Current Affairs September 28

Employment data

  • The All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey, in a report released on Monday, said that the overall employment numbers had increased by 29% from the base year of 2013-14.
  • However, in the first quarter of this fiscal (April-June 2021), 27% of the establishments surveyed reported pandemic-related retrenchment
  • The report said the IT/ BPO sector had the most impressive growth (152%), followed by health (77%), transport (68%), financial services (48%), construction (42%), education (39%) and manufacturing (22%).
  • Manufacturing was found to account for 41% of the establishments, followed by education (22%) and health (8%).
  • There was a decline in employment in trade (25%) and accommodation and restaurants (13%)





  • AUKUS helps reassure its allies of the U.S.’s security commitments and underlines Washington’s pivot to the Indo-Pacific.
  • Second, the deal and particularly the sharing of American nuclear submarine technology with Australia will help Canberra overcome past hesitations about taking on China with more conviction.
  • Third, notwithstanding the point that AUKUS may set alarm bells ringing for the Quad, AUKUS is still a shot in the arm for the larger Indo-Pacific agenda of which India, the U.S., Japan, Australia, among others, are key partners.
  • In other words, AUKUS will help the Quad’s declared aim of keeping the Indo-Pacific region free, open and inclusive thereby contributing to its core agenda
  • AUKUS may not replace the Quad and yet it appears that AUKUS has ventured where the Quad has been reluctant to make forays into — the military domain.
  • More so, AUKUS also exposes the inherent, also self-imposed, limits of the Quad, i.e., its inability and lack of desire to give itself any military role
  • The larger question then is whether the Quad is losing its steam.
  • For sure, the Quad seems to offer no clear purpose which, as a result, leads to too many items crowding the agenda.
  • What is ironic is that all the Quad members have security/military considerations in mind vis-à-vis China while engaging the Quad platform, but no one seems to be keen on framing it in such a manner, as is evidenced by the summit’s joint statement (North Korea and Myanmar find mention in the statement though, not China
  • There is also little doubt today that the Indo-Pacific is of great importance to India for a number of reasons.
  • For one, given the continental challenges it faces including from the new developments in Afghanistan, New Delhi would do well to shift some attention to the maritime sphere.
  • Second, at a time when India is continentally pressed against a rock and a hard place, an opportunity has presented itself for India — in the form of growing global interest in the Indo-Pacific — to be at the centre of a new geopolitical churning which it must make use of for its own security and prosperity.
  • Third, it is also a major way of bringing together like-minded states to check Chinese hegemony in the region.

What are the sources of New Delhi’s hesitation regarding a robust role for the Quad in the security/military domain?

  • One, India’s traditional reluctance about military alliances and the desire to maintain strategic autonomy.
  • New Delhi fears that militarising the Quad could undo this jealously guarded tradition.
  • any military overtones for the Quad due to potential Chinese reactions to it.
  • ‘’Gulab’’ and post disaster management
  • The imperative is to reach out to those affected by Gulab with food, shelter and health-care support, deploying the many administrative capabilities acquired during the pandemic with the same alacrity.
  • The welcome concern for public health and economic security must lead to stronger institutional responses to natural disasters too.
  • The northern Indian Ocean, of which the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal are a part, experiences only a minority of tropical storms annually, at about 7% of worldwide events, but their destructive impact on the subcontinent is severe due to a dense population and poor capacity to absorb large quantities of rainfall dumped in a short period over cities and towns.
  • Financial arrangements to insure the population against material losses also remain weak, and as the experience in West Bengal with cyclone Amphan demonstrated last year, relief measures can easily fall victim to corruption.
  • The influence of climate change on cyclone characteristics in a world that is heating up due to accumulation of greenhouse gases is an ongoing topic of study.
  • The IPCC, in its scientific report on 1.5° C warming, said with a high degree of confidence that changes in the climate system, including the proportion of tropical cyclones, would experience a larger impact from increasing warming.
  • Research evidence shows more cyclones forming over the Arabian Sea when compared to the Bay; overall there were eight storms of concern to India in 2019, and five last year, Amphan being a super cyclone.
  • The Centre and all States cannot afford to allow large-scale losses to communities to continue each year, and, going beyond disaster response, must put in place institutional structures and insurance systems for financial protection.
  • Cities must prepare to harvest every deluge that brings vast quantities of water, so vital to sustain mass populations




  • The Union Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy recently reviewed the progress of the PM-KUSUM scheme and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to accelerating solar pump adoption.
  • Launched in 2019, PM-KUSUM aims to help farmers access reliable daytime solar power for irrigation, reduce power subsidies, and decarbonise agriculture.
  • But pandemic-induced disruptions, limited buy-in from States, and implementation challenges have all affected the scheme’s roll-out.
  • PM-KUSUM provides farmers with incentives to install solar power pumps and plants in their fields.
  • They can use one of three deployment models: offgrid solar pumps, solarised agricultural feeders, or grid-connected pumps.
  • Barriers to adoption include limited awareness about solar pumps and farmers’ inability to pay their upfront contribution.

Steps to implement

  • First, extend the scheme’s timelines.
  • Second, create a level playing field for distributed solar plants.
  • Third, streamline land regulations through inter-departmental coordination
  • Fourth, support innovative solutions for financing farmers’



Digital health mission

  • Under the mission, a unique digital health ID will be provided to the people, which will contain all the health records of the person.
  • The pilot project of the National Digital Health Mission was announced by PM Modi during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort on August 15, 2020.
  • At present, the project is being implemented in the pilot phase in six Union Territories. The nationwide rollout of the project coincides with National Health Authority (NHA) celebrating the third anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
  • The mission will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent
  • The key components of the project include a health ID for every citizen that will also work as their health account, to which personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application, a Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) that will act as a repository of all healthcare providers across both modern and traditional systems of medicine.
  • This will ensure ease of doing business for doctors and hospitals and healthcare service providers
  • The mission will create integration within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in revolutionising payments. Citizens will only be a click-away from accessing healthcare facilities


Akash Prime


  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday successfully tested a new version of the Akash surface-to-air missile Akash Prime from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha.
  • “In comparison to the existing Akash System, Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for improved accuracy.
  • Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under low temperature environment at higher altitudes