IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th October 2019
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Second round of Smart Cities, AMRUT may roll out in 2020
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Urban Development
- AMRUT, a five-year scheme, started in June 2015. Many of its water and sewage management projects would get completed towards the end of the scheme — June 2020
- In AMRUT scheme, there were 500 cities and the criteria was a population of 1,00,000, which gave a coverage of nearly 65% of urban population.
- The remaining 35% of the urban population will be covered under the AMRUT-2.
- The Smart Cities Mission covers 100 cities with a total population of 9,96,30,069 with projects worth a ₹2,05,018 crore and is a project designed till 2022
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
- AMRUT adopts a project approach to ensure basic infrastructure services relating to water supply, sewerage, storm water drains, transport and development of green spaces and parks with special provision for meeting the needs of children.
- Implementation of this mission will be linked to promotion of urban reforms such as e-governance, constitution of professional municipal cadre, devolving funds and functions to urban local bodies, review of building bye-laws, improvement in assessment and collection of municipal taxes, credit rating of urban local bodies, energy and water audit and citizen-centric urban planning in cities other than the 100 smart cities.
- Under this project, 10% of the budget allocation will be given to states/union territories as incentive based on achievement of reforms during the previous year
Smart city Mission
- Launched on 25 June 2015, Smart Cities Mission’s objective is to strengthen urban infrastructure through application of smart solutions and provide a better quality of life to citizens.
- This will be implemented through an ‘area based’ approach consisting of retrofitting, redevelopment, pan-city initiatives and development of new cities.
- Under retrofitting, deficiencies in an identified area will be addressed through necessary interventions. Pan-city components could be interventions like Intelligent Transport Solutionsthat benefits all residents by reducing the commuting time.
- Smart city aspirants will be selected through a process of competition and with effective citizen participation ending the ‘top down’ approachand leading to ‘people centric’ urban development.
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Culture
- In a unique gesture to mark 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, Air India has depicted Sikh religious symbol ‘Ik Onkar’ on the tail of one of its aircraft.
- The national carrier has put the symbol on its Boeing 787 aircraft which will fly on October 31 from Amritsar to Stansted, UK.
- Ek Onkar means “God is One”. The symbol is an emblem of the Sikh religion and is found on Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) around the world.
- The gesture is unique as the national carrier has never depicted any religious symbol on its planes
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III –Issues related to Cyber
- A court in Hong Kong has issued a temporary order, banning the practice of ‘doxxing’
- A common dictionary definition of doxxing (also spelt as ‘doxing’) is to publicly identify or publish private information about someone, especially with the intention of punishing or taking revenge.
- The intention was to identify and stigmatise, and attempt to force a change in the behaviour of the targeted individual through these intimidatory tactics.
- While it was employed widely against members of the neo-Nazi white supremacist crowd who seemed open and bold about their racism, its potential for use — and misuse — by a range of people and groups was apparent.
- In Hong Kong, protesters have been releasing information about police officers and their families, thereby opening them up to targeted violence or harassment and abuse, either physically or online.
- Doxxing has emerged as one of the major tactics employed by pro-democracy protesters who have been carrying out relentless, sometimes violent, demonstrations that the administration has found impossible to suppress for over four months now.
Manipur, Arunachal wants to be kept out of Naga peace deal
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – Federalism
- Arunachal Pradesh has echoed Manipur in demanding to be kept out of any “territorial changes” that might be incorporated in the settlement of the Naga political problem.
- The Central government has been discussing with National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) as well as a rival conglomerate named Naga National Political Groups for the “final solution” on the peace accord by October 31
- NSCN-IM’s vision of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland would entail redrawing of boundaries to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative umbrella.
- The NSCN-IM’s map of Nagalim spreads over 1,03,473 sq km beyond the 16,527 sq km area of Nagaland. It includes much of eastern Arunachal.
- The outfit, as well as rival factions, claim these areas, primarily Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts are dominated by Nagas.
Naga Framework Agreement, 2015
- On Aug 3, 2015, latest agreement was signed with NSCN (Isak-Muivah)and other Naga armed groups such as NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) with the Union government. (however, NSCN (Khaplang) was excluded)
- Idea of a pan-Naga Hoho(a proposed statutory body as part of the Framework Agreement) that will enjoy independent executive and budgetary powers to look after the welfare of Naga inhabited areas outside Nagaland was mooted to bring long lasting solution to Naga peace process
- The biggest breakthrough is that the NSCN (I-M), and other Naga armed groups such as NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) have agreed to give up violence and resolve all issues peacefully.
For background on Naga issue refer – https://iasbaba.com/2016/07/iasbabas-daily-current-affairs-6th-july-2016/
Nurture the Future
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Governance
- The Centre’s first-ever common foundation course Aarambh (Beginning) for 2019 batch probationer civil servants has begun at the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujarat
- Along with training and seminars by experts, the government has also launched a new initiative under which each official will guide a local youth from villages near the Statue of Unity, which is located in a tribal area along the Narmada river.
- Under the mentorship programme Nurture the Future, close to 500 civil service officials will be divided into teams to visit villages near Kevadia and each official will take a youth under his wing and provide career and professional guidance
- The initiative will ensure a better and brighter future for the youth living in remote and rural areas.
- Over the next five years, the initiative is expected to cover nearly one lakh youth throughout the country as part of the foundation course of probationers who have just passed the civil services exam and joined the country’s elite bureaucracy.
Weavers will soon sell products directly online
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Economy
- Handloom weavers in Andhra Pradesh are going to get the much-needed impetus as the Department of Handloom and Textiles(H&T) is all set to launch three initiatives that directly connect weavers to customers via popular online and offline garment business platforms.
- The initiatives are aimed at ending the middlemen system that has been depriving weavers of basic earnings and sustainability, and passing on the benefit from the sale of the product to the weaver
- Government already tied up with e-commerce site Yes Poho which is selling Uppada and Kalamkari saris. Yes Poho talks to weavers directly and middlemen and even the AP State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (APCO) have no role to play here.
- For sale of saris and fabric through showrooms other than APCO’s stores, the H&T Department is going to tie up with Fab India who will procure the saris from weavers directly and sell them in their stores across the country and abroad.
- The APCO has also entered into an agreement with e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart for sale of 400 types of handloom products like saris, towels and blankets on their platforms.
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Geoghraphy
- Supercyclone ‘Kyarr’ in the Arabian Sea has moved westwards and away from India’s coast,
- Heavy Rainfall to very heavy rainfall very likely in Kerala & Mahe is expected.
- With raging wind speeds of 220-230 kmph gusting to 250 kmph, the Category-4 Kyarr is thought to be the biggest Arabian Sea storm in at least a decade.
- Indian Ocean Dipole, a natural climate pattern, has given a boost to tropical cyclones in the western portion of the basin this year. It’s currently in a positive phase, which creates a warm reservoir of water in the Arabian Sea and elsewhere. Cyclones feed off of this warm water, and it generally spurs more areas of thunderstorms that can be spun up into cyclones.
- It has been a landmark year for cyclones in the North Indian Ocean. In fact, it has been the Indian Ocean’s most energetic cyclone season on record.
- Thus far, 2019 Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or “ACE,” has hit 53.9 units. ACE is a measure of how much kinetic energy a cyclone is dishing out through its winds.The average year-to-date ACE for the North Indian Ocean is no more than 10 units.the previous seasonal record was 46.1 ACE units in 2007.
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Society
- All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) – political party in Assam- has opposed the Assam government’s two-child policy for job eligibility
- In September 2017, the Assam Assembly had passed the ‘Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam’ that specified that job candidates with two children only would be eligible for government employment and the existing government staff were to strictly follow the two children family norm
- The policy will come into effect from January 1st, 2021
India, Saudi to form strategic council
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II–International Relations
- India and Saudi Arabia are set to sign an agreement for creating a bilateral strategic partnership council during the official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Riyadh
- The council will include multiple sections involving the External Affairs Ministry and NITI Aayog and counterpart organisations from Saudi Arabia.
- The council will be led by Mr. Modi and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
- PM Modi’s visit will be used to showcase that Saudi-India ties are determined by long-term strategic considerations like India’s energy security and desire to ensure stability in the Gulf region
- Kashmir unlikely to get any attention from Saudi rulers as the visit is expected to boost the Crown Prince’s global stature which suffered after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
- PM Modi will deliver address at Future Investment Forum organised by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s public investment fund
- The forum is popularly known as the ‘Davos in the Desert’ and has been hosted by Riyadh since 2017 to project the kingdom as the future investment hub in the region.
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-2)
- 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.
India and NAM:
- The term “Non-Alignment” was coined by V K Menon in his speech at UN in 1953
- India played an important role in multilateral movements of colonies and newly independent countries that wanted join the Non-Aligned Movement.
- Non-Aligned movement was the “formula” devised by Nehru and other leaders of the newly independent countries of the third world to “guard” their independence “in face of complex international situation demanding allegiance to either of the two warring superpowers”
The principles of “Panchsheel” serves as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement.
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
- Mutual non-aggression
- Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful co-existence
- NAM Brought India large international prestige among newly independent states
- India used nonalignment to establish itself as a leader of the newly independent world in multilateral organisations as the United Nations (UN) and the Nonaligned Movement.
