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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th January 2020
Published on Jan. 10, 2020, 5:20 p.m.

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th January 2020

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 

Part of: GS Prelims – Important events and GS-I- Modern History

In News

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
  • January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is celebrated once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots.
  • During the Convention, selected overseas Indians are also honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognize their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad. 

World Hindi Day: Celebrated on Jan 10

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Society; GS-II- Polity (Schedule Languages)

In News

  • World Hindi day is commemorated every year with the objective to promote use of Hindi language abroad
  • On this day in 2006 the First World Hindi Conference was organized in Nagpur with the aim to promote the language worldwide and since then every year 10th January is being observed as the World Hindi Day.

Madhavpur Mela

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I - Culture

In News

  • The eight States of the Northern Eastern Region will participate in a big way during the Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat due to be held in the first week of April 2020.
  • Madhavpur lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. A 15th century Madhavrai temple marks the site.
  • The Madhavpur Ghed, a small but culturally significant village, is the place where, according to folklore, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka.
  • This event is commemorated by a cultural fair held every year, commencing on Ram Navam
  • The Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat shares its connect to the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The Mishmi Tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini and Lord Krishna.

Curative Petition: Nirbhaya Case convicts file Curative pleas in Supreme Court

Part of: GS Prelims- Judiciary and GS Mains –II- Indian Polity

In News

  • A curative petition, which follows the dismissal of a review petition, is the last legal avenue open for convicts in the Supreme Court.
  • Came into Existence: It is a rare remedy devised by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in its judgment in the Rupa Ashok Hurra case in 2002. 
  • Grounds of Filing Curative Petition: A party can take only two limited grounds in a curative petition — 
    • One-that he was not heard by the court before the adverse judgment was passed, and 
    • Two- the judge was biased. 

NITI Aayogs’s PPP Policy for Health Sector

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Health and Governance

In News

  • The PPP plan drafted by NITI Aayofg involves linking private medical colleges with the government district hospitals, in which the private entities can convert half of the hospital beds into paid beds
    • Reason: Limited resources available with the Union and State governments
  • Criticism: 
    • Regressive model which commercialises the already small public health system 
  • It would further reduce access to public health institutions: especially when only 25% of non-hospitalised and 45% of hospitalised patients seek health care from public health institutions
    • Increases out-of-pocket health expenditure of Citizens

Rann Utsav

Part of: GS Prelims and GS I- Geography

In News

  • It is the annual white desert carnival held by Gujarat Tourism Department in the country’s largest salt desert ‘Great Rann of Kutch’.
  • It celebrates cultural and artistic heritage of Kutch.
  • The activities include folk dance performances, handicraft shopping, star gazing and sightseeing.

Tiger Reserves: Demand to notify certain areas of Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa as Tiger Reserve

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment Conservation

In News

  • Mahadayi, Netravali and Cotigao sanctuaries and some part of Mahaveer National Park in Goa has seen the presence of Tigers that has pushed Politicians & activists to demand Tiger Reserve status in these areas
  • Sanctuaries and National Parks are areas of significant ecological, floral, faunal or natural significance. They are notified by State Governments and protected by the Forest Department under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. 
  • A National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary that is considered significant for protecting tigers can be additionally designated as a Tiger Reserve
  • A Tiger Reserve consists of a ‘Core’ or ‘Critical Tiger Habitat’, which is to be managed as an inviolate area, and a ‘Buffer’ or Peripheral area immediately abutting a Core area, which may be accorded a lesser degree of habitat protection.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body formed in 2005-06, with an overarching supervisory/coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Green Credit Scheme

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy, Conservation

In News

  • In the current system, industry needs to compensate the loss of forest acquired for its commercial activity by paying the Forest department a fee. The department is then responsible for reforesting on other patch of land acquired by industry.

About Green Credit Scheme – yet to be implemented

  • It allows agencies to identify land and begin growing plantations. After three years, they would be eligible to be considered as compensatory forest land
  • An industry needing forest land could then approach the agency and pay it for parcels of such forested land, and this would then be transferred to the Forest Department and be recorded as forest land.

Benefits of the Scheme

  • This allows “forests” to be traded as a commodity. 
  • The Scheme allows the Forest Department to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to non-government agencies.
  • It thus fast tracks industrial projects and enhances ease of doing business without compromising on the environmental assets of the Nation. 

(MAINS FOCUS)


Indian Economy

TOPIC:General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 

  • Infrastructure: Energy
  • Investment Models

Coal Sector in India: Norms liberalised for entry and regulations relaxed

Context:

The Cabinet approved the promulgation of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020.

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th January 2020 Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th January 2020

What provisions does Ordinance contain?

  • It allows Coal mining by any Companies
    • Earlier: Only those in Power, Iron & Steel and Coal washery Business could bid for Mines
  • It also does away with captive end-use criteria i.e. Coal can be commercially mined and sold to any buyer in an open market
    • Earlier: The Coal mined by a licensee could be used for only specified purpose like for its own Thermal power plant i.e. they could not be sold in Open market like that of Coal India Ltd (Public Sector Enterprise)

What are the advantages accruing from this changed regulatory regime? 

  • Expands the pool of Potential bidders:  This will lead to better competition during auctions thus fetching better revenues for the government.
  • Development of Coal market: End use restriction inhibited the growth and development of the market thus driving down the Coal production and also distorting free price discovery of the mined coal.
  • Reduces Coal imports: India imported 235 million tonnes worth 1.71 Lakh Crore Rupees. Of these 135 million tonnes could have been substituted by domestic Coal production. Reduction in Coal imports leads to saving on foreign exchange reserves and also betters our trade balance.
  • Brings an end to Monopoly of Coal India Ltd.: Movement from State controlled system to free-market economy which incentivizes the private sector to act as engines of growth.
  • Efficient use of resources: Enhanced competition will inevitably lead to better utilization of the natural resources available in the country.
  • Employment: Large investments in mining will create jobs in the country.
  • Demand creation for other Sectors: Opening up of the sector will set off demand in critical sectors such as mining equipment and Heavy commercial vehicle industries.
  • Infusion of Modern technologies into Coal Sector: The move will also help India gain access to sophisticated technology for underground mining used by global miners
  • Helps achieve government target of 1.5 billion tonnes of domestic coal production by 2023-24.

What are the possible challenges/demerits of this step?

  • Procedural Delays: Government should ensure that approval and compliance procedures are not archaic & draconian which will increase the upfront cost thus deterring private players to enter the sector.
  • Climatic Concerns: When countries across the world are moving away from fossil fuel resources this step to enhance Coal production is criticized by environmentalists
  • Health Concerns: Coal burning releases Carbon dioxide, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury- thus damaging the health of many people around the region.
  • Interest of Coal India Ltd: This is a Maharatna PSU which is considered as a National asset and is listed in the stock exchanges. Opening up of the sector should not compromise the capability of CIL and avoid the way BSNL went down in telecom market.
  • Employers of CIL: Nearly 3 Lakh people are employed in CIL. Opening of the sector should not endanger the growth prospects of CIL and the livelihood aspects of the employers.
  • Labour Standards: Private companies in order to reduce their input costs and maximise their profits may subvert labour guidelines which may have detrimental effect on workers engaged in those enterprises.

Way Ahead

  • The move comes at a time when the window for fossil fuels is rapidly closing, and the global energy landscape evolving, with fundamental changes to the investment culture amid growing climate concerns. 
  • Government thus needs to balance its commitments towards Climate Change and its imperative to push the developmental agenda. Promotion of Clean Coal Technology which is at present Cost prohibitive is the way to move ahead

Connecting the dots

  • Impact of opening up of Coal sector on India’s pledges made during Paris Climate Deal, especially in the backdrop of US withdrawing from the deal
  • Should Railway sector also be opened up for private players
  • Lessons learnt from Liberalisation of Telecom sector in the wake of declining fortunes of BSNL
  • Should Air India be privatized in the light of mounting losses

Environmental Conservation

TOPIC:

General Studies 3:

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. 


General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, 


Australia Wildfires

Context

Australia’s devastating fire season that began in August 2019 continues unabated and caused large scale destruction particularly in New South Wales and Queensland region

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th January 2020 Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th January 2020

Source: Newsweek.Com

Why are the wildfires unprecedented?

  • Although Australia has always had bushfires, this season has been a lot worse than normal with nearly 12 million acres burned by the fires
  • Very high temperatures (averaging 42O C), extended drought period(driest spring on record) and strong winds (spreads the bushfires) have converged to create disastrous fire conditions.

Is Climate Change to Blame?

  • Australia is normally hot and dry in the summer, but climate change, which brings longer and more frequent periods of extreme heat, worsens these conditions and makes vegetation drier and more likely to burn.
  • Australia’s bush fires will become now more frequent and more intense as climate change worsens.

Impact of Such wildfires

  • Agricultural Production impacted
  • Loss of Human lives
  • Loss of Flora and Fauna- Loss of Biodiversity
  • Leads to evacuation of communities – Temporary migration to other places
  • Economic disruption
  • Frequent wildfires in near future will make the region uninhabitable and thus catalysing environmental migration.
  • Questions the developmental Model of the Country (Dependence on Coal Sector for its economic development which leads to GHG emissions)
  • Questions the commitment of World towards battling Climate Change especially its impact now being clearly felt. This will pressurize US (which has withdrawn from the Paris deal) and other Countries to increase their Paris Deal commitments

Impact on India

  • Strengthen the voices of people who argue against India’s dependence on fossil fuels like Coal & petroleum
  • India’s ability to import high quality of Coal from Australia will be impacted.
  • Indian investment in Australia’s coal sector will be endangered Ex: Adani Carmichael Coal mine project in Galilee Basin in Queensland, Australia
  • Moral Pressure on India to take up leadership of fighting climate change in the Asia-Pacific region.

Way Ahead

  • Adoption of Cleaner technologies which emits less greenhouse gases.
  • Enhancing capabilities of government authorities to face similar such incidents in the future.
  • Citizen awareness about the dangerous of Climate Change and thus persuade them to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle having less carbon footprint
  • Diversifying energy basket so as to reduce dependence on Coal & other fossil fuels. Instead promoting use of renewable energy like solar power.
  • Developing a comprehensive Migration & Refugee Policy in the wake of increasing possibilities of environmental refugees

Connecting the dots

  • Does India also have Climatic conditions similar to that in Australia which were responsible for wildfires?

Do You Know?

  • Coal is Australia’s second largest export behind iron ore. In 2016-17 Australia exported 202 million tonnes of thermal coal and 177 million tonnes of metallurgical coal with a combined value of $54 billion.
  • Australian coal is highly sought after around the world for its high energy content and low impurities which make it ideal for use in modern High Efficiency-Low Emission (HELE) power plants and steel mills.
  • India is the fourth largest producer of Coal and second largest importer of Coal

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1) Mahadayi and Mahaveer National Park are located in which State/UT of India?

  1. Karnataka
  2. Goa
  3. Pondicherry 
  4. Maharashtra

Q.2) Rupa Ashok Hurra case in 2002 led to related to which of the following judicial remedies/pronouncements?

  1. Writ of Habeas Corpus
  2. Restriction of detention by State authorities
  3. Curative review petition
  4. None of the above

Q.3) Which of the following are the benefits of the Green Credit Scheme?

  1. It allows forests to be traded as a commodity. 
  2. It allows the Forest Department to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to non-government agencies

Select the correct answer from the codes given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.4) Madhavpura Mela often seen in news is celebrated in which State?

  1. Rajasthan
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Gujarat
  4. Maharashtra

Q.5) Consider the following statements

  1. Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with 9 tiger reserves for conserving our national animal, the tiger. 
  2. Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
  3. A National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary that is considered significant for protecting tigers can be additionally designated as a Tiger Reserve

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are corr

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

ANSWERS FOR 09 JAN 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 B
3 B
4 D
5 A

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