9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – June 28, 2021

Dear Friends,

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

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper is readily available to you.  
  2. We have widened the sources in order to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9PM brief now covers the following newspapers:  
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part in every article. Now you know why an article has been covered.
  4. Since the changes are new so number of articles will be heavy initially but can be expected to go down once we have done a good number of articles.  
  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 Brief Click here
  • For individual articles of 9 PM Brief – Click Here

Mains Oriented Articles 

GS Paper 1 

GS Paper 2 

GS Paper 3 

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1 

The power of an apology

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS 1- World History

Relevance: Content in this article can be most useful in your essay on international relations.

Synopsis: Apologies from governments for past mistakes can help individuals reconcile with the past and enhance bilateral relations. 


In May, Germany apologised to Namibia for the slaughter of the Herero and Nama people in1904-1908, for the first time calling it a genocide. Around the same day, in Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged his country’s part in the Rwandan genocide and expressed hope for forgiveness. 

What are the effects of these gestures? 

It is impossible to exaggerate the significance of these gestures. They have a variety of beneficial effects. Apart from improving relations between the countries involved, leaders’ apologies assist people in reconciling with the past, and countries and communities in learning from history and avoiding similar catastrophes. 

The conclusion  

In today’s geopolitics, a feeling of humility is arguably a rare occurrence. From Nicaragua to Myanmar, we are seeing a resurgence of political leaders who are willing to go to any length to maintain power. In this climate, apologetic voices become even more valuable, as they aid us in reconciling with unfortunate occurrences in the past and removing historical stains. 

  • To be a pillar of the multipolar world in this sense, one must be more than a military power, an industrial and/or financial powerhouse, and/or a global investor. Countries that aspire to global leadership should also be capable of moral leadership. This comprises critical self-reflection, humility, compassion, and caring not only for themselves, but also for the world’s most vulnerable groups. 

Terms to Know:  

Herero and Nama People  

Komagata Maru Incident 

GS Paper 2 

On the margins with full equality still out of reach

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States

Tags: LGBTQ+, Navtej Singh Johar case, Naz Foundation case, GS paper 2

Relevance: The LGBTQ+ community is one of the most vulnerable sections in India and mainstreaming them is a great challenge. 

Synopsis: The global LGBTQ+ community marched ahead after the 1970s. But in India, it was not the case. Despite the Constitution focus on liberation, the marginalised segments such as LGBTQ+ did not receive enough attention so far.  

What is section 377? 

  • Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalized homosexuality. This Section was introduced in 1861 during the British rule in India, modeled on the Buggery Act of 1533. 
  • Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. vs Union of India (2018) case: The Supreme Court ruled that the criminalization of consensual homosexual sex, under Section 377 between adults was unconstitutional, irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary. 
  • However, Section 377 remains in force for sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality. 

Other significant judgements on Section 377: 

  • Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi [2009] is a landmark Indian case of the Delhi High Court. It held that treating consensual homosexual sex between adults as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights. 
  • As a result of the ruling, homosexual acts between consenting adults are no longer illegal in India. 
  • The court also held that Section 377 offended the guarantee of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution, because it creates an unreasonable classification and targets homosexuals as a class 
  • Suresh Kumar Koushal vs. Naz Foundation [2013]: In this case, the SC overturned the previous judgment by Delhi HC 2009 and reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. 

Outcomes after these Judgement: 

  • These judgments have provided a launch pad for the LGBTQ+ jurisprudence and queer liberation movement in India. 
  • Despite the judgments of the Supreme Court, full equality is still not provided to the LGBTQ+ community. 
  • The Union of India has recently opposed any move to accord legal sanction to same-sex marriages. The government states that, decriminalisation of Section 377 does not automatically translate into a fundamental right for same sex couples to marry.

Why India needs to allow Same Sex marriages? 

As of 2021, same-sex marriage is legally performed and recognised in 29 countries. Indian society and the state should synchronise themselves with changing trends. For example, the United Kingdom passed the “Alan Turing law” in 2017 to outlaw homosexual acts. 


  • Eliminating the stigma associated with LGBTQ+ community through the mass media and the official channels. Further, School and university students too should be sensitised about the diversity of sexuality.  
  • Amending Article 15: Article 15 secures the citizens from every sort of discrimination by the state, on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth or any of them. India should amend the article to include discrimination based on sexual orientation.   
  • In May 1996, South Africa became the first country to constitutionally prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. 


Another Shade of Grey

Source – The Hindu 

Syllabus: GS2- International Institutions

Tags: FATF, Pakistan, grey list, blacklist, terror financing, money laundering 

Relevance: Significance of FATF’s latest action for India 

Synopsis: Pakistan has been retained on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list.  

Pakistan will stay on the FATF grey list for now. Pakistan missed the mark by one crucial action point out of 27 – being judged deficient in prosecuting the senior leadership of UN-proscribed terror groups.   

