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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 06th August 2018

  • IASbaba
  • August 7, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 06th August 2018

Archives


(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


Controversy over Article 35A

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Indian polity; Indian Constitution

About:

  • We had dealt about Article 35A and controversy surrounding it during June, 2018.
  • The Article, which was unknown to the public domain till recent times, has raked up an intense debate in the country when a Kashmiri woman, Charu Wali Khan filed a petition to change the constitutional provision as she wanted succession rights in the state though she is settled outside the state.
  • An NGO, ‘We the Citizens’ had also filed a writ petition to strike down Article 35A.
  • The NDA Government wants to have a larger debate over the Article 35A challenging the constitutional validity of the clause.

What is Article 35A?

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and confer on them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare.

The provision mandates that no act of the legislature coming under it can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land.

It was added to the constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then J&K government’s concurrence.

Article 35A does not allow people from outside the state of Jammu & Kashmir to work, settle or own property in the state.

In news:

  • J&K tense ahead of SC hearing on question of Article 35A.
  • Complete shutdown in Kashmir Valley to defend Article 35A.

(For time being, let us remember only this. Analysis part will be dealt in future once we come across any editorials or op-eds after the apex court hearing)

Pic courtesy: The Hindu


RISECREEK: Project Shakti

Part of: GS Prelims – Science and Tech; Indigenous Technology

In news:

  • RISC-V Workshop in Chennai, India, hosted by IIT Madras, achieved a significant milestone by booting Linux on its first ever RISC-V based silicon chip processor named Shakti.
  • The team (which is partly funded by MeiTY, GOI as part of the India Microprocessor development project) aims to create a critical mass of CPU architects in India.
  • According to industry analysts, RISC-V based chips such as Shakti could be major players in IoT, and AI with an extensive ecosystem is in place.
  • The initial batch of 300 chips named RISECREEK, produced under Project Shakti, have been fabricated free at Intel’s facility at Oregon, U.S., to run the Linux operating system.

About MeiTY

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
  • To promote e-Governance for empowering citizens, promoting the inclusive and sustainable growth of the Electronics, IT & ITeS industries, enhancing India’s role in Internet Governance, adopting a multipronged approach that includes development of human resources, promoting R&D and innovation, enhancing efficiency through digital services and ensuring a secure cyber space.

Animal in news: Indian star tortoise

Part of: Prelims – Environment and Biodiversity; Animal Conservation

In news:

  • 1,125 Indian star tortoises seized from train passengers. They were to be smuggled to Bangladesh.
  • IUCN: Vulnerable
  • The Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is a threatened species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forest in India and Sri Lanka.
  • This species is quite popular in the exotic pet trade, which is the main reason it is endangered.
  • The species is listed in the Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and prohibited from export under the Foreign Trade Policy. The species are liable for confiscation under the Customs Act, 1962.


Chandrayaan-2 proposed

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Tech; Space programmes

In news:

  • Chandrayaan-2: India’s second moon mission
  • Chandrayaan-2 to be delayed till January 2019
  • It will be ISRO’s first time attempt to land a rover

Recent launches by ISRO

  • Earlier this year, the ISRO had launched GSAT-6A, a military communication satellite.
  • Launch of GSAT-11 from Kourou, French Guiana
  • PSLV- C39 mission, carrying the IRNSS-1H navigation satellite – failed after the heat shield refused to open and release the satellite.

Do you know?

  • GSAT-6A, the second predominantly S-band communications satellite, was launched.
  • It will complement GSAT-6, which has been orbiting since August 2015 at 83 degrees East longitude.

Miscellaneous

  1. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is in Karnataka
  2. ‘Tebori’ is a century-old Japanese method of tattooing by hand with a needled rod, is gaining ground
  3. Government-backed mass breastfeeding event organised in Philippines. The World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund recommend that children be given breast milk within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for their first six months.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL/ECONOMY

TOPIC:

General Studies 2 and 3:

  • Important International institutions, agencies and forums, their structure, mandate.
  • Economic Developments

The Problem at the WTO

Introduction:

  • After Second World War, World economy was completely shaken. With the aims to help rebuild the shattered post-war economy and to promote international economic cooperation, Bretton Woods conference was held. This created institutions like World Bank and IMF. And paved way for establishment of WTO in 1994.

History and Evolution of WTO:

  • World Bank and IMF are called Bretton Wood institutions; they were established at Bretton Wood Conference in 1944.
  • The original Bretton Woods agreement also included plans for an International Trade Organisation (ITO)
  • International Trade Organisation (ITO) was to be created to establish multilateral rules for the settlement of trade disputes and to resist protectionist demands and provide for greater legal certainty.
  • The ITO never came into existence as it was eventually rejected by the U.S.
  • The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) came to replace the ITO.
  • This ad hoc and provisional mechanism (GATT) was replaced by WTO in 1994.

U.S.’s ire

  • S. rejected the idea of ITO, and four decades later herself drove the agenda to establish World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • S. has been proven isolationist and protectionist. It doesn’t embrace those ideas which challenge her leadership.
  • At the Doha round of trade negotiations the U.S. destroyed the negotiation process in formulating excessive demands that no country was prepared to meet.
  • Most recent examples of U.S. ire against its very creations NAFTA and TPP, also against NATO and UNESCO are proof of her hard-headed wish for uncontested leadership against multilateralism.

Dispute Settlement Crisis at WTO:

  • The U.S. has systematically blocked the appointment of new Appellate Body members (“judges”) and de facto impeded the work of the WTO appeal mechanism.
  • With only four working members out of seven normally serving office in July 2018, the institution is under great stress.
  • If no appointment is made, it will simply be destroyed by December 2019, since the Appellate Body requires a core of three members to decide a dispute.
  • The U.S. is not willing to be judged by an independent multilateral quasi-judicial institution.

Other Concerns Related to Dispute Settlement at WTO:

  • Over the politicisation of the Appellate Body appointment and reappointment process
  • The quasi-attribution of permanent Appellate Body seats to the U.S. and the European Union (EU).
  • There is concern that China may be on its way to having a permanent seat.
  • The “Overreaching” or judicial activism of United States.
  • The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is not a world trade court. The process remains political and diplomatic. In trade wars, the objective is not to settle a dispute; it is to win the battle.
  • The very existence of an appeal mechanism is now paradoxically questioned at a time the global community criticises the absence of the same mechanism in Investor-State Dispute Settlement.

Who could be WTO’s saviour?

  • China is trying to establish herself by its assertiveness in rule based WTO system.
  • China, EU, and to some extent India, and a few others, is now the main supporter of multilateralism.
  • The recent EU-China proposal to promote the reform of the WTO is said to combat “unilateralism and protectionism” but might well fail to address unfair trade issues raised against China itself.

Conclusion:

The world has changed and multilateral institutions now have to embed these changes. This WTO crisis might well be the final battle to retain control over a Western-centric organisation. The time has come for the emerging economies and the developing world to have a greater say in how to shape multilateralism and its institutions.

Connecting the dots:

  • The Protectionist stand of Developed nations and assertiveness of Developing countries has left the WTO ineffective, Comment.

 

NATIONAL

TOPIC:

General Studies 1, 2 and 4

  • Ethics
  • History of the Society
  • Women issues
  • Governance and polity
  • Social justice

Religion versus Ethics

Introduction:

In the light of recent incidences such as Sabrimala Temple entry, child trade by missionaries and observance of practices like Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala or Confession before priest, question arises, whether religion and morality goes hand in hand?

Recent Observations:

  • Temple washed by Ganga Jal after visit by a Dalit woman leader
  • Women raped by church priest, when she confessed her past in front of him as a religious practice
  • Muslim woman got death threats when she filed a case against Nikah halala and instant triple talaq.

Judicial Interventions:

  • Ban on instant triple talaq
  • Reserves the order that the bar on entry of women aged between 10 and 51 in Sabrimala temple was a violation of their fundamental right.

Government enactments:

  • Hindu marriage Act
  • Hindu Succession Act
  • Triple Talaq Bill

Debate: whether government should interfere in religious customs and matters?

  • Article25 (1) of the constitution of India provides for freedom of religion and Conscience.
  • Article 25 (2) of the Indian constitution provides for regulation (by the government) of secular activities related to religious practices.
  • Government can enact rules and regulations to protect the religious and conscience freedom of vulnerable section of the society (women, SC/ST, etc) as well as under provisions of Article 25 (2).

Why Religion should be regulated?

  • Empirical evidences suggest that, with the passage of time, religious practices become biased and unfavourable towards vulnerable section of the society.
  • In India too, sati, child marriage, deprivation of education for women and specific castes of the society were some of the evils which were evicted from the society with the help of government legislation and various schemes and policies.
  • Bhakti Movement in medieval and socio-religious reform movements in modern Indian history are evident that religions need reforms with the change in society.
  • Current events (mentioned above) also push hard for government intervention and reforms from within society.

Conclusion:

Historically, it may be true that religions were created to regulate the society, but the rising radicalisation, exploitation and crime in the name of religion concludes, time has come that society needs to regulate religion.

Connecting the dots:

  • Religion and Morality does not necessarily go hand in hand. Comment citing examples.


(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 about Article 35A

  1. It is a part of original constitution.
  2. The provision discriminates against a woman’s right to property.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements

  1. Article 35A was added to the Constitution as a testimony of the special consideration the Indian government accorded to the ‘permanent residents’ of Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir

Select the correct statements

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

Q.3) Consider the below statements with regard to Indian star tortoise:

  1. The species is listed in the Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and prohibited from export under the Foreign Trade Policy.
  2. IUCN status is Vulnerable

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.4) Which of the following is/are INCORRECTLY matched?

  1. Navigation Satellites- INSAT Series and GSAT series
  2. Earth Observation Satellites- CARTOSAT, RESOURCESAT, OCEANSAT
  3. Geostationary Satellites- GAGAN and IRNSS

Select from the given code:

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

Q.5) Aditya L-1 mission is associated with

  1. Sun
  2. Moon
  3. Mars
  4. Jupiter

Q.6) Consider the following statements about Mangalyaan, launched by ISRO:

  1. It is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. It made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA
  3. It made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.7) Consider the following statements regarding Bretton Woods Conference

  1. It was held in 1944 formally known as United nations monetary and financial order.
  2. It created IBRD in order to promote stability of exchange rates and financial flows.
  3. It created IMF to speedup reconstruction after second world war and to lend for building infrastructure.
  4. It recommended for International Economic cooperation.

Choose the correct statement/s

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

Q.8) Bretton Woods Conference is one of the most historic event post Second World War. Which of the following is correct?

  1. The UN Monetary and Financial Conference held post Second World War established the international trading regime called General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs.
  2. WTO is part of whole set up of UNO and thus is guided by the actions its member bodies.
  3. IMF follow voting by consensus pattern by which each member gets to ensure their idea is considered.
  4. WTO doesn’t have weighted voting as the World Bank or the IMF and goes by the system of one member one vote.

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