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Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC PDF Download

Redistribution of Private Property

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: The Supreme Court of India is currently examining legal issues arising from petitions regarding the government's ability to acquire and redistribute privately owned properties.

Case Overview

  • The case stems from a challenge to the 1986 amendment to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Act by owners of 'cessed' properties in Mumbai.
  • The Act aimed to address the issue of dilapidated buildings housing tenants in Mumbai and allowed for the acquisition of such buildings for redistribution to needy persons.
  • The Property Owners' Association in Mumbai contested the Act, citing violation of the Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.

Legal Perspective on Private Property

  • The Constitution originally guaranteed property as a fundamental right but later moved it to a constitutional right under Article 300A.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) aim to ensure socio-economic justice and prevent concentration of wealth to the common detriment.
  • Article 39(b) emphasizes the distribution of material resources for the common good.

Interpretations by the Supreme Court

  • Various court cases have debated whether privately owned resources should be considered material resources of the community.
  • Decisions like the Sanjeev Coke Manufacturing case have supported the inclusion of privately owned resources in the concept of material resources.

Arguments for Redistribution of Wealth

  • Supporters argue that redistribution promotes social justice, poverty alleviation, addresses social issues, and enhances social cohesion.
  • Examples include the Naxal movement, poverty alleviation programs, and the resolution of social issues through wise redistribution.

Arguments Against Redistribution

  • Opponents suggest that redistribution can disincentivize work, interfere with market efficiency, infringe on individual freedom, and incur high administrative costs.
  • Challenges like market interference, reduced incentives for wealth creation, and bureaucratic inefficiencies are cited.

Earlier Failed Attempts and the Way Forward

  • Historically, efforts at wealth redistribution have faced challenges due to cultural significance and failed attempts in various states.
  • Proposed solutions include conditional property rights and a focus on social justice through regulations or wealth redistribution.

Paradox of Savings

Context: Recently, the paradox of savings, or the paradox of thrift, has garnered attention in economic discussions due to its impact on personal savings behaviors and broader economic growth.

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

What is the Concept of the Paradox of Savings?


  • The paradox of savings, also known as the paradox of thrift, posits that while individual savings are seen as positive, a rise in overall savings rates in an economy could lead to a decrease in total economic savings.
  • This theory challenges the common belief that higher personal savings directly contribute to increased economic savings.

Origins and Development of the Theory

Key Historical Insights:

  • The concept was notably popularized by John Maynard Keynes in his influential 1936 book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.

Keynesian Perspective:

  • Keynesian economists argue that an increase in savings diminishes consumer spending on final goods and services, thereby reducing overall savings and investment.
  • They assert that consumer spending propels economic growth, with savings being channeled into investments aimed at producing goods for consumer markets.
  • Insufficient consumer spending can lead to a decline in these investments, negatively impacting economic growth.

Governmental Role:

  • Keynesians advocate for active governmental intervention, especially during economic downturns.
  • Measures could involve boosting government spending to increase consumer purchasing power and stimulate demand.

Counter Arguments:

  • Critics of the paradox argue that savings contribute to a pool of capital for investment, potentially fostering economic growth even amidst reduced consumer spending.
  • A decrease in consumer demand can shift investment from short-term, consumer-driven production to long-term projects, making previously unfeasible projects viable.

How the Paradox of Thrift Plays Out in Indian Context?

The Indian Context:

  • India's high savings rate, while beneficial for long-term security, may impede economic growth during slowdowns.
  • A substantial informal sector with limited savings complicates matters; policies promoting formalization can boost savings and improve credit access.
  • Low demand may discourage businesses from investing in new projects, shrinking the overall investment pool, a critical issue for India's infrastructure and job creation requirements.

Mitigating Factors:

  • An efficient banking system can direct savings into productive investments.
  • During economic downturns, the government can increase spending on infrastructure and social programs to stimulate demand and create jobs.
  • Principles from behavioral economics can be utilized to encourage consumption during economic downturns.
  • Conclusion
  • The paradox of savings presents a significant theoretical challenge to conventional economic wisdom that unequivocally favors savings.
  • While Keynesian economists highlight potential negative impacts of increased savings rates on economic activity, critics offer an alternative view that sees savings as a flexible tool for adjusting economic production and investment over time, potentially leading to more sustainable long-term growth.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1
Try yourself:
What is the paradox of savings?
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Surge in Tobacco Prices

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: Tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh are benefiting due to decreased crop yields in Brazil, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia caused by droughts and untimely rainfall.

How are Tobacco Farmers in Andhra Pradesh Benefiting?

  • Prices at auctions in Andhra Pradesh have escalated to almost record levels, with expectations of further increases.
  • Surge in Auction Prices: Prices have soared, showing a 30% increase from initial projections.
  • Impact of Global Crop Yields: The surge in prices is linked to crop damage in Brazil and Zimbabwe, along with drought conditions in Indonesia.
  • China, a major producer, has restricted tobacco exports to preserve its domestic cigarette industry, amplifying price rises in tobacco-producing nations.

Potential Impact on Indian Growers

  • Tobacco exporters and the Indian Tobacco Board anticipate sustained price hikes due to the gap between demand and production, benefiting Indian growers.

Key Facts About Tobacco Production in India

Agro-Climatic Facts

  • Tobacco originates from tropical regions but thrives in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.
  • Ideal conditions include a frost-free period of 100 to 120 days, with an average temperature of 80°F and well-distributed monthly rainfall of 88 to 125 mm.
  • Relative humidity varies from 70-80% in the morning to 50-60% at midday.
  • Different types of tobacco have specific soil and climatic requirements for optimal growth.
  • FCV grows well in various soils such as sandy loams, red loams, and black cotton soils.

Economic Significance

  • Tobacco is a major global crop economically.
  • India's tobacco cultivation covers about 0.27% of the cultivated area, producing approximately 750 million kg of tobacco leaf yearly.
  • Annually, tobacco contributes Rs 14,000 crores in excise revenue, representing 4% of the country's total agri-exports.
  • China, India, and Brazil are among the top global producers.

Diversity in Production

  • India cultivates various types of tobacco under diverse agro-ecological conditions across 15 states.
  • Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka are the top 3 states in both area and production of tobacco.

Employment and Livelihood

  • Tobacco cultivation provides livelihood to around 36 million people in India, including farmers, laborers, and workers in processing, manufacturing, and exports.
  • Bidi rolling employs about 4.4 million individuals, and 2.2 million tribals are involved in tendu leaf collection.

Export Market and Competition

  • In 2022-23, India exported tobacco and tobacco products worth Rs 9,740 crores, with significant contributions from cigarette-type tobacco like FCV and Burley.
  • Major importers of Indian FCV tobacco include the UK, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, and South Africa.
  • Key competitors in the export market are Brazil, Zimbabwe, Turkey, China, and Indonesia.
  • India, despite producing 13% of the world's tobacco, accounts for only 5% of global tobacco leaf exports.

Competitive Advantage of Indian Tobacco

  • Indian tobacco has lower levels of heavy metals, TSNAs, and pesticide residues compared to other producing countries.
  • India's diverse agro-climatic conditions allow for the production of various tobacco styles, meeting global customer preferences.
  • India's low production costs and export prices give it a competitive edge, making Indian tobacco a 'value for money' choice.

Initiatives Related to Tobacco


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) implemented the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2003 to combat the tobacco epidemic.
  • Currently, 182 countries, including India, are parties to this treaty.
  • The WHO MPOWER measures align with the WHO FCTC and have proven to save lives and reduce healthcare costs.
  • The Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) enhances countries' capacity to implement tobacco control measures and monitor WHO's FCTC and MPOWER technical package through four surveys.


  • National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) is in place.
  • The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003 regulates tobacco products by restricting advertising, promotion, and sponsorship; prohibiting smoking in public places; and enforcing health warnings on all tobacco product packaging.
  • The production, sale, storage, and distribution of food products containing tobacco or nicotine are banned under the Food Safety and Standards Act.

Rat Hole Mining

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC


  • Rat-hole mining, named for its similarity to rodent burrows, is an illegal and extremely perilous method of coal extraction found in certain regions of India, notably Meghalaya.
  • Unlike large-scale mechanised mines, this technique involves digging narrow, horizontal tunnels that are barely wide enough for a single person to pass through.
  • These tunnels, known as "rat holes," can stretch tens of meters below the surface.
  • Miners descend using ropes, bamboo ladders, or makeshift supports, working in tight, poorly ventilated spaces with basic tools like pickaxes and shovels.
  • The coal extracted is brought back up through these cramped passages, making the entire process extremely hazardous.

Types of Rat Hole Mining

  • Side-Cutting Procedure: Workers dig narrow tunnels into hill slopes to locate coal seams less than 2 meters thick in Meghalaya's hills.
  • Box-cutting: Involves creating a rectangular opening, followed by digging a vertical pit and then horizontally excavating rat-hole-sized tunnels for coal retrieval.

Geographical Spread

  • Although primarily practiced in Meghalaya, instances of rat-hole mining have been reported in other northeastern states of India.
  • This method thrives in areas with thin coal seams, which are unsuitable for large-scale mining techniques.

Causes of Rat Hole Mining

  • Poverty: Local tribal communities, facing limited livelihood options, often turn to rat-hole mining for survival.
  • Land Ownership Issues: Unclear land titles make it difficult to establish regulated mines, allowing illegal operators to exploit loopholes and continue their activities.
  • Coal Demand: The persistent demand for coal, both legal and illegal, drives the practice of rat-hole mining.

Issues Associated with Rat Hole Mining

  • Dangers to Life and Limb: Narrow tunnels are prone to collapses, frequently trapping miners underground.
  • Environmental Damage: Deforestation, soil erosion, and water contamination are lasting environmental impacts of rat-hole mining.

Regulating Rat Hole Mining

  • Regulation in Nagaland: Rat-hole mining is permitted in Nagaland under specific conditions due to the impracticality of large-scale operations.
  • Enforcement Measures: Despite government clearances and plans, illegal operations continue to persist.

Ways to Regulate Rat Hole Mining

  • Livelihood Alternatives: Providing sustainable income sources, skilling programs, and promoting alternative industries can incentivize communities to move away from rat-hole mining.
  • Sustainable Practices: Exploring safer mining techniques such as bord and pillar mining can lead to a more secure approach.
  • Stricter Enforcement: Imposing harsh penalties on illegal miners can act as a deterrent.

Legal Landscape

  • International Context: While there is no specific global law addressing rat-hole mining, international regulations promoting sustainable mining indirectly influence member states.
  • Indian Context: The National Green Tribunal banned rat-hole mining in India in 2014, demonstrating a commitment to ending this hazardous practice.

Government Initiatives

  • NGT's Actions: The ban on rat-hole mining by the NGT, along with schemes like MGNREGA, aim to provide alternative livelihoods for those dependent on this form of mining.


  • A multi-faceted approach is essential, with a focus on developing safe alternatives for regions reliant on small-scale mining.
  • Investing in research for mechanized, safer mining equipment and enforcing regulations rigorously are crucial steps to prevent future tragedies.

Climate Migration

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC


  • Climate migration has gained recent attention due to the lack of a comprehensive legal framework protecting individuals forced to leave their homes because of severe weather disasters.
  • This gap leaves a vulnerable population without adequate safeguards during times of increasing displacement.

Definition of Climate Refugees

  • As per the International Organization for Migration (IOM), "climate migration" involves people leaving their homes due to sudden or gradual environmental changes caused by climate change.
  • These migrations can be temporary or permanent, within a country or across borders, affecting those compelled to leave due to climate change impacts.

Causes of Climate Migration

Sudden-Onset Disasters and Displacement:

  • Instances like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes lead to internal displacement as people seek safer areas within their countries.
  • Return becomes challenging due to destroyed infrastructure and livelihoods.

Disasters and Vulnerability:

  • Disasters disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, particularly those with limited resources or residing in high-risk zones.
  • These groups face higher displacement risks and struggle to recover.

Slow-Onset Disasters and Migration:

  • Slow disasters like droughts and desertification degrade land and water resources, compelling people to migrate for better opportunities.
  • Rising sea levels threaten coastal communities, causing permanent displacement as homes and farmland get submerged.

Complexities of Climate Migration

Mixed Drivers:

  • Climate-induced migration is seldom due to a single factor but often a combination of poverty, political instability, and lack of social safety nets along with disasters.

Data Gaps and Policy Challenges:

  • Challenges in accurately quantifying climate migration hinder the development of effective policies to support displaced individuals and build resilience in vulnerable communities.

Challenges Faced by Climate Migrants

Precarious Livelihoods:

  • Climate migrants often lose skills and assets, making it hard to find new jobs and rebuild livelihoods in unfamiliar environments.
  • They may end up in informal work sectors with low wages and poor conditions, facing higher vulnerability to exploitation.

Integration and Social Challenges:

  • Climate migrants often struggle to access basic services like healthcare and education, leading to social exclusion and marginalization.
  • Adapting to new cultures and languages can hinder their integration into new communities.

Legal Status and Protection:

  • The absence of a clear legal framework to protect climate migrants poses challenges as they do not qualify for refugee status under current international law.
  • Climate-induced displacement can even lead to statelessness, especially for those crossing borders.

Psychological and Health Impacts:

  • Climate migrants often experience psychological distress and trauma due to displacement, with limited access to mental health services exacerbating their struggles.
  • They may face new health risks in their new locations, including infectious diseases and extreme weather events, particularly impacting vulnerable groups like children and the elderly.

Limitations of Policies Addressing Climate Migration

  • Global Compact for Migration: The acknowledgment of climate change in human mobility lacks clarity on climate refugees, indicating challenges in reaching consensus at the international level.
  • Regional Treaties and Declarations: Regional agreements often do not explicitly recognize climate refugees, emphasizing the necessity for more comprehensive legal frameworks.
  • Identification of Climate Refugees: Identifying and categorizing individuals or communities affected by climate change as refugees is a significant challenge due to the complex nature of climate-induced displacement.
  • Collective Displacement: Climate change can impact entire communities, necessitating collective responses and indicating the limitations of individual-based refugee status.

Steps Taken to Address Climate Migration

  • Countries like Bangladesh are investing in coastal embankments and flood-resistant infrastructure to shield communities from rising sea levels and storm surges.
  • Island nations like Fiji are exploring innovative solutions such as raising landmasses to adapt to rising sea levels.
  • Kiribati is considering planned relocation of populations due to rising sea levels, focusing on land acquisition, cultural preservation, and livelihood opportunities in new settlements.
  • Early warning systems for disasters have been implemented in countries like India and Vietnam, enabling timely evacuations to reduce casualties and displacement.
  • The Kampala Declaration on Protracted Displacement is a regional framework in Africa addressing the needs of those displaced by various factors, including climate change.
  • Efforts like investing in drought-resistant crops and irrigation technologies in Ethiopia aim to help farmers adapt to changing weather patterns and ensure food security, reducing the risk of displacement.
  • Other initiatives include the Pacific Island Climate Mobility Framework facilitating legal movement between affected countries and the Tuvalu-Australia Pact granting residency to Tuvaluans facing climate risks.

Future Directions

  • Tackling Climate Change: Aggressive mitigation strategies are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change impacts, as emphasized by the IPCC.
  • The UNFCCC promotes adaptation strategies to enhance community resilience and decrease displacement risks.
  • Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction: Disaster preparedness plans, early warning systems, and risk reduction measures are essential to minimize displacement from sudden-onset disasters, according to the UNDRR.
  • Legal Frameworks and Protection Mechanisms: Developing legal frameworks to protect climate migrants, such as extending refugee status or creating new protection categories, is advocated by the UNHCR and the IOM.
  • Planned Relocation and Resettlement: In cases where communities become uninhabitable due to climate change, planned relocation and resettlement programs may be necessary, as acknowledged in the World Bank's Groundswell Report.
  • Investment in Sustainable Development and Agriculture: Investing in sustainable development and climate-smart agriculture can help communities adapt to climate change, reducing the need for migration, according to UNDESA.
  • Labour Migration Schemes: Encouraging labor migration among countries as an adaptation measure for climate-displaced populations can mitigate the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1
Try yourself:
What is the economic significance of tobacco cultivation in India?
View Solution

Phishing Attacks in India

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

  • Recent Issue: A recent report by Verizon Business has highlighted the increasing prevalence of phishing attacks in India. Cybercriminals are employing advanced tactics to trick users into opening malicious emails or clicking on harmful links.
  • Consequences: This trend poses a greater risk of financial loss and compromise of personal data for users.

Key Findings from the Study

  • The report notes an improvement in reporting incidents of phishing, with only 20% of users able to identify and report phishing attempts during simulation tests.
  • Another report from the same company reveals that espionage attacks are predominant in the cybersecurity landscape of the Asia-Pacific region, including India.
  • Statistics: In the Asia-Pacific region, 25% of cyberattacks are attributed to espionage, a significant contrast to the figures in Europe and North America. Vulnerability exploitation in the region has surged by 180%.
  • Common Breach Methods: System intrusion, social engineering, and basic web application attacks together account for 95% of breaches in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Data Compromise: The study indicates that credentials (69%), internal data (37%), and secrets (24%) are the most commonly compromised types of information.

About Phishing:

  • Phishing is an attempt to extract sensitive information like usernames, passwords, credit card details, or bank information for fraudulent purposes.

Phishing Techniques:

  • Impersonation: In phishing attacks, the sender pretends to be a trusted entity, such as a family member, company CEO, or a well-known personality offering incentives.
  • Urgency and Deception: The message often creates a sense of urgency, urging the recipient to take immediate action by visiting a fake website that closely resembles a legitimate one.
  • Data Theft: Users are then prompted to input their login credentials, which are subsequently stolen by the attacker for various illicit activities like identity theft, financial fraud, or data selling.

Why Can Accused Persons in Prison Contest Polls But not Vote?

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC


  • The Representation of People Act, 1951 (RP Act) governs the rights of individuals in India to vote and contest elections.
  • While individuals facing criminal charges can contest elections, they are barred from voting while in prison.

Right to Vote

  • The right to vote is a statutory right under Indian law, regulated by the RP Act.
  • Section 62(5) of the RP Act prohibits voting for individuals in prison under a sentence of imprisonment or in police custody.
  • Courts have upheld restrictions on voting rights for prisoners, citing reasons like election integrity.

Right to be Elected (Contesting Elections)

  • Disqualification from contesting elections occurs upon conviction under Section 8 of the RP Act.
  • Individuals facing charges can still contest elections until convicted.
  • The Election Commission of India can modify disqualification periods under Section 11 of the RP Act.

Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA)

  • The RPA sets the foundation for conducting elections in India, ensuring transparency and fairness.
  • It covers a range of election-related matters such as voter qualifications, candidate nomination, and electoral roll preparation.

Purpose and Scope:

  • The RPA was enacted to provide a legal framework for conducting transparent and fair elections.
  • It governs elections to Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies, addressing election disputes and corrupt practices.

Enactment and Amendment:

  • The RPA was introduced in 1951 to facilitate smooth electoral processes in India.
  • It has been amended over time to adapt to changing electoral needs and challenges.

Application to Various Offices:

  • The RPA includes provisions for resolving disputes in the election of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Speaker.
  • It addresses disqualification criteria for elected officials based on constitutional requirements.

Disqualification and Electoral Offences:

  • The RPA mandates the immediate vacation of seats for MPs and MLAs upon criminal conviction.
  • Elected representatives are prohibited from holding offices of profit under specific RPA sections.

Provisions on Political Funding

  • Political parties can receive cash donations, but contributions above a threshold must be reported for transparency.


  • The RP Act regulates voting and contesting elections in India, balancing electoral fairness with governance concerns.
  • Voting is not a fundamental right, and disqualification for contesting elections is based on convictions, with exceptions and evolving rules.

The document Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly.
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FAQs on Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 - Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

1. Why is the redistribution of private property a controversial topic?
Ans. The redistribution of private property is a controversial topic because it involves taking assets from one group of individuals or businesses and giving them to another, which can lead to debates about fairness, efficiency, and the role of government in economic matters.
2. What is the paradox of savings and how does it impact the economy?
Ans. The paradox of savings refers to the situation where an increase in saving leads to a decrease in overall spending, which can result in lower economic growth. This is because when individuals save more, they are not spending as much on goods and services, which can slow down economic activity.
3. What factors contribute to a surge in tobacco prices?
Ans. A surge in tobacco prices can be influenced by various factors such as changes in taxation policies, supply and demand dynamics, production costs, government regulations, and market trends. These factors can all play a role in determining the final retail price of tobacco products.
4. What is rat hole mining and why is it a cause for concern?
Ans. Rat hole mining is a form of illegal and dangerous mining practice, commonly used for extracting coal in India. It involves digging narrow tunnels into the ground, posing significant risks to miners' safety and leading to environmental degradation. The practice is a cause for concern due to its negative impacts on both human lives and the environment.
5. Why can accused persons in prison contest polls but not vote?
Ans. Accused persons in prison can contest polls because they have not been convicted of a crime and retain their right to participate in the democratic process. However, they are not allowed to vote while in prison as their freedom is restricted, which is a common practice in many countries to uphold the integrity of the electoral system.
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Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily




Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 1 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily