Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS | 14th October 2021

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1.  PM Gati Shakti

UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper II – Indian Economy
Sub Theme: Gati Shakti | Multi-modal connectivity | UPSC

Context: 

A new master plan to boost infrastructure in India.

Objective:

To make India as business capital of the world.

  • National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity
  • Beneficiaries: People of India, Indian industry, Indian business, Indian manufacturers, and Indian farmers.
  • It would help to integrate different modes of transportation.

Objectives:

  • Make India a business capital of the world.
  • Provide multiplier effect to the economy.
  • Long term objective of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Industrial growth.
  • Bridging the regional developmental gaps.
  • Centralized planning.
  • Intra-sectoral and Inter-sectoral growth.
  • Long-term planning was previously missing in India.
  • Achieve $5 Trillion GDP.

Limitations:

  • Long-term planning is not very well tested in developing nations
  • Issues of cooperative federalism
  • Financing issues
  • Changing dynamics of the economy
  • Over centralization of the planning.
  • Too much focus on industrial sector.
  • Possibility of changing government.

Practice question:

  1. Infrastructure is called as a lifeline of an economy. Evaluate the role of infrastructure in pushing Indian economy. Also identify major challenges of infrastructure in India along with measures to boost the infrastructure in India. (250 words).

2.  Border security force

UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper III – Internal Security
Sub Theme:  BSF | UPSC    

Central Govt. has enhanced the surveillance powers of BSF.

  • BSF is primary border guarding organisation of India and termed as First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.
  • Jurisdiction: BSF is deployed on Indo-Pakistan International Border, Indo-Bangladesh International Border, Line of Control (LoC) along with Indian Army and in Anti-Naxal Operations Organised: 1965 merging various State Armed Police Battalions
  • Objective:  border guarding functions in peace time and fighting the war during the eventuality on both Western and Eastern fronts.
  • Other contributions: counter insurgency and anti-militancy operations, internal security duties, natural calamities etc.
  • BSF is Central Armed Police Forces of Union of India under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • It is mandated with guarding India’s land border during peacetime and preventing transnational crime.
  • BSF currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force.

Role of BSF during war:

  1. Holding ground in less threatened sectors so long as the main attack does not develop in a particular sector and it is felt that the local situation is within the capability of the BSF to deal with.
  2. Protection of vital installations.
  3. Providing extension to the flanks of main defence line by the holding of strong points in conjunction with other units.
  4. Limited aggressive action against para military or irregular forces of the enemy within the overall plan of the Armed Forces.
  5. Performing special tasks connected with intelligence including raids. Such tasks will be entrusted to the BSF unit by the army in a war situation according to local necessity.
  6. Acting as guides to the Army in border areas.
  7. Maintenance of law and order in enemy territory administered under the control of Army.
  8. Provision of escorts.
  9. Guarding of prisoners of war cages.
  10. Assistance in control of refugees.
  11. Anti-infiltration duties in specified areas.

3.  Aluminium industry rings alarm bells over coal shortage

UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper III – Indian Economy
Sub Theme:  Aluminium industries | UPSC

Context – The aluminium industry has sent an SOS to Coal India, demanding the immediate resumption of supplies for survival of the industry that is facing an ‘alarming’ situation following coal shortage.

Locational factors for Aluminium industries:

  • Nature of industry is weight loosing hence proximity to raw materials (Bauxite, caustic soda, aluminium fluoride) areas.
  • Effective transportation and low transportation cost.
  • Electricity and coal as a continuous source of energy.
  • Cheap and skilled labour.
  • Clusterisation and development of inter industrial linkages.
  • Capital, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Government policies like public investment, ease of doing business and FDI norms etc.

Issues in aluminium industry:

  • Production concentrated in few units like BALCO, HINDALCO, MALCO etc
  • Rising cost of domestic production due to shortage as well as increase in energy cost, coal cess and other duties.(Coal accounts for about 40% of the production cost)
  • Over reliance on imports for coal, scrap and strategic metals.
  • Administrative issues like delays in environmental clearances, complex laws and frequent change in policies.

MCQ:

Consider the following statements about aluminium industry in India:

1. Most of them are located near the raw materials.
2. Now they have adequate availability of energy source due to India becoming self sufficient in coal since 2017.
3. Cheap labour availability is key to Aluminium industries.

options:
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 1, 2 and 3 only
d) 1 and 3 only

Answer – (d)
Explanation –  Aluminium industries are weight loosing industries hence to reduce the transportation cost they are located near the source of raw materials. Recently the aluminium industry has sent an SOS to Coal India, demanding the immediate resumption of supplies for survival of the industry that is facing an ‘alarming’ situation following coal shortage. Availability of labour is also required in aluminium industry.

 

UPSC Current Affairs: Duplicates from Nepal add to India’s Darjeeling tea worries|Page – 11

UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper III – Indian Economy

Sub Theme:  Darjeeling tea | Geographical Indication | Indo-Nepal trade deal | UPSC

DARJEELING TEA:

Context: The Tea Association of India (TAI) has raised the red flag on Nepal-origin teas reportedly sold in the domestic market as the premium Darjeeling teas, thereby “diluting the brand image of Darjeeling tea and adversely impacting prices”.
Key facts:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • The Geographical Indications are defined by the WTO’s TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement. India enacted the GI of Goods act, 1999 as a member of WTO and as a signatory of TRIPS agreement
  • The act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and trademarks under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • GI tag secures the quality and authenticity of a product to a particular geographical origin. It provides legal protection from duplication.

Darjeeling Tea was the first good to receive a GI Tag in India. Three varieties of Darjeeling tea have received GI tags: 

1) Black Darjeeling tea, 2)White Darjeeling tea and 3)Green Darjeeling tea.

  • Darjeeling white tea has a unique aroma. Both the white as well as black tea are made from same leaves.While the leaves used for making black tea undergo withering and oxidation, those used for making white tea do not face any withering and oxidation. In other words, white tea undergoes minimum processing
  • Tea Board is the registered proprietor of GI for Darjeeling tea.

Indo-Nepal trade deal:

  • Revised treaty on trade signed in 2009 allowed the free and unhampered flow of goods between India and Nepal.
  • The current trade between India and Nepal allows mandatory sanitary and phytosanitary certificates before products are allowed in the country.

MCQ:

Consider the following statements:

1. The crop grows well in summer season.
2. In India it is mainly grown in Eastern and southern India.

Identify the crop from the options given below:

a) Tea
b) Paddy
c) Coffee
d) Wheat

Answer: (a)
Explanation- For the cultivation of tea, major geographical conditions required include a moderate temperature between the range of 21°C to 29°C and high rainfall between 150-200 cm. The crop is grown mainly in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Tamli Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka etc

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