Good evening dear reader
Here is our 9pm current affairs brief for you today
About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Daily Current affairs for UPSC brief we intend to simplify the newspaper reading experience. In 9PM briefs, we provide our reader with a summary of all the important articles and editorials from three important newspapers namely The Hindu, Indian Express, and Livemint. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage, and factual information from a Mains examination point of view.
About Factly- The Factly initiative covers all the daily news articles regarding Preliminary examination. This will be provided at the end of the 9 PM Brief.
We know for a fact that learning without evaluation is a wasted effort. Therefore, we request you to please go through both our initiatives i.e 9PM Briefs and Factly, then evaluate yourself through the 10PM Current Affairs Quiz.
We plan to integrate all our free daily initiatives to comprehensively support your success journey.
List of Contents
Government Amended Pension Rules for Central Civil Services
Synopsis- Center has amended pension rules for Civil services. Restrictions on government servants before and after retirement under CCS conduct rules.
Amendment in pension rules and its consequences-
- The Centre has amended pension rules for civil servants [working in organizations mentioned in the Second Schedule of the RTI Act].
- It restricts former officials of security and intelligence organizations under the 2nd Schedule of the RTI Act from writing anything without prior clearance. Such information includes;
- The domain of the organization, including reference or information about any personnel and his designation.
- Information relating to their expertise or knowledge gained by virtue of working in that organization.
- Sensitive information that might endanger India’s sovereignty and integrity, security, geopolitical, scientific, or economic interests, or its relationship with a foreign state.
- The Second Schedule of the RTI Act includes 26 organizations, including
- IB, Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Enforcement, NCB, Aviation Research Centre, Special Frontier Force, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, NSG, Assam Rifles, SSB, CID and Andaman, and Nicobar.
Consequences of the amendment-
- The amendment means that pension can be withheld or withdrawn if the pensioner disobeys the said rules.
Why center has amended the rule?
There are some incidents where some high profile retired police and intelligence agency officials have sensitive revealed information in books. Or they regularly write columns in newspapers and magazines.
As a result, the Centre has amended the pension rule to prohibit retired officials from publishing information without prior clearance.
What restrictions are government employees under CCS Conduct Rules while in service?
- Rule 7 – It restricts them from resorting to or abetting any form of strike or coercion.
- Rule 8 – It restricts them from owning or participating in the editing or management of any newspaper or media.
- If they write or speak in public media, they shall at all times make it clear that the opinions expressed are their own and not that of the Government.
- Rule 9 – Restricts them from making statements of fact or opinion in writing or in a telecast or a broadcast that criticize any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government.
What about political activity while in service?
- The Conduct Rules bars government servants from being associated with any political party and from taking part or assisting any political activity.
- Every government employee shall at all times maintain political neutrality.
- Every government employee commits himself to and upholds the supremacy of the Constitution and democratic values.
But after retirement, they can join politics and there is no cooling-off period. However, rules restricts a pensioner from any commercial employment for one year after retirement.
Source- The Indian Express
Lessons from Naomi Osaka Episode
Source: Click Here
Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to health
The withdrawal of Naomi Osaka from the French Open has raised the issue of the mental well-being of the athletes. The situation exposes the deep pressure through which an athlete has to go for fulfilling its commercial obligations.
- The world number 2 tennis player (Naomi Osaka) has withdrawn from the recent French Open tournament.
- The withdrawal was on account of extreme mental stress and anxiety through which the athlete was going since the 2018 US Open tournament.
Understanding the issue:
- Naomi wrote about the compulsion to attend post-match press conferences four days before the onset of the French open tournament.
- Later, she skipped her first post-match conference and was fined $15000.
- Subsequently, a joint statement of 4 great slams threatened her with defaults and suspensions in future tournaments.
- However, this statement backfired, and she withdrew from the tournament on account of severe mental stress posed by press conferences.
Lessons from this episode:
- First, the issue of mental stress and anxiety is present in almost every sporting event.
