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Current Affairs July 18, 2023: Global Assessment Report on DRR 2023, Advance Trade Authorization Scheme, Local Currency Settlement

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{GS2 – Polity – Misc – 2023/07/18} Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS)

  • Context (PIB): The President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu presided over the ceremonial session of the Annual General Meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Indian Red Cross Society is a voluntary humanitarian organisation.
  • It is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • It provides relief during disasters/emergencies and cares for vulnerable people and communities.

Evolution

  • IRCS was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act.
  • The act was last amended in 1992, and rules were formed in 1994.

Structure

  • The President of India is the President, and the Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.
  • The National Managing Body is responsible for the supervision of the functions of IRCS committees.
  • It consists of 18 members. The President nominates the Chairman and six members. The state and UT branches elect the remaining 12 through an electoral college.

{GS3 – DM – Reports – 2023/07/18} Global Assessment Report on DRR 2023

  • Context (UNDRR): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction published Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2023 (GAR-DRR 2023).
  • The theme was Mapping Resilience for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key Findings

  • Global warming will surpass 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels during the next decade.
  • The number of people affected by disasters has increased by 50% in the past 30 years.
  • The economic losses from disasters have increased by 150% in the past 30 years.
  • The GAR-DRR 2023 explores how to build resilience in a complex and risky world.
  • It highlights the interconnectedness of risks and how pitfalls can be transformed into opportunities.

Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

  • UNDRR was created in 1999 to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (General Assembly (GA) resolution 54/219).
  • UNDRR headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It supports the implementation & review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030)

  • It is an international document that was adopted by UN member states in 2015.
  • It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015).
  • The goal is to substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health, and the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses and communities.
  • The Sendai Framework outlines four priorities for action:
    1. Understanding disaster risk.
    2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
    3. Investing in disaster reduction for resilience.
    4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

{GS3 – IE – Export – 2023/07/18} Advance Trade Authorisation Scheme

  • Context (PIB): DGFT implements the Advance Authorisation Scheme under the Foreign Trade Policy.
  • Advance Trade Authorisation Scheme provides duty-free import of raw materials for manufacturing export items.
  • Manufacturers enjoy exemption from customs duty, education cess, social welfare cess, anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard duty, Integrated GST and compensation cess.

List of imports covered under the scheme

  • DGFT specifies the number of inputs allowed for any given product by issuing a sector-wise list of standard input-output norms.
  • It spells out the required quantity of inputs for specific products while also considering any wastage during manufacturing.

Range of inputs covered

  • It covers inputs that are physically incorporated into the final product.
  • It also includes fuel, oil and other catalysts consumed or used to produce the export product.
  • Biotechnological items are allowed if the Department of Biotechnology approves and issues a NOC.

Eligibility

  • The scheme is open to
    1. Manufacturer exporters
    2. Merchant exporters
    3. Suppliers to the UN and other aid programmes, who act as subcontractors of the projects
  • In the case of pharma imports, the authorisation will be extended only to manufacturer-exporters.

Value-addition Requirement

  • The raw materials imported under the scheme can be exported after a value-addition of at least 15%.
  • For tea, the value-addition requirement is 50%.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

  • DGFT organisation is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and is headed by the Director General of Foreign Trade.
  • DGFT is responsible for formulating and implementing the Foreign Trade Policy with the main objective of promoting India’s exports.
  • Import and export in India is regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and its regional offices spread across the country.

{GS3 – IE – Exports – 2023/07/18} Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2022

  • Context (PIB): NITI Aayog has released the third edition of the ‘EPI’ for States/UTs of India.
  • Export Preparedness Index (EPI) is an annual report released by NITI Aayog.
  • EPI 2022 presents a comprehensive analysis of India’s export performance in FY22, along with its sector-specific and district-level merchandise export trends.
  • The report evaluates the performance of the states across four pillars:
    1. Policy
    2. Business Ecosystem
    3. Export Ecosystem
    4. Export Performance
  • These four pillars are further based on ten sub-pillars.

Export Preparedness Index (EPI)

Highlights of the report

  • The EPI 2022 Report observed that most ‘Coastal States’ have performed well.
  • Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat are the top performers.
  • Haryana is the best-performing state among the landlocked states.

Export Preparedness Index (EPI)

  • Gujarat’s Jamnagar and Surat are among the top-performing districts.

Export Preparedness Index (EPI)

  • Agriculture exports in FY2022 touched US$ 50 billion in value, an increase of 20% over 2020-21.
  • Top five states in terms of overall exports are Gujarat, Maharashtra, TN, Karnataka, and UP.

Export Preparedness Index (EPI)

Importance

  • The EPI delves deeper beyond states and examines exports at the district level.
  • It empowers the State governments with region-specific insights to assist decision-making.
  • It can catalyse competitive federalism, elevating the export performance of every state.

{GS3 – IE – Reforms – 2023/07/18} Local Currency Settlement (LCS) System

  • Context (IE): India and UAE signed an MoU on the Local Currency Settlement (LCS) system.
  • This system will allow for the use of the Indian rupee and UAE dirham in bilateral trade, marking India’s first-ever LCS arrangement.
  • Both sides agreed to link India’s UPI with UAE’s Instant Payment Platform (IPP).
  • The LCS system is expected to bring a number of benefits to both India and the UAE, including:
    • Reduced transaction costs
    • Faster processing times
    • Increased stability in the exchange rate
    • Increased reliance on local currencies

Significance of the UAE to India:

  • India-UAE trade rose to USD 85 billion in 2022, making UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for 2022-23 and India’s second-largest export destination.
  • The UAE is home to a large Indian diaspora, with over 3 million Indians living in the country.
  • The UAE is a major source of investment and remittance for India.
  • The India-UAE signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022 which was the first free trade agreement between India and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.
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