9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – April 29th, 2022

Dear Friends,

We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
    • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
    • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

Are freebies affecting the economic growth of India?

Source: This post is based on the article “Are freebies affecting the economic growth of India?” published in The Hindu on 29th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: Freebies and their impact on economic growth

Context: In an address delivered at the Delhi School of Economics recently, N.K. Singh, the chairperson of the 15th Finance Commission, warned about how the race to provide freebies to voters could be a “quick path to fiscal disaster”.

He also noted that freebies could be harmful for the long-term economic growth of the country, and emphasised the need to distinguish between productive and unproductive forms of welfare spending.

The article is an interview with two different experts who examine whether there is a case for doing away with freebie culture.

Must Read: Culture of Freebies in India: Issues and recommendations – Explained, pointwise
Freebies by states vs Fiscal stability

There’s no simple answer to this question

Freebies – Different types

– There are different kinds of freebies. Some of them are extremely justifiable, some of them are not. But given that in the last 30 years there has been rising inequality and also some level of distress in the last decade, some kind of relief to the population in the form of subsidies may not be unjustified. It may actually be necessary for the economy to continue on its growth path.

– MGNREGA type of spending and subsidy in the form of food ration schemes need to be expanded. They are not just doles, but go a long way in increasing the productive capacity of the population. One can call these as an investment for the long-term, for improving the productive capacity of the population.

One of the experts state that he is not in favour of giving away loan waivers, because they have undesired consequences such as destroying the whole credit culture.

Centre also engages in giving out freebies not just to the poor people but also to a large number of corporations.

Fiscal Stability of states

Broadly speaking, fiscal stability is a situation in which the government is able to deploy its fiscal policy towards long-term economic objectives, which are high employment and growth rates.

As far as fiscal stability and financial deterioration of states is concerned, if the welfare measures are sustainable and affordable, then that is fine as it is the prerogative of the political executive.

Also, as per the study of the State finances conducted by the RBI, it’s seen that from 2005 onwards, in aggregate, States have adhered to the limit in terms of their gross fiscal deficit (gap between the total revenue of the State and the total expenditure)

Further, the outstanding debt reduction of states is going pretty well. From a high of 31% of GDP, it came down to about 22% of GDP by 2014-15. After that, it has inched up about five percentage points by FY 2020.

– Central government’s debt-to-GDP limit is supposed to be 40%, it has now crossed 90% of GDP. So, the problem of fiscal stability is more pressing at the level of the Centre.

Way forward

There are nuances to the issue, and one will have to get into those nuances to take a final call on whether a certain welfare spending is necessary or not.

For instance: Some of the subsidies going into education, such as for laptops and other things have now become necessities for increasing productivity, knowledge, skills, and various other things.

So, we need a more nuanced understanding of the issue.

From Bihar, the good news on banking: How Jan Dhan has deepened financial literacy among poor women, and in rural areas

Source: This post is based on the article “From Bihar, the good news on banking: How Jan Dhan has deepened financial literacy among poor women, and in rural areas” published in The Times of India on 28th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States

Relevance: Jan Dhan Yojana, Financial inclusion via Jan Dhan

Context: In Bihar, PMJDY has covered more than 5 crore beneficiaries, of whom more than 3. 67 crore are in rural areas. Since 2015, more than 3. 8 crore RuPay debit cards have been issued in the state. The reach of this scheme is indeed impressive.

The authors of this article examined the account level data provided by 12 public sector banks for over 73 lakh out of 82 lakh beneficiaries, whose accounts were opened in 2015. Financial behaviour of these account holders was analysed.

Findings are listed.

What is PMJDY?

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, launched in 2014, is a national mission on financial inclusion.

It aims to ensure that all Indians, particularly low-income groups and weaker sections, have access to financial services, including a basic savings bank account, need-based credit, remittances, low-cost life and general insurance and pension.

The scheme also envisages a robust financial literacy programme, with a key objective being to enable the beneficiaries to leverage digital technology and internet-based banking.

Has access to banking channels resulted in a corresponding inc in the utilisation of banking services?

The basic banking services – deposits and withdrawals – have witnessed a significant increase among women.

The number of deposits per account per year among women was less than two in 2015 across all 38 districts of Bihar. By 2020, it increased to more than eight deposits per account per year in 26 districts. From 2017 through 2020, women have outnumbered men in the average number of deposits per year.

These trends are across both rural and urban areas, and could be partly attributed to central and state government initiatives to make women the primary recipients of various development schemes.

There has also been an increase in the per capita number of withdrawals by women beneficiaries of PMJDY.

There has been an average annual increase of approximately 59% over the preceding year in the average number of withdrawals among women in rural areas.

Significance: The increase in withdrawals is particularly significant as it indicates a deeper engagement with banking services. Women are not just passive recipients of benefits from the government but are actively utilising their bank accounts in their day-to-day lives.

Has financial literacy under PMJDY contributed to increased utilisation of digital banking?

As per the study, the uptake of digital banking services by all genders has increased. This outcome points to the efficacy of the financial literacy efforts as part of the PMJDY.

In 29 out of 38 districts, digital transactions represented only 10% of all transactions in 2015. By 2020, 40% of the transactions undertaken by women across all districts in Bihar were digital.

Moreover, instead of urbanised districts, it is predominantly the rural districts that have witnessed this increase.

The proportion of accounts undertaking one or more digital transactions has also shown an upward trend.

There is a strong likelihood that the systematic mapping of each district into sub-service areas and the large-scale deployment of bank mitras have contributed to this increase.

These combined strategies ensured that households could find banking services within a short distance or even at their doorsteps, even as financial literacy was enhanced among previously unbanked or under-banked communities.

Making room for the victim in the criminal justice system

Source: This post is based on the article “Making room for the victim in the criminal justice system” published in The Indian Express on 29th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Polity – Judiciary

Relevance: Reforming the Criminal Justice system in India, recognition of victims in the criminal justice process

Context: Victim of a crime should be given his due recognition as a critical stakeholder in the administration of criminal justice. Presently, his role has been reduced to that of a mere spectator in the entire battle fought b/w the prosecution and the accused.

But, a recent decision of the Supreme Court in Jagjeet Singh and Ors. v. Ashish Mishra and Anr. (Lakhimpur Kheri violence case) has ignited a beacon of hope in victim jurisprudence. In this judgment, the court cancelled the bail granted to the accused by the high court over the denial of a fair and effective hearing to the victim in the bail proceedings.

This requires an inquiry into the role of the victim in an adversarial criminal justice system like ours.

How victim participation has been recognised in the criminal justice system?

A milestone in the recognition of victims in the criminal justice process was the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, 1985.

Victim participation is given a prominent position in various jurisdictions throughout the world and can be observed at various stages of a criminal trial, including

producing evidence and questioning witnesses

The right to know the status of the investigation

Petition the court for further direction

Being heard in the grant or cancellation of bail

Advance arguments after the submission of the prosecutor’s arguments.

Unfortunately, in India, the victim is left in the background of a criminal trial, and even the protection of her interests is entirely dependent on the public prosecutors who are already overloaded by the Indian court system’s vast pendency.

Role of victim in the criminal justice system in India is examined henceforth in terms of their participation in bail proceedings in non-bailable cases.

What is the victim’s participation in bail matters in India?

The jurisprudence of bail is primarily dealt with by the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 and supplemented by judicial precedents.

The victim’s participation in bail matters happens in the limited circumstances of non-bailable matters or where the accused is to be released on bail in case of suspension of sentence pending appeal, where the punishment prescribed is more than seven years imprisonment, and in cancellation of bail.

The opportunity of being heard here is conferred on the public prosecutor, representing the victim. The high court, in the exercise of its inherent power, can allow the complainant or the victim to intervene and oppose the bail, pending appeal.

In contrast, special legislation like the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and POCSO Act, expressly recognise the victim’s right to timely notice of any court proceedings, including the bail proceedings and to be informed by a special public prosecutor regarding the same.

  • This right extends to the right of being heard at any proceeding under the act — bail, release, conviction, sentence, etc.

The V S Malimath Committee (2003) and 268th Law Commission Report of India, (2017) championed the victim’s right to participate in grant or cancellation of bail and suggested “victim impact assessment” reports in bail matters, respectively.

What is the SC’s view on victim’s right to be notified of bail proceedings?

The victims’ right to be heard at every stage of the proceedings under the SC/ST Act has been held to be inexpungible by the Supreme Court in Hariram Bhambhi v. Satyanarayan (2021), where non-issuance of notice to the victims for the bail proceeding was held to be incurable.

However, the victim’s right to be heard has been completely disregarded in IPC offences.

Way forward

The decision of the Supreme Court reinforcing the right of a victim to be heard in matters of bail in non-bailable cases will make the Indian criminal justice system more victim-inclusive at each stage.

The bail application in non-bailable cases should be decided after weighing the relevant considerations and affording an adequate opportunity of hearing to the victims.

Revisiting death penalty jurisprudence

Source: The post is based on an article “Revisiting death penalty jurisprudence” published in the “The Hindu” on 29th April 2022. 

Syllabus: GS2 – Provisions of the Indian Constitution, Fundamental Rights

Relevance: Criminal justice System, Capital Punishment, and the fundamental right to life (Article 21) 

News: On April 22, In Irfan vs State of Madhya Pradesh Case, the Supreme Court decided to critically examine the routine and abrupt way in which trial judges often impose the death penalty on convicts.

This is a significant development that can radically alter India’s death penalty jurisprudence relating to the crime, the criminal, and the punishment., 

What were the observations made by the court in the case? 

The court has decided to identify the mitigating circumstances (the factors that could lead to avoidance of capital punishment). This will help trial courts in reaching a correct conclusion. It will ensure a convict-centric approach. This will make the imposition of capital punishment rarer, fairer, and principled. 

The accused should be judged on an individualistic approach. It means the accused should be examined on the basis of the social, economic, emotional, and genetic components rather than the offence. It would lead to a just and judicious sentencing policy 

A ‘one size fit for all’ approach while considering mitigating factors during sentencing should end”.  

The Court would evolve a legal device for procurement of a comprehensive report. The report would deal with the socio-economic and hereditary backgrounds of the accused procured from experts in the fields of social work, psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, etc.  

What are the arguments against the death penalty? 

In Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980) the Constitution Bench refused to declare the death penalty as unconstitutional. It suggested a humane and reformist framework in the criminal matters. However, the death penalty can be given but only in the rarest of rare cases, that too when “the alternate option is unquestionably foreclosed”. This triggered the person-centric approach in criminal justice. 

In Lochan Shrivas vs State of Chhattisgarh (2021) and Bhagchandra vs State of Madhya Pradesh (2021), the court held that socio-economic backwardness, mental health, heredity, parenting, socialisation, education, etc. can be the reasons to avert the death penalty 

What are the issues with awarding of the death penalty in India? 

According to Section 354(3) in the Code of Criminal Procedure, the judge should specify “the special reasons” while imposing the capital punishment.  

In fact, there could be “gaps within  Bachan Singh judgement itself”. The SC has neither elaborated on the mitigating factors which could be used to avert the death penalty, in concrete terms, nor explained the issues such as burden of proof and standard of proof in detail.  

The Bachan Singh  principles have not been followed by the judiciary in letter and spirit.

– For example, In Ravji vs State of Rajasthan (1995), the Supreme Court said that it is the nature of the crime and not the criminal which is important to decide the punishment

– In Machhi Singh vs State of Punjab (1983), the Court indicated that inadequacy of other punishments could justify the death penalty. In fact, 13 convicts have been hanged in different reported cases without giving due regards to the Bachan Singh philosophy. 

In India, the poor, rather than the rich, are awarded the death penalty. Further, those who were sentenced were uneducated and illiterate.  

The death penalty is violative of the right to life envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution.  

Despite the dilution of the penal provisions by the Supreme Court, the state has continued to overuse or misuse the provisions. For example, Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code is often invoked vaguely and widely despite dilution in Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar (1962) 

There is a possibility that new judicial doctrine and its implementation device may also fail like Bachan Singh doctrine. 

