CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 19th-December, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


19th Dec, 2017

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The urban heat island effect{Urbanisation}

(The Hindu)


Context

Rapid and unplanned urbanisation of cities and concomitant reduction in vegetation results in increased rise in temperature compared to non-urban areas.

Research

A team of researchers from IIT-Bhubaneswar studied the warming of Bhubaneswar, a tier-2 city, due to rapid urbanisation compared to non-urban areas that surround it.

What researchers found?

  • Rapid urbanisation combined with changes in land use pattern between 2000 and 2014 led to about 1.8°C warming of Bhubaneswar compared with surrounding non-urban areas (called the urban heat island effect)
  • Increase in urbanisation has been rapid at 83% in the last 15 years. This has led to about 89% decrease in dense vegetation, about 2% decrease in water bodies and nearly 83% decrease in crop fields during the same period.
  • These changes have led to increase in the urban heat island effect.

Heat island effect

The term “heat island” describes built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.

Impact

  • Increased Energy Consumption
  • Elevated Emissions of Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases
  • Compromised Human Health and Comfort
  • Impaired Water Quality

Reduce Heat Island Risks

Local governments can take steps to help residents, infrastructure, and systems reduce their vulnerability to heat, both in response to an extreme heat event and as part of longer-term planning to lessen future

  • increasing tree and vegetative cover;
  • creating green roofs;
  • installing cool—mainly reflective—roofs; and
  • using cool pavements.

Focus on income mobility {Economy}

(The Hindu)


Context

We must look at the number of people moving up and down the economic ladder and ways to help people up

Why in news?

The World Inequality Report 2018 released by the World Inequality Lab last week says that income inequality in India has increased since economic liberalisation. This, it notes, is in contrast to the earlier decades when inequality dropped under socialist policies.

The finding has been used by many to argue that the rich should be taxed more to help the poor 

Less incentive to produce

When taxes are high, people who help produce the goods that the rich and the middle class enjoy today will have less of an incentive to do their jobs as before. Workers, for instance, may no longer be attracted towards high-skill jobs when their income from such jobs is taxed at high rates.

Investors too will have lesser reason to put in their money in crucial projects when their profits are taxed at high rates. In fact, India before economic liberalisation faced this problem when it tried to tax its way to prosperity

Enabling mobility

Income inequality will always exist in a market economy where people are allowed to engage in free exchange and earn incomes according to their personal capabilities. Doctors, for instance, earn many more times than plumbers and carpenters because they offer rare services.

More people will be attracted towards professions and businesses that offer higher returns, which in turn will drive up the incomes of the new entrants while driving down the returns of incumbents

Income mobility 

It is the ability of an individual, family or some other group to improve (or lower) their economic status—usually measured in income. Economic mobility is often measured by movement between income quintiles. Economic mobility may be considered a type of social mobility, which is often measured in change in income.

Income mobility may be seen as arising from two sources

(i) the transfer of income among individuals with total income held constant,

(ii) a change in the total amount of income available


 For a safe cyberspace  {Cyber Security}

(The Hindu)


Context

India is one of the key players in the digital and knowledge-based economy, holding more than a 50% share of the world’s outsourcing market. Pioneering and technology-inspired programmes such as Aadhaar, MyGov, Government e-Market, DigiLocker, Bharat Net, Startup India etc.

In news

India is already the third largest hub for technology-driven startups in the world and its Information and Communications Technology sector is estimated to reach the $225 billion landmark by 2020.

Issue

Innovation in technology, enhanced connectivity, and increasing integration in commerce and governance also make India the fifth most vulnerable country in the world in terms of cybersecurity breaches.

Till June 2017, 27,482 cybersecurity threats had been reported in the country, according to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’s report.

Types of attacks

  • Ransomware attacks have been the most common in the last few years (Ransomware is a type of software that threatens to publish a person’s data or block it unless a ransom is paid).
  • Apart from WannaCry and Petya, other Ransomware attacks that made news globally were Locky, Cerber, Bucbi, SharkRaaS, CryptXXX and SamSam.
  • In India, in May 2017, a data breach at the food delivery App, Zomato, led to personal information of about 17 million users being stolen and put for sale on the Darknet.
  • फackers stole data from 57 million Uber riders and drivers. Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to keep the data breach a secret.

Taking action

At the 15th Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team conference in Delhi, Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted the need for robust cybersecurity policies and frameworks.

The government is keen to fund cybersecurity research. It announced that it will award a grant worth Rs. 5 crore to startups working on innovations in the field of cybersec4urity.


 

 

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