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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 14th July 2022

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  • July 14, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Global Gender Gap Index

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 1 (Social Issues); GS 3 (Economy – Development)

In News: The Global Gender Gap Index for 2022 was released by the World Economic Forum.

Global Gender Gap Index

  • It benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions
  • Economic Participation and Opportunity,
  • Educational Attainment,
  • Health and Survival, and
  • Political Empowerment
  • On each of the four sub-indices as well as on the overall index the GGG index provides scores between 0 and 1, where 1 shows full gender parity and 0 is complete imparity.
  • The cross-country comparisons aim to support the identification of the most effective policies to close gender gaps

Ranking

  • Although no country achieved full gender parity, the top 10 economies closed at least 80% of their gender gaps, with Iceland (90.8%) leading the global ranking.
  • Iceland is followed by Finland (86%, 2nd), Norway (84.5%, 3rd), New Zealand (84.1%, 4th), Sweden (82.2%, 5th), Rwanda (81.1%, 6th), Nicaragua (81%, 7th), Namibia (80.7%, 8th), Ireland (80.4%, 9th) and Germany (80.1%, 10th).
  • India was ranked at 135 out of 146 countries

India’s Performance

  • India has approximately 662 million (or 66.2 crore) women.
  • In 2022, India’s overall score has improved from 0.625 (in 2021) to 0.629.
  • India’s score of 0.629 is its seventh-highest score in the last 16 years.
  • India ranked poorly among its neighbours and is behind Bangladesh (71), Nepal (96), Sri Lanka (110), Maldives (117) and Bhutan (126).
  • Only Iran (143), Pakistan (145) and Afghanistan (146) perform worse than India in south Asia.

How India stands on different sub-indices:

Political Empowerment

  • This includes metrics such as the percentage of women in Parliament, the percentage of women in ministerial positions etc.
  • Of all the sub-indices, this is where India ranks the highest (48th out of 146).

Economic Participation and Opportunity

  • This includes metrics such as the percentage of women who are part of the labour force, wage equality for similar work, earned income etc
  • India ranks a lowly 143 out of the 146 countries in contention even though its score has improved over 2021 from 0.326 to 0.350.

Educational Attainment

  • This sub-index includes metrics such as literacy rate and the enrolment rates in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Here India ranks 107th out of 146.

Health and Survival

  • This includes two metrics: the sex ratio at birth and healthy life expectancy. In this metric, India is ranked the last (146) among all the countries.

Source: Indian Express

The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) The Global Competitiveness Report is published by the (2019)

  1. International Monetary Fund
  2. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  3. World Economic Forum
  4. World Bank

Q.2) Rule of Law Index” is released by which of the following? (2018)

  1. Amnesty International
  2. International Court of Justice
  3. The office of UN Commissioner for Human Rights
  4. World Justice Project

Election Symbol

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity

In News: The spilt in Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena party has bought the focus on allocation of Election Symbol by Election Commission.

Election Symbol

  • An electoral or election symbol is a standardized symbol allocated to a political party.
  • They are used by the parties during their campaigning and are shown on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), where the voter chooses the symbol and votes for the associated party.
  • They were introduced to facilitate voting by illiterate people.
  • In the 1960s, it was proposed that the regulation, reservation and allotment of electoral symbols should be done through a law of Parliament, i.e. Symbol Order.
  • In a response to this proposal, the ECI stated that the recognition of political parties is supervised by the provisions of Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 and so will the allotment of symbols.
  • The EC registers political parties for the purpose of elections and grants them recognition as national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance. The other parties are simply declared as registered-unrecognised parties.
  • The recognition determines their right to certain privileges like allocation of the party symbols, provision of time for political broadcasts on television and radio stations and access to electoral rolls.
  • Every national party and every state party is allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use throughout the country and the states respectively.

Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968:

  • Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, EC can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.
  • The EC is the only authority to decide issues on a dispute or a merger under the order.
  • The Supreme Court (SC) upheld its validity in Sadiq Ali and another vs. ECI in 1971.
  • This applies to disputes in recognised national and state parties.
  • For splits in registered but unrecognised parties, the EC usually advises the warring factions to resolve their differences internally or to approach the court.
  • In almost all disputes decided by the EC so far, a clear majority of party delegates/office bearers, MPs and MLAs have supported one of the factions.
  • Whenever the EC could not test the strength of rival groups based on support within the party organisation, it fell back on testing the majority only among elected MPs and MLAs.
  • The splinter group of the party – other than the group that got the party symbol – had to register itself as a separate party.
  • They could lay claim to national or state party status only on the basis of its performance in state or central elections after registration.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
  2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and bye-elections.
  3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognised political parties.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 3 only


HPV vaccine

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & Technology

In News: The Serum Institute of India (SII)’s vaccine Cervavac recently received the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DGCI) approval for market authorisation.

  • Cervavac is India’s first quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) vaccine, and intended to protect women against cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer

  • Cervical cancer is a common sexually transmitted infection.
  • Long-lasting infection with certain types of HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.
  • Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer type and the second most common cause of cancer death in women of reproductive age (15–44).
  • India accounts for about a fifth of the global burden, with 23 lakh cases and around 67,000 deaths per year according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • It kills one woman every eight minutes in the country.
  • Screening and vaccination are two powerful tools that are available for preventive cervical cancer.
  • Still there is little awareness among women for prevention of this cancer and less than 10% of Indian women get screened.

Existing vaccines

  • Two vaccines licensed globally are available in India — a quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil, from Merck) and a bivalent vaccine (Cervarix, from GlaxoSmithKline).
  • Although HPV vaccination was introduced in 2008, it has yet to be included in the national immunisation programme.

The new vaccine

  • The vaccine is based on VLP (virus like particles), similar to the hepatitis B vaccine, and provides protection by generating antibodies against the HPV virus’s L1 protein.
  • This will be a huge step to accelerate cervical cancer elimination in India and globally.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to recent developments regarding ‘Recombinant Vector Vaccines’, consider the following statements: (2021)

  1. Genetic engineering is applied in the development of these vaccines.
  2. Bacteria and viruses are used as vectors.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Clean energy targets

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy – Energy)

In News: India has achieved clean energy targets nine years ahead of schedule – stated the Union Power Ministry.

  • India has installed 162 GW (1 GW is 1,000 MW) of renewable energy capacity, which is 41% of the 402 GW of electricity installed.
  • India reached this target on November 2021.
  • In 2015, India committed to ensuring that 40% of its energy would be from renewable sources by 2030 as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

New Target

  • At the COP26 India is committed to achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2030.

Challenges in Achieving the Target:

Mobilization of the Necessary Finance:

  • Gearing up the banking sector for arranging finances for larger deployment goals, exploring low-interest rate, long-term international funding, and developing a suitable mechanism for risk mitigation or sharing by addressing both technical and financial bottlenecks are major challenges.

Land Acquisition:

  • Identification of land with Renewable Energy potential, its conversion, clearance from land ceiling Act, decision on land lease rent, clearance from revenue department, and other such clearances take time.
  • State governments have to play a major role in acquisition of land for RE projects.

Creating Ecosystem:

  • Creating an innovation and manufacturing eco-system in the country.

Others:

  • Integrating a larger share of renewables with the grid.
  • Enabling supply of firm and dispatchable power from renewables.
  • Enabling penetration of renewables in the so called hard to decarbonize sectors.

Source: Deccan Herald

Pib.gov


Climate change missions

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 3 (Environment)

In News: The Tamil Nadu government has established District Climate Change Missions in all 38 districts.

  • The missions will be headed by the Collectors as Mission Directors.
  • The District Forest Officers will function as Climate Officers.
  • The missions will help to strengthen the government’s climate response at the grassroots.
  • The Collectors will have to prepare district-level climate change mitigation and adaptation plans, build capacity and provide inputs for low-carbon, climate-resilient development plans.
  • The Collectors will also work towards strengthening Climate Smart Villages and create bio-shields in the coastal areas.

Significance

  • The missions will create a strong policy support across all sectors of governance; devise strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bench-mark industries to move towards green manufacturing.
  • They will also promote eco-friendly technologies, such as solar and wind energy technologies, biodegradable packaging and e-vehicles.
  • Community Participation: Educating local communities in the management of climate change and creating technologies for evidence-based green models for adaptation and practical models for green mobility are the other objectives.

Source: The Hindu


Paracel Islands

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography – Places in News

In News: Recently, A U.S. destroyer sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, drawing an angry reaction from Beijing.

  • The United States regularly carries out what it calls Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea challenging what it says are restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China and other claimants.
  • July 11 marked the sixth anniversary of a ruling by an international tribunal that invalidated China’s sweeping claims to the South China Sea, a conduit for about $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade each year.
  • China has never accepted the ruling.

China’s Claim:

  • China lays claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, including the Paracel Islands.
  • However, Taiwan, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam also claim parts of the region, believed to hold valuable oil and gas deposits.

South China Sea

  • Location: South China Sea is an arm of western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia.
  • It is connected by Taiwan Strait with the East China Sea and by Luzon Strait with the Philippine Sea.
  • Bordering states & territories: the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam
  • Strategic Importance: This Sea holds tremendous strategic importance for its location as it is the connecting link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (Strait of Malacca).

Contesting Claims Over Islands:

  • The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • The Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Philippines.
  • The Scarborough Shoal is claimed by Philippines, China and Taiwan.

China’s Assertion:

  • Since 2010, China has been converting uninhabited islets into artificial islets to bring it under UNCLOS.
  • China has been changing the size and structure of the reefs by modifying their physical land features. It has also established airstrips on Parcel and Spratly.
  • Chinese fishing fleets are engaged in paramilitary work on behalf of the state rather than the commercial enterprise of fishing.
  • The US is very critical of this building of artificial islands and terms these actions of China as building a ‘great wall of sand’.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2019)

Sea – Bordering Country

  1. Adriatic Sea – Albania
  2. Black Sea – Croatia
  3. Caspian Sea – Kazakhstan
  4. Mediterranean Sea – Morocco
  5. Red Sea – Syria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

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

India - South Korea Relations

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: South Korea’s new willingness to become a global pivotal state and play an active role in regional affairs is bound to create multiple opportunities for a multi-dimensional India- Korea partnership

  • During the past five years, India and South Korea have experienced considerable divergence in their respective national objectives
  • India and South Korea have faced serious blockades to their economic ties.
  • Trade between the two countries was sluggish and there was no major inflow of South Korean investment into India.
  • Thus South Korea’s new willingness to become a global pivotal state and play an active role in regional affairs is bound to create multiple opportunities for a multi-dimensional India- Korea partnership.

Converging Ideas

Correcting a China tilt

  • South Korea’s strategic policy shift to correct its heavy tilt towards China is bound to bring new economic opportunities for both countries.
  • Both nations will now be in a better position to understand and accommodate the other’s trade investments and supply chain needs.

Economic Co operation

  • The emerging strategic alignment is creating a new convergence of capabilities and closer synergy in new areas of economic cooperation such as public health, green growth, digital connectivity, and trade, among others.
  • In 2020, India and South Korea signed a Roadmap for Defence Industries Cooperation.
  • With the strategic shift in South Korea’s defence orientation, new doors of cooperation for defence and security have emerged.

Indo-Pacific outlook

  • India has evolved excellent strategic partnerships with Japan, Vietnam and Australia. Unfortunately, South Korea has not received the same level of attention from the Indian establishment.
  • South Korea could be the fourth pillar in India’s Indo-Pacific strategy along with Japan, Australia, and Vietnam.
  • This can bring about a paradigm shift in India’s position and influence in the region.

Way Forward

  • The time has come for the Indian and South Korean bilateral partnership to be strategically scaled up at the political, diplomatic and security domain levels.
  • With South Korea’s emergence as a leader in critical technologies, cybersecurity and cyber-capacity building, outer space and space situational awareness capabilities, South Korea can contribute immensely to enhance India’s foundational strengths in the Indo-Pacific.

India can help South Korea withstand Chinese pressure and North Korean threats. An independent, strong, and democratic South Korea can be a long-term partner with India that will add significant value to India’s Indo-Pacific strategy. This new partnership can have a long-term positive impact for both countries and the Indo-Pacific region. It is an opportunity that neither country can afford to miss.

Source: The Hindu


Responsibilities of President

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity
  • Mains – GS 2 (Polity)

In News: India is going to elect its new President on July 18. This has bought the focus on the role of President to intervene on behalf of the citizenry against the tyranny of the executive.

Importance of this office in the governance of the country

Method of election of the President – People’s role

  • It is an indirect election.
  • Under Article 54, the President is elected by an electoral college consisting of only the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the State and Union Territory Assemblies.
  • A matter of importance in this context is the vote value of Members of the Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) and the formula for its computation.
  • The vote of an MLA is assigned a certain higher value.
  • The point is that in the computation of the value, the population of the State figures in a significant way.
  • The population of the country is a crucial factor in the election of the President, which means the people’s presence in the process of electing the President is very much visible.
  • This also gives the President a greater moral authority.
  • So, the Indian President is not and cannot be a mere rubber stamp.
  • He does not directly exercise the executive authority of the Union, but he can disagree with the decision of the Council of Ministers, caution them, counsel them, and so on.
  • The President can ask the Cabinet to reconsider its decisions.

His Responsibility

  • The Constitution of India wants the President to be vigilant and responsive, and gives the freedom to him or her to take a broader view of things uninfluenced by the narrow political view of the executive.
  • This point becomes clearer when we take a look at the oath the President takes before entering office. The oath contains two solemn promises.
  • First, the President shall preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
  • Second, the President shall devote himself or herself to the service and the well-being of the people of India.

Thus he is bound to intervene on behalf of the citizenry against the tyranny of the executive.

There were Presidents such as Rajendra Prasad and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who openly differed with the government on certain policy issues and could exert tremendous influence on the government. Thus, it is possible for a President to disagree with the government or intervene on behalf of the citizenry against the tyranny of the executive and persuade it to give up its ways.

Source: The Hindu


Baba’s Explainer –  Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)

Syllabus

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-2: Judiciary & challeges

Context: NITI Aayog in Nov 2021 released the report ‘Designing the Future of Dispute Resolution: The ODR Policy Plan for India’, to scale dispute avoidance, containment and resolution online.

  • The roll out of the stated recommendations in the report can help make India a world leader in using technology and innovation through Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for effective access to justice for every individual.
  • The report was based on the recommendation made by Committee headed by Justice AK Sikri, which was constituted by NITI Aayog at the peak of COVID crisis in 2020.

Read Complete Details on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Global Gender Gap Index

  1. It is published by World Economic Forum
  2. It benchmarks gender parity across five key dimensions
  3. Of all the sub-indices India has ranked highest in Political Empowerment

Choose the correct statements:

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 1 and 2

Q.2) Arrange the following islands of South China Sea from South to North

  1. Scarborough Shoal
  2. Paracel Islands
  3. Spratly Islands

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1-3-2
  2. 1-2-3
  3. 3-1-2
  4. 3-2-1

Q.3) Which of the following state has recently set up climate change missions in all its districts?

  1. Kerala
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Uttarakhand
  4. Odisha

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’14th JULY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 13th JULY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – a

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