Ojaank IAS Academy




05 JANUARY 2023 – Current Affairs

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India’s Role in Chaotic World Order

GS Paper- II

Context-As the world’s big nations clash, the possibilities for multilateral accords have dimmed. The rivalry between the great nations has widened on both the economic and political fronts. This makes India’s G20 presidency more difficult.
Historical comprehension of key global events
  • Major conflicts have historically changed great power relationships and restructured the international order. Russia’s conflict with Ukraine will be no exception.
  • The Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires all fell during World War I. It also aided the Bolsheviks in Russia in establishing the Soviet Union, gave birth to new European states, and spurred the emergence of Asian nationalism.
  • The end of European colonialism hastened the ascent of the United States and the Soviet Union as superpowers. During the Cold War, Washington and Moscow kept an armed peace in a divided Europe. Decolonization resulted in the establishment of a number of new states in Asia and Africa.
  • It resulted in the Soviet Union’s demise, the disintegration of its sphere of influence in East and Central Europe, and the development of the unipolar moment. Following the Cold War, the age of tremendous economic interconnectedness witnessed China’s quick development and India’s gradual but decisive emergence as a significant power.
How are Russia and China working together to alter regional and global world order?
  • In the twenty-first century, Moscow and Beijing, which were content to accept the unipolar moment in the 1990s, began to assert themselves against the US-led international order. Europe prioritised economic and political unity while seeking more geopolitical autonomy from the United States.
  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping bet that the perceived American collapse was genuine and irreversible as they grew closer over the previous decade. This encouraged Putin to bet on his prospects of terminating Ukraine’s sovereignty.
  • The seeming political chaos in the West also persuaded Xi to support Putin’s drive to rearrange European regional security order. The unrestricted relationship with no barred areas of cooperation was announced less than three weeks before Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The result of Russia’s unsuccessful effort to seize Ukraine
  • The appeal for diplomacy will gain traction in 2023 as the costs of conflict rise. While both sides talk of peace, they are also preparing for the hard winter. Diplomacy in 2023 will be focused on bridging the gap between Russian and Ukrainian negotiation stances.
  • Whatever the final outcome, Russia will be weakened as a result of this military miscalculation. Putin’s attempts to delegitimize Ukraine as an independent nation and reverse NATO’s eastward expansion have backfired. The conflict has strengthened Ukraine’s position as a nation, and NATO has extended to include Sweden and Finland.
  • The battle has also highlighted Europe’s inability to defend itself against Russia, despite the fact that the EU’s GDP is ten times greater than Russia’s. However, for the time being and in the foreseeable future, Europe will rely on the United States to defend it from an expansionist Russia. While Europe has grown weaker, transatlantic NATO has grown stronger.
  • The United States is emerging as a major winner from the Ukraine conflict. High energy costs are benefiting American oil firms. US weaponry like HIMARS, as well as high-tech firms like SpaceX with its Starlin satellite system and Palantir with its algorithms, have actively changed the battlefield in favour of Ukraine, the war’s underdog. Far more important, while not being physically participating in the fighting, the US is determining the war’s path and has the most clout in establishing the parameters of peace in Ukraine.
The impact of Chinese and Russian aggression on mid-power nations
  • Because of Putin and Xi’s overreach, the US has become a crucial partner for the middle powers who have been subjected to Russian and Chinese bullying.
  • Russian expansionism in Europe and Chinese aggression in Asia have forced Germany in Europe and Japan in Asia to increase defence spending.
  • Poland in Europe, as well as Australia and South Korea in Asia, have launched ambitious regional security plans.
What should India’s strategy be?
  • India, which has traditionally relied on Russia to ensure a regional balance of power, may have to rethink its grand strategy. Given India’s improved relations with the US and Europe, as well as its emphasis on expanding its defence relationships, this should not be too difficult.
  • However, Delhi will need to move much more quickly in creating national capabilities and international alliances to prevent China’s aggressive border activities and balance Beijing’s strength in the Indo-Pacific. Delhi cannot assume that its existing economic and political advantages would continue.
  • Finally, it seems improbable that the world will return to the type of multilateralism that we have become accustomed to during the 1990s. India’s G20 leadership would be successful if it could prevent the multilateral system from collapsing completely and establish major power agreement on a few topics.

India should take advantage of the world’s chaotic order to strengthen itself. India’s main goals should be indigenous military capability, double-digit economic development, and protecting vital foreign policy interests.

Source: The Hindu

Blue Economy and Marine Pollution

GS Paper-III

Context– The blue economy is concerned with the promotion, exploitation, and restoration of the aquatic environment. It is used to define a long-term strategy to coastal resources. The concern is that human activities are endangering the seas, especially when economic advantages come at the expense of preserving environmental sanity.

Starting from the beginning: Blue economics
  • Gunter Pauli’s book “The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs” (2010) popularised the notion of the Blue Economy.
  • Blue Economy began as a study to identify 100 of the top nature-inspired innovations that might have a global impact on economies. While supplying essential human necessities such as drinkable water, food, employment, and suitable shelter in a sustainable manner.
  • The combination of Ocean Economy development with the concepts of social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and creative, dynamic business models is envisioned.
  • It is the development of environmentally beneficial maritime infrastructure since bigger freight consignments may flow straight from the mothership to the hinterland through inland waterways, eliminating the need for vehicles or trains.
The Importance of Maritime Transportation
  • Maritime transport, in the form of containerships, tankers, and ports, plays a significant part in the globalised economy; coastal tourism is the major employment in ocean-related industries.
  • Eighty percent of global trade takes place on the high seas, forty percent of the world’s population lives along the coast, and more than three billion people rely on the oceans for a living.
  • A healthy marine ecosystem is critical for humanity and the planet’s long-term survival. Its worth is estimated to be more than $25 trillion, with an annual value of generated products and services of $2.5 trillion, comparable to the world’s seventh biggest economy in terms of GDP.
  • The oceans, seas, and coastal areas help to ensure human food security and economic viability. The ocean is the next large economic frontier, with various ocean-based companies quickly expanding.
What are the issues?
  • Pollution, ocean warming, eutrophication, acidification, and fisheries collapse are all effects of marine activities on marine ecosystems.
  • The ocean is unexplored area that financial institutions seldom comprehend. As a result, these institutions are almost unprepared to provide inexpensive long-term credit on a large scale.
  • Developing countries bear the brunt of the economic costs associated with accomplishing blue economy aspirations.
  • Many emerging countries have significant amounts of external debt. A key impediment is also a lack of ability and technology for transitioning from the agri-economy to the marine industry.
  • There is fear that without defined principles or guidelines, national blue economies, or sustainable ocean economies, may seek economic expansion with little regard for environmental sustainability and social equality.
What method should be taken to achieve the Blue Economy?
  • Because the blue economy is founded on several disciplines of ocean research, it requires cross-sectoral specialists and stakeholders. For an inclusive dialogue, it is critical to include civil society, fishing communities, indigenous people, and communities.
  • When promoting a blue economy, the UN emphasises the need of fairness. Land and resources frequently belong to communities, and the interests of coastal communities are frequently marginalised, as industries such as coastal tourism are pushed to bolster the economy.
  • National and global skills should be used to develop the blue economy. Any blue economy transition must entail the use of integrated maritime spatial planning. This would allow for the collaborative engagement of all ocean stakeholders, as well as debate, discussion, and dispute resolution among the parties.
What is India’s current position?
  • A almost 7,500-kilometer-long coastline with no nearby coastal neighbours save for certain parts towards the southern tip. In several ways, India benefits from its natural location.
  • It is a chance for India to use its G20 presidency to promote environmental sustainability while also ensuring social fairness.
  • India’s role in the blue economy is growing, as seen by its strong participation in international and regional debates, as well as maritime/marine cooperation.

To achieve the Blue Economy aim, enormous human effort would be required, as well as worldwide collaboration through various legal and institutional frameworks. This involves the need to create emerging areas such as renewable ocean energy, blue carbon sequestration, marine biotechnology, and extractive operations while keeping environmental implications in mind.

Source: The Hindu

Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)

GS Paper-III

Context– In the face of an increasing Chinese threat, India must adopt multi-domain operations (MDO).

Important Points

Tussle Present:

  • India and China are at odds over the Arunachal Pradesh border.
  • For the first time, the Indian Army has been deployed in this sector.
  • Due to electioneering, bridge disasters, yatras, the G-20, and other factors, the threat had gone from public attention.
  • Low-level and geographically limited confrontations will continue to occur.
  • India should not get comfortable, accepting such battles as the inevitable future war scenario with China.
  • The threat resides at the opposite end of technological progress, in the idea of multi-domain operations (MDO).
  • Concerning Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)
Spread Across Several Domains:
  • MDO encompasses more than simply operations on land, sea, air, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • It consists of operations carried out across various domains and disputed locations through the convergence of capabilities in order to overcome an adversary’s strengths by presenting it with operational and/or tactical quandaries.
Common Point of View:
  • It has a common operational image across all domains that serves as the foundation for determining the right tool to meet a particular task.
Any Service in Any Field:
  • It is not one service performing a job employing capabilities from several domains, but the best positioned and capable operator of any service performing the activity across any domain.
Structure that is well defined:
  • The requisite technical complexity and command, control, and communication (C3) organisation can be envisaged.
Optimal Resource Utilization:
  • To achieve objectives, the MDO design employs any sensor and the best-positioned shooter.
  • MDO and its C3 structure would use artificial intelligence to provide an optimal engagement solution based on data from all sensors.
Important Prerequisites:
  • All sensors (as well as other information input sources) must be able to run on the MDO architecture.
  • All solution providers (executors) must be able to receive and execute inputs and instructions from the MDO C3 structure.
  • If the link to the main structure is unavailable (say, jammed by the enemy), the dispersed control mission command features would kick in to ensure that activities could continue.
Problems with MDO
Affordability Concern:
  • MDO is a difficult process that can only be afforded by countries with an established scientific background and financial position.
  • It is an American notion that has been vigorously promoted by the US during the last decade.
Requires a New Beginning:
  • MDO is the most sophisticated intelligence and battle-management programme ever used in warfare.
  • It would need a complete overhaul of doctrine, strategy, acquisition, staffing, and training.
The Chinese Threat:
  • China is seeking to equal US military capability, and it is keeping a careful eye on the Russia-Ukraine war, in which Western experts are assisting Ukrainians in harnessing the power of algorithms to integrate reconnaissance from space and choose the finest shooters to attack Russian targets.
India’s concerns:
  • India has no option but to adopt MDO since China has the technology and resources to do so.
Way Forward
  • Physical brawls have given way to cyber and precision strikes on battlegrounds.
  • Traditional physical domains must be stabilised, with essential service deficits addressed.
  • C3 networks in India must be hardened and safeguarded against cyber attacks.
  • Importantly, they must be connected and synchronised to allow continuous data interchange.
  • A pilot project must be launched immediately in order to comprehend the full complexity of developing an MDO environment.
  • The pilot project would identify the technologies required as well as an estimate of the funds required.
  • Starting today, it is critical to train and educate staff on the foundations of MDO.
Source: The Hindu

Freedom of Speech of Politicians

GS Paper-II

Context– The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that there is no need to place “further constraints” on Ministers’ right to free expression.

Collective responsibility principle:
  • A remark made by a Minister, even if related to state matters or for the protection of the government, cannot be imputed vicariously to the government by invoking the concept of collective responsibility.
  • This idea of common accountability cannot be extended to every speech made orally by a Minister outside the House of the People/Legislative Assembly.
Reasonable Restrictions:
  • There were reasonable limits on free speech for citizens, including Ministers and public servants.
  • Furthermore, the state has an affirmative obligation to defend when personal liberty is threatened, even by a non-state actor.
  • The basic rights to free expression and dignity may be enforced against private parties.
  • There was no need to impose additional restrictions on free expression under the pretence of defending the competing basic right to life and dignity under Article 21 of those who were subjected to a Minister’s remarks.
Whip not possible in multiparty systems:
  • In a multiparty system like India, where coalition governments are frequently formed, it is not always practicable for a Prime Minister/Chief Minister to accept the whip anytime a remark is made by someone in the Council of Ministers.
Punishment or Fine for Constitutional Tort:
  • No one can be taxed or penalised for expressing an opinion that is contrary to constitutional ideals.
  • An action in tort will lie only when his viewpoint is turned into action and such action results in injury, harm, or loss.
Arguments Against:
Principle of collective responsibility:
  • A Minister’s statement, if traceable to any State affairs or for the protection of the government, can be attributed vicariously to the government by invoking the principle of collective responsibility, so long as such statement represented the government’s view as well.
  • If such a comment contradicts the government’s position, it is accountable to the Minister individually.
Reasonable Restrictions:
  • However, negative comments that resembled hate speech did not fall under the purview of the free speech guarantee.
Article 21:
  • Given their reach, public officials, other people of importance, and celebrities owe it to the general public to be more responsible and restricted in their communication.
  • As a result, where such communication has the effect of infringing on another person’s basic right under Article 21, it does not constitute a case requiring the weighing of competing rights.
Hate Speech:
  • Hate speech attacked fundamental ideals and breached the fraternity of citizens from all origins.
  • The Preamble to the Constitution guarantees that the dignity of individuals will not be harmed by improper speech by fellow citizens, especially public officials.
Constitutional Tort – Punishment or Fine:
  • Before pursuing action as a constitutional tort, an appropriate legal foundation was required.
  • The Parliament might pass laws or a code prohibiting individuals in general, and public officials in particular, from making inflammatory statements against other citizens.
  • Similarly, political parties might develop a code of conduct to govern and control the activities and words of its officials and members.
Tort Under the Constitution
  • A ‘constitutional tort’ is a breach of one’s constitutional rights, particularly fundamental rights, committed by a government agent acting in his or her official role.
  • In such a circumstance, a court of law has the authority to give monetary compensation to the victim.
Parliamentary Privileges
  • Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is,
  • Freedom of speech in Parliament and
  • Right of publication of its proceedings.
  • All Members of Parliament (MPs) have individual and collective privileges and immunities that allow them to carry out their responsibilities and tasks efficiently.
  • The Constitution also grants such individuals the right to speak and participate in the proceedings of a House of Parliament or any of its committees legislative privileges. Among them is India’s Attorney General.
  • The President, who is also a member of Parliament, is not entitled to parliamentary privileges. The President is granted rights under Article 361 of the Constitution.
Other Benefits:
  • Aside from the privileges specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the duration of a meeting of the House or a committee thereof, as well as forty days before and forty days after its conclusion.
Privilege Regulations:
  • Privilege is governed by Rule No. 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha Rule Book.
  • According to the rules, a member may bring a question alleging a breach of privilege by a member, the House, or a committee thereof with the approval of the Speaker or the Chairperson.
The role of the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairperson:
  • The Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairperson are the initial levels of scrutiny in the two Houses of Parliament.
  • They can either decide on the privilege motion or submit it to Parliament’s privileges committee.
  • Once the Speaker or the House Chairperson has given authorization under Rule 222, the member in question may explain himself or herself.
Committee on Privileges:
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha appoints a privileges committee composed of 15 members of parliament from each party.
  • The Rajya Sabha committee consists of ten members.
  • The committee’s report is presented to the House for its consideration.
  • Before issuing orders or directing that the report be placed before the House, the Speaker may also give the committee a half-hour discussion on the report.
Breach Punishment:
  • Any violation of these rights and immunities by a member of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha is considered a ‘breach of privilege,’ and is penalised under Parliamentary Law.
Way Forward
  • India is the world’s largest democracy, and the right to free speech and expression is a necessary component of democracy.
  • Expressions or thoughts that are contrary to current government policy should not be labelled sedition.
  • “An statement of displeasure about the condition of circumstances cannot be characterised as sedition,” the Law Commission correctly stated.
  • There would be no distinction between the pre- and post-independence eras if the country was not receptive to favourable criticism.
Source: Indian Express

New National Medical Commission (NMC) Board

GS Paper- III

Context– The proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) bill 2022 proposes establishing a fifth autonomous entity under the country’s main medical education authority to administer the National Exit Test (NExT).


  • This comes at a time when the NMC’s role is growing, with the government moving toward NexT implementation.
  • It is a two-part test that will serve as both a qualifying exam for doctoral registration and the foundation for post-graduate admissions.
Examining Board for Medical Sciences:
  • It will take over the duties of the National Board of Examinations, which now administers admission exams for all post-graduate and super-speciality degrees.
  • The National Board of Examinations also administers the screening exam for foreign medical graduates, which will be replaced by the new NExT exam.
  • The new board will also accredit institutions for diploma, diplomat, postgraduate fellowship, and super-speciality fellowships in addition to administering the NExT examinations.
  • It will establish and grant the basic prerequisites for conducting these courses.
  • The National Testing Agency administers the UG admission exam, and no modifications have been proposed in the new bill.
5th body:
This will be NMC’s fifth autonomous board, following:
  • Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (sets undergraduate course norms), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (sets post-graduate course norms), Medical Assessment and Rating Board (inspects and rates medical education institutes), and Ethics and Medical Registration Board (sets medical registration standards) (regulates professional conduct of the doctors and registers them).
Three draft regulations:
  • License to Practice Medicine, 2022;
  • Registration of Additional Qualifications, 2022; and
  • Foreign Medical Practitioners’ Temporary Registration to Practice Medicine in India.
  • The principles lay the groundwork for developing a dynamic national medical registration.
  • Each student who qualifies for NEET will be issued a unique ID, with professional credentials like as post-graduation and super-speciality training being added to the same ID.
Foreigners are welcome:
  • Foreign physicians who desire to travel to India to study in post-graduate courses, fellowships, clinical research, or volunteer clinical services can now register.
Permission Change:
  • The Health Ministry has previously granted “approval” to foreign specialists.
  • The NMC will now offer such doctors a temporary registration that will expire at the end of the programme.
  • The temporary registration will be valid for a maximum of 12 months.
Procedure for Registration:
  • Indian medical graduates would be eligible for registration in the National Medical Register following the following events:
Completion of a recognised college’s MBBS degree,
  • Completion of a year-long required internship, and
  • Pass the National Exit Examination (NExT).
Foreign medical graduates are eligible to enrol after:
  • Have finished their schooling in a nation other than India, are eligible to practise as doctors in that country, have completed a year-long internship in India, and have passed the NExT test.
A new website for all documents:
  • Currently, each state maintains its own medical registration, which is subsequently transmitted to the NMC for consolidation into a national record.
  • After a unique ID is generated, a site will be made available to all recognised colleges in India, where students’ verified papers may be uploaded.
  • Any cases brought against the commission by medical colleges or institutions would be heard by the Delhi High Court.
  • In situations of medical negligence, patients and their family have the right to appeal judgements of the state medical council to the Ethics and Medical Registration Board or the National Medical Commission.
  • It will simplify and expedite admissions.
  • It will aid in the elimination of current confusion, which resulted in wasteful waste owing to bad work ethics, a lack of coordination, and distinct bodies performing dissimilar components of the same task.
  • An apex entity in charge of all aspects of medical education will aid in eliminating decision-making disparities between the NMC, NBE, and MCC.
  • Medical education in India has a number of challenges.
Inadequate abilities:
  • There is a scarcity of technical knowledge.
  • Finding professors in clinical and non-clinical areas is challenging, and there are few initiatives for upskilling the existing faculty.
Infrastructure deficiency:
  • The largest difficulty the sector is now experiencing is a lack of digital learning infrastructure.
Inadequate research and innovation:
  • The educational system should put more emphasis on improving research quality.
  • Furthermore, because industry-academia collaboration is not available, innovation suffers.
Way Forward-
  • There is an urgent need to adapt technology and provide resources to support e-learning.
  • Taking use of e-learning and providing infrastructure to enable it
  • Curriculum revision to provide more practical training and competency-based skill development
  • Instilling a problem-solving mindset through situational/case-based examination
  • A broad-based faculty development programme to help teachers improve their skills.
  • Caste-based reservation is being phased out in favour of merit-based admittance.
  • Collaboration between industry and academics to promote innovation
Source: Indian Express

Facts For Prelims


Context:The first known “virovore,” or creature that eats viruses, has been discovered.

Key findings:
  • Two plankton species, Halteria and Paramecium, can not only feed on viruses but also grow on them.
  • Scientists discovered that a type of Halteria, which are small ciliates found in freshwater all over the world, can consume massive amounts of infectious chloroviruses. Both share an aquatic environment.
  • The study also underlines the differences in consumption habits between Halteria and Paramecium, as the former utilised chlorovirus as a source of nutrients while the latter, while it did ingest the viruses, did not expand in population.
  • Furthermore, the intake of chloroviruses may have a significant influence on the carbon cycle.

e-SCR Project

Context: The Electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) project was developed to give a digital version of the Supreme Court’s judgements in the same format as they appear in the official law report ‘Supreme Court Reports.’

  • The report intends to offer the complete SC decision (from inception in 1950 to date)
  • The eCourts Mission Mode Initiative is a nationwide eGovernance project that aims to improve the information and communication technology (ICT) capabilities of the country’s district and subordinate courts. The project’s goal is to deliver specific services to litigants, lawyers, and the judiciary through court ICT enablement.

Domestically Systemic Important Banks

Context-According to the Reserve Bank of India, the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank are still classified as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs).

SBI and ICICI Bank were designated as D-SIBs by the RBI in 2015 and 2016, respectively, while HDFC Bank was added to the list on March 31, 2017.

What exactly are Domestically Systematically Important Banks (DSIBs)?
  • Because of their scale, cross-jurisdictional activity, complexity, and lack of alternative and interconnectedness, DSIBs are also known as “Too Big To Fall” (TBTF).
  • DSIBs are banks with assets that exceed 2% of GDP. If these banks fail, it might have a negative impact on the economy.
  • D-SIBs are classified into five categories. These buckets require banks to set aside Additional Common Equity Tier 1 as a proportion of Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs).
  • D-SIBs are required under specific regulations and are strictly supervised by the central bank to ensure proper operation and to prevent such banks from engaging in any grey areas such as money laundering, etc.
  • Domestically, Systematically Important Banks are designated by a country’s central bank, and globally by the BASEL committee on banking supervision.
  • Currently, State Bank of India is in Bucket 3 and HDFC and ICICI are in Bucket 1.

Purchasing Manager’s Index

Context – The S&P Global India Manufacturing PMI increased to 57.8 in December 2022 from 55.7 in November, the highest figure since October 2020.

About Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)
  • The PMI data is provided at the start of each month.
  • PMI, or Purchasing Managers’ Index, is a measure of business activity in both the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • The PMI scale ranges from 0 to 100. PMI readings over 50 imply expansion, readings below 50 suggest contraction, and readings at 50 show no change.
  • The PMI is typically provided at the beginning of each month, well ahead of the majority of official statistics on industrial production, manufacturing, and GDP growth. As a result, it is regarded as an excellent leading predictor of economic activity.

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