9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – May 25th, 2022
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.
- For previous editions of 9 PM Brief – Click Here
- For individual articles of 9 PM Brief– Click Here
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 2
- Lessons from Russia for India
- Explained: The new Indo-Pacific bloc
- Inadequacies of the Civil Registration System
- A new road for India’s fiscal federalism
- Opinion: How the Quad can become more than an anti-China grouping
- The executive seems more fragile than hurt sentiment
- Serving those who serve: On WHO honour for ASHA workers
GS Paper 3
- Decolonising science in Indian education
- Let commercial vehicles take the lead in going electric
- Combating desertification
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
- India drops to 54th place on tourism development Index, top in South Asia
- Draft notification for electronic waste management: 60% e-waste recycling likely by 2023
- The controversy around the Jagannath temple Heritage Corridor Project
- Explained: What China aims to achieve by building a second, bigger bridge on Pangong Tso
- NMA’s quantum jump in making Heritage By-Laws
- iRASTE Project: AI to make roads in India safer to drive
- MoHUA launches Swachh Survekshan 2023 under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0, with the theme of ‘Waste to Wealth’ for Garbage Free Cities
- Explained: Discovery of a primitive forest at the bottom of a giant sinkhole in China
- Front running: Sebi likely to soon initiate stringent action
- Quad pledges $50 billion package with ‘tangible benefits’ to check China
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 2
Lessons from Russia for India
Source: This post is created based on the article “Lessons from Russia for India” published in The Hindu on 25th May 2022.
Syllabus Topic – GS Paper 2 – International relations
Context: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is ongoing. Strategic failures and success of Russia is providing lessons for the Indian military as well.
What are the key lessons from Russian invasion for Indian miliary?
First, it has revealed the level of effectiveness of Russian tanks. American-built Javelin or Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System have resulted into destruction of several of Russian T-90 tanks.
However, Germans used these tanks effectively during ring World War 2, but they were used along with the infantry. Russia has not used its tanks along with infantry, which is the main reason behind heavy destruction of its tanks.
Second, drones and anti-tank missiles have caused a great devastation among Russian forces.
Emerging technologies like cyber and digital technology, Artificial Intelligence, and UAVs should be used along with the legacy platforms such as fighter planes, warships, and artillery weapons. It will provide the best performance. Emerging tech can provide precision, whereas legacy platforms can launch firepower.
Third, it is well known that Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses should be the foremost requirement for any invading force. However, Russia failed to neutralize Ukrainian air defenses, leading to Russia’s revision of its plan by confining its military operations to Donbas and the Black Sea coast.
Fourth, Russia stretched its military lines thin. It resulted in long lines of communications and military columns that could not be supplied and reinforced.
All these strategic failures led to low morale among Russian forces.
Thus, India should start investing more in sensors, electronic warfare, greater digitization, satellite communications, and unmanned systems. It should be not just for reconnaissance and surveillance, but also for attack missions.
India should also develop greater missile forces to enhance its offensive capabilities.
Explained: The new Indo-Pacific bloc
Source: The post is based on the following articles
“Explained: The new Indo-Pacific bloc” published in Indian Express on 25th May 2022.
“Caution and clarity: On the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity” published in The Hindu on 25th May 2022.
Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2, International groupings
Relevance: To understand the challenges surrounding Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
Recently, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework was launched by United States President with 12 other countries, including India, as a member. The aim was to reclaim US’s economic leadership in East Asia and the ASEAN region without losing them to China.
What is Indo-Pacific Economic Framework?
|Read here: Explained: What is the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework?|
The IPEF will a) set the rules of the road for the digital economy, b) ensure secure and resilient supply chains, c) make major investments necessary in clean energy infrastructure and the clean energy transition, d) raise standards for transparency, fair taxation, and anti-corruption, etc.
What is the stand of India on IPEF?
|Read here: India to join Biden’s new trade initiative for Indo-Pacific region|
The Issue of data localisation between India and the US
India has fought with the US over the last two or three years regarding data localisation. In 2019, the government has introduced a Bill in Lok Sabha that envisages a framework for localising Indian data and the establishment of a Data Protection Authority.
But the US, in its National Trade Estimate Report, said that the data localisation “will serve as significant barriers to digital trade” between the two countries, and will act as “market access barriers, especially for smaller firms”.
What are the issues surrounding IPEF?
Lack of clarity: The U.S. said that it is not a free trade agreement; nor will it discuss tariff reductions or increasing market access, raising questions about its utility. But the US did not explain what is the focus area of IPEF.
Question on common ground: The 13 countries are part of very different economic arrangements. This raises the question of whether there is enough common ground among the members or not.
Trade relations with members of IPEF and China: Each of the IPEF countries has considerable trade interests in China, with most having large trade deficits.
Credibility of US initiative: The U.S.’s previous initiatives (the Blue Dot Network and the Build Back Better Initiative) have made little improvements in changing the region’s infrastructural needs. Hence, the IPEF also faces a credibility challenge.
Inadequacies of the Civil Registration System
Source: The post is based on an article “Inadequacies of the Civil Registration System” published in the “The Hindu” on 25th May 2022.
Syllabus: GS2 Governance
Relevance: Public data, Civil Registration System (CRS), Sample Registration System (SRS)
News: Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s estimated excess deaths due to COVID-19 in India which has triggered several responses.
What has been the government’s response against WHO estimates?
Various State Health Ministers slammed the WHO estimates. They asserted that India has a “robust, legal and transparent system for data collection and COVID mortality surveillance”, referred to as the Civil Registration System (CRS).
System for registration in India
The Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969 mandates the registration of births and deaths.
The State governments are responsible for the establishment and management of the registration system.
The Registrar General of India (RGI) coordinates and unifies the activities of registration.
The Sample Registration System (SRS) is used for further analysis of the birth and death registration in India.
A birth/death should be registered within 21 days. After 21 days, birth/death can be registered under the RBD Act with an order of a First-Class Magistrate issued after verifying the facts about the birth or death.
What are the issues with India’s registration system?
The SRS figures are not available for the year 2020 in which Covid-19 hit India.
Further, Past studies on the SRS indicate that the vital rates are underestimated by 2-3%.
Further, 2020 annual reports have shown that the number of births and deaths registered one year after occurrence is quite high. For example, more than 15% of the births registered had occurred in earlier years in Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Assam. However, such a proportion of delayed registration was lower in case of deaths.
Many deaths like female deaths and child deaths have low level of registration because the family may not require the death certificates for settling inheritance, insurance claims, etc. For example, Female deaths formed only 39.8% of the total registered deaths in 2020.
Only about 20% of the deaths have a Medically Certified Cause of Death (MCCD) that conforms to the WHO standard. The State governments have not issued statutory notifications to increase the coverage of MCCD.
Impact of COVID-19 on registration
The Covid-19 lockdowns significantly affected the efficiency of the CRS in the following manner.
One, the registrars could not work during lockdowns in many areas.
Two, people could not travel to the registrar’s office to report the births/deaths that had occurred at home within the prescribed time.
Three, in case of a delay in reporting, the procedure of getting an affidavit or a Magistrate’s order as required under Section 13 of the RBD Act is a very cumbersome process.
Four, the functionaries handling registration were deployed on COVID-19-related duties and could not register the events.
It means a large number of births and deaths that had occurred in 2020 would have been reported for registration in 2021 or even later.
A robust system should be instituted to ensure the registration of almost every birth and death within a short time after its occurrence.
COVID-19 may act as an eye-opener on the importance of the CRS. The CRS has several shortcomings. India does not have a robust system of registering births and deaths.
While the law and a registration system are in place. The State governments should put in more effort to ensure that all births and deaths are registered and more deaths have medically certified causes. This would require coordinated action by several state departments.
The data should be published in a timely manner so that it can aid in the formulation of evidence-based policies and programs.
A new road for India’s fiscal federalism
Source: The post is based on an article “A new road for India’s fiscal federalism” published in the “The Hindu” on 25th May 2022.
