[op-ed snap] Finding the data on missing girls

Mains : Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted For The Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Definitions of Sex Ratio at Birth; Sex Ratio

Mains level : Data problems in addressing skewed sex ratio in India


CONTEXT

The sex ratio at birth (SRB) has been dropping continuously since Census 2011, coming down from 909 girls per thousand boys in 2011-2013 to 896 girls in 2015-2017 as per the SRS Statistical Reports. 

Facts

  • Female foeticide continues to increase at an alarming rate, as per the Sample Registration System (SRS) data released for the period 2015-2017
  • In the 2014-2016 period, of the 21 large States, only two — Kerala and Chhattisgarh — had an SRB of above 950 girls per 1000 boys. Thus at present, about 5% of girls are ‘eliminated’ before they are born

Data problem

  • Niti Aayog acknowledged the seriousness of the problem in its latest report.
  • Despite all the officially acknowledged facts, WCD Minister claimed in the Lok Sabha that SRB has improved from 923 to 931 girls. She was quoting data from the Health Management Information System (HMIS), a fundamentally flawed source that largely considers home deliveries and births in government institutions.
  • Data from the HMIS are incomplete and not representative of the country as a whole as births happening in private institutions are under-reported. 
  • The report itself acknowledges that based on the estimated number of births, the number of reported births is much less in both the years considered — 2015-16 and 2018-19.

Different data sources

  • The differences among the three points of delivery become evident when SRB is calculated using data from National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4). Of the 2.5 lakh reported births in the 2010-2014 period, the distribution of births at home, government hospitals and private hospitals was 21%, 52% and 27% respectively and the corresponding SRB figures were 969, 930 and 851
  • Thus, private hospitals had a disproportionate excess of male children births, which the HMIS sample excludes
  • Sources in the Niti Aayog confirmed that they did consider HMIS data but found after statistical examination that it was unreliable and therefore used SRS.
  • Even when we only consider institutional deliveries in government hospitals, the SRB is falling. 
    • The worst regional SRB for government sector was for Northern India (885 girls per thousand boys). 
    • The picture was somewhat better for Central India (926) Southern India (940) while the performance of Eastern India (965) and Western India (959) was even better.
    • In the Northeast, where the government is the dominant health-care provider, the government sector SRB rivaled that of the private sector (both are 900).
  • That data for the private sector are more skewed has not been articulated in the NFHS reports or adequately dealt with by the Health Ministry. For two decades, in private hospitals, too often, there were more male children even when the total number of births was small in number.
  • In the special neonatal care units (SNCU) set up by the government, there was an excess of about 8% of male children in several States. The government has prioritized the expansion of SNCUs rather than deal with the issue of the ‘missing girls’. 
  • Protecting the integrity of birth statistics will help the people, governments and health professionals to focus on ameliorating the gender gaps at birth

Bias over first-born child

  • An analysis of the NFHS-4 data also revealed a bias when it comes to the first-born child — the SRB is among first-born children was 927, meaning that 2.5% of first-born girls are eliminated before birth
  • Field visits in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar revealed a massive expansion of ultrasound clinics even in remote corners. And in the absence of stringent implementation of the PCPNDT Act, practically anyone who wants to determine the sex of the foetus is able to get it done illegally. 

Insights

  • Increased deterrence in States like Maharastra, Haryana and Rajasthan in recent years has been undermined by the laxity of the biggest States.
  • Central Supervisory Board established under the PCPNDT Act has not met for over one-and-a-half years. It should have ideally met at least thrice during this period.

Supreme Court has been continuously reminding medical associations since 2002 of their obligation to follow the law, its latest reminder being the 92-page judgment against the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) earlier this year. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has to ensure that private hospitals don’t profit from discrimination against girls before birth.

Child Rights – POSCO, Child Labour Laws, NAPC, etc.

[op-ed snap] Urban spaces need better designed homes and an egalitarian housing policy

Mains : Urbanization, Their Problems & Remedies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Urban Housing; Urbanisation


Context

Homelessness is on the rise and has been for the past half a century. Eight years ago, after the 2011 Census, the demand for new housing was at 25 lakh units. With demand rising exponentially and increasing migration numbers, the current requirement for shelter stands at 30 lakh units.

Challenges in providing housing

  • Ineffective programs 
      • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana aims to provide cheaper houses quickly to low-income groups, with substantial interest subsidies on housing loans. The previous scheme, Awas Yojna, has been attempting the same since 1985 without much success. 
      • State housing boards have similar unachievable goals.
      • Every year, more houses are constructed; yet, every year the demand increases.
  • Idea of ownership
    • In the early 1950s, new houses in most cities relied on the bungalow model. The home’s ownership, independence, and property rights were paramount.
    • 70 years later, despite a 100-fold increase in city population density and land values, little has changed from that ideal.
    • The provision of shelter is still wracked by the archaic ideal of ownership and still stuck to the impracticality of old space and design ideas.
  • The unwillingness of a homeowner to rent out when the legal rights grossly favour tenants. 

Four factors need to be evaluated in the search for a new model

  1. put a halt to the growing privatization of the city – do away with more private ownership of land and buildings. The current situation creates unfortunate divides between private colonies, flats and government housing — contributing to insecurity and gated colonies
    1. Isolating quality of the Indian city has been reinforced by divisions of profession, ethnicity and economic status
    2. Cities with officially recognized subdivisions — Bengalis in their own enclave (Chittaranjan Park), lawyers in Niti Bagh, Jews in Jewtown and Parsis in Parsi Colony
    3. By discouraging homeownership, the city becomes more open and accessible to a greater number of new residents
  2. Stringent urban land reforms would be the first step in that direction
  3. Making housing part of city infrastructure projects, the government takes away land and construction from private builders and creates diverse pockets of housing in different parts of the city.
  4. Ensuring citizens have easy access to subsidized rental housing without legal rights of ownership. Rental units would allow residents to live close to the office and employment, keeping the neighborhood changing and dynamic.
  5. It is imperative that a system of tax incentives and new rental regulations be used to achieve that goal
  6. The imposition of a high un-occupancy tax on buildings that are vacant will help to inhabit almost a third of private housing that remains empty in most cities. 
  7. Stricter construction restrictions are put in place; the government should see housing as a social service and not a business venture
  8. Expanding the supply of low-income housing
  9. Current densities of residential space need more efficient modifications – smaller multifunctional and compact unit makes more sense. Given the high land values, unless there is an increase in floor area ratio (FAR) and a decrease in a home’s occupancy footprint, economies of scale will never be achieved in city residential areas
  10. Subsidies on efficient space planning, environmental considerations, and design that create shared community spaces should be encouraged and rewarded.
  11. Civic governance structures need to be separate from politics. 
    1. Brazil’s intervention in its Favelas or slum tenements upgraded individual houses after a rigorous survey of families, providing design improvements, ventilation, storage space and utilities where needed. 
    2. Singapore replaced their poorer tenements altogether with a basic high rise of low-cost low-income housing integrated into the fabric of the city. 

Conclusion

Housing in India is both inefficient, poorly constructed, thoughtlessly designed, and conforms to outmoded ideas that still hark to the bungalow prototype. Unless more thoughtfully-designed homes, with newer materials and technologies, and a more egalitarian housing policy become part of future government programs, it is these citadels of waste and decay that will remain the public face of the city.

Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.

[op-ed snap] National Medical Commission is no cure-all, many important questions remain

Mains : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : National Medical Commission Bill; Problems of MCI


Context

Whether the National Medical Commission Bill passed by Rajya Sabha addresses the concerns in medical education.

Why medical education needs regulation

  • to ensure that doctors are appropriately trained and skilled to address the prevailing disease burden
  • to ensure that medical graduates reflect a uniform standard of competence and skills
  • to ensure that only those with basic knowledge of science and aptitude for the profession get in
  • to ensure ethical practice in the interest of the patients
  • to create an environment that enables innovation and research
  • to check the corrosive impact of the process of commercialization on values and corrupt practices
  • The problem of inappropriately trained doctors of varying quality has been known for decades. The report of the Mudaliar Committee set up in 1959 pointed out how doctors had neither the skills nor the knowledge to handle primary care and infectious diseases that were a high priority concern then as now
  • standards vary greatly with competence levels dependent upon the college of instruction

Importance of NMC

  • In professionalising the MCI, with experts for all levels of education and practice
  • In setting curricula, teaching content, adding new courses and providing the much needed multi sectoral perspectives
  • It has the potential to link the disease burden and the specialties being produced. In the UK, it is the government that lays down how many specialists of which discipline needs to be produced, which the British Medical Council then adheres to. In India, the MCI has so far been operating independently. This gap can be bridged by the NMC
  • It can encourage and incentivise innovation and promote research by laying down rules that make research a prerequisite in medical colleges
  • MCI required a college to be inspected 25 times to get final recognition, each being a rent-seeking exercise. That “inspector Raj” will be done away with
  • The excessive reliance on diagnostic tests is reflective of both commercial considerations as well as weak knowledge. Students spending lakhs to become doctors resort to unethical practices to recoup their investment and pollute the system. In the US, despite tight regulations and remunerative payment systems, there is still substantial unethical practice.

Limitations of the bill

  1. Not enough to curb unethical practice and commercialisation of medical education. Today, there are 536 medical colleges with 79,627 seats. Of them, 260 or 48.5% are private with 38,000 seats. The bill allows differential pricing with freedom for the college managements to levy market determined fees on 19,000 students under the management quota. This is admission for those with the ability to pay. 
  2. Bill has proposed mandating the NEET and NEXT. NEET was mooted for three reasons: 
    1. to reduce the pain of students taking almost 25 examinations to gain admission in a college
    2. given the abysmal level of high school education, to ensure a minimum level of knowledge in science
    3. to reduce corruption by restricting student admission to those qualifying the NEET.
    4. NEXT is an idea borrowed from the UK that has been struggling to introduce it. In all such countries, the licensing exams are stretched into modules, not a multiple choice questions type of exam. Bill has virtually given up inspections for assuring the quality of education.
  3. Relying only on the NEXT as the principal substitute is to abdicate governance. Undoubtedly, there are grey areas giving scope for corrupt practices and production of substandard doctors.
  4.  The reduced oversight allowing extensive discretionary powers to government makes it virtually an advisory body
  5. permitting a registered medical practitioner to prescribe medicines
  6. While there is a need to decentralize, to give to non-medical personnel some powers and authority, it needs tight regulation and supervision
  7. continuance of the two parallel streams of producing specialists. By not bringing the DNB under the purview of the NMC, the DNB system is left open to abuse

Conclusion

Government has, under this Bill, arrogated to itself an unprecedented power to appoint people in the various arms of the proposed structure. The quality and integrity of these people will then define the future of the health system in India

Medical Education Governance in India

Explained: How India intends to make its dams safer

Mains Paper 2 : Statutory, Regulatory & Various Quasi-Judicial Bodies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Debate over Dam Safety Bill


News

  • The Dam Safety Bill was recently introduced in the Lok Sabha.

Dam Safety Bill, 2019

  • The Bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of dams to prevent disasters, and institutional mechanisms to ensure safety.
  • It applies to over 5,000 dams across the country, many of which are currently in poor conditions.
  • It has been met with significant opposition, particularly from several states that claim the bill oversteps the Centre’s mandate.

Which dams are covered?

  • All dams in India with a height above 15 metres come under the purview of the bill.
  • Dams between 10 to 15 metres of height are also covered but only if they meet certain other specifications in terms of design and structural conditions.

National Committee on Dam Safety

  • The Bill provides for the constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) which is to be chaired by the Central Water Commissioner (CWC).
  • The other members of the NCDS will be nominated by the Centre and will include up to 10 representatives of the Centre, 7 state government representatives, and 3 experts on dam safety.
  • The NCDS is to formulate policies for dam safety and to prevent dam failures.
  • In the event of a dam failure, the NCDS will analyse why the failure occurred, and suggest changes in dam safety practices to ensure there aren’t any repetitions.

National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA)

  • The bill provides for the formation of a NDSA which will be responsible for implementing the policies of the NCDS, and will resolve issues between State Dam Safety Organisations (or SDSOs) and dam owners.
  • The NDSA will also specify regulations for the inspection of dams and will provide accreditation to the various agencies working on the structure of dams and their alteration.

State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs)

  • The bill will also result in the establishment of SDSOs, and State Committees on Dam Safety (SCDSs).
  • The jurisdiction of the SDSOs will extend to all dams in that specific state.

Cross jurisdictions

  • The NDSA will, in some cases, possess this jurisdiction, for example, if a dam owned by one state is situated in another or crosses multiple states, or if a dam is owned by a central public sector undertaking.
  • SDSOs will be in charge of scrutinizing dams under their jurisdiction and maintaining a database of the same.
  • The SCDS will review the work of the SDSO, and will also have to assess the impact of dam-related projects on upstream and downstream states.
  • The bill gives the Central government the power to amend the functions of any of the above bodies through a notification, whenever it is deemed necessary to do so.

How does Bill change the functioning of dams?

  • If the bill is made into a law, then dam owners will have to provide a dam safety unit in each dam.
  • The dam safety unit will be required to inspect the dam before and after the monsoon session, and also during and after natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
  • The bill requires dam owners to prepare emergency action plans. Risk-assessment studies will also have to be undertaken by owners, regularly.
  • At specified, regular intervals, and in the event of either a modification to the dam’s structure or a natural event that may impact the structure, dam owners will have to produce a comprehensive safety evaluation by experts.

Issues with bill

  • The primary objection to the bill is that is unconstitutional, as water is one of the items on the State List.
  • Tamil Nadu, which currently possesses four dams situated in Kerala, is opposed to the Bill as it would result in the four dams (currently regulated through long-standing agreements with Kerala) falling under the NDSA.
  • This will be doing away with Tamil Nadu’s rights over the maintenance of the dam.
  • The Bill states that the NCDS will be chaired by the Central Water Commissioner, but the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that such a scenario is prohibited, as it involves the CWC, an advisor, functioning both as a regulator and the head of the NCDS.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Sardine Run

Mains Paper 1 : Climatic Change |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sardine Run, Phenology

Mains level : Climate change and its impact



News

Sardine Run

  • The sardine run is well known among residents of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline that runs along South Africa’s east coast.
  • Every year in winter, sardines migrate close to the shoreline. The event is well documented in the local press.
  • The sardine run is of great economic importance because it provides prime fishing opportunities and attracts large numbers of tourists who come for dolphin and shark sightings.
  • Similar migration patterns are seen in Sweden, Chile, and the Pacific Ocean.

A phenological event

  • The sardine run is what scientists term a “phenological event” — a biological event that occurs at the same time every year.
  • Phenological events are standard for plants and include the appearance of leaf and flower buds, blossoming, fruit development, fruit harvest and leaf colouration and fall.
  • For animals, the events are more varied and include hibernation, hatching, animal calls, moulting, and in the case of birds, game and fish (among others) migration.

Why is phenology so important?

  • Scientists have become very interested in phenology over the past few decades, because it’s one of the most sensitive biological indicators of climate change.
  • As temperatures increase, the plants or animals experience their triggers for spring earlier and their triggers for winter later.
  • As a result, many of these phenological events are occurring at different times of the year.

Nature’s biological clock

  • Phenological shifts are specific to species and location.
  • For example, Granny Smith apple trees are flowering approximately four days earlier for each 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature in Poland.
  • In South Africa, these Granny Smith apples are flowering two days earlier for each 1°C increase in temperature.
  • For many species these events are happening earlier. This is because they are spring events and, under climate change, the temperatures that are perceived by plants and animals to be the onset of spring are occurring in late winter.
  • For events that occur in autumn, the events are often occurring later, because the cooling that marks the start of winter has not yet occurred.

Why study Sardines?

  • A recently published paper reports sardine run between 1946 and 2012 the South African coast.
  • Researchers explored how the dates of the sardine run have changed over the 65-year period, and statistically examined oceanographic and climatological factors to determine the cause of this change.
  • It’s also known that climate affects the timing of phenological events globally, including marine environments.
  • The study found that sardines arrived off the coast of Durban increasingly late — at a rate of 1.3 days later per decade.

Why delay in sardines run?

  • Through analysis comparing the constructed phenological record with climate and ocean data, the study concluded that the delay could be caused by two things.
  • First, the ocean water is warmer. Sardines can tolerate a maximum surface temperature of 21°C. But this temperature isn’t being reached consistently at the same time every year due to changes in ocean temperature.
  • The second factor is mid-latitude cyclones. There have been an increasing number of these in the east coast region.

Why it matters

  • The delay is concerning. First, the large influx of sardines is important for the fishery industry.
  • If the sardine run occurs at an unexpected time, or doesn’t occur at all, supply chains are disrupted and fishermen are placed at economic risk.
  • The unpredictability is also a problem for tourism. The sardine run attracts visitors who are keen on shark and dolphin sightings and may leave disappointed.
  • The delays in the sardine run also result in food shortages for predators such as sharks, which feed on the sardines.
  • This is termed a species mismatch, and is increasingly observed as a result of climate change induced phenological shifts, where predators and their prey are no longer in the same place at the same time.
  • This is because each species has its own unique trigger for a particular activity.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Sanchi Stupa’s contribution to Indian architecture

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sanchi Stupa

Mains level : Ancient Buddhist architecture



News

Sanchi Stupa

  • The Sanchi Stupa is one of India’s primary Buddhist sites and contains some of the oldest stone structures in the country.
  • One of the first accounts of the Sanchi Stupa came from the British captain Edward Fell in 1819.
  • It was a further 93 years before the site was ‘rediscovered’ by John Marshall, and an additional seven before it was restored to its current
  • The magnificent carvings and inscriptions, are reflective of Indian architecture from the Mauryan era (3rd century BCE) to its later medieval-era decline (around 11th century CE).
  • The Sanchi complex is famous for the Mahastupa (Great Stupa), the Ashokan pillar (with its inscriptions) and its signature ornate torans (gateways).
  • The style of the torans and fencing is said to mimic the bamboo craft of the surrounding areas.
  • If one looks at the design of the fencing around the stupa, as well as the way the torans have been designed they’re reminiscent of bamboo craft and tied bamboo.

Construction

  • Stupas are semi-spherical domes with square bases that contain small receptacles for relics. There is generally a path for circumambulation around the outer structure of the stupa. They were initially built outside monasteries by pilgrims.
  • Sanchi is regarded as one of the first monastic stupas.
  • Nestled in the Vindhya Range, 46 km from Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal, the historical city of Sanchi also boasts 50-odd other monuments, including temples and monasteries.
  • The Mahastupa was built by King Ashoka (304-232 BCE) in the 3rd century BCE to house the relics of Gautam Buddha (obtained by opening the eight primary stupas located at places relevant to Buddha’s life).
  • These were further scattered across 84,000 stupas to spread the influence of Buddhism.
  • Inscriptions on the southern toran vouch that the ivory workers of erstwhile Vidisha (now Besnagar) worked on these monuments, translating the same intricate talent onto stone.

Destruction and restoration

  • After the reign of the Mauryas, the Sanchi Stupa was vandalised by Pushyamitra Shungain the mid-2nd century BCE.
  • It was later encased in stone, rebuilt and expanded by future Shunga kings during 187-78 BCE.
  • The four signature torans – embellished with scenes from the Jataka Tales, Ashoka’s visit to the Bodhi tree, the war for Buddha’s relics, etc – were also later additions, constructed by the Satavahanas between the 1st century BCE and 1st century CE.

Connection with Buddhism

  • Interestingly, Buddha never visited Sanchi.
  • Neither did foreign travellers like Hiuen Tsang, who extensively documented the holy Buddhist circuit in India, but did not mention Sanchi in his writings.
  • Marshall in his The Monuments of Sanchi (1938), wrote that Sanchi was not as revered as other Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.
  • Scholars like Alfred A Foucher say that the iconic depictions of Buddha (as the Bodhi tree, a rider-less horse, an empty throne, etc.) at Sanchi are products of Graeco-Buddhist architectural interaction.

Inspiration for future architects

  • The lion capital at Sanchi is similar to the one at Sarnath. The main difference between the two is that the monument at Sanchi depicts an abacus instead of a chakra.
  • However, the influence of the Sanchi Stupa on our national psyche goes beyond the lion capital; it inspired the design of several modern buildings, chief among which is the modern-day Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Architect Edwin Lutyens was asked by Lord Charles Hardinge to incorporate symbols of India’s architectural past into the building, and modelled the colonnade to carry a Sanchi-style dome and balustrade railing.
  • In 1963, the dome of Kolkata’s Birla Planetarium was constructed to mirror the one at Sanchi.

With inputs from:

https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/on-a-buddhist-trail-in-sanchi/article28771908.ece

History- Important places, persons in news

[pib] Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) for fertilizers

Mains Paper 3 : Issues Related To Farm Subsidies & Msp |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nutrient based subsidies for fertilizers

Mains level : various initiatives for reducing input costs for farmers


News

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy Rates for P&K Fertilizers for the year 2019-20.

Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme

  • The NBS Scheme for fertilizer was initiated in the year 2010 and is being implemented by the Department of Fertilizers.
  • Government is making available fertilizers, Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers.
  • Under the scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea based on the nutrient content present in them.
  • It is largely for secondary nutrients like N, P, S and K and micronutrients which are very important for crop growth and development.
  • In India, urea is the only controlled fertilizer and is sold at a statutory notified uniform sale price.

What NBS provides?

  • The scheme allows the manufacturers, marketers, and importers to fix the MRP of the Phosphatic and Potash fertilizers at reasonable levels.
  • The MRP will be decided considering the domestic and international prices of P&K fertilizers, inventory level in the country and the exchange rates.
  • The NBS ensures that adequate quantity of P&K is made available to the farmers at a statutory controlled price.
Fertilizer Sector reforms – NBS, bio-fertilizers, Neem coating, etc.

[pib] ISRO Technical Liaison Unit

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ITLU

Mains level : International collaboration for ISRO missions


News

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi has approved the setting up of ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow, Russia.

Background

  • Department of Space has instituted technical Liaison Units, namely ISRO Technical Liaison Units (ITLU) at Washington, USA and Paris, France.
  • The prime objective of ITLU is to liaise with various Government and space agencies in USA and Europe, respectively.
  • Space cooperation has been one of the major links between India and Russia almost from the beginning of the space era and currently both sides are actively pursuing interactions in diversified areas of space programme.
  • Apart from intensifying cooperation with Russia, India has expanded its space cooperation with countries near to Russia.

 ITLU at Moscow

  • The ITLU at Moscow will enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and neighbouring countries for realization of the programmatic targets of ISRO.
  • The Liaison Officer, deputed at ITLU from ISRO provides technical information about the developments in research and technology to government agencies and industries in the respective countries.
  • They also support the ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO on the matters referred.
  • The ITLU Moscow office would be managed by an ISRO Scientist/Engineer designated as “Counsellor (Space)” on deputation, deputed from ISRO and supported by a staff locally sourced.
  • The process is planned to be completed within six months from the date of approval.

Benefits

  • ISRO will be able to collaborate with Space agencies/industries in Russia and neighbouring countries for mutually synergetic outcomes.
  • ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme requires development of some of the key technologies and establishment of specialized facilities, which are essential to support life in space.
  • For ambitious missions like Gaganyaan it is prudent to avail technical cooperation from International space agencies, who have already demonstrated their technical capabilities in specific areas.
  • Russia, being one of the space faring nations, it is envisaged to collaborate with Russia extensively in various fields of relevance.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL)

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : KABIL

Mains level : Mining sector of India


News

Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL)

  • A joint venture company namely Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) is to be set up with the participation of three Central Public Sector Enterprises namely, National Aluminium Company Ltd.(NALCO), Hindustan Copper Ltd.(HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd. (MECL).
  • The objective of constituting KABIL is to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to Indian domestic market.
  • While KABIL would ensure mineral security of the Nation, it would also help in realizing the overall objective of import substitution.
  • The equity participation between NALCO, HCL and MECL is in the ratio of 40:30:30.

Why need KABIL?

  • The sustained source of mineral and metal commodities is imperative for the transportation and manufacturing segment. R
  • ecalling the commitment at the UN Climate Change Conference, Pairs, 2015, where India has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and opting a greener mode of transportation byemphasizing upon Electric Vehicle Mobility.
  • It is therefore important to ensure energy storage through batteries.
  • Among such twelve minerals identified as strategic minerals, which have meagre resource base, Lithium Cobalt are significant.

What will KABIL do?

  • The KABIL would carry out identification, acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and meeting country’s requirement of these minerals.
  • The sourcing of these minerals or metals is to done by creating trading opportunities, G2G collaborations with the producing countries or strategic acquisitions or investments in the exploration and mining assets of these minerals in the source countries.
  • The new company will help in building partnerships with other mineral rich countries like Australia and those in Africa and South America, where Indian expertise in exploration and mineral processing will be mutually beneficial bringing about new economic opportunities.
Coal and Mining Sector