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KingMakers IAS Academy Current Affairs Pulse – 100% taken from “THE HINDU”

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18th August, 2017

Source: “THE HINDU”

1)Which of the following statements about NavikaSagarParikrama are correct:
a. It is the name the first ever six member men’s team of the Indian Navy which will circumnavigate the globe.
b. The name of the sailing vessel is INSV Tarini which has been built indigenously.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: a
Explanation: The NavikaSagarParikrama has an all women crew and the circum navigation will begin at Goa in the first week of September and end in March next year.

2. Which of the following statements about Catalonia is correct:
a. The Catalan Independence movement is a political and popular movement which seeks the independence of Catalonia from Spain.
b. Barcelona is the Capital and the largest city of Catalonia.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

3.Which of the following statements about Spain is correct:
a.The country of Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula.
b.Gibraltar,located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, is a territory owned by Spain.
Options:
a.1 only
b.2 only
c.Both 1 and 2
d.Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: a
Explanation: Gibraltar is a very small, narrow peninsula, located at the southern edge of Spain. It overlooks the Strait of Gibraltar, and the northern coastal areas of Africa.
This territory was ceded to Britain by Spain in 1713. Hence Gibraltar is aa British Overseas Territory.

4.Which of the following statements about Medical Council Of India is correct:
a.The Medical Council of India was established with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad.
b.The Committee on the Reform of the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act, 1956 was chaired by Dr. AravindPanagariya.
Options:
a.1 only
b.2 only
c.Both 1 and 2
d.Neither 1 and 2
Answer:c

5.Which of the following statements about The Attorney General of India are correct:
a. The office of Attorney General for India is the highest law officer in the country.
b. The Attorney General,who is appointed by the President, must be qualified to be appointed as a judge of the High Court.
Options:
a.1 only
b.2 only
c.Both 1 and 2
d.Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: a
Explanation: The Attorney General must be qualified to be appointed a judge of the Suprme Court.

6.Which of the following statements about Sericulture are correct:
a. According to the Central Silk Board, if the farmers chose the food plant variety that suited t‏heir region, the cocoon production could also be maintained at the highest level.
b. Adopting this good practice would result in the fall of raw silk price eventually reducing the cost of the finished goods.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

7. Which of the following silk varieties are produced in India:
a. Muga
b. Eri
c. Tusar
d.Mulberry
Options:
a. 1 and 2 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 and 3 only
d. All of the above
Answer: d

8. Which of the following statements are correct about the National Water Development Agency:
a. National Water Development Agency’s main objective is to carry out the water balance and other studies on a scientific and realistic basis for optimum utilization of Water Resources.
b. The National River Interlinking Project is being studied by the National Water Development Agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

9. Which of the following statements about river Cauvery is correct:
a. The Mekedatu Dam Project is part of the Cauvery River system, in the state of Karnataka.
b. The Sivasamudram falls is on river Cauvery.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

10. Which of the statements about National Family Health Survey are correct:
a. It is alarge-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
b. The main objective of the National Family Health Survey are to provide essential data on health and family welfare and to provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

11. Which of the following statements about State Human Rights Commission are in correct:
a. A State Human Rights Commission can inquire into violation of human rights only in respect of subjects mentioned in the State list (List II) and the Concurrent List (List III) of the seventh schedule.
b. The chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission should be a retired Chief Justice of a High Court.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: d

12. Which of the statements about Kaziranga National Park is correct:
a. Kazirangais recognized as an important bird area by for conservation of avifaunal species.
b. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is also World Heritage Site.
Options:
a. 1 onlyly
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

13. Which of the following statements about FASTags are correct:
a. FASTags is a device that enables the payments of tolls directly from the pre paid account linked to it.
b. The dedicated FASTag lanes will become operational at all 371 national highway toll plazas from September 2017.
c. FASTags employ the RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification).
Options:
a. 1 and 2 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 and 4 only
d. All of the above
Answer: d

14. Which of following statements about the Google Lunar Xprize are correct:
a. It is a 30 million plus contest for privately financed teams to land a spacecraft on the moon, deploy a rover and perform a set of predetermined tasks.
b. TeamIndus, has tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation’s PSLV’s rocket to send its spacecraft, ECA or EkChotisiAasha to the moon.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

15. Which one of the following non governmental organization works in the area of electroral and political reforms:
a. Association for Democratic Reforms.
b. PRS legislative research
c. Pratham
d. Barefoot College
Answer: a

16. Which of the following statements about the Electoral Reforms are correct:
a. In 2011, the Central Government raised the maximum ceiling on election expenditure by candidates for a Lok Sabha seat in bigger states to 40 lakhs.
b. Conducting exit polls and publishing results of exit polls would be prohibited during the election to Lok Sabha and the State Legislative assembly.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

17. Which of the following statements about Shanghai Cooperation Organization is correct:
a. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is only a security organization created in the year 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
b. India and Pakistan joined Shanghai Cooperation Organization as full members on 2017.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

18. Which of the following statements are correct:
a. The Home ministry is the nodal authority to provide clearance to foreign investments under the National Security Clearance Policy.
b. As many as 15 parameters are fixed in eight to nine sensitive areas such as telecom and port under the National Security Clearance Policy since any vulnerability of equipments and products imported would affect India’s economic growth.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: c

19. Which of the following statements are correct:
a. India is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 protocol.
b. But India is still bound by customary international law not to forcibly return any refugee to a place where they face a serious risk of persecution or threats to their life or freedom.
c. This principle is called as the International Principle of Non Refoulement adopted by the United Nations.
Options:
a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 4 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. All of the above.
Answer: d

20. The Rohingyas are muslimsfrom the Rakhine state in which of the following countries:
a. Myanmar
b. Indonesia
c. Thailand
d. South Korea
Answer: a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2017 current affairs from 01-08-2017 to 15-08-2017

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Click the below image to read & download the August current affairs from 01-08-2017 to 15-08-2017:-

KingMakers IAS Academy Current Affairs – 18/08/2017

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International News:-

1)India moves to revive TAPI gas pipeline:-

  • India will host the next steering committee meeting of the proposed 1,814 kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

• The decision was came during the sixth joint Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

• The pipeline, that had its ground-breaking ceremony in December 2015, has seen flagging interest since then for a number of reasons. India’s effort is to tap Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh gasfields, which are the fourth largest in the world.

2)India, Turkmenistan hold talks to boost ties:-

  • India and Turkmenistan reviewed the entire gamut of their bilateral relations and took stock of the progress achieved in key areas like energy, trade and security.

• The delegation participated in the 6th Session of the India-Turkmenistan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation held on August 14.

• EAM Sushma Swaraj and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Meredov comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and took stock of the progress achieved in the various areas as energy, trade and economic cooperation, transport and connectivity, security cooperation, etc.

3)MoU on IPR signed between India and Sweden:-

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) has been approved by the Union Cabinet.
  • The MoU establishes a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.
  • It has also the provision of exchange of information and best practices regarding Intellectual Property law infringements in the digital environment, especially regarding Copyright issues.

4)A New Landmark in India-USA relationship:-

  • New vistas in the Indo-USA relationship will begin with the arrival of the first shipment of American crude oil to India by the end of September this year.
  • It is the first lot of two million barrels costing $100 million, is a part of expected bilateral oil trade to $2 billion.
  • India joins Asian countries like South Korea, Japan and China to buy American crude after production cuts by OPEC drove up prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude, or grades with a high sulphur content.
  • The 40-year-old ban on export of American oil was lifted by the then U.S. President Barack Obama in December 2015, but the real move started during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump on June 26 when the two leaders agreed to deepen the engagement in the energy sector.
  • Indian oil companies, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum, the duo placed orders for over four million barrels to the US counterparts.
  • India is the world’s third-largest oil importer.

National News:-

1)Indian Government asks Internet majors to remove Blue Whale links:-

  • Government has directed internet majors – Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo – to immediately remove the links of dangerous online game Blue Whale Challenge, which has led to suicide of children in India and other countries.

• The Blue Whale challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days and the final task leads to suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing the challenge.
Business

2)New Metro Rail Policy approved:-

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a new Metro Rail Policy that seeks to enable realization of growing metro rail aspirations of a large number of cities in a responsible manner.
  • It focuses on compact urban development, cost reduction and multi-modal integration.
    PPP component mandatory for availing central assistance for new metro projects which is a big move for private investments across a range of metro operations.
  • Seeking to ensure financial viability of metro projects, the new Metro Rail Policy requires the States to clearly indicate in the project report the measures to be taken for commercial / property development at stations and on other urban land and for other means of maximum non-fare revenue generation through advertisements, lease of space etc., backed by statutory support.
  • At present, metro projects with a total length of 370 kms are operational in 8 cities viz., Delhi (217 kms), Bengaluru (42.30 kms), Kolkata (27.39 kms), Chennai (27.36 kms), Kochi (13.30 kms), Mumbai (Metro Line 1-11.40 km, Mono Rail Phase 1-9.0 km), Jaipur-9.00 kms and Gurugram (Rapid Metro-1.60 km).
  • Metro Projects with a total length of 537 kms are in progress in 13 cities including the eight mentioned above. New cities acquiring metro services are; Hyderabad (71 kms), Nagpur (38 kms), Ahmedabad (36 kms), Pune (31.25 kms) and Lucknow (23 kms).

3)$264 Million penalty imposed on Reliance Industries Ltd & BP:-

  • The government has imposed a penalty of 264 million dollar (about Rs 1,700 crore) on Reliance Industries Ltd and its partners for not fulfilling the targeted production of natural gas from KG-D6 fields in 2015-16.
  • The total penalty imposed on the company during the six years beginning April 1, 2010, stands at $ 3.02 billion.
  • The Production Sharing Contract allows RIL and its UK partner BP PLC and Canadian partner Niko Resources to deduct all capital and operating expenses from the sale of gas before sharing profit with the government.

Economic News:-

1)Odisha Government and Facebook Launches ‘SheMeansBusiness’ Program:-

  • Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched ‘She Means Business’ programme of Facebook for women entrepreneurs in Odisha.

• Under the scheme 25, 000 women entrepreneurs and self-help group (SHG) members will be given training on digital marketing skills within next one year.

• Odisha government’s partnership with Facebook aimed to reduce the digital divide and empower nearly 25,000 women entrepreneurs and SHGs.

• Facebook will also make a database of entrepreneurs in the state and will monitor their growth, turnover and profit after one year.

2)Seven Indian companies among 200 in green energy revenues:-

  • India is among the top 11 countries as seven of its companies are among a list of the 200 largest publicly traded entities that are making significant revenue from clean energy, an international report said.

• India ranked fifth after China (68), the US (34), Japan (20) and Germany (nine).

• South Korea, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and the UK take the spot after India as per their ranking in the list of top 11 countries compiled by As You Sow and Corporate Knights.

• While As You Sow is a non-profit organisation promoting environmental and social corporate responsibility, Corporate Knights is empowering people to harness markets for a better world.

• The seven Indian companies are Suzlon Energy Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Tata Chemicals Ltd, Exide Industries Ltd, IDFC Ltd, Thermax Ltd and Havells India Ltd.

3)Sankara Rao to be IFCI Chief Executive:-

  • IFCI Ltd, a government company, is set to have a new Managing Director & CEO in E Sankara Rao, who is currently Chief General Manager at India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).

• The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has given its nod for the Department of Financial Services (DFS) proposal to appoint E Sankara Rao as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of IFCI Ltd.

• Rao’s appointment will be valid for three years. Rao is also currently a director and chief executive officer at IIFCL Asset Management Company Ltd.

4)Record 275.68 million tones Food grains production estimated:-

  • As per Fourth Advance Estimates for 2016-17 released by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers, total Food grain production in the country is estimated at 275.68 million tonnes which is higher by 10.64 million tonnes (4.01%) than the previous record production of Food grain achieved during 2013-14.
  • This is due to very good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the Government.
  • The estimated production of major crops during 2016-17 is as under:
    Food grains – 275.68 million tonnes (record)
    Rice – 110.15 million tonnes (record)
    Wheat – 98.38 million tonnes (record)
    Coarse Cereals – 44.19 million tonnes (record)
    Maize – 26.26 million tonnes (record)
    Pulses – 22.95 million tonnes (record)
    Oilseeds – 32.10 million tonnes
    Cotton – 33.09 million bales (of 170 kg each)
    Sugarcane – 306.72 million tones
  • Production of Sugarcane is estimated at 306.72 million tonnes which is 41.73 million tonnes (-11.98%) less than the last year’s production of 348.45 million tonnes.

5)Dr. Mamta Suri takes charge of Executive Director, IBBI:-

Dr. Mamta Suri has taken charge of Executive Director of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
Dr. Suri was serving as Chief General Manager, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India before assuming the charge.
She has obtained her Ph.D. in Finance from University of Delhi and M. Sc. in Insurance Risk and Management from City University, London. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India.

Books:-

1)Book chronicles 70 years of India’s independence:-

Puffin Books’ “India at 70: Snapshots since Independence”, written by Roshen Dalal, provides glimpses of the country’s vast and rich culture, its diversity and many languages, its eminent personalities and its achievements in all spheres.

• From Partition to the Sino-India war, from the Emergency to the Kalam years, from the Jan Lokpal Bill to the recent demonetisation move, the book touches almost all important topics.

• Dalal says she wrote this book in a short and easy-to- read format, to provide youngsters with an overview of India after Independence.

• Culture is the main focus of the book.

17-08-2017-The Hindu Current Affairs

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1)Gorakhpur, which gained notoriety for the death of children suffering from Japanese Encephalitis and others allegedly due to the shortage of oxygen supply is in which of the following states:

Options:

  1. Bihar
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Jharkhand
  4. Uttarakhand

Answer: b

2) Which of the statements about Swine Flu are correct:

  1. Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs.
  2. Avian influenza refers to “influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

3) Which of the following statements about National Investigation Agency is correct:

  1. National Investigation Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008.
  2. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states only with special permission from the states.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a

4) Which of the following statements about Prasar Bharathi are correct:

  1. Prasar Bharati is not a statutory autonomous body established under the Prasar Bharati Act 1990.
  2. The objectives of public service broadcasting are achieved by the Prasar Bharathi through All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

5) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (SPS) is applicable on food products in the World Trade Organization framework.
  2. Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT) is applicable to non food products under the WTO framework.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

6) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
  2. WTO (World Trade Organization) is not a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

7) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. Dumping is said to occur when manufacturers export a product to another country at a price below the price charged in its home market or below its cost of production.
  2. Anti-dumping action involves charging extra import duty on the particular product from the particular exporting country in order to bring its price closer to the “normal value.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

8) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. The Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  2. UDAAN – The special industry initiative for Jammu & Kashmir in the nature of partnership between the corporates of India and the government is under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

9) Which of the following statements about River Cauvery is correct:

  1. Illegal sand mining is rampant on the Banks of River Cauvery.
  2. Sand quarrying activities had affected the ground water table and adversely impacted supply of water for drinking and agricultural activities in the region which is dependent on the Cauvery.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

10) Which of the following statements about Census of India is correct:

  1. Census is conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  2. The first complete census was taken in the year 1881 under Lord Ripon.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

11) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. The first ever synchronized all India Elephant Population Estimation 2017 employs both sighting based direct count method and the indirect dung count method.
  2. Parallels cannot be drawn from previous survey because in the 2012 count various states used different methodologies and the effort was not synchronized across the country.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

12) According to the Preliminary results from the first ever synchronized all India Elephant Population Estimation 2017, released by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which of the following state has the highest number of elephants:

Options:

  1. Karnataka
  2. Assam
  3. Kerala
  4. Tamil Nadu

Answer: a

13) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. A new policy for expanding and regulating metro rail services in cities across India, is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  2. The policy gives a big boost to private players by making private participation mandatory for all the three funding options.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

14) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. The single corpus fund, in which all proceeds of secondary and higher education cess will be credited to is named MUSK-Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh.
  2. The Ministry of Human Resource Development will be responsible for the administration and maintenance of the non-lapsable pool.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

15) Which of the following medical implements’ retail pricing has been capped by the government:

  1. Knee Implants
  2. Cardiac Stents
  3. Specialized Implants for Cancer and Tumor.

Options:

1 and 2

2 and 3

1 and 3

All of the above.

16) According to a World Health Organization estimate, which one of these disease is going to be the fourth largest cause of immobility globally:

  1. Chronic Lung Disease
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease

Answer: a

17) Which of the following statements about Pangong Lake is correct:

  1. The Line of Actual Control passes through the Pangong Lake.
  2. Of the 135 km long lake, 45 km is with India and 90 km with China.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

18) Which of the following statements are correct:

  1. There are five BPM-Border Personnel Meeting points along the Line of Actual Control.
  2. No Border Personnel Meeting Points are located in the state of Uttarakhand.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

19) Match the following:

Groups:                Ideology

Alt Right          Racist, Anti Semitic, Sexist, Anti immigrant, Anti feminist

Alt Left             A false equivalence between the far right and the left.

Alt Light           Alt Right without Racism and Anti Semitism

Antifa               Anti fascist.

Which of the following are correctly matched:

1 only

1,2 and 4 only

1 and 3 only

All of the above.

20) Which of the following statements is true:

  1. Japan forged a big push toward robotics starting in the 1990s. It leads the world in robots per 10, 000 workers in the automation sector.
  2. Japan has reached a reflective stage,in terms Robotics, in which human harmony with machines is being pursued.

Options:

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

 

 

 

 

 

16-08-2017-The Hindu Editorial

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Paper I: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India; Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism and Secularism.

Future Perfect:

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st Independence Day speech highlights.

The Vision of a new India:

  • A New India free of casteism, terrorism, corruption and nepotism by 2022.
  • Envisaging a future where farmer income would double and where youth and women would have many more opportunities.
  • Demonetisation, the Goods and Services Tax, the movement toward a digital economy are all seen as achievements which would secure a happier, more secure future of our country.
  • All these would lead to a corruption-free, transparent India.

Terrorism and Violence:

  • Kashmir problem cannot be solved by bullets, but only by embracing fellow Kashmiris.
  • Prime Minister asked the terrorists to join the mainstream.
  • He asserted that violence in the name of faith, saying it is unacceptable in India.
  • He had already mentioned Communism and Casteism as twin evils before.
  • We should become a compassionate society that does not discriminate on the basis of gender or religious background.

Team India:

  • He invoked Team India to run for a New India.
  • He echoed the sentiments of the President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind who said a partnership between the citizen and the government should be formed.
  • This will ensure that the benefits of government policy reach all sections of the people.
  • He spoke about the support India has received from several countries in its fight against terrorism.

Domestic Audience:

  • There was no mention of China/Doklam stand-off or Balochistan either.
  • The speech seemed directed entirely at the domestic audience.
  • The focus of the speech was largely on development and a reliance on technology-enabled solutions to transform the country over the next five years.

Paper II: Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Judiciary.

No case for an All India Judicial Service:

Context: The proposal to create an All- India Judicial Service (AIJS) along the lines of the All India Services (AIS) is been endlessly debated. The debate has once again come to the fore with a fresh move to implement it and nine High Courts expressing their disapproval.

Outline of All India Judicial Service:

  • District judges will be recruited centrally through an All-India examination.
  • They will then be allocated to each State along the lines of the All India Service.
  • Arguments for the creation of an All India Judicial Service:
  • A transparent and efficient method of recruitment.
  • This will enable the Judiciary to attract the best talent in India’s legal profession.
  • Similarly, judges recruited by High Courts on the basis of a common examination is currently being debated in the Supreme Court.

Against the creation of an All India Judicial Service:

  • The idea of an All India Judicial Service was first mooted by the Law Commission in the 1950s.
  • The above proposal inadequately diagnoses the problem.
  • The malaise is deeper because:
  • The serious mismanagement of legal education by the Bar Council of India.
  • No efforts to improve the standards of legal education across the country has been taken.
  • There are few islands of excellence and they are an exception.
  • The above includes few law colleges set up and funded by the government.

Abysmal Career growth and Remuneration:

  • The avenues for career advancement are limited as well.
  • The pay is unremunerative.
  • The above scenario persists, despite the efforts from the Supreme Court in its judgement in orders in the All India Judges’ Association case.
  • It is comparatively low viz a viz the corporate sector.
  • There are no sufficiently good terms and conditions of service, and a defined career progression is absent.
  • A study published in the Economic and Political Weekly in 2016 is important in this context.
  • It shows that less than a third of seats in the High Courts are filled by judges from the district cadre.
  • They are appointed later in their careers.
  • And their tenure is shorter than most of the judges appointed directly from the bar.
  • Low pay can be redressed by the State governments.
  • Career advancement can be addressed only by the judiciary.

New problems created by All India Judicial Services:

  • Those from less privileged background are shut down from entering the judicial services.
  • Local laws, customs and practices which vary widely across the states will be given a go by.
  • This will increase the cost of training for Judges selected through All India Judicial Services.
  • If the All India Judicial Services aims to fill up vacancies, then it may go down the All India Services way.
  • Therefore, both the decentralised approach of each High Court conducting its own appointment and a centralised one seem to have roughly the same efficacy in filling up the vacancy.

The Way Ahead:

  • The problems of the Indian judiciary at all levels have reached catastrophic levels.
  • It is likely to be a combination of delays, cost, uncertainty, inefficiency and corruption.
  • Centralising the manner of recruitment of judges won’t solve anything.
  • Focus should instead be on implementing more direct solutions to address the problems of Indian Judiciary.

Paper III: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and Minimum Support prices; Issues of Buffer Stock and Food Security; Technology missions; economics of Animal rearing.

The Crisis facing Indian Agriculture Today:

Context:

As India marks 50 years of the Green Revolution this year the architect of the movement, M.S.Swaminathan, reflects upon the greatest challenge facing Indian agriculture. The National Commission on Farmers (NCF) chaired by M.S.Swaminathan submitted its report for improving the state of agriculture in India in the year 2006 which contained suggestions for inclusive growth of farmers and agriculture sector in India.

 

The greatest challenge facing Indian Agriculture:

  • Back in the 20th century it was achieving self-sufficiency in in food grain production.
  • But today there are two major challenges before Indian agriculture: ecological and economical.

Ecological Component:

  • The conservation of our basic agricultural assets such as land, water, and biodiversity is a major challenge.
  • For instance, in Punjab, and in other Green Revolution States, the water table has gone down and become saline.
  • Addressing the ecological challenge requires more technology.
  • Heavy use of pesticides and high-yielding varieties of paddy during Green Revolution have resulted in environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity.
  • Hence its time for an Ever Green Revolution.
  • This approach will see increase in farm productivity but without ecological harm.
  • Ever Green Revolution involves, integrated pest management, integrated nutrient supply, and scientific water management which rules out any damage to ecology.
  • Practices like mandatory rainwater harvesting and introduction of fodder and grain legumes as rotation crops by the wheat farmers in Punjab are recommended.
  • The above will improve the sustainability of farming.
  • Declaring fertile zones capable of sustaining two to three crops as Special Agricultural Zones, and providing unique facilities to farmers there will ensure food security.
  • Soil health managers should be appointed to monitor and ameliorate the soil conditions in degraded zones.
  • They should also help rectify defects like salinity, alkalinity, water logging, etc.
  • Adopting Global Best Practices in agriculture will help to bring in new techniques.
  • The idea of more crops per drop has been implemented well in Israel.
  • Post-harvest technologies like threshing, storage, etc. will have to be given greater attention.

           On employing Genetic Modification technology for improving yield :

  • One has to measure the risks and benefits before arriving at conclusion.
  • We need an efficient regulatory mechanism in India.
  • An all-India coordinated research project on GMOs with a biosafety coordinator must be put in place.
  • To make the most of GM technology we must choose a problem where there is no other way to address the challenge.
  • GM in most cases is not necessary. Normal Mendelian breeding itself is sufficient in most cases.
  • The Norwegian legislation, with considerable restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms need to be considered.
  • In conclusion, devise a way to get the technology’s benefit without its associated risks.

 

        On Organic Farming:

 

  • Organic farming can have a good scope only under three conditions.
  • Farmers must possess animals for organic manure.
  • The capacity to control pests and diseases.
  • Adopting agronomical methods of sowing such as rotation of crops.
  • Adoption of the requisite crop-livestock integration is essential.

   On addressing climate change challenges:

  • Both less rainfall and a higher mean temperature affect farming adversely.
  • There are both adaptation and mitigation measures.
  • We need to evolve a drought and a flood code.
  • Establishing a multi-disciplinary monsoon management centre in each drought-affected district must be a priority.
  • This will help provide timely information to rural families on the methods of mitigating the effect of drought, and maximizing the benefits of good growing conditions.
  • Animal husbandry camps could be setup to make arrangements for saving cattle and other farm animals.
  • Because usually animals tend to be neglected during such crises situations.
  • Enabling women to manage household food security under conditions of agrarian distress should be tried.
  • Start breeding varieties characterized by high per day productivity than just per crop productivity.
  • This will help get higher yield in a shorter duration.
  • We should also enlarge the food basket to include nutri-millets.
  • The Food Security Act must be implemented properly to address the situation.

Economic Component:

  • Increasing productivity in perpetuity without ecological harm is the need of the hour.
  • The growing population pressure has made it pertinent to increase crop yield.
  • The economics of farming will have to be made profitable to address the current situation.
  • Addressing the economic component requires more public policy interventions.
  • A new formula for calculating the Minimum Support Price would raise the current MSP.
  • The government is willing to pay Seventh Pay Commission salaries to insulate government servants from inflation.
  • Now farm loan waivers are posing a bigger burden on the government than higher pay for farm produce will incur.
  • No government is prepared to take long-term steps to ensure the economic viability of farming.

Three Ways to improve the income of the farmers:

  • Minimum Support Price and Procurement is one.
  • Improving productivity.
  • The Marketable surplus from agriculture too need to increase.
  • Making value addition to Biomass is a way to achieve the above.
  • For instance, using paddy straw, a biomass to cultivate mushrooms.
  • Thought needs to be given to how we could reduce the cost of farm production, minimise risks and maximise returns.
  • This will help reduce the incidence of farmer’s suicide.

