UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Nov 17

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

  • Its headquarters are located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • It is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).
  • ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector.
  • These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.
  • ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.

Context

ICAO Carries out Universal Safety Oversight Audit for India 

 

 

 

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
    • The SCO was founded by leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in 2001. Uzbekistan joined the group later. India and Pakistan signed the memoranda for becoming a permanent member of the SCO in 2016.
  • The SCO’s objectives are centered around cooperation between member nations on security-related concerns, military cooperation, intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism.
  • It is mainly aimed at military cooperation between the members and involves intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.
  • The presence of China and India, the world’s most populous countries, would make the SCO the organisation with the largest population coverage.
  • Its headquarters in Beijing

India and SCO

India, in 2005, acquired the observer status in the SCO. Since then it has constructively participated in all SCO summit meetings thus showing its strong willingness to be meaningfully associated with this regional grouping.

  • Cooperation on counter-terrorism is expected to emerge as a major point of India’s exchange with SCO. India is expected to have a greater say in pushing for effective action in combating terrorism and on issues relating to security
  • India, one of the largest energy consuming countries in the world, is also likely to get greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia once it becomes part of the SCO.
  • India’s entry into the China-dominated grouping is seen as a major milestone as it is expected to increase the group’s heft in regional geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.
  • India’s inclusion may even bring down Beijing’s overarching influence over the SCO
  • Becoming a full member of the body will strengthen India’s position in Central Asia. It will also help the country’s aim to regional integration, promote connectivity and stability across borders.

 

Context

Minister of Commerce and Industry in Russia to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting and bilateral discussions with Russian leadership and business leaders 

 

 

Moody’s upgrade Sovereign Credit Rating of India to Baa2 from Baa3

  • Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Services raised India’s sovereign rating for the first time in 13 years citing the country’s high growth potential in the years to come, thanks to economic and institutional reforms.
  • It upgraded the Indian government’s rating as a local and foreign currency issuer from Baa3 with a positive outlook to Baa2 with a stable outlook.
  • The ‘Baa3’ rating was the lowest investment grade — just a notch above ‘junk’ status.

Background

  • There are broadly two components of a credit rating: the actual rating, and the ‘outlook’, i.e., stable, positive or negative. The former generally takes a longer time to change, while the latter is more sensitive to economic developments.
  • For instance, the current government managed to convince Moody’s and the others to change their outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ within a couple of years of its term.
  • But cumulatively, it took India as long as 13 years for a rating upgrade. 

What were the reforms that helped?

  • Reforms like Goods and Services Tax (GST) will promote productivity by removing barriers to interstate trade.
  • Also improvements to the monetary policy framework, measures to address the overhang of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking system and those like demonetisation, the Aadhaar system of biometric accounts, and targeted delivery of benefits through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system are intended to reduce informality in the economy.

Caution

  • The global ratings agency, cautioned that high debt burden remains a constraint on the country’s credit profile.

Significance

  • For the government, the upgrade serves as a strong rebuttal for critics who have panned its handling of the economy — coming on the back of India’s rise in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, and as a culmination of persistent efforts to get rating agencies to acknowledge India’s improved macroeconomic situation
  • Moody’s believes that those reforms implemented to-date will advance the government’s objective of improving the business climate, enhancing productivity, stimulating foreign and domestic investment, and ultimately fostering strong and sustainable growth

 

Qaumi Ekta Week

  • With a view to foster and reinforce the spirit of Communal Harmony, National Integration and pride in vibrant, composite culture and nationhood, the “Qaumi Ekta Week” (National Integration Week) will be observed all over the country, from the 19thto 25th November, 2017

Who organizes it?

  • The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, organises Communal Harmony Campaign coinciding with the Qaumi Ekta Week and observes the Communal Harmony Flag Day on 25th
  • The Foundation promotes Communal Harmony and strengthens National Integration. It also provides financial assistance for relief and rehabilitation of children rendered orphan or destitute in communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence. 

Significance

  • The observation of the ‘Quami Ekta Week’ will help to highlight the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand actual and potential threats to the eclectic and secular fabric of our country, and nurture a spirit of communal harmony in its widest sense.
  • This occasion also provides an opportunity to reaffirm age old traditions and faith in the values of tolerance, co-existence and brotherhood in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. 

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