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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th September 2019
Published on Sept. 28, 2019, 3:17 p.m.

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th September 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


SC order demolition of Maradu blocks violating CRZ regulations

Part of: GS Prelim sand Mains GS-III – Environmental Conservation

In News

  • The coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ).
  • CRZ Notification 2018 is based on the recommendations of Shailesh Nayak committeeand have been issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • CRZ along the country has been placed in four categories, which are as follows
  • CRZ I - Ecologically Sensitive Areas.
    • They lie between low and high tide line.
    • Exploration of natural gas and extraction of salt are permitted
    • no construction is allowed except activities for atomic power plants, defense.
  • CRZ II - Shore Line Areas
    • The areas that have been developed up to or close to the shoreline.
    • Unauthorized structures are not allowed to construct in this zone.
  • CRZ III - Undisturbed Area
    • Rural (CRZ IIIA and CRZ IIIB) and Urban localities which fall outside I and II.
    • Only certain activities related to agriculture even some public facilities are allowed in this zone.
  • CRZ IV - Territorial Area
    • An area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward.
    • Fishing and allied activities are permitted in this zone.
    • Solid waste should be let off in this zone.

Madhya Pradesh miners demand treatment for Silicosis

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

About Silicosis

  • Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, a mineral that is part of sand, rock, and mineral ores such as quartz.
  • It mostly affects workers exposed to silica dust in occupations such mining, glass manufacturing, foundry and building construction industries. 
  • Over time, exposure to silica particles causes scarring in the lungs, which causes bloody coughing and breathlessness.
  • Silicosis is incurable, and so clinical management includes removing the worker from the industry and giving symptomatic treatment

Do You Know?

  • Jodhpur’sRaju Devi, who, after her husband’s death due to silicosis, organised around 25,000 miners and secured their rights with regard to working conditions and adequate health insurance benefits to deal with Silicosis.
  • Factory Act of India (1948) mandates a well ventilated working environment, provisions for protection from dust, reduction of overcrowding and provision of basic occupational health care. 
  • The main challenge of eliminating silicosis in India is in the informal, unregulated sectors of industry which do not fall under the control of the Factory Act of India.

Citizenship Bill

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Federalism

In News

  • NGOs across the northeastern States have lined up protests against the Union government’s bid to reintroduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
  • Groups in Assam feel the bill goes against the NRC and the Assam Accord, groups in Mizoram fears a higher influx of Chakmas while other Northeastern states fear influx of outsiders may lead to changes in demography of their states

About Citizenship(Amendment) Bill

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 and grant citizenship to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of stay in India even if they do not possess any proper document. 
  • The current requirement is 12 years of stay.
  • The proposed legislation was cleared by the Lok Sabha in January but not tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

Other Criticism of the bill

  • The bill has no provision for Shias or Ahmadiyas in Pakistan who are persecuted minorities there. By allowing non-Muslim migrants to claim citizenship, the bill goes against to Article 14 of the Constitution that guarantees right to equality.

Air Pollution and health risks

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

In News

  • Previously, air pollution was exclusively linked only to respiratory diseases. 
  • But in recent times, multiple clinical studies have proved the role of air pollution in causing cardiovascular diseases
  • The study says that out of one lakh Indians, about 200 people are prone to heart diseases due to air pollution.
  • A study also found that approximately 35% of patients with no conventional risk factors suffered from cardiovascular diseases (CAD) due to air pollution.
  • Institutes involved in study: Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, & NIMHANS Bengaluru.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act empowers Central Pollution Control Board to set standards for the quality of air.
  • Current NAAQS were notified by CPCB in the year 2009.
  • Pollutants covered under NAAQS are Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter (PM 10, PM 2.5), Ozone (O3), Lead (Pb), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ammonia (NH3), Benzene (C6H6), Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP), Arsenic(As), Nickel (Ni).

National Air Quality Index

  • NAQI, launched by CPCB,  is a number used to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecasted to become.
  • The classifications of air quality are part of a 6 grade, colour coded taking into account 8 pollutant levels.
  • These pollutants measured in this index are: Ground-level Ozone (O3), Particulate Matter (soot and dust) - PM 2.5 and PM 10, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Ammonia (NH3)

10-year sanitation plan

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Health and Sanitation

In News

  • With India set to be completely open defecation free (ODF) by 2nd October 2019, the Centre has launched a 10-year sanitation strategy to maintain these gains
  • The focus would now shift to solid and liquid waste management in rural areas of the country.
  • Nevertheless, the first priority is to sustain the gains of ODF, to prevent slipbacks and continue behaviour change

About Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

  • Launched in 2014, it aims to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage in the country. 
  • About 110 million toilets have been built in past five years.
  • At present, 98% of Indian villages have rural sanitation coverage instead of 38% four years ago.
  • Swachh Bharat (rural) is implemented by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat (urban)by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Tiger Conservation

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III – Environmental Conservation

In News

  • India, Nepal, Bhutan to count tigers in high altitudes
  • Potential high altitude tiger landscapes include the
    • Valmiki-Chitwan-Annapurna (India-Nepal), 
    • Manas-Royal Manas-Jigme Dorji (India-Bhutan); 
    • Neora Valley-Torsa-Buxa-Phibsu (India-Bhutan); 
    • Askot-Pithoragarh-Nandhaur-Suklaphanta (India-Nepal); and 
    • Arunachal-Sikkim-bordering Bhutan (India-Bhutan).
  • Recording the presence of tigers in high altitudes is important to judge the health of the species, as poaching and fragmented habitat are serious challenges to their population growth

Do You Know?

  • India is home to the most number of tigers in the world, most of them are focussed in Central India and the Western Ghats. 
  • The latest tiger survey, made public earlier this year estimated 2,967 tigers all over India.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INDIA’S FOREIGN RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2 :

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Context:

  • Memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the NCP(Nepal communist party) with the Communist Party of China .
  • President Xi Jinping is visiting Nepal in October 2019

Background about Nepal:

https://www.mapsofindia.com/neighbouring-countries-maps/maps/india-nepal.jpg

  • Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia.
  • It borders China in the north and India in the south, east
  • Hinduism is the predominant religion of the country
  • The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, affirms Nepal as a secular federal parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
  • Friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960.
  • Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Non Aligned Movement(NAM) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative. 

India – Nepal relations:

  • The 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship
  • treaty  provides Nepalese, the same economic and educational opportunities as Indian citizens in India, while accounting for preferential treatment to Indian citizens and businesses compared to other nationalities in Nepal
  • The Indo-Nepal border is open; Nepalese and Indian nationals may move freely across the border without passports or visas and may live and work in either country
  • since late 2015, political issues and border disputes have strained relations between the two countries with anti-Indian sentiment growing amongst the government and people of Nepal
  • No border agreement between two countries 

Recent developments in India – Nepal relations:

  • In August 2014, when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited and number of sops were announced. 
  • When a big earthquake struck Nepal, India was quick to respond with help and relief materials. 
  • India’s failure to complete past projects on time has created frustrations.
  • In 2015  India objected to Nepal’s constitution and exerted pressure for Nepal to accommodate the voices of Madhesi people led to blockade this infringed the relations

China- Nepal relations:

  • The Sino-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed in 1960.
  • From 1975 onward, Nepal has maintained a policy of balancing the competing influence of China and India
  • China has been making an effort to gain entry into SAARC, and, Nepal has continuously backed and supported the proposal to include China as a member in the regional grouping
  • China being the largest source of FDI, (while India still remains one of the major source of remittance to Nepal)
  • The  Nepal and China ratified the border agreement treaty 1960.

Recent development in China – Nepal relations:

  • Nepali leaders played the nationalism card to reach out to China (after blocked). 
  • With the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), exchanges and interactions between the two countries grew. 
  • Nepal signed agreements with China to ensure it was not “India locked”, in turn opening transit and trade opportunities through its northern border.

Problems with the Nepal:

  • Nepal’s engagements with the outside world have been more of theatrics, speeches and little action.
  • Nepal  has never been about seeking investments and get into a partnership model such as what Bangladesh has been able to do successfully with both China and India.
  • With a strong patriarchal and feudal culture embedded in Hinduism, rituals dominate Nepali life, there is much emphasis on rituals rather than an understanding of the deeper issues.

Communism in Nepal Vs China:

The recent rise of the Nepali communist has been due to the empathy of and support from the Communist parties of India that were part of the United Progressive Alliance(UPA). The Maoists, while underground, received tacit support. With the communist parties in India in disarray now, the Nepali communist leaders are looking for options.

  • Communism to Nepal came through Calcutta and not straight from China. Therefore, what we see in Nepal is the West Bengal version of communism rather than a Chinese one.
  • The communist movement in both India and Nepal has been about rent-seeking on positions and selling rhetoric and hypocrisy. In contrast to the Chinese societal model of hard work and encouraging entrepreneurial pursuits.
  • Nepali communists, especially the former insurgents, still talk about Mao and the Maoist ideology. In China, Mao is a word best avoided and is jarring for the current key leadership.
  • In China, over the years, when a majority group within the party decides on an issue, people with opposing views accept the decision and do not challenge them in the future. Nepali communism has been about continuous infighting and creating fiefdoms rather than accepting an individual’s leadership.

China- India-Nepal Trilateral:

  • China wants to invest in big connectivity projects in Nepal but prefers to bring India, on board. But India have not shown much interest.
  • Chinese engagement in Nepal is sharply increasing, making India uncomfortable. India views Nepal as its traditional sphere of influence, and wants to contain Chinese influence. Thus India  is rejecting the proposal for trilateral cooperation
  • Nepal wants to change the old pattern of a heavy economic dependence on India by expanding large-scale ties with China.
  • China, meanwhile, is keen to increase its economic, military, and strategic influence in Nepal without direct confrontation with India.
  • Ongoing Trade and transit agreement of Chinese and Nepal governments. Once it is finalized, Nepal, a land-locked country, could use Chinese ports and seas for the export and imports of goods .Currently, Nepal uses Indian ports and cities for exports and imports.( The border blockade of 2015 taught Nepal the lesson)
  • China is perceived as a trusted neighbor, agreements, treaties, and conventions. India is greeted with suspicion..
  • China’s noninterference policy seems to have played a vital role in creating positive public opinion toward China. 
  • By contrast, there are widespread perceptions that India interferes in Nepal’s politics. 

Ex : In 2015, India objected to Nepal’s constitution and exerted pressure for Nepal to accommodate the voices of Madhesi people, China welcomed the promulgation of the constitution in Nepal, lauding it as a historic progress.

How far is the progress of China – Nepal relation?

  • China-funded projects such as constructing Pokhara International Airport and the Kathmandu Ring Road expansion are underway. 
  • Chinese investment in various sectors is increasing.
  • Chinese tourists have also noticeably increased in fact surpassed Indian tourists in 2018
  • Nepal Army and People’s Liberation Army of China is on the rise, after their first joint military exercise last year
  • Nepal and China signed a framework agreement on the BRI and now the onus lies on Nepal to select the projects under the BRI framework(2017)
  • Nepal is asking China to open more border crossings. Though both countries are talking about broader connectivity, China has opened very few border points.
  • China and Nepal are also exploring the possibility of a free trade agreement (FTA).

Way forward:

  • Longstanding people-to-people ties and cultural connect.
  • India should focus on fructifying the potential of hydropower cooperation, which has remained untapped largely due to differing perceptions.
  • Timely completion of projects  
  • India should maintain the policy of keeping away from internal affairs of Nepal

Conclusion:

  • President Xi’s visit will be once again be one made by a “friendly neighbour or cousin”, who brings some gifts, exchanges pleasantries and then moves on.
  • With its immense strategic relevance in the Indian context as Indian security concern, stable and secure Nepal is one requisite which India can’t afford to overlook.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2 :

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.

Context:

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)  

  •  Voiced concern over the human rights situation in Kashmir.
  • Discussed the communication restrictions put in place in Kashmir.
  • The group demanded that India "rescind" its actions in Kashmir and reiterate its commitment to abide by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
  • It said India should allow access to Jammu and Kashmir to human rights organisations and international media to ascertain and report on the situation there.

India replied that the abrogation of Article 370 is its "internal matter".

Background:

  • Founded in 1969, 57 member states, 53 countries being Muslim-majority countries. 
  • The organisation states that it is "the collective voice of the Muslim world" and works to "safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony".
  • The Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUOICM) was established in Iran in 1999,. Only OIC members are entitled to membership in the union
  • The OIC supports a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
  • The OIC has called for boycott of Israeli products in effort to pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories.
  • condemned the human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
  • raised the issue of China's Xinjiang re-education camps and human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in 2018

 India – OIC Relation:

  • India's relationship with Pakistan has always been tense and has a direct impact on India-OIC relations, with Pakistan being a founding member of the OIC. India has pushed for the OIC to accept India as a member, Pakistan opposes India's entry into the OIC
  • For the first time in five decades, the United Arab Emirates invited foreign minister of India Sushma Swaraj to attend the inaugural plenary 46th meeting of OIC foreign ministers. (Pakistan boycotted the meet)
  • From the mid-1990s, when this Contact Group was formed, it has issued several statements on behalf of Pakistan (on Kashmir issue)
  • The United Arab Emirates, for instance, conferred the Order of “Zayed”, its highest civilian award on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more than a week after New Delhi’s moves on Article 370, and declared that Kashmir was India’s internal matter.

Way forward:

  • Asking Pakistan to change its state policy on terrorism. 
  • Imran Khan ensure that Pakistan abjures support to Kashmir-centric groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba
  • The OIC would do a lot better if it did something useful to better the lot of its members or mediate between warring Saudi Arabia and Yemen, for instance.

Conclusion:

  • The organisation, constituted on religious lines, but seeking to fulfil geopolitical interests, needs reforms from within.
  • The OIC’s record of conflict resolution when it comes to issues between OIC member states is poor and must be improved

(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. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1)Consider the following statements about Manas National Park

  1. It is Tiger reserve, Elephant reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site(Natural) and Biosphere Reserve under Man & Biosphere Programme of UNESCO
  2. It is located in Sikkim State of India bordering Bhutan 

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

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

Q.2)Consider the following statements about Citizenship(Amendment) bill recently in news

  1. It has provisions to grant citizenship to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from SAARC countries
  2. It has reduced the time period of stay in India from previous 12 years to 6 years so as to be eligible to grant Citizenship
  3. The bill is being opposed in Assam as the above provisions goes against the NRC and the Assam Accord 

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

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

Q.3)Consider the following statements about Silicosis

  1. It is a skin disease which is not curable
  2. It mostly affects workers exposed to silica dust in occupations such mining, glass manufacturing, foundry and building construction industries.

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

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

Q.4)Consider the following statements about Coastal Regulation Zones(2018)

  1. It is based on the recommendations of Shailesh Nayak committee 
  2. They have been issued under provisions of Environment Protection Act, 1986.

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

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

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