Tuesday, 20th September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

●  

Climate Change and Indian Monsoon

●  

The Future of the Commonwealth

●  

ITPGRFA - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

●  

INSPIRE Awards - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Shanghai Corporation Organisation (SCO)

●  

Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

“Swachhta Pakhwara” Initiative

3   Editorial of the day

●  

Global Digital Governance: Essential Framework

●  

Inclusive Crypto Asset Regulation: LiveMint

4   Case Study of the Day

●  

Madhav Rao as a statesman - Edukemy Current Affairs

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News Snapshot

Climate Change and Indian Monsoon


Snapshots

Climate Change and Indian Monsoon

In news

  • According to recent research, climate change-induced global warming makes the monsoon more variable, causing both brief bursts of heavy rain and extended intervals of dry weather.

Key Terms

  • El Nino
    • El Nino is a term used to describe the anomalous warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
    • It is the “Warm phase” of a larger phenomenon called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
    • It occurs more frequently than La Nina.
  • La Nina
    • The unusual cooling of the tropical eastern Pacific is referred to as La Nina, the "cold phase" of ENSO.
    • Contrary to El Nino, which typically lasts little longer than a year, La Nina occurrences may last between one and three years.
    • The Northern Hemisphere winter is typically when both phenomena reach their climax.
  • Indian Ocean Dipole
    • A discrepancy in sea-surface temperatures between the eastern (Bay of Bengal) and western Indian Oceans is what is known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), an atmosphere-ocean linked phenomenon (Arabian Sea).
    • IOD and other similar ocean events, in addition to El Nino and La Nina, affect the Indian monsoon.
  • Since 1902, the year 2022 has experienced the second-highest number of severe events. A frightening scenario has given rise to droughts and floods.

How has Climate Change impacted the Rainfall Pattern?

  • Flash floods and low-pressure systems moving south of their positions indicate a change in the monsoon systems' course.
  • Originally, the term "monsoon depression" referred to a summertime low-pressure system that affected the North Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The closed isobar's diameter can reach 1000 km, covering a rather vast area.
  • In contrast to West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bihar, which experienced below-average rainfall in 2022, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and portions of Maharashtra experienced above-average precipitation.
  • In August 2022, two depressions that followed one another formed in the Bay of Bengal and moved across Central India.
  • Although each year's summer monsoon rainfall is different, there has been significant regional and temporal variability in rainfall in 2022.

Impacts

Impacting Food Security:

  • In India, monsoon rains decreased in frequency but increased in intensity in the second half of the 20th century.
  • A better rainfall scenario, according to scientists and food experts, might have contributed to a higher yield.
  • However, these extraordinary shifts are having a severe impact on India's hundreds of millions of rice producers and consumers, raising questions about food security.

Impact on Kharif Crops:

  • Changes in the trajectory of the monsoon systems have a significant impact on kharif crops, notably rice production. During this time, they account for a sizeable portion—more than 50%—of the overall production of food grains.
  • The decrease in Kharif output might keep rice prices high.
  • Despite a robust monsoon current in July and August, the output of rice in the three states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh—which together produce one-third of the nation's total—has been severely deficient.

Affected the Quality of Grains:

  • These rains' unequal distribution could affect the grain's quality and alter its nutritional value.
  • A study titled "Climate change, the monsoon, and rice yield in India" found that temperatures over 35 °C can cause heat stress in plants and have an impact on their physiological processes, which can result in spikelet sterility, non-viable pollen, and poor grain quality.

What needs to be done?

  • India must devote more funds to improving monsoon forecasting in order to achieve sustainability and dependability.
  • As we live in a common planet with a shared future, we must act quickly and effectively to safeguard and sustain India's climate pattern, both domestically (National Action Plan on Climate Change) and internationally (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/how-climate-change-is-altering-indian-monsoon/article65900632.ece#:~:text=A%20shift%20in%20the%20track,record%20even%20normal%20monsoon%20rains

Image Source Link:

  • https://edukemy.com/current-affairs/kosmos/2022-01-01/changing-monsoon-patterns-in-peninsular-india-causes-and-consequences

 

Click the link below to attempt the daily MCQs and the Mains based questions.

Keywords: GS Paper I & III, Physical Geography, Important Geophysical Phenomenon, Agricultural Resources, climate change
News Snapshot

The Future of the Commonwealth


In News

  • The death of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom marks not only the end of an era for the British monarchy but also a turning point for the 14 Commonwealth realms of which she was the Head of State.

Background of the Issue

  • Since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the socioeconomic atmosphere of the 14 kingdom countries has seen tremendous change.
  • Several of these 14 nations have demanded the creation of a republic in order to dissolve their historical links to the British monarchy.
  • Barbados became the 18th nation in 2021 to do away with the British monarch as head of state and replace them with a member of the national government.

About CommonWealth

  • A total of 56 nations make up the Commonwealth of Nations, the majority of which were once British colonies.
  • The London Declaration of 1949 established it.
  • Cyprus, Malta, and the United Kingdom are the three European members of the Commonwealth, which is primarily composed of nations from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific, many of which have developing economies.
  • Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are the Commonwealth's developed countries.

Nature of Commonwealth

  • Republics and Realms are both part of the Commonwealth.
  • Except for five nations—Brunei Darussalam, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malaysia, and Tonga—each a self-governing monarchy, the realms are headed by the British monarch, while the republics are controlled by elected governments.
  • Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu are among the realms.
  • Therefore, it is possible that additional countries may follow Barbados' example during the reign of the current King Charles III, the Queen's successor.

Significance of Commonwealth

  • The Commonwealth has maintained itself over time even after the decolonization of the British Empire, despite the fact that it may appear to be an out-of-date forum in the wake of the queen's passing.
  • The Commonwealth offers just such a forum in the era of multilateral diplomacy, as states seek a venue to voice their opinions, advance their interests, and influence international standards.
  • The Commonwealth is run by the leaders of the free world; the monarch is merely the organization's symbolic head.
  • Queen Elizabeth travelled frequently to meet with the leaders of Commonwealth countries all over the world, and she was instrumental in promoting the organization and preserving the group's importance during her reign.

What lies ahead for Commonwealth?

  • In the future, it's conceivable that Australia, New Zealand, and the Bahamas will all become republics.
  • Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis are the other five Caribbean countries whose governments have indicated that they intend to take similar actions.
  • Therefore, it is not improbable that after the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the Commonwealth states may become an anachronism and countries that experienced colonialism in the past, with all of the associated brutality and resource extraction, may advance to become republics.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-will-the-future-of-the-commonwealth-change/article65902592.ece
  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/queen-elizabeth-dead-british-commonwealth-past-present-future-8140896/

 

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

ITPGRFA - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

India will be hosting the 9th Session of the Governing Body of the 'International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)’ from 19-24th September 2022 in New Delhi.

About ITPGRFA

  • ITPGRFA is a legally binding comprehensive agreement adopted in 2001 in Rome during the 31st session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, which entered into force in 2004 and currently has 149 Contracting Parties, including India.
  • The Treaty aims at:
    • recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world.
    • establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials.
    • ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have originated.

  • Main provisions of the treaty:
    • Multilateral system:
      • The treaty provides an innovative solution to access and benefit sharing, that puts 64 of the most important crops, which together account for 80% of the food we derive from plants, into an easily accessible global pool of genetic resources that are freely available to potential users in the Treaty’s ratifying nations for some uses.
    • Access and benefit sharing
      • Those who access the materials must be from the Treaty’s ratifying nations and they must agree to use the materials totally for research, breeding and training for food and agriculture; while sharing benefits from their use through benefit-sharing mechanisms established by the Treaty.
    • Farmers’ rights
      • The Treaty recognizes the enormous contribution farmers have made to the ongoing development of the world’s wealth of plant genetic resources.
      • It calls for protecting the traditional knowledge of these farmers, increasing their participation in national decision-making processes and ensuring that they share in the benefits from the use of these resources.
    • Sustainable use
      • The local crops, not among the main four(rice, wheat, maize & Potato) are a major food source for hundreds of millions of people and have the potential to provide nutrition to countless others.
      • The Treaty helps maximize the use and breeding of all crops and promotes the development and maintenance of diverse farming systems.
  • Presently, the Ninth Session of the Governing Body is convened under the provisions of Article 19 of the International Treaty and is open to all Contracting Parties and to observers.         

 About 9th Session of Governing Body

  • The GB9 is being held under the themeCelebrating the Guardians of Crop Diversity: Towards an Inclusive Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”.
  • The theme aims to acknowledge the contribution of the world’s small-holder farmers to the effective management of PGRFA while providing an opportunity to consider how the Treaty and its community will contribute to the new global biodiversity framework.
  • Amid a lack of consensus on issues like benefit sharing of germplasm which will provide access to better quality seeds, India has recently urged member countries of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) to make headway in eliminating the north-south divide.
  • Further, with this unique status and as a GB9 host, India is expected to play a crucial role in minimising the dissonance between technology-rich developed and gene-rich developing countries to achieve functional resolutions on critical agenda items.

Source:

  • International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  • India to host 9th Session of Governing Body of the ITPGRFA 

Image source:

  • https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/countries-to-the-international-treaty-on-plant-genetic-resources

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO
Terms & Concepts

INSPIRE Awards - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The 9thNational Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) for the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge), has commenced recently.
  • 'Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) since 2009-10.

  • It is being executed by DST with the National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), an autonomous body of DST, and aims to motivate students studying in classes 6 to 10.
  • The scheme aims to help build a human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the science and technology system and increase the research & development based on the same.
  • Under this scheme, schools can nominate the 5 best original ideas/innovations of students.
  • This scheme is being operationalised as per the following steps:
    • Awareness and capacity building
    • Selection of ideas/innovations will be based on novelty, social applicability, environment friendliness, user friendliness and comparative advantage over the existing similar technologies.
    • Disbursement of INSPIRE Award of INR 10,000 into the bank accounts of short-listed students through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, to further work on their ideas.
    • Consideration of top 60 ideas/innovations by NIF for product/process development and which will get linked to other schemes of NIF/DST. It will also be displayed at the Annual Festival of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (FINE).
  • This year the gold medal was won by Yash Dnyneshwar Shinde (16) for his innovation of Multipurpose Catering Equipment, which he ideated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/satara-boy-wins-gold-medal-at-9th-edition-of-national-inspire-award-8157472/

Image source:

  • https://www.inspireawards-dst.gov.in/userp/award.aspx

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, Governance: Education
Terms & Concepts

Shanghai Corporation Organisation (SCO)


  • Context: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit was held recently in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation. It was created in 2001.
  • TheSCO Charter was signed in 2002 and entered into force in 2003.

  • It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organisationaiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
  • It is seen as a counterweight to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) It is a nine-member economic and security blocand has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.
  • Its Official languages include Russian and Chinese.
  • Its Permanent Bodies include the SCO Secretariat in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent.
  • The Chairmanship of SCO is by rotation for a year by the Member States.
  • SCO possesses international political heft. It consists of four nuclear weapon powers —
    • one former superpower, Russia, having gained huge strategic importance in the wake of the Ukraine crisis;
    • one emerging superpower, China, which has threatened the unipolar position of the United States in the global order;
    • one new global player, India, that asserts its strategic autonomy; and,
    • one nuclear weapon power, Pakistan.
  • Apart from these, there are four Central Asian Republics with huge mineral and energy resources.
  • SCO also has economic weight as it accounts for about 30 per cent of the global GDP and has demographic significance in the fact that about 60 per cent of the global population reside in the SCO member countries.

SOURCES:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/india/on-ukraine-india-has-been-invoking-un-charter-but-no-mention-in-joint-declaration-8156133/
  • https://www.mea.gov.in/press-releases.htm?dtl/35727/Varanasi_nominated_as_the_firstever_SCO_Tourist_and_Cultural_Capital_at_the_2022_SCO_Summit

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2
Terms & Concepts

Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Recently, Russia hosted the 7th Eastern Economic Forum at Vladivostok.
  • The EEF was established in 2015 to encourageforeign investments in the Russian Far East (RFE).
  • The EEF displays theeconomic potential, suitable business conditions and investment opportunities in the region.
  • Agreements signed at the EEF increased from 217 in 2017 to 380 agreements in 2021, worth 3.6 trillion roubles.

  • The agreements focus oninfrastructure, transportation projects, mineral excavations, construction, industry and agriculture.
  • China, South Korea, Japan and India are the Key Players in the region, where China is the biggest investor.
  • The Significance of the RFE includes:
    1. The region encompasses one-third of Russia’s territory and is rich with natural resourcessuch as fish, oil, natural gas, wood, diamonds and other minerals.
    2. The small population living in the region is another factor in encouraging people to move and work in the Far East.
    3. The region’s riches and resourcescontribute to 5 % of Russia’s GDP.
    4. The RFE is geographically placed at a strategic location, acting as a gateway into Asia.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-the-eastern-economic-forum-and-indias-balancing-act/article65894341.ece

Image Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-the-eastern-economic-forum-and-indias-balancing-act/article65894341.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, Groupings and Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s interests
Terms & Concepts

“Swachhta Pakhwara” Initiative


  • Context: The Ministry of Railways has recently launched“Swachhta Pakhwara” across Indian Railways.
  • The initiative was started in 2016 to bring a fortnight of intense focus on the issues and practices of Swachhta by engagingGOI Ministries/Departments in their jurisdictions.
  • The Ministries observing Swachhata Pakhwada are monitored closely using the online monitoring system of Swachhata Samikshawhere action plans, images, and videos related to Swachhata activities are uploaded and shared.

