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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 02 November 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. ASHA worker’s vision for India@100

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Problems in India’s Growth Story

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Ethical Issues Concerned with Tesla’s Autopilot

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

1. Singapore’s Enabling Village

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Peripheralization

2. Voting for NRIs

3. One nation, one ITR form

4. Coronal holes

5. Li-Ion Battery and New Anode Material

6. CSE report on natural disasters

7. UP gets its fourth tiger reserve

8. Mudumalai Tiger Reserve buffer

9. Amur falcon hunting banned in Manipur

10. Mapping


 

ASHA worker’s vision for India@100

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Issues related to Women.

 

Source: Indian Express

 Context: This article depicts the views of an ASHA worker on how she envisions India on its completion of 100 years of Independence.

  

Concerns of an ASHA worker about rural health services:

  • Lack of information: this is one of the biggest issues facing rural health services. preoccupied with the fear of separation and quarantine, ASHA workers were accused of “getting them caught” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Communication: Channels of communication between the government and the rural population need to be robust.
  • Lack of resources: Medical facilities are understaffed and lack adequate equipment for basic life-saving procedures like deliveries.

 

Key issues for ASHA workers:

There are two critical issues for ASHA workers:

  1. They are not having a fixed income for their work. A fixed income would give them stability in a job where they spend between eight to twelve hours daily.
  2. ASHA workers are recognised as “volunteers” currently: Recognising ASHA workers as “workers” allows them dignity and protection, and helps them to be taken seriously — by the state, the gram panchayat responsible for the disbursal of our funds, and patients.

  

Who are ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers?

ASHA workers are volunteers from within the community who are trained to provide information and aid people in accessing the benefits of various healthcare schemes of the government.

  • They act as a bridge connecting marginalised communities with facilities such as primary health centres, sub-centres and district hospitals.
  • The role of these community health volunteers under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was first established in 2005.

 

ASHA workers in the country:

There is around 10.4 lakh ASHA workers across the country.

  • The largest workforces of ASHA workers are in states with high populations – Uttar Pradesh (1.63 lakh), Bihar (89,437), and Madhya Pradesh (77,531).
  • Goa is the only state with no such workers.

  

ASHA workers- Roles and Functions:

 

Recognition:

  • ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers have received the Global Health Leaders Award-2022 in the backdrop of the 75th World Health Assembly.
  • They were named a “Guardian of the Year” by Time magazine in 2020.

 

Way forward:

  • These kinds of recognitions have given them some leverage to circumvent the system and seek funds for people in my community.
  • Giving ASHA workers due recognition would help them to work on the ground and connect with people.

 

National Health Mission:

·         National Health Mission (NHM) was launched by the government of India in 2013 subsuming the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission.

·         The NHM envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs.

National Rural Health Mission (NRHM):

·         The NRHM was launched on 12th April 2005, to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care to the rural population, especially the vulnerable groups.

National Urban Health Mission (NUHM):

·         NUHM as a sub-mission of the National Health Mission (NHM) was approved in 2013.

·         NUHM envisages meeting the healthcare needs of the urban population with a focus on the urban poor, by making available to them essential primary healthcare services and reducing their out-of-pocket expenses for treatment.

 

Insta Link: We have covered ASHA Workers in detail in our previous article, to see that please click here.

 

Prelims Link:

With reference to the National Rural Health Mission, which of the following are the jobs of ‘ASHA’, a trained community health worker? (2012)

      1. Accompanying women to the health facility for antenatal care checkups
      2. Using pregnancy test kits for early detection of pregnancy
      3. Providing information on nutrition and immunisation.
      4. Conducting the delivery of the baby

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (a)

 

Mains Link:

Q. Empowering the ASHA workers to truly integrate the multiple roles of community mobiliser, activist and provider of first-contact care will ensure holistic developmental outcomes at the grassroots level. Discuss.

Problems in India’s Growth Story

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues

 

SourceThe Hindu

Directions: The source article is a lead op-ed that analyses issues with the ‘India story. The article is important as questions on issues in the Indian economy and post-COVID recovery have been asked in mains.

Context: COVID-19 pandemic is receding and economies are on the path of re-growth with similar bullishness for the Indian economy but the worrisome issue is that the slowdown in India began much before the pandemic.

