Daily Current Affairs [IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam] – 27th December 2018
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana to have separate High Courts
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Indian Polity; High Courts
- President Ram Nath Kovind ordered the separation of the “common” Hyderabad High Court into the separate High Courts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- Both will function separately from January 1, 2019.
Do you know?
- Article 214 of the Constitution provides for a High Court for each State.
- The principal seat of the Andhra Pradesh High Court is Amaravati, the capital of the State.
- The High Court in Hyderabad will function separately as the High Court of the State of Telangana.
- The Constitution of India provides for a high court for each state, but the Seventh Amendment Act of 1956 authorized the Parliament to establish a common high court for two or more states or for two or more states and a union territory.
- The territorial jurisdiction of a high court is co-terminus with the territory of a state. Similarly, the territorial jurisdiction of a common high court is co-terminus with the territories of the concerned states and union territory.
Animal in news: olive ridley turtles
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Biodiversity; Animal Conservation
- Odisha forest department is all set to add another olive ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife map.
- Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site.
Do you know?
- Rushikulya rookery in Odisha is a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.
- Olive ridley eggs incubate on their own by the heat of the sand under which they are buried.
- The hatchlings come out in 45 to 50 days and after that the covering of the eggs decompose and mix with the sand.
Important Value Addition
Unique mass nesting behavior
- Only two species of marine turtles display a unique mass nesting behavior. This behavior is known as an ‘arribada’.
- Arribada– Spanish term meaning arrival; a mass nesting behavior.
- An arribada is a unique nesting phenomenon common to both the Olive ridley and the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.
This reproductive phenomenon was first observed by the scientific community in 1961. By producing large numbers of offspring most organisms like sea turtles can insure their survival even after predation occurs.
- The Olive ridley is endemic to the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Central America, and India. It is known to be a nocturnal nester.
- The Kemp’s ridley is endemic to the Gulf of Mexico. It ranges from Galveston, Texas to Tampico, Mexico. Kemp’s ridley turtles display unique diurnal arribadas.
- Olive Ridley: IUCN Status-Vulnerable
Major nesting sites in Odisha:
- The Gahirmatha beach
- The mouth of the Debi river
- The Rushikulya rookery coast in the Ganjam district
The Gahirmatha beach is the largest mass nesting site for olive ridley turtles along the Indian coastline, followed by the rookery at the mouth of the Rushikulya river.
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and policies for vulnerable section; Women and Children issue; Welfare/Social issue
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1986 –
- It is the primary law on trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
- It punishes offences including procuring a person for the purpose of prostitution, living on the earnings of prostitution of another person and keeping or using a brothel.
Do you know?
- Voluntary adult sex work is not illegal in India under certain circumstances, such as when a woman provides the service in her own home without any solicitation.
- The United Nations (UN) World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promote and protect their rights. It is observed on 30th July.
Concern: Currently, there is absence of a clear distinction between the victims of sexual exploitation or human trafficking and persons who voluntarily opt to provide sex to make a living.
Russia successfully tests hypersonic missile
Part of: GS Prelims – International affairs; Defence/Security
- Russia has a new type of strategic weapon which would render existing missile systems obsolete.
- Intercontinental “Avangard” system would be ready for use from 2019.
- The hypersonic missile could fly at 20 times the speed of sound and manoeuvre up and down, meaning that it could breach defence systems.
Do you know?
- The final test was conducted after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to pull out of a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons pact, the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Bimal Jalan to head six-member panel on RBI’s economic capital framework
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and issues related to it
- RBI constituted a Skilled Committee on Financial Money Framework.
- The Committee will be headed by Bimal Jalan.
- The panel will come to a decision on the suitable measurement of reserves that the RBI ought to preserve and the dividend it ought to give to the governing administration.
- The committee will also review best practices followed by the central banks globally in making assessment and provisions for risks, to which central bank balance sheets are subjected.
Person in news: Jyoti Randhawa and Mahesh Virajdar
Why in news?
- International golfer Jyoti Randhawa was arrested for allegedly poaching variety of endangered species in a forest range in Uttar Pradesh.
- National shooter Mahesh Virajdar was also arrested.
- A dead fowl and hides of Sambhar deer and boar were seized.
- They were charged under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Person in news: Chitran Namboodirippad
Why in news?
- Chitran Namboodirippad (who is aged 99) trekked in the Himalayas for the 29th time this month and aims to do it again next year.
- He is a Kerala resident and former Additional Director of the Kerala Education Department.
What is the secret of his fitness and sharp memory?
- “Moderation in food, words and lifestyle,” he says. He is a strict vegetarian, goes for a walk every day, and does yoga.
TOPIC:General studies 2
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- India and its neighborhood relations
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
India’s foreign policy: For more regional integration
- If South Asia is one of the world’s least integrated regions, India is considered to be one of the world’s least regionally-integrated major powers.
Structural impediments (posed by both India and its neighbours) in fostering regional integration:
- India’s ideational disinclination towards its neighbourhood
- Successive regimes have considered the neighbourhood as an irritant and challenge, not an opportunity.
- India’s policies have failed to display a sense of belonging to the region or a desire to work with the neighbourhood for greater integration and cooperation.
- Relations and ties have become more transactional, impatient and small-minded towards our neighbourhood which has, as a result, restricted our space for manoeuvre in the regional geopolitical scheme of things.
- Absence of a coherent and well-planned regional policy
- India’s past policies have ensured a steady decline in its influence and goodwill in the region.
- There is a persistent absence of a coherent and well-planned regional policy.
- India’s foreign policy planners therefore need to reimagine the country’s neighbourhood policy before it is too late.
- India’s faltering diplomacy
- India has failed to build strong friendships with its neighbours.
- One of the major reasons for India’s growing unpopularity in the regional capitals is its increasing tendency to interfere in the domestic affairs of its smaller neighbours, either citing security implications or to offset the target country’s unfriendly strategic choices.
- Despite making an impressive start with its neighbourhood-first policy, the Modi government is increasingly battling resentment in the region.
- It tried to interfere with the Constitution-making process in Nepal and was accused of trying to influence electoral outcomes in Sri Lanka.
- While India’s refugee policy went against its own traditional practices, it was found severely wanting on the Rohingya question, and seemed clueless on how to deal with the political crisis in the Maldives.
2018 seems to have brought some good news from the regional capitals –
- Arrival of an India-friendly Ibrahim Mohamed Solih regime in Male.
- Return of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lankan Prime Minister is to India’s advantage too.
- Nepal has reached out to India to put an end to the acrimony that persisted through 2015 to 2017.
- Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh are also positively disposed towards India.
- Relationship with Pakistan continues to be testy and directionless.
Crux – New Delhi has a real opportunity today to recalibrate its neighbourhood relations.
What India should avoid while dealing with a sensitive neighbourhood?
- India must shed its aggression and deal with tricky situations with far more diplomatic subtlety and finesse. The ability of diplomacy lies in subtly persuading the smaller neighbour to accept an argument rather than forcing it to, which is bound to backfire.
- India should keep in mind that meddling in the domestic politics of neighbour countries is a recipe for disaster, even when invited to do so by one political faction or another. Preferring one faction or regime over another is unwise in the longer term.
- New Delhi must not fail to follow up on its promises to its neighbours. It has a terrible track record in this regard.
- There is no point in competing with China where China is at an advantage vis-à-vis India. India simply does not have the political, material or financial wherewithal to outdo China in building infrastructure. Hence India must invest where China falls short, especially at the level of institution-building and the use of soft power.
The way ahead: What India should do?
- India should invest a great deal more in soft power promotion. For example, India could expand the scope and work of the South Asian University (SAU) and ensure that its students get research visas to India without much hassle. If properly utilised, the SAU can become a point for regional integration.
- New Delhi must also look for convergence of interests with China in the Southern Asian region. There are several possible areas of convergence, including counter terrorism, regional trade and infrastructure development. For example, any non-military infrastructure constructed by China in the region can also be beneficial to India while it trades with those countries.
- India must shed its zero-sum style foreign policy-making, and work towards South Asian integration.
New Delhi must invest in three major policy areas –
- Better regional trading arrangements: India should offer better terms of trade for the smaller neighbours, construct border infrastructure and ease restrictions on such border trade.
- Forge effective multilateral arrangements: Preference should be to deal with neighbours on multilateral forums. For instance, resurrecting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
- India must have a coherent and long-term vision for the neighbourhood:
Connecting the dots:
- What are the roadblocks to greater economic and regional integration with India’s neighbours?
- Lack of regional integration will affect the prospect of both economic growth and development of all the South Asian countries and particularly of India. Do you agree? Discuss.
- The current ‘neighbourhood policy’ of India with an overdose of bilateralism is one of the main roadblocks for South Asian integration. Critically comment.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
TOPIC:General studies 3
- Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Technology as an agent of social change
- If there is one thing that has defined the past 10 years, it has been the unprecedented growth of technology, especially use of mobiles.
- Technology is all-over and has become the source of fundamental transformation in our society. It is creating inclusivity for many, instead of exclusivity for the few.
Role of Technology
- Technological developments driving inclusive growth
- Thanks to a series of policy initiatives and landmark judicial decisions, there has been a significant push towards inclusive growth.
- From opening bank accounts to financial health, from school enrolment to learning outcomes, technology has played an important role.
- However, issues like ease and affordability of owning a home, right to privacy and data protection have taken centre stage.
- Technological developments are driving entrepreneurship in a big way
- A new wave of purpose-driven entrepreneurs is bringing innovative business models to improve the lives of the aspiring middle and lower-income Indians.
- They will define the future of Indian entrepreneurship over the next few decades.
- Biggest drivers of social impact
- Mobile phone is one of the biggest drivers of social impact in India.
- With more mobile phone penetration and declining data costs, both businesses and governments can easily reach populations that they could not before.
- Today entrepreneurs can provide a range of services (access to information, education, healthcare, financial services, transportation, jobs and government services etc) via the mobile phone to the people who were previously been excluded or underserved.
- Despite India’s major strides over the last decade, a young and aspiring India wants even more rapid change.
- Increasingly, people from different walks of life are now confidently stepping up to tackle some of India’s most difficult challenges. They believe that India’s growth and prosperity should benefit not just the “top of the pyramid” but all Indians.
- Their focus is on the underserved, excluded and disempowered in an India that is becoming increasingly digital.
- Over the next five years, 500 million Indians are going to come online for the first time through their mobile phones, a population we refer to as the Next Half Billion.
- Coming decade will offer an even bigger opportunity and technology entrepreneurs should focus on helping every Indian create a better life.
Connecting the dots:
- Discuss how technology is an agent of social change. Discuss its positive and negative aspects.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Consider the following statements
- Olive ridley and Kemp ridley are the only two species of marine turtles that display a unique mass nesting behaviour ‘arribada’.
- They are endemic to the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Central America, and India.
Select the correct statements
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) Which of the following statements are correct regarding Ujjawala scheme?
- It is a comprehensive scheme to prevent trafficking of women and children for commercial/sexual exploitation.
- The aim is to facilitate the rescue of victims and place them in safe custody.
- To facilitate the repatriation of cross border trafficking victims.
Select the code from following:
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- All of the above
- None of the above
Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding High Courts of India
- In India, every state has a High Court in its territory.
- The Constitution of India provides for a High Court for each state.
Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.4) The United Nations (UN) World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promote and protect their rights. It is observed on
- 28th December
- 29th December
- 30th July
- 31st January
Abandoned on the battlefield
Bill of wrongs
Strangers in our midst
The state in contention