The Goa government’s TReDS adoption is worthy of emulation

News: Central Govt has taken various steps to improve working capital (capital to manage day-to-day expenses) situation of small businesses. RBI too had launched TReDS platform to towards this end. However, many govt procurers lie outside the coverage of TReDS. It’s in this light that an initiative by the Goa govt assumes significance, wherein it registered… Continue reading The Goa government’s TReDS adoption is worthy of emulation

Draft extended producer responsibility policy: How gaps in achieving fundamental goals can be closed

News: MoEFCC has released a draft EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) policy for management of plastic waste in India. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 introduced the concept of EPR to manage plastics in India. It has seen inadequate progress in the last five years as the policy failed to translate into action, due to the… Continue reading Draft extended producer responsibility policy: How gaps in achieving fundamental goals can be closed

Basking in reflected glory

News: The recent appointment of Parag Agrawal, as the CEO of US-based company ‘Twitter’ started renewed debate on brain drain from India. What are the reasons for brain drain from India? It started in the late-1960s when private sector companies were few and there were few good jobs available in public sector undertakings. Unlike India,… Continue reading Basking in reflected glory

Why India will be scrutinised at Summit for Democracy

News: US will host a virtual “summit for democracy”, which will bring together leaders of 100 countries, civil society and private sector representatives. The summit will convene around 3 broad themes — defending democracy against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights. Why India is likely to be scrutinised at the… Continue reading Why India will be scrutinised at Summit for Democracy

Storm surges and relief: Why India should rethink its cyclone response

News: Factors such as the cyclone’s intensity, high tides and topography results in storm surges, which are the principal cause of destruction in major cyclones. It is important that, in this period, we recognise that there is more to cyclone risk management than the total number of evacuees. However, the usual approach has certain deficiencies… Continue reading Storm surges and relief: Why India should rethink its cyclone response

Fresh air has become a luxury in Delhi

News: Supreme Court (SC) judges expressed dissatisfaction with the Delhi and central governments for not doing enough to correct the dire situation of pollution in NCR. As per the World Air Quality Report of 2020, published by IQAir, 22 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India. Delhi’s pollution, in… Continue reading Fresh air has become a luxury in Delhi

Nagaland killings aren’t a mere ‘blunder’

News: In a counter insurgency operation by Assam Rifles, in Mon district in Nagaland, more than a dozen people and a jawan were killed. Though the union Home Minister has announced a special investigation team to probe the matter, there are reports of violent responses. Why N-E is a unique case wrt security and peace?… Continue reading Nagaland killings aren’t a mere ‘blunder’

The learning curve: Why college education for women matters

News: NITI Aayog released the first state-wise National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), inline with the global index released by the United Nations each year. The report has found that a quarter of the population in the country was multi-dimensionally poor or deprived on at least a few of the 12 counts. How access to various… Continue reading The learning curve: Why college education for women matters

Omicron likely to cause re-infections, surge in cases, say experts

What is the news? The new variant of COVID-19 i.e. Omicron is spreading across India. The experts say that the surge is likely due to reinfections (people getting infected with the virus again) and even vaccinated people getting infected. What are the concerns about this variant? More transmissible than Delta. This is evident from the… Continue reading Omicron likely to cause re-infections, surge in cases, say experts

Corridors of death

News: The recent deaths of Elephants in Tamil Nadu and Assam in train collisions has again highlighted the gaps in efforts to reduce man-animal conflicts in the country. Of the 29,964 elephants in India, the majority are in the southern region. What are the reasons behind it? Project Elephant division (MoEF&CC) reported unnatural killing of… Continue reading Corridors of death

Breathing fresh air into the NCR’s pollution control

News: Supreme Court questioned government and role of Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for the lack of actual ground results in the fight against air-pollution in Delhi. At a hearing, the Court gave the Centre and Delhi government 24 hours to come out with suggestions to control air pollution. What is the problem with… Continue reading Breathing fresh air into the NCR’s pollution control

