CURRENT AFFAIRS – 02/08/2023

CURRENT AFFAIRS - 02/08/2023

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 02/08/2023

Climate finance adds another layer of inequity to climate change


In the last few years, climate justice activists have been campaigning for the world’s economically developed countries to raise their investments in climate adaptation and mitigation, including paying for other countries’ abilities to deal with the effects of climate change. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia have historically contributed the least to global warming; yet, they are bearing the bigger brunt of climate disasters – both in the form of extreme natural phenomena and debt distress. On the other hand, countries in North America and Europe have contributed and continue to contribute the most, and are also the creditors of the debt crisis.

Chart 1 shows the carbon dioxide emissions per capita emitted in 1980-2021 by various geographical regions, including Africa, Asia (excluding China and India), and South America, and by some countries. It also shows (as a fixed black line) a baseline target of carbon dioxide emissions (2.3 tonnes per capita) needed to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius, as determined by the Institute for European Environmental Policy.

The global average emissions per capita is currently double this target, and has stayed above 4.7 tonnes per capita since 2010, whereas Africa and India have both been consistently under. China crossed the global average in 2004. It steadily climbed to 8 tonnes per capita in 2021 and joined Europe and Oceania. Notably, while the the overall emissions of the UAE and the U.S. have declined, as of 2021 these countries still had the highest emissions per capita (21.8 tonnes and 14.9 tonnes, respectively).

Chart 2 shows the total investment in climate-related activities by each World Bank region as a fraction of that region’s total GDP in 2019 and 2020. This includes public and private investment in, among others, climate mitigation and adaptation activities, reduction of fossil-fuel use, and reforestation. In both years, Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest investment fraction in climate finance (1.3% of its GDP), followed by East Asia and the Pacific (1%) and South Asia (0.9%). The U.S. and Canada had the lowest proportionate investment, at only 0.3% of their GDP.

A large fraction of the funds for climate mitigation and adaptation in the Global South comes from international multilateral climate funds, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Clean Technology Fund. The sources for the Global South are usually economically developed countries. Chart 3 shows the total approved funds and the actual funds disbursed towards each region. Since 2003, for example, $3.3 billion was approved to be disbursed to South Asia, but only $1.3 billion was actually disbursed. Most regions received only 40% of the approved funding for that region, on average.

Chart 4 shows the climate vulnerability index by country and the risk of debt distress by region. This index, calculated annually by the Notre-Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, combines a country’s exposure, sensitivity, and capacity to adapt to climate change. The risk of debt distress is based on the International Monetary Fund’s Debt Sustainability Framework reports. As most reports are limited to the Global South, several high-income countries had to be excluded from the analysis. The chart shows that most countries in debt distress or facing a high risk are in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is also the most vulnerable to climate change. Overall, countries at high risk or in debt distress are also more vulnerable to climate change. Three of the eight countries in South Asia are in this group.

Facts about the News

Climate justice activists advocate for economically developed countries to increase investments in climate adaptation and mitigation to support countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia.

  • The countries in these regions have historically contributed the least to global warming but suffer the most from climate disasters and debt distress.

Key Highlights

  • Chart 1 displays carbon dioxide emissions per capita from 1980-2021 for various regions.

           –It shows a baseline target of CO2 emmissions needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

  • Africa and India consistently emit below the baseline target, while China crossed the global average in 2004, steadily climbing to 8 tonnes per capita in 2021.
  • The UAE and the U.S. have the highest emissions per capita (21.8 tonnes and 14.9 tonnes, respectively), although their overall emissions have declined.
  • Chart 2 illustrates total climate-related investments as a fraction of GDP in 2019 and 2020.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa are leading in climate finance (1.3% of GDP), and the U.S. and Canada having the lowest proportionate investment (0.3% of GDP).
  • The Global South receives funds for climate mitigation and adaptation from international multilateral climate funds, such as Green Climate Fund and Green Technology Fund.
  • Chart 3 shows the disparity between approved funds and actual disbursements towards each region, with most regions receiving only 40% of the approved funding.
  • Chart 4 displays the climate vulnerability index and the risk of debt distress by country and region, with Sub-Saharan Africa having the highest vulnerability to climate change and debt distress.
  • Countries at high risk or in debt distress are more vulnerable to climate change, with three of the eight countries in South Asia falling into this category.

The IIM Bill is a bold move

Six years on, very few of the 20 IIMs have done so. Among the top four IIMs, only the review report of IIM Bangalore is available on the website. This act of omission gives us an indication as to why the government thought fit to table the IIM (Amendment) Bill in Parliament last week. No government can take kindly to non-compliance with an Act of Parliament. The 2023 Bill seeks to take back from the IIMs the powers that the government ceded in 2017. The government seems to have judged that a dangerous governance vacuum has been created in the IIM system in the years since it relinquished control over these institutes.

Provisions of the Bill

The 2017 legislation was an extraordinary act of self-abnegation by the government. All key appointments — of the chairperson and board members, the director and the chairperson of the Coordination Forum of the IIMs — were left to the BoG. The government reduced the presence of the Central and State governments on the Board from four members to two.

The 2023 Bill seeks to undo many of the provisions of the earlier Act. It creates the post of Visitor, the President of India. The Visitor will appoint the chairperson of the BoG, one nominee on the selection committee for the director, and the chairperson of the Coordination Forum for the IIMs. He or she will also approve all director appointments. The Visitor can initiate any review of or inquiry into the affairs of an institute and remove the director on his or her own.

Media reports suggest that the government has been unhappy with the IIMs for their lack of responsiveness to queries and suggestions in recent years. But there is more to the about-turn.

There has been turbulence in the IIM system in recent years of a sort not seen in the nearly six decades until 2017. At IIM Ahmedabad, faculty and alumni were up in revolt against the then director’s decision to change the institute’s logo, and to demolish the Louis Kahn structures on the campus which are widely regarded as among the architectural marvels of our times. At IIM Calcutta, the majority of faculty signed a petition against the director’s way of functioning. The BoG took the extraordinary step of curtailing her powers following which she left before the end of her term. At IIM Rohtak, the government is locked in a legal battle with the institute over the director’s continuance in office. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some IIMs lower in rank have become petty tyrannies in which the director holds unchallenged sway. There has also been a relentless rise in the fee for the MBA course, which is not related to the costs of the course.

None of this should come as a surprise. The IIM Act created a situation where there were no meaningful checks and balances on the director. The absence of norms on key matters, such as the appointment of dean, had been evident even in the years leading up to the IIM Act as the government increasingly adopted a hands-off approach. The Act served to worsen the situation.

The director became accountable to a BoG in which the two government nominees played a passive role. Individuals from industry, alumni, etc., who comprise the rest of the Board, have no stakes in their respective institutions and no incentive to exercise the necessary oversight.

Moreover, the Act left answered the question: to whom are the boards now accountable? Boards in the corporate world are notoriously ineffectual despite the fact that they are subject to company law, regulation, and monitoring by financial markets. To expect a BoG that is accountable to none to be effective is to demand a leap in faith.

Many ask: how do private universities in the U.S. fare so well under boards of trustees? There are several reasons. Private universities are funded through large endowments; the state supports research. They are not in the game of making large profits on their academic courses. Boards are manned by large donors who have a deep emotional connect with the institutions. Educational institutions operate in a competitive environment that imposes almost the discipline of financial markets on boards. These factors don’t operate here.

Government control

The notion that government control is inimical to the functioning of an educational institution is flawed. The state-controlled universities in the California system, where the Governor of the state often sits on the board, are among the best in the world. Government control has not kept the IITs from creating a brand that is way above that of the IIMs. The IIM brand itself flourished for some six decades under government control because the IIMs enjoyed the fullest autonomy in all operational matters. It is the prospect of the brand being undermined by lawless boards and directors that should be a matter of concern.

The government’s move may not go down well with sections of the middle class who long to place at least one child in the leading IIMs. However, the verdict as of now must be that the government has shown courage in seeking to restore accountability in the IIM system. No public institution can be exempt from the principle of democratic accountability. And accountability to government and Parliament is preferable to no accountability at all.

The government has shown courage in seeking to restore accountability in the IIM system.

Facts about the News

The Union Education Ministry has recently introduced the IIM (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha.

Key Highlights

  • In 2017, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Act granted significant autonomy to IIMs.
  • It required them to commission independent reviews every three years, but very few IIMs have complied with this clause.
  • Last week, the government tabled the IIM (Amendment) Bill in Parliament to take back some powers from the IIMs due to non-compliance with the 2017 Act and a perceived governance vacuum.
  • The 2023 Bill creates the post of Visitor, the President of India, who will appoint the chairperson of the Board of Governors (BoG), nominees on the director’s selection committee, and the chairperson of the Coordination Forum for the IIMs.
  • The Visitor can initiate reviews or inquiries and remove the director independently.
  • The government has been dissatisfied with the IIMs’ lack of responsiveness, and there has been turmoil in the IIM system, including faculty and alumni protests, legal battles over director’s continuance, and rising MBA course fees.
  • The IIM Act lacked meaningful checks and balances on the director and left the boards unaccountable.
  • Private universities in the U.S. operate differently due to factors like large endowments, state research support, non-profit focus, and emotional connections with donors.
  • The government’s move to restore accountability in the IIM system has been met with some criticism but is seen as necessary to preserve the brand and ensure democratic accountability.

What can amended Forest (Conservation) Act change?

What is the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023? Did the States comply by the SC’s directive to undertake an exercise to identify their own deemed forests? Did the JPC flag any concerns with the Bill?

The story so far:

The controversial Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023, passed by the Lok Sabha with limited debate, awaits discussion in the Rajya Sabha. The bill aims to restrict conservation scope, exempt border lands for strategic projects, and allow some non-forest activities. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in March. Thereafter, it was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) comprising 32 members from both Houses of Parliament and across party lines.

How does the Bill restrict the scope of the Act?

The Bill stipulates that only those lands that were notified as ‘forest’ under the Indian Forest Act 1927, any other relevant law or were recorded as ‘forests’ in government records will be acknowledged as ‘forests’ under this Act as well. This revision stands in stark contrast to the wide applicability of the extant Act at present. A Supreme Court judgement in 1996 had reiterated such a broad application. It said, that a ‘forest’ includes all land recorded as such in government records regardless of ownership as well as “deemed forests”, which are not officially classified as ‘forests’ but satisfy the dictionary meaning of the word: any large area with significant tree cover and undergrowth. The court had also asked States to undertake an exercise to identify and notify their own deemed forests. But even after almost 30 years, many States are yet to complete this exercise and in some cases, we don’t know how scientific the process of identification was. As such, the amendment opens up all land that hasn’t been officially classified as ‘forests’ to commercial activity. It also removes the checks and balances the Act currently includes, in the form of forest clearance permissions and the informed consent of the local community.

Why is the exemption for border infrastructure controversial?

The Bill seeks to exempt linear infrastructure projects like roads and highways from seeking forest clearance permissions if they are located within 100 km of the national border. Experts have raised concerns because “strategic linear projects of national importance” is an undefined term and can thus be misused to push through infrastructure projects that are devastating for the local ecology.

This Bill was not referred to the relevant Parliamentary Standing Committee, which in this case would have been the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, headed by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh. As per the Pre-legislative Consultation Policy, it is considered good practice to refer Bills to Standing Committees for review. But the government bypassed this oversight function in this case.

Did the JPC flag any concerns with the Bill?

The JPC did not propose a single change to the Bill in its report despite receiving objections from tribal groups, conservationists, environmental lawyers, activists, and citizen groups. Six members of the JPC itself wrote dissent notes. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs also raised concerns about the amendment’s implications on community rights enshrined in the Forest Rights Act 2006.

The Bill got a free pass in the Lok sabha as most Opposition MPs were preoccupied with highlighting human rights issues in Manipur. Irrespective of whether Rajya Sabha members seriously debate the Bill, its a drastic break from the legal definition of ‘forests’, its focus on creating carbon sinks and the uncertainty over its coverage don’t bode well.

(Rishika Pardikar is a freelance environment reporter based in Bengaluru)


The highly controversial Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 is awaiting debate in the Rajya Sabha after having been passed by the Lok Sabha with almost no debate in June.

Broadly, the Bill seeks to restrict the conservation scope of the Act to only certain forest lands. It also exempts border lands from the obligation to seek permissions to clear forests in order to construct “strategic linear projects of national importance”.

