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UPSC News Diary For Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary For Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.

In the ”UPSC News Diary For Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.


Supreme Court on Aravalli Conservation


Aravalli Conservation: Why in the News?

Last week, the Supreme Court’s (SC) move to limit states’ ability to change land use for forests or deemed forests comes as a timely booster for conservation.

Aravalli Conservation: What is the Matter?

The present matter has its origins in property owners in the Aravali forests challenging an order of the National Green Tribunal prohibiting non-forest activities in the lands covered under the PLPA special orders, saying that such construction and other activities were in violation of the FCA.

Aravalli Conservation: What Supreme Court Ruled?

  • Last week, after hearing a matter concerning the degradation of the Aravalis in Haryana, an SC bench ruled that the land protected by the special orders issued under Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) 1900 “have all the trappings of forests land” as covered by Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, or FCA.
  • So, even though owners of private land classified as forests under various legally-accepted definition of forests could approach the state government for approval for non-forest use, the state government can’t, by itself, give such approval and must seek clearance from the Centre.
  • The apex court thus directed the concerned authorities in Haryana to not only demolish illegal structures on the land under PLPA special orders, but also restore status quo ante through reforestation programmes.

Aravalli Conservation: What Next?

  • The Aravalis are critical for the national capital region in terms of sustainability, not just as a haven for biodiversity, but also groundwater recharge.
  • The SC ruling should give the National Capital Region Planning Board (under the Union housing and urban affairs ministry) a reason to review its draft Regional Plan 2041 that erases key protection for the Aravalis, other forests in the NCR and ecologically important water systems, including limits on the area that can bear construction in the conservation zones.


National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX)



  • National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX/ the Exchange) is a professionally managed on-line, multi commodity exchange focusing on revolutionising India’s agricultural sector.
  • NCDEX is India’s largest agricultural derivatives exchange with a market share of 75% in agricultural derivative contracts for the Financial Year ending March 2021.
  • NCDEX was incorporated on April 23, 2003 as a public limited company and commenced operations on December 15, 2003 as a recognised association under The Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952.
  • The Exchange became a deemed recognized stock exchange under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 under the regulation of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

What does NCDEX Do?

  • It serve as an efficient platform for Price Discovery and Price Risk Management and this has been consistently demonstrated over the past two decades.
  • It offer a diverse range of products such as commodity futures, options in goods and index futures that open a plethora of opportunities to cater to the needs of various sets of participants in the Agri value chain.
  • Currently, NCDEX offers derivatives contracts on 11 agricultural commodities reflecting India’s identity as the world’s leading producer of agricultural commodities, and the NCDEX prices are widely recognized as international benchmark prices.


Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD)


What is GERD?

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) includes expenditure on research and development by business enterprises, higher education institutions, as well as government and private non-profit organisations.

India and GERD

  • While India’s rank in the global innovation index (GII) has improved to 46 in 2021 from 60 in 2017, its gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) is one of the lowest among comparator economies, at just $43.41 per capita.


  • India’s GERD has remained at around 0.7% of GDP for about a decade, much lower than China’s 2.14 and Brazil’s 1.16%. Therefore, remains stagnant.
  • In contrast, Brazil spends $173.37 per capita.





GENERAL STUDIES III- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


· THE Government could look at clearly defining “ownership” of non-personal data held by big-tech platforms, such as Google, Meta and Amazon, if they refuse to share such data with a regulator as proposed in the draft National Data Governance Framework.


· Non-personal data is any data set that does not contain personally identifiable information including aggregated information, such as the overall health data of a particular demography, weather and climate data of an area, and traffic data, among others. For example, order details collected by a food delivery service will have the name, age, gender, and other contact information of an individual, it will become non-personal data if the identifiers such as name and contact information are taken out.

·Non-personal data can be classified into three main categories, namely public non-personal data, community non-personal data and private non-personal data.

·Data collected by government and its agencies such as census, data collected by municipal corporations on the total tax receipts in a particular period or any information collected during execution of all publicly funded works has been kept under the umbrella of public non-personal data.

·Any data identifiers about a set of people who have either the same geographic location, religion, job, or other common social interests will form the community non-personal data. E.g., the metadata collected by ride-hailing apps, telecom companies, electricity distribution companies

·Private non-personal data can be defined as those which are produced by individual which can be derived from application of proprietary software or knowledge. E.g., Data generated by companies like Google, Amazon etc.

