Daily News Analysis 22 July 2023 (The Hindu)

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Here are the topics covered for 22 July 2023: Rajasthan Assembly Passes Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill, Heat Domes, Anticyclones, and Climate Change: Causes of Global Heat Waves, Bacteriophages: The \’Good Viruses\’ Fighting Bacteria.

Table of Contents


  1. Rajasthan Assembly Passes Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill
  2. Heat Domes, Anticyclones, and Climate Change: Causes of Global Heat Waves

Prelims facts and basics

  1. Bacteriophages: The \’Good Viruses\’ Fighting Bacteria

Rajasthan Assembly Passes Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill



  1. The Rajasthan Assembly recently passed The Rajasthan Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill, 2023, a historic law aiming to guarantee wages or pension for the entire adult population of the state.
  2. The bill covers both urban and rural families and offers employment guarantee and minimum pension.


Key Points:

Minimum Guaranteed Income:

  1. Each adult citizen of Rajasthan will receive a minimum income for 125 days a year.
  2. Urban areas will be covered under the Indira Gandhi Shahri Rozgar Guarantee Yojana.
  3. Rural areas will be covered under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).


Guaranteed Employment:

  1. Minimum wages will be paid weekly or within a fortnight to ensure the right to employment.
  2. The work site will be located within 5 Km of the job card registration.
  3. Unemployment allowance will be provided if work is not offered within 15 days of application.


Guaranteed Social Security Pension:

  1. Eligible categories such as the aged, disabled, widows, and single women will receive a minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month.
  2. The pension will be increased at the rate of 15% annually.


Challenges towards Implementation:

Identifying Eligible Beneficiaries:

  1. Ensuring accurate identification of beneficiaries with minimal inclusion and exclusion errors may be challenging.


Financial Burden:

  1. The government anticipates an additional expenditure of Rs 2,500 crore per year, which may increase over time.

About Universal Basic Income (UBI)

  1. UBI is a programme providing all citizens of a geographic area with a given sum of money, regardless of their income or employment status.
  2. The main idea is to reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens.
  3. UBI has several important components, including universality, unconditionality, periodic payments in cash, and benefits for secured income and reduced income inequality.
  4. Although UBI has its supporters, challenges in implementing it in India include its high cost, potential reduction in work motivation, and affordability concerns.

Heat Domes, Anticyclones, and Climate Change: Causes of Global Heat Waves



  1. Heat waves across the world have been attributed to the combined effects of heat domes, anticyclones, and climate change.
  2. While these weather systems have always existed, their intensity and duration have increased due to rising global temperatures, leading to more extreme and prolonged heat waves.
  3. The recent announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that June 2023 was the hottest June in 174 years underscores the severity of the situation.


Heat Domes and Anticyclones:

  1. Heat domes are areas of high pressure that trap warm air for extended periods, causing prolonged heat waves.
  2. Anticyclones, or high-pressure systems, result in descending warm air that leads to dry and hot weather conditions.
  3. Heat domes and anticyclones do not directly result from climate change but have intensified and become more persistent due to rising global temperatures.


Impact of Climate Change:

  1. Climate change, caused by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to more frequent and intense extreme weather events like heat waves.
  2. Record high sea surface temperatures and warming trends are exacerbating the situation.


El Nino Influence:

  1. El Nino conditions, characterized by abnormal warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, can increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and trigger extreme heat worldwide.


Heat Wave Consequences:

  1. Heat waves, particularly when combined with high humidity (wet bulb conditions), can lead to heatstroke and even death.
  2. Last year, heat waves caused over 60,000 deaths in Europe, emphasizing their deadly impact.


Worst Affected Regions:

North America:

  1. The United States is experiencing a prolonged heat wave, with states like California, Florida, New Mexico, and Arizona facing scorching temperatures.
  2. The city of Phoenix, Arizona, broke temperature records with consecutive days above 43.3 degrees Celsius.
  3. Wildfires have erupted in South California and Canada, burning millions of acres.



  1. Italy and Greece have suffered from two consecutive heat waves, with temperatures reaching up to 47.7 degrees Celsius and wildfires spreading around Athens.
  2. Spain experienced its highest temperature since 1928, with wildfires raging on La Palma in the Canary Islands.


  1. China, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia are among the worst affected countries, with remote Chinese townships experiencing temperatures of 52 degrees Celsius.
  2. North Africa\’s Algeria reported record-breaking temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius.

Bacteriophages: The \’Good Viruses\’ Fighting Bacteria



  1. Amidst the rise of antibiotic resistance, scientists are exploring the potential of bacteriophages, or phages, which are viruses that kill bacteria.
  2. These \”friendly\” viruses form part of the virome, a collection of viruses in our bodies that can contribute to health much like the bacterial microbiome.
  3. Phages are abundant and play a crucial role in hunting down and destroying bacteria in our microbiomes without harming human cells.


Phage Therapy:

History and Resurgence:

  1. Phages have been considered as a potential treatment for bacterial infections since the early 20th century. However, with the discovery of antibiotics like penicillin, research on phages declined.
  2. Now, in the face of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, phages are back in the spotlight as promising agents to combat bacterial infections.
  3. Phages are highly effective against multi-resistant pathogens and can precisely target bacterial strains without disrupting the gut microbiome, unlike antibiotics.


Phage Therapy in Practice:

  1. Phage therapy never faded out in countries like Georgia, Ukraine, and Russia, where antibiotics were scarce during the Soviet era.
  2. Georgia, in particular, has become a hotspot for phage tourism, with patients from around the world seeking treatment.
  3. Some scientific evidence from these clinics suggests that phages can be effective against infections resistant to conventional antibacterial agents.
  4. Other countries like Belgium and the US are also starting to use phages in specialized therapy centers.


Challenges and Advantages of Phage Therapy:

  1. Phage therapy needs to be tailored to each patient\’s specific infection, which requires rapid access to a cocktail of different phages.
  2. Bacteria can develop resistance to phage therapies.
  3. Despite these challenges, phage therapies have a good safety record, as humans ingest billions of phages daily without side effects.
  4. Large-scale research and clinical projects are recommended to establish effective phage therapies for different infections.
  5. Phages may be used in combination with antibiotics to enhance their effectiveness, especially against resistant bacterial strains.
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