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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 16 July 2020


  1. India should believe in the EU
  2. Indigenous bugs help tackle invasive pest
  3. What is Non-Personal Data?
  4. Population trends for 2017-2100

India should believe in the EU

Why in  news?

India and the EU have many things in common. And there are many areas in which both can expand the cooperation. 

Common interests

  • Both aim to enhance strategic autonomy and their global standing.
  • Diversifying strategic value chains is also a common interest.
  • Both seek to address the issue of climate change on an urgent basis.

Economic ties with the EU

  • The EU is India’s largest trading partner accounting for €80 billion worth of trade in goods in 2019.
  • This is equal to 11.1% of total Indian trade.
  • The EU is also the biggest foreign investor, with €67.7 billion worth of investments made in 2018.
  • Which is equal to 22% of total FDI inflows.

Scope for improving the economic ties

  • The EU’s investments in China amounted to €175.3 billion (2018).
  • So, India could succeed in attracting EU investment that might be moving out of China.
  • To attract this outflowing investment, India must address the mutual trust deficit.
  • Enhanced business cooperation can help both the EU and India diversify their strategic value chains.
  • Increasing people’s mobility and connectivity is another area that can create opportunities for innovation and growth.

Talks on FTA

  • Both sides need to move further on the Free Trade Agreement.
  • A new study from the European Parliament estimates the impact of an EU-India trade agreement between €8 billion and €8.5 billion.
  • The study also mentions additional potential gains from enhanced coordination on the provision of global public goods, such as environmental standards.

Cooperation on climate change

  • Under the new industrial strategy, the Green Deal, the EU has set an ambitious target to be carbon-emission neutral by 2050.
  • If the EU and India succeed in transforming into carbon-neutral economies by 2050, we all would gain from the investment.

Strategic partnership with EU

  • The Indo-Pacific region is becoming contentious, so India should capitalise on its geopolitical leverage there.
  • Cooperation with like-minded, democratic powers can support this effort, especially towards assertive competitors like China.
  • The EU as a whole offers more to India than the strongest bilateral relations with individual EU member state.
  • New Delhi must learn how to maximise benefits from this strategic partnership.
  • The disruption caused by COVID-19 has been the occasion for the EU to prove its worth.
  • “Next-generation EU proposal” submitted by the European Commission has economic as well as geopolitical implications.
  • The proposal shows that the ties that bind the EU extend well beyond treaties and individual members’ self-interest.
  • The EU champions the rules-based international order, so the EU and India must act to promote sustainable reform of multilateral institutions starting from the WTO.

Indigenous bugs help tackle invasive pest

Why In news?

Two types of ladybird beetles are among the three indigenous bugs found to be the biological weapons against a Caribbean ­origin enemy of The woolly whitefly.

More about the pest

  • Among the newest of 118 exotic pests troubling farmers in India, particularly fruit growers, is the woolly whitefly first described from Jamaica in 1896 and noticed in Florida, U.S. in 1909
  • ICAR’s National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources in Bengaluru had in 2019 reported the spread of the pest from the Caribbean island through transportation of infested seedlings.
  • That year, the pest was recorded from guava plantations in Kozhikode district of Kerala, Ramanagara, Mandya and Bengaluru Rural districts of Karnataka and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • a team of entomologists from the Centre for Plant Protection Studies at the Coimbatore based Tamil Nadu Agricultural University zeroed in on three indigenous bugs that can control the pest by devouring them
  • The entomologists found some indigenous bugs feeding on this whitefly in a guava orchard near Coimbatore. The bugs were collected and studied in the laboratory.
  • “Two of these indigenous predators were ladybird beetles of the Coccinellidae family and one was the green lacewing fly from the Neuroptera order

What is Non-Personal Data?

Why in  news?

A government committee headed by Infosys co-founder has suggested that non-personal data generated in the country be allowed to be harnessed by various domestic companies and entities.

What is non-personal data?

  • In its most basic form, non-personal data is any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information.
  • This, in essence, means that no individual or living person can be identified by looking at such data.
  • For example, while order details collected by a food delivery service will become non-personal data if the identifiers such as name and contact information are taken out.
  • The government committee, which submitted its report, has classified non-personal data into three main categories, namely public non-personal data, community non-personal data and private non-personal data.

Types of non-personal data

Depending on the source of the data and whether it is anonymised in a way that no individual can be re-identified from the data set, the three categories have been divided:

1) Public

All the data collected by government and its agencies such as census, data collected by municipal corporations on the total tax receipts in a particular period or any information collected during execution of all publicly funded works have been kept under the umbrella of public non-personal data.

2) Community

Any data identifiers about a set of people who have the same geographic location, religion, job, or other common social interests will form the community non-personal data. For example, the metadata collected by ride-hailing apps, telecom companies, electricity distribution companies among others have been put under the community non-personal data category by the committee.

3) Private

Private non-personal data can be defined as those which are produced by individuals which can be derived from the application of proprietary software or knowledge.

Population trends for 2017-2100

Why in news?

Recent Lancet’s report said that,  forecasts for China and India peaked before 2050 and both countries thereafter had steep declining trajectories.

World to see the peak

  • A new analysis published in The Lancet has projected that the world population will peak much earlier than previously estimated.
  • It projects the peak at 9.73 billion in 2064, which is 36 years earlier than the 11 billion peaks projected for 2100 by last year’s UN report World Population Prospects.
  • For 2100, the new report projects a decline to 8.79 billion from the 2064 peak.

5 most populated countries

  • The five largest countries in 2100 are projected to be India, Nigeria, China, the U.S. and Pakistan.
  • However, these forecasts showed different future trajectories between countries.
  • Nigeria is forecast to have continued population growth through 2100 and was expected to be the second-most populous country by then.

Predictions on India’s population

  • For India, the report projects a peak population of 1.6 billion in 2048, up from 1.38 billion in 2017.
  • By 2100, the population is projected to decline by 32% to 1.09 billion.
  • However, meeting UN Sustainable Goal Development targets, the peak would be earlier and see a population decline to 929 million.
  • Conventional wisdom is that though a decline in population is expected, it is expected to begin only around 2046.
  • The fall according to the latest 2019 assessment by the UNDP calculation, is expected to see India’s population settle at a little over 1.4 billion.

Reasons for fall

  • The sharper fall is due to the assumption that all women globally will have much higher access to contraception and education.
  • This scenario will lead to a sharper reduction in the Total Fertility Rate, a metric that shows on average how many children a woman must have to keep replenishing the population.
  • A TFR is lower than 2.1leads to a decline in a country’s population.


The population pyramid (The age-sex pyramid)

The age-sex structure of a population refers to the number of females and males in different age groups. A population pyramid is used to show the age-sex structure of the population. The shape of the population pyramid reflects the characteristics of the population. The left side shows the percentage of males while the right side shows the percentage of women in each age group. The following three diagrams show different types of Population Pyramids.

 Expanding Population

The age-sex pyramid in such a case is a triangular shaped pyramid with a wide base and is typical of less developed countries. These have larger populations in lower age groups due to high birth rates.

Expanding Population- Legacy IAS

 Constant Population

Here, the age-sex pyramid is bell shaped and tapered towards the top. This shows birth and death rates are almost equal leading to a near constant population.

Expanding Population- Legacy IAS

Declining Population

This pyramid has a narrow base and a tapered top showing low birth and death rates. The population growth in developed countries is usually zero or negative.

Expanding Population- Legacy IAS

Thank you!

December 2023