9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – September 12th, 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.
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 2
- India-Bangladesh ties, a model for bilateral cooperation
- The tedious process of adoption
- We need civil society engagement in Kashmir
- India-UK ties can ease an Elizabethan burden
- New paradigm: FTAs, multilateral exposure limited to supply chains, governance
- Disengagement on Line of Actual Control is a welcome start, but normalization of India-China relations is a long way off
- Tokyo-Delhi compact
- The Indian education scramble
GS Paper 3
- Profitability of apple farming: The crisis of apple farmers
- Lending Transparency
- Making In India. But How?
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
- Rajasthan launches govt’s flagship urban employment scheme
- Explained | How does a rabies vaccine work?
- Third stealth frigate of project 17A ‘Taragiri’ launched
- Coming: cyborg cockroaches to help in urban search-rescue missions
- PM inaugurates ‘Centre-State Science Conclave’ in Ahmedabad
- IRENA and Industry Leaders Launch the Alliance for Industry Decarbonization
- Union Minister takes part in the first in-person Ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum in Los Angeles
- James Webb Space Telescope captures image of near-perfect ‘Einstein ring’
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 2
Source: The post is based on the article “India-Bangladesh ties, a model for bilateral cooperation” published in The Hindu on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Relevance: About the India-Bangladesh ties.
News: The recent state visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh showcased the high stakes of India-Bangladesh bilateral ties. The latest visit resulted in seven agreements designed to increase cooperation in the diverse domains of water sharing, railways, science and technology, space, media and capacity building.
What are the recent agreements signed between India and Bangladesh?
|Read more: Mature leadership in India and Bangladesh has not let minor disagreements threaten shared interests|
a) There was the agreement “to continue close security cooperation” over counter-terrorism, border crimes, and border management, b) Both countries agreed “to build resilient supply chains” between the two countries and “across the region”.
|Read more: Kushiyara River: Delhi, Dhaka sign river pact, first in 25 years|
What are the areas of cooperation between India-Bangladesh ties?
|Read more: Recent Developments in India-Bangladesh Relations – Explained, pointwise|
What are the areas of concern between India-Bangladesh ties?
Apart from Teesta river water issue the other issues are, a) The continued presence of 1.1 million Rohingyas who fled from Myanmar in 2017 has created enormous pressure on the Bangladesh economy and social harmony. So, Bangladesh wants stronger support from India to facilitate their early return to Myanmar, b) India’s sensitivity to growing cooperation between Dhaka and Beijing, c) Despite India and Bangladesh government’s secular policy, “incidents” against the minority is a cause of worry.
Note: In the recent meeting, India made an assurance of more material assistance to support Rohingyas’ “safe, sustainable and expeditious return”.
|Read more: A lot is at stake for India-Bangladesh ties|
The cumulative and adverse impact of COVID-19 and the Ukraine war on Bangladesh’s economy is visible by escalating protests, the sharp rise in fuel prices, erosion of foreign currency reserves, and a deepening financial crisis. This might change the present regime during the parliamentary elections in 2023.
But the people should respect the present regime for being “a role model for bilateral and regional cooperation”.
Source: The post is based on the article “The tedious process of adoption” published in The Hindu on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
Relevance: About adoption procedure in India.
News: From September 1, District Magistrates (DM) have been empowered to give adoption orders instead of courts. All cases pending before courts have to be transferred.
About the recent changes in the adoption procedure
The Parliament passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 to amend the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act), 2015. The key changes include authorising District Magistrates and Additional District Magistrates to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act by striking out the word “court”.
The amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 mention, “all the cases pertaining to adoption matters pending before the Court shall stand transferred to the District Magistrate from the date of commencement of these rules.”
Note: The District Magistrates have also been empowered under the Act to inspect child care institutions as well as evaluate the functioning of child welfare committees, juvenile justice boards, child care institutions etc.
