Daily Current Affairs 09-07-2024

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    Syllabus :GS 1/Women Empowerment 

    • According to the recently released Annual Survey of Unincorporated Sector Enterprises (ASUSE)2022-23, The share of women owners and workers in unincorporated enterprises was relatively high in the southern States,
    • Overview  :Annual Survey of Unincorporated Sector 2022-23 categorizes workers into manufacturing, trade, and other services, excluding agriculture and public sector entities.
    • Data Analysis :  Proportion of female workers to total workers has marginally increased from 25.52% in ASUSE 2021-22 to 25.63% in ASUSE 2022-23.
      • About 54% of the proprietary establishments were observed to be headed by female proprietors in the Manufacturing sector 
    • Regional Distribution : Southern states and some eastern states have a higher proportion of women owners and workers in unincorporated enterprises.
      • Share of women is lower in western, northern, and central states.
      • Telangana leads with 41%, followed closely by other southern states exceeding 30% like West Bengal and Odisha.
    • The unincorporated sector includes jobs that require little to no capital and skills, such as street vending, as well as work that involves considerable investment and expertise, such as tailoring and car repair. 
    • The shop may be operated by an individual or a self-employed entrepreneur who may enlist unpaid family members or employ paid workers. 
    • They may work from a fixed location or in homes, small shops, and workshops.
    •  Within this sector, women constitute a substantial workforce, contributing to various industries and activities. 
    • Unpaid family worker: Women’s share among unpaid family workers is significantly higher than in other job types across all states.
    • Income: Women engage in diverse occupations, from agriculture and handicrafts to informal services.
      • Their income levels often remain low due to lack of skill development and bargaining power.
    • Gender Pay Gap: Women earn less than men for similar work, perpetuating economic inequality.
    • Lack of Social Security: Many women lack access to health insurance, pension schemes, and other safety nets.
    • Informal Nature of Work: The unorganized sector lacks formal contracts, leaving women vulnerable to exploitation.
    Major Initiatives

    – In order to enhance the employability of female workers, the Government is providing training to them through a network of Women Industrial Training Institutes, National Vocational Training Institutes and Regional Vocational Training Institutes.
    – The Government has also introduced Skill India Mission to ensure economic independence of women through skill development and vocational training, 
    – The National Skill Development Policy focuses on inclusive skill development, with the objective of increased women participation for better economic productivity.
    Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Kendras lay emphasis on creating additional infrastructure both for training and apprenticeship for women
    – There are schemes like Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and Stand Up India, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), for helping the women to set up their own enterprise.
    • Women across different age groups contribute to the unincorporated sector  therefore Empowering women is not only a matter of economic justice but also a step toward inclusive growth. 
    • There is a need to address issues like equal pay, safe working conditions, maternity leave and access to education is crucial.
    • There is a need to Invest in training programs to enhance women’s skills and empower them to access better-paying jobs.
    • By recognizing Women’s contributions and addressing their unique needs, we can create a more equitable and prosperous society.

    Source:TH

    Syllabus: GS3/ Economy

    • The Union government will set up multi-purpose Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACs) in around two lakh gram panchayats of the country with no cooperative network within the next five years.
    • Cooperative societies is a State Subject under Entry 32 of the State List of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. 
    • While cooperative societies functioning within a single state are governed by the Cooperative Societies Act of their respective states, cooperative societies functioning in more than one state/UT are governed by the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 under the purview of the Government of India (GoI).
    • Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) are credit societies that are registered under the Cooperative Societies Act of the State concerned. 
    • They are grassroots-level institutions in villages with individual farmers, artisans, and other weaker sections as member shareholders. 
    • They form the lowest tier of the federated short-term cooperative credit structure with District Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and/or State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) in their upper tiers.
    • Credit Provision: PACs provide easy access to credit for farmers and rural residents. This includes short-term, medium-term, and long-term loans for agricultural and related activities.
    • Financial Inclusion: They promote financial inclusion by bringing banking services to remote rural areas, helping people who might not have access to traditional banking facilities.
    • Agricultural Support: PACs provide support services like the supply of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides at reasonable rates, helping farmers increase productivity.
    • Storage and Marketing: They assist in the storage of agricultural produce and sometimes in marketing it, ensuring that farmers get fair prices for their products.
    • Training and Education: PACs organize training programs and workshops to educate farmers on modern farming techniques, financial literacy, and sustainable agricultural practices.
    • Social and Economic Development: By improving access to credit and financial services, PACs contribute to the overall social and economic development of rural communities, reducing poverty and improving living standards.
    • Employment Generation: Through their various activities, PACs contribute to employment generation in rural areas, both directly and indirectly.
    • Limited Resources: Many PACs suffer from a lack of adequate financial and human resources, which limits their ability to provide comprehensive services to their members.
    • Political Interference: Political influence in the functioning of PACs can lead to favoritism, corruption, and misallocation of resources, undermining their purpose.
    • High Overdue Loans: A significant issue is the high level of non-performing assets (NPAs) due to overdue loans. Poor recovery mechanisms and lax lending practices contribute to this problem.
    • Limited Credit Products: PACs offer a narrow range of credit products, which may not meet the diverse needs of the rural population.
    • Technological Backwardness: Many PACs lag in adopting modern technology and digital banking solutions, which affects their efficiency and competitiveness.
    • Increased financial support from the government will  help PACs improve their capital base. Also Forming partnerships with commercial banks and other financial institutions can help PACs access additional resources.
    • There is a need for developing a wider range of credit products tailored to the diverse needs of the rural population, such as microloans, crop insurance, and savings products.
    • Also strengthening internal controls and audit mechanisms is required to detect and prevent fraud and mismanagement.

    Source: AIR

    Syllabus: GS2/International Relations

    • Prime Minister Modi is on a two-day visit to Russia. 
    • India and Russia are working on the Eastern Maritime Corridor and the two countries were discovering each other through the Ganga-Volga dialogue.
      • The Eastern Maritime Corridor is a proposed sea route between Chennai, India, and Vladivostok, Russia, passing through the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea, and the Malacca Strait.
    • India will set up two new consulates in the Russian cities of Kazan and Yekaterinburg.
    • Political Relations: A watershed moment in relations between India and the Soviet Union was the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1971.  
      • After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India and Russia entered into a new Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 1993.
      • In 2000, during the visit of President Putin to India, the partnership acquired a new qualitative character, that of a Strategic Partnership. 
      • In 2010 the relationship was elevated to the status of a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.  
    • Defense and Security Cooperation: BrahMos Missile System as well as the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks are examples of such flagship cooperation.
      • Both sides concluded agreements on the supply of S-400 air defense systems, construction of frigates under Project 1135.6 and shareholders agreement on the formation of a joint venture to manufacture Ka-226T helicopters in India.
      • The two countries also hold exchanges and training exercises between their armed forces annually termed INDRA.
    • Trade and Economic Relations: Both sides revised targets of increasing bilateral investment to US $50 billion and bilateral trade to US $30 billion by 2025. However, bilateral trade reached an all-time high of $65.70 billion in FY 2023-24.
      • Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, India has been buying large amounts of Russian oil at a discount to cushion the inflationary impact of rising crude prices.
    • Intergovernmental Commissions: There is regular high-level interaction between the two countries.
      • The IRIGC (India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission): It is the main body that conducts affairs at the governmental level between both countries. Both countries are members of international bodies including the UN, BRICS, G20 and SCO.
      • Two Inter-Governmental Commissions: One on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), co-chaired by EAM and the Russian DPM, and
      • Another on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC) co-chaired by Russian and Indian Defence Ministers, meet annually.
    • Nuclear Energy: Russia recognizes India as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation record.
      • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation. 
    • Over the years, as India has diversified its relationships in a multi-polar world, the India-Russia relationship has stagnated in some areas and atrophied in others. 
    • To further strengthen the relationship between Both the nations there is need for;
      • Providing a new basis for the existing defense cooperation;
      • The opportunity for Indian business conglomerates to explore the economic viability of the Siberian and Far East Region of Russia; 
      • Strengthening geo-economic connectivity projects;
      • Enhancing technological cooperation between India and Russia.

    Source: IE

    Syllabus: GS3/ Environment

    • The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has designated 11 new biosphere reserves, recognising their importance for conserving biodiversity and cultural heritage.
    • The new designations are in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Italy, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea and Spain.  
    • Additionally, and for the first time, the list includes two transboundary reserves, spanning Belgium and the Netherlands, and Italy and Slovenia.
    • The 11 newly designated biosphere reserves are:
      • Kempen-Broek Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Belgium, Netherlands)
      • Darien Norte Chocoano Biosphere Reserve (Colombia)
      • Madre de las Aguas Biosphere Reserve (Dominican Republic)
      • Niumi Biosphere Reserve (Gambia)
      • Colli Euganei Biosphere Reserve (Italy)
      • Julian Alps Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Italy, Slovenia)
      • Khar Us Lake Biosphere Reserve (Mongolia)
      • Apayaos Biosphere Reserve (Philippines)
      • Changnyeong Biosphere Reserve (South Korea)
      • Val d’Aran Biosphere Reserve (Spain)
      • Irati Biosphere Reserve (Spain).
    • Biosphere reserves are designated under the intergovernmental MAB Programme by the Director-General of UNESCO following the decisions of the MAB International Coordinating Council (MAB ICC). Their status is internationally recognised.
    • The Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme, launched in 1971, is an international scientific initiative that aims to foster a harmonious relationship between humans and their environment.
    • They integrate three main functions:
      • Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity.
      • Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable.
      • Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training.
    • Biosphere Reserves’ three main zones:
      • Core Areas: It comprises a strictly protected zone that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation
      • Buffer Zones: It surrounds or adjoins the core area, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.
      • Transition Area: It is where communities foster socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable economic and human activities.
    •  India has 18 biosphere reserves, 12 of which are recognized under this program, with the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve being the first.
    • Biosphere reserves play an important scientific role, serving as a site for research and monitoring, providing valuable data and insights that can inform environmental management and policy decisions.
    • Furthermore, they help in achieving global development targets such as those set by the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, inter alia, on protecting and restoring significant portions of the Earth’s ecosystems by 2030.
    • They also promote unique local sustainable development ideas, safeguard biodiversity, and combat climate change.

    Source: IE

    Syllabus :GS 3/Science and Tech /Environment 

    Recently ,applications of Regenerative braking and alternative energy recovery methods have been highlighted 

    What is braking?

    – Braking is the mechanism by which an automotive vehicle in motion slows down. 
    a. A vehicle moving faster has more kinetic energy than a vehicle moving slower, so the process of braking removes (mostly) kinetic energy from the vehicle.
    b. The law of energy conservation means this removed energy has to go somewhere
    • Regenerative braking is a system in electric vehicles that converts kinetic energy from braking into electrical energy, which is stored in batteries or used immediately.
      • It involves the electric motor functioning as a generator to capture kinetic energy back into the vehicle’s energy system.
    • Mechanism : The electric motor in the vehicle reverses its role during braking, turning mechanical energy from the wheels into electrical energy.
    • This energy is either stored for later use or fed back into the vehicle’s traction system.
    • Comparison : Regenerative braking is part of dynamic braking, contrasting with rheostatic braking where excess energy is dissipated as heat.
    • It is a simple energy recovery mechanism which has some downsides. 
    • It alone cannot fully halt a vehicle and is supplemented by traditional braking systems that dissipates some of the kinetic energy as heat.
    • Efficiency drops at lower speeds, and it does not prevent vehicles from rolling back on inclines.
    • The design of a regenerative brake depends on the energy form to which the mechanical energy from the wheels is to be converted.
      • An electric vehicle funnels it into a generator and obtains a current, which is stored in a battery or a supercapacitor.
    • Similarly, the mechanical energy can be used to increase the angular momentum of a rotating flywheel. 
    • Flywheels are especially useful because they can receive energy much faster than other such systems.
      • For every unit increase in speed, they also store exponentially more energy. 
    • The flywheel can be linked to a reciprocating engine to manage or augment its output, like in Formula One racing, or to a gyroscope to help submarines and satellites navigate.
    • Recovered kinetic energy can also be fed to a pump that compresses air, which can be useful to start internal combustion engines.

    Source:TH

    Syllabus: GS3/ Science and Technology

    • Scientists at the Carnegie Institution found that some genes were able to move around within the genome. These genes were called Jumping genes or transposons.
    • Transposons influence the effects of genes and are called the tools of evolution, for their ability to rearrange the genome and introduce changes.
    • More than 45% of the human genome consists of transposable elements.
      • They create mutations in genes and lead to diseases. 
    • However, most of the transposons have themselves inherited mutations and have become inactive, and thus can’t move around within the gnome.
    • The name of the jumping gene is IS110, which stands for Insertion Sequence, and such sequences are found in an array of life-forms, including bacteriophages, bacteria, plants, worms, fruit flies, mosquitos, mice, and humans.
    • They roam around the body, cutting and pasting themselves, repairing DNA and modifying it daily. 
    • Bridge RNA refers to a type of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) molecule that plays a crucial role in the process of DNA rearrangement in certain organisms.
    • Bridge RNAs act as molecular bridges between different DNA segments during this intricate process of DNA rearrangement. 
    • The IS110 bridge recombination system expands the diversity of nucleic-acid-guided systems beyond CRISPR and RNA interference.
    • It offers a unified mechanism for the three fundamental DNA rearrangements — insertion, excision and inversion — that are required for genome design.
      • DNA insertion is a genetic process in which a segment of DNA is added to a different DNA segment, 
      • Excision is a mechanism in which a damaged DNA segment is removed, and 
      • Inversion is a method in which a piece of DNA in a chromosome gets reversed. 
    • With bridge RNA, researchers can program both the target and the donor sequence of DNA so they can mix and match any two that they want, whereas the guide RNA in CRISPR-Cas9 systems can specify only the target DNA sequence to be cut, not the one to be added in. 
     Jumping genes
    What is DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)?

    – DNA,, is the hereditary material in humans. It is made up of four building blocks, or bases. 
    – These are called adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine – usually shortened to A, C, G and T.
    – A DNA molecule is made up of two long strands of bases that wind around each other into a spiral shape.
    a. This is called the double helix and looks like a twisted ladder.
    – The bases on one strand of the DNA molecule pair with bases on the opposite strand, coming together as a base pair. 
    a. Base pairs are complementary and always pair in the same way: A with T, and C with G.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS2/ Governance

    In News

    • The Union government has recently restructured the reporting relationships within the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS). This is a significant development as the NSCS plays a crucial role in advising the government on matters of national security.

    About the National Security Council (NSC)

    • Established: 1998
    • Purpose: The NSC is the apex body for considering political, economic, energy, and security issues of strategic concern. It formulates national security policies and advises the Prime Minister on their implementation.
    • Structure: The NSC has a three-tiered structure:
      • Strategic Policy Group: This group is responsible for long-term strategic planning and policy formulation.
      • National Security Advisory Board (NSAB): The NSAB provides expert advice on national security matters.
      • NSC Secretariat (NSCS): The NSCS is responsible for coordinating the work of the NSC and its subsidiary bodies.
    • Leadership: The National Security Advisor (NSA) presides over the NSC and is responsible for providing the Prime Minister with independent and objective assessments of national security threats and challenges.
    • Location: The NSC operates within the executive office of the Prime Minister of India.
    • Agenda: The NSC’s agenda includes issues of external and internal security, military affairs, conventional and non-conventional defense, and other matters of strategic importance.

    Significance of Restructuring the NSCS

    • The restructuring of the NSCS is expected to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. It may also strengthen the NSA’s role in national security decision-making.

    Source: IE

    Syllabus: GS1/ Geography

    In News

    • In the satellite images. It is found that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has constructed underground bunkers in the area around Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh.

    About Pangong Lake

    • Pangong Tso is a high-altitude, endorheic (landlocked) lake located in the Himalayas, spanning the disputed India-China border. 
    • Situated at 4,225 meters, and predominantly saline. 
    • The lake’s water changes colors, appearing blue, green, or even red at different times, depending on sunlight and other factors.
    • Pangong Tso is an essential breeding ground for a wide variety of birds, including several migratory species. 
    • Home to nomadic tribes, Pangong Tso also holds cultural significance, featuring in local folklore. 

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS3/ Economy

    In News

    • The Centre asked the automobile companies to join the unified Right to Repair Portal India.

    About

    • The portal was launched by the Department of Consumer Affairs to empower consumers by providing them with easy access to information on repairing their products, fostering a circular economy, and reducing e-waste.
    • The portal provides consumers with manuals, repair guides, and videos for various products, enabling them to understand the repair process.
    • It discloses information on the price and warranty of spare parts, allowing consumers to make informed decisions about repairs.
    • The portal initially focuses on key sectors like farming equipment, electronic items, automobile items etc. 

    Source: IE

    Syllabus: GS3/Disaster Management

    Context

    • The irrigation department in Poonthura region, Kerala is set to construct eight groynes to resolve the challenge of coastal erosion.

    Groynes

    • A groyne is a rigid hydraulic structure built perpendicularly from an ocean shore or a river bank, interrupting water flow and limiting the movement of sediment. 
    • It is usually made out of wood, concrete, or stone.

    Advantages 

    • Groynes are easy to construct. They have long term durability and are low maintenance. 
    • They reduce the need for the beach to be maintained through beach nourishment and the recycling of sand. 

    Source: TOI

    Syllabus: GS2/ International Relations

    Context

    • The UN voiced deep concern at the increase in the intensity of exchanges of fire across the Blue Line, which separates Lebanese and Israeli armed forces.

    About

    • The Blue Line is a demarcation line dividing Lebanon from Israel and the Golan Heights. 
    • It was marked by the United Nations in 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon.

    Source: AIR

    Syllabus :GS 2/Governance 

    In News

    • Karnataka government will start ‘Naavu Manujaru’ programme in schools.

    About  ‘Naavu Manujaru’ programme

    • It is ordered to begin from the current academic year across all government, aided, and unaided primary and high schools.
    • It involves two hours of weekly discussions and dialogues (three periods of 40 minutes each).
    • It will cover discussions on social harmony, significance of local and national festivals, folk games, and sports.
    • It will also focus on exploration of thoughts of social reformers, visits to local landmarks, and discussions on nuclear families, inequality elimination, and constitutional values like equality, liberty, and fraternity.
    • District-level nodal officers appointed to oversee implementation and provide guidance
    • Objectives : It is aimed at transforming all educational institutions into centers promoting social harmony, tolerance, and scientific temper.
      • It is Introduced to instill values enshrined in the Constitution among students.

    Source:TH