9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – March 30th, 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.
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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

Globalization is dying: Long may the phenomenon live

Source: This post is created based on the article “Globalization is dying: Long may the phenomenon live” published on 30th March in Live Mint.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Important International institutions

Context: Recently, the Western world came together to impose sanctions on Russia, decades old business arrangements with countries were terminated. All this came in the backdrop of COVID-19, exposing the vulnerability of globalization.

Among nation-states it has led to hardening of nationalistic agendas. Countries are focusing on self-reliance to reduce geopolitical risks.

Is it possible to reverse globalization trends?

From an evolutionary perspective, humans became the dominant species due to our ability to cooperate to further common objectives. From being hunter-gatherers, to establishing villages, towns and nation-states. In recent times, this is visible in arrangements such as the European Union.

That said, when events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine give rise to questions, there is a need to address these concerns in ways that will allow us to reap the benefits of globalization.

For instance, concerns regarding SWIFT. This is operated by a Belgian company which is subject to any sort of pressures that a domestic entity faces. The alacrity with which Russian banks were ejected raises concerns as to management of global financial infrastructure.

This raises demand for alternatives. Rather than have a single entity for financial messages, focus can be on setting up financial messaging infrastructure that is based on open protocols.

There is a need to evaluate all our global public infrastructure through a similar lens. Such important infrastructure should function like global commons. In cases where effective control lies with a small group of nations, we need to develop alternatives.


Hindu as minority: Government’s affidavit is consistent with the Constitution

Source: This post is created based on the article “Globalization is dying: Long may the phenomenon live” published on 30th March in Indian Express.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Constitutional Scheme

News: This week, the Government of India submitted a detailed affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue of who is a minority, and how minorities are defined in the Constitution.

About Government’s affidavit:

It states about granting minority status to Hindus in Kashmir, Ladakh, Punjab, a few Northeastern states, and Lakshadweep. The affidavit says Hindus can be declared a minority in a few states, and avail minority welfare schemes under Articles 38 and 46.

The affidavit says minorities are defined both nationally and at the level of states.

The definition of minority

“Minorities” (or “minority”) appears at four places in the Constitution — in the headnotes of Articles 29 and 30, and clauses (1) and (2) of Article 30. The Constitution does not define “minority”.

First, a minority is a group that is numerically smaller than the majority in a society. Lack of numbers alone is not a guide to any authoritative definition. In apartheid South Africa, minorities exercised power and domination over the rest of the society.

Second definition of minority is that the group must be non-dominant in society and the polity. Minorities, such as, Muslims satisfy both the tests, viz. numerical inferiority and non-domination. Their representation in Parliament and state Assemblies is at an all-time low.

The Constitution talks of only religious and linguistic minorities. It does not recognise sexual minorities such as LGBTQ+. Also, the Supreme Court has accepted only the numerical inferiority test, i.e., less than 50% in a state’s population, for a group to be recognised as a minority under Article 30(1).

Supreme Court Judgements:

In ‘Re: The Kerala Education Bill’ (1958) the court explicitly rejected districts as a unit to determine the minority status of a group within the state. The apex court took the “state” as a unit to determine the minority status of groups claiming themselves as minorities.’

‘TMA Pai Foundation’ (2003) laid down that in the absence of any special definition of “minorities”, any community, religious or linguistic, which is numerically less than 50 per cent of the population of a state is entitled to the protection of minority rights.

Thus, Hindus are entitled to recognition as a linguistic minority in the whole of India, not just seven states/UTs.

Religious, linguistic minority

Article 30 gives the same rights to religious and linguistic minorities, but does not say that these minorities must necessarily be determined at the level of the state.

Two views are possible as to the recognition of minorities.

  1. One approach can be to define religious minorities nationally and linguistic minorities on the basis of the state.
  2. The second approach can be to accept the dissenting opinion of Justice Ruma Pal in TMA Pai Foundation. It states that if a law of Parliament is being challenged, minorities must be defined nationally; if it is a state law, then minorities must be determined at the state level keeping in view numerical inferiority within the state concerned.

In 1930, the erstwhile Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) had defined community not in terms of numbers, but in terms of shared religious, racial, and linguistic traditions.. The existence of a community is not dependent upon recognition by law. In N Ammad (1998), the Supreme Court rightly held that minority status is a matter of fact, and does not require state recognition or declaration.


Aid Sri Lanka’s economy and not Rajapaksa’s grip

Source: This post is based on the article “Aid Sri Lanka’s economy and not Rajapaksa’s grip” published in The Livemint on 24th Mar 22.

Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations

Relevance: Indo-Lanka relations

News: As per reports, Sri Lanka has sought an additional $1 billion by way of a credit line, which would be on top of the $2.4 billion aid package it has already received from New Delhi this year.

India should help Colombo get past its economic crisis for the sake of friendly ties and regional interests. But this should be done in a way that doesn’t strengthen its leader’s power.

How bad is the situation in Sri Lanka?

Queues at fuel stations have lengthened as supplies run dry

Long power cuts have become the norm

Essential commodities are scarce

A food shortage has grown acute.

Lack of foreign exchange

Currency has lost value and retail inflation has soared

Popular discontent against the Rajapaksa government has spilled onto the streets in the form of protests

How can India help?

To prevent instability, New Delhi can extend low-cost help to alleviate the hardships of Sri Lankans. But this must be done with due care.

What are the factors behind Sri Lanka’s crisis?

Easter Sunday terror attacks of 2019 followed by covid closures hampered Sri Lanka’s tourism

Even pre-pandemic, it had such loose fiscal and monetary policies that economists warned prices would rise, slow commerce down and compress tax collections.

Barring of imports: In 2020, it had blocked inward vehicle shipments. Last year, it barred chemical fertilizers in a misguided push for organic farming that hurt its farm output (and had to be reversed).

Reduced credit ratings: With some $6 billion in foreign payments due this year, its credit ratings have also been slashed.

What is the way forward?

It is in India’s interest to contain Chinese presence and influence in Sri Lankan archipelago region.

Sri Lanka’s poor record on minority rights under the Rajapaksa clan has been under watch. So the relief provisions India makes must not end up backing a regime whose disposition towards Tamils, among other groups, has been a cause of concern.


Bridging the bay in quest of a stronger BIMSTEC

Source: The post is based on an article “Bridging the bay in quest of a stronger BIMSTEC” published in The Hindu on 30th Mar 22. 

Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations, Regional Grouping 

Relevance: BIMSTEC 

News: Sri Lanka is ging to host the Fifth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit. It is going to be the silver jubilee (25 years of BIMSTEC). 

BIMSTEC members should build the momentum of collaborations in the Bay of Bengal region for the security and development of all. 

What have been the area of cooperation b/w BIMSTEC countries?

BIMSTEC countries have been cooperating in several areas. This includes areas include security, counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, cybersecurity and coastal security, and transport connectivity and tourism, among others. 

There is growing involvement of educational institutions, industries and business chambers through various forums and conclaves. This is helping to enhance cooperation in different sector.  

Why BIMSTEC has special significance for India and the region?  

India has made the Bay of Bengal integral to India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies 

The Bay of Bengal has become important in economic and strategic space. It has a unique position as a pivot in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region, a place where the strategic interests of the major powers of East and South Asia intersect. There is growing economic, geopolitical and security connections between the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions. 

The BIMSTEC further has potential due to geographical contiguity, abundant natural and human resources.  

All the member countries have rich historical and cultural linkages. It promotes deeper cooperation in the region.  

The BIMSTEC serves as a bridge between the South and Southeast Asia which are two major high-growth centres of Asia. It can accelerate the process of regional integration.

Way Forward 

Connectivity is essential to develop a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region. Therefore, national connectivity infrastructure should be upgraded and integrated into a regional road map. In addition, the hard and soft infrastructures should also be developed.

For example, The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity can boost the connectivity.  

The BIMSTEC Secretariat should be strengthened. It coordinates, monitors and facilitates the implementation of BIMSTEC activities and programmes. Therefore, approval of the BIMSTEC charter during the summit can be a way forward.  

India can play key role in regional cooperation. For example, Recently, India has implemented its promise to set up a Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBS) at Nalanda University, Bihar for research on art, culture and other subjects related to the Bay of Bengal.  

The political support and strong commitment from all member countries are crucial in making BIMSTEC a dynamic and effective regional organisation.


On CUET: Centralising tests

Source: The post is based on an article “Centralising tests” published in The Hindu on 30th Mar 22. 

Syllabus: GS2 – Social Sector, Education 

Relevance: Higher education reforms 

News: The UGC has decided to conduct a Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admission from 2022-23 in undergraduate programmes in all the Central Universities (CUs) funded by it.  

Background

Madhuri R. Shah Committee (1984) recommended a national merit examination for the Central Universities.  

The govt advocates for ‘one nation, one standard’ maxim in different sectors. 

The National Education Policy (NEP) also advocates for a common entrance examination for undergraduate and graduate admissions and fellowships. It should be conducted by the National Testing Agency  

What are some challenges?

The test would be based on the NCERT syllabus, which is followed largely in CBSE schools. But a vast majority of students do not study in CBSE board but in State Boards. 

The policy does not include Class XII marks as one of the parameters for determining the merit.  

The students, whose learning process was disrupted by COVID-19, may find it challenging to clear the test. The test is being introduced just ahead of an admission season.  

The test might affect the interest of State domiciles of students to secure admission in a university in the North-Eastern State. 

What way is forward?

In the instant case, the UGC has clarified the existing scheme of reservations in individual universities would not be disturbed


A missed chance for Indo-China relations

Source: The post is based on an article “A missed chance for Indo-China relations” published in the Indian Express on 30th March 2022. 

Syllabus: GS2 – International Relations. Bilateral Relations 

Relevance: Indo-China Relations 

News: Recently, Chinese leader visited India. He visited after participating in the OIC Council of Foreign Minister (CFM) hosted in Islamabad and carrying a tour to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal.

It was the first Chinese leader visit to India after the military standoff in eastern Ladakh in 2020. 

What were the objectives behind the Chinese visit? 

First, China wants to give a message that it is a big power. It is assuming a leadership role in the region. It wishes to develop consensus on important issues such as Afghanistan and Ukraine 

Second, it was aimed to ensure that BRICS summit going to be organised later this year becomes successful. 

Third, China wants to give the impression that both China and India have a shared interest in ensuring that Russia is not isolated. It also wants to give the message that there is a rift between the US and India over Ukraine. For example, China appreciated India’s “strategic autonomy policy” in context of Russia-Ukraine Conflict.  

Fourth, it aims to convey to the international community that it is a “responsible” power. Unlike, the US, which withdrew from Afghanistan, it became the first P-5 country to visit Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover, 

Fifth, The Chinese participation in OIC CFM implies that China desire to be seen as a strong and sympathetic backer of the Islamic world, against stereotyping by the West. 

Sixth, China do not want the West to enter into its backyard (Indo-Pacific). For example, Nepal approved a $500 million US government aid programme under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which provides an alternative to infrastructure and developmental finance under the BRI. It is being perceived by China same as NATO expansion for Russia. 

What are the challenges in resolving in bilateral relations between India and China? 

Chinese side only talks to solve “the border issue in bilateral ties”. It does not talk about other fields, including trade, which continues to lean disproportionately in China’s favour.  

China has been interfering in India’s internal affairs. For example, it has raised the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council. In fact, Chinese side also made reference to Kashmir at the OIC CFM meeting in Pakistan. China’s reference to Kashmir is insensitive because:

China is itself in occupation of part of Kashmir territory i.e., Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam valley.  

In Xinjiang, China has been accused of human rights violation and showing no respect to “Islamic civilisation” and “Islamic wisdom” that Wang Yi alluded to while in Pakistan.  

There exists a number of bilateral issues and on strategic issues between both the countries, such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Indo-Pacific and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. 

China is expanding strategic and military ties with Pakistan. Its shadow is growing in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.  

There is lack of agreement on disengagement at the remaining friction points in the border areas of India-China. 

Way Forward 

India’s participation, either in the BRICS summit or the 19th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the RIC (Russia-India-China) grouping may provide opportunities for resolving bilateral issues between India-China. 

India has made it clear that the peace is a prerequisite for normal ties. 

GS Paper 3


Lifestyles for climate justice

Source: This post is created based on the article “Lifestyles for climate justice” published on 30th March in Business Standard.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Environment: Climate Change

News: A recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pointed out that climate change has caused substantial damages, and increasingly irreversible losses, in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal, and open ocean marine ecosystems.

Policy approach to tackle climate change:

The policy approach to tackling this has tended to concentrate on supply-side changes, involving decarbonizing production. There is a need for equal emphasis on demand-side changes, reflected in the Prime Minister’s plea for a “Lifestyle for Environment” campaign at Glasgow 2021.

