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

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  • September 6, 2018
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 06th September 2018



India and US: ‘2+2’ talks

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International Relations

In news:

Inaugural two-plus-two dialogue to be held in New Delhi.

Let us understand few basics –

  • What is the ‘2+2’ format?
  • What is special about this round of ‘2+2’?
  • Which other countries does the US have ‘2+2’ talks with?
  • What issues will India and the US focus on?

What is the ‘2+2’ format?

  • It is a format of dialogue where the defence and foreign ministers or secretaries meet with their counterparts from another country.
  • India holds such talks with select nations. With Japan and Australia, the talks are at the foreign secretary and defence secretary level. A similar dialogue with South Korea has been announced.
  • India holds ministerial-level talks only with the US. The talks were announced when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump last June 2017 in Washington.

What is special about this round of ‘2+2’?

  • The dialogue represents an upgrade in ties, as it is seen as a platform for both sides to discuss issues of strategic importance.
  • It is seen as an acknowledgment of India’s rise as a economic and strategic power.

Which other countries does the US have ‘2+2’ talks with?

  • Apart from India, the United States holds such ministerial dialogues only with Australia and Japan.

What issues will India and the US focus on?

  • The focus will be on possible US sanctions on India, if it does not cut down import of Iranian crude oil and Russian defence equipment.
  • Other issues likely to be discussed are efforts to boost IndoPacific cooperation, finalizing a pact on encrypted defence technologies, terrorism, the Trump administration’s decision to make changes in the H1B visa programme and co-development of military platforms.

Core concerns between India and the US

  • Trump administration has sought formal commitment of additional purchases of $10 billion annually for the next three years
  • India has a surplus of $23 billion in trade with America, and the U.S. wants to wipe that off by forcing more imports by New Delhi.
  • India’s core concerns are steel and aluminum tariffs levied by the US and US proposal to review the GSP.

(We shall cover about GSP tomorrow)


Pic: https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2018/09/06/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_11/2a0c3670_2371451_101_mr.jpg

Gutkha scam

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III and IV – Indian Economy and associated issues; Anti-corruption & Bribery in India; Ethics

In news:

  • CBI searches houses of T.N. Ministers and police chiefs in connection with the gutkha scam.
  • It is alleged that they had received bribes from a leading gutkha manufacturer to allow the sale of the banned tobacco products in Chennai.

Do you know?

Laws and Provisions in India to tackle Corruption

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 – PCA
  • The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988
  • India and the United Nations Convention against Corruption 2003 (UNCAC) – provides for international co-operation and mutual legal assistance in investigating cases of corruption and recovery of assets. India signed the UNCAC in December 2005.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (Article 23 of the UNCAC) – PMLA
  • Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 – FEMA
  • Right to Information Act 2005 – RTI
  • Cases referred by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) of other Government Departments
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)
  • Freezing, Seizure and Confiscation of Properties – The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 1944 (Article 31 of UNCAC)
  • Creation of an independent ombudsman (the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas) – to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption by Public Officials (including Ministers)
  • Service Rules of Government Officials
  • Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 – FCRA
  • Companies Act 2013
  • Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015

Even in 4th century B.C., ‘Corruption’ had been a key theme as reflected in Kautilya’s Arthashastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy penned during the time.

Role of CCI and ‘unfair pricing’ of private hospitals

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III and IV – Indian Economy and associated issues; Ethics

In news:

  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) widens probe into ‘unfair pricing’ by Delhi pvt. Hospitals.
  • CCI has directed its investigative arm, the Director General, to probe into alleged violation of provisions of Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, relating to imposition of unfair prices by private super-speciality hospitals.
  • According to DG, Huge profit margins are being earned by sale of products to the locked-in in-patients to the detriment of such patients.

Important Value Additions

Role of Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • CCI is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.
  • Goal of CCI is to create and sustain fair competition in the economy that will provide a ‘level playing field’ to the producers and make the markets work for the welfare of the consumers.

Competition Act – The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.

SC extends compensation plan to minor rape survivors

In news:

  • Supreme Court ordered that minor survivors of rape or sexual assault will get compensation on par with women victims.
  • The apex court extended to minor children the National Legal Services Authority’s (NALSA) compensation scheme for women rape and sexual assault survivors.
  • The NALSA scheme would be made applicable to minor victims from October 2 until the Centre frames compensation guidelines under the POCSO.

Important Value Additions:

Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018

  • It is scheme, proposed by the National Legal Services Authority, for compensating victims of sexual assault and acid attack.
  • Supreme Court has now extended the scheme to make it applicable to child victims of such assaults.

About the scheme:

  • As per NALSA’s scheme, victim of gangrape in any part of the country would now get a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakh and up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh.
  • Similarly, in case of rape and unnatural sexual assault, the victim would get a minimum of Rs 4 lakh and maximum of Rs 7 lakh as compensation.
  • The scheme also says that victim of acid attacks, in case of disfigurement of face, would get a minimum compensation of Rs 7 lakh, while the upper limit would be Rs 8 lakh.
  • In acid attack cases, if the injury was more than 50 per cent, a minimum compensation of Rs 5 lakh would be given, while the maximum would be Rs 8 lakh.