Way Ahead:

  • Farming is the most important enterprise in this country and farmers are an integral part of our country.
  • We need to treat this large group of entrepreneurs with dignity.

 

Paper III: Indian Economy and issues related to planning, mobilization of resoureces, growth, development and employment.

Caution from a sobering survey:

Context:

Looking at the macro economic climate in the light of the Economic Survey Volume II which was released recently.

       Economic Growth:

  • Economic growth for fiscal year 2016-17 was 7.1%.
  • The fiscal year 2016-17’s macroeconomic context too was benign:
  • This was the year when oil prices and inflation were moderate
  • Monsoon rains were abundant and inbound foreign direct investment was at record peak.
  • And the currency was stable and the fiscal deficit was under control.

But the year did not record at least one percentage point higher growth than the previous year.

Why the growth slump:

Demonetization is the biggest suspect for bringing down the growth.

The second half of the last fiscal saw the growth rate plummet by 1.2 percentage points compared to the first half.

The Survey says that signs of slowdown were evident even before Demonetization in November 2016.

Next year too, the Survey forecasts a growth closer to its lower bound, possibly lower than 7%.

The continuing deflationary trends arise from:

  • Lower investment ratio and low farm prices especially for non-cereals foods,
  • The cutting back on development spending by State governments owing to the burden of loan waivers,
  • And of course the twin balance sheet problem.
  • The above factors prompted the slashing of development spending by the states.

News from the Industrial front:

The latest June data on the index of industrial production (IIP) shows contraction of the index.

This contraction is not due to the introduction of Goods and Services Tax and the destocking of warehouses.

The contraction is in fact widespread.

Especially across manufacturing sectors, with 15 out of 23 industries showing negative growth.

The twin balance sheet problem adds to the worries.

Banks are helpless with a stretched balance sheet heavy with Non-Performing Assets.

Corporates, with excessive borrowing at high interest rates from the past, too are reeling under defaults.

Their excess capacity and not-so robust demand for their products is not helpful either.

Their situation is made worse with the flood of imports, which takeaway their domestic market share.

Because strong rupee makes imports cheaper.

Countervailing duty which is now tax deductible, makes imports that much more attractive in comparison with domestically produced goods.

Thus a strong rupee harms domestic economy.

Problems in the Industry: A Structural and A Cyclical one

Even if it is cyclical, it has long term structural dimensions.

The investment to GDP ratio has been abysmal for the last five years.

The private sector component growth too is low.

The Bank Credit growth to industry has been consistently negative.

Even though Sensex is touching new heights, the sentiment is not reflected in the physical investments.

The state of the Financial Sector:

The survey implicitly blames the high interest policy of the Reserve Bank of India.

Despite the Monetary Policy framework focusing on Inflation, maintaining a hawkish stance is considered as conservative.

But the hands of RBI is tied by the Inflation expectation survey which shows people’s anxiety about future price rise.

Bringing down the interest rate will not automatically result in huge investments.

Many other factors too weigh in the minds of the investors namely the Non-Performing Assets.

The Scope for optimism:

Improving fiscal situation at the center and exports reaching positive territory.

Building blocks of long term growth are being put in place:

Goods And Services Tax

A new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to deal with NPAs

A new monetary policy framework

And the Aadhaar linkage to government services.

How does one revive this sentiment and get back on the growth path:

Opportunities from Digital India, Smart Cities Mission and Housing for All are huge, but a kicks tart is needed.

Eventhough, near term growth may not be upbeat, the medium term has strong signs of sustaining along an 8 percent growth path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14-08-2017-The Hindu Current Affairs

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  1. Which of the following statements about Japanese Encephalitis is correct:

(a). Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito borne viral infection of the brain.

(b). Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is one kind of encephalitis which falls under a spectrum of diseases called Acute Encephalitis syndrome.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 or 2

Answer: c

 

  1. Which of the following statements about CRISPR is correct:
  • It is a revolutionary gene editing technique.
  • It is the short form of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.
  • This technology is being tested across gene based therapy and agro biotechnology.

Options:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. Both 1, 2 and 3
  4. Neither 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements about National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is correct:

(a). NDRF is constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005.

(b). It has been constituted for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.

(c). NDRF is placed under the Ministry of Defence.

 

Options: for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.

(a). 1 and 2

(b). 2 and 3

(c). 1 and 3

(d). All of the above.

 

Answer: a

  1.   Which of the following statements about MISSION INDRADHANUSH is in correct:

(a). Mission Indradhanush is under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

(b). The aim of the mission is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years only.

(c). Under the mission, 201 high focus districts across 28 states in the country that have the highest number of partially immunized and unimmunized children has been identified.

Options:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. All of the above.

Answer: a

5  Which of the following statements about Cloudburst are correct:

(a). A cloudburst is an extreme amount of precipitation in a short period of time,[1] sometimes accompanied by hail and thunder, that is capable of creating flood conditions.

(b). Cloudbursts occurs frequently in the Himalayan Region in India.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). River Lohit is a left bank tributary of river Brahmaputra.

(b). The city of Guwahati is located on river Brahmaputra.

Answer:

(a). 1 and 2

(b). 1 and 3

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). Lake Changu, a large Clearwater lake is located in Sikkim.

(b). West Bengal is the only Indian state with which Sikkim shares its boundary.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 or 2

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). The 1400 kg, IRNSS – 1H satellite, which is due to be deployed in space from Sriharikota was built by ISRO in partnership with a private industry consortium.

(b). Until now, private sector industries have only supplied satellite parts and hardware required by ISRO.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 or 2

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). Balochistan’s coastline extends from the Arabian Sea to the Gulf of Oman.

(b). A separatist movement lead by Baloch Nationalist against the Pakistan Government is underway in Balochistan.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 or 2

Answer: c

 

  1. Which of the following statements about Human Rights Watch is correct:

(a). Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization established in the year 1978.

(b). Human Rights Watch is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 or 2

Answer: a

  1. Which of the statements about ANTRIX Corporation Limited is correct:

(a). Antrix corporation Ltd. is a wholly owned Government of India Company under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS).

(b). Antrix is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

(c). Antrix Corporation Ltd. has MINIRATNA status.

Options:

(a). 1 and 2

(b). 1 and 3

(c). 2 and 3

(d) All of the above.

Answer: d

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). The demand for the creation of a state called Gorkhaland within India to be carved out of the hills of Darjeeling and areas of Dooars and Siliguri terai is now being lead by NSCN. (National Socialist Council of Nagaland).

