CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 31-August, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams

1.Powering aspirational India

The Hindu

In this article, author describes way to fulfill the requirement of power(electricity)  in India.

The very first question arises

How much electricity is needed by India? 

This question can be answered by following two approaches

  • A top-down econometric model

In this method one examines growth in the economy, looks at the relationship between economic growth and energy requirements, and incorporates influence of technological and policy changes exogenously.

  • A bottom-up approach.

In this method one estimates demand based on equipment saturations, efficiencies and usage.

 As per data for 2014 published by the International Energy Agency

  • Average global per capita electricity consumption is 3030 kWh (kWh is colloquially known as a unit).
  • For India it is about 805 units, and for developed countries of the OECD, it is 8,028.

Evolution of OECD

The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC)  was established in 1948 to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for reconstruction of a continent ravaged by war. By making individual governments recognise the interdependence of their economies, it paved the way for a new era of cooperation that was to change the face of Europe.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was officially born on 30 September 1961, when the Convention entered into force.

How does OECD works?

OECD uses its wealth of information on a broad range of topics to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability. We help ensure the environmental implications of economic and social development are taken into account.

Generation & projected need

Assuming India’s population by the middle of century will be about 1.6 billion and transmission and distribution losses will come down to the lowest technically feasible value of about 7%, India must plan to generate about 8,600 Billion Units (BU) to provide 5,000 units per capita per annum to its citizens.

The target of per capita availability of 5,000 units per annum is very modest because of several reasons.

As per estimates by the International Atomic Energy Agency, this share was 34.8% in 2015 for Middle East and South Asia, and is projected to increase to 52% in 2050. The Government of India has announced policy initiatives such as electricity and housing for all, accelerated infrastructure development, Make in India, electrification of transport, etc. which call for more electricity and on a reliable basis.

Using alternative sources

We must maximise the use of low-carbon energy sources, i.e. hydropower, variable renewable energy (VRE), and nuclear power.


  • It stabilizes global temperature.
  • It reduces mortalities from air pollution and decreased ecosystem damage.

2.Why go to school?

The Hindu

In this article importance of going to school has been explained along with the effect on Indian economy

We need school because three of the primary purposes of human civilization are

  • To conserve the acquired knowledge of our culture
  • To impart that knowledge to young people so that they may participate as adult members of society
  • To mentor said young people so that they acquire not only facts and knowledge but also judgment to use them to benefit themselves as well as society as a whole.

We need school because learning is an interactive process, which works best when many learners interact not only with a teacher, but with each other. In this way, we learn from others success and failure (sometimes!) as well as from our own.

We need school because the process of educating the young and bringing them into adult roles is itself a learning process, and this knowledge must be developed, preserved and passed on to future teachers.

And we need school because we need to learn that life is not about learning the answer, but about learning to ask the right questions.

Return on education

Low taxes and stable property rights encourage investors to invest in risky ventures without any unreasonable fear about the future. Similarly, the author argues, people will invest in education whenever they are granted the economic freedom to fully enjoy its benefits.

Feldmann in his study uses data on enrolment in secondary education in a total of 109 countries over four decades as a proxy to measure the effect of economic freedom, as measured by the “Economic Freedom of the World” index, on capital investment.

He finds that economic freedom indeed has a substantial positive impact on building up human capital.

3.The threat of nuclear war

The Hindu

Why in news?

North Korea is calling its recent missile launch over Japan a “prelude” to military operations directed at the U.S. territory of Guam, North Korean state media said Tuesday.

North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile that soared for two minutes over Japanese territory before crashing into the Pacific early Tuesday.

The launch comes after North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday.

Is the threat of nuclear war real?

According to recent U.S. intelligence assessment, Pyongyang has developed miniaturised nuclear warheads that can fit into its missiles. This coupled with the worrying shift in missile testing patterns under Kim Jong-un — launches are now being conducted all over the country and not just at the conventional test site in Wonsan — indicates that North Korea is possibly preparing all its missile units for nuclear war.

What are the chances of an immediate conflict?

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency announced Wednesday that it successfully shot down a medium-range ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii in a new test of its missile defense system at sea.

4.When it pours

Indian express


Monsoon continues to be misunderstood, flood governance is still about ad hoc relief measures. This needs to change

Why in news?

The monsoon this year has been all about inordinate amounts of rainfall. Parts of Assam, Bihar and Gujarat are submerged in historic levels of floodwater. 

India Meteorological Department’s prediction

In April, the India Meteorological Department’s first long-range forecast predicted a “normal” monsoon. The department reiterated this forecast in early June.

India’s nodal weather agency, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has upgraded its maiden forecast for Southwest Monsoon 2017 from 96% to 98% (with an error margin of +/-4%) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September.

Though it still maintains that Monsoon 2017 would be normal wherein rains vary from 96% to 104% of LPA.

Why IMD needs to upgrade our understanding of the monsoon?  

More than 100 districts have received over 100 mm of rainfall in a day. This means that people in these places have had to contend with a fortnight’s rainfall in a day — and at places much more than that. Mount Abu, for example, got over half its annual rainfall in two days. Bengaluru got about 30 per cent of its monsoon rainfall on one day. Chandigarh received nearly 15 per cent of its annual rainfall in a few hours in the third week of August.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD)

It is also referred to as the Met Department, is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.

IMD is also one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization. It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

5.How to stop the terrorist driving into a crowd?


In this article counterterrorism has been explained

Why in news?

Barcelona and other recent terrorist attacks are forcing a serious rethink on counterterrorism strategies.

Earlier terrorist attack vs recent attacks

Procurement explosive materials, developing the expertise to make explosives, having the ability to plant these explosives without detection, etc.

The recent terrorist attacks have shown that the only resource that is required to launch a terrorist attack anywhere in the world is the ability to drive a vehicle.

Why counterterrorism is difficult?

  • Today terrorism is all about radicalized minds using commonly available things like vehicles and knives for a terrorist act.
  • It is impossible to restrict access to these new weapons of terrorism.
  • This new scenario has forced counterterrorism strategies to strongly focus on the radicalization processes, the very root of terrorism.


It is a process by which an individual, or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that reject or undermine the status quo or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of the nation.

The outcomes of radicalization are shaped by the ideas of the society at large; for example, radicalism can originate from a broad social consensus against progressive changes in society or from a broad desire for change in society. Radicalization can be both violent and nonviolent, although most academic literature focuses on radicalization into violent extremism (RVE).

There are multiple pathways that constitute the process of radicalization, which can be independent but are usually mutually reinforcing.

How are terrorist influenced by their leaders?

Several studies have shown that humans have a basic tendency to take care of one’s present self and are not bothered about the welfare of the future self. Given an option between receiving a benefit in the future and in the present, normal human being will prefer the benefits in the present. But the terrorist organizations have managed to get terrorists to forgo all the pleasures of today for the pleasures of a paradise which they have only heard of.

New counterterrorism strategies are all about the ability to influence the minds of young men. Who can do it better? The terrorist organizations or the governments?






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