24/01/23 IAS Special Daily

24/01/23 IAS Special Daily

GS Paper 2

A reminder of the flaws in India’s urbanisation policies

Syllabus: GS2- Urbanisation, their problems and their remedies

Relevance– Issues related to urban finance and urban governance

News– The article explains the scenario of urban finance in India. It provides solutions to problem faced by urban governance in India

What is the scenario of urban finance in India?

Urban finance predominantly comes from the government. 48%, 24% and 15% of urban capital expenditure needs are derived from the central, State, and city governments, respectively. Public–private partnership projects contribute 3% and commercial debt 2%.

Various reports have estimated a huge demand for funding urban infrastructure. The Isher Judge Ahluwalia report says that by 2030, nearly ₹39.2 lakh crore would be required. A McKinsey report on urbanisation has a figure of $1.2 trillion, or ₹90 lakh crore.

What are some points contained in the World Bank report on urbanisation in India?

It estimates that nearly ₹70 lakh crore would be needed for investment in urban India to meet the growing demands of the population.

It suggests improving the fiscal base and creditworthiness of the Indian cities. Cities must institute a buoyant revenue base. They must be able to recover the cost of providing its services.

This report points out that nearly 85% of government revenue is from the cities.

Its emphasis is on the levying of more burdens in the form of user charges on utilities, etc.

It focuses on private investments

State-level management of urban water and sewerage functions may be devolved in a time-bound manner.

An improved urban legal framework that includes a stable and certain fiscal transfer regime, accords financial powers to ULBs will determine the future of cities.

What are issues with urbanisation in India?

The basic problem with the reports on urbanisation in India is that they are made using a top to bottom approach. They have too much of a focus on technocentric solutions using very high capital-intensive technologies.

Cities primarily are run by parastatals.The city governments hardly have any role to play in the smooth functioning of such parastatals.

What is the way forward for improving the situation of the Indian urban ecosystem?

Plans must be made from below by engaging with the people and identifying their needs.

Empowering the city governments and the people at large is the need of the day.

The national task force to review the 74th Constitutional Amendment by K.C. Sivaramakrishnan provides many suggestions. It asks for empowering the people, transferring subjects to the city governments.

It suggests that 10% of the income-tax collected from cities be given back to them and ensuring that this corpus fund was utilised only for infrastructure building.

There is a need to improve urban governance. Regular elections should be held in cities and there must be empowerment through the transferring of the three Fs: finances, functions, and functionaries.

Aspirational Blocks Programme: Building blocks of Viksit Bharat

Syllabus: GS2- Government policies and interventions

Relevance– Government schemes for development of backward areas.

News– The article explains the recently launched Aspirational Block Programme. It also explains some successful outcomes of the Aspirational District Programme.

What is the Aspirational Blocks Programme and how will it be implemented?

This programme focuses on improving governance. The objective is to enhance the quality of life of citizens in the underdeveloped blocks of India.

This will be done by converging existing schemes, defining outcomes, and monitoring them on a constant basis.

The ABP is built on the success of the government’s flagship Aspirational Districts Programme.

An inter-ministerial committee in consultation with states had identified 500 blocks from across 28 states and four Union territories.

ABP will focus on monitoring 15 key socio-economic indicators categorised under major sectors. These sectors are health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, basic infrastructure and social development.

States having the flexibility to include additional state-specific socio-economic indicators to address local challenges.

The indicators will be tracked on a real-time basis and periodic rankings will be released across key thematic areas.

What is the role of blocks for development?

The focus on blocks shows the historic importance of blocks introduced in 1952 for developmental goals.

Development locks ensure that a larger than proportionate share of development reaches the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the population by building social and economic infrastructure.

It ensures that a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not applied to every part of the country. The block administration can adopt customised approaches based on the context of the region and the most emergent needs.

This method also brings the decision-making process closer to the grassroots.

How has the Aspirational District Programme been successful?

The ADP has shown that if development is taken as a “Jan Andolan” and progress of a district is constantly monitored, success would follow.

In the last five years, many aspirational districts have bettered their performance, across several indicators, than the state average values.

For example, Paschimi Singbhum, a district in Jharkhand has raised registration of pregnant women within the first trimester from just 39% in 2018 to 91% in 2022.

Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir has increased the percentage of secondary schools with functional electricity from less than 50% in 2018 to more than 95% in 2022.

There are other success stories like deploying self help groups in rural Ranchi to promote financial inclusion and financial literacy using UPI and BHIM apps.

In rural Osmanabad in Maharashtra, court services were completely digitised to improve speed and access to justice.

The Finance Minister in her 2022 Union Budget speech mentioned that 95% of 112 aspirational districts have made significant progress in major indicators such as health, nutrition, financial inclusion, and skill development.

What are the main achievements sought by the Aspirational Block Programme?

Some blocks under ADP continue to under-perform. The reasons can be difficult terrain, lack of resources, historical injustice, social marginalisation and community vulnerability.

The ABP aims to address these inequalities by improving governance and last mile service delivery at the block level.

Several line departments of the block administration will converge and work in unison to bridge critical administrative gaps. T

This holistic development will lead to economic development. This will also aid the achievement of critical targets identified under SDGs.

The programme strives to protect the rights and uphold the dignity of every single citizen. It will achieve it by increasing their awareness and enhancing access to government schemes.

It also provides a common platform for all block administrations to showcase their best practices and learnings.

This forward-looking programme will leverage the three Cs of convergence, collaboration, and competition to achieve this vision.

Necessary pushback – The Centre should stop seeing judicial appointments as rewards for loyalists

Source: The post is based on the article “Necessary pushback – The Centre should stop seeing judicial appointments as rewards for loyalists” published in The Hindu on 23rd January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

Relevance: About the process of appointing judges.

News: The Supreme Court collegium has pushed back against the Union government’s attempts to block the appointment of some advocates as High Court judges.

No Entry, No Deal – Without more visas, UK FTA makes little sense for India

Syllabus: GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Relevance: About the process of visa liberalisation.

News: Recently, the UK international trade secretary pointed out that the country left the EU because it does not believe in the free movement of people. Further, visa liberalisation under the proposed India-UK FTA is also not up for negotiation. This poses challenges to the India-UK FTA.

Why visa liberalisation is essential for India-UK trade?

-The two-way trade between India-UK in 2021-22 was $17. 5 billion, lower than India’s trade with Germany or with Belgium. India’s overall merchandise trade with the UK was less than 2%. Free movement of skilled labour and students between India and the UK could have provided an incentive to quicken the pace of negotiations.

-Access to India’s huge market appears to be the UK’s primary incentive for UK. An FTA which lowers tariffs for British exporters helps the UK.

But with UK tariffs already low, India can gain only from visa liberalisation.

What needs to be done to facilitate India-UK FTA?

FTAs require tradeoffs. Some domestic interests have to be set aside in the pursuit of larger gains from lowering barriers to trade. Similarly, the UK have to revisit its visa liberalisation policy.

What India should do?

The UK and Australia already have a regime of unfettered movement for young people, including job seekers. Against this backdrop, India should work on other potential FTAs like the ones with the EU and US as gains from these FTAs are far greater than anything on offer by the UK.

GS Paper 3

The gas paradox: Govt encouraging huge investment to push demand but imposing policies that deter domestic exploration and production

Syllabus: GS 3 – Economic Development

Relevance: import dependency of India on oil and gas

News: The article discusses the policies adopted by the government which makes India import dependent on natural gas.

What is the current situation of India in natural gas?

The government encouraged investments of over Rs 2 trillion in natural gas infrastructure and offered subsidies under the PM Ujwala Yojana (PMUY) to expand access to cleaner burning fuels, CNG and LPG.

However, the government has also come up with policies that have held back the development of domestic oil and gas resulting in lower domestic production.

This makes India rely on gas imports with volatile global fuel rates.

The growth rate of domestic natural gas is too weak to match the rising demand in India.

Moreover, the government has come up with new guidelines which has affected the oil and gas companies.

What are the new guidelines for natural gas given by India?

The new guidelines have capped the trading margins on resale of gas and provided complex conditions on prioritising sales to households and transport sectors in the case of similar bids at e-auctions.

It also requires a huge amount of paperwork that gas producers must produce before officials. This policy change was announced without any warnings.

This has made Reliance Industries and BP to postpone an auction in which it decided to sell 6 million cubic metres (mcm) a day of gas to Indian consumers at half the rates of international liquefied natural gas (LNG).

What has been the trend in consumption and import of natural gas?

Overall consumption of natural gas rose 22 percent between 2015-16 but the growth rate of LNG imports surged 58 percent a day during this period.

This led to imports growing at 53 per cent in 2019-20 from 41 percent in 2015-16 because domestic production failed to catch up with demand.

The dependency on overseas suppliers for cooking gas rose to 62 per cent from 47 per cent in 2017-18, after which the government decided to offer subsidised connections under PMUY.

This import dependency will also affect India to reach the target of 15 percent natural gas in the energy mix by 2030 which currently stands at 6 per cent.

Moreover, natural gas demand from the city gas distribution sector for domestic cooking fuel and transport is expected to grow 15-17 per cent over fiscal 2022-2027.

Therefore, this rapid growth in city gas use will make India more dependent on foreign fuel due to limited domestic production.

Moreover, there were also changes made by the current government in capping the price of gas but none was successful.

What changes were made by the government?

In 2014, the Rangarajan Committee’s gas pricing formula was diluted by removing LNG prices as a benchmark to calculate domestic gas rates.

It then capped the price of gas produced from unconventional areas, including deep waters.

However, when these measures did not work, it constituted a committee last year led by former Planning Commission member Kirit Parikh.

It recommended a price cap on domestic supplies that is around 20 per cent lower than current levels which will come effect from April this year.

What is the way forward for India?

Policies such as interfering with fuel prices, arbitrarily capping margins of traders, constantly disturbing with gas pricing formulae, and pursuing pointless arbitrations have discouraged foreign explorers from coming to India.

Therefore, India needs to adopt such policies which build a trust of foreign companies in India and make India more dependent on domestic production.

State actors and information warfare – We should recognise that many can play the game of manipulation targeting the Indian information space

Syllabus: GS 3 – Technology

Relevance: misuse of the internet technology

News: Countries these days use the internet as a tool to spread campaigns and influence the people but such campaigns if not used properly can have harmful effects.

What are the harmful effects of internet campaigns?

