IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 07th August 2018

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  • 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)- 07th August 2018



Article 35A and Basic Structure

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains – Indian Polity; Constitution; Role of Judiciary; Centre and State Relations

In news:

  • Supreme Court to study whether Article 35A is violative of the basic structure of the Constitution
  • From previous article we know that, Article 35A deals with providing special status to the State and people of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The article 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.

About Basic structure

  • Basic structure is a collective term coined by a 13-judge Bench in the historic Keshavananda Bharati case (1973).
  • The basic structure doctrine is an Indian judicial principle that the Constitution of India has certain basic features that cannot be altered or destroyed through amendments by the parliament.
  • It includes a list of fundamental rights, including right to equality, non-discrimination, liberty, life and dignity, enshrined and preserved in the Constitution.
  • The basic structure theory plays a useful part in our constitutional jurisprudence.

District name changes and role of Home Ministry

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains – Indian Polity; Centre and State relations; Secularism

In news:

  • Rajasthan village name – Miyon ka Bara – was changed to ‘Mahesh Nagar’
  • Reason: Residents complained that they were not getting matrimonial matches as the name gave an impression that the village was inhabited by Muslims.
  • Reflects there is no unity in diversity.

Important value addition

  • The Home Ministry examines the proposal for changing the names of villages, cities and railway stations once the proposal is received from the State government.
  • In other words, Union Home Ministry approves the change of name and conveys the decision to the State government.

Do you know?

  • Between January 2017 and February 2018, Home Ministry has received 27 proposals from States requesting a change of names of villages, towns and railway stations.
  • Earlier, we had read about West Bengal Assembly passing a resolution to change the name of the State as ‘Bangla’.
  • Process for changing the name of a state can be initiated by state itself. However, by virtue of article 3, the parliament has power to change the name of a state even if such proposal does not come from the concerned state. For more details – 27th July DNA

Three northeastern States emerge as new HIV hotspots

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue

In news:

  • Rise of HIV incidence in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • Reasons: attributed to injecting drug users and unsafe sexual practices

Do you know?

  • There has been a steady decline in the number of HIV cases in India.
  • The bad news is that Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high risk groups of the population.

Important value addition:

  • Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) – leads to effectively suppressing the virus and reducing the transmission of HIV from the infected person.
  • National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) target is to bring 90% of the 21 lakh people living with the HIV infection in India under ART.

India-UK Concerns: Khalistan movement

Part of: GS Mains II and III – India and the world; International Relations; Internal Security

In news:

  • Britain’s Green Party supports controversial pro-Khalistan rally due to take place in London
  • The rally is in support of a referendum for an independent Sikh homeland.
  • This has heightened tensions between India and the U.K., after Britain said it wouldn’t ban the demonstration, despite concerns raised by India, and the issuance of a demarche to take action.
  • India had earlier raised concerns about the flag-tearing during such pro-Khalistan rally and received an apology from the British government.
  • Sikh Federation U.K. has accused Indian authorities of “overreacting” to the Sikh diaspora and described the “re-establishment of a Sikh homeland” as “inevitable”.

Person in news: Vijay Maruti Pingale

Part of: GS Mains: Good Governance; Role-model or inspiration; Corruption

In news:

  • Vijay Maruti Pingale, a 2004 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, joined the civil services because he wanted to reform governance from within the system.
  • But after 14 years of trying, he has now decided to resign and hopes to pursue his goal of governance reform by joining an NGO.
  • Despite cracking down on corrupt road contractors, Vijay Pingale was shifted from Chennai Corporation.
  • Pingale had also unearthed a scam in the maintenance of public toilets in Chennai and initiated action against those who had illegally collected money from residents.
  • With his departure, the TN state and the nation will lose a very good IAS officer.

Person in news: Indra Nooyi

Part of: GS Mains – Example of women empowerment; Role-model or inspiration

In news:

  • Indra Nooyi to step down as PepsiCo CEO after 12 years
  • She is considered one of the most powerful women in the world


  1. World’s largest bird sculpture, Jatayu sculpture, will be inaugurated in Kollam, Kerala.

Pic: https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2018/08/07/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_06/9be98ee5_2302554_1_mr.jpg

Do you know?

  • Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre (JCBC), Pinjore, Haryana
  1. One-third of public sector banks remain headless as a Prime Minister-headed panel is yet to clear the CEO appointments.
  2. Vigyan Prasar launches Internet-based channel to highlight India’s achievements – under the guidance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has launched India Science (indiascience.in)

Here after we are supposed to keep track of this channel too 😀 UPSC might pick questions from here 😛




General Studies 2 and 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Human Resource Development
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 Rebooting the system for a skills upgrade


The report of the Standing Committee on Labour (2017-18) headed by Kirit Somaiya, on the “Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Skill Development Initiative Scheme” presents the grim condition of India’s Vocational Education System (ITIs).

History and some facts about vocational education in India:

  • ITIs were initiated in the 1950s.
  • In a span of 60 years, approx. 1,896 public and 2,000 private ITIs were set up.
  • In a 10-year period from 2007, more than 9,000 additional private ITIs were accredited.
  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) today has more than 6,000 private training centres.

Concerns and Findings of Somiya Committee:

  • Number of ITIs increasing rapidly abut they disregard norms and standards.
  • Due to short-term courses, vocational training centres open and close frequently they are more prone to a dilution of standards.
  • With the increase in number of institutes, government has been unable to regulate private institutions for quality.
  • Placement in NSDC training has been less than 15%.
  • Private sector engagement in skill development has been taken up by private training partners and not employers. The employers could have made the system demand-driven.
  • The lack of a regulator for skill development has led to poor quality affiliation, assessment and certification.
  • There are instances of responsibility outsourcing, no supervision, illegal activities and an ownership tussle between the Central and State governments.
  • The QCI did not follow accreditation norms created by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT). The NCVT is just a stamp with no role in actually assessing quality.
  • The future of 13.8 lakh students in these substandard ITIs is at risk. If the same exercise were extended to other skill development schemes, the picture would be grimmer.
  • Lax provisions of vocational training programs and no scrutiny is a major concern. For example the Standard Training Assessment and Reward scheme spent Rs. 850 crore in 2013-14 with no norms for quality.
  • The report also reinforces disturbing findings of a national survey by the research institute (NILERD) of the Planning Commission in 2011 about private ITIs: had fewer classrooms and workshops for practice; and their teachers were very poorly paid.

Way forward:

  • Recommendations of the Sharada Prasad Committee to rationalise the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) should be implemented.
  • There is a need to establish a national board for all skill development programmes. The core work (accreditation, assessment, certification and course standards) cannot be outsourced. Like every other education board (such as the CBSE), a board is required in vocational training that is accountable.
  • We should also have a mandatory rating system for the ITIs, published periodically.
  • A ranking of the ITIs on several parameters such as the one done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in tertiary education.
  • Talent from the open market should be encouraged to fill up higher posts in skill development.
  • There should be one system, with one law (as recommended in the 12th Five Year Plan) and one national vocational education and training system, so that all the concerned partners of the sector can work seamlessly and can learn from, and work with each other.
  • The ITIs have internal issues such as staffing and salaries that need attention. There is also a critical need to reskill ITI teachers and maintain the student-teacher ratio.
  • Financial support from NSDC can be used to upgrade the technology.
  • Financing from corporate social responsibility, multilateral organisations such as the World Bank and the government can meet the financial needs for skill development.
  • As recommended by 12th Plan Reimbursable industry contribution (RIC) — a 1-2% payroll tax that will be reimbursed when employers train using public/private infrastructure and provide data.


With the rise of 4th Industrial revolution, and on-going debates on Artificial Intelligence and automation, there is an urgent need to reboot the vocational education system of India. Also there is need to establish a system which is based on demand and supply rather than present out dated and archaic syllabus of vocational education.

Connecting the dots:

  • Skill India mission, to be successful, needs a overhaul of Vocational Education System in India. Examine.



General Studies 1 and 2: 

  • History of World and Society
  • India and its neighbourhood

Thirty years after the 8888 uprising


  • August 8 marks the 30th anniversary of the people’s uprising in Myanmar.
  • The ‘8888’ uprising (or the eighth day of August 1988) is one of Myanmar’s most important historic days in the context of the pro-democracy movement.

About 8888 Uprising:

  • ‘8888’ was a people’s movement that challenged the then ruling Burma Socialist Programme Party’s grip on political, economic and social affairs which led the country into extreme poverty.
  • The protests and the bloody crackdown gave rise to the National League for Democracy (NLD), a political party which paved the way for the current Myanmar State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi’s entry into politics and for the pro-democracy movement to continue.
  • Myanmar’s President Win Myint and Ms. Suu Kyi were political prisoners in the aftermath of the 1988 uprising.
  • The objective of ‘8888’ was two-fold: to push for the transfer of power from the military to a civilian leadership and a change in the political system from an authoritarian regime to a multi-party democracy.

Significance of 8888 Uprising:

  • The past 30 years have seen a change in leadership — from military dictatorship to a military-backed semi-democracy in 2011 and then to a negotiated hybrid regime with power being shared between unelected military personnel and an elected civilian leadership in 2016.
  • It keeps alive the spirit of democracy; underscores the need for equality and federalism; and builds an awareness campaign on the role of military.
  • But for the country’s ethnic minorities, their struggle and political demands still continue. The kind of federalism the ethnic minorities want, based on equality of rights to all citizens, has been denied by the military leadership and the government.

Myanmar in Transition:

  • The democratic transition in Myanmar so far has been meticulously designed by the military. The primary objective, which is laid out in the country’s 2008 Constitution, is to give the military a dominant role in politics.
  • Currently, Myanmar practices ‘Burmese way to democracy’, parallel to ‘Burmese way to socialism’
  • Equality and federalism, these issues are today the most discussed in the on-going peace talks between the civilian government, the military and the ethnic armed groups. The success or failure of the peace talks will largely depend on how these two issues are handled and also depends Myanmar’s peace, stability and development.

Way Forward for Mayanmar:

  • In political discussions, the ‘8888’ leaders should look at democratic transitions in other countries. They should share their findings to civil as well as military leadership of Myanmar.
  • It should be noted that no democracy can succeed when the military holds the reins and is unaccountable to an elected civilian leadership.
  • For democracy to strike deep roots in Myanmar, the role of the ‘8888’ leaders remains important. The people of Myanmar as well as members of the international community want a democracy that respects the rights of all its people, including the minorities

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think, 8888 Uprising has achieved its purpose? In the light of current events in Myanmar explain the significance of such uprisings.


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


  • 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) Supreme Court for the first time laid down a new doctrine of the ‘basic structure’ (or ‘basic features’) of the Constitution in –

  1. Shankari Prasad case
  2. Golak Nath case
  3. Kesavananda Bharati case
  4. Minerva Mills case

Q.2) Which of the following are the elements of ‘Basic Structure’ of Constitution

  1. Judicial review
  2. Freedom and dignity of the individual
  3. Unity and integrity of the nation
  4. Effective access to justice
  5. Principle of reasonableness

Select the correct code given below:

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

Q.3) In which of the following landmark judgements was it declared that Preamble is a part of the Constitution?

  1. Keshavananda bharti case
  2. Vishakha Vs State of Rajasthan
  3. Menaka Gandhi Vs Union of India
  4. Minerva mills case

Q.4) Consider the following statements:

  1. Process for changing the name of a state or its district/viallges can be initiated by state only.
  2. Formation of new states, altering boundary and name is not considered as Constitutional Amendment under Art 368.
  3. Parliament has power to change the name of a state or its districts and villages.

Which of the statements provided above is/are correct?

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

Q.5) Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is concerned with

  1. AIDS/HIV Virus
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Blood Cancer
  4. Leprosy

Q.6) Viral Load Testing is available for which of the following?

  1. HIV
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Cytomegalovirus

Select the correct code:

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

Q.7) Government has recently announced National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS and Sexually transmitted infections.  Which of the following are the aims of this program?

  1. To eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis by 2020
  2. To eliminate HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination by 2020
  3. To eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2030

Select the code from following:

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


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