404 Order allow,deny Deny from all Order allow,deny Deny from all Current Affairs - 5th July 2023 - Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 5th July 2023

DAILY ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME

 

Today Topics List:

  1. 1962 war hero Jaswant Singh

  2. Deep sea mining

  3. Centre announces scheme to support minor rape victims

  4. Har Gharjal Mission

  5. Australian Air Force P-8 A patrol aircraft lands in T.N

  6. Manufacturing Growth – June

  7. Greedflation – Its counter arguments

 

INDIAN HISTORY HERITAGE & CULTURE

1962 war hero Jaswant Singh

    • Lansdowne Cantonment board has decided to rename quaint hill station in Uttarakhand as Jaswantgarh After Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, The Maha Vir Chakra.

Lord Lansdowne:

  • Henry Charles Keith Petty Firzmaurice, the 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, was a British politicial who served as Viceroy to India from 1888 to 1894.
    • In 1886 on the recommendation of Field Marshal Sir F S Roberts, The Commander in chief of the Brithsi army in India, it was decided to raise a separate Regiment of the Garhwalis.
    • The cantonment and Regimental centre for training of recruits of the Garhwal rifles was located in a forest popularly known as Kalundada.
    • On September 21,1890, Kalundanda was renamed as Lansdowne after the Viceroy.
  • At the time of Anglo- Manipur war of 1891, Manipuri heroes Bir Tikendrajit and General Thangal were hanged in public, and many others were sent to Kalapani.

Jaswant Singh Rawat:

  • Rifleman Jaswant Singh rawat was awarded the second highest gallantry award, maha Vir Chakra, for his role in the Battle of Nuranang against the Chines Army (PLA) in the North east frontier Agency (NEFA) on November 17, 1962.

 

GEOGRAPHY & DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Deep sea mining

    • The International Sea bed Authority- the United Nations body that regulates the world’s ocean floor- is preparing to resume negotiations that could open the international sea bed for mining, including for materials critical for the green energy transition.

Deep Sea Mining:

  • It involves removing mineral deposits and metals from the ocean’s sea bed. There are of three such kinds of mining:
    • Taking deposit rich poly metallic nodules off the ocean floor.
    • Mining massive seafloor sulphide deposits
    • Stripping cobalt crusts from rock.
  • These nodules, deposits and crusts contain materials such as nickle, rare earths, cobalt and more that are needed for batteries and other materials used in tapping renewable energy and alos for every day technology like cell phones and computers.
    • Engineering and technology used for deep sea mining are still evolving.

Regulation:

  • Countries manage their own maritime territory and exclusive economic zones.
  • High seas and the international ocean floor are governed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS)
    • It is considered to apply to states regardless of whether or not they have signed or ratified it.

Concerns:

  • Only a small part of the deep-sea bed has been explored and conservationists worry that ecosystem will be damaged from mining, especially without any environmental protocols.
  • Damage from mining can include noise, vibration and light pollution, as well as possible leaks and spills of fuels and other chemicals.
  • Sediment plumes from some mining processes are a major concern.
    • Once valuable materials are extracted, slurry sediment plumes are sometimes pumped back into the sea, which can harm marine life in several ways.

 

SOCIAL ISSUES

Centre announces scheme to support minor rape victims

    • Minor rape victims face severe trauma, recognising this Centre has decided to provide medical, financial and infrastructure support to victims in cases where the sexual assault results in pregnancies.
      • The special scheme announced by Women and Child development Ministry, would operate under the ageis of the Nirbhaya Fund and an amount of Rs. 74.1 crore has been allocated.
      • In 2021,, The National Crime records Bureau reported 51,863 cases under the protection of Children from sexual Offences Act (POCSO). Of these, 64% cases were reported under Section 3 and 5 i.e., penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault.
    • Additionally, Centre has leveraged the administrative structure of Mission vatsalya in collaboration with State governments and Child Care institutions [CCIs] to actualise this support to victims.
      • Mission vatsalya launched in 2021, is focused on protection and welfare of children.
    • The Government has already accelerated the access to justice for minor victims of rape by establishing 415 POCSO fast track courts in the country.
      • This additional support would be available at the level of CCIs upto the age of 18 years and thereafter up to the age of 23 in after care facilities.
    • In many of these cases, girls become pregnant and bear several physical and mental health concerns, which are further aggravated when they are disowned or abandoned by their own families or are orphans.
      • Hence, the scheme aims to provide integrated support to girl child victims under one roof, facilitate immediate, emergency and non- emergency access to a range of services.

 

POLITY, GOVERNANCE &LAWS AND SCHEMES

Har Gharjal Mission

    • Access to potable tap water is a basic necessity. However, of the roughly 25 crore households in India (2016), a tap water connection that delivers 55 liters per capita every day of potable water is a rarity in most of rural India.
      • Rural India accounts for about 19.5 crore households

Mission:

  • In 2019, Prime Minister of India promised that rural households would be assured of piped, potable water by 2024.
    • In 2019, there were only about 3.2 crore or 16 % of the rural households were so connected.
    • This has jumped to be 64% now, which is a substantial improvement.
  • Union ministry of Jal Shakti has labelled this plan of providing piped water connections as “Har Ghar Jal” Mission.
    • Since, 2019 about 9 crore households have their own exclusive access to piped water.
    • Apart from these connections to schools, Anganwadis and community buildings were also provided.

Concerns with the figures

  • Even after this scale of operations, it is unlikely that all of rural India will be connected by the target deadline.
    • Covid 19 pandemic and Russia Ukraine conflict has caused the slowdown to the mission by impeding access to pipes and civil construction necessary to the enterprise.
  • The figure reported by the ministry are solely based on data reported by states. But a proxy exists in form of number of villages that have been certified as ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
    • Of the 1,68.157 villages reported by the states only 59,000 have been certified i.e., 35%.
  • The overwhelming fraction of villages have somewhere between half or three fourths of their households connected.
    • An independent assessment by the ministry sampled 3,00,000 households in 13,300 villages reported 62%. It is progressive but the sample size is too small to be representative
  • It also emerges that the large states with 100% compliance, i.e., Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab already started on a fairly higher base in 2019.

                     While this too by no means, is a significant achievement, the challenge is the reliability of the numbers. Hence, Centre must put in place a mechanism that discloses the scheme’s performance on ground in a transparent way.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Australian Air Force P-8 A patrol aircraft lands in T.N

    • The Australian Air force’s long range maritime patrol aircraft P-8A landed at INS Rajali Naval air station in Tamil nadu for an anti submarine warfare exercise wit the Indian navy’s P-8I aircraft.
      • Maritime and subsurface domain awareness, apart from anti – submarinewarfare has been the major focus areas for the Quad group of Countries.

QUAD grouping:

  • Quad came together during the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean region to coordinate response and assistance to countries in the region.
    • The first meeting of Quad officials took place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum summit in Philippines in May 2007.
    • After a gap of 10 years, Quad officials met in Manila in November 2017 on the margins of the East Asia Summit for consultations on connectivity issues; maritime security and counter terrorism; shared principles for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific; and proliferation threats in Asia.
    • Thereafter, Quad Senior Officials from respective Foreign Ministries have been meeting regularly.
  • The first meeting of Quad Foreign Ministers took place in September 2019 on the margins of the UNGA in New York.
  • The Ministers issued a Joint Statement for the first time following the meeting. Quad Foreign Ministers met on the sidelines of the UNGA High Level Week in New York on 23 September 2022, where they issued a statement calling for the reform of the multilateral system, including expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of the UN Security Council.
  • Quad saw a natural evolution and elevation in 2021 to the level of the Leaders with the first Quad Summit in virtual format on 12 March 2021.
    • PM participated along with Prime Ministers Suga of Japan and Morrison of Australia and President Biden to discuss regional and global issues, especially the Indo-Pacific.
    • There are several Working Groups announced by the Leaders over the years as per the evolving requirements. Such as,
  • Vaccine Partnership,
  • Climate Change and
  • Critical & Emerging Technology,
  • Infrastructure,
  • Space,
  • Cyber security,
  • STEM fellowship,
  • HADR – Human Assistance and Disaster Relief,
  • Maritime security and counter terrorism.

 

ECONOMY

Manufacturing Growth – June

    • S & P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) signalled manufacturing growth eased slightly in June 57.8 from 58.7 in May.
      • Any value that is more than 50 signifies expansion, while less than 50 signifies contraction in the manufacturing activity.

 

Greedflation – Its counter arguments.

    • Greedflationis referred to as price rise caused by corporate greed for high profits.
      • Progressives in United states have accused corporate greed as a major reason for the historically high price inflation in U.S. since pandemic.
    • Arguments explaining greedflation:
      • “The corporate margins have risen significantly since the pandemic even though larger economy has struggled”. This is one of the major arguments given by corporates to back this idea.
      • It was contended that U.S. corporations have allegedly increased the prices of their goods by more than what was necessary to compensate for higher input costs caused by supply chain bottlenecks.
      • This is a sign of increased market dominance by corporation.
      • Greedflation has been compared to “cost push” inflation which attributes inflation to a rise in input costs. Similaryly, in Greedflation rise in corporate thirst for profits is seen as a cost the is driving up prices.
    • Arguments Questioning the Narrative:
      • Greedflation is a political narrative built around the issue of inflation rather than as a serious economic explanation of high inflation since the Pandemic.
      • Businesses which are either large corporations or small companies, cannot arbitrarily set prices for their products. They set prices based on what consumers would be willing to pay for them.
    • Businesses cannot force consumers to pay a certain pricefor their goods.
    • They can only try to gauge the maximum price that consumers would be willing to pay.
      • If businesses set their prices too high. Their products would go unsold and business would have no choice but to lower the price to clear its stock.
      • Hence, while businesses have the freedom to raise or lower the prices of their products, it is ultimately consumers who determine the price of any product in the market.
      • Inflation refers to overall rise in prices of goods and services but not Individual goods and services. The only way corporations can influence inflation is by reducing supply of goods and services.
    • But, there is no evidence to show that there has been a deliberate attempt to reduce the output by the entities.
      • The current high inflation in U.S. is better explained by U.S. Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policy during pandemic.
    • Expansionary Policy leads to increase in money supply in the hands of consumers.
    • The U.S. money supply rose by a whopping 40% in the wake of Pandemic,
    • This combined with supply chain bottlenecks caused by stringent lockdowns led to high inflation
      • The cost of inputs has risen at a faster pace than at which prices of consumer goods have risen. But the profits of the corporates has come as a surprise.
    • It should be noted that corporations represent tiny share of total businesses in U.S. so their rising profit may not represent a true picture of health of business in the wider economy.
    • It could also be a case that large corporations benefited from the demise of smaller businesses during the pandemic by capturing more market share.
      • The cost push theory ignores the fact that the cost of producing any good is itself determined indirectly, but ultimately by consumers. Cost of inputs, which can be used towards different alternative ends of society, is determined by competitive bidding the market.

Brief: While this suggests that market dominance of U.S. corporations may have rise significantly and rising profit margins could possibly be a sign of weakening competition among businesses, it still does not mean that rising profit margins are the reason behind high inflation. As noted earlier, prices are ultimately determined by buyers and not sellers.

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