GS PAPER II NEWS

New Atlantic Charter

Why in News

The USA President and UK Prime Minister signed a New Atlantic Charter recently modelled after the 1941 agreement, that outlines eight key areas on which the U.S. and the United Kingdom plan to collaborate.

Key Points

  • The revamped charter says it builds “on the commitments and aspirations set out eighty years ago, affirms our ongoing commitment to sustaining our enduring values and defending them against new and old challenges.”

Atlantic Charter

  • The Atlantic Charter was a statement signed on 14th August 1941 that set out American and British goals for the world after the end of World War II.
  • The joint statement outlined the aims of the United States and the United Kingdom for the post-war world as follows:
  • No territorial aggrandizement,
  • No territorial changes made against the wishes of the people (self-determination),
  • Restoration of self-government to those deprived of it,
  • Reduction of trade restrictions,
  • Global co-operation to secure better economic and social conditions for all,
  • Freedom from fear and want,
  • Freedom of the seas, and
  • Abandonment of the use of force, and
  • Disarmament of aggressor nations.
  • The charter’s adherents signed the Declaration by United Nations on 1st January 1942, which was the basis for the modern United Nations.
  • The charter inspired several other international agreements and events that followed the end of the war.
  • The dismantling of the British Empire, the formation of NATO, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) all derived from the Atlantic Charter.
  • In 2021, a document titled the “New Atlantic Charter” was signed by U.S. President and U.K. Prime Minister in their first meeting in Cornwall.

New Atlantic Charter

  • The New Atlantic Charter was signed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of the United States on 10th June 2021.
  • The agreement was signed at the first face-to-face bilateral meeting between both nations at the 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall, England.
  • The agreement is a new version of the Atlantic Charter, signed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.
  • The meeting at which the agreement was signed was used to redefine the Western alliance.
  • The article issues eight aims:
  • To defend the principles and institutions of democracy and open societies,
  • To strengthen and adapt the institutions, laws and norms that sustain international co-operation,
  • To remain united behind principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and peaceful resolution of disputes,
  • To harness and protect the countries’ innovative edge in science and technology,
  • To affirm the shared responsibility to maintain collective security and international stability, including against cyber threats; and to declare the countries’ nuclear deterrents to the defence of NATO,
  • To continue building an inclusive, fair, climate-friendly, sustainable, rules-based economy,
  • To prioritise climate change in all international action, and
  • To commit to continuing to collaborate to strengthen health systems and advance health protections.

Global Liveability Index 2021

Why in News

New Zealand and Australian cities dominated the Global Liveability Index 2021 published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), owing to their strong response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Key Points

  • The data for the liveability survey was collected from 22nd February, 2020, to 21st March, 2021, the period that witnessed multiple waves of pandemic across the world.
  • According to the EIU report, the overall global average liveability fell by seven points as compared with the pre-pandemic score.
  • Auckland has been ranked the best on liveability rankings due to the ability of New Zealand city to contain Covid-19 faster, leading to the early lifting of restrictions than other cities around the world.

Global Liveability Index 2021

  • According to the EIU survey, six of the top 10 cities are in New Zealand and Australia, where tighter border controls from the early days of the pandemic allowed residents to live a relatively normal life.
  • The report also noted a decline in liveability in many European cities as they battled the second Covid-19 wave by closing schools and restaurants, and restructuring cultural and sporting events.
  • As the pandemic hit healthcare hard in most cities around the world, cities concentrated in western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region were least affected.
  • Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo grabbed 2nd and 4th place on EIU’s Global Liveability Index 2021, while two Swiss cities, Zurich and Geneva, were ranked 7th and 8th respectively.
  • Four Australian cities – Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane – made it to the top 10 list, with Melbourne sharing the eighth position with Geneva.
  • Honolulu was the biggest mover up the ranking in the past six months, moving 46 places to get the 14th rank on the liveability index.
  • As per the report, living conditions remained worst in the Syrian capital Damascus.
  • Other cities scraping along the bottom of the rankings are Lagos, Port Moresby, and Dhaka.
  • The Pakistani city of Karachi also featured in the 10 least liveable cities in the world.

Global Liveability Index

  • The Global Liveability Ranking is an annual assessment published by the London–based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • It ranking 140 global cities.
  • The survey looked at five broad categories:
  • Stability,
  • Culture and environment,
  • Education,
  • Healthcare, and
  • Infrastructure.

G-7 Summit

Why in News

The 47th G7 summit is going to happen on 11–13 June 2021 in the United Kingdom.

About G-7 Summit

  • The Group of 7 (G7) is an informal group of seven countries:
  • The United States,
  • Canada,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Italy,
  • Japan and
  • The United Kingdom.
  • The heads of which hold an annual summit with European Union and other invitees.
  • Together the member countries represent 40% of global GDP and 10% of the world’s population.
  • Unlike other bodies such as NATO, the G7 has no legal existence, permanent secretariat or official members.
  • It also has no binding impact on policy and all decisions and commitments made at G7 meetings need to be ratified independently by governing bodies of member states.
  • The presidency of G7 meetings is held by each of the seven countries in turn, each year.
  • The country holding the presidency is responsible for organising and hosting the meeting.

Background of G-7

  • The G7 draws its roots from a meeting between the current G7 members, excluding Canada, that took place in 1975.
  • At the time, the global economy was in a state of recession due to the OPEC oil embargo.
  • As the energy crisis was escalating, US Treasury Secretary George Schultz decided that it would be beneficial for the large players on the world stage to coordinate with each other on macroeconomic initiatives.
  • After this first summit, the countries agreed to meet annually and a year later, Canada was invited into the group which marked the official formation of the G7.
  • The President of the European Commission was asked to join the meetings in 1977 and following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and a subsequent thaw in relations between the East and West, Russia was also invited to join the group in 1998.
  • Thereafter the group was named the G8 until 2014, when Russia was expelled for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

G-7 Summit 2021

  • The UK holds the G7 presidency for 2021 and has organised the conference for this Saturday at the Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall.
  • This year, India, South Korea and Australia have been invited to attend the G7 summit as participating guests.
  • At the end of the summit, the UK will publish a document called a communique which will outline what has been agreed upon during the meeting.

Agenda

  • The G7 summit provides a forum for member countries to discuss shared values and concerns.
  • While it initially focused on international economic policy, in the 1980s, the G7 extended its mandate to include issues related to foreign policy and security as well.
  • In recent years, G7 leaders have met to formulate common responses to challenges encompassing counterterrorism, development, education, health, human rights and climate change.

Key developments

  • The G7 Summit has been the birthplace for several global initiatives.
  • In 1997, the G7 countries agreed to provide $300 million to the effort to contain the effects of the reactor meltdown in Chernobyl.
  • At the 2002 summit, members decided to launch a coordinated response to fight the threat of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Their efforts led to the formation of the Global Fund, an innovative financing mechanism that has disbursed more than $45 billion in aid and, according to its website, has saved the lives of over 38 million people.
  • More recently, the Global Apollo Program was launched out of the 2015 G7 summit meeting. Designed to tackle climate change through clean energy research and development, the Apollo Program was conceived by the UK but failed to generate traction until the other G7 countries agreed to support it. The programme calls for developed nations to commit to spending 0.02% of their GDP on tackling climate change from 2015 to 2025; an amount that would total USD 150 billion over a 10-year period.
  • Despite its achievements, the G7 has also come under significant criticism and has been involved in a number of controversies.
  • Until the mid-1980s, G7 meetings were held discreetly and informally. However, after discussions at a G7 summit in 1985, member countries subsequently signed the Plaza Accords, an agreement that had major ramifications for global currency markets.
  • The G7 began to announce the agenda for their meetings in advance so that markets could prepare themselves for potential changes in global macroeconomic policy.
  • However, several countries and individuals still perceive the G7 as an exclusive, closed group that blatantly exercises their power over other nations.
  • As a result, virtually every summit since 2000 has been met with protests and demonstrations in the country in which it has been held.

India

  • The G7 has been criticised for being outdated and ineffective in recent decades due to its exclusion of two of the world’s largest economies in India and China.
  • Several think tanks have called for India’s inclusion into the group; however, some argue against it, pointing to India’s much lower GDP per capita relative to other states.
  • India has been invited to the 2021 G7 summit as a special guest, making this year the second time that Prime Minister of India has been asked to participate in discussions.
  • India will be particularly interested in the talks related to global vaccine delivery as both a major manufacturer and consumer of vaccine.

GS PAPER III

Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

Why in News

India’s April industrial output edged up 0.08%, from the level recorded during the same month in 2019, Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data released by the National Statistical Office.

Key Points

  • According to the NSO, the IIP data was not comparable with the year earlier figures as a majority of the establishments didn’t operate in April 2020’ as a result of the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID­19 infections.
  • The manufacturing sector, hit hardest by last year’s national lockdown, posted a 0.9% decline when compared with April 2019.

Sequential contraction

  • On a sequential, month-on-month basis, April’s IIP contracted more than 12%, reflecting a hit on production activity as major industrial hubs like Maharashtra and Delhi led the localised lockdowns.
  • Maharashtra has an 18% share in India’s manufacturing Gross Value Added (GVA).
  • Last year, output had come to a standstill in most sectors.

PM e-way Bills

  • It would be better to track PMI, E­way bills and GST collections to get a fair assessment of activity in the industrial sectors.
  • Electricity output was 6.81% higher than the pre-COVID­19 levels of April 2019. Similarly, mining output was 0.2% higher than the same month in 2019.
  • ICRA chief economist said that capital goods and consumer durables output trailed the April 2019 levels by 14.3% and 11.6%, respectively, which suggests that the widening State­wise restrictions that were imposed during the month impacted production amid a weakening outlook for investment activity and consumption.
  • Manufacturing moderated by 12.6% in April from the previous month, narrower than the slippage of 17.5% in the GST e­way bills generated over the same time period.

Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mineral mining, electricity and manufacturing.
  • All India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.
  • It is compiled and published monthly by the National Statistics Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation six weeks after the reference month ends.
  • The base year was at one time fixed at 1993–94 so that year was assigned an index level of 100.
  • The current base year is 2011-2012.
  • The Eight Core Industries comprise nearly 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). These are Electricity, steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas and fertilisers.