UPSC Exam | Current Affairs and News Analysis (17-01-2020)

UPSC Exam Current Affairs and News Analysis (17-01-2020)

upsc exam current affairs 17-01-2020

Highlights |UPSC Exam Current Affairs 17-01-2020

UPSC exam current affairs 17-01-2020 The following article contains all the updated events and news for IAS Preparation. Our daily IAS Current Affairs and News cover the most important topics to give precise information to the reader and IAS Aspirants.

  • India to invite Pakistan PM Imran Khan to regional SCO summit
  • National Park: Commercial activities near Bannerghatta National Park banned
  • Myeloma
  • The naval version of LCA Tejas takes off from INS Vikramaditya
  • Indian Governance/ Economy
  • The perils of RBI’s fixation on inflation

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UPSC Exam Current Affairs and News Analysis (17-01-2020)


India to invite Pakistan PM Imran Khan to regional SCO summit

Part of: GS Prelims International Organizations  and GS Mains II–India’s foreign relation

In news:

New Delhi will invite Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit

From Prelims point of view:

SCO:

  • SCO is a perpetual intergovernmental global association.
  • It’s a Eurasian political, financial and military association expecting to look after harmony, security and soundness in the area.
  • It was made in 2001.
  • The SCO Charter was marked in 2002 and went into power in 2003.
  • It is a statutory record which traces the association’s objectives and standards, just as its structure and center exercises.
  • The SCO’s authentic dialects are Russian and Chinese.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th January 2020
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th January 2020

Vodafone Idea tanks 39% on AGR verdict, Airtel shrugs off concerns

Part of: GS Prelims Economy and GS Mains III–Tax Evasion

In news:

  • Portions of Vodafone Idea Ltd failed 39.3% on Friday, a day after the Supreme Court dismissed the audit request by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel testing the peak court’s 24 October request on balanced gross incomes (AGR)

From the prelims point of view:

What is AGR?

  • Balanced Gross Revenue (AGR) is the utilization and authorizing expense that telecom administrators are charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • It is partitioned into range utilization charges and permitting expenses, pegged between 3-5 percent and 8 percent separately.

How is it calculated and what’s the contention?

  • According to DoT, the charges are determined dependent on all incomes earned by a telco – including non-telecom related sources, for example, store premiums and resource deals. Telcos, on their part, demand that AGR ought to involve just the incomes created from telecom administrations.

National Park: Commercial activities near Bannerghatta National Park banned

Part of: GS Prelims Environment  and GS Mains III–Conservation

In news:

Developmental and commercial activities have been stopped within the 10-km radius of Bannerghatta National Park area, which is part of the eco-sensitive zone.

From Prelims Point of view

Bannerghatta National Park

  • The Bannerghatta National Park is situated close to Bangalore in Karnataka.
  • Untamed life, for example, elephants, gaur, panther, jackal, fox, wild hog, sloth bear, Sambar, Chital, spotted deer, yelping deer, regular langur, cap macaque, porcupine and bunnies are found in wealth.
  • The Bannerghatta Biological Park has been a necessary piece of Bannerghatta National Park and developed out as an autonomous foundation during the year 2002.
  • So as to satisfy the developing need for eco-entertainment, eco-the travel industry and preservation, some zone of backwoods from the National park were put aside to establish as Biological Park.
  • Eco-Sensitive Zones or Ecologically Fragile Areas will be territories advised by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
  • Exercises led in eco-touchy zones are directed under the Environment (Protection Act) of 1986 and no contaminating industry or mine is permitted to come up in such territories.
  • As a general guideline width of the eco-touchy zone could go up to 10 km around a secured region. If there should arise an occurrence of spots with touchy passages, network and naturally significant patches, critical for scene linkage, even territory past 10 km width can likewise be remembered for the eco-delicate zone.
  • Businesses named restricted under rules for presentation of eco-touchy zones around national parks and natural life asylums are not permitted to work in these zones.
  • The rules forbid exercises, for example, business mining, business utilization of kindling and major hydropower ventures.
  • Exercises, for example, felling of trees, business utilization of common water assets, including groundwater reaping and setting up of inns and resorts, are directed in these regions.
  • The essential point is to manage certain exercises around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in order to limit the negative effects of such exercises on the delicate biological system including the ensured zones.

Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)

Part of: GS Prelims Science  & Tech and GS Mains III–Pharmaceutical  industry 

In News:

  • A gathering of specialists approached to clear “misguided judgments” about Ranitidine, a functioning pharmaceutical fixing (API) utilized in medications to treat gastric corrosiveness.
  • Following a U.S. Nourishment and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioning about the nearness of low degrees of cancer-causing agents in Ranitidine, there are a lot of misguided judgments about its utilization

From Prelims Point of view:

Ranitidine

  • Ranitidine is perhaps the most established medication to be utilized in causticity and upper intestinal ulcers and has been viewed as more secure than comparable different medications like proton siphon blockers.
  • It is an ordinarily recommended prescription for countering corrosiveness and furthermore on the World Health Organization’s ‘Model List of Essential Medicines’.
  • In India, a large group of organizations including GlaxoSmithKline, Dr Reddy’s, Sun Pharmaceuticals sell more than 180 forms of the medication. Some regularly known brands of Ranitidine are Zantac, Aztec, Giran, and so forth.

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

  • N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) has been ordered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as most likely cancer-causing to people.
  • It is a natural contaminant found in water and nourishments.
  • Myeloma is a disease that structures in a kind of white platelet called a plasma cell. Plasma cells assist you with battling diseases by making antibodies that perceive and assault germs.

Myeloma

Part of: GS Prelims Science  & Tech and GS Mains II–Health 

In news :

  • Myeloma risk may be higher among Indians than whites

From Prelims point of view

Myeloma

  • Numerous myeloma makes disease cells aggregate in the bone marrow, where they swarm out sound platelets. As opposed to delivering accommodating antibodies, the malignancy cells produce anomalous proteins that can cause inconveniences.
  • It is a similar debasement that the US FDA had researched in circulatory strain drugs valsartan and losartan in the course of the most recent year.

Data Protection Bill: JPC to invite views from all stakeholders

Part of: GS Prelims Polity  and GS Mains III– Privacy

In news:

  • The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill will toss open its entryways for all partners to express complaints and point out escape clauses in the proposed enactment, the board chose at its first gathering held

From Prelims Point of view 

Personal Data Protection Bill 2019

  • The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (PDP Bill 2019) was postponed in the Indian Parliament by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • The Bill covers components for the insurance of individual information and proposes the setting up of a Data Protection Authority of India for the equivalent.
  • Some key arrangements the 2019 Bill accommodates which the 2018 draft Bill didn’t, for example, that the focal government can exclude any administration office from the Bill and the Right to Be Forgotten has been incorporated.
  • In July 2017, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology set up a board of trustees to examine issues identified with information security. The board was led by resigned Supreme Court judge Justice B. N. Srikrishna.

Bru-Reang Refugee Crisis: Home Minister presides over signing of Historic Agreement to end the Bru-Reang Refugee Crisis

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

In news:

  • Association Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah managed the consenting to of an arrangement between Government of India, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang agents.
  • This noteworthy understanding is in accordance with PM Modi’s vision for the advancement of the North East and the strengthening of the individuals of the district.

Background:

  • In 1997, after ethnic strain, around 5,000 families containing around 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals had to escape Mizoram and look for cover in Tripura. These individuals were housed in transitory camps at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.
  • Since 2010, the Government of India has been putting forth continued attempts to for all time restore these displaced people.
  • The Union government has been helping the two-State governments for taking the consideration of the evacuees.

From Prelims Point of view:

  • Bru -Reang is one of the 21 scheduled tribes. 
  • The Bru can be found Tripura, Mizoram and Assam

The naval version of LCA Tejas takes off from INS Vikramaditya

Part of: GS Prelims Science  & Tech and GS Mains II-Defence 

In news:

A maritime model of the homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas effectively took off from the deck of Indian Navy’s sole plane carrying warship INS Vikramaditya

From Prelims Point of view:

  • India is currently among a select gathering of nations that have the ability to plan a contender stream that can work from a plane carrying warship.

LCA Tejas:

  • Tejas is a Light Combat Aircraft created by the Defense Research and Development Organization’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in a joint effort with the Aircraft Research and Design Center of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
  • Single-motor, delta wing, multirole light warrior

INS Vikramaditya

  • The nation’s most dominant plane carrying warship.
  • It was worked in 1987 and had served the Soviet naval force.
  • It can extend 30 airplane involving MiG-29Ks, Kamov-28s, Kamov-31s, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.
  • It was retrofitted with a Barak rocket framework under joint improvement with Israel.
  • It is based at its home port at Karwar in Karnataka.

Historic Trump impeachment trial begins in Senate

Part of: GS Prelims Polity  and GS Mains II–Comparing Indian constitution  

In news:

  • The memorable denunciation preliminary of Donald Trump opened in the US Senate, as administrators made a serious vow to be “fair” in concluding whether to drive the 45th US president from office.

From Prelims point of view:

Indian Impeachment process

  • In India, the President can be indicted for infringement of the Constitution (Article 61).
  • The movement for indicting President can be presented in any House of Parliament
  • After the examination, the movement of prosecution must be passed by a 66% dominant part of the all-out participation of the House by the two Houses of the Parliament.

(MAINS FOCUS)


Indian Governance/ Economy

TOPIC:

General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies.

Fertiliser Subsidy: Direct Benefit Transfer

Context:

  • A survey conducted by NITI Aayog showed that nearly two-thirds of the farmers don’t favour direct benefit transfer (DBT) of fertiliser subsidy.

The present regime of fertilizer subsidy – Partial DBT (Since April 2018)

  • Manufacturers of fertilizers receive 100% of subsidy after fertiliser is delivered to the farmer, and the latter’s identity viz. Aadhaar is captured on the point of sale (PoS) machine at the dealer’s shop.
  • Therefore, the subsidy continues to be routed through manufacturers even though the sale of fertilizer is being verified using Aadhar ecosystem
  • The manufacturers sell urea at the maximum retail price (MRP) controlled by the Centre, which is kept at a low level. They also get subsidy reimbursement on a unit-specific basis under the new pricing scheme (NPS).
  • The manufacturers of non-urea fertilisers are given ‘uniform’ subsidy (on per nutrient basis) under the nutrient-based scheme (NBS).

Example to illustrate the scheme

  • At present, for a bag of urea (containing 50 kg) a farmer pays Rs 268 —as against the cost of supply that is at least twice as much, or Rs 536
  • The difference is claimed by the manufacturer as subsidy from the government (after the sale to the farmer has been verified through Aadhar)
  • Under this arrangement, subsidy to the farmer is embedded in the price—also termed as subsidised price.

Implications

This system helps ensure the subsidy is not being siphoned off by another beneficiary, but it doesn’t help the larger issue of farmers overusing urea many times over as there is a huge subsidy on it.

The unacceptably large urea subsidy has ensured that against the ideal N:P:K ratio of 4:2:1, the average is 6.1:2.5:1, and it is as much as 25.8:5.8:1 in states like Punjab.

What is the full-fledged DBT scheme?

  • The farmer will have to pay the higher cost-based price of Rs 536 to the manufacturer and get a subsidy of Rs 268 ‘directly’ in his bank account.
  • In total, he will be spending Rs 268 only for bag of Urea.
  • Yet, the switch-over makes a big difference as he has to first pay the full price, and thereafter, get the subsidy.

Benefits of Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme:

  • It will empower farmers to make the right choices based on crop/soil need, as now the market for fertilizers will be less under government control
  • It reduces imbalance in fertiliser use – as DBT would mean a dramatic increase in urea prices, farmers would buy only the amount of urea they really need and more of other fertilisers
  • It improves efficiency in the supply chain as now private players will be encouraged to enter the sector and give a boost to ‘Make in India’.
  • It will lead to saving on the subsidy by eliminating misuse and owing to better targeting.

Why the government has not undertaken full-fledged DBT?

  • Inadequate working Capital among farmers: 
  • The farmer has to sell out the entire cost price of fertilizer (if the subsidy is not provided beforehand by the government). Given that 85% of Indian farmers are small and marginal and that their incomes are meagre it would be burdensome for them to arrange for this high upfront money.
  • This would make them depend on informal money lenders making them vulnerable to a debt trap
  • Cash- a Strapped government which puts it in a politically difficult situation for DBT
  • In FY 2020, the government could end up owing Rs 60,000 crore to the industry. While it is possible to accumulate such dues in the current system (partial DBT), the government will have to make an upfront payment to farmers to overcome the above obstacle
  • If farmers don’t get the subsidy before they buy the fertiliser, they will never buy it as doing so will mean a big dent in their budgets – thus impacting production & food security
  • Cash- the strapped government will thus not be able to postpone payments (which is being done in the present system). Owing payment to farmers will be a politically sensitive issue which is thus deterring government to adopt full-fledged DBT

Way forward

The government should ensure fiscal discipline and undertake reforms in subsidy management (rationalisation and DBT) so as to ensure that neither the food security of a Nation nor the welfare of farmers is not compromised.

Think!

DBT in food subsidy, Food coupons

Sustainable agriculture – Organic farming – Zero Budget Natural Farming


Indian Economy

TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 

The perils of RBI’s fixation on inflation

Context:

Retail expansion moved to a six-year high of 7.35 percent rupturing the Reserve Bank of India’s upper band of 6 percent just because since the Monetary Policy Committee was made.

RBI’s Mandate

In India, the RBI had prior sought after a ‘various pointers approach’, inferring worry for results other than swelling, including even the equalization of instalments.

Be that as it may, the Indian government initiated expansion focusing as the sole target of money related strategy since 2016-17. This was hailed by the administration as the reception of the ‘advanced money related arrangement system’ by India.

Till now expansion stayed inside the range visualized, anyway with the ongoing information indicating the retail swelling rupturing the 6% territory, questions have been raised over the restricted goal of Inflation focusing as the fundamental goal of RBI

Criticism of RBI’s fixation on Inflation

  1. RBI’s obligation to control the monetary part may have taken a rearward sitting arrangement after reception of expansion focusing as the principal objective. A portion of the emergency in money related segment which is incompletely credited to deficiencies in guidelines are:
  • Inside three years of the reception of expansion focusing as objective, an emergency inundated IL&FS–It defaulted on a few of its commitments, including reimbursement of bank advances and the reclamation of business paper.
  • Punjab and Maharashtra Co-usable Bank-imaginary records made and stores were redirected as advances to the advertisers.
  1. The inefficiency of Monetary Policy tools
  • The ongoing spike in swelling is basically because of the ascent in nourishment costs which is an impermanent and occasional wonder. Expansion drove by rising costs of staple can’t rapidly or effectively be contained by the method of control which RBI employments.
  • Along these lines, the swelling rate was inside the proposed range up until now, may have been because of both declining nourishment costs and, for a stage, oil costs.
  1. Bad management of Currency
  • Customary Indian considers the RBI’s chief order as the administration of the money with the goal that exchange is encouraged.
  • There is a lack of little division notes in the bazaars of India

Way Ahead

The foundation of a portion of the world’s most seasoned national banks was propelled by the objective of keeping up money related solidness. National Banks developed as loan specialist after all other options have run out joined by extreme administrative oversight controls over the financial framework

Be that as it may, with the ascent of neoliberalism whereby markets ought to be without given play, the administrative job of national banks took a rearward sitting arrangement. They came to be principally commanded with expansion control.

Central Banks need to revisit their mandate in the spate of the financial crisis.

Do you know?

Monetary Policy Framework

  • The Government of India and Reserve Bank of India marked a Monetary Policy Framework Agreement in 2015.
  • The goal of fiscal approach structure is to fundamentally keep up value soundness while remembering the goal of development.
  • According to the understanding, RBI would set the strategy loan fees and would intend to bring expansion beneath 6 percent by January 2016 and inside 4 percent with a band of (+/ – ) 2 percent for 2016-17 and every single ensuing year.

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC):

  • Money related Policy is declared by MPC which has been arrangement dependent on suggestions of Urjit Patel council.
  • MPC comprises of six individuals, 3 from RBI and 3 delegated by the Government.
  • Individuals from RBI are the legislative leader of RBI, a delegate senator and one official of RBI.
  • Individuals from the government are delegated on the suggestions of an inquiry cum choice council headed by bureau secretary.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in the comment section)

Q.1) Which of the following country was not the founding member of the SCO?

  1. China
  2. Kazakhstan
  3. Uzbekistan
  4. Russia

Q.2) The main aim of SCO is to generate cooperation between member nations on:

  1. Resolving border issues
  2. Countering Terrorism
  3. Economic Cooperation
  4. All of the above

Q.3) Consider the following statements about AGR

  1. The AGR directly impacts the outgo from the pockets of telcos to the DoT as it is used to calculate the levies payable by operators.
  2. Telecom companies now owe the government not just the shortfall in AGR for the past 14 years but also an interest on that amount along with penalty and interest on the penalty.

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

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

Q.4) With reference to ‘Eco-Sensitive Zones’, which of the following statements is/are correct? 

  1. Eco-Sensitive Zones are the areas that are declared under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  2. The purpose of the declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones is to prohibit all kinds of human activities in those zones except agriculture.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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


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