9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – December 31st, 2021

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.
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Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

J&K delimitation exercise sets a dangerous precedent

Source: This post is based on the article “J&K delimitation exercise sets a dangerous precedent” published in The Indian express on 31st Dec 2021 

Syllabus: GS2- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive  

Relevance: Issues related to Delimitation of J&K

News: Delimitation Commission headed by Justice Ranjana Desai has completed the task of delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir, but there have been some concerns regarding its mandate. 

What are the issues associated with the recently concluded delimitation of J&K? 

Population base: This delimitation commission has  taken the 2011 Census as the basis for delimitation for J&K, however, in all other states, delimitation has been done on the basis of the 2001 census in accordance with the Delimitation Act of 2002. 

Increase in the number of seats: Circumventing the Delimitation Act of 2002, the Union government increased the number of seats in the legislative assembly of J&K from 107 to 114 through the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019. 

Problem is that only the Delimitation Commission has the sole prerogative to decide on both these matters.  

Note-Clause 8(b) of the Delimitation Act of 2002, mandates and empowers the Delimitation Commission to decide on the “the total number of seats to be assigned to the Legislative Assembly of each State and determine on the basis of the census figures”. 

According to some, the commission has introduced an imbalance in the regional representation by increasing the assembly constituencies in Jammu. In the allocation proposed by the Commission, it gives 47% of the seats to Jammu which accounts for 44% of the population and 56% of the population living in Kashmir will have only a 52% share in the assembly.  

Considerations given primacy than criterion: In all the four previous delimitation commissions, the basis for the creation of constituencies was the criteria of population. In addition to this, some considerations, such as topography, geographical continuity and physical features were used for drawing the constituency boundaries.  

But commission this time seems to have given primacy to “considerations” over the “criteria. 


On FCRA & NGOs: Killing the license

Source: This post is based on the article “Killing the license” published in The Hindu on 31st Dec 2021. 

Syllabus: GS2- Development processes and the development industry-the role of NGOs 

Relevance: NGOs, foreign funding, FCRA. 

News: After 2020 amendment to the FCRA act 2010, NGOs are required to renew their FCRA (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act) license in order to be able to receive foreign funding. 

Ministry of home affairs (MHA), which looks into these renewals recently denied Missionaries of Charity group (an NGO founded by Mother Teresa) renewal of its FCRA license. 

It has also not yet scrutinised more than four-fifths of the applications of the 22,000-plus NGOs that have sought renewal of their FCRA license.   

What are the issues associated with this present situation? 

If government does not extend deadline by midnight ,all NGOs whose application is yet to be scrutinised stand to lose their ability to access international funding in the coming year. 

NGOs have to prove that their work does not qualify as harmful to “public interest” or “national security”. The 2020 amendment of FCRA act of 2010 has left these terms undefined and ambiguous. This may lead to subjective interpretations on the part of MHA officials.  

Many prominent NGOs like Amnesty International, Greenpeace India, etc. have lost their FCRA licenses in the past few years. 

Many of these NGOs work in very critical fields and most often where state helps fails to reach, like pollution and climate change issues, human rights, child labour and human slavery. They, therefore, have a strong impact on the progress of the nation and welfare of the poor.

Political parties are able to access foreign funds for their campaigns under FCRA while NGOs are denied the same. 


Asia faces many regional security threats

Source: This post is based on the article “Asia faces many regional security threats” published in Livemint on 31st Dec 2021.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests

Relevance: To understand the regional security threats in Asia.

News: In Asia today, the economy is global, politics are local, and security is local, regional and transnational. Asia is now the epicentre of security risks. More worrying is the international and regional system’s inability to address these issues.

What are the present regional security threats in Asia?

The region is facing

1. Intensified Sino-American tensions,

2. Standoff on the India-China border,

3. The tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands,

4. The uncertain trajectory of Iran’s nuclear programme,

5. The Taliban’s rapid return to power in Afghanistan,

6. Offensive arms acquisitions: Asia now has a belt of nuclear-weapon states stretching from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, from Israel to North Korea.

7. Many members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations seek security from the US while relying economically on China. They are forming local coalitions wherever it is possible, but they avoid choosing between China and the US,

8. Newer transnational risks like cyberattacks, climate change, energy crises and pandemics.

What are the initiatives taken to address the regional security threats in Asia?

China, Pakistan, Russia and the Central Asian countries all expect that home-grown separatists and extremists will find safe haven, weapons and support in the new Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. They collectively reinvigorate counterterrorism cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

In September, the US hosted the first in-person summit of the Quad (Australia, India, Japan and the US) and unveiled the AUKUS agreement to supply nuclear-attack submarines to Australia.

Response to China’s rise and the shifting balance of power in the Indo-Pacific: To counter China, the Asian countries engage in regional and maritime security, bilateral, trilateral and plurilateral cooperation arrangements and interoperability exercises such as the Malabar naval war games.

What should be done to avert the regional security threats in Asia?

1. Nuclear deterrence should be promoted and keep the peace between the major powers, 2. Strengthen the global governance institutions, 3. Try to establish an effective regional security institution.

The countries in Asia should address regional security issues or pursue multilateral solutions without relying more on nationalism and populism.


Judges & journos: CJI is partly right on the media mixing news and views. But judges should be less prickly too

Source: This post is based on the article “Judges & journos: CJI is partly right on the media mixing news and views. But judges should be less prickly too” published Times of India on 31st Dec 2021. 

Syllabus: GS2- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary  

Relevance: Judiciary, Independence 

News: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, in a recent event, expressed worry about how news and views are being mixed together in today’s time. He also talked about the “recent trend to sermonise about judgments, and villainise judges”

The article urges the judiciary to be less prickly (irritable) about criticism, including when not just judgments but judges too are criticised.

Why the judiciary should take constructive criticism sportingly?

Separation of news and views is very essential for effective functioning of a democracy, but constructive criticism is also equally important. 

Part of the media’s job is to report on and analyse and, in its opinion columns, criticise not just political leaders but all powerful players in the system – from the police to armed forces and judges to corporates. 

As these institutes take decisions of great public significance, they should be encouraging of these criticisms which also reflect the plurality of voices in a democracy. 

In the same spirit, the Supreme court can also give a thought to decriminalise what is termed as ‘scandalising the court’. This provision doesn’t sit well in a democracy. 

GS Paper 3

Legal MSP: A right and a necessity

Source: This post is based on the article “Legal MSP: A right and a necessity” published in The Indian Express on 31st Dec 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Issues related to MSP

Relevance: Legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP)

News: The demand for legal guarantee for the MSP has become the subject of much debate since the start of the farmer agitation. Many arguments have been given centred around its economic and legal feasibility. But, most are not supported by data or sound economic logic.

Must Read: Legalising MSP: Challenges and way forward – Explained, pointwise
What are the farmers’ actual demands wrt MSP?

Farmers are not demanding that the government or a trader be forced to buy all the market surplus at MSP. Irrespective of the quantity of a crop they are willing to buy, they must not buy it below the declared MSP.

