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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 28 June 2022

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Niti Ayog Report on India’s gig workforce

2. NATO to raise its response force from 40,000 to 3 lakh troops

3. Many in Andhra get SMS on vaccination without taking a jab

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Oceans Great Dying 2.0

2. Whether resources can be efficiently organised in a centrally planned economy

 

GS Paper 4:

1. What was APJ Abdul Kalam’s oath for Civil Servants?

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

1. How Assam is adapting to frequent floods

2. Waste-free, water-surplus village

3. Venkatraman Krishnamurthy (1925-2022)

 

 Facts for Prelims:

1. US: Historic Gun violence bill

2. Salt Sector

3. Shrinkflation

4. White dwarf

5. Psyche Mission

6. Title IX

7. Eco-Sensitive Zones

8. EU law to Restore Nature

9. Living Lands Charter


 

Niti Ayog Report on India’s gig workforce

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Development of social sector, Issues related to the development of the social sector.

 

Context:

NITI Aayog has recommended steps to provide social security for the country’s gig workforce, which is expected to grow to 2.35 crore by 2029-30.

 

Current Number: According to a study released by NITI Aayog, the number of gig workers is estimated to be 77 lakh in 2020-21.

 

Key findings of the report:

  • Platformization of work: It has given rise to a new classification of labour-platform labour, falling outside of the purview of the traditional dichotomy of formal and informal labour.
  • The report broadly classified gig workers into:
  1. Platform workers: are those whose work is based on online software applications or digital platforms,
  2. Non-platform gig workers: are generally casual wage workers and own-account workers in the conventional sectors, working part-time or full-time.
  • More medium-skilled jobs: At present, about 47% of gig work is in medium-skilled jobs, about 22% in high-skilled, and about 31% in low-skilled jobs, the trend shows the concentration of workers in medium-skilled jobs is declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.
  • Increase in the non-agricultural workforce: By 2029-30, gig workers are expected to form 7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood workforce in India.

 

Recommendations:

  • Separate enumeration exercise: It recommended undertaking a separate enumeration exercise to estimate the size of the gig and platform workforce and collecting information during official enumerations ( Periodic Labour Force Survey) to identify gig workers.
  • Wider scope: Apart from impetus through digitalisation, operating outside the traditional “employer-employee” relationship enables platforms to scale within and across geographies as well as sectors.
  • Positive implication of paid leaves: The report said that giving paid sick leave, health access and insurance to all workers will have positive implications.
  • Reclassification: Citing international regulations for gig and platform workers, it said in the UK, a Supreme Court ruling in February 2021 led to the reclassification of Uber’s driver-partners in the country as “workers”.
  • Compensation: It suggested gig firms adopt policies that offer old age or retirement plans and benefits and other insurance covers for contingencies such as injury arising from work that may lead to loss of employment and income.
  • Introduction of Platform India initiative: NITI Ayog recommended introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’ on the lines of the ‘Startup India Initiative’.

 

Insta Links:

To read about NITI Ayog: click here

To read about Startup India Initiative: click here

 

Practice Questions:

Q. India requires a framework that balances the flexibility offered by platforms while also ensuring the social security of workers. Discuss. (15M)

 

Q. With reference to NITI Ayog, consider the following statements:

  1. The Governing Council of NITI Ayog comprises the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  2. The team India Wing comprises representatives from every State and Ministry and serves as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Justification:

Composition:

Governing Council: Comprising the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.

Team India Wing  – comprising representatives from every State and Ministry, will serve as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

Source: The Hindu

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

NATO to raise its response force from 40,000 to 3 lakh troops

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India or affecting India’s interests.

 

 

Context:

  • NATO will increase the strength of its rapid reaction force(RRF) nearly eightfold to 3,00,000 troops as part of its response to an “era of strategic competition”.
  • The NATO reaction force currently numbers around 40,000
  • In NATO’s new strategic concept, the alliance is also expected to address for the first time the security challenges posed by China.

 

Current Affairs

Key new objectives:

  • Deliver further military support to Ukraine When they convene in Spain, with NATO members set to adopt a “strengthened comprehensive assistance package,” including deliveries of secure communication and anti-drone systems.
  • Help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era armaments to modern NATO equipment.
  • Address for the first time the security challenges posed by China.
  • Methods to respond to the growing influence of Russia and China in their southern neighbour.
  • Another central theme at the NATO summit will be the possibility for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.

 

Alliances of NATO:

 

Current Affairs

 

Objectives of NATO:

 

Current Affairs

 

Insta Links:

NATO

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Which of the following is/are alliances of NATO?

  1. Istanbul Cooperation Initiative
  2. Euro-Atlantic Partnership Dialogue
  3. Mediterranean Dialogue

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 1 and 2 only

b. 2 only

c. 1 and 3 only

d. 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)

Source: The Hindu

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

Many in Andhra get SMS on vaccination without taking a jab

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Issues related to the management of the social sector related to health, and schemes for vulnerable sections of society.

 

Context:

  • Several senior citizens and adult citizens in Andhra Pradesh who have not visited any vaccine centre after the second dose were taken aback on receipt of messages that they had ‘received’ the dose as per CoWIN.
  • People received SMSs on their phone numbers used for the earlier doses that have been successfully administered with the third dose and certificates were also generated.

 

Vaccination process:

 

Current Affairs

 

Co-WIN:

  • CoWIN app is an extension of the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) that provides real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country
  • It is a cloud-based IT platform and it handles minute details for India’s Covid-19 immunization programme
  • It includes:
    • registering beneficiaries, allocating vaccination centres
    • sending text messages with the name of their vaccinator to beneficiaries and live monitoring of vials in cold storage.
  • The Co-WIN platform is owned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and was earlier the platform used for conducting Pulse Polio and other crucial immunization programmes across the country.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT along with the National Informatics Centre are handling the backend and the tech infrastructure for it.
  • Monitoring and tracking: This app enables monitoring the inoculation drive and tracking the listed beneficiaries for vaccination on a real-time basis.
    • Thus, it also helps to counter proxy vaccinations.
  • Aadhaar enabled: This app would enable beneficiaries to be identified efficiently through the use of the Aadhaar platform.

 

Challenges:

 

Current Affairs 

 

Booster Dose:

●      A booster is a means of strengthening one’s immune system against a particular pathogen.

●      It may be exactly the same original vaccine, in which case its goal is to increase the magnitude of protection by producing more antibodies.

●      The aim is to protect people from a new variant, a version of the virus that’s mutated significantly from the original version people were vaccinated against.

●      These shots are only for the fully vaccinated.

 

Insta Links:

COVID-19

 

Practice Questions:

 

Q. With reference to CoWIN, consider the following statements:

  1. The app enables beneficiaries to be identified efficiently through the use of the Aadhaar platform.
  2. The Co-WIN platform is owned by The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct:

(a)1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Source: The Hindu

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

Oceans Great Dying 2.0

GS Paper 3:

 Syllabus: Environment: Environmental pollution and degradation

 

Context:

Scientists from Stanford University, warn of imminent mass annihilation of marine species similar to the Permian extinction (250 million years ago) that wiped out most lives in oceans

 

Current Affairs

 

What is Permian extinction?

  • Permian extinction (or the “Great Dying”) was caused by global warming that left ocean animals unable to breathe. Roughly 96 per cent of marine species and 70 per cent of land species went extinct.
  • Permian Era: During this period, land masses collided to form the supercontinent Pangaea. The supercontinent was arid; only a few parts received rainfall round the year.
    • However, the large Panthalassic Ocean, which covered much of Earth, was home to many marine species.

 

What led to extinction?

  • Volcanic eruption: Towards the end of the era, a series of volcanic eruptions occurred in central Siberia, injecting massive amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. Then, as of now, the uncontrolled GHG emissions triggered climatic changes.

Why the studies are important now?

  • Earth is undergoing a similar phase of warming: The studies predict a 2-10 degree C warming lead to many species getting extinct while other species may migrate from the tropics into polar waters.
  • Ocean importance: Oceans are the planet’s largest ecosystem accounting for 95 per cent of all spaces available for life and hosting 90 per cent of the planet’s total species.
  • Ocean accommodating more heat: Deep oceans are warming up. Ocean heat content is the energy accumulated by the ocean. The atmosphere has a low heat capacity compared to the ocean water, which can accommodate 1000 times more heat. So, most of the heat from GHG is moving into the ocean.
    • Ocean heat content reached a record high in 2021.

 

Insta Links

Sixth mass extinction

 

Practice Question

Q. According to recent research, a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is underway and is more severe than previously feared. Discuss the magnitude, causes and remedial measures needed to halt the extinction. (15M)

Q. The term “sixth mass extinction/sixth extinction” is often mentioned in the news in the context of the discussion of (UPSC CSE 2018)

 

a)     Widespread monoculture Practices agriculture and large-scale commercial farming with indiscriminate use of chemicals in many parts of the world that may result in the loss of good native ecosystems.
b)     Fears of a possible collision of a meteorite with the Earth in the near future in the manner it happened 65million years ago that caused the mass extinction of many species including those of dinosaurs.
c)     Large scale cultivation of genetically modified crops in many parts of the world and promoting their cultivation in other Parts of the world which may cause the disappearance of good native crop plants and the loss of food biodiversity.
d)     Mankind’s over-exploitation/misuse of natural resources, fragmentation/loss, natural habitats, destruction of ecosystems, pollution and global climate change.

Answer: D

Anthropocene Extinction is an ongoing extinction event of species during the present era (known as the Holocene Epoch) due to human activity.

 

Q. In the context of mitigating the impending global warming due to anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, which of the following can be the potential sites for carbon sequestration?

  1. Abandoned and uneconomic coal seams
  2. Depleted oil and gas reservoirs
  3. Subterranean deep saline formations

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

All of the site can be used for carbon sequestration

Source: Down to Earth

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

Whether resources can be efficiently organised in a centrally planned economy

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Context:

Basic economy concept for Mains and economy/Sociology optional

Socialist calculation debate: Whether centrally planned economies can allocate scarce resources efficiently?

The debate was between the Austrian school economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek on the one side and socialist economists Oscar Lange and Abba Lerner on the other in the first half of the twentieth century.

No, the centrally planned economies cannot allocate resources efficiently?

  • Absence of private property: In the case of a centrally planned economy, there would be no market for resources and hence no rational resource allocation.
  • People, in general, would have very little incentive to work hard when rewards are skewed.
  • Lack of information: Group of central planners managing the economy would not have sufficient information to allocate the scarce resources under their control efficiently. Since, resources are owned by the government, knowing the true price for resources becomes difficult.
  • Market economy by default ensures resources to the most needy: When resource owners sell their resources to whoever is ready to pay the highest price, they thus ensure that the resource is allocated to those who need it the most.

Socialist argument: Markets were not essential for the rational allocation of resources:

  • Cater to the genuine need of the society: Central planning board can allocate resources according to a plan that takes into account the genuine needs of society.

In conclusion, the middle ground would be moving towards a mixed economy, where prices are determined by the private sector but essential services are in the hands of the government to enable resource allocation to the poor.

 

Insta Links

Basics: Planning in India

 

Practice Question

 

Q. The planning in India is a mixed bag of achievements and shortcomings. However, there is a lot many unfulfilled tasks which are yet to be achieved. Examine. (250 words)

 

Q. Which of the following are associated with ‘Planning’ in India? (UPSC CSE 2014)

  1. The Finance Commission
  2. The National Development Council
  3. The Union Ministry of Rural Development
  4. The Union Ministry of Urban Development
  5. The parliament

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1, 2 and 5 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: D

For the Central Planning process, Parliament is associated through the MPLADS while NDC is part of the process. The planning commission collaborates indirectly with the Finance Commission but is not directly associated with the planning process. Previously (in 2014) the Union Ministries given were not part of the planning commission.

However, in the present framework of Niti Ayog, CMs of state and union misters are part of Ex-Officio members (Maximum of four from the Union council of ministers to be nominated by the Prime minister)

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

What was APJ Abdul Kalam’s oath for Civil Servants?

GS Paper 4:

 Syllabus: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

 

Kalam gave a five-point oath for civil servants which revolved around literacy, the status of women, integrity, environment, PURA and employment.

Kalam words for Civil Servant:

  • He always encouraged the civil servants to be creative and follow the innovative leadership style.
  • Kalam believed that young officers entering governance have to determine a long-term goal for which they will be remembered.This goal will inspire them at all times during their career and help them overcome all problems.
  • Young officers can establish a brand of integrityfor themselves. It will keep away all those who want them to compromise their ethics.
  • According to Kalam, civil servants must always remember the inspiring words of Maharshi Patanjali (Yoga Sutra, more than 2000 years ago).

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be

 

 

Practice Question:

Q. The bureaucracy is trained and known for maintaining the status quo. In this context how can a civil servant be creative, innovative and ethically upright? (10M)

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

How Assam is adapting to frequent floods

 

Context:

The people of Assam adapting climate-proofing or flood-resilient mechanisms to cope with floods better.

Some of the measures taken by them are:

Building high platform shelters and houses:

  • Serves as an immediate relief when the floods come every year
  • Almost all houses here are raised above the ground to protect them from frequent small floods

Relief training:

  • They have also formed a village disaster management committee, comprising 13 people who provided them rescue and relief training with the help of the National and State Disaster Response Force

Shifting cropping patterns:

  • villages have shifted their cropping patterns by cultivating more Rabi than Kharif crops.
  • started cultivating vegetables such as potato, tomato, eggplant, okra, and peas instead of Kharif paddy

Child-friendly spaces:

  • These spaces, built on an elevated platform, that children’s studies or other activities don’t get disturbed.
  • Raised the level of Anganwadi and local school

Accessible drinking water:

Another adaptation measure has been raised hand pumps,  as it becomes difficult for villagers to access any water source during floods.

 

Waste-free, water-surplus village

Context:

Pappla village (Himachal Pradesh) constructed water-harvesting structures, soak pits and a plastic waste processing plant to transform itself.

Water management :

  • Constructed hundis so as to harvest rainwater.

Managing waste and wastewater:

  • Construction of Individual soak pits and teaching villagers how to compost their waste and use it as manure.
  • Set up a small-scale plastic waste processing plant

The Panchayat is a role model for other villages on how the participation of the entire community, especially the youth and women, could revive the village.

 

 Venkatraman Krishnamurthy (1925-2022)

Context: Death recently

Contributions:

Called ‘Father of PSUs’ and ‘Turnaround Man’ as he was the founding chairman of Maruti Udyog, he revived BHEL, GAIL and SAIL PSUs.

Values we learn: He was one of the visionary leaders in the Indian industry. He changed the way public sector industries were looked at.

 

/ 28 June CA, Today's Article

Facts For Prelims

US: Historic Gun violence bill

Amid the incidence of the mass shooting, the US Senate passed tougher laws to make tougher background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders etc. The new law also addresses the issue related to the ‘boyfriend loophole’ (see diagram).

In India, under the Indian Arms Act, 1959, a licence is required to acquire, possess, or carry any firearm or ammunition.

Salt Sector

Context:  

Farmers and workers engaged in Salt Industry are facing a crisis as they lack minimum wage and social security.

Status of Salt sector in India:

  • Central control: Salt is under the Union List of the 7th schedule
  • India is the world’s third-largest producer of salt, after US and China.
  • Salt is mainly produced through a solar-evaporation process of seawater.
  • Nodal Agency: Salt Commissioner’s Organisation (an attached Office under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry)
  • Occupational Health hazards related to salt: Chronic dermatitis (skin ulcers), vision loss
  • States: Gujarat accounts for almost 80% of the country’s production, followed by Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan (through mining), Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh (through mining).

Shrinkflation

Context:

During February-April, data analytics noted that the average pack size of FMCG products in India shrank by nearly 15% year on year.

Concept: Shrinkflation is the practice of reducing the size (or sometimes quality) of a product while the price of the product remains the same or slightly increases.

White dwarf

Context:

Astronomers have observed for the first time a phenomenon, called, “cosmic cannibalism,” a dead star (white dwarf) is sucking in debris from both the inner and outer reaches of its planetary system.

White Dwarf: A white dwarf is formed when a low-mass star like our sun exhausts most of its nuclear fuel. It is usually very dense, dim and about the size of a planet. It is the last observable stage of evolution for low- and medium-mass stars.

Psyche Mission

Context:

NASA delays Psyche mission (part of NASA’s Discovery Program) to asteroid because of late software delivery.

What is Psyche?

Psyche is an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. What makes it unique is that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system.

Title IX

Context:

Title IX, the law best known for its role in gender equity in athletics and preventing sexual harassment on campuses, is turning 50.

What does the law say?

The law forbids discrimination based on sex in education, and despite its age remains a vital piece in the ongoing push for equality, including in the LGBTQ community.

Eco-Sensitive Zones

Context:

Farmers in Kerala are protesting against the recent SC order to establish 1-km Eco-Sensitive Zones around all protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

As per the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016): Land within 10 km of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries is to be notified as eco-fragile zones or Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ). Sometimes this 10km boundary can be increased or decreased.

Importance: ESZs are created as “shock absorbers” as well as the transition zone, for the protected areas, to minimize the negative impact on the “fragile ecosystems” by certain human activities taking place nearby

Committee for ESZ: Gadgil Committee and Kasturirangan Committee

EU law to Restore Nature

The European Commission’s proposal for a Nature Restoration Law is the first continent-wide, comprehensive law and part of the Biodiversity Strategy, which calls for binding targets to restore degraded ecosystems. It includes reducing chemical pesticide use by 50% (by 2030), increasing tree canopy (by at least 10%) and allowing free-flow of rivers.

Living Lands Charter

Adopted by:  Commonwealth

All 54 Commonwealth members have agreed to voluntarily dedicate a ‘living land’ in their respective countries to future generations, in line with the strategy set for the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

The non-binding ‘Living Lands Charter’ mandates that member countries will safeguard global land resources and arrest land degradation while acting against climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable management.

The charter recognizes the “critical guardianship” provided by indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting land and vital ecosystem services.


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