Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 14th March 2019

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  • March 14, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 14th March 2019



China places hold on listing Azhar as designated terrorist

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International; Security issues

In news:

  • China has placed a technical hold on the listing request for Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) leader Masood Azhar at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 Committee.
  • The initial hold is for six months, after which it can be extended by another three months.
  • The ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (1267 Sanctions Committee), was not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi under the UN Sanctions regime, on account of a member placing the proposal on hold.

Karnataka has most number of stolen artefacts; none recovered

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and II – Indian Art and Culture; Governance issues

In news:

  • At least 12 idols have been stolen from protected monuments in Karnataka in the past six years, and none of them has been recovered by the police.
  • According to the Ministry of Culture – Karnataka tops the list in the country that has seen 30 idols or artefacts being stolen from Archaeology Survey of India (ASI) sites.


Do you know?

  • The demand for Hoysala and Chalukya idols exist and the three southern States are susceptible as there are hundreds of unprotected or State-protected sites.
  • There is demand for an idol wing, much like what exists in Tamil Nadu where idol thefts is a continuing concern.
  • At a local level, heritage committees headed by the Deputy Commissioner should keep track of unprotected sites and see if any temples are vulnerable to theft.

Reasons for growing incidents loss of artefacts, historical idols and antiquities:

  1. Lack of coordination between departments responsible for custodianship of cultural heritage and law enforcement agencies.
  2. Department has not computerised the stock, poor surveillance to keep safe custody of the valuable idols in the Centre and in the temples.
  3. Lack of coordination and lack of surveillance measures.

Steps taken by the government

  • The parliament of India passed an Act, the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, focussing mainly the objectives of prevention of smuggling, prevent illegal sale, regulate export trade in antiquities and compulsory acquisition of antiquities and art treasures.
  • National mission on monuments and antiquities (NMMA) has been launched. One of the main components of this NMMA is to create a national register of these antiquities.
  • Nodal agency for implementation of NMMA is Archaeological survey of India.
  • National register for antiquities must be updated for these valuables artefacts.
  • Also, there is a need for timely action to be taken by the concerned government departments for identification and preservation of our cultural heritage.

Global Environmental Outlook (GEO)

In news:

According to the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO), prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme –

  • Unless environmental protections were drastically scaled up, cities and regions in Asia, the Middle East and Africa could see millions of premature deaths by mid-century.
  • India could save at least $3 trillion in healthcare costs if it implemented policy initiatives consistent with Paris climate goals.
  • In other words, ensuring that the globe didn’t heat up beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century.

Do you know?

  • India’s stated commitment is to lower emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% compared to 2005 levels by 2030;
  • increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40% by 2030; and
  • create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.
  • India is on track to achieve two of these goals — of emissions intensity and electricity generation — according to independent climate-watch site Climate Tracker.

GEO report also highlighted that –

  • A quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage.
  • It said that poor environmental conditions “cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality” — around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
  • The report says air pollution causes 6-7 million early deaths annually.
  • The report called for a root-and-branch detoxification of human behaviour while insisting that the situation is not unassailable.
  • It called for immediate changes in the way the world eats, generates energy and handles its waste.




General studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • India and the World
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

General studies 3

  • Role of external state and non-state actors (extremists) in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas

On future of the Islamic State


  • Credible reports point to the Islamic State (IS) nearing extinction. Once described as a formidable ‘Caliphate’ of enormous wealth and with huge potential for expansion is now just a dot on the soil of Syria and Iraq.
  • Ever since it lost control last year over two major cities, Raqqa (Syria) and Mosul (Iraq), it has lost its sheen.
  • Thanks to the U.S.’s strategy of forming a coalition of forces, styled the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and, determined and dedicated Kurdish fighters.

However, though on the verge of being wiped out territorially, the Islamic State still poses a big challenge to intelligence apparatuses.

IS is down, but definitely not out

  • A small number of hardened IS men is likely to be still hiding in some areas of Syria (esp. Baghouz area) to offer a semblance of resistance.   
  • The temptation to dismiss the IS, considering it as just one of those upstarts which make an appearance once in a while in modern history and offer no lessons for the future, has to be resisted. Because the pull internationally for the IS was undeniably greater than for al-Qaeda.
  • This model of organising people solely to unleash terror after acquiring formidable human and material resources — oil and government treasuries in the IS’s case — could be expected to inspire all those playing the card of Islamic extremism.

