9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – March 4th, 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:
- Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
- We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
- The Hindu
- Indian Express
- Business Standard
- Times of India
- Down To Earth
- We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
- Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
- It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 1
GS Paper 2
- Looking for an effective alternative to LPG
- Counting those who qualify as EWS
- The ‘global rules-based order’ is an idealistic myth
- Our muddled attitude to women in the workforce
- Care informed by data: On children orphaned by the pandemic
GS Paper 3
- An atmanirbhar flight plan for fighter jets
- Here’s Why its V not K
- Rich nations must step in
- Find space for new science, its ethical dilemmas
- Managing the crude price pressure
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
- Perini dance performance leave devotees spellbound
- Gujarat: SIMBA to give distinct identity to each Asiatic lion
- SARAS 3 radio telescope refutes recent claim of the discovery of a radio wave signal from cosmic dawn
- ‘Make in India’ more crucial from prism of national security: PM Modi
- India signs Host Country Agreement with the International Telecommunication Union for establishment of Area Office & Innovation Center at New Delhi
- 200 Students and Indian Nationals from Ukraine arrive in Delhi as part of “Operation Ganga”
- Ministry of Tourism starts Swadesh Darshan Awards in different categories, invites entries from States/UTs
- Ministry of Science & Technology has decided to promote a unique, possibly India’s first, Start-up in latest Daylight Harvesting Technology
- Nod for Defence Acquisition Procedure
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 1
Source: This post is based on the article “Prisoner of Gender” published in Times of India on 4th Mar 2022.
Syllabus: GS1- Role of women and women’s organization.
Relevance: Gender Equality, Women labour force participation rate
News: According to a recent Pew Survey, 79% of men and 82% women in India agree that it is very important for women to have the same rights as men. However, the anomaly is that this rarely translated into specific behaviours, relationships, freedoms.
How different surveys highlight the discriminatory attitudes towards women in India?
India is ranked second among 61 countries when it comes to completely agreeing that when jobs are scarce, men should have more rights to a job than women.
Among 34 countries, Indians are the third most likely to say that marriage is more satisfying when the husband provides for the family while wife takes care of the house and children.
How this affects the society and the economy negatively?
In other countries rising education and income levels and falling fertility rates have led to rising shares of women in jobs, but female labour force participation in India has dropped even in the same opportune conditions.
Data from NFHS and other surveys points out that specific discriminatory attitudes are a major factor in fettering women’s access to paid work.
GS Paper 2
Source: This post is based on the article “Looking for an effective alternative to LPG” published in the Indian Express on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 Government policies and interventions aimed at development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Relevance: Understanding why LPG is the viable option.
News: The government spent more than Rs 12,000 crore on near-universal access to LPG connections, Still, about six lakh people die every year due to air pollution in Indian kitchens.
What are the problems faced by the people?
Over half of rural India continues to primarily rely on burning solid fuels for cooking. It increases the likelihood of illnesses, including ischemic heart disease, cataracts, and lung cancer. Recent evidence also shows that it increases the risk of Covid-19 infection.
Rising domestic LPG prices, removal of subsidies, growing retail inflation, and unending distress owing to the pandemic have squeezed the pockets of low and middle-income households. Thus, it is difficult to shift to LPG.
|Read here: High LPG prices are scorching the air pollution fight|
What are the other alternatives?
Electricity: It may not be an immediately viable alternative because of two major concerns.
First, households that got electricity connections under rural electrification schemes have a maximum connected load of 500W. However, induction stoves are rated more than 1500W. If homes move to electric cooking, there will be issues of supply due to distribution transformer failures. As households would cook at roughly the same time, it could lead to further stress on the electricity distribution system.
Second, the Requirements of a rural household are usually met within 100 units/month, which gets covered by concessional tariffs. However, beyond 100 units, consumers have to pay about Rs 7-8 per unit used. Induction-based cooking alone would drive up the monthly electric bill by at least Rs 500-600, which would be unaffordable for many poor households.
Piped Natural Gas: It could be an alternative to LPG in densely populated urban areas in the coming years. But it is not designed to supplement the cooking needs of rural India because of network expansion costs. Even if this is addressed, India has limited reserves of natural gas. Therefore, large-scale usage of PNG would require imports, which would make PNG unaffordable.
