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Current Affairs 02 May 2023

CONTENTS

  1. ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME)
  2. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994
  3. Sustainable Aviation Fuel
  4. Yellow Fever
  5. International Labour Day

ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME)


Context:

In a step further in the expanding India-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) military cooperation, the maiden ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME) is set to begin, with war games in South China Sea.

Relevance:

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. ASEAN India Maritime Exercise (AIME-2023)
  2. About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  3. ASEAN’s Objectives
  4. ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA)
  5. ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement (AITISA)
  6. ASEAN-India Investment Agreement (AIIA)
  7. ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA)

ASEAN India Maritime Exercise (AIME-2023)

  • The exercise is scheduled from May 2-8, 2023.
  • The Harbour Phase will be held at Changi Naval Base from May 2-4, 2023, and the Sea Phase will be conducted from May 7-8, 2023, in the South China Sea.
  • The purpose of AIME-2023 is to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the Indian Navy and ASEAN navies in the maritime domain.
Description of INS Delhi and INS Satpura:
  • INS Delhi is India’s first indigenously-built guided missile destroyer.
  • INS Satpura is an indigenously-built guided missile stealth frigate.
  • Both are a part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam and function under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.
  • These ships are fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors.

Participation in International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX-23) and International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC):

  • During their port call at Singapore, INS Delhi and INS Satpura will also participate in IMDEX-23 and IMSC being hosted by Singapore.

About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.

Members of ASEAN
  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia
  3. Philippines
  4. Singapore
  5. Thailand
  6. Brunei
  7. Vietnam
  8. Laos
  9. Myanmar
  10. Cambodia

ASEAN’s Objectives:

  1. To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
  2. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
  3. 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.
  4. To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.

A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.

  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
  • In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
  • ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
ASEAN Plus Three

ASEAN Plus Three is a forum that functions as a coordinator of co-operation between the ASEAN and the three East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.

ASEAN Plus Six
  • further integration to improve existing ties of Southeast Asia was done by the larger East Asia Summit (EAS), which included ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The group became ASEAN Plus Six with Australia, New Zealand, and India, and stands as the linchpin of Asia Pacific’s economic, political, security, socio-cultural architecture, as well as the global economy.
  • This group acted as a prerequisite for the planned East Asia Community which was supposedly patterned after the European Community (now transformed into the European Union).
ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA)
  • The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was signed and entered into force in 2010.
  • Under the Agreement, ASEAN Member States and India have agreed to open their respective markets by progressively reducing and eliminating duties on more than 75% coverage of goods.
ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement (AITISA)
  • The ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement was signed in 2014.
  • It contains provisions on transparency, domestic regulations, recognition, market access, national treatment and dispute settlement.
ASEAN-India Investment Agreement (AIIA)
  • The ASEAN-India Investment Agreement was signed in 2014.
  • The Investment Agreement stipulates protection of investment to ensure fair and equitable treatment for investors, non-discriminatory treatment in expropriation or nationalisation as well as fair compensation.
ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA)
  • The ASEAN–India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India.
  • The free trade area came into effect in 2010.
  • The ASEAN–India Free Area emerged from a mutual interest of both parties to expand their economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • India’s Look East policy was reciprocated by similar interests of many ASEAN countries to expand their interactions westward.
  • The signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement paves the way for the creation of one of the world’s largest FTAs – a market of almost 1.8 billion people with a combined GDP of US $ 2.8 trillion.
  • The AIFTA will see tariff liberalisation of over 90% of products traded between the two dynamic regions, including the so-called “special products,” such as palm oil (crude and refined), coffee, black tea and pepper.

-Source: The Hindu


Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994


Context:

In a recent case, the Delhi High Court has stated that some aspects of the PC & PNDT Act need to be reconsidered to ensure effective implementation. This observation was made while the court was hearing a plea filed by a man seeking the quashing of an FIR registered against him under various sections of the Act.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act
  2. Concerns Raised by the Delhi High Court

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act

  • The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to curb female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in the country.
  • The act prohibits prenatal sex determination and regulates the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques.
Objectives:
  • The main objective of the PCPNDT Act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic techniques for sex-selective abortion.
Provisions:
  • The PCPNDT Act regulates the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound machines, allowing their use only to detect certain genetic abnormalities, metabolic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, and congenital malformations, haemoglobinopathies, and sex-linked disorders.
  • No laboratory, centre or clinic is allowed to conduct any test, including ultrasonography, for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
  • No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, is allowed to communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
  • Any person who advertises pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, etc., can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.
Purpose:
  • The PCPNDT Act aims to promote gender equality, prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic techniques, and curb the practice of female foeticide in India.
  • It ensures that prenatal diagnostic techniques are only used for medical reasons and not for sex selection.

Offences under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act

  • Conducting or aiding in prenatal diagnostic techniques in unregistered facilities is prohibited.
  • Sex selection of a male or female fetus is prohibited.
  • Performing prenatal diagnostic techniques for any purpose other than those specified in the act is an offence.
  • The sale, distribution, supply, renting, etc. of any equipment that is capable of detecting the sex of the fetus, such as ultrasound machines, is prohibited.

Concerns Raised by the Delhi High Court

  • Practicality of avoiding police involvement in raids: The court observed that though the PC & PNDT Rules suggest avoiding police involvement in raids, seizure, etc., in practice, such action has to be as per the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for conducting raids at facilities/clinics.
  • Lack of power to arrest for the Appropriate Authority: Although the Appropriate Authority is given the power to investigate and conduct raids, cancel or suspend the registration of medical centers and facilities that violate the PC & PNDT Act, it does not have the power to arrest anyone under this Act.
  • Low conviction rate: The court noted that the conviction rate for violations of the PC & PNDT Act is very low, indicating a failure of the justice system to effectively prosecute offenders and prevent the illegal practice of sex-selective abortion.

-Source: Indian Express


Sustainable Aviation Fuel


Context:

Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has partnered with several Indian airlines, including Boeing, Indigo, Spicejet, Air India, Vistara, and AirAsia India to support the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
  2. Challenges Associated with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

About Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is also known as bio-jet fuel.
  • SAF is created domestically using cooking oil and oil-rich seeds from plants.
Creation of SAF
  • SAF samples produced by institutes undergo strict testing at the US Federal Aviation Administration Clearinghouse.
  • SAF is created using different materials such as non-edible and edible oils, as well as used cooking oil.
  • Various sources used for SAF creation include palm stearin, sapium oil, palm fatty acid distillates, algae oil, karanja, and jatropha.
Benefits of SAF
  • Scaling up production and use of SAF in India can bring several benefits.
  • SAF can reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, enhance energy security, create jobs in the renewable energy sector, and promote sustainable development.
  • Use of SAF can help the aviation industry meet environmental targets and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.
Use of SAF
  • Biofuel for aviation can be mixed with regular jet fuel and used together.
  • Compared to traditional fuel, SAF has lower sulfur content, which can decrease air pollution and support India’s goal of achieving Net Zero emissions.

Challenges Associated with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

  • High Production Cost: The cost of producing SAF is currently higher than traditional jet fuel, making it less economically viable for airlines to invest in SAF production and use.
  • Limited Infrastructure: There is limited infrastructure for the production, storage, and distribution of SAF, making it difficult to scale up production and supply of SAF.
  • Limited Feedstock: The availability of feedstock for SAF production is limited, and there is competition for resources between other industries, such as the food and agriculture sectors.
  • Complex Certification Process: The certification process for SAF is complex and time-consuming, and there is a lack of globally recognized standards for SAF production.
  • Lack of Public Awareness and Support: There is a need to raise public awareness and understanding of the benefits of SAF and to encourage greater support from policymakers and investors.

-Source: Down to Earth


Yellow Fever


Context:

A total of 117 passengers of Indian Origin that have arrived from Sudan are currently quarantined because they were not vaccinated against Yellow Fever.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Yellow Fever
  2. Yellow Fever Symptoms
  3. Prevention and Treatment of Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever

  • Yellow fever is named so because it is often associated with jaundice, which causes a yellowing of the skin and eyes.
  • Yellow fever is endemic in 47 countries in Africa, Central, and South America, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • About 90% of reported cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
Transmission:
  • The yellow fever virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes, with the most common vector being the Aedes species – the same mosquito that spreads other viruses like Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue.
  • The Haemogogus mosquito also spreads the virus, mainly found in jungle areas. Yellow fever cannot be spread from one person to another through contact.

Yellow Fever Symptoms

Incubation Period

  • Yellow fever virus incubates in the body for 3 to 6 days after contraction

Two Phases of Symptoms

Symptoms usually present themselves in 2 phases

  • The first, “acute”, phase causes fever, muscle pain or vomiting
  • Most patients improve and their symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days

Second Toxic Phase

  • A small percentage of people enter a second, more toxic phase within 24 hours of the initial remission
  • They will experience high fever, JAUNDICE, and abdominal pain with vomiting and deteriorating kidney function

Prevention and Treatment of Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a preventable disease, and its treatment primarily focuses on managing the symptoms. Below are the details:

Prevention:

  • Yellow fever can be prevented by getting vaccinated with the 17D vaccine, which provides lifelong immunity against the disease.

Treatment:

  • There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, but supportive treatment can help in managing symptoms such as dehydration, fever, and infection.
  • Bacterial infections that are associated with yellow fever can be treated with antibiotics to prevent further complications.

-Source: The Hindu


International Labour Day


Context:

International Labour Day, popularly known as International Workers’ Day or May Day is observed on May 01 every year.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. International Labour Day
  2. History
  3. India’s association with Labour Day

International Labour Day

  • International Labour Day is an annual celebration that takes place on 1 May.
  • It is a day to honor and acknowledge the efforts of workers and labor movements.
  • The day is celebrated in more than 80 countries, including India, Cuba, and China.
  • Many people around the world hold rallies and marches to promote workers’ rights and to demand better working conditions. In some places, it is a public holiday, and workers are given the day off to celebrate.
Significance:
  • International Labour Day commemorates the struggles and sacrifices made by workers’ and labor movements.
  • It is a day to recognize the social and economic achievements of the labor movement and to highlight the ongoing struggles for workers’ rights and protections.
  • Also known as May Day, the holiday has its roots in the United States and was originally established to demand an eight-hour workday.
  • Today, it has become a global celebration of the contributions and value of workers and a reminder of the need to protect their rights and dignity.

History:

  • The celebration of Labour Day has its roots in the labor movement of 19th century America.
  • In 1886, Chicago workers organized a strike to demand an eight-hour workday on May 1st.
  • Following a bomb explosion at a labor rally in Haymarket Square in Chicago, workers across the US joined forces to fight for their rights and better working conditions.
  • In 1889, the International congress of socialist parties met in Paris and declared May 1 as Labour Day or Worker’s Day, which is now celebrated worldwide.

India’s association with Labour Day

  • India’s association with Labour Day dates back to May 1, 1923, when the first celebration of the day took place in Chennai.
  • The event was organized by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.
  • In India, Labour Day is celebrated under various names in different states, such as Kamgar Din in Hindi, Karmikara Dinacharane in Kannada, and Karmika Dinotsavam in Telugu.

-Source: Indian Express


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