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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 19 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 gender pay gap, hard truths and actions needed

2. What numbers don’t tell us

3. The process of inclusion or exclusion from the Scheduled Tribes list

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Logistics Policy

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)

1. Sarpanch pawns her gold and takes a loan to install CCTV in the village

2. Freedom fuel

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Ponniyan Selvan

2. Doctors got just 20% of insurance money

3. China blocks listing of Lashkar’s commander at UNSC

4. New rules for child welfare panel members

5. INSPIRE Awards- MANAK

6. National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM)

7. KRITAGYA 3.0

8. Seed Treaty

9. Ecology with Agriculture

10. Cheetah

11. SOVA virus attack

12. Mapping

 


 

The gender pay gap, hard truths and actions needed

GS paper 2

Syllabus: welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the society, institutions and laws for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections etc

 

Directions: Important for mains. This is from an editorial piece and a continuation of a previous report by Oxfam on India discrimination report 2022.

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • India is among the most important countries when it comes to the global economic growth and structural transformation story.
    • But, asymmetries still abound in the country’s labour market.

 

Impact of the pandemic on women:

  • Income security: Due to their representation in sectors hard hit by COVID-19
  • Family responsibility: Gendered division of family responsibilities.
  • Child and elderly care: Many women reverted to full-time care of children and the elderly during the pandemic.
  • Global Wage Report 2020–21: Massive downward pressure on wages and disproportionately affected women’s total wages compared to men.

 

Gender gap in India:

  • Women earned less: Indian women earned, on an average, 48% less compared to their male counterparts in 1993-94.
  • National Sample Survey Office (NSSO): The gap declined to 28% in 2018-19.
  • Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2020-21: The pandemic reversed the progress and showed an increase in the gap by 7% between 2018-19 and 2020-21.

 

Gender-based discriminatory practices:

  • Lower wages paid to women for work of equal value.
  • Undervaluation of women’s work in highly feminized occupations
  • Enterprises, and motherhood pay gap-lower wages for mothers compared to non-mothers.

 

Constitution and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by ILO:

  • It provides an international legal framework for realising gender equality and addressing the intersecting forms of discrimination and vulnerabilities among women and girls.

 

Steps taken by India:

  • Minimum Wages Act in 1948
  • Equal Remuneration Act in 1976.
  • Code on Wages.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Maternity Benefit Act of 1961
  • Skill India Mission
  • Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC)

 

Conclusion:

  • Achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men and equal pay for work of equal value” by 2030.
  • Closing the gender pay gap: It is key to achieving social justice for working women, as well as economic growth for the nation as a whole.

 

Insta Links:

Labour Codes

MGNREGA

 

Prelims Links:

  • Minimum Wages Act in 1948
  • Equal Remuneration Act in 1976.
  • Code on Wages.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Maternity Benefit Act of 1961
  • Skill India Mission
  • Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC)
  • ILO
  • SDGs

Consider the following statements:(UPSC 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.

Mental Health: What numbers don’t tell us

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for the development of various sectors, Structure, function and organisation of judiciary etc

 

Directions: Important for mains, can be used as an example for issues with Indian prisons

 

Source: The Hindu

 

Context:

  • The National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) Prison Statistics India Report:
    • 9,180 prisoners with mental illness, 150 deaths by suicide, and five prisoners with schizophrenia and epilepsy have died.
  • India’s National Mental Health Policy, 2014: It considers prisoners a class of people vulnerable to mental ill-health.

 

Key Highlights:

  • Maximum prisoners: Undertrial population makes up for over 70% of the prison population.
  • Under trials: More than half of those with mental illness were undertrials
  • Project 39A’s report: On mental health and the death penalty, Deathworthy, revealed that over 60% of death row prisoners had a current episode of mental illness.

 

Lack of solutions:

  • NRCB data: It gives us data confirming the categorisation, but it does not take us much further towards crafting solutions.

 

Aspects of incarceration(confined to prisons)that cause distress:

  • Loss of liberty
  • Loss of close contact with loved ones
  • Loss of autonomy

 

Steps that need to be taken:

  • All-encompassing approach: Move beyond the treatment of individuals and towards identifying the social and underlying determinants of mental health in prisons.
  • Social and structural: We need to look at mental health in prisons from a social and structural perspective as well.
  • Reform, rehabilitation or reintegration(3Rs): They are meant to make prisoners confident in their lives, their choices and their ability to take decisions and be responsible and accountable for it.

 

Insta Links:

Prison reforms

 

Mains links:

Q. Though the Human Rights Commissions have contributed immensely to the protection of human rights in India, yet they have failed to assert themselves against the mighty and powerful. Analyzing their structural and practical limitations, suggest remedial measures. (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links:

NCRB

The process of inclusion or exclusion from the Scheduled Tribes list(continuation of 15sep article)

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Parliament and state legislature-structure, functioning and conduct of business, issues related to SC/ST etc

 

Directions: This is from the explained section of the Hindu. But we had already done the article on it on 15th September FFP. This will be just a revision.

 

Source: The Hindu

 

Context:

  • The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to add several tribes to the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) in States so that they can avail of benefits meant for STs, including reservation.

 

Tribes included:

  • Hatti tribe (Trans-Giri area of Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh)
  • Narikoravar(hill tribe of Tamil Nadu)
  • Kuruvikaran(hill tribe of Tamil Nadu)
  • Binjhia(Chhattisgarh)

 

Process to include or remove tribes from the list:

  • Articles 341 and 342: The final decision rests with the President’s office issuing a notification specifying the changes.

What are the criteria:

  • Ethnological traits
  • Traditional characteristics
  • Distinctive culture
  • Geographical isolation
  • Backwardness

 

Supreme Court on tribal inclusion:

  • Affinity test to link a person to a tribe: There is the likelihood that contact with other cultures, migration and modernisation would have erased the traditional characteristics of a tribe.

 

How many Scheduled Tribes are there officially?

  • Census 2011:
    • There are said to be 705 ethnic groups listed as Scheduled Tribes under Article 342.
    • Over 10 crore Indians are notified as STs.
    • The STs constitute 8.6(eight point six)% of the population and 11.3(eleven point three)% of the rural population.

 

 

Insta Links:

Issues related to SC/ST

 

Mains Links:

Q. What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (STs)? (UPSC 2017)

 

Prelims Links:

SC

ST

NC-ST

Article 342

Tribes under article 342

With reference to tribes and their geographical location, consider the following pairs:

  1. Hatti tribe       Chhattisgarh
  2. Narikoravar    Himachal Pradesh
  3. Kuruvikaran   Tamil Nadu

Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?

a.1 and 2 only

b. 3 only

c. 1 and 3 only

d. 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Justification:

Refer to the article above

National Logistics Policy

GS Paper 3

Syllabus:  Economy: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Go through once

Context: India has unveiled its National Logistics Policy (NLP) with the aim of promoting the seamless movement of goods and enhancing the competitiveness of the industry.

      • The National Logistics Policy was also announced in the Budget for 2022-23.
      • India ranked 44th in World Bank Logistics Performance Index 2018.
      • Gujarat has topped the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) 2021 index

 

Need:

      • The logistics cost in India (about 13-14 %) is high as compared to other developed economies (8%)
      • India’s logistics sector is highly defragmented and very complex.
      • This sector provides employment to more than 22 million people and is expected to grow at the rate of 10.5% over the next 5 years.
      • Logistics is also the backbone of India’s international trade and will help in the diversification of not only India’s export basket but also of products and countries.

 

Aim

      • Reducing costs for the logistics sector to 10 per cent in five years.
      • Develop skills among youth and create employment opportunities.
      • Promote the seamless movement of goods and enhance the competitiveness of the industry across the nation
      • Focus on some key areas like process re-engineering, digitization and multi-modal transport

 

 

Four Major Steps Under National Logistics Policy

      • Integration of Digital System (IDS): Different systems of seven different departments (such as road transport, railway, customs, aviation, foreign trade and commerce ministries) will be integrated digitally.
      • Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP): It will also lead to improving shorter and smooth cargo movement. It will also enable information exchange on a real-time basis in a confidential manner.
          • NICDC’s (National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation) Logistics Data Bank Project has been leveraged to develop ULIP.
      • Ease of Logistics (ELOG): It will simplify the rules and ease the logistics business.
      • System Improvement Group (SIG): monitoring all logistics-related projects regularly and tackling all obstacles.

 

Other steps taken by the government:

      • Logistics division in the Commerce department has been created.
      • Gati Shakti Scheme
      • Bharatmala Program (building about 84,000 Km of new highways)
      • Sagarmala Project (unlock the potential of the country’s 7,5000 Km coastline and 14,500 Km of navigable waterways)
      • Railways: Freight corridors
      • Previously, the government plans to replace the Multimodal Transportation of Goods Act, 1993 (MMTG) with a National Logistics Efficiency and Advancement Predictability and Safety Act (NLEAPS)

 

 

Insta Links

Logistics Sector in India

 

Mains Links

 

  1. A push towards logistics, prioritizing government measures to reduce India’s extremely high logistics costs, plethora of regulations, poor connectivity and distribution challenges is the current need of the hour. Elucidate. (15M)

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)


Note: If you had analyzed this year’s Ethics Paper, many of the Questions they had asked to substantiate with examples or illustrations. Thus, our initiative Content For Mains Enrichment comes in very handy and useful.

  

Sarpanch pawns her gold and takes the loan to install CCTV in village

 Source: TimesOfIndia

Madhya Pradesh Newly elected female sarpanch Ashabai Kaithwas of village panchayat Jhiri in Burhanpur has emerged as an inspirational sarpanch.

The woman sarpanch has pawned her jewellery for the security of her village and installed CCTV cameras in the village to keep the village safe. She couldn’t get the fund from the government on time.

Incidents like accidents, thefts, molestations and child abductions can be captured on camera and Ashabai has installed these cameras so that the culprits are caught easily.

This example can be written as a dedication to public service.

 

Freedom fuel

Source: D2E

Vishakha Chandhere has spawned a quiet revolution of sorts from her city of Pune to beat the rising prices of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Chandhere cooks food on her three solar cookers — the first has a parabolic reflector that heats the base; the second one is an insulated box with light reflected mirrors on the base and the lid; and in the third cooker, food is placed inside a vacuum tube that concentrates light to generate heat. Food can be boiled, steamed or roasted in any of the three cookers.

The only difference is that the parabolic solar cooker works well when there is excessive light; the tube model is best suited for cloudy days; and the box cooker, though it takes one to two hours to warm up, is suited for all conditions.

Chandhere in 2018 launched a startup called Orjabox to share the lessons she had learnt and to promote clean cooking devices.

 


Facts for Prelims


Ponniyan Selvan

Source: Indian Express

 Context: The enduring popularity of the Tamil novel Ponniyin Selvan, now adapted for the big screen by Mani Ratnam.

Ponniyan Selvan means the son of Ponni (the Cauvery River). The novel was penned by author and freedom fighter Kalki Krishnamurthy, and serialized from 1950-54 on a weekly basis in Tamil magazine ‘Kalki’.

 

It was later published in form of a book in 1955. It tells the story of the early days of Rajaraja I, born Arunmozhi Varman and considered the greatest of all Chola rulers.

 About Rajaraja I (985 – 1014 A.D.)

Rajaraja I is the most celebrated of the Chola kings. He engaged in naval expeditions and emerged victorious on the West Coast, Sri Lanka and conquered the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

  • He defeated Cheras in the battle of Kandanur salai.
  • He was also successful in the expedition of western and Eastern Chalukyas. He installed Shaktiverma on Vengi Throne.
  • He constructed a dam across the Kaveri river.
  • He was a devout follower of Saivism. He completed the construction of the famous Rajarajeswara temple or Brihadeeswara temple at Tanjore in 1010 A.D.
  • His titles: Mummidi Chola, Jayankonda and Sivapadasekara.
  • He abdicated his throne for his son Rajendra Chola 1.

 

Doctors got just 20% of insurance money

Source: The Hindu

Context: Dependents of doctors got just over 20% of the total money distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) insurance scheme for health workers who died fighting COVID-19 in the country.

  • The insurance scheme was launched in March 2020 to provide a comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs. 50 Lakh to over 22 lakh health care providers including community health workers and private health workers.
  • The insurance provided under this scheme would be over and above any other insurance cover being availed of by the beneficiary.
  • The scheme covers loss of life due to COVID-19 and accidental death on account of COVID-19-related duty.
  • All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of the Center as well as States are covered under this scheme.

 

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) insurance scheme:

 

China blocks listing of Lashkar’s commander at UNSC

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • China blocked a joint India-U.S. attempt to put a Pakistan-based terrorist on the UN Security Council’s 1267 list, placing a hold on the proposal to add Lashkar-e-Taiba’s commander’ Sajid Mir.

 UNSC 1267 committee:

  • It comprises all permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
  • The 1267 list of terrorists is a global list, with a UNSC stamp.
  • Limit the movement of terrorists: It discusses UN efforts to limit the movement of terrorists, especially those related to travel bans, the freezing of assets and arms embargoes for terrorism.

 Procedure of Listing:

  • Any member state: can submit a proposal for listing an individual, group, or entity.
  • Including acts and activities: The proposal must include acts or activities indicating the proposed individual/group/entity had participated “in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” linked to “ISIL, Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof”.
  • Consensus: Decisions on listing and delisting are adopted by consensus.
  • Technical hold: Any member of the Committee may also put a “technical hold” on the proposal and ask for more information from the proposing member state.

 

New rules for child welfare panel members

 Source: The Hindu

Direction: Go through once. Have some idea about the changes. No need to remember specific sections.

Context: The recently amended, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Amendment) Model Amendment Rules 2022 rules bar a person associated with an organisation receiving foreign funds to be a part of Child Welfare Committees.

  • The committee is tasked with the care and protection of children who are abused, exploited, abandoned or orphaned.

Key Highlights:

  • Rule 15 (4B) of the Model Rules 2021: It states, “a person associated with an organisation receiving foreign contribution shall not be eligible to be a Chairperson or member of the Committee.
  • Rule 15 (4C): It says that any person working in the implementation of the JJ Act in any NGO or organisation such that it causes a conflict of interest will also be ineligible to be on a CWC.
  • Close ones: Any family member or “close relation” working for an NGO will also be disqualified to be on a CWC.
  • Persons working in rescue and rehabilitation in the districts: A person representing someone running a child care institution or member of the Board or Trust of any NGO can also not be on a CWC.
  • Retired judicial officers: They have also been omitted from the category of persons who can be considered for appointment to a CWC.

Child Welfare Committees (CWCs):

  • Under JJ Act: A CWC appointed by the State government under the JJ Act has the authority to dispose of cases of children in need of care and protection brought before them.
  • Can also order an inquiry: To ensure their safety and well-being
  • Order for rehabilitation: Either in family-based care such as through restoration to family or guardian, adoption, foster care or send them to child care institutions.

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010:It only bars certain categories of people and organisations from receiving foreign funds.

  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Judges
  • Government employees
  • Member of any Legislature
  • Political parties
  • Journalists
  • Media organisations.

 

INSPIRE Awards- MANAK

Source: Inspireawards

Context: Ministry of S&T have presented INSPIRE awards to 60 start-ups and financial support to over 50,000 students in order to attract more and more talents toward science.

  • MANAK (Millions Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) was launched in 2017 with the aim to target 1 Mn original ideas/innovations rooted in S&T and create a culture of creativity among school students.

 

  

National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM)

Source: Business-Standards

 Context: Government has launched projects under NTTM in various areas e.g., Specialty fibres, Sustainable fibres, Geotextiles, Mobiltech and Sports textiles.

What are technical textiles?

Technical textiles are defined as textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic and decorative characteristics.

  • Depending upon their application areas,Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories: Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech.

 

National Technical Textiles Mission:

  • Ministry of Textiles was launched in 2020 (to be implemented in 2024) to make India a global leader in technical textiles and improve their usage.
    • Presently, India shares only 6% of the world market and the usage level is only 5-10% (usage in advanced countries 30-70%)
  • It will have four components: R&D; Promotion and development of the market; Export promotion; and Education, training and skill development.

 

KRITAGYA 3.0

Source: PIB

Context: Indian Council of Agricultural Research with its National Agricultural Higher Education Project and Crop Science Division is organizing Hackathon 3.0 ‘’KRITAGYA” on promoting ‘speed breeding for crop improvement’.

The definition of KRITAGYA is KRI for Krishi meaning Agriculture, TA for Taknik meaning Technology and GYA for Gyan meaning Knowledge.

In this competition, students, faculty and innovators/entrepreneurs from any university/technical institutions across the country can apply and participate in the program as a group.

 

 

Seed Treaty

Source: FAO

Direction: The treaty and act are important. Do have basic information on it. 

Context: India will host the 9th session of governing body of the Seed treaty

About Seed treaty

  • Seed treaty or also known as the International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is a major legally binding international agreement to conserve, use and manage plant genetic resources.
  • It was adopted by FAO in 2001 and came into force in 2004.
  • India is a party to it.

The Treaty aims at:

  • Recognizes the contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops.
  • Provides access to plant genetic materials;
  • Ensures sharing of the benefits.
    • The treaty enables sharing of 64 of our most important crops through an easily accessible global pool of genetic resources.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001: It recognizes the contributions of both commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity.

Rights under the Act:

  • Breeders’ Rights: exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety.
  • Researchers’ Rights: Researchers can use any of the registered varieties under the Act for conducting experiments or research.
  • Farmers’ Rights: A farmer can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell (but not sell branded seed) his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001. A farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled to registration and protection in like manner as a breeder of a variety

 

Ecology with Agriculture

Source: The Hindu

Direction: Learn the basic terminologies of ecology

Context: Came in the S&T section of the Sunday edition of the Hindu

 An ecological niche is the right set of environmental conditions under which an animal or plant species will thrive.

  • An example of an ecological niche is that of the dung beetle. The dung beetle consumes dung both in larval and adult forms. Dung beetles store dung balls in burrows, and females lay eggs within them. This allows hatched larvae immediate access to food.

Due to climate change, ecological Niches are altering and this may have an impact on Agriculture and therefore we need ecological niche modelling (using Big Data and other computative technology).

 Ecological niche modelling is a predictive tool for identifying new possibilities — new inhabitants for an existing habitat, or new geographical locations where a desirable plant may grow well.

E.g., the modelling identified 4,200 square kilometres of new areas suitable for saffron cultivation in places in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, North Sikkim, Imphal, Manipur and Udagamandalam, Tamil Nadu.

Crocus sativus, the saffron plant, is propagated through underground stems called corms. It is thought to be a native of Greece and grows best under Mediterranean climate conditions. Today, Iran grows nearly 90% of the world’s saffron (India: 5%). The flower of the plant has three bright crimson stigmata, which are handpicked when ready and carefully dried for commercial saffron.

Fig: Ecological Niche and Dung Beetle.

 

Cheetah

Source: Indian Express

Direction: It is important for prelims next year.

Context: India brought five females and 3 males cheetah from Namibia.

  • Cheetah became extinct in 1952 and is the only large mammal to become extinct since independence. It is a keystone species of dry forests, scrub forests and Savannahs grassland.
    • A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a unique and crucial role in the way the ecosystem functions. Without them, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.
  • It is for the 1st time that a large carnivore is being moved from one continent to another and is being reintroduced to the wild.

 

SOVA virus attack

Source: LiveMint

 Context: The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has issued a detailed safety advisory against a new mobile banking ‘Trojan’ virus, SOVA, prowling in Indian cyberspace, which stealthily encrypts an android phone for ransom.

A new banking malware is targeting bank customers using SOVA android Trojan with the ability to harvest usernames and passwords. The malware hides itself within fake android applications displaying logos of legitimate applications like Chrome, Amazon, and NFT (non-fungible token) platforms and deceives users into installing them.

This malware captures user credentials when users access their bank accounts through net banking applications. This version of SOVA is targeting over 200 mobile applications and its attacks can result in ‘large-scale’ financial fraud

 

 

 

Mapping


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