·Non-personal data is more likely to be in an anonymized form.


  • These data sets will help to map consumer biases and ensure targeted delivery of services. It will unlock the doors of economic value and innovation in the country.


·Data related to national security or strategic interests such as locations of government laboratories or research facilities, even if provided in anonymized form can be dangerous.

·Data about the health of a community or a group of communities, though it may be in anonymized form, it can still be dangerous.


·In May 2019, the European Union came out with a regulation framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union, in which it suggested that member states of the union would cooperate with each other when it came to data sharing.


A government committee headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has suggested that non-personal data generated in India be allowed to be harnessed by various domestic companies and entities.

  • The committee has also suggested a separate national legislation and a separate authority to oversee non-personal data.
  • It added further to make it mandatory to share non-personal data as it may be useful for Indian entrepreneurs to develop new and innovative services or products to benefit citizens.


  • Formulate a separate legislation to govern non-personal data.
  • Setup a new regulatory body– Non-Personal Data Authority (NPDA).
  • The report identifies and defines new stakeholders in the non-personal data ecosystem, including data principal, data custodian, data trustee, and data trust, and contours their obligations and mechanisms to enable data sharing.
  • It has also set circumstances under which a private organization, that collects non-personal data, needs to be remunerated


  • The committee though did not give any recommendation on the benefits that big tech companies will gain from the data as only big tech companies possess the capital and infrastructure to create such large volumes of data. Others will find it difficult to match the capabilities of these technology giants.
  • As a signatory to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), India extended copyright protection to computer databases in 1999 and there is a challenge of demarcation between non-personal data that cannot be shared, and non-copyright non-personal data that can be used as a public resource.


  • India will have to define non-personal data in a manner that protects intellectual property rights, serves genuine public interest and promotes innovation.
  • India can learn from France’s National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence policy,which encourages economic players to share and pool their data with the state acting as a trusted third party.
    • France’s policy even empowers public authorities to impose openness on certain data because of its societal benefits.
  • India can also look towards the European Union’s Regulation on the Free Flow of Non-Personal Data, which recognises the free flow of non-personal data as a prerequisite of a competitive economy.


National Strategy for Adventure Tourism


National Strategy for Adventure Tourism- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.



National Strategy for Adventure Tourism in News

  • Recently, the Union Tourism Ministry has formulated National Strategy for Adventure Tourism to promote India as a preferred adventure tourism destination globally.

Analysis Of Kurukshetra Magazine: Potential Of Rural Tourism | Kurukshetra June 2022


National Strategy for Adventure Tourism

  • About: The Ministry of Tourism has drafted national strategy on Sustainable tourism which focuses promoting environmental sustainability, protecting biodiversity, promoting economic sustainability and promoting socio-cultural sustainability.
    • Ministry of Tourism has recognised Adventure Tourism as a Niche Tourism Product, which inter alia includes Water Sports activities, to promote India as a 365 days destination and attract tourist with specific interest.
  • Mandate: The strategy aims to mainstream sustainability into tourism sector. Adventure tourism is one of the important segments to promote sustainable tourism.
  • Vision: To position India as a preferred destination for adventure tourism globally. 2.3.
  • Mission: To develop an enabling ecosystem for growth of Adventure Tourism in the Country and creating synergies amongst Central Government, State Governments, Private Sector and local communities, for development of Adventure Tourism.
  • Strategic Pillars under Strategy: Draft National Strategy for Adventure Tourism recognizes following as the strategic pillars of the strategy-
    • State assessment, ranking and strategy
    • Skills, capacity building and certification
    • Marketing and promotion
    • Strengthening adventure tourism safety management framework
    • National and State-level rescue and communication grid
    • Destination and Product Development
    • Governance and Institutional Framework

Implementation of National Strategy for Adventure Tourism

  • National Board for Adventure Tourism (NBAT): It has been constituted under the Chairpersonship of Secretary (Tourism).
    • NBAT comprises of representatives from identified Central Ministries/ organizations, State Governments/UT Administrations and Industry Stakeholders.
    • Mandate: National Board for Adventure Tourism is entrusted with the objective of operationalization and implementation of the strategy to promote and develop adventure tourism in the Country.
  • Scope of National Board for Adventure Tourism (NBAT): Its’ scope of activities includes following-
    • Detailed action plan and formulation of dedicated scheme
    • Certification Scheme
    • Safety guidelines
    • Capacity building, replication of national and global best practices
    • Assessment of state policies and ranking
    • Marketing and promotion
    • Destination and product development
    • Private sector participation
    • Specific strategies for adventure tourism
    • Any other measures for growth of adventure tourism in the country.
  • National Institute for Water Sports (NIWS): Ministry of Tourism, through NIWS, Goa, provides training to water sports operators through various skill developing courses and certify the trainees.

Adventure Tourism in India

  • What is adventure tourism?
    • Adventure tourism is a trip that includes at least two of the following three elements physical activity, natural environment and cultural immersion.
  • Types of Adventure Tourism:
    • Hard Adventure Activities: Adventure tourism activities that involve a high level of risk and require a greater level of expertise, skills, training and experience.
      • High altitude mountaineering, river rafting, scuba diving, hang gliding, skydiving comes etc. are hard adventure activities.
    • Soft Adventure Activities: Adventure tourism activities that involve moderate levels of risk and the tourists involved in these activities do not require particular skill or experience.
      • Most tourists take soft adventure activities for recreation and fun as it involves a lesser level of risk.
      • Hiking, camping, biking comes under soft adventure activities.
    • Adventure Tourism – India’s Significant Geographical Advantage
      • 70 per cent of the Himalayas
      • 7,000 kms of coastline
      • Among the one of the three countries in the world with both hot and cold deserts
      • Ranks 10th in total area under forest cover
      • Ranks 6th in terms of number of recognized UNESCO Natural Heritage sites
    • India’s potential for Adventure Tourism: Despite natural wealth and potential, India ranks quite low in global adventure tourism.
      • India holds great potential to become a global marketplace for adventure activities and sports.
      • India has tremendous potential to attract adventure tourists from different parts of the World.
      • From North to South and East to West, the geographical conditions of the country provide a competitive edge regarding the development of adventure tourism opportunities.


National Digital Tourism Mission

National Digital Tourism Mission




FEMA and PMLA- Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies III– Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

FEMA and PMLA in news

Enforcement Directorate (ED) is witnessing an increase in cases under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)


Money laundering is the illegal process of making large amounts of money generated by a criminal activity such as drug trafficking, terrorist funding, illegal arms sales, smuggling, prostitution rings, insider trading, bribery, and computer fraud schemes that produce large profits to appear to be originated from a legitimate source.


  • Money laundering and the terror financing are global problems that threaten security compromising the stability, transparency and efficiency of financial systems undermining economic prosperity.
  • Developing countries or those with fragile financial systems can have devastating economic and social consequences.

In India, government incorporated a number of statutory measures to address the problem of money laundering which includes:

  • The Income Tax Act, 1961
  • The Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA)
  • The Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act, 1976 (SAFEMA)
  • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPSA)
  • The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988
  • The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988
  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA)
  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)


  • Enacted as a response to India’s global commitment (including the Vienna Convention) to curb the menace of money laundering.
  • PMLA was enacted in 2002 and it came into force in 2005, to curb money laundering (process of converting black money into white) and to provide for seizure of property derived from money-laundering.

There are mainly 3 objectives of PMLA

  1. To prevent and control money laundering.
  2. To confiscate and seize the property obtained from the laundered money.
  3. To deal with any other issue connected with money laundering in India.


  • Punishment and Jail term: The Act prescribes that any person found guilty of money laundering shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from three years to seven years. The maximum punishment may extend to 10 years instead of 7 years.
  • Powers of attachment of tainted property: The Director or officer above the rank of Deputy Director with the authority of the Director, can provisionally attach property believed to be “proceeds of crime”.
  • Adjudicating Authority: It is the authority appointed by the central government which decides whether any of the property attached or seized is involved in money laundering.
  • Presumption in inter-connected transactions: Where money laundering involves two or more inter-connected transactions. It is presumed that the remaining transactions form part of such inter-connected transactions.
  • Burden of proof: A person, who is accused of having committed the offense of money laundering, has to prove that alleged proceeds of crime are in fact lawful property.
  • Appellate Tribunal: It is given the power to hear appeals against the orders of the Adjudicating Authority and any other authority under the Act. Its orders are not final and can be challenged.
  • Establishment of Special Court: To ensure speedy trial.


