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07 Dec 2015 07-12-2015

What is the TFA?

The TFA aims to fast track any movement of goods among countries by cutting down bureaucratic obligations. The problem with TFA runs in a clause that says farm subsidies cannot be more than 10 percent of the value of agricultural production. If the cap is breached, other members can challenge it and also go on to impose trade sanctions on the country.

The developing countries would have a problem with the solutions offered by the developed countries as without the subsidies the food security of the developing nations could be seriously harmed. India agreed to the TFA in Bali only under the condition that interim relief would be provided to the developing nations.

 

India s concern

  1. India is maintaining its bullheaded approach because of two issues, food subsidies and stockpiling of food grains.
  2.  India at present is running a massive food procurement programmes by providing minimum supporting price to the farmers and giving subsidised food to lakhs of BPL families through its public distribution system (PDS).
  3.  The new WTO agreement limits the value of food subsidies at 10 percent of the total food grain production. India is flexing muscle on the issue because subsidies have been calculated by WTO taking 1986 as base year into account which will largely affect food procurement programme through MSP.
  4. India is raising its concerns by saying that while US is providing 120 billion as agriculture subsidy then why India can t give even one tenth (USD 12 billion) to their farmers.
  5. India which is home to about 25 percent of the world s hungry, has a viewpoint that it is a Government s responsibility and duty to ensure availability of proper food to its people.
  6.  Moreover, India s food programme is largely domestic so it doesn t distort global food trade. The Indian sources say that once the TFA will be implemented it will be difficult to bargain on the food subsidy.

Home grown terrorism

 

Self-radicalized , homegrown operating undetected before striking is the major challenge the countries need to prepare for. Recent Gunfire at San Bernardino in California is an example for this. Social media is becoming a major tool to spread the message of hatred and radicalize the individuals.

India Pakistan Dialogue process

  • The dialogue process is reinitiated and NSA, foreign secy, foreign ministers and Prime minister level talks are on the agenda.
  • NSA Ajit doval and foreign secretary Jai Shankar met their counterparts of Pakistan in Bangkok.
  • External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is travelling to Islamabad to attend Heart of Asia donor conference on Afghanistan.
  • Prime Minister Modi will visit Pakistan to participate in SAARC summit.

 Labour reforms

  • Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill - 2015 - It makes more workers eligible for bonus and double bonus payments. That is salary ceiling for statutory bonus payments will be raised to 21,000rs from the existing 10,000rs.
  • Code on wages will replace payment of wages act 1936, Minimum wages act of 1948, payment of bonus act 1965, Equal remuneration act, 1976.
  • Code on Industrial relations will replace Trade Unions act of 1926, Industrial disputes act and Industrial employment (standing orders) act -1946.
  • Child labour (protection and regulation) Amendment bill, 2012 - It bars the children up to 14 years in any form of employment and 14-18 years in hazardous industries. Here, the Government reduced the list of hazardous industries from 83 to 3.
  • Small factories (regulation of employment and conditions of services) bill - 2014 - It aims to exempt firms with and up to 40 employees from compliance with 6 major labour laws.

 

 

 Secular in spirit and in letter

  • Indian constitution was framed on the back drop of World War 2 and partition of India. Two greatest human tragedies. The lessons learnt from both made the constitutional framers to give highest priority to human dignity and peaceful coexistence in a diverse nation such as India.
  • Fundamental rights in article 14,15,16,17 try to protect the human dignity. Religious freedom guaranteed and Minority rights in the constitution are meant to keep the state equidistant from religion. At the same time, state is given necessary power to make the religious practices in line with demands of modern day society.
  • When KT Shah argued for inclusion of terms socialist, secular, federal terms in the constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar replied that, the nature of social organization of the state need to be determined appropriately by the people of the time based on circumstances prevalent. Added to this, he felt already explicit in the constitution need not be reiterated.
  • 42nd AA give an expression in terms to secularism and socialism in preamble but they are inherent in the constitutional argument from very beginning.

 Question for the day
Secularism as a part of the constitution has social, Human and economic value in India. Elaborate

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