Mains Monthly Magazine: June 2022

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SHORT NOTES ON ANALYSIS

Ministry brings out guidelines to manage monkeypox cases

Relevance 

GS II, III- Health, Science and Technology 

About 

  • Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.
  • It is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs mainly in the tropical rainforests of central Africa and West Africa and is sometimes also exported to other regions.   
  • The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. 
  • Its symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and it is rarely fatal.  
  • It is not related to chickenpox. 
  • It was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research.  
  • Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) might harbour the virus and infect people. 
  • The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970.
  • Apart from humans, the virus has also been detected in squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice and some species of monkeys.

Symptoms 

  • The incubation period  (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days. 
  • The infection can be divided into two periods: 
    • The Invasion Period  (0–5 days) is characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes), back pain, myalgia (muscle aches) and intense asthenia (lack of energy).
      • Lymphadenopathy is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other diseases that may initially appear similar (chickenpox, measles, smallpox) 
    • The Skin Eruption usually begins within 1–3 days of the appearance of fever. The rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk.  

Fatality

  • Usually, up to 1/10 of the people infected with monkeypox disease may die and most deaths occur in the younger age groups. 

Treatment

  • Vaccination against smallpox- VACCINIA- was demonstrated through several observational studies to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. 
  • A new 3rd generation of vaccinia has also been approved for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox. Efforts are also being made to develop antiviral agents. 

Prevention

  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission 
  • Reducing the risk of zoonotic transmission 
  • Preventing monkeypox through restrictions on animal trade 
  • Isolation of patients infected with monkeypox 
  • Good hygiene and sanitation practices especially when in contact with infected animals or humans.

 

US Religious Freedom Report

Relevance – GS I, II- Indian Society, International Relations

About

  • For the third consecutive year, the  US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)  has recommended to the US State Department to designate India as a  “Country of Particular Concern”. 
  • India is among 15 countries to have been accorded the dubious honour.  
  • Other countries in this category include  Afghanistan, Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam
  • The USCIRF Annual Report 2022, states that the 15 countries are designated as such “because their governments engage in or tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations”. 

What does the report say about India? 

  • From 2020, India has continued to figure under the category of 'Country of Particular Concern'.
  • However, the  US State Department rejected the recommendation on India both in 2020 and 2021. 
  • The latest report, in a section devoted to India, has accused the current government of muzzling dissenting voices, misusing UAPA and sedition laws, allowing violent arrests of rights activists, carrying out attacks against Muslims and Christians and creating hurdles for NGOs to receive funds from abroad for charity work. 
  • The report also mentions about the arrest and custodial death of Father Stan Swamy in July 2021. 

India's response 

  • India has dismissed the report calling it ill-informed and based on motivated inputs and biased views by senior US officials.
  • The statement by India also noted that India has been continuously pointing out the issues in the US, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence. 
  • India had previously rejected the US religious freedom report, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens' constitutionally protected rights. 

Impact of the report 

  • Since the recommendations by the USCIRF are not completely binding on the US state department, there is no direct impact on India relations or on India. 
  • However, the report to some extent maligns India's image in the global forum regarding religious freedom for its citizens.

 

India to oppose WTO freeze on e-com duties

Relevance – GS II, III- Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, Important International Institutions, International Treaties & Agreements, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

About

  • India reiterated its opposition to a proposal to extend the global moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmission as the ministerial meeting at the World Trade Organization in Geneva was meant for last-minute negotiations in search of a consensus on tricky issues.

What is the e-Transmission Moratorium about?

  • Since 1998 it was agreed by WTO members to not impose customs duties on electronic transmissions and the moratorium has been periodically extended at successive ministerial conferences (MC). 
  • The MC is the highest decision-making body of the 164-member organization ie, WTO. 
  • This moratorium is imposed on digitizable products like cinematographic films, photographic films, music, media, printed matter, software and video games. 

Why does India oppose the moratorium?

