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Prelim Bits 29-06-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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June 29, 2022

Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment

The G7 countries have officially launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment in the Leaders’ Summit in Germany.

The G7 countries are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, and Japan.

  • The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) is a joint initiative to fund infrastructure projects in developing countries.
  • The PGII was first announced in G7 Summit in the UK in 2021.
  • Back then, the US President Joe Biden had called it the Build Back Better World (B3W) framework.
  • Collectively, the PGII aims to mobilise nearly $600 billion from the G7 by 2027 to invest in critical infrastructure that improves lives and delivers real gains for all of our people.
  • The project is being seen as the G7 bloc’s counter to China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative.

The stated purpose of both the PGII and the BRI is to help secure funding for countries to build critical infrastructure such as roads, ports, communication setups, etc. to enhance global trade and cooperation.

  • Purpose - The PGII is a values-driven, high-impact, and transparent infrastructure partnership
    1. To meet the enormous infrastructure needs of low and middle-income countries and
    2. To support the United States’ and its allies’ economic and national security interests.
  • The PGII of the G7 is meant to be transparent, focused on building climate change-resilient infrastructure, and help in achieving objectives of gender equality and health infrastructure development.
  • Loan, but not an aid - The PGII will finance the projects from both the government and the private sector.
  • The fund is not “charity or aid”, but loans.
  • It will be beneficial for both the countries lending and receiving them.
  • Pillars - The 4 priority pillars, which will define the second half of the 21st century, will drive all the PGII projects.
    1. The G7 grouping aims to tackle the climate crisis and ensure global energy security through clean energy supply chains.
    2. The projects will focus on bolstering digital Information and Communications Technology (ICT) networks facilitating technologies like 5G & 6G internet connectivity and cybersecurity.
    3. The projects aim to advance gender equality and equity.
    4. To build and upgrade global health infrastructure.
  • For India - PGII will invest in companies that increase food security and promote both climate resilience and climate adaptation in India.
  • It will improve the profitability and agricultural productivity of smallholder farms.
  • Apart from India, projects have been announced in countries across West Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.
  • Related Links - G7 Summit 2022

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-g7-counter-to-china-belt-and-road/article65576594.ece?homepage=true
  2. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/g7-infrastructure-investment-plan-china-belt-and-road-initiative-explained-7996374/

Project 17A

The keel for the seventh ship (Y- 12654) of the P17A of Indian Navy was laid at M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd., Mumbai.

Keel Laying is a major milestone activity in the construction of ships, symbolising formal commencement of the erection process of warships on the building berth.

  • The Project 17A programme was approved by the Indian Government in 2015 to enhance the combat capabilities of the Indian Navy.
  • The Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigates.
  • The Project 17A frigates are also known as Nilgiri-class stealth frigates.  
  • P17A ships have been indigenously designed by the Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group).
  • Seven P17A Frigates under P17A class are being constructed by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), and by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) with MDL as lead yard.
  • The Project 17A frigate will be powered by combined diesel and gas (CODAG) type propulsion system. These ships have stealth features.
  • Ships - The ships will be named after the names of hill ranges in India - INS Nilgiri, INS Himgiri, INS Udaygiri, INS Dunagiri, INS Taragiri, INS Vindhyagiri and INS Mahendragiri.
  • The lead ship of the class, INS Nilgiri, was launched at MDL in 2019.
  • Construction of P17A ships differ in the very concept of warship building by adopting ‘Integrated Construction’ technology where the blocks are pre-outfitted before joining to reduce the build period of warships.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1837625
  2. https://www.naval-technology.com/projects/nilgiri-class-project-17a-frigates/
  3. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/himgiri-the-first-of-the-three-project-17a-ships-being-built-at-grse-launched/what-the-cds-had-to-say/slideshow/79738722.cms

Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

A 108-ft bronze statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda will be unveiled soon at the premises of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Bengaluru.

  • Nadaprabhu Kempegowda is a 16th century chieftain of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • He initially ruled from his ancestral land of Yelahanka, and later moved south to construct and rule from the fort of Bengaluru.
  • Nadaprabhu is credited to be the founder of Bengaluru.
  • He conceived the idea of a new city while hunting with his minister, and later marked its territory by erecting towers in four corners of the proposed city.
  • Kempegowda is also known to have developed around 1,000 lakes in the city to cater to drinking and agricultural needs.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-who-was-nadaprabhu-kempegowda-statue-bengaluru-airport-7996781/
  2. https://swarajyamag.com/culture/nadaprabhu-kempegowda-a-tribute-to-the-man-behind-the-rise-of-modern-bengaluru
  3. https://www.firstpost.com/india/who-is-nadaprabhu-kempegowda-whose-statue-will-be-installed-at-the-karnataka-assembly-and-bengaluru-airport-10849571.html

Special and Differential Treatment

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements contain special provisions, which give developing countries special rights and allow other members to treat them more favourably.
  • These are Special and Differential Treatment (S&D or SDT) provisions.
  • The special provisions include:
    1. Longer time periods for implementing agreements & commitments
    2. Measures to increase trading opportunities for these countries
    3. Provisions requiring all WTO members to safeguard the trade interests of developing countries
    4. Support to help developing countries build the infrastructure to undertake WTO work, handle disputes, and implement technical standard
    5. Provisions related to least-developed country (LDC) members.
  • In the Doha Declaration (2001), ministers agreed that all special and differential treatment provisions should be reviewed, in order to strengthen them and make them more precise, effective and operational.
  • Selection Process - As a result of the self-selection process, there is a competition among the members to get the developing country status.
  • It is visible that several advanced countries also taken developing country status.
  • At the Doha Ministerial Conference, a Committee was mandated to examine these special and differential treatment provisions.
  • Later, at the Bali Ministerial Conference (2013) a mechanism was established to review and analyse the implementation of special and differential treatment provisions.

Reference

  1. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/economy/geneva-wto-meet-2022-disaster-not-win-for-india-s-small-fishers-83404
  2. https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dda_e/status_e/sdt_e.htm#:~:text=The%20WTO%20agreements%20contain%20special,abbreviated%20as%20S%26D%20or%20SDT).
  3. https://www.indianeconomy.net/splclassroom/what-is-special-and-differential-treatment-sdt-under-wto/

‘Kihoto Hollohan’ Judgment

The Supreme Court gave the 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs time to respond to the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker.

In the context of the crisis, references have been made to the Supreme Court judgment in ‘Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachillhu And Others’ (1992) that upheld the sweeping discretion of the Speaker in deciding disqualification of MLAs.

  • The ‘Anti-Defection Law 1985’ or the ‘Tenth Schedule’ of the Constitution covers the disqualification of lawmakers and the powers of the Speaker in deciding such matters.
  • A constitutional challenge to the ‘Anti-Defection Law’ was mounted, which was settled by the SC in ‘Kihoto Hollohan’.
  • Petition - The principal question before the Supreme Court in the case was whether the powerful role given to the Speaker violated the doctrine of basic structure.
  • [Doctrine of basic structure says that the judicial principle that certain basic features of the Constitution cannot be altered by amendments by the Parliament.]
  • The petitioners in ‘Kihoto Hollohan’ argued whether it was fair that the Speaker should have such broad powers, given that there is always a reasonable likelihood of bias.
  • Judgment - The SC said that the Speakers/Chairmen hold a pivotal position in the scheme of Parliamentary democracy and are guardians of the rights and privileges of the House.
  • They are expected to and do take far-reaching decisions in the Parliamentary democracy.
  • Vestiture of power to adjudicate questions under the Tenth Schedule in them should not be considered exceptionable.
  • The SC also concluded that the judicial review cannot be available at a stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speaker/ Chairman and a quia timet action would not be permissible.
  • Nor would interference be permissible at an interlocutory stage of the proceedings.
  • Role of the Deputy Speaker - Article 93 of the Constitution mentions the positions of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.  
  • Article 178 contains the corresponding position for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of a state.
  • Article 95(1) says: “While the office of Speaker is vacant, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker”.
  • In general, the Deputy Speaker has the same powers as the Speaker when presiding over a sitting of the House.
  • All references to the Speaker in the Rules are deemed to be references to the Deputy Speaker when he presides.
  • Related Links - Anti-Defection Law

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-sc-kihoto-hollohan-judgment-maharashtra-political-crisis-7994384/
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/judicial-review-cant-be-available-prior-to-speakers-decision/article32106036.ece

 

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