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Paper 5-GS-IV, TopPaper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

With Brexit, U.K.-India pact could boost trade

Important to note:

  • There is great potential for future growth in trade between Indian and the U.K.
  • The potential for the growth in India-U.K. trade following Brexit is 26%
  • Indian tariffs are higher on average than the other way round — 14.8% versus 8.4%
  • So, much of the growth would come from a reduction on tariffs on the Indian side.
  • Indian exports to the U.K. could rise by as much as 12%, with sectors such as clothing, industrial and mechanical appliances such as turbo jets and transmission shafts seeing strong growth.
  • the opportunity for increasing the exports of services as well as new exports such as non-industrial diamonds, and specific mechanical devices.

India was trying for this:

  • While India h1as been negotiating a broad-based trade and investment agreement with the European Union since 2007, it has remained inconclusive… India was also unable to build and expand on its trade ties with the U.K. as it was part of the EU.
  • But with Brexit, Britain offers a fresh start for India to engage on a whole and exciting new level on sectors which have been largely dormant due to EU regulations.

India is best option for Britain:

  • Britain cannot commence negotiations with India on a trade deal while it remains within the E.U., but both nations have been exploring the specifics of their trading relationship.
  • A joint working group between the two countries set up last year will be conducting an audit on the current situation and potential future.
  • The audit’s terms of reference are currently being established, and is set to commence shortly.

Source:Times of India

ic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources

Petrol, diesel prices to be fixed daily

Important to know:

  • From May 1, petrol and diesel prices will change every day in sync with international rates, much like what happens in most advanced markets.

  • State-owned fuel retailers [Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL)] which own over 95% of the nearly 58,000 fuel outlets in the country.
  • The pilot scheme will be first implemented in Puducherry, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Chandigarh.
  • State fuel retailers currently revise rates on the 1st and 16th of every month, based on average international price in the preceding fortnight and the currency exchange rate.
  • Pump rates will reflect daily movement in international oil prices and rupee-U.S. dollar fluctuations.

Is it feasible to change prices daily:

  • It is technically possible to change rates daily, but trying a demo first.
  • Daily price change will remove the big leaps in rates that need to be effected at the end of the fortnight, and consumers will be more aligned to market dynamics.
  • Petrol price was freed from government control in June 2010, diesel rates were deregulated only in October 2014.
  • Oil companies have the freedom to revise rates but often they have been guided by political considerations.
  • Rates differ by only a few paise between pumps of the three state fuel retailers.

Additional information:

  • With daily changes the political pressures for not revising rates particularly when they are to be hiked will go.
  • The changes are unlikely to be more than a few paise per litre.
  • IOC said customers may verify fuel prices by downloading the company app or visiting its website.

Source: Hindustan Times

Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Environmental pollution and degradation

High Court blow to Tata housingproject near Sukhna Lake

Briefing:

  • The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dealt a big blow to the Tata Camelot Housing Colony (CAMELOT),as it held that it was within the catchment area of the Sukhna Lake and set aside all environmental clearance and permissions granted to the project.
  • HC set aside the environmental clearance granted for the project proposed to be set up by Tata Housing Development Company Ltd. (Tata HDCL) in Kansal village of Mohali district in Punjab.
  • The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court after the Punjab & Haryana High Court allowed the construction of the project.
  • The project is not authorised under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The upcoming project:

  • The Tata HDCL had proposed to construct 19 towers of 7 to 28 storeys in an area admeasuring 52 acres which is located about 1500 m from the Sukhna Lake and 123 m from the Wild Life Sanctuary.
  • The area over which the project in question is proposed to be constructed forms part of the catchment area of Sukhna Lake as demarcated in the Survey of India map dated 21.09.2004.

High Court says:

  • HC said that the permission granted by Nagar Panchayat Naya Gaon to Tata HDCL is invalid and is hereby set aside.
  • directing the Punjab government to reconsider the matter in the light of its judgement.
  • The environmental clearance granted by SEIAA Punjab for development of the project is not in conformity with the notification of the Ministry of Environment & Forests.
  • HC made it clear that if on reconsideration, the matter is decided in favour of Tata HDCL, it may apply to the Central Government for environmental clearance treating the project as a category ‘A’ project.
  • The HC noted that the contention of Tata HDCL that the project site does not form part of catchment area of Sukhna Lake is liable to be rejected.

Source: The Hindu

Paper 5-GS-IV, Topic: Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology

Global interest in PSLV soars

You should know:

  • A world best, 101 small foreign commercial spacecraft were taken up at once in that feat, catapulting the PSLV’s overall commercial tally to 180.
  • Antrix Corporation, ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organisation) business arm that markets its rocket and satellite services.
  • According to Antrix Corporation,500 satellites are expected to come up for launch every year from 2018 onwards.
  • Now they are seeing how they can equip ourselves towards meeting this big opportunity.
  • ISRO is also ramping up availability of the PSLVs. Antrix has asked for two dedicated PSLVs a year for doing fully commercial launches. They can mostly cater to the 5 kg to 100 kg small satellites.
  • The PSLV, with a near impeccable 37 successes in 39 flights is a clear leader in the category of rockets that lift small satellites to low Earth orbits or LEOs.
  • These satellites weigh up to 500 kg and must be placed in polar orbits 500 km from Earth.
  • Roughly 15% of ISROs nearly ₹ 2,000-crore turnover comes from PSLV launch orders of foreign satellite operators.
  • Antrixcorporation has launch orders worth around ₹ 600 crore.
  • A U.S based company said, The PSLV is in an interesting position in the market. It has a strong technical track record and is an attractive vehicle for smallsat operators – especially if the launch [frequency] increases.

Source: Times of India