IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 16th August 2018

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  • August 16, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 16th August 2018



PM Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech: Highlights

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains

In news:

72nd anniversary of India’s Independence

Important Highlights: PM speaks about

  1. Passage of the Bill to create an OBC Commission
  2. 100th anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre
  3. India’s space mission – In 2022 (on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day), India to unfurl the tri-colour in the space.
  4. Subramania Bharati vision of India – Subramania Bharati (great Tamil poet) had said India will not only rise as a great nation, but will also inspire the others. India will show the way to the entire world to unshackle the bonds.
  5. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan – to be launched on 25th September 2018 (birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay)
  6. India’s farming sector – ‘Beej Se Bazar Tak’ approach ; double farmer incomes by 2022
  7. On women empowerment – Practice of Triple Talaq to be ended; Women officers commissioned in short service will get opportunity for permanent commission.
  8. On government schemes and policies – Thirteen crore ‘mudra loans’; Ujjwala and Saubhagya Yojana; GST; Swachh Bharat mission

Kerala reels under its worst floods

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and III – Indian Geography and Disaster Management

In news:

  • The 2018 Kerala floods were a result of the unusually severe amount of southwest monsoon rains.
  • It is the first time in its history all five gates of the Idukki Dam were opened at the same time and also 35 out of 39 reservoirs in the state were opened.


  • There is no proper flood water warning system in place, people also lack awareness in various disaster management procedures is also a major concern.
  • Local authorities should have inspected and given warnings in several hilly regions, where various land slide deaths could have been prevented.

What do you mean by “Flood”?

It is a temporary inundation of large regions as a result of an increase in reservoir, or of rivers, flooding their banks because of heavy rains, high winds, cyclones, storm surge along coast, tsunami, melting snow or dam bursts.

Types of Floods

Flash floods:

  • It is defined as floods which occur within six hours of the beginning of heavy rainfall , and are usually associated with cloud bursts, storms and cyclones requiring rapid localized warning and immediate response if damage is to be mitigated. In case of flash floods, warning for timely evacuation may not always be possible.

River floods:

  • Such floods are caused by precipitation over large catchment areas. These floods normally build up slowly or seasonally and may continue for days or weeks as compared to flash floods.

Coastal floods:

  • Some floods are associated with the cyclonic activities like hurricanes, tropical cyclone etc. Catastrophic flooding is often aggravated by wind-induced storm surges along the coast.

Causes of Flood:

  • Excessive rainfall in river catchments or concentration of runoff from the tributaries and river carrying flows in excess of their capacities
  • Back movement of water in tributaries at their confluence with the main river
  • Synchronization of flood peaks of the main rivers and tributaries
  • Landslides causing obstruction to flow and change in the river course
  • Poor natural drainage
  • Cyclone and very intense rainfall
  • Intense rainfall when river is flowing full
  • Climate change is responsible for abrupt rainfall and a high variability in rainfall.
  • Melting of glacier due to increase in mean global temperature.

Approach to Flood Management/Prevention

Structural Measures: Attempts to Modify Flood

  1. Dams and Reservoirs
  2. Embankment
  3. Drainage Improvements
  4. Channel Improvements
  5. Diversion of Flood Waters
  6. Using Natural Detention Basin

Non- Structural Measures: Attempts to modify susceptibility of Flood

  1. Flood plain zoning: – It aims to regulate the developments in the flood plains, so that it is compatible with Flood Risk. It recognises the basic fact that the flood plains are essentially the domain of the river, and as such all developmental activities must be compatible with the flood risk involved
  2. Flood forecasting :- Involves observing and collecting hydrological and meteorological data, transmission and then processing the data with a view to work out the likely level to be achieved at a particular site, i.e. to give advance warning
  3. Flood Proofing:-  It is essentially a combination of structural change and emergency action without evacuation. A programme of the flood proofing provides the raised platforms for flood shelter for men and cattle and raising the public utility installations above flood levels.
  4. Attempts to modify loss burden by way of Disaster relief, Flood fighting, Flood insurance

Main Mitigation Strategies for Flood Disaster Management

  • Mapping of flood prone areas is a primary step involved in reducing the risk of the region.
  • Historical records give the indication of flood inundation areas and the period of occurrence and the extent of the coverage.
  • The basic map is combined with other maps and data to form a complete image of the flood-plain.
  • Warning can be issued looking into the earlier marked heights of the water levels in case of potential threat. In the coastal areas, the tide levels and land characteristics will determine areas liable to inundation.
  • Flood hazard mapping will give the proper indication of water flow during floods.

Government Policy response:

  1. Enactment of National disaster management act 2005 and NDRF
  2. Setting up of National Flood commission and Task Force on Flood Management/ Erosion Control to study India’s flood control measures.
  3. Central Water Commission (CWC) –apex body for flood and water management
  4. National Water Policy ( 1987/ 2002/2012)

The Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction(2015-2030) must be implemented completely involving adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience by inclusion of private sector and local population to prevent such mishaps in the future.

India-UK: Cultural Diplomacy

Part of: GS Mains II – International Relations; India and the World

In news:

  • British police returned 12th century bronze Buddha statue to India
  • The 12th century icon was stolen from Nalanda museum
  • Example of Britain’s “cultural diplomacy”

Cyber attack: Pune-based Cosmos Cooperative Bank

Part of: GS Mains III – Challenges to internal security through communication networks; Cyber Security

In news:

  • Recent incident of cyber attack in Pune-based Cosmos Cooperative Bank caused ₹90-crore loss.
  • There has been rising menace of financial frauds.
  • Cyber security is an important arena of internet when the country is moving forward towards a cashless society and digitization.
  • Security becomes a challenge as now privacy is a fundamental right as per SC verdict and the rise in cybercrimes can lead to violation of private space and liberty of expression.

Do you know?

  • Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) was conducted in India for first time where the theme for the conference was Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development.
  • The IT act is not sufficient to deal with cyber security.
  • The government is yet to bring a digital payment bill to strengthen legal framework and enhance surveillance to check cybercrimes in finance sector including frauds, targeting cards and e-wallets.

For mindmap on Cyber security – https://iasbaba.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Cyber-Security-IASbaba.jpg

Pink Ballworm and Fall Armyworm


Fast recap:

  • ICAR had sounded alarm after the invasive agricultural pest, Fall Armyworm was discovered in Karnataka.
  • Fall Armyworm is a major maize pest.
  • It can also feed on around 100 different crops, such as vegetables, rice, and sugarcane.

In news:

  • The pink bollworm is an insect known for being a pest in cotton farming.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and policies; Health issue

In news:

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan is also known as Ayushman Bharat or the National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM)
  • It will be launched on September 25 (birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay)


Gaganyaan: human space flight programme

In news:

  • Gaganyaan, the human space flight programme was green-flagged and is set for 2022 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • ISRO said the mission is achievable, as most of the critical technologies are ready
  • The mission is estimated at ₹9,000 crore.

Do you know?

  • When it achieves the mission, India would be the fourth nation to circle Earth after the Soviets, the Americans and the Chinese.
  • In 1984, India’s first astronaut Wing Commander (retd.) Rakesh Sharma orbited Earth as part of a Soviet mission.
  • Department of Space and ISRO are directly under the Prime Minister.




TOPIC:General Studies 3

  • Various security forces and agencies; their mandate

Amendment to Delhi Special Police Establishment Act


  • Parliament passed certain amendments to laws on corruption, which could have a far reaching effect.
  • The two important aspects of Amendment are: one requiring prior approval for initiating investigation into allegations of corruption against public servants, and the other requiring prior sanction for prosecution of public servants.

Need for approval

  • Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act has been amended, reinterring the requirement of prior approval for initiating investigation of corruption cases not only against Joint Secretaries and above, but all categories of public servants.
  • The only exception to this are cases of traps in which such public servants are caught red-handed while taking bribe.
  • Till now under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, previous sanction of the competent authority was required to prosecute public servants, under various sections of the Act. This safeguard has been extended to retired public servants.
  • As per amendment, prior approval of the government is required even to initiate an investigation by CBI into allegations of corruption against public servants.

Political interference:

  • It first came in the shape of the Single Directive under the Rajiv Gandhi government, which was confined to senior officers only.
  • A long legal battle was fought before the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of the directive. The court eventually set it aside, in the Vineet Narain case.
  • But even after the Directive was set aside, the political class brought it back in the Central Vigilance Commission Act of 2003. This led to protests and was challenged before the court. In 2014, the Supreme Court set aside this provision of the Act.

Provisions of the law of the land:

  • Under the law of the land, the police has unfettered jurisdiction to initiate investigation into a crime or acts of corruption, once it gets credible information.
  • Under the scheme of the criminal justice system and the rule of law, the police and the CBI are bound by the law and the Constitution to investigate a crime reported to them, if there is credible information.
  • They have jurisdiction as per law and that the power to register and proceed with the investigation must remain unhindered.
  • Once the investigation is complete and the police or the CBI is ready with the report on the investigation, other authorities come into play.

