Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 4th Aug to 18th August – 2019

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  • August 19, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 4th to 18th August – 2019



Government of India, Govt. of Tripura and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT- SD) Sign Memorandum of Settlement

(Topic: 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.)

NLFT has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997 and has been involved in violence, operating from their camps across the international border. NLFT has been responsible for violent activities including 317 insurgency incidents in which 28 security forces and 62 civilians lost their lives during the period 2005-2015. Peace talks with NLFT were initiated in 2015 and there has been no violence by NLFT since 2016.

NLFT (SD) has agreed to abjure the path of violence, join the mainstream and abide by the Constitution of India. It has agreed to the surrender of its 88 cadres with their weapons. The surrendered cadres will be given surrender benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The State Government of Tripura will help the surrendered cadres in housing, recruitment, education etc. Government of India will consider the proposals of Tripura State Government regarding economic development of tribal areas of Tripura.

Government brings Resolution to Repeal Article 370 of the Constitution (Extremely important)

(Topic: 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.)

Bills & Resolutions to remember

  • Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019 {Ref. Article 370(1) of Constitution of India} – issued by President of India to supersede the 1954 order related to Article 370.
  • Resolution for Repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution of India {Ref. Article 370 (3)}
  • Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019 {Ref. Article 3 of Constitution of India}
  • Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019

Read the comprehensive coverage here: Article 370

Consumer Protection Bill, 2019

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

Aim: To protect the rights of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute

The Bill will replace the more than three decades old Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and will provide a better mechanism to dispose consumer complaints in a speedy manner and will help in disposal of large number of pending cases in consumer courts across the nation.

  • Proposes setting up of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class. The CCPA would make interventions to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices. The agency can also initiate class action, including enforcing recall, refund and return of products.
  • The Bill also envisages simplified dispute resolution process, has provision for Mediation and e-filing of cases.  The Consumer will be able to file cases in the nearest commission under the jurisdiction of which he resides.
  • For the first time there will be an exclusive law dealing with Product Liability. A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller will now be responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services.
  • Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the bill through CCPA. There are provisions for deterrent punishment to check misleading advertisements and adulteration of products. Product liability provision to deter manufacturers and service providers from delivering defective products or deficient services. The Bill also enables regulations to be notified on E-commerce and direct selling with focus on protection of interest of consumers.

National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

Licence to practice: Section 32 of the NMC Act 2019 allows the proposed NMC, which will replace the Medical Council of India, to grant “limited licence to practice medicine at mid-level as a community health provider”. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) sees it as encouraging quackery. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 30 calling for the Bill to be redrafted, the IMA wrote: “We are deeply concerned about granting non-medical ‘persons connected with modern scientific medical profession’, licence to practise modern medicine… This is nothing but legalising and promoting quackery in India… Who will guarantee that these ‘legalised quacks’ will work in villages only?… National Medical Commission Bill will open the floodgates for licencing 3.5 lakhs ‘legalised quacks’. This amounts to ‘licence to kill’.”

Bridge course: Doctors have expressed concerns about the licence mentioned in Section 32 being another name for a contentious “bridge course”. Such a course has been proposed in the original version of the Bill. It would have allowed practitioners of homoeopathy and Indian systems of medicine to go on to practice allopathy. In the new Bill, the bridge course has been dropped as per the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, which wrote: “The Committee is of the view that the bridge course should not be made a mandatory provision in the present Bill. However, the Committee appreciates the need to build the capacity of the existing human resources in the healthcare sector, to address the shortage of healthcare professionals so as to achieve the objectives of the National Health Policy, 2017. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the State Governments may implement measures to enhance the capacity of the existing healthcare professionals including AYUSH practitioners, BSc (Nursing), BDS, B Pharma etc. to address their State specific primary healthcare issues in the rural areas.”

Exit examination

The original Bill had proposed a licentiate examination for doctors, and the IMA had expressed concerns about it then too. The new Bill proposes a single exit exam – the final MBBS exam, which will work as a licentiate examination, a screening test for foreign medical graduates, and an entrance test for admission in postgraduate programmes. It also provides for just one medical entrance test across the country

In the letter, IMA wrote: “The Bill condenses final year MBBS exam, Licentiate exam. and PG NEET into one examination. This effectively removes the opportunity to reappear for PG selection. Moreover, the examination being objective in nature, increases the workload and stress level of the students manifold. Allowing foreign medical graduates to take the same examination will be an injustice… The current system allows medical graduates to practise irrespective of the status of his/her PG NEET.”

Changes in the CSR Act

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

The main recommendations include –

  • Making CSR expenditure tax deductible
  • Provision for carry forward of unspent balance for a period of 3 – 5 years
  • Aligning Schedule 7 with the SDGs by adopting a SDG plus framework (which would additionally include sports promotion, Senior Citizens’  welfare, welfare of differently abled persons, disaster management and heritage protection)
  • Balancing local area preferences with national priorities
  • Introducing impact assessment studies for CSR obligation of 5 crore or more
  • Registration of implementation agencies on MCA portal
  • Developing a CSR exchange portal to connect contributors, beneficiaries and agencies, allowing CSR in social benefit bonds, promoting social impact companies, and third party assessment of major CSR projects
  • The Committee has emphasized on not treating CSR as a means of resource gap funding for government schemes.  
  • The Committee discourages passive contribution of CSR into different funds included in Schedule VII of the Act. It has emphasized on CSR spending as a board driven process to provide innovative technology based solutions for social problems.  
  • The Committee has also recommended that companies having CSR prescribed amount below Rs. 50 lakh may be exempted from constituting a CSR Committee.  
  • The Committee has also recommended that violation of CSR compliance may be made a civil offence and shifted to the penalty regime.

Cabinet approves 

Ratification of the amended Framework Agreement of the ISA for opening up the ISA membership to all countries that are members of the United Nations: Opening of membership of the ISA to all countries that are members of the United Nations will put solar energy in global agenda with universal appeal for developing and deploying solar energy. Expanding membership will make the ISA inclusive, where to all countries that are members of the United Nations could member. It will further lead to ISA initiative benefitting the world at large.

MoU between India and Tunisia on Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes: 

  • This Agreement shall enable the following cooperation in space science, technology and applications including areas, such as remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.
  • The Agreement would lead to setting up of a Joint Working Group, drawing members from Department of Space/ISRO, India and the National Centre for Cartography and Remote Sensing, Tunisia which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.

Prelims Oriented News

World Biofuel Day: 10th of August; this year the theme of the World Biofuel Day is “Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO)”

Founding father of ISRO: Dr. Vikram Sarabhai – Vikram lander will land on Moon as a tribute to Vikram Sarabhai from crores of Indians

BASIC countries: Brazil, South Africa, India and China

5th National Handloom Day: 7th August, 2019 – to honour the handloom weavers in the country and also highlight India’s handloom industry. National Handloom Day seeks to focus on the contribution of handloom to the socio economic development of the country and also increase the income of weavers.

UNIDO and National Institute of Solar Energy to partner for skill development program: The agreement is part of the ongoing MNRE-GEF-UNIDO project implemented jointly by UNIDO and to support capacity building and skill development of technical manpower in the Concentrated Solar Thermal Energy Technologies (CST) which are being used to replace conventional fossil fuels e.g. coal, diesel, furnace oil etc. and save costs and emissions in the industrial process heat applications.

Four New Products get GI Tag

    • PalaniPanchamirtham from Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu State: PalaniPanchamirtham, an abishegaPrasadam, from Palani Town is one of the main offerings in the Abisegam of Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of ArulmiguDhandayuthapaniswamy Temple, situated in palani Hills, Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu. It is a combination of five natural substances, namely, banana, jaggery sugar, cow ghee, honey and cardamom in a definite proportion. It is prepared in a natural method without addition of any preservatives or artificial ingredients and is well known for its religious fervour and gaiety. This is the first time a temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.
  • Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puancheifrom the state of Mizoram:
    • Tawlhlohpuan, a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving & intricate designs that are made by hand. Tawlhloh, in Mizo language, means ‘to stand firm or not to move backward’. Tawlhlohpuan, which holds high significance in the Mizo society, is produced throughout the state of Mizoram, Aizawl and Thenzawl town being the main centre of production.
    • Mizo Puanchei, a colourful Mizo shawl/textile, from Mizoram, is considered as the most colourful among the Mizo textiles. It is an essential possession for every Mizo lady and an important marriage outfit in the state. It is also the most commonly used costume in Mizo festive dances and official ceremonies. The weavers insert the designs and motifs by using supplementary yarns while weaving to create this beautiful and alluring textile.
  • Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala: Tirur betel vine from Kerala, which is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayaths of Malappuram District, is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties. Even though it is commonly used for making pan masala for chewing, it has many medicinal, industrial and cultural usagesand is considered as a remedy for bad breath and digestive disorders.

GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.

GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen. India’s rural artisans possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has taken several initiatives in this regard and is actively involved in promotion and marketing of GIs.

Expansion of Rotavirus vaccine to the entire country: Government is committed to ending morbidity and mortality in children due to diarrhoea by 2022. Strengthening routine immunization is an essential investment in India’s children and will ensure a healthy future of the country.

Why: In India, every year 37 out of every 1000 children born are unable to celebrate their 5th birthday, and one of the major reasons for this is diarrheal deaths. Out of all the causes of diarrhoea, rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age. It is estimated that rotavirus cause 8,72,000 hospitalizations; 32,70,000 outpatient visits and estimated 78,000 deaths annually in India.

  • Diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers in children and Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhoea in children less than 2 years of age. 
  • Rotavirus vaccine along with proper sanitation, hand washing practices, ORS and zinc supplementation will go a long way in reducing the mortality and morbidity due to diarrhoea in children.
  • Three doses of rotavirus vaccine are provided along with other vaccines, free of cost under UIP at one and half month, two and half moth, and three and half month of age of child.

Swachh Survekshan 2020 – To be conducted in Jan 2020; the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)

  • Alongside, the Swachh Survekshan 2020 Toolkit, SBM Water PLUS Protocol and Toolkit, Swachh Nagar – an integrated waste management app and AI enabled mSBM App were also launched.
  • Moving beyond ODF, ODF+ and ODF++, the Water PLUS protocol aims to provide a guideline for cities and towns to ensure that no untreated wastewater is released into the environment thereby enabling sustainability of the sanitation value chain. This is in line with the Government’s focus on water conversation and reuse under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and also aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation


National Policy on Biofuels: Envisages production of biofuel from UCO

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is implementing a strategy to divert UCO from the food value chain and curb current illegal usage. The benefits of transformation of UCO will help bring health benefits as there would be no recycling of the UCO, employment generation, infrastructural investment in rural areas & cleaner environment with reduced carbon footprint.
  • Biofuels have the benefits of reduction of import dependence, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation. Biofuel programme also compliments Government of India’s initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and increasing farmer’s income.  A number of initiatives have been undertaken to increase production and blending of biofuels since 2014.
  • In India, the same cooking oil is used for repeated frying which adversely affects the health due to formation of polar compounds during frying. These polar compounds are associated with diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases among others. UCO is either not discarded at all or disposed off in an environmentally hazardous manner choking drains and sewerage systems
  • The National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 envisages a target of 5% blending of Biodiesel in HSD by 2030. In order to achieve the blending target, 500 crore litres of Biodiesel is required in a year.

Stubble Burning: There has been a considerable reduction in crop residue burning incidents in 2018.

  • Various efforts under the Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the State of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & NCT of Delhi’, the paddy residue burning events have reduced by 15% and 41% in 2018 as compared to that in 2017 and 2016, respectively in all these States as per the satellite data. 
  • More than 4500 villages in Punjab and Haryana was declared as Zero Stubble Burning Villages during 2018 as not a single crop burning incident was reported from these villages during the year.

DRDO successfully flight-tests state-of-the-art Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles against live aerial targets:

  • The systems have been tested in final configuration with RADAR mounted on a vehicle & missiles on the launcher.
  • The systems are equipped with indigenously-developed Phased array radar, Inertial Navigation System, Data Link & RF seeker.
  • The entire mission was captured by various Electro Optical Tracking Systems, Radar Systems and Telemetry Systems.
  • The system is being developed for Indian Army with search and track on move capability with very short reaction time.

Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha Drive: It is a time bound campaign with a mission mode approach. This concept of water conservation is essential for students so that they can understand the importance of water and how it is shaping their lives meaningfully, thereby enabling them to participate in water conservation activities in their day to day lives.

  • To educate students learn about conservation of water
  • To sensitize Students about the impact of scarcity of water
  • To empower Students to learn to protect the natural sources of water
  • To help every Student to save at least one litre of water per day
  • To encourage Students towards judicious use and minimum wastage of water at home and school level

66th National Film Awards

  • Gujarati film Hellaro wins Best Feature Film Award
  • Badhaai Ho bags award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
  • Hindi movie Padman declared Best Film on Social Issues
  • Aditya Dhar wins Best Director Award for Uri: The Surgical Strike
  • Ayushman Khurana and Vicky Kaushal jointly win Best Actor Award for their performances in Andhadhun and Uri: The Surgical Strike
  • Keerthy Suresh bags Best Actress trophy for her performance in Telugu movie Mahanati
  • Marathi movie Paani wins the award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/ Preservation.
  • Kannada film Ondalla Eradalla gets Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration
  • Uttarakhand declared Most Film Friendly State

Quit India Movement

In July 1942, the Congress Working Committee met at Wardha and a resolution was passed which was termed The Wardha Resolution. It is also known as Quit India Resolution which demanded, “The British Rule in India must end immediately.” And it declared that free India “will assure the success by throwing his great resources in the struggle for freedom and against the aggression of Nazism, Facism and perialism”. Thus, Quit India was about enabling India’s greater participation in the war for peace and in the war of liberation from fascism and nascism. Quit India was a civil disobedience movement launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942, demanding an end to British rule in India. While message of quit India was loud and clear, the call of ‘do or die’ infused the masses with a life of its own.

Factors that led to attitude change of Mahatma Gandhi from non-compromising peaceful Gandhi to aggressive Gandhi:

  • Non-Cooperation Movement: Abrupt end of NCM due to Chauri-Chaura incident and aftermath
  • Split of Congress: Swarajya Party.
  • Simon Commission: Assault against protestors.
  • Salt Satyagraha.
  • Round Table Conferences: Gandhi – Irwin Pact.
  • Individual Satyagraha: Gave confidence about the strength of masses and by then people were prepared for long struggle.
  • World wars: British true intentions were visible during the course of 2nd world war and Cripps Mission.
  • Bengal Famine and Britishers non-empathy towards India and turning away supply to war.
  • Youths turning violent and losing patience.
  • Mass ready for direct confrontation

All the above factors slowly one after another turned Gandhian and fellow citizens impatient, also millions perished during the Bengal famine, these things enraged Gandhi and he finally gave a call for direct confrontation with a call for “Do or Die”.

Circumstances for the launch of the movement:

  1. Failure of Cripps mission: Cripps mission was sent from Britain to negotiate with Indian leaders to support Britain in WW-2. Indian National congress has declared Purna Swaraj as final goal in Lahore session in 1928 and was not ready to concede on this. While British government was promising only dominion that too after war.
  2. Escalation of Prices and food shortage: WW-2 has increase demand of goods which lead to escalation of prices. Food and other good were supplied to soldiers from India and common people have bear it repercussion in form of high prices. Public was more ready for mass based movement than our leaders.
  3. Advancement of Japan: Japan was advancing toward India after subjugating South East Asia. Indian saw it as opportunities to over-throw the British.
  4. The British saw the threat it posed and arrested all the major national leaders before the dawn of the day, the whole movement was carried out by the masses without the leaders.

Impact of the movement:

  1. QIM demoralized British government to rule India. People participated without any guides and attacked the symbols of British authority. In many places self-rule local governments were established. This pressurized British government to accept demands of congress. So, the British lifted Ban on Congress and National leaders were released from prison.
  2. Paved the way for constitutional proposal of the Cabinet Mission. Latter Constituent assembly was organized on the Mission’s recommendations.
  3. Relent on INA Trails: The British were in favor to punish every participant on treason charges but due to QIM has forced the British to be relent on trial.

What role did students play in India’s freedom struggle?

  • In 1848 Dadabhai Naoroji founded ‘The student’s scientific and historical society, as a forum for discussion.
  • The student’s strike at King Edward Medical College ,Lahore was first student strike against discriminatory practice of English against Indians.
  • With the increased colonizers interference, the student movements also increased between 1906 to 1918 when 184 persons out of which 68 were students were convicted in Bengal in connection with revolutionary activities.
  • Swadeshi Movement organised students and gave a revolutionary outlook such as boycott colleges, British goods, students clubs etc.
  • In 1912 All India College Students Conference nailed the students’ commitment to work for freedom with moto of “Swaraj first, education after”.
  • Student Christian Movement against western colonialism with aim to orient students with Christian faith.
  • When Gandhiji launched his campaign against the Rowlett act and Jallianwala bagh atrocities, students participated in big numbers. Gandhiji called the students to withdraw from school and colleges. Students from all over the country responded promptly and boycotted schools and colleges.
  • Hindu Students Federation and All India Muslim Students Federation also added voice in freedom struggle by putting demands of students on the basis of their religious ideologies.
  • Quit India Movement got largest support of students .They successfully shut down colleges and get involved in most of leadership responsibilities eq- Matagini Hazra, Aruna Asaf Ali, Garimella Satya Narayana etc. They also provided link between underground leaders and movement 
  • The youth of India was not confined to Indian boundaries but also supported freedom struggle from nation abroad eq. Bhikaji Kama, Lala Hardayal etc.
  • Students also played very important role in various campaign launched by Gandhiji against the British such as no tax campaign 1921, the civil disobedience movement, the Dandi satyagraha of 1930 etc. 
  • In 1936, the all India student Federation, the first Student Organisation of India, was born in order to support the Indian National Congress in its struggles.

How did Gandhi’s arrival change the discourse of the nationalist movement? 

Change in discourse of national movement:

  • Gandhi rejected violent nationalism.
  • Gandhi used terms like swaraj, swadeshi, and Indian civilization instead of nation.
  • Gandhi’s nationalism was based on satya, ahimsa, karmayoga, ramarajya, tapasya, and moksha etc.
  • Class movements to mass movements: champaran satyagraha (1917), Kheda movement (1918), Khilafat movement (1919), non- cooperation movement (1920), civil-disobedience movement (1930), Quit India movement(1942) – these all were mass movements.
  • Gandhiji boycotted foreign goods.
  • Passive resistance and non-violence became motto.
  • Love the enemies and voluntary surrendering to authorities became norm.

National movement was inclusive and representative:

  • Women participation: thousands of women came out of their homes and participated in salt satyagraha.
  • Working class and professionals participated: lawyers, teachers, professors also joined the national movement.
  • Students also boycotted class and participated in the movement in large scale.
  • All religion participated: irrespective of religion and caste all people took part in mass movement.
  • Business class participated: gave financial assistance and rejected imported goods.

Some of the flaws in Gandhi’s ideology:

  • Alliance with Muslim league on religious grounds during non-cooperation movement strengthened the Muslim league as an independent entity, though it brought leaders together but failed to bring Hindus and Muslims together.
  • Support of Gandhiji to WW-I – British government didn’t do anything substantial instead brought Black act. Failure to commute death sentence of Bhagat singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru to Life imprisonment. Though cause of opposition to communal award was good but system of joint electorate didn’t let true representatives of depressed classes to lead.

Gandhi’ arrival was watershed in the national movement; it changed the discourse in significant way. It can be holistically said national movement was inclusive and representative as it covered whole India and its people.

Connecting the dots:

  1. Analyse the significance of Quit India movement in India’s struggle for independence.
  2. During the Quit India movement, the masses were united irrespective of their background. However, today, when India faces much severe challenges, the unity seems elusive. Identify the major challenges faced by Indian society today and how can they be forced to ‘Quit India’?

Must Read: Quit India Movement and India Today

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