Daily Current Affairs 21/07/2021
Indian Labour Conference
Why in News
- Recently, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (Labour Union) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to convene the Indian Labour Conference (ILC).
- India also has a legal obligation to hold the ILC since the Indian Parliament has ratified Convention No. 144 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) related to strengthening the tripartite mechanism.
About Indian Labour Conference (ILC):
- It is the apex level tripartite consultative committee in the Ministry of Labour & Employment.
- It suggests the Government on the issues concerning the working class of the country.
- Members: Central Trade Union Organisations, Central Organisations of employers, all State Governments and Union Territories and Central Ministries/Departments concerned with the agenda, are the members of the ILC.
- The first meeting of the ILC (then called Tripartite National Labour Conference) was held in 1942 and so far a total of 46 Sessions have been held.
- The most recent session of Indian Labour Conference was held in 2015.
Some Government Initiatives for the Working Class:
- Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana
- New Labour Codes, 2020
- Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana
- National Pension Scheme for Traders, Shopkeepers and Self-Employed Persons
About ILO Convention No. 144:
- The Convention on Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards), 1976 (No.144) , promotes the application of a founding principle of the ILO: bringing together governments, employers and workers through tripartite social dialogue to develop, implement and promote international labour standards.
About International Labour Organization (ILO):
- It is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards.
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Director-General; Guy Ryder
Formation: 11 April 1919
- The ILO has 187 state members.
- India is a founder member of the ILO.
Source: The Hindu
Children of Midday Meal Scheme beneficiaries show better growth: Study
Why in News
- According to a new study, the school children of beneficiaries are benefiting from the national school meal programme in India.
- The study, which was recently published in journal Nature Communications, is titled 'Intergenerational nutrition benefits of India’s national school feeding program'.
- It has been co-authored by University of Washington’s Suman Chakrabarti and International Food Policy Research Institute’s Samuel Scott, Harold Alderman, Purnima Menon and Daniel Gilligan.
Findings of the study:
- The study used nationally representative data on mothers and their children from 1993 to 2016 to assess whether mid-day meals support intergenerational improvements in a child’s linear growth.
- Women who received free meals in primary school have children with improved linear growth.
- The study found that the 14 states which rolled out mid-day meals in the late 1990s experienced improvements in child height earlier than the rest of the nation.
- School meals may contribute to education, later fertility decisions, and access to health care, reducing the risk of undernutrition in the next generation.
About Midday Meal Scheme:
- The Midday Meal Scheme was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 1995 to provide free cooked meals to children in government and government-aided primary schools (classes I–V; ages 6–10 years).
- Again, the scheme was extended to children studying in upper primary classes.
- The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal programme in India designed to better the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.
- The State Steering-cum Monitoring Committee oversees the implementation of the scheme.
- The Midday Meal Scheme is covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.
- Tamil Nadu was the first state to introduce this scheme.
Global Hunger Index 2020:
- India ranked 94 among 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the ‘serious’ hunger category.
Global Nutrition Report-2020:
- India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025.
Source: The Hindu
US, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan to form QUAD group
Why in News
- According to the Biden administration, the United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity.
- The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing.
- The parties intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links, and strengthen business-to-business ties to recognise the historic opportunity to open interregional trade routes.
- Afghanistan, which is in the centre of the historic Silk Road, has long served as a crossroads for trade between Asian countries, linking them to Europe and establishing religious, cultural, and commercial ties.
- The establishment of the new quad group is critical given China's intention to expand its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to Afghanistan.
- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) intends to create a network of land and maritime connections connecting Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf area, Africa, and Europe.
- Afghanistan can serve as a strategic platform for China to spread its influence over the world due to its geographic location.
India emerges as 5th largest forex reserves holder in the world
Why in News
- India has emerged as 5th largest forex reserves holder in the world with $608.99 billion as on June 25, 2021 after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia.
- This was stated by Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary in the Lok Sabha on 20th July, 2021.
- Government and RBI are closely monitoring the emerging external position calibrating policies or regulations to support robust macroeconomic growth.
- RBI takes regular steps for diversification of forex reserves by scaling up operations in forex swap and repo markets, acquisition of gold and exploring new markets/products, while adhering to safety and liquidity standards.
- Note: In 2020-21, India’s balance of payments recorded surplus in both current account and capital account which contributed to the increase in foreign exchange reserves during the year.
- Foreign-exchange reserves (Forex reserves): Foreign exchange reserves are cash and other reserve assets such as gold held by a central bank or other monetary authority that are primarily available to balance payments of the country.
- 4 things make up Forex: Foreign Currency, Gold, Reserve Tranche (in IMF), Special Drawing Rights
Cannes Film Festival 2021
- The 74th Cannes Film Festival was held in Cannes, France.
- American director & Screenwriter Spike Lee was the Jury President of Cannes Film Festival 2021
The list of main winners:
- Palme d'Or: Julia Ducournau for "Titane" (France)
- Grand Prix: Ashgar Farhadi for "A Hero" (Iran) and Juho Kuosmanen for "Compartment No.6" (Finland)
- Best director: Leos Carax for "Annette" (France)
- Best actor: Caleb Landry Jones for "Nitram" (US)
- Best actress: Renate Reinsve for "Worst Person in the World" (Norway)
- Jury prize: Nadav Lapid for "Ahed's Knee" (Israel) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul for "Memoria" (Thailand)
- Best screenplay: Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Takamasa Oe for "Drive My Car" (Japan)
Note: Mumbai-based filmmaker Payal Kapadia won the L’Oeil d’Or: Le Prix du documentaire, an award for best documentary, at the Cannes Film Festival for her film A Night of Knowing Nothing.
About Cannes Film Festival:
- The Cannes Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world. It was founded in 1946.
- The two major awards are Palme d’Or and Grand Prix.
Manduadih railway station was renamed Banaras
Why in News
- The Manduadih railway station has been finally renamed as Banaras by the North eastern railways (NER).
- The formal renaming of Manduadih railway station as Banaras Railway Station was done on September 16, 2020 in view of the NOC given by the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 31, 2020.
Note: Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Cooperation and Convention Centre “Rudraksh” in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
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