Contents

  1. Sudan’s military takes power in coup
  2. NPPA fixes price caps for anti-diabetic medicines
  3. Defence exports have grown by 334% in 5 years
  4. WMO report on Carbon dioxide emissions in 2020
  5. Global Agricultural Productivity Report (GAP Report)

Sudan’s military takes power in coup

Context:

Sudan’s military seized power recently dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting Prime Minister and other officials.

Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy.

The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was expected to hand the leadership of the council that runs the country over to civilians.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-II: International Relations (Important political developments), Prelims, GS-I: Geography (Maps)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding democracy and autocracy
  2. What is a Coup d’état?
  3. More about Sudan
  4. Recently in news: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Understanding democracy and autocracy

A Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

In simple words, A democracy means rule by the people.

The two current types of democracy are:

  1. Direct democracy: The people directly deliberate and decide on legislation.
  2. Indirect / Representative democracy: The people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation (such as in parliamentary or presidential democracy.)

The opposite of Democracy is Autocracy.

  • Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person (commonly referred to as a dictator), whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d’état or other forms of rebellion).
  • Both totalitarian and military dictatorship are often identified with, but need not be, an autocracy.
  • Totalitarianism is a system where the state strives to control every aspect of life and civil society. It can be headed by a supreme leader, making it autocratic, but it can also have a collective leadership such as a commune, military junta, or a single political party as in the case of a one-party state.

What is a Coup d’état?

  • A coup d’état (usually shortened to coup) is the seizure and removal of a government and its powers.
  • Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, military, or a dictator.
  • Many scholars consider a coup successful when the usurpers seize and hold power for at least seven days.

Recently in news -Myanmar: What is military Junta?

Military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders.

The term is now used to refer to an authoritarian form of government characterized by oligarchic military dictatorship, as distinguished from other categories of authoritarian rule, specifically

  1. strongman (autocratic military dictatorships);
  2. machine (oligarchic party dictatorships); and
  3. bossism (autocratic party dictatorships).

Currently, it can be said that Myanmar is essentially ruled by a Military junta.

More about Sudan

  • Sudan is a country in Northeast Africa which borders Egypt to the north, Libya to the northwest, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the southwest, South Sudan to the south, Ethiopia to the southeast, Eritrea to the east, and the Red Sea to the northeast.
  • Sudan is Africa’s third-largest country by area. From the 19th century, the entirety of Sudan was conquered by Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty.
  • Since independence in 1956, Sudan has been ruled by a series of unstable parliamentary governments and military regimes.
  • Unstable governments exacerbated the rift between the Islamic north, the seat of the government and the Animists and Christians in the south.
  • Differences in language, religion, and political power erupted in a civil war between government forces, strongly influenced by the National Islamic Front (NIF), and the southern rebels, whose most influential faction was the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), eventually concluding in the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
  • Islam was the Sudan’s state religion and Islamic laws applied from 1983 until 2020 when the country became a secular state.
  • Sudan is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, African Union, COMESA, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.

Recently in news: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

  • The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was formerly known as the Millennium Dam and sometimes referred to as Hidase Dam and it is a gravity dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia under construction since 2011.
  • The primary purpose of the dam is electricity production to relieve Ethiopia’s acute energy shortage and for electricity export to neighboring countries.
  • With a planned installed capacity of 6.45 gigawatts, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed, as well as the seventh largest in the world.
  • Recently, Saudi Arabia has thrown its weight behind Egypt and Sudan in their bitter dispute with Ethiopia over a massive hydropower dam built by the latter on the Blue Nile, the Nile River’s main tributary.

-Source: The Hindu


NPPA fixes price caps for anti-diabetic medicines

Context:

  • Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said it has fixed the ceiling prices for 12 anti-diabetic generic medicines, including glimepiride tablets, glucose injection and intermediate acting insulin solution.
  • To make it possible for every Indian to afford medical treatment against diseases like diabetes, NPPA has initiated a successful step by fixing the ceiling prices of 12 anti-diabetic generic medicines.

Relevance:

GS-III: Industry and Infrastructure

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)
  2. Functions of NPPA
  3. Diabetes and Insulin

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India.
  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was constituted by Government of India Resolution dated 29th August, 1997.
  • NPPA is Neither a Statutory nor a Constitutional Body.
  • NPPA acts as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers as an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.
  • The NPPA regularly publishes lists of medicines and their maximum ceiling prices (Drug Price Control Orders DPCO).

NPPA is propelling Digital India mission by:

  1. Pharma Sahi Daam– App to check prices of medicines
  2. Pharma Jan Samadhan– Public grievance system to help people resolve their problems.
  3. Pharma Data Bank– Online information collection from Pharma manufacturers.”

