Unsung Martyrs of Mangarh

In News

  1. The courageous tribal martyrs led by Govind Guru fought the British rulers in the early 20th century.

Govind Guru

  • Birth:
    • Born on 20th December, 1858, in a nomadic community in the Dungarpur-Banswara region of Rajasthan.
  • Influence of:
    • Govind Guru was influenced by the teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati to work for the socio-religious upliftment of people from the Bhil community. 
  • Worked for bettering tribal communities:
    • While the colonial state was engaged in an organised loot of India’s resources, Govind Guru drew from Indian traditions and ideals to promote harmony amongst the tribal communities
  • Samp Sabha:
    • He was 25 when he founded the Samp Sabha in 1883. 
    • The word samp means interaction and giving up evil practices.
    • It was formed to bring harmony between tribal communities.
    • From 1903 onwards, Mangarh hill became famous for an annual congregation of the Bhils and other tribal groups in the region.
  • Background:
    • At that time, the demand for self-rule was gathering currency amongst the people of the country. 
    • The divide-and-rule policy of the British, the Bengal Partition and the drain of wealth from the country had dented the moral foundation of British rule. 
    • Govind Guru demanded that the colonial state reduce the revenue rate during famines and stop encroaching on the religious freedom of tribal communities and harming their culture. 
    • The Bhils and other tribals were engaged in a long standoff with the British. 
  • Against British exploitation:
    • On November 17, 1913, a full moon day, Mangarh hill witnessed a mass gathering of more than 1.5 lakh Bhils. 
    • They swore allegiance to their guru and sought to fulfil their spiritual desires. 
    • The gathering also resolved to find ways to end the British hegemony, especially the unjust revenue regime.
    • ‘Bhuretia Nahi Manu Re’ (I will not accept the tyrannical rule of white people), the song of the tribal people has, since then, become an anthem of sorts for them. 
    • Govind Guru’s calls for protesting against the injustice of the colonial rulers laid the foundation of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • British Reaction:
    • Sensing trouble from the congregation, the British deputed seven companies to surround the Mangarh hill and tried to suppress the tribals with the fear of bullets and cannons. 
    • But the brave tribals could not be subdued. Their awakened consciousness and new-found spirituality had raised their confidence and the desire to protect the motherland overwhelmed the fear of the bullet.
    • The British ordered a mass shooting, and because of this inhuman act, more than 1,500 tribal freedom fighters died on November 17. 
    • The moral legitimacy of the British kept on eroding, especially after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919.
  • Result:
    • People began to see a stake in the country’s freedom. The spirit of taking ownership of the country’s welfare has passed down to people after the country gained Independence.

Managarh Dham ki Gaurav Gatha

  • The event was held on November 1. 
  • Mangarh Dham will be developed as a joint project of the governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
  • It will be a national memorial showcasing tribal legacy and their rich cultural heritage. 
  • This will be a significant milestone in recognising tribal contribution in nation-building. 
About Bhil TribeThe word Bhil is derived from “Veel”, which means “bow” in the Dravidian language.The Bhil tribe is called “Dhanush Purush of India” because they are highly adept at learning Dhanush.Bhils are a group of tribal Indians scattered throughout India from Gujarat in the west to Tripura in the Far East.As of 2013, they were the largest tribal group in India with the majority living in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.Bhils have a rich and unique culture. The Bhilala subdivision is known for its Pithora painting.Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of the Bhil tribe. Ghoomar is the symbol of femininity.The young women take art in this dance and declare that they are stepping into women’s shoes.Panch PranRecently, the Prime Minister of India gave a call for Amrit Kaal’s “Panch Pran”. This involves:removing traces of the colonial mindset, taking pride in our roots,inculcating unity and a sense of duty and improving the well-being of the nation. Importance of tribal communities:The role of tribal communities during the freedom struggle and nation-building provides inspiration for this endeavour. The environment-friendly lifestyle of these communities and their zeal to protect nature offer valuable lessons to people from the elite class and developed countries who are currently discussing ways to reduce carbon footprints.

