Daily PT Capsule Apr 21

Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services
Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services

Here is today’s digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!

Social media radicalising youth

The Director General of Police(DGP) of J&K state told that social media is playing a big role in radicalising youth in the valley. In some cases the internet services had to be suspended to “prevent the spread of disinformation”. There have been orders to act against unregistered news pages and groups.

Recently there was an incident of security forces firing in Handwara and Kupwara towns that, in turn, were triggered by groups pelting stones and shouting slogans.


What is the reason behind radicalisation? – A report prepared by the European Commission’s Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation in 2008, found that:

  • Youth who have been radicalised thrive in an enabling environment which is essentially characterised by a widely shared sense of injustice.
  • Not all individuals who share the same sense of injustice or are living in the same polarised environment turn to radicalism and even less so to violence or terrorism.
  • For some youths the experience of belonging to a group and being accepted by peers or leaders is of primary value, sometimes overruling most other considerations. Moreover, their backgrounds are not characterised by socio-economic problems, unemployment or dropping out of school.

It means that there are not many factors which can be specifically assigned as reasons behind radicalisation. A child’s resilience to radicalisation can be strengthened by ensuring there is a safe environment for debating controversial or provocative issues and helping them to understand how they can impact and contribute to decision-making. Empowering vulnerable young people so they do not feel disillusioned or marginalised is key to decreasing their susceptibility to radicalisation.

We must remain highly conscious of the fact that often radicalisation in one direction can lead to radicalisation in the polar opposite direction. For example, youths who witness violence on screen or who see classmates being radicalised by ISIL may in turn become xenophobic and lean towards nationalist or fascist militancy.

Who is running the propaganda? – Online propaganda has been a part of the strategy of many terrorist organisations. ISIS has been known to have been doing it globally very effectively. Supporters and members of ISIL share content such as fabricated news stories and YouTube videos, among their peer groups and can reach high numbers of young users.

What has the Indian government done about it? – In a curious case recently father of a young educated girl from a university in Delhi approached the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and reported her inclinations of joining the IS. He reportedly sought help from the NIA in counseling and de-radicalising her. The agency, in turn, got in touch with the IB which is now handling the matter.

India at present does not have a coherent strategy to deal with such cases and there is no particular cell that has been made the nodal agency to tackle increasing radicalisation.

Security agencies have moved the home ministry for an effective de-radicalisation programme to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State and other fundamentalist groups.

Source: TheHindu, Indian Express, HindustanTimes


Annual renewables capacity to increase by 8.8GW

India’s renewable energy sector may add 8.8 GW of new capacity in 2016-17 on the back of a record capacity increase of 6.9 GW in the previous year, according to a ICRA Ratings report.

The new renewable capacities in 2015-16 were chiefly driven by significant increases in solar and wind capacity, which grew by 3 GW and 3.3 GW respectively.Further, solar power is expected to remain a key driver for RE capacity addition in the medium term.


What is renewable energy? – Renewable energy in India comes under the purview of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. India’s cumulative grid interactive or grid tied renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro) has reached 33.8 GW, of which 66% comes from wind, while solar PV contributed nearly 4.59%.

Renewable energy has been classified under wind power, solar power, biomass, waste to power, and small hydropower projects.

Source: TheHindu, Wikipedia


Coral bleaching accelerates in Great Barrier Reef

Scientists at the James Cook University in a research recently  revealed that coral bleaching has extended to cover 93 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Some of the sites witnessed very severe bleaching event occurring not just in the Great Barrier Reef but throughout many parts of the Pacific.


What is coral bleaching? – When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white.

When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.  Corals can recover if the water temperature drops and the algae are able to recolonise them, but scientists warned last year that the warming effects of a El Nino weather pattern could result in a mass global bleaching event.

What is the impact of coral bleaching? – Coral bleaching and associated mortality not only have negative impacts on coral communities, but they also impact fish communities and the human communities that depend on coral reefs and associated fisheries for livelihoods and wellbeing.

  • Degraded coral reefs are less able to provide the ecosystem services on which local human communities depend. For example, degraded reefs are less productive and may not be able to sustain accretion rates necessary to ensure reefs continue to provide shoreline protection services.
  • Reefs damaged by coral bleaching can quickly lose many of the features that underpin the aesthetic appeal that is fundamental to reef tourism. The resultant loss of revenue from reduced tourist activity can threaten the livelihoods of local communities.
  • Coral bleaching events that lead to significant coral mortality can drive large shifts in fish communities. This can translate into reduced catches for fishers targeting reef fish species, which in turn leads to impacts on food supply and associated economic activities.
  • Cultural values of many tropical island communities (e.g., religious sites and traditional uses of marine resources) depend upon healthy coral reef ecosystems and can be adversely affected by coral bleaching.
  • Coral reefs are a valuable source of pharmaceutical compounds. Degraded and dead reefs are less likely to serve as a source for important medicinal resources (i.e., drugs to treat heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses).


Source: TheHindu, OceanService, ReefResilience.org


Reforms needed to boost services: President

President Pranab Mukherjee  said to boost the services sector, the process of liberalisation, which started in 1990s, has to be strongly pursued with major policy initiatives and sub-sector focused approach.

To help realise their full potential, services such as tourism and hospitality need consistent support of policy initiatives and development of requisite infrastructure. He said to be a world leader in manufacturing and service sectors, it was important for India to generate skilled workforce to cater to the domestic and global job markets.

The president said the government’s ‘Skill India’ initiative was aimed at training over 40 crore people in the country by 2022.


What is the status of services sector in India? – The services sector, with around 52 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014-15, has made rapid strides in the past decade and a half to emerge as the largest and one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. The services sector is not only the dominant sector in India’s GDP, but has also attracted significant foreign investment flows, contributed significantly to exports as well as provided large-scale employment. India’s services sector covers a wide variety of activities such as trade, hotel and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financing, insurance, real estate, business services, community, social and personal services, and services associated with construction.

The services sector contributed US$ 783 billion to the 2014-15 GDP (at constant prices) growing at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9 per cent, faster than the overall GDP CAGR of 6.2 per cent in the past four years.

Source: TheHindu, Ibef.org

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