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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th October 2022

  • IASbaba
  • October 12, 2022
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Space Economy of India

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology and Economy

Context: Indian space economy is set to reach $13 billion by 2025, according to a joint report prepared by EY and the Indian Space Association (ISpA), an apex industry association of space and satellite companies in the country.

Important points from the report:

  • The satellite launch services segment is set to witness the fastest growth spurred by increasing private participation.
  • The growing demand for smaller satellites is set to boost satellite manufacturing in the country and will attract global start-ups in the sector to help incubate space tech companies here.
  • In dollar terms, the satellite services and applications segment would be the largest with a turnover of USD 4.6 billion by 2025, followed by ground segment at USD 4 billion, satellite manufacturing at USD 3.2 billion and launch services at USD 1 billion.
  • Indian space launch is expected to get a boost due to the government’s positive step towards the inclusion of private players in the Indian space ecosystem.
  • The availability of low-cost satellite launch vehicles coupled with mass production will lead to demand from customers around the world.
  • Setting up space parks across the country is likely to give a fillip to companies operating across the space value chain, especially manufacturing.
  • Several companies are utilising cutting-edge technologies to develop innovative launch solutions in India and have built considerable expertise around the launch of LEO, MEO and GEO satellites and orbit management solutions.
  • Currently, India boasts of over 100 space tech start-ups with investments in the segment touching USD 68 million in 2021.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following statements best reflects the idea behind the “Fractional Orbital Bombardment System” often talked about in media? (2022)

  1. A hypersonic missile is launched into space to counter the asteroid approaching the Earth and explode it in space.
  2. A spacecraft lands on another planet after making several orbital motions.
  3. A missile is put into a stable orbit around the Earth and deorbits over a target on the Earth.
  4. A spacecraft moves along a comet with the same surface. speed and places a probe on its

Sodium Chromate

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy and Environment

Context: A section of environmentalists have flagged irregularities in the draft Environmental Impact Assessment report for a proposed chemical plant in Telangana’s Nalgonda district.

  • More than 96% resources of chromite are located in Odisha, mostly in Jajpur, Kendujhar and Dhenkanal districts. Minor deposits are scattered over Manipur, Nagaland, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Key details about Sodium Chromate and dichromate:

Sodium Chromate:

  • Sodium chromate is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2CrO4.
  • It exists as a yellow hygroscopic solid, which can form tetra-, hexa-, and decahydrates.
  • It is an intermediate in the extraction of chromium from its ores.
  • Sodium chromate is
  • It is obtained on a vast scale by roasting chromium ores in air in the presence of sodium carbonate
  • The compound is also corrosive and exposure may produce severe eye damage or blindness.
  • Human exposure further encompasses impaired fertility, heritable genetic damage and harm to unborn children.

Sodium dichromate:

  • Sodium chromate converts to sodium dichromate when treated with acids.
  • Sodium dichromate is a hazardous chemical.
  • It is corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
  • Exposure to the substance may cause affect kidney and liver.
  • Even a brief exposure to the substance can damage tissues.
  • Repeated or prolonged inhalation may cause nasal ulceration. This may result in perforation of the nasal septum.
  • The substance is very toxic to aquatic organisms.
  • It may cause long-term effects on the marine environment.

Uses of Sodium Chromate:

  • Production of chromium from its ores.
  • Used as a corrosion inhibitor in the petroleum industry.
  • A dyeing auxiliary in the textile industry.
  • A diagnostic pharmaceutical in determining red blood cell volume.
  • In organic chemistry, sodium chromate is used as an oxidant, converting primary alcohols to carboxylic acids and secondary alcohols to ketones.
  • Sodium chromate is a strong oxidizer.

Source: Down To Earth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Magnetite particles, suspected to cause neurodegenerative problems are generated as environmental pollutants from which of the following?   (2021)

  1. Brakes of motor vehicles
  2. Engines of motor vehicles
  3. Microwave stoves within homes
  4. Power plants
  5. Telephone lines

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Tele-MANAS

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In news: Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative launched on occasion of World Mental Health Day.

  • Tele-MANAS aims to provide free tele-mental health services all over the country, particularly catering to people in remote or under-served areas.

About:

  • It’s an initiative of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • NIMHANS will be the nodal centre while National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHRSC), IIT Bengaluru and IIITB will provide technology support.
  • The services will be available 24×7 on Toll Free Number– 14416, allowing callers to select the language of choice for availing services.
  • At least One Tele-MANAS Cell to be established in each State/UT.
  • Tele-MANAS will be organised in two tier system; Tier 1 comprises of state Tele-MANAS cells which include trained counsellors and mental health specialists. Tier 2 will comprise of specialists at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio visual consultation.
  • Presently there are 5 regional coordination centres along with 51 State/UT Tele MANAS cells.
  • The initial rollout providing basic support and counselling through centralized Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS) is being customized for use across all States and UTs.
  • Specialised care is being envisioned through the programme by linking Tele-MANAS with other services like National tele-consultation service, e-Sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, mental health professionals, Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres and emergency psychiatric facilities.
  • Eventually, this will include the entire spectrum of mental wellness and illness, and integrate all systems that provide mental health care.

Source:  PIB


The Nord Stream pipelines

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & Technology

In News: The recent Nord Stream explosions in the Baltic took place northeast of Bornholm, a major dumping ground for German chemicals and explosives including mustard gas.

About Mustard Gas:

  • Mustard gas or sulphur mustard is a cytotoxic and blister agent used in warfare which is not actually a gas, but is in the form of a fine mist of liquid droplets
  • Such compounds prevent cellular division, leading to programmed cell death. Alternatively, if cell death is not immediate, the damaged DNA can lead to the development of cancer. Oxidative stress is another pathology involved in mustard gas toxicity.
  • It can form large blisters on exposed skin and in the lungs.
  • Relation with Nord Stream: During the pre-laying works for Nord Stream 1 in the Danish EEZ, four KC 250 mustard gas bombs were discovered.
  • Effects: Mustard gas has burned people in the area including 25 Polish fishermen, and 102 children.
  • The chemicals have severely affected marine life around Bornholm contaminating 196 tonnes of fish

MUST READ: Nord Stream Pipeline

Source:  Down to Earth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to two non-conventional energy sources called ‘coalbed methane’ and ‘shale gas’, consider the following statements:

  1. Coalbed methane is the pure methane gas extracted from coal seams, while shale gas is a mixture of propane and butane only that can be extracted from fine-grained sedimentary rocks.
  2. In India, abundant coalbed methane sources exist, but so far, no shale gas sources have been found.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

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

ASAT weapons

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: India’s anti-satellite (ASAT) test in March 2019 made it the fourth country (after the United States, Russia, and China) to have a demonstrated ASAT capability.

Indian Context:

  • India for decades has had a policy against the Weaponization of space, however India had remained concerned about China’s growing space power since its first successful ASAT test in January 2007.
  • This pushed India to invest in its own capabilities to deter China.
  • Therefore, even states that want to keep their space programmes focused on civilian applications will likely focus on national security considerations under duress.

Concerns:

  • A classic security dilemma where all sides end up worse off –  As long as certain countries believe they have a legitimate security interest in pursuing an ASAT capability, others will find ways to justify it as well.
  • It accentuates regional insecurities rather than diminishing the threats faced by countries.
  • China’s increasing tendency to use force, including potentially in outer space, has increased the vulnerabilities not just for the big powers but for India as well.
  • ASAT weapons and such systems make other states vulnerable.
  • Compared to the Cold War days and the superpower rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, the competition now involves many more countries.
  • Also, given the much larger dependence on space by all major space powers, including for conventional military operations, the temptations for targeting each other’s space assets are that much higher.

Solutions:

  • One fortunate aspect is that ASAT weapons have not been deployed yet by states. They are still in the phase of demonstration of technical feasibility.
  • This provides a narrow window of opportunity to prevent deterrence requirements from driving state policy in outer space.
  • This necessitates urgent multilateral discussions on ways to reduce tensions, enhance openness and transparency.
  • The US decision for a unilateral moratorium on destructive ASAT tests is gaining some interest.
  • Acknowledging the dangers of ASAT weapons and making ASAT tests a prime issue in multilateral arms control discussions.
  • A limited conversation among the four ASAT powers can be a starting point and a step in the right direction.
  • The current Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) under the UN on reducing space threats through norms, rules, and principles of responsible behaviours could be a platform that might generate such commitments.

Indian ASAT:

  • Mission Shakti: On 27 March 2019, India tested an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT).
  • The target of the test was a satellite present in a low Earth orbit, which was hit with a kinetic kill vehicle.
  • India’s ASAT test hit a target satellite at an altitude of 300 kilometres.
  • The ASAT test utilized a modified anti-ballistic missile interceptor code-named Prithvi Defence Vehicle Mark-II which was developed under Project XSV-1.
  • The test made India the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to have tested an ASAT weapon.
  • The test sparked concerns regarding the creation of space debris.

Others:

  • U.S.: In 2008, US Navy fired RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 ABM weapon at a decaying satellite
  • Russia: In 2015, Russia successfully conducted anti-satellite mission known as PL-19 Nudol.
  • China: In 2017, China destroyed a satellite called Fengyun-1C with a kinetic kill warhead

Source: Observer Research Foundation


Neo-Buddhism

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: Every year Dussehra is also celebrated as Ashoka Vijaya Dashami to commemorate Buddhist Conversion Day.

  • On October 14, 1956, Ambedkar embraced Buddhism in a grand ceremony at Nagpur’s Deekshabhoomi, along with more than five lakh followers.
  • The neo-Buddhism adopted by Ambedkar is called Navyana Buddhism.

Navayana Buddhism:

  • To end the inhuman practice of untouchability, in 1935, Ambedkar, as president of the ‘Yeola Conversion Conference’, announced his decision to renounce Hinduism and asked the depressed castes to leave Hinduism entirely.
  • After a detailed contemplation on various religions, Buddhism was chosen as
  • It is rational and progressive
  • It challenged the Brahmanical caste-based social hierarchies
  • It focused on modern ethical values and a scientific temperament and preached peace and compassion for social coexistence
  • He then recited the three jewels (Trisharan), five precepts (Panchsheel), pronounced the self-crafted 22 vows.
  • Under the presence of monk Chandramani, Ambedkar and his wife took the Buddhist vows.
  • The event is marked as the renaissance of Buddhism in India.
  • Navayana Buddhism differs with the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Buddhism.
  • The 22 vows are divided into three major sections.
  • First part – to refuse to worship the Hindu pantheon or to follow Hindu religious dogmas
  • Second – it challenges the authority of the Brahmin priest
  • Third –promises to follow Buddhist principles.

Demographic status of neo-Buddhists in India:

  • The Buddhist population is a mere 0.70%, of which 87% are neo-Buddhists.
  • Further, a large majority of it (around 80%) reside in Maharashtra (5.8% of the total population).
  • However, it is mainly the Mahar caste that primarily converted to Buddhism. Some other converted communities include the Matang castes and some sections of Maratha castes.
  • The rest are traditional Buddhists and are scattered mainly in north-eastern States like Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Tripura, etc.
  • There has been a decline in the growth rate of Buddhists in India in recent years.
  • The neo-Buddhists of Maharashtra have established numerous viharas and meditation centres.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following: (2019)

  1. Deification of the Buddha
  2. Treading the path of Bodhisattvas
  3. Image worship and rituals

Which of the above is/are the feature/ features of Mahayana Buddhism?

