Thursday, 2nd March 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day

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Don’t let water scarcity boil over

2   Daily Current Affairs

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Right against Self-incrimination

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Karnataka is best equipped to supply renewable energy: report

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QR-code based coin vending machines

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Grievance Appellate Committee Portal

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Adenovirus - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Tree toad - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Quantum Tunnelling (QT) - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Neuromorphic computing - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Windsor Framework - Edukemy Current Affairs

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News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA)

●  

Country Reports on Terrorism 2021

●  

VAIBHAV Fellowships - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS)

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Editorial of the day

Don’t let water scarcity boil over


Exam View: Water conservation, State of water availability in India, Current challenges in water availability, Important initiatives, Pointers for future.

In News: A World Bank report estimates that the average per capita water available will decline from 1588 cubic metres to less than half that by 2030. Another study on climate change and water by the World Bank in 2016 has warned that the countries with water scarcity could lose up to 6% of their GDP by 2050.

As India’s population continues to grow and with most people still engaged in agriculture, water scarcity can be all the more debilitating. Harvesting rainwater during monsoon by building storage capacities will help avert the impending water crisis.

State of water availability in India:

  • According to a report by US-based World Resources Institute (2015), approximately 54% of people living in India are already experiencing water scarcity.
  • The World Bank and the NITI Aayog have been putting out reports that India is going to face major problems due to water scarcity.
  • As predicted by the IPCC, climate change is causing major changes in the rainfall pattern. For example, in a single day, Mumbai received 950 mm of rainfall in 2005, Chennai 494 mm in 2015, and Mount Abu 770 mm in 2017.

Current challenges to water availability in India:

  • Unprecedented changes in water storage: Perennial rivers like Ganga, Godavari and Krishna dry up in many places during summer. It is estimated that the level of groundwater in Ganga and Brahmaputra, declines by 15-20 mm per year.
  • Dwindling gross water availability of dams: Although the number of large irrigation dams has increased from 236 in 1960 to 5,334 in 2020, the gross water availability of dams dwindles during summer. The ‘Compendium of Sedimentation on Reservoirs in India’, published by the Central Water Commission (2020), shows the water storage capacity of dams declines by 0.95% per year due to silt deposit alone.
  • Population explosion: The Ministry of Water Resources has estimated that the country’s total water demand (1,447 bcm) may exceed the amount of water available for use (1,123 bcm) by 2050, due to the rapid economic development and increasing population.
  • Agricultural demand: Due to income and market-related reasons, farmers have been cultivating more water-intensive crops in recent years. For example, between 1990-91 and 2020-21, the area under water-intensive sugarcane increased by 32%, paddy by 6%, and banana by 129%.

Important initiatives:

  • Water conservation initiatives are taken up by the Central Government on continuous basis and are covered under various schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Atal Bhujal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

Pointers for future:

  • Update traditional water storage bodies: Small water bodies in Rajasthan that had not been maintained for years have been brought under use now to harvest rainwater.
  • Maintain small water bodies: Small water bodies have been encroached upon and destroyed at many places. The 5th Minor Irrigation Census mentions that India has a total of 6.42 lakh small water bodies. Due to lack of proper maintenance, their storage capacity has been declining. As a result, the irrigated area of tanks has declined sharply from 45.61 lakh hectares in 1960-61 to 16.68 lakh hectares in 2019-20.
  • Desilting of dams: Urgent action is needed to remove them through various means.

As the overall economic growth of our country is still heavily dependent on the agriculture sector, which also accounts for about 90% of the water consumed, India needs to address water scarcity more urgently than other countries. If actions are not taken to harvest and store the rainwater during monsoon, water scarcity will become a perennial problem soon.

 

Source:

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/dont-let-water-scarcity-boil-over/article66550265.ece

Keywords: GS Paper –3 Conservation
Daily Current Affairs

Right against Self-incrimination


In News:

Special CBI judge granted Sisodia’s custody to CBI on the grounds that he “failed to provide satisfactory answers” during the investigation. The court rejected Sisodia’s arguments of right against self-incrimination.

About the News:

  • Sisodiya moved to the SC under Article 32, which gives citizens the right to approach the top court when their fundamental rights are violated.
  • A Bench headed by CJI, suggested the petitioner to avail alternate remedies under Section 482 CrPC, under which no provision in the CrPC can “limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice”.

What is an individual’s right against self-incrimination?

  • The right against self-incrimination has its origins in Roman law, and evolved as a distinct right in the English jurisprudence.
  • The Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution says “No person shall be…compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…without due process of law…”.
  • Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution provides right against incrimination. It ensures:
    • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty,
    • The right to remain silent in an interrogation, and Police cannot coerce anyone to confess to a crime, and obtain a conviction based on that confession.

Application of the right against self-incrimination apply in criminal cases

  • The state is responsible to prove a case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, a person cannot be compelled to testify against himself or share information that might go against him in a trial.
  • Judicial Precedent
  • The State of Bombay versus Kathi Kalu Oghad, 1961: The SC ruled that obtaining photographs, fingerprints, signatures, and thumb impressions would not violate the right against self-incrimination of an accused. The Court distinguished “to be a witness” from “furnishing evidence”
  • Selvi v State of Karnataka, 2010: SC held that a narco analysis test without the consent of the accused would amount to violation of the right against self-incrimination. But obtaining DNA samples is permitted.
  • Ritesh Sinha versus State of Uttar Pradesh, 2019: SC broadened the parameters of handwriting samples to include voice samples.

Grounds of rejection of Plea for bail:

  • Judge differentiated between “giving legitimate answers” and protecting the right against self-incrimination.
  • Since some facts and documentary evidence have been disclosed against Sisodiya by his subordinates which can be incriminating, a proper and fair investigation requires that some genuine and legitimate answers are provided to the questions put to him by the investigating officer.

 

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-law/manish-sisodia-delhi-excise-policy-case-how-the-right-against-self-incrimination-works-8472146/

Keywords: GS Paper-2: Judgments & Cases, Indian Constitution, fundamental rights
Daily Current Affairs

Karnataka is best equipped to supply renewable energy: report


Context:

  • An analysis of states on parameter of best equipped to transition to renewable energy was recently done by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and
  • The analysis was prepared based on a scoring system for 16 states which account for 90% of electricity production in India.
  • It was based on four parameters: decarbonisation, performance of the power system, readiness of the power ecosystem, and policies and political commitments.
  • Each parameter had also sub-components, such as quality of power supply, feeder segregation, smart metering, and electricity intensity of GDP.
  • Recently, Centre has also approved Intra-State Transmission System - Green Energy Corridor Phase-II to connect electricity generated from renewables with the power grid in seven states at an estimated cost of ₹12,000 crore with 33% Central financial assistance.

Major findings:

Components

Key findings

State performance

  • Karnataka topped in the readiness of the power ecosystem with a shortage of only 9 million units (MU) against the total annual power requirement of 72,692MUs in FY2022.
  • Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat were the next best performers.
  • Rajasthan scored relatively low on most parameters of this dimension, despite having among the largest installed renewable energy capacity.
  • Bihar, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh scored the least on parameters.

Overall performance

  • Karnataka and Gujarat were the states making the most progress in overall preparedness and commitment to the transition to clean electricity.
  • Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal needed to do the most work in transitioning their systems.

Findings on India's commitment to renewable energy

  • India is committed to generating half of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources.
  • India also aspires to reduce emissions intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 45% by 2030.
  • Achieving this requires states to tweak their infrastructure to accommodate inputs from multiple power sources, including solar, wind, hydro-power, and existing fossil fuel sources.
  • Both Central and State governments need to track progress to achieve India's revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka-best-equipped-to-supply-renewable-energy-report/article66560412.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies -1 Geography, Renewable Energy
Daily Current Affairs

QR-code based coin vending machines


In News: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has proposed a pilot project to assess the functioning of a QR-code-based coin vending machine.

 Context:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a pilot project in an attempt to ease the accessibility to coins.
  • The proposed mechanism for coin dispensation would be a departure from the conventional machines which relied on banknotes for facilitating coin exchanges.
  • The situation with respect to coins has been “peculiar” with the supply being “very high” as the currency being fed into the machines (for coin exchange) are often found to be fake and could not be checked right at that point of time.

Key points:

  • The total value of circulation of rupee coins stood at ₹28,857 crore ending 2022 which is an increase of 7.2% from the year-ago period.
  • Coins of up to 50 paise are called ‘small coins’ while those of one rupee and above are called ‘rupee coins’.
  • The proposed project is a QR-code based coin vending machine to assess the functioning of the machines.
  • The vending machines would dispense coins with the requisite amount being debited from the customer’s account using United Payments Interface (UPI) instead of physical tendering of banknotes.
  • Customers would be endowed the option of withdrawing coins in required quantities and
  • The pilot project is initially planned to be rolled out at 19 locations in 12 cities across the country.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/explained-rbis-new-pilot-project-on-coin-vending-machines/article66565104.ece#:~:text=What%20is%20the%20project%20about,of%20physical%20tendering%20of%20banknotes

 

Keywords: General Studies - 3, Indian Economy, Digitalisation of economy
Daily Current Affairs

Grievance Appellate Committee Portal


In News: Government launches Portal for complaints against decisions of social media platforms

Context:

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in India has launched the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) portal under the IT Rules, 2021.
  • The step is seen in the light of the rights accorded to the citizens under the Constitution, including in the articles 14, 19 and 21.
  • India is not the only country moving away from treating platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as mere private “intermediaries” who can set the rules of the conversation on their platforms.
  • Previously, Three Committees were formed in January to receive complaints to put these amendments into action.
  • The IT Ministry is also working on a Digital India Bill to give a firmer statutory backing to the IT Rules and other digital law-making, but has not published any details of this proposed law.

Key Points:

  • The portal will allow users to appeal against decisions taken by social media platforms to take down or retain content posted by users.
  • Social media platforms may now have to allow speech that is not allowed on their platforms but is otherwise legal to express in public.
  • This marks a shift in how social media content is moderated in India as GACs' website is now accepting appeals from the public.
  • The IT Rules already require platforms to have a process for accepting complaints against content and appeals against takedowns from users.
  • Companies' decisions in response to these appeals will ultimately be subject to the GACs' orders.
  • The step has been however criticised as substantive statutory provisions were formulated through the process of subordinate legislation without any parliamentary debates.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/govt-launches-grievance-appellate-committee-for-social-media-complaints/article66562901.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies - 2 Government Policies and Intervention
Daily Current Affairs

Adenovirus - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: About a third of the 500 samples from across Bengal sent to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases in Kolkata tested positive for adenovirus.

About

  • Adenoviruses are non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses. They were first discovered in the human adenoid tissue.
  • Symptoms: common cold, fever, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, pink eye, and gastroenteritis.
  • Most adenovirus infections are mild, but they can be more severe in people with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory or cardiac disease.
  • Spreading Season: Peak in the winter and early spring.
  • Children younger than 5 years old are most commonly affected, and people can get infected more than once due to the many different types of adenoviruses.

Transmission modes:

  • Spread from an infected person to others through close contact, such as touching or shaking hands, coughing, and sneezing.
  • Fecal material can also spread the infection through contaminated water, dirty diapers, and poor hand hygiene.

Treatment:

  • Treatment mainly involves managing the symptoms, which can include rest and taking over-the-counter medications for fever, cough, and sore throat.
  • No specific treatment or approved antiviral medication is available.

 

https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-insight/story/why-adenovirus-has-doctors-in-west-bengal-concerned-2340313-2023-02-27

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Human Health and Diseases
Daily Current Affairs

Tree toad - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: The critically endangered Malabar tree toad found in Mollem National Park— finds mentioned in the updated ‘Checklist of Indian Amphibians (2023)’ released by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

About

  • The Malabar tree toad or warty Asian tree toad, is a species of toad found in forests along the Western Ghats of great Karnataka or Deccan.
  • It is a small species and is found in wet tree hollows or leaf bases containing water.
  • They can be sighted only when they descend to the ground at the beginning of the Southwest monsoon to breed in forest streams.
  • This endangered species is found across Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Threats: deforestation, forest fragmentation, and changing weather patterns due to global climate change.
  • It is the only species in the monotypic genus Pedostibes, also known as Asian tree toads.

Mollem National Park

  • It is located in Sanguem taluk in Goa close to the border with Karnataka.
  • This park also has several temples dating back to the Kadamba Dynasty.

 

https://m.timesofindia.com/city/goa/tree-toad-from-biodiversity-hotspot-mollem-on-natl-list/articleshow/98256365.cms

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Quantum Tunnelling (QT) - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: Molecules Caught Tunnelling for the First Time.

About

  • Quantum tunnelling is defined as a quantum mechanical process where wavefunctions can penetrate through a potential barrier.
  • The transmission through the potential barrier can be finite and relies exponentially on the barrier width and barrier height.
  • QT cannot be explained through the laws of classical mechanics, where a dense potential barrier needs potential energy.
  • It has a crucial role in physical processes such as nuclear fusion.
  • Tunnelling can be understood through the concepts of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
  • It’s been used in quantum computing, tunnel diodes and scanning tunnelling microscopes.
  • The tunnel effect is also used to explain the alpha decay of atomic nuclei. By including the tunnel effect, some astrochemical syntheses of molecules in interstellar dark cloud.
  • Quantum tunnelling is forecasted to create physical limits to the dimensions of the transistors employed in microelectronics.

 

https://scitechdaily.com/quantum-chemistry-breakthrough-molecules-caught-tunneling-for-the-first-time/

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Science & Technology, IT & Computers
Daily Current Affairs

Neuromorphic computing - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: The global neuromorphic computing Market size is expected to reach USD 20,272.1 million by 2030.

About

  • Neuromorphic Computing refers to the designing of computers that are based on the systems found in the human brain and the nervous system.
  • Neuromorphic computing devices can work as efficiently as the human brain without acquiring large room for the placement of software.
  • One of the technological advancements that has rekindled the interest of scientists in neuromorphic computing is the development of the Artificial Neural Network model (ANN).
  • It aims to improve energy efficiency, computation speed, and learning efficiency in various applications such as voice, vision, gesture recognition, robotics, and search retrieval.
  • Neuromorphic computing provides benefits such as fast parallel processing with minimum power requirement.
  • It also eliminates the need for back-and-forth data movement between components in the von Neumann architecture; this is expected to drive its adoption for image and signal processing applications.
  • Moreover, its expected adoption in consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, and military & defense sectors will also be largely responsible for driving the market growth.

 

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/02/15/2609035/28124/en/Neuromorphic-Computing-Global-Market-Report-2023-Growing-Demand-for-Artificial-Intelligence-Based-Services-Boosts-Sector.html

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 IT & Computers
Daily Current Affairs

Windsor Framework - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? UK government reached a landmark deal with European Union on post-Brexit trade rules that will govern Northern Ireland.

About

  • “Windsor Framework,” will deliver “smooth flowing trade” within the UK, “protects Northern Ireland’s place” in the UK and “safeguards” the sovereignty of Northern Ireland.
  • The purpose of the deal is to fix the issues created by the Northern Ireland Protocol, an addendum to the Brexit deal agreed by Boris Johnson and the EU in 2019.
  • Windsor Framework will replace the Northern Ireland Protocol.

  • Framework has two crucial aspects
    • Introduction of a green lane and red lane system for goods that will stay in Northern Ireland and those that will go to EU respectively.
    • Stormont Brake which allows Northern Ireland lawmakers and London to veto any EU regulation they believe affects the region adversely.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/windsor-framework-deal-uk-and-eu-northern-ireland-protocol-8471855/

 

Keywords: General Studies -2, International relations
Daily Current Affairs

News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA)


Why in news? Recently, NBDSA has held certain programmes to be in violation of Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Specific Guidelines.

About:

  • NBDSA is an independent body set up by News Broadcasters Digital Association (NBDA), which serves as a representative of private television news, current affairs and digital broadcasters.
  • It aims to protect all its members from persons carrying unfair and unethical practices.
  • It is funded entirely by its members.
  • NBDSA includes a chairperson who is to be an eminent jurist, and other members such as news editors, and those experienced in field of law, education, literature, public administration,

etc. nominated by a majority of Board.

  • NBDSA has no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the broadcasters. NBDSA does not monitor programming, nor does it pre-clear or pre-censor programming. The broadcasters have completed creative and editorial independence.
  • Objective: To lay-down and foster high standards, ethics and practices in news broadcasting, including entertaining and deciding complaints against or in respect of broadcasters.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/news-broadcasting-and-digital-standards-authority-finds-several-tv-news-programmes-to-have-violated-ethics-code/article66564300.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies – 2, Government policies and Intervention
Daily Current Affairs

Country Reports on Terrorism 2021


Why in news? Recently, Country Reports on Terrorism 2021 was released by US bureau of Counterterrorism.

About Report

  • Report hails India for its efforts in 2021 to detect, disrupt, and degrade operations of terrorist

organizations.

  • Taking regional and global leadership roles against terrorism, India implemented UNSCR 2396, e.,
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 2396.
  • UNSCR 2396 urges member states to stem the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) through measures on Border control, Criminal justice and Information-sharing and counter-extremism.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/us-counterterror-report-hails-india-says-pakistan-action-meagre/articleshow/98316521.cms

 

Keywords: General Studies -2, International relations
Daily Current Affairs

VAIBHAV Fellowships - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology launches VAIBHAV Fellowship for NRI researchers.

About

  • Vaibhav Fellowship aims at improving the research ecosystem of India_s Higher Educational

Institutions.

  • It facilitates academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world through the mobility of faculty researchers from overseas institutions to India.
  • The fellowship offers NRI researchers an opportunity to work for a minimum of one month to a maximum of two months a year with a research institution or an academic institution in India.
  • The duration of the fellowship is three years with the government offering the researchers an amount of up to Rs 37 lakh for the entire period.

Criteria

  • Applicant should be Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).
  • Must have obtained a Ph.D., M.D., or M.S. degree from a recognized University.
  • Researchers from institutions featuring in the top 500 QS World University Rankings will be eligible for the fellowship.

 

https://dst.gov.in/union-minister-dr-jitendra-singh-launches-vaibhav-fellowships-indian-diaspora-abroad-mark-national

 

Keywords: General Studies – 2, Government policies and Intervention
Daily Current Affairs

Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS)


Why in news? Recently, the Standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has cleared the setting up of a new Indian Air Force base in CWS in Eastern Ladakh.

About

  • The Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is a high-altitude wildlife sanctuary located in the Ladakh adjunct of the Changthang plateau.
  • It covers lakes like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, and Tso Kar.
  • It is considered to be the second largest nature reserve after Northeast Greenland National Park. The sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 14,000–19000 feet.

Flora and Fauna

  • Fauna: Snow Leopard, Tibetan Antelope, Tibetan wolf, wild yak, bharal etc.
  • Flora: Devoid of trees, Rare and endangered plants can be found throughout the region.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/wildlife-board-approves-iaf-mountain-radar-in-ladakh/articleshow/98316584.cms

 

Keywords: General Studies -3 Environment and Ecology
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