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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 24 April 2023

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 ina 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. Heat Dome
  2. Population: Boon or Bane

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. Development in India’s northeast region

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. AI use for Road safety

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Flexible Working Hours in Tamil Nadu

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Basavanna
  2. 16th Civil Services Day
  3. National Panchayati Raj Day
  4. Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA)
  5. World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index 2023
  6. Digital Science Park
  7. Myelin Sheath
  8. Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS)

 


 

Heat Dome

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Geomorphology

 

Source: DTE

 Context: ‘Heat domes’ have been associated with recent unusually warm periods in the USA. Previously, it had also caused heat waves in India, Bangladesh, China and some other Asian countries.

 

Steps to mitigate Heat Domes’ impact:

Mitigating Strategy Description
Policies Developing policies and guidelines on weather variability and urban heat management
Greening Planting more trees and creating green spaces; Investing in green infrastructure such as parks, green roofs.
Infrastructure Using permeable materials in construction, encouraging cleaner cooking fuels, improving public transportation, and reducing personal vehicle usage
Waste Management Reducing landfill size, implementing waste segregation, and managing solid waste at the source to reduce methane production and fires
Building Design Promoting the use of green roofs, cool roofs, and passive cooling techniques to reduce indoor temperatures; Implementing building codes and standards
Renewable Energy Promoting the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy for cooling and electricity needs
Public Awareness Educating the public about the risks of heatwaves and the importance of reducing the carbon footprint
NDMA guidelines In 2016, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued comprehensive guidelines to prepare national-level key strategies for mitigating the impact of heat domes and heat waves.

 

Government India Cooling Action Plan (Reducing cooling demand by 20-25% and refrigeration demand by 25-30% by the year 2037); National Action Plan for Climate Change

 

Insta Links

Heat Dome

 

Mains Links:

“Rising temperatures, scorching heat, and economic distress – Heat dome is a triple threat to India’s progress”. Explain how heat domes are formed and enumerate their socio-economic impact. (250 Words)

Population: Boon or Bane

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Population related issues

 

Source: TH 

Context: According to the UNFPA State of World Population (SOWP) Report 2023, China is projected to hand over the baton of the most populous country to India by mid-2023.

 

Highlights of the UN report: India will have a population of 142.86 crores by mid-2023, which is 2.9 million higher than China’s population of 142.57 crores.

 

Is it a dividend or a disaster for India? To answer this, there is a need to understand the –

  

Nature of population growth, size:

  • Population is a resource as long as the country’s carrying capacity is intact.
  • Carrying capacity is not just per capita availability of natural resources, it is a dynamic concept that changes according to changing technology, and the efficiency of the production and consumption systems of a country.

  

Case of India:

  • With a total fertility rate of 2.0 in 2023, India is already at replacement level fertility, meaning two children replacing their parents.
  • This indicates that the population is on a path toward stabilisation – experiencing positive growth (in a decelerated mode) until 2064 and then will become negative growth.
  • The peak of India’s population size will be around 169.6 crore in 2063.

 

Age composition of the population: It talks about the number of the working age population (15-64 years) against the dependent population (0-14 years and 65 years and above).

 

Case of India:

  • There are greater prospects for demographic dividend than a disaster.
  • With 68% of the working age population in 2023, the country continues to have a demographic window of opportunity for the next 35 years to reap an economic dividend.
  • A demographic window of opportunity in itself will not automatically turn into an economic dividend.

 

Mechanisms through which a country translates demographic bonus into economic dividend:

  • Employment or job creation: If India is able to generate sufficient and quality jobs for its bulging working age population.
  • Education, skills generation and ensuring a healthy lifespan: It is critical not only for better productivity but it also reduces excessive public spending and helps in greater capital creation.
  • Good governance: Reflected through conscientious policies, it will help in creating a healthy environment for increasing efficiency and productivity of the population.

 

Opportunities for India:

  • Declining and ageing population in Japan, China, the US and other major economies.
    • Potential to become a worldwide market for both production and consumption, with lower manufacturing costs due to a relatively cheaper workforce.
    • This is very much evident in India’s IT sector.
  • Potential to boost per capita GDP by an additional 43% by 2061, provided the socio-economic and political enabling environment is conducive.

 

Challenges:

  • Drastic population control methods run the risk of inducing forced population ageing.
    • A total fertility rate of less than 8 may not be economically beneficial for India. Once fertility tends to decline, it is hard to reverse it.
  • What the country needs are policies that support an enabling environment that can provide high-quality education, healthcare, employment, infrastructure, and gender empowerment.
    • If India falls short in this, its “demographic dividend” can become a “demographic disaster”.

 Conclusion: Opportunities and costs are the two sides of the coin when it comes to being the world’s largest populous country. However, the relatively younger population of India provides higher support ratios.