Read more – Pakistan to remain on FATF greylist -ForumIAS Blog 

FATF and Pakistan  

Many in the Pakistan are protesting this decision. They are of the view that their reforms to terror financing laws have enabled the prosecution of more than 30 UN-proscribed leaders and their associates, for terror financing. 

However, it is unclear that how many leaders are serving jail time, the convictions and prison terms. It has previously happened that Pakistani authorities arrest leaders on charges under international pressure, and subsequently release them.  

Thus, FATF has cleared that Pakistan must complete the prosecution of all proscribed leaders of groups including the LeT, JeM, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban. 

Furthermore, FATF has included six more items to the list.  

What does it mean for India? 

Pakistan’s continuance on this list is a news of relief for India. It is because India is still awaiting true justice delivered to leaders of groups such as the LeT and JeM for attacks, including Mumbai 26/11, Parliament (2001) Pathankot and Pulwama, and not just terror financing. 

However, the processes of FATF must be checked for overreach also. It is because India’s Mutual Evaluation Report is also pending due to the pandemic.  

FATF has announced a new focus on “extreme right-wing terrorism (ERW)”. With this factor along with Pakistan’s lobby will result in technical scrutiny of India’s political aspects. 

Terms to Know: 

Police reforms are not enough


Syllabus: GS2 – Governance 

Tags: police reform, police violence, human rights, justice, custodial deaths, custodial violence 

Relevance: Police reforms in India are pending for a long time. 

Synopsis: Police reforms are much needed in India. In this respect, India can learn a lot from the George Floyd trial. 

  • Killing of George Floyd was in news a few months back. In the USA it sparked mass protests culminating in the conviction of the police officer involved in the case.

Why an erosion of public trust in the police is not unusual? 

As per The Status of Policing in India Report for 2018, police personnel has inherent biases. 

  • Bias against minorities: Police personnel has an inherent bias against minorities and marginalized sections of the society in the sense that it is believed that these sections are prone to violence. More so than other sections of the society. 
  • Bias towards violent justice: A section of police personnel felt that it was better to put dangerous criminals to death than on trial.  

Thus, an erosion of trust in the police is, thus, highly probable in the country. 

What can India learn from the George Floyd trial? 

  • Demanding accountability: The first must be in demanding accountability. Police brutality in India isn’t rare. An analysis of NCRB data reveals that about 7 in 10 custodial deaths in the past decade were attributed to illness or suicide, which underscores the possibility of custodial torture 
  • Eradicating systemic biases: Second, we need to acknowledge and eradicate systemic bias within the police force. In India, acknowledgments of racial bias have never been forthcoming. NCRB data on incarcerated populations in India shows that minorities are disproportionately jailed, indicating the existence of bias against these communities within the criminal justice system 
  • Realistic cinematic portrayal of cops: The role played by popular cinema in glamourizing the no-nonsense, tough-on-crime cop has certainly played a role in normalizing police violence. it encourages lynch-mob vigilantism as justice.  
  • Improving judicial sensitivity: Judicial response to custodial violence has also been erratic, and despite the Supreme Court’s guidelines in DK Basu’s case, the rate of conviction in custodial violence or death claims continues to be low.  
  • Parliamentary discussions and debates: Law-making organ of the state needs to have a consistent and meaningful discussion on the issue of police atrocities within civil society.  
  • Public outrage: Equally important is the public outrage over police brutality or deaths which has been largely missing from India. It is in sharp contrast with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Citizen’s participation can galvanize different societal elements coming together to correct injustices. 
  • Police Complaint authorities: Supreme Court, in the Prakash Singh & Ors versus Union of India & Ors case, had directed each State and Union Territory to constitute Police Complaints Authorities (PCAs) at the State and district levels with immediate effect. This needs to be followed in letter and spirit. Many states have yet to establish these bodies while those that have been established are without any penal powers. 

Fear, myths, and lack of awareness leads to Vaccine hesitancy

Source- The Business Standard

Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues related to health. 

Tags: vaccine hesitancy, vaccine access, vaccination 

Relevance: elimination of vaccine hesitancy is critical for COVID vaccination success in India 

Synopsis – What is the cause of vaccine hesitancy in India and what needs to be done to address this issue.  


According to community survey across 299 Indian districts, 17-18 % of eligible people are reluctant to take the vaccine. Furthermore, 11% are concerned about the effectiveness of currently existing vaccines. 

Causes of vaccine hesitancy 

  • Lack of credible information about vaccines and their after effects-Many people are afraid to take vaccines due to concerns over safety, efficacy, and possible side effects of the vaccine.  People are not aware of common and temporary side effect of the vaccine-like fever and body ache after the injection. 
  • Religious propaganda that the vaccine may contain animal-derived, microbes, chemicals, and products, which is forbidden by religious laws. 
  • Lack of access to vaccine – long gap between the doses also injects vaccine hesitancy, while some forgetting to get the second shot.  
  • Inconvenience factor – people hesitate to participate in the vaccination drive due to the difficulties that they must face in accessing the vaccine. 
  • Disinformation, especially on social media – Social-media has seen a rising number of self-proclaimed experts who have been making unsubstantiated claims. 
  • For example- Some social media posts advise people to avoid alcohol for 60 days following vaccination, which adds to their reluctance. 

What needs to be done to address vaccine hesitancy? 

  • Make public aware- Government need to run awareness workshops for community leaders and social mobilisers at the block levels to dispel any doubts about vaccine. 
  • Use Social Media Platforms to counter any disinformation regarding vaccines and spread awareness. 
  • Social media platform should make sure that users only get to see the credible, science-based information about the vaccines. 
  • There is need to identify vaccine hesitant areas/group/community based on prior experience of vaccine programmes like polio.  
  • Engage local influencers to persuade people– The influential person or celebrities should come forward to dispel doubts leading to Vaccine hesitancy. 
  • Ensure credible information- Vaccine producers must provide scientific and trustworthy information in addition to declaring figures related to efficacy, which only fey understand.  
  • Make vaccination a compulsory condition to join office. 

Way forward- 

In the fight against the pandemic, complete vaccination is one of the most important weapons in the arsenal. Therefore, the issue of vaccine hesitancy must be addressed immediately. The Government must take aggressive steps to address the cause behind vaccine hesitancy. 

GS Paper 3 

India’s debt-to-GDP ratio at a 14-year high

Source: Livemint – Article 1Article 2Article 3 

Syllabus: GS3 – Indian Economy 

Tags: Fiscal Deficit, Debt-to-GDP ratio, Debt burden, Credit rating, Debt repayment, NSSF 

Relevance: Present situation of India’s economy, dealing with a high debt burden and an increased Fiscal Deficit. 

Synopsis: High Fiscal Deficit, a very high Debt-to-GDP ratio and a high amount of external debt have raised concerns over debt sustainability. 

  • Few concerns and possible solutions. 

Rise in Fiscal Deficit & Debt-to-GDP ratio  

  • Fiscal Deficit = 9.3% of GDP from 4.6% (2020) 
  • Debt-to-GDP ratio = Risen to 58.73% from 51.6% 

Why Fiscal Deficit (FD) is high? 

This was mainly due to the following reasons:  

  • Shortfall in revenue collection: Firstly, there has been a shortfall in revenue collection due to disruption in economic activities caused by the first wave of the pandemic.  
  • Accounting FCI’s borrowing in calculation of FD: Secondly, government has made a slight change in its accounting practices. It is now including full borrowings of Food Corporation of India (FCI) in calculation of Fiscal Deficit.  

Food subsidy to FCI 

Earlier situation: Till last year, FCI’s massive loans (to finance distribution of subsidized ration) were sourced from the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF). These borrowings were part of “extra budgetary resources”, literally outside the budget. Hence, they did not reflect in the fiscal deficit. 

  • This extra-budgetary borrowing was slammed by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2019. Hence, government 
  • Extra Budgetary resources refers to allocations made from money outside of revenue or borrowings, through means such as the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF), and recapitalization bonds etc. 

Why FCI requires food subsidy? 

The difference between the cost of procurement of food-grains and the cost of providing them to fair price shops is what FCI demands from the government as a subsidy.  

  • Subsidy Arrears: When the budget allocation for a financial year is not sufficient to clear all the dues of the food subsidies bill raised by FCI, the dues of such subsidies are carried over to the next financial year. Hence, to cover these arrears FCI used various methods like bonds, unsecured short-term loans and NSSF loans etc. 

Present situation: Now, government will make budgetary provisions for the repayment of entire FCI loans. Hence, these repayments shall be counted to calculate FD. 

Impact of the change: Although, in both cases ultimately the burden of repayment shall lie with the government, but this change in accounting indicates transparency. 

Why Debt-to-GDP ratio is at an all-time high? 

The Union government’s debt has risen from 51.6% to 58.8% of the gross domestic product in the fiscal year due to the following reasons: 

  • High amount of borrowing: Economic contraction forced the government to borrow a record amount to meet a revenue shortfall.

Why India’s external debt increased? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in debt not only for India but for most countries around the world. 

  • Most of the emerging economies have government debt that is around 40% to 50% of their GDP. Compared to that India’s debt is around 75% to 80% of our GDP 
  • Advanced countries like the US and Japan may have even higher debt levels. But India should not compare itself to these economies because their repayment capacity is also much higher than India. 
  • Constituents of external debt (in decreasing order): Commercial borrowings (37%), Non-Resident Deposits (25%), Government borrowings (19%) 

What is the problem with a large Fiscal Deficit, a high Debt-to-GDP ratio and a high external debt? 

 It means the government is saddled with a higher debt burden. This has the following impact: 

  • Credit rating: This influences sovereign creditworthiness ratings assigned by global rating agencies which tend to increase the government’s borrowing costs. 
  • Repayment issues under unforeseen circumstances: Borrowing more money means that you’ll have to pay it back at some point in time. COVID has already led to a high fiscal uncertainty as per the 15th Finance Commission. Future unforeseen circumstances like another pandemic or a war in the near term, can lead to subdued growth, and then this debt will become a problem. 

What are the targets for FD and Debt-to-GDP ratio as per FRBM Act? 

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, as amended in 2008, mandated the following:  

  • Fiscal Deficit target: Centre needs to limit the fiscal deficit to 3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by March 31, 2021. Note: FRBM Act includes has an option of an escape clause in situations of calamity and national security. In such situations, the government can deviate from its annual fiscal deficit target. 
  • In light of COVID-induced uncertainty, government is now eyeing a Fiscal Deficit target of 6.8% in 2021-22 and a gradual reduction to 4.6% in 2025-26. 
  • Debt-to-GDP ratio: Bringing down the debt-to-GDP ratio of the Centre to 40% and that of states to 20% by 2024-25 

Note: Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) has recommended setting up an FRBM review panel to draft a new fiscal consolidation framework because the current challenges have made the earlier targets impossible to achieve.  

Is there a way out of this entire situation? /How can India tackle this problem of rising debt burden? 

  • The FFC has recommended a slow and gradual decline in central government and general government debt to 56.6% and 85.7% (of GDP), respectively, by FY26. 
  • Improved tax revenue via increased compliance  
  • Increased receipts from monetization of assets, including public sector enterprises and land. 
  • Increase in capital expenditure via private investments  
  • Higher fiscal stimulus to revive businesses, increase in employment etc 

Terms to know 

Explained: Will food become costlier?

Source: Indian Express

Syllabus: GS3 – Issues of Buffer Stocks and Food Security.

Tags: agricultural commodities, food inflation, food prices in India, international food prices.

Relevance: Global prices of major agricultural commodities in India and the reason behind the divergence in prices, way forward

Synopsis:  Factors affecting food inflation in India.


  • Brent Crude prices ($76.18) had reached the highest since October 2018.  
  • Since the increase in international oil prices is being fully passed on to Indian consumers, there is a concern that prices of Food will also increase. 

India’s Scenario is different from Global Scenario 

  1. Global prices of major agricultural commodities have increased compared to their levels a year ago.  
  2. Similarly, The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) world food price index (FPI) touched 127.1 points, which is the highest value since September 2011. 
  3. Whereas in India the increase in global food prices is not getting reflected in what consumers in India are paying. For instance, 
  4. Annual consumer food price index (CFPI) inflation in India, at 5% in May, is way lower than the 39.7% year-on-year rise in the FAO-FPI for the same month. 
  5. Interestingly, Global food inflation crashed after March 2020 after the impact of the Pandemic. Whereas in India, Retail food inflation was around double-digits till November.  

Reasons for the divergence 

Understanding the drivers of both global and domestic inflation will help us understand the reason for the divergence 

  1. The drivers of Global food inflation are mainly due to, 
    • Increase in demand due to unlocking of economies. 
    • Chinese stockpiling for building strategic reserves, as well as in anticipation of fresh corona outbreaks. 
    • Production shortfalls in Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Thailand and even the US. 
  2. In India, by contrast, the reduction in food inflation is mainly due to two reasons. 
    • One, good monsoons in 2019 and 2020 that led to bumper kharif crop harvest.  
    • Two, the collapse of demand from successive Covid-triggered lockdowns. 
  3. India’s food index has seen a rise in edible oils and pulses mainly. These are the Agri-commodities that India significantly imports. 
    • Edible oil import: India imports 13-15 million tonnes every year and produces just 7.5-8.5 mt.  
    • Pulses Import: India produces 22-23 Mt and imports h 2.5-3 Mt. 

In the future, what are the possible factors that can impact Food Inflation in India? 

Food inflation in India in the coming months is likely to be influenced by four determinants. 

  1. The first one is international prices, which matters for edible oil and pulses as discussed above. 
  2. The second, determinant is the monsoon’s progress. With 18% above-average precipitation during the southwest monsoon the Production is set to increase. This will help in controlling Food inflation at permitted levels. 
  3. The third determinant is the extent of fuel cost increases being pass-through to consumers. In the event of an increase in fuel prices, there is a likelihood that processors, transporters, and even farmers may pass the increase in fuel costs to consumers. 
  4. The final determinant is political. Governments’ decision on minimum support policy, procurement of buffer stocks of wheat and paddy, regulation of Sugar price will all impact Food inflation. 

Let’s step back from the NPA Scare

Source: Business Standard

 Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian Economy- Banking and associated issues

Tags: – NPA, NPA Scare, Banking, Indian Economy, GS Paper 3 

Relevance: NPA crisis is a critical problem for Indian economy. But, are we worried a bit too much? 

Synopsis: Lenders must be less afraid of regulators and agencies so that they can aggressively restructure debts. 


In India, there is a “NPA Scare”: An inflated fear of NPAs and lender losses. Failure of a business and credit losses are unavoidable in lending. We will hinder economic growth if we avoid all NPAs or demonise default. The emphasis on human interest tales and failed transactions tends to hide the large amount of successful lending that occurs. 

  • The three things that are wrong with the Indian credit market: Banking regulation, the lack of a capable bond market, and bankruptcy reform. 
  • Default-free lending: buy AAA-rated 90-day government bonds from the United States or Germany. These produce a yield of about 0%. Purchasing an Indian government bond demonstrates a willingness to take risks. 
  • If policymakers or board members seek exceptionally low nonperforming assets (NPAs), sensible financial plans and loan access are hampered. It’s similar to selling life insurance and expecting clients to not die. Business failure is a part of life, so credit defaults will always happen. 
  • Currently, financial authorities and agencies are vigilant in preventing future defaults and pursuing past defaulters. As a result of the NPA scare, businesses are reducing their borrowing. They are using more equity capital and are investing less, which is hurting GDP growth. 
  • Deaths faced by life insurance companies surge in a pandemic. Business failures rise when growth declines. When Indian growth slowed in the last decade, defaults increased. This is the normal working of the market economy. 
  • A huge volume of debt transactions goes through successfully all the time. As financial economist Harsh Vardhan told that about 12 trillion of new credit takes place every year. But a few big defaults are highlighted which fuels the NPA Scare.  

What are the problems in the Indian credit market that require solving? 

There are three problems in the Indian credit market that require solving: Banking regulation, bond market, and bankruptcy process. 

  • Firstly, the weaknesses of banking regulation. In India, banks have provided loans, had defaults, and then gone bankrupt after the defaults were paid. The NPA scare should not be fuelled by bank fragility; rather, it should serve as a catalyst for improvements in banking regulation that would fix the problem. 
  • Secondly, non-implementation of market-based accounting. The job of banking regulation is to force market-based accounting upon lenders, this has not been implemented. Banks have overvalued their portfolios and regulators have supported this. Regulators must force banks to assess the market value of loans and mark their portfolios to market every quarter.  
  • Thirdly, the problem is the bond market. Banks have short-dated deposits and are structurally unable to do long-term lending. There are structural failures in financial regulation which have held back the emergence of the bond market.  
  • The losses should not add to the NPA Fear; instead, they should prompt the necessary bond market changes. This is a work programme that was started in the 2015 Finance Bill but was cancelled. 
  • Fourthly, the bankruptcy code is about reducing the losses suffered by lenders when default takes place. The bankruptcy process must begin, with the committee of creditors taking over and finding a value-maximizing agreement for lenders. The bankruptcy code should make it more difficult for promoters to hide their theft, resulting in retaliatory actions. 

The way forward 

  • Regulators and agencies need to instil less fear in lenders, so that they are able to restructure debts when faced with early signs of distress. A small loss in restructuring is generally better than a large loss in bankruptcy.  
  • The Indian bankruptcy reform has been in play since 2016, but the elements described here have not fallen into place through the combination of regulators, courts, departments, and agencies. 

 The problems of the bankruptcy process should not fuel the NPA Scare; they should generate the energy to come back into the bankruptcy reform with fresh energy and intellectual capacity. 

Inadequate planning on PLI Schemes

Source: Livemint

Syllabus: GS Paper 3- Industries and associated issues, GS2 – Govt Schemes

Tags: PLI scheme, General Studies 2, Export, industry schemes. 

Relevance:  Important points regarding PLI Scheme of the government 

Synopsis: Production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes are gathering momentum. 


25 companies, including Nokia and Dixon Technologies, have registered for the telecom hardware PLI scheme. It is worth over Rs 12,000 crore.  

PLI schemes for telecom hardware, steel sector, advanced chemistry cell batteries etc. Have been notified. However, sufficient thought or a strategic planning is missing in this expansion of PLI schemes.  

What are the issues with PLI Schemes? 

  • It is just like an old-style industrial policy. Incentives will be provided to uncompetitive units in order to ramp up production for the domestic market.  
  • It will create institutional links between industrialists and the bureaucracy. These links will be very difficult to manage in the long run.  
  • Implementing the scheme across multiple sectors is useless. It will not be able to overcome the existing barriers to exports and will put additional burden on taxpayers. 
  • These schemes will only be useful for sector, where a foreign and domestic market exists and hurdles like the cost of purchasing intellectual property and other start-up costs exists. lithium-ion batteries sector is one such sector. 


  • “Institutional mechanism” to manage obstacles in PLI scheme implementation.  
  • Providing “hand-holding” support for firms. 
  • PLI scheme should be a sector or industry specific scheme. For example,  
  • if it aims at generating factory jobs, it should be concentrated in labor-intensive sectors.  
  • If it aims to reduce strategic independence on China, then it should focus on diversifying specific China-focused supply chains alongside a China-focused trade policy. 

Shaping India’s green future

Syllabus: GS3 – Environment

Tags: Global warming, pandemic, zero emission, climate change.

Relevance: Achieving net zero emissions to achieve carbon neutrality

Synopsis: Pandemic and global warming are giving clear warning that India must move to a more sustainable and greener future.

