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Prelim Bits 29-07-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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July 29, 2023

Stapled Visa

India pulled out of the Summer World University Games being held at Chengdu after China issued stapled visas to three athletes from the team who belong to Arunachal Pradesh.

  • A passport is the certificate of its holder’s identity and citizenship.
  • A ‘stapled visa’ is different from a regular visa that a country gives to foreign citizens.
  • Instead of stamping directly in the passport, it is a separate piece of paper attached (stapled) to the visa.
  • Simply put, a ‘stapled visa’ is an unstamped piece of paper that is attached by a pin to a page of the passport.
  • A stapled visa can be torn off or detached at will.
  • Chinese practice - China has a practice of issuing stapled visas to Indian nationals from Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • They started issuing stapled visas to residents of Arunachal Pradesh in the mid-2000s and to those from Jammu and Kashmir from 2009.
  • This practice of stapled visa allows China to avoid placing official stamps on the passport.
  • Concern - When a person with a stapled visa returns to their home country, the entry and exit passes on the stapled visa are torn off.
  • Thus no details of the trip are recorded.
  • It is also an expression of China that it does not acknowledge Arunachal Pradesh and J&K as part of India.

References

  1. IE - Why does China issue stapled visa to Indians from Arunachal and J&K?
  2. Hindustan Times - What are ‘stapled visas’ that China issued?
  3. Economic Times - China needles India again through Stapled Visas

Microsites by National Health Authority

National Health Authority (NHA) has launched 100 microsites project under Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

  • The project envisions creating microsites to promote digital health and improve healthcare accessibility for all citizens.
  • Microsites - These are clusters of small and medium-sized healthcare facilities that are fully enabled with ABDM capabilities to offer digital health services to patients.
  • Microsites will digitise the entire patient journey with the establishment of ABDM adopted small ecosystem within a particular geographic area.
  • Primarily implementation - State mission directors of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
  • Secondary - Overall guidance and financial support provided by the National Health Authority (NHA).
  • Working - ABDM-enabled applications will be installed in these facilities.
  • Health records of the patients visiting these centres will be linked to their Ayushman Bharat Health ID (ABHA) and become part of ABDM

National Health Authority  

  • National Health Authority (NHA) is leading the implementation for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).
  • NHA coordinates implementation of ABDM with different ministries/departments of the Government of India, State Governments, and private sector/civil society organizations.
  • It is also the apex body responsible for implementing ‘Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana’

References

  1. PIB - National Health Authority launches 100 Microsites Project
  2. Business Standard - NHA to launch 100 microsite projects in India
  3. The Hindu - NHA launches 100 microsites project across the country

Listing on foreign exchanges

Indian companies can now list their shares on foreign exchanges operating at GIFT City-based International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gujarat.

  • At present, Indian companies can access overseas equity markets only
    • Through depository receipts or
    • By listing their debt securities on foreign markets.
  • In 2020, the Centre amended the Companies Act of 2013, allowing the direct listing of Indian companies on foreign stock exchanges.
  • So far the framework for this has not been put in place.
  • Now - The government has enabled direct listing of listed and unlisted companies on overseas exchanges at the IFSC.
  • The global market can be accessed through GIFT IFSC.
  • Benefits - Enables Indian companies to access global capital.
  • Results in better valuation for Indian companies.

International Financial Services Centre (IFSC)

  • An IFSC caters to customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy.
  • They deal with flows of finance, financial products and services across borders.
  • Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is the country's first IFSC.
  • The IFSC Authority (IFSCA) has been established as a unified regulator with a holistic vision in order to promote ease of doing business in IFSC.
  • IFSCA was established in 2020, under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.

References

  1. The Hindu - Govt. allows Indian companies to list on foreign exchanges through IFSC
  2. Business line - Companies can now list on overseas bourses via IFSC
  3. India International Exchange - IFSC

Project Tiger & Project Elephant merger

Recently, Centre has merged Project Tiger and Project Elephant into a new division called 'Project Tiger and Elephant Division'.

  • The new division 'Project Tiger and Elephant Division' will be under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • Changes - The additional director general of forests (ADGF), Project Tiger (PT) has now been designated as ADGF (PT&E).
  • The staff and divisional heads of Project Elephant (PE) will now report to the ADGF (PT&E)
  • The Inspector General Forests and Project Director, Project Elephant, will be the divisional head of the PT&E division and will be reporting to the ADGF (PT&E).
  • Concerns raised - The merger may dilute the importance of Project Tiger.
  • It will impact the funding pattern for tiger reserves as well as Project Elephant.
  • As the splitting of funds is not clear, shortage of funds may affect key developmental activities.
  • Undermine the conservation of both signature animals.
  • Arguments in support - The amalgamation will bolster the conservation of both the animals, as they often share the same landscapes.
  • The top of the carnivorous and herbivorous families, the benefits for one would percolate to the other.

Project Tiger

  • Launched in 1973 by the central government.
  • Ministry - Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • Objective - Conservation of tiger and ensures the preservation of their natural habitat.
  • The Project Tiger has 53 tiger reserves spread over 75,000 km.
  • This year 2023 observed Project Tiger’s 50th commemorative year.
  • It is one of the most successful species conservation programmes in the world.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was created to provide statutory backing to the project.

Project Elephant

  • Launched in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Objectives
    • To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
    • To address issues of man-animal conflict
    • Welfare of captive elephants
  • Ministry - Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change provides financial and technical support to major elephant range states in the country.
  • There are 33 elephant reserves in India, latest being Terai Elephant Reserve in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Project Elephant completed 30 years in 2022.

References

  1. IE - Centre merges Project Tiger and Project Elephant
  2.  Outlook - Centre Merges 'Project Tiger' With 'Project Elephant'
  3. DTE - Project Tiger merges with Project Elephant

National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change

Despite India’s focused approach to fighting the climate crisis, the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) sees drastic cut.

  • The National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) was created to fund the states in fighting this global challenge.
  • NAFCC was established in 2015.
  • Aim - To support concrete adaptation activities which mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Implementation - National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the National Implementing Entity (NIE).
  • Projects eligible for funding - Adaptation projects in sectors such as agriculture, animal husbandry, water, forestry, tourism etc.
  • Eligibility - The States/UTs are to be prepared the project proposal in consultation with NIE (NABARD) and to be approved by the State Steering Committee on Climate Change.
  • Funding - Central Sector Scheme
  • The grants under NAFCC released to different states and Union territories have drastically declined over the years.
  • NAFCC so far has supported 30 different adaptation projects in the fields of agriculture, water, and forestry in 27 states.

NAFCC funding came down to around Rs 20 crore in 2022-23 from Rs 118 crore in 2015-16.

Other Government action for climate change

  • The Centre in its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submitted to UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement.
  • Green Hydrogen Mission launched under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • Mission LiFE which propagates a list of ideas on lifestyle changes.
  • India also sets target to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030, from the 2005 level.

References

  1. New IE - India’s climate change adaptation fund sees drastic cut
  2. Vikaspedia - National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change
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