IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


4th November, 2019


Delhi pollution: Air crosses severe level, PMO steps in, Centre to monitor

With air pollution levels increasing to ‘severe levels’ in the National Capital region and Air Quality Index measuring an alarming 494 Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) called a review meeting on air pollution in Delhi and its surrounding areas.


PMO decisions:

-       Cabinet Secretary will be monitoring the situation of affected states on a daily basis. 

-       Chief Secretaries of the states have also been asked to monitor the situation in various districts round the clock.

-       Punjab and Haryana have been asked to send enforcement teams across districts to ensure that stubble burning is stopped immediately.

-       They are also talking to farmers and creating awareness.

-       Delhi has been instructed to take strict action against dust. 

-       The enforcement teams will patrol the seven major industrial clusters in the NCR as well as key traffic corridors.

-       Delhi has also been instructed to increase water sprinkling and send special enforcement teams to monitor the burning of industrial waste.

Delhi Government steps:

-       It issued a health advisory urging residents to reschedule outdoor activities and use certified N95 masks.

-       The state is rolling out the third edition of its odd-even road rationing measure for a 12-day period.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/delhi-air-quality-aqi-pollution-level-pm-modi-aap-kejriwal-6101580/


CJI Ranjan Gogoi says NRC cures a wrong, ‘critics are playing with fire'


Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi strongly defended the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam, calling it “a base document for the future”, which is not yet final.


CJI arguments:

-       Earlier, there was an enormous amount of guesswork on the number of illegal immigrants in the state, which had fuelled panic, fear and a vicious cycle of lawlessness and violence.

-       There was an urgent need to ascertain exact number of illegal immigrants, which the current exercise envisages.

-       The entire exercise is nothing but manifestation of one of the most peaceful means by which stakeholders seek to remedy the wrong and omissions of that turbulence whose effects changed the course of life of not only individuals but of communities and cultures across the region.

On armchair commentators:

-       Our national discourse has witnessed the emergence of armchair commentators who are not only far removed from ground realities but also seek to present a highly distorted picture.

-       They launch baseless and motivated tirades against democratic functioning and democratic institutions. Seeking to hurt them and bring down their due process. 

-       These commentators and their vile intentions do survive well in situations where facts are far removed from the citizenry and rumour mills flourish. 

-       People must resist the urge to find “wrongs and shortcomings everywhere” and “the constant desire to play to the gallery, by demeaning institutions”.


-       The NRC is not a document for the moment. It is a base document for future. 

-       It is a document to which one can refer to determine future claims.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/cji-ranjan-gogoi-says-nrc-cures-a-wrong-critics-are-playing-with-fire-6101568/



Delhi: NITI Aayog suggests air purifiers at public places, DMRC-like SPV

An organisation like Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, elimination of DG sets and installation of air purifiers at public places are among NITI Aayog recommendations to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR.


Niti Ayog has prepared a report “Strategy to Curb Air Pollution in Delhi NCR”. 

Report Findings:

-       The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change can create a Special Purpose Vehicle to implement the present strategy to curb air pollution in Delhi.

-       Urban local bodies must procure “best quality air purifiers and install them at bus and railways stations, airports, major markets and other public spaces”.

-       Users should be encouraged to adopt cleaner alternatives such as gas-powered generators than the diesel based generators.



We have 26 tribes, 100 sub-tribes, each one is different: CM Pema Khandu

As Arunachal Pradesh pursues a series of infrastructure projects to boost connectivity, the state government is also displaying its culture and diverse traditions through events such as the Tawang Festival.


About Tawang Festival:

The annual festival, which celebrates Arunachal’s rich cultural heritage, includes Buddhist religious functions, traditional dances, indigenous sports, films and documentaries, food festivals and more.


Highlights of Arunachal Pradesh:

-       No other state in the region has so many festivals like Arunachal, which also hosts Orange Festival, Ziro musical festival, Bascon organic festival to celebrate tribal arts and Mechuka Adventure festival.

On need for a separate time zone:

-       The state would benefit from a separate time zone and a cadre for effective administration.

-       While travelling to Arunachal Pradesh, one has to cross Bhutan, which is half-an-hour ahead of it.

-       Separate time zone would increase daylight savings and efficiency.

Reference:  https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/arunachal-pradesh/we-have-26-tribes-100-sub-tribes-each-one-is-different-cm-pema-khandu-6101469/ 



WhatsApp privacy breach puts focus on govt’s digital security agencies

Privacy breach of 121 Indian citizens, many of them activists, lawyers, and academics, has given rise to a standoff between the government and WhatsApp.


Objections raised in the matter:

-       Who bought the Peasgus software?

-       Indian state’s capacities to deal with matters of cyber security, especially when foreign operators are involved

Agencies involved in security matter:

Two main government agencies are responsible for cyber security in India. 

-       One is CERT-In under the IT Ministry, which began operations in 2004 and is responsible for incident reporting management.

-       This agency has the mandate to escalate serious concerns to the ministry and other relevant stakeholders.

-       CERT-in usually takes newly discovered mass potential vulnerabilities seriously, updates their website, and pushes advisories. 

-       They also have the same information published via their website with background, vulnerability notes, procedures, prevention, response, and other advisories.

Another agency is National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) under National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which is responsible for protection of critical infrastructure. It was created under Section 70 of the IT Act, 2000.


CERT-In and NCIIPC keep a tab on information infrastructure issues across different sectors and coordinate with each other through the (National Cyber Security Coordinator) NCSC in Prime Minister’s Office.


Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/whatsapp-privacy-breach-puts-focus-on-govts-digital-security-agencies-6101504/



Explained: Why is India’s labour productivity growth faltering?

An analysis done by India’s Ratings and Research of Annual Survey of Industries data on India’s labour productivity growth in the organised manufacturing sector shows a disappointing trend.

Trends in labour productivity:

-       It grew by 14% in financial years from 2004 -08.

-       It slowed down to 7.4% during 2011-15.

-       It has declined to just 3.7% between 2016-18.

Labor Productivity and its importance:

Labor productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which resources, both human and material, are converted into goods and services.

India ratings report points out that globally, labor productivity growth alone accounted for about two-thirds of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth during FY01-FY10, leaving only one-third to labour/employment growth.

Reasons behind declining productivity:

-       Declining investment in the R&D sector by the companies.

-       Increase of contractual labor than permanent labor

-       Lower investment in trainings to improve productivity

Other findings of the Study:

-       Between financial years 2001 and 2018, the capital intensity — that is, fixed capital used per worker — in India’s organised manufacturing has been rising.

-       The output intensity — that is, the value of output per fixed capital — has actually declined over the same period.

In other words, while more and more capital is being used per unit of labour, it is not yielding commensurate level of output growth.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-is-indias-labour-productivity-falling-6100998/