9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – July 12th, 2022
We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:
- Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
- 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:
- The Hindu
- Indian Express
- Business Standard
- Times of India
- Down To Earth
- We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
- Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
- 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 Brief – Click Here
- For individual articles of 9 PM Brief– Click Here
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 1
GS Paper 2
- Suman Bery writes: NITI Aayog’s role in ensuring collaboration between states and centre
- Saving Sri Lanka
- C Raja Mohan writes: India’s new West Asia approach is a welcome break with past diffidence
- The new ‘normal’ of political splits and shifts
GS Paper 3
- The scam faultline is damaging Indian banking
- Nano urea potential
- Safety in the sky – The DGCA should have no tolerance for laxity among airlines seeking to cut corners
- ONDC is the disruption Indian commerce needs
- The pandemic-flagged need for a new fiscal framework
- 70,000 Startups & The Helping Hand of Sarkar
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
- Ghana reports first-ever suspected cases of Marburg virus disease
- Service Charge: The new guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices
- Oncolytic Virotherapy(OV): ‘Next-gen’ cancer therapy can kill tumours without harming healthy cells
- World Population Prospects(WPP) Report: UN population report explained: A look at the trends, projections and implication
- The search for dark matter
- Epstein Barr Virus(EBV): Connecting the dots between virus infection and progress of brain cancer
- PM unveils National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament Building
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 1
India in 2023: The challenge and opportunity of being the most populous country
Source: The post is based on the following articles
“UN projections on population underline opportunities and challenges, addressing which will require long-term vision and imagination” published in the Indian Express on 12th July 2022.
“Sonalde Desai writes | India in 2023: The challenge and opportunity of being the most populous country” published in the Indian Express on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS 1 – Population and associated issues.
Relevance: About the recent UNPD report on population.
News: The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) released a new set of population projections on July 11, World Population Day. These projections show that India will become the most populous country in 2023, earlier than the year 2027, as expected.
What is the reason for such an advanced projection?
According to the UNPD, a sustained total fertility rate of 2.1 is necessary for a country to achieve population stability. The latest National Family Health Survey puts this figure at 2. In other words, India is on course to achieving population stability if it maintains this rate in the next few years.
However, India will overtake China because China’s fertility is lower than anticipated. Following years of stringent population control, in 2016, China relaxed its one-child policy to allow two children. Then, in 2021, it was further relaxed to allow a third child.
However, Chinese couples seem to have adjusted to life with a single child, and the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in China is barely 1.16.
|Read more: Elderly population in India – Explained, pointwise|
What are the challenges associated with the increasing population?
For the next 25 years, globally, one in five working-age persons will live in India. However, a sizeable working-age population does not mean many workers.
Low women participation: The size of India’s labour force is constrained by the absence of women from the workforce. The absence of women in factories, the transportation sector and skilled blue-collar work is huge.
Only about 30% of women aged 15 and above are employed either in wage work on family farms and businesses.
Population distribution between states: With fertility transition beginning in southern states and slowly spreading to central India, future workers will come from the central part of the country.
Challenges in interstate migration: With industrial growth concentrated in coastal regions and the bulk of India’s workers coming from central areas, India will also need to figure out how to deal with interstate migration.
Changing inter-generational relations: In 2047, a large proportion of the Indian population will be of working ages. However, after 2050, the older population will rise sharply; by 2100, about 30 per cent of the Indian population will be 65 and above.
This will make it difficult for Indian parents to rely on their traditional mode of survival, living with one or more sons.
|Must read: Population control measures in India – Explained, pointwise|
What should be done?
Firstly, with declining fertility and rising education, many Indian women would like to work if they can find suitable jobs. Making occupations female-friendly is essential if India needs to reap a gender dividend.
Secondly, the youth will have to be equipped with skills that are indispensable to the knowledge economy. India needs to ensure that the education system in central India is improved so that they can create a proper workforce.
Thirdly, India needs better policies to integrate and support migrant workers in their new homes if India wants to adjust to changing demographic realities.
Fourthly, India must develop more robust systems of old-age support. This should include a combination of private savings, public social security programmes and an increase in retirement age, allowing the older population to be economically active for a longer time.
In addition, since most of the elderly will be women, India will also need to increase women’s control over family’s savings, land and residence.
Terms to know:
GS Paper 2
Suman Bery writes: NITI Aayog’s role in ensuring collaboration between states and centre
Source: This post is based on the article “Suman Bery writes: NITI Aayog’s role in ensuring collaboration between states and centre” published in The Indian Express on 12th Jul 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – Polity – Relations between Centre and States
Relevance: NITI Aayog and improving Centre-State relations
Context: The Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog lists out seven propositions centered around his understanding of NITI Aayog’s role in enhancing alignment between the Centre and states.
How has NITI Aayog helped in improving federalism?
Since its inception in 2015, NITI Aayog has been instrumental in promoting competitive and cooperative federalism.
– NITI Aayog organises the annual meeting of the Governing Council (GC) under the leadership of the PM. It brings together chief ministers/Lieutenant-governors of the states/UTs to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues. The aim is to accelerate the implementation of the National Development Agenda.
How can NITI Aayog help improve alignment b/w Centre and States?
States must identify their strengths: States are the Indian economy’s growth drivers. They control urban governance, agriculture, power distribution, land records modernisation, labour law simplification and pollution control.
– For India to remain one of the fastest-growing major economies, states must identify their strengths. NITI Aayog must ensure productive engagement and dialogue with the states to develop a growth roadmap.
Income convergence across states: Despite country-wide economic growth, the less developed Indian states are not catching up.
– NITI Aayog must address this crucial issue through improved governance structures, adequate financial development and infrastructure.
Performance on social indicators is a sound metric for assessing a state’s performance. Social outcomes are de-linked from income in several states. Mizoram’s performance on the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is one example. Despite being a middle-income state, its IMR is the lowest at 3 deaths per 1,000 live births, whereas the national average is 28.
– NITI Aayog has developed several social sector indices and dashboards for effectively tracking and monitoring outcomes. Regular monitoring and performance evaluation will incentivize states to achieve better social outcomes.
Growth at the grassroots: We must focus on ensuring that growth originates from the grassroots, while addressing significant inter-state and inter-district variations. The PM launched the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) to address these challenges through data-driven, outcome-based governance. While lauding the ADP during the conference, the PM emphasized the need to convert the Aspirational Districts into “inspirational districts”.
– NITI Aayog must focus on guiding state governments in replicating the ADP template at the block level and for districts not categorised as aspirational.
Better managed urbanisation is crucial. Cities face challenges such as affordable housing, water supply and waste management. Further, there is a need to tap into resources other than government budgets, such as monetising land assets and engaging private capital in service delivery.
– Efforts to empower and make large urban local bodies atmanirbhar are the needs of the hour.
Sharing of best practices: Several best practices are already being implemented by states across India. NITI Aayog must act as an intermediary between the Centre and states to ensure cross-sharing of these best practices, insights and perspectives.
– Some areas that merit particular focus are the use of advanced technology using blockchain and AI, development of social registry and reducing compliance burden etc.
Conversation around climate change challenge: The world has so far witnessed two models of development— the Industrial Revolution and the rise of East Asia. Both depended on cheap, fossil-fuel energy. India aspires to grow equally fast but is now subject to a carbon constraint.
At the state level, it is critical to understand how the challenges facing states might be affected by decarbonisation, both with regard to mitigation and adaptation.
India needs to continue its national debate around this challenge. Using its convening power, NITI Aayog is well-positioned to generate such a conversation and guide states to catalyse climate action.
