9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – March 5th, 2022

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

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

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

Waste Pickers need policy report

Source: This post is based on the article “Waste Pickers need policy report” published in Indian express on 5th March 2022.   

Syllabus: GS2 Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

Relevance: Informal waste management in India, waste pickers. 

News: India is home to more than 4 million waste pickers, who are the backbone of traditional waste management in most Indian cities.

Yet, they are one of the most marginalised groups of Indian society and are at the very bottom of the socio-economic chain. The fact that they have feeble access to the government social safety net makes them highly vulnerable to emergencies and disasters. 

What are the challenges that waste pickers face? 

Their multiple vulnerabilities include low and uncertain incomes, limited access to government schemes, high health risks, and severe social exclusion. These get compounded in the presence of emergencies like the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Apart from this, nearly 70% come from socially backward groups and over 60% have no formal education. 

Majority of them have no health insurance, indicating very high degrees of health-shock vulnerabilities. 

Why are they mostly left out of government’s social safety net? 

They usually lack any income, caste, or occupation certificate. This thwarts any attempts at formalising their work and limits their access to government social security schemes. 

What is the way forward? 

Short term measures

– Urban local bodies should register these workers and provide them with ID cards that recognise them as municipal workers with a clear role. They should be paid a minimum wage and should be given an authorised access to waste. 

If Waste pickers’ cooperatives are given more strength , they can collectively bargain for higher prices for what they collect. 

Long term measures: There is a need for a comprehensive welfare framework to design social protection schemes explicitly for Waste pickers. 

There is a need to proactively reach out to the workers for enrolment in government schemes and for a greater awareness among them about their entitlements. 

There is a need to create better, safer, decent jobs in the economy that informal workers like can eventually move to, supported by efforts to enhance their skills. 

Finally, alternatives like technology-led circular economy models that eliminate the need for any person to do this hazardous work manually need to be explored. 


Bitter pill, again

Source: This post is based on the article “Bitter pill, again” published in Times of India on 5th Mar 2022.   

Syllabus: GS2- Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. 

Relevance: Indian health care system, medical education. 

News: As the situation in Ukraine has worsened, some 20,000-odd students who had gone to Ukraine for medical education have returned back. 

However, one big question is how they’ll continue their interrupted education, especially if the Ukraine crisis doesn’t ease in the near term.   

What leads to students opting for foreign education esp. medical education? 

The foreign degree options are extremely affordable. 

There is a huge demand-supply problem in India that is some 16 lakh students take NEET for only 90,000-odd seats.  

What is the way forward? 

India needs to expand its medical education, which will immensely benefit its students and health care system. 

Although the common licensing exam for all MBBS graduates that’s scheduled to start in 2023 is a positive step, but there is need for newer medical colleges with quality faculty, hospital linkages and other high-grade resources. 


Why draft data accessibility policy is dangerous

Source: This post is created based on the article “US not ready for a solo space ride” published in Indian Express on 5th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS – 2 – Government policies for various sectors

News: Government has released Draft India Data Accessibility & Use Policy 2022.

Read – Salient features of Draft India Data Accessibility & Use Policy 2022

The policy would govern, “all data and information created/generated/collected/archived by the Government of India”.  State Governments will also be free to adopt the provisions of the policy.

What are the concerns associated with the policy?

  1. Privacy related aspects: With the digitization of every aspect of life, the intensity of data collection has increased manifolds. For example:
    1. Linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile connections.
    2. Agristack in agriculture
    3. e-SHRAM portal for unorganised labourers
    4. Aarogya Setu and ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission) for health sector
    5. NDEAR (National Digital Education Architecture) for school children and teachers

This Public data is now viewed as a prized asset of the Union government that it can freely share with the private sector for profit. All this may lead to mandatory collection of even most personal data and that too for a longer period of time.

Even past experiences in data sharing are not encouraging. For example, the transport ministry had to scrap the bulk data sharing policy, 2019 citing potential misuse of personal information and privacy issues.

  1. Making data open by default: Draft policy has used phrase “open data”, without mentioning its objectives. As per World Bank benefits of open data is that it supports “public oversight of governments and helps reduce corruption by enabling greater transparency”. These principles were recognized in the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy, 2012.

