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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

18 MAY 2022

. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    About the Wholesale InfaltionPrelims & Mains
2.    Details of the Inter State River Water Disputes TribunalPrelims & Mains
3.    About the One Nation One Ration Card SchemePrelims & Mains
4.    Details of the RFID TechnologyPrelims Specific Topic
5.    About the North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationPrelims Specific Topic

 

1 – About the Wholesale Infaltion: 

GS III

Indian Economy

  • Context:
  • The Wholesale Price Index-based inflation rate touched a new high of 15.1 percent in April, according to official data released on Tuesday, owing to increases in the prices of vegetables, fruits, milk, and gasoline.
  • What is WPI, exactly?
  • The wholesale price index is a way of measuring and tracking price changes before they reach the retail level.
  • The WPI is used to calculate inflation in several countries.
  • WPI is divided into three sections:
  • 2 percent of goods manufactured
  • Primary articles account for 22.6 percent of all articles.
  • Fuel and power account for 13.1 percent of the budget.
  • Instead of the previous year of 2004-05, the WPI’s base year will be 2011-12.
  • The new WPI series now includes 697 items, compared to 676 in the previous one.
  • What exactly is the issue with WPI?
  • In response to the Urjit Patel Committee’s recommendations, the RBI Act was changed, and flexible inflation targeting (FIT) using CPI inflation as the nominal anchor was established.
  • Under the FIT, the use of WPI inflation has been phased out entirely, as the RBI is required to seek price stability as measured by CPI inflation.
  • The CPI is currently used to calculate all inflation forecasts.
  • WPI is now mostly used to convert GDP/GVA at current prices to constant values.
  • In reality, the GDP deflator (also known as the genuine gauge of inflation) closely tracks WPI inflation. It is derived by multiplying GDP at current prices by 100.
  • At the same time, the GDP deflator dropped sharply and WPI inflation dropped dramatically. This has a significant impact on India’s economic growth.
  • To deflate services sector GDP, separate input/output price indices are required, which WPI is not adequate for.
  • The use of geometric mean for item level averaging is one of the most prominent features of the new WPI series. This is in line with international best practises.
  • Apart from other factors such as changes in the basket’s composition, the geometric mean has significantly decreased WPI inflation.
  • The lowered WPI on a corrected basis has driven up real GDP appreciably in recent years.
  • In recent years, the removal of excise duty from the WPI calculation has resulted in lower WPI inflation, which has pushed real GDP up to some extent.
  • What are our options?
  • Deflating input and output prices using different indices, often known as double deflation, is a more accurate way to calculate GDP.
  • When output prices move faster than input prices, the single deflation technique overestimates GDP/GVA.
  • The single deflation approach of computing GDP/GVA using WPI as a deflator should be abandoned to assure accuracy.
  • Source – The Hindu

2 – Details of the Inter State River Water Disputes Tribunal:

GS II

Inter State and Centre State Disputes

  • Context:
  • Due to Haryana’s water scarcity, the Yamuna’s water levels decreased, and Delhi Water Minister Satyendar Jain said the river had dried up. Jain paid a visit to the Wazirabad barrage on Tuesday.
  • On the other side, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar indicated that Delhi receives 1,050 cusecs of water as part of its share.
  • Constitutional Amendments:
  • Water, comprising water supply, irrigation, canals, drainage, embankments, water storage, and water power, is covered in Entry 17 of the State List.
  • The Union List’s Entry 56 empowers the Union Government to manage and develop interstate rivers and river valleys to the extent that Parliament deems it essential in the public interest.
  • According to Article 262, Parliament may provide by law for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint relating to the usage, distribution, or control of the waters of any inter-State river or river valley in the case of water conflicts.
  • Parliament may decide that none of the aforementioned disputes or complaints fall under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or any other court.
  • Bill to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act brought in 2017:
  • In March 2017, the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha with the goal of simplifying the adjudication of inter-State river water disputes by updating the existing ISRWD Act, 1956.
  • The law proposes to create a stand-alone Tribunal with a permanent location, office space, and infrastructure, eliminating the need to create a separate Tribunal for each water dispute, which is a time-consuming process.
  • The proposed Bill calls for the Central Government to establish a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to handle inter-State water disputes peacefully within a year and a half.
  • Any disagreement that cannot be settled via discussion is sent to the Tribunal.
  • The Chairperson of the Tribunal will appoint a Bench of the Tribunal to determine the case brought before it.
  • The requirement that the tribunal’s final judgement be published in the official gazette is eliminated by the Bill.
  • The tribunal’s decision will be final and binding on all parties involved in the dispute, according to the bill.
  • The measure also calls for a single authority to manage the data bank and information system, as well as a transparent national data gathering system for each river basin.
  • The proposed amendments to the bill will speed up the resolution of water issues before it.
  • The measure was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources for assessment.
  • The Ministry has published a draught Cabinet Note for Official Amendments to Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in response to the Standing Committee’s proposal.
  • Source – The Hindu

3 – About the One Nation One Ration Card Scheme:

GS II

Government Policies and Interventions

  • Context:
  • The e-Shram portal, which is intended to register workers in the unorganised sector and aid them in receiving social security benefits, is being linked with the One Nation One Ration Card scheme, according to Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Labour and Employment.
  • Status of ONORC Scheme:
  • At this time, 32 states and union territories have finished the scheme’s procedures, which include linking ration cards to Aadhaar IDs and installing e-Point of Sale (e-POS) devices at each FPS.
  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA) of 2013 requires the digitalization of the public distribution system (PDS), a network of roughly 5,00,000 fair-price retailers, to ensure complete mobility of food subsidies. (FPS).
  • To ensure this, Aadhaar authentication and authenticated data would be used.
  • The Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IMPDS) webpage keeps track of all ONORC purchases.
  • Advantages of ONORC:
  • Providing Access to Food: Prior to the National Food Security Act, ration cardholders could only buy their subsidised food grains from an approved Fair Price Shop (FPS) inside their state.
  • If a beneficiary relocates to another state, he or she must apply for a new ration card there.
  • As a result, ONORC intends to remove regional barriers to social justice and ensure that everyone has access to food.
  • 1/3 of the Population is Supported: Over 37% of the population is made up of migrant labour. As a result, everyone transferring from one location to another must have a strategy.
  • The ONORC can reduce leakages because deduplication is a crucial need of this technique.
  • This will prevent the same person from receiving benefits in two different parts of the country.
  • Furthermore, the system is connected to Aadhaar and fingerprints, removing the majority of the potential for corruption.
  • ONORC will be especially valuable for women and other disadvantaged groups, given how social identity (caste, class, and gender) and other environmental elements (including power relations) constitute a powerful backdrop in accessing PDS.
  • Obstacles Involved:
  • Exclusion Error: The digitalization of this PDS method has been pushed through Aadhaar-linked ration cards and smart cards in an effort to avoid leakages. However, exclusion errors have increased with Aadhaar seeding.
  • Many individuals in the country still lack Aadhar cards, jeopardising their food security.
  • Not only PDS, but most anti-poverty, rural employment, welfare, and food security initiatives have relied on domicile-based access in the past, limiting people’s ability to use government social security, welfare, and food entitlements in their home country.
  • Disruption of Supply Chains A monthly quota of items is given to an FPS in proportion to the number of personnel assigned to it.
  • Because of population mobility, some FPSs may need to cater to more cards while others need to cater to less once the ONORC is completely operational.
  • Steps to Follow:
  • If ration shop uptake continues to be impeded by emergencies, alternative delivery mechanisms for distributing food grains to vulnerable groups should be investigated.
  • Putting Nutritional Security First: Nutritional security should be considered while discussing food security. In the long run, a foolproof food voucher system or direct benefit transfer could replace the PDS system.
  • A household living below the poverty line can purchase rice, beans, sugar, and oil at market price from any Kirana store by paying in cash or using the coupon in full.
  • e-Shram Portal Information:
  • The e-Shram Portal’s mission is to register 38 million unorganised workers, such as construction workers, migrant workers, street vendors, and domestic workers.
  • An e-Shram card with a 12-digit unique number will be given to each employee.
  • If a worker is enrolled in the eSHRAM platform and is involved in an accident, he will be eligible for Rs 2.0 lakh if he dies or becomes totally disabled, and Rs 1.0 lakh if he becomes partially incapacitated.
  • The e-Shram portal was built after the Supreme Court ordered the government to complete the registration process for unorganised employees so that they might benefit from various government projects.
  • Implementation: State/UT administrations across the country will register unorganised employees.
  • Source – The Hindu

4 – Details of the RFID Technology:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • Due to the increasing security danger to the Amarnath Yatra this year, the government has decided to insure every pilgrim for Rs 5 lakh and provide them with unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which were previously only provided to cars. During a meeting on security readiness for the Amarnath Yatra, which is set to begin on June 30 and is chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Arvind Mehta, the Chief Secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, gave the information.
  • Overview of RFID Technology:
  • The term RFID refers to a method of encoding digital data in RFID tags or smart labels that may be read by a reader. It works similarly to barcoding in that a device reads data from a tag. RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and it is a sort of technology that allows for automatic data capture and identification. Such technology recognises objects, collects data about them, and feeds it directly into the computer with minimal or no human involvement.
  • RFID components include:
  • The three components are an RFID tag or label, a reader, and an antenna. To convey data to the reader, the tag contains a circuit and an antenna. The reader then converts the transferred waves into data that may be utilised. The data is subsequently transferred to a host computer system, where it can be analysed and stored.
  • Applications for RFID include:
  • Logistics & supply chain – By giving visibility, RFID can help increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve quality in the supply chain.
  • Inventory tracking – Using an RFID reader, you can trace items through the supply chain to the point of scale in minutes.
  • Attendee tracking — Managing a conference with an RFID-based system can help avoid the need for long registration lines.
  • RFID-based access – Certain locations necessitate a higher level of security. RFID control tag access might be limited to those who have been pre-approved.
  • Real-time location system – This system allows you to track personnel and asset locations in real time. It assists with the evaluation of a floor-based strategy as well as resource tracking.
  • Source – The Hindu