Government’s Efforts

  • The pro-poor welfare policies, people-centric measures, Eklavya Model residential schools, scholarship schemes for students and health schemes of the government have imparted a new meaning to the idea of social justice. 
  • The government is already setting up tribal museums in 10 states — Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, MP, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Kerala — to raise awareness about the sacrifices made by tribals during the freedom struggle.
  • Droupadi Murmu taking over as the President of India is a landmark in the country’s history. 
  • The Union Council of Ministers has eight tribal ministers.

India-Israel Defence Cooperation

In News

  • Israel has been closely working with the Indian defence forces to tailor solutions for their defence needs.

More about the India-Israel defence Cooperation

  • Evolution:
    • The defence cooperation & relationship between India & Israel has evolved over time – from being an importer of Israeli tech and equipment, Indian companies are now collaborating with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on a variety of ventures.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs):
    • Heron MK II:
      • Induction of Heron MK II, a state-of-the-art UAV that can fly at a height of 35,000 feet, cover a radius of 1000 km, see through dense clouds, work in bad weather and fly for 45 hours. 
      • It’s learnt that MK IIs are being deployed in Leh.
      • MK II can also be used for search and rescue operations.
    • Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE)  Heron TPs:
      • Last year, the Indian Army had also taken on lease Heron TPs, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for all-weather missions, from IAI. 
      • Heron TP drones are one of the two drones made in Israel that can be armed if needed.
    • UAVs manufacturing in India:
      • After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in 2017, the IAI had signed an agreement with Elcom Systems and Dynamatic Technologies for the manufacture of UAVs in India.
      • The IAI and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have signed a joint venture whereby IAI will not only offer UAVs to India but also help HAL in manufacturing them in India.
  • Aircrafts:
    • HAL has signed a memorandum of understanding with IAI to convert civil passenger aircraft into a multi-mission tanker transport (MMTT) for air refuelling with cargo and transport capabilities.
      • The MoU also covers conversion of passenger planes into freighter aircraft.
    • Upgradation of MiG 21s:
      • Israel has been upgrading India’s aircraft systems such as MiG 21s; 
    • LCA & ALH:
      • Israel is also cooperating on developing Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) with Indian aeronautic giants.
  • Missiles & ammunition:
    • Both government organisations and private industries are committed to co-developing defence systems. 
    • New Delhi is also sourcing Firefly loitering ammunition, Spike anti-tank guided missiles, and Spice guidance kits from Tel Aviv.
    • BARAK 8:
      • Israel Aerospace Industries and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have codeveloped a medium-range surface-to-air-missile (MRSAM), named as BARAK 8 Air defence system.
  • Other:
    • India imports critical defence technologies from Israel such as
      • Searcher, a multi-mission tactical UAV; 
      • Air defence systems such as SPYDER-MR; 
      • Beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM) such as Python-5, Derby, etc.
    • Indian armed forces use Israeli Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control Systems).
  • Joint Exercises:
    • Military-to-military engagements including joint exercises and defence industry collaboration are on the upsurge.
    • India recently participated in the Blue Flag training event with a C-130J special operations aircraft and Garud commandos.
  • Security & Counter-Terrorism:
    • There is cooperation on security issues, including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. 

India-Israel relations

  • History:
    • India had recognised Israel as far back as 1950 but normalisation took another four decades. 
    • In 1992, started defence deals, and cooperation in science, technology and agriculture.
    • The first high-level visits:
      • In 2000, L K Advani became the first Indian minister to visit Israel
      • The two countries set up a joint anti-terror commission in 2000.
      • And in 2003, Ariel Sharon became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India.
  • Economic and Commercial Relations:
    • The bilateral merchandise trade grew from USD 200 million in 1992 to USD 6.35 billion (excluding defence) during the period 2021-2022, with the balance of trade being in India’s favour.
    • India is Israel’s third-largest trade partner in Asia and seventh largest globally.
    • In recent years, bilateral trade has diversified into several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecom, and homeland security.
    • Israeli companies have been instrumental in transferring technology to India in areas like renewable energy, telecom, water technologies.
      • Many of them have also set up R&D centers in India.
    • The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries is also on cards.
  • Cooperation in Agriculture:
    • A three-year joint work program has been signed between the two countries in 2021 for the development in agriculture cooperation.
    • It is aimed at establishing Centers of Excellence, intensifying value chains and encouraging private investment.
    • India has benefited from Israeli expertise and technologies in horticulture mechanization, orchard and canopy management, micro-irrigation and post-harvest management.
    • Israeli drip irrigation technologies and products are now widely used in India. 
    • Some Israeli companies and experts are providing expertise to manage and improve dairy farming in India through their expertise in high milk yield. 
  • Science & Technology:
    • The two countries have established a Joint Committee on S&T, established under the S&T Cooperation Agreement signed in 1993. 
    • India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) has been set up to secure cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Government of India, and the Israel Innovation Authority, Government of Israel to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D projects.
    • It will address the challenges in the agreed ‘Focus Sectors’
  • Energy:
    • Tamar and Leviathan gas fields off the coast of Israel were explored recently and India has been one of the first countries to bid for an exploration license in order to extract and import natural gas from the fields.
    • India’s ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil and Oil India were awarded an exploration license by the Israeli government, a clear sign of ongoing diversification in ties between the two countries.

G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration

In News

  •  The G20 summit was recently concluded in Bali, Indonesia.

More about the news

  • India’s Presidency:
    • Indonesia handed over the G20 presidency to India for the coming year as the Bali summit of the grouping ended with the member states finalising the joint declaration. 
  • Bali Leaders’ Declaration:
    • War in Ukraine:
      • The declaration stated that the war in Ukraine is causing economic difficulties and insecurity worldwide.
      • It also termed the threat of using nuclear weapons in the war as “inadmissible”.
      • Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy –
        • Constraining growth, 
        • Increasing inflation, 
        • Disrupting supply chains, 
        • Heightening energy and food security and 
        • Elevating financial stability risks, said the declaration
    • Threats to security:
      • The G20 declaration also called upon the international community to “step up” efforts to counter
        • Money laundering, 
        • Terrorism financing and 
        • Proliferation financing 
        • The declaration also urged the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and FATF Style Regional Bodies to “lead global action” to respond to these threats. 
  • Multilateral Trading System (MTS):
    • The leaders also said the “rules-based, non-discriminatory, free, fair, open, inclusive, equitable, sustainable and transparent multilateral trading system (MTS) with the WTO [World Trade Organisation] at its core, is indispensable” to advancing inclusive growth among the member states.
  • Background of the declaration:
    • U.S. President Joe Biden chaired an emergency meeting of the western bloc in Bali after a missile from the Ukrainian battlefield landed in Przewodow in eastern Poland near the Polish border with Ukraine. 
    • NATO countries called for an emergency meeting to determine who exactly fired the missile.
Know about G20Origin:The G20 was formed in 1999 in the backdrop of the financial crisis of the late 1990s that hit East Asia and Southeast Asia in particular. Its aim was to secure global financial stability by involving middle-income countries. As stated by the official G20 Website: “On the advice of the G7 Finance Ministers, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors began holding meetings to discuss the response to the global financial crisis that occurred,” Objectives:Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth;To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; andTo create a new international financial architecture.Members & guests: Members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.Others: Each year, the Presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organizations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation. Together, the G20 countries include: 60 percent of the world’s population, 80 percent of global GDP, and 75 percent of global trade.Presidency of G20 & Troika:The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among members.The country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’ to ensure continuity of the G20 agenda. Working of G20:The G20 has no permanent secretariat. The agenda and work are coordinated by representatives of the G20 countries, known as ‘Sherpas’, who work together with the finance ministers and governors of the central banks. India recently said ex-NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant would be the G20 Sherpa after Piyush Goyal.Meetings and Summits:Since 1999, an annual meeting of finance ministers has taken place.The first G20 Summit took place in 2008 in Washington DC, US. In addition to Summits, the Sherpa meetings (that help in negotiations and building consensus), and other events are also organised throughout the year.The Finance Track:Within the G20 process, Finance Track includes the meetings held among Finance and Economy Ministers, Central Bank Governors, Vice Ministers and Sherpas (negotiators) designated by the respective economic ministries.Criticisms:The G-20 has been criticized for various reasons like: Lack of transparency, Encouraging trade agreements that strengthen large corporations, Being slow to combat climate change, and Failing to address social inequality and global threats to democracy.Membership policies:The G-20’s membership policies have come under fire, too. Critics say the group is overly restrictive, and its practice of adding guests, such as those from African countries, is not proven very effective.

India’s action Plan for its Presidency

  • According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India will strengthen international support for priorities of vital importance to developing countries in diverse social and economic sectors, ranging from
    • Energy, agriculture, trade, digital economy, health and environment to 
    • Employment, tourism, anti-corruption and women empowerment, including in focus areas that impact the most vulnerable and disadvantaged
  • Criticisms:
    • It has been criticised that this plan lacks specificity
    • India has lost a chance to nudge the G20 and regional organisations towards its focus areas.
  • Confronting global challenges:
    • Currently, there are five challenges plaguing the world that the G20 can attempt to fix.
      • First and most pressing is the in-your-face Russia–Ukraine conflict.
      • The second challenge is of rising prices, particularly of food.
      • The third challenge is energy.
        • Russia is teaching the world that while sanctions against it could impact its economy in the future, but in the short term, these sanctions are failing. 
      • As rising food and energy prices lead to inflation, the fourth challenge is the manner in which countries are attempting to fix the problem
      • The fifth challenge is the threat of stagflation.

Old Pension Scheme vs New Pension Scheme

In News

  • Recently, some of the political parties are promising to switch to the Old Pension Scheme.

Comparison between the Old and New system 

  • Old System
    • Pension to government employees at the Centre as well as states was fixed at 50 per cent of the last drawn basic pay.
  • New System
    • New pension system came into effect for those joining government services from January 1, 2004.
    • It laid in its promise of an assured or ‘defined’ benefit to the retiree. 
    • It was hence described as a ‘Defined Benefit Scheme’.
    • Example – if a government employee’s basic monthly salary at the time of retirement was Rs 10,000, she would be assured of a pension of Rs 5,000.
      • The monthly payouts of pensioners also increased with hikes in dearness allowance or DA announced by the government for serving employees.
    • What is DA?
      • It is calculated as a percentage of the basic salary.
      • It is a kind of adjustment the government offers its employees and pensioners to make up for the steady increase in the cost of living.
      • DA hikes are announced twice a year, generally in January and July.

Major issues associated with the OPS

  • No specific corpus: The main problem was that the pension liability remained unfunded, that is, there was no corpus specifically for pension, which would grow continuously and could be dipped into for payments.
  • The pay-as-you-go scheme created inter-generational equity issues meaning the present generation had to bear the continuously rising burden of pensioners.
  • OPS was also unsustainable: pension liabilities would keep climbing since pensioners’ benefits increased every year; like salaries of existing employees, pensioners gained from indexation, or what is called ‘dearness relief’ (the same as dearness allowance for existing employees).
    • Better health facilities would increase life expectancy, and increased longevity would mean extended payouts.
  • Burden on centre and states: Over the last three decades, pension liabilities for the Centre and states have jumped manifold.
    • In 1990-91, the Centre’s pension bill was Rs 3,272 crore, and the outgo for all states put together was Rs 3,131 crore. 
    • By 2020-21, the Centre’s bill had jumped 58 times to Rs 1, 90,886 crore; for states, it had shot up 125 times to Rs 3, 86,001 crore.
  • Bad economics and bad politics
    • In 30 years, the cumulative pension bill of states has jumped to Rs 3, 86,001 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 3,131 crore in 1990-91. 
    • Overall, pension payments by states eat away a quarter of their own tax revenues.
    • If wages and salaries of state government employees are added to this bill, states are left with hardly anything from their own tax receipts.
  • Inter-generational equity
    • There is also the larger issue of inter-generational equity. Today’s taxpayers are paying for the ever-increasing pensions of retirees.
Do you know?Old Age Social and Income Security (OASIS) projectIn 1998, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment commissioned a report for an Old Age Social and Income Security (OASIS) project.It was formed under the S A Dave committee.  The OASIS project was not meant to reform the government pension system but its primary objective was targeted at unorganised sector workers who had no old age income security.Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) or the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS)Taking the 1991 Census numbers, the committee noted that less than 11 percent of the estimated total working population of 31.4 crore, had some post-retirement income security; this could be government pension, Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), or the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS). The rest of the workforce had no means of post-retirement economic security.

New Pension Scheme

  • It was the NDA government under A B Vajpayee that took up the gauntlet on pension reform. 
  • The New Pension System proposed by the Project OASIS report became the basis for pension reforms and what was originally conceived for unorganised sector workers, was adopted by the government for its own employees.
  • The NPS was for prospective employees; it was made mandatory for all new recruits joining government service from January 1, 2004.
  • Contributions: 
    • The defined contribution comprised 10 percent of the basic salary and dearness allowance by the employee and a matching contribution by the government this was Tier 1, with contributions being mandatory.
    • In 2019, the government increased its contribution to 14 percent of the basic salary and dearness allowance.
  • Schemes under the NPS are offered by nine pension fund managers
    • It is sponsored by SBI, LIC, UTI, HDFC, ICICI, Kotak Mahindra, Adita Birla, Tata, and Max.

Way forward

  • This does bring state governments some short-term gains: they save money since they will not have to put the 10 percent matching contribution towards employee pension funds.
  • For employees it will result in higher take-home salaries: since they too will not set aside 10 percent of their basic pay and dearness allowance towards pension funds.
  • Bad politics: Contrast this with the bulk of the workforce which has no old age income security, but which also does not have much electoral salience.

Defending Demonetisation

In News

  • Recently, the Union Finance Ministry told the Supreme Court (SC) that demonetisation in 2016 led to a phenomenal growth in digital transactions, shrunk fake currency and saw more income tax payers.

Government’s Response to SC

  • Impact of Demonetisation:
    • Bridging formal informal divide: The withdrawal of ?500 and ?1000 banknotes, which had at the time formed more than 80% of the currency in circulation, was a critical part of a policy push to expand the formal economy and thin the ranks of the informal cash-based sector.
    • Transient effect: The overall impact of the withdrawal of legal tender of the specified banknotes on economic growth was just for some time. 
    • Actual growth: On the other hand, real growth rate was 8.2% in the financial year 2016-2017 and 6.8% in the financial year 2017-2018, both being more than the decadal growth rate of 6.6% in the pre-pandemic years.
    • Unaccounted income increase: Income tax authorities detected a significant amount of unaccounted income. 
    • Tax system aware citizenry: Demonetisation nudged the public to be tax-compliant. The number of Permanent Account Numbers (PAN) increased. Income tax payers multiplied while fake currency faded out.
    • Formal economy: It was one of the significant steps in the enhanced formalisation of the economy with the aim of expanding opportunities for millions living on the periphery of the economy.
  • Post Demonetisation:
    • The volume of digital payment transactions had increased from 1.09 lakh transactions of value of ?6,952 crore in the entire year of 2016 to 730 crore transactions of the value of more than ?12 lakh crore in the single month of October 2022.


  • Background:
    • The preceding five years had seen a massive increase in the circulation of ?500 and ?1,000 notes.
      • A steep rise of 76.4% for ?500 and 
      • 109% for ?1,000 from 2010-2011 to 2015-16. 
  • On 8th November 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetisation of all ?500 and ?1,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. 
  • It also announced the issuance of new ?500 and ?2,000 banknotes in exchange for the demonetised banknotes.
  • There were three main economic objectives behind demonetisation:
    • Fighting black money, 
    • Fake notes and 
    • Creating a cashless economy by pushing digital transactions. 

Outcomes of the Exercise

  • Black money:
    • Among those targets, the biggest one was tackling black money. 
    • Black money refers to cash that is not accounted for in the banking system or cash for which tax has not been paid to the state.
    • According to RBI data, almost the entire chunk of money (more than 99 percent) that was invalidated came back into the banking system. 
    • Of the notes worth Rs 15.41 lakh crore that were invalidated, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore returned.
    • Thus, data suggests that demonetisation was a failure in unearthing black money in the system. Meanwhile, instances of black money seizures continue.
  • Fake Notes:
    • RBI’s annual report, submitted that Rs.15.44 lakh crore worth of currency was demonetised. 
    • The withdrawn money amounted to 86.4% of the currency in circulation at the time. Only Rs.16,000 crore out of the Rs.15.44 lakh crore was not returned. 
    • Only .0027% fake currency was “captured” following demonetisation.
  • Digitisation of economy:
    • As per RBI report, demonetisation has made India a lesser cash-based economy. 
    • In the initial days of trouble conducting business in the face of an acute cash crunch, more and more entities had to shift to digital to do business.
      • After the return of the cash, the growth in digital payment had been modest.
  • Supported in the Pandemic:
    • The creation of digital infrastructure post-demonetisation helped India in coping with the pandemic. 
    • As the tools for faceless transactions were mostly in place, it became easier to move towards contactless transactions.

Major Issues associated with the demonetization exercise

  • No separate Acts:
    • Demonetisation in 1946 and 1978 were implemented through separate Acts debated by Parliament. 
    • In 2016, it was done through a mere notification issued under provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • Central Bank had rejected key justifications:
    • The Central Board of the RBI gave its approval to the scheme but also rejected, in writing, two of the key justifications — black money and counterfeit notes.
  • Other:
    • 11 crore people stood in queue to change their own money. 
    • Farming community was at a loss. It was sowing season. 
    • Wholesale markets shut down. Prices crashed. Retail saw a “calamitous” drop in sales. 
    • Industry halted and 15 crore daily labourers were left without work.
    • Some say demonetisation broke the back of the rural economy where cash was dominated and disrupted supply chains. 
    • It is estimated that 1.5 million jobs were lost.


  • Many are still to shift or adopt digital payment systems, maybe because it is more convenient to pay cash for purchase of fruits, vegetables or a few items of grocery from a store, or due to other reasons including voucher payment.
  • While there certainly has been a discernible uptick in digital payments, it is doubtful whether the elaborate exercise to unearth black money — the stated and primary goal of demonetisation — was worth it. 

Health and Climate Change

In News

  • Recently, the Lancet has released a report which shows how climate change is affecting global health.

Major Highlights of the report

  • Global phenomenon: Climate change is not an isolated incident or occurrence, but a global phenomenon, leaving its impact on almost every aspect of life, sweeping in its train nations across the world, irrespective of whether they contributed to it or not. 
  • COVID-19: Countries and health systems continue to contend with the health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and persistent fossil fuel overdependence has pushed the world into global energy and cost-of-living crises.
  • Increased Heat wave days: rapidly increasing temperatures exposed people, especially vulnerable populations (adults above 65 years old and children younger than one) to 3.7 billion more heat wave days in 2021 than annually in 1986–2005.
  •  Rise in infectious diseases: The changing climate is affecting the spread of infectious disease, raising the risk of emerging diseases and co-epidemics.
    • For instance, it records that coastal waters are becoming more suited for the transmission of Vibrio pathogens. 
    • It also says that the number of months suitable for malaria transmission has increased in the highland areas of the Americas and Africa.
  • Additional deaths: The WHO has predicted that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 2, 50,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
  • Food security: Higher temperatures threaten crop yields directly, with the growth season shortening for many cereal crops.
    • Extreme weather events disrupt supply chains, thereby undermining food availability, access, stability, and utilisation. 
    • The prevalence of undernourishment increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and up to 161 million more people face hunger in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Dependence on fossil fuel: The war has led many countries to search for alternative fuels to Russian oil and gas, and some of them are still turning back to traditional thermal energy. 
Do you know?89.3% of the global population, some 8.4 billion people, could be at risk of malaria by 2078, compared with 75.6% of the population at the end of the last century.The IPCC report projects that in the coming decades, climate changes will increase in all regions. An increase of 1.5°C would be associated with increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons.While at 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health

Major Challenges cited by the report 

  • Health at the Mercy of Fossil Fuels: It points out that the world’s reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of disease, food insecurity and other illnesses related to heat.
  • Environmental determinants of health: According to the WHO, climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health: clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
  • Climate change is undermining many of the social determinants for good health, such as livelihoods, equality and access to health care and social support structures.
  • These climate-sensitive health risks are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, including women, children, ethnic minorities, poor communities, migrants or displaced persons, older populations and those with underlying health conditions.
  • Mental health: each year since 2008, an average of more than 20 million people worldwide are forced to move because of weather-related events. The impacts on mental health caused by such trauma and loss are harder to quantify than the effects on physical health. 

Way Forward/ Suggestions 

  • A transition to clean energy forms would undeniably be the sustainable way ahead.
  • A health-centred response to the coexisting climate, energy, and cost-of-living crisis provides an opportunity to deliver a healthy, low-carbon future.
  • The governments’ commitment to assess and address the threats from climate change, are positive signs.
  • Improvements in air quality will help prevent deaths resulting from exposure to fossil fuel-derived ambient PM2.5.
  • The stress on low-carbon travel and increase in urban spaces would result in promoting physical activity which would have an impact on physical and mental health.
  • It calls for an accelerated transition to balanced and more plant-based diets, as that would help reduce emissions from red meat and milk production, and prevent diet-related deaths, besides substantially reducing the risk of zoonotic diseases.
  • The report calls for global coordination, funding, transparency, and cooperation between governments, communities, civil society, businesses, and public health leaders, to reduce or prevent the vulnerabilities that the world is otherwise exposed to.

National Press Day

In Context

  • India celebrates 16th November as National Press Day every year.

More about the Day

  • About:
    • National Press Day is observed in honor of the Press Council of India. 
    • The day is meant to mark the presence of the free and responsible press in India.
  • Evolution of authority of maintaining the ethics of journalism: 
    • First Press Commission, 1956:
      • In the year 1956, the First Press Commission decided to form a body bestowed with statutory authority, meant to fulfill the responsibility of maintaining the ethics of journalism.
    • The Press Council of India, 1966:
      • In 1966, on 16the November, the PCI was formed and following this, the National Press Day has been celebrated ever since on 16th November, every year to commemorate the establishment of the council.

Press Council of India (PCI)

  • Statute:
    • The PCI was established under the PCI Act of 1978 for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.
  • Responsibilities:
    • The Press Council of India is responsible for examining the quality of reportage from the Indian media, while also keeping a check on other journalistic activities.
  • Functions: 
    • Helping newspapers maintain their independence;
    • Build a code of conduct for journalists and news agencies; 
    • Help maintain “high standards of public taste” and foster responsibility among citizens; and
    • Review developments likely to restrict flow of news.
  • Chairperson & members:
    • The Press Council of India is traditionally chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge and 28 additional members of which 20 are members of the media outlets operating in India. 
    • Five members are nominated from the Houses of the Parliament and the remaining three represent cultural, legal and literary fields.

Significance of Press Freedom

  • Independence of Press:
    • The freedom of the press is an essential aspect to maintain the independence of the press. 
  • Voice of the voiceless:
    • This ensures the integrity of the press as it is often referred to as the voice of the voiceless, a connecting link between the all-powerful rulers and those who are being ruled.
    • The goal of the press is to bring to light any injustice faced by the people and highlights the malaise of the system. 
  • One of the four pillars of democracy:
    • It is meant to help the government find solutions to these problems, while strengthening the values of the democratic system of governance. 
    • For this very reason, the press is often referred to as one of the four pillars of a strong democracy and is the only aspect where the common citizen can directly participate in.
      • The other three pillars are the Executive, Legislative, and the Judiciary – a gang of select few.


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