Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 30th August 2023

GS 1

‘Population growth not a panacea’

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/2023-08-29/th_delhi/articleGA7BM8KVF-4062408.ece

Context: India’s population growth is expected to enhance the labor force availability. However, Moody’s suggests that this alone will not ensure stronger economic performance or better fiscal results.


  • Education’s Role in Economic Strength: Moody’s emphasizes that the quality of education plays a crucial role in economic growth. Improved education is vital to protect against potential job losses due to digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, particularly in sectors like call centers and BPOs.
  • Education Quality Comparison: India’s education outcomes are mentioned to be similar to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Notably, there’s a significant gap in education quality between these countries and Southeast Asian peers like China.
  • Comprehensive Economic Factors: While a growing labor force is essential, other factors like quality education and strong infrastructure are equally critical to achieve substantial economic benefits.
  • Regional Population Growth: Over the next two decades, India, along with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, is projected to contribute considerably to the global population increase and the expansion of the working-age population.
  • Gender and Education Disparity: Moody’s points out that the difference between males and females who have completed upper secondary education is most pronounced in India and Bangladesh.

India needs comprehensive sexuality education

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/2023-08-29/th_delhi/articleGA7BM8KFU-4062352.ece

Context: Earlier this month, a man and his minor son were apprehended for sexually abusing a five-year-old girl, who had familial ties to them.

Relevance: GS 2 Education

Data Point:

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data from 2021 indicated 51,863 reported cases under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  • Among these cases, 64% were related to sexual assault.

Controversies and Resistance:

  • Despite its significance, comprehensive sexuality education has faced opposition in certain quarters.
  • Some Indian states and segments of society have demonstrated reluctance, alleging that such education sexualizes children.
  • Consequently, existing programs have been diluted or withdrawn on the pretext of conflicting with “Indian values,” which can be influenced by traditional, patriarchal, and hierarchical structures ingrained in society.

Impact on Youth and Adolescents:

  • The resistance towards comprehensive sexuality education adversely impacts the younger generation, regardless of gender.
  • In a world characterized by evolving values and increased access to media, the lack of proper education affects young adults’ understanding of relationships, consent, and healthy behavior.

Addressing Consent and Healthy Relationships:

  • The concept of consent, especially in the context of relationships, holds paramount importance.
  • Several High Courts in India have raised concerns about the criminalization of consensual adolescent relationships.
  • Understanding sexual consent is not only crucial for recognizing abuse but also for fostering respectful and healthy relationships.

Educational Gap:

  • Understanding Consent: Despite the evolving legal perspective on consent, a study conducted by the dating app Tinder revealed alarming trends.
  • More than 64% of young individuals in Mumbai displayed hesitancy in giving, asking for, or withdrawing consent when engaging in dating situations. This data highlights the need for comprehensive education on consent.

Language and Cultural Nuances:

  • While the term “sexual consent” might have been borrowed from English or Western languages, discussions around this concept have traditionally been absent in non-English language contexts.
  • With a substantial non-English speaking population, creating explicit vocabulary in regional languages to discuss sexual consent becomes imperative.

Inclusive and Early Education:

  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) underscores that access to comprehensive sexuality education is a fundamental human right that empowers young individuals to safeguard their health, dignity, and well-being.
  • The UN recommends initiating comprehensive sexuality education from a young age, including formal education settings.
  • This involves imparting knowledge about bodies, emotions, consent, and addressing violence and abuse.

Holistic Approach and Positive Outcomes:

  • Research supports the positive impact of comprehensive sexuality education on informed decision-making and healthier sexual behavior among young individuals.
  • Programs solely centered on abstinence have shown limited effectiveness in achieving these outcomes.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education for Societal Transformation:

  • Comprehensive sexuality education extends beyond personal well-being. It has far-reaching implications, particularly in curbing intimate partner violence.
  • Operational guidelines emphasize the importance of monitoring and evaluating programs with consideration for inequality, gender norms, power dynamics, and partner violence.

Education System’s Role and Teacher Training:

  • Implementing comprehensive sexuality education requires adequately trained teachers who can employ non-intuitive participatory teaching methodologies.
  • Inaccurate information and societal values that stifle discussions on sexuality and rights should be addressed.
  • Teachers often lack the knowledge to discuss these sensitive topics effectively.
  • Examples of Successful Implementation: Instances like the Udaan program in Jharkhand, which originated as an Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health initiative and was later integrated into the Education Department, highlight successful cases of mainstreaming comprehensive sexuality education in schools.

State Responsibility and UNFPA Framework:

  • In India, the responsibility for sexuality education lies with the State governments. States have the freedom to create tailored curriculums while adhering to the framework suggested by the UNFPA.
  • It is imperative for states to take proactive steps in this direction to ensure comprehensive education for children, parents, and caregivers alike.

GS 2

‘Article 35A denied many their rights’

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article-35a-took-away-fundamental-rights-while-giving-special-rights-to-permanent-residents-of-jk-says-cji/article67244792.ece

Context: Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said Article 35A, which empowered the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature to define “permanent residents” of the State and provide them special privileges, denied fundamental rights to others.

Relevance: GS Paper – 2 Fundamental Rights Indian Constitution

Article 35A and Special Privileges:

  • Article 35A granted special privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • These privileges included rights such as equal opportunity for state employment, property ownership, and residency.
  • Article 35A was introduced through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, issued under Article 370.
  • It granted exclusive rights to permanent residents for land acquisition, government jobs, and benefits in education and healthcare.
  • Non-residents were not eligible for these privileges.
  • Immunity from judicial review was provided for these special privileges.

Demarcation and Distinction:

  • Article 35A created a sharp divide between permanent residents and non-residents, resulting in a long-standing differentiation.

Government’s Role and Correction:

  • The Government of India had a role in introducing Article 35A.
  • The government corrected this by abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A in August 2019.

Recognition and Exclusivity:

  • People displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and safai karamcharis were not initially recognized as permanent residents.
  • The status of permanent resident was exclusive and limited.

Impact on Growth and Investment:

  • Article 35A was seen as a hindrance to J&K’s growth and investment prospects.
  • The belief in unassailable privileges for ‘permanent residents’ hindered development.

Shift in Perception and Benefits of Abrogation:

  • People’s perception of Articles 370 and 35A changed over time.
  • Political parties shifted their stance, and people began to realize the potential benefits of these articles’ abrogation.

Positive Changes and Economic Development:

  • The abrogation led to an increase in investments, tourism, and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Hotels were constructed, and tourism saw a significant uptick.

At Delhi summit, demonstrate climate leadership

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/2023-08-29/th_delhi/articleGA7BM8KGG-4062348.ece

Context: The G-20, comprising major greenhouse gas emitters and fossil fuel producers, has pledged net-zero emissions. With the G-20 summit approaching in New Delhi, the need for united climate action is more pressing than ever.

Relevance: GS 2 International Relations

Previous Commitments:

  • G-20 members have shown varying degrees of commitment toward clean energy transition.
  • Renewables’ contribution to energy mix: Increased from 19% (2010) to 29% (2021).

G-20’s Threefold Strategy for Effective Climate Action:

Promoting Just Energy Transitions:

Enhancing Governance Processes:

  • National and Local Levels: Establishing clear governance structures to ensure inclusivity and equitable outcomes.
  • Coherent Delivery Plans: Clarifying mandates among ministries and government levels for streamlined transition efforts.
  • Diverse Progress Metrics: Beyond net job creation, emphasizing metrics on job types, accessibility, community resilience, and innovation.

Collaborative Frameworks:

  • Multi-Ministerial Task Forces: Creating joint working groups involving government and non-government actors.
  • South Africa’s Model: Emulating South Africa’s Presidential Climate Commission-led just transition framework.

Economic Stability through Transition:

Diversification for Stability:

  • G-20 presidency’s acknowledgment of transition’s potential to ensure long-term economic stability and livelihoods.
  • International financial institutions’ role in aligning investments with renewable energy and low-carbon technologies.

Green Steel Production:

  • Global demand for green steel necessitates low-carbon steel production.
  • G-20’s pivotal role in advancing low-carbon steel production, considering 90% of global steel production and 80% of consumption.
  • Mandates for Financial Institutions: Setting clear mandates for multilateral development banks and climate finance for investments in green steel transitions.

Green Public Procurement:

  • Collective G-20 commitment to Green Public Procurement to decarbonize challenging sectors like steel and cement.
  • The need for collaboration and coordination among G-20 nations for successful procurement reform.

Streamlining Global Efforts:

Transparency and Accountability:

  • Establishing disclosure mechanisms for energy transition-related data.
  • Utilizing existing mechanisms like the G-20 Energy Transitions and Sustainable Finance Working Groups and Just Energy Transition Partnerships.
  • Encouraging fossil fuel-producing countries to share reliable information about their oil, gas, and coal projects in alignment with climate goals.

Conclusion: A Collective Relay Towards Climate Success

1. Collaborative Victory:

  • G-20’s united approach will determine the relay’s success.
  • Collective commitment needed for a just and inclusive transition, avoiding harm to certain countries or communities.

2. Urgency of Action:

  • Rising climate change impacts underscore the urgency for comprehensive action.
  • G-20’s opportunity to collaborate, compete, and collectively achieve net-zero ambitions.

3. Call for Immediate Action:

  • G-20 summit in New Delhi a pivotal moment for leaders to take bold action and lead by example.
  • Time constraints emphasize the need for swift, collaborative, and impactful climate initiatives.

GS 3

ISRO to launch Aditya-L1 on Sept. 2 to study the sun

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/aditya-l1-first-space-based-indian-observatory-to-study-the-sun-to-be-launched-on-sept-2/article67244308.ece

Context: India’s first space-based solar observatory, “Aditya-L1,” is scheduled for launch on September 2, as confirmed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Relevance: GS 3 Space

Mission Objective:

  • “Aditya-L1” aims to study the sun and its various phenomena.

Orbital Position and Journey:

  • The spacecraft will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the sun-earth system.
  • L1 is situated about 1.5 million km away from Earth.
  • The journey to reach L1 is estimated to take over 120 days.

Advantages of Halo Orbit:

  • The mission profile highlights the advantages of placing a satellite in a halo orbit around the L1 point.
  • This orbit allows continuous and unobstructed viewing of the sun, without being affected by occultation or eclipses.
  • Continuous observation offers real-time insights into solar activities and their impacts on space weather.

Payloads and Observations:

  • The spacecraft is equipped with seven payloads.
  • These payloads are designed to observe and study various layers of the sun, including the photosphere, chromosphere, and outermost layers.
  • The comprehensive observations will provide valuable insights into solar phenomena and their effects on space weather.

Payloads Overview: Aditya-L1 carries seven distinct payloads, each serving a specific purpose in the mission’s scientific objectives.

1. Direct Sun Observation:

  • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): Provides direct viewing of the sun to capture emission lines and study its dynamic behavior.
  • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): Offers direct observation of the sun’s ultraviolet emissions, enhancing our understanding of solar dynamics.

2. In-Situ Studies at L1:

  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): Conducts in-situ studies of particles and fields present at Lagrange point L1, contributing to solar research.
  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): Focuses on in-situ analysis of high-energy X-rays and their interactions within the interplanetary medium.
  • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): Investigates solar wind particles at L1, providing insights into their characteristics and behavior.

3. Propagatory Effects of Solar Dynamics:

  • Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA): Aims to analyze plasma properties at Lagrange point L1, facilitating a better understanding of solar dynamics’ propagatory effects.
  • Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometer: Measures magnetic fields at L1 with high precision, contributing to the study of solar magnetism.


Why was the WFI suspended by United World Wrestling?

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/2023-08-29/th_delhi/articleGA7BM8KF8-4062361.ece

Context: The United World Wrestling (UWW), the global governing body for wrestling, has provisionally suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) due to its failure to conduct timely elections.

  • As a result of the suspension, Indian wrestlers are not allowed to compete under the national flag in UWW-sanctioned events, including the upcoming World championships.
  • This means that if an Indian wrestler wins a gold medal, the national anthem will not be played.

Background and Causes:

  • Wrestlers, including prominent figures like Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat, brought allegations of sexual harassment, financial irregularities, and administrative lapses against the then WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and others.
  • In response, the Union Sports Ministry asked Brij Bhushan to step aside until an Oversight Committee (OC) headed by M.C. Mary Kom completed its investigation.
  • The WFI’s elections, which were initially scheduled for February, were postponed due to the allegations and investigation.
  • The wrestlers demanded Brij Bhushan’s arrest and the exclusion of his family members from contesting the elections.
  • The Ministry suspended the elections on April 24 and appointed an ad-hoc committee to oversee the election process.
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UWW also urged the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to conduct the WFI polls within a set timeframe.
  • Delays caused by state associations seeking voting rights and court stays further prolonged the election process.
  • Due to the lack of an elected president and board, non-compliance with UWW regulations, and concerns for athlete protection, the UWW Disciplinary Chamber provisionally suspended the WFI for at least six months.

Way Forward:

  • Wrestlers and different factions within WFI must understand the damage caused to the sport by the ongoing issues.
  • To restore India’s reputation in international wrestling and allow athletes to compete under the national flag, the WFI elections should be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
  • The need for free and fair elections is crucial to resolve the situation and enable Indian wrestlers to regain their rightful representation on the global stage.

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