(b). The Gorkhaland movement was started in the year 1986.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 or 2

Answer: b

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). The Geographical Information System enabled portal/database is being developed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and National E- Governance division.

(b). The GIS enabled portal, at present, provides data only on agriculture.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 or 2

Answer: a

  1. Which of the following statements about Air India is correct:

(a). It is owned by Air India Limited, a government-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

(b). AIESL, (Air India Engineering Services Limited) is not the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul unit of Air India.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 or 2

Answer: a

  1. The bulk of deaths in the last five years due to Acute Encephalitis including Japanese Encephalitis were not reported in which of the following states:

(a). Uttar Pradesh

(b). Assam

(c). West Bengal

(d). Bihar

Options:

  • 1 and 2
  • 2 and 4
  • 1,2 and 3
  • All of the above.

Answer:  d

  1. Which of the following statements about IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium) is correct:

(a). It is a voluntary, regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy Chiefs.

(b). It was launched by India in February 2008 and presently has 23 members.

(c).  It aims to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

Options:

(a). 1 and 2

(b). 2 and 3

(c). 1,2 and 3

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). IMMSAREX (International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise) naval exercise is to be held in the Bay of Bengal.

(b). Both members and observers of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) will be part of IMMSAREX.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

 

  1. The state of Israel shares coastal boundary with which of the following seas:

(a). Red Sea

(b). Mediterranean Sea

(c). Black Sea

(d). White Sea.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Both 3 and 4

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). Brexit is the popular term for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

(b). The exit process is governed by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

  1. Which of the following statements are correct:

(a). The state of Maharashtra shares its borders with Chattisgarh.

(b). River Godavari flows through the states of Maharashtra and Chattisgarh and drains into Bay of Bengal.

Options:

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 only

(c). Both 1 and 2

(d). Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

The Hindu: Editorial Summary April 14, 2017.

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1) Wages of neglect:

Context:

The death of more than 60 children in the span of few days in Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh due to shortage of oxygen has jolted the conscience of the nation.

Afterthoughts about the tragedy:

  1. This was an entirely preventable tragedy.
  2. A High Level Judicial Enquiry is the need of the hour.
  3. It should clearly establish to what extent the disruption of oxygen supply to the extremely sick was a cause of deaths.
  4. The inability of the hospital to pay off the large unpaid bills to the private company should be inquired.
  5. State and Central government should try to curb the annual peaks of disease and deaths.

Way forward:

  1. Robust medical infrastructure to reduce the incidence of Japanese encephalitis.
  2. Addressing weak social determinants namely housing and sanitation should be the priority.
  3. Arresting the ease of transmission of mosquitoes due to ecological changes.
  4. Arresting the viral transmission pathways from animals and birds.
  5. Systematic implementation of Mission Indradhanush.
  6. Improving pediatric intensive care units in priority districts on a war footing.
  7. Indian Council of Medical Research should launch a commission for Uttar Pradesh, treating it as public health emergency.

Long Term Goals:

  1. Center should improve its overall record on achieving acceptable levels of health parameters.
  2. Moving towards a Universal Health Care system which is non commercial which is regulated to contain cost.
  3. Giving everyone affordable access to Doctors, diagnostics and treatment.

2) Sound And Fury:

Context:

U.S. President Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric against North Korea and equally strident counter threats by Pyongyang have made the situation in the Korean Peninsula drastically worse.

Causes for the stand off:

  1. North Korea developing a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
  2. S. President Donald Trump’s reply that the country would be met with fire and fury never seen by the world.
  3. Kim Jong Un, the North Korean Leader’s reply that Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles would be launched towards the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
  4. S.A. and South Korea are going ahead with massive sea, air and land exercises later this month despite the gloomy situation.

Consequences of the current standoff:

  1. Failure of American efforts to surrender North Korea with threats.
  2. Instead of diffusing the situation, Donald Winner’s rhetoric escalated it.
  3. Even a limited strike by the U.S.A. will be taken by the volatile leader of North Korea as a threat to his regime.
  4. The demilitarized zone of South Korea will come under attack from North Korean artillery.

The Way Ahead:

  1. Sanctions and Wargames in the region to weaken and intimidate North Korea should be abandoned since it has brought no results.
  2. A more pragmatic effort from countries like Russia, China and Germany to diffuse tension.
  3. There must be efforts from either side to reach out to the other diplomatically.
  4. Direct negotiations with Pyongyang is recommended.
  5. S.A and its leadership should behave like responsible power.

 

3) An odd leniency:

Context:

On the night of August 07, Vikas Barala the son of the Haryana BJP chief, and his friends are alleged to have stalked Varnika kundu, the daughter of a bureaucrat, on the streets of Chandigarh.

Sexual Violence in India:

  1. The conversation on sexual violence in India continues to be centered on rape.
  2. Other sexual offences like Stalking, Eve teasing and Voyeurism are trivialized.

The Legal shortcomings:

  1. Before the 2013 amendment, the law was ill equipped to deal with the offence of stalking.
  2. Section 509 of Indian Penal Code was inadequate because the burden of proof fell on the victim.
  3. Section 354 of Indian Penal Code necessitated the use of physical force.
  4. The phrase “outraging the modesty of women” is not defined anywhere in the law.
  5. This left its interpretation open ended.
  6. The Information Technology Act 2000, also lacks adequate provisions to deal with electronic stalking.
  7. Section 66E of the IT Act 2000 requires the intentional capturing, publishing and transmission of an image without their consent.

The Legal course correction:

  1. As a result of the mass outrage and public pressure after the Nirbhaya gang rape in Delhi in 2012, changes came in.
  2. A three member Committee headed by Justice J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law.
  3. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 was passed by the Indian Parliament.
  4. The varied dimensions of sexual violence against women were recognized.
  5. The scope of the offence of Rape was expanded.
  6. Definition and Recognition of stalking as a standalone offence.
  7. Section 354 – D of the IPC makes both physical and electronic stalking an offence.
  8. Woman’s disinterest was given primacy. (Subsection 1)
  9. Online monitoring of a woman’s behavior too was criminalized. (Section 2)

Opposition to the amendments:

  1. Subsection 2 of Section 354 – D, some believe, goes too far.
  2. Allegations of arbitrary use is strong.
  3. These oppositions are prevalent despite the three exceptions to the offence.
  4. Exceptions themselves are vague and can prove to be an escape clause.
  5. Stalking is culturally normalized.

The Parochial discourse:

  1. Sexual violence of varying degrees and forms is routine.
  2. Only grave forms dominate our understanding.
  3. Other minor forms such as stalking and eve teasing are normalized.
  4. They are romanticized and encouraged by the popular culture.
  5. Violence against woman should involve bodily harm is the imagination of society and the laws.
  6. There were deep resistance to amendments even from parliamentarians.
  7. Making stalking a non bailable offence was rejected by some of them.
  8. Only repeated stalking is criminal offence.
  9. This has lead to trivialization of the issue.
  10. Example: 2015 Australian court verdict.

Way forward:

  1. We should realize that rape is a heinous crime but it is not the only form of sexual violence.
  2. Minor sexual offences like stalking, eve teasing and voyeurism deprive women of their fundamental right to occupy public space without fear.
  3. We need to broaden our narrative on sexual violence.
  4. We should recognize the multitudes of breaches which minor sexual offences brings.

4) Beauty and the regulatory beast:

Context:

Are designer babies a threat? If it is then how real is the threat?

The threat of designer babies:

  1. The threat of designer babies originates from a revolutionary technique involving the editing of our genes by bacterial DNA scissors called CRISPR.
  2. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.
  3. The gene editing technique using such DNA scissors is titled CRIPSR/Cas9.
  4. It was the subject of a patent battle between University of California and MIT/Broad Institute.

The utility of CRISPR/Cas9:

  1. CRISPR has been tested across an array of domains.
  2. Example: Gene based therapy to tackle heart impairments and degenerative eye disorder.
  3. Pest resistant crops under agro bio technology.

The threats posed by CRISPR/Cas9:

  1. The blurring line between cure and cosmetics is fast blurring.
  2. It is an ethical conundrum.
  3. Hence prevent the purely cosmetic and pave way for the life saving medical interventions.

A regulatory Solution:

  1. A robust regulatory structure could establish the safety and efficacy of these techniques.
  2. Just like the drug regulatory regimes which requires them to submit clinical trial data.
  3. This gives them a stamp of safety.
  4. But genetic changes and alterations take years to manifest and side effects too.
  5. Hence adoption of an incremental case by case approach can be tried.
  6. Insisting on a foolproof safety data in the early stages could hinder it altogether.
  7. And voluminous safety data doesn’t ensure the safety of the drugs.

The Way forward:

  1. Balancing out innovation imperative with that of ethics is needed.
  2. As a first step, one must insist on a rigorous regulatory standard for interventions.
  3. All data related to safety and efficacy of the new technologies should be put out in the public domain.
  4. The arguments of Intellectual property rights by Corporates should be ignored.
  5. Therefore, encouraging more transparency and openness is the need of the hour.
  6. Opening up this trial data to the wider public, scientists and doctors.
  7. It should be a democratic regulatory enterprise premised on openness and public participation can ensure dangers are kept at bay.

5) A full antibiotics course:       

Context:

A single analysis piece published in the BMJ journal makes a strong case for carrying out research in shorter antibiotic courses.

Arguments against full antibiotic course:

  1. Authors say that patients who are not admitted in hospitals might be best advised to stop treatment when they feel better.
  2. This goes against WHO’s advice to patients to always complete the full prescription, even if you feel better.
  3. WHO’s argument is that the above promotes the growth of drug resistant bacteria.
  4. The BMJ article argues that this is not evidence based and incorrect.
  5. It gives an erroneous impression that its safe to stop antibiotics when a patient feels better.

Addressing the confusion:

  1. To address the confusion, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention slightly changed the WHO’s advice.
  2. It asked patients to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed and doesn’t ask patients to decide when to stop medication.
  3. Patients cannot stop antibiotics when they feel better.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics

  1. Viral infections, Over medication, self medication, and stopping treatment are already leading to problems.
  2. These tendencies if encouraged, can lead to dangerous outcomes especially Tuberculosis.
  3. Example: The growth of drug resistant Tuberculosis strains is because patients discontinuing medication midcourse when they feel better.
  4. Hence the BJM article failed to clarify that its suggestions were limited to common bacterial infections.

Conclusion:

  1. There is no evidence to support the concept that patients can stop antibiotics when they feel better.
  2. Because there are several patient groups such as adults, children, elderly and immuno compromised ones.
  3. Data on all these groups are unavailable.
  4. Whether a short/long course, patients should not decide to stop taking antibiotics when they feel better.

 

6) Women and the freedom of expression in social media:

Context:

The tweet of Bengaluru based journalist Dhanya Rajendran and the online abuse heaped on her by the self styled fans of actor Vijay.

Shortcomings:

  1. The accounts of those who issued rape and death threats have not been suspended by twitter.
  2. The lack of prompt response from twitter.
  3. Twitter’s shortcomings in controlling regional language content fell short.

 

Consequences:

  1. Misogynist trolling, sexist and sexual abuse and threats create an atmosphere of intimidation.
  2. This leads to self censorship or women quitting the platform altogether.
  3. The lack of impunity with which trolls operate was not highlighted.

Conclusion:

1.Public discourse is plunging to new lows in the cyberspace.

  1. Need for critical distinction between discussion, advocacy and incitement.

Way forward:

  1. Freedom of expression is an inalienable right and expressing an opinion about a film, a policy or a politician on a forum that calls itself social media is a natural extension of that inalienable right.
  2. Focus should be on the role of powerful technology platform to create a space that eschews hate misogyny, and bigotry.

 

 

 

 

 

KingMakers IAS Academy’s “Current Affairs Pulse” – 100% taken from “THE HINDU”

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11th August, 2017:-

1)Which of the following are correctly matched:

             Conflict                                Country

1)Tamil Eelam Conflict                –    Sri Lanka

2)Violence against Hazara Shias  –    Myanmar

3)Rohingyas vs Rakhines            –    Afghanisthan

Options:

a)1 only

b)2 and 3

c)1 and 3

d)None Of The Above

Answer: a

2)A district level ranking system to systematically measure the outcomes of Swatch Bharath Abhiyan has been introduced by:

a.Minstry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
b.Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
c.Ministry of Rural Development
d.Ministry of Panchaythi Raj
Answer:a

 

3)Which among the following are not one of the findings of a recent govt. commissioned survey on Swatch Bharath Abhiyan:

a.Reduced Stress for Women
b.Improved Public Health
c.Low coverage among Dalit households
d.Disuse of toilets due to water scarcity

Options:
a.1 and 3
b.1 and 2
c.2 and 4
d.All of the above.
Answer: d

4)Identify the correct statements:

a. According to Environment health researchers, children are the sub group of population most affected by air pollution.
b. Children are the sub group who will be primary beneficiaries of policies to reduce fossil fuel emission.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 or 2
Answer: c

5)Which of the following statements about WHO are correct:

a. WHO is not one of the specialized agencies of the UNITED NATIONS.
b. The Global Burden Of Disease study report is published by WHO.

Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 or 2
Answer: d

6)Identify the correct statements:
a. THE Tropic Of Cancer passes through UAE.
b. India has received investments from the UAE Sovereign Wealth Fund into Indian Infrastructure projects.

Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 or 2
Answer: c

7)Which of the following sectors featured in the list of most Non Performing Assets (NPAs) according to the Finance Minister:
a. Steel
b. Infrastructure
c. Power
d. Textiles
Options:
a. 1 and 2
b. 1 and 3
c. 1, 2 and 4
d. All of the above.
Answer: d

8)Which of the following statements are true:
a. Private sector banks were hit the most by Non-Performing Assets as big industrial and infrastructure programs were supported by them.
b. One of the reasons for the growth of Non Performing assets is because of the accumulated interests.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: b

9) Which of the following statements about OECD (Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development) is correct:
a. OECD founded in 1960 aims to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
b. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.
c. India is a founder member of OECD.
Options
a. 1 and 2.
b. 1 and 3
c. 2 and 3
d. None of the above.
Answer a

10)Which one of the statements about the practice of “Chhaupadi” are correct:
a. It is a practice of menstrual exile followed in Nepal.
b. It was outlawed a decade ago in Nepal by the Supreme Court.
c. A new law w.e.f. August 2018 has made it a criminal offence to force women into menstrual exit.
Options:
a. 1 and 2
b. 1 and 3
c. 2 and 3
d. All of the above.
Answer: d

11)Which of the statements about Yemen are incorrect:
a. Yemen has seen the largest outbreak of the Cholera disease ever recorded in any country in a single year.
b. There is an ongoing conflict in Yemen between the Houthi Rebels and the Saudis intervening for Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula.
Options:
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 or 2
Answer: d

12)Which of the following state does not shareboundary with Bangladesh:
a. Assam
b. Meghalaya
c. Tripura
d. Mizoram
Answer: d

13)Which of the following statements are correct:Which of the following statements are correct:

a. The decision to make Vehicles without valid pollution under control certificate (PUC) non eligible for the annual insurance was taken by the Central Government.

b. The above recommendation was made by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control Authority) in its report on ASSESSMENT OF THE Pollution Under Control programme.

Options:

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 or 2

Answer: b 

14)Which of the statements about Vice President is wrong:
a. The Vice President occupies the second highest office in the country.
b. The office of Indian Vice President is modelled after the American Vice President.
c. He should be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
d. He should not hold any office of profit only under the Union Government.
Options:
a. 1 and 2
b. 1 and 3
c. 4 only
d. None of the above.
Answer: c

15)The Draft National Energy Policy 2017 was released by:
a. Niti Aayog
b. Directorate General of Hydrocarbons
c. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
d. Minstry of Power
Answer: a

Daily Current Affairs – 11th August, 2017

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International News:-

1)Delhi is Asia’s fastest growing city:-

Delhi will have the fastest growth of any city in Asia, with the economy of the city-state likely to become almost 50% larger in 2021 than it was at the end of last year.

• Indian cities are set to expand the most across the Asian region, with growth speeding up from the past five years, according to a new study from Oxford Economics, which has ranked Asia’s 30 largest cities.

• Ho Chi Minh, the largest metro in Vietnam, was the only non-Indian city in the top five.

2)Qatar scraps visit visa requirements for 80 nationalities:-

Qatar has announced scrapping of visa requirements for visitors from 80 countries including India to host the Football World Cup 2022.

• Under the new policy announced by Qatar Airways and authorities, citizens of 33 mostly European countries can enter without a visa for 90 days in single or multiple trips during a 180-day period.

• Qatar’s economy has taken a hit since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain moved to isolate it two months ago over allegations it supports extremists.

• This will be the first time the World Cup will be held in the West Asia. This tournament will be the last one to involve 32 national teams, including the host nation, as the next one will have 48 teams.

3)India ratifies 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol:-

India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, reaffirming its stand on climate action.

• India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty.

• The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.

• The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.

National News:-

1)PM discussed the New India initiative with the district magistrates:-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed district collectors across the country through video-conferencing, on the theme of “New India – Manthan.”

• It was the first-of-its-kind interaction with district collectors which marked the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement.

• During the interaction, the Prime Minister asked the collectors to prepare a vision document, or resolution document for their district before the 15th of August.

• The Prime Minister recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s message that the ultimate goal of governance should be to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor.

2)NCERT launches Web Portal for supply of NCERT Textbooks:-

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha launched the NCERT’s Web portal for supply of textbooks to schools and individuals at a function in New Delhi.

• The portal will ensure better distribution of textbooks across the country and address the concerns of schools and parents, regarding unavailability of textbooks. The Web Portal can be accessed at www.ncertbooks.ncert.gov.in.

• They can place their orders by login in onto the portal, and books will be delivered at their doorsteps with nominal postal charges. The NCERT textbooks can also be downloaded, free of cost, from its website.

3)Kerela, Haryana top sanitation survey:-

According to the survey, almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana had access to a toilet.

• The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation released the findings of the survey of 1.4 lakh rural households.

• Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets.

• The Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses.

• BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and NDA-ruled Bihar are among the worst performers in terms of rural sanitation. In Bihar, only 30% of the rural household had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37%.

Economic News:-

1)SEBI launches online registration for custodians of securities:-

Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI, has introduced an online registration mechanism for custodians of securities to make it convenient for them to do business.

• All applicants desirous of seeking registration as a Custodian of Securities are now required to submit their applications online only, through SEBI Intermediary Portal.

• Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech for 2017-18 announced that the process of registration of financial market intermediaries will be made fully online by SEBI.

2)ICICI Bank launches instant credit cards:-

The country’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank launched instant credit cards enabling its savings account customers to get a credit card instantly, in a completely digital and paperless manner.

• Currently, this facility to apply for a credit card in–a-flash is available through the Bank’s internet banking platform. It will also be available shortly on iMobile, the Bank’s mobile banking application.

3)IDFC Bank partners with Zeta for e-payments solution:-

For promoting an e – payments solution, private lender IDFC Bank has partnered with digital payments brand Zeta.

• The venture was initiated to launch ‘IDFC Bank Benefits’-a payment solution for the corporate that digitally record their employee spends and claims, making the documentation convenient and paperless.

• The digital solution comprises an IDFC Bank Benefits Card and Zeta app which puts together allowances and reimbursements ensured by an employer into one preloaded card.

 

KingMakers IAS Academy’s “Current Affairs Pulse” – 100% taken from “THE HINDU”

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Most Expected Current Affairs question for UPSC:-

80% of the questions by our “Current Affairs Pulse”, 100% taken from “THE HINDU”.

Click the below image to read and download “Current Affairs” Pulse:-