Functions of NPPA

  1. To implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
  2. To deal with all legal matters arising out of the decisions of the Authority.
  3. To monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
  4. To collect/ maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc, for bulk drugs and formulations.
  5. To undertake and/ or sponsor relevant studies in respect of pricing of drugs/ pharmaceuticals.
  6. To recruit/ appoint the officers and other staff members of the Authority, as per rules and procedures laid down by the Government.
  7. To render advice to the Central Government on changes/ revisions in the drug policy.
  8. To render assistance to the Central Government in the parliamentary matters relating to the drug pricing.

Click Here to read about Diabetes and Insulin

-Source: The Hindu


Defence exports have grown by 334% in 5 years

Context:

The Defence Minister said that with collaborative efforts of entities from all over the world, the defence exports have grown by 334% in the last five years and India now is exporting to more than 75 countries.

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Foreign Trade), GS-III: Science and Technology (Indigenization of technology & development of new technology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. India’s Defence Exports
  2. ‘Make in India’ initiative
  3. Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020)
  4. More about the Change in Defence Exports and Imports in India

India’s Defence Exports

  • According to a report released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) for the period between 2009-13 and 2014-18, Indian defence imports fell even as exports increased. This is good for a nation that has had the record of being one of the biggest importers of Defence equipment.
  • As per the data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, in March 2020, India is ranked 23rd in the list of major arms exporters for 2015-2019 and 19th for 2019.
  • The Ministry of Defence’s annual report 2018-19 records that the defence exports were worth Rs 10,745 crore, a growth of more than 100% from 2017-18 (Rs 4,682 crore) and over 700 % since 2016-17 (Rs 1,521 crore). India’s share of global arms exports is only 0.17%.
  • The current government has been laying emphasis on defence manufacturing in India to build up the country’s manufacturing base, ensure jobs for its youth and to bring down India’s arms import bill.
  • India’s target was to export 5 billion USD worth of military hardware by 2025.

Factors responsible for this shift

  1. ‘Make in India’ initiative, as part of which a number of components from Indian private and public sector enterprises have been prioritised by the government.
  2. Extraneous factors in the form of delays in supplying equipment by vendors and the outright cancellation of contracts by the Indian government or at least a diminution of existing contracts.

‘Make in India’ initiative

Under the Make in India initiative, the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) lays out the terms, regulations and requirements for defence acquisitions as well as the measures necessary for building India’s defence industry.

  • A new procurement category called ‘Buy Indian Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured’ (IDDM) has been created in DPP of 2016
  • The ‘Make’ procedure has undergone simplification “earmarking projects not exceeding ten crores” that are government funded and Rs. 3 crore for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
  • The DPP has provisions that make private industry production agencies and partners for technology transfers.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) share in Indian Defence market was 17.5% in 2016, now 54%.

Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020)

The DPEPP 2020 is envisaged as overarching guiding document of MoD to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports.

Regarding Domestic Production and Defence Exports

  • The share of domestic procurement in overall defence procurement is about 60% now, and in order to enhance procurement from domestic industry, it is incumbent that procurement is doubled to RS. 1.4 Lakh crores by 2025 – according to DPEPP 2020’s aims.
  • The policy says that Defence Attachés have been mandated and are supported to promote export of indigenous defence equipment abroad, with the efforts in this direction supplemented by selected Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU).
  • Subject to strategic considerations, domestically manufactured defence products will also be promoted through Government to Government agreements and Lines of Credit/Funding.
  • In addition, with the aim to move away from licensed production to design, develop and produce indigenously and own the design rights and Intellectual Property (IP) of the systems projected in Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) of the Services a Technology Assessment Cell (TAC) would be created.

More about the Change in Defence Exports and Imports in India

Public sector driven

Among arms producers, India has four companies among the top 100 biggest arms producers of the world. The largest Indian arms producers are:

  1. Indian ordnance factories (37th rank)
  2. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) (38th)
  3. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)
  4. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)

All four of these companies are public sector enterprises and account for the bulk of the domestic armament demand.

Explaining falling imports

Growing indigenization is not the sole reason for falling imports. Its is also because of the cancellation of some big-ticket items

  1. India cancelled the India-Russia joint venture for the development of the advanced Su-57 stealth Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in 2018 due to delays and not having the actual “5th gen” capabilities
  2. In 2015, we also reduced the size of the original acquisition of 126 Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) from Dassault to 36 aircraft
  3. Delays in the supplies of T-90 battle tanks, and Su-30 combat aircraft from Russia and submarines from France, in 2009-13 and 2014-18, also depressed imports.

SMEs not the favorites

SMEs still face stunted growth because India’s defence industrial model is at odds with global trends in that it tends to create disincentives for the private sector.

