Current Affairs 26th September 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam
International Coffee Organisation
Context: Bengaluru is hosting the 5th World Coffee Conference (WCC), an event organized by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).
About the International Coffee Organisation (ICO)
- The ICO was established in 1963 under the aegis of the United Nations and following the approval of the first International Coffee Agreement in 1962.
- It is the only intergovernmental organization for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing Governments.
- Mission: To strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market-based environment for the benefit of all actors in the Global Coffee Value Chain (G-CVC).
- Members: The ICO has 49 member countries (Including India). These countries represent 93% of world coffee production and 63% of world consumption.
- The United States officially withdrew from the International Coffee Agreement in June 2018.
- Headquarters: London, England.
- Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, after crude oil.
- The coffee plant is a member of the Rubiaceae family taxonomically.
- The coffee species are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia.
- There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is generally considered to be the higher quality coffee, but Robusta is more resistant to pests and diseases.
- Conditions required for coffee production:
|Soils||Deep, fertile, rich in organic matter, well drained and slightly acidic (Ph6.0-6.5)||Same as Arabica|
|Slopes||Gentle to moderate slopes||Gentle slopes to fairly level fields|
|Aspect||North, East and North- East aspects||Same as Arabica|
|Temperature||15 °C – 25 °C; cool, equable||20 °C – 30 °C; hot, humid|
|Annual rainfall||1600-2500 mm||1000-2000 mm|
|Blossom showers||March- April (25-40mm)||February – March (25-40 mm)|
|Backing showers||April-May (50-75 mm) well distributed||March-April (50-75 mm) well distributed|
Coffee Industry in India
- India is the world’s sixth largest coffee producer, behind Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia, and Honduras.
- India produces two types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica has high market value than Robusta coffee due to its mild aromatic flavor.
- The share of Arabica and Robusta in Indian coffee production is approximately 30% and 70%, respectively.
- Coffee was introduced to India during the late seventeenth century.
- Karnataka is the largest producer accounting for about 70% of the total coffee production in India.
- Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the second and the third largest producers of coffee in India.
- The Coffee Board of India is responsible for regulating and promoting coffee production and trade in India.
- The Coffee Board is a statutory organisation under Section (4) of the Coffee Act, 1942.
- It functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
- Italy, India’s largest export market, accounts for 20% of bean coffee exports.
CE20 Cryogenic Engine
Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully test fired the CE20 E13 engine, marking a crucial step towards the Gaganyaan Mission.
About the CE20 Cryogenic Engine
- CE20 Engine is a critical component of the Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) that powers the upper stage (C25) of the LVM3 vehicle.
- It has been designed and developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), a subsidiary of ISRO.
- It is one of the most powerful upper-stage cryogenic engines in the world.
- It is the first Indian cryogenic engine to feature a gas-generator cycle.
- The gas-generator cycle is a type of rocket engine cycle that uses a small amount of propellant to power the pumps that feed the main combustion chamber.
- This type of cycle is very efficient and is used in many of the world’s most powerful rockets, such as the Ariane 5, the Falcon 9, and the Long March 5.
- Capacity: The CE20 engine develops a nominal thrust of 186.36 kN in vacuum.
- This engine has already proven its reliability and efficiency in six consecutive LVM3 missions, including the Chandrayaan-2, Chandrayaan-3, and two commercial OneWeb missions.
Understanding the Cryogenic Engines
- Cryogenic engines are rocket engines that use a cryogenic fuel and oxidizer; that is, both its fuel and oxidizer are gases which have been liquefied and are stored at very low temperatures.
- The most common cryogenic propellants are liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2).
- Cryogenic engines are more efficient than conventional rocket engines because the propellants have a higher density at cryogenic temperatures. This means that more propellant can be carried in a given volume, which allows cryogenic engines to produce more thrust for a given weight.
- Cryogenic engines are also more environmentally friendly than conventional rocket engines because they produce fewer emissions.
What is LMV-3?
- The Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3), previously referred as the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk3), is a medium-lift launch vehicle developed by the ISRO.
- The LVM3 will go everywhere —GEO, Medium Earth orbit (MEO), LEO, and missions to the moon, sun.
- Stages: It is a three-stage launch vehicle consisting of two solid propellant S200 strap-ons on its sides and core stage comprising L110 liquid stage and C25 cryogenic stage.
- Capacity: The rocket is capable of launching 4,000-kilogram class of satellites into GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit) and 8,000 kgs of payloads into LEO.
- Other important launch vehicles of ISRO:
- Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV): The first rocket developed by ISRO was simply called SLV, or Satellite Launch Vehicle.
- Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV): SLV and ASLV both could carry small satellites, weighing up to 150 kg, to lower earth orbits. ASLV operated till the early 1990s.
- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV): PSLV’s first launch was in 1994, and it has been ISRO’s main rocket ever since.
- It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
- PSLV is the most reliable rocket used by ISRO to date, with 52 of its 54 flights being successful.
- It successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013.
- Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV): GSLV is a much more powerful rocket, meant to carry heavier satellites much deeper into space.
- The indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), forms the third stage of GSLV Mk II.
- ISRO has renamed the GSLV Mark-III as Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LMV-3).
Election Symbols by ECI
Context: The Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister has stated that he would accept the “final” decision of the Election Commission of India regarding the Nationalist Congress Party’s name and poll symbol.
Election Symbols by ECI
- As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, the Election Commission allots symbols for anyone contesting in polls.
- The main purpose of giving symbols to parties is to help illiterate voters, who cannot read the candidates name, to find their candidate on the ballot paper and to facilitate their voting by looking at the symbol.
- Symbols also allow political parties to distinguish themselves from others.
- Types: Symbols are either reserved or unreserved.
- A reserved symbol is one which is reserved for candidates of a recognized political party.
- Remaining symbols are unreserved. The list of unreserved symbols is circulated all over the country before the elections.
- Process of Allocating Symbols:
- Parties: In the case of a recognised political party, the Commission allows it to ‘reserve’ a symbol.
- For example, if a political party recognised in a particular State wishes to contest in elections in another State, it can ‘reserve’ the symbol being used by it.
- The Commission will oblige, provided the symbol is not being used by anyone else.
- A person contesting on behalf of a recognised political party will inherit the party’s symbol.
- Two or more recognised political parties can have the same symbol provided they are not contenders in the same State or Union Territory.
- For instance, both the Federal Party of Manipur and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of Tamil Nadu use ‘Rising Sun’ as their symbol.
- Independent Candidate: An independent candidate or someone contesting on behalf of an unrecognised political party has to approach the Commission and get a symbol allotted from the list of ‘free’ symbols available.
- A candidate will have to provide three symbols from the free list at the time of submission of nomination papers, one of which will be allocated to him/her.
- Any choice other than from the EC’s list is rejected.
- Parties: In the case of a recognised political party, the Commission allows it to ‘reserve’ a symbol.
- Change of Symbols: A party can seek to change its reserved symbol.
- Excluded Symbols:
- Any symbol that depicts an animal or bird or has communal connotation is not allotted by ECI.
- Losing the Symbols:
- Until 1997, unrecognised parties were losing their symbols.
- Later, the EC modified its order to allow such parties to retain their symbol.
- Case of Party Split:
- If a recognised political party splits, the Election Commission decides which faction can use the symbol.
- The Commission may also choose to freeze the symbol and ask both factions to contest in fresh symbols.
- For splits in registered but unrecognised parties, the ECI usually advises the warring factions to resolve their differences internally or to approach the court.
About Election Commission of India:
- The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
- The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
- The commission consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- They are appointed by the President and have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- Article 324- Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
- Article 325- No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex.
- Article 326- Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage.
- Article 327- Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures.
- Article 328- Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature.
- Article 329- Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters.
Context: The RBI has instructed Regulated Entities such as commercial banks and Non-Banking Finance Companies to publicly disclose details of borrowers whose secured assets have been acquired by them under the SARFAESI Act, 2002.
More on News
- As per RBI, Regulated Entities like commercial banks and Non-Banking Finance Companies shall upload this information on their website in the format as prescribed.
- This move by RBI is part of a move towards greater transparency.
About Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002
- Definition: The SARFAESI Act was passed in 2002.
- It essentially empowers banks and other financial institutions to directly auction residential or commercial properties that have been pledged with them to recover loans from borrowers.
- The SARFAESI Act lays down processes to help Indian lenders recover their dues quickly.
- Before this Act took effect, financial institutions had to file civil suits in the courts to recover their dues, which is a lengthy and time-consuming process.
- The Parliament thus recognized the necessity to enact dedicated legislation to expedite the realization of non-performing assets (NPAs), allowing banks and financial institutions to swiftly recover these funds and reinvest them in business activities.
- Coverage: The Act is applicable throughout the country and covers all assets, movable or immovable, promised as security to the lender.
- Methods of Recovery under the Act: The Act makes provisions for three methods of recovery of the NPAs, which includes:
- Securitisation: Securitisation is the process of issue of marketable securities backed by a pool of existing assets such as home loans. After an asset is converted into a marketable security, it is sold.
- Asset Reconstruction: It empowers the asset reconstruction companies in India. It can be performed by means of managing the borrower’s business by acquiring it, by selling a partial or whole of the business or by the rescheduling of payments of debt payable by the borrower by the provisions of the Act.
- Enforcement of security without the intervention of the court: It also empowers banks and financial institutions to:
- Issue notices to any individual who has obtained any of the secured assets from the borrower to surrender the due amount to the bank.
- Claim any debtor of the borrower to pay any sum due to the borrower.
- Provisions of the Act:
- Recovery: As per the SARFAESI Act, if a borrower defaults on a loan financed by a bank against collateral, then the bank has powers to recover its dues from the borrower.
- After giving a notice period of 60 days the lender can:
- take possession of the pledged assets of the borrower,
- take over the management of such assets or appoint any person to manage them,
- ask debtors of the borrower to pay their dues too, with respect to the asset.
- This recovery procedure saves banks and financial institutions a lot of time which otherwise would be long drawn out due to the intervention of courts.
- However, the defaulter has a recourse to move an appellate authority set up under the law within 30 days of receiving a notice from the lender.
- Cooperatives: In 2013, the government amended the Act to include co-operative banks under the definition of banks eligible to use it.
- This move helps co-operative banks avoid inordinate delays in the recovery of their bad loans due to the involvement of civil courts and co-operative tribunals.
Context: On the request of Indian enforcement agencies, Interpol has issued a Red Notice against an individual who is an alleged member of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), for terrorism-related charges.
- Definition: The Interpol, or International Criminal Police Organization, is an inter-governmental organization comprising 195 member countries, which helps police forces in all these countries to better coordinate their actions.
- The General Assembly is Interpol’s governing body, and it brings all countries together once a year to take decisions.
- The General Secretariat coordinates its day-to-day activities to fight a range of crimes.
- It enables member countries to share and access data on crimes and criminals and offers a range of technical and operational support.
- In each country, an INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) provides the central point of contact for the General Secretariat and other NCBs.
- An NCB is run by national police officials and usually sits in the government ministry responsible for policing.
- Interpol connects all its countries via a communications system called I-24/7.
- Countries use this secure network to contact each other, and the General Secretariat.
- It also allows them to access Interpol’s databases and services in real-time, from both central and remote locations.
- Headquarters: Lyon, France
Types of Notices by Interpol
- Interpol issues 8 type of notices (7 of which are colour-coded) which are in the form of alert/requests allowing police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.
- Red Notice: To seek the location and arrest of a person wanted by a judicial jurisdiction or an international tribunal with a view to his/her extradition.
- It is the “closest instrument to an international arrest warrant”.
- Blue Notice: To locate, identify or obtain information on a person of interest in a criminal investigation.
- Green Notice: To warn about a person’s criminal activities if that person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety.
- Yellow Notice: To locate a missing person or to identify a person unable to identify himself/herself.
- Black Notice: To seek information on unidentified bodies.
- Orange Notice: To warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing an imminent threat and danger to persons or property.
- Purple Notice: To provide information on modus operandi, procedures, objects, devices or hiding places used by criminals.
- Interpol-UNSC Special Notice: To inform Interpol’s members that an individual or an entity is subject to UN sanctions.