Facts about the News

The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 is awaiting debate in the Rajya Sabha after being passed by the Lok Sabha with minimal discussion.

Key Highlights

  • The Bill seeks to restrict the scope of the Act by redefining what constitutes a ‘forest’ in Indian law.
  • It narrows the definition to only include lands officially classified as ‘forests’ under specific laws or government records.
  • The current Act applies to “any forest land” and includes “deemed forests,” which are areas with significant tree cover and undergrowth, even if not officially classified as forests.
  • The amendment removes checks and balances, such as forest clearance permissions and informed consent from local communities, for areas not officially classified as forests, potentially opening them up to commercial activities.
  • Approximately 40% of the Aravalli range and 95% of the Niyamgiri hill range, home to the DongriaKondh tribe, stand to be significantly affected by the amendment.
  • The exemption for border infrastructure projects within 100 km of the national border is controversial as the term “strategic linear projects of national importance” is undefined.

         -It could be misused for ecologically harmful projects.

  • The JPC, which reviewed the Bill, did not propose any changes despite receiving around 1,200 representations and dissent notes from six members.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs raised concerns about the amendment’s impact on community rights enshrined in the Forest Rights Act 2006.
  • The lack of debate and concerns about the Bill’s focus on creating carbon sinks instead of conserving existing forests raise uncertainty about its implications.

Definition of Forest

Decision 19/Conference of Parties (CP) 9-Kyoto Protocol allows countries to define forests based on their capacities and capabilities.

India’s definition of forest is based on three criteria:

  • Crown cover percentage: Tree crown cover between 10% and 30% (India uses 10%).
  • Minimum area of stand: Area between 0.05 and 1 hectare (India uses 1.0 hectare).
  • Minimum height of trees: Potential to reach a minimum height at maturity in situ of 2 to 5 meters (India uses 2 meters).
  • India’s forest cover definition is accepted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for reporting and communications.
  • India’s forest cover includes all land over one hectare with a tree canopy density of more than 10 percent, irrespective of ownership and legal status.

          – It also includes orchards, bamboo, and palm.

  • The forest cover figures in India’s State of Forest Report (ISFR) are divided into ‘Inside Recorded Forest Area’ (natural forests and plantations of Forest Department) and ‘Outside Recorded Forest Area’ (mango orchards, coconut plantations, block plantations of agroforestry).
  • Classification:
  • The forest cover is broadly classified in 4 classes, namely very dense forest, moderately dense forest, open forest and mangrove.
Very dense Forest All Lands with tree cover (Including mangrove cover) of canopy density of 70% and above
Mod Dense forest All lands with tree cover (Including mangrove cover) of canopy density between 40% and 70% above
Open forest All lands with tree cover (Including mangrove cover) of canopy density between 10% and 40
Scurb All forest lands with poor tree growth mainly of small or stunted trees having canopy density less than 10 percent
Non Forest Any area not included in the above classes

In Image: Map showing states with highest forest cover in India.

GI tags given to crafts from Rajasthan, mangoes grown in Goa

Seven products from across India including four from Rajasthan were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai.

The Jalesar Dhatu Shilp (metal craft), Goa Mankurad mango, Goan Bebinca, Udaipur Koftgari metal craft, Bikaner Kashidakari craft, Jodhpur Bandhej craft and Bikaner Usta Kala craft were the ones which got the tag.

The application for the Goa Mankurad mango was filed by All Goa Mango Growers Association, Panaji, Goa. The Portuguese named the mango as Malcorada meaning poor coloured and with time this word transformed to ‘Mankurad’ aamoAamo means mango in Konkani language.

For the Goan Bebinca, the application was filed by All Goa Bakers and Confectioners Association. Bebinca is a type of pudding and a traditional Indo-Portuguese dessert. It is also known as the Queen of Goan desserts.

At Jalesar in Etah district in Uttar Pradesh, which was the capital of Magadha King Jarasandha, over 1,200 small units are engaged in making Jalesar Dhatu Shilp. This place is known for making decorative metal craft as well as brassware.

Four different crafts from Rajasthan were given the GI tags. The Udaipur Koftgari metal craft was one among them. According to details provided in the documents submitted to the GI office, the Udaipur Koftgari metal craftsmen practices the ancient art of Koftgari used in making ornamental weaponry. The weapons are exquisitely ornamented by a complicated process of etching of design, heating and then cooling intertwined with the process of embedding gold and silver wire into the metal, pressing and flattening it to a smooth surface using moonstone and finally polishing.

The second product from Rajasthan was the Bikaner Kashidakari craft. Kashidakari work is done majorly on objects associated with marriage, especially gift items, and makes use of mirror work.

The Jodhpur bandhej craft is the Rajasthani art of tying and dyeing. It is the art of printing varied patterns on fabrics using the tie and dye method.

The Bikaner Usta Kala craft is also known as gold nakashi work or gold manauti work, due to the prominence of golden colour in an actual manner developed by gold in the previous period. Due to this, the craft has longevity.

Facts about the News

The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai awarded the GI tag to seven products from India, including four from Rajasthan.

Key Highlights

  • The products receiving the GI tag are:

           JalesarDhatuShilp‘ (metal craft),

           Goa Mankurad Mango’,

           Goan Bebinca‘,

          – ‘Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft’,

          -‘Bikaner Kashidakari Craft’,

          -‘Jodhpur Bandhej Craft’, and

          –‘Bikaner Usta Kala Craft’.

  • The Goa Mankurad Mango, also known as malcorada, is a variety of mango with historical Portuguese influence.
  • Goan Bebinca is an Indo-Portuguese pudding known as the ‘queen of Goan desserts’.
  • JalesarDhatuShilp, made in Uttar Pradesh, includes ghungrus, ghantis, and other decorative metal craft and brassware created by the Thatheras community.
  • The Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft involves the exquisite ornamentation of weapons with gold and silver wire embedded into the metal.
  • Bikaner Kashidakari Craft is a traditional craft involving fine stitches and mirror-work, primarily used for marriage-associated gift items.
  • Jodhpur Bandhej Craft is a famous textile art form in Rajasthan, involving the tying and dyeing of fabrics like muslin, silk, and voile.
  • Bikaner Usta Kala Craft, also known as gold nakashi, involves leathercraft using untreated raw camel hide processed and molded by the Dapgar community.

About GI Tags

  • Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used on products with a specific geographical origin and possessing qualities or reputation attributable to that origin.
  • GI falls under intellectual property rights and is covered by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • In India, GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.
  • This tag is issued by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Geographical indications are commonly used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
  • The purpose of GI is to protect the unique identity and qualities of products associated with their geographical origin.
  • By obtaining GI protection, producers can distinguish their products from others in the market, prevent misuse or imitation, and promote the reputation of their geographical region.
  • Examples of products with GI protection in India include Darjeeling tea, Banarasi silk, Alphonso mango, and Kanchipuram sarees.

Social Reformer Anna Bhau Sathe

K. Chandrasekhar Rao, founder president of Bharat RashtraSamithi (BRS) and Telangana Chief Minister, demands Bharat Ratna for social reformer, writer, and folk poet Anna BhauSathe.

  • He requested the Maharashtra Government to send a proposal to the Centre for the same.

About Anna BhauSathe

  • AnnabhauSathe, also known as TukaramBhauraoSathe, was a prominent social reformer, folk poet, and writer from Maharashtra, India.
  • He belonged to a Dalit (Mang) family, and his writings were heavily influenced by his social and political activism.

  • AnnabhauSathe’s ideological journey involved transitioning from being influenced by communism to becoming an Ambedkarist, a follower of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s principles.
  • He is often recognized as the father of Dalit literature.
  • His literary works championed the cause of the marginalized and brought attention to the struggles faced by the Dalit community.
  • Additionally, AnnabhauSathe played a significant role in the United Maharashtra movement, advocating for the creation of a unified Maharashtra state.
  • Anna BhauSathe, an accomplished Marathi writer, couldn’t attend formal schooling, yet wrote 35 novels, with “Fakira” being his masterpiece published in 1959.
  • In addition to novels, he authored short stories, a play, a travelogue on Russia, twelve screenplays, and ballads, all drawn directly from his life experiences.
  • His novels celebrate the fighting spirit of characters who overcome challenges and work against all odds in life.
  • Anna BhauSathe played a significant role in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement.
  • Using his artistic and poetic genius, he educated the masses about the struggles faced by his community.
  • In 2008, an Anna BhauSathe study center was established at Dr.BabasahebAmbedkarMarathwada University in Aurangabad.

