GS PAPER I
Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav
Why in News
The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare launched the first phase of the awareness campaign for HIV, TB and Blood Donation on the occasion of International Youth Day as a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’.
- It organized virtually by the Ministry of Health engaged with more than 1, 00,000 students from government schools and colleges as part of the nationwide celebration of Bharat Ka Amrut Mahotsav to mark the 75th year of India’s Independence.
- The Union Health Ministry noted that “Swami Vivekananda was the first to recognise and nurture the tower of youth in pre-independent India. In his footsteps, Prime Minister started various schemes and institutions for benefit of youth including the Skill Development Ministry and ‘Khelo India’ programme.
Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav
- ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ was launched on 12th March 2021, is a series of events to be organized by the Government of India.
- It is based on five pillars:
- Freedom Struggle,
- Ideas at 75,
- Achievements at 75,
- Actions at 75 and
- Resolves at 75
- These pillars are a guiding force for moving forward keeping dreams and duties as inspiration.
- The programme is organized to pay tribute to our freedom fighters and freedom movement.
- During the celebrations, the country will remember all the important milestones and important times during the freedom movement.
- It will reflect the elixir of energy of freedom.
- It reflects inspiration from freedom fighters, new ideas, new resolutions, and self-reliance.
- It aims to encourage the youth and scholars to take the responsibility for fulfilling the efforts of the country in documenting the history of our freedom fighters.
- It also aims to showcase the achievements in the freedom movement to the world.
- It will be the sign of completion of 75 years of independence. The Mahotsav will be celebrated as a Jan-Utsav in the spirit of Jan-Bhagidari.
GS PAPER III
Deep Ocean Mission
Why in News
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister, has been approved the proposal of ‘Deep Ocean Mission’.
Deep Ocean Mission
- The ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ aims to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
- The Deep Ocean Mission will be implemented in a phase-wise manner for 5 years from 2021 to 2026. Its first phase of the mission will be executed from 2021 to 2024.
- Deep Ocean Mission will send a manned submersible ‘Matsya-6000’ up to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with three people aboard which will be equipped with technologies such as scientific sensors, and tools for deep-sea mining, exploration of deep-sea marine biodiversity and mineral resources.
- Six components of ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ are:
- Technological Development for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible;
- Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services;
- Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity;
- Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration;
- Energy and freshwater from the Ocean; and
- Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology.
- The manned submersible ‘Matsya-6000’ has been designed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- MoU has been signed with the ‘National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)’ which is responsible for the navigation and electronics aspect of the submersible.
Significance of Deep Ocean Mission
- The Deep Ocean Mission launched by the ‘Ministry of Earth Science’ in support to ‘Blue Economy Initiatives’ of India.
- The Mission is a multi-ministerial and multi-disciplinary program which has been furnished with developing deep-sea technology, including the development of manned submersible, the acquisition of a research vessel for exploring the ocean, and capacity building in Marine Biology.
- The Ministry of Earth Sciences has a 15-year contract with the ‘International Seabed Authority (ISA)’, an UN-backed body in charge of regulations for ocean floors, to explore 75,000 sq. km in the Indian Ocean for Manganese Nodules, also known as ‘Polymetallic Nodules’.
- A preliminary study indicated 380 million metric tonnes of polymetallic nodules comprising Manganese, Cobalt, Iron, Lead, Zinc, and Copper in the Central Indian Ocean basin.
Blue Economy Initiatives
- Oceans cover 72% of the surface of blue planet and provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihood.
- It is one of the key resources of economic development for more than 80% of global trade, marine and coastal environments.
- On the basis of the strategic location of the Indian Ocean region, IORA has emphasised on growing the Blue Economy in a sustainable, inclusive and people centred manner.
- Objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities within the Indian Ocean region’s maritime economic activities.
- The Blue Economy is determined to initiate appropriate programs for:
- The sustainable harnessing of ocean resources;
- Research and development;
- Developing relevant sectors of oceanography;
- Stock assessment of marine resources;
- Introducing marine aquaculture, deep sea/long line fishing and biotechnology; and
- Human resource development.
- India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development; Sagarmala Project; Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART); Integrated Coastal Zone Management; and National Fisheries Policy are some of the Blue Economy Initiatives.
GS PAPER III
Why in News
Retail inflation slipped slightly to 5.6% in July for the first time in three months.
- Retail inflation was 6.26% in June and 6.73% in July 2020.
- According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), food prices at the consumer level estimated an inflation of 3.96%, compared to 5.15% in June. Vegetables, fruits, oils and fats, pulses, sugar and spices experienced significant tempering in inflation.
- According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), inflation in the food basket slowed down to 3.96% in July from 5.15% in June.
- CPI inflation for 2022-23 is projected at 5.1%.
- The Index of Industrial Product had contracted 16.6% in June 2020.
