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TOPIC: GS 3 Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

How will digital voucher payment system work?

  • The e-RUPI platform, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the Department of Financial Services, the National Health Authority and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is said to be ‘leak-proof’ and ofers non-transferable monetary service to citizens.
  • The e-RUPI system is accessible to anyone with a mobile phone, even if the recipient does not have a bank account.
  • It comes in the form of one-time use e-vouchers to access government health services.
  • It could gradually be implemented to cover welfare services a beneficiary is already receiving from diferent government agencies

What is the need for this ?

  • The e-RUPI is a digital voucher that can be redeemed by beneficiaries to avail themselves of a specific service.
  • The digital platform does not require a card, app or internet access to redeem an e-voucher.
  • The e-vouchers can be issued by the government or private entities to the beneficiaries through QR codes or long-string SMS.
  • The service is aimed at plugging holes in the existing welfare payment disbursement system.

How does e-RUPI work and where can it be used?

  • The contactless prepaid payment system can be issued by both government agencies and corporate entities to a specifc individual to avail a targeted service.
  • The Union government plans to use e-RUPI for its COVID-19 vaccination drive for citizens and gradually implement it as part of other government schemes.
  • To begin with, the NPCI has tied up with more than 1,600 hospitals where e-RUPI can be redeemed
  • It is powered by the NPCI’s UPI platform, and the service has authorised 11 banks to issue digital vouchers. These include both private and public banks

Is it a digital currency?

  • The e-RUPI is built for a specifc transaction to avail a service at a particular welfare centre.
  • The digital vouchers have a one-time use case and they can’t be transferred.
  • This puts e-RUPI within a voucher-based payment system rather than a virtual currency.
  • The government’s move could be a good starting point to experiment with digital currency

What are some of the challenges in implementation?

  • A 2018 research by Harvard University revealed a 33-percentage point gender gap in mobile phone ownership in India.

 

 

 

  • Online data portal Statista pegs India’s smartphone penetration rate at 42% in the financial year 2020 and estimates it to reach 51% by 2025.
  • Closing the mobile gender gap and enabling a large proportion of citizens to own a mobile phone will remain a problem to be solved

Mains Question

What is the e-RUPI platform for welfare services? Will it be leak-proof and stop misuse of funds?

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-launches-digital-payment-solution-e-rupi/article35681167.ece

PRELIMS PUNCHERS

  1. Nanomaterials

It is describe, in principle, materials of which a single unit small sized in at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nm the usual definition of nanoscale. Nanomaterials research takes a materials science-based approach to nanotechnology, leveraging advances in materials metrology and synthesis which have been developed in support of microfabrication research. Materials with structure at the nanoscale often have unique optical, electronic, thermo-physical or mechanical properties.

Nanomaterials are slowly becoming commercialized and beginning to emerge as commodities. Biological systems often feature natural, functional nanomaterials. The wax crystals covering a lotus or nasturtium leaf, spider and spider-mite silk, the blue hue of tarantulas, the “spatulae” on the bottom of gecko feet, some butterfly wing scales, natural colloids (milk, blood), horny materials (skin, claws, beaks, feathers, horns, hair), paper, cotton, nacre, corals, and even our own bone matrix are all natural organic nanomaterials.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/nanomaterials-as-broad-spectrum-antimicrobial-agents-in-battle-against-antibiotic-resistance/article31892641.ece

  1. Sundarbans

It is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh’s division of Khulna. It comprises closed and open mangrove forests, land used for agricultural purpose, mudflats and barren land, and is intersected by multiple tidal streams and channels.

Four protected areas in the Sundarbans are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, viz. Sundarbans National Park, Sundarbans West, Sundarbans South and Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuaries. Despite these protections, the Indian Sundarbans were considered endangered in a 2020 assessment under the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems framework. The Sundarbans mangrove forest covers an area of about 10,000 km2, of which forests in Bangladesh’s Khulna Division extend  and in West Bengal, they extend over 4,260 km2  across the South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts. The most abundant tree species are sundri (Heritiera fomes) and gewa (Excoecaria agallocha).

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cyclone-ravaged-sunderbans-is-now-drowning-in-plastic/article35788659.ece

  1. Dara Shikoh

The eldest son and heir-apparent of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Dara was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba (“Prince of High Rank”) and was favoured as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum. In the war of succession which ensued after Shah Jahan’s illness in 1657, Dara was defeated by his younger brother later, the Emperor Aurangzeb. He was executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb’s orders in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.

Dara Shikoh subsequently developed a friendship with the seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai. Dara Shikoh devoted much effort towards finding a common mystical language between Islam and Hinduism. Towards this goal he completed the translation of fifty Upanishads from their original Sanskrit into Persian in 1657 so that they could be studied by Muslim scholars. His translation is often called Sirr-i-Akbar (“The Greatest Mystery”), where he states boldly, in the introduction, his speculative hypothesis that the work referred to in the Qur’an as the “Kitab al-maknun” or the hidden book, is none other than the Upanishads. His most famous work, Majma-ul-Bahrain (“The Confluence of the Two Seas”), was also devoted to a revelation of the mystical and pluralistic affinities between Sufic and Vedantic speculation. The book was authored as a short treatise in Persian in 1654–55.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/have-not-located-dara-shikohs-grave-says-archaeological-survey-of-india/article35786395.ece

  1. The Drang-Drung Glacier

It is a mountain glacier near the Pensi La mountain pass at the Kargil – Zanaskar Road in the Kargil district of Ladakh in India. The Drang-Drung Glacier is likely to be the largest glacier in Ladakh other than the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram Range. The glacier lies in the northeastern Himalayan Range known as the Zanskar Range, east of Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Drang-Drung Glacier is a long river of ice and snow, a source of the Stod River which is a tributary of the Zanskar River and the Zanskar River is a tributary of Indus River. From Kargil the glacier lies on the right side of Kargil-Zanaskar Road which passes through a gorge valley of Suru River and under the shades of two mountain peaks of Nun and Kun. After crossing the Pensi La mountain pass a trek of one day from the road leads to the head of Drang-Drung Glacier

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/ladakh-glacier-retreat-due-to-warming-low-winter-precipitation-finds-study/article35788810.ece

PRELIMS QUESTIONS

  1. Consider the following statement with regard to Sundarbans
  2. delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Dihing in the Bay of Bengal.
  3. It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answer : D

It is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh’s division of Khulna. It comprises closed and open mangrove forests, land used for agricultural purpose, mudflats and barren land, and is intersected by multiple tidal streams and channels.

Four protected areas in the Sundarbans are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, viz. Sundarbans National Park, Sundarbans West, Sundarbans South and Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuaries. Despite these protections, the Indian Sundarbans were considered endangered in a 2020 assessment under the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems framework. The Sundarbans mangrove forest covers an area of about 10,000 km2, of which forests in Bangladesh’s Khulna Division extend  and in West Bengal, they extend over 4,260 km2  across the South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts. The most abundant tree species are sundri (Heritiera fomes) and gewa (Excoecaria agallocha).

  1. Consider the following statement with regard to Dara Shikoh
  2. He developed a friendship with the seventh Sikh Guru Arjun Dev.
  3. Majma-ul-Bahrain was also devoted to a revelation of the mystical and pluralistic affinities between Sufic and Vedantic speculation.

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answe : B

The eldest son and heir-apparent of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Dara was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba (“Prince of High Rank”) and was favoured as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum. In the war of succession which ensued after Shah Jahan’s illness in 1657, Dara was defeated by his younger brother later, the Emperor Aurangzeb. He was executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb’s orders in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.

Dara Shikoh subsequently developed a friendship with the seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai. Dara Shikoh devoted much effort towards finding a common mystical language between Islam and Hinduism. Towards this goal he completed the translation of fifty Upanishads from their original Sanskrit into Persian in 1657 so that they could be studied by Muslim scholars. His translation is often called Sirr-i-Akbar (“The Greatest Mystery”), where he states boldly, in the introduction, his speculative hypothesis that the work referred to in the Qur’an as the “Kitab al-maknun” or the hidden book, is none other than the Upanishads. His most famous work, Majma-ul-Bahrain (“The Confluence of the Two Seas”), was also devoted to a revelation of the mystical and pluralistic affinities between Sufic and Vedantic speculation. The book was authored as a short treatise in Persian in 1654–55.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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