Syllabus: GS2 Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Strucutre
Relevance: Fiscal Federalism, GST Council
News: Recently, the Supreme Court of India delivered its verdict in the Union of India vs Mohit Minerals case, where it also made several observations on the GST Council recommendations
About GST Regime
The GST regime was introduced through the 101st constitutional Amendment in July 2017 which aimed for unification of tax administration in India – ‘One Nation, One Tax’.
GST Council: The Amendment Act introduced Article 279A which mandated creation of a GST Council.
GST Council Composition: This body comprises the Union Finance Minister, the Union Minister of State for Finance, and Ministers of Finance from every State government.
Functions: The act led to deletion and amendment of many entries in the State list of Schedule VII of the Constitution. It enabled the state government to legislate on GST through a newly introduced Article 246A. The State governments could not legislate on sale or purchase of goods (barring a few exceptions, such as petroleum and liquor).
The Council was empowered to make recommendations to the Union and States on various matter. The matters included goods and services that may be subjected to or exempted from GST and the rates at which tax is to be levied.
Voting share: The Union government was granted a virtual veto in the GST Council’s voting structure and system
Confusions between advisory and binding nature of GST Council’s recommendations
The use of the word “recommendations” suggested that the GST decisions would be advisory, at best.
The mandate of establishment of a mechanism under Article 279A to adjudicate disputes between governments on decisions taken by the Council suggested that advice rendered were binding in nature.
Impact of making recommendations binding in nature
It could lead to dissolution and destruction of the well-laid plans of the Constituent Assembly, which carefully divided Fiscal responsibilities between the Union and the States.
|Must read: Let’s keep GST good and simple|
What are the Supreme Court’s observations in the Union of India vs Mohit Minerals?
The Court proceeded on a technical reading of the provisions of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act.
The Article 246A provides concomitant power both to the Union and to the State governments to legislate on GST. It does not discriminate between the two in terms of its allocation of authority.
The concomitant powers allocated in Article 246A cannot be limited by Article 279A, which establishes a GST Council, and which treats the Council’s decisions as “recommendations”.
Both Parliament and the State legislatures enjoy equal power to legislate on Goods and Services Tax (GST). The Goods and Services Tax Council’s recommendations are just advisory that could never be binding on a legislative body.
According to the Court, the State legislatures can deviate from any advice rendered by the GST Council and to make their own laws by asserting, in the process, their role as equal partners in India’s federal architecture.
If the GST Council was intended to be a decision-making authority having binding recommendation. Such a qualification would have been included in Articles 246A or 279A.
The legislatures can give binding effect to the Council’s recommendation through statutory law. But, according the SC, a constitutional power can never be limited through statute.
Indian federalism is a dialogue between cooperative and uncooperative federalism. The federal units are at liberty to use different means of persuasion ranging from collaboration to contestation.
GST was conceived as a product of what some described as “pooled sovereignty” where our nation can take a genuine turn towards a more “cooperative federalism”.
Opinion: How the Quad can become more than an anti-China grouping
Source: The post is based on an article “How the QUAD can become more than an anti-China grouping” published in the Indian Express on 25th May 2022.
Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations, Bilateral, Regional Grouping, multilateral relations etc.
Relevance: Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), QUAD, QUAD Plus
News; Recently, the United States launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) before the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo
About the IPEF
The US-led economic engagement which will promote fair trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure, clean energy, and decarbonisation, among others.
It comprises a diverse group of 12 countries initially — Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Importance of IPEF
This is a salient attempt to allow countries to decouple from Chinese over-dependence This is aimed to re-establish the US by strengthening the existing free and open rules-based global order, which is being threatened by China.
It complements the “Quad Plus” process. It brings together seven critical countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), all Quad states, and dialogue partners, including South Korea. Thus, both QUAD and IPEF build a comprehensive and integrated approach to combat shared challenges arising out of Chinese.
The US and India, two of the largest economies of the world, are not a part of the China-led or ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in which China has applied.
The grouping potentially represents an amalgamation of the eastern and western “like-minded” countries. It comprises developing and developed economies as well as middle and major powers that are committed to maintaining an inclusive, rules-based and liberal institutional order.
It is a broad, all-embracing, and comprehensive framework that can stand as a pillar for regional security and stability, multilateralism, and defence of global institutionalism and the status quo.
A stronger regional economic framework promotes a resilient and secured supply-chain across the region and the world.
It is likely to complement the other Indo-Pacific projects like the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative. The initiative also seeks to build resilient and secure trade linkages by reducing dependence on China.
What is the response of China?
The inclusivity angle is questioned by China because China calls the grouping a US-led “anti-China” tool and a reflection of a broader democratic coalition.
Chinese narratives about the Quad such as an “anti-China tool”, “sea foam” to “Asian NATO” have only served to coalesce the Quad states and inclusion of more states (plus format) and agenda (security).
The Quad Plus should take this process forward and strengthen cooperation on critical topics in the Quad’s agenda (for instance, security, critical technology, global health, climate
South Korea also embraced the Indo-Pacific framework. In fact, it is keen to participate in the Quad process for a long. For example, During the Covid-19 crisis, South Korea (along with New Zealand and Vietnam) had joined the so-called Quad Plus meetings to coordinate actions to stem the pandemic.
Taiwan plays a critical role in the global semi-conductor supply chain network. It is a major economy in the Indo-Pacific region and also an active member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Therefore, Taiwan should be included in the grouping. Its inclusion would also be a geopolitical statement against coercion tactics by international actors.
A “corridor of communication” should be created which can lead to a “continental connect” to strengthen a rules-based order.
The executive seems more fragile than hurt sentiment
Source: This post is based on the article “The executive seems more fragile than hurt sentiment” published in The Hindu on 25th May 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – Govt policies and interventions
Relevance: increased use of Section 153A IPC and Section 295A IPC by the executive
Context: A Dalit academician, was recently arrested for an ‘objectionable’ post on the Gyanvapi mosque row. He is alleged to have promoted disharmony or enmity between religious groups (Section 153A in the Indian Penal Code) and intentionally and maliciously hurt religious sentiments (Section 295A in the IPC).
His arrest adds to the trend of increased use of the two provisions.
Data indicates an increased use
The latest annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) records more than four jumps (458%) of cases registered under Section 153A since 2014; it almost doubled in the last two years.
Conviction could only be secured in merely 20.4% of cases.
Though no separate data is available on Section 295A, anecdotal evidence suggests its increased use by the executive.
What is the legislative history of these provisions?
In 1927, when Section 153A was already in existence, Section 295A was brought on the demand of a religious minority community which alleged that a pamphlet titled ‘Rangeela Rasul’ published objectionable content against its founder.
A more direct measure was incorporated through Section 295A, which would not require proving that the speech promoted enmity or hatred between classes; now, a hurt sentiment would be enough. It can be argued that it safeguarded the spirit of tolerance amidst religious diversity. But its enhanced misuse raises the question: safeguard for who and against what?
The Legislative Assembly debates at the introduction of Section 295A expressed concern about its subjectivity that could be misused.
– Rationale behind Sec 295A: The rationale behind the provision was to deal with intentional insults to religion or outraging religious feelings. At best, the Assembly members found it a temporary remedy for a temporary aberration, not one that would be in active use a century later.
Concerns expressed wrt Section 295A
The debates sensed and cautioned against a looming threat over free speech. It was anticipated that it could be misused to suppress honest, candid, and bona fide criticism, and hinder historical research towards social reform.
If individuals were allowed to register complaints about a hurt religious sentiment, the courts would be flooded with frivolous cases. Then there would be a sweeping class of offences, where it cannot be objectively adjudicated if a crime has been committed.
What are some safeguards to prevent misuse?
Statutory safeguards were incorporated that required deliberate intention and malice; and judicial rulings that needed looking at — words used, intent, and effect to ascertain criminality.
Only a deliberate and aggravated form of religious insult would attract the rigor of the provision.
The judiciary laid down two ways to measure the effect —
– one by establishing a link between speech and public disorder, and
– by measuring the effects from the standards of a reasonable man, and not from one who fears all hostile viewpoints.
What are the associated concerns?
No attempt was made to translate the statutory safeguards into practice.
Unlike bodily harm that can be verified, sentimental hurt is subjective and cannot be tested against strict measures.
Even the statutory safeguards of ‘deliberate intention and malice’ cannot be objectively determined. The police do not get into the legislative nuances before registering a criminal case or making an arrest. A hazy legal paradigm criminalising hurting religious sentiment facilitates the ruling dispensation’s strategy to stifle all dissent and further divisive politics.
A critical inquiry of orthodox practices and superstitious beliefs encourages social reforms.
India’s Constitution celebrates diversity with the guarantee of free speech. With that aspirational pledge, should not the answer to hurt religious sentiment be tolerance, and not rampant criminalisation?
Serving those who serve: On WHO honour for ASHA workers
Source: This post is based on the article “Serving those who serve: On WHO honour for ASHA workers” published in The Hindu on 25th May 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – Health related issues
Relevance: Recognition to ASHA workers in India
News: World Health Organization recognized the immense contribution of India’s ASHA (accredited social health activists) workers by according them the Global Health Leader award.
This has given due recognition to the efforts of the workers at the very bottom of the hierarchy.
Why were ASHA workers awarded?
The ASHAs were honoured for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system, to ensure those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services.
These workers, all women, faced harassment and violence for their work during the pandemic, well documented in the media.
Even as they contribute to better health outcomes, ASHA workers continues to protest across the country, for better remuneration, health benefits and permanent posts.
It is the duty of the governmental agencies that employ them to ensure their welfare, safety and security.
GS Paper 3
Decolonising science in Indian education
Source: The post is based on an article “Decolonising science in Indian Education” published in the Indian Express on 25th May 2022.
Syllabus: GS2 Social Sector, Education Sector
Relevance: Indianization of Education System
Context: Education is central to the idea of modernity in independent India. In the Indian education system, a certain aspect of European modernity has lingered for a long time which has hampered the Indian intellectual discourse.
|The true spirit of education refers to “Shiksha vo hoti hai jisme baat se baat nikle” (education should produce a tangible effect).|
Measures Taken So Far
All Education Commissions have been headed by scientists to ensure advancement with scientific and technological development. For example, Daulat Singh Kothari, Yash Pal, and K Kasturirangan Commission.
What are the issues in the present education system?
The post-colonial science and science education is deeply mixed with the colonial hangover and practices.
In the current dispensation, the government is sceptical about all forms of western intellectual enthusiasm.
The entire developing countries including India are bowing to the western colonial thought in the post-colonial world. Once upon a time, India was receptive as well as productive. India possessed a mind of our own in India. In reality, India thought, India felt and India expressed itself.
The western element thwarted creation of thinkers that can help us understand the structure and foundations of our own scientific thought.
Globalisation is also a form of new-age intellectual colonialism which restricts development of the Indian intellectual.
Role and Importance of NEP
The New Education Policy 2020 has taken delightful steps forward in ensuring that we raise a generation of scientists and scientific thinkers through the education we provide to our students.
The policy has been designed to completely revamp our systematic education. It may help to decolonise by inculcating a sense of nationalist commitment and Indian value-based education.
The NEP is important to boost indigenous creative thinking. It is also an attempt to unify our active engagement with creative thinking. It can help promote the true nature of the Indian mind
The state has a commitment to work on public policies and diplomatic discourses that localise knowledge of science and enhance the character of Indian scientific enterprise to counter the deleterious effects of globalisation in the 21st century.
Education must be intimately associated with the life of its people. However, our modern education at present serves professions of the English educated elite. This English based education system does not reach the farmer, the grinder, or the potter etc.
The NEP would promote Indianizing education and emphasising learning in regional languages.
The NEP might be able to raise a generation of Indian scientific thinkers. They would help us make sense of our ideas of scientific modernity rooted in Indian scientific thought.
The NEP aims of schools practising agriculture, dairy keeping, weaving on the best modern techniques, roped to culminate into Yatra Vishvam Bavatikanidam (where the world meets in one nest).
Science should be made available locally. It will help its acceptance and understanding in the masses. It will enrich the scientific temper and the spirit of inquiry among the Indian masses.
The modern schools, colleges and universities should focus on Indianizing education instead of becoming part of western thoughts.
Let commercial vehicles take the lead in going electric
Source: This post is based on the article “Let commercial vehicles take the lead in going electric” published in Livemint on 24th May 22.
Syllabus: GS3 – Energy and Infrastructure, Industrial policy and growth
Relevance: Increasing the adoption of Commercial Electric Vehicles (EVs) in India
Context: India’s air quality has been diminishing on the back of urban development and higher e-commerce adoption, among other factors. The cost of this progress means some of our large Indian cities figure among the world’s most polluted.
Citizens’ right to clean breathable air is a fundamental need and is a critical parameter in global benchmarks used to list the world’s happiest and most liveable cities.
A shift from ICE vehicles to EVs is crucial to reversing the impact on air quality.
Efforts at reducing air pollution
India has set promising targets and taken several steps to bring about both accountability and action. For example, the government aims to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030,
In 2019, it launched the National Clean Air Programme as a strategic intervention to reduce air pollution levels across the country. City-specific clean air action plans have been prepared and rolled out for implementation in as many as 132 cities.
Meanwhile, the NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute’s Shoonya campaign is building awareness around fleet adoption of electric vehicles (EV) for last-mile deliveries.
– Urban freight vehicles account for over 10% of transportation-related CO2 emissions in India, a number that is set to increase by about 115% by 2030 due to the sharp rise in e-commerce demand for deliveries, according to the NITI Aayog.
Meanwhile, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru are upgrading their public transport facilities, albeit they are still using internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
Why a shift from ICE vehicles to EVs is necessary for India?
A shift from ICE vehicles to EVs is crucial to reversing the impact on air quality as ICE commercial vehicles are large users of diesel in India.
China reduced air pollution in its major cities of Shanghai and Beijing by limiting ICE vehicles, relocating polluting units and using EV incentives, among other steps.
A glance at ecology-conscious markets like Norway and Iceland offers a clear picture of how rapid EV adoption can meaningfully reduce pollution levels.
Various Indian states have proposed independent EV policy frameworks, but these do not include light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Policy incentives need to be given to logistical service providers to shift to electric LCVs.
Incentives to EV original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and green taxes levied on ICE vehicles based on emissions and time spent in urban areas could deter ICE vehicle usage.
An effective policy framework for charging infrastructure would help too.
As of now, no distinction is made between slow, medium and fast charging set-ups, and India’s recent battery swapping policy applies more to the 2W and 3W segments than their 4W counterparts. A push for a reliable pan-India fast-charging network will be an essential driver of EV adoption across vehicle categories.
Lowering the cost of ownership and bringing in more fleet financing options will support the EV adoption rate for commercial transport. The total cost of ownership (TCO) for EVs, a key determinant, needs parity with ICE vehicles.
An upfront subsidy for fleet owners to purchase commercial EVs could be instituted.
Recently, the NITI Aayog recommended the inclusion of EV and EV-charging in the Reserve Bank of India’s framework for priority sector lending. This would help finance EV fleet conversion, as 60-70% of vehicles are financed with little or no difference in interest rates.
Loans for EVs could be made more efficient. While banks typically offer a 25-50-basis-points benefit on ESG (environmental, social and governance) assets, lending institutions currently take a hit on their bottom line in providing ESG finance.
Incentivizing innovation among new-age electric OEMs and helping build a talent pool that will fuel this growth story are equally important.
India has the potential to leap into a global leadership position on the commercial EV front. It is among a handful of countries supporting the global ‘EV30@30’ campaign that aims for 30% of all new vehicle sales by 2030 to be electric.
Source: This post is based on the article “Combating desertification” published in Business Standard on 25th May 22.
Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation
Relevance: Tackling desertification and reclaiming the degraded land
News: The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was recently held at Abidjan.
It called upon nations to invest in restoring degraded land for future prosperity, and urged the 196 participating nations to reclaim 1 billion hectares of degraded land by 2030.
What is the global situation wrt land degradation?
Globally, about 40% of the land, supporting about half of humanity, is facing the threat of desertification.
In the business as usual scenario, an additional area equivalent of the size of South America, might get degraded by 2050, warn the papers presented at the COP15.
Why restoring of the degraded land is esp relevant for India?
India is a land-stressed country, where close to 30% of the land falls in the degraded category.
More worrying, the process of decline in the quality of land is still ongoing despite the government’s resolve to achieve “land degradation neutrality” (zero addition to degraded land) by 2030.
According to the data collected by the Indian Space Research Organisation through satellite imagery, the extent of deteriorated land has risen from 94.53 million hectares (mha) in 2003 to 97.85 mha in 2018-19.
The Energy and Resources Institute had assessed the losses due to decline in land productivity as worth around Rs 3.17 trillion in 2014-15, amounting to about 2.5% of GDP in that year. About 82% of these losses were attributed to the deterioration in the quality of land under agriculture, forests, and pastures, and the remaining to the changes in the land-use pattern — diverting land to less productive use.
– This study, significantly, had also underscored the need to expedite implementing land improvement projects as the cost of land reclamation could rise above the potential economic gains by 2030.
What are the factors behind land degradation?
Among the major factors responsible for land degradation, the most significant ones are –
– soil salinity and water-logging in agricultural fields due to flawed agronomic practices, and
– water and wind erosion in the areas that have lost their vegetative cover.
– In the Northeast, a hilly region, the continuation of the practice of shifting cultivation, also known as slash-and-burn agriculture or jhum, is the main cause of land degradation. Under this system, the farmers clear the forested land, cultivate it for a few years, and then move to another spot, leaving the old patch barren.
India is fortunate to have time-tested technologies capable of rejuvenating problematic lands.
- These have already been tried successfully in reclaiming the sprawling salt-affected tracks in Haryana and the lime quarrying-hit slopes of the Mussoorie hills in Uttarakhand, besides stabilising the shifting sand dunes in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan.
These should now come in handy for the country to achieve its self-determined target of restoring 26 mha of degraded land by 2030.
However, more important would be to make soil conservation an integral part of all land-related programmes to curb further land degradation. It would further help India contribute to meeting the COP15’s main objective of combating desertification and acquiring resilience against droughts.
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
India drops to 54th place on tourism development Index, top in South Asia
What is the news?
India was ranked 54th in the global travel and tourism development index. The ranking of India in 2019 was 46th.
Findings of the Global Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI)
India is still at the top place in South Asia.
Japan has topped the list. While, US, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, UK, Singapore and Italy are in the top 10.
About Global Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI)
TTDI comprises 117 countries. It is the evolution of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI).
TTCI has been published biennially for the past 15 years.
Published by: World Economic Forum (WEF)
Aim: to create healthy competition in the travel and tourism sector of various economies, by ranking them based on performance, overall quality, and future potential.
The index consists of five subindexes (used for presentation and categorization purposes only), 17 pillars, and 112 individual indicators, distributed among the different pillars.
5 Sub-indexes of TTDI include:
1) Enabling environment, 2) Travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions 3) infrastructure, 4) Travel and Tourism Demand drivers, 5) Travel and tourism sustainability.
Draft notification for electronic waste management: 60% e-waste recycling likely by 2023
Source: The post is based on the article “60% e-waste recycling likely by 2023″ published in The Hindu on 25th May 2022.
What is the News?
The Environment Ministry released the draft notification for electronic waste management for public feedback. India has a formal set of rules for electronic waste management. These were first announced in 2016 and amended in 2018. The latest rules are expected to come into effect by August.
What are the key provisions of draft notification for electronic waste management?
Targets: Consumer goods companies and makers of electronics goods have to ensure at least 60% of their electronic waste is collected and recycled by 2023 with targets to increase them to 70% and 80% in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
The rules bring into effect a system of trading in certificates, akin to carbon credits, that will allow companies to temporarily bridge shortfalls.
The extended producer responsibility (EPR) certificates certify the quantity of e-waste collected and recycled in a particular year by a company and an organisation may sell surplus quantities to another company to help it meet its obligations.
Companies will have to register on an online portal and specify their annual production and e-waste collection targets.
Monitoring authority: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the chief entity that coordinates the trade of EPR certificates and monitors if companies are meeting their targets. A steering committee to be headed by the Chairman of the CPCB will oversee the overall implementation of these regulations.
Non-Compliance: Companies that don’t meet their annual targets will have to pay a fine or an “environmental compensation”, but the draft doesn’t specify the quantum of these fines.
Provisions to comply at later date: Companies that fall short of the annual target can meet a year’s target, even after three years. Those that meet their targets with a year’s delay will be refunded 85% of their fine, and 60% and 30% after the second and third year, respectively.
Role of State governments: a) The responsibility of earmarking industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities and b) Establishing measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.
|Read more: Imports of plastic bottles for waste processing allowed|
What is the significance of the new draft regulation?
The earlier rules stressed collection targets. Now the government is emphasising the EPR, recycling and trading. This follows the government’s objective to promote a circular economy.
About the generation of e-waste in India
According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.
Most of India’s e-waste is recycled by the informal sector and under hazardous conditions and a thrust of the e-waste rules is to have more of this waste handled by the formal sector.
The controversy around the Jagannath temple Heritage Corridor Project
Source: The post is based on the article “The controversy around the Jagannath temple Heritage Corridor Project” published in The Hindu on 25th May 2022.
What is the News?
The Puri Heritage Corridor Project is a ₹3,200 crore redevelopment project of the 800-year-old Jagannath temple in Puri by the Odisha government to create an international heritage site.
About Puri Jagannath temple
|Read here: Puri Jagannath temple panel for construction of chariots|
What are the issues surrounding Puri Heritage Corridor Project?
The Puri Heritage Corridor Project is a ₹3,200 crore redevelopment project of and around the 800-year-old Jagannath temple in Puri by the Odisha government to create an international heritage site.
Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation (OBBC) started excavation work within 75 metres of the Jagannath temple to build public amenities.
Experts and members of civil society objected to the use of heavy machinery for digging, citing the possibility of an adverse impact on the 12th-century temple.
A plea was also filed regarding the project in the Orissa High Court. The ASI was directed to conduct a joint inspection. The ASI observed that there was “possibility that the agency OBCC during the excavation or soil removal might have destroyed the archaeological remains of the heritage site”.
It also found that “no valid permission or no objection certificate (NOC) issued by the competent authority”.
What are the legal challenges associated with the Puri Heritage Corridor Project?
The Jagannath temple has been designated a monument of national importance by the ASI and is a centrally protected monument.
As per the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act (AMSAR), construction is prohibited within a 100-metre periphery of a protected area.
The area extending to 200 metres around the monument in all directions is called a regulated area. Permission from the National Monuments Authority (NMA) is required if construction has to be undertaken in the regulated or prohibited area.
The term “construction” as defined in the AMSAR Act does not include the construction of public toilets, urinals, and “similar conveniences”. Hence, the Odisha government refuted the ASI report in court, and also mention that the project did not come under “construction” as per the AMSAR Act.
Explained: What China aims to achieve by building a second, bigger bridge on Pangong Tso
Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What China aims to achieve by building a second, bigger bridge on Pangong Tso” published in Indian Express on 25th May 2022.
What is the News?
The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that China is building a second bridge on the Pangong Tso lake. This site is not far from the site of one of the most intense friction points in the border standoff that began in May 2020.
What is the status of bridges built by China?
The first bridge seemed to have been built to facilitate work on the new one. After completion, this second bridge will allow swift movement of armoured vehicles between the north and the south banks of Pangong Tso.
The construction site is just east of an old ruin called Khurnak Fort, where China has major frontier defence bases. China calls it Rutong Country.
About Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso is a 135-km long landlocked lake. India has around 45 km of Pangong Tso under its control, while China has more than two-thirds. The site of the new bridge is near the halfway mark of the boomerang-shaped lake.
The site of the bridge is around 20 km east of Finger 8 on the lake’s north bank – which is where the Line of Actual Control (LAC) passes.
Whose territory is the bridge located in?
Although it is being built in territory that is under China’s control since 1958, the exact point is just west of India’s claim line, which means India considers it its own territory. The Ministry of External Affairs last week stated that it considers the area as illegally occupied by China.
|Read more: Explained: Strategic significance of bridge China is building on Pangong Tso|
Why does China choose this location?
Indian Army during the standoff conducted an operation in this region. Indian troops outmanoeuvred the People’s Liberation Army to occupy the heights of Kailash Range in the Chushul sub-sector on the south bank of Pangong Tso.
The positions allowed India to dominate the strategically significant Spanggur Gap.
The Spanggur Gap could be used to launch offensive manoeuvres as China had done in 1962. Also, India got a direct view of China’s Moldo Garrison. This was a cause of immense concern for the Chinese.
How do the bridges help China?
The new bridge will allow Chinese troops to reduce travel time from around 12 hours at the moment to around four hours.
The bridges help in the faster movement of troops, including mechanised forces, heavy weapons, and military vehicles. The bridges are at one of the narrowest points on the lake, close to the LAC.
NMA’s quantum jump in making Heritage By-Laws
Source: The post is based on the article “NMA’s quantum jump in making Heritage By-Laws” published in PIB on 24th May 2022.
What is the News?
National Monuments Authority (NMA), has made a record number of 101 Heritage By-Laws during the covid period (from 2019 onwards). These laws cover a total of 126 centrally protected monuments.
This is in comparison to five Heritage By-Laws (HBLs) covering 31 centrally protected monuments finalized in the preceding ten years. This reflects a 20 times increase in the quantum of HBLs over the last two years.
What is National Monuments Authority (NMA)?
The National Monuments Authority(NMA) was set up as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (AMASR) (Amendment Validation) Act 2010.
Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Culture
Functions of NMA: Several functions have been assigned to the NMA for the protection and preservation of monuments and sites through the management of the prohibited and regulated area around the centrally protected monuments.
The NMA also grant permission to applicants for conservation-related activity in the centrally prohibited and regulated areas.
What are Heritage By-Laws (HBLs)?
The government has amended the AMASR Act in 2010 to include certain newer sub-sections. One of the major amendments is the provision of Heritage Byelaws for Prohibited and Regulated Areas for each centrally protected monument/site.
The government has notified Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Framing of Heritage Bye-laws and other functions of the Competent Authority) Rules 2011. The rules provide certain parameters which shall be considered for the preparation of the Heritage Bye-laws.
The mandate has been given to the NMA for framing HBLs. The HBLs work was supposed to be finished by 2012, covering the entire gamut of more than 3600 centrally protected monuments throughout India.
Few prominent HBLs finalised by NMA include the 14th century Bishnu temple in Manipur; Jagannath Temple in Puri; Chausath Yogini, Jabalpur; Jagatgrama Ashwamedha site and Lakha Mandal group of Shiva temples in Uttarakhand.
The draft HBLs include monuments like the Taj Mahal; Qutub Minar; Dwarkadheesh Temple Dwarka; and Martand Temple, Kashmir.
iRASTE Project: AI to make roads in India safer to drive
Source: The post is based on the article “AI to make roads in India safer to drive” published in PIB on 24th May 2022.
What is the News?
The project ‘Intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering’ (iRASTE) is being implemented in Nagpur.
What is the iRASTE Project?
This is a unique AI approach that uses the predictive power of AI to identify risks on the road, and a collision alert system to communicate timely alerts to drivers, to make several improvements related to road safety.
Objective: To significantly reduce road accidents.
Implemented by: I-Hub Foundation, IIIT Hyderabad, a Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) along with INAI (Applied AI Research Institute).
The project will
-Identify potential accident-causing scenarios while driving a vehicle and alert drivers about the same with the help of the Advance Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
-Identify ‘greyspots’, i.e., by data analysis and mobility analysis by continuously monitoring dynamic risks on the entire road network.
Note: Greyspots are locations on roads, which left unaddressed could become blackspots (locations with fatal accidents).
-Conducts continuous monitoring of roads and designs engineering fixes to correct existing road blackspots for preventive maintenance and improved road infrastructure.
What are the unique initiatives under the iRASTE Project?
AI and technology are being applied to create practical solutions, as a blueprint, for Indian conditions. These include 1) Used first of its kind India Driving Dataset (IDD). It is a dataset for road scene understanding in unstructured environments captured from Indian roads, 2) Open World Object Detection on Road Scenes (ORDER) dataset: It is developed under IDD. This could be used by autonomous navigation systems in Indian driving conditions for localization and classification of the objects in a road scene,
3) LaneRoadNet (LRNet): It has been designed to address problems of Indian roads, which have several obstacles, occluded lane markings, broken dividers, cracks, potholes, etc. 4) Mobility Car Data Platform (MCDP): It has been designed with several sensors – cameras, LIDARs, for anyone to capture or process data on the car that can help researchers and start-ups in India test their automotive algorithms and approaches in navigation and research on Indian roads.
MoHUA launches Swachh Survekshan 2023 under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0, with the theme of ‘Waste to Wealth’ for Garbage Free Cities
Source: The post is based on the article “MoHUA launches Swachh Survekshan 2023 under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0, with the theme of ‘Waste to Wealth’ for Garbage Free Cities” published in PIB on 24th May 2022.
What is the News?
The government has launched the eighth edition of Swachh Survekshan -2023 (SS 2023) under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0.
About the Swachh Survekshan 2023
Theme: The survey is designed with the theme of ‘Waste to Wealth’ as its driving philosophy.
SS 2023 is curated towards achieving circularity in waste management. The survey would give priority to the principle of 3Rs – Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
What is Swachh Survekshan?
Swachh Survekshan was introduced in 2016 as a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large scale citizen participation.
It was launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which aimed to make India clean and free of open defecation by 2nd October 2019. The first survey was undertaken in 2016.
Conducted by: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) with Quality Council of India (QCI) as its implementation partner.
Parameters: The cities have been ranked based on three broad parameters — service level progress, citizen’s voice and certification.
|Read more: Ministry of Jal Shakti launches Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2021|
What are the new additions to SS2023?
-There is an enhanced level of cleanliness activities undertaken by the cities during the months the survey is conducted. Therefore, in SS 2023, the evaluation will be conducted in 4 phases, instead of 3 phases in earlier editions.
-To align with the theme of SS2023, additional weightage has been given to source segregation of waste, enhancement of waste processing capacity of cities to match the waste generation and reduction of waste going to the dumpsites.
-Indicators have been introduced emphasizing the need for a phased reduction of plastic, plastic waste processing, encouraging waste to wonderful parks and zero waste events.
-Ranking of Wards within the cities is also being promoted through Swachh Survekshan 2023.
-The cities would also be assessed on dedicated indicators on the issues of ‘open urination’ (Yellow Spots) and ‘open spitting’ (Red Spots).
What is the significance of Swachh Survekshan?
Over the years, Swachh Survekshan has emerged as the largest Urban sanitation survey in the world.
The survey which started with only 73 cities in 2016 has now grown to 4355 cities in SS 2022, including 62 Cantonment Boards. It has led to healthy competition among cities to improve their performance on sanitation parameters thereby improving sanitation services delivery to the citizens.
Explained: Discovery of a primitive forest at the bottom of a giant sinkhole in China
Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What is retinoblastoma, the common eye cancer in children? published in Indian Express on 24th May 2022.
What is the News?
A cave exploration team has discovered an ancient forest at the bottom of a giant karst sinkhole in Leye County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.
About the new findings
The sinkhole volume exceeds 5 million cubic meters. Given these dimensions, the sinkhole can be categorised as a large sinkhole. In Mandarin, giant sinkholes are called Tiankeng or “heavenly pit”.
The sinkhole has three big caves in the walls and its bottom has a well-preserved primitive forest with trees nearly 40 metres high.
What are sinkholes?
Sinkholes are depressions formed in the ground when layers of the Earth’s surface start collapsing into caverns. They can occur suddenly and without warning, because the land under the surface of the Earth can stay intact for a period of time until the spaces get too big.
Formation: Sinkholes can be formed due to natural processes or human activity.
Natural process: Typically, sinkholes form in areas of “karst” terrains, where the rock below the surface of the Earth can be easily dissolved by groundwater. This process is a slow and gradual one and can sometimes take hundreds or thousands of years.
Human activities: This can happen due to broken land drains, water mains and sewerage pipes, and diversion of surface water, among other reasons.
Note: According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), karst terrain is created from the dissolution of soluble rocks, mostly limestone and dolomite. Further, they are characterised by distinctive landforms such as caves, sinkholes and springs.
Few prominent sink holes around the world:
About 20 percent of the US is made up of karst landscapes. The largest sinkhole in the US is called the “Golly Hole”, which collapsed suddenly in 1972 and is over 325 ft long, 300 ft wide and 120 ft deep.
As per NASA, karst geology covers about 13 per cent of eastern and southeastern Asia. Other sinkhole-prone areas around the world include Mexico, parts of Italy and Russia.
Front running: Sebi likely to soon initiate stringent action
Source: The post is based on the article “Front running: Sebi likely to soon initiate stringent action” published in Indian Express on 23rd May 2022.
What is the News?
Recently, there was a case of mutual fund irregularities, including front-running the AMC’s transactions. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is expected to take harsh action, which might include action against top fund house employees.
What is Front running?
Front-running is a dubious market practice in which a dealer, trader or employee gets wind of a big order for buying or selling shares that will be placed by a fund or big investor and get ‘in front’ of the trade.
Large orders usually move a stock’s price. By buying shares just before the big order hits the market and selling them once the price moves up, the front-runner pockets illegal gains from his advanced knowledge.
A reverse strategy is used with sell trades to bring down the selling prices.
What are the concerns associated with front running?
Front-running by insiders can adversely impact investors in a fund by bidding up the prices they get to buy stocks or hammering down the prices at which they get to sell.
What are the regulations against front running?
SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 2003 clearly define front-running and characterises it as a fraudulent and unfair practice. SEBI has invoked this section many times to pass orders against front-runners.
Quad pledges $50 billion package with ‘tangible benefits’ to check China
Source: The post is based on the article “Quad pledges $50 billion package with ‘tangible benefits’ to check China” published in TOI on 25th May 2022.
What is the News?
The second in-person and fourth meeting of Quad have happened recently. The leaders committed $50 billion for sustainable and demand-driven infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific and announced a Maritime Domain Awareness surveillance initiative to combat illegal fishing by the Chinese.
|Read more: Quad Leaders’ Summit – Explained, pointwise|
What are the key outcomes of Quad Summit?
Regarding terrorism: Quad leaders denounced the use of terrorist proxies and emphasised the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks, including “cross-border attacks.
Infrastructure funding: The Quad will seek to extend more than $50 billion of infrastructure assistance and investment in the Indo-Pacific, over the next five years.
This fund will be used for demand-driven infrastructure and not lead to any “unsustainable bouquet of projects”.
Launched Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP): Q-CHAMP includes a) ongoing activities under the Quad Climate Working Group such as, green shipping and ports, clean energy cooperation in clean hydrogen and methane emissions, etc. b) New cooperation in clean fuel ammonia, CCUS/Carbon Recycling, cooperation and capacity-building support to advance high integrity carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, etc.
To make Q-CHAMP tangible, Quad leaders committed to expanding programs, in support of climate actions between four countries as well as in the Indo-Pacific region.
Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative: This initiative is designed to work with regional partners to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters, and combat illegal fishing.
IMPDA will support and work in consultation with Indo-Pacific nations and regional information fusion centers in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
Established Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific: This Partnership will further strengthen the collaboration to effectively respond to disasters in the region.
Promote debt sustainability: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) faces international scrutiny for irresponsible lending. Hence, the Quad will strengthen the capacities of the countries in need to cope with debt issues under the G20 Common Framework and by promoting debt sustainability and transparency.
This is achieved through the ‘Quad Debt Management Resource Portal’. The portal consists of multiple bilateral and multilateral capacity-building assistance.
On cyber security: The Quad partners will initiate the first-ever Quad Cybersecurity Day to help individual internet users across our nations, the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond to better protect themselves from cyber threats.
|Read more: Quad Summit and its relevance – Explained, Pointwise|
Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 22nd, 2023
About Must Read News Articles: Must Read News Articles is an initiative by Team ForumIAS to provide links to the most important news articles of the day. It covers The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a certain… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 22nd, 2023
Central banks step in as Credit Suisse collapses. India must monitor channels through which crisis can permeate into domestic economy
Source: The post is based on the following articles “Credit Suisse collapse: An RBI lesson for European central banks” and “Central banks step in as Credit Suisse collapses. India must monitor channels through which crisis can permeate into domestic economy” published in the Indian Express on 21st March 2023. “US bank failures – Europe may see similar troubles… Continue reading Central banks step in as Credit Suisse collapses. India must monitor channels through which crisis can permeate into domestic economy
[Kurukshetra March 2023 Summary] Inclusive Development in Education – Explained, pointwise
For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The new reality of the twenty-first century has altered the objectives and standards of education everywhere. Inclusive Development in Education now include Information technologies, especially digital skills and literacy, have become fundamental to daily life. The teacher of the twenty-first century must be adaptable and constructive, continually raising his or… Continue reading [Kurukshetra March 2023 Summary] Inclusive Development in Education – Explained, pointwise
[Video] Prelims Rapid Revision classes to ace CSE 2023 Prelims | Program started 20th March 2023
Dear Friends, We are only few days far from UPSC CSE Prelims 2023, If you are uncertain about passing the prelims in 2023, Revise with a well-planned strategy and enhance your understanding to confidently clear the exam. We have come up with Batch-3 of Prelims Rapid Revision classes from 20th March 2023.Some of the distinguish… Continue reading [Video] Prelims Rapid Revision classes to ace CSE 2023 Prelims | Program started 20th March 2023
Women and Men in India 2022: Sex ratio improves but female participation in workforce still low
Source: The post is based on the article “Women and Men in India 2022: Sex ratio improves but female participation in workforce still low” published in Down To Earth on 21st March 2023 What is the News? The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the Women and Men in India 2022 report. What… Continue reading Women and Men in India 2022: Sex ratio improves but female participation in workforce still low
In the OROP case, CJI Chandrachud refuses to accept ‘sealed cover’: Why did he do so?
Source: The post is based on the article “In the OROP case, CJI Chandrachud refuses to accept ‘sealed cover’: Why did he do so?” published in Indian Express on 21st March 2023 What is the News? The Supreme Court has refused to accept the Centre’s “sealed cover” report on the delay in clearing the one-rank-one-pension… Continue reading In the OROP case, CJI Chandrachud refuses to accept ‘sealed cover’: Why did he do so?
IPCC AR 6 Synthesis Report
Source: The post is based on the following articles – “IPCC AR 6 Synthesis Report” published in PIB on 20th March 2023. – “U.N. panel calls for rapid action against climate change to secure a liveable future” published in The Hindu on 21st March 2023. – “India faces highest risk of climate change: IPCC” published… Continue reading IPCC AR 6 Synthesis Report
Why Finland’s installation of the world’s 1st sand battery may be a game-changer
Source: The post is based on the article “Why Finland’s installation of the world’s 1st sand battery may be a game-changer” published in Down To Earth on 21st March 2023 What is the News? Finland has installed the world’s first sand battery that can store heat from renewable energy sources for months. What is a… Continue reading Why Finland’s installation of the world’s 1st sand battery may be a game-changer
Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism in order to boost Medical Tourism in the country
Source: The post is based on the article “Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism in order to boost Medical Tourism in the country” published in PIB on 20th March 2023. What is the News? The Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for… Continue reading Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism in order to boost Medical Tourism in the country
‘City Finance Rankings, 2022’ portal goes live, MoHUA invites Urban Local Bodies to participate in the first of its kind initiative
Source: The post is based on the article “‘City Finance Rankings, 2022’ portal goes live, MoHUA invites Urban Local Bodies to participate in the first of its kind initiative” published in PIB on 20th March 2023. What is the News? The ‘City Finance Rankings 2022’ portal has been made live by the Ministry of Housing… Continue reading ‘City Finance Rankings, 2022’ portal goes live, MoHUA invites Urban Local Bodies to participate in the first of its kind initiative
Opportunity for reforms at World Bank
Source: The post is based on the article “Opportunity for reforms at World Bank” published in “Business Standard” on 21st March 2023. Syllabus: GS 2 – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. Relevance: Institute of global economic governance News: With Ajay Banga nominated to be the next World Bank president, there is… Continue reading Opportunity for reforms at World Bank
Schemes like OPS will only exacerbate the gap between richer and poorer states
Source: The post is based on the article “Schemes like OPS will only exacerbate the gap between richer and poorer states” published in “The Indian Express” on 21st March 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian economy Relevance: Issues related to fiscal federalism News: Recently, there are demands in some states to implement OPS. Some states… Continue reading Schemes like OPS will only exacerbate the gap between richer and poorer states
The wide disparities in human development
Source: The post is based on the article “The wide disparities in human development” published in “The Hindu” on 21st March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Human resources Relevance: Human development-related issues News: India is now one of the fastest growing economies globally. However, this growth has not resulted in a corresponding increase in its Human Development Index. … Continue reading The wide disparities in human development
India as a UNSC member: Concluding on a high note, in Manhattan
Source: The post is based on the article “Concluding on a high note, in Manhattan” published in “The Hindu” on 21st March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Important international institutions Relevance: About India as a UNSC member. News: India has concluded its eighth stint in the United Nations Security Council at the end of December 2022. What… Continue reading India as a UNSC member: Concluding on a high note, in Manhattan
Who’ll grade NAAC?: Complaints of wrongdoing have piled up too high. UGC & education ministry must step in
Source: The post is based on an article “Who’ll grade NAAC?: Complaints of wrongdoing have piled up too high. UGC & education ministry must step in” published in The Times of India on 21st March 2023. Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues Related to Education System Relevance: problems with National Assessment and Accreditation Committee (NAAC). News: The article… Continue reading Who’ll grade NAAC?: Complaints of wrongdoing have piled up too high. UGC & education ministry must step in
Cereal solution – Dietary shifts are slow processes, and India must let all grains grow
Source: The post is based on an article “Cereal solution – Dietary shifts are slow processes, and India must let all grains grow” published in The Hindu on 21st March 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Agriculture Relevance: challenges with promoting millets News: The PM recently inaugurated a global conference on millets. The United Nations has declared 2023… Continue reading Cereal solution – Dietary shifts are slow processes, and India must let all grains grow
We are posting 10 PM Current Affairs MCQs for today. On a daily basis, we post 10 MCQs, based on daily current affairs from PIB, The Hindu, Indian Express, DTE, TOI, and Live mint.
[Download] 10 PM Monthly Compilation | February, 2023
Hello everyone, We are posting the Monthly Compilation of the 10 pm Current Affairs Quiz –February 2023. Download using the link given below: Download The 10 PM Daily Current Affairs Quiz is focused on the current affairs of UPSC Prelims. It consists of 10 questions based on the daily current affairs. To download previous compilations – Click Here
Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 21st, 2023
About Must Read News Articles: Must Read News Articles is an initiative by Team ForumIAS to provide links to the most important news articles of the day. It covers The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a certain… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 21st, 2023
Our new trade policy must calm fears of rising import restrictions
Source: The post is based on the article “Our new trade policy must calm fears of rising import restrictions”published in Live Minton 20thMarch 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 –Economy Relevance: Issues with categorizing import News: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana. This quote holds significance in the upcoming foreign trade… Continue reading Our new trade policy must calm fears of rising import restrictions
Safety in the storm – As the requirement for capital import into India at present is low, the global tornado has modest implications for us
Source: The post is based on an article “Safety in the storm – As the requirement for capital import into India at present is low, the global tornado has modest implications for us” published in Business Standard on 20thMarch 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 –Economy Relevance: Reasons behind moderate investment and savings in India News:Volatility in global financial… Continue reading Safety in the storm – As the requirement for capital import into India at present is low, the global tornado has modest implications for us
Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida writes: Japan and India renewing a pledge
Source- The post is based on the article “Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida writes: Japan and India renewing a pledge” published in “The Indian Express” on 20th March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral groupings and agreements Relevance– India and Japan bilateral relationship News– Japan PM is visiting India for the second time. What is the importance of… Continue reading Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida writes: Japan and India renewing a pledge
Whether in Maharashtra or Jharkhand, governors are unelected – they must stay away from politics
Source- The post is based on the article “Whether in Maharashtra or Jharkhand, governors are unelected – they must stay away from politics” published in “The Indian Express” on 20th March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive Relevance– Office of governor News– In the ongoing disqualification proceedings against Maharashtra MLAs in… Continue reading Whether in Maharashtra or Jharkhand, governors are unelected – they must stay away from politics
Moving forward with a newer concept of UHC
Source- The post is based on the article “Moving forward with a newer concept of UHC” published in “The Hindu” on 20th March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Issues related to development and management of health Relevance– Issues related to universal healthcare News– The article discusses the new approach needed to ensure healthcare for all and weakness… Continue reading Moving forward with a newer concept of UHC
Slow steps to India-China border tranquillity
Source- The post is based on the article “Slow steps to India-China border tranquillity” published in “The Hindu” on 20th March 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral groupings Relevance– Border dispute between India and China News– India and China appear to be moving towards a new modus vivendi to maintain peace and tranquility along their disputed 4,000… Continue reading Slow steps to India-China border tranquillity
Controlling Fake News in India and associated challenges – Explained, pointwise
For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The spread of fake news has become a major concern in today’s digital age. Recently, a malicious disinformation campaign led to law-and-order issues in Tamil Nadu, where false claims about violence against migrant workers from Bihar were propagated through social media. Though the Tamil Nadu police responded quickly and countered… Continue reading Controlling Fake News in India and associated challenges – Explained, pointwise
Afghanistan most impacted by terrorism for fourth straight year, India ranks 13th: Global Terrorism Index
Source: The post is based on the article “Afghanistan most impacted by terrorism for fourth straight year, India ranks 13th: Global Terrorism Index” published in Indian Express on 19th March 2023 What is the News? The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report 2022 has been released. What is the Global Terrorism Index(GTI)? Global Terrorism Index(GTI) is… Continue reading Afghanistan most impacted by terrorism for fourth straight year, India ranks 13th: Global Terrorism Index
Raccoon dogs linked to coronavirus pandemic: What are these animals?
Source: The post is based on the article “Raccoon dogs linked to coronavirus pandemic: What are these animals?” published in Indian Express on 20th March 2023 What is the News? A report has suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have originated in raccoon dogs which were sold illegally at the Wuhan wet market. What are… Continue reading Raccoon dogs linked to coronavirus pandemic: What are these animals?
PM inaugurates the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference
Source: The post is based on the article “PM inaugurates the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference” published in PIB on 19th March 2023 What is the News? The Prime Minister has inaugurated the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference. What is the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference? Organized by: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development… Continue reading PM inaugurates the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference
Substrate promiscuity of fungi generated enzyme Laccase shows potential in degrading industrial dye effluents
Source: The post is based on the article “Substrate promiscuity of fungi generated enzyme Laccase shows potential in degrading industrial dye effluents” published in PIB on 20th March 2023 What is the News? Researchers from S. N. Bose National Center for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata have tested the efficacy of the laccase enzyme in degrading… Continue reading Substrate promiscuity of fungi generated enzyme Laccase shows potential in degrading industrial dye effluents
OilMin accepts all major Kirit Parikh panel recommendations on gas pricing
Source: The post is based on the article “OilMin accepts all major Kirit Parikh panel recommendations on gas pricing” published in Business Standard on 20th March 2023 What is the News? The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has accepted the main recommendations of the Kirit Parikh committee on natural gas pricing. What is the Kirit… Continue reading OilMin accepts all major Kirit Parikh panel recommendations on gas pricing
PM PRANAM scheme: States to get rewards for organic farming
Source: The post is based on the article “States to get rewards for organic farming” published in Livemint on 20th March 2023 What is the News? The Union government intends to launch a scheme — named PM PRANAM — to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers by incentivising states. How will the PM PRANAM scheme… Continue reading PM PRANAM scheme: States to get rewards for organic farming
Magellan Mission: Venus’ volcanoes may be active, show decades-old radar images
Source: The post is based on the article “Venus’ volcanoes may be active, show decades-old radar images” published in Down To Earth on 19th March 2023 What is the News? NASA Magellan spacecraft has captured images of Venus’ surface from different orbits. It found new evidence of active volcanoes on Venus. What is the Magellan… Continue reading Magellan Mission: Venus’ volcanoes may be active, show decades-old radar images
Access to facilities and basic it skills
Source: The post is based on the article “Access to facilities and basic it skills” published in The Hindu on 19th March 2023 What is the News? The National Sample Survey Office(NSSO) has released the findings of the Multiple Indicator Survey(MIS). What are the key findings of the survey? Distance to water: Over a third… Continue reading Access to facilities and basic it skills
Rush to study abroad: What the numbers say on Indian students, their countries of preference
Source: The post is based on the article “Rush to study abroad: What the numbers say on Indian students, their countries of preference” published in Indian Express on 20th March 2023 What is the News? Some 700 Indian students are facing deportation from Canada after admission offer letters provided by an immigration agency were established… Continue reading Rush to study abroad: What the numbers say on Indian students, their countries of preference
Do you know India’s geoheritage sites of Jhamarkotra and Zawar?
Source: The post is based on the article “Do you know India’s geoheritage sites of Jhamarkotra and Zawar?” published in The Hindu on 20th March 2023 What is the News? Society of Earth Scientists (SES), a group of independent researchers bridging the gap between earth science and society, organized the International Geodiversity Day in October… Continue reading Do you know India’s geoheritage sites of Jhamarkotra and Zawar?
Mark your calendars for 26th March: ForumIAS All India Prelims Simulators
Dear Friends, Preparing for the UPSC Prelims 2023 can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. ForumIAS is here to help you unlock the door to the Mains Exam with our All India Prelims Simulators. We are thrilled to announce that our first test gave students a real-time experience of the… Continue reading Mark your calendars for 26th March: ForumIAS All India Prelims Simulators
Build, But Take Care – Fast-paced highway expansion is being undermined by quality issues. This needs to be addressed
Source: The post is based on the article “Build, But Take Care – Fast-paced highway expansion is being undermined by quality issues. This needs to be addressed” published in The Times of India on 20th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints. Relevance: About India’s fast-paced… Continue reading Build, But Take Care – Fast-paced highway expansion is being undermined by quality issues. This needs to be addressed
A sweet export story: How India’s sugar shipments to the world are surging
Source: The post is based on the article “A sweet export story: How India’s sugar shipments to the world are surging” published in the Indian Express on 20th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints. Relevance: About India’s sugar shipments. News: India’s sugar shipments in 2016-17… Continue reading A sweet export story: How India’s sugar shipments to the world are surging
New species of gecko found in Gujarat named after Vindhya hills
Source: The post is based on the article “New species of gecko found in Gujarat named after Vindhya hills” published in the Hindustan Times on 20th March 2023. What is the News? Recently, a new species of naked-toed gecko (Cyrtopodion Vindhya) has been discovered in Gujarat. About Cyrtopodion Vindhya The newly discovered naked-toed gecko has been named… Continue reading New species of gecko found in Gujarat named after Vindhya hills
Difficult to allocate public fund to art and culture: Centre
Source: The post is based on the article “Difficult to allocate public fund to art and culture: Centre” published in The Hindu on 20th March 2023. What is the News? Recently, the Culture Ministry has said that it might not be “tenable” for a developing nation like India to allocate a considerable proportion of its public fund… Continue reading Difficult to allocate public fund to art and culture: Centre
Radiation exposure: Background radiation high in Kerala, but no risk, says study
Source: The post is based on the article “Background radiation high in Kerala, but no risk, says study” published in The Hindu on 20th March 2023. What is the News? A pan India survey of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) on background radiation levels has been released recently. What are the sources of radiation? Radiation results from… Continue reading Radiation exposure: Background radiation high in Kerala, but no risk, says study
[Download] Mains Marathon Monthly Compilation – February, 2023
Hello everyone, We are posting a compilation of Mains Marathon for the month of February 2023 Click on the following link to download Download About Mains Marathon Daily Mains Marathon is focused on UPSC Mains 2023. Under this initiative, we post daily 2 articles for answer writing, based on the provided Monthly schedule. For More… Continue reading [Download] Mains Marathon Monthly Compilation – February, 2023
[Download] Prelims Marathon Monthly Compilation | February, 2023
Hello everyone, Prelims Marathon is a specific initiative for UPSC Prelims 2023. The initiative covers subjects like History, Economics, Polity, Science and Technology, Geography, and Environment. Here, we are posting the compilation of Prelims Marathon for the month of February 2023. Click on the following link to download Download For daily Prelims Marathon MCQs– Click Here… Continue reading [Download] Prelims Marathon Monthly Compilation | February, 2023
[Download] Monthly Compilation of 7 PM Editorials February, 2023
Hello everyone. We are posting The Monthly Compilation of 7 pm Editorial for the month of February 2023 Click on the following link to download Download About 7 PM:- The idea behind 7 PM Daily Editorial is to give aspirants in-depth analysis of news articles from different newspapers bearing relevance to Civil Services GS Preparation. To… Continue reading [Download] Monthly Compilation of 7 PM Editorials February, 2023
Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 20th, 2023
About Must Read News Articles: Must Read News Articles is an initiative by Team ForumIAS to provide links to the most important news articles of the day. It covers The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a certain… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – March 20th, 2023
[WORKING] How to install Samsung Notes on Windows – March 2023
This post is with respect to a debate going on on the ForumIAS Community. A lot of students these days have moved to using Tablets for making notes. About 10 years ago, we saw the shift to digital – typing based apps like Evernote and One Note, and now we are seeing the shift to… Continue reading [WORKING] How to install Samsung Notes on Windows – March 2023
Safe Internet: Tech Plus Citizens – Union Home Minister argues GoI’s modern cybersecurity setup will protect the fast-growing digital economy
Source: The post is based on the article “Safe Internet: Tech Plus Citizens – Union Home Minister argues GoI’s modern cybersecurity setup will protect the fast-growing digital economy” published in The Times of India on 18th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Basics of cyber security. Relevance: About protecting India’s cyberspace. News: The increased use of digital platforms has… Continue reading Safe Internet: Tech Plus Citizens – Union Home Minister argues GoI’s modern cybersecurity setup will protect the fast-growing digital economy
HC seeks report from Gujarat govt on mining leases granted within Wild Ass Sanctuary
Source: The post is based on the article “HC seeks report from Gujarat govt on mining leases granted within Wild Ass Sanctuary” published in the Indian Express on 16th March 2023. What is the News? Gujarat High Court recently sought a report from the state government on the licenses and permissions it has granted for mining activities… Continue reading HC seeks report from Gujarat govt on mining leases granted within Wild Ass Sanctuary
World’s Fed Up US – central bank is caught napping, again
Source: The post is based on the article “World’s Fed Up US – central bank is caught napping, again” published in The Times of India on 18th March 2023. Syllabus: GS – 3: Effects of liberalization on the economy. Relevance: About US Fed policy and bank failures. News: Recently the focus of financial markets has shifted from central banks… Continue reading World’s Fed Up US – central bank is caught napping, again