  • India is opposed to an extension on grounds that developing countries have been losing revenue.
  • Since digital trade at present is dominated by big tech and developed countries, India believes that the moratorium squarely favors the developed nations.
  • India and South Africa on several occasions have asked the organization to revisit the issue and have highlighted the adverse impact of the moratorium on developing countries.
  • According to earlier communication from these two countries, the potential tariff revenue loss to developing countries is estimated at $10 billion annually.
  • India is witnessing an exponential rise in imports of electronic transmissions, mainly of items like movies, music, video games and printed matter, some of which could fall within the scope of the moratorium.
  • While the profits and revenues of digital players are rising steadily, the ability of governments to check these imports and generate additional tariff revenues is being 'severely' limited because of the moratorium on e-commerce.

 

Caste-based census to be held in Bihar

Relevance- GS-I- Indian Society

About  

The Chief Minister of Bihar, Mr Nitish Kumar June 1, 2022, announced in an all-party meeting that it was unanimously decided to conduct the caste-based census in Bihar as soon as possible. The census would count the castes and subcastes of all the religions in the state. 

History of caste-based census 

  • The first census in India was held in 1872 by the British in order to better know the subjects it ruled over.  
  • One of the heads under which data was gathered was cast and this practice was continued till 1931 when the count of Other Backward Classes was shown to be 52 per cent. 
  • However, in 1941, caste-based data was collected but not published. 
  • Once India gained freedom, in 1951, the only caste-wise data collected was on Dalits and Adivasis, implying that no caste data had been collected for more than three-fourths of Indians. 
  • The demand for a caste census arises from the fact that there is no documented data on different castes within the Other Backward Classes in India, and other classes. 
  • The socio-economic caste census (SECC) was conducted in 2011 but its caste data was not released by the central government. 

Benefits of caste-based census 

  • Due to the lack of data, there is no proper estimate for the population of OBCs, groups within the OBCs and more.  
  • India's social equality programs cannot be a success without the data and a caste census would help fix that. 
  • It could go a long way in bringing a measure of objectivity to the debate on reservations. 
  • The Rohini Commission, formed to look into equitable redistribution of the 27% quota for OBCs, noted that there are around 2,633 castes covered under the OBC reservation.  
  • However, the Centre's reservation policy, 1992 doesn't take into account that there exists within the OBCs, a separate category of Extremely Backward Castes, who are much more marginalised. 
  • Its absence also results in inadequate budgetary allocations by governments to OBCs. 

Why is the central government against such a census? 

  • The government has cited numerous administrative, operational and logistical reasons to argue that collecting caste data during the 2021 census, postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19, is unfeasible and attempting it could endanger the census exercise itself. 
  • While the Central list contained 2,479 OBCs, there were 3,150 OBCs as per the lists of all the States and Union Territories taken together.  
  • If a caste-related question is included, it would “return thousands of castes as the people use their clan/gotra, sub-caste and caste names interchangeably”.  
  • Since enumerators are part-timers with 6-7 days of training and “not an investigator or verifier”, the affidavit states, “it would be difficult to meaningfully tabulate and classify caste returns.” 
  • The questionnaires for the census have already been finalized and field-tested and therefore, it is not possible to add additional questions about caste now.  
  • Unlike in the case of the SCs and the STs, there is no constitutional mandate for the Registrar-General and Census Commissioner, India, to provide the census figures of the OBCs and the BCs. 

Perils of a caste-based census 

  • It will create further divisions within society. 
  • Reservations that were implemented for 10 years have continued for 75 years and a caste-based census would only lead to a demand for more. 
  • It could halt India in its tracks, hurting its chances of becoming a global superpower. 

 

Centre clears Agnipath scheme

Relevance- GS-II- Government schemes

About

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced the ‘Agnipath’ scheme for the recruitment of youth in the armed forces for four years. The process of recruitment will commence in 90 days with a planned intake of 46,000 young men and women this year. This will be the only form of recruitment of soldiers into the three defence services from now.

What is the Agnipath Scheme?

  • It is a new scheme introduced by the Government of India for the recruitment of soldiers below the rank of commissioned officers into the three services of the armed forces.
  • The Agnipath Scheme will be the only route for recruitment into the military.
  • All recruits will be hired only for a four-year period.
  • Personnel recruited under this system are to be called Agniveers, which will be a new military rank.
  • The scheme is scheduled to be implemented in September 2022.
  • At the expiry of their contract, only 25% of these soldiers, to be known as Agniveers, will be re-enlisted for regular military service.
  • For those who are re-selected, the initial four-year period will not be considered for retirement benefits.
  • While the salary package of Agniveers will be around ₹4.76 lakh in the first year which can go up to ₹6.92 lakh in the fourth year, these short-term soldiers will also be offered a contributory severance package besides non-contributory death and disability compensation.
  • They will not be eligible for pension or gratuity.
  • During this period, 30% of their salary will be set aside under a Seva Nidhi programme, and the government will contribute an equal amount every month, and it will also accrue interest.
  • At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free.
  • They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years.
  • In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.

Advantages of the Scheme

  • This ‘transformational’ initiative will make the forces lean and much younger, with the average age of the soldier brought down to about 25 from the present 32 years.
  • It will also ensure the availability of a larger share of budget outlay for capital expenditure for the acquisition of hi-tech equipment and platforms because the outlay for pension payout will drop considerably over time.
  • Military training at a young age would make these men returning to the civilian world more disciplined and employable.
  • It would help reduce the defence pension bill that has been more than 3.3 lakh crores since 2020.

Concerns related to the Scheme

  • Four years is too short a time for a conscript to acquire the skills essential for operating sophisticated systems in the technology-intensive Navy and Air Force.
  • For the Army, which has a regimental system, it is feared to impair the unit’s cohesiveness as the soldier on a short-term contract could remain ‘risk-averse’.
  • This path may lead to the militarization of society.
  • It is unfair to the potential recruit as well, as the absence of a continued employment guarantee at the expiry of four years when he/she is still in his/her 20s and without the skillsets or credentials required to make the cut in the civilian/corporate world, could be demoralising.
  • No pension benefits to the recruits.

 

CASE STUDIES

Helpline for abandoned wives of NRIs

  • A national helpline for women deserted in non-resident Indian (NRIs) marriages and need for a dedicated fund to provide assistance to them among the recommendations made at a consultation organized by the National Commission for women on ensuring justice to such women. 
  • The NCW meet recommended non bailable warrant against a male offender residing abroad who has abandoned his wife. 
  • However, the consultation did not discuss whether India should sign the Hague Convention, which requires that if a parent has run away with a child from one country to another due to marital dispute, the child has to be returned to the country from where he/ she has been removed. 
  • The Ministry of External Affairs informed Parliament that 4,698 complaints of Indian women being deserted by their NRI husbands were received and addressed between 2016 and 2019.
  • Issues faced by the women:
    • Harassment and ill treatment by the husband and his family;
    • Loss of communication with the spouse after he goes abroad;
    • Request for assistance in serving judicial summons for court proceedings in India;
    • Assistance in obtaining maintenance and child support from the spouse;
    • Request for impounding or revoking passport of overseas Indian spouse;
    • Request for extradition, deportation of spouse to India; and
    • Child custody issues.
  • With an aim to provide online consular assistance expeditiously to Indian nationals who are in distress abroad (including marital dispute), MADAD portal – an online Consular Grievance Monitoring System- was launched in 2015 and a module “Marital Disputes” was added to the portal to provide digital platform to the distressed Indian nationals married to NRIs.

Case Study can be used:

  • GS-I – Social empowerment

 

