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Daily Current affairs 06 February 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair

 

 

‘GI tag not extendable to unrelated biz’

The News

  • The Division Bench of Kolkata High Court has ruled that Geographical Indication is a limited right and cannot be extended to unrelated goods or services.
  • The court was interpreting the rights available to GI holders in the country.

Context

  • The case relates to issue of infringement of rights under GI Act and Trade Marks Act in Tea Board, India v/s ITC Hotels.
  • Darjeeling Tea was the first good to be extended GI tag after the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, came into force in 2003.
  • The Tea Board of India filed and obtained registration for the GI ‘Darjeeling’.
  • The Tea Board had sought the Kolkalta High Court to put an injunction on the use of ‘Darjeeling Lounge’ by ITC Hotels at a hotel, the ITC Sonar in Kolkata. ITC has also applied for registration of the trade mark Darjeeling Lounge.
  • The Tea Board said ‘Darjeeling’ is associated exclusively with ‘Darjeeling Tea’, and use of ‘Darjeeling’ in respect of lounge services is detrimental to the distinctive character of its GI.

 

Landmark Judgment

  • The Kolkata High Court has ruled that the rights associated with GI tag can be enforced only with respect to same product and not unrelated goods and services.
  • The court held that the GI held by the Tea Board is restricted to only goods (tea) and not to services such as lounges.
  • It is the first ever judgment on the infringement of a registered GI.

 

 

GI and Trade Marks in India: A background

 What is Geographical Indication (GI)?

  • Geographical indications are a type of intellectual property which identifies a good as originating in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory.
  • A given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.
  • In India, GI tags are given on the basis of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • The registration of a Geographical Indication is valid for a period of ten years.
  • GI tag has so far been conferred upon 325 products in India starting with the first one for Darjeeling Tea in 2004.
  • In October 2018, Alphonso Mango became the latest product to be conferred upon the GI tag.

 

 

Benefits of registrations of Geographical Indication (GI)

  • It provides legal protection to GIs in India and unauthorized use of a registered GI by others
  • It promotes the economized prosperity of producers and enables seeking protection in other WTO member countries.
  • It boosts the exports of Indian GIs by providing legal protection.

 

 

What is Trademark?

  • A trademark is a sign (a word, name, or symbol) which is used by a company to distinguish its goods or services from those of other companies. Example: Coca-Cola, Nike etc.
  • In otherwords, trademarks are symbols of the identity, goodwill, and reputation of the source of a product or service and are used by consumers to make purchasing decisions.
  • India, having adopted the TRIPS regime of WTO, has an obligation for protecting trademarks to domestic and global brand names, trade names, marks, etc.
  • Accordingly, Trade Marks Act 1999 was enacted for registration of trademarks, service marks, certification trademarks etc.
  • According to Section 78 of the Trade Marks Act, once registered, the proprietor of certification trade mark with respect to any goods or services gets exclusive right to the use of the mark in relation to those goods or services for 10 years.
  • Further, Section 28 of the Trade marks Act provides for registration of a trade mark, exclusive rights to proprietor of the trade mark with respect to the registered goods or services and relief for infringement of trade mark.

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Section : Economics

 

Magnetic Pole is drifting

The News

  • The North Magnetic Pole of the earth is found to be moving from Northern Canada towards Siberia, at an unusually faster rate.

 

Highlights

• The north magnetic field is moving at an unusually faster rate of about 60 Km/year from northern Canada towards Siberia in Russia.

• This has forced the scientists from World Magnetic Model to update the world’s official magnetic field map.

• The updation will immensely help navigation system in the Arctic.

 

Earth’s Magnetic Field

• One of the ways to probe into to the interior structure of any planet is to study the magnetic field outside the planet using an ordinary compass.

• The magnetic field of the earth is caused by the motion of the molten liquid portions of the Earth’s interior.

• As this molten material consisting of mostly iron conducts electricity, these motions give rise to electric currents, which in turn produce the Earth’s magnetic field.

Magnetic Poles v/s Geographical Poles

• The axis of the earth’s rotation is the line joining the geographical poles of the earth.

• Due to its magnetic field, earth behaves as a bar magnet with a north and south poles.

• Because the temperatures of the earth’s interior is around 770°C, the orientations of the electron orbits become randomized.

• As a result the magnetic poles of the earth do not exactly coincide with the earth’s geographical poles.

 

Movement of the Magnetic Poles

• The high temperatures and random movement of the liquid in the in the earth’s liquid core makes the magnetic poles of the earth move erratically.

• According to data from compass of ship logs the north magnetic pole was around northern Canada around 400 years ago.

• It has been moving back and forth around northern Canada until the 1900s, before it started moving eastwards at the rate of 14-15 km per year till the 1990s.

• Now it is seen that the north magnetic pole is moving at the rate of about 55 km per year in the last few years.

 

World Magnetic Model

• The World Magnetic Model (WMM) tracks the movement of earth’s magnet poles and is widely used in navigation, attitude and heading referencing systems, in addition to civilian navigation, smart phones etc.

• The World Magnetic Model is a standard model used by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, NATO and International Hydrographic Organization.

• The World Magnetic Model is updated every 5 years owing to movement of the magnetic poles

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Section : Science & Tech

 

India among countries to benefit from US-China trade war: UN

The News

• The UN has released its latest report on the U.S and China trade war and its global implications.

 

Background

• In the backdrop of American first policy of U.S president Donald trump, he imposed heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from China.

• It was aimed at reducing trade deficit with China as imposing tariffs would make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and encourage consumers to buy American products.

• The move sparked fears of a global trade war.

• China retaliated by imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on American imports worth billions of dollars and since then the US and China are engaged in a trade war.

 

Highlights of the UN report

• The trade and commerce wing of UN, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has come up with its latest report on the issue and highlighted various consequences of the trade war going on between U.S and China.

• The highlights from the reports are as follows:

• On Global economy

o The trade dispute could have "massive" implications on the global economy if it is not resolved as there could be an economic slowdown globally due to instability in commodities and financial markets.

o Another major concern is that the trade tensions could lead to currency wars, making dollar-denominated debt more difficult to service.

o An expert also highlighted past implications of protective tariffs, as the Great Depression of the 1930s and the rise of extremism.

• Loss to U.S and China

o The tit-for-tat trade dispute between China and the United States would not protect their domestic producers.

o China has pledged to take measures to increase American imports and investments in order to reduce the bilateral trade deficit.

o If they didn’t drop their tariffs by then, duty on each country's products will rise to 25 per cent, up from the current 10 per cent level, which will harm both the countries.

• Benefit to other countries

o There are many countries including India that would benefit from the trade war between U.S and China, as their exports will increase.

o The most benefitted countries will be the EU members as exports in the bloc are likely to grow.

o Japan and Canada will also see some exports increase.

o Other countries include Australia, with 4.6 per cent export gains, Brazil with 3.8 percent, India, Philippines, and Vietnam by 3.5 percent, 3.2 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

 

 

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental UN body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964.
  • UNCTAD is one of the specialized agencies of United Nations.
  • It is governed by its 194 member States and is responsible for dealing with economic and sustainable development issues with a focus on trade, finance, investment and technology.
  • It helps developing countries to participate equitably in the global economy.
  • Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland, and it has offices in New York and Addis Ababa.
  • UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat and also of the United Nations Development Group.
  • It reports to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
  • It has its own membership, leadership, and budget.
    • It is funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions and it has an annual regular budget of approximately US$69 million from the United Nations.
  • Its work can be summed up in three words:
    • Think: It carries out economic research, produces innovative analyses and makes policy recommendations to support government decision-making.
    • Debate: It is a forum where representatives of all countries engage in dialogue, share experiences and tackle critical issues affecting the global economy. It promotes consensus at the multilateral level.
    • Deliver: It turns research findings into practical applications and offers direct technical assistance to help countries build the capacities they need for equitable integration into the global economy and improve the well-being of their populations.

 

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Section : International Relation

 

No Chinese encirclement, says V.K. Singh

The News

• The Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd.) V.K. Singh rejected the idea of a Chinese encirclement of India under the ‘String of pearls’ strategy.

 

News Summary

• Chinese effort to build a series of dual use facilities in the Indian Ocean Region around India is referred to its String of Pearls strategy or policy.

• The Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd.) V.K. Singh, while speaking at the launch of a book (Sino-Indian Equation: Competition + Cooperation – Confrontation authored by Brig (Dr.) Rajeev Bhutani), rejected that there is any encirclement of India by China referred to as string of pearls.

• On the theory of string of pearls he argued that every country creates its foreign relationships, for its own benefits, some with good influences and some with unfavorable influences for others.

• He said that, the way China is making good relations with countries in Indian Ocean surrounding India, the same way India is also being friendly with the countries surrounding China like Kazakhstan, Russia, Japan, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Tajikistan and this is not ‘string of pearls’.

• On the issue of India-China relationship he implied that the land boundary is a complex issue, which will carry on with its established mechanism but to counter such hard stances,he favoured developing personal relations on other areas like people-to-people contacts, economics, commerce, investments.

 

About “String of pearls” Policy of China

• ‘String of Pearls’ policy refers the network of Chinese military and commercial facilities developed by China in countries falling on the Indian Ocean between the Chinese mainland and Port Sudan.

• The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and One Belt One Road (OBOR) under which China will construct various land and maritime trade routes are also seen as a part of China’s larger military ambition.‚Äč

• Various Chinese military and commercial facilities surrounding India are as follows:

• Strait of Malacca: China is keen to develop friendly relations with countries like Malaysia and Singapore which surround the Malacca Strait and China has also developed a naval base near Strait of Malacca on Cocos Keeling Island.

• Myanmar: China has the presence in Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port. The port situated in the Bay of Bengal has given China access to have a commercial Maritime facility which can be used as a military facility at the time of conflict. Also, China is having a military base in Coco Islands, situated north of Andaman and Nicobar islands.

• Bangladesh: China has developed the port of Chittagong which gives it a station to be used in the heart of the Bay of Bengal.

• Sri Lanka: The Chinese company has developed a port Hambantota, in the Southern-eastern side of Sri Lanka.

• Pakistan: The Gwadar Port is being developed by China for the purpose of CPEC, which is considered just the tip of the iceberg.

• Chinese presence in Greater IOR: China has a presence on the African Coast of India Ocean in Sudan and Kenya and also building a military base in Djibouti.

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Section : International Relation

 

India’s growth story is real but challenges remain Editorial 6th Feb’19 LiveMint

 

India's rapid growth rate:

  • Today, India is the fastest growing among the large emerging economies.

Driven by reforms:

  • Prudent monetary and fiscal policies, along with the implementation of several domestic structural reforms, have strengthened the macroeconomic fundamentals.
  • The bar for reforms has also been raised.
  • The push towards accessibility and affordability has resulted in ground-level implementation of reforms.

 

Three distinct factors are propelling India’s growth story:

  1. States are also pushing for growth along with the Centre:
  • There is tremendous pressure on all governments now to transform and perform.
  • This is leading to greater accountability and quicker implementation of reform measures.
  • The blend of national programmes and state-specific policy reforms has helped many Indian states on the path of rapid growth.
  • Competitive federalism:
    • Each state is playing on its competitive advantage with an ambition to turn itself into a regional powerhouse and a multibillion-dollar economy.
    • Many states have now become multimillion-dollar economies in their own right and have created an ecosystem of competitive federalism between themselves. 

 

  1. Growing urbanization:
  • The unprecedented rise in urban clusters across the country is driving the country’s urbanization story. 
  • More and more Indians are moving villages to cities.
  • Push to make cities attractive for investments:
    • There is an increased push in reforms and higher investments in a bid to make Indian cities globally attractive for doing business. 
      • Central government allocation to cities could be linked to their financial independence and capacity building, which will lead to significant local reform. 
  • The great Indian urbanization run is certainly here to stay and will drive India’s future smart cities.

 

  1. Booming start-ups:
  • The country’s startup ecosystem is growing very fast. 
  • India has provided an ideal platform to promote entrepreneurship right from an early stage, and has become one of the startup destinations of the world.
  • More than 21 states have a startup policy and approximately 12,500 startups have been recognized as unique by the government.

 

 

Sustaining high growth rate and making 8% the new rate of growth

More work needed in Health and Education:

  • India's ambition to become a $5 trillion economy in the next decade will depend on how governments, both central and state, steer development in the healthcare and education sectors.

 

  1. Health:
  • While India’s healthcare system has made significant advances over the last decade, there is still much to be done.
  • The ambitious Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or National Health Protection Scheme has marked the first step to universal healthcare in the country.
  • Need capacity building, technology and greater infra:
    • However, to deliver healthcare services at such a large scale, India will need a massive expansion of professional education capacityinfrastructure, and adoption of technology over the next few years to achieve a meaningful increase in access to healthcare. 
      • Adoption of technology would ease the pressure on the existing medical workforce.
      • It would also eventually assist in increasing healthcare access and improving the quality of delivery across the country.
    • The interplay of infrastructure and technology will play a crucial role in outreach, implementation and impact assessment. 

 

  1. Education:
  • Education can be at the front line of accelerated development and a vital driver in the country’s economic, social, cultural, and technological progress. 
  • It is imperative to improve the qualitative and quantitative output from our schools and colleges with preparedness of our young India to join the workforce. 
  • The government’s focus should be on to not only promote innovation but also employment skills in school, university and technical education.

 

Conclusion:

  • India is experiencing change at a great pace which is providing the much-needed impetus to expedite the economic development process. 
  • However, to sustain growth and development for a long time, the government has to implement required reforms to live up to the expectations of young India and also ensure last-mile access to quality public services to all regions.

 

Importance:

GS Paper III: Economy

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Section : Editorial Analysis

 

Comments

taslima painkra - 15 Mar 2019

taslima painkra - 15 Mar 2019

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