04 October, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • Analysis on Food security in India Indian economy and Society
  • Chola and Pallava inscriptions and local self-government Indian history
  • Nord Stream 2 pipeline - Geographical locations and international relations
  • Landslides in India Geography of India and Disaster Management
  • Question for the Day

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    UPSC Current Affairs: Food security in India | 06 

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains GS paper III : Economy 

    Sub Theme: Economy|UPSC  

    Context: With an alarming escalation in global hunger unfolding, reaching the goal of an equitable  livelihood is a necessity. 

    WHAT IS FOOD SECURITY: 

    The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) states that food security emerges when all  people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to  meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

    • UN-India: nearly 195 million undernourished people in India.  
    • NHFS-4: 38% of children below 5 years are stunted, 21% are wasted and 36% are  underweight. 
    • India ranked 71st in The Global Food Security Index of EIU in the year 2020, based on  four parameters- affordability, availability and quality and safety. 
    • As per the Global Hunger Index, 2020, India has been ranked 94th, lower than  neighbours like Bangladesh and Pakistan. 
    • Global nutrition report: India has one-third of the world's stunted children:
    • According to FAO estimates in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World,  2020” report, 8% of India’s population suffered from moderate or severe food insecurity  in 2014-16, the proportion rose to 31.6% in 2017-19. 

    In urban population: 

    • Migration: 
    • Affordability: 
    • Access: 

    In children and mothers: 

    • Poverty: 
    • Lack of adequate knowledge: 
    • Gender inequality: 

    In rural and tribal areas: 

    • Low Productivity: 
    • Lack of education and job opportunities- 
    • Climate change: 
    • Backwardness: 

    Unmonitored nutrition programmes: 

    • Inefficient implementation: 
    • Lack of intersectoral coordination: 
    • Lack of coherent food and nutrition policies 

    Faulty food distribution system: 

    • Inefficiency: 
    • Inclusion and Exclusion: 
    • Quality issue: 

    WHAT GOVERNMENT/OTHERS HAVE DONE SO FAR? 

    • Article 47 of the Constitution of India states that it is the duty of the State to raise the  level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
    • National Food Security Act, 2013 and Public Distribution System (PDS).
    • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). 
    • PM-POSHAN 
    • The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). 
    • Annapurna Scheme. 
    • The National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS). 
    • The National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS). 
    • The National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS). 

    Other initiatives like 

    • Promotion to Organic Farming. 
    • Door to Door delivery of ration. 
    • Community kitchens like Indira Rasoi (Rajasthan) 
    • Cheaper ration delivery to NGOs and Religious denominations. 

    Some private initiatives: 

    • World Food Programme 
    • Akshaya Patra 
    • The Hunger Project 
    • World Central Kitchen 
    • INGA Foundation 
    • The Carbon Underground 
    • The Land Institute 

    WHAT ELSE COULD BE DONE TO ENSURE FOOD SECURITY IN INDIA: Implementing measures to improve agricultural productivity and food storage Ensuring food availability and accessibility to below poverty line (BPL) candidates Improving purchasing power through employment generating schemes 

    Crop diversification, establishing food grain banks and promoting household gardening Community awareness through IEC activities and social marketing 

    Monitoring and timely evaluation of nutritional programmes 

    Community participation and intersectoral coordination 

    Addressing the rising cost of nutritious diets 

    PRACTICE QUESTION: 

    1. What do you understand by the food security? Analyze the causes behind food insecurity and  state some measures to protect food security in India. (250 words). 

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Cholas and the Pallavas inscriptions | 04 

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims : Art & Culture  

    Sub Theme: Cholas and Pallavas | UPSC  

    Content: 

    • Inscriptions of Uthiramerur dwells upon ‘Kudavolai’ — a system to elect members to annual  committee (‘variyam’), garden committee, tank committee and other committees for 30 wards. 
    • Thenneri inscriptions laying down qualifications for candidates to village administrative  committees (‘perumkuri sabai’). It also shed light on how farm produce was taxed.
    • They were constructed by Sembian Mahadevi, the grandmother of Chola King Rajaraja, in  memory of her son Uthama Chola
    • Earliest inscriptions are from Pallava rulers.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs NORD STEAM 2 PIPELINE - Page 07 

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains |GS paper II International relations  

    Sub Theme: Geo-politics| UPSC  

    Key facts: 

    • Runs from Ust-Luga in Russia to Greifswald in Germany through the Baltic Sea.
    • The 1,200-km pipeline will carry 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year. 
    • In 2015, the Russian energy major Gazprom and five other European firms decided to build Nord  Stream 2, valued at around $11 billion.  
    • It will run along with the already completed Nord Stream 1 system, and the two together will  supply an aggregate of 110 billion cubic metres of gas to Germany per year. 

    Background: European gas prices have broken records this year, edging close to an  unprecedented $1,000 per thousand cubic meters which places many industries and food supply  chains under stress.  

     Reasons responsible: Lack of viable alternatives to gas, 

     Low storage levels because of a severe winter  

     Post-COVID-19 economic surge. 

    Issues and controversies : 

    Trust deficit between USA and Russia : USAholds Russia responsible for a series of affronts, such  as the Crimean conflict of 2014 and the alleged interference in the US elections of 2016 and  2020. 

    Change in USA position: 

    Earlier - Under Trump administration, USA believed that this project will turn Germany into  "hostage of Russia" and Thus USA imposed sanctions on Russia for this project. Now- Under Biden administration the position is diluted and has decided not to kill the energy  system with sanctions. It has instead gone with the softer option of threatening Russia with  consequences should it use the pipeline to harm Ukraine or other countries in eastern Europe.” Increased dependence of E.U over Russia: 

    Germany is accused, mainly by Poland and Ukraine, of weakening the EU’s political unity and  strategic coherence by giving Russia greater leverage through NS2. Currently, EU countries  already rely on Russia for 40% of their gas needs. 

    Ukrain's major concern:  

    There is an existing land pipeline between Russia and Europe that runs through Ukraine. The  country feels that once Nord Storm 2 is completed, Russia could bypass the Ukrainian pipeline,  and deprive it of lucrative transit fees of around $3 billion per year. Ukraine also fears another  invasion by Russia once the new pipeline is operational.

    MCQ: 

    Nord2 pipeline project seen recently in news connect which of the following countries? 

    1. a) Germany and USA 
    2. b) Ukrain and USA 
    3. c) Germany and Russia 
    4. d) Germany and Saudi Arabia 

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: NGRI proposes landslip, flood warning system – Pg. 05 

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims : Environment 

    Sub Theme: Flood| UPSC  

    Context:  

    • The Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research -National Geophysical Research Institute  (CSIR-NGRI) has launched an ‘Environmental Seismology’ group to develop a ‘Landslide and  Flood Early Warning System’ for the Himalayan region based on real-time monitoring with  dense seismological networks, coupled with satellite data, numerical modelling and  geomorphic analysis. 

    Landslide is rapid movement of rock, soil and vegetation down the slope under the influence of gravity.  These materials may move downwards by falling, toppling, sliding, spreading or flowing. Such  movements may occur gradually, but sudden sliding can also occur without warning. They often take  place in conjunction with earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. The extent and Intensity of 

    landslide depends upon number of factors- Steepness of the slope, amount of vegetation cover, tectonic  activity, bedding plane of the rocks etc.  

    Types of Landslides 

    • Falls: Abrupt movements of materials that become detached from steep slopes or cliffs, moving  by free-fall, bouncing, and rolling.  
    • Creep: Slow, steady downslope movement of soil or rock 
    • Debris flow: Rapid mass movement in which loose soils, rocks, and organic matter combine  with water to form slurry that then flows down slope. Usually associated with steep gullies
    • Mudflow: Rapidly flowing mass of wet material that contains at least 50 percent sand-, silt-, and  clay-sized particles 
    • Flows: General term including many types of mass movement, such as creep, debris flow,  mudflow etc.  

    Causes of Landslides 

    • Geological Causes: Weak, Sensitive and Weathered material, Sensitive material, Presence of  Joints and Fissures, Variation in physical properties such as Permeability. 
    • Morphological Causes: Tectonic or volcanic uplift, Erosion due to Wind and Water, Higher  deposition of load on the slope or its crest, Removal of Vegetation  
    • Physical Causes: Intense rainfall, Earthquake/Volcanic eruption, Rapid snow melt/freeze  Human Causes: Excavation of the slope or its toe, Deposition of load on the slope, Drawdown  of Reservoir, Deforestation, Mining, Irrigation and artificial vibration.  

    Landslide Prone areas in India 

    As highlighted before, as per Geological Survey of India (GSI), about 0.42 million sq.km covering  nearly 12.6% of land area of our country is prone to landslide hazards. The major landslide prone areas  in India include  

    1. Western Ghats and Konkan Hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra) 2. Eastern Ghats (Araku region in Andhra Pradesh) 
    2. North-East Himalayas (Darjeeling and Sikkim) 
    3. North West Himalayas (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir).

    The Himalayan mountain ranges and hilly tracts of the North-Eastern region are highly susceptible to  slope instability due to the immature and rugged topography, fragile rock conditions, high seismicity  resulting from proximity to the plate margins, and high rainfall. Extensive anthropogenic interference,  as part of developmental activities, is another significant factor.  

    Similarly, the Western Ghats, though located in a relatively stable domain, experiences landslides due  to number of factors- steep hill slopes, high intensity rainfall and anthropogenic activities. The Nilgiris  hills located at the convergence zone of the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats experiences a number  of landslides due to high intensity and protracted rainfall. 

    Impact of Landslides 

    Short run: Loss and damage to property, loss of lives, Destruction to agricultural crops, Damages to  Vegetation, Obstruction of vehicular movement leading to Traffic jam, temporary loss of livelihood for  the poor people etc. 

    Long-run:  

    • Increase in the sediment load of the river which can lead to floods. 
    • Reduce the effective life of hydroelectric and multipurpose projects by adding an enormous  amount of silt load to the reservoirs. 
    • Loss of cultivable land 
    • Environmental impact in terms of erosion and soil loss 
    • Demographic Impact in terms of relocation of Population towards other areas
    • Frequent disruption of transportation networks leads to geographical isolation and hence  perpetuates under-development

    NDMA Guidelines for Landslide Disaster Management (Can be used as Points to highlight as to  how Landslides can be better managed) 

    Landslide Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment: This includes delineating areas susceptible  to landslide hazards in different areas and to assess the resources at risk. 

    Early Warning Systems for Landslides: This includes the continuous monitoring of movements,  development of stresses and the transmission of this data at regular time intervals. Investigations for Landslide Risk Assessment: Multi-disciplinary investigations of landslide risk  assessment leading to formulation of Standards to mitigate impact of landslides. Landslide Risk Mitigation and Remediation: 

    • Restricting Development in Landslide-Prone Areas through Land use planning.
    • Laying down standards to be followed for Excavation and Construction 
    • Protecting Existing Developments through Restraining walls and rock anchors
    • Slope Stabilisation measures: Generally, include works involving modification of the natural  landslide conditions such as topography, geology, ground water, and other conditions that  indirectly control portions of the entire landslide movement. These include drainage improvement  works, soil/debris removal works etc. 
    • Landslide Insurance and Compensation for Losses 

    Regulation and Enforcement: The state governments/SDMAs will adopt the model techno-legal  framework for ensuring compliance with land use zoning and landslide safety issues in all development  activities and plans. 

    Awareness and Preparedness: Comprehensive awareness campaigns targeting different groups of people  living in landslide prone areas should be carried out systematically 

    Capacity Development (Including Education, Training and Documentation):

    Introduction of curriculum related to Disaster Management, including Landslides in the Schools

    Training of the Administrators to plan, respond and mitigate the impact of Landslides

    Technical institutes located in vulnerable areas should develop adequate technical expertise on the  various subjects related to landslide management. 

    Immediate Response: Put in place Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) which should ensure  coordinated and sustained action from various agencies in the aftermath of landslides Research and Development: Government should encourage, promote, and support R&D activities to  address current challenges, offer solutions, and develop new investigation techniques, with the  application of the latest developments in remote sensing, communications, and instrumentation  technologies. 

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