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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd October 2019
Published on Oct. 3, 2019, 7:12 p.m.

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd October 2019

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


OPEN-DEFECATION FREE (ODF)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Health

In News

  • On the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, PM Modi announced that rural India and its villages have declared themselves open-defecation free (ODF).

What is ODF?

  • A village is ODF when: (i) there are no visible faeces in the village, and (ii) every household as well as public/community institution uses safe technology options for faecal disposal.
  • After a village declares itself ODF, states are required to carry out verification of the ODF status of such a village. This includes access to a toilet facility and its usage, and safe disposal of faecal matter through septic tanks. 

Do You know?

  • In 60 months, more than 60 crore people were provided with 11 crore toilets.
  • According to UNICEF report, there is a positive impact, worth Rs 20 lakh crore, on the Indian economy due to the Swachh Bharat campaign. 
  • It has created opportunities of 75 lakh jobs out of which a majority have been availed by the rural population”

Vayoshreshtha Samman

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-I - Society

In News

  • These are given to eminent senior citizens and Institutions involved in rendering distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons.
  • The series of awards were instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the year 2005 and were elevated to the level of national awards in 2013. 
  • Generally, the awards are conferred by the President of India on the 1st October i.e. on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). 
  • This year Tamil Nadu is given the award for the best State in implementing the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
  • Tamil Nadu State has set up maintenance tribunals under the Act in each sub-division, but half of the cases are resolved through conciliation.
  • The municipal council of Unhel, in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh, will receive the award for the best urban local bodyfor itsprovision of medical services, income generation schemes and pension to seniors. 

India hails U.K. verdict on former Nizam

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Modern History

In News

  • The case relates to the transfer of £1,007,940 (now worth £35 million) and nine shillings by the Nizam’s envoy and foreign minister in Londonon September 16, 1948 to Pakistan which the bank processed on September 20, 1948
  • However, Hyderabad’s armed forces had already surrendered to India on September 17, 1948 after a military operation known as “Operation Polo.”
  • Within days of surrender, Nizam sent a message to Bank demanding that the money be transferred back to his account which was objected by Pakistan

Do You Know?

  • Nearly 560 Princely states acceded to India at the time of Independence- except Junagadh, Hyderabad and Kashmir. Later these three states were integrated into India through Plebiscite, Military action and Signing of Instrument of Accession respectively
  • India’s external boundaries has changed only three times—when Goa was subsumed into the Indian Union in 1961, Pondicherry in 1962 (officially) and Sikkim in 1975

Inter-State portability for ration cards launched

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II - Governance

In News

  • An inter-State portability for ration cards has been launched for Rajasthan and Haryana to facilitate the distribution of foodgrains to beneficiaries of the National Food Security scheme.
  • Labourers in the unorganised sector, migrating from one State to the other in search of work, will mainly benefit from the scheme

Do You Know? 

  • In August 2019, Government of India launched the One Nation-One Ration Card scheme on a pilot basis in four States namely Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption.

Monsoon Prediction

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I - Geography

In News

  • The new monsoon model, called the Coupled Forecast Model (CFS), deployed by the IMD under the National Monsoon Mission (NMM) has failed to forecast the excess rainfall received during August-September 2019.
  • India this year may have recorded its highest monsoon rain in 25 years.  India ended up with 10% more monsoon rain (or 110% of the long period average LPA of 887 mm) than usual

National Monsoon Mission (NMM)

  • It was launched by Ministry of Earth Sciences to build an ocean atmospheric model for
    • improved prediction of monsoon rainfall on extended range to seasonal time scale (16 days to one season) and
    • improved prediction of temperature, rainfall and extreme weather events on short to medium range time scale (up to 15 days).
  • Dynamical models also called CFS relies on capturing the interactions between the land, ocean and atmosphere and tracking how the changes in each affect the other for forecasting the monsoon.
  • The land, atmosphere and ocean state at a particulate time, generally March, is mathematically simulated on supercomputers (Prithvi High Performance Computers at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Pune) and extrapolated into the monsoon months.

Pyrofuse

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III –Science & Technology

In News

  • Cutting off power in an accident is key in Electric Vehicles to prevent car occupants, rescuers from suffering electric shock
  • Pyrofuse are small devices that “blow out” whole sections of the cable connection to the high-voltage battery by means of miniature explosive charges, thus quickly and effectively shutting off the power circulation
  • For example, if the airbag sensor detects an impact, the tiny devices — measuring no more than 10 mm by 10 mmand weighing a few grams — trigger the pyrofuse.
  • This sets off little explosions that drive a wedge into the high-voltage cable between the battery unit and the power electronics, disconnecting the two. 
  • By thus cutting off the flow of power, the risk of electric shock or fire is fully eliminated.

Miscellaneous

‘Einstein Challenge’

  • Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”
  • PM announced Einstein Challenge to ensure the ideals of Gandhi are remembered by future generations
  • In this he invited thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to take the lead to spread Gandhi’s ideas through innovation.

Community fridge

  • To mark Gandhi Jayanti, South Western Railway in association with Feeding India NGO, installed a community fridge at Bangalore Railway Station
  • Anyone can keep excess food in the fridge and people in need of it can take it. 
  • The move will benefit migrant labourers, daily wage workers, and poor people.

Bioswale

  • These are vegetated channels to manage rainwater, recommended as long –tern sustainable solution for urban floods (Patna Floods)
  • They are long, channeled depression or trench that receives rainwater runoff and has vegetation (such as grasses, flowering herbs, and shrubs) and organic matter (such as mulch) to slow water infiltration and filter out pollutants
  • Bioswales are the most effective type of green infrastructure facility in slowing runoff velocity and cleansing water while recharging the underlying groundwater table.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INDIA’S FOREIGN RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

India-Bangladesh ties to move to the next level

Context:

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will embark on a four-day visit to India beginning from with an aim to further intensify bilateral relations between the two countries.
  • There is scope for India-Bangladesh ties to move to the next level, based on cooperation, coordination and consolidation

Did you know:

Img: https://www.mapsofindia.com/neighbouring-countries-maps/maps/india-bangladesh-map.jpg

  • Bangladesh shares land borders with India to the west, north and the east and Myanmar to the east, whereas the Bay of Bengal lies to its south.
  • Bangladesh’s land border with India is quite long stretching up to 2,582 miles.
  • Indian states Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and West Bengal share the India-Bangladesh border.
  • The country's geography is dominated by the Ganges delta which empties into the Bay of Bengal the combined waters of several river systems, including those of the Brahmaputra and the Ganges
  • The endangered Bengal tiger, the national animal..
  • The borders of modern Bangladesh were established with the separation of Bengal and India in August 1947, when the region became East Pakistan as a part of the newly formed State of Pakistan following the Boundary of the Partition of India. Later the rise of the Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement led to the Liberation War and eventually resulted in the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent sovereign in 1971
  • Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali language, make up 98% of the population of Bangladesh
  • Islam is the country's established religion
  • In the recent years Bangladesh has registered notable success in using Microcredit as a tool for poverty alleviation, women empowerment, generation of income through export of RMG, population control, reducing child mortality and combating natural disasters;
  •  The country continues to face the challenges of Rohingya refugee, terrorism, corruption, and erratic climate change

India- Bangladesh relations:

  • Common members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, IORA and the Commonwealth
  • The two countries share many cultural ties. (esp :Bengali-speaking)
  • In 1971, the Bangladesh Liberation War broke out between East Pakistan and West Pakistan; India intervened in December 1971 on behalf of East Pakistan and helped secure East Pakistan's independence from Pakistan as the country of Bangladesh.
  • Since 2015, the notable developments  have taken like resolution of long-pending land and maritime boundaries.
  • Observed increase in bilateral trade from US$9 billion to US$10.46 billion in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19, followed by US$7 billion to US$9 billion in FY 2017-18, an increase of 28.5 percent.

Present scenario:

  • India and Bangladesh today enjoy one of the best periods of their relationship, with positive development in the areas of diplomatic, political, economic and security relations.
  • The current Bangladesh government has uprooted security threats and acts of insurgency against India 
  • The India-Bangladesh border is one of India’s most secured
  • The signing of the Land Boundary Agreement in 2015 was a milestone
  • Land Boundary Agreement in 2015
  • Bilateral trade was a little over $9 billion in FY 2017-18 and Bangladeshi exports increased by 42.91%.
  • Indian export of electricity increased by another 500 MW. A 1,600 MW power station with a dedicated transmission system is being developed to boost power trade.
  • Train services are doing well, Five additional bus services were introduced in 2018
  • Bangladeshi tourists accounted for 21.6% of the total percentage of tourists visiting India in 2018
  • Bangladesh contributes 50% of India’s health tourism revenue
  • Border killings have decreased.
  • Since 2010, India has approved three lines of credit to Bangladesh of $7.362 billion to finance development projects. Due to bureaucratic red tape, just $442 million has been disbursed till December 2018
  • Memoranda of understanding were also signed for cooperation between the naval forces.

Issues yet to be settled :

  1. Teesta Water Sharing Agreement. 

Img: https://iasbaba.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Bengal-min.jpg

  • Teesta River  long river that rises in the eastern Himalayas, flows through the Indian states of West Bengal and Sikkim through Bangladesh and enters the Bay of Bengal.
  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s refusal to endorse water-sharing terms agreed upon by Prime Minister Modi in 2015 has resulted in the current impasse.

Read more on Teesta river dispute here : https://iasbaba.com/2015/08/iasbabas-daily-current-affairs-15th-17th-august-2015/

  1. National Register of Citizens (NRC)
  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) has left out 1.9 million Assamese from the list with a group labelled as “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh” living in Assam post-1971.(Bangladesh refuses)
  1. Rohingya issue
  • The Rohingya issue and India’s remarks in 2017 on the issue have been upsetting for Bangladesh .
  • The Indian government is concerned over Rohingyas' stay in India for security regions, it is looking for ways to deport over 40,000 Rohingyas living in the country illegally.

Way forward:

  • Removal of non-tariff barriers will help Bangladeshi exports such as harmonising the standards for goods accepted by India
  • Approved lines of credit to Bangladesh must be cleared on time
  • Both countries must reach consensus  on the issues like NRC, Rohingya and Teesta rivers.

Conclusion:

  • In a neighbourhood where distrust and cynicism prevail over friendship and hope(Pakistan & China), the relationship between the two countries(India & Bangladesh) has given hope for optimism.

Connecting the dots:

  • India-Bangladesh relations have matured in the last decade with development in many areas of cooperation. Substantiate.

HEALTH

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India “open defecation-free”.

Context:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi  said that the villages in India have declared themselves open defecation free. 
  • The prime minister made the announcement in the presence of over 20,000 village heads at an event to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Riverfront in Gujarat.
  • The prime minister said that 99 per cent of rural India was open defecation free

Background:

  • Open defecation and contamination of drinking and bathing water has been an endemic sanitary problem in India.
  •  In 2014, India was the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation, around 530 million people

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM):

  • A nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India's cities, towns, urban and rural areas.
  • The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.
  • The mission aimed to achieve an "open-defecation free" (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 100 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of Rs 1.96 lakh crore (US$28 billion)
  • The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015.
  • The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ("gramin" or 'rural'), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ('urban'), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Volunteers, known as Swachhagrahis, or "Ambassadors of cleanliness", have promoted indoor plumbing and community approaches to sanitation (CAS) at the village level.
  • In the past five years, the Indian government has built a 100 million toilets. With a country as large as India, this is a big achievement.

Survey in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh:

  • Between 2014 and the end of 2018, latrine ownership in the region had increased by 34 percentage points
  • States that had already been declared open defecation-free, the actual coverage was far below 100%.
  • the percentage of people defecating in the open declined by 26 percentage points, but  close to half still reported to be relieving themselves in the open
  • The programme barely managed to bring any change in the behaviour of latrine owners. Like in 2014, about a quarter of people who own a functional latrine continued to defecate in the open

Criticisms:

  • With unrealistic targets pushed down from the top, “Swachh Bharat Mission beneficiaries” were  facing coercion.
  • Many rural Indians were threatened with or even denied their legal rights, such as PDS ration, for not building a latrine.
  • Government officials at every level faced immense pressure and threats from their bosses
  • one in every four families told  that they have heard of government benefits being withdrawn for not having a latrine.

Conclusion:

  • The spirit of bidding farewell to open defecation as a gift to Gandhi deserves accolades. But we must not forget that there are still miles to go. 
  • India needs to have a sanitation policy that focuses on reducing open defecation.

Connecting the dots:

  • How is access to toilet and better sanitation under the Swachh Bharat Mission leading to socio-economic transformation of rural India? Explain.

(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) Coupled Forecast Model often seen in news dealt with which of the following area?

  1. Flood prediction and Riverbed management
  2. Cyber threat predictions
  3. Smart Traffic management
  4. Weather predictions

Q.2) Consider the following statements

  1. According to UNICEF report, there is a positive impact, worth Rs 20 lakh crore, on the Indian economy due to the Swachh Bharat campaign 
  2. A village is declared Open Defecation Free when there are no visible faeces in the village, and every household as well as public/community institution uses safe technology options for faecal disposal.

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.3) Consider the following statements about Vayoshreshtha Samman

  1. These are annual awards instituted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare 
  2. It is awarded for eminent senior citizens and Institutions involved in rendering distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons.
  3. It is conferred by the President of India on the 1st October i.e. on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons

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.4) Bioswales often seen in news is related to which of the following area?

  1. Management of Oil spills
  2. Decomposition of Plastics
  3. Management of rainwater
  4. None of the above.

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