9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – June 13th, 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 1

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1

Musings on ‘Indic civilisation’ and Indianness

Source: The post is based on an article “Musings on ‘Indic civilisation’ and Indianness” published in the “The Hindu” on 13th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS1 – Salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times

Relevance: To know about India’s civilisational heritage

News: Contemporary international politics has rendered less significant to cultural influence. The modern indices of strategic thinking, economic interests, and geopolitical affinities have gained more prominence than the cultural aspects. But India must treat Indic civilisation as a matter of pride.

How Indic Civilization is different from geographical and geopolitical India?

Geographical idea of India: This includes the subcontinent bordered by the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Himalayan mountains.

Geopolitical idea of India: This include the Republic of India; at its biggest extent, the British Raj as it was in 1914, or more pragmatically, the British India of 1947.

Indic Civilization: Civilisational idea of India is much broader than Geographic and Geopolitical ones. These are countries that are ‘culturally as much Indian. For instance, in Asia countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Java, Bali, or Sumatra are part of the Indic Civilization.

What is the composition of Indic Civillization?

The idea of Indian civilisation is not solely comprised of Hindu dharma but also consists of multiple non-Hindu influences(Such as Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, and also British colonial area) that have shaped contemporary Indian civilisation.

How impactful is Indic civilization in South East Asia?

To this day, a) The kings of Thailand are crowned in the presence of Brahmin priests; b) the Muslims of Java still bear Sanskritised names, despite their conversion to Islam; c) Garuda is Indonesia’s national airline, and Ramayana its best-selling brand of clove cigars; d) Even the Philippines has produced a pop-dance ballet about Rama’s quest for his kidnapped queen.

e) Many Southeast Asian countries also mirror the idea of a ‘sacred geography’: the old Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya derived its name from the Indian Ayodhya, f) Since 1782, Thai kings are still named Rama in continuation of the Ramayana tradition; the current monarch, Vajiralongkorn, is styled Rama X. (The Javanese city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia is also a transliteration of Ayodhya).

Indic Civilization in Cambodia

Hinduism was brought to Cambodia by merchants and travellers more than a millennium ago. It has long since disappeared, supplanted by Buddhism. But at its peak, Hinduism profoundly influenced the culture, music, dance, and mythology of the Cambodian people. The 16th century saw Hindus and Buddhists worship side by side in adjoining shrines within the same temple complex.

Cambodia is indeed the last outpost of Indic civilisation in a world increasingly overrun by the forces of Chinese culture.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia has exquisite sculptures from Ramayana and the Mahabharata tales.

What should be done to preserve Indic Civilization?

Indians should treat Indic’s civilisational heritage as a matter of pride, and not of parochialism; as a heritage that unites, rather than divides one Indian from another.

GS Paper 2

NSS, CMIE are surveys not comparable. Studies should not relate them

Source: The post is based on an article “NSS, CMIE are surveys not comparable. Studies should not relate them” published in the “Indian Express” on 13th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS2 – Issues relating to poverty and hunger

Relevance: To know about the differences in NSS and CMIE surveys

News: Recently, policy advisors and researchers at the IMF and World Bank have also attempted to estimate headcount ratios under various assumptions.

About the recent poverty measurements by IMF and World Bank

The IMF method: It carried out the exercise using adjustments for private final consumption expenditure from the National Accounts Statistics and also using the expenditure incurred by the government under the public distribution system.

The World Bank method: It has tried to estimate headcount ratios using CMIE data from the consumer pyramids household survey from 2015 to 2019, relating it with the NSS consumer expenditure data from 2011 and data from other sources like the National Family Health Survey, PLFS, etc.

But the huge differences in the headcount ratios between the two studies add to the confusion in the already complicated measurement issues of poverty in India.

How does India calculate poverty estimations?

India uses the NSS consumption expenditure survey for the measurement of poverty. The results from it, carried out in 2017, are not available due to quality issues in the data collected.

India already has a measurement of multi-dimensional poverty that gives a better understanding of deprivation. The aspirational district programme extended to the block level and provides the direction and location where specific interventions are required.

Why does the NSS and CMIE surveys are not comparable?

Sample designs are different: For instance, NSS adopts multistage stratified sampling whereas CMIE uses rotational sampling.

CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Surveys (CPHS) have unequal sampling probabilities. For instance, households on the main streets have a higher likelihood of selection.

Difference in definitions: The basic definition of the household is different in the two surveys.

Sample size and recall period: NSS collects information on more than 345 unique items to arrive at consumption expenditure estimates whereas CMIE does so through 114 items.

NSS expenditure is based on a recall period of 30 days for food items and others over 365 days, the CPHS consumption expenditure is based on a recall period of the last four months.

Time difference: The NSS survey data used is for the year 2011, and the CMIE survey from 2015 to 2019.

Change of weights: Unlike the NSS, the CPHS does not conduct a listing exercise and instead uses projections of households and population growth to construct sampling weights.

What should be done to measure poverty?

Measurement of poverty at the national level does not serve any policy purpose. One has to go down to the state, district, block and village level to identify pockets of poverty to develop and deliver special programmes needed in each case.

What has Rajya Sabha achieved that a stand-alone Lok Sabha has not, or would not?

Source: The post is based on an article “What has Rajya Sabha achieved that a stand-alone Lok Sabha has not, or would not?” published in the “Indian Express” on 13th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS2 – Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these

Relevance: To know about concerns associated with the functioning of Upper House.

News: Constituent Assembly was divided on the opinion on establishing Rajya Sabha. That debate still holds relevance even after so many years.

What are the arguments against the establishment and functioning of the Rajya Sabha?

Lokanath Misra in the Constituent Assembly was of the opinion that, a) It will not serve any useful purpose, b) the Lower House is more representative of the people. On the other hand, the Upper House only result in a waste of public money and waste of time.

Note: Lokanath Misra was also of the opinion that huge number of people either in the House of the People or in the Council of States does not serve any very useful purpose.He highlighted that the “Constituent Assembly consists of more than three hundred members that so few of take a real part in and are really useful to constitution-making”.

Apart from this, c) Upper Chamber have twelve nominated members. The persons who have been nominated and who will never seek the vote of the people can become ministers also, d) Earlier any citizen desirous of contesting a Rajya Sabha election had to be an elector from that particular state. But an amendment to the Representation of People’s Act 1952 did away with the domicile requirement also.

e) Twenty-four states have unicameral legislatures, that is, only one legislative body, and only six states are bicameral. There is no justifiable legal basis for this classification. A question arises if the bulk of the states can function with one House then why does the Centre need to be bicameral.

What should be done?

There is also a question, except for being a continuous House, what has Rajya Sabha been able to achieve that a stand-alone Lok Sabha has not or would not?

Hence, there should be an amendment to Article 83 (2), to make Lok Sabha remain in existence till the time its successor body/house is not constituted through general elections mandatorily held three months prior to the completion of the present one.

Note: Kesvananda Bharti case held parliamentary democracy to be a basic structure, not bicameralism.

The FATF and Pakistan’s position on its ‘grey list’

Source: This post is based on the article “The FATF and Pakistan’s position on its ‘grey list’ ” published in The Hindu on 13th June 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – International Organizations and groupings

Relevance: Pakistan on FATF’s grey list

Context: Ahead of the plenary session of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in Berlin, Pakistan is hoping for a removal of its name from the FATF’s ‘grey list’ or the list of countries presenting a risk to the global financial system.

In its last plenary meeting in March, the FATF had retained Pakistan’s listing, asking it to expeditiously address the remaining deficiencies in its financial system.

What is FATF?

The Financial Action Task Force is an international watchdog for financial crimes such as money laundering and terror financing.

It was established at the G7 Summit of 1989 in Paris to address loopholes in the global financial system after member countries raised concerns about growing money laundering activities.

The FATF currently has 39 members.

The FATF sets standards or recommendations for countries to achieve in order to plug the holes in their financial systems and make them less vulnerable to illegal financial activities.

It conducts regular peer-reviewed evaluations called Mutual Evaluations (ME) of countries to check their performance on standards prescribed by it. The reviews are carried out by FATF and FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs), which then release Mutual Evaluation Reports (MERs).

For the countries that don’t perform well on certain standards, time-bound action plans are drawn up.

For more details: Read here.

What are FATF’s ‘grey’ and ‘black’ lists?

At the end of every plenary meeting, FATF comes out with two lists of countries.

Grey list: The grey countries are designated as “jurisdictions under increased monitoring”, working with the FATF to counter criminal financial activities.

For such countries, the watchdog does not tell other members to carry out due-diligence measures vis-a-vis the listed country but does tell them to consider the risks such countries possess.

The words ‘grey’ and ‘black’ list do not exist in the official FATF lexicon.

Black list: As for the black list, it means countries designated as ‘high-risk jurisdictions subject to call for action’.

In this case, the countries have considerable deficiencies in their AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing) regimens.

– In these cases, the FATF calls on members and non-members to apply enhanced due diligence. In the most serious cases, members are told to apply counter-measures such as sanctions on the listed countries.

Currently, North Korea and Iran are on the black list.

What is the impact of being on FATF’s grey or black list?

Being listed under the FATF’s lists makes it hard for countries to get aid from organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the European Union.

It may also affect capital inflows, foreign direct investments, and portfolio flows.

Why is Pakistan on the grey list?

Pakistan was retained on the grey list in March as it was yet to address concerns on the front of terror financing investigations and prosecutions targeting senior leaders and commanders of UN designated terrorist groups.

Steps have been taken in this direction by Pakistan, such as the sentencing of terror outfit chief Hafiz Saeed, prosecution of Masood Azhar, but India suspects the efficacy and permanence of these actions.

Pakistan has found itself on the grey list frequently since 2008, for weaknesses in fighting terror financing and money laundering.

Controlling the hard sell

Source: This post is based on the article “Controlling the hard sell” published in Business Standard on 12th June 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: Guidelines for advertising

News: ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’ have been notified by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).

These guidelines have been long overdue.

What are the key provisions under the new rules?

Under the new rules,

Penalties for misleading advertisements have been linked to the definition of such infractions and the punitive measures provided under Section 2 (28) of the Consumer Protection Act.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority can also prohibit an endorser of a misleading advertisement for up to one year, and three years for a repeat offence.

Two other critical points about the new guidelines are that they clearly define “bait” and “free claims” advertising and strictly set limits to advertising for children, including those with celebrity endorsements.

The guidelines also require a disclaimer to be published in the same language as the claim made in the advertisement and the font used must be the same as that used in the claim.

Why the new guidelines were necessary?

The advertising industry’s well-meaning attempts at self-regulation have proven inadequate so far.

The proliferation of advertising for online gaming sites and mutual fund products has magnified the problem of misleading advertising.

Tightening standards of advertising for children, including disallowing celebrity advertising in some cases, as children are key purchase influencers in middle-class Indian households.

What are the challenges involved?

The key question, however, is how the government will enforce the guidelines.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority, which was formed in 2020, is responsible for regulating false and misleading advertisements and punishing offenders, the functions that the Advertising Standards Council of India used to perform.

Tracking advertising in India’s more than 10,000 print publications and 850-plus TV channels in multiple languages is challenging enough.

But the principal problem today is the proliferation of online advertising, not all of it originating in India.

This will require a gargantuan organisation to track effectively.

What is the way forward?

The CCPA should consider banning the advertising of junk food and drink, just as it has done for fairness creams, alcohol, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. The volume of junk food advertising has played a key role in the exponential rise of childhood obesity and diabetes among middle-class Indians.

As with alcohol, for which surrogate advertising has sensibly been banned as well, point-of-purchase publicity for junk food should be considered sufficient publicity.

A requirement of slowing the pace at which disclaimers are read on TV ads would also be useful.

It would also make sense for the CCPA to work closely with other similar authorities to regulate claims on health and personal product packaging and include health warnings as is done on tobacco products. In that sense, the new guidelines could be considered a good starting point.

Finger in every pie: Regular theft of biometric data shows how lax information storage is and why we need a strong law

Source: This post is based on the article “Finger in every pie: Regular theft of biometric data shows how lax information storage is and why we need a strong law” published in The Times of India on 12th June 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Govt policies and interventions

Relevance: increased use of biometrics, Data protection

News: Hyderabad police recently caught a man with around 2,000 fingerprints of separate individuals that were being used to purchase SIM cards, create bank accounts, and then engineer more frauds.

Widespread use of biometrics

Smaller public and private entities have now taken to biometrics with passion.

Bengaluru Metro is mulling a facial recognition-based pass and similar boarding is being planned for various airports as well.

Biometric access systems are proliferating in offices and apartments.

What are the challenges posed by increased use of biometrics?

The immense problem with this trend is that it is running apace without strong data protection protocols being put in place.

India has comprehensively embraced the digital economy without a matching data protection regime.

– Tons of personal data is being constantly collected. Moreover, there is a confusion about how it will be stored and used and who will have access to it.

Furthermore, disincentives in the Aadhaar Act are weak relative to the damage criminal behavior can wreck.

For example, impersonation by providing false demographic or biometric information is punishable only by imprisonment up to three years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both. Even such provisions are brought to bear on only a fraction of the cases of data misuse.

Way forward

Two key measures must be taken by India

– First, UIDAI should take steps to address issues highlighted in the CAG audit.

– Second, Parliament should no longer delay a comprehensive data protection law – with the strongest possible regulation against security-poor or unauthorized storage of identity information.

English-Vinglish, Hindi-Shindi: India doesn’t need a national language. Plus, Hindi is growing & English is no longer elitist

Source: This post is based on the article “English-Vinglish, Hindi-Shindi” published in The Times of India on 12th June 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – Issues Arising Out of Design & Implementation of Policies

Relevance: One nation – One language issue, national language policy

Context: Should India have a national language? And if not, then why not. The article discusses the reasons as to why India is better off without any national language and why it must not try and impose Hindi on non-hindi speakers.

Global examples

In theory, a national language is a nice idea, but imposing it on a multilingual country can be disastrous.

This can be easily seen from the following examples:

– Pakistan: When Pakistan was born, Jinnah declared spiritedly that Urdu would be the national language.

At the time, the mother tongue of 55% of Pakistanis was Bangla; only 7% understood Urdu. Resentment soon built up among the proud Bengalis, and it eventually led to Pakistan breaking up and the birth of Bangladesh.

– Sri Lanka: Similarly in Sri Lanka, Bandaranaike implemented in 1950s the ‘Sinhala Only Act’, disenfranchising the Tamil minority. Riots followed, followed by civil war. Once a model South Asian nation, Sri Lanka was brought to its knees.

Many countries have managed well without any national language, including India.

Switzerland is another multilingual nation without a national language. It has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and ranks high on the Happiness Index. A successful nation doesn’t necessarily need a national language.

What is the most prevalent argument against English and why it doesn’t hold any longer?

In India, there is a deep-seated resentment of English as the language of the elite that has ruled for the past 75 years. English is not just a language in India, it is a caste.

However, three changes make this argument less powerful.

One, English has quietly become an Indian language, just as cricket has become an Indian game. Whoever speaks a language owns it, just as whoever plays the game possesses it. English is now the most widely spoken language in India after Hindi, with 130 million speakers in the 2011 Census.

The second change is that Hindi is the fastest growing language in India, spreading rapidly thanks to Bollywood. If English is our language of opportunity, Hindi is our language of entertainment.

The third change is the rise of a confident hybrid, popular among young, decolonised minds. For instance: Youngsters in Chennai comfortably mix English with Tamil as easily as they mix Tamil with English.

– It has the makings of Indian English, a language that may one day aspire to become a national language.

Way forward

India’s language policy should focus on the future, not on the past. It should help create opportunities for the young.

The New Education Policy is basically correct. It is a good idea for children to begin learning in their mother tongue. However, kids should simultaneously learn English from KG onwards.

English is the global language of opportunity. It is why many government schools are emptying, and why more than half of India’s children attend non-elite private schools.

So, why try and force Hindi down the throats of non-Hindi speaking people when it is already the fastest growing Indian language? Hindi, English, Hinglish are spreading on their own.

If India has managed without a national language, why fix something that isn’t broken? Why risk the break-up of our country or a civil war?

GS Paper 3

Economic impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict: Global macro in 2022/2023

Source: The post is based on an article “Global macro in 2022/2023” published in the “Business Standard” on 12th June 2022.

Syllabus: GS3 – Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Relevance: To know about the economic impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict

News: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has the potential of creating macroeconomic/financial crises in many countries.

What is the vulnerability of dependence on Russian oil and gas?

Before invading Ukraine, Russia was the world’s biggest exporter of oil, at about 8 million barrels a day. In addition, about a third of Europe’s gas supply came from Russia.

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is of Spain’s size, with strengths in two fields: Natural resources and food. Hence, the energy export cash flow is critical to the Russian economy and funds the war in Ukraine.

What is the present status of the Russian oil and gas?

Around 85% of individuals in Europe were in favour of reducing energy dependence on Russia. In recent months, Russian gas sales to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland have been shut off. This is visible from,

a) LNG imports into Europe have surged. Their demand for LNG is also driving up its global price, which influences all users, including ones in India. b) Carbon transition investments are taking place at an unprecedented pace all over Europe.

What is the economic impact at the global level due to higher oil prices?

Depreciate savings: For energy-importing countries worldwide, in the short term, there is negligible price elasticity. Hence, higher import prices are tantamount to a consumption tax and result in a reduction in savings.

Shake the foundation of debt stability: Long years of sustained low-interest rates in the world economy, coupled with the pandemic, have led to a significant build-up of debt.

If the prices of oil increase, then the foundation of debt stability of the borrowers will also be shaken. For example, Italy by 2023, could be in the grip of an expanding debt /GDP ratio.

‘Developing markets’ (DM) interest rates go up: Central banks worldwide are freshly conscious about the problems of inflation and are tightening monetary policy. As the US Fed hikes the interest rates, the global capital also starts retreating.

Other impacts: Some firms will face credit stress. Some ponzi schemes will get unveiled.

What is the critical Importance of good economic machinery?

The need for enlarged capital inflows to fund the gap between investment and savings in many energy importing countries. This is required a) At a time when debt levels are unprecedentedly high, b) At a time of slow global growth in GDP and trade, and c) In a period of unprecedented DM monetary tightening.

The benefit of floating exchange rate: In countries with good institutions, there is capital account convertibility and inflation targeting. In these countries, the exchange rate depreciates, and more foreign capital without any friction comes in.

In other countries: In places where these machineries are not in place, they might get some episodes of economic distress. Some countries will mishandle macro policy and experience macroeconomic/financial crises.

India at bottom in EPI 2022 but environment survey confuses and stifles honest discussion on climate change

Source: This post is based on the article “India at bottom in EPI 2022 but environment survey confuses and stifles honest discussion on climate change” published in The Indian Express on 13th June 22.

Syllabus: GS3 – Environment

Relevance: India’s last rank on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), criticism by the govt and related issues

News: The 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) released on World Environment Day (June 5) has triggered much distress in India, as the country is ranked last (180th).

The government has issued a fierce rebuttal.

How do we make sense of this debate?

What are some problems with indexes?

Indexes are inherently problematic, especially when applied to something as multi-dimensional and complex as environmental performance.

Subjectivity: Index makers have to make judgements about what issues count, how they are best measured individually, and how much importance to give to each issue and indicator.

For example, indicators may focus on current rates of increase or decrease in environmental pressures — as the EPI does for carbon dioxide emissions and tree cover gains — but under-state the accumulated effect that relates to actual harm, thereby ignoring past effects.

What are the challenges in measuring climate change progress?

Climate change is a global environmental problem, and because its effects depend on the accumulation of greenhouse gases over time, measuring progress in a given country is challenging.

Climate change mitigation has to be measured against what it is reasonable and fair to expect from different countries, taking into account their past emissions as well as national contexts.

The problem, however, is that there has been an inconclusive 30-year debate on this question; any choice of benchmark involves major ethical choices.

What are some issues with the EPI 2022?

The index is severely compromised by how it incorporates action on climate change mitigation.

EPI is essentially applying the same standard across vastly different socio-ecological contexts. For example, the EPI leaves out arsenic in water, which is a major threat in Bangladesh. Arsenic is not counted by the EPI because it is not as widely prevalent as lead, which is included.

High weight to climate change: Giving climate change a high weight in the index (38%) – a questionable decision, given the development needs of poorer countries — means the issue of past emissions comes to the centre of the EPI.

Poor choice of benchmarks: EPI relies heavily on the trend of greenhouse gas emissions by a country in the past decade as an indicator of progress.

For climate change, 53% of the weight is allocated to these trends, and another 36% to whether the continuation of these trends brings a country close to zero emissions in 2050. They assume that the world must reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and so the appropriate benchmark is whether all countries are reducing emissions and reaching zero by 2050.


EPI’s approach is contrary to widely accepted ethical principles, especially the global political agreement on common-but-differentiated-responsibility (CBDR). It ignores the fact that countries have different responsibilities for past accumulations and are at different levels of emissions and energy use.

– For example, India’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions are about a tenth each of the US’s. So, while it is reasonable to expect the US to decrease emissions rapidly, the contribution of a country like India should lie in becoming ever more carbon-efficient with its development, or increasing emissions but at a decreasing rate and as little as possible.

This approach is guaranteed to make richer countries look good, because they have accumulated emissions in the past, but these have started declining in the last decade.

Way forward

EPI’s flawed and biased approach distracts from a much-needed honest conversation about the environment in developing countries like India.