Misuse of office/power

Part of: GS Mains Paper IV – Ethics

In news:

  • Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt arrested in connection with a 1996 narcotics case in which a Rajasthan-based lawyer, Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, was allegedly framed.
  • Bhatt, who was then Banaskantha DSP, had arrested a man over possession of 1 kg of drugs. A probe later revealed that the man was falsely implicated to compel him to transfer a disputed property.


  1. Typhoon Jebi hit Japan west coast
  2. 34% Indians not active enough: WHO – Insufficient activity puts people at greater risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
  3. Ambitious action on climate change could contribute an extra $26 trillion to the world economy by 2030. Dynamic action on climate could also generate “over 65 million new low-carbon jobs” by 2030 and avoid over 7,00,000 premature deaths due to air pollution. (According to International Experts)

Quote in news:

Voltaire’s quote –  “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

The above quote can be used in topics dealing with – free flow of ideas in a democracy; Right to freedom of speech and expression; Essay and Ethics answers.



TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • Constitution, Social justice
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS Paper 1 – Essay

The nature of dissent


Recent arrests of activists in certain states of India, started a debate on importance of Dissent in Democracy.

General trait of Dissent or disagreement

  • Disagreeing with each other is a fundamental human trait. There is not a single individual who does not disagree with something or the other all the time.
  • Philosophers argue that a baby meaningfully attains its sense of the self — its recognition of ‘I’ and the concept of ‘mine’ — when it first begins to say ‘no’.
  • At a primordial level, we become individuals only through this act of stating our disagreement.
  • There is no family without dissent between parents and the children, or between the siblings. A family which learns to deal with dissent rather than authoritatively dismissing it is a more harmonious family.

A way of being

  • We dissent at home, with our friends and with our colleagues in the places we work. It is through these ways of dissenting that we establish a relationship with them.
  • Our relations with our friends and family are based as much on how we learn to live with our disagreements as on other things.
  • If our friends and family consist only of those who agree with us all the time, then we will not have any friends and family.
  • Learning to live with others, the first requisite for a social existence is about learning how to live with them when they disagree with us.
  • Dissent is so ingrained in us that we don’t even need others to disagree. We argue with our own selves all the time as if each one of us is an individual made up of many selves.

Social dissent and Democracy

  • Dissent is thus a condition of existence and the real problem is not dissent but silent assent. When we agree collectively, we are silently assenting, agreeing with what is being said and done.
  • This is really not the existential characteristic of a human being but only that of a ‘bonded mind’.
  • However, some might say that assent is the way societies come together, and it is needed for a stable society. But this is plain wrong.
  • We will have a stronger identity of what our society and nation are through forms of dissent. Dissent, paradoxically, is the glue which makes a decent society possible.
  • A group made up of people who agree to everything all the time is not really a society but an oligarchy. A mature society is one which has the capacity to manage dissent since members of a society will always disagree with each other on something or the other.
  • No society has survived without making changes to what was present earlier. New knowledge and new ways of understanding the world, for good or bad, has always been part of every society.
  • Democratic societies are the best of the available models in managing dissent with the least harmful effect on the dissenter. This is the true work of democracy; elections and voting are the means to achieve this.

Dissent is progressive in nature

  • Academics and research are two important activities where dissent is at the core. Many new ideas arise by going against earlier established norms and truths.
  • Science, in its broadest meaning, is not possible without dissent since it is by finding flaws with the views of others that new science is created.
  • No two philosophers agree on one point, and no two social scientists are in perfect harmony with each other’s thoughts.
  • Artists are constantly breaking boundaries set by their friends and peers. Buddha and Mahavira were dissenters first and philosophers next.
  • The Ramayana and Mahabharata are filled with stories of dissent and responsible ways of dealing with it.
  • Thus, when academics dissent, it is part of their job expectation to do so! Dissent is not just about criticism, it is also about showing new perspectives.
  • The scientific community does not imprison scientists for dissenting, so do the same applies to social scientists and artists. They should not be targeted in the name of dissent.

Why Dissent is necessary?

  • It is not that dissent is necessary only for democracy — it is necessary for the survival of the human race.
  • Any society which eradicates dissent has only succeeded in eradicating itself. We cannot afford to forget the examples of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.
  • A sustainable, harmonious society can only be formed from practices which deal with dissent respectfully and ethically.

Ethics of dissent

  • There are two ethical principles associated with dissent.
  • First, its relation to non-violence (Satya Graha), a principle which is so integral to the unique Indian practices of dissent from ancient times to Gandhi and Ambedkar.
  • Second, dissent is an ethical means of protecting those who are worse off than others (Gandhi’s Talisman). Dissent is not mere complaint which all of us, however privileged we are, indulge in.
  • Social dissent is a necessary voice for all those who are oppressed and are marginalised for various reasons. This is the only thing they have in a world which has denied them the basic dignity of a social life.
  • This is the truly ethical principle that can sustain a mature society. Thus, when we hear the voices of dissent from the oppressed and the marginalised, it is ethically incumbent upon those who are better off than them to give them greater space and greater freedom to dissent.


