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Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Chinese dam projects on Brahmaputra and impact on downstream countries

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Construction of dams Brahmaputra river by China

Construction of dams by China on Brahmaputra and several other rivers have several implications for downstream countries. The article explains the challenges posed to India.

Scarcity of water in India and China

  • As India and China continue to grow demographically as well as economically amid increased consumption among its citizenry, both nations face water constraints.
  • China, which is home to close to 20 per cent of the world’s population, has only 7 per cent of its water resources.
  • Severe pollution of its surface and groundwater caused by rapid industrialisation is a source of concern for Chinese planners.
  • China’s southern regions are water-rich in comparison to the water-stressed northern part.
  • The southern region is a major food producer and has significant industrial capacity as a consequence of more people living there.
  • India is severely water-stressed as well.
  • Similar to China, India has 17 per cent of the world’s population and 4 per cent of water.
  • As in China, an equally ambitious north-south river-linking project has been proposed in India.

Impact on downstream states

  • The construction of several dams along the Yarlung (Brahmaputra) river on the Chinese side has been a repeated cause for concern for Indian officials and the local people.
  • China has an ambitious plan to link its south and north through canals, aqueducts and linking of major rivers to ensure water security.
  • In pursuit of these goals, China, being an upper riparian state in Asia, has been blocking rivers like the Mekong and its tributaries, affecting Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
  • It has caused immense damage to the environment and altered river flows in the region.
  • China sees these projects as a continuation of their historic tributary system as the smaller states have no means of effectively resisting or even significant leverage in negotiations.

Challenges for India

  • There are now multiple operational dams in the Yarlung Tsangpo basin with more dams commissioned and under construction. These constructions present a unique challenge for Indian planners.
  • 1) Dams will eventually lead to degradation of the entire basin:
  • Silt carried by the river would get blocked by dams leading to a fall in the quality of soil and eventual reduction in agricultural productivity.
  • 2) The Brahmaputra basin is one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive zones.
  • It is identified as one of the world’s 34 biological hotspots.
  • This region sees several species of flora and fauna that are endemic to only this part of the world.
  • The river itself is home to the Gangetic river dolphin, which is listed as critically endangered.
  • 3) The location of the dams in the Himalayas pose a risk.
  • Seismologists consider the Himalayas as most vulnerable to earthquakes and seismic activity.
  • The sheer size of the infrastructure projects undertaken by China, and increasingly by India, poses a significant threat to the populations living downstream.
  • Close to a million people live in the Brahmaputra basin in India and tens of millions further downstream in Bangladesh.
  • 4) Damming Brahmaputra would result in water security in an era of unprecedented shifting climate patterns.
  • This security extends beyond water, as there is the potential to significantly change the flow rate during times of standoffs and high tensions.

Way forward

  • Both sides must cease new constructions on the river and commit to potentially less destructive solutions.
  • Building a decentralised network of check dams, rain-capturing lakes and using traditional means of water capture have shown effective results in restoring the ecological balance while supporting the populations of the regions in a sustainable manner.

Conclusion

There are alternate solutions to solving the water crisis.  It is in the interest of all stakeholders to neutralise this ticking water bomb.

Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

Understanding the interplay between subsidies and agri-pollution

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ground level pollution and its impact on agriculture

Mains level : Paper 3- Interplay between agri-subsidies and pollution

Agriculture’s contribution to air pollution

  • Agriculture’s contribution to air pollution runs deeper than what happens between crop seasons.
  • The Indo-Gangetic plain is also one of the world’s largest and rapidly-growing ammonia hotspots.
  • Atmospheric ammonia, which comes from fertiliser use, animal husbandry, and other agricultural practices, combines with emissions from power plants, transportation and other fossil-fuel burning to form fine particles.

Impact of pollution on agriculture

  • It is important to note that agriculture is a victim of pollution as well as its perpetrator.
  • Particulate matter and ground-level ozone formed from industrial, power plant, and transportation emissions among other ingredients cause double-digit losses in crop yields.
  • Ozone damages plant cells, handicapping photosynthesis, while particulate matter dims the sunlight that reaches crops.
  • Agriculture scientist Tony Fischer’s 2019 estimates of the two pollutants’ combined effect suggest that as much as 30 per cent of India’s wheat yield is missing (Sage Journals, Outlook on Agriculture).
  • Earlier, B Sinha et al (2015), in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, found that high ozone levels in parts of Haryana and Punjab could diminish rice yields by a quarter and cotton by half.

Role played by subsidies

  • The current system of subsidies is a big reason that there is stubble on these fields in the first place.
  • Free power — and consequently, “free” water, pumped from the ground — is a big part of what makes growing rice in these areas attractive.
  • Open-ended procurement of paddy, despite the bulging stocks of grains with the Food Corporation of India, adds to the incentives.
  • Subsidies account for almost 15 per cent of the value of rice being produced in Punjab-Haryana belt.
  • Fertiliser, particularly urea in granular form, is highly subsidised.
  • It is one of the cheapest forms of nitrogen-based fertiliser, easy to store and easy to transport, but it is also one of the first to “volatilise,” or release ammonia into the air.
  • This loss of nitrogen then leads to a cycle of more and more fertiliser being applied to get the intended benefits for crops.

Way forward

  • We need to shift the nature of support to farmers from input subsidies to investment subsidies.
  • This could involve the conversion of paddy areas in this belt to orchards with drip irrigation, vegetables, corn, cotton, pulses and oilseeds.
  • All of the above consume much less water, much less power and fertilisers and don’t create stubble to burn.
  • A diversification package of, say, Rs 10,000 crore spread over the next five years, equally contributed by the Centre and states, may be the best way to move forward in reducing agriculture-related pollution.
  • The approach to diversification has to be demand-led, with a holistic framework of the value chain, from farm to fork and not just focused on production.
  • On the fertiliser front, it would be better to give farmers input subsidy in cash on per hectare basis, and free up the prices of fertilisers completely.

Conclusion

Taken together, these measures could double farmers’ incomes, promote efficiency in resource use, and reduce pollution — a win-win solution for all.

Coal and Mining Sector

India’s Deep Ocean Mission

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Deep Ocean Mission

Mains level : India's deep ocean mission

India will soon launch an ambitious ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ that envisages exploration of minerals, energy and marine diversity of the underwater world, a vast part of which still remains unexplored.

Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)

Nodal Agency: Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)

  • The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO.
  • Underwater robotics and ‘manned’ submersibles are key components of the Mission which will help India harness various living and non-living (water, mineral and energy) resources from the seabed and deep water.
  • The tasks that will be undertaken over this period include deep-sea mining, survey, energy exploration and the offshore-based desalination.
  • These technological developments are funded under an umbrella scheme of the government – called Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART).

 Mining PMN

  • One of the main aims of the mission is to explore and extract polymetallic nodules (PMN).
  • These are small potato-like rounded accretions composed of minerals such as manganese, nickel, cobalt, copper and iron hydroxide.
  • They lie scattered on the Indian Ocean floor at depths of about 6,000 m and the size can vary from a few millimetres to centimetres.
  • These metals can be extracted and used in electronic devices, smartphones, batteries and even for solar panels.

Where will the team mine?

  • The International Seabed Authority (ISA), an autonomous international organisation established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, allots the ‘area’ for deep-sea mining.
  • India was the first country to receive the status of a ‘Pioneer Investor ‘ in 1987 and was given an area of about 1.5 lakh sq km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for nodule exploration.
  • In 2002, India signed a contract with the ISA and after complete resource analysis of the seabed 50% was surrendered and the country retained an area of 75,000 sq km.

Which are the other countries that are in the race to mine the deep sea?

  • Apart from the CIOB, polymetallic nodules have been identified from the central Pacific Ocean. It is known as the Clarion-Clipperton Zone.
  • According to the ISA’s website, it has entered into 15-year contracts for exploration for polymetallic nodules, polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the deep seabed with 29 contractors.
  • Later it was extended for five more years till 2022.
  • China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Russia and also some small islands such as the Cook Islands, Kiribati have joined the race for deep-sea mining.
  • Most of the countries have tested their technologies in shallow waters and are yet to start deep-sea extraction.

India’s preparedness

  • India’s mining site is at about a depth of 5,500 metres, where there is a high pressure and extremely low temperature.
  • We have also deployed Remotely Operated Vehicle and In-situ Soil Tester in the depth of 6,000 metres and have a thorough understanding of the mining area at the Central Indian Ocean Basin.
  • The mining machine newly developed for 6000 metres depth was able to move about 900 metres and will be deployed soon at 5,500 metres.
  • Weather conditions and the availability of ships also play a role.
  • More tests are being conducted to understand how to bring the nodules up to the surface. A riser system comprising an umbilical cable or electromechanical cable and a hose is being developed.

What will be the environmental impact?

  • According to the IUCN, these deep remote locations can be home to unique species that have adapted themselves to conditions such as poor oxygen and sunlight, high pressure and extremely low temperatures.
  • Such mining expeditions can make them go extinct even before they are known to science.
  • The deep sea’s biodiversity and ecology remain poorly understood, making it difficult to assess the environmental impact and frame adequate guidelines.
  • Though strict guidelines have been framed, they are only exploration guidelines. A new set of exploitation guidelines are being worked out and discussions are on with the ISA.
  • Environmentalists are also worried about the sediment plumes that will be generated as the suspended particles can rise to the surface harming the filter feeders in the upper ocean layers.
  • Additional concerns have been raised about the noise and light pollution from the mining vehicles and oil spills from the operating vessels.

Is deep-sea mining economically viable?

  • The latest estimate from the ISA says it will be commercially viable only if about three million tonnes are mined per year.
  • More studies are being carried out to understand how the technology can be scaled up and used efficiently.

North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Brus’ resettlement in Tripura

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bru Tribals

Mains level : Bru-Reang Repatriation Agreement

People erupted in violent protests against the planned resettlement of thousands of Bru migrants permanently at Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura.

Try this PYQ:

 

Q. With reference to ‘Changpa’ community of India, consider the following statement:

  1. They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
  2. They rear the Pashmina goats that yield fine wool.
  3. They are kept in the category of Scheduled Tribes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2014)

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Who are the Brus?

  • Reangs or Brus are the second largest ethnic group in Mizoram.
  • Their exodus in 1997 was spurred by violent clashes in Mamith subdivision, a Reang-dominated area when they demanded the creation of an autonomous council that was vehemently opposed by Mizo groups.
  • Around 34,000 people were forced to live in sub-human conditions in tents in Tripura. No solution could be reached all these years.
  • These people were housed in temporary camps at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.

Why have there been violent protests?

  • Twenty-three years after ethnic clashes in Mizoram forced 37,000 people of the Bru (or Reang) community to flee their homes to neighbouring Tripura.
  • The news was not welcomed by the Bengali and Mizo communities in Tripura.
  • They fear a demographic imbalance, which would exert pressure on local resources and potentially lead to law and order problems.

Also read

[Burning Issue] Bru– Reang Repatriation Agreement

Punjab’s claim over Chandigarh

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chandigarh

Mains level : Interstate boundary disputes in India

Earlier this month, Haryana Dy. CM said it would be better if both Haryana and Punjab agreed on Chandigarh as a Union Territory and make their independent capitals and Benches of High Courts.

Try answering this

Q.The linguistic re-organization of Indian states in the post-Independence period has prevented its balkanization, unlike our neighbourhood. Comment.