Welcome a G-7 package for an energy transition

Source: This post is based on the article “Welcome a G-7 package for an energy transition” published in Livemint on 13th June 22.

Syllabus: GS3 – Environment

Relevance: G7’s climate deal with India

News: It’s a win for India’s diplomacy that the G7 group looks set to offer it a climate partnership deal. Unless it places an unfair burden on us, let’s use the funds to decarbonize our economy faster.

What is the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP)?

Upon taking over the G-7 presidency for 2022, host Germany had promised to build on Glasgow’s momentum.

Approach: The German approach includes building not just climate partnerships, but “climate and development” alliances beyond the G-7, though largely focused on G-20 members.

Significance: This is significant because this approach takes into account the societal and economic development of each partner and will not try to force-feed partners a standard solution.

The likely template will be the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) that France, Germany, the UK and US, along with the EU, signed with South Africa at last year’s CoP-26.

That partnership—with special emphasis on the words “just” and “transition”—is about helping fund South Africa’s decarbonization by replacing coal usage with clean energy.

The agreement also recognizes that a departure from coal cannot happen overnight, and a big move away from carbon emissions would require options for the vast number of people employed by coal-based power plants.

At its core, the idea is to assist green transitions by making finance available from developed countries, multilateral institutions and groups of green investors.

What is the climate deal being offered to India by G7?

The US and Germany have proposed a G-7 partnership with India to support and fund the makeover of its energy mix from fossil fuels to carbon-neutral sources.

Such a deal is likely to be announced later this month at the G-7 summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, should New Delhi and the seven agree to the JETP on the table.

India is a special invitee to this year’s summit, along with Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina.

Constituents of the deal: If reports of the offer are true, a critical portion of the pact will ask for a) reducing the number of coal-burning power plants under development, and b) gradual closure of our coal mines.

This could be a sticking point. It would also shine a light on some G-7 members that have made negligible efforts to reduce domestic demand for fossil fuels (such as the US).

Way forward

The JETP project can be seen as an effort towards Paris Agreement’s promise of $100 billion in annual funding for countries like India that had gone unfulfilled.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Explained | What is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | What is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation?” published in The Hindu on 13th June 2022.

What is the News?

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretariat has condemned and denounced the comments on Prophet Muhammed made by two national spokespersons of the Indian political party.

In response, a spokesperson at the Ministry of External Affairs stated that India rejected the OIC Secretariat’s unwarranted and narrow-minded comments.

What is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC)?

Established in: 1969 summit in Rabat (Morocco) after what it describes as the ‘criminal arson’ of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 

Aim: To work as a collective voice of the Muslim world by safeguarding the interests of the Muslims in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.

Headquarters: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Relations with the UN: The OIC has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other intergovernmental organizations to protect the interest of Muslims. 

MembersUN members with a Muslim majority can join the organisation. The membership is to be ratified with full consensus at the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers. The same provisions apply to acquiring an observer status. 

Currently, OIC has 57 members. India is not one among them.

Decision-making at OIC: All decision-making in the forum requires a quorum defined by the presence of two-thirds of the member states and complete consensus. In case a consensus cannot be reached, decisions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting.

Financed by: The OIC is financed by the member states proportionate to their national incomes. 

Supreme Authority: The supreme authority of the organization is the Islamic Summit. It is composed of Kings and heads of state. It is convened every three years. It deliberates, takes policy decisions, provides guidance on issues relevant to the organization and considers issues of concern to the member states. 

India and OIC

India’s association with the OIC has not been easy. Even though the country has good relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, its membership and engagement with OIC have been constantly challenged by Pakistan. 

In 1969, Pakistan’s opposition to Indian participation at the first OIC Plenary resulted in the Indian delegation being turned back from the venue at the last minute.

In 2019, India’s External Affairs Minister addressed the OIC Plenary of Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour. The invitation was extended by the UAE’s Foreign Minister.

What are the criticisms against OIC?

Firstly, OIC had become a premise for ‘window dressing’, more interested in the rights of Muslim minorities in places such as Palestine or Myanmar than the human rights violations of its member states. 

Secondly, OIC lacks the power and resources to investigate human rights violations or enforce its decisions through signed treaties and declarations. 

Thirdly, the organization is largely restricted to arbitrating in conflicts where both parties are Muslims. This is because the organization is centred around Quranic values which, it believes, makes it a qualified arbitrator. 

Food safety index: how it is worked out, how the states have performed

Source: The post is based on the article “Food safety index: how it is worked out, how the states have performed” published in Indian Express on 13th June 2022.

What is the News?

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) has released the State Food Safety Index(SFSI) 2021-22.

What is the State Food Safety Index(SFSI)?

Released by: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) annually since 2018-19.

Aim: To measure the performance of states and Union Territories on selected “parameters” of food safety

Parameters: The SFSI takes into account the performance of the states on five key parameters, each of which is assigned a different weightage in the assessment:

– Human Resources and Institutional Data: This carries a weightage of 20% and measures the availability of human resources like number of Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers facility of appellate tribunals, functioning of State/ District level Steering Committees and pendency of cases.

Compliance: It carries the highest weightage, 30%.It measures overall coverage of food businesses in licensing & registration commensurate with size and population of the State/UTs.

Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance: Weighted at 20%.It measures the availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained manpower in the States/ UTs for testing food samples.

Testing and Capacity Building: This parameter carries the lowest weightage at 10%.It measures states performance on training and capacity building of regulatory staff.

Consumer Empowerment: This carries a weightage of 20%. It evaluates the states and UTs on their performance on various consumer empowering initiatives of FSSAI and also state initiatives.

How are States assessed and ranked?

The states and Union Territories are not assessed and ranked together. They are segregated into three categories — large states, small states and UTs—and assessed separately within their respective categories, based on their performance on the selected food safety parameters.

How have the states and UTs performed in SFSI 2022?

State Food Safety Index
Source: Indian Express
Read more: State Food Safety Index: Tamil Nadu tops food safety index

‘Abnormal’ dinosaur egg in India digs up new questions for evolution

Source: The post is based on the article “‘Abnormal’ dinosaur egg in India digs up new questions for evolution” published in The Hindu on 13th June 2022.

What is the News?

A team of researchers from the University of Delhi has discovered a unique set of fossilized dinosaur eggs with one egg nesting within the other at the Dinosaur Fossil National Park in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh.

What did the researchers find?

The Upper Cretaceous Lameta Formation of Central India is long known for its dinosaur fossils.

In this region, researchers recently discovered 52 titanosaurid dinosaur nests at the Dinosaur Fossil National Park in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh.

One of these nests consisted of 10 eggs, one of which was the “abnormal” egg with one egg nesting within the other.

What is the significance of this discovery?

The eggs-within-eggs are rare phenomena. They are so far known to occur only in birds and have never been known in reptiles. This discovery brings out newer connections between reptilian and avian evolution.

What are Titanosaurs?

Titanosaurs were a diverse group of sauropod dinosaurs. The dinosaurs of the Sauropod family were among the largest land animals that have ever lived and were widespread millions of years ago in the territory that is now India. 

Fossils of these animals have been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh as well as Meghalaya.

Holy Relics of Lord Buddha to be taken from India to Mongolia for an 11-day exposition on occasion of Mongolia’s Buddha Purnima

Source: The post is based on the articleHoly Relics of Lord Buddha to be taken from India to Mongolia for an 11-day exposition on occasion of Mongolia’s Buddha Purnimapublished in PIB on 12th June 2022.

What is the News?

In a special gesture towards the people of Mongolia, four Holy Relics of Lord Buddha are being taken from India to Mongolia for an 11-day exposition as part of celebrations of Mongolian Buddha Purnima.

Where will these holy relics be placed in Mongolia?

The Holy Relics will be displayed at the Batsagaan Temple within the premises of Gandan Monastery in Mongolia.

In India, these Holy Buddha Relics are currently housed in the National Museum. These relics are known as the ‘Kapilvastu Relics’ since they are from a site in Bihar first discovered in 1898, which is believed to be the ancient city of Kapilvastu.

About the Sacred Relics of Buddha

At the age of 80, Buddha attained salvation in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district. 

The Mallas of Kushinagar cremated his body with ceremonies befitting a universal king. 

His relics from the funeral pyre were collected and divided into eight shares to be distributed among the Ajathsatrus of Magadha, the Licchavis of Vaishali, the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, Mallas of Kushinagar, Bullies of Allakappa, the Mallas of Pava, the Koliyas of Ramagrama and a Brahmana of Vethadipa. The purpose was to erect stupas over the sacred relics. 

Stupas erected over the bodily relics of Buddha (Saririka stupas) are the earliest surviving Buddhist shrines. 

It is also said that Ashoka (272–232 BC), being an ardent follower of Buddhis, opened up seven of these eight stupas and collected a major portion of the relics for enshrinement within 84,000 stupas built by him in an effort to popularize Buddhism as well as the cult of the stupas.

About Kapilavastu

Kapilavastu was an ancient city on the Indian subcontinent which was the capital of the clan of the Shakyas. 

Buddhist texts such as the Pāli Canon claim that Kapilavastu was the childhood home of Gautama Buddha, on account of it being the capital of the Shakyas over whom his father ruled.

Finance Minister dedicates to the nation Dharohar – National Museum of Customs and GST in Goa

Source: The post is based on the articleFinance Minister dedicates to the nation Dharohar – National Museum of Customs and GST in Goapublished in PIB on 12th June 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Finance has inaugurated “Dharohar” – the National Museum of Customs and GST in Goa.

What is Dharohar?

Dharohar is the National Museum of Customs and GST.

The museum is housed at Goa’s famous Blue Building on the banks of the Mandovi River. It is a two-storey building which was earlier known as Alfandega during Portuguese rule.

What does the Dharohar museum showcase off?

Dharoha showcases the artefacts seized by Indian Customs. It also depicts various aspects of work performed by the Customs Department while safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country.

The museum has  8 galleries: 1) Introductory gallery. 2) History of Taxation Gallery, 3) Guardians of economic frontiers gallery, 4) Guardians of Art & Heritage, 5) Guardians of Flora & Fauna, 6) Custodians of social well being, 7) Journey of Indirect taxes –Salt Tax to GST and 8) GST gallery.

Notable displays in the museum are the manuscript of Ain-i-Akbari intercepted by the Indian Customs at the Indo-Nepal border at Raxaul, a replica of Amin pillars from Kaurkshetra, medieval period astronomical instruments, seized metal and stone artifacts, ivory items and wildlife items.

Note: The Ain-i-Akbari or the “Administration of Akbar“, is a 16th-century detailed document recording the administration of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Akbar, written by his court historian, Abu’l Fazl in the Persian language.

Abridged Life Tables report: India’s life expectancy inches up 2 years to 69.7

Source: The post is based on the article “India’s life expectancy inches up 2 years to 69.7published in TOI on 13th June 2022.

What is the News?

The Abridged Life Tables report for the period of 2015-19 has been released by the Sample Registration System(SRS).

What are the key findings from the report?
Abridged Life Tables report
Source: TOI

India’s Life Expectancy: India’s life expectancy at birth has increased to 69.7 in the 2015-19 period. However, this is well below the estimated global average life expectancy of 72.6 years. 

Life Expectancy over 45-year Period: Over a 45-year period, India had added about 20 years to its life expectancy at birth. India’s life expectancy at birth increased from 49. 7 in 1970-75 to 69. 7 by 2015-19.

Odisha has had the highest increase of over 24 years from 45.7 to 69.8 years followed by Tamil Nadu, where it increased from 49.6 to 72.6 years.

Difficulty in Raising Life Expectancy: It has taken almost ten years for India to add two years to life expectancy. 

The data suggest that high infant and under-five mortality could be the reason India finds it difficult to raise life expectancy at birth faster. 

Huge Rural-Urban Variations: Within India, there are huge variations across states and between urban and rural areas

Kerala is the only state where rural life expectancy was higher than urban life expectancy for both men and women. In Uttarakhand that was the case among women.

Bihar and Jharkhand remained the only states where male life expectancy was higher than for women in both urban and rural areas.

What is Life expectancy at birth in different countries?

As per UN’s Human Development Report, 2019: In the neighborhood, Bangladesh and Nepal now have a higher life expectancy at birth of 72.1 and 70.5 respectively.

Japan has the highest life expectancy of 85. Norway, Australia, Switzerland and Iceland had a life expectancy of 83.

Explained: BrahMos, 21 and developing

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: BrahMos, 21 and developingpublished in Indian Express on 13th June 2022.

What is the News?

On June 12, 2001, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was first tested from a land-based launcher in Chandipur.


Since the early 1980s, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme conceived and led by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam started developing a range of missiles including Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag with a wide spectrum of capabilities and ranges.

But in 1990s, India’s strategic leadership felt the need for cruise missiles. To make cruise missiles, India signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement with Russia.

This led to the formation of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between DRDO and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), the Indian side holding 50.5% and the Russians 49.5%.

About Brahmos Missile

​​BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine. Its first stage brings the missile to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to three times the speed of sound in the cruise phase. 

Types of Brahmos Missiles: There are Land Based, Ship Based, Air based and Submarine based Brahmos Missiles Systems.

Significance of Brahmos Missile

Cruise missiles such as BrahMos called “standoff range weapons”, are fired from a range far enough to allow the attacker to evade defensive counter-fire. 

The BrahMos has three times the speed, 2.5 times flight range and higher range compared to subsonic cruise missiles. 

Moreover, with missiles made available for export, the platform is also seen as a key asset in defense diplomacy.

Future Developments in Brahmos Missiles

Versions currently being tested include ranges up to 350 km, as compared to the original’s 290 km. 

Versions with even higher ranges up to 800 km, and with hypersonic speed are said to be on cards. Efforts are also on to reduce the size and signature of existing versions and augment its capabilities further.

Binary super massive black hole discovered in a system which could be site of future gravitational waves detection

Source: The post is based on the article Binary super massive black hole discovered in a system which could be site of future gravitational waves detectionpublished in PIB on 12th June 2022.

What is the News?

A group of astronomers from Argentina, Spain, Italy, the USA and India has discovered a binary supermassive black hole system in the Blazar AO 0235+164. The system will be a strong candidate for future detection of gravitational waves(GWs).

What are Blazars?

Blazars are super massive black holes(SMBH) feeding on gas in the heart of a very distant galaxy. They are among the most luminous and energetic objects in the Universe. 

When the jet, composed of ionized matter travelling at nearly the speed of light, is pointed towards an observer, it is called a blazar. 

What is unique about Blazar AO 0234+164?

The blazar AO 0235+164 is unique as it is gravitationally lensed by intervening galaxies. 

Note: Gravitational Lensing is a phenomenon by which light shining from far away is bent and pulled by the gravity of an object between its source and the observer.

Significance: Blazar AO 0235+164 is the first binary SMBH gravitationally lensed system. It will also be a strong candidate of its kind for future detection of gravitational waves.

‘Nanhi Pari’ Programme: For newborn girls, initiative to get all key certificates at hospital itself

Source: The post is based on the article “Delhi: For newborn girls, initiative to get all key certificates at hospital itself” published in Indian Express on 11th June 2022.

What is the News?

Northwest Delhi district administration has launched the ‘Nanhi Pari’ Programme.

What is the ‘Nanhi Pari’ Programme?

Nanhi Pari programme aims to provide a one-stop solution to parents, eliminating their need to visit various offices to obtain documents.

Under the programme, essential services such as the provision of a birth certificate, Aadhaar card registration and opening a bank account for girls are completed and delivered in government hospitals in the district before the mother and baby are discharged.

The programme will also help in getting registration of baby girls and mothers under various schemes such as the Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme, the Ladli scheme and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana at the hospital itself.

Significance of the Programme

The programme makes the processes for schemes as simple as possible for all children and mothers. Parents would not have to go from here to there, trying to avail themselves of the essential schemes.

‘Vermin’ politics: Human-wildlife conflict mitigation needs to be based on science, not historical biases

Source: The post is based on the article “‘Vermin’ politics: Human-wildlife conflict mitigation needs to be based on science, not historical biases” published in Down To Earth on 6th June 2022.

What is the News?

The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Parliament to amend the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The Bill proposes to remove Schedule V completely. Schedule V lists species classified as ‘vermin’, such as common crows, fruit bats, rats and mice which may be hunted freely.

What is Vermin?

Vermins are basically a problematic animal or a nuisance creature because they threaten humans, crops, livestock or property.

Origin of Vermin Category in India

The Vermin category of the The Wildlife Protection Act(WLPA),1972 is a colonial legacy which has minimal scientific basis.

British legislation was the first to mandate the extermination of vermin. For instance, the Tudor Vermin Acts allowed for the eradication of nuisance animals or agricultural pests.

Then the British Raj brought to India the ideas of desirable animals (suitable for hunting and subsequent consumption being considered game) and problematic animals (considered vermin). These very ideas were then used to establish British colonial control over the ecology of India and its people. 

Vermin Category under WLPA Act,1972

The WLPA,1972 currently has six schedules that assign varying degrees of protection to animals and plants. 

Under Schedule I and II of the Act, for instance, animals and birds such as tigers and elephants are offered the highest protection. 

Schedule V lists species classified as ‘vermin’, such as common crows, fruit bats, rats and mice, which may be hunted freely.

The act does not define the word Vermin. But the 62nd section of the Wildlife Protection Act grants the central government the power to declare any wild animal as vermin.

Being declared as vermin deprives these animals of protection, thereby allowing for its hunting without any consequences. 

However, wild animal species which are placed in Schedule I and Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 can not be declared as Vermin.

What changes does the Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill,2021 aim to bring?

The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 brings in a major change by reducing the number of schedules from six to four. It proposes to remove Schedule V completely. 

This gives the Centre direct power to declare any species to be ‘vermin’ and make way for them to be freely hunted. Hence, the procedure to declare animals to be ‘vermin’ becomes easier and the number of species labelled ‘vermin’ also increases. 

This change could potentially impact 41 species of mammals, 864 birds, 17 reptiles and amphibians and 58 insects.

Mains Answer Writing

UPSC Prelims 2024 CSAT Answer Key – With Detailed Explanation and Typed Questions

Dear Friends, We are releasing our UPSC Prelims 2024 CSAT Answer Key Along with Detailed explanation and typed questions. You can match your answers and also check the reasoning behind it. UPSC Prelims 2024 CSAT Answer Key Directions for the following 4 (four) items: Read the following two passages and answer the items that follow… Continue reading UPSC Prelims 2024 CSAT Answer Key – With Detailed Explanation and Typed Questions

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Increasing Adoption of AI by Electronic Industry 

Source-This post on Increasing Adoption of AI by Electronic Industry has been created based on the article “Electronic devices will be increasingly driven by AI” published in “Business Standard” on 17 June 2024.  UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3– Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.  Context… Continue reading Increasing Adoption of AI by Electronic Industry 

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Need for Cooperative Federalism and Fixing GST Flaws

Source-This post on Need for Cooperative Federalism and Fixing GST Flaws has been created based on the article “Fix GST flaws to make it a ‘good and simple tax’ published in “LiveMint” on 17 June 2024.  UPSC Syllabus–GS Paper-3– Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.  Context– Cooperative… Continue reading Need for Cooperative Federalism and Fixing GST Flaws

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Issues with the NEP’s Structure

Source-This post on Issues with the NEP’s Structure has been created based on the article “Why NEP implementation has been a failure” published in “The Indian Express” on 17 June 2024.  UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-2– Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.  Context-The article highlights the issue with… Continue reading Issues with the NEP’s Structure

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Significance of G7 summits for leaders 

Source: The post significance of G7 summits for leaders has been created, based on the article “G7, West’s shifting political landscape and India’s growing salience” published in “Indian express” on 17th 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… Continue reading Significance of G7 summits for leaders 

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Current Status of Global Gender Parity

Source: The post current status of global gender parity has been created, based on the article “Two steps back: India needs to close the gender gap in education and politics” published in “The Hindu” on 17th June 2024  UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 1- society  Context: The article highlights the slow progress in closing the… Continue reading Current Status of Global Gender Parity

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Migrant workers are vulnerable in GCC states 

Source: The post migrant workers are vulnerable in GCC states has been created, based on the article “Under Kafala, workers are dispensable” published in “The Hindu” on 17th June 2024  UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2-international relation-Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.  Context: The article discusses… Continue reading Migrant workers are vulnerable in GCC states 

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Contradictory approach of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on inter-faith marriage

Source: The post Contradictory approach of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on inter-faith marriage has been created, based on the article “High Court’s take on Marriage Act, an erosion of rights” published in “The Hindu” on 17th June 2024  UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 1- Society – Salient Features  Context: The article discusses a problematic… Continue reading Contradictory approach of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on inter-faith marriage

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Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act (POSH Act)-Significance and concerns- Explained Pointwise

Sexual Harassment at the workplace is one of the major issues faced by women in the modern world. Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act (POSH Act) was enacted to effectively counter the sexual harassment cases in India. While there has been a rise in the cases registered under this act, SC has also raised… Continue reading Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act (POSH Act)-Significance and concerns- Explained Pointwise

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Burp tax

Source– This post on Burp tax is based on the article “Why has New Zealand removed the ‘burp tax’ on livestock?” published in “Indian Express” on 17th June 2024. Why in the News? Recently, New Zealand announced scrapping the ‘burp tax. About burp tax 1. About the Burp Tax: It was a tax introduced in 2022… Continue reading Burp tax

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