9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – September 8th, 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

Netaji at India gate: The revolutionary’s due

Source– The post is based on the article “Netaji at Indian gate: The revolutionary’s

 due” published in The Indian Express on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS1- The freedom struggle

Relevance– About subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army

News: The article explains Netaji Subash Chandra Bose contribution for Indian independence and events related to Indian National Army. If it succeeded; Indian would have attained freedom and not transfer of power.

How do Britishers look at the Indian national army?

Britishers tried to black out the news related to the Indian National Army. Thy termed it as “Japanese inspired force”. When INA trials began, Indians came to know about it.

Britishers depended on armed forces to control India; so they did not want the feeling of patriotism to seep into the army.

What was Subash Bose’s plan?

He wanted to capture Imphal which would have provided him with a large number of Indian soldiers for recruitment. He wanted to raise three more divisions from these soldiers. There were already three divisions. The six divisions would have made INA the single largest force in the region.

With rapid advance into India; the army would have switched sides and it could create revolutionary conditions. The military push by Bose needed to be backed by Japanese air force but it did not materialised.

How did the idea of the Rani Jhansi regiment materialised?

The idea was mooted in a three hour conversation with Laxmi Shegal on 12th July,1943. It was to be a fighting unit.

The Rani Jhansi Regiment started with 500 women volunteers in Singapore and 30 were selected for officer training. Those who were not combat ready were put into the Nursing Corps. After completion of the course, the recruits were moved to Rangoon in Burma. Their numbers went up to 1500. 1,000  were in the fighting unit and the rest in  other roles. From Rangoon, the regiment shifted to Maymyo, Bose’s advance headquarters.

What are other facts about the Indian National Army?

The provisional Government of Azad Hind was formed on October 21, 1943.

Bose did not want to be seen as collaborating with enemy forces occupying their country. So, he explained  in great length that Japan has nothing to do with formation of government in India.

The financing of Azad hind was mainly through contribution from Indians living in South East Asia. There was no tax or levy.

It declared war against Britain and America. Bose maintained that the Congress leaders wanted freedom in their lifetime. Expecting freedom in one’s lifetime was bound to lead to compromises.

GS Paper 2

The Spirit of 1971

Source: The post is based on an article “The Spirit of 1971” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighborhood

Relevance: India and Bangladesh bilateral relations

News: The recent visit Bangladesh PM have seen positive outcomes and various agreements.

What are the agreements made?

The agreement includes – a) Water sharing agreement (first in 26 years), b) free trade agreement talks and c) infrastructure projects especially in the railways sector.

Kushiyara River: The water sharing agreement on the Kushiyara River is important for resolving water problems. It is one of the important issues of 54 trans-boundary rivers and for the 1st time Assam and other north-eastern States have been brought on board.

Feni Reiver: There has also been agreement on withdrawing 1.82 cusec water from the Feni River.

Teesta River: There has been still no agreement on Teesta, which is held up by the West Bengal government. The agreement will require more effort from the Central and the state government.

Special Economic Zones: Bangladesh’s PM has also mentioned of two dedicated Special Economic Zones for Indian companies in Mongla and Mirsarai in Bangladesh. It will help to attract FDIs inflows from India in Bangladesh.

The visit of PM of both the countries in the past has helped in better bilateral relations between the two countries in trade, connectivity and people-to-people ties.

The present ruling government in Bangladesh took steps like; shutting down terror training camps, and hand over more than 20 wanted criminals and terror suspects to India. It has been instrumental in improving the relations.

However, some of the developments linked to Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Rohingyas issue in India has been a cause of concern to Bangladesh.

Both India and Bangladesh need to revive what is referred to as the “Spirit of 1971”.

Time for a joint space exercise

Source: The post is based on an article Time for a joint space exercise” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Relevance: India and US bilateral relations

News: India and the U.S. will undertake joint military drills in October in Auli. The location is at an altitude of 10,000 feet and some 95 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India and the US should also join hands in the space war exercises.

