9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – April 10, 2021

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About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Daily Current affairs for UPSC brief we intend to simplify the newspaper reading experience. In 9PM briefs, we provide our reader with a summary of all the important articles and editorials from three important newspapers namely The Hindu, Indian Express, and Livemint. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage, and factual information from a Mains examination point of view.

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Refugee problem in India and its solutions

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-1: Population and Associated issues

Synopsis: By introducing appropriate legal and institutional measures India has to solve the issue of refugee problem in India.


The fleeing Myanmar citizens were turned away at the Indian border in the Northeast. This revived the debate about protecting refugees in India. Rohingyas also faced similar problems earlier.

  • India was witnessing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and its impact on those seeking refugees. Now, the refugees from Myanmar will not get any benefit under the law.
  • India wants an end to the illegal immigration from neighbouring countries. Illegal immigration is a threat to the socio-political fabric of India.

What refugee problems India have?

The issue of refugees often gets included under illegal immigration. These two different issues get jumbled together. Policies and solutions to deal with these issues suffer from a lack of clarity.

  • Firstly, confusion in policies is because as per Indian law, both categories of people are viewed as the same. They both are covered under the Foreigners Act, 1946. The definition of a foreigner in the act is a person who is not a citizen of India.
  • Secondly, India lacks legal provisions to deal with them separately. India is not a part of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. The absence of such convention and its legal framework leads to policy vagueness.
    • It also increases the risk of the domestic politicisation of protecting the refugees.
  • Thirdly, informal methods allow the government to pick and choose the refugees it wants to admit or send back.
  • Fourthly, India is concerned that their decision might annoy the Generals in Myanmar. Further, protecting refugees will also bring closer China-Myanmar ties. This will hurt India’s interests in Myanmar.
  • Fifthly, The CAA is not the solution to the refugee problem. Because it is discriminatory in nature based on religion. The CAA is an act of refugee avoidance, not refugee protection.

Should India become a part of the refugee convention?

India has the largest number of refugees in the world. Even though, it was not a part of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.

  • The definition of refugees in the 1951 convention only refers to the violation of civil and political rights, but not economic rights. If economic rights were to be included, then it would pose a major burden on the developed world.
  • Scholar B.S. Chimni suggested that India should not agree to the 1951 convention when the European countries themselves violating the provisions of it. He mentioned the no entry regime of Western countries as a clear violation of the 1951 convention.
    • The non-entrée regime is constituted by several legal and administrative measures. This includes Indirect policies to reject refugees like,
      • Visa restrictions, carrier sanctions and interdictions.
      • Restrictive interpretations of the definition of a refugee.
      • Removal of social welfare benefits to asylum seekers etc.

Suggestion to improve the Refugee situation in India:

India must use its history of refugee protection to begin a global conversation on the refugee problem.

  • Creation of New domestic law aimed at refugees.  In the absence of proper legal measures, refugee documentation, and work permit, refugees may end up becoming illegal immigrants. So, such a law should include certain essential provisions. Such as,
    • Allowing refugees for temporary shelter and providing work permits.
    • Differentiate between temporary migrant workers, illegal immigrants and refugees.
    • The law should deal with each of them differently through proper legal and institutional mechanisms.

Why India should avoid Carbon Neutrality targets?

Source: The Hindu

Gs3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Synopsis: India must reject carbon neutrality as it would lead India into a low-development trap.


  • Achieving carbon neutrality by midcentury is conceived as a scientific approach to limit temperature rise by 2°C
  • According to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit(ECIU), nearly 32 countries had declared their intention to achieve carbon-neutral status by 2050.
  • Many global civil society organisations are persuading all countries, especially India, to make explicit declarations on achieving Carbon Neutrality.
  • Article 4.1 of the Paris Agreement gives impetus for pushing towards carbon-neutral economies.
    • It states that to achieve the long-term temperature goal, Parties should aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
    • Since peaking will take longer for developing countries, countries should take initiatives to achieve the removal of greenhouse gas emissions at least in the second half of this century. (Carbon Neutrality might come under this article).
    • Further, the article also mentions that this will be on the basis of equity. Apart from that, it should also aim to achieve sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

What are the issues in achieving Carbon neutrality?

  • First, the achievement of carbon neutrality is not compatible with achieving 1.5°C or 2 °C goals of the Paris agreement. The current pledges are highly inadequate. For example,
    1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°c mentions some key points. Such as the World now left with only 480 Giga-tonnes or Gt (billion tonnes) of carbon space for restricting to 1.5 °C targets.
    2. At the current rate of emissions of about 42 Gt of CO2(GtCO2) equivalent per year. The world will reach this in just 12 years.
    3. So, to keep within the 480 Gt budget, global carbon neutrality must be reached by 2039.
  • Second, the commitments made by the US and the European Union to achieve carbon neutrality targets is not compatible with achieving the 1.5 °C or 2 °C goals. For example,
    1. In the case of the US, even if it reaches carbon neutrality by 2050, it will consume 106 GtCO2 carbon space. That is 22% of the total remaining carbon budget for the whole world.
    2. To stay within its fair share of the remaining carbon budget, the US has to reach net-zero emissions by 2025.
    3. Even then it has to owe a carbon debt of 470 GtCO2 (($14 trillion) to the rest of the world.  This is for its past usage and providing a fair share of carbon space.
    4. This is applicable to the EU also. The EU has to reach net-zero by 2033. And the EU owes the world a carbon debt of about $9.3 trillion for its past emissions.

Why India should not join Carbon Neutrality?

India has many reasons to avoid Carbon neutrality. These are,

  • First, India needs to focus on development and its aspirational goal. Though sustainable development is feasible, the question of how low India’s future carbon emission will look is highly uncertain.
  • Second, India does not owe a carbon debt to the world. Further, India’s current per capita emissions are very low compared to the developed countries. Also, India’s mitigation efforts are quite compatible with a 2 °C target.
  • Third, India has a twin burden of low-carbon development and adaptation to climate impacts. So, If India announces Carbon-neutrality now, then it will become a triple burden.

In conclusion, India should avoid announcing such carbon neutrality targets. That too, without making the developed countries liable for their past emission is risky. Further, It will also lead India into a low-development trap.

Strengthening the National small savings schemes

Source: Indian Express

Gs3: Inclusive Growth and issues arising from it.

Synopsis:  The government need to implement the recommendation of high-level committees in determining the interest rate of small saving schemes


  • Recently, the government notified on reducing the interest rates on National small savings schemes.
  • However, the decision to reduce the interest rates on small savings schemes was reversed within 12 hours of notification.
  • Reducing the interest rate of National small savings schemes will adversely impact middle class, lower middle class and lower-income groups. As they are already facing the crisis of job losses and higher food price due to the Pandemic.

Types of Small saving schemes in India

  1. Post office Deposits
  2. Savings Certificates: National Savings Certificate and Kisan Vikas Patra
  3. Social Security Schemes: Public Provident Fund, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme and Sukanya Samriddhi Account.

Significance of Small Saving schemes;

  • One, Small savings schemes (SSS) have contributed to overall economic growth. Because, money pooled from SSS have been used by centre and state governments to fund development programmes.
  • Two, they are an important source of household savings. (social security net)
  • Three, they offer a safe and secure source of income to senior citizens.

How the Interest rate of National small savings schemes are decided currently?

  • The small savings rates are linked to G-sec yields (the rate at which the government borrows money through sovereign bonds) currently. Further, it is revised quarterly.
  • The rationale for linking small savings rates to G-sec is that money collected through these schemes is invested in central and state government securities.

What are the recommendations of various high-level committees in this regard?

  1. Various committees such as Y V Reddy committee, the Rakesh Mohan committee, Shyamala Gopinath Committee have recommended linking small savings rates to G-sec yields.
  2. The important recommendations of these committees are, For example,
    • One, The Reddy committee suggested small savings rates should be reset once a year. Instead of the current practice of revising it quarterly.
    • Two, the Reddy Committee recommended that the rates should never be revised more than 50 basis points. On the other hand, the Gopinath Committee recommended that the rates should never be revised more than 100 basis points in a year.
      • However, due to quarterly revisions, many times the basis points have reduced by more than 100 owing to low G-sec yields.
      • For example, Interest in the Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme was cut to 7.4 per cent, effective from April 2020, from 8.7 per cent before.
    • Rakesh Mohan Committee recommended using a weighted average of G-sec yields over the preceding two years in calculating interest rates of SSS.
  3. However, the present move is contradictory to the current approach of the Finance ministry.

The justification given by the government for reducing the interest rate of SSS:

  • One, people’s dependence on small savings schemes had significantly declined due to the expansion of the banking sector.
  • Two, for those who used small savings as safety nets there were other alternatives such as an old-age pension scheme.
  • Three, a market-determined rate will provide a fair outcome. But this is not true because many times RBI has intervened in the market to reduce G-sec yields that directly affect the interest rate of SSS.

What is the way forward?

  • One, the government Should reset the rates annually in line with various high-level committee recommendations.
  • Two, the government should keep the revision under 100 basis points and allowing small savings rates a spread of at least 50 basis points over and above the G-sec yields.
  • Revisiting the suggestion made by the Rakesh Mohan Committee to use a weighted average of G-sec yields over the preceding two years.

Gyanvapi Mosque dispute and the Places of worship Act 1991

Source: The Hindu

Gs1: Communalism, Regionalism & Secularism.

Synopsis: The recent ruling by Varanasi civil court in the Gyanvapi Mosque dispute threatens the secular feature of India.


  • Earlier, the representatives of the Hindu faith had filed a petition to reclaim the Gyanvapi mosque land.
  • Now, a civil court in Varanasi directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey. In that, the ASI will confirm whether the Gyanvapi mosque was built over a demolished Hindu temple or not.
  • But any attempt to bring back the buried disputes is a threat to secularism and peaceful coexistence

What does the Place of worship act 1991 say in this regard?

  • The Places of worship Act declares that the religious character of a place of worship shall continue to be the same as it was on August 15, 1947.
  • It says no person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination into one of a different denomination or section.
  • Exemptions under the Act: There are few exceptions under the Act. Such as,
    • The Act will not apply to ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites. Because these are covered under the  Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
    • The Act exempted the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.

Challenges with the recent Case:

  • One, it will open the floodgates for another prolonged religious dispute.
  • Two, the order is a gross violation of the Place of worship act that prohibits any litigation over the status of places of worship.
  • Three, the Allahabad High Court reserved its order on the maintainability of the suit on March 15. Further, the High Court is yet to pronounce its ruling. So, the implementation of the judgement might change after the High Court Judgement.

Monuments in India: issues and Challenges

Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 10 Apr, 2021

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