Way Forward 

The present matter should be referred to a larger Bench to rectify the foundational omission in Bachan Singh 

Further, the Supreme Court should analyse the constitutional validity of death penalty in itself.   

Instant justice is not the way of a civilised society

Source: The post is based on an article “Instant justice is not the way of a civilised society” published in the Indian Express on 29th April 2022. 

Syllabus: GS2 – Polity – Judiciary

Relevance: Instant Justice and Mob Lynching 

News: Recently, there have been bulldozing of residential or commercial dwellings of people. This incident has raised eyebrows over the criminal justice system and the menace of “Instant Justice” in the case of Indian society. 

Trends in the criminal justice system 

In the second half of the 19th century, criminals were given instant justice and exemplary punishment, that too publicly. For example, a criminal was stoned, beheaded or hanged to death in full public view.  In fact, there were very few rights available to the person facing the “judge”. 

The understanding about the criminals, crime and punishment have changed with time. For example, LGBT people are not seen as deviants.  

Why criminal justice system has evolved over time? 

The changes have been driven by changes in the value systems of society. The states have moved towards civilisation.  

There have been changes in the sociology of crime and the rationale of society punishing the “criminal”. 

Civilised societies have also recognised the rights of the accused as part of natural justice. The “rights of a person charged to defend himself reasonably” have been recognised as part of natural justice.

For example, an accused is generally considered innocent until proved otherwise. He is provided a lawyer, and is given the right to appeal his sentence.  

The civilised society is more compassionate towards a delinquent. It doesn’t want to destroy the soul and body of the criminal. But want to make him an integral part of the nation. Therefore, Nation-states that top the human development ladder have abolished capital punishment. In India, the courts award such punishment in the rarest of the rare circumstances. 

What are the issues in the delivery of justice in India? 

In independent India, instant justice has been abolished from the books but is deeply entrenched in the psyche of the people.

– For example, the average Indian never misses the chance to give a blow to the pickpocket caught at a bus stop. 

– In Nagaland, a mob pulled a rape accused out of the jail and lynched him.  

The Indian state government often displays such tendency at times.

– For example: In UP, important political and executive functionaries spoke publicly in favour of instant justice. There have been reports of fake encounters by the police department.

Why the idea of instant justice is popular in India? 

There is a traditional attraction and public acceptance of instant justice due to the inability of the justice dispensation system to punish such heinous criminals in a short time frame.  

The state governments are alleged to have accepted this practice because bringing fundamental changes in police procedures, prosecution and courts will involve expenditure, and instant justice is cheap 

Way Forward 

The time has come when the nation has to choose between an expensive civilised justice dispensation system or a brute tradition.  

Instant justice makes an individual barbaric and similarly, instant justice makes a society barbaric. The rule of law should be upheld. 

India’s EU ties could pay off well if we take a discerning approach

Source: The post is based on an article “India’s EU ties could pay off well if we take a discerning approach” published in the Live Mint on 28th Apr 22. 

Syllabus: GS2 International Relations, Regional Grouping 

Relevance: India-EU Relations; India-EU Trade relations 

News: On 25 April, India and the European Union (EU) issued a joint press release on the launch of an EU- India Trade and Technology Council 

What is the significance?

The Council will promote cooperation between both jurisdictions on issues that lie at the intersection of trade, trusted technology and security.  

It will augment avenues for greater market access for Indian technology companies in the EU.  

It may prompt the percolation of European values and ethics into Indian rule-making on emerging technologies 

What are the issues in embracing the European Values wrt emerging technologies? 

(A) Compliance burden: The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is based on the value of individual privacy. It works on a consent-based framework. It mandates for user consent before collection of data and processing data for an expressly-stated purpose.  

The GDPR has increased the compliance burden on technology businesses. It has prompted high rates of fatigue among European users. They are fed up with privacy notices and consent notices. 

(B) Distortion of the competition: The EU’s newly-adopted Digital Markets Act (DMA): It works on the value of fair competition. Historically, European competition policy has placed restrictions on firms which are in dominant market positions 

The restrictions imposed on the big business entities may actually “hinder or distort competition” in the European market. For example, the DMA primarily targets large technology companies in a bid to support the aspirations of smaller businesses and developers. 

The EU has weaponized the important value of fair competition towards narrow and protectionist ends. For example, the EU does not have any large social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter of its own. Therefore, the EU policy on interoperability seek to weaken the position of US tech majors in Europe. It seems to be an industrial policy operating under the garb of fair competition.  

Similarly, the EU policy can target Indian digital products that seek access to the EU markets in the future.  

What are the areas where the EU-India Trade and Technology Council can be leveraged?  

To ensure that our businesses are able to navigate an under-penetrated European market (15% of Indian software services exports enter in EU market).  

To work while adhering to the common values like ethics in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. 

The selection of the European values in rule making should be made in a manner not detrimental to the Indian businesses. 

The Indian Personal Data Protection Bill should not catch-all frameworks prevalent across the world. It should adopt a nimble approach. It should protect individual privacy by targeting specific harms. 

The march of folly

Source: The post is based on an article “The march of folly” published in the Business Standard on 28th April 2022. 

Syllabus: GS2 International Relations, Bilateral Relations, Multilateral Relations

Relevance: Global Geopolitics 

Context: At present, Russian invasion of Ukraine is facing a lot of criticism from the international community. It seems Russia is not going to win the war.

This is going to be very similar to the Russian and US failures in Afghanistan, and their failed interventions in West Asia. 

Why is Russia not going to win this war? 

Russia is said to be a superpower not on the basis of its economy, but due to its conventional military capacity. For example, a vast nuclear arsenal. 

The conventional military invasion cannot succeed, fierce domestic resistance (Underdog strategy) in Ukraine.  

Russia’s war will remain subject to local resistance, strong sanctions and Russia will remain a pariah state in the eyes of the West. It will lose the economic links with Europe, which are central to its economic viability, and will be forced into a subordinate position in an alliance with China. 

What are the implications of Russian failure for global geopolitics over the next few years? 

Optimistic Scenario 

There can be a rapprochement between Russia and Europe. The reason may be the impact of economic sanctions, unexpected military setbacks, Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas and Russia’s dependence on access to European markets.

In fact, Europe is still importing energy from Russia & has exempted the banks from the sanctions for making payments for the energy import. 

Most likely outcome  

There can be a new Cold War dominated by China and the US-NATO. Russia will be playing the role of a junior partner to China. Its substantiality in global geopolitics and the world economy will depend on two factors –

(1) First, Russia may not accept subordination to China. Both have competing interests in the Stans of Central Asia 

(2) China’s geopolitical claims and ambitions in the South China Sea and Taiwan or its economic, technological and investment linkages with the West. However, China will remain cautious to project its power in Taiwan and the SCS. China can face the potential impact of Western sanctions on its economy. It depends on access to the OECD markets and Asian market and investments from the developed world. 

Pessimistic Scenario 

Russia can escalate the war by using tactical nuclear weapons or chemical attacks. It will deepen the western engagement in the war, and could lead to an all-European war if the conflict extends to border NATO states. This could well become a global war with the inevitable US engagement and a possible Chinese involvement. 

Subsidiary outcome to pessimistic Scenario 

Germany and Japan can emerge as military powers. They have economic and technological capacity. They can move to higher military spending, and can start projecting power abroad. This can influence the power balance in Europe and East Asia. 

Implications on India  

India is caught in the middle of this geopolitical tension between the US-NATO and China-Russia. India could not exercise geopolitical choice due to Its defence dependence on Russia 

Way Forward 

India needs a medium to long-term strategy to cope with the new Cold War and the threat of escalation.  

It should reduce its defence dependence on the super-powers, by balancing the dependence on Russia and the West, and at the same time building up domestic capacity more rapidly. 

At foreign policy level, India can build a global alliance which would act as a coalition of restraint on the two adversaries in the emerging geopolitical conflict.

For example, the 58 countries which abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council can be a starting point. They can revive old non-aligned movements. 

If and when the geopolitical conflict gets entrenched, India can lead this global alliance to form a Third Force. This force would act as a restraining force. This would prevent the European conflict from becoming an implicit or explicit Third World War. 

India’s e-belt and road initiative for digital diplomacy

Source: The post is based on an article “India’s e-belt and road initiative for digital diplomacy” published in the Live Mint on 29th April 2022. 

Syllabus: GS2 International Relations; and GS3 Science and Technology – Application of Information Technology

Relevance: Digital Diplomacy 

News: In recent times, India has discovered that its homegrown digital solutions have furthered its development agenda. Moreover, it’s also argued that these digital solutions can also support India in widening its diplomatic efforts. 

India’s digitization journey

India’s digitization journey is taking a fast pace. It began in 2010 with Aadhaar to empower Indian citizens.  

As of 2021, India had issued more than 1.3 billion digital identity cards via its Aadhaar platform and over 1.1 billion digital vaccine certificates through its CoWin platform.  

India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) recorded 5 billion transactions in a month for the first time in March 2022. It crossed the $1-trillion mark in transaction value. 

How can India leverage its digital solutions in the form of digital diplomacy? 

Several countries want to either replicate the Aadhar model or take note of Aadhar technology to develop their own digital ID systems. For example, Sri Lanka aims to implement a digital ID programme modelled on Aadhaar. 

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is assisting many countries to set up real-time e-payment systems. For example, Bhutan & Nepal has adopted UPI standards and UPI platform respectively. In April, BHIM UPI went live across the UAE. 

The Reserve Bank of India and Singapore Authority announced a project to link their respective fast payment systems.  

India’s Digital Infrastructure for Vaccination Open Credentialing (DIVOC), an open-source vaccine management platform has been leveraged by Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines, to streamline their covid vaccination programmes. 

Indigenous digital systems interoperable between jurisdictions can reduce compliance and transaction costs 

Digital diplomacy can increase India’s soft power. For example, Estonia’s X-Road open software ecosystem which enabled cross-border data exchange with Finland has increased Estonia’s soft power. 

What are the key factors that have enabled India to emerge as a leader in this field? 

First, India’s IT sector has consistently remained a key driver of economic growth. In fact, India’s digital infrastructure is growing.  

Second, India’s strong political will and deliberative policymaking has steered the digital ecosystem. For instance, the MEITY’s Policy on Adoption of Open-Source Software, Policy on Open APIs, Policy for Open Standards, etc, has helped create digital public goods and infrastructure.  

Third, the government has adopted a participative approach in the initial decision-making for building such digital infrastructure as the digital world goes beyond traditional bureaucratic expertise. For example, an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) Council which comprises experts from the bureaucracy and other expertise areas.  

India’s digital public goods-led diplomacy could play an instrumental role in an emerging new world order. The digital infrastructure in critical areas of the global economy will increase India’s resilience and extend its strategic advantage. 

Way Forward 

The geopolitical tensions mandate building resilience, for which a new form of cooperation is required. In this context, India can lay out its own digital ‘belt and road’ network. 

A parliamentary panel of India has already proposed to build an alternative to the SWIFT network. 

GS Paper 3

How to shock-proof India’s power sector

Source: This post is based on the article “How to shock-proof India’s power sector” published in The Indian Express on 29th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS3 – Energy and Infrastructure

Relevance: Power sector in India and related issues, Coal shortage

Context: In October last year, India witnessed significant power shortages due to low inventory of coal at the power plants. After seven months, reports of coal-shortage induced power outages across states have surfaced.

States like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat have asked industries to reduce consumption to manage the power deficit.

How can the Indian power sector become more resilient to future shocks?

What are the reasons behind the present coal shortage?

As economic activity resumed after the Covid-induced lockdowns, the demand-supply mismatch for commodities such as coal widened globally, leading to a surge in prices.

Geopolitical tensions have worsened the existing crisis.

Global supply disruptions due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict have sent coal prices touching historical highs. The cost of imported coal in India is expected to be 35 per cent higher in the fiscal year 2022-23 compared to the past year.

Rise in domestic energy demand: Even as coal stocks available with state thermal power plants fell, India also witnessed a sudden rise in energy demand in March — the hottest in its recorded history. The last week of March saw a 13% higher demand over past year trends, accompanied by high electricity prices on the power exchange.