  • Frequency of extreme weather events, heat waves, and deadly droughts have increased.
    • Recent Cyclones Tauktae and Yaas have caused death and destruction on India’s western and eastern coasts.
  • The zoonotic (such as SARS, MERS, and AIDS) viruses are spreading because of destruction of natural habitats.
  • As per Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global carbon emission must reach net-zero by 2050 to keep warming within 1.5 degrees centigrade by 2100.
    • However, world with current emissions will warm up the planet by 3 degrees.
    • India being one of the largest emitters has immense pressure to bring carbon emission down to net-zero by mid-century.
  • Climate change is a slow-motion global disaster.
    • It destroys planet’s temperate climate and diminishes the lives of children.
Benefits of net Zero emission approach:
  • Firstly, net-zero technologies, such as solar power and electric vehicles, are likely to be much more efficient.
    • it will drive economic growth and create high-quality jobs.
    • It will also end the trade-off between development and emission reductions.
  • Secondly, the rest of the world might impose high carbon taxes on exports from carbon-emitting countries.
    • Therefore, India may be disadvantaged relative to our peer economies and face significant export challenges.
    • A legally binding net-zero target will be beneficial diplomatically and lead to much more supportive technology transfer and global trade agreements.
  • Thirdly, it will help in building the necessary state capacity.
    • it will promote a stable government framework and policy predictability.
    • India can promote entrepreneurship and build a more competitive, sustainable future.
  • Lastly, the net-zero target would force the Central and state governments to quickly build the necessary state capacity for monitoring and compliance.
    • It could lead to massive investments in green technologies and equipment.
    • India requires at least $100 billion per year in green investments to reach a net-zero target by mid-century.
Challenges in path of carbon neutrality:
  • Firstly, India need to transform electricity generation, transportation, construction, real estate, agriculture, cement, steel, and many other industries.
  • Secondly, due to financial constraints faced by Central and state governments it requires involvement of private sector capital.
  • Thirdly, India will need competitive, advanced technologies and business models. For long-term, sustainable prosperity.
Benefits of low carbon approach:

Net zero approach is impractical for India considering high transition cost.

  • Firstly, India is not obliged to follow net zero approach under Common but differentiated responsibility.
  • Secondly, India can adopt longer phase out period such as by 2080 or even later.
  • Thirdly, clear sectoral targets are needed for both private and public sector. such as the current 450-Gw target for solar energy.
    • It would also provide a clear sectoral road map for the private sector for its investment plans.
    • it would allow slow decommission and investment requirements would be reduced.
    • It will help in moving people out of high-carbon industries.

India needs coordinated policies and actions to ensure rapid peaking in carbon emission and a steeper decline thereafter.

Source: Business Standard

Prelims Oriented Articles

Focused on Pakistan rather than China, India in Tier 3 as cyberpower: Report

Source: Indian Express   

What is the News?  

International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a think tank, has released a report titled “Cyber Capabilities and National Power: A Net Assessment”.  

About the Report:  

  • The report assesses the cyber capabilities of 15 countries and how they contribute to national power.  
  • Parameters: The report measured each country’s capabilities in seven categories; Strategy and doctrine, Governance, command and control, Core cyber-intelligence capability , Cyber empowerment and dependence, Cyber security and resilience, Global leadership in cyberspace affairs, Offensive cyber capability.  

Key Findings of the Report: The report has ranked the countries by dividing them into three Tiers:  

  • Tier-1: US is the only country in the first tier for its world-leading strengths across all the seven categories.  
  • Tier-2: The countries in this category are: Australia, Canada, China, France, Israel, Russia and the United Kingdom. These countries have world-leading strengths in some of the seven categories.  
  • Tier-3: India has been put in the third tier meant for countries that have strengths or potential strengths in some of these categories but significant weaknesses in others.   
  • The other countries in this category are: Japan, Iran, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and North Korea.  

Other Key Findings:  

  • India’s offensive cyber capability is Pakistan-focused and regionally effective and not tuned towards China.  
  • India has made only modest progress in developing its policy and doctrine for cyberspace security despite the geo-strategic instability of its region and a keen awareness of the cyber threat it faces.  
  • Moreover, China’s cyber power is clearly inferior to that of the US and substantially below the combined cyber power of the Five Eyes alliance.  
  • Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UK-USA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence. 

What are DMCA notices for protection of intellectual property online?

Source: Indian Express

What is the News? 

The union minister for Electronics and Information Technology was locked out of his Twitter account for an hour allegedly over a notice received for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA? 

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA is a 1998 law passed in the US and is among the world’s first laws recognising intellectual property on the internet.  
  • Purpose: The law oversees the implementation of the two treaties signed and agreed upon by member nations of the World Intellectual Property Organisation(WIPO) in 1996. 

Which are those two treaties of WIPO? 

  • In 1996, WIPO member countries agreed upon two treaties namely the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.  
  • Both the treaties require member nations and signatories to provide in their respective jurisdictions, protection to intellectual property that may have been created by citizens of different nations who are also co-signatories to the treaty. 
  • The said protection accorded by each member state must not be any less in any way than the one being given to a domestic copyright holder.  
  • Further, the signatory countries should ensure ways to prevent circumvention of the technical measures used to protect copyrighted work.It also provides the necessary international legal protection to digital content. 

About WIPO: 

  • World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). 
  • Purpose: It was created to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations. 
  • WIPO Convention: It’s mandate of governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention which had established WIPO in 1967. 
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland. 

Quality focus to help in ‘setting humane fiscal policy’: RBI study

Source: Indian Express    

What is the News?  

A Reserve Bank of India study has said that the formal weaving of quality targets into the fiscal consolidation paths would result in setting fiscal policy with a “human face”.  

 Key Facts mentioned in the Article:  

 About Cyclical Fiscal Policy:  

  • Cyclicality of the fiscal policy simply refers to a change in direction of government expenditure and taxes based on economic conditions.   
  • There are two types of cyclical fiscal policies – counter-cyclical and procyclical.  

 What is Counter Cyclical Fiscal Policy?  

  • Counter-cyclical Fiscal Policy refers to the steps taken by the government that go against the direction of the economic or business cycle.  
  • This means that during a recession or slowdown, the government increases expenditure and reduces taxes to create a demand that can drive an economic boom.   
  • On the other hand, during a boom in the economy, the policy aims at raising taxes and cutting public expenditure to control inflation and debt.  

 What is pro-cyclical fiscal policy?  

  • In a pro-cyclical fiscal policy, the government reinforces the business cycle by being expansionary during good times and contractionary during recessions.   
  • Pursuing a pro-cyclical fiscal policy is generally regarded as dangerous.It could raise macroeconomic volatility, depress investment in real and human capital, hamper growth and harm the poor.  

 What is Fiscal Deficit?  

  • Fiscal deficit is the gap between total expenditure and total income of the government.   
  • The fiscal deficit can arise either due to revenue expenses overshooting income or increase in capital expenditure.   
  • The fiscal deficit matters because it indicates the extent by which government spending exceeds its income and the total borrowings needed by it to fill this gap.   
  • A fiscal deficit is usually calculated and expressed as a percentage of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  

 What is Gross Fiscal Deficit?  

  • The gross fiscal deficit(GFD) is the excess of total expenditure including loans net of recovery over revenue receipts (including external grants) and non-debt capital receipts.  

 What is Revenue Deficit?  

  • Revenue Deficit denotes the difference between revenue receipts and revenue expenditure. 

Record forex reserves must be seen in the right perspective

Source: Livemint

Synopsis: India’s Foreign exchange reserves have registered a record increase. However, analyzing factors and impacts of this increase are important.  


India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed $600 billion for the first time. On July 11, the reserve stood at $608.1 billion. Out of that foreign currency reserves account for $563.5 billion and gold reserves accounts for $38.1 billion. 

Now India has 5th largest foreign exchange reserves in the world. Whereas Gold reserves 695.3 tonnes are largest.  

How useful is this increase in foreign exchange reserves? 

Cover for imports: Firstly, if we consider the projected imports for 2021-22, the current level of reserves provides cover for less than 15 months. It is lower than for other major reserve holders—Switzerland (39 months); Japan (22 months); Russia (20 months); and China (16 months).  

External debt: Secondly, as of December 2020, total external debt of India is $563.5 billion. It was 104% of our foreign currency assets of $541.6 billion on 1 January 2021.  

Net International Investment (NII): Between December 2019 and 2020, NII position of India has improved. Foreign exchange reserves get counted as assets in counting net international investment position. 

NII is the difference between a country’s stock of foreign assets vis-a-vis foreigners’ stock of the country’s asset.  

Reasons behind an increase in foreign exchange reserves 

Due to fall in consumer demand for oil and other products, imports of India reduced. Other activities like personal and business foreign travel, foreign education, etc. where foreign exchange is required also came down. 

India’s incoming foreign currency pace from exports and remittances also reduced. However, it was still higher than the demand for it.   

Foreign Portfolio Investments to India was at all-time high of $37 billion.  


Covid has impacted the private consumption badly. Thus, this increased foreign exchange reserves should be spent to give a stimulus to the economy. 

Govt to contest SC order on great Indian bustard 

Source: Business Standard

Synopsis:  Govt plans to contest Supreme Court order on great Indian bustard


  • Recently, a public interest litigation was filed by a few wildlife activists to protect the “critically endangered” the great Indian bustard
  • The petitioners urged that the overhead electric lines that are causing mortality to the birds should be avoided.
  • In response, the Supreme Court directed the governments of Gujarat and Rajasthan to lay the power transmission lines underground.
  • The court observed that all the low-voltage lines, that is 66 kV and below, should be buried underground and that doing the same with high-voltage lines (130 kV and above) is “difficult but not impossible”.
  • The court gave a time period of one year for the same. However, the judgment has adversely affected the potential of renewable energy in Rajasthan.
  • Currently, the government is planning to move the Supreme Court to seeking a review of its order.