What is the government doing?
Since the launch of Ujjwala Yojana in 2016, there have been significant efforts in increasing the domestic LPG distribution network. The government has added 12 new bottling plants (with an added capacity of 6,200 thousand metric tons per annum) and about 9,000 new distributors.
|Read here: Ujjwala LPG scheme to cover all poor households|
However, budgetary allocations to LPG have been rapidly shrinking in the recent past. It has come down from about Rs 31,400 crore in 2018-19 to only Rs 4,000 crore in the budget for 2022-23.
What should be the way forward?
A targeted approach backed by financial and institutional support is required in order to address the shortage of LPG problems. Government should also resume LPG subsidies and rationalize them. For example, subsidies could be provided only to consumers with low consumption.
|Read here: With no subsidy, cooking fuel burns a hole in consumers’ pocket|
Also, revising LPG prices could be limited to twice a year to provide price certainty in the context of volatile oil markets.
Source: This post is based on the article “Counting those who qualify as EWS” published in Indian express on 4th Mar 2022.
Syllabus: GS2 – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre.
Relevance: EWS, PLFS, income distribution
News: Supreme court has sought clarification from the Government regarding the basis for the income cut-off for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
Government in 2019 issued a circular, which guaranteed 10 per cent reservations in civil posts and services of the GoI to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society. These sections were not covered under the reservation scheme for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBC).
What are the criteria used by the Government to identify EWS candidates?
GoI used two criteria for the definition of the EWS:
– One, the gross family income from all sources — agriculture, business, professional, etc. — for the financial year preceding the application should be less than Rs 8 lakh;
– Two, if the family owned or possessed assets of a certain limit.
The family includes those who seek the benefit, their spouse, parents, siblings, and children below 18 years.
What does the PLFS data suggest about the household earnings in the country?
PLFS provides a good estimate on the issue as its geographical coverage is the entire country, except for villages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and it covers all sectors of the economy.
Based on data on non-SC/ST/OBC, it was found that 99% of rural households and 95% of urban households had monthly earnings less than Rs 66,667, which would translate to approximately Rs 8 lakh annually.
But PLFS data is based on the current weekly status; there is a possibility that the household had positive income at other times of the year but not the week preceding the survey. Therefore, the earnings data is an underestimate.
More than 90% of rural and urban non-SC/ST/OBC households had monthly earnings less than the cutoff set by the GoI for EWS income criteria.
So in this scenario, analysis reveals that more than 90% of rural and urban non–SC/ST/OBC households will meet the EWS criteria.
Source: This post is based on the article “The ‘global rules-based order’ is an idealistic myth” published in the Indian Express on 3rd March 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 International Relations.
Relevance: Understanding the rule-based order.
News: Unexpected Russian military intervention in Ukraine is the latest example of an underlying cause of decay in the international ‘rules-based’ order.
Where did the idea of an ‘international rules-based order’ originate?
Diet of Westphalia (then Holy Roman Empire) in 1648 established the principle of ‘sovereignty’. For a long time, it has been the founding principle behind the UN Charter. It established wars of aggression illegal under international law and liable to be punished by the international community via the UN Security Council.
To what extent does a rules-based order really exist?
There is a lot of debate on this amongst IR scholars. Whether or not we actually live in an international society of states, where a community that feels like one accepts a set of common guiding principles and is willing to operate according to rules/norms of behavior.
Another is whether international society is still merely a system of states, In which individual actors, adhere to global ‘rules’ to the extent convenient to them or bend and break those rules when core national interests are involved.
In the second interpretation, states are engaged in rational-utilitarian cooperation, competition, and even conflict, depending on the particularity of each situation.
Why a rule-based order is merely a convenient illusion?
In the absence of effective enforcement of rules, the notion of rules is an empty idea. Because it hardly has any compelling power to affect the actual foreign policy choices made by states. As we can see in the case of five permanent members. They make use of veto whenever there is the possibility of global action against themselves.
UN Security Council intervention in an international crisis has only been possible in the rarest of rare exceptions when all five permanent members happened to agree. As we can see, Russia and China veto American, French, and British resolutions and vice-versa.
Does rule-based order really exist?
Russian intervention in Ukraine is an example of the erosion of the belief that rule-based order exists. All the great powers, including during and after the Cold War, consists of largely self-interested countries, driven by a desire for national security and glorification.
What is the source of stability in the international system?
It is the nuclear weapons that are capable of destroying human civilization. The notion of ‘mutually assured destruction’ created a tension that prevent warfare even between two nuclear-armed rivals.
|Read here: Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Its Prevention|
Source: This post is based on the article “Our muddled attitude to women in the workforce” published in the Live mint on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2- issues related to labor Force in India
Relevance: Understanding the findings of research data.
News: Pew Research data has recently revealed its survey.
What does the survey data reflect?
Nearly 30,000 adults participated in the poll conducted across India in the last four months of 2019-20.
Rights: 79% of men and 82% of women stated that women should have equal rights as men.
Jobs: Large proportion agrees that men should be given more jobs if jobs are few(Job exception case).
Leadership: About 55% gave a gender-neutral opinion on this. 14% found women more preferable for public roles. Women also show their competence like Indira Gandhi, whose policies are still found in a wide range of fields, from foreign relations to our banking system.
What is the logic behind the job exception to the Pew survey?
One reason could be that large-scale surveys have only tick box type options. They lack a reasons’ column, filling which could have made the results more accurate. So having just the tick box option, Indians gave preference to unequal job rights.
This is also supported by World Bank 2019 data, according to which only one-fifth of all working-age Indian women were employed or looking for work. In contrast, working-age men percentage has been consistent. This shows that patriarchal values remain and are increasing. Globally, more women go with better economic outcomes rather than gender-identified systems. Thus, it’s clear we need to reform gender attitudes.
Source: This post is created based on the article “” published in The Hindu on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS Paper 2- Government interventions for vulnerable population
News: Some reports have suggested a high increase in COVID-19-associated orphanhood.
Lancet estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood put the number at over 19 lakh children orphaned. Globally it estimated 52 lakh children had been rendered orphans by the pandemic. However, Lancet report has been refuted by Indian government.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights data put the number of children orphaned during COVID-19 in India far lower, at 1.53 lakh.
Orphanhood has been defined in the report as the death of one or both parents; or the death of one or both custodial grandparents.
It is time for the government to take some effective measures to dela with the menace of orphanhood.
|Read More – Orphaned Children in India – Explained, Pointwise|
What are the measures that the government should take?
Orphaned children are vulnerable to poverty, violence, destitution, and lack of access to education and health care. Thus, Government should include childcare into any COVID-19 management program.
Many programs have been launched by the government for children forced into orphanhood by COVID-19. Programs include provisions for adoption, foster care, education, and health care. It is time to update the status of such programs, and information on the number of cases where intervention has occurred, and where it is pending, must be put out in the public realm.
GS Paper 3
Source: This post is based on the article “An atmanirbhar flight plan for fighter jets” published in the Business Standard on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS 3 – Indigenisation of technology and developing new technology.
Relevance: Understanding what should India do to fasten the process of indigenisation of defence technology.
News: India designed, developed, and manufactured many combat aircraft like 147 HF-24 Marut fighters in the 1960s and 40 Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA). Many of our institutes like DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, and IT engineering companies, have built expertise in aeronautical design, flight dynamics, and other skills needed for building modern combat aircraft.
Yet, it struggles to design engines for one of these otherwise indigenous aircraft. Almost every aeronautical engine flying in India has been purchased from abroad.
|Read here: Indigenisation of defence -Explained|
What are the reasons behind that?
Reverse engineering: All world’s engine vendors America’s Pratt, Europe’s Rolls-Royce, and Russia’s Klimov sell aero engines to India, without any hesitation. That is because Reverse-engineering an aero engine is exceedingly difficult. The critical technologies in this field relate to materials (high-temperature composites and alloys) and precision engineering, which are nearly impossible to copy. Even China has not succeeded in reverse engineering a high-performance aero engine.
