IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains
Focus)- 24th November 2018
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
India to study drugs derived from marijuana
Part of: GS Mains II and III – Health issues; Research and Development; Science and Technology
- Three major science administrators in India — the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Indian Council for Medical Research and the Department of Biotechnolgy — are getting together to promote research in herbal drugs, some of which involve deriving new drugs from marijuana.
- Researchers to test whether strains of marijuana could be effective in the treatment of breast cancer, sickle-cell anaemia, among others.
- The studies into the therapeutic potential of marijuana is part of a larger governmental thrust to making new drugs derived from herbs and plants that find mention in Ayurvedic and other traditional-medicine knowledge systems.
Chandrayaan-2 lunar lander
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Space Missions
- We have read that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has postponed Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to moon to January 2019.
- Chandrayaan-2 is India’s most challenging and India’s second mission to Moon. It is advanced version of previous Chandrayaan-1 mission (launched in 2008) which only involved orbiting around moon, Chandrayaan-2 is much complicated mission as it involves an orbiter, lander and rover.
Lunar lander faces crucial test – Chandrayaan-2’s landing sensors will be tested at a special site in Karnataka.
The test on ground, called the Lander Sensor Performance Test or LSPT, will be conducted at ISRO’s new R&D campus in Chitradurga district, Karnataka.
The lander is being developed and tested by the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru.
30th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International Relations; Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests
- 30th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit took place in Papua New Guinea.
- For the first time since its inception APEC has failed to release a joint communique due to lack of consensus among the members over trade and security issues.
- All 20 countries except China agreed to the joint statement.
Lack of consensus between China and the US
- US targeted China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and called it as “constricting belt” and a “One-way Road”.
- US also warned smaller countries to be cautious of “debt-trap” by China and said not to accept debt which compromise sovereignty.
- China defended BRI and said that there is no geo-political agenda behind it and it is not an exclusive club closed to non-members, nor is it a trap.
- China targeted US policy of “America First” and said that erecting barriers and cutting ties is a short-sighted approach doomed to fail.
- The U.S.-China discord at APEC highlighted the dangers of their trade war, trade war between the US and China could cripple the Pacific Rim economy.
Do you know?
- Due to the tariff war International Monetary Fund has downgraded its global growth outlook for 2018 and 2019.
- If this continues, global supply chains will be impacted, and shrinking trade volumes may cause companies to seek out new trading routes and partners.
- It was established in 1989 and has 21 members. (India is not a Member)
- APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum. Primary goal of APEC is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
- India has requested membership in APEC, and received initial support from the United States, Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Officials have decided not to allow India to join as India does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do.
- India was invited to be an observer for the first time in November 2011.
Statute in Braille to mark Constitution Day
- The Constitution will be made available in Braille for the first time ahead of the Constitution Day on November 26.
- In a joint project undertaken by The Buddhist Association for the Blind along with Saavi Foundation and Swagat Thorat, who started India’s first Braille newsletter Sparshdnyan, the Constitution will be made available in five parts in Braille for the benefit of visually challenged individuals.
- Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati will audit its workforce, a long-pending exercise that was recommended by the Sam Pitroda Committee in 2014. The last time the Prasar Bharati made recruitments was in 1996.
TOPIC:General studies 3
- Security challenges and their management in border areas
Aligning the triad: On India’s nuclear deterrence
INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously developed nuclear submarine, returned to the Indian shores on Monday after successfully completing its first deterrence patrol. The submarine is a vital cog in India’s quest in attaining a minimum deterrent nuclear ‘triad’ – the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea.
Do you know?
What is the composition of INS Arihant?
- INS Arihant is a 6,000-tonne submarine with a length of 110 meters and a breadth of 11 meters. The vessel will be able to carry 12 Sagarika K 15 submarine launched ballistic missiles that have a range of over 700 km.
- INS Arihant will be the first SSBN-type submarine in the Navy. It has also been reported that its sister vessel, the INS Aridhaman, is nearing completion.
What is SSBN type submarine?
- Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarines (SSBNs) are powered by a nuclear reactor and as a result, they can function submerged for months without having to surface. This feature allows them to travel further and with greater stealth.
- They are different from conventional SSK submarines, which use a diesel-electric engine as their power source, and have to surface daily to get oxygen for fuel combustion.
Missing Link in INS Arihant
- Induction of INS Arihant does not complete Nuclear Triad. INS Arihant would have to develop further capabilities to act as a nuclear deterrent.
- The range of nuclear tipped ballistic missile is insufficient to reach key targets in China and Pakistan.
- Further, to target enemy countries, it would have to go closer to the waters of enemy countries where it increases the chances of being detected and targeted.
- To ensure seamless and continuous presence, India needs 4 such submarines whose production and maintenance is extremely expensive.
Impact on Strategic Stability
- Induction of INS Arihant enhances maritime competition in the region, modernise naval fleet and seek to have enhanced presence in the region.
- Further, INS Arihant’s aggressive posture may lead to confusion and minor conflicts which may escalate into a full-fledged war.
- Thus, there is a security dilemma involved considering that whatever actions a country takes to secure itself could actually end up making itself more unsecure.
- For example, Pakistan could develop or purchase similar nuclear submarines with active help of China which may lead to increased instability in the region.
- Similarly, China’s Belt and Road Initiative may lead to revival of QUAD Security dialogue between India, USA, Japan and Australia.
Command and Control
- There are concerns regarding command and control of the use of nuclear triads especially those under water. The naval leg is essentially under the military custody and control.
- There will be no civilian presence on board an Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN). The captain of SSBN will be under Strategic Forces Command under military control who can launch nuclear missile on orders from political authority.
- However, the article mentions that there is no fool proof mechanism to ensure misuse of nuclear missile which can escalate into a regional war in the South Asian Region.
- INS Arihant makes a robust nuclear deterrence, but also changes deterrence stability in South Asian Region.
- Nuclear Triad comprises of capability of nuclear strike from land, air and under-water. It is suggested to reduce investment in land and air strike capability and to increase under-water strike capability.
- USA and USSR in 1972 signed an agreement named “Incidents at Sea Agreement” which aimed to avoid confusion and accidents at sea and also to avoid escalation into full fledged war.
- India, Pakistan and China should enter into a similar agreement to avoid escalation of war in the region.
Connecting the dots:
- In the light of India’s nuclear triad, critically examine the state of India’s nuclear deterrence.
TOPIC:General studies 2
- Constitution: Governor, Special status to J&K
Unlawful dissolution: On J&K Assembly
- Jammu and Kashmir was under Governor’s Rule since June 2018 as per the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir has dissolved the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly citing “extensive horse-trading” and the “impossibility” of forming a stable government by coming together of political parties with “opposing political ideologies” for dissolving the assembly.
- His move paves the way for fresh elections in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. But decision to dissolve J&K assembly is being criticised.
Criticism of dissolution
- As indicated in Rameshwar Prasad(2006), a Governor cannot shut out post-poll alliances altogether as one of the ways in which a popular government may be formed.
- The court had also said unsubstantiated claims of horse-trading or corruption in efforts at government formation cannot be cited as reasons to dissolve the Assembly.
- Further, it said it was the Governor’s duty to explore the possibility of forming a popular government, and that he could not dissolve the House solely to prevent a combination from staking its claim.
Do you know?
About Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
- Governor of Jammu and Kashmir derives his powers and authority from the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
- The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. The Governor may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office.
- Governor shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
- No person shall be eligible for appointment as Governor unless he is a citizen of India and has completed the age of thirty years.
- The Governor shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of the High Court or, in his absence, the senior most Judge of that Court available, an oath or affirmation.
- Council of Ministers aid and advise the Governor of J&K as per Section 35 of J&K Constitution.
- Section 35(2) – All functions of the Governor except those under sections 36, 38 and 92 shall be exercised by him only on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
Where Governor of J&K may have discretion
- Section 36 – Appointment of Ministers; The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- Section 38 – Deputy Ministers; The Governor may on the advice of the Chief Minister appoint from amongst the members of either House of Legislature such number of Deputy Ministers as may be necessary.
- Section 92 – Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the State
- J&K’s relationship with the Centre is rooted in constitutional safeguards as well as in the participation of its major parties in electoral politics and parliamentary democracy.
- For political stability in the sensitive State it should be ensured that democratic processes are strengthened.
- The potential for political instability in the future should not be cited as a reason to scuttle emerging alliances.
Connecting the dots:
- Explain briefly, appointment, powers and functions of J&K governor.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Consider the following statements about ‘Chandrayaan-1’
- It is a remote sensing lunar satellite
- It had a mass of 1,380 kg at launch
- Presence of frozen water deposits on the Moon’s Polar Regions was confirmed by NASA using data collected from ‘Chandrayaan -1’
Select the correct statements
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Q.2) U.R. Rao Satellite Centre is located in –
Q.3) ‘Asian Premium’ is associated with which of the following organisations?
Q.4) Consider the following about APEC:
- India is a permanent member of APEC
- APEC includes three official observers namely ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.
- APEC currently has 21 members, including most countries with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean
Which of the given statements is/are correct?
- 1 and 3
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- 1, 2 and 3
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