9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – September 22nd, 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 1

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1

India@100: What’s ahead for urbanisation?

Source: The post is based on the article “India@100: What’s ahead for urbanisation?” published in the Business Standard on 22nd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 1: Urbanisation, their problems and their remedies.

Relevance: Solution to India’s urbanisation.

News: The pace at which India urbanises will be a defining factor in achieving India’s developmental goals in the next 25 years.

What is the current pace of India’s urbanisation?

Since the 1950s, the speed of urbanisation in India has witnessed a consistent rise. According to the World Urbanisation Prospects (2018 Revision), an urbanisation growth rate of 2.4% was observed between 2010 and 2018.

By 2022, India’s projected rate of urbanisation was expected to be 35.9%, and by 2047, this is expected to increase to approximately 50.9%.

Must read: Urbanisation and the Need for Sustainable Cities – Explained, pointwise
What are the challenges faced in India’s urbanisation?

Unplanned urbanisation: This resulted in Indian cities are plagued with issues like sewage management, urban planning, declining water table and air quality that negatively influences the ease of living.

Urbanisation follows the trajectory of economic development: Kerala has a projected urban population of around 73.19% in 2022, which is expected to increase to over 96% by 2036. In comparison, states like Assam and Bihar have an abysmal projected population of 15.4% and 12.2%, respectively, in 2022, which is expected to marginally increase to 17.16% and 13.2% by 2036.

Note: Union Territories like Delhi and Chandigarh are projected to be 100% urbanised in the same time period.

Asymmetric pattern of urbanisation: This is characterised by India’s unique social structure and kinship ties that tend to restrict mobility.

Read more: Increasing the pace of India’s urbanisation 
What should be done to make India’s urbanisation sustainable?

Match with peers: India has to unequivocally aim at matching the rate of urbanisation prevalent among its peers. At present, India is lagging behind its peers in urbanisation.

Focus on the micro level: Districts shape the larger economic spatiality of the country. So, India needs to pay attention to the impact of urbanisation at the micro level. According to a report, urban districts roughly account only for 30% of all districts in the country. So, India needs to focus on the districts lagging behind and push for a faster rate of planned urbanisation.

Planned urbanisation: Well-planned cities lead to a) value creation through optimal distribution and utilisation of resources, b) fosters ease of living and prosperity through sustainable growth and economic productivity of its citizens, and c) result in a more stable social structure of cities.

So, India needs to 1) Redesign cities by looking at sustainable objectives and socio-economic growth and 2) Target key reform areas, from remodelling its urban governance system to making it more people-centric.

Maintain urbanisation rate: The urbanisation rate must be regulated to prevent a population surge only in larger cities. This will aid in the process of building sustainable pathways to socio-economic development.

Read more: Measures to promote sustainable urbanisation

A dual focus on planned and uniform urbanisation will provide global recognition for India’s urban story.

GS Paper 2


A risky new status quo – On India-China Border Related Issues

Source: The post is based on an article A risky new status quo” published in The Hindu on 212nd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its Neighborhood

News: China and India’s discussion on demilitarization of some conflict points have made a little progress. But it doesn’t mean that the threat is reduced.   

China and India have agreed to completely disengage from Patrolling Point 15 (PP15). This will create a demilitarized buffer zone. However, even after demilitarizing India faces many risks.

What are the risks present for India?

Buffer zone: The buffer zone created by demilitarizing reduces India’s ability to patrol its own territory.

The buffer zone and Depsang’s status both suit China’s objectives because they limit India’s military activities near the LAC. This has led to China’s invasion in 2020.

Military Disengagement: Demilitarizing has not led to a diminishing military threat at the border. This is evident from building of permanent military infrastructure from both countries near the border.

China has left India behind in building roads, helipads, and communications nodes. Therefore, coming to status quo is nearly impossible.

Tension at LAC: China still claims Arunachal Pradesh as its own territory. The growing military build-up of China can increase pressure anywhere at LAC.

There is also the possibility of war between the two nations.

Prioritizing land border: The land border has become the highest priority in India’s military competition with China.

India has reassigned one of three Pakistan-facing Strike Corps to the China front along with its newest artillery, fighter jets, and drones to the China border. This has led away India’s attention from Indian Ocean region.

Although India has capabilities in the oceanic region such as indigenously-built aircraft carrier, cruise missile-equipped fighters but these were initiated before the border crisis.

The dominating power in Asia will be determined by the dominating forces in the Indian Ocean region. Therefore, India needs to reorganize its priorities.

However, disengagement is still helpful for India.

How the disengagement will be helpful for India?

The disengagement at PP15 has the potential to improve the trap set by China.

This will help India to reduce its focus on military preparedness at the border and work towards long-term military modernization across the Indian Ocean region.

However, prioritizing other issues such as Atmanirbharta in defense industry at the expense of modernization of the military poses a threat to India.

What can be further course of action?

India needs a long-term growth in its capabilities (military, policies, etc.) to face the challenge posed by China in the Indian Ocean region.

This requires a rational strategic assessment and the political will to balance military preparedness with modernisation.


How western media’s bias against India can be corrected

Source: The post is based on an article “How western media’s bias against India can be corrected published in The Indian Express on 22nd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2

Relevance: Global media and issues associated with it

News: There has been an increase in spreading the wrong information about India by the writers and editors of other countries.

What are the issues with the articles being published?

A report titled “An Analysis of Global Media Coverage of Events in India” has taken an in-depth review of more than 3,000 India-related articles published by global newspapers.

They have found a consistent pattern of emphasizing political controversies in India with sensational headlines.

These include keywords such as hate, fear, violence, riot, mob, Hindu, and Kashmir.

This has led a negative image of India among its readers globally and it also shows that a small controversy in India can lead to an undesired result.

These analyses show that there is an increase in the importance of India in the global news.

The report also found that there has been an increase in the digital readership of these global media.

For example, the Indian readership of the New York Times increased by 22% while there has been declined in the global readership by 8%. This has been due to the controversial topics written in the newspaper.

Further, global media is looking to India as a topic for its growth and they have also made digital investments in it.

India’s significance as a subject of global media interest can rise even further with India assuming the presidency of the G20 this December.

What is the present condition of India in global media and what needs to be done?

The present condition of India shows that India is far from establishing a strong global media voice that can stand at an equal level with the established global media.

Therefore, strong global media is needed to correct the wrong understanding of India democracy and stereotypical perspective of the socio-cultural diversity of India.


Ambit of fraternity and wages of oblivion

Source– The post is based on the article “Ambit of fraternity and wages of oblivion” published in The Hindu on 22th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Indian constitution

News– The article explains the idea of fraternity in India. It also talks about our track record in promoting this ideal.

What is fraternity?

The idea of fraternity is based on the view that people have responsibilities to each other. It was defined after the French Revolution in the saying ‘Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you’.

However, the definition is still vague and the idea of fraternity is not clearly understood. It is generally seen as an emotion rather than a principle.

What is the idea of fraternity provided by the Indian constitution?

According to Ambedkar, the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy.

The practical shape of the ideals was introduced by the 42nd constitutional amendment act. It introduced fundamental duties. Article 51A(e) says that it is the duty of every citizen to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood.

Responsibility for bringing these ideals lies with individuals and not with the State.

According to the Preamble of India, the dignity of individual and unity of nation both necessitate fraternity.

What are different shapes of inequality?

It takes different forms. One. On the one hand, there is economic inequality. On the other hand, there is religious, social, and regional inequality.

What were the concerns of our founding fathers?

Primary concerns of our constitution makers were related to integration of units that formed the Indian Republic.

B.R. Ambedkar talks about conditions that are necessary for a successful Working Democracy. These are absence of glaring inequalities; presence of an opposition; equality of law and administration; observance of constitutional morality; avoidance of tyranny of majority over minority; a functioning of moral order in society, and public conscience.

What are the issues that need introspection?

There is evidence of regional diversity, assertion of linguistic identity and emergence of diverging political orientations.

The role of social and political leaders in promoting fraternity has been dismal.


Approach to death penalty: Why Supreme Court has decided to settle differences among judgments

Source– The post is based on the article “Approach to death penalty: Why Supreme Court has decided to settle differences among judgments” published in The Indian Express on 22th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution

Relevance– Capital Punishment

News– The article explains conflicting judgements about sentencing hearings of the death penalty. It also explains the difference of opinion on whether after conviction for capital punishment there should be a separate hearing on the issue of sentence.

What are the different legal positions?

Section 235 of CrPC– It requires a judge to hear the accused after conviction on the question of sentence, and then pass the sentence.

Bachhan Singh case– Capital punishment will be awarded in the “rarest of the rare” cases. Court also stressed that a separate sentencing hearing would be held for awarding the death sentence.

