Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 14th September-2020



Context: Aiming to harness the power of bright minds spread across 6 Lakhs School in the country, DST invites students from government and private schools to send original and innovative ideas having potential to solve common problems.

Innovation of Science Pursuit for Inspire Research (INSPIRE) is one such innovative scheme proposed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to science.

Objective of INSPIRE:

  • To communicate to the youth population of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science and attract talent to the study of science at an early stage and build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base.

INSPIRE Scheme has included three programs and five components.

They are:
a) Scheme for Early Attraction of Talents for Science (SEATS),
b) Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
c) Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC).

Government of India approved this Scheme in November 2008 in the 11th Plan Period

Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS):

  • To attract talented youth to study science by providing INSPIRE Award, of Rs 5000 to one million young learners of the age group 10-15 years,
  • Ranging from Class VI to Class X standards, and also by arranging summer camps for about 50,000 science students of Class XI with global leaders in science to experience the joy of innovations on an annual basis through INSPIRE Internship.

Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)

  • To enhance rates of attachment of talented youth to undertake higher education in science intensive programmes, by providing scholarships and mentorship.
  • The scheme offers 10,000 Scholarship every year at Rs 0.80 lakh per year for the talented youth in the age group 17-22 years, for undertaking Bachelor and Masters level education in natural sciences.

Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC):

  • To attract, attach, retain and nourish talented young scientific Human Resource for strengthening the R&D foundation and base. It has two sub-components.
  • In the first component i.e. INSPIRE Fellowship (age group of 22-27 years), it offers 1000 fellowships every year, for carrying out doctoral degree in both basic and applied sciences including engineering and medicine.
  • In the second component i.e. INSPIRE Faculty Scheme, it offers assured opportunity every year for 1000 post- doctoral researchers in the age group of 27-32 years, through contractual and tenure track positions for 5 years in both basic and applied sciences area.


The INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge), being executed by DST with National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF) in 2017, an autonomous body of DST.

Aim- to motivate students in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10.

The objective of the scheme is to target one million original ideas/innovations rooted in science and societal applications to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among school children. Under this scheme, schools can nominate 5 best original ideas/innovations of students through this website till 30 September 2020.


2) China’s Hybrid Warfare:

Context: China is watching – President, PM, key Opposition leaders, Cabinet, CMs, Chief Justice of India…the list goes on

  • It is watching Over 10,000 Indians, entities from politics to business, judiciary to media, even crime-accused, tracked by big-data firm linked to Chinese govt.
  • Calling itself a pioneer in using big data for “hybrid warfare” and the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,”
  • A Shenzhen-based technology company with links to the Chinese government, and the Chinese Communist Party, is monitoring over 10,000 Indian individuals and organizations in its global database of “foreign targets,” an investigation by The Indian Express has revealed.

What is Hybrid Warfare?

  • Hybrid warfare is a military strategy which employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular Warfare and cyber warfare with other influencing methods such as fake news, diplomacy, law fare and foreign electoral intervention


  • Conventional tools – like military forces and Un-conventional – like Cyber-attacks
  • Collecting such massive data and weaving in public or sentiment analysis around these targets, the company offers “threat to intelligence services.”
  • As early as 1999, Unrestricted Warfare, a publication by China’s People’s Liberation Army, mapped the contours of hybrid warfare, a shift in the arena of violence from military to political, economic and technological. It is not data per se but the range and the use to which it may be put to that raises red flags.
  • The company’s 24 x 7 watch collects personal information on the target from all social media accounts; keeps track of the target’s friends and relationships; analyses posts, likes and comments by friends and followers; collects even private information
  • Domestic security agencies use such data for law and order applications such as tracking protests but in the hands of foreign agencies with no supervision or oversight, such data can serve a range of purposes.
  • Seemingly innocuous granular information may be put together in a broader framework for deliberate tactical manoeuvring.
  • Through targeted cyber-attacks disinformation campaigns and espionage, hybrid Warfare seeks to incite social discord, disrupt economic activities, undermine Institutions and discredit political leadership and the inteligencia

Does this monitoring flout any laws in India?

  • Under the Information Technology Rules, 2011, under the IT Act, 2000, personal data is “any information regarding a natural person, which either directly or indirectly, in combination with other information available or likely to be available… is capable of identifying such person.”
  • This, however, does not include information available freely or accessible in the public domain.
  • But privacy laws are almost impossible to enforce in a foreign jurisdiction because they differ from country to country. That is unlikely to change anytime soon.

What’s the concern over Zhinhua’s (The Chinese Company) monitoring?

  • As flare-ups intensified along the Line of Actual Control, India blocked, incrementally since June, over 100 Chinese apps for engaging in activities.
  • The threat of surveillance and monitoring of foreign individuals by an authoritarian China is very real.


3) India Should Exploit the Chinese exit:

India has banned the Chinese applications by citing the reasons like Unity, integrity, Security, public order, India should exploit this exit by developing its own market especially in the context of developing its new applications as all this applications are a form of business entity.

When did Other Countries ban and develop their own apps:

  • The Chinese government began erecting censorship barriers and banned several popular Western websites and applications years ago
  • In Jan 2010 Google announce that in response to a hacking attack from within China on it and dozens of other U.S companies, it was no longer willing to censor searches in China and would pull out of the country completely.
  • Meanwhile in the intervening years since Google and others were forced out, the Chinese internet marketer exploded and has grown to over 900 million users most of them on mobile from just over 300 million in early 2010
  • Baidu has replaced google in China, has Youku Tudou is YouTube and Xiaohomgshu is a version of Instagram from which uses can shop for goods directly.
  • WeChat began as a simple messaging app but is now many things for the Chinese like Media news messaging payments and digital commerce.

What is India Doing?

After the removal of more than 118 Chinese apps, Indian techies have started trying to fill the holes with copycat replacement websites and applications which is not enough for us to make full use of Chinese exit

If you create hyper local and hyper regional services of high quality, great accessibility that are also portable across our linguistic diversity we are far more likely to succeed in creating one of the strongest internet market in the world rather than creating Copycat Apps that only cater to English speakers


4) Index of Industrial Production:

  • IIP is an index that tracks manufacturing activity in different sectors of an economy.
  • The IIP number measures the industrial production for the period under review, usually a month, as against the reference period.
  • IIP is a key economic indicator of the manufacturing sector of the economy.
  • IIP index is currently calculated using 2011-2012 as the base year.

Electricity, crude oil, coal, cement, steel, refinery products, natural gas, and fertilizers are the eight core industries that comprise about 40% of the weight of items included in the IIP.

  • Mining, manufacturing, and electricity are the three broad sectors in which IIP constituents fall.

Who computes?

  • IIP data is compiled and published by CSO every month. CSO operates under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
  • The CSO uses secondary data to reach the monthly IIP number. The data is sourced from various agencies in different ministries or departments of the government.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is the source for the major chunk of data for the calculation.
    With the lifting of restrictions in the subsequent periods, industrial activity is resuming. The Index for the month of July 2020 stands at 118.1 as compared to:

The Indices of Industrial Production for

  • Mining- 87.2
  • Manufacturing- 118.8
  • Electricity- 166.3

As per use-based classification, the indices stand at

  • Primary goods- 114.1
  • Capital goods- 70.9
  • Intermediate goods- 122.9
  • Infrastructure/ construction goods- 125.2

The indices for consumer durables and consumer non-durables stand at 99.5 and 156.4 respectively.

ASI-Annual Survey of Industries:

It is the prime source of long term industrial statistics there is used to track the health of the industrial activity in the economy over a longer period the index is compiled, out of much larger sample of industries compared to IIP.


5) Low Ozone Layer found over Brahmaputra river valley:

  • Scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital in Uttarakhand have evaluated the near surface Ozone in Brahmaputra River Valley
  • ARIES is an autonomous Research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology Government of India.
  • Scientists analyzed the variability of ozone and other pollutants over the Brahmaputra River Valley region
  • The assessed seasonal characteristics of ozone to identify the emission source of ozone and its precursors especially Methane and non-Methane hydrocarbons
  • Non-Methane hydrocarbons such as Ethane, Ethene, propane, propene, etc. play an important role in controlling Ozone concentrations
  • They also studied the relationship between the Meteorological parameters like a temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, soil temperature and rainfall etc., And Ozone in tropical setting
  • The pattern of O3 concentrations in the BRV be indicated that it was strongly influenced by local oxides of Nitrogen NOx sources with an adjacent National Highway being the likely major source


6) Hybrid cloud:

Context: Indian executives are investing in hybrid multi-cloud to drive business transformation finds IBM survey.

Definition –

  • Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of private cloud and public cloud services with platforms allowing data and applications to be shared between them.
  • An enterprise might be testing an app on public cloud or private cloud and running actual production on a different cloud, or they’re running backup and recovery on public cloud but actual production on private cloud.

Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Indian executives are investing in hybrid multi-cloud to drive business transformation finds IBM survey.

The value derived from hybrid, multi-cloud platform technology and operating model at scale is 2.5 times the value derived from a single platform, single cloud, survey reveals.

By 2023, Indian organizations expect to be using an average of 10 clouds and globally, 64% of advanced cloud companies recognize the need for enterprise transformation and application modernization to go hand-in-hand.

What’s making a true hybrid cloud strategy more possible today is a slew of new planning or capabilities that help move apps among the different platforms.


  • However, though more tools are becoming available, it’s still extremely challenging to move a workload from one cloud platform to another.


  • For any cloud-aspiring or already cloud-intensive enterprise, a hybrid cloud strategy comes down to finding the right collection of cloud technologies and tools that makes the organization faster and more efficient.

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