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[Newsbits] 12.09.2023

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Eastern Maritime Corridor

The Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) is poised to transform India-Russia connectivity by offering a shorter and more efficient sea route between Vladivostok, Russia, and Chennai, India. This ambitious project has the potential to unlock new opportunities for trade and cooperation between the two nations.

Workshop Invitation: Indo Russian Collaboration

The EMC project gained prominence when it received an invitation to a workshop on Indo-Russian collaboration, extended by the Ports Minister. This highlights the strategic significance of the corridor in fostering closer ties between India and Russia.

What is the Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC)?

Definition

The Eastern Maritime Corridor is a visionary India-Russia connectivity project aimed at reducing the distance and time required for maritime trade between the two nations.

Sea-Route Details

The EMC spans approximately 5,600 nautical miles, offering a much shorter and efficient route compared to traditional options.

Pros of the Eastern Maritime Corridor

A Game-Changing Comparison

The Eastern Maritime Corridor brings several advantages over the existing trade routes between India and Russia, notably:

Existing Route

  • Route: From Mumbai, India, to St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Distance: Approximately 8,675 nautical miles
  • Duration: Takes 35 to 40 days to complete the journey

EMC Advantage

  • Reduction in Time: The EMC reduces the transit time from over 40 days to just 24 days.
  • Resulting Difference: This substantial reduction translates into a time-saving of up to 16 days.

Significance of the EMC

Unlocking New Opportunities

The Eastern Maritime Corridor has the potential to unlock new and exciting opportunities for trade and cooperation between India and Russia. This project promises to stimulate economic growth and strengthen bilateral relations.

Where Does the EMC Connect?

Connection Details

The Eastern Maritime Corridor connects two pivotal cities:

  • From: Vladivostok, Russia
  • To: Chennai, India

This strategically chosen route enhances connectivity and trade prospects, offering a more direct path for goods and services between the two nations.

In conclusion, the Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of international trade and connectivity. By significantly reducing transit times and enhancing economic cooperation, the EMC not only benefits India and Russia but also holds the promise of reshaping the dynamics of trade in the region. This visionary project underscores the importance of infrastructure development in fostering global partnerships and economic growth.

Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting

The Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) initiative is a critical development in the corporate world, aimed at promoting transparency, ethical practices, and sustainability among businesses.

Workshop Organizers and Collaborators

The BRSR workshop was organized by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and saw collaboration from prominent entities such as UNICEF and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The workshop took place at the NSE premises in Mumbai.

What is BRSR?

Definition

BRSR stands for Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting, which serves as an ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) regulatory disclosure framework.

Evolution

BRSR has evolved through various stages:

Initial Step: Voluntary Guidelines (2009)

In 2009, the journey towards corporate responsibility and sustainability reporting began with the introduction of voluntary guidelines.

Next Step: Business Responsibility Report (BRR) (2012)

In 2012, a significant step was taken with the introduction of the Business Responsibility Report (BRR).

Succession

BRSR has succeeded the Business Responsibility Report, signaling a more structured and comprehensive approach to corporate sustainability and responsibility.

How Does BRSR Work?

Purpose

BRSR serves as a mandatory disclosure mechanism for the top 1000 listed companies. Its primary purpose is to compel these companies to report on their performance regarding ESG aspects and their commitment to responsible business practices.

Structure

BRSR consists of three main sections:

Section A

  • Content: General Disclosure about the company

Section B

  • Content: Management and process disclosure

Section C

  • Content: Principle-wise performance disclosure

Principle Components

BRSR is built around nine principles, each with specific disclosure components. These include:

Essential Indicators (Mandatory)

  • Topics:
    • Environmental Factors
      • Energy
      • Emissions
      • Water
      • Waste
    • Social Impact
    • Employee Training Details

Leadership Indicators (Voluntary)

  • Aim: Designed for companies striving for higher responsibility
  • Topics include:
    • Ethics Awareness Programs
    • Product and Service Life Cycle Assessments
    • Employee Protections
      • Insurance
      • Transition Programs
    • Advanced Reporting
      • Biodiversity
      • Energy Consumption
      • Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
      • Supply Chain Disclosures

When Does BRSR Take Effect?

Implementation Phases

Voluntary Phase

  • Effective Year: FY 2021-22

Mandatory Phase

  • Effective Year: FY 2022-23
  • Applicable to: Top 1000 Companies

In conclusion, the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) framework represents a significant step towards fostering responsible business practices and sustainability among corporations. With its mandatory phase applicable to the top 1000 listed companies, BRSR is expected to drive greater transparency and accountability in the corporate world, benefiting both businesses and society at large.

Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights

The Global Symposium on Farmers' Rights, a significant event in the world of agriculture, was recently inaugurated by the President of India in New Delhi. This inaugural edition marked a crucial milestone in the global agricultural community.

Significance of the Event

This symposium holds immense importance as it is the first of its kind. It aims to address critical issues related to farmers' rights and their essential role in global food security and agriculture.

The Organizers

Secretariat of the International Treaty

The symposium is organized by the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which is closely associated with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This partnership underscores the global importance of the event.

Hosted by Indian Authorities

The symposium is hosted by several Indian authorities, highlighting the nation's commitment to farmers' rights and agricultural progress. The key organizers include:

  • Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

ICAR Branches

Under the umbrella of ICAR, two prominent institutions play a vital role in this event:

  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)
  • National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR)

Attendance

The symposium boasts a diverse participation of 59 countries, reflecting the global significance of farmers' rights and the need for international collaboration.

Event Timeline

Proposal and Origin

The proposal for this remarkable event originated from the Government of India, demonstrating the nation's commitment to addressing farmers' rights on a global scale. It was officially endorsed during the Ninth Session of the Governing Body (GB9) associated with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Date and Decision Body

The symposium took place in September 2022, with the decision to host it being made by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), emphasizing its international importance.

India's Achievements

India's role in promoting farmers' rights stands out in several aspects:

First in Farmers’ Rights Context

India holds the distinction of being the first country to address farmers' rights comprehensively, particularly in the context of:

  • Plant Variety Registration

Implemented through PPVFR Act, 2001

These achievements are made possible through the implementation of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act, 2001, which sets the legal framework for protecting plant varieties and ensuring farmers' rights in India.

Conclusion

The Global Symposium on Farmers' Rights, with its inaugural edition in New Delhi, brings together countries from around the world to discuss and promote farmers' rights. This event highlights India's pioneering efforts in safeguarding these rights and underscores the global importance of addressing this critical aspect of agriculture for the benefit of farmers and global food security.

Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey

Recently, handcrafted artefacts and products, including Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey, were presented at an event attended by G20 Heads of State, leaders, and their spouses. This honey, originating from the Sundarbans, offers a unique and diverse flavor profile while reflecting the rich biodiversity of the region.

What is Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey?

Description

Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey is a special type of honey derived from multiple flowers found in the Sundarbans region.

Features

  • Distinct and Rich Flavor Profile: This honey boasts a unique taste that sets it apart from other varieties.
  • Nectar Blend: It is sourced from a blend of nectar from various flowers, including Khalisha, Bani, and Garan.
  • Taste: The honey offers a harmonious balance of sweet and earthy notes that delights the palate.
  • Texture: Unlike some honey types, Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey has a less viscous texture.
  • Nutritional Value: It is high in flavonoids, providing potential health benefits.

Significance of Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey

Reflecting Biodiversity

This unique honey reflects the incredible biodiversity of the Sundarbans region. The Sundarbans is renowned as the largest mangrove forest in the world, and its diverse flora contributes to the distinctive flavor and qualities of this honey.

Where Does It Originate?

Origin: Sundarbans

Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey hails from the Sundarbans, a region known for its lush mangrove forests, vibrant wildlife, and unique ecological characteristics. It is situated at the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers and is shared between India and Bangladesh.

India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council

The India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council represents a pivotal milestone in the diplomatic relations between these two nations. Recently, a summit-level meeting was held, marking the first-ever meeting of this council. In this article, we explore the structure, purpose, significance, and functioning of this strategic partnership.

The Summit-Level Meeting

Noteworthy Points

  • This summit-level meeting was the first of its kind, underscoring the growing importance of the Indo-Saudi relationship.
  • Several significant decisions were made during this meeting, including the expeditious progress of the $50-billion West Coast refinery project.
  • Areas for intensified cooperation were identified, encompassing energy, defense, semiconductor technology, and space exploration.

Details on the West Coast Refinery Project

  • The West Coast refinery project is a massive endeavor, comprising a 60 million tonnes refinery-cum-petrochemical complex.
  • It is located on the Maharashtra coast and involves participation from prominent Indian entities such as the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), as well as international participants like the Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc).

Hydrocarbons Relationship Shift

  • The summit marked a shift in the hydrocarbons relationship between India and Saudi Arabia, elevating it to the status of a comprehensive energy partnership.
  • Eight agreements were signed, aimed at boosting cooperation in areas such as digitization and investment.

The Structure of the Council

Two Pillars

The India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council is structured around two key pillars:

  1. Committee on Political, Security, Social, and Cultural Cooperation: This committee focuses on diplomatic and cultural aspects of the partnership.
  2. Committee on Economy and Investments: This committee drives economic cooperation and investment initiatives.

The Purpose

The primary purpose of the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council is to establish a high-level framework for steering and enhancing the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

Significance

The establishment of this council is of significant importance, as Saudi Arabia has formed such a partnership with only a few countries before India. Previous partners include the UK, France, and China, highlighting the unique status and potential of this relationship.

How Does the Council Function?

Engagement Levels

The India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council operates through various engagement levels, including:

  • Summit Level: Involving the Prime Minister and Crown Prince.
  • Ministerial-Level: Key ministers from both countries.
  • Senior Officials’ Meetings: High-level officials from relevant government departments.
  • Joint Working Groups (JWGs): Specialized groups that work under the two main committees.

JWGs under the Political Committee

These working groups focus on various aspects of political and security cooperation, including:

  • Political & Consular
  • Legal & Security
  • Social & Cultural
  • Joint Committee on Defense Cooperation

JWGs under the Economic Committee

These working groups drive economic and investment cooperation in specific areas:

  • Agriculture & Food Security
  • Energy
  • Technology & Information Technology
  • Industry and Infrastructure

Who Are the Partners?

The India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council brings together the two nations of Saudi Arabia and India in a collaborative effort to enhance their diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties.

When Was the Council Established?

The India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council was established in 2019, setting the stage for a deeper and more strategic relationship between these two dynamic nations.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Every year, on World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day, we come together to shed light on this rare but devastating degenerative disease. The theme for this year's observance is "Duchenne: Breaking Barriers."

What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)?

Definition

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a rare, genetic degenerative disease that primarily targets the muscles. It is one of the most severe forms of muscular dystrophy.

Symptoms

Progression

DMD is characterized by the gradual weakening of muscles over time, which eventually affects the entire body.

Physical Symptoms

  • Walking Challenges: Children with DMD often experience difficulty walking and may require mobility aids or a wheelchair as the disease progresses.
  • Motor Function Deterioration: Muscle weakness and loss of motor function are common, impacting a person's ability to perform everyday tasks.
  • Breathing and Heart Function Affected: The heart is also a muscle, and as DMD progresses, it can lead to respiratory and cardiac problems, requiring medical intervention.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Learning and Behavioral Problems: DMD can also affect cognitive functions, leading to learning difficulties and behavioral problems. This is believed to be related to the role of a missing protein in the brain.

Significance of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Most Common Hereditary Neuromuscular Disease

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy holds the unfortunate distinction of being the most common hereditary neuromuscular disease. Despite its rarity, its impact on those affected is profound, emphasizing the need for awareness and research.

How Does Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Occur?

Cause

DMD is caused by a mutation in the X-chromosome. It primarily affects males, as they have one X and one Y chromosome. Females, with two X chromosomes, typically carry the mutation without displaying severe symptoms.

Who Does Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Affect?

Prevalence

Statistics indicate that approximately one in every five thousand boys is born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It is typically a condition present from birth.

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