2 April 2019 Daily Current Affairs Analysis

India gets access to Bolivian Lithium reserves:

  • India and Bolivia have signed an agreement for the development and industrial use of lithium, a prime component used to power electric vehicles and cell phones during the state visit of the President Kovind to Bolivia.

Key facts:

  • Both countries agreed to forge a mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium Carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for lithium battery/cell production plants in India.
  • This agreement will make Bolivia, which is known to have one-fourth of the world’s lithium reserves, one of the major provider of metal for India’s e-mobility and e-storage needs.
  • The agreement facilitates mechanisms for the commercialization of Lithium Carbonate and Potassium Chloride produced in Bolivia.

Importance of deal:

  • Bolivia is estimated to hold over 60 per cent of the world’s reserves for lithium, which is required for lithium-ion batteries for portable electronics, and electric vehicles, but has not yet started producing it commercially.
  • India is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world and has the ambitious goal of 30 per cent electric vehicles by 2030. But India imports all its lithium-ion batteries since India has no known sources of lithium and zero lithium-ion battery manufacturing capabilities currently.
  • As a result, India is heavily dependent on China, Taiwan and Japan for import, especially of batteries required for portable electronics.
  • With the MoU number of Indian companies setting up production capabilities in Bolivia goes up, as well as the import of lithium to India. Domestic production is also set to see a boost, from the automotive perspective. Further, the arrival of hybrids and electric vehicles from as early as 2020 onwards, will force manufacturers to look at local production.
  • This agreement could turn out to be the backbone for the recently launched FAME India policy (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) and will also give a substantial push to India’s ambition to have at least 30 per cent of its vehicles run on electric batteries by 2030


La Paz Joins India led ISA:

  • Bolivia has joined the International Solar Alliance by signing the framework agreement on International Solar Alliance.
  • The agreement of the International Solar Alliance was open for signature during the COP22 at Marrakech on November 15, 2016. The signatories of the agreement include India, France, Australia, UAE, UK, Japan amongst others.



More than 113 million people suffer acute hunger: UN

  • More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced acute hunger last year because of wars and climate disasters. 
  • Global report prepared by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), United Nations for 2019
  • Report said Africa was the worst-hit region.
  • It said Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine. 
  • Launched three years ago, the annual study takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties.
  • FAO's emergencies director Dominique Bourgeon said African states were disproportionally affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
  • Conflict and insecurity remained key factors, along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods, the report found.
  • Bourgeon said up to 80 per cent of the population depend on agriculture in the affected regions. 
  • The report highlighted the strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.
  • Globally, the study noted that the overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger.



Mig 27 crashed in Rajasthan:

  • The MiG-27 UPG aircraft, which had taken off from Utarlai Air Force base, crashed due to engine problems at around 11: 45 am.  The spot is located around 120 km south of Jodhpur.
  • The pilot ejected safely and has been recovered by Search and Rescue helicopter.
  • The pilot is safe and preliminary investigations have revealed no damage to any person or property on ground.
  • A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.


High casualty

With recent crash, The IAF has lost 9 aircraft and at least 10 personnel in crashes this year. 

  • Jaguar: Jan 2019
  • Mirage 2000: Feb 2019
  • Mig 27: Feb 2019
  • Mig 21: Feb 2019
  • Mi 17: Feb 2019
  • Hawk: Feb 2019
  • Mig 21: Mar 2019
  • Mig 27: Mar 2019



Seized Rs. 14,000 crore assets of an offender: PM

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government had seized Rs. 14,000 crore worth of assets of “a man who committed a Rs. 9,000-crore fraud and left the country”.
  • Mallya tweeted soon, asking why the BJP leaders were still targeting him though “the highest authority has confirmed full recovery” of his dues and more.
  • Mallya became the first person to be officially designated a fugitive economic offender by the special court assigned for the purpose under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act 2018.
  • Under the Act, the government can seize all the domestic and foreign assets of anyone designated a fugitive economic offender.


Economic Offender Bill:

  • The Bill aims to stop economic offenders who leave the country to avoid due process. Offences involving amounts of 100 crore or more fall under the purview of this law.
  • Economic offences are those that are defined under the Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Act, the SEBI Act, the Customs Act, the Companies Act, Limited Liability Partnership Act, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Who is a ‘fugitive economic offender’?

  • According to Section 4 of the law, a ‘fugitive economic offender’ is “any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India, who:
  • leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution; or
  • refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.”

How a person is declared an offender?

A Director, appointed by the central government, will have to file an application to a Special Court to declare a person as a ‘fugitive economic offender’.

Under Clause (2) of Section 6, the application must contain:

  • reason/s for the belief that an individual is a fugitive economic offender;
  • (b) any information available as to the whereabouts of the fugitive economic offender;
  • a list of properties or the value of such properties believed to be the proceeds of crime, including any such property outside India for which confiscation is sought;
  • a list of properties owned by the person in India for which confiscation is sought;
  • a list of persons who may have an interest in any of the properties listed under sub-clauses (c) and (d).”
  • The Director has the power to attach any property the accused holds.

What does the offender have to do?

  • The Court will issue a notice to the person named a ‘fugitive economic offender’. Within six weeks from the date of notice, the person will have to present themselves at “a specified place at a specified time”. If the offender fails to do so, they will be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’ and their properties as listed in the Director’s application will be confiscated.
  • Once property is confiscated, can the offender file a civil claim?
  • No. Section 11 of the Act disqualifies those declared as offenders from either filing or defending a civil claim in court.

What happens to the properties?

  • The Special court will appoint an ‘administrator’ to oversee the confiscated property. This person will be responsible for disposing of the property as well, and the property will be used to satisfy creditors’ claims.


RBI to inject USD 5 billion more liquidity into banking system:

  • The Reserve Bank of India will inject long-term liquidity worth USD 5 billion into the banking system through a dollar-rupee buy-sell swap for tenure of three years on April 23, 2019. 
  • The move is aimed at meeting the durable liquidity needs of the system.
  • The swap will be in the nature of a simple buy-sell foreign exchange swap from the Reserve Bank side.
  • Under the swap, a bank would sell US dollars to the RBI and simultaneously agree to buy the same amount of US dollars at the end of the swap period.
  • The auction would be a multiple-price based auction in which successful bids will get accepted at their respective quoted premium. 


India's ASAT missile test created 400 pieces of debris, endangering ISS: NASA

  • The head of NASA Tuesday branded India's destruction of one of its satellites a "terrible thing" that had created 400 pieces of orbital debris and led to new dangers for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
  • Jim Bridenstine was addressing employees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration five days after India shot down a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test to prove it was among the world's advanced space powers.
  • The Indian satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 180 miles (300 kilometers), well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.
  • The US military tracks objects in space to predict the collision risk for the ISS and for satellites. 
  • They are currently tracking 23,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters.
  • As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS has increased by 44 percent over 10 days.
  • But the risk will dissipate over time as much of the debris will burn up as it enters the atmosphere.


Chinese test created 3,000 debris:

  • That includes about 10,000 pieces of space debris, of which nearly 3,000 were created by a single event: a Chinese anti-satellite test in 2007 at 530 miles from the surface.
  • As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS has increased by 44 percent over 10 days.





Source: TH,IE,AIR