GS PAPER I NEWS

Tauktae’ Cyclone

Why in News

Recently, a low-pressure area has formed over southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area which become well marked over Lakshadweep which gradually intensify into cyclonic storm Tauktae.

Key Points


  • Once formed Cyclone Tauktae can strengthen further very rapidly as all atmospheric conditions are favoring its rapid intensification.
  • At present it is difficult to say which category of intensification the cyclone will reach.
  • But conditions are extremely favorable for its rapid intensification.
  • According to the India Meteorological Department, Ocean heat potential is above normal; sea surface temperatures are 1-2 degree C above normal and Madden Julian Oscillation is also favoring rapid intensification.

Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO)

  • MJO is a wave type of propagation west to east across the globe which causes cloudiness and changes in wind direction.
  • The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is characterised by a band of rain clouds moving across the tropics, depending on their location they can assist cyclone build up.

About cyclonic storm Tauktae

  • Tauktae’ named by Myanmar which means gecko which will be the first cyclone of this year.
  • Recently the well-marked low-pressure area is likely to concentrate into a depression over the same region and intensify into a cyclone during the subsequent 24 hours.
  • It is very likely to intensify further and move north north-westwards towards Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coasts and reach near Gujarat coast around May 18 evening.
  • Light to moderate rain with extremely heavy rain (over 20 cm) is likely over Lakshadweep on May 13 and 14, over Kerala on May 13, over ghat areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on May 15.

About Cyclone

  • Cyclones are caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area distinguished by swift and often destructive air circulation.
  • It usually accompanied by violent storms and bad weather.
  • The air rotates inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise direction in the Southern hemisphere.
  • Cyclones are classified as:
  • Extra tropical cyclones:
  • It is also called wave cyclone or mid-latitude cyclone, a type of storm system formed in middle or high latitudes, in regions of large horizontal temperature variations called frontal zones.
  • Extratropical cyclones present a contrast to the more violent cyclones or hurricanes of the tropics, which form in regions of relatively uniform temperatures.
  • Tropical cyclones:
  • It is also called typhoon or hurricane, an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans.
  • It is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.
  • In extreme cases winds may exceed 240 km (150 miles) per hour, and gusts may surpass 320 km (200 miles) per hour.

Formation of Cyclone

  • Tropical cyclones are formed over warm ocean water near the equator.
  • Warm moist air near the surface of the ocean rises upwards.
  • It creates a low-pressure area near the surface which results in the movement of cooler air from surrounding areas into the low-pressure area.
  • Now even this cool air becomes warm and moist and rises up and this cycle keeps continuing.
  • The warm moist air which rises up, cools the water in the air, resulting in the formation of clouds.
  • This whole system of clouds and winds spins and grows and entire cycle continues resulting in a cyclone.
  • When the winds reach a speed of 63 mph then it is called a tropical storm and when the winds reach a speed of 119 kmph it is called a tropical cyclone or hurricane.

Naming of Cyclone

  • In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) was formed.
  • It comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • They decided to start naming cyclones in the region.
  • The WMO/ESCAP expanded to include five more countries in 2018 — Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Environmental Risk in Asia

Why in News

According to a risk assessment, out of the 100 cities worldwide most vulnerable to environmental hazards all but one is in Asia, and four-fifths are in India or China.

Key Points

  • The air pollution assessment was weighted towards the impact of microscopic, health-wrecking particles known as PM2.5, cast off in large measure by the burning of coal and other fossil fuels.
  • More than 400 large cities across the globe with a total population of 1.5 billion are at “high” or “extreme” risk due to some mixture of life-shortening pollution, dwindling water supplies, deadly heat waves, natural disasters and climate change.
  • According to the report, home to more than half the world’s population and a key driver of wealth, cities are already coming under serious strain from dire air quality, water scarcity and natural hazards.
  • The continent least responsible for rising global temperatures will get hit the hardest not only because of worse droughts, heat waves, storms and flooding, but also because it is so ill-equipped to cope.
  • The climate index combined the threat of extreme events, human vulnerability, and the ability of countries to adapt.
  • The first in a series of risk assessments for cities, the report evaluates threats to liveability, investment potential, real estate assets, and operational capacity.

Global Scenario

  • The sinking megalopolis of Jakarta topped the ranking plagued by pollution, flooding and heat waves, with worse to come.
  • Outside Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have the largest proportion of “high risk” cities across all threat categories combined, but Lima is the only non-Asian city to crack the top 100.
  • China also facing serious environmental challenges. 35 of the 50 cities worldwide most beset by water pollution are in China, as are all but two of the top 15 facing water stress.
  • When it comes to global warming and its impacts, the focus shifts sharply to sub-Saharan Africa, home to 40 of the 45 most climate-vulnerable cities on the planet.
  • Two most populous cities of Africa, Lagos and Kinshasa, are among those at highest risk.
  • Other especially vulnerable cities include Monrovia, Brazzaville, Freetown, Kigali, Abidjan and Mombasa.

India’s Scenario

  • According to the report assessment, India is the home to 13 of the world’s 20 most risk-laden cities which may face the most daunting future of any country.
  • Delhi ranks second on the global index of 576 cities compiled by business risk analysts Verisk Maplecroft, followed within India by Chennai (3rd), Agra (6th), Kanpur (10th), Jaipur (22nd) and Lucknow (24th).
  • Mumbai stands at 27th rank globally.
  • In fact, more than seven million premature deaths worldwide each year, including a million in India alone, the 20 cities with the worst air quality in the world among urban areas of at least a million people are all in India at which Delhi in pole position.
  • India’s weaker governance, coupled with the size and scale of its informal economy, makes it far harder to address environmental and climate issues at the city level.

GS PAPER II

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

Why in News

On 4th March the Home Ministry order that required professional Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), to notify the Ministry about their activities in India has left them in the lurch.

Key Points

  • On 4th March, the Ministry issued a gazette notification that OCI cardholders could claim “only NRI (Non-Resident Indian) quota seats” in educational institutions.
  • It specified that OCIs could only pursue the following professionsdoctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists, advocates, architects and chartered accountants, the rest would require “special permission”.

Citizenship in India

  • Article 5-11 under Part-II of the Indian Constitution deals with the “Citizenship of India”.
  • It was promulgated on the day of the Indian Constitution commenced i.e., on January 26, 1950.
  • Provisions under the Constitution are as follows:
  • Citizenship by domicile (Article 5): A person who was born in India or either of the person’s parents was born in India or the person must have been an ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately before the commencement of the constitution. Domicile of a person is in that country in which the person either has or is deemed by law to have his/her permanent house.
  • Citizenship of migrants to India from Pakistan (Article 6): Persons who have migrated from Pakistan to India have been classified into two categories:
  • Those who came to India before July 19, 1948, and
  • Those who came on or after July 19, 1948.
  • Citizenship of migrants of Pakistan (Article 7): If a citizen of India has migrated to Pakistan after March 1, 1947, but returned to India on the basis of permit for resettlement in India, the person is entitled to become a citizen of India if he/she registers herself as a citizen of India, after residing for at least six months immediately before the date of applying for registration, by an officer appointed by the government of India.
  • Citizenship of persons of Indian origin residing outside India (Article 8): Indian nationals (whose parents or any grandparents were born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935) residing abroad shall be conferred Indian citizenship, as if they have been registered by the diplomatic or consular representatives of India in the country where they are residing.

Citizenship Act of 1955

  • This act provides various provisions.
  • It provides the ways to acquire citizenship of India:
  • Citizenship by birth:
  • Anyone born in India on or after January 1, 1950, would be deemed a citizen by birth.
  • This limit was further amended to include those born between January 1, 1950 and July 1, 1987.
  • By the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003, persons born after December 3, 2004, would be deemed to be citizens of India if either of the parents is Indian or one of the parents is a citizen of India and the other was not an illegal migrant at the time of the person’s birth.
  • Citizenship by descent: A person born outside India shall be deemed to be a citizen of India if either of the person’s parents was a citizen of India at the time of his/her birth provided that the birth is registered within one year of its occurrence or commencement of the Act, whichever is later, at the Indian consulate.
  • Citizenship by registration: A person may be registered as a citizen of India, if the person is married to a citizen of India or has been a resident of India for five years immediately before making an application for registration.
  • Citizenship by naturalisation: A person is granted a certificate of naturalisation if the person is not an illegal migrant and has resided in India for 12 months before making an application to seek the certificate. Of the 14 years preceding this 12-months duration, the person must have stayed in India for 11 years.
  • Citizenship by incorporation of territory: If any new territory becomes a part of India, the government of India shall specify the persons of the territory to be citizens of India. If the central government is of the opinion that an applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress generally, it may waive all or any conditions specified to attain Indian citizenship.

Overseas Citizenship of India

  • OCI is a form of permanent residency available to people of Indian origin and their spouses which allows them to live and work in India indefinitely.
  • Despite the name, OCI status is not citizenship and does not grant the right to vote in Indian elections or hold public office.
  • It was introduced by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora.
  • OCI status is not available to anyone who has ever been a Pakistani or Bangladeshi citizen, or who is a child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of such a person.

BRICS Employment Working Group

Why in News

Secretary of Labour and Employment in India chaired the 1st BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting held on 11-12 May 2021 in New Delhi in virtual format.

Key Points

  • India has assumed BRICS Presidency of 2021.
  • The prime agenda for the discussions were:
  • Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations,
  • Formalization of labour markets,
  • Participation of women in labour force and
  • Gig and platform workers – Role in labour market.
  • Apart from representatives of member nations i.e. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the representatives of International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Social Security Agency (ISSA) also made valuable interventions and suggestions on the agenda issues.
  • On the issue of Social Security Agreement (SSA), the Member Nations resolved to enter into dialogue and discussion with each other and take it forward towards signing of the agreements.
  • While the ISSA and ILO on their part, expressed willingness to provide technical support in facilitating conclusion of such agreements.
  • Member Nations also converged on devising multilateral framework for the same on a later stage.

Highlights of the meeting

  • Social Security Agreement would help the international workers to port their benefit to their home countries thereby preventing loss of their hard-earned money.
  • On the issue of formalization of labour market, Member Nations discussed various initiatives taken by them towards formalization of jobs and how Covid-19 has enhanced informalization risk.
  • On participation of women in the labour force, the member countries resolved to promote participation of women in remunerative, productive and decent work and to extend social security cover to the women workers engaged in informal sector.
  • On the issue of Gig and Platform workers and their role in labour market, the member nations discussed how the proliferation of Digital Labour Platforms is transforming the labour processes in the world of work.

BRICS

  • BRICS is the acronym of five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.
  • It was formed on June 2006 and since 2009, the governments of the BRICS states have met annually at formal summits.
  • Originally, it was formed as “BRIC” or “the BRICs”, and in 2010 after joining the South Africa it was named as “BRICS”.
  • Russia hosted the most recent 12th BRICS summit on 17 November 2020 virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It was aims to promote peace, security, development and cooperation and contributing significantly to the development of humanity and establishing a more equitable and fairer world.
  • The first BRIC Summit was held at Yekateringburg, Russia.

Conclusion

  • The discussion took place in an extremely candid atmosphere and in seamless manner, where the Member Nations and International Organizations shared not only their initiatives and best practices, but also their concerns and challenges.

GS PAPER III

Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH)

Why in News

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs handed over possession to homebuyers virtually as Government of India’s Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) completes its first residential project.

Key Points

  • The residential project – Rivali Park, located in suburban Mumbai, was the first housing project in India to have received funding under the SWAMIH Fund.
  • Rivali Park Wintergreens is the first investment by the Fund and is also the first project to get completed. It is a large project spread over 7 acres consisting of 708 units of various configurations.
  • The project is “Rivali Park Wintergreens” developed by CCI Projects Pvt Ltd (CCIPPL), an associate company of Cable Corporation of India Ltd.

Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH)

  • The SWAMIH Investment Fund I is one of the largest private equity teams in India and has done commendable work despite COVID-19 related restrictions.
  • The Fund has given its final approval to 72 projects that will complete 44,100 homes, while 132 projects have received preliminary approval, which will complete an additional 72,500 homes.
  • Thus, the Fund is targeting to complete an aggregate of 1,16,600 homes.
  • This Fund is bridging the trust deficit between homebuyers and developers by completing construction and delivering homes without depending on any other source of finance.