Thursday, 20th October 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Lead Poisoning India - Edukemy Current Affairs

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PM-DevINE - Edukemy Current Affairs

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E-rupee - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

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Secure Himalaya Project - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Debt Recovery Tribunals - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

E-Waste Management - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Mission DefSpace - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

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Today’s weapon of choice, its expanding dimensions

4   News Capsules

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World Green City Award 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Atacama Trench - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

PMJAY-MA Cards (Ayushman Cards)

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Assisted natural regeneration (ANR)

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Translocation of Gaurs (Indian Bison)

5   Case Study of the Day

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Population Issues: Manipur Population Control measure

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News:

  • The Prime Minister has recently inaugurated PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022 at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi.
  • During the event, the PM released several schemes including PM-Kisan Samruddhi Kendras, PM-Bhartiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana - One Nation One Fertiliser among others.
  • The agriculture sector is crucial for India as it is among the top 10 countries in terms of agricultural exports with its agri exports being increased by 18 per cent despite the problems of the worldwide pandemic.
  • Objective: It is a platform which aims to take steps to make the lives of farmers easier, boost their capability and promote advanced agricultural techniques.

Steps taken:

  • Aim: To ensure 'Ease of Living' for farmers using more modern technology to reduce the distance between the farm and the market.
  • One District One Product scheme: Area-specific exports, are being supported and export hubs are being established at the district level.
  • e-NAM: For farmers to sell their produce in any market in the country with the use of technology.
  • Mega food parks: To help get more income for the farmers as the number of large food parks increased from 2 to 23 with FPOs and SHGs being linked with these parks.
  • Nano Urea: To produce more with less cost, a sack full of urea can now be replaced by a single bottle of nano urea.

Steps needed:

  • Quality seeds: Scientific efforts for providing the best quality seeds that are suited to the changed climate conditions be made available to the farmers.
  • Brand India: With the United Nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Coarse Cereals which will encourage India's coarse grains all over the world.
  • Water efficiency: Avoid indiscriminate amounts of water for irrigation and efforts should be taken in the direction of per drop more crop, micro irrigation and drip irrigation.
  • Natural farming: Encourage natural farming as an important medium to solve the challenges of the future.
  • Promoting self-reliance: Shifting alternative measures such as biofuel and ethanol can help to reduce foreign dependence, especially with regard to crude oil and gas.
  • Leveraging mission Oil Palm: The farmers of India should help increase the production of oil seeds in order to help can reduce the consumption of edible oils import burden and achieve Atmanirbharta in the edible oil sector.

Source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1868463

 

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Keywords: General studies III, Government Schemes
News Snapshot

Lead Poisoning India - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

A report by NITI Aayog and the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), has found that India bears the world’s highest health and economic burden due to lead poisoning.

About Lead Poisoning

  • Lead Poisoning occurs when a human body is affected by high levels of lead exposure, through ingestion, touch or breath. It affects the brain, nerves, blood, and digestive organs and is more dangerous to children.
  • Lead is a naturally occurring poisonous metal found in small amounts in the earth’s crust, and enters humans with exposure to paint, water pipes, canned goods, cosmetics, Dust, soil, etc.

Report Findings

  • 2020 report by UNICEF: India is home to a major chunk of the 800 million children poisoned by lead globally.

 

    • The report noted that lead poisoning shaved off an estimated 5% of Indian GDP, due to lower economic productivity and reduced lifetime earnings.
  • According to NITI and CSIR reports:
    • Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh had the highest average blood lead levels (BLL).
    • Around 23 states have an average BLL beyond five micrograms per decilitre (μg / dl).
  • Sources of Lead contamination include:
    • Battery recycling
    • Occupational sources such as lead mining, smelting, welding, soldering
    • Automobile repatriating
    • Adulterated spices
    • Cosmetics
  • Measures needed to mitigate the impact of Lead
    • Lead use in petrol was phased in the year 2000
    • Need for implementable strategies on the state level, involving regional bureaucracy, local press and vernacular language.
    • Monitoring and Investigating BLL levels.
    • Targeted research and intervention studies to identify potential newer sources

Source:

  • India bears world’s highest health, economic burden due to lead poisoning: Centre

Image source:

  • https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/programs/geh/geh_newsletter/2020/10/articles/feature3.jpg
  • https://static.toiimg.com/thumb/imgsize-23456,msid-47689148,width-600,resizemode-4/47689148.jpg

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Lead Poisoning India
News Snapshot

PM-DevINE - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in News?

