Daily Current Affairs for 06th July 2023

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Iran’s induction in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Why in NEWS

Iran joins the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as its ninth member, leaders of the SCO at a virtual summit chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 4 stressed that the formation of a “more representative” and multipolar world order is in the global interest.

What is the SCO?

  • The SCO was built on the ‘Shanghai Five’ grouping of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which had come together in the post-­Soviet era in 1996, in order to work on regional security, reduction of border troops, and terrorism.
  • In 2001, the Shanghai Five inducted Uzbekistan into the group and named it the SCO.
  • The organisation has two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti­-Terrorist Structure in Tashkent.

  What are the main goals of the SCO? 

  • Strengthening mutual trust among the member states;
  • Promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade, economy, research and technology and culture
  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region
  • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order

Why is Iran’s induction significant?

  • India has built its connectivity strategy through Iran’s Chabahar port, where it operates a terminal and through the International North South Transport Corridor that goes through Iran and Central Asia to Russia, the entrance of Iran in the SCO is an important milestone.
  • Iran’s presence ensures support for New Delhi’s moves to circumvent land-based trade through Pakistan, which has blocked transit trade for India.
  • Central Asian states that are double-land­locked will seek to build a multimodal trade route via Afghanistan to ports in both Pakistan and Iran.
  • It also allows India to conduct trade with the region while staying out of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • In addition, the induction of Iran, a historically close partner of India that has also suffered from terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan will bolster India’s push for an end to terror safe havens.


  • SCO is increasingly seen as an “anti­-West” forum.
  • Iran, like Russia is under severe sanctions from Western Countries and US.
  • U.S. has accused Iran of supplying weapons to Russia in Russia-Ukraine war.
  • The expected induction of Belarus next year will only strengthen this image of the SCO as Anti-West Forum.


The induction of Iran will definitely bring out the multi-polar world perspective of India. But for India, balancing the interests in SCO and Quad will be difficult in coming years.


Rupee internationalization

Why in NEWS

Government of India presses ahead with its plan to internationalise the Indian Rupee (INR), an Inter Departmental Group (IDG) of officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have in a report cautioned that internationalisation may result in increased volatility in the rupee’s exchange rate in the initial stage.


  • It will have monetary implications as the obligation of a country to supply its currency to meet the global demand may come in conflict with its domestic monetary policies, popularly known as the Triffin dilemma.
  • The internationalisation of a currency may accentuate an external shock, given the open channel of the flow of funds into and out of the country and from one currency to another.

Benefits of internationalisation

  • Limited exchange rate risk
  • Lower cost of capital due to better access to international financial markets
  • High Seigniorage benefits
  • Reduced requirement of foreign exchange reserves


India should focus on designing a template and adopting a standardized approach for examining the proposals on bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements for invoicing, settlement and payment in INR and local currencies.


Asian Clearing Union

Why in NEWS

Government is making efforts in order to make Rupee as an additional settlement currency in existing multilateral mechanisms such as the Asian Clearing Union.

What is ACU?

  • Asian Clearing Union (ACU) is a payment arrangement whereby the participants settle payments for intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks on a net multilateral basis.
  • The main objectives of the clearing union are to facilitate payments among member countries for eligible transactions, thereby economizing on the use of foreign exchange reserves and transfer costs, as well as promoting trade and banking relations among the participating countries.

When was ACU established?

  • The Asian Clearing Union (ACU) was established in 1974 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to facilitate seamless and convenient clearing systems in payments between its nine member countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
  • In June 2023, the ACU reportedly launched a new cross-border financial messaging system as an alternative to SWIFT, marking another major move from global economies and organizations opting for new payment mechanisms amid the accelerated global de-dollarization push.


Data Protection Bill

Why in NEWS

The Bill comes after multiple versions floated by the Union government, a process that was started way back in 2017 with the K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India judgment, where privacy was declared as key to the fundamental right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Historical Background

  • In the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India (2017), the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutionality of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, stating it to be constitutionally valid. The court held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right protected under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  • White Paper on Data Protection: Government of India has constituted a Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court Justice B N Srikrishna to study various issues relating to data protection in India and make specific suggestions on principles to be considered for data protection in India and suggest a draft Data Protection Bill.

Key Points

  • The data protection legislation specifies norms on management of personal data of Indian residents and requires explicit consent from people whose data is collected and used.
  • The Bill essentially allows laypersons to complain to a Data Protection Board, consisting of technical experts, constituted by the government, if they have reason to believe that their personal data has been used without their consent.
  • The DPDP Bill also outlines practices for entities that collect personal data on how that data should be stored and processed to ensure there is no breach, as well as rights of persons whose data is being used.
  • The Bill draws from an EU law — The General Data Protection Regulation — and benchmarks 23 instances in which taking consent for recording data is not possible. “These are special circumstances like golden hour during an accident or natural disasters and so on”.

Issues around the bill

  • There are wide-ranging exemptions for the central government and its agencies.
  • Central government can exempt “any instrumentality of the state” from adhering to the provisions on account of national security and relations with foreign governments, and maintenance of public order.
  • The control of the central government in appointing members of the data protection board — an adjudicatory body that will deal with privacy-related grievances and disputes between two parties.
  • The law may also dilute Right to Information Act, as personal data of the government functionaries is likely to be protected under it, making it difficult to be shared with RTI applicant.

Various Models of Data Protection laws around the world:

  • EU MODEL: The General Data Protection Rule focuses on a comprehensive data protection law for processing of personal data.
    • It has been criticised for being excessively stringent, and imposing many obligations on organisations processing data, but it is still the template for most of the legislation drafted around the world.
  • US MODEL: Privacy protection is largely defined as “liberty protection” focused on the protection of the individual’s personal space from the government.
    • It is viewed as being somewhat narrowing focus, because it enables collection of personal information as long as the individual is informed of such collection and use.
  • CHINA MODEL: New Chinese laws on data privacy and security include the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) which came into effect in November 2021. It gives Chinese data principals new rights as it seeks to prevent the misuse of personal data.
    • The Data Security Law (DSL), which came into force in September 2021, requires business data to be categorised by levels of importance, and puts new restrictions on cross-border transfers.


The Bill is a crucial pillar for overarching framework of technology regulation that government is building. The proposed law will apply to processing of digital data within India; and to the data processing outside country if it is done for offering goods or services, or for profiling individuals in India.


Viruses that hit Tomato crop this year

Why in NEWS

Tomato growers in Maharashtra and Karnataka have blamed two different viruses for the loss of yields this year. In Maharashtra, crops were impacted by the cucumber mosaic virus(CMV), while growers in Karnataka and other South Indian states have blamed the tomato mosaic virus (ToMV).

What are CMV and ToMV?

  • The two plant pathogens have similar names and cause similar damage to crops, but they belong to different viral families and spread differently.
  • ToMV belongs to the Virgaviridae family, and its host includes tomato, tobacco, peppers, and certain ornamental plants.
  • CMV has much larger host pool that includes cucumber, melon, eggplant, tomato, carrot, lettuce, celery, cucurbit(members of the gourd family. Including squash, zucchini, some gourds, etc.) and some ornamentals.
  • CMV was identified in cucumber in 1934, which gave the virus its name.

Spread of Viruses

  • ToMV spreads through infected seeds, agricultural tools, hands of nursery workers.
  • CMV spreads through aphids, which are sap-sucking insects.
    • Conditions of high temperature followed by intermittent rain are conducive for aphids multiplication.

How do they affect crops?

  • The foliage of plans infected with ToMV shows alternating yellowish and dark green areas, which often appear as blisters on the leaves.
    • Distortion of leaves and twisting of younger leaves are also Symptoms.
    • The fruit develops necrotic spots, which leads to over-ripening. Younger plants are dwarfed and fruit setting is affected.
  • CMV too causes distortion of leaves, but the pattern is different often leaves at the top and bottom are distorted while the middle remain relatively blemish-free.
    • In cucumber, the virus causes a mosaic-like pattern of alternating yellow and green spots.
    • In tomatoes, fruit formations affected, and in some cases the fruit is distorted and small.


There is a need to perform scientific study about the functioning of these viruses and ways to prevent such outbreak in future. As such outbreaks can impact the food security of India and cause inflation in food products; hence an urgent scientific solution is need of hour.

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