Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 20 Apr 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

20 Apr 2022-Wednesday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Conclave on Security in Colombo

Why in the news?

The National Investigation Agency of India recently hosted the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Virtual Conference.

The participants discussed various terrorism-related challenges in their respective countries, as well as their experiences in prosecuting terrorism cases, dealing with foreign fighters, and combating the misuse of the internet and social media.

What exactly is the Colombo Security Conclave?

The CSC was established in 2011 as a trilateral maritime security organisation comprised of India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.

At the fifth meeting of national security advisers, it welcomed Mauritius as a fourth member.

Bangladesh and the Seychelles were invited to join the group as observers.

Aspirational Goal: The fifth meeting of the CSC’s national security advisers identified key areas of cooperation to enhance and strengthen regional security in the five pillars listed below:

  • Maritime Security and Safety
  • Combating Terrorism and Radicalism
  • Combating Transnational Organized Crime and Human Trafficking
  • Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure Protection, and Technology
  • Humanitarian Aid and Natural Disaster Relief

The CSC is viewed as India’s outreach to the Indian Ocean, emphasising regional cooperation and shared security objectives.

Countering China: The CSC hopes to limit China’s influence in a strategic area while also reducing China’s footprint in member countries.

Maritime Security: India has a large coastline of nearly 7500 kilometres, as well as strategic chokepoint islands. This makes maritime security a top priority for the country, and CSC plays a critical role in this.

The grouping also aligns with India’s vision of “SAGAR: Security and Growth for All in the Region,” as India is a member of the QUAD grouping.

Emerging Sub-regionalism: The gathering of the six Indian Ocean region countries indicates the development of sub-regionalism on a common maritime and security platform, which is significant in a broader global context.

Associated Problem: Despite the fact that the six countries’ strategic interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) are aligned, any attempt to shape the CSC into an institution to counter China’s influence would follow in the footsteps of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which is widely regarded as a failure.

The Importance of Regional Cooperation: Given the growing number of security issues and uncertainties in the IOR, there is an urgent need for regional cooperation.

The CSC is more likely to succeed if it maintains a shared strategic vision and avoids becoming bogged down by China’s growing influence in the region.

To avoid squabbles with its neighbours, India should begin to accept that the IOR is becoming a global standard.

World Bank Paper on India's Poverty

Why in the news?

The World Bank recently released a paper titled ‘Poverty Has Declined Over the Last Decade, But Not As Much As Previously Thought.’

The paper came on the heels of a working paper published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claiming that through state-funded food handouts, India has nearly eradicated extreme poverty and reduced consumption inequality to its lowest levels in 40 years (Public Distribution System).

What are the report’s main points?

Reduced Extreme Poverty: Extreme poverty in India was 12.3 percentage points lower in 2019 compared to 2011, with the poverty headcount rate falling from 22.5 percent in 2011 to 10.2 percent in 2019, with rural areas experiencing a comparatively sharper decline.

Consumption inequality has moderated slightly since 2011, but by a smaller margin than reported in the unreleased National Sample Survey -2017.

Based on growth in private final consumption expenditure reported in national account statistics, the extent of poverty reduction during 2015-2019 is estimated to be significantly lower than earlier projections.

The World Bank defines “extreme poverty” as a daily income of less than USD 1.90 per person.

Rural vs. Urban Poverty: Poverty reduction in rural India was greater than in urban India, with rural poverty falling from 26.3 percent in 2011 to 11.6 percent in 2019, while urban poverty fell from 14.2 percent to 6.3 percent during the same period.

Between 2011 and 2019, rural and urban poverty fell by 14.7 and 7.9 percentage points, respectively.

Urban poverty in India increased by 2% in 2016, coinciding with demonetisation, and rural poverty increased by 10% in 2019.

Small Farmers:

Income growth has been higher for smallholder farmers. Between the two survey rounds (2013 and 2019), real incomes for farmers with the smallest landholdings increased by 10% in annualised terms, compared to a 2% increase for farmers with the largest landholding.

The increase in incomes of the smallest landholders in rural areas provides more evidence of income disparity moderation in rural areas.

Smaller landholders make up a larger proportion of the poor population. Wages, net receipts from crop production, net receipts from animal farming, and net receipts from non-farm business are all included in this income. Land leasing income has been exempted.

What is the Report’s significance?

The World Bank paper is significant because India does not have any official estimates for recent periods. The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) released the most recent expenditure survey in 2011, at the same time the country released official estimates of poverty and inequality.

It uses a new household panel survey, the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey, conducted by the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, to shed light on how poverty and inequality have evolved since 2011. (CMIE).

What are India’s Major Poverty Alleviation Programs?
  • Programme for Integrated Rural Development (IRDP)
  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY)
  • National Old-Age Security Scheme
  • Annapurna Project
  • Gandhi, Mahatma MGNREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) of 2005
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission – Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM)
  • National Mission for Urban Livelihoods
  • Kaushal, Pradhan Mantri The Vikas Yojana
  • Pradhan Mantri The Jan Dhan Yojana

What exactly is the World Bank?

It was established in 1944 as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), alongside the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IBRD was renamed the World Bank later on.

The World Bank Group is a one-of-a-kind global partnership of five institutions dedicated to reducing poverty and fostering shared prosperity in developing countries.

  • It has 189 countries as members.
  • India is also a member of the organisation.
  • Important reports:
  • Doing Business Ease (Stopped publishing recently).
  • Human Capital Index
  • Report on World Development.

It has five development institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the World Bank (IFC).

India is not a member of the Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA) or the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Nitrogen Availability Imbalance

Why in the news?

According to a new report, there is an imbalance in nitrogen availability around the world, with some areas having an excess and others having a scarcity of the element.

What are the Causes of the Decline?

Plants and microbes have increased their demand for nitrogen as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels and other global changes.

Plants grow quickly when exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Because high CO2 levels dilute the availability of nitrogen in plants, their demand for nitrogen rises.

Warming and disturbances, such as wildfires, are also factors in nitrogen decline.

Long-term records show that nitrogen availability is declining in many areas of the world where people do not contribute excessive amounts of nitrogen to the soil, with significant consequences for plant and animal growth.

The use of fossil fuels, the use of nitrogen-based fertilisers, and other activities can significantly increase the amount of biologically available nitrogen in an ecosystem.

What Are the Consequences of a Nitrogen Deficit?

Low Nitrogen: A decrease in nitrogen availability has been linked to the apocalypse of insects.

Climate change, insecticides, herbicides, light pollution, invasive species, and changes in agriculture and land use all contribute to the Earth losing 1-2 percent of its insects each year. This is being referred to as the “Insect Apocalypse.”

Some locust species may swarm as a result of it.

In addition, low nitrogen availability may limit plants’ ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

High Nitrogen: 

When too much nitrogen accumulates in streams, inland lakes, and coastal bodies of water, it can cause eutrophication, resulting in harmful algal blooms, dead zones, and fish kills.

Eutrophication occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients, causing excessive algae growth or algal bloom. The oxygen in the water body is also depleted as a result of this process.

High levels of nitrogen in groundwater have been linked to intestinal cancers and miscarriages in humans, and can be fatal to infants.

What are the Key Features of Nitrogen?

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for the survival of all living organisms.

Nitrogen gas makes up 78 percent of our atmosphere, and it is also found in many molecules that are necessary for life, such as proteins, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), and some vitamins.

Nitrogen can also be found in other biologically important compounds like alkaloids and urea.

Nitrogen is thus an essential nutrient for all life-forms, and life would be simpler if all of these life-forms could directly use atmospheric nitrogen.

Although nitrogen gas (N2) is abundant in the atmosphere, it is largely inaccessible to most organisms in this form, making nitrogen a scarce resource and frequently limiting primary productivity in many ecosystems.

Nitrogen becomes available to primary producers, such as plants, only after it is converted from nitrogen gas to ammonia (NH3).

Nitrogen fixation (nitrogen gas to ammonia), nitrification (ammonia to nitrite and nitrate), and denitrification are the three major nitrogen gas transformations (nitrate to nitrogen gases)

Nitrogen fixation is the process by which nitrogen fixing microorganisms convert nitrogen gas (N2) into biologically available nitrogen, i.e. ammonia.

Some nitrogen-fixing organisms are free-living, whereas others are symbiotic nitrogen-fixers that require a close relationship with the host to carry out the process.

Some are aerobic, while others are anaerobic; some are phototrophic, while others are chemotrophic (use chemicals as their energy source instead of light).

They all have a nitrogenase enzyme complex that catalyses the reduction of N2 to NH3 (ammonia).

Other’s News

Star Rating for Health

In a letter to the Union Health Minister, over 40 global experts claimed that the “Health Star Rating” system failed to change buyer behaviour, arguing that “warning labels” were more effective in many countries.

For packaged foods and beverages, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has adopted the “Health Star Rating” system.

The decision was based on the findings of a study conducted by IIM Ahmedabad, which the FSSAI commissioned in September 2021.

This 5-star rating system that the government intends to implement to help consumers reduce their consumption of unhealthy foods is “not evidence-based.”

In its draught regulations for front of package labelling, it assigns a product a rating ranging from 1/2 to 5 stars (FOPL).

Milk and dairy products have been exempted from the proposed FoPL by the food regulator.

The FSSAI has decided to implement FoPL on a voluntary basis for four years beginning in 2023, with a four-year transition period before making it mandatory.

FoPL is currently in use in the United Kingdom, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia.

Guru Tegh Bahadur's

The Prime Minister will attend the 400th Parkash Purab (birth anniversary) of Guru Tegh Bahadur at the Red Fort in New Delhi.

Guru Tegh Bahadur is the ninth and final of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was also the father of Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru.

In recognition of his bravery, his father bestowed the title “Tegh Bahadur,” which translates as “Mighty of Sword.”

In world history, he gave his life to protect religion and human values, ideals, and principles.

On the orders of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, he was executed for advocating for the religious freedom of Kashmiri Pandits.

A devoted Sikh returned the Guru’s body to his home and cremated it; a Sikh shrine, Gurdwr Rakbgunj, marks the location of the cremation.

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