CURRENT AFFAIRS 15th JAN 2018

1 . Comprehensive  policy  to  promote  agriculture  exports  on anvil

The commerce ministry is working on a comprehensive policy covering issues such as logistics to promote export of agri commodities like tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables.

Background

India is one of biggest producers and exporters of agri commodities, and still holds huge potential to increase shipments . So, the possibility of value addition and moving up in the global value chain is immense.

 Probable elements of the New Policy
  • All important elements such as logistics, certification and traceability of items would be part of the new policy.
  • Identifying factors such as where maximum import demand is .
  • Studying global markets and trying to understand where the potential is.
  • Another element which would become part of the policy include ways to ensure quality of products and monitoring the value chain.
Agri exports from India

Agri-products account for over 10 per cent of the country’s total exports . India mainly exports tea, coffee, rice, cereals, tobacco, spices, cashew, oil meals, fruits & vegetables and marine products.

 

2 . Government  plans  to  auction ‘enemy’ properties  worth Rs 1 lakh  crore

Over 9,400 ‘enemy’ properties, worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore, are set to be auctioned with the home ministry starting the process of identifying all such estates.The properties were left behind by people who took citizenship of Pakistan and China.

The move came after the amendment of the 49-year-old Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act which ensured that the heirs of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during Partition and afterwards will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.

The estimated value of these 9,400 properties is around Rs 1 lakh crore and when they are sold off, it would be a huge windfall for the government. Similar properties in Pakistan belonging to Indians have already been disposed of.

States having maximum numbers of such properties

Among the 9,280 properties left behind by Pakistani nationals, the highest 4,991 properties are located in Uttar Pradesh followed by West Bengal which has 2,735 such estates. Among the 126 properties left behind by Chinese nationals, the highest 57 are located in Meghalaya followed by West Bengal with 29.

What is an ‘enemy property’?

According to the new Act, ‘enemy property’ refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm. The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under the central government.

Enemy Property Act,1968

After the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the custodian’s powers.

 

3 . WEF  ranks  India  30th  on  global  manufacturing  index

 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked India at 30th position on a global manufacturing index , below China’s 5th place but above other BRICS peers, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

Top performers

Japan has been found to have the best structure of production in the Geneva-based WEF’s first ‘Readiness for the future of production report’ and is followed by South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, the US, Sweden, Austria and Ireland in the top 10.

About the Report

The report, which analyses development of modern industrial strategies and urges collaborative action, has categorised 100 countries into four groups – Leading (strong current base, high level of readiness for future); High Potential (limited current base, high potential for future); Legacy (strong current base, at risk for future); or Nascent (limited current base, low level of readiness for future).

About India

India has been placed in the ‘Legacy’ group along with Hungary, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Turkey, among others. China figures among ‘leading countries’, while Brazil and South Africa are in ‘nascent’ ones.

About India, the 5th-largest manufacturer in the world with a total manufacturing value added of over USD 420 billion in 2016, the WEF said the country’s manufacturing sector has grown by over 7 per cent per year on average in the past three decades and accounts for 16-20 per cent of India’s GDP.

It listed human capital and sustainable resources as the two key challenges for India and said the country needs to continue to raise the capabilities of its relatively young and fast-growing labour force.

This entails upgrading education curricula, revamping vocational training programmes and improving digital skills, the WEF said, while adding that India should continue to diversify its energy sources and reduce emissions as its manufacturing sector continues to expand.

 

4 . Teen Murti is now Teen Murti-Haifa

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and with PM Modi rechristened the Teen Murti Chowk in downtown Delhi as the ‘Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk’ after the Israeli city of Haifa, in what’s seen as a huge symbolic significance to the growing strategic ties between the two countries. Netanyahu arrived in Delhi on Sunday on a landmark six-day visit to India.