  • The Ministry of Railways is observing Swachhta Pakdwara where the special focus will be given to the cleanliness of tracks at stations, approach to major stations and elimination of plastic wastein Railway premises.
  • During the Pakhwara, intensive cleaning and sanitization of stations, trains, tracks, colonies and other railway establishments is being carried out with a special focus on plastic waste management.
  • Extensive awareness campaigns are planned to be carried out through digital media/public announcement through Public Address systems to educate people about the use of bio-toilets, avoiding single-use plastic, and observing cleanliness habits.

Source:

  • https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1859889

Image source:

  • https://nie.gov.in/component/speasyimagegallery/swachhata-pakhwada-2022

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Governance, Swachh Bharat/ GS Paper 3, Environment: Ban on Single Use Plastic
Editorial of the day

Global Digital Governance: Essential Framework


Essence – The editorial discusses the importance of regulating the global digital environment in light of the growing monopoly of Digital giants. It mentions the initiatives taken by some countries to regulate the digital arena in their jurisdiction. It highlights the excessive dominance of “Big Five Tech Giants” in the field of social media and internet usage. It points out that in post covid world internet is now an essential facility. It mentions various services such as – Platform services, Digital money, etc. which are global in nature and their interoperability is of utmost importance in this global world. For this, some international organisations like -G20, OECD, and ILO are taking lead and proposing various governance steps.

Towards the end, it highlights the issue of digital sovereignty while building the framework for global Digital Governance citing the example of China, the USA, the EU, etc. So as an alternative it sees India’s G20 presidency as an opportunity to propose a global governance framework to regulate Big Tech. It also recommends for a common minimum digital governance framework for global digital space and global response to the risks and challenges of a borderless digital economy dominated by Big Tech.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the risk of unregulated global digital space
  • To know about the various efforts to regulate this digital space.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/why-we-need-to-build-a-framework-for-global-digital-governance-8160848/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Science and technology.
Editorial of the day

Inclusive Crypto Asset Regulation: LiveMint


Essence - The article highlights that the crypto-currency market saw numerous ups and downs earlier this year, and yet its impact on the Indian economy was minimal owing to its lesser penetration into the Indian market and less integration with the main financial market. However, the risk of an unregulated cryptocurrency market still lurks. India should take measures as it is part of the G20 FSB (financial stability board) to regulate the market.

The article classifies the crypto-currency market into three categories – unbacked crypto-assets, stable crypto coins, and decentralized finance. It then does an assessment of these segments to highlight their risks and related regulations.

The article highlights that crypto markets may represent the future of fintech. The upcoming G20 presidency for India is a great opportunity for the country to help shape important financial regulations from the vantage point of Emerging markets and developing economies.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • The article is a good read to understand the present situation of the cryptocurrency market.
  • It is a good read to understand the needed reforms and regulations for the cryptocurrency market.

Source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/lets-take-an-inclusive-approach-to-the-regulation-of-crypto-assets-11663174236374.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Cryptocurrency, Financial Regulations, RBI, Indian Economy
Case Study of the Day

Madhav Rao as a statesman - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The Indian Prime Minister recently extolled the administrative qualities of Madhava Rao, a statesman from a princely state.

About Madhav Rao       

  • He was born at Combaconum in Madras in 1828.
  • Even though he was educated in the strictest tenets of his sacred caste, he readily imbibed the new spirit of the age by studying mathematics, science, astronomy and English philosophy.

  • As a tutor of the maharaja of Travancore, and then as a revenue officer in that state, he showed firmness and ability and became diwan or prime minister of Travancore in 1857.
  • He was a brilliant administrator and served three of India’s most politically important states -Travancore (1857-1872), Indore (1873-1875) and Baroda(1875-1882).
  • He transformed Travancore and Baroda, by fixing the revenues of these states, encouraging industry, modernising their practices, creating new administrative cultures, and propelling them into an ambition about learning and culture.
  • Also, Madhava Rao's treatise on governance offers a window into alternative modernity and alternative genealogy of secularism.
  • The aspects of Madhav Rao as a statesman, that find relevance today are:
    • The need for professionalism in the context of administration and statecraft.
    • Emphasis on teamwork and fair play, and after selecting officers for capacity “the minister should treat them with confidence”.
    • The ways to induce a non-representative, non-absolutist, impartial administration.

Source:

  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes: Madhava Rao, a statesman from a princely state whose administrative qualities PM Modi extolled

Image source:

  • https://www.dakshinimarathiadda.com/sir-t-madhava-rao

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant personalities, Madhav Rao
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