Internet-based campaigns are built much like crowds in many political rallies. Such campaigns are operated by political parties, private persons, and governments.

Internet-based information manipulation is not illegal but it has the ability to distort the beliefs of many people. 

For example, people believe so much in the misinformation spread through trusted sources like WhatsApp that even the wrong information seems to be true.

Such campaigns were also used by Russia in 2016 to influence the US election and UK on Brexit.

Russian have also simultaneously run pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine campaigns, aiming to get victims misinformation and to hate one another. Thus, bringing conflict within the target society.

These campaigns are of two kinds – a) specific policy objectives, such as Brexit or a Trump victory, broadly aimed at disrupting the essence of liberal democracies, b) bringing chaos and confusion.

Further, thousands of people are using the internet to defame their enemies and to influence government officials about their enemies.

Therefore, many threats can come up with internet-based campaigns and it may also affect a nation’s security.

What can be the threats for India?

Currently, these campaigns in India are run by local businessmen and local political parties. However, there are also chances that foreign states may run such campaigns.

This would influence Indian masses and have negative outcomes, ultimately weakening India.

Also, India is one of the countries in the Global South that has been the target of Russian influence campaigns on the subject of the invasion of Ukraine.

What are the measures required by India to prevent such campaigns?

First, India needs to recognise the problem of influence campaigns which are aimed at reshaping the behaviour of its state and political system.

Second, it requires bringing together knowledge of technology policy, foreign policy, media, and the political system to tackle those campaigns.

Third, it needs to spread awareness against the misinformation shared by social media like WhatsApp or Twitter.

Oxfam inequality report: Taxing the ‘obscenely’ wealthy may not be the right solution

Syllabus: GS3- Indian economy and mobilisation of resources

Relevance– Inequality and taxation structure of India

News– The article explains the Oxfam “Survival of Richest report” and analyses its claims regarding the tax structure in India.

What are some main points contained in the Oxfam Survival of Richest report?

According to the report, there are now 166 billionaires in India. It is up from 106 in 2020. Wealth is concentrated among the top deciles. Top 30% accounts for 90% of the wealth.

Globally, 1% are estimated to have captured almost two-thirds of new wealth.

It argues for a wealth tax and higher taxes on corporates.

It also argues that indirect taxes are regressive. The paper says that the bottom 50% pays six times more indirect tax as a percentage of income as compared to the top 10%.

What are the issues regarding the claims put by the report?

The corporate tax cuts brought the statutory tax rate down from 30% to 25.17%.

The cost of revenue foregone due to this is estimated at Rs 1.03 lakh crore. However, it is not the equivalent of revenue that would have been realised had there been no incentive. The same revenue would not have been realised in its absence.

Further, the comparison of corporate tax collections is unfair as the simplified regime for corporate taxes was introduced after 2019.

The current income tax system exempts incomes up to Rs 5 lakh from tax. The GST rate structure places a higher burden on luxuries.

The upward trend in the GST collections post 2021, accompanied by higher retail sales of luxury goods, indicates that the tax may be progressive. It is despite the K-shaped recovery.

An indirect tax can be more efficient in a tax system where compliance in direct taxes is not broad-based. Therefore, the report underplays the importance of indirect taxes.

Even on direct taxes, India has implemented the surcharge on top incomes taking the marginal tax rate to 42.74%.

It is also important to inquire into the computations. It is estimated that the total wealth held by India’s richest is Rs 54.12 lakh crore.

But, there is no clarity regarding the amount of the assets counted as a part of private wealth or held in the form of trusts or companies.

Merely adding this to wealth does not make it taxable. The legal title may prohibit the authorities from levying such a tax.

siloed approach to tax policywith interlinkages between different taxes is not meaningful. In the past, India has used a wealth tax. But the collections were low. It was costly to implement it.

Everything is not fixed by taxes. The role of other macroeconomic policies, like low interest rates and regulatory interventions, should not be ignored.

It’s time for India’s universities to join the world

Syllabus: GS3- Issues relating to development and management of education

Relevance– Higher education

News– The article explains the specifications of the higher education sector in India. It also suggests some solution to establish India as a major player of the world’s academic community.

What are the specifications of the higher education sector in India?

Emerging leader– Indians are well-known globally as top scientists and academics, university leaders, and key leaders in high tech. But little is known about the academic environment from which they have emerged.

India’s academic system is now the world’s second largest. The country is actively pursuing reform and improvement.

India is in a particularly advantageous position. The world sees India as an increasingly important economy and geopolitical player.

India also plays an important role in higher education. It is mainly an exporter of students and talent in many scientific fields, especially in information technology.

There is a growing interest abroad in linking with Indian universities and research institutes due to disengagement from China by some Western countries.

Complexity of system– India has one of the world’s most complex and little understood academic environments. Its higher education sector is fragmented, inflexible with tight subject boundaries.

Private sector colleges and universities will continue to fuel growth. High-quality government institutions such as the IITs and AIIMS are also expanding and improving.

India has set up the National Institutional Ranking Framework. It has helped to fuel competition among institutions.

India’s global ranking in scientific publications improved from the seventh position in 2010 to the third in 2020. India ranks third in terms of the number of PhDs awarded in science and engineering.

India’s Global Innovation Index ranking has also improved significantly, from 81 in 2014 to 40 in 2022, although it lags significantly behind the U.S. and China.

Indian universities have not scored well in the global rankings. The highest-scoring Indian institution in the 2023 Times Higher Education ranking is the Indian Institute of Science, in the 251-300 range.

The best-known institutions globally are the IITs. These do not rank well because they are small, specialised schools and not comprehensive universities. But, their quality is much better than their ranking scores.

Distinctiveness– There has been emergence of about a dozen top-quality non-profit private universities, mostly funded by philanthropically minded Indians. This elite sector is expanding and is focused on building an international ‘brand’ for Indian higher education.

India uses English as the main language of science and higher education, which makes it much easier to interact with the rest of the world.

India has more than 100 research laboratories in diverse areas sponsored by the CSIR and other Central government agencies. Some are outstanding in terms of their research contributions and their relationships with India’s economy.

What is the way forward to establish India as a major player of the world’s academic community?

India’s universities and its scientific prowess are an important part of a soft power strategy. The internationalisation initiatives outlined in the NEP is an important start. India’s G20 leadership is also an excellent opportunity to exercise leadership.

India should convene a conference of leaders of universities in the G20 countries with the aim of acquainting them with India’s academic opportunities.

It is required to create a prestigious scholarship programme that would provide top Indian students and faculty time in leading universities abroad and funding to bring top academics from abroad to India. China’s version of this is the China Scholarship Council.

Indian universities, researchers, and academics also need to involve themselves in the global scientific community through participation in joint projects, international meetings.

This will need careful planning, sustained resources, support from the Central and State governments and an expanded international consciousness in the Indian academic community.

A step too far – ‘Fake news’ rules will damage press freedom

Syllabus: GS 3 – Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges.

Relevance: About the process of curbing free speech.

News: The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) recently announced the draft amendments to Information Technology rules.

How the draft rules will impact free speech?

-If passed, the rules will allow the government to order digital intermediaries to take down posts it deems fake, without any forum for appeal or redressal. The proposed rules in effect grant the government blanket powers of censorship.

-The rules allow Press Information Bureau (PIB) to remove the posts from online platforms. The PIB is a government agency, and it is not the government’s role to play editor.

-Supreme Court’s verdict in Shreya Singhal v Union of India (2015) said that take-down orders can only be issued on the grounds laid out in Article 19(2) of the Constitution. . The proposed amendments to IT rules threaten to bring back that draconian spirit into digital governance.

-The PIB’s record in “flagging” misinformation has been far from perfect. When the government is merely flagging and labelling content, such a mistake is reversible. If it issues takedown orders under a legal architecture that provides no room for appeal and become constitutionally untenable.

Overall, the determination of fake news cannot be placed in the sole hands of the government.

What should be done to curb free speech?

All over the world, the task of curbing free speech is best performed by a free and inquiring press. India should follow a similar approach.

India as a democracy is built on the notion that voters have the ability to make judgements about how effectively the government is performing. People can reduce free speech if they are provided with access to free and fair information.

Prelims Articles 

Assam’s Charaideo Maidam nominated for UNESCO world heritage tag: Assam CM

Assam chief minister has said that Charaideo Moidams (pyramids) is India’s nomination for UNESCO’s world heritage site status in the cultural category for 2023-24.

Note: There is currently no World Heritage site in the category of cultural heritage in the northeast out of the 32 listed in the country.

What is Charaideo Moidams?

Charaideo commonly known as ‘Pyramids of Assam’ was the original capital of the Ahom Kings.

Charaideo remained the symbolic center of Ahom Kingdom even though the capital of the kingdom moved many times.

Built by: It was built by Chaolung Sukhapa the founder of the dynasty in about 1229 CE.

Located at: This place is located at the foothills of Nagaland. It is situated at a distance of around 30 KM from the historical Sivasagar town in Assam.

Features: It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of the ancestral Gods of the Ahoms.

– Some 42 tombs (Maidams) of Ahom kings and queens are present at Charaideo hillocks.

Architecture: It comprises a massive underground vault with one or more chambers having domical superstructure and covered by a heap of earthen mounds and externally it appears a hemispherical mound. 

Mahabali frog waiting for official recognition

Mahabali Frog is waiting to be elevated as the State Frog of Kerala.

What is the Mahabali Frog?

Mahabali Frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) also known as Purple Frog is one of the rarest frog species endemic to the Western Ghats.

The frog buries itself all through the year and surfaces only one day to lay eggs.

Named after: It is named after the mythical King Mahabali who visits his people once a year from the underneath world.

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Significance: The purple frog has been acknowledged by bio-geographers all over the world as one of the rarest kinds and a “once in a century find”.

Puri’s Jagannath Temple: Why non-Hindus and foreigners can’t enter here

The Odisha Governor has backed the entry of foreign nationals inside the world-famous Jagannath Temple in Puri.

What is Lord Jagannath Temple?

Lord Jagannath Temple is located in Puri,Odisha. It is also called the White Pagoda.

It is one of the four dhams (char dham) where Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, is worshipped along with his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra. 

The temple was constructed by a famous king of the Ganga Dynasty Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva dating back to the 12th century.

Only Hindus are allowed inside the shrine to offer prayers to the sibling deities in the sanctum sanctorum. 

Why are non-Hindus not allowed inside the temple?

It has been the practice for centuries — even though there is no clearly articulated reason for it. 

Some historians believe that multiple attacks on the Temple by Muslim rulers might have led the servitors to impose restrictions on the entry of non-Hindus. Others have said that this was the practice from the time the Temple was built.

How can Non-Hindus then worship Lord Jagannath? 

Lord Jagannath is also known as Patitabapan which literally means “saviour of the downtrodden”. 

So all those who are barred from entering the Temple because of religious reasons get the privilege of a darshan of the Lord in the form of Patitapaban at the Lion’s Gate.

Year End Review- 2022 : Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched several initiatives and schemes in 2022.

What are the schemes and initiatives launched by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2022?

Road Network in the Country: India has about 63.73 lakh km of the road network which is the second largest in the world. The length of various categories of roads is as under National Highways (1,44,634 km), State Highways (1,86,908 km) and Other Roads (59,02,539 km).

Bharatmala Pariyojana: The Bharatmala Pariyojana was launched with the primary focus on optimizing the efficiency of the movement of goods and people across the country. 

– Phase I of the Bharatmala Pariyojana approved in October 2017, focuses on bridging critical infrastructure gaps through the development of 34,800 km of National Highways.

– The key components of the Pariyojana are Economic Corridors development, Inter-corridor and feeder routes development, National Corridors Efficiency Improvement, Border and International Connectivity Roads, Coastal and Port Connectivity Roads and Expressways.

What is a ‘pantranscriptome’?

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz(UCSC) have now reported on what they suggest is the first-ever method for analyzing RNA sequencing data genome-wide using a “pantranscriptome”.

What is Pantranscriptome?

Pan-transcriptome is a combination of a transcriptome and a pan-genome. It is a reference that contains genetic material from a cohort of diverse individuals, rather than just a single linear strand.

How does Pantranscriptome work?

The pantranscriptome-concept builds on the emerging concept of “pangenomics” in the genomics field. 

Typically, when evaluating an individual’s genomic data for variation, scientists compare the individual’s genome to that of a reference made up of a single, linear strand of DNA bases. 

Using a pangenome allows researchers to compare an individual’s genome to that of a genetically diverse cohort of reference sequences all at once, sourced from individuals representing a diversity of biogeographic ancestry. 

This gives the scientists more points of comparison for which to better understand an individual’s genomic variation.

What is Transcriptome?

Transcriptome represents all the RNA molecules present in a species or in an organism. Mapping this allows researchers to better understand an individual’s gene expression.

What is the Leopard 2 tank, and how could it help Ukraine against Russia?

Germany has not yet decided whether to allow its Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine.

What is Leopard 2?

Leopard 2 is a German-manufactured main battle tank with a range of about 500 km.

It is one of the world’s leading battle tanks used by the German Army for decades and by the militaries of more than a dozen other European nations. It has seen service in conflicts in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Syria. 

Features: The tank is powered by a diesel engine. It features night-vision equipment and a laser range finder that can measure the distance to an object, enabling it to better aim at a moving target while travelling over rough terrain. 

What are the advantages of Leopard 2 over other tanks?

The Leopards are in Europe, they are easy to get to Ukraine, and several European countries use them, so they are readily available.

Logistics and maintenance would be easier. Spare parts and know-how are here in Europe, so the training of Ukrainians would be easier.

What is the argument against supplying Leopard 2?

Opponents believe that the supply of tanks would be an escalation of the involvement of NATO countries in the war, heightening the risk of the war spreading. 

IISc experts detect radio signal from atomic hydrogen in distant galaxy

Astronomers from McGill University in Canada and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru have used data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope(GMRT) in Pune to detect a radio signal originating from atomic hydrogen in an extremely distant galaxy.

What is Atomic Hydrogen?

Atomic hydrogen is the basic fuel required for star formation in a galaxy.

When hot ionised gas from the surrounding medium of a galaxy falls onto the universe, the gas cools and forms atomic hydrogen. This then becomes molecular hydrogen and eventually leads to the formation of stars. 

Atomic hydrogen emits radio waves of 21 cm wavelength, meaning the wavelength is a direct tracer of the atomic gas content in nearby and distant galaxies. 

However, this radio signal is feeble and nearly impossible to detect the emission from a distant galaxy using current telescopes due to their limited sensitivity.

What is the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope(GMRT)?

GMRT is a low-frequency radio telescope that helps investigate various radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby solar systems to the edge of the observable universe. 

Located at: Pune, Maharashtra

Operated by: National Centre for Radio Astrophysics(NCRA), a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

What have the researchers discovered?

Astronomers have used data from the GMRT to detect a radio signal originating from atomic hydrogen in an extremely distant galaxy.

This detection was made possible by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.

‘Economy at risk from move to clean energy’

What is the News?

According to a study published in the Global Environmental Change journal, India’s financial sector is highly exposed to the risks of the economy transitioning from being largely dependent on fossil fuels to clean energy.

What are the key highlights of the study?

Loans and Bonds to fossil fuel sector: Analysis of individual loans and bonds found that 60% of lending to the mining sector was for oil and gas extraction while one-fifth of manufacturing sector debt is for petroleum refining and related industries. 

– Electricity production – by far the largest source of carbon emissions – accounted for 5.2% of outstanding credit.

– This shows that India’s financial sector is highly exposed to activities related to fossil fuel.

Financial Institution’s transition to clean energy: There was a shortage of experts in India’s financial institutions who had the expertise to appropriately advise the institutions on the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy.

– For instance, only four of the ten major financial institutions surveyed collect information on environmental, social and governance(ESG) risks and these firms do not systematically incorporate that data into financial planning.

High carbon Industries heavily indebted: High-carbon industries — power generation, chemicals, iron and steel, and aviation account for 10% of outstanding debt to Indian financial institutions. However, these industries are also heavily indebted and therefore have the less financial capacity to respond to shocks and stresses.

India’s dependence on coal: Coal currently accounts for 44% of India’s primary energy sources and 70% of its power generation. 

– According to the Draft National Electricity Plan 2022, coal’s share in the electricity generation mix will decrease to 50% by 2030, compared to the current contribution of 70%.

Less Lending to renewables: The financial decisions of Indian banks and institutional investors are locking the country into a more polluting, more expensive energy supply. 

– For example, only 17.5% of bank lending to the power sector has been to pure-play renewables. 

– Consequently, India has much higher electricity from carbon sources than the world average, despite its vast potential for cheap solar, wind and small hydropower.

सामान्य अध्ययन - 1

विषय: दुनिया के इतिहास में 18वीं सदी की घटनाएं शामिल होंगी जैसे औद्योगिक क्रांति, विश्व युद्ध, राष्ट्रीय सीमाओं का पुनर्निर्धारण, उपनिवेशीकरण, उपनिवेशवाद की समाप्ति, साम्यवाद, पूंजीवाद, समाजवाद आदि जैसे राजनीतिक दर्शन- उनके रूप और समाज पर प्रभाव।

1. फ्रांसीसी क्रांति को संपूर्ण क्रांति क्यों माना जाता है? फ्रांसीसी क्रांति में महिलाओं द्वारा निभाई गई भूमिका की विवेचना कीजिए। (250 शब्द)

कठिनाई स्तर: मध्यम

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग:

फ्रांसीसी क्रांति के बारे में संपूर्ण क्रांति के रूप में लिखना और उसमें महिलाओं की भूमिका।

निर्देशक शब्द: 

चर्चा करें - यह एक व्यापक निर्देश है - आपको संबंधित मुद्दों के विवरण के माध्यम से उनमें से प्रत्येक की जांच करके कागज पर बहस करनी चाहिए। आपको तर्क के पक्ष और विपक्ष दोनों के लिए कारण बताना होगा।

उत्तर की संरचना:


1789 की फ्रांसीसी क्रांति के बारे में संक्षेप में जानकारी देते हुए।


पहले, उन कारकों के बारे में लिखिए जो फ्रांसीसी क्रांति को संपूर्ण क्रांति बनाते हैं - इसका समग्र प्रभाव - राजनीतिक, सामाजिक, आर्थिक और सांस्कृतिक आदि।

आगे, क्रांति में फ्रांसीसी महिलाओं द्वारा निभाई गई भूमिका के बारे में लिखिए।


विश्व इतिहास पर क्रांति के समग्र प्रभाव के बारे में लिखकर निष्कर्ष निकालें।

विषय: जनसंख्या और संबंधित मुद्दे

2. भारत में घटती कुल प्रजनन दर (टीएफआर) के रुझानों का मूल्यांकन करें। महिलाओं में कम प्रजनन दर और उच्च शिक्षा दर महिलाओं के लिए वैतनिक नौकरियों में तब्दील क्यों नहीं हो रही है? (250 शब्द)

कठिनाई स्तर: मध्यम

संदर्भ: इंडियन एक्सप्रेस ,  लाइव मिंट

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग:

गिरते हुए टीएफआर के कारणों और इससे उत्पन्न चुनौतियों के बारे में लिखना। साथ ही यह भी लिखने के लिए कि कम प्रजनन क्षमता और उच्च शिक्षा के बावजूद सार्थक नौकरियों में अनुवाद क्यों नहीं किया जा रहा है।

निर्देशक शब्द: 

मूल्यांकन करें – जब आपको मूल्यांकन करने के लिए कहा जाता है, तो आपको साक्ष्य के आधार पर प्रश्न या विषय में दिए गए कथन की सत्यता के बारे में एक ठोस निर्णय देना होता है। आपको विचाराधीन कथन के मूल्य का मूल्यांकन करना चाहिए। यहां राय बनाने की गुंजाइश है।

उत्तर की संरचना:


संक्षेप में भारत के घटते TFR का संदर्भ दें।


सबसे पहले, उन कारकों के बारे में लिखें जिन्होंने टीएफआर को कम करने में योगदान दिया है: उच्च शिक्षा, बढ़ी हुई गतिशीलता, देर से शादी, महिलाओं के बीच वित्तीय स्वतंत्रता और समग्र समृद्धि।

अगला, संभावित चुनौतियाँ जो गिरते हुए TFR को जन्म दे सकती हैं। इसके विभिन्न पहलुओं के बारे में लिखिए।

इसके बाद, लिखें कि क्यों कम प्रजनन क्षमता और अधिक शिक्षा के बावजूद भी महिलाएं वैतनिक नौकरियां नहीं ले रही हैं - लिंग बाधाएं, सामाजिक बाधाएं, कौशल बाधाएं आदि।


उपरोक्त मुद्दों को संबोधित करने के लिए आगे का रास्ता लिखकर निष्कर्ष निकालें।

सामान्य अध्ययन – 2

विषय: कार्यपालिका और न्यायपालिका की संरचना, संगठन और कार्यप्रणाली - सरकार के मंत्रालय और विभाग; दबाव समूह और औपचारिक/अनौपचारिक संघ और राजनीति में उनकी भूमिका।

3. देश में लंबित अदालती मामलों को कम करने के लिए किए जा सकने वाले विभिन्न उपायों पर विस्तार से चर्चा करें। (250 शब्द)

कठिनाई स्तर: मध्यम

संदर्भ: द हिंदू

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग:

भारत में लम्बित मामलों के कारणों, इसके प्रभाव के बारे में लिखना और इसे दूर करने के उपाय सुझाना।

निर्देशक शब्द: 

विस्तृत करें - एक विस्तृत विवरण दें कि यह कैसे और क्यों हुआ, या संदर्भ क्या है। जहां भी उपयुक्त हो, आपको प्रमुख शब्दों को परिभाषित करना चाहिए और संबंधित तथ्यों के साथ उनकी पुष्टि करनी चाहिए।

उत्तर की संरचना:


भारत में अदालती मामलों की लंबितता को प्रमाणित करने के लिए कुछ महत्वपूर्ण आंकड़ों के साथ वर्तमान परिस्थितियों का वर्णन करें।


पहले इसके कारणों को लिखें - लगातार रिक्तियों का संचयी प्रभाव, तनावपूर्ण बजट, अपर्याप्त बुनियादी ढाँचा, मामलों के निरंतर प्रवाह के साथ संयुक्त रूप से बढ़ते पेंडेंसी और मामलों को हल करने में लगने वाले समय को अनिवार्य रूप से प्रभावित करता है।

इसके बाद इसके प्रभाव को सामने लाएं - न्याय प्रणाली में विश्वास, विचाराधीन कैदियों को न्याय के कारण, आर्थिक सुधारों और विदेशी निवेशकों पर प्रभाव, न्यायपालिका पर अत्यधिक काम हो जाता है और इसकी दक्षता खो जाती है।

उपर्युक्त पर काबू पाने के उपाय सुझाइए।


न्याय के त्वरित वितरण को सुनिश्चित करने के लिए आगे की राह के साथ निष्कर्ष निकालें।

सामान्य अध्ययन - 3

विषय: भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था और संसाधनों, विकास, विकास और रोजगार की योजना, गतिशीलता से संबंधित मुद्दे।

4. मांग प्रेरित और लागत प्रेरित मुद्रास्फीति में अंतर स्पष्ट कीजिए। उन कारकों की जांच करें जो भारत में मुद्रास्फीति का कारण बन रहे हैं। मुद्रास्फीति को नियंत्रण में रखने के लिए कौन से उपायों की आवश्यकता है? (250 शब्द)

कठिनाई स्तर: मध्यम

संदर्भ: द हिंदू

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग:

डिमांड पुल और कॉस्ट पुश इन्फ्लेशन के बीच अंतर और भारत में इन्फ्लेशन के कारण कारकों के बारे में लिखने के लिए और इसे नियंत्रण में रखने के लिए आवश्यक उपाय।

निर्देशक शब्द: 

जांच करें - जब 'जांच' करने के लिए कहा जाता है, तो हमें विषय (सामग्री शब्द) की विस्तार से जांच करनी चाहिए, उसका निरीक्षण करना चाहिए, उसकी जांच करनी चाहिए और संबंधित विषय से संबंधित प्रमुख तथ्यों और मुद्दों को स्थापित करना चाहिए। ऐसा करते समय हमें यह स्पष्ट करना चाहिए कि ये तथ्य और मुद्दे क्यों महत्वपूर्ण हैं और उनके निहितार्थ क्या हैं।

उत्तर की संरचना:


मुद्रास्फीति को परिभाषित करके प्रारंभ करें।


सबसे पहले, विस्तार से डिमांड पुल और कॉस्ट पुश इन्फ्लेशन के बीच तुलना करें। प्रकृति, इसे पैदा करने वाले कारक, प्रभाव आदि।

इसके बाद, भारत में हाल ही में मुद्रास्फीति के बढ़ते रुझान के कारणों और इसके प्रभाव के बारे में लिखें।

इसके बाद, इससे उबरने के उपाय सुझाएं।


आगे का रास्ता लिखकर निष्कर्ष निकालें।

विषय: साइबर सुरक्षा की मूल बातें

5. जबकि भारत की साइबर सुरक्षा रणनीति विकसित हो रही है, भारत में साइबर अपराध से लड़ने के लिए हमारे समग्र दृष्टिकोण में कुछ तत्वों की आवश्यकता है जो हल्के खतरों को अधिक गंभीर से अलग करें जिन पर अधिक जोर देने की आवश्यकता है। विश्लेषण। (250 शब्द)

कठिनाई स्तर: कठिन

संदर्भ: लाइव मिंट

सवाल क्यूँ:

2013 में, भारतीय कंप्यूटर इमरजेंसी रिस्पांस टीम (CERT-In) की स्थापना सूचना प्रौद्योगिकी अधिनियम, 2000 के तहत जारी नियमों के तहत एक "विश्वसनीय रेफरल एजेंसी" के रूप में की गई थी, जिससे उपयोगकर्ता साइबर हमले की स्थिति में संपर्क कर सकें। सीईआरटी-इन की भूमिका उल्लंघन की स्थिति में तकनीकी सहायता प्रदान करने की थी, और इस तरह से ऐसे उल्लंघनों के गोपनीयता निहितार्थों का आकलन करने का कोई अधिकार नहीं था।

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग:

भारत की साइबर सुरक्षा रणनीति के बारे में लिखने के लिए और गंभीर खतरों पर अधिक जोर देने के साथ-साथ हल्के खतरों को पर्याप्त रूप से संबोधित करने वाली एक समग्र रणनीति की आवश्यकता है।

निर्देशक शब्द: 

विश्लेषण करें - जब विश्लेषण करने के लिए कहा जाए, तो आपको विषय की संरचना या प्रकृति को घटक भागों में अलग करके व्यवस्थित रूप से जांचना चाहिए और उन्हें सारांश में प्रस्तुत करना चाहिए।

उत्तर की संरचना:


साइबर अपराधों के प्रति भारत की सुभेद्यता पर प्रकाश डालते हुए आँकड़ा देकर प्रारंभ करें।


सबसे पहले, भारत की विकसित हो रही साइबर सुरक्षा रणनीति और इसके विभिन्न घटकों के बारे में लिखें।

इसके बाद, भेद्यता की अलग-अलग डिग्री के विभिन्न प्रकार के साइबर खतरों और उन्हें एक के रूप में वर्गीकृत करने से जुड़े नुकसानों के बारे में लिखें।

इसके बाद, विभिन्न प्रकार के साइबर अपराधों के लिए नीति निर्माण और रणनीति विकसित करने में उपरोक्त का मुकाबला करने के लिए आवश्यक उपायों के बारे में लिखें।


आगे का रास्ता लिखकर निष्कर्ष निकालें।

सामान्य अध्ययन – 4

विषय: भ्रष्टाचार की चुनौतियाँ।

6. भ्रष्टाचार से लड़ना अक्सर बेहतर सार्वजनिक संस्थानों के निर्माण और सेवा की गुणवत्ता में सुधार की दिशा में एक महत्वपूर्ण कदम के रूप में देखा जाता है। टिप्पणी। (250 शब्द)

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग: 

भ्रष्टाचार से लड़ने के महत्व के बारे में लिखने के लिए।

निर्देशक शब्द:

टिप्पणी - यहाँ हमें मुद्दे के बारे में अपने ज्ञान और समझ को व्यक्त करना चाहिए और उस पर एक समग्र राय बनानी चाहिए।

उत्तर की संरचना:


भ्रष्टाचार रहित सार्वजनिक सेवा प्रदान करने का महत्व देते हुए शुरुआत करें।


भ्रष्टाचार से लड़ने के महत्व के बारे में लिखें - रोजगार सृजित करता है, लैंगिक समानता प्राप्त करता है, और स्वास्थ्य देखभाल और शिक्षा आदि जैसी आवश्यक सेवाओं तक व्यापक पहुंच सुनिश्चित करता है। उदाहरणों के साथ इसकी पुष्टि करें।


लोक सेवा में भ्रष्टाचार से लड़ने के विभिन्न तरीकों का उल्लेख करते हुए निष्कर्ष लिखिए।

विषय: सिविल सेवा के लिए योग्यता और मूलभूत मूल्य, सत्यनिष्ठा, निष्पक्षता और गैर-दलीयता, निष्पक्षता, सार्वजनिक सेवा के प्रति समर्पण, कमजोर वर्गों के प्रति सहानुभूति, सहिष्णुता और करुणा।

7. सहानुभूति संबंधों, संघर्ष प्रबंधन और कार्य संस्कृतियों में संघर्ष समाधान के लिए एक महत्वपूर्ण कौशल है। विस्तार में बताना। (150 शब्द)

कठिनाई स्तर: आसान

सवाल क्यूँ:

प्रश्न सामान्य अध्ययन के पेपर-4 के स्थिर पाठ्यक्रम का हिस्सा है।

प्रश्न की मुख्य मांग:

सहानुभूति के महत्व के बारे में लिखने के लिए।

निर्देशक शब्द: 

विस्तृत करें - एक विस्तृत विवरण दें कि यह कैसे और क्यों हुआ, या संदर्भ क्या है। जहां भी उपयुक्त हो, आपको प्रमुख शब्दों को परिभाषित करना चाहिए और संबंधित तथ्यों के साथ उनकी पुष्टि करनी चाहिए।

उत्तर की संरचना:


सहानुभूति को परिभाषित करके प्रारंभ करें।


समानुभूति की अवधारणा पर संक्षेप में स्पर्श करें और उसके बाद विस्तार से बताएं कि कैसे समानुभूति भावनात्मक रूप से बुद्धिमान होने का सबसे महत्वपूर्ण घटक है - संवाद करने की क्षमता, दूसरों के विचारों, विचारों और भावनाओं को समझना, EQ का महत्वपूर्ण पहलू आदि। इसे सही ठहराने के लिए उदाहरण दें।


उत्तर समाप्त करने के लिए अपने विचारों का संक्षिप्त योग दें।