Thursday, 3rd November 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022

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Major highlights of the Telecommunication Bill:

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Right to Vote for Prisoners - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Methane Emissions - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Employment Survey - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

●  

Coronal hole - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Fungal Priority Pathogen List - Edukemy Current Affairs

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‘Yotta D1’ Data Centre - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Indigenous Overhauser Magnetometer

3   Editorial of the day

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MSMEs resilient amid challenges: Live Mint

4   News Capsules

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World Cities Day and UN HABITAT

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Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) Mission

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UN Turkey-Ukraine Black Sea Grain Deal

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Ranipur Tiger Reserve - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Breathe life Campaign - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Gangetic Dolphin - Edukemy Current Affairs

5   Case Study of the Day

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Infrastructure: Morbi Bridge Collapse

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022


In News:

  • Parliamentary panel raise apprehensions over draft telecom Bill provisions

About the News:

  • Ministry of Communications has recently released a draft of the Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, for public comments proposing changes to the current telecom regulatory framework.
  • The draft intends to bring changes including expansion of the definition of “telecommunication services” to include over-the-top (OTT) communication services, and identification of the person communicating to tackle spam among others.
  • In this regard, members of the parliamentary panel on IT have expressed apprehensions about some provisions of the new draft telecom bill and sought details on how the law will ensure data safety and
  • The draft bill is being perceived as needed legislation considering that the three main acts viz., Indian Telegraph Act 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933 and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful) Possession Act 1950 are considered outdated and not in sync with the present.

Major issues:

  • Dilution of federalism: The provision of land acquisition is likely to face opposition from States which have the power to administer lands within their territorial jurisdiction.
  • Tool for stifling dissent: Civil society has raised concerns that the proposed provision gives the government power to order internet shutdowns while failing to incorporate safeguards such as judicial oversight that have been recommended by the Standing Committee on Information Technology.
  • Dilution of TRAI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will no longer be required to refer back to TRAI the recommendations for reconsideration, a provision which is not be keeping with the international practice where telecom regulators are endowed with a greater degree of independence to ensure that investor confidence and consumer protection is maintained in the market.

Source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/parliamentary-panel-raise-apprehensions-over-draft-telecom-bill-provisions-122102801308_1.html

Original bill:

  • https://dot.gov.in/sites/default/files/Inviting%20Comments%20on%20the%20draft%20Indian%20Telecommunication%20Bill%2C%202022.pdf

 

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Keywords: General studies II: Government acts, Telecommunication Bill, 2022
News Snapshot

Major highlights of the Telecommunication Bill:


  • About: The draft bill is an attempt by the government to update the extant regulatory framework in keeping with the advancements and challenges in the sector.
  • Over-the-top (OTT) communication services:
    • About: OTT services refer to services that provide real time person-to-person telecommunication services using the network infrastructure of telecom service providers. Examples WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, Duo, Google Meet etc.
    • Issue: Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have previously alleged that OTT features result in a double whammy for them as they cut into their sources of revenue (voice calls, SMS) while not having to deal with infrastructure and licensing costs that they have to undertake.
  • Expansion of definition: New definition includes OTT under “telecommunication services” which will now subject them to the same licensing conditions as TSPs.
    • Unified Access Service Licence (UASL): Under the extant framework, TSPs have to be issued the UASL for them to be able to provide telecom services in India.

 Consumer protection:

    • Issue: At present, only the phone number of the person making the communication is displayed leading to ever-increasing incidence of spam calls and frauds.
    • Identification: Bill proposes that the identity of the person communicating using any form of telecommunication services shall be available to the user receiving such communication.
    • Obligation: It also obligates licence holders to identify the users of its service through a verifiable mode of identification.
    • Penalty: To ensure that a user provides correct details, the draft Bill penalises providing wrong identification details with a ₹50,000 fine and suspending the operation of the specific mobile number or barring the person from using the telecom service for a certain duration.
    • Prior consent: Bill also provides that commercial communications which are advertising and promotional in nature should be made only with the prior consent of a subscriber.
  • Position of the TRAI:
    • About: The TRAI was set up in 1997 as an independent and specialised regulator for the telecom sector.
    • Issue: Government at present is a major player in the telecom sector thus the need was felt to institute a regulator that is at an arms’ length from the government to ensure a level playing field, fairness for private TSPs and for the protection of consumer interests.
    • Dilution of power: Draft considerably dilutes TRAI’s position in a number of ways reducing it from a regulatory to a recommendatory body. Besides, the bill also removes the power of the TRAI to requisition from the government information or documents that are necessary to make such recommendations.
  • Provisions on internet shutdowns:
    • Issue: Currently, suspension of internet services is ordered under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency and Public Safety) Rules, 2017 that have been made under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
    • Specific provision: The bill for the first time in the Indian legal framework, introduces a specific provision enabling the government to order suspension of internet power.

 Facilitating TSPs:

    • Spectrum allocation: The bill lays down that while the primary route for allocation of the spectrum is auction, when spectrum is to be allocated for certain functions of the government such as defence or transportation, the administrative process is to be followed.
    • TSPs: It also allows the TSP to exploit its spectrum resource fully by enabling sharing, trading, leasing, surrendering or returning unutilised spectrum.
    • Right of way: It is the legal framework for setting up telecom towers. The bill mandates that land owned by a public entity should be available expeditiously unless there is an express ground of refusal.
    • Funds: The bill allows the funds under the Universal Service Obligation Fund to be utilised for other purposes such as urban areas connectivity, research etc, expanding its current mandate from the limited aspect of enhancing rural connectivity.

 

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Keywords: General studies II: Government acts, Telecommunication Bill, 2022
News Snapshot

Right to Vote for Prisoners - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in News?

  • Recently, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission (EC) on a PIL challenging clause Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deprives prisoners of their right to vote.

 

Background

  • A petition was filed by Aditya Prasanna Bhattacharya, a student of National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, that while convicts out on bail could vote, under trials, whose innocence or guilt has not been conclusively determined, and those confined in civil persons were deprived of their right to vote.
  • Denying penitentiary convicts the ability to vote is not a proper form of punishment as it is more likely to transmit messages that undermine respect for the rule of law and democracy.

 

Related Data

  • National Crime Reports Bureau (NCRB) report of 2021: As on December 31, 2021, there are 5,54,034 prisoners confined in various jails across the country.
  • At the end of year 2021, UP has the maximum number of under trials (21.2%, 90,606 under trials) in the country followed by Bihar (13.9%, 59,577 under trials) and Maharashtra (7.4%, 31,752 under trials)
  • With growing number of under-trials and conviction rates, a large section of society is deprived of their right to vote.

 

Provisions related to right to vote

  • Article 326 of the Constitution: Right to vote is a constitutional right
  • Section 62(5)of the Representation of the People Act, 1951: Individuals in the lawful custody of the police and those serving a sentence of imprisonment after conviction cannot vote. Undertrial prisoners are also excluded from participating in elections even if their names are on the electoral rolls.
  • Those under preventive detentioncan cast their vote through postal ballots.

Arguments in Favour

  • The current voting restriction does not differentiate between convicts based on the gravity of the offense they committed or the duration of their sentence, meaning that all prisoners are prohibited from voting.
  • An individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court of law. Despite this, it grants a detainee the identical right to vote while denying it to an undertrial.
  • Contrary to incarceration for crimes, civil detention is a form of confinement.
  • In contrast to nations like South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Canada, etc., the ban lacks a legitimate classification based on the type of crime committed or the length of the term imposed.
  • It is violative of Article 14, denies right under Article 326 and is arbitrary.It is not a reasonable restriction.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-examines-poll-law-which-deprives-under-trials-civil-prison-detainees-their-right-to-vote/article66076670.ece/amp/
  • https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-issues-notice-on-pil-challenging-section-625-which-deprives-prisoners-the-right-to-vote-212827

 

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Keywords: GS 2, Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act; Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
News Snapshot

Methane Emissions - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, recently warned that Methane emissions will likely increase by 13% by 2030 without the Global Methane Pledge.

 

About Methane Emissions

  • Methane (CH4) is a hydrocarbon that is a primary component of natural gas.
  • Methane is also a greenhouse gas (GHG), so its presence in the atmosphere affects the earth’s temperature and climate system.
  • Methane is generated when organic matter decomposes in an environment with little to no oxygen, for example underwater, or in an animal’s intestine as food is digested, a process known as enteric fermentation.
    • Also, Methane is also released through the exploitation of fossil fuels, during the process of oil, coal and gas exploration, extraction and processing.

  • Methane is emitted from a variety of anthropogenic (human-influenced) and natural sources.
    • Anthropogenic emission sources include landfills, oil and natural gas systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment, and certain industrial processes.
    • Livestock emissions, from manure and gastroenteric releases account for roughly 32% of human-caused methane emissions.
  • Methane has important implications for climate change, as:
    • Methane has a much shorter atmospheric lifetime than CO2 (around 12 years compared with centuries for CO2), but it is a much more potent greenhouse gas, absorbing much more energy while it exists in the atmosphere.
    • Methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
    • Further, methane affects air quality because it is an ingredient in the formation of ground level (tropospheric) ozone, a dangerous air pollutant.

 

Methane Emissions and India

  • India, is currently the world’s third-largest methane emitter.
  • In India, agriculture is the biggest source of methane, but also it is one of the hardest sectors to abate.
  • Studies show that 63% of India’s agricultural methane emissions come from livestock, while rice farming contributes nearly 11%.
  • In the perspective to cut down emissions in India, Central Salt & Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI) in collaboration with the country’s three leading institutes developed a seaweed-based animal feed additive formulation, that aims to reduce methane emissions from cattle and also boost immunity of cattle and poultry.

 

Measures to limit Methane Emissions

  • The United Nations convened a Food Systems Summit in 2021, which aimed at launching bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
  • The UN’s Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture initiative supports the transformation of agricultural and food systems, focusing on how to maintain productivity amid a changing climate.
  • The Global Methane Pledge, launched in 2021, aims to keep alive the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.
    • Under this, over 100 countries have committed to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. This reduction could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050.

 

Source

  • Methane emission to rise 13% by 2030 without global pledge, claims Kerry

Image source

  • https://unece.org/DAM/energy/images/MMNG/mmnag_challenge.jpg
  • https://www.iea.org/reports/methane-tracker-2021/methane-and-climate-change

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment: Methane Emissions, climate change, Green House Gas
News Snapshot

Employment Survey - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The Union Minister for Labour & Employment, recently released a report on the Fourth Round (January-March, 2022) of the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), part of the All India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES).

 

About AQEES

  • The AQEES has been taken up by the Labour Bureau to provide quarterly estimates, about the employment and related variables of establishments, in both organised and unorganised segments of nine selected sectors which account for a majority of the total employment in the non-farm establishments.
  • The nine selected sectors are Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation& Restaurant, IT / BPO and Financial Services.
  • AQEES has two components:
    • Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) relating to the establishments employing 10 or more workers.
    • Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) relates to the establishments employing 9 or less workers.

 

Findings of the recent report

  • According to the 4th Quarterly Report, employment is showing an increasing trend in the selected sectors of the economy.
    • This is mainly a demand-side
    • The total employment in these 9 selected sectors taken collectively was reported as 37 crore in the sixth Economic Census (2013-14).
    • The manufacturing sector accounts for the largest percentage (38.5%) of the total number of workers, followed by the Education sector.
    • Female workers constituted about 52 % of the workforce in the Health sector, the corresponding percentages in Education, Financial Services and IT/ BPO sector stood at 44%, 41% and 36% respectively.
    • In Financial Services, females far outnumber males among self-employed persons.

 

About Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

  • The National Statistical Office (NSO) launched the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in 2017.
  • The objective of PLFS is primarily two fold:
    • to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).
    • to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

 

Comparison: PLFS vs QES

  • The PLFS is a household-level employment survey, while the QES is based on a survey of hirings done by firms.
  • While the QES provides a demand-side picture, the National Sample Survey or Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) gives the supply side picture of the labour market.
  • QES is released by the Labour Bureau, under Ministry of Labour & Employment; while PLFS is conducted by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO), under MoSPI (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation).

 

Source

  • Report on Fourth Round (January-March, 2022) of Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) released
  • One million formal jobs added in one year, says govt survey

 

 

Image source

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1862597

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment: Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), AQUEES, Periodic Labour Force Survey
Terms & Concepts

Coronal hole - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: A phenomenon called "coronal holes" was spotted in the sun.

  • NASA has said coronal holes are important for understanding the space environment around the earth through which technology and astronauts travel.
  • Coronal holes

 

    • These are regions on the sun’s surface from where fast solar wind gushes out into space,
    • contain little solar material,
    • have lower temperatures and
    • thus, appearing much darker than their surroundings.
    • Here, the magnetic field is open to interplanetary space, sending solar material out in a high-speed stream of solar wind.
  • The holes are not a unique phenomenon, appearing throughout the sun’s approximately 11-year solar cycle, and can last between a few weeks to months.
  • Causes of coronal holes are unclear and can be traced to areas on the sun where magnetic fields soar up and away, without looping back down to the surface as they do elsewhere.

Sources:

  • What NASA's 'smiling sun' photo actually shows (indianexpress.com)

 

Image

  • source:https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2019/02/Coronal_hole_observed_from_space

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Science and Technology: Coronal Holes, Smiling Sun/ GS Paper 1: Geography
Terms & Concepts

Fungal Priority Pathogen List - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report highlighting the first-ever list of fungal "priority pathogens" – a catalogue of the 19 fungi that represent the greatest threat to public health.

  • The WHO FPPL aims to focus and drive further research and policy interventions to strengthen the global response to fungal infections and antifungal resistance.
  • The report proposes actions and strategies for policymakers, public health professionals and other stakeholders; targeted at improving the overall response to these priority fungal pathogens including preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance.
  • The WHO FPPL list is divided into three categories:
  1. Critical
  2. High Priority
  3. Medium priority
  • Suggestions: Three primary areas for action are proposed, focusing on:
  1. Strengthening laboratory capacity and surveillance;
  2. Sustainable investments in research, development, and innovation
  3. Public health interventions.

Source:

  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/full-list-of-19-health-threatening-fungi-released-by-who-101666944261488-amp.html

Image source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/science/health/who-releases-first-ever-list-of-fungal-infection-flags-global-health-threat-11666770808109.html

 

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Keywords: GS III: Science & Tech, Biology, Ecology & Environment
Terms & Concepts

‘Yotta D1’ Data Centre - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: Spread over an area of 3 lakh square feet in Knowledge Park in Greater Noida, Yotta D1 was built at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore and is the country's biggest and UP's first data centre.

  • A data centre is a physical facility to house critical applications and data and is designed to support business applications and activities that include:
    • Email, file sharing & productivity applications
    • CRM, ERP and databases
    • Big data, AI, and machine learning
    • Virtual desktops, communications and collaboration services
  • Data itself will be a major part of the economy and when a move from the 4G to the 5G application is on the cards, the requirement for data will increase many folds.
  • As on date, 85% of data in India is standing abroad.
  • Yotta D1 has the capacity to house 5,000 racks across seven server floors and offers fail-safe 48-hour power backup on full load.

Sources:

  • CM: UP met Rs 20,000 cr investment target in data storage capacity in a yr | Cities News,The Indian Express
  • https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/data-center-virtualization/what-is-a-data-center.html

Image source:

  • https://www.temok.com/blog/datacenter-or-data-center/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Science and Technology, Economy: Data Applications
Terms & Concepts

Indigenous Overhauser Magnetometer


  • Context: Recently, Indian scientists made the first indigenous magnetometer.
  • A magnetometer is a scientific instrument which is used to measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field.
  • It is one of the most accurate magnetometers extensively used by all magnetic observatories around the world, making way for reducing the cost of sampling and sensing experiments essential for geomagnetic sampling.
  • The Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), an autonomous research institution under DST has developed the magnetometer as part of its technology development program.
  • Nodal Ministry is Ministry of Science & Technology
  • Location: The sensor installed at Alibag Magnetic Observatory in Maharashtra.
  • They have higher accuracy, higher sensitivity, and efficient power consumption and hence find applications in all magnetic observatories.
  • It can reduce India’s dependence on commercial OVH magnetometers for performing geomagnetic field measurements, thus reducing dependence on imports.


Source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/indian-scientists-develop-first-indigenous-overhauser-magnetometer-11666868844808.html
  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1871226

Image Source:

  • https://dst.gov.in/indias-first-indigenous-overhauser-magnetometer-may-show-way-towards-reducing-costs-sensing

 

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Keywords: GS PAPER-1, Geography
Editorial of the day

MSMEs resilient amid challenges: Live Mint


In News: MSMEs have shown resilience in the face of steep challenges. A recent CIBIL report showed that the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) scheme has successfully supported MSMEs in facing the covid shock, with 83% of the borrowers that availed of the ECLGS being micro-enterprises The concept of MSME was first introduced by the government of India through the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006.

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector is an important pillar of the Indian economy as it contributes greatly to growth of the Indian economy with a vast network contributing about 45% to manufacturing output.

MSMEs provide about 110 million jobs which is 22-23% of the total employment in India. It is next highest to Agriculture. However, this sector still faces several challenges. Barely 15% of MSME units have registered with the UDYAM Platform. Heterogeneity, fragmentation and informalization highlight the need for reforms in this sector.

Importance and Significance of MSME Sector for India

  • Backbone of the Indian rural economy: Compared with large-scale companies, MSMEs aided in the industrialisation of rural areas at minimal capital cost. It generates employment opportunities and works in the development of backward and rural areas.
  • Boost to GDP and Exports: They account for almost 30% of the country’s GDP and half of the country’s exports come from products and services within this sector. The Ministry of MSME has set a target to increase its contribution to GDP to 50% by 2025 as India becomes a USD 5 trillion economy.

Recent Government Initiatives for MSME’s

●        Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) Scheme

●        Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro & Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)

●        Interest Subsidy Eligibility Certificate (ISEC)

●        A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE)

●        Credit Linked Capital Subsidy for Technology Upgradation (CLCSS)

  • Simple Management Structure for Enterprises: Considering India’s middle-class economy, MSME offers a flexibility that it can start with limited resources within the control of the owner. From this decision making gets easy and efficient.
  • Inclusive Society: They create an inclusive and sustainable society through the creation of non-farm livelihood. They promote balanced regional development, gender equity and create opportunities for people to use banking services and products.
  • Front Runner in Make in India Mission: As India aims that the products that are 'Make in India' are also ‘Made for the World,’ adhering to global standards of quality.  MSME is acquiring the centre stage in the mission. It is taken as a backbone in making this dream a possibility.

Nowadays, Multi-National Companies are buying semi-finished, and auxiliary products from small enterprises. It offers immense potential in creating a linkage between India’s MSME base and big companies.

Steps need to be taken for robust growth of MSMEs in India:

  • Regulations and Regulatory Body: The growing importance of the data economy necessitates the government creating an independent body to advise and offer consultancy to MSMEs and establish regulatory measures to protect them from economic shocks.
  • Inclusion of Technology: It can help MSMEs meet urgent working capital requirements and allow them to make early payments or have quicker access to funds that they are owed and to inculcate Zero Defect & Zero Effect (ZED) practices in manufacturing done by Indian MSMEs. Technology-enabled platforms to automate transactions can be created making it easier for MSMEs to track payments.
  • Linking Government Projects with Local MSME: The government can play a crucial role in creating domestic manufacturing capabilities by the leverage of proposed public procurements and projects. For example, public projects such as Sagarmala, Bharatmala, and industrial corridors can be linked with the MSME sector.
  • Infrastructure and Development: Set up new infrastructure and development of the existing one with support to investments and provisions of other amenities like water supply, electricity, etc.
  • Forward and Backward linkages: A portal can be created for MSME formalisation and registration. It will not only bring transparency but also help in reducing frauds and misappropriation of data. And it can also be developed as a full-fledged marketplace for MSMEs through which sellers can develop forward and backward linkages.
  • Dispute Resolution: To push for faster resolution of cases, there is a need to strengthen the NCLT framework with the introduction of alternate methods of debt resolution, such as via e-courts.
  • Digital Adoption Within the Sector: By incentivizing digital adoption within this sector, particularly disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum technology, the industry can experience a technological boom.

Formulation of targeted policies in the areas of infrastructure development, technology adoption, backward and forward linkage, can help MSMEs to achieve their full potential and propel the Indian economy in a higher growth trajectory.

 

  • https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/msmes-have-shown-resilience-in-the-face-of-steep-challenges-11667235555938.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper – 3 Growth & Development, Mobilization of Resources, Industrial Policy, Exam View: Significance of MSME Sector for India, Current Challenges Related to MSME Sector, Recent Government Initiatives Related to MSMEs.
News Capsules

World Cities Day and UN HABITAT


Why in news? Recently, Shanghai holds the 2022 World Cities Day Global Observance.

About

  • World Cities Day is celebrated to highlight the need for international cooperation to promote global urbanisation and address its challenges.
  • In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established World Cities Day through a resolution. The first celebration took place in 2014.
  • According to the UN, seven of every 10 people in the world will live in cities by 2050.
  • The theme of this year's event is "Act Local to Go Global," encouraging cities across the world to make greater contributions to achieve sustainable urban development.

UN-Habitat programme:

  • It promotes the development of sustainable cities in line with SDG 11 goals.
  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development.
  • It conducts the annual Urban October programme for this purpose which begins on the first Monday of the month and ends on 31st October with World Cities Day.

 

  • https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-11-01/VHJhbnNjcmlwdDY5MTYw/index.html

 

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Keywords: General Studies – 1 Urbanization, Population and Associated Issues
News Capsules

Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) Mission


Why in news? Recently, NASA spots 50 methane super-emitters on Earth. Most of these sites have ties with agriculture and fossil fuel industries.

About

  • NASA Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) is an Earth Ventures-Instrument (EVI-4) Mission to map the mineral composition of arid dust source regions via imaging spectroscopy in the visible and short-wave infrared range. “
  • EMIT is originally designed to examine how dust impacts climate. But it has demonstrated another crucial capability — detecting the presence of methane, a potent greenhouse gas,”.
  • EMIT located a plume in the Permian Basin, New Mexico.
  • Permian: The Permian, one of the world’s biggest oilfields, extends across portions of southern New Mexico and western Texas.

 

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/amp/nasa-spots-50-methane-super-emitters-on-earth-85689

 

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Keywords: General Studies – 3 Science & Technology, environment
News Capsules

UN Turkey-Ukraine Black Sea Grain Deal


Why in news? Recently, U.N. agreed with Turkey, Ukraine on plan to move 16 vessels under Black Sea grain deal.

About

  • The Black Sea Grain Initiative was an agreement between Russia and Ukraine with Turkey and the United Nations.
  • It sought to create a safe passage of food grains exported from Ukraine, which is currently in war with Russia.
  • Under this agreement, export of grain, food and fertilizers will be allowed to resume from Ukraine via a “safe maritime humanitarian corridor” from three key Ukrainian ports i.e., Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.

 

  • https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/un-says-agreed-with-turkey-ukraine-plan-move-14-vessels-under-black-sea-grain-2022-10-30/

 

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Keywords: General Studies –1, Physical Geography General Studies – 2, Bilateral Groupings & agreements
News Capsules

Ranipur Tiger Reserve - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Ranipur Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh has become the 53rd tiger reserve in India.

About

  • Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS) in the Chitrakoot district founded in 1977, has no resident tiger. However, it is an important corridor for the movement of tigers, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
  • Ranipur Tiger Reserve will be the fourth tiger reserve in UP, after Dudhwa, Pilibhit and Amangarh (buffer of Corbett Tiger Reserve).
  • It will also be the first in the Bundelkhand region of the state. The Ranipur Tiger Reserve has tropical dry deciduous forests and is home to fauna such as tigers, leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer, sambhar, chinkara and a number of birds and reptiles.
  • It is located at 150 km distance from Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

 

  • https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/uttar-pradeshs-ranipur-gets-indias-53rd-tiger-reserve-3476204/amp/1

 

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Keywords: General Studies – 3, Environment & Ecology
News Capsules

Breathe life Campaign - Edukemy Current Affairs


About:

  • BreatheLife is a global campaign that mobilizes cities and individuals to take action on air pollution to protect our health and the planet.

  • The campaign is led by the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).
  • The ‘BreatheLife’ campaign highlights measures cities can implement to minimize impacts, including through better housing, transport and waste and energy systems.
  • Three strategic goals:
    1. Engage city, subnational and national governments to commit to achieving WHO Air Quality Guidelines by 2030
    2. Halve the number of air pollution-related deaths by 2030
    3. Slow the rate of climate change by 0.5 degree Celsius by 2050.

 

  • https://news.un.org/en/tags/breathelife

 

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Keywords: General Studies – 3 Science & Technology, Environment & Ecology
News Capsules

Gangetic Dolphin - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Dolphins have started coming back to the Ganga River with improvement in the quality of its water through the Namami Gange programme.

About

  • Ganges river dolphins live in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.

  • They can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
  • They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounce off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind. They are also called ‘susu’.
  • It is a reliable indicator of the health of the entire river ecosystem.
  • It was recognised as the National Aquatic Animal in 2009, by the Government of India.
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
  • Indian Wildlife (Protection), Act 1972: Schedule I.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES): Appendix I (most endangered).

 

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-dolphins-return-to-ganga-as-water-quality-improves/article66073757.ece/amp/

 

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Keywords: General Studies – 3, Environment & Ecology
Case Study of the Day

Infrastructure: Morbi Bridge Collapse


Background

A suspension bridge built during British rule collapsed recently in Morbi, Gujarat killing at least 134 people.

About the disaster

  • A suspension bridge is a type in which the deck is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders.
  • The design and balancing of the suspension bridge demand two preconditions: there must be no overloading and no excessive swaying.
  • The bridge, which had been reopened after renovation, reportedly was overcrowded when it collapsed and was swaying preceding the disaster.
  • The forensic report said the flooring of the bridge was replaced at the time of renovation but its cables were not, and the old cables could not take the weight of the changed flooring.
  • Holding contractors responsible, crowd regulation, periodic inspection of bridge quality, and setting up regulations for clearance & maintenance of public Infrastructure, are some of the ways to mitigate risks from such disasters.
  • The collapse in Morbi happened across the Machchhu river.
    • Machchhu is a small river that rises in the Madla Hills and flows 130 km into the Rann of Kutch.
    • Morbi is a major hub of small and medium industries and India's ceramics factory.
    • Around 70% of India’s ceramics are produced in Morbi, and ceramic tiles manufactured here are exported to countries in the Middle East, East Asia etc.

Source

  • How suspension bridges work, and what could have happened in Gujarat’s Morbi

Image source

  • https://images.indianexpress.com/2022/11/bridge.jpeg

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Infrastructure: Bridge, Morbi, Gujarat
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