Contents

  1. T.N., U.P. and Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC)
  2. Lok Sabha passes two bills
  3. Gross Environment Product in Uttarakhand
  4. Last patches of tropical lowland forest in Assam
  5. Plea invokes ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in Delhi HC

T.N., U.P. and Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC)

Context:

Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have acquired land for the Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC).

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Defence Technology and Infrastructure developments, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC)?
  2. Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor
  3. Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor

What are Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC)?

  • Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC) are corridors will facilitate a well-planned and efficient industrial base that will lead to increased defence production in the country.
  • The corridors overlap with existing defence public sector companies, and aim to ensure connectivity among various defence industrial units.
  • Developments of these corridors is significant as India is among the top 5 military spenders and one of the emerging defence manufacturing hubs in the world.
  • Promoting Make in India, the Defence Industrial Corridors will catalyse indigenous production of defence and aerospace-related items.
  • The combined efforts of the Government and private players will help achieve India’s goal of self-reliance in defence, generate direct and indirect employment opportunities and spur the growth of private domestic manufacturers, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Star-ups.
  • Two Defence Industrial Corridors are being set up in India, one in Uttar Pradesh and another in Tamil Nadu.

Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor

  • The Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor is being set up by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA). It consists of the following six nodal points with the potential to develop defence industries in the corridor:
    1. Agra
    2. Aligarh
    3. Chitrakoot
    4. Jhansi
    5. Kanpur
    6. Lucknow
  • Plug and Play support will be provided to the industries in the corridor, which will consist of the following facilities:
    1. Assured water supply and uninterrupted electricity (132 KVA) along with pelican wire fencing boundary wall at the site
    2. Connectivity with 4-lane heavy-duty highway connected with Bundelkhand Expressway and Delhi-Jhansi
    3. Single Window approvals and clearances to Defence and Aerospace (D&A) manufacturing units via Nivesh Mitra, the single window system of the state
    4. Labour Permits for D&A industry towards flexible employment conditions
    5. Simple Procedures and rationalised regulatory regime with easy reimbursement of incentives and subsidies

Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor

  • The Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, being set up by the Government of Tamil Nadu, consists of the following five nodal points:
    1. Chennai
    2. Coimbatore
    3. Hosur
    4. Salem
    5. Tiruchirappalli
  • The State holds the following strategic advantages which makes it a suitable destination for a defence corridor:
    1. The large coastal line which has four large seaports (three government and one private) and 22 minor ports
    2. The state has four international airports at Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai; and two domestic airports at Tuticorin and Salem
    3. A power surplus state with renewable energy capacity of 11,113 MW
    4. Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai is connected to the world by three submarine cables providing a bandwidth of 14.8 Tbps
    5. A destination of choice for Korean investors; the state is the largest Recipient of Korean Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India.

-Source: The Hindu


Lok Sabha passes two bills

Context:

The Lok Sabha passed two bills by voice vote without discussion, amid multiple adjournments and continued protests by the Opposition — the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Government Policies and Interventions), GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy, Mobilization of Resources, Industrial Policy, Inclusive Growth)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill
  2. National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship And Management Bill, 2021
  3. What are Institutes of National Importance?

Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill

  • The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed to amend the Factoring Regulation Act 2011.
  • The bill will help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) tide over their issue of delayed payments as it seeks to broaden the participation of entities undertaking factoring.
  • The bill is also likely to enhance traction on the TReDS (Trade Receivables Discounting System – TReDS is an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of MSMEs through multiple financiers) platform introduced by the Reserve Bank of India back in 2014 for entrepreneurs to unlock working capital tied in their unpaid invoices.
  • The bill also seeks to permit non-banking finance companies (NBFC) other than those whose principal business is factoring to discount invoices on TReDS and also reduce the time period for registration of invoice and satisfaction of charge upon it in order to avoid the possibility of dual financing.

National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship And Management Bill, 2021

  • Parliament has passed the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021 – i.e., Lok Sabha passed it after it was cleared by the Rajya Sabha earlier in 2021.
  • With the passing of this bill National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) in Haryana and Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) in Tamil Nadu under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries become Institutions of National Importance (INI).
  • This step will provide these Institutes Greater Autonomy and hence, that they can start new and innovative courses, as well as help them to attract excellent faculty and students.