Did poor government handling in Kerala cause 2018 floods? Yes, says CAG

What is the news? A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out at the lapses in Kerala governments planning, capacity building, flood forecasting and dam management during 2018 state floods. What are the key findings of the report? Bureaucratic issues– The flood plains of Kerala had not been identified and… Continue reading Did poor government handling in Kerala cause 2018 floods? Yes, says CAG

A white touch to a refreshed green revolution

News: 26th Nov, 2021 was celebrated in Anand, Gujarat as the 100th birth anniversary of Verghese Kurien, the leader of India’s ‘white revolution’. The white revolution resulted in increased incomes and the wealth of millions of cattle-owning small farmers in India, many of them women. The Amul model, of a socio-economic enterprise, also has an… Continue reading A white touch to a refreshed green revolution

How reforms are building momentum for ‘India’s century’

News: The repeal of the three farm laws is seen through different lenses. Some see it as a sign of stepping back from progressive laws, while others see it as something in the interest of farmers. Despite taking back some progressive steps, to reform certain sectors like agriculture, due to lack of political consensus, many… Continue reading How reforms are building momentum for ‘India’s century’

On Union government accounts – Growth spending

News: Union government accounts for Q2 of 2021-22 were released. What does the report say? It showed that the government has a comparatively better fiscal position due to better revenue collection. Total revenue receipts were over 70% of the budget estimate. –Higher nominal growth, will also expand the economy and help contain the fiscal deficit… Continue reading On Union government accounts – Growth spending

Climate disasters displace more people than conflicts now

What is the News? The “World Migration Report 2022” has been published. More about the report: It is a biennial report published by the “International Organization for Migration” (IOM) of the UN. The report quoted the regular data collation by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The 2022 report on global migration focuses on migration… Continue reading Climate disasters displace more people than conflicts now

Explained: What’s in Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Act, and why it is being withdrawn

What is the News? Uttarakhand CM has announced the withdrawal of the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, which was made an act in 2019. The decision will lead to the abolition of Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board, which has been facing protests from priests and other stakeholders of four shrines. What is the Char… Continue reading Explained: What’s in Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Act, and why it is being withdrawn

India’s electric vehicle push will lead to brighter, greener future

News: Decarbonisation of global economy, including India’s, entails decarbonisation of the transport sector. Moreover, it is in line with the India’s climate change commitments, will help boost manufacturing sector and also help ensure energy security. India supports the global “EV30@30” campaign, which aims for at least 30% of new vehicle sales to be electric by… Continue reading India’s electric vehicle push will lead to brighter, greener future

On regulation of social media: Social Media Beware

News: Australian PM has announced new laws to help clean up social media. What is the new Australian law? It is expected to tackle trollers on social media who go around hurting people without consequences. The new law will vest liability with the person making the comment. In case the troller cannot be identified, the… Continue reading On regulation of social media: Social Media Beware

A launch window for India as a space start-up hub

News: The boom of private sector participation in space technology. How has the space sector evolved? Space race 1.0– The great space race of the 20th century started with the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in 1957. -It reflected the Cold War agenda in the space field and a test of their ideologies. Space race… Continue reading A launch window for India as a space start-up hub

Reducing poverty

News: NITI Aayog has come up with India’s first multi-dimensional poverty index (MPI). It is a useful report for policymakers and NGO’s to know about the well-being of Indians on a wider set of indicators other than income. More about the report: The report figured usual states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and UP as India’s poorest… Continue reading Reducing poverty

Why India’s coal habit won’t be easy to shake off

News: In the climate summit at Glasgow, India spoke of a “phase down” rather than a “phase out” for coal, and it was backed by China, South Africa and some other countries. It shows India’s huge dependence on coal for its energy requirements and is likely to be so by 2030. A phase-out may hurt… Continue reading Why India’s coal habit won’t be easy to shake off

New research: How climate change causes ‘divorce’ among albatrosses

What is the news? A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B has provided evidence of the effect of environmental conditions on the longevity of relationships among a population of albatrosses. What does the report suggest? It suggests that environmental conditions cause splits between black-browed albatrosses in the South Atlantic, which otherwise… Continue reading New research: How climate change causes ‘divorce’ among albatrosses

Airport Lessons

News: The Jewar International Airport, a greenfield project will be the second airport in NCR. Both international airports in NCR will then be under private management. It demonstrates India’s success in the last two decades in attracting private capital and management into airport infrastructure development and maintenance. How private players’ participation was facilitated in airport… Continue reading Airport Lessons

Decomputerize to decarbonize: A climate debate we can’t avoid

News: Our planet faces an existential threat, with climate change and global warming threatening to make it un-liveable in a few decades. Digitization doesn’t just pose a risk to people, It also poses a risk to the planet. How computerization and technology adoption is contributing to climate change? One huge factor ruining our planet is the… Continue reading Decomputerize to decarbonize: A climate debate we can’t avoid

Explained: Why are India, other countries releasing oil from strategic reserves?

What is the news? India is going to release 5 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves as part of a coordinated challenge led by the US against the OPEC+ producers’ cartel’s move to curb output. This would be the first instance of India using strategic reserves to influence international prices. Must Read: India… Continue reading Explained: Why are India, other countries releasing oil from strategic reserves?

Chinese med imports up 75%, raises concerns

News: China has become the largest exporter of medical devices to India, overtaking US and Germany during 2020-21. The imports of med-tech and medical devices having jumped up to 75% from China alone, whereas overall increase in med-tech imports from all nations is just about 7%. What are the reasons for the huge increase in… Continue reading Chinese med imports up 75%, raises concerns

Privatise Post-Repeal: Selling sarkari banks & PSUs is critical.

News: In the upcoming winter session of Parliament, ‘The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021’ to be proposed, will facilitate the transfer of ownership of two PSBs, by making changes in concerned laws. In the last session of Parliament, GoI said privatisation was ongoing in the case of 21 PSUs. The exercise was completed in the… Continue reading Privatise Post-Repeal: Selling sarkari banks & PSUs is critical.

A food crisis of the government’s own making

News: Recently, the Sri Lanka government banned agrochemical fertilizers, to switch to 100% organic agriculture. The example of Sri Lanka is an eye-opener for the other countries as well. It proves that any unplanned attempt to move to organic farming may prove to be disastrous for the agriculture sector. What were the issues associated with… Continue reading A food crisis of the government’s own making

Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021: How resistance to antibiotics develops

News: The development of resistance to antimicrobial is a major public health problem all over the world. Though the world is trying to develop new drugs, there are difficulties in treatment as a result of the rapid development of resistance to these drugs. What is antimicrobial resistance(AMR)? It occurs when microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and… Continue reading Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021: How resistance to antibiotics develops

Sustainable agriculture

News: During the recent climate summit in Glasgow, India did not ratify “Action Agenda on Sustainable Agriculture”. India stated that it already has a “National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture” as part of its broad “National Action Plan on Climate Change”. However, these initiatives have failed to improve the condition of Indian agriculture. What are the… Continue reading Sustainable agriculture

Use of facial recognition technology by police is dangerous

News: Hyderabad city police is deploying lakhs of cameras connected in a real-time network managed by Hyderabad’s Command and Control Centre and can be used for facial recognition technology. In Hyderabad, an Integrated Police Command Control Centre has been set up, with a cost of Rs 800 crore. The center will allow the police to… Continue reading Use of facial recognition technology by police is dangerous

What India should strive for in trade deals

News: India has decided to enter into trade agreements with key partners like the UK, UAE and Australia and announced an ambitious plan for an early harvest deal by March 2022. These trade agreements coincides with India coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic-related slowdown and wants to become “Atmanirbhar” and play “a bigger role in… Continue reading What India should strive for in trade deals

EVs for last-mile delivery could boost India’s e-commerce sector

Source: This post is based on the article “EVs for last-mile delivery could boost India’s e-commerce sector” published in Live mint on 24 November 2021. Syllabus: GS3 –Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. Relevance: To understand the new demand for EV’s for environment-friendly last-mile delivery. News: Recently, NITI Aayog and around 30 companies, including… Continue reading EVs for last-mile delivery could boost India’s e-commerce sector

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Another Supply Chain Crisis?

News: US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell recently said that Americans should be prepared for the global supply chain to remain in crisis through 2022. Covid-induced supply chain disruption highlighted the loopholes of total dependence on one country for vital products, and diversification will take a few years to implement. What is the risk to… Continue reading Another Supply Chain Crisis?

Better co-ordination

News: United States Trade Representative is in India to further the agenda of the US-India Trade Policy Forum to be held after the four-year interregnum. While the bilateral relationship has shown considerable progress in the past years, the economic agenda has always been a stumbling block. In other cases like, US-China or US-EU relationship, there… Continue reading Better co-ordination

Tackling the problem of bad loans

News: The newly-created National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), first in the public sector, offers hopes for the faster clean up of lenders’ balance sheets. NARCL is not a bank, but a specialised financial institution to help resolve the distressed assets of banks. Over the last 5 years, considerable progress has been made in resolving and… Continue reading Tackling the problem of bad loans

Deeper trade ties will benefit both India and US

News: The first US-India Trade Policy Forum in over four years begins. Over the past two decades, the partnership between India and US has strengthened tremendously. From strategic cooperation to our deepening people-to-people ties, the gains have been impressive. However, the current stakes for a growing economic partnership are greater as we experience a volatile… Continue reading Deeper trade ties will benefit both India and US

Flaws in the system

News: The transfer of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee from the Madras High Court to the Meghalaya High Court has given rise to a controversy. What is the Constitutional provision on the transfer of judges? Article 222 of the Constitution provides for the transfer of High Court judges, including the Chief Justice. -It says the President,… Continue reading Flaws in the system

A stimulating alliance

News: Finance Minister announced that the Centre will release over ₹95,000 crores in one stroke to States this month. The decision came after meeting with Chief Ministers and State Finance Ministers to discuss the state of the economy and to sustain the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Why was it required? The central policy fixes… Continue reading A stimulating alliance

Global challenges can be tackled in spite of great power rivalry

News: The Global Commission has issued a similar dire warning, as it was issued in 1972 through a study on ‘The Limits of Growth’. In its recent report, the Commission(group of eminent global citizens drawn from across the world), has highlighted the key challenges facing the world today. What does the report states about global… Continue reading Global challenges can be tackled in spite of great power rivalry

The role of state policy in our acute smog crisis

News: Supreme Court expressed disappointment over the air pollution in National Capital Region. According to official data, Delhi has recorded less than 20 good air days (AQI less than 51) since 2015. This year also capital is facing the same issue. Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has given directions to close all educational institutions… Continue reading The role of state policy in our acute smog crisis

Naval Ambition

News: Indian navy aims to become a 170-warship force from its current strength of 130 warships over the next decade. What is the significance of India’s naval plan?  Firstly, there is a high possibility that the most consequential strategic battles of this century will be played out on the high seas. Secondly, China’s agressiveness in… Continue reading Naval Ambition

Why Punjab’s short-duration paddy varieties have not solved stubble burning

News: Supreme Court’s suggested a two-day lockdown amid sharp deterioration in the National Capital Region’s air quality. The government’s efforts in the past decade provided positive results, and the ratio of land under short-duration varieties to the total land under paddy has more than doubled—from 32.6 percent in 2012 to 67.7 percent in 2021. What… Continue reading Why Punjab’s short-duration paddy varieties have not solved stubble burning