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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 19 September 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. Accession of Hyderabad to India

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. Case Study: Gender impacts of Climate change in Jharkhand

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Tackling Food Inflation

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. California Suing Major Oil Companies

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Three Hoysala temples declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  2. Old Parliament Building
  3. World Ozone Day
  4. ‘Pralay’ ballistic missiles
  5. Dhanush guns 

 

Mapping

  1. Global North/South Divide (Brandt Line)

 


 

Accession of Hyderabad to India

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Post-Independent India

 

Source: IE, IE

 Context: This year marks the 75th anniversary of Operation Polo and ‘Police Action’ in Hyderabad

  

A Brief History of Hyderabad 

Founded in 1591, it became the capital of the Qutb Shahi Kingdom (Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah founded the city). In 1724, Nizam-ul-Mulk established the Asaf-Jah dynasty. Hyderabad thrived culturally, with landmarks like Charminar and Golconda Fort.

 

Accession of Hyderabad to India

Hyderabad, a significant princely state, was ruled by the Nizams under British paramountcy. Unlike other princely states, the Nizam did not accede to India at independence in 1947, aiming for independence and receiving support from Pakistan. 

  • Nizam’s Reluctance: In August 1947, Hyderabad’s Nizam, Mir Usman Ali, had hopes of Hyderabad remaining independent due to its wealth, historical significance, and personal ties.
  • Sardar Patel’s Approach: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s Deputy Prime Minister, handled Hyderabad cautiously. He recognized the strategic importance of Hyderabad and believed that pushing too hard might drive the Nizam towards joining Pakistan.
  • Role of Razakars: The Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, led by Qasim Razvi, became violent and extremist, forming a paramilitary group called ‘razakars’ with state support. They brutally suppressed opposition to the Nizam.
  • Peasant Movements: Hyderabad witnessed a satyagraha for democracy and a Communist-led peasant movement against landholdings, forced labour, and excessive taxes. These movements gained strength against the Nizam’s rule.
  • Operation Polo: In September 1948, the Indian Army launched Operation Polo to annex Hyderabad. The Nizam’s forces surrendered, and the razakars were banned. This marked the end of the Nizam’s rule.

 

Aftermaths:

  • After the operation, widespread communal violence occurred, with death estimates ranging from 27,000 to 200,000.
  • The Nizam retained a symbolic role, disowned UN complaints, and Hyderabad was absorbed into India despite protests from Pakistan and criticism from other countries.

 

Significance:

Hyderabad’s accession to India was a significant achievement for Indian secularism, demonstrating unity and the acceptance of diversity within the newly independent nation. It was also seen as a problem resolved through peaceful means.

  

Prelims links:

  1. With reference to Indian history, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  2. The Nizamat of Arcot emerged out of Hyderabad State.
  3. The Mysore Kingdom emerged out of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  4. The Rohilkhand Kingdom was formed out of the territories occupied by Ahmad Shah Durrani.

 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3
(d) 3 only

 

 

Ans: A

Case Study: Gender impacts of Climate change in Jharkhand

GS2/GS3/GS1 Paper 

 Syllabus: Government policies and Intervention/ Environment Conservation/ Impact on women

 

Source: DTE

 Context: Climate change in Jharkhand has gender-specific impacts, as women and girls in both rural villages and urban slums face unique challenges:

Impact on Women and GirlsChallengesConsequences
Agriculture and LivelihoodMale migration for work due to poor productivity in agricultureWomen taking on extra chores traditionally carried out by men e.g., roof repair
Health VulnerabilitiesInability to seek emergency medical services at night in male absenceIncreased health risks due to limited access to healthcare
Increased WorkloadScarcity of resources like water and firewoodBurden on girls with more responsibilities leading to school dropouts and early marriages
Unsafe MigrationLimited awareness of migration safeguardsSafety concerns and harassment during migration
Lack of knowledge about safeguards against abuse
Poor Working ConditionsWomen working in factories endure poor conditions, lower wages and health hazardsHealth hazards, skin reactions, and long hours
Extreme heat and water scarcityWater and firewood scarcity increases the time spent collecting them by women, and cattle must graze in distant areas due to a lack of available grass (creating issues about the safety of girls)
Disrupted Caregiving When women migrate for work and leave their children in the care of their father or grandparents, caregiving gets disrupted in their absence, and many times, the men use the money they send back for alcohol, which makes the children more vulnerable.