What are Institutes of National Importance?

  • Institute of National Importance (INI) is a status that may be conferred on a premier public higher education institution in India by an act of Parliament of India.
  • Institutes of National Importance receive special recognition and funding from the Government of India.
  • INI relatively have higher degree of autonomy and they are allowed to open additional campuses anywhere in India or overseas.
  • As of July 2021, there are 161 institutes, declared as Institutes of National Importance under a distinct Act of Parliament.
  • These INIs include 23 IITs; 15 AIIMSs; 20 IIMs; 31 NITs; 25 IIITs; 7 IISERs, 7 NIPERs; 5 NIDs; 3 SPAs; 5 central universities; 4 medical research institutes, 2 food technology, and 14 other specialized institutes.

-Source: The Hindu


Gross Environment Product in Uttarakhand

Context:

The Uttarakhand government recently announced it will initiate valuation of its natural resources in the form of ‘Gross Environment Product’ (GEP), said to be along the lines of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of Environment, Environment Pollution and Degradation, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Putting a value/price tag on components of environment
  2. What is ‘Gross Environment Product’ (GEP)?
  3. Understanding Uttarakhand’s move regarding GEP

About Putting a value/price tag on components of environment

  • The idea of valuation of the components of environment is not new and it got impetus following rapid degradation of ecosystems, which led to adverse impacts on more than 60 per cent of services we get from the ecosystems.
  • The term “ecosystem services” was coined in 1981 to attract academics towards finding ways to address environmental issues. Soon, there were several publications defining and elaborating aspects of ecosystem services.
  • “Ecosystem services” can be thought of as: the benefits human populations derive, directly or indirectly, from ecosystem functions.
  • In 1997, economists and ecologists showed that at global level the value of ecosystem services is about twice as much as the global GDP.

What is ‘Gross Environment Product’ (GEP)?

  • ‘Gross Environment Product’ (GEP) is considered as the product and service value that the ecosystem provides for human welfare and economic and social sustainable development, including provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services.
  • GEP is an assessment system to measure ecological status.
  • Overall, GEP accounts for the economic value of the ecosystem in providing products and services, and it is one of the components of green GDP.
  • Green GDP is an indicator of economic growth with environmental factors taken into consideration along with the standard GDP of a country. It factors biodiversity losses and costs attributed to climate change.

Understanding Uttarakhand’s move regarding GEP

  • Uttarakhand gives services to the tune of more than 95 thousand crore per year to the nation “through its biodiversity”.
  • A home to the Himalayas, the state has over 71% area under forests and it is origin point of rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Sharada as well as home to wildlife reserves like Corbett and Rajaji Tiger Reserves.
  • Hence, it provides a lot of environment services and in continuity as a result of which, there is a natural degradation in those services.
  • The decision appears to be a welcome step, but going ahead with the jargon raises serious doubts on the intent of the government. It may confuse policy makers and negate the past efforts.
  • The purpose of introducing GEP is not transparent:
  • There is the issue of uncertainty as to whether it is
    • A process of simple valuation of a state’s ecological wealth OR A process to assess what part of the GDP it contributes.
    • An attempt to claim a budget from the center against ecosystem services the state provides to the rest of the country OR a process of providing benefits to its own residents.

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine


Last patches of tropical lowland forest in Assam

Context:

A recent study by researchers has highlighted the importance of the last fragments of tropical lowland forests in Assam by showing interactions between plants and fruit-eating birds in them. 