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

Q.2) With reference to the religious practices in India, the “Sthanakvasi” sect belongs to (2016):

  1. Buddhism
  2. Jainism
  3. Vaishnavism
  4. Shaivism

Solutions by the people, for the people

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 Economy, GS 2 Governance

Context:

  • Economics is a social science that focuses on the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and analyses the choices that individuals, businesses, governments, and nations make to allocate resources. Economic science determines the way an economy functions.
  • There are debates related to Economic science such as between “Keynesian” economists and “Friedman” economists; between “welfarists” and “monetarists” who want to let an “invisible hand” produce good outcomes for all.
  • Demands to include the needs of ‘People’ in economic policy are becoming louder. The “3P” slogan — People, Planet, and Profit — demands a paradigm shift in economics.

Theories of Economics:

  • In 1776, Adam Smith published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. He observed that in a “commercial society” each individual is driven by self-interest and can exert only a negligible influence on prices. The sum of all individuals’ separate actions, however, is what ultimately determines prices.
  • The “invisible hand” of competition assures a social result that is independent of individual intentions and thus creates the possibility of an objective science of economic behaviour.
  • In 1817, David Ricardo wrote Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Ricardo invented the concept of the economic model—a tightly knit logical apparatus consisting of a few strategic variables—that was capable of yielding, after some manipulation and the addition of a few empirically observable extras, results of enormous practical import.
  • At the heart of the Ricardian system is the notion that economic growth must sooner or later be arrested because of the rising cost of cultivating food on a limited land area.
  • Malthusian principle defined in Essay on Population” (1798) – As the labour force increases, extra food to feed extra mouths can be produced only by extending cultivation to less fertile soil or by applying capital and labour to land already under cultivation—with dwindling results because of the so-called law of diminishing returns.
  • As land prices were increasing, Malthus concluded, the chief beneficiaries of economic progress were the landowners.
  • Karl Marx had espoused a “labour theory of value,” which holds that products exchange roughly in proportion to the labour costs incurred in producing them
  • He added to it “the theory of surplus value,” which rests on the axiom that human labour alone creates all value and hence constitutes the sole source of profits.
  • Value of Labour – it is socially undesirable for some people in the community to derive their income merely from the ownership of property.
  • Keynesian Economics of 1930s: John Maynard Keynes was interested in macroeconomic aggregates i.e., level of national income and the volume of employment.
  • “Demand” in the Keynesian model means the total level of effective demand in the economy, while “Supply” means the country’s capacity to produce.
  • When effective demand falls short of productive capacity, the result is unemployment and depression; conversely, when demand exceeds the capacity to produce, the result if
  • The Keynesian model of effective demand consists essentially of three spending streams: consumption expenditures, investment expenditures, and government expenditures.
  • Milton Friedman earned the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 1976 for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy.
  • Monetarism: A monetary economic theory which focuses on the role governments play in controlling the amount of money in circulation and determines business cycles and inflation.
  • He argued it was monetary policy, and not a failure of free-market capitalism, that led to the Great Depression. Friedman concluded that the Federal Reserve was a main cause of the depression because it curtailed the money supply by over a third between 1929 and 1933. This contraction caused a crash that extended into a depression.

Need for a shift:

  • In 1972, far-sighted thinkers showed that pursuit of GDP growth was destroying the earth’s capacity to renew itself and provide resources for unbridled economic growth.
  • They introduced the health of the planet into calculations of profit and growth.
  • Meanwhile, economists continue to treat the natural environment as external to the economy. Pleas by communities to protect it are dismissed as impediments to “ease of doing business” and GDP growth.
  • Needs of citizens who earn their livelihoods by work, not investments of money, were relegated in national economic policies wherever the “Thatcher-Reagan-Chicago” model of neo-liberal economics prevailed.
  • The 2008 global financial crisis revealed the fragility of insufficiently regulated markets. Governments of the G7 (later G20) collaborated to stabilise the financial system. They bailed out the “too large to fail” institutions while millions of common citizens, who lost homes and livelihoods, were barely compensated.
  • In fact, some solutions to stabilise the global financial system, such as the austerity package imposed on Greece, harmed common citizens even further.
  • While the ideology of “minimum government”, with balanced budgets and low inflation has continued, waves of protest have erupted around the world.

Out of box economics – A new approach:

  • An outline of five systemic solutions for simultaneously improving People, Planet, and Profit is provided in Earth for All: A Survival Guide for Humanity.
  • They do not model the economy as a closed system as macro-economists do. Rather, their ‘whole system’ model includes feedback loops between the economy, the natural environment, and social systems.
  • Five tracks for their solutions are: ending poverty; addressing gross inequality; empowering women; making food systems healthy for people and ecosystems; and transitioning to clean energy.
  • The report projects outcomes in two forms – if the present pattern of solutions continues versus systemic change in approach. The present path is called “Too Little Too Late”; the other, “Big Leap”.
  • Business as usual for present gains will lead to environmental and societal collapse later this century.
  •  “Big Leap” evolves a more equitable distribution of economic wealth and social power; it avoids a need for disruptive political revolutions. It advocates equitable access to technologies, and in the ways the technologies are incorporated by local actors into solutions fitting their own contexts.
  • The model forecasts that by 2050, on its present trajectory, India will be the most unequal society in the world. Mistrust in institutions:
  • Two novelties in the model are the Social Tension Index and the Average Well-Being Index.
  • Social Tension Index: If social tensions rise too far due to policies related to income redistribution, societies may enter a vicious cycle where declining trust causes political destabilization, economies stagnate, and well-being declines. In that situation, governments will struggle to deal with rolling shocks let alone long-term existential challenges like pandemic risk, climate change, or ecological challenge.
  • Effect: Disillusionment with democratic institutions is increasing in light of social tensions. Authoritarian governments are coming to power in many countries, often supported by citizens, as alternatives.

Suggestions:

  • People are not just numbers, nor merely resources for the economy.
  • On the economic front, recoupling monetary policy with fiscal policy is necessary but insufficient.
  • GDP must also be recoupled with nature and society.
  • From a vertical process of experts at the top trying to understand complex systems through numbers and then imposing solutions on the people, to a lateral process of problem solving by deliberations amongst diverse disciplines and dialogue amongst experts and citizens.

Way forward:

  • The socio-political world will break into more fragments before the planet becomes too hot because of the ways in which solutions are being found to global problems is unfair.
  • Voices of less powerful people are not listened to.
  • Policy-making at all levels has to become more inclusive and less dominated by the powerful and the wealthy, while a paradigm shift is needed in problem solving at global and national levels.

Source: The Hindu


Mineral Supply Chains

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography and Economy
  • Mains – GS 1 (Geography) and GS 3 (Economy)

Context: In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister of India  exhorted the country to pursue Atmanirbharta in energy by focusing on clean energy technologies. Concerns over the pricing and availability of oil and gas in the wake of the Ukraine crisis continue to fuel global policy debates on energy security.

  • However, the fragility of clean energy supply chains obscures pathways for countries to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Securing access to key minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and rare earth metals is critical for building resilient and indigenous supply chains for clean energy technologies.

About Rare Earth Metals:

  • They are a set of 17 metallic elements including the fifteen lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium that show similar physical and chemical properties to the lanthanides.
  • They are called ‘rare earth’ because earlier it was difficult to extract them from their oxides forms technologically. They occur in many minerals but typically in low concentrations to be refined in an economical manner.
  • The 17 Rare Earth Metals are cerium (Ce), dysprosium (Dy), erbium (Er), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), holmium (Ho), lanthanum (La), lutetium (Lu), neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm), scandium (Sc), terbium (Tb), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), and yttrium (Y).
  • These minerals have unique magnetic, luminescent, and electrochemical properties and thus are used in many modern technologies, including consumer electronics, computers and networks, communications, health care, national defense, etc.

A Challenging task ahead:

  • Imported inflationary pressures through exposure to volatile oil and gas markets also pose risks to macroeconomic growth and stability, particularly for India, import-dependent for around 85% of its oil and half of its gas needs.
  • We face several challenges in being self-reliant on key minerals and REM:
    • Reserves are often concentrated in regions that are geopolitically sensitive or fare poorly from an ease of doing business perspective.
    • A portion of existing production is controlled by geostrategic competitors.
    • For example, China wields considerable influence in cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo through direct equity investments and its Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Future mine production is often tied up in offtake agreements, in advance, by buyers from other countries to cater to upcoming demand.
  • As a first step towards the sourcing of strategic minerals, the Indian government established Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) in 2019 with the mandate to secure mineral supply for the domestic market.
    • Based on a CEEW study, here are suggestions that policymakers could consider to further this objective.

Future Prospects:

  • First, figure out the mineral requirements of the domestic industry.
    • This could best be accomplished by a task force which includes the ministries of power, new and renewable energy, heavy industry, and science and technology.
    • Further, assess the technology mix that would support this deployment. On this basis, determine the quantities of minerals necessary to support indigenous manufacturing.
  • Second, coordinate with the domestic industry to determine where strategic interventions by the government would be necessary for the purpose.
    • KABIL could collaborate with industry to bolster its market intelligence capabilities for tracking global supply-side developments.
  • Third, if conducive investments opportunities don’t exist, KABIL should pre-emptively sign offtake agreements with global mineral suppliers to secure future production.
    • It could aggregate a reliable supply of minerals for domestic requirements and sign back-to-back sales agreements with the domestic industry.
  • Fourth, the government should jointly invest in mining assets with geostrategic partners. KABIL should make equity investments in mining jurisdictions that private sector investors may deem too risky.
    • It should leverage government-to-government partnerships to mitigate investment risks. This could be done through joint investments with sovereign entities from geostrategic partners or private sector entities with expertise in specific geographies.
    • The External Affairs Ministry could initiate conversations with partner countries. Establishing resilient clean energy supply chains is a priority for the Quad, for instance.
  • Fifth, support technologies that utilise domestically available materials. The deployment of technologies such as sodium-ion batteries could reduce requirements for sourcing minerals from beyond India’s borders.
    • While the current performance-linked incentive scheme on batteries is technologically agnostic, India could consider creating a tranche of capital to incentivise investments in technologies that rely on local raw materials.

Way Forward:

  • Apart from above suggestions, developing policies on urban mining aimed at recycling mineral inputs from deployments that have completed their useful life could help further reduce dependence on international sourcing.
  • Besides Ukraine, other potential geopolitical flashpoints also exist against a backdrop of dwindling multilateral cooperation. India must act immediately and decisively to mitigate these risks to its energy security.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the management of minor minerals in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.
  2. State Governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the Central Government.
  3. State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

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

China’s Poverty lessons for India

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Syllabus

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

Context:  According to a new World Bank report, titled “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course“ that economic upheavals brought on by Covid-19 and later the war in Ukraine” had produced “an outright reversal” in poverty reduction across the planet.

  • The pace of poverty reduction had been slowing down anyway since 2015 but the pandemic and war have caused an outright reversal. So much so that the “world is unlikely to meet the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

How can poverty be measured?

  • The World Bank (WB) defines extreme poverty by particular consumption level. This is called the poverty line and it is pegged at US$2.15.
  • In other words, anyone living on less than $2.15 a day is considered to be living in extreme poverty. About 648 million people globally were in this situation in 2019.
  • PPP equivalent of $2.15 is the number of Indian rupees an Indian would need to buy the same basket of goods in India that an American can buy with $2.15 in the US.

What has the World Bank stated about India’s poverty levels?

  • According to the WB, India is the country with the highest number of poor people.
  • World Bank used the data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), it found that the number of people living in abject poverty increased by 56 million (5.6 crore) in 2020. That’s almost 80% of the total 70 million the world over that the World Bank estimates to have been pushed into poverty in 2020.
  • According to the Bank, close to 600 million Indians survive at less than $3.65 (Rs 84) a day level of expenditure.

What did China achieve?

  • Intending to provide lessons to other developing countries, the World Bank and China’s Ministry of Finance undertook a study in 2019 to understand what China achieved and how it did it. This study was finally published earlier this year.
  • The World Bank found that between 1978 and 2019, China’s poverty headcount dropped from 770 million to 5.5 million people. In other words, China lifted 765 million (76.5 crore) people from extreme poverty in the past four decades
  • It means, on average, every year China pulled 19 million (1.9 crore) poor people out of extreme poverty for the past 40 years. In doing so, China accounted for almost 75 per cent of the global reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty during this period.
  • In 2021, China declared that it has eradicated extreme poverty according to the national poverty threshold, lifting 765 million people out of poverty since 1978, and that it has built a “moderately prosperous society in all respects.”
  • Decades of progress in China are also reflected in substantial improvements in other measures of well-being.
  • Life expectancy at birth went from 66 years in 1978 to 77 years by 2019, and the infant mortality rate dropped from 52 in 1978 to 6.8 per thousand infants in 2019.
  • Education achievements in China were also relatively higher than in its peers before 1978 and progressed further since, as the country universalised basic and secondary education.
  • Taken together, improvements in health, education, and income over the four decades are reflected in China’s rising position in the Human Development Index from 106 (out of 144 countries) in 1990 to 85 (out of 189 countries) in 2019, and the narrowing of the gaps with other large developing countries

How did China do it?

The main conclusion is that China’s poverty reduction success relied mainly on .

  • The first pillar was rapid economic growth, supported by broad-based economic transformation, which provided new economic opportunities for the poor and raised average incomes
  • The report states that China’s poverty reduction story is primarily a growth story. But rapid and sustained economic growth was accompanied by a broad-based economic transformation.
  • In other words, reforms began in the agricultural sector, where poor people could benefit directly from improvements in productivity associated with the introduction of market incentives.
  • Some other areas which led to poverty reduction
    • The development of low-skilled,
    • labour-intensive industries provided a source of employment for workers released from agriculture.
    • Urbanization helped migrants take advantage of the new opportunities in the cities and
    • migrant transfers boosted incomes of their relatives remaining in the villages.
    • Public investment in infrastructure improved living conditions in rural areas but also connected them with urban and export markets,”
  • A crucial point to note here from India’s perspective is that reforms were gradual. Reforms in all these areas were incremental, which may have helped businesses and the population adjust to the rapid pace of change.
  • The second pillar was government policies to alleviate persistent poverty, which initially targeted areas disadvantaged by geography and a lack of economic opportunities, but subsequently focused on poor households, irrespective of their location.
  • Effective governance, which was key to the successful implementation of the growth strategy as well as the evolving set of targeted poverty reduction policies.
  • China also benefited from some favourable initial conditions at the time of opening up, such as a relatively high level of human capital which is widely recognised as a critical input for the population to rapidly benefit from new economic opportunities once market reforms set in.

Way Forward:

  • Therefore, India can also adopt mentioned areas of improvements while learning form the steps taken by China in order to reduce poverty, However Indian government need to modify these initiative as per the requirement of India.
  • It will help in poverty reduction which will represent a better picture of inclusive India which will be free from hunger, poverty and malnutrition.

 Source:  Indian Express


Address Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health

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Syllabus

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

Context: The Lancet recently released a new report calling for radical action to end stigma and discrimination in mental health. The World Mental Health Day was also celebrated on October 10th.

About new Lancet Commission:

  • It is a grouping of over 50 contributors across the world, including people, academics, policymakers with lived experience of mental health.

Highlights of the report:

  • The report indicated that 90% of people living with mental health conditions feel negatively impacted by stigma and discrimination.
  • Further, 80% said stigma and discrimination can be worse than the condition itself.
  • Additionally, 90% of those surveyed felt that media could play a major role in reducing stigma.
  • On ‘stigma’ associated with mental health:
    • As per the commission, stigma can cause social exclusion and disempowerment of people with mental health conditions leading to discrimination and human rights violations, including problems in accessing healthcare, challenges in securing employment, and increased likelihood of health complications leading to early death.
    • Women with a diagnosis of severe mental disorder and their family members do face more stigma which has ramifications for marriage and employment preventing social inclusion.

