GS2: Polity        

  • We must resolve our muddled approach to temple autonomy(Mint)  A secular country should not be giving the State, or its nominees, any role in the running of temples. The direct effect of the apex court’s judgment is that not only the State, but the judiciary too will be an indirect player in how the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is managed.

GS2: Governance        

  • Covid likely to worsen rising trend of wasting in children, obesity: UN(Mint) The world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) by 2030 and the number of people affected by hunger will surpass 840 million by 2030, or 9.8% of the population, said the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, a global study tracking the progress on ending hunger and malnutrition.
  • The big challenge of schooling India’s offline millions(Mint) Alarm bells rang as reports said that less than half of India’s seven-year olds could read at grade level. Hearteningly, the critical need for foundational learning was brought into the spotlight by the Draft National Education Policy, 2019.

GS2: International Relations   

  • Lost opportunity(TH)While contract changes by the Iranian side and delayed responses from the Indian side were part of the problem, the main hurdle has been the fear of American penalties. Even though India was able to negotiate a sanctions waiver for the Chabahar port and rail line from the U.S., few international construction and equipment partners were willing to sign on to the project; New Delhi has also dragged its feet on the matter
  • China making deep inroads into Iran(TH) For Iran, reeling under sanctions reimposed by the U.S., its new $400-billion long-term agreement with China could be an economic lifeline, while China could enhance its strategic influence in a region where the U.S. has built a strong presence since the Second World War
  • As Iran starts Chabahar-Zahedan railway project India hints: May join later(IE)  Chabahar port, together with its under-construction railway line to Zahedan (also offered to Indian companies IRCON and Rites for some years), are part of the International North-South Transit Corridor, which significantly cuts short the traditional trade routes between India and the European and CIS countries’ [post-Soviet Eurasian republics] markets,
  • EU, India to meet on resuming FTA negotiations(TH) trade with India formed under 3% of the E.U.’s global trade, which is “far below” what was expected of the relationship. Conversely, the E.U. is India’s largest trading partner and investor, and accounts for 11% of India’s global trade.
  • U.S. rejects Beijing’s claims in S. China Sea(TH) China claims 90% of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it, through which about $3 trillion of trade passes each year. Beijing has built bases atop atolls in the region but says its intentions are peaceful.
  • Explained: India’s military ties with Nepal(IE) When India got freedom, these regiments were divided between the British and Indian armies as per the Britain–India–Nepal Tripartite Agreement signed in November 1947.

GS2: Social Justice        

  • Medical test not needed for trans ID certificates(TH) An earlier draft of the rules, for which the Ministry had invited public comments till May 18, had mandated a report from a psychologist along with the affidavit for the application. The trans rights movement had opposed this, as it was seen as going against a trans person’s right to self-identification, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014.

GS3: Economy        

  • China is racing ahead of India in adopting EVs(Mint) The bulk of EVs in India happen to be two-wheelers. India had about 600,000 electric two-wheelers as of March 2019, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) report titled Global EV Outlook 2020.
  • Why community data trustees should also be regulated(Mint) The report defines a community as a group of people bound by common interests and involved in social or economic interactions. A data trust representing any such group of people will be able to make a request for any non-personal data currently being held by a data custodian so that it can be accumulated in trust for and on behalf of the entire community.

PIB Corner     
"Union HRD Minister virtually releases PRAGYATA Guidelines on Digital Education (PIB)" The PRAGYATA guidelines include eight steps of online/ digital learning that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak(talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate. These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.