Out of the 13 listed objectives, only one is relevant to transparency and the majority are linked to commercialization.

  1. Detached from the constitutional framework: Draft policy does not contain any proposals for the creation of a legal framework that governs data sharing. It makes it a part of a larger trend of policy-based administration detached from our constitutional framework.

As per the Supreme Court’s Puttaswamy judgment on the fundamental right to privacy, the first ingredient to satisfy constitutionality is the existence of a legal, more often a legislative, basis. Without a law, there is absence of defined limits to data sharing that are enforceable and contain remedies.

Read Data openness is good but its safe use is a must
  1. Unsatisfactory anonymization tool: Policy is trying to ensure privacy preservation through anonymisation tools. However, as per Luc Rocher and co-authors at the Oxford Internet Institute even heavily sampled anonymised datasets are unlikely to satisfy the modern standards for anonymisation set forth by GDPR.

Few suggestions that can be implemented

Independent regulatory body, to monitor and impose penalties, should be constituted.

The draft should go through thorough Parliamentary scrutiny, because public money would be spent to enrich datasets of public data. It will help bring accountability.


The Strain When You Abstain

Source: This post is created based on the article “The Strain When You Abstain” published in Times of India on 5th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS – 2 – International Relations –

News: India has decided to abstain from voting against Russia in United Nations Organizations.

India stand is based on its own security interests.

Russia-Ukraine Conflict in Brief

What are the justifications for India’s stand on conflict?

India’s dependence on Russian military supplies is widely acknowledged. Indigenization requires time and diversification is also not possible immediately because for diversification, it requires India to have choices in advanced military technologies. Only Russia has been willing to share technologies with India thus far.

Read – Why India should maintain strategic ambivalence on the Ukraine crisis?

Why India should reconsider its stand on Ukraine crisis?

First, previously neutral European countries, including Germany have joined international action against Russia.

Second, many Western observers have started raising question whether India will indeed be a like-minded partner in upholding the rules-based-order, after its stand on Russia.

Third, supporters of India in US for a waiver from sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) will find it difficult to justify their stand now.

Fourth, Convergence between Russia and China is growing. Furthermore, Pakistan PM’s recent visit to Moscow has created uncertainty among Indian policy makers over their stand for Russia.

Fifth, the Chinese challenge for India in Indo-Pacific might increase after Ukraine crisis, as it might embolden China. In this case, India might need US and its allies for securing the Indo-Pacific security order. On the other hand, Russia dismisses Indo-Pacific as a US strategic construct.

Sixth, Ukraine’s crisis will result in a surge in crude prices and growing global inflation could reduce the flows of foreign portfolio investment in India. It will have severe implications for the already suffering Indian economy from covid.

Seventh, Furthermore, the European Union is India’s third-largest trade partner. India is also negotiating an FTA with it. India’s stand on crisis might become a hurdle in both trade growth and FTA.

Lastly, India’s stand is diluting its own stated values of respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations.

Read – Economic impacts of Russia-Ukraine crisis on India

GoI Will Have To Keep Buddha Smiling

Source: This post is created based on the article “GoI Will Have To Keep Buddha Smiling” published in Times of India on 5th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS- 2 – International Relations – India’s Nuclear policy

News: Russian invasion of Ukraine has reignited the debate of the significance of robust nuclear deterrence.

Since the Russian invasion the question is being raised – would Russia have invaded Ukraine, if the latter had not given up its nuclear stockpile. It is notable, that Ukraine had given up its nuclear stockpile along with Belarus and Kazakhstan, after the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in 1994.

Why India requires nuclear deterrence capabilities?

First, India is facing a 2-front challenge from China and Pakistan. Both these countries have more nuclear warheads than India. China has more than double the number India has.

Second, As per a Pentagon report, China’s nuclear warheads can go up to 700 in the next six years and top 1,000 by 2030.

Third, US focus on Europe may embolden China to step up the pressure on India’s northern borders. India might not receive help from other countries.

Fourth, Pakistan does not have a “no first-use’ (NFU) policy. It often indulges in the display of nuclear threats.

How India should strengthen credibility of the nuclear deterrence?

India has taken many steps in strengthening its nuclear deterrence capabilities, like creation of the tri-service Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and the PM-led Nuclear Command Authority in 2003. However, much more is required to be done:

Nuclear-powered submarines that are armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles are called SSBN. At present, India has just one SSBN, INS Arihant, which can be armed only with the 750-km range K-15 nuclear missiles.

Whereas, US, Russia and China have much larger SSBNs, which are armed with 5,000-kmplus range missiles.

What are the steps taken by India?

Work is continuously ongoing to strengthen nuclear triad (Water, Air, Land) in India:

Water based capabilities

  • INS Arighat is expected to be commissioned this year.
  • Construction of two 7,000-tonne SSBNs is also ongoing.

Air based capabilities

  • Some Sukhoi-30MKI, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar fighter jets have been modified to enable them to deliver nuclear gravity bombs.
  • Induction of the nuclear-capable Rafale fighters.

Land based capabilities

  • country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-V, with a strike range of over 5,000-km, has been inducted.
  • Prithvi-II (350-km), Agni-I (700-km), Agni-II (2,000-km) and Agni-III (3,000-km) missiles, have already been introduced.

Weaponised economies, beyond the theatre of war & more

Source: This post is created based on the article “Weaponised economies, beyond the theatre of war & more” published in Business Standard on 5th March 2022.Syllabus: GS – 2 – International Relations

News: Time and again developed countries have weaponised the global economic system. Every time countries have taken a lesson and changes have taken place.

25 years ago, IMF forced many east Asian countries facing foreign exchange shortage into conditions that Indonesia faced a near collapse. So, the East Asian countries since then took a lessons and accumulated mountains of foreign currency reserves.

Same situation was faced by India, when US weaponised wheat supplies against famine-stricken India in 1960s, as a punishment for criticizing the Vietnam invasion. India took a lesson and pushed ahead with the Green Revolution to become self-reliant in wheat production.

Thus, countries have a tendency to overlook the peace-time benefits of trade, when they are confronted with blackmail. Russia has been put into same situation after Ukraine invasion, west has weaponised global trade against it. So, there will be repercussions.

What can be repercussions of weaponizing trade against Russia?

Sanctions may leave Russia weakened and its defence industry possibly unable to maintain its cutting edge. Its sanctions-hit economy could also become an unreliable supplier to India.

There is a possibility that Russia accepts a Chinese embrace or even form a military axis with Beijing and Islamabad.

What are the options with India?

Accepting western rules, even if they are selective against non-Western societies. However, with India’s long memory of racism and colonialism and cultural autonomy, it will be difficult to accept rules framed elsewhere.

Focusing on self-reliance. However, there is a trend that inward-looking economies don’t do well. Also, it won’t be easy due to:

  1. Lack of alternative to the dollar-based supply chains.
  2. India is import-dependent for energy.
  3. West dominates all major international institutions.
  4. Even India’s indigenously developed weapons systems require significant import content. For example, Tejas’s engine is made by General Electric, the navy’s ships have engines from Ukraine

Although, India has developed some indigenous technological solutions like Unified Payments Interface, but it is not that significant.

Russia has tried to build a “fortress economy” in response to sanctions since 2014, but remained vulnerable. The alternative of selective integration may work better by creating mutual inter-dependence of countries.

GS Paper 3


India’s tea industry is on tenterhooks as Russia wages war on Ukraine

Source: This post is based on the article “India’s tea industry is on tenterhooks as Russia wages war on Ukraine” published in Business Standard on 5th Mar 2022.

Syllabus: Gs – 3 Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints.

Relevance: To know about Russia Ukraine crisis on India’s tea exports.

News: The Russia-Ukraine crisis has impacted the Indian tea exports to the region into disarray with port disruptions and payment delays hitting shipments.

About India’s Tea exports to Russia

Russia is among the top two buyers of Indian tea (the other being Iran) accounting for about 18% of the total tea exports. 

However, Indian tea exports to Russia are impacted due to a) inability expressed by shipping lines to deliver the cargo to war-hit or countries facing sanctions and b) banks refusing to accept payments.

This disruption has mostly affected the South Indian Region, as substantial tea exports take place from this region during this time. (South India accounts for about 18% of total tea production in India).

Moreover, this conflict has broken out at a time when tea exports are yet to recover from the blow dealt by Covid-19. 

How will this impact the domestic tea industry?

The Indian tea industry largely caters to the domestic market. Yet, exports are vital to keeping the domestic demand-supply in balance.

For instance, if exports are impacted then more tea will be available in the domestic market and that will lead to an oversupply situation, causing prices to crash, a situation that will pile pressure on a troubled industry.

What is the Indian Government doing to overcome this impact?

The Indian government is now reportedly exploring the option of allowing the rupee-ruble trade to bypass the impact of sanctions on Russia following the war on Ukraine. That has rekindled hopes for an increased offtake from Russia.


Our Politicians in denial of climate change

Source: This post is based on the article “Our Politicians in denial of climate change” published in Indian express on 5th March 2022.   

Syllabus: GS3- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation. 

Relevance: Climate Change, IPCC sixth assessment report. 

News: IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change) has released its 6th assessment report, titled ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’. 

In its report, IPCC discusses the increasing extreme heat, rising oceans, melting glaciers, falling agricultural productivity, resultant food shortages and increase in diseases like dengue and Zika. 

What the IPCC’s 6th assessment report says about climate change? 

IPCC warns that if the planet gets warmer than 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times (we are at 1.1 degrees at present), then there will be irreversible impact on “ecosystems with low resilience” such as polar, mountain and coastal ecosystems. 

This will cause devastation to “infrastructure in low-lying coastal settlements, associated livelihoods and even erosion of cultural and spiritual values.”  

The increased heat will lead to an increase in diseases like diabetes, circulatory and respiratory conditions, as well as mental health challenges.  

What are its India specific findings? 

Impact on India

IPCC also highlights that climate “maladaptation” will especially affect “marginalised and vulnerable groups adversely, indigenous people, ethnic minorities, low-income households and informal settlements. As a majority of Indian population falls into this group, it will be hugely impacted. 

IPCC highlights India as a vulnerable hotspot, with several regions and cities facing climate change phenomena like flooding, sea-level rise and heatwaves. For instance, Mumbai is at high risk of sea-level rise and flooding, and Ahmedabad faces the danger of heat waves. 

With increasing climate change, grains will have diminished nutritional quality. Already the by 4-10% globally due to climate change. India being a predominantly agrarian economy is likely to be especially hurt. 

Population in urban India is going to double 2050 from current figure of 480 million in 2020. High concentration of population in these cities will make them extremely vulnerable to climate change. 


US not ready for a solo space ride

Source: This post is created based on the article “US not ready for a solo space ride” published in Business Standard on 5th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS – 3- Science and Technology

News: Ukraine crisis is threatening the US-Russia space cooperation. It will have implications for the space programs of US.

The Russian-American space cooperation started with the first Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975. This area of cooperation withstood the Cold War and several other geopolitical differences between the two nations. International Space Station (ISS) is a shining example of this achievement. However, the recent Ukraine crisis is threatening this cooperation. Following the American sanctions, Russia has decided to stop supplying rocket engines to the US. It might result in some big problems for US Space programs.

What are the dependencies of US on Russia in Space programs?

Rocket Engines: Russia has delivered 122 RD-180 engines to the US since the 1990s. US used 98 engines to power Atlas launch vehicles, which are crucial to the launch of Department of Defense payloads and NASA missions.

ISS Program: Roscosmos and NASA are key partners in the ISS programme, besides the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The ISS is divided into two orbital segments — American and Russian. The US and Russia keep the science laboratory continuously staffed with astronauts and cosmonauts. The Russian segment is responsible for guidance, navigation, and control of the entire complex.

Also, Russia’s cargo craft provide periodic orbit-raising boosts for the ISS. It ensures that it doesn’t sink too low into Earth’s atmosphere. The American space agency is far from self-reliant in this aspect.

It will be almost unviable for the US to maintain ISS alone. The space industry will be “confronting the very real possibility of a space station gap in this case. It means US will be ceding the control of Earth’s lower orbit to the Chinese, who already have a space station in the development stage.

Transporting astronauts: From 2011 to 2020, the US relied solely on Russia to fly astronauts to the ISS. According to a 2019 Tass report, Nasa purchased $3.9 billion worth of seats from Russia to transport its astronauts to and from the ISS since July 2011.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Rules for deputation of DIGs: what Centre proposes to change, and why

Source: This post is based on the article “Rules for deputation of DIGs: what Centre proposes to change, and why” published in Indian Express on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Centre has issued an order on the central deputation of Deputy Inspector General-level IPS officers. The order states that IPS officers coming to the Centre at the DIG level would no longer be required to be empanelled at that level with the Union Government.

Note: This order comes after the Centre has proposed to amend the All India Service Rules that would allow it to call any IAS, IPS or IFoS officer on central deputation with or without the state’s consent.

What are the present rules on central deputation of Deputy Inspector General-level IPS officers?

Currently, a DIG-ranked IPS officer with a minimum experience of 14 years could only be deputed to the Centre if the Police Establishment Board empanelled them as DIGs at the Centre. 

The board chooses the panel on the basis of officers’ career and vigilance records. However, the Superintendent of Police-level officers does not require empanelment at the Centre.

What is the new order issued by the Centre?

The new order states that IPS officers coming to the Centre at the DIG level would no longer be required to be empanelled at that level with the Union Government.

This makes the entire pool of DIG-level officers in a state eligible for central deputation.

However, this would not automatically allow DIGs to come to the Centre. Officers would still have to be put on the offer list for central deputation, which is decided by the states and the Centre in consultation.

What is the need for the new order regarding central deputation of DIG-level IPS officers?

This order is aimed at increasing the pool of DIG-level IPS officers for central deputation in the backdrop of massive vacancies in Central Police Organisations (CPOs) and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

According to data sourced from various CPOs and CAPFs, out of 252 posts reserved for IPS officers at the DIG level at the Centre, 118 (almost half) are vacant.

Why are States having problems with this order?

The new order is seen by many states as the Centre’s attempt to further increase its powers over officers serving in the states.

Moreover, states also have an issue in releasing IPS officers for the Centre’s deputation as there is a serious shortage of officers in the states too.


UN Environment Programme must serve to strengthen international cooperation and encourage collective action to address the major environmental challenges of our time : India at 50th session of UNE

Source: This post is based on the article UN Environment Programme must serve to strengthen international cooperation and encourage collective action to address the major environmental challenges of our time : India at 50th session of UNEPpublished in PIB on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Minister of Environment has delivered a national statement on the 50th session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)  in Nairobi,Kenya.

What is the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP)? 

The United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) was established in 1972 after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in June 1972.

Mandate: To set the environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serve as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Areas of work: ​​UNEP categorizes its work into seven broad thematic areas: climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency, and the environment under review.

Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.

What are the key highlights from the Environment Minister’s address at UNEP?

India has been engaging with UNEP since 1972. Now UNEP needs to pay special attention to measures like provision of finance, technology transfer and capacity building. These measures will ensure that the implementation of agreements is not a mere burden for developing countries, but a pathway to a greener and healthier planet.

Plastic Pollution: In 2018, India hosted the World Environment Day on the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. This call of India provided the momentum leading to significant action on plastic pollution around the globe culminating in the historic resolution and its adoption.

Sustainable Lifestyle: India believes that sustainable lifestyles underpin the survival of our planet. For this, utilization of resources must be based on ‘Mindful and Deliberate Utilization’ and NOT ‘Mindless and Destructive Consumption’. For instance, the Indian PM gave a call to L.I.F.E. – Lifestyles for Environment at COP26 at Glasgow.


Ministry of MSME organizes Mega Summit on Plastics Recycling & Waste Management and Launches Special Drive to Promote Entrepreneurship

Source: This post is based on the article Ministry of MSME organizes Mega Summit on Plastics Recycling & Waste Management and Launches Special Drive to Promote Entrepreneurshippublished in PIB on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Minister for MSME has inaugurated the International Summit on Plastics Recycling & Waste Management.

What is the International Summit on Plastics Recycling & Waste Management?

Organized by: Ministry of MSME in association with The All-India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) 

Purpose: To deliberate upon challenges and opportunities in the Plastics. 

During the summit, the Ministry of MSME also launched two special initiatives – ‘Sambhav’ and ‘Svavlamban’.

What are Sambhav and Svavlamban initiatives?

SAMBHAV: It is a National Level Awareness Programme. Under this, students from different colleges are being encouraged by the field offices of the Ministry of MSME to take up entrepreneurship. The college students will also be made aware of the various schemes being implemented by the Ministry of MSME through Audio/Video film presentations.

Svavlamban: It is a special drive where more than 200 Nukkad Natak are being organized in 46 Aspirational Districts to promote entrepreneurship amongst the youth population and spread awareness on Schemes of Ministry and its Initiatives.


Glycosmis albicarpa: New gin berry species discovered in southern Western Ghats

Source: This post is based on the article “New gin berry species discovered in southern Western Ghats” published in The Hindu on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India(BSI) have discovered a new gin berry species named “Glycosmis albicarpafrom the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. 

What is Glycosmis albicarpa?

Glycosmis albicarpa is a gin berry species. It belongs to the Orange family, Rutaceae.

Habitat: Endemic to the southern Western Ghats. 

Features: It is an evergreen small tree with a distinct white fruit growing on it.

Uses: The Berries of Glycosmis species have gained popularity as edible fruit. They are also being utilized for their medicinal values and food. Moreover, these species also act as a larval host plants for butterflies.

Threats: Habitat modification causes a major threat to the survival of this species.

Significance of this discovery: This discovery not only re-emphasises the uniqueness and endemism in Western Ghats’ flora, but also adds to the growing inventory of the region’s flora.


Konark will now light up its Sun Temple with solar energy

Source: This post is based on the article Konark will now light up its Sun Temple with solar energypublished in Down To Earth on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the news?

Odisha plans to make Konark a 100% solar town and place it among India’s first few zero emission cities or towns.

To implement this plan, the Government of India in 2020 launched a scheme for solarisation of Konark Sun Temple and Konark town in Odisha.

What is Konark Sun Temple?

Click Here to read 

How is solarisation of Konark Sun Temple a significant step?

The shifting from grid to solar energy will help reduce the electricity consumption of the Konark Sun Temple.

Moreover, the financial benefit from solar energy will help them to divert spending on other developmental work of the temple.

What are the challenges in implementing this plan?

Konark is situated very close to the Bay of Bengal and has faced cyclones and other natural disasters. Shifting to a clean energy source is a good idea, but there are doubts about its sustainability and feasibility. 

Besides this, land acquisition is another major challenge in setting up solar power plants. While coastal areas are cyclone-prone, some parts of Odisha have dense forests, whereas land is expensive in densely-populated areas.


Government has approved the scheme – Modernisation Plan-IV for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)

Source: This post is based on the article Government has approved the scheme – Modernisation Plan-IV for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)published in PIB on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The government has approved the scheme – Modernisation Plan-IV for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in continuation of the scheme “Modernisation Plan-III for CAPFs.

What is the Modernisation Plan Scheme for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)?

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs

Aim: To equip the CAPFs with modern state-of-the-art weapons and equipment as per their operational requirement, keeping in view their deployment pattern in different theatres. Besides, upgraded IT solutions will also be provided to CAPFs.

Significance of the Scheme: 

1) It will equip CAPFs to improve the overall operational efficiency/preparedness which will positively impact the internal security scenario in the country, 2) It would also bolster the Government’s ability to address the challenges being faced on the International Border.

What are the Central Armed Police Forces(CAPFs)? 

The Ministry of Home Affairs maintains seven CAPFs:

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF): It assists State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter-insurgency

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): It provides security cover to industrial units, government infrastructure projects and facilities and establishments located all over India.

National Security Guards(NSG): It is an elite counter-terrorism unit.

Four border guarding forces: Border Security Force(BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Assam Rifles (AR).


Union Minister of Railways inspects the trial of Kavach System

Source: This post is based on the articleUnion Minister inspects the trial of Kavach Systempublished in PIB on 5th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

Union Minister of Railways has inspected the trial of ‘Kavach’ working system in Secunderabad Division of South Central Railway.

What is Kavach?

KAVACH is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection(ATP) System for Indian Railways.

Main Function of Kavach: It is designed to bring a train to a halt automatically when it notices another train on the same line within a prescribed distance.

Developed by: Research Design and Standards Organisation(RDSO) of the Ministry of Railways in collaboration with Indian industry.

Features of Kavach

–  Prevents trains from passing the signal at Danger (Red) and avoiding collisions. 

– Activates the train braking system automatically if the driver fails to control the train as per the speed restrictions.

– Continuous update of Movement Authority with the display of signal aspects in Driver Machine Interface(DMI)/Loco Pilot operation cum Indication Panel

– Auto Whistling while approaching Level Crossing Gates

– Prevention of collision between two Locomotives equipped with functional KAVACH

– SoS Messages during emergency situations

– Centralised live monitoring of Train movements through Network Monitor System.

What is the significance of Kavach?

1) Kavach is one of the cheapest, Safety Integrity Level 4(SIL-4) certified technologies with the probability of an error being 1 in 10,000 years. 2) It opens avenues of export of this indigenous technology for Railways. 3) It helps the Railways to achieve the goal of “zero accidents”. 

Mains Answer Writing

Let The Land Heal

Source– The post is based on the article “Let the Land Heal” published in The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Agriculture and Environment Relevance– Unsustainable agriculture practices News– The article explains the issues related to excessive use of pesticides. It also suggests measures to reduce their use. What is the issue? There… Continue reading Let The Land Heal

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India-US ties: Depth & nuance

Source– The post is based on the article “India-US ties: Depth & nuance” published in the The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS3- International Relations Relevance– India and US relationship News– The article explains the relationship between India and the USA. How India-US relations have evolved historically? Following the nuclear tests of May… Continue reading India-US ties: Depth & nuance

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5G services to be rolled out today; how will your experience change?

Source: The post is based on an article “5G services to be rolled out today; how will your experience change?” published in The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 Relevance: benefits of 5G News: The Prime Minister of India will launch 5G on 1st October and the sixth edition of India Mobile Congress in New Delhi. What… Continue reading 5G services to be rolled out today; how will your experience change?

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Swachh Bharat 2.0: Moving forward together

Source: The post is based on an article “Swachh Bharat 2.0: Moving forward together” published in The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 Relevance: measures taken to improve sanitation News: The article highlights the importance of private sector in resolving the issue of Sanitation. The concept of sanitation in India has been around since the Indus Valley… Continue reading Swachh Bharat 2.0: Moving forward together

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Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services

Source– The post is based on the article “Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services” published in The Hindu on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Indian Polity Relevance– Regulation of telecommunication services in India News-There is a need to resolve the issues with the new Telecommunication Bill, 2022. What are the issues with… Continue reading Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services

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Vacation pe vacation: No major country has their top court going on long holidays. Neither should Supreme Court

Source: The post is based on an article “Vacation pe vacation: No major country has their top court going on long holidays. Neither should Supreme Court” published in The Times of India on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – Functioning of Supreme Court Relevance: concerns associated with vacation of courts News: The article discusses the issue of too many… Continue reading Vacation pe vacation: No major country has their top court going on long holidays. Neither should Supreme Court

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No discrimination – ON Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights

Source– The post is based on the article “No discrimination” published in The Hindu on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS1- Social empowerment. GS2- Vulnerable sections Relevance– Abortion rights of women News– The article explains the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights of unmarried women. It also explains the ruling by Delhi High Court on… Continue reading No discrimination – ON Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights

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As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly

Source: The post is based on an article “As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly” published in The Hindu on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 1 – Population and associated Issues News: 1st October is celebrated as International Day for Older Persons by the United Nations. World Population Prospects 2022 report published by the UN Department of… Continue reading As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly

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Punish vandals: Needed: smart law on property damaged in protests

Source: The post is based on the article “Punish vandals: Needed: smart law on property damaged in protests” published in The Times of India on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.. Relevance: About the damages to public and… Continue reading Punish vandals: Needed: smart law on property damaged in protests

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‘Lichens are a pioneer species which enable all life — conserving them is vital’

Source: The post is based on the article “‘Lichens are a pioneer species which enable all life — conserving them is vital’” published in The Times of India on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation. Relevance: About Lichens. News: At present most conservation work is focused on charismatic species, like tigers… Continue reading ‘Lichens are a pioneer species which enable all life — conserving them is vital’

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