9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – October 11th, 2021

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.
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Mains Oriented Articles 

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

A ‘Taiwan flashpoint’ in the Indo-Pacific

Source: This post is based on the article “A ‘Taiwan flashpoint’ in the Indo-Pacific” published in “The Hindu” on 11th October 2021. 

Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations 

Relevance: To understand the issues surrounding One China Policy. 

Synopsis: The historic rival claims of territory and independence by China and Taiwan is seeing a new turn with the US questioning the One China policy. 

Introduction 

Recently the “One China policy” of the People’s Republic of China has been challenged by the USA, though it still stands with a one-China policy. 

In 1979, the USA recognized PRC as the legitimate government in China and thereby ending official relations with Taiwan and also abrogated mutual defence treaty with Taiwan. 

Must ReadTaiwan-China conflict and India’s stand on it
The USA-China strategic ambiguity with respect to Taiwan

The USA doesn’t support the declaration of independence by Taiwan and sticks to its “one China policy”. However, it has reversed the stand of avoiding official level engagements with Taiwan. 

In March, the US Pacific commander has warned of the possible invasion of Chinese forces in Taiwan within the next 6 years to cut off US power in Asia. 

The USA has declared that it will maintain the ability to come to Taiwan’s defense though not committing itself to do so. 

China on the other hand is committed to pursuing peaceful unification of Taiwan. But China retains the right to use force if there would be a need for the same. China sees reunification as a historic task that must be completed. 

Read moreTaiwan reunification with China ‘inevitable’, says Chinese President Xi Jinping
What can be done?

The recent crystallization of “QUAD” and announcement of “AUKUS (alliance between Australia, UK, US)” is seen as a move to counter China in Indo-pacific. 

The concerned countries and international forums must ensure that the claims be settled by peace following international practices where none of the parties should act unilaterally. 

Read moreIt is time for New Delhi to review its old ‘one China’ policy stance

Terms to know:


Let HC Judges retire when SC Judges do, At 65

Source: This post is based on the article “Let HC Judges retire when SC Judges Do, at 65” published in Times of India on 8th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS 2 Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Judiciary.

Relevance: Understanding the reasons behind different retirement ages of HC and Sc judges.

Synopsis: Uniform retirement ages for HC & SC judges is required to reflect the contemporary needs.

Introduction

Today, SC is one of the prestigious institutions in India. Elevation to which is also seen as a matter of great prestige. There is a debate going on between experts to increase the retirement age of High Court (HC) judge’s equivalent to Supreme Court (SC) i.e from 62 to 65yrs.

What are the historical reasons for having different retirements ages?

Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reform set up before the 1935 act said that different retirement age was necessary to secure the services of the judges from HCs.

So, the Government of India Act 1935 established the Federal Court of India, which was the predecessor of the present Supreme Court of India. It laid down the retirement age for judges of the Federal Court at 65 years and 60 years for judges of HCs.

Why there is a difference in retirement age justified earlier?

In the opinion of Abhinav Chandrachud, an HC judge, during the age of 60 senior judges of HCs would be already in an established position. So, they would not be ready to renounce the rest of their tenure for the junior position in the newly established Federal Court.

How the government tried to increase the retirement age of HC Judges?

14th Law Commission in 1958 said that rules could be established to make it a duty for judges of HCs to accept the offer to serve at SC.

Later, the Constitutional amendment in 1963 increased the retirement age of HC judges to 62.

In 2010, another constitutional amendment bill was introduced in Parliament to increase the retirement age of HC judges from 62 to 65 but got lapsed.

What should be done?

Presently, on average, HC judges are being appointed at the age of 51. This provides them with a little over a decade before retiring.

The standing committee on the 2010 bill, pointed out that increasing the retirement age would impact both the vacancies and the high pendency of cases.

The increased retirement age will allow them to adjust according to the new position and discharge their duties for a longer duration.


GS Paper 3

India needs a carbon policy for agriculture

Source: This post is based on the article “ India needs a carbon policy for agriculture ” published in The Indian Express on 11th October 2021. 

Syllabus: GS3- Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment,  

Relevance: A carbon policy for India’s agriculture sector

Synopsis: The share of agriculture in India’s total emissions has gradually declined. However, in absolute terms emissions from agriculture have increased to a level similar to China’s. India needs to take steps to address this issue.

Introduction 

In its recent assessment report, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued “code red” to humanity as we rush towards a 1.5-degree Celsius hotter planet by 2040.

In light of this background, India needs to do more to decrease its agricultural emissions.

Must Read: IPCC 6th Assessment report – Explained, Pointwise
What is the current emission scenario in the world and of India? 

Per capita emissions: US has the highest per capita emissions (15.24 tonnes), followed by Russia (11.12 tonnes). India’s per capita emissions is just 1.8 tonnes, significantly lower than the world average of 4.4 tonnes per capita

Emission intensity: If one takes emissions per unit of GDP, of the top five absolute emitters, China ranks first with 0.486 kg per 2017 PPP $ of GDP, which is very close to Russia at 0.411 kg per 2017 PPP $ of GDP. India is slightly above the world average of 0.26 (kg per 2017 PPP $ of GDP) at 0.27 kg, while the USA is at 0.25, and Japan at 0.21. (You don’t have to remember the figures. Given here for information only)

Greenhouse gas emissions: According to the Global Carbon Atlas, India ranks third in total greenhouse gas emissions by emitting annually around 2.6 billion tonnes (Bt) CO2eq. China and US are in top positions in this case.  

Effect of weather events: As per Germanwatch, in 2021 India ranked seventh on the list of countries most affected due to extreme weather events, incurring losses of $69 billion (in PPP) in 2019.  

Sector-wise emissions: Sector-wise global emissions show that electricity & heat production and agriculture, forestry and other land use make up 50% of the emissions.

For India, the energy sector has the largest share (44%), followed by the manufacturing and construction sector (18%), and agriculture, forestry and land use sectors (14%), with the remaining being shared by the transport, industrial processes and waste sectors.

– Share of agriculture: The share of agriculture in total emissions has gradually declined from 28% (1994) to 14% (2016). However, in absolute terms, emissions from agriculture have increased to about 650 Mt CO2 in 2018, which is similar to China’s emissions from agriculture.

What are the factors behind agricultural emissions in India? 

Agricultural emissions in India are primarily from the livestock sector (54.6%) in the form of methane emissions. The reason being- 

-fermentation that takes place in the digestive system of the animals 

-use of nitrogenous fertilisers in agricultural soils (19%) which emit nitrous oxides; 

-rice cultivation (17.5%) in anaerobic conditions and, 

-livestock management (6.9%) and burning of crop residues (2.1%). 

On what lines India’s carbon policy be structured to reduce agricultural emissions? 

Carbon credits to farmers: Along with reducing emissions in agriculture, farmers should be rewarded with carbon credits which should be globally tradable.  

Better feeding practices: With the world’s largest livestock population (537 million), India needs better feeding practices with smaller numbers of cattle by raising their productivity.  

Switching to less water intensive crops: Direct seeded rice and alternative wet and dry practices can reduce the carbon footprint in rice fields. But the real solution lies in switching areas from rice to maize or other less water-guzzling crops.

-opening up corn for ethanol and rewarding farmers for this switch by making corn more profitable than paddy, can help not only reduce our huge dependence on crude oil imports but also reduce the carbon footprint.  

We need to use better alternatives of nitrogen fertilizer to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils. We need to promote fertigation (mixed with water) and subsidise soluble fertilisers. Ultimately, the government should incentivise and give subsidies on drips for fertigation.


Taxing big tech where it earn profits

Source: This post is based on the article “Taxing big tech where it earn profits” published in Indian Express on 11th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth and Development.

Relevance: Understanding the impact of Global Minimum Corporate Tax.

Synopsis: India signed a deal to enforce GMCT in India, but it has to alter its taxation system to bring respective reforms.

Introduction

India with another 135 countries agreed to enforce a pact to impose a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, and an equitable system of taxing profits of big companies in markets where they are earned. Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have not yet joined the deal.

What are the rules prescribed under Global Minimum Corporate Tax and the challenges associated with it?
Must Read: Global Minimum Corporate Tax and India – Explained, pointwise
To whom does this rule apply?

It will cover firms with global sales above 20 bn Euros ($23 billion) and profit margins above 10%. A quarter of any profits above 10% is proposed to be reallocated to the countries where they were earned and taxed there.

What are the concerns of India?

According to New York Times reports, it said that India, China, Estonia and Poland are worried that minimum tax could harm their ability to attract investment with special lures like research and development credits and special economic zones that offer tax breaks to investors.”

 According to OECD, Multilateral Convention (MLC) will “require all parties to remove all Digital Services Taxes and other relevant similar measures with respect to all companies, and to commit not to introduce such measures in the future. In this context, India may have to withdraw its digital tax or equalisation levy if the global tax deal comes through.

So India is still figuring how to balance its interests.


The many questions arising from QES data

Source: This post is based on the article “The many questions arising from QES data” published in “The Hindu” on 11th October 2021.  

Syllabus: GS3- Issues related to employment 

Relevance: To understand the issues in employment.

Synopsis: The first quarter data of QES talks about different employment statistics 

Introduction 

Recently, the Labour Bureau has released the results of the All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (QES) for the first quarter of 2021 (April to June). The Sixth Economic Census serves as the basis of the QES survey.

The survey covers establishments employing 10 or more workers in the organised segment in nine sectors. These sectors account for 85% of the total employment in establishments employing 10 or more workers as per the Sixth Economic Census (EC).

What are the key findings of this QES?

Nearly 75% of the estimated establishments employing less than 40 workers  

87.5% of the estimated workers were regular workers and just about 2.1% (12.5% in construction) were casual workers. 

Excluding health and financial services, around 24-35% of the establishments were operational from March 25 to June 30, 2020.

66-86% of estimated employees received full wages including in the construction, trade and hospitality industries. 

The report concedes a decline in the share of female workers from 31% in the Sixth EC to 29% in FQ2021.

What can be inferred from the QES Data?

The overall growth rate is incongruent with macroeconomic factors and other labour market portrayals. 

The QES provides very broad employment figures — “3 crores and 8 lakhs approximately” for FQ-2021. But due to low employment demand, cost-minimising manufacturers the statistics in QES are arguable.

What more could have been done for the report? 

At any rate, the F12021 QES must be considered as a starting point of the new data set rather than as a continuum of the Sixth EC as the Seventh EC would enable sensible comparisons. 

Like the Sixth EC, it could have collected data on social aspects like caste and religion as the pandemic would have had differential impacts on the social statuses of workers. 

Instead of five segmented employment surveys (QEP’s), the Labour Bureau can put in place a high-frequency labour market information database like most advanced economies. 


Privatisation is far more difficult than consolidation

Source: This post is based on the article “Privatisation is far more difficult than consolidation” published in Business Standard on 11th Oct 2021.

Syllabus: GS – 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources.

Relevance: To understand the issues associated with the Privatisation of PSBs.

Synopsis: The government is looking to privatise the PSBs for strengthening the banking sector. But the Privatisation of PSBs is a complex one.

Introduction

Recently, the Finance Minister mentioned that India needs more banks to match the scale of the nation’s largest lender, the State Bank of India. This is because India (Asia’s third-largest economy) is shifting to a different plane in the post-pandemic world. India also needs bigger and stronger banks to meet those challenges.

The government is readying to start consultations with the RBI to put in place a framework to screen the potential bidders of public sector banks. The process will start with the strategic divestment of IDBI Bank. But the Privatisation is far more difficult than consolidation of PSBs.

