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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th September 2022

  • IASbaba
  • September 28, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Ancient plant Silphion

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

Context: A Mediterranean medicinal plant considered a cure-all that mysteriously vanished 2,000 years ago may still be around, a recent study claimed.

  • A researcher from Istanbul University found a plant species recently at three locations in Anatolia — modern-day Turkey, that resembled the ancient plant Silphion.
  • There may be waterlogged remains of ancient Silphion on the Mediterranean seafloor, which could provide direct evidence of the nature of this elusive plant

Ancient Usage of Silphion:

  • The resin of the Silphion was extensively used as a spice, perfume, aphrodisiac, contraceptive and medicine.
  • It occupied an important place in the export economy of ancient Cyrene, an old Greek and later Roman colony near north-eastern Libya.

Silphion was used to treat various health problems:

  • goitre, sciatica (nerve pain), toothache, intestinal disorders, hormonal disorders, epilepsy, tetanus, polyps (abnormal growth of tissues) and malignant tumours.
  • Its stalks were eaten as a vegetable, while the roots were consumed raw.
  • The plant was also used to preserve lentils.

Causes of extinction of Silphion:

  • Overharvesting
  • Human-induced environmental changes
  • Widespread deforestation and desertification

Environmental conditions:

  • These plants may need cold and moist conditions for seed germination.
  • This is because the plants related to Silphion, such as Ferula drudeana and Ferula asafoetida, also need similar environmental conditions for seeds to germinate
  • An increase in temperature might have increased evaporation, leading to unfavourable conditions.

Source: DownToEarth                 

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following are nitrogen-fixing plants? (2022)

  1. Alfalfa
  2. Amaranth
  3. Chickpea
  4. Clover
  5. Purslane (Kulfa)
  6. Spinach

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 3 and 4 only
  2. 1, 3, 5 and 6 only
  3. 2, 4, 5 and 6 only
  4. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6

Q.2) Recently, there was a growing awareness in our country about the importance of Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) because it is found to be a sustainable source of  (2019)

  1. anti-malarial drug
  2. biodiesel
  3. pulp for the paper industry
  4. textile fibre

Petition to ban advertisement

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: The Bombay high court recently turned down a petition seeking a ban on advertising of non-vegetarian food products saying it was an infringement of fundamental rights and a matter of policy that fell within the purview of the legislature.

Petitioner’s claims:

  • The petitioners claimed that non vegetarian food leads to environmental damage.
  • These kind of advertisements “intimidated” children to consume non-vegetarian food and infringed on a vegetarian’s fundamental right to live peacefully.
  • These advertisements promoted cruelty meted out to other living beings and it is out Fundamental duty to be compassionate towards living creatures.

The judgement:

  • Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression to every person of India.
  • The petition did not hold any merit on legal grounds.
  • The petitioners then withdrew the petition.

Advertising regulations in India:

  • Press Council of India Act, 1978
  • Cable television regulation act, 1955 and Cable television amendment act, 2006
  • Establishment of the ASCI (Advertisement standard council of India), 1985
  • The consumer protection Act, 1986
  • Restrictions on advertising under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act, 2003
  • Advertising regulations under Drug and Magic Remedies Act, 1954 & Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
  • The Indian Penal Code

Press Council of India:

  • History: It was first set up in 1966 on the recommendations of the first Press Commission. The Council was abolished during emergency. Thereafter, a new Act was enacted.
  • The Press Council of India is a statutory quasi-judicial autonomous authority re-established in the year 1979 under an Act of Parliament, Press Council Act, 1978.
  • Objectives: Preserving the freedom of the press by maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and the news agencies in India. The Act also confers an advisory role on the Council in that it can, either Suo-motu or on a reference made to it by the Government, undertake studies and express its opinion in regard to any bill, legislation, law or other matters concerning the Press and convey its opinion to the Government or the persons concerned.
  • The council has a chairman – conventionally, a retired Supreme Court judge, and 28 additional members of which 20 are members of media, nominated by the newspapers, television channels and other media outlets operating in India

Advertisement Standards Council of India (ASCI):

  • ASCI is a voluntary self-regulatory organisation comprising members from marketing, creative, media, and allied companies in India.
  • It was established in 1985.
  • It is committed to protecting Indian consumers’ interests through self-regulation in advertising.
  • ASCI ensures that advertising follows the four basic codese.; Honesty, Decency, Non-Harm and Fairness in competition.
  • Consumers or organisations that find any advertisements violating these four codes can reach out to ASCI to register their objections.
  • ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by various Government bodies including the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of AYUSH as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Source: Hindustan Times             


Wildlife conservation in Arunachal Pradesh

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

Context: Recently the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has dismissed the case it took up suo motu on the grant of forest clearance for the 3000-MW Dibang hydel project without meeting the precondition of declaring a national park.

