Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 16th July 2019

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  • July 16, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 16th July 2019



Debate on the National Investigation Agency (NIA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in loksabha

Part of Prelims and Mains GSIII security issues 

In news

  • The Lok Sabha on July 15, 2019 passes The National Investigative Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019. This Bill gives NIA officers power to investigate offences committed outside India too, and mandates the setting up of Special Courts.
  • During the debate over the bill, erstwhile Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was also became part of the political discussion.

Do you know?

“Prevention of Terrorism Act” (POTA), 2002

  • Came after the IC-814 hijack and 2001 Parliament attack.
  • A suspect could be detained for up to 180 days by a special court.
  • A separate chapter to deal with terrorist organisations was included.
  • Union government was mandated to maintain a list of organised that would fall under the act’s radar and had full authority to make additions or removals.

National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for the following:

  • “In order to facilitate the speedy investigation 
  • prosecution of Scheduled Offences, including those committed outside India against the Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India 
  • To insert certain new offences in the Schedule to the Act as Scheduled Offences which adversely affect the national security, it has become necessary to amend certain provisions of the Act.”

National Green Tribunal (NGT) constituted a committee on illegal construction on the floodplains

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Environment and ecology

In news

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a committee to look into a plea alleging illegal construction on the floodplains of river Kosi in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, by a private university

Do you know?

National Green Tribunal is a statutory body established by a Government Notification using the powers of Section 3 of the NGT Act 2010.


  • To provide effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forestsand other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment.
  • Giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property Other Related Matters.

River kosi

  • Kosi River is known as the “Sorrow of Bihar”
  • These include the Tamor River originating from the Kanchenjunga area in the east and Arun River and Sun Koshi from Tibet
  • The Kosi is 720 km long and drains in Tibet (China), Nepal and Bihar (India).

NGT directs Army to shift ammunition dump

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Environment and ecology

In news

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Army to shift its ammunition dump in Raiwala, Uttarakhand to ensure restoration of the Chila-Motichur Elephant Corridor.
  • The ammunition dump was a threat to the wildlife and ecology of the Chilla-Motichur corridor.

Do you know?

Chilla-Motichur corridor

  • It is a part of Rajaji national park 
  • Loctedin uttarakhand
  • It an elephant corridor , Declared free of human habitation

Vaccine trials started to check Tuberculosis spread 

Part of Prelims and Mains GS II Governance; Health services 

In news:

  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has started a TB vaccine trial with a view to preventing the occurrence of tuberculosis among the close contacts of a patient.
  • Trial is being conducted to come up with the first TB vaccine for adults as the BCG vaccine is only for new-borns.
  • Two vaccines — VPM1002 and Mycobacterium Indicus Pranii (MIP) — had been short-listed for the phase III trial among the healthy household contacts of a sputum smear-positive patient.

Do you know?

  • India contributes to 27% of global TB population.
  • Few TB drugs of TB are Isoniazid, Rifampicin.
  • Nikshay is a web based solution for monitoring TB, launched by the Health Ministry.
  • India want to end TB by 2025

About Tuberculosis (TB)

  • A serious infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs.
  • TB is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)
  • Spread when an infected person. Through airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes) and by saliva (kissing or shared drinks).
  • TB is Curable and preventable, when medicines are provided and taken properly.

‘Blue Flag’ challenge for Indian oceans

Part of Prelims and Mains GS III Environment and ecology

In news

  • Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety

About Blue Flag

  • The Blue Flag programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively

What is the criteria to achieve this Blue Flag certification

  • Nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification
  • Such as the water meeting certain standards such as waste disposal facilities, disabled-friendly facilities, first aid equipment and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory

To help Indian beaches meet these criteria

  • The Union Ministry has allowed structures such container toilet blocks, change rooms, shower panels, mini greywater treatment plants in an enclosed structure, mini solid waste recycling plants and off-grid solar photovoltaic panels to come up, provided they are a minimum 10 metres from the high tide line.



TOPIC: General studies 2

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

A WASH for healthcare


Healthcare facilities are many and varied. Some are primary, others are tertiary. Many are public, some are private. Some meet specific needs, whether dentistry or occupational therapy, and some are temporary, providing acute care when disaster strikes.

Adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) amenities, including waste management and environmental cleaning services, are critical to their safe functioning. 

Impacts of lack of WASH facilities 

  • When a healthcare facility lacks adequate WASH services, infection prevention and control are severely compromised. 
  • This has the potential to make patients and health workers sick from avoidable infections. 
  • As a result, efforts to improve maternal, neonatal and child health are undermined. Lack of WASH facilities also results in unnecessary use of antibiotics, thereby spreading antimicrobial resistance.

Current scenario

  • According to a report, published this year by the World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly, outlines WASH services in many facilities across the world are missing or substandard. 
  • According to data from 2016, an estimated 896 million people globally had no water service at their healthcare facility. 
  • More than 1.5 billion had no sanitation service. 
  • One in every six healthcare facilities was estimated to have no hygiene service. While data on waste management and environmental cleaning was inadequate across the board.

Need of WASH services 

  • In WHO’s South-East Asia region, efforts to tackle the problem and achieve related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets are being vigorously pursued. 
  • Improving WASH services in health-care facilities is crucial to accelerating progress towards each of the region’s ‘flagship priorities’, especially the achievement of universal health coverage. 
  • Improving WASH services was deemed essential to enhancing the quality of primary healthcare services, increasing equity and bridging the rural-urban divide.

Resolution to provide WASH services 

A World Health Assembly Resolution is hoping to catalyse domestic and external investments to help reach the global targets. 

These include ensuring; 

  • At least 60% of all healthcare facilities have basic WASH services by 2022; 
  • At least 80% have the same by 2025; and 
  • 100% of all facilities provide basic WASH services by 2030.

Way forward

  • Member states should implement each of the WHO- and UNICEF-recommended practical steps. 
  • Health authorities should conduct in-depth assessments and establish national standards and accountability mechanisms. 
  • Across the region, and the world, a lack of quality baseline data limits authorities’ understanding of the problem. 
  • Health authorities should create clear and measurable benchmarks that can be used to improve and maintain infrastructure and ensure that facilities are ‘fit to serve’.
  • Health authorities should increase engagement and work to instil a culture of cleanliness and safety in all health-care facilities. 
  • Alongside information campaigns that target facility administrators, all workers in the health system — from doctors and nurses to midwives and cleaners — should be made aware of, and made to practise, current WASH and infection prevention and control procedures (IPC). 
  • Modules on WASH services and IPC should be included in pre-service training and as part of ongoing professional development. 
  • In addition, authorities should work more closely with communities, especially in rural areas, to promote demand for WASH services.
  • Authorities should ensure that collection of data on key WASH indicators becomes routine. 
  • Doing so will help accelerate progress by promoting continued action and accountability. 
  • It will also help spur innovation by documenting the links between policies and outcomes. 


As member states strive to achieve the ‘flagship priorities’ and work towards the SDG targets, that outcome is crucial. Indeed, whatever the healthcare facility, whoever the provider, and wherever it is located, securing safe health services is an objective member states must boldly pursue.

Connecting the dots:

Without adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) amenities, infection control is severely compromised in India’s heathcare system. Comment.


TOPIC: General studies 2

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
  • India and its neighborhood- relations.

India’s foreign policy needs rework in the next five years


The geopolitical scenario of the world is changing and this has brought up new global issues for India deal with. Therefore, various aspects of India’s foreign policy also is required to be changed to fit the changing geopolitics of the world.

Earlier Scenario: Strategic autonomy

  • In the past, India did manage a shift from non-alignment to multi-alignment. 
  • We could improve our relations with the United States without jeopardising our long-term relationship with Russia.
  • We could paper over our prickly relations with China without conceding too much ground; all the while maintaining our strategic independence.

Current Scenario – Impact of U.S. conflict with Russia/ China 

  • Deepening India-U.S. relations today again carry the danger of India becoming involved in a new kind of Cold War. 
  • According to the author, the earlier policy of multi-alignment based on strategic autonomy has now become unsustainable. 
  • Firstly, it is due to rise in confrontation between the US with Russia & China. And Secondly this earlier policy needs to be changed because of the recent policies of Donald Trump. 
  • Even the definition of a liberal order seems to be undergoing changes.


  • South Asia, the region of our highest priority, needs close attention.
  • Began engagement with Pakistan.
  • Involve India further in Afghanistan to secure India’s interest in expected US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • Ensure resistance to BRI among India’s neighbours.
  • Avoid alignment in the new Cold War between US with Russia and China.
  • India should focus on developing disruptive technologies such as AI, cyber technology, etc as part of its defence policy.
  • Focus and build India’s economic power.
  • India must ensure that it does not become a party to the conflicts and rivalries between the U.S. and a rising China, the heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and also avoid becoming a pawn in the U.S.-Iran conflict.

Connecting the dots:

With the change in global political scenario, India must also change its strategy of foreign relations. Comment.


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Q1) River kosi flows flows through? 

  1. India , China and Nepal
  2. India and Nepal 
  3. India Nepal and Bhutan
  4. Only in India

Q2) Chilla-Motichurelephant corridor is located in

  1. Bihar
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. Uttar Pradesh
  4. Assam

Q3) National Green Tribunal (NGT) objectives

  1. provide effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection
  2. conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment
  3. protecting the tiger and elephant corridors

Select the wrong statement from above

  1. only III
  2. both I and II
  3. all of the above
  4. none of the above

Q4) Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a vaccine related to

  1. Leprosy
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Hepatitis B
  4. Measles

Q5) ‘Blue Flag’ certification is for 

  1. Peace agreement between blue water nations
  2. An international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety
  3. Cleaning up of oil spills in oceans
  4. Naval exercise between India and Singapore


Maritime challenges and opportunities

Indian Express

A test of law and justice

The Hindu

India must play a role in Afghan peace talks


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