About the consolidation of Banks

The consolidation drive brought down the number of public sector banks(PSBs) from 27 to 12 in three years between 2017 and 2020. Yet, the State Bank is the lone India representative in the list of 50 largest banks globally.

What powers does the government enjoy with PSBs?

The government enjoys more powers than a majority stakeholder should in any board-run company. For example,

i) The government now has the absolute power to appoint the managing director and CEO of a public sector bank and its whole-time directors and non-executive chairman

ii) The government has the power to liquidate any bank and also for the merger of public sector banks.

iii) Under Section 8 of the Bank Nationalisation Act, the government can issue directives to the banks in the public interest after consulting with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Note: Department of Financial Services, an arm of the finance ministry, does this often without keeping the RBI in the loop.

Is divestment of PSB can lead to Privatisation of PSB?

No, Privatisation is very different from divestment. Divestment doesn’t necessarily bring the government stake below 51%. The government divests its stake in public sector undertakings to make money.

Since 1994, the government has pumped in Rs 4.51 trillion in PSBs as capital. Over the years, the government stake in many banks has been rising. For example, the government is having a 97.70% stake in Punjab & Sind Bank and 62.93% in Canara Bank. In the latest Budget also has announced Rs 20,000 crore recapitalisation in the current year.

What are the challenges in Privatising PSBs?

To pave the path for privatisation, the Bank Nationalisation Act has to be amended.

Further, the government stake needs to come down below 51%. This will ensure that the government will stop using public money to keep them alive.

Privatising the PSBs is different from other Privatisation drives. Banks can not be sold to the highest bidder, the profile of the bidder is the most important criterion for a licence to the bank. So, the potential buyers will have to meet the RBI’s fit-and-proper criteria.

In conclusion, merely bringing down the government stake below 51% will not excite the prospective bidders unless the governance norms are overhauled.


Pandora papers reveal legislative limits of preventing tax dodging

Source: This post is based on the article “Pandora papers reveal legislative limits of preventing tax dodging” published in Indian Express on 11th Oct 2021.

Syllabus: GS – 3 – Indian Economy – Issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development.

Relevance: To understand the legal issues associated with taxing Offshore Investments.

Synopsis: Pandora Papers reveal complex issues associated with offshore investments.

Introduction

Pandora Papers consist of as many as 12 million documents belonging to 14 global corporate services firms, which set up about 29,000 off-the-shelf companies and private trusts in obscure tax jurisdictions.

Must read (Only new points are covered in this article): Pandora Papers and Illegal offshore investments from India – Explained, pointwise
What are the global challenges in curbing illegal offshore investments?

Many countries have not adopted common reporting standards: The OECD introduced the common reporting standard, using which countries could partner better to exchange the financial information of their residents. Today, 110 jurisdictions are signatories to the standard.

But many countries have not signed up for this framework. For example, the United States (it employs the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA to receive information), the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

So, the tax authorities may not be able to procure substantive evidence if a country is not obligated to exchange such information.

Financial secrecy laws: The latest information from the OECD on country-by-country operations by select multinational companies reports that more than 40% of the entities are located in the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man, Bermuda and Mauritius due to their financial secrecy.

Financial secrecy laws are not only present in some island nations alone, but also in countries like the US. For example, The Tax Justice Network reports that the US ranked second in the world, before Switzerland and after the Cayman Islands, in financial secrecy. States such as Delaware and South Dakota are hotbeds for offshoring.

Proof of burden on Tax administrators: Corporate entities are treated as an entity separate from the shareholders by various tax-havens. This places the burden of proof on tax administrators to prove the transaction details. But, there are limits to traceability due to non-cooperative jurisdictions. So, it is often challenging to unveil their transactions.

What can be done?

The scale of the offshore leaks reaffirms the sense of inequality in taxation. So, holistic and all-around attack from within and outside the country is the need of the hour. Internally, for a tax system to be truly reformed, socially unacceptable tax avoidance must be made legally impermissible.


Public Finance ought to throw its weight by clean energy

Source: This post is based on the article “Public Finance ought to throw its weight by clean energy” published in Livemint on 11th October 2021.Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Relevance: Transitioning towards renewable energy (RE).

Synopsis: With the world trying to achieve the Paris climate target, there is a need to bring more financial commitments and change in policies to achieve this target.

Introduction

Solar power is now the cheapest form of electricity in history. Over 90% of power-generation capacity added around the world last year was in renewables

But to stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the world’s energy systems must transform even faster. And that needs governments and public financial institutions to stop supporting fossil fuels and instead support the clean-energy transition.

Is RE sector being adequately financed?

To meet the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s 1.5°C target, the global energy transition needs to progress 4-6 times faster than currently. Fossil fuels still supply 84% of the world’s energy and account for over 75% of global emissions.

The International Energy Agency’s ‘Net Zero by 2050’ roadmap shows that global energy systems must be fossil-fuel-free by 2040.

Yet, since Paris, G20 governments have provided more than three times more public finance for fossil fuels ($77 billion) than for renewables every year.

What favorable factors now exist in the RE sector?

Investments in RE sector have always been riddled with high upfront costs and lack of large scale adoption issues, but the situation is now changing.

Dramatic cost reduction: Wind and solar are now cheaper than new coal and gas power plants in two-thirds of the world. The dramatic cost reduction over the decade has transformed options, particularly in poor countries, where renewables-based mini grids offer opportunities to alleviate energy poverty and provide energy access.

Why investment in RE sector is necessary?

New jobs: Investment in R.E helps in creating new jobs which further drives the economic growth. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency deploying Renewable at scales could help create 42 mn jobs worldwide by 2050.

Air pollution reduction: It also helps to reduce Air Pollution.

What is the global contribution?
Various governments and organizations have made commitments to end the use of fossil fuels and to boost the use of RE sources.

G7: Members states made a commitment to cease all of their international funding for coal projects by end of 2021.

South Korea, Japan and China: These countries also agreed to stop funding coal projects overseas in spite of being the world’s largest providers of international coal financing.

Paris Agreements: More than 85 countries have submitted updated national climate pledges. This shows the trend towards higher renewable energy use and lower reliance on fossil fuels by 2030.

European Investment Bank (EIB): EIB also became the 1st multilateral bank to announce an end to all financing for fossil fuel projects by 2021. EIB also provides support to a wind farm in Africa, which provides clean and affordable energy.

UK: It provides end to new public support for overseas international fossil fuel energy projects, fully shifting investments into renewables.

What should we do?

In the upcoming COP 26 summit, the focus should be on making more commitments to align International public support fully with the Paris goals.

Government and Financial Institution should provide resources to provide cheaper, cleaner energy and to end international support for fossil fuel-based power.

To ensure that every community benefits from the transition in RE, it is important to carefully design the policies. There is a need for global solidarity where, everyone has access to necessary technologies, expertise, investment support and financial strategies.


The monetary policy of RBI has failed to walk its talk

Source: This post is based on the article “The monetary policy of RBI has failed to walk its talk” published in Live Mint on 11th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS 3 Indian Economy & Issues Relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development.

Relevance: Understanding the status of the Indian economy.

Synopsis: A disconnect between the commentary and policy action of RBI’s repo rate-setting panel could cost us dear in time to come.

Introduction

According to RBI Governor, the Indian Economy is recovering from the impact of Covid. But still, there is a need to work on inflation, so that it will remain within the targets defined.

Is the Indian Economy improving in real terms?

Yes. According to the Finance Minister, the Indian economy is on a “Sustained path of revival”. As per RBI also, indicators for Q2: 2021-22 have gained momentum. International rating agency Moody has also revised its rating outlook for India from negative to stable.

What are the present challenges of the Indian Economy?

Inflation: There are various factors linked to it like elevated global crude oil and other commodity resources, Acute shortage of key industrial components and high logistics costs etc

Measures taken by RBI during the pandemic

During the pandemic, RBI had taken various steps to infuse liquidity. RBI took steps like ending G-SAP (Government Securities Acquisition Programme) and a VRRR (variable-rate reverse repo) auction calendar, but the system still has surplus liquidity.

During the pandemic, the RBI widened the repo rate to 65 basis points from 25 basis points. RBI also infused 2.37 trillion dollars of liquidity into the economy.

What should be done?

Recently, the RBI ended the G-SAP. But ending G-SAP alone is not enough. The economy with high liquidity today can lead to a high rate of interest tomorrow, so the RBI has to take enough steps to prevent it. The measures adopted during the time of pandemic need to change, evolve as the economy unfolds.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Heatwave occurrences increasing in India, occurring in new regions: study

What is the news? 

A recent analysis by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology(DST) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES), has found a spatial shift of heatwaves in India. With this shift weather events are now occurring in new regions in the country. 

About the study

The study has looked at temperature data from the India Meteorological Department, spanning 65 years from 1951-2016, to assess the monthly, seasonal, decadal and long-term trends in heatwaves in the country.  

What are the key findings of the study?

The study has found a warming pattern over northwestern and southern India, while a progressive cooling phase over northeastern and southwest regions of the country. 

The study found three prominent heatwave prone regions — northwestern, central, and south-central India, with the highest being in west Madhya Pradesh (0.80 events/year). 

The study has also found a significant decrease in heatwaves over the eastern region, that is Gangetic West Bengal (−0.13events/year).

The study has also found severe heatwave events have shown a “southward expansion and a spatial surge during the decades of 2001–2010 and 2010–2016”. The increase in heatwaves in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are particularly significant and will increase in the future.

What is Heatwave? 

A Heat Wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature, that occurs during summer. 

Read more: What is Heatwave? 

Source: This post is based on the article “Heatwave occurrences increasing in India, occurring in new regions: study” published in “Indian Express” on 11th October 2021. 


Gati Shakti master plan: DPIIT to monitor, implement infra projects

What is the news? 

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) would become the nodal agency for monitoring and implementation of all infrastructure projects under PM GATI SHAKTI PLAN. 

In line with the Gati Shakti plan, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has finalised a blueprint for setting up multi-modal logistics parks, in collaboration with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). 

What is PM Gati Shakti Master Plan? 

This is a master plan expected to boost infrastructure building by integrating key modes of transportation road, rail, air, waterways, thereby reducing logistics costs. 

It is a 100-lakh crore national infrastructure master plan. It aims to make a foundation for holistic infrastructure and give an integrated pathway to our economy. 

Read more: PM Gati Shakti Master Plan 

Earlier status of PM Gati Shakti Master Plan

Till now, the government’s policy think tank, NITI Aayog, and department of economic affairs were the key bodies to spearhead the overall infrastructure project implementation, apart from individual ministries handling their respective projects. 

Other key initiatives to the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan

An online portal would be launched that would integrate the existing portal and data of key infrastructure ministries. It will provide real-time access to information and data on various infrastructure projects and help in better coordination among ministries. 

NHAI would act as the nodal agency for these logistics parks and work in association with the state government and various state agencies for the execution of these warehousing facilities. 

These multi-modal logistics facilities would be exe­cuted on a public-private partnership, with a project com­p­letion timeline of two years. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Gati Shakti master plan: DPIIT to monitor, implement infra projects” published in “Business Standard” on 11th October 2021. 


Remembering Jayaprakash Narayan, the people’s hero

Source: This article is based on “Remembering Jayaprakash Narayan, the people’s hero” published in Indian Express on 9th October.

What is the news?

Recently biography of JP Narayan – The Dream of Revolution, authored by Bimal Prasad and Sujata Prasad, was released. It is an excellent account of his life, containing details about the various stages of his evolution.

Who is JP Narayan?

He was born on 11th October 1902 in Sitabdiara, Bihar. He is also known as “Lok Nayak”. People also affectionately called him JP. He was a freedom fighter and one of the pioneers of the socialist movement in India. He was a man of great intellect and ethical values and standards.

What were the contributions of JP Narayan?

He worked relentlessly for the poor and the underprivileged and became a symbol in the fight against corruption, anti-democratic conduct. He fought against the repressive practices of Indira Gandhi’s government in the 1970s. Furthermore, he also created support for the Bhoodan movement.

How did JP evolve as a leader?

JP’s life can be studied under various phases. His formative years were the ones where he evolved as a political leader. He then turned to socialism. He also waged a guerrilla struggle against the British in the Terai region of Nepal. 

However, his life had a transition from socialism to Sarvodaya. This also led to the initiation of the Total Revolution.

What is Total Revolution?

It is a revolution against Indira Gandhi Regime, as she was found guilty of violating electoral laws by the Allahabad High Court. JP advocated a program of social transformation which he termed ‘Sampoorna Kranti’ (total revolution) in 1974 against corruption in public life.

This resulted in the defeat of the Indira Gandhi government in 1977 and the installation of the first-ever non-Congress government at the Centre. 

What is so great was his stature, the position of Prime minister or President was within his reach, but he chose to work for the people at the grassroots level. This made him a true Lok Nayak.

Awards and recognitions

Jayaprakash Narayan was posthumously conferred with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1999.


MULTILATERAL MARITIME EXERCISE MALABAR 2021 – PHASE II IN BAY OF BENGAL 12 – 15 OCT 21

What is the News?

The Indian Navy(IN) would be participating in the Second Phase of the 25th edition of the Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar to be conducted in the Bay of Bengal.

What is Exercise Malabar?

Exercise Malabar is a multilateral war-gaming naval exercise that was started in 1992.

The exercise began as a bilateral exercise between the navies of India and the United States.

From 2002 onward, the exercise has been conducted every year. Japan and Australia first participated in 2007. Since 2014, India, the US and Japan have participated in the exercise. In 2020 Australia too joined the Malabar Exercise.

What is the aim of the exercise?

The exercise is aimed to support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remains committed to the rules-based international order.

Other Exercises between India and Participating Countries of Malabar exercise
Exercises between India and Japan

Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN- It is an annual joint military exercise between Indian and Japan from 2018.

SHINYUU Maitri– It is a joint exercise between the Indian Air Force and the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF).

Exercise JIMEX– The exercise is an annual Naval Exercise between Indian and Japanese naval forces.

Read more: Bilateral exercises: JIMEX and EXERCISE MITRA SHAKTI
Exercises between India and Australia

Exercise AUSINDEX: It is a bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australian Navies. 

Exercise Pitch Black: It is a biennial multilateral air combat exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force(RAAF) since 1981.

Exercises between India and the US

Yudh Abhyas- It is a joint military exercise between India and the US.

Tiger Triumph- It is a tri-service military exercise between India and the US.

Vajra Prahar: It is a Special Forces joint military training exercise conducted alternately in India and the US since 2010.

Source: This post is based on the article ”MULTILATERAL MARITIME EXERCISE MALABAR 2021 – PHASE II IN BAY OF BENGAL 12 – 15 OCT 21” published in ‘PIB’ on 10th October 2021


Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Dr. L. Murugan inaugurates RAS established under PMMSY at Awantipor

What is the News?

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has inaugurated the Recirculatory Aquaculture Systems (RAS) technology for the culture of rainbow trout in the private sector under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana(PMMSY)

What is Recirculatory Aquaculture System(RAS) Technology?
RAS
Source: Blue Ridge Aqua Culture

This method is used for high- density culture of various species of fish, utilizing minimum land area and water. 

Under the Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) technology, water is recycled and reused after mechanical and biological filtration and removal of suspended matter and metabolites.

How RAC is different from other methods?

It is an intensive high-density fish culture, unlike other aquaculture production systems. In the traditional method, the fish is grown in open ponds and raceways. But, in RAS the fishes are typically reared in indoor/outdoor tanks in a controlled environment. 

What are the advantages of this method?

The RAS method has many advantages. Such as

i) Extended durability of tanks and equipment,

ii) Reduced dependency on antibiotics and therapeutants hence, an advantage of getting high-quality fish.

iii) Reduction of direct operational costs associated with feed, predator control and parasites.

iv) Risk reduction due to climatic factors, disease and parasite impacts

v) RAS production can promote flexibility in terms of location for farming, proximity to market.

What are the disadvantages of this method?

A constant uninterrupted power supply is required if electric power fails, then a backup of electricity is required.

The capital cost of starting a recirculating aquaculture system is high as compared to ponds and raceways. 

Source: This post is based on the articleUnion Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Dr. L. Murugan inaugurates RAS established under PMMSYpublished in ‘PIB’ on 10th October 2021. 


Padma Vibhushan Dr. Teejan Bai inspires mentees and mentors of GOAL program of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook India

What is the News?

Dr. Teejan Bai, a Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardee addressed the Mentees and Mentors of the GOAL program as part of the Inspiration Masterclass on GOAL Program.

What is the GOAL Program about?

Going Online as Leaders(GOAL) Program was launched by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Facebook in 2020.

Aim: To provide skilling for tribal youth with a focus on enabling digital presence in addition to strengthening core skills to drive their professional-economical upliftment. 

What are the key features of the GOAL Program?

Firstly, the program intends to upskill and empower 5,000 tribal youths over the course of the next five years. They will be trained to harness the full potential of digital platforms and tools to learn new ways of doing business, explore and connect with domestic and international markets. 

Secondly, it is designed to provide mentorship to tribal youth through digital mode and envisages to act as a catalyst to explore the hidden talents of the tribal youth. This will help in their personal development as well as contribute to the all-around upliftment of their society.

Thirdly, as part of the program, in addition to the core classes, fortnightly expert sessions are also organized wherein distinguished leaders and experts from various fields are invited to interact with the mentees of the GOAL Program. They will guide the mentee’s development through personal and professional experiences.

Source: This post is based on the articlePadma Vibhushan Dr. Teejan Bai inspires mentees and mentors of GOAL program of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook Indiapublished in ‘PIB’ on 10th October 2021. 


Palk Bay scheme to get a fillip: Murugan

What is the News?

The Union Government is considering increasing the unit cost of deep-sea fishing vessels to make them more attractive to fisherfolk. At present, the Palk Bay scheme covers fishing vessels up to Rs 80 Lakh. The government is considering to increase this amount to Rs 1.3 Cr.

What is the Palk Bay Scheme?

Palk Bay Scheme is also known as Scheme for Diversification Of Trawl Fishing Boats From Palk Straits Into Deep Sea Fishing Boats.

The scheme was launched by the Government of India in 2017 as a Centrally sponsored scheme.

What are the objectives of the scheme?

Firstly, it is a Tamil Nadu-specific scheme aimed at providing 2,000 vessels in three years to fishermen of the State and motivating them to abandon bottom trawling.

Must read: India-Sri Lanka Maritime dispute – Explained

Secondly, it aims to reduce fishing pressure around the proximity of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) so that Tamil Nadu fishermen do not cross the IMBL and fish in Sri Lankan waters.

What is the funding Pattern of the Scheme?

Under the scheme is the Centre is providing 50% cost of the fishing vessel, the State government is providing 20% cost and the 10% cost will be the Institutional funding. The beneficiary will put the remaining 20% for the vessel.

The Scheme is limited to vessels costing up to Rs. 80 Lakh.

What is Bottom Trawling?

bottom trawling

It is an ecologically destructive fishing practice. It involves trawlers dragging weighted nets along the seafloor.

The major problem in bottom trawling is Bycatch (captures juvenile fish and other non-targeted fish species). This will cause great depletion of aquatic resources and affect marine conservation efforts.

Source: This post is based on the articlePalk Bay scheme to get a fillip: Muruganpublished in ‘The Hindu’ on 08th October 2021. 

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