Daily News Analysis 4th Dec. 2023 (The Hindu)

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Here are the topics covered for  4th December 2023: 

GS-3: Ethical, Social, and Cultural Risks of Climate Engineering, Unemployment Rate in Urban Areas, Sri Lanka\’s Debt Crisis, Peace Agreement Between Govt. and UNLF

Fact for Prelims: LIGO, Growth of the Core Sector


Ethical, Social, and Cultural Risks of Climate Engineering


  • The UNESCO Report on the Ethics of Climate Engineering has underscored the imperative of inclusivity in policy decisions on climate engineering, urging the involvement of vulnerable, neglected, marginalized individuals, along with women, youth, and indigenous people.


About Climate Engineering:

  • Climate engineering involves the deliberate modification of Earth\’s climate to counteract or mitigate the impacts of climate change. Techniques can include reflecting sunlight away from the Earth or removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.



Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR):

  • Direct air capture
  • Land-use management through afforestation/reforestation
  • Sequestering CO2 produced by biomass
  • Enhancing natural weathering processes


Solar Radiation Modification (SRM):

  • Increasing surface reflectivity
  • Painting structures with reflective paints
  • Enhancing reflectivity of marine clouds
  • Injecting aerosols into the lower stratosphere


Issues Highlighted in the Report:

Ethical Issues:

  • Climate engineering may create a \”moral hazard\” by reducing incentives to cut fossil fuel use.
  • The concept of \”organized irresponsibility\” arises due to interconnected uncertainties and environmental risks, challenging the assignment of blame.


Economic Issues:

  • Corporations may favour climate engineering as a response to global warming, potentially impacting economic growth.
  • Deployment requires international cooperation, posing challenges in tailoring technologies to help vulnerable countries without endangering others.


Governance and Regulation Issues:

  • There is a gap between the global approach needed for climate change and the current nation-state-based legal order.
  • Multi-level governance is crucial, involving coordination with non-state actors. Civil society can play a role, but their involvement also poses risks.



  • Introduce legislation regulating climate action, considering transboundary impacts.
  • Establish regional agreements to prevent unequal spatial distribution of effects.
  • Advocate for a ban on using climate engineering techniques as weapons.
  • Ensure that political or economic interests do not hinder scientific research on climate engineering.



  • The UNESCO report emphasizes the need for a comprehensive, inclusive, and ethical approach to climate engineering governance. 
  • Balancing economic interests, fostering international cooperation, and involving all stakeholders is key to navigating the complex landscape of climate engineering. 
  • Striking this balance is essential for effective climate policies that address global challenges while safeguarding ethical principles and inclusivity.


Unemployment Rate in Urban Areas


  • The recently released data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for July-September 2023 sheds light on India\’s urban unemployment rate. 
  • This analysis explores the key highlights, the significance of the PLFS, related key terms, major issues related to urban unemployment, and government initiatives, and suggests a way forward.


About the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):

  • The PLFS, initiated by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in April 2017, provides crucial labour force data at more frequent intervals. It defines the unemployment rate as the percentage of unemployed persons among those in the labour force.


Key Highlights of the Recent PLFS:

  • Urban Unemployment Rate: The urban unemployment rate decreased from 7.2% (July–September 2022) to 6.6% (July–September 2023).
  • Gender Disparities: Male unemployment decreased from 6.6% to 6%, while female unemployment showed a more significant drop from 9.4% to 8.6%.
  • Worker Population Ratio: The percentage of employed persons in urban areas increased from 44.5% to 46%, with notable increases in both male and female ratios.
  • Labour Force Participation Rate: The LFPR in urban areas rose from 47.9% to 49.3%, driven by marginal increases for males and substantial growth for females.
  • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): Percentage of people aged 15 and above employed or actively seeking work.
  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR): Percentage of employed individuals within the total population.
  • Unemployment Rate (UR): Percentage of unemployed persons among those in the labour force.


Major Issues Related to Urban Unemployment:

  • Structural Unemployment: Mismatch between workforce skills and industry demands.
  • Informal Sector Dominance: High reliance on low-paying, insecure informal jobs.
  • Demographic Challenges: Urbanization outpacing job creation, leading to high unemployment.
  • Credential Inflation: Overemphasis on qualifications leads to overqualified individuals and underemployment.


Government Initiatives Related to Employment:

    • SMILE: Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise.
    • PM-DAKSH: Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi.
    • MGNREGA: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
    • PMKVY: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
  • Start-Up India Scheme.
  • Rozgar Mela.
  • Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme- Rajasthan.


Way Forward:

  • Reformative Education: Align education with market demands, update curricula, and promote lifelong learning for enhanced employability.
  • Startup Ecosystem Support: Foster a conducive environment for startups through financial incentives and mentorship programs.
  • Pro-Employment Policies: Implement policies promoting job creation, invest in infrastructure, and provide fiscal incentives for businesses generating employment.
  • Promoting Creative Economy: Invest in cultural industries and creative sectors to encourage entrepreneurship and generate employment.
  • Green Spaces and Urban Agriculture: Promote urban agriculture and green spaces to create employment in eco-friendly activities.



  • The decline in urban unemployment rates is a positive trend, but challenges persist. Addressing structural issues, promoting relevant skills, and fostering a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurship are critical. 
  • Government initiatives play a crucial role, and continued efforts towards job creation and skill development are essential for sustained economic growth and reduced urban unemployment.


Sri Lanka\’s Debt Crisis


  • Sri Lanka has recently reached a preliminary debt restructuring agreement with India and the Paris Club Group, paving the way for the country to revive a stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan program.
  • This development is significant as it will assist Sri Lanka, which defaulted on its debts in 2022, in securing the next tranche of a USD 3 billion IMF lending package agreed upon in March 2023.


Sri Lanka’s Debt Scenario:

  • Sri Lanka\’s foreign debts amount to approximately USD 46 billion, with a major portion owed to Chinese lenders. Other significant creditors include Japan, India, and commercial bondholders.
  • In May 2022, Sri Lanka became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to default on its debts in two decades. This default was a result of domestic economic mismanagement, exacerbated by global inflation following the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The drop in foreign currency reserves led to shortages of imported goods, including food, fuel, and medicine. These shortages had severe repercussions on living standards in Sri Lanka, triggering mass protests in 2022.


Paris Club:

  • The Paris Club is a group primarily composed of Western creditor countries, originating from a 1956 meeting where Argentina agreed to meet its public creditors in Paris.
  • It serves as a forum where official creditors convene to address payment difficulties faced by debtor countries, aiming to find sustainable debt-relief solutions.
  • Members of the Paris Club include countries such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All 22 members are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • The Paris Club has been involved in 478 agreements with 102 different debtor countries since 1956. The debt treated within the framework of Paris Club agreements amounts to USD 614 billion.


Recent Developments:

  • While Paris Club countries historically dominated bilateral lending in the last century, their significance has diminished over the past two decades with the emergence of China as the world’s largest bilateral lender.
  • In the case of Sri Lanka, India, China, and Japan stand out as the largest bilateral creditors. Notably, Sri Lanka’s debt to China constitutes 52% of its bilateral debt, followed by 19.5% to Japan and 12% to India.


India’s Role in Debt Restructuring and Economic Development:

  • India has actively collaborated with the IMF and other creditors to assist Sri Lanka in restructuring its debt. India was the first country to express support for financing and debt restructuring in Sri Lanka.
  • Both countries have established a joint vision emphasizing comprehensive connectivity, including people-to-people connectivity and renewable energy. Indian companies are engaged in developing renewable energy projects in the northeast of Sri Lanka, indicating a growing collaboration in the energy sector.
  • India and Sri Lanka are exploring the possibility of an Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) to integrate their economies and foster development. Additionally, an agreement has been made to establish a multi-product petroleum pipeline from the southern part of India to Sri Lanka, aiming to ensure an affordable and reliable supply of energy resources.
  • Sri Lanka has also adopted India\’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service, a significant step towards enhancing fintech connectivity between the two countries. The use of the Indian rupee for trade settlement further contributes to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and growth.



  • The recent debt restructuring agreement between Sri Lanka, India, and the Paris Club Group is a crucial step towards addressing Sri Lanka’s debt crisis and facilitating economic recovery. 
  • The involvement of multiple stakeholders, including India, underscores the importance of regional collaboration and support in overcoming financial challenges. 
  • As Sri Lanka moves forward with debt restructuring, continued cooperation with various partners will be essential for long-term economic stability and development.


Peace Agreement Between Govt. and UNLF


  • The Government of India and the Government of Manipur have recently signed a Peace Agreement with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), a significant development in addressing the longstanding insurgency in Manipur.


Background on UNLF:

  • The UNLF, formed in 1964, is a prominent insurgent group in Manipur.
  • It operates in the valley areas of Manipur and some villages in the Kuki-Zomi hill districts.
  • The UNLF has been operating both within and outside Indian Territory and has been banned by the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, of 1967.


Purpose of the Peace Agreement:

  • The agreement aims to bring an end to hostilities between UNLF and security forces, fostering a new era of peace in Manipur and the Northeast.
  • UNLF commits to abandoning violence, returning to mainstream society, and respecting the Constitution of India and the country\’s laws.
  • It marks the first instance of a Manipuri armed group from the valley choosing a path of peace.


Impact on Peace Process:

  • The agreement is expected to encourage other valley-based armed groups to participate in the peace process.
  • A Peace Monitoring Committee (PMC) will be established to oversee the enforcement of agreed ground rules.


Other Insurgent Groups in Manipur:

  • Several other insurgent groups operate in Manipur, including the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), PREPAK, and NSCN-K.


Suspension of Operations (SoO) Pact:

  • The SoO agreement, signed in 2008, involves Kuki militant groups and the Indian government. It functions as a ceasefire agreement with monitored designated camps for militants.


Administrative Arrangements:

  • The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) plays a crucial role in planning and monitoring development schemes in the North East.
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is imposed in certain states to regulate the entry of outsiders and protect the identity of indigenous people.


Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 244 (1) applies the provisions of the 5th schedule to the administration or control of scheduled areas and tribes.
  • Article 244 (2) applies the provisions of the 6th schedule to the administration or control of scheduled areas in certain states.



  • The Peace Agreement with UNLF is a historic step toward resolving the insurgency in Manipur. 
  • The return of UNLF to mainstream society and the establishment of a Peace Monitoring Committee reflects a commitment to sustained peace efforts. 
  • Similar arrangements with other insurgent groups underscore ongoing initiatives to address regional complexities and promote development in the North East. This development holds significance for long-term peace and stability in the region.


Fact for Prelims


  • LIGO, short for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is an innovative observatory designed to identify and study gravitational waves, offering a revolutionary approach to exploring the universe. 
  • By observing the distortions in space-time resulting from phenomena like the collision of black holes or neutron stars, LIGO provides a unique window into cosmic events.
  • The historic moment for LIGO came in 2015 when it made the first-ever detection of gravitational waves, an achievement recognized with the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017. 
  • These gravitational waves originated from the merger of two black holes, with masses of approximately 29 and 36 times that of the Sun, occurring a staggering 1.3 billion years ago. 
  • The detection of such events, particularly black hole mergers, opens up new avenues for understanding the universe and confirms the existence of gravitational waves, a concept proposed by Albert Einstein a century ago.


Growth of the Core Sector

  • India\’s core sectors have witnessed accelerated growth, registering a 12.1% expansion in October, compared to a revised 9.2% growth in September. This growth, marked by all eight sectors recording positive figures, signifies a robust economic activity.
  • The core sectors, comprising over 40% of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), demonstrated notable growth, a positive trend for the third time in 18 months.
  • Five out of the eight sectors experienced double-digit growth, indicating a broad-based recovery.

Composition of Core Sectors:

  • The core sectors include crucial industries such as coal, power, steel, crude oil, natural gas, cement, and electricity. They play a significant role in shaping the overall industrial landscape.
  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) reflects the growth rates in various industry groups within the economy during a specific period.

Sector-wise Highlights:

  • Power Generation: A rise in power generation indicates strong economic activity, often supported by the coal sector.
  • Fertilizer Production: The increase in fertilizer production anticipates Rabi crop sowing this month.
  • Cement Industry: Growth in the cement industry is influenced by both a negative base effect and an upturn in the housing sector.
  • The Industrial Production (IIP) growth for October is anticipated to range between 6% and 8%, depending on the performance of consumer goods.

Base Effect:

  • The positive figures in certain sectors are partly attributed to a base effect, where a different reference point for comparison influences the result.
  • The accelerated growth in India\’s core sectors, marked by widespread positive performance, is indicative of a robust economic revival. This trend bodes well for the overall industrial production landscape and reflects positive momentum in key sectors crucial for economic growth.


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