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UPSC News Diary For Today

Table of Contents

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.

Food Safety Index

Who Topped this year?

  • Tamil Nadu topped the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) this year, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra. Among the smaller States, Goa stood first, followed by Manipur and Sikkim.
  • Among the Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh secured the first, second and third ranks.

About SFSI

  • The SFSI measures the performance of States on the basis of five parameters set by the Health Ministry.
  • The rating is done by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Various new innovative initiatives launched by the FSSAI

On World Food Safety Day various new innovative initiatives were launched by the FSSAI including the ‘Eat Right Research Awards and Grants – Phase II’, Eat Right Creativity Challenge – Phase III, a school-level competition, and the logo for AyurvedaAahar.

New VPN Rules

About New VPN Rules

  • The digital technology and usage of internet has grown exponentially and is integral part of modern life.
  • All devices connected to the internet are a part of a large network of computers, servers and other devices spread across the world.
  • A virtual private network, when switched on, essentially creates a safe network within the larger global network of the internet and masks the IP address of the user by rerouting the data.
  • New norms, released by Computer Emergency Response Team on April 28 have asked VPN service providers along with data centres and cloud service providers, to store information such as names, email IDs, contact numbers, and IP addresses of their customers for a period of five years.
  • Entities are also required to report cybersecurity incidents to CERT-In within six hours of becoming or being made aware of them.
  • These new rules will become effective from 27th June this year.
  • CERT-In has said that it may seek information from service providers in case of cyber security incidents on case to case basis, for discharge of its statutory obligations to enhance cyber security in the country.

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act of 2020

Key Points about Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act of 2020

  • The bill received Presidential assent on Tuesday, 28th of September, 2020 & thus became an Act.
  • It held that receiving foreign donations cannot be an absolute right and can be regulated by the Parliament.
  • The Amended Act bars public servants from receiving foreign contributions.
  • It is mandatory for all organisations, which intend to receive foreign donations, to register themselves under the FCRA.

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

About the Act

An Act to authorize for taking measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters and to preserve records and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

Key Features of the Bill

  • The Bill expands: (i) the type of data that may be collected, (ii) persons from whom such data may be collected, and (iii) the authority that may authorise such collection.
  • It also provides for the data to be stored in a central database.
  • Under both the 1920 Act and the 2022 Bill, resistance or refusal to give data will be considered an offence of obstructing a public servant from doing his duty.

Surrogacy Act

Relevance for UPSC Exam

Surrogacy Act: The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act 2021 regulates surrogacy in India. The Surrogacy Act 2021 will come under Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation of UPSC Mains GS Paper 2.

Surrogacy Act in News

  • Recently, Petitioners in the Delhi High Court questioned why marital status, age, or gender were the criteria for being allowed to commission or not commission surrogacy in India.
  • The female petitioner said that she already had a child but the trauma of the first childbirth experience and her need to juggle work with child care persuaded her that surrogacy would be a better option for the second child.
  • However, under the provisions of the Surrogacy Act, she was denied a chance at commissioning surrogacy.

What is Surrogacy Act?

  • About: The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was introduced in Parliament in November 2016, and passed in the Winter session of Parliament in 2021.
  • Defines Surrogacy: Surrogacy Act 2021 defines ‘surrogacy’ as a practice where a woman undertakes to give birth to a child for another couple and agrees to hand over the child to them after birth.
  • Mandate: The Surrogacy Act aims to regulate the surrogacy part of a rather flourishing infertility industry in the country.

The Editorial Analysis- Births and Rights

Key Features of Surrogacy Act

  • Allows Only ‘altruistic surrogacy’: The Surrogacy law allows only altruistic surrogacy wherein only the medical expenses and insurance coverage is provided by the couple to the surrogate mother during pregnancy.
    • No other monetary consideration will be permitted under the surrogacy law.
  • Married Couple allowed Surrogacy only on Medical Grounds: Under the surrogacy Act, only a married couple can opt for surrogacy only on medical grounds.
    • The Surrogacy law defines a couple as a married Indian “man and woman”.
    • It also prescribes an age-criteria with the woman being in the age group of 23 to 50 years and the man between 26 to 55 years.
  • Ineligibility Criteria for Surrogate Couple:
    • The couple having a child of their own, will not be eligible for Surrogacy.
    • Though the law allows single women to resort to surrogacy, she should either be a widow or a divorcee, between the age of 35 to 45 years.
    • Single men are however, not eligible.
  • Eligibility Criteria for Surrogate Mothers:
    • Only a close relative of the couple can be a surrogate mother, one who is able to provide a medical fitness certificate.
    • She should have been married, with a child of her own, and must be between 25 and 35 years, but can be a surrogate mother only once.

Need for a Surrogacy Act in India

  • Rented Wombs: India has emerged as a hub for infertility treatment, attracting people from the world over with its state of the art technology and competitive prices to treat infertility.
    • Soon enough, due to prevailing socio-economic inequities, underprivileged women found an option to ‘rent their wombs’.
    • Underprivileged women use the money to take care of their expenses — often to facilitate a marriage, enable children to get an education, or to provide for hospitalisation or surgery for someone in the family.
  • Misuse of Surrogacy in India: Once information of the availability of such wombs got out, the demand also picked up.
    • Unscrupulous middle men inveigled themselves into the scene and exploitation of these women began.
    • Several instances began to emerge where women, in often desperate straits, started lodging police complaints after they did not receive the promised sum.
  • Few Examples of Misuse of Surrogacy in India:
    • In 2008 a Japanese couple began the process with a surrogate mother in Gujarat, but before the child was born they split with both of them refusing to take the child.
    • In 2012, an Australian couple commissioned a surrogate mother, and arbitrarily chose one of the twins that were born.

Associated Concerns with Surrogacy Law

  • Excessive Regulation: Even at the Bill stage, while there was a general murmur of appreciation, and some strident approval from infertility experts, there was some apprehension about the too restrictive regulations.
    • For instance, it does not allow single women, or men, or gay couples to go in for surrogacy. Representations from these groups emerged even as Health Minister introduced the Bill in the House.
  • Growth of Underground Illegal Surrogate industry: Excessive regulation and banning the Surrogacy may lead to growth of the Underground Surrogacy Industry, leading to exploitation of poo and underprivileged surrogate mothers.

Surrogacy Act- Way Forward

  • The above apprehensions and perceived hitches due to the exclusionary criteria, have already come to the forefront in the short period that the Act has been operational.
  • A path of litigation is possibly the course ahead, and if a critical mass builds up, amendments might have to be resorted to in order to resolve the grievances and ensure access for all categories of parents.

Gram Nyayalayas | Gram Nyayalayas Act 2008

Leaders in Climate Change Management

Relevance

  • GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Leaders in Climate Change Management: Context

  • Recently, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has launched the Leaders in Climate Change Management Program to help urban professionals champion climate action in India.

Leaders in Climate Change Management: Key points

  • ‘Leaders in Climate Change Management’ (LCCM) is a practice-based learning program that is launched by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and World Resources Institute (WRI) India.
  • It aims at building capacity among urban professionals to lead climate action across sectors and geographies in India.
  • To facilitate this face-to-face learning program, the Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Mysuru, also singed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIUA and WRI India, becoming the first delivery partner of the LCCM program.
  • LCCM envisions capacitating 5,000 professionals, including mid to junior-level government officials and frontline workers, and preparing them to champion climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions towards a coordinated effort to achieve India’s climate commitments.

About Leaders in Climate Change Management (LCCM)

  • Leaders in Climate Change Management is a capacity-building program that seeks to build a pool of leaders to champion and lead climate action – across sectors and geographies.
  • The program has been designed and implemented through core partners, being, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), World Resources Institute (WRI) – India, United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), and Indian School of Business (ISB).
  • LCCM is a blended learning program for urban practitioners looking to upskill and prepare themselves to deliver effective climate action.
  • The program has four phases: the first phase- is an online learning module that can be completed over eight weeks; the next includes face-to-face sessions spanning four to six days; the third phase mandates participants to complete a project over six to eight months and attending exposure visits; and the final phase includes networking and establishing a community of practice.
  • At COP26 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a five-fold strategy – Panch Amrit – to global leaders, extending India’s co-operation to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius targets.

Panchamrit COP26

  • First– India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
  • Second– India will meet 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
  • Third– India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030.
  • Fourth– By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 percent.
  • And fifth-by the year 2070, India will achieve the target of Net Zero. These panchamrits will be an unprecedented contribution of India to climate action.

State Food Safety Index 2022

Relevance for UPSC Exam

State Food Safety Index: State Food Safety Index 2022 aims to ensure food safety for citizens. The food safety index will come under GS Paper 2- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

State Food Safety Index 2022

  • Recently, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s 4th State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety.
  • State Food Safety Index 2022 was launched in an effort to galvanize States/UTs to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens.

What is State Food Safety Index?

  • About: The State Food Safety Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
    • The first State Food Safety Index for the year 2018-19 was announced on the first-ever World Food Safety Day on 7th June 2019.
  • Publishing Authority: FSSAI has developed State Food Safety Index to measure the performance of states on various parameters of Food Safety.
  • Key Objective: State Food Safety Index aims to galvanize States to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens.
  • Parameters used for State Food Safety Ranking: State Food Safety Index is based on the performance of State/Union Territory (UT) on the following five significant parameters-
    • Human Resources and Institutional Data,
    • Compliance,
    • Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance,
    • Training & Capacity Building and
    • Consumer Empowerment.

Key Finding of State Food Safety Index 2022

  • Best Performing States among Large States: Tamil Nadu topped the 4th State Food Safety Index this year, followed by Gujarat and Maharashtra this year.
  • Best Performing States among Small States: Goa stood first, followed by Manipur and Sikkim in the State Food Safety Index 2022.
  • Best Performing UTs: Among the Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh secured first, second and third ranks in the State Food Security Ranking 2022.
  • Various other Initiatives of FSSAI were launched during 4th State Food Security Index Including-
    • ‘Eat Right Research Awards and Grants – Phase II’,
    • Eat Right Creativity Challenge – Phase III,
    • A school-level competition, and
    • Logo for AyurvedaAahar

Key Points about FSSAI

  • About: FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
  • Parent Ministry: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous statutory body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • Associated Legislation: FSSAI has been established in 2011 under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  • Mandate: FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.

Global Report on Food Crisis 2022

Gulf Cooperation Council

Relevance

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

GCC and India: Context

  • India’s trade with Gulf countries have come into prominence after the diplomatic row over derogatory comments made by the ruling BJP’s spokespersons against Prophet Muhammad.

GCC UPSC: Key points

  • India imports majorly crude oil and natural gas from the Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. On the other hand, the major exports include pearls, precious and semi-precious stones; metals; imitation jewellery; electrical machinery; iron and steel; and chemicals to these countries.
  • Other than trade, Gulf nations are host to a sizeable Indian population. Out of about 32 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), nearly half are estimated to be working in Gulf countries. These NRIs contribute to Indian economy by sending significant remittances.

Trade with GCC

  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia was the fourth-largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal. Total bilateral trade has increased to about USD 43 billion in 2021-22 from USD 22 billion in the previous fiscal.
  • Qatar: India imports 8.5 million tonnes a year of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) from Qatar and exports products ranging from cereals to meat, fish, chemicals, and plastics. Two-way commerce between India and Qatar rose to USD 15 billion in 2021-22 from USD 9 billion in 2020-21.
  • Kuwait: Kuwait was the 27th largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal. Bilateral trade has jumped to USD 12 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 6 billion in the previous financial year.
  • UAE: UAE was the third-largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. India’s bilateral trade with the nation increased to USD 72 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 43 billion in 2020-21.
  • Oman: Oman was the 31st largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. India’s bilateral trade with the nation has increased to about USD 10 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 5 billion in 2020-21.
  • Bahrain: Bahrain’s two-way commerce with India stood at USD 1.65 billion in 2021-22 as against USD 1 billion in 2020-21.

About GCC

  • Established in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic union of Arab states bordering the Gulf.
  • GCC members: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.
  • The GCC’s prime geographical location is at the crossroads of the major Western and Eastern economies.
  • Since the discovery of oil, the GCC region has undergone a profound transformation and is now home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
  • The established and efficient air and sea connections and developed infrastructure make it a great place to establish and expand business.

Biotech Start-up Expo

Relevance for UPSC Exam

Biotech Start-up Expo 2022: Biotech Start-up Expo is organized to promote biotechnology start-up ecosystem in India. Biotech Start-up Expo 2022 would be important for UPSC Prelims and Mains exam as it comes under science and technology part of the GS Paper 3.

Biotech Start-up Expo in News

  • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Biotech Start-up Expo – 2022 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 9th June at 10:30 AM.

Key Facts about Biotech Start-up Expo

  • About: The Biotech Startup Expo – 2022 is a two day event being held on 9th and 10th June. It is being held to mark completion of ten years of setting up of BIRAC.
  • Organizing Authority: Biotech Startup Expo is being organised by the Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • Biotech Start-up Expo 2022 Theme: The theme of the Expo is ‘Biotech Startup Innovations: Towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat’.
  • Significance:
    • The Expo will act as a platform to connect entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, scientists, researchers, bio-incubators, manufacturers, regulators, government officials, etc.
    • About 300 stalls will be set up at the Expo, which will showcase the applications of biotechnology in various fields such as healthcare, genomics, biopharma, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, waste-to-value, clean energy, among others.

State Food Safety Index 2022

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)

  • About: Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise of the Union Government.
  • Parent Department: BIRAC was set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • Mandate: BIRAC acts as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
  • Vision: To Stimulate, foster and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry, particularly start-ups and SME’s, for creation of affordable products addressing the needs of the largest section of society”
  • Key Strategies
    • Foster innovation and entrepreneurship
    • Promote affordable innovation in key social sectors
    • Empowerment of start-ups & small and medium enterprises
    • Contribute through partners for capability enhancement and diffusion of innovation
    • Enable commercialization of discovery
    • Ensure global competitiveness of Indian enterprises
  • Key Functions of BIRAC: BIRAC is an industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it-
    • Providing access to risk capital through targeted funding,
    • Technology transfer,
    • IP management and
    • Handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to the biotech firms and make them globally competitive.

Scheme for Promotion of Culture of Science (SPoCS)

Sustainable Development Report 2022

Relevance

  • GS 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Sustainable Development Report 2022: Context

  • Recently, UN SDSN has released the Sustainable Development Report 2022 where it has revealed that for the second year in a row, the world is no longer making progress on the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Report: Key findings

  • Peace, diplomacy, and international cooperation are fundamental conditions for the world to progress on the SDGs towards 2030 and beyond.
  • For the second year in a row, the world is no longer making progress on the SDGs.
  • Rich countries generate negative international spillovers notably through unsustainable consumption.
  • A global plan to finance the SDGs is needed.
  • The report highlights five priorities towards a global plan to finance the SDGs.
    • First, the G20 should declare its commitment to channel far larger flows of financing to developing countries so that they can achieve economic development and meet the SDG targets.
    • Second, the G20 should greatly increase the lending capacity and annual flows of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), but also through greater leverage of their balance sheets.
    • Third, the G20 should support other measures as well – notably large-scale philanthropy, and refinancing of debts falling due – to bolster SDG finance for the LICs and LMICs.
    • Fourth, the IMF and the credit-rating agencies need to redesign the assessments of debt sustainability, taking into account the growth potential of developing countries and their need for far larger capital accumulation.
    • Fifth, developing countries need to strengthen their debt management and creditworthiness by integrating their borrowing policies with tax policies, export policies, and liquidity management, all to prevent future liquidity crises.

SDG report India

  • The report shows that India is not placed well to achieve the SDGs and its preparedness has worsened over the years in comparison with other countries.
  • India’s rank in the global Sustainable Development Report, 2022 has slipped for the third consecutive year. Sustainable Development Report India rank: 121.
  • India continues to face major challenges in achieving 11 of the 17 SDGs, which has pushed down its global ranking on SDG preparedness.
  • The progress in around 10 of these goals that include SDG 2 on ending hunger, SDG 3 on good health and well being and SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation.
  • With eight years left to meet the global goals on sustainable development, according to the report, the country is off-track.

Power sector reforms

Relevance

  • GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Renewable energy in India: Context

  • Recently, Ministry of Power has notified Green Open Access Rules, 2022 in order to further accelerate our ambitious renewable energy programmes in India.

Green Open Access Rules 2022: Key points

  • These rules are notified for promoting generation, purchase and consumption of green energy including the energy from Waste-to-Energy plants.
  • The notified Rules enable simplified procedure for the open access to green power. It will enable faster approval of Green OA, Uniform Banking, Voluntary purchase of RE power by commercial & industrial consumers, Applicability of OA charges etc.
  • Commercial and Industrial consumers are allowed to purchase green power on voluntarily basis.
  • Captive Consumers can take power under Green Open Access with no minimum limitation.

Green Open Access Rules 2022

  • The Green Open access is allowed to any consumer and the limit of Open Access Transaction has been reduced from 1 MW to 100 kW for green energy, to enable small consumers also to purchase renewable power through open access.
  • Provide certainty on open access charges to be levied on Green Energy Open Access Consumers which includes transmission charges, wheeling charges, cross-subsidy surcharge and standby charges. Cap on increasing of cross-subsidy surcharge as well as the removal of additional surcharge, not only incentivise the consumers to go green but also address the issues that have hindered the growth of open access in India.
  • Transparency in the approval process of the open access application. Approval to be granted in 15 days or else it will be deemed to have been approved subject to fulfilment of technical requirements. It will be through a national portal.
  • Determination of green tariff: The tariff for the green energy shall be determined separately by the Appropriate Commission, which shall comprise of the average pooled power purchase cost of the renewable energy, cross-subsidy charges if any, and service charges covering the prudent cost of the distribution licensee for providing the green energy to the consumers.
  • The Rules will help to streamlining the overall approval process for granting Open Access including timely approval, to improve predictability of cash flows for renewable power producers. It will also bring Uniformity in the application procedure.
  • Banking of surplus green energy with the distribution licensee mandated.
  • There shall be a uniform renewable purchase obligation, on all obligated entities in area of a distribution licensees. It has also included the Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia for fulfilment of its RPO.
  • Consumers will be given the green certificates if they consume green power.
  • Cross subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge shall not be applicable if green energy is utilized for production of green hydrogen and green ammonia.

 

 

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