Supreme Court observations:

  • Supreme Court had held that the Single Directive was liable to be quashed as irrational in law.
  • Court held that all the powers of the Minister are subject to the condition that none of them would extend to permit the Minister to interfere with the course of investigation and prosecution in any individual case.
  • SC also held that it is the duty of Police to enforce the law of the land, in this he is not servant of anyone except the law itself.
  • The court had observed that the very power of CBI to enquire and investigate into the allegations of bribery and corruption against a certain class of public servants and officials is subverted and impinged by Section 6A.


The recent amendment, therefore, is regressive in nature and is likely to be quashed if contested in the apex court.

Connecting the dots:

  • The CBI plays a pivotal role in the criminal justice delivery but it is being handicapped by the recent amendments. Comment while suggesting reforms to the CBI.



General Studies 2

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

General Studies 3

  • Science and Technology; Bio technology

Ban on Oxytocin: Unreasonable


  • Oxytocin, which is considered to be a critical drug in maternal health care, is made primarily by the private sector.
  • The decision to restrict the manufacture of oxytocin only to the public sector unit has sparked fears of shortages and a disruption of supplies of this drug.
  • The restriction is because of alleged misuse of the drug by dairy farmers on milch cattle to stimulate milk production.
  • The Health Ministry now hopes to control distribution channels and prevent misuse.

About Ban and Criticism

  • The allegations regarding misuse have been made by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, for over a decade.
  • According to the medical and veterinary sciences who advised the DTAB that oxytocin is required in the treatment of both humans and animals.
  • Two studies by the Central government, by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Dairy Research Institute, conclude that the use of oxytocin does not have an adverse effect on either people or animals.
  • With cattle, the danger of misuse is that it may cause addiction, in which case cattle do not react to normal milk ejection stimuli.

So why has the Health Ministry restricted the manufacture of the drug to only the KAPL?

  • The High Court of Himachal Pradesh initiated a public interest litigation (PIL) after it came across newspaper reports of oxytocin misuse.
  • After hearing the matter for two years, the court passed a judgment in 2016 blaming oxytocin for a number of diseases, including breast and uterine cancers, male impotence, excessive hair growth in women and balding for men.
  • However, the court did not cite a single scientific study to support these claims.
  • It appeared to be unaware of the scientific studies commissioned by the Central government.
  • Towards the end of its judgment, the court directed the State government to consider the feasibility of restricting manufacture to the public sector.
  • While the State government appears to have ignored these directions, the Central government, for some reason, decided to adopt the judgment as the basis of its order restricting manufacture to the public sector.
  • The fact is that the High Court sought a study of the feasibility of restricting manufacture to the public sector; it never ordered the restriction to be imposed.
  • From a reading of the government’s order, it appears that the government has gone ahead to restrict manufacture without conducting any kind of feasibility study.

Going forward

  • An order restricting manufacture of a crucial drug such as oxytocin on the grounds of alleged misuse will have to be based on a study of the degree of misuse, the demand for the drug, the manner in which the proposed restriction will affect the supply of the drug, and also its impact on public health.
  • The government has not conducted such a study.
  • The Delhi High Court, which is hearing a challenge against the government’s order, should signal to the government that regulation of drugs has to be rigorous and reasoned. It cannot resemble policy quackery.

Connecting the Dots:

  • The case for restricting the manufacture of oxytocin is neither rigorous nor reasoned. Comment


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Q.1) Which of the following are the potential impacts of climate change on water situation in India?

  1. Increased summer flows in river streams.
  2. Frequent changes in river courses.
  3. Changes in rainfall pattern.

Select the correct answer using code below

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

Q.2) Gaganyaan is associated with which of the following agencies?

  1. DRDO
  2. CSIR
  3. ISRO
  4. Clean Ganga Mission

Q.3) Consider the following events:

  1. Kheda Satyagraha
  2. Champaran Satyagraha
  3. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
  4. Non Cooperation

Their correct chronological sequence is

  1. 2 – 1 – 3 – 4
  2. 1 – 2 – 4 – 3
  3. 2 – 4 – 1 – 3
  4. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4


Questioning a crackdown

The Hindu

Making NHPM work: On Ayushman Bharat

The Hindu

The roadmap to military reform

The Hindu

Probing an amendment

The Hindu

Gaganyan: How to send an Indian into space

Indian Express

A Law Past Its Sell-by Date

Indian Express

Why theatre commands is an unnecessary idea

Indian Express

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