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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th April 2021

  • IASbaba
  • April 30, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Net Zero Producers Forum

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – International Relations 

In news

  • Saudi Arabia will join the United States, Canada, Norway, and Qatar in forming ‘Net Zero Producers Forum’ for oil and gas producers to discuss how they can support the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Key takeaways 

  • Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest crude exporter. 
  • The Forum will discuss ways to achieve net zero carbon emission targets to limit global warming.
  • Saudi Arabia had also said that it aimed to reduce its carbon emissions by generating 50% of the country’s energy from renewables by 2030.
  • US President unveiled plans to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels recently. 

High-yielding and pest-resistant variety of soybean developed 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy 

In news

  • Indian Scientists have developed a high-yielding and pest-resistant variety of soybean.
  • Scientists from MACS- Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have developed this variety.

Key takeaways 

  • This newly developed variety is called MACS 1407. 
  • It is suitable for cultivation in Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and North-Eastern states. 
  • Its seeds will be made available to farmers for sowing during the 2022 Kharif season.
  • In 2019, India produced around 90 million tons of soybean. 
  • Soybean is widely cultivated as oil seeds and a cheap source of protein for animal feed and many packaged meals. 
  • India is striving to be among the world’s major producers of soybean.
  • High-yielding, disease resistant varieties of the legume can help achieve this target.

Global Immunization Strategy by WHO

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health; International Relations 

In news

  • WHO unveiled a global immunization strategy to save 50 million lives by 2030.

Key takeaways 

  • Objective: To reach more than 50 million children who have missed lifesaving jabs against measles and other diseases because of COVID-19 disruption.
  • Initiative by: WHO, UNICEF and the vaccine alliance Gavi
  • To avoid multiple outbreaks of life-threatening diseases like measles, yellow fever and diphtheria, it must be ensured that routine vaccination services are protected in every country in the world.
  • A WHO survey showed more than one third of countries were still seeing disruptions to their routine immunisation services.
  • Around 60 mass vaccination campaigns were currently postponed in 50 countries, putting 228 million people, mostly children, at risk of diseases such as measles and polio.

China launches the core module of its space station

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – International Relations & GS-III – Sci & tech 

In news

  • China launched the core module of its space station, starting a series of key launch missions that aim to complete the construction of the station by the end of next year

Key takeaways 

  • The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the Tianhe module, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan.
  • The Tianhe module will act as the management and control hub of the space station Tiangong, (meaning Heavenly Palace), with a node that could dock with up to three spacecraft at a time for short stays, or two for long
  • Tianhe is the largest spacecraft developed by China.
  • The space station will be a T shape with the core module at the centre and a lab capsule on each side.
  • The station will operate in the low-Earth orbit at an altitude from 340 km to 450 km. 
  • It has a designed lifespan of 10 years, but experts believe it could last more than 15 years with appropriate maintenance and repairs.

Do you know? 

  • The Chinese space station is expected to be a competitor to the aging International Space Station (ISS) which is a modular space station in low Earth orbit.
  • ISS is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies which included NASA, (US), Roscomos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

First-ever Electric Tractor

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Economy; Agriculture 

In news

  • Central Farm Machinery Training & Testing Institute, Budni (Madhya Pradesh) has tested the first-ever electric Tractor in the Institute.

Key takeaways 

  • The institute received the application for an electric tractor under Confidential Test initially.
  • Accordingly, the institute has tested the tractor & released the Draft Test Report in February, 2021.
  • Electric tractor will be more environment friendly than other types of tractors.


(Mains Focus)


WOMEN/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-1: Women Issues
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Women Issues

Context: India is amongst the most unequal countries in the world to be a woman according to the latest annual Global Gender Gap Index released by the World Economic Forum places India 17th from the bottom.

Issues

  • Missing Females: In India discrimination starts in the embryo with the misuse of ultrasound technology for sex-selective abortion.
  • Inadequate Political Representation: The share of women ministers has declined sharply from 23 to 9 per cent.
  • Poor Labour Participation: Indian women’s labour force participation has plummeted in the last decade to a mere 21 per cent.
  • Sexual Harassment at Workplaces: Before the pandemic, Indian boardrooms had only 15 per cent of women, even as the #MeToo movement exposed the iceberg of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Poor implementation of Policies: Workplace crèches, though legally mandatory in all offices with more than 50 employees and MNREGA worksites, are rare. Anganwadis, too, have yet to be expanded into crèches.
  • Child Marriages: Patriarchy is largely instilled at home. Preliminary population weighted averages from 17 states reveals that even before the pandemic, child marriages have marginally increased since the previous survey in 2015-16.
  • Higher Education: While education is now more inclusive, with three-fourths of women literate, only 37 per cent complete Class 10.
  • Financial Dependence: Less than a third of Indian women earn an income.
  • Domestic Violence: Compounded with the lack of economic independence, more than a quarter of married women also report spousal violence.
  • Rape: The National Crime Records Bureau enumerated nearly 88 rapes daily in 2019, with Dalit women in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh the most vulnerable.

Green Shoots

  • Financial Inclusion: Four out of every five women now operate their own bank accounts, 
  • Awareness about personal hygiene: More than two-thirds of young women use menstrual hygiene products, 
  • Reproductive Rights: More than half of married women use modern contraceptives that has helped women assert their reproductive rights
  • Access to Communication: almost half have a mobile phone, though less than a third have ever been on the internet.

POLITY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein. 

Strengthen Panchayati raj

Local Bodies – Importance

  • Historical Roots: The Cholas were the pioneers in the formation of local bodies as part of a well-organised hierarchy to oversee the implementation of progressive plans.
  • Voices of People heard: Panchayati raj ensures that the voices of the people are heard loud and clear. “The voice of the people is the voice of god; The voice of the Panchayat is the voice of the people,” is the quote attributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
  • Good Governance: Seamless administration is impossible without power sharing.
  • Inclusive Governance: To ensure that even the last man sitting in a remote corner of the last row should have access to benefits.
  • Participative Governance: Every grama sabha meeting ensures the equal right to highlight the issues that disrupt life. Active participation of the people in governance.
  • Transparency & Accountability: Elected members of the Panchayat are obliged to read out the financial statements and balance sheet to ensure transparency.

Issues

  • Inadequate deliberations: Gram Sabhas Functioning like auction houses – Example Nadu government did not seek opinions and consensus of people on significant issues like the eight-lane highway project and hydrocarbon project.
  • Poor Participation: Meetings marked by poor attendance and poor representation from the people.
  • Corporate Interests Dominates: Several projects are being implemented for the benefit of private and corporate entities.
  • Role of Women: Women do not find themselves in major administrative roles in the local bodies, though, on paper, women are shown to be a considerable force. Eg. Sarpanch Pati.

Way Ahead

  • Ensuring the proper use of allotted funds.
  • Ensuring the efficiency of administration and eligible member appointments.
  • Need to strengthen our grama sabhas, hold area sabhas in cities, form ward committees, hold online Panchayat meetings
  • Ensure decent remuneration to Panchayat chiefs and councillors.
  • Bestow the grama sabha with the power to revoke appointed members and representatives.

Conclusion

  • The demand for federal rule in the Centre and autonomous rule in the States should resonate along with the need to have autonomous local bodies too. 
  • Collectively ensure that Panchayati raj should be strengthened. This should be the outcome of a peoples’ movement.

Connecting the dots:

  • 73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Which of the following Organisation has launched global immunization strategy to save 50 million lives by 2030? 

  1. WHO
  2. UNICEF
  3. Gavi
  4. All of the above 

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding newly developed high-yielding and pest-resistant variety of soybean:

  1. It is suitable for cultivation in Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and North-Eastern states. 
  2. Its seeds will be made available to farmers for sowing during the 2022 Kharif season.

Which of the above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

Q.3 Which of the following countries are part of ‘Net Zero Producers Forum’?

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Norway
  4. Qatar 
  5. China

Select the correct code:

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 2, 4 and 5 only
  3. 1, 2, 3 and 4 only
  4. 4 and 5 only

ANSWERS FOR 30th April 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 B

Must Read

On how to stop third wave:

The Hindu

On fiscal management in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic:

Indian Express

On SC role in Vaccination:

Indian Express

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