Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 27th November – 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 27-11-2021

                                                                                                  

 

 

Topics

  • Revisiting EWS Criteria
  • The Neobanks
  • Havana Syndrome
  • River Cities Alliance
  • Deep Dive Training Program

 

 

1. Revisiting EWS Criteria

#GS2- Governance

Context

  • The Rs 8 lakh family income ceiling for Economically Weaker Sections to apply for 10% reserved seats in government education institutes will be reviewed by the Centre.

In depth information

  • The Union government has taken a determined decision to reassess the criteria for determining the economically weaker sectors in light of the provisions of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019’s Explanation to Article 15 of the Constitution.
  • The major challenge is to explain why the annual income ceiling of Rs. 8 lakh was chosen precisely to identify EWS.
  • Reserves for OBCs were based on socio-educational backwardness, but reservations for EWS were solely economic.
  • The EWS group has 10% bookings, bringing the total number of reservations to 69 percent. SCs have a 15% reservation, STs have a 7% reservation, while OBCs have a 27% reservation.

Quantum of reservation

  • EWSs who are not covered by the reservation plan for SCs, STs, and OBCs would be given 10% preference in direct recruitment for civil offices and services in the government, as well as admission to educational institutions.

EWS Reservation Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate’s family’s annual income must be less than Rs. 8 lakhs.
  • They can’t have more than 5 acres of farmland in their family.
  • The size of the residential flat should be less than 1000 square feet.

The 103rd Amendment is required.

  • This amendment will solve an issue that exists in India, where upper caste students are unable to attend public employment and higher education owing to a lack of suitable financial structure in the family.
  • In addition, many upper caste citizens are poor and hungry.
  • This reservation modification will also allow poor upper caste people to receive the same reservation as OBC people.
  • The upper castes used to look down on individuals who arrived through reservation, but this change would assist to remove that stigma.

 

2. The Neobanks

#GS3- Indian Economy

Context

  • According to the “The Evolution of Neobanks in India” Report, with 58.4 percent of India’s population underbanked, Neobanks have enormous potential for expansion in the country’s tier-II and tier-III rural segments.

In depth information

  • Neobanks bridge the gap between traditional banks’ services and clients’ changing expectations in the digital age.
  • They are reshaping the fintech landscape and may one day supplant traditional banks.

What exactly are Neobanks?

  • A neobank is a type of digital bank that does not have any physical locations. Neobanking does not require you to be physically present at a specific location.
  • Customers can use neobanks instead of traditional banks because they are less expensive.
  • They use artificial intelligence and technology to provide tailored services to clients while lowering operating expenses.
  • These companies don’t have their own bank licences in India, thus they rely on bank partners to provide licenced services.
  • Because the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not yet enable banks to be completely digital, this is the case.
  • The RBI has stated that banks’ physical presence should be prioritised, and that digital banking service providers should have some physical presence as well.

Though neo-banks might operate in a variety of ways, they all fall into one of three categories:

  • Non-licensed FinTech companies that work with traditional banks to create a mobile/web platform and a wrapper for their partners’ products.
  • Traditional financial institutions that are launching digital efforts.
  • Neo-banks with a licence (usually with digital banking licences in those countries that allow it)

Main Segments of Neo Bank

  • They focus on consumer segments that aren’t served by traditional banks. Their primary objectives are SMEs, tech-savvy individuals, and low-wage workers.
  • They have reduced the fee or charges in order to retain clients effectively and quickly.
  • The banks make use of cloud-based technologies.
  • Payments, expenditures, receivables, and expense control are examples of specialised financial systems.
  • Forex cards, credit cards, cash processing, cost management, and corporate banking services and loan products are key priorities for these institutions.
  • Neo Banks’ Consumer Services:
  • Neo banks use artificial intelligence to provide client care. Chatbots and other forms of automated online assistance, for example, are available.
  • Traditional banks, on the other hand, use telephonic or email services, as well as face-to-face communication with consumers.
  • Because neo banks are totally digital, they provide a wide range of advantages.

Neobanks’ Advantages

  • They offer hassle-free banking on a more convenient basis.
  • They have a pleasant user interface. Customers no longer have to deal with a buggy internet banking site.
  • They are extremely responsive and well-designed to meet a customer’s needs.
  • They put their clients first when it comes to innovation, and they have a high level of security.
  • They have a variety of measures in place to assist clients.

The Importance of Neo Banks

  • The financial business has shifted dramatically in recent years. With over 2000 fintech companies in the country, digital payments are already widely accepted.

 

3. Havana Syndrome

#GS3-Scientific Innovations

Context

  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently stated that the issue of Havana Syndrome is a major priority for it, and that it would continue to investigate the cause and how to protect employees.

In depth information

  • During their stay in Havana, Cuba in late 2016, a few American ambassadors and their staff experienced several common symptoms.
  • They began to feel sick after experiencing strange physical sensations and hearing strange sounds.
  • The United States even accused Cuba of launching sonic attacks. Cuba, on the other hand, disputed the charges of sonic bombardment and denied knowledge of any such ailment or syndrome.
  • Since then, numerous organisations and institutes have been investigating the cause of the Havana syndrome, with many possible reasons revealed to date.
  • Nausea, severe headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sleep issues, and hearing loss are among symptoms of the syndrome.
  • A few of those who were more severely affected had to deal with long-term challenges like vestibular processing and cognitive disorders.
  • According to a report published in 2020 by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), focused microwave radiation is a potential cause of Havana syndrome.

What are the factors that contribute to Havana Syndrome?

  • No one knows for sure. However, it is thought to be a “sonic attack.”
  • The victims’ medical examinations began to imply that they may have been exposed to high-powered microwaves that injured or interfered with their nerve systems.
  • It was supposed to have created a pressure inside the brain that gave the sensation of hearing a sound.
  • Increased exposure to high-powered microwaves is thought to affect not only the body’s sense of equilibrium, but also memory and create long-term brain damage.
  • It’s thought that high-powered microwave beams are sent through a specific device dubbed the “microwave weapon” by Americans.

Microwave Weapons:

  • Direct Energy Weapon (DEW): A DEW is a sort of direct energy weapon that uses highly focused energy such as sonic, laser, or microwaves to attack a target.
  • They emit electromagnetic radiation, which affects human body feelings.
  • Dizziness and nausea are caused by electromagnetic radiation heating the fluids in the human body.

Countries with Microwave Weapons:

  • Microwave weapons are said to have been developed by a number of countries to target both humans and electronic devices.
  • In 2014, China initially displayed its microwave weapon, the Poly WB-1, at an air show.
  • The United States has also created a prototype microwave-style weapon known as the “Active Denial System,” which is the first non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system with a range that exceeds that of currently deployed non-lethal weapons.

India’s Directed Energy Weapons Plans:

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently announced intentions to create (DEWs) that use high-energy lasers and microwaves.
  • The development of DEWs is viewed as especially crucial in light of India’s deteriorating security situation, particularly its ties with China.

Concerns:

  • These weapons are concerning since they can harm both machines and humans.
  • They can cause long-term harm to the human body without leaving a trace.

 

4. River Cities Alliance

#GS2-Government Policies , GS3-Environmental Pollution & Degradation

Context

  • The River Cities Alliance was recently created by the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (RCA).
  • It is a dedicated venue for river cities in India to brainstorm, discuss, and share knowledge on how to manage urban rivers sustainably.

In depth information

  • The Alliance will concentrate on three main areas: networking, capacity building, and technical assistance.
  • Although the Alliance began with cities in the Ganga basin, it has since expanded to include cities outside of the basin. The River Cities Alliance is made up of the following cities: Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Munger, Patna, Berhampore, Hooghly-Chinsurah, Howrah, Jangipur, Maheshtala, Rajmahal, Sahibganj, Ayodhya, Bijnor, Farrukhabad, Kanpur

The RCA was launched in collaboration between the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA).

  • Goals: To provide a forum for member cities to discuss and exchange information on issues that are critical to the long-term management of urban waterways.
  • To work toward the adoption and localization of national policies and tools that address important river-related issues.
  • To build city-specific sectoral strategies and prepare city-specific urban river management plans that are essential for long-term urban river management.

Significance:

  • It will allow cities to learn from one another’s achievements and failures while also connecting people to rivers.
  • It has the potential to play a critical role in connecting cities to their rivers, as well as serve as a model for all communities in the Basin and beyond.
  • It will provide a chance for municipal administrators and their teams to take bold steps forward while also learning from and inspiring one another.
  • It allows towns to strengthen governance features for river cities and improve their liveability in order to attract external economic investments, gain access to cutting-edge knowledge and frameworks, and serve as a test bed for innovative demonstration projects.

Suggestions:

  • Cities should be in charge of revitalising their rivers. It must be done not only from a regulatory standpoint, but also from a developmental and facilitative standpoint.
  • A framework for integrating the urban built form, including landscape and the urban water cycle, is required.
  • Cities have been blamed for most of the deterioration of waterways, and they will need to play a key role in the restoration efforts as well.
  • There is a need to mainstream river sensitive approaches while planning for the cities.

 

5. Deep Dive Training Program

#GS3- Cyber Crime & Security

Context

  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT’s National e-Governance Division is hosting a six-day Deep Dive Training session for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT personnel.

In depth information

What is the definition of a Deep Dive Training programme?

  • Launched by the Ministry of Electronics and IT’s National e-Governance Division as part of the Cyber Surakshit Bharat project.
  • The goal of this six-day training programme is to raise awareness about cyber security and promote an empowered and powerful cyber ecosystem in Indian government agencies.
  • It is a training programme for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT officials from various Ministries & Departments, Government & Semi-Governmental organisations from Central and State Governments, PSUs, banks, and other organisations.
  • Importance: This form of training equips them to protect their organisations from cyber threats and to ensure that e-government services and production units run smoothly.

What is the initiative known as Cyber Surakshit Bharat?

  • In 2018, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched the project.
  • Aim: Educate Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT personnel across all government departments about cybercrime and how to protect themselves.
  • The effort will be guided by three main principles: awareness, education, and empowerment. It will involve a cybersecurity awareness programme, a series of training on best practises, and the provision of authorities with cybersecurity health tool kits in order to manage and mitigate cyber risks.
  • Significance: It is the first public-private cooperation of its sort, combining the IT industry’s expertise in cyber security with MeitY’s knowledge partners, such as CDAC, CERT-In, NIC, and STQC.

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