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UPSC Key—11 September, 2023: G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, African Union and Moroccan Earthquake

Important topics and their relevance in UPSC CSE exam for September 11, 2023. If you missed the September 8, 2023 UPSC CSE exam key from the Indian Express, read it here

FRONT PAGE

How win-win came, para by para; paves way ahead on Ukraine war

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- As the curtains fell on the G20 Summit Sunday, the consensus arrived in the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration set the stage for the diplomatic and political conversation on the Russia-Ukraine conflict with a hope — across the spectrum — that the text is expected to set the tone for any negotiations between the two warring sides: the West-led G7 grouping that is backing Ukraine, and Russia, which has Beijing’s support in the form of a no-limits friendship.

• G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration-What are the key takeaways?

• G20’s stand on Russia and Ukraine-what is new in this?

• There was consensus on two aspects in G20 Delhi Summit-what is that?

• Do You Know-An illustrative line in the Delhi declaration is about “threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state.” For the G7, this was targeted at Russia. For Russia, it was targeted at the US, UK or France. Indeed, Lavrov mentioned the territorial expansionist activities by the G7 countries today. This was also a message from the developing countries to the powerful P-5.

• The other new formulation that was raised by the Chinese and the Russians was that G20 is the economic forum and not a political one-Discuss

• “The Global South, the prime mover of the new language, brought in the impact they were suffering from — something that both G7 and the Russia-China bloc agreed with”-Analyse

• The Global South in G20-know in detail

• India’s G20 Presidency has paved the way for the African Union’s permanent membership in the G20- What you know about African Union?

Map Work- Member Countries of African Union

• From G20 to G20 plus one-why African Union matters?

• G20 Delhi Summit was all about Global South vs G7-do you agree?

• The most difficult and bitterly contested paragraph that India had to negotiate on was the one on military infrastructure and civilians-Why?

• “Another challenging paragraph was the reference to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which had not found a mention in the recently concluded BRICS summit as well”-What is Black Sea Grain Initiative?

• Group of Seven (G7)-What you know about this group?

• “The Russia-Ukraine paragraphs did not condemn Russia for its actions, nor did it call it an aggression. But the West also got what it wanted”-Know in detail

• The chapters are numbered A to J, in 10 chapters, based on themes-Know in detail

• “The first chapter is titled “Strong, Sustainable, Balanced, and Inclusive Growth”, and talks about the global economic situation, advancing financial inclusion, and fighting corruption”-What measures G20 has taken to fight the corruption and advancing financial inclusion?

• What is Action Plan against Fugitive Economic Offenders?

• “The next chapter is on “Accelerating Progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” — which is about eliminating hunger and malnutrition, health collaboration and delivering quality education among others”-What steps G20 has taken or decided to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals?

• What is there in the chapter on “Green Development Pact for a Sustainable Future”?

• What is there in the chapter on “Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure”?

• What is there in the chapter on “Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls”?

• You Should Know-One of the important elements is on how future pandemics can impact the economy, which also brings out the gaps in the existing pandemic response mechanism, including institutional and funding arrangements. On education, it talks about enhancing teachers’ capacity, improved curricula, content in local language, and access to digital resources, which will ensure that all children, including the most marginalised, are provided with the essential building blocks for all future learning. The chapter on “Multilateral Institutions for the 21st Century”, speaks of reforming international financial institutions. One of the most important elements is that reform of the UN Security Council was agreed to for the first time in the G20; and there was a strong push towards reforms for better, bigger, and more effective Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). The chapter on “Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure”, contains elements of building digital public infrastructure, crypto-assets, and harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) responsibly for Good and for All. The G20 leaders agreed on a G20 framework for digital public infrastructure and Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPIR).The Leaders’ Declaration also talks about a comprehensive toolkit which is aimed at improving cyber education and cyber awareness for the protection and empowerment of children and youth, especially considering the growing digital footprint of children and youth, and the increasing risks associated with it.In the chapter on “Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls”, the Declaration promotes equal rights to economic resources, property ownership, financial services, and inheritance for women, while supporting women’s organisations and networks, and closing gender gaps in agricultural access.Under India’s G20 Presidency, a decision to create a full-fledged working group on women’s empowerment has been made. The group will prioritise gender equality, women’s empowerment, and leadership, and bring convergence across sectors at all levels.The chapter “On Countering Terrorism and Money Laundering”, contains a strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and a positive message towards international peace and security.The last chapter on “Creating a More Inclusive World”, has two important elements.One, India’s G20 Presidency has paved the way for the African Union’s permanent membership in the G20. This will make G20 more inclusive, deepen cooperation with Africa, and help realise its developmental aspirations. Second is a commitment to promote respect for religious and cultural diversity, and deploring all acts of religious hatred, including against religious symbols and holy books.There was recognition of all Engagement Groups and Initiatives of India’s G20 Presidency. Recommendations of Engagement Groups — B20, S20, SAI20, Startup20, T20, U20, W20, Y20, C20, P20 and L20 — and Initiatives — EMPOWER, Research Initiative, SELM, CSAR, and G20 Cybersecurity Conference — were welcomed. And, by conducting over 200 meetings in 60 cities across India, New Delhi has set a new template — and a high bar — of taking G20 to the people: indeed, the democratisation of diplomacy is a key takeaway from the successful exercise.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration: Sense of the consensus

📍Handing over to Lula, PM seeks a virtual session in November

📍For Russia, summit ‘a breakthrough, India checked the West…’

📍…And for France, G20 ‘confirms isolation of Russia, condemns war’

📍Strong concerns over anti-India acts of separatists in Canada: Modi to Trudeau

📍G20 at Rajghat: United in voice for peace, tributes to the Mahatma

📍In Modi-Lula meet: Security Council reform, climate change and cooperation in defence

📍G20 statement on health: India’s 3 priorities, digital push

G20 IN NEW DELHI

Seat in UNSC should be held by rotation: Erdogan backs India bid

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-STATING THAT the world is larger than the five countries of US, UK, France, China and Russia that are the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday backed India for a permanent membership. Speaking after the G20 Leaders’ Summit, he also termed India as its “greatest trade partner in South Asia” and said there is great potential for both the countries in the field of economy.

• United Nations-what all you know about this organisation?

• According to the UN Charter, Article 23, “The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations”-do you know who all are the fifteen members?

• What is the Security Council?

• Non-permanent members and permanent members-compare and contrast

• Who are the 15 members of the UNSC?

• How the monthly presidency of the Council is selected?

• Is Security Council reform in any way moving forward?

• What is the process for Security Council reform?

• How does the Security Council determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression?

• Five permanent members ten non-permanent members-know in detail

• How Voting System works in United Nations Security Council

• For Your Information- According to the United Nations Security Council website, Article 27 of the UN Charter states that: 1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote. 2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members. 3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.

• What is Veto power in UNSC?

• Which members of the UNSC can exercise Veto Power?

• Do You Know-According to the United Nations Security Council website, The creators of the United Nations Charter conceived that five countries — China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) [which was succeeded in 1990 by the Russian Federation], the United Kingdom and the United States —, because of their key roles in the establishment of the United Nations, would continue to play important roles in the maintenance of international peace and security. They were granted the special status of Permanent Member States at the Security Council, along with a special voting power known as the “right to veto”. It was agreed by the drafters that if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in the 15-member Security Council, the resolution or decision would not be approved. All five permanent members have exercised the right of veto at one time or another. If a permanent member does not fully agree with a proposed resolution but does not wish to cast a veto, it may choose to abstain, thus allowing the resolution to be adopted if it obtains the required number of nine favourable votes.

• Do You think that the veto power given to five permanent members of the UNSC should be abolished?

• On what basis was Security Council permanent membership granted?

• How are the non-permanent members of the Security Council selected?

• Are UN resolutions binding?

• Is Security Council reform in any way moving forward?

• What is the process for Security Council reform?

• How does the Security Council determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression?

• “Veto power was granted in the UN Charter 77 years ago to encourage each other, but it has turned out that the power is being used to block”-Analyse

• “UN Security Council (UNSC) has become “paralysed” and “dysfunctional” in its “present form”, as it has not been able to take any decision since the Russia-Ukraine war started”-How far you agree with the given statement?

• India and United Nations-Know in detail

• What has been India’s stand on UN reformation?

• It is often observed that China opposes India in the UNSC or blocks India’s resolutions frequently—why is it so?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Explained: India at the United Nations high table

📍‘Another wasted opportunity’: India criticises delay in UNSC reforms

Meloni hints at quitting China’s BRI: Italian press

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni outlined Italy’s plan to pull out of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the G20 summit, Italian media reported on Sunday. Italy, seeking to minimise any backlash from the decision from Beijing, would as a replacement aim to revitalise a strategic partnership agreement with China, aimed at fostering economic cooperation, it first signed in 2004.

• Map Work-G7 nations

• What happened during the G20 summit?

• For Your Information- Meloni met Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Saturday (September 9) on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi. On Sunday, reports emerged that Italy was planning to walk out of the BRI, but, in a bid to stem backlash from Beijing, would seek to revitalise another strategic partnership agreement with China it had signed in 2004. On Sunday, in a press conference at the end of the G20 summit, Meloni said, “There are European nations which in recent years haven’t been part of the Belt and Road but have been able to forge more favourable relations (with China) than we have sometimes managed. The issue is how to guarantee a partnership that is beneficial for both sides, leaving aside the decision that we will take on the BRI.”She also said the Chinese had renewed an invitation for her to visit Beijing but no date had been set. The Italian government has also been invited to a BRI Forum that China will host in October, she added.

• Is this the first time Italy has indicated it may leave BRI?

• Why does Italy want to leave the BRI?

• BRI amid changing geopolitics-Analyse

• What is the China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

• How many countries are part of BRI?

• Why is it called Belt and Road?

• Why India opposes BRI?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Italy to walk out of China’s Belt and Road Initiative? Its economic, strategic reasons; significance

THE IDEAS PAGE

Bringing Africa in

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- The G20 summit attracted attention as it started with a clear consensus to invite the African Union (AU) as its member. The action-oriented ambience saw President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, the chairperson of the AU, take his seat among the G20 members. This was a unique reordering of the global high table.

• What is the AU?

• “By insulating the G20 as best as possible from the vagaries of big-power rivalry, India guided the agenda to the Global South and its priorities”-Discuss

• For Your Information- The AU is an intergovernmental organisation of the 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. Launched on July 9, 2002, the grouping is the successor of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was formed in 1963 (more on this later). The AU seeks to build “an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens”, according to its website.The AU’s secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa. Collectively the group has a gross domestic product (gdp) of $3 trillion with some 1.4 billion people.

• Why was the AU formed?

• What are the objectives of the AU?

• What are the notable achievements of the AU?

• Do You Know-Many of the AU’s peacekeeping missions have helped governments tackle terrorism across Africa, from the Sahel to northern Mozambique. Over the years, the organisation’s interventions have prevented violence in countries like Burundi, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Darfur, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Mali.AU’s diplomatic efforts have also resulted in resolving conflicts in Africa. Last year, it brokered a peace deal between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in South Africa, almost two years after the two entities began fighting.The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force in 2021, is yet another achievement of the organisation. With 54 member countries as signatories, AfCFTA is the world’s largest new free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994.It seeks to increase intra-African trade through deeper levels of trade liberalisation and enhanced regulatory harmonisation and coordination. The AfCFTA will increase Africa’s income by $450 billion by 2035 and increase intra-African exports by more than 81%, according to the World Bank estimates.Of the AU’s 55 members, 54 are in the United Nations. Only one African country, South Africa, has been an original member of the G20. No presidency ever risked amending the membership for fear of competing rivalries. It has been India’s case that not only must the G20 reflect the priorities of the Global South, but must include those who are underrepresented, particularly from Africa. The AU has double the number of countries than the EU.The AU has been invited to G20 meetings and some presidencies have held African outreach events in a manner of telling them what is good for them. It is India that has actually taken the initiative of talking with them rather than at them.

• What have been the shortcomings of the AU?

• What can be the upshot of AU’s inclusion in G20?

• “India aspires to bring the Global South to the centre of the G20 agenda”-Discuss

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍WHAT IS THE AFRICAN UNION, THE LATEST MEMBER OF G20

📍African Union in G20: How India successfully pushed engagement with AU nations and amplified Global South’s voice

THE WORLD

Toll 2000, Morocco races against time

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

Mains Examination: General Studies I: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- At least 1,037 people have died and another 1,204 injured after a powerful earthquake struck Moroccan High Atlas mountain late Friday night, destroying buildings and sending people fleeing from their homes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered “all possible assistance” to Morocco, in a tweet on Saturday morning. “Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time,” PM Modi said.

• Why the earthquake in Morocco has caused so much damage?

• Why the Moroccan earthquake is a rare quake?

• For Your Information-The USGS reported that the epicentre of the Friday earthquake was roughly 18.5 km below the Earth’s surface, though Morocco’s own seismic agency pegged the depth at 11 km. Either way, it was a fairly shallow quake.According to experts, such quakes are generally more dangerous as they carry more energy when they emerge to the surface when compared to quakes that occur deeper underneath the surface. While deeper quakes do indeed spread farther as seismic waves move radially upwards to the surface, they lose energy while travelling greater distances.For instance, the earthquakes that hammered Turkey and Syria in February this year also emerged from shallow depths — while the first earthquake, of magnitude 7.8, originated 17.9 km below the Earth’s surface, the subsequent ones emerged from even closer to the surface. They caused the death of more than 50,000 people and destroyed about 1,60,000 buildings containing 5,20,000 apartments.Apart from the depth, the magnitude of an earthquake is also an indicator of how destructive a quake could be. Magnitude tells how big the seismic waves are, while strength refers to the energy they carry. “While each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in the measured amplitude, it represents 32 times more energy release,” the USGS said.Simply put, the seismic waves produced by a magnitude 6 earthquake have 10 times higher amplitude than the ones produced by a magnitude 5 earthquake. The energy differential is even higher, 32 times for every change of 1 in magnitude.

• Map Work-Earthquake-prone areas in India and in the World

• Why earthquakes remain unpredictable?

• What exactly causes earthquakes?

• Can earthquakes be predicted?

• What is focus or seismic focus of Earthquake?

• What is epicentre of Earthquake?

• The intensity of earthquake is highest in the epicentre and decreases as one moves away-True or False?

• Earthquakes take place in the lithosphere-True or False?

• What is seismic waves or earthquake waves?

• What is Body waves and Surface waves?

• Know in detail-Primary waves (p-waves), Secondary waves (s-waves), L-waves and Rayleigh waves

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Explained: Understanding the earthquake

📍Why the earthquake in Morocco has caused so much damage

EXPLAINED

India’s falling cotton production: the causes for worry, and the solutions

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Cotton, like coconut, is a source of all the three Fs: Food, Feed and Fibre. The white fluffy fibre or lint constitutes only about 36% of kapas, the raw un-ginned cotton harvested by farmers. The rest is seed (62%) and wastes (2%) separated from the lint during ginning. Cotton seed, in turn, contains 13% oil used for cooking and frying. The 85% residual cake, after extraction of oil from the seed and 2% processing losses, is a protein-rich feed ingredient for livestock and poultry. Cotton has a roughly two-thirds share in India’s total textile fibre consumption. Not as well-known is cottonseed being the country’s third largest domestically-produced vegetable oil (after mustard and soyabean) and its second biggest feed cake/meal (after soyabean).

• Cotton Production in India-Know in detail

• What are the Key Facts about Cotton Production?

• What are the Issues with the Cotton Sector in India?

• The Bt revolution and Cotton-Connect the dots

• What is Pectinophora gossypiella or pink bollworm (PBW)?

For Your Information-Between 2000-01 and 2013-14, India’s cotton production, in terms of lint, almost trebled from 140 lakh to 398 lakh bales of 170 kg each. So did the output of oil and cake to nearly 1.5 million tonnes (mt) and 4.5 mt respectively.This was significantly enabled by Bt technology. From 2002, Indian farmers began planting genetically-modified (GM) cotton hybrids incorporating genes isolated from a soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt. The Bt genes coded for proteins toxic to the deadly Helicoverpa armigera or American bollworm insect pest. As the share of Bt hybrids in the country’s area sown under cotton touched 95%, average per-hectare lint yields more than doubled from 278 kg in 2000-01 to 566 kg in 2013-14.The reason for that had primarily to do with the Pectinophora gossypiella or pink bollworm (PBW). The Bt toxins were originally supposed to provide protection against both the Helicoverpa and PBW caterpillars that burrow into the bolls or fruits of the cotton plant in which the lint and seeds grow. Bt cotton has retained its effectiveness against the American bollworm. But in 2014, an unusually large survival of PBW larvae was detected on cotton flowers at 60-70 days after sowing in Gujarat. In the 2015 season – cotton is mostly sown in May-June, with the first harvest from around 120 days and 2-3 pickings or more thereafter every 25-30 days – PBW survivals were reported from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra too. In 2021, even Punjab, Haryana and northern Rajasthan saw heavy infestation of the pest for the first time. PBW is a monophagous pest that feeds mainly on cotton. This is unlike Helicoverpa that is polyphagous, with alternative hosts from arhar (pigeon pea), jowar (sorghum) and maize to tomato, chana (chickpea) and lobiya (cowpea).Being monophagous enabled the PBW larvae to develop resistance to Bt proteins over time. This was more so, as farmers virtually stopped growing non-Bt cotton. The PBW population that became resistant from continuously feeding on Bt hybrids, therefore, gradually overtook and replaced the ones that were susceptible. The pest’s short life cycle (25-35 days from egg laying to adult moth stage), conducive for it to complete at least 3-4 generations in a single crop season of 180-270 days, further accelerated the resistance breakdown process.The conventional route of spraying insecticides – such as profenofos, chlorpyrifos, quinalphos, emamectin benzoate, chlorantraniliprole, indoxacarb, cypermethrin, lambda cyhalothrin, deltamethrin and fenpropathrin – has had limited efficacy against the PBW larvae. These feed on the cotton bolls as well as the squares (buds) and tender flowers, affecting lint quality and yields.As a crop cultivated in some 12.5 million hectares predominantly by smallholders – and a source of all three Fs – cotton’s importance to India’s agriculture and textile sector is obvious to anybody.While Bt technology gave a huge impetus to production during the first decade-and-a-half of this century, the yield gains from it have been somewhat eroded by the emergence of new dominant pests, especially PBW. The threat of pest infestation has also discouraged farmers in states like Punjab from growing cotton.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Explained: The GM cotton conundrum

What is PGII, the initiative behind India-ME-Europe Economic Corridor

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- On the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Governments of India, the US, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the UAE, France, Germany and Italy to establish the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). The IMEC is being envisioned as a network of transport corridors, including railway lines and sea lanes, that is expected to aid economic growth through integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe. While its details are yet to come out, the project is a part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII) — a West-led initiative for funding infrastructure projects across the world, seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Through the PGII, we can contribute towards reducing the infrastructure gaps in the Global South countries,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

• What is the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII)?

• Do You Know-The infrastructure plan was first announced in June 2021 during the G7 (or Group of Seven) summit in the UK. The G7 countries include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union (EU). US President Joe Biden had called it the Build Back Better World (B3W) framework. However, it did not register much progress.In 2022, during the G7 summit in Germany, the PGII was officially launched as a joint initiative to help fund infrastructure projects in developing countries through public and private investments. Biden had said on X (formerly Twitter), “Collectively, we aim to mobilise nearly $600 billion from the G7 by 2027 to invest in critical infrastructure that improves lives and delivers real gains for all of our people.”Essentially, in response to the infrastructure projects being undertaken and funded by China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at a global level, the G7 decided to present their alternative mechanism for it. The stated purpose of both the PGII and the BRI is to help secure funding for countries to build critical infrastructure such as roads, ports, bridges, communication setups, etc. to enhance global trade and cooperation.

• What was the need for an alternative?

• What has been announced so far as part of PGII initiatives?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Explained: The G7’s infrastructure investment plan to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative

ECONOMY

The crude truth: Rise in oil price and its impact

Syllabus:

Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

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

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Crude oil prices, which have been firming up for the past few weeks on expectations of high demand and tightening supply, are at a nearly 10-month high. On Tuesday, global benchmark Brent crude breached the $90-per-barrel mark for the first time in 2023 and continues to hover around that level. The latest uptick came after major oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia surprised the world by announcing an extension of their voluntary supply cuts — totalling 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) — till the end of 2023. While markets had anticipated that the two countries would extend the cuts to October and had more or less factored that in, the extension till December was a bit of a surprise. The two oil-rich countries are leading the cartel of major oil producing nations in efforts to prop up crude oil prices by reducing supply

• Why are oil prices rising?

• How does it impact currency and the economy?

• How can it hurt inflation, government finances, and the markets?

• What crude oil means?

• What are the types of crude oil?

• Why India is dependent on crude oil?

• Where does India import oil?

• India’s domestic crude oil and natural gas production has declined steadily-why?

• How is gas price decided in India?

• What is the Current Gas Pricing in India?

• What steps have been taken by the Government of India to reduce the imports of crude oil?

• What is the difference between Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP), New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)?

• How high reliance on imported crude oil impacts the Indian economy?

• Do You Know-The share of high-sulphur crudes, or sour crudes, in India’s oil imports in 2022-23 rose to 77.5 per cent from 76.6 per cent a year ago. Indian refiners imported a total of 197.9 million tonnes of sour crudes during the fiscal, up from 185 million tonnes a year ago. Import volumes of low-sulphur crudes, or sweet crudes, rose marginally to 57.3 million tonnes in 2022-23 from 56.7 million tonnes in 2021-22. Sour crudes have high sulphur content, which makes the refining process complex and relatively more cost-intensive than refining sweeter grades of oil. However, sour crudes are usually cheaper than sweet crudes and newer refineries are equipped to process them. In the Indian crude basket, which represents a derived basket of the two grades as per Indian refineries’ processing of crude, the ratio of sour to sweet grades is 75.62 to 24.38.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Explained: The fall in crude oil prices, and its impact in India

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