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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th July 2019

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  • July 12, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th July 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Can’t be pushed into a decision: Speaker

Part of Prelims and mains GS II structure and functions of State assemblies  

In news

  • In the context of ongoing ruckus in Karnataka assembly, the Supreme Court asked Karnataka Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar to meet 10 rebel legislators from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) and take a decision on their resignations.
  • Mr. Ramesh Kumar insisted that he had a responsibility to understand whether the resignations were genuine and voluntary, as prescribed in the Constitution.
  • Mr. Ramesh Kumar confirmed that all the 10 fresh resignation letters tendered by the rebel legislators were in accordance with the Rules and Procedure of Conduct of Business in the Assembly.

Do you know?

Article 190 (3)(b)

If a member of a House of the Legislature of a State, resigns his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker or the Chairman, and his resignation is accepted by the Speaker or the Chairman, his seat shall thereupon becomes vacant: Provided that in the case of such resignation the Speaker or the Chairman is satisfied that such resignation is not voluntary or genuine.


Death penalty for child abuse

Part of Prelims and mains GS II social justice  

In news

Cabinet approves Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012

Do you know?

Key features of the Act 

  • The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to Protect the Children from Offences of Sexual Assault, Sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of children. 
  • The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and welfare of the child as matter of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child. 
  • The act is gender neutral.

Amendment 

  • It will make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including death penalty. 
  • The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.

Impact

  • The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act.
  • It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity.
  • The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.

Bill to tackle Ponzi schemes

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Economic Issues  

In news 

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister had earlier given its approval to move official amendments to The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, after the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF). 
  • The 2019 Bill will replace the The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance 2019. 
  • The 2019 ordinance helped in the creation of a central repository of all deposit schemes under operation, thus making it easier for the Centre to regulate their activities and prevent fraud from being committed against ordinary people. 
  • The ordinance allowed for compensation to be offered to victims through the liquidation of the assets of those offering illegal deposit schemes.   

Background

  • The Finance Minister in the Budget Speech 2016-17 had announced that a comprehensive Central legislation would be brought in to deal with the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes. 
  • This was because in the recent past, there have been rising instances fraud by illicit deposit taking schemes across India. The worst victims of these schemes are the poor and the financially illiterate, and the operations of such schemes are often spread over many States.  

The Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance 2019 – Important features

  • The ordinance aims to provide for a comprehensive mechanism to ban unregulated deposits schemes and thereby protect the interests of depositors. 
  • The Ordinance bans Deposit Takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme. 
  • A prize chit or money circulation scheme banned under the provisions of The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978 shall also be considered an unregulated deposit and has been banned accordingly.       
  • The Ordinance enables creation of an online central database, for collection and sharing of information on deposit-taking activities in the country.  The law also makes it incumbent upon newspapers to verify the advertisements placed in them to ensure that none of them is for unregulated deposit schemes.     

The Bill creates three different types of offences: 

  1. Running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, 
  2. Fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and 
  3. Wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.

IAF to adopt ASRAAM missile for fighter fleet

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Science & Technology  

In news

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) move to integrate British Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air missile (ASRAAM) to Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter jets. IAF is looking to replace the Russian-made Vympel R-73 missile with the ASRAAM in phases.

Do you know?

About ASRAAM

  • ASRAAM is widely used as a Within Visual Range (WVR) air dominance missile with a range of over 25km (Short range). 
  • It is air-to-air missile.
  • It is an imaging infrared homing (“heat seeking”) missile.

Green light for rural roads 

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Inclusive growth, rural infrastructure development 

In news 

  • PMGSY-III scheme was announced by the Finance Minister in Budget Speech for the year 2018-19.
  • Objective: It involves consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
  • Impact: This would facilitate easy and faster movement to and from Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals. Roads constructed under PMGSY would also be maintained properly.
  • Project period: 2019-20 to 2024-25.

Do you know?

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

PMGSY was launched in December, 2000 with an objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size (500+ in plain areas and 250+ in North-East, hill, tribal and desert areas as per Census, 2001) for overall socio-economic development of the areas. 97% of the eligible and feasible habitations have already been connected by all-weather road. 


(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC:

General studies 1

  • population and associated issues

General studies 2

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

A demographic window of opportunity

Background

According to the UN Report released recently, India is expected to overtake China as the most populous country by 2027. In this regard, this article discusses as to how the Indian Government must manage its human resources efficiently.

How to reduce the Population Growth rate?

Punitive actions such as such as restriction on maternity leave, disqualification from panchayat elections for more than 2 children in some states etc. cannot lead to decrease in population growth rate. Such disincentives are not strong enough to overcome the desire for children as the people who desired larger families go ahead in spite of consequences.

There are sharp differences in the Total Fertility rate (TFR) among the different socio-economic groups in India. 

The TFR of the poorest women was 3.2 as compared to TFR of 1.5 of richer women. 

The lower TFR among the richer households is because of their desire to invest in their children’s education and future prospects that seems to drive people to stop at one child. Richer individuals see greater potential for ensuring admission to good colleges and better jobs for their children, inspiring them to limit their family size.

Thus, we must focus on reducing the TFR among the poorer households by improving the access to education and ensuring better jobs for their children. Such efforts have to be substantiated by provision of contraceptive services.

Integrating Population policy into Development Policies

The 15th Finance Commission has planned to use the 2011 census data for the distribution of taxes among the states. However, it has been opposed by the Southern states since such a policy would penalize them for taking efforts to reduce the population and it would implicitly reward the populous states which may not have implemented the population control measures strictly.

Continuing with the 1971 census-based allocation would be mistake on the basis of following grounds:

Varying Stages of Demographic Transition: Different states in India are at different stages of demographic transition. States such as Kerala and TN are already past their demographic dividend stage, while in next 20 years states such as Karnataka would have window of opportunity. States such as UP and Bihar are expected to have peak in their demographic dividend much later.

The states with higher share of workers would be able to contribute to higher revenue to the centre and such revenue can in turn be used to support the states with higher share of ageing population. For example, workers in Haryana would be able to support ageing population of Kerala in future.

Conclusion

Presently, the states with higher fertility rates and higher population growth need to be supported by the Centre so as to enhance human capital formation in the form of Education, health etc. By sticking to 1971 census, we would not be able to address the demands of such states.

Connecting the dots:

In India, investing in the laggard States will ensure their role as being the greatest contributors of the future. Comment in context of demographic differences.


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 3

  • Infrastructure
  • Energy

Going electric

Background

The Union Budget has announced a bold move to make a transition to electric vehicles, and offered a tax incentive for the early adopters. 

Its stated vision to leapfrog into an era of electric mobility and domestic vehicle manufacturing, led by public transport and commercial vehicles, is forward-looking. 

It is also inevitable because poor air quality and noise pollution have sharply affected the quality of life, and pose a serious public health challenge. 

Deadline 

As the NITI Aayog has stated, the goal of shifting to electric vehicles cannot make progress without deadlines, and a market-driven approach sought by some sections of the automotive industry will leave India’s capabilities and infrastructure for e-mobility trailing others, notably China. 

With 2030 as the outer limit, the imperative is to fix a realistic time-frame by which scooters, motorcycles, three-wheel carriages and, later, all new vehicles will be battery powered. 

Incentives

An additional income tax deduction of ₹1.5 lakh is now offered on interest paid on loans to purchase electric vehicles, and the GST Council has been moved to cut the tax on e-vehicles to 5% from 12%. Both demands were made by the industry earlier. 

Budgetary allocation

There is a significant outlay under the second iteration of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing (of Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles (FAME) plan of ₹10,000 crore, to give a fillip to commercial vehicles and to set up charging stations.

Way ahead

Affordable charging will make these vehicles and commercial three-wheelers attractive because operating costs are a fraction of petrol and diesel equivalents. 

Swapping the battery at convenient locations with one that is pre-charged, especially for commercial vehicles that run longer and need a quick turnaround, is worth considering.

A longer-term policy priority has to be the setting up of lithium battery production and solar charging infrastructure of a scale that matches the ambition.

Connecting the dots:

India is moving ahead to become a world leader in electric vehicles industry. Critically analyse the issues and challenges in front of Indian automobile industry to shift to electric vehicles.


(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  1. Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  2. 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 The POCSO Act, 2012,

  1. The Act defines a child as any person below sixteen years of age.
  2. The act is gender neutral.

Select the incorrect statements

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Ponzi schemes in India,

  1. Ponzi schemes are legal in India.
  2. Ponzi schemes are regulated by SEBI.

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 about Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY),

  1. PMGSY is being implemented by Ministry of road transport
  2. PMGSY was launched in December, 2014 with an objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size

Select the correct statements

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

Q.4) Article 190 of the Indian Constitution is related to,

  1. Vacation of seats in both the houses of parliament
  2. Vacation of seats in both the houses of State legislature 
  3. Vacation of seats in Lok sabha
  4. None of the above

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