Thursday, 8th September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Pakistan Floods: A delisting threat to Mohenjadaro

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World Social Protection Report 2020-22

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New Digital Lending Guidelines

2   Terms & Concepts

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Emergency Use Nod: Intranasal Vaccine

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OPEC - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Ramon Magsaysay Award - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

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Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

National Medical Commission Bans Conversion Therapy

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Revdi Culture Debate: Freebies in India

4   Case Study of the Day

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Bengaluru flood: A man-made disaster?

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Pakistan Floods: A delisting threat to Mohenjadaro


In news

As per the recent reports by the Department of Archaeology in Pakistan, the 5000 year old heritage Mohenjo Daro is facing the threat of being taken off the UNESCO World Heritage List if immediate attention is not paid to its conservation and repair.

About World Heritage Site

  • A place or monument designated by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site is one that is legally protected by international agreements due to its cultural, historical, scientific, or other value.
  • These locations are crucial for the preservation of humanity as a whole.
  • A WHS is an already recognized landmark with special cultural or physical significance, making it distinct in some way from other geographically and historically recognizable locations (such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, mountain, or wilderness area).
  • The locations are designed for practical conservation for future generations because they would otherwise be at risk from trespassing by people or animals, from unchecked, unrestricted access, or from local administrative carelessness.
  • ·       The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which is made up of 21 "states parties" elected by their General Assemblies, manages the global World Heritage Program that produces the list.

Key Points regarding Mohenjodaro

  • About 80 kilometers away from the city of Sukkur, Mohenjo Daro is a 5000-year-old archaeological monument that consists of a collection of mounds and ruins.
  • It contains the remains of one of the two major Indus Valley Civilization centers; the other is Harappa, which lies 640 kilometers to the northwest in Punjab province.
  • Mohenjo Daro, means "mound of the dead."
  • The houses in this area contained bathrooms, toilets, and a drainage system. It was a well-known model planned city of the ancient civilisation.
  • The city's sheer size and the availability of public structures and facilities point to a significant degree of social organization.
  • The brick sidewalks and city walls are still in good shape despite being in ruins.

Recent concerns

  • According to media accounts, the flooding has severely destroyed several of the old ruins' streets and wastewater
  • Archaeologists warn that if this type of flooding occurs once again, the cultural site may once more become submerged.

Sites that have Lost World heritage Site’s Tag

  • The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman was the first location to be delisted by the UNESCO council due to concerns over poaching and habitat degradation in 2007.
  • Elbe Valley in Dresden, Germany, was another site that was taken off the World Heritage list in 2009 after the construction of the Waldschloesschen road bridge over the Elbe River.
  • The property "Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City" (UK) was removed from the World Heritage List last year by the World Heritage Committee.
  • This was brought on by the property's irreparable loss of characteristics that conveyed its exceptional universal value.

Gains from World Heritage Status

  • It promotes historical preservation by increasing public and governmental awareness of it. more tourism-related activities, which will help the local economy.
  • The World Heritage Committee may also provide the host nation with financial support and professional guidance to help with preservation efforts at its sites.

Content Source Link: 

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/explained-pakistan-floods-imperiled-mahenjo-daros-world-heritage-tag-8132814/,
  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/06/pakistans-monsoon-rains-threaten-world-heritage-site-of-mohenjo-daro

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.pinterest.com/pin/265008759298939898/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper I, Art & Culture
News Snapshot

World Social Protection Report 2020-22


In News:

The report titled ‘World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Regional companion report for Asia and the Pacific’ is a companion to the ILO’s ‘World Social Protection Report 2021-22’, has been recently released to give a regional overview of the social protection in the Asia and Pacific region.

Key findings in the report

About Social protection

  • Social protection covers the range of policies and programmes needed to reduce the lifelong consequences of poverty and exclusion.
  • It includes access to health care and income security measures related especially to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, work injury, maternity or the loss of the main breadwinner in a family, as well as extra support for families with children.
  • The SDG 1.3 calls upon countries to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems for all, for reducing and preventing poverty.
  • According to the report, as of 2020, only 46.9% of the global population was effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 1% as many as 4.1 billion people were left wholly unprotected.
  • Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia lead the chart in the Asia Pacific region with 100% of their population covered under at least one social protection benefit; while in Myanmar and Cambodia, the number stands below 10 per cent.
  • Three out four workers in the Asia Pacific region are not protected in the event of illness or injury sustained at work.
  • Countries with lower GDP per capita tend to have low levels of work injury coverage for example, Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan cover fewer than 5% of their workers.
  • Highlighting the inherent gender inequality in the social protection coverage, the report notes that women’s coverage lag behind men’s by a substantial 8 percentage points.
  • Further, the large majority of the working-age population in the world 69.4 per cent, or 4 billion people are only partially protected or not protected at all.

