DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC|31 MAY 2021|RaghululCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

31 May 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

A ‘reform wave’ Lakshadweep could do without

The Hindu

2

Catch the New Tech wave

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Extend benefits to all orphans, demand Odisha activists

Syllabus–GS 2: Government Policy

Analysis: –

  • When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced special ‘PM-CARES for Children’ for those orphaned due to COVID-19, activists here demanded similar benefits be extended all parents-less children.
  • “Children are not left alone only when their parents lose battle against COVID-19. In backward areas, hunger and poverty too snap lives and orphaned children must be taken care of,” said Jyoti Prakash Brahma, a child rights activist here on Sunday.
  • Ten days ago on May 18, Flora Nag (15), Sarita Nag (14) and Prashant Nag (11) (names changed) under Khaprakhol block of Balangir district lost their father Subal Nag (60), who had been keeping unwell largely due to his poor condition.
  • Though COVID-19 test was not conducted, he had fever for three to four days before his death. His wife had died of tuberculosis in 2019.
  • Similarly, two children aged 11 and 4 in Bhainsadani area of Nuapada district have lost their parents in the past couple of years. They belong to the Paharia community which lives on the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border.
  • The community does not have enough resources to rely upon. They are not treated tribals in Odisha though they enjoy the benefits in Chhattisgarh. The two siblings now live with their maternal uncle, who is not ready to part with them.

China’s space station plans gather pace with cargo docking

Syllabus – GS 3: Science and tech

Analysis: –

  • China took another step towards completing the construction of its first space station by the end of next year following the launch and docking of a cargo spacecraft early on Sunday.
  • The Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, described by China’s state media as “the delivery guy for China’s space station”, was launched late on Saturday on a Long March-7 rocket from the island of Hainan, and docked eight hours later with the space station’s first core module called Tianhe, or “heavenly harmony”.
  • The launch was a third landmark for China’s space programme in recent weeks. China landed a spacecraft in Mars on May 15 carrying its first Mars rover, Zhurong. The Tianhe module, which the cargo spacecraft docked with on Sunday, was launched on April 29.
  • The Tianzhou-2 spacecraft carried a range of supplies, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said, and will be followed by the launch of another cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-3, and two manned missions, Shenzhou-12 and Shenzhou-13, later this year, each carrying three astronauts who will spend several months in orbit.
  • The six missions to follow this year, including for the space station’s second and third modules, Wentian and Mengtian, will close to complete the construction of China’s first space station, expected to be finished in 2022.

Mains Analysis

A ‘reform wave’ Lakshadweep could do without

Why in News?

Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patelis facing stringent criticism over a slew of regulations that he intends to bring to the islands.

Syllabus— GS 2: Devolution of powers

________________________________________

Background: –

  • Draft laws introduced like the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021; the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA); the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 and Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021.
  • Minister said he intends to develop Lakshadweep like neighbouring Maldives, “a renowned international tourist destination”.

The IDA framework

  • Specially constituted Island Development Authority (IDA) , in Kavaratti in 1988, approved a framework for the development of India’s island territories.
  • It held “an environmentally sound strategy for both island groups hinges on better exploitation of marine resources coupled with much greater care in the use of land resources”. Published in 1989, the report carried six recommendations for Lakshadweep.

 

  • Lakshwadeep had its own decentralised political entity from the adoption of panchayati raj much before the constitutional amendments of 1993, in which the Island Development Council, was mandated to advise the Administrator on development.
  • It gives India a vast and exclusive economic zone with three distinct ecosystems: land, lagoon and ocean.
  • Fishery is a primary occupation here. The language, except in Minicoy, is Malayalam; in Minicoy, Mahl is spoken, a language akin to the 17th century Divehi of the Maldives.
  • The society in all islands is matriarchal. The religion is Islam of the pristine Shafi school of law.
  • Vatteluttu was the earliest script used with its heavy Sanskrit component . With the introduction of Islam, Arabi-Malayalam, with Malayalam in Arabic script and associated with the literature of the Mappilas developed on the mainland.
  • Earlier Prime Minister like Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to Lakshwadeep was concerned about the development agenda for these ecologically fragile territories.

A ‘no’ to the Maldives model

  • Specifically rejecting the Maldives model, the plan for Lakshadweep required that the industry had to be people-centric and enrich the fragile coral ecology.

 

  • Lakshadweep today has rainwater harvesting facilities, first introduced in government buildings on every island and now accessible in every home.
  • Solar power, which covers 10% of lighting needs, makes Lakshadweep a pioneer in India’s present flagship initiative.
  • All islands have been connected by helicopter service since 1986, and high-speed passenger boats were purchased in the 1990s by an international tender.
  • A study by the National Instituteof Oceanography found practical applications, helping a redesign of the tripods reinforcing the beaches against sea erosion, and ensuring piped water supply especially designed to draw from the fresh water thus saving the fragile ecology.
  • The islands boast total literacy. Minicoy had among the country’s first Navodaya Vidyalayas.Vernacular building traditions, they are the theme of all government housing projects undertaken in the islands in the 1980s, with leading architects providing the designs.
  • Although the poverty line in terms of GDP is only slightly higher than the World Bank’s poverty threshold, Lakshadweep today has no poor people with good calory intake.
  • Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Finance Commissions (1984-2005), this established, in the words of the last of these Commissions “speedy and accurate generation of accounting information that might be needed for purposes of better planning, budgeting and monitoring”.

There is much room for improvement:

  • Income disparities have grown. Indiscriminate trawling endangers the coral, as experienced in the Maldives and now banned there.
  • The Government recognises the need to develop policies for enhancing employment opportunities, environment-friendly management of fisheries, sanitation, waste disposal and widening access to drinking water.
  • Revenue from tourism has declined with the closure of resorts (including at Bangaram) from litigation. A clear policy must include conservation and natural resource management arrived at after wide consultation.
  • Youth, having acquired a modern education, preferring salaried jobs over pursuing traditional occupations.
  • Maldives is hardly a suitable model. Water bungalows — an expensive concept and also hazardous to the coral — favoured by the NITI Aayog, may collapse in Lakshadweep’s turbulent monsoon.

Obtuse plans

  • Pursuit of ‘holistic development’, using the ‘claim’ that there has been no development in Lakshadweep for the past 70 years author argues is wrong.

 

 Preventive detention law undermine tribal land ownership, with judicial remedy denied, with also plans for road widening on the islands where the maximum road length is 11 km is fragile for ecology.

Way Forward: –

Provision to allow the mining and exploitation of mineral resources which could convert the islands into a hub for cement manufacture is  not suitable for the island’s geography.

Panchayat rules designed to restrict the population growth in a territory where, according to the National Health and Family Survey-5 (2019-20), the total fertility rate is 1.4  and relaxing prohibition, extant in the Union Territory because of public demand.

Relaxation of quarantine restrictions for travel have introduced the novel coronavirus into a pandemic-free archipelago.

Questions: –

The draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR) 2021 has invited criticism from several quarters. Critically evaluate .

Catch the New Tech wave

Why in News?

When India’s Covid-19 pandemic was raging towards its peak in mid-May, Vitalik Buterin, the 27-year-old founder of Ethereum, donated cryptocurrency worth $1 billion to support pandemic relief work in India

Syllabus—GS3: Digital Economy & Block Chain Technology

Background: –

  • In a astonishing event, the Ethereum founder has donated crypto currency worth $ 1 billion to support pandemic relief work in India.
  • Recent China’s crackdown on crypto currency has wiped out trillion dollars from the global crypto market within a 24 hrs span.
  • The crypto market grew by 500% even while the pandemic unleashed global economic carnage has not been seen since the Great Depression.
  • Within 2-days of the China-provoked crash, the crypto market value again recovered by over 10%.
  • This kind of extreme volatility has always been a concern for regulators & investors.

Brief about Block chain Technology & Crypto currency:

  • Crypto currency is a fully decentralized, peer-to-peer electronic cash system that didn’t need the purview of any 3rd party financial institution.
  • It was a response to the lack of trust in the existing banking system that was reflected in the 2008 global financial crisis.
  • Even though govts fully support it but Crypto currency has been one of the extraordinary stories of modern economic history.
  • The crypto currency is based on an underlying system called Block chain technology that has far-reaching benefits.
  • The basic architecture of block chain is a network where people share the extra space & computational power in their computers to create a global super-computer that is accessible to everyone. This network performs functions such as
    • Verification of transactions & contracts,
    • Updating & maintenance of these records in the form of tamper-proof ledgers.
    • The tasks are normally done by large intermediary organizations like banks.
  • The participants of a network known as validators who were rewarded for their efforts by transaction fees.
  • Integrating block chain into these sectors could result in hundreds of billions of dollars in savings.
  • Block chain could make every aspect of e-governance & judiciary more efficient & transparent.
  • The crypto currency that is not backed up by any public institution would able to shake up the financial markets.
  • Within a span of a decade, bitcoin has surpassed the size of most modern nation’s economies.

India & Crypto currency:

  • In India, the reflex action of law enforcement & taxation agencies has clamored for a ban on cryptocurrency on grounds of:
    • Possible misuse of these instruments such as
    • Money laundering
    • Terror funding
    • Drug & human trafficking
    • Cybercrimes & blackmailing
  • In 2018 RBI barred the financial institutions from supporting crypto transactions but SC overturned it in 2020.
  • Still, Indian banks block crypto transactions.
  • Even govt has circulated a draft bill outlawing all crypto currency activities.
  • Despite no policy in place, RBI has announced the launch of a private block chain-supported official digital currency similar to the digital Yuan.
  • Thousands of companies across the globe are working on projects that could bring in paradigm changes that make digital space more redistributive & fairer.
  • In 2021, while block chain-based startups worldwide raised $2.6 billion in funding, Indian startups received less than 0.2% of that total amount.

Way-Forward

  • India was a late adopter in all the previous phases of the digital revolution. It is time for India to catch up with the crypto revolution.
  • The world is now on the cusp of the next transformation led by block chain & AI.
  • It is high time for India to channel its human capital, expertise & resources into the revolution & to emerge as the winner.
  • To achieve this All India need is to have clear-headed policymaking.
  • Regulation is needed to prevent previous problems & misuse of cryptocurrencies & to protect unsuspecting investors from excessive market volatility & scams.
  • But effective regulation needs to be clear, transparent, coherent & animated by a vision.
  • Any new regulation made in the sector should prevent the misuse of these digital assets without hindering innovation & investments.
  • Provisions have to make route the value extracted from these networks transparently into the financial system.

Question: –

India’s impractical effort to while decoupling crypto currencies from their underlying block chain technology & reap benefits shows its lack of understanding of this disruptive innovation. Comment.

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