Why India is not successful in making its own engine?
Limited Resources: DRDO’s aero engine laboratory Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) has made little progress in developing the Kaveri engine for the Tejas LCA. The Tejas needs an engine with 82-90 kiloNewtons (kN) of peak thrust, but the Kaveri has managed 72 kN during flight testing in Russia. The reason for such a thrust deficit is limited resources along with technological incompetence. Kaveri engine programme had been allocated just Rs 2,839 crore for R&D, including setting up engineering and test facilities, which is not sufficient.
Not enough attention: Ministry of defence is estimated to buy foreign military aero engines worth Rs 3.5 trillion over the next two decades. Yet, governments have not paid attention to developing aero engines, which account for one-third the cost of a new military aircraft. With government focus on “atmanirbhar Bharat” and 68% of the defence capital budget being earmarked for domestic purchases, meeting that indigenisation target would require many more engines to be domestically designed, developed, and manufactured.
What should India do?
First, India requires sophisticated testing facilities. During the testing of Kaveri, India took the help of Russia and undergone through various performance checks. Creating such flight-testing facilities in India would save hundreds of crores and valuable time.
Second, MoD should shift without delay to indigenous aero-engine programmes for combat aircraft. For this DRDO can partner with French engine-maker Safran in developing an engine for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). Although Safran is currently reluctant to transfer engine technology to India, but if it did, this would be a huge gesture of Indo-French solidarity.
Third, the government should also urge the USA to ease restrictions on the release of advanced engine technologies so that India faces fewer restrictions in getting the General Electric (GE) F-414 engine to power the Tejas Mark 2. India is already importing the less powerful GE F-404 engine for the Tejas Mark 1, but the Mark 2 is a heavier and bulkier aircraft and would require the F-414 to power it.
|Also read: Tejas, world’s lightest fighter, is battle-ready|
Source: This post is based on the article “Here’s Why its V not K” published in Times of India on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources.
Relevance: Post pandemic recovery, PLFS
News: There has been a lot of debate on the issue that whether post pandemic recovery is V- shaped or K-shaped.
Proponents of K- shaped recovery point claim that while corporations have returned to normal levels of activity, unemployment, poverty and distress among MSMEs continues to rise.
Why the post pandemic recovery is more likely to be V-shaped recovery and not K-Shaped?
The first argument is that as the workers and MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy, GDP could not have returned to its pre-Covid level without workers returning to work and MSMEs recovering too.
Secondly, According to the PLFS Survey quarterly GDP at constant prices had dipped by 24% in April-June 2020 quarter but it returned to its pre-Covid level by January-March 2021 quarter. This sharp fall and full recovery within three quarters is what constitutes the V-shaped recovery of GDP.
Urban unemployment rate spiked from 9.1% in January-March 2020 quarter, to 20. 8% in April-June 2020 quarter but fell back to 9. 3% by January-March 2021 quarter showing a V-shaped recovery.
One counterargument for this can be that the fall in the unemployment rate merely reflects a withdrawal of workers from the workforce. However, According to PLFS labour force participation rate (which is percent of above-15 population looking for work) has also followed a V-shaped recovery path.
Net additions to Employee Provident Fund (EPF) subscribers list which closely track movements in GDP and the urban employment rate also shows a V-shaped recovery.
In the rural economy also, GDP data shows that agricultural activity has remained robust in both 2020-21 and 2021-22 and MGNREGA funds have also been generously expanded.
These are strong arguments against the narrative of massive unemployment and poverty in rural areas.
Source: This post is based on the article “Rich nations must step in” published in the Business Standard on 3rd March 2022.
Syllabus: GS 3 Environment.
Relevance: Understanding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)
News: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) has released the second part of the Sixth Assessment Report.
What are the key findings of the Sixth Assessment Report?
|Read here: The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (Part 2) – Explained, pointwise|
How would climate change impact India?
|Read here: What is the impact of climate change on agriculture, farming and river systems in India?|
What is government doing to cope up with climate change impact?
