Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 30 May 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

30 May 2022-Monday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Pangong Tso's Chinese Bridge

Why in the news?

  • The Ministry of External Affairs recently revealed that China is constructing a second bridge across Pangong Tso Lake.
  • The bridge is located about 20 kilometres east of Finger 8 on the lake’s north shore, where the Line of Actual Control (LAC) crosses.
  • However, the actual road distance between the bridge site and Finger 8 is more than 35 kilometres.

What are the most important points?

  • The construction site is located just east of Khurnak Fort, where China has significant border defence outposts.
  • It is known as Rutong Country in China.
  • It has a border defence company at Khurnak Fort and a water squadron at Banmozhang further east.
  • Although it is being built in territory controlled by China since 1958, the specific location is just west of India’s claim line.
  • China is illegally occupying the land, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

How will these Buildings Benefit China?

  • The bridges are located near the LAC at one of the lake’s narrowest spots.
  • These structures will connect both sides of the lake, drastically reducing the time it takes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to transfer troops and armoured vehicles.
  • The induction of troops from the G219 highway (Chinese national highway) would be reduced by 130 kilometres as a result of this bridge.
Tso Pangong
  • Pangong Tso is a 135-kilometer-long landlocked lake located at an elevation of over 14,000 feet (4350 metres) above sea level.
  • The Indian and Chinese governments own around one-third and two-thirds of Pangong Tso Lake, respectively.
  • India controls around 45 kilometres of the Pangong Tso, while China controls approximately 60 percent of the lake’s length.
  • Pangong Tso’s eastern end is in Tibet.
  • The lake is a glacier melt with mountain spurs from the Chang Chenmo range jetting down, known as fingers.
  • It is one of the world’s highest altitude lakes, filled with saline water.
  • Pangong Tso, despite being a salty water lake, freezes entirely.
  • This region’s brackish water has relatively little micro-vegetation.
  • During the winter, there is no water life or fish, except for crustaceans.
  • It is an endorheic basin, which means that it holds its water and does not allow it to drain into other bodies of water, such as seas and rivers.
  • Pangong Tso is well-known for its ability to change colours.
  • Its colour transitions from blue to green to crimson.

Why did China pick this location?

  • The developments are a direct result of the current impasse, which began in May 2020.
  • The site is the result of an Indian Army operation in August 2020 in which Indian troops outmanoeuvred the People’s Liberation Army to take the heights of the Kailash Range in the Chushul sub-sector on the south bank of the Pangong Tso.
  • The positions gave India control of the strategically important Spanggur Gap, which could be utilised to mount an offensive like China did in 1962.
  • In addition, India had a clear view of China’s Moldo Garrison (a military base). The Chinese were quite concerned about this.
  • The north bank was one of the first sites of contention in May 2020.
  • Both sides fired warning shots for the first time in nearly four decades during this scuffle.
  • The new bridge will allow Chinese troops to reduce travel time from roughly 12 hours to around four hours.

What is the present state of affairs in the standoff?

  • Following the tragic clashes, India and China withdrew their soldiers from Patrolling Point (PP) 14 in Galwan Valley in June 2020.
  • Then, in February 2021, they disengaged from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, and in August, they disengaged from PP17A near Gogra Post. However, conversations have stalled since then.
  • Both sides’ Corps Commanders have met 15 times since the crisis began.
  • The next round of talks has yet to be scheduled.

What has India’s reaction been?

  • India is closely monitoring any Chinese operations.
  • India has never recognised such unlawful occupation, unjustifiable Chinese claims, or construction activity on its territory.
  • Along the northern border, India is likewise upgrading and developing infrastructure.
  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) completed approximately 100 projects in border areas in 2021, the majority of which were near to the China border.
  • India is also beefing up security along the LAC.

The Media's Role in Health Promotion

Why is this in the news?

At the 17th Asia Media Summit, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister praised the Indian media for its involvement during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What role did the media play during Covid-19?

  • Positive Role: It guaranteed that messages about Covid-19, critical government instructions, and free doctor consultations reached everyone in the country.
  • It fought hard against the threat of fake news and misinformation in real time.
  • The media has largely fulfilled their public service role by setting the trend through timely coverage, on-the-ground reports, and the organisation of public health programmes.
  • Negative Role: While social media has played an important role in increasing public health awareness and information, it has also been used to promote fake news, bigotry, and racism during epidemics.
  • Even before the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in India, there was a social media panic that caused the market to run out of masks and sanitizers.
  • The false statements concerning viral transmission by air and survivability on various surfaces caused a panic.
  • The unnecessary usage of N95 masks by ordinary people while travelling and going about their regular lives resulted in a shortage for frontline healthcare workers who truly required them.
  • Because India has various media outlets, messages containing false claims regarding the use of herbal and immunity-boosting drugs, religious and spiritual methods of prevention and treatment were widely spread, adding to the confusion.
  • Fake news, such as the prospect of extending the lockdown, exacerbated the panic, resulting in individuals fleeing from quarantine or isolation institutions and unnecessary travel before to or during the lockdown to return to their hometown.

What is the Media’s Role as the Fourth Pillar of Democracy?

  • Information obtained from: Impartial information is crucial for the growth of a democracy. The media contributes to the dissemination of critical information. Data about economics, health, education, and so on, for example.
  • Educate: The media is essential for educating people on issues of critical relevance to society. A growing number of rape occurrences are causing concern in society. It is vital to reveal the exact number of occurrences in order to raise societal awareness.
  • Awareness: The media reminds society of its democratic rights, and it aids in the maintenance of checks and balances.
  • Ensuring Fairness: The media is critical in ensuring that justice is served and that the benefits of government initiatives reach the most vulnerable members of society.
  • Watchdog: For a functioning democracy, media coverage of public affairs and investigations into malfeasance in public administration are essential. This entails exposing instances of fraud or abuse that directly benefit politicians. People vote for the best government in order to defeat a corrupt and dishonest administration.
  • Good Governance: The media plays a crucial role in reviewing government programmes and spending. Transparent reporting requires an unbiased media.
  • Accountability: An informed person can criticise government policies based on facts and figures to ensure accountability and answerability.

Government policy dissemination: The media is important for propagating and disseminating various government policies and initiatives. The media played a crucial part in raising awareness of Swachh Bharat and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, among other initiatives.

The media, as a fourth pillar, is critical to reaching the genuine meaning of democracy.

What exactly is the Asia Media Summit?

  • Asia Media Summit is an annual conference hosted by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) in partnership with its partners and international organisations.
  • Decision makers, media professionals, academicians, and news and programming stakeholders from Asia, Pacific, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America will attend the Conference.
  • All regional and international broadcasting unions support the Asia Media Summit, which gives a unique chance for broadcasters in the region to express their perspectives on broadcasting and information.

What exactly is AIBD?

  • The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) was founded under the auspices of UNESCO in 1977.
  • AIBD is a one-of-a-kind regional intergovernmental organisation that provides electronic media development services to nations affiliated with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).
  • Its secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur and is hosted by the Malaysian government.
  • Through policy and resource development, the AIBD is tasked with creating a thriving and integrated electronic media ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The Institute’s founding members and non-voting members of the General Conference are the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

The Startup Ecosystem in India

Why in the news?

  • The number of unicorns in India recently surpassed 100.
  • A unicorn is a startup with a turnover of at least Rs 7,500 crore. These unicorns are worth a total of USD 330 billion, or more than Rs 25 lakh crore.
  • The average annual growth rate of Indian unicorns exceeds that of the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other countries.

What exactly is a unicorn?

  • A unicorn is any privately held company with a market valuation more than USD 1 billion.
  • It refers to new entities dedicated to providing innovative solutions and business concepts, among other things.
  • Fintech, Edtech, B2B (Business-to-Business) enterprises, and so on are some examples.
Features:
  • Disruptive innovation: Almost all unicorns have caused a disruption in their respective fields, for example, Uber altered commuting.
  • Technology-driven: The newest technical advancements and trends drive the business model.
  • Consumer-centric: Their goal is to simplify things for customers and become a part of their daily lives.
  • Affordability: Another crucial feature of successful firms is their ability to keep costs low.
  • Privately owned: The majority of unicorns are privately owned, which increases their valuation when an established corporation invests in them.
  • According to a recent report, 87 percent of unicorn goods are software, 7 percent are hardware, and the other 6 percent are other products and services.

What is the Current Situation of Startups and Unicorns in India?

After the United States and China, India now possesses the world’s third largest start-up ecosystem.

In 2021, 44 Indian start-ups acquired unicorn status, bringing the total number of unicorns to 83, the majority of which are in the services sector.

India has seen such quick rise in unicorns for a variety of strategic and conditional reasons.

Growth Engines:
  • Government Support: The Indian government recognises the significance of collaborating with disruptive innovators across the value chain and leveraging their innovations to improve public service delivery.
  • In collaboration with Startup India, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying held a grand challenge to award top startups in five categories 10 lakh INR.
Adoption of Digital Services: 

The pandemic has increased consumer adoption of digital services, assisting start-ups and new-age ventures in building customer-focused tech firms.

Online Services and Work from Home Culture: Many Indians have gravitated to online services, experimenting with anything from meal delivery and Edu-tech to e-grocery.

Work-from-home culture aided start-ups in increasing their user base, accelerating business expansion goals, and recruiting investors.

Digital Payments: 

Another factor that assisted the unicorn was the growth of digital payments.

Buyouts from Major Public Corporations: Many businesses become unicorns as a result of buyouts from major public corporations who choose to build their business through acquisitions rather than internal growth.

Challenges:

Increasing Investments Do Not Ensure Startup Success: Money is no longer difficult to obtain during the Covid-19 crisis, when central banks have released a global surplus of liquidity.

  • The billions of dollars invested in startups constitute enormous wagers on distant outcomes rather than revenue creation.
  • Furthermore, earnings cannot guarantee the high percentage of survival of these firms with such investments.
  • India remains a minor player in the space sector: While India’s finance and e-commerce businesses are performing remarkably well, the space startup sector remains an oddity.
  • The global space economy is currently worth USD 440 billion, with India accounting for less than 2% of the sector.
  • Despite the fact that India is a premier space-faring country with end-to-end capability for manufacturing satellites, developing enhanced launch vehicles, and deploying interplanetary missions, this is the case.
  • The absence of a framework to give transparency and clarity in regulations is one of the reasons for the lack of independent private activity in space.
Indian Investors Are Fearful of Taking Risks:

Overseas investors in India’s startup sector include Japan’s SoftBank, China’s Alibaba, and the United States’ Sequoia Capital.

This is because India lacks a serious venture capital business with a risk appetite.

The country’s established corporations have largely remained in traditional sectors.

What are the Government Initiatives Involved?

  • Startup Innovation Obstacles: It is an excellent opportunity for any entrepreneur to maximise their networking and fund-raising efforts.
  • National Startup Awards: Its goal is to recognise and reward great entrepreneurs and ecosystem enablers who contribute to economic vitality by stimulating innovation and injecting competition.
  • State Support for Startup Ecosystems Ranking: It is an improved evaluation tool designed to strengthen states’ and UTs’ assistance for holistically building their startup ecosystems.
  • The first-ever Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Startup Forum was started in October 2020 to cooperatively promote and improve startup ecosystems.

The Way Forward

The rapid development of the start-up ecosystem necessitates significant finance, making the role of venture capital and angel investors vital.

Apart from legislative policies that encourage entrepreneurship, it is also the responsibility of India’s corporate sector to stimulate entrepreneurship and establish synergies in order to build effective technology solutions and sustainable and resource-efficient growth.

With recent events in China causing capital mistrust, the world’s focus is shifting to India’s enormous tech opportunities and the wealth that can be created. In addition to the Digital India Initiative, India requires clear policy actions.

Other’s News

Aadhaar photocopies should be avoided.

  • In a press release, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) issued notifications on sharing a photocopy of an Aadhar card to avoid misuse.
  • MeitY has urged users not to provide a photocopy of their Aadhaar with any organisation for fear of it being abused.
  • Download electronic versions of the Aadhar from a public computer. If this is done, they must permanently remove any downloaded copies of e-Aadhaar from the computer.
  • Only organisations possessing a UIDAI ‘user licence’ might utilise Aadhar to verify a person’s identification.
  • Hotels and movie theatres were not permitted to collect Aadhar photocopies.
  • A masked Aadhaar card can also be used as an alternative.
  • Aadhaar numbers are made up of 12 digits. A masked Aadhaar shows only the final four digits of the biometric ID, with the first eight numbers replaced with characters such as “xxxx-xxxx.”
  • The administration, however, has withdrawn its notification, alleging that it could be “misinterpreted.”
  • It stated that UIDAI has only recommended Aadhaar card users to use and share their Aadhaar numbers with “normal prudence.”
  • The government also stated that without biometric information, Aadhar details could not be utilised to impersonate a person.

The West Nile Virus

  • The West Nile Virus is a single-stranded RNA virus spread by mosquitos.
  • It is a flavivirus belonging to the Japanese Encephalitis antigenic complex of the Flaviviridae family.
  • In 1937, the virus was discovered in a lady in Uganda’s West Nile area. In 1953, it was discovered in birds in the Nile delta region.
  • Transmission – Culex mosquitoes are the primary vectors of transmission.
  • It is not known whether it spreads through contact with infected humans or animals.
  • It is spread by infected mosquitos between and among humans and animals, especially birds, which serve as the virus’s reservoir host.
  • It can also be passed from an infected mother to her kid via blood transfusion.
  • Symptoms – In 80 percent of affected persons, the disease is asymptomatic.
  • The symptoms in approximately 20% of cases include fever (West Nile Fever), headache, exhaustion, body aches, nausea, rash, and swollen glands.
  • Infections of this severity can cause encephalitis, meningitis, paralysis, and even death. Some central nervous system consequences may be persistent.
  • Recovery from a severe disease could take weeks or months.
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