Friday, 2nd September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Crime in India report 2021 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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VPHEP - Alaknanda River - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

2G Ethanol Plant in Panipat - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

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Naval Ensign - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Whale Shark - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Anonymisation of Data - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

One Herb One Standard - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

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Electricity Amendment Bill 2022: A mixed bag: Indian Express

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Pakistan and India: Collaborating on Flood Response

4   Case Study of the Day

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Mikhail Gorbachev: A flawed reformer on an impossible mission

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Crime in India report 2021 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has recently released its annual report ‘Crime in India’, for crime-related statistics in 2021.

About the News:

  • The recent report highlights the status and nature of crimes in India.
  • These reports have been a valuable compilation of statistics over the years on offences ranging from crimes against women to economic and financial crimes.
  • However, crime statistics have been criticised for limitations to data, such as dependence on FIRs registered and local data collection.

Key aspects of the NCRB 2021 Report

  • Overall, 2021 saw a 6% decline in the number of crimes registered, as compared to 2020.
    • The crime rate per lakh population declined from 487.8 in 2020 to 445.9 in 2021.
  • Death by Suicide: At 120 deaths per million population, the rate of deaths by suicide across India in 2021 soared to the highest level ever recorded, rising 6.1% from the previous year, highlighting the toll the pandemic appears to have taken on the emotional well-being of Indians.

    • The fastest increase in deaths by suicide was observed among students and small entrepreneurs.
    • Also, the lowest income group (people earning less than ₹1 lakh per annum), made up around two-thirds of deaths by suicide in 2021.
    • Among farmers of different kinds, deaths by suicide increased only among agricultural labourers.
    • In terms of reporting the cases, Maharashtra topped the list.
    • The causes of suicide were associated with career, loneliness, abuse, violence, familial disputes, mental illness, alcoholism, financial loss, and chronic pain.

  • Identity theft: Bengaluru topped and accounted for 72% of the total identity-theft cases, across metropolitan cities in India.
  • Cognisable offences: Kolkata has topped the list of cities with the least number of cognisable offences per lakh of its population, making the metropolis the safest city in India in 2021.
  • Crime against Women: Crime against women rose by 15.3% in 2021 from the previous year.
    • Assam registered the highest rate of crime against women in 2021.
  • Murder rate: The rate of murder per one lakh population was highest in Jharkhand, while Uttar Pradesh topped the list for reporting the most Murders.
    • 'Disputes' was the motive in the highest number of murder cases, followed by 'personal vendetta or enmity'.

  • Kidnapping/Abduction: Delhi topped the list when it came to Abduction rates, while Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of such cases.
  • Traffic Accidents: Uttar Pradesh saw the highest number of deaths (24,711) in traffic accidents.
  • UAPA cases: Jammu and Kashmir registered the most Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) cases, under the ‘special and local laws’ in 2021.
  • Communal riots: Jharkhand and Maharashtra filed the highest cases of communal riots.

About NCRB

  • NCRB was set up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
  • It was set up based on the recommendations of the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Taskforce (1985), by merging the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Inter State Criminals Data Branch of CBI, Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI, and Statistical Branch of BPR&D.
  • Currently, NCRB functions under the Union Home Ministry.
  • Further, NCRB reports have been a valuable compilation of statistics over the years on offences ranging from crimes against women to economic and financial crimes.
  • NCRB also acts as a “national warehouse” for the fingerprint records of Indian and foreign criminals.

Limitations of the report:

  • Limited source: The publication caters to the ‘Principal Offence Rule’ for classification of crime, the actual count of each crime head may be underreported.
  • Poor collection: Inefficiencies or gaps in data collection due to vacancies and a shortage of police officers at the local level.
  • Half picture: The report only compiles data that are submitted at the local level and the data record the incidence of registered crime rather than of actual crime.
  • Ambiguity: “‘Rise in crime’ and ‘increase in registration of crime by police’ are clearly two different things, a fact which requires better understanding.
  • Mismatch: Actual numbers are mostly higher for the bigger states, a “crime rate” is calculated per unit of population, while the data used at present for determining the total population is old — from the 2011 Census.

Source :

  • National Crime Records Bureau, India
  • Explained: What is the NCRB’s ‘Crime in India’ report, and how to read its findings
  • Bengaluru: Identity theft capital
  • NCRB report says Kolkata safest city in India; experts allege suppression of facts

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/BanarakasBinod/status/1564878810490646528/photo/1 

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Role of External State and Non-state Actors in creating challenges to Internal Security: Challenges to Internal Security: Crime in India' annual report, NCRB
News Snapshot

VPHEP - Alaknanda River - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

The World Bank has recently agreed to look into the construction of the Uttarakhand Dam

About Alaknanda River

  • It rises at the meeting point and base of the Satopanth and Bhagirath glaciers in Uttarakhand and is one of the headstreams of the Ganga.
  • At Devprayag, when it merges with the Bhagirathi River, it acquires the name Ganga.

  • The Mandakini, Nandakini, and Pindar rivers are its principal tributaries.
  • Parts of the districts of Chamoli, Tehri, and Pauri are drained by the Alaknanda system.
  • Along the Alaknanda River's banks are the Hindu pilgrimage site of Badrinath and the natural spring Tapt Kund.
  • At its source, Lake Satopanth is a triangular body of water that is 4402 meters above sea level and was given that name in honour of the Hindu trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva.

About the news

  • The Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project (VPHEP), which is being built on the Alaknanda River, will be investigated for potential environmental harm by a World Bank independent panel.
  • The committee has agreed with the 83 local communities who claimed the project will demolish the historic Laxmi Narayan Temple in Haat village.

Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project

  • The Tehri Hydropower Development Corporation (THDC), a partially State-owned company, is constructing the 444-MW run-of-river VPHEP.
  • A 65-meter diversion dam will be constructed as part of the project to divert water from the Alaknanda River near the village of Helang in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district.

  • The World Bank provides the majority of the funding for the project, which was approved in 2011.
  • The project is expected to be completed by 2023

Concerns associated

  • The historic Laxmi Narayan Temple in Haat village would be destroyed by the project.
    • The temple is both a cultural and economic treasure for the community.
    • It was purportedly built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 19th century and is considered to be sacred to the inhabitants.
    • The walls of the temple, a historic landmark, are in danger due to muck-dumping from the dam.

  • The locals are ejected from their village and relocated.
  • Disasters brought on by harsh weather and climate change have also not been included in the project.
    • Additionally disregarded were a midday cloudburst in Kedarnath in 2013 and the Chamoli catastrophe in 2021.

Way Forward

  • The government should take seriously the development of hydropower, which is crucial for the sustainable expansion of the economy but in a more environmentally friendly way, given the growth of the population and the demand for more industry and infrastructure.
  • In the Himalayan region, SC has advised against any hydropower production over an elevation of 2,200 meters.

Content Source link:

  • https://thdc.co.in/content/vishnugad-pipalkoti-he-project,
  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/world-bank-agrees-to-look-into-construction-of-uttarakhand-dam-84595,

Image Link:

  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-rivers-dotted-with-over-40-hydroelectric-plants/articleshow/80755246.cms

 

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Keywords: GS paper III, climate change, infrastructure, Conservation
News Snapshot

2G Ethanol Plant in Panipat - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

Recently, the second generation (2G) ethanol plant was commissioned in Panipat, Haryana

About the Plant:

  • The commissioning of the plant is part of a long series of steps taken by the government over the years to promote the production and use of biofuels in the country.
    • This is in line with India’s endeavour to make the energy sector more affordable, accessible, efficient and sustainable.
  • Construction Agency: The 2G Ethanol Plant has been constructed by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) at an estimated cost of around Rs 900 crore and is located close to Panipat Refinery.
  • Technology used: Based on state-of-the-art indigenous technology, this project is a new addition to India's 'Waste to Wealth' (Waste to Wealth) efforts.
  • Process:
    • The process uses about 2 lakh tonnes of rice straw (parali) annually to produce around 30 million litres of ethanol annually.
    • The ethanol produced from this plant will be blended with motor spirit (petrol) to meet the government’s target of 20% Ethanol Blended Motor Spirit (EBMS).
  • Significance:
    • With the creation of end-use for agro-crop residues, farmers will be empowered and they will get an opportunity to get additional income.
    • This project will provide direct employment to the people involved in the operation of this plant and indirect jobs will be created in the supply chain for rice straw cutting, handling, storage etc.
    • By reducing stubble burning, the project will reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to about 3 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which can be equated to the removal of about 63,000 cars annually on the country's roads.
    • The plant places India in the company of the United States and Brazil, the only two countries that have 2G ethanol technology.

