Daily Current Affairs: January 24, 2017

National Steel Policy, 2017 unveiled

  • The draft National Steel Policy of 2017 has been  envisaging to double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
  • Two vision (i) Create a globally competitive steel industry that promotes inter-sectoral growth (ii) Create a self-sufficient steel industry that is technologically advanced, globally competitive and promotes inclusive growth.
  • Gas-based steel plants have been proposed toreduce use of coking coal in blast furnaces. This will help in cutting down reliance on expensive imports of coking coal.
  • Under Sagarmala project, greenfield steel plants along India’s coastline will be set up. These plants will tap cheap imported raw materials such as coking coal and export the output in a more cost-effective manner.
  • Cluster-based approach will be pursued, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to ensure easy availability of raw materials, optimum land use and economies of scale. 

Jallikattu bill passed in Tamil Nadu Assembly 

  • A special session of Tamil Nadu Assembly passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment), Act, 2017 to lift Supreme Court imposed ban on the traditional sport of Jallikattu.
  • The bill will now replace the ordinance promulgated in this regard by the Governor on the recommendation of state government. Key Facts The bill amends section 2 of the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
  • Jallikattu is a traditional sport played in parts of Tamil Nadu. It involves taming a bull in an open arena. Objections raised about the sport had led to Supreme Court banning the sport in 2014. However, mass protest by people and representation by TN Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to Centre resulted in this bill being passed. An ordinance was introduced in TN Assembly under article 213.

India rejects dispute reddressal mechanism under WTO

  • India rejected a proposal called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism suggested by European Union and Canada under aegis of World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • The ISDS mechanism would have allowed companies to drag governments to international arbitration without exhausting the local remedies. It also allows them to claim huge amounts as compensation citing losses they suffered due to reasons, including policy changes. 
  • India emphasized its position of going to international arbitration only after local reddressal mechanisms were exhausted.

US pulls out of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

  •   President Donald Trump has pulled US out of the TPP calling it harmful to American workers and manufacturing.
  • TPP is a trade agreement which was under negotiation between 12 Pacific Rim nations which constitute 40 % of world economy.
  • Obama’s idea of encouraging TPP was to counter growing economic might of China.
  • 12 members of TPP are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, US and Vietnam. India was not part of TPP.