- Second, the organizers’ insistence on media interaction may leave a deep impact on the mental well-being of an athlete.
- The media doesn’t shy away from asking personal questions for raising the TRPs in their interview. This generates higher revenues but impairs the mental health of athletes.
- Third, there are many athletes who are not as wealthy as Naomi. They are unable to quit the tournament and continue to face repeated mental stress.
- Fourth, the instance shows the existence of a disconnect between how critics and spectators interpret the sport’s nature and what it actually is. The instance has once again proved that all that glitters is not gold.
- The rules pertaining to press conferences should change in an ever-evolving sport.
- The focus should be on making the process more player-friendly and nurturing a connection with journalists based on trust and empathy.
- Further, the issue presents an opportunity to augment conversation surrounding players’ mental health.
Timely Implementation of Relief Schemes for Children is desired
Source: Click Here
Syllabus: GS 2 – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States
The government has announced numerous relief measures for supporting the children who lost their parents in the pandemic. This would give them some cushion for survival if the timely implementation of relief measures takes place.
- The pandemic has brutally impacted every section of society, but the situation of children losing their parents is most severe.
- The government has announced some relief measures by withdrawing funds from the PM CARES fund. However, the modalities of these measures were yet to be formulated.
Data on the Dismal State of Children:
- As per the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights’, nearly 10,000 children are in need of immediate care and protection.
- These include 1,742 children who lost both parents, 7,464 who have lost one parent, and 140 who have been abandoned from March 2020 to May 29, 2021.
Government Measures for Children:
- A corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child would be created using PM CARES money when he or she reaches 18 years of age.
- This would be used to give monthly financial support through a fixed deposit in the name of the child, from 18 years of age for the next five years. This would take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education.
- On reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump sum for personal and professional use.
- The child will be assisted in obtaining education loans for professional courses and higher education in India as per the existing Education Loan norms. The interest on this loan will be paid by the PM-CARES.
- For children under 10 years- the child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
- If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES. The PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniforms, textbooks, and notebooks.
- For children between 11-18 years- the child will be given admission to any Central government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya, etc.
- In case the child continues to live with grandparents or a guardian, then he/she would be admitted to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
- Further, all Covid-19 orphans will be enrolled as beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakhs. The premium amount for these children, till the age of 18 years, will be paid by PM-CARES.
- A sum of Rs 10 lakh per district for non-institutional care of Covid orphans would be awarded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- The amount would be distributed by the respective District Magistrates as per the requirement of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme.
- The government needs to enhance the pace of their work as any delay can push the children into trafficking and the flesh trade. Healthy cooperation between the center and state governments is also desired.
- The government should also lay down the processes and establish monitoring mechanisms for initiating rescue and relief work. Further, there should be a continuation of the estimation work in order to identify the requisite number of beneficiaries.
- For this, sincere implementation through committed staff, and use of existing systems such as 1098 for periodic identification of children is desired.
Growing Centralisation of Power Erodes Federal Structure
Source: The Hindu
Gs2: Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure,
Synopsis: The tendency to centralise power by the Union government is increasing. It will alter the basic structure of Federalism in India.
- Recently, a NITI Aayog Member, asserted that it was the lack of centralisation that has led to poor management of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive.
- The claim reinforces the practice of the growing centralisation of power practiced by the current union government.
- In this article we will discuss the challenges posed due to Centralisation of Power in the Economic, Political and Social sphere.
How the central government is affecting Political federalism?
There is a growing incursion of the Union government into sectors where State governments have a primary responsibility. For instance,
- One, there has been increasing centralisation in resource allocations and welfare interventions. For instance, GST.
- This has negatively impacted the finances of State governments, especially after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- Two, the Centre has been encroaching into domains under State government control through centrally sponsored schemes in sectors such as education and health.
- For example, NEET exam, meddling with the appointments of vice-chancellors in universities funded and run by State governments etc.,
- It subverts the affirmative action policies developed at the regional level in response to local political demands.
