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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th September 2022
Published on Sept. 30, 2022, 1:57 p.m.

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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Defence

In News: The Government decided to appoint Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs.                                     

About CDS:

  • It is the military head and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • It is the highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military and chief military adviser to the Minister of Defence.
  • The Chief also heads the Department of Military Affairs.
  • The CDS is assisted by a vice-chief, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.
  • The first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, took office on 1 January 2020
  • The position was created with the aim of improving coordination, tri-service effectiveness and overall integration of the combat capabilities of the Indian armed forces.
  • The government amended Service Rules of the Army, Navy and Air Force, allowing retired Service Chiefs and three-star officers eligible for consideration for the country’s top military post.
  • Age limit that the retired officer should not have attained 62 years on the date of appointment.

Significance:

  • In a rapidly-evolving geopolitical and global security environment, in which India continues to face challenges across the spectrum of conflict, the CDS must not hesitate to speak truth to power.
  • He must be impartial while taking tough decisions and hold national interest above all else.

Challenges of CDS:

  • Prioritisation and building a bridge between a government and an organisation that is resistant to change, shackled by tradition and plagued by continued turf battles that cannot be wished away.
  • To balance five competing requirements that have overwhelmed the armed forces in recent years and exposed the shortage of intellectual capital within.
  • Need to build operational capability at a pace that will ensure that the military power asymmetry vis-à-vis China remains manageable.
  • Integrating military planning and training to levels that go beyond lip service and to create fresh structures to support integrated training, planning and operations.
  • Clearly articulated national and military strategies, structured processes, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and to link the National Security Strategy (NSS) with transformation and expedite its promulgation.
  • Balancing the government’s push towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing and to ensure that the current silos of innovators and designers (scientists), manufacturers (PSUs and the private sector) and users (armed forces) are broken down and users are afforded lateral entry into the innovation and manufacturing space.
  • Shedding several infructuous colonial legacies and fostering a sense of pride in India’s martial traditions that go back to epics such as the Mahabharata, and to the Maratha and Chola empires.

About Indian Armed forces:

  • The armed forces in a mature democracy are normally seen as a constitutionally empowered instrument of the state under the umbrella of civilian supremacy.
  • They are also seen as political instruments of the state.
  • There is subjective civilian control over a professionalised military, where the latter operates with a great deal of autonomy and is largely trusted by the politicians to offer sound policy advice.
  • In India’s armed forces, a powerful layer of bureaucracy has catered to the sporadic interest among politicians in matters related to national security and acted as a policy interface between the two.
  • Independent India’s armed forces have been adaptable and flexible and should blend values from present with that of the past.

Source:  Indian Express                


Methane Emissions

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In news: Methane emission to rise 13% by 2030 without global pledge, said the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate citing an upcoming report by the United Nations Environment Programme during his speech at the Global Methane, Climate and Clean Air Forum 2022 being held in Washington, DC.

About:

  • The Global Methane Pledge, launched in 2021, aims to keep alive the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.
  • Over 100 countries have committed to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels. This reduction could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050.
  • India is among top 5 methane emitters globally and is not a part of the pledge. Most emissions can be traced back to agriculture.

About Methane:

  • Methane is a short-lived climate pollutant like hydrofluorocarbons and stays in the Earth’s atmosphere for a few years, unlike carbon dioxide.
  • Their potential to warm the atmosphere could be 80-1,500 times greater.
  • Methane has contributed to about one-third of the current anthropogenic greenhouse gas-driven warming.
  • Methane enters the atmosphere due to leaks in oil and gas industries, rearing livestock and the decomposition of waste in landfills.
  • Mitigating methane and other short-lived climate pollutants is essential to achieving decarbonisation goals. It will enable further carbon dioxide removal.
  • Currently, only 2 per cent of global climate finance goes to methane.
  • Global methane emissions in 2030, can be reduced by 57 per cent using available strategies and technologies. This reduction can cause lower global warming by around 0.25°C in 2050 and 0.5°C by the end of the century.
  • Methane Emissions in India are as follows:

About The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC):

  • CCAC is a voluntary partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organizations committed to improving air quality and protecting the climate through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants.
  • It was formed in 2012 by the governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the United States, along with the UNEP.
  • Aim: To support fast action and deliver benefits on several fronts at once: climate, public health, energy efficiency, and food security
  • 76 countries are its partner including India.
  • CCAC 2030 Vision: To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and hold warming to 1.5˚C. Methane emissions can be reduced by 40% and black carbon by 70% by 2030 (from 2010 levels). Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) can be virtually eliminated with the potential for a 99.5% reduction by 2050 (from 2010 levels).

