The Hindu PDF 07 October 2023 Analysis

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The Hindu PDF Analysis 07 October 2023 for UPSC

Nobel Peace Prize 2023 goes to jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi (Page 1)

  • Nobel Peace Prize 2023 awarded to Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi.
  • Recognized for her advocacy for women’s rights, democracy, and opposition to the death penalty.
  • Despite arrests and imprisonment by Iranian authorities, she continued her activism.
  • Narges Mohammadi played a significant role in women-led protests triggered by a woman’s death in police custody.
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee acknowledged her as a leader of a broader movement in Iran.
  • The committee hopes the prize encourages the movement and urges Iran to release her in time for the ceremony on December 10.
  • Narges Mohammadi expressed gratitude for global support and hopes it strengthens Iranians’ efforts for change.
  • She has been imprisoned 13 times and sentenced to 31 years in total.
  • Her most recent incarceration was in 2021 after attending a protest-related memorial.
  • Narges Mohammadi is the 19th woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and the second Iranian woman after Shirin Ebadi in 2003.

Revenue riddles (Page 6)

  • India’s GST revenues for the financial year 2023-24 have reached over ₹9.92 lakh crore, marking an 11.1% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
  • The average monthly revenues in 2023-24 are ₹1,65,418 crore, with four out of six months exceeding ₹1.6 lakh crore.
  • September’s GST collections were nearly ₹1.63 lakh crore, slightly below the average but 2.3% higher than August’s collections.
  • The government seems to have a comfortable position regarding GST revenues, with room for moderation expected in the January-March 2024 quarter.
  • Concerns include a slowdown in GST revenue growth, with a 10.2% increase in September, the slowest since July 2021.
  • Growth in domestic transactions and services imports has also slowed to 14% in the past two months from 18% in June.
  • Revenues in September include pending dues from businesses since the start of the GST regime, and the impact of mandatory e-invoicing for firms with turnovers over ₹5 crore.
  • The discrepancy between a record number of e-way bills generated in August and lower revenues suggests possible shrinking transaction sizes.
  • Revenues from goods imports have decreased four times this year, despite higher import bills in August.
  • Authorities need to investigate possible revenue leakages from imports.

Aligning higher education with the United Nations SDGs (Page 6)

  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals with 169 targets to be achieved by 2030 by all 193 UN member states.
  • The SDGs address poverty, socio-economic, and environmental issues and aim to improve the standard of life, reduce inequality, and promote economic growth.
  • Slow progress has been reported in achieving the SDGs, exacerbated by COVID-19, the climate crisis, conflicts, and a weak global economy.
  • India has made efforts to align with SDGs, particularly SDG4 regarding quality education, with a focus on higher education.
  • The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in India supports SDGs by emphasizing changes in education at all levels, especially in higher education.
  • Higher education empowers individuals, reduces poverty, hunger, promotes health, gender equality, employment, economic growth, and reduces inequalities.
  • Universities should strengthen the research-teaching nexus, promoting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary education.
  • Collaboration with private companies is essential for innovation and sustainable development.
  • Value-Based Education (VBE) can promote responsible citizenship and contribute to achieving SDGs.
  • Indian higher education should align day-to-day operations with SDGs, and universities should play a more active role in their local communities.
  • Sustainability should be incorporated into institutional strategies, impacting daily administration, teaching, and research.
  • Universities should directly integrate with socio-economic development and contribute to citizens’ well-being and nation-building.

MGNREGS runs out of funds; Ministry seeks more budget (Page 9)

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has run out of funds in the current financial year.
  • The scheme is facing a deficit of ₹6,146.93 crore, six months into the financial year.
  • ₹60,000 crore was sanctioned for MGNREGS for 2023-24, which is 18% lower than the budget estimates and 33% lower than the revised estimates for 2022-23.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development has approached the Finance Ministry for a supplementary budget of ₹23,000 crore.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that MGNREGS is demand-driven, and additional funds will be provided as needed.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development emphasizes that the scheme’s fund release is continuous and based on demand, labor budgets, opening balances, pending liabilities, and overall performance.
  • Out of the sanctioned ₹60,000 crore, ₹56,105.69 crore (93.5%) has been released to the states as of October 4.
  • The annual budget cuts and the need for supplementary budgets have become a recurring issue for MGNREGS, affecting the scheme’s functioning.
  • The cycle of budget cuts leads to piling wage dues and reduced work allocation, impacting the scheme’s effectiveness.

India to hold discussion with Canada during G20 Parliament Speakers’ meet (Page 9)

  • India will discuss various issues with the Canadian Speaker of the Senate during the G-20 Parliament Speakers’ meeting.
  • The discussions will take place during the ninth Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P-20) of G-20 nations.
  • The summit will be held from October 12 to 14 at the India International Convention and Expo Centre.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the summit on October 13.
  • Over 350 delegates, including members of Parliament and international leaders, are expected to attend.
  • The main theme of the summit is “Parliaments for One Earth, One Family, One Future.”
  • Sessions will cover topics like “Transformation in People’s Lives through Public Digital Platforms,” “Women-led Development,” “Accelerating Sustainable Development Goals,” and “Sustainable Energy Transition.”
  • A pre-summit event, the Parliamentary Forum on Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), will take place on October 12.
  • An exhibition titled “Mother of Democracy” will be organized to showcase India’s democratic traditions.

Leftwing extremism will be totally eliminated in two years, says Shah (Page 9)

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah aims to eliminate Left-wing extremism (LWE) from the country within two years.
  • He emphasized the need for constant surveillance in areas liberated from Naxals to prevent the problem from resurfacing.
  • The Modi government has pursued a zero-tolerance policy against LWE since 2014.
  • In 2022, there was a significant reduction in LWE violence and deaths, the lowest in the last four decades.
  • Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Jharkhand Chief Ministers attended a meeting on the security situation in LWE-affected states.
  • Maharashtra’s Chief Minister noted positive changes in Naxal-affected areas due to development schemes.
  • Jharkhand’s Chief Minister advocated continued deployment of paramilitary forces to combat LWE.
  • Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister mentioned a decline in Left-wing extremism, with Maoist activities limited to a few pockets.
  • Deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) has expanded, with 195 new camps established, and 44 more are planned.
  • Key priorities of the government include deploying CAPFs against LWE, rationalizing development efforts, and establishing camps in vacant areas.
  • There has been a significant decrease in LWE-related violence, deaths, security force personnel deaths, and civilian deaths between 2014 and 2023 compared to 2005 to 2014.

Two out of five amphibians are facing extinction threat due to climate change: study (Page 10)

  • Climate change is emerging as a significant threat to amphibians, including frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.
  • A study titled ‘Ongoing declines for the world’s amphibians in the face of emerging threats’ published in Nature on October 4, 2023, reveals this threat.
  • The study is based on the second global amphibian assessment conducted by the Amphibian Red List Authority, part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission and managed by Re:wild, a wildlife conservation group.
  • Over 8,000 amphibian species worldwide were evaluated for extinction risk, with 2,286 species assessed for the first time.
  • Two out of every five amphibian species are facing a threat of extinction.
  • More than 300 amphibian species have moved closer to extinction between 2004 and 2022 due to various threats, with climate change being the primary threat for 39% of these species.
  • Amphibians are particularly vulnerable to climate change because they are sensitive to environmental changes.
  • Climate change-induced factors such as extreme heat, wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes are limiting the mobility of amphibians.
  • Habitat destruction and degradation impact 93% of all threatened amphibian species.
  • The study underscores the importance of expanding habitat protection and corridors in critical biodiversity areas to address these threats.

RBI flags inflation risk to stability (Page 12)

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) considers high inflation as a significant risk to macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth.
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 6.50%.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das emphasized the focus on aligning inflation to the 4% target on a durable basis.
  • The decision to maintain interest rates is based on concerns about uncertainties in the overall inflation outlook. These uncertainties include factors like declining core inflation, reduced kharif sowing for key crops, low reservoir levels, and volatile global food and energy prices.
  • The MPC remains alert and ready to take timely policy measures to align inflation with the target and anchor inflation expectations.
  • Risks to the outlook include geopolitical tensions, geo-economic fragmentation, global financial market volatility, global economic slowdown, and uneven monsoon rains distribution.
  • RBI’s projections for 2023-24 include a real GDP growth forecast of 6.5% and an average CPI inflation forecast for the current fiscal year at 5.4%.
  • The MPC raised its headline inflation projection for the second quarter that ended on September 30 to 6.4%.
  • RBI Governor Das stressed that the inflation target is 4%, not 2 to 6%, and monetary policy will remain actively anti-inflationary at the current juncture.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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