9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – May 30th, 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

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

China’s ‘inevitable’ global dominance

Source: The post is based on an article “‘China’s ‘inevitable’ global dominance” published in The Hindu on 30th May 2022.

Syllabus: GS2 India and its Neighbourhood relations

Relevance: To understand China’s standpoint on India.

News: A recent book titled “How China Sees India and the World.” explained how China is moving towards their global dominance.

What is the development of India-China relations?

Deng Xiaoping declared that there could not be an Asian Century without India and China growing together and playing a resurgent role.

During the visit of the Indian Prime Minister in 2003, a few important decisions were taken. a) The two countries agreed to seek an early political solution to the India–China border dispute, b) Regular negotiations at the level of Special Representatives of their respective leaders, and c) China recognized Sikkim as the State of India. (Earlier China continued to depict it [Sikkim] as an independent country).

In 2005, Chinese Premier’s visit to India, China arrived at a consensus on the following issues to balance India’s civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S. These include,  a) Accepted China was not a threat to India and India was not a threat to China, b) There is enough space for simultaneous growth of both India and China in Asia, and c) Agreed India was an economic opportunity for China and vice versa.

Thus, India-China relations have acquired a global and strategic dimension.

Read more: Decoding dragon: GoI should upgrade strategic thinking on China
What is the growth trajectory of China and India?

Till 2000s: India and China were roughly at the same economic level in 1978, with similar GDP and per capita income. Though China began to grow much faster thereafter, the gap between the two countries was not very significant even a decade later.

The 1991 Economic reforms and liberalisation policies in India expanded India’s political and economic profile.

After the 2000s: In the period 2003–2007, India’s growth rate accelerated while China’s began to slow down. This was the brief period when India’s diplomatic options multiplied.

In this period, India was able to leverage the advance of its relations with one major power to promote its relations with other major powers, thereby expanding its strategic space.

After the 2008 financial crisis: The asymmetry between the U.S. and China began to shrink but the asymmetry between India and China began to expand.

China has maintained the same rate of growth as India, but on a much larger base than India. This created an asymmetry of power between India and China.

Read more: A missed chance for Indo-China relations 
What are the potential impacts of growth asymmetry between India and China?

1) China showing less sensitivity to India’s interests, 2) Increased economic and political penetration of the Chinese economy in India’s peripheral countries, 3) lower threshold of tolerance to closer relations between India and the U.S., For instance, China mentions the Quad as a constraining factor of China in the Indo-Pacific, 4) Indirectly pointing India should accept a diminished ranking compare to China. For instance, Chinese scholars often mentioning China’s economy was five times the size of India.

Read more: Clear signals: On India-China ties and the new global currents

Overall, China at present considers that the U.S. is a declining power with its credibility being eroded. More importantly, the U.S.’s power to implement decisions has also diminished. Therefore, asserts the allies and partners of the U.S. cannot count on U.S. power to deter China.


The health of adolescent girls is a vital aspect of our growth story

Source: The post is based on the article “The health of adolescent girls is a vital aspect of our growth story” published in Live mint on 30th May 2022.

Syllabus: GS2 mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Relevance: To understand the challenges faced by adolescent girls and its solutions.

News: According to the UNICEF, 23 million girls drop out of school every year when they start menstruating, and 102 million girls are married off before the age of 15 in India. Further, 54.1% of adolescent girls, aged 15-19, are anaemic, with a slightly higher incidence in rural areas.

Read more: State of adolescent learning
What are the potential challenges faced by adolescent girls?

An inter-generational cycle of poverty: When an anaemic teen girl gets drop-out of school and becomes a teen mother, most likely with an infant with higher morbidity. It is worse if she delivers a girl child. She will have no voice against domestic violence, and discrimination and have a lack of opportunity for her and her daughter. Thus, the vicious cycle of poverty is inherited by the next generation.

Government schemes focus on welfare alone: The government has launched various flagship programmes, such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Poshan Abhiyaan and Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram. These programmes focus on the education and health of girls and women. However, the focus of most schemes remains largely on welfare and not on sustainable solutions.

Entrapment in multiple channels: The government offers many schemes and beneficial programmes, beneficiaries usually get stuck and are not able to avail what has been constructed for their benefit.

For instance, Women’s reproductive health and access to micronutrients resides with the National Health Mission, vocational skilling with the district’s skilling centre, and education with the education department.

Read more: Why should India invest in its adolescent population? New study has an answer
What should be done to address the challenges faced by adolescent girls?

Create sustainable solutions: The government must build collaborative, multipronged approaches to address deep-rooted mindsets and discriminatory societal norms.

Hyper-local role models: Various non-government organizations are innovating ways to address gender discrimination and create role models for local young women to spark a mindset change within communities. Hence, the government need to promote hyper-local role models.

Increase the participation of men: Men who want to come forward need to emerge within local communities as advocates of a woman’s fundamental rights. So that young women emerge with their support.

Conduct adequate research: Research forms the bedrock of behaviour change programmes. The government and not-for-profit players can leverage research for behaviour transformations across India and implement focused interventions at the last mile.

Read more: Challenges faced by Teen Age Girls in India

India needs to change the deep-rooted practices that act as barriers to empowering adolescent girls. Because by empowering adolescent girls, an entire nation can be empowered within this decade.


Building peace and prosperity with strong BRICS

Source: This post is based on the article “Building peace and prosperity with strong BRICS” published in The Hindu on 30th May 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations – International Groupings and Organizations

Relevance: BRICS and related issues

News: Recently, the BRICS Foreign Ministers issued a joint statement at a virtual meeting. And the first dialogue of Foreign Ministers between BRICS and emerging markets and developing countries was held.

The BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting indicated that BRICS countries will strengthen solidarity and cooperation in the face of challenges with firm conviction, and take real actions to promote peace and development, and uphold fairness and justice.

What the BRICS countries should aim for in the future?

Universal security: BRICS countries should be builders of universal security. Cold-war mentality and bloc confrontation pose grave threats to world peace and security. Seeking one’s own security at the expense of others’ will only create new tensions and risks. It is important a) to respect and guarantee the security of every country, b) replace confrontation and alliance with dialogue and partnership, and c) promote the building of a balanced, effective and sustainable regional security architecture.

Strengthen mutual trust: BRICS countries need to strengthen political mutual trust and security cooperation, maintain communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, respect each other’s sovereignty, security and development interests, oppose hegemonism and power politics, and work together to build a global community of security for all.

BRICS countries should enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation in supply chains, energy, food and financial resilience, foster an open world economy and create a favourable environment for common development.

Cooperation in health: BRICS countries should be pioneers of cooperation in COVID-19 pandemic management. India’s vision of ‘One Earth, One Health’ also contributes to multilateral cooperation on public health. BRICS countries should fully leverage their respective strengths, and jointly promote the development of global health governance in a direction in favour of developing countries. Following measures need to be taken: a) BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center should be put to good use, b) establish a BRICS early warning mechanism for preventing large-scale infectious diseases, and c) provide high-quality public goods for global health governance cooperation.

Leadership in global governance: BRICS countries should be leaders of global governance. Global challenges can be resolved by coordinating global actions. BRICS countries should firmly embrace a global governance philosophy centered around extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, enhanced unity and cooperation with emerging markets and developing countries.

BRICS plus cooperation model: All parties to the Foreign Ministers dialogue support and advocate the ‘BRICS plus’ cooperation model, which is a platform born for cooperation and thrives on development. ‘BRICS plus’ cooperation need to be explored at more levels, in more areas and in a wider scope.


Deepening strategic commitment

Source: This post is based on the article “Deepening strategic commitment” published in The Hindu on 30th May 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations – International Groupings and Organizations

Relevance: QUAD and related issues, Indo-Pacific security and prosperity

News: The Quad (the U.S., India, Japan and Australia) held its second in-person leaders’ summit in Tokyo on May 24.

It has emerged stronger and clearer in its strategy and goals for the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.

The efforts by the Quad countries should be viewed not only from the prism of the summits, but also from the wider context of international developments and the continuing process of consolidation of the bilateral relations within, especially U.S.-India ties.

Has Russia-Ukraine war impacted the Indo-Pacific region?

No.

Some experts feared that India’s stance on Russia might impact the Indo-Pacific regional dynamics, particularly Indo-US ties, but it hasn’t. It seems that U.S. has understood India’s nuanced position on Ukraine and has chosen to refocus on China’s strategic game in the region.

India and the U.S. agreed to disagree on Ukraine, but showed full readiness to further strengthen the Quad and their bilateral cooperation, which, U.S. President Joe Biden said, he was “committed to making…among the closest we have on Earth.”

With China, the US President has moved beyond the traditional U.S. stance of ‘strategic ambiguity’ and referred to Ukraine to stress that China’s armed action against Taiwan would be unacceptable and attract a military response.

How is China critical to QUAD?

The central driving force of the Quad is to counter China’s growing expansionism and belligerence.

The grouping has defined the most important reason for its existence without ever using the word ‘China’.

This was best reflected in the ‘Quad Joint Leaders’ Statement’ which reads, “We reaffirm our resolve to uphold the international rules-based order where countries are free from all forms of military, economic and political coercion.”

Thus, China is not only the glue that holds the Quad together; it is also the fuel that may, through Beijing’s bad behaviour in the future, drive the grouping’s inner consolidation, as shown by an expanding agenda.

Major points of QUAD agenda

The Quad agenda now covers nine sectors: 1) vaccine partnership and health security, 2) climate action, 3) critical and emerging technologies, 4) cooperation on infrastructure, 5) cybersecurity, 6) space cooperation, 7) education and people-to-people ties, 8) maritime domain awareness, and 9) humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The Quad claims to have established “a positive and practical agenda” in year one; in year two, it will focus on “delivery.”

What are the commitments made at the QUAD’s Tokyo summit?

The promise of making available at least one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to Indo-Pacific countries has fallen short.

Excluding what the Quad countries contributed to COVAX, just 25% have been delivered to the region so far. This needs to be expanded rapidly.

On infrastructure – A new commitment was made at Tokyo for the Quad to extend over $50 billion in investment and assistance to the Indo-Pacific countries over the next five years. While the focus is on the ASEAN countries and the Pacific Island States, a part of this funding should perhaps reach the Indian Ocean region too, with its touch points in Africa.

The Common Statement of Principles on Critical Technology Supply Chains is significant, as it concerns cooperation on semiconductors.

Ambitious IPEF: Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was launched a day earlier. The plan is to prepare their economies for the future by conducting negotiations on the pillars of trade; supply chains; tax and anti-corruption and clean energy; decarbonisation and infrastructure.

How India is asserting its strategic autonomy?

India’s constructive participation in the Tokyo summit and agreement to join IPEF demonstrated commitment to strengthening its strategic partnerships in order to push back China’s dominance.

At the same time, New Delhi has agreed to the expansion of BRICS membership. This simultaneous engagement with the Quad and BRICS reflects New Delhi’s strategic autonomy.

Way forward

India’s presidency of the G20 in 2023 and the likelihood of India hosting the Quad summit in 2024 will ensure that it follows a calibrated policy and stays on track, as every major step will attract international attention.


Absolution: On need to compensate for unlawful arrests

Source: This post is based on the article “Absolution: On need to compensate for unlawful arrests” published in The Hindu on 30th May 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: Regarding compensation for Unlawful arrests in India

Context: Several procedural lapses were made during the investigation of the Aryan Khan drugs case by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

In light of such lapses and to protect the rights of those jailed during the process, India needs a law to make compensation for unlawful arrest a statutory right.

What lapses were made by the NCB?

The lapses include failure to video-graph the search of the ship, not conducting a medical examination to prove consumption, and examining Mr. Khan’s phone and reading messages on it without any legal basis.

Is there any provision for compensating a unlawfully arrested person?

India does not have a law on the grant of compensation to those maliciously prosecuted.

However, Constitutional courts do exercise their vast powers sometimes to award monetary recompense; the remedy of a civil suit is also available in law, but it is time-consuming.

Currently, Section 358 of the Cr.P.C. provides for a paltry fine to be imposed on a person on whose complaint a person is arrested without sufficient grounds.

What is the way forward?

The NCB has to re-examine its priorities. It is an elite agency in the fight against international trafficking in narcotic and psychotropic substances. Its primary focus ought to be on trans-national smuggling networks, while the job of pursuing drug peddlers and raiding rave parties must be left to the local police.

While strict disciplinary action is warranted if any officer is found involved in ‘fixing’ someone, it is also time that the Government came out with a legal framework for compensating those jailed without proof. The Law Commission of India has recommended enactment of a law to make compensation an enforceable right.

Existing CrPC provisions should be expanded to cover just compensation by the state for unnecessary arrests.


Reservation in public employment

Source: This post is based on the article “Reservation in public employment” published in The Hindu on 30th May 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Polity, Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: Reservation and related issues

Context: The jurisprudence of reservation relies on the symbiotic coexistence of constitutionally guaranteed equality of opportunity in public employment under Article 16 (1) and classifications thereunder various clauses of the same article, especially Article 16(4) and Article 16 (4 A).

These are facilitating provisions, vest a discretion on the government to consider providing reservations for the socially and educationally backward sections of the society and to provide reservation in promotion to SCs and STs, respectively.

Is reservation a fundamental right?

No. Reservation is not a fundamental right.

Mukesh Kumar and Another vs State of Uttarakhand & Ors. 2020: It is a settled law, time and again reiterated by the Supreme Court, that there is no fundamental right to reservation or promotion under Article 16(4) or Article 16(4 A) of the Constitution, rather they are enabling provisions for providing reservation, if the circumstances so warrant.

However, these pronouncements in no way understate the constitutional directive under Article 46.

  • Article 46 mandates that the state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Reservation in employment

Reservation in employment which was otherwise confined to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes got extended to OBCs as well on the basis of the recommendations of the 2nd Backward Class Commission as constituted, headed by B.P. Mandal.

The recommendation of Mandal Commission (1980) to provide 27% reservation to OBCs in central services and PSUs, over and above the existing 22.5% reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, was sought to be implemented by the V.P. Singh Government in 1990.

What are some other important judgements and statutes regarding the issue of reservation?

Indira Sawhney judgement (1992):

In the judgment, a nine-judge bench upheld the constitutionality of the 27% reservation but put a ceiling of 50% unless exceptional circumstances warranting the breach, so that the constitutionally guaranteed right to equality under Article 14 would remain secured.

The Court declared that Article 16(4) is not an exception to article 16(1), rather an illustration of classification implicit in article 16(1). While Article 16(1) is a fundamental right, Article 16(4) is an enabling provision.

Further, the Court directed the exclusion of creamy layer by way of horizontal division of every other backward class into creamy layer and non-creamy layer.

The Constitution (Seventy-seventh Amendment) Act, 1995

In Indra Sawhney Case, the Supreme Court had held that Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India does not authorize reservation in the matter of promotions. However, the judgment was not to affect the promotions already made.

By the Constitution (Seventy-seventh Amendment) Act, 1995, Article 16(4-A), was inserted to provide that “nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes which, in the opinion of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State”.

Later, two more amendments were brought, one to ensure consequential seniority [Article 16(4 A)] and another to secure carry forward of unfilled vacancies of a year [Article 16(4 B)]

The Constitution Bench Judgment in M. Nagaraj (2006)

A five-judge bench of Supreme Court declared the 1995 amendment as not vocative of basic structure of the Constitution, but laid down certain conditions.

For more – Click here

Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta (2018) – Read here

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019

The 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), other Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward classes for government jobs and admission in educational institutions is currently under challenge before the Supreme Court which has referred the same to a constitution bench.

The verdict in this regard can turn out to be a critical milestone in the jurisprudence of reservation as traditional understanding of backwardness is broadened to specifically include economic backwardness without social backwardness as is traditionally seen.

Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs Chief Minister (2021)

Despite the Indra Sawhney ruling, there have been attempts on the part of many States to breach the rule by way of expanding the reservation coverage.

The Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act 2018, (Maratha reservation law) came under challenge before the Supreme Court which referred the same to a bench of five judges and one question was whether the 1992 judgment needs a relook.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court not only affirmed the Indra Sawhney decision, but also struck down Section 4(1)(a) and Section 4(1)(b) of the Act which provided 12% reservation for Marathas in educational institutions and 13% reservation in public employment respectively, citing the breach of ceiling.


Death of data: India doesn’t know how most Indians die

Source: This post is created based on the article “Death of data: India doesn’t know how most Indians die” published in Live Mint on 30th May 2022.

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2 – Government Policies and interventions for the various sectors

Context: public policy today is heavily data-dependent. Thus the quality of data needs urgent attention.

What are the findings of MCCD report?

The 2020 report on Medically Certified Cause of Deaths (MCCD) has been released recently. The data was based on the civil registration system set up in the 19th century.

The key finding of the report is that a mere 22.5% of the 8.1 million deaths in 2020 were medically certified. However, it is still an improvement over the previous year’s 20.7%.

The state-wise data suggests that registrations are 3.4% in Bihar, 6.1% in Jharkhand, and 6.7% in MP.

Not all hospitals report data. For instance, only 30% of Tamil Nadu’s medical institutions with in-patient facilities are covered by MCCD reporting requirements.

What should be done?

All hospitals with in-patient facilities must be mandated to report MCCD. By that, it will be easier to identify key weaknesses in the registration system.

Panchayats and grassroots medical workers can then be roped in for facilitating hospital access.

GS Paper 3


Cyber safety

Source: This post is based on the article “Cyber safety” published in Business Standard on 29th May 22.

Syllabus: GS3 – Information Technology

Relevance: Cybersecurity and related issues

Context:The recent ransomware attack targeting SpiceJet has put a spotlight on one of India’s biggest cyber-vulnerabilities.

Why India needs to strengthen its cybersecurity architecture?

Both government services and private sector businesses have moved en masse into the digital space, and their efforts have been embraced enthusiastically by India’s 780 million broadband users.

This means millions of Indian websites gather sensitive data, with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) processing close to 5 billion transactions per month. Many of these apps and websites, and the databases at their back-end, are insecure.

All are juicy targets because they contain huge amounts of sensitive personal data.

Moreover, reports by various global IT security providers confirm that India is a favourite destination for digital bad actors.

It is believed to be the third-largest nation in terms of being the target of attacks. Known victims include Air India, SpiceJet, sundry logistics and shipping services, power utilities, and banking and health care sites.

According to the cybersecurity company Trellis, ransomware attacks targeting India jumped by 70% year-on-year in the fourth quarter (January-March 2022). In a large majority of known cases, human error allowed initial entry and exploitation.

How does a ransomware work?

Ransomware injects malicious code that encrypts the website and locks the owner out.

Then the bad actor demands ransom payment to decrypt and allow the owner access again.

During this process, the data available may also be copied, which creates new potential targets.

What are the challenges involved?

A complicated legal situation: The legal situation is complicated because India doesn’t have a private data protection law, which means redress for the victims may be unavailable.

Under-reporting: As, no service provider, government or private, wishes to suffer the loss of credibility that’s involved in being publicly hacked, it means under-reporting.

What is the way forward?

There are many things organisations may do to make themselves less vulnerable –

a) Secure data, whether it’s stored on the cloud or on their own servers.

b) Identify and firewall the sensitive parts of their networks from the customer-facing bits.

c) Ensure that access to the sensitive parts is controlled by multi-factor authentication.

d) Ensure that internal communications, and transactions with sensitive information, are end-to-end encrypted.

e) Actively probe their own networks for possible vulnerabilities.

f) Build in redundancy, so that if their servers are attacked by ransomware, they can rapidly reload necessary systems and data.

Above all, the stakeholders in the Indian digital ecosystem need to educate users and employees about cybersecurity. This has to be a cooperative process involving many private and government organizations, and it should be led by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.


Power for growth

Source: This post is based on the article “Power for growth” published in Business Standard on 30th May 22.
Syllabus: GS3 – Economy – Issues related to growth and development, Energy and Infrastructure
Relevance: Coal shortage in India and related issues

News: The coal shortage could worsen the power crisis in the coming months in India. According to news reports, an internal assessment of the power ministry shows the shortage could increase in the September quarter, which can lead to widespread outages.

The domestic production of coal is unable to keep pace with rising power demand.

What are the negative impacts of coal shortage?

Small businesses are suffering because of the non-availability of reliable power. Power shortage is the last thing Indian businesses, recovering from the pandemic-induced disruption, need. A continued shortage will delay the recovery and may push smaller units out of business.

What are the major issues faced by the power sector?

The trouble in the power sector is not limited to the production of power.

Poor state of the distribution companies (discoms): The state of state distribution companies, or discoms, is perhaps a bigger worry for the sustainability of the sector.

The inability of discoms to clear their dues compels the Union government to announce one package after another to bail out the sector, but nothing changes on the ground.

What has the government done to address the problem?

On coal crisis

After pushing producers to import coal, the government has now reportedly decided that Coal India will buy from overseas and distribute it to power producers.

On poor state of discoms

The government has, once again, come out with another relief package. The latest scheme, notified recently, will allow discoms to pay their dues in 48 installments.

Further, the late payment surcharge will not be imposed.

Distribution companies owe about Rs 1 trillion to generation companies. The cumulative late payment surcharge is in excess of Rs 6,800 crore.

Why the relief package for discoms might fail?

The government hopes that deferring payment without imposing an additional late payment penalty would help the discoms bring their finances in order. However, given the track record of the discoms, it is safe to argue that the scheme will not change much.

It’s worth recalling the government had announced a special liquidity scheme worth Rs 90,000 crore for discoms to help clear dues in 2020. But the dues started rising again in a few months. Even in the latest scheme, it is not clear how deferring payments will help.

If discoms are not able to clear their current payment, how will they pay past dues in addition?

Main issue with the discoms

The basic problem is that state-run discoms are unable to cover costs, which makes the business unviable.

No liquidity support or deferment of payment will help if discoms are unable to recover costs year after year.

This happens largely because state governments do not allow discoms to regularly increase power tariffs for political reasons.

Inefficiency in discoms adds to the problem.

Way forward

Higher coal prices would push up generation cost and if it is not passed on to the end consumers, it will increase risks for the entire value chain.

Therefore, in the absence of urgent systemic reforms, the power sector could become a drag on economic growth.


India’s aversion to Chinese investments and how geopolitics impacts PLI

Source: This post is created based on the article “India’s aversion to Chinese investments and how geopolitics impacts PLI” published in Business Standard on 30th May 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Indian Economy – FDI and Investments

News: Many countries are competing for the share in investments coming out of China. India is facing heavy challenges from other countries.

Countries have been trying to attract companies leaving China for various reasons. Apple has started leaving China and other companies may follow. Many South-East countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are in the race of attracting companies such as Apple, moving out of China.

Vietnam has successfully attracted Samsung to shift its mobile business from China. It now accounts for half of the smart phone outputs of Samsung.

Similarly, it has urged Apple CEO Tim Cook to step up business in their country.

Apple produced around $1.67 billion worth of phones in 2021 in India.  India accounted for 3.1 per cent of Apple’s global manufacturing base in 2021, up from 1.3 per cent in 2020.

However, issues like Covid-19-related lockdowns are prompting Apple to push its suppliers to look elsewhere to expand production.

What are the challenges India is facing in attracting investments?

Unlike other countries India has an advantage, as factories of big Taiwanese vendors of Apple Inc — Foxconn, Wistron and now Pegatron — are already running in India.

Now, to take advantage of PLI scheme, these factories are looking at threefold increase over the previous year. However they are facing challenges in expanding their capacity in India.

First, Companies require a substantial ecosystem of suppliers within the country to reduce the cost, then only they prepare to expand their capacity. This case doesn’t look possible as Chinese suppliers dominate the mobile device supply chain globally for both mobile devices, laptops and tablets.

It is only possible if Chinese supplies setup their shops in India, bringing along their technology. However, due to changes in India’s Foreign Direct Investment policy after the India-China border clashes in 2020, Chinese companies have been excluded from automatic clearance route.

China based suppliers are also looking for diversification due to increasing labor cost in China and lockdown based restrictions. A large number of Chinese companies have setup their base in Vietnam, due to lesser restrictions, similar culture and low cost.

Second, Taiwan can be an alternative of China for technology and suppliers. However they are conservative, take time in technology-sharing or transfer and are more expensive.

Third, “Atmanirbhar” drive is also not successful in challenging dominance of Chinese players in all critical supply chain.

Fourth, Building a domestic supply base is the long-term solution, but it will take time.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Digital payment facility for PLI & RPLI through IPPB Mobile Banking App & Micro-ATM launched by Secretary, Department of Posts

Source: The post is based on the article Digital payment facility for PLI & RPLI through IPPB Mobile Banking App & Micro-ATM launched by Secretary, Department of Postspublished in PIB on 30th May 2022.

What is the News?

A two day meeting of senior functionaries of the Department of Posts(DoP) and India Post payments Bank(IPPB) called AAROHAN 4.0 has been concluded.

What is AAROHAN 4.0?

It is a meeting of senior functionaries of the Department of Posts(DoP) and India Post payments Bank(IPPB).

Purpose: 1) To discuss and deliberate ways to further deepen the Financial Inclusion drive in the country, 2) To provide banking solutions to every citizen of India.

The meeting concluded with the aim to provide new innovative products for every household in the country leveraging the distribution strength of the Department of Posts combined with technology prowess & banking platform from India Post Payments Bank.

What are the initiatives launched at AAROHAN 4.0?

Firstly, Fincluvation: It is a platform for start-ups to partner with IPPB-DOP to start providing Fintech solutions at the last mile.

Secondly, a Digital premium payment facility was launched for Postal Life Insurance & Rural Postal Life Insurance through IPPB Mobile Banking App at the doorstep with the help of Gramin Dak Sevaks/ Postman and at Post Office Counters. 


INS GOMATI DECOMMISSIONED AFTER 34 YEARS OF SERVICE

Source: The post is based on the articleINS GOMATI DECOMMISSIONED AFTER 34 YEARS OF SERVICEpublished in PIB on 28th May 2022.

What is the News?

INS Gomati was decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai after 34 years of service.

What is INS Gomati?

INS Gomati was a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy.

Commissioned in: 1988

Named After: River Gomti

Built by: Mazagon Dock Ltd in Mumbai 

Operations Participated in: During her service, INS Gomati participated in Operations Cactus, Parakram and Rainbow and several bilateral and multinational naval exercises.

Awards: For her remarkable spirit and stellar contribution to national maritime security, she was twice awarded the coveted Unit Citation once in 2007-08 and again in 2019-20. 

Significance: When decommissioning, INS Gomati was the oldest warrior of the Western Fleet.


Explained: An IAS couple is transferred after a dog-walking incident; what rules govern the conduct of senior Govt officers?

Source: The post is based on the articleExplained: An IAS couple is transferred after a dog-walking incident; what rules govern the conduct of senior Govt officers?published in Indian Express on 28th May 2022.

What is the News?

A senior IAS officer and his wife were transferred from their posts in Delhi to two different places after a newspaper published a picture of the couple along with their dog walking on the tracks of a stadium at a time when young athletes should have been practising on it.

What rules govern the behaviour of high officials of the government?

The three All India Services (IAS, IPS, and Indian Forest Service) are governed by the All India Service Conduct Rules, 1968.

The other civil services are governed by the Central Civil Services (CCS) Conduct Rules, 1964.

What is the aim of these rules?

The overarching aim of these rules for civil servants is that: “Every member of the Service shall at all times maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of a member of the Service”.

For instance, the rules say that: 1) Every member of the Service shall commit himself to and uphold the supremacy of the Constitution, 2) not misuse his position as a civil servant and not take decisions in order to derive financial or material benefits, 3) act with fairness and impartiality and not discriminate against anyone, 4) refrain from doing anything which is or may be contrary to any law, rules, regulations and established practices among others.

What happens when officials claim their behaviour is dictated by the orders of their superiors?

There is a well-framed Rule about how to act on oral orders given by superiors. It says that the direction of the official superior shall ordinarily be in writing. Where the issue of oral direction becomes unavoidable, the official superior shall confirm it in writing immediately thereafter.


India joins First Movers Coalition to decarbonise carbon-heavy sectors

Source: The post is based on the article “India joins First Movers Coalition to decarbonise carbon-heavy sectors” published in Business Standard on 26th May 2022.

What is the News?

India has joined a public-private partnership initiative called First Movers Coalition.

What is the First Movers Coalition?

Launched by: President of the USA and the World Economic Forum(WEF) at COP26.

Aim: To decarbonise the heavy industry and long-distance transport sectors that are responsible for 30 percent of global emissions.

Target Sectors: The target sectors include aluminium, aviation, chemicals, concrete, shipping, steel and trucking which are responsible for 30% of global emissions. Without any urgent progress on clean technology innovation, these sectors might witness over 50% of global emissions by mid-century.


Explained: What are community forest rights, why do they matter?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What are community forest rights, why do they matter?” published in Indian Express on 27th May 2022.

What is the News?

The Chhattisgarh government has recognised the Community Forest Resource(CFR) rights of tribals living in Gudiyapadar, a hamlet inside the Kanger Ghati National Park in Bastar.

With this, Chhattisgarh has become only the second state in the country to recognise CFR rights of a village inside a national park.

What is a Community Forest Resource(CFR)?

The Community Forest Resource area is the common forest land that has been traditionally protected and conserved for sustainable use by a particular community. 

The community uses it to access resources available within the traditional and customary boundary of the village and for seasonal use of landscape in the case of pastoralist communities.

What are Community Forest Resource(CFR) rights?

These rights are recognised under Section 3(1)(i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (commonly referred to as the Forest Rights Act or the FRA).

They provide for recognition of the right to “protect, regenerate or conserve or manage” the community forest resource.

These rights allow the community to formulate rules for forest use by itself and others and thereby discharge its responsibilities under Section 5 of the FRA.

What is the significance of CFR Rights?

CFR rights along with Community Rights(CRs) which include nistar rights and rights over non-timber forest products ensure sustainable livelihoods of the community.

These rights give the authority to the Gram Sabha to adopt local traditional practices of forest conservation and management within the community forest resource boundary.

These rights also underline the integral role that forest dwellers play in the sustainability of forests and in the conservation of biodiversity.


National Facility for Gene Function in Health & Disease: what it will do, what it has

Source: The post is based on the article “National Facility for Gene Function in Health & Disease: what it will do, what it has” published in Indian Express on 28th May 2022.

What is the News?

The National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease(NFGFHD) was inaugurated in Pune.

What is the National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease(NFGFHD)?

Located at: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER),Pune.

Purpose: It is a one-of-its-kind large facility providing a timely supply of animal models to researchers studying a range of diseases from cancer to diabetes.

What was the need for this facility?

With a growing zoonotic disease burden on human health, there is an increased urgency to perform disease studies based on physiological evidence and methods. 

Since human trials alone cannot suffice for such studies, the need for having experimental setups using animal models has become imperative. 

Hence, animal, plant and microorganism-based models are now being significantly deployed to study diseases in a time-bound manner.


Explained: What is the West Nile Virus, how does it spread?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What is the West Nile Virus, how does it spread?” published in Indian Express on 29th May 2022.

What is the News?

The Kerala health department is on alert after the death of a 47-year-old from Thrissur due to the West Nile Virus.

What is West Nile Virus?

The West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne, single-stranded RNA virus. 

It is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae.

First Case: The virus was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.

— Currently, the virus is found commonly in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and West Asia.

Vector: Culex species of mosquitoes act as the principal vectors for transmission.

Source of Transmission: It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes between and among humans and animals, including birds, which are the reservoir host of the virus.

It can also spread through blood transfusion, from an infected mother to her child, or through exposure to the virus in laboratories.

Note: To date, no human-to-human transmission of WNV through casual contact has been documented.

Symptoms: The disease is asymptomatic in 80% of the infected people. The rest develop what is called the West Nile fever. In these 20% cases, the symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, rash and swollen glands. Severe infection can lead to encephalitis, meningitis, paralysis and even death.

Treatment: Treatment often involves hospitalization, intravenous fluids, respiratory support and prevention of secondary infections. No vaccine is available for humans.

Mains Answer Writing

[Download] Prelims Marathon Weekly Compilation – June, 2022 – 4th week

Hello everyone, We are posting a compilation of Prelims Marathon for the month of June 2022 – Fourth week. Click on the following link to download Download About Prelims Marathon Daily Prelims Marathon is focused on UPSC Prelims 2022. Under this initiative, we post, daily 10 MCQs, based on the provided weekly schedule. For More… Continue reading [Download] Prelims Marathon Weekly Compilation – June, 2022 – 4th week

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IFoS 2021 Results Declared – ForumIAS Student Shruti Gets Rank 1

UPSC has released the results of IFoS 2021. We are happy to share that ForumIAS Student Shruti , a student of MGP and then AWFG and also the IGP has secured Rank 1 in IFoS. This is the year, like 2018, when Rank 1 was secured by ForumIAS Students in both CSE and IFS –… Continue reading IFoS 2021 Results Declared – ForumIAS Student Shruti Gets Rank 1

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Must Read Current Affairs Articles – June 29, 2022

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 several newspapers such as The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint, etc. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – June 29, 2022

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[Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I June 27, 2022

Dear Friends, Following are answers to Mains Marathon questions, we posted yesterday. About Mains Marathon – This is an initiative of ForumIAS to help/aid aspirants in their writing skills, which is crucial to conquering mains examination. Every morning, we post 2 questions are based on current affairs. The questions framed are meaningful and relevant to the exam.… Continue reading [Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I June 27, 2022

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[Answered] India is a rich source of rare earths, but still imports. Why are they strategically important and what are the challenges India is facing in becoming self-sufficient in rare earth minerals?

Introduction: Contextual introduction. Body: Explain some points related to significance of rare earth elements. Also write some challenges which India is facing in becoming self-sufficient in rare earth minerals. Conclusion: Write a way forward. The rare earth elements (REE) are a set of seventeen metallic elements i.e., fifteen lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium. They are… Continue reading [Answered] India is a rich source of rare earths, but still imports. Why are they strategically important and what are the challenges India is facing in becoming self-sufficient in rare earth minerals?

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[Answered] What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)? Highlight the implications of India’s new VPN rules.

Introduction: Explain Virtual Private Network. Body: write some implications of India’s new VPN rules. Conclusion: Write a way forward. A virtual private network, or VPN, is an encrypted connection over the Internet from a device to a network. The encrypted connection helps ensure that sensitive data is safely transmitted. It prevents unauthorized people from eavesdropping… Continue reading [Answered] What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)? Highlight the implications of India’s new VPN rules.

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NITI Aayog Launches Report on India’s Gig and Platform Economy

What is the News? NITI Aayog has launched a report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’.  What is India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy Report? Released by: Niti Aayog Purpose: The report is a first-of-its-kind study that presents comprehensive perspectives and recommendations on the gig–platform economy in India. What are the key highlights from… Continue reading NITI Aayog Launches Report on India’s Gig and Platform Economy

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Rajasthan’s ‘bird village’ set to be declared wetland

What is the News? Menar Village in the Udaipur district is set to be notified as Rajasthan’s new wetland. This will pave the way for getting the Ramsar site status for this village. Note: At present, Rajasthan has two wetlands recognised as Ramsar sites – Keoladeo Ghana in Bharatpur district and Sambhar Salt Lake in… Continue reading Rajasthan’s ‘bird village’ set to be declared wetland

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India State Support Program for Road Safety: World Bank approves $250 mn loan for road safety

What is the News? The World Bank has approved a $250 million loan to support the “India State Support Program for Road Safety”. What is the “India State Support Program for Road Safety”? Aim: 1) To help participating states reduce road crash fatalities and injuries through improved road safety management and institutional reform and results-based… Continue reading India State Support Program for Road Safety: World Bank approves $250 mn loan for road safety

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Crisis in salt sector hits 5 lakh people in Gujarat

What is the News? The Salt Industry is facing enormous challenges in meeting the demand and handling the crisis faced by salt farmers and workers. Salt Industry in India India ranks third in the production of salt in the world next to the USA and China. Sea salt constitutes about 70% of the total salt… Continue reading Crisis in salt sector hits 5 lakh people in Gujarat

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