For more: Read here

What is the economics behind the MSP demand?

The total value of the output of the 23 crops at MSP prices for 2020-21 was about Rs 12 lakh crore. This total produce is not sold or marketed.

Farmers retain a big part of their produce for self-consumption, animal feed, and seeds. Some of it is also exchanged within the village and a part is also eaten by rodents or perishes during harvesting, transportation and storage.

Thus, amount of produce consumed = Rs 4 lakh crore

Only about Rs 8 lakh crore worth of MSP crops is actually marketed.

Out of this, amount purchased by the Govt = Rs 4 lakh Crore

Amount purchased by pvt sector = Rs 4 lakh Crore (Farmers are seeking the legal enforcement of MSP on this portion as well). Pvt sector purchases this amount at 25% below the MSP, thereby paying Rs 3 lakh crore. Thus, if there was legal status for MSP, the private sector would have paid a maximum of Rs 1 lakh crore more to the farmers for the same quantities in 2020-21.

Thus, the Govt would not be under any added financial burden.

What are the benefits of legalisation of MSP?

By giving legal status to MSP, the extra Rs 1 lakh crore would flow from the private sector to the farmers, who will spend it and create more demand in the economy.

This will lead to an increase in employment, investment and eventually, government taxes.

For more: Read here and here

A legal backing for MSP is a great instrument to control the production quantities of various crops to match demand.

The country could also become self-sufficient in edible oils and pulses by ensuring remunerative MSPs for these crops. This has been proven in the case of pulses where production has increased substantially, reducing import dependence over the last four years.

Ensuring remunerative prices for our farmers is also essential for food security. And food security is tied to national security and sovereignty.

Why concerns against legalisation of MSP are flawed?

Some economists argue that if the MSP is legally enforced, the private sector won’t purchase the crops and all the quantities would have to be purchased by the government. Sugarcane prices are prescribed by the government, but private mills have not stopped their procurement.

Industries have not closed due to the Minimum Wages Act.

Purchasing of petrol, diesel has not stopped because the government is charging exorbitant taxes.


Disinvestment needs a different approach

Source: This post is based on the article “Disinvestment needs a different approach” published in Business Standard on 30th Dec 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

Relevance: Formulating a strategy for boosting the disinvestment programme

News: The overall performance on the disinvestment front in 2021 is particularly disappointing. The government has raised only about Rs 9,300 crore compared to the target of Rs 1.75 trillion.

This needs to be changed because, India’s post-pandemic medium-term growth, to a large extent, will depend on how government finances are managed, and the disinvestment programme will be critical in this context.

Must Read: Privatization of Air India – Explained, pointwise
Why a better disinvestment performance was needed?

This is because of the following two reasons:

Firstly, despite higher tax collection, higher receipts from disinvestment would have helped push up capital expenditure, enabling faster and more durable economic recovery.

Secondly, market conditions were extremely favourable. The private sector has raised record sums, and the momentum is likely to continue in the near term.

What are the issues wrt disinvestment policy of the Government?

Despite being on the agenda for decades, disinvestment has not been approached more systematically over the years.

For instance: The government has made one public sector enterprise (PSE) buy another to meet disinvestment targets in the past. In a recent report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) objected to such an exercise and noted that it defeats the spirit of disinvestment.

Further, the gains from disinvestment have been used to lower the fiscal deficit.

Why Govt should not run a large number of enterprises?

Many of the enterprises are a burden on government finances and impose high costs.

Only few contribute to the overall profits: As per a 2019 CAG report, which reviewed over 600 central government PSEs for the financial year ending 2018, over 70% of profits earned by state-owned firms were contributed by 52 companies in sectors such as petroleum, coal and lignite.

Accumulation of losses: PSEs tend to do well in areas where competition is limited, as adapting to a rapidly changing business environment and handling competition is inherently difficult in the public sector with all its constraints.

This is one of the main reasons why public sector firms lost in sectors such as telecom and aviation despite massive financial and other support from the government. For instance: In the CAG’s sample, 184 companies had accumulated losses of over Rs 1.42 trillion.

What is the way forward?

First, Govt should announce a medium-term target for attaining the stated policy objective of reducing its presence, except in a select few firms in strategic areas. This selected list should also be made public to provide more certainty.

Second, the government should have a rolling list of PSEs to be disinvested/privatised, at least over the next three years. Finding firms/shares to sell depending on budgetary needs will not help. Every company/sector has its own set of issues that will need to be addressed—and the process will take time.

Third, the government should declare the yearly fiscal deficit number, both with and without accounting for disinvestment proceeds. This will be important because proceeds in some years could be much higher. Thus, the focus of should be on managing the deficit without disinvestment receipts.

The government should identify large projects that can be financed with disinvestment funds. It can clearly show in the budget documents where the proceeds are going. This would send a signal that Govt is not only selling assets but also building new ones while improving the growth potential of the economy.


On James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): A new universe

Source: This post is based on the article “A new universe” published in Business Standard on 30th Dec 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Science and Technology

Relevance: Importance of the James Webb Space Telescope

News: The 25-year saga of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) illustrates the difficulties in doing pure science, and the way international cooperation can overcome such difficulties.

The JWST was conceptualised in 1996 when development began with an initial R&D budget of $500 million.

It took a combined effort from America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to launch the JWST. The lifetime mission cost will be over $10 billion.

The technical difficulties were considerable. It took thousands of scientists and engineers to iron out the problems, and create the JWST. A total of 258 companies, government agencies, and academic institutions have contributed, over the past 25 years.

Key points

  Apart from distant galaxies, it would also analyse exoplanets (planets orbiting other star systems) in great detail.

One of the wonderful features of this project is that anybody can submit a proposal for JWST observations, and the data gathered and transmitted back to Earth will all eventually be publicly available.

Read more about JWST:

JWST in the centre of a LGBT debate

Explained: NASA’s flagship telescope, and its successor


Debt-for-climate swaps an effective means for relief

Source: This post is based on the article “Debt-for-climate swaps an effective means for relief” published in Livemint on 30th Dec 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Relevance: Understanding importance of Debt-for-climate swaps

News: A global transition to a net-zero economy requires huge amounts of annual financing by vulnerable and low income countries.

Moreover, the pandemic has induced a debt distress around the world. This debt pressure and the climate crisis can be addressed jointly via Debt-for-climate swaps.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that “it makes sense” to seek to address debt pressures and the climate crisis jointly. The idea is to arrange “green debt swaps”
How the problem of debt distress risen in the pandemic and what are the implications?

Debt distress is at historic levels.

During the pandemic, low-income countries’ overall debt burden increased 12%, reaching $860 billion in 2020.

– Debt Service Suspension Initiative: When the pandemic struck, there was a visible threat of a sudden stop to capital flows and an emerging-markets financial crisis. The G20 responded by adopting the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, which was used by more than 40 countries to postpone repayment.

Still, an IMF analysis of 70 low-income countries finds that seven are already in debt distress, and that 63 are at high or moderate risk of debt distress.

