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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th June 2021

  • IASbaba
  • June 19, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


World Competitiveness Index 2021

Part of: GS Prelims and  GS -III – Economy 

In news

  • According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), India maintained 43rd rank on the annual World Competitiveness Index.
    • The World Competitiveness Index is a comprehensive annual report on the competitiveness of countries.
  • Compiled by: Institute for Management Development (IMD). 
  • It examined the impact of COVID-19 on economies around the world this year. 
  • It measures the prosperity and competitiveness of countries by examining four factors (334 competitiveness criteria):
    • Economic performance
    • Government efficiency
    • Business efficiency
    • Infrastructure

Key analysis by the report 

  • Many Countries succeeded in transitioning to a remote work routine while also allowing remote learning. 
  • Addressing unemployment has been fundamental.

Rankings

  • Top countries: Switzerland (1st), Sweden (2nd), Denmark (3rd), the Netherlands (4th).
  • The top-performing Asian economies: Singapore (5th), Hong Kong (7th), Taiwan (8th) and China (16th).

India’s Performance

  • India has maintained its position for the past three years. 
  • This year, it had significant improvements in government efficiency
  • India performed better in investments in telecoms (1st), mobile telephone costs (1st), ICT services exports (3rd), remuneration in services professions (4th) and terms of trade index (5th).
  • India’s Performance was worst in broadband subscribers (64th), exposure to particulate pollution (64th), human development index (64th), GDP per capita (63rd) 

Recent Steps Taken by India to Increase its Competitiveness 


Inland Vessel Bill 2021

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Infrastructure 

In news

  • Recently, the Union Cabinet approved the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021. 
    • It will replace the Inland Vessels Act, 1917 after passing in Parliament.
  • The Bill will regulate safety, security and registration of inland vessels.

Features of the Bill:

  • Unified law for the entire country, instead of separate rules framed by the States.
  • Central database for recording the details of vessel, vessel registration, crew on an electronic portal.
  • All non-mechanically propelled vessels will also have to be enrolled at the district, taluk or panchayat or village level.
  • It enlarges the definition of ‘inland waters’, by including tidal water limit and national waterways 
  • It also deals with pollution control measures of Inland Vessels. 
  • It directs the Central Government to designate a list of chemicals, substances, etc. as pollutants.

Important value additions 

Inland Waterways

  • India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc.
  • As per the National Waterways Act 2016, 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways (NWs).
  • NW-1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System (Prayagraj-Haldia) with length 1620 km is the longest National Waterway in India.

Pic courtesy: Ganga Today

Do you know? 

  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga (part of NW-1) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank.

Pic courtesy: iasbaba 


Improving Employability of the Youth

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Policies and interventions  and GS-III – Economy 

In news

  • Recently, the Ministry of Labour and Employment and UNICEF have signed a Statement of Intent to improve employment outcomes for the youth in India.
  • It intends to provide a platform for cooperation between the Ministry and UNICEF to leverage the existing mainstreamed initiatives

Areas of Collaboration

  • Connecting young people with employment opportunities.
  • Upskilling in skill areas like life skills, financial skills, digital skills, vocations skills etc.
  • Strengthening National Career Service (NCS).
  • Support in Job forecasting by exploring the gaps.
  • Supporting direct dialogue between youth and policy stakeholders.

Important value additions 

National Career Service (NCS)

  • It was launched in 2015, within the umbrella of the e-governance plan.
  • It is a one-stop solution that provides a wide array of employment and career related services to the citizens of India.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Labour & Employment.
  • Three Pillars
    • A well designed ICT based portal NCS portal,
    • Country wide set up of Model Career Centers 
    • Interlinkage with all the states through employment exchanges.

Some Other Initiatives Taken by India 


Helpline for Cyber Fraud launched

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Cyber security 

In news

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has operationalised the national Helpline 155260 and Reporting Platform for preventing financial loss due to cyber fraud. 
    • Cyber Fraud is the crime committed via a computer with the intent to corrupt another individual’s personal and financial information stored online.
  • The National Helpline and Reporting Platform provides a mechanism for persons cheated in cyber frauds to report such cases to prevent loss of their hard earned money.
  • Also, a National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 is being formulated by the Office of National Cyber Security Coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat.

About the initiative 

  • The helpline has been made operational by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), in coordination with the Reserve Bank of India, all major banks, payment banks, wallets and online merchants.
  • It has been developed by I4C to integrate Law Enforcement Agencies and Banks and Financial Intermediaries.
  • The facility empowers both the banks and the police. 

Important value additions 

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre

  • The scheme to set up I4C was approved in October 2018. 
  • It deals with all types of cybercrimes in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • It has seven components:
    • National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit
    • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal
    • National Cyber Crime Training Centre
    • Cyber Crime Ecosystem Management Unit
    • National Cyber Crime Research and Innovation Centre
    • National Cyber Crime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem
    • Platform for Joint Cyber Crime Investigation Team.
  • Location: New Delhi.

Other Initiatives to Tackle Cybercrime:

  • Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 to secure citizens data.
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) 

National Maritime Heritage Complex(NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat

Part of: GS Prelims and GS I – Culture 

In news 

  • The Ministry of Culture (MoC) and  Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW)  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for ‘Cooperation in Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat’

About Lothal 

  • It is one of the prominent cities of the Ancient Indus Valley Civilization dating back to 2400 BC. 
  • The cities to decide that will you theory of the Sabarmati in Gujarat close to the Gulf of Khambhat 
  • A Dockyard has been found here where boats and ships came in from the sea and through the river.

Pic courtesy: PIB


Miscellaneous

China’s Shenzhou-12 Manned Mission

  • Recently, a Chinese spaceship “Shenzhou-12” carrying a three-person crew docked with China’s new space station module Tianhe-1.

  • This has come after the launch of the Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, which carried vital supplies for the space station.
  • China is the third country after the former Soviet Union and the United States to carry out a manned mission on its own.
  • It will help test technologies related to long-term astronaut-stays and health care, the recycling and life support system, the supply of space materials, extravehicular activities and operations, and in-orbit maintenance.

(Mains Focus)


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

FDI Inflows

Context: India has attracted highest ever total FDI inflow of U.S.$81.72 billion during the financial year 2020-21 (10% above FY2019-20). RBI reported that equity component of inflows was over U.S.$61.4 billion.

Positive

  • Rising FDI inflows into India is at times where Global FDI inflows in 2020 had declined by 42% over the level in 2019, and inflows to developing countries had fallen by 12%

Concerns

  • Jio Deal: Data shows that three Reliance Group companies together received U.S.$27.8 billion or, 54.1% of the total equity inflows during the three quarters of FY2020-21.
  • Concentration in distribution: Without the top five FDI deals, FDI inflows during 2020-21 would have declined by about a third of their level a year ago. 
  • Lacks Creation of Productive assets: The nature of the bulk of the “investments” involved a mere transfer of shares without creating productive assets in the country. Thus, FDI can’t contribute much to the revival of economy.
  • Inadequate Investment in Manufacturing sector: This sector received just 17.4% of the total inflows during 2020-21 in contrast to Service sector attracting 80% of total inflows.

Conclusion

Going forward, the pipeline of FDI for 2021-22 could be supported by the thrust given to PLI and domestic growth prospects.

Connecting the dots:


SOCIETY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-1: Social Empowerment;  Poverty & Developmental Issues
  • GS-2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and State

Child Labour & Pandemic

Context: This year is supposed to be the International Year for Elimination of Child Labour, whereby countries and networks come together in committing themselves to address the root causes of child labour. 

Some of the root causes of Child Labour are

  • Poverty
  • Social marginalisation,
  • Lack of alternative or safe livelihoods for parents
  • Adequate child protection mechanisms 
  • Lack of quality education.

Pandemic, Education and Child Labour

  • School Closures pushing Children into Labour: With 1.5 million schools closed for the last one year and more. In 2021, says UNESCO, 24 million children may not find their way back to schools after the pandemic. Any child who is not in school is a potential child labourer
  • Child Marriages: India witnessed an increase in the number of child marriages since 2020. Girls are further at risk – married off early, these child brides are also often child labourers. Save The Children puts half a million more girls at risk of early marriage
  • Abuse & Trafficking: Closure of schools and pandemic induced poverty has increased the vulnerability of children especially the girl child to abuse and trafficking 
  • Reduced Education Budget: Despite knowing the impact of Pandemic on education system & thus on Children’s future, the Union budget has Rs 5,000 crore less to spend on education for children this year.

Way Ahead

There has to be relentlessly campaigns for 

  • Increased allocation for education, at least 6% of GDP, 
  • Better infrastructure in primary schools
  • Inclusion of breakfast along with mid-day meals
  • Remedial measures for loss of learning 
  • Transfer of monies to vulnerable states and local governments on a priority basis.

Connecting the dots:


(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 city of Indus Valley Civilization had a Dockyard? 

  1. Lothal
  2. Harappan
  3. Mohenjo-daro 
  4. Dholavira

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre:

  1. It deals with only financial cyber crime
  2. Its center is located in New Delhi 

Which of the above is or are correct 

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

ANSWERS FOR 18th June 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 A
2 B
3 D

Must Read

On Same Sex Marriage:

The Hindu

On DISCOMS:

Indian Express

On Right to Education:

Deccan Herald

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