[op-ed snap] Don’t pick and choose

Mains Paper 3 : Effects Of Liberalization On The Economy, Changes In Industrial Policy and their effects on Industrial Growth |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing Much

Mains level : Whether incentives by government work in propelling industries' growth


CONTEXT

Should the government be in the business of “picking winners” — identifying particular industries that it sees as worthy of promotion and offering special incentives targeted at these?

Categorisation of industries

  • The latest Union Budget has sought to do this in respect of certain “sunrise” and “advanced technology” sectors.
  • Thus, it is proposed that global companies will be invited to set up mega-manufacturing plants for semiconductor fabrication, solar photovoltaic cells, lithium storage batteries and computer hardware.
  • Such investments will be allowed income tax exemption against capital expenditures incurred.
  • Electrical vehicles (EV) – Equally significant is the focus on leapfrogging and making India a “global hub” for manufacturing of electrical vehicles (EV).
  • Not only will the goods and services tax rate on EVs be reduced from 12 to 5 per cent, consumers will be provided income tax deduction of up to Rs 2.5 lakh on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase these vehicles.
  • High import cost – On the face of it, there are persuasive arguments for such industry-specific schemes. In 2018-19, electronic items accounted for $55.47 billion out of India’s total imports of $514.03 billion, next only to petroleum ($140.92 billion).
  • Balance-of-payments – Emphasis on greater domestic manufacture of the former, and giving a fillip to renewable energy and battery-powered vehicles in the case of the latter, certainly makes sense from a balance-of-payments standpoint.
  • Success elsewhere – The East Asian tiger economies, China and Japan, have all used “industrial policy” — via a mix of subsidies, tax breaks, directed bank lending and even import protection — to achieve global leadership in core sectors.
  • Examples – Japan’s steel industry, South Korea’s shipbuilders, Taiwan’s chip foundries and China’s solar panel or telecom equipment makers are products of such targeted government intervention.
  • Phased manufacturing programme (PMP) – India’s auto industry — the country’s exports of vehicles and components/parts added up to $14.28 billion in the last fiscal — is equally the result of a phased manufacturing programme (PMP) that forced the likes of Suzuki to raise local content in their cars by developing a domestic vendor base.

Arguments against it

  • Ineffective Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme – The idea of attracting “mega” investments in electronic manufacturing is old wine: There’s already a Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme from 2012, under which not a single project has taken off the ground.
  • PMP is an exception – The success story of PMP is an exception that only proves the general rule at least in India — about the government’s limited ability to promote select industries through a time-bound programme of incentives, without risking return of protectionism or capture by special interests.

Conclusion

  • The government should stick to providing public goods (education, health, law and order, contract enforcement etc) and extend investment-linked deductions across sectors.
  • The job of “picking winners” is better left to private industry. EVs are now 50-100 per cent costlier than regular vehicles.
  • Continuous technology innovation will ensure they will, like solar power, get cheaper.
  • And consumers will definitely buy when there is reliable charging infrastructure.
Industrial Sector Updates – Industrial Policy, Ease of Doing Business, etc.

[op-ed snap] Quota politics

Mains Paper 2 : Schemes For Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing Much

Mains level : Whether OBCs can be granted SC status by state government


CONTEXT

The Uttar Pradesh government’s latest attempt to extend the benefits available to Scheduled Castes to 17 castes that are now under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list has no legal basis and appears to be aimed at making political gains ahead of a round of by-elections to the State Assembly.

Constitutional Provisions

  • It is fairly well- known that Parliament alone is vested with the power to include or exclude any entry in the SC list under Article 341 of the Constitution.
  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot has clarified this position in Parliament, while suggesting that the State government follow due process.
  • Uttar Pradesh has unsuccessfully tried to get some backward castes declared as Scheduled Castes in the past, once during the tenure of Mulayam Singh, and again during the rule of Akhilesh Yadav.

Verdict in a previous matter

  • In 2016, a notification was issued stating that 17 castes were to be treated as Scheduled Castes.
  • The matter reached the Allahabad High Court, but in an interim order in March 2017, the court observed that in case any certificates were issued on the basis of the notification, these would be subject to the outcome of the litigation.
  • More than two years later, this order has been utilised by the Yogi Adityanath government to restore the proposal in an oblique manner.
  • Though it is quite apparent that it is not a judicial directive, the State government has asked authorities in all districts to issue certificates to those from these castes.

Problem with this provision

  • No doubt, these 17 castes comprise the most disadvantaged among the backward classes.
  • Categorising the backward classes into two or three sections has been seen as one way to apportion the benefits of reservation among many social groups.
  • In such an exercise, these castes may qualify for a compartment within the OBC quota.
  • However, treating them as Scheduled Castes is beset with problems. For one thing, they may not qualify to be treated as SCs because they may not have suffered untouchability and social discrimination.

Political Motives

  • Given the legal limitations on the State government’s power to expand the SC list, it is not difficult to discern a political motive behind any move to confer SC status on sections of the OBC.
  • When the Samajwadi Party was in power, one could say moving them to the SC list would have freed up more opportunities for the influential and politically dominant Yadavs in the OBC category.
  • For the present BJP regime, the move could help carve out a vote bank from the newly declared SC groups.
  • The Bahujan Samaj Party, which has opposed the move both in Parliament and outside, understands that new additions would shrink opportunities for the existing castes in the SC list. That is why its leader, Ms. Mayawati, has hinted that the reservation pie can be shared among more claimants only if its size is increased.

Conclusion

The U.P. government would be well-advised to avoid misleading vulnerable sections with the promise of SC status.

Minority Issues – Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

[op-ed of the day] Reclaiming the Indo-Pacific narrative

Mains Paper 2 : Effect Of Policies & Politics Of World On India'S Interests |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing Much

Mains level : ASEAN's approach on indo Pacific


Note- Op-ed of the day is the most important editorial of the day. Aspirants should try to cover at least this editorial on a daily basis to have command over most important issues in news. It will help in enhancing and enriching the content in mains answers. Please do not miss at any cost.

CONTEXT

  • At the 34th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok in June, its member states finally managed to articulate a collective vision for the Indo-Pacific region in a document titled “The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”.
  • At a time when the geopolitical contestation between China and the United States is escalating, it has become imperative for the ASEAN to reclaim the strategic narrative in its favour in order to underscore its centrality in the emerging regional order.
  • An awareness of the emergence of a great power contest around its vicinity pervades the document as it argues that “the rise of material powers, i.e. economic and military, requires avoiding the deepening of mistrust, miscalculation and patterns of behaviour based on a zero-sum game”.

 

Change in approach

Despite individual differences and bilateral engagements ASEAN member states have with the U.S. and China, the regional grouping can now claim to have a common approach as far as the Indo-Pacific region is concerned and which the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha, suggested “should also complement existing frameworks of cooperation at the regional and sub-regional levels and generate tangible and concrete deliverables for the benefit of the region’s peoples”.

Code of Conduct in the China Sea

  • Tensions continue to rise over the militarisation of this waterway; in June, a Philippine fishing boat sank after it was rammed by a Chinese vessel.
  • It is hoped that the first draft of the code for negotiations will see the light by this year end.
  • With these moves, the ASEAN is clearly signalling its intent to be in the driving seat as it seeks to manage the geopolitical churn around it.

In response to other major powers

  • The release of the U.S. Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy report in June — it focusses on preserving a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in the face of a more “assertive China” — was perhaps the final push that was needed to bring the ASEAN discussion on the subject to a close.
  • Japan had already unveiled its Free and Open Indo-Pacific concept in 2016, while Australia released its Foreign Policy White Paper in 2017, detailing its Indo-Pacific vision centred around security, openness and prosperity.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi articulated India’s Indo-Pacific vision at the Shangri-la Dialogue in 2018, with India even setting up an Indo-Pacific wing in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) earlier this year.

The framework

  • The ASEAN is signalling that it would seek to avoid making the region a platform for major power competition.
  • Instead its frame of reference is economic cooperation and dialogue.
  • The fact that the ASEAN has gone ahead and articulated an Indo-Pacific outlook is in itself a seeming challenge to China which refuses to validate the concept.
  • But the ASEAN’s approach is aimed at placating China by not allowing itself to align with the U.S.’s vision for the region completely.

India’s Response

  • India has welcomed the ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific as it sees “important elements of convergence” with its own approach towards the region.
  • During U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to India in June, India was categorical that it is “for something” in the Indo-Pacific and “not against somebody”, seeking to carefully calibrate its relations with the U.S. and China in this geopolitically critical region.
  • As External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has suggested “[and] that something is peace, security, stability, prosperity and rules”.
  • India continues to invest in the Indo-Pacific; on the sidelines of the recent G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, Mr. Modi held discussions on the Indo-Pacific region with U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a focus on improving regional connectivity and infrastructure development.

Conclude

With the ASEAN finally coming to terms with its own role in the Indo-Pacific, the ball is now in the court of other regional stakeholders to work with the regional grouping to shape a balance of power in the region which favours inclusivity, stability and economic prosperity.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-ASEAN

Explained: What does it mean for India to become a $5-trillion economy

Mains Paper 3 : Indian Economy |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Read the attached story


News

  • It is now clear that the main goal of the government will be to make India a $5-trillion economy by the end of this term.
  • But what does it mean for India to become a $5-trillion economy? How likely is India to achieve the target? Will every Indian gain from it?

What is the meaning of becoming a $5-trillion economy?

  • In 2014, India’s GDP was $1.85 trillion. Today it is $2.7 trillion and India is the sixth-largest economy in the world.
  • Essentially the reference is to the size of an economy as measured by the annual GDP.
  • As a thumb rule, the bigger the size of the economy, the more prosperous it can be expected to be.
  • The GDP of an economy is the total monetary value of all goods and services produced in an economy within a year.
  • For most international comparisons, GDP is calculated via the production method (that is, adding up the value-added at each step) and the monetary value is arrived at by using current prices in US $.
  • In other words, GDP is a way among countries (economies) to keep score about who is ahead.

Global comparison

  • The first column of the table alongside provides a snapshot of where India stood as of 2018 according to World Bank.
  • In terms of overall GDP, this data shows that India is very close to overtaking the United Kingdom.
  • It also shows that Indonesia’s GDP is almost one-third of India’s.

Are Indians the sixth-richest people in the world?

  • That India is the sixth-largest economy does not necessarily imply that Indians are the sixth-richest people on the planet.
  • The GDP is the first and most rudimentary way to keep score among economies.
  • If one wants to better understand the wellbeing of the people in an economy, one should look at GDP per capita.
  • In other words, GDP divided by the total population. This gives a better sense of how an average resident of an economy might be fairing.

Income Inequality in India

  • If one looks at the GDP per person data in the second column of the table, it reveals a very different, and indeed a more accurate picture of the level of prosperity in the respective economies.
  • For instance, on average, a UK resident’s income was 21 times that of an average Indian in 2018.
  • Still, the richest 1% of Indians own 58.4% of wealth. The richest 10 % of Indians own 80.7 % of the wealth.

Can India achieve the target by 2024?

  • The answer would depend essentially on the assumption about economic growth.
  • If India grows at 12% nominal growth (that is 8% real GDP growth and 4% inflation), then from the 2018 level of $2.7 trillion, India would reach the 5.33 trillion mark in 2024.
  • However, there’s a glitch. Last year, India grew by just 6.8%.
  • This year, most observers expect it to grow by just 7%. So India must keep growing at a rapid pace to attain this target.

How will GDP per capita change when India hits the $5-trillion mark?

  • If by 2024 India’s GDP is $5.33 trillion and India’s population is 1.43 billion (according to UN population projection).
  • India’s per capita GDP would be $3,727.
  • This would be considerably more than what it is today, still it will be lower than Indonesia’s GDP per capita in 2018.

Water Desalination

Mains Paper 3 : S&T - Applications In Everyday Life |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Reverse Osmosis

Mains level : Need for water desalination



News

Background

  • With warnings from India’s top policy-makers and reports of major cities in India struggling to stave off a water crisis, there’s talk about exploring technologies to harness fresh water.
  • The one idea that’s been around for a while is desalination, or obtaining freshwater from salt water.
  • Desalination technology is not an esoteric idea — the city of Chennai already uses desalinated water. However, it only has a limited application, given the operation costs.

What is desalination technology?

  • To convert salt water into freshwater, the most prevalent technology in the world is Reverse Osmosis (RO). RO desalination came about in the late 1950s.
  • A plant pumps in salty or brackish water, filters separate the salt from the water, and the salty water is returned to the sea. Fresh water is sent to households.
  • Osmosis involves ‘a solvent (such as water) naturally moving from an area of low solute concentration, through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration.
  • A reverse osmosis system applies an external pressure to reverse the natural flow of solvent and so seawater or brackish water is pressurized against one surface of the membrane.
  • This causes salt-depleted water to move across the membrane, releasing clean water from the low-pressure side’.

Why seawater needs desalination?

  • Seawater has Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) — a measure of salinity close to 35,000 parts per million (ppm), or equivalent to 35 g of salt per one litre/kg of water.
  • An effective network of RO plants reduces this down to about 200-500 ppm.
  • There are about 18,000 desalination plants in the world across 150 countries and nearly half of Israel’s water is sourced through desalination.

How popular is it in India?

  • For now, India’s real-world experience with desalination plants is restricted to Chennai.
  • Years of water crises in Chennai saw the government set up two desalination plants between 2010 and 2013.
  • These were at Minjur, around 30 km north of Chennai, in 2010, and Nemmeli, 50 km south of Chennai, in 2013.
  • Each supplies 100 million litres a day (MLD); together they meet little under a fourth of the city’s water.

What are the problems with RO plants?

  • Because RO plants convert seawater to fresh water, the major environmental challenge they pose is the deposition of brine (highly concentrated salt water) along the shores.
  • Ever since the Chennai plants have started to function, fishermen have complained that the brine being deposited along the seashore is triggering changes along the coastline and reducing the availability of prawn, sardine and mackerel.
  • Environmentalists second this saying that hyper salinity along the shore affects plankton, which is the main food for several of these fish species.
  • Moreover, the high pressure motors needed to draw in the seawater end up sucking in small fish and life forms, thereby crushing and killing them — again a loss of marine resource.
  • Another unexpected problem, an environmentalist group has alleged, was that the construction of the RO plants required troves of groundwater.
  • This was freshwater that was sucked out and has since been replaced by salt water, rendering it unfit for the residents around the desalination plants.

Stressful power use

  • On an average, it costs about ₹900 crore to build a 100 MLD-plant and, as the Chennai experience has shown, about five years for a plant to be set up.
  • To remove the salt required, there has to be a source of electricity, either a power plant or a diesel or battery source.
  • Estimates have put this at about 4 units of electricity per 1,000 litres of water. Therefore, each of the Chennai plants needs about 400,000 units of electricity.
  • It is estimated that it cost ₹3 to produce 100 litres of potable water.

Is RO water healthy?

  • In the early days of RO technology, there were concerns that desalinated water was shorn of vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium and carbonates collectively referred to as TDS.
  • Higher quantities of these salts in desalination plants tend to corrode the membranes and filtration system in these plants.
  • So ideally, a treatment plant would try to keep the TDS as low as possible.
  • Highly desalinated water has a TDS of less than 50 milligrams per litre, is pure, but does not taste like water.
  • Anything from 100 mg/l to 600 mg/l is considered as good quality potable water.
  • Most RO plants, including the ones in Chennai, put the water through a ‘post-treatment’ process whereby salts are added to make TDS around 300 mg/l.
  • Several of the home-RO systems that are common in affluent Indian homes, too employ post-treatment and add salts to water.

LTTD: the technological alternatives

  • The alternative desalination technology used is thermal energy sourced from the ocean. There is a low-temperature thermal desalination (LTTD) technique.
  • It works on the principle that water in the ocean 1,000 or 2,000 feet below is about 4º C to 8º C colder than surface water.
  • So, salty surface water is collected in a tank and subject to high pressure (via an external power source). This pressured water vaporizes and this is trapped in tubes or a chamber.
  • Cold water plumbed from the ocean depths is passed over these tubes and the vapour condenses into fresh water and the resulting salt diverted away.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Highlights of the report: Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019

Mains level : Malnutrition in India


News

State of deficit

  • The Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019, a report by the MoSPI and The World Food Programme lists Maharashtra as one of the six States with high levels of stunting and underweight.
  • The State also has a prevalence of stunting and wasting.
  • Here’s a look at the highlights of the report and overall malnutrition in Maharashtra.

What is malnutrition?

  • Malnutrition, in all its forms, includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight) inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related non-communicable diseases.

Types of malnutrition

  • Moderate Acute malnutrition (MAM): Children aged between six months and 59 months who are between the -2 and -3 standard deviation for weight for height (wasting) score.
  • Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM): Children aged between six months and 59 months and have a weight for height (wasting) score 3 standard deviations below the median, have a mid-upper-arm circumference less than 115 mm, or the presence of bilateral edema.
  • Severe Chronic Malnutrition (SCM): Calculated with the Z-score defined as a height-for-age index less than –3 standard deviations from the mean weight of a reference population of children of the same height and/or having edema.
  • Stunting: Calculation is based on height-for-age. It is is associated with an underdeveloped brain, poor learning capacity, and increased nutrition-related diseases.
  • Wasting: Calculated by weight-for-height. It is associated with decreased fat mass. Also known as wasting syndrome, it causes muscle and fat tissue to waste away.
  • Underweight: Calculated by the weight-for-age formula. It is a body weight considered to be too low to be healthy. It can reflect both stunting and wasting.

Food and malnutrition in the country

  • Over the last 20 years, total food grain production in India increased from 198 million tonnes to 269 million tonnes.
  • Despite increase in food production, the rate of malnutrition in India remains very high.
  • In the food basket, it turns out that in both urban and rural areas, the share of expenditure on cereal and cereal substitutes has declined between 1972-73 and 2011-12, from 57% to 25% in rural areas and from 36% to 19% in urban areas.
  • The energy and protein intake from cereals has decreased in both rural and urban India, largely because of increased consumption of other food items such as milk and dairy products, oils and fat and relatively unhealthy food such as fast food, processed food, and sugary beverages.
  • The consumption of unhealthy energy and protein sources is much higher in urban areas.

Double burden of malnutrition

  • For several decades India was dealing with only one form of malnutrition– undernutrition.
  • In the last decade, the double burden which includes both over- and undernutrition, is becoming more prominent and poses a new challenge for India.
  • From 2005 to 2016, prevalence of low (< 18.5 kg/m2) body mass index (BMI) in Indian women decreased from 36% to 23% and from 34% to 20% among Indian men.
  • During the same period, the prevalence of overweight/obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) increased from 13% to 21% among women and from 9% to 19% in men.
  • Children born to women with low BMI are more likely to be stunted, wasted, and underweight compared to children born to women with normal or high BMI.

States Performance

  • The highest levels of stunting and underweight are found in Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and
  • At the national level, among social groups, the prevalence of stunting is highest amongst children from the STs (43.6 percent), followed by SCs (42.5 percent) and OBCs (38.6 percent).
  • The prevalence of stunting in children from ST in Rajasthan, Odisha and Meghalaya is high while stunting in children from both ST and SC is high in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.
  • Prevalence of wasting is highest in Jharkhand (29.0%) and above the national average in eight more States (Haryana, Goa, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, MP, Karnataka and Gujarat) and three UTs (Puducherry, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli).
  • Prevalence of underweight is also highest in Jharkhand (47.8%) and is above the National average in seven more States (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, UP, MP and Bihar) and one UT (Dadra and Nagar Haveli).
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)

Mains Paper 3 : Major Crops & Cropping Patterns |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ZBNF

Mains level : Utility of ZBNF in doubling farmers income


News

  • Subhash Palekar, the man behind the idea of ZBNF came in the Union Budget speech of FM where she talked of the need to “go back to basics” and replicate this innovative model that can help in doubling our farmers.

What is Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)?

  • ZBNF is a set of farming methods, and also a grassroots peasant movement, which has spread to various states in India.
  • According to the “zero budget” concept, farmers won’t have to spend any money on fertilisers and other agricultural inputs.
  • Over 98% of the nutrients that crops require — carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, solar energy — are already present in nature.
  • The remaining 1.5-2% are taken from the soil, after microorganisms convert them from “non-available” to “available” forms, for intake by the roots.
  • This is where the special package of practices which, Palekar says he perfected during the 1990s at his 36-acre farm in Belura village of Amravati district in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Vidarbha region, comes in.

Four Wheels of ZBNF

  • The “four wheels” of ZBNF are ‘Jiwamrita’, ‘Bijamrita’, ‘Mulching’ and ‘Waaphasa’.
  • Jiwamrita is a fermented mixture of cow dung and urine (of desi breeds), jaggery, pulses flour, water and soil from the farm bund.
  • This isn’t a fertiliser, but just a source of some 500 crore micro-organisms that can convert all the necessary “non-available” nutrients into “available” form.
  • Bijamrita is a mix of desi cow dung and urine, water, bund soil and lime that is used as a seed treatment solution prior to sowing.
  • Mulching, or covering the plants with a layer of dried straw or fallen leaves, is meant to conserve soil moisture and keep the temperature around the roots at 25-32 degrees Celsius, which allows the microorganisms to do their job.
  • Waaphasa, or providing water to maintain the required moisture-air balance, also achieves the same objective.

Astra’s of ZBNF against pest attacks

  • Palekar also advocates the use of special ‘Agniastra’, ‘Bramhastra’ and ‘Neemastra’ concoctions — again based on desi cow urine and dung, plus pulp from leaves of neem, white datura, papaya, guava and pomegranates — for controlling pest and disease attacks.

Is it organic farming?

  • ZBNF uses farmyard manure or vermicompost mostly produced from Eisenia fedita, a species imported from Europe and Canada.
  • These foreign earthworms accumulate heavy metals like lead, arsenic and cadmium, which get transferred into their castings that, far from being manure, are actually toxic to the soil.
  • So, the soil fertility, instead of improving, only reduces”.
  • He says that in ZBNF, the work of making nutrients available to plants is done exclusively by microorganisms from Jiwamrita and “local earthworms”.

However, not all farmers are convinced about ZBNF. Why?

  • The cost of labour for collection of dung and urine, apart from the other inputs used in preparation of Jiwamrita, Neemastra or Bramhastra is quit higher.
  • Keeping cows is also a cost that has to be accounted for. Farmers cannot afford to keep desi cows that yield very little milk.
  • If ZBNF is practiced in isolation, the crop grown would be vulnerable to attacks by insects and pests which may move there from fields where chemical pesticides are being sprayed.
  • Many state governments, including Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka have openly supported ZBNF after studying its efficacy.
Agricultural Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

Jaipur gets UNESCO World Heritage tag

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Heritage cities in India

Mains level : Read the attached story



News

  • The Walled City of Jaipur, known for its iconic architectural legacy and vibrant culture made its entry into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
  • ICOMOS (The International Council on Monuments and Sites) had inspected the city in 2018, post its nomination.
  • With this, India now has 38 World Heritage Sites , that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.

About Jaipur

  • The historic walled city of Jaipur in Rajasthan was founded in 1727 AD under the patronage of Sawai Jai Singh II.
  • It serves as the capital city of the culturally-rich state of Rajasthan.

Why Jaipur?

  • The City of Jaipur is an exceptional urban example in indigenous city planning and construction in South Asia.
  • Unlike other medieval cities of the region, Jaipur was deliberately planned as a new city on the plains open for trade as opposed to hilly terrain and military cities of past.
  • In town planning, it shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas that resulted in the form of the city.
  • The site selected within the valley that lay to the south of Amber hills was comparatively flat and unmarred by any previous construction.
  • Besides an exemplary planning, its iconic monuments such as the Govind Dev temple, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal excel in artistic and architectural craftsmanship of the period.
  • Jaipur is an expression of the astronomical skills, living traditions, unique urban form and exemplary foresighted city planning of an 18th century city from India.
  • Jaipur is an exemplary development in town planning and architecture that demonstrates amalgamation and important interchange of several ideas over the late medieval period.

 About the World Heritage Committee

  • The World Heritage Committee is composed of representatives of 21 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention who meet annually.
  • The Committee is in charge of implementing the Convention.
  • To date, 1,092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Back2Basics

India’s first heritage city: Ahmedabad

  • Walled City of Ahmedabad, founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century, was declared India’s first World Heritage City in 2017
  • The 5.5 km walled city area with an approximate population of four lakh, living in century old wooden residences in around 600 pols or neighborhoods, is regarded as a living heritage.
  • The city on the eastern banks of Sabarmati river presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs, as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods.
  • There are 2600 heritage sites and over two dozen ASI protected monuments and sites in the walled city.
History- Important places, persons in news