Daily Current Affairs for 16th November 2020

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Mega trade bloc RCEP takes off Paper:

Mains: G.S. II & III International Relations, Issues related to Indian economy

Why in news?

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mega trade bloc comprising 15 countries led by China, came into existence on 15th November 2020.

Key details

  • India would have to write expressing intention to join the organisation to restart the negotiations for membership.
  • Newly formed organisation laid down the path for restarting discussions.
  • The China backed group is expected to represent 30% of the global GDP and will emerge as the largest Free Trade Agreement in the world.
  • The trade bloc is expected to boost commerce among the member countries spread across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Experts are interpreting the beginning of RCEP as a major development that will help China to do trade in Asia-Pacific region in the post covid 19 scenario.
  • Door remains open for India to join the trade bloc.


Issues related to India and why it opt out of the pact


Forest rights claims of 1200 tribals rejected Paper:

Mains: G.S. II Polity and Governance, Social Justice

Why in news? 

Over 1200 tribals in Hunsur taluk of Mysuru district stare at an uncertain future as their review petition for recognition of their claims over forest land under Forest Rights Act 2006 has been rejected by the local authorities.

Key details

  • The Supreme Court in 2019 ordered the eviction of nearly a million people across India, whose claims under the forest rights acts has been rejected. But the court stayed it’s earlier order and directed all state governments to file a review petition and submit a report
  • The Forest Rights Act was enacted 13 years ago to recognize the rights of the tribals over the forests, apart from community rights over common property resources.
  • The act recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in Forest land in forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD)who have been residing in such forests for generations.
  • The act also establishes the responsibilities and authority for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance of FDST and OTFD.
  • It strengthens the conservation regime of the forests while ensuring livelihood and food security of the FDST and OTFD.
  • It seeks to rectify colonial injustice to the FDST and OTFD who are integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem
  • The act identify four type of rights
  1. Title Rights
  2. Use Rights
  3. Relief and Development Rights
  4. Forest management Rights

Who can claim these rights?

  • Members or community of the Scheduled Tribes who primarily reside in and who depend on the forests or forest lands for bona fide livelihood needs.
  • It can also be claimed by any member or community who has for at least three generations (75 years) prior to the 13th day of December,

2005 primarily resided in forests land for bona fide livelihood needs.

  • The Gram Sabha is the authority to initiate the process for determining the nature and extent of Individual Forest Rights (IFR) or Community Forest Rights (CFR) or both that may be given to FDST and OTFD.

Arunachal Pradesh records best sex ratio, Manipur the worst. Paper:

Mains: G.S.II, III and IV ; can be used in any paper 

Why in news?

Report was released on Vital Statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System published by the Registrar – General of India.

Key details

  • Arunachal Pradesh recorded the best sex ratio in the country, while Manipur recorded the worst, according to the 2018 report on “Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System” published by the Registrar General of India.
  • Sex ratio at birth is the number of females born per 1,000 males.
  • Arunachal Pradesh recorded 1,084 females born per thousand males, followed by Nagaland (965) Mizoram (964), Kerala (963) and Karnataka (957).
  • The worst was reported in Manipur (757), Lakshadweep (839) and Daman & Diu (877), Punjab (896) and Gujarat (897). Delhi recorded a sex ratio of 929, Haryana 914 and Jammu and Kashmir 952.

Ministry seeks feedback on draft social security rules Paper:

Mains: G.S. II and III Polity and Governance, Social Justice and Indian economy

Why in news? 

The Union Labour and Employment Ministry has notified the draft rules under the Code on Social Security, 2020, which propose to provide the unorganized sector, gig and platform workers access to social security benefits through a govt. portal.

Key details

  • Industrial Relations Code, 2020
  • Standing orders on matters related to workers’ classification, holidays, paydays, and wage rates, termination of employment and grievance redressal mechanisms is mandated to establishments with at least 300 workers, instead of 100 workers.
  • Prior permission of the government before closure, lay-off, or retrenchment mandated to establishments with at least 300 workers, instead of 100 workers.
  • The threshold for negotiating council of trade unions have been reduced from 75% workers as members to 51% of workers.
  • Workers may apply to the Industrial Tribunal in case of dispute – 45 days after the application
  • Code on Social Security, 2020
  • Definition of employees expanded to include more workers like – inter-state migrant workers, platform worker, film industry workers and construction workers.
  • Central government may defer or reduce the employer’s or employee’s contributions (under PF and ESI) for a period of up to three months in the case of a pandemic, endemic, or national disaster. Representation of central government officials in the National Social Security Board for unorganised workers increased to 10 members.
  • Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, 2020
  • Factory definition expanded to 20 workers for premises where the process uses power and 40 workers where the process uses no power.
  • Daily work hour limit fixed at maximum of 8 hours per day.
  • Women will be entitled to be employed in all establishments for all types of work and employer required to provide adequate safeguards in hazardous conditions.
  • Central and state governments to maintain or record the details of inter-state migrant workers in a portal.

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