Daily Current Affairs 9th May 2018


India among 6 countries to create large no of jobs in renewable energy sector :-

With the countries across the globe gradually switching to clean energy in sync with their commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, Jobs in the renewable energy sector globally have seen a significant rise according to IRENA annual report on jobs in Renewable Energy (RE) .

IRENA Annual Report Findings on Jobs in Renewable Energy (RE) :-

India among 6 countries to create large no of jobs in renewable energy sector

  • Jobs in the renewable energy sector globally crossed the 10 million mark in 2017.
  • All the countries together had created over half-a-million new jobs in the sector last year—a 5.3% increase from 2016.
  • Though most countries are making efforts to move towards a low-carbon economy, six of them — China, Brazil, the US, India, Germany and Japan — have created the large share of jobs globally in the renewable energy sector at over 70%.
  • The figures show that the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry remains the largest employer of all RE technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs worldwide including 2.2 million jobs in China and 1,64,000 jobs in India.
  • Biofuels, hydro-power (both small and large) and wind are the other three segments in the RE sector which employ maximum number of people.
  • 60% of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia.
  • The figures show that despite a slight dip in Japan and the US, the two countries followed China as the largest markets for solar PV employment.
  • India and Bangladesh complete a top five that accounts for around 90% of global solar PV jobs.

The findings are part of the report of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) — a global inter-governmental organisation — which on Tuesday released its annual review on jobs in renewable energy (RE) sector in Abu Dhabi.

India Stance on Renewable Energy :-

  • India has set a target of installing 175 GW of renewable power by 2022.
  • This includes 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW from small hydro power.
  • India’s cumulative solar installations stand at 19.6 GW as on December, 2017.
  • The country had added record 9.6 GW of solar power last year.

About IRENA :-

  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation to promote adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  • IRENA provides advice and support to governments on renewable energy policy, capacity building, and technology transfer.
  • IRENA will also co-ordinate with existing renewable energy organizations, such as REN21 (Global renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network)
  • The agency is headquartered in Abu Dhabi & IRENA is an official UN observer

Commission approves modern animal-free testing for drugs :-

In a step that would spare animals from suffering due to drug experiments, the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has approved modern, animal-free tests for drug manufacturers.

Commission approves modern animal-free testing for drugs

In the 2018 edition of Indian Pharmacopoeia :- (That provides guidelines on tests for drugs manufactured and marketed in India)

  • The IPC has replaced the pyrogen test carried out on rabbits and the abnormal toxicity test carried out on guinea pigs and mice with tests that can be done in test tubes.
  • The pyrogen test will be replaced by a bacterial endotoxin test or a monocyte activation test.
  • Vaccine manufacturers can apply for waiver for the abnormal toxicity test by getting a compliance certificate from the National Control Laboratory.

The guidelines in the edition will come into effect from July 1.

What is Pyrogen Test & Abnormal Toxicity Test ?

Pyrogen test :- It is carried out to check impurity or substance that can cause adverse side-effects. For the test, the drug is injected into a rabbit and the animal is closely observed for feverish symptoms.

Abnormal Toxicity test :- It is carried out to check potential hazardous biological contamination in vaccine formulations.

About Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) :-

  • Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) is an autonomous institution of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which sets standards for all drugs that are manufactured, sold and consumed in India.

Central Committee Questions Key Principles of Hague Convention :-

A Justice Rajesh Bindal committee set up by the Centre to prepare a report on the issue of inter-country parental child abduction has questioned one of the basic principles of the Hague Convention by arguing that the return of the child to his or her habitual residence may not necessarily be in the best interest of the child.

There is immense pressure on India from the U.S. to accede to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which is a multi-national treaty that seeks to protect children wrongfully removed by one of the parents from the custody of the other parent.

At the heart of this treaty is the criterion of “habitual residence” of the child, which is used to determine whether the child was wrongfully removed by a parent as well as to seek the return of the child.

The Committee submitted its report to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi last month. The Ministry will be circulating the report to the Ministries of External affairs and Home Affairs for their inputs. Once the Central government decides to set-up the Authority and frames a law on the issue, it is expected to take a decision on whether it should accede to the Hague Convention.

Justice Rajesh Bindal Committee Report :-

  • The Committee feels that the concept of habitual residence is not synchronous with the best interest of the child.
  • It adds that returning a child to the place of habitual residence may result in sending the child to an inharmonious set-up as well as overlook the fact that a mother is the primary caregiver of the child.
  • The report also requires the setting up of an Inter-Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority, which will be the nodal body to decide on the custody of the child, mediate between the warring parties, as well as order the return of the child to the country of habitual residence.
  • The panel has also emphasised the importance of the “Indian family system” in ensuring the best interest of the child, seemingly to question the logic behind returning the child to a place of habitual residence outside India.
  • The panel has also prepared a draft law to safeguard the interest of the children, as well as those of the parents, particularly mothers.

Draft Legislation by Committee :-

  • The proposed legislation lays down nine exceptions under which a child will not be returned to the country of habitual residence
    ♦ Best interest of the child
    ♦ Domestic violence or mental or physical cruelty or harassment against the parent who fled with the child
    ♦ If there is a grave risk that the child would be exposed to physical or psychological harm.

About Rajesh Bindal Committee :-

The Justice Rajesh Bindal Committee was set up last year to suggest a model legislation to safeguard the interest of the child as well those of the parents when an NRI (Non Resident Indian) marriage goes sour and one of the parents flees from one country to another with the child.

UN Report for Social Inclusion :-

  • A UN report on the Asia-Pacific region has urged the regional powers to invest in inclusive and sustainable growth.
  • The report described South and Southwest Asia as the fastest growing sub-region of the Asia-Pacific region
  • It urged countries to take advantage of the currently favourable economic conditions in order to address vulnerabilities and enhance the resilience, inclusiveness and sustainability of their economies.
  • The UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2018 report was launched at the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER) on Tuesday.


US Exits Iran Nuclear Deal & Reimposes Sanctions :-

  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s pulls out his country out of the Iran deal.
  • Mr. Trump has directed his administration to immediately begin the process of re-imposing sanctions against Iran that were lifted under the deal.
  • Despite the formal exit, US has already been in violation of the agreement, according to some commentators, who pointed out the administration’s active role in stopping commercial agreements Iran sought with Western companies.
  • The Trump administration has already been pressing European countries to stay away from commercial deals with Iran.

Other Members Stance :-

  • France will continue to push for a broader deal aimed at ensuring Iran complies with a landmark 2015 deal curbing its nuclear programme, “whether the United States participates or not”, France’s defence chief said after US pulls out of the deal.
  • France, Britain and Germany were urging the U.S. not to back out, while agreeing that more needs to be done to curb Iran’s ballistic missile development.

Impact of this announcement :-

  • The re-imposed sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy, such as its energy, petrochemical, and financial sectors.
  • Mr. Trump’s decision to formally end the U.S.’s participation in the deal that curtailed Iran’s nuclear ambitions could strain its relations with key allies like France, Germany and the United Kingdom, aggravate tensions with Russia and China, and add to instability in West Asia.
  • Iran can now look to exercise its influence across the region & even the fact is it’s involved in Syria,” where it is supporting President Bashar al-Assad & Iranian presence has increased tensions with nearby Israel, which has carried out several strikes on targets in Syria in recent weeks.


TRAI seeks to amend interconnection norms :-

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday issued a draft document that proposes to amend certain norms of the interconnection regulations that were released in January this year.

Draft Telecommunication Interconnection (Amendment) Regulations 2018 :-

  • It proposes that the time frame for provisioning of ports for initial interconnection and augmentation be increased to a maximum of 42 working days.
  • The regulator has also proposed that each service provider shall provide its forecast of busy hour outgoing traffic for each POI (point of interconnection), at intervals of every six months to the interconnecting service provider.
  • The first such forecast has to be given within two months from the commencement of these amended regulations.
  • Additionally, a service provider can ask another operator for additional ports, if the projected utilisation of the capacity is likely to exceed 85% over a 60-day period.

The regulator has sought views and comments from the industry by May 18 on the draft.


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