HINDU NOTES-OCT 18 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 18 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

U.S.-backed forces wrest Raqqa from IS

News:

  • U.S.-backed forces took full control of Raqqa from the Islamic State group on Tuesday, defeating the last jihadist holdouts in the de facto Syrian capital of their now-shattered ‘caliphate.’

Background:

  • The victory caps a battle of more than four months for Raqqa, and hammers another nail in the coffin of the jihadist group’s experiment in statehood, which has collapsed in the face of offensives in Syria and Iraq.
  • Inside Raqqa, joyous fighters from the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) celebrated and raised their yellow flag in the city’s Al-Naim traffic circle, which became known as ‘Hell Roundabout’ after it was used for gruesome public executions.
  • The SDF broke into Raqqa in June, after months of fighting to surround the city, and on Tuesday flushed the last few hundred IS fighters from their remaining positions in the main hospital and the municipal stadium.

Notes for enrichment:

  • The 2017 Battle of Raqqa was the fifth and final phase of the Raqqa campaign (2016–2017) launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) de facto capital in the city of Raqqa.
  • The battle began on 6 June 2017, and was supported by airstrikes and ground troops from the US-led coalition. The operation was named the “Great Battle” by the SDF.
  • The battle ran concurrently with the Battle of Mosul, which started six months earlier, as part of an effort by the CJTF–OIRand its allies to strip ISIL of its regional centers of power and to dismantle it as an organization controlling territory.

battle of raqqa


65 AYUSH hospitals in three years

News:

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that time had come for a “health revolution” under the aegis of the traditional medicine system.

Background

  • The government is working towards setting up an Ayurveda hospital in each district.
  • The day was also celebrated as Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras) across India.

Beyond news

  • The AYUSH Ministry is working swiftly in this direction, and in more than three years, more than 65 AYUSH hospitals have been developed.
  • The Prime Minister urged private players to use part of their corporate social responsibility funds to help strengthen Ayurveda.

More check-posts to come up on Bangladesh border

News:

  • The Home Ministry will move a Cabinet note to construct seven integrated check-posts (ICPs) along the Bangladesh border to give a fillip to trade and business with the neighboring country.

Beyond News:

  • The project was envisaged in 2007.
  • A separate body — the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) — was constituted in 2011 to boost trade via the land border points.
  • Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) was studying the proposal estimated to cost Rs. 5,000 crore.
  • 19 ICPs are expected to come up along the Bangladesh border. Besides the seven in West Bengal, three will be in Assam, two in Meghalaya and seven in Tripura.
  • An ICP has several facilities such as passenger terminal building, currency exchange counter, Internet hubs, cargo process building, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse, cold storage, quarantine laboratory, clearing agents, banks, vehicle scanners, isolation bay, parking and cafeteria.

U.S. ploy against Iran: envoy

News:

  • Accusing the U.S. of trying to ensure that India reduced oil imports from his country, Iranian Ambassador Gholamreza Ansari said that even so, U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy shift would not affect the India-Iran relationship, and the development of the Chabahar port project remained on track.

Beyond News:

  • India has cut its oil imports from Iran by approximately 20% in 2017, though its global imports have risen by 5.4%.
  • Some companies such as Essar oil have dropped imports from Iran in August by as much as 75%, according to oil industry estimates.
  • According to Petroleum Ministry: India has been trying to “diversify” its imports so as to get more competitive rates.
  • Major development is India’s decision to import its first shipment of crude oil from the U.S., with an order of 8.45 million barrels, giving rise to speculation that New Delhi’s new policy will come at the cost of imports from Iran.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Investments in overseas units fall 39%

News:

  • India Inc.’s investment in overseas ventures fell by almost 39.3% to $2.65 billion in September this year, according to the RBI data released on Tuesday.

Beyond news:

  • Domestic companies had committed $4.37 billion as outward foreign direct investment in the year-earlier period.
  • In August 2017, India Inc. had invested $1.34 billion in their overseas ventures that were either fully owned subsidiaries or joint ventures of the Indian parent companies.
  • The $2.65 billion worth of investment in September was in the form of equity stake, loan and issuance of guarantee by Indian entities, the RBI said.

{Op-Ed}Of faith and fever

Key aspect: Need for the validation of traditional medicine

Example from Tamil Nadu:

  • This year the Tamil Nadu government responded to one of the worst dengue epidemic by freely distributing a herbal concoction,nilavembu kudineer , recommended for fevers under the ancient Siddha system of medicine.
  • Even though there is no evidence of their efficacy, alternative remedies such as papaya-leaf juice for dengue find many takers during epidemics.
  • While it is hard for government bodies to curb such practices, what they must never do is to endorse them.

Core issues:

  • Eventhough there are some evidence exists for herbs potency against a range of illnesses, only a tiny handful of these remedies go on to prove their efficacy in large-scale, placebo-controlled human trials, the gold standard of modern medicine.
  • This is because the science of developing drugs from medicinal plants is complicated.
  • Poly-herbal remedies like nilavembu are a mix of several compounds, while most of modern medicine relies on single-compounds.
  • The amount of the active ingredient — the compound in a herb that acts against an illness — varies across plants.

Way ahead:

  •  Drugmakers have to find a way to identify this ingredient and test it in large- scale trials. This exercise requires not only massive financial investment but also intellectual honesty.
  • Too many attempts in India by the government to validate traditional medicine are driven less by honesty and more by blind faith. This has led to the promotion of herbal remedies with scant evidentiary basis.
  • At a time when modern medicine is advancing towards greater transparency and replicability in clinical evidence, the government’s claims on nilavembu aren’t fooling anyone in the scientific community.

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HINDU NOTES-OCT 17 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 17 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Need to implement progressive laws: CIC

News:

Chief Information Commissioner of India Rajiv Mathur on Monday called for immediate implementation of the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, the Lokpal Act and the Lokayukta Act, which would strengthen governance systems further.