- Three, the Centre is increasingly ignoring elected representatives of State governments. It is holding direct meetings with State secretaries and district collectors on issues that are primarily under State control.
- It subverts the Constitutional arrangement of Power-sharing between Centre and State.
How the central government is encroaching into Economic federalism?
- Nepotism and crony capitalism. It is evidently visible that big businessmen are getting benefits from the government.
- Apathy towards small businesses. The centre had strongly supported the Indian big business from global competition by sidelining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). In contrast, the government has eroded the power of small businesses through GST and the call for a single national market.
- Restricting the political funding for regional parties. Regional parties rely on region-specific rent-thick sectors for political funding, such as mining and real estate. The ruling party has curtailed this by leveling corruption allegations and the use of central agencies against businesses supporting the regional parties. This weakens the ability of regional parties to compete with the ruling party electorally.
How the central government is encroaching into the social fabric of states?
- Besides the legal-constitutional aspects of federalism, it is diversity in the cultural foundation of regions that sustains Indian federalism.
- However, the center is trying to homogenize Indian culture. Markers of regional identities and regional socio-cultural practices are now interpreted as a pan-Indian Hindu tradition.
- For instance, Tamil, which has been a symbol of an anti-Vedic tradition, is now seen as a segment of that Hindu past. While Tamil Muslims and Christians becoming outsiders.
A federal coalition that looks beyond the legal-constitutional aspects of federalism is needed to preserve the idea of a plural India.
Lessons From EU’s efforts to end Vaccination gap
Source: The Hindu
Gs2: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
Synopsis: EU is helping other low-income countries to get access to vaccines. The same needs to be done by other countries to close the vaccination gap.
- A widely vaccinated world population is the only way to end the pandemic. Otherwise, the Covid virus will undergo multiple mutations, and it will undermine the effectiveness of existing vaccines.
- Vaccination is also a prerequisite for lifting the restrictions that are depriving our economies and freedoms.
- Given the importance of vaccination for all, it is worrisome to know that, Vaccination apartheid exists.
- Till now, only 2.1% of Africans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- If the vaccination gap persists, it is likely to reverse the trend in recent decades of declining poverty and global inequalities.
- In this context, the EU’s lead role in helping low-income and middle-income countries to get vaccinated is a shining example of global solidarity.
- Other developing countries should follow the EU’s path to ending the Pandemic globally.
What are the efforts made by the EU to supply vaccines to low-income countries?
- First, at an ideological level, the EU has rejected the idea of ‘Vaccine nationalism’. The EU has been vaccinating its own population while exporting large volumes of vaccines and contributing substantially to the roll-out of the vaccine in low-income countries.
- Second, contribution through Research and development. EU’s new generation of mRNA vaccines contributed significantly to the large-scale production of Vaccines. Till now, The EU has exported 240 million doses to 90 countries.
- Third, support through multilateral institutions. For instance, The EU has been the main contributor to the COVAX facility. It enables poorer countries to access vaccines. Also, around one-third of all COVAX doses delivered so far has been financed by the EU.
- Fourth, through aid and Commercial channel. For instance, European industrial partners have committed to deliver 1.3 billion doses of vaccines before the end of 2021 to low-income countries at no-profit, and to middle-income countries at lower prices.
- Fifth, funding to African nations to boost manufacturing capacity in Africa for vaccines. For instance, Team Europe had allocated €1 billion funding from the EU budget and European development financial institutions. It aims to boost manufacturing capacity in Africa by working along with African partners.
- All countries must avoid restrictive measures that affect vaccine supply chains. For example, Vaccine Nationalism, restriction in sharing key ingredients required to manufacture vaccines, etc.,
- Further, countries need to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology to boost vaccine production through a Voluntary licensing mechanism.
- Also, the mechanism of compulsory licensing guaranteed under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and the 2001 Doha Declaration can be enforced.
Health is a global public good. To close the vaccination gap, global health cooperation is needed as foreseen by the Rome Declaration recently adopted at the Global Health Summit.