 

To address these challenges, solutions include rainwater harvesting systems, reviving traditional eating habits, and promoting the cultivation of millets and local nutritious foods. Awareness and preparedness for climate change impacts are also emphasized.

 

Best Practices for Women’s Involvement in Climate Change Plans:

Best PracticesDescription
Clean Cook Burners in KenyaCharlot Magayi assists Kenyan women in switching from dirty cook burners to clean ones, improving community health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar Sister Program (Africa)Women-led program, Solar Sister, helps communities establish small-scale solar systems for energy independence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
Female Scientists in AfricaFemale scientists contribute local knowledge to bridge gender gaps in climate research and agriculture across Africa.
Gender and Climate Change Development Programme (South Asia)A program in South Asia aims to empower women in policymaking, providing them with a stronger voice in climate policy decisions.
SEWA in IndiaThe Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India educates women farmers on adapting to changing climate patterns for improved financial stability.

 

Insta Links:

Still a nightmare for domestic violence survivors

 

Mains Links:

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

Tackling Food Inflation

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Indian Economy/ Agriculture

 

Source: ICRIER

 Context: An ICRIER paper, “Tackling Food Inflation: Is restricting exports and imposing stocking limits the optimal policy?” discusses the causes of high food inflation in India, and government actions, and suggests alternative solutions.

 

Current status of India’s Food Inflation:

India’s retail inflation in August 2023 is at 6.83%, exceeding the desired ceiling of 6%. Food and beverages contribute significantly, making up 57% of retail inflation. Food inflation has risen sharply to 9.94%, impacting overall retail inflation.

 

Government initiatives to contain inflation:

Government ActionsDateDetails
Wheat Export BanMay 2022Prohibited wheat exports to control prices.
Rice Export RestrictionsSeptember 2022Halted exports of broken rice.
July 2023Imposed export ban on non-basmati white rice.
Stocking LimitsJune 2023Introduced stocking limits for wheat traders and millers.
Rice Export DutiesJuly 2023Imposed 20% export duty on parboiled rice.
August 2023Set a Minimum Export Price of $1,200 per tonne for basmati rice.
Export Duty on OnionAugust 2023Imposed a substantial 40% export duty on onions.

Export ban impacts:

  • Wheat Inflation Surge: After the May 2022 wheat export ban, inflation rose from about 9% to about 25% by February 2023.
  • Market Uncertainty: Sudden bans caused market unpredictability, affecting traders and consumers.
  • Rice Inflation Stagnation: Non-basmati rice export ban in July 2023 had a limited impact on 13% inflation, reducing it slightly to 12.5%.
  • Consumer Panic: Non-basmati rice ban alarmed local and diaspora consumers.
  • Implications for Farmers: Farmers faced the consequences of rapid government measures.
  • Indicates a bias in favour of urban consumers and hurts farmer’s earnings
  • Impacts global food security, as it has hit the African countries most.

 

Recommendations by the ICRIER paper for containing food Inflation:

TimeframePolicy Recommendations
Short-TermEfficiently calibrate trade policy instead of protectionism.
Reduce import duties on edible oils and wheat. Import prices should ideally not be lower than MSP to ensure that farmers at least get the minimum price.
Build buffer stocks for volatile vegetable staples (TOP).
Expand cold storage infrastructure and use solar energy for storage.
Promote processing of at least 10% of fresh produce.
Support Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and farmer cooperatives.
Invest in R&D to enhance productivity and climate-resilient farming practices.
Increase irrigation coverage through micro-irrigation infrastructure.

 

Medium-TermReform marketing and trade policies to benefit both consumers and farmers.
Boost the processing sector, especially for fresh produce.
Use schemes like “Operation Greens” to support FPOs and processing facilities.
Long-TermIncrease investments in R&D for innovative farming practices.
Develop drought-resistant seed varieties and adaptive farming methods.
Expand irrigation coverage with micro-irrigation for climate resilience.
Revamp the policy matrix to align with climate change challenges.

 

About ICRIER:

Established in August 1981, ICRIER (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations) is an autonomous, policy-oriented, not-for-profit, economic policy think tank.

 

Insta Links 

 

Mains links:

Inflation further exacerbates inequalities and affects the poor the most. Discuss the policy measures that are needed to ensure that inequalities do not deepen amidst rising inflation. (10M)

Distinguish between demand-pull and cost-push inflation. Examine the factors that are causing inflation in India. What measures are needed to keep inflation under check? (10M)

 

Practice Questions:

In India, which one of the following is responsible for maintaining price stability by controlling inflation? (UPSC CSE 2022)

  1. Department of Consumer Affairs
  2. Expenditure Management Commission
  3. Financial Stability and Development Council
  4. Reserve Bank of India

 

Answer: D

 

With reference to the Indian economy, demand-pull inflation can be caused/increased by which of the following?

  1. Expansionary policies
  2. Fiscal stimulus
  3. Inflation-indexing wages
  4. Higher – purchasing power
  5. Rising interest rates

 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  • 1, 2 and 4 Only
  • 3, 4 and 5 Only
  • 1, 2, 3 and 5 Only
  • 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

 

Answer: A

 

California Suing Major Oil Companies

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: DTE

 Context: California is suing five major oil and gas companies, including Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and BP, for allegedly deceiving and concealing information about the dangers of fossil fuels and their contribution to climate change.

The lawsuit claims that these actions have caused harm to California, including extreme weather events, health problems, wildfires, and more.

This lawsuit marks a significant legal action against the fossil fuel industry for its role in climate change, with California being the first major oil-producing state to take such action.

Previously, California passed SB-253 Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act on September 12, 2023, requiring companies with annual revenues over $1 billion to disclose their carbon footprint. This includes disclosing direct greenhouse gas emissions and emissions from activities like employee business travel.

Usage: The example can be used in Environment Conservation/ Environmental Ethics (to show Environmental Stewardship) Questions.

 

About California: 

California, a western U.S. state, stretches from the Mexican border along the Pacific for nearly 900 miles. Its terrain includes cliff-lined beaches, redwood forest, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central Valley farmland and the Mojave Desert.

Three Hoysala temples declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

Significance:

The temples’ inclusion as World Heritage Sites signifies global recognition for their cultural and architectural significance and is likely to promote tourism in the region.

  

Hoysala architecture, developed between the 11th and 14th centuries in southern Karnataka under the Hoysala Empire, is characterized by:

  • A unique style blending elements of Dravida and Nagara architectures.
  • Influences from Bhumija, Nagara, and Karntata Dravida architectural traditions.
  • Distinctive ‘Hoysala Temple’ form with multiple shrines around a central pillared hall in a star-shaped layout.
  • The use of soapstone, allowed intricate carving of sculptures, especially in the jewelry adorning temple walls.

  

What is a World Heritage site?

A World Heritage Site is an area or object listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, recognized for its “outstanding universal value” under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972.

These sites, categorized into three types – Cultural, Natural, and Mixed, are internationally acknowledged for their cultural, natural, or combined significance.

As of 2023, there are 42 World Heritage Sites located in India. Out of these, 34 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one, the Khangchendzonga National Park, is of mixed type. India has the sixth-largest number of sites in the world.

Old Parliament Building

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE, TH

 Context: Parliament proceedings will soon shift to the new Parliament Building

The Sansad Bhavan is India’s parliamentary seat, home to the Lok Sabha (lower house) and Rajya Sabha (upper house).

 

Historical aspects:

  • Foundation: The foundation stone was laid on February 12, 1921, by the Duke of Connaught
  • Architect: The architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, incorporated Indian motifs and styles into the building’s design.
  • Inauguration: The building was inaugurated on January 18, 1927, by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India at the time. It initially housed the Imperial Legislative Council.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India took control after independence, and it became the Parliament of India in 1950.
  • Former Home of the Supreme Court: The Chamber of Princes in the Parliament Building was also used by the Federal Court of India before independence. Afterwards, it served as the Supreme Court’s location for over ten years before the court moved to its own building.

 

Architectural Aspects:

  • Blend: The building is renowned for its architectural blend of Western and Indian styles. While it incorporates classical Western elements, it also features Indian architectural motifs, such as the use of columns and domes.
  • It was inspired by the Ekattarso Mahadeva Temple (Chausath Yogini Temple) in Madhya Pradesh
  • The perimeter of the building is circular, with 144 columns on the outside.
  • The building is surrounded by large gardens and the perimeter is fenced off by sandstone railings (jali).

World Ozone Day

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change celebrated the 29th World Ozone Day, commemorating the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which aimed to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances.

 

  • The theme for World Ozone Day 2023 is “Montreal Protocol: fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change.”

 

About Ozone Layer:

The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It contains a high concentration of ozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere, although still small in relation to other gases in the lower part of the stratosphere (15-35 Km above the surface of the earth)

 

Montreal Protocol and its amendments are successful in eliminating up to 99% of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) (long-lived man-made chemicals which destroy the protective ozone layer). The ozone layer is predicted to return to 1980 levels over Antarctica by 2066, 2045 for the Arctic, and 2040 for the remainder of the planet.

India has been proactive in implementing the Montreal Protocol, phasing out harmful substances and achieving reductions. Initiatives include:

  • India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) to address refrigerant transition, energy efficiency, and technology advancement in cooling systems
  • The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol focuses on reducing the production and consumption of high global warming potential HFCs, with India committed to phasing them out gradually.
  • The Ozone Cell collaborates with the Indian Institutes of Technology to promote research and development of low global warming potential chemicals.

 

‘Pralay’ ballistic missiles

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 Source: TOI

 Context: The Indian defence ministry has approved the acquisition of a regiment of ‘Pralay’ ballistic missiles for deployment along the Line of Actual Control and the Line of Control.

  • ‘Pralay’ will become the longest-range surface-to-surface missile in the Army’s inventory and will form a key part of India’s Rocket Force, alongside the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

 About Pralay:

  • ‘Pralay’ has a strike range of 150 to 500 kilometres and can carry a conventional warhead of 350 kg to 700 kg.
  • It is highly versatile, capable of carrying different types of warheads, and features advanced technology to counter interceptor missiles.
  • It can alter its trajectory mid-flight and is powered by a solid propellant rocket motor.
  • Developed by the Défense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Dhanush guns

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

  Context: The Indian Army is on track to complete the induction of 114 Dhanush artillery guns by 2026, with one regiment already operational.

About Dhanush:

  • These 155 mm, 45-caliber towed artillery guns have a range of 36 km and have demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialized ammunition.
  • It is the first indigenously built long-range artillery gun.

 

Features:

Equipped with an inertial navigation-based sighting system, and auto-laying facility. An advanced day-night direct firing system. Self-propulsion unit allows the gun to deploy itself in the field.

Global North/South Divide (Brandt Line)

Mapping

 

The Brandt Line (an imaginary line) is a concept that categorizes the world into richer countries mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and poorer countries mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, highlighting global economic disparities.

“Global North” (wealthier communities) and a “Global South (poorer communities) exist both within and among nations.

The line is based on the “North-South: A Programme for Survival”, a report addressing the problems of international inequality

/ 19 September 2023, Today's Article

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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