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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th January 2023

  • IASbaba
  • January 12, 2023
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Paigah Tombs complex

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History and Art and Culture

Context: The necropolis (a large, designed cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments) of noblemen dating from the Asaf Jahi era known as Paigah Tombs complex in Hyderabad is set to be restored with funding by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

About Paigah Tombs complex:

  • Paigah Tombs or Maqhbara Shams al-Umara, are the tombs belonging to the nobility of Paigah family, who were fierce loyalists of the Nizams.
  • The Paigah tombs are among the major wonders of Hyderabad State which known for their architectural excellence.
  • These tombs are 200 years old which represent the final resting places of several generations of the Paigah Nobles.
  • One of the best examples of Indo Saracenic architecture, the tombs presents a beautiful blend of Asaf Jah and Rajputani style of architecture.
  • Built of white marble, Paigah tombs captivate visitors with intricately designed interiors.
  • Paigahs who married daughters of the Nizams were the highest ranking nobles in princely state of Hyderabad, after the family of Nizams.
  • Paigahs were the only noble family who were permitted by the Sultan to have their private army.
  • These tombs are magnificent structures, decorated in stucco work, and represent the Mughal, Greek, Persian, Asaf Jahi, Rajasthani and Decani style of architecture.
  • Stucco or render is a construction material made of aggregates, a binder, and water.
  • Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid.
  • It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, exterior walls, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture.
  • The famous ‘Jali’ work makes it even more attractive.
  • Each Tomb has been designed differently, ensuing a unique style and design.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Site of Ashoka’s major rock edicts                      Location in the State of

  1. Dhauli                                                                     Odisha
  2. Erragudi                                                            Andhra Pradesh
  3. Jaugada                                                            Madhya Pradesh
  4. Kalsi                                                                       Karnataka

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

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

Q.2) With reference to Chausath Yogini Temple situated near Morena, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a circular temple built during the reign of Kachchhapaghata Dynasty.
  2. It is the only circular temple built in India.
  3. It was meant to promote the Vaishnava cult in the region.
  4. Its design has given rise to a popular belief that it was the inspiration behind the Indian Parliament building.

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

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

Delegated Legislation

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity and Governance

Context: Recently, the majority ruling of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the delegated legislation in the Centre’s 2016 decision on demonetisation.

About Delegated Legislation:

  • Parliament routinely delegates certain functions to authorities established by law since every aspect cannot be dealt with directly by the lawmakers themselves.
    • This delegation of powers is noted in statutes, which are commonly referred to as delegated legislation.
  • The delegated legislation would specify operational details, giving power to those executing the details.
  • Regulations and by-laws under the legislation are classic examples of delegated legislation.
  • In 1973, the Supreme Court ruling explains the concept as:
    • The practice of empowering the Executive to make subordinate legislation within a prescribed sphere has evolved out of practical necessity and pragmatic needs of a modern welfare State”.

Delegation of power in the demonetisation case

  • Section 26(2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 essentially gives powers to the Centre to notify that a particular denomination of currency ceases to be legal tender.
  • A 1959 landmark ruling in Hamdard Davakhana v Union of India, the Supreme Court had struck down the delegation of powers on the grounds that it was vague.

Supreme Court’s recent opinion on Delegation of powers:

  • The majority verdict held that since the delegation of power is to the Centre which is anyway answerable to the Parliament, the delegation power cannot be struck down.
  • In case the Executive does not act reasonably while exercising its power of delegated legislation, it is responsible to Parliament who are elected representatives of the citizens for whom there exists a democratic method of bringing to book the elected representatives who act unreasonably in such matters.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Pursuant to the report of H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was passed.
  2. The Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish for contempt of themselves.
  3. The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.
  4. In India, the Parliament is vested with the powers to make laws on Contempt of Court.

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

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

Q.2) With reference to Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, consider the following statements:

  1. As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, the election of Deputy Speaker shall be held on such date as the Speaker may fix.
  2. There is a mandatory provision that the election of a candidate as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha shall be from either the principal opposition party or the ruling party.
  3. The Deputy Speaker has the same power as of the Speaker when presiding over the sitting of the House and no appeal lies against his rulings.
  4. The well-established parliamentary practice regarding the appointment of Deputy Speaker is that the motion is moved by the Speaker and duly seconded by the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

World Hindi Day 2023

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: On 10th January every year, World Hindi Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of first time Hindi was spoken in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

About Hindi Language:

  • The word Hindi came from a Persian word ‘Hind’, which means the land of the Indus River.
  • Spoken Hindi has 4 varieties: High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, Literary Hindi, and standard Hindi.
  • The earliest form of Hindi was called ‘Apabhramsa’, which was an offspring of Sanskrit.
  • In 400 AD, poet Kalidas wrote Vikramorvashiyam in Apabhramsa.
  • It is the third most spoken language in the world after English and Mandarin (Chinese).
  • It belongs to Indo-Aryan language, widely spoken in Northern part of India.
  • Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Nepal also have Hindi speaking population.
  • Hindi written in Devanagari script is to be the official language of the Union.
  • The other official language of the state is English since 1965.

World Hindi Day (Vishwa Hindi Diwas):

  • The purpose is to create awareness about the Indian language and promote it as a global language around the world.
  • Indian Ministry of External Affairs celebrates this day every year since 2006.
  • World Hindi Conference is observed every three years to spread awareness about the leading scholars and contributors to the language.
  • First World Hindi Conference was organised in 1975.
  • On this day, President of India presents the Rajbhasha awards to people for their contribution towards Hindi language.
  • Hindi Diwas is celebrated on September 14 annually.
    • It marks the birthday of Beohar Rajendra Sinha, who is also regarded as the main person behind making Hindi the official language of India.

Source: Indian Express


Zebrafish

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: According to a recent study by Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, a protein found in the backbone of zebrafish can have potential therapeutic implications.

About Zebrafish:

  • The zebrafish is a freshwater fish belonging to the member of the minnow family of fish.
  • It is a popular aquarium fish.
  • Zebrafish typically inhabit moderately flowing to stagnant clear water of quite shallow depth in streams, canals, ditches, oxbow lakes, ponds and rice paddies.
  • Native to South Asia where it is found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • The zebrafish is an important and widely used vertebrate model organism in scientific research, for example in drug development, in particular pre-clinical development.
  • It is also notable for its regenerative abilities and has been modified by researchers to produce many transgenic strains.

Significance of new study:

  • A protein found in the backbone of zebrafish plays a positive role in disc maintenance and promotes regeneration in aged discs between vertebrae.
  • This protein of zebrafish can have potential therapeutic implications to promote regeneration in degenerated human discs.
    • In humans, discs degenerate naturally, leading to many related health concerns, including low back, neck, and appendage pain.
    • Currently, only symptomatic treatments for disc degeneration are available, including pain relievers or anti-inflammatories.
    • In severe cases, disc replacement or disc fusion surgery is performed.
  • Transparent Embryo:
    • Zebrafish are useful because the embryo is transparent, it develops outside of its mother, and its development from eggs to larvae happens in just three days.
  • Faster development:
    • The other main advantage is that they develop incredibly fast.
    • So from a single cell the day they’re born, they will have a head, and a tail, and a beating heart within 24 hours.
    • By 72 hours their brains are working, and fins and trunk are twitching, and by five days old they are swimming around and they’re hunting and they’re fully viable organisms.
  • This is perfect essentially for both geneticists and developmental biologists.

Source:  PIB

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following is not a bird? (2022)

  1. Golden Mahseer
  2. Indian Nightjar
  3. Spoonbill
  4. White Ibis

Q.2) Certain species of which one of the following organisms are well known as cultivators of fungi? (2022)

  1. Ant
  2. Cockroach
  3. Crab
  4. Spider

National Youth Festival

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art and culture

In News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 26th National Youth Festival in Hubballi, Karnataka with the theme being “Viksit Yuva – Viksit Bharat”.

National Youth Festival:

  • The programme is being held on National Youth Day, which is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, to honour and cherish his ideals, teachings, and contributions.
  • The National Youth Festival is held every year to provide exposure to our talented youth at the national level, along with galvanising them towards nation-building.
  • It brings diverse cultures from all parts of the country on a common platform and unites the participants in the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.
  • The Festival will witness the Youth Summit, which will witness plenary discussions on five themes stemming from G20 and Y20 events. These include the Future of Work, Industry, Innovation, and 21st Century Skills; Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction; Peace building and Reconciliation; Shared future-youth in democracy and governance; and Health & Well-being.
  • Competitive events will include folk dances and songs and will be held to provide an impetus to local traditional cultures.
  • Non-competitive events will include Yogathon which aims to mobilise close to 10 lakh people to do Yoga. Eight indigenous sports and martial arts will also be presented during the event by national level performers.
  • Other attractions include Food Festival, Young Artist Camp, adventure sports activities, special Know Your Army, Navy, and Air Force camps, among others.

