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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 7 September 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. The burden that women bear

2. Funds for POSHAN Abhiyaan unutilised

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Need economic reforms beyond liberalisation

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Mental health challenges in the uniformed forces

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)

1. Environmental cost of factory-farmed meat

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Section 123 of RPA (1951)

2. Indo-Bangladesh agreements

3. Quad discusses China’s concerns in the Indo-Pacific

4. Rear Seat Belt

5. India’s External Debt

6. Global Alliance for Industry Decarbonization (GAID)

7. Limited improvement in air pollution

8. Climate reparation

9. Partnership for Clean Energy

10. Blue Transformation Roadmap (2022-2030)

11. iNCOVACC-Intranasal COVID vaccine

12. Legionellosis disease

13. Einstein Ring

14. Maps (in News)


 

The burden that women bear

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Institutions and bodies for the protection of vulnerable sections of society, Social empowerment etc

 

Source: The Hindu

Directions: This is from an editorial piece in The Hindu. Important for mains can be used as an example of issues faced by women in India.

Context: 75% of women across India undertake time-consuming efforts every day to ensure their families have water (referred to as ‘domestic drudgery’) (NFHS-5).

Domestic drudgery:

      • It refers to menial, distasteful, or hard work.
      • Drudgery affects women from an early age.

 Consequences of Domestic drudgery:

      • Exhaustion
      • Musculoskeletal disorders
      • Lower immunity
      • Higher mental stress.
      • It threatens women’s physical safety.
      • It can impact cognitive development and education levels among children.

 Issues faced:

      • National Commission for Women Report, 2005): Longer queues and worse quality of water and losing four-five hours to collect water.
      • Council on Energy, Environment and Water Report 2021: Difficulties in refilling gas and increasing prices
        • 52% of women in rural India go for firewood.

 

How government interventions can save women from domestic drudgery:

      • Banaskantha, Gujarat: Researchers found that when the indoor piped water supply is coupled with job opportunities through micro-enterprises, time-released from water collection is converted into income earned.
      • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: LPG cylinders received under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana have saved time and improved the health of women.

 

Conclusion:

      • Restructuring household roles: The restructuring of household roles and responsibilities would be ideal such that men contribute equally at home.
      • Systematic investment: A more systematic investment, driven by sustained economic growth and better state capacity, in the delivery of quasi-public goods is also essential.

 

Insta Links:

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

 

Mains Link:

Q. Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to the absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of the policy process – Discuss. (UPSC 2019)

More than half the funds for POSHAN Abhiyaan are unutilised

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government intervention

 

Source: down to earth, PIB

 Directions: Important for prelims and mains, can be used as the reason for issues faced by for better delivery of schemes

 Context: More than half the funds for POSHAN Abhiyaan unutilised: 4th progress report released by the NITI Aayog

Key findings:

      • Utilization of funds: Less than half the funds set aside for the POSHAN Abhiyaan have been utilized by India’s states.
      • Mobile phones and monitoring devices: States and Union territories (UTs) with poor distribution of mobile phones and growth monitoring devices emerged as those with low fund utilization.
      • POSHAN Abhiyaan funds: Only three states had used more than 50 per cent of their POSHAN Abhiyaan funds between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
        • This improved marginally to 12 between 2017-2019 and FY 2019-2020.
      • System readiness and capabilities Interventions which has improved compared to the previous progress report:
        • Human resources
        • Infrastructure
        • Supplies
        • Training, and capacity building.
      • Performance: On a scale of 0-100, only Punjab scored less than 50 among the large states.
        • Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Mizoram were the poor performers among the small states while no UT scored less than 50.

The report listed five key elements of the POSHAN Abhiyaan scheme:

      • Impact package: Deliver a high-impact package of interventions in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life
      • Technology and management: Strengthen the delivery of these interventions through technology and management
      • Frontline workers: Improve the capacity of frontline workers
      • Malnutrition: Facilitate cross-sectoral convergence to address the multi-dimensional nature of malnutrition
      • Community mobilization: Enhance behaviour change and community mobilization

Poshan Abhiyaan:

      • The programme seeks to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
      • Launched in 2018 with specific targets to be achieved by 2022.
      • Aim: Reduce Stunting and wasting by 2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children.
        • Anemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
      • Target: To bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana:

Context:

●        The month of September every year is celebrated as the Rashtriya Poshan Mah or the National Nutrition Month across the country.

Key Themes:

●        Mahila and Swasthya

●        Bachcha and Shiksha –Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi

●        Gender-sensitive water conservation and management

●        Traditional food for women and children in tribal areas.

 

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM):

●        It is a centrally sponsored programme, launched by the Ministry of Rural Development in June 2011.

●        Aim: To eliminate rural poverty through:

○        Promotion of multiple livelihoods

○        Improved access to financial services for the rural poor households across the country.

●        To reach out to all rural poor households and impact their livelihoods.

Insta Links:

Poshan Abhiyan

Mains Links:

Q. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples(UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links:

Poshan Abhiyaan

NITI Ayog

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana

With reference to Poshan Abhiyaan, consider the following statements:

      1. It aims to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 20% by 2022.
      2. The programme seeks to improve nutritional outcomes for children only.

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: (d)

Justification:

Refer to article above

Need economic reforms beyond liberalisation

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy, Government policies after Liberalization

 

Source: Indian Express

Direction:

This is an opinion piece. Can note down a few unique suggestions

 Context: Pandemic recovered economy need further reforms, but this reform has to be beyond liberalization.

Liberalization means the loosening of government controls.

Issue with Liberalization:

No doubt we need more capital and better integration with world markets. But IMF-WB holy trinity of structural land, labour and other market-opening reforms harms many domestic citizens and, beyond a point, runs into severe resistance that imposes large political costs.

      • Liberalisation has reached a point of diminishing returns.

Recent Liberalization suggestions and issues with it:

Some experts suggest:

      • Privatisation of banks:
          • However, with improvements in PSB governance and risk-based lending profiles, NPA ratios have fallen and therefore no need for privatization.
      • Rupee should be completely market-determined:
          • However, the fall in the exchange rate of the rupee from about Rs 8 in the 1990s to about Rs 80 currently has not brought about a sustained rise in exports. And therefore the argument that ‘Rupee should be completely market-determined’ is not fully justified.

 What is needed? 

      • Focus on digital aspects, where India has a comparative advantage
      • Supply chain diversification away from China
      • Moving to a net zero economy and harnessing green initiatives as a source of investment and innovation.
      • Developing skills and capabilities
      • Improving employability
      • Augmenting infrastructure
      • Reducing logistics and other business costs through better Centre-state coordination
      • Enhancing the quality of governance
      • Improve data use and privacy, functioning of courts and police.

 

Insta Links

Effect of liberalization

Mains Links

Q. Assess India’s 1991 liberalisation reforms and the lessons it offers in contemporary times. (10M)

 

Prelims Links

Link it with basics of liberalization policy, Narsimhan Committee report.

With the reference to the Indian economy after the 1991 economic liberalization, consider the following statements: (UPSC2020)

      1. Worker productivity (` per worker at 2004-05 prices) increased in urban areas while it decreased in rural areas
      2. The percentage share of rural areas in the workforce steadily increased
      3. In rural areas, the growth in the non-farm economy increased
      4. The growth rate in rural employment decreased.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2, and 4 only

Answer: B

After the LPG reforms of 1991, it is inevitable that the rural/agriculture workforce would start shifting towards urban/non-Agri sectors. So 2 is wrong and 3 is correct. The steady transition to urbanization over the years is leading to the decline in the rural share of the population, workforce and GDP of the country. 4 is correct.

Which of the following has/have occurred in India after its liberalization of economic policies in 1991? (UPSC 2017)

      1. Share of agriculture in GDP increased enormously.
      2. Share of India’s exports in world trade increased.
      3. FDI inflows increased.
      4. India’s foreign exchange reserves increased enormously.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 4 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2, 3

Answer: B

India’s agriculture sector has shown a gradual decline in contribution to the Indian economy post-reform. So, option 1 is wrong.

Mental health challenges in the uniformed forces

GS Paper 4

 

Source: Indian Express

 Context: Court of Inquiry’s findings about a case of fratricide at a Border Security Force (BSF) camp in Amritsar highlighted that the person who shot his colleagues had shown signs of mental stress but these signs were not given enough attention.

