Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs 22nd September -2021

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 22nd September -2021

Current Affairs 22nd September -2021

 

Topics

  • 3rd State Food Safety Index (SFSI)
  • Global Innovation Index 2021
  • Promoting Pearl Farming in Tribal Areas by Purty Agrotech: TRIFED
  • Delay in Monsoon Withdrawal
  • What exactly is the IPO Grey Market?

 

 

1.3rd State Food Safety Index (SFSI)

#GS2-Government Policies &Interventions Health

 

Context:

  • The union minister for Health and Family Welfare recently released the third State Food Safety Index (SFSI).
  • In addition, 19 Mobile Food Testing Vans (Food Safety on Wheels) have been launched to supplement the country’s food safety ecosystem.

In particulars

  • The index was created by the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to assess states’ performance in five key areas of food safety.
  • The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative bench marking model that provides a unified framework for assessing food safety across all states and territories.
  • The first State Food Safety Index for the fiscal year 2018-19 was released on World Food Safety Day, which was observed for the first time on November 7th June 2019.

Parameters for ranking the states:

The states were ranked on the basis of five parameters in the ‘results of the second State Food Safety Index’. These are as follows:

  1. Human Resources and Institutional Data
  2. Compliance
  3. Food Testing Facility
  4. Training and Capacity Building
  5. Consumer Empowerment

 

Ranking of States:

  • Gujarat was the highest ranked state among the larger states, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Goa was first among the smaller states, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur.
  • Jammu and Kashmir, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and New Delhi topped the list of UTs.

The Importance of Food Safety:

  • Having access to adequate amounts of safe food is critical to sustaining life and promoting good health.
  • Foodborne illnesses are typically infectious or toxic in nature, and are frequently imperceptible to the naked eye. They are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water.
  • Every year, an estimated 4,20,000 people die around the world as a result of eating contaminated food, and children under the age of five account for 40% of the foodborne disease burden, accounting for 1,25,000 deaths each year.
  • Food safety is critical in ensuring that food remains safe at all stages of the food chain, from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, and finally preparation and consumption.
  • Food production accounts for up to 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, which contribute to global warming.

Related Initiatives:

Initiatives Related to Indian:

  • The Eat Right India Movement is a joint initiative of the Government of India and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to transform the country’s food system in order to ensure safe, healthy, and sustainable food for all Indians.
  • It is in line with the 2017 National Health Policy, with a focus on preventive and promotional healthcare and flagship programmes such as Ayushman Bharat, POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anemia Mukt Bharat, and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Eat Right Station Certification:
  • FSSAI awards Eat Right Station Certification to railway stations that set benchmarks (as defined by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006) in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.
  • The Eat Right Research Awards and Grants have also been launched in India to encourage and recognise high-quality research in the areas of food safety and nutrition.
  • The findings of the PAN-India survey to determine the presence of industrially produced trans fatty acid content in selected foods have been published. From a total of 6245 samples, only 84, or 1.34 percent, contain more than 3% industrially produced trans fats.
  • To engage industry on the issue of plastic in food packaging, 24 food businesses signed a pledge to become “Plastic Waste Neutral” by collecting, processing, and recycling 100 percent post-consumer plastic waste from all sources.

Global:

  • The Codex Alimentarius, also known as the “Food Code,” is a set of standards, guidelines, and codes of practise developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborate on the Codex Alimentarius Commission (WHO).
  • It currently has 189 members, including India.

 

What exactly is FSSAI?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ensures that food for human consumption is safe to consume.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India, established under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006.

The body is in charge of promoting and protecting public health through various food safety regulations and inspections.

 

 

 

 

2.Global Innovation Index 2021

#GS3- Science & Technology Developments, Applications & Effects on Everyday Life Achievements of Indians in S&T

 

Context

India has been ranked 46th in the Global Innovation Index 2021.

In particulars

  • India’s performance in detail:
  • India has risen steadily in the Global Innovation Index (GII) over the last few years, from 81 in 2015 to 46 in 2021.
  • India is ranked second among 34 lower-middle-income economies and first among ten Central and Southern Asian economies.
  • Global scenario: Switzerland topped the league table, followed by Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
  • South Korea has risen to fifth place among Asian economies, up from tenth last year.
  • China was ranked twelfth.

 The Global Innovation Index (GII) is a measure of

  • During his tenure at INSEAD, Professor Soumitra Dutta launched the Global Innovation Index (GII) project in 2007.
  • The goal was to find and determine metrics and methods that could capture the most complete picture of societal innovation as possible.
  • WIPO began working with the GII in 2011 and began co-publishing the GII in 2012.
  • Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO continued to co-publish the GII until 2020.
  • WIPO will publish the GII in 2021 in collaboration with the Portulans Institute, various corporate and academic network partners, and the GII Advisory Board.
  • WIPO’s innovation criteria include institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, credit, investment, linkages, knowledge creation, absorption, and diffusion, and creative outputs.
  • Three metrics are computed:
  • Five input pillars capture elements of the economy that enable and facilitate innovative activities in the Innovation Input Sub-Index.
  • Sub-Index of Innovation Outputs:
  • Innovation outputs are the results of innovative activities within the economy. Although the Output Sub-Index only has two pillars, it has the same weight in calculating the overall GII scores as the Input Sub-Index.
  • The overall GII score is the average of the Input and Output Sub-Indices, which are then used to generate the GII economy rankings.

The reason for this expansion

  • The enormous knowledge capital, the vibrant start-up ecosystem, and the amazing work done by public and private research organisations are all contributing to the GII ranking’s consistent improvement.
  • Scientific Departments such as the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology, and the Department of Space have all played important roles in expanding the National Innovation Ecosystem.
  • The NITI Aayog has worked tirelessly to ensure the optimization of national efforts to bring policy-led innovation in a variety of areas such as electric vehicles, biotechnology, nanotechnology, space, alternative energy sources, and so on.
  • The India Innovation Index, the most recent edition of which was released last year by the NITI Aayog, has been widely regarded as a significant step toward decentralisation of innovation across all states.
  • The NITI Aayog, including the GII, has maintained a consistent focus on monitoring and evaluating India’s position in global rankings.

India’s Innovation Challenges

  • Academia-Industry Gap:
  • Initiatives such as the Atal Innovation Mission and collaboration with institutions in countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom are proving beneficial, but there is still a long way to go before we can close the gap completely.
  • Growth necessitates a fundamental shift in the Indian Education System.
  • Top educational institutions in India are still primarily concerned with teaching.
  • University research is not connected to industry or real-world problems.
  • Taking more risks:
  • It is past time for the Indian Education System to take some risks.
  • The recently announced National Education Policy offers a ray of hope for resolving this issue.
  • Investment
  • India produces the most engineers, but the number of innovations and start-ups does not match this figure.
  • Individuals will only learn to take risks if institutions do.
  • Funding, both domestic and foreign direct investment, can have a significant impact on the start-up culture.
  • AIM has been working on it, but more incentives and compensation are required.
  • Collaborations:
  • Interdisciplinary and international collaborations are essential for maximising impact and outcome.
  • Spending on R&D:
  • Another area in which India lags is spending on R&D.
  • Research investments are made on faith with a small amount of risk.
  • Infrastructure is an area where India lags the most.
  • Good and efficient infrastructure can only be provided if the organisers are aware of the needs of the innovators and scientists.
  • Citizens’ mindset:
  • In general, Indians are not team players.
  • Start-up culture is unlikely to be successful unless a culture of raising your team with yourself is developed.
  • Including all stakeholders:
  • Whether developing an innovative solution for rural India or addressing a city’s waste management crisis, every stakeholder must be appropriately represented.

Way Ahead 

  • Harnessing the Power of Innovation:
  • In the face of an unprecedented crisis, it is critical to fully harness the power of innovation to collectively build a cohesive, dynamic, and long-term recovery.
  • The Global Innovation Landscape is Changing:
  • High-income economies, particularly those in Northern America and Europe, continue to lead the GII rankings, with the most robust and balanced innovation systems. This needs to change immediately, especially in countries like India.
  • Building Infrastructure:
  • Infrastructure is the most important factor in the success of any idea.
  • R&D Investment:
  • It is critical that support for innovation expands and is conducted in a countercyclical manner (i.e., as business innovation expenditures slump, governments strive to counteract that effect with their own expenditure boosts to innovation, even in the face of higher public debt).
  • Educational Partnership:
  • Proper implementation and collaboration with educational institutions can help achieve the goal of transforming the Indian education system.
  • Dialogue and Discussion:
  • A simple culture of dialogue and discussion can be revolutionary.This will make sure that the innovation can be used for the betterment of society.
  • Atma Nirbhar Bharat:
  • As enshrined in the concept of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, innovation will be critical in driving the country’s resilience and self-reliance.

 

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

?       It is the world’s largest forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information, and collaboration.

?       It is a self-sustaining United Nations agency with 193 member states.

?       Mission: To lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property system that fosters innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.

?       The WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967, outlines its mandate, governing bodies, and procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

3.Promoting Pearl Farming in Tribal Areas by Purty Agrotech: TRIFED

#GS -Growth & DevelopmentEconomics of Animal-Rearing

 

Context

Trifed (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) recently signed an agreement with Jharkhand-based Purty Agrotech to promote pearl farming in tribal areas.

 

In more detail:

  • India Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation
  • It is a national-level apex organisation that reports to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for administrative oversight. It was established in 1987.
  • Its headquarters are in New Delhi, and it has a network of 13 regional offices spread across the country.
  • Its main goal is to promote the socioeconomic development of tribal people in the country through the marketing of tribal products such as metal craft, tribal textiles, and so on.
  • It is primarily responsible for two functions: Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development and Retail Marketing and Development.
  • Purty Agrotech pearls will be sold through 141 Tribes India outlets, as well as various e-commerce platforms, as part of the agreement.
  • Purty Agrotech’s facility will be transformed into a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Cluster (VDVKC). In addition, there is a plan to build 25 of these VDVKCs for pearl farming in Jharkhand.
  • VDVKs provide tribals with skill development and capacity building training, as well as the establishment of primary processing and value addition facilities.
  • The TRIFED has also entered into an agreement with the e-commerce platform Big Basket to promote and sell natural ‘Van Dhan’ products.
  • The breeding of oysters and the development of pearls is a sustainable mode of business that tribals with access to nearby water bodies can easily practise.
  • It will be game changers for tribal livelihoods in the coming years.

Pearl Farming:

  • Pearls are the world’s only gemstones that come from a living creature. Mollusks such as oysters and mussels produce these priceless jewels that people have coveted since antiquity.
  • In order to produce cultured pearls, pearl oysters are farmed in a number of countries around the world.
  • Freshwater pearls are pearls grown on pearl farms with freshwater mussels. Because mussels are the organic hosts, the pearls can naturally grow up to ten times larger than those produced by saltwater oysters. And the lustre that freshwater pearls produce is incredible.

Benefits:

  • Farmers’ Income Increased: Farmers’ income in India is typically dependent on external factors such as climate, and this dependence frequently results in losses. On the other hand, pearl farming is completely independent of these factors and yields a high profit.
  • Eco-Friendly: Pearl farming is environmentally friendly. It improves species diversity by providing habitat for fish.
  • Water Purification: Filter feeder oysters clean the water as well. A single oyster can clear more than 15 gallons of water per day.
  • It collects heavy metals from the water while also removing harmful pollutants.

Initiatives Undertaken: Pearl farmers may benefit from the PMMSY (Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana).

Given the importance of pearl farming, the Department of Fisheries has included a sub-component for pearl culture in the Blue Revolution scheme to promote the industry.

 

 

4.Delay in Monsoon Withdrawal

# GS1- Important Geophysical Phenomena

 

Context

  • With a new rain-bearing pressure system forming in the Bay of Bengal, the Southwest monsoon’s departure is expected to be delayed.
  • For the next ten days, there are no signs of monsoon withdrawal from North India.

In particulars

  • September rainfall in India is 27% higher than average for the month.
  • A crippling rainfall deficit had brought India dangerously close to a drought-like situation until the end of August, but a resurgence of rainfall since September has narrowed the deficit to 3%.

Monsoon withdrawals have occurred in the past.

  • The southwest monsoon began its withdrawal in 2019 on October 9, and it began last year on September 28.
  • In 2017 and 2018, the monsoon also saw delayed withdrawals.
  • Around mid-October, the monsoon leaves India completely.

Criteria for monsoon withdrawal declaration

  • When the following conditions are met, the monsoon is said to leave a region:
  • Rainfall activity over the area ceases for five days; an anticyclone forms in the lower troposphere around 1.5 kilometres above sea level, and moisture content decreases.
  • For the declaration of monsoon withdrawal from the country, similar criteria are used. When the monsoon departs, the wind patterns over the country shift from a south-westerly to a more westerly direction.

Reasons for the Delay

  • One of the causes of the trend is climate change. The timing and duration of the monsoon over India may be changing.
  • Variations in monsoon withdrawal from year to year can be influenced by climate variability such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole.
  • For example, the late withdrawal and heavy rainfall in October 2020 were attributed to the La Nina cooling phase of the ENSO, which is characterised by unusual cooling of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • It can bring more rain than usual to India, extending the monsoon season.
  • Long-term drivers such as La Nina are becoming more favourable and are expected to appear near the end of the monsoon season. September has a better chance of rain than the rest of the year.

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO):

  • ENSO is a global phenomenon that affects the temperature and precipitation in many parts of the world, including the Indian subcontinent. The ability of scientists to predict the occurrence of the ENSO, and thus the amount of rainfall and temperature in the region, is the most important factor with the ENSO. ENSO is made up of three phenomena:
  • El-Nino causes a rise in the surface temperature of the eastern Pacific Ocean. This is linked to an increase in rainfall along South America’s western coast and a decrease in rainfall over the Indian subcontinent. It also causes westerly winds rather than the more common easterly winds.
  • La-Nina:
  • It’s the inverse of El-phenomenon. Nino’s Temperatures over the eastern Pacific Ocean rise, while rainfall decreases. In addition, rainfall over the Indian subcontinent increases, as does the strength of surface-level easterly winds.
  • These years are not associated with any of the aforementioned phenomena.
  • The Southern Oscillation is the link that has been established between El Nino and the decrease in rainfall over the Indian subcontinent. Although the fishermen and later the scientists were aware of both phenomena, they were thought to be unrelated. It wasn’t until much later that the two were linked, and the phenomenon was dubbed the Southern Oscillation.
  • Impacts
  • Over the next week, the Southwest Monsoon will be active to vigorous over Uttarakhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, east Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Odisha. Gujarat and Odisha remain among the states with the highest deficits this season.
  • While this bodes well for many Kharif crops and the upcoming rabi season, it is a cause for concern for harvest-ready crops.
  • It may be detrimental to standing crops such as urad.

Way ahead of schedule

  • More research and high-quality data on the onset, progress, and withdrawal of the monsoon season are needed to understand the roles of natural factors such as ENSO and human-caused climate change in changing monsoon patterns over India.

 

Terminology for monsoon forecasting:

LPA (Long Period Average):

It is the average rainfall received by the country over a 50-year period during the south-west monsoon. Based on average rainfall between 1951 and 2000, the current LPA is 89 cm. This serves as a standard against which rainfall during any monsoon season is measured.

Deficient rainfall:

If the actual rainfall falls below 90% of the LPA, the country is said to have received deficient rainfall.

Excess rainfall:

The country is said to have received excess rainfall if the rainfall exceeds 110 percent of the annual average.

Normal rainfall:

The country is said to have received normal rainfall when the actual rainfall received falls between 96 and 104 per cent of LPA.

 

 

 

5.What exactly is the IPO Grey Market?

#GS3- Indian economy.

 

Context:

  • Grey Market has recently been mentioned in a few articles. Traders are interested in grey market stocks because they can be used to profit from changes in a company’s share price before it is listed.
  • Furthermore, any activity is typically interpreted as an indicator of the direction the stock price will take once it has been listed. The pre-market price can be used to estimate share demand.

What exactly is an IPO grey market?

  • When a company wants to raise funds to fuel its growth, it typically sells a portion of its stock on the stock market. This is known as an initial public offering, or IPO.
  • An IPO grey market, on the other hand, is an unofficial market in which IPO shares or applications are bought and sold before they become available for trading on the stock exchange.
  • A parallel market, also known as an over-the-counter market, is another name for it.

Is it permissible? What rules govern it?

  • Because it is unofficial, there are no regulations that govern it. There is no involvement from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), stock exchanges, or brokers. These transactions are conducted one-on-one in cash.

What is the Kostak exchange rate?

  • It is about an IPO application. The Kostak rate is the price at which an investor purchases an IPO application prior to its listing.

Why do investors engage in Grey Market trading?

  • It’s a great opportunity for investors to buy a company’s shares before they’re listed, especially if they believe the stock will rise in value.
  • If an investor missed the IPO application deadline or wants to buy more shares, they can go to the IPO grey market.

What does it mean for businesses?

  • The grey market is a great way for companies to learn about the demand for their shares and how the company’s shares may perform once they are listed.
  • Aside from that, an IPO grey market could be used to predict how the company’s stock will perform once it is publicly traded.

Concerns:

  • The IPO grey market is an unofficial market that operates outside of the purview of the SEBI. As a result, there are no guarantees. All transactions are based on trust and involve counterparty risk.
  • As a result, if the stock tanked, parties would have little legal recourse.

Current Affairs 22nd September -2021

 

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