Current Affairs 9,10 & 11 Sep 2023
Daily Current Capsules
9,10 and 11 September 2023
G20 Summit 2023 Highlights
- New Delhi Declaration -The New Delhi Declaration was adopted by the leaders of the G20 leaders during the Leader’s Summit
- The biggest takeaway of the declaration was that all 83 paras of the declaration were passed unanimously with a 100 percent consensus along with China and Russia in agreement.
- A G20 Declaration without any footnote or chair’s summary demonstrates India’s ability to bring everybody to the same table,
- Global Biofuel Alliance launched under India’s G20 Presidency.
- India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEE EC) – Announcement of a mega India-Middle East-Europe shipping and railway connectivity corridor by India, the US, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union.
- Inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the Group of 20 (G20).
- PM Modi handed over the G20 presidency to Brazil’s Lula Da Silva, marking the end of the G20 Summit in Delhi.
Know! about G20
- The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 sovereign countries, the European Union (EU), and the African Union (AU).
- The G20 was upgraded to the level of Heads of State/Government in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of 2007, and, in 2009, was designated the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”.
- The G20 Summit is held annually, under the leadership of a rotating Presidency.
- The G20 initially focused largely on broad macroeconomic issues, but it has since expanded its agenda to inter-alia include trade, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, environment, climate change, and anti-corruption.
- The G20 was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic and financial issues.
- Members – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom and United States) European Union, and African Union
- The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population
- The Group does not have a permanent secretariat.
- The Presidency is supported by the Troika – previous, current, and the incoming presidency
- During India’s Presidency, the troika will comprise Indonesia, India, and Brazil, respectively.
Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) announced at G20 event
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi along with the leaders of Singapore, Bangladesh, Italy, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mauritius and UAE, launched the Global Biofuel Alliance on 9 September 2023, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
- The Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) is an initiative by India as the G20 Chair.
- The Alliance intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels through facilitating technology advancements, intensifying utilization of sustainable biofuels, shaping robust standard setting and certification through the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders.
- The alliance will also act as a central repository of knowledge and an expert hub.
- GBA aims to serve as a catalytic platform, fostering global collaboration for the advancement and widespread adoption of biofuels.
- The initiative will be beneficial for India at multiple fronts. It will help accelerate India’s existing biofuels programs such as PM-JIVANYojna, SATAT, and GOBARdhan scheme
Countries and organizations which have already joined GBA
19 countries and 12 international organizations have already agreed to join.
- G20 countries (07) supporting GBA: 1. Argentina, 2. Brazil, 3. Canada, 4. India 5. Italy, 6. South Africa, 7.USA
- G20 Invitee Countries (04) supporting GBA: 1. Bangladesh, 2. Singapore, 3. Mauritius, 4. UAE
- Non G20 (08) supporting GBA: 1. Iceland, 2. Kenya, 3. Guyana, 4. Paraguay, 5. Seychelles, 6. Sri Lanka, and 7. Uganda have agreed to be initiating members of GBA, and 8. Finland
- International organizations (12): World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Economic Forum, World LPG Organization, UN Energy for All, UNIDO, Biofutures Platform, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Energy Agency, International Energy Forum, International Renewable Energy Agency, World Biogas Association.
- GBA Members constitute major producers and consumers of biofuels. USA (52%), Brazil (30%) and India (3%), contribute about 85% share in production and about 81% in consumption of ethanol.
Know! about Biofuels
- Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be converted directly into liquid fuels, called “biofuels,” to help meet transportation fuel needs.
- The two most common types of biofuels in use today are ethanol and biodiesel, both of which represent the first generation of biofuel technology.
- It is a renewable fuel that can be made from various plant materials, collectively known as “biomass.”
- Ethanol is an alcohol used as a blending agent with gasoline to increase octane and cut down carbon monoxide and other smog-causing emissions.
- The most common blend of ethanol is E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) and is approved for use in most conventional gasoline-powered vehicles up to E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline).
- Some vehicles, called flexible fuel vehicles, are designed to run on E85 (a gasoline-ethanol blend containing 51%–83% ethanol, depending on geography and season), an alternative fuel with much higher ethanol content than regular gasoline.
- Roughly 97% of gasoline in the United States contains some ethanol.
- Biodiesel is a liquid fuel produced from renewable sources, such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats and is a cleaner-burning replacement for petroleum-based diesel fuel.
- Biodiesel is nontoxic and biodegradable and is produced by combining alcohol with vegetable oil, animal fat, or recycled cooking grease.
- Biodiesel can be blended with petroleum diesel in any percentage, including B100 (pure biodiesel) and, the most common blend, B20 (a blend containing 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel).
Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) & India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the President of USA, H.E. Mr. Joe Biden co-chaired a special event on Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) and India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), on 9 September 2023 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
- The event aimed at unlocking greater investment for infrastructure development and strengthening connectivity in its various dimensions between India, Middle East and Europe.
- Leaders of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Mauritius, UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as the World Bank, participated in the event.
- PGII is a developmental initiative aimed at narrowing the infrastructure gap in developing countries as well as help towards accelerate progress on SDGs globally.
- The IMEC comprises of an Eastern Corridor connecting India to the Gulf region and a Northern Corridor connecting the Gulf region to Europe.
- It will include a railway and ship-rail transit network and road transport routes.
- IMEC would help promote economic integration between India and Europe.
- An MOU on IMEC was signed by India, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, European Union, Italy, France and Germany.
Know! more about IMEC
- The IMEC is expected to stimulate economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe.
- The IMEC will be comprised of two separate corridors, the east corridor connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and the northern corridor connecting the Arabian Gulf to Europe.
- It will include a railway that, upon completion, will provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement existing maritime and road transport routes – enabling goods and services to transit to, from, and between India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe.
- Along the railway route, Participants intend to enable the laying of cable for electricity and digital connectivity, as well as pipe for clean hydrogen export.
- This corridor will secure regional supply chains, increase trade accessibility, improve trade facilitation, and support an increased emphasis on environmental social, and government impacts.
Inclusion of African Union in G20
- African Union became a new permanent member of the grouping of the largest economies of the world.
- It is the first expansion of the influential bloc since its inception in 1999.
- All member countries of the G20 accepted India’s proposal to bring the key bloc of the Global South to the high table of the world’s top economies.
- During the Summit Indian Prime Minister asked the President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani, to join other leaders at the high table, making the 55-member bloc the second multi-nation grouping after the European Union to be a permanent member of the G20
Know! about African Union (AU)
- The Addis Ababa-headquartered African Union (AU) comprises the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent.
- It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity, Africa’s first post-independence continental institution set up in 1963 with 32 members.
- Collectively, African Union member states have a GDP of nearly USD 3 trillion and a population of around 1.4 billion.
First Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights
The President of India inaugurated the first ‘Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights’ (GSFR) at the ICAR Convention Centre, National Agricultural Science Centre Complex
- Organized by the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (International Treaty) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome
- The Global Symposium is being hosted by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in collaboration with Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR).
- India is hosting this first ‘Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights’ from September 12 to 15, 2023.
- India has been the first country in the world to include Farmers’ Rights in the context of Plant Variety Registration through its Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act, 2001.
- The proposal to hold the first GFSR was mooted by the Government of India at the Ninth Session of the Governing Body (GB9) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (International Treaty) held in India in September 2022, which was agreed by the FAO.
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act, 2001.
- The Govt. of India enacted “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001” adopting sui generis system.
- Indian legislation is not only in conformity with International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1978, but also have sufficient provisions to protect the interests of public sector breeding institutions and the farmers.
- The legislation recognizes the contributions of both commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity
Objectives of the PPV & FR Act, 2001
- To establish an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.
- To recognize and protect the rights of farmers in respect of their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
- To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect plant breeders’ rights; stimulate investment for research and development both in public & private sector for the development new of plant varieties.
- Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.
Rights under the Act
- Breeders’ Rights : Breeders will have exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety.
- Researchers’ Rights : Researchers can use any of the registered variety under the Act for conducting experiment or research.
- Farmers’ Rights:A farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as a breeder of a variety; Farmers variety can also be registered as an extant variety; A farmer can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001 in the same manner as he was entitled before the coming into force of this Act provided farmer shall not be entitled to sell branded seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001;
Implementation of the Act
- To implement the provisions of the Act the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare established the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority on 11″ November, 2005. The Chairperson is the Chief Executive of the Authority.
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (also known as ITPGRFA, International Seed Treaty or Plant Treaty, is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims at guaranteeing food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use, as well as the recognition of farmers’ rights.
- It was signed in 2001 in Madrid
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is a legally binding instrument adopted by the FAO Conference in 2001 and it entered into force on 29 June 2004.
- Article 9 of the Treaty focuses on recognizing, realizing, and promoting Farmers’ Rights concerning plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA).
- The Treaty places the responsibility for realizing Farmers’ Rights on national governments and outlines potential measures to safeguard, enhance, and achieve these rights
GoI Initiative to revive the Ancient Art of Stitch Ship Method of Shipbuilding
- In a momentous initiative by the Govt. of India, the Indian Navy, Ministry of Culture, and M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa, are collaborating to reconstruct an ancient stitched ship, reminiscent of the ships that once sailed the oceans on India’s ancient maritime trade routes.
- This initiative represents a collaborative effort spanning multiple ministries.
- The Indian Navy is overseeing the ship’s design and construction and would be sailing the ship along ancient maritime trade routes.
- The Ministry of Culture has fully funded this project, while the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of External Affairs will be supporting the project to ensure seamless execution of the international voyage.
- The Project was approved by the National Implementation Committee, Chaired by the Hon’ble Home Minister of India as a Commemoration Project on 14 Dec 2022.
- The Directorate of Naval Architecture of the Indian Navy engaged in several rounds of discussions with the Ministry of Culture, culminating in the signing of a tripartite agreement with M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa, on 18 July 2023, for the construction of the Ancient Stitched Ship.
- The stitching work in the construction of this ship will be undertaken by a team of traditional shipwrights
- Using this age-old technique, the wooden planks will be shaped using the traditional steaming method to conform to the shape of the hull.
- Each plank will then be stitched to another using cords/ ropes, sealed with a combination of coconut fiber, resin, and fish oil – akin to the ancient Indian shipbuilding practice.
- Once the ship is ready, a unique voyage will be undertaken by the Indian Navy along the traditional maritime trade routes using ancient navigation techniques.
Eastern Economic Forum, 2023
- The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways left for Russia to represent India at the Eastern Economic Forum which is being held at the Russian port city of Vladivostok.
Know! about Eastern Economic Forum, 2023
- The 8th Eastern Economic Forum 2023 is taking place on 10–13 September 2023 in Vladivostok on the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) campus.
- The Eastern Economic Forum is a key international platform for establishing and strengthening ties within the Russian and global investment communities, and for comprehensive expert evaluation of the economic potential of the Russian Far East, the investment opportunities it offers, and business conditions within advanced special economic zones.
- The Eastern Economic Forum was established by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Eastern Maritime Corridor
- The Eastern Maritime Corridor is aimed at reducing cargo transit times between our nations.
- The journey from Indian ports to the Russian Far East takes just 24 days, compared to 30 days through the port of Novorossiysk.
- This corridor holds immense potential to unlock new opportunities for trade and cooperation for both India and Russia.
Chennai–Vladivostok Maritime Corridor
- It is a proposed sea route covering approximately 5,600 nautical miles, or about 10,300 km, aimed at increasing bilateral trade between India and Russia. In September 2019 in Vladivostok, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a Memorandum of Intent for the route.