Beyond News:

Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011 is an Act in the Parliament of India which provides a mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and also protect anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects and offices. The wrongdoing might take the form of fraud, corruption or mismanagement. The Act will also ensure punishment for false or frivolous complaints

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 seeks to provide for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States to inquire into allegations. According to the act, the Lokpal would constitute an Inquiry Wing, which is to be headed by Director of Inquiry. Its function is to conduct the prelim

LIMITATIONS OF LOKPAL & LOKAYUKTA ACT

  • No protection to whistle blowers: This was one of the main demands in the Janlokpal Bill. The recently passed act has not at all provisions for whistle blower protection. We have to have a separate law for that.
  • There is only one section on Lokayukta in the act which says that within one year, the states shall enact the Lokayukta act. However, there is nothing regarding their composition, powers etc. In fact, states are free to define how their own Lokayuktas would be appointed, how they would work and under what circumstances they would serve.
  • The Lokpal act brings the PM under its jurisdiction, yet the Judiciary has been left. Judiciary is NOT subject to Lokpal jurisdiction.
  • The provisions of the act have become anomalous because of Lokpal’s relations with the CBI. Under the provisions of the act, Lokpal has been vested with all powers related to only tose cases which it refers to CBI. Instead, there was a long demand that CBI should be merged with Lokpal. The current provisions are open to misuse.
  • There are no provisions related to Citizen’s charter.
  • There are no adequate provisions to appeal against the Lokpal. Lokpal cannot conduct inquiry against itself.

Italian PM’s visit to mark a new start

News:

  • Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will travel to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 30

Beyond news:

  • Expected to put to rest more than 5 years of tensions over the marines case
  • The visit, the first by any Prime Minister on either side since 2007

BACKGROUND:

  • Diplomatic ties between India and Italy virtually came to a standstill over the m.v. Enrica Lexie case, the ship on which two Italian marines were on guard duty in February 2012, when two Indian fishermen were shot and killed off the coast of Kerala.
  • The marines, Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone, were suspected of shooting the fishermen, and taken into custody, although Italy claimed the ship was in international waters and hence only subject to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
  • As the case moved to the Supreme Court, India refused to hand over the Italian marines, except giving them furlough to travel to Italy on a few occasions, which became a major campaign issue in Italy.

Current scenario:

The decision to release the marines in 2016 bore fruit as India and Italy re-engaged. The current visit will enhance relation to new levels.


{Op-Ed}Out of UNESCO

Key aspect: Opinion deals with the USA’s decision to quit UNESCO.

The U.S.’s decision to quit UNESCO is an attempt to reassert geopolitical influence in West Asia.

BACK GROUND:

  • Washington, was opposing the admission of Palestine to world bodies for a long time.
  • The UNESCO, which designates world heritage spots, accorded recognition in 2011 to Palestine as its 195th member.
  • Ever since, controversies over the historical status of the region’s religious symbols, that have divided the Palestinian Authority and Israel, have come into sharp focus.
  • Then onwards, US promptly slashed funding, amounting to about a quarter of UNESCO’s annual budge.
  • The 2012 elevation to a non-member observer status at the UN came as a shot in the arm for Palestinians demanding separate statehood.

While Israel has also followed the U.S. lead, it would nevertheless be hasty to view Washington’s exit from the UNESCO as a point of no return.


Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Boosting horticulture through remote sensing

News:

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Monday announced March 2018 as the deadline to complete the ambitious project of developing the horticulture sector using remote sensing technology and geo-informatics.

Beyond News:

  • India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world and the biggest producer of fruits such as banana, mango, papaya and lemon among others.
  • In 2015, the Modi government started project CHAMAN — acronym for Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using geo-informatics — to prepare a comprehensive horticultural plan.
  • Using remote sensing technology to study soil conditions, land use, weather and cropping patter, the Centre has chosen 185 districts across the country where seven selected crops are being promoted.

Different states have been divided into different groups to grow:

  1. banana,
  2. mango,
  3. citrus fruits,
  4. potato,
  5. tomato,
  6. onion
  7. chilli.

{Op-Ed}Avoid the adventurous path

Key aspect: Opinion revolves round the fiscal deficit issue & solutions.

Proposed solutions:

  • Policy initiatives must be directed towards raising private investment.
  • A strong fiscal stimulus through an increase in public investment by relaxing the fiscal deficit.
  • It is also suggested that what is relevant is revenue deficit and that there is no rationale for having a fiscal deficit target.

problems with this arguments:

First, the focus on fiscal deficit is mainly to ensure that the private sector has sufficient borrowing space.. The argument in the TFC was that when the transferable saving of the household sector relative to GDP is 10% and an acceptable level of current account deficit 1.5%, containing the aggregate deficit of the Centre and States at 6% and providing 1.5% to the public sector enterprises would leave 4% borrowing space to the private sector.

Second, over 60% of the estimated fiscal deficit at the Centre in 2017-18 (1.9% out of 3.2%) is revenue deficit. At the State level, when the impact of loan waivers, additional interest payments on account of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) and possible impact of pay revision is considered, the revenue deficit may increase by 1% of GDP. Thus, the problem of proliferation in revenue deficit continues.

Shortfalls in Centre and States

TO CENTRE

  • Adhering to the fiscal deficit targets set out in the Budgets is going to be challenging.
  • There will be a sharp reduction in the dividends from banking and financial institutions.
  • The RBI has announced that against the expected Rs. 58,000 crore, the actual dividend will be Rs. 36,905 crore, and given the difficulties in the public sector banks, there will be shortfalls in the dividends from them as well.
  • There will be a shortfall in disinvestment and tax revenue collection, if current trends persist.

TO STATES

At the State level, the combined fiscal deficit for 26 States is budgeted at 2.2% of GDP excluding the deficit arising from taking over the power distribution companies (discoms) loans.

  • The expenditure on account of loan waivers is estimated at about 0.5% of GDP.
  • Following pay revision at the Centre, some of the States may revise their pay scales which could add to the fiscal pressure.
  • There could be a slippage of about 1% GDP in fiscal deficits.

WAY AHEAD:

  • Reviving private investment, recapitalizing banks to enable them to lend more, and speedy completion of stalled projects.
  • Fiscal policy can at best play a role in creating the appropriate climate.
  • Fiscal prudence is one of the elements in sustaining growth over an extended period

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HINDU NOTES-OCT 16 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 16 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, Read Hindu, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Pakistan withdraws terror charges against Hafiz Saeed

News:

  • Pakistani authorities have withdrawn terrorism charges against Hafiz Saeed and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), paving the way for the possible release of the man designated a terrorist by the UN, the U.S. and India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Beyond News:

  • Saeed and the JuD are already banned by the UN, while the U.S. has announced a $10 million bounty for his arrest.
  • Saeed had challenged his detention in the Lahore High Court, alleging that it was due to U.S. pressure and he had never been charged for any crime.

