9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – August 19th, 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

India’s strides in the Gulf

Source: This post is created based on the article “India’s strides in the Gulf”, published in Indian Express on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – International Relations

News: In the centenary celebrations program of AMU, PM asked the AMU community to further strengthen India’s relations with the Islamic world.

Recently, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) proposed conferring the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, with the honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) degree. It is for his exemplary services to global affairs, and to augment India’s efforts to forge deeper links with the Gulf region.

How PM of India has been working to improve relations with gulf countries?

The Prime Minister of India has been investing a good amount of time to improve relations with gulf countries. His efforts stand out on many counts:

First, he has put personal imprints through more than a dozen visits so far, to the region.

Second, he has expanded India’s relations with the gulf from simple trade-economic-energy relations to strategic relations in the spheres of space technology, defense, counter-terrorism, and cyber-security.

Third, India has been able to maintain its relations with Israel, along with other countries in the region. He is the first Indian PM to visit Palestine and receive its highest civilian award in recognition of his contribution to promoting relations between India and Palestine.

Fourth, with the reducing role of the US in the region, India is being seen as a credible player with a role in the promotion of regional peace and security in the region.

Fifth, India has started looking at Gulf countries as its “maritime neighbors”.

How AMU has contributed to the strengthening of India’s relations with gulf countries?

There is an extensive network of AMU alumni in every Gulf country, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. AMU’s “soft power dividend” has been successfully leveraged in bolstering people-to-people contact.

The political leadership of the Arab and Islamic world has duly recognized the goodwill of AMU. For example, in 1975, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President and founder of the UAE, on his presidential visit to India visited AMU and gave a generous grant for establishing the department of petroleum studies in the university.

AMU can further a key goal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 i.e. Internationalization of education. It can collaborate with the institutions of the Gulf countries in the frontier areas of innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurship.


Women’s empowerment is about land ownership

Source: This post is created based on the article “Women’s empowerment is about land ownership”, published in Live Mint on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Social Issues – Women and related issues

Context: Despite legislative efforts to fix a sharp gender imbalance in inheritance, very few Indian women have any legal title to property.

Prime Minister, in his recent Independence Day speech, asked for an attitudinal shift across the country in favor of ‘Nari Shakti’—or women’s power. He further said, “Respect for women is an important pillar for India’s growth.”

However, the economist Hernando de Soto, in The Mystery of Capital said, legal ownership of land can make all the difference between poverty and the ability to escape it. Thus, women’s empowerment also requires control over assets, other than income and job opportunities. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals also require countries to track the status of women’s land rights.

What do the survey findings say about women’s empowerment?

In, India, especially in rural areas, women’s empowerment is constrained by weak command over the farmland they till. Following are the findings of the 5th round of the National Family Health Survey 2020-21:

  1. A drop has been reported in the country’s women aged 15-49 saying they owned a house or land (either solely or jointly) to less than a quarter from over a third back in 2015-16.
  2. About 98 million women were found to be engaged in agriculture and allied activities, with most working as labor rather than cultivators.
  3. Less than 13% of Indian farmland is under female ownership.
What are the laws regulating inheritance in India?

The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 laid down equal distribution of property among all inheritors, irrespective of gender, as the broad majority norm.

This law was amended in 2005 to specifically grant sons and daughters equal rights to joint-family property.

Among Muslims, an age-old provision often prevails by which sons get twice the share (on an avowal to provide for their sisters if need be).

In case of disputes over ancestral estates,

What are the reasons behind women lacking land ownership?    

Almost a third of rural households are estimated to be headed by women. It is because of the patriarchal scenario, in which land-owning men migrate to cities, leaving their farms for womenfolk to work on.

Land possession remains largely dependent on inheritance and property rights for women.

In the cases involving disputes on ancestral estates, women were cheated of their due, by heavy family pressure.


A glimpse into India@100

Source: This post is created based on the article A glimpse into India@100”, published in Business Standard on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity and Constitution

Context: Prime Minister in 2021 said that “the journey of the next 25 years is the Amrit Kaal of a new India” and “the fulfillment of our resolutions in this Amrit Kaal will take us till 100 years of independence.”

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar in his tweet revealed, what are the expectations to be fulfilled when the Amrit Kaam ends:

  1. An India, that is developed.
  2. An India, free of colonial mindset.
  3. An India, proud of its heritage.
  4. An India, united & integrated.
  5. An India, whose citizens put duty above all.

Are the above aims achievable?

1) Boosting per capita income to become a developed nation: The question here is what is the level of income, required to be declared a developed nation?

For example, India’s per capita income is currently at $2,200 and according to the World Bank, the world’s average per capita income is over $12,000. It is about $70,000 in the United States, $50000 in the UK, $70000 in Singapore, $40,000 in Japan, and $35,000 in Korea.

It took India 12 years to double its per capita income from $1100 in 2009. At this rate, by 2047, India will be at $8800, which is less than where China is today ($12,500).

Thus, high-level efforts are required to multiply per capita income.

2) India should be free of its colonial mindset: For achieving this objective, first, it is to be decided, what the colonial mindset is. Is it abolishing English from education, renaming roads, getting rid of the railways, replacing Macaulay’s Penal Code, or changing provisions in the constitution adopted from British time laws?

There is no clear definition or roadmap for achieving this objective.

3) We should be proud of our heritage: Again, what is our heritage needs to be defined. Definition of heritage can be changed as per the ideologies of the ruling parties.

4) A united and integrated India: Many present incidents are disturbing the unity of the nation. It has to be properly given thought; what are developments and policies that are creating disharmony among different sections and should be dealt with as soon as possible?

5) Citizens to put duty above all: Article 51A in the Constitution defines the duties of citizens. Government must strive to ensure all of the citizens fulfill their duties, despite ideological differences.


Should there be limits on ‘freebies’?

Source: The post is based on the following articles

“Should there be limits on ‘freebies’?” published in The Hindu on 19th August 2022.

“Freebies In Our Bonnet” published in The Times of India on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Relevance: India’s freebies burden.

News: The Supreme Court, while hearing a petition to curb the practice of offering freebies, said that the term “freebie” should not be confused with genuine welfare measures.

What are the Supreme Court’s remarks on freebies?
Read more: Voters prefer to earn a dignified earning over freebies: Supreme Court
What about welfare and freebies?

Directive Principles can certainly guide state policy. But it is not easy to define welfare and freebie. This is because of the ripple effect they create on society.

But from an economic and public policy perspective, a freebie is any public policy intervention that will have a long-term impact on production as well as productivity. Hence, any public policy intervention that doesn’t support medium-term to long-term production and productivity may be termed a freebie.

Read more: The ‘freebies’ debate
About India’s spending on subsidies

No advanced economy spends more than 1% of GDP on subsidies across all sectors. For example, the total subsidy in Germany is 0. 9% of its GDP, in France just 0. 4%, but in India, agricultural subsidies alone eat up around 2. 25% of our GDP.

What are the recent findings on the state’s welfare expenditure?

Welfare spending in India is woefully low. It is low in comparison to other developing countries. For instance, public spending on health and education was 4.7% in India, compared to 7% in sub-Saharan Africa. And it is also declining in many States.

According to the Reserve Bank of India’s Study on State Finances, from 2014 onwards, the social sector expenditure at the State level has been declining even after States were given more resources.

Must read: State Finances: Trends and Concerns – Explained, pointwise
What are the revenue expenditure side impacts of freebies?

Revenue decline: Though Goods and Services Tax is a game changer for indirect taxes, there is less than 6% of the people pay income tax in India. The tax exemption limit in India keeps getting raised year after year.

India is raising 0.2% of GDP through property tax, whereas the developing country average is 0.6% of GDP and in OECD countries it is 2% of GDP.

On non-tax revenues, there is a significant growth at the Central government level. But there is a substantial decline at the State government level.

Impact on Expenditure: Universal health and education are not quick fix solutions and need a 10-15 year gestation period. So, the government find this wait difficult and choose an easy path to get a vote i.e., freebies and subsidies. Freebies will lead to a further decline in tax resources. 

As States are not spending on productive activities, it ends up depleting the tax revenues. This again leads to a revenue decline.

Read more: From freebies to welfare
What should be done?

1) India needs to have an institutional mechanism to control wasteful expenditure, 2) Instead of having a blanket policy — for instance, giving free electricity to all — the state needs to identify the beneficiary of a particular public policy, 3) India needs to have a good tax framework, where the government have much better resources for more social sector expenditure while also ensuring medium-term debt sustainability, 4) According to a private report, more than 8% of GDP actually gets spent on implicit subsidies. The government must assess and reduce them so that the state has more resources for welfare or social sector expenditure.

Most developed countries invested in universal health and education when they were poor. They cut down subsidies before they became freebies and used that resource for universal welfare. India too has to follow that approach.


Chinese ship at Hambantota calls for New Delhi to look closely at its maritime strategy

Source: The post is based on the article “Chinese ship at Hambantota calls for New Delhi to look closely at its maritime strategy” published in the Indian Express on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its Neighbourhood relations.

Relevance: Yuan Wang 5 and China’s evolving Indian Ocean strategy

News: Recently, Sri Lanka approved the arrival of a Chinese satellite-tracking vessel named “Yuan Wang 5” to Hambantota port. India had protested the Chinese vessel’s visit, deeming it detrimental to India’s security.

About Yuan Wang 5
Must read: Yuan Wang 5: Why is the visit of a Chinese vessel to Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port controversial?
How do Yuan Wang 5 impact India-Sri Lanka relations?

Permission by Sri Lanka might be violative of the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Accord. The accord calls upon the two countries to prevent foreign activity in their respective territories that could pose a threat to the other.

Note: The ship is not classified as a warship, and therefore Sri Lanka permitted it under research vessel.

Read more: Chinese military vessel at Hambantota is a spectre that threatens the new equilibrium in India-Sri Lanka relations
About China’s evolving Indian Ocean strategy

The Chinese policy in the Indian Ocean is gradual and relentless encroachment that expands China’s tactical space and asserts China’s rights and interests in spaces outside its sphere of natural influence.

Under it, China does not want to physically dominate the region, but it is creating a permissive environment for its military activities. For instance, in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, China has already sent survey and research vessels, as a way of marking their presence in the region.

They deployed YW-5 because

1) To threaten Indian interests in the region by conducting electronic snooping by foreign ships, aircraft and satellites, 2) To showcase Chinese support from Indian Ocean littoral states, 3) China uses maritime militias to threaten any activity deemed inimical to Chinese sovereign interests. So in future, they might deploy warships to foreign ports.

Read more: Step back from water’s edge
What does India need to do?

India needs to assess the following conditions and has to define them clearly to improve India’s maritime policy. These include a) Permitting foreign activity in littoral areas if it has a noble cause, b) International rules that privilege user-state rights can be permitted over the security concerns of littoral nations, and c) Whether India required law or should it demand special rights in its near-seas to protect India’s national security.


Experts Explain: An India Blockchain Platform

Source: The post is based on the article “Experts Explain: An India Blockchain Platform” published in the Indian Express on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

Relevance: About public digital infrastructure

News: In recent years, India has made a significant effort to become a digital society by building a large citizen-scale digital public infrastructure.

With the commencement of the Digital India mission in 2015, India’s payments, provident fund, passports, driving licences, crossing tolls, and checking land records all have been transformed with modular applications built on Aadhaar, UPI, and the India Stack.

Read more: Blockchain technology can help alleviate global warming and climate change
What are the limitations of public digital infrastructure?

a) Existing different digital infrastructures are not interconnected as a design. For instance, the information has to travel across multiple systems to complete the interaction, b) Rely on private databases: This makes the validation of data more complex as the network grows, driving up costs and creating inefficiencies.

What is Web 3.0 and how it can address the challenges in public digital infrastructure?
Read here: Web 3.0: The future of internet? – Explained, pointwise

The Web 3.0 architecture establishes a new version of the Internet protocol incorporating token-based economics, transparency, and decentralisation.

Blockchain and public digital infrastructure

According to Gartner, by 2023, 35% of enterprise blockchain applications will be integrated with decentralised applications and services. Many countries have already begun establishing their blockchain policies and infrastructure.

For instance, a) Estonia, the world’s blockchain capital, is using blockchain infrastructure to verify and process all e-governance services offered to the general public, b) China launched a program in 2020 called BSN (Blockchain-based Service Network) to deploy blockchain applications in the cloud at a streamlined rate, c) Brazil recently launched the Brazilian Blockchain Network to bring participating institutions in governance and the technological system that facilitates blockchain adoption in solutions for the public good.

DeFi: There are well-established decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms that rely on blockchain infrastructure. DeFi allows users to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies on a short-term basis at algorithmically determined rates. DeFi users are rewarded with tokens that confer governance rights.

Read more: Strategy to adopt blockchain into govt systems released
What India should do to build a resilient public digital infrastructure?

The Indian digital community should focus on supporting research in standards, interoperability, and efficient handling of current known issues with the distributed technologies.

Smartphone manufacturers can be asked to deliver blockchain-compliant devices by adding extensions. This will enhance the last mile reach of the program.

India should build a national platform operating at L1 that interconnects blockchains application providers, token service providers, and infrastructure managers. This can provide a reliable and efficient network for the Indian digital economy.

India should also work on an indigenous solution such as an India Blockchain Platform. This will transform the digital ecosystem in India and will enable the future of digital services, platforms, applications, content, and solutions.

Read more: Factors Affecting Growth of Block Chain technology in India

GS Paper 3


Hard truths about India’s labour reforms

Source: The post is based on the article “Hard truths about India’s labour reforms” published in The Hindu on 19th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

Relevance: About the impact of labour reforms.

News: While the numbers of Indian billionaires increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millions of Indians lost their incomes when the country was locked down during the pandemic.

The problem is not just employment but also poor quality of employment.

About employment and social and economic freedom

The dominant ‘theory-in-use’ to increase employment is to improve the ease of doing business. The investments in businesses will improve citizens’ ease of earning good livelihoods.

According to this theory, large and formal enterprises create good jobs. But for that to happen the labour laws must be ‘flexible” to attract investments.

About India’s labour reforms

The primary purpose of labour laws is to protect the rights of workers, not promote the interests of investors.

Prior to 1991, Indian labour laws protect labour more. But after 1991, labour laws’ principal thrust is to improve administration by simplifying procedures and digitisation. However, the government did not make the labour laws more employer-friendly.

Reforms post-2014: The Government designed a framework for reforms. Since labour is a concurrent subject, it encouraged States to implement changes. The first state to do so is Rajasthan.

Labour laws cover many subjects — payment of wages, safety conditions, social security, terms of employment, and dispute resolution. The proposed national reforms aim to convert all these laws into four codes.

Must read: Labour reforms in India
What are the key findings on the impacts of labour reforms?

The V.V. Giri National Labour Institute released an interim report titled “Impact Assessment Study of the Labour Reforms undertaken by the States.”  The report has focused on the reform of the Industrial Disputes Act.

The report spans the period 2004-05 to 2018-19. The report defines “formal” employment as the grant of paid leave, a written contract, and some “social security”.

Read more: About the Impact Assessment Study of the Labour Reforms

Key findings: When the emphasis was on administrative reforms, the share of employment in plants employing more than 300 people increased from 51.1% to 55.3% between 2010-11 to 2014-15. But when the emphasis was on labour reforms, the ratio increased less from 55.3% to 56.3%, in 2017-18.

The report stated the following reasons for such factors. These are,

a) Labour laws are only one-factor affecting business investment decisions, b) An enterprise must have a growing market for its products, c) Many things must be put together to produce for the market (such as capital, machinery, materials, land, etc.) not just labour, d) Investors do not hire people just because it is easy to fire them.

What one can conclude from the impact of labour reforms?

1) Reforms of labour laws have had little effect on increasing employment in large enterprises, 2) Labour reforms cannot induce the creation of large enterprises. This is because the laws such as Industrial Disputes Act still apply to them.

Must read: GDP growth and formal employment: Whose GDP is it anyway?
What should be focused on instead of labour reforms?

The government need to understand that more GDP does not automatically produce more income at the bottom. The government has to enable a) The generation of better-quality livelihoods for Indian citizens, now and in the future, b) Fundamental reform is required in the ways policies are made, c) Fundamental reforms are required in the theory of economic growth.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

How health ministry’s draft guidelines may improve nurses’ work conditions

Source: The post is based on the article “How health ministry’s draft guidelines may improve nurses’ work conditions” published in Business Standard on 19th August 2022.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) has issued draft guidelines to improve the working conditions of all categories of nurses in all healthcare institutions across India.

The guidelines are in line with the World Health Organization’s(WHO’s) global strategy on “Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030”.

What are the key provisions of the draft guidelines?

Firstly, provide basic amenities like separate washrooms and changing rooms for the nursing staff, annual health check-ups, necessary immunization and well-equipped workstations within the healthcare establishments.

Secondly, in line with the provisions of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, the guidelines provide for paid maternity leave and other authorized leave and allowances along with a creche facility for newborns. 

Thirdly, all healthcare establishments may, as far as possible, provide accommodation to their nursing staff within or near their premises.

Fourthly, capping a work day at eight hours and not exceeding 40 hours a week.

Fifthly, healthcare establishments should provide induction training to the newly recruited nurses and identify designated resting rooms for nurses working for a prolonged duration.

Lastly, to deal with issues of harassment of the nursing staff, the healthcare establishments will have to establish internal complaints committees in accordance with the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

What was the need for these new regulations?

WHO had designated 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” in recognition of their role during the pandemic and their central role in achieving universal health coverage.

India’s nursing workforce is about half of its active health workforce which was estimated at 3.04 million in 2017-18 by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).

However, India still needs an additional 2.4 million nurses to meet the WHO norm of four nurses for every 1,000 patients.

The sector is also faced with several structural challenges like weak regulation, gaps in education and training, and the actual services rendered by them. 

This leads to poor quality of training, inequitable distribution of workload, inequitable pay and non-standardised practices in health institutions.

Hence, the draft guidelines are an important move to address some of these issues.


Explained: How scientists are planning to ‘resurrect’ the extinct Tasmanian Tiger

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: How scientists are planning to ‘resurrect’ the extinct Tasmanian Tiger” published in Indian Express on 18th August 2022.

What is the News?

Scientists in the US and Australia have embarked on a $15-million project to resurrect the thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger, a marsupial that went extinct in the 1930s, using gene-editing technology. 

What is a Tasmanian Tiger?

Tasmanian Tiger

Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was a marsupial mammal. It was the only animal in the Thylacinidae family to survive in modern times.

– Note: Marsupial is a mammal of an order whose members are born incompletely developed and are typically carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly. 

Features: The mammal earned its nickname Tasmanian Tiger because of the stripes along its back. It was a slow-paced carnivorous that usually hunted alone or in pairs at night.

– It had a dog-like head and ate kangaroos, other marsupials, small rodents and birds.

IUCN Status: Extinct (The last Tasmanian tiger died at Hobart Zoo in 1936).

Impact of Extinction: The animal was at the top of the food chain and hence played a significant role in balancing the ecosystem of its habitat by removing the weak animals and maintaining species diversity. 

– Hence, its disappearance from the food chain resulted in Trophic Downgrading (causal degradation of an ecosystem that occurs when higher trophic level animals are removed from the food chain) resulting in loss or exponential growth of other species.

– Trophic Downgrading also results in disruption of biogeochemical cycles, wildfires, growth of invasive species, and carbon sequestration, among other effects.

What are scientists planning to do now?

Scientists in the US and Australia have started a $15-million De-extinction project to resurrect the Tasmanian Tiger using gene-editing technology. 

What is the De-extinction method?

De-extinction or resurrection biology is the method of creating a species that went extinct or is endangered, in order to revitalize ecological diversity and balance shattered due to reasons ranging from biodiversity loss to climate change. 

While cloning is the most widely used method of de-extinction, genome editing and selective breeding are also considered effective ways.

The Pyrenean ibex, a subspecies of Spanish ibex was one of the first extinct animals that have been resurrected using somatic cell nuclear transfer(SCNT), even though the baby Ibex died minutes after its birth from a lung defect.


Tilapia Fish: Inspired by Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, and to bring ‘Blue Revolution’ TDB-DST supports its first aquaculture project

Source: The post is based on the articleInspired by Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, and to bring ‘Blue Revolution’ TDB-DST supports its first aquaculture projectpublished in PIB on 18th August 2022.

What is the News?

To bring about the blue revolution, the Technology Development Board(TDB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology is funding its first ever ‘Aquaculture’ project using ‘state of the art’ Israeli technology for production of Tilapia Fish”.

What is Tilapia Fish?

‘Tilapia’ has emerged to be one of the most productive and internationally traded food fish in the world. 

The culture of tilapia has become commercially popular in many parts of the world and fishery experts have dubbed the tilapia as “aquatic chicken” due to its quick growth and low maintenance cultivation. 

What is the aquaculture project for the production of Tilapia Fish?

In order to facilitate the culture of Tilapia in India in a responsible manner, M/s Fountainhead Agro Farms Private Limited envisages setting up a complete production line (from breeding to full fish) in Mudhol (Karnataka). 

The company aims to produce 500 tons of Tilapia to be grown from the imported parent broodstock ‘Hermon’ from Israel. 

What is Hermon?

Hermon is a hybrid of two selected strains of Tilapia, namely Oreochromis Niloticus (Male) and Oreochromis Aureus (Female).

It is known for special characteristics such as high growth rate; resistance to low temperature; light (attractive) colour; all hybrid fry progeny of males only, without the conventional system of usage of hormones.

What is the significance of this project?

The project will be a great addition to Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana(PMMSY) which aims to double the export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore from the fisheries sector.


Great Indian Bustards adapt to produce 2-egg clutch

Source: The post is based on the article “Great Indian Bustards adapt to produce 2-egg clutch” published in The Hindu on 19th August 2022.

What is the News?

Great Indian Bustards(GIBs) in Rajasthan’s Desert National Park(DNP) have adopted an altogether new habit of laying a clutch of two eggs at a time after having a diet with additional proteins during the monsoon season.

About Great Indian Bustard

Click Here to read

How did the Great Indian Bustard lay two eggs at a time?

Desert National Park(DNP) had good rainfall this year.

Due to this, the number of insects and pests had also increased due to the moisture and humidity. This meant there was more food for the Great Indian Bustard. Hence, they were consequently able to lay two eggs.

Note: Bustards usually lay only one egg in a breeding season that lasts from March to October.

What is Desert National Park?

Desert National Park is a national park situated in the Indian state of Rajasthan. This is one of the largest national parks.

The Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Sand dunes form around 44% of the Park. 

The Chinkara or Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii) is a common antelope of this region. The Great Indian Bustard is also found here in relatively fair numbers.


Goa becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified State & Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified UT in the Country

Source: The post is based on the article Goa becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified State & Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified UT in the Countrypublished in PIB on 18th August 2022.

What is the News?

Goa and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (D&NH and D&D) became the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified State and UT in the country respectively.

What is Jal Jeevan Mission-Har Ghar Jal?

Jal Jeevan Mission is a flagship programme of Government of India launched in 2019.

Aim: To make provision of potable tap water supply in adequate quantity, of prescribed quality and on regular & long-term basis to every rural household of the country by 2024. 

The program is implemented by the Government of India in partnership with States/UTs.

How are States and UTs certified as Har Ghar Jal?

The process of certification has been detailed in the Margdarshika of Jal Jeevan Mission:

First, the field engineer submits a completion certificate regarding the water supply scheme to the Panchayat during the Gram Sabha meeting. 

The villages confirm through a resolution of the Gram Sabha, that every household is getting a regular supply of water of prescribed quality and not a single household is left out. 

They also confirm that all schools, Anganwadi centres and other public institutions are also getting tap water.


Vietnam-India Bilateral Army Exercise Vinbax 2022 Concludes at Chandimandir

Source: The post is based on the article “Vietnam-India Bilateral Army Exercise Vinbax 2022 Concludes at Chandimandirpublished in PIB on 18th August 2022.

What is the News?

Vietnam-India Bilateral Army Exercise VINBAX 2022 concluded at Chandimandir, Haryana.

What is VINBAX 2022?

It is a bilateral military exercise between India and Vietnam.

Theme of the exercise: “E​​mployment and deployment of an Engineer Company and a Medical Team as part of United Nations Contingent for Peacekeeping Operations”. 

Significance of the exercise: This is the first time ever that the Vietnam People’s Army(VPA) was undertaking a Field Training Exercise with any foreign Army. The fact that Vietnam chose India for this speaks volumes about the value the two countries place on their mutual relationship.


Megalodon: A giant transoceanic predator that lived 23 million to 2.6 million years ago

Source: The post is based on the article Megalodon: A giant transoceanic predator that lived 23 million to 2.6 million years agopublished in Indian Express on 19th August 2022.

What is the News?

Researchers have found new evidence about the life of one of the biggest predatory animals of all time — the Megalodon.

What is Megalodon?

Megalodon meaning “big tooth”, is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago, from the Early Miocene to the Pliocene epochs.

What are the key features of the Megalodon Shark found by the researchers?

From its nose to tail, the megalodon was 50 feet long and was thus longer than a bus. Its size, therefore, was two to three times that of today’s great white shark.

It was a fast swimmer, with its average cruising speed being more than that of sharks today. Due to this feature, it could have migrated across oceans with ease.

The megalodon had a weight of around 70 tons, or, in other words, a single adult member of this shark species was as heavy as 10 elephants together. Also, each of its teeth was as big as a human fist.

It could open its jaw to almost 6 feet wide, and therefore, feed on other big creatures. With a full stomach, it could roam the oceans for months at a time.


Aqua Bazar Online Marketplace App for Fish Farmers Launched by Fisheries Minister

Source: The post is based on the article “Aqua Bazar Online Marketplace App for Fish Farmers Launched by the Fisheries Minister” published in NDTV on 19th August 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has launched Aqua Bazar App.

What is Aqua Bazar App?

It is an online marketplace application that will help the fish farmers and stakeholders to source the inputs such as fish seed, feed, medicines and services required for fish culture.

The farmers can also list table-size fish for sale through this app.

Developed by: Bhubaneswar-based ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture with the funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board (NPFB).

What is the National Fisheries Development Board(NFDB)?

NFDB was established in 2006 as an autonomous organization under the administrative control of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Aim: To enhance fish production and productivity in the country and to coordinate fishery development in an integrated and holistic manner.


Union Cabinet approves interest subvention scheme for agriculture loans

Source: The post is based on the article “Union Cabinet approves interest subvention scheme for agriculture loans” published in TOI on 17th August 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Cabinet has approved the Modified Interest Subvention Scheme(MISS).

What is the Modified Interest Subvention Scheme(MISS)?

Background: Kisan Credit Card scheme was introduced by the Government to empower farmers to purchase agriculture products and services on credit at any time. 

To ensure that the farmers have to pay a minimal interest rate to the bank, the Government of India introduced Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS), now renamed as Modified Interest Subvention Scheme(MISS).

Aim: To provide short-term credit to farmers at subsidized interest rates.

Features of the scheme: Under the scheme, a short-term agriculture loan upto Rs. 3.00 lakh is available to farmers engaged in Agriculture and other allied activities including Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Poultry, and fisheries at the rate of 7% p.a. 

– An additional 3% subvention (Prompt Repayment Incentive – PRI) is also given to the farmers for prompt and timely repayment of loans. Therefore, if a farmer repays his loan on time, s/he gets credit at the rate of 4% p.a. 

– This support is 100% funded by the Centre.

Significance of the scheme: This scheme is the second-largest scheme of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare(DA&FW) as per budget outlay and coverage of beneficiaries. 

– Increase in Interest Subvention will ensure the sustainability of credit flow in the agriculture sector as well as ensure the financial health and viability of the lending institutions.

– This will also lead to a generation of employment since short-term agri-loans are provided for all activities including Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Poultry, and fisheries.


 

Lessons unlearnt: The deadly football tragedy in Indonesia raises serious questions

Source: The post is based on an article “Lessons unlearnt: The deadly football tragedy in Indonesia raises serious questions” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Disaster Management Relevance: Indonesia’s football stampede and concerns associated with it News: The crowd at Indonesia’s Kanjuruhan stadium ran onto the pitch after their team lost. This led… Continue reading Lessons unlearnt: The deadly football tragedy in Indonesia raises serious questions

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FABS: The East Asian lesson for India

Source– The post is based on the article “FABS: The East Asian lesson for India” published in the mint on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Economy Relevance– Semiconductor manufacturing News– The article explains the experience of East Asian countries in promoting semiconductor manufacturing. Recently the central government has announced some changes in the production-linked incentive… Continue reading FABS: The East Asian lesson for India

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Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings: A step closer to a stronger democracy

Source: The post is based on the article “Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings: A step closer to a stronger democracy” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – Functioning of Judiciary Relevance: benefits of live-streaming of SC hearing. News:  The Supreme Court has allowed the live streaming of the hearing of cases from 27th September 2022.… Continue reading Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings: A step closer to a stronger democracy

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There are precedents to help the EC decide which is the real Shiv Sena

Source– The post is based on the article “There are precedents to help the EC decide which is the real Shiv Sena” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Polity Relevance– Political parties in India News– The article explains the procedure for allotting symbols in case of conflict between two rival… Continue reading There are precedents to help the EC decide which is the real Shiv Sena

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As India prepares to take over the G20 presidency, it can learn from Indonesia

Source– The post is based on the article “As India prepares to take over the G20 presidency, it can learn from Indonesia” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS2- International Relations Relevance– India multilateral engagement News– The article explains the lessons India can learn from Indonesia on economic engagement. These will… Continue reading As India prepares to take over the G20 presidency, it can learn from Indonesia

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Kohinoor and other quarrels over stolen artefacts

Source: The post is based on an article “Kohinoor and other quarrels over stolen artefacts” published in The Times of India on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 1 – Art and Architecture Relevance: concerns associated with repatriation artefacts in India News:  There has been a demand to return the Kohinoor diamond to India after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.… Continue reading Kohinoor and other quarrels over stolen artefacts

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The evolution of the Mahatma’s thought and philosophy

Source: The post is based on an article “The evolution of the Mahatma’s thought and philosophy” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 1 News:  The article discusses the change in the views of Gandhiji after returning to India from South Africa. Gandhi was greatly influenced by the writings of Leo Tolstoy and John Ruskin.He adopted… Continue reading The evolution of the Mahatma’s thought and philosophy

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India’s Ukraine destiny: A foreign policy test

Source: The post is based on the article “India’s Ukraine destiny: A foreign policy test” published in the Business Standard on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests. Relevance: Russian war and India’s stand. News: Recently, India abstained from a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning… Continue reading India’s Ukraine destiny: A foreign policy test

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Yunqing Tang bags SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022 for her contribution in maths

Source: The post is based on the article “Yunqing Tang bags SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022 for her contribution in maths” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2022. What is the News? The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for 2022 will be awarded to Yunqing Tang, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. About SASTRA… Continue reading Yunqing Tang bags SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022 for her contribution in maths

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MGNREGS to fund work to reverse desertification of land across the States

Source: The post is based on the article “MGNREGS to fund work to reverse desertification of land across the States” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2022. What is the News? The government is now planning to bring convergence between the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi… Continue reading MGNREGS to fund work to reverse desertification of land across the States

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