing to MSP.

The Current Issue

There is no legal compulsion on the implementation of MSPs currently. The Government cannot force others (private traders, organised retailers, processors or exporters) to pay based on any legislative provision currently. Hence, the present criticisms are based on the lack of security/guarantee of MSP.

What is the basis of MSP?

  • MSP is only a government policy that is part of administrative decision-making.
  • The government declares MSPs for crops, but there’s no law mandating their implementation.
  • The Centre currently fixes MSPs for 23 farm commodities — 7 cereals (paddy, wheat, maize, bajra, jowar, ragi and barley), 5 pulses (chana, arhar/tur, urad, moong and masur), 7 oilseeds (rapeseed-mustard, groundnut, soyabean, sunflower, sesamum, safflower and nigerseed) and 4 commercial crops (cotton, sugarcane, copra and raw jute) — based on the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP)’s recommendations.
  • The CACP, in its price policy report for the 2018-19 kharif marketing season, had suggested enactment of a legislation conferring on farmers ‘The Right to Sell at MSP’.

The Authority of CACP

  • The CACP itself is not any statutory body set up through an Act of Parliament.
  • This, despite its coming to existence in 1965 and MSPs being announced since the time of the Green Revolution, starting with wheat in 1966-67.

Sugarcane Exception

  • The only crop where MSP payment has some statutory element is sugarcane.
  • This is due to its pricing being governed by the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 issued under the Essential Commodities Act.

-Source: Indian Express


WAY TO REGULATE TV NEWS CHANNELS

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • Recently, the Supreme Court came down heavily on a TV channel that was intent on broadcasting hate-filled programmes.
  • The Court underlined the need for laying down clear guidelines, and their effective implementation, for the media against hate speech.
  • The government has made several attempts in the past to regulate the media but all such attempts came crashing down in the wake of public outcry.

Way forwards

  • There are 3 possible forms of regulation, which are government regulation, self-regulation and independent regulation.
  • Government regulations are not desirable as these could interfere with the freedom of speech and expression enshrined in the Constitution (Article 19).
  • The second alternative — self-regulation — though ideal, is easier said than done and continues to be a pipedream, at least in India.
  • The third and most desirable option is independent regulation.
  • A great responsibility has fallen on the Supreme Court, an opportunity that it must not miss.
  • A fourth model – self-cum-independent regulation is a possible way forward.

National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA)

  • The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), which was set up in 2008, in turn, set up the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA).
  • Its task is to consider and adjudicate upon complaints about broadcasts.
  • The NBSA is an independent body that has no interference from the parent body NBA.
  • The NBSA consists of four representatives from among media editors and an equal number of independent members of eminence, besides the chairman.

The Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards laid down by NBA include the principles that a news channel must:

  1. Ensure impartiality and objectivity in reporting
  2. Ensure neutrality
  3. Ensure that when reporting on crime, that crime and violence are not glorified
  4. Ensure utmost discretion while reporting on violence and crime against women and children
  5. Abhor sex and nudity
  6. Ensure privacy
  7. Ensure that national security is not endangered
  8. Refraining from advocating or encouraging superstition and occultism
  9. Ensure responsible sting operations

NBSA’s Shortcoming

Its writ extended only to its members, which was limited due to its voluntary membership. Those who were unhappy with a verdict found it easy to walk out.

-Source: Indian Express

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