IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th April 2019
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment and Ecology; Pollution
According to a study,
- By 2050, India will likely stare at a pile of a new category of electronic waste, namely solar e-waste.
- Currently, India’s e-waste rules have no laws mandating solar cell manufacturers to recycle or dispose waste from this sector.
- India’s PV (photovoltaic) waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050.
- There is need for clarity on solar waste management in India.
Do you know?
- India is among the leading markets for solar cells in the world.
- The current government has commitment to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022.
- So far, India has installed solar cells for about 28 GW and this is largely from imported solar PV cells.
- Despite the e-waste regulation being in place for over seven years, only less than 4% of estimated e-waste is recycled in the organised sector as per the latest estimates from the Central Pollution Control Board.
Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission
- India’s solar power capacity target under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) has been increased to 1,00,000 MW or 100 GW by 2022.
- The target will principally comprise of 40 GW Rooftop and 60 GW through Large and Medium Scale Grid Connected Solar Power Projects. With this ambitious target, India will become one of the largest Green Energy producers in the world, surpassing several developed countries.
- The total investment in setting up 100 GW will be around Rs. 6,00,000 cr.
What are solar cells made of?
- Solar cell modules are made by processing sand to make silicon, casting silicon ingots, using wafers to create cells and then assembling them to make modules.
- India’s domestic manufacturers are largely involved in assembling cells and modules.
- These modules are 80% glass and aluminium, and non-hazardous. Other materials used, including polymers, metals, metallic compounds and alloys, and are classified as potentially hazardous.
- India is poorly positioned to handle PV waste as it doesn’t yet have policy guidelines on the same…a lack of a policy framework is coupled with the fact that even basic recycling facilities for laminated glass and e-waste are unavailable.
Supreme Court to deliver verdict on anonymous electoral bonds
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Electoral Bonds; Governance issues; Accountability and Transparency related issues
- SC to pronounce its verdict on the legality of the electoral bonds scheme.
- The apex court had said that if the identity of the purchasers of electoral bonds meant for transparent political funding is not known, then the efforts of the government to curtail black money in elections would be “futile”.
About Scheme of Electoral Bonds
- Electoral Bond would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest free banking instrument.
- A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond.
- Electoral Bond (s) would be issued/purchased for any value, in multiples of Rs.1,000, Rs.10,000, Rs.1,00,000, Rs.10,00,000 and Rs.1,00,00,000 from the Specified Branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).
- It will not carry the name of payee.
- Electoral Bonds would have a life of only 15 days during which it can be used for making donation only to the political parties registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951
- Parties which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or a Legislative Assembly.
- The Electoral Bonds under the Scheme shall be available for purchase for a period of 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October, as may be specified by the Central Government.
- An additional period of 30 days shall be specified by the Central Government in the year of the General election to the House of People.
- The Electoral Bond(s) shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a designated bank account with the authorised bank.
1. Sudan President Bashir ousted by armed forces
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International Affairs
- President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was overthrown and arrested by the armed forces.
- Sudan Defence Minister declared state of emergency, saying country will be under military rule for 2 years.
2. Person in news: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Why in news?
- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London, after Ecuador abruptly revoked his seven-year asylum.
- He is wanted for his involvement in one of the biggest-ever leaks of classified information.
TOPIC: General studies 1
- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant
events, personalities, issues
- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country
- History of the world
Reflections on a massacre
- The Year 2019 marks the Centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (100 years), also known as the Amritsar Massacre that occurred on April 13, 1919.
- On this day, soldiers of the British Indian Army, on the orders of Colonel Reginald Dyer, massacred peaceful and unarmed celebrators, including women and children, on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year (Baisakhi).
- This massacre is remembered as one of the deadliest attacks on peaceful civilians in the world.
Examples of other such massacre or killings (on same lines of Jallianwala Bagh):
1942 Lidice massacre – In World War II, in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, the Lidice massacre was a complete destruction of the village of Lidice, now in the Czech Republic. Orders were passed from Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler.
1968 My Lai massacre – The My Lai massacre was one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War. Many unarmed people were killed by the U.S. Army soldiers.
Do you know?
- When we compare the number of people who were killed, massacre at Jallianwala Bagh was relatively small. It was nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands killed by the Japanese army in Nanjing in 1937-38 or by Indonesian soldiers in East Timor 1975 onward.
- But Jallianwala Bagh’s importance lies not in the numbers killed but in what preceded it and in what followed.
1919 Rowlatt Act
- The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, popularly known as the Rowlatt Act, was passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in Delhi on 10 March 1919.
- The Act passed by the British Government was intended to give themselves greater power over the people.
- Rowlatt Act allowed the British to arrest and jail anyone they wished without trial, if they were thought to be plotting against the British. The Viceroy Government also had the power to silence the press.
- The Rowlatt Act sparked a large amount of anger with the leaders and common people of India. This however did not greatly affect the British as they were still able to keep control over the people.
- To try and put an end to this, Gandhi and the other leaders called for a Hartal ( a time of fasting and suspension of work) to show the British the Indians’ discontent with their rule.
- In the Punjab the protest movement was very strong, and two renowned leaders Dr Satya Pal and Dr Saifuddin Kithlew were arrested on 10th April, 1919.
- In order to protest against the arrest, public had held meeting on 13th April at Jallianwala Bagh in a small park. The meeting was attended by many women and children as well, and is considered to be a peaceful meeting.
What preceded after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre?
- The perpetrator of the massacre, General Dyer, was honored and rewarded by the British public and this removed all illusions about benign British rule in the country.
- It also marked the start of a liberation struggle like no other under Mahatma Gandhi.
- Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest against Jallianwala Bagh incident.
- The insults and sufferings faced by the people of Punjab trickled through the gagged silence, reached every corner of India, and the universal agony of indignation roused in the hearts of people throughout the country.
- This event caused many moderate Indians to abandon their loyalty to the British and become nationalists distrustful of the British.
- The massacre stirred nationalist feelings across India and had a profound effect on one of the movement’s leaders, Mohandas Gandhi. After the Amritsar Massacre he became convinced that India should accept nothing less than full independence. To achieve this end, Gandhi began organizing his first campaign of mass civil disobedience against Britain’s oppressive rule.
Connecting the dots:
- Jallianwala Bagh’s importance lies in what preceded it and in what followed. Elucidate.
SCIENCE AND TECH/DEFENCE
TOPIC: General studies 3
- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
- Defence and Security issues
Is India’s anti-satellite test a game-changer?
- On March 27, in an operation called ‘Mission Shakti’, the DRDO demonstrated India’s ability in offensive defence capability, using a missile to destroy a satellite in Low Earth Orbit.
- India became the fourth nation, after US, China and Russia, to attain the capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space after the successful Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test.
The main significance of the test is that India has tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space based on complete indigenous technology.
Why is India’s anti-satellite test a game-changer?
- Security issues: To safeguard its own space assets from damage and destruction caused by other country/countries, especially China.
- Preserve the outer space: India endorses that outer-space should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. It recognized that it is important to preserve the outer space in a big way.
- To avoid the ban on Anti-satellite tests in future: India did not want to repeat the experience of what happened in the nuclear domain. It didn’t want a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or NPT-like mechanism to come about in the space domain that would actually lead to a ban on India’s future ASAT tests.
The UN General Assembly is also trying to bring about an international legally binding document on the prevention of an arms race in outer space that would include the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space among other things.
- To promote deterrence: The established space players who have demonstrated the ASAT capability have not adopted deterrence as part of their space policy.
- During the time of war, ASATs can be used to intercept and jam communication or military satellites of enemy countries and stop them from communicating with their soldiers. It can also be used to access critical information about troop movements or incoming missiles.
Now that India has demonstrated this capability, India needs to play an even more active role in the global governance of outer space.
India should declare no-first-use of the ASAT weaponry as we have done for the nuclear weapons, and adopt a strong domestic doctrine on weaponisation of space just as we have a declared doctrine for nuclear weapons.
Connecting the dots:
- Discuss what importance Mission Shakti holds for India.
- Examine the need for effective regulation for prohibition of military activities in the space.
- Critically analyze the implications of Militarization of Space.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Dabhol power project which was in news recently is located in –
Q.2) India’s National Solar Mission is covered under National Action Plan Climate Change. Which of the following statements are correct regarding India’s National Solar Mission?
- The target is to achieve 100 GW solar power capacity till 2022.
- The target comprises of rooftop projects as well as through large and medium scale Grid connected Solar Power Projects.
- Under National Solar Mission, Indian Railways plans to commission 1000MW solar power plants across its networks.
Select the code from below:
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Q.3) Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). Consider the following statements regarding Solar Power Technology:
- Concentrated Solar power use infrared radiations to heat the water and rotate turbines with the generated steam.
- Concentrated Solar Power systems generally use a huge convex lens to concentrate energy at its focus.
Which of the above statements are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.4) Consider the following statements regarding ‘Electoral Bonds’:
- A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond
- It will not carry the name of the payee
- They can be used for making donations only to the political parties
Which of the above statements are correct?
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Closed road: Udhampur-Baramulla highway ban
Why income transfers are not enough
Has the exploitation of religious sentiment for votes been normalised?
A case for more electoral nuance
The modern-day challenge of weaving ethics into education
A black hole that has a message for India
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