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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th November 2022

  • IASbaba
  • November 10, 2022
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Guru Nanak Dev

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History and Art and Culture

Context: Recently the President of India has greeted fellow-citizens on the eve of Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti.

About Guru Nanak Jayanti:

  • Early Life:
    • He was born on April 15, 1469, at Rai Bhoi Ki Talwandi, near Lahore, which is in the Sheikhpura district of modern-day Pakistan.
    • He was born into a middle-class Hindu family and raised by his parents, Mehta Kalu and Mata Tripta.
  • Founder of Sikhism:
    • He was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus and the founder of Sikhism in the 15th century.
    • He started writing the Guru Granth Sahib and completed 974 hymns.
  • His Teachings:
    • He advocated the ‘Nirguna’ (devotion to and worship of formless divine) form of bhakti.
    • Guru Nanak Dev Ji spread the message of ‘Ek Omkar’ which means that God is one and is present everywhere.
    • He set up rules for congregational worship (Sangat) involving collective recitation.
    • Guru Nanak Dev Ji also gave the message of humility and service to mankind.
    • His verses also preach selfless service to humanity, prosperity and social justice for all, irrespective of differences.
    • He inspired us to practise love, unity and brotherhood.
    • One should adopt eternal values like truth, sacrifice and moral conduct from the teachings of ‘Japji Sahib’.
    • Guru Nanak travelled across South Asia and the Middle East to spread his teachings.
    • The messages of ‘Kirat Karo’ and ‘Vand Chhako’ inspire us to live with honesty and share the available resources with others.
  • Steps in his honour:
  • Nankana Sahib:
    • A Gurdwara was built at his birthplace in the city now known as Nankana Sahib. It is located in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
  • Kartarpur corridor:
    • The corridor was built to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism on 12th November 2019.
    • It is one of the holiest places for Sikhs where Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji settled and preached for the last 18 years of his life.
    • It is also known as Gurpurab and is the most important festival for the followers of the religion of Sikhism as the birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev.
  • The festival is celebrated on the day of Kartik Poornima, which is the fifteenth lunar day in the month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar, and usually falls in the month of November by the Gregorian calendar.

Source: Indian Express


Xenotransplantation

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: Recently researchers have said that genetically modified pig heart took longer to generate a heartbeat than hearts of pigs or humans usually do. The 57-year-old recipient lived for 61 days after the transplant in January 2022.

About Xenotransplantation:

  • Xenotransplantation is any procedure that involves the transplantation, implantation or infusion into a human recipient of either (a) live cells, tissues, or organs from a nonhuman animal source, or (b) human body fluids, cells, tissues or organs that have had ex vivo contact with live nonhuman animal cells, tissues or organs.
  • In 2021, surgeons at New York University Langone Health transplanted kidneys from the same line of genetically modified pigs into two legally dead people with no discernible brain function.
    • The organs were not rejected, and functioned normally while the deceased recipients were sustained on ventilators.

Benefits :

  • Recent evidence has suggested that transplantation of cells and tissues may be therapeutic for certain diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and diabetes, where, again, human materials are not usually available.

Issues :

  • The use of xenotransplantation raises concerns regarding the potential infection of recipients with both recognized and unrecognised infectious agents and the possible subsequent transmission to their close contacts and into the general human population.
  • Moreover, new infectious agents may not be readily identifiable with current techniques.

Source: DownToEarth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements :

  1. Genetic changes can be introduced in the cells that produce eggs or sperms of a prospective parent.
  2. A person’s genome can be edited before birth at the early embryonic stage.
  3. Human induced pluripotent stem cells can be injected into the embryo of a pig.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ? (2020)

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

Q.2) What is cas9 protein that is often mentioned in the news ? (2019)

  1. A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing.
  2. A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients.
  3. A gene that makes plants pest-resistant
  4. An herbicidal substance synthesized in generally modified crops

National Geoscience Awards -2022

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

Context: The Ministry of Mines invites nominations for the National Geoscience Awards (NGA)-2022 for contributions in the field of fundamental/applied geosciences, mining, and allied areas.

