01 October, 2019

15 Min Read

GS-I :
The link between jobs, farming and climate.

GS-III: The link between jobs, farming and climate.


At a panel discussion hosted recently by the students of Delhi Ambedkar’s University, the topic was ,‘ Are we heading for an economic crisis?’.

Presumably they had been prompted by the all absorbing news of a slowing economy. It is indeed correct that such a slowing is taking place.

Globally industrial growth driven by mindless consumption is the cause of climate change. But India does need some growth as income levels here are still very low. The problem of low incomes can however be tackled even with less growth so long as it is of the appropriate type. So,the slowing of growth in India cannot reasonably be termed a crisis.

Rural employment:

Rural unemployment along with urban unemployment is termed as one among the serious problems in India, since it creates a ripple effect across the economy. Apart from the personal loss to individual and their family, it results in lower purchasing power (economically), consumption of goods and services will go down.

What are reasons of rural unemployment in India?

Unemployment wasn’t widespread in rural areas, since most people were engaged in agriculture which helped them earn a living. Despite droughts, people continue to pursue agriculture. But with the advancement of technology through industrial civilization, textile mills and others sort of factories began to grow in India during British era. Though it led to mass migration of people to rural areas, drought like conditions and lack of income from agriculture created huge unemployment among rural youth.

Production Decline:

We must now answer the question of why rural incomes are growing so slowly. The recent history of crop agriculture points towards one reason. In the 9 years since 2008-2009 this activity has recorded zero or negative growth in five.

When growth fluctuations include production decline a particular feature emerges. Households incurring consumption debt in bad crops years would be repaying it in  the good ones.

When non-agricultural firms observe slow agricultural growth they are likely to shrink their investment rate is to only deal with a symptom. It is rural income generation that is the problem.


Offering solutions to rural unemployment in India must have three dimensional approach. Firstly, adequate changes must be brought in the form of quality of Indian education. Indian government should select a committee which includes value and skill based syllabus in schools and universities. Because almost all the syllabus taught is of no use to the industrial needs. Indian government should encourage and develop the agriculture based industries in rural areas by offering incentives, interest free loan for seasonal unemployment people. Besides, more assistance must be offered to self- employed people in the area of cottage and small scale industries etc. These persons should be helped financially, providing raw materials and technical training.


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GS-I :
World Urbanization Prospects Data

GS-I: World Urbanization Prospects Data


The economic outlook update released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) highlighted that the number of urban inhabitants in ‘Developing Asia’ has increased “almost five-fold since 1970”.

Developing Asia:

It refers to a group of 45 countries that are members of the ADB.

World Urbanisation Prospects data:

  • The report, tracking World Urbanisation Prospects data, states that the two-thirds of the nearly 1.5 billion additional city dwellers in the region belonged from India and China.
  • As such, between 1970 to 2017, the urban population in this bunch of countries grew from 375 million to 1.84 billion.
  • The region led the global increase in the urban population in this period and accounted for 53 per cent of it.

Low pace of urbanization:

  • The ADB reports states that, notwithstanding the fast growth in urban population, “developing Asia’s urbanisation rate still lagged at 46% in 2017”.
  • Urbanisation rate means the percentage of the population living in urban areas.
  • The US achieved the 46 per cent urbanisation mark over a century ago while Japan reached there in the early 1950s. But the US and Japan are far cries at the moment.
  • Developing Asia’s urbanisation rate in 2017 was lower than the average in other developing economies (which stood at 58 per cent) and the average in the developed economies (which stood at 81 per cent).
  • India, specifically, has 34 per cent of its population living in urban areas.

Reason: Population rise:

  • Developing Asia urbanized faster than the rest of the world not only in terms of absolute growth, but also in terms of growth rate.
  • Urban population in this region increased at an average of 3.4 per cent per annum between 1970-2017.
  • This is much faster than the 2.6 per cent in the rest of the developing world mainly Africa and Latin America and 1.0 per cent in the developed world.



Source: Indian Express

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Scientists find ‘ancient river’ in UP.

GS-II: Scientists find ‘ancient river’ in UP.


The Union Water Ministry has excavated an old, dried-up river in Allahabad that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The “ancient buried river” is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under soil. The newly discovered river was a “buried paleochannel that joins the Yamuna river at Durgapur village, about 26 km south of the current Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Allahabad. The paleochannels reveal the course of rivers that have ceased to exist.

Significance of this river:

  • Knowledge on subsurface connectivity between Ganga and Yamuna rivers will play a very crucial role in planning of Ganga cleaning and protecting safe groundwater resources.
  • The aim is to develop it as a potential groundwater recharge source.
  • The evidence from paleochannels also suggests that the mythological Saraswati river did indeed exist.


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Rheumatic fever

GS-II: Rheumatic fever


The government is planning to procure penicillin centrally for three years and give it to all children between 5-15 years who are diagnosed with rheumatic fever. The drug will be dispensed through primary health centres or administered by ASHAs.

Rheumatic fever:

  • A rare but potentially life-threatening disease, rheumatic fever is a complication of untreated strep throat caused by bacteria called group A streptococcus.
  • The main symptoms fever, muscle aches, swollen and painful joints, and in some cases, a red rash typically begin two to four weeks.
  • The knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists are the joints most likely to become swollen from rheumatic fever.
  • The pain often migrates from one joint to another.
  • However, the greatest danger from the disease is the damage it can do to the heart.

Why a concern?

  • India has a high burden of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease  the latter often goes undiagnosed and leads to many maternal deaths at the time of childbirth.
  • Studies indicate the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in India to be about 2/1000 population.
  • However surveys conducted in school children in the age group of 5-16 years by ICMR gives overall prevalence of 6/1000.
  • Rheumatic fever is endemic in India and remains one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease, accounting for nearly 25-45% of acquired heart disease.

Reviving Penicillin:

  • Penicillin, discovered in 1928, is still the first line antibiotic in many western countries, but it gradually went out of the Indian market even though some of its more expensive derivatives continue to be prescribed.
  • Penicillin appears to reduce the attack rate in rheumatic fever by as much as 80%.
  • Penicillin went out of production in India because of unrealistic price control.




Source: Indian Express

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Starship spacecraft

GS-III: Starship spacecraft


SpaceX unveiled a prototype design of its next-generation Starship spacecraft that will take people or cargo to the moon, Mars or other destinations in space or around Earth.


  • SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft will be capable of carrying up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights and deliver as much as around 100 tons of payload for building bases on Moon and Mars cities.
  • It has been designed for full and rapid reusability.
  • Starship was first unveiled in 2016 as a fully reusable spacecraft and back then, it was called Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).
  • In 2017, it was renamed the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and the design was updated as well.
  • The spacecraft was finally named Starship in 2018 with more design improvements.


  • It is 164 feet (50 meters) tall and has a diameter of nine meters.
  • It will be launched into space with the help of its Super Heavy booster, which can include up to 37 Raptor engines, though only 24 would be required for each mission.
  • Super Heavy measures 223 feet in length, while its diameter is also nine meters.

Why Starship?

  • According to the SpaceX CEO, the Earth will face a near-extinction event at some point in time, which is why a “backup” plan for all humankind is needed.
  • The ultimate goal is to colonize Mars over the next 100 years and SpaceX has been quite vocal of his idea in the past.

Source: Indian Express

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