Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 31 August 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. Nationally Determined Contributions
  2. Pashmina Shawl and GI tag.
  3. Small Finance Banks and Ontap licensing.

1. Nationally Determined Contributions

News Summary

India is setting an example in meeting its Nationally Determined Contributions despite its challenges as per an article.

Prelims GS – International Relations

  • Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the long-term goals.
  • NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve.
  • Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
  • The Paris Agreement requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs.
  • Together, these climate actions determine whether the world achieves the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs in the second half of this century.

Click here to view the Courtesy: UNFCCC website.

2. Pashmina Shawl and GI tag

News Summary

A new initiative has been planned to restore the lost glory of Pashmina shawls by re-engaging women artisans in the critical production process.

Prelims GS – Art and Culture

Pashmina Shawl:
  • Pashmina belongs to Kashmir.
  • It has received a GI tag in the Handicraft category.
GI tags:
  • GI tags are known as Geographic Indication tags.
  • It is an indication or a sign which specifies that it originates from a definite geographical territory.
  • GI tags are used to identify agricultural, natural, handicrafts, or manufactured goods.
  • In December 1999, the Parliament had passed the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999 in order to comply with the obligations to WTO i.e. World Trade Organization.(UPSC Prelims Question 2018)
  • The Act would be administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks- who is the Registrar of Geographical Indications
  • Geographical Indications are covered as an element of Intellectual Property Rights(IPR) under the TRIPS Agreement (WTO Agreement).
  • GI tags registration is valid for 10 years.
  • Darjeeling Tea is the first product to receive GI tag in India
Some Examples of GI tags:(Match type Questions have been asked in UPSC Prelims)
  • Tirupathi Laddu – Andhra Pradesh
  • Dindigul Locks – Tamilnadu
  • Arumbavur Wood Carvings – Tamilnadu
  • Kandangi saree  – Tamilnadu
  • Sohrai – Khovar Painting – Jharkhand
  • Telia Rumal – Telangana
  • Kashmir Saffron – J&K
  • Chak Hao – Manipur

For more information on the GI tag products, click here to view the pdf list.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development(IPR)

Benefits of GI Tags:
  • It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India
  • It helps farmers/producers to get the best remunerative prices.
  • It helps the product to acquire more prominence in the export market.
  • It also prevents the adulteration prevalent in the trade.
  • It prevents unauthorized use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others
  • It promotes the economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.

Click here to view the official website and click here to view the courtesy Vikaspedia official website.

3. Small Finance Banks

News Summary

RBI has received applications from two entities seeking to operate as SFB. This is as per RBI’s guidelines for ‘on tap’ licensing of small finance banks in the private sector.

Prelims GS – Economic Development

  • The small finance bank shall be registered as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • It will be licensed under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and governed by the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949; Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934; Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999; Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007; Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005; Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961; other relevant Statutes and the Directives, Prudential Regulations and other Guidelines/ Instructions issued by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other regulators from time to time.
  • The small finance banks will be given scheduled bank status once they commence their operations.
  • The objectives of setting up small finance banks will be for furthering financial inclusion by
    • (i) provision of savings vehicles primarily to unserved and underserved sections of the population, and
    • (ii) supply of credit to small business units; small and marginal farmers; micro and small industries; and other unorganized sector entities, through high technology-low cost operations.

Click here to know more about SFBs on the RBI website.

On tap licensing of Small Finance Banks(SFB) in the private sector:
  • (i) The licensing window will be open on-tap;
  • (ii) minimum paid-up voting equity capital / net worth requirement shall be ₹ 200 crores;
  • (iii) for Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), desirous of voluntarily transiting into Small Finance Banks (SFBs) initial requirement of net worth shall be at ₹ 100 crores, which will have to be increased to ₹ 200 crores within five years from the date of commencement of business. Incidentally, the net worth of all SFBs currently in operation is in excess of ₹ 200 crores;
  • (iv) SFBs will be given scheduled bank status immediately upon commencement of operations;
  • (v) SFBs will have general permission to open banking outlets from the date of commencement of operations;
  • (vi) Payments Banks can apply for conversion into SFB after five years of operations if they are otherwise eligible as per these guidelines.

Click here to view the Courtesy: RBI scripts to know more about On tap licensing.




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