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09-Oct-2023-Daily-Current-Affairs

October 9, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm

REVISITING THE RAIL GAUGE DEBATE

GS 3 (ECONOMY): SOURCE – THE HINDU

Introduction:

The rail gauge debate in India has resurfaced with the prevalence of the Broad Gauge (BG) and the emergence of Standard Gauge (SG) in rapid rail transport systems and metro rail networks. It has historical roots dating back to the British era, but recent developments have brought it to the forefront once again.

Arguments for Standard Gauge (SG):

  1. Universality: Many recent metro and high-speed rail systems worldwide are based on SG. However, this assumes that these systems can operate independently without integration with mainline railways.
  2. Space Efficiency: SG requires less physical space on roads for pillars and aerial space for elevated portions. It holds for elevated metro rail structures, where the land requirement for pillars on roads is the same for both BG and SG.
  3. Access to Technology: SG allows access to the latest technology for coach design, which is prevalent in developed countries. However, India has developed its own high-speed train designs, such as the Vande Bharat series.
  4. Cost-Effectiveness: SG systems are However, assessments suggest that BG systems can be cost-effective, offering approximately 15% higher capacity owing to wider coaches.

Arguments Against Broad Gauge (BG):

  1. Higher Turning Radius: BG has a higher turning radius, reducing speed and throughput. While SG may have a slightly higher speed on curves, the time difference in commute is negligible, typically around 10 to 20 seconds for every 10 minutes of travel.
  2. Throughput: Throughput depends on train design rather than gauge. BG systems can offer similar throughput compared to SG.
  3. Integration with Existing Networks: India’s extensive rail network carries billions of passengers and tons of freight annually. Integrating new systems prevents incompatibility and enhances passenger and cargo movement, improving overall patronage.

Conclusion:

Considering the factors, it is advisable for the government to reevaluate its approach to rail gauge selection. Building future rail systems in Broad Gauge (BG) can ensure compatibility with the existing extensive network, facilitate seamless integration, and provide flexibility in emergency situations. This approach would promote efficiency, connectivity, and the long-term sustainability of India’s rail infrastructure.

HOW THE DIGITAL INDIA ACT WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY’S CYBER LANDSCAPE

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – THE HINDU

Introduction:

The Digital India Act 2023 (DIA) represents a significant milestone in India’s journey towards establishing a robust legal framework for its rapidly evolving digital landscape. The DIA emerges as a forward-looking approach by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to regulate and shape India’s digital future.

Moving with the Times:

  • The DIA is set to replace the outdated Information Technology Act of 2000 (IT Act), which was crafted in a different era when the internet was in its infancy.
  • Since then, India’s internet user base has surged from 5.5 million to a staggering 850 million, accompanied by changes in technology and user behaviour.
  • The DIA aims to bridge the gap between the archaic IT Act and the contemporary digital landscape by providing a comprehensive legal framework.

Key Provisions of the Digital India Act:

The DIA includes several pivotal provisions that demonstrate its adaptability to the ever-changing digital environment:

  1. Online Safety and Trust: The DIA prioritizes online safety and trust, safeguarding citizens’ rights in the digital realm while remaining adaptable to market dynamics and international legal principles.
  2. Responsible Use of Technologies: It provides guidelines for the responsible utilization of new-age technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain, fostering innovation while ensuring adherence to ethical and legal principles.
  3. Open Internet: The DIA upholds the concept of an open internet, striking a balance between accessibility and necessary regulations to maintain order and protect users.
  4. Know Your Customer (KYC): It mandates stringent KYC requirements for wearable devices, accompanied by criminal law sanctions.
  5. Review of Safe Harbour: The DIA contemplates a review of the “safe harbour” principle, potentially altering online accountability standards related to user-generated content.

Challenges and Considerations:

While the DIA is a progressive step, it comes with certain challenges and considerations:

  1. Innovation and Ease of Business: Stricter regulations, especially in emerging technologies, might unintentionally hinder entrepreneurial initiatives and foreign investments.
  2. Freedom of Expression: The review of the “safe harbour” principle may lead online platforms to adopt a more cautious approach, potentially impacting freedom of expression.
  3. Enforcement and Resources: Effective enforcement of the DIA will require substantial resources, expertise, and infrastructure.
  4. Balancing Interests: Balancing the interests of various stakeholders, including tech giants, while protecting citizen rights poses a significant challenge.

Conclusion:

The Digital India Act 2023 is a crucial step towards ensuring a secure, accountable, and innovative digital future for India. It reflects a forward-looking approach to regulation in an era of constant change and has the potential to shape the nation’s digital landscape for generations to come.

PREY BASE, HABITAT DICTATE ASIATIC WILD DOG-TIGER COEXISTENCE: STUDY

GS 3 (ENVIRONMENT): SOURCE – THE HINDU

A recent study conducted in Manas National Park, Assam, sheds light on the coexistence of dholes (Asiatic wild dogs) and tigers in India’s tropical forests. This research explores the role of prey availability and habitat suitability in determining their coexistence dynamics.

Asiatic Wild Dogs:

The dhole, or Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus), is a critically endangered canid species that forms packs in India’s tropical forests.

Challenges of a Fragmented Population:

  • Once widely distributed across southern and eastern Asia, dhole populations have become fragmented over time.
  • Factors such as habitat loss, reduced prey availability, human persecution, diseases, and competition with other species have contributed to this fragmentation.
  • Currently, adult dholes are classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, with an estimated global population ranging from 949 to 2,215.

Study Objectives and Hypotheses:

The study aimed to assess the relative abundance of dholes and their habitat use in Manas National Park. It also investigated the factors, both spatial and temporal, influencing the coexistence of dholes with other sympatric carnivores

‘INDUSTRIAL COUP’: HOW CHINA GRABBED POLE AS THE WORLD KEPT NAPPING

GS 2 (INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS): SOURCE – BUSINESS STANDARD

Introduction:

China’s rapid ascent to global industrial dominance, particularly in crucial sectors like renewable energy and electric mobility, has left the world playing catch-up. This phenomenon, often referred to as an “industrial coup,” highlights China’s strategic moves to secure a leading position in key manufacturing segments.               

China’s Path to Dominance:

  1. Investment in Battery Technology: Chinese firms foresaw the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and invested heavily in battery technology. This led to significant cost reductions, making EVs more affordable and driving sales.

  1. Manufacturing Prowess: China built a robust manufacturing base capable of supplying a substantial portion of the global demand for solar panels, wind turbines, and EVs.
  2. Control of Critical Materials: China secured access to essential raw materials like cobalt from Congo and lithium from Bolivia, critical for battery manufacturing, further enhancing its position in the global EV market.
  3. Western Oversight: The West, particularly the US and European countries, focused on technological advancements in areas like Silicon Valley, neglecting the manufacturing sector. European countries even promoted China to meet their demand for rooftop solar panels.

Implications of China’s Dominance:

  1. Trade Sanctions: China’s dominance allows it to impose trade sanctions, such as halting supplies of critical materials like gallium and germanium, essential for chip manufacture.
  2. Market Control: China controls a significant share of markets like wind turbines and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), affecting industries worldwide.
  3. Challenging Replication: Western countries’ attempts to replicate China’s success face challenges, given China’s combination of cutting-edge research, cost reduction strategies, state support, and a willingness to tolerate environmental consequences.
  4. Rise of Economic Nationalism: A global trend towards economic nationalism is emerging, with countries like the US, Europe, and India implementing protective measures and subsidies to strengthen domestic industries.

Conclusion:

China’s industrial coup underscores the importance of strategic planning and investment in critical sectors. Its dominance has global implications, ranging from trade sanctions to market control. Western countries are now recognizing the need to bolster their manufacturing capabilities and embrace economic nationalism to remain competitive in this evolving landscape.

ARUNACHAL YAK CHURPI GETS GI TAG, TO BOOST CONSERVATION

GS 3 (ENVIRONMENT): SOURCE – DECCAN HERALD

What is Yak Churpi?

  • Yak Churpi is a naturally fermented dairy product crafted from the milk of the Arunachalee yak.
  • This nutritious delicacy serves as a vital protein source and often takes the place of vegetables in the diets of tribal yak herders residing in the vegetation-scarce, frigid, and mountainous regions of the state.
  • Furthermore, it holds significant cultural and tribal importance, deeply ingrained in the heritage of this Himalayan state.

What is the Arunachalee yak?

The Arunachalee yak is a distinct breed of yak primarily found in the West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

These yaks are raised by Brokpas, tribal yak herders who engage in seasonal migrations along with their yaks. They ascend to altitudes exceeding 10,000 feet during the summer months and return to mid-altitude mountainous areas during the winter season.

ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES MAY GET SUBSIDY THRUST

GS 3 (SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY): SOURCE- BUSINESS STANDARD

The Indian government is gearing up for the third phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme. This initiative aims to encourage the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles while promoting sustainable transportation solutions. The new phase is set to bring some significant changes, including the inclusion of vehicles powered by alternative sources such as hydrogen and biofuels.

Expansion of FAME Scheme:

FAME Scheme Overview: The FAME India Scheme, overseen by the Ministry of Heavy Industries, was introduced to expedite the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. It provides incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles and supports the development of charging infrastructure.

Previous Success: The initial two phases of the FAME scheme have played a pivotal role in driving the growth of electric vehicles in India, contributing to a 6% market share for EVs. Over one million vehicles have benefited from the scheme so far.

Incorporating Alternative Fuels:

  1. Diversification: The upcoming FAME-III phase is set to diversify its scope by including vehicles powered by alternative fuels like hydrogen and biofuels. This expansion reflects a commitment to reducing reliance on conventional, polluting vehicles.
  2. Cleaner Technology Transition: The inclusion of incentives for alternative fuels aligns with the government’s vision of transitioning from internal combustion engines (ICE) to cleaner and more sustainable technologies.

Comprehensive Approach:

  • Incentives for All Categories: Similar to the current phase, FAME-III will offer incentives across vehicle categories, spanning two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, and buses.
  • Truck Inclusion: A notable addition in this phase is the incorporation of trucks, signaling the government’s intent to promote cleaner transportation in the commercial vehicle sector.

Conclusion:

The forthcoming FAME-III phase demonstrates India’s commitment to fostering a greener and more sustainable transportation ecosystem. By embracing alternative fuel vehicles and expanding incentives across various vehicle categories, the government aims to accelerate the transition to cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation solutions. This move aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and reduce air pollution.

SARAKKA CENTRAL TRIBAL UNIVERSITY APPROVED FOR TELANGANA

GS 1 (HISTORY): SOURCE – THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Introduction:

The Union Cabinet’s approval of the Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana marks a significant development in the establishment of educational institutions dedicated to tribal communities. This decision aligns with the commitments made under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, which aimed to support the creation of tribal universities in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Establishment of Sarakka Central Tribal University:

Telangana’s Commitment: Telangana’s commitment to creating the Sarakka Central Tribal University fulfills a long-standing promise to provide dedicated higher education opportunities for tribal communities in the region.

Sammakka and Sarakka:

Historical Significance: The namesake of the university, Sarakka, was one of the daughters of Sammakka, a historical figure married to a Kakatiya dynasty chief in the 13th century. They played a significant role in resisting the imposition of taxes on the Koya tribal community.

Cultural Legacy: The legacy of Sammakka and Sarakka is celebrated through the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, a tribal festival in Telangana. This festival, which draws a large number of devotees, commemorates the courage and resistance of the mother-daughter duo.

State Festival: Recognizing its cultural and historical significance, the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara was declared a state festival in Telangana in 1996.

Details

Date:
October 9, 2023
Time:
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: