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06 Apr, 2021

35 Min Read

Moaists- Tarrem attacks

GS-III : Internal security Internal security

Moaists- Tarrem attacks


  • Tarrem attacks indicate that the weakened Maoists remain a strong military threat

Details of the attack

  • The deaths of over 20 paramilitary personnel in an encounter with the Maoists in the Tarrem area near Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district once again puts the spotlight on the long-running conflict in this remote tribal region.
  • Reports indicate a Maoist ambush of the paramilitary personnel from different units – the Special Task Force, the District Reserve Guard of the Chhattisgarh police besides the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)’s elite COBRA unit — who had proceeded to perform combing operations in Maoist strongholds.
  • The units had embarked upon their combing exercise at a time when Maoists were trying to disrupt the construction of a road near Silger-Jagargunda.
  • The lack of road and telecommunications infrastructure in these remote areas has been one of the reasons for the Maoists being able to use the terrain to their advantage.
  • Questions will be asked as to how such a large force failed to anticipate the ambush and were attacked by insurgents reportedly belonging to the Maoists’ “1st Battalion” led by a tribal, Hidma.
  • The encounter has raised the number of security forces killed in Bastar to more than 175 since the killing of 76 CRPF personnel in the Chintalnar attack in April 2010.
  • It is now quite clear that despite facing losses to its cadre and leadership across central and east India and being hemmed into possibly its only remaining stronghold of south Chhattisgarh, the Maoists are still a formidable military threat.

Maoist insurrection

  • The Maoist insurrection which began first as the Naxalite movement in the 1970s and then intensified in 2004, following the merger of two prominent insurgent groups, remains a mindless guerrilla-driven militant movement that has failed to gain adherents beyond those living in remote tribal areas either untouched by welfare or are discontents due to state repression.
  • The Maoists are now considerably weaker than a decade ago, with several senior leaders either dead or incarcerated, but their core insurgent force in south Bastar remains intact.


  • The recourse to violence is now little more than a ploy to invite state repression which furthers their aim of gaining new adherents.
  • While the Indian state has long since realised that there cannot only be a military end to the conflict.
  • The Tarrem attacks came in the wake of a recent peace march held by civil society activists who had urged a dialogue between the Maoists and the Chhattisgarh government to end the violence that has claimed more than 10,000 lives since 2000 alone, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.
  • While a military response and recriminations will inevitably follow the ambush, the civil society plea must not be ignored if a long-lasting solution to the conflict is to be achieved.

Source: TH

K-Shaped Recovery

GS-III : Economic Issues Economic crisis

K-Shaped Recovery

  • A K-shaped recovery occurs when, following a recession, different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times, or magnitudes.
  • This is in contrast to an even, uniform recovery across sectors, industries, or groups of people.
  • A K-shaped recovery leads to changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society as economic outcomes and relations are fundamentally changed before and after the recession.
    • This type of recovery is called K-shaped because the path of different parts of the economy when charted together may diverge, resembling the two arms of the Roman letter "K."


  • COVID has triggered an effective income transfer from the poor to the rich, this will be demand-impeding because the poor have a higher marginal propensity to consume (i.e. they tend to spend (instead of saving) a much higher proportion of their income.
  • Upper-income households have benefitted from higher savings for two quarters.
  • Households at the bottom have experienced a permanent loss of income in the forms of jobs and wage cuts; this will be a recurring drag on demand, if the labour market does not heal faster.
  • If COVID-19 reduces competition or increases the inequality of incomes and opportunities, it could impinge on trend growth in developing economies by hurting productivity and tightening political economy constraints.

Source: TH

Supernova explosion From Wolf–Rayet Stars Traced

GS-III : S&T Space

Indian astronomers from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences have tracked a rare supernova explosion and traced it to one of the hottest kind of stars called Wolf–Rayet stars or WR stars.

The rare Wolf–Rayet stars are highly luminous objects a thousand times that of the Sun. They strip their outer hydrogen envelope which is associated with the fusion of Helium and other elements in the massive core.


  • A supernova is the explosive death of a star and often results in the star obtaining the brightness of 100 million suns for a short time.
  • The extremely luminous burst of radiation expels much or all of a star’s material at a great velocity, driving a shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium.
  • These shock waves trigger condensation is a nebula paving the way for the birth of a new star ? if a star has to be born, a star has to die.
  • A great proportion of primary cosmic rays comes from supernovae.

Supernovae can be triggered in one of two ways:

Type I supernova or Type Ia supernova

  • Occurs when there is a sudden re-ignition of nuclear fusion on the surface of a degenerate white dwarf in a binary system.
  • A degenerate white dwarf may accumulate sufficient material from a companion star to raise its core temperature, ignite carbon fusion, and trigger runaway nuclear fusion, completely disrupting the star.

The difference between Nova and Type I supernova


Type I supernova

In a nova, the system can shine up to a million times brighter than normal.

A supernova is a violent stellar explosion that can shine as brightly as an entire galaxy of billions of normal stars.

As long as it continues to take gas from its companion star, the white dwarf can produce nova outbursts at regular intervals.

If enough gas piles up on the surface of the white dwarf, a runaway thermonuclear explosion blasts the star to bits.

Type II supernova

  • Type II supernova is a supernova that occurs by the gravitational collapse of the core of a massive star (mostly made of iron). E.g. Supernova of a red supergiant.

Importance of supernova: Creating and dispersing new elements

  • When a star’s core runs out of hydrogen, the star begins to die out. The dying star expands into a red giant, and this now begins to manufacture carbon by fusing helium atoms.
  • More massive stars begin a further series of nuclear burning. The elements formed in these stages range from oxygen through to iron.
  • During a supernova, the star releases very large amounts of energy as well as neutrons, which allows elements heavier than iron, such as uranium and gold, to be produced.

In the supernova explosion, all of these elements are expelled out into space, and new stars are born out of this matter.

Source: PIB

India's Rising Supercomputing Capabilities

GS-III : S&T Computers and IT

India's Rising Supercomputing Capabilities

India is fast emerging as a leader in high-power computing with the National Super Computing Mission (NSM) boosting it to meet the increased computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups in areas like oil exploration, flood prediction as well as genomics and drug discovery.

  • Completion in of Phase II of NSM in September 2021 will take the country’s computing power to 16 Petaflops (PF).
  • Infrastructure planned in NSM Phase I has already been installed and much of Phase II will be getting in place soon. Phase III, initiated this year, will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops.

National Supercomputing Mission

The National Supercomputing Mission was launched to enhance the research capacities and capabilities in the country by connecting them to form a Supercomputing grid, with National Knowledge Network (NKN) as the backbone.

The NSM is setting up a grid of supercomputing facilities in academic and research institutions across the country. Part of this is being imported from abroad and part built indigenously.

The Mission is being jointly steered by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

  • PARAM Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by PARAM Shakti, PARAM Brahma, PARAM Yukti, PARAM Sanganak at IIT-Kharagpur IISER, Pune, JNCASR, Bengaluru and IIT Kanpur respectively.
  • A 200 AI PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system has been created and installed in C-DAC, which can handle incredibly large-scale AI workloads increasing the speed of computing-related to AI several times.
  • PARAM Siddhi - AI, the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer, has achieved global ranking of 62 in TOP 500 most powerful supercomputer systems in the world

Source: PIB

First Meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

GS-II : International Relations Bilateral groupings and agreements

First Meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

As 2021 BRICS Chair, India’s approach is focused on strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation based on Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.

BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed the financial cooperation agenda set by India for 2021 - Global Economic Outlook and Response to COVID-19 pandemic, New Development Bank (NDB) Activities, Social Infrastructure Financing and Use of Digital Technologies, Cooperation on Customs related issues, IMF reforms, Fintech for SMEs and Financial Inclusion, BRICS Rapid Information Security channel and BRICS Bond Fund.

BRICS New Development Bank

  • Because of the over domination of the USA and EU in IMF, BRICS in Fortaleza summit came up with New Development Bank as an alternative to IMF and WB. Made by Fortaleza declaration in 2014.
  • 1st time talked in Delhi (4th Summit) but established in Fortaleza.
  • President – K V Kamath. Headquarter in Shanghai.
  • The purpose of the Bank is to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries to complement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions.
  • NDB's Key areas of Operation are clean Energy, Transport infra, irrigation, sustainable urban development and economic cooperation.
  • The NDB functions on a consultative mechanism among the BRICS members with all the member countries possessing equal rights.
  • Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) signed in 2014 Fortaleza Declaration at 6th BRICS summit.
    1. The BRICS CRA aims to provide short-term liquidity support to the members through currency swaps to help mitigate BoP crisis situation and further strengthen financial stability.
    2. It has a corpus of US $ 100 billion. It will also contribute to strengthening the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements (IMF).

Source: PIB

92% Projects under PMAY-G Completed

GS-III : Economic Issues Housing sector

92% of Projects under PMAY-G Completed

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G), 92% target of completion has been achieved in the 1st phase of the scheme i.e. from 2016-17 to 2018-19 with intended beneficiaries also coming down from 2.95 cr to 2.14 cr due to duplication and other incidences.

Rural Housing In India

  • The public housing programme in the country started with the rehabilitation of refugees immediately after independence and since then, it has been a major focus area of the Government as an instrument of poverty alleviation.
  • The rural housing programme, as an independent programme, started with Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) in January 1996.
  • Although IAY addressed the housing needs in the rural areas, certain gaps like non-assessment of housing The shortage, lack of transparency in the selection of beneficiaries, low quality of the house and lack of technical supervision, lack of convergence, loans not availed by beneficiaries and weak the mechanism for monitoring were identified by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in 2014.
  • To address these gaps in the rural housing program and in view of the Government’s commitment to providing “Housing for All’’ by the scheme 2022, IAY has been re-structured into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana –Gramin (PMAY-G).

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Gramin

  • PMAY-G aims at providing a pucca house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householders and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated houses, by 2022.
  • The immediate objective was to cover 1.00 crore households living in kutcha houses/dilapidated houses in three years from 2016-17 to 2018- 19.
  • The minimum size of the house has been increased to 25 sq. mt (from20sq.mt) with a hygienic cooking space. The unit assistance has been increased from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1.20 lakh in plain and from Rs75,000 to Rs 1.30 lakh in hilly states, difficult areas.
  • The beneficiary is entitled to 90-95 person day of unskilled labour from MGNREGS.
  • The assistance for the construction of toilets shall be leveraged through convergence with SBM-G, MGNREGS or any other dedicated source of funding. Convergence for piped drinking water, electricity connection, LPG gas connection etc. different Government programmers are also to be attempted.
  • The cost of unit assistance is to be shared between Central and State Government in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and the Himalayan States.
  • To ensure that assistance is targeted at those who are genuinely deprived and that the selection is objective and verifiable, PMAY-G instead of selecting a beneficiary from among the BPL households selects beneficiary using housing deprivation parameters in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 date which is to be verified by the Gram Sabhas.
  • To address grievances in beneficiary selection an appellate process has also been put in place.
  • Towards better quality of construction, setting up of a Nation Technical Support Agency (NTSA) at the national level is envisaged.
    1. One of the major constraints in quality house construction is the lack of a sufficient number of skilled masons.
    2. To address this, a pan-India training and certification programme of Masons has been launched in the States/UTs. This will, in addition, and career progression for rural masons.
  • The beneficiary to be assisted by in-house construction with a bouquet of house design typologies inclusive of disaster resilience features the are suitable to their local geo-climatic conditions .
    1. This exercise will ensure that the beneficiary does not over-construct in the initial stages of house building which often results in an incomplete house or the beneficiary is forced to borrow money to complete the house.
  • The programme implementation is to be monitored not only electronically, but also through community participation (Social Audit), Member of Parliament (DISHA Committee), Central and State Government officials, National Level Monitors etc.

Source: PIB

Global Gender Gap Report 2021

GS-II : Important reports Important reports

Global Gender Gap Report 2021

Global Gender Gap Report 2021 was released recently.

  • Released by World Economic Forum


Key takeaways

  • India has fallen 28 places
  • It is now one of the worst performers in South Asia,
  • It is ranked below neighbouring countries – Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
  • India’s rank: 140 among 156 countries.
  • South Asia incidentally is one of the worst performing regions, followed only by the Middle East and northern Africa.
  • Overall, many countries have fared worse in this year’s rankings compared to last year’s, on account of economic performance.
  • On its current trajectory, it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide.
  • Women represent only 26.1% of some 35,500 parliament seats and just 22.6% of over 3,400 ministers worldwide
  • In 81 countries, there has never been a woman head of state, as of January 15, 2021.

World Economic Forum (WEF):

  • It was established by Klaus Schwab in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation. It was initially named as European Management Forum. Later, it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987.
  • Aim: To improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Major Reports: a) Global Competitiveness Report b) Global Gender Gap Report c) Global Risks Report and d) Global Travel and Tourism Report.

WEF Davos Agenda Summit,2021:

  • It will be organized virtually by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • The summit will mark the launch of WEF’s “Great Reset Initiative” which aims to rebuild the economy sustainably following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Great Reset Initiative of World Economic Forum-

  1. The Great Reset Initiative is based on the assessment that the world economy is in deep trouble.
    • The situation has been made a lot worse by many factors, including the pandemic’s devastating effects on global society, the unfolding technological revolution, and the consequences of climate change.
  2. The agenda of the initiative are –
    • The world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.
    • Every country must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short there should be a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.

Source: WEF

Modernization plan of Central Warehouse Corporation

GS-III : Economic Issues Food security

Modernization plan of Central Warehouse Corporation

Recently Min of Food Supplies talked about modernizing Central Warehousing Corporation and improving its storage capacities.

Other modernizing aspects that were talked about were:

    • doubling its warehouse storage capacity by end of the year 2023 and achieving a turnover of Rs 10000 crore
    • tariff rationalization and setting of warehouses should be done independently by CWC without any bureaucratic interference
    • He said that maximum powers of decision-making for operations should be delegated to the CWC. He also asked CWC to focus on building cold chain storage in the country on a priority basis.
    • Safety Audit for fire, earthquakes burglary and accidents in all warehouses regularly.
    • build modern silos for wheat and rice storage all over the country, so that maximum grains could be stored in the country for longer periods.
    • build more cold chain facilities for storage Onion, Potato and Tomato in coordination with NAFED.

Central Warehousing Corporation

  • Central Warehousing Corporation is a Mini-Ratna Category-I CPSE.
  • It is a statutory body which was established under ‘The Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962.
  • It is a public warehouse operator established by the Government of India in 1957 for the purpose of warehousing agricultural produce and certain other commodities notified by the Central Government and for matters connected therewith.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.

To read further on Food Security Click Here

Source: PIB

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