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Daily Current Affairs 11th September -2021

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 11th September -2021

Daily Current Affairs 11th September -2021

Topics

  • The 13th BRICS Summit 2021
  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textiles sector
  • Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021
  • NIRF Rankings 2021
  • Coronal Mass Ejections

 

 

  1. The 13th BRICS summit 2021

#GS2 – International Relations

 

Context

  • Under India’s chairmanship, the 13th BRICS summit will be held in digital format in 2021. This plurilateral grouping is chaired by turn by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. India also held the presidency in 2012 and 2016.
  • The alliance was successful to a point, but it now faces a number of challenges.
  • It is past time to identify the issues and take some action.

 

In detail

Key highlights of the summit

  • The BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan was adopted at the summit.
  • The document, titled the New Delhi Declaration, was unveiled, and it urged that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan be addressed, as well as the rights of women, children, and minorities be protected.
  • It called for a “inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue” to ensure the country’s stability, civil peace, and law and order.
  • The agreement on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation was signed by the space agencies of the BRICS countries.

 

What exactly is the BRICS?

  • The BRICS group is made up of five major emerging countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • It accounts for approximately 42 percent of the world’s population, 23 percent of GDP, 30 percent of the territory, and 18 percent of global trade.
  • The acronym BRIC was coined in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist ‘Jim O’Neill’ to denote the emerging powers that would be, alongside the United States, the world’s five largest economies in the twenty-first century.
  • BRIC countries began their dialogue in 2006, and it has taken place at annual meetings of heads of state and government since 2009.
  • The BRICS reached its final composition in 2011, with the addition of South Africa to the group.

 

The BRICS’ Challenges

1.Marred by Various Issues:

  • Conflicts such as China’s aggression in eastern Ladakh last year brought India-China relations to their lowest point in several decades.
  • There is also the reality of China’s and Russia’s strained relations with the West, as well as serious internal challenges confronting both Brazil and South Africa.
  • The Covid-19, on the other hand, has tarnished China’s image around the world. In this context, it is debatable whether the BRICS are relevant.

 

2.Heterogeneity:

  • Critics argue that the heterogeneity (variable/diverse nature of countries) of the BRICS nations, with their diverse interests, poses a threat to the viability of the grouping.

 

3.China Centric:

  • All the countries in the BRICS group trade with China more than each other, therefore it is blamed as a platform to promote China’s interest. Other partner countries face a significant challenge in balancing their trade deficits with China.

 

4.Global Governance Model:

  • In the midst of the global slowdown, trade wars, and protectionism, the critical challenge for the BRICS is the development of a new global governance model that is inclusive and constructive rather than unipolar.
  • The goal should be to avoid a negative scenario of globalisation unfolding and to begin a complicated merging of the world’s growing economies without distorting or breaking the world’s single financial and economic continuum.

 

5.Not Effective:

  • The five-power alliance was successful, but only to a point. However, China’s economic rise has resulted in a significant imbalance within the BRICS. Furthermore, the group has not done enough to assist the Global South in gaining maximum support for their agenda.

 

The Way Forward

  • Cooperation Within the Group:
  • BRICS must shed China’s centrality and create a better internal balance, which is bolstered by the urgent need for diversification and strengthening of regional value chains, all of which were exposed during the pandemic.
  • Commitment to the Multilateral World:
  • The BRICS nations must rethink their approach and recommit to their founding ethos. The BRICS countries must reaffirm their commitment to a multi-polar world that allows for sovereign equality and democratic decision-making.
  • They must build on the NDB’s success by investing in additional BRICS institutions. It will be beneficial for BRICS to establish an institutional research wing, similar to the OECD, to offer solutions better suited to the developing world.

 

Conclusion

Thus, the future of the BRICS is dependent on India, China, and Russia resolving their internal and external issues. Mutual communication between India, China, and Russia is critical for progress.

 

 

  1. Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textiles sector

#GS2-Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors.

 

Context

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a Rs 10,683 crore Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textiles sector.
  • This is part of a larger PLI scheme for 13 industries, with a total budget of 1.97 lakh crore.

 

In depth

 

What exactly is the PLI Scheme?

  • As the name implies, the scheme incentivizes companies to improve their domestic manufacturing while also focusing on lowering import bills and improving the cost competitiveness of local goods.
  • The PLI scheme provides incentives for incremental sales of Indian-made products.
  • The scheme for each sector must be implemented by the relevant ministries and departments.

The scheme’s criteria have been established.

  • The PLI scheme’s eligibility criteria for businesses vary depending on the sector approved under the scheme.
  • For example, eligibility for telecom units is contingent on meeting a minimum level of cumulative incremental investment and incremental sales of manufactured goods.
  • The minimum investment threshold for MSME is Rs 10 crore, and for others it is Rs 100 crore.
  • Under food processing, SMEs and others must own more than 50% of their subsidiaries’ stock, if any.
  • For businesses in the pharmaceutical industry, however, the project must be a greenfield project, and the company’s net worth cannot be less than 30% of the total committed investment.

 

What are the incentives at stake?

  • Last year, a 4-6% incentive was offered to manufacturers of mobile and electronic components such as resistors, transistors, diodes, and so on.
  • Similarly, 10% incentives were offered for the food processing industry over a six-year period (FY22-27).
  • Companies engaged in the manufacturing of air conditioners and LED lights were also offered a 4-6 percent incentive on incremental sales of goods manufactured in India over a five-year period.

 

Which market segments will the new PLI scheme target?

  • The textile PLI scheme aims to encourage the production of high-value Man-Made Fibre (MMF) fabrics, garments, and technical textiles.

 

Producers who are eligible:

  • Any individual or company willing to invest a minimum of Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment, and civil works (excluding land and administrative building costs) to produce MMF fabrics, garments, and technical textile products will be eligible to participate in the first phase of the scheme.
  • Investors who are willing to spend a minimum of Rs 100 crore under the same conditions will be eligible to apply for the scheme’s second phase.

 

Benefits provided

  • The Textile PLI scheme will encourage the production of high-value MMF Fabric, Garments, and Technical Textiles in the country.
  • The incentive structure has been designed in such a way that industry will be encouraged to invest in new capacity in these segments.
  • This will provide a significant boost to the growing high-value MMF segment, complementing the efforts of the cotton and other natural fiber-based textiles industries.
  • This will help to create new opportunities for employment and trade, allowing India to reclaim its historical dominance in global textile trade.

 

 

 

  1. Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021

#GS1-Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization.

 

Context

Swachh Sarvekshan Gramin 2021 was recently launched by the Ministry of Jal Shakti as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ as part of the Swachh Bharat (SBM) Mission Phase- 2.

 

In depth

  • The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) will implement Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021 across the country to help accelerate ODF Plus interventions.

 

Coverage of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021

  • An independent expert agency will conduct the Survekshan 2021 across 17,475 villages in 698 districts across the country.

 

  • Villages, districts, and states would be ranked using key parameters as part of the Survekshan.
  • For the survey, 87,250 public places in these villages will be visited, including schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars, and religious places.
  • A total of 1,74,750 households will be surveyed to provide feedback on SBM-related issues.
  • Furthermore, citizens will be mobilised to provide feedback on sanitation-related issues online through a specially developed application.

 

About Swachh Survekshan Grameen

  • It aims to generate more momentum for improving ODF Sustainability as well as Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities across the country’s villages.
  • DDWS had previously commissioned Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) on two occasions in 2018 and 2019.
  • A detailed protocol has been developed to guide district rankings based on key quality and quantitative parameters.
  • SSG is more than just a ranking exercise; it has also served as a vehicle for the formation of a Jan Andolan (people’s movement).

 

 

 

  1. NIRF Rankings 2021

#GS2-Education,Human Resource,Government Policies & Interventions

 

Context

The Ministry of Education recently released the India Rankings 2021, which were created by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) (sixth edition).

 

In depth

What exactly is NIRF?

  • The National Institutional Reporting Framework (NIRF) is an annual report card on the performance of higher education institutions (HEIs).
  • It was launched in 2015 and outlines a methodology for ranking institutions throughout the country.
  • The NIRF assigns rankings to institutions based on five criteria:
  1. Teaching Learning and Resources (TLR), Research and
  2. Professional Practice (RP),
  3. Graduation Outcome (GO),
  4. Outreach and Inclusivity (OI) and
  5. Perception

 

 

Highlights of India Rankings 2021:

  • Overall, IIT-Madras, IISc-Bangalore, and IIT-Bombay have emerged as the top three higher education institutions in the country.
  • University:The category is led by IISc, Bengaluru.
  • Colleges: Miranda College is the top college for the fifth year in a row, followed by Lady Shri Ram College for Women and Loyola College.
  • Engineering: IIT-Madras remained the top engineering institution.
  • Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad was ranked first in management.
  • Medical: For the fourth year in a row, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi is ranked first in Medical.
  • Pharmacy: For the third time in a row, Jamia Hamdard tops the list in the Pharmacy subject.
  • Architecture: For the first time, IIT Roorkee takes the top spot in the Architecture subject.
  • Law: For the fourth year in a row, National Law School of India University, Bangalore retains first place in Law.
  • IISc, Bengaluru was named the best research institution, a category included for the first time in the India Rankings 2021.
  • Manipal College of Dental Sciences took first place in the dental category.

 

 

 

  1. Coronal Mass Ejections

#GS3-Space Technology

Context

  • Indian scientists, working with international collaborators, measured the magnetic field of an eruption from the Sun’s atmosphere (solar corona), providing a rare glimpse into the Sun’s interior.
  • Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is one of the largest eruptions from the Sun’s surface, capable of containing a billion tonnes of matter accelerated into space at several million miles per hour.

 

In detail

 

Concerning the Study:

  • For the first time, researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) investigated the weak thermal radio emission associated with the erupted plasma, measuring the magnetic field and other physical conditions of the eruption.
  • IIA is a self-contained institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) located in Gauribidanur, Karnataka.
  • The team examined plasma from the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that occurred on May 1, 2016.
  • Plasma is also referred to as the “fourth state of matter.” At high temperatures, electrons are ripped from the nuclei of atoms, resulting in a plasma or ionised state of matter.
  • The emissions were discovered using the IIA’s radio telescopes, as well as some space-based telescopes that observed the Sun in extreme ultraviolet and white light.
  • They were also able to determine the polarisation of this emission, which indicates the direction in which the waves’ electric and magnetic components oscillate.

 

What exactly is Coronal Mass Ejection?

  • These are large plasma and magnetic field expulsions from the Sun’s outer corona. CMEs eject billions of tonnes of coronal material while also carrying an embedded magnetic field that is far stronger than the interplanetary magnetic field produced by solar wind in the background.
  • CMEs have the potential to travel at speeds ranging from 250 to more than 3000 kilometres per second.
  • As they travel away from the Sun, CMEs grow in size. By the time it reaches our planet, larger CMEs can cover nearly a quarter of the space between Earth and the Sun.

 

 

Auroras:

  • When charged particles from a CME reach areas close to Earth, they can cause auroras, which are bright lights in the sky.

 

The Sun’s Layers:

  • The photosphere is the deepest layer of the Sun that we can directly observe. It extends from the visible surface at the centre of the solar disc to about 250 miles (400 kilometres) above that.
  • The chromosphere is a layer in the Sun that exists between about 250 miles (400 km) and 1300 miles (2100 km) above the solar surface (the photosphere).
  • The transition region is a very narrow (60 miles / 100 km) layer between the chromosphere and the corona where the temperature abruptly rises from around 8000 to around 500,000 K.
  • Corona – The corona is the Sun’s outermost layer, beginning about 1300 miles (2100 km) above the solar surface (the photosphere). Except during a total solar eclipse or with the use of a coronagraph, the corona cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Daily Current Affairs 11th September -2021

 

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