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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th October 2022

  • IASbaba
  • October 6, 2022
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SASTRA Ramanujan Prize

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for 2022 will be awarded to Yunqing Tang, Assistant Professor with the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. The prize will be awarded at the International Conference on Number Theory in December, 2022 at SASTRA University.

  • Yunqing’s works “display a remarkable combination of sophisticated techniques, in which the arithmetic and geometry of modular curves and of Shimura varieties play a central role, and her results and methods are bound to have major impact on future research in this area.”

About SASTRA Ramanujan Prize:

  • The award, instituted by the Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy (SASTRA) in 2005 with a cash prize of $10,000, is presented annually to individuals aged 32 and below, who made outstanding contributions in the field of mathematics, influenced by Srinivasa Ramanjuan in a broad sense.

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920)

  • Born on 22nd December, 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu and died on 26th April 1920 in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • In 1911 Ramanujan published the first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society.
  • In 1913 he began a correspondence with the British mathematician Godfrey H. Hardy which led to a special scholarship from the University of Madras and a grant from Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • In 1918 he was elected to the Royal Society of London.
  • Ramanujan was one of the youngest members of Britain’s Royal Society and the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University.

Contributions to Mathematics:

Formulas and Equations:

  • Ramanujan compiled around 3,900 results consisting of equations and identities. One of his most treasured findings was his infinite series for Pi.
  • He gave several formulas to calculate the digits of Pi in many unconventional ways.

Game Theory:

  • He discovered a long list of new ideas to solve many challenging mathematical problems, which gave a significant impetus to the development of game theory.
  • His contribution to game theory is purely based on intuition and natural talent and remains unrivalled to this day.

Ramanujan’s Book:

  • One of Ramanujan’s notebooks was discovered by George Andrews in 1976 in the library at Trinity College. Later the contents of this notebook were published as a book.

Other Contributions:

  • Ramanujan’s other notable contributions include hypergeometric series, the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, mock theta function, the theory of divergent series, and the functional equations of the zeta function.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements in respect of Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards:

  1. Bharat Ratna and Padma awards are titles under the Article 18 (1) of the Constitution of India.
  2. Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, were suspended only once.
  3. The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of five in a particular year.

Which of the above statements are not correct?  (2022)

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

YUVA 2.0

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The Ministry of Education recently launched YUVA 2.0 – Prime Minister’s Scheme for Mentoring Young Authors, a programme to train young and budding authors to promote reading, writing and book culture in the country, and project India and Indian writings globally.

About Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors(YUVA) 2.0:

  • The launch of YUVA 2.0 is in tune with the Prime Minister’s vision to encourage the youth to understand and appreciate India’s democracy.
  • The National Book Trust (NBT), India, under the Ministry of Education as the Implementing Agency will ensure phase-wise execution of the Scheme under well-defined stages of mentorship.
  • It aims to promote reading, writing, and book culture in the country.

Significance:

  • It will help to develop a stream of writers who can write on a spectrum of subjects to promote the Indian heritage, culture, and knowledge system.
  • It will also provide a window to the aspiring youth to articulate themselves and present a comprehensive outlook of Indian Democratic values at domestic as well as international platforms.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, consider the following statements:

  1. Private and public hospitals must adopt it.
  2. As it aims to achieve universal health coverage, every citizen of India should be part of it ultimately.
  3. It has seamless portability across the country.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?  (2022)

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

Conservation of species

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: Canberra, Australia launches new federal action plan to make efforts at conservation and recovering of the Koala and the Olive Ridley turtle and 110 other ‘priority species’ over the next 10 years.

About Koalas:

  • The koala is an iconic Australian animal, often called the koala “bear”.
  • This tree-climbing animal is a marsupial—a mammal with a pouch for the development of offspring.
  • They have two opposing thumbs on their hands, and both their feet and hands have rough pads and claws to grab onto branches. They have two toes, fused together, on their feet, which they use to comb their fur.
  • Koalas live in the eucalyptus forests of Australia and rely on the eucalyptus tree for both habitat and food.
  • Eucalyptus is toxic, so the koala’s digestive system has to work hard to digest it, breaking down the toxins and extracting limited nutrients. That’s why koalas sleep for 18-22 hours because they get very little energy from their diet.
  • Koalas usually don’t drink much water as they get most of their moisture from these leaves.
  • Threats to survival include hunting for their fur, habitat loss, land clearing, logging, bushfires and Chlamydia.
  • IUCN status: Vulnerable

About Olive ridley turtles:

  • The olive ridley gets its name from the olive-green colour of its heart-shaped shell.
  • They grow to about 2 feet in length, and 50 kg in weight. Males and females grow to the same size; however, females have a slightly more rounded carapace as compared to the male.
  • They are carnivores, and feed mainly on jellyfish, shrimp, snails, crabs, molluscs and a variety of fish and their eggs.
  • They are remarkable navigators and spend their entire lives in the ocean, and migrate thousands of kilometres between feeding and mating grounds in the course of a year. They come to the surface to breathe.
  • Adult female sea turtles return to land to lay their eggs in the sand in a process called ‘Arribada’ nesting. The coast of Orissa in India is the largest mass nesting site for the Olive-ridley.
  • Threat to survival include bycatch in fishing gear, direct harvest of turtle eggs and meat, loss of nesting habitat, vessel strikes, ocean pollution and climate change.
  • IUCN status: Vulnerable

Source: Down to Earth

Previous Year Question

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

  1. Some species of turtles are herbivores.
  2. Some species of fish are herbivores.
  3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores.
  4. Some species of snakes viviparous.

Which of the statements given above arc correct?

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

Shyamji Krishna Varma

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Modern History

In news: The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Shyamji Krishna Varma on his Jayanti.

About Shyamji Krishna Varma:

  • Born in 1857 in modern-day Gujarat, Shyamji Krishna Varma completed his education in India, before moving on to teach Sanskrit at the Oxford University.
  • In 1905 he founded the “India House” acted as one of the most prominent centres for revolutionary Indian nationalism outside India.
  • He also found monthly journal “The Indian Sociologist” which became an outlet for nationalist ideas and through the Indian Home Rule Society, he criticised the British rule in India.
  • On 18 February 1905, Shyamji inaugurated a new organisation called “The Indian Home Rule Society” with the object of securing Home Rule for India.
  • Varma became the first President of Bombay Arya Samaj.
  • He was an admirer of Dayanand Saraswati, and he inspired Veer Savarkar who was a member of India House in London.
  • Verma also served as the Divan of a number of states in India.
  • A memorial called Kranti Teerth dedicated to him was inaugurated in 2010 near Mandvi, Kutch, Gujarat.

               

Source:  PIB

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to Indian freedom struggle, Usha Mehta is well-known for (2011):

  1. Running the secret Congress Radio in the wake of Quit India Movement
  2. Participating in the Second Round Table Conference
  3. Leading a contingent of Indian National Army
  4. Assisting in the formation of Interim Government under Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

UNCTAD Trade & Development report 2021

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations

In News: India’s economic growth is expected to decline to 5.7% this year from 8.2% in 2021, the UNCTAD Trade and Development Report 2022. It is expected to decline to 4.7% in the year 2023-24.

  • The UNCTAD report said India experienced an expansion of 8.2% in 2021, the strongest among G20 countries. As supply chain disruptions eased, rising domestic demand turned the current account surplus into a deficit and growth decelerated.

Concerns:

  • Higher financing cost and weaker public expenditures
  • High level of joblessness and distress –  5,907 MSMEs have shut shop in the last two years.
  • Lack of contribution by the informal sector –  2017-18 contribution was as much as 52% which has now plummeted to less than 20%.
  • Unemployment levels have consistently remained well above 8% for the past two years.

