Yojana Magazine is an important source of material for the UPSC exam. The monthly magazine provides details of major government schemes and programmes in various domains. Moreover, coming from the government, it is an authentic source of information for the UPSC Exam. Here, we provide the Gist of Yojana, exclusively for the IAS Exam.
Gist of Yojana November 2023
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence 2. India’s Rising Influence - G20 Summit Puts India on the World Stage 3. Green development pact 4. Designing Circular Economy for the World 5. Digital Public Infrastructure and Public Participation
1. Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence
- The recently concluded G20 Summit in New Delhi delved into various aspects of Responsible AI (RAI). Governments worldwide are actively formulating regulations for the responsible use of AI, particularly in light of the emergence of Generative AI (Gen AI) applications.
- The G20 New Delhi Declaration on AI underscores the G20 nations’ commitment to harnessing AI for the public good, addressing challenges responsibly, inclusively, and human-centrically, while safeguarding people’s rights and safety.
- The human-centred approach to AI was emphasised in the G20 AI principles of 2019, adopted at the Osaka Summit 2019. In pursuit of this goal, G20 leaders have pledged support to educational institutions and teachers, enabling them to keep pace with technological advancements.
How does AI pose ethical risks?
What is Responsible AI (RAI)?
- RAI, or Responsible AI, is an overarching concept that encompasses the principles of fairness, explainability, and trustworthiness in AI systems.
- It entails designing, developing, and deploying AI in a way that empowers employees, businesses, and society as a whole while adhering to ethical principles and ensuring fair outcomes.
India’s Effort in Responsible AI
- NITI Aayog released a two-part report in 2021 outlining approaches and operationalising principles for Responsible AI (RAI) in the deployment and use of civilian AI architecture. NITI Aayog has identified seven broad principles for responsible AI management:
- Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI): It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together experts from science, industry, civil society, international organisations, and governments to foster knowledge exchange, identify key issues among AI practitioners, and promote responsible development and use of AI.
- India currently holds the chairmanship of GPAI and has advocated for a unified framework of rules and guidelines on data governance to safeguard users from harm and ensure the safety of both the internet and AI technologies.
Conclusion: Despite numerous initiatives aimed at mitigating the potential risks associated with the misuse of AI, there is currently no global consensus or regulatory framework governing the ethical and responsible use of AI. Organisations like the G20 and GPAI can play a crucial role in bridging the gap between AI innovation and ethical considerations.
2. India’s Rising Influence – G20 Summit Puts India on the World Stage
- Recently, at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in 2023, the Indian Prime Minister handed over the G20 Presidency to the President of Brazil. India had held the Presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023.
Achievements of India during G20 presidency:
- Human-centric approach: India prioritised a human-centric and democratic approach during its G20 presidency, earning it the title of “People’s G20.” Over 150 million citizens actively participated in G20 events through Jan Bhagidari or citizen engagement initiatives. Dedicated G20 websites and mobile applications were developed to enhance accessibility and outreach.
- Showcase of India’s rich diversity: Over 200 G20 meetings were conducted across all Indian states and union territories, highlighting India’s rich cultural heritage, strong cooperative federalism, organisational capabilities, and collaborative spirit.
- G20 New Delhi Declaration: The G20 New Delhi Declaration was adopted unanimously by all member nations, demonstrating a remarkable display of unity despite existing geopolitical divisions within the grouping.
- During the presidency, 112 significant outcomes were produced, including the Deccan High-Level Principles on Food Security and Nutrition, the Chennai High-Level Principles for the Blue/Ocean Economy, and the Goa Roadmap on Tourism.
- Priority areas: India placed the utmost focus on key priority areas like climate action, digital public infrastructure, sustainable development, and inclusive governance.
- Expansion of the G20: India championed the inclusion of the African Union as a full-fledged member of the G20. This underscores India’s commitment to a more inclusive and representative G20 that reflects the diversity of the global community.
- Key initiatives spearheaded by India:
- India established the Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository, a platform where G20 and non-G20 countries can voluntarily share their open-source software solutions. This aims to foster collaboration and innovation in the digital realm, creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem for all participants.
- The One Future Alliance is a voluntary initiative led by India aimed at building capacity, providing technical assistance, and securing adequate funding support for implementing digital public infrastructure in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).
- Food Security and Nutrition: India’s proposal for the G20 Millets and Other Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI) was welcomed by G20 members which focuses on promoting the cultivation, consumption, and research of millets and other ancient grains.
Conclusion: India’s G20 presidency has set a remarkable precedent for global cooperation and leadership. India has earned the title of Vishwamitra, a universal friend and mediator, for its unwavering commitment to advocating for the concerns of the Global South. By prioritising the developmental agenda within the G20, India has paved the way towards a more resilient and inclusive economic order, setting the stage for a prosperous and equitable future for all.
3. Green development pact
Context: In the G20 presidency of India, sustainability was its core theme. India focuses on economy and ecology in development. The Green Development Pact with other initiatives has highlighted the efforts in this direction.
Importance of the efforts by G20: The G20 collectively represents ⅔ rd of the world population, 85% of GDP, and 75% of international trade. The efforts in the direction of sustainability by g20 leaders can make a significant impact. G20 leaders have acknowledged the importance of sustainability and adopted a green development pact.
Other initiatives which highlight the determination of efforts towards the green economy are:
- Global Biofuel Alliance
- LiFE: During the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26), Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the “LiFE (Lifestyle for the Environment)” mission. This initiative aims to involve individuals in addressing the impacts of climate change by promoting a lifestyle centred around conscious and intentional resource utilization. The goal is to shift away from current habits of ‘use and dispose’ and inspire people to adopt small, impactful changes in their daily lives to contribute to mitigating climate change.
- Other initiatives such as Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) on plastic packaging under the plastic waste management rule, EPR on e-waste management rule mark steps towards the transition.
- Other initiatives, such as the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency, and Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition launched by India also support the progress towards green development.
- Circular economy transition is also a key model for the future. A circular economy creates jobs in various sectors such as repair, manufacturing, research, recycling, waste management etc.
Green Development Pact:
The Green Development Pact encompasses key themes such as resource efficiency, sustainable consumption, a just energy transition, climate and sustainable finance, principles for an ocean-based Blue Economy, and building disaster-resilient infrastructure. It aims to address the development needs of the Global South, promote global sustainability, and bridge gaps between nations.
The pact focuses on ecological restoration. The commitment is to restore 30% of the degraded ecosystem by 2030.
India’s G20 presidency placed sustainability at its core, emphasizing the vital intersection of economy and ecology in development. The Green Development Pact, alongside initiatives, underscores a collective commitment to fostering a green economy.
4. Designing Circular Economy for the World
Context: With a rising world population the demand for consumption is bound to rise and so the circular economy holds great importance not only for a nation but worldwide. The high-level principles on lifestyle for sustainable development which was adopted in G 20 highlight the commitment to promote responsible consumption and circular economy.
Why is the Circular economy crucial in the present and coming future?
- The population of the world is growing and is expected to touch 10 billion by 2050. With an increasing population, the demand for food, shelter, clothing, recreation-related goods and services is bound to increase. More extraction of resources will be needed to fulfil the demand.
- If we follow a linear economy, where resources are extracted, used to create products, and then disposed of as waste after their life cycle, leading to a one-way flow, It is going to be unsustainable in the coming future. The finite natural resources of the earth will degrade bringing resource insecurity, biodiversity loss, pollution and climate change. Sustainable development is not possible with this model. This approach contrasts with a circular economy, which promotes recycling, reusing, and minimizing waste to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly system.
- It is imperative to switch to a circular economy if we want sustainable growth meeting SDGs such as responsible consumption and production SDG 12.
Concept of ‘circularity’ in circular economy:
The concept of ‘circularity’ revolves around the principles of minimizing waste, promoting resource efficiency, and fostering sustainable practices. It emphasizes the continuous use, recycling, and regeneration of materials to create a closed-loop system that reduces environmental impact and enhances long-term sustainability. Circularity covers the whole lifecycle of a product from designing to manufacturing to consumption to repairing, recycling and reusing.
How life choices play a crucial role in the transition to a circular economy?
Two-thirds of the emissions are contributed from lifestyle consumption as per evidence.
The main areas which need to be targeted are mobility, energy use, dietary choices, food and new business models.
The textile industry has a role to play: As per a report by UNEP, fashion consumption has doubled and garments are discarded in a shorter time. The consideration of the circular economy in the textile industry has a significant role to play and the industry is not yet on this road. So, the new business model, such as the textile industry needs a transition.
Focus of G20 nations:
During the G20 summit, the high-level principles on lifestyle for sustainable development were adopted acknowledging the importance of a circular economy.
Transition in the supply chain is crucial and the focus should be on high-impact sectors of the economy such as mobility, textiles, plastics, buildings, etc.
Measures from India for the transition towards circular economy:
There are various steps taken for the transition as follows.
- Steel scrap policy, Draft national resource efficiency policy 2019, vehicle scrapping policy, sectoral actions plan for circular economy.
- Guidelines on extended producers responsibility (EPR) on plastic packaging under the plastic waste management rules, and EPR on e-waste management rules mark steps towards the transition.
- Other initiatives Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency, the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition launched by India.
- Mission LiFE launched by Prime Minister Modi is a step towards responsible consumption.
- The Travel for LiFE initiative seeks to instigate changes in the behaviour of both tourists and tourism businesses, emphasizing environmental preservation and socio-cultural sustainability.
Embracing a circular economy is imperative to address the challenges posed by a growing global population and increasing consumption demands. By minimizing waste, promoting resource efficiency, and adopting sustainable practices, nations can pave the way for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future.
5. Digital Public Infrastructure and Public Participation
The global demand for a strong Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) is increasing as digitalization grows. DPI is essential for enhancing resilience, facilitating service provision, and fostering innovation. It is important to cultivate this fundamental framework to ensure that everyone, from urban innovators to rural craftspersons, can participate in the digital economy.
The G20 India Presidency, 2023 was grounded in the central theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which translates to ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. This theme emphasised the importance of fair and inclusive economic growth as well as a collective vision for the future. The G20 Leaders’ Declaration under India’s Presidency emphasizes the role of technology in bridging digital divides and promoting inclusive and sustainable development. India is building a Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPIR) to store DPI information.
What is Digital Public Infrastructure?
Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) is a digital network facilitating the efficient delivery of economic opportunities and social services. Comparable to physical roads, it connects people, streamlines tasks like opening bank accounts and receiving wages, enables rapid government support during emergencies, and empowers entrepreneurs to reach a broad customer base.
Digital Public Infrastructure in India
India has adopted Digital Public Infrastructures (DPIs) like Aadhaar, Jan Dhan bank accounts, and mobile phones to accelerate financial inclusion. The JAM Trinity has increased financial inclusion from 25% in 2008 to over 80% in the past six years.
Government-to-person Programmes & Unified Payments Interface
India has pioneered one of the world’s largest digital Government-to-Person (G2P) architectures through DPI. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a swift and instantaneous payment network, recorded over 10.586 billion transactions, totalling approximately Rs 15.76 trillion in August 2023.
India Stack & Account Aggregator System
India Stack, the foundational DPI, has spurred innovation, healthy competition, and expanded market reach. It addresses financial inclusion disparities, enhances government revenue collection, and streamlines Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. Notably, it has played a vital role in modernising and simplifying KYC processes.
Key initiatives in India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) journey include
Digital India Initiative and BharatNet Project:
- The Digital India Initiative focuses on providing digital infrastructure and promoting digital literacy.
- The BharatNet Project aims to connect all of India’s Gram Panchayats to broadband internet, linking 202,028 Gram Panchayats and installing 658,685 kilometres of optical fibre cables as of September 11, 2023.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY):
- A significant contributor to financial inclusion, with a total of 50.41 crore beneficiaries across different types of banks as of September 13, 2023.
- Cumulative deposits in PMJDY accounts reached a total of Rs 20,494.18 billion.
Make in India Initiative:
- Focused on reducing import dependency by promoting local production of electronic and digital goods.
- As of June 2023, the initiative has successfully spurred the local production of electronic and digital goods, enhancing self-reliance.
Startup India Initiative:
- Provides vital support to startups, including access to funding, mentorship, and regulatory reforms.
- As of May 31, 2023, India accommodates 108 unicorns, with a combined valuation of $340.80 billion.
Smart Cities Mission:
- Aligned with the G20’s DPI focus, covering 100 cities, 7,934 projects, and an estimated cost of Rs 170,392 crore.
- Enhances digital capabilities in cities with Wi-Fi, intelligent transportation, and data-driven governance.
Aadhaar, UMANG, DigiLocker, and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC):
- Aadhaar remains integral for digital services and identity verification.
- UMANG and DigiLocker align with the G20’s DPI focus by providing secure and accessible government services and digital document storage.
- The launch of the e-Rupee, a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), aligns with the G20’s emphasis on CBDCs, showcasing India’s proactive adoption of digital currency solutions.
Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Development:
- MeitY is actively driving AI development in India, aligning with the G20’s focus on responsible AI use.
- Initiatives include re-skilling, online portals, capacity building, and international collaborations, all aimed at public benefit and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
The G20 Leaders’ Declaration emphasizes the importance of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in promoting inclusive and sustainable development. India’s leadership in DPI initiatives, such as Aadhaar and UPI, serves as a model for other countries.
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