Need for focus on lifestyle:

This is based on behavioral changes on the demand side. At the global level, the richest 10% of the world population accounts for 47% of carbon emissions, and the poorest 50% accounts for just 10% of the emissions.

The geographical distribution of the rich and poor is substantially skewed. In many sub-Saharan countries, the vast majority of the population belongs to the bottom 50% of global carbon emitters. The share of people in the global top 10% is especially high in Western European countries and in the US.

In India, the carbon intensity of expenditure rises with income groups. This must be because high carbon-intensity products like cars and air-conditioners are used almost entirely by the top-income deciles.

This lifestyle of “yesterday’s luxuries become today’s necessities”, is a global problem as it has defined living standard goals and consumer behaviour in most countries.

What should be done?

The UNFCCC can promote sustainable consumption including reducing waste generation, assisting individuals and households to make environmentally sound purchasing decisions.

In India, the government should commission a survey on the carbon and environmental footprint of expenditure categorized by product and income groups.

Focus on specific measures, such as mandatory product standards that reduce the carbon footprint; using government purchase programs to promote environmentally safer products; labeling to show the carbon footprint; nudging consumer behavior through an information outreach; measures to reduce waste generation and mandatorily recycling discarded electronic products and durables by suppliers.

Such change in consumption pattern is essential for climate mitigation and climate justice.


A ‘doomsday’ book that launched a movement

Source: The post is based on an article “A doomsday book that launched a movement” published in The Hindu on 30th Mar 22. 

Syllabus: GS3 – Environment and Ecology 

Relevance: Environmental Degradation  

Context: Recently, global-level discussions on the GDP-based measures of economic performance have started. It was because the Limits to Growth is going to complete its 50 years.  

The Club of Rome sponsored the LTG project. It was composed of leaders from various fields of human activity.  

The System Dynamics group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) carried out this data-driven study. 

What was the idea behind report? 

It was a system-based approach. It was meant to study the global problems like environmental deterioration, depleting natural resources, pollution, overpopulation, inequality, ill-health, crime, war, and religious attitudes, among others, in relation to the human well-being.  

What are the predictions made in the book?

In case if the traditional economic growth models and human-induced environment degradation keeps unabated, the world system could collapse by 2070. 

It expressed that a tiny change can push a system into an entirely new state. The exponential increase in the rate of change in the Holocene period could lead to unprecedented event.

What fundamental aspects that have been discussed in the book have come true? 

According to report, the global population might cross the seven billion-mark by 2000. Although it was 6.11 billion in 2000, but now it is 7.9 billion. The population of impoverished regions of the world has gone up. There has been exponential growth of the population in parts of the world. 

According to report, economic growth would widen the absolute gap between the rich and the poor. I will also increase the number of undernourished people. In reality, the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening. 

The book has raised the environmental awareness for the first time across the worldwide. 

The natural resources are being depleted, for example, the humanity has disrupted the three Earth system processes. It has led to climate change, rate of biodiversity loss, and the changes in the nitrogen cycle. 

Some contrarian concepts in the LTG Report? 

It recommended “steady state of economic and ecological equilibrium”. These are based on concepts like “de-growth” and “post-growth”.

The “de-growth” societies have to be organized around fundamentally different cultural, social, economic, political, and technological concepts. These are not going to be organised around the ideology of growth from the capitalistic and Marxian points of view.  

Way Forward 

It was criticized for its ‘doomsday’ prediction. But allegations were denied. It was said that the report was aimed to challenge people to find ways of living that are consistent with the laws of the planet rather than predicting a doomsday.  

It recommended changes in the growth model. Such model leads to the over-exploitation of finite natural resources. Therefore, in the context of de-growth options, the Gandhian principles like the concept of human cooperatives can be important. 

As The Limits to Growth emphasises, the question is not only “whether the human species will survive, but whether it can survive without falling into a state of worthless existence”.


The folly of an ‘atmanirbhar’ internet

Source: The post is based on an article “The folly of an atmanirbhar internet” published in the Indian Express on 30th March 2022. 

Syllabus:  GS3 – Role of Media, Science & Technology (IT) 

Relevance: Media Reforms, Internet Governance 

News: The Big Tech companies have been alleged of the “weaponization” of digital platforms. They have been alleged to silence the Russian State media. 

Why the move of the big tech companies is right? 

The Kremlin-controlled media have created a narrative about genocide against the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine. They were doing false reports of Russian soldiers being welcomed as liberators by grateful Ukrainians.  

The controlled media did not show the fate of millions of refugees that were left homeless due to Russian Invasion.  

In Russia, the independent media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were taken off-air. 

What are the factors in India-Russia relations? 

Both had grown their relationship based on arms supplies, hydrocarbons and the love for Bollywood films, especially Raj Kapoor.  

How have Russia and India dealt with digital media?

Both India and Russia have imposed stringent regulations on the social media platforms like Facebook, Google etc.  

– For example, Russia warned Google and other major platforms under the so-called “landing law”. It also warned the employees to be fined and arrested for non-compliance.  

Similarly, India issued such orders in February 2021, like platform to have office with an Indian address. They need to employ a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer. They were given three months to comply and the chief compliance officer would be criminally liable for content on the platform. 

Russia and India both have been trying to slow down the access to Twitter accounts about a year before. Both had made similar excuses like Twitter have failed to remove content relating to illegal drug use, child pornography and encouraging teen suicide. For example, Indian government had demanded the blocking of 500 accounts, etc. In this context, Indian authorities raided twitter offices.  

What is the way forward?

It is time for India’s path to diverge from what Russia is doing. It must check creation of a parallel internet along the lines of China, North Korea and Russia 

In democracies, the media that spreads disinformation must be curbed. It should not be allowed to justify a wrong war. 

“Atmanirbhar Internet” is not a desired thing in India. It is a globally connected digital common. It imparts knowledge relies on the freedom of expression and the freedom to draw upon others. 

If India must push for self-reliance, like reducing its disproportionate reliance on Russian weapons and hydrocarbons. 

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

In presence of Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya signed historic agreement for settlement of inter-state border dispute

Source: This post is based on an article “In presence of Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya signed historic agreement for settlement of inter-state border disputepublished in PIB on 29th March 2022.

What is the News?

Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya have signed an agreement in the presence of the Union Home Minister to resolve part of their five-decade-old interstate border dispute.

What is the dispute about?

During British rule, Assam included present-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram, which later became separate states. 

Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972, but Meghalaya challenged the Assam Reorganization Act,1971 leading to disputes in 12 locations in the border areas.

The 12 locations are Upper Tarabari, Gazang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah, Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah Block I and Block II, Khanduli and Retacherra.

What has been done to resolve the dispute?

The two states formed border dispute settlement committees. The committees submitted reports based on five mutually agreed principles: historical perspective, ethnicity of the local population, contiguity with boundary, peoples’ will and administrative convenience.

What is the agreement signed now?

Assam and Meghalaya CM have signed an agreement to resolve their border dispute in six of the 12 locations.

The six locations are: Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata and Ratacherra 

With this agreement, 70% of the border dispute between the two states has been resolved.

However, the remaining six points of friction are more complex and may prove to be a bigger challenge.

What are the other agreements signed in the North East to end extremism?

In the last three years, the Government has signed several agreements to end extremism and bring peace to the North-Eastern states:

Tripura: In 2019, National Liberation Front of Tripura(NLFT-SD) signed an agreement with the Government of Tripura to abide by the Constitution of India and also agreed to surrender its cadres with their weapons.

Bru Refugees: In 2020, the Center, governments of Tripura and Mizoram and representatives of the Bru tribe have signed an agreement to settle the Bru refugees in Tripura.

Bodo Accord: It was signed in 2020 to resolve the 50-year-old Bodo issue while maintaining the original form of Assam.

Karbi-Anglong Agreement: It was signed in 2021 to resolve the long-standing dispute in the Karbi regions of Assam. Under this, more than 1,000 armed cadres surrendered and joined the mainstream.


National Commission for Women Launches Legal Services Clinic in Collaboration with DSLSA

Source: This post is based on the article National Commission for Women Launches Legal Services Clinic in Collaboration with DSLSApublished in PIB  on 29th March 2022.

What is the News?

The National Commission for Women(NCW) has launched a Legal Aid Clinic.

What is a Legal Aid Clinic?

Launched by: National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with Delhi State Legal Services Authority(DSLSA) 

Purpose: It will act as a single-window facility for resolving the grievances of women by offering them free legal assistance.

Located at: The legal aid clinic will operate out of the NCW office in New Delhi. 

Services: Under the clinic, counselling will be provided for walk-in complainants, women in distress, advice and information on various schemes of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), free legal aid, hearings in matrimonial cases and other complaints registered with the Commission.


World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022: Energy transition holds key to tackle global energy and climate crisis: IRENA

Source: This post is based on an article “Energy transition holds key to tackle global energy and climate crisis: IRENA” published in Down To Earth on 30th March 2022.

What is the News?

The International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA) has released a report titled “World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022”.

What are the key findings of the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022?

Transition to Clean Energy: Current Crisis of high fossil fuel prices, energy security concerns and the urgency of climate change underscores the pressing need to move faster to a clean energy system.

However, energy transition is far from being on track and anything short of radical action in the coming years will diminish even eliminate chances to meet our climate goals.

What steps should be taken to move towards clean energy? 

Firstly, Renewables will have to scale up massively across all sectors, from 14% of total energy today to around 40% in 2030.

Secondly, the world’s largest energy consumers and carbon emitters from the G20 and G7 countries must show leadership and implement ambitious plans and investments domestically and abroad.

Thirdly, Climate finance, knowledge transfer and assistance from developed countries will have to increase for an inclusive and equal world.

Fourthly, electrification of end-use sectors (e.g. electric vehicles and heat pumps) is seen as a key driver of energy transition progress.

What are the benefits of the transition to Clean Energy?

Long-term energy security, price stability and national resilience: Some 80% of the global population lives in countries that are net energy importers. Hence, the shift to clean energy would make these countries less dependent on energy imports through diversified supply options and help decouple economies from wide swings in the prices of fossil fuels. 

Generate Jobs: Investing in the clean energy transition will bring socio-economic and welfare benefits, adding 85 million jobs worldwide in renewables and other transition-related technologies between today and 2030. These job gains will largely surpass the losses of 12 million jobs in fossil fuel industries. 


Union Minister calls for creation of animal disease free zones for boosting value-added meat products

Source: This post is based on an article “Union Minister calls for creation of animal disease free zones for boosting value-added meat products” published in PIB on 28th March 2022.

What is the News?

Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry has called on stakeholders to work towards the creation of region-specific animal disease-free zones in the country to boost exports of value-added meat products.

What is an Animal Disease Free Zone?

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), zoning is a risk management strategy for achieving the progressive control and eradication of animal diseases, and for providing guarantees for international trade.

Animal Disease Free Zone is one in which the absence of a specific infection in an animal population has been demonstrated in accordance with the relevant requirements. 

What is the importance of an Animal Disease Free Zone?

Animals are the life support system for the rural economy, they provide sustenance in difficult times and a great source of nutrition, particularly proteins, for the rural folk. There is a need to work to increase animal productivity.

Moreover, India is the largest exporter of frozen and bovine meat. Hence, there is a need to create region-specific animal disease-free zones in the country.

What are the steps taken by the Government to help this initiative?

National Animal Disease Control Programme

National Livestock Mission (NLM)

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA)

How to achieve Animal Disease Free Zone?

India must take small steps and work towards declaring small regions disease-free. For instance, creating an animal disease-free zone of a few districts at a time.


INDO-UZBEKISTAN JOINT EXERCISE “EX DUSTLIK” CONCLUDES AT YANGIARIK IN UZBEKISTAN

Source: This post is based on an articleINDO-UZBEKISTAN JOINT EXERCISE “EX DUSTLIK” CONCLUDES AT YANGIARIK IN UZBEKISTANpublished in PIB  on 29th March 2022.

What is the News?

The 3rd edition of Indo-Uzbekistan Joint Field Training Exercise “EX DUSTLIK” concluded at Yangiarik, Uzbekistan.

What is Exercise DUSTLIK?

Conducted between: It is a joint training exercise between India and Uzbekistan armies.

First Edition: 2019 at Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Aim: To enhance the level of defence cooperation between both the Armies and to act as a catalyst for many such joint programs in future.

Focus of the exercise: It will focus on Counter-Terrorism operations in semi-urban terrain under a United Nations Mandate.

What are the other exercises between India and Central Asian Countries?

Exercise KAZIND: It is an annual military exercise between India and Kazakhstan army.
Exercise KHANJAR: It is a joint military training exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan.


14th Rhino Census: Rhino population up by 200 in Kaziranga

Source: This post is based on the article “Rhino population up by 200 in Kazirangapublished in The Hindu on 30th March 2022.

What is the News?

The 14th Rhino Census 2022 at Kaziranga National Park(KNP) was conducted.

What are the key findings from the 14th Rhino Census 2022 at KNP?

The population of the Greater One-horned or Indian Rhinoceros in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve has been estimated at 2,613 which is 200 more than the number recorded in 2018. (The 2018 Rhino Census had put the number at 2,413)

Of the rhinos estimated, 1,823 were adults, 365 were subadults, 279 juveniles and 146 calves. The females outnumbered the males by 183. 

Note: This census was special as this was the first time drones were used to survey the animals in three compartments of the park.

Rhino Census in other National Parks of Assam

Orang National Park: It recorded an increase of 24 rhinos over the figure of 101 in 2018. There was no incident of poaching in the park.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary: It recorded five more rhinos than in 2018. Of the 107 rhinos counted, 50 were females, 30 males and 27 calves.


Indian power projects replace Chinese ventures in Sri Lanka

Source: This post is based on an articleIndian power projects replace Chinese ventures in Sri Lankapublished in The Hindu on 30th March 2022.

What is the News?

The Indian Foreign Minister is on a visit to Sri Lanka. During this visit, several agreements have been signed.

What are the agreements signed by India and Sri Lanka?
Hybrid Power Projects in Three Islands of Sri Lanka

India will set up hybrid power projects in three Islands off Jaffna in Sri Lanka.This will be the third Indian energy project coming up in Sri Lanka’s north and east.

These projects effectively replaced the Chinese venture cleared by Sri Lanka in 2021.

Note: In 2021, Sri Lanka decided to award renewable energy projects in Nainativu, Delft or Neduntheevu and Analaitivu islands to China.

– India was quick to express concern to the Sri Lankan side over these Chinese projects coming up in the Palk Bay, barely 50 km off Tamil Nadu. India offered to execute the same project with a grant rather than a loan. Unable to pick a side, Sri Lanka kept the project in suspension, apparently putting off China.  

Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre

Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) based in Bengaluru will build a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Navy in Colombo.

The Centre will coordinate the operations of the Sri Lankan Navy and the Coast Guard in the vast Search and Rescue Region of the island nation.

About the Sri Lankan Tamil Issue

India welcomed the talks between the Sri Lankan President and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

Note: Recently, Sri Lankan Government made fresh assurances to address long-pending Tamil concerns such as the release of long-detained suspects arrested under Sri Lanka’s terrorism law, land grabs by state agencies and enforced disappearances. However, the government did not mention anything about the 13th amendment.

13th Amendment: It is an outcome of the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayawardene. It is an attempt to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. The amendment led to the creation of Provincial Councils, assured a power-sharing arrangement to enable all nine provinces in the country, including Sinhala majority areas, to self-govern.


Cabinet approves setting up of National Land Monetization Corporation(NLMC)

Source: This post is based on an article Cabinet approves setting up of National Land Monetization Corporation(NLMC) published in PIB on 30th March 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of the National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) as a wholly-owned Government of India company with an initial authorized share capital of Rs 5,000 crore and paid-up share capital of Rs 150 crore.

What is National Land Monetization Corporation(NLMC)?

Administrative Ministry: Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Finance

Purpose: To undertake monetization of surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other Government agencies

Composition: NLMC would be administered by a Board of Directors. The Board structure envisages a mix of government officials and eminent professionals in the field of real estate, banking, investment banking, construction, legal and related fields. An eminent professional would be appointed as the Chairman of the Board.

Functions of NLMC

– To undertake professional and orderly monetization of land and other non-core assets referred to it.

– To own, hold, manage and monetize land and building assets of CPSEs under closure and surplus land and buildings of 100% GoI owned CPSEs under strategic disinvestment.

– To advise and support monetization of surplus land assets of a) Demerged companies holding surplus land, b) Other CPSEs.

– To advise and assist government departments, statutory bodies/ authorities, autonomous bodies, corporations, etc. on the monetisation of surplus and under-utilized non-core assets.

– To identify surplus land and building assets to create an inventory for monetization in consultation with CPSEs/other government agencies.

– To build a capable organization with skill and competencies to enable speedier and efficient monetisation which can generate maximum value from government assets.

– To act as a repository of best practices in land monetization, assist and provide expert technical advice to DPE / DIPAM /Government of India in the implementation of asset monetisation program.

Read more: National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC): Functions and Benefits – Explained, pointwise

Bend and aim: DRDO’s corner-shot weapon gives police a critical eye

Source: This post is based on an article Bend and aim: DRDO’s corner-shot weapon gives police a critical eyepublished in The Hindu on 30th March 2022.

What is the News?

A Corner-Shot Weapon System(CSWS) is at an advanced stage of being inducted by the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir police.

What is a Corner-Shot Weapon System(CSWS)?
Corner-Shot Weapon System(CSWS)
Source: imrmedia

Designed and developed by: Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE),  laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Purpose: It is a special-purpose weapon that allows its operator to see and attack an armed target, without exposing himself/herself to any counterattack.

Key Features

This weapon is best suited for urban, close-quarter situations.

It can engage targets located around the corners as the system bends and captures the video feed, thus saving soldiers from any surprise counterattack.

It is equipped with a weapon, camera, laser, infrared illuminator and torch in the front portion while the display, electronics and battery are located in the rear portion.

It also has day-night firing capability, colour display, digital zoom, zeroing facility, hotkeys. This makes it a very potent system for security forces.

Mains Answer Writing

India is facing three macroeconomic puzzles

Source: The post India is facing three macroeconomic puzzles has been created, based on the article “Three macro puzzles and policy implications” published in “Business standard” on 20th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Economy-growth, development, and employment Context: The article discusses three main issues: weak consumption, low employment growth, and low core inflation.… Continue reading India is facing three macroeconomic puzzles

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Parametric Insurance

Source: The post parametric insurance has been created, based on the article “The promise of parametric insurance” published in “The Hindu” on 20th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Disasters management Context: The article discusses the need for parametric insurance to cover losses from extreme weather events. Parametric insurance provides payouts based on predefined… Continue reading Parametric Insurance

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The controversial Karnataka employment reservation bill

Source: The post the controversial Karnataka employment reservation bill has been created, based on the article “Wrongheaded policy: The Karnataka Bill on reserving jobs for locals is self-defeating” published in “The Hindu” on 20th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper2- mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.… Continue reading The controversial Karnataka employment reservation bill

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The conflicting reports on job creation in India

Source: The post the conflicting reports on job creation in India has been created, based on the article “Living in denial about unemployment” published in “The Hindu” on 20th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Economy-employment Context: The article discusses the conflicting reports on job creation in India. Prime Minister Modi cites a report… Continue reading The conflicting reports on job creation in India

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Issues with Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita

Source-This post on Issues with Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita has been created based on the article “Menaka Guruswamy writes: In new criminal codes, fundamental rights are in danger” published in “The Indian Express” on 20 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-2- Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure. Context- The article discusses… Continue reading Issues with Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita

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The Upcoming Union Budget

Source-This post on The Upcoming Union Budget has been created based on the article “Will a changed political landscape affect the budget?” published in “The Indian Express” on 20 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- Government Budgeting. Context- The article discusses how the upcoming Union Budget must navigate between political pressures and economic challenges. In uncertain… Continue reading The Upcoming Union Budget

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Electronics Manufacturing Revolution

Source-This post on Electronics Manufacturing Revolution has been created based on the article “Elevating India’s capital goods for a global electronics revolution” published in “The Hindu” on 20 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- Effects of Liberalization on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth. Context– India’s electronics production has reached… Continue reading Electronics Manufacturing Revolution

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[Yojana July 2024 Summary] Food Processing- Significance and Challenges- Explained Pointwise

India with its agricultural tradition and diverse climate, holds immense potential for the food processing sector. This industry is not only a cornerstone for the country’s economic growth but is also pivotal for ensuring food security, reducing wastage, enhancing farmers’ incomes and providing employment opportunities. In order to achieve a developed nation status in the… Continue reading [Yojana July 2024 Summary] Food Processing- Significance and Challenges- Explained Pointwise

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Arguments against Immediate Fed Rate Cut

Source-This post on Arguments against Immediate Fed Rate Cut has been created based on the article “The Fed should not cut interest rates yet” published in “Business Standard” on 20 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment. Context- The article suggests caution for the Federal Reserve… Continue reading Arguments against Immediate Fed Rate Cut

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Study related to uranium concentration in drinking water

Source- This post on the Study related to uranium concentration in drinking water has been created based on the article “60 µg/l uranium in drinking water safe: Nuclear safety watchdog” published in “Indian Express” on 20 July 2024. Why in the news? Recently, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) study concluded that uranium concentrations up to… Continue reading Study related to uranium concentration in drinking water

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