Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!
India US discuss steps to implement Paris deal
In a meeting between Indian PM and US President discussion were held to bring the landmark Paris climate change agreement into force as quickly as possible. India and the U.S agreed to initiate domestic processes to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Indiaâ€™s ratification of the deal would come after the Union cabinet approves it. In civil nuclear energy cooperation Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCL) and nuclear reactor builders, Westinghouse, will immediately start the engineering and site design work on six reactors to be set up in Gujarat under an early work agreement. Â US also agreed to support Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
What is the process of ratification of Paris climate deal? – The Constitution of the United States gives the President the power to commit the United States to treaties â€“ but only with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the US Senate, and only if the agreement does not contravene the Constitution.
The Union cabinet approves Indiaâ€™s accession to international treaties. High quality global journalism requires investment. The Paris deal will only come into effect once 55 countries – which account for 55 per cent of global emissions – have completed ratification. According to the World Resources Institute, India accounted for 6.96 per cent of global emissions and the US 14.4 per cent in 2012.
Study on reservation in higher education
A study by Surendrakumar Bagde from the Indian Administrative Service and two economists from the Carnegie Mellon University – Dennis Epple and Lowell Taylor has dismissed the commonly held belief commonly held belief that reservation policy harms the intended beneficiaries by placing them in academic situations for which they are ill-prepared and not suited.
1) The study found that affirmative action dramatically increases the enrollment of men and women belonging to disadvantaged castes. This is because reservation enables the applicants to attend college, who otherwise would not have been admitted. However, though enrollment increases due to reservation, the proportion of most disadvantaged castes attending college is smaller than their population shares.
2) It was found that while scores in the first-year test are relatively lower for the most disadvantaged castes, affirmative action enhances the academic success of SC and ST students, who experience the largest increase in achievement from school level.
3) The study dispels the argument that students from disadvantaged castes graduate at lower rates than they would have in the absence of affirmative action policies, as they might find themselves in academic situations for which they are not well prepared â€“being clubbed with students who scored higher in entrance exams.
Well, the students of targeted castes indeed have lower rates of on-time graduation. But researchers find no compelling evidence that the lower rate is due to â€œmismatchâ€ induced via reservation policy. A model that isolates the impact of affirmative action was developed and no statistically significant link was found between priority given at time of admissions and on-time graduation. Other factors that can affect success in college – such as financial duress, family obligation, or other personal issues – might vary across caste, says the study.
Indiaâ€™s bid to join missile technology regime
India saw itself getting closer to the membership of one of the technology control regimes. Countries belonging to the 34-member Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) have raised no objection to Indiaâ€™s membership later this year. With this step India is all set to become the 35th member of the control regime.
Ever since securing an India specific waiver from the NSG in 2008, New Delhi has been keen to become a member of multi-later export control regimes like the NSG, MTCR, the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group. Nearly all the major suppliers of high technology or militarily sensitive dual use technology are members of these regimes. Membership to these groups will help India in participating in the global commerce in advanced technology.
The MTCR chair has now begun the next stage of formalities for India, which require each of the 34 member countries to send a â€œdiplomatic noteâ€ stating formally that they accept Indiaâ€™s membership. India will also receive membership documents which it must ratify and return. India is also hopeful of building on the MTCR entry with membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
What is the Missile Technology Control Regime? – The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying a 500 kg payload for at least 300 km.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was established in April 1987 by the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States. The MTCR was created in order to curb the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons, specifically delivery systems that could carry a minimum payload of 500 kg a minimum of 300 km.
Centre plans alternative to Bt cotton
The central government is working to develop Bt cotton genes that can be integrated into traditional varieties and be made available to farmers as a viable alternative to the current technology. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has for many years unsuccessfully tried to develop Bt cotton, which contains insecticidal genes sourced from a soil bacterium and targeted at key cotton pests.
This time the project will be led by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
What is the importance of this initiative? – The move comes after the recent tussle with Monsato, the GM seed company which holds a monopoly in the Bt cotton seeds market. The Agriculture Ministry recently drafted rules which it later retracted to change in the way seed companies and seed-technology companies such as the MMB share royalty, technology and determine the price as which farmers buy cotton seed. These changes have been in demand by the farmers for a long time now.
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