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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 27th February 2019

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  • March 1, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 27th February 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


India bombs Jaish camp in Pakistan’s Balakot

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – India and its neighbour relations; Defence/Security issue

In news:

  • Twelve days after the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad’s “biggest” terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
  • The operation was carried out by 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets, which unleashed five one-tonne bombs on the camp, based 70 km inside the Line of Control (LoC), in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
  • The aerial attack on a target inside Pakistani territory marks a major shift in India’s counter-terror responses, which have thus far been restricted to ground operations across the LoC in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pic: https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2019/02/27/DEL/Delhi/TH/5_01/c8450ebe_2763205_101_mr.jpg

India gets support from Australia, France

  • India received support for its air strikes from several countries, including Australia and France.
  • France recognised India’s legitimacy to ensure its security against cross-border terrorism and asked Pakistan to put an end to operations of terrorist groups established on its territory.
  • The British government called on India and Pakistan to pursue diplomatic solutions.
  • Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned “the Indian incursion and aerial violation.”
  • China’s response – Delhi should have tapped international cooperation avoided unilateral action.

Pic: https://d39gegkjaqduz9.cloudfront.net/TH/2019/02/27/CNI/Chennai/TH/5_15/7a0066f5_2762202_101_mr.jpg


Quick Reach Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Defence/Security; Missiles; Achievements of DRDO

In news:

  • Quick Reach Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) – Indigenous missile developed by the DRDO was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range Chandipur, off the Odisha coast
  • It has a strike range of about 30 km, is capable of killing aerial targets, tanks and bunkers.
  • The indigenously developed state-of-the-art QRSAM will significantly boost the defence capabilities of our armed forces.

RBI takes 3 banks off prompt corrective action framework

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and issues related to it; Economic Development

Context:

  • We recently read about Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework
  • RBI introduces Prompt Corrective Action when the Bank’s financial conditions worsen below certain limits.
  • The limits are based on three conventional financial indicators – CRAR (capital to risk weighted assets ratio), Net NPA and Return on Assets.
  • Whenever the Bank is in the PCA category, the RBI will intervene with corrective action.

In news:

  • Three banks – Allahabad Bank and Corporation Bank, from the public sector, and Dhanlaxmi Bank from the private sector – are now out of the RBI’s PCA framework.
  • Earlier, Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Bank of Maharashtra were taken off from PCA framework.

Do you know?

  • There are another six banks that are still under PCA framework.

Miscellaneous

Award in news: Seoul Peace Prize

Why in news?

  • On February 22, 2019 Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the Seoul Peace Prize in the South Korean capital.

Award in news: Oscar

Why in news?

  • End of Sentence. – Short film that profiled women in an Indian village who band together to manufacture affordable menstrual pad won Oscar award.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL

TOPIC: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

India and EU Relations: Time to seize the opportunities

Background:

  • India-EU relations date to the early 1960s, with India being amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community.
  • A cooperation agreement signed in 1994 took the bilateral relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation.
  • The first India-EU Summit took place in Lisbon on 28 June 2000 and marked a watershed in the evolution of the relationship. Since then, 14 annual Summits have been held.
  • At the 5th India-EU Summit held at The Hague in 2004, the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership’.
  • The two sides adopted a Joint Action Plan in 2005 and which was reviewed in 2008.
  • Joint Action Plan provided for strengthening dialogue and consultation mechanisms in the political and economic spheres, enhancing trade and investment, and bringing peoples and cultures together.

India- EU relationship

  • Jointly, the EU and India represent close to 2 billion people, who can positively influence not only the economic discourse but also the course of human development.
  • The EU and India have a strong and long-standing economic relationship and also strategic partnership.
  • EU is India’s largest trading partner, while India is the EU’s ninth largest partner. Bilateral trade in goods and services amounted to over €100 billion in 2017.
  • India is among very few nations in the world that run a surplus in services trade with the EU.
  • In November last year, the European Union (EU) adopted a communication that set out the EU’s vision for a strategy to strengthen its cooperation and partnership with India.
  • This new strategy, developed in broad consultation with European and Indian stakeholders, shows how significant the EU considers India’s role in international and regional matters and how determined the EU is to further develop and realise the full potential of this partnership.

There is growing convergence between the EU and India on global and regional issues. Both stand to benefit equally from a stronger partnership by addressing together global challenges, promoting economic growth and expanding business opportunities.

However, there is so much more that India and EU can achieve together.

Untapped areas:

1. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

  • There is a need for EU to further strengthen policy dialogues and cooperation with India, particularly with regard to small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Indeed, SMEs form the backbone for both our economies; both regions have bright and dynamic entrepreneurs, willing to take risks and to launch new initiatives, eager to discover new opportunities and realise their dreams for a better future.
  • European companies (start-ups and SMEs) are strong in areas such as technology, environment, communications, energy and infrastructure.
  • This wealth of experience and knowledge means the EU has much to offer to India in its quest to grow and modernise, from technology to know-how sharing.

2. EU’s Business Support programme

  • EU’s Business Support programme aims precisely at tapping existing business opportunities and focussing in particular areas such as environment, energy, climate, mobility, urbanisation and ICT, where it already has an advanced cooperation with India.
  • Business Support initiative can help to bring together European and Indian SMEs through joint action, business to business match-making and exchanges on best practices.
  • It will also support the transfer of advanced EU technologies and innovative practices, which can be adapted for the Indian market.

3. Co-operation in Space

  • Space is another key area where both have much to contribute to each other.
  • Both the countries are keenly working towards establishing themselves as leading space powers.
  • Copernicus, the EU’s observation programme, that is now the best system of that kind in the world, can provide support to India in tackling many common challenges, from environmental protection, agriculture and climate change monitoring to disaster support and urban development.
  • India and Europe can do much more to develop space activities, for instance on satellite navigation and space research.

Connecting the dots:

  • What significance does European Union (EU) hold for India? Discuss. Why is India-EU trade well below its potential? Examine the factors.
  • India and EU are “natural partners”. Discuss India-EU relationship in various spheres.

ENVIRONMENT/ECONOMY

TOPIC:

General studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes. 

General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Investment and Infrastructure
  • Agrarian/Rural distress and Rural Development
  • Impact of Climate Change over Agriculture Sector

Need for Smart farming to tackle Climate Change

Introduction: 

  • Agriculture sector (and especially Farmers) has been adversely impacted by climate change.
  • The Nation has already witnessed less than normal rainfall during the last four years, with 2014 and 2015 declared as drought years.
  • Even the recent monsoon season ended with a rainfall deficit of 9%, which was just short of drought conditions.
  • Indigenous populations and local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods are very vulnerable to the climate impacts.

Do you know?

  • Impact of climate change is more adverse in unirrigated lands compared with irrigated areas.
  • Around 52% (73.2 million hectares area of a total 141.4 million hectares net sown area) of India’s total land under agriculture is still unirrigated and rain-fed.

Case study: Bundelkhand

  • Over the last decade, many of Bundelkhand’s villages have faced significant depopulation.
  • It was once blessed with over 800-900 mm rainfall annually, but over the last seven years, there has been adverse impact of climate change – deficient rainfall, poor monsoon and crop failures – have become common.
  • There is hardly any greenery in many villages, making it difficult for farmers to even maintain cattle.
  • Adaptation is hard, with farmers varying and mixing crops across seasons, along with heavy investments in borewells, tractors and threshers.
  • Farmers are increasingly abandoning their lands and heading to nearby towns to find work as labourers.

Climate Risk

  • India is fortunate to have the monsoon, but it is also uniquely vulnerable to rising temperatures.
  • India is ranked 14th on the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.
  • The country has over 120 million hectares suffering from some form of degradation. This has consequences, especially for marginal farmers.
  • Marginal farmers’ may face a 24-58% decline in household income and 12-33% rise in household poverty through exacerbated droughts.
  • With rain-fed agriculture practised in over 67% of our total crop area, weather variability can lead to heavy costs, especially for coarse grains (which are mostly grown in rain-fed areas).
  • A predicted 70% decline in summer rains by 2050 would devastate Indian agriculture.
  • Within 80 years, our kharif season could face a significant rise in average temperatures and potentially lead to a 22% decline in wheat yield in the rabi season, while rice yield could decline by 15%.

Solutions:

  1. Promotion of conservation farming and dryland agriculture, with each village provided with timely rainfall forecasts, along with weather-based forewarnings regarding crop pests and epidemics in various seasons, is necessary.
  2. Agricultural research programmes need to refocus on dryland research.
  3. Adoption of drought-tolerant breeds.
  4. Change planting dates, particularly for wheat, which could reduce climate change induced damage.
  5. There needs to be an increase in insurance coverage and supply of credit.
  6. Government support – subsidized interest rates; expanded Rural Insurance Development Fund, basic income policy etc.
  7. A push for actual on-ground implementation of compensatory afforestation is required.
  8. Effective coordination between the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs).
  9. Restructuring Indian Forest Service by making it equivalent to the police and the army, albeit in the environmental domain.
  10. State-of-the-art training to its personnel must be provided, and specialisation should be encouraged in wildlife, tourism and protection for new recruits.
  11. Wildlife heritage towns should be given more attention.
  12. Cities which are adjacent to national parks and sanctuaries, need to be converted into green smart cities with upgraded waste recycling processes.
  13. Expansion of joint research and development partnerships (like the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center), pairing India’s emerging smart cities with green cities in the West.

Conclusion:

  • The impact of climate change will surely affect India’s food security and also reduce fodder supplies for our livestock.
  • Prudent investments and policy reform can help make India resilient to climate change.

Connecting the dots:

  • Climate change is already having profound impact on the lives of rural poor in India. Unless a mitigation strategy is inbuilt in the farming and related activities, food and livelihood security of the rural poor can’t be ensured. Analyse.
  • How does climate change and global warming affect the agricultural sector in India? Also suggest some key interventions and steps to be taken in this regard.

(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) Consider the following statements about ‘Global Climate Risk Index’

  1. It is published annually by UNEP
  2. It is based on an analysis of the number of deaths (due to climatic conditions) per 100,000 inhabitants, extent of financial losses and loss per unit of GDP of countries

Select the correct statements

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

Q.2) ‘Agenda for Action 2020’ is concerned with India and

  1. African Union
  2. BIMSTEC
  3. G-20
  4. European Union

Q.3) Consider the following statements:

  1. Copernicus is the world’s largest single earth observation programme by NASA.
  2. India has joined Europe’s Copernicus, a mega global arrangement of sharing data from earth observation satellites

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None

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