IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 13th March 2018
World’s largest nuclear power plant soon to come up in Jaitapur
Part of: Mains GS Paper II, III- International relations, Infrastructure
- France and India reiterated their intention to start work this year on what could become the world’s largest nuclear power plant.
- French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Electricite de France SA and India’s monopoly atomic energy producer, Nuclear Power Corp., to accelerate discussions on a contract and start work at the site in Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
- Once installed, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a total capacity of 9.6 gigawatts.
- International equipment makers have been hesitant to move forward with projects in India because India’s nuclear liability law exposes reactor suppliers to claims for damages during an accident.
- Jaitapur, a small town on India’s western coast known for its mango and coconut orchards.
- India’s nuclear power capacity is about 6.8 gigawatts, barely 2 percent of the country’s total generation capacity.
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Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- International relations
- 11 Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, Australia and Canada, have signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- The CPTPP is, in effect, the original Trans-Pacific Partnership struck during the Barack Obama presidency minus the U.S.
- The CPTPP comes soon after the U.S. had made clear its plan to impose tariffs on the import of aluminium and steel in an attempt to protect domestic manufacturers. T
- The countries signing the agreement, which account for more than 13% of the world economy, have agreed to bring down tariffs on cross-border trade by as much as 98% after domestic ratification.
- More countries are expected to sign the CPTPP in the future, and there is hope that a post-Trump U.S. may join the bloc.
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India’s first national academy to train police
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Internal security
- India’s first national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will soon start functioning along the Gujarat seafront.
- The Union home ministry recently sanctioned the launch of the National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP) in the newly created Devbhoomi Dwarka district.
- The first-of-its-kind institution of the country will be created and run by a multi-agency team of paramilitary and defence forces and sharpen the response and skills of the marine forces of multiple states which have sea lines.
- The academy will train police personnel and other security agencies staff in maritime laws, seamanship, boat work, navigation, weapons handling, usage of sea guidance and surveillance gadgets and survival skills for long haul operations on the sea or during distress times when they may get stranded in these waters running up to 12 nautical miles from the shore.
India has a vast coastline of 7,516 kms touching 13 states and union territories (UTs). It also has around 1,197 islands.
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General Studies 1:
- Social empowerment
General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
General Studies 3:
- Indian economy and issues related to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Taking advantage of technology to create jobs
Millions of jobs could be lost by 2020 due to various global disruptions — digitalisation, AI, automation, robotics, longevity, IoT, etc.
At the same time, a few million jobs will be created in specific sectors. Of these, business and finance ops, management, and computer and mathematics-related job families will see the biggest growth. At the same time, some of the largest economies in the world — the US, the UK, Japan, South Korea — will face a significant gap between talent supply and demand with a net talent deficit position.
India’s tryst with technology,
On one hand:
- Jawaharlal Nehru, educated in Britain and inspired by Fabian Socialism, placed technology-driven modernism at the top of his priority list. He was instrumental in creating world class institutions such as the IITs and NITs; he believed that technology would be the bedrock of India’s transformation into a modern society and trained workforce.
- Leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi and Chandrababu Naidu did take the pain to pioneer policies, import computers and court global technological giants to create tech-driven jobs in India. Many believe the agglomeration of tech giants in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, and India’s solid foundations on digital literacy, is an outcome of such efforts.
On the other hand:
- Deep-rooted distrust, and, to a large extent, the broader policy paralysis existed around promoting technology at a greater pace.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming perception amongst some sections of stakeholders and policymakers is that greater induction of technology will only lead to job losses.
- In more recent times, job insecurity has fuelled the formation of unions in the IT/ITes sector which has so far remained untouched by unionisation.
- Rather than causing job losses, technology has created new businesses, processes, products and systems which couldn’t have been imagined before.
- They improved productivity, which led to a rise in wages and that drove the purchasing power upwards.
- This expanding purchasing power further created new business opportunities. According to one report, the internet created 2.4 new jobs for every one job lost.
More job creation with greater technological penetration:
- India stands out as the country with likely the largest talent pool surplus.
India is positioned uniquely to capitalise on the opportunity that will be created through technological and other disruptions given India’s surplus talent pool and strength in the identified job segments.
- At the heart of job-creation is our ability to create new businesses and entrepreneurs. Technology is a core enabler of this aspect.
India is a global growth leader and a leading centre when it comes to startup ecosystems.
As new businesses emerge and grow, technology-powered entrepreneurship will be a key platform for millions of jobs in India across all segments of society.
- Technology has enabled connectivity and provided increased access to opportunities. This in turn has led to a robust growth in consumer spending. This is a virtuous cycle which will further create demand for more goods and services and thereby create more business opportunities across all tiers and segments of jobs.
What needs to be done?
India must focus on a comprehensive policy framework that addresses three key pillars in an integrated manner:
- A calibrated national talent management approach through a deeper labour market analysis as talent scarcity, surprisingly or not, is also on the rise.
- Introducing strong elements of technology and innovation into the country’s education curriculum, backed by systematic institutional collaboration.
- Focus on broadening and/or enhancing existing skill development/re-skilling programmes, including planning around job rotation and mobility support.
How India can take advantage of technology to potentially create millions of jobs will depend on the Government’s ability to establish an ecosystem that helps businesses to benefit from technology to drive innovation and growth. Above mentioned steps should thus be taken.
Connecting the dots:
- India can take advantage of technology to potentially create millions of jobs. This will depend on the Government’s ability to establish an ecosystem. Discuss.
TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
- Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
Tracking health status
As India moves towards creating structures for universal healthcare with the National Health Protection Scheme, we need to challenge following beliefs-
- Private practitioners are less suited to deliver healthcare services than public healthcare professionals based on the presumption that private practitioners are committed to profit while government doctors exist to serve the public.
This has resulted into lack of institutional systems to rope in private practitioners into the public health system.
- Health outcomes of patients are immaterial, that there is no need to track patients or maintain records, spending more money on healthcare is enough.
The fear that the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) will promote corporate hospitals and put healthcare out of reach of the people exists.
Whether it does or not will depend on the institutional systems that are put in place to regulate the NHPS.
Tracking health status:
It means that patient outcomes like disease, death, infection and so on, be regularly ascertained, reported and monitored. In some countries, it is routine to set up such reporting systems.
- In India, till date, there has been no institutional framework fixing such key indicators, nor is there any general rule mandating that these should be reported regularly, whether in the public or private sector. Since India already have enough IT professionals for setting up such systems we can easily create one.
- Doctors, like all professionals, whether in the public or private sector, respond to institutional signals. If there is an institutional requirement to report patient-related indicators by the government, that in turn would pressurise the managements of private institutions to set up systems for tracking health status.
In the absence of system-wide requirements, it is merely ideology and individual conscience that determines the quality of care available to patients.
Making private practitioners an important part of the public healthcare:
- It is counterproductive to insist that private practitioners should not be an integral part of the overall government effort to provide good healthcare to people.
Such an insistence makes the notion of maintaining disease-specific countrywide registers in which individual doctors and hospitals participate almost impossible.
A truly universal healthcare system is driven by protocols that care for the patient and integrate all practitioners. Once such a system is put in place along with regular reporting, the distinction between private and public becomes meaningless.
To successfully put care and quality back into healthcare, it is important to set up this kind of system to track the health status of patients. This will help remove smoothen the public-private healthcare debate.
Connecting the dots:
- India lacks a system to tack health status of its citizens. Discuss the importance of creating an institutional system so that a track can be maintained.
Ineffective and arbitrary
The cost of education
Always a rule maker