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

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  • November 12, 2022
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Himalayan Grey Langur

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: According to new studies, differences in altitude make a primate species in the same Himalayan habitat choose between flowers and fruits as food options beyond their staple menu of leaves.

About Himalayan Grey Langur:

  • The Himalayan Gray Langur or the Chamba Sacred Langur ( Semnopithecus ajax) is a colobine, meaning leaf-eating monkey.
  • It is considered an endangered species globally.
  • The Himalayan Gray Langur was once considered a sub-species of the Semnopithecus entellus, commonly known as the Bengal Sacred Langur or Hanuman Langur, but it was separated as a species in 2005.
  • In India, most langurs comes under the genus Semnopithecus.
  • Prior to 2001, Semnopithecus entellus (Hanuman Langur) was considered only one species, with several subspecies.
  • It was in 2001 that these subspecies were recommended as separate species under the genus Semnopithecus.
  • Accordingly, seven different species have been recognised which include Semnopithecus ajax.
  • In the Indian Subcontinent, their distribution is reported from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and from Pakistan and Nepal.
  • S ajax is an endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List but after reassessment in 2004, it was re-designated as ‘Critically Endangered’.
  • It is considered endangered due to its restricted range habitat.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

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

  1. The leader of an elephant group is a female
  2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months
  3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only
  4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala

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

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

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History and Art and Culture

Context:  Recently, the Prime Minister of India paid tributes to Maulana Azad on his birth anniversary.

Personal details:

  • Born: November 11, 1888; Place of Birth: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  • Political Ideology: Liberalism; right-winged; Egalitarian
  • Publications: Ghubar-e-Khatir (1942-1946); India Wins Freedom (1978); weekly called “Al-Hilal” and “Al-Balagh”.
  • On February 22, 1958 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the foremost leaders of the Indian freedom struggle passed away.
  • For his invaluable contribution to the nation, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1992.
  • He was the founder of the Jamia Milia Islamia Institution in Delhi along with fellow khilafat leaders which has blossomed into a renowned University today.
  • His birthday, November 11, is celebrated as National Education Day in India.

Early Revolutionary Activities:

  • In Egypt, Azad came into contact with the followers of Mustafa Kemal Pasha who were publishing a weekly from Cairo.
  • In Turkey, Maulana Azad met the leaders of the Young Turks Movement.
  • After his return to India from an extensive visit of Egypt, Turkey, Syria and France, Azad met prominent revolutionaries Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and Shyam Sundar Chakraborty.
  • Azad fiercely criticized the Muslim politicians who were more inclined towards the communal issues without focusing on the national interest.
  • He also rejected the theories of communal separatism advocated by the All India Muslim League.

Pre-Independence Activities

  • As an activist demanding the reinstatement of the Caliph in Istanbul, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad came onboard with the Khilafat movement during 1920.
  • He became involved with the Indian freedom struggle through the Non-cooperation movement initiated by Gandhi, of which the Khilafat issue was a big part of.
  • Although initially skeptical of Gandhi’s proposal to launch an intensified drive against the British Raj demanding independence, he later joined the efforts.
  • He wholeheartedly advocated the principles of the non-cooperation movement and in the process became drawn to Gandhi and his philosophy.
  • He worked closely with Vallabhbahi Patel and Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
  • He vehemently opposed the idea of partition based on religion and was deeply hurt when the idea went forward to give rise to Pakistan.
  • He presided over the special session of Congress in September 1923 and was said to be the youngest man elected as the President of the Congress.
  • In 1928, Maulana Azad endorsed the Nehru Report, formulated by Motilal Nehru.
  • As opposed to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Azad also advocated for the ending of separate electorates based on religion and called for a single nation committed to secularism.
  • In 1930, Maulana Azad was arrested for violation of the salt laws as part of Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha.

Post-Independence Activities

  • During the violence that erupted following partition of India, Maulana Azad assured to take up the responsibility for the security of Muslims in India.
  • He helped in establishing the refugee camps and ensured uninterrupted supply of food and other basic materials.
  • He was appointed as India’s first Minister for Education and inducted in the Constituent Assembly to draft India’s constitution.
  • Under Maulana Azad’s tenure, a number of measures were undertaken to promote primary and secondary education, scientific education, establishment of universities and promotion of avenues of research and higher studies.

