Current Affairs 2 November 2022

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Current Affairs 2 November 2022

GS 1

Vulnerable Section

Mangarh Dham

Context-Modi calls for road map todevelop Mangarh Dham as a global tribal destination

Nearly 1,500 Bhil tribals and forest dwellers were killed in a hill in Mangarh on November 17, 1913, when the British Indian Army opened fire on the protesters who were demanding abolition of bonded labour system and relaxation in heavy agriculture taxes imposed by the rulers of princely states. The tribes in the southern Rajasthan region were led by Govind Guru

GS 2

International Organization

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Context-At SCO meet, Jaishankar targets BRI

What is the Shangai cooperation organisation (SCO)?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, created on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China). The founding members are:

  1. The Republic of Kazakhstan
  2. The People’s Republic of China
  3. The Kyrgyz Republic
  4. The Russian Federation
  5. The Republic of Tajikistan
  6. The Republic of Uzbekistan.

It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism (1996) formed by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Present members of SCO:

  1. The Republic of India
  2. The Republic of Kazakhstan
  3. The People’s Republic of China
  4. The Kyrgyz Republic
  5. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  6. The Russian Federation
  7. The Republic of Tajikistan
  8. The Republic of Uzbekistan

The SCO’s main goals are as follows:

  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states
  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology, and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.
  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security, and stability in the region
  • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.

India and Shangai cooperation organisation (SCO):

Shangai cooperation organisation (SCO) is seen as an eastern counter-balance to NATO and India’s membership will allow the country to push effective action in combating terrorism and security issues.

The presence of India and China, the world’s most populous countries, makes SCO the organisation with the largest population coverage.

India for the first time hosted the heads of governments (HoG) meeting of SCO, three years after joining the eight-nation group in 2020. 

  • The SCO’s significance for India mainly lies in economics and geopolitics with the Eurasian states.
  • SCO is a potential platform to advance India’s Central Asia policy. The SCO member states are India’s extended neighborhood where India has both economic and security imperatives.
  • The ‘SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group’to stabilize Afghanistan provides India a vital counter to some of the other groupings it is a part of.
  • The SCO provides the only multilateral platform for India to deal with near Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Acknowledging the strategic importance of the region and SCO, the Indian Prime Minister had articulated the foundational dimension of Eurasia as being ‘SECURE’:
    • S for Security of our citizens,
    • E for Economic development for all,
    • C for Connecting the region,
    • U for Unite our people,
    • R for Respect for Sovereignty and Integrity, and
    • E for Environment protection.

Challenges ahead of India:

  • Central Asia connectivity: a major thorn in India’s engagement with Eurasia remains the denial of direct land connectivity to Afghanistan and beyond by Pakistan. The lack of connectivity has dampened the development of energy ties between the hydrocarbon-rich region and India
  • Russia- China: Initially, Russia pushed India’s inclusion into the SCO to balance China’s power. But Russia and China are growing closer, and India has been promoting better relations with the US.
  • Belt and Road Initiative: While India has made its opposition to BRI clear, all other SCO members have embraced the Chinese project.
  • India-Pakistan: SCO members have, in the past, expressed fears of the organisation being held hostage to India’s and Pakistan’s adverse relationship.

Way Forward:

  • India needs to improve connectivity with Central Asia through the Chabahar port and enter into Ashgabat agreement should be utilized for a stronger presence in Eurasia along with a focus on International North-South Corridor (INSTC).
  • India and China must co-exist peacefully for the era to be viewed as the Asian century.
  • SCO’s goal on promoting economic cooperation, trade, energy, and regional connectivity should be used to improve relations with Pakistan and persuade it to unblock India’s access to Eurasia and impetus to projects like
  • The increasing terrorist activities in the region make it imperative for SCO countries to develop a ‘cooperative and sustainable security’ framework and make the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure more effective.

Belt and Road Initiative

What is BRI?

The Belt and Road Initiative, reminiscent of the Silk Road, is a massive infrastructure project that would stretch from East Asia to Europe.

It was launched in 2013.

  • The plan is two-pronged: the overland Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road- The two were collectively referred to first as the One Belt, One Road initiative but eventually became the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The project involves creating a vast network of railways, energy pipelines, highways, and streamlined border crossings.

What was the original Silk Road?

The original Silk Road arose during the westward expansion of China’s Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), which forged trade networks throughout the Central Asian countries, as well as modern-day India and Pakistan to the south. Those routes extended more than four thousand miles to Europe.

GS 3

Indian Economy Section

Purchasing Managers Index

Context- India factory output growth, new orders ease to 4-month lows: PMI

PMI is an indicator of business activity- in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Calculation of PMI

  • It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month.
  • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is constructed.
  • The PMI is a number from 0 to 100.

    • PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared to the previous month;
    • PMI under 50 represents a contraction, and
    • A reading at 50 indicates no change.
    • If PMI of the previous month is higher than the PMI of the current month (as is the case mentioned above), it represents that the economy is contracting.
  • The PMI is usually released at the start of every month. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.

Purpose: To provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision-makers, analysts, and investors. As the official data on industrial output, manufacturing and GDP growth comes much later, PMI helps to make informed decisions at an earlier stage.


Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

Context- An invasive species, Senna spectabilis, an exotic tree, has taken over between 800 hectares and 1,200 hectares of the buffer zones of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR)

Editorial Analysis

The weakest link in the air pollution fight

“Air Pollution is the release of pollutants such as gases, particles, biological molecules, etc. into the air that is harmful to human health and the environment.”

Causes of Air Pollution

Following are the important causes of air pollution:

Burning of Fossil Fuels

The combustion of fossil fuels emits a large amount of sulphur dioxide. Carbon monoxide released by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels also results in air pollution.


The gases emitted from vehicles such as jeeps, trucks, cars, buses, etc. pollute the environment. These are the major sources of greenhouse gases and also result in diseases among individuals.

Agricultural Activities

Ammonia is one of the most hazardous gases emitted during agricultural activities. The insecticides, pesticides and fertilisers emit harmful chemicals in the atmosphere and contaminate it.

Factories and Industries

Factories and industries are the main source of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, hydrocarbons and chemicals. These are released into the air, degrading its quality.

Mining Activities

In the mining process, the minerals below the earth are extracted using large pieces of equipment. The dust and chemicals released during the process not only pollute the air, but also deteriorate the health of the workers and people living in the nearby areas.

Domestic Sources

The household cleaning products and paints contain toxic chemicals that are released in the air. The smell from the newly painted walls is the smell of the chemicals present in the paints. It not only pollutes the air but also affects breathing.

Effects of Air Pollution

The hazardous effects of air pollution on the environment include:


Air pollution has resulted in several respiratory disorders and heart diseases among humans. The cases of lung cancer have increased in the last few decades. Children living near polluted areas are more prone to pneumonia and asthma. Many people die every year due to the direct or indirect effects of air pollution.

Global Warming

Due to the emission of greenhouse gases, there is an imbalance in the gaseous composition of the air. This has led to an increase in the temperature of the earth. This increase in earth’s temperature is known as global warming. This has resulted in the melting of glaciers and an increase in sea levels. Many areas are submerged underwater.

Acid Rain

The burning of fossil fuels releases harmful gases such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides in the air. The water droplets combine with these pollutants, become acidic and fall as acid rain which damages human, animal and plant life.

Ozone Layer Depletion

The release of chlorofluorocarbons, halons, and hydro chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere is the major cause of depletion of the ozone layer. The depleting ozone layer does not prevent the harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the sun and causes skin diseases and eye problems among individuals.

Effect on Animals

The air pollutants suspend in the water bodies and affect aquatic life. Pollution also compels the animals to leave their habitat and shift to a new place. This renders them stray and has also led to the extinction of a large number of animal species.

Government Initiatives to Combat Air Pollution

  • Notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards and sector-specific emission and effluent standards for industries;
  • Setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality;
  • Introduction of cleaner gaseous fuels like CNG, LPG etc and ethanol blending;
  • Launching of National Air Quality Index (AQI);
  • Leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI standards for vehicles by 1st April 2020;
  • Banning of burning of biomass;
  • Promotion of public transport network;
  • Pollution Under Control Certificate;
  • Issuance of directions under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
  • Installation of on-line continuous (24×7) monitoring devices by 17 highly polluting industrial sectors;
  • Regulating the bursting of pollution-emitting crackers;
  • Notification of graded response action plan for Delhi identifying source wise actions for various levels of air pollution, etc.

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