What are the concerns associated with the revised rules?
a) The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) says there are nearly 1,000 adoption cases pending before various courts in the country. Adoption cases already before courts for the past several months will have to be transferred and the process will have to start afresh, b) Many believe neither judges, nor DMs are aware about the change in the JJ Act leading to confusion in the system and delays, c) District Magistrates don’t handle civil matters that bestow inheritance and succession rights on a child. If these rights are contested when a child turns 18, a judicial order is far more secure to ensure the child is not deprived of his or her entitlements.
|Must read: Review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws report: Explained | On guardianship and adoption of minors|
What is the adoption procedure in India?
Adoptions in India are governed by two laws — the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA) and the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Both laws have separate eligibility criteria for adoptive parents.
Adoption under JJ Act: Persons have to register on CARA’s portal after which a specialised adoption agency carries out a home study report. After it finds the candidate eligible for adoption, a child declared legally free for adoption is referred to the applicant.
Adoption under HAMA: A “dattaka hom” ceremony or an adoption deed or a court order is sufficient to obtain irrevocable adoption rights. But there are no rules for monitoring adoptions and verifying the sourcing of children and determining whether parents are fit to adopt.
Note: HAMA is a parent-centric law that provides son to the son-less for reasons of succession, inheritance, the continuance of the family name and for funeral rights and later adoption of daughters was incorporated because kanyadaan is considered an important part of dharma in Hindu tradition.
|Read more: Facilitating adoption in India: Finding a home|
What are the challenges in adoption in India?
1) There are very few children in CARA’s registry (only 2,188 children). This forces many to wait for upto three years to be able to give a family to a child. This allows traffickers to take advantage of loopholes in HAMA, 2) There is also corruption and trafficking as childcare institutions and NGOs directly give children for adoption.
What should be done to facilitate adoption in India?
Empower CARA to maintain various specialised adoption agencies, a registry of children, and prospective adoptive parents as well as match them before adoption.
India should frame a “child-centric, optional, enabling and gender-just” special adoption law like in other countries.
|Read more: Panel moots district-level survey to bring more children into adoption|
Source: The post is based on an article “We need civil society engagement in Kashmir” published in The Hindu on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Development process and development industry
Relevance: problems associated with killing of Kashmiri Pundits
News: There has been increase in targeted killing of Kashmiri Pundits in the past six months. This has raised concerns over their right of return of the Kashmiri Pundits as well as the safety of minorities living in the Kashmir.
There are two types of Kashmiri Pundits – a) Migrant and b) Non-Migrant. Migrants were offered government jobs and were given high securities under return and rehabilitation of Kashmir migrants scheme. Whereas non-migrants lived on without any state protection.
But now, with the targeted killings of the Kashmiri Pundits, both feel endangered,
What are the solutions to killing of Kashmiri pundits?
There is no top-down solution to returning of Kashmiri pundits. The efforts of individuals and civil society will need to create positive conditions on the ground. Government can only enable the process.
They will have to encourage people to stop blaming each other.
Individuals or communities will have to look within themselves and build courage to acknowledge mistakes and restore trust.
What was the effort taken by Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR)?
Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR) started a Pundit-Muslim dialogue series in 2010.
The participants in this dialogue were public intellectuals and other influential persons.
These dialogues created a social environment that enabled Kashmiri Pundits to take up government postings in the Kashmir.
Participants were sharing individual experiences that were often misunderstood by other community.
Participants pointed out that interdependence was not strange to Kashmir and it was grounded in wider cultures.
The Pundit-Muslim dialogue also saw a series of conversation from both the sides and there were different points of views.
What are the grievances of both sides?
In one such discussion, participants expressed their grievances. Fo example;
Muslim participants felt the Pundits did not see the struggle of the Muslims in the Valley who faces violence from the system. The Kashmiri Muslim was always portrayed as being misguided and helped by Pakistan.
While, Pundits expressed their anger that Muslims did not protest the Pundit killings not even when the killers claimed them.
The greater responsibility lay with the Muslims as they were the majority.
A respected Kashmiri Pundit public intellectual observed that the Pundit community too had suffered from a lack of leadership.
If any senior leader has taken the issue to Muslims, then the movements Pundits from the valley could have been stopped. They would have guided the Pundits not to sell their property in a hurry.
What can be further course of action in resolving Kashmiri Pundits dispute?
There is a need of an urgent civil society engagement between communities in Kashmir.
This engagement can create confidence, restore trust and strengthen inter-community bonds.
It could also enable Pundits to fulfil their dream to return in peace and with dignity.
Source: The post is based on an article “India-UK ties can ease an Elizabethan burden” published in The Live Mint on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India
News: The article discusses India and UK relations after the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.
India and Britain trade relations exist from the Mughal era.
Even now there is discussion on the trade from the Britain side asking India to cut the duty of 150% on Scotch whisky imports.
U.K. is currently facing serious economic problems and ties with India will be of help for both the countries.
What is the current economic condition of the U.K.?
There is galloping inflation with rise in food prices.
There are problems with the energy supplies after Russia decided to reduce the gas supply.
There is an increase in cost of living with high debt burden.
However, the ties with India and can be useful in improving these situations.
What are the areas of cooperation between India and the U.K.?
India wants easy entry to skilled Indians into the U.K. even though U.K. has dropped tariffs on labor intensive Indian exports.
U.K. wishes India to grant access to British legal services market and lower import barriers to its Scotch and cars.
The other areas of cooperation between the two nations are Indian production of British defence equipment and cooperation in technology (AI and Data exchange).
Both the nations have decided to sign an early-harvest interim agreement by the end of October.
However, there has also been concern in the U.K. over buying Russia’s oil by India in spite of Western sanctions on Russia.
Source: The post is based on an article “New paradigm: FTAs, multilateral exposure limited to supply chains, governance” published in The Indian Express on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements
News: India has recently decided to stay away from trade part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). This decision has come on the backdrop of declining trade in India.
What is IPEF and why has India taken decision to stay away from IPEF?
IPEF has four pillars trade, supply chains, tax and anti-corruption and clean energy.
It is not like a regular trade agreement as the 14 members are not obligated by all the four pillars even though they are signatories of it.
India has decided to stay away from trade part of the agreement and has joined other three pillars.
What are the other problems with IPEF?
IPEF is being seen as an alternative to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
America recently decided to stay away from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and IPEF is led by America.
Therefore, IPEF is being seen as re-establishing America economic existence in the Indo-Pacific.
What are the concerns behind the withdrawal of India from the IPEF?
One of the reasons behind it, is the increase in imports from China.
Second, IPEF also does not incorporate issues such as tariff reduction or reciprocal commitments.
Third, India is looking to find a place in the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP).
Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) is an eleven-member partnership program led by the US that focuses to secure supply chains of critical minerals with an aim to reduce dependency on China.
Fourth, India is also more impacted than other countries when global trade slows down.
For example, the net exports to real GDP growth were at minus 6.2% in April-June 2022-23 even as the country’s trade deficit went low to 28.7 billion dollars in August from a record high of 30 billion dollars in the month of July.
Fifth, the trade deficit also remained high in the month of August and there are other concerns coming up in the future.
What are the future concerns for India in trade?
First, the European Union is heading towards recession.
Second, there are shipments being postponed because of the confirmed orders.
Third, inflation in the US has led to lower demand.
Fourth, there are new items added to the negative list of exports such as wheat, steel, and iron pellets. These all worsen the balance of trade situation.
Fifth, there is an estimate from the experts that Current Account Deficit could rise to 3.3 percent of GDP in FY23.
Why staying away from IPEF is not of much concern to India?
Even though India has stayed away from IPEF agreement there are other agreements with which India is looking to move forward.
The agreements are – a) trade agreements with UAE and Australia, b) a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Kingdom, and c) there are trade talks with Canada going on.
Although exports have been impacted globally there are demands for low-value products which will help India’s MSMEs.
This is a positive sign for India in the medium and long term and countries are also moving away from China because it has become costlier and less reliable.
Disengagement on Line of Actual Control is a welcome start, but normalization of India-China relations is a long way off
Source: The post is based on an article “Disengagement on Line of Actual Control is a welcome start, but normalization of India-China relations is a long way off” published in The Indian Express on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighborhood
News: Recently China and Indian forces has decided to disengage from the Gogra-Hot Springs.
This engagement has come after a series of clashes and agreements between the two nations. However, still the bilateral relations between the two countries are declining.
What are reasons for declining bilateral relation between India and China?
China surprise attack to India in April 2020 in LAC was in violation of a range of bilateral agreements negotiated by India and China.
This broke India’s political trust in China that was already weakened by the earlier military crises in the high Himalayas during 2013, 2014, and 2017.
Galwan clashes between the two sides in mid-June 2020 also saw blood shedding for the first time on the Chinese border in five decades.
What steps have been taken by India to counter China?
India has imposed a series of economic measures against China and increased its military engagements in the border.
India has also stated that the “state of the border” reflects the “state of the relationship”.
India has stepped up its security cooperation with America and restored the Quadrilateral forum with Australia, Japan, and the US.
What are the future courses of action that India can take?
India and China will meet at SCO summit in Uzbekistan. There are various points on which India would like to talk to China. They are –
First, a disengagement of the military by pulling the troops on both sides to their peace time locations.
Second, India would also want the resolution of two other points (Depsang plains in the north and the Demchok valley in the south) of conflicts in Ladakh.
However, India faces a great threat from the growing military gap with China and it is hard to return to the border that was once peaceful.
Therefore, India should be open for a political engagement with China in Uzbekistan and lay out clearly India’s terms for the normalization of bilateral relations.
Source– The post is based on the article “Tokyo-Delhi compact” published in The Indian Express on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS2- International Relations.
Relevance– About India-Japan relations.
News- The article explains the outcomes of recently held 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and Japan and other important aspects of their relations.
Recently the second India-Japan 2+2 ministerial dialogue was held in Tokyo.
What are other important developments taking place in the context of ministerial dialogue?
There is heightened tension across Taiwan strait where China installed five missiles inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
There is an increase in the defence budget of Japan to 2% and it is developing counter strike capabilities to tackle emerging threats from China and North Korea.
What are the key outcomes from dialogue?
The Joint Statement reiterates their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based global order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
A key outcome of this round of talks was the agreement to launch the Joint Service
Staff talks between the Japan Joint Staff and the Indian Integrated Defence Staff which enhance their cooperation further build on existing bilateral and multilateral exercises including “Dharma Guardian”, “JIMEX” and “Malabar” and, an earlier decision to conduct the inaugural India-Japan fighter exercise between the two air forces.
Discussion on the Ukraine issue.
They also welcomed Japan’s participation for the first time in the MILAN multilateral naval exercise.
What are the other aspects of their relationship?
There were two bilateral summits this year-the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to India in March and that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan for the Quad
Leaders’ Summit in May.
Both are celebrating the 70th anniversary of their relationship.
Modi and Abe laid a strong foundation of the relationship. PM of Japan, Kishida played an important role in developing bilateral ties in his capacity as Foreign Minister between 2012-17.
What are the potential areas of cooperation?
Cooperation in defence equipment and technology, covering areas such as Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and Robotics, where Japan has considerable strengths.
Another area of potential cooperation is in the manufacturing of drones. Japan’s largest drone manufacturer, ACSL, has already established a joint venture in India with Delhi-based Arc Ventures.
The Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services (ACSA)
between the Self-Defence Forces of Japan and the armed forces of India signed in
2020 has already been operationalised earlier this year. This paves the way for deeper cooperation between the two militaries.
Source– The post is based on the article “The Indian education scramble” published in The Business Standard on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS2- Issue related to development and management of education, human resources.
Relevance– About our education system.
News- The article explains the issues concerning our education.
There is debate among educational policymakers about teaching methodology. For example, whether a 10 years old kid must learn Newton law of motion before learning to ride a bicycle.
What are the issues related to our educational system?
First is, It was largely designed by Britishers and had greater emphasis on knowledge as something superior to skills. Regular graduate courses are seen as superior to vocational education. It is in contrast with Germany, where 75 per cent of the people in the 19-24 age group have received formal vocational education whereas in India the corresponding number is merely 5 per percent.
Second is the central role of tution. While the southern states are slightly lower in, the eastern ones have two-thirds or more school children taking tuition. There is an almost universal belief in India that private tuition is an absolute must to score well in exams. It promotes rote learning.
Third issue is related to exponential growth in edutech startups and large investment going into these ventures.
Fourth issue is the large number of coaching centers for IIT in Kota and UPSC coaching institute.
Fifth issue is related to Artificial intelligence where roughly 80% of research funding in the world is devoted to. There is a possibility that chatbots would replace 90% of jobs currently being done by professionals like doctors, lawyers and physicians, the lifeline of India’s middle class.
What are new guidelines in China related to tuition classes?
Recently, China banned private for-profit businesses from offering both online and offline tutoring classes for primary and secondary school students. These guidelines also ban
such businesses from offering classes on weekends, holidays, and summer and winter breaks.
GS Paper 3
Source: The post is based on the article “The crisis of apple farmers” published in The Hindu on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS 3 – Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country.
Relevance: About the non-profitability of apple farming.
News: Apple growers in Himachal Pradesh are protesting due to the non-profitability of apple farming.
What are the reasons behind the non-profitability of apple farming?
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Himachal Pradesh provided a lot of support to apple production. Such as setting up nurseries and giving plants to farmers on a large scale, offering a transport subsidy on cartons, providing heavy concession on tools, etc. Land reforms restricted the transfer of land to non-agriculturist of Himachal Pradesh.
But in the 1990s, with rising fragmentation of land, low productivity and withdrawal of state support, apple agriculture became unsustainable.
This resulted in a) Increasing cost of apple production, b) Input cost of fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides have risen by 300% in the last decade, c) Increase in the cost of apple cartons and trays and packaging. For example, increase in the Goods and Services Tax on cartons from 12% to 18%.
All this made farmers sell their produce to big buyers instead of selling it in the open market. The big growers have also started to shift from the conventional varieties to more genetically modified varieties called the spur, most of which are imported from European nations.
|Read more: Artificial Intelligence powered solutions can enable farmers to do more with less and improve farm productivity|
How does apple procurement by large players make apple farming non-profitable?
In the open market, the price of apple is decided on the basis of an apple carton. Large players do not buy apples in cartons; they procure them in plastic trays and decide the rate on the basis of a kilogramme.
Unlike in the open market, where apples of all varieties/grades are procured, the large players only procure apples of high quality. Such apples don’t constitute even 20%-30% of the total production in a harvest. Further, large players also bring in a substantial fall in procurement prices across the market.
Note: Jammu and Kashmir ensure legally guaranteed procurement at a Minimum Support Price. But in States such as Himachal Pradesh, the MSP is absent for apple farmers.
|Read more: Pineapple Agroforestry Systems can Address Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss|
What should be done to ensure the profitability of apple farming?
Formation of an independent body: A statutory body must be formed. Such a body should a) Have representatives of apple growers, market players, commission agents and the government, b) Conduct research in the apple economy, c) duly support and trusted by the farmers.
Source– The post is based on the article “Lending Transparency” published in The Business Standard on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS3- Indian Economy
News- The article explains the concerns related to loan apps and issues related to recent RBI exercise of vetting loan apps.
The Finance Ministry has asked the RBI to check digital loan apps and compile a “whitelist”. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has been asked to coordinate with the RBI and service providers such as Google Play and Apple App Store to ensure that only loan apps on the RBI whitelist are available for download.
What are the concerns related to loan apps?
These applications provide loans to vulnerable, tech-illiterate people, and low-income groups at exorbitant interest rates with hidden processing fees and charges.
Lenders also use predatory loan recovery practices involving blackmailing and criminal intimidation.
There is also the possibility of money laundering and tax evasions.
There are also concerns related to indebtedness of households. The RBI data shows the financial indebtedness of households was 40% of GDP in May 2021.
What can be done by the RBI?
It can create a checklist of information pertaining to interest rates, fees and other charges, all of which should be clearly published by any loan app.
It could set ceilings on interest rates and impose penalties for violations.
For data protection, the RBI could check the apps that collect more data than strictly necessary to generate credit scores and process loans, and that all such data are collected with permissions, and not shared with other entities. It could publish such data-collection standards in the interests of public safety.
It should work with the Income Tax Department and other departments to detect the cases of money-laundering.
However, the RBI must ensure that it does not exclude legitimate players by setting complicated, opaque standards for whitelisting. It must also ensure that its process of approval or rejection is prompt and offer reasons to the applicant in cases of refusal.
What can be done by other organs of government?
To prevent use of strong arm tactics to extract money from borrowers, executive and the judiciary need to ensure that citizens are not harassed, while accelerating processes of loan recovery.
MEITY could coordinate with Apple and Google to ensure non-compliant apps are kept off these stores.
To prevent “side-load” apps that can be installed by sending a link bypassing Apple and Google app stores, we should educate potential borrowers to avoid these practices.
Source– The post is based on the article “Making In India. But How?” published in The Times of India on 12th September 2022.
Syllabus: GS3- Indian Economy
Relevance– About our Production Linked Incentive Scheme.
News- The article explains the Production Linked Incentive Scheme and its future scope.
Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI), intended to create a sustainable manufacturing base in India.
What is the need for the PLI scheme?
It starts from the premise that India manufactures too little because it suffers from a competitive disadvantage of around 8. 5-11% on account of factors such as lack of adequate infrastructure, high cost of finance; inadequate availability of quality power; neglect of R&D; and the inadequate skills of Indian workers.
Since addressing these weaknesses will take time, the government wants a faster alternative.
GoI through PLIs offer manufacturers a government payment of some percentage, provided they meet incremental investment and sales targets.
The Indian customer pays a higher price because of tariffs if parts are imported
The Indian taxpayer pays for subsidies, not just to Indian firms that are selected for PLI but also to international manufacturers.
How many jobs are being created?
There is no data available on that. We can have a look at imports and export data in the telecommunication sector.
In the last third of 2019 before PLI was introduced , exports were $1. 6 billion and imports $4. 4 billion. In the last third of 2021 after PLI was introduced, exports were $2. 7 billion and imports $5.
So exports have gone up substantially, but they were already trending up before PLI.
On the other hand, imports were trending down, and now are trending up, which is consistent with PLI encouraging manufacturers to import parts so long as the final assembly is done in India.
What are the main concerns related to the scheme?
- The producers can shift their production to countries having better investment climates like Vietnam, when PLI ends and achieve scale economies without incurring disadvantages given the small investment required to meet PLI eligibility. There will be little incentive for them to continuously operate in India.
- Manufacturers could continue to produce, but will require continued tariff and subsidy protection.
- If PLI-induced domestic production does not become globally cost-competitive, it will reduce exports in other sectors. For example, high cost domestically produced semiconductor through PLI incentives will reduce the competitiveness of two wheeler exports that rely on chips.
There is a need to enhance human capital investment, a feasible land acquisition process, strengthening infrastructure and a predictable tax regime.
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
Source: The post is based on the article “Rajasthan launches govt’s flagship urban employment scheme” published in Indian Express on 10th September 2022.
What is the News?
The Rajasthan Government has launched the Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Scheme.
What is the Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Scheme?
Aim: To provide economic support to the poor and needy families living in the cities through work to be provided on demand for 100 days in a year.
Eligibility: Those in the age group of 18 to 60 years residing within the limits of urban local bodies are eligible to demand and get employment in the identified segments.
– There is no income limit, though the poor and destitute people, especially those who lost their livelihood during the pandemic, will be given preference.
Categories of works under the scheme: The tasks to be carried out under the scheme have been clubbed mainly under eight heads. These include environment protection, water conservation, heritage conservation, removal of encroachments and illegal boards, hoardings and banners, stopping defacement of property and service-related works.
Registration: To register for the scheme, a Janaadhar card or its registration slip is required. Registrations can be done at e-Mitra centres.
Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | How does a rabies vaccine work?” published in The Hindu on 12th September 2022.
What is the News?
The death of a 12-year-old girl in Kerala from rabies despite having multiple inoculations of the vaccine, has raised questions on the efficacy of rabies vaccines in India and their availability.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is caused by a family of viruses called the lyssaviruses and found in a range of mammals.
The virus targets the central nervous system and is nearly 100% fatal to the host animal if it succeeds in infecting it.
Though many animals from cats to crocodiles can be transmitters of the virus, it is most likely to spread to people from the bite of an infected dog or a cat as they are the most common pets.
Treatment: Rabies is almost always fatal once clinical signs occur. There is currently no effective treatment for rabies after clinical signs appear. However, the disease is preventable through vaccination either before or immediately after exposure.
Rabies cases in India: WHO says India is endemic for rabies and accounts for 36% of the world’s deaths.
The true burden of rabies in India is not fully known; although as per available information, it causes 18,000-20,000 deaths every year.
About 30-60% of reported rabies cases and deaths in India occur in children under the age of 15 years, as bites that occur in children often go unrecognized and unreported.
India’s plan to eliminate Rabies: India has committed to eliminate Rabies by 2030. But for this, vaccination of dogs is also essential.
Keeping this in mind, the Government has released the ‘National Action for Plan — Rabies Elimination’ in 2021. The plan aims to vaccinate at least 70% of all dogs in a defined geographical area annually for three consecutive years. The plan is to identify ‘rabies hotspots’ across the country and target them.
Source: The post is based on the article “Third stealth frigate of project 17A ‘Taragiri’ launched” published in The Hindu on 12th September 2022.
What is the News?
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) has launched Taragiri, the third stealth frigate of Project 17A.
What is Taragiri?
It is the third stealth frigate of Project 17A.
Built by: Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL).
Features: The ship has state-of-the-art weapons, sensors, an advanced action information system, an integrated platform management system, world-class modular living spaces, a sophisticated power distribution system and a host of other advanced features.
– The ship’s air defence capability is designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles will revolve around the vertical launch and long-range surface-to-air missile system.
– Two 30 mm rapid-fire guns will provide the ship with close-in-defence capability while an SRGM (Super Rapid Gun Mount) gun will enable her to provide effective naval gunfire support.
– Indigenously developed triple tube lightweight torpedo launchers and rocket launchers will add punch to the ship’s anti-submarine capability.
Source: The post is based on the article “Coming: cyborg cockroaches to help in urban search-rescue missions” published in Indian Express on 9th September 2022.
What is the News?
An international team of researchers has devised a system that can create cyborg cockroaches.
What are Cyborg Cockroaches?
Cyborg Cockroaches are part insect and part machine. These insect movements are controlled by tiny integrated circuits.
Purpose: These cockroaches can be used to conduct surveillance in procedures like urban search and rescue, environmental monitoring and inspection of areas dangerous to humans.
How did scientists make Cyborg Cockroaches?
Scientists used the Madagascar hissing cockroach. This cockroach is not only the largest species of cockroach but is also known for making hissing sounds when disturbed, which they make by expelling air from the openings on their back.
The scientists fitted this cockroach with a thin electronic backpack which they had created on the upper section of its body. As this was so lightweight, it had very little impact on the insect’s ability to move around with ease.
The backpack contained a rechargeable battery and what’s known as a wireless control module which enabled the researchers to control the cockroach’s movements remotely.
A solar cell module was attached to the lower section of the cockroach. This meant the backpack could be recharged using artificial sunlight which would come in handy if the cockroach is out on missions.
Source: The post is based on the article “PM inaugurates ‘Centre-State Science Conclave’ in Ahmedabad” published in PIB on 11th September 2022.
What is the News?
The Prime Minister has inaugurated the ‘Centre-State Science Conclave’ in Ahmedabad.
What is the Centre-State Science Conclave?
It is a first-of-its-kind conclave being organized at Science City, Ahmedabad.
Aim: To strengthen Centre-State coordination and collaboration mechanisms – in the spirit of cooperative federalism – to build a robust science, technology and innovation(STI) ecosystem across the country.
What are the key highlights from the PM’s address?
The government is working with the vision of science-based development. Since 2014, the government has substantially increased investment in the field of science and technology.
With the Government’s effort, India ranked 46th on the Global Innovation Index. In 2015, India ranked 81 in GII.
To make India a global centre of research and innovation, both centres and states need to boost efforts to take research related to science and technology to the local level.
State governments need to frame modern policies related to science, innovation, and technology to find solutions to local problems. For instance, the number of innovation labs should be increased in higher education institutions in the states.
Source: The post is based on the article “IRENA and Industry Leaders Launch the Alliance for Industry Decarbonization” published in IRENA on 1st September 2022.
What is the News?
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)and 13 companies across all industry sectors have launched the Global Alliance for Industry Decarbonization.
What is the Global Alliance for Industry Decarbonization?
Aim: To accelerate net-zero ambitions and decarbonisation of industrial value chains in pursuit of the 2015 Paris Agreement climate goals.
Declaration: It was formed under the Bali Declaration adopted during IRENA’s Investment Forum on Energy Transitions held in Bali, Indonesia.
Working: The alliance is intended to provide a platform for the industry to exchange and collaborate to contribute towards the achievement of countries’ net zero goals. It will strengthen dialogue and coordinate action by industrial stakeholders from across the public and private sectors.
Founding members: It includes Siemens Energy Enel Green Power, TAQA Arabia, JSW (India), Tata Steel (India), Sable Chemicals, Repsol, Equinor among others.
First meeting: It is planned to take place at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022.
Significance of the alliance: Around 25% of global GDP is produced by the industrial sector, but it also emits around 28% of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.
The industrial sector is also the second-largest emitter. Hence, this alliance was launched as it will help the Industrial Sector in rapid decarbonisation.
Union Minister takes part in the first in-person Ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum in Los Angeles
Source: The post is based on the article “Union Minister takes part in the first in-person Ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum in Los Angeles” published in PIB on 10th September 2022.
What is the News?
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry attended the first in-person Ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF).
What is the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF)?
IPEF was launched jointly by the US and other partner countries of the Indo-Pacific region in May 2022 in Tokyo, Japan.
Aim: To strengthen economic partnership among participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness and competitiveness in the region.
Members: The 14 members of the IPEF are — Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the US.
Significance: IPEF would work to ensure that the Indo-Pacific Region would remain secure and open for business.
Source: The post is based on the article “James Webb Space Telescope captures image of near-perfect Einstein ring” published in Indian Express on 9th September 2022.
What is the News?
The James Webb Space Telescope has captured an image of an almost perfect “Einstein ring.”
What is the Einstein Ring?
The Einstein Ring is created when the light from a galaxy or star passes by a massive object en route to the Earth.
Due to the effects of gravitation (called gravitational lensing), the light is diverted, which makes it seem to come from different places. If the light source, lens, and observer are all in perfect alignment, the light appears as a ring.
The first example of an “Einstein Ring” was discovered in 1988.
Where did the James Webb Telescope discover an Einstein Ring?
The James Webb Telescope discovered an Einstein Ring formed from the light of a distant galaxy SPT-S J041839-4751.8, which is around 12 billion light-years away from earth, which also makes it one of the oldest galaxies in the universe.
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