9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – June 25th, 2022

Dear Friends,

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

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

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

The advent of ‘app-solute’ chaos in NREGA

Source: The post is based on an article “The advent of ‘app-solute’ chaos in NREGA” published in the “The Hindu” on 25th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 Social Sector; Schemes and Programmes

Relevance: NREGA

News: In 2021, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) launched the National Mobile Monitoring Software (NMMS) app. It was aimed at “improving citizen oversight and increasing transparency” in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) works.

Objectives of the app

It would ensure proper monitoring of the schemes with the purpose of increasing “citizen oversight” or transparency in the implementation of the scheme. In addition to this, it will potentially enable processing payments faster.

What are the main feature of the app?

It is to be used by the NREGA Mates, local women at the panchayat level who are selected, trained and deployed to monitor NREGA worksites.

It would ensure monitoring the attendance of workers through real-time, photographed, geo-tagged attendance. The attendance will be taken once in each half of the day.

The MORD made it mandatory for all NREGA worksites to employ more than 20 workers. The workers have no option for manual attendance other than in exceptional circumstances.

Benefits

It would address the corruption which has been a rising problem in NREGA as the funds are being siphoned off by faking attendance records.

What are the issues with the National Mobile Monitoring Software (NMMS) app?

It can monitor the attendance of workers who have fixed work timings, which is found only in some states. However, in most states, NREGA wages are calculated based on the amount of work done each day. Workers do not need to commit to fixed hours.

NREGA app mandates marking attendance for the workers who are at the worksite the entire day. It will cause significant difficulty for NREGA workers who may finish her/his work early, and go to take care of other work for the remaining day, say tea stall or home chores.

It mandates the worker to be present at the worksite all day or travel twice to mark her attendance.

It will create hurdles for women. They will have to choose between their traditional burden of household chores and care work and NREGA work. Around 54.7% of the NREGA workers were women workers in FY 2021-22. It will decrease their participation.

Implementation challenges

There is a lack of a stable network in rural India. Thus, many workers won’t be able to mark their attendance, and would lose a day of wages. For example, Kerala and Jharkhand recorded such cases.

The differently-abled NREGA workers may find it difficult to mark attendance. For example, it was experienced in Tamil Nadu.

While selecting NREGA mates, smartphone-owning men are likely to be given preference over women having no smartphone. It is mandatory for the NREGA Mates to have a smartphone. For example, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have seen such cases.

The training to use the app has been inadequately given to the mates. This could lead to errors in recording workers’ attendance, which ultimately results in delayed or non-payments.

The intended purpose of such an application and its effectiveness remains unclear. There would be no physical attendance records, and workers have no proof of their attendance and work done. For example, In the West Singhbhum District, Jharkhand, workers could not establish their attendance and work done since there was no physical record as evidence.

The MORD has neither provided much clarity on the magnitude of the corruption in NREGA nor the manner in which the NMMS addresses it. There are no parameters to assess the app’s performance, either on transparency or on quicker processed payments.

The NMMS is consequently blind to the actual functioning of NREGA on the ground.

The Way Forward

Instead of focusing on this app or introducing other complex technological reforms, the government should strengthen social audits, which have worked well in the past.


Brick by brick

Source: The post is based on an article “Brick by brick” published in the “The Hindu” on 25th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 International Relations, Regional Groupings

Relevance: BRICS

News: Recently, the 14th BRICS Summit concluded on June 24. It was hosted by China and was held virtually. It revealed much about the grouping of five emerging nations.

Achievements

The first summit was conducted in Yekaterinburg in 2009. Since then, it has successfully conducted the 14th summit, which is in itself a remarkable achievement.

In addition, the BRICS countries have established the New Development Bank (NDB) in 2015. Since its launch, the bank has funded around $30 billion worth of projects in emerging nations

What are the roadblocks in front of the BRICS?

Despite a tall agenda, the bloc remains constrained by differences. For instance, India and China have found themselves on opposing sides of the debate on two key issues.

(1) UN reforms: India and Brazil pushed for an expanded UN Security Council (UNSC). However, China is certainly not in favor of a permanent seat for India.

(2) Terrorism: China on multiple occasion have blocked India’s move to sanction the LeT terrorist at the UNSC sanctions committee

The different members of the grouping have different views on condemning NATO. These differences certainly create doubt on the grouping’s tall goals of reorienting the global order.

The Beijing Declaration

It envisaged promoting “making instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory”.

It has mentioned different opposing approaches that India and China have adopted with respect to the above-cited two key issues.

The Way Forward

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described that “BRICS members have similar approach regarding the governance of the global economy”.

The BRICS countries should continue to cooperate on issues where interests align. There remains a strong convergence of interests amid undeniable differences, like financing projects by the NDB, working on climate change, or space cooperation, where the five countries have agreed to create a joint constellation of remote sensing satellites.


How G7 could help the debt-distressed?

Source: The post is based on an article “How G7 could help the debt-distressed” published in the Business Standard on 25th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 International relations; Regional Grouping

Relevance: G7 Grouping

News: The G7 leaders are going to meet to discuss various global crises such as war in Ukraine, food insecurity, inflation, backlogged global supply chains, the pandemic response, and climate change.

About G7

Members — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the US, and the European Union

What are the impact of these issues on low– and middle-income countries?

They are the hardest hit by the Covid-19 and are already facing an escalating debt crisis.

These countries have been pushed into total indebtedness to a 50-year high. For example, at present, more than two dozen countries are at risk of defaulting in 2022. Sri Lanka has become the first country in this line of default.

What are the issues?

These countries are already struggling to recover from the pandemic. Meanwhile, they have to fight new challenges.

The US bank has increased the interest-rate which is driving up borrowing costs globally.

Many lowest-income countries do not have credit ratings. They rely on development finance to make up revenue shortfalls and meet basic needs.

What is the importance of the G7 Grouping to help out low– and middle-income countries?

The members can help these countries manage deteriorating macroeconomic conditions in a number of ways.

(1) The G7 countries are themselves one of the biggest sources of development finance.

(2) The G7 countries are among the largest shareholders of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The G7 countries can urge the IMF to issue their SDRs to help numerous low- and middle-income countries to avoid fiscal crises and defaults while still maintaining essential public services.

(3) They are members of forums like the Paris Club of sovereign creditors and the G20 which shape the debt-relief and debt-renegotiation agreements.

(4) All the G7 members, except the US, have already pledged to the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust. They can urge the US to “recycle” its own unused SDR allocation to support countries in need.

(5) The G7 can help in the conditional debt relief. The leaders can urge fellow G20 countries to extend the Debt Service and Suspension Initiative through 2023and work upon the G20 Common Framework for sovereign-debt restructuring.

(7) The G7 should explore the idea of debt-for-health or debt-for-climate swaps etc. to strengthen health systems and pandemic preparedness and response (PPR). In such a   mechanism, sovereign debt is forgiven in exchange for a country’s commitment to use the freed-up funds to invest in health systems, clean energy, etc.

(8) The G7 countries can urge the IMF to reform its loan regime. Most of these agreements contain counterproductive provisions. For example, the recipient governments are required to cut their public wage bills or reduce their debt-to-GDP ratios. These conditions undermine state capacity, jeopardise essential services, and increase inequality in the medium to long term.

The Way Forward

The international community should find ways to engage constructively with China and private creditors.

In addition, a truly multilateral framework for debt restructuring can be developed.


American Tragedy – Right to abortion judgment

Source: The post is based on an article “American Tragedy” published in The Times of India on 25th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 Important Provisions of the Constitution of India; Social Sector

Relevance: Fundamental Rights like the Right to abortion

News: Recently, the US Supreme Court overruled the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision. It eliminated the constitutional right to abortion.

Implications of the US Judgement

Globally

It will strengthen the feeling that women’s rights that are decades in the making can disappear overnight.

The US

At the level of US healthcare, around half the states would be expected to ban all or most abortions.

In political terms, it is a success story for the conservative movement. But this is a serious setback for the movement for women’s bodily autonomy, and their right to make decisions about themselves.

History of Abortion Rights in the US

American women won the right to abortion about half a century ago.

The Way Forward

In the future, the government can come up with a legislative fightback against the court’s decision.

The overall trend of liberalizing abortion laws from developed to developing countries should not be impacted. The Indian Judiciary and Executive should not take any action which can cause an assault on women’s rights.

Reproductive freedoms are deeply linked to economic freedoms.


need to formulate a structured gaming law for online gaming

Source: The post is based on an article “We need to formulate a structured gaming law that allows players to enjoy the thrills of online gaming responsibly, safely, transparently and securely” published in the Indian Express on 25th June 2022.Syllabus: GS 2 Important Provisions of the Constitution of India

Relevance: Fundamental Rights

News: Due to evolving technologies, online gaming has swiftly emerged as the most engaging form of entertainment in India.

About the Online gaming industry

The online gaming including e-sports, online casual games and real money gaming. The industry has been growing at a rate of about 35% in 2019-20, outpacing OTT, television, and social media platforms.

What are the reasons behind its emergence?

It has been propelled by younger demographics, increased internet penetration, and affordable smartphones. Nowadays, we are witnessing the mobile-first phenomenon,

Legal Status

Globally

The gaming industry is a well-regulated industry, and many countries, including the UK, US, and EU, have instituted a regulatory framework.

India

The games of skill (fantasy chess, bridge, rummy, and poker) are legal and protected under the Constitution.

The games of chance (roulette, teen patti, and dice) are essentially about gambling and hence deemed illegal.

As per the Indian Constitution, gambling is classified under the State List. States have the power to regulate or prohibit such activity.

What are the challenges?

In online gaming, people are found to confuse the online real money gaming with the gambling.

The state government has failed to distinguish between online skill-based gaming and gambling. Therefore, some states like Tamil Nau Government, which have either placed restrictions or buried the sunrise sector under regulatory ambivalence. For Example, the Tamil Nadu government amended the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws, 1930 banning online games

Th “games of skill” are legitimate business activities that are protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution as per the rulings of the Supreme Court and several High Courts till date. These rulings have created distinction between “games of skill” and “games of chance.”

The Way Forward

The Madras High Court struck down the Tamil Nadu law observing that a complete ban was unconstitutional. The Court acknowledged that a game involving substantial skill would not amount to gambling.

India needs to formulate a structured gaming law that ensures online gaming is played responsibly, safely, transparently and securely.

A four-member committee has been constituted to examine issues related to online gaming, identification of online games which are addictive, and whether these games really involve skills or mere tricks. Further, it is mandated to make recommendations for the promulgation of an ordinance to regulate the sector.

The committee will examine the algorithms of online games to ascertain whether they can be tweaked to the benefit of online gaming companies.

The government policies and frameworks should aim to ensure player protection and increasing stakeholders’ awareness and education.

In addition to the government’s regulations, the industry should also ensure responsible gaming and self-regulation. For example, EGF has designed and implemented code of conduct that requires operators to have features like KYC, SSL level encryption, risk-flagging mechanisms, daily and monthly restrictions, self-exclusion, and so on, to cultivate healthy gaming habits and encourages appropriate gaming behaviour.

India needs to study the global best practices that protects players, encourages responsible gaming, and assists legitimate operators while weeding out those who break the law.

The government should establish a dialogue mechanism between the government and the industry

GS Paper 3


India has emerged as a major buyer of Russian crude. But some caution is in order

Source: The post is based on the article “India has emerged as a major buyer of Russian crude. But some caution is in order” published in the “Indian Express” on 25th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS3 – Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Relevance: To understand India’s Crude oil diplomacy.

News: India is the third-largest importer and consumer of oil in the world. Recently, a few private-sector refiners decided to import larger quantities of crude oil from Russia.

Historically India imported oil and crude from Iran, Iraq and Russia. Last month, Russia became India’s second-largest oil supplier by overtaking Saudi Arabia.

About crude oil and Russia

Crude is the raw natural resource extracted from the earth, subsequently refined into widely used products like petroleum, jet fuel and heating oils. The price of crude impacts the cost of essential goods like food and clothing.

Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil products to global markets and the second-largest exporter of crude oil behind Saudi Arabia. About 60% of Russia’s oil exports go to Europe and another 20% to China.

As the Russia-Ukraine crisis intensifies, Europe’s Russian crude purchases fell by 5.5 Lakh barrels a day, Asia’s consumption rose by 5 lakh barrels. Hence, Russia has not suffered a significant loss in terms of crude oil sales.

Read more: Crude oil diplomacy
About India’s increasing crude oil import from Russia

According to the Wall Street Journal, India has increased imports of Russian crude more than 25-fold since the start of the invasion in February. As of June 1, 2022, India is importing an average of a million barrels a day.

There are many benefits associated with importing Russian oil. Such as,

-India is refining crude oil or turning it into products like jet fuel and diesel and selling it to Europe and other nations.

-Helps India to curb inflation that has been made worse by rising fuel prices.

-The government can bring down prices and halt the decline in the value of the Indian rupee.

What are the challenges associated with importing Russian oil?

Firstly, the European Union has announced a ban against insuring ships carrying Russian oil. Countries like India, China and Turkey that are increasing their oil purchases from Russia have six months to find a work-around to the insurance ban by using non-European insurance companies.

Secondly, European companies own most of the ships carrying Russian oil to India. These insurance sanctions will impact the companies that own these ships as well.

Thirdly, buying cheap Russian crude may only be a temporary solution to our long-term fuel needs.

What should be done?

Electric vehicles and electric batteries substitute non-renewable resources like petroleum and diesel. There is a concentration of battery factories /suppliers in China and South Korea.

Hence, India should take steps to prevent shortages by putting in place factories which will build electric batteries. The invasion of Ukraine has taught India to be more self-reliant and have in-house energy sources.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in the Entertainment Industry: A first: norms to protect rights of kids working on OTT platforms

Source: The post is based on the article “A first: norms to protect rights of kids working on OTT platforms” published in the “Indian Express” on 25th June 2022.

What is the news?

Recently, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has published a draft “Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in the Entertainment Industry”. The guidelines increase the scope of the guidelines to cover social media and OTT platforms for the first time.

What is the need for the draft “Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in the Entertainment Industry”?

-Children are now being used in videos across social media and in the content on OTT platforms which had not been covered by the existing guidelines.

-Participating in an adult-oriented industry, children are often exposed to unsuitable, anxiety-inducing, and at times, dangerous operational hazards and situations.

-Apart from the industry-specific risks, the children are also susceptible to a plethora of other crimes against children such as sexual exploitation, child trafficking, bonded labour, etc.

Salient features of draft “Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in the Entertainment Industry”

Released by: National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

Aim: To ensure a healthy work environment for children in the Entertainment Industry with minimal physical and psychological stress.

Coverage: The guidelines will cover TV programmes including reality shows, serials, news and informative media, movies, content on OTT platforms, content on social media and any other kind of involvement of children in commercial entertainment activities.

Key provisions of the guidelines

Accountability: Parents, who are using children to make money, have to be held accountable. At least one parent or legal guardian or a known person has to be present during a shoot, and for infants, a registered nurse needs to be present along with the parent or legal guardian.

Focus on child education: The producer also needs to ensure the child’s education under the RTE Act, to ensure no discontinuity from school or lessons as well as adequate and nutritious food, and water for the children.

Mandatory registration: The guidelines mandated child artists and children being used in entertainment need to be registered with District Magistrates.

Inclusion of different Acts protecting children: Provisions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Child Labour Amendment Act, 2016, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, etc., have been included in the guidelines.

Prohibited activities: Children cannot be shown imbibing alcohol, smoking or using any other substance or shown to be indulging in any sort of antisocial activity. Further, no child can be engaged in any situation involving nudity.

Salary-related norms: At least 20% of the income earned by the child shall be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account which may be credited to the child on attaining the majority.

Penal provisions: The guidelines include stringent penal provisions for violating the guidelines, including imprisonment. These penalties cover different acts including the Child and Adolescent Labour Act, 1986, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.


How can you make a westward-flowing river flow east: Activists on Bedti-Varada interlinking

Source: The post is based on the article “How can you make a westward-flowing river flow east: Activists on Bedti-Varada interlinking” published in DTE on 22nd June 2022.

What is the News?

Environmental groups in Karnataka have criticized the Bedti-Varada Interlinking Project in Karnataka calling it unscientific and a waste of public money.

What is the Bedti-Varda Interlinking Project?
Bedti-Varda Interlinking Project
Source: Indiawris.gov.in

The Bedti-Varada project was envisaged in 1992 to supply drinking water.

The plan aims to link the Bedti, a river flowing west into the Arabian Sea, with the Varada, a tributary of the Tungabhadra River, which flows into the Krishna, which in turn flows into the Bay of Bengal.

A massive dam will be erected in the Gadag district. A second dam will be built on the Pattanahalla river in Sirsi, Uttara Kannada district. Both dams will take water to the Varada via tunnels.

The project thus envisages taking water from the water surplus Sirsi-Yellapura region of Uttara Kannada district to the arid Raichur, Gadag and Koppal districts.

Why are activists opposing the project?

​​Difficult to redirect river: It is difficult to redirect a westward-flowing river to flow eastward.

Rain-fed Rivers: In early summer, the Bedti and Varada rivers begin to dry up. Hence, interconnecting these rivers under the pretext of providing drinking water despite knowing well that they do not flow all year is wrong.

Environmental Impact: Over 500 acres of forests will be lost. The end result will be that there will still be no water. Moreover, the Bedti valley has been designated as an active biodiversity zone by IUCN.

Impact Livelihoods: The Bedti and Varada rivers are also lifelines for thousands of farmers in the Malenadu region, the foothills of the Western Ghats, in addition to fishing communities along the coast.


Union Minister approves Draft GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program)

Source: The post is based on the articleUnion Minister approves Draft GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program)” published in PIB on 24th June 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has approved the Draft GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program).

What is Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program)?

Bharat NCAP will serve as an automobile safety performance assessment programme for vehicles sold in the Indian market.

Under the programme, automobiles in India shall be accorded ‘Star Ratings’ based upon their performance in crash tests.

The testing protocol of the program shall be aligned with global crash-test protocols factoring in the existing Indian regulations allowing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to get their vehicles tested at India’s own in-house testing facilities.

Significance: 

Star Rating of Indian Cars based on Crash Tests will not only ensure structural and passenger safety in cars but also increase the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles. 

It will also prove to be a critical instrument in making our automobile industry Aatmanirbhar with the mission of making India the Number 1 automobile hub in the world.


Biodiversity loss to raise India’s bankruptcy risk 29%

Source: The post is based on the article “Biodiversity loss to raise India’s bankruptcy risk 29%” published in DTE on 24th June 2022.

What is the News?

According to a study by British economists, loss of biodiversity will downgrade the Sovereign credit ratings of several countries including India increasing their bankruptcy risk.

What are Sovereign credit ratings?

Sovereign credit ratings are an independent assessment that determines the creditworthiness of a country.

It can give investors insights into the level of risk associated with investing in the debt of a particular country, including any political risk.

What is the link between Sovereign credit rating and Biodiversity loss?

Loss of Biodiversity will downgrade the sovereign credit ratings of several countries, increasing their bankruptcy risk.

China and Malaysia would be the worst affected with downgrades of more than six notches.

India, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh can expect downgrades of four notches while a third of the countries studied would experience more than three.

The downgrades to four notches for India and other countries means that they will be burdened with billions of dollars in interest. 

The study has estimated that repercussions to the situation would result in additional interest costs between $28 billion and $53 billion per annum on the global capital markets.

How will this impact ordinary people?

As nature loss reduces economic performance, it will become harder for countries to service their debt, straining government budgets and forcing them to raise taxes, cut spending, or increase inflation. This will have grim consequences for ordinary people.


BIS formulates performance standards for Electric Vehicle Batteries

Source: The post is based on the articleBIS formulates performance standards for Electric Vehicle Batteriespublished in PIB on 24th June 2022.

What is the News?

The Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) has published the “Performance standards for electric vehicle batteries”

Why have Performance standards for electric vehicle batteries been issued?

Electric vehicles operate on an electric motor and rechargeable batteries. Most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries because of their high power-to-weight ratio.

However, recent fire incidents with electric vehicles have raised concerns about their safety.

Amid this rising concern, these performance standards for EV Batteries have been issued.

What do these standards provide for?

The EV batteries will have to go through tests for performance, reliability and electrical functionality for the battery packs.

These tests have been formulated considering real-life scenarios for an electric vehicle such as a vehicle in parking (battery is not used for an extended period of time), the battery system being shipped (stored), operating battery at low and high temperatures etc.


VL-SRSAM missile system successfully test-fired

Source: The post is based on the article “VL-SRSAM missile system successfully test-firedpublished in Indian Express on 25th June 2022.

What is the News?

Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) was successfully flight-tested by the Defence Research & Development Organization(DRDO) and the Indian Navy from an Indian Naval Ship at Integrated Test Range(ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

What is VL-SRSAM?

VL-SRSAM is a ship-borne weapon system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO) for deployment in the Indian Naval warships. 

Purpose: It is meant for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.

Note: Sea skimming is a technique of flying as low as possible (always below 50 meters from sea level). This will make it hard to detect the flying object by radar, and infrared detection techniques in ships. Further, it will reduce the probability of getting shot down while approaching a target. 

Range: It can strike a target at the range of 40 to 50 km.

Features: The missile has been designed based on the Astra missile, which is a Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile.

VL-SRSAM is a canisterised based missile system. Hence, it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments. In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus making its transport and storage easier and improving the shelf life of weapons.

Significance: The launch of this indigenous missile system will further strengthen the defensive capabilities of the Indian Navy.


Brainstorming Workshop on National Air Quality Resource Framework of India(NARFI)

Source: The post is based on the article Brainstorming Workshop on National Air Quality Resource Framework of India(NARFI)published in PIB on 24th June 2022.

What is the News?

Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India inaugurated a Brainstorming Workshop to kick start an ambitious National Mission on “National Air Quality Resource Framework of India (NARFI)”.

What is the National Air Quality Resource Framework of India (NARFI)?

Developed by: The National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru with the support from the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser(O/o PSA).

Purpose: The framework is an information mechanism to help decision-makers in government, municipalities, start-ups and in the private sectors to address air pollution issues in different climatic zones of India.

As part of the framework, short-term basic training modules tailored for different groups such as active ground-level staff in government establishments, implementers, media and policymakers would be provided. All of this can help enrich communication and enhance general awareness leading to self-mitigation. 

Modules: The training will evolve around the following five modules: 1) Emission Inventory, Air Shed and Mitigation, 2) Impacts on Human Health and Agriculture, 3) Integrated Monitoring, Forecasting and Advisory Framework, 4) Outreach,  Social Dimension, Transition Strategy and Policy and 5) Solutions, Public-Industry Partnership, Stubble Burning & New Technologies.


How a noxious aquatic weed was used to make eco-friendly products, generate employment in rural Bengal

Source: The post is based on the articleHow a noxious aquatic weed was used to make eco-friendly products, generate employment in rural Bengalpublished in DTE on 22nd June 2022.

What is the News?

Earth Trust Organization in West Bengal uses Water Hyacinth stems in preparing the biodegradable paper and other environmentally friendly daily-use products.

What is Water Hyacinth?

Water hyacinth scientifically known as Eichhornia crassipes Mart. (Pontederiaceae) is an aquatic weed common in water bodies across South Asia including India. 

It is not an indigenous species but was introduced to India during the British colonial rule as an ornamental aquatic plant from South America. 

The plant produces beautiful purple flowers that have high aesthetic value. 

Uses: The plant is a good phytoremediation species, suggesting it has the ability to trap and remove toxic metabolites and harmful heavy metals from water. But more research needs to be conducted to find suitable use for the notorious weed.

Invasive Species: Water hyacinth is considered invasive because it grows rapidly and can form thick layers over the water.These mats shade out the other aquatic plants.Eventually these shaded plants die and decay.The decaying process depletes the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. As oxygen levels decline, many fish are unable to survive. Often the waters below water hyacinth masses become devoid of life.

How is the Water Hyacinth plant being utilized effectively?

Earth Trust Organization in West Bengal uses Water Hyacinth stems in preparing biodegradable paper, designing biodegradable cups, plates, boxes, and other environmentally friendly daily-use products.

These products are cheaper and can serve as an alternative for plastic and thermocol cups, plates, dishes and glasses.

Hence, a dedicated network of business entrepreneurs has been developed for water hyacinth-based products serving both economy and ecology together in an integrated fashion.


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

Source: The post is based on the article “Goa becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified State & Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified UT in the Country” published in PIB on 18th August 2022. What is the News? Goa and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and… Continue reading Goa becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified State & Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified UT in the Country

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Great Indian Bustards adapt to produce 2-egg clutch

Source: The post is based on the article “Great Indian Bustards adapt to produce 2-egg clutch” published in The Hindu on 19th August 2022. What is the News? Great Indian Bustards(GIBs) in Rajasthan’s Desert National Park(DNP) have adopted an altogether new habit of laying a clutch of two eggs at a time after having a… Continue reading Great Indian Bustards adapt to produce 2-egg clutch

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

Source: The post is based on the article “Inspired by Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, and to bring ‘Blue Revolution’ TDB-DST supports its first aquaculture project” published in PIB on 18th August 2022. What is the News? To bring about the blue revolution, the Technology Development Board(TDB), a statutory body under the Department of Science… Continue reading Tilapia Fish: Inspired by Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, and to bring ‘Blue Revolution’ TDB-DST supports its first aquaculture project

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

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: How scientists are planning to ‘resurrect’ the extinct Tasmanian Tiger” published in Indian Express on 18th August 2022. What is the News? Scientists in the US and Australia have embarked on a $15-million project to resurrect the thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger, a marsupial that went extinct… Continue reading Explained: How scientists are planning to ‘resurrect’ the extinct Tasmanian Tiger

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

Source: The post is based on the article “How health ministry’s draft guidelines may improve nurses’ work conditions” published in Business Standard on 19th August 2022. What is the News? The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) has issued draft guidelines to improve the working conditions of all categories of nurses in all healthcare institutions… Continue reading How health ministry’s draft guidelines may improve nurses’ work conditions

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Digital Lending and its Regulation – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The lending business, in recent years, has been disrupted by digital technologies. The transformation of lending landscape has been driven by the need for superior customer experience, faster turn-around time, and adoption of modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). However, the digital lending ecosystem has given… Continue reading Digital Lending and its Regulation – Explained, pointwise

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Write your mains before Actual Mains Exam 2022

Dear Friends, As you may be aware, ForumIAS will organize the Mains Open Test 2022 between 31st August to 1st September. If you want to have the realistic experience of writing UPSC Mains once before you actually write the Mains and know the time management in advance you can appear for Mains Open Test by visiting the below link:https://academy.forumias.com/mains-opentest/… Continue reading Write your mains before Actual Mains Exam 2022

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Experts Explain: An India Blockchain Platform

Source: The post is based on the article “Experts Explain: An India Blockchain Platform” published in the Indian Express on 19th August 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential Relevance: About public digital infrastructure News: In recent years, India has made a significant effort to become a digital society by building a large… Continue reading Experts Explain: An India Blockchain Platform

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

Source: The post is based on the article “Chinese ship at Hambantota calls for New Delhi to look closely at its maritime strategy” published in the Indian Express on 19th August 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its Neighbourhood relations. Relevance: Yuan Wang 5 and China’s evolving Indian Ocean strategy News: Recently, Sri Lanka approved the arrival… Continue reading Chinese ship at Hambantota calls for New Delhi to look closely at its maritime strategy

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Should there be limits on ‘freebies’?

Source: The post is based on the following articles “Should there be limits on ‘freebies’?” published in The Hindu on 19th August 2022. “Freebies In Our Bonnet” published in The Times of India on 19th August 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these… Continue reading Should there be limits on ‘freebies’?

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