Source: PIB

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Who among the following was associated as Secretary with Hindu Female School which later came to be known as Bethune Female School? (2021)

  1. Annie Besant
  2. Debandranath Tagore
  3. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
  4. Sarojini Naidu

Early warning systems in Himalayan States

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography and Science and Technology

Context: The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has begun field studies to put in place an early-warning system in the Himalayan States.

About CSIR

  • The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Organisational Structure:

  • President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
  • Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
  • Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.
  • The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).
  • Other members’ terms are of three years.

CSIR Advisory Board:

  • 15-member body composed of prominent members from respective fields of science and technology. Its function is to provide science and technology input to the governing body.
  • Member terms are of three years.

Significance of CSIR:

Strategic Sector:

  • Drishti transmissometer: It is an Indigenous – Innovative –Cost-effective visibility measuring system that provides information to pilots on visibility for safe landing & take-off operations and is suitable for all airport categories.
  • Head-Up-Display (HUD): CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) developed an indigenous Head-Up- display (HUD) for Indian Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas.
    • HUD aids the pilot in flying the aircraft and in critical flight manoeuvres including weapon aiming.
  • Indigenous Gyrotron: Design and development of indigenous gyrotron for nuclear fusion reactors have been accomplished.
  • A gyrotron is a vacuum electronic device (VED) capable of generating high-power, high-frequency THz radiation.

Energy & Environment:

  • Solar Tree: It was designed by CSIR- The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) lab in Durgapur. It occupies the minimum space to produce clean power.
  • Lithium-Ion Battery: The Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, has set up the first indigenous Li-ion fabrication facility that has applications in defence, solar-powered devices, railways and other high-end usages.

Agriculture:

  • Samba Mahsuri Rice Variety: CSIR in collaboration with ICAR developed an improved bacterial blight-resistant Samba Mahsuri variety.
  • Rice Cultivar (Muktashree) for Arsenic Contaminated Areas: A rice variety has been developed which restricts assimilation of Arsenic within the permissible limit.
  • White-fly Resistant Cotton Variety: Developed a transgenic cotton line which is resistant to whiteflies.

Healthcare:

  • JD Vaccine for Farm Animals: Vaccine developed and commercialized for Johne’s disease (JD) affecting Sheep, goats, cows and Buffalo so as to immunize them and increase milk & meat production.
  • Plasma Gelsolin Diagnostic Kit for Premature Births, and Sepsis-related Deaths to diagnose premature birth and sepsis.
  • GOMED: A programme called GOMED (Genomics and other omics technologies for Enabling Medical Decision) has been developed by the CSIR which provides a platform for disease genomics to solve clinical problems.

Food & Nutrition:

  • Ksheer-scanner: It is a new technological invention by CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) to detect the level of milk adulteration and adulterants in 45 seconds at the cost of 10 paise.
  • Double-Fortified Salt: Salt fortified with iodine and iron has improved properties developed and tested for addressing anaemia in people.
  • Anti-obesity DAG Oil: Oil enriched with Diacylglycerol (DAG) instead of conventional triacylglycerol (TAG) developed.

Water:

  • Aquifer Mapping of Water Scarce Areas: Heliborne transient electromagnetic and surface magnetic technique-based aquifer mapping was carried out in six different geological locations in Rajasthan (2), Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
  • Understanding the Special Properties of Ganga Water: An assessment of water quality & sediment analysis of Ganga from different parts being done.

Waste to Wealth:

  • Non-toxic radiation shielding materials utilizing industrial waste like red mud (from aluminium industries) and fly ash (Thermal Power Plants) developed which have been accredited by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for application in diagnostic X-Ray rooms.
  • Waste Plastic to Fuel: Process for conversion of waste plastics to gasoline/diesel or aromatics developed.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library:

  • CSIR has established the first-ever ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ in the world. It is accessible in five international languages (English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish).
  • CSIR successfully challenged the grant of patent in the USA for use of Haldi (turmeric) for wound healing and neem as an insecticide on the basis of traditional knowledge.
  • Genome sequencing: CSIR completed the sequencing of the Human Genome in 2009.
  • Computing: Flo solver, India’s first parallel computer was built in 1986. Flosolver’s success triggered other successful parallel computing projects in the country such as PARAM.
  • CSIR envisages a vision of CSIR@2030 as to “Enhance quality of life of the citizens of India through innovative Science and Technology, globally competitive R&D, by developing sustainable solutions and capacity building to fulfil dream of Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
    • This vision of CSIR is aligned to the Government of India’s vision for the next 25 years ‘Amrit Kal’ when independent India becomes 100 years old.

About NGRI:

  • The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), a constituent research laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was established in 1961 with the mission to carry out research in multidisciplinary areas of the highly complex structure and processes of the Earth system and its extensively interlinked subsystems.
  • NGRI is situated in Hyderabad.
  • The research activities fall broadly under three themes:
    • Geodynamics, which revolve round investigating and modelling fundamental aspects of the Earth system and processes.
    • Earthquake Hazards, which encompass features on the surface and subsurface of crust which may potentially endanger lives and properties through catastrophes like earthquakes and
    • Landslides as well as deterioration in pollution levels of groundwater and soil, changes in climatic conditions and associated environmental issues.
  • The Institute is structured into seven major R&D Groups and twenty one Activities, which include expertise in a variety of geophysical, geochemical, geological techniques like Seismology, Magnetotellurics, GPS, Paleo-seismology, Structural geology, Controlled source seismics, Gravity and Magnetics, Geochemistry, Geochronology, Paleomagnetism, Planetary geology, Geomagnetism, Airborne geophysics, Shallow subsurface geophysics and Rock Mechanics, Hydrochemistry, Paleo-environmental studies and Modelling and simulation of Earth processes.

About Early warning systems in Himalayan States

Application:

  • Against major and sudden floods, rockslides, landslips, glacier lake bursts and avalanches and to prevent Chamoli kind of disasters in future.

Significance:

  • These instruments are crucial for the safety of large infrastructure projects and hydroelectric power plants in this region.
  • The NGRI has started utilising Machine Learning to detect these observations faster than the normal approach because time becomes crucial during a warning.

Source: The Hindu


The sword of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History and Art and Culture

Context: The Maharashtra government recently announced that it is working to bring back the sword of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from London to India.

About the Sword:

  • It was given to Edward, the Prince of Wales (the later King Edward VII), by Shivaji IV in 1875-76.
  • The sword is part of the Royal Collection Trust at Saint James’s Palace in London.
  • Shivaji IV was barely 11 years old then, and like many other Indian kings of the time, he was forced by the British to “gift” them valuable presents, which included weapons with historical significance.
  • The first effort was made by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, when he visited London to fight a suit of libel.
  • Subsequently, the Marathi poet and playwright Ram Ganesh Gadkari, who wrote under the pen name of Govindagraj, made references to the sword in a poem.
  • After independence, the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Yashwantrao Chavan, pursued the matter.
  • Later, Chief Minister A R Antulay announced efforts to bring the sword back, and started collecting documents to build a case for India.
  • At the time, however, the sword was referred to as the “Bhavani” sword, and the British argued that a sword of that name is already there in Maharashtra’s Satara district.

The Bhavani and Jagdamba swords:

  • The “Bhavani” sword, now in Satara, was also used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • But this sword is different from the one in London, which is called “Jagdamba” in the catalogue of Chhatrapati of Karveer.

MUST READ:  About Shivaji

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following events in the history of India :

  1. Rise of Pratiharas under King Bhoja
  2. Establishment of Pallava power under Mahendravarman – I
  3. Establishment of Chola power by Parantaka – I
  4. Pala dynasty founded by Gopala

What is the correct chronological order of the above events, starting from the earliest time? (2020)

  1. 2-1-4-3
  2. 3-1-4-2
  3. 2-4-1-3
  4. 3-4-1-2

India’s first national repository for life science data: ‘Indian Biological Data Center’ (IBDC)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims: Governance

Context: As per the BIOTECH-PRIDE guidelines of the Government of India, IBDC is mandated to archive all life science data generated from publicly-funded research in India.

Features:

  • IBDC has accumulated over 200 billion bases from 2, 08, 055 submissions from more than 50 research labs across India
  • IBDC dashboard provides customized data submission, access, data analysis services, and real-time SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring across India
  • IBDC is mandated to archive all life science data generated from publicly-funded research in India
  • It has a data storage capacity of about 4 petabytes and houses the ‘Brahm’ High Performance Computing (HPC) facility.
  • IBDC has started nucleotide data submission services via two data portals viz. the ‘Indian Nucleotide Data Archive (INDA)’ and ‘Indian Nucleotide Data Archive – Controlled Access (INDA-CA)’ and has accumulated over 200 billion bases from 2,08,055 submissions from more than 50 research labs across India.

Source: PIB


Unveiling of a statue of the 16th-century founder of Bengaluru - Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

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Syllabus

  • Prelims: History

Context: It is the “first and tallest bronze statue of a founder of a city,” as per ‘World Book of Records’. The monument is named as the “Statue of Prosperity“.

  • It has been built to commemorate the contribution of Kempegowda, the founder of the city, towards the growth of Bengaluru.
  • Renowned sculptor and Padma Bhushan awardee Ram Vanji Sutar has designed the statue.

About Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

  • Nadaprabhu Hiriya Kempe Gowda, also known as Kempe Gowda was a chieftain under the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • The city of Bengaluru, which is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, was fortified by Kempe Gowda in 1537.
  • A successor of descendants of Morasu Gowda lineage started as Yelahankanadu Prabhus (ruler of Yelhankanadu). The Yelahankanadu Prabhus belonged to Gowda community.
  • Kempegowda’s initial plan for the city was to have temples, a fort, water tanks, and a cantonment. After receiving permission from emperor Achyutharaya, the chieftain built the Bangalore Fort and town in AD 1537.
  • Kempegowda has been credited for abolishing the practice of cutting the fingers of the left hand of an unmarried woman during a custom known as Bandi Devaru.
  • Kempegowda knew multiple languages, besides Kannada, and even authored a Yakshagana play in Telugu named Gangagaurivilasa.

Political Significance: After Lingayats, Vokkaliga is the second most dominant community in Karnataka and Kempegowda is its most iconic figure.

Source: The Indian Express


All You Need to Know About House Arrest

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Syllabus

  • Prelims: Polity

In News: Supreme Court has allowed ‘house arrest’ for human rights activist Gautam Navlakha.

  • An accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and has been in jail since April 2020.
  • He suffers from multiple ailments.
  • He moved the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court rejected his plea seeking transfer to house arrest on account of his medical condition.

What is House Arrest?

  • House arrest—also known as home confinement or home detention—is the act of confining a person to specified premises that are not a regular jail.
  • These premises can be the person’s own home or someone else’s, subject to approval by the authorities.
  • House arrest is seen as an alternative to confinement in jail either during trial or after sentencing, which can be used in the case of certain categories of prisoners with specific medical or other needs, or those who are not deemed dangerous.
  • House arrest is allowed under specific conditions that are peculiar to each prisoner. They almost always include restrictions on travel and meeting people, and may include electronic surveillance of the prisoner by means of a wearable tracking device.
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure does not mention house arrest.
    • Section 5 of the National Security Act, 1980, empowers the state to detain an individual “in such place and under such conditions…as the appropriate Government may, by general or special order, specify”.
    • The detained person may be “removed from one place of detention to another place of detention, whether within the same State or in another State, by order of the appropriate Government”.

Source: The Indian Express


Push for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) enabled payments

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy)

Context: Policymakers trying to transition India to a less-cash economy have been confounded by a peculiar phenomenon of currency in circulation growing right alongside rising digital adoption.

