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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 24 August 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 1:

1. Moonlighting

2. The case of the missing scientific Indian

 

GS Paper 2:

1. What is the controversy around the revision of electoral rolls in J&K?

2. Healthcare in India

3. India’s sex ratio at birth normalises slightly

4. Supreme Court strikes down the provision of the 1988 Benami law

5. Wellness wishes for 2047

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay)

1. Acculturation

2. Solidarity with Sanna

3. Anna Mani

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Garba Dance nominated for UNESCO Heritage List

2. Makhana gets a GI Tag

3. 75th Anniversary of diplomatic ties between India- Egypt

4. Bent-toed gecko

5. Observatory to monitor space activity

6. Amrit Grants

7. Cow Dung to compressed biogas Project

8. Palladium and Neon

9. Headquarter Agreement with CDRI

10. NAFIS

11. BrahMos Missile

12. Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile


 

Moonlighting

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Indian Society

 

Source: Times of India

Direction: This topic can come in Indian Society as well as ethics. Go through the ethical aspect of the debate.

 

What Is Moonlighting?

Moonlighting simply refers to the act of having a second job, or working for extra projects, gigs, or employers, that counts as a secondary source of income, outside one’s working hours.

 

Debate around Moonlighting:

      • While Swiggy launched a moonlighting policy allowing its employees to work on their passion projects outside of their work (calling it a step towards a “remote-first organization”).
      • Rishad Premji, Wipro’s chairman, called the concept of moonlighting in the tech industry cheating.

 

For Moonlighting:

      • Moonlighting allows workers to work for side projects once they finish their shift timings, without compromising on their primary employment.
      • Gaining extra profits while also helping them hone their skills.
      • Personal choice: After the company’s shift timings, a person is free to do whatever he/she wants to do as a passion project or side gig.
      • Build’s a good profile: Many universities abroad consider such side projects as valuable for admission into professional courses.

 

Against Moonlighting:

      • An employee is required and expected to give his entire working time, effort, and energy to the employer’s interest.
      • Legal but may not be ethical: There is no overarching law which prohibits a person from doing multiple jobs. However, a person with a similar nature of jobs may spark breach of confidentiality issues.
            • Not legal in some states: There restriction is on double employment under the Factories Act, but not applicable to IT companies in some states.
      • Moonlighting turns to daylighting: Side jobs may take away the employee’s productivity.
      • Fear of leakage of confidential information of the primary job.
      • Moonlighting clause: Some companies have introduced a moonlighting clause that puts a restriction on the double employment of an employee.

 

Conclusion:

Moonlighting should be a choice unless it affects the efficiency and integrity of employees’ primary work duty.

 

Related term:

“Quite Quitting”: When an employee chooses not to take any additional work, beyond the scope of his job description or refuses to answer work-related stuff outside of his scheduled work hours. It is seen as quite quitting.

It should not necessarily be seen as inefficient working rather employees may be having a work-personal life balance. 

 

Insta Links

 Mains Link

In society (link it with changing nature of jobs, gig economy) and in ethics (link it with whether the practice is justified- think it from different perspectives). Answer this Question.

 Q.Examine the role of the ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. (Answer in 150 words)  (UPSC 2021)

The case of the missing scientific Indian

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Indian Society

 

Source: The Hindu

Direction:

Context: This is an editorial piece. The author argues that India has failed to propagate scientific literacy not only among the public but also among scientists themselves

 

Scientific temper is an open-minded examination—a temper ever ready to welcome new knowledge and experiments, even when their results are unfavourable to preconceived opinions or theories.

      • Jawaharlal Nehru defined it as an attitude of logical and rational thinking.

 

Constitution: Propogate scientific temper (a duty in Article 51A) (included through the 42nd Amendment)

 

Importance:

      • Bringing forth a progressive society that is free of superstitions and irrational
      • Developing the nation in all spheres (political, economic and social)
      • Promoting tolerance among people for differing thoughts and ideas.
      • Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge

 

Issues:

      • Scientific temper in India has continued to remain a lofty ideal and has not percolated into society.
      • The bulk of scientists in the country was not committed to a scientific temper which calls for rationality, reason and lack of belief in any dogma, superstition or manifest falsehood.
      • India had not produced many Nobel Prize winners in science “largely because of the lack of a scientific environment in the country”
      • Prevalent orthodoxy: People several times do not believe in scientifically obtained solutions.

 

Pseudoscience in the US:  E.g. Christian revivalist groups in the U.S. have been fighting to bring Creationism into the science curriculum as an alternate theory to the origin of the human species.

 

Conclusion:

This 75th year of Independence should be seen as an opportunity for India to critically assess its successes and failures and prepare for a promising future. Science and scientific literacy have a key role in bringing home that future.

 

Insta Links

Mains Links

Q. What is scientific temper? Discuss the need for inculcating scientific temper among the masses. (250 words)

What is the controversy around the revision of electoral rolls in J&K?

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Source: The Hindu

Directions: Kee a note on ECI, delimitation commission and voting rights.

Context:  As per the J&K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), anyone “who is living ordinarily in J&K” can avail of the opportunity to get enlisted as a voter in the Union Territory. Previously, only ‘Permanent Residents’ were eligible to vote.

 

Who else is eligible to vote?

      • Voting right for armed forces: The armed forces posted in J&K could register as voters and may participate in the first-ever Assembly polls in the UT.
      • Delimited assemblies: Existing electoral roll is being mapped into the newly delimited Assembly constituencies as per the Delimitation Commission’s final order ( effective from May 20, 2022).

 

Why are electoral rolls being revised?

      • New Delimitation: Fresh electoral rolls in J&K were required after J&K Delimitation Commission carved out seven new Assembly constituencies in the UT (6 in Jammu and one in Kashmir)
            • This was done under the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act adopted in 2019. Jammu now has 43 assembly constituency seats against 47 in Kashmir.
      • The ECI has decided that it will also include any person who has attained the age of 18 years on or before October 1, 2022, in the fresh electoral rolls.

 

What did the CEO announce?

      • No need for a domicile: There is no need for a person to have a domicile certificate of J&K to become a voter.
          • An employee, a student, a labourer or anyone from outside who is living ordinarily in J&K can enlist his or her name in the voting list
      • Option for armed forces: Armed forces from different parts of the country “have the option that if they are posted in a peace station they can enlist themselves as voters.
      • New voters: Around 25 lakh new voters are expected to be enrolled in J&K, which has 76 lakh voters on the list.
          • The projected 18-plus population of J&K was around 98 lakh.
      • After the abrogation of special provisions of Article 370, the Representation of the People Act 1950 and 1951 is applicable in J&K.

 

Previously, those ‘ordinarily residing ‘ in J&K were eligible to vote only in the parliamentary election (as Non-Permanent Resident (NPR). This included West Pakistan refugees living in J&K since 1947.

 

Insta Links:

ECI

 

Mains links:

Mandate and functions of ECI, RPA, Delimitation Commission, and De-freezing of constituency after 2026 (esp. those giving Mains this time) are important for both prelims and Mains

Q. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (UPSC 2018)

 

Prelims link:

Mandate and functions of ECI, RPA, and Delimitation Commission are important for both prelims and Mains

      1. Consider the following statements:
      1. As per the delimitation Commission in UT of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu now has 47 seats against 43 in Kashmir.
      2. There is no need for a person to have a domicile certificate from J&K to become a voter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Justification:

Refer to the article above

Healthcare in India

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government policies and Intervention: Health

 

Source: Business-Standards

Direction: Although it is a detailed report. These are the basic highlight given on Nasscom webpages. For Mains answer writing, this is sufficient (just quote that Nasscom report has suggested this….)

 

Context: A report by NASSCOM “Healthcare in India- Transforming Through Innovation” highlights how emerging technologies and innovations are transforming Health.

 

Status of India’s Health Sector:

      • Increase in healthcare expenditure by a massive 73% ( from 2.73 lakh cr in 2019-20 to 4.72 lakh cr in 2021-22)
      • New missions: e-sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, National Digital Health Mission etc.
      • Over 3+ mn requirement of doctors and nurses by 2025
      • Over 2000 HealthTech Start-ups (including 4 unicorns)

 

What is driving this growth?

      • Increasing life expectancy ( slated to be 70 years (2025) from 69.66 years currently )
      • Increasing % of senior citizens (slated to reach 16% (2041) from 8.6% (2011 census)
      • Increasing pressure of diseaseg. Pandemic
      • Rising income level
      • Increasing health insurance penetration
      • Telemedicine and remote care

 

Recommendations by the report:

      • Digitize primary care
      • Build healthcare workforce
      • National Health App for all healthcare services.

 

Some unique technology innovations (not from the report)

      • Digital ecosystem: E.g. an Apple watch monitors the user’s health and shares the data with healthcare providers to analyse the patient’s health even before the consultation begins.
      • AI-based wellness selfie identifies key vitals such as SpO2, respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure etc.,
      • Non-invasive glucometers, smart health watches, chatbot-based symptom checking etc.

 

Conclusion:

People-centred primary healthcare built upon digitalisation and innovation will lead the way to universal health care in India.

Insta Links

Health Care sector in India

Mains Link

Digitization of healthcare has been in news recently, especially with government interventions such as Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and Health Stack. Those giving mains plz keep a note ready on it.

Q. Discuss the role that the national Digital health mission can play in changing the healthcare market dynamics positively for India. (15M)

 

Prelims Link

Know the basic features of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and Health Stack and other initiatives.

India’s sex ratio at birth normalizes slightly

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Issues related to the development and management of the social sector relating to health, social sector schemes etc

 

Source: The Hindu

Directions: Remember the trend and some unique findings of the report.

 

Context: The latest study by Pew Research Center has pointed out that “son bias” is on a decline in India and the average annual number of “baby girls missing” in India fell from approx. 4.8 lakh in 2010 to 4.1 lakh in 2019.

      • Missing females: It refers to how many births would have occurred during the time if there were no female selective abortions.

 

Key Highlights of the report:

      • Sex ratio normalised slightly: From about 111 boys per 100 girls (India’s 2011 census) to about 109 (2015-16) and to 108 boys (latest NFHS survey 2019-21)
      • Missing females: The Pew Research Center report points out that between 2000-2019, nine crore female births went “missing” because of female-selective abortions.

 

Sex selection among Sikhs:

      • Highest among Sikhs: Sex selection was the highest for Sikhs.
      • Missing girls among Sikhs: The study points out that while the Sikhs make up less than 2% of the Indian population, they accounted for an estimated 5% of the nine crore baby girls who went “missing” in India between 2000 and 2019.

 

Sex Selection among Hindus:

      • Missing girls among Hindus: The share of “missing” girls among Hindus is also above their respective population share.
        • Hindus make up 80% of India’s population but accounted for an estimated 87% or approximately eight crores of the females “missing” due to sex-selective abortions.

 

Sex Selection among Muslims and Christians:

      • Normal: Both Christians (105 boys to 100 girls) and Muslims (106 boys to 100 girls) have sex ratios close to the natural norm, and this trend is holding.
      • Missing females: The share of female births “missing” among Muslims and Christians during this period is lower than each group’s share of the Indian population.
        • Among Muslims: Muslims, who make up about 14% of India’s population, accounted for 7%, or approximately 5.9 lakh, of the country’s “missing” girls.
        • Among Christians: Christians, who make up 2.3% of the population, have had an estimated 0.6%, or about 0.5 lakh, of the total number of sex-selective abortions.

 

Sex ratio at birth:

      • It is the number of females born per thousand males.
      • It is an important indicator to map the gender gap in a population.
      • The sex ratio report in India is published by the Registrar General of India.

 

Insta Links:

Sex ratio in India

 

Mains links:

Q. What are the continued challenges for women in India against time and space? (UPSC 2019)

 

Prelims links:

      • Sex ratio
      • Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994
      • Missing girls

With reference to sex Ratio, consider the following statements:

  1. It is the number of females born per hundred males.
  2. The Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per 1000 males in the age group 0–6 years.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Justification:

          • It is the number of females born per thousand males.
          • The Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per 1000 males in the age group 0–6 years.

Supreme Court strikes down the provision of the 1988 Benami law

GS paper 2 & 3

Syllabus: Structure, organization and functioning of the judiciary, Benami laws in India etc

 

Source: The Hindu

Direction: Know the crux of the issue, why the Benami act was amended and why SC has now struck down the amendments.

 

Context:  A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice declared Sections 3(2) and section 5 introduced through the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act of 2016, as unconstitutional

      • The act defines a ‘Benami’ transaction as any transaction in which property is transferred to one person for a consideration paid by another person.

 

Background:

The 2016 law amended the original Benami Act of 1988, expanding it to 72 Sections from a mere nine. Amendments were opposed in SC and SC had to decide on three main issues:

      • Whether there is legislative intent to give retrospective effect to the 2016 Act
      • Whether the 2016 Act imposes a harsher penalty than the earlier Act insofar as it provides for “confiscation of Benami property rather than its acquisition”, thereby violating Article 20(1)
      • Whether the 2016 Act is constitutionally valid.

 

Key Highlights of the judgement:

      • Section 3(2): It mandates three years of imprisonment for those who had entered into Benami transactions between September 5, 1988, and October 25, 2016.
          • A person can be sent behind bars for a Benami transaction entered into 28 years before the Section even came into existence, thus it is a harsher punishment.
      • Section 5 of the 2016 Amendment Act: It said that “any property, which is the subject matter of Benami transaction, shall be liable to be confiscated by the Central Government”.
          • The court held that this provision cannot be applied retrospectively.
      • Government’s version of forfeiture and acquisition: The CJI dismissed the government’s version that forfeiture, acquisition and confiscation of property under the 2016 Act as it was not in the nature of prosecution and cannot be restricted under Article 20.
      • New class of fictitious and sham transactions: The court observed that the 2016 Act condemned not only transactions that were traditionally denominated as Benami but rather a “new class of fictitious and sham transactions”.
      • Prosecutions or confiscation proceedings quashed: Authorities concerned cannot initiate or continue criminal prosecution or confiscation proceedings for transactions entered into prior to the coming into force of the 2016 Act, viz., October 25, 2016.
          • As a consequence, all such prosecutions or confiscation proceedings shall stand quashed,” the Supreme Court directed.

 

Extensive powers:

      • Extensive powers: The court also noted that the Act also granted extensive powers of discovery, inspection, compelling attendance, and compelling production of documents to officials.
      • Assistance of Police officers: It also empowered authorities to take the assistance of police officers, customs officers, income tax officers etc., for furnishing information.
      • Person supplying false information: A person who supplies false information before any authority, is subjected to rigorous imprisonment of up to five years under Section 54 of the 2016 Act.

 

Benami property:

      • It is the one whose legal owner is different from the actual owner.
      • Benami property includes:
            • Immovable assets such as land, flats or house.
            • Movable assets such as gold, stocks, mutual fund holdings, bank deposits etc.
      • If the property is sold, then the proceeds from the sale are also included under Benami property.

 

Insta Links:

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act of 2016

 

Mains Links:

Q. Discuss how emerging technologies and globalization contribute to money laundering. Elaborate measures to tackle the problem of money laundering both at national and international levels. (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims links:

Do remember the basic provisions of the act (section number is not important)

      1. With reference to the ‘Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 (PBPT Act)’, consider the following statements:
      2. A property transaction is not treated as a Benami transaction if the owner of the property is not aware of the transaction.
      3. Properties held under Benami are liable for confiscation by the Government.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Justification:

      • A property transaction is treated as a Benami transaction even if the owner of the property is not aware of the transaction as the basic principle in the Indian legal framework.
      • Properties held by Benami are liable for confiscation by the Government and also liable for confiscation by the Government without the payment of compensation.

Wellness wishes for 2047

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Issues related to the development of the social sector relating to health, education, SDGs etc

 

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Most of the points are generic here. Go through it once.

Context: This is an editorial piece.  The author wishes that India at 100 will be an equitable country, built on firm access to high-quality education and healthcare along with gender parity, employment opportunities for all, etc. He gives prescriptions of what should be done.

 

Improvements in schooling and skills:

  • Vocational training centres: we must strengthen vocational training centres — Industrial Training Institutes, for instance — that provide skills necessary for employment.
  • Reducing the number of degrees: The degrees that do not serve as a gateway to professional development or knowledge acquisition.
  • Barriers to education: We must ensure that finances are not a barrier to education

 

A World Bank report: Reports from the early 2000s made the case for education of women as the major driver of change in the health status of societies.

  • Factors linked to education: Reduced fertility, safer births and better health of children and increased social status are causally linked to the education of women
  • Healthcare beyond maternal and child care: Healthcare must move beyond maternal and child health packages and programmes to treat diseases.
  • Preventing life-threatening diseases: Enabling people to improve their health, preventing life-threatening diseases and improving palliative care for patients of such diseases.

 

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030:  They are unlikely to be addressed in full measure by 2047 if we do not address health, health emergencies and catastrophic health expenditures.

  • Although only Goal 3 of the SDGs directly focuses on good health and well-being, the other goals are also linked to health.
    • For example, Goals 1 and 2 — no poverty and zero hunger — cannot be attained if issues related to health are not addressed.

Way forward:

  • Make primary healthcare truly functional, especially when it comes to preventing illness and high out-of-pocket expenses on health.
  • Place healthcare providers close to patients by creating proper and functional physical and digital infrastructure.
  • Create the right and rapid referral pathways, so that delays in care do not result in unnecessary burden on individuals and their families.
  • Place individuals and their needs at the centre and ensure that these needs are met without large payments being required at the point of care.
  • Regulate the private sector and ensure that no part of the country is a health “desert”.
  • Trained and motivated personnel and inexpensive drugs and vaccines for which India is well-known.
  • Equitable access requires that we deliver to all, and not just the privileged few.

 

Conclusion:

2047 may seem distant, but to create the foundation for the next century, we need to invest in education and health in the next 25 years — not just for the elite, but for all.

 

Insta Links:

India and SDGs

 

Mains Links:

Q. Besides being a moral imperative of the Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.” Analyze. (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links:

Link it with World Bank, Club of Rome etc.

Consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2016)

      1. The Sustainable Development Goals were first proposed in 1972 by a global think tank called the ‘Club of Rome’.
      2. The Sustainable Development Goals have to be achieved by 2030.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Justification:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 to end poverty, reduce inequality and build more peaceful, prosperous societies by 2030

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/ Essay)


Acculturation

Source: The Hindu

A sociological concept that explains the changes that occur when two or more groups come in contact with each other and exchange aspects of their cultures such as values and practices of the other while still retaining their own distinct identity.

E.g. assimilation of many American Indian groups into the white culture of America in the nineteenth century

Acculturation affects various aspects of life, including dietary patterns, fashion, art, architecture, work culture, and literature. The process can occur at both individual and group levels, as well as between groups that may not be a majority or a minority in society.

 

 

Solidarity with Sanna

The video of the PM of Finland had raised controversy over how ideal leaders should be – Sanna Marin was judged for dancing with her friend and partying.

The opposition party had raised concerns about her capability to handle the responsible position of being PM. Even asked to take a drug test. Which she did and it came back negative. She later gave an explanation that partying, dancing and spending time with friends is a normal part of any human being’s life and there was nothing illegal in what she did.

This issue had raised a debate:

How do we expect our elected leaders to be:- normal humans like us or superhumans??

 

Anna Mani

Source: The Hindu

Context: Google dedicated a doodle to Anna Mani, India’s first female physics scientist. She was a physicist as well as a meteorologist. She is popularly known as the Weather Woman of India.

After graduation, she taught at WCC for a year and won a scholarship for postgraduate studies at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

This can be used as an example of the achievement of women, values of innovation, and courage.

 


Facts For Prelims


Garba Dance nominated in UNESCO Heritage List

Source: NewsOnAir

Garba is a form of dance, as well as a religious and social event that originated in Gujarat. If approved for the list, it will become the first intangible cultural heritage of Gujarat to be listed by UNESCO.

 

 

Makhana gets a GI Tag

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Go through it once.

Context: Makhana ( a variety of fox nuts) has been granted a GI tag.

      • Benefit: It will help ‘Mithila Makhan’ get global recognition and farmers get a better price.
      • Health: It is rich in protein and fibre and micro-nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, Iron etc.

About GI tag:

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

      • Valid for a period of 10 years and is administered under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999

 

75th Anniversary of diplomatic ties between India- Egypt

Source: Economic Times

Context: In a unique move Egypt Post released a commemorative postage stamp to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations between Egypt and India

Diplomatic relations between India and Egypt began when Egypt recognized India’s independence on 18 August 1947, three days after India’s independence. The two countries became even closer in the 1950s, which resulted in a historic friendship treaty in 1955.

 

Bent-toed gecko

Source: The Hindu

Context: New species of bent-toed gecko found at Agasthyamalai.

Species have been given the common name Aravind’s ground gecko scientific name Cyrtodactylus aravindi after noted malacologist N.A. Aravind, it has been described based on its distinctness in the morphological and molecular DNA data.

 

Observatory to monitor space activity

Source: The Hindu

Context: India’s first commercial space observatory will be set up in the Garhwal division of Uttarakhand.

This observatory will monitor the 10 cm size of microscopic particles moving in the space around the Earth. This space situational awareness (SSA) observatory will help in monitoring space waste and military satellites hovering in space around the Earth.

SSA refers to the knowledge of the space environment, including location and function of space objects and space weather phenomena. It covers:

      • Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) of man-made objects
      • Space weather monitoring
      • Near-earth objects monitoring

Steps taken:

      • ISRO’s NETRA (Network for Space Objects Tracking and Analysis)
      • India-US bilateral SSA arrangement

 

Amrit Grants

Source: PIB

Direction: Go through once.

Context: Recently, DBT (department of biotechnology) and BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) have given 75 Amrit Grants for supporting high-risk, ambitious research projects in the biotech sector under PPP mode.

      • Don’t confuse it with E-Amrit ( a portal for all information on electric vehicles by Niti Aayog)

Other initiatives for improving research:

      • National Research Foundation (NRF) is a professional and comprehensive research and education framework aimed to strengthen the research ecosystem in India.
      • From currently, 3.7% of GDP on R&D spending, India needs up its spending up to 2% of India’s GDP (economic survey)

 

Cow Dung to compressed biogas Project

Source: PIB

Direction: Go through it once

Context: The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) commenced its first cow dung-to-compressed biogas project at Sanchore, in Rajasthan, under a waste-to-energy project.

      • The plant will utilize 100 tons of dung per day to produce biogas, which can be used as automotive fuel.

What are wastes to energy plants?

Waste-to-Energy (WtE) or Energy-from-Waste (EfW) is a form of energy recovery and the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat by the processing of waste into a fuel source.

 

 

Palladium and Neon

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Go through once.

Context: Russia-Ukrain war has exacerbated  ( shortage already existed after COVID induced shutdown) the chip crisis as the supply of key ingredients such as Palladium and Neon has been affected.

Palladium

      • Palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803.
      • Uses: It is used in fuel cells, catalytic converters ( to clean toxic gas from the exhaust of the vehicle), in the semiconductor industry and in jewellery and dental fillings.
      • Russia controls 44% of global palladium

Neon

      • Neon is a colourless, odourless, inert gas with about two-thirds the density of air.
      • Uses: It is used to make high-voltage indicators and switching gear, making chips, lightning arresters, diving equipment, cryogenic refrigerants (in liquid form) and lasers.
      • Ukraine supplies 70% of neon supplies

Semiconductor: It lies between the conductor and insulator and controls the flow of electric current in electronic equipment and devices. Used in making electronic chips.

Fig: Chip-making Process

  

Headquarter Agreement with CDRI

Source: Economic Times

Direction: As CDRI is India-led and India HQ international coalition, do keep a short note on it.

Context: CDRI (Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure) was given an ‘independent and international legal entity’ tag as India sighed “Headquarter agreement’ with CDRI.

What is Headquarter Agreement?

It is an agreement between an international organization and the host country ( India is hosting CDRI Hq) to determine the privileges, immunities and facilities of an independent body.

Benefit: The pact will enable CDRI to pursue functions internationally with all rights, immunities, and privileges, as per the United Nations (Privileges & Immunities) Act, 1947.

About CDRI

      • Launched by Indian PM in 2019at the UN Climate Action Summit (in New York, US), CDRI is a partnership between national governments, UN agencies, the Pvt sector and Academia.
      • Aim: It promotes the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks.
      • Members: 31 countries, 6 International organizations and 2 private sectors.
      • It works at the intersection of Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

 Related term:

Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI):  It was launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 as a private sector-led initiative, to support investors and policy makers to better understand and manage physical climate risks.

NAFIS

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Often UPSC asks Qn based on biometric technology. Do have a basic understanding of the system.

Context: National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) has been launched by the Home Ministry to allow a country-wide search of crime-related fingerprints.

 

What is a NAFIS?

      • NAFIS will create a unique 10-digit national fingerprint number (NFN) for each person arrested for the crime. Using the database of fingerprints, different crimes can be linked to NFN.
      • It will “provide the much-needed unique identifier for every arrested person in the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems)
      • Developed by: National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
      • Already implemented in Madhya Pradesh (to identify deceased persons)

 

 

BrahMos Missile

Source: The Hindu

Direction: Can be read once.

Context: IAF sacks 3 officers in BrahMos missile firing case

 

About the BrahMos Missile:

      • BrahMos missiles are designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia (named after the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers)
      • It is a two-stage cruise missilewith a solid propellant booster in the first stage and a liquid ramjet in the second stage.
            • A ramjet is a form of airbreathing jet engine that uses the forward motion of the engine to produce thrust.
      • It can be launched from land, air, and seaand works both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions.
      • Speed: 3 times more than the speed of sound.
      • The initial range of 290 km (now being upgraded to 400 Km)

 

Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile

Source: PIB

Context: Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy successfully flight tested the indigenously developed Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

The VL-SRSAM system has been designed to strike high-speed airborne targets at the range of 40 to 50 km and at an altitude of around 15 km.

Features of VL-SRSAM

      • Two key features of the VL-SRSAM are cruciform wings and thrust vectoring. The cruciform wings are four small wings arranged like a cross on four sides and give the projective a stable aerodynamic posture.
            • Thrust vectoring is an ability to change the direction of the thrust from its engine to control the angular velocity and the attitude of the missile,
      • VL-SRSAM is a canisterised system, which means it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.


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