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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 18 MAY 2022

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Integration of e-Shram portal with One Nation One Ration Card scheme.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Experts Believe Fortified Rice Is Leading To Side-Effects Among Adivasis.

2. What is 5Gi?

3. Seoul Forest Declaration.

4. Changes to Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

5. Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. La Reunion.

2. Thomas Cup.

3. Bird Count India.

4. Surat and Udaygiri.

 


Integration of e-Shram portal with One Nation One Ration Card scheme:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Context:

The centre is in the process of integrating the e-Shram portal of the Ministry of Labour and Employment with the One Nation One Ration Card scheme.

 

Need for:

A  comparison of the location data with permanent address data on e-Shram shall help identify migrant workers within e-Shram.

 

About the e-Shram Portal:

  • Launched in August 2021 by the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment.
  • It is a national database to register unorganised workers.
  • The portal came into being after the Supreme Court directed the Government to complete the registration process of unorganised workers.
  • Each registered worker will be issued an identity card, which can be used across the country to avail any benefits announced by the Government.

current affairs

 

What is One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)?

  • The ONORC scheme is aimed at enabling migrant workers and their family members to buy subsidised ration from any fair price shop anywhere in the country under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
  • ONORC was launched in August, 2019.
  • Implementing Agency: Department for the nation-wide portability of ration cards under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
  • Eligibility: Any citizen, who is declared under Below Poverty Line (BPL) category is eligible to get the benefit of this scheme across the country.

 

Insta Curious:

In WTO terminology, subsidies in general are identified by “boxes” which are given the colours of traffic lights: green (permitted), amber (slow down — i.e. need to be reduced), red (forbidden). Know more about them: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About TPDS.
  2. Who gets food security allowance under the scheme?
  3. Provisions of penalty under the act.
  4. Maternity benefits related provisions.
  5. Overview of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
  6. Overview of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme.
  7. The responsibility of 3. Identification of Households under the scheme.

Mains Link:

Give an account of the benefits that can accrue from the One Nation One Ration Card scheme. In this context, also discuss the challenges that need to be addressed for the scheme to become a success.

 

[Q.1) Consider the following statements:

    1. e-Shram Portal was launched in August 2017.
    2. Migrants who have registered on this portal can buy subsidised ration from any fair price shop anywhere in the country.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

      1. 1 only.
      2. 2 only.
      3. Both.
      4. None. ]

Sources: Indian Express.

Experts Believe Fortified Rice Is Leading To Side-Effects Among Adivasis:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Food security related issues.

 

Context:

According to a report, iron-fortified rice should no longer be distributed to address anaemia in places like Jharkhand.

  • These states contain large tribal populations with sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and tuberculosis, all of which can be exacerbated by an excess of iron.

 

Background:

To combat hunger and poor health outcomes among a wide segment of the population, the Union Cabinet approved a programme on April 8 to deliver fortified rice through government-run food programmes.

  • The decision was made following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise during his 2021 Independence Day speech that his government would solely provide fortified rice in all food initiatives by 2024.

 

What is food fortification?

Food fortification is defined as the practice of adding vitamins and minerals to commonly consumed foods during processing to increase their nutritional value.

 

Fortified rice:

According to the Food Ministry, fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets.

  • According to FSSAI norms, 1 kg fortified rice will contain iron (28 mg-42.5 mg), folic acid (75-125 microgram) and Vitamin B-12 (0.75-1.25 microgram).
  • In addition, rice may also be fortified with micronutrients, singly or in combination, with zinc (10 mg-15 mg), Vitamin A (500-750 microgram RE), Vitamin B1 (1 mg-1.5 mg), Vitamin B2 (1.25 mg-1.75 mg), Vitamin B3 (12.5 mg-20 mg) and Vitamin B6 (1.5 mg-2.5 mg) per kg.

 

What are the benefits of Fortification?

Since the nutrients are added to staple foods that are widely consumed, this is an excellent method to improve the health of a large section of the population, all at once.

  • It does not require any changes in food habits and patterns of people. It is a socio-culturally acceptable way to deliver nutrients to people.
  • It does not alter the characteristics of the food—the taste, the feel, the look.
  • It can be implemented quickly as well as show results in improvement of health in a relatively short period of time.
  • This method is cost-effective especially if advantage is taken of the existing technology and delivery platforms.

 

Insta Curious:

What is Biofortification? How is it different from fortification? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Bio fortification vs Genetic modifications.
  2. Micro vs Macronutrients.
  3. Fortified Rice.
  4. Approval for Biofortified and GM crops in India.
  5. GM crops allowed in India?

Mains Link:

What do you understand by fortification of foods? Discuss its advantages.

 

[Q.2) What are the advantages of food fortification?

    1. It does not require any changes in food habits.
    2. It does not alter the basic characteristics of the food.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

      1. 1 only.
      2. 2 only.
      3. Both.
      4. None. ]

Sources: Hindustan Times.

What is 5Gi?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Developments in Science and Technology.

 

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently opened India’s first 5G testbed, which will allow start-ups and industrial companies to test their products locally, eliminating reliance on international facilities.

  • He added during the occasion that India’s own 5G standard, 5Gi, was a source of great pride for the country and that it will play a significant role in delivering 5G technology to the country’s villages.

 

What is 5Gi?

  • The 5G Radio Interface Technology, called 5Gi is a locally designed telecommunication network that has been designed by IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras and the Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology.
  • The technology will be an alternative to the global 5G standards.
  • 5Gi offers more range at a lower frequency, which is the opposite of 5G. The latter works between the 700 MHz to 52,000 MHz bands and sacrifices on range.

 

Benefits of 5Gi:

  • Using the 5Gi standard will allow telcos in the country to widen the 5G connectivity to villages.
  • Cost-effective.
  • 5Gi can make sure there is no lag between the advancement of 5Gi in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and rural parts of the country.

 

Challenges of 5Gi:

  1. This could become problematic for telcos. Their existing setup will have to be re-engineered to support the 5Gi standard. And that will cost them a lot of money once again.
  2. Moving from 5G to 5Gi will be cost-intensive and most likely make the local bands incompatible with the global network right now. Because 5Gi cannot work with the global 5G standard that is based on the 3GPP technology.

 

Insta Curious:

Is India prepared for roll-out of 5G? Read here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is 5G?
  2. Differences between 3G, 4G and 5G.
  3. Applications.
  4. What is a spectrum?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of 5G technology.

Sources: the Hindu.

World Forestry Congress adopts Seoul Forest Declaration:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

The Seoul Forest Declaration was an outcome of the discussions held at the recently concluded XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul, South Korea.

  • This was the second congress held in Asia, with Indonesia hosting the first Congress in Asia in 1978.

 

About World Forestry Congress:

  • The World Forestry Congress is held approximately once every six years.
  • The first Congress was held in Italy in 1926.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has helped host countries organize the Congress since 1954.
  • Responsibility for the organization and financing of each Congress lies with the host country.
  • Theme for 2022: Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests.

 

What is WFC? What is it not?

The Congress is not an intergovernmental meeting; it has no formal constituencies nor country delegations.

  • The Congress is a forum for the exchange of views and experiences on all aspects of forests and forestry, which may lead to the formulation of broad recommendations applicable at national, regional and global levels.

 

Seoul Forest Declaration:

  • It identifies priority areas with potential to lead to a green, healthy and resilient future.
  • It urges that responsibility for forests should be shared and integrated across institutions, sectors and stakeholders.
  • Investment in forest and landscape restoration globally needs to triple by 2030.
  • Move towards a circular bioeconomy and climate neutrality.

 

Other outcomes of XV World Forestry Congress:

New partnerships launched:

  1. The Assuring the Future of Forests with Integrated Risk Management (AFFIRM) Mechanism.
  2. The Sustaining an Abundance of Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) initiative.

 

What is Forest landscape restoration?

  • It is the ongoing process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes.
  • FLR is more than just planting trees – it is restoring a whole landscape to meet present and future needs and to offer multiple benefits and land uses over time.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is FLR?
  2. What is WFC?
  3. About Seoul Forest Declaration.
  4. AFFIRM mechanism.
  5. SAFE initiative.

Mains Link:

Forest restoration is one of the key elements of climate mitigation strategies. In this context, examine the measures taken in restoring degraded forest landscape in India.

 

[Q.3) Seoul Forest Declaration, which was in news recently, is an outcome of:

      1. World Forestry Congress meeting.
      2. UNCCD meeting.
      3. FAO meeting.
      4. None of the above. ]

 

Sources: the Hindu.

Changes to Biological Diversity Act, 2002:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Biological Diversity Act, 2002:

Context:

Government had, in December 2021, introduced the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha. The bill is in the final stages of consultations in the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has expressed concerns over contentious provisions of the bill. This includes:

  • Exemption given to AYUSH practitioners from the provisions of the law. This exemption could open the law for abuse.
  • Distinction has been made in the law between cultivated biodiversity and forest-based biodiversity.
  • The appointment of sixteen ex-officio officers of the Government of India dilutes the authority of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA).
  • NBA approval is required only at the time of commercialisation of a patent and not at the time of application for a patent.

 

Highlights of the Bill:

  1. It seeks to reduce the pressure on wild medicinal plants by encouraging the cultivation of medicinal plants.
  2. The Bill also facilitates fast-tracking of research, simplify the patent application process, decriminalises certain offences.
  3. It brings more foreign investments in biological resources, research, patent and commercial utilisation, without compromising the national interest.
  4. It focuses on regulating who can access biological resources and knowledge and how access will be monitored.

 

Why is the Biodiversity Act 2002 being amended?

  • People from AYUSH medicine urged the government to simplify, streamline and reduce the compliance burden to provide for a conducive environment for collaborative research and investments.
  • They also sought to simplify the patent application process, widen the scope of access and benefit-sharing with local communities.

 

Why are environmentalists opposed to this bill?

  • The main focus of the bill is to facilitate trade in biodiversity as opposed to conservation, protection of biodiversity and knowledge of the local communities.
  • The bill has been introduced without seeking public comments as required under the pre-legislative consultative policy.
  • The bill has excluded the term Bio-utilization which is an important element in the Act. Leaving out bio utilization would leave out an array of activities like characterization, incentivisation and bioassay which are undertaken with commercial motive.
  • The bill also exempts cultivated medicinal plants from the purview of the Act but it is practically impossible to detect which plants are cultivated and which are from the wild.

 

What is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002?

  • Enacted for the conservation of biological diversity and fair, equitable sharing of the monetary benefits from the commercial use of biological resources and traditional knowledge.
  • The main intent of this legislation is to protect India’s rich biodiversity and associated knowledge against their use by foreign individuals.
  • It seeks to check biopiracy, protect biological diversity and local growers through a three-tier structure of central and state boards and local committees.
  • The Act provides for setting up of a National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in local bodies.
  • The NBA will enjoy the power of a civil court.

 

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the Nagoya Protocol? Read about it here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Biodiversity Act.
  2. Biodiversity (Amendment) Bill.
  3. National Biodiversity Authority.
  4. Nagoya Protocol.
  5. Biopiracy.

Mains Link:

What’s the mandate of and significance of work being carried out by ‘Bioversity International’ organisation? How is it different from India’s National Biodiversity Authority? Examine.

 

[Q.4) Consider the following statements:

    1. Biological Diversity Act, 2002 provides for setting up of a National Biodiversity Authority.
    2. It also provides for setting up of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in local bodies.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

      1. 1 only.
      2. 2 only.
      3. Both.
      4. None. ]

Sources: the Hindu.

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.

 

It is an annual country benchmarking report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

 

Key findings:

  • The report found that energy transition is not matching with the growing urgency for change.
  • Energy affordability, energy security, and sustainability are becoming more important than ever.
  • Energy unaffordability is threatening the goal of fair and just transition.
  • There is a lack of energy diversity.

 

Key recommendations:

  1. The report called for urgent action by both public and private sectors to ensure resilient energy transition.
  2. A comprehensive approach with a proper timeline is critical to achieving long-term climate goals.
  3.  The governments should prioritize access to affordable energy for all. Energy equity can be ensured with the help of direct benefits transfer (DBT) and other support measures.
  4. To diversify, import-dependent countries must try to import energy from many countries and not overly depend on a few countries.
  5. Domestic energy can be diversified with low-carbon alternatives which make countries self-reliant and ensure energy security.
  6. Regulatory frameworks need to be made robust to attract investments in clean energy and to ensure that commitments turn into legally binding frameworks.
  7. Decarbonizing industries are critical to the energy transition.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the great reset? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. WEF- structure, objectives and reports.
  2. ETI- top performers and worst performers.
  3. India’s per capita energy consumption.
  4. Energy production in India- sources.
  5. Renewable vs nor renewable energy sources in India.

Mains Link:

Examine the constraints for India in its transition towards a clean energy system. Also, suggest measures to overcome them.

 

[Q.5) Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022 report was released recently by:

      1. World Economic Forum.
      2. UNCCD.
      3. FAO.
      4. None of the above. ]

 

Sources: Business Standard.

 Facts for Prelims:

La Reunion:

The navies of India and France recently conducted their second joint patrolling in the French island of La Reunion in the South-Western Indian Ocean.

Objective: To demonstrate “joint surveillance and patrolling operations” capabilities.

About La Reunion:

  • It is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas department and region of France.
  • It is located approximately 950km east of the island of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of the island of Mauritius.
  • Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and is part of the eurozone.
  • Réunion and the fellow French overseas department of Mayotte are the only eurozone regions located in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Thomas Cup:

  • India’s men’s badminton team won the Thomas Cup title for the first time ever defeating Indonesia.
  • The tournament was held in Bangkok (Thailand).
  • It is a 16-nation team event (teams representing member countries of the Badminton World Federation (BWF)).
  • The championships have been conducted every two years since 1982.
  • It was started by England Player Sir George Alan Thomas.

 

Bird Count India:

Bird Count India is an informal partnership of organisations and groups interested in documenting and monitoring India’s birds.

  • The initiative encourages birdwatchers to upload their bird lists to eBird (ebird.org/india), a global platform for bird observations.
  • In India, the event was confined to Ladakh, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, northwest Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh.

Key findings:

  • Uttarakhand reported the highest number of bird species, at 293.
  • The maximum number of checklists (lists of birds seen and heard by birdwatchers), at 192, was uploaded from Jammu & Kashmir.

 

Surat and Udaygiri:

These are two indigenous warships of the Indian Navy launched recently at Mazgaon Docks Limited, Mumbai.

Surat is a Project 15B Destroyer and Udaygiri is a Project 17A Frigate.

  • The Project 15B class of ships are the next generation stealth guided missile destroyers of the Indian Navy being built at the Mazgaon Docks Ltd, Mumbai.

 

Answers to Questions asked Yesterday:

Q.1) C.

Q.2) A.

Q.3) D.

Q.4) C.

Q.5) B.

Q.6) A.

Q.7) C.


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