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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th October 2019

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  • October 26, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th October 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


RTI RULES

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II–RTI

In News

  • The Ministry of Personnel notified the Right to Information (Term of Office, Salaries, Allowances and Other Terms and Conditions of Service of Chief Information Commissioner, Information Commissioners and State Information Commissioners) Rules, 2019.
  • The rules have reduced the tenure of Information Commissioners from five years to three.
  • The Chief Information Commissioner’s salary has been fixed at Rs2.5 lakh and an Information Commissioner’s at Rs 2.25 lakh.
  • It gives the government the discretion to decide on “conditions of service” for which no express provisions are made in the rules.
  • According to activists, the rules had been drafted and promulgated in completely surreptitious manner which is in violation of the procedures laid down in the Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy of 2014.
  • The policy requires all draft rules to be placed in the public domain for comments/suggestions of people. The draft was not available in the public domain and no consultations were held with members of the public.
  • The changes would affect the independence of ‘Information Commissions who will function like caged parrots.’

PMO tells States to address stubble burning issue

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Environment

In News

  • The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has instructed Punjab and Haryana to address the issue of stubble burning. 
  • Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister chaired a meeting with members of a task force that oversees implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)
  • According to assessment by weather forecast agency SAFAR, the impact of stubble burning from Haryana & Punjab is “moderate but gradually increasing.” 
  • Experts had earlier said that this weekend is particularly crucial for air quality due to Diwali which will see bursting of crackers as well as heightened traffic.
  • The GRAP Task Force recommended that hot mix plants, stone-crushers and construction activities that generate dust are prohibited from October 26 to 30 in Delhi and its satellite towns

What is graded response action plan (GRAP)?

  • The plan was prepared by the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which held meetings with stakeholders from all states over several months. A graded response lays down stratified actions that are required to be taken as and when the concentration of pollutants reaches a certain level.
  • This plan will be putting into action a number of anti-pollution measures and there will be specific actions for each category — moderate to poor, very poor, severe and emergency.
  • The measures include stoppage in the running of diesel sets, a three-fourfold increase in the parking rates, enhanced bus and metro services, and newspapers, TV and radio stations alerts on a daily basis with advice to people with respiratory and cardiac problems.
  • Also, air in moderate-to-poor category will involve periodical mechanised sweeping of roads, deployment of traffic police for smooth flow of traffic at identified choke areas and strict enforcement of pollution norms at brick kilns and industrial complexes.

IndiGen initiative

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III –Science & Technology

In News

  • The IndiGen initiative was undertaken by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in April 2019, which was implemented by the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
  • CSIR has conducted Whole Genome Sequencing of 1,008 Indians from different populations across the country under the IndiGen Genome project.
  • This has enabled benchmarking the scalability of genome sequencing and computational analysis at population scale in a defined timeline. The ability to decode the genetic blueprint of humans through whole genome sequencing will be a major driver for biomedical science.
  • The aim of the exercise was twofold: to test if it’s possible to rapidly and reliably scan several genomes and advise people on health risks that are manifest in their gene and to understand the variation and frequency of certain genes that are known to be linked to disease.
  • The outcomes of the IndiGen will have applications in a number of areas including predictive and preventive medicine with faster and efficient diagnosis of rare genetic diseases.

About Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

  • It is an autonomous body and the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India – running 37 laboratories and 39 field stations or extension centres.
  • Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860.
  • The research and development activities of CSIR includes aerospace engineering, Structural engineering, ocean sciences, Life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environment.

Brazil intends to allow Indians without visas

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – International Relations

In News

  • Brazil is working to implement a policy to facilitate a faster entry for Indian travellers into the country, 
  • This is intended to boost people to people contact between the two countries and increase foreign investment into Brazil
  • Brazil has already ended visa requirements for the citizens of U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia.
  • The announcement from Brazil came ahead of the upcoming BRICS summit that will be held in Brazil which is expected to boost intra-BRICS ties.

SYCAMORE

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Science & Technology

In News

  • Google announced that its quantum computer – Sycamore- has achieved a breakthrough called quantum supremacy in computing.

what is quantum supremacy?

  • It describes the point where quantum computers can do things that classical computers cannot. 
  • In Google’s case, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have claimed to have developed a processor that took 200 seconds to do a calculation that would have taken a classical computer 10,000 years.

what is a quantum computer?

  • Traditional computers work on the basis of the laws of classical physics, specifically by utilising the flow of electricity. A quantum computer, on the other hand, seeks to exploit the laws that govern the behaviour of atoms and subatomic particles. 
  • A classical computer processes information. Bits of information are stored as either 0 or 1. Every string of such digits (bitstrings) represents a unique character or instruction; for example, 01100001 represents the lowercase “a”.
  • In a quantum computer, information is stored in quantum bits, or qubits. And a qubit can be both 0 and 1 at the same time.
  • Unlike classical physics, in which an object can exist in one place at one time, quantum physics looks at the probabilities of an object being at different points. Existence in multiple states is called superposition, and the relationships among these states is called entanglement.

(MAINS FOCUS)


POLITY/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

18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit (Part-1)

Context

  • The 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit held in Baku, Azerbaijan between October 25 and October 26, 2019T
  • his will be second time in row PM Modi is missing in NAM summit 
  • Earlier skipped the 17th Margarita NAM Summit, 2017 in Venezuela too wherein India was represented by the then Vice-President Mr. Hamid Ansari. 
  • This time again the country will be represented by the Vice President of the country Mr. V. Naidu.
IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th October 2019

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th October 2019

Img: https://akm-img-a-in.tosshub.com/indiatoday/images/story/201901/nonaligned_movement.jpeg?wSE3nTP7UvBer2nTciKuexZQA0U1u50R

NAM:

  • The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc(USA or USSR). 
  • After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide
  • Agreed at the Bandung Conference in 1955
  • Established in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia through an initiative of the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.
  • Now consists of nearly two-thirds of the UN members and 55% of the world population.

Purpose:

  • To ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics.” (Havana declaration ,Fidel castro)

During cold war:

  • Many of the Non-Aligned Movement’s members were closely aligned with one or another of the superpowers 
  • the movement  maintained unity throughout the Cold War.
  • Several conflicts between members threatened the movement. 

After cold war:

  • NAM focused on developing multilateral ties and connections as well as unity among the developing nations of the world

India and Non Alignment:

  • India played vital role in the multilateral movements of colonies and newly independent countries that wanted to join  the Non-Aligned Movement. 
  • India’s policy was neither negative nor positive. 
  • Diplomacy, size and its economic miracle turned India into one of the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement and upholder of the Third World solidarity

Connecting the dots:

  • The role of the Non-Alignment Movement in world affairs had suffered greatly due to the theatre of internecine conflicts among the third World countries who spearheaded it. Elucidate.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2

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

Russian intervention in Syrian civil war

Context

  • Russian military police have arrived in Syria, under an accord between Turkey and Russia which halted Turkey’s military incursion into northeast Syria.
  • The deal, by Presidents Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, requires that Russian military police and Syrian border guards remove all Kurdish YPG militia from the Turkish border.
  • Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish militants who have waged an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984.
IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th October 2019

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 26th October 2019

Img: https://www.worldatlas.com/img/areamap/ebaac62ad98375890050b695082ce11b.gif

Russian intervention in Syria:

  • The Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War began in September 2015, after an official request by the Syrian government for military aid against rebel groups.
  • Initially involved air strikes against targets against Syrian opposition militant groups opposed to the Syrian government, including the Syrian National Coalition, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria) and the Army of Conquest.
  • Russian special operations forces and military advisors were stationed in Syria.

Russia′s goals :

  • Fighting terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State, 
  • Helping the Syrian government retake territory from various anti-government groups that are labelled by the United States as ″moderate opposition″, 
  • To roll back U.S. influence. 
  • In 2015, Russian president Vladimir Putin defined Russia′s goal in Syria as “stabilising the legitimate power in Syria and creating the conditions for political compromise”.

Significance:

  • Recapture of Palmyra from the Islamic State in March 2016,
  • Retaking the major city of Aleppo in December 2016,
  • Breaking the three-year-long siege of Deir ez-Zor 

Criticisms:

  • Russian air strikes killed acivilians, including children. 
  • Russian attacks have killed more civilians than either the Islamic State or the Syrian Army.
  • The intervention polarized international observers. 

International community: 

  • Countries with close diplomatic and economic ties to Russia, including China, Egypt, Iraq and Belarus, have generally supported the intervention
  • Governments close to the US were usually contrary denouncing Russia for its role in the war and accusing the state of complicity in the Syrian regime’s alleged war crimes. 
  • Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have alleged Russia is committing war crimes and deliberately targeting civilians.
  • The United States government has condemned the intervention and imposed economic sanctions against Russia for supporting the Syrian government
  •  United Nations have condemned the Russian intervention and accused Russia of war crimes.

India’s response:

  • India over decades has advocated policy of non interference in internal affairs of a sovereign nation.
  • India suggested for dialogue and negotiations, and on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter and in accordance with international law

Connecting the dots:

  • India over decades has advocated policy of non interference in internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Justify

(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)IndiGen initiative is undertaken by which body/organisation?

  1. DRDO
  2. Ministry of Skill Development
  3. CSIR
  4. None of the above

Q.2)Consider the following statements about Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

  1. It is an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860.
  2. The research and development activities of CSIR includes aerospace engineering, Structural engineering, ocean sciences, Life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environment.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.3)SYCAMORE often seen in news is related to which of the following area?

  1. Cyber ransomware
  2. New vaccine to treat Malaria
  3. Quantum Computing
  4. None of the above

Q.4)Consider the following statements about BRICS

  1. The first BRIC Summit took place in 2009 in Russia
  2. During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

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