Saving Sri Lanka
Source: This post is based on the following articles
“Read Lanka right: Structural economic weakness, not illiberalism, caused the crisis. And that weakness doesn’t apply to India” published in The Times of India on 11th Jul 22.
“Saving Sri Lanka” published in Business Standard on 12th Jul 22.
Syllabus: GS2- India and its neighborhood
Relevance: India-Lanka relations
Context: The prevailing economic crisis in Sri Lanka, pre-crisis problems and how can India help in improving the situation.
Problems with Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has been a South Asian epitome for many decades on Human Development Indicators (HDI). Health, education have been at near-European levels.
Average income has been above the rest of the subcontinent – with a pre-crisis per-capita income nearly double that of India.
But there were always problems in the island nation.
– Sri Lanka received IMF bailouts 16 times since 1965.
– There hasn’t been a single decade since the 1960s when Lanka did not receive at least 2 IMF bailouts.
– With time, size of the bailouts has gone up, but essential bug has persisted.
– During this time, Lanka has endured civil war, political instability and long periods of presumptively “liberal, tolerant” governments – but frequency of bailouts needed didn’t change.
What led to present economic crisis in Sri Lanka?
First, the lack of domestic savings to fund government debt and the lack of stable capital flows to fund the shortage of dollars created every year with a persistent CAD.
Second, since the 1960s, Lanka has depended on multilateral borrowings to finance its Current Account Deficit (CAD) as well as undertake key development projects.
Third, lack of a development bank infrastructure and local savings meant that the bulk of Lanka’s famed HDI achievements came to be funded by the likes of World Bank.
Fourth, despite large concessional foreign loan flows, Lanka had to periodically resort to IMF bailouts in order to bridge its foreign exchange deficits.
Fifth, aided by the optimism around the end of the civil war, Lanka started issuing International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs).
– By 2019 short-tenure ISBs became nearly 50% of government borrowings.
– ISBs, in the absence of drastic improvement in government finances and/or ability to raise local savings, need to be refinanced by raising further ISBs. All of this, in a country that has struggled to raise any meaningful non-debt capital inflows over the years, is close to a casino musical chair game.
Sixth, Loans by China: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) loans fund large infrastructure projects (often unviable, like the Hambantota port) where bulk of the funding is to Chinese contractors executing the project.
This has resulted in a project with little cash flows, limited benefit to the local economy, but a funding liability of the Lanka government.
Seventh, the last and the final reason was likely the sudden wholesale switch to organic farming.
Why such a crisis isn’t possible in India?
India issues zero ISBs, and has negligible dependence on foreign flows to fund its budget.
As a large, sophisticated economy, it attracts enough non-debt capital flows to fund its CAD.
It has a world-class regulatory framework to manage external risks.
Humanitarian suffering and a political vacuum must be avoided.
Money to pay for immediate and essential imports must be found, and New Delhi must support a peaceful transfer of power.
Sri Lanka’s debt, as currently structured, if unsustainable, will need to be restructured. This is critical as it will set precedents for other sovereign debt restructuring that appears inevitable, from Ghana to Laos.
India must now take up a leadership role in addressing Lanka’s problems, without waiting for the global community.
Also, Sri Lanka is small compared to most Indian states, and so a bailout cost will not be prohibitive. Plus, bailing out a fundamentally productive neighbouring country is clearly in the national interest.
There was talk of the outgoing prime minister convening a conference of the country’s creditors, including India, Japan, and China. Such a meeting should certainly go ahead even if the current prime minister himself is not around to conduct it.
C Raja Mohan writes: India’s new West Asia approach is a welcome break with past diffidence
Source: The post is based on an article “India’s new West Asia approach is a welcome break with past diffidence” published in the Indian Express on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations; Regional Grouping
Relevance: I2U2 Forum; Middle East Region
News: The first summit of a new forum known as I2U2 is expected to take place soon during Joe Biden’s visit to Israel.
The forum was launched in 2021. It brings together four countries, namely, India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
How is this forum important for India, in terms of relationship with the Middle East Region?
The I2U2 sets the stage for a new and dynamic phase in India’s relations with the Middle East. The US bet that India can contribute significantly to peace and prosperity in the Middle East region.
It indicates India’s new trends in its Middle East policy since 2014 because India is now ready to engage with those countries with which India had traditionally kept a safe political distance from in the Middle Eastern Region.
India’s relations with the Middle-Eastern Countries and the US
Although India was one of the first countries to recognise Israel in 1950, India did not establish full diplomatic relations with it. For example, India has hosted the Israeli PM in 2003, and there were no prime ministerial visits in either direction during the decade-long period of 2004-14.
India feared that an open engagement with Israel might complicate its relations with the Arab partners.
India-Arab World Relations
Traditionally, India preferred to engage with the republics in the Arab world. However, in the 1970s, India’s ties to the monarchies improved because they became the main source of hydrocarbons, the main destination for Indian labor exports, and a major source of hard currency remittances.
However, despite improvement in India’s economic engagement with the Arab world, India remained wary of engagement with the monarchies in the Arab World as India believed that they were pro-Pakistan.
No Indian PM visited Saudi Arabia between 1982 and 2010 and UAE between 1981 and 2015.
India has opposed its policies in the region undertaken in the name of promoting an “area of peace”. Therefore, I2U2 marks a big break from the anti-Western tradition in India’s approach to the region.
What developments made India to join the new forum?
India is engaging with Israel because various Muslim countries are improving ties with Israel. For example
(1) Turkey, now a champion of political Islam, had diplomatic ties with Israel since the year 1949.
(2) Egypt normalised its relation with Israel in 1980.
The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco set up formal ties with Israel in 2020 Under the (3) Abrahamic accords, promoted by the Trump Administration.
India is also deepening its ties with the Arab world. For example, PM Modi, while on his first visit to Israel in 2018, also became the first Indian PM to visit Palestine.
Since 2014, India has transformed its relations with the Gulf Kingdoms, especially the UAE and Saudi-Arabia based on a personal rapport of the Indian PM and without a reference to Pakistan.
India has negotiated a free trade agreement with the UAE. The UAE has also backed India’s 2019 constitutional changes in Kashmir and is ready to invest in India’s Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
India has increased its engagement with the US in the Indo-Pacific through the Quad in recent years.
India is participating in the West Asian Quad. This has brought India in line with other major powers– including Europe, China, and Russia which are trying and engaging with all parties in the region.
The new ‘normal’ of political splits and shifts
Source: The post is based on an article “The new ‘normal’ of political splits and shifts” published in the “The Hindu” on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
Relevance: Anti-Defection Law in India
News: Recently, the States of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have seen splits in the ruling party. Subsequently, there has been realignment of legislators which inaugurated new governments.
Trends of splits and switches in India
Splits and switches are commonplace in legislatures across the globe. India has also witnessed at least three distinct waves. These were:
(1) In the latter half of the 1960s, there were a number of free movement of legislators across political parties which led to quick turnover of governments in India.
(2) In late 1980s, the anti-defection law was enacted to end the menace and regulate the behaviour of legislators. The law discouraged individual movement and incentivised a collective movement of legislators (mass defection). This happened because the law legitimized the defection of a specific number of legislators.
(3) Since 2014, there have been a number of splits and switches aimed to establish the governments. For example, such happenings were seen in Arunachal Pradesh (2016), Bihar (2017), Karnataka (2019), Madhya Pradesh (2020), and Maharashtra (2022).
What are the problematic aspects with the third phase of the splits and switches in India?
There is no respect for the basic rules of the game. The dominant parties are promoting splits and shifts.
The dominant parties have weaponized the anti-defection law and institutions. For example, these are used to intervene in the internal working of the opposition parties, etc.