Data related to India in the report:

  • Only 4% of Indians, even fewer than Bangladesh (28.4 per cent), are under any sort of social protection benefit.
  • The report notes that owing to the relatively low investment in social protection, the amounts transferred under non-contributory benefits are usually too low to provide adequate protection.

  • With contributory schemes typically limited to those working in the formal sector, and non-contributory schemes still mostly targeted on the poorest, India's social security benefits are lower than the five per cent of GDP per capita ($2,277).
  • However, the report appreciated India’s higher coverage rate achieved through a combination of contributory and non-contributory schemes through its progressive extension of tiered combination coverage such as in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGA).

Source:

  • Less than a quarter Indians under social protection net: ILO Report

Image source:

  • https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_853860.pdf
  • https://www.businessinsider.in/budget/news/budget-2022-expectation-why-india-needs-an-urban-mgnrega/articleshow/89199969.cms

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States: World Social protection Report, Social protection
News Snapshot

New Digital Lending Guidelines


In news

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently issued guidelines to all lenders including banks to protect the data of borrowers using digital lending apps from being misused.

Digital lending in India

  • Digital lending involves giving and recovering loans through web platforms or mobile apps. It facilitates speedy disbursal and helps lower costs.

Need for new Guidelines

  • The RBI has mandated these regulations in order to check mis-selling to customers, unethical business conduct, exorbitant interest rates, and excessive engagement of third parties in digital lending transactions.

About the new guidelines

  • Scope of Application: The guidelines cover the following regulated entities - All Commercial Banks, Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks, State Co-operative Banks, District Central Co-operative Banks; and Non-Banking Financial Companies (including Housing Finance Companies).

  • Loan Disbursal, Servicing and Repayment: Regulated Entities(Res) shall ensure that all loan servicing, repayment, etc., shall be executed by the borrower directly in the RE’s bank account without any pass-through account/ pool account of any third party.
  • Collection, usage and sharing of data: The regulated entities cannot store borrowers' data, except for some basic minimal information.
    • As per the guidelines, a lender can store information such as the name, address, contact details of the customer etc. that are required to process and disburse the loan and repayment of it. Biometric information of the borrower cannot be stored by digital lending apps.
    • Further, the borrower shall be provided with an option to give or deny consent for use of specific data, restrict disclosure to third parties, data retention, revoke consent already granted to collect personal data and if required, make the app delete/ forget the data.
  • Privacy Policy: REs shall ensure that their Digital Lending Apps/Platforms (DLAs) and Lending Service Provider (LSPs) engaged by them have a comprehensive privacy policy compliant with applicable laws, associated regulations and RBI guidelines.
  • Technology standards: REs shall ensure that they and the LSPs engaged by them comply with various technology standards/ requirements on cybersecurity stipulated by RBI and other agencies, or as may be specified from time to time, for undertaking digital lending.
  • Reporting to Credit Information Companies (CICs): REs shall ensure that any lending done through their DLAs and/or DLAs of LSPs is reported to CICs irrespective of its nature/ tenor.
  • Nodal grievance redressal officer: REs shall ensure that they and the LSPs engaged by them shall have a suitable nodal grievance redressal officer to deal with FinTech/ digital lending related complaints/ issues raised by the borrowers.
  • Applicability: The guidelines issued are applicable to existing customers availing fresh loans and to new customers getting on boarded from the date of this circular.

Source:

  • Guidelines on Digital Lending
  • RBI issues new digital lending guidelines for banks, lenders to protect borrowers

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/sandeepohri/status/1557571907599351808/photo/1

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability, E-governance: New Digital Lending Guidelines, RBI.
Terms & Concepts

Emergency Use Nod: Intranasal Vaccine


  • Context: Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 recombinant nasal vaccine (iNCOVACC) is needle free and has been approved by the Ministry of Health’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for primary immunisation of those aged 18 years and above, in emergency situations.
  • Nasal vaccine: This is administered through the intranasal route, the vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled.

  • Intramuscular vaccines are less likely to provide protection to upper respiratory tract- the area primarily attacked by COVID virus, and it generally fails, as they rely on immune cells mobilised from elsewhere in the body while researchers believe that an intranasal vaccine can act against the virus from the time it tries to break the body’s barrier, i.e., the mucosa.
  • Intramuscular & nasal vaccines trigger a response in the blood, but the nasal ones unlike the former, also tap another set of immune cells that hang around mucosal tissues, which destroys airway pathogens.
  • The vaccine will provide defence against infection and transmission, and prevent the disease, though it was not yet clear how many doses of the intranasal vaccine as a primary dosing would generate long-term immunity.
  • Nasal vaccines are non-invasive, cost effective for mass administration and reduces dependency on trained personnel, as it does not require needles and syringes.

SOURCES:

  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/indias-first-intranasal-covid-vaccine-by-bharat-biotech-gets-dcgi-approval-11662456365531.html
  • Nasal vaccine gets emergency use nod, how will it help combat Covid-19? | Explained News,The Indian Express

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Governance: Health: Emergency Use Nod, Intranasal Vaccine
Terms & Concepts

OPEC - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: OPEC has recently decided to reduce output quotas for October, as the group is worried about slipping prices, weak demand in China and a deal with Iran.
  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela
  • The 15 nations that are a currently members of OPEC, produce about 44% of the world’s oil and own over 81.5% of the world’s oil reserves.
  • The organization works together to coordinate and unify policies primarily surrounding the pricing of oil, aims to provide a steady supply of oil to consumers, while also providing a steady income for the oil producers and a return for investors.
  • OPEC+ countries, including Russia, have decided to cut crude oil production by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), equal to 0.1% of global supply, due to global reasons.
  • OPEC also fears a possible increase in supply if Iran is able to agree on a new nuclear deal with the United States and Europe that would ease sanctions on its exports.
  • India is the third-largest oil consumer in the world, and the country meets 85.5% of its crude oil demand from imports as of 2021-22 (FY22).
  • For India, every $1 per barrel increase in crude oil prices will have an impact on its current account deficit by around $1 billion.

Sources:

  • Opec+ to cut crude oil output by 100k barrels per day from October | Business Standard News (business-standard.com)
  • https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranking-the-countries-with-the-largest-proven-global-oil-reserves-in-the-world/
  • https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/data_graphs/330.htm

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, International Relations/GS Paper 3, Economy: Global Oil crisis
Terms & Concepts

Ramon Magsaysay Award - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: A Former Kerala Health Minister has declined to accept the 2022 Magsaysay Award for her handling of the Nipah and Covid-19 outbreaks in the state
  • The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in 1957 and is considered Asia's premier prize and highest honour.
  • It is named after Ramon Magsaysay, the third president of the Republic of the Philippines.
  • The award recognises and honours individuals and organisations in Asia, regardless of race, creed, gender, or nationality, who have achieved distinction and have helped others generously without aiming for public recognition.
  • Till 2009, awards were traditionally given in five categories namely Government service; public service; community leadership; journalism, literature and creative communication arts; and peace and international understanding.

  • However, post-2009, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation annually selects the awardees for the field of Emergent Leadership.
  • Awardees are presented with a certificate, a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay and a cash prize of 50 thousand (US) dollars.
  • The award is internationally-recognized as the Nobel Prize counterpart of Asia.

Source:

  • https://amp.scroll.in/latest/1032023/former-kerala-health-minister-kk-shailaja-says-she-declined-to-accept-magsaysay-award-2022

Image source:

  • https://r3.rappler.com/previous-articles?filterMeta=Ramon%20Magsaysay%20Award

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, International relations, Ramon Magsaysay Award
Keywords: GS Paper 2: Polity: Inter-State relations, Inter State River dispute, Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
Editorial of the day

National Medical Commission Bans Conversion Therapy


Essence – The article talks about the recent announcement by the National Medical Commission that declared conversion therapy “professional misconduct” and asked State Medical Commissions to take disciplinary action on breach of guidelines. Conversion or representative therapy seeks to change the gender identity of the people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community by the use of methods that may involve psychiatric treatment, psychosomatic drugs, electroshock therapy, exorcism, medical procedures, or even violence. These are often carried on during the early childhood stage and lead to trauma, depression, anxiety, or even suicide.

It also states that the Supreme court decriminalized homosexuality in 2018 by striking off section 377 of IPC, but still, the change at the social level is yet to seep in. The recent move by the IMC is a welcome move in this direction as it will act at the social level. However, to ensure gender equality and open gender identity for the people belonging to the LGBTQIA+, the article recommends community change laid in education and other complementary laws.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To understand the social conditions that hinder the growth and development of people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • The article highlights the need for change at the societal level to ensure gender equality.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/coercion-as-conversion-the-hindu-editorial-on-national-medical-commission-decision-against-conversion-therapy/article65849293.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, Society, Gender Identity, Gender equality, National Medical commission, LGBTQ Community
Editorial of the day

Revdi Culture Debate: Freebies in India


Essence – The editorial discusses the need for freebies and welfare spending in light of poverty, hunger and inequality in India. It discusses this issue as an answer to the question of morality of fanciful and grand election promises and legality of Judicial intervention in this matter. It considers making these promises in a mature democracy is perfectly legal. Later it examines the legality of “Revadi Culture” i.e. Welfarism in India where number of poor has doubled and stark inequality is visible with more than 51% of total wealth under the control of richest 1%. It also has highlighted the differential treatment of rich to whom state support is termed as “incentive” while that to poor is called “Revdi”, “Freebies”, etc. It cites Oxafam report in support to its argument that to compensate for loss in direct tax due to rebate in Corporate tax there was corresponding increase in indirect tax leading to spike in food and fuel prices which only impacted poor.

Towards the end it justifies these freebies as they have done considerable good to further the goal of democracy. It mentions about eradication of starvation deaths, improved enrollments and secure livelihood among poor which are the result of these freebies. Hence it recommends to compare “revdi” and “freebies” to rights and freedoms.

Why to read this editorial

  • To know about the need of welfarism in India.
  • To know about the status of poverty, hunger and inequality, and the impact of past welfare programs.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/revdi-culture-debate-why-we-need-freebies-in-india-8135143/

 

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Keywords: GS2, issues related to poverty and hunger
Case Study of the Day

Bengaluru flood: A man-made disaster?


Background:

Bengaluru has been recently experiencing traffic bottlenecks, power outages and flooded houses as a result of additional rain during an unusually heavy monsoon season.

About Bengaluru Floods

  • Every year, in September and October, Bengaluru is extremely susceptible to flooding.
  • The possible reasons for flooding every year include:
    • The city received 131.6 millimetres of rainfall between the mornings of September 4 and September 5, 2022, which was the highest daily recorded rainfall for September since 2014.

 

      • An active La Niña in its third year, however, could have also played its part.
      • A trough, which is an extended low pressure region that causes rainfall between central parts of north Andaman Sea and southern Tamil Nadu, could also be the reason.
    • The flooded area's infrastructure cannot support the rate of development, as it's stormwater drains are overworked as a result of the combination of precipitation and sewage.
      • Other issues include inadequate infrastructure to handle unexpectedly severe rainfall, and Garbage clogs in drains.
    • Around 110 villages were merged with the city corporation in 2005, but the corporation hasn't bothered to connect the villages with the city's sewage infrastructure.
    • Also most of the infrastructure is built around lakes, but there is no proper planning to use lakes to buffer extra water.
  • Solution to mitigate Floods in Bengaluru:
    1. Storing or recharging of rainwater into a well, of every drop of rain that falls on the land.
    2. It is recommended that permeable surfaces, rather than full concrete be utilised in locations such as parking lots, footpaths, walking and jogging lanes, common areas in apartments, companies, and other large structures.
    3. Enforcement to demolish illegal structures on water pathways.               

Source:

  • An active La Niña in its third year, however, could have also played its part.
  • Multiple troughs, La Nina: Why Bengaluru is flooding repeatedly this monsoon

Image source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/explained-why-is-bengaluru-flooded-who-is-responsible-for-this-man-made-disaster-11662450089538.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Disaster and Disaster Management, Bengaluru Floods
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