fbpx

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 7th October 2022

  • IASbaba
  • October 7, 2022
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Archives


(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Sugar Production in India

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Agriculture

Context: India emerges as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar and world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar.

  • In Sugar Season (Oct-Sep) 2021-22, a record of more than 5000 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) sugarcane was produced in the country
  • With this, India has emerged as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar as well as the world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar.
  • Maharashtra emerged as the highest sugar exporter and producer in India in 2021-22 Sugar Season (SS) exporting almost 60 per cent of total exports in India.
  • Supportive international prices and Indian Government Policy led to this feat of Indian Sugar Industry.
  • The exports earned foreign currency of about Rs. 40,000 crores for the country.

Factors that led to largest Producer of Sugar:

  • Synchronous and collaborative efforts of Central and State Governments, farmers, sugar mills, ethanol distilleries with very supportive overall ecosystem for business in the country led to this feat.
  • During 2021-22, sugar mills procured sugarcane worth more than 1.18 lakh with no financial assistance (subsidy) from Government of India.
  • 95% of cane dues have already been cleared.
  • In 2020-21, more than 99.9% cane dues are cleared.
  • Scheme for Extending Financial Assistance to Sugar Undertakings (SEFASU) and National Policy on Biofuels are two of the government initiatives to support sugarcane production and the sugar industry.

Ethanol Production:

  • Government has been encouraging sugar mills to divert sugar to ethanol.
  • Growth of ethanol as biofuel sector in last 5 years has amply supported the sugar sector as use of sugar to ethanol has led to better financial positions of sugar mills due to:
    • faster payments,
    • reduced working capital requirements and
    • less blockage of funds due to less surplus sugar with mills.
  • Ethanol production capacity of molasses/sugar-based distilleries has increased to 605 crore liters per annum and the progress is still continuing to meet targets of 20% blending by 2025 under Ethanol Blending with Petrol (EBP) Programme.
  • In new season, the diversion of sugar to ethanol is expected to increase from 35 LMT to 50 LMT which would generate revenue for sugar mills amounting to about ₹ 25,000 crores.

Sugarcane Cultivated:

  • Temperature: Between 21-27°C with hot and humid climate.
  • Rainfall: Around 75-100 cm.
  • Soil Type: Deep rich loamy soil.
  • Top Sugarcane Producing States: Maharashtra>Uttar Pradesh > Karnataka
  • It can be grown on all varieties of soils ranging from sandy loam to clay loam given these soils should be well drained.
  • It needs manual labour from sowing to harvesting.
  • It is the main source of sugar, Gur (jaggery), khandsari and molasses.

MUST READ: Ethanol Blending                          

Source: The Hindu                                    

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements: (2020)

  1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settlings’ are raised in a nurse, and transplanted in the main field.
  2. When direct planting of setts is done, the germination percentage is better with single budded setts as compared to setts with many buds.
  3. If bad weather conditions prevail when sets are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large setts
  4. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settlings prepared from tissue culture.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Among the following, which one is the least water-efficient crop? (2022)

  1. Sugarcane
  2. Sunflower
  3. Pearl millet
  4. Red gram

Q.3) According to India’s National Policy on Biofuels, which of the following can be used as raw materials for the production of biofuels?   (2021)

  1. Cassava
  2. Damaged wheat grains
  3. Groundnut seeds
  4. Horse gram
  5. Rotten potatoes
  6. Sugar beet

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

The criterion for SC status

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The Supreme Court of India has sought the most recent position of the Union government on a batch of petitions challenging the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950, which allows only members of Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist religions to be recognised as SCs.

What the Constitution Order of 1950 says?

  • When enacted, the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950, initially provided for recognizing only Hindus as SCs, to address the social disability arising out of the practice of untouchability.
  • The Order was amended in 1956 to include Dalits who had converted to Sikhism and once more in 1990 to include Dalits who had converted to Buddhism.
  • Both amendments were aided by the reports of the Kaka Kalelkar Commission in 1955 and the High-Powered Panel (HPP) on Minorities, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes in 1983 respectively.
  • The Union government in 2019 rejected the possibility of including Dalit Christians as members of SCs, rooting the exclusion on an Imperial Order of 1936 of the then colonial government
  • It had first classified a list of the Depressed Classes and specifically excluded “Indian Christians” from it.

Why are Dalit Christians excluded in from the list?

  • Ever since the amendment to include Sikhs as SCs in 1956, the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) has been reluctant in expanding the ambit of the Order beyond members of Hinduism or Sikhism.
  • The RGI had cautioned the government that SC status is meant for communities suffering from social disabilities arising out of the practice of untouchability, which it noted was prevalent in Hindu and Sikh communities.
  • It also noted that such a move would significantly swell the population of SCs across the country.
  • However, the amendment to include Buddhist converts as SCs was passed in 1990, which at the time did not require the approval of the RGI — a mandate introduced in the rules for inclusion framed in 1999.
  • RGI said that like Dalit Buddhists, Dalits who converted to Islam or Christianity belonged to different sets of caste groups and not just one, as a result of which they cannot be categorized as a “single ethnic group”, which is required by Clause (2) of Article 341 for inclusion.
  • The RGI opined that since the practice of “untouchability” was a feature of Hindu religion and its branches, allowing the inclusion of Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians as SCs could result in being “misunderstood internationally” as India trying to “impose its caste system” upon Christians and Muslims.
  • It also stated that Christians and Muslims of Dalit origin had lost their caste identity by way of their conversion and that in their new religious community, the practice of untouchability is not prevalent.

Various committees/Reports that look upon the issue:

  • The petitions arguing for inclusion have cited several independent Commission reports that have documented the existence of caste and caste inequalities among Indian Christians and Indian Muslims.
  • This was substantiated in:
    • the First Backward Classes Commission’s report in 1953,
    • the Report of the Committee on Untouchability Economic and Educational Development of the Scheduled Castes in 1969,
    • the HPP report on SCs, STs, and Minorities in 1983,
    • the Mandal Commission Report,
    • the report of the Prime Minister’s High-Level Committee formed in 2006,
    • a 2008 study conducted by the National Commission for Minorities,
    • the Ranganath Misra Commission Report and several other studies.
  • In addition to this, the petitions have argued against the proposition that caste identity is lost upon conversion, noting that even in Sikhism and Buddhism, casteism is not present and yet they have been included as SCs.

The above-mentioned reports argue that caste-based discrimination continues even after conversion, hence entitling these communities to SC status. However, the Union government refuses to accept the reports of the Commissions on the basis that these reports do not have enough empirical evidence to support their claims.

Source: The Hindu                          


National Commission for Women

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity

In news: The National Commission for Women (NCW) recently has summoned Congress leader over his “sycophancy” remark against the President of India.

  • Droupadi Murmu is India’s first tribal woman President of India.

About NCW:

  • It was set up as statutory body in 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990
  • It aims to review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures; facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.
  • The Commission shall consist of :-
  • A Chairperson, nominated by the Central Government.
  • Five Members with expertise in law and issues related to women, nominated by the Central Government.
  • At least one Member each shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively
  • Member Secretary must be a central gazetted officer having management and sociological expertise and nominated by the Central Government.
  • The National Commission for Women submits all its reports to the Central Government, which is laid before the Parliament during sessions.
  • During the investigation of any matter before it, National Commission for Women has all the powers of a civil court.

Functions:

  • Inquiry, Investigation and Examination of matters related to safeguards of women
  • Recommendation: to the Union as well State regarding improving the conditions of the women.
  • Review different laws related to women and suggest amendments to them.
  • Violation Cases: Takes up violation cases pertaining to the provisions of the Constitution and other laws related to women.
  • Suo-Moto Notice on matters pertaining to deprivation of women’s rights, non-implementation of laws, non-compliance policy decisions related to women etc.
  • Research: Undertake promotional and educational research to find ways to represent women in all spheres of life and improve their efficiency.
  • Planning: Participate in the process of planning related to the socio-economic development of women.
  • Progress Evaluation: Evaluate the progress related to the development of women in the State and the Union.
  • Inspection: Inspect the jail, remand homes etc., where women are kept as prisoners.
  • Funding: Litigations relating to funds affecting large women body.

Achievements:

  • The Commission prepared Gender Profiles to assess the status of women and their empowerment.
  • It acted suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice.
  • It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, PNDT Act 1994, Indian Penal Code 1860 to make them more stringent and effective.
  • It organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness and took up publicity campaign against female foeticide, violence against women etc. in order to generate awareness in the society against these social evils.
  • The commission regularly brings out a monthly newsletter called “Rashtra Mahila”

Source: The Hindu


Nobel Prize Chemistry 2022

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry has gone to Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless of the United States and Morten Meldal of Denmark who have made a strong case for adopting an alternative approach to producing new complex molecules, which minimises waste and increases overall efficiency.

About:

  • Sharpless is the originator of the concept of ‘Click Chemistry’.
  • He found the first chemical reaction that satisfied the criteria for ‘Click’ reactions using a nitrogen-containing cyclic compound and discovered that use of copper as a catalyst eliminated the by-products.
  • Carolyn Bertozzi in 2004 developed a few ‘click’ reactions that work inside living organisms.
  • The name “Click”, has been taken from the click sound that airline seat belts make when they are fastened.
  • While trying to produce any particular compound or a complex molecule, one must look for starting molecules that easily react with each other or fit into each other, or ‘click’ with each other.
  • The reacting molecules should be in a made-for-each-other kind of situation for this particular reaction.
  • This makes the resultant chemical reaction more efficient.

Significance:

  • Mimicking nature is expected to bring in effectiveness and sustainability in man-made processes and products as well.
  • Vast potential in the pharmaceutical industry – The industry uses a lot of naturally occurring but industrially synthesised molecules. Every kilogram of a drug produced results in the generation of nearly 25-100 kg of chemical waste, making it inefficient.
  • Bertozzi’s methods have shown the promise of treating advanced cancer. Cancer drugs based on her approach are now undergoing clinical trials.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Bollgard I and Bollgard II technologies are mentioned in the context of: (2021)

  1. clonal propagation of crop plants.
  2. developing genetically modified crop plants.
  3. production of plant growth substances.
  4. production of biofertilizers.

‘herSTART’ platform

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

In News: The President of India recently launched ‘herSTART’, an initiative of the Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC) aimed at supporting women-led startups.

  • The President also laid the foundation stone for various projects related to education and tribal development in Gujarat.

About:

  • The platform will include a digital platform to provide resources and training modules free of cost to aspiring women entrepreneurs, a digital community for them, and a digital publication to spread their success stories.
  • The Platform encompasses the herSTART Incubator, a dedicated full-fledged Startup incubator for women entrepreneurs and innovators, and the herSTART Accelerator, a round-the-year accelerator programme for high-impact women-led startups.
  • Gujarat is the first state in the country to form the Garima Cell with the aim of giving new energy and direction to the higher education system of the state.

Significance:

  • The ‘herSTART’ platform will boost innovation and start-up efforts of women entrepreneurs and also help them connect with various government and private enterprises.
  • Employment generation: through 450 Startup projects operational in Gujarat University. Of these, 125 startups specially inspired by entrepreneurial women are giving a new direction to the entrepreneurship and innovative ideas in women.
  • India has moved from 81st position to 40th position in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of 2022 as a result of the Startup program.
  • Reduction in the drop-out rate among the students of the tribal community due to Vanabandhu Kalyan Yojana, Eklavya Model Residential School and Kanya Nivasi Shala.
  • Real-time monitoring of the education system of more than 55,000 schools in the state by the Vidya Review Centre.
  • Upgrading the infrastructure of about 20,000 schools of the state through Mission School of Excellence.

Source:  Hindustan Times                            

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to ‘Stand Up India Scheme’, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2016):

  1. Its purpose is to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women entrepreneurs.
  2. It provides for refinance through SIDBI.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither1 nor 2

Online Content Regulation laws

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: The European Union (EU) has given final approval to online safety-focused legislation, which is an overhaul of the region’s social media and e-commerce rules, called the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Features of DSA:

  • The law tightly regulates the way intermediaries, especially large platforms such as Google, Meta, Twitter, and YouTube, function in terms of moderating user content.
  • Faster removals and provisions to challenge: As part of the overhaul, social media companies will have to add “new procedures for faster removal” of content deemed illegal or harmful.
  • Social media companies will have to explain to users how their content takedown policy works. The DSA also allows for users to challenge takedown decisions taken by platforms and seek out-of-court settlements.
  • VLOPs must allow regulators to access their data to assess compliance and let researchers access their data to identify systemic risks of illegal or harmful content.
  • Bigger platforms have greater responsibility: One of the most crucial features of the legislation is that it avoids a one-size fits all approach and places increased accountability on the Big Tech companies. The ‘Very Large Online Platforms’ (VLOPs) and ‘Very Large Online Search Engines’ (VLOSEs), that is platforms, having more than 45 million users in the EU, will have more stringent requirements.
  • Direct supervision by European Commission: a key way to ensure that companies do not sidestep the legislation at the member-state level.
  • Clearer identifiers for ads and who’s paying for them: Online platforms must ensure that users can easily identify advertisements and understand who presents or pays for the advertisement. They must not display personalised advertising directed towards minors or based on sensitive personal data.

Significance:

  • It will give better protection to users and to fundamental rights online, establish a powerful transparency and accountability framework for online platforms and provide a single, uniform framework across the EU.
  • More transparency on how algorithms work: VLOPs and VLOSEs will face transparency measures and scrutiny of how their algorithms work
  • Systemic risk analysis by social media companies will drive accountability about the society impacts of their products.

Comparison with Indian Laws:

  • In 2021, India had notified extensive changes to its social media regulations in the form of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 (IT Rules)
  • IT Rules placed significant due diligence requirements on large social media platforms such as Meta and Twitter.
  • These included appointing key personnel to handle law enforcement requests and user grievances, enabling identification of the first originator of the information on its platform under certain conditions, and deploying technology-based measures on a best-effort basis to identify certain types of content.
  • Ensuring greater transparency such as if a user has shared child sexual abuse material on a platform.
  • However, WhatsApp has filed a case and has alleged that the requirement to identify the first originator of information will dilute the encryption security on its platform and could compromise personal messages of millions of Indians.
  • Proposal for further amendments to the IT Rules include the creation of government-backed grievance appellate committees which would have the authority to review and revoke content moderation decisions taken by platforms.
  • India is also working on a complete overhaul of its technology policies and is expected to soon come out with a replacement of its IT Act, 2000, which is expected to look at ensuring net neutrality and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms, among other things.

Source: Indian Express                   


Chola Dynasty

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – History
  • Mains – GS 1 (History and Art and Culture)

Context: A recently released film Ponniyin Selvan has focused on a fictional account of the 10th-century Chola dynasty. Cholas are known for their progressiveness, the architectural marvels and temples, the social setup of the time, and how cities were named after women.

The era of the Cholas:

Region of power:

  • The Chola kingdom stretched across present-day Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • It is one of the longest-ruling dynasties in world history.

Geographical extent:

  • The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River.
  • They unified peninsular India, south of the Tungabhadra, and held it as one state for three centuries.
  • The Chola territories stretched from the Maldives in the south to the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh as the northern limit.

Capital and important centres:

  • Their early capital was at Thanjavur and later on at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
  • Kanchipuram and Madurai were considered to be regional capitals in which occasional courts were held.

Foundation of the dynasty:

  • The dynasty was founded by king Vijaylaya, described as a “feudatory” of the Pallavas.
  • Despite being a relatively minor player in the region among giants, Vijaylaya laid the foundation for a dynasty that would rule a major part of southern India.
  • Under Rajaraja I and his successors Rajendra I, Rajadhiraja I, Rajendra II, Virarajendra, and Kulothunga Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural powerhouse.

Contemporaries of Cholas:

  • As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, along with the Chera and Pandya, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territories until the 13th century CE.
  • During the period of the Cholas (around the 9th to 12th century AD), other powerful dynasties of the region would also come and go, such as
  • The Rashtrakutas of the Deccan who defeated the Cholas, and
  • The Chalukyas of the Andhra Pradesh region whom the Cholas frequently battled.

Society under the Cholas:

Agriculture & canals:

  • There was tremendous agrarian expansion during the rule of the imperial Chola Dynasty all over Tamil Nadu and particularly in the Kaveri Basin.
  • Most of the canals of the Kaveri River belong to this period.

Trade:

  • While the extent of this domination is disputed, the Cholas had strong ties with merchant groups and this allowed them to undertake impressive naval expeditions.

A strong army and navy:

  • One of the biggest achievements of the Chola dynasty was its naval power, allowing them to go as far as Malaysia and the Sumatra islands of Indonesia in their conquests.
  • The domination was such that the Bay of Bengal was converted into a “Chola Lake” for some time.
  • The dynasty became a military, economic and cultural powerhouse in South Asia and South-East Asia.
  • Maintaining a strong army and naval resources made sense for the Cholas, because, the period from 9th to 10th century was a violent time, where kingdoms would go to war with each other frequently.

Art & Culture:

Example of the many frescos found in the pillared coloister that surrounds the courtyard of the Big Temple in Thanjavur, India.

Temple architecture:

  • The Cholas built their temples in the traditional way of the Pallava dynasty, who were themselves influenced by the Amaravati school of architecture.
  • The maturity and grandeur to which the Chola architecture had evolved found expression in the two magnificent temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Brihadeeswara temple:

  • The grand Brihadeeswara temple of Thanjavur, built by the Cholas, was the largest building in India in that period.
  • This temple carries on its walls the engraved evidence of the elaborate administrative and financial procedures concerning the day-to-day administration of the temple.

Airavateswara temple:

  • The Airavateswara temple at Darasuram near Thanjavur built during the reign of Rajaraja II is a magnificent structure typical of the stage of architectural development reached in the 12th century CE.

Sculptures:

  • The Chola period is also remarkable for its sculptures and bronzes.
  • Artworks and sculptures were commissioned by Chola kings and queens, including the famous bronze Nataraja idols.
  • Chola period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique.
  • Earlier, the Rashtrakutas had built the Kailasanatha temple in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad — the largest monolith structure (carved from a single rock) of its time.

Blots in the Chola history:

  • The Chola rulers sacked and plundered Chalukyan cities including Kalyani and massacred the people, including Brahmans and children.
  • They destroyed Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of the rulers of Sri Lanka.

Source: Indian Express             

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

King                                      Dynasty

  1. Nannuka                  Chandela
  2. Jayashakti                Paramara
  3. Nagabhata II           Gurjara-Pratihara
  4. Bhoja                         Rashtrakuta

How many pairs given above are correctly matched? (2022)

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs

Q.2) Regarding the taxation system of Krishna Deva, the ruler of Vijayanagar, consider the following statements :

  1. The tax rate on land was fixed depending on the quality of the land.
  2. Private owners of workshops paid an industry tax.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2016)

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

EC To Change Poll Code, Wants Parties to Give Financial Viability of Election Promises

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance and Polity
  • Mains – (Polity and Governance)

Context: The Election Commission (EC) has recently proposed to amend the model code amid a debate on the freebies. The amendment will require the political parties to provide authentic information to voters on the financial viability of their poll promises.

What are the changes that the EC has proposed to the model code?

  • The poll panel has proposed to amend the Model Code of Conduct to add a proforma to Part VIII (Guidelines on election manifesto) of the MCC.
  • It will require political parties to inform voters about the financial feasibility of promises made in their manifestos, the number of beneficiaries expected to be targeted by the schemes promised, and also whether they are sustainable within the financial space of the state or the Union government
  • The proposed proforma will seek details of revenue generation ways (through additional tax, if any), rationalizing expenditure (cutting some schemes, if so required), impact on committed liabilities and/or raising of further debt and its impact on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) limits.
  • Although the implementation of election promises can have several ramifications, the Commission has proposed to confine the disclosures to only the financial implications of the promises in terms of the financial resources required.

What is the rationale behind the move?

Ambiguous and vague declarations by political parties:

  • While the existing guidelines under MCC require the political parties and candidates to explain the rationale for promises made therein as well as the possible ways and means to finance such promises, it has been observed that the declarations are quite routine, ambiguous and do not provide adequate information to voters to exercise informed choice in an election.

Hampering of financial sustainability:

  • The EC is of the view that the empty poll promises have far-reaching ramifications and undesirable impacts on financial sustainability which cannot be overlooked.

Competitive electoral promises:

  • The consequences of inadequate disclosures by political parties get attenuated by the fact that elections are held frequently, providing opportunities for political parties to indulge in competitive electoral promises, particularly in multi-phase elections, without taking into consideration the financial implications more particularly on committed expenditure.

Undermining of free and fair elections:

  • Some of the promises and offers have an undesirable impact on the conduct of free and fair elections and on maintaining a level playing field.

Standardized disclosure proforma:

  • The electoral reform will not only bring about a standardized disclosure proforma for the guidance of political parties and candidates but will also ensure authentic information to the voters to assess the financial viability of election promises.

Informed poll choices:

  • Most political parties do not submit to the EC their poll declarations in time and with adequate disclosures on the financial implications of the promises made, the Indian electorate will be able to exercise informed poll choices.

What is the model code of conduct (MCC)?

  • Election Commission of India’s Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for the conduct of political parties and candidates during elections mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, portfolios, election manifestos, processions, and general conduct.
  • This set of norms has evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code in its letter and spirit.
  • The MCC comes into force immediately on the announcement of the election schedule by the commission for the need to ensure free and fair elections.

Objectives of MCC:

  • Its main purpose is to ensure that ruling parties, at the Centre and in the States, do not misuse their position of advantage to gain an unfair edge.
  • The document guides the EC in ensuring a level playing field for all political parties and candidates during elections.
  • It is designed to avert practices that are deemed corrupt under the model code of conduct. For example, politicians should not make hate speeches, put one community against another, invoke religion or make promises about new projects that may sway a voter.
  • It has no legal backing and is only a voluntary understanding between the EC and the political parties that comes into play during the election process.

MUST READ: Election Commission of India         

Source: The Hindu                 

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. In India, there is no law restricting the candidates from contesting in one Lok Sabha election from three constituencies.
  2. In 1991 Lok Sabha Election, Shri Devi Lal contested from three Lok Sabha constituencies.
  3. As per the existing rules, if a candidate contests in one Lok Sabha election from many constituencies, his/her party should bear the cost of bye-elections to the constituencies vacated by him/her in the event of him/her winning in all the constituencies.

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

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements :

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

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?  (2017)

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

Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Countries

Open in new window

Syllabus

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

Context: Recently, the grouping of the world’s largest oil-producing countries, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day (bpd).

This is the largest cut since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 28 cents or 0.3%, at $92.08 a barrel after the cut was announced.

Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC):

  • Established in 1960 by founding members Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, OPEC has since expanded and has 13 member states.
  • With the addition of another 11 allied major oil-producing countries that include Russia, the grouping is known as OPEC+.
  • e., OPEC+ is a group of 24 oil-producing nations.
  • OPEC+ format was born in 2017 with a deal to coordinate oil production among the countries in a bid to stabilize prices.
  • The OPEC bloc is nominally led by Saudi Arabia, the group’s largest oil producer, while Russia is the biggest player among the non-OPEC countries.

Objective of OPEC Countries:

  • To coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries;
  • To ensure the stabilization of oil markets;
  • To secure an efficient, economic, and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers
  • To ensure a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.

Significance of OPEC Bloc:

  • OPEC bloc accounts for roughly 40 per cent of the world’s crude oil and 80 per cent of the globe’s oil reserves, according to estimates from 2018.
  • They usually meet every month to determine how much oil the member states will produce.
  • However, many allege that OPEC behaves like a cartel, determining the supply of oil and influencing its price in the world market.

Reason for slashing production of oil:

  • Oil prices skyrocketed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, and have since begun to soften over the past few months.
  • In September 2022, it dropped to $90 due to fears of a recession in Europe and reduced demands from China because of its lockdown measures.
  • OPEC+ members are concerned that a faltering global economy would reduce the demand for oil, and the cuts are seen as a way to protect profits.
  • Experts have also raised the possibility that Russia might be influencing OPEC, to make it more expensive for the West.
  • Prices rise will make it more challenging for Europe to proceed with its sanctions on Russian oil in December.

Impact of slashing oil production:

  • Impact on EU’s plan to put a price cap on Russian oil
  • Recently, European Union had announced its plan to implement a price cap on oil exports from Russia.
  • Under the plan, countries will only be permitted to purchase Russian oil and petroleum products transported via sea that are sold at or below the price cap.
  • However, the recent decision to reduce the supply is likely to keep the global oil prices high, allowing Russia to continue aiming for significant revenue from its crude export.

Who is against this decision?

  • Within the group, there are countries who opposed to such significant cuts in oil production
  • As a meeting of OPEC+ technocrats was cancelled on Tuesday because of disagreements that reportedly only a gathering of oil ministers could resolve
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait, in particular, are said to be concerned that extended cuts would interfere with their plans to increase oil output capacity

Weaponization of energy:

  • The West has accused Russia of weaponizing energy, creating a crisis in Europe that could trigger gas and power rationing this winter.
  • Moscow accuses the West of weaponizing the dollar and financial systems, such as SWIFT, in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine in February.

OPEC+’ or ‘Vienna Group’:

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing nations (10 other countries including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Oman, Russia, South Sudan, and Sudan.) made an agreement in 2016 to jointly cut production for stabilization of prices. This grouping is informally known as ‘OPEC+’ or ‘Vienna Group’.

Source: Indian Express                 

Previous Year Question

Q.1) In which one of the following groups are all the four countries members of G20? (2020)

  1. Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey
  2. Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and New Zealand
  3. Brazil, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam
  4. Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea

Poverty

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 Poverty and Developmental issues

In News: The World Bank released the latest “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Courses” report.

  • The Bank’s latest report is the first comprehensive assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine on global poverty
  • SDG 1: goal of limiting extreme poverty to just three per cent of total population.

Context:

  • Poverty is getting concentrated and chronic in sub-Saharan Africa, in conflict-affected areas and rural areas.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest poverty rate at 35 per cent and it accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s extreme poor population.
  • In 2020, the pandemic pushed 70 million more people into poverty. As a result, some 719 million people lived below the international extreme poverty line of $2.15 per day or a poverty rate of 9.3 per cent in comparison to 8.4 per cent in 2019.
  • The world is recovering from the pandemic but the impacts of the war would result in pushing 685 million people below the extreme poverty line by the end of 2022.
  • 7 per cent of the world’s population i.e. roughly 574 million people will still struggle in extreme poverty in 2030. This is more than double the SDG1 rate of three per cent.

Concerns:

  • Inequality has been widening as a result of the pandemic. The developing and poor countries have added the maximum new poor and the poverty level among the poor have further deepened in these countries.
  • The poorest people bore the steepest costs of the pandemic: income losses averaged four per cent for the poorest 40 per cent, double the losses of the wealthiest 20 per cent of the income distribution.
  • The rising food and energy prices and the onslaught of the climate emergency — extreme weather events impacting agriculture and also disasters wiping out assets and incomes — have not just made recovery impossible but also pushed the poor to chronic levels of poverty.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • The 17 Goals for People, for Planet were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.
  • In SDG Summit 2019, a call for “Decade of Action” was made to tackle growing poverty, empower women and girls, and address the climate emergency.
  • The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides concrete policies and actions to support the implementation of the new agenda.
  • NITI Aayog is responsible for monitoring and reviewed the SDGs using a set of global indicators.
  • The SDGs are not legally binding. However, countries are expected to take ownership and establish a national framework for achieving the 17 Goals.
  • SDG Report 2022 is an annual report, prepared by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, to provide an overview of the world’s implementation efforts to date, highlighting areas of progress and where more action needs to be taken.

Government Initiatives to combat poverty:

  • National Food for Work Programme: launched in 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country with the objective to intensify the generation of supplementary wage employment.
  • The programme is open to all rural poor who need wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work.
  • It is implemented as a 100 per cent centrally sponsored scheme and the food grains are provided to States free of cost. However, the transportation cost, handling charges and taxes on foodgrains are the responsibility of the States.
  • MGNREGA: launched in 2005, to ensure the security and livelihood of people in rural areas, this act guarantees a minimum of 100 days of wage employment.
  • All districts in India are covered.
  • It established right to a job and there is provision of unemployment allowance.
  • It ensures social inclusion in the form of reservation of 33% of the beneficiaries as women.
  • Moreover, the robust institutions for grievance redressal and social auditing guarantee accountability and transparency.
  • Integrated Rural Development Program(IRDP): launched in 1978–79 to alleviate rural poverty by providing income-generated assets to the poorest of the poor.
  • To create sustainable opportunities for self-employment in the rural sector.
  • The program is implemented as a centrally sponsored scheme funded on a 50:50 basis.
  • Assistance is given in the form of subsidy by the government and term credit advanced by financial institutions.
  • Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY): launched in 1999, aims at bringing the assisted poor families (Swarozgaris) above the poverty line by organizing them into Self Help Groups (SHGs) through a mix of Bank credit and Government subsidy.
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM): launched in 2011, aided by World Bank, it is focused on promoting self-employment, organization of rural poor and access to financial services. SGSY is now remodelled to NRLM.
  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY): launched in 2000 provides foodgrains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs.2.00 per kg for wheat and Rs.3.00 per kg for rice to the poor families under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). 35 kg per family per month.
  • Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): launched in June 1997 to manage food scarcity and distributing essential food commodities at affordable prices, to distribute essential food commodities like rice, wheat and kerosene at highly subsidized rates to BPL population. This poverty alleviation scheme helps in addressing the issue of food insecurity in rural areas of India.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY): launched in 2000 as a 100 per cent Centrally Sponsored Scheme, aims at providing rural connectivity to unconnected habitations with population of 500 persons or more in the rural areas. Augmenting and modernising rural roads
  • Rural Housing – Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY): 1999-2000 is the major scheme for construction of houses for the poor, free of cost. The Ministry of Rural Development (MORD) provides equity support to the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for this purpose
  • Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY): launched in 2001, aims at providing additional wage employment in all rural areas and thereby food security and improve nutritional levels. The SGRY is open to all rural poor who need wage employment and desire to do manual and unskilled work around the village/habitat. The programme is implemented through the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY): launched in 2000-01 envisages allocation of Additional Central Assistance (ACA) to the States and UTs for selected basic services such as primary health, primary education, rural shelter, rural drinking water, nutrition and rural electrification.
  • Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY): The Urban Self Employment Programme and the Urban Wage Employment Programme are the two special components of the SJSRY, which, in December 1997, substituted for various extant programmes implemented for urban poverty alleviation. SJSRY is funded on a 75:25 basis between the Centre and the States.
  • Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY): launched in 2001 facilitates the construction and upgradation of dwelling units for the slum dwellers and provides a healthy and enabling urban environment through community toilets under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, a component of the scheme.
  • Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP), Desert Development Programme (DDP) and Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP)

Way forward:

To reach the SDG1 level by 2030, each country here needs an annual economic growth of nine per cent for the next eight years.

Source: Down to Earth                   


Baba’s Explainer – National Logistics Policy

National Logistics Policy

Syllabus

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • GS-3: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Context: Recently, the Government has launched a National Logistics Policy (NLP) 2022, aiming to achieve ‘quick last-mile delivery’, end transport-related challenges.

Read Complete Details on National Logistics Policy


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to ‘herSTART’ scheme, consider the following statements:

  1. It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  2. It includes a digital platform to provide resources and training modules free of cost to aspiring women entrepreneurs.
  3. It has been recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) as a key driving initiative in the States Startup Rankings Framework Report of 2022.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) The term ‘Decade for Action’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of:

  1. Online content regulations made by the European Union to moderate user content
  2. plan of action outlined by the countries of the world to digitize start-ups
  3. pledges taken by the countries to combat oil spills and marine pollution
  4. plan of action outlined by the countries of the world regarding Sustainable Development Goal

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding Chola Dynasty:

  1. The Airavateswara temple at Darasuram near Thanjavur built during the reign of Rajaraja II.
  2. Chola period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique.
  3. The dynasty was founded by king Vijaylaya

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’7th October 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 6th October – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – b 

Q.3) – a

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....