News: The Haryana police have invoked sedition charges against a group of protesting farmers who allegedly damaged the official vehicle of Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa in Sirsa on July 11, during a demonstration against the farm laws.
About Section 124A of IPC:
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for sedition.
The Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860, under the British Raj.
Section 124A forms part of Chapter VI of the Code which deals with offences against the state. Chapter VI comprises sections from 121 to 130, wherein section 121A and 124A were introduced in 1870.
The then British government in India feared that Muslim preachers on the Indian subcontinent would wage a war against the government.
Particularly after the successful suppression of Wahabi/Waliullah Movement by the British, the need was felt for such law.
Throughout the Raj, this section was used to suppress activists in favour of national independence, including Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi, both of whom were found guilty and imprisoned.
2. WHOLSESALE PRICE INDEX
News: Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index slowed marginally to 12.07% in June, from May’s record 12.94%, official data showed.
About Wholesale Price Index (WPI):
Wholesale Price Index, or WPI, measures the changes in the prices of goods sold and traded in bulk by wholesale businesses to other businesses. WPI is unlike the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks the prices of goods and services purchased by consumers.
Analysts use the numbers to track the supply and demand dynamics in industry, manufacturing and construction. The numbers are released by the Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. An upward surge in the WPI print indicates inflationary pressure in the economy and vice versa.
While WPI keeps track of the wholesale price of goods, the CPI measures the average price that households pay for a basket of different goods and services.
Even as the WPI is used as a key measure of inflation in some economies, the RBI no longer uses it for policy purposes, including setting repo rates. The central bank currently uses CPI or retail inflation as a key measure of inflation to set the monetary and credit policy.
Calculation of Wholesale Price Index:
The monthly WPI number shows the average price changes of goods usually expressed in ratios or percentages.
The index is based on the wholesale prices of a few relevant commodities available.
The commodities are chosen based on their significance in the region. These represent different strata of the economy and are expected to provide a comprehensive WPI value.
The advanced base year 2011-12 adopted recently uses 697 items.
Major components of WPI:
Primary articles is a major component of WPI, further subdivided into Food Articles and Non-Food Articles.
Food Articles include items such as Cereals, Paddy, Wheat, Pulses, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Eggs, Meat & Fish, etc.
Non-Food Articles include Oil Seeds, Minerals and Crude Petroleum
The next major basket in WPI is Fuel & Power, which tracks price movements in Petrol, Diesel and LPG
The biggest basket is Manufactured Goods. It spans across a variety of manufactured products such as Textiles, Apparels, Paper, Chemicals, Plastic, Cement, Metals, and more.
Manufactured Goods basket also includes manufactured food products such as Sugar, Tobacco Products, Vegetable and Animal Oils, and Fats.
3. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
News: A proposal to link the corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding by the private companies for education with the promotion of entrepreneurship among women is being considered in Rajasthan. The focus will be on developing entrepreneurial skills among young women in the rural areas to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
About Corporate Social Responsibility:
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.
By practicing corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.
India is the first country in the world to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory, following an amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 in April 2014. Businesses can invest their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger as part of any CSR compliance.
The amendment notified in the Companies Act, 2013 requires companies with a net worth of INR 5 billion (US$70 million) or more, or an annual turnover of INR 10 billion (US$140 million) or more, or net profit of INR 50 million (US$699,125) or more, to spend 2 percent of their average net profits of three years on CSR.
Prior to that, the CSR clause was voluntary for companies, though it was mandatory to disclose their CSR spending to shareholders. CSR includes but is not limited to the following:
Projects related to activities specified in the Companies Act; or
Projects related to activities taken by the company board as recommended by the CSR Committee, provided those activities cover items listed in the Companies Act.
4. SAGAR (SECURITY AND GROWTH FOR ALL IN THE REGION)
News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday “took stock” of bilateral cooperation in a telephone conversation.
About SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region):
Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) (transl. Ocean) is India’s policy or doctrine of maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
In 2015, India unveiled it’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean i.e. Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). It is an increasing recognition of the increasing importance of maritime security, maritime commons and cooperation.
Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities. For this, India would cooperate on the exchange of information, coastal surveillance, building of infrastructure and strengthening their capabilities.
SAGAR provides a mechanism for India to expand strategic partnerships with other IOR littorals in Asia and Africa.
SAGAR indicates the leadership role and responsibilities India is ready to play in the region on a long-term basis in a transparent manner through its capacity building and capability enhancement programs.
The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like Act East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy etc.
This symbolises India’s maritime resurgence, as maritime issues are now centre of India’s foreign policy.
With effective implementation of all these policies, India can act as an enabler to create a positive environment in the IOR.