9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – April 15th, 2022

Dear Friends,

We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
    • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
    • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

Bitter pill for all: Breakdown of trust between doctors and patients is caused and aggravated by state failures

Source: This post is based on the article “Bitter pill for all: Breakdown of trust between doctors and patients is caused and aggravated by state failures” published in The Times of India on 14th Apr 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Issues related to Health, Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: Medical field and Public health

News: Recently, a Dausa gynaecologist committed tragic suicide after Rajasthan police booked her for murder over a pregnant woman dying during childbirth. Also, two district hospital doctors in Howrah were severely assaulted after a patient with severe kidney disease died. These confrontations, which are a relatively recent phenomenon, reveal a broken system.

With both doctors’ and patients’ kin demanding justice when such incidents occur, police must proceed with caution and ensure public order until medical experts deliver a conclusive opinion.

What is the situation wrt medical negligence in India?

NCRB data indicates 552 cases of medical negligence between 2018 and 2020. But given patchy healthcare coverage, actual incidence of medical negligence and deaths avertable with nearer-to-home healthcare facilities would be significantly higher.

Why do people resort to violence in such cases?

Broken-down government hospitals and huge monetary demands of private hospitals leave the average low-income Indian citizen helpless.

This may explain the periodic outbursts of violence.

To make matters worse, due process and procedure are still evolving, decades after Independence.

What is the due process in cases of medical negligence?

In 2021, National Medical Commission issued the following guidelines –

Police, prior to making arrests, is required to send medical negligence criminal complaints to the district medical council’s medical board.

The board must send recommendations within two weeks and an aggrieved party (doctor or prosecuting agency) can approach the state medical council’s board for another opinion, again not exceeding two weeks.

Eighteen states have a special law prescribing three years imprisonment for assaulting doctors, the amended Epidemic Diseases Act prescribes harsher punishment, but police are failing to ensure deterrence.

What is the way forward?

NMC must ensure every district has medical boards in place and local police internalise due processes.

Doctors demand that penal provisions must be written into IPC, the handy rule book in thana, to ensure implementation by police.

For patients, approaching consumer courts for civil remedies to medical negligence is futile because of horrible backlogs.

Meanwhile, NMC Act allowing appeals from doctors but not patients to the national-level Ethics and Medical Registration Board against state medical council decisions aggravates patients’ disenchantment.

For doctors’ professional wellbeing and to deter medical negligence, let’s have even-handed rules – and better public health facilities.

From Cricket Rivals To Natural Partners

Source: This post is based on the article “From Cricket Rivals To Natural Partners” published in The Times of India on 15th Apr 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations – India and its neighbourhood

Relevance: India – Aus bilateral relations and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific

Context: India and Australia have largely been known as cricket rivals, but are transitioning rapidly to becoming natural partners. The recent signing of the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement is yet another significant step in the rapid deepening of the bilateral relationship.

Not only have the top leaders of India and Australia been meeting extremely regularly, the Indian Prime Minister has termed the signing of the ECTA with Australia as a ‘watershed moment’, as it represents a complete transformation of the bilateral relationship.

What are the key dimensions of the transformed Indo-Aus bilateral relationship?

1] Membership of QUAD: India and Australia are members of the Quad, along with Japan and the US.

While India has had independently strong and substantial economic ties with Japan and the US, no such economic pillar underlay the relationship between India and Australia. As members of the Quad, it was clearly important for India and Australia to change that. And it was driven, by most accounts, by the backing of the leadership at the highest levels of both countries. That is indicative of the strategic nature of the ECTA.

Moreover, as Quad is not a military alliance, that means it has to be an economic and technological one. Therefore, ECTA is an important step in that direction.

2] Increasing importance of Australia: Australia is becoming much more important on the global stage than it previously was. For instance:

In September 2021, US President Joe Biden had said, “the United States has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia.”

Australia has emerged as an important player on the global stage today for various reasons.

It is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific from the US perspective. If any conflict were to occur over the Taiwan Strait, the presence of a close, reliable ally in the south of the region would be the perfect complement to the presence of a close, reliable ally in the north (that is, Japan).

In the Indo-Pacific, Australia is now positioned the way UK is for US in Europe. This also explains the creation of the newest military alliance in the region: AUKUS.

3]. Australia’s Rare earth reserves: Australia also has massive reserves of rare earths, which are critical elements in the global supply chain for semiconductors.

As the US decouples itself (to whatever extent possible) from China, one of the costs it has to bear is the loss of access to China’s largest reserves of rare earths. Therefore, the US and like-minded nations need access to Australia’s reserves to ensure a global semiconductor supply chain devoid of China.

That is one of the main technological dimensions of the growing closeness between India and Australia as well.

India is attempting to build its own semiconductor industry, and it realises that ultimately, it will need access to a secure, reliable source of rare earths. And clearly, Chinia cannot be relied upon for that. Australia is the perfect partner instead.

4]. Cooperation on cybersecurity and intelligence sharing are likely to be key focus areas as well, as is the easy flow of talent, given the large number of Indian students studying in Australia.
Strategically, Australia and India will need to come even closer if they are to form the eastern and western flanks of an open, free, stable and multipolar IndoPacific region.

Understanding the sovereign debt crisis in Sri Lanka

Source: This post is based on the article “Understanding the sovereign debt crisis in Sri Lanka” published in The Hindu on 15th Apr 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations – India and its neighbourhood

Relevance: Sri Lanka’s economic crisis

News: The Sri Lankan government has decided to default on all its foreign debt worth $51 billion as it awaits financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government stated that it took the decision to preserve its dwindling foreign reserves to pay for the import of essential items. Ratings agencies such as Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s have downgraded Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt.

What is Sovereign debt?

Sovereign debt refers to the debt issued or accumulated by any government.

Governments borrow money to finance the various expenses that they cannot meet through their regular tax revenues. They usually need to pay interest on such debt along with the principal amount over time, although many governments simply choose to borrow fresh debt to repay existing debt.

Historically, governments have tended to borrow more money than they could actually repay in order to fund populist spending.

Can Governments borrow money in local currency?

Yes. Governments can borrow either in their local currency or in foreign currency like the U.S. dollar.

Governments usually find it easier to borrow and repay in their local currency. This is because governments with the help of their central banks can easily create fresh local currency to repay debt denominated in the local currency. This is known as debt monetisation and it can lead to increased money supply, which in turn causes prices to rise.

Why repayment of debt denominated in a foreign currency is difficult?

This is because governments depend on the inflow of foreign currency to gather the necessary foreign exchange to pay their foreign debt.

For instance: The Sri Lankan government or the central bank, for example, cannot create U.S. dollars out of thin air to pay their foreign debt denominated in U.S. dollars. Instead, they depend on U.S. dollars flowing into Sri Lanka in the form of foreign investment and payments received in exchange for the export of various goods and services to build up their foreign reserves.

Why is Sri Lanka unable to pay its sovereign debt?

Tourism sector hit hard: Sri Lanka depends heavily on its tourism sector to bring in the foreign exchange necessary to import essential items such as food and fuel.

The tourism sector contributes to about 10% of Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product. Since the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has been hit hard. This, in turn, has affected the inflow of U.S. dollars into the Sri Lankan economy.

Thus, the Sri Lankan government has been finding it hard to obtain the U.S. dollars necessary to make good on its foreign debt obligations.

Efforts to fix exchange rate failed: Sri Lanka’s efforts to fix the exchange rate of the Sri Lankan rupee against the U.S. dollar in order to raise the price of the rupee may have also played a role in the foreign debt crisis. The country’s central bank at a certain point banned the payment of more than 200 Sri Lankan rupees for one U.S. dollar.

This rate was way below the actual market price of the dollar, which caused trades to be pushed into the black market and also caused a drop in the supply of U.S. dollars in the forex market.

What is the cost of defaulting on foreign debt?

International lenders may be reluctant to lend any more money to the Sri Lankan government unless such lending is part of a restructuring agreement.

Impact on ratings: This fact will also be reflected in the ratings that international ratings agencies give to debt issued by the Sri Lankan government.

Going forward, the cost of fresh borrowing is likely to be high for the Sri Lankan government as lenders will be incurring greater risk while lending to a government that has been unable to make good on its previous commitments.

Is Hindi or English beneficial as the link language?

Source: The post is based on an article “Is Hindi or English beneficial as the link language?” published in The Hindu on 15th Apr 22. 

Syllabus: GS2 – Indian Constitution, Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: Hindi Language as the national language 

News: Recently, the Union Home minister said that the citizens of States should communicate with each other in the “language of India”. They should choose Hindi as an alternative to English. This has sparked criticism from the opposition and various sections of Indian society. 

What are the arguments against use of Hindi as a communication language across Indian states? 

According to Census 2011, Hindi was reported as the first choice of language for communication by residents of only 12 of the 35 States and Union Territories (UTs) 

Hindi is not spoken by the majority.

43% of Indians who speak “Hindi languages” include 56 languages like Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Hindi and Chhattisgarhi. Out of this, only 26% speak Hindi specifically as their mother tongue.  

There is a positive correlation between a higher standard of living and a higher share of English speakers. For example, the States/UTs having a higher share of English speakers have higher HDI scores in comparison to States having a higher share of Hindi speakers 

The Hindi-speaking States have been witnessing net out-migration. It means more people have been migrating towards the non-Hindi speaking states (Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Delhi) in search of better livelihoods. This has been validated by an analysis of railways passenger data referred to the 2017 Economic Survey and the 2011 Census data 

Hate speech is violent in itself and must be called out

Source: The post is based on an article “Hate speech is violent in itself and must be called out” published in the Indian Express on 15th Apr 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – Social issues

Relevance: Hate Speech 

News: Recently, the chief priest of an ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district publicly threatened sexual violence against Muslim women. It implies that the Hate speech has become a frequent phenomenon in public sphere of India. 

Why hate speech is a big issue? 

It has become one of the biggest challenges to the rule of law and to our democratic conscience. It is anti-constitutional and anti-secular in India. 

It is at the root of many forms of violence.  

Hate Speech laws in India 

The Sections 153A, 295A and 298 under the IPC criminalises “the promotion of enmity between different groups of people on grounds of religion and language, alongside acts that are prejudicial to maintaining communal harmony”. 

Section 505 of the IPC criminalises speech/statements intended/likely to induce fear or alarm to the public, instigate/incite public disorder, class or community violence and inter-community hatred.  

Section 125 of the Representation of People Act makes promoting feelings of enmity and hatred on grounds of religion and caste, punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine or both.  

What have been issues in combating hate speech in India? 

In recent years, hate speech and disinformation campaign, has been mediatised i.e., acquired a systemic presence in the media, and social media platforms (like Facebook and YouTube Platform).

2018 was considered as “the year of online hate”. There have been anti-minority sentiments on these platforms. 

There is a lack of political will, blatant inefficiency and bias of the administration.

For example, In 2019, the SC reprimanded the Election Commission for not taking action against hate speech during the election. The ECI responded by saying that it had limited powers to take action in this matter. In fact, there has been shocking apathy of the judiciary as it has not taken any stand against it 

The hate speech is increasingly used for electoral mobilisation along communal lines across India. 

Ways Forward 

The Indian republic should be committed to working within the framework of constitutional democracy and the rule of law. 

Hate speech, in itself, must be understood and treated as a violent act. Hate speech must be unambiguously condemned and the law must take its course.  

The Law Commission in its 267th report recommended introduction of new provisions within the penal code that specifically punish incitement to violence. 

The Supreme Court should act decisively in response to allegations of hate speech in the judicial cases. 

The EC must assume more responsibility related hate speech during the election period. 

The media should play the real role of watchdog. 

Data divide between state, citizens is bad for democracy

Source: The post is based on an article “Data divide between state, citizens is bad for democracy” published in The Indian Express on 15th Apr 22. 

Syllabus: GS2 – Design and implementation of policies and programmes; and Governance

Relevance: Public Data 

News: The Economic Survey focused on improving the quality and quantity of data, so that it can be used for better and quicker assessment of the state of the economy.

While amassing of data is no doubt essential, facilitating its access to the citizens is critical for a healthy and informed public discourse on issues of policy relevance.

Importance of Public Data 

It can improve people’s life in myriad ways. For example, data on migrants collected during the pandemic can be used for effective public policy on migrants. 

It can lead to informed public discourse. It is critical for accountable and transparent governance in any democracy. For example, The Right to Information has been a useful instrument. 

It can help tackle corruption and better targeting of beneficiaries.

How is the citizen’s access to data is limited in India? 

The political factors prevent its dissemination of data among the public. There are fears that access to data can increase the accountability of the government and create a roadblock in the administration 

The autonomy of statistical agencies is compromised for immediate political gains. For example, data from the consumption survey 2017-18 has not yet been released. Similarly, the first PLFS 2017-18) was released only after the 2019 general election.

The Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) has not been seriously treated.

The Water and Sanitation Survey data 2018 has not been released. 

The India government has been working upon the UIDAI and JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar -Mobile). Huge amounts of data has been collected under JAM (Jandhan – Aadhaar – Mobile), thereby breaching privacy of the citizens.

The government has collected an enormous amount of data during the pandemic and immunisation process. However, the government has suppressed information on pandemic induced deaths. 

What are the impacts of inadequate data access to citizens? 

The data divide between the state and its citizens is a potential threat to the smooth functioning of a democracy 

It will not lead to full realization of the potential of modern technology. 

The increased gathering of data and lack of sharing with citizens increases chances of the surveillance state. It can lead to breach of the fundamental right to privacy of the citizens of India.  

Way Forward 

The use of data by different stakeholders will help the government in the improvement of the governance.  

The statistical wings of the government should be made independent. It will increase the reputation and credibility.  

India needs an economic reboot for rapid employment-heavy growth

Source: The post is based on an article “India needs an economic reboot for rapid employment-heavy growth” published in the Livemint on 15th Apr 22.
Syllabus: GS2 – Indian Economy, Issues in planning, mobilization of resource and employment  

Relevance: India’s Economic Growth and Employment Generation 

News: Recently, the 62nd annual conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics was concluded at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.

In this conference, various useful papers were presented related to the Indian Economy. 

Why a major structural transformation is necessary for high long-term growth?  

India is facing severe unemployment. There were 28 million unemployed persons in 2019-20, out of which 24 million were in the 15-29 age group. It can lead to closure of the ‘demographic dividend’ window of India. 

India’s growth elasticity of employment is low as compared to some other Asian comparators. In fact, has also been declining. 

India’s GDP has not been registering robust growth. The repeated covid shocks, has eroded the growth potential of the economy. The small businesses, especially MSMEs, have been impacted. There have been supply-chain disruptions. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has further exacerbated these disruptions.  

Around 90% of the employed workforce is involved in unskilled or low-skill jobs. Further, around 35-40% of graduates and technical graduates are unemployed and not employable.,  

What is the work profile of India’s workforce? 

Among those who are employed, 90% are employed in unskilled or low-skill jobs.

Unemployment rate is as high as 35-40% among graduates and technical graduates. Evidently, despite a relatively high level of education, many unemployed graduates are not employable

The workforce share of industry in India is 6% higher than the norm. Workers have mostly moved to the low-skill or unskilled jobs in the industry like construction industry as well as trade, hotels and transportation industry. 

The workforce share of services is very low. It is because high-value-added services like financial and professional services, infotech and communication services, etc, are not employment-intensive.  

Ways Forward 

The challenge of high unemployment cannot be tackled without adequate GDP growth 

  Annual GDP of India must grow at 13% to spur an annual employment growth rate of 1.5% so that 90 million jobs can be created between 2023 and 2030 to clear the backlog of youth unemployment.  

There has to be a radical structural transformation. The structural transformation requires different policy approaches at different levels 

The strategic sectors should be promoted where labour absorption can be very high in India.  

The focus should be on construction and low-skill services where the bulk of the Indian labour force is equipped to handle at present. For example, Major infrastructure programmes can be undertaken. 

The high value jobs should be scaled up. For this, good quality education and skilling should be undertaken as a long-term strategy. 

GS Paper 3

Is the Reserve Bank doing enough to rein in inflation?

Source: The post is based on an article “Is the Reserve Bank doing enough to rein in inflation” published in The Hindu on 15th April 2022. 

Syllabus: GS3 – Indian Economy – Monetary policy

Relevance: Macroeconomic condition  

News: Recently, the central bank’s monetary policy committee had decided to hold benchmark interest rates (remain accommodative).

However, it has declared to withdraw the accommodative monetary policy measure to ensure that inflation remains within the RBI’s target limit.  

In the last two years, there has been high inflation and real growth has also been zero. Both of these can be a disaster. 

Inflation in India is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI Index has stayed above 6% for three months running. It is above the Reserve Bank of India’s upper tolerance limit. 

What are the causes of high inflation? 

High commodity prices like oil prices, edible oil prices, fertilizers, chemicals, feedstock etc

All-round supply chain disruptions – The present geopolitical uncertainty in Ukraine has led to supply-chain disruptions.

In India, inflation is also caused by supply-side shocks. And, monetary phenomena like credit infusion often mounts NPAs pressure. 

Are the RBI actions enough to arrest inflation?  

It may be difficult to contain inflation through repo rate and reverse repo rate adjustments.

The RBI’s monetary policy framework is extremely complex. It targets only one macro variables i.e., inflation, and neglects other variables like growth, jobs, external balance, financial stability which are interrelated 

The RBI has, therefore, failed to control the inflation curve. It has revised the inflation estimate a number of times.

A high output gap is being projected in a number of reports. In fact, the rules-based monetary macro framework is going to be inadequate to deal with this. 

The growth projections are based on the assumption that the Indian economy is experiencing cyclicity and the monetary policy can correct it. However, there may be chances that the Indian economy may be facing other challenges (like GST, Demonetization etc.). In this scenario, the monetary policy acting as a counter-cyclical policy tool will not work. 

The repo rates hike and liquidity tightening works when there’s a lot of credit growth (around 25-30% credit growth). It works to contain aggregate demand and money supply. However, India’ credit growth has been 7.5% for the last two years. Thus, credit growth is not causing inflation in India. 

What are the good signs? 

There have been robust tax collections due to formalisation. In addition, there have been record currency reserves which can act as a buffer for now. 

Market sentiment is a key factor. Globally, most of the central banks are tightening monetary policy. Therefore, RBI has done good to maintain positive sentiment. The move to contain inflation will increase the RBI’s credibility 

What can be done to control inflation?  

A high fiscal deficit should be substantiated through enhanced investment. There has to be focus on ‘crowding in’ private corporate investment. 

The RBI has introduced a new tool known as the standing deposit facility rate (3.75%) to absorb excess liquidity. 

The RBI should work upon improving the government bond yields. It will improve the return for long-term bonds, reduce inequality, control inflation, and manage financial stability. 

Efforts should be made to create jobs and increase the output of the Indian Economy. The boost to real economy can improve all our macro variables. 

On the fiscal policy side, the government should provide ‘participation income’ (not ‘basic income’) in the hands of people. It should be done by providing guaranteed jobs. It can tackle inflation.  

There has to be fiscal-monetary policy coordination through monetisation of the deficit. It can steer growth and creation of ‘employment’ because the full employment equilibrium, is well below in the Indian economy. 

The government needs to conduct the Consumer Expenditure Survey in 2022-23. It will compensate for the weaknesses of the CPI basket. 

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Operations launched by RPF: Performance of RPF during the month of March 2022

Source: This post is based on the articlePerformance of RPF during the month of March 2022published in PIB on 14th April 2022.

What is the News?

Railway Protection Force(RPF) is entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area, passengers and matters connected therewith. To fulfill these responsibilities, RPF has launched several operations in 2022.

What are the Operations launched by the Railway Protection Force(RPF)?

Operation Nanhe Farishte: Under this, RPF undertakes the noble cause of identifying and rescuing children in need of care and protection who are lost/separated from their families for various reasons. 

Operation Jeevan Raksha: Under this, RPF personnel saves passengers a) who are in a hurry try to board/de-board a moving train, slip and fall with the risk of coming under the wheels of train or b) people under distress try to commit suicide by deliberately coming in front of a running train.

Operation Matrishakti: Under this, RPF personnel especially mahila RPF personnel go out of the way to help pregnant women, who go into labour during their train journey.

Operation Amanat: Many passengers forget to take all their belongings in a rush to board the train or leave the train/station. Under this operation, RPF personnel help in securing such belongings and restore them to their rightful owners.  

Operation NARCOS: Under this, RPF takes action to curb narcotics smuggling through rail. 

Operation WILEP: Under this, RPF takes action against the smuggling of wildlife, animal parts and forest products through rail.

Operation Rail Prahari: Under this, RPF acts as sentinels on rail and helps state police/Law Enforcement Agencies(LEAs) in the detention of serious cases reported from their respective areas of operation.

Operation Dignity: Under this, RPF rescues destitute, helpless, mentally unsound, trafficked adults in need of care and protection and helps them reunite with their families or get them relocated to shelter homes in collaboration with NGOs.

Government launches country’s biggest ever Quiz Contest Sabka Vikas Mahaquiz

Source: This post is based on the article Government launches country’s biggest ever Quiz Contest Sabka Vikas Mahaquiz published in PIB on 14th April 2022.

What is the News?

The government of India has launched the country’s biggest-ever Quiz Contest Sabka Vikas Maha Quiz.

What is Sabka Vikas Maha Quiz?

Organized by: MyGov, a citizen engagement platform launched by the Government of India in 2014.

Purpose: It is a quiz series that aims to sensitize the participants about the various government schemes and initiatives. 

This includes schemes that resulted in an unprecedented number of houses built (PM Awas Yojana), water connections given (Jal Jeevan Mission), bank accounts (Jan Dhan), direct benefit transfer to farmers (PM KISAN) or free gas connections (Ujjwala) and many more life-changing interventions for the poor.

Key Features of the Quiz

The quiz will be available in Hindi & English and all other major languages.

One participant can participate only once in a quiz. Every week, the top 1000 winners will be announced, and every winner will receive Rs 2000 each.

At the end of 52 weeks, there will be a bumper prize for those who took part in all the quizzes.

Explained: What is colour blindness, and can you get it later in life?

Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: What is colour blindness, and can you get it later in life?” published in Indian Express on 13th April 2022.

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has directed the Film and Television Institute of India(FTII) not to exclude candidates suffering from colour blindness from its courses on filmmaking and editing and asked it to make changes to its curriculum instead.

What is Colour Blindness?
Source: Medindia

Colour blindness, also known as a colour deficiency, is the inability to see colours in the normal way. 

Colour-blind individuals often cannot distinguish between certain colours — usually greens and reds and sometimes blues as well.

The mechanism behind Colour Blindness

In the retina, there are two types of cells that detect light. They are:

Rods Cells: It detects only light and dark and is very sensitive to low light levels. 

Cone cells: It detects colour and is concentrated at the center of human vision. There are three types of cones that see color: red, green and blue. The brain uses input from these cone cells to determine the color perception.

– Color blindness can happen when one or more of the color cone cells are absent, not working, or detect a different colour than normal.

What are the causes of Colour Blindness?

Congenital Colour Blindness: Most colour blind people are born with the condition (congenital colour blindness). Congenital colour vision deficiencies are usually passed on genetically.

Medical Conditions: A problem with the colour vision that arises later in life could be the result of disease, trauma, or ingested toxins. If colour blindness arises out of disease, one eye may be affected differently from the other, and the difficulty could worsen over time.

– Medical conditions that may increase the risk of getting colour blindness include glaucoma, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, alcoholism, leukaemia and sickle-cell anaemia.

Vulnerable Gender: Men suffer from a higher incidence of colour blindness than women. Around the world, every tenth male is estimated to have some form of colour deficiency. Men of Northern European descent are considered to be especially vulnerable.

Treatment: Colour blindness cannot as yet be treated or reversed. However, it can be corrected to some extent by wearing special contact lenses or colour filter glasses. There is some research that suggests gene replacement therapy can help modify the condition.

Steps Taken by Government of India: In 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 to enable citizens with mild to medium colour blindness to obtain a driver’s licence.

Parliamentary panel cautions against trade in captive elephants

Source: This post is based on the article “Parliamentary panel cautions against trade in captive elephantspublished in The Hindu on 15th April 2022.

What is the News?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forests and Climate Change has submitted its report on the proposed Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021. The Bill seeks to amend the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.

What are the suggestions given by the committee?
Do not encourage the sale and purchase of captive elephants

Original Act: Section 43 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972 states that no person in possession of the captive animal or animal articles shall transfer them by way of sale or offer for sale or by any other mode of consideration of commercial nature.

Proposed Amendment: The amendment Bill introduces an exemption clause to Section 43. It says that this section shall not apply to the transfer or transport of any live elephant by a person having a certificate of ownership. This can be done only if such person has obtained prior permission from the State Government on fulfillment of such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Suggestion: The committee has strongly recommended the deletion of this exemption clause for elephants. The committee has argued for a “careful balance” between traditions and conservation.

Species Missing in Schedules

Original Act: Currently, the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972 has six schedules for specially protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and vermin species (one).

Proposed Amendment: The Bill proposes three Schedules — Schedule I for species that will enjoy the highest level of protection, Schedule II for species that will be subject to a lesser degree of protection and Schedule III that covers plants.

Suggestion: The committee has said that a number of species are missing in all the three Schedules. It found that species that should be in Schedule I but have been placed in Schedule II. Hence, this has to be corrected.

Prime Minister inaugurates Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya in New Delhi

Source: This post is based on the article Prime Minister inaugurates Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya in New Delhi” published in PIB on 14th April 2022.

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has inaugurated Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya in New Delhi.

What is Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya?

Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya is a museum dedicated to all the prime ministers of the country since independence.

Located at: Delhi’s Teen Murti Complex.

Logo: The logo of the museum shows hands holding the dharma chakra, symbolizing the nation and democracy.

Key Features of the museum:

The museum building integrates the Teen Murti Bhawan in New Delhi designated as Block I, with the newly-constructed Block II. It also includes the erstwhile Nehru Museum.

The museum will have displays that showcase stories of how the respective Prime Ministers steered the nation.

Personal items, gifts and memorabilia like medals, commemorative stamps, and speeches of the PM will also be on display.

The museum will also use holograms, virtual reality, augmented reality, multi-touch, multimedia, smartphone applications, interactive screens, and experiential installations to make the exhibition content interactive.

Significance of the museum

The museum will become a source of inspiration for the youth, who will be able to witness the hardships each PM faced and how they overcame them to lay the foundations of a new India. The museum will also reflect the shared heritage of each government.

Concept of Familial Forestry

Source: This post is based on the article “Concept of Familial Forestrypublished in PIB on 4th April 2022.

What is the News?

The Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has informed Rajya Sabha about the concept of Familial Forestry.

What is Familial Forestry?

Familial Forestry means caring for the tree as a family member so that the tree becomes a part of the family’s consciousness. 

Familial Forestry of Rajasthan is a unique movement that relates a tree with a family, making it a green “family member”. Under this, around 2.5 million saplings have been planted in the past 15 years with the active participation of students and desert dwellers

Land for life Award 2021 was conferred to the Familial Forestry of Rajasthan by UNCCD in  2021.

What is the Land for Life Award?

Conferred by: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) every two years.

Aim: To provide global recognition to individuals and organizations whose work and initiatives have made a significant contribution to sustainable development through sustainable land management (SLM).

Surat gets India’s first steel slag road: What is it, how is it different from regular ones

Source: This post is based on the articleSurat gets India’s first steel slag road: What is it, how is it different from regular ones?published in Indian Express on 2nd April 2022.

What is the News?

Surat in Gujarat has become the first city in the country to get a processed steel slag (industrial waste) road.

India’s First Steel Slag Road

Located in: Surat City, Gujarat

Built by: It is a joint-venture project by CSIR, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), Union Ministry of Steel, NITI Ayog and Nippon Steel.

Process: The road was constructed by converting mounds of steel waste into steel slag aggregate.

This project falls under the initiative of the Waste to Wealth and Clean India Campaign.

What are the benefits of Steel Slag Road?

Less Thickness: Thickness is 30% less compared to conventional roads made of asphalt, soil, bitumen, and natural aggregates. 

Cheaper: The construction cost of the processed steel slag road is 30% cheaper than roads built from natural aggregates.

Longer Durability: The durability is much longer due to the utilization of steel slag.

Sustainable use of Waste: Using processed steel slag in road construction also paves the way for sustainable use of waste and reduces the reliance on perishable natural aggregates.

Reduce GHG Emissions: It is also expected to reduce GHG emissions and carbon footprint in road construction activity. Further, it is in line with India’s commitment to the UN SDG-9 for building resilient infrastructure through inclusive and sustainable industrialization and green technology.

First Crisis, Then Catastrophe report: Quarter-billion people face extreme poverty in 2022 as the rich get richer: Oxfam

Source: This post is based on the article “Quarter-billion people face extreme poverty in 2022 as the rich get richer: Oxfam” published in Down To Earth on 13th April 2022.

What is the News?

Oxfam has released a report titled “First Crisis, Then Catastrophe”.

What are the key findings of the report?
Source: Oxfam

Increase in Poverty: The combined impact of COVID-19, inequality and food price hikes could result in 263 million more people living in extreme poverty in 2022. This could result in a total of, 860 million people living below the $1.90 (Rs 144.7) a day extreme poverty line. 

Inequality: Due to the impact of Covid-19 and price inflation, the gap between the rich and the poor is at an unprecedented rate. Nearly half of the global population (3.3 billion) are living below the poverty line while a new person becomes a billionaire every 26 hours since the beginning of the pandemic.

Uneven increase in Poverty: The increasing poverty is not spread evenly across geographies. Food costs account for 40% of consumer spending in sub-Saharan African nations, while the same figure is half for those living in advanced economies. 

Developing nations which were already faced with a worrying fiscal condition, are now witnessing debt levels unseen so far.

What are the suggestions given by the report?

Firstly, cuts in value-added taxes on staple food and cash transfers to support income should be implemented to protect the poorest from inflation. 

Secondly, the World Bank and IMF should cancel debt payments for 2022 and 2023 for low and lower-middle-income countries. 

Thirdly, a 2% tax on personal wealth above $5 million, 3% for wealth above $50 million and 5% for wealth above $1 billion should be imposed. This could amount to $2.52 trillion — enough to save 2.3 billion people from poverty. 

Fourthly, Special Drawing Rights under the IMF should be reallocated to ensure it is debt- and conditionality-free.

Lastly, emergency support provided to lower-income countries should be increased.

Mains Answer Writing

10 PM UPSC Current Affairs Quiz 15 June, 2024

We are posting 10 PM UPSC Current Affairs Quiz 15 June MCQs for today. Best UPSC institute In Delhi, On a daily basis, we post 10 MCQs, based on daily current affairs from PIB, The Hindu, Indian Express, DTE, TOI, and Live Mint. Daily UPSC Current Affairs Quiz 10 PM Current Affairs MCQs Archive – Click Here… Continue reading 10 PM UPSC Current Affairs Quiz 15 June, 2024

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9 PM UPSC Current Affairs Articles 15th June, 2024

Dear Friends, We are posting the 9 PM UPSC Current Affairs Articles 15th June, 2024 based on today’s current affairs. What is the aim of 9 PM? Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is… Continue reading 9 PM UPSC Current Affairs Articles 15th June, 2024

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Issue with Meloni’s Privatization Plan

Source: The post issue with Meloni’s Privatization Plan has been created, based on the article “Economic shortsightedness is jeopardising Italy’s G7 ambitions” published in “Business standard” on 15th June 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2-international relation-Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Context: The article discusses Italy’s hosting… Continue reading Issue with Meloni’s Privatization Plan

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Critics of the National Education Policy (NEP)

Source: The post critics of the National Education Policy (NEP) has been created, based on the article “Why NEP implementation has been a failure” published in “Indian Express” on 15th June 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2– Governance – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education Context: The article… Continue reading Critics of the National Education Policy (NEP)

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High food price despite slight decrease in inflation

Source: The post high food price despite slight decrease in inflation has been created, based on the article “Food factor: Policymakers must keep in mind that inflation hits the poor the hardest” published in “The Hindu” on 15th June 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 3 – Indian Economy- Growth and Development Context: The article… Continue reading High food price despite slight decrease in inflation

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Challenges faced by Indian companies, due to amendment in the foreign investment rules

Source: The post challenges faced by Indian companies, due to amendment in the foreign investment rules has been created, based on the article “India growth story has a ‘beneficial ownership’ hurdle” published in “The Hindu” on 15th June 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2 – Governance- Government policies and interventions for development in various… Continue reading Challenges faced by Indian companies, due to amendment in the foreign investment rules

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Climate Change Negotiations after Bonn Climate Meet – Challenges and Way Forward

A recent Climate Change Negotiations in Bonn, Germany, struggled to agree on a new target for climate finance beyond the current $100 billion annually from developed to developing countries by 2024. The talks were expected to outline specific figures ahead of COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, but instead produced a lengthy “input paper”. According to the… Continue reading Climate Change Negotiations after Bonn Climate Meet – Challenges and Way Forward

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Divya Drishti

Source– This post on Divya Drishti is based on the article “DRDO Unveils the Power of AI” published in “PIB” on 14th June 2024. Why in the News? The Ingenious Research Solutions Pvt Ltd., a start-up developed an AI tool named ‘Divya Drishti.’ The development of ‘Divya Drishti’ was supported by the Centre for Artificial Intelligence… Continue reading Divya Drishti

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National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH)

Source– This post on National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH) is based on the article “NIIMH is the first WHO Collaborating Centre for “Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine” published in “PIB” on 14th June 2024. Why in the News? Recently, The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the National Institute of Indian Medical… Continue reading National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH)

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Iskander-M missile system

Source– This post on Iskander-M is based on the article “ On Cam: Putin’s Iskander Missile Strikes Ukrainian Airbase; Su-27 Jet & S-300 System Hit” published in “Hindustan Times” on 14th June 2024. Why in the News? Recently, Russia claimed that it used the nuclear-capable Iskander-M missile system to target the Ukrainian military airbase in Mirgorod.… Continue reading Iskander-M missile system

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