About National Geoscience Awards:

  • It was instituted by the Ministry of Mines in 1966 and given annually.
  • It is an initiative to encourage geoscientists to strive toward excellence.
  • Any citizen of India with a significant contribution in any of the fields specified in Clause-2 of the NGA Regulation 2022 will be eligible for these awards.
  • Broad Disciplines: –
    • Mineral Discovery & Exploration
    • Mining, Mineral Beneficiation & Sustainable Mineral Development
    • Basic Geosciences
    • Applied Geosciences
  • The National Geoscience Awards are of three categories:
    • National Geoscience Award for Lifetime Achievement: Award for Lifetime Achievement (single award) shall be given to an individual with an exceptionally high lifetime achievement for sustained and significant contributions in any of the disciplines mentioned in Clause-2 of NGA Regulation 2022.
    • The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5,00,000/- and a certificate.
    • National Geoscience Award: National Geoscience Award (10 Awards) shall be given to individuals or team(s) in recognition of meritorious contribution in any of the disciplines mentioned in Clause-2 of NGA Regulation 2022.
    • Each award carries a cash prize of Rs. 3,00,000/- and a certificate. In the case of a team award, the award money will be equally divided.
    • National Young Geoscientist Award: Young Geoscientist Award (single award) shall be given for outstanding research work in any field of geosciences to an individual below 35 years of age as on the 31st December 2021.
    • The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000 plus a research grant of Rs. 5,00,000/- spread over five years subject to satisfactory yearly progress and a certificate.

Source:  PIB


Mangrove Breakthrough

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In news: Being launched at COP27 by the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-level Champions as a unified global approach towards mangrove conservation.

       

About Mangrove Breakthrough (MB):

  • The Mangrove Breakthrough is a science-based, measurable, and achievable global initiative that provides a framework for public-private players to join forces through a coalition and strengthen their actions every year, in every sector and in scaling up investment in mangrove protection and restoration.
  • It is built on the Breakthrough Agenda launched at COP26, and the Global Mangrove Alliance
  • It is part of a set of Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda of the Marrakech Partnership Adaptation and Resilience Breakthroughs which collectively define global milestones and high-impact solutions to reduce climate risks, particularly in vulnerable communities, through adaptation action.
  • Aim: To catalyse the financial support needed to scale proven solutions by working to channel finance to the ground through the Global Mangrove Alliance.
  • It aims to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030 through collective action on:
  • Halting mangrove losses
  • Restoring half of recent mangrove losses
  • Doubling the protection of mangroves globally.
  • Ensuring sustainable long-term finance for all existing mangroves by achieving an investment of 4 billion USD by 2030
  • Current signatories to the breakthrough include Global Mangrove Alliance members, the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), and Salesforce, among many others.

Significance of mangroves:

  • Critical coastal ecosystems and are proven nature-based solutions to climate change.
  • Provide food, extreme weather protection, and livelihoods, while harbouring incredible biodiversity, building coastal resilience, and acting as immense carbon sinks
  • Stabilize shorelines and provide fish nurseries throughout tropical and warm temperate coasts.

About The Global Mangrove Alliance(GMA):

  • Formed in 2018 by
  • Conservation International (CI)
  • the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Wetlands International
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • This partnership now includes over 30 member organizations
  • Aim of scaling up the recovery of mangroves through equitable and effective expansion of both mangrove protection and the restoration of former mangrove areas.
  • The GMA works worldwide in supporting research, advocacy, education and practical projects on the ground with local and community partners.
  • It is a world-wide collaboration between NGOs, governments, academics and communities working together towards a global vision for accelerating change and building a host of opportunities for coastal peoples and biodiversity around the planet.

Global Mangrove Watch (GMW):

  • It is an online platform that provides the remote sensing data and real time information about changes and tools for monitoring mangroves across the world, and highlights why they are valuable.
  • Established in 2011 under the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Kyoto & Carbon Initiative by Aberystwyth University, solo Earth Observation and the International Water Management Institute.
  • Aims to provide open access geospatial information about mangrove extent and changes to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
  • In collaboration with Wetlands International and with support from DOB Ecology, the first GMW baseline maps were released in 2018 at the Ramsar COP13.
  • The GMW maps also constitute the official mangrove datasets used by UNEP for reporting on Sustainable Development Goal 6.6.1 (change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time).

MUST READ Ramsar convention on wetlands

Source: IUCN org


Beaver blood moon

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: A rare spectacle of a “Beaver blood moon” was seen as the Earth, moon and sun align to produce a total lunar eclipse for the last time until 2025.

  • This was the second blood moon of the year.
  • It was visible across eastern Asia & Australia (in evening moonrise), the Pacific and North America (in early morning hours)
  • It will be visible to the naked eye wherever skies are clear in those regions.

     

About:

  • A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth casts its shadow completely over a full moon, blocking reflection of all direct sunlight from the lunar orb and dimming the colour of the moon to a reddish hue, hence the term “blood moon.
  • This is only possible when the orbits of the Earth, moon and sun align so that the moon is directly behind Earth relative to the sun.
  • Moon’s orbit around Earth is usually tilted relative to Earth’s orbit about the sun. Hence, the moon passes above or below Earth’s shadow because of its orbit.
  • Outer shadow is called “penumbra,” and the darker, inner shadow is called the “umbra,” before reaching totality.
  • Reddish appearance of the lunar surface is caused by rays of sunlight around the outer edge of the eclipse shadow, or umbra, being filtered and refracted as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere, bathing the moon indirectly in a dim copper glow.
  • Degree of redness depends on atmospheric conditions that vary with levels of air pollution, dust storms, wildfire smoke and even volcanic ash.
  • Rarity: Total lunar eclipses occur, on average, about once every year and a half, but the interval varies.
  • Beaver moon: is a moniker for November’s full moon adopted by the Old Farmer’s Almanac supposedly from Algonquian languages once spoken by Native Americans in the New England territory. When combined with the phenomena of a total lunar eclipse, it is widely referred to as a “Beaver blood moon” in the United States.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following phenomena:

  1. Size of the sun at dusk
  2. Colour of the sun at dawn
  3. Moon being visible at dawn
  4. Twinkle of stars in the sky
  5. Polestar being visible in the sky

Which of the above are optical illusions?

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

SPACE facility - Indian Navy

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) launches sonar systems test and evaluation facility for Indian Navy at Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) Kochi.

About:              

  • The facility is named as Hull Module of Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation (SPACE).
  • It is a state-of-the-art testing and evaluation facility for sonar systems developed for use by the Indian navy onboard various platforms, including ships, submarines and helicopters.
  • The SPACE facility is based on the concept design and requirements projected by NPOL and has been constructed by M/s L&T Shipbuilding, Chennai.
  • This will be mainly utilized for evaluating Sonar systems, allowing for quick deployment and easy recovery of scientific packages such as sensors and transducers.
  • The SPACE is one-of-a-kind facility in the world. The uniqueness of this facility lies in the specially designed submersible platform, which can be lowered up to depths of 100 meters using a series of synchronously operated winches.
  • The design and construction of the platform meet all the statutory needs of Indian Register of Shipping and the vessel classifying authority and strictly adhere to the inspection and registration criteria as per Kerala Inland Vessel Rules.
  • This new facility has further boosted the Government of India’s ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.

Source PIB


Benzene found in dry shampoos

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: Valisure, a New Haven, Connecticut-based analytical laboratory, tested 148 batches from 34 brands of spray-on dry shampoo and found that 70% contained benzene.

About:

  • Valisure has found benzene, the cancer-causing chemical in popular spray sunscreens, antiperspirants and hand sanitizers.
  • The highest benzene levels among the dry shampoos were found in a popular brand called Not Your Mother’s.
  • Other brands found to have elevated benzene included Batiste, Sun Bum, John Paul Mitchell Systems and Church & Dwight Co.’s Batiste.
  • Dry shampoos are used to freshen up hair between washes.
  • The benzene levels are significantly higher in dry shampoos than any personal-care products.
  • Batiste, Not Your Mother’s and Dove are the top-selling dry shampoo brands in the US.
  • Dry shampoo usage has increased by 22% from a year earlier.