About Unified Payments Interface (UPI):

  • It is a system that facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform, without requiring details of the beneficiary’s bank account.
  • It is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) round–the-clock funds transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother.
  • It is developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by RBI.
  • NPCI launched UPI with 21 member banks in 2016.
  • India is expanding UPI based infrastructure in many foreign countries such as Singapore’s PayNow has been linked with UPI.

Importance of UPI:

  • With the mushrooming of mobile wallets, QR-based apps and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the volume of digital transactions leapfrogged from 293 crore in March 2020 to 799 crore by March 2022, as per RBI data.
  • But CIC (currency in circulation) as a proportion of GDP has been rising too.
  • After hovering at 11-12 per cent until FY20, it hit 14 per cent in FY21 and remained at 13 per cent in FY22.
  • CIC in developed economies tends to be in the single digits.
  • But a recent study by SBI Ecowrap offers hope that digital payments may finally be reducing the need for hard cash, in some respects.
  • For the first time, the Diwali week this year saw a dip in CIC as opposed to sharp spikes witnessed in the last 20 years.
  • The lower need for cash can mainly be traced to the widespread adoption of UPI.

Evolution of UPI:

  • UPI has gone a long way in enabling the digitalization of India’s payments economy.
  • It has added layers of convenience in the way people transact with money.
  • UPI being an indigenous ‘Made in India’ product has helped India find its unique place in the globe in the digital payments arena.
  • Likely to be a $180 billion market by 2026, India is among top nations in this space.
  • With UPI expanding beyond the borders, it has certainly brought a lot of pride to the nation.

Significance of UPI enabled payments:

  • Low-Cost Source of Funds : UPI’s use prompts bank account holders to hold larger balances in their savings accounts, providing banks with a low-cost source of funds.
    • UPI manages to materially reduce the need for the public to deal in cash.
  • Greater traceability of transactions: Substitution of anonymous cash payments with digital ones also allows for greater traceability of transactions for the taxman looking to widen the tax base.
  • Reduce Logistic Costs: If the demand for paper currency diminishes, banks would save on the logistics costs involved in safely storing and transporting paper currency and regularly refilling their ATMs.
  • Increasing tax revenue: With digitalization, the market’s black money can be diminished, increasing compliance and increasing tax revenue.

Key Issues associated with UPI payment systems:

  • High transaction failure rates: Digital payments are currently characterised by high transaction failure rates.
  • A Large Number of people left Behind: With options such as mobile wallets, payment apps and QR code readers available only on smartphones, feature phone users who make up roughly half of India’s mobile subscriber base have been left behind.
  • Many people lack digital literacy: Since most people lack digital literacy, they are unable to use the UPI system.

Way Forward:

  • There has to be widespread awareness campaign to educate users about the safe use of UPI and the convenience it brings.
  • Digital payment services like UPI were currently used by just a fifth of the population.
  • Unless a third adopted it, cash in circulation would not see a durable reduction.

Despite affluent consumers embracing them in a big way, digital payments are still far from ubiquitous. Policymakers may need to address all the issues to further the reach of digital payments.

Additional Information:

  • Currency in circulation refers to the amount of cash–in the form of paper notes or coins–within a country that is physically used to conduct transactions between consumers and businesses.
  • Currency in circulation is all of the money that has been issued by a country’s monetary authority, minus cash that has been removed from the system.
  • It represents part of the overall money supply, with a portion of the overall supply being stored in checking and savings accounts.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following is the most likely consequence of implementing the ‘Unified Payments Interface (UPI)’?

  1. Mobile wallets will not be necessary for online payments.
  2. Digital currency will totally replace the physical currency in about two decades.
  3. FDI inflows will drastically increase.
  4. Direct transfer of subsidies to poor people will become very effective.

EU’s Sustainability Push on India

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance and International Relations)

Context: The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence.

  • The European Union relaunched negotiations with India for a Free Trade Agreement, and launched separate negotiations for an Investment Protection Agreement and an Agreement on Geographical Indications (GIs).

About European Union:

  • The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
    • Branches of power
    • Executive Branch
    • European Council
    • It sets the broad political direction to the EU.
  • It convenes at least four times a year and comprises the president of the European Council, the president of the European Commission and one representative per member state.
  • European Commission:
    • It acts both as the EU’s executive arm, responsible for the day-to-day running of the EU, and also the legislative initiator, with the sole power to propose laws for debate.
  • Legislative Branch:
    • European Parliament
    • Council of the European Union
    • European Commission
  • Judicial Branch
    • The Court of Justice is the judicial branch of the European Union and consists of two courts:
    • Court of Justice and
    • General Court.

Importance of EU:

  • The EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for €88 billion worth of trade in goods in 2021 or 10.8% of total Indian trade.
  • India is the EU’s 10th largest trading partner, accounting for 2.1% of EU total trade in goods.
  • The EU predominantly purchases textiles (17.8%), chemicals (15%), machinery and electrical equipment (13%) and agricultural products (7.9%).
  • About 6,000 European companies are present in India, which provide over 1.7 million direct jobs and 5 million indirect jobs across sectors.

About Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDC):

  • The European Commission published a proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence.
  • It aims to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behavior throughout global value chains.

Applicability:

  • EU limited liability companies:
  • Group 1: with 500+ employees on average and a net worldwide turnover in excess of EUR 150 million in the last financial year.
  • Group 2: not in Group 1 but operating in high-risk sectors, with more than 250 employees and a net worldwide turnover in excess of EUR 40 million in the last financial year.

Non-EU limited liability companies active in the EU:

  • Group 1: with a net turnover in excess of EUR 150 million in the EU in the financial year preceding the last financial year;
  • Group 2: not in Group 1 but with a net turnover in excess of EUR 40 million, but not exceeding EUR 150 million in the EU in the financial year preceding the last financial year.

Key Features

  • It will require certain large EU and non-EU companies to set up mandatory due diligence practices to identify, prevent or mitigate, and ultimately terminate adverse impacts of their corporate activities on human rights and the environment.
  • The EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) proposal is an important component of the European Green Deal towards a sustainable future.

Impacts of EU’s Sustainability:

  • EU companies that are covered under the current form of the proposed directive are going above and beyond to protect themselves.
  • They are putting in place robust mechanisms to mitigate any possible risks.
  • This implies clear contractual clauses, establishment of complaint procedures, increased third-party assessments, and capacity building etc.

Issues associated with India:

  • Child labour and trafficking in India.
    • As per the 2011 census, there were over 11 million child laborers in India.
    • Covid and its impact on economic security and education led to an increase in these numbers.
  • A large number of these children fall somewhere within the blind spots of corporate supply chains.
  • Gaps in prosecution for violations and rehabilitation of victims.

Way Forward:

  • This is the right time for the government and corporations to evaluate our sustainability systems and improve on them transparently and objectively.
  • Companies must establish clear and transparent contractual clauses with all tiers of suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors for risk assessment and mitigation, disclosure and remediation for human-rights violations.
  • Internal audit and training exercises should filter to the lower tiers of the supply chain, where maximum risk lies.
  • Companies can introduce greater technology and automation to help reduce tiers, informality and fragmentation in supply chains.
  • Partnerships with third party experts and the government can help integrate existing best practices in their operations.

Source: LiveMint


Amendment to Aadhaar Rules

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Recently, the government has amended Aadhaar regulations. The Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations have been updated to reflect the changes.

About Aadhar:

  • A 12-digit unique identity for every Indian individual, including children and infants
  • Enables identification for every resident Indian.
  • Establishes uniqueness of every individual on the basis of demographic and biometric information.
  • It is a voluntary service that every resident can avail irrespective of present documentation.
  • Each individual will be given a single unique Aadhaar ID number.
  • Aadhaar will provide a universal identity infrastructure which can be used by any identity-based application (like ration card, passport, etc.)
  • 134 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued till date.
  • Around 1000 government schemes – 650 from state governments and 315 from central government use Aadhaar authentication services to avoid deduplication and removal of ghost beneficiaries.
  • Aadhaar enrolment of adult citizens is nearing 100 per cent.

About the new rules:

  • Updating the documents
    • As per the regulations earlier, residents who were older than 15 years at the time of enrolment were recommended to update their biometric data every 10 years.
    • The process of updating documents is not mandatory.
  • Ensuring accuracy
    • This process will help in ensuring the accuracy of information in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR).
  • Demographic information
    • The amendment of the Aadhaar regulation is limited to updating demographic information and does not involve biometric data such as fingerprints.

Issues with Aadhar:

  • Aadhaar act allows cancellation of Aadhaar number for any reason by the government and citizens have no recourse.
  • A Centralized database is a concern because once it is compromised everyone is at risk.
  • There is no ID or address verification and there is no means of identifying fakes.
  • There is no data protection law in place in India.
  • Enrolment software hacks allowed foreign nationals to create Aadhaar numbers thus creating a national security risk.
  • UIDAI does not have a monitoring mechanism but only an audit mechanism.
  • Data goes to third parties vulnerability increases due to that.

Usage of Aadhaar

For Governments, Service Agencies

  • UIDAI issues Aadhaar numbers to the residents only after de-duplicating their demographic and biometric attributes against its entire database.
  • Aadhaar seeding enables elimination of duplicates under various schemes which leads to substantial savings to the government exchequers.
  • It also provides the government with accurate data on the beneficiaries and enables implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) programmes. Aadhaar authentication enables the implementing agencies to verify the beneficiaries at the time of service/benefits delivery and also ensures the targeted delivery of benefits to them. All these activities will lead to:-
    • Curbing Leakages through Targeted Delivery: All social welfare programmes where beneficiaries are required to be confirmed before the service delivery, stand to benefit from UIDAI’s authentication services.
  • This will result in curbing leakages and ensuring that services are delivered to the intended beneficiaries only.
    • Examples include subsidized food and kerosene delivery to Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries, worksite attendance of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) beneficiaries, etc.
  • Improving Efficiency and Efficacy: With the Aadhaar platform providing accurate and transparent information about the service delivery mechanism, government can improve disbursement systems and utilize its scarce development funds more effectively and efficiently.

For Residents

  • Aadhaar system provides single source offline/online identity verification across the country for the residents.
  • Once residents enroll, they can use their Aadhaar number to authenticate and establish their identity multiple times using electronic means or through offline verification, as the case may be.
  • It eliminates the hassle of repeatedly providing supporting identity documents each time a resident wishes to access services, benefits or subsidies.
  • Since Aadhaar is universal identity accepted across the whole country, the Aadhaar system enables mobility to millions of people who migrate from one part of the country to another by providing a portable proof of identity that can be verified through Aadhaar authentication on-line anytime, anywhere.

Additional Information:

About Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) & Aadhar

Aadhaar Act & Establishment of UIDAI:

  • The UIDAI is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Need of UIDAI:

  • UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India. The UID had to be –
  • Robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and
  • Verifiable and authenticable in an easy, cost-effective way.
  • Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for:
    • Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle,
    • Developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and
    • Perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.

Source: The Hindu


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to modern Indian history, consider the following statements:

  1. He was the founder of the Jamia Milia Islamia Institution in Delhi.
  2. He was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1992.
  3. He presided over the special session of Congress in September 1923 and was said to be the youngest man elected as the President of the Congress.
  4. He advocated for the ending of separate electorates based on religion and called for a single nation committed to secularism.

Who among the following has been described above?

  1. Madan Mohan Malviya
  2. Lal Bahadur Shastri
  3. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
  4. Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Q.2) With reference to The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), consider the following statements:

  1. CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  2. Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio) act as ex-officio President.
  3. CSIR has established the first-ever ‘Traditional Knowledge Digital Library’ in the world.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding House arrest:

  1. The Code of Criminal Procedure gives detailed grounds for house arrest.
  2. House arrested persons are always include restrictions on travel and meeting people, and may include electronic surveillance of the prisoner by means of a wearable tracking device.

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 ’12th November 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 11th November – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – b

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