This has left distribution companies (discoms) with two options: a) Procure expensive power, but face uncertainty in revenue recovery, or b) resort to power rationing, as several states are doing.

What steps have already been taken by the Govt?

The Ministry of Power has taken a host of measures to alleviate the crisis. This includes

giving directions to ensure maximum production of coal at captive mines,

rationing of coal to non-power sectors, and

a price cap of Rs 12 per unit on electricity traded on exchanges.

But the Govt needs to do more to enhance the sector’s resilience to such disruptions from external factors.

What further measures need to be taken to ensure future resilience of the power sector?

Create an enabling ecosystem to ensure power plants work efficiently.

India has about 200 GW of coal-based generation capacity which accounts for nearly 70% of the total electricity generated in the country. However, according to a CEEW assessment, a disproportionate share of generation comes from older inefficient plants, while the newer and efficient ones remain idle for want of favourable coal supply contracts or power purchase agreements.

  • Revisiting fuel allocation and supporting the priority dispatch of efficient plants could help India reduce coal demand by up to 6% of our annual requirement, and set aside more coal for emergency situations.

Enable discoms to undertake smart assessment and management of demand.

Advanced tools for medium- and short-term demand forecasting exist, but few discoms have adopted these to inform their procurement decisions. With more than 90% of power being procured through long-term contracts, discoms have little incentive to dynamically assess and manage demand.

  • Introducing time-of-day pricing and promoting efficient consumption behaviour would help shave peak demand and avoid panic buying in the market.

Empower electricity regulators to help bring down discom losses.

Despite two decades of sectoral reforms, the aggregate losses of discoms stand at 21% (2019-20). These losses are also the reason for discoms not being able to pay the generators on time, resulting in payment delays to Coal India, which, in turn, is reluctant to supply coal on request.

  • Besides the ongoing initiatives like introducing smart meters and network strengthening, empowering regulators would be critical to infuse payment discipline across the supply chain of the electricity sector.

Way forward

Given its development aspirations, India’s power demand is set to rise substantially and become more variable.

Increasing climatic and geopolitical uncertainties underscore the need to become more efficient in the way India generates, distributes and consumes energy.

Govt needs to act now for the long-term resilience of India’s power sector.

Denied & discouraged: Why youths not looking for jobs can be a crisis for India

Source: This post is based on the article “Denied & discouraged: Why youths not looking for jobs can be a crisis for India” published in DTE on 28th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS3 – Issues related with growth and development

Relevance: Unemployment in India

Context: In March 2022, India’s labour participation rate (LPR) fell to 39.5% from 39.9% in February, according to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

This is lower than the rate during the country’s second COVID-19 wave in June 2021, when it was 39.6%.

Labour participation rate is a measure of the country’s working-age population, which is either working or actively seeking work.

And an LPR of 39.5% means that over 60% of the  employable workforce are not even looking for work.

An increasing number of people no longer looking for work is the biggest economic crisis in a country, which has been wanting to reap its demographic dividend.

What is the stance of Min of Labour on this situation?

Union Ministry of Labour and Employment on April 26 denied reports of the decrease in LPR and called the “inference” that half of the working age population has lost hope for work “factually incorrect”.

The ministry added: The authentic data source of employment / unemployment indicators in India are released by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) through Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). According to PLFS, LPR has increased steadily from 49.8% in 2017-18 to 53.5% in 2019-20.

But, the data is from the most recent PLFS which was done in the period of July 2019 to June 2020. It does not capture the increase in unemployment in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The overall labour participation rate dropped from 46% to 40% between 2017 and 2022, according to CMIE’s data.
What are the characteristics of this category of population not getting jobs?

A large part of this dejected population have some degree of education, as per economists and labour experts. The CMIE surveys cover the population within the age group of 15-64.

The number of those who are completing education is growing and this demographic of youth over 15-29, who are joining the labour force in larger numbers are not finding work.

What are the reasons for a low LPR?

Lack of jobs: When people do not get a job of desirable status, or they understand that the job market is so bad that even after struggling they are not able to get anything, they tend to withdraw from the labour market. This is called Discouraged Drop out.

They are tired, and gradually it has an impact on the psychology of people.

Closure of micro and small enterprises like tailoring, beauty parlours, stationary shops, among others during the COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in people quitting the labour force.

Decline in female labour force: There has been a steady decline in India’s female labour force, which is one of the major reasons cited for low LPR.

Female LPR was just 9.2% in 2021-22, compared to 15% in 2016-17, according to CMIE data.

Reasons like safety, workplace being far from home, transportation, discrimination against women become more apparent in a market where job opportunities are already shrinking.

Disguised unemployment: Employment opportunities have decreased, and poor quality employment is replacing better quality employment. A lot of people have also moved from regular and even casual employment to some form of self-employment, like agriculture. For instance:

– Non-agricultural jobs fell by a 16.7 million in March 2022, while this was offset by a 15.3 million increase in employment in agriculture.

Such a large increase is usually seen during the harvest season when demand for agricultural labourers rise, but is unusual for the month of March when harvest was still a month away.

Economists have termed this increase as “disguised unemployment”, in which people, mostly members of a family who were earlier employed elsewhere, now do unpaid family labour in their farms.

COVID: The trend in decrease in LPR existed before the pandemic as well but the crisis has made the situation worse

Net Zero by 2050 will hit a major timing problem technology can’t solve. We need to talk about cutting consumption

Source: This post is based on the article “Net Zero by 2050 will hit a major timing problem technology can’t solve. We need to talk about cutting consumption” published in DTE on 28th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS3 – Climate-change

Relevance: Reducing consumption is essential to achieving the Net-zero emissions target.

News: Many climate activists and scientists are reassuring that the climate crisis can be solved rapidly without any changes to lifestyle, society or the economy.

They suggest paths such as a) Switching from fossil fuels to renewable power, electric vehicles and energy efficiency technologies, b) Adding seaweed to livestock feed to cut methane and c) Embracing green hydrogen for heavy industries such as steel-making. But this is not an ideal solution.

Read more: Achieving Net Zero by 2070 and the Associated Challenges – Explained, pointwise
Why reducing consumption is essential to reducing CO₂ emissions?

Growth in consumption: Between 2000 and 2019, renewable electricity witnessed 135% growth. In the year 2000, fossil fuels supplied 80% of the world’s total primary energy consumption. In 2019, they provided 81%. This is because the world’s energy consumption has been growing rapidly.

Challenging timeline: The world is on a very tight timeline. The global emissions have to halve within eight years and hit net-zero by 2050. If the world doesn’t achieve climate goals, then it’s likely the planet will cross a climate tipping point and begin an irreversible descent into more heatwaves, droughts, floods and sea-level rise.

Issues with technologies: CO₂ capture is getting a great deal of attention, but it seems unlikely to make a significant contribution. But removing CO₂ from the atmosphere does not occur on a large scale because these technologies are speculative, risky and very expensive.

Hence, if the world’s energy consumption grows at the pre-COVID rate, technological change alone will not be enough to halve global CO₂ emissions by 2030. Further, to keep global warming under 2℃ the world needs to slash the global energy consumption by 50% to 75% by 2050 as well as greatly accelerate the transition to 100% renewables. So, the world needs a lifestyle change driven by social policies.

Read more: Is net zero emission concept zeroing in on Climate change?
What should be done to reduce consumption?

The world needs to reduce consumption in high-income countries while improving human well-being.

The 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate mitigation acknowledged the importance of collectively reducing energy consumption. To do this effectively, government policies are needed to boost renewables and to reduce consumption. Such as

1) Creating a carbon tax and additional environmental taxes, wealth and inheritance taxes, 2) A job guarantee at the basic wage for all adults who want to work and who can’t find a job in the formal economy, 3) Non-coercive policies to end population growth, especially in high-income countries, 4) Boosting government spending on poverty reduction, green infrastructure and public services as part of a shift to Universal Basic Services.

This will make the human civilisation resilient to face climate change.

Read more: Net Zero Emissions Target for India – Explained, Pointwise

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Malcha Mahal to be restored soon? Here’s what you need to know about this Tughlaq-era monument

Source:  The post is based on an article “Malcha Mahal to be restored soon? Here’s what you need to know about this Tughlaq-era monument” published in Indian Express on 26th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The Delhi government is about to renovate the 14th-century monument, Malcha Mahal.

What is Malcha Mahal?

Malcha Mahal is located in Delhi. It was built in 1325 by the then Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq and was used as a hunting lodge for a long time.

It later became the residence of the descendants of the Nawab of Awadh.

It came to be known as ‘Wilayat Mahal’ after Begum Wilayat Mahal of Awadh who claimed that she was a member of the royal family of Oudh. She was given the palace by the government in 1985.

When she died by suicide in 1993, it came into the ownership of her daughter Sakina Mahal, and son Prince Ali Raza (Cyrus), who died in 2017, his sister passed away some years before that.

Who was Firoz Shah Tughlaq?

Firoz Shah Tughlaq was born in 1309. He was the third ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty and ruled over Delhi from 1320 to 1412 AD. Firoz Shah Tughlaq was in power from 1351 to 1388 AD.

The British called him the ‘father of the irrigation department’ because of the many gardens and canals that he built.

Taxes imposed under Firoz Shah Tughlaq

Kharaj: Land tax equal to one-tenth of the produce of the land.

Zakat: two and a half per cent tax on property of  Muslims

Kham: War Booty tax in which 1/5th was the state’s share and 4/5th was given to soldiers.

Jaziya: levied on the non-Muslim subjects, particularly the Hindus. Women and children were, however, exempted from the taxes.


He established the Diwan-i-Khairat — office for charity.

He established the Diwan-i-Bundagan — department of slave.

He made Sarais (rest houses) for the benefit of merchants and other travellers.

Established four new towns, Firozabad, Fatehabad, Jaunpur and Hissar.

Union Minister launches MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Scheme

Source:  The post is based on the article “Union Minister launches MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Schemepublished in PIB on 28th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has launched the MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Scheme.

What is the MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Scheme?

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of MSME.

Aim: To create awareness amongst MSMEs about Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) practices and motivate and incentivise them for ZED Certification while also encouraging them to become MSME Champions.

Phases under the scheme: The first phase will focus on manufacturing MSMEs and the second phase would be aimed at the MSMEs in the services sector.

Benefits and Subsidies: MSMEs will get subsidies on the cost of ZED certification as per the following: Micro Enterprises: 80%, Small Enterprises: 60% and Medium Enterprises: 50%.

– There will be an additional subsidy of 10% for the MSMEs owned by Women/SC/ST Entrepreneurs or MSMEs in NER/Himalayan/LWE/Island territories/aspirational districts.

– In addition to the above, there will be an additional subsidy of 5% for MSMEs which are part of the SFURTI or Micro & Small Enterprises – Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) of the Ministry.

– A limited purpose joining reward of Rs 10,000 will also be offered to each MSME once they take the ZED Pledge.

– A provision of up to Rs. 5 lakh(per MSME) will also be made available for handholding and consultancy support for MSMEs for assisting them to move towards Zero Defect Zero Effect solutions.

– ZED-certified MSME players will also be offered subsidies in stall charges, airfares, concession in banks’ processing fees and rate of interest along with preference in lending. 

Significance of the Scheme: Through the ZED Certification, MSMEs can reduce wastage substantially, increase productivity, enhance environmental consciousness, save energy, optimally use natural resources, and expand their markets amongst others.

Xi’s Global Security initiative to counter Quad Grouping

Source: The post is based on the article “Xi’s Global Security initiative to counter Quad Grouping” published in The Hindu on 29th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The Chinese President has proposed for the first time a Global Security Initiative at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022.

What is the Global Security Initiative?

Proposed by: Chinese President

Purpose: It is China’s initiative to make up for the global security deficit and guard world peace and tranquillity.

Focus Areas: The initiative will champion its commitment across six key areas:

– Vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and work together to maintain world peace and security;

– Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and uphold non-interference in internal affairs.

– Abide by the principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation;

– Taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously and opposing the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security;

– To peacefully resolve differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation.

– To work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.

Significance of the initiative: The initiative seeks to counter the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and the Quad – the India, U.S., Australia, Japan grouping.

