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UPSC News Diary For Today 18 June 2022

UPSC News Diary For Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary For Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.

In the ”UPSC News Diary For Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.

 

 

Mitticool refrigerator

In News

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) develops an Indian Standard for ‘Non-electric cooling cabinet made of clay’.

What is ‘Mitticool refrigerator’

  • This is an innovative refrigerator which projects an eco-friendly technology.
  • This cooling cabinet is made out of clay and operates on the principle of evaporative cooling.
  • These cabinets may be used to store perishable foodstuff without the need of electricity.
  • Innovated by Shri Mansukh Bhai Prajapati who is from Gujarat.

How this innovation could help in achieving SDGs?

  • People of this country have been using various innovative and sustainable techniques for years to preserve food and the Mitticool refrigerator is just an example of that.
  • This standard and many other techniques help in fulfilling 6 out of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like No poverty, Zero hunger, Gender equality, Affordable and clean energy, Industry, innovation, and infrastructure, and Responsible consumption and production.

 

Rule 3 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974

In News

Presidential election: 15 nominations filed, three rejected so far.

Nomination Filling Process

  • Nomination papers may be delivered by a candidate or any of his proposers or seconders to the Returning officer or if he is unavoidably absent, to the Assistant Returning Officers or Special Duty (OSD);
  • Each nomination paper shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the candidate in the electoral roll for the Parliamentary constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector;
  • Every candidate shall deposit or cause to be deposited a sum of Rupees Fifteen Thousand only.  This amount may be deposited in cash with the Returning Officer at the time of presentation of the nomination paper or deposited earlier in the Reserve Bank of India or in a Government Treasury and in the latter case a receipt showing that the said deposit of the sum has been so made is required to be enclosed with the nomination paper.

 

EX SAMPRITI-X

In News

Indo-Bangladesh bilateral Joint Military Exercise “Ex SAMPRITI-X” concluded at Jashore Military Station, Bangladesh.

Key Points

  • This was the 10th edition of “Ex Sampriti”
  • The aim of the exercise was to strengthen the military relations between the two countries.
  • The exercise also provided an opportunity to the contingents from both the Armies to understand each other’s tactical drills and operational techniques as well as to share their experience on Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorism, Peace Keeping and Disaster Relief Operation under the United Nations mandate.
  • The joint exercise, besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, further helped in strengthening ties between India and Bangladesh.

 

Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy

In News

More than 250 stakeholders participate in interaction on Data Governance Framework Policy.

Aim Of NDGFP

This Policy aims to realize the full potential of Digital Government with the aim of maximising data-led governance and catalysing data-based innovation that can transform government services and their delivery to citizens, especially in areas of social importance that include agriculture, healthcare, law and justice, education, amongst others.

Key Objectives of the NDGFP

  • To accelerate Digital Governance.
  • To have standardized data management and security standards across whole of Government;
  • To accelerate creation of common standard based public digital platforms while ensuring privacy, safety, and trust;
  • To have standard APIs and other tech standards for Whole of Government Data management and access.
  • To promote transparency, accountability, and ownership in Non-personal data and Datasets access.
  • For purposes of safety and trust, any non-personal data sharing by any entity can be only via platforms designated and authorised by IDMO.
  • To build a platform that will allow Dataset requests to be received and processed.
  • To build Digital Government goals and capacity, knowledge and competency in Government departments and entities

 

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)

Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2022: PLFS report consists of quarterly and annual labour employment-unemployment data about Indian Labour Market. Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report provides key insights into the conditions of Indian Labour Market and is important for UPSC Mains GS Paper 3 of Indian Economy- Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in News

  • Recently, the National Statistical Office (NSO) released the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report for the period of 2020-21 (July-June).
  • The headline employment numbers provided in PLFS report show an improvement in the employment situation.

 

Key Findings of PLFS 2020-21

  • Unemployment Rate: As per PLFS, Overall unemployment rate as per usual status (reference period of last 365 days preceding the survey), eased to 4.2% from 4.8% in 2019-20.
    • The leaked Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in 2018 revealed that India’s unemployment rate was the highest (6.07%) in four decades.
    • Unemployment rates among the educated (above secondary education — 9.1%) and the youth (age between 15-29 — 12.9%) have only declined marginally.
  • Slight Increase in LFPR: PLFS 2022 reported that the labour force participation rate (LFPR) or those working or seeking or available for work in the labour force, was the highest in four years at 39.3 per cent in 2020-21.
  • Rise in worker population ratio (WPR): According to the PLFS report, worker population ratio (WPR) was at 36.3 per cent, highest in last four years.
  • WPR is defined as the percentage of employed persons in the population.
  • Gender-wise Unemployment Rate: Unlike in Urban Areas, the unemployment rate was higher for males in rural areas than females.
    • In rural areas, the unemployment rate was 3.9 per cent in 2020-21, while that for females was 2.1 per cent.
    • In urban areas, the unemployment rate for females was 8.6 per cent, while that for males was 6.1 per cent.
  • Current Weekly Unemployment Status: In terms of the more widely used statistic internationally, the current weekly status of unemployment, the figure of 7.5% for all persons in 2020-21.
  • High Vacancy in Central Government Offices: The latest data showed that there were 8.86 lakh vacant jobs among all central government civilian posts as of March 2020.
  • Rise in Unpaid Work: Employment in the unpaid self-employed category continued to show an increase in 2020-21 by rising to 17.3% from 15.9% in 2019-20 and 13.3% in 2018-19.
    • Rural unpaid employment also showed increase to 21.3% in 2020-21 from 20.0% in the previous year, while that for urban areas increased to 6.3% from 5.7%
    • In rural areas, Unpaid self-employment for females increased to 42.8 per cent in 2020-21 from 42.3 per cent a year ago, while that for rural males increased to 11.0 per cent from 10.4 per cent.
    • In urban areas, unpaid self-employment for females showed a significant increase to 12.4 per cent in 2020-21 from 11.1 per cent in 2019-20, while that for males increased to 4.5 per cent from 4.1 per cent.
  • Rise in Labour Force Engaged in Agriculture Work: The PLFS data shows that the share of the labour force engaged in agriculture continued to show a rise in 2020-21, increasing to 46.5 per cent from 45.6 per cent in 2019-20 and 42.5 per cent in 2018-19.
    • This shows a reversal of the decades-long decline in the labour force participation in agriculture.
    • The increase in share of agricultural employment was seen more for urban areas than rural areas.

 

The Editorial Analysis- Waiting for Jobs

 

India ASEAN meeting

UPSC Relevance

  • GS 2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

India ASEAN relations: Context

  • Recently, India has hosted the 24th India ASEAN meeting in New Delhi to mark two major anniversaries — the 30th anniversary of India’s dialogue relations and the 10th anniversary of Strategic Partnership with ASEAN.

 

24th India ASEAN Meeting: Key points

  • The two day Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (SAIFMM) will be attended by all Foreign Ministers of other ASEAN Member States.
  • 2022 has been designated as the ASEAN-India friendship year.
  • This is the first time SAIFMM will host in New Delhi the ASEAN-India FMM meeting. Also the 24thASEAN-India Senior Officials meeting took place in New Delhi.
  • Also, the 12thedition of Delhi Dialogue (DD) was followed the SAIFMM in New Delhi.
  • Theme of Delhi Dialogue: Building Bridges in the Indo-Pacific

 

What is Delhi Dialogue?

  • Delhi Dialogue is a Track 1.5 dialogue between India and ASEAN.
  • Delhi Dialogue brings together practitioners, corporate leaders, opinion makers, academics and journalists, every year, to discuss a wide range of issues of common interest and concern in India – ASEAN relationship.

 

India ASEAN dialogue:  A historical background

  • In 1992, a sectoral partnership was established, which eventually transformed into full dialogue partnership in December 1995.
  • The relation reached Summit Level Partnership in 2002 and in 2012 Strategic partnership.
  • In 2020, Plan of Action 2021-2025 was adopted, which forms the foundation of the ongoing India-ASEAN collaboration.

 

24th ASEAN India meeting

  • The focus of the meeting was to review the progress of cooperation under all three pillars of Partnership –economic and socio-cultural, political-security.
  • The meeting was also aimed at taking steps for further implementation of ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-2025).
  • Moreover, emphasis was also put for the implementation of ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

 

24th India ASEAN Meeting: Absence of Myanmar

  • Myanmar was not a part of the 24thASEAN-India Ministerial meeting that was held in New Delhi.
  • Reasons: International pressure to avoid inclusion of Myanmar in the high-level meetings, and souring of ASEAN-Myanmar ties after military coup that overthrew democratic government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • The non-participation of Myanmar is being interpreted as India accommodating international concern over the junta in Myanmar which has refused to enter into a negotiation with the protesters demanding restoration of democracy.
  • Earlier, Myanmar had participated in the BIMSTEC summit in a virtual format that had drawn criticism from the United States.

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AGNIPATH Scheme

Relevance for UPSC Exam

AGNIPATH Scheme: it is temporary employment scheme launched by government to ensure that young minds serve the country in the army while acquiring various life skills during the process. AGNIPATH Scheme will come under UPSC Mains GS Paper 2- Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Agnipath Scheme in News

  • Thousands of youth in various States took to the streets demanding a rollback of the newly announced Agnipath scheme by the government.
  • Also, the Government has decided that a one-time waiver shall be granted for the proposed recruitment cycle for 2022 under Agnipath Scheme.
    • Accordingly, the upper age limit for the recruitment process for Agnipath scheme for 2022 is increased to 23 years.

 

Concerns associated with AGNIPATH Scheme

  • Temporary Nature of Job: Protestors demanding the rollback of Agnipath Scheme as they believe it would lead to “contractualisation” of jobs in the Indian armed forces.
  • Future Insecurity: Uncertain Future of Agniveers who come out of military after four years of service, is cause of concern for the protesting youths.
  • Fear of Favouritism: After completion of four years, 25% agniveers will be inducted in the military on permanent basis. Many believe this will lead to favouritism in the Military.
  • Lack of Commitments towards Army: As agniveers are there in the army on a short term basis, it is possible that they will not have same level of commitment as a permanent member of army has.

 

AGNIPATH scheme

  • About: Under the AGNIPATH scheme, the Agniveers will be enrolled in the Forces under respective Service Acts for a period of four years.
    • Youths selected under the Agnipath scheme will be known as Agniveers.
    • AGNIPATH allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years.
  • Agniveers: They would form a distinct rank in the Armed Forces, different from any other existing ranks.
  • Permanent Opportunity: Upon the completion of four years of service, based on organisational requirement and policies promulgated by the Armed Forces from time-to-time, Agniveers will be offered an opportunity to apply for permanent enrolment in the Armed Forces.
  • Process of Permanent Induction in Army: These applications will be considered in a centralised manner based on objective criteria including performance during their four-year engagement period.
    • Up to 25% of each specific batch of Agniveers Agneepath Scheme will be enrolled in regular cadre of the Armed Forces.

 

Agneepath scheme benefits

For the youths

  • Agnipath scheme will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society.
  • The scheme is for the youths who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society.

For the armed forces

  • The scheme will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bring about a transformational shift towards a more tech savvy Armed Forces.

For the nation

  • The nation would immensely benefit by infusion of highly inspired youth with deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence and focus who would be adequately skilled and will be able to contribute in other sectors.

Agneepath Scheme for the Armed Forces

 

Criminal cases in Parliament

Relevance

  • GS 2: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Criminalisation of politics: Context

  • According to a report released by ADR-National Election Watch, around 40% of the newly elected Rajya Sabha members have criminal charges against them.

 

40 percent criminal cases in Rajya Sabha: Key points

  • The report was based on the analysis of self-sworn affidavits of all 57 MPs who were elected to Rajya Sabha this month.
  • Out of the 57 MPs analysed, 23 MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves.
  • A total of 12 MPs have declared “serious criminal cases”.
  • Six of these Rajya Sabha MPs have been elected from Uttar Pradesh, four each from Maharashtra and Bihar, three Tamil Nadu, two Telangana and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
  • 53 of the 57 elected MPs are crorepati where TRS MP Bandi Partha Saradhi on the top of the list with his total assets being worth over Rs 1,500 crore.

 

MPs with Criminal cases in India

  • According to the ADR 2021 report, the share of MPs with declared criminal cases against them has been increasing in the last decade.
  • ADR had analysed the 543 winners of 2009 Lok Sabha elections, where it had reported that 162 (30%) had declared criminal cases against them, with 76 (14%) having serious criminal cases against them.
  • The share of MPs with criminal and serious criminal cases increased to 43% and 29%, according to an analysis of 539 winners in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • More importantly, in 2019, candidates with declared criminal cases against them had a 5% chance of winning compared to 4.7% for candidates without such cases against them.
  • In 2019, while 39% of the BJP’s winning candidates had a criminal case against them, the number was 57% for the Congress, 43% for the DMK and 41% for the All India Trinamool Congress.
  • Also, 84% of the selected candidates have self-declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.

 

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Women parliamentarians in India

Relevance

  • GS 2: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Woman parliamentarians in India

  • In 1952, when the Indian Republic held its first Parliamentary session, 39 women representatives were part of it.
  • At a time when women formed only 1.7% of the total members of the United States Congress and 1.1% of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, India was leading the way with 5.5% women representation.

 

Women in Parliament: Status today

  • Despite a woman Prime Minister, a President, and a relatively higher percentage of women parliamentarians when compared to some of the other mature democracies in the past, the struggle with inclusivity remains.
  • The number of women representatives in Parliament is still considerably small.

 

Non- gender-neutral actions

  • A closer look at our parliamentary discourse and communication reveals a concerning and disconcerting absence of gender-neutral language.
  • Example: Even after 75 years of independence, Parliament often refers to women in leadership positions as Chairmen and party men.
  • In a compilation of ministerial replies to questions from the 17th Lok Sabha so far for 75 women Parliamentarians, it was found that 84% of the answers that used salutations (sir/madam) referred to women Parliamentarians as ‘sir’.
  • In the Rajya Sabha, the Rules of Procedure continue to refer to the Vice-President of India as the ex-officio Chairman, reflecting the lack of gender-neutral language in the Constitution of India.
  • Moreover, references to inherently masculine pronouns are made over 150 times in the former and 600 times in the latter.
  • In the last decade, there have hardly been any gender-neutral Acts by the Parliament.
  • In its present state, the Constitution reinforces historical stereotypes that women and transgender people cannot be in leadership positions.

Women parliamentarians in India: Steps taken

  • In 2014, the then Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, the Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha were made entirely gender neutral.
  • Since then, each Lok Sabha Committee Head has been referred to as Chairperson in all documents.

 

International experience

  • Canada has guidelines for using gender-neutral language in all forms of legislation and legal documentation.
  • The Australian government has incorporated gender-neutrality in its drafting Style Manual.
  • The U.K.’s House of Commons declared in 2007 that all laws would be drafted gender-neutrally.

 

Way forward

  • Once the language is corrected, the entire country can focus on the deeper issues of the aspirations and growth of its woman workforce.
  • In the 21st century, when people of all genders are leading the world with compassion, strength and ambitions, the Indian Parliament needs to reflect where it stands.
  • Recognition and correction of past errors through amendments to rulebooks, laws, and the Constitution are just starting points, and must lead to sensitivity, equal treatment, and appreciation for the people of India, regardless of gender.

 

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UIDAI and Technological Innovations

Introduction

  • The Aadhaar System is built on a sound strategy and a strong technology backbone and has evolved into a vital digital identity infrastructure.
  • Aadhaar, being a unique digital ID – provides a powerful platform for authenticating a resident anytime and anywhere which is in line with the vision of the UIDAI.
  • The purpose of Authentication is to enable residents to prove their identity and for service providers to confirm that the residents are ‘who they say they are’ in order to supply services and give access to benefits.

 

What is Aadhaar?

  • Aadhaar number is a 12-digit random number issued by the UIDAI (“Authority”) to the residents of India after satisfying the verification process laid down by the Authority. Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident of India, may voluntarily enrol to obtain Aadhaar number.
  • Person willing to enrol has to provide minimal demographic and biometric information during the enrolment process which is totally free of cost.

 

Technologies that have been adopted by UIDAI

  • Unified My Aadhaar Portal.
  • Multiple services on the mAadhaar mobile application.
  • Use of secure QR Code and offline KYC.
  • Virtual ID, Aadhaar Lock, Biometric Lock For security.
  • Integration with Digilocker for consent-based fetching of residents’ documents.
  • Extensive use of AI/ML.
  • State-of-the-art UIDAIs own private cloud infrastructure.
  • Indigenous development of Automatic Biometric Identification System(ABIS).
  • Integration with ISRO.
  • Inspection Portal for automatic inspection of aadhaar centres.
  • Research is underway for -Blockchain Technology, IoT, Confidential Computing, AI-Based Fraud Analytics, Quantum Resilient, and Cryptographic Solutions.

 

What are Biometric Devices?

  • Biometric devices means the devices that are used for capturing the biometric data inputs i.e Fingerprint / Iris /both the information from Aadhaar number holders.
  • These biometric devices fall under two categories viz. Discrete Devices, Integrated Devices.
    • Discrete Devices: These type of devices refer to the class of biometric devices (Fingerprint/IRIS) that require connectivity to a host device such as PC/laptop/Micro ATM etc.
    • Integrated Devices: The integrated devices have the sensor integrated into the device package i.e. phone/tablet etc.

 

Technology innovation in authentication

  • Aadhaar authentication is the process wherein the Aadhaar number, along with other attributes,including  biometrics, are submitted online to the Aadhaar system for its verification on the basis of information or data or documents available with it.
  • The UIDAI has set up a scalable ecosystem for the purpose of instant authentication of residents.
  • The Aadhaar authentication ecosystem is capable of handling tens of millions of authentications on a daily basis, and can be scaled up further as per the demand.
  • The UIDAI has appointed a number of Authentication Service Agencies (ASAs) and Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) from various Government and non-Government organisations.
  • Some Innovations: 
    • Face Authentication
    • Iris Based Aadhaar Authentication
    • Fingerprint Imafe Record Based Authentication

 

Security Mechanism of UIDAI

  • Protection of the individual, and the safeguarding their information is inherent in the design of the UID project.
  • From having a random number which does not reveal anything about the individual to other features listed below, the UID project keeps the interest of the resident at the core of its purpose and objectives.

Aadhaar Verification

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has stated that the veracity of ‘Aadhaar’ can be easily established both in an online and offline mode as mentioned below:

  • Online Mode- Age Band, Gender, State and last 3 digits of Mobile of an Aadhaar Holder can be verified by visiting https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/verifyAadhaar  by feeding the Aadhaar number.
  • Offline Mode- Every Aadhaar card /Aadhaar letter/e Aadhaar  has a Secure QR code printed on it, which contains demographic details( Name, Gender, Date of birth and address) as well as photograph of the Aadhaar number holder. Even if the Aadhaar card is tampered with by photo shopping another person’s photograph, the Information in the QR code is secure and tamper-proof as it is digitally signed by UIDAI.

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