Why was Chandigarh created?

  • Chandigarh was planned to replace Lahore, the capital of erstwhile Punjab, which became part of Pakistan during the Partition.
  • In March 1948, the Government of (India’s) Punjab, in consultation with the Centre, approved the area of the foothills of the Shivaliks as the site for the new capital.
  • From 1952 to 1966 (till Haryana was carved out of Punjab), Chandigarh remained the capital of Punjab.

How did it become a shared capital?

  • At the time of reorganization of Punjab in 1966, the city assumed the unique distinction of being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.
  • Even as it was declared a union territory and was placed under the direct control of the Centre.
  • The properties in Chandigarh were to be divided into 60:40 ratio in favour of Punjab.

Punjab’s claim

  • The-then PM Indira Gandhi had announced that Haryana, in due course, would have its own capital and Chandigarh would go to Punjab.
  • As per documents submitted in the Lok Sabha, the Centre had even issued a formal communication is this regard on January 29, 1970, almost three years after Haryana came into being.
  • Again, in 1985, under the Rajiv-Longowal accord, Chandigarh was to be handed over to Punjab on January 26, 1986, but the Rajiv Gandhi government withdrew at the last minute.

Haryana’s counter-claim

  • As per the 1970 documents, the Centre had considered various alternatives for settling the matter, including dividing the city.
  • But that wasn’t feasible since Chandigarh was built as a planned city to serve as the capital of one state.
  • Haryana was told to use the office and residential accommodation in Chandigarh only for five years till it shifts to its own new capital.
  • The Centre had offered Rs 10 crore grant to Haryana and an equal amount of loan for setting up the new capital.
  • In 2018, Haryana CM suggested setting up a special body for the development of Chandigarh, but the Punjab CM rejected it, saying the city “indisputably belonged to Punjab”.

New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Species in news: Meghalaya’s Glowing Mushrooms

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bioluminescence

Mains level : Eastern Himalayas and its biodiversity

A mushroom documentation project in the forests of Northeast India has discovered a bioluminescent — or light-emitting — variety of mushroom.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Lichens, which are capable of initiating ecological succession even on a bare rock, are actually a symbiotic association of:

(a) Algae and bacteria

(b) Algae and fungi

(c) Bacteria and fungi

(d) Fungi and mosses

Roridomyces phyllostachydis

  • The new species was first sighted near a stream in Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong in East Khasi Hills district and later at Krang Shuri in West Jaintia Hills district.
  • It is now one among the 97 known species of bioluminescent fungi in the world.

Bioluminescence in fungi

  • Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.
  • Bioluminescent organisms are usually found in ocean environments, but they are also found in terrestrial environments.
  • The colour of the light emitted by the organism depends on its chemical properties.
  • In the case of fungi, the luminescence comes from the enzyme, luciferase.
  • The green light emits when luciferans is catalysed by the enzyme luciferase, in the presence of oxygen.

International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Sentinel-6 Satellite

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sentinel 6

Mains level : Sea level rise and climate change

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, designed to monitor oceans, was launched from the in California.

Try this MCQ:

The Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) Mission recently seen in news is aimed at observing:

(a)Microgravity changes

(b)Sea level rise

(c)Cosmic radiation

(d)Space debris

Sentinel-6 Satellite

  • This is a part of the next mission dedicated to measuring changes in the global sea level.
  • It has been named after Dr Michael Freilich, who was the Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division from 2006-2019 and passed away in August this year.

What is the mission?

  • The mission, called the Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission, is designed to measure the height of the ocean, which is a key component in understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing.
  • The spacecraft consists of two satellites, the other, called Sentinel-6B, to be launched in 2025.
  • It has been developed jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, and France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).

What will the satellite do?

  • The satellite will ensure the continuity of sea-level observations into the fourth decade and will provide measurements of global sea-level rise.
  • Since 1992, high-precision satellite altimeters have helped scientists understand how the ocean stores and distributes heat, water and carbon in the climate system.
  • Essentially, the satellite will send pulses to the Earth’s surface and measure how long they take to return to it, which will help scientists measure the sea surface height.
  • It will also measure water vapour along this path and find its position using GPS and ground-based lasers.

Significance of the mission

  • As per NASA, it is possible to observe the height of the oceans on a global scale and monitor critical changes in ocean currents and heat storage only from space.
  • Data from satellites such as Sentinel-6 help scientists foresee the effects of the changing oceans on the climate.
  • Further, in order to measure and track changes in the oceanic heat budget, scientists need to know the ocean currents and heat storage of the oceans, which can be determined from the height of the sea surface.

Indian Navy Updates

Exercise SITMEX-20

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Exercise SITMEX

Mains level : NA

The second edition of the India, Thailand and Singapore trilateral naval exercise SITMEX-20 has concluded in the Andaman Sea.

Must read all such exercises at:

[Prelims Spotlight] Defence Exercises

Exercise SITMEX-20

  • The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
  • The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.
  • The 2020 edition of the exercise is being hosted by RSN.
  • The maritime drill witnessed a variety of exercises including naval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapon firings.
  • Besides improving inter-operability, SITMEX series of exercise also aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.

Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

Sustaining India’s Growth Momentum

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- India's economic recovery post pandemic

The article highlights the factors that explain that India’s economic recovery is broad-based and sustainable in nature.

Revising India’s GDP forecast

  • With major banks, investor advisory groups, and credit rating agencies revising their GDP forecasts for the next financial year while lowering estimates of economic contraction for this fiscal, surely the bounce back is well on track.
  • Some of the earlier assessments were too pessimistic and assumed a gradual pace of economic normalisation.
  • Thus, a reassessment was given but nevertheless welcome.

Many continue to challenge conventional belief regarding India’s economic recovery being broad-based and sustainable in nature. It is important that we look at underlying data and relate it with steps undertaken by the government with the sole objective of reviving India’s economy.

1) Employment figures

  •  Economic activity will see a faster revival than employment figures as labour markets tend to lag.
  • This is because most firms face costs associated with hiring and firing and they prefer to adjust the working hours before adjusting employment numbers.
  • Trends labour market does indicate prospects of a cyclical recovery which will lead to jobs being added at a faster pace than what was originally estimated.
  • Critically, the new scheme subsiding part of the EPFO contribution for the unskilled workers will benefit enormously which will then have spill-over effects.

2) Normalisation driven by rural economy

  • The bulk of the normalisation of economic activity was driven by the rural economy which eventually benefited the rest of the economy.
  • Rural growth has gained momentum and definitely augurs well for the Indian economy as it gets one of the engines firing.
  • The strong push by the government towards financing construction of assets has a significant impact.

3) Avoiding excessive and inefficient use of public funds

  • The design of the aid by the government is similar in terms of its size to programmes announced by other emerging markets.
  • However, the choice of instruments is along the lines those deployed by developed countries.
  • The government has refrained from excessive and inefficient use of public funds by restricting expenditures to temporary fiscal commitments.
  • This is important as our 2008 response had a lot of permanent fiscal expenditures which led to a systematic deterioration of our macroeconomic fundamentals.
  • The government has taken undertaken a sizable fiscal expansion combining automatic stabilizers, cash transfers, bank guarantees, expansion of expenditure under various programs such as MGNREGA, Food Security Act and Urban Affordable Housing Measures.
  • The fiscal component under each of these policies can be easily reversed making it possible for India to revert to its fiscal consolidation path a lot sooner.

4) Structural reforms as a part of its economic response package

  • These reforms are geared at unshackling the productivity potential in areas such as APMCs,  labour markets, other reforms that allow for greater private role within the economy in critical areas such as coal, space technology etc.
  • These moves and their productivity gains will help India improve its potential growth rate.
  • This means that India should be better equipped at sustaining a high-growth rate of above 7 per cent due to the productivity gains that will be an outcome of the proposed reforms.
  • This will further help a faster reduction in fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP and our public debt to GDP figures.

Conclusion

Strong macroeconomic fundamentals are necessary for sustained economic growth and the government has focused on a response package which prioritises sustainability of growth rather than having a fast yet unsustainable economic recovery from the crisis.

Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

Analysing India’s economic growth

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Key trends in India's economic history

Mains level : Paper 3- Analysing India's economic progress

The article analyses India’s economic trajectory after independence and divides it into five phases. India’s progress is also compared with Pakistan’s as both countries have had much in common.

What drives economic growth

  • Examining the experiences of different countries to analysing the growth may seem a promising approach.
  • However, generalising from specific experiences can be misleading since ground conditions vary hugely across countries.
  • There are two ways to avoid the pitfalls of generalising from specific cases.
  • 1) The first is to examine the same country over time to look for changes in outcomes at specific points in time.
  • 2) A second approach is to compare countries with shared history, culture and geography.
  • If there are stark differences in outcomes between them, then there may be some policy lessons to be drawn.

The Indian subcontinent provides lessons from both approaches. The 73 years of post-Independence India has generated a lot of evidence across different political-economic regimes. This period has also provided us with the contrasting experiences of India and Pakistan, two countries that share history, geography and socio-cultural mores.

5 phases of India’s economic progress in 73 years: first approach

  • 1) The first phase was the period 1950-65. This was the Nehruvian period of state-led industrialisation.
  • Starting in 1950 annual per person GDP growth averaged 2 per cent during this period.
  • This translated to aggregate annual GDP growth of around 4 per cent since the population was growing at close to 2 per cent.
  • 2) The second phase of post-Independence India was during 1965-84.
  • This period was an unmitigated economic disaster with negative per capita growth.
  • The phase was marked with increasing state control of the economy, nationalisation of industry, closing of the economy to trade and a systematic weakening of institutions.
  • 3) The third phase is 1984-91 when the government ushered in the first round of economic reforms by liberalising capital goods imports as well as starting industrial de-licensing.
  • These reforms were rewarded by a growth take-off. India’s annual per capita GDP growth averaged 3.1 per cent while aggregate GDP grew at 5.2 per cent during 1984-91.
  • 4) The period 1991-2004 is typically classified as the liberalisation phase.
  • The reform effort was reflected in the 4.9 per cent annual per capita GDP growth during 1991-2004.
  • 5) India embarked on a distinctive phase of faster growth post-2004 on the back of large investments in infrastructure.
  • Per person GDP growth in the period 2004-2015 averaged 7.7 per cent.
  • The corresponding aggregate GDP growth averaged 9 per cent.
  • This came at a cost, as a number of these infrastructure projects later caused problems in the banking sector on account of burgeoning NPAs, a problem that continues till today.

Comparison with Pakistan

  • In 1950, Pakistan’s per person GDP was almost 50 per cent greater than India that year.
  • Due to political uncertainty, Pakistan stagnated throughout the 1950s while a politically stable India grew.
  • As a result, by 1960, India had almost caught up with Pakistan in per capita GDP terms.
  • Unfortunately, from 1964, India went into two decades of economic stagnation while Pakistan opened up to foreign capital.
  • By 1984, Pakistan’s per capita income was more than double that of India’s.
  • Pakistan’s slowdown began in the 1980s.
  • This period coincided with the reforms in India.
  • Nevertheless, it wasn’t till as recently as 2010 that India’s per capita GDP finally overtook Pakistan.

4 takeaways

  •  First, openness to trade and private enterprise usually has positive effects on growth.
  • Second, rapacious and exploitative democratic systems do not necessarily promote growth. Pakistan in the 1950s, 1990 and post-2010 is a good example.
  • Third, the socio-economic environment surrounding religious fundamentalism may be inimical to growth.
  • Fourth, degradation of institutions that regulate, arbitrate and enforce laws can be costly.

Conclusion

India’s growth when analysed from both the perspective offers valuable lessons for India and these lessons must guide India’s future economic trajectory.

Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc.

India’s no to RCEP could still be a no

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : RCEP countries

Mains level : Paper 3- RCEP and India's concerns about it

The article examines the significance of the RCEP and India’s concerns over its provision. 

Significance of RCEP

  • Last week, 15 East Asian countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the largest free trade agreement (FTA) ever.
  • In 2019, RCEP members accounted for about 30% of world output.
  • More importantly, about 44% of their total trade was intra-RCEP, which is a major incentive for the members of this agreement.
  • The deal could contribute to the strengthening of the regional value chains.

Comparing RCEP with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

  • The TPP included several regulatory issues including labour and environmental standards and “anti-corruption”.
  • All of these issues could raise regulatory barriers and severely impede trade flows.
  • In contrast, RCEP includes traditional market access issues, following the template provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • RCEP also includes issues like electronic commerce, investment facilitation that are currently being discussed by WTO members to “reform the multilateral trading system”.

Would RCEP be able to realise trade and investment liberalisation?

  • In case of trade in goods, RCEP members have taken big strides towards lowering their tariffs.
  • However, commitments made by RCEP members for services trade liberalisation do look shallow in terms of the coverage of the sectors.
  • Movement of natural persons, an area in which India had had considerable interest, is considerably restricted.
  • The areas of investment and electronic commerce, in both of which India had expressed its reservations on the template adopted during RCEP negotiations, the outcomes are varied.
  • The text on investment rules shows that it is a work-in-progress.
  • The rules on dispute settlement procedures are yet to be written in.

Will India’s concerns get addressed in near future?

  • The answer seems to be unambiguously in the negative on two counts.
  • 1) Two of the concerns India had raised, namely,  the deep cuts in tariffs on imports from China, and provisions relating to the investment chapter, have become even more significant over the past several months.
  • 2) India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is primarily focused on strengthening domestic value chains, while RCEP, like any other FTA is solely focused on promoting regional value chains.

Consider the question “What were India’s concerns about RCEP that resulted in India not signing it? ” 

Conclusion

This suggests that the prospects of India joining the RCEP in the near future appears bleak.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

Elections for the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Comparison of TIbetan constitutional scheme with India

Mains level : TIbetan refugees issue

Over 1.3 lakh Tibetans living in exile and settled across India and other parts of the globe shall be electing their next Parliament-in-Exile, called Central Tibetan Administration, and it’s head in May 2021.

Do you think that India’s support for the Tibetan cause is the root cause of all irritants in India-China relations?

Electing the exiled Government

  • The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) has its headquarters in Dharamsala, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • According to the Green Book of the Tibetan government-in-exile, over 1 lakh Tibetans are settled across India.
  • The remaining are settled in United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Mongolia, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and various other countries.

Here is how the Tibetan elections will be held:

Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE)

  • The Speaker and a Deputy Speaker head the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
  • The 16th TPiE had 45 members – 10 representatives from each of the traditional provinces of Tibetan – U-Tsang, Dhotoe and Dhomey.
  • It includes two members from each of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the pre-Buddhist Bon religion.
  • Other representatives are from the Tibetan Communities in North America and Europe; and from Australasia and Asia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan).
  • Till 2006, it used to be called as Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPDs) with the chairman as its head and a vice-chairman.

Tibetan Constitution

  • The Central Tibetan Administration exists and functions on the basis of the Constitution of the Tibetan government called the ‘The Charter of the Tibetans in Exile’.
  • In 1991, The Constitution Redrafting Committee instituted by the Dalai Lama prepared the Charter for Tibetans in exile. The Dalai Lama approved it on June 28, 1991.
  • In 2001, fundamental changes happened with the amendment of the Charter that facilitated the direct election of the Kalon Tripa by the Tibetans in exile.
  • The Kalon Tripa is called Sikyong or president of the Central Tibetan Administration.

The Kashag (Cabinet)

  • The Kashag (Cabinet) is the Central Tibetan Administration’s highest executive office and comprise seven members.
  • It is headed by the Sikyong (political leader) who is directly elected by the exiled Tibetan population.
  • Sikyong subsequently nominates his seven Kalons (ministers) and seeks the parliament’s approval. The Kashag’s term is for five years.

A backgrounder: Democracy for Tibet

  • The Dalai Lama began democratization soon after he came to India during the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising.
  • He reportedly asked Tibetans in exile to choose their representatives through universal adult suffrage, following which polls were held for electing Tibetan Parliamentarians in 1960.
  • Democracy for the Tibetans, thus, began in exile.
  • The Dalai Lama, however, continued to remain the supreme political leader. On March 14, 2011, he relinquished his political responsibilities, ending a 369-year-old practice.

Is TPiE officially recognised by any country?

  • Not exactly, it is not recognised officially by any country, including India.
  • But, a number of countries including the USA and European nations deal directly with the Sikyong and other Tibetan leaders through various forums.
  • The TPiE claims its democratically-elected character helps it manage Tibetan affairs and raise the Tibetan issue across the world.
  • The incumbent Sikyong, Lobsang Sangay, was among the guests who attended the oath-taking ceremony of our PM in 2014, probably a first.

Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

What is the ‘Office of Profit’?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Office of Profit

Mains level : Office of Profit and associated issue

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Office of Profit has deliberated on whether a Parliamentarian can continue to teach at University and if this draws the provisions of “Office of Profit” rules.

Note: The Constitution of India does not define the Office of Profit. It has only mentioned it under Article 102 (1) and Article 191 (1).

The concept of ‘Office of Profit’

  • MPs and MLAs, as members of the legislature, hold the government accountable for its work.
  • The essence of disqualification is if legislators hold an ‘office of profit’ under the government, they might be susceptible to government influence, and may not discharge their constitutional mandate fairly.
  • The intent is that there should be no conflict between the duties and interests of an elected member.
  • Hence, the office of profit law simply seeks to enforce a basic feature of the Constitution- the principle of separation of power between the legislature and the executive.

What governs the term?

  • At present, the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, bars an MP, MLA or an MLC from holding any office of profit under the central or state government unless it is exempted.
  • However, it does not clearly define what constitutes an office of profit.
  • Legislators can face disqualification for holding such positions, which bring them financial or other benefits.
  • Under the provisions of Article 102 (1) and Article 191 (1) of the Constitution, an MP or an MLA (or an MLC) is barred from holding any office of profit under the Central or State government.

An Un-defined term

  • The officials of the law ministry are of the view that defining an office of profit could lead to the filing of a number of cases with the Election Commission and the courts.
  • Also, once the definition is changed, one will also have to amend various provisions in the Constitution including Article 102 (1) (a) and Article 109 (1) (a) that deal with the office of profit.
  • It will have an overarching effect on all the other sections of the Constitution.

Factors constituting an ‘office of profit’

  • The 1959 law does not clearly define what constitutes an office of profit but the definition has evolved over the years with interpretations made in various court judgments.
  • An office of profit has been interpreted to be a position that brings to the office-holder some financial gain, or advantage, or benefit. The amount of such profit is immaterial.
  • In 1964, the Supreme Court ruled that the test for determining whether a person holds an office of profit is the test of appointment.

Several factors are considered in this determination including factors such as:

  1. whether the government is the appointing authority,
  2. whether the government has the power to terminate the appointment,
  3. whether the government determines the remuneration,
  4. what is the source of remuneration, and
  5. the power that comes with the position.

ISRO Missions and Discoveries

[pib] IRNSS now part of World Wide Radio Navigation System

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IRNSS, IMO, NaVIC

Mains level : IRNSS

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has been accepted as a component of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Try this PYQ:

With reference to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), consider the following statements:

  1. IRNSS has three Satellites in geostationary and four satellites the geosynchronous orbits.
  2. IRNSS covers entire India and about 5500 sq. km beyond its borders.
  3. India will have its own satellite navigation system with full global coverage by the middle of 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only            

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) None

What is IRNSS?

  • The IRNSS, with an operational name of NavIC (acronym for Navigation with Indian Constellation) is an Indian regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services.
  • It covers India and a region extending 1,500 km around it, with plans for further extension.
  • The system currently consists of a constellation of seven satellites, with two additional satellites on ground as stand-by.
  • The constellation is in orbit as of 2018, and the system was expected to be operational from early 2018 after a system check.
  • It will provide two levels of service, the “standard positioning service”, which will be open for civilian use, and a “restricted service” (an encrypted one) for authorised users (including the military).

Benefits of the move

  • This move will enable merchant vessels to use IRNSS for obtaining position information similar to GPS and GLONASS.
  • This will assist in the navigation of ships in Indian ocean waters within the area covered by 50°N latitude, 55°E longitude, 5°S latitude and 110°E longitude (approximately up to 1500 km from Indian boundary).

Back2Basics: International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

  • IMO is the UN specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
  • Its primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly.

Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

National Digital Health Mission

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Digital Health Mission

Mains level : Healthcare in India

The National Digital Health Mission will soon be ready for a nationwide roll-out, confirmed the Chairman of National Health Authority and CEO of Ayushman Bharat.

Must read:

[Burning Issue] Rolling-out of National Digital Health Mission

National Digital Health Mission

  • Our PM has launched the National Digital Health Mission on 15th August 2020.
  • The mission aims to create an integrated healthcare system linking practitioners with the patients digitally by giving them access to real-time health records.
  • It is a complete digital health ecosystem. The digital platform will be launched with four key features — health ID, personal health records, Digi Doctor and health facility registry.
  • At a later stage, it will also include e-pharmacy and telemedicine services, regulatory guidelines for which are being framed.

Its implementation

  • The NDHM is implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The National Health Authority (NHA), is also the implementing agency for Ayushman Bharat.

Industrial Sector Updates – Industrial Policy, Ease of Doing Business, etc.

The MSME sector holds the key to an Indian economic recovery

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Issues faced by MSMEs and dealing with them

The article highlights the importance of MSMEs for the economy and issues faced by the sector.

Context

  • The economy may have recovered from the trough of April but is yet to show signs of a sustained recovery on an annual basis.
  • The number of establishments registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation declined by more than 30,800 in October, compared to September.

Incentives for MSMEs

  • The above-cited numbers are indicator of the vulnerability of the employment situation, but also as a performance indicator of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
  • The MSME sector is vital for employment generation, as also for an economic recovery to sustain.
  • Under Atmanirbhar Rozgar Yojana the government will bear the entire provident fund contributions for two years of all new employees hired.
  • However, similar announcements earlier failed to enthuse the MSME sector.
  • Along with the employment incentive, the MSME sector has also been provided collateral free credit.
  • But the offtake from the scheme has not been impressive, pointing to deeper issues.

Why the incentives failed

  • Part of the reason these incentives failed lies in the very nature of the MSME sector and its heterogeneity, which is inherent in its definition as a residual sector once large enterprises are excluded.
  • A 2015-16 survey of the National Statistical Office shows that almost 94% of these enterprises are tiny, with less than four workers.
  • Only 31% are registered under various acts, but these face regulatory hurdles, some of them related to compliance with the goods and service tax (GST).

Problems faced by MSMEs

  • In 2015-16 survey of the National Statistical Office two most important problems mentioned were a lack of demand and unpaid dues.
  • On both, the situation after 2015-16 has worsened, with the economy slowing down and the government responsible for the largest unpaid dues.
  • With the finances of state governments also strained due to pandemic, the fiscal situation has added to the problem of unpaid dues.
  • The sector is also affected by the political economy of state intervention, which seems biased in favour of large corporations.
  • Unlike the ₹1.5 trillion tax bonanza that large companies received as part of a pre-pandemic stimulus, there was no such bounty for the MSME sector.
  • With most state governments relaxing labour regulations for large companies, even the low-wage advantage that this sector enjoyed has got diminished.
  • Policy changes have not only reduced the compliance burden of labour laws, but have also helped large enterprises reduce wage costs.
  • Consequently, the MSME sector has to now compete with a corporate sector that has easy access to capital, cheap and unregulated labour and a lower tax burden than before.

Way forward

  • Apart from the fiscal stimulus, the sector requires a political-economy approach that prioritizes MSME interests.
  • India needs to ease the regulatory burden of small units and aid their survival through fiscal support.
  • Above all, they need a level-playing field vis-à-vis big businesses.

Consider the question “Despite several incentives by the government MSME sector fails to play the role expected of it. What are the issues faced by the sector and suggest the measure to deal with the issues.” 

Conclusion

Given the important role played by the sector in the economy, issues faced by it must be addressed on ani urgent basis to revive the economy battered by the pandemic.

Divided democracies

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Challenges to democracy

Democracies across the world are facing several challenges. The article examines these challenges.

Threats to democracy

  • Efforts by Donald Trump, to negate the result of the recently held presidential elections, indicates a new set of tactics, previously seen only in dictatorships.
  • In the case of the U.S., one of the world’s oldest democracies, what we are witnessing is a deep divide.
  • This division is evident in many other democratic nations today.
  • This is true of many other democracies as well and must be viewed as a wake-up call.
  • What is evident is that issues of identity, or threats to identity, are becoming an important issue in elections across democracies.
  • Democracies already confront such problems, but it will become still more evident as time passes.
  • Manipulation of grievances by using psychometric techniques (as done by Cambridge Analytica), and the use of ‘deep fakes’ made possible through Artificial Intelligence, further enhances the threat to current notions of democracy.

Troubles to democracy in Europe

  • Europe will have to deal with the declining importance of America in global politics.
  • An uncertain Brexit will further damage the prospects of both the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Russia, under Vladimir Putin, remains an enigma, for despite its military strength and strategic congruence with China, its future appears increasingly uncertain.
  • France displays even greater fragility and French values appear to be undergoing major changes.
  • The recent wave of terrorist attacks has been a major trigger, raising questions about long-held secular beliefs.

Return of terrorism

  • Terrorism is resurfacing, and with renewed vigour.
  • The al-Qaeda is again becoming prominent. The IS, which many thought had been vanquished has returned in full force.
  • Recently IS has carried out spectacular attacks in France and in Austria which is a reminder of the transnational character of the threat it poses to democratic countries.
  • They combine symbolism with spectacular violence.
  • The intent is to shock the public at large, and produce a reaction across the entire Muslim world, reigniting the fading embers of a religio-cultural conflict.

Information manipulation

  • Alongside the above issues, there is a growing concern across the globe about increasing efforts to manipulate information in order to perpetuate power.
  • Manipulation of information — and also events — to achieve certain desired ends, is becoming the stock-in-trade of many a democratic regime as well.
  • Many democratic nations today resort to manipulating data to support or prop up the government’s version of events. Informational autocracy is, hence, the latest danger that threatens democracies.

India’s challenges

1) Threat to democracy

  • In some regions, especially where mid-term elections are scheduled, as in West Bengal, the atmosphere today is highly polarised.
  • The ghosts of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens have by no means been laid to rest.
  • Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is witnessing a kind of surface calm, but beneath this, there are evident tensions.
  • Aggravating this situation are Pakistan’s efforts to push in terrorists in ever larger numbers.

Uncertain external environment

  • The downward spiral in its relations with China has not been arrested.
  • 15 Asia-Pacific nations, including China, have signed on to the world’s biggest trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — from which India has been excluded.
  • The RCEP, which covers almost a third of the world’s economy, is perceived as the springboard for future economic recovery across the region.
  • India’s absence from RCEP represents a cardinal failure of India’s bargaining strategy.
  • India’s isolation is evident from the fact that even a weak Pakistan is pursuing a policy of provocation— the latest provocation being the holding of Assembly elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
  • India is again being steadily marginalised in Afghanistan, where the control of the Taliban is increasing, with all other players accomodating Taliban.

Consider the question “What are the various challenges faced by the democracies across the world and India is no exception to it. In the context of this, examine the issues facing democracy in India.”

Conclusion

Though democracies across the world are facing several issues, resilience inherent in them will help them clear the chaos created by these issues.

Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc.

Faultlines in India’s economic liberalism

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : RCEP

Mains level : Paper 3- Economic liberalisation and its impact on Indian economy

The article counters the argument made by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar about the impact of economic liberalisation on India’s economy.

Impact of liberalism on India

  • India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently disapproved of free trade and globalisation.
  • About FTA’s he said that “the effect of past trade agreements has been to de-industrialise some sectors.”
  • These observations were made days after countries of the Asia-Pacific region signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
  • He said that , “in the name of openness, we have allowed subsidi[s]ed products and unfair production advantages from abroad to prevail”

Flaws in the argument

  •  There are several flaws in Mr. Jaishankar’s arguments.

1) India cannot be the part of global value chain

  • India is now truly at the margins of the regional and global economy.
  • With trade multilateralism at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) remaining sluggish, FTAs are the gateways for international trade.
  • By not being part of any major FTA, India cannot be part of the global value chains.
  • India’s competitors such as the East Asian nations, by virtue of they being part of mega-FTAs, are in an advantageous position to be part of global value chains and attract foreign investment.

2) Indian economy has bee relatively closed economy

  • India is surely a much more open economy than it was three decades ago, globally, India continues to remain relatively closed when compared to other major economies.
  • According to the WTO, India’s applied most favoured nation import tariffs are 13.8%, which is the highest for any major economy.
  • Likewise, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, on the import restrictiveness index, India figures in the ‘very restrictive’ category.
  • From 1995-2019, India has initiated anti-dumping measures 972 times (the highest in the world) trying to protect domestic industry.

3) Economic survey accepts the benefits of FTAs

  • The External Affairs Minister is contradicting government’s economic survey presented earlier this year.
  • The survey concluded that India has benefitted overall from FTAs signed so far.
  • Blaming FTAs for deindustrialisation means ignoring real problem of the Indian industry — which is the lack of competitiveness and absence of structural reforms.

4) India has been a major beneficiary of economic globalisation

  • It cannot be ignored that India has been one of the major beneficiaries of economic globalisation — a fact attested by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Post-1991, the Indian economy grew at a faster pace, ushering in an era of economic prosperity.
  • According to the economist Arvind Panagariya, poverty in rural and urban India, which stood at close to 40% in 2004-05, almost halved to about 20% by 2011-12.
  • This was due to India clocking an average economic growth rate of almost 8%.

Conclusion

Desire to make India a global destination for foreign investment is a pipe dream because it is naive to expect foreign investors to be gung-ho about investing in India if trade protectionism is the government’s official policy.

Citizenship and Related Issues

National Population Register

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Population Register

Mains level : NPR, NRC issues

The office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) has said the schedule or the questionnaire of the National Population Register (NPR) is being finalised.

Also read:

Explained: What connects the NPR, NRC and Census?

The National Population Register (NPR)

  • The NPR is a database containing a list of all usual residents of the country. Its objective is to have a comprehensive identity database of people residing in the country.
  • It is generated through house-to-house enumeration during the “house-listing” phase of the census, which is held once in 10 years.
  • The last census was in 2011, and the next will be done in 2021 (and will be conducted through a mobile phone application).
  • A usual resident for the purposes of NPR is a person who has resided in a place for six months or more and intends to reside there for another six months or more

How it is different from the Census?

  • The census involves a detailed questionnaire and there were 29 items to be filled up in the 2011 census.
  • They aimed at eliciting the particulars of every person, including age, sex, marital status, occupation, birthplace, mother tongue, religion, whether they belonged to any SC or ST etc.
  • On the other hand, NPR collects basic demographic data and biometric particulars.
  • Once the basic details of the head of the family are taken by the enumerator, an acknowledgement slip will be issued. This slip may be required for enrolment in NPR, whenever that process begins.
  • The details will be recorded in every local (village or ward), sub-district (tehsil or taluk), district and state level.
  • Once the details are recorded, there will be a population register at each of these levels. Together, they constitute the National Population Register.

What is the legal basis for the NPR?

  • While the census is legally backed by the Census Act, 1948, the NPR is a mechanism outlined in a set of rules framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Section 14A was inserted in the Citizenship Act, 1955, in 2004, providing for the compulsory registration of every citizen of India and the issue of a “national identity card” to him or her.
  • It also said the Central government may maintain a “National Register of Indian Citizens”.
  • The Registrar General India shall act as the “National Registration Authority” (and will function as the Registrar General of Citizen Registration).
  • Incidentally, the Registrar General is also the country’s Census Commissioner.

Attempt this question

Q.Enumerate the major points of the ‘Assam accord (1985)’. How is it associated with the present issue of the National Register of Citizens?

Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

Community Cord Blood Banking

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Cord Blood Banking

Mains level : Stem Cells Therapy

Community Cord Blood Banking, a stem cell banking initiative, has recently helped save the life of a girl child making it India’s first dual cord blood transplant through an unrelated donor.

Must read:

Biotechnology – Stem Cells

What is Cord Blood Banking?

  • Community Banking is a new sharing economy model of stem cell banking that was pioneered by LifeCell in India.
  • Parents who choose to store their child’s cord blood in a community bank will have access, in the event of medical need, to all of the other cord blood units in the bank.
  • A community bank is like a public cord blood bank in that the members are supporting each other, but it is also like a private bank because the members pay for this service and outsiders cannot participate.
  • It can fill an unmet health need in a country like India, where there is no national network of public banks and the population has unique genetics that are not covered by banks elsewhere in the world.
  • It is different from “hybrid” banking where both public and family banks share a laboratory, because in hybrid banks the pubic and family sides operate separately.
  • In a community bank the public and family functions are blended.

Benefits of cord blood

  • It gives protection to a baby against all conditions treatable using stem cells (own & donor).
  • It gives protection to the baby’s siblings, parents and grandparents (maternal & paternal) by providing unrelated donor stem cells.

Back2Basics: Stem Cell Therapy

  • It is a type of treatment option that uses a patient’s own stem cells to repair damaged tissue and repair injuries.
  • It is used to treat more than 80 disorders including neuromuscular and degenerative disorders. Eg. Bone-marrow transplant is used in Leukemia (blood cancer), sickle-cell anemia, immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Stem cells are usually taken from one of the two areas in the patient’s body: bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue in their upper thigh/abdomen.
  • Because it is common to remove stem cells from areas of stored body fat, some refer to stem cell therapy as “Adipose Stem Cell Therapy” in some cases.