Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 20th October -2021





  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty:2021
  • China-Hypersonic Technology
  • MITRA SHAKTI–The 8th Edition of joint military
  • The Nihangs (Sikh warriors)
  • IEA and India — Full-Time Member



1.International Day for the Eradication of Poverty:2021

#GS2- Issues Relating to Poverty & Hunger

 Context :

  • On October 17, the United Nations commemorated the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

In depth information


  • To increase awareness about the difficulties faced by persons who live in poverty.


  • “Building forward together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.”

Historical Background and Importance:

  • The first commemoration of the event took place in 1987 in Paris, France, in the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza, to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence, and fear.
  • Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, unveiled the commemorative stone.
  • The United Nations (UN) then declared October 17 to be the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 1992.

What is Poverty?

  • According to the World Bank, Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being and comprises many dimensions.
  • It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity.
  • Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.

Poverty in India

 The Ecology of Poverty:

  • In India, the poorest regions are invariably the forested areas of the country in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
  • In India, 275 million people rely on the forest for their survival. Forests contribute up to 30% of overall revenue in the poorest parts of the country. Agriculture and other sources of income aren’t enough.
  • Poverty and Forest Dependence: What Are the Consequences?
  • According to a survey by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than a billion people rely on forests, with the majority living in poverty. They are mostly found in Africa and Asia.
  • The Geography of Poverty:
  • The greater one’s reliance on ecology/nature for survival, the more likely one is to be poor as a result of modern urbanisation.
  • Regional Shift: In 1990, East Asia and the Pacific were home to half of the world’s poor. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia now house approximately 85 percent of the world’s poor. Furthermore, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 26 of the world’s 27 poorest countries.

India’s Poverty Elimination Challenges

  • Data scarcity:
  • There is no systematic effort to identify those who are poor, establish their needs, meet those needs, and assist them to rise above poverty.
  • There is no way to verify that programmes reach everyone who is supposed to get them.
  • Resource distribution:
  • The funds set aside for anti-poverty programmes are insufficient.
  • In several states, for example, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act does not guarantee 100 days of labour.
  • There is a lack of effective implementation and targeting.
  • Schemes that overlap:
  • There has been a great deal of scheme overlap.
  • Every year, a large number of people are added to the country’s population. As a result, the strategy is rendered ineffectual.

Next Steps

  • The fact that 86 out of 169 Sustainable Development Goals targets directly or indirectly strive to mitigate environmental damage or emphasise the important role of natural resources and ecosystem services demonstrates the importance of ecology to overall world development, including poverty eradication.
  • The goal of “eradicating poverty” in all forms has a 10-year timeframe (as per the SDG 2030 target). To attain this goal, “social and environmental” justice becomes a critical component of our poverty-eradication policies and programmes.
  • Environmental deterioration occurs for a variety of reasons, all of which lead to poverty among people who rely on nature. Climate change is a recent phenomenon.
  • We must also consider the environmental aspect of poverty. When money comes from the environment, having access to it becomes the only way to get out of poverty. Access and entitlement for individuals who rely on nature continue to be a major focus for poverty reduction.


2. China-Hypersonic Technology

#GS3-Defence Technology

 Context :

  • China recently conducted a test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that circled the globe before accelerating towards its target.
  • Several countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, are working on hypersonic missiles that move five times the speed of sound.
  • They are tougher to intercept and can be manoeuvred, while being slower than ballistic missiles.

In depth information

What is a Hypersonic Missile, and how does it work?

  • Hypersonic speeds are defined as those that exceed five times the speed of sound, or anything that can travel at rates of Mach 5 or higher, which is at least 1.6 kilometres per second.

Hypersonic Missiles Come in Two Types: There are two types of hypersonic missiles.

  • Hypersonic cruise missiles: These are cruise missiles that employ rocket or jet propellant to fly and are considered to be quicker versions of existing cruise missiles.
  • Hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) missiles: China has tested this type of missile. They are launched into orbit by rockets and orbit the earth at their own speed. Because they “do not follow the set parabolic trajectory,” unlike ballistic missiles, they are difficult to track.

Hypersonic Technology Development in India: India is also focusing on hypersonic technologies.

  • As far as space assets are concerned, India has already proved its capabilities through the test of ASAT under Mission Shakti.
  • Hypersonic technology has been developed and tested by both DRDO and ISRO.
  • Recently, DRDO has successfully flight-tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), with a capability to travel at 6 times the speed of sound.
  • Also, a Hypersonic Wind Tunnel (HWT) test facility of the DRDO was inaugurated in Hyderabad. It is a pressure vacuum-driven, enclosed free jet facility that simulates Mach 5 to 12.

What is scramjet technology, and how does it work?

  • Scramjets are a type of engine that can handle airflows at speeds that are multiples of the sound speed.
  • Air from the atmosphere is forced into the combustion chamber of an air-breathing scramjet engine at a supersonic speed of more than Mach two.
  • The air mixes with the fuel in the chamber to start a supersonic combustion, yet the cruiser will travel at a hypersonic speed of Mach six to seven. Scramjet stands for supersonic combustion ramjet.


3. MITRA SHAKTI–The 8th Edition of joint military

#GS3- International cooperation and military exercises.


  • Exercise MITRA SHAKTI, the 8th edition of a joint military exercise between the Indian Army and the Sri Lankan Army, was held in Sri Lanka.
  • In 2019, the Mitra Shakti exercise had its seventh edition in Pune, Maharashtra.

In depth information

  • It is built on semi-urban counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
  • It is the Sri Lankan Army’s largest bilateral exercise, and it is an important aspect of India and Sri Lanka’s increasing defence partnership.
  • Through tactical exercises and practical discussions, the combined exercise aims to incorporate the contemporary dynamics of UN peacekeeping missions.
  • Other Exercises with Sri Lanka:Naval exercise (SLINEX).


4.The Nihangs (Sikh warriors)

#GS1 -Art and Culture

 Context :

  • After a man was found slain, purportedly for sacrilege of a Sikh sacred book, the Nihangs (Sikh warriors) were in the headlines (SarblohGranth).

In depth information

What exactly is a Nihang?

  • The Guru’s knights or the Guru’s adored are Nihangs or Nihang Singhs, who were previously known as Akalis or Akali Nihangs.
  • The term Nihang appears in the Guru Granth Sahib and other Sikh literature, and it means “one who is brave and unconstrained.”
  • Their beginnings can be traced back to the foundation of the ‘Khalsa Panth’ by the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, in the year 1699.
  • The AkaalSena, a troop of warriors of Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru, is thought to have spawned the armed religion. Later, the AkaalSena evolved into the 10th guru’s ‘Khalsa Fauj.’

Their Historical Impact on the Sikhs:

  • They were instrumental in protecting the Sikhs against Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali’s repeated attacks in the mid-eighteenth century.
  • They also held the most important positions in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army.
  • The Nihangs also assumed charge of the Sikhs’ religious activities in Amritsar’s Akal Bunga (now known as Akal Takht).
  • Their dark blue loose clothing and broad, peaked turbans studded with quoits, insignia of the Khalsa, and rosaries, all made of steel, distinguish them among Sikhs.
  • They are constantly armed, and they are frequently seen mounted with swords, daggers, spears, rifles, shotguns, and pistols.
  • Nihangs are distinguished from other Sikhs by their stringent adherence to the Khalsa code of behaviour. They have no earthly lord to whom they pledge devotion. They place a blue Nishan Sahib (flag) atop their shrines instead of saffron.

What is their current situation?

  • They are divided into various units now, each with its own “chhaoni” (cantonment), but they are informally organised into two “dals” (forces) — Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal, the designations given to the two portions into which the ‘Khalsa’ army was divided in 1733.
  • The Khalsa’s birthplace, Anandpur Sahib, is the focal point of Nihang gatherings. Every year in March, thousands of people gather there to celebrate Hola Mahalla, a Sikh celebration founded by Guru Gobind Singh.


5.IEA and India — Full-Time Member

#GS3, GS2-Important International Institutions, Groupings& Agreements


  • India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, was recently invited to join the International Energy Agency (IEA) as a full-time member.

In depth information

  • India joined the IEA as an Associate member in March 2017, but it had been working with the organisation for a long time before that.
  • India also signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2021 to improve collaboration in global energy security, stability, and sustainability.
  • As a natural extension of the strategic collaboration between India and the IEA, the IEA encouraged India to extend its participation with the organisation by becoming a full member.

India is being offered membership for the following reasons:

  • In terms of global energy trends, India is becoming increasingly prominent. According to its in-depth study on India’s energy policies, released in January 2020, the country’s energy demand is expected to grow quickly in the future decades, with electricity use growing at a particularly rapid rate.
  • Given India’s reliance on imported fuel, increasing energy security is a top concern for the country’s economy.

Membership in the IEA:

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) has 30 member countries.
  • It also comprises eight countries that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Chile, Colombia, Israel, and Lithuania are the four countries pursuing full membership.
  • A country that wants to join the IEA must be a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (OECD).

Criteria for Eligibility: A country that wants to join the IEA must meet the following criteria:

  • Crude oil and/or product reserves (Strategic Oil Reserves) equal to 90 days of net imports from the preceding year, to which the government has immediate access (even if it does not own them directly) and which might be utilised to manage global oil supply shortages.
  • India’s current strategic oil reserves are enough to meet the country’s needs for 9.5 days.
  • A 10-percent reduction in national oil consumption through demand control.
  • Legislation and other measures to ensure that all oil companies operating under its authority are required to report information upon request.
  • Measures have been put in place to ensure that the country can contribute its fair share to an IEA joint effort.
  • In the event of a significant global oil supply disruption, an IEA collective action would be launched.

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