Current Affairs Dec 15 , 2021

UN draft on climate change

  • India on Monday voted against a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) linking climate to security, saying it was an attempt to shift climate talks from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the Security Council and a “step backward” for collective action on the issue.
  • Reason countries were attempting to bring climate talks to the Security Council was that decisions could be taken without consensus or the involvement of most developing countries.
  • Developing and ‘least developed’ countries had worked, over the last two decades, to make “common but differentiated” responsibilities a fundamental tenet of climate action,
  • Developed countries had not met their promises with regard to climate action and called for these countries to provide $1 trillion in climate finance.
  • Climate change may have exacerbated conflicts in the Sahel region and across Africa, and India remained committed to peace and development in those regions, but “viewing conflicts through the prism of climate change” was “misleading” and an oversimplification that could worsen conflicts rather than resolving them.



  • AFSPA was first invoked in the then Naga Hills district of Assam in 1958.
  • Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee, which recommended the repeal of the AFSPA, finally, national security concerns made the Commission’s recommendations infructuous and the AFSPA continued as it was.
  • In 2016, a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit passed a historic judgment on a plea by hundreds of families in Manipur for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters involving the Army and the police between 1979 and 2012.
  • The Court held that “there is no concept of absolute immunity from trial by a criminal court.”


Post truth

  • Relating to a situation in which people are more likely to accept an argument based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than one based on facts.
  • The term was named Word of the Year in 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary where it is defined as “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.



  • The National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) envisages an aggregate monetization potential of ₹ 6 lakh crore through the leasing of core assets of the Central government in sectors such as roads, railways, power, oil and gas pipelines, telecom, civil aviation, shipping ports and waterways, mining, food and public distribution, coal, housing and urban affairs, and stadiums and sports complexes, to name some sectors, over a four-year period (FY2022 to FY2025).
  • Eight core industrial sectors that support infrastructure such as coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement, and electricity have a total weight of nearly 40% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • According to NITI Aayog, the strategic objective of the asset monetization programme is to unlock the value of investments in public sector assets by tapping private sector capital and efficiencies.
  • The NMP policy advocates unlocking idle capital from non-strategic/underperforming government owned assets and reinvesting the funds, thus received, into new infrastructure projects and augmentation of assets such as greenfield infrastructure creation
  • Going by the annual report (2020-2021) of the Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India, there are 256 operationally-run central public sector undertakings (CPSUs), employing about one million people; they posted a net profit of ₹93,294 crore (FY 2019-20).
  • Out of these, 96 have been conferred the Ratna status (72, 14, and 10 are Miniratnas, Navaratnas, and Maharatna companies, respectively).
  • As India needs to invest about $1.5 trillion on infrastructure development in order to aspire to become $5 trillion economy by the year 2024-25, according to the Economic Survey 2019-20, public enterprises should be in focus.

Why failure of PSUs?

  • Project completion time is exceeded, leading to elevated project cost so much so that either the project itself becomes unviable at the time of its launching or delays its break even point.
  • Besides, optimum input-output ratio is seldom observed in a majority of government infrastructural projects leading to their overcapitalization.
  • A reluctance to implement Labour reforms, a lack of inter-ministerial/departmental coordination, poor decision-making, ineffective governance and excessive government control are other reasons for the failure of public infrastructural asset
  • “Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti National Master Plan” for multi-modal connectivity was launched by the Prime Minister with an aim ‘to synchronize the operations of different departments of 16 Ministries including railways and roadways for seamless planning and coordinated execution of infrastructure projects in a timely manner’.
  • It is essentially a digital platform for information sharing among different Ministries and departments at the Union and State levels.
  • It also entails analytical decision-making tools to disseminate project-related information and prioritise key infrastructure projects.

Steps needed

  • An important step for the Government to take to strengthen public sector businesses would be to completely revamp their corporate governance structure in order to enhance operational autonomy augmented with strong governance practices including listing on stock exchange for greater transparency and accountability.
  • The Economic Survey also highlights the Government’s initiatives as part of the Atmanirbhar Abhiyaan (campaign for self-reliance) in order to boost domestic production in the steel sector.



  • Latest inflation data, both retail and wholesale, point to accelerating price gains that could potentially undermine the fragile economic recovery by pushing up costs and depleting consumers’ purchasing power.
  • November’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows year-on-year inflation at the retail level quickened to a three-month high of 4.91%, from 4.48% in October.
  • Food was in fact a major driver of the quickening in price gains on an annual basis.
  • Vegetable prices surged from October, logging 7.4% month-on month inflation.
  • Also, the Union government’s belated and marginal reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel, which was followed by cuts in local value added taxes by many States, barely slowed the pace of inflation in the transport and communication category.
  • Clothing and footwear, housing, health, education and recreation were among the other key product and service categories that contributed to the sequential trend in price gains underlining the fact that inflation excluding food and fuel, otherwise known as core inflation
  • Persistently high and climbing wholesale prices of basic metals, chemicals and chemical products, and textiles among manufactured products have the potential to feed through down-the-line to retail prices and add to inflationary pressure for consumers.
  • With the rupee continuing to weaken against the U.S. dollar, policymakers also face the challenge of contending with imported inflation including the landed cost of crude oil shipments.