- The signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation between India and the Soviet Union in 1971 tarnished India’s image as a nonaligned nation
- India’s involvement in the internal affairs of its neighbours in the 1970s and 1980s tarnished India’s image as a nonaligned nation
NAM and India in 21st century
- India continues to practice the policy of non-alignment which allows it to maintain national sovereignty while still receiving economic and military assistance when needed.
- Non-alignment has propelled India to achieve one of their main strategic objectives: non-dependence.
- In recent years India has used this policy to its advantage in order to strengthen external partnerships and seek out material needs when necessary, while still ensuring that India as a country is able to pursue its own foreign policy goals.
- Given the present impasse in international relations with little leeway for game-changing initiatives, India will do well to move away from being a camp follower of one of the emerging poles to create our own fourth pole.
Connecting the dots:
- India must seek nonaligned partnerships which can work together outside the influence of the U.S., China and Russia. Analyse.
TOPIC: General Studies 3
- Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
NAGA Peace talks
- The deadline set by the Centre for wrapping up the Naga peace talks is on October 31
- The Centre’s interlocutor and now Nagaland’s Governor, R N Ravi, has stressed some key issues remain unresolved with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN(I-M).
- The ethnic conflict in Nagaland, is an ongoing conflict fought between the ethnic Nagas and the governments of India and Myanmar.
- Nagaland inhabited by the Nagas is located at the tri-junction border of India on the West and South, north and Myanmar on the East.
- “National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)”, which wants an independent “greater Nagaland” to include territory now in Myanmar, based on ethnicity; and the “Naga National Council (Adino)”.
- The question of “Naga Sovereignty” was put to plebiscite on 16 May 1951.
- Historian Benjamin Zachariah, ″It was in the north-east of India that the Nehruvian vision took on its most brutal and violent forms.″
- The Indian Government conceded a separate Naga state within the Indian Union in 1960 and the state was inaugurated in 1963.
Rebel groups have operated in Nagaland :
- Naga National Council under Angami Zapu Phizo.
- Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino): led by the daughter of Naga rebel A.Z. Phizo.
- National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah): want to establish a ‘Greater Nagaland’ (‘Nagalim’ or the People’s Republic of Nagaland) based on Mao Tse Tung’s model.
- National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang): formed goal is to establish a ‘greater Nagaland’ based on ethnicity, comprising the Naga-dominated areas within India, and contiguous areas in Myanmar.
- In 2015, the Centre signed a framework agreement with the NSCN(I-M). Prime Minister Narendra Modi described this as a “historic agreement” towards settling the “oldest insurgency” in India.
- This set the stage for the ongoing peace talks. In 2017, six other Naga armed outfits under the banned of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) joined the talks.
- Currently , Muivah remains the senior-most Naga rebel leader. Isak died in 2016. In the NSCN(-K), its leader Khaplang died in 2018
- The government has not yet spelt out the details in public.
- Following the agreement, the government had said “The Government of India recognised the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations. The NSCN understood and appreciated the Indian political system and governance.”
Current status 2018:
- The accord being finalised “does not change the boundary of states;
- Provides autonomous Naga territorial councils for Arunachal and Manipur;
- A common cultural body for Nagas across states;
- Specific institutions for state’s development, integration, rehabilitation of non-state Naga militia
- The removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act”.
- The government and the NSCN(I-M) have failed to agree on issues relating to a separate Naga flag and a constitution.
- NSCN(I-M) has said it will not budge from the demand for the flag and the constitution — and that it is looking for a lasting solution.
Connecting the dots:
- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur are wary of the NSCN-IM’s concept of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland that could lead to a redrawing of their boundaries. Analyse.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1)DOXXING oftenseen in news is related to which of the following areas?
- Evergreening of Patents
- Military exercises with focus on counter-terror operations
- Publishing private information about someone
- None of the above
Q.2)Consider the following statements about Future Investment Forum
- It is organised by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s public investment fund
- The forum is popularly known as the ‘Davos in the Desert’and has been hosted by Riyadh since 2017 to project the kingdom as the future investment hub in the region.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.3)Consider the following statements about India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Council
- The council will include only the External Affairs Ministry and Defence Ministry and their counterparts from Saudi Arabia.
- The council will be led by Indian Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia-King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.4)Consider the following statements about Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)
- Itis a measure of how much kinetic energy a cyclone is dishing out through its winds.
- The average ACE for the North Indian Ocean is no more than 40 units.
- Thus far, 2019 Accumulated Cyclone Energy has hit 53.9 units. The previous seasonal record was 46.1 ACE units in 2007.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1,2 and 3
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