Daily Current Affairs 06-12-2023

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    NCRB Report on Cybercrime

    Syllabus: GS3/Cybersecurity, Governance

    News

    • According to the ‘Crime in India’ report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there has been a 24.4 percent increase in Cyber Crime Cases across India.

    What is Cybercrime?

    • Cyber crime is the use of digital technologies such as computers and the internet to commit criminal activities.
    • These cases are financial fraud (credit card fraud, online transaction fraud), crime against women and children with regard to sexually explicit material, and deep fake content etc.
    • According to the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, cybercrimes are within the purview of State subjects.

    Reasons for increase in Cybercrime

    • Rapid Digitalization: With a growing number of individuals and businesses relying on the Internet and digital technologies there are more opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities.
    • Large Internet User Base: India has one of the largest Internet user bases globally. With a large population using the internet, there are more potential targets for cybercriminals, making it a lucrative market for cyberattacks.
    • Inadequate Cybersecurity Infrastructure: In India the cybersecurity infrastructure is still developing. Many organizations, especially smaller businesses, may not have robust cybersecurity measures in place, making them easy targets for cybercriminals.
    • Insider Threats: Insider threats, where employees or individuals with access to sensitive information misuse it for malicious purposes, are a significant concern in India, particularly in the corporate sector.
    • Payment Systems Vulnerability: With the rise of digital payments and online transactions, there is an increased risk of financial crimes such as phishing, credit card fraud, and online scams.
    • Low digital literacy: Lower awareness among the general public and digital gaps amongst nations create an unsustainable environment in the cyber domain.
    • Vulnerable population: Many senior citizens aren’t aware of using UPI (features) and they fall prey to online scams.

    Effects of Cybercrime

    Cybercrime can have widespread and significant effects on individuals, businesses, and society as a whole.

    • Financial Losses: Cybercrime often leads to substantial financial losses for individuals and organizations. This can result from theft of funds, fraudulent activities, or the cost of restoring compromised systems.
    • Data Breaches: The unauthorized access and theft of sensitive data can lead to data breaches. This compromises the confidentiality of personal and financial information, causing reputational damage and potential legal consequences.
    • Identity Theft: Cybercriminals may use stolen personal information to commit identity theft. 
    • Disruption of Services: Cyberattacks can disrupt essential services and critical infrastructure, impacting businesses, governments, and individuals. 
    • Loss of Intellectual Property: Businesses may suffer from the theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, and proprietary information. This can undermine competitiveness and innovation, leading to economic repercussions.
    • Reputational Damage: Cybercrimes can tarnish the reputation of individuals, organizations, and even entire industries.
    • National Security Concerns: Cyberattacks with a geopolitical motive can pose national security threats. These attacks may target government agencies, critical infrastructure, or defense systems, compromising a nation’s security.
    • Global Impact: Cybercrime is not confined by borders, and its effects can have a global impact. Coordinated international efforts are often required to combat cyber threats effectively.

    Government steps for Cybersecurity

    • Information Technology Act, 2000: Section 43, 66, 70, and 74 of the IT Act, 2000 deal with hacking and cyber crimes.
    • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats/vulnerabilities and countermeasures to protect computers and networks on a regular basis. 
    • National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) has been set up to generate necessary situational awareness of existing and potential cyber security threats and enable timely information sharing for proactive, preventive and protective actions by individual entities.
    • Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for detection of malicious programs and provides free tools to remove the same.
    • Bharat National Cyber Security Exercise 2023: Bharat NCX will help strategic leaders to better understand cyber threats, assess readiness, and develop skills for cyber crisis management and cooperation.

    Way Ahead

    • Data localisation: Most cyber crimes are trans-national in nature with extra-territorial jurisdiction. Therefore, ‘data localisation’ is required, so that enforcement agencies are able to get timely access to the data of suspected Indian citizens. 
    • Upgrade cyber labs: The cyber forensic laboratories of States must be upgraded with the advent of new technologies.
    • Cyber insurance: Designing cyber insurance policies tailored to the unique requirements of diverse businesses and industries is essential. 
    • Stringent Data Protection Law: Data necessitates a robust data protection framework in India. India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is a good step in the right direction.
    International Measures
    – Budapest Convention: It is the 1st international treaty to address cybercrime. India is not a signatory to the treaty.
    Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): It is a US-based not-for-profit organization for coordinating & maintenance of several databases.
    Internet Governance Forum: It is the United Nations forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance issues.

    Source: TH

    Threshold Income for EWS Admissions in Schools 

    Syllabus: GS2/Government Policies and Interventions

    News

    • The Delhi High Court recently ordered the Delhi government to increase the threshold income for availing EWS reservation in private schools to ₹5 lakh from the current ₹1 lakh per annum.

    Reasons given by the court

    • It reasoned that when the minimum wage of an unskilled labourer in the city is ₹17,494 per month, it is too far-fetched to assume that the total parental income of a child shall be below ₹1 lakh annually.
    • It said, the threshold income of ₹1 lakh does not precisely reflect the economic hardships faced by families in the contemporary times.
    • It said a comparative analysis would signify that the NCT of Delhi has the lowest requisite income criteria as compared to the amount of ₹8 lakh per annum followed by most of the States.

    About EWS Reservation

    • The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019 enables the State (i.e., both the Central and State Governments) to provide reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.
      • Whether or not to provide reservation to the EWS or appointment in States is to be decided by the State Government.
    103rd Amendment Act
    – About: The Parliament amended the Constitution of India (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 to provide for a 10% reservation in education and government jobs in India for a section of the General category candidates.
    Introduction of Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6):
    A. The amendment introduced economic reservation by amending Articles 15 and 16. It inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6) in the Constitution to allow reservation for the economically backward in the unreserved category. 
    B. Article 15(6): 
    1. Up to 10% of seats may be reserved for EWS for admission in educational institutions. Such reservations will not apply to minority educational institutions.
    C. Article 16(6): 
    1. It permits the government to reserve up to 10% of all government posts for the EWS.

    Recent EWS judgment (Janhit Abhiyan v Union of India case, 2023): 

    In a 3-2 majority, the Supreme Court upheld the 103rd Constitutional Amendment providing EWS reservation. 

    • Exclusion of the reserved categories from the EWS quota: The EWS judgment had excluded the “poorest of the poor ” among the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes from the ambit of 10% quota.
    • No breach of the ceiling limit of 50%: The majority 3:2 judgment had held that the EWS quota did not breach the ceiling limit of 50% placed by the Indira Sawhney judgment on reservations
      • It stated that the State can make “special provisions from time to time in the march towards an all-inclusive egalitarian society.
      • The court concluded that the 50% ceiling limit, though held attached to the constitutional requirements, was neither “inflexible nor inviolable for all times to come”. 
    • State’s provision for the reservations: Further reservation by affirmative action by the State cannot be seen as damaging the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
      • The judge agreed that a mathematical precision of 50% was difficult to follow in human affairs.

    Source: TH

    Population-level Genome Sequencing

    Syllabus: GS 3/Science and Technology 

    In News

    • The UK has announced the completion of half a million whole-genome sequences, almost 0.7% of its population.

    About Population genomics

    • It is the large-scale application of genomic technologies to study populations of individuals.
      •  For example, population genomics research can be used to study human ancestry, migrations and health.
    • Genomics has undergone a revolutionary shift with the advent of technologies that have significantly improved throughput and reduced the cost of whole-genome sequencing, giving rise to population-scale genome-sequencing programmes .

    Purpose and Benefits  

    • Population-scale genome efforts have significantly diverse objectives.
      • Many programmes take advantage of a unique population composition to understand disease prevalence and biomarkers for diseases, and use that to inform the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. 
      • Other efforts seek to build scalable public-health initiatives where genomic data is used in decision-making and medical care.
    • The long-term impact of population-scale genomics extends beyond individual health, shaping comprehension of human evolution, migration patterns, and adaptation to diverse environments.

    Progress and Various Developments

    • The deCODE initiative: An early effort to use large-scale population genetic studies was initiated in Iceland by deCODE genomics in 1996, with most of the Icelandic population enrolling for genetic studies in around a decade’s time.
      • The deCODE effort considerably improved understanding of the genetics of diseases and the utility of such data in risk assessment. 
      • It  also laid the groundwork to integrate medical records and people’s genealogies, resulting in new drugs and therapeutics.
    • 100K Genome’ project: the UK’s ‘100K Genome’ project aimed to bring genomics into routine healthcare.
    • Diversity Human Genome Initiative: A recent initiative by the pharmaceutical companies has even planned to sequence more than five lakh individuals of African ancestry through the Diversity Human Genome Initiative.
    • All US programme: It  will collect genetic information of a million people with funding from the National Institutes of Health. 
    • The European Union recently launched the ‘1+ Million Genomes’ initiative
    • A ‘Three Million African Genomes’ is also currently in the works, as is the Emirati genome programme’s scheme to sequence more than a million samples (more than 400,000 have already been completed).

    Scenario in Asia 

    • The GenomeAsia project, led by multiple partners across the continent, plans to sequence a lakh whole genomes from diverse populations. 
    • IndiGen: A pilot programme for population genomes in India named IndiGen provided an early view of more than a thousand genomes of individuals from cosmopolitan areas in India.
      • It also yielded some clues to the landscape of many treatable genetic diseases and variants of clinical significance, including the efficacy and toxicity of drugs and the prevalence of rare disorders. 
    • GenomeIndia initiative: A larger programme to sequence 10,000 whole genomes from diverse population groups is in the works under the GenomeIndia initiative.

    Issues and Challenges

    • Just as population-scale programmes open new doors, they also confront new challenges, especially with regard to the ethics of and the access to these genomes, and the discoveries that build on them. 
    • There are also significant concerns regarding the equitable representation and access to the fruits of discoveries (e.g. over-representation of certain ethnic groups in population-scale data sets).

    Conclusion and Way Forward 

    • Countries like the U.S. have proactively created regulatory frameworks to prevent the misuse of genetic data, such as to prevent insurance and employment discrimination, using the terms of the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act.
    • Together with a growing body of evidence as to the data’s usefulness, it is entirely possible that a significantly large number of humans around the world will have their whole genome sequenced in their lifetimes in the coming decade as well as a similarly significantly large number of people being able to access information derived from sequencing data for routine diagnostic workups and to newborns for diseases.

    Source:TH

    State of the Climate (2011-2020) by WMO

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment and Climate Change

    Context

    • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN weather agency, reported that the Antarctic ice sheet lost 75% compared to the previous ten years.

    Key Findings

    • Rise in Temperature: As per the report, the Earth is heating, and each decade since the 1990s has been warmer than the previous one and there is no immediate sign of this trend reversing. 
    • Melting of Glaciers: Glaciers thinned by around 1 metre per year with long-term repercussions for water supplies for many millions of people, resulting sea level rise will jeopardise the existence of low-lying coastal regions and states in the future.
      • Warming oceans and melting of ice sheets caused the rate of sea-level rise to nearly double in less than a generation.
      • Greenland and Antarctica lost 38% more ice from 2011 to 2020 than in the previous decade.
    • Weather and climate-related events: They are responsible for nearly 94% of all disaster displacement recorded over the last decade and had a major impact on the progress of global efforts to end hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition.
    • Floods: India had seen intense and widespread flooding. Over 2000 flood-related deaths were reported in India and neighbouring countries.
      • In June 2013, heavy rains, mountain snowmelt and glacial lake outbursts led to extreme flooding and landslides in Uttarakhand, killing more than 5,800 people.
      • In 2018, and in 2019 and 2020, Kerala was badly affected by floods.
    • Droughts: It had major socioeconomic and humanitarian impacts. In India itself, drought was declared in 11 of its 28 states, leading to severe food and water insecurity; the situation was exacerbated by inequalities in water availability and access to its supply.
      • 82% of households in affected areas were at risk of food insecurity due to substantial crop failures.
    • Heatwaves and Cyclones: These were responsible for the highest number of casualties and causing economic damage.

    Impacts of Glaciers Melting

    • Rise in Sea Levels and associated coastal storms.
    • Affecting water supply to riparian regions causing drinking, hydroelectric generation, and or irrigation.
    • Climate Change
    • Threat to Wildlife

    Suggestions highlighted in the Report

    • Enhancing collective resilience against current and future global crises;
    • Strengthening science-policy-society interaction;
    • Promoting institutional capacity-building and cross-sectoral and international collaboration;
    • Ensuring policy coherence and coordination;
    • Developing a framework for action;
    • Treating cities as opportunities for focusing on climate and development synergies 
    About the State of the Climate (2011-2020)
    – It is a  multi-agency (National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the region, the WMO, National Statistics Offices and Specialised agencies of the United Nations) effort that provides a summary of the state of climate, extreme events and their socio-economic impacts from 2011-2020.
    a. It is the second in the series of the report, following the first decadal analysis from 2001-2010.
    – It provides a longer-term perspective and compliments the WMO’s annual State of the Global Climate reports.

    Source: TH

    Combating Plastic Pollution

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment, Conservation, Environment Pollution & Degradation

    News

    • The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), under the United Nations Environment Programme, had its third round of negotiations to combat plastic pollution.

    Background

    • Under the UN Environment Assembly Resolution 5/14, the INC is responsible for delivering a global plastics treaty by 2025. 
    • INC  countries came together to negotiate the ‘zero draft’ text developed by the INC’s secretariat, Which contained strong options for an international legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution. 

    What is Plastic?

    • Plastic refers to a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredient with their defining quality being their plasticity – the ability of a solid material to undergo permanent deformation in response to applied forces. 
    • Most modern plastics are derived from fossil fuel-based chemicals like natural gas or petroleum. 

    Polymers used in Plastics

    • The polymers used in plastic production are: Polyethylene terephthalate or PET, High-density polyethylene or HDPE, Polyvinyl chloride or PVC, Low-density polyethylene or LDPE, Polypropylene or PP, and Polystyrene or PS. 
    • Each of these have different properties and can be identified by their resin identification code (RIC) denoted by symbols found on plastic products.

    Data Related to Plastic

    • According to UN data, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year worldwide, half of which is designed to be used only once. 
    • Of that, less than 10 per cent is recycled. Consequently, an estimated 19-23 million tonnes end up in lakes, rivers and seas annually.

    Concerns of Plastic Pollution

    • Slow decomposition rate: Plastics are hard to eradicate due to their slow decomposition rate in natural ecosystems. 
    • Microplastics: Plastics break down into their smaller units called microplastics. These microplastics find their way across the planet, from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the heights of the Himalayas. 
    • Effect on Human Health: BPA or Bisphenol A , the chemical which is used to harden the plastic contaminates food and drinks, causing alterations in liver function, insulin resistance, fetal development in pregnant women, the reproductive system and brain function.
    • Marine pollution: The largest collection of plastics and microplastics in the ocean is in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.It floats on the sea surface and ends up clogging the marine animals.
    • Climate change: Plastic, which is a petroleum product, also contributes to global warming. If plastic waste is incinerated, it releases  toxic fumes and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby increasing carbon emissions.
    • Tourism and Economy: Plastic waste damages the aesthetic value of tourist destinations, leading to decreased tourism-related incomes and major economic costs related to the cleaning and maintenance of the sites.

    Global Efforts In Tackling Plastic Waste

    • London Convention: The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter.
    • Clean Seas Campaign: The United Nations Environment Programme launched the Campaign in 2017. It became the largest global campaign to raise awareness on plastic pollution and marine litter.
    • Basel Convention:  In 2019, the Basel Convention was amended to include plastic waste as a regulated material.
      • The Convention contains three main entries on plastic wastes in Annex II, VIII and IX of the Convention. The Plastic Waste Amendments of the convention are now binding on 186 States. 

    India’s Efforts In Tackling Plastic Waste

    • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): The Indian government has implemented EPR, making plastic manufacturers responsible for managing and disposing of the waste generated by their products.
    • Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022:  It prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than 120 microns.
    • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: It is a national cleanliness campaign, which includes the collection and disposal of plastic waste.
    • Plastic Parks: India has set up Plastic Parks, which are specialized industrial zones for recycling and processing plastic waste.
    • Beach clean-up drives: The Indian government and various non-governmental organizations have organized beach clean-up drives to collect and dispose of plastic waste from beaches.

    Way Ahead

    • To tackle the challenge of plastic pollution there is need for behavioral change and strengthening of the institutional system for the collection, segregation and recycling of plastic waste.
    • A global treaty specifically addressing the concerns of Plastic Pollution is also required to protect the environment for future generations to live a long and healthy life.

    Source:TH

    Coastal Erosion in India

    Syllabus: GS3/ Environment Pollution & Degradation

    In News

    • Over one-third of India’s coastline is vulnerable to erosion, as per a study by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR).

    Coastal erosion

    • Coastal erosion is the wearing away of the coastal land and loss of beach, shoreline, or dune material as a result of natural or coastal processes or human-induced influences.
    • Extent:  At global scale, it is estimated that 70% of sandy shorelines worldwide were eroding. Regional scale estimates exist for Europe (27%), the US East coast barrier beaches (86%) South east Asia Islands (33%).
    • Processes: There are four main processes of coastal erosion. These are corrasion, abrasion, hydraulic action and attrition.
    • Landforms: Coastal erosion leads to the formation of a range of landforms which largely depend on the material that forms the cliff.
      • More resistant material such as chalk leads to the formation of classic coastal landforms such as arches, caves, stacks and stumps. 
    • Where there is a combination of hard and soft material this leads to the formation of bays and headlands.

    Causes of Coastal Erosion

    • Sea level rise: As sea level rises, the shoreline moves inland, eroding the land in its path. 
    • Storm surges: Storm surges are large waves that can be generated by hurricanes, typhoons, and other storms. These waves can cause extensive damage to coastal areas, including erosion. 
    • Wave action: Waves constantly pound against the shoreline, eroding the land over time. The strength of the waves is determined by the wind speed, the distance, and water depth. 
    • Longshore currents: Longshore currents are currents that flow parallel to the shoreline. These currents can erode the shoreline by carrying away sand and other sediments. 
    • Human activities: Human activities such as dam construction, sand mining, and coastal development can disrupt the natural processes that help to protect coastlines from erosion.

    Coastal erosion mitigation measures

    • Beach nourishment: Beach nourishment is the process of adding sand to a beach to restore its natural shape and size.
    • Seawalls and revetments: Seawalls and revetments are structures that are built along the shoreline to protect it from erosion. 
    • Breakwaters: Breakwaters are structures that are built offshore to break the waves before they reach the shoreline. This can help to reduce erosion by reducing the energy of the waves. 
    • Vegetative buffers: Vegetative buffers are areas of vegetation that are planted along the shoreline to help protect it from erosion. Vegetation can help to bind the soil and reduce the impact of waves. 
    • Artificial reefs: Recreation of the coral reefs colonies to dissipate wave energy by wave breaking and protect coasts also augment the amount of sea life such as fish, algae, barnacles, corals, oysters, and cause shoreline to accrete. 

    Government Initiatives to conserve coastal areas

    • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2019: To conserve and protect coastal stretches and marine areas, and to ensure livelihood security to fisherfolk and other local communities.
      • The notification also provides for No Development Zones (NDZ) along various categories of coastal areas to protect India’s coastline from encroachment and erosion.
    • Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP): It includes mapping of erosion prone areas and preparation of a shoreline management plan for identified eroding stretches.
    • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has delineated the hazard line for the entire coast of the country.
    • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has estimated Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) for the Indian coastline.
    • Under 15th Finance Commission, the recovery and reconstruction window of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for Rs. 1000 crore is earmarked for resettlement of displaced people affected by erosion.

    Way Ahead

    • It is important to address the underlying causes of coastal erosion, such as sea level rise and human activities. 
    • This can be done by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow the rate of sea level rise, and by adopting more sustainable coastal development practices.
    National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR)
    – Mandate: To carry out all multidisciplinary research under the central domain: Marine Pollutions, Coastal processes and Hazards, Coastal Habitats and Ecosystem and Capacity Building and Training. 
    Mission: To offer scientific and technical support to coastal communities and stakeholders for integrated and sustainable use of resources towards the socio-economic benefit of the society.
    Research Areas: Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences
    Parent Ministry: Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
    Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu

    Source: IE

    Facts In News

    Aarogya Maitri Aid Cube

    Syllabus: GS2/Issue relating to development of social sector

    Context:

    • World’s first portable hospital ‘Aarogya Maitri Aid Cube’ unveiled in Gurugram.

    About Aarogya Maitri Aid Cube:

    • It is a portable hospital designed indigenously under the Project ‘BHISHM’ (Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog Hita and Maitri).
    • It has the modular trauma management and aid system which is made up of 72 detachable mini-cubes.
      • Each mini-cubes being a specialised station for emergency response and humanitarian efforts.
    • The Aarogya Maitri Cube comes under the ‘Aarogya Maitri Project’ initiated by the Prime Minister of India and jointly developed by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defence, and the National Security Council.

    Source: PIB

    Hattee Community 

    Syllabus: GS2/ Polity & Governance

    News

    • Members of the Hattee community, which was declared a Scheduled Tribe, are seeking that the ST certificates be issued to them immediately.

    About the Hattis

    • The Hattis are a community who got their name from their tradition of selling homegrown vegetables, crops, meat and wool etc. at small markets called ‘haat’ in towns.
    • The Hatti community is cut off from Sirmaur of Himachal by Giri river and Tons river divides it from the Jaunsar Bawar area of Uttarakhand. 
    • The Hattis are governed by a traditional council called Khumbli, which like the khaps of Haryana, decide community matters. 

    Source: TH

    Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955

    Syllabus: GS2/ Governance 

    Context

    • Recently, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court(SC) examined the validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

    About

    • Section 6A was inserted into the Citizenship Act, 1955 as part of the Assam Accord which was signed in 1985.
    • The Assam Accord signed by the All Assam Students Union, Assam government and the Government of India on August 15, 1985 to detect and deport the foreigners, Section 6A was inserted to the Citizenship Act to grant citizenship to people who have migrated to Assam.
    • Through this rights and obligations of Indian citizens were granted to foreigners who entered Assam before January 1, 1966, and were “ordinarily resident” in the state. 
    • Petition in SC: Petitioners argued that the Section 6A potentially affected the political and economic rights of the local population of Assam.

    Source: TH

    India Infrastructure Report 2023

    Syllabus:GS3/Infrastructure

    News

    • The India Infrastructure Report 2023 on Urban Planning and Development was released.

    About

    • The India Infrastructure Report 2023 has been a collaboration of the IDFC Foundation, Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Ltd. (iDeCK) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
    • The report  identifies and analyzes legal, fiscal, regulatory, technological, social, and conceptual aspects related to contemporary themes relevant to infrastructure development.

    Key Highlights of the Report 

    • Digital technology: It highlights the transformative potential of digital technology in shaping the urban landscape of India.
      • Focus areas include the concept of ‘smart cities’ and the significance of performance ranking criteria.
    • Financial dimensions: The report Examines the financial dimensions of urban development, with a special emphasis on public-private partnerships (PPPs), the financial sustainability of urban local bodies, and the efficacy of municipal bonds as potent financing instruments.
    • Urban redevelopment: Urban transportation planning and urban redevelopment as pivotal components of effective urban governance through transit-oriented development, efficient urban goods movement, and floor space and land price regulation in India.
    National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
    – NIUA is a Central Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, established in 1976.
    – It is a national think-tank undertaking cutting-edge multi-disciplinary research, knowledge exchange and capacity development, policy planning and advocacy in the domain of urban development.

    Source: PIB

    Africa Green Industrialisation Initiative

    Syllabus: GS 3/Environment

    In News

    • African leaders came together on the third day of the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to launch the green industrialisation of the continent.

    About Initiative

    • The Green Industrialisation Initiative is set to accelerate green growth of industries in Africa and attract finance and investment opportunities, building upon the Nairobi Declaration of the Africa Climate Summit held in September 2023.
    • The initiative builds upon the existing $4.5 billion Africa green investment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) .
    • The initiative underscores the importance of green industrialisation to harness Africa’s vast and quality resources to secure prosperity for all.
    • It incorporates elements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, discourages fossil fuel production and use that immensely contributes to global warming.
      • Africa has 40 percent of the world’s critical minerals necessary for energy transition and has the world’s largest natural carbon sink.

    Source:DTE

    Ramaswamy Venkataraman

    Syllabus: Miscellaneous

    Context

    • Birth anniversary of 8th President of India Shri R. Venkataraman was observed.

    About

    • He was an activist in the Indian freedom struggle and participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942.
    • He was also a member of the Constituent Assembly and provincial cabinet.
    • During the Emergency in India (1975-1977), he served as the Minister of Finance and later as the Minister of Defense .
    • Awards: He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in 2009 (posthumously).

    Source: PIB