18 Apr 2024: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

18 April 2024 CNA
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A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
1. How can small-scale farmers benefit from trees on farms?
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. The Great Indian Bustard and climate action verdict
1. On India’s ‘heat action plans’
F. Prelims Facts
1. Centre tweaks green credit programme norms
2. Israel reserves 'right to protect itself' after Iran attack: Netanyahu
3. Indian economy projected to grow 6.5% in 2024: UNCTAD
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine


1. On India’s ‘heat action plans’

Syllabus: GS-3, Disaster and Disaster Management

Mains: Heatwave: Implication and remedies 


  • Heat alerts from the IMD usually begin in summer, but this year they started as early as February.
  • Parts of northeast and western India saw temperatures 3.1-5 degrees Celsius above normal before summer.
  • IMD predicts increased maximum temperatures and more frequent heatwaves in eastern and southern India.
  • The above development raises questions about India’s readiness to face this hazard and its impact.

Definition of Heatwaves by the India Meteorological Department (IMD):

  • Heatwaves are defined by the IMD based on regional physiography.
  • Criteria include maximum temperatures of 40°C or more in plains, 37°C or more in coastal regions, and 30°C or more in hilly areas.
  • Severity is gauged by departure from normal temperatures, with “severe” classifications for deviations of 4.5-6.4°C for a “normal heatwave” and greater deviations for a “severe heatwave.”
  • For extreme cases, a heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature exceeds 45°C, and a severe heatwave if it surpasses 47°C.

Heat Action Plans (HAPs) and Their Recommendations:

  • HAPs aim to mitigate the adverse impacts of heatwaves through preparedness strategies.
  • Recommendations include early warning systems, public education campaigns, and the establishment of heat shelters and cooling centres.
  • Hospitals are advised to stock supplies and train staff for treating heat-related illnesses.
  • Long-term measures involve urban planning for green spaces, heat-resistant building materials, and cool roofing technologies.

Challenges and Debilitations in Implementing HAPs:

  • Local Context and Regional Variations: Current national thresholds for heatwaves overlook local factors like urban heat islands and humidity. HAPs need adaptation to accommodate diverse climatic conditions and demographics.
  • Inconsistent Methods: Vulnerability assessments lack consistency across HAPs, requiring a shift to comprehensive climate risk assessments and hotspot mapping.
  • Vulnerable Populations: While prioritizing vulnerable groups, HAPs lack targeted interventions considering socio-economic differences, especially for informal workers.
  • Resource Allocation and Integration: Inconsistent implementation due to varying priorities and capacities necessitates dedicated budgets and integration of HAPs with broader urban resilience and climate adaptation plans.

Nut Graf: India Meteorological Department defines heatwaves based on regional temperatures. Heat action plans recommend early warning systems, shelters, and healthcare readiness. Targeted interventions for vulnerable communities, addressing regional variations and socio-economic differences, are crucial for effectiveness.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Centre tweaks green credit programme norms

Context: The Green Credit Programme (GCP), aimed at encouraging afforestation projects in degraded forest lands for green credits, faces scrutiny over concerns of prioritizing financial gains over ecosystem restoration. The Union Environment Ministry seeks to address these concerns by emphasizing ecosystem restoration in the programme’s framework.

Objective and Concerns:

  • The GCP aims to encourage afforestation and ecosystem restoration on degraded forest lands.
  • Concerns have been raised that the programme might lead to tree planting solely for financial gains, rather than ecosystem restoration.

Programme Overview:

  • Forest departments of 13 states have offered 387 land parcels of degraded forest land, totalling nearly 10,983 hectares, for restoration.
  • Individuals and companies can apply to the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) to pay for the restoration of these forests.
  • The actual afforestation work will be carried out by state forest departments.

Green Credits:

  • After two years of planting, each tree planted can be worth one ‘green credit,’ evaluated by the ICFRE.

Tradeability of Green Credits:

  • Currently, green credits are not tradable, but the notified rules of the GCP state that they will be tradable on a domestic market platform in the future.
  • Green credits could also potentially be used to obtain carbon credits if they lead to measurable reductions in carbon emissions.

Guidelines and Changes:

  • The Environment Ministry issued guidelines for states to calculate the cost of restoring degraded forest landscapes.
  • The previous requirement of a minimum of 1,100 trees per hectare has been removed, and states can now specify their own criteria.
  • Preference is given to indigenous species, and naturally growing seedlings will be retained.

Participation and Pilot Phase:

  • Several public sector companies have registered to invest in the programme, including Indian Oil, Power Grid Corporation, and Coal India.
  • The programme is currently in a pilot project mode, and details such as quantifying shrubs and grasses for green credits are still being worked out.

Obligations and Equivalence:

  • Companies may not be able to offset all their compensatory afforestation obligations using green credits but can claim a portion.
  • The equivalence between green credits and carbon credits is also under discussion.

2. Israel reserves ‘right to protect itself’ after Iran attack: Netanyahu

Context: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserts Israel’s right to protect itself amidst escalating tensions with Iran following a missile and drone attack. The international community, represented by the United States, European Union, and Western envoys, urges restraint to prevent further escalation in the region.


  • Iran-Israel Tensions: Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack on Israel and Israel’s vow to respond escalate tensions in an already volatile region.
  • Diplomatic Efforts: International efforts to de-escalate the situation and prevent further conflict through diplomatic channels and sanctions against Iran.


  • The escalating tensions between Iran and Israel pose a threat to regional stability and have broader implications for international security. Diplomatic interventions and measured responses are crucial to preventing further escalation and promoting peace.


  • Diplomatic Dialogue: Continued engagement through diplomatic channels to facilitate dialogue and negotiation between Iran and Israel, backed by the international community’s support.
  • Restraint and De-escalation: Urging both parties to exercise restraint and avoid actions that could lead to further escalation, prioritizing dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
  • International Sanctions: Strengthening sanctions against Iran to deter aggressive behaviour and incentivize compliance with international norms and obligations.
  • Regional Stability Measures: Promoting regional cooperation and confidence-building measures to mitigate tensions and build trust between neighbouring countries.

3. Indian economy projected to grow 6.5% in 2024: UNCTAD

Context: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projects India’s economy to grow by 6.5% in 2024, maintaining its status as the fastest-growing major economy globally. The report highlights the positive impact of multinational companies diversifying their supply chains by extending manufacturing processes into India on the country’s exports.

Indian Economic Growth:

  • India’s economy is projected to grow by 6.5% in 2024, following a growth rate of 6.7% in 2023.
  • The growth in 2023 was driven by strong public investment and the services sector, supported by robust local and external demand.
  • The UNCTAD report suggests that India’s economy will continue to be the fastest-growing major economy in the world in 2024.

Multinationals and Manufacturing:

  • There is an increasing trend of multinationals extending their manufacturing processes into India to diversify their supply chains, similar to China.
  • This shift is expected to have a positive impact on Indian exports, particularly as global commodity prices moderate. China’s economy is projected to grow by 4.9% in 2024 but faces challenges such as external uncertainties, housing market issues, and subdued consumption.
  • The UNCTAD report highlights that while some economies, including China and India, escaped financial troubles in 2023, there are growing challenges such as trade disruptions, climate change, low growth, under-investment, and inequalities.
  • The IMF projects India’s growth to remain strong at 6.8% in 2024 and 6.5% in 2025, driven by domestic demand and a rising working-age population.


  • Global Economic Outlook: Amidst global economic uncertainties, projections for India’s economic growth are crucial for assessing its resilience and potential.
  • Factors Driving Growth: Understanding the drivers behind India’s economic growth, including public investment, services sector vitality, and external demand, is essential for policy formulation.


  • Enhancing Public Investment: Continued emphasis on public investment in infrastructure, healthcare, and education can stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities.
  • Promoting Services Sector: Further nurturing the services sector, particularly business services exports, can capitalize on external demand and bolster economic growth.
  • Attracting Foreign Investment: Creating a conducive environment for multinational companies to invest in manufacturing and diversify supply chains in India can boost exports and contribute to economic expansion.
  • Policy Stability: Ensuring policy stability and implementing structural reforms to improve the ease of doing business can enhance investor confidence and foster sustainable economic growth.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. With respect to the Great Indian Bustard, consider the following statements:
  1. It is exclusive to the North Western Plains.
  2. It is the state bird of Rajasthan.
  3. Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. None
  4. All three

Answer: d

Explanation: All the statements are correct. 

Q2. With reference to the Green Credit scheme, consider the following statements:
  1. It is an initiative within the government’s Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) movement.
  2. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) serves as the GCP Administrator.

Select the correct statement using the codes given below:

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Neither 1 nor 2
  4. Both 1 and 2

Answer: a

Explanation: The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) serves as the GCP Administrator.

Q3. Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out 
to the Mediterranean Sea?
  1. Syria
  2. Jordan
  3. Lebanon
  4. Israel

Answer: b

Explanation: Jordan does not open out to the Mediterranean Sea.

Q4. Consider the following statements about heat waves:
  1. A heatwave is a period of extremely hot weather, accompanied by high humidity from time to time.
  2. India does not recognize heat waves as a disaster under the Disaster Management Act.
  3. The health impact involves dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. None
  4. All three

Answer: d

Explanation: All the statements are correct. 

Q5. Which of the following statements can be considered as advantages 
of agroforestry:
  1. Agroforestry systems have more biodiversity than conventional farming systems.
  2. The absentee landlords go for agroforestry to retain the title of the land and to increase their income.
  3. To manage the agricultural land even without the availability of family labour.
  4. Improved food security and nutrition.
  5. To meet the needs of fuel wood, fodder and timber.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. Only two
  2. Only three
  3. Only four
  4. All five

Answer: d

Explanation: All the statements are correct.


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