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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 15th October ’21 | PDF Download

Burning sensation | Pioneer

  • Second week of October  – the annual problem of stubble burning has resurfaced around Delhi
  • The Central Pollution Control Board says the air quality in Delhi has already reduced over the last week.
  • The air quality index (AQI) on October 13 was 171.
  • It falls under the ‘moderate’ category of 101-200 AQI.
  • Between now and the end of November every year, Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh record a high number of stubble burnings.

  • NASA images show a lesser number of fires in Punjab and Haryana
  • In Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar of UP, however, instances of stubble burning are increasing.
  • The solution lies not in punitive measures and ordinances and laws but in innovation.
  • Machines to remove the stubble – farmers find them expensive
  • The Delhi Government has started using the Pusa Decomposer this month.
  • Developed by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), it is a low-cost microbial bio-enzyme that decomposes crop residues, including stubble.
  • Thousands of farmers in Punjab and Haryana have registered with a firm to use the decomposer.
  • A Bengaluru-based start-up has tied up with the IARI to simplify the use of the decomposer.
  • Scientists are exploring microbial solutions that can dissolve the stubble and convert it into soil nutrients.
  • Trials are underway to generate bio-CNG and bioethanol from the stubble.
  • Paper and sugar mills are being incentivised to install boilers that use stubble as fuel.

Building water security | IE

  • Water management, conservation and access to clean water have been high on the Centre’s agenda.
  •  Indeed, PM Narendra Modi spoke of the need to focus on long-term water security at the recent launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission app.
  • Rational groundwater use, replenishment and conservation
  • India’s groundwater usage exceeds that of China and the US combined.
  • More than a third of the country’s population lives in water-stressed areas, and this number is expected to shoot up.
  • Per capita water availability in the country had fallen to just under a third of 1950 levels by 2011, both because of rising population and increasing unsustainable use, and it is projected to fall to a fourth that in the next 20 years.
  • The rapid rise in tubewell-irrigation and the acreage under water-guzzling crops like sugarcane and paddy.
  • MSP-led public procurement and government fixing cane prices
  • Agriculture accounts for 78% of all freshwater used annually in the country, with 64% of this chunk being from groundwater.
  • The Atal Bahujal Yojana (ABY), by the launched Jal Shakti Ministry in 2019, is the flagship conservation programme.
  • Centre + States, both needs to take actions
  • Also, the government needs to stop encouraging cultivation of water-intensive crops
  • PM-AASHA (Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan) proposes up to 40% procurement of crops that are not as water-intensive (millets, nutricereals.
  • Pricing of water, timely data on usage/availability/depletion, etc, also need policy attention if conservation efforts are to fruitfully lead to increased access and water security.

Speeding up | IE

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched PM Gati Shakti
  • A National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity
  • It will integrate road, railway, airport and multi-modal connectivity projects across the country, incorporating a range of existing infrastructure projects of the government such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, and UDAN.
  • It promises to greatly enhance the national highway as well as the electricity transmission networks, increasing the cargo handling by railways and the cargo capacity at ports, and also setting up mega food parks, defence corridors, and electronics manufacturing clusters.
  • Timely implementation of such infrastructure projects, could provide a notable boost to the economy.
  • Public sector projects in India are marred by inordinate delays and cost overruns
  • A recent report by CII and Arthur D Little had estimated the logistics costs in supply chains in India at 14 per cent of GDP.
  • In comparison, the report had pointed out that such costs amounted to only 8-10 per cent of the GDP in the US and Europe and 9 per cent in China.
  • In the case of South Asian countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, though the cost structures are similar to those existing in India.
  • Multiplicity of approvals + typical inter-ministerial delays
  • By bringing together 16 ministries to help remove the hurdles in project implementation, the Gati Shakti digital platform could provide an effective mechanism for closely monitoring the public sector infrastructure projects.
  • The Centre will need to devise political interventions and ways to coax and incentivise state government participation and cooperation.

Clearance to Covaxin | IE

  • Bharat Biotech-developed Covaxin – approval for use among children over two years of age
  • India is now the only country to have a Covid-19 vaccine for every age group.
  • No other vaccine has so far been approved for infants and young children.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech had announced last month that their vaccine had elicited robust responses among children of 5 to 11 years of age in phase 2/3 trials, but that is yet to be approved.
  • As of now, only three vaccines are available for the 12-18 age bracket, those developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and another by Zydus which was cleared by India in August.
  • The formal clearance to Covaxin for younger children brings in another layer of protection against Covid-19.
  • This is crucial at a time when schools and colleges are opening up.
  • There are still about 24-25 crore people in India above the age of 18 who are yet to get a single dose.
  • The exercise to vaccinate children must not slow down vaccination in adults
  • Covaxin’s application for emergency use authorisation from the World Health Organisation has been pending for a long time now.
  • Proactive disclosure of relevant trial data can help in clearing such bottlenecks.


  • India rejects China’s opposition to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s trip to Arunachal Pradesh
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lauds BRO for commitment towards country’s security & socio-economic development
  • PM to deliver video address in event organized by Defence Ministry to dedicate seven new Defence Companies to nation today
  • Coal Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi assures that no power plants in country will be hindered due to shortage of coal supply
  • India’s COVID vaccination coverage achieves 97 crore landmark milestone
  • Maha Navami being celebrated across country with religious fervor
  • President Kovind to visit Drass today as part of his 2-day visit to Ladakh, J&K
  • Govt has taken evolutionary path to ensure equal participation of women in Armed Forces: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
  • Over two crore ITRs filed on e-Filing portal of I-T Dept
  • At least 46 people killed in a fire incident in Kaohsiung city of Taiwan
  • Bangladesh police arrests 43 people involved in attack on Hindu houses & vandalising temples in Cumilla town

Q.) Which company has partnered with ISRO to launch its satellites in India from 2022?

  • SpaceX
  • OneWeb
  • Bharti Airtel
  • Reliance

Q.) India’s tea industry is currently facing worries due to duplicate Darjeeling tea being brought in from which country?

  • Sri Lanka
  • China
  • Nepal
  • Bangladesh


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