 Doklam derails train plan?

News:
Officials cite ‘lack of response’ from China company to high-speed train project

Beyond News:

  • An ambitious high-speed train project to connect Chennai and Mysore, via Bengaluru, has been delayed as a Chinese company has maintained silence after completing a feasibility study a year ago.
  • They suggest that the “lack of response” may be due to the Doklam standoff.
  • An internal brief of the Mobility Directorate on the status of nine high-speed projects of the Railways shows that the 492-km Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru corridor lies in limbo because the Chinese company has failed to respond to the Ministry’s communiques.

{Op-Ed} The case for a public health cadre.

Key aspect: Opinion deals with keeping a designated officer for health cadre who is specially trained in that area.

Current scenario:
  •  The 12th Five Year Plan and the National Health Policy, 2017 have also strongly advocated establishing a public health management cadre to improve the quality of health services by having dedicated, trained and exclusive personnel to run public health facilities.
  • Recently, Odisha, with the support of the Public Health Foundation of India, has notified the establishment of a public health cadre in the hope of ensuring vast improvement in the delivery of health care.
Need for such a cadre? 
  • The idea is on the lines of the civil service — of having dedicated, professionally trained personnel to address the specific and complex needs of the Indian health-care
  • Doctors with clinical qualifications and even with vast experience are unable to address all these challenges, thereby hampering the quality of our public health-care system.
  • In the absence of a public health cadre in most States, even an anaesthetist or an ophthalmologist with hardly any public health knowledge and its principles is required to implement reproductive and child health or a malaria control programme.
Benefits
  • This will definitely improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Indian health system.
  • The poor will also stand to benefit as this will reduce their out-of-pocket expenditure and dependence on prohibitively expensive private health care.
  • Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Make pollution-free crackers

News:

  • Scientists have been asked to develop zero-pollution firecrackers that do not cause health hazards to children

Beyond News:

  • This was urged by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan Flagging off the ‘Run for Clean Air’ campaign here as a part of the ‘Clean Air Campaign’.
  • The ‘Clean Air Campaign’ was launched to create awareness on air pollution.

Indian economy on very solid track in the medium term

News:

  • IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the Indian economy was on a “very solid track” in the medium term, days after the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecast for the current and the next year.

Beyond News:

  • The IMF last week lowered India’s growth projection to 6.7% in 2017, 0.5 percentage points less than its previous two forecasts in April and July, attributing it to demonetisation and introduction of the GST.
  • It also lowered the country’s growth for 2018 to 7.4%, 0.3 percentage points less than its previous two projections in July and April.
  • India’s growth rate in 2016 was 7.1%, which saw an upward revision of 0.3 percentage points from its April report.

GDP may grow at 7% in FY18: NITI Aayog

  • NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar has said the economic slowdown that began in 2013-14 has bottomed out and the GDP is likely to grow at 6.9-7 % this fiscal and 7.5% in 2018-19.
  • On a quarterly basis also, the growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal had slipped to 5.7%.

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HINDU NOTES-OCT 14 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 14 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

General Studies-02

Public health key concern in banning crackers: SC

News:

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to modify its October 9 order suspending the sale of firecrackers in Delhi NCR till November 1, 2017.

Beyond News:

  • The court said that its concern primarily was the health of the masses.
  • Interestingly, the October 9 order only suspended the sale and did not impose any restriction on the bursting of crackers.
  • The court said it would anyway monitor the post-Deepavali situation after November 1.
  • The suspension was ordered in a bid to test whether a Deepavali without firecrackers this year will have a “positive effect” on the health of citizens and a steadily deteriorating air quality.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue

  • The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.
  • It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country’s national security and economic interests.
  • The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons belonging to the community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees.

Law Ministry hails SC verdict on Section 375

News:

The Law Ministry will not challenge the Supreme Court verdict that having sex with a minor wife is rape, said a top Law Ministry official.

Beyond News:

  • The court order will act as a deterrent against child marriage, as the punishment will now be much stricter than the violation of the child marriage law, the official said.
  • Sexual intercourse by a man with his minor wife now attracts a jail term of 10 years under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or a life term under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

India to speak up at Bahamas meeting

News:

India will strongly articulate the need to strengthen counter terrorism measures and prevent radicalisation of youth through information and communication technology (ICT) at the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting that begins on Monday in the islands of the Bahamas.

Beyond News:

  • Addressing the issue of using ICT and social media platforms to recruit terrorists and radicalise youth is also part of the agenda.
  • Like the September face-off at the United Nations General Assembly, India and Pakistan could once again spar here as well — Pakistan is also a member of the Commonwealth.
  • Cyber crimes, climate change, the practice of child marriage, and the need for effective laws, to deal with these issues are also important items on the agenda.

    General Studies-03

  • {Op-Ed}Six steps to job creation

Key aspects:Unemployment, irregular jobs and low salaries continue to hurt India while it continues to embrace labor reforms.

  • Three demographic groups that are in urgent need of jobs
    • Growing number of better educated youth.
    • Uneducated agricultural workers who wish to leave agricultural distress behind.
    • Young women.

Opinion proposes solution for the 6 issues

  1. Excessive imports have been decimating Indian manufacturing.As a result, domestic manufacturers face high tariffs since the last 12-15 years, leading to higher raw material cost at home, emanating from the unfavourable inverted duty structure.
                     Solutions: Making Trade policy consistent with such an industrial policy. 
  2. The packaging labour intensive sectors have been ignored.
                     Solution: special packages are needed for labour-intensive industries to create jobs. There are a number of labour intensive manufacturing sectors in India such as food processing, leather and footwear, wood manufacturers and furniture, textiles and apparel and garments.
  3. Unorganized sector employment is in MSMEs, which tend to be concentrated in specific geographic locations.
     Solution: there should be cluster development to support job creation in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
  4. The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has a programme called AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) aimed at improving infrastructure for small towns. Infrastructure investment by the government always creates many jobs. But the programme does not take into account whether the infrastructure investment under it is taking place in towns which have clusters of unorganised sector economic activities.
    Solution:An engagement between the Urban Development and MSME Ministries is necessary to ensure that this is happening. It will attract more investment to industrial clusters, which is where most non-agricultural jobs are.
  5. The problem with skill development women programs has been low placement after training is complete.
    Solution: The availability of jobs close to where the training is conducted will also enhance the demand for training.
  6. Public investment in the health sector has remained even in the last three years at 1.15% of GDP, despite the creation of the national health policy at the beginning of 2017.
    Solution:Public investments in health, education, police and judiciary can create many government jobs.

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Daily PIB Notes-October 10 and 11 compilation

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Press Information Bureau(PIB) is an important part in competitive exams. We are already providing PIB notes monthly Magazines free of cost .Now onwards you can track daily PIB notes from here instead of surfing through 30+ daily PIB updates which may not be relevant for preparation. We provides CRUX OF PIB DAILY.

PIB important articles monthly compilation

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1.Vice President inaugurates the third International Conference on ‘Yoga for Wellness’ 

  • The theme of this year’s conference is “Yoga for Wellness
  • The vice President expressed his appreciation that the conference will focus on seeking solutions to contemporary health problems caused by modern stressful lifestyle.
  • Yoga is the mother of all exercises and provides physical fitness, mental alertness as well as spiritual succour.
  • Yoga has nothing to do with religion as some people unfortunately attribute religious overtones to this ancient scientific system.
  • The conference is being organized by the Ministry of AYUSH.

2.The President of India, presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management for the year 2017 to Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak at Rashtrapati Bhavan 

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is the founder of Sulabh International and has developed and implemented, on a pan India scale, a low cost and appropriate toilet technology popularly known as the Sulabh Shauchalaya system.

Further notes:

The Mayor of New York had declared April 14, 2016 as the ‘Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak International Day’ keeping in mind this contribution made by Dr. Pathak.

3.The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has Released two books ‘Minimally Invasive GI Cancer Surgery’ and ‘Bariatric Surgical Practice Guide’

4. Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has embarked upon several digital friendly steps for extension of the benefits of Atal pension yojana(APY) to the citizens of India.

Any person in the age group of 18 to 40 years with a savings bank account and Aadhaar can register for APY by providing the minimum information in the APY@eNPS portal

5.The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the four-day first BIMSTEC DMEx.

  • Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation Disaster Management Exercise (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) .
  • India is organizing the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.
  • The Exercise is being conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency .

6. Indian Railways and German Railways sign Joint Declaration

  • Joint declaration of intent regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways for increasing the speed trains to 200 kmph .

7. The Prime Minister launched the DISHA Portal

  • A smart governance tool developed for MPs and MLAs for monitoring of implementation of various Programmes and Schemes of different Ministries in their constituency through a single portal.

8. The prime minister launched Gram Samvaad

  • A citizen centric mobile app to serve and empower the rural citizens of India, by facilitating single window access for citizens to information at Gram Panchayat level, on various Rural Development programs.

9. New Chairman for Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.  

  • Anupam Kher, veteran cine star, has been appointed as Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
  • Shri Kher succeeds Shri Gajendra Chauhan.         

FTII :-

FTII is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting .

10. First Meeting of EAC-PM spells out the road map for acceleration of economic growth.

The EAC-PM is an independent body to give advice on economic and   related issues to the Government of India, specifically to the Prime Minister.

The composition of the EAC-PM is as follows- {NOT IMPORTANT}

  1. Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member, NITI Aayog- Chairman
  2. Dr. Surjit Bhalla- Part-time Member
  3. Dr. Rathin Roy- Part-time Member
  4. Dr. Ashima Goyal- Part-time Member
  5. Shri Ratan Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog Member-Secretary.

 

HINDU NOTES-OCT 13 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 13 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, The Hindu Notes

General Studies-01

Assam govt decides to rejuvenate Barak river

News: The Assam government plans to rejuvenate the Barak river .

Why its important:It has potential to revitalise trade and commerce with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Developing the river as a major channel for water transport will help improve trade with the neighbouring countries.

Barak River:

It  is one of the major rivers of South Assam and is a part of the Surma-Meghna River System. It rises in the hill country of Manipur State, where it is the biggest and the most important of the hill country rivers. After Manipur it flows through Mizoram State and into Assam, ending just after it enters Bangladesh where it forks into the Surma and Kushiyara rivers

ADD-ON Info: Namami Barak festival 

Barak, the gift of God has been a source of great blessing to the people of Tahamzam(Senapati) district since time immemorial. Besides irrigating crops and increasing productivity and prosperity, it has provided cleansing drainage over the ages and touched the lands along its majestic flow with charm and scenic beauty and transformed it into an eco-tourism paradise.

Averting disaster

Issue: In recent times, Category 5 hurricanes in the Caribbean and in the American mainland; record floods across Bangladesh, India and Nepal; and drought emergencies in 20 countries in Africa have damaged these regions, killed hundreds, and ruined the lives of millions.

Impact on least developed countries:

  • The impact of disasters can strip away livelihoods; for developed and middle-income countries, the economic losses from infrastructure alone can be massive; for both, these events reiterate the need to act on a changing climate, the effects of which have been revelatory.
  • While 4.2 million people dying prematurely each year from ambient pollution gets relatively little media attention, the effect of heat-trapping greenhouse gases on extreme weather events is coming into sharper focus.
  • It could not be otherwise when the impacts of these weather events are so profound.

Seriousness of issue:

  • During the last two years, over 40 million people, mainly in countries which contribute least to global warming, have been forced from their homes by disasters.

Tackle climate change

  • While the Paris Agreement has set the world on a long-term path towards a low-carbon future, it is a windy path that reflects pragmatism and realities in each individual country.
  • Thus, while carbon emissions are expected to drop as countries meet their targets, the impacts of climate change may be felt for some time, leaving the world with little choice but to invest, simultaneously, in efforts to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risk.
  • This will require international cooperation. Restoring the ecological balance between emissions and the natural absorptive capacity of the planet is the long-term goal.

General Studies-02

Israel joins U.S to quit UNESCO

News: The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.’s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias.

When did this all started?

Washington has already withheld its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body admitted Palestine as a full member.

The United States and Israel were among just 14 of 194 members that voted against admitting the Palestinians.

In recent years, Israel has repeatedly complained about what it says is the body taking sides in disputes over cultural heritage sites in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.

Impact of this decision:

The withdrawal of the United States, which is meant to provide a fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a major blow for the Paris-based organization, founded after World War Two to help protect cultural and natural heritage around the world.

The US withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018 – until then, the US will remain a full member.

UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.

Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

{Op-Ed}Saving child brides

  • By ruling that marriage cannot be a licence to have sex with a minor girl, the Supreme Court has corrected an anomaly in the country’s criminal law.

Under Indian Penal code:

  • It is an offence to have sex with a girl below 18 years of age, regardless of consent. However, it made an exception if the girl was the man’s wife, provided she was not below 15.
  • In other words, what was statutory rape is treated as permissible within a marriage.
  • By reading down the exception to limit it to girls aged 18 and older, the court has sought to harmonise the various laws in which any person under 18 is a minor.
  • The age of consent under the IPC was raised in 2013 from 16 to 18 to bring it in line with the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
  • However, the age above which marriage is an exception to rape was retained at 15, as fixed in 1940

Perspective:

  • As a move to strengthen the fight against child marriage and help stricter enforcement of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, the judgment cannot be faulted.
  • But the practical implications of the judgment are worrying.
  • Given the prevalence of child marriage in this country, it is doubtful whether it is possible — or even desirable — to implement the statutory rape law uniformly in the context of marriages.
  • Significantly, if boys under 18 but over 16 are charged with penetrative sexual assault under POCSO or rape under the IPC, which can be termed ‘heinous offences’, they could face the prospect of being tried as adults, according to the juvenile law as it stands now.
  • Treating all below 18 as children may be good for their care and protection, but whether 18 is the right age for consent in this day and age remains a moot question.

Regulatory upgrade

  • Pesticides play an important role in sustaining agricultural production, and in controlling vectors responsible for diseases.
  • On the flip side, they can be toxic.
  • Therefore, what is needed is a top-notch mechanism to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to preventing risk to human beings and animals.

Significant bills & acts :

  • The Insecticides Act, 1968 was enacted to ensure this, until deficiencies in the statute caught the eye of several Parliamentary Committees and stakeholders.
  • The Pesticides Management Bill of 2008, which is pending in Parliament, aims to cover this ground.

The statement of objects and reasons of the draft says that the proposed legislation, among others, intends to provide for an elaborate definition of pesticides to cover any substance of chemical or biological origin intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, mitigating or controlling any pest, including unwanted species of plants or animals, which will enable regulation of existing pesticides as well as new discoveries.

General Studies-03

‘GST to hit aviation sector by Rs. 5,700 cr. a year’

  • The aviation industry will take a annual hit of Rs. 5,700 crore following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), domestic airlines told the Finance Ministry recently.
    • The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), which represents IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir, made a presentation before top Finance Ministry officials on September 27 on behalf of the entire airline industry, saying guideline principles of the new indirect system — revenue neutrality and equity — have been violated by the GST.
  •  GST, in the current form, was against the objective of “affordability and sustainability” stated in the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 and regional connectivity scheme UDAN released last year.

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HINDU NOTES-OCT 12 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 12 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, The Hindu Notes

General Studies-01

{Op-Ed}It’s not enough to know who killed Mahatma Gandhi-we must understand why he was killed

 Key fact: Sixty-nine years down the line, Pankaj Phadnis has appealed that the Supreme Court reinvestigate the death of Gandhi, and holds that Gandhi was killed by a fourth bullet fired by someone else.
Authors view points:
  • Indians continue to be murdered for the same reason — therefore, the murder of a Gauri Lankesh here, of a Narendra Dabholkar there, of a Govind Pansare here, and of an M.M. Kalburgi there.
    • Gandhi was a powerful moral exemplar — therefore, he posed a distinct threat to the dark forces of doom and destruction. He had to be removed physically.
  • Nathuram Godse of the Hindu Mahasabha assassinated Gandhi because the Mahatma stood for a world view implacably opposed to the hate-filled rhetoric of the religious right.
  • It was not just Gandhi who got assassinated but entire perspective committed to ahimsa, toleration, and respect for other religious traditions was sought to be obliterated.
  • But killers target failed because Gandhi continues to live in our hearts, he inhabits our imaginations.

Albert Einstein remarked that: “generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”.

What made Gandhi great?

  • Gandhi himself was what he was, a great moral leader and a giver of remedies for the maladies of the human condition, because he drew inspiration from a variety of sources.
  • Gandhi’s truth led inexorably in the direction of toleration
  • We do not tolerate others because we alone know the truth, we tolerate because we do not know enough.
  • Confidence that we know the truth leads to violence, doubt that we know enough leads to non-violence.

General Studies-02

Sexual intercourse with minor wife is rape, says SC

News:

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, who is below 18 years of age, is rape.

Details of verdict:

  • A girl child below the age of 18 cannot be treated as a commodity having no say over her body or someone who has no right to deny sexual intercourse to her husband.
    The court read down Exception 2 to Section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which allowed the husband of a girl child — between 15 and 18 years of age — blanket liberty and freedom to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with her.
  • The exception had remained an anomaly because Section 375 itself mandated that sex with a girl below 18 years of age, with or without her consent, was statutory rape.
  • With this judgment, considered by experts as trigger to declaring child marriage void ab initio, the court ended the decades-old disparity between Exception 2 to Section 375 IPC and other child protection laws.

SC to frame norms for drafting ‘living wills’

News:

  • A person’s advance directive to withdraw medical care to allow him to die with dignity should take effect only when a medical board affirms that his medical condition is beyond cure and irreversible, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said on Wednesday.

Informed consent:

  • It would lay down guidelines for drafting living wills and how it could be authenticated. It had reserved the case for judgment.
  • The court is hearing a petition by an NGO, Common Cause, to legalise euthanasia and the concept of living will.
  • A certificate from a statutory medical board that a patient’s condition was beyond cure and irreversible would take care of apprehensions of relatives and doctors about withdrawing life support.
    The legalisation of “advance directives” would amount to the waiving of the paramount fundamental right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.

U.K. race audit shows British Indians are better off

News:

  • The British government published a report earlier this week highlighting the huge differences in the experiences of ethnic minority groups across Britain in terms of access to public services ranging from education to health as well as in the outcomes and treatment they experienced.

Beyond News:

  • It Builds up a snapshot of the British Indian community, which appeared to show them often to be better off than their counterparts from other ethnic minority groups.
  • On employment, British Indians had among the highest rates of hourly pay, above the national average and the white British community, while levels of employment was only marginally lower than that of white British (73% against 75%).
  • British Indians also did well in areas of education, with one of the higher rates of students achieving at least 3 A grades at A level in the final school exams.

General Studies-04

{Op-Ed}The will to die

The debate on allowing euthanasia as a means to protect the dignity of patients in a vegetative state has crystallised into a key question before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.

Should the law allow ‘living wills’?

  • These are advance directives that people can lay down while being sound of mind, on whether they should continue to get life-sustaining treatment after they reach a stage of total incapacitation, that is, a vegetative state.
  • The question is fraught with legal, moral and philosophical implications.
  • The court will have to resolve the question whether the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution, which according to an earlier verdict does not include the right to die, is being voluntarily waived by a person giving such an advance directive.
  • A living will,may relieve the close family members and caregivers of a terminally ill patient of the moral burden of making a life-ending decision.

In case of US jurisdiction:

  • Under U.S. jurisdiction patient autonomy is paramount, and many States have laws allowing advance directives, even the nomination of a ‘health care proxy’ who can decide on behalf of the patient.

Should India follow suit?

  • The court has indicated that it may lay down comprehensive guidelines on operationalising the idea of living wills.
  • The government has opposed the concept of an advance directive, arguing that it would be against public policy and the right to life.

Back to history:

  • The Supreme Court, in a landmark verdict in 2011, ruled out any support for active euthanasia, but laid down a broad legal framework for passive euthanasia, or the withdrawal of life support subject to safeguards and a fair procedure.

Current scenario:

  • In the present case, the court may have to draw up stringent safeguards for certifying living wills, preferably by a judicial officer, and lay down the exact stage at which the advance directive becomes applicable.
  • The court’s observation that it would kick in only after a medical board rules that a person’s condition is incurable ought to be sufficient reassurance for those concerned about its possible misuse.
  • The present law provides for advance directives regarding treatment of mental illness, so the concept is not new to Indian law.

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HINDU NOTES-OCT 11 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 11 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, The Hindu Notes

General Studies-02

Hate messages could have communal angle: Kerala police.

News:

  • A fake audio clip about a hotel owner in Kozhikode bludgeoning to death a migrant worker had recently spawned a visceral sense of insecurity among other-State labourers in North Kerala.

Beyond News:

  • The police pointed out that the bulk of the migrant labour community in Kerala relied exclusively on WhatsApp groups to communicate with each other and their families in Assam, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. Such groups were their sole source of news.
  • They conceded that running to ground the perpetrators of the disinformation campaign might be difficult given the fact that such platforms used encrypted communication. Senior police officers pointed out that a similar set of regional language chauvinists had unleashed a comparable fake news campaign in Mumbai last year to drive out migrant workers.
  • They have also not ruled out the possibility that business rivalry between labour suppliers could have motivated the fake news.
  • The police have launched a social media campaign to counter the attempt to sow division between migrant workers and the indigenous population and to reassure other-State workers.

India, U.K. to firm up defense links

  • Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to London in 2015, the two countries agreed to hold regular dialogues, as part of the India-U.K. Defence Consultative Group.
  • Since then, a step change in terms of depth had taken place in cooperation and dialogue in the area, Mr. Mitra said.
    Wide-ranging dialogue
    During his trip which focused on meetings of the Defence Consultative Group.
    ‘Make in India’ push
    India has pegged the defence sector as one of the major areas where the bilateral partnership could be expanded around the “Make in India” campaign.
  • During Mr. Modi’s visit in 2015, the two sides agreed to move towards a new Defence and International Security Partnership that would “intensify cooperation on defence and security, including cybersecurity, and maritime security” pushing for joint working in key strategic areas.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan to visit India and Pakistan

News:

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan and Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agarwal are to visit India and Pakistan later this year.

Beyond News:

  • In the first official trip by a senior British politician to both countries, as city authorities seek to reassure businesses and others across the world of the resilience and strengths of the city post-Brexit.
  • The six-day visit due to take place at a yet-to-be-confirmed date later this year is part of the Labour Mayor’s ‘London is Open’ campaign.

Significance: 

  • European cities and financial centres have launched aggressive bids for international business amid the insecurity thrown up by Brexit.
  • London, while not complacent, remained confident that it would retain its current status.
  • He also highlighted concerns about the impact of U.K. government immigration policy on international students.
  • While the U.K. government couldn’t do trade deals with non-EU countries while still in the EU, it could take steps to ease relations with them.
  • The Mayor will also be accompanied by a delegation of businesses that are part of his International Business Programme, focussed on helping city businesses attract international business and investment.
  • The visit was intended to demonstrate how Britain was equal partners with both countries, with Britain able to offer India and Pakistan as much as the other way around.

{Op-Ed}Foggy thinking — on SC restoring ban on cracker sales in Delhi

Issse: Editorial is all about supreme court ban on Firecrackers during deepavali.

Pollution BAN cartoon
Image Credits: THE HINDU { Cartoon says it all perfectly}
  • For the second time since November 2016, the Supreme Court has temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region.
  • The idea is to test whether it cuts the deadly pollution levels seen in Delhi during and after Deepavali.
  • More importantly, despite delivering a big blow to the industry and incurring the displeasure of many, it offers too piecemeal a solution, akin to the even-odd licence number scheme of the Delhi government in 2015.

Core issues:

  • The major sources of pollution in the NCR have been clear enough to drive policy changes.
  • While their relative contributions are still indeterminate, these include construction dust, vehicular pollution, waste burning, generators and crop residue burning in the Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • To tackle each of these will take decisive and persistent policy actions, not panic-driven and ill-considered bans.

Back to History:

  • Take the 2015 ban on crop-residue burning in Punjab and Haryana for example.
  • Two years later, farmers continue to violate it, because the State governments have still not taken the steps required to solve the underlying problem — the high cost of cleaning the paddy stubble instead of burning it to prepare the field to sow wheat.
  • Another option is biomass-energy plants that buy paddy straw from farmers for use in generating power.

Solutions:

  • The only answer is for the Punjab and Haryana governments to move purposefully on the solutions they know will work — just as the only option for the Delhi government is to raise awareness on the impact of firecrackers, while also tackling vehicular pollution, construction dust and other pollution sources.
  • In the absence of these less dramatic, but more feasible solutions, it is unlikely a firecracker sale ban will avert the kind of health emergency that struck Delhi last year.

General Studies-03

IMF lowers forecasts for India

News:

  • India’s economic growth for 2017 and 2018 will be slower than earlier projected, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday.

Beyond News:

  • The report cited “lingering impact” of demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax for the expected slowdown during the current and the next year.
  • The IMF projected India to grow at 6.7% in 2017 and 7.4% in 2018, which are 0.5 and 0.3 percentage points lower than the projections earlier this year, respectively.
  • India’s slowdown is happening even as the world economy is picking up steam.
  • The IMF has revised upwards “global growth projections to 3.6% for this year and 3.7% for the next.”

The wrong options

  • It has been well over three years since the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power at the Centre.
  • Mr. Modi’s election promise of creating a “minimum government” that would liberalise the economy by cutting down the size of the government’s influence over the economy remains a pipe-dream.
  • Instead, each passing day, the goods and services tax (GST) and demonetization are being touted as big-bang reforms that, despite the short-term costs, will bring long-term economic benefits to the nation.

Unnecessary pain, no gain

  • What India needs, in other words, is not increased tax compliance among citizens, but pro-market reforms that will make the country a free and competitive marketplace.
  • A government that allows free competition, without favouring special interest groups, either through pro-business or pro-poor policies, will also be sowing the seeds for improved living standards.
  • As several scholars have pointed out, historically this is pretty much the only way countries have managed to free themselves from the shackles of poverty.

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HINDU NOTES-OCT 10 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

HINDU NOTES-OCT 10 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

Bank test, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, The Hindu Notes

General Studies-02

SC brings back ban on firecrackers in Delhi-NCR region

News:

  • The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR till November 1, 2017 in a bid to test whether a Deepavali without firecrackers this year will have a “positive effect” on the health of citizens and a steadily deteriorating air quality.

Beyond News:

  • A Bench of Justices reverted to its November 2016 decision to suspend sales of firecrackers “to test itself to find out whether there would be a positive effect of this suspension, particularly during Deepavali period.”
  • The judgment came on petitions challenging the September 12 modification of the November 2016 ban on sale of firecrackers.
  • Perusing records, the Bench pointed to the various efforts made by the government, media and civil society to create awareness of the harms of bursting firecrackers, especially on children.

Rationale behind:

  • It said the adverse effects of burning of crackers during Deepavali have been witnessed year after year.
  • The air quality deteriorates abysmally and the city chokes. It leads to closing the schools and the authorities are compelled to take various measures on emergent basis, when faced with a “health emergency”.
  • The judgment said the September 12 verdict modifying the ban on sale of firecrackers was taken without the knowledge of the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) consistent stand for the past 20 years that sulphur in fireworks should not be permitted.

SC lays stress on safety norms for schools

News: 

The Supreme Court on Monday stressed the need for safety guidelines for children in schools across India which makes authorities accountable and result in adverse consequences upon them in cases of violation.

Beyond News: 

  • It had made three additions to the school safety guidelines on three separate occasions and handed it over to the States for implementation.
  • The court was hearing a petition filed by the father of Pradyuman, who was found brutally murdered on the premises of Gurugram’s Ryan International School.

Petitioners Stand:

  • Mr. Kumar said the Centre has also modified the National Disaster Management guidelines, specifically focusing on the safety of school children, and to prevent the occurrence of such tragic incidents.

Centres stand: 

  • The Centre said it has already prepared an affidavit on the steps taken and would file it in the Supreme Court in the course of the day.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had recently filed an affidavit stating that the Gurugram incident took place due to the “negligence” of the administration as drivers and conductors were allowed to use washrooms meant for students.

U.S. bid to inject India in Afghanistan won’t work: Pakistan

News:

  • Rejecting any role for India in Afghanistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday warned that the Trump administration’s desire to inject New Delhi in the war-torn country would be “detrimental”.

Beyond News:

  • U.S. President Donald Trump in August unveiled his South Asia policy and vowed to boost strategic partnership with India in Afghanistan.
  • Mr. Trump also sought an enhanced role for India to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
  • India has been supporting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, broad-based and inclusive process of peace and reconciliation, and advocating the need for a sustained and long-term commitment to Afghanistan by the international community.
  • Mr. Abbasi said Pakistan had major U.S. weapons systems in its military, but it also possessed Chinese and European systems, and more recently it inducted Russian attack helicopters.

{Op-Ed}Towards transparency — on judicial appointments.

Issue: Op-Ed is all about the SC decision to publish reasons for selection & rejection of judges in public platform.

  • The Supreme Court collegium’s decision to disclose the reasons for its recommendations marks a historic and welcome departure from the entrenched culture of secrecy surrounding judicial appointments.
  • The collegium, comprises the Chief Justice of India and four senior judges.

What all will be revealed?

  1. The reasons behind decisions on the initial appointment of candidates to High Court benches
  2. their confirmation as permanent judges
  3. elevation as High Court Chief Justices and to the Supreme Court
  4. transfer of judges and Chief Justices from one High Court to another.
  • It is important to strike the right balance between full disclosure and opaqueness. It is to be hoped that this balancing of transparency and confidentiality will augur well for the judiciary.
  • The introduction of transparency acquires salience in the light of the resignation of Justice Jayant M. Patel of the Karnataka High Court after he was transferred to the Allahabad High Court as a puisne judge, despite his being senior enough to be a High Court Chief Justice.

Current scenario:

  • There are 387 vacancies in the various High Courts as on October 1.
  • The mammoth task of filling these vacancies would be better served if a revised Memorandum of Procedure for appointments is agreed upon soon.
  • A screening system, along with a permanent secretariat for the collegium, would be ideal for the task.
  • The introduction of transparency should be backed by a continuous process of addressing perceived shortcomings.
  • The present disclosure norm is a commendable beginning.

Bay of Bengal diplomacy

News:

  • India will seek to reaffirm its regional leadership in environmental and climate diplomacy as it hosts the first Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic CooperationDisaster Management Exercise (BIMSTEC DMEx 2017) starting October 10.

Beyond News:

  • The BIMSTEC region, comprising 22% of the global population, is exposed to an ever-increasing threat from natural disasters.
  • Whether it is the recurrent floods affecting Assam, West Bengal and downstream in Bangladesh or Himalayan landslides in India and Nepal, regular disasters in the sub-region continue to cause transboundary impacts, damaging lives, livelihoods and assets, often leading to mass displacement and migration across borders.
  • BIMSTEC,  has the opportunity to enable a paradigm policy shift from a traditional relief centric, reactive approach towards a joint, proactive, holistic one that encompasses disaster preparedness, prevention, mitigation and risk reduction among member states.
  • In order to strengthen inter-governmental coordination, among BIMSTEC members, the first step would be to devise a comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) regional action plan.
  • The road map should reflect a clear strategy to integrate DRR in all development programmes of member nations, adopt a multi-hazard and multi-sectoral approach to DRR and work towards common outcomes through institutionalising partnerships across all levels of governance.

Building capacity

  • India has volunteered to lead the Environment and Natural Disaster Agenda under BIMSTEC, and must make the best of this opportunity by translating the learnings from the disaster management experiences of SAARC and ASEAN.
  • This is also an opportunity for India to take a measured approach and add value to its own regional agenda.
  • General Studies-03

{Op-Ed}Problem animals — on wildlife protection strategies

Key issue: In June this year, the Bombay High Court quashed an order by the Maharashtra Forest Department to shoot a tigress in the Bramhapuri region after she killed two persons.

Rationale behind:

  • The death warrant was overturned as a result of a Public Interest Litigation petition by an animal rights activist, which argued that the tigress’s behaviour had been forged by illegal human intrusion into her territory.
  • Forest officials were then forced to capture the problem animal and re-release her in the Bor forest reserve, less than 200 km away, putting another set of villagers in harm’s way.
  • The released tigress went on to kill two others in Bor, and the authorities scrambled to capture her again. Such actions go against conservation science.

Core issues behind: 

    • Translocating a large carnivore as a response to conflict does not work.
  • Large predators need a certain prey density and are territorial, and they would tend to find their way back, even over hundreds of kilometres, to their original habitat.

A 2011 study in Maharashtra showed that moving leopards from one region to another to reduce attacks on livestock only increased attacks on humans. To translocate a tiger in response to man-eating behaviour is absurd.

  • A major challenge for India in the coming years will be to engage rural communities in conservation, because our burgeoning population and a revival in tiger numbers will only increase the intensity of conflict.
  • Coercing terrified villagers to co-exist with man-eaters is the best way to ensure we lose our chance of doing that.

Will consult States on bringing petroleum products within scope of GST, says Modi

News:

The Union government would consult the States on bringing petroleum products into the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.

Beyond News:

  • The Centre now levies an excise duty of ₹19.48 a litre on petrol and the States levy VAT ranging between 6% and 48%.
  • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has repeatedly urged the GST Council to bring petrol and diesel under the GST.
  • Besides petrol and diesel, natural gas, and alcohol are also outside the GST.

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Daily PIB Notes-October 5 and 6 compilation

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1.Embryo Transfer Technology, a promising revolution in Bovine breeding :-.

  • Under this techonology, embryos of higher genetic merit indigenous bovines are being transferred in to surrogate cows.

Proposed benefits:-

(i) a farmer can get a 5-6 fold increase in number of offsprings ,

(ii) the calves so born will be of high genetic merit and

(iii) the offsprings born will be free from diseases

2. Nobel Prize for Physics, 2017 – Indian Connection:-

  • The 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics has been conferred to three scientists namely Rainer Weiss, Barry C Barish & Kip S Thorne under the LIGO Project for their discovery of gravitational waves, 100 years after Einstein’s General Relativity predicted it.
  • This is a proud moment for India also, since the discovery paper has 39 Indian authors/scientists from nine institutions.
  • Late Professor CV Vishveshvara of RRI, Bengaluru (DST AI) and Professor SV Dhurandhar of IUCAA, Pune and some other Indian scientists made seminal contributions to this field which contributed towards the principles behind the LIGO Detector.

3.India signs €300 million Finance Contract with European Investment Bank (EIB) for financing Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II- Line R6.

The objective of the project: To bring in a quantum improvement in the transportation sector in the city in tandem with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and other modes of urban transport.

TARGET:  To ensure modern transport facility for the commuters. The spinoffs of the project would include employment opportunities, benefits to the economy, reduction of number of vehicles on road, less fuel consumption, reduction in air pollution, reduction in passenger travel time and also improvement in the aesthetic value of the city.

Facts in detail: 

  • Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II is to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank (€500 million) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (€300 million).
  • The first tranche of Euro 300mn was signed today.
  • The project envisages extension of East-West & North-South lines for Bangalore Metro Rail which includes a total length of 72.095 km (13.79 km underground) and 61 stations with 12 underground stations

4.PMGDIHSA scheme:- 

  • Pradhanmantri Grameen Digital Saksharata Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) is an integral component of Digital India Initiative of the Government.
  • The scheme envisage to make 6 crore citizens digitally literate in rural India
  •  It is under the Ministry of Electronics and IT

5.  The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week from 09th to 14th October, 2017.

Theme :”Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week- The Daughters of New India”.

  • The week is being celebrated in view of the International Girl Child Day on 11th October, 2017.
  • The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl –“Girls Progress=Goals Progress: What Counts for Girls”.

6. The “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM)-2017” will be held from 7th to 9th October, 2017  in India’s 1st World Heritage City i.e Ahmadabad, Gujarat.

  • This is organizing with an intent to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Country in all its rich and varied dimensions, viz Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Documentation and Performing Arts-Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary- all in one place.

7. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) issues order against Grasim Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) Ltd. and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd. for bid rigging Delhi Jal Board tenders for supply of Poly Aluminium Chloride.

  • The cci Imposes penalty for the anti-competitive conduct. 
  • The Poly Aluminium Chloride  (PAC)  is used for purification of water

8.President to Inaugurate India Water Week 2017 on October 10, 2017 in New Delhi .

  • The theme of India Water Week – 2017 is “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth”.