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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th June 2019

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  • June 29, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th June 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


President’s rule for 6 more months in J&K

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS II Polity and Governance

In news

  • The Lok Sabha on 28 June 2019 approved the extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six months, beginning July 3.
  • The democratic, free and fair Assembly elections will be held in the State by the year-end.

Do you know?

President’s rule

  • According to Article 356 of the constitution, President’s rule can be imposed in a state “if a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.”
  • In other states, the Centre invokes Article 356 to impose President’s rule.

Governor’s Rule in J&K

  • In Jammu and Kashmir the failure of governmental function results in Governor’s rule under Section 92 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. The Governor later obtains the consent of the President of India.
  • It is only when the Governor’s rule is not revoked for six months that the President’s rule is imposed in the state under Article 356.
  • In Governor’s rule, lawmaking power, financial power, budgetary sanction, all these powers are with the Governor. Once President’s rule is imposed, lawmaking power is transferred to the parliament; the Budget is also passed by Parliament.

Meetings on the Sidelines of G20

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS II International Relations

In news

India-US Meet

  • Leaders of both the countries acknowledged the breadth and depth of bilateral ties, including economic, trade, energy, defence and security, counterterrorism and space.
  • They reiterated their commitment to provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens in the decades to come.

On Iran

It is in India’s fundamental interest to maintain peace and stability in the region.

India’s intrests in the region:

  • Indian diaspora in the region
  • Energy requirements
  • Economic interest in the region

India’s stand on 5G and data storage

On technological issues such as data storage and 5G network, India ranged itself across the divide from Japan and the U.S., and alongside leaders of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa).

Data storage

The need for framing rules on data within the WTO and not at the G-20, running counter to Japan’s initiative as the host of this year’s G-20 summit, to push for “Data Free Flow with Trust, (DFFT)”. Prime minister Modi refered data as a “new form of wealth”.

5G Technology

On the issue of 5G technology, where the U.S. has demanded that countries ban Chinese telecom major Huawei’s 5G network because of its ability to spy on them, India had given no assurances to US.

On BRICS informal meeting

Terrorism as the biggest threat to humanity

Describing terrorism as the biggest threat to humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the scourge not only kills innocents but also severely affects economic development and social stability.

There is a need to stop all the mediums of support to terrorism and racism.

Three major challenges

  • First major challenge; Instability and downfall in the global economy. Unilateralism and competitiveness are overshadowing the rule-based mutilateral global trade systems.
  • The second challenge is to make development sustainable and all-inclusive.
  • Terrorism is the third major challenge.

‘SHE Team’ on the patrol in Odisha

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS II Polity and Governance

In news

‘SHE Team’, the innovative pilot project launched by Odisha’s Gajapati district police  to ensure safety and security of young girls and women.

About SHE Team

  • SHE stands for ‘Safety, Health and Environment’. This project is modelled on the lines of Hyderabad ‘SHE Team’.
  • The ‘SHE Team’ is headed by a lady sub-inspector and includes mobile patrolling teams. Four female and three male police personnel will assist her. They will patrol schools, colleges, other local institutions and public places, where young girls and women are allegedly subjected to eve teasing, stalking and harassment.
  • The website of ‘SHE Team’ has been launched and a mobile app is under construction.
  • ‘SHE Team’ will also try to prevent harassment of working women at workplaces and public places where they move for their job. It will teach self-defence and cyber space safety to young girls and children.
  • It will visit child care institutions and make children aware about sexual abuse.

NASA to send a drone to Saturn’s largest moon

Part of Prelims and Mains GS III Science and Tech

In news

For its next mission in our solar system, NASA plans to fly a drone copter to Saturn’s largest moon Titan in search of the building blocks of life.

The Dragonfly mission

  • The Dragonfly mission, which will launch in 2026 and land in 2034, will send a rotorcraft to fly to dozens of locations across the icy moon, which has a substantial atmosphere and is viewed by scientists as an equivalent of very early-era earth.
  • It is the only celestial body besides our planet known to have liquid rivers, lakes and seas on its surface, though these contain hydrocarbons like methane and ethane, not water.
  • NASA said the vehicle would have eight rotors and fly like a large drone.
  • During its 2.7-year baseline mission, Dragonfly will explore diverse environments from organic dunes to the floor of an impact crater where liquid water and complex organic materials key to life once existed together for possibly tens of thousands of years.

(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

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; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

Redefining & Rethinking Poverty

Introduction:

  • According to the Tendulkar poverty line, poverty is today around 4.5 per cent of the population or less than 70 million.
  • According to the World Bank poverty line poverty in India is estimated at 31 per cent down from 57 per cent in 2011/12.  There is a 26 ppt decline in poverty over six years.

Rethinking poverty:

  • We are not a poor country any more, not with just 4.5 per cent of the population classified as poor (the Tendulkar poverty line of Rs 44 per person per day in 2017-18 prices).
  • We have always considered food consumption as the ultimate criterion of poverty. Hence, we have built up an elaborate (too elaborate) ecosystem of food production, consumption, and distribution.
    Time has come to dismantle this ecosystem — an ecosystem that is biased against the poor farmer, against climate change mitigation and also against efficient use of water and energy.
  • Poverty is now not just about food but living standards — sanitation, housing, piped water, electricity, education, health, and jobs. And on each of these elements, the focus should shift to quality, not quantity.
  • Defining poverty in relative, not absolute terms.
    Most European nations have a relative definition of poverty — that is, a fixed proportion of the median income.

Contribution of the DBT system:

  • A large part of this decline took place due to better targeting of government programmes — made possible by expanded (and extensive) use of direct benefit transfers (DBT).
  • The direct benefit transfer mechanism has been able to resolve targeting problems for a bulk of the 430 government schemes and subsidies.
  • The current PM-Kisan programme that provides income support to approximately 14 crore farmers is an example of how, through DBT, the government can provide direct income support as its focal policy towards poverty alleviation.

Such a policy is likely to help in rationalising and consolidating poverty reduction programmes, thereby freeing up resources for other sectors in the economy.

Going forward:

Targeted basic income programme:

  • The new approach towards poverty alleviation should involve targeted income transfers.
  • The government can transfer the poverty gap (difference between per capita consumption of the household and the poverty line faced by the household) into the bank account of the poor.
  • The cost of such a programme is likely to be between Rs 2.5 and 3 trillion and it will ensure nobody has a consumption below the poverty line. India’s current expense on poverty alleviation programmes is approximately Rs 3.4 trillion.
  • A basic income programme is likely to cost substantially less that the current policies.

Bringing more people under the tax net at the higher income brackets:

  • To improve revenue realisation from direct taxes, the government should focus on improving compliance by reducing the highest slabs of the tax rate.
  • The Indian economy requires adequate investments in critical areas such as road, railways and water. Therefore, the government needs to rationalise its expenditure and tax rates to ensure reallocation of resources.

Conclusion:

Our pace of poverty reduction has improved over the last five years. We can augment this through a targeted basic income policy and free up resources for other sectors of the economy. Times have changed and so should our policies towards poverty alleviation.

Connecting the dots:

  • While India has seen a great decline in poverty rates over last few years. It is time we rethink on the definition of poverty and on the policies intended to remove it. Comment.

SOCIAL ISSUES

TOPIC: General studies 2:

  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Basic rights for all

What are basic needs?

  • Needs are different from wants. You may want a chocolate every morning but don’t need it. But basic needs are different: their non-fulfilment can cause great harm, even kill. The failure to get an antibiotic if you have a bacterial infection can hurt badly.
  • Wants are subjective. Needs depend on the way human bodies are constituted. They are a solid necessity; one cannot get on without them. Nor can they be fulfilled by substitutes. For us, nothing can take the place of water, food and air.
  • People suffer if basic needs are met inadequately or with delay. They are then denied a minimally decent life.

Elementary justice requires that before anything else, the state does everything at its disposal to satisfy all basic needs of its citizens, particularly of those who cannot fend for themselves.

What are Basic rights?

  • A right is something that is owed to us; it is not a favour. Basic rights are claims on the state to provide us with goods and services that satisfy our basic needs.
  • When something is identified as a basic right, it puts the state under a duty to enable its exercise. The state becomes its guarantor. When society and government reneges on its commitment to do so, we hold them accountable.

Basic rights:

  • The right to minimum economic security and subsistence, that includes clean air, uncontaminated water, nutritious food, clothing and shelter.
    Credible threats to these rights can be reduced by the government by establishing institutions and practices that assist the vulnerable; for example, by setting up hospitals with adequate number of doctors, nurses, beds, medical equipment, intensive care units, essential drugs and emergency treatments.
  • Vulnerability, accountability-
    The right to free public expression of helplessness and frustration, if deprived of other basic rights.
    The right to make one’s vulnerability public, be informed about the acts of commission and omission of the government regarding anything that adversely affects the satisfaction of basic needs, to critically examine them and to hold state officials publicly accountable is a basic right on a par with right to physical security and subsistence and inseparably linked to them.

What needs to be done:

  • Like the constitutional principle of a basic structure, it is time to articulate an equally robust doctrine of basic rights.
  • These basic rights must be viewed primarily as positive, rights not against interference from the state (negative rights) but to the provision of something by it.
  • Just as individuals are punished for legal violations, the government of the day must also be punished for the violation of these basic rights. Defaulting governments must be held legally accountable. The systematic violation of basic rights must be treated on a par with the breakdown of constitutional machinery.

Conclusion:

The above basic rights can be summed up in a single phrase, the right to a minimally decent life. The point of having a threshold of minimal decency is that our life must not fall below a certain level of existence. Anything short of a minimally decent life is simply not acceptable. Governments must be made accountable when they undermine the exercise of these basic rights.

Connecting the dots:

  • What in your definition are basic needs? In order to fulfill these needs it is time to articulate an equally robust doctrine of basic rights. Critically analyse.

(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 Dragonfly mission is related to –

  1. Saturn
  2. Mars
  3. Saturn’s Moon: Titan
  4. None of the above

Q.2) Consider the following statements about SHE Team

  1. SHE stands for ‘Safety, Health and Environment’.
  2. ‘SHE Team’ will try to prevent harassment of working women at workplaces and public places only.

Select the Correct statements

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding state of Jammu and Kashmir,

  1. Governor’s Rule and President’s Rule are one and the same.
  2. Once President’s rule is imposed, lawmaking power is transferred to the parliament.

Select the Correct statements

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

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