Furthermore, legislators are also switching their support even if it does not lead to the making or maintenance of governments.
What are the associated issues?
It could have repercussions in terms of government formation, maintenance, and termination. Therefore, it is immoral and damages the foundations of representative democracy in India.
First, switchers violate the trust of those who voted in their favour on certain grounds.
Second, if it is assumed that voters vote for parties and not candidates, then it makes it difficult for voters to hold party governments accountable for their actions during elections.
Why do legislators split from and switch parties without fearing the negative connotations?
First of all, the notion of political parties is not static, it has changed with time and transformed. For example, Parties constantly adapt new modes to sustain and find success for themselves.
Today’s parties are not classical mass parties, which rise from societal movements and are internally democratic and share a common goal encompassing different dimensions of societal life.
Today’s parties are centralised vote-getting machines which primarily work to ensure the return of political leaders to office. They are working without internal democracy. There is lack of link with the society and mass organization. It is the central leadership that counts and matters. All party activities begin and end with elections.
In this model, the traditional campaign modes have been replaced by new forms of communication and campaign methods. For example, paid professionals are hired to frame strategies, run campaigns and distribute tickets. Therefore, traditional voter bases like labour etc. don’t form the backbone of parties and linkage between parties and the grassroots.
The voters see elected representatives or parties from the perspective of a supplier of goods and services. Therefore, the elected representatives are expected to be in government or at least close to the government. Therefore, the MLAs/MPs switch parties, and defections are not punished by voters.
GS Paper 3
The scam faultline is damaging Indian banking
Source: The post is based on the article “The scam faultline is damaging Indian banking” published in The Hindu on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources.
Relevance: About the impacts of NPA on banking system.
News: The NPAs in banks incur mainly due to bad loans and scams. This affects the entire banking ecosystem. After the DHFL case, ABG Shipyard Limited of Surat had taken a loan of about ₹23,000 crores in a fake manner this year.
There are many examples of bank scams in India. For instance, the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi scam involving the Punjab National Bank, the case of businessman Vijay Mallya involves nearly 13 banks, the IDBI Bank fraud, and the R.P. Info Systems Bank scam to name just a few.
How do bad loans and scams impact the banking system?
Data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) show that around 34% of scams in the banking industry account for inside work and poor lending practices and the involvement of junior and mid-level management.
The RBI data also show that one of the fundamental problems in the development of banking is the rising bank scams and the costs consequently forced on the framework.
Frauds in the banking industry can be grouped under four classifications: ‘Management’, ‘Outsider’, ‘Insider’ and ‘Insider and Outsider’ (jointly). However, all scams are the result of operational failures.
According to the RBI data, corporate loans account for nearly 70% of these bad loans. On the other hand, retail loans, including car loans, home loans and personal loans, account for only 4%.
In a Global Banking Fraud survey, the KPMG highlighted that the issue is not just for India alone; it is a worldwide issue.
|Read more: Government sets up ‘bad bank’ to clear the NPA mess|
What are the NPA Projections?
According to the Financial Stability Report released by the RBI in December 2021, the gross NPAs of banks will be rising from 6.9% in September 2021 to 8.1% of total assets by September 2022 (under a baseline scenario) and to 9.5% under a severe stress scenario.
A study by the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has shown that poor bank corporate governance is the cause behind rising bank scams and NPAs.
What is the impact of NPA on customers?
The banking system of any country is the backbone of its economy. Excessive losses to banks affect every person in the country because the amounts deposited in banks belong to the citizens of the country.
A high NPA also reduces the net interest margin of banks besides increasing their operating cost; these banks meet this cost by increasing the convenience fee from their small customers on a day-to-day basis.
|Read more: PSBs to introduce common staff accountability guidelines for NPAs|
What should be done to improve India’s banking system?
Ensure proper audit: The regulation and the control of chartered accountants is a very important step to reducing NPAs. There is also an urgent need to tighten the internal and external audit systems of banks.
Cautious approach: a) Banks should be cautious while lending to Indian companies that have taken huge loans abroad, b) Public sector banks should set up an internal rating agency for rigorous evaluation of large projects before sanctioning loans, c) There is a need to implement an effective Management Information System (MIS) to monitor early warning signals about business projects.
Use technology: Financial fraud can be reduced to a great extent by the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor financial transactions.
Improve loan recovery process: India has to improve its loan recovery processes and establish an early warning system in the post-disbursement phase. Banks need to carry out fraud risk assessments every quarter.
|Read more: NARCL: Need and Challenges – Explained, pointwise|
Nano urea potential
Source: This post is based on the article “Nano urea potential” published in Business Standard on 12th Jul 22.
Syllabus: GS3 – Industrial policy and growth
Relevance: Fertilizer sector in India and related issues, Nano Urea
News: The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers recently stated that India may not need to import urea after 2025, as domestic production of conventional urea and nano liquid urea supplies may be sufficient to meet the country’s demand.
Why India needs to reduce import dependence of fertilizers?
Currently, the global prices of Urea have soared to new highs and its availability has dwindled due to the Russian-Ukraine conflict and export cuts by China and other countries.
The international urea prices are currently ruling at their highest level since the 2008 food and financial crisis. So are, in fact, the prices of phosphatic and potassic fertilisers, for which the country’s reliance on imports is even higher than that for urea.
Due to India’s import dependence wrt Urea and phospatic and potassic fertilisers, India has to bear a huge subsidy burden. The fertiliser subsidy in the current fiscal year is projected to exceed Rs 2.5 trillion, surpassing last fiscal year’s record of Rs 1.62 trillion by a big margin.
Efforts for Urea self-sufficiency
Self-sufficiency in urea has been on the cards ever since the introduction of the new urea policy in 2015. The policy focussed on a) maximising domestic output, b) promoting energy efficiency in urea manufacturing, and c) reviving the defunct fertiliser plants.
What is nano urea?
Nano-Urea is a new-generation urea, which condenses one bag equivalent of urea into a tiny bottle of 500 ml liquid. It has further speeded up the march towards shedding reliance on imports of Urea.
The cooperative sector fertiliser giant, IFFCO, must be given due credit for pioneering and promoting nano-urea technology, which has already proved its worth as a game-changer.
How can Nano-Urea help India become an exporter of Urea?
The production capacity of nano urea is likely to increase from the present 50 million bottles (each containing 500 ml liquid) to over 440 million bottles with the commissioning of the under-construction nano urea plants.
Moreover, the resurrected fertiliser plants at Ramagundam, Talcher, Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni, and a few new ones at other sites are also expected to begin producing to their full capacity.
Hence, many analysts believe that India should now be looking forward to exporting urea rather than importing it, by capitalising on its huge nano urea production potential.
The breakthrough in nano-technology has also opened up opportunities for the production of nano di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), which is the second-largest in consumption and highly import-dependent farm input.
This product, currently in advanced stages of development, is expected to bring down the cost of DAP by half.
With such developments being on the horizon, India may well be on the cusp of transmuting from a bulk importer to a net exporter of plant nutrients.
What are the advantages offered by nano products?
The significance of these innovations goes far beyond alleviating import-dependence for fertilisers. They offer multiple advantages, like:
– Cost reduction and supply augmentation
– Improvement in fertiliser-use efficiency
– Rise in farmers’ income.
– Enhanced nutrient consumption by plants: Studies have shown that while nutrient consumption by plants (nutrient-use efficiency) is only 25-30% in the case of conventional fertilisers, it rises to 90% for nano products. This helps in pushing up crop yields perceptibly.
– Additionally, the use of nano urea and DAP helps reduce the soil, air, and water pollution attributable to chemical fertilisers.