Implications of debt distress:

Future borrowing becomes more expensive, resulting in less access to funds. This means many countries start relying more on exporting natural resources to pay back what they owe.

Must Read: What are Green Debt Swaps?
Is the idea of green debt swaps new?

No. The idea is something similar to the Brady bonds that have been tested since the 1980s. Debtors used official loans from the IMF and the World Bank to acquire US Treasury bonds as collateral. This allowed them to exchange existing bank loans at a heavy discount for tradable, guaranteed Brady bonds.

For instance: In 1987, Conservation International used donor funds to acquire $650,000 of Bolivian external debt at the heavily discounted price of $100,000. In return, Bolivia undertook to protect the Beni Biosphere Reserve, furnishing $250,000 (in local currency) for its management.

There were doubts about the effectiveness and durability of green debt swaps, so the amounts involved remained small.

What is the issue with addressing climate crisis and debt distress jointly?

Climate-mitigation financing is needed most in high-income countries, which are not facing any debt distress at all.

On the other hand, even in many low-income countries that are highly exposed to climate change, only few are facing both problems together.

Hence, the match between financing needs and addressing the environmental externality is imperfect at best.

What is the way forward?

Bilateral debt-relief can be granted to low income countries in the form of conditional fiscal transfers and grants to incentivise climate-adaptation spending.

Mobilizing both private and public funding will also be essential. It will require the creation of liquid markets for climate bonds and probably some credit enhancements in a tripartite Brady arrangement.

The IMF could use recycled special drawing rights to lend to low-income countries the resources they need to acquire collateral for green Brady bonds.

Management and monitoring of abatement and climate investments could be carried out using the model of the trust funds.


Should vaccination be made mandatory?

Source: This post is based on the article “Should vaccination be made mandatory?” published in The Hindu on 31st Dec 2021 

Syllabus: GS3 – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. 

Relevance: Vaccination, Pandemic, Public health 

News: It has been approximately one year since the introduction of vaccines. Despite many achievements there are still numerous challenges to be tackled like vaccine hesitancy and shortage in supplies. 

In this light, calls are being made to make vaccination mandatory.

We need to understand that in public health, the education and service approach works much more than the legal approach.

At the same time, legal measures could be used appropriately — by restricting entry, incentives or disincentives — to convince people to get vaccinated. 

What have been the positives in the Indian vaccination program? 

There is reasonable vaccination coverage across the country and many issues in vaccine supplies and logistics have been rectified now.  

Transparency in reporting adverse events: Reporting of adverse events is systematically done at the primary, sub-centre, block and district levels. There are various committees that include specialists who go through the reports. 

What are the challenges that still remain? 

Vaccine coverage: Although many eligible people are getting vaccinated. But the last mile reach has become a challenge, particularly among, the 50-plus population who have either received the first dose but are reluctant to get their second dose or have not received even their first dose yet.  

Many countries are moving towards booster doses, but we have not completed vaccination of all the eligible persons with even the first dose of the vaccine.

Almost 23% of healthcare and frontline workers are yet to get their second dose in India.  

Rumours being spread against vaccines: Anti-vaxxers are actively spreading a lot of rumours, pseudoscience and unscientific information. Rumours are spread on social media and through WhatsApp. 

Although vaccines have reached the remotest corners but there is challenge is to reach the population reluctant to get vaccinated. 

What is the way forward? 

Reach out to people who are still reluctant to get vaccinated and educate them about the importance of getting vaccinated. Involve doctors, community influencers such as religious leaders, political leaders, panchayat leaders and other influential groups, frontline and healthcare workers. 

Govt can promote awareness through using example of previous successful vaccination campaigns. Example – How vaccination has eradicated smallpox and Polio is on verge of eradication. 

Governments can focus on particular population subgroups where vaccination is low and take targeted efforts to create awareness.

Incentives for people who get vaccinated. 

Rumour-mongering groups and anti-vaccine lobbies must be dealt seriously, and legal action should be taken against them. Governments can come up with advertisements on television or newspapers.  

Children should be vaccinated, while booster doses should be administered to the eligible population.  

Developed countries should understand the problems faced by developing and low-economic countries. The huge vaccine inequity present in the world should be resolved. 

Some cities have already achieved 100% coverage (first dose). There is need to study such models.  

Is it possible to make vaccination mandatory? 

Although some states have made vaccination mandatory for entry into public places and workplaces while the Central Govt has maintained that vaccination is voluntary.  

Govt can introduce mandatory vaccination by giving more importance to the community health vis a vis Individual’s right for denying vaccination. 

For Example – Smallpox was eradicated by making vaccination compulsory from 1965 to 1975.

Local health authorities have the power to make vaccination mandatory as COVID has been declared a notifiable disease under different Acts of the States or the Epidemic Diseases Act. If anyone seeks exemption, they will have to approach the Judicial Magistrate.  


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

What does NFHS-5 data tell us about state of women empowerment in India

Source: This post is based on the article “What does NFHS-5 data tell us about state of women empowerment in India” published in Down To Earth on 31st December 2021.

What is the News?

India aims to achieve United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goal-5, which focuses on women empowerment and gender equality, by 2030. To measure the progress of women’s rights in the country, National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 provides data regarding the position of women for 2019-21 on a few key indicators.

Must read: NFHS-5 and its findings – Explained, pointwise
What are the findings of NFHS-5 on women empowerment?

Participation in household decision-making: Nearly 88.7% of currently married Indian women tend to participate in the key household decision about healthcare for themselves, make major household purchases and visit family or relatives.

At least 16 out of 28 states and 6 out of 8 Union territories have more than 90% women participating in household decision-making, a significant jump from 11 states and 2 UTs in the NFHS-4 survey.

Read more: Reading sex ratio trends in NFHS-5 data
Source: DTE

Participation in paid works: Only 25.4% of women aged 15-49 years who worked in the last 12 months were paid in cash. This figure is abysmally low with almost negligible improvement from the last survey (2015-16). None of the states crossed the 50 per cent mark in this category.

Owning a bank or savings account: Among all selected indicators, the percentage of women having a savings/bank account that they themselves use has made the most significant improvement.

At the national level, India has seen a 35.6 percentage point jump within a matter of five years. This progress could be credited to schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the increasing microfinance initiatives over the past five years.

Owning a mobile phone: There has been a small increase in women’s access to mobile phones over the last half-a-decade. The figure has gone up from 45.9 per cent to 54 per cent between the two surveys. Except for Haryana and Chandigarh, all states have shown a positive trend in this category.

Read more: Don’t ignore context of NFHS data

The Gender Development Index had mentioned India’s position at 140th among 156 countries, thus there is always room for improvement and greater efforts need to be made for rapid transformation of women’s position in our society.


Scientists develop high-performance transistor models and circuits useful for space and defense applications

Source:This post is based on the article Scientists develop high-performance transistor models and circuits useful for space and defense applicationspublished in PIB on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the news?

Indian researchers have developed a high performance industry-standard model for Aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN/GaN) High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs).

What is a High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs)? 

HEMT or High Electron Mobility Transistor is a type of field effect transistor (FET) which is used to produce high performance at microwave frequencies. 

In March 2021, scientists from Bangalore has developed a first-ever indigenous HEMT device made from gallium nitride (GaN).

What has the researchers developed now?

Researchers have now developed a high performance industry-standard model for HEMT device made from Aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN/GaN).

Properties: The device has two excellent properties – high mobility and high-power performance. These properties reduce the noise figure and complexity while designing Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) (used in wireless transmission like mobile phones, base stations) while increasing the achievable bandwidth.

This device can also be used to make high-power Radio Frequency (RF) circuits. (Radio Frequency circuits include amplifiers and switches, which are used in wireless transmission and are useful for space and defence applications)

It has also become technology of choice for high-frequency and high-power applications like 5G, radars, base stations, satellite communications.


Year End Review – 2021 – Ministry of Coal

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Year End Review – 2021 – Ministry of Coal’ published in PIB on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the news?

The Ministry of Coal has launched several initiatives in the year 2021.

Some of these initiatives are:

Amendments to Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) [CBA] Act, 1957

Minerals Concession (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2021

Single Window Clearance Portal

Coal Import Monitoring System: It requires importers to submit advance information in an online system for import of Steam Coal. On submission of online data/information, the system will generate an automatic unique Registration Number. No manual documents are to be submitted to any public authority for this purpose.

Commercial Coal Mining: The auction-based regime introduced in 2014 allowed private sector participation.However, it was limited to captive usage in own end use plants.The sector has been opened up for commercial coal mining by private players in 2020.

Setting up of Coking Coal Washeries: Metallurgical coal or coking coal is a grade of coal that can be used to produce good-quality coke. Coke is an essential fuel and reactant in the blast furnace process for primary steelmaking.

Sustainable Development Cell

Vriksharopan Abhiyan -2021


Year End Review – 2021 – Ministry of Mines

Source: This post is based on the articleYear End Review – 2021 – Ministry of Minespublished in PIB on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the news?

The Ministry of Mines has launched several initiatives in the year 2021.

Some of these initiatives are:

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 

National Institute of Rock Mechanics (NIRM): It is an autonomous Research Institute under Ministry of Mines.The Institute deals with field and laboratory investigations, basic and applied research, and solving complex problems in almost the entire spectrum of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering related to Mining and Civil Engineering activities.

Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021 

Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL): It was established as an autonomous Public Sector Company in 1972 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines for systematic exploration of minerals to bridge the gap between the initial discovery of a prospect and its eventual exploitation. 

Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021

Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) 

Mining Surveillance System(MSS): It is a satellite-based monitoring system. It aims to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration by curbing instances of illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology.

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY): It was launched in 2015 and  implemented by the District Mineral Foundations(DMF) for taking up development and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas and other directions from time to time.

Geological Survey of India (GSI)

Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM): It was established in 1948. It is a multidisciplinary government  organisation under the Ministry of Mines. It is engaged in conservation, scientific development of mineral resources and protection of environment in mines other than coal, petroleum & natural gas, atomic minerals and minor minerals.


Long lived correlations between waves in atomic systems at ultralow temperatures can be exploited for efficient quantum computing

Source:This post is based on the articleLong lived correlations between waves in atomic systems at ultralow temperatures can be exploited for efficient quantum computingpublished in PIB on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the news?

According to a study, Correlations between waves in atomic systems or spin coherences are long-lived at ultralow temperatures.

Background

Spin is a fundamental quantum property of atoms and elementary particles such as electrons and protons. 

As atoms are cooled to lower temperatures, their quantum nature is manifested more prominently. However, the measurements on spins at ultralow temperatures were not available. 

This is because most of the detection techniques in cold atom experiments are destructive and disturbs the atomic sample during detection.

About the study

The study was done to measure spin properties of atoms at ultralow temperatures.The scientists have found that the correlations between waves in atomic systems or spin coherences are long-lived at ultralow temperatures.

What is the significance of this study?

Firstly, ​​system with long-lived spin coherences is a better resource as a quantum computer. It allows quantum operations and logic gates to be more efficiently implemented so that the system becomes a better quantum sensor compared to systems where coherence is short-lived.

Secondly, this newly explored property of atomic systems at low temperature can be exploited for efficient quantum sensing and quantum information processing for application in quantum computation and secure communication. 

Thirdly, this technique can also help us study the real-time dynamics of quantum phenomena such as quantum phase transitions in a non-invasive manner.


Explained: Two new vaccines, an oral pill against Covid-19, and how they work

Source:This post is based on the article ‘Explained: Two new vaccines, an oral pill against Covid-19, and how they work’ published in Indian Express on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the news?

India has approved two more Covid-19 vaccines, Corbevax and Covovax under emergency use authorization.It has also approved an antiviral drug, Molnupiravir to fight against COVID-19.

Must Read: What is Molnupiravir, the Covid-19 pill approved by India?

What is Covovax Vaccine?

Covavax is manufactured by Serum Institute of India(SII) and has been developed by US-based Novavax.

How does it work? It is a protein subunit vaccine that uses Recombinant Nanoparticle Technology (RNT).In this, harmless copies of the spike protein are grown in insect cells; the protein is then extracted and assembled into virus-like nanoparticles.

Novavax has also used an immune-boosting compound (adjuvant).The same technology is used in HPV and the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Efficacy: Based on phase trials, it has an efficacy of 96.4% against the original virus strain, 86.3% against Alpha and 89.7% efficacy overall.

Must Read: DGCI approved Corbevax Vaccine
What is Protein Sub-unit Vaccine and what are its drawbacks?

Protein subunit vaccines are made by isolating a piece of the actual virus. As fragments are used, there is no danger that these will multiply within the body. These pieces are expected to trigger an immune response that will hopefully prevent future infection. 

A downside to subunits is that because they contain only a part of the virus, they may miss certain characteristic signatures of the virus and the immune system may fail to recognise them. This problem is overcome by using adjuvant or booster shots. 

Another weakness is that these vaccines don’t infect the cells (like inactivated DNA or mRNA vaccines) and therefore doesn’t elicit the long-lasting immunity conferred by cells (or the T-cell response).


IIT Madras tops in Atal innovation rankings

Source:This post is based on the article IIT Madras tops in Atal innovation rankingspublished in The Hindu on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the news?

The Ministry of Education’s innovation cell released the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2021.

What is ARIIA 2021?

Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements(ARIIA) is a policy initiative of the Ministry of Education (MoE) implemented through AICTE and Innovation Cell.

Aim: To systematically rank all major higher educational institutions and universities in India.

Parameters: The various parameters considered in ARIIA for ranking are: 

– Budget & Funding Support

– Infrastructure & Facilities

– Awareness, Promotions & support for Idea Generation & Innovation

– Promotion & Support for Entrepreneurship Development

– Innovative Learning Methods & Courses

– Intellectual Property Generation, Technology Transfer & Commercialization

– Innovation in Governance of the Institution.

Categories: The rankings were made under two categories: Technical and Non-Technical.