About Trade and Development Report:

  • It is an annual report released by UNCTAD
  • It provides comprehensive and authoritative analysis of economic trends and policy issues of international concern.
  • It offers recommendations for building a global economy that ensures better future for all people and the planet.
  • It concerns itself with economic and social damage caused by financial crises, growing debt, stagnant wages and environmental degradation.
  • It is intended for economists, policy makers, academics and all those involved in economic and trade research and analysis.
  • The 2021 report is titled “From recovery to resilience: The Development Dimension”

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Global Financial Stability Report’ is prepared by the (2016):

  1. European Central Bank
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  4. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Contaminated medicines

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Health and Hygiene

In News: Following the death of 66 children in Gambia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised an alert over four medicines of fever, cold and cough syrups produced by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited and has urged people to not use them.

  • India’s apex drug regulatory authority – the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) – has already launched an investigation into the matter.

About:

  • Names of medicines: The four syrups are — Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Mak off Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
  • Names of contaminants: Unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are found as contaminants.

Effect of contaminants:

  • Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can cause toxic effects, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury that may lead to death
  • These medicinal products are substandard and unsafe for use, especially in children, and may result in serious injury or death, as per WHO.

Measures to be taken:

  • Individuals are advised to seek immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional and report the incident to the National Regulatory Authority or National Pharmacovigilance Centre.
  • Countries should increase surveillance of the supply chains to detect and remove the substandard products including surveillance of informal or unregulated markets.

Source:  Indian Express


Russia-Ukraine Conflict

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

In News: With regard to the continuing Russia-Ukraine war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi connected with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on a telephonic call.

  • Mr. Zelenskyy responded that he would not conduct any negotiations with the “current President of the Russian Federation”.
  • He complimented Mr. Modi for his “now is not the time for war” comment. In turn, Mr. Modi told him that there is no military solution to the conflict.

Context:

  • Over the past seven months, the war and western sanctions have had a dramatic impact on global security, food, fuel and energy supplies, and it is important to keep the lines of communication open.
  • The unfolding developments in Ukraine have also played out in the United Nations, in particular the Security Council, where India is serving as a non-permanent member.

India’s Position and Dialogues:

  • India’s position on the Ukraine conflict has been steadfast and consistent. India has expressed deep concern at the worsening situation and called for immediate cessation of violence and end to all hostilities.
  • India, at the UNSC and UNGA, has urged an urgent ceasefire and ensuring safe passage for stranded civilians. India has also highlighted the humanitarian assistance extended to Ukraine and its neighbours at this hour of crisis.
  • Since the unfolding of this crisis, Prime Minister spoke with the leadership of Russian Federation, Ukraine, and its neighbours as well other major world leaders; and  conveyed the view to all parties concerned that there is no other choice but the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
  • Prime Minister reiterated that India has always stood for peaceful resolution of issues and direct dialogue between the two parties and thanked Ukrainian authorities for their facilitation in enabling more than 22,000 Indian citizens from Ukraine.
  • Prime Minister also spoke with President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, on the status of negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian teams. He suggested that a direct conversation between President Putin and President Zelenskyy may greatly assist the ongoing peace efforts.
  • India has emphasised that the global order is anchored on international law, UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of states. Our position on the situation in Ukraine in various international fora and bodies reflects this reasoning.

India’s Neutrality:

  • Despite its discomfort with Moscow’s war, New Delhi has adopted a studied public neutrality toward Russia.
  • Evidence of Neutrality: It has abstained from successive votes in the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council that condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and thus far has refused to openly call out Russia as the instigator of the crisis.
  • Response of the U.S.: India’s neutrality has been disappointing because it signalled a sharp divergence on the legitimacy of using force to change borders and occupy another nation’s territory through a blatant war of conquest.
  • Causes: India’s public neutrality toward the Russian invasion is partially driven by its concerns vis-à-vis China and Pakistan – seen as immediate and enduring threats. Preserving its friendship with Moscow will help to prevent deepening Russian ties with China and to limit Russian temptations to build new strategic ties with Pakistan.
  • Importance of relations with Russia: Russia is a sturdy friend of India’s going back to 1955, when Soviet premier declared Moscow’s support for Indian claims over Jammu and Kashmir. The Soviet Union wielded vetoes in the UNSC on India’s behalf on six occasions. Keeping Russia on side through its veto-wielding prerogatives thus remains an important consideration that reinforces India’s reticence to criticize Russia. Russia also remains a critical source of weapons for India.

Challenges:

  • Nuclear safety: The Zaporizhzhia plant which falls under Oblast province, is under Russian control and is near the scene of fighting. Endangerment of nuclear facilities could have catastrophic consequences for public health and environment.
  • Loss of credibility with the U.S.: India stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States in opposing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific while at the same time, it is appearing tolerant of the vastly more egregious Russian belligerence in Europe.
  • Inconsistency in diplomacy: It exposes the inconsistency in India’s commitment to protecting the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific over that in Europe, at a time when its biggest international partners—economic and strategic—are both united in their determination to penalize Russia and at odds with India’s posture on Ukraine.
  • Loss of public image: It also leaves India in the company of strange bedfellows such as China and Pakistan, which happen to be India’s adversaries and have behaved toward India as Russia has toward Ukraine.

Way forward:

  • There should be adherence to the UN charter and protection of territorial sovereignty.
  • Role of other institutions such as IAEA must be leveraged – is involved in brokering talks between Ukraine and Russia to enforce a nuclear protective zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant.
  • India has an established record in global peace-making. Mr. Modi expressed “India’s readiness to contribute to any peace efforts”.
  • However, New Delhi can only play that part if it also sets out its position more clearly, and links it to it actions on the global stage.

MUST READ: India-Russia Relations

Source:The Hindu


Land Degradation and Desertification

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Governance
  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance) and GS 3 (Environment)

Context: The government is planning to bring convergence between the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) to restore degraded land and reverse desertification in India.

  • According to the Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas 2021, at least 30% of India’s total geographical area is under the category of “degraded land”.

Land degradation and Desertification :

  • It is a temporary or permanent degeneration of productivity of land due to physical, chemical or biological factors.
  • Desertification is a form of land degradation by which fertile land becomes desert.
  • It leads to the advancement of sand from the desert to the adjoining regions.

Causes of Land Degradation and Desertification:

  • Land degradation is caused by multiple forces, including extreme weather conditions, particularly drought.
  • It is also caused by human activities that pollute or degrade the quality of soils and land utility.

Impact of Land degradation and Desertification:

Environmental Impact:

  • Land degradation and Desertification results in problems like soil erosion, loss of natural nutrients, water-logging and salinity and contamination of ground and surface water.
  • Loss of Fertility due to the use of various scientific inputs like irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides etc. Unscientific cropping practices are also causing harm.
  • Waterlogging happens when the water table gets saturated for various reasons—over-irrigation, seepage from canals, inadequate drainage etc.

Potential Impacts on Human Health:

  • It negatively affects food production, livelihoods, and the production and provision of other ecosystem goods and services.
  • higher threats of malnutrition from reduced food and water supplies; more water- and food-borne diseases that result from poor hygiene and a lack of clean water.

Global Efforts to  Combating Land Degradation:

United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD):

  • Established in 1994 aim to protect and restore our land and ensure a safer, just, and more sustainable future.
  • The UNCCD is the only legally binding framework set up to address desertification and the effects of drought.
  • There are 197 Parties to the Convention, including 196 country Parties and the European Union.
  • The Convention is based on the principles of participation, partnership and decentralization.

Bonn Challenge:

  • It is a global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • Launched by the Government of Germany and IUCN in 2011, the Challenge surpassed the 150-million-hectare milestone for pledges in 2017.

Great Green Wall Initiative:

  • Launched in 2007 by the African Union, being implemented across 22 African countries
  • Aim: To restore the continent’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in the Sahel.
  • Objective: To restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land; sequester 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million green jobs by 2030.

Indian Initiatives:

National level land degradation mapping:

  • It is taken up by ISRO along with partner institutions, under the Natural Resources Census (NRC) mission of DOS/ISRO, towards generating information on land degradation at 1:50,000 scale, using 23m resolution (multi-temporal & multi-spectral) IRS data.

Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India:

  • Published by: Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad.
  • Provides a state wise area of degraded lands for the time frame 2018-19.
  • Provides the change analysis for the duration of 15 years, from 2003-05 to 2018-19.

United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD)

  • India is a signatory to the UNCCD.
  • India hosted the 14th session of Conference of Parties (COP 14) of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September 2019.
  • India is striving towards achieving the national commitments of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and restoration of 26 million ha of degraded land by 2030 which focus on sustainable and optimum utilisation of land resources.
  • Nodal Ministry for the Implementation: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)

Bonn Challenge:

  • At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge and pledged to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.

Flagship Schemes:

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Soil Health Card Scheme

Suggestion for Convergence: Using MGNREGS Funds

  • Presently, activities such as ridge area treatment, drainage line treatment, soil and moisture conservation, rainwater harvesting, nursery raising, afforestation, horticulture and pasture development are done under the Department of Land Resources, the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The Union government now wants the States to undertake these activities using MGNREGS funds, which go towards both material and wage components.
  • As of now, there is Central allocation of Rs.8,134 crore for developing 4.95 million hectares.
  • The Rural Development Ministry is now hoping that by making use of the MGNREGS, which for the financial year 2022-23 has a budget of ?73,000 crore, the government can scale up the area to be covered.
  • By the Ministry’s own estimate, a convergence with the MGNREGS could help take up treatment of about 30% more land than feasible with the current scheme size.

Way Forward:

  • Combating desertification and land degradation and mitigating the effects of drought will secure long-term socio-economic benefits for people living in the drylands and reduce their vulnerability to climate change.
  • Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)—with conservation, sustainable use, and restoration as its three pillars—provides an effective framework.
  • Creating an enabling environment for LDN can help policymakers and planners to navigate social, economic, and environmental trade-offs so food security, energy needs, land tenure, gender equality, access to clean water, and biodiversity are considered—and addressed—together.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. “The Climate Group” is an international non-profit organization that drives climate action by building large networks and runs them.
  2. The International Energy Agency in partnership with the Climate Group launched a global initiative “EP100”.
  3. EP100 brings together leading companies committed to driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emission reduction goals.
  4. Some Indian companies are members of EP100.
  5. The International Energy Agency is the Secretariat to the “Under2 Coalition”.

Which of the statements given above are correct?  (2022)

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

Q.2) “If rainforests and tropical forests are the lungs of the Earth, then surely wetlands function as its kidneys.” Which one of the following functions of wetlands best reflects the above statement?             (2022)

  1. The water cycle in wetlands involves surface runoff, subsoil percolation and evaporation.
  2. Algae form the nutrient base upon which fish, crustaceans, molluscs, birds, reptiles and mammals thrive.
  3. Wetlands play a vital role in maintaining sedimentation balance and soil stabilization.
  4. Aquatic plants absorb heavy metals and excess nutrients.

Mission Karmayogi

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance
  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance) and GS 4 (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Context: The civil services have remained at the epicentre of all government activities in India, both as agents of policymaking as well as the executive hand that delivers and implements those policies

  • Therefore, this unique moment of Amrit Mahotsav is the appropriate time for the civil services to pause, reflect and strategize on the approaches needed to shape its future. People-centric governance is no longer aspirational but is rapidly becoming the national imperative.

Evolution of the Indian state:  from being a provider and a provisioner state, to becoming a “partnership state:

  • These forces have led to a sharper focus on citizen-centricity, engagement and partnership, which the Prime Minister has aptly called Jan Bhagidari.
  • These forces herald a new phase in the evolution of the Indian state — from being a provider and a provisioner state, to becoming a “partnership state”.
  • As we observed during the time of covid-19 pandemic that different arms of the national government acts as partnership state, from the PMO to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and many other ministries, the NITI Aayog, ICMR and other central government organisations.
  • These arms collaborated effectively with international bodies and state governments, bringing out the strength of India’s global relations and federal structure.

Changing dynamics with the evolving India and world: 

  • Rise of information and communication technology (ICT)
    • With the rise of ICT, we are becoming more interconnected globally.
    • Young Indians living in small towns and villages are connected to the wider world, which is shaping their aspirations and desires.
    • India’s citizens are no longer content to passively receive benefits from a patronising government. they are actively making claims on the state and feel empowered to shape how it affects their lives.
  • More empowered and aware citizens:
    • Better informed citizenry is giving shape to a more mature political system, in which politicians from across the spectrum recognise the importance of delivering on campaign promises of better health, education and social benefits.
  • Development of new technology:
    • Development of new technologies is opening up possibilities for governance.
    • The state needs to leverage them to deliver the greatest good for the largest number.

Expanding dimensions of “partnership state with the time:

  • With the emergence of challenging situation such as Covid-19 pandemic, it was observed that private sector, civil society and citizen volunteer groups all joined the effort against the virus
  • All these parts of society came together as one “Team India” to fight the pandemic. This is the true spirit of the “partnership state”.

Role of Civil services in the partnership state: (Mission Karmayogi):

  • Operating in this dynamic ecosystem requires a new mindset and an evolving skill set.
  • It needs skills of collaboration, adaptiveness, credit sharing, persuasion, and conflict resolution along with a nuanced and practical understanding of disruptive innovations, digital arenas, big data management and emerging technologies. This is the fertile ground from which the seeds of Mission Karmayogi emerged.
  • Indian government initiative Mission Karmayogi, the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), encapsulates three transitions.
    • The first transition is a change in the mindset of government officials from considering themselves karmacharis to becoming karmayogis.
    • The second transition is a change in the workplace, from assigning individual responsibility for performance, to diagnosing the constraints to a civil servant’s performance and remediating them.
    • The third transition is moving the public HR management system and the corresponding capacity building apparatus from being rule-based to role-based.

Way forward:

  • A post-Covid BANI (brittle, anxious, non-linear and incomprehensible) world is redefining the understanding of the future of work.
  • The understanding of what is a public good is also evolving along with the aspirations of citizens. India is moving towards a “less government, more governance” approach.
    • This requires a paradigmatic shift in the capacities, mindset, and actions of the civil servant.
  • Technology is redefining how goods and services can be rendered.
    • From Aadhaar to DBT and Digilocker, from CPGRAMS to MyGov, from faceless transactions to drone deliveries, from online learning to a digital university, India is rapidly integrating technology in both governance and in delivering goods and services.
  • Therefore, the structure and setup of the workplace is rapidly altering and “work from anywhere to deliver good governance” to all citizens will soon become the norm.
    • All this requires a worker (civil servant) who is not just committed but also has the competence to deliver on this evolving mandate.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) In the context of India, which one of the following is the characteristic appropriate for bureaucracy?    (2020)

  1. An agency for widening the scope of parliamentary democracy
  2. An agency for strengthening the structure of federalism
  3. An agency for facilitating political stability and economic growth
  4. An agency for the implementation of public policy

Food Innovation Hubs

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy and Governance
  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance) and GS 3 (Economy and Agriculture)

Context: Recently the World Economic Forum (WEF) is bringing together a network called ‘Food Innovation Hubs’.

What are Food Innovation Hubs?

  • Food Innovation Hubs are a multistakeholder, precompetitive and market-based partnership platform
  • These platforms will leverage the role of technology and broader innovations in support of a transformation agenda.
    • It will lead to more inclusive, efficient, sustainable, nutritious, and healthy food systems.
  • The Food Innovation Hubs are founded by partners from governments, private sector, innovators, entrepreneurs, farmer organizations, civil society, international organizations and others.
  • The Hubs are designed locally to address the needs of the local food system to
    • Foster and cultivate food systems innovation
    • Support delivery and adoption of innovations at scale
    • Develop a community of practice to share learnings and build capacity

Promoting innovations

  • The first hub in India is being set up in Madhya Pradesh under a collaboration agreement between the WEF and Madhya Pradesh government.
  • The hub which is based on agricultural development will promote innovations in alignment with tenets of the AatmaNirbharta.
  • The Food Innovation Hub in India aspires to enable a mechanism that can strengthen local innovation ecosystems and address needs across the food value chains using technology and innovation.

Setting up and operating FIHs:

  • Any hub is set up with close cooperation of local government and private sectors to meet its goals.
  • There is no direct funding from the WEF for initiating projects under the hub.
  • The hub enables the Public Private Partnership (PPPs) by roping in aggrotech companies and linking them with government agencies such as Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s etc.
  • The innovation hubs depend on one another for knowledge exchange with a Global Coordinating Secretariat in Holland.
  • It ensures that every hub is functioning as per global objectives, besides acting as a stimulant.

Proof of concept is essential:

  • Any FIH will proceed only after the firms involved create a proof of concept with the government.
    • Madhya Pradesh was chosen for initiating the hub’s work as it was open to exploring opportunities transparently and collaboratively.
  • Various aggrotech firms can be part of a project providing a variety of cutting-edge solutions
    • Pledge financing through fintech modalities
    • Using spectrometers to perform quality assaying
    • Using remote sensing to providing advisories
    • Facilitating efficient crop insurance.
  • Besides aggrotech firms, not-for-profit companies are also involved to enhance the reach and credibility of digital innovations at the last mile.

What are the focus areas of the FIHs?

  • The Food Innovation Hubs will focus on many facets of food processing and agriculture such as
    • New age digital agriculture
    • Innovations in regenerative farming
    • New age agro-ecological solutions.
  • It will look at several modern and traditional models to address climate resilience.
  • It looks at upcoming innovations in carbon offsets whose implementation is critical to providing financial incentives to the farmers to grow more sustainably.

Leveraging Carbon credits:

  • The carbon credit market is becoming big globally and India can benefit with a well thought out execution plan.
  • There are existing firms and new ones who run business operations that aim to pass on the benefits of protecting ecosystem services to farmers
  • Other new age innovations include the usage of targeted soil and crop management through drones.
    • Spraying of bio-chemicals on fresh produce that may enhance shelf life and thus arrest food loss.
  • These are conducive to the environment and support nutrition and health in the long term.
  • The initiative aims to facilitate pilot projects to validate and test innovations, particularly by aggrotech companies, and support them in achieving scale and amplification in the future.

Way Forward:

  • The FIHs can be financed through unconventional sources such as philanthropic funds.
  • These funds are looking to unlock the PPPs by
    • Providing initial funding, particularly in achieving proof of concepts.
    • Philanthropic partners are an integral part of initiating and accelerating ecosystem transformation
  • A growing set of global players from the private and public sector drive and support this exciting initiative.
  • Once India’s Food Innovation Hub builds a solid ground in the targeted places it will be a game changer for leveraging agriculture sector

Therefore, its successful implementation presents opportunities which can be carried out in other states such as Odisha, Bihar and Meghalaya etc.

About World Economic Forum:

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a non-profit foundation.
  • It was established in 1971 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It is recognized by the Swiss authorities as the international institution for public-private cooperation.

Mission:

  • It is committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

Some major reports published by WEF are:

  • Global Gender Gap Report.
  • Global Risk Report.
  • Energy Transition Index.
  • Global Competitiveness Report.
  • Global IT Report
  • Global Travel and Tourism Report.

Source:  The Hindu


Baba’s Explainer -Farming Based Carbon Credits

Farming Based Carbon Credits

Syllabus

  • GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

Context: The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which was introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha, incorporated the aim of developing the domestic carbon market.

  • While the bill focuses on the renewable energy industry, it can indirectly benefit the country’s farmers as well.
  • Poor soil health and decreasing profits plague Indian farmers. Selling carbon credits might be the opportunity that addresses these problems.

Read Complete Details on Farming Based Carbon Credits


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

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

  1. Koalas are endemic to Australia and rely on the palm tree for both habitat and food.
  2. They sleep for 18-22 hours because they get very little energy from their diet.
  3. In India, Koalas are found near Odisha coast.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Shyamji Krishna Varma was

  1. responsible for starting the Home Rule Movement.
  2. the founder of The Indian Sociologist.
  3. first President of Bombay Arya Samaj.

Select the correct statement/statements using the codes given below.

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

Q.3) Which of the following organization releases the Global Gender Gap Report ?

  1. World Economic Forum
  2. UN Women
  3. World Bank
  4. Ministry of Women and Child Development

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

ANSWERS FOR ’6th October 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 4th October – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – a

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