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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 04 February 2021

Urban visions

  • Budget 2021 - expansion of Metro Rail and bus services
  • Comfortable, safe and affordable commuting
  • Covid - safety of personal car and two-wheeler bubbles

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of Central funding of ₹1,957 crore, ₹63,246 crore and ₹14,788 crore for the Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru Metro projects, respectively.
  • Less certain, however, is the impact of the proposed ₹18,000 crore plan to augment public bus transport using a PPP model that will enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses.
  • NITI Aayog data: India’s ratio of buses to population is a low 1.2:1000 people
    • Thailand - 8.6:1000
    • South Africa - 6.5:1000
  • State governments, which retain effective control over urban development rather than city administrations, have failed to operationalise the umbrella authorities to regulate transport.
  • Common mobility cards
  • Census 2011 showed that the number of Census Towns, which are urban for census purposes but not named urban local bodies, grew tremendously over a decade.
  • Only integration can bring about inclusive urbanisation.

Smart walls’ for Indian borders

  • The ‘smart wall’ technology could solve border security issues without the need for a physical barrier.
  • Along with surveillance towers and cameras, thermal imaging would be used, which would help in the detection of objects.
  • The system would even be capable of distinguishing between animals, humans, and vehicles, and then sending updates to handheld mobile devices of the U.S. patrol agents.

  • Can we secure Indian borders using such tech?
  • The terrain in the region is rugged, and, furthermore, not even clearly defined.
  • Some other benefits of smart wall
    • cost-effectiveness
    • less damage to the environment
    • fewer land seizures
    • speedier deployment

Towards sustainable growth

  • Lessons from Covid-19
  • It made us realise that we are a part of nature
  • Protect ecological functions of biosphere
  • Globally, the GDP is expected to contract 2.4% to 8% in 2020.

  • WEF: the global cost of dealing with the pandemic could be from $8.1 trillion to $15.8 trillion
  • Preventing such pandemics will cost only a fraction of this amount, estimated at $22.2 billion to $30.7 billion a year, and this is without factoring in the human suffering.
  • No natural environment – no economy
  • India is placed on the list of countries experiencing the highest rates of negative change.
  • Additionally, there is a strong correlation between human density, richness of biodiversity, and the emergence of zoonotic pathogens of wild origin, which renders India particularly vulnerable.
  • The WEF’s Global Risks report for 2021 states that environmental risks continue to threaten the global economy.
  • The top 5 risks are extreme weather, climate action failure, human environmental damage, infectious diseases and biodiversity loss.
  • Destructing environment in the name of development is not acceptable anymore.
  • A study by Swiss Re Institute published in 2020 introduces a new biodiversity and ecosystem services index.
  • It found that globally, 20% of countries, including India, have fragile ecosystems.
  • It also states that 55% of the global GDP depends on high-functioning biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Economic decision-making must have biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Come up with a form of national accounting that is different from the GDP model
  • A National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council.

No to vaccine nationalism, yes to global cooperation

  • Vaccine diplomacy has become a hot topic
  • Global South countries, India and China, which have provided a ray of hope to most countries.
  • Duke University: the European Union, two times, the United States and the United Kingdom, four times, and Canada, six times.
  • And, 82% of Pfizer’s production in 2021 and 78% of Moderna’s have already been advance purchased by rich countries.
  • India has displayed empathy
  • India has taken a position that a significant percentage of the approved doses will be permitted for exports.
  • Brazil has received 2 million doses of vaccine from India (as of January 23).
  • The COVAX project is a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
  • The intranasal version of Covaxin, which has been approved for phase I could further facilitate vaccinating the global population.

NEWS

  • PM to inaugurate Chauri Chaura centenary celebrations in UP’s Gorakhpur district at 11 AM today
  • India can be net security provider in Indian Ocean Region says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
  • Prominent Indians including Lata Mangeshkar & Sachin Tendulkar support govt's stand on farmers protest
  • US extends New START Nuclear Arms Control Treaty with Russia for five years
  • Finance Ministry releases 14th weekly instalment of Rs 6000 crore to states to meet GST compensation shortfall
  • HM Amit Shah says no propaganda can deter India’s unity
  • No proposal to launch new pension policy for central civil pensioners: Govt
  • India to host Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers’ Conclave today
  • Myanmar police file case against Aung San Suu Kyi