Relevance:

GS-I: Geography (Physical Geography – Forest Resources and Natural Vegetation), GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of Environment and Ecology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Tropical Lowland Humid Forest
  2. Tropical Lowland forests in India
  3. Recent Study on tropical lowland forests in Assam

Tropical Lowland Humid Forest

  • Tropical Lowland Humid Forest occurs in the humid tropics, often within 10°of the equator, where rainfall is abundant and well-distributed throughout most or much of the year, including both wet evergreen and moist semi-evergreen forest.
  • In general, a tropical rainforest climate can be defined as one with monthly mean temperatures of at least 18°C throughout the year, and an annual rainfall of at least 170 cm (and usually above 200 cm) and either no dry season or a short one of fewer than 4 consecutive months with <10 cm rainfall.
  • Elevations range from lowland to submontane or premontane, with ranges from sea level to between 1000 and 1700 m depending on location.
  • Evergreenness varies from completely evergreen to semi-evergreen seasonal forests, in which around 25% of the main canopy may be regularly deciduous.
  • The vegetation is often species-rich, often lacking dominants, with the majority of the tree species of very low abundance.

Tropical Lowland forests in India

  • The lowland rainforests of North Eastern India represent the westernmost limit of the rainforests north of the Tropic of Cancer.
  • These forests, on the Shillong plateau, are akin to Whitmore’s ‘tropical lowland evergreen rainforest’ formation and exhibit striking similarities and conspicuous differences with the equatorial rainforests in Asia-Pacific as well as tropical seasonal rainforests in southwestern China near the Tropic of Cancer.
  • Common attributes of the rainforests in Meghalaya with lowland rainforests found by a research paper:
    • Deciduousness in evergreen physiognomy;
    • Dominance of mega- and mesophanerophytic life-forms;
    • Abundance of species with low frequency of occurrence (rare and aggregated species);
    • Low proportional abundance of the abundant species

Recent Study on tropical lowland forests in Assam

  • Small fruit eaters such as bulbuls and barbets “fed upon the highest number of fruits” in both, fragmented and contiguous forests and are crucial in seed dispersal in both these types of forests.
  • the remaining patches of tropical lowland forests in Assam are very important for birds like the White-throated Brown Hornbill, which dispersed larger seeds that other birds were not able to.
  • Fragmentation of habitats had resulted in reduced interactions between plants and frugivorous birds in forest patches. However, despite this, fragmented forest patches continued to harbour interactions and distinct ones at that, between frugivorous birds and plants.

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine


Plea invokes ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in Delhi HC

Context:

Recently, a person has approached the Delhi High Court with a plea saying that his videos, photographs and articles etc., should be removed from the internet, citing his “Right to be Forgotten”.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional Provisions, Fundamental Rights, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Right to be Forgotten (RTBF)
  2. ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Indian context
  3. What does the Personal Data Protection Bill say about this?

Right to be Forgotten (RTBF)

  • Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) is the right to have publicly available personal information removed from the internet, search, databases, websites or any other public platforms, once the personal information in question is no longer necessary, or relevant.
  • This right has been recognised as a statutory right in the European Union under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Indian context

  • The Right to be Forgotten falls under the purview of an individual’s right to privacy, which is governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill that is yet to be passed by Parliament.
  • In 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict.
  • The court said at the time that, “the right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution”.

What does the Personal Data Protection Bill say about this?

  • The Personal Data Protection Bill aims to set out provisions meant for the protection of the personal data of individuals.
  • The draft bill mentions the “Right to be Forgotten” and states that the “data principal (the person to whom the data is related) shall have the right to restrict or prevent the continuing disclosure of his personal data by a data fiduciary”
  • (A data fiduciary means any person, including the State, a company, any juristic entity or any individual who alone or in conjunction with others determines the purpose and means of processing of personal data.)
  • Therefore, broadly, under the Right to be forgotten, users can de-link, limit, delete or correct the disclosure of their personal information held by data fiduciaries.
  • Even so, the sensitivity of the personal data and information cannot be determined independently by the person concerned, but will be overseen by the Data Protection Authority (DPA).
  • This means that while the draft bill gives some provisions under which a data principal can seek that his data be removed, but his or her rights are subject to authorisation by the Adjudicating Officer who works for the DPA.
  • While assessing the data principal’s request, this officer will need to examine the sensitivity of the personal data, the scale of disclosure, degree of accessibility sought to be restricted, role of the data principal in public life and the nature of the disclosure among some other variables.

Click Here to read about other provisions of the Personal Data Protection Bill

-Source: Hindustan Times

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