Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 13 May 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

13 May 2022-Friday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Forex Reserves and Foreign Portfolio Investors

Why is this news worthy?

In the last six months, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) added additional 16.58 tonnes of gold to the country’s foreign exchange reserves, increasing total gold holdings to above 700 tonnes (around 760.42).

The RBI purchased gold at a time when Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) were fleeing India, and the country’s currency reserves fell by USD44.73 billion, from USD 642.45 billion in September 2021 to USD 597.72 billion on April 29, 2022.

India now has the ninth-largest gold deposit in the world.

What are the characteristics of foreign portfolio investors?

Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) refers to foreign investors’ passive holdings of securities and other financial assets. It does not provide direct ownership of financial assets to the investor and is very liquid depending on market volatility.

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) are all examples of FPIs (GDRs).

FPI is a component of a country’s capital account and is reported on the BOP (BOP).

Over the course of a monetary year, the BOP monitors the amount of money flowing from one country to another.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has issued new FPI Regulations for 2019, which replace the 2014 FPI Regulations.

Because of its proclivity to escape at the first hint of economic difficulty, FPI is often referred to as “hot money.” FPI is riskier than FDI since it is more liquid and volatile.

What Are FPIs’ Advantages?

Access to International Credit: Investors may be able to obtain a larger amount of credit in other nations, allowing them to use greater leverage and earn a bigger return on their equity investment.

Increases Domestic Capital Market Liquidity: As markets get more liquid, they become more profound and broader, allowing for a broader range of investments to be financed.

As a result, investors may invest with confidence, knowing that if they need to access their funds, they can quickly manage their portfolios or sell their financial securities.

Increased competition for financing rewards excellent performance, prospects, and corporate governance, promoting the development of equity markets.

Equity prices will become more value-relevant for investors as the market’s liquidity and functionality improve, ultimately driving market efficiency.

What is the Difference Between Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment?

For most economies, FPI and FDI are both important sources of funding.

A foreign direct investment (FDI) is a financial investment made by a company or individual from one country into a company in another one. An investor can buy a direct business interest in a foreign country through FDI.

Investors can make FDI in a variety of methods, for example. Creating a subsidiary in another nation, acquiring or merging with an existing foreign company, or forming a joint venture partnership with a foreign corporation are all popular examples.

What are Foreign Exchange Reserves (Forex Reserves)?

Foreign exchange reserves are assets kept in foreign currencies by a central bank, such as bonds, treasury bills, and other government securities.

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of foreign exchange reserves are stored in US dollars.

India’s foreign exchange reserves consist of:
  • Foreign Exchange Assets
  • Reserves of gold
  • Reserved Special Drawing Rights Position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a Tranche (IMF).

What Does It Mean When Forex Reserves Increase?

Government in a Favorable Position:

The government and the RBI are more confident in managing India’s foreign and internal financial difficulties as forex reserves rise.

Managing Crises:

 It acts as a safety net in the case of an economic Balance of Payments (BoP) crisis.

Limits external vulnerability by keeping foreign currency liquidity on hand to absorb shocks in times of crisis or when borrowing is restricted.

Rupee Strengthening:

The rupee has strengthened versus the dollar as reserves have increased.

Allows for intervention in favour of the national or union currency.

Market Confidence: Reserves will provide markets and investors confidence that a government can satisfy its external obligations.

Supporting and maintaining confidence in monetary and exchange rate policies is a key role in policymaking.

Ecologism, both shallow and deep

Why is this newsworthy?

As India continues to battle unrelenting heat waves, it’s worth delving into two streams of environmental philosophy that reimagine the human-nature relationship: Shallow and Deep Ecologism.

What exactly is ecology?

Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between living species, such as humans, and their physical surroundings.

It aims to comprehend the fundamental links that exist between plants and animals and the environment.

It also includes information on ecosystem advantages and how we might use Earth’s resources in ways that preserve the environment for future generations.

What is the difference between shallow and deep ecology?


In the 1970s, Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess sought to solve environmental degradation by looking beyond his milieu’s popular pollution and conservation movements.

Nss is more concerned with the function of the individual in nature in his ecological research. He believes that rising anthropocentrism has caused humans to become estranged from nature, considering nature and themselves as conflicting entities and creating a master-slave relationship.

Nss illustrates the contrast between the two forms of ecologism by placing humans at the centre of the environmental catastrophe.

Shallow Ecologism:

 The philosophical or political position that environmental preservation should only be implemented to the extent that it serves human interests is known as shallow ecology.

Rather than a major revolution, it is more like a forceful and trendy campaign against pollution and resource depletion.

Proponents of this ideology argue that we should maintain our current lifestyle while making specific changes to reduce environmental damage.

Also known as weak ecologism, it may entail the usage of less polluting vehicles or air conditioners that do not emit chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

This discipline of ecology is mostly concerned with preserving the lifestyle of people who live in developed countries.

Deep Ecologism:

 Deep Ecologism holds that humans’ connection with nature should be drastically altered.

Its proponents criticise superficial ecologism for favouring people over other forms of life, hence perpetuating modern cultures’ environmentally damaging lifestyles.

Shallow ecologism, it claims, exacerbates inequities between countries by perpetuating this lifestyle.

For example, although accounting for only 5% of global population, the United States consumes 17% of global energy and is the world’s second largest electricity consumer after China.

Similarly, while low- and middle-income countries have produced lower total and per capita carbon dioxide emissions during the last two centuries, wealthier countries are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions.

What are Deep Ecologism’s Objectives?

It strives to preserve nature by implementing large-scale lifestyle changes.

Limiting commercial meat production to protect forest areas and reduce artificial animal fattening, for example, or restructuring transportation systems to eliminate the usage of internal combustion engines.

Deep ecologism transfers the focus from pollution and conservation narratives to rigorous policy creation and implementation, in addition to supporting these lifestyle changes.

Policymaking, according to Naess, must be helped by the reorientation of technical skills and inventions in new ecologically responsible directions.

Ecologists, according to Naess, should reject activities overseen by authorities with limited ecological perspectives. Ecologists should not bow to power that ignores essential ecological concerns as irreplaceable informants.

Deep ecologism also advocates for a re-evaluation of the’survival of the fittest’ philosophy in order to recognise the diverse richness of different lifeforms.

The ability of humans to collaborate and coexist with nature, rather than exploiting or controlling it, should be considered when considering survival of the fittest.

As a result, deep ecologism favours a “live and let live” mentality over a “either you or me” mindset.

Deep ecologism, in particular, is associated with socialism.

Naess contends in his books on deep ecology that a narrow emphasis on pollution and conservation efforts is ineffective. He believes that when programmes are done just to address pollution, they create new types of problems.

Installation of pollution control systems, for example, may raise the cost of living, resulting in a wider class divide.

An ethically responsible ecologism serves the interests of all socioeconomic groups.

Decentralization of Decision Making:

When choices are heavily affected by majority rule without taking local interests into account, the environment may become more fragile.

Decentralizing decision-making and enhancing local autonomy, according to Naess, are solutions to this problem.

A chain made up of a local board, a municipal council, a state-wide institution, a national government institution, a coalition of nations, and a global institution can be reduced to a local board, a national government institution, and a global institution.

A long decision-making process is unfavourable because it can lead to the exclusion of local interests.

Recognizing Regional Differences:

Naess warns mankind against approaching the environmental situation with a “vague, global” mindset.

A holistic approach to the crisis emphasises regional variances as well as the discrepancies between industrialised and developing countries.

Nss emphasises the importance of realising the movement’s political potential and holding people in positions of power accountable. Policymakers, as well as scientists and ecologists, share responsibility for resolving the climate catastrophe.

Rakhigarhi Excavation by ASI

Why is this news worthy?

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has excavated the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi, revealing the structure of certain homes, alleys, and drainage systems.

Thousands of clay pots and seals were also discovered during the ASI digs, along with copper and gold jewellery and terracotta toys.

The goal of this excavation is to make the Rakhigarhi archaeological site more accessible to the public by revealing structural remnants and preserving them for future viewing, as well as providing visitor amenities.

DNA samples were also taken from two excavated human skeletons and sent for scientific analysis; the results could reveal information about the ancestry and eating habits of people who lived thousands of years ago in the Rakhigarhi region.

What is Rakhigarhi, exactly?

The largest Harappan site on the Indian subcontinent is Rakhigarhi.

Harappa, Mohenjodaro, and Ganveriwala in Pakistan, and Dholavira (Gujarat) in India, are other major Indus valley Civilization (Harappan civilization) sites in the Indian subcontinent.

Excavations are underway at Rakhigarhi to trace the site’s origins and investigate its steady history from 6000 BCE (Pre-Harappan phase) to 2500 BCE.

Amarendra Nath of ASI excavated the site.

Rakhigarhi is one of the five iconic locations that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley revealed during his Budget Speech in 2020.

Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat, and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu are among the others.

What are the Site’s Major Findings?


The mature Harappan era was uncovered by archaeological excavations, which revealed a planned settlement with mud-brick and burnt-brick dwellings and a functional drainage system.

Seals and pottery: An noteworthy find from this site is a cylindrical seal with five Harappan characters on one side and an alligator symbol on the other.

Red ware, which includes dish-on-stands, vases, and perforated jars, was the ceramic industry’s representative.

Animal sacrificial pits lined with mud-brick and triangular and circular fire altars on the mud floor have also been discovered, indicating the Harappans’ ritual system.

The excavations have uncovered a few prolonged burials that date from a fairly late period, maybe mediaeval times.

Two female bones have been discovered, buried with a multitude of ceramics and ornamented with jasper, agate beads, and shell bangles.

Blades; terracotta and shell bangles, semiprecious stone beads, and copper artefacts; animal figurines, terracotta toy cart frame and wheel; bone points; inscribed steatite seals and sealings.

DNA samples from the Harappan cemetery in Rakhigarhi were recently studied, and it was discovered that the people of the Harappan Civilization have an independent origin.

This research refutes the hypothesis that the Harappans were descended from Steppe pastoralists or ancient Iranian farmers.

What is the Harappan Civilization, exactly?

Indus Valley Civilization is another name for it.

Around 2,500 BC, it flourished in the western section of South Asia, in what is now Pakistan and Western India.

The Indus Valley was home to the largest of Egypt’s, Mesopotamia’s, India’s, and China’s ancient urban civilizations.

The Archaeological Department of India conducted excavations in the Indus valley in the 1920s, uncovering the ruins of two ancient towns, Mohenjodaro and Harappa.

Other’s News

Protected Mobility Vehicles

The Army has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for Protected Mobility Vehicles to be used in high-altitude environments above 4000 metres, as well as deserts and plains.

The PMV (Protected Mobility Vehicle) is a wheeled armoured personnel carrier.

It protects the personnel inside the truck from mine bursts and small-arms attacks.

Technical requirements – The Army has required that the PMVs carry 10 people, excluding the driver and co-driver, with each person carrying a combat load of at least 30 kg.

Ballistic protection is required, as well as the ability to shield the vehicle from grenade and mine blasts.

It should have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour on the road and 40 kilometres per hour in cross-country terrain.

In high-altitude settings, they should be able to work in a temperature range of 40°C to (-) 15°C.

They must have a weapon mount and a turret with 360-degree rotation for a Light Machine Gun (LMG).

Without any particular preparation, the PMV should be able to ford water up to 1000 mm deep.

The Army received the first of these Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicles (IPMVs) from Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) earlier this year (2022).

It was created in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) (DRDO).

Hypertension Control Initiative in India

  • According to the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), over 23% of India’s 2.1 million people have uncontrolled blood pressure.
  • Hypertension is described as having a systolic blood pressure of greater than or equal to 140 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure of greater than or equal to 90 mmHg, as well as requiring anti-hypertensive medication to lower blood pressure.
  • The IHCI, launched in 2017, is a five-year multi-partner programme aimed at improving hypertension treatment at the community level.
  • The Health Ministry, the Indian Council of Medical Research, Resolve to Save Lives, State Governments, and WHO-India started the initiative.
  • Its goal is to help the Indian government’s programme by improving the management of diagnosed hypertension in primary care settings.
  • The WHO HEARTS package serves as the foundation for the IHCI Strategies.
  • India has set a goal of reducing premature mortality attributable to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025, dubbed “25 by 25.”
  • Reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure by 25% by 2025 is one of the nine voluntary aims.
  • Hypertension is very common.
  • According to the most recent edition of the National Family Health Survey, Southern states have a greater prevalence of hypertension than the national average.
  • Hypertension affects 21.3 percent of women and 24 percent of males over the age of 15, with Kerala having the greatest frequency, followed by Telangana.
  • Hypertension affects about one-fourth of women and men aged 40 to 49.
  • Hypertension affects one out of every eight women and one out of every five males aged 30 to 39 years.
  • Sikhs (37 percent for men and 31 percent for women), Jains (30 percent for men and 25 percent for women), and Christians (29 percent for men and 26 percent for women) had higher rates of hypertension than the general population.
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