Source: Newsonair


RuPay Debit Cards and BHIM UPI

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy

In News: Union Cabinet gave its nod to the incentive scheme for the promotion of RuPay Debit Cards and low-value BHIM-UPI transactions.

About the scheme:

  • The scheme has a financial outlay of INR 2600 crore.
  • The decision will help in building a robust digital payment system.

RuPay Debit Cards:

  • It is the first of its kind global card payment network of India
  • It was conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2012.
  • The name, derived from ‘Rupee and Payment’, emphasises India’s very own initiative for Card payments.
  • It has wide acceptance at ATMs, POS devices and e-commerce websites across India.
  • It is a highly secure network that protects against anti-phishing.
  • It fulfils RBI’s vision of initiating a ‘cashless economy’ by establishing a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments.
  • It facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions.
  • NPCI maintains ties with Discover Financial, JCB to enable RuPay card scheme to gain international acceptance
  • RuPay cards are issued by more than 1100 banks including public sector banks, private, regional banks and cooperatives.
  • Its 10 core promoter banks include SBI, PNB, Canara bank, BOB, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC bank, Citibank and HSBC

BHIM UPI:

  • Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a payment app that lets you make simple, easy and quick transactions using Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • Pioneered and developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), BHIM has been launched in 2016 to bring in Financial Inclusion to the nation and a digitally empowered society.
  • One can make direct bank payments to anyone on UPI using their UPI ID or scanning their QR with the BHIM app.
  • One can also request money through the app from a UPI ID.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.
  • It is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, for creating a robust Payment and Settlement Infrastructure in India.
  • Considering the utility nature of the objects of NPCI, it has been incorporated as a “Not for Profit Company under the provisions of Section 25 of Companies Act 1956 (now Section 8 of Companies Act 2013)
  • It aims to provide infrastructure to entire banking system in India for physical as well as electronic payment and settlement systems.
  • The Company is focused on bringing innovations in the retail payment systems through the use of technology for achieving greater efficiency in operations and widening the reach of payment systems.
  • Initiatives
  • With Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
  • National Financial Switch (NFS)
  • Cheque Truncation System (CTS)
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)
  • Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)
  • Initiatives in pipeline
  • RuPay Credit Card
  • National Common Mobility Card
  • Tap & Go and Electronic Toll Collection.

Source: Newsonair

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to digital payments, consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. BHIM app allows the user to transfer money to anyone with a UPI-enabled bank account.
  2. While a chip-pin debit card has four factors of authentication, BHIM app has only two factors of authentication.

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

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations

In News: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said that an official level discussion on Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will be held in India

  • India and US have also finalised dates for the next Commercial Dialogue and the CEO Forum meeting to be held in India this year.

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework:

  • In 2022, the United States launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam (together these countries represent 40% of world GDP)
  • It aims to ensure – Connected Economy, Resilient Economy, Clean Economy and Fair Economy
  • It has four pillars
  • Trade
  • Supply Chains
  • Clean Energy, Decarbonization, and Infrastructure
  • Tax and Anti-Corruption
  • It is a significant step toward establishing free and fair trade with nations that share the same values of a rule-based international order and a transparent economic system.
  • The IPEF is designed to be flexible, meaning that IPEF partners are not required to join all four pillars.

Significance for India:

  • India’s economic engagement with the Indo-Pacific countries has been through bilateral trade agreements, rather than joining a trade block because of the concerns about tariffs and cheap imports that would threaten the competitiveness of local producers.
  • However, the IPEF offers India a large opportunity to become a technology leader in the region, especially in two areas- semiconductor supply chains, and clean energy.
  • India can be the destination for new investment such as in the semiconductor sector.
  • The Quad framework can be applied in the supply chain network that US technology, Japanese capital, Australia’s logistics, and Indian production could fill the vacuum created by the countering domination of China.

Source: Newsonair


Preservation of Ozone Hole

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Syllabus

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

Context: A recent United Nations scientific assessment report has suggested that the ozone hole is now expected to be completely repaired by 2066.

About Ozone Layer:

  • The ozone layer is a layer of the stratosphere, the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.
    • The stratosphere is the mass of protective gases clinging to our planet.
  • The Ozone layer is present in Earth’s atmosphere (15-35 km above Earth) in the lower portion of the stratosphere and has relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3).
  • The ozone layer normally develops when a few kinds of electrical discharge or radiation splits the 2 atoms in an oxygen(O2) molecule, which then independently reunite with other types of molecules to form ozone.
  • Ozone is only a trace gas in the atmosphere – only about 3 molecules for every 10 million molecules of air.
  • It is critical for planetary life, since it absorbs ultraviolet rays coming from the Sun.
    • UV rays are known to cause skin cancer and many other diseases and deformities in plants and animals.

Important outcomes of the Report:

Major achievements of the Montreal Protocol:

  • Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol continued to decrease atmospheric abundances of controlled ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) and advance the recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer.
    • The atmospheric abundances of both total tropospheric chlorine and total tropospheric bromine from long-lived ODSs have continued to decline since the 2018 Assessment.
    • New studies support previous Assessments in that the decline in ODS emissions due to compliance with the Montreal Protocol avoids global warming of approximately 0.5 — 1 °C by mid-century compared to an extreme scenario with an uncontrolled increase in ODSs of 3 – 3.5% per year.
  • Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol continue to contribute to ozone recovery.
    • Recovery of ozone in the upper stratosphere is progressing.
    • Total column ozone (TCO) in the Antarctic continues to recover, notwithstanding substantial interannual variability in the size, strength, and longevity of the ozone hole.
    • TCO is expected to return to 1980 values around 2066 in the Antarctic, around 2045 in the Arctic, and around 2040 for the near-global average (60°N–60°S).
    • Compliance with the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which requires phase down of production and consumption of some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), is estimated to avoid 0.3 – 0.5°C of warming by 2100.

About Montreal Protocol

  • The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
  • It was agreed on 16 September 1987, and entered into force on 1 January 1989.
  • Since then, it has undergone nine revisions including the latest one in 2016 (Kigali).
  • On 1 January 2019 the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol came into force.
  • Under the Kigali Amendment countries promised to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by more than 80% over the next 30 years.

Future Policy Considerations under the protocol:

  • If ODS feedstock emissions as currently estimated were to be eliminated in future years, the return of mid-latitude Equivalent Effective Stratospheric Chlorine (EESC) to 1980 abundances could be advanced by almost 4 years.
  • Eliminating future emissions of methyl bromide (CH3Br) from quarantine and pre-shipment applications currently allowed by the Montreal Protocol would accelerate the return of mid-latitude EESC to 1980 abundances by two years.
  • Emissions of anthropogenic very short-lived chlorine substances, dominated by dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), continue to grow and contribute to ozone depletion.
  • A 3% reduction in anthropogenic N2O emissions, averaged over 2023–2070, would lead to an increase in annually averaged global TCO of about 0.5 DU over the same period.
  • Global emissions of long-lived HFC-23, which are largely a by-product of HCFC-22 production, are as much as eight times larger than expected and are likely to grow unless abatement increases during HCFC-22 production or feedstock use of HCFC-22 decreases.

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

  • It is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement that was agreed upon at the 1985 Vienna Conference and entered into force in 1988.
  • It is one of the most successful treaties of all time in terms of universality.
  • It has been ratified by 197 states (all UN members as well as the Niue, Holy See and the Cook Islands) as well as European Union.
  • It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer.
  • These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol.

Concerns associated with depletion of Ozone layer:

  • Replacements available: The use of ODSs, though extensive, was restricted to some specific industries.
    • Their replacements were readily available, even if at a slightly higher cost initially.
    • The impact of banning these ozone-depleting chemicals was therefore limited to these specific sectors.
    • With some incentives, these sectors have recovered from the initial disruption and are thriving again.
  • Carbon footprints: Emission of carbon dioxide is inextricably linked to the harnessing of energy.
    • Almost every economic activity leads to carbon dioxide emissions. Even renewable energies, like solar or wind, have considerable carbon footprints right now, because their manufacturing, transport, and operation involves the use of fossil fuels.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: The emissions of methane, the other major greenhouse gas, comes mainly from agricultural practices and livestock.
    • The impact of restraining greenhouse gas emissions is not limited to a few industries or economic sectors, but affects the entire economy, and also has implications for the quality of life, human lifestyles and habits and behaviours.