Many IS followers who migrated to Syria and Iraq have expressed their desire to return to their home countries. (Obviously after being disillusioned with the IS). However, they have been denied permission to re-enter the country, because of the hard stance of their governments against their repatriation. For example, the story of Shamima Begum.

However, these governments, mostly in Europe and nations with a Muslim minority, such as UK, Germany, France and Belgium, have attracted criticism for its disregard of the human rights and lack of compassion.

Lessons from IS saga

From the IS saga, one can draw some of the following lessons –

  • How terrorist ideology can gain strength, expand and then evaporate at equally fast speed.
  • How extremism of any kind — including Naxalism in India — is a magnet for some young minds.
  • How spirit of adventure and frustrations early on in life can spur youngsters such as Begum to join such extremist groups.
  • How no amount of censorship or counselling, either online or in forums such as places of worship, can wean such youngsters away.
  • How an unstable internal security situation contributes greatly to the growth of terrorism.
  • How a civil war such as the one in Yemen is conducive for even a small group to showcase its philosophy. Afghanistan is another example of a disturbed scenario that lends fodder to groups such as the Taliban. Pakistan is in the same boat, with the active assistance of its own variant of the Taliban and organisations such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar e-Taiba.

Connecting the dots:

  • What led to the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East? Explain.



General studies 2

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • India and the World ; India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

General studies 3

  • Role of external state and non-state actors (extremists) in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas

India’s grand strategy on Pakistan

What India gained from air strikes?

  • India’s muscular approach towards Pakistan, especially post-Uri, post-Pulwama is a clear departure from the policy of strategic restraint.
  • India’s tactical air strike succeeded in demonstrating the nation’s “capacity and will” and giving signal to Pakistan that it could respond to a major Pakistani-linked terror attack. (Tit-for-tat strategy)
  • The idea that India has a right to pre-emptive self-defence — a right that so far has been the exclusive privilege of the Western powers — has been legitimised by the reaction and behaviour of the great powers during the crisis.
  • “Non-military pre-emptive action” will be its counter-terrorism policies.
  • It has created a measure of uncertainty in the minds of Pakistani planners.

While total deterrence is unrealistic, Delhi has made the other side conscious that its actions could produce unpredictable consequences.

What should be India’s grand strategy on Pakistan?

  • Tit-for-tat strategy as a consistent policy for India: India should incorporate tit for tat approach as part of a grand strategy.
  • Involve a more robust internal security framework: It should not only focus solely on Pakistan’s external behaviour but more logically also keep an eye on its internal structure as part of a long-range effort to re-orient domestic incentives inside Pakistan.
  • Advanced counter-terror capabilities and doctrines: It should include ore advanced counter-terror capabilities and doctrines that seek to substantially minimise Indian military casualties in Kashmir. It should patiently build covert proxy capabilities that impose reciprocal costs on Pakistani security institutions.
  • A more sophisticated conventional military posture: to degrade the flow of terrorist networks while also presenting the Pakistan army with a costly choice to escalate to a bigger conventional clash.

Other strategies:

  • India should recognize that Pakistan cannot be isolated, however, it should persuade its patrons and allies (many of whom seek to develop deeper ties with India) to influence Pakistani behaviour.
  • Support and coalition from international community – vigilant third parties can work to India’s advantage.


Unless India conceives a broader plan to alter Pakistan’s behaviour and its internal setting, it will find it difficult to sustain international support and it would only embolden the Pakistan army to up the ante knowing the Indian side is utterly unprepared for a serious game.

Connecting the dots:

  • What strategy should India adopt in order to deal with proxy-wars from the neighbouring countries?


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) Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary is located in –

  1. Assam
  2. Manipur
  3. Mizoram
  4. Nagaland

Q.2) Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) is released by –

  1. World Economic Forum
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. World Bank
  4. United Nations

Q.3) Raqqa and Mosul have been often in news recently. It is located in –

  1. Syria and Iraq
  2. Syria
  3. Syria and Lebanon
  4. Syria and Turkey

Q.4) Which of the following statement is/are correct about archaeological survey of India?

  1. ASI is responsible for the maintenance, restoration and discovery of ancient monument, archeological site, horticulture site and museums.
  2. Archeological and historical pursuits in India started with the effort of Charles Wilkins.
  3. ASI is also responsible for epigraphical and numismatic study.
  4. It is also responsible for archeological expedition outside India.

Select the appropriate code:

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


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