5 – About the North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • Finland’s President, Sauli Niinisto, recently announced that his country would apply to join NATO, signalling a historic shift in policy in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • What is NATO, exactly?
  • NATO is a military alliance founded in April 1949 by the United States, Canada, and a number of Western European countries in order to ensure collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • There are now 30 members.
  • The initial members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • The original signatories included Greece and Turkey (1952), West Germany (1955, renamed Germany in 1990), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017), and North Macedonia (2018). (2020).
  • France withdrew from NATO’s combined military command in 1966 but remained a member of the organisation; it rejoined in 2009.
  • The headquarters are in Brussels.
  • The Allied Command Operations headquarters are in Mons, Belgium.
  • What are the purposes and objectives of NATO?
  • NATO’s primary and long-term purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all of its members by political and military means.
  • NATO’s political objectives are to promote democratic values and to allow members to consult and work on defence and security issues in order to solve problems, build trust, and avoid war in the long run.
  • The peaceful resolution of disputes is one of NATO’s military goals. If diplomatic efforts fail, it possesses the military capability to execute crisis management operations.
  • These are carried out under NATO’s foundational treaty, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, or under a United Nations mandate, either alone or in collaboration with other countries and international organisations.
  • NATO has only utilised Article 5 once, in reaction to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
  • How does NATO function?
  • Despite the fact that NATO has an integrated military command structure, it only possesses a few forces and assets.
  • The majority of forces remain under full national command and control until member countries agree to take up NATO-related operations.
  • The Alliance’s decisions must be unanimous and consensual, and all 30 allies must defend the Alliance’s essential ideals of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.
  • NATO’s protection does not extend to civil wars or domestic coups.
  • NATO is totally sponsored by its members. Nearly three-quarters of NATO’s budget is funded by the United States.
  • Why was NATO established?
  • When World War II concluded in 1945, Western Europe was economically devastated and militarily weak. (By the conclusion of the war, the western Allies had substantially decreased their army.)
  • The United States sponsored the Marshall Plan in 1948, which pumped massive sums of economic aid into western and southern Europe on the condition that they interact with one another and engage in collaborative planning to expedite their mutual recovery.
  • The United Kingdom, France, and the Low Countries—Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg—signed the Brussels Treaty of 1948, establishing the Western European Union.
  • However, it was rapidly realised that to create an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets, a considerably larger coalition would be required.
  • Following a communist revolution in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussing a multilateral collective-defense concept in March 1948 to bolster Western security and promote democratic ideals.
  • The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in April 1949 after France, the Low Countries, and Norway entered the discussions.
  • When relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorated following World War II, the Cold War began.
  • The Soviet Union wanted to extend communism throughout Europe, but the United States saw the Soviet Union’s ideology as a threat to its way of life.
  • The Soviet Union signed the Warsaw Pact with communist republics in Central and Eastern Europe in 1955, while the Cold War was developing (1955). Because it was largely a political-military collaboration, the Pact was seen as a direct strategic counterweight to NATO.
  • It included Albania (which departed in 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
  • The Pact was officially disbanded in early 1991, following the demise of the Soviet Union.
  • What do the NATO Alliances stand for?
  • NATO is a member of three alliances that extend beyond its 30 member countries.
  • The EAPC (European-Atlantic Partnership Council) is a 50-nation multilateral venue for political and security debate and collaboration among allies and partners.
  • It establishes the broad political framework for NATO’s Euro-Atlantic cooperation, as well as bilateral relationships formed under the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme between NATO and individual partner countries.
  • PfP Program Information:
  • The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a practical bilateral cooperation programme that brings NATO and individual Euro-Atlantic member countries together.
  • It allows partners to shape their own relationship with NATO and set their own objectives for collaboration.
  • The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) was superseded by the EAPC in 1991, shortly after the Cold War ended.
  • The Mediterranean Dialogue is a partnership forum aiming at improving relations and understanding between participating countries and NATO Allies while also contributing to security and stability in NATO’s Mediterranean and North African regions.
  • Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia are now non-NATO countries participating in the Dialogue.
  • The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) is a forum for collaboration that aims to contribute to long-term global and regional security by allowing non-NATO Middle Eastern countries to work with NATO.
  • Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are now part of the Initiative.
  • Source – The Hindu

 

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