The technical category included 5 sub-categories-

Central Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs), Central University, & Institute of National Importance

State University & Deemed University (Govt. & Govt. Aided)

Govt. College/Institution (Govt. & Govt. Aided)

–  University & Deemed University (Self-Finance/Private)

Private College/Institute (Self-Finance/Private)

The non technical category included two sub-categories-

Central Funded Institutes (CFIs)/Central University/Institute of National Importance (Non-Technical)

General (Non-Technical)

What are the key rankings of ARIIA 2021?

Institute of National Importance, Central Universities & CFTIs:  IIT Madras has secured the first rank. IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi were placed at the second and third ranks respectively.

Institute of National Importance, Central Universities & CFTIs (non-technical): Indira Gandhi National Open University


Draft rules for GM Foods: FSSAI draft norms on GM food unacceptable: Activists

Source: This post is based on the article FSSAI draft norms on GM food unacceptable: Activistspublished in Economic Times on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the News?

Social activists working among farmers have come out against the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) draft regulations on genetically modified (GM) food, terming it “unacceptable”.

Background

FSSAI has released draft regulations for GM foods. The rules will apply to Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) or Genetically Engineered Organism (GEOs) or Living Modified Organism (LMOs) intended for direct use as food or for processing.

The regulations will cover food products that may have been made using food ingredients or processing aid derived from GMO, even if GM content is not present in the end-product.

Read more: What are GM Crops?
What are the key provisions of the Draft rules for GM Foods?

No one can manufacture or sell any food products or food ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without prior approval.

Specify norms that labs will need to adhere to for testing GM foods.

Genetically Modified Organisms or Genetically Engineered Organisms “shall not be used as an ingredient” in infant food products.

Labelling norms for food products that contain 1% or more than one percent of GMO content.

Must Read: GM Crops in India: Issues and Challenges
What are the objections to these rules by Activists?

The rules have proposed that all food products having individual genetically engineered ingredients of 1% or more will be labelled as “Contains GMO/Ingredients derived from GMO”. Activists claimed this as silent approval to import GM food instead of prohibiting them.

Read more: Govt. allows GM soy meal import to support poultry industry

Konark Sun Temple: Added by British for stability, sand inside Konark Sun Temple may be cleared

Source:This post is based on the article ‘Added by British for stability, sand inside Konark Sun Temple may be cleared’ published in Indian Express on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the News?

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has revealed it is working on a preliminary roadmap to safely remove sand from the interiors of Konark Sun Temple.

Why ASI is removing sand from the interiors of Konark Sun Temple?

The British administration in 1903 had filled the Jaga Mohan (assembly hall) of the Sun Temple with sand and sealed it in order to maintain the stability of the temple. They had made a hole on the top portion of the Jaga Mohan and poured the sand through that.

However, the need to remove the sand was felt after a study warned of possible damage caused by the sand settling down — resulting in a gap of 17 feet between the sand layer and the structure.

To carry out the sand-removing process, ASI is going to be assisted by the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) at Roorkee.

About Konark Sun Temple
Source: World History Encyclopedia

It was built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1238-1264) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty and is located near Puri, Odisha. The temple is a classic example of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture.

The temple forms part of the golden triangle of Odisha, along with Puri and Bhubaneswar. It was given the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO.

The temple is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance. Sailors once called this Sun Temple of Konark, the Black Pagoda because it was supposed to draw ships into the shore and cause shipwrecks.


India Semiconductor Mission(ISM): Semiconductor mission launched by IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Semiconductor mission launched by IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’ published in Business Standard on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the News?

The Information Technology Minister has launched the India Semiconductor Mission.

Must ReadNeed of Indigenous Semiconductor Manufacturing Facilities in India – Explained Pointwise
What is the India Semiconductor Mission?

India Semiconductor Mission(ISM) is a specialised and independent business division within the Digital India Corporation (a not for profit company set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).

Aim: To build a vibrant semiconductor and display ecosystem to enable India’s emergence as a global hub for electronics manufacturing and design.

The mission is authorised to negotiate with the applicants under the semiconductor fab scheme and the display fab scheme. 

Must read: Semiconductor manufacturing in India – Explained, pointwise

This mission has been given the autonomy to decide the appropriate technology mix, applications, node generation, capacity and propose the structure and quantum of fiscal support for the selected applicants. 

Note: A fab is short for a fabrication plant where raw silicon wafers are processed and turned into integrated circuits.
What are the other schemes launched with this mission?

Scheme for setting up Semiconductor Fabs in India: The scheme aims to attract large investments for setting up semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities. Under the scheme, fiscal support of up to 50% of the project cost has been approved for setting up certain variants of silicon-based semiconductor fab in India. The financial support is for six years from the date of approval.

Must Read: The dreams of being a chip hub

Scheme for setting up Display Fabs in India: The scheme aims to attract large investments in manufacturing TFT LCD or AMOLED-based display panels. Under the scheme, fiscal support of up to 50% of the project cost will be provided.

Scheme for Setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics and Semiconductor ATMP / OSAT facilities

Design Linked Incentive(DLI) Scheme: The scheme aims to offer financial incentives as well as design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets among others. Under the scheme, the Government offers an incentive of up to 50% of eligible expenditure and a product deployment linked incentive of 4-6% on net sales for five years.

Must ReadSemiconductors: Why India should not make chips – Instead, the focus should be on other parts of the global value chain

Making solar cells efficient, cheaper, recyclable: IIT-Guwahati finds a way

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Making solar cells efficient, cheaper, recyclable: IIT-Guwahati finds a way’ published in Down To Earth on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the News?

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed Hybrid Perovskite-based Devices that can generate electricity through solar energy at a power conversion efficiency of more than 21%.

What is the current method to produce electricity through solar energy?

Among all the renewable energy sources, the energy from the sun is considered to be the most sustainable due to its ample availability on the surface of the earth. 

Currently, silicon-based inorganic solar cells are a major player in the market. However, this technology requires high-temperature processing that results in the high price of solar panels. Further, the recycling of solar panels is perilous and complicated.

Must read: [Yojana December Summary] Self-reliance in Energy Sector – Explained, pointwise
What is an alternative to silicon-based inorganic solar cells?

The perovskite-based devices also called photovoltaic devices are considered as an alternative.

These devices are affordable, easy to manufacture, eco-friendly and can be recycled easily. However, perovskite materials are unstable towards humidity and oxygen, which restricts their commercialisation.

What have the researchers done to overcome this drawback of perovskite-based devices?

Researchers have used a coating of appropriate material on perovskite-based devices so that it becomes ‘stable’ or less readily affected by the environment, in this case, humidity and oxygen. 

Read more: Govt aims to tap solar energy to power cold chain facilities

Drugs-Free India Campaign and SMILE scheme: New scheme to support the marginalised

Source: This post is based on the article New scheme to support the marginalisedpublished in The Hindu on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has informed about the new schemes to support the marginalised.

SMILE Scheme

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated an umbrella scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”.