About Global Methane Initiative(GMI):

  • It was launched in 2004.
  • It is an international public-private initiative that advances cost-effective, near-term methane abatement and recovery and use of methane as a valuable energy source in three sectors: biogas (including agriculture, municipal solid waste, and wastewater), coal mines, and oil and gas systems.
  • It focuses on collective efforts and a cost-effective approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase energy security, enhance economic growth, improve air quality and improve worker safety.
  • GMI includes 46 Partner Countries, which together represent approximately 75 percent of the world’s estimated man-made methane emissions.
  • Active involvement by private sector entities, financial institutions, and other non-governmental organizations is essential to build capacity, transfer technology, and promote private investment.

About International Energy Agency (IEA):

  • It was established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
  • IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation.
  • Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
  • Headquarters: Paris, France.
  • Roles and functions:
  • to help its members respond to major oil supply disruptions, a role it continues to fulfil today
  • tracking and analysing global key energy trends,
  • promoting sound energy policy,
  • fostering multinational energy technology cooperation.
  • Composition: It has 30 members at present. IEA family also includes eight association countries. A candidate country must be a member country of the OECD. But all OECD members are not IEA members.
  • Three countries are seeking accession to full membership: Chile, Israel, and Lithuania.

Reports by IEA:

  • Global Energy & CO2 Status Report.
  • World Energy Outlook.
  • World Energy Statistics.
  • World Energy Balances.
  • Energy Technology Perspectives.

Source:  DownToEarth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a unique initiative of G20 group of countries.
  2. The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.

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 (2017)

Bathukamma festival

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art and Culture

In News: Bathukamma festival will be celebrated at the India Gate with the Telugu people living in the nation’s capital under the aegis of the Culture Ministry for the first time.

About:

  • Bathukamma is a colourful floral festival of Telangana and is celebrated by womenfolk with exotic flowers of the region.
  • It comes during the latter half of monsoon, before the onset of winter. It falls two days before Dassera.
  • The most abundant of these flowers are – ‘gunuka’ and ‘tangedu’.
  • The ‘shilpakka pandlu’ (or ‘sitaphalalu’), custard apples or  ‘poor man’s apple’, are great attraction during this season.
  • The flowers are carefully arranged row after row in a brass plate (called ‘taambalam’) in circular rows and in alternate colours. The womenfolk carry them on their heads and move as a procession towards a bigger water body near the village or town. Then, ‘Bathukammalu’ are slowly immersed into the water.
  • Then they share the ‘maleeda’ (a dessert made with sugar or raw sugar and corn bread) sweets.
  • Women make ‘boddemma’ (a deity of Gowri ‘mother Durga’ made with earthly mud) along with Bathukamma and immerse it in the pond. This helps reinforce the ponds and helps it retain more water.
  • The flowers used in the festival have a great quality of purifying water in ponds and tanks and are environment-friendly.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2018)

Tradition                                    State

  1. Chapchar Kut Festival   —  Mizoram
  2. Khongjom Parba ballad —  Manipur
  3. Thang-Ta Dance           —   Sikkim

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct?

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

International Solar Alliance

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology and Environment

Context: Recently the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has become the latest United Nations agency to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

About International Solar Alliance:

  • The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions. It was conceptualized on the side-lines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015.
  • Vision : Let us together make the sun brighter.
  • Mission: Every home no matter how far away, will have a light at home
  • The Headquarters is in India with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurugram.
  • With the amendment of its Framework Agreement in 2020, all member states of the United Nations are now eligible to join the ISA. At present, 109 countries are signatories to the ISA Framework Agreement, of which 90 countries have submitted the necessary instruments of ratification to become full members of the ISA.
  • The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030, while delivering energy access to 1,000 million people using clean energy solutions and resulting in installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacity.
  • This would help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For meeting these goals, the ISA takes a programmatic approach.
    • Activities under the programmes focuses on 4 priority areas – Analytics & Advocacy, Capacity Building, Programmatic Support, and readiness and enabling activities, that help create a favourable environment for solar energy investments to take root in the country.
  • The International Solar Alliance is headed by the Director General, who leads the operations and carries out the functions of the ISA Secretariat and is responsible to the ISA Assembly.
  • The Director General has a term of four years and is eligible for re-election. E. Dr. Ajay Mathur holds the office of the Director General presently.

