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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 23rd April 2019

  • IASbaba
  • April 23, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 23rd April 2019

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(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


CJI violated procedure by hearing own case: SC lawyers

Part of: GS Mains II – Issues related to women safety;

  • Several social activists and academics came together to issue a statement demanding an independent probe into the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
  • In an emergency hearing the chief justice himself presided over the matter. Refuting the allegations, CJI Gogoi said that there was a “bigger plot” to deactivate the office of CJI.
  • According to critics – “The act of the Chief Justice of India to constitute a special bench headed by himself to hear this issue on the judicial side, rather than constituting a credible and independent inquiry committee, goes against all just and settled principles of law.”
  • If the Court is unable to credibly deal with this challenge, public confidence in the judiciary will be severely eroded.

Bimal Jalan committee on RBI’s economic capital framework (ECF)

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

In news:

  • Bimal Jalan panel was formed to address the issue of RBI reserves, one of the sticking points between the central bank and the government.
  • The expert panel to suggest how the central bank should handle its reserves and whether it can transfer its surplus to the government.
  • Jalan panel to submit its report soon.

Issue:

  • The government has been insisting that the central bank hand over its surplus reserves amid a shortfall in revenue collections.
  • Access to the funds will allow finance minister to meet deficit targets, infuse capital into weak banks to boost lending and fund welfare programmes.
  • Therefore, the Jalan panel was set up to decide whether RBI is holding provisions, reserves and buffers in surplus of the required levels.

Kerala government’s Mission LIFE: an initiative worth serious consideration

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Government schemes and policies; Infrastructure; Social/Welfare programme

In news:

  • Kerala government’s Mission LIFE (livelihood inclusion and financial empowerment) aims to provide shelter and security to the homeless.
  • Under the initiative, the state will be providing shelter to 4.3 lakh families that are without a home.
  • The initiative has been reaping some success.
  • The complex offers decent living space to the homeless and has amenities that are now common in housing complexes elsewhere in the country, including waste management facilities and power back-up. Additionally, the complex also houses a health sub-centre and anganwadi.

U.S. ends waiver for India on Iran oil

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and US; International Affairs

In news:

  • The United States said it will stop in May all waivers that allow eight nations, including India, to buy Iranian oil without facing sanctions, triggering a rise in global crude prices and a slump in Indian markets.
  • The decision is taken by US President Donald Trump to pressure Tehran to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
  • Analysts said the move is likely to keep crude oil prices elevated for now.
  • India said it is adequately prepared to deal with the impact of the US decision to end waivers that allowed it to buy Iranian oil without facing sanctions.

Do you know?

  • India was among eight countries granted waivers from the secondary impact of sanctions for six months to taper their import of Iranian crude to zero.
  • The others were China, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy and Greece.
  • India, which is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian oil after China, had agreed to restrict its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tonne or 15 million tonne in a year (300,000 barrels per day), down from 22.6 million tonne (452,000 barrels per day) bought in the 2017-18 financial year.
  • The world’s third biggest oil consumer, India meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports.
  • Iran is its third largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of its total needs.

Global Deal for Nature

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Role of international organizations; Environment and Climate change

In news:

  • A paper published in Science outlines a new “Global Deal for Nature,” officially launching an effort to establish science-based conservation targets covering all of planet Earth, including terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
  • The Global Deal for Nature proposes a target of 30 percent of the planet to be fully protected under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity by 2030. But because much more of Earth’s natural ecosystems need to be preserved or restored in order to avert the worst impacts of runaway global warming, another 20 percent of the planet would be protected under the GDN as Climate Stabilization Areas (CSAs).
  • Conservation scientists, environmental NGOs, and indigenous groups are urging governments to adopt the GDN as a companion commitment alongside the Paris Climate Agreement approved by nearly 200 countries in 2015.

Global Deal for Nature

  • The Global Deal for Nature (GDN) is a time-bound, science-driven plan to save the diversity and abundance of life on Earth.
  • “Pairing the GDN and the Paris Climate Agreement would avoid catastrophic climate change, conserve species, and secure essential ecosystem services.
  • The GDN campaign is being driven by One Earth, an initiative of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation that aims to marshal support from international institutions, governments, and citizens of planet Earth to support ambitious conservation goals.
  • One Earth has launched an online petition drive at globaldealfornature.org along with RESOLVE and indigenous groups to build popular support for the GDN.

(MAINS FOCUS)


ENVIRONMENT/CLIMATE CHANGE

TOPIC: General studies 3

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Nations are doing less to lower 1.5 degree celsius

About Earth Day

  • Each year, April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Do you know?

  • The theme of this year’s Earth Day is ‘protecting the planet’s species diversity’.
  • The theme is important one considering nearly half of 177 mammal species surveyed in a study saw their distribution fall by more than 80% between 1900 and 2015.
  • Scientists strongly believe that the planet may be in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and unlike other times in the past, this could be largely anthropogenic.

Decline of wildlife population due to human impact: A major concern

As per WWF’s Living Planet Index and other studies –

  • 37% of the wildlife population lost in the last 40 years can be attributed to exploitation by humans
  • 31% of the wildlife population lost due to habitat degradation, 13% to complete habitat loss and 7% to climate change
  • Current extinction is 1,000 times higher than what would have been if there were no people
  • Nearly a 1,000 species are lost every year due to anthropogenic reasons, less than one species a year was lost annually 200,000 years ago, before modern humans evolved

Developed countries versus developing:

  • At the rate of average global consumption today, we need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain human life, while at the level of consumption in the US, we would need four planets.
  • The worst offenders in the consumption & climate change problem, meanwhile, obstinately refuse to change course.
  • While rich nations have been stepping up conservation efforts, this is at the expense of the developing world. Because, the developing world now undertakes production to cater for not only domestic needs, but also for exports, with an ever-growing ecological footprint.
  • Between 1990 and 2008, a third of all the products of indiscriminate deforestation, viz. timber, beef and soya, were exported from developing nations to the EU.
  • While China, Japan, and the US continue to over-exploit marine resources, West Asian nations, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE have the world’s worst per capita ecological footprint.
  • 17 of the 21 nations that beat the world average in terms of ecological damage caused, are rich nations.
  • The problem is exacerbated by the non-action on the climate change front.

Conclusion:

  • According to ‘Climate Action Tracker’, which analyses individual countries’ performance on meeting a lower than 1.5 degrees Celsius warming future, US and Russia’s efforts are ‘critically insufficient’.
  • While Canada and China are making “highly insufficient” efforts, the EU’s performance is “insufficient”. Indeed, only India, Ethiopia and the Philippines are making efforts compatible with a 2 degrees Celsius rise.
  • Earth Day, unfortunately, is little other than tokenism if nations switch off their destructive ways just for a day every year.
  • Without real change, the world is not even on course to reach the 2 degree Celsius target.

Connecting the dots:

  • Discuss the factors responsible for long term climate change. What evidences do we have that support current global warming. Explain.
  • Discuss how the World can succinctly respond to address global warming and its impact on climate change?

INTERNATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 2

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

India-China Relations: Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF)

In news:

  • India has, once again, decided to not participate in China’s second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) due on April 25.
  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.
  • India’s response to the BRF is deeply rooted in its territorial sovereignty concerns vis-à-vis China and Pakistan.
  • India’s main concern remains the much-controversial CPEC that passes through the PoK.
  • Citing its opposition to the CPEC, India had skipped the Belt and Road Forum in May last year.

India’s qualms about BRI’s impact on Indian Ocean

  • India is fearful that BRI would exacerbate Sino-Indian tension in the subcontinent and the Indian Ocean region.
  • India is worried about four specific corridors that constitute major components of the BRI and run across India’s South Asian neighborhood.

BRI includes

  • the Trans-Himalayan Economic Corridor,
  • Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor (1990s),
  • Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR), a combination of bilateral infrastructure projects in the Indian Ocean region, and
  • the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

India perceives these corridors and the associated infrastructure projects are detrimental to India’s strategic interests. They run close to India’s continental and maritime borders and may affect its security interests and strategic environment.

India’s interest

  • Forty seven countries have the Indian Ocean on their shores. The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world.
  • India’s motto is ‘whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia’.
  • Indian Ocean is considered to be the key to the seven seas in the twenty-first century; the destiny of the world will be decided in these waters’.
  • Indian Ocean is rich with living and non-living resources, from marine life to oil and natural gas. Its beach sands are rich in heavy minerals and offshore placer deposits. India is actively exploiting them to its economic advantage.
  • It is a major sea lane providing shipping to 90 per cent of world trade. It provides a waterway for heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oilfields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia, and contains an estimated 40 per cent of the world’s offshore oil production.

Therefore, whoever attains maritime supremacy in the Indian Ocean would be a prominent player on the international scene.

Thus, it is imperative that India bases its decision strictly on Strategic Autonomy, keeps its own interest at the pivot and take principled & pragmatic decisions by carrying out a SWOT analysis of its decisions and keeping long term benefit & global peace at priority.

Connecting the dots:

  • Is India’s stand against China’s Belt-Road initiative justified? Critically examine the issues from the perspective of India’s strategic interests.

(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) The theme of Earth Day 2019 is –

  1. “End Plastic Pollution”
  2. “Protecting the planet’s species diversity”
  3. “Beat Plastic Pollution”
  4. “Nature for Water” – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.

Q.2) Which of the following with reference to process of removal of Supreme Court judges are correct?

  1. The process for removal of other Supreme Court judges and Chief Justice of India is different.
  2. A judge can only be removed on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity.
  3. The motion for removal must be supported by a special majority of each House of Parliament.

Select the correct answer using code below

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 1,2 and 3

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