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Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC PDF Download

E-commerce Market in India

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Overview

  • India's digital economy is rapidly expanding, positioning the country to be a global ecommerce leader by 2030.

Current Market Status

  • The current e-commerce market in India is valued at $70 billion, constituting 7% of the total retail market.
  • Expected growth to $325 billion with the digital economy reaching $800 billion.
  • Anticipated increase in online consumers with a CAGR of 22% to 88 million in rural areas and 15% to 263 million in urban regions by 2026.

Growth Projections

  • Forecasts suggest India will surpass the US as the second largest online shopper base within the next one to two years.

Opportunities

  • Indian e-commerce platforms achieved a milestone of US$ 60 billion in GMV in the fiscal year 2023, indicating a 22% annual growth.
  • The e-retail market is expected to exceed US$ 160 billion by 2028.

Rise of Digital Economy

  • India boasts the world's second-largest internet user base, projected to rise to third place in online retail by 2030.
  • Growth driven by increasing internet penetration, with 87% of Indian households expected to have internet access by 2025.

Mass Consumers

  • Consumers with annual incomes of INR 2.5 lakh to 10 lakh will drive around half of India's $300 billion e-commerce market growth by 2030.
  • These 'mass' consumers are projected to contribute $135 billion (45%) to the GMV by 2030.

Challenges

  • Digital Infrastructure and Internet Penetration: Reliable virtual infrastructure is crucial for seamless transactions, although internet access remains limited in rural areas.
  • Platform Neutrality and Fairness: Concerns regarding neutrality, unfair agreements, and pricing parity exist.
  • Taxation: Clarity needed on taxation norms for businesses.
  • Inclusion of SMEs: SMEs face hurdles due to infrastructure requirements and platform disparities.
  • Regulatory Challenges: Issues include data protection, taxation, and legal compliance.

Initiatives

  • Policy Support: 100% FDI allowed in B2B and market E-commerce.
  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM): Facilitating government procurement.
  • Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC): Aiming to empower MSMEs in digital trade.
  • Other Initiatives: Includes Digital India, Skill India, Startup India, Make in India, Innovation Fund, BharatNet, and more.

Conclusion

  • India's digital economy growth, coupled with mass consumer rise, positions it to be the world's third-largest e-commerce market by 2030, offering significant opportunities for businesses and investors.

India Indonesia Relations

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Context: The 7th India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting was co-chaired by the Defence Secretary of India and Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Indonesia in New Delhi on May 3, 2024.

Details:

  • Both countries expressed satisfaction with the expanding scope of defense cooperation.
  • Progress on various bilateral defense cooperation initiatives discussed in meetings of Working Groups on Defence Cooperation and Defence Industries Cooperation was reviewed.
  • Efforts to enhance collaboration, particularly in defense industry ties, maritime security, and multilateral cooperation, were identified.
  • The Secretary General visited DRDO headquarters in New Delhi, as well as TATA Advanced Systems and L&T Defence facilities in Pune.
  • Discussions were held with Indian defense industry partners such as Bharat Forge, Mahindra Defence & Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited on enhancing defense industrial capabilities through research & joint production.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What is the current value of the e-commerce market in India?
View Solution

Spices Board India

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Overview

  • Spices Board India has decided to commence mandatory testing of certain Indian spice brands bound for Singapore and Hong Kong, following bans imposed due to quality issues.

About Spices Board India

  • Established on 26th February 1987 under the Spices Board Act 1986, the Spices Board India is a statutory body resulting from the amalgamation of the former Cardamom Board and Spices Export Promotion Council.
  • The board acts as a crucial intermediary connecting Indian spice exporters with foreign importers, engaging in diverse activities that impact all facets of the spice industry.

Main functions

  • The primary role of the Spices Board involves enhancing the production, productivity, and quality of both small and large cardamom varieties.
  • It is also responsible for executing post-harvest enhancement initiatives aimed at elevating the quality of the 52 designated export spices.
  • Development programs and quality enhancement efforts fall under the category of 'Export Oriented Production.'
  • Other functions include promoting organic spice production, processing, and certification, fostering spice growth in the North East region, and offering quality evaluation services.

Nodal Ministry

  • The Spices Board India operates under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

Chloropicrin

Overview: The U.S. State Department has accused Russia of using the chemical agent chloropicrin in Ukraine, which violates the Chemical Weapons Convention.

  • About Chloropicrin: Chloropicrin, also known as nitro chloroform, is a chemical compound used as both a warfare agent and pesticide.
  • Appearance: It appears as a colorless to yellow oily liquid and finds broad applications as a fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, nematicide, and antimicrobial.
  • Characteristics: Chloropicrin is an irritant with tear gas properties, possessing a highly irritating odor. It can be absorbed through inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact.
  • Historical Context: Initially developed as a poison gas during the First World War, it was utilized by both the Allied and Central Powers.

Manufacturing

  • Chloropicrin is manufactured through a chemical reaction involving sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and nitromethane, a common industrial solvent.
  • It can also be produced by combining chloroform with nitric acid, resulting in the formation of chloropicrin and water.

Impacts on Health

  • Chloropicrin has documented irritant and tear-inducing effects on humans. It is highly toxic, carcinogenic, and can induce vomiting.

Key Facts about Chemical Weapons Convention

  • Multilateral Treaty: The Chemical Weapons Convention is a treaty that prohibits chemical weapons and mandates their destruction within a specified timeframe.
  • Effective Date: The treaty came into force on April 29, 1997.
  • Obligations: States-parties are required to declare their chemical weapons stockpiles, production facilities, and other relevant information to the OPCW.
  • Membership: Open to all nations, the convention currently boasts 193 states-parties.

India's Involvement

  • India is a signatory and party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, having signed the treaty in Paris on January 14, 1993.
  • In accordance with the convention, India enacted the Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2000.

Percolation Wells

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

  • Percolation wells are essential for addressing Bengaluru's water issues by utilizing hole structures to recharge groundwater.
  • These wells, typically 12 feet deep and 4 feet wide, consist of concrete rings and gravel for rainwater collection.
  • Rainwater is trapped in the well, percolating through various soil layers to recharge natural aquifers.

Importance of Percolation Wells in Bengaluru

  • In Bengaluru, due to rapid urbanization, only a small fraction of rainwater can be retained, leading to runoff and evaporation.
  • Percolation wells play a crucial role in restoring and conserving groundwater by facilitating natural aquifer recharge.

Question for Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2
Try yourself:
What is the primary role of the Spices Board India?
View Solution

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Overview

  • Magnetic resonance imaging is a crucial non-invasive tool used to visualize the internal structures of the human body without the need for surgery.

About Magnetic Resonance Imaging:

  • MRI is primarily employed to capture detailed images of soft tissues, which are tissues that have not undergone calcification and are typically found throughout the body.
  • It is a widely utilized diagnostic technique for examining the brain, cardiovascular system, spinal cord, joints, muscles, liver, and arteries, among other areas.
  • Notably, MRI plays a significant role in the diagnosis and management of various cancers such as prostate and rectal cancer, as well as in monitoring neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease, dementia, epilepsy, and stroke.

Limitations:

  • Individuals with embedded metallic objects or implants, such as pacemakers, may be restricted from undergoing MRI scans due to the machine's use of strong magnetic fields.

Working Principle:

  • An MRI scan generates detailed images of a specific body part by interacting with the hydrogen atoms present in that area.
  • Hydrogen nuclei, specifically protons, are utilized for imaging purposes due to their abundance in water and fat within the body.
  • The MRI machine incorporates a superconducting magnet to create a stable magnetic field that aligns the spins of hydrogen atoms.
  • A radiofrequency pulse is then emitted, causing the excess atoms to become excited.
  • After the pulse ceases, these atoms release energy, which is captured and converted into signals by a receiver.
  • These signals are subsequently processed by a computer to produce detailed 2D or 3D images of the scanned body part.

Fusobacterium Nucleatum 

Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

Overview

  • In a recent study, researchers have identified a unique subtype of Fusobacterium nucleatum that is more prevalent in colorectal cancer (CRC) tumors.

About Fusobacterium Nucleatum

  • Fusobacteria are anaerobic bacilli that are Gram-negative and have specific reservoirs in the human mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and other areas.
  • Traditionally seen as an opportunistic pathogen due to its frequent presence in anaerobic samples from patients with various infections.

Research Highlights

  • Genomic analysis of F. nucleatum types from colorectal tumors and individuals without cancer revealed that only one subspecies, F. nucleatum animalis (Fna), was consistently present in tumor samples.
  • Further genetic investigations divided Fna into two distinct groups.
  • While both groups were equally present in the mouth, only Fna C2 was significantly found in colorectal tumor samples.
  • Fna C2 demonstrates higher acid resistance, potentially enabling it to travel from the mouth to the intestines via the stomach.
  • This subtype can hide within specific tumor cells, evading the immune system, and utilize nutrients unique to the gastrointestinal tract.

The document Weekly Current Affairs (1st to 7th May 2024) Part - 2 | 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 - 2 - Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly - UPSC

1. What is the current market size of the e-commerce market in India?
Ans. The e-commerce market in India is currently valued at $XX billion.
2. How have India-Indonesia relations evolved over the years?
Ans. India and Indonesia have maintained strong diplomatic and trade relations, with both countries collaborating on various economic, political, and security issues.
3. What is the role of Spices Board India in the spice industry?
Ans. The Spices Board India is responsible for the development and promotion of spices in the country, ensuring quality standards and facilitating exports.
4. What is Chloropicrin used for in agriculture?
Ans. Chloropicrin is a soil fumigant used in agriculture to control soil-borne pathogens and pests before planting crops.
5. How does Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology work?
Ans. MRI technology uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate detailed images of the body's internal structures, helping in the diagnosis of various medical conditions.
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