(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Part of: Prelims and GS II – Policies and interventions
Context The first Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) project of Andhra Pradesh was recently launched in Kurnool district.
- As part of the project, Public Data Offices (PDOs) will work like Public Call Offices (PCOs) to facilitate users’ data service at cheaper rates so that every citizen can enjoy Internet facilities.
- It was launched under the brand name ‘Wi-DOT’.
- The project is being executed by Tess and Tera Techno Solutions Private Ltd.
- Benefits: This move will accelerate the proliferation of public broadband services through Wi-Fi networks and it will enable local entrepreneurs such as chaiwalas, kirana stores and eateries to earn additional revenue,”
About Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI)
- The scheme aims to bring large scale deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots through the country to drive up connectivity options and improve digital access.
- Ministry: Ministry of communications
- Benefits: Public Wi-Fi will serve as a low-cost option to reach unserved citizens and grow the economy.
- It can revolutionise the tech world and significantly improve Wi-Fi availability across the length and breadth of India.
- The scheme envisages setting up of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops through public data offices
- As per the National Digital Communication Plan, the Central government has set a target of setting up millions of Wi-Fi hotspots by 2022 and the PM-WANI scheme will facilitate this.
Part of: Prelims and GS II – Health
Context “Awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in adults aged 45 years and above, and their spouses in India: A nationally representative cross-sectional study” research was conducted recently.
- Research was conducted by experts of the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, and others.
- The study has revealed that approximately 42% of adults aged 45 and above, and their spouses had hypertension.
- Richness: Richer individuals with higher consumption expenditure were more likely to have hypertension.
- Education: Prevalence was estimated to increase from 37% among the least educated to 51.2% among the most educated.
- Urban areas: Prevalence was higher in urban areas (51.8%) than in rural areas (37.8%).
- Employment: It was also higher among those not working.
- Prevalence, awareness and treatment of hypertension varied from state to state.
- States with the highest prevalence are Kerala, Goa and Delhi.
Do you know?
- Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases that accounted for 44% of the 42 million deaths related to non-communicable diseases globally in 2019.
Part of: Prelims and GS – III – Agriculture
Context With the threat of Yellow Leaf Disease spreading to vast tracts of arecanut plantations looming large, farmers in Karnataka’s coastal belt have now begun commercial cultivation of bamboo in a small way.
About Yellow leaf disease
- Abnormal yellowing of leaf tissue is called chlorosis.
- Leaves lack the essential green pigment chlorophyll. Possible causes include poor drainage, damaged roots, compacted roots, high soil pH, and nutrient deficiencies in the plant.
About Bamboo plantation
- Bamboo can be used in 1,500 different ways including as food, a substitute for wood, building and construction material, for handicrafts and paper.
- The advantage of bamboo is manifold compared to monoculture tree plantations.
- After planting, bamboo can become part of agroforestry practice in small land holdings.
- New bamboo plantations may curb the pressure from deforestation by serving as wood substitutes. Due to its versatile nature and multiple uses, it is also called ‘poor man’s timber’.
- It can be planted to reclaim severely degraded sites and wastelands.
- It is a good soil binder owing to its peculiar clump formation and fibrous root system and hence also plays an important role in soil and water conservation.
- It is the fastest growing canopy, releasing 35% more oxygen than trees.
- There are studies reporting that bamboo stands sequester 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide from per hectare.
- Though it grows tall like a tree, it belongs to the grass family.
Part of: Prelims and GS-II – International relations
Context Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently upheld the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model to prescribe radiation safety standards, ending the protracted controversy on the topic.
- Over six years ago, during February 2015, petitions were filed requesting the NRC, “to amend its regulations based on their evidence that contradicts the linear no-threshold (LNT) dose-effect model.
- The petitioners support “radiation hormesis,” a concept that proposes that low doses of ionising radiation protect against the deleterious effects of high doses of radiation and result in beneficial effects to humans. This was denied by the NRC.
About LNT model
- The linear no-threshold model (LNT) is a dose-response model used in radiation protection to estimate probable health effects such as radiation-induced cancer, genetic mutations on the human body due to exposure to ionizing radiation.
- The LNT model helps the agencies to regulate radiation exposures to diverse categories of licensees, from commercial nuclear power plants to individual industrial radiographers and nuclear medical practices.
What is Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)?
- It is an independent agency of the USA government tasked with protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy.
- It was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974.
- Functions: Overseeing reactor safety and security
- administering reactor licensing and renewal
- licensing radioactive materials
- managing the storage, security, recycling, and disposal of spent fuel.
Part of: Prelims and GS II – International relations
Context Bangladesh is planning to send more than 80,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island- Bhasan Char– in the Bay of Bengal after sealing an agreement for the United Nations to provide help.
- Some 19,000 of the Muslim refugees from Myanmar have already relocated to the island, despite doubts raised by aid groups.
- Bhasan Char is an island specifically developed to accommodate 1,00,000 of the 1 million Rohingya who have fled from neighbouring Myanmar.
- Human rights groups have criticised the move.
Who are Rohingyas?
- They are an Ethnic group, mostly Muslims. They were not granted full citizenship by Myanmar.
- They were classified as “resident foreigners or associate citizens”.
- Ethnically they are much closer to Indo-Aryan people of India and Bangladesh than to the Sino-Tibetans of Myanmar.
- Described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world”.
Part of: Prelims and GS II – International Relations
Context The two-pillar solution under the OECD/G20 Inclusive framework will be delivered to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Washington DC on 13 October, then to the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome at the end of the month.
- Countries are aiming to sign a multilateral convention during 2022, with effective implementation in 2023.
- India has already joined the G20–OECD inclusive framework deal.
- It seeks to reform international tax rules and ensure that multinational enterprises pay their fair share wherever they operate.
- 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 90% of global GDP, have signed the deal.
Two pillars of framework
- Dealing with transnational and digital companies: It ensures that large multinational enterprises, including digital companies, pay tax where they operate and earn profits.
- Dealing with low-tax jurisdictions to address cross-border profit shifting and treaty shopping: It seeks to put a floor under competition among countries through a global minimum corporate tax rate, currently proposed at 15%.
(News from PIB)
- To mark the anniversary of establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874.
- India has been a member of the Universal Postal Union since 1876.
- The purpose of World Post Day is to create awareness about the role of postal sector in the lives of people and businesses as well as contribution to the socio-economic development of countries.
- The theme for this year’s World Post Day is ‘Innovate to recover’.
Part of: GS Prelims
In News: Conferred to Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy
- A pioneer in the area of R&D of advanced avionics, navigation and missile technologies
- Dr Reddy is an institution builder and has set up mechanisms to establish robust defence development and production ecosystem
News Source: PIB
Part of: GS Prelims
In News: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will launch Indian Space Association (ISpA) on 11th October, 2021
- ISpA is the Premier Industry Association of Space and Satellite companies, which aspires to be the collective voice of the Indian Space industry.
- It will undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian Space domain, including the Government and its agencies.
- ISpA will help in making India self-reliant, technologically advanced and a leading player in the space arena.
- ISpA is represented by leading home grown and global corporations with advanced capabilities in space and satellite technologies.
News Source: PIB
Part of: Mains GS-II: International Relations
In News: Energy Transition was a major area of discussion in the dialogue and the Energy Ministers spoke in detail on the ongoing Energy Transition activities in their respective countries with focus on renewables, including solar, offshore wind, storage, EVs, alternative fuels, etc.
- The UK side presented a detailed summary of the significant ongoing work and thepast work done in the last two years under the umbrella of bilateral cooperation
- Welcomed the Roadmap 2030 for India-UK future relations launched by both the Prime Ministers during India-UK Virtual Summit in May and identified various future areas of collaboration in line with the Roadmap 2030.
- Deliberated and agreed on a Forward Action Plan on Power and Clean Transport, Renewables, Green Finance and Clean Energy Researchas part of the roadmap 2030, covering a range of topics including smart grids, energy storage, green hydrogen, charging infrastructure, battery storage and need of mobilizing investments in renewable energy along with other proposals under multilateral collaboration.
- The dialogue concluded with both sides underlining the importance of international cooperation insecuring affordable and sustainable energy for the worldwhile setting in motion, concrete action plans for driving the clean energy transition in Power Sector
News Source: PIB
- A Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardee
- A celebrated Pandavani folk singer
About Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) Program
- By the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Facebook India
- Aims to provide skilling for tribal youth with a focus on enabling digital presence in addition to strengthening core skills to drive their professional-economical upliftment.
- The program intends to upskill and empower 5,000 tribal youths over the course of next five years to harness the full potential of digital platforms and tools to learn new ways of doing business, explore and connect with domestic and international markets.
- It is designed to provide mentorship to tribal youth through digital mode and envisages to act as a catalyst to explore hidden talents of the tribal youth, which will help in their personal development as well as contribute to all-round upliftment of their society.
News Source: PIB
World Mental Health Day: 10th October
Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar 2021: Between India and the US
World Wrestling Championship 2021 Winners from India
- Anshu Malik won Silver medal
- Sarita Mor won Bronze medal
- GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
Context: In a new incident last week, a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine reportedly ran into an “unidentified object” while in the South China Sea. China has objected to these U.S. actions vociferously.
The rising confrontation between the United States and China erupts into a clash of arms, the likely arena may well be the Taiwan Strait.
Brief Background of Taiwan:
- Taiwan is the unfinished business of China’s liberation under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949.
- The Guomindang (KMT) forces under Chiang Kai-shek lost the 1945-49 civil war to the CCP forces under Mao Zedong.
- Chiang retreated to the island of Taiwan and set up a regime that claimed authority over the whole of China and pledged to recover the mainland eventually.
- The CCP in turn pledged to reclaim what it regarded as a “renegade” province and achieve the final reunification of China.
- Taiwan could not be occupied militarily by the newly established People’s Republic of China (PRC) as it became a military ally of the United States during the Korean War of 1950-53.
- It was described as an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” underscoring its strategic significance.
- This phase came to an end with the U.S. recognising the PRC as the legitimate government of China in 1979, ending its official relationship with Taiwan and abrogating its mutual defence treaty with the island.
Strategic ambiguity of US & China vis-à-vis Taiwan
- U.S. has declared that it will “maintain the ability to come to Taiwan’s defence” while not committing itself to do so. This is the policy of “strategic ambiguity” of USA
- China, on the other hand, is committed to pursuing peaceful unification but retains the right to use force to achieve the objective. This is its China’s version of strategic ambiguity.
What has been the policy of China towards Taiwan?
- China has pursued a typical carrot and stick policy to achieve the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland.
- It has held out the prospect, indeed preference for peaceful reunification, through promising a high degree of autonomy to the island under the “one country two systems” formula first applied to Hong Kong after its reversion to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
- According to this formula, Hong Kong would retain its free market system and its political and judicial institutions and processes for a period of 50 years, thus enabling an extended and gradual transition.
- The same was promised to Taiwan, but with the added assurance that it could also retain its armed forces during the transition period.
Economic Links between China and Taiwan
- With China itself adopting market-oriented reforms since 1978 and becoming a significant economic and commercial opportunity globally, Taiwan business entities have invested heavily in mainland China and the two economies have become increasingly integrated.
- Between 1991 and 2020, the stock of Taiwanese capital invested in China reached U.S. $188.5 billion and bilateral trade in 2019 was U.S. $150 billion, about 15% of Taiwan’s GDP.
- By contrast the stock of Chinese capital invested in Taiwan is barely U.S. $2.4 billion
- China hopes that burgeoning economic relationship with Taiwan would weaken opposition to unification.
- At the same time, China is capable of inflicting severe economic pain on Taiwan through coercive economic policies if Taiwan is seen to move towards an independent status.
Hong Kong & impact on Taiwan
- Recently, China adopted a series of hardline policies in Hong Kong, abandoning the ‘One Country Two Systems’ formula.
- As a result, Public opinion in Taiwan swung in favour of The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who is more representative of the indigenous population of the island, and favours independence.
- One important implication of this development is that prospects for peaceful unification have diminished.
Is China prepared to carry out military operations to invade and occupy Taiwan?
- In March 2021, the U.S. Pacific Commander, warned that China could invade Taiwan within the next six years as part of its strategy of displacing U.S. power in Asia. He suggested that Chinese military capabilities had been developed in order to achieve this objective.
- The recent initiatives of the Quad and AUKUS may act as a deterrent against Chinese moves on Taiwan.
- But they may equally propel China to advance the unification agenda before the balance changes against it in the Indo-Pacific.
- For these reasons, Taiwan is emerging as a potential trigger point for a clash of arms between the U.S. and China.
In pursuing its Indo-Pacific strategy, India would do well to keep these possible scenarios in mind.
Connecting the dots:
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
- GS-2: Environment & Conservation
Context: The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, came into force to address deforestation.
- Though the Indian Forest Act has been in force since 1927, it was geared to allow the colonial British administration to control the extraction of timber and not aimed at preserving forests or addressing deforestation.
- While States had already notified forest land, the FCA made it necessary to get the Centre’s permission for using such forest land for “non forestry purposes” and the creation of an advisory committee to recommend such re-classification.
Has the FCA ever been amended?
- There have been at least two major amendments to the FCA — in 1988 and 1996.
- Till 1996, State, UT & Union Government used to apply the provisions of the Act only to the forests notified under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 or any other local law.
- However, what constituted a “forest” was dramatically expanded following a Supreme Court judgment in a petition filed by Godavarman Thirumulpad.
- Now, “forest” also included
- All areas recorded as “forest” in any government record, irrespective of ownership, recognition and classification;
- all areas that conformed to the “dictionary” meaning of “forest”
- all areas which are identified as “forest” by an expert committee constituted by the Supreme Court following the 1996 order.
- This judgment also paved the way for
- calculating the net present value, or the economic value of the portion of forest being razed for development work that had to be paid by project proponents;
- The creation of a compensatory afforestation fund;
- Providing non-forestry land in lieu of the diverted forest.
Why is the FCA again being amended?
- The essential tension in the FCA is that the state is committed to a principle of increasing forest cover, and this makes it harder to access land for infrastructure projects by States and private entities.
- India’s aim is to have at least 33% of India’s geographical area under forest and tree cover, and increasing the latter is a major thrust.
- So far, forest cover is around 22% and because increasing core forest land is increasingly hard, the mode of expansion includes expanding the notion of what constitutes forest land.
- Thus, even degraded lands, if they have been recorded anywhere as “forest” in land records count, and even commercial plantations or regions with trees of a certain canopy cover and density count as “forest”.
- On the other hand, with more land coming under the definition of “forest”, it’s becoming harder for State Governments or private industry to use land that falls under the definition of “forest” for non-forestry purposes.
- Through the years, this has given rise to multiple instances of litigation, as well questions on the legal definition of “forest”.
- States have been told to provide a definition of what constitutes a forest, but several haven’t given them because this has political consequences. All of this has led to conflicting interpretations of the FCA through the years.
What is the latest amendment about?
- Recently, the Environment Ministry has released a “consultative paper” that spells out proposed changes. This is open to public comment.
- Broadly, it proposes to exempt certain categories of infrastructure project developers from approaching the Centre for permission to use forest land for non-forestry purposes.
- For instance, it has proposed exempting agencies involved in national security projects, border infrastructure projects, land owned by the Railways or the Road Transport Ministry that was acquired before 1980 or when the Act came into force.
- India, as part of its climate change action plan, has committed to create a carbon sink to lock in 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2030. This can be achieved only through planting trees on private land and the current laws pose an impediment to encouraging private landowners to grow more trees.
- The Ministry has proposed some provisions where the penalties of non-compliance could include jail terms, but the overall tenor of the proposal is to make it a little easier to use forest land for non-forestry purposes. However, this still requires approval by the Cabinet and possibly the Parliament.
(AIR – Azadi ka Safar)
Freedom fighter, revolutionary, Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan
Oct 9: Freedom fighter, revolutionary, Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan – https://youtu.be/wWHor_8mZ74
TOPIC: General Studies 1
- Indian Freedom Movement
- Indian freedom fighters
In News: PM paid tributes to Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan on his Jayanti.
- Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan’s birthday (11th October, 1902) is celebrated as “Save Democracy Day” for his invaluable contribution to anti-emergency agitation during 1975-76.
- His entire life is one of supreme sacrifice and commitment to the nation
- In 1921 he joined the Non-cooperation movement and was influenced by Gandhian Ideology
- Later he went to US, where he was deeply influenced by Marxist ideology. However, he rejected the ultimate solution of “revolution” to bring down the capitalism as being advocated by the Marxists. On the contrary, he advocated Socialism.
- In 1929 he joined the INC at the invitation of Jwaharlal Nehru
- In 1934 he formed Congress Socialist Party with the following members
- General Secretary: JP Narayan
- Ideology: Democratic Socialism
- He also participated in Quit India Movement in 1942. He advocated non-rebellion & non-violence
- During the period of emergency starting from 1975, he gave a call for “Total Revolution” or “Sampoorna Kranti” to completely transform the society. He advocated
- Party-less democracy
- Rejection of Parliamentary Democracy
- After the death of J Nehru, JP had increasingly involved in national politics
- During the second half of 1960s, he involved in resolving disputes in Kashmir
- He also played a pivotal role in the Nagaland issue in 1960s
- During the Bangladesh crisis, it was JP who became India’s ambassador to persuade about the rightness of India’s cause
- The voice of JP favouring human rights found relevance in Hungarian crisis, Czech crisis, and Tibetan crisis during his times
- In 1999, he was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna
Part of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)
- Jayaprakash Narayan (JP), whose 117th birth anniversary falls on October 11, was among the twelve apostles of the Mahatma and had been a front-soldier during the Indian freedom struggle. In this fight, JP imbibed a combination of ahimsa and aggression.
- His call for ‘sampoorna kranti’ or total revolution to fight against rampant corruption, unemployment and systematic weakening of democratic institutions back in 1974, and the subsequent events, led to the imposition of the infamous Emergency. It eventually paved the way for a realignment of political forces in the country and gave a new direction to the politics of the country, with far-reaching ramifications.
- He firmly believed that youngsters should be in the forefront of changing the system. Those entrenched in power, the status quoists, would naturally resist any change, but only the energy and force of youth can bring about revolutionary transformation – this was his firm belief.
- And that’s precisely what happened in the seventies. After blessing the Nav Nirman Andolan in Gujarat, where people had risen against the corrupt state government, JP mobilised students in Bihar to fight against authoritarianism and corruption. He had such a mesmerising influence on the political scene that under his mentorship a host of splinter parties of the Congress, like Congress (O), Jana Sangh and Swatantra Party, and other socialists came together to form the Janata Party. He could have easily occupied the top post during the Janata regime. Although people clamoured for his leadership, he said that power was not his aim.
- He participated in the freedom struggle and led the Quit India movement in 1942 in the absence of senior leaders. He remained detached from electoral politics after Independence, but as such was not indifferent to politics. He also took active part in Vinoba
Bhave’s Bhoodan movement.
The legacy of JP is akin to that of the Mahatma and echoes him on issues that have cropped up in the post-Gandhi era.
“Freedom became one of the beacon lights of my life and it has remained so ever since… Above all it meant freedom of the human personality, freedom of the mind, freedom of the spirit. This freedom has become a passion of my life and I shall not see it compromised for food, for security, for prosperity, for the glory of the state or for anything else.”
“India’s democracy is to rise storey by storey from the foundation, consisting of self-governing, self-sufficient, agro-industrial, urbo-rural local communities — gram sabha, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad—that would form the base of Vidhan Sabhas and the Lok Sabha. These politico-economic institutions will regulate the use of natural resources for the good of the community and the nation.”
“Idea of development envisages independent India as sui generis, a society unlike any other, in a class of its own that would not follow the western pattern of mega industrialisation, urbanisation and individuation. India’s would be agro-based people’s economy that would chart out a distinct course in economic growth, which would be need-based, human-scale and balanced while conserving nature and livelihoods.
Such a ‘development’ process would be democratic and decentralised. The best development model for India is diversified, democratic decentralised and value-added agriculture as the root, manufacturing small/medium industries as trunk and branches and widespread service sector as a canopy. The almost universal tendency for a centralised political, economic model, and social system that is associated with both of them should be abandoned.”
“Although almost every religious community had its own brand of communalism, Hindu communalism was more pernicious than the others because Hindu communalism can easily masquerade as Indian nationalism and denounce all opposition to it as being anti-national.”
Can you answer the following questions?
- Despite being a huge mass movement that virtually shook the roots of the constitutional principles, JP movement is considered as a flawed movement. Critically examine the JP movement and its flaws.
- Emergency imposed during the 1975 is seen as a dark period in the history of post-independent India.” Give a critical account on the outcomes of emergency and what are the lessons that we have learnt from the 40 years of emergency.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
- Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
Q.1 Bashan Char Island, which was seen in the news, is located in which country??
- Sri Lanka
Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding PM-WANI:
- It comes under Ministry of Urban Affairs
- The scheme envisages setting up of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops through public data offices
Which of the above is or are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.3 Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model, recently seen in news, is associated with which of the following?
- Black holes
- Carbon sequestration
- Ozone hole depletion
ANSWERS FOR 9th Oct 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)
On Carbon Policy for Agriculture: