geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 27th April 2022

    1.    MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE

    • News: As the wheat procurement continues in the key grain-producing State of Punjab, the private purchase in the ongoing season has been significantly higher than the last year, even as farmers assert that, they have not reaped much financial benefit.
    • About Minimum Support Price (MSP):
      • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
      • The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
      • MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer – farmers – against excessive fall in price during bumper production years.
      • The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government. The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution.
      • In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.
      • The Price Support Policy of the Government is directed at providing insurance to agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
      • The minimum guaranteed prices are fixed to set a floor below which market prices cannot fall. Till the mid 1970s, Government announced two types of administered prices:
        • Minimum Support Prices (MSP)
        • Procurement Prices
      • The MSPs served as the floor prices and were fixed by the Government in the nature of a long-term guarantee for investment decisions of producers, with the assurance that prices of their commodities would not be allowed to fall below the level fixed by the Government, even in the case of a bumper crop.
      • Procurement prices were the prices of kharif and rabi cereals at which the grain was to be domestically procured by public agencies (like the FCI) for release through PDS. It was announced soon after harvest began.
      • Normally procurement price was lower than the open market price and higher than the MSP.
      • This policy of two official prices being announced continued with some variation upto 1973-74, in the case of paddy. In the case of wheat it was discontinued in 1969 and then revived in 1974-75 for one year only. Since there were too many demands for stepping up the MSP, in 1975-76, the present system was evolved in which only one set of prices was announced for paddy (and other kharif crops) and wheat being procured for buffer stock operations.
      • In formulating the recommendations in respect of the level of minimum support prices and other non-price measures, the Commission takes into account, apart from a comprehensive view of the entire structure of the economy of a particular commodity or group of commodities, the following factors:
        • Cost of production
        • Changes in input prices
        • Input-output price parity
        • Trends in market prices
        • Demand and supply
        • Inter-crop price parity
        • Effect on industrial cost structure
        • Effect on cost of living
        • Effect on general price level
        • International price situation
        • Parity between prices paid and prices received by the farmers.
        • Effect on issue prices and implications for subsidy
      • The Commission makes use of both micro-level data and aggregates at the level of district, state and the country. The information/data used by the Commission, inter-alia include the following:
        • Cost of cultivation per hectare and structure of costs in various regions of the country and changes there in;
        • Cost of production per quintal in various regions of the country and changes therein;
        • Prices of various inputs and changes therein;
        • Market prices of products and changes therein;
        • Prices of commodities sold by the farmers and of those purchased by them and changes therein;
        • Supply related information – area, yield and production, imports, exports and domestic availability and stocks with the Government/public agencies or industry;
        • Demand related information – total and per capita consumption, trends and capacity of the processing industry;
        • Prices in the international market and changes therein, demand and supply situation in the world market;
        • Prices of the derivatives of the farm products such as sugar, jaggery, jute goods, edible/non-edible oils and cotton yarn and changes therein;
        • Cost of processing of agricultural products and changes therein;
        • Cost of marketing – storage, transportation, processing, marketing services, taxes/fees and margins retained by market functionaries; and
        • Macro-economic variables such as general level of prices, consumer price indices and those reflecting monetary and fiscal factors.
      • Government announces minimum support prices (MSPs) for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane. The mandated crops are 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 rabi crops and two other commercial crops. In addition, the MSPs of toria and de-husked coconut are fixed on the basis of the MSPs of rapeseed/mustard and copra, respectively. The list of crops are as follows:
        • Cereals (7) – paddy, wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, maize and ragi
        • Pulses (5) – gram, arhar/tur, moong, urad and lentil
        • Oilseeds (8) – groundnut, rapeseed/mustard, toria, soyabean, sunflower seed, sesamum, safflower seed and nigerseed
        • Raw cotton
        • Raw jute
        • Copra
        • De-husked coconut
        • Sugarcane (Fair and remunerative price)
        • Virginia flu cured (VFC) tobacco

    2.    YELLOW VESTS PROTESTS

    • News: The gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement was not led by any union or political party and the protesters’ demands were not clearly articulated: some want tax cuts (on fuel), some want tax rises (for the rich), some want more public services, some want more generous state benefits, some want a stronger President and some want all of these things at once.
    • About Yellow Vests Protests:
      • The yellow vests protests or yellow jackets protests are a series of populist grassroots weekly protests in France, at first for economic justice and later for institutional political reforms, that began in France on 17 November 2018.
      • After an online petition posted in May 2018 had attracted nearly 1 million signatures, mass demonstrations began on 17 November.
      • The movement was initially motivated by rising crude oil and fuel prices, a high cost of living, and economic inequality; it claims that a disproportionate burden of taxation in France was falling on the working and middle classes, especially in rural and peri-urban areas.

    3.    VETO POWER IN UNSC

    • News: The 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus on Tuesday a resolution requiring the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto.
    • Details:
      • The push for reform, which was greeted with applause in the chamber, was revived by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
      • The measure is intended to make veto-holders United States, China, Russia, France and Britain “pay a higher political price” when they use the veto to strike down a Security Council resolution, said an ambassador who asked to remain anonymous.
      • It is unclear if the five permanent members will use the veto less, or more — as they could propose controversial texts they know their rivals will veto only to force them to justify their stance publicly.
      • First proposed more than two years ago, the measure provides for the General Assembly to be convened within 10 working days after a veto “to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast”
      • Almost 100 countries joined Liechtenstein in co-sponsoring the reform, including the United States, Britain and France.
      • Neither Russia nor China were among the sponsors, though. A diplomat from one of the two countries, who asked not to be named, criticised the move, saying it will “divide” the UN even further.

    4.    COAL POWER PRODUCTION

    • News: China led global coal power expansion in 2021, with about 25,000 MW of new plants, followed by India with about 6,100 MW, reported the Global Energy Monitor which conducts an annual survey of coal power capacity under development or deployment.
    • Details:
      • After rising in 2020 for the first time since 2015, total coal power capacity under development slid last year to a record low of 457 gigawatts (GW), from 525 gigawatts.
      • Thirty-four countries are mulling new coal plants, down from 41 countries in January 2021.
      • China, South Korea, and Japan have pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, but China continued to lead globally in domestic development of new coal plants, commissioning more coal capacity than the rest of the world combined.
      • Earlier this month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said there was no carbon budget left for new coal plants, and added that coal use needed to fall by 75% by 2030 (from 2019 levels) to limit global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    MCQS FOR  PRACTICE

     

     

    1. Consider the following statements regarding Minimum Support Price
    2. MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer – farmers – against excessive fall in price during bumper production years.
    3. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices fixes the MSP for the sowing season.
    • MSP covers in total 22 mandated crops

    Choose the correct option from below

    1. I and II
    2. II and III
    3. I and III
    4. All are correct
    5. The Yellow Vest Protest in associated with
      1. Rising fuel prices in France
      2. Against Authoritarian rule in Hungary
      3. Against Fraudulent elections in Turkey
      4. Against Chinese expansion in Hong Kong
    6. Which of the Following is not a permanent member of United Nations Security council (UNSC)?
      1. China
      2. Germany
      3. United Kingdom
      4. United States
    7. Consider the following statements regarding coal power in India
    8. India produces around 75% of its electricity from coal thermal power plants
    9. Anthracite is the highest amount of coal variety found in India

    Choose the correct option from below

    1. Only I
    2. Only II
    3. Both I and II
    4. Neither I nor II

     

     

     

     

    1 C 3 B
    2 A 4 A