fbpx

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th May 2021

  • IASbaba
  • May 4, 2021
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy 

In news

Key takeaways 

  • Government of India has approved a new Central Sector Scheme namely‘ Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry’ for implementation during 2021-22 to 2026-27 with an outlay of Rs. 10,900 crore.
  • Objective: To support creation of global food manufacturing champions commensurate with India’s natural resource endowment and support Indian brands of food products in the international markets.
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries is inviting applications for availing sales based incentives and grants for undertaking Branding & Marketing activities abroad under the scheme from three categories of Applicants:
  • Category-I: Applicant under this category could undertake Branding & Marketing activities abroad also and apply for grant under the scheme with a common application.
  • Category-II: SMEs Applicants manufacturing innovative/ organic products who apply for PLI Incentive based on Sales.
  • Category-III: Applicants applying solely for grant for undertaking Branding & Marketing activities abroad

Converting Nitrogen Plants to Oxygen Plants 

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

In news

  • Considering the requirement of medical oxygen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Government of India explored the feasibility of conversion of existing nitrogen plants to produce oxygen.

Key takeaways 

  • Potential industries, wherein existing nitrogen plants may be converted for production of oxygen, were identified.
  • In the nitrogen plants Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) is used whereas Zeolite Molecular Sieve (ZMS) is required for producing oxygen.
  • Therefore, by replacing CMS with ZMS and carrying out few other changes such as oxygen analyzer, control panel system, flow valves etc. existing nitrogen plants can be modified to produce oxygen.
  • A nitrogen plant modified for the production of oxygen can be either shifted to a nearby hospital. 
  • In case it is not feasible to shift the plant, it can be used for on-site production of oxygen, which can then be transported to hospital through specialized vessels/cylinders.

India invited as guest to G7 meeting

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

In news

  • India has been invited to the G7 meeting as a guest country.

Important value additions 

The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ 

  • Formed in: 1975
  • Countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and USA.
  • Meetings are presided over by leaders of member countries on a rotational basis. 
  • It is an informal annual gathering of two days, in which member countries discuss a wide range of global issues.
  • It does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters
  • The decisions taken during summit are non-binding.

Do you know? 

  • The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. 
  • The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.


Computed Tomography Scan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Sci & tech 

In news

  • CT scans have been in news since several Covid positive patients with mild to moderate Covid symptoms, and some with negative RT-PCR reports having Covid symptoms are coming for the test 

Important value additions 

CT scan 

  • It is also known as computed tomography scan.
  • It is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to get detailed images of the body noninvasively for diagnostic purposes.
  • CT scanners use a rotating x-ray tube and a row of detectors placed in the gantry to measure X-ray attenuations by different tissues inside the body.
  • The multiple X-ray measurements taken from different angles are then processed on a computer using reconstruction algorithms to produce tomographic (cross-sectional) images (virtual “slices”) of a body.
  • The use of ionizing radiations sometimes restricts its use owing to its adverse effects.

Place in news: Taiwan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – I – Geography & GS-II – International Relations 

In news

  • India recently received assistance from Taiwan, including oxygen concentrators and cylinders, with more batches of medical equipment set to follow.

Important value additions 

  • Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China (ROC).
  • It is a state in East Asia with China to its west, Japan to the north-east, and the Philippines to the south.
  • The East China Sea lies to its north, the Philippine Sea to its east, the Luzon Strait directly to its south and the South China Sea to its southwest.
  • The Taiwan Strait separates the island of Taiwan from mainland China. 
  • Taipei is the capital.
  • Taiwan is no longer a member of the UN, having been replaced by China in 1971. 
  • Taiwan is claimed by China, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the ROC.
  • Taiwan maintains official ties with 14 out of 193 UN member states and the Holy See.
  • The bilateral relations between India and Taiwan have improved since the 1990s despite both nations not maintaining official diplomatic relations.


(Mains Focus)


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources.

Climate Change & Natural Gas Sector

Context: Policy wonks, climate negotiators, academicians, corporates and NGOs are currently fixated on the concept of “net zero carbon emissions” and the appropriate target year for achieving it. 

Scholars have argued that rather than focus only on the endgame of decarbonisation, India must first “green” its fossil fuel energy basket via Natural Gas i.e. think of taking a short first step in the right direction than strive for a longer but unsteady stride.

Why increasing the Natural Gas share is significant?

  • The increase will not generate the headwinds (challenges) that the alternative of shutting down coal mines might
  • It will not require industries to invest heavily in retrofitting their systems 
  • It will allow the government to meet its objective of providing secure and affordable energy to everyone without degrading the environment. 
  • Furthermore, it can be achieved through executive ordinance and without the need for legislative approval

What Steps are needed to make natural gas the “next stop” in India’s energy journey?

  1. Authorities must prioritise natural gas.
  • Government must recognise its potential & versatility. 
  • Natural Gas is Competitive fuel; abundantly available in Asian/ME subcontinent; multiple uses and  “greenest” of all fossil fuels.
  1. Authorities must correct the current disincentivising policy distortions-  
  • Pricing of Natural Gas is complex. There are multiple price formulae- one for gas produced domestically by PSUs, one for gas produced by private companies, one for production from deep waters etc
  • Taxation is also comparably regressive – Cascading structure – Customers located at a distance from the source of gas pay a higher price than those closer to the source.
  1. Authorities should revamp the structure of the industry
  • The Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) is currently engaged in the production, transportation and marketing of gas. 
  • This dominance allows GAIL to misuse its gas pipelines network to deny its competitors access to the market. 
  • Most countries have tackled this conflict-of-interest situation by separating the upstream (production/import) and downstream (marketing) interests from transportation.
  1. Institutional mechanism should be created to enable better coordination between the central & state governments
  • Centre-state differences have delayed the construction of import facilities and the creation of gas markets. 
  • A way has to be found to take these issues off the political table and brought within the frame of an integrated decision-making process.

Connecting the dots:

  • Paris Climate Deal

INTERNATIONAL/ ECONOMY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

USA’s COVID rescue plan & lessons for India

Context: During Joe Biden’s first joint address to the US Congress as President, he outlined a new paradigm for the US developmental pathway.

Key Features of Joes Biden’s Plan

  • Blue Collar Job Creation: Biden stated that “Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan do not require a college degree. 75% don’t require an associate’s degree. The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America”
  • Strengthen Workers Right: To further boost the bargaining ability of the working class, he called on Congress to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act, which will support the right to unionise.
  • Gender Parity & Increasing Minimum Pay: Biden argued in favour of raising the minimum wages in US and providing equal pay to women. He said “let’s raise the minimum wage to $15. No one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line”.
  • Access to good education: Here, Biden wants to increase universal public education from 12 to 16 years as well as give increase grants and invest in historical Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, minority-serving institutions because these institutions don’t have the endowments.
  • Quality, affordable child care: The new plan aims to guarantee that low- to middle-income families will pay no more than 7% of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5.
  • 12 weeks of medical leave: Paid medical leave makes sure that no one should have to choose between a job and taking care of themselves or their loved one
  • Addressing Child Care Poverty: Another element in Biden’s plan puts money directly into the pockets of millions of Americans by expanding tax credits for every child in a family — aimed at helping more than 65 million children and cutting child care poverty in half.
  • Affordable Healthcare: Biden proposed to bring down the healthcare premiums and the price of prescription drug. He stated that “Health care should be a right, not a privilege, in America”

Bottom up/Middle out economics instead of “Trickle down” economics: To finance these plans, Biden junked the long-held notion of “trickle down” economics (TDE) that advocated tax cuts for wealthy people. He announced that wealthiest 1 per cent of Americans need to begin to pay their fair share.

So, what is the significance of Biden’s speech for India’s economy?

  • Moving away from Neoliberalism: Biden’s strategy — big government spending push as well as focusing on raising revenues from the rich and the business class to rebuild the economy — is in stark contrast to neoliberal approach of minimum government strategy adopted by Union government since 2014.
  • Growing Inequality is the problem: The middle class in India was likely down by one-third in 2020 and around 75 million were pushed below the poverty line even as India became the country with the third-most billionaires in the world. Similar type of growing inequality is sought to be addressed by Biden’s strategy of redistribution of wealth by increased governmental intervention.

Connecting the dots:

  • Capitalism Vs Socialism Vs Mixed Market Economy

(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 The Luzon Strait is the strait between: 

  1. Taiwan and Luzon island of the Philippines.
  2. China and Luzon island of the Philippines.
  3. Japan and Luzon island of the Philippines.
  4. Singapore and Luzon island of the Philippines.

Q.2 Which of the following is not a member country of G-7?

  1. France 
  2. Japan
  3. Italy
  4. RUssia

Q.3 Consider the following statements:

  1. Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) is used whereas Zeolite Molecular Sieve (ZMS) is required for producing oxygen.
  2. It is not feasible to shift nitrogen plant after converting it to an oxygen-producing plant.

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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

ANSWERS FOR 3rd May 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 C
3 A

Must Read

On One-Health approach:

The Hindu

On GST inflows:

The Hindu

On India-UK relationship:

The Indian Express

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Search now.....