Impact of the judgement

  • Close to 60 Gw of solar power capacity stands to be impacted by this judgment, according to the MNRE.
  • At stake, according to the Rajasthan government, is 95 Gw — which is the total solar potential of the state.
  • Further, The MNRE has estimated that it would cost the project developers an additional Rs 1.5 trillion for underground transmission.

What are the arguments from the government side?

  • One, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) argues that the bird’s population was declining even before solar power plants came to the region.
    • According to a study by the MNRE, that there were 1,000 great Indian bustards in 1966. Their population shrank to 200 in 2014 and they now number 300.
    • According to MNRE records, only six birds have died as a result of collisions with solar panels or lines since the projects came up
  • Two, the other argument is that the judgment should cover its priority area and not potential area.
    • The great Indian bustard is present mainly in the two states. Its priority area is 13,000 sq. km in Rajasthan and 477 sq. km in Gujarat, while the potential area is 78,500 sq. km in Rajasthan and 2,108 sq. km in Gujarat.
  • Three, the government is ready to consider several options besides underground cabling.
    • For example, The National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), is drafting options that could be explored to protect the bird while constructing the plants. it includes bird diverters, aerial bunch cables and line markers.
    • Further, it has reviewed 52 case studies across 30 countries to learn best practices to mitigate bird collisions.
    • The study, reviewed by this paper, observed that solutions such as bird diverters, route planning and dedicated infrastructure related to the birds on transmission lines result in “more than 90 per cent decrease in bird mortality rate”.

E-commerce norms on global lines: Government 

Source: Times of India

Syllabus: Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Tags: Draft e-commerce rules, GS Paper 3, E-Commerce 

Synopsis: The EU and countries like the US, Australia, Japan and Singapore, have strict e-commerce regulations. The proposed Draft e-commerce rules are aimed at fulfilling the evolving global architecture. 

How are the e-commerce companies governed globally? 

  • The European Union: In December 2020, the European Commission proposed a digital regulation package consisting of the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act. The Acts seek to put curbs on large platforms or “gatekeepers”. 
  • The US: There are federal antitrust laws that discourage anti-competitive behaviour by companies. Apart from that, a new bill was proposed to rein in alleged monopolistic behaviour of big tech companies. 


  • India’s Manufacturing capacity is limited: In several cases, goods have to be imported because India does not have the manufacturing capability of such products at low cost. So, pushing made-in-India products will not provide cost effective products to consumers.  
  • Inventory model for e-commerce is allowed in other countries, while it is forbidden in India. Flash sales are not banned elsewhere in the world 

Read more: 

Indian scientists develop nanogenerator for use in self powering devices

Source: PIB

What is the News? 

A team of Indian scientists have developed a transparent triboelectric nanogenerator device. 

About Triboelectric Nanogenerator(TENG)?  

  • A triboelectric nanogenerator(TENG) is a self-powered device. It makes use of mechanical energy in the form of vibrations, which is present everywhere in different forms to generate electricity. 
  • Working: 
    • It works on the principle of creation of electrostatic charges via instantaneous physical contact of two dissimilar materials. It is followed by generation of potential difference when a mismatch is introduced between the two contacted surfaces through a mechanical force.  
    • This mechanism drives the electrons to move back and forth between the conducting films coated on the back of the tribo layers. 
  • Technique used: The device was developed using the simpler doctor’s blade technique along with polyethylene terephthalate(PET) as tribo layers. 
    • Doctor’s blade technique is one of the widely used techniques for producing thin films on large area surfaces. 
  • Significance: The device could light up 11 LEDs by gentle hand tapping and could be a potential candidate for use in optoelectronics, self-powered devices and other biomedical applications. 
    • Optoelectronics is the field of technology concerned with electronic device application to the sourcing, detection and control of light. 

INS Tabar deployed for naval exercises in Africa, Europe till September

Source: PIB

What is the News? 

Indian Naval Ship(INS) Tabar started its prolonged deployment on June 13. It will now visit a number of ports in Africa and Europe till September end, 2021. 

What will INS Tabar do? 

  • INS Tabar will transit across the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and Baltic Sea. 
  • The ship will also make port visits at Djibouti, Egypt, Italy, France, UK, Russia, Netherlands, Morocco and Arctic Council countries like Sweden and Norway. 
  • During port visits, the ship is scheduled to participate in bilateral exercises like  
  • These engagements are aimed to further strengthen maritime security in the region and to consolidate combined operations against maritime threats. 
  • Moreover, the deployment will also see participation by the ship in the Russian Navy Day celebrations.

About INS Tabar:  

  • INS Tabar is a Talwar-class stealth Frigate built for Indian Navy in Russia.  
  • The ship is equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors and is among the earliest stealth frigates of the Indian Navy.  
  • The ship is part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet which is based at Mumbai under Western Naval Command. 


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