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


  • 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.’


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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%


  • 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.


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


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


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


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.


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


  • 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’


  • 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


  • 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.


[IASTODAY MASTER 2017]UPSC Mains Questions from 8 editorials: 11 October

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OCTOBER 11– Questions for Mains Answer Writing


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General Studies -01

Syllabus area: Salient features of Indian society,Role of women.

Q1: As long as children are equated to assets ,girls will be considered as a bad investment even in rich house holds.Elucidate(200 words)

Source: The Hindustan Times.

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE(Page 2)

General Studies -02

Syllabus area:Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary 

Q2. Do you think delhi firecrackers ban will have a drastic change in current scenario? Compare the impacts of Delhi’s firecracker ban & Punjab’s stubble-burning ban .(200 words) 

Source: The Hindu &/or Indian Express.

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE(Page 4,5)

General Studies -03

Syllabus area: Indian economy,Inclusive growth & issues arising  from it.

Q3: Richard Thaler who won Nobel Prize in Economics is best known for his theory of “nudge”.What do you understand by the theory of ‘nudge’.Discuss the good & evil nudge in both both the government and private entities with suitable examples.(200 words)

Source: The Tribune, &/or Business standard.

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE(Page 7,8)

General Studies -04

Syllabus area:Attitude,Probity in governance.

Q4: Relaxing KYC norms for jewelry purchase about 4 times than that of earlier is questionable. Discuss the ethical issues associated with it, inline with black money drives. (150 words)

Source: The Business standard.

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE(Page 10)


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{Op-Ed}States in Indian diplomacy: when Sharjah ruler visited Kerala

What this op-Ed is all about:

States role in competitive federalism in the light of recent Sharjah rulers visit to kerala & its associated benefits to india & especially kerala.

Kerala-sharjah deals

Key aspects of Kerala visit:

  • Kerala government honored sutan with a D.Litt from the Calicut University.
  • The ruler had agreed to release 149 Indian prisoners from Sharjah jails.
  • Instead of returning them back, sharjah offers job to continue work there itself.
  • Kerala government handed over some ancient documents about kerala & suthan proclaimed that its his duty to preserve these precious documents.
  • This 5 day visit makes kerala as an example for Narendra Modi’s concept of competitive federalism.

According to our PM- “Team India shall not be limited to the Prime Minister-led team in Delhi, but will also include Chief Ministers and other functionaries as equal partners.”

Author says that Centre always respect states initiatives. The example quoted is about andra pradesh.

  • In his earlier stint as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu negotiated with foreign governments to make Hyderabad an IT capital, prompting even presidents and prime ministers to visit the city on state visits. Given his personal reputation, the Government of India invited Mr. Naidu to lead an Indian delegation on IT.

Author says that ,Centre had established the basic mechanism for the States to play an important role in not only implementing foreign policy, but also in formulating it.

Back to history:

  • Earlier there was a period when Pandit Nehru wrote letters to the Chief Ministers, explaining certain aspects of foreign policy, but did not solicit their views, though they could ask questions or make suggestions.
  • But those were the days when he could do no wrong as he was considered infallible and unflappable. But as regional parties began to exert influence at the national level, States began to dictate terms even in foreign policy.
  • The States exercised veto on crucial issues, making it difficult for the Prime Minister to have his way in formulating policy.

Remodelling the MEA

Some examples of states interference:

West Bengal: The Chief Minister of West Bengal stopped then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from signing an agreement on sharing of Teesta waters with Bangladesh after the agreement was negotiated.

Tamil Nadu: Political parties in Tamil Nadu not only insisted that India should support the U.S. resolution against Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council, but also stopped the Prime Minister from attending a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on the ground that Sri Lanka was not safeguarding the interests of the Tamil minority.

Kerala: Insisted that the Italian marines who killed two fishermen should be tried in India and punished here, causing a rift in India’s relations with the European Union.

Authors conclusion:

  • The promise made in the BJP manifesto that States would be involved more in foreign affairs has not been kept as yet as the moves made so far are tentative and half-hearted.
  • A major change in mindset is necessary to accomplish it.
  • The States must also develop expertise on foreign affairs to be able to take responsible decisions in their interaction with foreign lands.

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