 

Insta Links:

UN population report: India becomes world’s most populous nation

Development in India’s northeast region

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

 

Source: TH

 Context: The region comprising India’s eight north-eastern States is undergoing dramatic change.

 

Dramatic changes witnessed by the region:

  • It has overcome several (but not all) security challenges and is now heading toward economic development.
  • Political changes and the extensive web of linkages with neighbouring Bangladesh.
  • Japan has emerged as a significant development partner for both India (particularly in the NE region) and Bangladesh.

 

Opportunity: Bringing the troika of Bangladesh, India and Japan closer for producing path-breaking changes in the northeast.

 

Vision: The long-term vision is for Bangladesh and the northeast to become a hub and key industrial corridor of this region, serving a population of 220 million.

 

Efforts made to realise this vision:

  • The third India-Japan Intellectual Dialogue hosted by the Asian Confluence (ASCON), in Agartala, Tripura, assessed the evolving thinking of experts and policymakers.
  • The Matarbari Deep Sea Port (DSP) on the southeastern coast of Bangladesh is being constructed with Japanese assistance.
    • To be operational in 2027, the port will have to cater to the needs of Bangladesh and India’s northeast and one of the most important projects representing the troika.

 

The competitive advantage of the NE region:

  • Blessed with vast natural resources.
  • Its strategic location, sharing borders with Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is an asset.
  • The population, with its good education, already excels in the services sector drawing potential investor attention.

 

The challenges:

  • Japan as a single investor in the northeast is unworkable.
  • Restrictions on the flow of investments from Bangladesh.
  • Little attention seems to be paid to the BIMSTEC. This must change to progress towards the vision of establishing the Bay of Bengal Community (BOBC).

 

Way ahead:

  • A joint focus on comprehensive connectivity and accelerating industrialisation in Bangladesh and the NE is accompanied by job opportunities.
  • The creation of regional industrial value chains in the sectors where the NE enjoys competitive advantage (agro-processing, man-made fibres, handicrafts, etc) will ensure that the new connectivity links will be fully utilised and productive.
  • Expanding policy convergence and taking people along.
  • The goal should be to connect a large part of South Asia with Southeast Asia.
  • Also, India can assist Bangladesh in becoming an integral part of the Act East Policy.

 

Conclusion: The leadership from the triad of Bangladesh, India and Japan (BIJ) can come together and launch a BIJ Forum at the level of Foreign Ministers first.

 

Insta Links:

NORTH EAST INFRA IN FOCUS

 

Mains Links:

The northeastern region of India has been infested with insurgency for a very long time. Analyze the major reasons for the survival of armed insurgency in this region. (UPSC 2017)

AI use for Road safety

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Kerala government has operationalised 726 artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled surveillance cameras to detect traffic rule violations and road accidents.

 

According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, there were over 4.5 lakh road accidents in India in 2019, which resulted in over 1.5 deaths. Kerala was ranked fifth in terms of the total number of road accidents.

 

About Motor Vehicles Department’s Safe Kerala Project:

It is part of the government’s efforts to reduce the number of road accidents in the state.

The project is being implemented with the help of various technological advancements, including artificial intelligence (AI), to curb traffic rule violations and reduce road accidents.

 

AI use for Road Safety:

AI Application Description
Autonomous Vehicles Self-driving cars that use AI to analyse sensor data and make decisions about acceleration, braking, and steering in real-time, thus reducing the risk of human error causing accidents.
Computer Vision AI algorithms can alert drivers to potential hazards such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
Predictive Analytics AI algorithms that analyse data on driver behaviour, road conditions, and weather can predict potential hazards and provide warnings or suggestions to drivers.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) AI can be used to optimize traffic flow, manage congestion, and reduce the risk of accidents.
Driver Assistance Systems AI algorithms that monitor driver behaviour can detect signs of fatigue, distraction, or impaired driving and provide warnings or take control of the vehicle to prevent accidents.
Road Condition Monitoring E.g., the ‘Intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering (iRASTE) project at Nagpur will identify potential accident-causing scenarios while driving a vehicle and alert drivers

 

Concerns:

AI technology can improve road safety, but concerns need to be addressed. These include privacy violations, accuracy issues, cost, bias, dependence on technology, and a lack of transparency, which could lead to unfair penalties and a lack of human oversight.

 

Conclusion:

It’s important to address these concerns and ensure that the use of AI for road safety is done in a responsible and ethical manner, with appropriate safeguards in place to protect individuals’ rights and safety.

 

Insta Links

 

Mains Links

Discuss the potential use of Artificial intelligence to make Indian Roads safer. (250 Words)

Flexible Working Hours in Tamil Nadu

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

 

Source: IE

 The Tamil Nadu Assembly has passed the Factories (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill, 2023, which allows for 12-hour working shifts for factory workers who opt for a four-day working week.

 

Benefits: Promoting industrial flexibility; flexibility for workers (esp. for women); Benefit industries (esp. electronics manufacturers)

 

Concerns: Critics argue that 12 hours a day could lead to the exploitation of workers.

 

Usage: The example can be used as a way forward in the Indian Society/Economy paper on questions related to labour welfare

Basavanna

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: IE

 

Context: Leaders from various political parties paid tributes to Basaveshwara, the 12th-century social reformer and founder of the Lingayat tradition, on his birth anniversary

 

About Basavanna:

Details
Basaveshwara (1134-1196), also known as Basavanna, was a 12th-century poet, philosopher, and social reformer from Bagevadi, Karnataka. He was appointed as Prime Minister by the Kalachurya king Bijjala

Founder of Lingayatism
Spiritual Discipline Based on the principles of Arivu (true knowledge), Achara (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience)
Path Lingangayoga (union with the divine)
Social Reforms Advocated for a society free of the caste system, with equal opportunity for all, and preached about manual hard work. Founded the Anubhava Mantapa.

Sharana movement: Preaching egalitarianism, the movement was presided over by Basavanna.

Principles Introduced the concepts of Kayaka (Divine work) and Dasoha (Equal distribution)
Anubhava Mantapa Established as a common forum for discussing social, economic, political, religious, and spiritual principles, and personal problems. Considered the first Parliament of India.
Literary Contribution Wrote Vachanas, an innovative literary form written in simple Kannada language; Sharana constitution (social and democratic principles of Basavanna)
Legacy Known for his practical approach and establishment of a “Kalyana Rajya” (Welfare state), which brought a new status and position for all citizens of society, irrespective of class, caste, creed, and sex. Celebrated and held in high regard, especially by the Lingayat community.
Lingayat The term Lingayat denotes a person who wears a personal linga, an iconic form of the god Shiva, on the body which is received during the initiation ceremony. They are the dominant group in Karnataka, said to be about 17 per cent of the population in the state.
Developments The Chief Minister of Karnataka laid the foundation stone for the “New Anubhava Mantapa” in Basavakalyan. Inauguration of a statue of Basaveshwara (in 2015) along the bank of the River Thames (London); Digitization of the holy Vachanas of Basavanna (2017)

 

Prelims Links

With reference to the cultural history of medieval India, consider the following statements: ( UPSC 2016)

 

  1. Siddhas (Sittars) of the Tamil region were monotheistic and condemned idolatry.
  2. Lingayats of the Kannada region questioned the theory of rebirth and rejected the caste hierarchy.

 

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: C

16th Civil Services Day

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB, IE

 

Context: April 21st is Celebrated as National Civil Services Day every year.

About Civil Services Day Information
Date 21st April
Purpose To acknowledge the contribution of civil servants in public administration
History India’s first Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel addressed probationers of Administrative Services Officers on this day in 1947
Objective To motivate and appreciate the work of civil service officers, evaluate the work of various departments, and award outstanding individuals and groups
Awards PM’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration are presented on this day in various categories e.g., PM Gati Shakti’s national master plan (launched: 2021) has received the award this time in the ‘Innovation (Central)’ category
Constitutional Articles Article 309, Article 310, Article 311, Article 312, and Article 315
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950) He was a lawyer, influential political leader, barrister and statesman who served as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India from 1947 to 1950. Also known as the Iron Man of India, referred to administrative officers as “Steel Frame of India,” played a significant role in the integration and political unification of India, and has a statue dedicated to him called the Statue of Unity

 

For a detailed article on Indian Civil Services: Click here and Here

National Panchayati Raj Day

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source:  PIB

 

Context: The Ministry of Panchayati Raj, in collaboration with the Government of Madhya Pradesh, is celebrating National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD) on 24th April 2023

  • On this day PM will launch an integrated e-GramSwaraj, distribute SVAMITVA property cards to select beneficiaries and launch the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Campaign for the theme “Inclusive Development” – “Samaaveshi Vikas”.

 

About National Panchayati Raj Day:

Information
Name National Panchayati Raj Day
Date 24th April
Started in 2010
Purpose To commemorate the enactment of the 73rd amendment of the Constitution, which established Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in India
Background The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 constitutionalized PRI to build democracy at the grassroots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country
Awards Presented on this day Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar; Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar; Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award; Gram Panchayat Development Plan Award, and e-Panchayat Puraskar (given to States/UTs only)
Salient Features The three-tier system of panchayats at the village; Seats reserved for SCs and STs in proportion to their population; One-third of the total number of seats reserved for women; Uniform five-year term for Panchayats; Power of Panchayats to prepare plans for economic development and social justice in respect of subjects illustrated in Eleventh Schedule
About eGramSwaraj Portal It is a user-friendly web-based portal that unifies the planning, accounting, and monitoring of Infrastructure projects and the functions of Gram Panchayats
About Swamitva programme It involves mapping rural housing and land holdings via technology including drones.

 

Prelims Links:

Local self-government can be best explained as an exercise in (UPSC 2017)

(a) Federalism
(b) Democratic decentralisation
(c) Administrative delegation
(d) Direct democracy

 

Ans: B

 

Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2016)

  1. The minimum age prescribed for any person to be a member of Panchayat is 25 years.
  2. A Panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution continues only for the remainder period.

 

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

Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

Context: The Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA) is a group of 14 digital publishers that have proposed forming a self-regulatory body to provide fact-checking services to social media platforms.

 

About the Alliance:

About Details
Purpose Combat misinformation and build tools for fact-checking
Membership Founded in 2022, it is open to any organization that applies
Number of Members 14 digital publishers including Boom Live, Factly, The Logical Indian, Vishwas News, The Quint
Legal provision Recent Amendment to Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 has provision for the establishment of a government-run body to fact-check any misinformation about the government. MCA has approached the government to act as a self-regulating body to flag fake news online
Concerns MCA’s members do not include all major fact-checking sites in India e.g., ‘Alt News’ has doubted the credibility of the MCA
Other fact-checking initiatives Press Information Bureau’s fact check; International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN); The Healthy Indian Project, a site which is dedicated to medical and nutritional misinformation

World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index 2023

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 

Context: India has climbed six places in the World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index (LPI) 2023, now ranking 38th out of 139 countries (from 44 in 2018)

About LPI Description
Purpose Benchmarking tool to help countries identify challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics
Created By World Bank
Duration It comes out every two years (from 2010 to 2018); however, after the COVID-19 break, the report has been released now in 2023
Dimensions 6 (Customs, Infrastructure, International Shipments, Logistics Competence and Quality, Tracking and Tracing, Timeliness). It ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.
Top countries in 2023 Singapore and Finland
Reasons for improvement in India’s performance Investments in Soft Infrastructure: PM Gati Shakti Scheme; National Logistics Policy; Cargo Tracking, use of RFID

 

Investment in hard infrastructure e.g., trade-related infrastructure; reduction of delays in cargo tracking and dwell times, etc.,

 

Investment in Technology: Digitalisation; implementation of supply chain visibility platforms

Other initiatives Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Report and LEADS Index

Digital Science Park

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 

Context: Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for India’s first Digital Science Park in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

About Digital Science Park is a multidisciplinary cluster-based interactive-innovation zone focused on digital technologies.
Location Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Cost ₹1,500 crores; ₹200 crores from the Government of Kerala, remaining from other sources including industry partners
Duration To be completed in 2 years
Key Focus Areas Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, electronics, smart hardware, sustainable and smart materials
Facilities High-end research labs and facilities including cleanrooms, material characterization facilities, Blockchain and cybersecurity labs etc.,

Myelin Sheath

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB

 

Context: Scientists have developed monolayers of pure myelin basic protein (MBP) using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique to study the role of MBP in diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

 

About Myelin Sheath:

Information
Definition A protective membrane that wraps around the axon of nerve cells in the Human body
Function Acts as an insulator, allowing for fast and efficient transmission of electrical signals along the nerve cells
Composition Consists of lipids and proteins, including myelin basic protein (MBP)
Importance Damage to the myelin sheath can lead to neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis
About pure Myelin basic protein (MBP) MBP is a major protein component of the myelin sheath. It is responsible for the adhesion of the cytosolic surfaces (liquids found inside cells) of myelin.
About Multiple sclerosis It is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. In MS, the immune system attacks and damages the myelin sheath, leading to a variety of symptoms including muscle weakness, fatigue, balance problems, and vision loss.

Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 Context: West Bengal recently notified four more biodiversity heritage sites (BHS), taking the tally in the state to eight.

 

  • The four new sites are Char Balidanga and the state Horticulture Research and Development Station campus in Deypara — both in Nadia, Namthing Pokhar in Darjeeling and the Amkhoi Fossil Park in Birbhum.

 

Related News: 

Context: The ₹300 crores Chengalpattu Botanical Garden (in Tamil Nadu) is being planned across 138 hectares. It will be India’s largest botanical garden. 

What are Botanical Gardens?

Botanical gardens are outdoor spaces dedicated to the cultivation and display of a wide variety of plants. The oldest of the Indian Botanic gardens called the Acharya Jagadish Chandra (AJC) Bose Indian Botanic Garden, in Howrah was established in 1787.

About Botanical Survey of India

The Botanical Survey of India (est. 1890; under MoEFCC; HQ: Kolkata) is a premier organization in India responsible for undertaking scientific research and documentation of the country’s plant diversity.

 

Read the Daily CA in PDF Format here:

 


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