Why Space drill is important?

First, this drill will push India’s defense partnership into a new sphere.

Second, it will also send a strong message to the common opponents like China.

Third, it will have other positive outcome which is required for the wider Quad.

Fourth, India and US, in the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) meeting, identified space as a critical area of cooperation.

Fifth, China has advanced to the Cis-Lunar space (region beyond the geosynchronous orbit). It is done with an ambition to establish a permanent presence on the Moon by 2024.

Sixth, Space has assets that form the bedrock of the modern economy; GPS (PNT — position navigation timing), telecom networks, early warning systems for missiles.

How has India performed in space force?

Space in India has mostly remained under the sole jurisdiction of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

However, the successful demonstration of anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test and first ever simulated space warfare exercise (IndSpaceX) in 2019 has changed the image of space being limited to ISRO.

The government has also set up the Defence Space Research Agency (DSRA) to help develop space-based weapons for the DSA.

Space is now equally recognised as a military domain as land, water, air and cyber.

How can India and the US join hands in space warfare programs?

Space has been an important critical area of cooperation in the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) meeting between India and the U.S.

India and the US can cooperate in a joint anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test because both the countries have shown capabilities in this.

ASAT is a missile launched from the Earth’s surface to destroy a satellite passing overhead.

What are the challenges associated with space exercise?

There is a possibility of China-Pakistan collusion against India.

It will derail the ongoing Core Commanders dialogue in Ladakh.

It may lead to militarization of space.

The wheat of the matter: Disruption of supply chains due to Ukraine war has implications for India’s food security

Source: The post is based on an article The wheat of the matter: Disruption of supply chains due to Ukraine war has implications for India’s food security” published in The Indian Express on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues related to nutrition and hunger

News: The pandemic and Ukraine-Russia war has increased food insecurity worldwide and it is a matter of concern for India also.

How Ukraine and Russia war has impacted food security worldwide?

Russia and Ukraine accounts for 27 per cent of the world market for wheat, 16 per cent for corn, 23 per cent for barley, and 53 per cent for sunflower.

Before the war Ukraine exported about 95 per cent of grain.

Countries mainly in Africa West Asia and Asia depend on Russia and Ukraine for more than 50 per cent of their wheat imports.

What has caused rise in the food price around the world?

According to a report by International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) speculation on agricultural products on the future exchanges was one of the main reasons for the rise in food prices.

The arrival of large pension funds, hedge funds and investment banks in the agriculture markets has also been the reason of excessive speculation.

Future Market: The main purpose of futures markets was that farmers could transfer the price risk to sell the produce at the current price but deliver it in the future. It acted as a safeguard for famers due to uncertainty caused by weather failures, wars, etc. This future markets have been misused by the speculators and big financial companies.

Betting: The prices of markets do not vary with the demand supply problems but it varies due to speculation and big companies betting on the prices. This betting on the future markets leads to price volatility and endangers food security around the world.

What are the current food security issues with India?

Food inflation is a major cause for concern for food security in India.

The pandemic has reduced the income of the households which has been one of the reasons for rising hunger levels in India.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Food Price Index has increased by 30 per cent in the year 2021-22.

According to the Global Hunger Index, India ranks 101 among 116 countries.

According to the Hunger Watch Report, 45 per cent of the people reported running out of food in the month of January.

The situation is even more unpredictable now because of the rise in prices.

What can be done further?

India: The Indian government should regulate the private sectors and bring more transparency on food stocks. The restrictions should be set on the hoarding of the food stocks by the private sectors.

Internationally: A limit on the purchase can be set for the speculators but this requires a multilateral agreement.

The evolving role of CSR in funding NGOs

Source: The post is based on an article The evolving role of CSR in funding NGOs” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Development processes and the development industry

News: Pandemic acted as a shock for everyone. NGOs also faced problems, but Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) helped. But NGOS still face problems in covering their organizational development and indirect cost.