Impact:

  • Benzene is a known contaminant of petroleum products.
  • Spray personal-care products, including dry shampoos, often contain propellants like propane and butane that are petroleum distillates made by refining crude oil.
  • The propane and butane used in personal-care products are supposed to be purified so that no benzene is present.
  • However, these propellants become a potential source of benzene contamination.
  • These chemical can cause certain blood cancers, such as leukaemia.
  • A spray from one can of dry shampoo contained 158 parts per million of benzene.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has said inhaling benzene at levels of 0.4 parts per billion (.0004 parts per million) chronically over a lifetime could result in one additional cancer per 100,000 people, a measure of risk the FDA also uses.
  • Valisure determined it’s possible the actual benzene levels in spray-on dry shampoo could be 10 times to 50 times higher than what standard testing reveals.
  • The supply chains that bring consumers their grooming products are complex, globe-spanning endeavours, making it difficult to determine precisely where the toxins are introduce.
  • In drug applications, the FDA allows levels of 2 parts per million of benzene if “use is unavoidable”.
  • But FDA hasn’t set benzene limits for cosmetics.
  • However, it says the products shouldn’t contain “any poisonous or deleterious substance.”

About Benzene:

  • Benzene is a colourless or light-yellow liquid chemical at room temperature.
  • It is used primarily as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, as a starting material and an intermediate in the synthesis of numerous chemicals, and in gasoline.
  • Benzene is produced by both natural and man-made processes.
  • It is a natural component of crude oil, which is the main source of benzene produced today.
  • Other natural sources include gas emissions from volcanoes and forest fires.
  • Cigarette smoke is another source of benzene exposure.
  • Benzene may also be found in glues, adhesives, cleaning products, and paint strippers.
  • Outdoor air contains low levels of benzene from second-hand tobacco smoke, gasoline fumes, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?(2020)

  1. Automobile exhaust
  2. Tobacco smoke
  3. Wood burning
  4. Using varnished wooden furniture
  5. Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Green Energy as driving force

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 (Environment)

Context: In recent times, geopolitical conflicts and inflation issues are linked with the dependence on fossil fuels. The green energy gives a solution for world peace in this context.

About Green Energy:

  • Green energy is any energy type that is generated from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind or water.
  • Green energy sources are usually naturally replenished, as opposed to fossil fuel sources like natural gas or coal, which can take millions of years to develop.
  • Green sources also often avoid mining or drilling operations that can be damaging to ecosystems.
  • Types: Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Hydro Energy, Geothermal Energy, Biomass, Biofuel

About Fossil Fuels:

  • Fossil fuels are made from decomposing plants and animals.
  • These fuels are found in the Earth’s crust and contain carbon and hydrogen, which can be burned for energy.
  • In 2019, 84% of primary energy consumption in the world and 64% of its electricity was from fossil fuels.

Major Fossil Fuel:

  • Coal: Coal is a material usually found in sedimentary rock deposits where rock and dead plant and animal matter are piled up in layers.
    • More than 50 percent of a piece of coal’s weight must be from fossilized plants.
    • Countries by proven coal reserve: USA>Russia>Australia>China>India
  • Natural Oil: Oil is originally found as a solid material between layers of sedimentary like shale.
  • This material is heated in order to produce the thick oil that can be used to make gasoline.
  • Countries by proven Oil Reserve: Venezuela>Saudi Arabia>Iran>Canada>Iraq
  • Natural Gas: Natural gas is usually found in pockets above oil deposits.
    • It can also be found in sedimentary rock layers that don’t contain oil.
    • Natural gas is primarily made up of methane.
  • Countries by proven Natural Gas: Russia>Iran>Qatar>Saudi Arabia>USA

Fossil Fuel as a Conflict Factor:

  • Climate change: Climate change is the consequence of overuse of fossil fuels over centuries.
    • Fossil fuels are responsible for greenhouse gas emission and other air and water pollutants.
  • War-Conflict: Large quantities of fossil fuels are concentrated in tiny geographical pockets.
    • Hence, the urge to control regions rich in reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas forms the sum and substance of foreign policy worldwide.
    • Countries neighboring these prized regions, as well as others, play all sorts of games to grab them — deploying religion, language, alliances to that end.
    • Conflicts also suddenly start when there is a temporary change in the balance of power, breaking the earlier, often fragile, equations of peace.
    • For example, occupation of minerally and industrially rich Ruhr region by French and Belgian troops led to the crash of the German currency and the economy, which eventually led to the start of World War II.
  • Inflation: Wars induced situations lead to inflation which has a cyclic effect on economic and social sectors.
    • For example, Inflation induced due to the Ukraine-Russia war.

Green Energy as driving force:

  • Green energy is important for the environment as it replaces the negative effects of fossil fuels with more environmentally-friendly alternatives.
  • Green energy can also lead to stable energy prices as these sources are often produced locally and are not as affected by geopolitical crises, price spikes or supply chain disruptions.
  • That could eliminate the reason for many territorial conflicts.
  • A decisive shift towards renewable energy could alter the destructive chain of events.

Way Forward:

  • The Government and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and Domestic Development Banks (DDBs) can support the green energy sector through a credit enhancement mechanism.
  • Public institutions can nudge the private players by innovative financing models and policies to fund the much-needed green energy sector.

Given the advantages it offers, the incentives that the government is providing to the development of green energy infrastructure and the growing demand by environment-conscious consumers, the future for the green energy sector seems very bright.

Source: The Hindu


Higher Education in India

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Despite having the largest base of 900-plus universities in the world, only 15 higher education institutions from India are in the top 1,000. This is an alarming sign for the higher education system in India.

  • India’s higher education system is the world’s third-largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States.
  • Although 75 percent of higher education is in the private sector, the best institutions — IITs, IIMs, NITs, AIIMS, NLS — have all been set up by the government.

NEP 2020 provision for Higher Education:

  • NEP-2020 has brought tremendous changes in governance and institutional reforms aiming at the establishment of multi-disciplinary colleges, universities and clusters of higher education institutions by linking with the forthcoming industrial revolution for skilled job creation and augmenting employment avenues.
  • National Research Foundation (NRF):
    • Establishment of NRF to fund outstanding research and to actively seed research in universities and colleges.
  • National Testing Agency (NTA):
    • The admission system for all the universities and the undergraduate HEIs will be preferably through National Testing Agency (NTA) in order to reduce the burden of several overlapping examinations conducted by HEIs separately.
  • National Educational Technology Forum:
    • Establishing a national educational technology forum for the proper use of technology in the domains of teaching, learning, assessment, administration and management systems and also focuses on maintaining virtual labs at various institutional and university levels.

Challenges before Higher Education in India:

Ineffective Leadership:

  • Academic leadership entails integrative abilities of breaking departmental silos, aligning different disciplines, and managing multiple stakeholders.
  • Most faculty and researchers have individualistic traits whereas academic leadership calls for collaborative and transformative skills.
  • Academic excellence demands integrative skills across teaching, research and academic administration. But, chancellors/founders of universities and HR leaders who support them lack this ability.

Unsatisfactory Talent Sourcing of Faculty and Students:

  • Interviews for selection are often perfunctory, a mere 30 minutes for senior positions focusing only on the candidate’s past experience with no leading questions to assess their academic leadership qualities.

Poor Governance:

  • Governance is a casualty in most HEIs, as they ignore attributes such as participation, responsiveness, transparency, consensus and inclusivity.
  • Management of Indian education faces challenges of over-centralization, bureaucratic structures and lack of accountability, transparency, and professionalism.

Political Factor:

  • Political influence is also a bad thing and an issue with higher education. Governing bodies do not want any political influence or interference in their affairs.
  • The dominant political leaders, now play a key role in governing bodies of the Universities.

Investment in Building rather than People:

  • Unfortunately, promoters of most privately run HEIs invest in buildings, hardware and software rather than in people.
  • Little do they realize that students learn from inspiring teachers and not from buildings.

What needs to be done:

Give Importance to Technology in Education:

  • India has to embrace computer and high-speed internet technology.
  • Our educational delivery mechanisms should take the wealth of human capital to the masses.
  • The models of brick-and-mortar schools, colleges and universities will have to be integrated and interlinked with ICT.
  • The Governments should invest more in technological infrastructure that will ease knowledge accessibility.

Conductive HR Policies:

  • HR policies should be conducive to attracting talent and creating a leadership pipeline.
  • One of the important pillars in Deming’s Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy is “Constant training and retraining of teachers” to avoid burnout syndrome by adding ‘on the job skills.

Encourage Innovation and Creativity:

  • The system should reward those who deserve the highest academic honour.
  • The crammers should not be rewarded.
  • Our testing and marking systems need to be built to recognize original contributions, creativity, problem solving and innovation.
  • Ranks should be awarded accordingly.

Train the Trainers Continuously:

  • A teacher is an entrepreneur and creator. The performance of a teacher should not be restricted to the classroom.
  • It needs to be opened up for the world to see with the internet.
  • There have to be leaders in teaching positions, not salaried people holding their mantle.
  • Hence, regular training is a necessity.

Change the Aptitude to Teach:

  • Teaching jobs are widely regarded as safe, well-paid and risk-free jobs. Most of the teachers do not want to change.
  • As they become experienced, they get septic and do not even think of the nature and needs of the students.
  • Understanding the present generation is a necessity. Guidelines should be made in this direction.

Foreign Collaboration:

  • Government must promote collaboration between Indian higher education institutes and top international institutes.
  • Government must also generate linkages between national research laboratories and research centres of top institutions for better quality and collaborative research.

Way Forward:

  • Higher per capita expenditure on higher education in some states has resulted in better GER.
    • For example, the per capita expenditure of Goa is Rs 14,634 and the GER is 33.2 per cent.
  • Global experience also suggests that higher public investment in education yields positive results, according to the mission document of RUSA.
  • To reach and achieve future requirements there is an urgent need to relook at the Financial Resources, Access and Equity, Quality Standards, Relevance, and Infrastructure.

Source: The Hindu


India and Cyber Power

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 Science and Technology

Context:

  • The debate about the efficacy of cyber power must necessarily involve analysing both offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.
  • While defensive cyber operations are necessary to protect a network, Offensive Cyber Operations (OCOs) are equally necessary for effectively prosecuting kinetic operations in contemporary and future warfare.
  • A cyber-attack can be carried out in conjunction with other instruments such as Electronic Warfare (EW) and space capabilities, as well as kinetic means in the form of air, naval, and land power.

Offensive cyber operations (OCOs):

  • Offensive Cyber-attacks can be divided into two types: attacks that disrupt the effective operation of a weapons system, and another set that destroy or inflict damage on weapons systems.
  • OCOs are fundamentally an evolutionary aspect of intangible warfare, which covers EW and operations across the EMS.
  • OCOs are domain-specific or confined exclusively to the cyber domain may have limitations about escalation and the degree to which they damage a target.
  • When evaluating OCOs, consider: event-based and presence-based operations. The latter encompass primarily strategic capabilities that involve protracted network intrusions of the adversary and end with an offensive or attack.
  • The former cover tactical tools which are deployed in the course of ongoing operations on the field to generate localised impact.

Uses of OCOs:

  • “hacking” to destroy propaganda by terrorist groups or disinformation
  •  “adversarial infrastructure destruction” against a hostile cyber group located in another country;
  •  “counter-influencing” missions planting unhelpful information or “digital harassment”.
  •  “kinetic” offensive operations that cause damage and disruption in the adversary country.
  • a comprehensive attack against the adversary’s digital networks amidst a conflict.
  • can serve as key force multiplier during conventional operations and more limited tactical action and contingencies.
  • imposing countervailing costs against an opponent in the middle of a war or to pre-empt an opponent. For instance, India might want to take out the command network of the Western Theatre Command (WTC) of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the midst of active hostilities.

Challenges:

  • Cyber power should not be used offensively because it is ineffective as cyber operations have limited psychological and coercive effect against adversaries.
  • Further, cyber weapons such as viruses could infect the attacker’s systems as much as it would the enemy’s.
  • Given the collateral damage cyber-attacks could cause, their deterrent value is at best modest. NotPetya, for instance, was a cyber-attack against Ukraine which affected not only the primary target but inadvertently, third parties, too.
  • Defensive cyber security is more demanding than developing offensive cyber capabilities such as malware. This is because defence is harder than offence in the cyber domain.
  • Cyber power intersects with space technology such as counterspace missions to disrupt the performance of orbiting spacecraft.
  • There are three specific elements in a space network that are vulnerable to a cyber-attack: uplink, downlink, and satellite-to-satellite attacks.
  • Cyber-attacks can disrupt uplink communications between their ground control segments and in-orbit satellites; in downlink, communications between satellite-derived internet service.
  • Russia, for example, has combined electronic and cyber warfare to target the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) satellite capabilities.
  • Penetration of communication and C2 networks using malware can disrupt the effective operation of logistics nodes.
  • The attack could be executed in the form a Radio Frequency (RF), which is primarily an electronic action merging cyber and electronic warfare operations
  • The US, for instance, has used exclusively cyber means to disable Iranian rocket and missile systems, which was executed by the US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) in 2019.

Indian context:

  • There is generally a strong focus on cyber defence than offence in India.
  • At present, India’s offensive cyber capabilities are weak, especially relative to China.
  • India requires more robust cyber warfare capabilities geared for offensive action to deal with Pakistan and China, which could engage in cyber collusion against India.
  • Pakistan is likely to serve as a key Chinese proxy for cyber-attacks against India.
  • Pursuit of the “cult of the defensive” can be an answer.
  • India needs the combined application of cyber and air power (such as Balakot air strike) for offensive action to be lethally effective, rather than a purely or dichotomous “air/cyber power” application.
  • Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) create target-rich opportunities for the conduct of OCOs by India.

Suggestions:

  • Develop traffic or network analysis capabilities by which develop the service’s traffic analysis capabilities and its crucial develop the service’s traffic analysis capabilities.
  • Well-trained personnel for the conduct of OCOs such as civilian hackers who have technical proficiency and provides cover in terms of deniability and anonymity.
  • Organisational Integration of Technical Agencies such as National Technical Reconnaissance Organisation (NTRO), Defence Cyber Agency (DCA), which is a tri-service organisation, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).
  • Leveraging India’s IT and Software Ecosystem which are generally weak vis-à-vis China, and at best moderately strong against Pakistan and including private sector.
  • India may have to develop a large reserve of OCO capabilities.

Way forward

  • While defensive cyber security is important, offensive cyber capabilities cannot be ignored.
  • However, the Indian armed services, especially the Air Force and the Army, will need to recognise the limits of offensive action when reacting to crises.
  • Well-planned cyber-attacks in conjunction with electronic attack and kinetic attack, as Israel and America have demonstrated against enemy air defences, require attention and focused investment.
  • Given the growing fusion between electronic, cyber and space technology that are applicable to military operations, investment in these capabilities will need high priority.
  • Thus, developing capabilities as part of a strategy where cyber power plays a central role whether against Pakistan or China is well worth pursuing.

Source: Orf online


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Mangrove Breakthrough was launched at COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
  2. The Global Mangrove Alliance which ensures mangrove restoration, was formed in 2018.

Which of the following statements are correct?

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

Q.2) What are the reasons for reddish appearance of beaver blood moon?

  1. Alignment of orbits of the Earth, moon and sun
  2. Atmospheric conditions including air pollution and dust storms
  3. Refraction of rays of sunlight around umbra
  4. Tilt of the moon’s orbit around the Earth

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding Guru Nanak Dev:

  1. He advocated the ‘Nirguna’ (devotion to and worship of formless divine) form of bhakti.
  2. Kartarpur corridor was built to commemorate the 450th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism in 2020.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’10th November 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 9th November – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – a

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – d

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