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  • 19 Jan 2022
  • 42 min read
International Relations

Houthis attack UAE

For Prelims: Houthis, Location of Yemen and the neighbourhood, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Drones, Shia, Sunni, Zaydis, Arab Spring, Operation Rahat

For mains: Houthis and related concerns, Significance of the houthi conflict, India’s Interest

Why in News

Recently, a suspected drone attack in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), caused multiple explosions in which two Indians were also killed.

  • The Shia Houthi rebels of Yemen, who have been controlling the northern parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a, for almost seven years, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • India has conveyed solidarity with the UAE in face of such unacceptable acts.
  • Earlier in 2021, there was a ballistic missile attack by the Houthis on the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Key Points

  • Houthis:
    • The roots of the Houthi movement can be traced to “Believing Youth” (Muntada al-Shahabal-Mu’min), a Zaydi revivalist group founded by Hussein al-Houthi and his father, Badr al-Din al-Houthi, in the early 1990s.
    • Badr al-Din was an influential Zaydi cleric in northern Yemen. Inspired by the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the rise of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the 1980s, Badr al-Din and his sons started building vast social and religious networks among the Zaydis of Yemen, who make up roughly one-third of the Sunni-majority country’s population.
    • But when the movement turned political and started attacking the “corrupt” regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh (in Yemen) and his support for the US’ war on terror, it became a thorn on Saleh’s side.
    • They called themselves Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), mobilising tribesmen in the north against the government.
    • In 2004, Saleh’s government issued an arrest warrant against Hussein al-Houthi. He resisted the arrest, starting an insurgency.
    • In September 2004, the government troops attacked the rebels and killed Hussein. Since then, the government launched multiple military campaigns in Sa’dah, the Zaydi stronghold, to end the resistance, which was locally called the Houthis movement, after their “martyred” leader.
    • But it only strengthened the Houthis, who, by 2010, when a ceasefire was reached, had captured Sa’dah from the government troops.

Zaydis

  • Zaydis are the oldest branch of the Shia. The Zaydis are named after Zayd Bin Ali, the great grandson of Imam Ali, Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law who Shias, Sunnis and Zaydis revere.
  • Zayd Bin Ali had led a revolt against the Ummayad Caliphate in the eighth century. He was killed, but his martyrdom led to the rise of the Zaydi sect. While the Zaydis are seen part of the Shia branch of Islam, both in terms of theology and practice, they are different from the ‘Twelver’ Shias of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.
  • For centuries, the Zaydis were a powerful sect within Yemen.
  • After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the Zaydis would establish a monarchy (the Mutawakkilite Kingdom) in the country. But their dominance would come to an end in 1962 when the Egypt-backed republicans overthrew the monarchy.
  • Reason for Houthis Rise:
    • When protests broke out in Yemen in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring protests that felled Tunisian and Egyptian dictators, the Houthis, now confident from their military victories and the support they enjoyed in Sadah, backed the agitation.
    • President Saleh, a Zaydi who was in power for 33 years, resigned in November 2011, handing the reins to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Saudi-backed Sunni.
    • Yemen, under the tutelage of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, started a national dialogue to resolve internal differences.
    • The Houthis were part of the dialogue. But they fell out with the transitional government of Mr. Hadi, claiming that the proposed federal solution, which sought to divide the Zaydi-dominated north into two land-locked provinces, was intended to weaken the movement.
    • They soon got back to insurgency. Saleh, who was sidelined by the interim government and its backers, joined hands with his former rivals and launched a joint military operation.
    • By January 2015, the Houthi-Saleh alliance had captured Sana’a and much of northern Yemen, including the vital Red Sea coast. (Later the Houthis turned against Saleh and killed him in December 2017).
  • Reason for Saudi Arabia’s Attack on Yemen:
    • The rapid rise of the Houthis in Yemen set off alarm bells in Saudi Arabia which saw them as Iranian proxies.
    • Saudi Arabia started a military campaign in March 2015, hoping for a quick victory against the Houthis. But the Houthis had dug in, refusing to leave despite Saudi Arabia’s aerial blitzkrieg.
    • With no effective allies on the ground and no way-out plan, the Saudi-led campaign went on with no tangible result. In the past six years, the Houthis have launched multiple attacks on Saudi cities from northern Yemen in retaliation for Saudi air strikes.
    • In 2019, the Houthis claimed the attack on two Saudi oil installations that knocked out, briefly, half of the kingdom’s oil output (the Houthi claim was disputed by experts and governments, who said the attack was too sophisticated for the rebels to carry out. The US has blamed Iran).
    • The Houthis have established a government in the north. There are serious allegations against both the Saudis and the Houthis in the war.
    • While the Saudi bombings caused a large number of civilian deaths, the Houthis were accused, by rights groups and governments, of preventing aid, deploying forces in densely populated areas and using excessive force against civilians and peaceful protesters.
  • Reason for Houthis Attacking UAE:
    • This is not the first time the Houthis attacked the UAE. In 2018, when the UAE-backed forces were making advances in Yemen, the Houthis claimed attacks against the Emirates.
    • Since then, the UAE pulled out its troops from Yemen and offered tactical support to the Southern Transitional Council, a group of rebels based in Aden, that was also fighting the Saudi-backed government forces of UAE.
    • During this period, the Houthis stayed focussed entirely on Saudi Arabia and Saudi-backed forces inside Yemen.
    • But in recent months, Giants Brigades, a militia group largely made up of Southern Yemenis (backed by the UAE) and the Joint Forces (the militia led by a nephew of the slain former President Saleh) turned their guns against the Houthis.
    • Now with the attacks the Houthis appear to have sent a clear message to the Emiratis — stay out of Yemen or face more attacks.
  • Concerns:
    • Yemen is strategically important because it sits on a strait linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, through which much of the world's oil shipments pass.
    • It also worries the West because of the threat of attacks - such as from al-Qaeda or IS affiliates-emanating from the country as it becomes more unstable.
    • The Houthis have escalated cross-border attacks on the kingdom even after the US delisted the rebels as terrorists and stepped up efforts to de-escalate the six-year conflict.
    • The conflict is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Shia-ruled Iran and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.
  • India’s Interest:
    • For India, it is a challenge which cannot be washed away taking into consideration the oil security and 8 million expats living in the region with more than USD 80 billion of incoming remittance annually.
  • Indian Initiatives:
    • Operation Rahat:
      • India launched a massive air and sea operation to evacuate over 4000 Indian nationals from Yemen in April 2015.
    • Humanitarian Assistance:
      • India has provided food and medical aid to Yemen in the past and thousands of Yemeni nationals have availed of medical treatment in India over the past few years.
      • India also continues to facilitate education of a large number of Yemeni nationals in various Indian institutions.

Source: TH


International Relations

Davos Summit: World Economic Forum

For Prelims: World Economic Forum, Davos Agenda.

For Mains: Significance of Prime Minister’s Address at Davos Summit.

Why in News

Recently, the Prime Minister addressed the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Davos Agenda via video conferencing.

  • The WEF annual meeting in Davos (Switzerland) engages the world's top leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Key Points

  • One Earth, One Health:
    • During the course of Covid-19, India saved many lives by exporting essential medicines and vaccines by following its vision of "One Earth, One Health".
      • India has delivered 1154.173 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 97 countries till 31st December 2021.
    • India is the world's third-largest pharmaceutical producer and is considered 'pharmacy to the world’.
  • Pro-Planet People (P3) Approach:
    • Proposed the idea of the “P3 (Pro-Planet-People) movement” that underscores India’s commitments to climate change at the global forum (UNFCCC COP 26).
      • Reiterated India’s “clean, green, sustainable, and reliable” energy goals which dwell on achieving a net-zero carbon emission target by 2070.
    • Making LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment - given by the Indian PM at UNFCCC COP 26 Conference) into a mass movement can be a strong foundation for P3.
      • LIFE is a vision of a resilient and sustainable lifestyle that will come handy in dealing with the climate crisis and other unpredictable challenges of the future.
      • Throwaway culture and consumerism has enhanced the climate challenge.
  • Reforms recently Undertaken by India:
    • In physical and digital infrastructure like optical fibre in 6 lakh villages, 1.3 trillion dollars invested in connectivity-related infrastructure, the goal of generation of 80 billion dollars through asset monetization.
    • Gatishakti National Master Plan to bring all the stakeholders on the single platform to infuse new dynamism to the seamless connectivity of goods, people and services.
    • Today India has the world's largest, secure and successful digital payments platform.
    • Technological solutions like Arogya-SetuApp for tracking of Corona Infections and CoWinPortal for Vaccination.
  • India as an Investment Destination:
    • Recently, various reform measures have been taken by the Government, such as the removal of Retrospective taxation, reduction in compliance requirements and simplification of the Corporate Tax rate structure making it the best Investment Destination today.
      • In the last year alone, India has reduced more than 25,000 compliances.
    • Today, India has the third largest number of unicorns in the world. More than 10,000 start-ups have been registered in the last six months.
    • India is promoting Ease of Doing Business, minimizing government intervention.
    • Policy-making is focussed on needs for the next 25 years for a “clean and green” as well as “sustainable and reliable” growth.
  • Challenges before Multilateral Organizations:
    • When these institutions were formed, the situation was different. Today, the circumstances are different.
    • Therefore, it is the responsibility of every democratic country to emphasize reforms in these institutions so that they can be enabled to meet the challenges of the present and future.
  • Collective Efforts for Challenges Ahead:
    • There is a need for collective and synchronized action by every country, every global agency.
    • Supply chain disruptions, inflation and climate change are examples of these.
    • Another example is cryptocurrency. The kind of technology that is associated with it, the decisions taken by a single country will be insufficient to deal with its challenges.

World Economic Forum

  • About:
    • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation established in 1971, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Recognized by the Swiss authorities as the international institution for public-private cooperation.
  • Mission:
    • Committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.
  • Founder and Executive Chairman: Klaus Schwab.
  • Some major reports published by WEF are:

Source: IE


Geography

Indonesia Relocating its Capital

For Prelims: Indonesia’s new capital, Rising Sea Levels and responsible factors

For Mains: Reasons of Rising Sea Levels and its consequences, Steps needs to be taken it address this issue, Impact of Climate Change

Why in News

Recently, Indonesia's parliament has passed a law approving the relocation of its capital from slowly sinking Jakarta to a site 2,000 kilometres away on jungle-clad Borneo island that will be named "Nusantara".

  • The move was first tipped by President Joko Widodo in April 2019, citing rising sea levels and severe congestion on densely populated Java island.
  • Jakarta lies on the northwest coast of Java. The largest islands in Indonesia are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sulawesi, and the Indonesian part of New Guinea (known as Papua or Irian Jaya).

Key Points

  • Reasons for Relocation:
    • Jakarta has long been plagued by serious infrastructure problems and flooding exacerbated by climate change, with experts predicting up to a third of the city could be underwater by 2050.
      • Jakarta is home to more than 30 million people in its greater metro area.
    • Moreover, Jakarta is the centre for administration, governance, finance and trade, it has inevitably led to relentless construction in the city, due to which the water is not able to seep into the ground in many areas, leading to increased run-off.
    • Jakarta has been Indonesia’s capital since the country became independent in 1949. The city has become overcrowded and extremely polluted for the last few decades.
    • Another important reason to shift the capital from Java island to Borneo island has been the growing inequality – financial and otherwise.
      • Java Island, especially Jakarta which is spread across more than 661.5 square kilometres, is immensely populated whereas East Kalimantan, spread across 127,346.92 square kilometres, is bigger than Jakarta, it is a lot less populated than the current capital.
  • Relocation Site:
    • The new capital (Nusantara) will cover about 56,180 hectares in East Kalimantan province on the Indonesian part of Borneo, which the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei.
    • However, environmentalist critics of the capital's move have warned it could damage ecosystems in the region, where mining and palm oil plantations already threaten rainforests that are home to Borneo's endangered species.

Note

  • Indonesia is not the first country in the region to relocate from an overpopulated capital.
  • Malaysia moved its government to Putrajaya from Kuala Lumpur in 2003, while Myanmar moved its capital to Naypyidaw from Rangoon in 2006.

Sea Level Rise (SLR)

  • About: SLR is an increase in the level of the world’s oceans due to the effects of climate change, especially global warming, induced by three primary factors:
    • Thermal Expansion: When water heats up, it expands. About half of the sea-level rise over the past 25 years is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.
    • Melting Glaciers: Higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting of large ice formations like mountain glaciers as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs.
      • That creates an imbalance between runoff and ocean evaporation, causing sea levels to rise.
    • Loss of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets: As with mountain glaciers, increased heat is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt more quickly, and also move more quickly into the sea.
  • Rate of SLR:
    • Sea level is primarily measured using tide stations and satellite laser altimeters.
    • According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2021 report, sea-level rise has tripled compared with 1901-1971. The Arctic Sea ice is the lowest it has been in 1,000 years.
  • Consequences of SLR:
    • Coastal Flooding: Globally, eight of the world's 10 largest cities are near a coast, which is threatened by coastal flooding.
    • Destruction of Coastal Biodiversity: SLR can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination with salt, and lost habitat for biodiversity.
    • Dangerous Storm Surges: Higher sea levels are coinciding with more dangerous hurricanes and typhoons leading to loss of life and property.
    • Lateral and Inland Migration: Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is forcing people to migrate to the higher ground causing displacement and dispossession and in turn a refugee crisis worldwide.
    • Impact on Infrastructure: The prospect of higher coastal water levels threatens basic services such as internet access.
    • Threat to Inland Life: Rising seas can contaminate soil and groundwater with salt threatening life farther away from coasts.
    • Tourism and Military Preparedness: Tourism to coastal areas and military preparedness will also be negatively affected by an increase in SLR.
  • Steps taken to Tackle SLR:
    • Relocation: Many coastal cities have planned to adopt relocation as a mitigation strategy. For example, Kiribati Island has planned to shift to Fiji, while the Capital of Indonesia is being relocated from Jakarta to Borneo.
    • Building Sea Wall: Indonesia’s government launched a coastal development project called a Giant Sea Wall or "Giant Garuda" in 2014 meant to protect the city from floods.
    • Building Enclosures: Researchers have proposed Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED), enclosing all of the North Sea to protect 15 Northern European countries from rising seas. The Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Irish Sea, and the Red Sea were also identified as areas that could benefit from similar mega enclosures.
    • Architecture to Steer Flow of Water: Dutch City Rotterdam built barriers, drainage, and innovative architectural features such as a "water square" with temporary ponds.
  • India’s Case:
    • Vulnerability:
      • India's 7,516-kilometre-long coastline includes 5,422 kilometres of coastline on the mainland and 2,094 kilometres on the islands belonging to nine states and four Union Territories.
      • The coastline accounts for 90% of the country's trade and it spans 3,331 coastal villages and 1,382 islands.
    • Related Initiatives:

Source: TH


Biodiversity & Environment

2021 Sixth Warmest Year

For Prelims: La Niña, wildfires, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Heatwaves, South West Monsoon

For Mains: Rising Temperature of Earth and its impact, Steps taken in this direction

Why in News

Recently, two American agencies have released data showing that 2021 was the world’s sixth warmest year on record.

  • And the last 10 years were the warmest since record-keeping began in 1880.
  • The data was collected by the US. space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Key Points

  • Earth in 2021:
    • Earth in 2021 was about 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the late 19th century average, the start of the industrial revolution.
  • Northern and Southern Hemisphere:
    • The Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature was the third highest on record — 2016 (second) and 2020 (first) were warmer.
    • The 2021 Southern Hemisphere surface temperature was the ninth highest on record.
  • Sea Surface Temperatures:
    • Record-high sea surface temperatures were observed across parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
    • The upper ocean heat content was record high in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2020.
    • The seven highest ocean heat content have all occurred in the last seven years (2015-2021).
  • Antarctic Sea:
    • Antarctic sea ice extent during December 2021 was 3.55 million square miles.
    • This value is 11.6% below average and was the third-smallest December extent on record.
    • Only December of 2016 and 2018 had a smaller extent.
  • Effects of La Niña:
    • Effects of La Niña kept world temperatures lower.
      • La Niña is a weather pattern that happens in the Pacific Ocean but affects weather around the world.
      • A La Niña event happens when ocean surface waters cool along the Pacific coast of the South American tropics. This takes place about every two to seven years.
  • Reasons for the Warming Trend:
    • This warming trend around the globe is due to human activities that have increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Rising Temperature in India

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) titled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis in August, 2021.
  • Indian Sub-continent Specific Findings:
    • Heatwaves: Heatwaves and humid heat stress will be more intense and frequent during the 21st century over South Asia.
    • Monsoon: Changes in monsoon precipitation are also expected, with both annual and summer monsoon precipitation projected to increase.
      • The South West Monsoon has declined over the past few decades because of the increase of aerosols, but once this reduces, the country will experience heavy monsoon rainfall.
    • Sea Temperature: The Indian Ocean, which includes the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, has warmed faster than the global average.
      • The sea surface temperature over the Indian ocean is likely to increase by 1 to 2 °C when there is 1.5°C to 2°C global warming.
  • Recent Climate Related Measures by India:
    • An ambitious climate action vision with five elements has been unveiled at UNFCCC COP26.
      • Taking non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
      • Meeting 50% of energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
      • Reducing total projected carbon emissions by one billion tons by 2030.
      • Reducing the carbon intensity of the economy to less than 45% by 2030.
      • Achieving the target of “net zero” by 2070.
    • India now ranks fourth in terms of installed renewable energy capacity and non-fossil energy has increased by more than 25% in the past seven years and reached 40% of the total energy mix.
    • India has also taken the lead in initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Source: DTE


Indian Economy

ILO World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2022

For Prelims: World Economic and Social Outlook - Trends (WESO Trends) 2022

For Mains: Unemployment since the pandemic, Impact of pandemic on different sectors

Why in News

Recently, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report titled World Employment and Social Outlook - Trends (WESO Trends) 2022.

  • The Outlook remains fragile because the future path of the pandemic remains uncertain.
  • The WESO Trends includes comprehensive labour market projections for 2022 and 2023. It gives assessments of how labour market recovery has unfolded worldwide, reflecting different national approaches to pandemic recovery and analysing the effects on different groups of workers and economic sectors.

Key Points

  • Unemployment:
    • Global unemployment is expected to remain above pre-Covid-19 levels until at least 2023.
    • The 2022 level is estimated at 207 million, compared to 186 million in 2019.
  • Global Working Hours:
    • In 2022, it will be almost 2% below their pre-pandemic level — that is equivalent to the loss of 52 million full-time jobs. This deficit is twice as large as the ILO’s forecast in 2021.
  • Global Labour Force Participation:
    • It is estimated that in 2022 around 40 million people will no longer be participating in the global labour force.
  • Regional Differences:
    • The impact has been particularly serious for developing nations that experienced higher levels of inequality, more divergent working conditions and weaker social protection systems even before the pandemic.
    • Many low and middle-income countries have low access to vaccines and limited scope to expand government budgets to address the crisis.
  • Starkly Different Impacts:
    • The report warns of stark differences in the impact that the crisis is having across groups of workers and countries – deepening inequalities within and among nations – while weakening the economic, financial and social fabric of almost every State, regardless of development status.
    • The damage is likely to require years to repair, with potential long-term consequences for labour forces, household incomes, and social and possibly political cohesion.
  • Different Sectors:
    • Some sectors, such as travel and tourism have been particularly hard hit, while other sectors such as those related to information technology have thrived.
  • Impact on Women and Young Population:
    • Women have been worse hit by the labour market crisis than men and this is likely to continue.
    • The closing of education and training institutions will have long-term implications for young people, particularly those without internet access.
  • Expected Recovery:
    • There can be no real recovery from this pandemic without a broad-based labour market recovery.
    • Sustainable recovery is possible, but it must be based on the principles of decent work, including health and safety, equity, social protection, and social dialogue.
      • The new labour market forecast can be vital for policy planning for a country like India, where most of the work is informal, to prevent further employment losses and reductions in working hours.

International Labour Organisation

  • About:
    • It was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice.
    • It is a tripartite organization, the only one of its kind bringing together representatives of governments, employers and workers in its executive bodies.
  • Members:
  • Headquarter:
    • Geneva in Switzerland.
  • Awards:
    • In 1969, ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

Source: DTE


Science & Technology

5G Telecoms and Airline Safety

For Prelims: 5G Technology, Airline Safety

For Mains: Threat Posed by 5G Services on Airline Safety and Solution.

Why in News

Recently, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned that the new 5G technology could interfere with sensitive navigation equipment such as altimeters, which could lead to "catastrophic disruptions."

  • Airlines across the world, including India, are adjusting their scheduled flights to the US due to the rollout of 5G by telecom companies near American airports.

5G Technology

  • 5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
  • It enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
  • Internet speeds in the high-band spectrum of 5G has been tested to be as high as 20 Gbps (gigabits per second), while, in most cases, the maximum internet data speed in 4G has been recorded at 1 Gbps.
  • In India, Satcom Industry Association-India (SIA) has voiced concerns over the Government’s plan to include the Millimetre Wave (mm Wave) bands in the 5G spectrum auction.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The higher the frequency in the spectrum, the faster the service. So in order to get full value from 5G, operators want to operate at higher frequencies.
    • Some of the C band (a radio frequency band between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz) spectrum auctioned had been used for satellite radio but the transition to 5G means there will be much more traffic.
    • The new C band 5G service could render a significant number of aircraft unusable, causing chaos for US flights and potentially stranding tens of thousands of Americans overseas.
  • Concern:
    • The United States auctioned mid-range 5G bandwidth to mobile phone companies in early 2021 in the C band, for about USD 80 billion.
    • FAA warned that the functioning of Altimeters, which measure how far above the ground an aeroplane is travelling, operating in the 4.2-4.4 GHz range which sits too close to the frequency of C range, may get hampered.
      • In addition to altitude, altimeter readouts are also used to facilitate automated landings and to help detect dangerous currents called wind shear.
    • Companies have argued that C band 5G has been deployed in about 40 other countries without aviation interference issues. They have agreed to buffer zones around 50 airports in the United States, similar to those used in France, for six months to reduce interference risks.
  • Solution:
    • In the short-term, Companies agreed to temporarily defer turning on some wireless towers near key airports to avert a significant disruption to US flights.
    • In the Longer-term, the FAA needs to clear and allow the vast majority of the US commercial aeroplane fleet to perform low-visibility landings at many airports where 5G C-band will be deployed. This means certifying altimeters to operate near 5G base stations.

Source: IE


Important Facts For Prelims

Street for People Challenge and Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge

Why in News

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced eleven winning cities for the Streets for People Challenge and ten winning cities for the pilot stage of the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge.

Key Points

  • Streets for People Challenge:
    • It is a city-led design competition.
    • It supports cities across the country to develop a unified vision of streets for people in consultation with stakeholders and citizens.
    • Each city would launch their own design competition with specific details on site, timeline, and awards.
  • Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge:
    • It is a three-year initiative that will support cities to develop, pilot, and scale solutions that enhance the quality of life of young children, their caregivers and families in the public realm.
    • It will be open to all smart cities, other cities with more than 5,00,000 population, and capitals of states and Union territories.
    • Cities will receive technical assistance and help in capacity-building to:
      • Re-imagine parks and open spaces
      • Improve access to early childhood facilities
      • Adapt public spaces with early childhood-oriented amenities
      • Create accessible, safe, walkable streets for young children and families.
  • Other Recent Initiatives:

Source: PIB


Important Facts For Prelims

Great Resignation

Why in News

Recently, in the aftermath of Covid-19, large numbers of people are embracing the credo of “antiwork”, and walking out of their jobs, especially in the US and European countries.

  • A record 4.3 million people resigned in August 2021, up 2,42,000 from July, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • The American psychologist Anthony Klotz has called it the “Great Resignation” — a call to remap priorities in the work-life equation.

Key Points

  • Impact of Covid:
    • While those opting out of work include, prominently, employees in the retail and hospitality sectors, many were willing to switch jobs or to re-evaluate their options.
    • Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, have recorded a fall in the skilled labour force.
      • However, this could be due to stronger social safety nets.
    • Living through and surviving pandemic lockdowns nudged many to see “work-free” living as a viable option.
  • Significance of Great Resignation:
    • Grievances about low pay, unrealistic deadlines and bad bosses bubbled up from subconscious depths to feed the impulse.
    • This also means that these workers have market values beyond their existing employers.
      • They are relying on their experience and contacts to bag better job opportunities or choose start-ups.
    • There is a general apprehension that not enough capital allocation has been made in capacity building.
  • Indian Scenario:
    • Due to the absence of social security and unemployment benefits, there are no such phenomena in India.
      • The luxury of walking out of jobs was not available to most in India.
    • However, remote working has made it possible for corporates and employees to have flexible work models.
    • Due to this, the jobs are moving towards people in tier II and tier III cities. Thereby, making a shift in India’s spatial economy.
      • Also, work-from-home has triggered changes in the demand structure in the market.
    • Further, Indians are switching their jobs in the IT and ITeS sectors.
      • Several start-ups have become unicorns and many are hiring in bulk and are ready to pay significantly higher.

Source: IE


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