Current Affairs Analysis

8th September 2020 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Mysuru Dasara; K-shaped economic recovery; What is Critical wildlife habitats?; Forest Rights Act, 2006; What is the Chushul sub-sector?; Presence of water and oxygen on moon; About Chandrayaan-1; About Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV); Hypersonic speeds; Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme; Development Finance Institutions (DFI); 2nd Mammal extinction wave; Typhoon Haishen; International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies; etc.
By IASToppers
September 08, 2020

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • SVEP is propelling enterprises in rural areas

Economy

  • K-shape (economic) recovery
  • plans new development bank for big infra funding

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Critical wildlife habitats
  • 2nd Mammal extinction wave underway in Australia, Caribbean

Bilateral & International Relations

  • In India-China standoff in Ladakh, why Chushul is critical

Science & Technology

  • DRDO successfully flight tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle
  • Presence of water and oxygen on moon

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Typhoon Haishen
  • International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies
  • Mysuru Dasara

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Government Schemes & Policies

SVEP is propelling enterprises in rural areas

SVEP has extended business support services and capital infusion to 153 blocks of 23 states.

  • As of August 2020, around 1 lakh enterprises are being supported out of which 75% are owned and managed by women.

Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme

  • The Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Program is a sub component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) of the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • SVEP aims to support entrepreneurs in rural areas to set up local enterprises.
  • SVEP addresses three major pillars of rural start-ups namely – finances, incubation and skill ecosystems.

Objective

  • To implement the Government’s efforts to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty and unemployment in the villages by helping start and support rural enterprises.
  • To enable rural poor to set up their enterprises, in its proof of concept phase, by developing a sustainable model for Village Entrepreneurship promotion.
  • Develop local resources by training a pool of village level community cadre (CRP EP) and build the capacity of the NRLM and SHG federations to monitor and direct the work of the CRP-EPs.
  • Help the rural entrepreneurs to access finance for starting their enterprises from the NRLM SHG and federations, the banking systems including the proposed MUDRA bank.
  • Handhold the rural entrepreneurs/ enterprises in the initial six months of start-up, with visits from the CRP-EP’s supported by guidance from an advisory panel of experts for the relevant enterprise.

Implementation

  • The NRLM SHG’s and federations are a critical pre-requisite for the implementation of the SVEP project.
  • Implementation of SVEP shall be managed by NRLM through the State Rural Livelihood Missions.

Key elements of the programme

  • Block Resource Centre – Enterprise Promotion (BRC-EP): a nodal centre to implement SVEP
  • Cluster Level Federation (CLF) /VOs shall hold the entity till BLF comes into existence.
  • BRC to be assisted by CRP-EP and the Bank Coordination System (Bank Mitra). BRC to provide resource and reference material including videos, manuals etc.
  • Help enterprises get bank finance using tablet based software for making the business feasibility plan, doing credit appraisal and tracking business performance.
  • Use the Community Investment Fund (CIF) to provide seed capital for starting the business till it reaches a size where bank finance is needed.
  • SVEP implementation at the block level to consist of the following sets of processes:
    • New Enterprise Development
    • Support for existing enterprises
    • Block level activities
    • Other project activities
[Ref: PIB]

Economy

K-shape (economic) recovery

As the economy struggles to shake off the pandemic effects, worries are growing that the recovery could look like a K.

About the K-shaped economic recovery:

  • K-shaped economic recovery, where high earners are faring better than low-wage workers during the recession.
  • K-shaped economic recovery that favors the wealthy. An example in India is the stock market being healthy while millions have lost their jobs.
  • In K-shaped economy, the wealthy quickly bounce back to pre-pandemic prosperity while lower-income families continue to suffer economic harm.
  • That would be one where growth continues but is uneven, split between sectors and income groups.
  • Industries like technology, retail, and software services have largely recovered and begun rehiring, while travel, entertainment, hospitality, and food services have continued to decline.
  • The result is that low-wage jobs like restaurant staff, transportation workers, and cleaners are least likely to come back.
[Ref: The Economics Times]

Govt. plans new development bank for big infra funding

Years after some of India’s biggest Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), either reinvented themselves or faded away, the government is veering towards setting up a new DFI essentially to fill the gap in long-term finance for infrastructure sectors.

  • The proposed DFI will be used to finance both social and economic infrastructure projects identified under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP).

Development Finance Institutions (DFI)

  • The vehicle for extending development finance is called development financial institution (DFI) or development bank.
  • A DFI is defined as ‘an institution promoted or assisted by Government mainly to provide development finance to one or more sectors or sub-sectors of the economy’.
  • The DFIs played a very significant role in rapid industrialization of the Continental Europe and Japan.
  • The success of these institutions provided strong impetus for creation of DFIs in India after independence in the context of the felt need for raising the investment rate.
  • The National Development Bank is a type of DFI. As the name suggests, it is a deposit-taking bank. In contrast, a majority of DFIs are non-deposit taking institutions.
  • DFIs can be either wholly or partially owned by the government.
  • The shareholding pattern is largely determined by the nature of the activities being financed, and their associated risk-returns profile.

There are three different institutional forms for a DFI.

  1. Deposit-taking wholesale banks
  2. Non-deposit taking financial institution
  3. Off-balance-sheet entities like infrastructure funds

Classification

  • DFIs can be broadly categorised as All-India or State/regional level institutions depending on their geographical coverage of operation.

The Development Finance Institutions can be classified into four categories:

  1. National Development Banks Ex: IDBI, SIDBI, ICICI, IFCI, IRBI, IDFC
  2. Sector specific financial institutions Ex: TFCI, EXIM Bank, NABARD, HDFC, NHB
  3. Investment Institutions Ex: LIC, GIC and UTI
  4. State level institutions Ex: State Finance Corporations and SIDCs

DFI in India

  • The DFIs in India were set up under the full control of both Central and State Governments.
  • In 1955, the first DFI in private sector, the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI), was set up with the backing of the World Bank.

Major institutions set up after 1974:

  • 1981: NABARD
  • 1982: EXIM Bank
  • 1986: Shipping Credit and Investment Company of India (SCICI)
  • 1987: Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)
  • 1988: ICICI Venture Funds Management Ltd.
  • 1988: National Housing Bank (NHB)
  • 1989: Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI)
  • 1990: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
  • Others are Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI), Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), National Housing Board (NHB) and Small Industry Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
[Ref: Indian Express]

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Critical wildlife habitats

The process of notifying critical wildlife habitats (CWH) in Maharashtra contained several violations of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006, found a report.

What is Critical wildlife habitats?

  • Forest Rights Act defines CWH as areas required to be kept inviolate for the purposes of wildlife conservation.
  • These areas are to be identified within national parks and sanctuaries on a case by case basis and on the basis of scientific and objective criteria.
  • Areas once declared CWHs cannot be diverted for any other purpose.
  • CWH provisions allowed for resolving possible tensions between rights of forest dwellers and the needs of wildlife.
  • CWH does not necessarily involve resettlement of forest-dwellers. It can also be an area of co-existence after modification of forest rights, if necessary.
  • The idea behind creating CWHs is to prevent human-wildlife conflict in protected areas.

Forest Rights Act, 2006:

  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act (or the Forest Rights Act or FRA) was enacted in 2006 and came into force in 2008.
  • The Act aims at addressing the historic injustice done to the forest dwellers by recognising forest land, resources, and resource management and conservation rights of the forest dwelling communities.
  • FRA not only confers individuals’ title to habitat, but also aims to protect their tradition and culture by recognising their collective ownership over a larger landscape within or outside their traditional village territories.
  • The Act provides chiefly for two kinds of rights to tribals and other forest dwellers.
    1. Individual rights over the dwelling and cultivation lands under their occupation.
    2. The community tenure/ rights over ‘community forest resources’ on common forest land within the traditional and customary boundaries of the village.
  • However, the implementation of the Act in general and especially in Protected Areas (PAs) has been negligible.

Key facts:

  • Under FRA, the rights of forest dwellers can recognised in protected areas including: national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation and community reserves.
  • The process of notifying a Critical wildlife habitats was initiated only in Maharashtra.
[Ref: Down to Earth]

2nd Mammal extinction wave underway in Australia, Caribbean

The past and future human impact on mammalian diversity, published on September 4, 2020 shows that Australia and the Caribbean are already in the middle of a ‘second wave’ of mammalian extinctions.

  • Additional wave of anthropogenic extinctions may be much greater than the currently increased rates, by several orders of magnitude.

Highlights of the study

  • By the year 2100, all areas of the world to have entered a second wave of extinctions.
  • The world would see 558 mammalian extinctions by 2100.
  • This pattern is reflected particularly large for Africa, the Americas and Eurasia.
  • There are approximately 5700 extant mammal species. At least 351 mammal species had gone extinct since the beginning of the Late Pleistocene 126,000 years ago.
  • 80 of which were known from historical reports since the year 1500 CE, while all others are only known from fossil or zooarcheological records.
  • Timing of human arrival in continents like the Americas and Australia as well as island systems like Madagascar and the Caribbean coincided sharply with mammalian extinctions.
  • Human population density, as a single predictor, explained mammalian extinction patterns with 96 per cent accuracy.
  • Climate predictors, led to low accuracy values, such as global temperature with 63.6 per cent accuracy and the rate of temperature change with 60.2 per cent accuracy.
[Ref: Down To Earth]

Bilateral & International Relations

In India-China standoff in Ladakh, why Chushul is critical

The Chushul sub-sector has come into focus in the standoff between the Indian and People’s Liberation Army (PLA- armed forces of China) troops following the movement that took place recently.

What is the Chushul sub-sector?

  • The Chushul sub-sector lies south of Pangong Tso Lake in eastern Ladakh.
  • It is situated at a height of over 13,000 feet close to the Line of Actual Control.
  • Chushul is one among the five Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China.
  • Chushul Valley has a vital airstrip that played an important role even during the 1962 War with China.
  • It comprises high, broken mountains and heights of Thatung, Black Top, Helmet Top, Gurung Hill, and Magger Hill besides passes such as Rezang La and Reqin La, the Spanggur Gap, and the Chushul valley.

What is Chushul’s strategic importance to India?

  • Chushul has strategic and tactical importance because of its location and terrain, which make it a centre for logistics deployment.
  • This sector has plains where mechanised forces, including tanks, can be deployed.
  • Its airstrip and connectivity by road to Leh add to its operational advantages.
  • Indian troops have secured the ridgeline in this sub-sector that allows them to dominate the Chushul bowl on the Indian side, and Moldo sector on the Chinese side.

How is Chushul important to China?

  • Chushul is the gateway to Leh. If China enters Chushul, it can launch its operations for Leh.
[Ref: The Indian Express]

Science & Technology

DRDO successfully flight tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) –took off from the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam launch complex at Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.

Significance of the test:

  • India became the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.
  • DRDO with this mission, has demonstrated capabilities for highly complex technology that will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with industry.
  • The indegenous development of the technology will boost the development of the systems built with hypersonic vehicles at its core, including both offensive and defensive hypersonic cruise missile systems and also in the space sector.
  • The success of the test will be helpful to achieve the level of technology with countries like the US, Russia and China.

About Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV):

  • The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.
  • It is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles.
  • It will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.
  • The HSTDV program is run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
  • The scramjets: are a variant of a category of jet engines called the air breathing engines. The ability of engines to handle airflows of speeds in multiples of speed of sound.

Key facts:

  • Hypersonic speeds: are those which are five times or more than the speed of sound, often stated as starting at speeds of Mach 5 and above.
  • Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound. 
  • The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature.
[Ref: The Indian Express, The Hindu]

Presence of water and oxygen on moon

India’s first lunar mission, the Chandrayaan-1 data indicate that the moon’s poles are home to water.

Key findings: 

  • Chandrayaan-1 suggests that the moon may be rusting along the poles and suggests that there was hematite-like material present on the lunar surface.
  • The surface of the Moon is known to have iron-rich rocks, it is not known for the presence of water and oxygen, which are the two elements needed to interact with iron to create rust.
  • The bigger question for researchers is how the oxide was formed in the presence of large amounts of hydrogen.

What could be the possible reasons?

  • The running theory is that oxygen from the Earth – travelling via the magnetic field between the two celestial bodies – is causing the rusting.
    • This theory has been reinforced by more hematite present on the Earth facing side of the moon.
  • Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say that this could be because the Earth’s atmosphere could be protecting the moon as well.
  • In addition to the Earth oxygen, the moon has to be shielded from solar winds – that carry hydrogen – to form the hematite.
  • There are still many questions left unanswered, with hematite also forming on the far side of the moon, where there isn’t Earth oxygen in reach.

About Chandrayaan-1:

  • Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully in 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.
  • It performed high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared (NIR), low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray regions.
  • It aimed at conducting chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of mineral and chemical elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and Titanium as well as high atomic number elements such as Radon, Uranium and Thorium with high spatial resolution.
  • The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.

Key facts:

  • NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper which was carried on the Chandrayaan-1, found water ice on the moon in 2008
  • Hematite is a form of iron oxide, or rust, produced when iron is exposed to oxygen and water.

To know about the Chandrayaan-2, kindly visit the link given below:

[Ref: The Hindu, The Economic Times]

Key Facts for Prelims

Typhoon Haishen

  • Typhoon Haishen moves along the Korean Peninsula after battering southwestern Japan. The storm made landfall in Ulsan, South Korea’s second-largest city.
  • Typhoon Haishen had winds of 160 kilometers per hour, making it equivalent to a low-end Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic.
  • It’s the second major storm to hit the region in less than a week after the region was lashed by Typhoon Maysak.

Category 2 hurricane: Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage

  • Winds range between 96 and 110 mph
  • Bigger risk of injury or death to people, livestock and pets from flying debris
  • Total power loss after a Category 2 hurricane

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

  • On September 7, for the first time ever, the world will join together to mark the UN’s International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
  • The theme for 2020 is “Clean Air for All”.
  • Prime Minister in his address from the Red Fort on Independence Day, had highlighted the need for “Holistic Improvement in Air quality” in 100 cities.
  • The General Assembly of the UN on December 19, 2019, adopted a resolution to observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on September 7 every year starting from 2020.

Mysuru Dasara

  • Mysore Dasara is a Royal Festival Celebrating victory of Truth over Evil.
  • In Karnataka, Dasara is observed as State festival – Nadahabba, because of the celebration of the festival is steered by the Royal Family of Mysore.
  • Mysore Dasara takes place over the whole Navaratri festival in Karnataka.
  • It is famous for its Jamboo Savari & Torch Light Parade.
  • The festival can be traced all the way back to 1610, when it was started by Wadiyar king Raja Wadiyar I.
  • Later, in 1805, Krishnaraja Wadiyar III started the tradition of holding a special durbar (royal assembly) at Mysore Palace.
  • Events take place at various location all over the city.
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