Govt of India’s Efforts and Achievements

  • Montreal Protocol: India has played a proactive role in the phase-out of production and consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances.
    • India phased out Chlorofluorocarbons, Carbon tetrachloride, Halons, Methyl Bromide and Methyl Chloroform for controlled uses as on 1 January 2010, in line with the Montreal Protocol schedule.
    • India is among the countries which has stated that the country’s sustainable development will be such that net zero is achieved by 2070.
  • Phasing out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons: Currently, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are being phased out as per the accelerated schedule of the Montreal Protocol.
    • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage – I has been successfully implemented from 2012 to 2016 and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage – II is under implementation since 2017 and will be completed by 2023.
    • Stage III of the HPMP, the last of the HPMPs to phase out remaining HCFCs, will be implemented from 2023 – 2030.
    • The phase-out of HCFCs in all manufacturing sectors, comprising refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturing sectors, will be completed by 1.1.2025 and the activities relating to the servicing sector will be continued till 2030.
  • Kigali Amendment: India played a key role in the finalization of the Kigali Amendment.
    • After ratifying the same in September 2021, the central government is working towards developing a national strategy, in close consultation with the industry stakeholders, for phasing down Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions: The study on reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) was carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
    • It estimates that the reduction of GHG emissions due to phase-out of ODS till 2022 is 465 million tonne CO2 equivalent.
    • It is expected that the reduction of GHG emissions till 2030 is expected to be 778 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP): The goal is to provide socio-economic and environmental benefits related to reduced refrigerant use, climate change mitigation and Sustainable Development Goals over the period 2037-38.
    • This will significantly contribute to India’s climate action in achieving the net zero emissions by 2070, through the ‘Panchamrita’, committed by the Prime Minister of India, at the Climate Change Conference of Parties in 2021.
  • Research and Development: The Environment Ministry will soon be entering into collaboration with eight Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Roorkee, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Guwahati, Banaras, Madras and Delhi) to promote research and development of chemicals with low global warming potential, including blends.

Way Forward:

The world is facing a climate crisis because of wasteful use of energy, calling for adopting the mantra of L.I.F.E (Lifestyle for Environment) which was coined by the Prime Minister of India. The mantra is in line with the concept of sustainable lifestyle, encouraging us to adopt mindful and not mindless consumption and utilization of resources.

Source: The Hindu


Digital Economy

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 Economy

Context:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently launched the pilot for its digital rupee — India’s very own digital currency.
  • The pilot covers select locations in a closed user group (CUG) comprising about 15,000 customers and merchants across the country such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar.
  • So far, four banks — State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank – are part of the first phase of the pilot.

E-RUPEE Project:

  • Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or e-rupee is an initiative of the RBI.
  • The CBDC is legal tender issued by the RBI in digital form, which can be transferred electronically from one holder to another.
  • It is the same as a fiat currency and it is exchangeable one-to-one with government-issued money.
  • Simply put, the digital rupee is the same as a banknote or coin that we use daily, only it is in a digital form.
  • E-rupee will be issued in the same denominations as paper currency and coins.
  • It will be distributed through intermediaries, i.e, banks.
  • To send or receive digital money, a digital wallet is a must.
  • Users can link their wallet to their bank accounts and load them and use digital money for individual payments or at the merchant shops.
  • These digital wallets offered by the participating banks are stored on mobile phones and devices.
  • E-rupee transactions can be both person to person (P2P) and person to merchant (P2M).
  • For P2M transactions, such as shopping, there will be QR codes at the location.
  • Users will be able to withdraw digital tokens from banks in the same way they currently withdraw physical cash.
  • Users will be able to keep the digital tokens in the digital wallet
  • These digital tokens can be spent online or in person, or transfer them via an app.
  • Like a person making a cash transaction above a certain threshold needs to submit his or her PAN. The same rule will apply to the digital rupee.

Significance/Objective

  • Faster since it requires no intermediation of banks. Providing instant transfer of funds for the customer.
  • No requirement of settlement for the banks or ecosystem participants
  • Saving on cost of printing, transporting and storing currencies and coins that can be rationalised through e-Re.
  • Financial inclusion and formalising the digital consumption of money.
  • E-Re is also targeted at those who don’t have a bank account, but can use digital currencies similar to a pre-paid mobile recharge card.

Difference between E-rupee and UPI:

  • Digital rupee is a store of value like currency, while UPI is just an overlay infrastructure on top of any form of store of value like bank accounts (which have normal currency), prepaid instruments, credit cards, etc.
  • No intermediation of banks – UPI or NEFT or RTGS must go through a bank while in the case of the e-Rupee, the money gets transferred from one wallet to another
  • Anonymity – The transactions via digital rupee are more anonymous than the current digital transactions including UPI, NEFT, RTGS (can be easily tracked since involves intermediary banks)
  • Holding limit – SBI has allowed Rs 1 lakh holding limit for the wallet while upper limit per UPI transaction is Rs 2 lakh.
  • Process – When we pay in UPI, the amount is deducted from bank account, while on payment using e-rupee, the amount is deducted from digital wallet.
  • Settlement risk – exists in UPI since it works on settlement basis between two banks and at the backend it takes about a day for settlements among banks to conclude.
  • Cheaper – e-Re usage of cash does not involve any charges. UPI is free now, but could become chargeable going ahead.

Issues in E-rupee:

  • Anonymity – In digital currency, even though the transactions are recorded in the centralised ledger, it is anonymous as the owner of the wallets are not known to the government or intermediaries in the ecosystem
  • While UPI is a bank-to-bank payment mode, there is a transaction or audit trail it leaves.
  • Cannibalisation of UPI – UPI works on a settlement basis between two banks; at the backend, it takes about a day for inter-bank settlements to conclude. Hence there is a settlement risk in UPI
  • Delay in transactions – If there is a delay in a transaction or if it fails, customers prefer paying using other digital payment modes, which are currently faster
  • Practical problems – A customer who paid using e-rupee is later unable to make the CBDC transaction
  • Success depends on Acceptability by large and reciprocal number of users.
  • Established ease of use of UPI – From a customer perspective, whether merchant or retail, UPI has established ease of use. Therefore, e-Re needs to prove that it is equally user-friendly with sound technology and data privacy provisions, to lure users.
  • Digital theft such as hacking and virus attacks, which could deter some people.
  • Cultural and social mind-set in the country, which leads to greater use of physical currency, is also a hinderance.

Measures to enhance digital economy:

  • Digital infrastructure and connectivity including regular maintenance and upgrades
  • An improvement of just 6% on connectivity will cover more than 99% of the population with at least 3G services.
  • Securing and maintaining the infrastructure
  • Policy changes – evaluate existing policies and practices to reduce conflicting regulatory roadblocks that impede the growth of the digital economy.
  • continue to improve data accessibility and relax data localization policies
  • World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking must be continuously improved, particularly in reducing red tape and encouraging cross-border trade
  • Skilling and capacity building – upskilling its labor force and improving the quality of education at all levels
  • Improving the quality of digital services will require action and cooperation from both the private and public sectors.
  • Structural reforms such as a reduction of 40% in the market entry barriers to FDI in infrastructure, an improvement of 13% on the indicator for FDI regulations, and improvement of 43% in market competition in the e-retail sector can facilitate market competition across industries and help India close the gaps with the G20 median, unlocking inclusive digital economic growth.
  • Increase in access to e-payment platforms by 17% will help close the gender and urban rural gaps, facilitating digital development among hard-to-reach and less-developed regions.
  • Participation of private sector – For example, Reliance Jio’s strategy of bundling virtually free smartphones with mobile-service subscriptions has spurred innovation and competitive pricing.
  • Data costs have plummeted by more than 95 percent since 2013
  • As a result, mobile data consumption per user grew by 152 percent annually—more than twice the rates in the United States and China

Way forward:

  • The digital economy can contribute up to 20% or $1 trillion of India’s $5 trillion economy vision.
  • But in developed countries, they have been spending ~1.2% of their GDP on digital infrastructure.
  • The Indian government too needs to acknowledge digital infrastructure as a fundamental transformational area and give it the same importance it gives to physical infrastructure, where 80% of its investment goes.

Source Indian express


Baba’s Explainer – Pakistan’s Economic Crisis

Pakistan's Economic Crisis

Syllabus

  • GS-2: India and its neighbourhood
  • GS-3: Economy & challenges

Context: Currently, Pakistan sits on the verge of economic collapse with its hopes pinned on getting concessions from the IMF on the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) established in 2019, as well as getting help from friendly nations in the form of long-term loans or donations.

  • At the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan (ICCRP) that began in Geneva Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, made a desperate plea for help.

Read Complete Details on Pakistan’s Economic Crisis


Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) National Youth Festival is held on the birth anniversary of which of the following?

  1. Swami Vivekananda
  2. Subhash Chandra Bose
  3. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  4. Bhagat Singh

Q.2) With reference to ‘RuPay Cards’, consider the following statements?

  1. It can be used at ATMs and POS devices but not on e-commerce platforms.
  2. It has been developed by the Reserve Bank 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 Paigah Tombs complex:

  1. They are the tombs belonging to the nobility of Paigah family, who were fierce loyalists of the Nizams.
  2. Built of granite marble, Paigah tombs captivate visitors with intricately designed interiors.
  3. Paigahs were the only noble family who were permitted by the Sultan to have their private army.

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’ 12th January 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 11th January – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – d

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