Mithu vs State of Punjab– Supreme Court reiterated its earlier position on separate sentence hearing.

What are the different rulings on when the separate hearing should take place?

Recent three-judge decisions have ruled that same-day sentencing in capital offences violates the principles of natural justice.

A 2020 study by National Law University, Delhi found that in 40% of cases in surveyed states, sentencing hearings took place on the same day.

Dattaraya v State of Maharashtra (2020)– Supreme Court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds that an adequate sentencing hearing was not held. Court observed that Section 235(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure enables the accused to make an effective representation against the death sentence, by placing mitigating circumstances before the Court. But it has not been done.

What is an adequate sentencing hearing?

It is meaningful, real and effective hearing for the accused before awarding the death sentence.

Judiciary is required to consider not just factors that necessitate awarding the highest sentence, but also the mitigating circumstances.

What are some facts related to mitigating circumstances?

In ‘Manoj & others v. State of Madhya Pradesh’, the Supreme Court addressed the lack of a legal framework or institutional capacity to handle death penalty sentencing. It acknowledged the arbitrariness and subjective patterns in awarding the death sentence.

Death penalty sentence is largely driven by the crime in question and not the circumstances of the accused. For example, the Supreme Court’s 1983 ruling in ‘Machhi Singh And Others vs

The State of Punjab’ introduced “collective conscience” into the capital sentencing framework and laid down five categories.

For further reading- https://blog.forumias.com/death-penalty/


A great show: SC allowing live-streaming of constitution bench hearings is a milestone in democratic journey

Source: The post is based on the article “A great show: SC allowing live-streaming of constitution bench hearings is a milestone in democratic journey” published in The Times of India on 22nd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

Relevance: About live-streaming of constitution bench hearings.

News: Recently SC decided to live-stream constitution bench hearings.

What are the advantages of live-streaming of constitution bench hearings?

It is considered a milestone in India’s democratic journey because a) Everyone can watch and learn about judicial proceedings, decisions etc. There by increasing transparency and greater access to the justice system, b) Creates more interest in crucial matters that define India’s governance, c) Create greater accountability for SC judges and lawyers, d) Live-streaming is a great enabler for litigants who are unable to attend court, and e) It not just increase legal literacy but potentially enhance the public’s continuous engagement with the Constitution and laws.

Positive systemic corrections can be made: A 2017 study by researchers at Northwestern University of archives of the audio proceedings of the US Supreme Court showed that judicial interactions at oral argument are highly gendered, with women being interrupted at disproportionate rates by their male colleagues.

– The US Supreme Court then said that the gendered disruptions identified by the study had been addressed and now Justices ask questions according to seniority instead of interrupting in a random way.

Read more: Digitisation will ensure speedy, efficient delivery of justice
What are the concerns of live-streaming of constitution bench hearings?

Ex-CJI had termed live-streaming a “double-edged sword.” This is because a) Judges might be a frequent target of public ire, or a target of social media trolls, b) Publicity-savvy lawyers will probably deploy showmanship even more than they do now, c) Some mischievously edited footage of SC proceedings may also appear. This will spread disinformation among the public, and d) A 2018 paper that studied the Brazilian Supreme Court concluded that justices behave like politicians when given free television time, they act to maximize their individual exposure.

About the history of live-streaming court proceedings

Top courts globally, for example, the International Criminal Court, the UK Supreme Court, have long allowed live-streaming.

In 2018, India’s SC allowed live-streaming. But nothing happened until the pandemic intervened.

Last year, SC released model rules for live-streaming court proceedings. Subsequently, Orissa, Gujarat, Karnataka and some other HCs have shown court proceedings to great effect.

Read more: SC releases draft model rules for live-streaming and Recording of court proceedings
What should be done in future?

With videoconferencing apps allowing almost glitch-free live-streaming, subordinate courts should also be asked to operate in hybrid mode. This will spare witnesses and litigants from personal appearances and minimise adjournments.


What should India’s FTA agenda be?

Source: The post is based on the article “What should India’s FTA agenda be?” published in the Business Standard on 22nd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Relevance: About India’s FTA agenda.

News: A view emerged that free trade agreements (FTAs) had not served India well. But this view is flawed.

In 2012, India signed trade agreements with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, ASEAN, Japan and South Korea.

After a long gap, India has returned to the FTA negotiating table. Agreements have been signed with the UAE and Australia, and negotiations are at various stages of conclusion with the UK, Canada and the EU.

What are the concerns about India’s FTA agenda?

Little effect on India’s trade: FTAs accounted for 16% of India’s trade in 2000 and 18.5% of it now. However, they are not a disaster for the Indian industry.

Major trading partners remain non-FTA countries: The US, China and the EU are still out of India’s FTA agenda.

Withdraw from key FTAs: India withdrew from a key agreement with much of Asia — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP — in 2019. By dropping out of RCEP India has limited its access to Asia, the most dynamic part of the world economy.

Limited goods and services: Indian FTAs are inherently limited, leaving out many of the highest consumption items or imposing extended tariffs with long adjustment periods. On the other hand, ASEAN, China, South Korea and Japan have much wider and deeper FTAs.

Low participation in global value chains (GVCs): By excluding many items from the agreements, India limited the extent of the market and our ability to participate in various supply chains.

Impacts of simplistic thinking: While negotiating, India like exports and dislikes imports. By having this thought, India failed to understand that “a tax on imports is a tax on exports”.

For instance, the auto industry has suppliers that cascade down six tiers, where inefficiencies at any stage make higher tiers less competitive. Indian auto industry claims to be the most competitive location in the world for making small cars. But India argues vigorously against the inclusion of auto sector in FTAs with the UK and EU.

Read more: New paradigm: FTAs, multilateral exposure limited to supply chains, governance
What should be India’s FTA agenda in future?

Sign essential FTAs: India needs FTAs with countries and areas that either matter to India today or will matter in the future. For instance, India should sign FTAs with a) Top current export markets such as the US, EU and Bangladesh, b) Top future export markets namely, Africa and Latin America, and c) Join the newly-minted Indo-Pacific Economic Framework as it provides access to the US, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and excludes China.

Expand India’s FTA agenda ambition: India should a) Focus on zero-for-zero agreements: These agreements usually exclude zero items and often apply zero tariffs in both directions, b) India should have greater confidence in its own capabilities. For instance, India must include automobiles and auto components in all the FTAs.

Increase India’s competitiveness: India should use FTAs to force competitiveness on firms. Firms, in turn, must force change in areas such as infrastructure, regulation and ease of doing business that reduce competitiveness.

Integrate trade and industrial policy: Production-linked incentive scheme is India’s key industrial policy. So, India should ensure all items covered by PLI are explicitly included in every FTA.

Capitalise on China+1 strategy: The world is looking for China+1 supply resilience. So, India should capitalise on that by including not only sectors that India is competitive in now such as white goods, textiles and garments, chemicals and pharmaceuticals but also sectors India can do well in future. This includes sectors such as e-commerce, electric vehicles, and data privacy.

Read more: Concerns of Indian players should be taken care of while crafting FTAs

GS Paper 3


Trade tactics – on India’s Foreign Trade policy

Source: The post is based on an article Trade tacticspublished in The Hindu on 22nd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3

News: The Government will release a new foreign trade policy in the coming week.

The new foreign trade policy could include measures to boost goods and services exports as well as control the rising import bill.

The current trade policy was introduced in 2015 for a five year term.  However, the policy was extended for a year due to the pandemic.

What are the problems with new trade policy?

It is not ideal to begin a new trade policy in the middle of financial year.

Moreover, exports have been one of the reasons for better post-COVID recovery and ending an old policy with new one to boost exports is not understood.

How has exports performed recently?

Goods exports have touched a record 422 billion dollar in 2021-22.

The government is expecting better exports revenues this year but it has declined to the single digit in July and August this year.

The reasons for declining export could be a slowdown in the global growth and fear of recession in Europe and the US among the buyers.

Thus, the new policy should be focused on boosting exports and reducing issues associated with it.

What can be further course of action for the new trade policy and for India?

Trade policy: The new policy will have to address some of industry’s key concerns such as a buffer against rising interest rates.

The new policy can exclude growth sectors such as pharma, chemicals, and iron and steel from the duty remission scheme due to their better performance.

India: India’s recent decision to stay away from the trade agreement of IPEF has shown that there are not many options left for India. India should adopt other ways to negotiate the terms not suitable to it than by moving away from the trade agreements.


The failure of safety norms

Source– The post is based on the article “The failure of safety norms” published in The Hindu on 22th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Disaster and disaster management

Relevance– Fire safety norms

News– The article explains the reason behind the incident of fire at a hotel in Telangana and the steps that need to take place to prevent such accidents.

What were the reasons behind the fire accident?

There was absence of set-back spaces and escape routes.

Fire Fighting equipments were defunct.

Spiral staircase around the elevator shaft.

The basement was utilised illegally for commercial purposes.

Absence of smoke management and emergency lighting.

What are the issues with fire safety norms of the state government?

The Building Registration Scheme of the state government allowed builders to circumvent the norms.

Applicability of fire safety norms is another issue. Only buildings above a certain height are required to seek safety clearance.

What needs to be done?

Amendment to fire safety norms to include all commercial buildings irrespective of their height within the ambit of fire safety norms.

There should be proper enforcement of fire safety norms.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Live streaming of SC proceedings: the rationale and the concerns

Source: The post is based on the article “Live streaming of SC proceedings: the rationale and the concerns” published in Indian Express on 21st September 2022.

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has decided to live stream its proceedings in crucial Constitution Bench cases that will be heard from September 27, 2022.

Background

In 2018, in the ‘Swapnil Tripathi’ judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that a live telecast of court proceedings was part of the right to access justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Following that, the Supreme Court’s e-Committee, led by Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, issued model guidelines to govern the live-streaming of court proceedings in 2021.

Following the SC’s decision, Gujarat High Court began live-streaming its proceedings in July 2021. 

Currently, the Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Patna High Courts live stream their proceedings.

What are the rules in other countries on the live streaming of court proceedings?

United States of America: While the US Supreme Court has rejected pleas for the broadcast of its proceedings, it has since 1955 allowed audio recording and transcripts of oral arguments.

Australia: Live or delayed broadcasting is allowed but the practices and norms differ across courts.

Canada: Proceedings are broadcast live on the Cable Parliamentary Affairs Channel accompanied by explanations of each case and the overall processes and powers of the court.

United Kingdom: Proceedings are broadcast live with a one-minute delay on the court’s website, but coverage can be withdrawn in sensitive appeals.


Shrinkflation

Source: The post is based on the article “Shrinkflation” published in The Hindu on 22nd September 2022

What is the News?

This article talks about Shrinkflation.

What is Shrinkflation?

Shrink inflation is when a product downsizes its quantity while keeping the price the same. 

For example, reducing the scoops of ice cream in a container or reducing the number of chips in a packet would count as shrinkflation. 

Read more: Shrinkflation: How inflation is downsizing some of your favourite foods
When does Shrinkflation occur?

Shrinkflation occurs when materials or ingredients used to make products become more expensive and when there is intense competition in the market.

As a result, instead of raising prices, they might just give less of the product so as to maintain their profit margins.

Shrinkflation can also occur in different ways. For instance, if consumers are aware that the quantity is constantly declining, they would switch or change brands. 

To prevent this, a product can reformulate or remove ingredients while maintaining its price. For example, Cadbury Dairy Milk stopped using foil which it used to prevent chocolate from losing its quality and flavour in order to save expense. 

What is the effect of Shrinkflation?

Shrinkflation deceives consumers into believing that the brands they buy are not affected by inflation, since container and vessel sizes are reduced by very small amounts, saving manufacturers more money in the long run.

What can be done to tackle shrinkflation?

India needs a mix of macroeconomic policies to manage demand and supply, as well as address structural rigidities in the economy. 

In India, the Right to Information has been recognised as a consumer right under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. This means that the consumer has the right to know the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and price of goods. 

Therefore, the Central Consumer Protection Authority needs to bring some guidelines to inform consumers when the weight of a product is reduced, instead of letting consumers be fooled by companies.


India wins UN awards for Large-scale Initiative against Hypertension under NHM

Source: The post is based on the article India wins UN awards for Large-scale Initiative against Hypertension under NHMpublished in PIB on 22nd September 2022

What is the News?

India has won the ‘2022 UN Interagency Task Force, and WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care Award’ for its “India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)”.

Note: This achievement comes at a time when the World Health Organization(WHO) estimates that one in every four adults in India suffers from hypertension and only 12% of these adults have hypertension under control.

What is India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)?

Launched in: 2017

Launched by: It is a collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Health, Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR), state governments and World Health Organization.

Aim: To achieve the government’s goal of a 25% relative reduction in raised blood pressure by 2025.

Nodal Mission: IHCI is a large-scale hypertension intervention under National Health Mission. 

The strategies adopted under the initiative include 1) simple drug-dose-specific standard treatment protocol, 2) ensuring adequate quantity of protocol medications, 3) decentralization of care with follow-up and refills of medicines at Health Wellness Centers and 4) task sharing involving all health staff and a powerful real-time information system which can track every patient for follow-up and blood pressure control. 

Achievements: Nearly half of those who were treated under this initiative had blood pressure under control.   


Convergence module between Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme, Prime Minister’s Micro Food Enterprises Upgradation Scheme and PM Kisan Sampada Yojana launched

Source: The post is based on the article Convergence module between Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme, Prime Minister’s Micro Food Enterprises Upgradation Scheme and PM Kisan Sampada Yojana launchedpublished in PIB on 21st September 2022.

What is the News?

The Government of India has launched a joint convergence portal for different schemes run by Food Processing and Agriculture ministries.

For which schemes, a convergence portal has been launched?

Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Food Processing Industries has jointly launched a convergence portal between Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) scheme and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana(PMKSY).

How will this convergence of schemes help?

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is implementing the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF).

It is a medium to long-term debt financing facility launched for the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and the building of community farming assets. 

Benefits under the scheme include 3% interest subvention and credit guarantee support.

AIF scheme has the facility of convergence with any other scheme of State or Central Government.

Therefore, with the convergence of the AIF scheme with the PMFME and PMKSY schemes, eligible beneficiaries availing of credit-linked subsidy under these schemes would be able to avail of an additional benefit of Interest Subvention at 3% on the interest rate being charged by the banks over and above the 35% of subsidy being provided under the PMFME Scheme.


The tiniest specks of plastic can enter the human food chain, finds study

Source: The post is based on the article “The tiniest specks of plastic can enter the human food chain, finds study” published in Indian Express on 22nd September 2022

What is the News?

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have found that small pieces of plastic called nanoplastics can travel up the human food web, through plants, insects and even fish. 

What are Nanoplastics?

Nanoplastics are tiny plastic debris particles smaller than 1,000 nanometres (1 nm is equal to one billionth of a metre).

What was the study conducted?

A team of researchers developed a new, metallic fingerprint-based method to detect and measure the amount of nanoplastics in organisms.

For their study, they applied the technique to a model food chain that contains three trophic levels (trophic level is the position an organism occupies in the food chain) — lettuce, which was the primary producer, black soldier fly larvae, the primary consumer and insectivorous fish (roach) as the secondary consumer.

For the study, the researchers exposed lettuce plants to nano plastics and then harvested and fed it to black soldier fly larvae. The insects were then fed to the fish (roaches).

The researchers then examined the dissected plants, insect larvae and fish. They found that nano plastics can travel up the human food web, through plants, insects and even fish. 

What is the significance of this study?

Due to their small size, nano plastics can likely pass through physiological barriers and enter organisms.

This indicates that the presence of tiny plastic particles in soil could be associated with a potential health risk to herbivores and humans if these findings are found to be generalizable to other plants and crops and to field settings.


Explained | Rules for identifying criminals

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | Rules for identifying criminalspublished in The Hindu on 22nd September 2022

What is the News?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified the rules governing The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022.

What is Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022?

Click Here to read

What are the key rules notified under the Act?

Data of people arrested under offences related to elections (Chapter IXA of the Indian Penal Code) and offences related to contempt or disobedience of public servants authority (Chapter X of the IPC) can only be taken with the prior written approval of a police officer, not below the rank of a superintendent of police.

People charged for violating prohibitory orders or detained for disturbing the peace under section 144 or 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973(CrPC) will not be obliged to give their measurements unless they are charged or arrested in connection with any other offence punishable under any other law during that period.

Measurements of people against whom preventive action has been initiated under sections 107, 108, 109 or 110 of the CrPC (pertaining to various offences related to public peace) “shall not be taken” unless the person is ordered to give security for his good behaviour or maintaining peace under section 117 of CrPC. 

Note: Under Section 117, a magistrate has the power to order a person to give security for good behaviour.

Who will be the repository of the data?

The National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) under MHA will be the one-stop agency for storing and preserving the data of arrested persons. 

The State governments can also store the data, but they shall provide compatible application programming interfaces for sharing the measurements or record of measurements with the NCRB.

What are the provisions for the destruction of records in case a suspect is acquitted?

The procedure for the destruction and disposal of records is yet to be specified by the NCRB. 

The rules state that any request for destruction of records shall be made to the Nodal Officer who is to be nominated by the respective State Government. The nodal officer will recommend the destruction after verifying that such a record of measurements is not linked with any other criminal cases.


Cabinet approves Production Linked Incentive Scheme on ‘National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’ for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale in High Efficiency Solar PV Modules

Source: The post is based on the articleCabinet approves Production Linked Incentive Scheme on ‘National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’ for achieving manufacturing capacity of Giga Watt (GW) scale in High Efficiency Solar PV Modulespublished in PIB on 22nd September 2022

What is the News?

Cabinet has approved the implementation of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme on ‘National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’.

What is the National programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules?

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of New & Renewable Energy

Aim: To build an ecosystem for manufacturing of high efficiency solar PV modules in India and thus reduce import dependence in the area of Renewable Energy.

Under the scheme, Solar PV manufacturers will be selected through a transparent selection process. The PLI will be disbursed for five years post commissioning of solar PV manufacturing plants on sales of high efficiency solar PV modules from the domestic market will be incentivised.

Expected Benefits of the scheme: 1) It is estimated that about 65,000 MW per annum manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated, solar PV modules would be installed, 2) Generate employment and direct investment, 3) Import substitution of approximately Rs.1.37 lakh crore and 4) Provide impetus to Research and Development to achieve higher efficiencies in Solar PV Modules.

What are Solar PV Modules?

Solar PV modules are created by joining together solar cells with photovoltaic (PV) cells. They are produced using semiconductors like crystalline silicon. Solar modules transform solar energy into electric energy.


Bihar free of Naxal presence; the fight is in the last stages in Jharkhand, says CRPF chief

Source: The post is based on the article “Bihar free of Naxal presence; the fight is in the last stages in Jharkhand, says CRPF chief” published in The Hindu on 22nd September 2022

What is the News?

Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) has said that Bihar was free of left-wing extremism now and security forces have made inroads into areas in Jharkhand that were once inaccessible due to the presence of Maoists.

What is the data regarding Maoist violence in India?

Number of districts affected by Maoist violence stood at 39 down from 60 in 2010. The number of most affected districts accounting for 90% of the violent incidents had reduced from 35 in 2015 to 25 in 2021. These districts are mostly in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

There has been a 39% reduction in Left Wing Extremism(LWE) violence in India between 2018 and 2022. The number of Indian districts reporting Maoist violence decreased by 24% in 2022. 

There has also been a 26% reduction in deaths of security personnel and 44% drop in civilian casualties due to Naxal violence in the period between 2018 to 2022.

Operations launched: CRPF launched Operation Octopus, Operation Double Bull, Operation Thunderstorm and Operation Chakarbandha in the three States. The operations led to the arrest or surrender of 592 Maoists.


Cabinet approves modifications in “Programme for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India”

Source: The post is based on the articleCabinet approves modifications in Programme for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in Indiapublished in PIB on 21st September 2022.

What is the News?

Government of India has approved several changes in an existing scheme named ‘Programme for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India’.

What is the Programme for Development of Semiconductors and Display Manufacturing Ecosystem in India?

Click Here to read

What are the key modifications made under the scheme?

Semiconductor Labs: Aiming to boost semiconductor manufacturing in India, the government will provide uniform fiscal support of 50% of the project cost for setting up of semiconductor fabrication plants.

– The 50% incentive is applicable to semiconductor fabrication across the technology nodes as well as for compound semiconductors, packaging and related facilities.

Display Labs: Fiscal support of 50% of Project Cost will be provided under Scheme for Setting up of Display Fabs.

Note: Earlier, the Government had offered varying degrees of fiscal support to different categories for the development of semiconductors and the display manufacturing ecosystems in India. These ranged from 30-50%.


Tech InDepth: Understanding eSIMs, their advantages and disadvantages

Source: The post is based on the article “Tech InDepth: Understanding eSIMs, their advantages and disadvantages” published in Indian Express on 21st September 2022

What is the News?

Apple Inc, an American multinational technology company has come up without a physical SIM slot or an eSIM in order to access mobile networks.

What is eSIM?
eSIM
Source: Economic Times

eSIMs were first established a decade ago in 2012.

It is an embedded SIM. It essentially has the same hardware of a regular SIM card chip but now it is permanently embedded in the motherboard of a watch or smartphone.

Just like a traditional SIM card, an eSIM also consists of some components, which are part of a phone’s internal organs. They also function the same way, acting as a unique identifier for telecom operators and other consumers to reach your exact smartphone when they make a call or send a text.

However, being attached to the motherboard also allows re-programming, letting users switch operators without having to replace any physical SIM cards.

What are the advantages of eSIM?

Provides Security: An eSIM provides security to sim theft, as there is no physical element to pull out and use in another device.Attackers cannot use your phone after being robbed to breach your social media or bank accounts.

Saves space in the phone: One less opening on the frame of your phone reduces the likelihood of elements like dust and water entering the phone.It also saves some space on the inside of the phone to be used elsewhere.

What are the advantages of eSIM?

Emergencies: If a phone stops working, runs out of battery or simply falls and gets a cracked screen, then the communication with the person is brought to a complete standstill with eSIMs. Traditional SIMs, meanwhile, can be quickly pulled out of the affected phone and into another backup device or secondary phone.

Unusable in countries with no eSIM support: eSIM phones cannot be used in a country where the telecom operators simply don’t support the technology yet.

Telcos have more control: An eSIM may save one’s initial trip to the telecom operator’s store to get a SIM card, but one has to rely on the operator while switching one’s phone.


[Download] Mains Marathon Weekly Compilation – September, 2022 – 3rd week

Hello everyone, We are posting a compilation of Mains Marathon for the month of September 2022 – Third week. Click on the following link to download Download About Mains Marathon Daily Mains Marathon is focused on UPSC Mains 2023. Under this initiative, we post, daily 2 articles, based on the provided weekly schedule. For More… Continue reading [Download] Mains Marathon Weekly Compilation – September, 2022 – 3rd week

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[Answered] Mains Marathon I Daily Answer Writing I September 29th, 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 September 29th, 2022

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Must Read Current Affairs Articles – September 30, 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 The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – September 30, 2022

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Democracy in Kashmir: Indira’s failure, Vajpayee’s success

Source: The post is based on an article “Democracy in Kashmir: Indira’s failure, Vajpayee’s success” published in The Indian Express on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 Relevance: concerns associated with Jammu and Kashmir News:  Elections in Jammu and Kashmir is due for the past four years. It has been under direct administration of the Union government since Article 370… Continue reading Democracy in Kashmir: Indira’s failure, Vajpayee’s success

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Centre extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for another three months

Source: The post is based on the article “Centre extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for another three months” published in PIB on 28th September 2022 What is the News? Union Cabinet has approved the extension for the  Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase VII) for a further  period of 3 months… Continue reading Centre extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for another three months

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Talent, recognition – on awards to scientists

Source– The post is based on the article “Talent, recognition” published in The Hindu on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Science and Technology Relevance– Importance of awards News– The article explains the rationale behind central government’s proposed move to have a re look at awards, prizes and fellowships. It also explains the issues faced by… Continue reading Talent, recognition – on awards to scientists

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Foreign trade: Going beyond a phrase

Source: The post is based on the article “Foreign trade: Going beyond a phrase” published in the Business Standard on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth. Relevance: About India’s foreign trade policy. News: Recently, India’s foreign trade policy, 2015 was extended by six months at a time… Continue reading Foreign trade: Going beyond a phrase

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In nature’s warning signs, a nudge to riparian states

Source– The post is based on the article “In nature’s warning signs, a nudge to riparian states” published in The Hindu on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS2- International Relations Relevance– Hydro Diplomacy News-The article explains the challenges faced by India due to frequent floods in trans-boundary rivers. It also explains the international mechanism to mitigate… Continue reading In nature’s warning signs, a nudge to riparian states

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Globe-changing reverberations of the Ukraine war

Source– The post is based on the article “Globe-changing reverberations of the Ukraine war” published in The Hindu on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS2- International Relations Relevance– Global impacts of Ukrainian crisis News– The article explains the impacts of Russia-Ukraine powers. It also explains the response of major powers and its implications for future world… Continue reading Globe-changing reverberations of the Ukraine war

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Eye of the State – on draft Telecommunication Bill

Source– The post is based on the article “Eye of the State” published in The Indian Express on 29th September 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Fundamental rights Relevance– Surveillance powers of state News– The article explains the vast surveillance power provided to the State by the draft Telecommunication Bill and its impact on fundamental rights enjoyed by… Continue reading Eye of the State – on draft Telecommunication Bill

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