Union Minister to launch ‘Azadi se Antyodaya Tak’ 90-day inter-ministerial campaign tomorrow under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

Source: The post is based on the articleUnion Minister to launch ‘Azadi se Antyodaya Tak’ 90-day inter-ministerial campaign tomorrow under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsavpublished in PIB on 27th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The Union Minister of Rural Development has launched the Azadi Se Antyodaya Tak campaign.

What is Azadi Se Antyodaya Tak?

Azadi Se Antyodaya Tak is a 90-day inter-ministerial campaign under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Aim: To take up 17 select schemes of Nine Ministries in 75 selected districts across the country.

During the campaign, the schemes will be taken up directly by reaching out to the person at the bottom of the pyramid in rural areas by each of the participating ministries and departments.

Districts Selected: The 75 districts selected under the campaign are aligned with the birthplace of 99 Freedom Fighters.

These districts are also marginally lagging behind in the development parameters and have been shortlisted through MPCE (Monthly Per Capita Indicators) and the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census.

Ministries Involved: The campaign is a concerted effort of the Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Department of Animal Husbandry and Ministry of Labour & Employment. 

Implementation of the campaign: The campaign is to be implemented in a celebratory mode involving all rural stakeholders including families of selected freedom fighters(FF), Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs), women networks and students highlighting the achievements of the schemes. 

In a first, IndiGo uses Indian navigation system to land aircraft

Source:  The post is based on the article “In a first, IndiGo uses Indian navigation system to land aircraft” published in Indian Express on 29th April 2022. 

What is the News?

An IndiGo-operated ATR 72-600 aircraft landed at Kishangarh airport using an approach process guided by GAGAN or GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation. 

With this trial, India has joined a small group comprising the US, Japan and Europe with its own satellite-based augmentation system(SBAS).

What is GAGAN?
Source: TOI

Developed by: The Airport Authority of India(AAI) and Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO)

Purpose: It is a satellite-based augmentation system(SBAS) developed to provide the best possible navigational services over Indian FIR (Flight Information Region) with the capability of expanding to neighbouring FIRs.

Note: While GAGAN is primarily meant for aviation, it can provide benefits to several other segments such as intelligent transportation, maritime, highways, railways, security agencies, and telecom among others.

Working of GAGAN: GAGAN uses a system of ground stations – in Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Jammu and Port Blair – to provide necessary augmentation to the GPS navigation signal. 

– A network of precisely surveyed ground reference stations is strategically positioned across the country to collect GPS satellite data. Using this information, the master control centre in Bengaluru generates messages to correct any signal errors. 

– These correction messages are then uplinked and broadcast through geostationary communication satellites to receivers onboard aircraft using the same frequency as GPS.

Coverage Area: GAGAN covers the area from Africa to Australia and has the capability to cater to 45 reference stations for expansion to neighbouring countries. 

The system is also interoperable with other international SBAS systems such as the U.S. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and the Japanese MTSAT Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS).

World Economic Outlook: Downward revision cycle for global economic outlook has begun

Source: The post is based on the article “World Economic Outlook: Downward revision cycle for global economic outlook has begun” published in Financial Express on 27th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The International Monetary Fund(IMF) has released the World Economic Outlook Report.

What is the World Economic Outlook Report?

The report is published by the IMF twice a year: One each in April and October. It also provides updates to these two reports in January and July.

Aim: To provide analysis and forecasts of economic developments of member countries and highlight risks and uncertainty.

What are the key highlights from the report?
Source: IMF

Global Growth: 

Global growth is projected to slow down from an estimated 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023. This is 0.8 and 0.2% points lower for 2022 and 2023 than in the January World Economic Outlook Update.

Reason: The downgrade is largely due to 1) the Russia-Ukraine war, 2) sanctions on Russia, 3) Sharper-than-anticipated deceleration in China, 4) renewed flare-up of the pandemic, 5) rising medium-term inflation expectations and 6) ongoing climate emergency.

Recommendations: Multilateral efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis, prevent further economic fragmentation, maintain global liquidity, manage debt distress, tackle climate change and end the pandemic are essential.

India: IMF has slashed the growth forecast for India for the current financial year by 80 basis points to 8.2%.

With import bills rising due to high commodity and fuel prices, the IMF estimates India’s current account deficit to widen to 3.1% in FY 2022-23 from 1.6% in FY 2021-22.

Additionally, deceleration in global growth would also lead to lower demand for Indian exports.

Climate change is real: Strong cyclones to reduce in Bay of Bengal, rise in Arabian Sea by 2050, says study

Source: The post is based on the article “Climate change is real: Strong cyclones to reduce in Bay of Bengal, rise in Arabian Sea by 2050, says study” published in Down To Earth on 28th April 2022. 

What is the News?

A study has been published in the Science Advances estimating the impact of Climate Change on Cyclones.

What are the key findings of the study?
Increase in Tropical Cyclones

Tropical cyclones could become fiercer and more frequent under current climate change.

The global cyclone count could double by 2050 from the current 80-100 annually while cyclone wind speeds could increase by 20%.

Opposite Impact on the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea

Climate change will have opposite effects on the frequency of strong tropical cyclones along the western and eastern coasts of India by 2050. 

The frequency of Tropical Cyclones will reduce in the Bay of Bengal traditionally known for its powerful storms while it will increase in the Arabian Sea, a calmer body of water in this regard.

Reason: ​​A possible explanation for this is a shift in the cyclone formation regions towards the Indian and Sri Lankan landmasses.

This shift is likely to cause the cyclones to make landfall sooner, shortening the time needed to intensify into severe tropical cyclones.

For instance, in states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, cyclones can be weaker compared to the 1980-2017 climate conditions as they had less time to intensify to higher intensities.

Note: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, had also observed a 52% increase in the frequency of cyclonic storms over the Arabian Sea between 2001 and 2019 and an 8% decrease over the Bay of Bengal.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs organizes workshop in Jharkhand on ADIGRAMS

Source: The post is based on an articleMinistry of Tribal Affairs organizes workshop in Jharkhand on ADIGRAMSpublished in PIB on 28th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has organized a workshop across the Jharkhand state on ADIGRAMS (Adivasi Grants Management System) Portal.

What is ADIGRAMS (Adivasi Grants Management System) Portal?

Launched by: Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA).

Aim: To provide a central database for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the State Tribal Development/ Welfare Department to access, interact and analyze up-to-date scheme-wise Physical and financial information and progress.

The portal will also completely digitize the process of proposal submission and approval under various schemes of MoTA.

Schemes covered under the portal: The portal covers the following schemes of MoTA:

– Grants under Article 275 (1) of the Constitution of India.

– Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Scheme (TSS).

– Scheme for development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

– Institutional Support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Produce.

– Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP (MSP for MFPs).

Special 301 Report 2022: India among most challenging economies, says USTR

Source: The post is based on the article IP protection: India among most challenging economies, says USTRpublished in Indian Express on 28th April 2022. 

What is the News?

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released Special 301 Report 2022.

What is the Special 301 Report?

Released by: Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

Purpose: To identify trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce Intellectual Property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to U.S. innovators and creators that rely on the protection of their IP rights.

Categories: The report places countries into: 

Priority Watch list countries -These are those countries that are having serious intellectual property rights deficiencies and require increased United States Trade Representative(USTR) attention.

Watch List countries – These countries are having serious intellectual property rights deficiencies but are not yet placed on the Priority Watch list.

What are the key findings of the report?

Priority Watch List Countries: Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Venezuela.

Report on India: India remains one of the most challenging major economies with respect to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property

India’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty collectively known as the WIPO Internet Treaties, in 2018 and the Nice Agreement in 2019 were positive steps.

However, the potential threat of patent revocations, lack of presumption of patent validity and narrow patentability criteria under the Indian Patents Act impact companies across different sectors.

For instance, in the pharmaceutical sector, the United States continues to monitor the restriction on the patent-eligible subject matter in Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act and its impacts.

Mains Answer Writing

Improving Total Factor Productivity: Challenges and Way Forward – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction India’s Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth has seen a moderate decline compared to the global experience, though it remains above that of emerging markets and developing economies. The back-to-back setbacks of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war led to supply chain disruptions which has increased costs of production. It is… Continue reading Improving Total Factor Productivity: Challenges and Way Forward – Explained, pointwise

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[Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I May 19, 2022

Good Morning Friends, Following are answers to Mains Marathon questions, we posted yesterday. About Mains Marathon – This is an initiative of ForumIAS to help/aid aspirants in their writing skills, which is crucial to conquering mains examination. Every morning, we post 2 questions are based on current affairs. The questions framed are meaningful and relevant to the… Continue reading [Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I May 19, 2022

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[Answered] Discuss the challenges in the way of achieving intended objectives under India’s ethanol fuel blending targets. Also suggest some measures to achieve targets.

Introduction: Contextual introduction. Body: Write some challenges in achieving the targets of ethanol blending program. Also write some measures to achieve the targets. Conclusion: Write some suggestions. The government of India has advanced the target for 20 per cent ethanol blending (E20) in petrol to 2025 from 2030. According to NITI Aayog, this will help… Continue reading [Answered] Discuss the challenges in the way of achieving intended objectives under India’s ethanol fuel blending targets. Also suggest some measures to achieve targets.

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[Answered] The number and duration of droughts around the world are increasing at an alarming pace. Highlight the multidimensional impacts of drought and suggest solutions with a special focus on recent report of United Nations.

Introduction: Contextual introduction. Body: Write some points related to the multidimensional impacts of drought and suggest solutions with a special focus on the recent Nations report. Conclusion: Write a way forward. In simple terms, drought is a period of unusually persistent dry weather that persists long enough to cause serious problems such as crop damage… Continue reading [Answered] The number and duration of droughts around the world are increasing at an alarming pace. Highlight the multidimensional impacts of drought and suggest solutions with a special focus on recent report of United Nations.

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[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #198 : RN Choubey Board, PSIR Optional, Guitar Hobby

Date of Interview: May 04th, 22 Board:  RN Choubey Optional: PSIR Background: IITB Electrical Hobbies: Guitar, IoT To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2021, visit this page Your experience in interview- 90% DAF based, smiling but poker faces, some answers and eye contact could have had been better from my side. Got out feeling nice but… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #198 : RN Choubey Board, PSIR Optional, Guitar Hobby

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[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #197 : TCA Anant Board, PSIR Optional

Date of Interview: 4th  May, 22 Board: TCA Anant Optional: PSIR College: University of Delhi Experience- Everything happened so quickly that it was hardly an “experience”. Yes, I’m talking about the PT only! Utility of Mocks- Very crucial part of preparation. Many direct questions. To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2021, visit this page Chairman You’re… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #197 : TCA Anant Board, PSIR Optional

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[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #196 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Mathematics Optional, Swimming, Sports, Music Hobbies

Date of Interview: 2nd May, Afternoon session Board: M Sathiyavathy Ma’am Optional: Mathematics Background: Engineering Physics from IIT Delhi Hobbies: Swimming, playing Badminton, listening to Rock Music To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2021, visit this page Experience of Interview : Overall a good interaction especially with M-4. Very cordial board. Questions asked from DAF &… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #196 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Mathematics Optional, Swimming, Sports, Music Hobbies

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Must Read Current Affairs Articles – May 20, 2022

About Must Read News Articles: Must Read News Articles is an initiative by Team ForumIAS to provide links to the most important news articles of the day. It covers several newspapers such as The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint, etc. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – May 20, 2022

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PM inaugurates country’s first 5G testbed

What is the News? The Prime Minister has inaugurated India’s first 5G testbed facility. What is a 5G Testbed? The 5G testbed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras. Purpose: It will enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence… Continue reading PM inaugurates country’s first 5G testbed

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DRDO & Indian Navy conduct successful maiden flight-test of indigenously-developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile off Odisha coast

What is the News? The Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO) and Indian Navy have successfully conducted the maiden flight test of an indigenously-developed Naval anti-ship missile. What is the Naval anti-ship missile? Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO) for the Indian Navy. Features: The missile has a weight of 380 kg and a range… Continue reading DRDO & Indian Navy conduct successful maiden flight-test of indigenously-developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile off Odisha coast

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