La Excellence IAS Academy

Centre Considers Compensation For Exporters Hit By UK, EU Carbon Tax

Syllabus:  GS-III, Economy;

Subject: International relations, Environment and Ecology;

Topic: Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests, Global Agreements and Efforts;

Issue: CBAM;

Context: The Centre is exploring a range of relief measures to soften the blow of the carbon tax introduced by the European Union and the UK, which includes offering compensation to exporters affected by the tax to help them remain competitive in the global markets,.


What is Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism?

  • A carbon border tax is an import duty based on the amount of carbon emissions produced by the goods in question.
  • It discourages emissions as a carbon price, and it has an impact on production and exports as a trade-related measure.

Stated goal of CBAM:

  • To eliminate the difference in carbon price paid by companies subject to the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the price paid by companies elsewhere.
  • Levelling the playing field for EU firms.
  • To implement stronger emission reduction efforts.
  • Incentivises non-EU countries to increase their climate ambition.
  • It will ensure that EU and global climate efforts are not undermined due to the relocation of production which is defined as ‘carbon leakage’.


  • From an equity perspective, it increases costs in poorer countries, due to the need to remit new taxes, etc.
  • Such schemes are still rare in most of the world and introducing them will be a major policy challenge for lower-income countries.
  • For countries reliant on one of the targeted industries – like Mozambique’s aluminium extraction, this could be a major economic shock.
  • If enacted unilaterally, it is likely to unfairly protect domestic industries from international competition – a practice known as ‘green protectionism.’
  • BASIC countries have emphasised that carbon border taxes could promote market distortion and worsen the trust deficit among countries.

What are the impacts on India?

  • High CBAM – The share for many Indian exports covered under CBAM going to the EU is high.
  • Less market share – Indian firms risk losing market share to EU-based producers or those in other more carbon-efficient nations.
  • Affects exports – CBT will affect substantial exports as the EU is an important trade partner for India.
  • Expensive – Even though a product from India may be cheaper than an American product tax plus product price will make Indian products more expensive.
  • Trade divisions – CBT will lead to sharper trade diversion and more trade among developed countries.

Source: The Hindu

Press Bill Passes in LS, Thakur Says Step to Shed Mentality Of Slavery

Syllabus:  GS-II, Polity and Governance;

Subject: Polity and Governance;

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation;

Issue: Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023;

Context: The Lok Sabha passed the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 by voice vote, with I&B Minister Anurag Thakur saying it will simplify registration of newspapers compared with a British-era law it replaced.

  • The Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon Session, on August 3. It replaced the Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act, 1867.


About the PRB Act 1867:

  • The Act aims to –
    • Regulate printing press and newspapers in India,
    • Preserve copies of books and newspapers printed in India, and
    • Provide for registration of books and newspapers.
  • ‘Book’ for the purposes of the Act, includes even a pamphlet and every sheet of music, map, chart etc.
  • Interestingly, electronic media is outside the purview of this Act
    • Established in Sanjay Pinto v. A. Kamaraj, 2011.
  • Under the Act, only the district magistrate (DM) could cancel the declaration of a periodical, while the Press Registrar General (PRG) did not have suo motu powers to cancel or suspend the Certificate of Registration granted by it.
  • It made improper declaration of information a punishable offence with a prison term of up to six months.

Salient Provisions of the PRP Bill 2023:

  • Seeks to simplify the registration process for periodicals.
  • Make it mandatory for digital news platforms to do a “one-time registration” in order to operate.
  • Empowers the PRG to suspend/cancel registration.
  • As per the new Bill, a person who has been convicted by any court for an offence involving terrorist act or unlawful activity or having done anything against the security of the state shall not be permitted to bring out a periodical.
  • The Bill also seeks to do away with two provisions that required publishers and printers to file a declaration before the DM.
    • Only an online intimation has to be filed before PRG and DM.
  • It waters down the provision (of the PRB Act) for prosecution and imprisonment of publishers for improper declaration of information.
  • The punishment of jail up to six months is envisaged only in cases where –
    • A periodical is published without a certificate of registration and
    • The publisher fails to cease the printing of such publication even after six months of a direction issued to that effect by PRG.
  • The new Bill also provides for an appellate authority. The Appellate Board (Press and Registration Appellate Board) will comprise chairperson, Press Council of India (PCI), and two members of PCI to hear an appeal against –
    • Refusal of grant of registration,
    • Imposition of any penalty or suspension/cancellation of registration by PRG.

Significance of the PRP Bill 2023:

  • It aims to bring transparency and ease of doing business by providing for a simple process that will help small and medium publishers.
  • It brings digital news media under its purview, which is expected to weed out apps, websites and social media accounts spreading fake news.
    • At present, while traditional print and electronic media are governed by various laws, digital news platforms are not covered by any registration process.
    • To fix this, the government introduced the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, which made it mandatory for digital news platforms to register themselves with the government.
  • Books, which were part of the PRB Act, 1867, have been taken out of the purview of PRP Bill, as books as a subject are administered by the Ministry of Education.
  • The statute has been substantially decriminalised as against the PRB Act 1867.

Source: Indian Express

India Skills Report Finds Kerala Most Preferred State to Work

Syllabus:  GS-II, Polity and Governance; GS-III, Economy;

Subject: Polity and Governance;

Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections;

Issue: India Skill Report 2024;

Context: India Skills report was recently released.


About the report:

  • Published by: talent assessment agency Wheebox in association with various agencies including All India Council for Technical Education, Confederation of Indian Industry and Association of Indian Universities.
  • Sample size: The report surveyed 88 lakh youths through a National Employability Test conducted across the country.
    • Report draws insights from 152 corporations spanning over 15 diverse industries, all of whom participated in the Early Career Edition of the India Hiring Intent Survey for 2024.

Key Highlights of the Report:

  • Kerala emerged as the most preferred State to work.
    • Was credited for ensuring a balanced approach towards education and honing future skills, also secured the second position in overall employability among the 18-21 age group to reaffirm its status as a robust talent pool in the country.
    • Kerala was also ranked third in terms of highest concentration of employable talent in the B.E./BTech and polytechnic domains, as well as for highest availability of English skills
  • Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram have come second and fourth respectively among cities where both men and women prefer to work regardless of their age
  • Improved employability: with 51.25% of the assessed youths found to be employable with the required skills.

Source: The Hindu

Lok Sabha Passes Bill on CEC, EC appointment

Syllabus:  GS-II, Polity and Governance;

Subject: Polity and Governance;

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies;

Issue: Election Commissions Bill;

Context:  The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 amid the scarce presence of Opposition members in the House.


  • Speaking during a debate before the passage of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill on Thursday, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the names of the commissioners were so far decided by the government, but from now on a search and selection committee will overlook the process.
  • He also asserted that this was in line with the Supreme Court’s directions..

Key Features of the bill:

  • Appointment of CEC and ECs: By President on recommendations from a Selection Committee comprising the PM, a Union Cabinet Minister, and the Leader of Opposition in LS.
  • Search Committee: led by the Cabinet Secretary will suggest candidates to Selection Committee.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Candidates must have held a post equivalent to the Secretary to the central government.
  • Salary and Conditions: The CEC and ECs will receive salaries and benefits equivalent to the Cabinet Secretary, a change from the previous equivalence to a Supreme Court judge.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 324 of the Constitution allows the President to appoint the CEC and ECs but does not specify the appointment process.
  • Supreme Court Directive: In March 2023, the Supreme Court mandated a selection process involving the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India, until Parliament legislates otherwise.

Key Issues and Analysis:

  • Independence Concerns: The government-dominated Selection Committee could impact the Election Commission’s independence.
  • Validity despite Vacancies: The Selection Committee’s recommendations will be valid even with vacancies, potentially leading to government control in appointments.
  • Salary and Status: Aligning the CEC and ECs’ salary with the Cabinet Secretary, determined by the government, may affect their independence compared to a salary fixed by Parliament.
  • Exclusion of Candidates: Limiting eligibility to senior bureaucrats may exclude other qualified individuals, particularly those with judicial experience.
  • International Practices: The appointment processes for election commissions in countries like South Africa, the UK, the US, and Canada vary, with some involving judicial members or parliamentary approval.


  • Ensuring ECI’s Autonomy: While the Bill aims to formalize the appointment process for the CEC and ECs, maintaining the Election Commission’s autonomy and independence is crucial for upholding democratic principles.
  • Need for Deliberation: The concerns raised about the Bill highlight the need for careful consideration to ensure that the Election Commission remains an impartial and effective guardian of electoral integrity in India.

Source: The Hindu

China Urges Philippines to Make ‘Rational Choice’ Over Maritime Tensions

Syllabus:  GS-II, International Relations;

Subject: International Relations;

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests;

Issue: South China Sea dispute;

Context: China voiced growing frustration and anger with the Philippines’ unexpectedly bold tactics in contested South China Sea waters recently, warning its neighbour to “make the rational choice”.

Growing Tension:

  • Videos released by the Philippine Coast Guard showed Chinese ships blasting water at Philippine boats this month, and there was also a collision between vessels from the two countries during tense clashes at flashpoint reefs.
  • China’s top diplomat warned his Philippine counterpart  that the two countries were “facing serious difficulties” and blamed Manila.
Courtesy: Forbes

What is South China Sea Dispute?

  • The South China Sea dispute is a complex and long-standing territorial and maritime dispute involving multiple countries in the region.
  • The main claimants to the disputed territories and waters in the South China Sea are China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.
  • Beijing has also been accused of deploying a range of military hardware, including anti-ship missiles and surface-to-air missiles there, and ignored a 2016 international tribunal decision.

Where is the South China Sea?

  • The South China Sea is an arm of western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia.
  • Bordering states & territories: the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Strategic Importance:

  • This sea holds tremendous strategic importance for its location as it is the connecting link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (Strait of Malacca).
  • According to the United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD)one-third of the global shipping passes through it, carrying trillions of trade which makes it a significant geopolitical water body.

Contesting Claims Over Islands:

  • The Paracel Islandsare claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • The Spratly Islandsare claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Philippines.
  • The Scarborough Shoalis claimed by the Philippines, China and Taiwan.
  • Since 2010, China has been converting uninhabited islets into artificial islets to bring it under UNCLOS (For example, Haven Reef, Johnson South Reef and Fiery Cross Reef).

Source: The Hindu