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State PCS

  • 07 Dec 2022
  • 45 min read
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Dr. BR Ambedkar

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Agriculture

National Bamboo Mission

For Prelims: National Bamboo Mission, Bamboo Sector, Central Sponsored Scheme, Initiatives Related to Bamboo.

For Mains: Significance of Bamboo Sector.

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture has formed an Advisory Group for streamlining the development of the Bamboo sector under the restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM).

What is the National Bamboo Mission?

  • About:
    • The restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM) was launched during 2018-19 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
    • NBM mainly focuses on the development of the complete value chain of Bamboo sector to link growers with consumers starting from planting material, plantation, creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing, micro, small & medium enterprises, skilled manpower and brand building initiative in a cluster approach mode.
  • Objective:
    • To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.
    • Connecting farmers to markets so as to enable farmer producers to get a ready market for the bamboo grown and to increase the supply of appropriate raw material to the domestic industry.
    • It also endeavours to upgrade skills of traditional bamboo craftsmen as per the requirement of contemporary markets with a tie-up with enterprises and premier institutes.
  • Nodal Ministry:
    • The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

What is the Potential of Bamboo?

  • Significance:
    • The bamboo industry is witnessing a phase change by the opening of multiple avenues of resource utilization.
    • Bamboo is a versatile group of plants which is capable of providing ecological, economic and livelihood security to the people
    • Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated the new terminal of the Bengaluru (Kempagowda) Airport in which the versatility of bamboo as an architectural and structural material has been proved and the destiny of this green resource defined as the ‘green steel’.
    • Apart from using in the construction sector as design and structural element, the potential of bamboo is multifaceted.
    • Ecofriendly mouldable granules from bamboo can replace the use of plastic. Bamboo is a reliable source for the ethanol and bio-energy production due to its fast rate of growth and abundance.
    • The market of Bamboo based lifestyle products, cutleries, home decors, handicrafts and cosmetics also is in a growth path.
  • Status of Bamboo Production in India:
    • India has the highest area (13.96 million ha) under bamboo and is the second richest country, after China, in terms of bamboo diversity with 136 species (125 indigenous and 11 exotic).

What are the Initiatives to Promote Bamboo?

  • Bamboo Clusters: The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has virtually inaugurated 22 bamboo clusters in 9 states viz. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
  • MSP Hike: Recently, the Central government has revised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
    • MFP includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, waxes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, lac, tusser etc.
  • Removal of Bamboo from ‘Tree’ Category: The Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in 2017 to remove bamboo for the category of trees.
    • As a result, anyone can undertake cultivation and business in bamboo and its products without the need of a felling and transit permission.
  • Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs): 10,000 new FPOs will be formed in 5 years.
    • FPOs engage in providing a range of assistance to farmers like imparting better farm practices, collectivisation of input purchases, transportation, linkage with markets, and better price realisation as they do away with the intermediaries.

Way Forward

  • States need to take forward the objectives of the National Bamboo Mission which would contribute to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through an “Aatmanirbhar Krishi (self-reliant farming).
  • With the abundance of bamboo and its rapidly growing industry, India should aim to establish herself in global markets for both engineered and handcrafted products by increasing the exports even further.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill 2017 permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. However, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree and would be guided by the existing legal restrictions. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, recognises bamboo as a Minor Forest Produce and vests the “right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce” with Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers. Hence, statements 2 and 3 are correct.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB


Indian History

Mahaparinirvan Diwas

For Prelims: Mahaparinirvan Diwas, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, Buddhism, Round Table Conferences

For Mains: Contributions of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar to the Indian Society

Why in News?

Recently, the Prime Minister paid homage to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Mahaparinirvan Diwas and recalled his exemplary service to our nation.

What is Mahaparinirvan Diwas?

  • Parinirvana, regarded as one of the major principles as well as goals of Buddhism, is a Sanskrit term which means release or freedom after death.
    • As per the Buddhist text Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the death of Lord Buddha at the age of 80 is considered as the original Mahaparinirvan.
  • 6th December is observed to commemorate the unfathomable contribution to society given by Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and his achievements. Owing to Ambedkar’s status as a Buddhist leader, his death anniversary is referred to as Mahaparinirvan Diwas.

Who was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar?

  • About:
    • Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was a social reformer, jurist, economist, author, polyglot (knowing or using several languages) orator, a scholar, and thinker of comparative religions.
  • Birth:
    • He was born in 1891 in Mhow, Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh).
  • Brief Profile:
    • He is known as the Father of the Indian Constitution and was India's first Law Minister.
    • He was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the new Constitution.
    • He was a well-known statesman who fought for the rights of the Dalits and other socially backward classes.
  • Contributions:
    • He led the Mahad Satyagraha in March 1927 against Hindus who were opposing the decision of the Municipal Board.
      • In 1926, the Municipal Board of Mahad (Maharashtra) passed an order to throw open the tank to all communities. Earlier, the untouchables were not allowed to use water from the Mahad tank.
    • He participated in all three Round Table Conferences.
    • In 1932, Dr. Ambedkar signed the Poona pact with Mahatma Gandhi, which abandoned the idea of separate electorates for the depressed classes (Communal Award).
      • However, the seats reserved for the depressed classes were increased from 71 to 147 in provincial legislatures and to 18% of the total in the Central Legislature.
    • His ideas before the Hilton Young Commission served as the foundation of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Election and Designation:
    • In 1937, he was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly as a legislator (MLA).
    • He was appointed to the Executive Council of Viceroy as a Labour member in 1942.
    • In 1947, Dr. Ambedkar accepted PM Nehru's invitation to become Minister of Law in the first Cabinet of independent India.
  • Shift to Buddhism:
    • He resigned from the cabinet in 1951, over differences on the Hindu Code Bill.
    • He converted to Buddhism in 1956.
    • He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna in 1990.
  • Important Works:
    • Journals:
      • Mooknayak (1920)
      • Bahishkrit Bharat (1927)
      • Samatha (1929)
      • Janata (1930)
    • Books:
      • Annihilation of Caste
      • Buddha or Karl Marx
      • The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables
      • Buddha and His Dhamma
      • The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women
    • Organisations:
      • Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (1923)
      • Independent Labor Party (1936)
      • Scheduled Castes Federation (1942)
  • Death:
    • He died on 6th December 1956.
      • Chaitya Bhoomi is a memorial to B R Ambedkar, located in Mumbai.
  • Relevance of Ambedkar in Present Times:
    • Caste-based inequality in India still persists. While Dalits have acquired a political identity through reservation and forming their own political parties, they lack behind in social dimensions (health and education) and economic dimension.
    • There has been a rise of communal polarization and communalization of politics. It is necessary that Ambedkar's vision of constitutional morality must supersede religious morality to avoid permanent damage to the Indian Constitution.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Prelims

Q. Which of the following parties were established by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar? (2012)

  1. The Peasants and Workers Party of India
  2. All India Scheduled Castes Federation
  3. The Independent Labour Party

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Exp:

  • The Peasants and Workers Party of India was formed by Keshavrao Jedhe of Pune, Shankarrao More and others in 1947. Hence, 1 is not correct.
  • All India Scheduled Castes Association was established by B. R. Ambedkar in 1942 and this party participated in general elections in 1946. Hence, 2 is correct.
  • Independent Labour Party (ILP) was also formed by B. R. Ambedkar in 1936, which participated in the provincial elections of Bombay. Hence, 3 is correct.
  • Therefore, option B is the correct answer.

Mains

Q. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate. (2015)

Source: PIB


International Relations

NSA Meet with Central Asia

For Prelims: Central Asia, National Security Advisor (NSA), China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Chabahar Port, Ashgabat Agreement, INSTC,

For Mains: India - Central Asia relations, Securing India’s interests in Central Asia, Recent geopolitical developments and China’s growing influence in Central Asia, India’s role in Afghanistan Humanitarian Assistance, Significance of Chabahar Port for India

Why in News?

The National Security Advisor (NSA) of India, for the first time, hosted a special meeting with his counterparts from Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

What are the Key Highlights about the Meetings of NSAs?