  • Dissent and disagreement is part of human nature, suppressing it may lead to destruction of society and democracy.

Connecting the dots

  • Write an essay; “For Democracy to succeed, Dissent is a key”

Note: For better understanding, read this article along with, “Protecting the Dissenters”, mains focus, IASbaba current affairs, 4 September 2018.


TOPIC: General Studies 2

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

General studies 3

  • Environment and Disaster Management

Addressing soil loss


  • As the rains abate in Kerala and parts of Kodagu district in Karnataka, the loss of lives and the devastation of infrastructure and crops is apparent.
  • However, as rebuilding is planned, what is often ignored is the soil that has been washed away. While roads and houses will be rebuilt, and crop losses compensated partially through insurance, the gradual loss of soil productivity can have a lasting impact on the local economy.

Soil degradation due to flooding is a serious concern.

  • A 2014 review of soil degradation in India by multiple institutions shows that an estimated 14 million hectares suffer soil degradation due to flooding annually.
  • The impact of floods on soil was also studied in detail following the 2009 floods in North Karnataka, Which caused the loss of thousands of crore.
  • Researchers from the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) and other institutes estimate that 13 flood-hit districts lost 287 million tonnes of top soil and soil nutrients across 10.75 million hectares of farmland.
  • Under market prices, the replacement of nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates and iron would have cost Rs. 1,625 crore, while another Rs. 853 crore would have been spent on replenishing organic material lost.
  • To recover and replace the lost would take a long time, and a steadfast programme of recovery. Nine years later, there is no comprehensive scheme for recovery, and the effect of the floods is still visible on the ground.
  • A soil profile of a few affected districts, done under the State’s integrated watershed scheme, shows large swathes of these areas having “shallow or very shallow” soil depth, organic carbon deficiency, and low productivity of land.
  • In the case of Kerala and Kodagu, the undulation and force of the water would have led to severe soil and land erosion.
  • Soil, which has taken thousands of years to form through natural processes and through recent inputs by farmers, is being swept away, to be dumped in reservoirs or in the sea.

Soil, a blessing from floods

  • Not all floods are bad for the soil, as seen in the oft-occurring floods along the banks of the Ganga, Kosi, Brahmaputra and other rivers taking birth in the Himalayas.
  • There, the gushing river emanating from the mountains carries with it loosened alluvial soil (Khadar), and not only washes over farmlands, but also replenishes flood plains with fertile soil.


Soil erosion has grave impact on economy of the affected area. Thus there is a need for Disaster Management in India to take this issue into account. Assessment of Soil and environment degradation should be part of Relief and Rehabilitation under the framework of Disaster management.

Connecting the dots:

  • The Disaster management in India fails to take into account the Soil and Environment degradation, and predominantly focuses on construction and rehabilitation. Critically 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. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the following about Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018

  1. It is scheme announced by the Centre in 2013 after the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case in Delhi to support the initiatives on women’s safety across the country.
  2. The scheme is for compensating women victims of sexual assault and acid attack.

Choose the correct answer:

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

Q.2) Consider the following about Central Bureau of Investigation:

  1. The CBI was initially setup to investigate cases of bribery and corruption during World war-II.
  2. The jurisdiction of the CBI extends only over Central government Employees.
  3. The agency comes under the jurisdiction of Department of Personnel and Training.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.3) To check corruption and redress citizens’ grievances in India which of the following are included in the existing legal and institutional framework?

  1. Railway Services (Conduct) Rules, 1966
  2. Anti-corruption bureaus in states
  3. Parliament and its committees
  4. Central Bureau of Investigation, 1963

Which of the above statements are true?

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

Q.4) Match the following:

Tropical Cyclones Place of Occurrence
1.     Typhoons a) North Western Australia
2.     Hurricanes b) Guinea lands of West Africa
3.     Tornadoes c) China Sea
4.     Willy-Willies d) West Indian Islands in the Caribbean

Choose the correct codes from the below given options:

  1. 1-c,2-d,3-b,4-a
  2. 1-a,2-b,3-c,4-d
  3. 1-c,2-b,3-d,4-a
  4. 1-a,2-c,3-b,4-d

Q.5) With regard to the objectives of the Competition Commission of India, consider the following statements.

  1. To prevent practices having adverse effect on competition.
  2. To prevent monopolistic activities and to promote oligopolistic cartels.
  3. To protect the interests of consumers.
  4. To ensure freedom of trade.

Which of the above options is/are correct?

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

Q.6) Consider the following statements about Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  1. It is a quasi-judicial body.
  2. It is responsible for enforcing Competition Act, 2002 throughout India.
  3. It works to protect the interests of consumers.

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


All for one, one for all?

The Hindu

Steps to stop the rot

The Hindu

An assault on the right to privacy

The Hindu

 Why Dalits want to hold on to Dalit

Indian Express

Will you tell me who I am?

Indian Express


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