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

  • IASbaba
  • December 7, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Mahua Tree/Madhuca longifolia

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art and Culture and Environment

Context: The Munda people’s association with the mahua tree begins even before they are born. Would-be mothers are fed a simple chutney made of mahua flowers that is believed to be healthy.

  • Mahua is also a part of wedding rituals and mahua liquor is served at the ceremony. From birth, through marriage, till funeral — mahua is intertwined with their cultural life.

About Mahua Tree:

  • The Madhuca longifolia is a species of tropical tree native to India that may be found primarily on the plains and forests of the central, southern, and northern parts of the country, as well as in Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
  • It is a quick-growing tree that may reach a height of roughly 20 metres, with everlasting or semi-evergreen foliage.
  • It grows sporadically in semi-evergreen woods, along riverbanks, and pastures and crop fields in central India.
  • It has a short, thick trunk with a diameter of 80 cm.
  • The crown has several branches and is circular.
  • The leaves are alternating and crowded at the branchlets’ terminals.
  • The basic leaf blade measures 10-25 cm in length and 6-12 cm in width, is oval-shaped, stiff, thick, and hard, woolly on the underside, and exudes a milky sap when broken.

Madhuca longifolia: Uses

  • Several different portions of the tree, particularly the bark, are utilised for the therapeutic benefits they possess. Patients with diabetes in Nepal are given a decoction made from the tree’s bark.
  • mahua is omnipresent from food to fodder, dawaa (medicine) to daaru (alcohol) in daily lives tribals of central India. In their own words, ‘Mahua is not a tree, it’s our way of life’.
  • Leprosy is often treated using a medicinal extract made from the tree’s bark.
  • The oil that is extracted from the seeds is utilised in the treatment of a variety of skin conditions.
    • The seed cakes that are left over after the oil has been extracted make for excellent fertiliser.
  • The flowers are thought to provide a calming, tonifying, and demulcent effect. They are employed in the therapy of coughs, colds, and bronchitis, among other conditions.
  • The succulent, sugary flowers can be consumed as fresh or dried, powdered and baked with flour, fermented to produce alcohol, or used as a sweetener.
  • Given its non-toxicity, the inhabitants of Western Odisha rely heavily on mahua fruit as a primary source of nutrition.
  • Its fruits and blooms are used in the preparation of a wide variety of delicious foods.
  • When there is a grain shortage in the local region, a mixture of mahua flowers and sal seeds is cooked together to make a dish that may be used as a substitute for grain staples.

Source: DownToEarth


National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary met recently and reviewed preparedness of Central Ministries/Agencies, and State/Union Territory Governments to review preparedness for the possible cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal.

About National Crisis Management Committee:

  • It is a committee set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
  • It is headed by Cabinet Secretary.
  • On the constitution of such a committee, the Agriculture Secretary shall provide all necessary information to and seek directions.
  • It has been constituted in the Cabinet Secretariat.

Key functions:

  • Oversee the Command, Control and Coordination of the disaster response.
  • Give direction to the Crisis Management Group (CMG) as deemed necessary.

Composition:

  • Cabinet Secretary (Chairperson).
  • Secretaries of Ministries / Departments and agencies with specific Disaster management responsibilities.

Source: PIB


National Commission for Minorities

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The National Commission for Minorities recently held a meeting with the Sikh Intelligentsia for inviting suggestions and advice to make the commemoration of the Veer Bal Diwas more meaningful.

  • Earlier Prime Minister of India has announced that 26 December will be observed as Veer Bal Diwas to mark the martyrdom of Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji (7 years old) and Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji (5 years old), who were martyred in Sarhand by prisoning them alive by bricking them in the walls on 26th December, 1704.
  • Thereafter, the Government of India has decided to commemorate December 26 as Veer Bal Diwas.

About National Commission for Minorities:

  • The Union Government set up the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
  • Six religious communities, viz; Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified in Gazette of India as minority communities by the Union Government all over India.
  • Original notification of 1993 was for five religious communities; Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Muslims, later in 2014, Jains community was also added.
  • As per Census 2001, these six communities consists of 18.8% of the country’s population.
  • The NCM adheres to the United Nations Declaration of 18 December 1992.

Composition:

The act states that the Commission shall consist of:

  • a Chairperson,
  • a Vice Chairperson and
  • Five Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of eminence, ability and integrity;
  • The five members including the Chairperson shall be from amongst the minority communities.

Powers:

  • Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath.
  • Requiring the discovery and production of any document.
  • Receiving evidence on affidavit.
  • Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
  • Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents.

Source: NewsOnAir


Digi Yatra

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In news: The government has introduced Digi Yatra to make air travel hassle-free.

  • The facility will be available for passengers taking domestic flights at Delhi’s Terminal 3, Bengaluru and Varanasi airports.
  • DigiYatra will be launched at four more airports — Hyderabad, Pune, Vijaywada and Kolkata — by next March and later in rest of the country.
  • Among airlines, passengers travelling Air India, Vistara and IndiGo on their domestic network can avail this facility at the three airports

Digi Yatra:

  • It is a paperless entry at airports using facial recognition software.
  • It envisages that travellers pass through various checkpoints at the airport through paperless and contactless processing, using facial features to establish their identity, which would be linked to the boarding pass.
  • With this technology, the entry of passengers would be automatically processed based on the facial recognition system at all checkpoints – including entry into the airport, security check areas, aircraft boarding, etc.
  • Passengers won’t need to carry their ID card and boarding pass.
  • The project is being implemented by the DigiYatra Foundation — a joint-venture company whose shareholders are the Airports Authority of India (26% stake) and Bengaluru Airport, Delhi Airport, Hyderabad Airport, Mumbai Airport and Cochin International Airport.
  • These five shareholders equally hold the remaining 74% of the shares.

How to avail the facility:

  • A passenger must register their details on the DigiYatra app using Aadhaar-based validation and a self-image capture.
  • In the next step, the boarding pass must be scanned, and the credentials are shared with airport authorities.
  • At the airport e-gate, the passenger has to first scan the bar-coded boarding pass and the facial recognition system installed at the e-gate will validate the passenger’s identity and travel document.
  • Once this process is done, the passenger can enter the airport through the e-gate.
  • The passenger will have to follow the normal procedure to clear security and board the aircraft.

Significance:

  • Facial recognition technology is beneficial as it makes flying more convenient and reduces congestion at airports.
  • The facial recognition system at various airports across the globe, including Dubai, Singapore, Atlanta and Narita (Japan), have helped bring in efficiency.

Source: Indian express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following (2022)

  1. Aarogya Setu
  2. CoWIN
  3. Digi Locker
  4. DIKSHA

Which of the above are built on top of open-source digital platforms?

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

Open Standard Digital Trunking Radio System

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In news: The Delhi Police will move to the ‘Open Standard Digital Trunking Radio System’ (OS-DTRS) and will phase out the current tetra net wireless network services.

  • The project will cost close to Rs 100 crore

About new system:

  • It is an internal communication system of Delhi Police
  • It is more efficient and aims at faster exchange of information
  • The trunking system provides multiple channels and common groups for policemen.
  • This way, they are communicating with more personnel using fewer groups, officials said.
  • Groups are formed based on geographical area and function.
  • It will also have a voice logger system, which can be used to describe a crime scene, interrogation details and evidence. The logs are saved in the system.
  • The project’s master site will be at the Delhi Police HQ.
  • Police are looking for private companies to run the system on 800 MHz frequency band and microwave links.
  • There will be a tower that can withstand wind speeds of up to 160 kmph.
  • Around 15,000 concurrent radio sets will be made first and later expanded to 30,000 over time.
  • The master site will have OS-DTRS control and switching equipment, a network management system, 90 IP-based logger systems, 50-inch or bigger LED monitors, an antenna system and maintenance systems.
  • Equipment and services are expected to run for at least 10 years and fix network issues faced by personnel on the ground.
  • The system should be equipped to support multi-channel operation for meeting current traffic requirements and should be expandable by 100% in future
  • The system will have talk groups, in which members have the same functions/role, and each radio system will have a unique ID.

Source: Indian express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to ‘Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology’, which of the following is/are correct? (2015)

  1. It is a contactless communication technology that uses electromagnetic radio fields.
  2. NFC is designed for use by devices which can be at a distance of even a metre from each other.
  3. NFC can use encryption when sending sensitive information.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Black Soil

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment, Geography

In News: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on Global status of black soils is the first such report, released on World Soil Day.

  • Black soils feed the global population and are under threat due to losing at least half of their soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks.
  • Preserving natural vegetation on black soils such as grasslands, forests and wetlands and adopting sustainable soil management approaches on cropped black soils were the two main goals highlighted by the report.

Black soil:

  • The inherent fertility of the soils makes them the food basket for many countries and are considered essential to the global food supply.
  • These soils are characterised by a thick, dark-coloured soil horizon rich in organic matter.
  • Black soils are extremely fertile and can produce high agricultural yields thanks to their elevated moisture storage capacity.
  • Europe and Eurasia accounted for 70 per cent of the soil in the total cropland, while North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia had 10 per cent each.

Features of Black soil:

  • Clayey in texture
  • Highly fertile
  • High moisture retention
  • Rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash and lime
  • Poor in nitrogen and phosphorous
  • Contractable, develops deep wide cracks on drying

Significance:

  • They constitute 5.6 per cent of global soils and contain 8.2 per cent of the world’s SOC stocks i.e. approx. 56 billion tonnes of carbon.
  • Globally in 2010, 66 per cent of sunflower seeds, 51 per cent of small millet, 42 per cent of sugar beet, 30 per cent of wheat and 26 per cent of potatoes were harvested from black soils.
  • The ability of the soils to remove carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up in soil organic matter (called carbon sequestration) has been proposed as an important solution to mitigate human-induced climate change.
  • Black soils have the potential to provide 10 per cent of the total SOC sequestration globally if they receive proper attention.
  • Europe and Eurasia have the highest potential at over 65 per cent and Latin America and the Caribbean at around 10 per cent, according to FAO’s global Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration Potential map.
  • Black soils were home to 2.86 per cent of the global population and had 17.36 percent of cropland, 8.05 per cent of global SOC stock and 30.06 per cent SOC stock of global cropland

Threats:

  • Most of the black soils suffered from moderate to severe erosion processes, as well as nutrient imbalances, acidification and biodiversity loss
  • Black soils have lost 20 to 50 per cent of their original SOC stock, with the carbon being released into the atmosphere mostly as carbon dioxide, exacerbating global warming
  • Land-use change, unsustainable management practices and excessive use of agrochemicals are to blame

Source: DTE

Previous Year Question

Q1) Which of the following statements regarding laterite soils of India are correct? (2013)

  1. They are generally red in colour
  2. They are rich in nitrogen and potash.
  3. They are well-developed in Rajasthan and UP.
  4. Tapioca and cashew nuts grow well on these soils

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

SHE STEM 2022

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: As part of the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week, SHE STEM, the annual event to celebrate women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and sustainability, was successfully held for the third year in a row.

About the event:

  • The annual event is organised by the Embassy of Sweden in India in partnership with the Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Government of India and the German Centre of Innovation and Research (DWIH New Delhi).
  • It is a flagship event of the Sweden-India Nobel memorial Week.
  • A strong STEM education will go a long way in cultivating critical thinkers

Govt schemes for women:

  • Mission Shakti
  • Aim – women and girls have equal access to resources and opportunities.
  • It’ll be run in a mission mode and will adopt a life cycle continuum approach.
  • Includes – Sambal, Samarthya, Swadhar Greh schemes
  • Mission Vatsalya
  • Children have been recognized by policy makers as one of the supreme national assets.
  • India is home to 472 million children upto the age of 18 years and comprise 39 percent of the country’s population
  • Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0
  • Anganwadi services, Scheme for adolescent girls, poshan abhiyan
  • Maternal nutrition, wellness through AYUSH, Infant and young child feeding norms
  • Nai Roshni – scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women is being implemented across India
  • Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI): a pilot project under the Department of Science and Technology to promote gender equity in science and technology
  • Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)- a plan under the Department of Science and Technology again to encourage women scientists in science and technology and also preventing women scientists from giving up research due to family reasons, are noteworthy.
  • KIRAN – ‘Women Scientist Scheme’ — provides career opportunities to unemployed women scientists and technologists, especially those who had a break in their career.
  • Indo-US Fellowship for Women in STEMM (WISTEMM) program– Under this bilateral agreement, Indian women scientists can now work in research labs in the US.
  • Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE) programme– It aims at improving R&D infrastructure and establishing state-of-the-art research facilities in order to create excellence in S&T in women universities.
  • Vigyan Jyoti programme– Meritorious girl students of Class 9-12 are being encouraged to pursue higher education and career in the STEM field.

Source PIB


Importance of Soil Conservation and Management

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 (Geography) and GS 3 (Environment)

Context: December 5 marks the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s World Soil Day, and the theme this year is ‘Soils: where food begins’, which aims to “raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human wellbeing by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health”.

Introduction:

  • Soil conservation promotes sustainable and economic development to meet the N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
    • SDG 6Clean Water and Sanitation: Through drainage and purification, soil helps to provide clean water for drinking and farming.
    • SDG 13Climate Action: Through sequestration, soil can play a pivotal part in combating climate change by reducing atmospheric carbon.
    • SDG 15 — Life on Land: Healthy soils are essential for sustainable management of forests, fighting desertification, and reversing land degradation.

Need For A Healthy Soil Ecosystem:

  • Healthy soils are essential for survival. They support healthy plant growth to enhance both our nutrition and water percolation to maintain groundwater levels.
  • Soils help to regulate the planet’s climate by storing carbon and are the second largest carbon sink after the oceans.
  • They help maintain a healthy landscape that is more resilient to the impacts of droughts and floods. As soil is the basis of food systems, it is no surprise that soil health is critical for healthy food production.

Major causes of soil degradation

Soil erosion:

  • Among the agents, water is considered as the main cause of soil erosion.
  • Main agents of soil erosion are Water, Wind, Waves and Glaciers
  • Removal of the top layer of soil by various means, which include both natural events and human activities, is called as soil erosion.
  • Water-caused soil erosion can be classified as below:
    • Sheet Erosion: Uniform removal of the top soil just like a sheet.
    • Rill Erosion: Heavy water flow cause rill in Land.
    • Gully Erosion: Rill will enlarge as Gullies and land will be disordered. ( e.g.: Chambal Valley)
  • Wind erosion also causes sheet and rill erosions.
  • The largest area affected by soil erosion in India is the State of Rajasthan followed Madhya Pradesh.

Consequences of Soil Erosion:

  • Soil Erosion and fertility of top soil will be lost
  • Underground water level will be reduced
  • Loss of vegetation and habitat leading to drought and flood become frequent
  • Rivers get dried off
  • Adversely affect the economy and culture
  • Natural hideouts are formed when gully erosion occurs (Ex: Chambal valley was famous for criminal’s hideout)

Soil Degradation and its consequences:

  • Main drivers contributing to soil degradation: Industrial activities, mining, waste treatment, agriculture, fossil fuel extraction and processing and transport emissions.
  • Reasons behind soil nutrient loss: Soil erosion, runoff, leaching, and the burning of crop residues.
    • Soil degradation in some form or another affects around 29% of India’s total land area.
    • Nutrient loss and pollution significantly threaten soils, and thereby undermine nutrition and food security globally.
  • This in turn threatens agricultural productivity, in-situ biodiversity conservation, water quality and the socio-economic well-being of land dependent communities.
  • Nearly 3.7 million hectares suffer from a nutrient loss in soil (depletion of soil organic matter, or SOM).
  • Further, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, and irrigation with contaminated wastewater are also polluting soils.
  • The impacts of soil degradation are far reaching and can have irreparable consequences on human and ecosystem health.

Soil conservation methods

  • Contour ploughing (cultivation against the direction of the wind) and Strip cultivation (cultivation in strips).
  • Flood control by government initiatives.
  • Reclamation of bad lands.
  • Organic farming.
  • Construction of proper drainage and Leveling of gullies, ravines etc.
  • Proper awareness about the need of conservation.

Govt of India Initiatives for Soil Conservation:

  • Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme: The SHC is used to assess the current status of soil health, and when used over time, to determine changes in soil health.
    • The SHC displays soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms, which guide farmers to make necessary soil amendments.
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana: The initiative aims to prevent soil erosion, regeneration of natural vegetation, rainwater harvesting, and recharging of the groundwater table.
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: It has schemes promoting traditional indigenous practices such as organic farming and natural farming, thereby reducing dependency on chemicals and other Agri-inputs, and decreasing the monetary burden on smallholder farmers.

International collaboration for soil conservation: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) undertakes multiple activities to support the Government of India’s efforts in soil conservation towards fostering sustainable agrifood systems such as-

  • Development of forecasting tools: The FAO is collaborating with the National Rainfed Area Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) to develop forecasting tools using data analytics that will aid vulnerable farmers in making informed decisions on crop choices, particularly in rainfed areas.
  • Capacity Building for the adoption of sustainable and resilient practices: The FAO, in association with the Ministry of Rural Development, supports the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission’s (DAY-NRLM) Community Resource Persons to increase their capacities towards supporting on-farm livelihoods for the adoption of sustainable and resilient practices, organic certification and Agri-nutri-gardens.
  • Working with states: The FAO works in eight target States, namely, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab, for boosting crop diversification and landscape-level planning.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, the FAO is partnering with the State government and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to support farmers in sustainable transitions to agro-ecological approaches and organic farming.

Way Forward:

There is a need to strengthen communication channels between academia, policymakers and society for the identification, management and restoration of degraded soils, as well as in the adoption of anticipatory measures. Greater cooperation and partnerships are central to ensure the availability of knowledge, sharing of successful practices, and universal access to clean and sustainable technologies, leaving no one behind.

The consumers and citizens can contribute by planting trees to protect topsoil developing and maintaining home/kitchen gardens, and consuming foods that are mainly locally sourced and seasonal. Building the resilience of our ecosystems is critical to addressing the challenges of a changing climate.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) The black cotton soil of India has been formed due to the weathering of  (2021)

  1. Brown forest soil
  2. Fissure volcanic rock
  3. Granite and schist
  4. Shale and limestone

Q.2) What is/are the advantages/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture? (2020)

  1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of the previous crop.
  2. Without the need for nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
  3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Global Wage Report

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently released the Global Wage Report 2022-2023. This ILO flagship report examines the evolution of real wages, giving a unique picture of wage trends globally and by region.

Key findings of the report:

  • The real and nominal wages of employees were considered: The word “wage”, was defined as the total gross remuneration including regular bonuses received by employees during a specified period for time (monthly for the report) worked as well as for time not worked.
  • Nominal wage data: The adjusted figures after accounting for consumer price inflation while real wage growth refers to the year-on-year change in real average monthly wages of all employees.
  • Global wages: They were reduced in 2022 for the first time since 2008. It also added that monthly wages have declined by 0.9 per cent in real terms in the first half of 2022. This is the first negative growth of real global wages in the 21st century.
    • The United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, Bulgaria and Spain are some of the countries that witnessed a fall in the minimum wages. While Italy, Japan, Mexico and the UK facing a decrease in overall wages in real terms compared to 2008.
  • Cost of living: It has the greatest impact on lower-income earners and their households as they have to spend most of their disposable income on essential goods and services, which generally experience greater price increases than non-essential items.
  • Inequality: At the Asia-Pacific level, only the jobs in high-skill occupations saw a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, which is true across all subregions. It is raising concerns about increased inequality.
  • Employment: While there is an employment gain of 1.6% among high-skill workers between 2019 and 2021, there is no such substantial gain among low-to-medium-skill workers.
    • Among the G-20 countries, a significant gap, in the average level of real wages between advanced G-20 countries and emerging G-20 countries such as India, is seen.
  • Poverty: 75 to 95 million people were pushed into extreme poverty during COVID-19.
  • India: In India, the nominal wages rose to ?17,017 per month in 2021 from ?4,398 in 2006.
    • But when inflation is factored in, the real wage growth in India plunged to -0.2% in 2021 from 9.3% in 2006.
    • The negative growth in India started after the pandemic.
  • Other Asian Countries: In China, the growth decreased from 5.6% in 2019 to 2% in 2022. In Pakistan, the growth is -3.8%.

Pandemic Impacts

Overall:

  • COVID-19 intensified informality, led to the withdrawal of workers from the labour market, reduced earnings, increased unemployment and widened inequality
  • They struggled to find shelter, food, and even drinking water for their families.
  • Inflation was the major reason for decrease in income and the greatest impact was on low-income groups.
  • Rising inflation had a greater cost-of-living impact on lower-income earners, the ILO said adding that they had to spend most of their disposable income on essential goods and services, which generally experience greater price increases than non-essential items.
  • Inflation is also biting into the purchasing power of minimum wages.
  • Income inequality and poverty will rise if the purchasing power of the lowest paid is not maintained. In addition, a much-needed post-pandemic recovery could be put at risk. This could fuel further social unrest across the world and undermine the goal of achieving prosperity and peace for all.
  • Although the recent health crisis and the war in Ukraine seem to be the key drivers of uncertainty at present, the fact is that over the past two decades the world has arguably been drifting in a direction that endangers the prospect of achieving prosperity and peace for all, as called for by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

World Bank on Global Growth:

  • Global growth is expected to decelerate markedly from 4.1 per cent in 2022 and 3.2 per cent in 2023 as pent-up demand dissipates and as fiscal and monetary support is unwound across the world.

Major causes for slowdown:

  • Lengthy lockdown months,
  • Excess expenditure on health infrastructure
  • Loss of human resources.
  • Decreasing purchasing power of people around the world.

Results:

  • The current slowdown in demand and escalating inflation in the world market are a few repercussions that the world is facing due to the advent of the pandemic.
  • Lesser earnings further proceed to the lesser demand in the market and eventually create an economic condition of recession where the purchasing power of people does not allow them to consume the current supply rate.

Way Forward:

Labour market policies: There is a need to strengthen labour market institutions and wage policies.

  • The creation of decent formal wage employment is a prerequisite for a more equitable distribution of wages and income, and is a key contributor to equitable and sustainable wage growth.

Gender pay gap:

  • Governments should focus on the gender pay gap as when women leave the labour market, they are less likely to return than men.

Multipronged approach:

  • There is an urgent need to address the negative effects of climate change; increasing inequalities; the poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion endured by millions of people, including the discrimination that women and girls continue to suffer in many parts of the world; the lack of vaccines and access to adequate sanitation and essential healthcare.

Additional Information:

About International Labour Organization:

  • It is a specialised agency of the United Nations.
  • It is the only tripartite U.N. agency since 1919.
  • Aim: To promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.
  • India is a founder member of the ILO.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969:
    • For improving peace among classes
    • Pursuing decent work and justice for workers
    • Providing technical assistance to other developing nations
  • Flagship Reports of ILO are:
    • Global Wage Report
    • World Employment and Social Outlook
    • World Social Protection Report
    • World of Work Report

Source:  The Hindu


B R Ambedkar and Women Empowerment

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 Freedom Struggle

Context:

  • In Madness of Manu, feminist sociologist Sharmila Rege argues that mainstream feminism falls short in understanding the difference between the lives of Phule (Mali caste) and Ambedkar (Mahar caste) as members of OBC and Dalit communities.
  • The entitlements, access to resources and spaces, poverty and humiliation are distinct for those who are destined to live outside of village boundaries and treated as beasts of burden.
  • So, Ambedkar’s role in the anti-caste struggle and women’s empowerment must be closely studied.

Meaning of feminism:

  • ‘Feminism’ is a wide range of political movements, ideologies and social movements that share a common goal to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal and social equality of sexes.
  • The underline premise of feminism is to seek women’s  equality and  justice  in  every sphere of life and create opportunities for women to have the same access to the resources that are otherwise freely available to men.
  • A Vindication of the  Rights of Women (1792)  can be said  to be the precursor  for such suffragette movements.

Feminist movements in India:

  • Shaheen Bagh and anti-CAA protests (December 2019-March 2020)
  • It was led almost entirely by women and became a platform for Muslim women, one of the most marginalised sections of the population, to come out of their homes and shackles and voice their protests.
  • Chipko Movement (March 1974)
  • A group of 28 women, led by Gaura Devi in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region clung to trees to prevent them from being felled.
  • The movement followed the Gandhian Satyagraha style of non-violent protests and became a benchmark for several future environmental movements.
  • Narmada Bachao Andolan (1985)
  • It was focused on the displacement of 250,000 people due to construction of a multi-crore project involving dams over the Narmada River.
  • The Narmada Bachao Andolan has won the Right Livelihood Award in 1991 and enjoys the support of the international community.

Role of Ramabai Amedkar:

  • Ramabai Ambedkar is referred to as “Ramai” – Rama plus “aai” (mother in Marathi) with Ambedkar as Baba — father.
  • She is the representative of the tough mother that working-class families know.
  • When Ambedkar went away to Columbia, in his absence, his wife ran the household, took wage jobs, and faced starvation at times.
  • What she performed was not merely a wifely duty, but it was her contribution to her community and a partnership in social change.

Challenges faced by females:

  • Dalit women’s autobiographies show how illiteracy, poverty, fights, squalor were relentless in the basti, and women suffered cruelty and degradation.
  • Mukta Sarvagod’s book Mitali Kavade (Closed Doors) narrates how teenage daughters-in-law were starved, beaten and worked to death.
  • Superstition was rampant: Women be accused of being possessed by spirits and young girls would be dedicated to temples, where they would become prostitutes.
  • Kumud Pawade in her Antasphot (Inner Blast) writes how the “pativrata” models of Sita and Savitri had a deep impact on women, who fasted for violent philandering drunkard husbands.
  • Even when Dalit women acquire political power, as when they are elected as sarpanches, there is often no protection against the social power that sanctions violence and discrimination against them.
  • The discrimination faced by Dalit women at the cost of the Brahmanical obsession with “purity and pollution” has had a detrimental effect on all the dimensions of development.
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has noted that Dalit women face targeted violence, even rape and murder, by the state actors and powerful members of the dominant castes used to inflict political lessons and crush dissent within the community

Ambedkar – As a feminist:

  • Baby Kamble in Jine Amuche (Our Lives) writes that the message of Buddha filled with compassion came through Baba and the situation changed in a generation.
  • Ambedkar told the women: “Men and women are partners in a marriage, treat your husband with equality, send your children to school, wear clean clothes.”
  • In We Too Made History (Urmila Pawar and Meenakshi Moon), an old activist Gitabai Pawar remembers a meeting in 1942 where she met Babasaheb Ambedkar.
  • They cried with him and carried home his message: “Always be like this, confident. Educate your daughters
  • It is easy to imagine why they identified him as Baba, a father figure rather than as a political personality.
  • He discussed several problems of Indian women and sought for their solutions in Bombay Legislative Council, in the Viceroy’s Assembly as the chairman of the Drafting Committee and also in the Parliament as the first Law Minister of Independent India.
  • In the Mahad Satyagraha for temple entry in 1927, even caste Hindues participated. Shandabai Shinde was one such participant.
  • In the Satyagraha it was decided to burn the Manusmriti, which humiliated women, and shudras.
  • In a speech in 1936, to communities of Joginis and Devadasis — who typically belonged to the Dalit community — Ambedkar urged these women to fight the regressive religious practice of offering pubescent girls to gods in temples and become “sexually available for community members

As a policy-maker:

  • The Hindu Code Bill
  • It revolutionised the Hindu domestic sphere by offering women the right to marry by choice and across caste boundaries, give them the right to divorce, and the right to inherit property.
  • The Bill became the law in a piecemeal, diluted avatar, in the form of the Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Succession Act etc.
  • He resigned when the Bill was stalled by the upper caste orthodoxy.
  • His influence also led to the passage of various other pro-women acts like The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, and The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, legally entitling women to equal wages and criminalising dowry, respectively.

As an Activist of women’s rights:

  • Ambedkar felt women, once they become agents of their own fate, will dismantle the caste patriarchy.
  • He wrote extensively on women’s oppression and set up newspapers like ‘Mook Nayak’ and ‘Bahishkrit Bharat’ with sections that exclusively covered women-centric issues.
  • Ambedkar pushed for family planning measures for women, and ensured the enactment of universal adult franchise, thereby legalising voting rights for women and several other minorities and marginalised people.
  • Ambedkar’s contribution to women’s emancipation is reflected in his In his criticism of texts like Manusmriti.

Way forward:

  • Today, when a Dalit woman rape survivor seeks justice in the court against upper caste rapists, when a woman in a joint family demands her share of land, or when a lower caste woman becomes a sarpanch, chief minister or President, Ambedkar’s legacy comes alive.
  • Ambedkar’s legacy lives in his aim to ensure that women have agency and control over material resources and access to education.
  • Only when we acknowledge Babasaheb’s feminist perspective in its true essence can we rightfully offer tribute to him as a visionary for Indian women and their rights.

Baba’s Explainer – Loan Write-offs

Loan Write-offs

Syllabus

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-2: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. 

Context: During the last five years — from 2017-18 to 2021-22 — scheduled commercial banks (137) wrote off non-performing assets (NPAs) worth ₹9,91,640 lakh crore out of which 12 public sector banks accounted for ₹7,27,330 crore.

  • Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad, said this in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha unstarred question raised by Mallikarjun Kharge, in August.
  • However, according to RBI data, banks have written off ₹10,09,510 crore over the last five years. Public Sector Banks (PSBs) accounted for ₹7,34,738 crore of these write-offs.

Read Complete Details on Loan Write-offs


Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Which of the following statements regarding black soils of India are correct?

  1. They are rich in potash and lime
  2. They are poor in nitrogen and phosphorous
  3. They are well-developed in Rajasthan and UP.
  4. Their characteristic feature is to develop cracks upon drying.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Q.2) With reference to “Digi Yatra”, consider the following statements:

  1. It replaces the boarding pass completely.
  2. It has been launched by the Airport Authority of India

Which of the following statements are correct?

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC):

  1. It is a committee set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
  2. It is headed by the Prime Minister of India.

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 ’ 7th December 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 6th December – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – a

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