Safety in the sky – The DGCA should have no tolerance for laxity among airlines seeking to cut corners
Source: The post is based on the article “Safety in the sky – The DGCA should have no tolerance for laxity among airlines seeking to cut corners” published in The Hindu on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS 3 – Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Relevance: To understand aviation safety in India.
News: Recent incidents in Indian aviation have raised concerns about air passenger safety. These incidents cover bird hits, cracked windshields, component failures, engine compressor surges and blade failures, flight diversions, mid-air engine shutdowns, and a case of severe turbulence in the monsoon.
With most of them affecting one airline, SpiceJet. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) has pointed out a ‘degradation of safety margins’, ‘poor internal oversight’ and ‘inadequate maintenance actions’ in aircraft.
|Must read: Air pocket: Show cause to SpiceJet overdue. DGCA has to be more proactive on safety|
What is the performance of aviation safety in India?
According to Ministry of Civil Aviation data, there were 5,268 aircraft movements in the domestic sector. It has even cited an average of 30 such episodes a day.
According to DGCA’s Annual Safety Review in 2020, under ‘Deficient maintenance’ (the objective is to improve the maintenance of Indian registered aircraft), for a target of 2.16 for incidents involving component/system failure per 10,000 flight hours, the achieved performance is 2.39. Similarly, under the number of maintenance errors per 10,000 flight hours, for a target of 1.43, the performance is 1.46.
|Read more: Year End Review -2021- Ministry of Civil Aviation|
What should be done to improve aviation safety?
In an ideal ecosystem, issues with safety would be analysed in terms of the rate of occurrence using tiered categorisation, with the goal of reducing to the minimum level.
With passenger numbers climbing back to pre-COVID-19 levels, the entry of new airlines, and the existing players indicating aggressive fleet expansion plans, the DGCA should have no tolerance for airlines seeking to cut corners in passenger safety.
|Read more: Indian aviation needs a strong and steady tailwind|
ONDC is the disruption Indian commerce needs
Source: The post is based on an article “ONDC is the disruption Indian commerce needs” published in the Live Mint on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS3 – Indian Economy
Relevance: Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)
News: Currently, Indian cities are seeing a pilot run of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) which is aimed to make headway towards democratizing e-commerce.
What are the advantages of the ONDC?
It offers an opportunity to medium and small retailers to adopt digit tools and expand beyond the limits of brick-and-mortar sales.
It removes the need of the small sellers to register on multiple platforms, removes fear of predatory pricing and the risk of losing visibility to brands which are owned or favoured by the platform itself.
|Read more: What is ONDC? – Explained|
It would provide a level playing field between small businesses and big brands at the e-commerce platform as it will be inclusive in nature. The smallest seller in the ONDC ecosystem will be offered as much opportunity to sell products as available to large players.
It aims to provide access to e-commerce platforms, to small manufacturers and suppliers so that they can create their own brands.
The framework may help create several new vertical marketplaces, with players catering to specific or niche segments of customers.
New opportunities will be provided to local players (say in the Tier-II+ cities). For example, imagine a homegrown health and beauty brand collaborating with a small retailer in Madhya Pradesh that deals in forest-based products like mahua, honey, amla, or ashwagandha.
How can the small businesses signing up for the ONDC, create their brands?
They should set standards, maintain the quality of products and services, test products and read markets.
Firms like Mensa and Upscalio could help small businesses create digital brands, optimize product distribution and integrate their operations with the large supply chains.
The small business can tie up with the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies like Marico and Tata Consumer Products. They procure raw materials or processed goods from smaller players, and help them with quality assurance, standardization and other aspects of branding along the way.
In order to become successful, the ONDC needs players of various stripes to build on it. For example, a greater number of sellers from smaller cities should embrace digital technology.
The ONDC should help in integrating businesses to create niche products, provide brand consultants or investors and facilitate hand-hold support of FMCG companies to smaller players.
The pandemic-flagged need for a new fiscal framework
Source: The post is based on an article “The pandemic-flagged need for a new fiscal framework” published in the Live Mint on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS3 – Union Budgeting
Relevance: Fiscal Framework
News: In recent years, there has been suspension of fiscal rules across the globe due to the global financial crisis (GFC).
What were the causes behind suspension of the fiscal rules?
The costs of dealing with the pandemic has raised global government and private debt to record-high levels.
The GFC crisis has been compounded by the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the year 2022.
What are the traditional government approaches in the fiscal management domain?
Fiscal architecture: It involves a fiscal strategy, supported by fiscal institutions such as an accountable and efficient public financial management system (PFM).
Fiscal rules: There has been advocacy for well-designed and implemented numerical fiscal rules. These rules help strengthen the credibility of an administration’s commitment to fiscal sustainability.
What were the issues in the numerical fiscal rules approach?
India adopted numerical fiscal rules in 2003. However, there was pre-covid evidence that demonstrated that numerical fiscal rules did not prevent a large debt build-up over time. Therefore, the rigid numerical fiscal rules did more harm than good.
Thus, it prompted modification of existing rules and revamping of escape clauses. Therefore, the Centre updated the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act in 2018 and adopted multiple fiscal indicators as targets.
What are the issues with India’s new fiscal rule regime?
The fiscal rules have been effectively circumvented by off-budget fiscal operations, inconsistent budget classification and accounting standards. In addition, there have been improper use of public accounts for budgetary purposes in India.
Definitions of key targets, such as ‘fiscal deficit’ or ‘public debt’, vary across state governments and the Centre.
Though the PFM system was strengthened. But it has been able to meet only a fraction of best practice standards. It cannot check misclassification of accounts for compliance.
India needs to develop a system which mandates fiscal sustainability through institutional framework. The institutions should also be allowed to take judgement in the times of crisis.
For example, fiscal responsibility principles should not be time-bound, but must allow the government to manage shocks. This can be done through three key steps:
(1) Instead of adopting numerical fiscal rules, the government should adopt the principles of fiscal responsibility. Such a model has been adopted by New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
(2) Various stands, criteria, procedures and methods should be established. This should be devised in a manner that ensures that standards are being met.
(3) There must be institutions to do surveillance and to determine ex-post compliance with the fiscal responsibility principle.
In a post-pandemic framework, overall, India needs to improve the quality and efficiency of public spending and financial management across all levels of government.
(A) The New Zealand Model –Principles-Based Fiscal Strategy
(1) NZ has enacted ‘the fiscal strategy act’, which requires adherence to the standards and principles of responsible fiscal management. For example, a medium-to-long-term fiscal sustainability report etc.
(2) The government publishes an annual fiscal strategy explaining how its annual fiscal plan is consistent with the standards set out in the law etc.
(3) It ensures transparent public reporting at regular frequency. Further, a periodic public review of the government’s fiscal plans is done by the Parliament and independent fiscal institutions.
(B) In doing this, India should move toward a new principles-based fiscal strategy, rather than returning to a fiscal framework based on rigid numerical fiscal targets.
70,000 Startups & The Helping Hand of Sarkar
Source: The post is based on an article “70,000 Startups & The Helping Hand of Sarkar” published in the Times of India on 12th July 2022.
Syllabus: GS3 – Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.
Relevance: Start-ups Ecosystem in India
News: In recent periods, the government has released a detailed ‘Start-up India Action Plan’, to support and empower start-ups in the country.
About the Start-up India action plan
It includes 19 action points focussing on three different categories as given below
(a) handholding support to entrepreneurs/start-ups;
(b) creating funding support and incentivisation mechanisms for start-ups; and
(c) supporting industry academia partnerships and providing necessary incubation support for start-ups.
Status of Start-ups ecosystem in India
Today, India ranks at the third place in the global start-up ecosystem
The sector is also growing at an annual rate of 12-15%. In 2014, the number of start-ups were not more than 400. However, the number of start-ups has jumped to a whopping number of 70,000 in 2022.
Around 102 start-ups have risen into the $1 billion-plus valuation club.
Why start-ups are significant?
They contribute to generating wealth and employment in the country.
They propel innovation and technological development across key development sectors.
What were the factors that have led to high growth in the start-ups sector in India?
There has been an enabling environment that has led to a vibrant startup movement across the country.
The Union government launched ‘Start-up India Stand-up India’ in 2015.
The government unlocked the space sector and opened it up to private players.
The start-ups have been receiving funding without any interruptions. For example, even the Covid pandemic, could not impact funding
The Department of science and technology (DST) reshaped the start-up culture in the country. It launched the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) having a network of more than 160 incubators.
The DST also set up the Seed Support System in the TBIs for providing much needed early-stage funding to start-ups.
Under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) TBI programme, 105 incubators have been set up across the country, over the last five years.
What are the noteworthy contributions of DST’s programme on innovation and entrepreneurship?
The TBI network identified and supported start-ups during the pandemic period.
The network of incubators has supported more than 12,000 start-ups which include 1,500-plus women-led start-ups. These start-ups have filed more than 900 patents and produced more than 1,15,000 new jobs.
Service Tax exemption to both incubators and incubatee.
Permission to hold equity by DST-supported incubators (not for profit legal entities) i.e., converting government grants to equity subscription.
CSR funding for incubators.
First government agency to
– offer programmes in PPP mode for scouting and supporting innovation and start-ups:
– partner and create Sebi-registered PPP innovation fund.
– bilaterally and multilaterally partner with international government and multilateral agencies respectively, for innovation and entrepreneurship development.
It has pioneered in training and capacity building of incubation managers with exposure to global best practices.
The TBIs were first to get support from multilateral international developmental agencies like UNDP, infoDev etc.
India’s vibrant and mutually supplementing start-ups ecosystem should be seen as a role model for the rest of the world.
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
Ghana reports first-ever suspected cases of Marburg virus disease
Source: The post is based on the article “Ghana reports first-ever suspected cases of Marburg virus disease” published in Down To Earth on 11th July 2022.
What is the News?
Ghana has reported its first-ever suspected cases of Marburg Virus Disease.
What is Marburg Virus Disease?
Marburg virus disease(MVD) is a severe disease in humans caused by Marburg marburgvirus(MARV).
The virus belongs to the same family(Filoviridae family) as the Ebola virus.
Origin: The disease was first identified in 1967 in Germany’s Marburg and Frankfurt and Serbia’s Belgrade following two large outbreaks.
Vector: Fruit bats are the key carriers of the disease. It typically infects humans following prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies.
Transmission: Human-to-human transmission takes place through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people. Surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids are other vital sources. Its incubation period ranges from two days to three weeks.
Symptoms: High fever, severe headache and severe malaise accompanied by muscle aches and pains are some common symptoms of the disease.
Fatality Rate: Marburg is potentially very harmful and deadly. Case fatality rates in past outbreaks have ranged from 24% to 88%.
Treatment: There are no specific vaccines or antiviral treatments to treat the disease. However, chances of survival improve significantly with the help of rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and targeted symptom treatment.
Service Charge: The new guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices
Source: The post is based on the article “The new guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices” published in The Hindu on 12th July 2022.
What is the News?
The Central Consumer Protection Authority(CCPA) has announced five guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices and to protect consumer interests regarding the levy of service charges in hotels and restaurants.
What is CCPA?
The CCPA was established in 2020 under The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class and to investigate, prosecute and punish violators.
The CCPA has issued these guidelines under section 18 of the CPA, 2019 to protect, promote and most importantly enforce the rights of the consumers and prevent violation of their rights under the Act.
What is Service Charge?
A service charge is a tip or a direct transaction between the customer and the restaurant staff, specifically the wait staff. It is a fee collected to pay for services associated with the purchase of a primary product or service.
It is collected by hospitality sectors and food and beverage industries as a fee for serving customers.
What do the CCPA’s guidelines on service charges say?
The CCPA has issued five major guidelines regarding the levy of service charges. These guidelines are:
– No hotel or restaurant shall add a service charge automatically or by default in the bill;
– Service charge shall not be collected from consumers by any other name;
– No hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay the service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that the service charge is voluntary, optional, and at the consumer’s discretion;
– No restriction on entry or provision of services based on the collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers; and
– Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
What is the redressal mechanism for consumers?
If any consumer finds that a hotel or restaurant is levying a service charge in violation of these guidelines, they may 1) request the concerned hotel or restaurant to remove the service charge from the bill or 2) may lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline(NCH) which works as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level by calling 1915 or 3) through the NCH mobile app.
Oncolytic Virotherapy(OV): ‘Next-gen’ cancer therapy can kill tumours without harming healthy cells
Source: The post is based on the article “’Next-gen’ cancer therapy can kill tumours without harming healthy cells” published in Economic Times on 7th July 2022.
What is the News?
Researchers in the US have developed a novel strategy in Oncolytic Virotherapy(OV) to improve a cancer therapy that can kill tumour cells while leaving nearby healthy tissues intact.
What is Oncolytic Virotherapy(OV)?
Oncolytic viruses can kill cancer cells while leaving nearby healthy cells and tissues intact.
In oncolytic virotherapy, the treatment exerts its influence by activating an antitumor immune response made of immune cells such as Natural Killer(NK) cells.
However, sometimes those natural killers limit the oncolytic viruses and so despite the exciting development in the OV field in recent years, there is room for improvement to tackle some limitations, including the relatively weak therapeutic activity and lack of means for effective systemic delivery.
What have the researchers developed?
Researchers have developed a novel strategy that not only can prevent Natural Killer(NK) cells from clearing the administered oncolytic virus but also goes one step further by guiding them to attack tumour cells. This is done by deleting the region of the gene which shows to activates the signalling pathway that enables the virus to replicate in normal cells.
World Population Prospects(WPP) Report: UN population report explained: A look at the trends, projections and implication
Source: The post is based on the article “UN population report explained: A look at the trends, projections and implication” published in Indian Express on 12th July 2022.
What is the News?
The United Nations(UN) has released the World Population Prospects(WPP) Report 2022.
What is the World Population Prospects(WPP) Report?
Published by: Population Division of the UN has been publishing the WPP in a biennial cycle since 1951.
Purpose: To provide an overview of global population trends focusing on the period from 1950 to 2050 and present a summary of key demographic prospects during the second half of the present century.
What are the key highlights from the report?
World Population: The world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s. The population is expected to remain at that level until 2100.
Slowest Growth rate: Global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than 1% in 2020.
Fertility Rate: Fertility has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries. Currently, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman.
Impact of Covid-19: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on population change: global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021 (down from 72.9 in 2019).
Growth Concentrated in Eight Countries: More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Older Population: The population of older persons is increasing both in numbers and as a share of the total: The share of the global population aged 65 years or above is projected to rise from 10% in 2022 to 16% in 2050.
Increase Working Age Population: A sustained drop in fertility has led to an increased concentration of the population at working ages (between 25 and 64 years), creating an opportunity for accelerated economic growth per capita.
International Migrants: Around ten countries experienced a net outflow of more than 1 million migrants between 2010 and 2021.
Findings related to India
India’s Population: India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.
– Currently, India’s population stands at 1.412 billion in 2022 compared to China’s 1.426 billion.
– India which will surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by 2023 is projected to have a population of 1.688 billion in 2050 which will be way ahead of China’s 1.317 billion people by the middle of the century.
The search for dark matter
Source: The post is based on the article “The search for dark matter” published in The Hindu on 12th July 2022.
What is the News?
Physicists working with the world’s biggest dark-matter detector—in the United States known as LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) have released their first results.
What is Dark Matter?
All interactions in the universe are a result of four fundamental forces acting on particles– strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force and gravitation.
Dark matter is made up of particles that do not have a charge — which means they do not interact through electromagnetic interactions.
So, these are particles that are “dark”, namely because they do not emit light which is an electromagnetic phenomenon and “matter” because they possess mass like normal matter and hence interact through gravity.
Note: Many physicists strongly believe that the entire visible part of the universe forms only 5% of all matter in it. They believe the rest is made up of dark matter and dark energy.
How do scientists know that Dark Matter exists?
There is strong indirect evidence for dark matter and this evidence is reflected at various levels:
Firstly, Rotation of Galaxies: Consider the rotation of galaxies. If one looks at stars all the way from the centre of any galaxy to its rim, the way the velocities of the observed stars change may be plotted.
– There is a marked difference between the observed plot of star speeds and the calculated value as one moves from the inner part of the galaxy towards its rim.
– Now if one assumes there is a certain fraction of matter which exerts a gravitational pull on the rest of the stars in the galaxy, for it cannot be seen in any other way and recalculate the plot, it fits in with the observed value. This means that there is a definite amount of dark matter in the galaxy.
Secondly, the Bullet cluster of galaxies: The Bullet cluster is formed through the merging of two galaxy clusters. Physicists found from their calculations that the way these mergers took place could not be fully explained if we believed that the visible universe was all that existed. Therefore, there should be something like dark matter as well as an estimate of how much dark matter there should be in the universe.
What are the candidates for Dark Matter particles?
The neutrino would have been an excellent candidate if it had been more massive. However, being too light, it doesn’t fit.
Candidates for dark matter are hypothetical particles such as axions, sterile neutrinos, weakly interacting massive particles(WIMPs), supersymmetric particles, geons or primordial black holes.
Epstein Barr Virus(EBV): Connecting the dots between virus infection and progress of brain cancer
Source: The post is based on the article “Connecting the dots between virus infection and progress of brain cancer” published in PIB on 11th July 2022.
What is the News?
Scientists have found that the cancer-causing virus Epstein Barr Virus(EBV) can infect the neuronal cells and drive various changes leading to diseases of the central nervous system as well as brain cancer.
What is Epstein Barr Virus(EBV)?
The EBV virus has been found to be widely present in the human population.
It usually does not cause any harm, but the virus gets reactivated inside the body in some unusual conditions like immunological stress or immunocompetence.
This may further lead to various complications like a type of blood cancer called Burkitt’s lymphoma, stomach cancer, multiple sclerosis and so on.
Earlier studies provided links to EBV involvement in various neurodegenerative diseases. However, how this virus can affect the cells of the brain and manipulate them is still unexplored.
What have the scientists found out?
Scientists have found that Epstein Barr Virus(EBV) can infect neuronal cells and drive various changes in biomolecules such as fatty acids, carbohydrates and protein components leading to diseases of the central nervous system as well as brain cancer.
What is the significance of these findings?
This research work aids in the understanding of EBV-mediated biomolecular changes in the various compartments of the central nervous system leading to a better understanding of nervous system diseases.
PM unveils National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament Building
Source: The post is based on the article “PM unveils National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament Building” published in PIB on 11th July 2022.
What is the News?
The Prime Minister has unveiled the National Emblem cast on the roof of the New Parliament Building.
About National Emblem on New Parliament Building
The National Emblem is made of bronze with a total weight of 9500 Kg and is 6.5 m in height. It has been cast at the top of the Central Foyer of the New Parliament Building.
A supporting structure of steel weighing around 6500 Kg has been constructed to support the Emblem.
Note: This new Parliament Building is part of the Central Vista Project which also includes a joint central secretariat, revamp of the Rajpath, a new Prime Minister’s residence, a new Prime Minister’s Office, and a new Vice-President’s enclave.
What is the National Emblem of India?
The National Emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka which is preserved in the Sarnath Museum.
The Lion Capital has four lions mounted back-to-back on a circular abacus. The frieze of the abacus is adorned with sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening Dharma Chakras.
The words ‘Satyameva Jayate’ from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in the Devanagari script.
The emblem of India was adopted on January 26, 1950 – the same day when the constitution of India came into force.
All India Ranklist of GS & CSAT Simulator-1 Test for Prelims 2023 by ForumIAS
Dear Friends, Thank you for attempting the All India GS or CSAT Simulator Test-1 for Prelims 2023 on 26th March 2023. We hope these tests would have helped you to understand your level of preparation. This is to inform you that the All India Rank of GS Simulator-1 Test has been announced and it can be checked on visiting the below link: https://go.forumias.com/gssimulator-1-ranklist Please Note: The students… Continue reading All India Ranklist of GS & CSAT Simulator-1 Test for Prelims 2023 by ForumIAS
Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 30th, 2023
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 – March 30th, 2023
RIP Sasha: India’s dream of its own cheetah population rests on her companions
Source: The post is based on the article “RIP Sasha: India’s dream of its own cheetah population rests on her companions” published in the Indian Express on 29th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Environment and Bio-diversity Conservation. Relevance: About Sasha’s death on India’s cheetah reintroduction project. News: Sasha, one of the eight Namibian cheetahs translocated to Kuno National Park… Continue reading RIP Sasha: India’s dream of its own cheetah population rests on her companions
GDPs Without Borders – That even Japan is open now to immigration shows what mistakes other aging, rich countries are making
Source: The post is based on the article “GDPs Without Borders – That even Japan is open now to immigration shows what mistakes other aging, rich countries are making” published in The Times of India on 29th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Employment. Relevance: About global worker shortages and the role of the immigrant workforce. News: The… Continue reading GDPs Without Borders – That even Japan is open now to immigration shows what mistakes other aging, rich countries are making
Suspect moves: On changes to reservation policy in Karnataka
Source: The post is based on the article “Suspect moves: On changes to reservation policy in Karnataka” published in The Hindu on 29th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 2: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections. Relevance: About the recent reservation policy of Karnataka. News: The Karnataka government decided to scrap… Continue reading Suspect moves: On changes to reservation policy in Karnataka
India urges G20 to find ways to shrink widening trade finance gap
Source: The post is based on the article “India urges G20 to find ways to shrink widening trade finance gap” published in The Hindu on 29th March 2023. What is the News? Under India’s Presidency, the first G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting has been conducted. As estimated by ADB, the Trade finance gap is widening.… Continue reading India urges G20 to find ways to shrink widening trade finance gap
NCPCR writes to States to introduce concessions for children with Type 1 diabetes in schools
Source: The post is based on the article “NCPCR writes to States to introduce concessions for children with Type 1 diabetes in schools” published in The Hindu on 29th March 2023 What is the News? The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) has written to the Chairman/Secretary Education Boards of all States and Union Territories… Continue reading NCPCR writes to States to introduce concessions for children with Type 1 diabetes in schools
Panel to look at ways to boost multilateral banks
Source: The post is based on the article “Panel to look at ways to boost multilateral banks” published in TOI on 29th March 2023 What is the News? A nine-member G20 expert panel has been set up to suggest ways to strengthen multilateral development banks (MDBs) like the World Bank. About the G20 expert group… Continue reading Panel to look at ways to boost multilateral banks
India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, stability: Defence Minister
Source: The post is based on the article “India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, stability: Defence Minister” published in PIB on 29th March 2023 What is the News? At the first edition of the India-Africa Army Chiefs’ Conclave, Defence Minister said that India will continue to work with African… Continue reading India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, stability: Defence Minister
What does Muslim personal law say on inheritance?
Source: The post is based on the article “What does Muslim personal law say on inheritance?” published in The Hindu on 29th March 2023 What is the News? A Muslim couple from Kerala has recently decided to get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act (SMA), almost 30 years after getting married according to… Continue reading What does Muslim personal law say on inheritance?
China ramping up bailout loans to BRI countries: Report
Source: The post is based on the article “China ramping up bailout loans to BRI countries: Report” published in TOI on 29th March 2023 What is the News? For the past decade, China has lent massive amounts of loans to countries across Asia, Africa and Europe, growing its global influence through infrastructure mega projects and… Continue reading China ramping up bailout loans to BRI countries: Report
India to estimate TB burden using own system
Source: The post is based on the article “India to estimate TB burden using own system” published in The Hindu on 29th March 2023 What is the News? India has become the first country in the world to have developed a country-level mathematical model to estimate the prevalence of TB cases. What is the model… Continue reading India to estimate TB burden using own system
Understanding the street dogs-human conflict
Source– The post is based on the article “Understanding the street dogs-human conflict” published in “The Hindu” on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Environment – Man- Animal Conflicts Relevance– Issues related to stray animals News– There is growing Intolerance against dogs and conflicts between humans and animals are increasing. What are the reasons behind growing… Continue reading Understanding the street dogs-human conflict
Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain
Source– The post is based on the article “Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain” published in “The Indian Express” on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Issues related to development and management of health News- The article deals with challenges faced by the healthcare sector in India. What are the achievements of… Continue reading Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain
A disturbing example of the normalisation of lawfare
Source– The post is based on the article “A disturbing example of the normalisation of lawfare” published in “The Hindu” on 25th March 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Polity – Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business Relevance– Issues related to disqualification of representatives News– Recently, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha… Continue reading A disturbing example of the normalisation of lawfare
Understanding the street dogs-human conflict
Source– The post is based on the article “Understanding the street dogs-human conflict” published in “The Hindu” on 29th March 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Science and Technology. GS2- E-governance Relevance– Issues related to regulation of digital space News– The Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill 2022 was proposed recently. It provides a framework to safeguard citizens’… Continue reading Understanding the street dogs-human conflict
Blended finance can fill investment gaps to meet SDGs
Source: This post is created based on the article “Blended finance can fill investment gaps to meet SDGs”, published in Live Mint on 29th March 2023. Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 3 – Indian Economy – Finance instruments Context: Blended finance can help to meet SDGs by filling investment. During covid-19, several producers of raw materials… Continue reading Blended finance can fill investment gaps to meet SDGs
The entry of foreign firms should herald more legal sector reforms
Source: The post is based on the article “The entry of foreign firms should herald more legal sector reforms” published in Live Mint on 29th March 2023. Syllabus: GS 2 – Governance – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors Relevance: measures needed to bring legal reforms News: The Bar Council of India (BCI) has… Continue reading The entry of foreign firms should herald more legal sector reforms
Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain
Source: The post is based on the article “Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain” published in The Indian Express on 29th March 2023. Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues Related to Healthcare Relevance: challenges with healthcare News: The article discusses the progress made in healthcare and associated challenges. What are some of the progresses… Continue reading Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain
Execution of death penalty in India – Explained pointwise
For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The constitutionality of death by hanging as a mode of execution has been challenged in India’s Supreme Court. The petitioner has claimed that hanging is “cruel and barbarous” and there is a need for a more “humane, quick, and decent alternative.” The court has asked the government to provide data on… Continue reading Execution of death penalty in India – Explained pointwise
What is ‘Statutory bail’? Is it a fundamental right or a statutory right?
What is ‘Statutory bail’? Ordinarily, after the arrest of the accused, the statutory period for the State to complete investigation and file a charge sheet is a maximum of 90 days in offences punishable with life imprisonment or death. However, under some laws, like UAPA, this period can be extended up to 180 days. As… Continue reading What is ‘Statutory bail’? Is it a fundamental right or a statutory right?
Medium selection form for Test Series students of ForumIAS
Dear Friends, If you are a Hindi Medium student and wants to attempt your test in Hindi, then please provide your details in below mentioned form: https://go.forumias.com/hindi Please Note: For students who do not opt for Hindi Medium by submitting their details in above mentioned form for Test Writing, by default they will… Continue reading Medium selection form for Test Series students of ForumIAS
Ace the 68th BPSC Mains Exam with ForumIAS
Dear Friends, Congratulations to all those candidates who have been declared successful in 68th BPSC Prelims exam. However, such candidates will have to face the most crucial stage i.e. BPSC Mains exam. ForumIAS has come up with the result-oriented programs to ace the 68th BPSC Mains exam. The programs are as follows: Mains 500+ Crash… Continue reading Ace the 68th BPSC Mains Exam with ForumIAS
Golden fist: On the victory for Indian women boxers
Source: The post is based on the article “Golden fist: On the victory for Indian women boxers” published in The Hindu on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre. Relevance: About Indian women boxers. News: Indian women boxers collected four gold medals in the recent Delhi… Continue reading Golden fist: On the victory for Indian women boxers
Centre has been lifting AFSPA in the Northeast incrementally. This must continue
Source: The post is based on the article “Centre has been lifting AFSPA in the Northeast incrementally. This must continue” published in the Indian Express on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Security challenges and their management in border areas. Relevance: About removal of disturbed area tags and insurgencies from North East. News: The Centre has… Continue reading Centre has been lifting AFSPA in the Northeast incrementally. This must continue
Waste Is Winning – Cities’ effluent management is way behind target and a health hazard. Eco-friendly, inexpensive solutions exist
Source: The post is based on the article “Waste Is Winning – Cities’ effluent management is way behind target and a health hazard. Eco-friendly, inexpensive solutions exist” published in The Times of India on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Pollution. Relevance: About sewage treatment in India. News: Recently, nodal pollution body, Central Pollution Control Board… Continue reading Waste Is Winning – Cities’ effluent management is way behind target and a health hazard. Eco-friendly, inexpensive solutions exist
Explained | How do you screen for autism and assess its severity?
Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | How do you screen for autism and assess its severity?” published in The Hindu on 28th March 2023. What is the News? This article talks about Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD). What is Autism? Autism – also referred to as autism spectrum disorder constitutes a diverse group… Continue reading Explained | How do you screen for autism and assess its severity?