Government has introduced the National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008. It also launched a National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) in 2011. Government is also working on developing crop varieties and agronomic practices which can handle climate-related stresses.
|Also Read: What should India do?|
India should stay at its stand of the last climate summit at Glasgow, especially its call for equity, climate justice, and curbing unsustainable consumption. The developed nations must lead in mitigation and extend financial assistance to the developing countries for adaptation.
Source: This post is created based on the article “Find space for new science, its ethical dilemmas” published in The Hindu on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS Paper 3- Science and technology
News: Several advances have been made in the field of ‘Xenotransplantation’.
Xenotransplantation involves the transplantation of nonhuman tissues or organs into human recipients.
|Read more – Xenotransplantation: Need, Advantages and Challenges – Explained, pointwise|
What are the developments made in the field of Xenotransplantation?
In September 2021, at the NYU Langone hospital in New York, the medical team attached a kidney from a gene-edited animal to a person declared brain dead. It was to check if the animal kidney was able to do the job of processing waste and producing urine. The experiment was successful.
On January 14, 2022, in University of Maryland, doctors used a genetically modified heart, as a replacement heart for a patient who had run out of available options.
In a latest example, a doctor in Germany has been working in the area of xenotransplants. He is planning to develop a farm to cultivate genetically-modified organs for such transplants.
All the above developments have one source i.e., tissue or organs or Pigs. It is regarded by medical science as an animal whose organs are currently best suited for humans.
Need of Xenotransplantation
In the United States there are around 90,000 persons waiting for a kidney transplant. Success in Xenotransplantation will fulfill this requirement.
In Germany alone there are 8,500 patients waiting for organ transplants.
Wide adoption of xenotransplant procedures will diminish the illegal and immoral trade in human organs.
What are the ethical issues associated with Xenotransplantation?
The animal rights movement is against xenotransplantation, because it ignores the rights of animals. According to them, animals also have rights and it is our moral responsibility to support these rights. Thus, they are against animal farms with genetically modified animals.
Second, the philosophy of anthropocentrism places human beings at the center of nature. It regards all other living creatures as having value only if they can be of use to humans. Mahatama gandhi was also opposed to such thinking.
Third, Xenotransplantation places us in a classic utilitarian dilemma. The dilemma is whether it is better to kill an animal and save a human being or to save an animal and let the human die.
Lastly, pig is considered a dirty animal in many societies, including many Indian societies. Even the people who deal with pigs are given low social status. Thus, it would be difficult to make such a development, adopted globally.
Source: This post is created based on the article “Managing the crude price pressure” published in Indian Express on 4th March 2022.
Syllabus: GS Paper 3- Indian Economy – Monetary and fiscal policies
News: Russia-Ukraine conflict will have many economic implications for India, but higher commodity prices, particularly oil, will be most harmful.
In case the conflict prolongs, crude oil will be expected on an average around $100/barrel in 2022, vis-a-vis $70/barrel in 2021.
It would cost India 1.2 per cent of GDP i.e., for same net oil imports, India would be paying an incremental 1.2 per cent of GDP. This cost would rise, once higher prices for coal and gas imports are included.
How high oil prices will affect the Indian economy?
It will be like a supply shock to the economy, which impacts growth, inflation and the current account deficit (CAD), simultaneously.
It will have impacts on fiscal space, household purchasing power and firm’s margins. However, the distribution of impact will depend upon the policies. For example, the excise duty cuts last November absorbed about one-third of the shock from oil (0.4 per cent of GDP).
It will have imprint on India’s external balances. High oil prices can increase CAD. Although due to high foreign currency reserves, there is no imminent threat, but a close monitoring will be required.
High energy and other commodity prices will pressurize firms to eventually pass on input costs. Thus, inflation will increase in this case.
What are the policy measures that can be taken?
Monetary policy front: Widening of the CAD and associated BoP will create some depreciation pressures on the rupee. RBI should not intervene in this situation. Because, it will facilitate the necessary “expenditure switching” to reduce imports, boost exports and help narrow an elevated CAD.
Fiscal policies front: there are no easy or clear choices, government will have to take some hard decisions. Cutting excise duties will shrink the fiscal space to spend and encourage market. On the other hand, free flow in price increase would mean higher retail prices that can harden inflationary expectations.
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
Source: This post is based on the article “Perini dance performance leave devotees spellbound” published in The Hindu on 4th Mar 2022.
What is the news?
A scintillating Perini dance performance by artists at Shiva Stuthi, a cultural event, held in Telangana has left the audience awestruck.
What is Perini Dance?
Perini is an ancient dance form from Telangana. This dance form prospered during the Kakatiya dynasty.
This dance form is also called ‘Dance of Warriors’. It is believed that in ancient times, this dance form was performed before the soldiers were sent to war.
It is usually performed by males in honour of Lord Shiva.
One can find evidence of this dance in the sculptures near Garbha Gudi (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Ramappa Temple at Warangal.
This dance form was almost forgotten until the early 1970s. However, Padmasri Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna was the person who revived this art form recently.
Source: This post is based on the article “Gujarat: SIMBA to give distinct identity to each Asiatic lion” published in TOI on 4th Mar 2022.
What is the news?
The Gujarat forest department has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based software named SIMBA.
What is SIMBA?
SIMBA or Software with Intelligent Marking Based Identification of Asiatic lions is an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based software developed to identify Asiatic lions individually.
The software has been developed by Hyderabad-based “teliolabs”.
How does SIMBA work?
Asiatic lions have unique whisker spots on either side of their muzzle. According to scientific studies, these precise patterns are highly variable and do not change over time.
SIMBA works with a deep machine learning technique to distinguish these precise patterns/marks to identify Asiatic lions individually.
The software can also give additional information like gender (male/female), name, microchip number, life-status (dead/alive), lactating (in case of female) among others.
What is the significance of SIMBA?
Firstly, it will be used for understanding population demographics and expanding conservation and management efforts towards Asiatic Lions.
Secondly, it can be used to create a library of data on the Asiatic lions with a unique identification number/ name.
SARAS 3 radio telescope refutes recent claim of the discovery of a radio wave signal from cosmic dawn
Source: This post is based on the article “SARAS 3 radio telescope refutes recent claim of the discovery of a radio wave signal from cosmic dawn” published in PIB on 4th Mar 2022.
What is the news?
Indian astronomers have refuted the recent claim of a discovery of a radio wave signal from Cosmic Dawn, the time in the infancy of our Universe when the first stars and galaxies came into existence.
In 2018, a team of researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) and MIT in the US detected a signal from stars emerging in the early universe using data from the EDGES radio telescope.
The researchers had claimed the discovery of a radio wave signaling the birth of the First Stars, However, the world awaited confirmation from independent researchers.
What did the SARAS 3 radio telescope find about this claim?
SARAS 3 radio telescope did not find any evidence of the radio wave signal claimed by the EDGES experiment.
What is SARAS 3 Radio Telescope?
SARAS 3 radio telescope was invented and built by the astronomers at Raman Research Institute, an autonomous research institute engaged in research in basic sciences.
The telescope was designed, built and deployed in India to detect extremely faint radio wave signals from the depths of time, from our “Cosmic Dawn” when the first stars and galaxies formed in the early Universe.
Why is it difficult to detect radio wave signals from an early period of the Universe?
Detecting a Radio wave signal from Cosmic Dawn, the time in the infancy of our Universe when the first stars and galaxies came into existence, is extremely difficult.
This is because the celestial signal is exceptionally faint – buried in sky radio waves that come to us from the gas in our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, which are a million times brighter.
Besides, this cosmic signal is in a radio wavelength band used by numerous terrestrial communications equipment and TV and FM radio stations, which makes detecting the extra-terrestrial signal extremely difficult.
Source: This post is based on the article ‘Make in India’ more crucial from prism of national security: PM Modi” published in Business Standard on 4th Mar 2022.
What is the news?
The Prime Minister has addressed a post-Budget webinar on ‘Make in India’.
What are the key highlights from the PM’s speech?
Reduce Dependence on Imports: Make in India and atma nirbharta (self-reliance) is the need of the hour especially in the context of National Security.
But for this, Indian Companies need to make efforts to reduce the import of goods that can be manufactured in the country.
New Destinations for Local products: Companies should find new destinations for local products and enhance their spending on research and development.
Promote Manufacturing and Exports:
Commerce Minister shared a five-point vision for manufacturing and promoting exports which includes:
– Taking the manufacturing sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) to 25% from 14% now
– Increase global trade to 10% of the economy
– Become top three nations in services exports
– Support small businesses to aid foreign trade and
– Create 10 innovation centers.
India signs Host Country Agreement with the International Telecommunication Union for establishment of Area Office & Innovation Center at New Delhi
What is the news?
India’s Union Minister of Communications and Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office & Innovation Center of ITU in New Delhi.
What is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)?
International Telecommunication Union(ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
It was originally established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union.It is one of the oldest international organizations in operations.
Members: It is open to all Member States of the United Nations. There are currently 193 Member States of the ITU.
India was a founding member of ITU.
HQ: Geneva, Switzerland
Area Office & Innovation Center of ITU in India
The Government of India and ITU have signed an agreement for setting up an Area Office and Innovation Centre for ITU in New Delhi.
The area office will serve South Asian countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.
The office will help provide greater access and engagement to India and South Asian countries in global policy and standard formation in the field of telecommunication.
Moreover, the office will also have an innovation center which is expected to give impetus to research and development in telecommunication technologies in South Asia.
Source: This post is based on the article “India signs Host Country Agreement with the International Telecommunication Union for establishment of Area Office & Innovation Center at New Delhi” published in PIB on 4th Mar 2022.
What is the news?
Around 200 students and Indian citizens from Ukraine have been evacuated from Ukraine and brought back to India as part of Operation Ganga.
What is Operation Ganga?
Operation Ganga is the initiative launched by the Government of India to bring back Indians stranded in Ukraine.
What are the steps taken under Operation Ganga?
Firstly, Indian missions in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary have been making arrangements to receive Indian nationals from Ukraine and fly them out.
Secondly, 24×7 Control Centres have been set up to assist in the evacuation of Indian nationals through Ukraine’s border crossing points with the four countries.
Thirdly, Four Union Ministers have travelled to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries to coordinate the evacuation.
Fourthly, a dedicated Twitter account named OpGanga Helpline has been created to assist in the evacuation by sharing important advisories and instructions.
Fifthly, the Union Health Ministry has revised the mandatory international travel guidelines for all Indians being evacuated from Ukraine, allowing them to board flights without a negative RT-PCR report or vaccination certificate.
Source: This post is based on the article “200 Students and Indian Nationals from Ukraine arrive in Delhi as part of Operation Ganga” published in PIB on 4th Mar 2022.
Ministry of Tourism starts Swadesh Darshan Awards in different categories, invites entries from States/UTs
What is the news?
The Ministry of Tourism has constituted the Swadesh Darshan Awards.
What are Swadesh Darshan Awards?
Constituted by: Ministry of Tourism
Aim: To highlight best practices undertaken by the State Governments, Union Territories and various implementation agencies in planning, design and operations, efficient project monitoring, attracting private investments, operations and maintenance.
Categories: The award will be given under the following categories as: Best Tourist Interpretation Center, Best Log Hut Facility, Best MICE Facility, Best Cafeteria, Best Craft Haat. Best Sound and Light Show and Best Waterfront Development (Beach/ River/ Lake).
What is the Swadesh Darshan Scheme?
Launched by: Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15
Type: Central Sector Scheme
Aim: To develop theme-based tourist circuits on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.
Under the scheme, 15 themes have been identified.These themes include Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, North-East Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Tribal Circuit and Wildlife Circuit.
The Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance – CFA to State Governments, Union Territory Administrations for the infrastructure development of these theme based circuits.
Source: This post is based on the article “Ministry of Tourism starts Swadesh Darshan Awards in different categories, invites entries from States/UTs” published in PIB on 4th Mar 2022.
Ministry of Science & Technology has decided to promote a unique, possibly India’s first, Start-up in latest Daylight Harvesting Technology
What is the news?
The Ministry of Science & Technology has decided to promote a unique Start-up in Daylight Harvesting Technology.
What is Daylight Harvesting?
Daylight Harvesting works on the simple premise that facilities can optimally utilize natural light where available and cut down on the use of artificial light during daylight hours.
Benefits: a) Reduced carbon footprint, b) Improve building energy efficiency and c) reduces electrical lighting energy consumption.
What is the Government doing to promote Daylight Harvesting?
The Technology Development Board(TDB) under the Ministry of Science and Technology will provide Rs 5 crore as support to a startup called Skyshade Daylight Private Limited for developing Daylight Harvesting Technologies.
This startup has already developed several technologies which harvest huge quantities of sunlight for a building.This helps in reducing electrical lighting energy consumption by 70-80 per cent, besides reducing air-conditioning needs.
Source: This post is based on the article “Ministry of Science & Technology has decided to promote a unique, possibly India’s first, Start-up in latest Daylight Harvesting Technology” published in PIB on 4th Mar 2022.
What is the news?
The Defence Ministry has Accorded In–Principle (AIP) approval to four projects under Make–I category and five under Make–II category of Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.
What is Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020?
Defence Procurement Procedure(DPP) was first initiated in 2002 to streamline the procurement of military hardware for the Armed Forces in a systematic and time-bound manner.
It was reformed in 2016 putting an emphasis on indigenously designed, developed and manufactured weapon systems and eventually moved towards self-reliance in the field of defence manufacturing.
DAP 2020 has been aligned with the vision of the Government of Atmanirbhar Bharat and empowering Indian domestic industry through Make in India initiative with the ultimate aim of turning India into a global manufacturing hub.
What are the key features of DAP 2020?
Time Bound Defence Procurement Process: A Project Management Unit has been set up to support contract management and to streamline the Acquisition process.
Ban on Import of Certain Items: With a view to promote domestic and indigenous industry, the Ministry of Defence(MoD) will notify a list of weapons/platforms banned for import.
Revised Offset Guidelines: The Offset guidelines have been revised wherein preference will be given to manufacture of complete defence products over components and various multipliers have been added to give incentivisation in discharge of Offsets.
Note: Offsets are a portion of a contracted price with a foreign supplier that must be re-invested in the Indian defence sector, or against which the government can purchase technology.
Rationalisation of Procedures for Trials and Testing: Scope of trials will be restricted to physical evaluation of core operational parameters.
New Category of Buy (Global – Manufacture in India): The new category incorporates ‘manufacture of either the entire/part of the equipment or spares/ assemblies/Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the equipment, through its subsidiary in India.
Leasing: A new category introduced to enable operating of assets without owning thereby, substitute huge initial capital outlays.
Enhancement of Indigenous Content
Make Category: Make category of capital acquisition is the cornerstone of the Make in India initiative:
– ‘Make-I’ refers to government-funded projects
– ‘Make-II’ covers industry-funded programmes.
– ‘Make-III’ covers military hardware that may not be designed and developed indigenously, but can be manufactured in the country for import substitution, and Indian firms may manufacture these in collaboration with foreign partners.
Reservation in Categories for Indian Vendors: The categories of Buy(Indian-IDDM), Make I, Make II, Production Agency in Design & Development will be exclusively reserved for Indian Vendors meeting the criteria of Ownership and Control by resident Indian Citizens with FDI not more than 49%.
Source: This post is based on the article “Nod for Defence Acquisition Procedure” published in The Hindu on 4th Mar 2022.
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Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unravels remarkable Archaeological remains in Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve
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Tourists witness the remarkable blooming of Neelakurinji flowers in Chikmagalur that happens once in 12 years
Source: The post is based on the article “Tourists witness the remarkable blooming of Neelakurinji flowers in Chikmagalur that happens once in 12 years” published in Indian Express on 29th September 2022 What is the News? The Neelakurinji flowers that blossom once in many years have turned the green patches of hill stations in Chikkamagaluru purple-blue.… Continue reading Tourists witness the remarkable blooming of Neelakurinji flowers in Chikmagalur that happens once in 12 years
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Source: The post is based on the article “False dichotomies of education that we must strive to overcome” published in the Livemint on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 -Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education. Relevance: To balance various dichotomies of education. News: Education should develop children’s capacity to question things in… Continue reading False dichotomies of education that we must strive to overcome