  • A new program known as the Prime Minister's Development Initiative for the North East Region was recently authorized by the Union Cabinet (PM-DevINE).
  • In the Union Budget 2022–23, PM-DevINE was introduced to address development gaps in the North Eastern Region (NER).

About PM-DevINE

  • A central sector scheme (100% central sector scheme).
  • It will cost Rs. 6,600 crore and be implemented throughout the final four years of the 15th Finance Commission, from 2022–2023 to 2025–2026.
  • The amount of resources available for the development of the NE area also includes the PM-DevINE. It won't take the place of current state and federal programs.
  • It will be implemented by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region through North Eastern Council or Central Ministries/ agencies.
  • Objectives
    • Fund infrastructure convergently, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti
    • Support social development projects based on felt needs of the NER
    • Enable livelihood activities for youth and women
    • Fill the development gaps in various sectors

Significance of North East for India

  • Strategic Significance: North-East India is the gateway to South-East Asiaand beyond.
  • Cultural Significance: Most culturally diverse, NE Region is a Dowry-free zone.
  • Economic Significance: Region is rich in TOT (Tea, Oil and Timber), has hydroelectric potential
  • Ecological Significance: NE is part of Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspot.

Challenges pertaining to North-east India

  • Isolated from the rest of India due to geographical reasons
  • It lacks efficient infrastructure
  • The region has remained historically underdeveloped in terms of industrial growth.
  • It has inter-state and International territorial disputes
  • Insurgency or terrorism being a political weapon

Other Initiatives for NER

  • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme: to improve NER’s infrastructure cover projects relating to connectivity enhancing tourism and supply of water and power etc.
  • North East Venture Fund, the first and only dedicated venture fund for NER, aims to promote business growth and skill development.
  • Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East.

Source Link:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1867079,

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcleartax.in%2Fs%2Fsarfaesi-act-2002&psig=AOvVaw3NxMxrwqlx61JfV9X7XnU0&ust=1665731040104000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCPCi7OnR3PoCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAE

 

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Keywords: GS paper II & III, infrastructure, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, inclusive growth, Government Policies & Interventions
News Snapshot

E-rupee - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) indicated that it will soon commence limited pilot launches of e-rupee (e`), or Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or digital rupee, for specific use cases.

 About e-rupee

  • According to the RBI, the CBDC is a central bank's digital version of bank notes.
    • The central bank issues it as a sovereign or fully autonomous currency in compliance with the nation's monetary policy, and it will appear as a liability on the central bank's balance sheet.
    • When formally issued, CBDC will be regarded by all three parties, citizens, governmental entities, and businesses as a form of payment and legal tender.
    • It would be freely convertible into cash or notes from any commercial bank since it'd be government-recognized.

CBDCs vs Cryptocurrencies

  • Cryptocurrencies are an alternate currency system, in which regulations do not dictate the terms of each transaction.
    • They are hard to duplicate and are secured by consensus mechanisms (Blockchain) that prevent tampering.
    • These are unregulated, decentralised and volatile.
  • On the other hand, CBDCs are designed to be similar to cryptocurrencies, but they may not require blockchain technology or consensus mechanisms.
    • Also, these are authorised and mirror the value of fiat currency and are designed for stability and safety.
  • RBI stated that e-rupee would work on a unique token-based method, on approved methodologies, which would need to be created.
  • CBDC can be demarcated into two broad categories:
    • General purpose (retail) (CBDC-R) - an electronic version of cash primarily meant for retail transactions.
    • Wholesale (CBDC-W) - for restricted access to select financial institutions.

 Reasons for exploring the issuance of CBDC in India include:

  • Lowering operational costs associated with physical cash management
  • Promoting financial inclusion
  • Bringing resilience, efficiency, and innovation to the payment network
  • Enhancing efficiency in the settlement system
  • Driving innovation in the cross-border transaction space
  • To provide the public with a risk-free virtual currency that will give them legitimate benefits without the risks of dealing in private virtual currencies.
  • Further, the e-rupee is expected to bolster India's digital economy, enhance financial inclusion and make the monetary and payment systems more efficient.
  • Concerns associated
    • The Challenge is to develop a platform which is highly scalable, to support very high volume and rate of transactions without performance degradation.
    • Ensuring the stability of the financial ecosystem and having tamper-proof access control protocols and cryptography for the safety of data needs serious investment, considering cyber-security
    • The CBDC is anticipated to produce large amounts of data in real-time. Hence, it will be difficult to use the data effectively and protect its privacy and address concerns about its anonymity.

