GS Paper 3

21st November – Trade Agreements

Why trade deals are the next logical step ]Reacting to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement signed by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, gave a scathing assessment of trade agreements. “In the name of openness we have allowed subsidised products and unfair production advantages from abroad to prevail,” he said, …

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19th November – Asian Drama

Shifting sands for Asian economies Discussions on the post-pandemic global economy have often predicted that China’s appeal as a business destination would fade, losing favour as the global manufacturing hub. Arguments have been made that production would be dispersed to other appealing locations mostly in Asia, and even to those outside. It was expected that …

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17th November – Trade Unions

A recipe to tear down trade unions Labour law ‘reform’ has been on the table since 1991 as every government’s favourite solution for economic growth. Yet, there was no consensus between governments, political parties, workers and their trade unions, and employers, on what this meant. Trade Unions – Historical Background – Trade unions first emerged …

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16th November – Western bias in Science

Western bias in Science Recently NASA released a news about the discovery of molecular water on the sunlit side of moon by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), piggybacked on a Boeing-747 aircraft at approximately 45,000 feet above the ground. The finding of 100-412 parts per million water (equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle) in …

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11th November – Purchasing Managers’ Index

Purchasing Managers’ Index With India’s PMI for manufacturing, at 58.9 in October, recording the strongest growth in 13 years, and that for services expanding for the first time in eight months, there is a spring in policymakers’ step. They would like to point out that their fiscal and monetary responses for COVID times are yielding …

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3rd November – ‘Sponge’ cities mission

Time for a ‘sponge cities’ Mission In the wake of torrential rains in the third week of October in Hyderabad, over 50 people died. Almost 10 years ago, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, built climate change adaptation tools for Hyderabad. However, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority of that time did …

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31st October – Stubble Burning

Stubble Burning Stubble burning refers to the practice of farmers setting fire to plant debris that remain in farms after harvest. Background – Before the 1980s, farmers used to till the remaining debris back into the soil after harvesting the crops manually. The origin of stubble burning can be traced to the advent of the …

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30th October – Deepfakes

Countering Deepfakes Disinformation and hoaxes have evolved from mere annoyance to high stake warfare for creating social discord, increasing polarisation, and in some cases, influencing an election outcome. What are ‘deepfakes’? Deepfakes are a new tool to spread computational propaganda and disinformation at scale and with speed. Deepfakes are the digital media (video, audio, and …

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29th October – Co-firing of coal plants

Ready to swap? Worldwide, pressure is mounting to close coal-fired power plants that are old, inefficient and spew more carbon emissions. Yet, in June this year when the Punjab government decided to dismantle its 43-year-old Guru Nanak Dev (GND) thermal plant at Bathinda and sell the land, it raised quite a few eyebrows, expectedly. What …

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27th October – SVAMITVA Scheme

SVAMITVA Scheme In a historic move set to transform rural India and empower millions of Indians, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has launched the physical distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme. What is ‘SVAMITVA Scheme’? SVAMITVA is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, which was launched by the Prime …

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