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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 28th November 2018

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  • November 28, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 28th November 2018

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Agriculture Ministry takes back report on impact of demonetization on farmers

Part of: GS Mains III – Indian Economy and issues related to it; Social/Welfare issue

In news:

Earlier, a report submitted by the Union Agriculture Ministry to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance highlighted that –

  • Farmers were badly hit by demonetization, as many were unable to buy seeds without enough money.
  • Demonetisation came at a time when farmers were engaged in either selling their Kharif crops or sowing the Rabi crops. Both these operations needed huge amounts of cash, which demonetisation removed from the market.
  • Even bigger landlords faced a problem such as paying daily wages to the farmers and purchasing agriculture needs for growing crops.

However, now, reversing its earlier report, the Union Agriculture Ministry has submitted a fresh report claiming that there was no “adverse impact.”


Measles and Rubella vaccination campaign

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health and welfare issue; Science

Do you know?

  • Measles and Rubella vaccine is administered to all the children group of 9months to 15 years.
  • Measles-rubella (MR) vaccine is given for preventing both measles and rubella diseases in the child.
  • No specific treatment is available for measles and rubella but these diseases can easily be prevented by vaccination.
  • The Government is providing Measles-Rubella vaccine free of cost through its immunization programme.

About Measles

Measles is a deadly disease. It can lead to following complications –

  • Pneumonia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Other deadly threats

The respiratory disease measles remains a leading cause of death among young children, despite the fact that a safe and effective vaccine has been available for 40 years. Measles is an acute illness caused by a virus of the paramyxovirus family.

It is one of the most contagious diseases and many children who do not have sufficient immunity contract measles if exposed. During the first few weeks after contracting measles, a child’s immune system becomes weakened, and a normal cold or diarrhoea can become a life-threatening illness.

About Rubella

Rubella infection during pregnancy can cause congenital deformities in newborn baby, such as –

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Mental Retardation
  • Congenital heart disease

Rubella is an acute, contagious viral infection. While rubella virus infection usually causes a mild fever and rash illness in children and adults, infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriage, fetal death, stillbirth, or infants with congenital malformations, known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

The rubella virus is transmitted by airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or a cough. Humans are the only known host.

There is no specific treatment, but the disease can be prevented by vaccination.


HysIS – Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Space Missions

In news:

  • ISRO to launch its HysIS imaging satellite and 30 other satellites with PSLV-C43 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
  • Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS) – is India’s own earth observation satellite
  • The satellite will be put into a polar synchronous orbit, which sets it in motion along the axis that runs along the Earth’s geographic North and South Pole.

ISRO PSLV-C43 mission: HysIS satellite objectives

HysIS mission is to study the earth’s surface near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  • To provide observations within the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • To monitor atmospheric activity and climate change
  • To assist studies of Earth’s magnetic field

These observations will have a host of applications, prime among which relate to agriculture, forestry, water management, and coastal patterns.

Do you know?

  • HysIS will continue to make observations till 2023, when the mission ends.
  • After this launch, the next big event for the Indian space organisation will be its awaited mission to the moon – Chandrayaan-2 – in early 2019.

About PSLV

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) was launched in October 1994, it is the third generation launch vehicle of India.
  • It is the first Indian launched vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
  • PSLV has emerged as a workhouse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017.
  • This vehicle has launched 48 Indian satellites for customers from abroad.
  • It has also launched Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013.

NASA’s InSight lands on Mars

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science and Technology; Space Missions

In news:

  • NASA’s Mars rover InSight touched down on the Red planet.
  • InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior.
  • It aims to unveil the Red Planet’s inner mysteries, such as its formation.
  • The planet’s core, mantle and crust will be explored allowing scientists to find out more about the formation of the rocky planets in our Solar System and measure its’ tectonic activity.
  • InSight will be the first mission to use a robotic arm to place instruments on the surface of Mars.

Do you know?

  • InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.
  • The InSight Lander left Earth on May 5, 2018 and took almost 7-months to get to the Red Planet and finally landed on November 26, 2018.
  • It marked the eighth successful landing on Mars in NASA’s history.
  • The spacecraft is NASA’s first to touch down on the earth’s neighbouring planet since the Curiosity rover arrived in 2012.
  • More than half of 43 attempts to reach Mars with rovers, orbiters and probes by space agencies from around the world have failed.

Single women seek monthly pension

Part of: GS Mains II – Social or women welfare issue

In news:

  • National Forum for Single Women’s Rights (NFSWR) – forum representing single women has prepared a charter of demands pitching for enhanced budgetary allocation so that schemes such as monthly pension and benefits for care-givers can be framed for them.
  • The forum has also demanded that the Central government look at issues concerning single women not solely as problems afflicting elderly widows but also widows of all ages as well as unmarried, divorced, separated and abandoned women.

Reserve Bank to inject ₹40,000 crore through open market operations (OMOs)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy; monetary policy; open market operations

In news:

  • RBI to pump in more liquidity in December by infusing ₹40,000 crore into the system through open market operations (OMOs).
  • It has already infused ₹30,000 crore into the system while the balance ₹10,000 crore will be pumped in through auction.

About open market operations

  • Open market operations are conducted by the RBI by way of sale or purchase of government securities (g-secs) to adjust money supply conditions.
  • The central bank sells g-secs to suck out liquidity from the system and buys back g-secs to infuse liquidity into the system.
  • These operations are often conducted on a day-to-day basis in a manner that balances inflation while helping banks continue to lend.
  • The RBI uses OMO along with other monetary policy tools such as repo rate, cash reserve ratio and statutory liquidity ratio to adjust the quantum and price of money in the system.

Do you know?

  • When RBI sells government security in the markets, the banks purchase them. When the banks purchase Government securities, they have a reduced ability to lend to the industrial houses or other commercial sectors. This reduced surplus cash, contracts the rupee liquidity and consequently credit creation / credit supply.
  • When RBI purchases the securities, the commercial banks find them with more surplus cash and this would create more credit in the system. Thus, in the case of excess liquidity, RBI resorts to sale of G-secs to suck out rupee from system.
  • Similarly, when there is a liquidity crunch in the economy, RBI buys securities from the market, thereby releasing liquidity.
  • Its worth to note here that the market for government securities is not well developed in India but still OMO plays very important role.

(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC:General studies 2 and 3

  • Indian constitution: right to property
  • Farmers issues

A reinstated right to property will protect the poor

Introduction

  • The impoverished farmers who won a million hearts in Mumbai with their quiet dignity are now on their way to New Delhi to make their voice heard outside national Parliament.
  • The list of demands is a long one, which is not surprising given the intensity of rural distress.
  • However, one of their demands shows why it is now time to reinstate the right to property as a fundamental constitutional right.

Demand of right over land

  • The farmers from Nashik district of Maharashtra have been demanding that the government should recognize their legal rights over the land they till.
  • Many of the protesters are tribals who have been cultivating land controlled by the forest department.
  • The Forest Rights Act of 2006 seeks to correct a historical wrong cemented during the colonial era.
  • The lack of land rights has ensured that generations of tribal cultivators have got a raw deal from governments as well as banks. Hence the demand for property rights from the marching farmers.

Right to property in Indian constitution

  • It is well known that the Indian Constitution originally recognized the right to property as a fundamental right.
  • That right came under attack beginning with the first amendment in 1951.
  • Many of the subsequent laws that undermined property rights were hidden away from judicial scrutiny in the Ninth Schedule.
  • Another big blow came during the epic legal battles after the nationalization of banks in 1969.
  • The Morarji Desai government eventually scrapped the fundamental right to property with the forty-fourth amendment in 1978.
  • In its place came Article 300-A that makes it possible for a citizen to be dispossessed without compensation through an act of legislation.

Why right to property was scrapped from fundamental rights?

  • Successive governments chipped away at the right to property by arguing that it was an obstacle in the way of pursuing the social justice agenda embedded in the directive principles of state policy.
  • Consider the issue of farm land. It was very unequally divided when India became an independent country because of the colonial institution of zamindari.
  • The estates kept growing in size as indebted peasants were dispossessed after loan defaults.
  • Think of Do Bigha Zameen, the heart-wrenching 1953 movie directed by Bimal Roy. Even liberals saw the value in land reforms.
  • The implicit assumption all the way till the right to property was removed from the list of fundamental rights was that it was essentially a concern of the rich.
  • The poor had little stake in property rights; in fact, property rights were an obstacle in the battle against mass poverty.

Need to reinstate right to property

  • The poor have neither the legal resources nor the political heft to fight laws or administrative orders that allow governments take over their land.
  • The poor do not have enough opportunities to make a living in formal jobs in case they are forcibly separated from their property.
  • There is now a lot of research that shows how property rights help the poor.
  • The security of property provides incentives for a small farmer to invest in his land or a slum dweller to spend on basic infrastructure.
  • The Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto has also shown how secure property rights allow the poor to raise capital by offering the property as collateral to formal lenders.
  • The Odisha state government has recently begun offering formal property rights to slum dwellers.

Conclusion

  • Indian political parties have mostly steered clear of making any commitment to a reinstated fundamental right to property, perhaps because of the belief that they would be seen to represent the interests of the rich rather than the poor.
  • It is time to break this misconception. The poor also have a stake in better property rights—from land titling to legal safeguards.
  • Women also need to be equal partners in property. Property rights today are a tool of inclusion rather than exclusion.

Connecting the dots:

  • Right to property should be a fundamental right. Do you agree?

NATIONAL

TOPIC:General studies 2

  • Issues and policies related to health

Ahead on malaria: on reduction in cases in India

Introduction

India has suffered from a major burden of malaria for decades, with high levels of morbidity and death. But the declining trend of the scourge shows that sustained public health action can eradicate this epidemic.

Current status

  • The World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation notes that India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally by at least 40% by 2020, and to end the epidemic by 2030.
  • A lot of that optimism has to do with the progress made by Odisha, one of the most endemic States.

Success story of Odisha

  • Odisha through its greater political and administrative commitment – investments in recruiting accredited social health workers, large-scale distribution of insecticide- treated bednets and strategies to encourage health-seeking behaviour, was able to reduce its malaria burden by half in 2017.
  • Malaria cases in Odisha have been coming down steadily since 2003, with a marked reduction since 2008, attributed to greater political and administrative commitment.

Issues of resistance

  • One issue that requires monitoring in India is resistance to combination therapy using artemisinin.
  • Recent reports indicate that some patients in West Bengal became resistant to the treatment protocol used for the falciparum parasite, which causes debilitating cerebral malaria and leads to a high number of deaths.
  • This requires close monitoring, although the WHO has changed the treatment policy in some north- eastern States after treatment failure in 2012.
  • Since resistance to treatment has been reported in Myanmar, there is a need for a coordinated approach to rid southern Asia of malaria.

Way forward

  • The efforts by Odisha should be replicated in North eastern and elsewhere too further cut the transmission of the disease.
  • Eliminating malaria requires an integrated approach, involving all states especially Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, which have a higher burden of the disease.
  • Odisha’s experience and example of using public health education as a tool and reaching out to remote populations with advice needs to be replicated elsewhere.
  • Administration should not become complacent and cut funding and efforts toward control measures.

Connecting the dots:

  • India has suffered from a major burden of malaria for decades, but the World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation shows that sustained public health action can end the epidemic by 2030. Critically comment.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)

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

Note:

  • 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) HySIS (Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite) is being developed by

  1. NASA
  2. European Space Agency
  3. The China National Space Administration
  4. ISRO

Q.2) Which of the following statements are correct about Hyspex?

  1. Hyperspectral Imaging combines digital imaging as well as spectroscopy.
  2. It enables distinct identification of objects and processes by reading individual pixels.
  3. The Hyspex camera will work only in infrared spectrum.

Select the code from following:

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about ‘Measles’

  1. It is caused by a virus
  2. It is non-contagious

 Select the correct code:

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

Q.4) Which of the following statements about Rubella is correct?

  1. It is a bacterial infection
  2. It is mostly prevalent in pregnant women
  3. It often leads to serious complications that include blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia
  4. It can be prevented by vaccination

Q.5) Consider the following statement about ‘InSight’

  1. It is a NASA Discovery Programme
  2. It will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior
  3. It will seek to understand the evolutionary formation of rocky planets, including Earth

Select the correct statements

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

Q.6) Money supply in the economy is controlled by

  1. Finance Ministry
  2. Finance commission
  3. NITI Aayog
  4. RBI

Q.7) Through Open Market Operations, the RBI purchases and sells

  1. Government securities
  2. Gold
  3. Forex
  4. Shares of PSUs

Select the code from following:

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

Q.8) If the RBI implements an expansionist open market operations policy, this means that it will?

  1. Buy securities from non-government holders
  2. Offer commercial banks more credit in open market
  3. Sells G-securities (government securities) in open market
  4. Openly announces to the market that it intends to expand its credit

Q.9) Which of the following steps can be taken by RBI to check inflation?

  1. Increasing Bank rates
  2. Buying securities in open market operations
  3. Raising Bank Reserve Ratio
  4. Rationing of credit

Select the code from below:

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

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