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Current Affairs 8 December 2020 for UPSC Exam


  1. Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI)
  2. U.S., China dominates arms market: report
  3. Lakshadweep and One District One Product (ODOP) Scheme
  4. India bucks China’s record export show
  5. NRIs to Vote Via Post
  6. Eco-ducts or eco-bridges


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

  • India ranked high along with the European Union and the United Kingdom in the latest edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) released by non-profit Germanwatch.
  • However, the country needed to focus more on renewable energy, both, as a mitigation strategy and for its post-novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) green recovery, the report said.

Highlights of the report

  • No country was doing enough to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to the index.
  • No country was rated very high on indicators defining the ‘renewable energy’ category.
  • The United States, with a rank of 61, was the worst performer.

India’s performance

  • India, for the second time in a row, continued to remain in the top 10.
  • India received high ratings on all CCPI indicators except ‘renewable energy’, where it was categorised as having a ‘medium’ performance.
  • India’s performance has been rated as ‘medium’ for its current share of renewable energy. Its performance for development of renewable energy supply during the last year was rated as ‘high’.
  • India’s improved policy framework has been responsible for the country’s good performance in this global index. However, the report underlined the need for long-term planning.
  • Although India had one of the largest growth trends, per capita emissions stayed at a comparatively low level, rated very high for their well-below 2 degrees celsius compatibility.
  • India, along with Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and Germany, was raked ‘high’ for its performance in the ‘Energy Use’ category.

Climate Change Performance Index

  • The CCPI is an independent monitoring tool for tracking countries’ climate protection performance.
  • It has been published annually since 2005.
  • The CCPI evaluates 57 countries and the European Union, which together generate 90%+ of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Using standardised criteria, the CCPI looks at four categories, with 14 indicators: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (40% of the overall score), Renewable Energy (20%), Energy Use (20%), and Climate Policy (20%).
  • The CCPI’s unique climate policy section evaluates countries’ progress in implementing policies working towards achieving the Paris Agreement goals.
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-Source: Down to Earth


Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

According to the report by SIPRI research institute – U.S. and Chinese companies dominated the global arms market in 2019, while the West Asia made its first appearance among the 25 biggest weapons manufacturers.


  • The U.S. arms industry accounted for 61% of sales by the world’s “Top 25” manufacturers last year, ahead of China’s 15.7%, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
  • Total sales by the “Top 25” rose by 8.5% to $361 billion, or 50 times the annual budget of the UN’s peacekeeping operations.
  • Six U.S companies and three Chinese firms were in the top 10, rounded out by Britain’s BAE Systems in seventh spot.
  • China and the United States are the two biggest states in terms of global arms spending, with companies cut to size.
  • The U.S. has dominated the market for decades, but for China — whose companies’ sales rose by almost 5% in 2019 — “this increase corresponds to the implementation of reforms to modernise the People’s Liberation Army underway since 2015”.
United Sta— 
India, 3.7% 
Russia. 3.4% 
Saudi Arabia. 3.2% 
United Kingdom. 2.5* 
south Korea. 
Brazil. 1.4% 
Italy, 1.4* 
Canada. 1.2% 
Brae'. 1.1% 
SORI AV. 2020.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

With the entire Lakshadweep group of islands being declared an organic agricultural area, the island administration is eyeing an expansion of the traditional business in coconut and coconut products through value addition, better marketing, and round-the-year processing.


  • The nuts are processed now mostly for oil and the islands being declared an organic agricultural area will give a big boost to their business.
  • At present, only about three crore nuts are processed on the island and there is an excess of around seven crore nuts, which are mostly sold in mainland India.
  • The coconut processing industry also works only for about six months a year when the weather is dry.
  • The period between May and December sees the industry come to a standstill.
  • The move is expected to increase coconut utilisation from the present level of around 50% to more than 70%.
  • The business in coconuts and coconut products is worth around ₹75 crore a year now.
  • The volume of business can easily go up to about ₹200 crore with measures like the ones being contemplated by the administration, sources add.
  • The island’s coconut farmers are also expected to benefit from the Union government’s ‘One District One Product’ programme of food processing in which the entire island is being considered as a single district and coconut oil has been identified as the product.
  • Financial support for the programme will help augment the coconut industry on the island.

Advantages of One District One Product (ODOP) programme

  • The ODOPs are useful in the preservation and development of local produce, crafts/ skills and promoting art.
  • It aids in the increase in the incomes and local employment which results in the decline in migration in search of employment.
  • Improvement in product quality and skill development would be a result of this scheme
  • The programme would also help resolve the issues of economic differences along with regional imbalances among states district

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

India’s imports from China as well as its trade deficit declined sharply in November, marking an exception to a record month for Chinese exports around the world that registered the fastest growth in almost three years and underlined China’s continuing recovery amid a pandemic-induced global slump.


  • Bilateral trade reached $78 billion over the 11-month period, sharply lower than 2019’s $84.4 billion. China’s shipments to India at the end of November accounted for $59 billion, sliding 13% and helping narrow India’s deficit to $40 billion.
  • The slump in China’s exports to India was broadly expected after data from India’s Ministry of Commerce last week showed a 13.3% decline in India’s overall imports in November.
  • India’s imports of electrical and non-electrical machinery – items that have traditionally had the biggest share in China’s exports to the country – slid by 13.4%, the Centre’s official data showed.
  • Overall, China’s exports surged 21.1% in November, customs data showed, the fastest growth since February 2018.
  • India’s exports to China were up 16% in November reaching $19 billion after 11 months of this year, likely driven by a recovery in Chinese imports of iron ore, which were up 16%.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-II Governance and Polity

Why in news?

Election Commission of India (ECI) has informed the Ministry of Law and Justice that it is “technically and administratively ready” to extend the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) to Non Resident Indian (NRI) voters for elections next year in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Timeline so far

The ECI started to look for possible options after receiving several requests from MPs, industrialists, ministers and also writ petitions by NRIs in the Supreme Court (SC) in 2013 and 2014.

After the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, a 12-member committee was set up to study mainly three options of:

  1. Voting by post.
  2. Voting at an Indian mission abroad.
  3. Online voting.

The committee ruled out online polling as it felt this could compromise “secrecy of voting” and also shot down the proposal to vote at Indian missions abroad as they do not have adequate resources.

  • In 2015, the panel finally recommended that NRIs should be given the “additional alternative options of e-postal ballot and proxy voting”, apart from voting in person.
  • In 2017, the Union Cabinet passed the proposal on proxy voting rights for NRIs and brought a Bill amending the Representation of the People Act 1950. However, the bill lapsed in Rajya Sabha due to dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha and the proposal has not been revived yet.

Current Voting Process for NRIs

  • Voting rights for NRIs were introduced only in 2011, through an amendment to the Representation of the People Act 1950.
  • An NRI can vote in the constituency in his/her place of residence, as mentioned in the passport, is located.
  • He/She can only vote in person and will have to produce her passport in original at the polling station for establishing identity.

How does voting by postal ballots work?

  • Any NRI interested in voting through the postal ballot will have to inform the Returning Officer (RO) not later than five days after the notification of the election.
  • On receiving such information, the RO will dispatch the ballot paper electronically.
  • The NRI voters will download the ballot paper, mark their preference on the printout and send it back along with a declaration attested by an officer appointed by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country where the NRI is resident.
  • However, it is not clear right now, if the voter will return the ballot paper herself through ordinary post or drop it off at the Indian Embassy, which may then segregate the envelopes constituency-wise and send them to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state concerned for forwarding to the RO.

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

  • Ramnagar Forest Division in Nainital district, Uttarakhand, recently built its first eco-bridge for reptiles and smaller mammals.
  • Eco-ducts or eco-bridges are include canopy bridges (usually for monkeys, squirrels and other arboreal species); concrete underpasses or overpass tunnels or viaducts (usually for larger animals); and amphibian tunnels or culverts.
  • Usually these bridges are overlaid with planting from the area to give it a contiguous look with the landscape.
  • Eco-ducts or eco-bridges aim to enhance wildlife connectivity that can be disrupted because of highways or logging.

-Source: Indian Express

February 2024