- The mining output climbed 23.1% and power generation increased by 8.3% in June.
- During April-June 2021, the IIP grew by 45% against a contraction of 35.6% in the same quarter in 2020.
- The RBI also retained its growth estimate at 9.5% for 2021-22.
- Inflation is nothing but increase in price over a specific period of time.
- It can also be define as decline of purchasing power of a given currency over time.
- A quantitative estimate of the rate at which the decline in purchasing power occurs can be reflected in the increase of an average price level of a basket of selected goods and services in an economy over some period of time.
- The rise in the general level of prices, often expressed as a percentage, means that a unit of currency effectively buys less than it did in prior periods.
- Retail Inflation: The change in the price index over a period of time is referred to as retail inflation.
- Consumer Price Index:
- Consumer Price Index or CPI is an index that measures the retail inflation in the economy by collecting the change in prices of most common goods and services used by consumers.
- It is calculated for a fixed list of items including food, housing, apparel, transportation, electronics, medical care, education, etc.
- It is very much helpful in understanding the real value of wages, salaries and pensions, the purchasing power of a country’s currency; and regulating prices.
- In India, there are four types of consumer price index numbers:
- CPI for Industrial Workers (IW);
- CPI for Agricultural Labourers (AL);
- CPI for Rural Labourers (RL) and
- CPI for Urban Non-Manual Employees (UNME).
- While the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation collects CPI (UNME) data and compiles it, the remaining three are collected by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour.
GS PAPER III
Index of Industrial Production
Why in News
The Quick Estimates of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for the month of June 2021 have been released.
- The IIP for the month of June 2021 have been estimated at 122.6 with base year 2011-12.
- The Indices of Industrial Production for the Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors for the month of June 2021 stand at 105.5, 121.0 and 169.1 respectively.
- As per Use-based classification, the indices stand at 122.4 for Primary Goods, 80.2 for Capital Goods, 132.6 for Intermediate Goods and 136.8 for Infrastructure/ Construction Goods for the month of June 2021.
- Further, the indices for Consumer durables and Consumer non-durables stand at 101.7 and 140.8 respectively for the month of June 2021.
- Along with the Quick Estimates of IIP for the month of June 2021, the indices for May 2021 have undergone the first revision and those for March 2021 have undergone final revision in the light of the updated data received from the source agencies.
Index of Industrial Production
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy over a certain period of time.
- The IIP index is computed and published by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) on a monthly basis under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
- It published every sixth week and is currently calculated using 2011-2012 as the base year.
- Electricity, crude oil, coal, cement, steel, refinery products, natural gas, and fertilisers are the eight core industries that comprise about 40% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production. Mining, manufacturing, and electricity are the three broad sectors in which IIP constituents fall.
Eight Core Industries
- Eight Core Industries of India comprises 40.27% of the weight of items included Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Refinery Products, Fertilizers, Steel, Cement and Electricity.
- They are called Core industries because they impact an Economy of nation in massive way.
Index of Eight Core Industries
- It is the index of the production of ‘Core industries of Economy’.
- It is published monthly by the Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
- The base-year of ICI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12.
- This index is calculated by the Laspeyre’s Formula of weighted Arithmetic Mean of quantity relatives.
GS PAPER III
All India Elephant and Tiger population
Why in News
Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change released the population estimation protocol to be adopted in the exercise to be taken up for the All India elephant and tiger population estimation in 2022.
- For the first time, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released converging elephant and tiger population estimation protocol on the occasion of World Elephant Day.
- The tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are counted once in five years.
- According to the most recent 2018-19 survey, there were 2,997 tigers in India.
- According to the last count in 2017, there were 29,964 elephants in India.
- Since 2006, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, which is affiliated to the Environment Ministry, has a standardised protocol in place that States then use to estimate tiger numbers.
- Based on sightings in camera traps and indirect estimation methods, tiger numbers are computed.
- Elephant number wildlife scientist at the WII, largely relies on States directly counting the number of elephants.
- In recent years, techniques such as analysing dung samples have also been deployed to estimate birth rates and population trends in elephants.
- Given that 90% of the area occupied by elephants and tigers is common, and once estimation methods are standardised, having a common survey can significantly save costs.
- In 2017, the Union Environment Ministry reported that there were 27,312 elephants on average in the country, according to figures collated from 23 States, a decline from the 29,576 elephants recorded as the mean figure in 2012.
- However, in 2019, it emerged that Kerala may have under-counted almost 2,700 elephants in the latest elephant census and the updated 2017 figures showed 29,964 elephants on average, or a slight increase from 2012’s mean.
- This was because Kerala initially relied on a direct count method and then switched to an indirect method when the count showed a decline in its elephant population.
- Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
- This has been done as most of the range States except India have lost their viable elephant populations due to loss of habitat, poaching, etc.
- Current population estimates indicate that there are about 50,000-60,000 Asian elephants in the world.
- More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.