The constabulary accounts for around 85 per cent of state police and CAPFs. This personnel perform their duties as directed by their seniors.

Uniformed forces are tightly structured with a command-and-control hierarchy system.

  • A senior officer is the reporting authority for his immediate junior and this junior has to fulfil their tasks with manpower under his/her command. The hierarchy is rarely breached.
  • The system ensures discipline, clarity of roles and accountability.
  • However, it tends to become inhuman, especially to those who cannot communicate their personal issues in an appropriate forum.
  • To cope with the difficulty of such a setup, personnel often resort to alcoholism and drug abuse.

What needs to be done?

  • Good leadership: Police leaders must increase communication with all the ranks. The enforcement of discipline has to go hand-in-hand with concern for staff well-being.
  • Regular communication: Regular sampark sabhas need to be conducted where personnel can air their grievances and proper follow-up action must be taken on all possible issues. The senior’s office should be open to all ranks 24/7. During random inspections on the field, friendly communication with personnel on duty increases his trust in the leadership and dedication to duty.
  • Appreciation: Reward and recognition act as big motivators. Often, the incentive system is at the whim and fancy of the head of the organisation. It has to be formalised in every setup.
  • Regular team meetings and outings: It has also been established that sports and cultural programmes increase bonhomie and create bonds between personnel, who support each other during crises.
  • Spreading Awareness: Police personnel should be made aware of mental issues and related concerns so that stigma surrounding it is gradually removed.

Dignity at the workplace and pride in the uniform compensate for any lack of resources. But this has to be reinforced with proactive interventions.

/ Sep 7 CA, Today's Article

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)


Environmental cost of factory-farmed meat

Source: D2E

Factory farming of animal products for human consumption is fueling climate change, according to a new report.

Factory farming refers to intensive livestock production that maximises output at the lowest cost.

Across four major hot spots, the annual consumption of chicken alone creates the same climate change impact as keeping 29 million cars on the road for a year

World Animal Protection has asked governments to stop giving approval for new factory farms for the next ten years. It called for reducing animal production by at least 50 per cent by 2040 and insisted on introducing compulsory minimum welfare standards for animals.

 

 


Facts for Prelims


Section 123 of RPA (1951)

Source: Economic Times

 Direction: It is important to know the basic difference between RPA 1950 Vs 1951 (see diagram)

 Context: PIL on cancellation of registration of political parties that use religious symbols or names of religions in their nomenclature.

Using religion, race, caste, community or language for electoral gains, is prohibited under Section 123 of RPA 1951 ( Corrupt practices in elections)

 

Bangladesh PM favours early solution for Teesta, other issues

Source: The Hindu

Context: India and Bangladesh signed multiple agreements.

Key Highlights:

      • Agreement on withdrawal of water river Kushiyara: It will supply water to parts of lower Assam as well as Sylhet of Bangladesh.
      • Flood water related information: India has extended the period of sharing flood water related information in real time that will help Bangladesh counter the annual floods.
      • Agreement on training of personnel: The Ministry of Railways of both countries signed an agreement on training of personnel of Bangladesh Railway in India.
      • Maitree power plant: A 1320 MW supercritical coal fired thermal power plant at Rampal in Khulna division of Bangladesh.
        • $1.6 billion is Indian Development Assistance for the project.
      • Rupsha rail bridge: It will help in connecting Khulna with Mongla port and the Indian border at Petrapole and Gede in West Bengal.
      • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): Negotiation for the CEPA would be completed by the time Bangladesh graduates from the Least Developed Country to a developing economy.
      • Mujib scholarships: For 200 family members of the personnel of the Indian military who were killed or wounded during the Liberation War of 1971.

 

Quad discusses China’s concerns in the Indo-Pacific

Quad proposals:

      • Vaccine initiative
      • Cooperation in emerging technologies
      • Infrastructure funding for Indo-Pacific countries
      • Projects to counter climate change in vulnerable regions

Issues related to the Quad vaccine initiative:

      • Waiver for US: India’s refusal to give an indemnity waiver for the American-developed vaccines.
      • Shirking demand for vaccines: Shrinking demand for the vaccines as the Indo-Pacific countries have completed their COVID-19 inoculation schedules.

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue(QUAD):

      • It is the informal strategic dialogue between India, the USA, Japan and Australia.
      • It has a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
      • Unlike NATO, the Quad does not include provisions for collective defence, instead choosing to conduct joint military exercises as a show of unity and diplomatic cohesion.

3C strategy of QUAD:

 

Rear Seat Belt

Source: Times of India

Direction: Kindly go through the y’day article on Road accidents, where we have mentioned more tools for safety.

Context: Union road transport ministry will soon make rear seat belt alarm mandatory, in a bid to nudge all occupants of a four-wheeler to buckle up for their safety.

The three-point seat belt is a low-cost restraint system that prevents occupants of a vehicle from being thrown forward in a crash.

        • Seat belt: slows the occupant at the same rate as the vehicle, distributing the physical force in a crash across the stronger parts of the body such as the pelvis and chest.
        • The Road Transport Ministry said that during 2017, a shocking 26,896 people lost their lives due to the non-use of seat belts with 16,876 of them being passengers.

  

India’s External Debt

Source: PIB

 Direction: Know the basics.

 Context: As per the External Debt management Unit ( under Dept. of Economic Affairs), India’s external debt rose to US$ 620.7 bn (Six hundred twenty point seven) as on March 2022 (an increase of over 8% compared to the previous year)

 Basics:

A country’s gross external debt is the liabilities that are borrowed from outside the country and have to be paid back in the same currency.

      • The debtors can be governments, corporations or citizens.
      • External debt may be denominated in domestic or foreign currency. (Most of India’s external debt is linked to the U.S. dollar).

External debt is classified as:

      • External Commercial Borrowing
      • Currency Convertible Bonds
      • Government Borrowings (sovereign debt)
      • NRI deposits

 

Global Alliance for Industry Decarbonization (GAID)

Source: IRENA

Direction: Just relate GAID with IRENA and Pvt. Industries.

Context: IRENA ( Int’l Renewable Energy Agency) along with major companies (including Tata Steel) have launched GAID with the aim to accelerate net-zero ambitions and decarbonization of the industrial value chains.

      • The term decarbonization literally means the reduction of carbon.

Benefits: Allow dialogue and coordinated action

 

1st meeting will be held at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (Nov 2022)

 About IRENA:

The International Renewable Energy Agency is an intergovernmental organization mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.

      • India is the 77th Founding Member of IRENA.

IRENA also coordinates Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Lighthouse Initiative for supporting the energy transition efforts of Small Island countries.

Fig: location of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt map

  

Limited improvement in air pollution

Source: The Hindu

 

Direction: NCAP is an important programme of govt. for pollution control in Indian cities.

Context: An analysis by the environmental think tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) reported limited improvement in PM2.5 for the cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). 

Status:

      • Only 14 of 43 NCAP cities registered a 10% or more reduction in their PM2.5; only 43 cities had adequate data to be considered
      • Cities in Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra dominated the list of cities which registered a significant increase in PM2.5 levels between 2019 and 2021

Non-attainment cities: It covers 132 of India’s most polluted cities, whose air quality did not meet the national ambient air quality standards from 2011 to 2015.

 

About NCAP:

The NCAP launched in 2019 aims to bring a 20%-30% reduction in pollution levels from PM2.5 and PM10 particles by 2024, using 2017 pollution levels as a base.

      • Cities are required to quantify improvement starting 2020-21, which requires a 15% and more reduction in the annual average PM10 concentration and a concurrent increase in “good air” days to at least 200.
      • Anything fewer will be considered ‘low’ and the funding consequently reduced.
      • Coordinated by: Central Pollution Control Board

Lacuna with the programme: For monitoring, CPCB only considers levels of PM10, the relatively larger, coarser particles.

However PM2.5, the smaller, more dangerous particles, aren’t monitored as robustly in all cities, mostly due to the lack of equipment.

 

Climate reparation

Source: Indian Express

 

Context: Pakistan (which recently saw massive flooding) wants rich countries that have contributed the most to climate change, to pay damages to poorer nations.

Climate reparations refer to a call for money to be paid by the Global North to the Global South as a means of addressing the historical contributions that the Global North has made (and continues to make) toward climate change.

Principle: Demand for compensation for loss and damage from climate disasters is an extension of the universally acknowledged “Polluter Pays” principle  (polluter liable for paying for remedial action and compensating the victims)

Global Norms:

      • UNFCCC (1994) explicitly acknowledges that rich countries must provide both finance and technology to developing nations to help them tackle climate change.
        • Under this, $100 billion amount, the rich countries agreed to provide every year to the developing world. (but not yet fulfilled)
      • Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damages ( 2013) was the first formal acknowledgement of the need to compensate developing countries struck by climate disasters.

Limitations: Reluctance from developed countries, difficulty in estimating the quantum of loss and damage, no mandatory global consensus.

 Conclusion:

On the face of it, Pakistan’s and other developing world’s demand for reparations appears to be a long shot, but the principles being invoked are fairly well-established in environmental jurisprudence.

 

Partnership for Clean Energy

Source: Economic Times

 Direction: Few points can be added to the note on Indo-German Economic relations.

 Context: India and Germany have begun a dialogue on engagement in various areas including- Lighthouse Cooperation on Agroecology, Natural resources and Natural farming.

      • Agroecology is sustainable farming that works with nature.

Other partnerships:

      • Joint Declaration of Intent on Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development (GSDP) (India and Germany)
      • Indo-German Energy Programme to support the implementation of the Energy Conservation Act, 2021
      • Just Energy Transition partnership (India and EU)

 

Blue Transformation Roadmap (2022-2030)

Source: FAO

Direction: Although the content of the report is good, it is too technical and theoretical. You can see a few targets (see diagram)

 Context: FAO has recently released BTR to give importance to the aquatic food system as the driver of employment, inclusive growth, SDGs and environmental recovery.

Aim: Coordinate efforts by countries, communities and agencies to maximize the contribution of the aquatic (both freshwater and saltwater) food systems to food security.

The aims re-emphasize the 2021 Declaration for sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI)

      • COFI is a subsidiary body of FAO, where members review the issues and challenges related to fisheries and aquaculture.

Some of the Indian Initiatives: Separate ministry for Fisheries (2019), PM Matsya Smapada Yojana (2020), Blue revolution 2.0, Kisan credit card for fish farmers, FIDF: Fisheries and aquaculture Infrastructure Development fund (FIDF)

 

 

iNCOVACC-Intranasal COVID vaccine

Source: The Hindu

Context:

      • Bharat Biotech’s ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored) recombinant nasal vaccine has been approved by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for primary immunization against COVID-19 in 18+ age group for restricted use in emergencies.
      • This is India’s first intranasal vaccine for COVID-19.
      • iNCOVACC is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution.

Recombinant vaccine:

      • Recombinant vaccines are protein or DNA recombinants that are produced by expression in bacterial or yeast systems.
      • It uses specific pieces of the germ – like its protein, sugar, or capsid (a casing around the germ).

 

Legionellosis disease

Source: D2E

Context: Argentina’s mystery pneumonia outbreak, where 11 people have been infected has finally been identified as Legionellosis by the country’s health ministry.

 

About:

Legionellosis is a “pneumonia-like illness that varies in severity from mild febrile illness to a serious and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia,” according to the WHO.

The disease typically spreads via inhalation of contaminated aerosols from contaminated water, which could come from — air conditioning cooling towers, evaporative condensers associated with air conditioning and industrial cooling, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers and whirlpool spas.

Direct human-to-human transmission of this disease has not yet been reported, according to the WHO.

There is concern that it could contribute to the spread of these highly disease-causing strains by linking modern man-made water systems through human transmission.”

 

Einstein Ring

Source: Indian Express 

Context: James Webb Space Telescope recently took picture of the ‘Einstein Ring’.

The image was captured using the James Webb Space Telescope’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument)

An Einstein ring is created when light from a galaxy or star passes by a massive object en route to the Earth. Due to gravitational lensing, the light is diverted, making it seem to come from different places. (see image)

      • Gravitational Lensing: As the light emitted by distant galaxies passes by massive objects in the universe, the gravitational pull from these objects can distort or bend the light.

 

Mapping

 


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