Daily Current Affairs IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th January 2019

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  • January 24, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th January 2019



ISRO set to launch military satellite

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

In news:

  • ISRO’s first mission of 2019 – military imaging satellite, Microsat-R.
  • Microsat-R is put together by a handful of DRDO laboratories; PSLV-C44 will lift off from Sriharikota

Pic: https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2019/01/24/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_07/d8d930e7_2686000_101_mr.jpg

Exercise Sea Vigil

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Defence; Security

In news:

  • Ten years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, India conducted its largest coastal defence drill, Exercise Sea Vigil.
  • The Exercise is aimed to test India’s preparedness along the entire 7,516.6 km-long-coastline and exclusive economic zone of the country.
  • It aims to simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism across all 13 coastal States and Union Territories.

Do you know?

  • Post 26/11, the Navy was designated as the agency responsible for overall maritime security, including offshore and coastal security, while the Coast Guard was designated as the agency responsible for coastal security in territorial waters.
  • A multi-tiered patrol and surveillance mechanism with focus on technical surveillance and augmenting Maritime Domain Awareness through the coastal radar chain was adopted.

National Park in news: Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park

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

In news:

  • Floods in August 2016 at Kaziranga National Park displaced many Rhinos.
  • Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park are in Assam.

Manas River and Manas National Park

  • The Manas river flows thorough the west of the Manas National park and is the main river within it. It is a major tributary of Brahmaputra river and splits into two separate rivers, the Beki and Bholkaduba as it reaches the plains. The Manas river also serves as an international border dividing India and Bhutan.
  • Manas National Park is a national park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam, India.
  • The park is well known for species of rare and endangered wildlife that are not found anywhere else in the world like the Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur and pygmy hog.

Kaziranga National Park

  • It is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
  • Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species.
  • Kaziranga has the largest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of the world population.

Do you know?

  • National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.
  • Total number of National Parks in Assam is Five (5). Kaziranga National Park, Manas National park, Orang National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Nameri National Park.

Miscellaneous: Naroda Patiya case

Do you know?

  • The Naroda Patiya massacre took place on 28 February 2002 at Naroda, in Ahmedabad during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
  • 97 Muslims were killed by a mob of approximately 5,000 people, organised by the Bajrang Dal, a wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad.
  • The massacre at Naroda occurred during the bandh (strike) called by Vishwa Hindu Parishad a day after the Godhra train burning.
  • The communal violence at Naroda was deemed “the largest single case of mass murder” during the 2002 Gujarat riots; it accounted for the greatest number of deaths during a single event.



TOPIC:General studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.  
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

India’s sluggish health spending: Moving away from 1%

Key pointers:

  • India’s health achievements are very modest compared to large and populous countries such as China, Indonesia or Brazil.
  • India’s neighbours have better health indicators than India. (Example Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan). They have made great strides on the development front.

Important trend – “health financing transition”

  • As countries become richer, they tend to invest more on health and share of health spending that is paid out of the pocket declines.
  • Economic, political and technological factors move countries through this health financing transition.


  • Unlike other countries India has not invested in health sufficiently, though its fiscal capacity to raise general revenues increased substantially from 5% of GDP in 1950-51 to 17% in 2016-17.
  • India currently spends a little over 1% of GDP on health, far below Singapore which has the lowest public spend on health at 2.2% of GDP among countries with significant universal health coverage service.
  • Out-of-pocket payments push millions of people into poverty and deter the poor from using health services.
  • Besides low public spending, neither the Central nor the State governments have undertaken any significant policy intervention, except the National Health Mission, to redress the issue of widening socioeconomic inequalities in health.
  • National Health Mission (with a budget of less than 0.2% of GDP) is far too less to make a major impact. And worryingly, the budgetary provision for the NHM has decreased by 2% in 2018-19 from the previous year.
  • Only ₹2,000 crore was allocated to Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana which can be ‘game-changer’ initiative if implemented effectively.

Way ahead:

Public policies should focus on –

  • Expanding pooled funding to provide health care.
  • Redistribution of resources to the less advantaged.
  • Pre-paid financing mechanisms – such as general tax revenue or social health insurance (not for profit), collect taxes or premium contributions from people based on their income.
  • Achieve Universal Health Care (UHC)
  • Total government spending should increase. National Health Policy 2017 envisaged raising public spending on health to 2.5% of GDP by 2025.
  • The rise in government health spending also depends on health spending by States as they account for more than two-thirds of total spending.

Connecting the dots:

  • Why India’s health achievements are very modest and has poor health indicators compared to its neighbours? Examine. Also suggest ideas to improve the status of public healthcare in India.


TOPIC:General studies 2

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

India-South Africa: Addressing the issue of new migrants


  • The close links between India and South Africa from the perspective of migration is well known.
  • There is vast documentation of historical migrant streams — from the arrival of indentured labourers in Natal in 1860 to the arrival of Indian traders after 1880.
  • Durban, in particular, is known to host one of the largest concentrations of the Indian diaspora.
  • Data from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) show the population of Overseas Indians in South Africa in December 2018 to be over 1.5 million: 60,000 Non-Resident Indians and 15,00,000 Persons of Indian Origin.
  • The invitation to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as the chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations this year has put the spotlight on two important pillars of bilateral ties: Mahatma Gandhi’s connection to South Africa, and a large Indian diaspora.

However, for India-South Africa relations to take shape, we need to move beyond Gandhi and the Indian diaspora. Focus should be on recognizing and harnessing the potential of new migratory flows.

Do you know?

2019 marks –

  • 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi
  • 100th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela
  • 125 years of the Pietermaritzburg train incident (On 7 June 1893, young Mahatma Gandhi was forcibly removed from the first class, whites-only carriage of a train in Pietermaritzburg.)
  • Gandhi spent the night at the cold railway station, and pondered over protesting against discrimination which further gave rise to Satyagraha.

Focus on South Africa’s new Indian migrants

  • Post its democratic transition, South Africa witnessed an influx of migrants from developing countries such as Mozambique, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Lesotho, who came to the country in the hope of social and economic success.
  • Indian migrants are driven to South Africa because of cultural relatedness and the presence of networks from the home country.
  • These new migrants have set up businesses, they are critical drivers of businesses and employment generation.

However, on the other hand, not all is pleasant among the new Indian migrants and the South Africans of Indian origin.

  • Idea of making South Africa as their ‘home’ has given rise to antagonism towards the new migrants.
  • Indian and Chinese migrant traders have been at the receiving end of xenophobic attacks and violence. Their trading spaces have witnessed violent burglaries and break-ins.
  • Much of this is driven by hatred stemming from the perception that migrants are taking away the jobs of local South Africans.

The real story, however, is that migrants have made positive contributions to South Africa’s economy and society.

In fact, cities like Johannesburg are driven by migrants. Yet, this receives little attention in mainstream policy discourse or in bilateral/multilateral relationships.


  • President Ramaphosa (during African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018) urged South Africans to welcome and embrace foreign nationals from the [African] continent arguing that movement of people allows for new opportunities for business and learning.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi (during informal meeting of BRICS) spoke of the need for “smooth movement of labourers worldwide” in the context of managing labour relations in global value chains.
  • Contemporary India and South Africa need to recognise and harness the potential of new migratory flows. Only then can we realise our true strength as allies in BRICS or IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa).
  • The emphasis on skill development, South-South cooperation, and people-to-people contact cannot be delinked from cross-border flows of people, who are rapidly transforming the employment and migration landscape in both countries.
  • At the same time, free labour mobility on its own is not enough; we need measures to safeguard and uphold labour standards globally.

Connecting the dots:

  • Transformation from historical linkages to economic cooperation defines India-Africa relations. Analyse.
  • Migrants who leave their countries in search of work are currently not adequately protected by international law. Do you agree? Examine.


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


  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
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Q.1) Which of the following National Parks are present in Assam?

  1. Nameri National Park
  2. Kaziranga National Park
  3. Manas National Park
  4. Dibru Saikhowa National Park

Select the code from below:

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

Q.2) The river serves as an international border dividing India and Bhutan. It is a major tributary of Brahmaputra river. It is the main river flowing within a famous national park.

  1. Dibang
  2. Lohit
  3. Manas
  4. Kameng

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Kaziranga National Park

  1. It is part of the middle Brahmaputra alluvial flood plains
  2. Wild Water Buffalo is only found in Kaziranga National Park
  3. It is a World Heritage Site

Select the correct statements

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


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