PIB Weekly Analysis

Compilation of PIB News Articles

GS PAPER 3

Vice President calls upon scientists to address climate change & global warming to better tackle adverse situations

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

In news 

While Interacting with scientists and young researchers of the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh , vice president said that weather and climate were posing new challenges with each passing day.

Two schools of thought for climate change:

  • One believes that the climate change is due to the increasing human activities.
  • While the other group has a contrarian view and believes that the climate change is due to the changing energy input from the Sun alone

Key points from the speech:

  • India is experiencing global warming and its effects in the form of extreme weather, cyclonic storms, intense thunderstorms, torrential rain, and droughts. 
  • Changing weather and climate patterns is badly affecting our agriculture and economy.

Challenges of climate change:

  • Increase in high impact weather systems
  • Increase in water scarcity
  • Drying up of rivers
  • Growing pollution
  • Survival threat to several animal and plant species

What needs to be done?

  • Work on state-of-the-art observational instruments to generate high-quality data on climate models suitable for India’s tropical climate.
  • To guard against erroneous results generated by data from elsewhere and called for accurate assessment and prediction.
  • The Indian subcontinent has distinct climatic zones and their interaction with global climate patterns needs to be studied on a priority basis for our long term well-being.
  • Complimenting ISRO and Department of Space for establishing a world-class laboratory for experimental atmospheric science and numerical.
  • The need to promote scientific temper from a young age, NARL to produce literature on atmospheric science in a simplified manner for the benefit of school students.
  • High-performance computation facility is getting upgraded to enable scientists to perform high-resolution weather modelling and climate research.

Conclusion:

Pointing out that India has been an active member in the climate action plan right from the formation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change through to the latest Paris Accord, 

In order to make a meaningful contribution to the climate action plan, there is a need for quality scientific data from all over the country and the globe.

India has been a country where learning was given a central place in the society and knowledge has been handed down through the generations. In the present day world, capacity building and outreach are equally important. 

About National Atmospheric Research Laboratory:

  • The National Atmospheric Research Laboratory is an autonomous Research Institute funded by the Department of Space of the Government of India. 
  • NARL is engaged in fundamental and applied research in the field of Atmospheric Sciences.
  • The laboratory was started nearly 25 years ago as a National MST Radar Facility with high-power MST radar to uncover mysteries of the middle atmosphere.

MAINS QUESTION

There is need for faster adoption and mitigation in all the fields for tackling climate change. Write down the causes for climate change. And how far are world countries being successful in mitigating the same.(12.5 marks)  


Indian Navy SAILS towards pursuance of the energy and environmental goals of country

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Introduction:

   Indian economy has seen unprecedented growth over the past two decades, which has spurred the energy demand. Being a responsible and mature nation, Indian Government policies have seen a paradigm shift in energy policy. The focus has been on reducing the carbon footprint by ways of using alternate sources of energy.

Steps taken by navy:

  • Clean and Green Navy : Indian Navy pledges 1.5 % of its “Works” budget towards Renewable Energy generation
  • Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR): Indian Navy has formulated specific plans covering the entire gamut of operations, maintenance, administration and infrastructure and community living.
  • 24 MW of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects consisting of both Rooftop and Land based solar panels are under execution at various shore establishments of the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).
  • Indian Navy has taken up initiatives for sustained usage of biodiesel for all MT vehicles. 
  • The Green Initiatives Programme would aid in boosting the national interests of environment sustainability and self-reliance in energy.
  • Attention towards addressing the menace of Air Pollution by way of various environmental remediation measures for mitigating it such as sapling plantation, arboriculture and horticulture, anti-plastic drive, effluent treatment plants.
  • Reduction in the energy consumption of all naval bases and ships, focused attention has been paid towards use of renewable energy sources and institution of various energy conservation measures such as use of occupancy sensors, battery operated vehicles, solar street lights, LED lights.
  • Segregated Waste Collection Centre (SWCC) was inaugurated with the support from Defence Wives Welfare Association (DWWA) at Port Blair, which incorporated modern methods of waste collection and management system. 
  • Biogas Plant, Compost Pits, Vermi-culture, Paper Recycling Machine and Composter machine are some steps taken in Waste Management domain.
  • Awareness drives and programmes by means of coastal cleanship, lectures etc are organized regularly to enhance participation and ensure better outreach amongst communities and contribute to the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.

Increase in detection and reporting of bank frauds due to Government’s proactive measures

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Important steps taken by government 

  • Government has issued instruction that all accounts exceeding Rs. 50 crore, if classified as NPAs, be examined by banks from the angle of possible fraud. In addition, Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have also been advised to seek a report on the borrower from the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, in case an account turns NPA.
  • Proactive action has been taken against wilful defaulters, with FIRs being registered by PSBs against 2,881 wilful defaulters.
  • For enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring the quality of audits, Government has established National Financial Reporting Authority as an independent regulator.
  • Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 has been enacted in order to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
  • Pursuant to Government’s advice to PSBs, they have been obtaining certified copy of passport of the promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing loan facilities of more than Rs. 50 crore, and are ensuring rotational transfer of officials/employees on sensitive posts.

Work on Economic Census -2019

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development  and employment.

About Economic Census

  • Economic Census is the complete count of all establishment located within the geographical boundary of India. 
  • The Economic Census provides disaggregated information on various operational and structural variables of all establishments of the country. 
  • It provides valuable insight into geographical spread/clusters of economic activities, ownership pattern, persons engaged, etc. of all economic establishments in the country. 
  • The information collected during Economic Census are useful for socio-economic developmental planning at state and district levels. 
  • It provides an updated sampling frame for follow- up enterprise surveys undertaken for detailed and comprehensive analysis of all establishments in the country.

Economic Census-2019

  • The Seventh Economic Census (7th EC) is being conducted by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in 2019. 
  • In the current Economic Census, MoSPI has partnered with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as the implementing agency for 7th EC. 
  • An IT based digital platform for data capture, validation, report generation and dissemination will be used. 
  • The results of the exercise will be made available after verification and validation of the field work.
  • It will cover all establishments including household enterprises, engaged in production or distribution of goods and services (other than for the sole purpose of own consumption) in non-farm agricultural and non-agricultural sector will be counted. 

Previous Economic Censuses

Six Economic Censuses, (EC) have been conducted by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation.

The first Economic Census was undertaken in 1977. 

Vice President calls for out-of-box ideas and innovations to protect data

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

In news

The Vice President of India called for out-of-box ideas and innovations to protect data as new advancements in science and technology would pose a big challenge to cyber security.

He was Inaugurating a two-day Seminar on “New Paradigms in Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security” organized by C.R.Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science, in Hyderabad

Need for robust cyber security mechanism:

  • With around 8.4 billion connected devices currently in use across the globe traditional cyber security systems were becoming obsolete and stressed the need to constantly update technology, improve software and computing prowess to meet  myriad challenges confronting the world.
  • Observing that the 21st century has witnessed the creation of disruptive technologies that have caused paradigm shifts in our way of life, the Vice President said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) were the most exciting of these technologies with potentially endless applications. 

Importance of AI and MI:

  • Explore the possibility of using these technologies in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), small-scale businesses, and seasonal businesses to make the business processes more robust”,
  • Technology and innovation were crucial to translate India’s growth to make tangible and positive impact on the lives of our people by addressing key development challenges like poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease.
  • In addition to fostering economic development, technology helps in improving levels of education and training, aids in addressing social issues, improves connectivity exponentially, strengthens governance and transparency and democratizes knowledge and information.
  • Technology can save time, contribute to efficiency of processes and makes businesses and governments more productive. 
  • Thanks to the increased efficiency of labor with the ever-improving state of technology, businesses are able to increase total output, which in turn leads to higher profits and accelerated growth.
  • The reason behind the popularity of these technologies is that, coupled with advances in data collection and aggregation, they give machines intelligence, enabling high-level cognitive processes like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making.
  • AI’s massive computing power can support, enhance, and sharpen the capabilities of human security experts when it comes to handling large attack volumes and analyzing the wide variety of threat data generated at multiple touch points.

What India needs to do?

  • India a global leader in modern, cutting-edge technology with significant investments in research and development. India must also boost exports and soon become a net exporter of technology.
  • The ‘Strategy for New India @75’ put together by NITI Aayog attempts to bring innovation, technology, enterprise and efficient management together, in an attempt to fast-track growth.

Who are under threat?

  • Corporate espionage, spying, financial crimes, identity theft, phishing, privacy compromises and cyber terrorism have become matters of concern from a national, commercial as well as individuals’ perspective.
  • Small business, organizations, and especially healthcare institutions who cannot afford significant investments in defensive emerging cybersecurity technology such as AI are the most vulnerable.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its first bi-monthly monetary policy statement (MPS) 2018-19, speaks about a marked shift in the country’s exports basket a clear swing away from primary and traditional low value-added exports to higher value-added manufacturing and technology-driven items.

MAINS QUESTION

With a paradigm shift in increasing use of digital technology there is threat of cyberspace for developing countries. How far is India ready with its cycber space inorder not to be vulnerable. (15 marks)

Points to be noted down for prelims:

Swachh Survekshan 2020

  • Swachh Survekshan (SS) survey is conducted by an independent third party.
  • To encourage large scale citizen participation, ensure sustainability of initiatives taken towards garbage free and open defecation free cities.
  • Provide credible outcomes validated by third party certification, institutionalize existing systems through online processes and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in.
  • The survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities.
  • The first edition of the annual cleanliness survey, ‘Swachh Survekshan-2016’ survey for the rating of 73 cities was conducted in January 2016

“Pradhanmantri Scholarship” to 5 crore students

  • “Pradhanmantri Scholarship” to 5 crore students in the next five years, which will include 50 per cent girl students. 
  • The entire process of “Pradhanmatri Scholarship” has been made easier and transparent through DBT mode.
  • Ensuring socio-economic-educational empowerment of Minorities through “3E”- Education, Employment and Empowerment 
  • “Padho-Badho” campaign will be launched across the country to encourage education of Minority girls. Educational infrastructure will be developed on war footing in those areas of the country where people don’t send their daughters to schools due to socio-economic reasons.
  • 100 “Hunar Haat” will be organised across the country to provide market and employment opportunities to master artisans.

School Nursery

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change will soon launch an initiative called School Nursery across the country in which school kids will plant a seed, nurture the sapling and on his/her annual result would take the plant to be a trophy.
  • The local forest department will provide the necessary support, and through this initiative we want to nurture a perpetual bond between school kids and plants.
  • As a part of the campaign #SelfieWithSapling has been launched.

“Eat Less, Eat Right” movement; “let us make it a Jan Andolan”

  • The first-ever World Food Safety Day being celebrated by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
  • The theme for this day was ‘food safety, everyone’s business. 
  • Launched a new-age, hand-held battery operated device called ‘Raman 1.0’. This device performs rapid detection (in less than 1 minute) of economically driven adulteration in edible oils, fats and ghee.
  • An innovative solution to take food safety to schools, called the ‘Food Safety Magic Box’ is launched. 
  • FSSAI has instituted the ‘Eat Right Awards’ to recognize the contribution of food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options, which would help improve their health and well-being.