Without action plans, India’s poorest will continue to bear brunt of heatwaves: study
Source: The post is based on the article “Without action plans, India’s poorest will continue to bear the brunt of heatwaves: study” published in The Hindu on 28th March 2023. What is the News? Centre for Policy Research(CPR) has released a report titled ‘How is India Adapting to Heatwaves?’. What is the purpose of the… Continue reading Without action plans, India’s poorest will continue to bear brunt of heatwaves: study
Cheetah Sasha dies due to kidney ailment in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park
Source: The post is based on the article “Cheetah Sasha dies due to kidney ailment in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park” published in The Hindu on 28th March 2023. What is the News? Sasha, one of the eight Namibian cheetahs translocated to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh has died due to kidney infection. What… Continue reading Cheetah Sasha dies due to kidney ailment in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park
Parliamentary panel calls for notification of e-commerce policy to address sector’s ‘strategy vacuum’
Source: The post is based on the article “Parliamentary panel calls for notification of e-commerce policy to address sector’s ‘strategy vacuum” published in The Hindu on 27th March 2023. What is the News? The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has released a report titled ‘Promotion and Regulation of E-Commerce in India’. What are the key… Continue reading Parliamentary panel calls for notification of e-commerce policy to address sector’s ‘strategy vacuum’
Punjab and Haryana High Court seeks ChatGPT’s response in a bail plea case
Source: The post is based on the article “Punjab and Haryana High Court seeks ChatGPT’s response in a bail plea case” published in The Hindu on 28th March 2023. What is the News? Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought a response from ChatGPT to assess worldwide views on bail when the assault was done… Continue reading Punjab and Haryana High Court seeks ChatGPT’s response in a bail plea case
New species of Moray eel discovered off Cuddalore coast named after Tamil Nadu
Source: The post is based on the article “New species of Moray eel discovered off Cuddalore coast named after Tamil Nadu” published in The Hindu on 27th March 2023. What is the News? Researchers have discovered a new species of Moray eel off the Cuddalore coast (Tamil Nadu).It has been named as Gymnothorax tamilnaduensis. What… Continue reading New species of Moray eel discovered off Cuddalore coast named after Tamil Nadu
Overstayed foreigners: At annual police meet, more detention centres and use of biometrics suggested
Source: The post is based on the article “At annual police meet, more detention centres and use of biometrics suggested” published in The Hindu on 28th March 2023. What is the News? On the first day of the 57th Director-Generals of Police and Inspectors-General of Police Conference, a session was dedicated to the concerted strategy… Continue reading Overstayed foreigners: At annual police meet, more detention centres and use of biometrics suggested
Is Every Bank Too Big to Fail?
Source: The post is based on the article “Is Every Bank Too Big to Fail? – US government rescue culture will hurt the global financial system, then growth and living standards everywhere” published in The Times of India on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Economy Relevance: About the US’s changing attitude towards rescuing banks and… Continue reading Is Every Bank Too Big to Fail?
Let satellites terminate patchy internet coverage
Source: The post is based on the article “Let satellites terminate patchy internet coverage” published in Mint on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and Technology Relevance: expanding role of ISRO and digital connectivity News: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has recently placed 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit. What does this signify for India?… Continue reading Let satellites terminate patchy internet coverage
Principles underlying tax architecture need wider debate
Source- The post is based on the article “Principles underlying tax architecture need wider debate” published in “The Indian Express” on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Government budgeting Relevance– Issues related to taxation News– Recently, the Finance Bill 2023 was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha last week with 64 amendments. What is… Continue reading Principles underlying tax architecture need wider debate
This helicopter programme cannot go into a tailspin
Source– The post is based on the article “This helicopter programme cannot go into a tailspin” published in “The Hindu” on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Security Relevance: Issues related to defence equipments News- Recently, Dhruv helicopter in the Indian Navy’s newly acquired fleet of ALH MkIII MRs experienced a sudden loss of power and… Continue reading This helicopter programme cannot go into a tailspin
Supreme Court verdict on UAPA is fraught with risk
Source- The post is based on the article “Supreme Court verdict on UAPA is fraught with risk of making it legal for agencies to act lawlessly while claiming to fight terrorism and preserve State’s security” published in “The Indian Express” on 28th March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Judiciary Relevance– Important judgement impacting the rights of people… Continue reading Supreme Court verdict on UAPA is fraught with risk
Sterilisation is the best way to address stray dog problem
Source- The post is based on the article “Sterilisation is the best way to address stray dog problem” published in “The Indian Express” on 25th March 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Environment Relevance– Issues related to stray animals News– The article explains the challenges associated with mass killing and confinement of stray dogs. What are statistics related… Continue reading Sterilisation is the best way to address stray dog problem
Disqualification of Legislators in India – Explained, pointwise
For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction Recently, the disqualification of legislators has been widely discussed due to two events. The first is the disqualification of a Member of Parliament after being sentenced to a two-year jail term by a Surat court in a 2019 defamation case. The second is an ongoing hearing by the Constitutional Bench… Continue reading Disqualification of Legislators in India – Explained, pointwise
[Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I March 27th, 2023
Dear Friends, Following are answers to Mains Marathon questions, we posted yesterday. About Mains Marathon – This is an initiative of ForumIAS to help/aid aspirants in their writing skills, which is crucial to conquering mains examination. Every morning, we post 2 questions are based on current affairs. The questions framed are meaningful and relevant to the exam.… Continue reading [Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I March 27th, 2023
Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 28th, 2023
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 – March 28th, 2023
68th BPSC Prelims Result Declared, 3590 Candidates Selected for Mains Exam
Dear Friends, The 68th BPSC Prelims Result has been declared today. The exam was held on 12th Feb 2023. A total of 258036 candidates appeared in the prelims exam of BPSC, and out of them, only 3590 candidates were declared successful to take the BPSC Mains examination. You can download the PDF containing roll no.… Continue reading 68th BPSC Prelims Result Declared, 3590 Candidates Selected for Mains Exam
Express View: SC order on UAPA lowers the bar for state when restricting freedoms
Source: The post is based on the article “Express View: SC order on UAPA lowers the bar for state when restricting freedoms” published in the Indian Express on 27th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Relevance: About membership of… Continue reading Express View: SC order on UAPA lowers the bar for state when restricting freedoms
The Supreme Court puts the spotlight on the mode of execution in death penalty cases
Source: The post is based on the article “The Supreme Court puts the spotlight on the mode of execution in death penalty cases” published in the Indian Express on 27th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 2: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections. Relevance: About the mode of execution in death… Continue reading The Supreme Court puts the spotlight on the mode of execution in death penalty cases
Go, Afspa, Go – Every N-E district freed of this draconian law represents an advance. But it’s time to consider full repeal
Source: The post is based on the article “Go, Afspa, Go – Every N-E district freed of this draconian law represents an advance. But it’s time to consider full repeal” published in The Times of India on 27th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Security challenges and their management in border areas. Relevance: About removal of disturbed… Continue reading Go, Afspa, Go – Every N-E district freed of this draconian law represents an advance. But it’s time to consider full repeal
Marburg virus disease outbreak kills five in Tanzania: What is this virus?
Source: The post is based on the article “Marburg virus disease outbreak kills five in Tanzania: What is this virus?” published in the Indian Express on 27th March 2023. What is the News? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 161 people in Tanzania have been infected with highly infectious Marburg virus disease. What is the… Continue reading Marburg virus disease outbreak kills five in Tanzania: What is this virus?
What’s The Missing Block In Building Institutes Of Excellence?
Source: The post is based on the article “What’s The Missing Block In Building Institutes Of Excellence?” published in The Times of India on 27th March 2023. Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues related to development and management of education Relevance: concerns with regulating higher educational institutes. News: The article discusses the problems with regulating higher educational institutes… Continue reading What’s The Missing Block In Building Institutes Of Excellence?
Banking turmoil in the West has placed India at a fork in the road
Source: The post is based on the article “Banking turmoil in the West has placed India at a fork in the road” published in Live Mint on 27th March 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Economy – Money and Banking Relevance: Impact of US bank crisis on the world News: The failure of three US banks have shaken… Continue reading Banking turmoil in the West has placed India at a fork in the road
Making sense of the disqualification of a Lok Sabha MP
Source: This post is created based on the article “Making sense of the disqualification of a Lok Sabha MP” published in The Hindu on 27th March 2023. “We need to review defamation, raise the bar for disqualification” published in Indian Express on 27th March 2023. Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2, Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning,… Continue reading Making sense of the disqualification of a Lok Sabha MP