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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 1st October ’21 | PDF Download

Failing on food | TH

  • PM POSHAN = mid-day meal scheme
  • 2021-22 to 2025-26
  • The Centre will bear Rs 54,061 crore of the total estimated cost of Rs 1.3 lakh crore, with the states paying Rs 31,733 crore (Rs 45,000 crore will be released by the Centre as subsidies for food grains).
  • Hot cooked food is provided currently to students from Classes 1 to 8 — around 11.80 crore children in all, in 11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools.
  • 24 lakh students receiving pre-primary education are also covered under the scheme
  • Comes at a critical time when real income declines and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the ability of families to ensure good nutrition.
  • The findings in Phase I of the NFHS-5 for 22 States and Union Territories in December 2020 were shocking:
    • childhood stunting rose in 13 States
    • there was high prevalence of anaemia among children and women
    • wasting was a serious concern in 12 States
  • The scheme, provides for social audit, creation of school nutritional gardens to source fresh produce, involvement of farmer-producer organisations as providers, and lays emphasis on local food traditions.
  • There must be a meaningful increase in the current Budget estimate over the combined past outlay for the subsumed individual schemes.
  • The future of a generation of Indians is at stake.

Be realistic | Pioneer

  • Oktoberfest in 2021 is about fossil fuel, not beer.
  • The world is gearing up for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow from October 31.
  • The advanced countries may decry the developing world’s inability to cut down on emissions to keep global warming change limited to 1.5 degrees by 2030.
  • They will set up targets like making a faster switch to electric cars, cutting down on coal power, minimal deforestation and protecting more people from the impacts of climate change.
  • Sadly, and the developed world knows this, these targets have already divided the world into those who can meet these targets and are meeting them and those who cannot.
  • COP26 would be effective if it desists from setting up universal targets.
  • The divided regions of the world are poles apart economically and it is simply not possible for one half to deliver.
  • The developing countries do not want to set up zero-emission targets because they are only now increasing their economic, construction and developmental activities for their populations hitherto deprived of even basic needs.
  • COP26 should seek… how to bridge the economic gap between the two halves so that the poorer half can set practical and reachable emission goals for itself.
  • The OECD world is mostly covered by net-zero targets and moving towards a low carbon future.
  • Their source of power is mostly clean energy.
  • They use electric and hybrid cars.
  • And they are already into nurturing nature back to its original shape.
  • The Oil Producing and Exporting Countries have released the World Oil Outlook 2045 in time for COP26 that says oil will be the primary energy source for decades.
  • It says that 70 per cent of future global energy demand will come from non-OECD countries, growing to 250 mboe/d in 2045.
  • For the OECD region, the demand is set to flatten in the long term.

Agri Self-Goal | ToI

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched 35 new crop varieties developed to possess traits that make them nutrientrich or resilient to climate change.
  • They have been developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), an umbrella body that oversees more than 100 research institutions.
  • R&D geared to boost productivity in Indian agriculture is a key element of the overall farm policy and receives significant public funding.
  • From around the early stage of the Green Revolution, ICAR has developed 5,334 improved field crop varieties, an important contributor to the development of food security.
  • The most important development was the advent of genetically modified (GM) crops in mid-1990s.
  • India was an early adopter of GM crops when the regulatory body, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), cleared the cultivation of Bt cotton in 2002.
  • However, subsequently GM crop technology has run into two obstacles.
  • Opposition to the technology itself, which is often rooted in fear mongering.
  • And the diffidence of governments, both GoI and states.
  • But this hasn’t either kept GM out of the food market in India or prevented the spread of other GM crops.
  • India is the world’s largest importer of soybean oil, about 3.3 million tonnes a year.
  • As GM dominates soybean cultivation, that’s where the oil imports come from.
  • Beleaguered farmers are also no longer willing to wait for regulatory clearance and there are media reports of illegal cultivation of Bt brinjal in Haryana.
  • This is highly troublesome as GM crops need regulatory supervision.
  • Another victim of GM hesitancy is Indian science. ICAR and other institutions have funded research in GM and delivered.
  • Applications for Bt brinjal and Bt mustard, developed by Delhi University, have been stuck in sarkari files for years. GM can massively benefit India.
  • GoI should act.

At the Quad, forming habits of cooperation | TH

  • The first in-person summit of the Quad powers — Australia, Japan, India and the United States — has clearly advanced the work begun by the virtual summit in March.
  • Mr. Biden portrayed the Quad as a group of democratic partners “who share a worldview and have a common vision for the future”.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was confident that the Quad would “play the role of a force for global good”.
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.. the grouping wanted the Indo-Pacific region to “be always free from coercion”.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga projected the Quad as “an extremely significant initiative”, designed to promote “a free and open international order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific”.

  • Infrastructure
  • Cybersecurity and space
  • Education
  • People-to-people relations
  • On the first, the plan is to promote “sustainable infrastructure”, with a stress on aligning the Quad with the G7’s Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership, based on the G20’s quality infrastructure investment principles.
  • Here, the Quad can focus on four key B3W elements: digital connectivity, climate, health security and gender equality infrastructure.
  • The formation of an infrastructure coordination group composed of senior officials was announced.
  • The Quad will cooperate on combating cyber threats and securing critical infrastructure.
  • The plan is to identify new collaboration opportunities, especially sharing of data to monitor climate change, disaster response and preparedness, and sustainable uses of ocean and marine resources.
  • A senior cyber group and a new working group on space will be established.
  • On education, the Quad fellowship programme will award 100 graduates — 25 scholars from each Quad country — opportunities in leading STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programmes in the U.S.
  • The three working groups on vaccines, climate and emerging technologies established last March, have reported progress.
  • On vaccines, the Quad stands committed to donate over 1.2 billion doses globally, although only 79 million doses have been delivered so far.
  • The production of vaccines in India — with the target of “at least 1 billion doses” of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022 — is on track.
  • Vaccines are slated for free distribution in the Indo-Pacific region, beginning next February.
  • The Quad working group on climate change has focused on three thematic areas:
  1. Climate ambition
  2. Clean-energy innovation
  3. Climate adaptation and resilience
  • The Quad leaders emphasised enhanced action for achieving global net-zero emissions preferably by 2050, with an important caveat — “taking into account national circumstances” — added at India’s instance.
  • A Quad shipping task force has now been launched to build a green-shipping network and green port infrastructure.
  • As regards critical and emerging technologies, a slew of steps is under consideration relating to 5G and beyond 5G networks; supply chains of critical minerals including semiconductors; and emerging advances in biotechnology.
  • To be successful, building the supply chains will need expert resources and coordination from each country.
  • A contact group on Advanced Communications and Artificial Intelligence will focus on standards-development and foundational research.
  • Cooperation among the Quad members in the six areas mentioned will help the grouping to address the economic and technological challenges posed by China.
  • Maritime security will continue to be strengthened through bilateral 2+2 Ministerial tracks; the four-powers Malabar Exercise; and other bilateral or trilateral arrangements such as AUKUS (the new trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.).
  • Defence cooperation will not be lowered in priority; it will just be handled differently.
  • The Quad wants a positive orientation, rather than be seen as an ‘Asian NATO’.
  • Regionally, the Quad sees the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as “the heart of the Indo-Pacific region”.
  • Together with the small island States in the South Pacific, ASEAN countries will stand to benefit from growing cooperation within the Quad.
  • So will the European Union (EU), whose new EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was welcomed by the four leaders.
  • On Afghanistan, the decision to “closely coordinate” policies and next steps will be watched as the U.S. comes under strong pressure to show flexibility towards the interim Taliban government.
  • For India, this grouping is critical.
  • It is the first major plurilateral organisation in years where India is on the ground floor, an equal partner of the new P4.
  • This is an opportunity for India to work with the advanced economies to “build habits of cooperation”, while confronting the 21st century challenges in its Indo-Pacific neighbourhood.


  • PM Modi asserts that Govt has worked on a national approach with new health policy to transform country’s health sector
  • Vice President urges people to enroll themselves with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission
  • PM Modi to launch Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0 today
  • Govt appeals to people to follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour during upcoming festival season
  • Over 89 crore COVID vaccine doses administered across country so far
  • India is poised to become one of largest digital markets in the world, says Piyush Goyal
  • I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur to launch Clean India Programme from Prayagraj today
  • Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari takes over as Chief of Air Staff
  • NITI Aayog releases performance assessment report of district hospitals in India
  • FM appreciates efforts of Income Tax Department in keeping up momentum of tax collections even in this difficult year
  • Former Afghanistan officials announce Amrullah Saleh led government in exile
  • India’s Ambassador to China calls for reformed multilateralism, resilience and redundancy in global value chains to meet current and future challenges
  • Jordan fully reopens main border crossing with Syria to boost trade
  • Sri Lanka bans import of organic fertilisers manufactured in China

Q.) The Supreme Court asked the Centre to issue instructions “at the earliest and not later than four months” for giving reservations in promotions to which category?

  1. OBC
  2. ST
  3. SC
  4. Persons with disabilities

Q.) The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), on Tuesday approved the framework for exchange of which commodity?

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Platinum
  4. Diamond


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