What are the problems faced by NGOs?

NGOs have many expenses (rent, bills, etc.) and these expenses are not often fulfilled by funding.

The underfunding of the NGO impacts programs and initiatives taken by NGOs.

Organizational development cost and indirect costs combined with program expenses make up NGOs’ true costs.

NGOs’ indirect costs range from 5% to 55%, depending on their operating model.

CSR funders contribute very little to organizational development cost of the NGOs.

They pay for the indirect cost of the NGOs, which is often below 5%. This causes NGOs to face financial stress in paying rents, salaries, etc.

Many CSRs leave NGOs with unpaid bills and NGOs are made to look for funding from other sources.

Research says that in 2020, 54% of NGOs had less than three months in reserve funds.

How can the situation of NGOs be changed?

CSR programs can help in covering both indirect costs and organizational development.

Corporates can help NGOs by providing other assistance such as accounting facilities in addition to their fundings.

They can further help NGOs by offering volunteer financial analysis services to calculate NGOs true cost.

What are the problems associated with CSR funders?

Regulatory compliances

CSR funders mostly focus on regulatory compliances because of the amendment in CSR law 2021.

The amendment includes penalties for non-compliance of the law.

Shifting Responsibilities

90% of the CSR are small and unlisted companies and they generally leave decisions on CSR funding to board members instead of forming CSR committees.

They focus more towards risk avoidance, compliance, and cost minimization.

Some companies have given this responsibility to their HR or administration heads rather than hiring professionals.

What can be the course of action for NGOs?

First, Companies can pool their resources with other CSR or social stake holders.

Second, they can also hire top professionals who have experience of working with NGOs.

Third, CSR funders can learn from other CSR funders who view organizational development and indirect cost differently.

For example, the CSR branch of ASK Group which works to enable better livelihoods for rural communities shifted from 10% to 20% funding to NGOs.

This was done after the CSR team presented the standard which is being followed by other companies.

GS Paper 3

Policy balance: Higher trade and fiscal deficits can create risks

Source: The post is based on the article “Policy balance: Higher trade and fiscal deficits can create risks” published in the Business Standard on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Relevance: falling exports and rising imports.

News: Recent data shows India’s exports declined marginally in August on a year-on-year basis, while it contracted by about 9% sequentially. Indian exporters have also reported a shift in demand for low-value products.

What are the reasons for the falling exports and rising imports?

Falling Exports: a) Global economy is slowing rapidly, which is affecting demand, b) Higher energy prices are upsetting household budgets in many parts of the world, compressing demand for other goods, c) Higher interest rates and tightening financial conditions, particularly in the US Federal Reserve, has also affecting exports from India.

Rising imports: a) Imports have remained sticky, partly because of higher crude oil prices, b) The ongoing recovery in the Indian economy is also pushing up demand for foreign goods.

What are the impacts on the Indian economy due to falling exports and rising imports?

All this resulted in a widening trade deficit and current account deficit (CAD)in India. Most economists expect the current account deficit (CAD) forecasts for the year to 3.5 to 4% of gross domestic product compared to 1.2% in the last fiscal year.

What are the opportunities for the Indian economy?

A rise in Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs): FPIs have returned to Indian capital markets after aggressive selling in recent months. But, their participation is anchored on global conditions.

This is because, a) Sustained rate hikes by large central banks and tightening financial conditions affected FPI flows to risky assets, such as emerging market equities.

Reduction in commodity prices: Slower global growth could soften commodity prices.

What are the challenges for the Indian economy?

Geopolitical factors and rising energy prices: Sustained disruption in gas supply from Russia could again push up energy prices.

Higher “twin deficits”: The government at present have a higher fiscal deficit. Along with the CAD, higher “twin deficits” are always a risk for macro stability. This makes the financing of CAD more difficult.

What should be done to avoid the twin deficits?

The government should use the buoyancy in tax collection to improve the fiscal position, and the RBI can focus on CAD.

Visible adjustments in both fiscal and current account positions will help strengthen macroeconomic stability, support economic activity, and boost investor confidence.

The plight of India’s flooded tech capital is striking. But Bengaluru’s predicament is unfortunately not unique.

Source– The post is based on the article “The plight of India’s flooded tech capital is striking.But Bengaluru’s predicament is unfortunately not unique” published in The Indian Express on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Disaster and disaster management

Relevance– About flooding in Indian cities

News-The article explains about the recent flooding in Bengaluru and reasons that led to the current predicament.

The official blamed extreme weather conditions and state government blamed unplanned development and maladministration for current situation.

These types of scenes were witnessed earlier in other cities of India like Kochi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.

What are the reasons behind these flooding events?

A large number of wetland that soaked up the rainwater has been encroached. Corrupt Civic bodies are responsible for it.

There is poor management of the urban water drainage system. CAG pulled up Bengaluru municipality for this poor management.

Urban local bodies complain about lack of resources and low municipal tax rates. But truth is that civic bodies are guilty of impropriety in the use of resources. The CAG also found that the Bengaluru municipality did not maintain proper records of the stormwater management funds allotted to it under the JNNURM. It also noted the lack of coordination between the municipality and the Bangalore Development Authority on drainage-related matters.

What India could do to make progress against climate change

Source– The post is based on the article “What India could do to make progress against climate change” published in the Mint on 8th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Environmental pollution and degradation

Relevance– About steps India should take to fight climate change

News- The article provides suggestions related to India strategy to resolve the challenges related to climate change.

Climate change is a global problem that needs global response. The 27th climate summit in Egypt and G20 summit in Indonesia are happening when developed countries are facing challenges like the Ukraine crisis, sharp increase in gas prices in Europe and geopolitical tension between US and China.

How India could tackle the challenges related to climate change?

Two things are important- (1) Indian position on negotiation about climate strategy. (2) India’s position on international financing for developing countries to manage climate change.

India current strategy of managing climate change: Major targets of our strategy announced at CoP-26 at Glasgow includes-

(1) Net zero emission by 20270 (2) Reducing emission intensity of GDP by 45% by 2045 (3) Renewable energy share of 50% in total electricity generation.

The target of  450GW renewable energy by 2030 is a supply side element. It needs to be supplemented by demand side measures like 1) reducing fossil fuels in transport through electric vehicles and electrification of railways; 2) promote green hydrogen technologies for heavy industries; 3) increase efficiency of buildings and public transport.

Suggestions related to India strategy for managing climate change:

It needs interventions in many areas and coordination across different levels of government and private sector.

A good strategy is a 10 year program that is not part of nationally determined contributions to UNFCCC but serves as domestic targets which are the following:

(1) We need to define targets for peak coal use for power generation around 2030 by considering the commissioning of coal power plants currently built and possible phasing down of inefficient one.

(2) A date for peak economy wide emissions needs to be fixed.

(3) Poor financial health of discoms needs to be resolved. We should try to get financing from multilateral investment banks for this purpose.

(4) To increase the share of renewable energy in total power generation requires innovation in electricity regulation and grid management practices.

(5) Minimum energy efficiency targets for household appliances need to be reviewed and set periodically.

(6) Railway’s entire traction network needs to be electrified by converting diesel locomotives to electric.

(7) Growth of green hydrogen needs to be supported by setting targets for major industries that can shift to it.

(8) State government needs to be encouraged to prepare climate action plans for cities and rural areas.

(9) Separate targets for increasing the share of electric vehicles; expanding EV charging networks and phasing out of internal combustion engines need to be fixed.

(10) There is a need to introduce carbon tax and the Energy conservation bill should have provisions for it.

(11) There is a need for more investment in afforestation.

Financing the transition to carbon neutral economy:

It is a major unresolved problem. UNFCCC provides that developing countries will get finance from developed ones.

Paris agreement promised assistance of 100 billion dollar per year by 2020 but it has yet to be realized. Glasgow pact recognized the failure and promised earliest delivery and continuation till 2025.

Estimates suggest that investment needs of developing countries excluding China comes close to 4% of GDP or almost $1 trillion per year by 2025.

Developing countries need to accept that a large portion of this amount has to be mobilized domestically. It has to be a combination of public and private flow.

G 7 countries have given no indication of their willingness to provide funding. The upcoming G20 summit will provide some clarity.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Union Minister launches US Startup SETU – Supporting Entrepreneurs in Transformation and Upskilling programme in San Francisco

Source: The post is based on the article Union Minister launches US Startup SETU – Supporting Entrepreneurs in Transformation and Upskilling programme in San Franciscopublished in PIB on 7th September 2022

What is the News?

The Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the US Startup SETU – Supporting Entrepreneurs in Transformation and Upskilling programme in the Bay Area of San Francisco. 

What is SETU?

SETU initiative would connect start-ups in India to US-based investors and start-up ecosystem leaders with mentorship and assistance in various areas including funding, market access and commercialization.

Aim: To break geographical barriers between mentors based in the US that are willing to invest in entrepreneurship and sunrise startups in India.

How will they connect to Indian entrepreneurs? All interactions can take place through the mentorship portal under the Startup India initiative MAARG.

What is MAARG?

MAARG or the Mentorship, Advisory, Assistance, Resilience, and Growth program is a mentorship portal under the Startup India initiative.

The portal has been developed with the idea of being accessible from every corner of the country to connect with a mentor.

The core functions of MAARG are to improve ease of access, use Artificial Intelligence for Matchmaking, schedule meetings virtually, host masterclasses, provide a custom dashboard for relevant information, among others.

iNCOVACC: Bharat Biotech’s intra-nasal COVID vaccine gets emergency use approval

Source: The post is based on the articleBharat Biotech’s intra-nasal COVID vaccine gets emergency use approvalpublished in PIB on 7th September 2022

What is the News?

Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) gas announced that iNCOVACC (BBV154) vaccine has received approval under Restricted Use in Emergency Situation for ages 18 and above.

What is iNCOVACC?
Source: Hindustan Times

It is an intra-nasal Covid-19 vaccine. 

Developed by: Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL)

Working: It is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a prefusion stabilized spike protein. It uses a modified chimpanzee adenovirus which cannot replicate in the body to carry Covid spike protein to induce immunity. 

Usage: This vaccine will be used for primary immunization against COVID-19 in the 18+ age group for restricted use in emergency situations.

Storage: The vaccine is stable between two and eight degrees Celsius for easy storage and distribution.

What are the benefits of iNCOVACC?

1) Likely to block both infection and transmission of COVID-19, 2) Non-invasive and needle-free, 3) Easy to administer as it does not require trained healthcare workers, 4) Eliminates needle-associated risks (injuries and infections), 5) High compliance — ideally suits children and adults and 6) Scalable manufacturing — able to meet global demand.

Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD): India gives coal-fired plants extra 2 years to install emissions equipment

Source: The post is based on the article “India gives coal-fired plants extra 2 years to install emissions equipment” published in Indian Express on 7th September 2022.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has extended the deadline for coal-fired power plants to install Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) to cut sulphur emissions by two years.

What is Flue Gas Desulphurisation(FGD)?

Flue-gas desulfurization(FGD) is a set of technologies used to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants and from the emissions of other sulfur dioxide-emitting processes such as waste incineration.

Why is it important to install FGD plants in India?

India continues to occupy the top spot among SO2 emitters. In 2019, India emitted 21% of global anthropogenic (human-made) SO2 emissions nearly double that of the second-ranked global emitter, Russia.

Thermal utilities which produce 75% of the country’s power, account for some 80% of industrial emissions of sulphur and nitrous oxides, which cause lung diseases, acid rain and smog.

Every single day delay in implementation of prescribed norms and not installing the FGD system is causing huge health and economic damage to society.

The high levels of damaging SO2 pollution in India are avoidable much sooner as FGD systems have proved successful in reducing emission levels in China, the country responsible for the highest level in 2005.

What was the initial deadline for the installation of FGD plants?

India had initially set a 2017 deadline for thermal power plants to install FGD units to cut Sulphur emissions.

The deadline was later changed to varying deadlines for different regions, ending in 2022, and further extended last year to a period ending in 2025.

Now, the power plants will be forcibly retired if they do not comply with norms on sulphur emissions by end-2027.

Plants near populous regions and the capital New Delhi will have to pay penalties to operate from end-2024, while utilities in less polluting areas will be penalized after end-2026.

Explained | Content moderation on Wikipedia

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | Content moderation on Wikipediapublished in The Hindu on 8th September 2022

What is the News?

India has summoned officials of Wikipedia, in response to cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia page being edited with misleading information that stated he was a “khalistani”.

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a multilingual free online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteers through open collaboration and a wiki-based editing system.

This means that anyone can contribute to its pool of knowledge by making edits to existing pages for updation or correction and can even add new pages.

This model has its advantages so far that it allows democratization of knowledge and unhindered access to editing. But this has also resulted in concerns relating to the reliability of the information that it hosts.

What control mechanisms exist for content on Wikipedia?

To increase reliability and also to prevent vandalism and disruptive edits, restrictions have been placed on edits to the content that Wikipedia hosts. These restrictions include: 

First, it allows certain “protections” to be accorded to particular pages. A page may have varying degrees of protection depending on the vulnerability of the page to vandalism, disruption and abuse.

Second, given that edit rights are widespread there have been instances of “content disputes” and “edit warring”.In such circumstances also, administrators can provide temporary or permanent protection to a page to prevent edits.

How does the Wikimedia Foundation control Wikipedia?

Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. It controls Wikipedia through: 

First, the foundation legally controls the servers on which Wikipedia’s content is hosted. This means that they are in control of the user activity information generated on the servers. 

Second, it also exercises control over who the “system administrators” of Wikipedia are. System administrators are in a position to exercise considerable power because they can take decisions of blocking users or reversing edits in some circumstances.

Can the Wikimedia Foundation be held responsible for the content that Wikipedia hosts?

There is no settled position on this. Typically, the architecture of Wikipedia is that of an intermediary i.e. it hosts content generated by its users. 

However, in previous challenges to content on Wikipedia, there have been rulings that the Wikimedia Foundation does not own the content, and does not have the legal responsibility for it. 

What can the Indian government do if it is aggrieved by content on Wikipedia?

In India, Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 provides intermediaries to claim the “safe harbour” of not being responsible for the content they host. But for this, they must abide by due diligence requirements under the Act and its Rules. 

As per the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, there are certain categories of information that an intermediary should not allow to be hosted or uploaded on its platform. One such category is information that is “patently false and untrue.”

Therefore, in the Indian context, even if the Wikimedia Foundation does not own the information hosted on Wikipedia, once the Wikimedia Foundation has “actual knowledge” of such content being hosted on its platform, it would be held responsible for the same.

Cabinet approves a new centrally sponsored Scheme – PM SHRI Schools (PM ScHools for Rising India)

Source: The post is based on the articleCabinet approves a new centrally sponsored Scheme – PM SHRI Schools (PM ScHools for Rising India)published in PIB on 7th September 2022

What is the News?

The Union Cabinet has approved the PM SHRI Schools (PM ScHools for Rising India) Scheme. 

What is the PM SHRI Scheme?

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Education

Type: Centrally Sponsored Scheme

Aim: To upgrade and develop more than 14500 schools across the country as PM SHRI Schools by strengthening select existing schools being managed by Central Government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies. These schools will also showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020. 

Duration Period: 2022-23 to 2026-27.

What will be the key features of PM SHRI Schools?

PM SHRI schools will provide high-quality education in an equitable, inclusive and joyful school environment.

These schools will provide leadership to other schools in their respective regions by providing mentorship.

The schools will be developed as Green schools. The focus will be on the learning outcomes of every child in every grade.

Linkage with Sector Skill Councils and local industry for enhancing employability and providing better employment opportunities will be explored.

A School Quality Assessment Framework (SQAF) is being developed, specifying the key performance indicators to measure outcomes

Implementation Strategy: The scheme would be implemented through the existing administrative structure available for Samagra Shiksha, KVS & NVS. The other autonomous bodies would be involved on a specific project basis as required.

Selection of Schools: Selection of PM SHRI schools will be done through Challenge Mode wherein Schools compete for support to become exemplar schools. Schools would be required to self-apply on the online portal. The portal will be opened four times a year, once every quarter, for the first two years of the scheme.

The Elementary schools & the Secondary/ Sr. Secondary Schools managed by Centre/State/UT Governments / local self-governments having UDISE+ code would be considered for selection under the Scheme.  

Note: Schools will be selected only if the State government agrees to implement the NEP in its entirety with the Centre.

Beneficiaries: More than 18 lakh students are expected to be direct beneficiaries of the scheme. Further, the impact will be generated through the mentoring and handholding of the schools in the vicinity of PM SHRI schools.

Explained | The mandatory requirements for packaged commodities

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | The mandatory requirements for packaged commodities” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022.

What is the News?

The Department of Consumer Affairs Legal Metrology Division has notified a draft amendment to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011.

What is Legal Metrology?

Legal Metrology is defined as the legal requirements that are required to be fulfilled for governance over the utilization of standard weights and for any source of instruments that are utilized for the purpose of measurements.

Note: The establishment of standards of weight and measure is included in Union List (entry 50).

– Enforcement of laws with respect to weights and measures (legal metrology) is mentioned in the Concurrent list (entry 33A).

What are the mandatory provisions under Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011?

Declarations: The rules aim to ensure a number of declarations, such as: 1) The name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer, 2) The country of origin, 3) The common or generic name of the commodity, 4) The net quantity, 5) The month and year of manufacture among others.

All the information should be grouped together and given in one place. The declaration on the package must be legible and prominent.

If there is more than one major product, the name or number of each product shall be mentioned on the package. However, this is not applicable to mechanical or electrical commodities.

What are the proposed amendments?

Currently, manufacturers list the ingredients and nutritional information only on the back of the packaging. According to the draft notification, at least two prime components should be declared on the package’s front side along with the brand name.

Packages displaying key constituents must display a percentage of the content used to make the product, known as the unique selling proposition (USP).

Note: USP is a marketing strategy designed to inform customers about the superiority of one’s own brand or product.

– Listing the USP of a product on the front of the package without disclosing its composition percentage violates consumer rights.

– For example, if a brand sells aloe vera moisturizer, then what maximum percentage of the product should be aloe vera, otherwise, the product name is misleading.

NDMC passes resolution to rename Rajpath to Kartavya Path

Source: The post is based on the article “NDMC passes resolution to rename Rajpath to Kartavya Path” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022

What is the News?

The Government of India has decided to rename the historic Rajpath and Central Vista lawns in the national capital as ‘Kartavya Path’.

What is the Kartavya Path?

Rajpath and Central Vista lawns in Delhi have been renamed as ‘Kartavya Path’.

It will include the entire stretch and the area from the Netaji statue under the Grand Canopy to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Significance: This symbolizes a shift from erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power to Kartavya (duty) Path being an example of public ownership and empowerment.

About Rajpath

Rajpath was called Kingsway during British rule. It is a three-km stretch built as a ceremonial boulevard by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.

Following Independence, the road was given its Hindi name, Rajpath, on which the Republic Day parades took place over the decades that followed.

Cabinet approved policy on leasing of railway land

Source: The post is based on the article “Cabinet approved policy on leasing of railway land” published in The Hindu on 8th September 2022

What is the News?

The Union Cabinet has approved a policy on long term leasing of Railway Land for implementing the PM Gati Shakti framework.

What is the policy on leasing railway land?

Under the policy, the railway land can be now leased for cargo-related activities for up to 35 years (as against five years earlier) at 1.5% of the market value of land per annum, down from 6% earlier.

Apart from these, land could also be used for setting up social infrastructures such as hospitals in public-private partnership (PPP) mode and for the establishment of schools through Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. In these cases, the land license fee will be barely Re 1 per square meter per annum.

For Optical Fibre Cables and other smaller diameter underground utilities, a one-time fee of ₹1,000 would be charged for crossing railway tracks.

Moreover, the policy also provides for use of railway land at a nominal cost for setting up solar plants.

Note: The existing entities using railway land for cargo terminals will have the option to switch to the new policy regime after a transparent and competitive bidding process.

What is the significance of this policy?

Firstly, this is expected to enable integrated development of infrastructure and more cargo terminals, helping improve revenues for the Railways.

Secondly, this would help in attracting more cargo to the Railways and increase its modal share in freight transportation thereby reducing the logistics cost of the industry.

QIMINGXING 50: China’s fully solar-powered, semi-satellite drone, explained

Source: The post is based on the article “China’s fully solar-powered, semi-satellite drone, explained” published in Indian Express on 8th September 2022

What is the News?

China’s first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle named “QIMINGXING 50” has successfully completed its maiden test flight with all onboard systems functioning optimally.

What is QIMINGXING 50?

QIMINGXING 50 or Morning Star-50 is China’s fully solar-powered, semi-satellite drone.

Purpose: It is capable of conducting high-altitude reconnaissance, apart from monitoring forest fires, and providing communication and environment relay.

Features: This drone is powered entirely by solar panels. It can stay airborne for long durations.

It flies above 20-km altitude where there is stable airflow with no clouds. This helps these drones to make maximum use of solar equipment to stay functional for extended durations.

What is the significance of this drone?

Firstly, this drone can operate in near-space – 20 km to 100 km above the Earth’s surface. This makes it capable of carrying out satellite-like functions. If satellite services are not available for, say, time-sensitive operations or in case of wartime disruption, then near-space UAVs can step in to fill the operational gap.

– Note: China already has this capacity, but the Qimingxing-50’s long-endurance provides an added advantage to make this capability available over a longer period.

Secondly, it is cost-effective to build and is also easy to launch and operate. 

Thirdly, being entirely powered by clean energy from the Sun, it can help boost China’s capabilities to operate in near-space and over the ocean.

PM virtually addresses Plenary Session of 7th Eastern Economic Forum

Source: The post is based on the articlePM virtually addresses Plenary Session of 7th Eastern Economic Forum” published in AIR on 7th September 2022

What is the News?

The Prime Minister of India has virtually addressed the Plenary Session of the 7th Eastern Economic Forum.

What are the key highlights from the PM’s address at the 7th Eastern Economic Forum?

India has been emphasizing on the need to adopt the path of diplomacy and dialogue since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, and it supports all peaceful efforts to end the conflict.

India has made significant investments in the Russian Far East in the fields of pharma and diamond.

India is also keen to strengthen its partnership with Russia on Arctic subjects and there is immense scope for cooperation in the field of energy as well.

This month marks 30 years since the establishment of the Consulate of India in Vladivostok (Russia). India was the first country to open a consulate in this city. 

What is Eastern Economic Forum(EEF)?

EEF is an international platform for establishing and strengthening ties within the Russian and global investment communities.

The objective is to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

It was established by the Decree of the Russian President in 2015. In accordance with the Decree, the meeting of the Forum takes place each year in Vladivostok, Russia.

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