November 16, 2013
No compromise on Arunachal territory, says students union
- The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU), while welcoming the local boundary commission led by retired Justice Tarun Chatterjee, which is currently studying the interstate boundary issue between Arunachal and Assam, has said it would ‘not compromise on an inch of land in Arunachal.’
- The AAPSU is opposed to the notification issued in 1951, without the knowledge of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, on the basis of the one-sided Bordoloi Commission report.
- It urged the commission to genuinely consider the case of Arunachal Pradesh so that the people of the two States may coexist peacefully and also the commission should take into consideration the traditional rights of communities with due emphasis on the landholding pattern of the individual owners as per their ancestral belongings.
- AAPSU has also sought a review of the Reserved Forest Notification for the boundary areas, saying it was ‘executed arbitrarily, without taking into consideration the ownership rights,’ and that the eviction drives initiated by the forest departments of the two States ‘have been the driving force behind the boundary conflicts.’
Developing countries call for easing IPR costs of clean technologies
- At the Warsaw talks, the developing countries, including India, has called for easing the costs of intellectual property rights (IPR) on clean technologies by demanding that a funding mechanism be set up to buy licenses of clean-but-costly technologies.
- The IPRs has been a hot topic for the developed countries, in the 2012 climate talks developing countries had to suspend it in order to build consensus over this issue.
- IPR topic has been again brought to the centre-stage at Warsaw; the LMDC countries want to use the financial mechanisms under the Convention to fund the IPR costs to ensure that climate-friendly technology is available to developing countries easily. And for this, a dedicated window under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for technology transfer and IPR issues should be established and also technology development and transfer should become an integral part of the 2015 outcome.
- The EU delegation has opposed this, claiming that it saw the protection of IPRs as essential to dissemination of technologies and not as a barrier.
- As the U.N. climate negotiations require consensus and not majority for decisions to be taken, the chances of a mechanism to buy out IPRs remains low and progress on the issue is bound to be hampered. But the intervention by the group, of which India and China are important members, has ensured that it will not get knocked off the decisions taken in Warsaw drawing elements for the 2015 agreement.
What are intellectual property rights?
- Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.
- Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs.
- Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.
Courtesy – http://www.wto.org & Wikipedia
What is Green Climate Fund (GCF)?
- The purpose of the Green Climate Fund is to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.
- The Fund will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, the Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
- The Fund will provide simplified and improved access to funding, including direct access, basing its activities on a country-driven approach and will encourage the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including vulnerable groups and addressing gender aspects.
- The Fund is governed and supervised by a Board that will have full responsibility for funding decisions and will receive the guidance of the COP.
Japan goes back on emission targets
- In the ongoing climate talks, Japan has stunned the rest of the countries when it said that it was forsaking its earlier emission reduction targets of 25% reduction below 1990 levels. Instead, it has pledged to reduce emissions, by 2020, by 3.8 per cent from their 2005 level.
- The new target represents a 3.1% increase over the 1990 emission levels.
- The 1990 levels are accepted as a basic benchmark against which developed countries have so far pledge to reduce their targets. The European Union has planned to and almost achieved a 20% reduction against the benchmark year by 2020.
- Japan has already abandoned the Kyoto Protocol and with Fukishima disaster, it is expected to be more heavily dependent on fossil fuels in future. The decision has come in for all around criticism.
- The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires developed countries to take the lead in emission reductions and the earlier agreements had demanded that the rich countries take emission reduction targets for the short term period — between 2013 and 2020 — before the long-term agreement is signed in 2020. Data shows that instead it is the emerging economies, along with other poor countries, which have taken higher emission reduction pledges than the developed countries.
- It is feared that, the lesser targets the developed countries take between 2013 and 2020 more the burden would be on the developing countries after 2020.
- In comparison with the Japanese decision, the developed countries are compelled to increase their emission reduction pledges after a review in 2014.
CIA spied on money transfers too
- The CIA has used the post-9/11 Patriot Act not only to conduct extensive surveillance on Internet and phone communications but also on international money transfers. Especially transactions originating abroad and potentially financing terror-related operations on U.S. soil, the Agency has also been monitoring smuggled cash and credit and debit card use.
(Patriot Act is covered in our ‘INSIGHTS CURRENT EVENTS ANALYSIS OCTOBER – 2013’ MAGAZINE)
Government securities (G-Sec) market
What are G-secs?
- The Government securities comprise dated securities issued by the Government of India and state governments as also, treasury bills issued by the Government of India. Reserve Bank of India manages and services these securities through its public debt offices located in various places as an agent of the Government.
- They (Government Securities) are mostly interest bearing dated securities issued by RBI on behalf of the Government of India. GOI uses these funds to meet its expenditure commitments. These securities are generally fixed maturity and fixed coupon securities carrying semi-annual coupon. Since the date of maturity is specified in the securities, these are known as dated Government Securities.
- Provident funds, by their very nature, need to invest in risk free securities that also provide them a reasonable return. Government securities, also called the gilt edged securities or G-secs, are not only free from default risk but also provide reasonable returns and, therefore, offer the most suitable investment opportunity to provident funds.
- Treasury bills (T-bills) offer short-term investment opportunities, generally up to one year. They are thus useful in managing short-term liquidity. At present, the Government of India issues three types of treasury bills through auctions, namely, 91-day, 182-day and 364-day. There are no treasury bills issued by State Governments.
Courtesy – http://www.rbi.org.in
Features of Government Securities
- Issued at face value.
- No default risk as the securities carry sovereign guarantee.
- Ample liquidity as the investor can sell the security in the secondary market.
- Interest payment on a half yearly basis on face value.
- No tax deducted at source.
- Can be held in Demat form.
Courtesy – http://www.rrfinance.com