  • 30th Anniversary: This was the first time that NSAs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were in Delhi for a high-level security meeting.
    • The meeting coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and the Central Asian countries.
  • Afghanistan the Centre of Talks: The focus was mainly on the security situation in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism originating from the country under the Taliban.
  • Deliberations over Chabahar: The NSAs supported India’s proposal to include Chabahar port within the framework of the INSTC (International North-South Transport Corridor) connecting Iran to Russia via Central Asia.
  • Other Deliberations: Deliberations over the need for collective and coordinated action against the “misuse of new and emerging technologies, arms and drugs trafficking, abuse of cyber space to spread disinformation and unmanned aerial systems”.
  • Institutionalisation of Mechanism: During the summit, the leaders agreed to institutionalise the Summit mechanism by deciding to hold it biannually.
    • An India-Central Asia Secretariat in New Delhi would be set up to support the new mechanism.

Who is a National Security Advisor in India?

  • The National Security Advisor (NSA) is the primary advisor to the Prime Minister of India. He also presides over the National Security Council (NSC). The current NSA is Ajit Doval.
  • The NSC of India is a three-tiered organisation that oversees political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern.
    • It was formed in 1998, where all aspects of national security are deliberated upon.
    • NSC operates within the executive office of the PM, liaising between the government’s executive branch and the intelligence services.
    • The Ministers of Home Affairs, Defence, External Affairs and Finance are its members.

How are India’s Relations with Central Asia?

  • Historic Ties: Central Asia is undoubtedly a zone of India’s civilisational influence; the Ferghana Valley was India’s crossing-point of the Great Silk Road.
    • Buddhism also found inroads in several Central Asian cities in the form of Stupas and Monasteries.
    • Men of prominence such as Amir Khusrau, Dehlawi, Al-Biruni etc. having Central Asian roots came and made their name in India.
  • Diplomatic Ties: India considers the Central Asian countries as the “heart of Asia” and they are also members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
    • Central Asian countries are “aware” of Pakistan’s support to cross-border terrorism and its links to various terror groups.
  • Like-Mindedness in Combatting Terrorism: India and the Central Asian nations have similarities in approach in countering terrorism and the threat of radicalisation.
  • India’s Role in Afghanistan Situation: India and the Central Asian countries have shared concerns over terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and its implications for regional security. India has been a strong proponent for re-establishing peace in Afghanistan.
    • In November 2021, India had hosted a regional dialogue on the situation in Afghanistan, which was attended by NSAs of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
  • Stand on Chabahar Port: India has registered significant progress recently through renovation of Chabahar port. It is also a member of the Ashgabat Agreement.
    • The port played an important role during the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by delivering humanitarian goods to the Afghan people by international organisations.
      • Prior to the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, India delivered 100,000 tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan via the port’s Shahid Beheshti terminal developed by India.

What are the Challenges in Robust India-Central Asia Ties?

  • There are obstructions of physical connectivity due to Pakistan’s hostility and Afghan instability.
  • Politically, Central Asian countries are highly fragile and prone to threats like terrorism & Islamic fundamentalism making the region a volatile and unstable market.
  • Involvement of China in the region by the Belt and Road Initiative has significantly undermined India’s influence in the region.
  • Porous border and unbridled corruption along with the proximity with regions of soaring opium production (Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle) makes the region a powerhouse for drug and money trafficking.

Way Forward

  • When others engage with Central Asia from their own perspectives; China from economic, Turkey from ethnic, and the Islamic world from religious - it would be befitting for India to give a cultural and historical perspective to the region through a summit-level annual meet.
    • A value-driven cultural policy can help strengthen India-Central Asia bonds.
  • India’s growing global visibility and key contributions to multilateral forums like the SCO have catapulted India from an observer into a critical stakeholder in the region.
    • Central Asia provides India with the right platform to leverage its political, economic and cultural connections to play a leading role further in Eurasia.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Prelims

Q. What is the importance of developing Chabahar Port by India? (2017)

(a) India’s trade with African countries will enormously increase.

(b) India’s relations with oil-producing Arab countries will be strengthened.

(c) India will not depend on Pakistan for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

(d) Pakistan will facilitate and protect the installation of a gas pipeline between Iraq and India.

Ans: (c)


Mains

Q. A number of outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone of interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement. (2018)

Source: IE


Agriculture

Global Status of Black Soils: FAO

For Prelims: FAO, World Soil Day, SOC, Initiatives to improve Soil Health.

For mains: Global Status of Black Soils, Significance of Balck Soil.

Why in News?

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) marked World Soil Day 2022 (5th December) with the launch of its first Global Status on Black Soils, which are at greater risk than ever due to the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and land use change.

What are the Findings?

  • Significance of Black Soil:
    • The ability of the soils to remove carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up in soil organic matter (called carbon sequestration) has been proposed as an important solution to mitigate human-induced climate change.
    • The inherent fertility of the soils makes them the food basket for many countries and are considered essential to the global food supply.
    • Black soils have the potential to provide 10% of the total Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) sequestration globally if they receive proper attention.
      • Europe and Eurasia have the highest potential at over 65% and Latin America and the Caribbean at around 10%.
    • Black soils were home to 2.86% of the global population and had 17.36% of cropland, 8.05% of global SOC stock and 30.06% SOC stock of global cropland.
    • However, despite representing a small portion of the world’s soils, black soils were key for food security and the global economy.
      • Globally in 2010, 66% of sunflower seeds, 51% of small millet, 42% of sugar beet, 30% of wheat and 26% of potatoes were harvested from black soils.
  • Status of Black Soils:
    • Black soils are quickly losing their SOC stocks. They have lost 20 to 50% of their original SOC stock, with the carbon being released into the atmosphere mostly as carbon dioxide, exacerbating global warming.
  • Causes of Losses in Black Soil:
    • Land-use change, unsustainable management practices and excessive use of agrochemicals are to blame.
    • Most of the black soils suffered from moderate to severe erosion processes, as well as nutrient imbalances, acidification and biodiversity loss.
  • Food and Fertilizer Crisis:
    • Smallholder farmers, particularly from vulnerable countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia, lack access to organic and inorganic fertilizers and are currently facing a 300% increase in fertilizer prices.
    • Today, reduced availability and soaring fertilizer prices are driving increased food prices and food insecurity.
  • Suggestions:
    • Preserving natural vegetation on black soils such as grasslands, forests and wetlands and adopting sustainable soil management approaches on cropped black soils are needed.
    • There is a need to work together to produce safe, nutritious and micronutrient-rich food in a sustainable way that avoids soil degradation, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and decreases agrifood systems pollution."

What is Black Soil?

  • Black soils are characterised by a thick, dark-coloured soil horizon rich in organic matter.
    • They are found in Russia (327 million hectares), Kazakhstan (108 M ha), China (50 M ha), Argentina, Mongolia, Ukraine etc.
  • Black soils are extremely fertile and can produce high agricultural yields due to their elevated moisture storage capacity.
  • Black soils are rich in iron, lime, calcium, potassium, aluminum and magnesium but deficient in nitrogen, phosphorous.
  • They constitute 5.6 % of global soils and contain 8.2 % of the world’s SOC stocks, approximately 56 billion tonnes of carbon.
    • Soil organic carbon is a measurable component of soil organic matter, which makes up just 2–10% of most soil's mass and has an important role in the physical, chemical and biological function of agricultural soils.
    • SOC refers only to the carbon component of organic compounds.
  • This signifies their importance for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • With their inherent fertility, they are the food basket for many countries and are considered essential to the global food supply.

What is World Soil Day (WSD)?

  • It was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002.
  • The FAO has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness-raising platform under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership.
  • 5th December 2014 was designated as the first official WSD by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
    • The day was chosen because it corresponds with the official birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event.
  • World Soil Day enjoins individuals to consider sustainably managing soil resources. The main goal of the day is to increase public awareness of the significant environmental issues that soil degradation can lead to, such as erosion, the loss of organic matter, and a drop in soil fertility.
  • The theme for World Soil Day 2022 is "Soils, where food begins".

What are the Initiatives to Improve Soil Health?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. The black cotton soil of India has been formed due to the weathering of

(a) brown forest soil
(b) fissure volcanic rock 
(c) granite and schist 
(d) shale and limestone

Ans: (b)

Exp:

  • Black soil, also known as regur soil or black cotton soil, is ideal for growing cotton. The climatic conditions along with the parent rock material are the important factors for the formation of black soil. Black soil is typical of the Deccan trap (Basalt) region spread over northwest Deccan plateau and is made up of lava flows (fissure volcanic rock).
  • The Deccan Plateau includes parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu. Black soil also covers upper reaches of the Godavari and the Krishna, and the north Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Chemically, the black soils are rich in lime, iron, magnesia and alumina. They also contain potash. But they lack phosphorus, nitrogen and organic matter. The colour of the soil ranges from deep black to grey.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: DTE


Geography

Cyclone Mandous

For Prelims: Cyclone Mandous, Types of Cyclones, Nomenclature of Cyclone

For Mains: Types of Cyclones, Nomenclature of Cyclone

Why in News?

Recently, it has been reported that a cyclone may impact the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from 8th December 2022 onwards.

What is Cyclone Mandous?

  • Mandous is a slow-moving cyclone that often absorbs a lot of moisture, carries a humongous amount of rainfall and gains strength in the form of wind speeds.
  • The name has been suggested by the United Arab Emirates.
  • India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) predicted that the storm system may move in the west and northwestward directions and intensify into a depression by the evening of December 6.
    • It may subsequently strengthen further into a cyclone over southwest Bay of Bengal and move towards the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts by the morning of December 8.

What is a Cyclone?

  • Cyclones are rapid inward air circulation around a low-pressure area. The air circulates in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.
  • Cyclones are usually accompanied by violent storms and bad weather.
  • The word Cyclone is derived from the Greek word Cyclos meaning the coils of a snake. It was coined by Henry Peddington because the tropical storms in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea appear like coiled serpents of the sea.
  • There are two types of cyclones:
    • Tropical cyclones;
    • Extra Tropical cyclones (also called Temperate cyclones or middle latitude cyclones or Frontal cyclones or Wave Cyclones).
  • The World Meteorological Organisation uses the term 'Tropical Cyclone’ to cover weather systems in which winds exceed ‘Gale Force’ (minimum of 63 km per hour).
    • Tropical cyclones develop in the region between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.
      • They are large-scale weather systems developing over tropical or subtropical waters, where they get organized into surface wind circulation.
    • Extra tropical cyclones occur in temperate zones and high latitude regions, though they are known to originate in the Polar Regions.

How are Names of Cyclones Decided?

  • Cyclones that form in every ocean basin across the world are named by the regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs). There are six RSMCs in the world, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and five TCWCs.
  • In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), which comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region. After each country sent in suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalised the list.
    • The WMO/ESCAP expanded to include five more countries in 2018 — Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Prelims

Q. In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason? (2015)

(a) Sea surface temperatures are low
(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs
(c) Coriolis force is too weak
(d) Absence of land in those regions

Ans: (b)

Ans:

  • The most proximate reasons for the lack of cyclones in the South Atlantic and South Eastern Pacific ocean is the rare occurrence of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the region.
  • It becomes very difficult or nearly impossible to have genesis of tropical cyclones, unless synoptic vorticity (it is a clockwise or counterclockwise spin in the troposphere) and convergence (i.e., large scale spin and thunderstorm activity) are provided by ITCZ.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Mains

Q. The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called “Phailin”. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? Elaborate. (2013)

Q. Discuss the meaning of colour-coded weather warnings for cyclone prone areas given by India Meteorological Department. (2022)

Source: DTE


Governance

National Telemedicine Service of India: eSanjeevani

For Prelims: eSanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission (ABDHM), Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) Programme, eSanjeevaniOPD

For Mains: Need for Universal Health Coverage in India and the Related Initiatives.

Why in News?

Recently, National telemedicine service of India, eSanjeevani achieved 8 crore teleconsultations.

  • It surpassed records by registering 1 crore consultations in approximately 5 weeks.

What is eSanjeevani?

  • About:
    • It is a national doctor to doctor telemedicine service that strives to provide an alternative to the conventional physical consultations via digital platform.
    • eSanjeevani is a cohesive part of Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission (ABDHM), and more than 45,000 ABHA IDs have been generated via eSanjeevani application.
    • Leading ten states for usage of this platform are: Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana and Gujarat.
  • Two Verticles:
    • Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) Programme:
      • It endeavors to bridge rural-urban digital health divide by providing assisted teleconsultations.
      • It ensures that e-beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat Scheme are able to avail of the benefits they are entitled to.
      • This vertical operates on a Hub-and-Spoke model wherein the AB-HWCs set up at state level, act as spokes, are mapped with the hub (comprising MBBS/ Specialty/Super-Specialty doctors) at zonal level.
      • This model has been successfully implemented in 1,09,748 AB-HWC and 14,188 Hubs, hence, achieving a total of 7,11,58,968 teleconsultations.
    • eSanjeevaniOPD:
      • It caters to citizens in both rural and urban areas.
      • It leverages technology via smartphones, tablets, laptops enabling doctor consultations to be accessible from the patient’s residence regardless of location.
      • eSanjeevaniOPD has trained and onboarded 2,22,026 specialists, doctors and health workers.
        • This platform has an impressive record of having served over 4.34 lakhs patients in one day.
      • eSanjeevaniOPD – Stay Home OPD has been developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) Mohali, a premier R&D organization of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • Significance:
    • These platforms can be a gamechanger for people in the rural areas who do not have easy access to medical specialists located in cities.
    • Telemedicine saves time and cost. Further, these platforms are in line with the government’s vision of ‘Digital India and necessary to tackle situations like Covid-19.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Prelims

Q. With reference to Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. Private and public hospitals must adopt it.
  2. As it aims to achieve universal, health coverage, every citizen of India should be part of it ultimately.
  3. It has seamless portability across the country.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)

Exp:

  • Under this mission, citizens will be able to get their Ayushman Bharat health account number, which can be linked to their digital health records. Ayushman Bharat is a flagship scheme of the country, which was launched as per the recommendation of National Health Policy 2017 to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • It aims to provide digital health IDs to all Indian citizens to help hospitals, insurance firms and citizens access health records electronically when required. It will be provided to every citizen which will also act as their health account. This health account will contain details of each test, each disease, doctor's appointment, medicines taken and diagnosis.
  • Health ID is free and voluntary. It will help in analysing health data and ensure better planning, budgeting and implementation of health programmes.
  • It is portable, which means the beneficiary can avail treatment in any of the states that have implemented the scheme. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • It leverages capacities available in both public and private sector hospitals, while providing standardised high-quality care, with strong fraud protection mechanisms. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Therefore, option D is correct.

Mains

Q. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain. (2018)

Source: PIB


Indian Economy

India Development Report: WB

For Prelims: World Bank, GDP, GVA, Capital Expenditure, Investment, Human Capital Index, World Development Report.

For Mains: India Development Report: WB, GDP.

Why in News?

The World Bank (WB) in its India Development Report titled ‘Navigating the Storm’, upgraded its growth forecast for India’s economy in 2022-23 to 6.9%.

What are the Key Highlights?

  • Growth Projection:
    • The Bank expects the Indian economy to grow at a slightly slower 6.6% in 2023-24 as a challenging external environment and faltering global growth will affect its economic outlook through different channels.
  • Growth Drivers:
    • India’s resilience in economic activity despite a deteriorating external environment.
      • India’s economy has been remarkably resilient to the deteriorating external environment, and strong macroeconomic fundamentals have placed it in good stead compared to other emerging market economies.
    • Strong private consumption and investment.
    • The government’s focus on bolstering capital expenditure also supported domestic demand in the first half of 2022-23.
    • India has a large domestic market and is relatively less exposed to international trade flows
    • Continued robust growth of domestic demand at the start of Q3 (October to December quarter), 2022-23.
    • A well-crafted and prudent policy response to global spillovers is helping India navigate global and domestic challenges.
  • Challenges:
    • The impact of a tightening global monetary policy cycle, slowing global growth and elevated commodity prices (inflation) and rising borrowing costs will affect domestic demand, particularly private consumption in FY2023/24, while slowing global growth will inhibit growth in demand for India’s exports. These factors mean that the Indian economy will experience lower growth in FY23 compared to FY22.
  • Suggestions:
    • The renewable energy and green economy sectors can create a lot of jobs.
    • It cautions about trade-offs between trying to limit the adverse impact of global spillovers on growth and the available policy space.

What is the World Bank?

  • About:
    • It was created in 1944, as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IBRD later became the World Bank.
    • The World Bank Group is a unique global partnership of five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.
    • The World Bank is one of the United Nations' specialized agencies.
  • Members:
    • It has 189 member countries.
    • India is also a member country.
  • Major Reports:
  • Its Five Development Institutions:
    • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
    • International Development Association (IDA)
    • International Finance Corporation (IFC).
    • Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
    • International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
      • India is not a member of this.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. India’s ranking in the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ is sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following has declared that ranking? (2016)

(a) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
(b) World Economic Forum
(c) World Bank
(d) World Trade Organization (WTO)

Ans: (c)

Source: IE


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