Source:

  • Explained: What Is India's Pilot Launch Of Central Bank Digital Currency?
  • What Is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?
  • Pilot launch of e-rupee for specific use cases: What is the RBI’s plan

Image source:

  • https://www.diplomacy.edu/blog/5-things-to-know-about-cbdc/

 

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Keywords: GS3: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilisation of Resources: e-rupee, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Terms & Concepts

Secure Himalaya Project - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Unique model to tie snow leopard tourism with habitat protection.
  • The project promotes a dual purpose:

  1. Sustainable management of high-range Himalayan ecosystems to protect wildlife
  2. ensure sustainable livelihoods and socio-economic benefits for communities in the Trans- and Greater Himalayan regions.
  • The SECURE Himalaya project is a part of “Global Partnership on Wildlife Conservation and Crime Prevention for Sustainable Development” (Global Wildlife Program) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
  • Launched by: MoEFCC along with UNDP in 2017.
  • Key Components
  1. Conservation of key biodiversity areas and promotion of tourism
  2. Enhancing enforcement, monitoring and cooperation to reduce wildlife crime and related threats.
  3. Knowledge, advocacy, communication and information systems established
  • Status of Snow Leopards:
  1. Vulnerable under IUCN Red List
  2. Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
  3. It is listed in Appendix I of CITES
  4. Under CMS, it is given highest conservation status along with other species.

SOURCES:

1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/unique-model-to-tie-snow-leopard-tourism-with-habitat-protection/articleshow/94903474.cms?from=mdr

2. https://www.undp.org/india/projects/securing-livelihoods-himalayas

3. https://mongolia.panda.org/?367696/More-than-70-per-cent-of-snow-leopard-habitat-remains-unexplored-WWF-report-confirms

 

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Keywords: GS III: Environment and Ecology Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
Terms & Concepts

Debt Recovery Tribunals - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The government has created exclusive benches to deal with cases above ₹100 crores at Debts Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.
  • The Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act (RDB Act), 1993 provides for the establishment of DRTs with original jurisdiction and Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs) with appellate jurisdiction.

  • The objective is to provide expeditious adjudication and recovery of debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions.
  • It also hears cases filed under the SARFAESI Act,2002 (which provides access to banks and financial institutions for recovery of secured debts from the borrowers without the intervention of the Courts at the first stage).
  • Apart from DRAT, HC and SC can also be approached for appeal.
  • Each DRT is headed by a Presiding Officer (eligible for reappointment) who shall be qualified to be a judge of a District Court with 5 years term. Nodal ministry: Ministry of Finance.
  • Removal -an order made by the central government on grounds of incapacity or proven misbehaviour.
  • At present, 39 DRTs and 5 DRATs are functioning across the country.

Sources:

  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/govt-forms-exclusive-benches-at-three-drts-to-resolve-cases-above-rs-100-crore/articleshow/94928402.cms
  • https://blog.ipleaders.in/functioning-debt-recovery-tribunals/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Statutory, regulatory and various other quasi-judicial bodies.
Terms & Concepts

E-Waste Management - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: International E-Waste Day was marked recently.
  • The Basel Convention,1989, regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes; covers toxic, poisonous, explosive, corrosive, flammable, ecotoxic and infectious wastes, and does not cover e-waste.
  • The Nairobi Declaration was adopted during the eighth meeting of the CoP to the Basel Convention in December 2006, focusing primarily on the growing problem of e-waste to raise awareness of this global risk.
  • In the Indian context, Environment Ministry has set fresh standards for businesses; electronics manufacturers and any businesses that generate e-waste will have to ensure
    • 60 per cent of their electronic waste is collected and recycled by 2023.
    • Increased to 70 per cent by 2024 and
    • 80 per cent by 2025.
  • The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have set up the country’s first e-waste clinic here, which would enable the segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.
  • In India, e-waste Management is regulated by the E-Waste Management Rules 2016 which was amended in 2018.

SOURCES:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/waste/international-e-waste-day-over-5-billion-phones-will-become-waste-this-year-85475

IMAGE SOURCE:

  • http://www.ecogreenindia.co/

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Keywords: GS Paper-3, environment
Terms & Concepts

Mission DefSpace - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Recently, the Prime Minister launched ‘Mission DefSpace’at the ongoing DefExpo.
  • It is an ambitious effort to develop innovative solutions for the three Services (Indian Airforce, Navy and Army) in the space domain through the Indian industry and start-ups.
  • 75 challenges are being opened to getinnovative solutions, based on the defence requirements in the space domain.

  • Startups, innovators and the private sector will be invited to find solutions for the problems that will include both offensive and defensive capabilities.
  • It aims to develop a range of military applications for space warfare and to enable private industries to offer solutions to the armed forces for future offensive and defensive requirements.
  • Defence applications in space will not only help the Indian armed forces but can also be extended to friendly foreign nations.
  • The increasing importance of space technology is shaping new definitions of India’s space diplomacy and the country is currently sharing its space science with more than 60 developing nations.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-airbase-coming-up-in-gujarat-near-indo-pak-border-to-emerge-as-effective-centre-for-countrys-security-pm-modi/article66029973.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Defence Technology, GS Paper 2: Government Policies ad Interventions
Editorial of the day

Today’s weapon of choice, its expanding dimensions


M.K. Narayanan

Internal Security - Organised crimes and terrorism, implications of cybercrimes on security etc.

In news: As the 21st-century advances, a new danger — the cyber threat — is becoming a hydra-headed monster.

Cybercrime is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offence. Today, Cybercrimes are at an all-time high, impacting individuals, businesses, and countries. Cyber threats include a wide range of attacks ranging from data breaches to computer viruses, denial of service, and numerous other attack vectors.

As India is moving towards more and more digitalization in all spheres, cyberspace has become a serious concern of National Security. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, India reported 52,974 cases of cybercrime in 2021, an increase of over 5 per cent from 2020 (50,035 cases) and over 15 per cent from 2019 (44,735 cases).

Steps taken by India to improve cyber security:

  • Section 66F of the IT act: It covers denial of access, unauthorized access, the introduction of computer contaminant leading to harm to persons, property, critical infrastructure, disruption of supplies, ‘sensitive data’ thefts. Provides for punishment which may extend to life imprisonment.

  • National Cyber Security Policy 2013: Established National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to improve the protection and resilience of the country’s critical infrastructure information.
  • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC):It has been setup to enhance the protection and resilience of Nation’s Critical information infrastructure.
  • Computer Security through CERT-IN: The purpose of CERT-In is to respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.
  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative:It was launched in 2018 with an aim to spread awareness about cybercrime and build capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.
  • Cyber Crisis Management Plan (CCMP):It aims at countering cyber threats and cyber-terrorism.

  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra:This platform was introduced for internet users to clean their computers and devices by wiping out viruses and malware.
  • Information Security Education and Awareness Project (ISEA):Training of personnel to raise awareness and to provide research, education, and training in the field of Information Security.

The cyber realm is no longer confined to events such as the Russia-Ukraine war and the battle is now in our own backyards, with several non-state actors engaging in hybrid warfare and distorting day-to-day practices, including examinations. These pose legal, ethical and real dilemmas. Left unchecked, the world may have to confront a new kind of Wild West, before states find a common denominator for regulating cyberspace and lay down proper rules and practices to prevent anarchy and chaos.

Previous Year Questions

  1. Discuss different types of Cybercrimes and measures required to be taken to fight the menace. (UPSC 2020)
  2. What is the CyberDome Project? Explain how it can be useful in controlling internet crimes in India. (UPSC 2019).

Keywords: General Studies, – Paper – III
News Capsules

World Green City Award 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news?

Hyderabad recently received Green City Award 2022

About the achievement

  • Hyderabads’s entry was in the category ‘Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth’ for the greening of the Outer Ring Road.
  • The ORR greenery in Hyderabad is called “Green Garland to the state.”

About the award

  • World Green City Award is an initiative of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
  • The award is given in six categories:
    • Living Green for Health and Wellbeing
    • Living Green for Biodiversity
    • Living Green for Climate Change
    • Living Green for Water
    • Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth
    • Living Green for Social Cohesion

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Green City Award, environment
News Capsules

Atacama Trench - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Why in news? New species of deep-sea fish Paraliparis selti has been discovered in Atacama Trench.
  • About
    • It is a small blue snailfish discovered during the study of Atacama Trench in 2018.
    • It was discovered 6,000 to 7,000 meters deep in the Atacama trench.
    • Atacama Trench, also known as Peru-chile, is the submarine trench in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
    • Atacama Trench marks the subduction of the Nazca Plate under the South American Plate.
    • It lies offshore from an area of active volcanism.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Science and Technology
News Capsules

PMJAY-MA Cards (Ayushman Cards)


Why in news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the distribution of Ayushman cards to beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ma Amrutam (PMJAY-MA) scheme in Gujarat.

About the scheme

  • In 2019, the center’s PMJAY program for providing healthcare services to economically disadvantaged areas was merged with Mukhyamantri Amrutam (MA) and Mukhyamantri Amrutam Vatsalya (MAV) health programs in Gujarat.
  • Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY is the largest health insurance scheme in the world, under which each family gets health insurance up to ₹5 lakh.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, Society, Public Health
News Capsules

Assisted natural regeneration (ANR)


Why in news? Assisted natural regeneration is seen in the news these days with respect to restoring the ecological balance and mitigation strategies to counter climate change.

What is ANR?

  • Assisted natural regeneration is a blend of active planting and passive restoration, where local people intervene to help trees and native vegetation naturally recover by eliminating barriers and threats to their growth, leaning on their knowledge of the land and on ancestral traditions.
  • ANR is a cost-effective, nature-based solution for restoring millions of hectares of land while providing ecosystem services — like clean water and healthy soil.

Benefits of ANR

  • Trees and forests can be restored using ANR at less than a third of the cost of tree planting, based on WRI estimates.
  • ANR can restore much more land, much more quickly than active planting, as it requires very little human intervention.
  • In areas where human pressure on the land is strong, especially from cattle grazing and agricultural expansion, ANR is the only way to ensure that the restored land effectively mimics the native habitat of local plants and wildlife.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Environment and ecology
News Capsules

Translocation of Gaurs (Indian Bison)


  • Why in news? The Indian government is considering Sri Lanka’s proposal to translocate Indian bison, to the island to revive the population that has been extinct since the end of the 17th century.
  • About:
    • Indian gaur is a reclusive beast that lives in the wild.
    • It is the largest wild bovine.
    • There are about 13,000 to 30,000 gaurs in the world with approximately 85% of the population present in India.
    • Also found in Myanmar and Thailand.
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable
    • Protection: Under Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Environment and ecology, Wildlife
Case Study of the Day

Population Issues: Manipur Population Control measure


Background

Aiming apparently at population control, the Manipur Government has announced that government benefits will not be provided to families having more than four children.

About the measure

  • The Manipur Government approved the establishment of the Manipur State Population Commission as an ordinance.
  • At present, India accounts for18% of the world’s population with only 2.45% of the global surface area and in 2023 will overtake China to become the world's most populous nation.

  • States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have similar laws for population control.
  • The current decision aimed at population control is at variance with the decade-old contest in Manipur entailing cash awards for women with at least 10 children.
  • The decision follows the 'Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam', which made people with more than two children ineligible for government jobs and election to the panchayats and civic bodies.

Over Population

    • Increases pressure on clothing & housing.
    • Aggravates unemployment & disguised unemployment problem.
    • Leads to eco-degradation.
    • Pressure on infrastructure.

However, it is said to result in:

    • Reduction in the working-age population.
    • Dipping Total Fertility Rate (TFR).
    • The desire for male children could lead to unsafe abortions and female feticide.
    • Penalising vulnerable sections because of their inability to afford contraceptives or abortion.

Source:

Manipur: No government benefits for anyone with more than 4 children

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/manipur-no-government-benefits-for-anyone-with-more-than-4-children/article66009034.ece/amp/

Image source:

  • https://quotefancy.com/quote/1075164/David-Attenborough-Instead-of-controlling-the-environment-for-the-benefit-of-the

 

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Keywords: GS1: Population and Associated Issues: Population Control, Government Schemes, Manipur
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