Read here: SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise formulated

Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan

​​‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ was launched in 2020 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The campaign was launched across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable ​​in terms of usage of drugs in the country. 

The focal points of the Campaign are preventive, mass education and sensitization, capacity building of service providers, positive partnership with educational institutions, and augmentation of treatment, rehabilitation and counselling facilities. 


Year-End- Review-2021- Ministry of Science and Technology

Source: This post is based on the articleYear-End- Review-2021- Ministry of Science and Technologypublished in PIB on 31st Dec 2021.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Science and Technology has launched several initiatives in 2021.

Some of them are:

India’s ranking in global S&T indices continues to rise

India has risen to the 46th position, featuring within the top 50 innovative economies globally as per Global Innovation Index(GII).

India remains among the top 3 countries in scientific publication as per the NSF database.

India has also reached 3rd Position in terms of no of PhDs, in size of Higher Education System; as well as in terms of number of Startups.

National Supercomputer Mission (NSM)

GATI

Women Scientists Scheme

Saffron Cultivation in the Northeast: Saffron Cultivation was so far confined to parts of Kashmir. The Northeast saw the successful cultivation of saffron for the first time in the Yangang village of South Sikkim. It is now being expanded to Twang, Arunachal Pradesh and Barapani, Meghalaya.

Fund for Industrial Research Engagement (FIRE)

SAMVEDAN 2021

INSPIRE MANAK awards

Mission Innovation: As a part of Mission Innovation 2.0, India is co-leading the Innovation Community on low carbon affordable heating and cooling of buildings along with the European Commission and the UK. 

6BIO Compound

National Innovation Foundation(NIF)

National climate vulnerability assessment report

Mains Answer Writing

Recrafting India nutrition initiative

Source– The post is based on the article “Recrafting India nutrition initiative” published in The Indian Express on 5th December 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Poverty and hunger News– The article explains the issues of health and nutrition in India According to RGI, India’s maternal mortality rate was 97 during 2018-20. It was 301 during 2001-03.Infant mortality… Continue reading Recrafting India nutrition initiative

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Poor soil management will erode food security

Source– The post is based on the article “Poor soil management will erode food security” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- India geography Relevance– Issues related to soil conservation and management News– The article explains the issue of soil degradation in India What is the importance of healthy soil? They support… Continue reading Poor soil management will erode food security

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From a vicious cycle to virtuous cycle

Source– The post is based on the article “From a vicious cycle to virtuous cycle” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Indian economy and mobilization of resources Relevance– Informal economy News– The article explains the new concept of returnable grant for fulfilling the credit needs of the informal sector. What are… Continue reading From a vicious cycle to virtuous cycle

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Traffickers are moving online in search of victims

Source– The post is based on the article “Traffickers are moving online in search of victims” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Challenges to internal security,. GS2- Vulnerable sections Relevance– Issue of trafficking News– The article explains the issue of use of online mediums for trafficking of children and women. What… Continue reading Traffickers are moving online in search of victims

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Why has the Reserve Bank of India introduced an e-rupee?

Source: The post is based on an article “Why has the Reserve Bank of India introduced an e-rupee?” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian Economy Relevance: concerns associated with digital rupee News: The Reserve Bank of India has launched the digital rupee on a pilot basis. What is the digital rupee?… Continue reading Why has the Reserve Bank of India introduced an e-rupee?

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MPs and MLAs have special rights to free speech for a valid reason

Source: The post is based on the article “MPs and MLAs have special rights to free speech for a valid reason” published in Live Mint on 5th December 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – Governance Relevance: Concerns associated with parliamentary privileges of MPs. News: The Supreme Court is reconsidering the privileges granted to the legislators in the Parliament or… Continue reading MPs and MLAs have special rights to free speech for a valid reason

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First Loss Default Guarantee(FLDG) system: Digital lending – No clarity, awaiting RBI response, say bank & fintechs

Source: The post is based on the article “Digital lending: No clarity, awaiting RBI response, say bank & fintechs” published in Indian Express on 5th December 2022 What is the News? Two months after the Reserve Bank issued guidelines on digital lending, banks, non-banking financial companies and fintech players are still awaiting clarity on many… Continue reading First Loss Default Guarantee(FLDG) system: Digital lending – No clarity, awaiting RBI response, say bank & fintechs

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State of Finance for Nature report: Double financing for natural ecosystems by 2025 to deal with climate, biodiversity crises: UN report

Source: The post is based on the article “Double financing for natural ecosystems by 2025 to deal with climate, biodiversity crisis: UN report” published in Down To Earth on 4th December 2022 What is the News?  The second edition of the State of Finance for Nature report has been released. What is the State of… Continue reading State of Finance for Nature report: Double financing for natural ecosystems by 2025 to deal with climate, biodiversity crises: UN report

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Just Energy Transition Partnership(JETP): India-G7 JETP stuck over coal, Centre’s insistence on own transition plan

Source: The post is based on the article “India-G7 JETP stuck over coal, Centre’s insistence on own transition plan” published in Business Standard on 5th December 2022 What is the News? Global efforts to bring India on board the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) with G7 nations have failed to move forward. What is the… Continue reading Just Energy Transition Partnership(JETP): India-G7 JETP stuck over coal, Centre’s insistence on own transition plan

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Gaslighting: All you need to know about Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Source: The post is based on the article “Gaslighting: All you need to know about Merriam-Webster’s word of the year” published in Indian Express on 5th December 2022 What is the News? Merriam-Webster, America’s oldest dictionary publisher, has chosen “Gaslighting” as its Word of the Year. What is Gaslighting? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Gaslighting as “psychological… Continue reading Gaslighting: All you need to know about Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

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India saw highest levels of Covid-19 related religious hostilities in 2020: Pew Research Center

Source: The post is based on the article “India saw highest levels of Covid-19 related religious hostilities in 2020: Pew Research Center” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022 What is the News? According to a Pew Research Center report, India saw the highest level of religious hostilities during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.… Continue reading India saw highest levels of Covid-19 related religious hostilities in 2020: Pew Research Center

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China-Indian Ocean Region Forum: Explained | China’s moves in the Indian Ocean

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | China’s moves in the Indian Ocean” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022 What is the News? China has convened the first “China-Indian Ocean Region Forum” in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming. What is the China-Indian Ocean Region Forum? Organized by: China International… Continue reading China-Indian Ocean Region Forum: Explained | China’s moves in the Indian Ocean

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Scientists urge Andhra Pradesh govt. to protect glacial-period coastal red sand dunes of Vizag

Source: The post is based on the article “Scientists urge Andhra Pradesh govt. to protect glacial-period coastal red sand dunes of Vizag” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022 What is the News? Geologists have urged the Andhra Pradesh Government to protect the site of Coastal Red Sand Dunes, of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. What… Continue reading Scientists urge Andhra Pradesh govt. to protect glacial-period coastal red sand dunes of Vizag

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Here is why the world needs regenerative agriculture

Source: The post is based on the article “Here is why the world needs regenerative agriculture” published in Down To Earth on 4th December 2022. What is the News? The importance of Regenerative Agriculture was emphasized in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on “Climate Change and Land.” The report listed Regenerative Agriculture… Continue reading Here is why the world needs regenerative agriculture

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COP27: Joining the dots between Binsar and Sharm El-Sheikh

Source: The post is based on the article “COP27: Joining the dots between Binsar and Sharm El-Sheikh” published in the Indian Express on 5th November 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Climate Change. Relevance: About the inconclusive deliberations at the COP27. News: Inconclusive deliberations at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh will increase the impacts of climate change. Why COP27… Continue reading COP27: Joining the dots between Binsar and Sharm El-Sheikh

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Appointments are important — but they can’t protect institutions from political interference

Source: The post is based on the article “Appointments are important — but they can’t protect institutions from political interference” published in the Indian Express on 5th November 2022. Syllabus: GS – 2 – Governance. Relevance: About the independence of the institutions. News: The Supreme Court’s interrogation regarding the appointments to the Election Commission has raised the issue… Continue reading Appointments are important — but they can’t protect institutions from political interference

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Emerging AI: What awaits us?

Source: The post is based on the article “Emerging AI: What awaits us?” published in the Business Standard on 5th November 2022. Syllabus: GS – 3 – Science and Technology. Relevance: About the lessons from the chemical revolution to the AI revolution. News: The chemical revolution started in a small way in the late 18th century, and rose… Continue reading Emerging AI: What awaits us?

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Cap Doesn’t Fit – A price ceiling on Russia’s oil exports unlikely to work. India should act in its national interest

Source: The post is based on the article “Cap Doesn’t Fit – A price ceiling on Russia’s oil exports unlikely to work. India should act in its national interest” published in The Times of India on 5th November 2022. Syllabus: GS – 2 – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests. Relevance:… Continue reading Cap Doesn’t Fit – A price ceiling on Russia’s oil exports unlikely to work. India should act in its national interest

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Size Matters – Naval power will determine India’s military capability. And bigger aircraft carriers are vital

Source: The post is based on the article “Size Matters – Naval power will determine India’s military capability. And bigger aircraft carriers are vital” published in The Times of India on 5th November 2022. Syllabus: GS – 3 – Security challenges and their management in the border areas. Relevance: About the procurement of IAC-2. News: Recently, India’s navy… Continue reading Size Matters – Naval power will determine India’s military capability. And bigger aircraft carriers are vital

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Regulation of Fintech in India – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The RBI had come out with guidelines on Digitial Lending in September 2022. The guidelines were welcomed as they has been aimed at protecting customers from unethical business practices, such as mis-selling, breach of data privacy, unfair business conduct, charging of exorbitant interest rates, adopted by digital lenders. According to… Continue reading Regulation of Fintech in India – Explained, pointwise

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Register for SFG 2023 Level-1 Entrance Test-2 | Registration closes on 8th December 2022

Dear Friends, Greetings from ForumIAS, This is a timely reminder to all the students who have not yet registered for SFG 2023, Level-1 last entrance test. The last date for registration is 8th December 2022.  Beyond this time, the deadline will not be extended and we are not going to conduct any further entrance tests for… Continue reading Register for SFG 2023 Level-1 Entrance Test-2 | Registration closes on 8th December 2022

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Mentor’s Townhall to discuss CSE preparation related issues | 5th & 6th December

Dear Friends, We are pleased to inform you that in the series of Mentor’s Townhall the next townhall session shall be organized on  5th & 6th December 2022 from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. If you have lack of motivation and facing unplanned preparation, execution problems, time management and marks stagnation then it’s a golden opportunity for you. Our new initiative Mentor’s Townhall can help you to… Continue reading Mentor’s Townhall to discuss CSE preparation related issues | 5th & 6th December

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Measuring food insecurity

Source– The post is based on the article “Measuring food insecurity” published in The Indian Express on 3rd December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Poverty and hunger Relevance– Issues related to malnutrition News– India ranked at 107th out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2022. There are some question marks on data used by FAO… Continue reading Measuring food insecurity

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Maritime stocktaking

Source– The post is based on the article “Maritime stocktaking” published in The Indian Express on 3rd December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Various security forces Relevance– Issues related to Indian navy News– The article explains the importance of the navy for the security of our country. It also explains the achievement in the maritime sector. Why… Continue reading Maritime stocktaking

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Connecting India’s East with the Indo-Pacific

Source– The post is based on the article “Connecting India’s East with the Indo-Pacific” published in The Hindu on 3rd December 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Regional and global groupings affecting India interest Relevance– Understanding the concept of Indo-pacific News– The article explains the construct of the Indo-Pacific from the perspective of north-eastern India. Since 2018, India’s… Continue reading Connecting India’s East with the Indo-Pacific

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As CJI constitutes an all-women bench, what’s the status of women in law?

Source: The post is based on an article “As CJI constitutes an all-women bench, what’s the status of women in law?” published in Business Standard on 3rd December 2022.  Syllabus: GS 2 – Social Justice  Relevance: position of women in judiciary  News: The proportion of women enrolling in LLB courses or in judiciary is very low which is… Continue reading As CJI constitutes an all-women bench, what’s the status of women in law?

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Winning the world, softly

Source– The post is based on the article “Winning the world, softly” published in The Times of India on 3rd December 2022. Syllabus: GS2- International relations Relevance– Soft power of India News– The article explains the soft power enjoyed by India in ancient times. It also explains the steps needed to enhance India’s soft power.… Continue reading Winning the world, softly

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Can China and India settle the conflict over the Line of Actual Control?

Source: The post is based on an article “Can China and India settle the conflict over the Line of Actual Control?” published in The Indian Express on 3rd December 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – International Relations Relevance: India and China relations News: China has objected to the military drill that is being conducted between India and the US.… Continue reading Can China and India settle the conflict over the Line of Actual Control?

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Why India needs timely and reliable data on crop production

Source: The post is based on the article “Why India needs timely and reliable data on crop production” published in the Indian Express on 3rd November 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Agriculture Relevance: About the credibility of NSO estimates News: According to the National Statistical Office’s (NSO) latest GDP estimates for July-September, manufacturing contracts 4.3% and agriculture growing… Continue reading Why India needs timely and reliable data on crop production

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Pension scheme: Why the EPF Federation has concerns over the Supreme Court’s ruling

Source: The post is based on the article “Pension scheme: Why the EPF Federation has concerns over the Supreme Court’s ruling” published in the Indian Express on 3rd November 2022. What is the News? The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is yet to issue any guidelines after the Supreme Court’s judgment on higher pensions. About the SC’s judgment… Continue reading Pension scheme: Why the EPF Federation has concerns over the Supreme Court’s ruling

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Divya Kala Mela; an event to showcase the products and craftsmanship of Divyang artisans

Source: The post is based on the article “Divya Kala Mela; an event to showcase the products and craftsmanship of Divyang artisans” published in AIR on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment has inaugurated the Divya Kala Mela in Kartavya Path at India Gate, Delhi. What… Continue reading Divya Kala Mela; an event to showcase the products and craftsmanship of Divyang artisans

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Ministry of Power launches scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 4500 MW for five years under of SHAKTI Policy

Source:  The post is based on the article “Ministry of Power  launches scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 4500 MW for five years under of SHAKTI Policy” published in PIB on 1st December 2022 What is the News? The Ministry of Power has announced a Scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 4500 MW… Continue reading Ministry of Power launches scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 4500 MW for five years under of SHAKTI Policy

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After complaints, Centre set to prioritize wages for MGNREGS site supervisors

Source: The post is based on the article “After complaints, Centre set to prioritize wages for MGNREGS site supervisors” published in The Hindu on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? The Union Rural Development Ministry has devised a protocol to prioritize payment to Mates or site supervisors under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee… Continue reading After complaints, Centre set to prioritize wages for MGNREGS site supervisors

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Most drones crossing border originate from Pak Rangers outposts: Agencies

Source: The post is based on the article “Most drones crossing border originate from Pak Rangers outposts: Agencies” published in The Hindu on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? Most cases of violation of international borders by drones originating from Pakistan in the past one year have taken place in the Amritsar sector of… Continue reading Most drones crossing border originate from Pak Rangers outposts: Agencies

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DigiYatra: These airports in India now have facial recognition technology. How does it work?

Source: The post is based on the article “DigiYatra: These airports in India now have facial recognition technology. How does it work?” published in Indian Express on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? The Union Minister for Civil Aviation has launched Digi Yatra from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi for three airports… Continue reading DigiYatra: These airports in India now have facial recognition technology. How does it work?

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Natovenator polydontus: A goose-necked dinosaur from Mongolia, built like a diving bird

Source: The post is based on the article “Natovenator polydontus: A goose-necked dinosaur from Mongolia, built like a diving bird” published in Indian Express on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? Scientists have discovered a dinosaur fossil in Mongolia that was likely a semi-aquatic diving predator. This dinosaur has been named as Natovenator polydontus.… Continue reading Natovenator polydontus: A goose-necked dinosaur from Mongolia, built like a diving bird

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Wormhole or Einstein-Rosen bridge Theory: Bifrost now a reality, or so

Source: The post is based on the article “Bifrost now a reality, or so” published in Business Standard on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? A team of physicists has created the first-ever wormhole, a tunnel that connects two distant points in space and time. This wormhole is like the magical Bifrost bridge in… Continue reading Wormhole or Einstein-Rosen bridge Theory: Bifrost now a reality, or so

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Tourist guides to front ‘unique India experience’ at G-20 meeting venues

Source: The post is based on the article “Tourist guides to front ‘unique India experience’ at G-20 meeting venues” published in The Hindu on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? One thousand tourist guides would fan out across the 55 locations where G-20 meetings would be held over the next one year to facilitate… Continue reading Tourist guides to front ‘unique India experience’ at G-20 meeting venues

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Explained | How will global layoffs impact India?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | How will global layoffs impact India?” published in The Hindu on 3rd December 2022. What is the News? Many U.S. multinational companies have announced massive layoffs, which already crossed 60,000 in September and October 2022. What is Layoff? A layoff is the temporary or permanent… Continue reading Explained | How will global layoffs impact India?

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Adivasis at bottom rung of India’s development pyramid, finds Tribal Development Report 2022

Source: The post is based on the article “Adivasis at bottom rung of India’s development pyramid, finds Tribal Development Report 2022” published in Down To Earth on 2nd December 2022 What is the News? Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation(BRLF) has released the Tribal Development Report 2022. It is claimed to be the first of its kind… Continue reading Adivasis at bottom rung of India’s development pyramid, finds Tribal Development Report 2022

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Persons with Disabilities: Rights, Challenges and Solutions – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction In a recent Judgment related to compensation for a person rendered disabled by an accident, the Supreme Case made certain remarks regarding disability and persons with disabilities. The Court said, “…in the era of competition, the appellant cannot compete with ‘normal men’…”. The Court also noted that, “a person must… Continue reading Persons with Disabilities: Rights, Challenges and Solutions – Explained, pointwise

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Must Read Current Affairs Articles – December 3rd, 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 The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a certain… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – December 3rd, 2022

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Fighting the naval battle

Source: The post is based on an article “Fighting the naval battle” published in Business Standard on 2nd December 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Security Relevance: challenges associated with the Indian Navy News: The Exercise Malabar was conducted recently by the navies of four quadrilateral countries — Australia, India, Japan and the United States of America. What is… Continue reading Fighting the naval battle

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Coming clean on coal

Source: The post is based on an article “Coming clean on coal” published in The Indian Express on 2nd December 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Environment Relevance: coal-based energy generation and concerns associated with it News: The Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, highlighted the importance of coal-fired plants in meeting developmental requirements.… Continue reading Coming clean on coal

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Safer roads for a greener, more sustainable environment

Source– The post is based on the article “Safer roads for a greener, more sustainable environment” published in The Hindu on 2nd December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Environment pollution Relevance– Causes of environmental pollution News– The article explains the linkages between road safety and clean environment. How do road accidents lead to environmental pollution? Most vehicles… Continue reading Safer roads for a greener, more sustainable environment

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The battle to bring freshwater turtles back from the brink

Source– The post is based on the article “The battle to bring freshwater turtles back from the brink” published in The Hindu on 2nd December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Conservation News– The article explains the issues of turtle trafficking in India. Recently, West Bengal Police seized 270 kg of turtle calipee in Malda district. What is… Continue reading The battle to bring freshwater turtles back from the brink

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How can India make a soft landing amid global economic crash?

Source– The post is based on the article “How can India make a soft landing amid global economic crash?” published in The Indian Express on 2nd December 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Indian economy Relevance– Performance of economy News– The article explains the current situation of the Indian economy. It also exp-lains the future economic prospects. What… Continue reading How can India make a soft landing amid global economic crash?

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Why tracking migration is important for nutrition schemes?

Source– The post is based on the article “Why tracking migration is important for nutrition schemes?” published in The Indian Express on 2nd December 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Poverty and hunger Relevance– Issues related to malnutrition News– The article explains the challenges faced by the government in reducing malnutrition due to high migration in some areas.… Continue reading Why tracking migration is important for nutrition schemes?

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Agnikul inaugurates India’s first private space vehicle launch pad in Sriharikota

Source: The post is based on the article “Agnikul inaugurates India’s first private space vehicle launch pad in Sriharikota” published in Indian Express on 1st December 2022. What is the News? Chennai-based space tech startup Agnikul Cosmos inaugurated India’s first private space vehicle launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre(SDSC) in Sriharikota. What is Agnikul… Continue reading Agnikul inaugurates India’s first private space vehicle launch pad in Sriharikota

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Explained | How do personality rights protect celebrities?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | How do personality rights protect celebrities?” published in The Hindu on 2nd December 2022. What is the News? The Delhi High Court has passed an interim order to prevent the unlawful use of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan’s name, image and voice. The court through its… Continue reading Explained | How do personality rights protect celebrities?

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