  • Governments, including the incumbent, have tended to privilege Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) over the private sector, despite ‘Make in India’.
  • This model is highly skewed, undermining the growth of private players and diminishes the strength of research and development.

Export trends

The trends look positive on the export front. Between 2012 and 2019, Indian defence exports, both Public and private, have seen a surge

The sharp rise in defence export products can be attributed to the measures introduced by Government

  • In 2014, the government delisted or removed several products that were restricted from exports.
  • It dispensed with the erstwhile No Objection Certificate (NOC) under the DPP restricting exports of aerospace products, several dual-use items and did away with two-thirds of all products under these heads.
  • Small naval crafts account for the bulk of India’s major defence exports. However, export of ammunition and arms remain low.

Speaking of volume

  • As a percentage of total Indian trade, defence-related exports for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 were 0.8 and 0.73%, respectively.
  • Thus, from a volume and value standpoint, Indian defence exports, while showing a promising upward trend, still remain uncompetitive globally. 

-Source: The Hindu


WMO report on Carbon dioxide emissions in 2020

Context:

A report from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said the increase in CO2 from 2019 to 2020 was slightly lower than that observed from 2018 to 2019 but higher than the average annual growth rate over the last decade.

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Conservation of Environment and Ecology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
  2. About the WMO report on Carbon dioxide emissions in 2020

Click Here to read about World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

About the WMO report on Carbon dioxide emissions in 2020

  • The WMO report shows that the Carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 were higher than the average annual growth rate over the last decade – despite the approximately 5.6% drop in fossil fuel CO2 emissions in 2020 due to restrictions related to the pandemic.
  • For methane, the increase from 2019 to 2020 was higher than that observed from 2018 to 2019 and also higher than the average annual growth rate over the last decade.
  • For nitrous oxides also, the increase was higher and also than the average annual growth rate over the past 10 years.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) shows that from 1990 to 2020, radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases (LLGHGs) increased by 47%, with CO2 accounting for about 80% of this increase.
  • Concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most significant greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020 and is 149% of the pre-industrial level.
  • Methane (CH4) is 262% and nitrous oxide (N2O) is 123% of the levels in 1,750 when human activities started disrupting earth’s natural equilibrium.
  • The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere breached the milestone of 400 parts per million in 2015. And just five years later, it exceeded 413 ppm.

-Source: The Hindu


Global Agricultural Productivity Report (GAP Report)

Context:

According to the Global Agricultural Productivity Report (GAP Report) 2021 Global agricultural productivity is not growing as fast as the demand for food, amid the impact of climate change.

Relevance:

GS-III: Agriculture (Agricultural Marketing, Food Security), GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Highlights of the Global Agricultural Productivity Report
  2. Way Forwards suggested

Highlights of the Global Agricultural Productivity Report

  • Total Factor Productivity (TFP) is growing at an annual rate of 1.36% (2020-2019) which is below the Global Agricultural Productivity Index that has set an annual target of 1.73% growth to sustainably meet the needs of consumers for food and bioenergy in 2050. (Total factor productivity captures the interaction between multiple agricultural inputs and outputs.)
  • TFP growth is influenced by climate change, weather events, changes in fiscal policy, market conditions, investments in infrastructure and agricultural research and development.

Situation in Different Regions

  • Drier Regions (Africa and Latin America): Climate change has slowed productivity growth by as much as 34%.
  • High-Income Countries (in North America and Europe): Modest TFP growth.
  • Middle Income Countries (India, China, Brazil and erstwhile Soviet republics): Strong TFP growth rates.
  • Low-Income Countries (Sub-Saharan Africa): TFP is contracting by an average of 0.31% per year.

Situation in India

  • India has seen strong TFP and output growth this century – The most recent data shows an average annual TFP growth rate of 2.81% and output growth of 3.17% (2010–2019.)
  • By the end of the century, the mean summer temperature in India could increase by five degrees Celsius.
  • This rapidly rising temperature, combined with changes in rainfall patterns, could cut yields for India’s major food crops by 10% by 2035.
  • In addition to the challenges for environmental sustainability, India’s small-scale farmers face significant obstacles to economic and social sustainability.
  • Of the 147 million landholdings in India, 100 million are less than two hectares in size. Nearly 90% of farmers farming less than two hectares participate in a government food ration program.

Way Forwards suggested

  • Invest in agricultural research and development
  • Embrace science-and-information-based technologies
  • Improve infrastructure for transportation, information and finance
  • Cultivate partnerships for sustainable agriculture, economic growth and improved nutrition
  • Expand and improve local, regional and global trade
  • Reduce post-harvest loss and food waste

-Source: The Hindu

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