Core comfort: on the policy environment

India’s eight core sectors showed improved performance in June, with overall year-on-year growth reaching a five-month high of 8.2%.

Key Highlights

  • Steel and cement sectors led the growth, with steel output surging by 21.9% and cement posting an almost double-digit increase.
  • Steel and cement also performed well during the April-June period, growing by 15.9% and 12.2% respectively in the fiscal first quarter.
  • Infrastructure projects, including affordable housing and transportation networks, drove demand for steel and cement.
  • Electricity sector also recorded a strong increase, despite a cyclonic storm affecting industrialized Gujarat, and coal output rose 9.8% in June, lifting the first-quarter production by 8.7%.
  • However, India’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in the oil sector are yet to yield significant results, as crude oil production remained in decline for the 13th straight month, contracting by 0.6%.
  • Policymakers need to address regulatory inconsistencies and ensure a supportive policy environment, considering the uncertain global demand in the oil sector.

About Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

The data on performance of core industries is a part of official estimates for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which shows performance of all the industries in the country.

  • It is compiled and published monthly by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.
  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) maps the change in the volume of production in Indian industries.
  • The index value is then compared to the value it had in the same month last year to figure out the economy’s industrial health.

WHO report on tobacco control

A report by WHO reveals that enforcement drives, awareness campaigns, and ‘No Smoking’ signs have led to a 27% reduction in smoking in public places in the city.

Key Highlights

  • Globally, there are 300 million fewer smokers, and the prevalence of smoking has declined from 22.8% in 2007 to 17% in 2021.
  • WHO had developed the MPOWER measures 15 years ago to combat smoking.
  • Currently, 71% of the world’s population is protected by at least one of these measures, up from 5% in 2008.
  • The number of countries implementing at least one MPOWER measure has increased from 44 to 151.
  • Some countries like Brazil, Turkey, Netherlands, and Mauritius have implemented all MPOWER measures.
  • Second-hand smoking is a focus in the report, with almost 40% of countries having completely smoke-free indoor public spaces.
  • However, 44 countries do not implement any MPOWER measure, and 53 countries do not ban smoking in healthcare facilities.
  • WHO Director-General warns about the dangers of e-cigarettes, stating that they are harmful to both users and those around them, especially indoors.
  • Second-hand smoke is responsible for 1.3 million tobacco-related deaths each year, including 51,000 deaths in children and adolescents under 20.
  • India has made progress in putting health warning labels on tobacco products, providing tobacco dependence treatment, and banning e-cigarettes and smoking in healthcare facilities and educational institutions.
  • India plans to implement warnings on OTT platform content when actors use tobacco products, making it the first country to do so.
  • There is a need to amend the 20-year-old tobacco control legislation in India to ban the loose sale of cigarettes and further strengthen tobacco regulations.

About MPOWER measures

  • In line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), WHO introduced the MPOWER measures in 2008.
  • MPOWER are a set of six cost-effective and high impact measures that help countries reduce demand for tobacco.

These measures include:

  • Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies.
  • Protecting people from tobacco smoke.
  • Offering help to quit tobacco use.
  • Warning about the dangers of tobacco.
  • Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
  • Raising taxes on tobacco.

Tobacco cultivation

  • Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is believed to have originated from South America.
    Present world production is about 3 million tons of leaves from 4.2 million ha.

Climatic condition for tobacco

  • Tobacco is grown under a wide range of climates but requires a frost-free period of 90 to 120 days from transplanting to last harvest of leaves.
  • Optimum mean daily temperature for growth is between 20 and 30°C.
  • A dry period is required for ripening and harvest of the leaves.
  • Excess rainfall results in thin, lightweight leaves.
  • Except for some short-day varieties, cultivated tobacco is day-neutral in its response to flowering.
  • The crop is sensitive to waterlogging and demands well-aerated and drained soils.The optimum pH ranges from 5 to 6.5. Quality of the leaves is affected by soil salinity.
  • The water requirements for maximum yield vary with climate and length of growing period from 400 to 600mm.