Report recommendations:

  • Putting the involvement or participation of people with mental illness at the centre of the matrix, the commission has urged governments, international organisations, schools, employers, healthcare, civil society and media to act immediately.
  • For instance, it has been recommended that all countries take action to decriminalise suicide, therefore reducing the stigma around suicide and leading to fewer occurrences.

Determinants of Mental Health:

  • Multiple social, psychological, and biological factors determine the level of mental health of a person at any point of time.
  • For example, violence and persistent socio-economic pressures are recognized risks to mental health. The clearest evidence is associated with sexual violence.
  • Poor mental health is also associated with: rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill-health and human rights violations.
  • There are specific psychological and personality factors that make people vulnerable to mental health problems. Biological risks include genetic factors.

Status of mental health in India:

  • WHO estimates that about 7.5 percent of Indians suffer from some mental disorder and predicts that by the end of this year roughly 20 percent of India will suffer from mental illnesses.
  • WHO states that there is a huge shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists in India.
  • According to the numbers, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. India also accounts for 36.6 percent of suicides globally.
  • A report published in The Lancet Psychiatry in February 2020 indicates that in 2017, there were 197.3 million people with mental disorders in India.

Various Government of India Initiatives:

Constitution and Legal Provisions:

  • Article 21: The right to a dignified life extends to the right to seek Mental Health care.
  • Article 47: Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982:

  • To ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all in the foreseeable future, particularly to the most vulnerable and underprivileged sections of the population.

Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:

  • It was passed in 2017, came into effect in May 2018 and replaced the Mental Health Act of 1987.
  • To the joy of most Indian medical practitioners and advocates of mental health, the act decriminalised suicide attempts in India.
  • It also included WHO guidelines in the categorisation of mental illnesses.
  • The most significant provision in the act was “advanced directives”, which allowed individuals with mental illnesses to decide the course of their treatment and also appoint someone to be their representative.
  • It also restricted the use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), and banned its use on minors, finally introducing measures to tackle stigma in Indian society.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017:

  • The Act acknowledges mental illness as a disability and seeks to enhance the Rights and Entitlements of the Disabled and provide an effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and inclusion in society

Mano Darpan Initiative:

  • An initiative under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan aims to provide psycho-social support to students for their mental health and well-being.

Kiran Helpline:

  • The helpline is a giant step towards suicide prevention and can help with support and crisis management.
  • The helpline aims to provide early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental well-being, and psychological crisis management and will be managed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).

SAATHI:

  • It is a South-Asian Mental Health Outreach Program of ASHA International that aims to:
  • Promote awareness about mental health and emotional wellbeing Improve access to care.

Way Forward:

  • There is a need for more promotive programs & campaigns on mental health.
  • The government should press more on allocating more funds in Mental Health Organisations.

Source: The Hindu


Baba’s Explainer – Publishers Vs Google

Publishers Vs Google

Syllabus

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

Context: There are allegations and concerns raised across the globe that big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, have exploited, entrenched and expanded their power over digital markets in anti-competitive and abusive ways.

  • Also, due to their metastatic growth, they now have a vast influence on politics, policy and personal reputations across the spectrum, making cost of data privacy breaches by these firms catastrophic.

Read Complete Details on Publishers Vs Google


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Tele-MANAS is an online auction portal to allocate spectrum for 5G services in India.
  2. Tele-MANAS is under the charge of Department of Telecommunication.

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

Q.2) The term ‘ASAT’ is talked about in the context of

  1. India’s own satellite navigation system
  2. Communication satellites
  3. Deployment of a kinetic kill vehicle
  4. Development of an astronomical observatory

Q.3) Consider the following metallic minerals:

  1. Lanthanum (La)
  2. Promethium (Pm)
  3. Gadolinium (Gd)

which of the above minerals are rare earth metals?

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’11th October 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 10th October – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) –  a

Q.2) – d 

Q.3) – c

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