A murder most foul | TH
- Singhu border in Haryana – brutal murder of a Dalit Sikh man
- Nihangs – a religious sect that has also participated in the protests against the farm laws
- This incident has brought the farmers’ agitation into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
- The Haryana government must spare no effort in bringing the culprits to justice, should appeal for the strictest punishment and a message must be sent that the claims of religious sanction for violence are illegal and are punishable.
- While the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which includes various farmer groups and has led the protests, has rightly distanced itself from the Nihangs.
- By and large, the farm agitations have been peaceful.
- A political attempt is being made to drive a wedge between the different communities that are a part of the protests.
- Atmosphere of distrust that persists between the Government and the farm unions can only be reversed with further talks to address the latter’s concerns with the laws.
Alarming hunger or statistical artefact? | TH
- Global Hunger Index (GHI) did not go down well with the government.
- India 101 out of 116 countries
- India’s rank has been between 100 and 103 since 2017.
- The government has questioned the methodology
- The GHI has four components.
- The first — insufficient calorie intake — is applicable for all age groups
- The remaining three — wasting (low weight for height), stunting (low height for age) and mortality — are confined to children under five years.
- The data on deficiency in calorie intake, accorded 33% weight, is sourced from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Suite of Food Security Indicators (2021).
- The data on child wasting and stunting (2016-2020), each accounting for 16.6% of weight, are from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and World Bank, complemented with the latest data from the Demographic and Health Surveys.
- Under-five mortality data are for 2019 from the UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.
- The GHI is largely children-oriented with a higher emphasis on undernutrition than on hunger and its hidden forms, including micronutrient deficiencies.
- The first component — calorie insufficiency — is problematic for many reasons.
- The lower calorie intake, which does not necessarily mean deficiency.
- Stunting is a chronic, long-term measure of undernutrition, while wasting is an acute, short-term measure.
- India’s wasting prevalence (17.3%) is one among the highest in the world.
- Its performance in stunting, when compared to wasting, is not that dismal, though.
- Child stunting in India declined from 54.2% in 1998–2002 to 34.7% in 2016-2020, whereas child wasting remains around 17% throughout the two decades of the 21st century.
- India’s relatively better performance in the other component of GHI — child mortality — merits a mention.
- India was able to save many lives due to the availability of and access to better health facilities.
- Should we gracefully accept its insights informing us that our performance in some aspects might actually be dismal and requires urgent attention and course correction?
Powering the energy sector | TH
- In an energy-dependent country like India, the availability of energy supplies at affordable rates is pivotal for fulfilling developmental priorities.
- But the energy sector is beset with problems.
- Expensive long-term power purchase agreements, poor infrastructure, inefficient operations, and leakages and weaknesses in State-level tariff policies
- Most discoms are deep into the red as high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses are chipping into their revenues.
- Against this backdrop, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill of 2020 is a game-changing reform.
- De-licensing power distribution after the monopoly of the state is dismantled.
- Resulting in increased competition
- More options to consumers to choose their discom just as they are able to choose telecom providers.
- The question of tariffs needs to be revisited if the power sector is to be strengthened.
- Electrical energy should be covered under GST
- Encourage roof-top solar plants
- Appellate Tribunal for Electricity
- The Bill also underpins the importance of green energy by proposing a penalty for non-compliance with the renewable energy purchase obligations.
- Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority to supervise the fulfillment of contractual obligations under power purchase agreement, cost reflective tariffs and provision of subsidy through DBT are commendable.
A Turkish foreign policy treading on Ottoman footprints | TH
- All across the former Ottoman realm, there is today a Turkish presence — diplomatic, economic and even military — as the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, seeks to reshape his modern nation with the imprint of its earlier Islamic and military glory.
- Turkish troops have penetrated deep into Iraq and Syria.
- Turkey is also a military player in the south Caucasus
- Turkey supported Azerbaijan against its arch-rival, Armenia
- These robust initiatives have created concerns among regional players — the Ottomans’ traditional rivals, Iran and Russia, and the contemporary superpower, the United States.
- Turkey’s military forays into Syria and Iraq have a contemporary urgency — the aspirations of the Kurds for autonomy, if not independence.
- Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)
- Having obtained control over the Nakhchivan enclave in the west of Armenia, Azerbaijan now demands control over the passageway, called the Zangezur corridor, that would link Azerbaijan with the enclave.
- This corridor, if conceded, would cut off Iran’s direct link with Armenia, which is Iran’s sole land route to the northern Caucasus, while giving Turkey a direct route to Azerbaijan and the Central Asian republics, bypassing Iran.
- Turkey has put together a tripartite security alliance of itself, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
- Iran has affirmed its ties with Armenia and has carried out military exercises at the Azerbaijan border.
- Again, Turkey is highlighting its ties with Georgia and Ukraine, rejecting Russia’s “illegal occupation” of the Crimea and providing Ukraine with military drones.
- From June this year, it has begun the construction of “Canal Istanbul”.
- France has concluded a new defence agreement with Greece to upgrade the Greek navy to challenge Turkey in the Mediterranean.
- Turkey has been alarmed by the U.S.’s backing for the Syrian Kurds.
- Turkey purchased the Russian S-400 missile defence system in 2017
- Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides in Syria, Libya, Ukraine and in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, but have somehow ensured that these differences do not reach breaking-point.
- Mr. Putin prioritises detaching Turkey from NATO and has adopted ‘strategic patience’ in dealing with the prickly Turkish leader.
- The outlook for Turkey’s ties with the big powers — the U.S. and Russia — remains uncertain.
- PM Modi talks to Kerala CM following heavy rain and landslide in State
- Death toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala reaches 23
- IMD issues red alert for heavy rain in Uttarakhand for today
- J&K: Two non-local labourers shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam
- Over 97.65 crore doses of COVID vaccine administered in the country so far
- 157 new medical colleges approved by Centre since 2014
- I-T Dept raids select business premises engaged in Digital Marketing & Waste Management at Bengaluru, Surat, Chandigarh and Mohali
- J&K: NITI Aayog CEO chairs meeting of tourism officers in Pahalgam
- Over 4 cr unorganized workers registered on e-Shram Portal: Union Minister Bhupender Yadav
- PM Modi to share his thoughts in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on October 24
- Nasa launches Lucy spacecraft, first space mission to study Trojans Asteroids
Q.) India’s trade with which country is set to exceed $100 billion for the first time in 2021, with shipments hitting $90 billion after three quarters?
- Sri Lanka
Q.) India relies on coal to meet over ____% of its power needs, and Coal India Limited (CIL) supplies over 80% of the total coal.
- 40 %
- 50 %
- 60 %
- 70 %