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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 10 June 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. QS World University Rankings 2023.

2. India 7th in FDI inflows: Unctad.

3. IAEA board passes resolution criticizing Iran.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Why are bond yields rising?

2. Par Tapi Narmada project.

3. Fast radio burst.

4. Environmental performance index.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Vale do Javari.

2. Hypogonadism.


QS World University Rankings 2023:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Issues related to Education.

 

Context:

Leading global higher education analysts QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) has released the 19th edition of one of the most-consulted international university rankings.

 

How are institutions ranked?

QS uses six indicators to compile the ranking: Academic reputation (AR), employer reputation (ER), citations per faculty (CPF), faculty/student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

 

Performance of Indian Institutions:

  • The latest edition features 41 Indian universities, of which 12 improved their positions, 12 remained stable, 10 declined and seven are new entries.
  • The IISc ranks 155th globally, and is the global leader in the citations per faculty (CpF) indicator, which QS uses to evaluate the impact of the research produced by universities.
  • The IISc is the fastest rising South Asian university among the top-200 universities in the QS rankings, having climbed 31 places year on year.
  • The IIT Bombay, which was the top Indian university in QS World University Rankings of the previous edition, is the second best Indian institution this time and climbed five places globally to reach the 172 rank.
  • The third best Indian university is the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD), followed by IIT Madras and IIT Kanpur.
  • Jindal Global University is the top-ranked private institute in India.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Performance of Indian Institutions.
  2. When was institutions of eminence scheme launched?
  3. Top 3 institutions worldwide.
  4. Name the 6 indicators used to rank institutions.

Mains Link:

Write a note on institutions of Eminence scheme.

 

Q. 1) Consider the following statements:

  1. QS World University Rankings is released annually by UNCTAD in association with UNICEF.
  2. In the 2023rd edition, IISc ranks 155th globally.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Sources: Indian Express.

India 7th in FDI inflows: Unctad:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Important International Institutions.

 

Context:

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (Unctad) has released the annual World Investment Report.

 

Highlights of the Report:

  1. India is ranked seventh despite a 30% decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
  2. The United States ($367 billion) remained the top recipient of FDI.
  3. China ($181 billion) and Hong Kong ($141 billion) also retained second and third position respectively.
  4. Among the top 10 host economies, only India saw a decline in its inflows.
  5. However, outward FDI from India rose 43 per cent to $15.5 billion in 2021.

 

 

What is FDI?

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment from a party in one country into a business or corporation in another country with the intention of establishing a lasting interest. With FDI, foreign companies are directly involved with day-to-day operations in the other country.

 

About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United NationsGeneral Assembly in 1964.
  • It is part of the UN Secretariat.
  • It reports to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, but has its own membership, leadership, and budget.
  • It is also a part of the United Nations Development Group.

 

Objectives and roles:

  • It supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively. Along with other UN departments and agencies.
  • It also measures the progress made in the Sustainable Development Goals, as set out in Agenda 2030.

 

Reports published by UNCTAD are:

  1. Trade and Development Report
  2. World Investment Report
  3. Technology and Innovation Report
  4. Digital Economy Report

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNCTAD.
  2. Important reports by UNCTAD.
  3. Highlights of the annual World Investment Report 2022.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of FDI inflows for India.

 

Q. 2) The reports released by UNCTAD include:

  1. Trade and Development Report
  2. World Investment Report
  3. Technology and Innovation Report
  4. Digital Economy Report

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only.
  2. 2 and 3 only.
  3. 3 and 4 only.
  4. All of the above.

Sources: Times of India.

IAEA board passes resolution criticizing Iran:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Important International Institutions.

 

Context:

The International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors has passed a resolution calling on Iran to fully cooperate with the UN inspectors’ investigation into three undeclared sites.

  • The resolution was submitted by the UK, France, Germany and the US to the IAEA and was backed by 30 countries.
  • Only Russia and China opposed the move. Iran condemned the resolution.

 

Why it matters?

It’s the first resolution of its kind passed in two years and comes after 10 weeks of stalemate in the indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

 

About IAEA:

  • Set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family.
  • Reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
  • Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

 

Functions:

  • Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
  • Seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.

 

Programs:

  1. Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
  2. Human Health Program.
  3. Water Availability Enhancement Project.
  4. International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, 2000.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is JCPOA? Signatories.
  2. Iran and its neighbours.
  3. What is IAEA? Relation with the UN.

Mains Link:

Why is Iran nuclear deal significant for India and the world? Discuss.

 

Q. 3) Consider the following statements:

  1. IAEA was Set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family.
  2. It reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Sources: the Hindu.

Why bond yields are rising?

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Context:

The Reserve Bank of India has hiked rates to rein in inflation, which is expected to remain above 7% until at least September.

  • However, with this, the bond yields have also risen to their highest levels in three years.

 

What does it mean?

  1. The rise in yields means markets have already factored in the worst of the rate movements.
  2. The rise indicates that the cost of funds in the financial system is rising and so are interest rates.
  3. The rise means the government will have to pay more as yield (or return to the investors), leading to a rise in cost of borrowings.
  4. This will put upward pressure on general interest rates in the banking system.

 

Impact on Investors:

The rise in yields means investors expect higher interest rates and are selling their bonds, because higher rates would result in a decline in the bond price of existing bonds (and thereby capital loss on sale before maturity).

  • Debt investors are set to get impacted. When yields rise and bond prices fall, net asset values of debt funds, which hold a sizeable chunk of government securities in their portfolios, will also decline.
  • It will also impact corporate bonds, which are priced higher than government bonds.
  • Rising bond yields are generally not good news for equity investors as they raise the cost of funds for companies and start hurting their earnings.

 

Bond Yields vs Equity:

Bond yields have an inverse relationship with equities as a rise in bond yields means that the risk premium on equities will have to go up.

 

Relationship between Bond Price and Yield:

A bond’s price moves inversely with its yield or interest rate; the higher the price of a bond, the lower the yield.

  • The reason for the inverse relationship between price and yield is due, in part, to bonds being fixed-rate investments.
  • Investors might sell their bonds if it’s expected that interest rates will rise in the coming months and opt for the higher-rate bonds later on.
  • Conversely, bond investors might buy bonds, driving the prices higher, if they believe interest rates will fall in the future because existing fixed-rate bonds will have a higher rate or yield.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are Negative Yield Bonds?
  2. What is Bond Yield Curve?
  3. Relationship between Bond Price and Yield.

Mains Link:

Discuss why Negative Yield Bonds are gaining popularity these days.

 

Q. 4) Consider the following statements:

  1. A bond’s price moves inversely with its yield or interest rate.
  2. The higher the price of a bond, the lower the yield.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Sources: Indian Express.

/ 10 June CA, Today's Article

Par Tapi Narmada project:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage.

 

Context:

PM Modi is all set to inaugurate the Astol project that will provide tap water to 4.50 lakh people living in 174 tribal villages and 1,028 hamlets on the hills of Valsad district in Gujarat.

This is significant as the tribes in the area have been protesting against the central government’s Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project.

 

Background:

Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project in south Gujarat was scrapped after strong protests by tribal communities of the three districts in the region.

 

About the Project:

Envisioned under the 1980 National Perspective Plan.

The project proposes to transfer river water from the surplus regions of the Western Ghats to the deficit regions of Saurashtra and Kutch.

 

It proposes to link three rivers:

  1. Par, originating from Nashik in Maharashtra and flowing through Valsad.
  2. Tapi from Saputara that flows through Maharashtra and Surat in Gujarat.
  3. Narmada originating in Madhya Pradesh and flowing through Maharashtra and Bharuch and Narmada districts in Gujarat.

 

Benefits:

The surplus water proposed to be diverted through the estimated Rs 10,211 crore Par-Tapi-Narmada link project is expected to irrigate an area of 2,32,175 hectares, of which 61,190 ha is en route to the link canal.

 

Why is this project being opposed?

According to a report by the NWDA, about 6065 ha of land area will be submerged due to the proposed reservoirs.

  • A total of 61 villages will be affected, of which one will be fully submerged and the remaining 60 partly.
  • The total number of affected families would be 2,509 of which 98 families would be affected due to the creation of the Jheri reservoir, the only one in Maharashtra, spread over six villages.
  • In Gujarat, around 2000 families will be affected by the project. The districts where the project will be implemented are largely dominated, by tribals who fear displacement.

 

Benefits of interlinking:

  1. Enhances water and food security.
  2. Proper utilisation of water.
  3. Boost to agriculture.
  4. Disaster mitigation.
  5. Boost to transportation.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Project.
  2. About Par River.
  3. Tapi and Narmada – tributaries and basin states.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the project.

 

Q. 5) The Narmada river flows to the west, while most other large peninsular rivers flow to the east. Why? (2013).

  1. It occupies a linear rift valley.
  2. It flows between the Vindhyas and the Satpuras.
  3. The land slopes to the west from Central India.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) None

Sources: Indian Express.

Fast radio burst:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Awareness in Space.

 

Context:

Astronomers have reported a fast radio burst (FRB) whose characteristics are different from almost all other FRBs previously detected, except one.

  • The latest FRB (Named FRB 20190520B), unlike many other FRBs, emits frequent, repeating bursts of radio waves. Only one FRB has been previously observed to behave this way.

 

What are FRBs?

FRBs are bright flashes of light that appear for a few milliseconds and then vanish.

  • The first FRB was discovered in 2007. Since then 140 more were discovered until June 2021.

 

How are they produced?

The astronomers have suggested that the candidates for the sources of FRBs are the superdense neutron stars left over after a supernova, or magnetars (neutron stars with ultra-strong magnetic fields).

 

What are Magnetars?

A magnetar is a type of neutron star.

  • They are the most powerful magnets in the cosmos.
  • Their magnetic fields are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the Earth.

 

Current Affairs

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are radio waves?
  2. What are Magnetars?
  3. What is a neutron star?

Mains Link:

What are FRBs? How are they significant in understanding our universe? Discuss.

 

Q. 6) Consider the following statements:

  1. A magnetar is a type of neutron star.
  2. Magnetic fields of Magnetars are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the Earth.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Sources: Indian Express.

Environmental performance index:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

The latest edition (2022) of the Environmental Performance Index was recently released.

The report is prepared by the researchers of:

  1. Yale Centre for Environmental Law &Policy.
  2. Centre for International Earth Science Information Network Earth Institute, Columbia University.

 

About the Environmental Performance Index:

  • The EPI provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world.
  • It ranks 180 countries on 40 performance indicators including climate change, environmental public health, biodiversity etc.
  • It offers a scorecard that highlights leaders and laggards in environmental performance.
  • It also provides practical guidance for countries that aspire to move toward a sustainable future.

 

Performance of India and other countries:

  • The report ranked India at the bottom in a list of 180 countries.
  • The lowest scores go to India (18.9), Myanmar (19.4), Vietnam (20.1), Bangladesh (23.1) and Pakistan (24.6).
  • The US has been ranked at 43rd and the biggest current emitter China has been ranked at 160th position.
  • Top 5 countries: Denmark, UK, Finland, Malta and Sweden have been ranked at the top five positions due to their better performance.

 

Why India is placed at the bottom?

  • The report claimed that India prioritised economic growth over environment.
  • It has markedly poor air quality and quickly rising greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Why India rejected the report?

  • As per Indian govt, the report used many indicators based on unfounded assumptions.
  • The methodology does not consider per capita emissions and different socio-economic conditions across countries.
  • The weight of indicators in which India was performing well has been reduced.
  • The principle of equity is given very low weightage in the form of the indicators like GHG emission per capita and GHG emission intensity trend.
  • The common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) principle is also barely reflected in the composition of the index.
  • Forests and wetlands, which act as crucial carbon sinks, have not been factored in while computing the projected GHG emissions trajectory up to 2050 by EPI 2022.

Sources: Indian Express.

/ 10 June CA, Today's Article

Facts for Prelims:

 

Vale do Javari:

British journalist Dom Phillips and a Brazilian indigenous affairs expert, Bruno Araujo Pereira, recently went missing in Vale do Javari.

  • Vale do Javari is a region in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • It is the western section of the Brazilian Amazon named after the Javari river, which forms the country’s border with Peru.
  • It is spread over 85,444 sq km and it is home to “the greatest concentration of isolated groups in the Amazon and the world”.
  • The region has rich gold resources.

 

Current Affairs

 

Hypogonadism:

It is a condition caused by the deficiency of the male sex hormone, testosterone.

  • It can cause sexual dysfunction, weakening of bones and muscles, and reduced quality of life.
  • Risk factors include ageing (as testosterone levels decline with age), obesity and diabetes.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy is the standard treatment for hypogonadism.

 

Current AffairsCurrent Affairs

Answers to Questions asked Yesterday:

Q.1) C.

Q.2) D. (Correction in the Question – BIMSTEC doesn’t include).

Q.3) B.

Q.4) B.

Q.5) C.


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