Wildlife Conservation in the State:

Pakke Tiger Reserve

  • PTR lies in the foothills of the eastern Himalaya in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh and is also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve.
  • It falls within the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • It is known for its amazing sightings of four resident hornbill species.
  • The great hornbill is the state bird of Arunachal Pradesh and it is ‘vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List.

Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve:

  • Namdapha National Park is nestled between the Patkai and Dapha bum ranges of Mishmi Hills in the Eastern Himalayan Sub-region.
  • Namdapha is located on the international border between India and Myanmar, along the raging Noa-Dihing River.
  • It is the world’s only park with the four feline species of big cats, the Tiger (Panthera Tigris), Leopard (Panthera Pardus), Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia), and Clouded Leopard (Neofelis Nebulosa), as well as a large number of Lesser cats.

Mouling National Park:

  • Mouling National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Upper Siang district (some parts of the West Siang and East Siang districts) of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The name Mouling has been derived from highest peak named Mouling as per local faith and belief.
  • There is the river Siyom flowing along the western borders of the park, while a number of smaller rivers are also passing through the park namely the Semong, Krobong, Subong and Siring, all of which flow into the Siang River, which is at the eastern boundary.

Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Eaglenest or Eagle’s Nest Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area of India in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It conjoins Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the northeast and Pakhui Tiger Reserve across the Kameng river to the east. It is also a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve.
  • The sanctuary derives its name from the Red Eagle Division of the Indian army which was posted in the area in the 1950s.
  • Eaglenest is the site where Bugun liocichla (a passerine bird species) was first discovered in 1995 and again observed and described in 2006.

Sessa Orchid Sanctuary:

  • The Sessa Orchid Sanctuary is located in the Himalayan foothills in Bhalukpong Forest Division of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It conjoins Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary to the southwest.
  • It is a part of the Kameng Protected Area Complex (KPAC), which is an Elephant Reserve. Sessa is noted for the occurrence of more than 200 orchid species with 5 new and endemic species.
  • The sanctuary is unique in having 7 endemic species of saprotrophic orchids.

About National Green Tribunal:

  • The National Green Tribunal has been established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
  • The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
  • New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai shall be the other four place of sitting of the Tribunal.

Source:  Indian Express                

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) In which one of the following states is Pakhui wildlife sanctuary located? (2018)

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Manipur
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Nagaland

Fund of Funds for Start-up (FFS) scheme

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

In news: Govt commits Rs. 7,385 crores under Fund of Funds for Start-up India Investment scheme for 88 Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and 720 start-ups supported by AIFs.

  • CAGR of over 21% since launch
  • Valuation increases by more than 10 times
  • Year on year surge of 100% in amount of drawdowns
  • Investments into eligible start-ups is approximately 3.7 times of FFS disbursements; well above minimum stipulated 2 times under the Scheme

About:

  • Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) was launched under Start-up India initiative in 2016.
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is responsible for operationalising the scheme. It has undertaken a series of reforms to expedite the drawdowns.
  • Corpus of funds: FFS was announced with a corpus of Rs. 10,000 cr., to be built up

through budgetary support by DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry

  • Methodology: FFS supports SEBI registered AIFs, which in turn invest in start-ups.

Significance:

  • FFS has been playing a monumental role in mobilizing domestic capital in Indian start-up ecosystem.
  • It has also played a catalytic role in terms of reducing dependence on foreign capital and encouraging home grown and new venture capital funds.
  • Innovation created will remain within the country and facilitate generation of employment and creation of wealth.
  • Unicorn status (valuation of over USD 1 billion) has been achieved by start-ups funded through FFS like Dunzo, CureFit, FreshToHome, Jumbotail, Unacademy, Uniphore, Vogo, Zostel,Zetwerk etc.,

About Alternative Investment Fund (AIF):

  • It means any fund established or incorporated in India which is a privately pooled investment vehicle which collects funds from sophisticated investors, whether Indian or foreign, for investing it in accordance with a defined investment policy for the benefit of its investors.
  • Applicants can seek registration as an AIF in one of the following categories,
  • Category I AIF: Venture capital funds (Including Angel Funds), SME Funds, Social Venture Funds, Infrastructure funds
  • Category II AIF
  • Category III AIF
  • Fund of Funds is an investment strategy of holding a portfolio of other investment funds rather than investing directly in stocks, bonds or other securities. In the context of AIFs, a Fund of Fund is an AIF which invest in another AIF.

Source:  PIB              

Previous Year Question

Q.1) What does venture capital mean? (2014)

  1. A short-term capital provided to industries
  2. A long-term start-up capital provided to new entrepreneurs
  3. Funds provided to industries at times of incurring losses
  4. Funds provided for replacement and renovation of industries

World Tourism Day

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art and Culture and Governance

In News: World Tourism Day celebrations organised at The Sarovaram Biopark in Kozhikode under the aegis of National Service Scheme (NSS) units of colleges.

  • NSS volunteers took part in beach cleaning drive on the Kozhikode beach.
  • Kite surfing, an Olympic event was explained by One India Kite team captain.
  • Face art session and flash mob were held.
  • Students painted “gratitude stones” to be distributed among visitors to the park and created colourful eco-friendly signboards in place of plastic signboards.
  • A Kalaripayattu demonstration by Kadathanad K.P. Chandran Gurukkal Memorial Kalari Sangham marked the Tourism Day celebrations on Kappad Blue Flag Beach
  • A marathon was held on the Vadakara beach with 50 students, people’s representatives, and local residents.

About Kalaripayattu:

  • It is also known as Kalari.
  • It is an Indian martial art and fighting style that originated in Kerala.
  • It is considered to be among the oldest martial arts still in existence, with its origin dating back to at least the 3rd century BC.
  • It includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods.
  • Practitioners of Kalaripayattu also possess intricate knowledge of pressure points on the human body and healing techniques that incorporate the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga.
  • Unlike other parts of India, warriors in Kerala belonged to all castes.
  • Women in Keralite society also underwent training in Kalaripayattu, and still do so to this day.

About National Service Scheme (NSS):

  • It is an Indian government sector public service program conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
  • It was launched in Gandhiji’s Centenary year in 1969.
  • Aimed at developing student’s personality through community service
  • NSS is a voluntary association of young people in Colleges, Universities and at +2 level working for a campus-community.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question                   

Q.1) With reference to India’s culture and tradition, what is `Kalaripayattu’? (2014)

  1. It is an ancient Bhakti cult of Shaivism still prevalent in some parts of South India
  2. It is an ancient style bronze and brass work still found in southern part of Coromandel area
  3. It is an ancient form of dance-drama and a living tradition in the northern part of Malabar
  4. It is an ancient martial art and a living tradition in some parts of South India

Climate Change fuelling Hurricanes

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography, Environment

In News: Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in Cuba and then lash Florida with storm surges and downpours.

  • Ian follows Hurricane Fiona, a powerful Category 4 storm that carved a path of destruction last week through Puerto Rico, leaving most of the U.S. territory without power and potable water. Fiona then barrelled through the Turks and Caicos Islands, skirted Bermuda and slammed into Canada’s Atlantic coast, where critical infrastructure might take months to repair.

Impact of climate change on Hurricanes:

  • Climate change is making hurricanes wetter, windier and more intense.
  • It is causing storms to travel more slowly, meaning they can dump more water in one place.
  • In the last 40 years, the ocean has absorbed about 90% of global warming (caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions). Much of this ocean heat is contained near the water’s surface. The additional heat from ocean warming can fuel a storm’s intensity and power stronger winds.
  • Climate change can also boost the amount of rainfall delivered by a storm. Because a warmer atmosphere can also hold more moisture, water vapor builds up until clouds break, sending down heavy rain e.g., 2020 Atlantic hurricane boosted rainfall rates by 8%-11%.
  • The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial average. At 2 degrees Celsius of warming, hurricane wind speeds could increase by up to 10%.
  • The proportion of most-intense levels hurricanes – Category 4 or 5 – could rise by about 10% this century.
  • The “season” for hurricanes is shifting, as climate warming creates conditions conducive to storms in more months of the year e.g., in Bay of Bengal, where cyclones since 2013 have been forming earlier than usual – in April and May – ahead of the summer monsoon.
  • Hurricanes are also making landfall in regions far outside the historic norm
  • Hurricane Sandy was the fourth costliest U.S. hurricane on record, causing $81 billion in losses.

About Hurricanes:             

  • Formation: Hurricanes need two main ingredients – warm ocean water and moist, humid air.
  • When warm seawater evaporates, its heat energy is transferred to the atmosphere. This fuels the storm’s winds to strengthen. Without it, hurricanes can’t intensify and will fizzle out.
  • Difference in names:
  • Storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or central and eastern North Pacific are called “hurricanes” when their wind speeds reach at least 74 miles per hour (119 kilometres per hour). Up to that point, they’re known as “tropical storms.”
  • In East Asia, over the Northwest Pacific are called “typhoons
  • Indian Ocean and South Pacific, are called “cyclones”

Source: Economic Times                       


Online content regulation

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Syllabus

  • Mains: GS 2 Governance, GS 3 Science & Technology

In News: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has asked YouTube to remove 45 videos from 10 channels. The order invokes the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Indian Context:

  • India ranks quite high in the list of countries that make regular requests for removal of online content.
  • Internet censorship in India is done by both central and state governments.
  • In March 2012, Reporters Without Borders added India to its list of “countries under surveillance
  • Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net 2017 report gives India a Freedom on the Net status of “Partly Free”
  • In 2020, environmental groups like Fridays for Future India leading the movement against the Indian Government’s new EIA 2020 Draft reported that their websites were made inaccessible to users in India or were taken down.
  • In 2021, regarding Government’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic, an emergency order to Twitter was made to take down tweets from high-profile users that criticised its handling of the pandemic – Twitter has complied and withheld these tweets.
  • In early 2021, Twitter refused to comply with orders from the Indian government to ban over a thousand accounts related to farmers’ protests.

What is an OTT platform:

  • OTT or Over the Top Platforms are services that offer viewers access to movies, TV shows and other media directly through the Internet, bypassing cable or satellite systems.
  • OTT services can be accessed through internet-connected devices like computers, smartphones, set-top boxes and smart TVs.
  • In India’s regulatory parlance, OTT platforms are called ‘publishers of online curated content’. Online curated content is audio-visual content such as films, web-series, podcasts etc. made available to the viewers on demand, including but not limited through subscription by OTT platforms.
  • “On demand” means a system where a user is enabled to access, at a time chosen by them, any content in electronic form, which is transmitted over a computer resource and is selected by the user.
  • Popular video-on-demand services in India include Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Sony LIV etc.

Information Technology Rules 2021

  • Aim: to regulate OTT platforms
  • The rules establish a soft-touch self-regulatory architecture
  • They provide for self-classification of the content without any involvement of Central Board of Film Certification.
  • The rules mandate a three-tier institutional mechanism for handling public grievances. Every publisher should appoint a Grievance Officer based in India for receiving and redressing grievances in 15 days. Also, every publisher needs to become a member of a self-regulating body. Such a body will have to register with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and address grievances that have not been resolved by the publisher within 15 days.
  • OTT platforms must display age-based content rating and content descriptor for each content. If applicable, they should also display an advisory on viewer discretion at the beginning of the programme.
  • General principles require the platforms to not publish any content which is prohibited under any law and take into consideration the implications, and exercise due caution and discretion in respect of the content which affects the sovereignty & integrity of India and India’s multi-racial and multi-religious context.

Procedure in IT Rules:

  • An inter-departmental committee considers complaints on content and makes recommendations.
  • The Authorised Officer has to take the approval of the Secretary, I&B, before directing the publisher or intermediary to block the relevant content.
  • There is an emergency provision under which the Secretary may order content blocking as an interim measure, and thereafter confirm it after getting the committee’s views.
  • All such blocking orders are meant to be examined by a review committee, which ought to meet once in two months, but it is not known whether the panel meets regularly.
  • The Government, which discloses how many videos it has got removed, must also reveal the outcome of such reviews, if any.

Concerns:

  • Offensive content such as hate speech, incitement to violence and child pornography pose a challenge to the dignified use of online space.
  • Propagation of hate and communally sensitive material over the free video sharing website
  • Sensitivity of information: The content in these videos is based on intelligence inputs and may relate to sensitive issues such as references to Kashmir, the Agnipath scheme, false claims about the rights of religious minorities being taken away and dissemination of material portending civil war.
  • Validity of claims: If these claims are true and if the content transgresses the boundaries of free speech or threatens public order and security, such take-down orders may be justified.
  • Concern over process: However, the manner of their passing remains an unrevealed process, as it is not known if the originators of the content were given an opportunity to explain their stand before the blocking orders were issued. Section 69A of the IT Act, which empowers the Government to block content, was upheld by the Supreme Court only after it noted that the rules provided procedural safeguards, including the need to issue notice to the originators or the intermediary, before a blocking order.
  • Requiring messaging services to enable the identification of the first originator of information on its platform may adversely affect the privacy of individuals.
  • The procedure for emergency blocking of content of online publishers lacks certain safeguards – ground include national security and public order, without giving the publisher an opportunity of hearing.
  • Oversight mechanism for digital news media lacks the independence accorded to print news.

Way forward:

OTT platforms must exercise due caution and discretion when featuring the activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group.

The government must use the power to block online content sparingly and with sensitivity towards key freedoms and due process.

Source: The Hindu                      


'Make in India’ Programme

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Syllabus

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

In news: Make in India’ recently completed 8 years since its inception

About the scheme: Make in India campaign was launched by the Prime Minister of India  in 2014.

Objectives of the scheme:

  • To attract foreign investment for new industrialisation and develop the already existing industry base in India to surpass that of China.
  • Target of an increase in manufacturing sector growth to 12-14% per annum over the medium term.
  • To increase the share of manufacturing sector in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 16% to 25% by 2022.
  • To create 100 million additional jobs by 2022.
  • To promote export-led growth.

Review of ‘Make in India’:

Accomplishments:

  • Ministry of Commerce & Industry said that the program, which is aimed at self-sufficiency or being ‘aatmanirbhar’, has substantial accomplishments across 27 sectors, including strategic sectors such as manufacturing and services.

Attracting record FDI Inflows:

  • In the first year of the ‘Make in India’ scheme, FDI inflows stood at $45.15 billion.
  • The year 2021-22 recorded the highest ever FDI at $83.6 billion and India is on track to attract $100 billion FDI in the current financial year.

Steps taken to ensure ease of doing business:

  • In order to simplify the various aspects of doing business, the government has taken various steps to increase the ease of doing business in India.
    • A Phased Manufacturing Programme along with reduction in corporate taxes,
    • Public procurement orders
    • The National Single Window System (NSWS),

Improving toy exports, reducing imports:

Custom duty on toys:

  • In an attempt to reduce the import of foreign made toys and enhance India’s ability to manufacture toys domestically, the Basic Custom Duty on the import of toys was increased from 20 percent to 60 percent.
  • Initiatives such as The India Toy Fair 2021, Toycathon 2021, Toy Business League 2022 have been conducted to encourage innovation in this sector.

The growth of toy industry:

  • Export: Despite the pandemic, the Indian toy industry has grown, boasting of export of $326 million (Rs 2,601.5 crore) of toys in FY21-22, which is an increase of over 61 percent over $202 million (Rs 1,612 crore) in FY18-19.
  • Import: The import of toys in FY21-22 has reduced by 70 percent to $110 million (Rs 877.8 crore), compared to imports worth $371 million (Rs 2,960 crore) in 2018-19.

Other measures to strengthen the Make in India initiative:

Labour reforms:

  • Recent labour reforms have brought flexibility in hiring and retrenchment.

Promotion of manufacturing:

  • Steps to promote manufacturing and investments also include reduction in corporate taxes, public procurement orders and Phased Manufacturing Programme.
  • Quality control orders have been introduced to ensure quality in local manufacturing.

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes:

  • As a part of the ‘Make in India’ program, the government introduced Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes across 14 key manufacturing sectors in 2020-21 as a big boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. This also included a $10-billion incentive scheme to build a semiconductor, display, design ecosystem in India.

The One-District-One-Product (ODOP) initiative:

  • It is aimed at facilitating the promotion and production of indigenous products from each district of the country and providing a global platform to the artisans and manufacturers aiming to contribute to the socio-economic growth of various regions of the country

‘Gatishakti’ programme:

  • The programme will ensure logistical efficiency in business operations through the creation of infrastructure that improves connectivity.
  • This will enable faster movement of goods and people, enhancing access to markets, hubs, and opportunities, and reducing logistics cost.

State initiatives:

  • In line with the Make in India, individual states too launched their own local initiatives, such as “Make in Odisha”, “Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet”, “Vibrant Gujarat”, “Happening Haryana”, and “Magnetic Maharashtra”.

Issues Associated with the scheme:

  • Investment from Shell Companies: Large part of the Indian FDI is neither foreign nor direct but comes from Mauritius-based shell companies which are suspected to be investing black money from India only, which is routed via Mauritius.
  • Low Productivity: Productivity of Indian factories is low and workers have insufficient skills.
    • McKinsey report states that Indian workers in the manufacturing sector are, on average, almost four and five times less productive than their counterparts in Thailand and China.
  • Small Industrial Units: Size of the industrial units is small for attaining the desired economies of scale, investing in modern equipment, and developing supply chains.
  • Infrastructure: Electricity costs are almost the same in India and China but power outages are much higher in India.
  • Transportation: Average speeds in China are about 100 km per hour, while in India, they are about 60 km per hour. Indian railways have saturated and Indian ports have been outperformed by a lot of Asian countries.
  • Red Tapism: Bureaucratic procedures and corruption make India less attractive for investors. India has made progress in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index, but even then, is ranked 63 among 190 countries in 2022.
  • Insufficient Rules and Regulations: Labour reforms and land acquisition laws were not completed before making attempts to attract foreign investors to Make in India.
  • Capital Outflow: In future India will have to face another external challenge in the form of capital fleeing the country. The net outflow of capital has jumped as the rupee has dropped

Way Forward:

  • The Make in India initiative has been striving to ensure that the business ecosystem in the nation is conducive for investors doing business in India and contributing to growth and development of the Nation.
  • This has been done through a range of reforms that has led to increased investment inflows as well as economic growth.
  • With this initiative at the forefront, the businesses in India are aiming that the products that are ‘Made in India’ are also ‘Made for the World,’ adhering to global standards of quality.

Source: PIB                   


India – Japan Relations

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations
  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: Strengthening the Indo-Pacific region, a concept first articulated by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was at the top of Prime Minister of India’s meeting with his Japan’s counterpart in Tokyo, where Indian Prime Minister attended Mr. Abe’s state funeral.

In this regards, let us analyse the brief bilateral relationship between the two countries.

India – Japan relations:

Historical:

  • The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilization ties dating back to the visit of Indian monk Bodhisena in 752 AD.
  • In contemporary times, among prominent Indians associated with Japan were Gautama Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore,  JRD Tata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Judge Radha Binod Pal.

Diplomatic:

  • In the first decade after diplomatic ties were established, several high-level exchanges took place, including the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to India in 1957.
  • Japan was among the few countries that bailed India out of the balance of payment crisis in 1991.
  • The Act East Forum, established in 2017, aims to provide a platform for India-Japan collaboration under the rubric of India’s “Act East Policy” and Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision”.

Economic and Commercial relations:

  • Japan’s interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India’s large  and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources.
  • The India Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force in August 2011.
  • Japan has been extending bilateral loan and grant assistance to India since 1958, and is the largest bilateral donor for India.
  • The bilateral trade between India and Japan for FY 2019-20 (April – December) totalled US$ 11.87 billion.
  • India’s primary exports to Japan have been petroleum products, chemicals, elements, compounds, non-metallic mineral ware, fish & fish preparations, metalliferous ores & scrap, clothing & accessories, iron & steel products, textile yarn, fabrics, and machinery etc.
  • India’s primary imports from Japan are machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel products, plastic materials, non-ferrous metals, parts of motor vehicles, organic chemicals, manufacturers of metals, etc.

Defence Cooperation:

  • During Prime Minister visit to Japan in October 2008, two leaders issued “the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India”.
  • There are also various frameworks of security and defence dialogue between Japan and India including the “2+2” meeting, annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard dialogue.
  • India and Japan defence forces organise a series of bilateral exercises namely, JIMEX, SHINYUU Maitra, and Dharma Guardian. Both countries also participate in the Malabar exercise with the USA.
  • Quad alliance: Quad is an informal strategic dialogue between India, the USA, Japan and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

Science & Technology:

  • Bilateral S&T cooperation was formalised through an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in 1985.
  • India-Japan Digital Partnership (IJDP) was launched in October 2018 furthering existing areas of cooperation as well as new initiatives within the scope of cooperation in S&T/ICT, focusing more on “Digital ICT Technologies”.
  • Recent initiatives include the establishment of three India-Japan Joint Laboratories in the area of ICT (AI, IoT and Big Data); Initiation of the DST-JSPS Fellowship Programme for young researchers.

Healthcare:

  • India’s AYUSHMAN Bharat Programme and Japan’s ASHWIN, both sides had been consulting with each other to identify projects to build the narrative of AHWIN for AYUSHMAN Bharat.

Indian diaspora in Japan:

  • In recent years, there has been a change in the composition of the Indian community with the arrival of a large number of professionals, including IT professionals and engineers working for Indian and Japanese firms as well as professionals in management, finance, education, and S&T research.

Challenges to the bilateral relations:

  • The trade ties which have remained underdeveloped when compared to India’s trade ties with China.
  • Both countries have border and hegemonic issues with China. So, their policy stance hinges generally on China, rather than growing comprehensively.
  • Both had diverging interest with respect to economic issues like on E-commerce rules (Osaka track), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
  • A challenge for government is to correct the lopsided trade and calibrate China’s market access to progress on bilateral political, territorial and water disputes, or else Beijing will fortify its leverage against India.
  • Balancing between QUAD and BRICS: India is a member of groups like the BRICS, which brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In addition, though New Delhi has not joined the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it is a member of the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank).So India has to do a balancing act between Quad and BRICS.
  • Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) project: there is a great deal of scepticism on the feasibility of the AAGC itself as well as the nature of the projects embedded in it.

Way Forward:

  • India and Japan are two powerful democratic forces in Asia which are searching for more options to work and prosper jointly.
  • Indo-Japan should be realistic enough to understand that in any future regional strategic scenario, because of its economic and military strength.
  • Pollution is a serious issue in major Indian cities. Japanese green technologies can help India tackle this threat.
  • Smooth implementation of the prestigious high speed rail project linking Ahmedabad and Mumbai will ensure credibility of India’s investment climate.
  • India’s purchase of Japan’s indigenously made US-2 amphibian aircraft if successfully executed, could also contribute to India’s ‘Make in India’.
  • Both countries are also engaged in discussions on the possibilities of India acquiring Japanese technology in the production of submarines and on cooperative research in areas like unmanned Ground Vehicle and Robotics.
  • Indo-Japan should be realistic enough to understand that in any future regional strategic scenario, because of its economic and military strength, China will figure quite prominently so efforts should be done to keep the Indo-Pacific multipolar.

Source: The Hindu               


Baba’s Explainer –Web 3.0

Web 3.0

Syllabus

  • GS-3: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics

Context: As things are, investors from across the world have invested at least $88 billion into almost 16,000 companies working with web3.

  • Of these, 79 are now unicorns of which at least three are headquartered in India.

Read Complete Details on Web 3.0


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) In which one of the following states is Sessa Orchid sanctuary located?

  1. Assam
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Manipur
  4. Sikkim

Q.2) With reference to the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme, which of the following statements are correct?

  1. FFS funds must be used to invest in eligible startups.
  2. A specified portion of each fund must benefit SC/ST populations.
  3. NABARD is responsible for operationalising the scheme.
  4. The scheme comes under the purview of Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.3) Identify the art form with the following characteristics:

  1. it is a martial art practiced in the state of Kerala
  2. Practitioners of this art possess intricate knowledge of pressure points on the human body and healing techniques.

Which of the statements mentioned above is/are correct?

  1. Chavittunatakom
  2. Kathakali
  3. Kalaripayattu
  4. Mohiniyattam

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

ANSWERS FOR ’28th September 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 27th September – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – a

Q.3) – d

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