Any Questions? info@beandbyias.com /+91 9958826967, 9958294810

LAW OPTIONAL Batch for CIVIL SERVICES 2022 Live classes Starting from 1st March 2021 | For registration call @ 9958294810 or mail at info@beandbyias.com |

Daily Category  (GS PAPER II)

Food Security and Aadhar Issues

CONTEXT:

  • The Supreme Court recently asked the Centre to respond to allegations made in a PIL by a that 3 crore ration cards have been cancelled in the country.

KEY DETAILS:

  • 3 crore ration cards have been cancelled in the country because of the insistence on Aadhaar linkage and biometric authentication.

  • It has resulted in the denial of foodgrains to poor citizens, which in turn has caused starvation deaths including that of the petitioner’s 11-year-old daughter.

  • Poor Internet in remote areas was also flagged as an issue.

Lokniti-CSDS Survey findings- National Election Study

  • National Election Study (NES) during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Lokniti-CSDS had asked electors whether they had ever been denied foodgrains due to non-possession/production of an Aadhaar ID.

  • It found out that 28% or over one in four households had indeed experienced such a situation.

  • While in percentage terms this may not seem all that high a figure to some, in absolute terms it would be huge.

  • Biometric authentication: Ever since Aadhaar-based biometric authentication was introduced in PDS, then issues of people’s fingerprints, iris scanners of not getting confirmed by the e-PoS device at the ration shops.

    • And a poor Internet connection forcing people to spend on another trip to the shop.  

Rural vs urban in the states:

  • Contrary to the notion that seeding and authentication problems are occurring mostly in remote areas, data indicates that they are nearly of the same magnitude in villages and towns/cities.

  • Rural areas: While 28% of respondents belonging to ration card-holding households in rural areas were refused ration due to Aadhaar-related issues at some point.

  • Urban areas: It was 27%.

    • Some big cities were slightly better off, however.

  • Poorest worst affected: In both rural and urban areas, the poorest were worst affected – 39% of households with a monthly income below Rs 2,000 said they were at some point denied PDS ration due to Aadhaar problems.

Hindi heartland v. Other States:

  • Hindi heartland: The most striking difference was noticed when we disaggregated the responses by a grouping of Hindi-speaking heartland states vis-à-vis the rest.

  • ‘Bimaru’ states-In the Hindi belt — Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, UP and Uttarakhand, states once described as ‘Bimaru’ states — as many as 40% of RC-holding households reported a denial of ration due to Aadhaar issues.

    • Compared to 20% households in the rest of the country.

  • Issues of biometric authentication: Problem may be less due to non-possession of Aadhaar and more due to biometric authentication and server issues.

    • As respondents from 95% of RC-holding h  ouseholds in the ‘Bimaru’ belt did report having Aadhaar.

  • State wise: Rajasthan, 36%; in Chhattisgarh, 39%; in MP and Jharkhand, over 40%; and in Bihar, particularly high at 56%.

  • Denial of PDS grains: The fact that one-fourth households did at some point not get ration they were entitled to because of the Aadhaar compulsion is a serious matter.

SOURCE: Indian Express

Decentralised international order/ World Order

GLOBAL SUPREMACY:

  • The International Institute for Strategic Studies puts the overall estimate of China’s military budget at $230 billion. The intentions for global supremacy are apparent, chiefly to outrun the America.

  • Primary geopolitical rivals: The primary geopolitical rivals, namely Russia and China may possibly provide the strategic and tactical counterbalance to the hegemony of America.

  • Moreover, the international order is under threat of the rising economic power of the BRICS nations, with China dominating in its economic and military capacity.

  • Decentred and pluralistic global order: The world is, as a result, witness to a more decentred and pluralistic global order by long-term structural shifts in the global economy, indicating change of status in international politics, especially in the context of the rising impact of Asian Regionalism on international trade and commerce.

RISING POWERS AND AN AGENDA

  • Military prowess: Though it is a far cry from surpassing the United States in its military prowess, particularly Russia which has no ambitions of a global outreach.

  • Future of global politics: It is apparent that the future of global politics requires rising powers to aggressively building a parallel economic order envisaging new centres of hegemonic power.

  • Decline of American ascendency: It forebodes the final decline of American ascendency that began after the end of British imperialism in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis (1956)

    • When a wrap on the knuckles by America led to the withdrawal of Britain and France.

    • Pax Britannica gave way to Pax Americana.

  • European hegemony: From the Renaissance period onwards, 14th-15th century Europe began its hegemonic ambitions through trade and commerce, taking almost 500 years to colonise and influence nations across the world.

  • Interrogation of Eurocentrism: The tectonic shifts in the postcolonial era saw the interrogation of Eurocentrism and its biased accounts of the East, especially with the appearance of

    • Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and

    • Edward Said’s Orientalism.

  • Bandung Conference of 1955: It was the Bandung Conference of 1955, a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, that set the schema for the rise of Asia, politically and economically.

  • The confrontational stance was therefore the expected corollary in third world struggles to create a parallel order.

DENTS TO AMERICAN SUPREMACY:

  • Prime role in international affairs: Nevertheless, in all likelihood, America will continue to play a prime role in international affairs.

  • Universal brotherhood Image: It has sharply declined under the Trump regime, particularly his foreign policy of threatening to withdraw/withdrew from:

    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and

    • Paris Agreement on climate change

    • UNESCO

    • WHO

  • Racism and Immigration: Furthermore, his bare-faced racist obsession and his handling of the marginalised immigrants has left the democratic world aghast.

  • Dent to Liberal democracy: The rising tide of far-right ultra-nationalism and ethnic purity experienced in the Brexit phenomena, has set in motion the wearing down of liberal democracy.

  • Other threats: Such as terrorism, ethnic conflicts and the warning of annihilation owing to climate change necessarily demand joint international action where American “exceptionalism” becomes an incongruity and an aberration.

    • This indeed has chipped away at the American global supremacy.

DIRECTION BY CHINA:

  • Emerging economies would rise to meet the American-led liberal hegemonic world order.

  • Asian regionalism: With China spearheading Asian regionalism, a serious challenge is possible but there is deep scepticism about China’s self-enhancing economic and military greed reflecting its personal economic rise.

  • Regional multilateral institutions: China must strengthen the opposition to the West through the promotion of regional multilateral institutions.

  • Self-centred promotion of building its own stature through the recent concentration on principle of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Silk Road project has, indeed provoked an understandable clash with India and Japan.

  • Multilateral v. individual affiliations: More than having individual partners or allies, China must embrace and give a push to multilateral affiliations in order to not further exacerbate regional tensions.

  • Power rivalry in a multipolar world:  It would remain a possibility with military conflict not ruled out.  

  • Regional military activity: It can be seen in

    • Russia’s assertion of power in Georgia and Ukraine,

    • Turkey in the east of the Mediterranean,

    • India’s disputes with Pakistan and

    • China’s infiltration into India as well as its rivalry within its periphery.

  • Muscles flex & once economic rise: History is a witness to nations beginning to flex their muscles once economic rise is assured and recognised across the world.

  • Rising economies: However, the capabilities of the rising economies cannot be underestimated.

  • China and India clearly have the age-old potential to lead as, historically, they have been pioneers of some of the oldest civilisations in the world.

  • Whereas, China’s military capabilities must not make China lose its bearings, economically it must spearhead the challenge to the established western world that has ingrained its superiority in the consciousness of the developing world for centuries.

  • China led union: Indeed is a valuable bedfellow for the launching of a union which could be a formidable challenge to the West.

  • Fragmentation of global governance: It can no longer be handled solely by America.

  • China a serious rival to the USA: China is indisputably a serious rival to the U.S. in the South China Sea,

  • A world leader in renewable energy, and

  • A formidable actor on the global stage of investment and trade, penetrating India, Israel, Ethiopia and Latin America.

  • Absolute sovereignty model: China has risen in its global power by “adopting the idea of absolute sovereignty and following the nation-state model, which is in conflict with the Western ideal that human rights override sovereignty.

    • But it cannot continue to rise by doing what it has been doing and it must eventually follow the liberal democratic models”.

    • China must remember that its growing power has compelled Anthony Blinken, the current U.S. Secretary of State, to encourage NATO members to join the U.S. in viewing China as an economic and security threat.

ON SHARING AND TREATIES

  • The emphasis, therefore, would be a move towards restructuring and advancement, as well as adopting an oppositional posture as a robust replacement of subservience to western hegemony.

  • The challenges of the 21st century can be met head on through mutual sharing of knowledge and more ground-breaking inclusive treaties.

  • It is feared that there could be a possibility of a multipolar world turning disordered and unstable.

    • But it is up to the rising nations to attempt to overcome territorial aspirations.

  • Interestingly, the sun is now setting on the empire and the rising nations are gradually waking up to a new experience of freedom and self-confidence.

SOURCE: The Hindu

Raisina Dialogue 2021

CONTEXT:

  • The Quad, or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is not an “Asian NATO” and India never had a “NATO mentality”, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in Raisina Dialogue 2021.

What the Raisina Dialogue tells about India's view of the world | The  Interpreter

Quad as Asian NATO:

  • The Quad is not an “Asian NATO” and India never had a “NATO mentality”, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said.

  • He stressed that in the changing global order, like-minded countries are coming together to form coalitions.

  • Indo-Pacific strategic construct: It is not about reinforcing the Cold War era but to “overcome” it.

  • This kind of using words like ‘Asian NATO’ etc is a mind-game which people are playing.

  • No Foreign Veto: We can’t have other people have a veto about what am going to discuss, with whom I’m going to discuss, how much I’m going to contribute to the world. That’s my national choice.

    • That kind of NATO mentality has never been India’s.

    • If it has been there in Asia before I think it’s in other countries and regions, not in mine.

  • Revival of Quad: After the Quad got revived in 2017, and now since the first-ever summit in 2021, many commentators have referred to the Quad as the ‘Asian NATO’.

  • 10 broad subjects: However, denying that the Quad is a security alliance, or an “Asian NATO”, Jaishankar said the grouping has dealt with 10 broad subjects so far —

    • Vaccine collaboration,

    • Higher education and student mobility,

    • Climate action,

    • HADR (high availability disease recovery),

    • Emerging technology,

    • Resilient supply chains,

    • Semiconductors,

    • Disinformation,

    • Counterterrorism and

    • Maritime security.

  • Purpose: So the purpose of coming together is actually to find ways of working for our national benefit, for our regional benefit and for global benefit.

‘Indo-Pacific not about reinforcing Cold War’

  • In an effort to reiterate India’s focus on the Indo-Pacific strategic construct, Jaishankar said, “Indo-Pacific is a return to history. It reflects a more contemporary world. It is actually overcoming the Cold War, not reinforcing it.”

  • As the world is changing, India is now also forming coalitions with other like-minded countries with which it can “work together” and it is so because multilateralism “is not delivering the way it used to”.

  • “There’s a vacuum which has emerged where multilateral has fallen short. Powers are not what they used to be, bilateral delivery is not what it used to be, so it requires countries which are comfortable with each other, who see merit in working with each other and who will make the world a better place by working together, come together,” he said.

  • Historically, India used to see Indo-Pacific as Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific. But today, due to globalisation, rebalancing of power and multipolarity “coming together” of countries have taken place.

‘Willingness to work together’

  • French foreign Minister said, “We share the same willingness to work together simply because we get along well and not just because we share some common interests or concerns, but because we are democracies and because we comply with the rule of law.  

  • India, France and Australia are planning to launch a trilateral dialogue soon.

SOURCE: The Print

National Internet Exchange of India

CONTEXT:

  • Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) & Chairman NIXI today inaugurated three path breaking initiatives for National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).

National Internet Exchange of India Offers free Domain in Local Indian  Languages - The News Strike

KEY DETAILS:

  • With this launch, NIXI has announced to play a supporting role for the IPv6 awareness and adoption in the country along with DOT & MeitY.

  • The details of the three new initiatives are as below:

1. IP Guru-IPv6 Expert Panel:

  • IP Guru is a group to extend support to all the Indian entities who are finding it technically challenging to migrate and adopt IPv6.

  • In addition to this the IPv6 expert group will help in identifying & hiring agency that will help end customer by providing necessary technical support to adopt IPv6.

  • This panel will guide all such Indian entities and help in increasing the IPv6 adoption.

  • It’s a joint effort of DOT, MeitY & community to promote IPv6.

  • The expert panel group comprises members from government and private organizations.

2. NIXI Academy:

  • NIXI Academy is created to educate technical/non-technical people in India to learn and relearn technologies like IPv6 which are normally not taught in Educational Institutes.

  • The easy-to-use platform helps network operators and educators understand networking best practices, principles and techniques; manage Internet resources better; and use appropriate Internet technologies more effectively.

  • NIXI academy comprises an IPv6 training portal which is developed  with the help of various technical experts in order to provide mass training  to the community.

  • Through this academy successful candidates can take a certificate from NIXI, which will be useful to find/upgrade jobs in the Industry.

3. NIXI-IP-INDEX:

  • NIXI has developed an IPv6 index portal for the Internet community.

  • NIXI-IP-INDEX portal will showcase the IPv6 adoption rate in India and across the world. It can be used to compare IPv6 Indian adoption rate with other economies in the world.

  • NIXI will populate this portal with web adoption in IPv6, IPv6 traffic etc. in coming days.

  • This portal will motivate organisations to adopt IPv6, provide inputs for planning by technical organisations and research by academicians. 

About NIXI

  • National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is a not-for-profit organization.

  • It is established under Companies Act 2013, working since 2003.

  • Purpose: For spreading the internet infrastructure to the citizens of India through the following activities:

    1. Internet Exchanges through which the internet data is exchanged amongst ISP’s, Data Centers and CDNs.

    2. .IN Registry, managing and operation of .IN country code domain and .???? IDN domain for India.

    3. IRINN, managing and operating Internet protocol (IPv4/IPv6).

SOURCE: PIB

UNFPA State of World Population Report 2021

CONTEXT:

  • United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) launched its State of World Population Report 2021 titled ‘My Body is My Own’.

The United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA) flagship 'State of World  Population Report 2021' titled 'My Body is My Own' was launched.

KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT:

  • Right to make decisions: Nearly half the women from 57 developing countries do not have the right to make decisions

    • Regarding their bodies,

    • Including using contraception,

    • Seeking healthcare or even on their sexuality.

  • Bodily autonomy: This is the first time a United Nations report has focused on bodily autonomy.

    • Report defined it as the power and agency to make choices about your body without the fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.

  • Women empowered: Only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over healthcare, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex.

    • Access to contraception: It also highlights that only 75% of countries legally ensure full and equal access to contraception.

  • Violation of bodily autonomy: Some examples of violation of bodily autonomy include,

    • Child marriage,

    • Female genital mutilation,

    • A lack of contraceptive choices leading to unplanned pregnancy,

    • Unwanted sex exchanged for a home and food or  

  • Fundamental right of bodily autonomy: Women around the world are denied the fundamental right of bodily autonomy with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating this situation.

  • Realising bodily autonomy is essential to achieving the UNFPA’s goals of ending the global unmet need for contraception, preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA):

  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN agency.

  • It is aimed at improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide.

  • Its work includes developing national healthcare strategies and protocols, increasing access to birth control, and leading campaigns against child marriage, gender-based violence, obstetric fistula, and female genital mutilation.

  • The UNFPA supports programs in more than 150 countries.

  • It is a founding member of the United Nations Development Group, a collection of UN agencies and programmes focused on fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

SOURCE: The Hindu

India and China- Why less may be more

CONTEXT:

  • Recently a Track-II dialogue between India and China was held in early April, possibly the first of its kind to be held after the Ladakh border crisis.

  • This brought together former ambassadors and military officials from both sides, organised by the Ananta Aspen Centre in New Delhi and the China Reform Forum in Beijing.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-China – Civilsdaily

LOWER THE EXPECTATIONS

  • A conversation driven by hard talk and finding shared interests, even if modest ones, may be amply rewarding.

  • “Lower the expectations” might not seem a very ambitious prescription for the immediate future of India’s troubled relations with China.

  • New equilibrium: It may, however, be just the right tonic to guide the way forward, as both countries seek a new equilibrium after a major rupture in relations following the border crisis.

HAMPERED BY EXPECTATIONS:

  • Chequered history: The chequered history of India-China relations is rife with examples of how misplaced expectations have burdened the relationship, often only leading to recurring disappointment.

  • Pan-Asian, Civilisational Partnership: In the 1950s, from idealised notions of restoring some pan-Asian, civilisational partnership to confrontation and ultimately war in 1962.

  • Informal summits: Holding of two “informal summits” in Wuhan in 2018 and in Mamallapuram in 2019, were seen as marking the start of another new promising era in ties, only to turn out to be another false dawn.

AT THE CORE:

  • Realistic state of relations: At the recent dialogue, the shared view was that key to arriving at this new, more realistic state of relations will be managing three issues —

    • The boundary question,

    • Trade, and

    • The increasing impact of third-party and multilateral engagements

Boundary dispute:

  • Consider the boundary dispute. Ten months after the clash at Galwan Valley, which marked the worst violence on the border since 1967, both sides are nowhere near full de-escalation.

  • Initial optimism of a quick end to the crisis, following disengagement on Pangong Lake, the most thorny of the disputes in eastern Ladakh, has now given way to an apparent stalemate.

  • After border talks – and no mention of disengagement from the Chinese side.

  • At the Track-II dialogue, Chinese speakers offered no clarity on what prompted the People’s Liberation Army’s mass mobilisation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

  • Was the deployment tactical — an attempt to push back India from the LAC by stealth that subsequently backfired — or a strategic message? We are still none the wiser.

  • What the crisis did make clear is there is certainly no appetite in China at the moment for a final settlement of the boundary question.

  • That is also the view of most Chinese experts, who suggest it is to be left for the next generation, which means a prolonged period of continued uncertainty on the borders.

  • The absence of a permanent peace does not, however, mean both countries are necessarily destined for conflict.

  • What they do need, in the view of military planners of both sides, is small steps to restore a shattered trust.

  • If China has made clear there is little likelihood of clarifying the LAC — a process that has been stalled for 19 years — one possible way forward is to, at least, clarify the most sensitive spots, and arrive at understandings, such as coordinated patrolling either by time or area. These are small steps that have, in the past, helped cool down the temperatures.

The View on Trade

  • On the trade front, the view in Delhi has shifted remarkably from what was, in the first few years of the Narendra Modi government, an all-out courtship of China Inc to talk now of “decoupling”.

  • If the idea of roping in China as a major economic partner now seems premature in light of the many unresolved political problems, so is talk of a complete disengagement on trade.

  • Trade reached $87.6 billion and China was India’s largest trading partner, with India importing $66.7 billion worth of machinery and medical equipment, among other goods, and exporting a record $20 billion to China, mostly ores to fill the appetite of China’s rebounding economy.

  • Or, for that matter, at the prompt restoration of Vivo as the sponsor of IPL after a suspension last year, even if the border crisis is nowhere near resolution.

  • Co-operation area: Infrastructure that has no security implications is an obvious area, as is clean energy given China’s capacities on solar and wind — and other areas where Delhi may find it needs to tread with caution, such as the roll-out of 5G.

Third Parties and External Engagement:

  • Finally, both sides need to have a clear conversation on how third parties and external engagement are an increasing factor.

  • The Track-II dialogue made it clear how China is viewing relations with India through the prism of its relations with the United States that are its abiding priority.

  • Small circles: Beijing has increasingly hit out at what President Xi Jinping called “small circles” when he spoke to Davos, which has now become shorthand for U.S.-involved groupings including the Quad.

  • India has its own grouses with China-involved “small circles” of certain multilateral efforts on Afghanistan that India has been kept out of.

FOCUS ON SHARED PLATFORMS

  • Red lines: Rather than view every element of such engagements as a threat, that both sides should decide red lines.

  • Shared platforms: India and China could start injecting more energy into their own shared platforms such as BRICS, SCO, RIC etc.

  • Two Plus Initiative: They could also revive their bilateral cooperation in Afghanistan, which began and ended after the Wuhan summit with a modest joint training programme for diplomats while more ambitious infrastructure projects that had once been imagined never took off.

  • As both sides chart a course forward after last year’s rupture in ties, they may find a conversation that is driven by hard talk and finding shared interests, even if modest ones, more rewarding than bearing misplaced expectations.

  • As India and China go back to the drawing board, less may indeed be more.

SOURCE: The Hindu

MANAS-Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System

CONTEXT:

  • The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups.