IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 14th August 2018

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  • August 14, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 14th August 2018



India and UK: India rejects DNA tests for ‘illegal migrants’

Part of: GS Mains II – India and the world; International Affairs

In news:

  • India rejected UK’s proposal to use DNA sampling to establish the nationality of illegal migrants living in UK.
  • India refused to sign the final pact citing “privacy issues.”
  • According to the original pact or MoU, security agencies in India were to verify the antecedents of illegal migrants without documents in the U.K. within 72 days and those with documents within 15 days.

Ease of Living Index: Pune 1st, Navi Mumbai 2nd and Greater Mumbai 3rd

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Governance issues

In news:

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry released the results of its survey on the Ease of Living in cities across the country.
  • Pune 1st, Navi Mumbai 2nd and Greater Mumbai 3rd.

Parameters considered: institutional (governance), social (identity, education, health, security), economic ( economy, employment) and physical (waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing/ inclusiveness, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces) factors.

The top three cities were all in Maharashtra; Pune is ranked the highest, followed by Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai. The cities which were ranked the poorest were Patna in Bihar, Kohima in Nagaland and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

Do you know?

  • The index, which was conceived in 2017, is based on information from the 2011 Census.

Blue stickers for petrol, CNG; orange for diesel

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment; Pollution; Energy

In news:

  • Soon, vehicles will have hologram-based coloured stickers which indicate the nature of the fuel used in them.
  • Supreme Court agreed to a proposal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
  • Light blue colour for petrol and CNG-run vehicles
  • orange colour would be placed on diesel vehicles
  • The date of registration of the vehicle would also be printed on these stickers




General Studies 2

  • Governance, Constitution, Social Justice
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues arising out of govt. policies and their design and implementation

General Studies 3

  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

A rainbow coalition: Kerala is increasingly becoming a transgender-friendly society


More than a decade ago, Kerala was hostile towards transgender individuals, but now surprisingly it is increasingly becoming a transgender-friendly society.

Kerala: A case study of the Transgender Rights

  • More than a decade ago, Kerala was the worst State to be in for transgender individuals. They had to flee the state.
  • A story in the newspaper described how Geeta was emotionally and physically harassed just because Geeta talked and behaved like a woman.
  • A decade later, the State is a different place. The socio-cultural landscape has changed to tolerate an increasing visibility of TGIs, with the result that those who had fled the State are returning.
  • There have been newspaper headlines recently on TGIs getting driving licences, two people getting college admission under the TGI quota, separate washrooms at Maharaja’s College, and even the State government paying Rs. 2 lakh for a sex change surgery.
  • In the past, social hostility forced them to either leave the State while in their teens, end their lives, or lead a subhuman life until death.

How did society in Kerala transform itself from being hostile to being accommodative?

Strong political will:

  • Politicians and administrators acting to reform social attitude
  • The ‘State Policy for Transgender in Kerala 2015’, which aimed to provide the “right to live with dignity” reflected this political will.
  • The respective governments walked the extra mile to implement the policy.
  • Kochi Metro set an example by allotting a jobs quota.
  • Village and district panchayats and municipalities have been tasked with finding jobs, running special training and skills programmes and welfare projects.
  • Police harassment has fallen The TGI rights scene is shining.
  • A TG Justice Board addresses issues of discrimination and violence while a TG cell in the Social Justice Department handles issues such as housing.

Several other factors preceded the government’s pro-active approach:

  • The global campaign for gay marriage
  • The national campaign for decriminalising homosexuality (scrapping Section 377)
  • The pride parades and the rising voices of other marginalised communities
  • A hyper-active Malayalam media mirrored and transferred the energy to an emerging band of TG activists.
  • The anti-HIV campaign threw up a battery of trained TGIs who later spearheaded the rights drives.


  • Other states and nation as whole has a lot to learn from Kerala’s transformation.
  • Through the Transgender Bill, we can bring greater accountability on the part of the Governments and administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.
  • Other than policy measures, awareness and social change are most important to eradicate the root cause of discriminatory attitude towards transgender people.

Connecting the dots:

  • What are the challenges and solutions that exist in making members of the transgender community part of the mainstream? Elucidate.


TOPIC:General Studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests 
  • India and its neighbourhood

Breaking the Radcliffe barrier: India, China, Pakistan Triangle


  • China’s envoy to Delhi visited Punjab. After watching the popular flag-lowering ceremony, he expressed his hope for “peace, friendship and cooperation” between India and Pakistan.
  • There are a number of factors that can lead this triangular relationship in a more positive direction.

First factor, Beijing’s interest in making the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of China’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), more profitable by extending it to India.

  • China has affirmed that CPEC is not an exclusive bilateral project; it can be turned into a more broad-based regional initiative.
  • Afghanistan and Iran are eager for such an extension. Whereas, the Central Asian Republics are very much part of the BRI.
  • There might be ways in which the political differences between India – China, especially the critical one on CPEC’s transit through Kashmir, can be bridged.
  • If China returned to genuine neutrality on the Kashmir question, it would be a lot easier for Delhi to set aside its sovereignty argument on CPEC.
  • The differences on economic and other issues in relation to BRI can easily be overcome through focused negotiations on specific projects.

Second factor, the difficult macroeconomic situation that Pakistan finds itself in today and the potential role that commercial cooperation with India could play in alleviating it.

  • Pakistan should let India export its goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia through Pakistan. That could bring hard currency through transit fees and boost the Pakistani industries.
  • Such transit trade could help make Pakistan into a commercial hub between South and Central Asia, including China’s western regions.

Third factor, China’s growing political and economic influence on Pakistan.

  • Pakistan has become more dependent than ever on China’s support due to her rapidly deteriorating relations with the US.
  • At the same time, China’s stakes in the stabilisation of Pakistan and Afghanistan, given its restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, are rising.
  • Beijing is playing a more active role in Afghan peace-making and to encourage Pakistan’s reconciliation with India.
  • China’s stakes in sub-regional economic integration in the north western marches of India looks real.

Finally, any such sub-regional economic integration must necessarily come down to the Radcliffe Line that divides the Punjab.

  • Punjab, which was historically at the heart of trans-regional trade routes, is now a dead end.
  • Over the last two decades, repeated efforts were made to change Punjab’s economic condition.
  • Chief Ministers of both parts of Punjab and the central governments of Delhi and Islamabad tried to negotiate agreements to liberalise cross-border religious pilgrimages and trade in goods and energy. But the barrier at Radcliffe Line remained as daunting as ever.


  • The “new Pakistan,” and the willingness of the Indian Prime Minister to consider a “fresh start” in bilateral relations suggests there might be an opportunity to try and turn the Radcliffe Line into a commercial bridge.
  • Chinese ambassador’s visit to the India-Pakistan border may just be a random diplomatic event. Or, Beijing may well have realised that it is Punjab that holds the key to unfreezing India-Pakistan relations.

Connecting the dots:

  • Overland transit trade between India and Pakistan could be the game changer for both the economies. In unfreezing these trade ties, Punjab holds the key, comment.


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) ‘Karamay Declaration’ is associated with which of the following?

  1. INSTC
  2. TAPI
  3. SCO
  4. CPEC

Q.2) Consider the following statements:

  1. Ease of Living Index is released by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  2. Governance has largest weight age among the 4 parameters used in the index.

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.3) Which of the following agencies releases “Ease of living index”?

  1. World Bank
  2. World Economic forum
  3. IMF
  4. OECD


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