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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 28th September ’21 | PDF Download

Revitalising PM-KUSUM | TH

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM)
  • Launched in 2019, PM-KUSUM aims to help farmers access reliable day-time solar power for irrigation, reduce power subsidies, and decarbonise agriculture.
  • But pandemic-induced disruptions, limited buy-in from States, and implementation challenges have all affected the scheme’s roll-out.
  • Farmers can use one of three deployment models
    1. off-grid solar pumps
    2. solarised agricultural feeders
    3. grid-connected pumps
  • Off-grid pumps have been the most popular, but the nearly 2,80,000 systems deployed fall far short of the scheme’s target of two million by 2022.
  • Barriers to adoption include limited awareness about solar pumps and farmers’ inability to pay their upfront contribution.
  • Progress on the other two models has been rather poor due to regulatory, financial, operational and technical challenges.
  • Other two models are worth scaling up for they allow farmers to earn additional income by selling solar power to discoms, and discoms to procure cheap power close to centres of consumption.
  • Extend the scheme’s timelines.
  • Most Indian discoms have a surplus of contracted generation capacity and are wary of procuring more power in the short term.
  • Extending PM-KUSUM’s timelines beyond 2022 would allow discoms to align the scheme with their power purchase planning.
  • Selling surplus power to discoms is one of the main attractions of grid-connected models.
  • Inter-State transmission system (ISTS) charges
  • Streamline land regulations through inter-departmental coordination
  • Support innovative solutions for financing farmers’ contributions.
  • The grid-connected model requires pumps to be metered and billed for accounting purposes but suffers from a lack of trust between farmers and discoms.
  • But piloting the model under different agro-economic contexts will be critical to developing a strategy to scale it up.

Words and deeds | TH

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the UN General Assembly
  • Referring to India’s large population, he said that the world grows when India grows, and transforms when India reforms
    1. counter COVID
    2. green technology and the promise of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030,
    3. poverty alleviation
  • He also enumerated how many Indians had been provided water connections, banking access, insurance coverage, health services and homes.
  • Mr. Modi pointed to the contrast between India’s actions and those of Pakistan and China in veiled references.
  • In an apparent message to Pakistan, he linked events in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have taken control, to the problem of “regressive thinking” that leads to the use of terrorism as “a political tool”.
  • He also called for safeguarding the maritime sphere from the “race of expansion and exclusion” and referred to the need for investigating the “origins of the coronavirus”, subjects China is sensitive about.
  • PM urged the UN to speed up the reforms process that has been flagging for more than a decade, which would include an expanded Security Council.
  • He said India had been named the “mother of democracy” for its adherence to democratic values, symbolised by its diversity, pluralism, inclusivity, and equality.

High water | TH

  • Tropical cyclones laden with moisture and accumulated energy pose a growing challenge, as they have the propensity to inflict heavy damage to lives and property.
  • As the annual monsoon retreats, thousands are left assessing the impact of cyclone Gulab, a rare event for September, on coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and other areas inland.
  • This weather system, with a gusting wind speed of 70 knots at landfall, appears to have been less intimidating than cyclones Yaas and Tauktae.

  • The imperative is to reach out to those affected by Gulab with food, shelter and health-care support, deploying the many administrative capabilities acquired during the pandemic with the same alacrity.
  • The welcome concern for public health and economic security must lead to stronger institutional responses to natural disasters too.
  • The northern Indian Ocean, of which the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal are a part, experiences only a minority of tropical storms annually, at about 7% of worldwide events.
  • But their destructive impact on the subcontinent is severe due to a dense population
  • Poor capacity to absorb large quantities of rainfall dumped in a short period over cities and towns
  • Financial arrangements to insure the population against material losses also remain weak, and as the experience in West Bengal with cyclone Amphan demonstrated last year, relief measures can easily fall victim to corruption.
  • The influence of climate change on cyclone characteristics in a world that is heating up due to accumulation of greenhouse gases is an ongoing topic of study.
  • The IPCC, in its scientific report on 1.5° C warming, said with a high degree of confidence that changes in the climate system, including the proportion of tropical cyclones, would experience a larger impact from increasing warming.
  • Research evidence shows more cyclones forming over the Arabian Sea when compared to the Bay; overall there were eight storms of concern to India in 2019, and five last year, Amphan being a super cyclone.
  • The Centre and all States cannot afford to allow large-scale losses to communities to continue each year, and, going beyond disaster response, must put in place institutional structures and insurance systems for financial protection.
  • Cities must prepare to harvest every deluge that brings vast quantities of water, so vital to sustain mass populations.

The growing strategic importance of outer space | IE

  • In opening new pathways for outer space cooperation with the US and Quad partners—Australia and Japan — in Washington last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned India to engage more productively with a rapidly evolving domain that is seeing more commerce and contestation.
  • Delhi’s new strategic interest in outer space is based on a recognition of two important trends.
  1. One is the centrality of emerging technologies in shaping the 21st-century global order.
  2. The other is about the urgency of writing new rules for the road to peace and stability in outer space.

  • India-US: “continue and expand their partnership in new domains and many areas of critical and emerging technology — space, cyber, health security, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology, and blockchain, that will define innovation processes, and the economic and security landscape of the next century”.
  • Official Delhi and Washington will have a critical role in facilitating technological cooperation in these advanced areas.
  • But it is the commercial sector that must set the pace for progress within India.
  • And cross-border collaboration among the Quad corporates will be critical in implementing the ambitious technological agenda outlined in Washington last week.
  • Cyberspace that drives so much of modern life and occupies so much policy and political attention around the world.
  • But the emergence of “outer space” as a strategic domain is yet to get the attention it deserves in Delhi.
  • Although human forays into space began in the middle of the 20th century, the intensity of that activity as well as its commercial and security implications have dramatically increased in recent decades.
  • As outer space becomes a location for lucrative business as well as a site of military competition between states, the salience of space cooperation between the Quad members is likely to increase in the coming years.
  • Until now, the maritime domain has dominated the strategic cooperation bilaterally between Delhi and Washington as well as within the Quad.
  • The annual Malabar naval exercise, for example, began nearly three decades ago as a bilateral venture in 1992 and became a quadrilateral one in 2020 with the participation of Australia.
  • The idea of the Quad itself goes back to spontaneous cooperation between the navies of India, US, Australia and Japan in responding to the massive humanitarian crisis triggered by the Boxer Day Tsunami in the eastern Indian Ocean at the end of 2004.
  • Until recently, outer space has been the sole preserve of states.
  • But private entities are now major players in space commerce.
  • The US has traditionally dominated outer space in the commercial domain.
  • Its military competition with Russia set the norms in the security field. China’s emergence as a major space power — in both civilian and military — is reshaping astropolitics.
  • The US recognises that it can’t unilaterally define the space order anymore and is looking for partners.
  • The India-US joint statement issued in Washington highlighted plans to finalise, “a Space Situational Awareness Memorandum of Understanding that will help in sharing of data and services towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities by the end of the year”.
  • India has been strengthening its maritime domain awareness through bilateral agreements as well as the Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) at Gurugram.
  • Space situational awareness (SSA) involves monitoring the movement of all objects — natural (meteors) and man-made (satellites) — and tracking space weather.
  • Today, space is integral to our lives and disruption of space-based communications and earth observation will have serious consequences.
  • Washington has agreements with more than two dozen countries on SSA.
  • When signed, the agreement with the US on SSA will be the first of its kind for India.
  • The US and Indian delegations have also discussed a US initiative called the Artemis Accords — that seek to develop norms for activity in the Moon and other planetary objects.
  • As commercial and military activity in outer space grows, the 20th-century agreements like Outer Space Treaty and the Moon Treaty (1979) need reinforcement and renewal.
  • Beyond the bilateral, the new space working group set up by the Quad “will identify new collaboration opportunities and share satellite data for peaceful purposes such as monitoring climate change, disaster response and preparedness, sustainable uses of oceans and marine resources, and on responding to challenges in shared domains”.
  • The Quad leaders also promised to “consult on rules, norms, guidelines and principles for ensuring the sustainable use of outer space.”


  • PM Modi to dedicate 35 crop varieties with special traits to Nation today
  • PM assures every citizen of Digital Health IDs with digitally protected health record
  • Home Minister Amit Shah to inaugurate 17th Formation Day of NDMA today
  • Estimated total employment in 9 selected sectors is 3.08 crore in 1st round of Quarter April to June 2021
  • NCW launches Training, Capacity Building Program For Women In Dairy Farming
  • India’s COVID19 vaccination coverage crosses 86 cr
  • Candidates for seven Rajya Sabha seats elected
  • Women must play a key role in economic, political & social spheres: J P Nadda
  • India successfully flight-tests new version of Akash missile
  • Hardeep Singh Puri launches seventh consecutive edition of Swachh Survekshan
  • Ready to work with countries including India for bilateral travel, will make necessary adjustments in accordance with evolving situation: China
  • One dead, 9 injured after 5.8 magnitude earthquake hits Greek island
  • Consultancy contract signed between India & Bangladesh for a new railway line from Bogura to Sirajganj
  • Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats claim victory in federal election


Q.) The Supreme Court introduced a new system called FASTER to facilitate convineint communication of crucial court decisions including orders on bai and stay of arrest. What’s the full form of FASTER?

  1. Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records
  2. Fast and Safe Transmission of Electronic Records
  3. Fair and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records
  4. Fast and Simple Transmission of Electronic Records

Q.) Xu Jaiyin is the founder of which major business estabilshment in China, that is currently in the news?

  1. Huawei
  2. Evergrande
  3. Tencent
  4. JD.com


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