Important projects of the ISA:

One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG): The OSOWOG focuses on a framework for facilitating global cooperation, building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources (mainly solar energy) that can be seamlessly shared.

  • The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.

ISA Solar Technology and Application Resource Centre (ISTARC):

  • To develop and disseminate a range of training materials for all types of audiences and aim at the setting up of harmonized training programmes using a network of training facilities that would be recognized across the ISA Member countries.

Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Scheme:

  • The Government of India has been supporting the ISA by providing training to master trainers in the field of solar energy through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Scheme.
  • The duration of the training is 21 days and all costs are borne by the Government of India.
  • In 2018-2019, 133 candidates from 25 countries were trained at the National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram, with the support of the ITEC programme.

Important Solar Energy Initiatives of India:

National Solar Mission :

  • It is part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change
  • To establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
  • It targets installing 100 GW grid-connected solar power plants by the year 2022.

Other Government Schemes:

  • Solar Park Scheme
  • Canal bank & Canal top Scheme
  • Bundling Scheme
  • Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme
  • First Green Hydrogen Mobility project: National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) Renewable Energy Ltd (REL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union Territory of Ladakh to set up the country’s first Green Hydrogen Mobility project.

About International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):

  • ICAO is funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).
  • Industry and civil society groups, and other concerned regional and international organizations, also participate in the exploration and development of new standards at ICAO in their capacity as ‘Invited Organizations’.
  • ICAO is therefore not an international aviation regulator, just as INTERPOL is not an international police force.
    • They do not arbitrarily close or restrict a country’s airspace, shut down routes, or condemn airports or airlines for poor safety performance or customer service.

International Civil Aviation Day: 7 December

  • Every five years, the ICAO Council establishes a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. Between these anniversary years, Council representatives select a single theme for the full four-year intervening period.
  • In recognition of ICAO’s 75th anniversary, the Council selected the following theme “75 Years of Connecting the World” for the 2019 celebrations.
  • From now until 2023, the Council has decided that the theme will be: “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”.
  • The ICAO Assembly is the Organization’s sovereign body. It meets at least once every three years and is convened by ICAO’s governing body, the Council.
  • ICAO’s 193 Member States and a large number of international organizations are invited to the Assembly, which establishes the worldwide policy of the Organization for the upcoming triennium.
  • The No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative highlights ICAO’s efforts to assist States in implementing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and it will help ensure that SARP implementation is better harmonized globally so that all States have access to the significant socio-economic benefits of safe and reliable air transport.

Source:  Hindustan Times

Previous Year Question

Q.1) If a major solar storm (solar flare) reaches the Earth, which of the following are the possible effects on the Earth?                (2022)

  1. GPS and navigation systems could fail.
  2. Tsunamis could occur at equatorial regions.
  3. Power grids could be damaged.
  4. Intense auroras could occur over much of the Earth.
  5. Forest fires could take place over much of the planet.
  6. Orbits of the satellites could be disturbed.

Shortwave radio communication of the aircraft flying over polar regions could be interrupted.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
  2. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 only
  3. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Abortion Rights and Marital Rape

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 Governance, GS 1 Women empowerment

In News: In a significant ruling on reproductive rights, the Supreme Court extended the right to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy to unmarried and single women, saying it is the “right of every woman to make reproductive choices without undue interference from the State”.

  • All women are entitled to the benefit of safe and legal abortions.
  • The woman alone has the right over her body and is the ultimate decision-maker on the question of whether she wants to undergo an abortion.

Context:

  • The bench was ruling on a plea by an unmarried pregnant woman who had been in a consensual relationship but was denied the right to abortion because she was past the 20-week limit.
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971 was largely concerned with ‘married women’.
  • However, the 2021 Statement of Objects and Reasons does not make a distinction between married and unmarried women. The provisions of the MTP Act 1971 cannot be interpreted to deny that right to single woman beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • This artificial distinction between married and single women is not constitutionally sustainable. The benefits in law extend equally to both single and married women.

Arguments by the bench:

  • The bench ruled pregnancy is the sole prerogative of a woman and the circumstances are unique and may vary for each with regard to economic, cultural or social factors.
  • If the benefits extended only to married women, it would perpetuate the stereotype and socially held notion that only married women indulge in sexual intercourse, and that consequently, the benefits in law ought to extend only to them.
  • Right to decisional autonomy means women choosing the course of their lives. Unwanted pregnancies may have cascading effects for the rest of her life by interrupting her education, her career, or affecting her mental well-being.
  • Right to Reproductive autonomy requires that every pregnant woman has the intrinsic right to choose to undergo or not to undergo abortion without any consent or authorisation from a third party
  • Right to bodily autonomy of the pregnant woman will ensure social justice.
  • Complicated life circumstances play a part in decision of abortion which only the woman can choose on her own terms without external interference or influence.

Constitutionality:

  • Article 21 of the Constitution “recognises and protects the right of a woman to undergo termination of pregnancy if her mental or physical health is at stake.
  • Article 51A states to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. Depriving women of autonomy not only over their bodies but also over their lives would be an affront to their dignity.

History:

  • Abortions have been legal in India since 1971
  • But over the years authorities have made strict rules regarding terminate of pregnancy because of the abortions of millions of female foetuses, leading to a terribly skewed gender ratio in the country.
  • Traditionally, Indians have shown a preference for male children over daughters.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

  • An Act to provide for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered Medical Practitioners and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It allowed abortion within 12 weeks of pregnancy requiring the opinion of one doctor and between 12 and 20 weeks requires opinion of two doctors.
  • The Bill sets up State level Medical Boards to decide if a pregnancy may be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities.
  • An amendment in 2021 raised the ceiling for abortions to 24 weeks for special categories of pregnant women such as rape survivors, minors, women with mental disabilities, women with foetuses that had major abnormalities and married women whose marital status had changed during the pregnancy, with the approval of two registered doctors.

Abortion laws around the world:

  • Abortions are illegal in 24 countries –where about 90 million or 5 per cent of women of reproductive age reside.
  • Some of these include Senegal, Mauritania, Egypt, Laos, Philippines, Honduras and Poland. In El Salvador, women undergoing abortions have been found guilty of “aggravated homicide”, including miscarriages.
  • US: Supreme Court has overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion. Henceforth, US has severely restricted access to the procedure.
  • Canada: The court ruled that the restriction to abortion law violated a woman’s right to “life, liberty and security of the person” that was enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Most European countries permit abortions within gestational time limits, which most commonly is about 12-14 weeks. In the UK, pregnancy can be terminated right up until birth in cases of foetal disability.
  • New Zealand decriminalised abortions in 2020, extending the legal period to 20 weeks of pregnancy
  • In 2021, in Colombia, the Constitutional court voted to legalise abortion before 24 weeks of pregnancy as a result of efforts from human rights and civil society groups.

Status of Marital Rape in India:

  • Marital rape is the act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent. The lack of consent is the essential element and need not involve physical violence.
  • The bench said that the meaning of rape must include marital rape for the purpose of the MTP Act. Any other interpretation would have the effect of compelling a woman to give birth to and raise a child with a partner who inflicts mental and physical harm upon her.

Way forward:

  • Law must not remain static and its interpretation should keep in mind the changing social context and advance the cause of social justice. The interpretation of the MTP Act and Rules must evolve and consider the social realities of today.
  • Transformative constitutionalism promotes and engenders societal change by ensuring that every individual is capable of enjoying the life and liberties guaranteed under the Constitution
  • The law must remain cognizant of the fact that changes in society have ushered in significant changes in family structures.

Source: Indian Express                   


Nature’s Warning: Floods

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography
  • Mains – GS 1 (Geography), GS 3 (Disaster Management)

Context: There has been an increase in the magnitude, the frequency and the intensity of floods in many parts of the world. As an example, nearly a third of Pakistan is experiencing devastation in 2022, with a spread of diseases and severe shortage of potable water after intense flooding. In June 2022, Assam experienced one of its worst floods in living memory which affected over 30 districts. In some districts in Assam and Bihar, flooding is a recurrent feature.

What is the meaning of flood?

A high-water level that overflows the natural banks along any portion of a stream is called a flood. Thus, Floods are commonly associated with a stream or river.

What are the causes of Floods?

In general, there are two types of causes:

Natural Causes:

  • Heavy rainfall and cloud bursts – Heavy concentrated rainfall reduces the capacity of rivers to accept any more surface run–offs due to rainfall and as result water spills over to adjoining areas. These can cause extensive damage within short span of time.
  • Heavy melting of ice and snow,
  • Changes in river systems and large catchment areas,
  • Sediment deposition/Silting of river beds,
  • The collapse of dams,
  • Transgression of sea at the occasion of tropical cyclone, and
  • Tsunami in coastal areas and landslides in course of rivers

 Man-made/Anthropogenic causes

  • Deforestation – It leads to soil erosion and Landslides. It also leads to silting of river beds.
  • Unscientific use of land utilization and bad farming practices
  • Increased Urbanisation – It has reduced the ability of the land to absorb rainfall through the introduction of hard impermeable surfaces.
  • Concretisation of surface: it prevents excess surface water to percolate down the soil and recharge groundwater.
  • Climate change and pollution

What are the Consequences of Flood?

  • The crops get adversely affected by the temporary loss of the agricultural season and fertile soil cover.
  • It leads to changes and destruction of habitats, and loss of biodiversity
  • Disruption of the lines of rail, road communication, and essential services
  • Spread of water-borne and infectious diseases like cholera immediately after floods.
  • Floods in India account for over 40% of the deaths out of all natural disasters. Empirical studies have also shown that flood damage has a negative impact on economic growth in the long run and considerably reduces female employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.
  • Government data shows that between 1953 and 2019, on an average, floods claimed 1,653 lives every year and caused losses including the house, public property and crop damage of Rs. 3,612 crores every year.

 Flood distribution in India:

  • 125 of Indian land is flood-prone. State-wise study shows that about 27% of the flood damage in the country is in Bihar, 33% in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and 15% by Punjab and Haryana.
  • The major flood areas in India are in the Ganges – Brahmaputra – Meghna Basin which accounts for nearly 60% of the total river flow of the country.
    • Distribution of flood plains
    • Brahmaputra River Region
    • Ganga River Region
    • North – West River Region
    • Central and Deccan India
  • The middle and lower courses of North Indian rivers such as Ganga, Brahmaputra, Kosi, Damodar, Mahanadi, etc. Are prone to floods due to very low gradient. The flat plains do not have enough gradients for the outlet of drainage.
  • Parts of the Eastern coasts of India are particularly prone to cyclones accompanied by strong winds, storm surges, tidal waves, and torrential rains.

Flooding due to cross-border rivers:

On sharing of information:

  • Flooding is compounded by the lack of transparency in the sharing of hydrological information and also information relating to activities that are transboundary in their effect, thus serving as an obstacle in understanding the magnitude of flooding.

On customary international law:

  • In accordance with customary international law, no state has to use its territory in a manner that causes harm to another state while using a shared natural resource.
  • This obligation gives rise to other procedural norms that support the management of floods, which include notification of planned measures, the exchange of data and information, and also public participation.

 The Brahmaputra and India’s concerns

  • China’s excessive water release, as a “dam controller”, in violation of customary international law has the potential to exacerbate flooding in Assam in future.
  • India’s main concern is that there is no comprehensive sub-basin or all basin-level mechanism to deal with water management of Brahmaputra.
    • Neither India or China are party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) 1997 or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes 1992 (Water Convention).
  • In the absence of any mechanism, India relies on its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China in 2013 with a view to sharing hydrological information during the flood season. The MoU does not allow India access to urbanisation and deforestation activities on the Chinese side of the river basin.

India, Nepal and flood prevention:

  • Floods are also a recurrent problem in the Koshi and Gandak river basins that are shared by India and Nepal.
    • The intensity and magnitude of flooding is rising because of heavy seasonal precipitation as well as glacial retreat due to global warming and human-induced stressors such as land use and land cover changes in the river basin area of Nepal (Terai) and Bihar.

Way forward:

  • In contravention of procedural customary international law obligation, India considers data on transboundary rivers as classified information, which is one of the key challenges in developing cross-border flood warning systems.
  • In light of the cataclysmic floods in Pakistan and the visible effects of climate change, it is important that all riparian states must comply with all the procedural duties pursuant to the no harm rule. They must also think of becoming a party to either the UNWC or the UNECE Water Convention.

MUST READ: Urban Floods            

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Gandikota canyon of South India was created by which one of the following rivers ? (2022)

  1. Cauvery
  2. Manjira
  3. Pennar
  4. Tungabhadra

Q.2) Consider the following pairs:

Reservoirs        :     States

Ghataprabha   :     Telangana

Gandhi Sagar  :     Madhya Pradesh

Indira Sagar    :     Andhra Pradesh

Maithon           :     Chhattisgarh

How many pairs given above are not correctly matched? (2022)

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

The Bay of Bengal

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography, International Groupings
  • Mains – GS 1 (Geography), GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: The Bay of Bengal is experiencing an increase in geo-economic, geopolitical, and geo-cultural activity. Therefore, at the fourth BIMSTEC summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the opening of the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBS) at Nalanda University.

Rethinking the Bay:

  • The setting up of a dedicated institution on the bay has once again demonstrated India’s commitment to advancing constructive agendas by forging connections and setting up platforms for all those with an interest in the Bay.
  • CBS will offer collaborations in areas such as geo-economics and geopolitics, ecology, trade and connectivity, maritime security, maritime law, cultural heritage, and blue economy to generate opportunities for the Bay region.
    • This will strengthen India’s overall framework for maritime engagement, which aims to advance sustainable economic growth for all by fostering closer nautical ties.

Significance of the Bay:

  • About half the world’s container traffic passes through this region, and its ports handle approximately one third of world trade, thus becoming the “economic highway of the world.”
  • It created a conduit between the East and the West in terms for trade and culture. An Indo-Pacific orientation and the realignment of global economic and military power towards Asia have had a considerable impact on the Bay region.
  • The key sea lanes of communication in this area are lifelines for global economic security and are crucial to the energy security that powers the economies of many countries in the region.
  • Non-traditional dangers including terrorism and climate change have become more prevalent.
  • The Bay also provides an opportunity for greater regional cooperation in the environmentally friendly exploration of marine and energy resources.
  • The Bay has a biodiverse marine environment and home to many rare and endangered marine species and mangroves, which are essential to the survival of the ecology and the fishing sector.

Disorder at the Bay:

  • The region’s maritime environment has changed as a result of major powers expanding their economic and geopolitical influence.
    • Political and cultural engagement, together with economic competition, have taken on new dimensions.
  • Problems such as population growth, altered land use, excessive resource exploitation, salinisation, sea level rise, and climate change are exerting significant strain on the Bay’s environment.
  • Operational discharge from small and medium feeder ships, shipping collisions, unintentional oil spills, industrial waste, pollution, and the accumulation of non-biodegradable plastic litter are all contributing to the deterioration of the Bay.
    • A dead zone has formed as a result, and the mangrove trees that protect the shore from the fury of nature are under more threat than ever.

Way forward:

  • For a better knowledge of challenges, and strategies to overcome them for the sustainable development of the region, more focused and interdisciplinary study is required on these issues.
  • By founding the CBS, Nalanda University has already started its journey and given the nation a unique interdisciplinary research centre devoted to Bay-focused teaching, research, and capacity building. Additionally, scholars from many countries and academic streams are already participating in CBS’s first certificate programme on the Bay.
  • It is essential that nautical neighbours develop a partnership and cooperate because of the maritime domain’s interrelated and interdependent nature. A few concerns that need immediate attention include expanding cooperation in maritime safety, maritime connectivity and the ease of maritime transit.

About  Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR):

  • The IFC has been established at the Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram, Haryana.
  • IFC is the single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.
  • All countries that have signed white shipping information exchange agreements with India can now position liaison officers at the IFC. Countries like USA, UK have posted their officers in IFC-IOR.

Source: The Hindu                    


Corruption in Civil Services

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance
  • Mains – GS 12 (Governance, GS 4 (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Context: The Enforcement Directorate’s prosecution complaint against Jharkhand IAS officer, her husband, who owns Pulse Hospital in Ranchi, where much of the “proceeds of crime” where allegedly used, and her chartered accountant, was filed before a special court in Ranchi in July this year.

In this context let us analyse corruption and its consequences in Governance.

What is Corruption?

  • Corruption is dishonest behavior by those in positions of power.
  • Corruption can entail a variety of actions, including giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, and defrauding investors.
  • India was ranked 85 among 180 countries in the corruption perception index 2021.

Reasons for the Prevalence of Corruption in Civil Service:

  • Politicization of the Civil Service: When civil service positions are used as rewards for political support or swapped for bribes, the opportunities for high levels of corruption increase significantly.
  • Lower Wages Compared to Private Sector: Lowering wages for civil servants compared to those in the private sector.
  • Administrative Delays: Delays in the clearance of files are the root cause of corruption.
  • Colonial Legacy of Unchallenged Authority: In a society which worships power, it is easy for public officials to deviate from ethical conduct.
  • Weak Enforcement of Law: Various laws have been made to curb the evil of corruption but their weak enforcement has acted as a hindrance in curbing corruption.

Consequences of Corruption:

  • On People and Public Life: Lack of Quality in Services: In a system with corruption, there is no quality of service.
  • Lack of Proper Justice: Corruption in the judiciary system leads to improper justice. And the victims of offense might suffer.
  • A crime may be proved as a benefit of the doubt due to a lack of evidence or even the evidence erased.
  • Due to corruption in the police system, the investigation process has been going on for decades.
  • Poor Health and Hygiene: In countries with more corruption, one can notice more health problems among people. There will be no fresh drinking water, proper roads, quality food grains supply, milk adulteration, etc.
  • Failure of Genuine Research: Research by individuals needs government funding and some of the funding agencies have corrupt officers.
  • These people sanction the funds for research to those investigators who are ready to bribe them.
  • On Society:
    • Disregard for Officials: People start disregarding the official involved in corruption by talking negatively about him.
    • Lack of Respect for Rulers: Rulers of the nation like the president or prime ministers lose respect among the public. Respect is the main criteria in social life.
  • Lack of Faith and Trust in Governments: People vote for a ruler based on their faith in him/ her, but if leaders are found to be involved in corruption, people lose faith in them and may not vote next time.

Aversion for Joining the Posts Linked to Corruption:

  • Sincere, honest, and hardworking people develop an aversion for the particular posts deemed corrupt.
  • Though they like those jobs, they tend not to opt for them as they believe that they also would have to be involved in corruption if they get into the post.
  • On Economy:
    • A Decrease in Foreign Investment: Corruption in government bodies has led to many foreign investments going back from developing countries.
    • Delay in Growth: An official who needs to pass clearances for projects or industries delays the process in order to make money and other unlawful benefits. A work which can be done in a few days may be done in a month.
    • Lack of Development: Many new industries willing to get started in a particular region change their plans if the region is unsuitable.

Indian Government Initiatives to reduce corruption:

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
  • The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010
  • The Companies Act, 2013
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
  • Central Vigilance Commission
  • Government has launched ‘Mission Karmayogi’ with an aim to build a citizen-centric and future-ready civil service for the nation.

Way Forward:

  • Civil Service Board: By establishing the Civil Service Board, the government can curb excessive political control.
  • Simplifying Disciplinary Process: By simplifying the disciplinary process and strengthening preventive vigilance within the departments, it can be ensured that corrupt civil servants do not occupy sensitive positions
  • Emphasize Value-based Training: It is important to emphasize value-based training to all civil servants to ensure probity in public life.

Source: Indian Express

 


Baba’s Explainer -Agriculture and Technology

Agriculture and Technology

Syllabus

  • GS-3: Agriculture and related issues
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Context: The agricultural sector is expansive and is constantly advancing. Moreover, with climate-resilient technology picking up in developing economies to yield higher productivity under climate variables, the sector is constantly in the churn.

  • In the Indian context, there are immense improvements in irrigation systems and fertilizers, and that is raising the bar in crop cultivation and production.
  • India has received a promising investment of $1.6 billion for agri-tech till 2021.
  • Tech startups in the sector saw a 300% jump in total funding in the last 2 years.

Read Complete Details on Agriculture and Technology


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), consider the following statements

  1. The first proposal for a CDS came from the 2000 Kargil Review Committee (KRC).
  2. He functions as the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
  3. He functions as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.

Which of the above statements is/are correct ?

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements, with respect to Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,

  1. It allows abortion up to 22 weeks in exceptional situation.
  2. Both married and unmarried women are allowed for termination of pregnancy under the act.

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

Q.3) The floral festival called ‘Bathukamma’ is celebrated in which of the following states ?

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Karnataka
  3. Telangana
  4. Tamil Nadu

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

ANSWERS FOR ’30th September 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 29th September – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – a