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PRELIMS EXCLUSIVE PROGRAMME 2020-HISTORY TEST 12 has been updated in the Portal.

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th February 2020
Published on Feb. 13, 2020, 7:56 p.m.

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th February 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Implementation of Skill India at odds with political economy

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Govt Policies 

In news:

Study by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) and the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) has revealed 

  • The implementation of the Skill India policy has not sufficiently anchored the reality of India’s political economy
  • The preponderance of informal service work — even in the organised sector — makes the future of the skilled service worker almost as bleak as that of the unskilled worker.

From Prelims point of view

Skill India Mission

  • Skill India Mission is an initiative of the Government of India, launched by the Prime Minister on the 16th of July 2015 with an aim to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022.
  • It includes various initiatives of the government like 
    • National Skill Development Mission, 
    • National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015, 
    • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 
    • Skill Loan scheme

Hampi World Heritage site

Part of: GS Prelims Art & Culture and GS-I- Heritage

In news:

  • The Supreme Court  confirmed the Karnataka government authorities’ decision to demolish buildings constructed in Virupapura Gaddi, an oval islet formed by the Tungabhadra and located west of the Hampi World Heritage site.
  • The constructions were in violation of the Mysore Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1961.

From Prelims point of view

  • Group of Monuments at Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • located in east-central Karnataka, India
  • It became the pilgrimage cente of the Hindu religion.
  •  It was the capital of Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century 
  • Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River,
  • Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, India's richest at that time, 
  • Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; 
  • its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins
  • Described by UNESCO as an "austere, grandiose site" 
  • Includes "forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and othersthere is evidence of Ashokan epigraphy, and it is mentioned in the Ra Virupaksha Temple, an active Adi Shankara-linked monastery and various monuments belonging to the old city.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th February 2020 Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th February 2020

SRC :Hampi


Cleaning of drains & septic tanks claims 110 lives in 2019

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Vulnerable section

In news:

  • Number of people who died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the country increased by almost 62% from 68 in 2018 to 110 in 2019, Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) 
  • Ministry manual scavenging is banned under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th February 2020 Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th February 2020

Src: The Hindu

From Prelims point of view

Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

  • The law prohibits the employment of manual scavengers, the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment and the construction of insanitary latrines.
  • The law also provides rehabilitation of manual scavengers and alternative employment to them within the time bound manner. 
  • From now onwards, the construction and maintenance of the insanity latrines has became an offence, therefore no one can be employed or engaged as the manual scavenger.

National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK)

  • NCSK was constituted as a statutory body under the NCSK ACT, 1993.
  • Look into matters concerning the Safai Karamcharis’ welfare and makes recommendations to the government. 

1.25 lakh to attend ‘Kem chho Trump’ show

Part of: GS Prelims –International  and GS-II- International relations

In news:

  • The inauguration of the new Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, the largest cricket stadium in the world. 
  • Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold the “Kem chho Trump” (Howdy Trump) event at the stadium Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn, “Vaishnav Jan to” will be played in the background music.

From Prelims Point of view :

Vaishnava Jana To

  • Vaishnava Jana To is a Hindu bhajan, written in the 15th century by the poet Narsinh Mehta in the Gujarati language. 
  • The poem speaks about the life, ideals and mentality of a Vaishnava jana (a follower of Vaishnavism).

Received privilege motion against Minister: Speaker

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Parliament 

In news:

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla received the notice of privilege motion

From Prelims Point of view :

Privilege motion :

  • Rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”. 
  • When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament
  • A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.
  • Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion. 
  • The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament

(MAINS FOCUS)


Indian Polity

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. 

LOKPAL – Six Year on but still a non-starter

Lokpal (and Lokayuktas at State level) are statutory bodies established under Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 

They perform the function of an "ombudsman” and inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for related matters.

Powers of Lokpal

  • Jurisdiction of Lokpal includes Prime Minister, Ministers, members of Parliament, Groups A, B, C and D officers and officials of Central Government.
  • Jurisdiction of the Lokpal included the Prime Minister except on allegations of corruption relating to international relations, security, the public order, atomic energy and space.
  • The Lokpal Act mandates that all public officials should furnish the assets and liabilities of themselves as well as their respective dependents.
  • It has the powers to superintendence over, and to give direction to CBI.
  • It has been vested with the powers of a civil court.
  • It is empowered under the law to set up its own inquiry wing headed by a Director of Inquiry and its own prosecution wing headed by a Director of Prosecution
  • Lokpal has powers of confiscation of assets, proceeds, receipts and benefits arisen or procured by means of corruption in special circumstances.
  • Lokpal has the power to recommend transfer or suspension of public servant connected with allegation of corruption.

However, the implementation of the act has been poor due to reason like

Delay in appointment:

  • For more than five years since enactment of act in 2013, the chairperson and members of the Lokpal were not appointed. 
  • The government claimed that since no one could be recognised as the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) after the 2014 general election, the committee responsible for selecting members of the Lokpal could not be constituted. 
  • The chairperson and members of the Lokpal were appointed only in March 2019 after a orders from the Supreme Court

Actual Composition of the select committee:

  • A truncated selection committee, without the LoP, was set up – PM, Speaker, CJI and Eminent jurist (Mukul Rohatgi – former Attorney General of India) – to constitute Lokpal in March 2019
  • The four-member selection committee was thus seen as having a preponderance of representatives of the ruling party.
  • This raised doubts about the independence of the Lokpal even before it became operational.

Failure to Operationalize Lokpal – 

  • More than 10 months after constituting Lokpal, the government has not made rules prescribing the form for filing complaints to the Lokpal. 
  • The Central government has also failed to formulate rules regarding asset disclosure by public servants
  • The inquiry and prosecution wings of the anti-corruption ombudsman are yet to be set up. 
  • The Lokpal has also not appointed the Director of Inquiry or Prosecution
  • Regulations which the Lokpal was obligated to make under the law are yet to be made, including those specifying the manner and procedure of conducting preliminary inquiry and investigation.
  • Resignation of its judicial member, Justice Dilip B. Bhosale, for undisclosed reasons has further dented the image of the institution.
  • Veracity of Statistics on Lokpal Website: The website of the Lokpal states that it scrutinised 1,065 complaints received till September 30, 2019 and disposed of 1,000.
  • Since necessary procedures to operationalise the law are yet to be put in place, the legal veracity of the decisions of the Lokpal could potentially be challenged in a court of law.

Conclusion

  • Lokpal was accorded a high stature and given extensive powers including the power to inquire, investigate and prosecute acts of corruption.
  • Without the requisite rules, regulations and machinery in place, it is not surprising that the Lokpal has failed to meet expectations. 
  • The government should take urgent measure to frame the necessary rules & regulations to give real teeth and power to Lokpal

Indian Polity & Governance

Topic: General Studies 3:

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



Innovation in India-  National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC)

India is home to the third-largest congregation of startups, after the US, and China with innovators coming up with bottom-up science-based solutions to challenges

India’s biggest deep science ideas platform that has succeeded in reaching 34 of 36 states/UTs - National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC)

About NBEC

  • It is a national platform for bio-entrepreneurs to present their innovative business ideas with significant societal impact in the life sciences domain
  • It is a joint initiative by BIRAC (a research assistance non-profit established by the government’s department of biotechnology) and C-CAMP (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, India’s premier life sciences innovation hub)
  • Ideas are encouraged from all domains of life sciences, including healthcare, agriculture, food, nutraceuticals, environment, water, and animal health.

How does it help innovators?

  • The framework of NBEC is designed such that competitors are judged solely on the merit of the idea and its societal impact.
  • If the idea is good, supporting infrastructure is provided through a network of innovation hubs, industry, and mentorship.
  • A big cohort of participants are invited to competition, which helps to form partnerships with industry leaders, and innovation hubs to operationalise their concepts.
  • It thus helps idea to be translated into reality and enter the market in a sustainable manner.

The value proposition lies in three broad areas

  • A robust framework that democratises innovation access - many NBEC ideators are women, and from tier 2-3 cities/towns of India. 
  • Emphasis on ideas with national societal impact -
  • connecting innovators up the idea-to-market value chain.

Some of the successful indigenous technologies which are being provided the support through this platform are:

  • Biodegradable nano-fibre carriers – That can carry the same active fertiliser dosage in a 5 g pouch as a 5 kg bag today, thereby reducing logistics costs by 1000x and increasing shelf life by 2x. This solution simultaneously revolutionises the agriculture, fertiliser, environmental, and energy sectors
  • Miniaturised Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) detection kit – A credit card-sized test platform that can detect four major UTI pathogens in 30-60 minutes compared to the 24-48 hours it takes today in a laboratory setup, at affordable prices
  • Image-based screening solutions for eye diseases to overcome the challenge of unavailability of specialist doctors
  • Compostable sanitary napkins made from banana fibres

Therefore, carefully structured ideas platforms like NBEC serve as ideal vehicles to effect socio-economic impact at scale across India

Way Forward

  • It is this idea-first framework that India must implement across other verticals like cybersecurity, energy, defence, urban design, health, and water management to unlock greater innovation-led entrepreneurship.
  • With deep science ideas platforms, India can position itself as a sustainable solutions innovator, and provider.

Connecting the dots!

  • Atal Innovation Mission
  • Challenges to Innovation – Inadequate Funding- from both private & Public, Lack of Academia-industry collaboration

(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”.

Q1. With reference to 'National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)', which of the statements given below is/are correct?  

  1. Under NSQF, a learner can acquire the certification for competency only through formal learning.
  1. An outcome expected from the implementation of NSQF is the mobility between vocational and general education.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q 2. With reference to Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, consider the following statements

  1. It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  2. It, among other things, will also impart training in soft skills, entrepreneurship, financial and digital literacy.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.3) Where is the famous Virupaksha temple located?

  1. Bhadrachalam
  2. Chidambaram
  3. Hampi 
  4. Srikalahasti

ANSWERS FOR 11 FEB 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 D
3 B

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