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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 02nd August 2018

  • IASbaba
  • August 2, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 02nd August 2018

Archives


(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

Part of: GS Mains II – Social issue; Welfare; Dalit issue

In news:

  • Expressing concern over rampant misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Supreme Court had introduced the provision of anticipatory bail.
  • It had also directed that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law and a preliminary inquiry must be conducted by police within seven days before taking any action.
  • The ruling was greeted by a storm of protest from Dalit groups, which said the order diluted the law.
  • However, now Centre has decided to introduce a Bill to restore the original provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

The Amendment Bill seeks to insert three new clauses after Section 18 of the original Act.

  1. Preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person.
  2. Arrest of a person accused of having committed an offence under the Act would not require any approval.
  3. Provisions of Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure — which deals with anticipatory bail — shall not apply to a case under this Act.

RBI raises repo rates

Part of: GS Mains III – Indian Economy; Monetary Policy

In news:

  • RBI has cited inflation concerns and raised interest rates (has set repo rate at 6.5%)
  • Increase in repo rate will push up the cost of loans for all borrowers, from consumers looking to finance their purchases of homes and cars to businesses looking to meet their capital needs.

Do you know?

What is Repo rate?

  • Repo rate is the rate at which the central bank of a country (RBI in case of India) lends money to commercial banks in the event of any shortfall of funds. Repo rate is used by monetary authorities to control inflation.
  • RBI increases the repo rate during inflation and decreases it during deflation.

Important value additions:

Let’s see what happens when RBI increases and decreases Repo rate –

When RBI increases repo rate

  • In order to control excess money supply and inflation in the economy, central bank increases repo rate and lends to commercial banks at a higher rate.
  • Now, because of increased repo rate, funds come to commercial banks at a higher cost, so in order to cover those increased costs of acquiring funds, commercial banks increase their lending rates for loans and advances.
  • Since, lending rates are increased, people abstain from borrowing and postpone their purchases thereby decreasing demand for products and services, consequently it leads to decrease in money supply in economy and decrease in inflation rate.

When RBI decreases repo rate:

  • In order to cure depression and lack of effective demand, central bank decreases repo rates and lends to commercial banks at a reduced rate.
  • Because of reduced rates, commercial banks can acquire funds at a lower cost and in order to acquire new consumers and markets they pass their benefit of lower cost to consumers by decreasing their prime lending rates on loans and advances.
  • Since, lending rates are reduced by banks, credit is cheap and this induces people to venture in new business activities and purchase of capital goods leading to increased demand for capital goods and increased employment rates.

TRAI’s nod for 5G Spectrum

Part of: GS Mains III – Science and Tech

In news:

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommends the auction of spectrum for offering 5G services for the first time in the country.

About 5G

5G is a wireless communication technology. It is the next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks. The final standard for 5G will be set up by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Advantages of 5G

  • As per the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Committee on Digital Economic Policy, 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment and digitizing the economy.
  • The 5G technology will offer far greater upload and download speed available today.
  • This will help cloud systems to stream software updates, music, and navigation data to driverless cars. In other words, it will help aid incorporate Artificial Intelligence in our lives.
  • It will enable Smart devices to exchange data seamlessly providing the ecosystem for Internet of Things (IoT).

Person in news: Akshay Venkatesh

In news:

  • Akshay Venkatesh, Indian-origin mathematician among Fields Medal winners
  • Fields Medal is often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.
  • Akshay Venkatesh, Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli and Peter Scholze were the recipients
  • The Fields medal is perhaps the most famous mathematical award. It was first awarded in 1936 and since 1950 has been presented every four years to up to four mathematicians who are under 40. As well as the medal, each recipient receives prize money of 15,000 Canadian dollars (£8,750).


(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2 and 3

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Social issue
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks

 

Citizenship crisis in Assam after NRC release

About:

From previous news, we are aware that –

  • Over 40 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants have been excluded from Assam’s draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).
  • This has sparked concerns about their future and has triggered a nationwide political row.
  • Supreme Court has directed authorities not to initiate any ‘action’ against those 40 lakh persons left out.

Even though political leaders and the Supreme Court have assured everyone that this is only a draft and everyone will be given an opportunity to prove his or her citizenship, it has not succeeded in instilling confidence in people.

The below article deals with the roots of this NRC process and about the role of Supreme Court.

Roots of the NRC process

  1. NRC was prepared first in 1951 after the conduct of the Census of 1951.

It is used to identify who is a bona fide Indian citizen and those who fail to enlist in the register will be deemed illegal migrants.

  1. The NRC which was framed in 1951 and its subsequent iterations were recognised to be faulty. Therefore, in 1970s, All Assam Students’ Union and Assam Gana Parishad demands for up gradation of NRC list.
  2. Reason – Original inhabitants of Assam always feared that migrants from Bangladesh would compete them with jobs, land and eventually hamper their culture. Therefore, Assam Agitation (which was started by All Assam Students’ Union) called for the detection, deletion and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants. (Assam Accord)
  1. However, for a very long time, the provisions in the Assam accord were not implemented.
  2. In 2009, public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court by Assam Public Works seeking the removal of “illegal voters” from the electoral rolls of Assam. It also demanded for preparation of the NRC as required under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and its rules.
  3. In 2013, the Supreme Court finally ordered to complete the exercise of updating NRC list by December 31, 2017 (and later to July 31, 2018) – leading to the present updation of NRC in Assam.

Concerns:

  • All 3.3 crore residents of Assam were required to submit documents from a list prescribed by the government to prove that they were indeed citizens of India. The process of adding person to NRC list was too complex and confusing.
  • There were instances of arbitrary rejection of the gram panchayat certificates.
  • The process was riddled with legal inconsistencies and errors.
  • Supreme Court’s monitoring of the process would have ensured fairness and transparency.
  • Robust non-transparent “family tree verification” process resulted in numerous instances of parents being on the draft list but children being left out.
  • Each person who is left out will now have to prove not only his or her linkages afresh, but also the documents themselves before the appropriate forum.

Role of the top court

This ongoing crisis over the NRC is largely the creation of the Supreme Court.

  1. Supreme Court was more inclined and concerned about preparation of NRC within a deadline.
  2. It failed to ensure legal clarity over the manner in which the claims of citizenship could be decided.
  3. Court failed to recognize what next after this exercise and what will be the status of the several lakh individuals who would have suddenly lost Indian citizenship with no recourse in sight?
  4. SC also failed to analyze – What action can the government take against those who are unable to prove that they are Indian citizens?

Conclusion:

As of now, there are some unanswered questions –

  • Will the government adopt crude, communal rhetoric doing the rounds on social media and “push them out”?
  • Will Supreme Court take responsibility for the protection of the basic rights of those who have been rendered stateless and defenceless? Or will it wash its hands of the whole matter?

Do you know?

  • During the Constituent Assembly debates, R. Ambedkar remarked that the provision relating to citizenship in the Constitution caused the Drafting Committee the most headache.
  • Vallabhbhai Patel had then said, India’s Constitution-making process, and especially its citizenship clause, was going to be scrutinised all over the world.

Seventy years later, India’s approach to citizenship is once again going to be scrutinised by the world.

South Asia has seen many crises over citizenship. The Supreme Court must ensure there isn’t another one in Assam.

Connecting the dots

  • The draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens has sparked concerns and faces many challenges. Discuss these concerns and challenges.

NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Social issue; Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice(Social Services related to Education and Human Resources)

Need for Educational Reforms in India

In News:

  • Draft Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Bill put out for public consultations. (Details covered in 30th June 2018 DNA)
  • Right to Education (Amendment) Bill 2018, passed by Lok Sabha, and is now before Rajya Sabha.

Key Points under RTE (Amendment) Bill 2018:

  • To do away with No-Detention Policy.
  • States will have options to hold regular examinations either at the end of the Class V or Class VIII, or both.
  • Students who fail this examination would be given a chance to re-appear after two months from the date of declaration of results. In case if they still cannot pass, States will have the option of detaining them.

What is no detention policy?

According to RTE Act 2009, No student until the Class VIII should be detained in the same class on the basis of examination result. It practically ended the convention system of regular written examination system at elementary level.

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE):

  • It is an alternative to regular examination, in which pupil will be comprehensively evaluated on the basis of his/her curricular, co-/extra-curricular activities and his behavioral But none of the students will be detained.
  • This evaluation is based on grading system rather than Marks or percentage. This provision is not being implemented

Criticism:

  • This would push out those children who are not able to meet the standards due to poor quality of education provided to them.
  • This may discourage students and would increase dropout rates.
  • Scrapping the no-detention policy itself is not going to improve the learning ability of the students; rather quality of education provided should be focused on.

Why No-detention policy seems a practical failure?

It is the no-detention policy because of which we have achieved near universalization of enrolment at elementary education level. It is a successful policy in this sense. But for improved learning outcomes, this policy needs to be supplemented by other provisions of RTE Act, 2009, such as;

  • Pupil teacher ratio (PTR)
  • Infrastructure
  • Separate Toilets for Girls and Boys

Funding in Education:

  • It is another reason why RTE is not being implemented in true letter in spirit. Allocation of funds for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan always remained below the actual estimated requirements. Quality related intervention accounted only for 9% of the total approved budgets in FY 2016-17.
  • States like Kerala spent nearly all their allocated budget for education on quality in 2016-17.

Way forward:

  • There is a need to find long term solution to the issues plaguing the education system in India.
  • RTE Act 2009, needs to be implemented in its true letter and spirit.
  • New Education Policy is need of the hour.
  • Keeping in view the targets under SDG4: Quality Education, there is need to increase budgetary allocation for Education.

Connecting the dots

  • There is a need of far reaching reforms in India’s higher education sector. Comment.
  • India needs to urgently address equity, access and affordability in higher education. Highlight how the education system of India has failed on these fronts and also suggest a reform strategy for the same.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)

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

Note:

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section within 24 hours. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the following statements with reference to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

  1. It was enacted to give effect to provisions of Article 17 of the Constitution.
  2. It extends to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
  3. It is applicable to both public servants and private individuals.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1,2 and 3

 Q.2) Which of the following is/are not a Fundamental Duty as mentioned in Indian constitution

  1. to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India
  2. to provide alms to beggar and the needy poor
  3. to prevent atrocities committed against dalits
  4. to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture

 Choose the correct answer from the codes given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

 Q.3) Which of the following is correct about ‘Repo Rate’?

  1. It is the rate charged by the central bank for lending funds to commercial banks.
  2. It is the rate at which scheduled banks can borrow funds overnight from RBI against government securities.
  3. It is the rate at which banks lend funds to RBI.
  4. It is the rate at which RBI borrows from its clients generally against government securities.

Q.4) 5G is a wireless communication technology and the next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks. Consider the following regarding this:

  1. 5G will help aid incorporate Artificial Intelligence in our lives.
  2. It will create the ecosystem for Internet of Things (IoT).

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None

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