Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications.

Army plans to raise inclusiveness

You should know:

  • Commanders’ meets says highly pyramidal set-up has been denying promotions to competent officers.
  • The just-concluded Army Commanders’ Conference has debated ways of optimum utilisation of personnel as the Service has a highly pyramidal structure and hence over 50% personnel are not promoted despite being highly competent.
  • The Army said its core values had not changed, and rapid societal changes and discernible impact of socio-economic aspirations on Army had been a focus area of the conference. Various measures to enhance transparency and inclusiveness were deliberated.
  • This comes against the backdrop of concerns on the sahayak system in the Army after a series of videos had surfaced on social media recently in which serving personnel alleged that they were forced to do menial jobs.
  • Under the orderly system, jawans are assigned to officers to perform certain specified personal tasks.
  • The proposals to make Short Service Commission officers’ entry scheme more popular, streamlining the intake pattern, employment of women officers and grant of honorary ranks to Junior Commissioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers have been deliberated with positive road maps.
  • The biannual conference, held from April 17 to 22 this year, gives an opportunity for the top leadership to carry out due diligence on a range of issues and decisions are taken through a collegiate system comprising Commanders and other senior officers.

Source: Times of India

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Now, Australia wants a LEMOA

Details to know:

  • Australia has put forward a proposal to have a logistics support agreement with India on the lines of the one concluded with the U.S. However, yet to take a call on it, India has said that it would first like to get the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) with the U.S. operational.
  • India and Australia have been expanding their military-to-military cooperation, especially in the maritime domain, given their shared interests and concerns in the Indian Ocean, with the rapid expansion of China’s naval presence in the region.
  • Australia has proposed a logistics agreement and has already submitted a draft to India. The draft was submitted 18 months back and a response from India is awaited.
  • The proposal comes in the backdrop of Australia’s recent request for observer status during this year’s Malabar trilateral naval exercises scheduled to be held in July
  • After a decade of negotiations, India and the U.S. signed LEMOA, the first of the three foundational agreements, last August.
  • However, it is yet be operationalised as India had to streamline its administrative procedures.
  • That process is now almost complete and the Defence Ministry is expected to issue the notification from its end in the next few days.
  • At the time of signing LEMOA, defence officials said that that they were open to similar agreements with other countries as well, depending on the necessity and the advantage that they would bring to India.

Source: Hindustan Times

Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

When all that glitters beckons

Briefing:

  • After diamonds, now it is time for jewellery of all kinds to glitter. Jewellery manufacturing in India, which dates back over 2,000 years, is being given an impetus to enable India emerge as a leading exporter of gold and diamond jewellery in the world.
  • PM’s opinion,
  • Enough of just diamond cutting and polishing work. Now we have to be number one in gems & jewellery, not only in ‘Make in India’ but ‘Designed in India’ jewellery in the world.
  • The diamond cutting & polishing industry may be only 60 to 70 years old in India but the country has established its dominancein the global market.
  • 12 out of 14 diamonds sold in the world are polished or cut in India. In value terms, India has 60% market share in the global diamond market and in volume it is 90%.
  • The aim of the government now is to have India corner more than 50% of the jewellery exports market currently dominated by manufacturers from Italy, Turkey, Germany and Hong Kong.
  • The government has asked the industry to layout a roadmap to boost exports and has assured all help including skill development of artisans and jewellery manufacturing.
  • Skills become critical as the global market demands fashion jewellery, unlike heavily fabricated jewellery which are in demand from customers in India and people of Indian origin.
  • The skill development process has already started. Then the next phase would be infrastructure development. Once that is done, jewellery exports will increase. Today we are not exporting much as we lack the capability to manufacture designs foreigners want.
  • Indian manufacturers have the expertise to make 22 and 20 carat gold jewellery but exports market demand jewellery that are made of 8 or 10 carat gold.
  • Foreigners go to Dubai and find out about India. When they go to Gold Souk in Dubai, 90% of the jewellery is from India, the people selling jewellery are Indians.
  • But the credit goes to UAE and not to India. UAE could turn Dubai into the city of Gold but not India which had everything in its favour.
  • Indian jewellery manufacturers are primarily shipping out unbranded products to overseas importers who then tag these products with their own brand and charge a premium from buyers. Indian jewellers are now planning to shift from unbranded to branded jewellery for higher value realisation.
  • GJEPC, with the help of the commerce ministry, is setting up a gold craft and design institute at Udupi in Karnataka to reskill local artisans

Source: The Hindu