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UPSC Essentials: Quotes of the week

Essential quotes and statements from this week which can help you as mains fodder for your UPSC-CSE if used smartly.

UPSC, Weekly current affairs for UPSC- CSE, Current affairs today, UPSC news, UPSC Essentials, Quotes of the week,The Indian Express brings you a list of the most essential quotes from the week. (Representative image)

The Indian Express brings you a list of the essential quotes, statements and remarks from the past week, to help you understand the current issues. They can be used wisely as mains fodder for your UPSC CSE preparations.

1. Mo Bus promoting gender-responsive public services to achieve the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)- UN

(Relevance: Good fodder for Essay, Ethics, GS I and II (Social Issues- Gender), GS III Environment, Science, Infrastructure etc.)

Why in news?

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— Mo Bus, the bus service of Odisha’s Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) authority, has been recognised by the United Nations as one of 10 global recipients of its annual Public Service Awards for 2022. This was reported on June 22.

— The Odisha government in 2018 “reorganized the public transit services in the city to provide an integrated, reliable and inclusive public bus service system”. Mo Bus, the UN noted, has incorporated “real-time technologies like live tracking, travel planner and e-ticketing”, and an e-rickshaw system called ‘Mo E-Ride’ has been introduced as a last-mile feeder service.

— The “impact” is that 57 per cent of the city’s commuters now use the Mo Bus, the UN said. Mo E-Ride is estimated to reduce pollution by 30-50 per cent. Also, “40 per cent of Mo Bus conductors are women and 100 per cent of Mo E-Ride drivers are women, transgender people, and people from disadvantaged communities,” the UN noted.

— The buses are designed to integrate smart technologies such as free on-board Wi-Fi service, digital announcements, surveillance cameras, and electronic ticketing. CRUT says that to increase women’s participation in the workforce, and to make women riders feel safer, it is committed to ensuring that 50 per cent of Mo Bus Guides (conductors) are women.

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— The UN describes its Public Service Awards as the “most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service”. It is intended to reward “the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide”.

Point to ponder: Sustainable transformation of the urban public transport scenario in any city depends on the use of smart technology, service benchmarking and customer satisfaction. Discuss.

2. The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level.- FINA President Husain Al-Musallam

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(Relevance: Good fodder for Essay, Ethics (applied ethics- sports and gender), GS I and II Social issues- gender etc.)

Why in news?

— FINA voted against allowing transgender athletes to participate in female competitions – the exception being that the transgender athlete must have completed their transition before the age of 12.

— FINA is an international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competitions in water sports.

— Lia Thomas was the reason the world body of swimming took this measure. Earlier, Thomas competed in the male category in swimming for Penn State University and was part of their team for three years.

— Swimming’s international governing body FINA barred the participation of transgenders in the women’s category in a controversial ruling on Monday, with Athletics and Football set to follow. FINA is now thinking of introducing an ‘Open’ category to include trans-women.

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— Transgender athletes in sports, particularly transgender women participating in women’s competitions, are at the heart of this change. A transgender woman who has gone through male puberty and then later on transitioned into a female has been shown in case studies to retain testosterone levels that lead to higher structural advantages in the sport over cisgender (a person whose sense of identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex) women.

Point to ponder: Does the difference among gender for power and strength have relevance for ‘competitive fairness’?

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3. The enemy is not that plastic exists per se, but that plastic exists in the environment- MoEFCC officials.

(Relevance: Fodder for Essay on environment and sustainable development, Environmental ethics, GS III Environment and Ecology)

Why in news?

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— The Centre has banned the use of ‘single-use-plastic’ from July 1 and now defined a list of single-use plastic items that will be banned from this date.

— The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from July 1, 2022.

— As the name suggests, it refers to plastic items that are used once and discarded. Single-use plastic has among the highest shares of plastic manufactured and used — from the packaging of items to bottles (shampoo, detergents, cosmetics), polythene bags, face masks, coffee cups, cling film, trash bags, food packaging etc.

— The ban will be monitored by the CPCB from the Centre, and by the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) that will report to the Centre regularly.

— Ministry officials have said that the choice for the first set of single-use plastic items for the ban was based on “difficulty of collection, and therefore recycling”.

— Those found violating the ban can be penalised under the Environment Protection Act 1986 – which allows for imprisonment up to five years, or a penalty up to Rs 1 lakh, or both.

— A 2021 report by one of the Australian philanthropic organisations the Minderoo Foundation said single-use plastics account for a third of all plastic produced globally, with 98 per cent manufactured from fossil fuels.

— Single-use plastic also accounts for the majority of plastic discarded – 130 million metric tonnes globally in 2019 — “all of which is burned, buried in landfills or discarded directly into the environment”, the report said.

— On the current trajectory of production, it has been projected that single-use plastic could account for 5-10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The report found that India features in the top 100 countries of single-use plastic waste generation – at rank 94.

Point to ponder: What is single-use plastic? How are other countries dealing with single-use plastic?

4. Cybersecurity linked to national security, India upgrading to take on threat~ Amit Shah

(Relevance: Coming directly from the Home Minister, this becomes a burning issue for UPSC Mains. Fodder Essay and GS III Security issues. A little detailed study around cybersecurity is advised.)

— Addressing the National Conference on Cyber Safety and National Security at Vigyan Bhavan here, Shah said, “Cybersecurity is also linked with national security in a way. Those who do not want to see our country safe attempt various types of cyber-attacks — some nations have even created cyber armies. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is fully alert to deal with this and is upgrading itself to prevent such threats.”

— Shah also said many new dimensions of cyber fraud will be seen in the coming days and India will have to make many preparations to gear up to fully secure cyberspace.

— Stating that “questions of privacy of citizens are already there”, the Home Minister said. “We have to be more careful in the context of critical information security. Both data and information are going to become a huge economic force in the coming days, so we have to prepare ourselves for security of data and information.”

— According to the MHA, Shah informed the gathering that the cybercrime reporting portal launched by the government in 2019 has registered more than 11 lakh complaints of different types. More than two lakh complaints of social media crimes have also been registered, he pointed out.

— Shah said this volume will increase by the day as 800 million people have an online presence in India today, and by 2025 another 400 million Indians will enter the digital world. He said there has been a 231 per cent increase in internet connections in the last eight years and India’s data cost per GB has come down by about 96 per cent, which is expected to come down further since data becomes cheaper as the number of users increases.

— Shah emphasised that public awareness is of utmost importance to ensure cyber safety. “We should try to take cybersecurity to every part of the country,” he said.

— Pointing out that cyber crimes have increased over the years, Shah said that 3,377 such cases were reported in 2012, and the corresponding figure was 50,000 in 2020. While an average 136 cyber crime cases were registered every day in 2020, the number of cyber crimes per 1 lakh population also increased by 270 per cent in four years from 2016, when the figure was 1 — in 2020, it was 3.7 per 1 lakh population. “This shows how big a challenge this is going to be in the coming times,” Shah said.

Point to ponder: Why is there a need for national cyber security strategy?

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First published on: 25-06-2022 at 06:36:49 pm
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