  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) is an Act of the Parliament of India that replaced Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) to consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange with the objective of facilitating external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India.


  • It gives powers to the Central Government to regulate the flow of payments to and from a person situated outside the country.
  • All financial transactions concerning foreign securities or exchange cannot be carried out without the approval of FEMA. All transactions must be carried out through “Authorized Persons.”
  • In the general interest of the public, the Government of India can restrict an authorized individual from carrying out foreign exchange deals within the current account.
  • Empowers RBI to place restrictions on transactions from capital Account even if it is carried out via an authorized individual.
  • As per this act, Indians residing in India, have the permission to conduct a foreign exchange, foreign security transactions or the right to hold or own immovable property in a foreign country in case security, property, or currency was acquired, or owned when the individual was based outside of the country, or when they inherit the property from individual staying outside the country.


  • More strict laws related to Anti-money laundering is necessary because money laundering tends to corrupt even the most professional players in the market.
  • There is a need to sensitize the Private Sector about their role in anti-money laundering activities
  • Continuous up-gradation and dissemination of information is necessary
  • There is a need to build a balance between financial confidentiality and this confidentiality turning to a money-laundering haven.
  • International regimes attempt to monitor or regulate international relations and activities.
  • Intergovernmental groups have also taken action against the rising levels of global money laundering.
  • Promotion of The Basel committee on Banking regulations and adopted a statement of principles that targeted money laundering.
  • Promotion of The Vienna Convention creates an obligation for signatory states to criminalize the laundering of money from drug trafficking.
  • Promote a regional approach to addressing problems, develop and maintain strategic relationships with other organizations.





GS Paper II-Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources


  • Recently, ministry of education informed Lok Sabha that they have not receivedinputs from many states for revising National Curriculum Framework.


Education is fundamental for achieving full human potential, developing an equitable and just society, and promoting national development. The global education development agenda reflected in the Goal 4 (SDG4) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by India in 2015 – seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Such a lofty goal will require the entire education system to be reconfigured to support and foster learning, so that all of the critical targets and goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be achieved.

The aim must be for India to have an education system by 2040 that is second to none, with equitable access to the highest-quality education for all learners regardless of social or economic background. This National Education Policy 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century to address the many growing developmental imperatives of our country proposing the revision and revamping of all aspects of the education structure, including its regulation and governance, to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st century education, including SDG4, while building upon India’s traditions and value systems.

As per the National Education Policy, 2020, following four National Curriculum Frameworks will be developed:

  1. National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCFECCE)
  2. National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE)
  3. National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE)
  4. National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education (NCFAE)


  • National Education Policy 2020’s newNational Curriculum Framework (NCF) aims to empower and enable outstanding teaching and learning in the country, by converting the vision of the NEP 2020 into reality in our schools and classrooms.
  • National Steering Committee(NSC), chaired by Dr K Kasturirangan, supported by the Mandate Group, along with the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) is heading the development of NCF.



  • On the basis of district level consultations, mobile app survey and development of position papers by the State Focus Groups in 25 areas/themes identified as per the National Education Policy-2020, all states/UTs will first prepare their State Curriculum Frameworks (SCFs).
  • States/UTs and Autonomous organization working under Ministry of Education will provide inputs for the NCFs.


  • NCERT will conduct a survey on MyGov Portal and get feedback from diverse stakeholders on the issues related to curriculum implementation.


  • Mandate Document: Guidelines for the Development of the NCF under New Education Policy 2020 released earlier aims to bring holistic development of children, emphasis on skilling, vital role of teachers, learning in mother tongue, cultural rootedness and can be considered as a step towards decolonization of the Indian education system.
  • Mandate group has set 28thFebruary 2023 as the deadline for the revision of syllabi based on the new NCF.
  • Industrialization, imperialism and colonialism have impacted this world which also made India a colony of the British Empire for two centuries.
  • Political and economic might of Britain subdued Indian history influencing every milieu of Indian life.
  • The colonial model of education under the patronage from the colonial-state displaced India’s indigenous education system and it became naturalis obligato (Natural Obligation) for the population of the colony.
  • Although India got independence in 1947, the colonized educational model in India is still prevalent and this arises a need to decolonize Indian education System immediately.

Through the new curriculum, all students will develop:

  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN)
  • Constitutional and other human values, including gender equality.
  • A rootedness and pride in India.
  • A sense of service (Seva) to others in need, to one’s country, and to the world.
  • 21st century capacities, including speaking, writing, multilingualism, scientific temper, artistry and aesthetics, problem-solving, sustainable living, cultural literacy, socio-emotional capacities, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to continue to learn on one’s own over a lifetime.
  • Preparedness for higher education and gainful employment (a true multidisciplinary and holistic education will prepare students not just for their first job, but their second and their third!).


  • Constitutional Provisions

    • Part IVof Indian Constitution, Article 45 and Article 39 (f) of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), has a provision for state-funded as well as equitable and accessible education.
    • The 42ndAmendment to the Constitution in 1976 moved education from the State to the Concurrent List.
      • The education policies by the Central government provides a broad direction and state governments are expected to follow it. But it is not mandatory,for instance Tamil Nadu does not follow the three-language formula prescribed by the first education policy in 1968.
    • The 86thAmendment in 2002 made education an enforceable right under Article 21-A.
    • Right To Education (RTE) Act, 2009aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years and enforces education as a Fundamental Right mandating 25% reservation for disadvantaged sections of the society
  • Government Initiatives

    • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Scheme, Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVS schools), Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV schools) and use of IT in education are a result of the NEP of 1986.


MSP Committee Formed to Improve Efficiency and Transparency


MSP Committee- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 3: Indian Agriculture- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.

MSP Panel in News

  • Recently, the Union Government notified a committee to Minimum Support Price (MSP) Committee to Improve Efficiency and Transparency of Agriculture and welfare of Farmers.

MSP for All Rabi Crops Increased

MSP Committee- Key Details

  • Background: MSP Committee was established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration that the government intended to repeal the three farm laws by November 19, 2021.
    • Government repealed the three laws after protest by farm unions led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) had wanted a legislative guarantee on MSP.
  • Demand of the Farmers: Demands of the protesting farmer organizations were based on Swaminathan Commission’s ‘C2+50% formula’ (C2 is a type of cost incurred by farmers).
    • This was in addition to their demand for repeal of the three farm laws.
  • Mandate of the Committee: The MSP Committee’s mandate are as follows-
    • To “promote zero budget based farming”,
    • To “change” crop patterns keeping in mind the changing needs of the country, and t
    • To make MSP (minimum support price) more “effective and transparent”.
  • MSP Committee Membership: The government has named 26 members including the chairman of the committee and kept three places for representatives of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM).

MSP Committee Recommendations on Minimum Support Price (MSP)

  • Suggestions to make available MSP to farmers of the country by making the system more effective and transparent
  • Suggestions on practicality to give more autonomy to Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and measures to make it more scientific
  • To strengthen the Agricultural Marketing System as per the changing requirements.
  • To ensure higher value to the farmers through remunerative price by taking advantage of the domestic and export opportunities.

MSP Committee Recommendation Regarding Natural Farming

  • Strategies for transforming research and development facilities into knowledge hubs and implementing a natural farming system curriculum in educational facilities.
  • Recommending a farmer-friendly alternative certification programme and distribution network for natural farming practices and products
  • Examining several concerns, including those pertaining to the chain of laboratories used to certify natural farming products as organic.

MSP Committee Recommendation Regarding Crop Diversification

  • Mapping of cropping pattern of agro-ecological zones.
  • Plan for a diversification strategy to alter cropping practices in response to changing needs
  • System to secure profitable prices for the sale of new crops, as well as arrangements for agricultural diversification.

How MSP is Fixed?

  • CACP’s Role: On the basis of the recommendations of the CACP, the center publishes the MSP (which is not legally guaranteed) for 22 mandatory crops (Fair and Remunerative Price, FRP for sugarcane).
  • Crops Included: These comprise-
    • Six rabi crops (wheat, barley, gramme, masur/lentil, rapeseed and mustard, and safflower),
    • 14 Kharif crops (jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, tur/arhar, moong, urad, soyabean, sunflower, sesame, cotton), and
    • Two commercial crops (jute and copra).
  • Variables covered by CACP: The CACP considers a number of variables, such as demand and supply, production costs, market trends, a minimum profit margin of 50% above production costs, and potential consumer effects of MSP.
  • Costs Considered for MSP Calculation: The CACP calculates three types of costs- A2, A2+FL and C2- for each mandated crop for different states.
    • A2 is the lowest among all. which is the actual paid-out cost incurred by a farmer.
    • The A2+FL, the actual paid-out cost plus imputed value of family labor.
    • C2 is the highest among all and defines as ‘Comprehensive Cost including Rental Value of Own Land (net of land revenue and interest on value of own fixed capital assets (excluding land))’.
  • Despite the fact that all three costs are assessed, the CACP ultimately recommends—and the government ultimately announces—MSP based on A2+FL.
    • Additionally, protesting farmers are calling for a legal guarantee and MSP based on C2.


Progress in Doubling Farmer Income

Progress in Doubling Farmer Income



WTO Ministerial Conference 2022- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

WTO Ministerial Conference 2022 in News

  • This article discusses the major gainers and losers at the recently concluded 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Even a cursory examination of the outcomes of the WTO Ministerial meeting leaves us in no doubt that the European Union (EU) and some other developed countries are the overwhelming winners, while India finds itself on the losing side.

WTO Ministerial Conference 2022- COVID-19 and TRIPS Waiver

  • The WTO ministerial outcome on the so-called TRIPS waiver represents the biggest gain for the EU.
  • Developing Countries Stand: In October 2020, India and South Africa put forth a proposal seeking to temporarily suspend the protection of intellectual property rights such as patents, copyrights, industrial designs and trade secrets.
    • This was done so that the production of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics could be ramped up to help overcome the crisis and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The proposal garnered the support of almost 100 countries at the WTO.
  • Developed Countries Stand: Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland and the United States, found themselves on the wrong side of the global opinion on this issue.
    • In a guileful move, in June-July 2021, the U.S. gave its support to the proposal, but limited it to vaccines.
    • In the process, it bought peace with its domestic constituents, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
    • Other developed countries, particularly Germany and the U.K., found themselves at the receiving end of the ire of their civil society organisations and prominent opinion makers.

WTO Ministerial Conference 2022- EU’s Advantage

  • EU’s Counter Proposal: It made a counter-proposal to undermine the proposal made by India and South Africa.
    • This counter proposal provided a cosmetic simplification in certain procedural aspects of compulsory licensing in patent rules.
    • In a completely opaque process, by March 2022, India and South Africa were corralled into accepting the EU’s proposal.
  • MC12 Outcome: The final outcome at the MC12 adds very little to what already exists in the WTO rulebook.
    • To make matters worse for developing countries, it adds stringent conditions that are not in the WTO rulebook.
    • The outcome of the TRIPS waiver has provided a face saver to the EU, as it can now look in the eye of its civil society organisations and confidently say that it has done its bit to save the world from COVID-19.
    • The final outcome is almost unworkable; a big public relations victory for the EU.
  • EU’s Two-front Victory: The EU has also scored important gains in two other areas — WTO reform and environment issues.
    • In the name of WTO reform, the EU sought to make fundamental changes to the institutional architecture of the WTO.
    • It also sought to give a formal role to the private sector in WTO processes. And, it has secured both these objectives in the ministerial outcome.
    • The EU has also managed to create a window to pursue negotiations on issues related to trade and environment at the WTO, an issue of concern for many developing countries.

WTO Ministerial Conference 2022- India’s Failures 

  • Failure to secure a permanent solution to public stockholding: Despite having the support of more than 80 developing countries, this issue has not found mention anywhere in the ministerial outcome.
    • Instead, the WTO members have succeeded in diverting attention from India’s interest by agreeing that food security is multi-dimensional, requiring a comprehensive solution.
  • Other Failures: India has also failed in many of its other objectives, such as securing the right to raise revenues by taxing electronic transmissions.
    • In the area of fisheries subsidies, it gets two years to have suitable regulatory mechanisms in place to monitor fish catch and reporting. Otherwise, subsidies to traditional fishermen will be prohibited.
    • Although it has secured a temporary reprieve to provide subsidies for enhancing its fishing fleets, it will have to fight an uphill battle on this issue in future negotiations.
    • Further, the outcome on the TRIPS waiver bears no resemblance to its proposals.


  • Overall, the path ahead for India at the WTO is difficult. India’s negotiators need to undertake soul searching to learn lessons from the dynamics at the MC12, and make course corrections.


12th WTO Ministerial Conference 2022

12th WTO Ministerial Conference 2022

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