Current Affair – May 5, 2021

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

G-7

  • Group of Seven wealthy democracies discussed how to form a common front towards an increasingly assertive China
  • The nations of the G7  mostly share con­cerns about China but some have different approaches.
  •  Japan has historic tensions with China but has held off on joining Western nations with sanctions, wary of in­ flaming relations with its trading partner.
  • Italy has been seen as one of the most Beijing friendly nations in the West, in 2019 signing up for the Belt and Road Initiative. But Rome joined EU peers in March in summoning the Chinese Ambassador in a row trig­ gered by concerns over treatment of the Uighurs.

What is G7?

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.
  • The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.
  • The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.   The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.

The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Significance

  • Initially formed as an effort by the US and its allies to discuss economic issues, the G-7 forum has deliberated about several challenges over the decades, such as the oil crashes of the 1970s, the economic changeover of ex-Soviet bloc nations, and many pressing issues such as financial crises, terrorism, arms control, and drug trafficking.
  • The rise of India, China, and Brazil over the past few decades has reduced the G-7’s relevance, whose share in global GDP has now fallen to around 40%.
Source: The Hindu

5G Trial

  • The Department of Telecom­munications (DoT)  gave permission to Tele­com Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for the use and application of 5G technology.
  • This formally leaves out Chinese companies like Hua­wei and ZTE from the 5G race in India.
  • The applicant TSPs in­clude Bharti Airtel, Re­liance JioInfocomm, Vo­dafone Idea and MTNL. These TSPs have tied up with original equipment ma­nufacturers and technology providers, which are Erics­son, Nokia, Samsung and C­ DOT.

Duration of trial

  • The duration of the trials is for 6 months, which in­cludes a time period of 2 months for the procurement and setting up of the equip­ment.
  • Each TSP will have to con­duct trials in rural and semi­urban settings also, in addi­tion to urban settings. It is to ensure that the benefit of 5G tech­nology proliferates across the country and is not con­ fined to the urban areas.

What is 5G?

  • 5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
  • 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
  • 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users.

First generation – 1G

1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.

Second generation – 2G

Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access).

Third generation – 3G

Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).

Fourth generation – 4G LTE

2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.

1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G all led to 5G, which is designed to provide more connectivity than was ever available before.

Source: The Hindu

Marine Zones

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has apprehended four Myanmarese poachers fishing illegally in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • The poachers carried out forced ditching of their boat on the rocky shores of Barren and tried to flee into the Island.

Barren Island in Andaman Islands is  India’s only active volcano.

Marine Zones

  • UNCLOS 1984 divides marine areas into five main zones – Internal Waters, Territorial Waters, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas.

Baseline:

  • It is the low-water line along the coast as officially recognized by the coastal state.

Internal Waters:

  • Waters on the landward side of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
  • Each coastal state has full sovereignty over its internal waters as like its land territory.
  • Innocent passage refers to the passing through the waters which are not prejudicial to peace and security. However, the nations have the right to suspend the same.   Examples of internal waters include bays, ports, inlets, rivers and even lakes that are connected to the sea.
  • There is no right of innocent passage through internal waters.
Innocent passage refers to the passing through the waters which are not prejudicial to peace and security. However, the nations have the right to suspend the same

Territorial Water:

  • It extends seaward up to 12 nautical miles from its baselines.
  • The coastal states have sovereignty and jurisdiction over the territorial sea.
  • These rights extend to seabed, subsoil, and even airspace.
  • Coastal states’ rights are limited by innocent passage through the territorial sea.

Contiguous Zone:

  • It extends seaward up to 24 nm from its baselines.
  • It is an intermediary zone between the territorial sea and the high seas.
  • The coastal state has the right to both prevent and punish infringement of fiscal, immigration, sanitary, and customs laws within its territory and territorial sea.
  • Contiguous zone only gives jurisdiction to a state on the ocean’s surface and floor. It does not provide air and space rights.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ):

  • Each coastal State may claim an EEZ beyond and adjacent to its territorial sea that extends seaward up to 200 nm from its baselines.
  • Coastal state has:
  • Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, whether living or nonliving, of the seabed and subsoil.
  • Rights to carry out activities like the production of energy from the water, currents and wind.
  • It does not give a coastal state the right to prohibit or limit freedom of navigation or overflight, subject to very limited exceptions.

High Seas:

  • The ocean surface and the water column beyond the EEZ are referred to as the high seas.
  • It is considered as “the common heritage of all mankind” and is beyond any national jurisdiction.
Source: PIB

Global Innovation Partnership

  • Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of  United Kingdom on Global Innovation Partnership (GIP).

Objectives:

  • Through this MoU, India and UK agree to launch the Global Innovation Partnership.
  •  GIP will support Indian innovators to scale up their innovations in third countries thereby helping them explore new markets and become self sustainable.
  • It will also foster the innovative ecosystem in India.
  • GIP innovations will focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) related sectors thereby assisting recipient countries achieve their SDGs.
  • Through seed funding, grants, investments and technical assistance, the Partnership will support Indian entrepreneurs and innovators to test, scale up and take their innovative development solutions to select developing countries.
  • The innovations selected under GIP would accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and benefit the base of the pyramid populations thus promoting equity and inclusivity in recipient countries.
  • GIP will also develop an open and inclusive e-market place (E-BAAZAR) for cross border innovation transfer and will focus on results based impact assessment thereby promoting transparency and accountability.
Source: PIB

One Heath Approach

  • The interconnectedness of animals, humans, and the envi­ronment, an approach referred to as “One Health”.
  • Rudolf Virchow, father of modern patholo­gy, empha­sised in 1856 that there are essentially no dividing lines bet­ween animal and human medi­cine.

Need 

  • Studies indicate- More than two­-thirds of existing and emerging infectious diseases are zoonot­ic, or can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice ver­sa.
  • Scientists observed- There are more than 1.7 million viruses circulating in wildlife, and many of them are likely to be zoonotic. Risk of more pandemics to come.
  • Transboundary impact of viral outbreaks in recent years such as the Nipah virus, Ebola, SARS, MERS and Bird flu.

Challenges

  • Veterinary manpower shortages.
  • Lack of information sharing between human and ani­mal health institutions.
  • Inadequate coordination on food sa­fety at slaughter, distribution, and retail facilities.

Initiatives by government 

  • India’s ‘One Health’ vision derives its blueprint from agreement between the tripartite­ plus al­liance comprising FAO, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), WHO and UNEP — a global initiative supported by UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank under goal of contributing to ‘One World, One Health’.
  • India established a Na­tional Standing Committee on Zoonosesin 1980s.
  • 2021: Funds sanctioned to set up ’Centre for One Health’ at Nagpur.
  • Deptt of Animal Hus­bandry and Dairying (DAHD) has launched several schemes to mitigate prevalence of animal dis­eases since 2015, with a funding pattern- 60:40 (Centre: State); 90:10 Northeastern States, and 100% funding UTs.
  • Under National Animal Disease Control Pgm, ₹13,343 crore have been sanctioned for Foot and Mouth disease and Brucellosis control.
  • DAHD will soon establish a ‘One Health’ unit within the Ministry.
  • government is working to revamp programmes that focus on capacity building for veterinarians and upgrading the animal health diagnostic system such as Assistance to States for Control of Animal Diseases (AS­ CAD). 
  • Increased focus on vaccination against livestock dis­eases and backyard poultry. To this end, assistance will be extend­ ed to State biological production units and disease diagnostic labo­ratories.
  • DAHD partnership with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in National Action Plan for Eliminat­ing Dog Mediated Rabies. It is geared towards sustained mass dog vaccinations and public education to render the country free of rabies.

Way forward

  • Deve­loping best­practice guidelines for informal market and slaughter­ house operation (e.g., inspections, disease prevalence assessments).
  • Creating mechanisms to oper­ationalise ‘One Health’ at every stage down to the village level.
  • Awareness generation.
  • Increased investments toward meeting ‘One Health’ targets.
Source: The Hindu

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