1. INDO-PACIFIC ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK FOR PROSPERITY(ir)
News: India signalled its readiness to be part of a new economic initiative led by the U.S. for the region, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined U.S. President Joseph Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and leaders of 10 countries, who participated virtually, for the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
The negotiations for the IPEF, are expected to centre around four main pillars, including trade, supply chain resiliency, clean energy and decarbonisation, and taxes and anti-corruption measures.
The grouping, which includes seven out of 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), all four Quad countries, and New Zealand, represents about 40% of global GDP.
India will work together with [other IPEF countries] to build an inclusive and flexible Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
IPEF would not be a “free trade agreement”, nor are countries expected to discuss reducing tariffs or increasing market access.
In that sense, the IPEF would not seek to replace the 11-nation CPTPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) that the U.S. quit in 2017, or the RCEP, which China, and all of the other IPEF countries (minus the U.S.) are a part of.
Three ASEAN countries considered closer to China — Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos — are not members of the IPEF.
2. HYDROGEN FUEL AND HYDROGEN POLICY(science and Tech
News: India will emerge as the leader of green hydrogen, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri.
About Hydrogen Fuel:
Hydrogen fuel is a zero-carbon fuel burned with oxygen; provided that it is created in a process that does not involve carbon. It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines.
Regarding hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen has begun to be used in commercial fuel cell vehicles such as passenger cars, and has been used in fuel cell buses for many years. It is also used as a fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
Types of Hydrogen:
About Green Hydrogen Policy:
Green hydrogen is hydrogen gas produced through electrolysis of water — an energy intensive process for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen— using renewable power to achieve this.
The new policy offers 25 years of free power transmission for any new renewable energy plants set up to supply power for green hydrogen production before July 2025.
This means that a green hydrogen producer will be able to set up a solar power plant in Rajasthan to supply renewable energy to a green hydrogen plant in Assam and would not be required to pay any inter-state transmission charges.
The move is likely going to make it more economical for key users of hydrogen and ammonia such as the oil refining, fertiliser and steel sectors to produce green hydrogen for their own use. These sectors currently use grey hydrogen or grey ammonia produced using natural gas or naphtha.
The government is set to provide a single portal for all clearances required for setting up green hydrogen production as well as a facility for producers to bank any surplus renewable energy generated with discoms for upto 30 days and use it as required.
Under the policy port authorities will also provide land at applicable charges to green hydrogen and green ammonia producers to set up bunkers near ports for storage prior to export.
The government is set to come out with mandates requiring that the oil refining, fertiliser and steel sectors procure green hydrogen and green ammonia for a certain proportion of their requirements. Singh has previously noted that the mandate for the refining sector could start at 15-20 per cent of the sectors total requirement.
3. INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION(IR
News: The “world of work” is being buffeted by multiple crises, says the ninth edition of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Monitor.
About International Labour Organisation (ILO):
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards.
Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN.
The ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands.
It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with around 40 field offices around the world, and employs some 3,381 staff across 107 nations, of whom 1,698 work in technical cooperation programmes and projects.
The ILO’s labour standards are aimed at ensuring accessible, productive, and sustainable work worldwide in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.
They are set forth in 189 conventions and treaties, of which eight are classified as fundamental according to the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; together they protect freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
The ILO is a major contributor to international labour law.
Within the UN system the organization has a unique tripartite structure: all standards, policies, and programmes require discussion and approval from the representatives of governments, employers, and workers.
4. INTER STATE COUNCIL(Indian Polity
News: The Inter-State Council, which works to promote and support cooperative federalism in the country, has been reconstituted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Chairman and Chief Ministers of all States and six Union Ministers as members.
About Inter State Council:
The Constitution of India in Article 263, provided that an Inter-State Council (ISC) may be established “if at any time it appears to the President that the public interests would be served by the establishment of a Council”.
Therefore, the constitution itself did not establish the ISC, because it was not considered necessary at the time the constitution was being framed, but kept the option for its establishment open. This option was exercised in 1990.
Therefore, the ISC was established as a permanent body on 28 May 1990 by a presidential order on recommendation of Sarkaria Commission.
The objective of the ISC is to discuss or investigate policies, subjects of common interest, and disputes among states.
Decentralisation of powers to the states as much as possible.
More transfer of financial resources to the states.
Arrangements for devolution in such a way that the states can fulfil their obligations.
Advancement of loans to states should be related to as ‘the productive principle’.
Deployment of Central Armed Police Forces in the states either on their request or otherwise.
The Inter-State Council composes of the following members:
Prime Minister, Chairman.
Chief Ministers of all states.
Chief Ministers of the union territories having legislative assemblies.
Administrators of the union territories not having legislative assemblies.
6 Union Cabinet Ministers, including Home Minister, to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
Governors of the states being administered under President’s rule.