New Opportunities for e-waste Recyclers

  • Over the next five years, Delhi-NCR headquartered Attero Recycling, one of India's largest electronic waste companies, expects to invest close to $1bn in expanding their electronic waste recycling facilities. 
  • More than 70% of it is for setting up operations in Europe, the US and Indonesia to recycle lithium-ion batteries premised on the increasing share of electric vehicles in future. 
  • Credit goes to the mandatory recycling targets set for electronics goods manufacturers under the Electronic Waste Management Rules, 2016. From 30% of sales in 2018, firms are expected to recycle 70% of sales by 2023.  
  • Prior to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime, formal recyclers who extract the precious metals and sell them had to pay to procure e-waste. 
  • The informal recyclers use hazardous methods and therefore were able to do this at a lower cost. 
  • Even if their recovery (of metals) was low, their costs were low and so profitable.  
  • Now with the EPR regime, it's Original Equipment Manufacturers who are paying for recycling and a lot more is collected in the formal sector  
  • Recyclers on processing a certain quantity of waste would be given a certificate verifying this number by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).  
  • Electronics goods companies can buy these certificates online from the CPCB to meet their annual targets. 

Case study can be used:

GS-III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

 

Housing scheme lags in urban areas

  • The present government's flagship programme, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAYG), aimed at constructing houses in rural areas, has a completion rate of 67.72% at the end of six years since it began in 2016, in contrast to the urban version of the scheme that started a year ahead but is lagging behind with a 50% completion rate. 
  • The PMAYG was initiated in November 2016 with a target of completing 2.7 crore houses.  
  • So far, according to the database maintained by the Union Rural Development Ministry, 1.8 crore houses have been constructed, which is 67.72% of the target. 
  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAYU) was initiated in June 2015 with a target of constructing 1.2 crore homes. 
  • According to the latest numbers from the Union Urban Development Ministry, only 60 lakh units have been completed to date.  
  • In urban areas, issues such as a lack of clear titles and other land documents tend to crop up. The pandemic has sharply hit the completion rates in the PMAYG too.  
  • According to the Rural Development Ministry's data for the financial year 2021 22, only seven lakh houses were constructed as opposed to the pre pandemic financial year of 2019 20, when 49 lakh were completed. 
  • Six States account for 70% of the target units — West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Out of them only two states — Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — have a completion rate above the national average.  

Case study can be used:

GS-II- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Center and the States and the performance of these schemes

 

Uncertainty over Accessible India campaign Deadline

  • Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is a nation-wide Campaign launched by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to provide universal accessibility to persons with disabilities.
  • It aims at providing equal opportunity to persons with disabilities to participate in all the aspects of life and live independently.
  • It focuses on developing accessible physical environment, transportation system and Information & communication ecosystem.
  • India is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
  • Article 9 of UNCRPD casts an obligation on all the signatory governments to take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas.
  • All the States are required to follow the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 under sections 44, 45 and 46 categorically provides for non-discrimination in transport, non-discrimination on the road and non-discrimination in built environment respectively
  • Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) through Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) aims to develop an inclusive society in which equal opportunities and access is provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities.
  • With its deadline of June 2022 almost up, the status of targets under the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is likely to be discussed during a meeting of the Central Advisory Board on Disability later this month, according to Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry sources. 
  • A Board was likely to assess the progress made by the States so far and the possibility of an extension. 
  • The campaign, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 3, 2015, aimed at making a proportion of government buildings, transport and websites accessible for persons with disabilities (PwD) by deadlines in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  
  • However, the deadline was extended to March 2020 and then again to June 2022.

Case can be used:

GS-II- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Center and the States and the performance of these schemes

World's first fishing cat census done in Chilika 

  • The Chilika Lake, Asia's largest brackish water lagoon, has 176 fishing cats, according to a census done by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with the Fishing Cat Project (TFCP). 
  • This is the world's first population estimation of the fishing cat done outside the protected area network. 
  • According to the CDA, phase 1 of the estimation was conducted in 2021 in the 115 sq.km marshland in the north and north-eastern section of Chilika and its surrounding areas. Phase 2 was conducted in 2022 in the Parikud side along the coastal islands of Chilika. 
  • It was truly participatory in spirit since local fishermen and villagers of Chilika were the primary participants in this exercise.  
  • the globally threatened cats are found in wetlands in major South and Southeast Asian River basins starting from the Indus in Pakistan till the Mekong in Vietnam and in Sri Lanka and Java. They are found in 10 Asian countries but have stayed undetected in Vietnam and Java since the last decade or so. 
  • Tracking specialist species such as the fishing cat gives us an indication of what might be happening to these ecosystems, which are safeguards against climate change and droughts.
  • The fishing cat  is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia.
  • Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • Fishing cat populations are threatened by destruction of wetlands and have declined severely over the last decade.
  • They live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps, and mangroves.
  • It is the state animal of West Bengal

Case study can be used:

GS-III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

 

Rhino reintroduction a hit in Assam reserve

  • The Indian rhinoceros, also called the Indian rhino, greater one-horned rhinoceros or great Indian rhinoceros, is a rhinoceros species native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • Its populations are fragmented and restricted to less than 20,000 km2.
  • Moreover, the extent and quality of the rhino's most important habitat, the alluvial Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands and riverine forest, is considered to be in decline due to human and livestock encroachment.
  • Nearly 85% of the global Indian rhinoceros population is concentrated in Assam, where Kaziranga National Park contains 70% of rhino population.
  • The one-horned rhinos of western Assam's Manas National Park, bordering Bhutan, are expected to have high life expectancy and significant growth in population, the 14th Assam rhino estimation census has revealed. 
  • Manas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tiger reserve, had about 100 resident rhinos prior to 1990, but a prolonged ethno-political conflict thereafter took a heavy toll with extremist groups known to have traded the horns of the herbivores for weapons. 
  • A rhino reintroduction program under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was started in 2006.  
  • This entailed the translocation of rhinos from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary besides orphans hand-reared at the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Kaziranga.  
  • The current rhino population in the park was estimated at 40 after the census on April 1 and 2. 
  • The Kaziranga National Park authorities have restricted the speed of vehicles on the highway adjoining the park to 40 km per hour.  
  • This is an annual step taken to prevent vehicles from hitting animals that move out of the park during floods. 
  • Sensor-based cameras have been installed at nine designated animal corridors of the park to measure the speed of vehicles and impose fines on those who violate the order. 
  • The cameras are equipped with automatic number plate recognizing system with radar for determining speed, a divisional forest officer said. 
  • As per the orders of the National Green Tribunal, owners of vehicles that do not adhere to the speed limit will be penalised. 

Case study can be used:

GS-III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

 

Bhalswa landfill: a scar on residents' lives

  • A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal of waste materials. 
  • Landfilling is currently the major method of municipal waste disposal in India.
  • India also has Asia's largest dumping ground in Deonar, Mumbai.
  • However issues frequently arise due alarming growth rate of landfills and poor management by authorities.
  • On and under surface fires have been commonly seen in the Indian landfills over the last few years.
  • Surrounded by contaminated water and air, the residents of north-west Delhi's Bhalswa village in Jahangirpuri continue to battle various physical and mental health issues.  
  • Most of the men in the area work in factories around Bhalswa, earning ₹7,000-8000 a month, while the women are involved in domestic work.  
  • If job uncertainty and meagre income keep worrying them during the day, the irritation from skin rashes does not allow them peaceful sleep during the night. 
  • The height of the garbage mounds at the Bhalswa dumping ground, which has been in existence since 1994, has reached 54 meters. 
  • Garbage dumped on the roads, open drains and poor housing and sanitation in the area act as breeding hotspots for mosquitoes and flies. 
  • Using contaminated water is one of the reasons for the spread of skin infections in the area. 
  • The quality of water supplied to the residents may not harm their skin overnight but over a period of time, the skin starts peeling out from the infected area; this later ends up in allergies. 

 

Case Study can be used:

GS-III- Environmental pollution and Degradation

India and Vietnam sign mutual logistics agreement 

  • Cultural and economic links between India and Vietnam date back to 2nd century.
  • In contemporary era, relations between India and Vietnam have been governed by several areas of shared political interests.
  • India strongly condemned U.S. action during the Vietnam War and was also one of the few non-communist countries to assist Vietnam during the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
  • In 1992, India and Vietnam established extensive economic ties, including oil exploration, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • The relations between the two countries, especially defence ties, benefited extensively from India's Look East policy and now the Act East Policy.
  • Bilateral military cooperation includes sale of military equipment, sharing of intelligence, joint naval exercises and training in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare.
  • India also regularly deploys its warships for goodwill visits to Vietnamese seas.
  • Bilateral relations were upgraded to a “Strategic Partnership” during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to India in July 2007, and upgraded to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Vietnam in September 2016.
  • India and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual logistics support during the visit of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to the Southeast Asian nation. 
  • The Defense Ministers of the two countries signed the 'Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defense Partnership towards 2030', which will significantly enhance the scope and scale of existing defense cooperation. 
  • India has signed several logistics agreements including with all Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the US in 2016. 
  • Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India. 

Case Study can be used:

GS-II- India and its Neighborhood Relations

Heaps of refuse dot the Himalayan mountain route to Kedarnath 

  • The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, an annual pilgrimage to four Himalayan temples, has turned the route to Kedarnath into mounting heaps of garbage and plastic waste.  
  • Thousands of devotees are ferried on vehicles till Gaurikund from where the 18-km trek to the Kedarnath temple begins.  
  • The heavy influx has resulted in rising air pollution and environmental hazards.  
  • The State government has been struggling to address the issue of mounting garbage dumped into the Mandakini River, which emerges from the Chorabari glacier in Kedarnath. 
  • Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently expressed concern over the filth being dumped on the pilgrimage spot.  
  • The piles of garbage, particularly plastic waste dumped by pilgrims, have alarmed environmentalists who say that this can hurt the fragile ecosystem, lead to soil erosion and cause landslips.  
  • In the recent past, images of garbage heaps along the Kedarnath route had gone viral on social media, with many demanding a strict fine for offenders and urging the government to keep a cap on the number of tourists every season. 

Case Study can be used:

GS-III- Environmental pollution and Degradation

Drones to drop balls with 11 lakh seeds

  • 11 lakh seeds are set to be sown on the hillocks abutting the Rayalacheruvu tank, 20 km south of Tirupati, in a bid to turn the landscape greener.
  • As the shrub jungle is prone to frequent forest fires, killing its residents like small mammals, reptiles and insects, the Ekaveera Seva Foundation came up with an idea to plant 31 different varieties of massive trees with a wider canopy such as neem, pongamia, custard apple, fig, teak, tamarind, gooseberry, palash, wood apple (Maredu), banyan, sandalwood, red sanders, jammi, jamun, plum and so on.
  • This will also ensure a permanent habitat and make the region rich with biodiversity, attracting visiting animals and birds.
  • This will also give a boost to the tourism industry in the area.
  • A recent study was conducted by the strategic consulting and market research firm, BlueWeave Consulting, India.
  • Agriculture Drones market is forecast to witness a four-fold increase by 2028, with a projected CAGR of more than 25% during 2022 – 2028.
  • Agriculture drones are spray drone-enhanced unmanned aerial vehicles that are used to improve agricultural operations efficiency, crop yield, and crop growth monitoring.
  • Drone sensors and digital photography capabilities are also designed to provide farmers with a more detailed view of their land.

Case Study can be used:

GS-III- e-Technology in the aid of farmers; environmental conservation

Unemployment has decreased, says latest labour force survey

  • The unemployment rate saw a decrease of 0.6% and fell to 4.2% in 2020-21, compared with 4.8% in 2019-20, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2020-21 released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • This means that only 4.2% of adults who looked for jobs could not get any work in rural and urban areas of the country in 2020-21.
  • Rural areas recorded an unemployment rate of 3.3% and urban areas 6.7%.
  • Migrants are defined in the survey as a household member whose last usual place of residence, at any time in the past, was different from the present place of enumeration.
  • The migration rate, according to the survey, is 28.9%.
  • The migration rate among women was 48% and 47.8% in rural and urban areas, respectively.

Case Study can be used:

GS-III- Indian economy and issues related to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

 

MODEL QUESTION AND ANSWERS

1. MANAGEMENT OF LANDFILLS

 

 

2. RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

 

 

3. ANTI-DEFECTION LAW

 

 

4. MICROFINANCING BY SELF HELP GROUP(SHGs)



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