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Motivational Articles

Creative Guidance: Book Review – The golden age of zen – John Wu

The Golden Age of Zen : John Wu This is a classic work that will help you to understand the development of one of the most popular branches of Buddhism – Zen. Zen is not a religion; it is an art of cultivating silence and stillness in your life. Zen is probably the most practical and easy to follow methods of meditation. John explores the development of this stream of knowledge in this beautiful book. Lots of books have been written about the art of cultivating Zen, this book is special in a way that it will take you to roots of the development of this branch. When you begin to understand the origins of Zen and how it evolved, you will be able to better understand its impact. The central theme of this book about the essence of all insights will guide you to experience and explore the path of Zen. Although some of the ideas and concepts might seem a little alien to the daily experience of life, quickly you will be able to understand the underlying purpose of Zen. Life is an absolutely chaotic mess of stress and anxiety if we do not develop the ability to be in the present moment. Zen is all about learning how to be here and now. Explore this wonderful work by John Wu to begin your search for silence and stillness.


All India Radio (AIR) : Growth in Manufacturing Sector

Growth in Manufacturing Sector ARCHIVES TOPIC: General Studies 3 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it. Key Points: Manufacturing sector is estimated to have grown at a CAGR of 4.34 per cent between FY12 and FY18. The Wholesale Price Index, in respect of manufactured goods grew 4.4 per cent 2016-17. Indian manufacturing sector’s Gross Value Added at basic prices based at current prices is expected at US$ 388.01 billion in 2017-18E. As per Labour Bureau’s Quarterly Report on Employment Scenario, manufacturing sector added an estimated 89,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2017-18. Manufacturing has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, had launched the ‘Make in India’ program – India is expected to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of year 2020 Aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 25 per cent by 2022, from 16 per cent Create 100 million new jobs by 2022 Factors that helped drive growth include Upgradation of electrical infrastructure Expansion of companies’ product portfolio Distribution expansion Increased share of organised players A stable currency regime Growth of exports The top concerns were Competition from imports Lack of quick decision making on policies Slow pace of key reforms Government Initiatives In the process of coming up with a new industrial policy which envisions development of a globally competitive Indian industry. In Union Budget 2018-19, the Government of India reduced the income tax rate to 25 per cent for all companies having a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore (US$ 38.75 million). Under the Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20), the Government of India increased export incentives available to labour intensive MSME sectors by 2 per cent. The Government of India has launched a phased manufacturing programme (PMP) aimed at adding more smartphone components under the Make in India initiative thereby giving a push to the domestic manufacturing of mobile handsets. The Government of India is in talks with stakeholders to further ease foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence under the automatic route to 51 per cent from the current 49 per cent, in order to give a boost to the Make in India initiative and to generate employment. The Ministry of Defence, Government of India, approved the “Strategic Partnership” model which will enable private companies to tie up with foreign players for manufacturing submarines, fighter jets, helicopters and armoured vehicles. The Union Cabinet has approved the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) in which, proposals will be accepted till December 2018 or up to an incentive commitment limit of Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.5 billion). The Way Ahead: The Make in India programme has gradually commenced its upward journey in defence, railways, ports, airports, urban infrastructure and affordable housing sectors. The preparedness of Indian manufacturing sector to cater to the growing needs of these critical sectors would determine the success, efficiency and competitiveness of this sector as the industrial backbone of the country. A close dialogue and partnership between government and the private sector, both domestic and foreign, is critical. Idea of a Circular Economy: Focus necessarily needs to shift to a more circular, “take, make, refurbish, repair, reuse” model, the manufacturing sector could look at how it can create jobs around the products it makes, rather than find ways to create more jobs making those products. India may not become the ‘making’ capital of the world — but it can become the ‘remaking’ and ‘reusing’ capital. Government needs to take steps to tackle the following: Unavailability or high price of raw materials Limited domestic demand Competition from foreign markets, and uncertainty about taxation Legislative and regulatory regimes Lack of digital culture and talent – to help streamline operations, which will lead to an improvement in business output The manufacturing sector expects government support in the following areas— A clear manufacturing policy – that spells out priority sectors and how we will build competitive advantage in a way that is consistent with our obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Development of a long-term roadmap for educating and skilling the workforce, Access to finance and favourable tax incentives A clear and stable policy environment for long-term investment planning Facilitate fast-track implementation of these projects Refined data protection laws Need to build on Advantages: India should focus on building competitive advantage and global scale in sectors where we have a large domestic market and certain inherent capabilities. Five priority industries – Defence: We are the world’s leading arms importer. Localising what we buy as a condition for all defence deals along with a willingness to allow majority foreign ownership can turbocharge our local defence industry. Electronics hardware: India imports $45 billion of mobile phones, computers and communications hardware; by 2020, this is projected to grow to $300 billion and exceed our oil import bill. This is unsustainable. We have to create policy incentives to create a local electronic hardware manufacturing ecosystem. Since most component suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers and Original Design Manufacturers are Chinese, this will necessarily imply incentivising Chinese companies to establish factories in India. Construction: India will invest a trillion dollars over the coming years in improving infrastructure. We need to create incentives that not only spur investment in manufacturing materials such as cement and steel but also construction equipment, locomotives, power generation equipment and so on. Health care: India’s generic pharmaceutical industry is world class. India is also exceedingly good at frugal innovation in medical devices such as low cost X-ray and ECG machines. We have a real shot at being a world leader in innovation and manufacturing in this space. Agro-industries: We are one of the largest agricultural nations, and a third of what we grow just rots and spoils. Investing in agro-industries such as food processing and establishing a reliable cold chain would make a huge difference in terms of rural employment and food security. In other industries, whether it be textiles, toys, or automotive, we need to ensure that we do not disadvantage local manufacturing. Refer: Mindmap + Mindmap + Link + Link + Link Connecting the Dots: ‘Make in India’, ‘Start Up India’ and associated labour reforms can transform the manufacturing landscape in India. Discuss. Also examine the associated challenges. The government through various interventions and policies has tried to make manufacturing a dynamic sector, one of which is the emphasis on skill development. Examine the policies and interventions in the area of skill development and also evaluate their effectiveness. Note: Index of Industrial Production (IIP) Prepared by the Central Statistics Office To measure the activity happening in three industrial sectors namely Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity. It is the benchmark index and serves as a proxy to gauge the growth of manufacturing in India since manufacturing alone has a weight of 77.63 per cent in the index. Index in use: Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)

Daily Prelims CA Quiz

UPSC Quiz- 2019 : IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs Quiz [Day 47]

UPSC Quiz- 2019 : IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs Quiz [Day 47] Archives Q.1) ‘Caspian Sea’ is bordered by which of the following countries? Georgia Kazakhstan Azerbaijan Armenia Select the correct code: 1, 2 and 4 2 and 3 Only 2, 3 and 4 2 and 4 Only Q.2) ‘Hulaki Rajmarg’ connects which of the following cities? Patna and Kathmandu Thimpu and Gangtok Biratnagar and Gangtok None of the above Q.3) Which of the following statements with respect to ‘Aerogel’ is/are correct? They are hygroscopic They are good thermal insulators Both (a) and (b) Neither (a) nor (b) Q.4) Gowari tribe is primarily found in Vidarbha Marathwada Budelkhand Mewar Q.5) Consider the following statements about Doctrine of ‘parens patriae’ It applies to those cases where the State steps in to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is a doctrine by which a government has standing to prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a citizen, especially on behalf of someone who is under a legal disability to prosecute the suit. Select the correct statements 1 Only 2 Only Both 1 and 2 Neither 1 nor 2 To Download the Solution - Click here All the Best  IASbaba

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] - 17th August 2018

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 17th August 2018 Archives (PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS) Animal in news: Humboldt penguin   Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Biodiversity; Animal conservation In news: Mumbai’s Byculla zoo gives India its first baby penguin (Humboldt penguin). Humboldt penguin is a South American penguin that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. The penguin is named after the cold water current (Humboldt current) it swims in. IUCN status: Vulnerable Turkey Crisis and its impact Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – International Relations; Indian Economy In news: Trade wars between Turkey and USA has lead to a currency crisis for Turkish Lira. Why crisis in Turkey? US has doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, as US has been pushing for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was being held by Turkey on terrorism charges. Turkey retaliated by increasing import taxes on US goods, such as automobiles by 120 per cent, alcohol by 140 per cent and tariffs on coal, cosmetics and rice. The Turkish currency, lira has fell steep (depreciating around 80 percent against the US dollar so far in 2018) – This has rattled investors globally, with the currencies of other emerging markets too coming under pressure. High debt - Turkey's economy is grappling with high levels of debt in the private sector and significant foreign funding in the banking system. Its impact: Indian markets along with some Asian markets have seen some volatility due to the Lira crisis. This is typical as foreign investors will fear higher risk assets in emerging markets and will dump the local currency for US Dollars. In other words, the foreign funds that freely flowed into emerging markets may dry up. India is less vulnerable relative to other emerging markets (EMs) in terms of external debt and current account deficit. But if the crisis continues, it could hurt India. India’s exports would slow down if the global situation deteriorates. Impact of falling Indian currency Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and related issues In news: We read why rupee falls and also meanings of terms – appreciation, depreciation, devaluation, revaluation and conversion rate etc. (Why is the rupee falling continuously?) Rupee fall inflates crude purchase cost - India’s crude oil import bill is likely to jump as the rupee’s drop to a record low. This will in turn lead to an increase in the retail selling price of petrol, diesel and cooking gas (LPG). Rupee depreciation will result in higher earnings for exporters. Steel imports from Japan, South Korea surge Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and related issues In news: India’s steel imports from South Korea rose 31% from a year earlier, while those from Japan climbed 30%. (esp. after US imposed tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports) The flood of imports is so big that the government in New Delhi is considering measures to control imports. (impose safeguards) Under World Trade Organization rules, safeguards are temporary restrictions on imports of a product to protect a domestic industry. Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Space Programmes In news: Gravitational wave observatory, LIGO - may come up in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district A new gravitational wave detector to measure ripples in the fabric of space and time is set to be built in India by 2025 Environment Ministry has allowed scientists to test the suitability of land in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district to host the LIGO project. The new Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector will add to the two already operational in the US. Do you know? Three American physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish won the Nobel Prize for their contribution towards Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, experiment. Currently LIGO operates three gravitational wave detectors-One is at Livingston in Louisiana and other two are at Hanford in Washington and the detectors are located about 3,000 km apart in L shape. The overall project is funded by National science foundation. About LIGO It is a large scale physics experiment observatory established in 2002 to detect gravitational waves. The present telescopes could detect objects which emit electromagnetic radiations like X-ray, gamma rays etc. However, merger of black holes and many other cataclysmic events do not emit electromagnetic waves rather gravitational waves. Thus, LIGO was established to unfold the many unknown phenomenon in universe through the gravitational waves detection. India and LIGO Indian participation in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, was done under the umbrella Initiative –IndIGO, which is a consortium of Indian gravitational-wave physicists. Bala Iyer of the Raman Research Institute has made immense contribution towards setting up of this consortium. The consortium especially under Bala Iyer facilitated international collaborations in gravitational-wave- physics and astronomy and initiating a strong experimental gravitational-wave research program in India. Hosting such a detector in India, scientists have said, will improve the odds of detecting more such phenomena. The proposed LIGO-India project aims to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India. The LIGO-India project is an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the LIGO-India consortium: Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar; IUCAA, Pune; and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore. The project, piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), reportedly costs ₹1,200 crore and is expected to be ready by 2025. (PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS) NATIONAL TOPIC: General Studies 3 Indigenization of technology and developing new technology Space Missions Gaganyaan: Indian into space by 2022 Introduction: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing that an Indian astronaut would go into space by 2022, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has finally got a definitive timeline for a project it has been working on for the last 15 years. Background and Timeline: From an idea to a plan Preparations have been going on since 2004, when the manned space mission was first endorsed by the ISRO Policy Planning Committee; there was lack of clarity on when exactly the mission would be launched, the target initially in was 2015. 2004: ISRO Policy Planning Committee recommends manned space mission 2006: National committee comprising 80 scientists and technocrats endorses proposal 2007: First public announcement of the human space programme 2009: Another experts' committee, discusses the desirability and feasibility of the programme and expresses support 2010: Failure of GSLV-D3 and Failure of GSLV-F06 2014: Successful testing of experimental flight of GSLV Mk-III; this also successfully tests an experimental crew module, demonstrating re-entry capability June 2017: First ‘developmental’ flight of GSLV Mk-III July 2018: First successful flight of the crew escape system or “pad abort” test. August 15, 2018: Prime Minister announces manned mission to take place before 2022 Challenges: A manned space mission is very different from all other missions that ISRO has so far completed. In terms of complexity and ambition, even the missions to the Moon (Chandrayaan) and Mars (Mangalyaan) are nowhere in comparison. For a manned mission, the key distinguishing capabilities that ISRO has had to develop the ability to bring the spacecraft back to Earth after flight, and to build a spacecraft in which astronauts can live in Earth-like conditions in space. Over the years, ISRO has successfully tested many of the technologies that are required, but many others are still to be developed and tested. The rocket: GSLV Mk-III The spacecraft carrying human beings, called crew module, is likely to weigh in excess of 5 to 6 tonnes. ISRO’s main launch vehicle, the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), which carried the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions too, can carry payloads that are barely up to 2 tonnes, and that too only to orbits at about 600 km altitude from the Earth’s surface. That is why the development of GSLV Mk-III, a launch vehicle with capabilities to deliver much heavier payloads much deeper into space, was necessary. After three decades of efforts, mainly concentrated at developing an indigenous cryogenic engine to power the rocket, ISRO successfully tested GSLV Mk-III, now called LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3), in an experimental flight in December 2014. June 2017, ISRO successfully launched the first “developmental” flight of LVM-3, which carried the GSAT-19 satellite into space. The LVM-3 is the declared launch vehicle for taking the manned crew module into space. Over the next few years, many more flights of GSLV are scheduled. Re-entry & recovery tech The satellites launched by ISRO including Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan, normally meant to remain in space, even when their life is over. Any manned spacecraft, however, needs to come back. This involves mastering of the highly complicated and dangerous re-entry and recovery ability. While re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft needs to withstand very high temperatures, which is created due to friction. Also, the spacecraft needs to renter the atmosphere at a very precise speed and angle, and even the slightest deviation could end in disaster. The first successful experimental flight of GSLV Mk-III on December 18, 2014, also involved the successful testing of an experimental crew module that came back to Earth after being taken to an altitude of 126 km into space. The Crew module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere at about 80 km altitude and landed in the sea near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Crew Escape System This is a crucial safety technology, involving an emergency escape mechanism for the astronauts in case of a faulty launch. The mechanism ensures the crew module gets an advance warning of anything going wrong with the rocket, and pulls it away to a safe distance, after which it can be landed either on sea or on land with the help of attached parachutes. Recently, ISRO completed the first successful flight of the crew escape system. A simulated crew module weighing about 3.5 tonnes was launched from Sriharikota. Life support The Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS) is meant to ensure that conditions inside the crew module are suitable for humans to live comfortably. The inside of the crew module is a twin-walled sealed structure that will recreate Earth-like conditions for the astronauts. The ECLSS maintains a steady cabin pressure and air composition, removes carbon dioxide and other harmful gases, controls temperature and humidity, and manages parameters like fire detection and suppression, food and water management, and emergency support. While the design and configuration of the ECLSS and the inside of the crew module has been finalised, other components and systems are in the process of being tested. Ground testing will have to be followed by tests in the space orbit while simulating zero gravity and deep vacuum. Astronaut training In the early part of the planning, a proposal for setting up an astronaut training centre in Bangalore was floated. Initially targeted by 2012, it is yet to take off. While ISRO still plans to set up a permanent facility, the selected candidates for the first manned mission will most likely train at a foreign facility. Candidates will need to train for at least two years in living in zero gravity and dealing with a variety of unexpected experiences of living in space. Some training would also be imparted at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the Indian Air Force at Bengaluru. Budget During the early years of planning, the cost of India’s first manned space mission was estimated at about Rs 12,400 crore. But that was for a mission to be launched in 2015. The mission would now be completed for less than Rs 10,000 crore. Recently, the government approved the funding for the next 10 flights of GSLV Mk-III at an estimated cost of Rs 4,338.2 crore. This was supposed to take care of GSLV Mk-III missions till 2024. Conclusion: If India does launch the Gaganyaan mission, it will be the fourth nation to do so after the United States, Russia and China. These developments will help ISRO in perfecting the cryogenic technology for sending up heavier and heavier payloads and will reduce India’s dependency on other countries to launch heavier satellites. Connecting the dots India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Obiter Mission (MOM), but she is yet to succeed in manned space mission. What are the challenges, both in terms of technology and logistics, in front of ISRO? (TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE) Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section) Note: Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”. IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section within 24 hours. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. Q.1) What is the purpose of ‘evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA)’ project? To detect neutrinos To detect gravitational waves To detect the effectiveness of missile defence system To study the effect of solar flares on our communication systems Q.2) The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)-India is a planned advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in India as part of the worldwide network. Where is it going to be located? Theni, Tamilnadu Hingoli, Maharashtra Tumkur, Karnataka Sriharikota, Odisha Q.3) Consider the following statements: Assertion (A) – Devaluation of money will decrease the exports of a country. Reason (R) – Price of country’s products will fall due to devaluation in the international market. Select the code from following: A is wrong but R is correct A is correct but R is wrong Both A and R are incorrect Both A and R are correct and R is the correct explanation of A MUST READ A long march since freedom The Hindu Nuance in sexual politics The Hindu Opinion | The growth outlook and the investment potential of states Livemint Opinion | The need for a strong UN declaration on TB Livemint Opinion | Reimagining fiduciaries in the digital economy Livemint Opinion | Need to focus on state government finances Livemint

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] - 16th August 2018

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 16th August 2018 Archives (PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS) PM Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech: Highlights Part of: GS Prelims and Mains In news: 72nd anniversary of India’s Independence Important Highlights: PM speaks about Passage of the Bill to create an OBC Commission 100th anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre India's space mission – In 2022 (on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day), India to unfurl the tri-colour in the space. Subramania Bharati vision of India - Subramania Bharati (great Tamil poet) had said India will not only rise as a great nation, but will also inspire the others. India will show the way to the entire world to unshackle the bonds. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan - to be launched on 25th September 2018 (birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay) India's farming sector - 'Beej Se Bazar Tak' approach ; double farmer incomes by 2022 On women empowerment - Practice of Triple Talaq to be ended; Women officers commissioned in short service will get opportunity for permanent commission. On government schemes and policies - Thirteen crore 'mudra loans'; Ujjwala and Saubhagya Yojana; GST; Swachh Bharat mission Kerala reels under its worst floods Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and III – Indian Geography and Disaster Management In news: The 2018 Kerala floods were a result of the unusually severe amount of southwest monsoon rains. It is the first time in its history all five gates of the Idukki Dam were opened at the same time and also 35 out of 39 reservoirs in the state were opened. Concern: There is no proper flood water warning system in place, people also lack awareness in various disaster management procedures is also a major concern. Local authorities should have inspected and given warnings in several hilly regions, where various land slide deaths could have been prevented. What do you mean by “Flood”? It is a temporary inundation of large regions as a result of an increase in reservoir, or of rivers, flooding their banks because of heavy rains, high winds, cyclones, storm surge along coast, tsunami, melting snow or dam bursts. Types of Floods Flash floods: It is defined as floods which occur within six hours of the beginning of heavy rainfall , and are usually associated with cloud bursts, storms and cyclones requiring rapid localized warning and immediate response if damage is to be mitigated. In case of flash floods, warning for timely evacuation may not always be possible. River floods: Such floods are caused by precipitation over large catchment areas. These floods normally build up slowly or seasonally and may continue for days or weeks as compared to flash floods. Coastal floods: Some floods are associated with the cyclonic activities like hurricanes, tropical cyclone etc. Catastrophic flooding is often aggravated by wind-induced storm surges along the coast. Causes of Flood: Excessive rainfall in river catchments or concentration of runoff from the tributaries and river carrying flows in excess of their capacities Back movement of water in tributaries at their confluence with the main river Synchronization of flood peaks of the main rivers and tributaries Landslides causing obstruction to flow and change in the river course Poor natural drainage Cyclone and very intense rainfall Intense rainfall when river is flowing full Climate change is responsible for abrupt rainfall and a high variability in rainfall. Melting of glacier due to increase in mean global temperature. Approach to Flood Management/Prevention Structural Measures: Attempts to Modify Flood Dams and Reservoirs Embankment Drainage Improvements Channel Improvements Diversion of Flood Waters Using Natural Detention Basin Non- Structural Measures: Attempts to modify susceptibility of Flood Flood plain zoning: – It aims to regulate the developments in the flood plains, so that it is compatible with Flood Risk. It recognises the basic fact that the flood plains are essentially the domain of the river, and as such all developmental activities must be compatible with the flood risk involved Flood forecasting :- Involves observing and collecting hydrological and meteorological data, transmission and then processing the data with a view to work out the likely level to be achieved at a particular site, i.e. to give advance warning Flood Proofing:-  It is essentially a combination of structural change and emergency action without evacuation. A programme of the flood proofing provides the raised platforms for flood shelter for men and cattle and raising the public utility installations above flood levels. Attempts to modify loss burden by way of Disaster relief, Flood fighting, Flood insurance Main Mitigation Strategies for Flood Disaster Management Mapping of flood prone areas is a primary step involved in reducing the risk of the region. Historical records give the indication of flood inundation areas and the period of occurrence and the extent of the coverage. The basic map is combined with other maps and data to form a complete image of the flood-plain. Warning can be issued looking into the earlier marked heights of the water levels in case of potential threat. In the coastal areas, the tide levels and land characteristics will determine areas liable to inundation. Flood hazard mapping will give the proper indication of water flow during floods. Government Policy response: Enactment of National disaster management act 2005 and NDRF Setting up of National Flood commission and Task Force on Flood Management/ Erosion Control to study India’s flood control measures. Central Water Commission (CWC) –apex body for flood and water management National Water Policy ( 1987/ 2002/2012) The Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction(2015-2030) must be implemented completely involving adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience by inclusion of private sector and local population to prevent such mishaps in the future. India-UK: Cultural Diplomacy Part of: GS Mains II – International Relations; India and the World In news: British police returned 12th century bronze Buddha statue to India The 12th century icon was stolen from Nalanda museum Example of Britain’s “cultural diplomacy” Cyber attack: Pune-based Cosmos Cooperative Bank Part of: GS Mains III – Challenges to internal security through communication networks; Cyber Security In news: Recent incident of cyber attack in Pune-based Cosmos Cooperative Bank caused ₹90-crore loss. There has been rising menace of financial frauds. Cyber security is an important arena of internet when the country is moving forward towards a cashless society and digitization. Security becomes a challenge as now privacy is a fundamental right as per SC verdict and the rise in cybercrimes can lead to violation of private space and liberty of expression. Do you know? Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) was conducted in India for first time where the theme for the conference was Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development. The IT act is not sufficient to deal with cyber security. The government is yet to bring a digital payment bill to strengthen legal framework and enhance surveillance to check cybercrimes in finance sector including frauds, targeting cards and e-wallets. For mindmap on Cyber security - https://iasbaba.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Cyber-Security-IASbaba.jpg Pink Ballworm and Fall Armyworm About: Earlier we had read about - Fall Armyworm Fast recap: ICAR had sounded alarm after the invasive agricultural pest, Fall Armyworm was discovered in Karnataka. Fall Armyworm is a major maize pest. It can also feed on around 100 different crops, such as vegetables, rice, and sugarcane. In news: The pink bollworm is an insect known for being a pest in cotton farming. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and policies; Health issue In news: Yesterday we read about Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan is also known as Ayushman Bharat or the National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) It will be launched on September 25 (birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay) https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2018/08/16/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_11/f03944e2_2323003_101_mr.jpg Gaganyaan: human space flight programme In news: Gaganyaan, the human space flight programme was green-flagged and is set for 2022 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ISRO said the mission is achievable, as most of the critical technologies are ready The mission is estimated at ₹9,000 crore. Do you know? When it achieves the mission, India would be the fourth nation to circle Earth after the Soviets, the Americans and the Chinese. In 1984, India’s first astronaut Wing Commander (retd.) Rakesh Sharma orbited Earth as part of a Soviet mission. Department of Space and ISRO are directly under the Prime Minister. https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2018/08/16/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_11/f03944e2_2323004_101_mr.jpg (MAINS FOCUS) NATIONAL TOPIC:General Studies 3 Various security forces and agencies; their mandate Amendment to Delhi Special Police Establishment Act Introduction: Parliament passed certain amendments to laws on corruption, which could have a far reaching effect. The two important aspects of Amendment are: one requiring prior approval for initiating investigation into allegations of corruption against public servants, and the other requiring prior sanction for prosecution of public servants. Need for approval Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act has been amended, reinterring the requirement of prior approval for initiating investigation of corruption cases not only against Joint Secretaries and above, but all categories of public servants. The only exception to this are cases of traps in which such public servants are caught red-handed while taking bribe. Till now under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, previous sanction of the competent authority was required to prosecute public servants, under various sections of the Act. This safeguard has been extended to retired public servants. As per amendment, prior approval of the government is required even to initiate an investigation by CBI into allegations of corruption against public servants. Political interference: It first came in the shape of the Single Directive under the Rajiv Gandhi government, which was confined to senior officers only. A long legal battle was fought before the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of the directive. The court eventually set it aside, in the Vineet Narain case. But even after the Directive was set aside, the political class brought it back in the Central Vigilance Commission Act of 2003. This led to protests and was challenged before the court. In 2014, the Supreme Court set aside this provision of the Act. Provisions of the law of the land: Under the law of the land, the police has unfettered jurisdiction to initiate investigation into a crime or acts of corruption, once it gets credible information. Under the scheme of the criminal justice system and the rule of law, the police and the CBI are bound by the law and the Constitution to investigate a crime reported to them, if there is credible information. They have jurisdiction as per law and that the power to register and proceed with the investigation must remain unhindered. Once the investigation is complete and the police or the CBI is ready with the report on the investigation, other authorities come into play. Supreme Court observations: Supreme Court had held that the Single Directive was liable to be quashed as irrational in law. Court held that all the powers of the Minister are subject to the condition that none of them would extend to permit the Minister to interfere with the course of investigation and prosecution in any individual case. SC also held that it is the duty of Police to enforce the law of the land, in this he is not servant of anyone except the law itself. The court had observed that the very power of CBI to enquire and investigate into the allegations of bribery and corruption against a certain class of public servants and officials is subverted and impinged by Section 6A. Conclusion: The recent amendment, therefore, is regressive in nature and is likely to be quashed if contested in the apex court. Connecting the dots: The CBI plays a pivotal role in the criminal justice delivery but it is being handicapped by the recent amendments. Comment while suggesting reforms to the CBI. NATIONAL TOPIC: General Studies 2 Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. General Studies 3 Science and Technology; Bio technology Ban on Oxytocin: Unreasonable Introduction: Oxytocin, which is considered to be a critical drug in maternal health care, is made primarily by the private sector. The decision to restrict the manufacture of oxytocin only to the public sector unit has sparked fears of shortages and a disruption of supplies of this drug. The restriction is because of alleged misuse of the drug by dairy farmers on milch cattle to stimulate milk production. The Health Ministry now hopes to control distribution channels and prevent misuse. About Ban and Criticism The allegations regarding misuse have been made by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, for over a decade. According to the medical and veterinary sciences who advised the DTAB that oxytocin is required in the treatment of both humans and animals. Two studies by the Central government, by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Dairy Research Institute, conclude that the use of oxytocin does not have an adverse effect on either people or animals. With cattle, the danger of misuse is that it may cause addiction, in which case cattle do not react to normal milk ejection stimuli. So why has the Health Ministry restricted the manufacture of the drug to only the KAPL? The High Court of Himachal Pradesh initiated a public interest litigation (PIL) after it came across newspaper reports of oxytocin misuse. After hearing the matter for two years, the court passed a judgment in 2016 blaming oxytocin for a number of diseases, including breast and uterine cancers, male impotence, excessive hair growth in women and balding for men. However, the court did not cite a single scientific study to support these claims. It appeared to be unaware of the scientific studies commissioned by the Central government. Towards the end of its judgment, the court directed the State government to consider the feasibility of restricting manufacture to the public sector. While the State government appears to have ignored these directions, the Central government, for some reason, decided to adopt the judgment as the basis of its order restricting manufacture to the public sector. The fact is that the High Court sought a study of the feasibility of restricting manufacture to the public sector; it never ordered the restriction to be imposed. From a reading of the government’s order, it appears that the government has gone ahead to restrict manufacture without conducting any kind of feasibility study. Going forward An order restricting manufacture of a crucial drug such as oxytocin on the grounds of alleged misuse will have to be based on a study of the degree of misuse, the demand for the drug, the manner in which the proposed restriction will affect the supply of the drug, and also its impact on public health. The government has not conducted such a study. The Delhi High Court, which is hearing a challenge against the government’s order, should signal to the government that regulation of drugs has to be rigorous and reasoned. It cannot resemble policy quackery. Connecting the Dots: The case for restricting the manufacture of oxytocin is neither rigorous nor reasoned. Comment (TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE) Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section) Note: Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”. IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section within 24 hours. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. Q.1) Which of the following are the potential impacts of climate change on water situation in India? Increased summer flows in river streams. Frequent changes in river courses. Changes in rainfall pattern. Select the correct answer using code below 1 and 2 1 and 3 2 and 3 1, 2 and 3 Q.2) Gaganyaan is associated with which of the following agencies? DRDO CSIR ISRO Clean Ganga Mission Q.3) Consider the following events: Kheda Satyagraha Champaran Satyagraha Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Non Cooperation Their correct chronological sequence is 2 – 1 – 3 – 4 1 – 2 – 4 – 3 2 – 4 – 1 – 3 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 MUST READ Questioning a crackdown The Hindu Making NHPM work: On Ayushman Bharat The Hindu The roadmap to military reform The Hindu Probing an amendment The Hindu Gaganyan: How to send an Indian into space Indian Express A Law Past Its Sell-by Date Indian Express Why theatre commands is an unnecessary idea Indian Express

Daily Prelims CA Quiz

UPSC Quiz- 2019 : IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs Quiz [Day 46]

UPSC Quiz- 2019 : IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs Quiz [Day 46] Archives Q.1) ‘Sagarmala project’ is A highway network connecting many of the major industrial, agricultural and cultural centres of India A port-led development programme Counter to China’s String of Pearls A defence capability enhancement project of Indian Navy Q.2) ‘Sulawesi Island’ is a part of Indonesia Philippines Laos Papua New Guinea Q.3) Which of the following are known as ‘Bretton woods twins’? World Bank and IMF World Bank and UN UN and IMF World Bank and WEF Q.4) Dual economies are countries with double capital and labour that specialize in labour-intensive products more than capital-intensive products with foreign-owned and domestically-owned capital with a modern manufacturing sector as well as traditional agriculture sector Q.5) Turkey is encircled by which of the following seas? Aegean Sea Black Sea Mediterranean Sea Select the correct statements 1 and 2 2 and 3 1 and 3 All of the above To Download the Solution - Click here All the Best  IASbaba

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] - 15th August 2018

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 15th August 2018 Archives (PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS) Why is the rupee falling continuously? Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and related issues In news: The value of India’s currency ‘rupee’ is continuously falling. Its value has declined by 8% between January - July 2018. Among the BRICS nations; after the Russian Ruble, the Indian rupee depreciated the most in this period. There has been a sharp depreciation in the rupee and it breached the 70 mark for the first time. (Rs.70= 1 dollar) Important value additions: Knowing the basics Conversion rate The rate at which we can convert one currency into another currency is know as conversion rate between those two currencies. What is Rupee Appreciation and Rupee Depreciation? The value of Indian Rupee (or any other currency) is determined by the market. The demand and supply forces in the currency market. If the demand for Indian currency is high, Indian rupee will have high value, and if demand is low, it will depreciate. Also, understand that a high value for Indian currency means, the exchanged rate of the Indian rupee against US dollar will be less. Or to explain with an example: Rs.40 against 1 US dollar means high value for Indian rupee when compared with Rs.70 against 1 US dollar. So, if market forces determine the value of a currency, that type of system is called Floating Rate System. India has adopted floating rate system since 1975. If the government or RBI fix the exchange rate of a currency (and does not allow any variations according to demand and supply forces in the market), such a system is called Fixed Rate system. It is also called Bretton Woods system or Pegged Currency System. India was following this kind of system till 1975 and partial controls till 1993. Difference between Devaluation and Depreciation The basic difference between the devaluation and depreciation is that, the devaluation is done by the government of the country deliberately while the depreciation take place because of market forces i.e. demand and supply. Difference between Revaluation and Appreciation Revaluation is a term which is used when there is a rise of currency to the relation with a foreign currency in a fixed exchange rate. In floating exchange rate correct term would be appreciation. Reasons behind the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the dollar currently Increase in the price of the crude oil Tariff war scare (esp. between the USA and China) Increasing trade deficit of India Reduced capital flows to emerging economies Political Uncertainty Person in news: Prafulla Samantara Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Biodiversity conservation In news: Green Nobel prize winner environmental activist Prafulla Samantara has opposed the proposed water aerodrome project in Chilika lake. Says it will affect fishermen’s livelihood, keep off birds. About Chilika lake Chilika lagoon is a unique brackish water body that is visited by lakhs of migratory birds. It also comes under the RAMSAR convention declaration on the natural wetlands of international importance. Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS) Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and policies; Health About: PM Modi’s ambitious scheme aims to provide coverage of ₹5 lakh per family annually and benefiting more than 10 crore poor families in the country. AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes — Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS). https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2018/08/15/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_11/039b8b01_2321277_101_mr.jpg Salient features of the AB-NHPM scheme: This scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database. The Rs. 5 lakh per family a year cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures. To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme. The benefit cover will also include pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses. All pre-existing conditions will be covered from day one of the policy. A defined transport allowance per hospitalisation will also be paid to the beneficiary. Also, benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospital across the country. AB-NHPM will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database. Manipur extra-judicial killings Part of: GS Mains II and IV – Role of Judiciary; Security issues; Ethics In news: Supreme Court had directed CBI to file chargesheets against Army officers involved in the Manipur extra-judicial killings. There were allegations that innocents were killed branded as insurgents. The court is monitoring the CBI probe and cases number up to over 1,500. Armed forces personnel are plagued by doubts whether performing their duty to fight enemies would expose them to prosecution and land them in jail. Supreme Court’s orders and the resultant CBI action against Army personnel had made soldiers jittery. THINK! Are armed forces personnel being persecuted for doing their duty in insurgency-hit areas? (MAINS FOCUS) NATIONAL TOPIC:General Studies 2 Constitution; Election Commission of India Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. Election and Electoral Reforms Introduction: The Lok Sabha passed a Bill that allows ‘Proxy Voting’ to non-resident Indians (NRIs).  The Chief Election Commissioner expressed his views on proxy voting for NRIs, the fake news challenge, electoral bonds, and why EVMs are the best option. Proxy voting: for NRIs Proxy voting is to encourage NRIs to register and vote. India have about three crore people of Indian origin settled abroad. Half of them are Indian citizens; nearly 10% may be voters. The total number of NRIs registered in our electoral rolls is less than 25,000. They can now register at the address which is in their passport and opt for proxy. Proxy voting: Indians residing in India For someone in a hospital, EC is making all efforts to facilitate voting by setting up auxiliary voting stations. If there is a sizeable number say, 200-300 voters in a hospital then an auxiliary voting station in the same building can be arranged. If proxy facility is provided in India, this may become a scandal. It can be abused by parties or candidates to buy votes. Paid news and fake news: In terms of paid news, EC's system has been able to ensure that whenever cases came to them and notices were issued. But in case of fake news, have to handle not only social media accounts but even print media. Even for VVPAT [Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail] failure, many print media outlets said that EVMs that had never failed in 20 years failed in such a large number. It was fake news. EC's Review Committee has engaged with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to tell them what exactly is required of them during the conduct of elections — from the day of announcement of polls to the declaration of results, and in the last two days before the conclusion of polls. Even the Facebook regional head has agreed to have pre-certified electronic advertisements. And for the last 48 hours, advertisements affecting the election will be removed from the platform. Every advertisement will be flagged with the cost paid for it, so that our observers can include the expenditure on that advertisement. EC have set up a social media monitoring hub, also meeting Google in this regard. About EVM and VVPAT: Feasibility of paper ballot EC's technical experts committee, which includes professors from IIT Delhi, Mumbai and Bhilai, found solution to VVPAT issues. It is not correct to say that Europe has gone back to paper ballot. They [Europe] couldn’t devise an EVM which is standalone, which doesn’t have connectivity with Wi-Fi or Internet. Indian EVM machine is just like a calculator; it is not even connected to a power supply unit. EVMs have addressed so many issues, like invalid votes and booth capturing. There is no reason to think that as technology advances, we should be moving backwards. Electoral Bonds and Transparency in political funding The EC discussed this new scheme for campaign financing. EC's worries about electoral financing are mainly the opacity regarding who purchased the bond, who gave to it whom, what is the source of funds. All these not being disclosed to the electorate is not healthy for democracy. There were some amendments to the Company Law. Earlier, there was provision that only profit earning companies can donate, now, even if the company is dying, it can donate and evaporate from the scene. There are apprehensions that some shell companies may be created for siphoning off money from anywhere. Effectiveness of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) The EC’s Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into effect only after a poll schedule is announced. Many believe that the government of the day always has an unfair advantage. Welfare schemes are usually named after the Chief Minister or the Prime Minister. The EC through election reforms, cannot reform the whole of governance. Whatever influences a voter’s mind at the time of elections, EC take care of that. Like in Punjab, it was found that ration cards carried photographs of the political executive. The EC ensured that well before the announcement of elections, three months’ ration was distributed and then the ration cards were made redundant. A democratically elected government can do whatever it wants. In case there is any objection, people can challenge it through public interest litigation. Hate Speech: In case of regular hate speeches by someone that tend to influence the voters, there are MCC provisions to censure the politician. All legal provisions exist for substantive offences to be registered in appropriate cases. If they don’t relent, the EC debars them from campaigning. Our election process is protected from interference under Article 329 of the Constitution. Statutory backing is not given to the MCC, but it is agreed upon by all political parties that they will submit to the Code. If they violate it, the EC can derecognise them and can freeze their symbol. Conclusion: Election Commission is one of the bulwarks of Indian Democracy. People of India as well as political parties have great trust in this institution. But the new Campaign Financing scheme creates loopholes in terms of money supply during election campaign. Similarly rising extremism in politics and hate speeches are driving the people’s choices against the spirit of free and fair elections. To sustain the autonomy of EC in letter and spirit, electoral reforms along with positive political will is need of the hour. Connecting the dots: Briefly analyse the electoral system in India. Give some suggestions to resolve its flaws. (MAINS FOCUS) NATIONAL TOPIC: General Studies 2 Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. General Studies 3 Science and technology; Bio-Technology Bringing up a science: Research and Education in Evolution biology Introduction: The lack of research and education in evolutionary biology in India has justifiably been a matter of concern for some time. Evolutionary biology is important in understanding multi-drug resistance in microbes, for instance. The Nipah virus outbreak, which was traced to the habitat destruction of fruit bats, is also a study in ecology and evolutionary biology. More about Evolutionary Biology: Darwinian medicine or Evolutionary medicine is the modern application of evolutionary theory to understanding health and disease. It is poorly researched in India as compared to other countries. The only example from recent studies is work of Milind Watve who studied diabetes from this perspective. Host-range expansion is a classic evolutionary biology concept where, owing to climate change or other reasons, a pathogen moves from one host to another. In the Indian context, it sadly remains untapped as an approach to diseases that spread from animals to humans. In education, too, evolutionary biology is at a disadvantage. For one, there are no postgraduate departments of evolutionary biology in any university. DNA fingerprinting is a technology that has now caught the popular imagination. Using DNA fingerprinting and DNA statistics for forensics requires a nontrivial understanding of molecular population genetics. But we do not have sufficient numbers of researchers working on these areas and training future generations. The Way ahead A group of evolutionary biologists have recently established the Indian Society of Evolutionary Biologists (ISEB). This is a significant development. If India wishes to effectively leverage scientific understanding to address problems of public health, environment, agriculture and societal breakdowns, it cannot be done without greatly enhancing our appreciation of the importance of an evolutionary perspective in attacking these problems. Connecting the dots: WHO Zika virus alert and then Nipah outbreak in kerala, do you think India is ready for such public health emergencies? Comment in the light of Medical education and R&D in Health Sciences in India. (TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE) Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section) Note: Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”. IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section within 24 hours. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. Q.1) Consider the below statements with regard to Depreciation and Devaluation: Devaluation refers to a change in value of a money that has its value set by the country's government. Depreciation refers to a change in value of a money that has its value determined by market forces generated in the open money market. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1 only 2 only Both 1 and 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q.2) If a country devalue its currency against other foreign currencies then it may lead to: Increase in exports Increase in inflow of foreign exchange Increase in import of goods Select the code from below: 1 and 2 2 and 3 1 and 3 All of the above Q.3) Consider the following statements with reference to depreciation It is a situation where exchange rate of a domestic currency is cut down by its government against any foreign currency. It means an asset losing its value due to, either its use, wear and tear or due to other economic reasons. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? Only 1 Only 2 Both 1 and 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q.4) Consider the following statements with reference to depreciation of a currency It is a fall in the value of domestic currency with respect to other currencies It is done by deliberate government intervention Which of the above statements is/are correct? 1 only 2 only Both 1 and 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q.5) Which Ramsar Convention sites in India are under Montreux Record? Keoladeo National Park Chilika Lake Loktak Lake Chandertal Wetland Select the correct answer using the codes given below: 1 and 2 only 1 and 3 only 1, 2 and 3 only 1, 2, 3 and 4 Q.6) Consider the following statements about ‘’Chilika Lake’ The lake is of estuarine character in an ephemeral environment. It has been designated as wetland of International importance under the Ramsar Convention. It is the largest coastal lagoon in the world. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1 and 2 2 and 3 2 only 3 only Q.7) Consider the following statements with reference to the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS) The scheme will provide a cover of Rs.5 lakh per family per year. Only hospitalization expenses will be a part of the cover. It will subsume Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS). Which of the statements given above are correct? 1 and 2 1 and 3 2 and 3 1, 2 and 3 MUST READ Words of freedom The Hindu The market across the border The Hindu A brief history of democracy Indian Express The Freedom We Long For Indian Express A matter of confidence Indian Express

Daily Prelims CA Quiz

UPSC Quiz- 2019 : IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs Quiz [Day 45]

UPSC Quiz- 2019 : IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs Quiz [Day 45] Archives Q.1) ‘Global Findex’ is published by World Bank (WB) World Economic Forum (WEF) World Trade Organisation (WTO) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Q.2) ‘Fateh Mobin, was in news recently. What is it? It is a short-range ballistic missile developed by Iran It is a joint naval exercise between UAE and Saudi Arabia It is a trilateral military alliance between UAE, Oman and Yemen It is a proposed waterway connecting Black Sea and Azov Sea Q.3) Which of the following are objectives of ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’? Promote cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods in the identified regions To create employment through active involvement of local communities Enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the circuit /destinations Select the correct statements 1 and 2 2 and 3 1 and 3 All of the above Q.4) ‘Koshyari Committee’ is related to Reservation of Other Backward Classes One Rank-One Pension (OROP) Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) m-Banking (mobile) Q.5) Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan was an organisation in Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Uttar Pradesh To Download the Solution - Click here All the Best  IASbaba

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] - 14th August 2018

IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 14th August 2018 Archives (PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS) India and UK: India rejects DNA tests for ‘illegal migrants’ Part of: GS Mains II – India and the world; International Affairs In news: India rejected UK’s proposal to use DNA sampling to establish the nationality of illegal migrants living in UK. India refused to sign the final pact citing “privacy issues.” According to the original pact or MoU, security agencies in India were to verify the antecedents of illegal migrants without documents in the U.K. within 72 days and those with documents within 15 days. Ease of Living Index: Pune 1st, Navi Mumbai 2nd and Greater Mumbai 3rd Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Governance issues In news: Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry released the results of its survey on the Ease of Living in cities across the country. Pune 1st, Navi Mumbai 2nd and Greater Mumbai 3rd. Parameters considered: institutional (governance), social (identity, education, health, security), economic ( economy, employment) and physical (waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing/ inclusiveness, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces) factors. The top three cities were all in Maharashtra; Pune is ranked the highest, followed by Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai. The cities which were ranked the poorest were Patna in Bihar, Kohima in Nagaland and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Do you know? The index, which was conceived in 2017, is based on information from the 2011 Census. Blue stickers for petrol, CNG; orange for diesel Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment; Pollution; Energy In news: Soon, vehicles will have hologram-based coloured stickers which indicate the nature of the fuel used in them. Supreme Court agreed to a proposal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Light blue colour for petrol and CNG-run vehicles orange colour would be placed on diesel vehicles The date of registration of the vehicle would also be printed on these stickers (MAINS FOCUS) NATIONAL TOPIC: General Studies 2 Governance, Constitution, Social Justice Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. Issues arising out of govt. policies and their design and implementation General Studies 3 Inclusive growth and issues arising from it A rainbow coalition: Kerala is increasingly becoming a transgender-friendly society Introduction: More than a decade ago, Kerala was hostile towards transgender individuals, but now surprisingly it is increasingly becoming a transgender-friendly society. Kerala: A case study of the Transgender Rights More than a decade ago, Kerala was the worst State to be in for transgender individuals. They had to flee the state. A story in the newspaper described how Geeta was emotionally and physically harassed just because Geeta talked and behaved like a woman. A decade later, the State is a different place. The socio-cultural landscape has changed to tolerate an increasing visibility of TGIs, with the result that those who had fled the State are returning. There have been newspaper headlines recently on TGIs getting driving licences, two people getting college admission under the TGI quota, separate washrooms at Maharaja’s College, and even the State government paying Rs. 2 lakh for a sex change surgery. In the past, social hostility forced them to either leave the State while in their teens, end their lives, or lead a subhuman life until death. How did society in Kerala transform itself from being hostile to being accommodative? Strong political will: Politicians and administrators acting to reform social attitude The ‘State Policy for Transgender in Kerala 2015’, which aimed to provide the “right to live with dignity” reflected this political will. The respective governments walked the extra mile to implement the policy. Kochi Metro set an example by allotting a jobs quota. Village and district panchayats and municipalities have been tasked with finding jobs, running special training and skills programmes and welfare projects. Police harassment has fallen The TGI rights scene is shining. A TG Justice Board addresses issues of discrimination and violence while a TG cell in the Social Justice Department handles issues such as housing. Several other factors preceded the government’s pro-active approach: The global campaign for gay marriage The national campaign for decriminalising homosexuality (scrapping Section 377) The pride parades and the rising voices of other marginalised communities A hyper-active Malayalam media mirrored and transferred the energy to an emerging band of TG activists. The anti-HIV campaign threw up a battery of trained TGIs who later spearheaded the rights drives. Conclusion: Other states and nation as whole has a lot to learn from Kerala’s transformation. Through the Transgender Bill, we can bring greater accountability on the part of the Governments and administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons. Other than policy measures, awareness and social change are most important to eradicate the root cause of discriminatory attitude towards transgender people. Connecting the dots: What are the challenges and solutions that exist in making members of the transgender community part of the mainstream? Elucidate. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS TOPIC:General Studies 2 Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests  India and its neighbourhood Breaking the Radcliffe barrier: India, China, Pakistan Triangle Introduction: China's envoy to Delhi visited Punjab. After watching the popular flag-lowering ceremony, he expressed his hope for “peace, friendship and cooperation” between India and Pakistan. There are a number of factors that can lead this triangular relationship in a more positive direction. First factor, Beijing’s interest in making the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of China’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), more profitable by extending it to India. China has affirmed that CPEC is not an exclusive bilateral project; it can be turned into a more broad-based regional initiative. Afghanistan and Iran are eager for such an extension. Whereas, the Central Asian Republics are very much part of the BRI. There might be ways in which the political differences between India – China, especially the critical one on CPEC’s transit through Kashmir, can be bridged. If China returned to genuine neutrality on the Kashmir question, it would be a lot easier for Delhi to set aside its sovereignty argument on CPEC. The differences on economic and other issues in relation to BRI can easily be overcome through focused negotiations on specific projects. Second factor, the difficult macroeconomic situation that Pakistan finds itself in today and the potential role that commercial cooperation with India could play in alleviating it. Pakistan should let India export its goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia through Pakistan. That could bring hard currency through transit fees and boost the Pakistani industries. Such transit trade could help make Pakistan into a commercial hub between South and Central Asia, including China’s western regions. Third factor, China’s growing political and economic influence on Pakistan. Pakistan has become more dependent than ever on China’s support due to her rapidly deteriorating relations with the US. At the same time, China’s stakes in the stabilisation of Pakistan and Afghanistan, given its restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, are rising. Beijing is playing a more active role in Afghan peace-making and to encourage Pakistan’s reconciliation with India. China’s stakes in sub-regional economic integration in the north western marches of India looks real. Finally, any such sub-regional economic integration must necessarily come down to the Radcliffe Line that divides the Punjab. Punjab, which was historically at the heart of trans-regional trade routes, is now a dead end. Over the last two decades, repeated efforts were made to change Punjab’s economic condition. Chief Ministers of both parts of Punjab and the central governments of Delhi and Islamabad tried to negotiate agreements to liberalise cross-border religious pilgrimages and trade in goods and energy. But the barrier at Radcliffe Line remained as daunting as ever. Conclusion: The “new Pakistan,” and the willingness of the Indian Prime Minister to consider a “fresh start” in bilateral relations suggests there might be an opportunity to try and turn the Radcliffe Line into a commercial bridge. Chinese ambassador’s visit to the India-Pakistan border may just be a random diplomatic event. Or, Beijing may well have realised that it is Punjab that holds the key to unfreezing India-Pakistan relations. Connecting the dots: Overland transit trade between India and Pakistan could be the game changer for both the economies. In unfreezing these trade ties, Punjab holds the key, comment. (TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE) Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section) Note: Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”. IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section within 24 hours. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. Q.1) ‘Karamay Declaration’ is associated with which of the following? INSTC TAPI SCO CPEC Q.2) Consider the following statements: Ease of Living Index is released by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Governance has largest weight age among the 4 parameters used in the index. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1 only 2 only Both 1 and 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q.3) Which of the following agencies releases "Ease of living index"? World Bank World Economic forum IMF OECD MUST READ  Growth may pick up, but concerns remain The Hindu  Huff and e-puff: On e-cigarette ban The Hindu How to move a mountain The Hindu  Death of a Marxist The Hindu  Simply Put: On road to Mandalay, beyond Indian Express

Orientation Session on Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional on 18th August

Hello Friends, Interested students/aspirants can attend the orientation session on Political Science and International Relations on 18th of August in Bangalore. It is Open to All!! Venue: No. 1737/37, MRCR Layout, Vijayanagar Service road, Vijayanagar, Bangalore – 560040. Landmark: Vijayanagar Metro station or Above Apple Showroom Date & Time: 18th August (Saturday) from 11;30 AM to 1PM. Mail: offline@iasbaba.com Mobile No: 9035077800/6362224637 (10 AM to 5 PM)