Tuesday, 13th September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Conference on Treaty on the NPT

●  

India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting

●  

IRENA Policy Talk 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

●  

Rubber Plantation - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Acharya Vinoba Bhave - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Operation Gear Box - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’

3   Editorial of the day

●  

Wheat Disruption: Ukraine War's Impact on India's Food Security

●  

Urban Flooding in India: Number Theory

4   Case Study of the Day

●  

Rajasthan to roll out urban employment guarantee scheme

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Conference on Treaty on the NPT


In News:

The US secretary of state recently addresses the conference on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

About the News:

  • The United Nations’ Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was recently conveyed by the U.S. Secretary of State.
  • The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the centrepiece of global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
  • It also aims to promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to further the goal of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
  • Every five years, nearly 200 member states of the NPT meet to review their progress or lack thereof.
  • The present session at the UN is the tenth review conference for the NPT which had been postponed by two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major focus areas of the treaty:

  • About: The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) was opened for signature in 1968 and entered into force after two years in 1970. The Treaty was extended indefinitely in 1995 with aim to inhibit the spread of nuclear weapons.

  • Parties to the treaty: State parties have been categorised based on their nuclear status i.e., those that manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967.
    • Nuclear-weapon states (NWS): It consists of the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom.
    • Non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS): These includes all other signatory countries to the treaty.
    • Exceptions: Despite its near-universal membership, the NPT has limitations owing to countries including South Sudan, India, Israel, and Pakistan being outside the treaty.
  • Core missions: The treaty has three core missions:
    • Prevention of spread: Taking steps to put a stop to the spread of nuclear weapons to states that do not have them,
    • Overwatch: Ensuring civil nuclear energy programs do not turn into weapons programs
    • Disarmament: Long-term steps aimed at facilitation of nuclear disarmament.
  • Obligations:
    • Non-nuclear parties: Under the NPT, these state parties have committed themselves not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
    • Nuclear parties: State parties with nuclear-weapon States parties are committed not to in any way assist, encourage or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State party to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
  • Verification: Under the present setup, the non-party intergovernmental organization, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been entrusted with key verification responsibilities under the Treaty.
    • Process: Each non-nuclear-weapon State party is required under Article III of the NPT to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) with the IAEA.
    • Importance: It will enable the IAEA to verify the fulfilment of their obligation under the Treaty with a view to preventing the diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Major challenges to the treaty:

  • National security: The nuclear abolitionist argument is fundamentally based on morality yet; a realistic and strategic approach argues that the primary purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter adversaries from attacking vital national security interests.
  • Immoral damages: Many critics have argued that it is always immoral to use nuclear weapons, since they cannot discriminate between soldiers and innocent civilians, including children, the elderly and the infirm.
  • Weapon of deterrence: Incidence like Hiroshima atomic bomb raises the question that if an attack does occur, then nuclear weapons can be used to punish aggression in a proportional way and caution others.
  • Moral conjecture: Both morality and strategy are about justification as the idea behind disarmament has been a conflict between the utilitarian approach versus moral subjugation as seen during the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA.
  • Catastrophe: The use of nuclear weapons brings social and environmental catastrophe, and thus, if it is immoral to use nuclear weapons, it is immoral to threaten to use

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/governance/why-are-nuclear-weapons-so-hard-to-get-rid-of-because-they-re-tied-up-in-nuclear-countries-sense-of-right-and-wrong-84291

 

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Keywords: General studies III: International security, International Treaty
News Snapshot

India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting


In News

The External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister held the second India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo.

About 2+2 Framework

  • The 2+2 discussion is held between the foreign and defence ministries of two nations and is widely thought to be intended to create a system under which the bilateral relationship takes a decisive strategic turn with increased integration of the defence, security, and intelligence apparatus.
  • The "2+2" dialogue with Japan was started in 2019 to further develop bilateral security and defence cooperation and add depth to the unique strategic and international connection between the two nations.
  • With a select few nations, including the US, Japan, Australia, and Russia, India has ministerial conversation in the "2+2" framework.

Key Points from the Meeting

Reorienting Japan’s Diplomacy:

  • Through pragmatism and firmness, a new "realistic diplomacy" will enable Japan to tackle emerging security issues.

Boosting National Capabilities to deter aggression

  • Within the next five years, Japan will substantially strengthen its defence capabilities and secure the necessary boost in defence spending.
  • Recently, Japan demanded that the defence budget be increased to 2% of GDP. Japan has historically kept its military budget to 1% of GDP.
  • To dissuade Chinese aggression, one focus is on developing so-called "counter-strike" weaponry.

  • Essentially, it involves acquiring long-range missiles that may attack important targets, such as Chinese missile depots and command centres (and North Korea).
  • While China's missile stockpiles are expanding, Japan does not possess long-range missiles, and the US was bound by a pact with Russia to refrain from designing and deploying longer-range missiles in Asia.
  • This is about to change as Japan and the US deal with the issue of discouraging China (as well as North Korea).
  • Such a counter-strike capability is criticized as breaking Japan's peace constitution's values.
  • Defensive capabilities that potentially stop Chinese missiles in their tracks are recommended by some analysts.

Deepening Defence Partnerships

  • Japan continues to emphasize the importance of the alliance with the US in dealing with China even as it develops its own domestic capabilities.
  • Tokyo also wants to improve security ties with other nations that share its values, such Australia and India.
  • Tokyo has also pledged to bolster the Quad's and independently the defence capacities of the Indo-Pacific nations.
  • Additionally, it is enhancing defence and security ties with the UK and France.

India-Japan Relations

  • History
    • Long-standing spiritual affinities as well as deep cultural and civilizational linkages have been the foundation of India and Japan's friendship. Buddhism has had a significant influence on Indian culture, which has greatly influenced Japanese society. As a result, Japanese people feel a strong connection to India.
    • There have never been any disagreements, whether they are ideological or territorial, between the two countries. One of the first peace agreements Japan signed after World War II was with India.
  • Defence
    • Through bilateral and multilateral exercises like Dharma Guardian and Malabar, respectively, and for the first time, Japan's participation in exercise Milan, the India-Japan defence and security alliance have developed over the years.
    • The formalized Tri-Service Exchanges between Japan and India complete the triad. Since 2006, there have been yearly exchanges between the Coast Guards.
    • For example, the Vision 2025 Special Strategic and Global Partnership between Japan and India, aims to cooperate for the Indo-Pacific region and the world's peace and development.
  • Economic
    • When Japan was one of the few nations to help India out of its balance of payment crisis in 1991, it put Japan to the test as a reliable friend.
    • The economic ties between Japan and India have been gradually growing and deepening in recent years. Trade between the two nations has grown in scope. India's 12th-largest trading partner in 2020 was Japan.
    • Japan was the fourth-largest investor in India in FY2020, and direct investment from Japan into India has increased.
  • Health Sector
    • Both sides had been working together to find initiatives to develop the AHWIN narrative for the India-based AYUSHMAN Bharat Program due to the similarities and synergies between the goals and objectives of both programs.

Way Forward

  • In order to prevent the establishment of a securing hegemony in the Indo-Pacific, India and Japan must modernize their military tactics and capitalize on their shared interest (US and China).
  • India has traditionally put the "Indo-Pacific" at the centre of its interactions with Southeast and East Asian nations. India's Act East Policy needs to be strengthened in order to find practical answers to current problems.
  • India can gain from Japan's expertise in disaster management when creating policies and programs for reducing catastrophe risk in disaster-prone areas.

Content Source Link:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/japan-is-recasting-its-national-security-vision-in-face-of-an-aggressive-china-india-must-inject-strategic-content-into-ties-during-22-dialogue-8133055/

Image Source Link:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%E2%80%93Japan_relations

 

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Keywords: GS paper II, International Treaties & Agreements, Effects of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests
News Snapshot

IRENA Policy Talk 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs


What is Bioenergy?

  • Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy produced from organic components that have biological origins.
  • It is energy produced from biomass, which includes materials like bagasse, cotton stalks, coconut shells, wood, and other plants.
    • Bioenergy makes up the largest share of renewable energy use today, accounting for around 9% of the world’s total primary energy supply. 

Data Related to Use of Bioenergy

  • More than half of bioenergy is consumed for cooking and heating buildings in the traditional and inefficient way.

  • Modern uses of bioenergy include biomass and biogas/biomethane for industrial heat, power generation, and liquid biofuel road transport.
  • However, they only contribute small shares of the final energy consumption of end uses:
    • 7% of the heating for buildings and industry and 3% of transport fuels. 

Significance of Bioenergy

  • According to IRENA’s 1.5°C scenario, it will make up a quarter of the total primary energy supply or 17% of final energy demand by 2050.
  • It can provide heat for both industrial processes and buildings, as well as fuels for transport.
  • It can be used as feedstock in the petrochemical industry to produce chemicals and plastics.
  • Combined with carbon capture and storage technologies in the power sector and some industrial sectors, bioenergy can deliver the negative emissions needed to achieve the net-zero emission goal.

Various Government Efforts in Reaping Bioenergy

  • The national biofuels policy aims to advance the 2030 indicative goal of establishing a 20% blend of biofuels with fossil-based fuels.

  • The government offers a ten-year income tax holiday. Concessional customs and excise duty exemption for equipment and parts needed to launch biomass power projects. Certain States offer a general sales tax exemption.
  • Waste-to-energy projects are also being established to produce energy from urban, industrial, and agricultural wastes like vegetable and other market wastes, slaughterhouse waste, agricultural residues, and industrial wastes & effluents.
  • Through a national appraisal program, MNRE also intends to establish a "National Biomass Repository," which will assist secure the supply of biofuels made from indigenous feedstock.

Way Forward

  • Comprehensive policy measures are needed to address these barriers and scale up the deployment.
  • Energy policy needs to closely interact with other sectoral policies such as agriculture, forest and waste management.

  • Ensuring the sustainability of bioenergy deployment is the most fundamental element of bioenergy policymaking.
    • Sustainability governance, regulations and certification schemes, cross-sectoral coordination and other measures can help minimise potential impacts on environmental, economic, and social aspects.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.irena.org/events/2022/Jun/The-fourth-IRENA-Policy-Talk-2022--Sustainable-Bioenergy-for-the-Energy-Transition

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Events/2022/Jun/Bioenergy-for-the-energy-transition_28-June_final.pdf?la=en&hash=94028B98F11B51090872C3094DF719D6865D22BD

 

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Keywords: GS paper II, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, Conservation
Terms & Concepts

Rubber Plantation - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Rubber plantation in Kerala has been in crisis due to falling prices.
  • Rubber is a plantation crop grown in Tropical climates with an annual rainfall of 2000 – 4500 mm (an evenly distributed rainfall withat least 100 rainy days a year)
  • Minimum and maximum temperatures ranging from 25 to 34°C with 80 % relative humidity are ideal for its cultivation.
  • 2000 hours of sunshine, and the absence of strong windsare also necessary for the best results.
  • The trees demand well-drained and well-weathered soils.

  • Lateritic, alluvial, sedimentary, and non-lateritic red soilsare best for the growth of these trees.
  • Natural rubber is used in medical devices, surgical gloves, aircraft and car tires, pacifiers, etc.
  • According to FAOStat (Food and Agricultural Organisation Corporate Statistical Database) of 2019, Thailand is the largest producer of Rubber in the World followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China etc.
  • India is thefourth largest producer and consumer of Rubber in the World.
  • Kerala is the leading rubber plantation state in India. Kerala and Tamil Nadu account for 81% of production.
  • Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya, Odisha etc. are other states that have rubber plantations.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rubber-plantations-in-crisis-with-prices-in-a-free-fall/article65874675.ece#:~:text=The%20wide%20belt%20of%20rubber,the%20last%20couple%20of%20months.

Image source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/coverage/lost-in-plantation-48443

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: Geography: Resources, NATURAL VEGETATION, rubber plantation
Terms & Concepts

Acharya Vinoba Bhave - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Prime Minister had recently paid tributes to Acharya Vinoba Bhaveon his birth anniversary.
  • Vinayak Narahari Bhave was born on 11thSeptember 1895 in Gagode, Bombay Presidency (Maharashtra).
  • He was a nonviolence activist, freedom activist, social reformer and spiritual teacher.
  • Being an avid follower ofMahatma Gandhi, Vinoba upheld his doctrines of non-violence and equality.
  • He dedicated his life to serve the poor and the downtrodden, and stood up for their rights.
  • Vinoba was the first recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1958.
  • He was also conferred with the Bharat Ratna (India's highest civilian award) posthumously in 
  • He took part in programs of non-cooperation and especially the call foruse of Swadeshi goods instead of foreign imports.
  • He was also chosen as thefirst Individual Satyagrahi (an Individual standing up for Truth instead of collective action) by Gandhi himself.
  • He adopted the term Sarvodaya from Gandhimeaning “Progress for All”.
  • The Sarvodaya movementunder him implemented various programs during the 1950s, the chief among which is the Bhoodan (Gift of the Land) movement.
  • He established theBrahma Vidya Mandir in 1959, a small community for women, aiming at self-sufficiency on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings.
  • His works includeSwarajya Sastra, Geeta Pravachane, Teesri Shakti or The Third Power etc.

Source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1858406

Image Source:

  • https://www.mkgandhi.org/vinoba/vinoba-apostle-of-peace.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: History: Indian National movement, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Boodhan movement.
Terms & Concepts

Operation Gear Box - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) along with ATS, Gujarat, has detected 72 hidden packetsweighing 5 kg of powder in bags, suspected to be narcotic substances, in a container from Dubai.
  • Operation Gear Box is conducted to detect the hidden drugs in the gearboxes.
  • The gears from old and used gearboxes were removed after opening them and plastic packets containing the narcotic substance were placed in the created cavity and the gearboxes were refitted to avoid detection.

  • The drug syndicate has used this unique modus operandi to conceal heroin.
  • These packets were shipped concealing inside this metal scrap with other metal scraps so that it would go unnoticed by the authorities.
  • India is vulnerable to the trafficking of narcotics as it is sandwiched between the 'Golden Crescent' and the 'Golden Triangle', the major opium production regions in the world: the “Golden Crescent”, comprising illicit opium production areas in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; and the “Golden Triangle”, the second largest opium production region in the world, covering Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.
  • The consumption of drugs and narcotic substances like heroin, cannabis and other opioids has increased significantly in India and the consumption rate of various narcotics substances in the country has seen a 70% increase in the past eight years and the number continues to rise.
  • More than 70% of the drugs are smuggled into the country through international sea routes, while 20% is by roadway and 10% by air.

Source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1858095
  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/over-10-crore-drug-users-in-india/article65388543.ece
  • https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/piracy/indian-ocean-east.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Security
Terms & Concepts

Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’


  • Context: To speed up the country’s fight against tuberculosis (TB) and achieve the target set of eliminating the disease by 2025, the President has launched the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan.
  • It's an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW)to accelerate the country’s progress towards TB elimination by 2025.
  • It’s objectives include to:
    • Provide additional patient support to improve treatment outcomes of TB patients
    • Augment community involvement in meeting India’s commitment to end TB by 2025.
    • Leverage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
  • More than 1.78 lakh tuberculosis patients have been adopted under the campaign.
  • The people and institutions coming forward to take care of the patients are called “Ni-kshay Mitra” and is a voluntary decisions. They can adopt blocks, districts or even an individual patient and provide nutritional and treatment support to help them recover.
  • The four-pronged support include: nutritional, (a monthly food basket comprising three kg of rice, 1.5 kg of pulses, 250 grams of vegetable cooking oil etc), additional diagnostic, additional nutritional supplements (containing B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and minerals,) and vocational support.

Source:

  • Murmu: TB most fatal among infectious diseases, its eradication is duty of all | India News,The Indian Express
  • https://theprint.in/india/more-than-1-78l-tb-patients-adopted-under-pradhan-mantri-tb-mukt-bharat-abhiyan-campaign/1126074/

Image Source:

 

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

Wheat Disruption: Ukraine War's Impact on India's Food Security


Essence - The article highlights the present inflation in the Food Price Index (FPI), which is hovering around 30% similar to the situation in 2010-11, which was one of the reasons behind the Arab Spring. The present inflation is driven by multiple factors including Covid, the Russia-Ukraine War, and the blocking of the Black Sea which accounts for 95% of grain export from Ukraine.

As many as 26 countries in Asia and Africa depend on more than 50% of wheat imports from Russia. While New Delhi’s plan to fill in the gap has been marred by its own wheat export owning to inflation in the domestic market, India needs to cap the food grain hoarding limit for the private players for better transparency of the situation.

The opening of the agricultural market to private players and listing of agricultural commodities on the futures exchange has attracted private financial institutions and is a considerable reason for the spike, as it raises concerns and speculations in both domestic and international markets.

The article highlights about India’s ranking in the global hunger index and hints toward the growing inaccessibility of food grains to the poor. India needs transparency in food supply and availability and for that cap on private sectors hoarding is a must and should be taken up with priority.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To understand the factors at play that led to high FPI.
  • To know the steps that India can take to strengthen its distribution and check inflation in the domestic market.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-wheat-of-the-matter-disruption-of-supply-chains-due-to-ukraine-war-has-implications-for-indias-food-security-8137467/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3, Food Security, Food Price Index, INFLATION
Editorial of the day

Urban Flooding in India: Number Theory


Essence – The editorial discusses the issue of increasing urban flooding and the real reason behind them. It highlighted the issue by citing the case study of Bangalore and Patna. It has also highlighted the under-identification of urban regions. It mentions that there is a significant difference in accounting for the increase in the urban region between 2001 to 2011 as accessed by Census data and satellite data. According to the editorial, apart from the lack of capacity with the urban local bodies to manage plan drainage, there is also the glass ceiling due to rising economic importance and heavy demand in the real estate sector, which ultimately pushes for unregulated urbanisation. To support this point, it cites the facts from the Economic Survey and National Accounts Statistics (NAC).

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the real underlying reason for frequent urban flooding in India

Source:

  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/behind-the-systemic-roots-of-urban-flooding-in-india-101662484178630.html

 

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Keywords: GS3, Disaster Management
Case Study of the Day

Rajasthan to roll out urban employment guarantee scheme


Background

The Chief Minister of Rajasthan has recently announced in his budget speech, the launch of urban employment guarantee scheme, and this will be India’s biggest scheme to give jobs to people residing in cities according to officials.

About the scheme

  • The “Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Scheme” has been rolled out in Rajasthan, with a budgetary provision of ₹800 crores in 2022-23.
  • More than 2.2 lakh families have been registered under the scheme, which is expected to provide employment to the poor and needy people, including those affected by the pandemic.
  • The scheme will provide 100 days of employment to families living in urban areas on the lines of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
  • All family members, aged between 18 and 60, of a job card holder, will be eligible to get work under the scheme.
  • Further, the State government has appointed committees at various levels for effective implementation.
  • The scheme will provide employment in the segments of environment and water conservation, cleanliness and sanitation, stopping defacement of property, service-related works, convergence work and heritage conservation.
  • Also, the eligible people will be employed in tree plantations, cleaning ponds, collecting garbage and catching stray animals.
  • The cost of materials and the payment for the labour work of general nature will be in the ratio of 25:75; which will vary for special works with technical expertise.
  • The State government’s Department of Local Bodies will be responsible for the scheme’s implementation.

Source:

  • Rajasthan to roll out urban employment guarantee scheme from September 9

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/NehaKoppula/status/1568078297229295617/photo/1

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes: Rajasthan Urban Employment Guarantee scheme, Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Scheme.
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