 

Indicators of structural issues:

 

Probable reasons:

  • Economic disruptions even in the pre-COVID era like demonetization and GST reforms.
  • Economic Survey 2020-21 also points out the debt forbearance by RBI and other regulators after the 2008 Global Financial crisis that led to NPA (Non-Performing Assets) crisis.
    • Forbearance is a form of repayment relief involving the temporary postponement of loan payments, typically for home mortgages or student loans.
  • The NPA crisis also had the cascading effect of low credit supply. The imbalance was led by the decline of credit by Public sector banks as well as the NBFC liquidity crisis.
  • Youth employability is low due to a lack of skills and vocational training in formal education.
  • Low manufacturing base: Decline of agriculture led to gross rural-to-urban migration. However, this youth could not be absorbed into higher productivity due to a lack of skill (needed in the service sector) and industrial base.
  • The investment rate in the economy fell from nearly 40% in FY14 to 32.2% in FY20.
    • The investment rate (business statistics) is the ratio of gross tangible investment to value added.

 

Needful measures:

  • Shift the policy focus from a few rich corporations to the larger segments of the population — small businesses, farmers, and ordinary labourers.
  • Focussing on the skilling of youth and re-skilling of employed workers to increase employment as well as productivity.
  • Capacity building and welfare measures to provide basic amenities. This is seen in schemes like PM-Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY), and PM-Awas Yojana.
  • Improving credit supply by rationalisation of public sector banks and pushing for last mile reach of formal credit via institutions like NABARD.
  • Leveraging diplomatic might to include India in global supply chains, attract FDI and long-term credit from Global Development Finance institutions (World bank, AIIB, NDB, et al)

 

Conclusion:

Recent steps like the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme for the manufacturing sector and various skilling programs paired with COVID-led welfare measures have the potential to turn around growth and make ‘the India story’ a reality. India’s current already outpaces most developed and developing economies and hence, it has the potential.

 

Insta Links

Growth Matters but Income level matters more

 

Mains Link

Q.“ Economic growth is a precondition for inclusive growth”, Do you agree? Analyse.

 

Prelims Link

With the reference to the Indian economy after the 1991 economic liberalization, consider the following statements: (UPSC 2020)

    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.

Ethical Issues Concerned with Tesla’s Autopilot

GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Application of Ethics

 

Source: The Hindu, Forbes

 

Directions: This Article has been taken from the Hindu. The article discusses the moral dilemmas associated with the increased adoption of self-driving cars.

 Context:  Autonomous vehicle manufacturer Tesla faces their biggest challenge since the launch of Autopilot in 2015 as a series of lawsuits and a criminal case over fatal Tesla accidents head to court.

  

What are Autonomous vehicles? 

A driverless car is a vehicle which can sense its surrounding environment and can navigate without human input. It combines multiple sensors and techniques to perceive their surroundings like radar, laser light, GPS, odometer, computer vision, etc.

 

Benefits associated with the use of Autonomous vehicles:

 

 

Ethical issues involved

  • Accountability: In the case of any crash, it would arise an issue of accountability whether the car owner would be accountable or the manufacturer of that vehicle.
  • Law vs Ethics: Autonomous cars are made to follow traffic rules strictly. But sometimes traffic rules have to be compromised.
    • For example when a critical patient has to be taken to the hospital.
  • Displaying human values: When the vehicle finds an injured person or an old lady, will it stop to help them and display the qualities of compassion and empathy?
    • will it stop by an accident and act as a good samaritan if the need arises?
  • Impacts on Environment: This will promote vehicle usage at a time when the objective is to reduce vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Automation vs Human livelihoods: Job loss to drivers without compensatory skill development and job creation.
    • It is believed that in the coming future automation will kill 69% of the job.
  • Hacking/privacy vs security- There is a problem if a car is hacked and programmed for killing. Also, problems related to the privacy of people.

 

 

Conclusion:

As the debate around Autonomous vehicles and ethics intensifies due to the increasing adoption of self-driving cars, we hope that strict laws and regulations will be developed that can finally answer the questions in a correct, justifiable manner.

 

Insta Links

Prelims link

Mains Links:

What do you understand by Autonomous Vehicles? Discuss the ethical issues involved in using autonomous vehicles.

 

Content for Mains Enrichment


Singapore’s Enabling Village

 Context: Lessons from Unique ‘Village’ On Using Innovation to Support Persons with Disabilities

As the newest integrated community space in Singapore, the Enabling Village represents a fresh approach to social businesses and community building.  The Enabling Village combines retail, lifestyle and training for disabled members of the community in an all-accessible public space.

The success of the Enabling Village rests on the following pillars:

  • Universal design: Ramps for wheelchair users lifts installed at multi-storey blocks, and a barrier-free movement system ensures that the space is accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Something for everyone g Braille lettering on the washroom doors, Tactile indicators on the floor, and a hearing loop system ensure all rooms are wired so the hearing aid can automatically connect with the room sound system.

They also launched the Enabling Academy, wherein people can find job opportunities after taking up courses at the Enabling Village.

This arm of the project was created to provide diverse lifelong learning opportunities for persons with disabilities.

  


Facts for Prelims


Peripheralization

Source: DTE

 Direction: The term is related to geography/Sociology. No need to overthink it. Just see it once.

 Context:  According to a report by the Centre for Policy Research, recent resettlements of Delhi have set a new standard of peripheralisation in its history.

A “periphery” means being situated on the fringes of a city, region or nation. In the social sense, “peripheralization” describes the production of peripheries through social relations and their spatial implications.

 It has been observed that new settlements in Delhi (2010, displacement due to Commonwealth games and others) suffer from a new standard of peripheralization. These include: – poor access to basic services like water, healthcare, etc; inadequate housing provisions; located outside the ambit of ‘planned colonies’.

 What should have happened?

Resettlement must ensure the protection of the affected person’s human rights to adequate housing, land, work/livelihood, food, water, security of the person and home, health, education, and information.

 

Voting for NRIs

Source: The Hindu

 Context: The Union government is considering ways to facilitate non-resident Indians (NRI), especially migrant labourers, to cast their votes remotely while ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

 Related laws:

The government introduced the ‘Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill’ to amend the RPA to allow overseas Indians to vote by proxy. However, Bill lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

 Impact of remote voter facility on NRIs:

Allowing NRIs to vote from abroad may see expatriates — a bulk of whom are migrant labourers, mostly from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and northern parts of the country — emerge as a decisive force in the country’s electoral politics.

 What is the ‘Remote Voting’?

Remote voting is a method of casting vote, which may take place in person somewhere other than an assigned polling station or at another time, or votes may be sent by post or cast by an appointed proxy.

  • The Chief Election Commissioner has proposed to include the ‘remote voting facility’ in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
  • The project is being developed by the IIT-Madras using blockchain technology.

 

One nation, one ITR form

Source: Indian Express

Context: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has proposed a single income tax return (ITR) form for all taxpayers.

How many kinds of ITR forms are there now?

There are seven kinds of ITR forms, which are used by different categories of taxpayers.

What is the change that has been proposed?

According to the proposal, all taxpayers, barring trusts and non-profit organisations (ITR-7), will be able to use a common ITR form, which will include a separate head for disclosure of income from virtual digital assets.

Benefits:

  • The proposed draft ITR takes a relook at the return filing system in tandem with international best practices.
  • The draft form aims to make it easier to file returns and to considerably reduce the time taken for the job by individuals and non-business-type taxpayers.

 

Coronal holes

SourceIndian Express

 Context: NASA released an image taken by its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) where the Sun seems to be “smiling” as a smiley-like figure was made due to the presence of dark coronal holes.

coronal hole is a temporary region of relatively cool, less dense plasma in the solar corona where the Sun’s magnetic field extends into interplanetary space as an open field.

Sun’s Corona is its outermost layer containing plasma above the chromospheres and extends millions of kilometers into interplanetary space. Due to the presence of a strong magnetic field, usually in closed loops, the temperature in the Coronal layer is above 2 million °C compared to ~5000 °C on the surface of the sun.

 

 Do you know?

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory: Launched in 2010 as a part of the Living With a Star (LWS) program, it is a spacecraft that studies how solar activity happens and how that impacts the entire solar system. SDO takes observations of the Sun’s interior, surface, and atmosphere.

 

Li-Ion Battery  and New Anode Material

Source: Down to Earth

Context:  Researchers from IIT Gandhinagar and Japan discovered a new anode material which could be helpful in ensuring the life and ultra-fast charging of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).

 

New Anode Material:

It is a two-dimensional (2D) anode material, developed using Nano sheets derived from Titanium Diboride (TiB2). This anode had an ultra-fast charging capacity with a considerable discharge capacity at high-capacity retention. This innovation holds the potential to make India a leader in renewable energy.

 

Batteries are comprised of 3 essential components:

  • The Anode is the negative or reducing electrode that releases electrons to the external circuit and oxidizes during an electrochemical reaction
  • The Cathode is the positive or oxidizing electrode that acquires electrons from the external circuit and is reduced during the electrochemical reaction.
  • The Electrolyte is the medium that provides the ion transport mechanism between the cathode and anode of a cell.

 

 

CSE report on natural disasters

Source: DTE

 Context:  According to a recent CSE report, India saw natural disasters almost every day in the first 9 months of 2022.

 Key highlights of the report:

  • India recorded extreme weather events on 242 of the 273 days from January 1 through September 30, 2022.
    • These include heatwaves, cold waves, cyclones, lightning, heavy rainfall, floods and landslides.
  • Most affected state: Madhya Pradesh
  • Loss and Damage:
    • Deaths: highest in Himachal Pradesh (359), followed by Madhya Pradesh and Assam.
      • Lightning and storms were spread over 30 states and claimed 773 lives.
      • Heat waves claimed 45 lives.
    • Damage: Assam reported the highest number of damaged houses and animal deaths.
  • Worst hit Regions: central and north-western India reported the highest number of days (198 and 195 respectively) with extreme weather events.
  • In terms of human lives lost, central India topped the list with 887 deaths, followed by East and North East India (783 deaths).
  • Reasons: Global warming-induced changes in the atmospheric and water system around the world.

Centre for Science and Environment is a Delhi-based non-profit organisation, with the aim to develop into an excellent resource centre with information on sustainable development issues

 

 

UP gets its fourth tiger reserve

Source: Times of India

Context:

Ranipur Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh has become the 53rd tiger reserve in India. As of right now, the RWS in the Chitrakoot district has no tigers of its own

  • The Ranipur Tiger Reserve in the Chitrakoot district is the fourth in the state.
  • The other tiger reserves in Uttar Pradesh include Dudhwa, Pilibhit, and Amangarh (a buffer of Corbett Tiger Reserve).

 

About the Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary:

The Ranipur Wildlife sanctuary (RWS) was founded in 1977 and is part of the government’s concentrated efforts for the protection and conservation of India’s tiger population.

 

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve buffer

Source: The Hindu

Context: An invasive species, Senna spectabilis, an exotic tree, has taken over between 800 and 1,200 hectares of the buffer zones of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) in the picturesque Nilgiris hill district.

 

What is the ‘Invasive species’?

An invasive species is an organism that is not indigenous, or native, to a particular area. Invasive species can cause great economic and environmental harm to the new area.

 

Senna spectabilis:

It was Introduced as an ornamental species and for use as firewood from South and Central America. The species has become highly invasive in the Sigur plateau in both the core and buffer zones of the MTR.

 

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR): Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is located in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu state at the tri-junction of three states, viz, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

  • It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (1st Biosphere Reserve in India).
  • It is surrounded by Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the West, Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) in the North, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley in the South.

 

Amur falcon hunting banned in Manipur

Source: The Hindu

Context: The hunting, killing and sale of amur falcons have been banned in Manipur.

  • Locally known as Akhuipuina, the amur falcons arrive mainly in Manipur and Nagaland on its southbound migration from breeding grounds in North China, Eastern Mongolia and far-east Russia en route to its wintering grounds in South Africa.
  • Over two lakh amur falcons come each year to Manipur alone.

Related laws:

  • The Manipur Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: “The Act has made it clear that these migratory birds cannot be hunted, sold or killed. Those who disobey it will be pulled up”.
  • The migratory bird is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and included under Schedule IV.
  • Hunting of the birds or possessing their meat is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to Rs 5,000.

 

Amur falcon: Scientific Name: Falco amurensis, Breeds in Southeast Russia and northern China, Migrates west through India and across the Arabian Sea to Southern Africa.

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

 

Mapping

 


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