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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th October 2022

  • IASbaba
  • October 19, 2022
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Six spider species discovered

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: Arachnologists from the Centre for Animal Taxonomy and Ecology (CATE), Christ College, Irinjalakuda, have discovered six new species of spiders from across the country.

About discovered species:

Siamspinops garoensis:

  • It is the first spotting of the genus Siamspinops from India.
  • It belongs to the family of flat spiders, Selenopidae.
  • The species is endemic to Garo hills in Meghalaya.

Afraflacilla miajlarensis:

  • It is part of family of jumping spiders Salticidae.
  • It was discovered from the Thar desert of Rajasthan.
  • It is characterised by white fine hairs on a black head and black horizontal lines on the abdomen.

Afraflacilla kurichiadensis:

  • It is part of family of jumping spiders Salticidae.
  • It was discovered from the Kurichiyad forest ranges of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • This species is characterised by red patches around the eyes and white hairs on the abdomen.

Philoponella rostralis:

  • This spider species lacks a venom gland and is characterised by a beak like structure on the male reproductive organ.
  • It belongs to the family of feather- legged spiders (Uloboridae).
  • This spider makes a special type of web under the leaves, and it can subdue the prey with the help of woolly silk produced from their cribellum (additional silk producing organ in front of the spinnerets).

Oxyopes peetham:

  • This species is characterised by a yellowish body.
  • It has been discovered from the Thumboormuzhi butterfly garden, near the Athirappilly waterfalls in Kerala.

Oxyopes thumboormuzhiensis:

  • The members of this family are commonly known as lynx spiders because of their lynx-like feeding behaviour.
  • It has been discovered from the Thumboormuzhi butterfly garden, near the Athirappilly waterfalls in Kerala.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following kinds of organisms:

  1. Copepods
  2. Cyanobacteria
  3. Diatoms
  4. Foraminifera

Which of the above are primary producers in the food chains of oceans?  (2021)

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

Compressed Bio Gas (CBG)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

Context: Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs inaugurated Asia’s largest Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) plant in Lehragaga, Sangrur, Punjab.

  • The Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) plant inaugurated in Sangrur is a step in achieving objectives of the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme.
  • This scheme was launched by Government of India in October 2018 to establish an ecosystem for production of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) from various waste/ biomass sources in the country.
  • The scheme aims to empower and unleash the rural economy by supporting farmers, increase India’s domestic energy production and self-sufficiency and also reduce the air pollution, and help India lead the world toward a clean energy transition.

What is Compressed Bio Gas (CBG)?

  • Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) means the mixture of hydrocarbon gases and vapours consisting mainly of Methane in gaseous form, which has been produced by the decomposition of animal and plant waste, purified and compressed for use as an automotive fuel and industrial application.
  • Biogas can be compressed after removal of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, the same way as natural gas is compressed to CNG, and used to power motor vehicles.
  • Irrespective of technology, producing CBG from biomass involves a two-pronged approach:
    • Biogas is produced through anaerobic decomposition of biomass.
    • Since biogas contains 55 to 60 per cent methane, 40 to 45 per cent carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace amounts of hydrogen sulphide.
    • The second process involves purifying the gas to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gases to prepare CBG.
  • Chemically, CBG is the same as CNG — both are compressed methane — and has the same calorific value.
  • The difference is that while CNG is a by-product of petroleum, CBG can be produced from any biomass.
  • This makes CBG a commercially viable option as it can be directly used to replace CNG in transportation fuel.
  • Just like CNG, CBG too can be transported through cylinders or pipelines to retail outlets.
  • Its solid by-products can be used as bio-manure.
    • It is a rich source of silica that not only aids in the growth and yield of crops but also bestows immunity against many diseases and prevents toxic material uptake by plants such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals.
    • It can thus help reduce the requirement of chemical fertilisers.
  • The other by-product is CO2.
    • It can be tapped while purifying the biogas and used to produce liquid or solid CO2, which have high demand for food preservation or to be used in fire extinguishers.
  • CBG and its by-products hold the chance for a circular economic growth.

Source: PIB

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following statements best describes the term ‘Social Cost of Carbon’?   It is a measure, in monetary value, of the  (2020)

  1. long-term damage done by a tonne of CO2, emissions in a given year
  2. requirement of fossil fuels for a country to provide goods and services to its citizens, based on the burning of those fuels
  3. efforts put in by a climate refugee to adapt to live in a new place
  4. contribution of an individual person to the carbon footprint on the planet Earth

Revenue Police System

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The demand to replace the ‘Revenue Police’ system in Uttarakhand has once again gained ground in the wake of the murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari.

About the Revenue Police system:

  • The system of revenue police was brought by the British over a century ago when crime in the hilly areas was low.
  • The motive was to save money and resources by not deploying regular police.
  • Under the unique revenue police system, civil officials of the revenue department have the powers and functions of the regular police.
  • Whenever a crime takes place, the revenue police of the area files an FIR, investigates the case, arrests the accused and also files a chargesheet in the local court.
  • In case of heinous crimes like murder, rape, or crimes against Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the case is transferred to the regular police.

Scenario in Other states:

  • In other states, the core function of revenue officials is to maintain land, cultivation and revenue records of villages, and collect revenues on behalf of the government.
  • The revenue officials like patwari and kanungo compile data on crop production, perform election-related duties, and collect census and literacy data.
  • They are also given the duty of implementing government schemes and preparing birth, death, and caste certificates.

Source:Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to India, consider the following statements:

  1. Judicial custody means an accused is in the custody of the concerned magistrate and such accused is locked up in police station, not in jail.
  2. During judicial custody, the police officer in charge of the case is not allowed to interrogate the suspect without the approval of the court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?      (2021)

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

Q.2) With reference to India, consider the following statements:

  1. When a prisoner makes out a sufficient case, parole cannot be denied to such prisoner because it becomes a matter of his/her right.
  2. State Governments have their own Prisoners Release on Parole Rules.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?       (2021)

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

Polio eradication

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In news: Global leaders committed to donating $2.54 billion (or Rs 19 crore) for eradicating polio at the World Health Summit.

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $1.2 billion to the largest international public health initiative, Global Polio Eradication Initiative  (GPEI).

About:

  • Wild poliovirus is endemic in just two countries — Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • However, there has been new detections of polio this year in previously polio-free countries like the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom and southeast Africa.
  • The funding will support vaccinating 370 million children annually over the next five years and continue disease surveillance across 50 countries.
  • It also includes roll-out of the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) to stop outbreaks of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV) more sustainably.
  • Additionally, outbreaks of cVDPV, variants of the poliovirus can emerge in places where not enough people have been immunized.

Significance:

  • If fully funded, the strategy can save up to $33.1 billion in health cost savings this century compared to the price of controlling outbreaks.
  • It would also be able to deliver additional health services and immunizations alongside polio vaccines to underserved communities.

About World Health Summit:

  • World Health Summit is an international health conference held annually in Berlin, Germany.
  • It was founded in 2009 and is traditionally held under the patronage of the German Chancellor, the French President, the President of the European Commission, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Aim: to bring together stakeholders from politics, science, the private sector, and civil society from around the world to set the agenda for a healthier future by inspiring innovative solutions for better health and well-being for all.

About Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI):

  • It is a public-private partnership led by national governments with six partners
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Rotary International
  • the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gavi, the vaccine alliance.
  • Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

MUST READ: Polio disease

Source: Down to Earth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following diseases (2014)

  1. Diphtheria
  2. Chickenpox
  3. Smallpox

Which of the above diseases has/have been eradicated in India?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None

Commodity fetishism

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy

About:

  • It is a Marxist theory, introduced by Karl Marx in his book ‘Das Kapital’, that explains how inanimate objects under capitalism, get alienated from the labour and production process and achieve fantastical powers.
  • The term describes how the social relationships of production and exchange among people take the form of relationships between things (money and commodities) under capitalism.
  • In modern society, this is further accentuated by the use of brand names over quality or use-value of the product.
  • The term fetishism in anthropology refers to the belief among indigenous cultures of inanimate objects (such as totems) possessing godly or mystical powers.
  • Marx separates the religious connotation of the term and uses it to understand how commodities possess mystical powers once in the market as it severs ties with the production process.

The value of a commodity:

  • The concept explains that a commodity has different values.
  • In its physical state, an object has a purpose or utility i.e. the use value.
  • Since the production of an object requires the labour of producers, the value of the labour adds to the value of the object.
  • Finally, when the object reaches the market, it has an exchange value which is the monetary value attached to the product.
  • As long as an object is attached to its use-value, it remains an ordinary thing. But when it comes to the market as a commodity, it attains fantastical powers and mystical features.

Social relations under capitalism:

  • Under capitalism, the social relations and the production process become invisible to the consumer as it is a private process.
  • An object’s potential is realised only when it is exchanged as a commodity in the market (a place where it becomes social),
  • Hence, the interaction between individuals is replaced by the interaction between commodity and money and the commodity is devoid of any signs of labour put into its creation.
  • Compared to feudal society which was based on the relations of personal dependence, labour was visible in all events and not an abstract universal equivalent that was transacted.
  • Consumerism and brand fetishism: In modern society, consumption has become a status symbol. Commodities are associated with Godly figures or celebrities, removing any trace of social relations of labour attached to them, making them desirable as an object of envy among consumers.

Concerns:

  • In a consumerist society, the process of production and the exploitation of labour and labourers are forgotten and replaced by the brand and the price tag of the product, causing alienation of labour.
  • The workers cannot take pride in their products as they become invisible and are alienated from the commodity.
  • In capitalist society, though the value of a product is dependent on the exploitation of human labour, market forces gain precedence and consumers are made to believe that commodities exist independent of individuals.
  • Consequently, consumers are oblivious to the concept of wage theft and exploitation of labour, or the physical and psychological hardship of the people involved in the production process.

Source: The Hindu


Booker Prize

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka has won the Booker Prize for his novel ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

  • Karunatilaka became only the second Sri Lankan born to win the prestigious prize.

About:

  • The book is about a photographer who wakes up dead, with a week to ask his friends to find his photos and expose the brutality of war.
  • It is “a ghost story where the dead could offer their perspective”, based on the Sri Lankan civil war.
  • He has expressed hope that his crisis-hit country will soon learn from its stories and understand that the ideas of corruption, race baiting and cronyism have not worked and will never work.

Booker Prize:

  • It is a literary prize awarded each year for the best novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
  • A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with anticipation and fanfare and the winner receives international publicity which usually leads to a sales boost.
  • A sister prize, the International Booker Prize, is awarded for a book translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
  • The prize money constitutes £50,000 and in case of translations, the same is split evenly between the author and translator of the winning novel

Source: The Hindu Businessline


Green Crackers

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: According to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), green crackers are permitted only in cities and towns where air quality is moderate or poor.

About:

  • Green crackers are developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Both green crackers and traditional crackers cause pollution.
  • However, green crackers cause 30 per cent less air pollution as compared to traditional ones.
  • Green crackers reduce emissions substantially and absorb dust and don’t contain hazardous elements like barium nitrate.
  • They are made with reduction in size of shell, elimination of ash usage, reduced usage of raw materials and uniform acceptable quality which leads to reduction of particulate matter and gaseous emission is why green crackers are being preferred.
  • Toxic metals in traditional crackers are replaced with less hazardous compounds.
  • There is reduction in sound as well in green crackers.

Identification of green crackers:

  • Green crackers fall only in these three categories- SWAS, SAFAL and STAR
  •  SWAS is “safe water releaser” and has a small water pocket/droplet which get released when burst, in the form of vapour, thereby suppressing the dust released and does not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur.
  • STAR is the safe thermite cracker, which does not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur, emits reduced particulate matter disposal and reduced sound intensity.
  • SAFAL is safe minimal aluminium which has minimum usage of aluminium, and used magnesium instead. It ensures reduction in sound in comparison to traditional crackers.
  • It is suggested not to buy green crackers from street vendors and only from licensed sellers.
  • The identification of green crackers can be done through the CSIR NEERI logo. The scanner may be downloaded using the CSIR NEERI green QR code app from Google Play store.

Toxic metals released by traditional crackers:

  • White colour emitted through crackers is aluminium, magnesium and titanium,
  • Orange colour is carbon or iron.
  • Yellow agents are sodium compounds
  • Blue and red are copper compounds and strontium carbonates
  • Green agent is barium mono chloride salts or barium nitrate or barium chlorate.

Concerns:

  • Lead in crackers impact the nervous system
  • Copper triggers respiratory tract irritation
  • Sodium causes skin issues
  • Magnesium leads to mental fume fever
  • Cadmium causes anaemia and damages the kidney
  • Nitrate is the most harmful that causes mental impairment. The presence of nitrite causes irritation in mucous membrane, eyes and skin.
  • The most vulnerable population though are infants, children, pregnant women, elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.

Source: Indian Express


Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme

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Syllabus

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

Context: Recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised India’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme as a “logistical marvel” that has reached hundreds of millions of people and specifically benefitted women, the elderly and farmer.

  • Earlier this month, President of the World Bank Group, had also urged other nations to adopt India’s move of targeted cash transfer instead of broad subsidies noting that “India managed to provide food or cash support to a remarkable 85 per cent of rural households and 69 per cent of urban households”.

History of government’s benefit transfer:

  • During mid-1980s there was leakages in India’s public welfare schemes reflected a feeling of helplessness at the highest levels in dealing with this gnawing problem.
  • It led to wastage of public money and also exclusive of beneficiaries which lead to promotion of corruption.

The current era of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT):

  • India has come a long way since then, especially in the last eight years, primarily on account of the aggressive rollout of the DBT programme that transfers subsidies and cash benefits directly to beneficiaries through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts
  • This has been made possible by the inclusive financial sector system where the most marginalised sections of society have been uniquely linked to the formal financial network.

The building block (Pre-requisite conditions) to adopt DBT:

  • The complex and multi-layered governance machinery — its diversity, access barriers, and digital divide restrict the implementation of novel scheme unless the building blocks are effectively addressed.
  • DBT alone would not have been able to address the size and scale of the problem of sub-optimal service delivery under government machinery.
  • An ambitious vision, holistic approach and a multi-pronged strategy enabled the DBT ecosystem to deliver impact at a phenomenal scale — the accomplishment that has been acknowledged by the IMF and World Bank.
  • In 2014, the Government of India embarked on an ambitious and well-structured financial inclusion programme with the aim of including all households within the fold of the formal financial network.
  • In a mission-mode approach, it endeavoured to open bank accounts for all households, expanded Aadhaar to all, and scaled up the coverage of banking and telecom services.
  • It evolved the Public Finance Management System and created the Aadhaar Payment Bridge to enable instant money transfers from the government to people’s bank accounts
  • The Aadhaar-enabled Payment System and Unified Payment Interface further expanded interoperability and private-sector participation.
  • This approach not only allowed all rural and urban households to be uniquely linked under varied government schemes for receiving subsidies directly into their bank accounts but also transferred money with ease.

Current status of DBT and its advantages:

  • By 2022, more than 135 crore Aadhaar’s have been generated, there are 47 crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, 6.5 lakh Bank Mitras delivering branchless banking services and mobile subscribers number more than 120 crore.
  • Riding on this network, the DBT programme has reached commanding heights towards achieving the government’s vision of “sabka Vikas”.
  • Becoming the major plank of the government’s agenda of inclusive growth, it has 318 schemes of 53 central ministries spanning across sectors, welfare goals and the vast geography of the country.
  • The DBT scheme that began as a pilot in 2013-14 could not have achieved the size and scale it has today without the government’s financial inclusion programme, which helped
    • Eliminated leakages in welfare schemes
    • Excluded fake or ghost beneficiaries and
    • transfer funds to genuine beneficiaries.
  • This ensured significant savings to the exchequer and enabled efficient utilisation of government funds.

 DBT related scheme beneficiaries in Rural and Urban India:

  • In rural Bharat, DBT has allowed the government to provide financial assistance effectively and transparently to farmers with lower transaction costs –
    • be it for fertilisers or any of the other schemes including the
    • PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, and PM Krishi Synchayee Yojana
  • Thus, becoming the backbone for supporting the growth of the agricultural economy. The benefits received under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Public Distribution System drive the rural demand-supply chain
  • In urban India, the PM Awas Yojana and LPG Pahal scheme successfully use DBT to transfer funds to eligible beneficiaries
  • Various scholarship schemes and the National Social Assistance Programme use the DBT architecture to provide social security.
  • DBT under rehabilitation programmes such as the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers opens new frontiers that enable social mobility of all sections of society.

Role of DBT during the Pandemic:

  • The efficacy and robustness of the DBT network were witnessed during the pandemic.
  • It aided the government to reach the last mile and support the most deprived in bearing the brunt of the lockdown.
  • From free rations to nearly 80 crore people under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, fund transfers to all women Jan Dhan account holders and support to small vendors under PM-SVANidhi,
  • DBT helped the vulnerable to withstand the shock of the pandemic.

 Way Forward:

  • An enabling policy regime, proactive government initiatives and supportive regulatory administration allowed the private and public sector entities in the financial sector to overcome longstanding challenges of exclusion of a large part of the population.
  • These are essential which helped in rollout of the ambitious DBT programme, achieving impressive scale in a short span of six years.
  • Going forward, the DBT approach is expected to expand further in size and structure as it continues to be the major tool of the government for a more nuanced and targeted intervention towards improving the ease of living.

However, digital and financial literacy, robust grievance redressal, enhancing awareness and an empowering innovation system are some of the aspects that would require continued focus. This would play a vital role for India in meeting the diverse needs of its population and ensuring balanced, equitable and inclusive growth.

Source:  Indian Express


IN-SPACe

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Science and Technology)

Context: IN-SPACe, the government body for dealing with the private sector space industry, has received 125 proposals from start-ups since last June.

IN–SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre):

  • To facilitate private sector participation, the government has created the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), in June 2020, as a single-window, independent, nodal agency which functions as an autonomous agency in Department of Space (DOS).
  • Established as a single window agency for all space sector activities of private entities, IN-SPACe plays an important role in boosting the private space sector economy in India.
  • IN-SPACe, is responsible to promote, enable authorize and supervise various space activities of the NGEs (Non-Governmental Entities) that include, among others, the building of launch vehicles & satellites and providing space-based services; sharing of space infrastructure and premises under the control of DOS/ISRO; and establishment of new space infrastructure and facilities.
  • It is meant to act as “the agency to promote, handhold and authorise private sector activities in the sector, besides enabling sharing of technical facilities and expertise from ISRO”.
  • In-SPACe had signed MoUs with 13 such start-ups and would soon sign with four more. In-SPACe planned to open incubation centres in India, which would help start-ups access funds and legal advice.

Space industry in India:

  • India’s space programme is one of the most well-developed in the world and is driven by a state-owned agency—the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The global space industry in 2021 was valued at $469 billion, (set to grow to $1 trillion by 2040), but India’s share was only 2 per cent ($10 billion).
  • Currently, India constitutes 2-3% of the global space economy and is expected to enhance its share to >10% by 2030 at a CAGR of 48%.
  • In the global space market, rocket and satellite launch services—an area in which ISRO specialises—amount to only 5% share. This segment requires robust infrastructure and heavy investments. Satellite-based services and ground-based systems account for the remaining 95%.
  • At present, the government drives a certain level of participation by the Indian private sector, primarily in the rocket and satellite launch services segment.
    • However, enhanced private sector participation will be necessary to penetrate satellite-based services and ground-based system segments.

Private startups in Indian Space Industry:

  • Indian Space Association (ISpA), an association of Indian space companies, said that there were 102 space start-ups in India.
  • Several Indian startups have started their operations. Some of the startups include:
  • Digantara: It is an Indian private company working to secure long-term space flight safety by developing space debris tracking and monitoring services.
  • Bellatrix Aerospace: Headquartered in Bangalore, it is an Indian private aerospace manufacturer and small satellite company.
  • Tathya Earth: The company leverages deep learning algorithms for satellite imagery and maritime data to identify important real-time trends in the global economy.
  • Skyroot, another Startup founded by two former ISRO scientists. The company is building “Vikram” rockets from scratch, which are the first brand of rockets made by the private sector in India.
  • Agnikul Cosmos, a Startup founded by two 21-year-old college students became the world’s first company to successfully test a 3D-sprinted rocket engine, which is a new and upcoming tech in the space industry and is predicted to replace conventional assembly models.
  • For the Indian space industry to grow and have many SpaceX-like companies, it has to meet only a key challenge — an assured market. All along the Indian space industry had two players — the government as a provider of demand and ISRO as the supplier of space services— but now, with the private sector getting into both demand and supply, the market is uncertain.

Significance of private player involvement in space sector:

  • Their involvement will allow ISRO to focus more on new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme like NASA.
  • Private sector participation will open a new pool of resources and talent.
  • Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to the private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.
  • Allowing industries and others like students, researchers or academic bodies greater access to space assets would lead to a much better utilisation of India space resources.
  • It will enable Indian Industry to be an important player in the global space economy. With this, there is an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a Global technology powerhouse.

Restricting space activities to ISRO, limits proper utilisation of talent all over the country. With demographic dividend, private sector participation can exploit the talent across the nation contributing a lot to space explorations in India.

Government step to inclusion of private player in space industry:

Several steps have been initiated towards opening the space sector for private entities in a phased manner. like:

New Space India Limited:

  • New Space India Limited (NSIL), incorporated in March 2019 (under the Companies Act, 2013) is a wholly owned Government of India company, under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS).
  • NSIL is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the primary responsibility of enabling Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities and is also responsible for promotion and commercial exploitation of the products and services emanating from the Indian space programme.

Draft National Space Policy 2020:

  • The Draft National Space Policy 2020 was thus unveiled with the aim to increase public-private partnerships in space research and exploration activities.
  • Instead of only partnering on the manufacturing and logistical side of operations earlier, private players were now given access to ISRO’s infrastructure, technical resources and data to grow.

Humans in Space Policy 2021:

  • Recently, India’s space agency unveiled a draft “Humans in Space Policy 2021” that would look at facilitating participation of non-traditional players in undertaking space activities.

Indian Space Association (ISpA):

  • In October 2021, Indian Prime Minister launched the ISpA. This association will help private players carry out independent space activities, facilitate services and technology developed by ISRO to be utilised in the private sector, provide regulatory and policy inputs and support start-ups, MSMEs and academia.
  • ISpA will support the government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar India’ (self-reliant India) and ‘Make in India’ to become a leader in the global space industry.
    • It would act as a single-window agency and open the Indian space sector to private enterprises and start-ups.

Way Forward:

  • Over the past two decades, private enterprises such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin and Arianespace have revolutionised the space sector by reducing costs and turnaround time in other spacefaring countries.
    • However, in India, private enterprises have been limited to being merely suppliers to the government’s space programme.
  • Now, the Government of India strongly believes that optimal utilisation of space technology will revolutionise the delivery of governance services and enhance developmental efforts.
    • The Indian space sector can potentially inspire the young populace with scientific curiosity and encourage them to pursue a career in STEM.
    • Above all, the Indian space sector has an opportunity to create a vibrant ecosystem for start-ups and private enterprises.
  • Being one of the few spacefaring countries, India is increasingly encouraging private sector participation through various reforms that are expected to help India achieve a market share of more than 10% in the global space sector by 2030.

Source: The Hindu


Multidimensional Poverty Index

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Syllabus

  • Mains –GS 1 Poverty

In News: As many as 41.5 crore people exited poverty in India during the 15-year period between 2005-06 and 2019-21, out of which two-thirds exited in the first 10 years, and one-third in the next five years, according to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

  • Improvement in MPI for India has significantly contributed to the decline in poverty in South Asia.

Dimensions of Poverty:

  • Absolute poverty – income below a certain threshold necessary to meet basic necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, rent)
  • Relative poverty – Individuals receiving income a certain level (e.g. 50%) below the median income of the general population.
  • Persistent poverty – This is defined as a household which is below the poverty threshold line for 2 out of the past 3 years.
  • Headcount Index – It is a widely-used measure, which simply indicates the proportion of the poor to total population. It does not indicate how poor the poor are.
  • Poverty gap index – It is the ratio by which the mean income of the poor falls below the poverty line.
  • The Sen index – It is a composite poverty measure, which combines incidence and intensity of poverty risk with the distribution of income among those at risk of poverty.

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index:

  • It is a report produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
  • The global MPI constructs a deprivation profile of each household and person through 10 indicators spanning health, education and standard of living. All indicators are equally weighted within each dimension.
  • The global MPI identifies people as multidimensionally poor if their deprivation score is 1/3 or higher.
  • The MPI is calculated by multiplying the incidence of poverty and the average intensity of poverty.
  • The MPI ranges from 0 to 1, and higher values imply higher poverty.
  • By identifying who is poor, the nature of their poverty (their deprivation profile) and how poor they are (deprivation score), the global MPI complements the international $1.90 a day poverty rate, which was revised by the World Bank last month to $2.15 per day.
  • India ranked 62 in the Global MPI 2020 which ranked 107 countries.

Findings of the report:

  • The incidence of poverty fell from 55.1% in 2005/06 to 16.4% in 2019/21 in the country.
  • Deprivations in all 10 MPI indicators saw significant reductions as a result of which the MPI value and incidence of poverty more than halved.
  • Globally, of the total 610 crore people across 111 developing countries, 19.1% or 120 crore live in multidimensional poverty. Nearly half of them live in severe poverty.
  • The report doesn’t fully assess the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty in India as 71% of the data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2021) relied upon for MPI were collected before the pandemic.
  • The report also notes that for India, the relative reduction from 2015/2016 to 2019/21 was faster: 11.9% a year compared with 8.1% from 2005/2006 to 2015/2016. This is unsurprising because relative poverty reduction is easier to achieve when starting levels of poverty are lower.
  • Bihar, the poorest State in 2015/2016, saw the fastest reduction in MPI value in absolute terms. The incidence of poverty there fell from 77.4% in 2005/2006 to 52.4% in 2015/2016 to 34.7% in 2019/2021.
  • Improvement in MPI for India has significantly contributed to the decline in poverty in South Asia.
  • It is for the first time that India is not the region with the highest number of poor people, at 38.5 crore, compared with 57.9 crore in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Significance of MPI:

  • Wide coverage across the length and breadth of the country and has international comparability.
  • The MPI is, in principle, able to make statements about the extent of global multidimensional poverty in a way the World Bank’s $1 a-day poverty line makes about global absolute income poverty.
  • More reliable database than the one used for the income poverty measure, where the comparability of survey instruments across country and over time is much less certain.
  • Since it is based on household survey information, it is much more actionable and a policy-relevant indicator for countries and agencies than the HDI.
  • One can decompose the MPI by region, by particular groups, and by indicator, thereby allowing countries to directly see which groups suffer most and in which dimensions they are deprived.

Poverty Challenges in India:

  • India has by far the largest number of poor people worldwide at 22.8 crore, followed by Nigeria at 9.6 crore.
  • Two-thirds of these people live in a household in which at least one person is deprived in nutrition.
  • There were also 9.7 crore poor children in India in 2019/2021- more than the total number of poor people, children and adults combined, in any other country covered by the global MPI.
  • Of the 10 poorest States in 2015/2016, only one (West Bengal) was not among the 10 poorest in 2019/2021. The rest— Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan —remain among the 10 poorest.
  • While poverty levels have not worsened, levels of under-nutrition are still very high. There is no marked acceleration in rate of improvement between NFHS-3 and NFHS-4 and NFHS-4 and NFHS-5. And the MPI mainly captures the pre-COVID situation because 71% of the NFHS-5 interviews were pre-COVID.

India’s Multidimensional Poverty Index:

  • Steered by the Government of India’s Global Indices for Reforms and Growth (GIRG) initiative, the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for India is aimed at leveraging the monitoring mechanism and methodology of the globally recognised MPI to rigorously benchmark national and subnational performance and drive programmatic actions and reforms.
  • It is released by NITI Aayog
  • Objectives:
  • Enhanced high-level view of poverty at the national level
  • Complements monetary poverty measures
  • Information to shape policy
  • Provides incentives for leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first
  • To track poverty over time
  • To highlight “how” poor are the people in poverty
  • To show the percentage of people who are multidimensionally poor
  • To show the percentage of weighted deprivations the average multidimensionally poor person suffers from.
  • Parameters are as follows:

Way forward:

  • The ongoing task of ending poverty remains daunting.
  • The Sustainable Development Goal target 1.2 is for countries to reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions by 2030.

Source: Indian Express


Baba’s Explainer – Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

Syllabus

  • GS-III- Economy – Banking and Monetary Policy
  • GS-II- Governance

Context: Digitalization is reshaping economic activity, shrinking the role of cash, and spurring new digital forms of money. Central banks have been pondering whether and how to adapt. One possibility is central bank digital currency (CBDC)—a widely accessible digital form of fiat money that could be legal tender.

Read Complete Details on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Toxic metal                             Their effects

  1. Lead :                          respiratory tract irritation
  2. Sodium :                     impact the nervous system
  3. Cadmium :                 anaemia and kidney damage
  4. Nitrate :                      mental impairment

Which of the pairs given above is / are correctly matched?

  1. One pair only
  2. Two pairs only
  3. Three pairs only
  4. All four pairs

Q.2) The term ‘Commodity Fetishism’ seen in the news refers to

  1. Theory of capitalism that affects social relationships of labour
  2. Theory of free-market capitalism by means of an invisible hand
  3. Theory of diminishing marginal rate of substitution of commodity
  4. Theory of economic relationship between income and demand for inferior goods.

Q.3) Consider the following statements, with respect to Global Hunger Index (GHI):

  1. It is published by Food and Agricultural Organization annually.
  2. A low score in the index reflects higher ranking of a country and implies a better performance.
  3. India’s rank has significantly improved during the last five years in the GHI.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’19th October 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 18th October – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) –  a

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – c

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