Biofuel Generation in India:

  • Biofuel is a fuel produced in a short period of time from biomass, as opposed to the very slow natural processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels such as oil.

  • The majority of biofuel consumption is in the form of a blend with refined petroleum products like gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, and kerosene-type jet fuel.
  • Currently, the most common biofuels are:
    • Bioalcohols such as ethanol, propanol, and butanol (a substitute for petrol/gasoline);
    • Biodiesel (a substitute for diesel); and
    • Bio-oils (substitutes for kerosene).

Types of Biofuels:

  • Biofuels are also classified into four categories based on their origin and production technologies.
    • First-generation (1G) biofuels are made from consumable food products that contain starch (rice and wheat) and sugar (beets and sugarcane) for bio alcohols, or vegetable oils for biodiesel.
      • However, 1G biofuel yields are low and can have a negative impact on food security.
    • Non-food feedstocks such as forest/industry/agricultural wastes and waste or used vegetable oils are used to produce second-generation (2G) biofuels.
    • Third-generation (3G) biofuels, also known as ‘algae fuel,’ are made from algae and come in the form of biodiesel and bio-alcohols.
      • Although the yield of 3G biofuels is roughly ten times that of 2G biofuels, producing adequate algal biomass and scaling up extraction techniques remain unresolved challenges.
    • Fourth-generation (4G) biofuels, like third-generation (3G), are produced on non-arable land. However, unlike the third, they do not require biomass destruction.
  • Electro fuels and photo-biological solar fuels are examples of biofuels in this category.

Biofuel Policy of India:

India’s ethanol production:

  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution in India is the nodal department for the promotion of fuel-grade ethanol-producing distilleries (DFPD).
  • Ethanol is manufactured or obtained from sugarcane-based raw materials such as C & B heavy molasses, sugarcane juice, sugar syrup, surplus rice from the FCI, and maize.
  • Molasses passes through three stages: A, B, and C. (in this stage the molasses are most un-crystallised and non-recoverable).
  • Molasses – What remains after the sugar has been crystallised.
  • The United States and Brazil produce 84% of the world’s output, followed by the European Union, China, India, Canada, and Thailand.

Merits of blending ethanol:

  • Currently, India imports more than 85% of its oil needs, and ethanol blending could help reduce reliance on petroleum.
  • India’s net petroleum imports in 2020-21 were 185 million tonnes valued at USD 551 billion.
  • Thus, ethanol blending can help the country save billions of dollars and reduce its reliance on imports.
  • Furthermore, ethanol is a less polluting fuel that is equally efficient and less expensive than gasoline.
  • In 2021-22, the Central government amended the Biofuel Policy (2018) to set a target of 20% ethanol and 5% biodiesel blending rates nationwide by 2025.
  • According to the NITI Aayog report Roadmap for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025, India’s ethanol production capacity will need to be increased from the expected 3.3 billion litres (in 2020-2021) to at least 10.2 billion litres (5.5 billion litres from sugarcane and 4.7 billion litres from grains) by 2025.

Concerns

  • The new ethanol blending target focuses on food-based feedstocks due to grain surpluses and widespread technology.
  • The blueprint departs from the 2018 National Policy on Biofuels, which prioritised grasses, algae, bagasse, farm and forestry residue, and rice, wheat, and corn straw.
  • Food grains meant for the poor are sold to distilleries at lower prices than states pay for public distribution.
  • Distilleries and the public distribution system competing for subsidised food grains could put the rural poor at risk of hunger. India ranked 101st on the World Hunger Index 2021.
  • Biofuel production requires land, which affects biofuel and food crop costs.
  • Biofuel crops and fuel production require massive amounts of water, which could strain local and regional water resources.

Content Source link:

  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/world-biofuel-day-pm-modi-to-dedicate-2g-ethanol-plant-in-panipat-to-nation/articleshow/93466147.cms, 

Image Source Link:

  • https://ccbs.news/

 

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Keywords: GS paper III, Biodiversity & Environment
Terms & Concepts

Naval Ensign - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The new naval ensign (flag) for the Indian Navy, was recently unveiled on the sidelines of the commissioning of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrantat Cochin Shipyard Limited.
  • In a bid to do away with the “colonial past”, the Saint George’s Cross has been removed from the Indian Navy’s new flag. 
  • The new naval ensign is known as ‘Nishaan’.
  • The earlier ensign of the Navy was a white flag with horizontal and vertical red stripes (the Saint George’s Cross), with the Emblem of India emblazoned at the intersection of the two stripes, and the tricolour placed in the canton.

  • The “colonial past” insignia, the Saint George’s Cross, has been removed from the Indian Navy’s new flag and now features the national emblem with the Tricolour on the upper canton (top left corner of the flag).
  • The national emblem is encompassed by an octagonal shield (representing eight directions, symbolising the multi-directional reach and operational capability of the Indian Navy) and sits atop an anchor.
  • Beneath it is the Navy’s motto ‘Sam No Varunah’.
  • The golden border surrounding the national emblem draws inspiration from the seal of Indian emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and depicts steadfastness.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-naval-ensign-why-indian-navy-set-new-8121252/

Image source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-naval-ensign-why-indian-navy-set-new-8121252/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Polity and Governance: Navy Flag, Navy Ensign
Terms & Concepts

Whale Shark - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Delhi-based non-profit, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has recently launched the ‘Save the Whale Shark Campaign’ along Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep in Mangaluru.
  • The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest fish on Earth and a keystone species in marine ecosystems.

  • It can grow to a length of approximately 18 metres and weigh as much as 21 tonnes.
  • The whale shark is a ‘filter feeder shark’which means it does not eat meat like other sharks. Whale sharks filter seawater and feed on tiny plankton.
  • The species is distributed widely across tropical and warm temperate seas.
  • The whale shark is distributed all along the Indian coast and the largest whale shark aggregation is along the Gujarat coast.
  • The fish is listed as a Schedule I animal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and is protected under Appendix II of CITES.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has noted that whale shark populations are on the decline and their global status is notified as ‘Endangered’.

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/international-whale-shark-day-wildlife-trust-of-india-launches-campaign-to-sensitise-fishers-along-southwest-coast-84611

Image source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/international-whale-shark-day-wildlife-trust-of-india-launches-campaign-to-sensitise-fishers-along-southwest-coast-84611

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Environment and ecology, Whale Shark
Terms & Concepts

Anonymisation of Data - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeiTY) has released draft documents for guidelines on data anonymisation and mobile security for e-governance projects conducted by the government. 

  • Data Anonymisation is a processing technique that removes or modifies direct and indirect personally identifiable attributes to eliminate or significantly reduce identifiability.
  • Data which has undergone the process of anonymization is referred to as anonymized data.
  • These guidelines have been prepared by the Standardization Testing Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) Pune.
  • Significance of the Guideline:
    • Enhance privacy protection through case-dependent data anonymisation while processing, publishing, storing or sharing data with other entities.
    • With the integration of multiple services, the implementation of anonymisation principles will help design privacy cognizant systems.
    • Provide Standard Operating Procedures to enable the data anonymisation concept to be implemented by various organisations and government departments.
  • Mobile Security guidelines have been proposed to achieve mobile security goals like confidentiality, integrity, authentication, accountability, etc.

Source:

  • https://wap.business-standard.com/article-amp/economy-policy/e-governance-draft-rules-on-data-anonymisation-mobile-security-released-122083000896_1.html

Image source:

  • https://www.duocircle.com/email-security/data-anonymization-overview-techniques-plus-pros-and-cons

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Internal Security
Terms & Concepts

One Herb One Standard - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: A MoU has been inked recently between the Pharmacopoeia Commission for  Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) for the promotion and facilitation of “One Herb, One Standard” (OHOS).

  • PCIM&H is the subordinate office under the Ministry of AYUSH and IPC is an Autonomous institution under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Pharmacopoeia is the reference book for the preparation of quality medicines published by a government authority or concerned society.
  • Currently, there are different standards and analytical methods published in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Pharmacopoeias when compared with Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).
  • The Ministry of Ayush, however, desires to remove this ambiguity through the OHOS initiative. The sole authority of publication of monographs under OHOS will lie with PCIM&H only.
  • The MoU will help in improving the ease of doing business in India and the overall trade of Indian botanicals. It will also enable the publication of Pharmacopeial monographs that can be used by manufacturers, researchers and regulators in herbal medicine.

Source:

  • https://www.financialexpress.com/healthcare/news-healthcare/ayush-and-health-ministeries-ink-mou-for-promotion-of-one-herb-one-standard/2650362/lite/

Image source:

  • https://www.financialexpress.com/healthcare/news-healthcare/ayush-and-health-ministeries-ink-mou-for-promotion-of-one-herb-one-standard/2650362/lite/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, Governance, Health
Editorial of the day

Electricity Amendment Bill 2022: A mixed bag: Indian Express


Essence - The editorial discusses the new Electricity amendment bill 2022 in light of power sector reform and federalism. It highlights the state's apprehensions regarding several provisions of the bill including multiple Licensing, power and composition of regulating authorities and centre-state relationships in the electricity domain. It balances this by mentioning some of the positive provisions in the bill which are related to tariff and power purchase agreements. It also highlighted that this bill is not completely outside the legislative competence of parliament as electricity in the concurrent list.

In the end, it is apprehensive of declaring Indian rail as "deemed Discom" which may set in dangerous precedence.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about various provisions of this new bill.
  • To know about the federal structure of the power sector in India.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/somit-dasgupta-writes-electricity-amendment-bill-2022-a-mixed-bag-serc-discoms-power-sector-8123787/lite/

 

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Keywords: GS2, Federalism; GS3, Power sector.
Editorial of the day

Pakistan and India: Collaborating on Flood Response


Essence - The article discusses on how the recent flood in Pakistan bears similarities to those in India. It calls for a collaborative effort of various stakeholders and nations in the region to combat such extreme natural disaster events, in the wake of climate change.

Similarities between the weather events between the two countries are shared because of the common sources of the rivers in the two countries and the common colonial legacy of urban planning. The two governments came together in the past during the Gujrat earthquake of 2001, the Kashmir earthquake of 2005, and the Kashmir floods of 2010.

While India and Pakistan are part of the informal coalition under the UNFCC flora that calls for greater funding from the developed nations to check climate change, the Indian subcontinent needs to learn from ASEAN’s initiative to draft a State of Climate Report on the eve of COP-26 last year. It outlines opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in the region for combating climate challenges including data sharing mechanisms to counter the impacts of extreme weather events.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To understand the necessary collaborative efforts needed to combat extreme climate events in the regions.
  • To understand the efforts to be taken in the Indian subcontinent to fight climate change.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/the-same-calamity-pakistan-floods-8121623/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Disaster Management, climate change
Case Study of the Day

Mikhail Gorbachev: A flawed reformer on an impossible mission


Background 

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who brought the Cold War to a peaceful end, died recently at the age of 91.

About Mikhail Gorbachev

  • Mikhail Gorbachev was a tragic figure who failed in the historic mission he had defined for his own country.
  • He took power in 1985 and introduced reforms, as well as opened up the Soviet Union to the world. But he was unable to prevent the slow collapse of the union, and many Russians blamed him for the years of turmoil that ensued.

  • He was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Cold War.
  • But at home, he was a drained and defeated man when forced to step down the following year, reduced to the leader of a non-existent country as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed into 15 separate states.
  • He set out to revitalise the moribund Communist system and shape a new union based on a more equal partnership, between the 15 republics, of which the two most powerful were Russia and Ukraine. Despite his efforts, both Communism and the Union came crashing down.
  • Further, he forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War Two and bring about the reunification of Germany.
    • But his internal reforms weakened the Soviet Union to the point where it fell apart, and has been called the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the twentieth century.
  • On the whole, despite the role he played in the radical changes in East-West relations, Russians have long been accustomed to viewing him as a weak leader who was duped by the West.

Quote:

Without perestroika, the cold war simply would not have ended. But the world could not continue developing as it had, with the stark menace of nuclear war ever present - Mikhail Gorbachev

Source:

  • Mikhail Gorbachev’s tragedy – a flawed reformer on an impossible mission
  • Mikhail Gorbachev: Last Soviet leader dies aged 91

Image source:

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-62732447

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests: Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia, Cold War
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