Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 3rd August 2023



Today Topics List:

  1. Uncontrolled Digital addiction among youth – China

  2. E- Clearance portal set up to bring bodies from abroad.

  3. Sugar Output – Rising Ethanol demand.

  4. Contractual Dispute settlement scheme

  5. Lithium: Bidding and Mining

  6. Miscellaneous Economy points

  7. One more death – Project Cheetah



Uncontrolled Digital addiction among youth – China

    • Numerous government Surveys in China have revealed that there is an uncontrolled digital addiction among youth.
      • Government through its guidelines instructed all the tech companies to introduce a “minor mode” to enable restrictions.

Guidelines: Minor mode

  • If the guidelines, now open for public comments are implemented, China will be introducing some of the world’s most strict regulations for children in usage of smartphones.
  • It provides restrictions for 5 different age groups,
    • 3 ;3-8 ; 8-12 ;12-16;
    • 16-18 – will be given two hours
    • Children under 8 – Minor mode only for 40 minutes a day,
    • For children under 3, online internet providers should recommend children’s songs, enlightenment education and other parent – Child companionship programs.
    • Minor mode is prohibited from providing services to minors from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • The draft said parents will have to sign on and sign off the minor mode, seen as offering parents a tool to manage how their children use devices.
    • The onus is also likely to fall on tech companies who will be required to provide regular data to the authorities and will be subjected to regular checks.
  • In 2021, authorities have put in place new rules to restrict online gaming by children.
    • The providers were forced to allow one hour of service for those under 18, limited to between 8 and 9 pm on Fridays and on weekend.
    • Time limits have also been enforced by requiring all gamers to provide real name registration and identification.
  • Excessive digital addiction of youth is not just limited to China, but also other countries, India stands one among them, countries should be open to different ideas in curbing the menace.


E- Clearance portal set up to bring bodies from abroad.

    • To avoid delays in the transportation of bodies, the health ministry on Wednesday announced the launch of an e- clearance portal.
      • Delhi airport serves as a nodal centre for all international airports in the country, providing 48-hour approval for the process.
    • The transfer of human remains is a sensitive, emotional issue that must be carried out within a swift timeline.
      • This is aimed at facilitating easy and timely transportation of human remains across international borders for the public/families.



Sugar Output – Rising Ethanol demand.

    • The Sugar season in India is October – September. For the year 2023 – 24, production stands at 317 lakh tonnes as against 328 lakh tonnes in 2022 – 23.
      • The estimates of Indian Sugar mills association stand at 362 lakh tonnes compared to 369 lakh tonnes in the ongoing season.
      • Sugar diversion for Ethanol will be 45 lakh tonnes while it is 41 lakh tonnes this season.
      • Sugar consumption is likely to be 275 lakh tonnes.
    • ISMA in its communication to the Department of Food and Public distribution sought an increase in the price of ethanol made from sugar cane juice/syrup to Rs.69.85 a litre from the current Rs.65.60.
      • It is noted that while the sugar industry requires investments worth Rs.17,500 crore to scale up production to meet ethanol requirements, the industry will also need a viable return on investment.
      • Hence, it added the price of ethanol should rise in the Fair and remunerative price (FRP) paid by mills to farmers.


Contractual Dispute settlement scheme

    • Centre launched a scheme for contractual disputes with vendors or suppliers to the government and its undertakings.
      • It has set October 31 as deadline for firms to submit their claims for consideration.
      • The scheme was named ‘ Vivad Se Vishwas, II – (Contractual Disputes) in this years’s Union Budget.
      • Department of expenditure had indicated the guidelines for its operation in an earlier order.
    • For disputes to be considered for settlement, an arbitral award should have been secured by the aggrieved party by January 31, 2023.
      • The cut off is set at April 30 in case of Court Orders.
    • The scheme will apply to all domestic contractual disputes where one of the parties is either the Government of India or an organisation working under its control.
      • For cases involving Court awards, the settlement amount offered to the contractor will be upto 85% of the net amount awarded or upheld by the same court.
      • The same threshold will be up to 65% of the net amount in case of arbitral awards.


Lithium: Bidding and Mining

      • Indian Parliament passed a law allowing the government to auction and mine its newly discovered reserves of lithium.
        • This among other minerals increases the mining of critical inputs for EV batteries.
      • Lithium reserves were discovered earlier this year in Jammu and Kashmir.
      • Under the law, Lithium along with other minerals was removed from a previous list of atomic minerals.
        • Being in list of atomic minerals prevented it from being auctioned to private companies.
        • Removal from the list will open the exploration and mining of these minerals to private sector.
        • The result of which will be the significant increase of these minerals.
      • The other minerals that will now be open for mining and auction include,
        • Titanium
        • Beryl
        • Niobium
      • These minerals were earlier only allowed to be mined by state – run companies, which meant they were mined in limited quantities.
        • Involvement of private sector could be a force multiplier.


Miscellaneous Economy points

        • India’s edible oil imports in July rose to a record 1.76 million metric tonnes.
          • This is due to build up of stock by refiners for upcoming festivals
          • Uncertainty over supplies from the Black Sea.
          • Higher purchases could help to lower palm oil stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia and support benchmark futures.
          • They could also strengthen soy oil futures and could reduce inventories in Sunflower oil – producing Black sea countries.
        • The Rupee recorded its steepest single day fall in almost 6 months, declining 45 paise to settle at 82.67 against US Dollar.
          • Rupee was trading in a negative note on risk aversion in global markets and weak Asian currencies
          • There was also downward pressure on the local unit due to strong dollars against major rivals overseas.



One more death – Project Cheetah

    • A female Cheeta named Dhatri, sourced from South Africa is believed to have contracted a parasitic infection after repeatedly scratching its skin and wounding itself.
      • This is the sixth death reported among the 20 Cheetahs brought in from Namibia and South Africa
    • Deaths in Kuno:
    • Previously deaths have been recorded due to chaffing by the radio collars worn by Cheetahs, causing lacerations on their skin made fragile from humidity and exposing them to parasites against which they have no natural immunity.
      • It is likely that animals are unable to adapt to local parasites carried by fleas and ticks.

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