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

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

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


IIP shrinks by 4.3% to lowest in 8 years

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy

In News

  • Industrial activity in September contracted sharply by 4.3%, driven by major contractions in the capital goods (20.7%), mining(8.5%), and manufacturing sectors(3.8%).
  • This is the first time after November 2012 that all three broad-based sectors have contracted and the lowest monthly growth in the 2011-12 base year series
  • While the slowdown is broadbased, including FMCG consumption demand, the largest contributor was mining, the proximate reason being the excess rains this year in the coal and mineral mining belts
  • India’s core sector output contracted 5.2% in September, posting its worst performance in 14 years.
  • The Indian economy may be presently facing a structural growth slowdown originating from declining household savings rate and low agricultural growth

About IIP

  • IIP is a composite indicator measuring changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products over a period of time, with respect to a chosen base period.
  • The base year used for IIP calculations is 2011-12It is compiled and published on a monthly basis by the Central Statistical Office with a time lag of six weeks from the reference month.
  • Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Refinery Product, Steel, Cement and Electricity are known as Core IndustriesThe eight Core Industries comprise nearly 37.9 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). 

Do You Know?

  • The RBI has cut interest rates by a cumulative 135 basis points this year and will review monetary policy early next month (December 5)
  • Moody’s Investor Service lowered its outlook on India’s sovereign rating (Baa2) to negative from stable, saying that the domestic economic downturn could be structural, as opposed to cyclical, implying that more policy changes were needed in order to revive growth.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th November 2019

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

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/img/72015450/Master.jpg


Radio channel to guide farmers on climate change

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III –Environment Conservation0

In News

  • The Maharashtra State Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices is planning to start a dedicated community radio channel to inform farmers about climate change and help resolve their problems.
  • The radio station will be based at Lodaga village in Latur district
  • Climate change is a major problem for the agriculture sector in Maharashtra as well as in the country. Maharashtra has experienced a moody climate in past few months, where it saw heavy monsoon rains in Satara and Sangli and the post-monsoon showers damaged crops in Marathwada region.
  • To address the issues of cultivators, the commission will form a committee of five to six members, comprising experts from KrishiVigyan Kendras, the State agriculture department and private companies working in the field of agriculture and technology.

KrsihiVigyan Kendra (KVK) 

  • They are agricultural extension centres created by ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) and its affiliated institutions at district level to provide various types of farm support to the agricultural sector.
  • The first KVK was established during 1974 (Pondichery) .
  • The mandate of KVK is Technology Assessment and Demonstration for its Application and Capacity Development of farmers.
  • KVK would produce quality technological products (seed, planting material, bio-agents, livestock) and make it available to farmers, organize frontline extension activities, identify and document selected farm innovations and converge with ongoing schemes and programmes, so as to improve agricultural productivity.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) 

  • It is an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , Government of India. 
  • Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. 
  • The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi.
  • The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. 

SurangaBawadi

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Ancient History

In News

  • SurangaBawadi, an integral part of the ancient Karez system of supplying water through subterranean tunnels built during AdilShahi era in Vijayapura (Karnataka) is now set to get funding for restoration
  • The monument has been selected under the “Ancient Water System of the Deccan Plateau” by the World Monuments Fund (New York based NGO), which monitors restoration of ancient monuments across the globe
  • With this, the SurangaBawadi is expected to get funds for restoration within the next two years. The NGO would also coordinate with the authorities concerned for restoration and create awareness on its importance.
  • Though the Karez system was built in the 16th century by Ali Adil Shah–I, his successor, Ibrahim Adil Shah–II, brought in several changes by adding more structures to strengthen it.
  • According to historians, the AdilShahis built the magnificent underground system to supply water to the city, which had a population of nearly 12 lakh then.

Anaemia

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – Health

In News

  • Anaemia among men in India is an important public health problem with State-level prevalence in men varying from 9.2% in Manipur to 32.9% in Bihar
  • Anaemia a condition in which there is a deficiency of red cells or of haemoglobin in the blood. This leads to reduced oxygen flow to the body’s organs.Symptoms may include fatigue, skin pallor, shortness of breath, light-headedness, dizziness or a fast heartbeat
  • This finding were revealed in a study titled ‘Anaemia among men in India: A nationally representative cross-sectional study’ published in Lancet Global Health.
  • The study is aimed to determine the national prevalence of anaemia among men in India; variation in prevalence of anaemia across States by socio-demographic characteristics; whether these geographical and socio-demographic variations are similar to that among women etc.
  • The study will help to inform whether anaemia reduction efforts for men should be coupled with existing efforts for women.
  • An estimated 21.7% of men with any degree of anaemia had moderate or severe anaemia compared with 53.2% of women with any anaemia.

Thallassemia

  • It is a blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form or inadequate amount of hemoglobin.
  • Thalassemia is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells that make hemoglobin — the substance in your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. The mutations associated with thalassemia are passed from parents to children.
  • This causes anemia. With anemia, the blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues — leaving the person fatigued.

New National Water Policy (NWP)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II –Polity & Governance

In News

  • The Union Water Resources Ministry has finalised a committee to draft a new National Water Policy (NWP). 
  • The 10-member committee will be chaired by Mihir Shah, who is a former Planning Commission member and a water expert
  • The committee is expected to produce a report within six months.
  • The committee will recommend measures to make key changes in water governance structure and regulatory framework. 
  • A National Bureau of Water Use Efficiencywas mooted during discussion stage.
  • The NWP currently in force was drafted in 2012.
  • Some of the key provisions of NWP 2012 are
    • The concept of an Integrated Water Resources Management approach that took the “river basin/ sub-basin” as a unit for planning, development and management of water resources.
    • It also proposed that a portion of river flows ought to be kept aside to meet ecological needs. 
    • Such an approach led to the government, in 2018, requiring minimum water levels to be maintained in the Ganga all through the year and hydropower projects to refrain from hoarding water beyond a point.
    • The policy also stressed for a minimum quantity of potable water for essential health and hygiene to all its citizens to be made available within easy reach of households.

Capacity-building programme for Afghan diplomats

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

In News

  • Indian and Chinese officials began a course to train diplomats from Afghanistan at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), New Delhi run by the External Affairs Ministry. 
  • The two-week intensive programme is designed to give the visiting Afghan diplomats exposure to Indian diplomatic practices and traditions.
  • FSI and the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) were parties to a BRICS-level MoU to train diplomats
  • The joint training of Afghan diplomats is part of the outcome of the Wuhan Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
  • Accordingly, the first joint training programme was held from October 15 to 26 in 2018.
  • 179 Afghan diplomats had been trained at the FSI till date, the largest number of diplomats to be trained from any country at the institute.

(MAINS FOCUS)


POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Kalapani issue

Context:

  • India has upset Nepal after a new map it released last week showed the disputed Kalapani area as a part of Uttarakhand. 
  • Responding to Nepal’s statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said, “Our map accurately depicts the sovereign territory of India. The new map has in no manner revised our boundary with Nepal. The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing under the existing mechanism.”

India – Nepal borders:

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

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

Src: Indianepal

  • India shares borders with China, Nepal, Burma (Myanmar), Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
  •  Indian states that share border with Nepal are Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal and Bihar. 
  • Uttar Pradesh shares the longest international border with Nepal.

About Kalapani:

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 11th November 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 11th November 2019

Src : Indian Express

  • Kalapani is a territory disputed between India and Nepal, but under Indian administration as part of Pithoragarh district in the Uttarakhand state.
  •  It is marked by the Kalapani river, one of the headwaters of the Kali River in the Himalayas at an altitude of 3600 meters.
  •  The Great Sage Vyasa meditated at this place
  • Claimed by Nepal as part of Darchula District,Kalapani is controlled by India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police since the 1962 border war with China.

Indian claim:

  • The 1816 Treaty of Segauli, signed between British India and Nepal, defined river Mahakali as the western border of Nepal. 
  • River Mahakali has several tributaries, all of which merge at Kalapani.
  • India claims that the river begins in Kalapani as this is where all its tributaries merge. 
  • The Indian side contends that river Mahakali begins where Lipu Gad meets the Kalapani springs
  • India has presented administrative and tax records dating back to the 1830s. 
  • According to these records since then Kalapani was part of the Pithoragarh district.
  • India has also shown surveys of the upper reaches of river Mahakali conducted by the British Indian government during the 1870s,which showed Kalapani as a part of British Indian territory.

Nepal claim:

  • Nepal claims that Mahakali begins from Lipu Lekh Pass, the origin of most of its tributaries
  • Nepal has presented similar maps from 1850 and 1856, showing that river Mahakali begins in Kalapani.
  • Nepali authorities claim that people living in the low-density area were included in the Census of Nepal until 58 years ago.
  • A committee formed by the Nepal government to study this claim submitted a report to Prime Minister Oli during his first tenure. It claimed that India had “occupied” an additional 62 sq km land.

Aftermath:

  • Nepalese government was forced to take up the issue given the pressure from rising Nepali nationalism.
  • The two countries had formed the Joint Technical Boundary Committee in 1981 to resolve the dispute. 
  • Though the committee managed to resolve a large part of the dispute, they failed to reach a final settlement
  • It  emerged as a contentious issue between India and Nepal after the two countries signed the Treaty of Mahakali in 1996.
  • The Prime Ministers of the two countries discussed the issue in 2000, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee assuring Nepal that India would not occupy even an inch of Nepal.

Crux:

  • Apart from Kalapani, another unresolved issue involves a vast area along the Nepal-Uttar Pradesh border. 
  • During his visit to Nepal in 2014, Prime Minister Modi had said that the Susta and Kalapani issues would be sorted out.

Connecting the dots:

  • Sensitive issues such as border need to be handled carefully and India has to be mindful of Nepal’s concerns. Analyse

POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

H-1B, H-4 visas

Context:

  • A United States court ruled that a group of American-born tech workers have faced heightened job competition from work authorisations given to the spouses of H-1B visa holders(H-4). 
  • The judges gave Indian workers living in the US short-term breathing room by leaving the final decision of the ongoing lawsuit up to a lower court.

Law suit:

  • The “Save Jobs USA” suit was originally filed in 2015 by two IT workers and one systems analyst against the US Department of Homeland Security. 
  • Their affidavits stated that they worked for more than 15 years at Southern California Edison until they were fired and replaced by H-1B visa holders.
  • The suit argued that the H-4 work authorisation violates immigration law and exceeds Homeland Security’s authority.
  • Homeland Security maintained that the damage done to the plaintiffs was due to the H-1B programme, not the work authorisation given to the spouses. 
  • They argued that there was no direct competition between the tech workers and the H-4 visa holders.

Judgement:

  • The judges disagreed with Homeland Security that the H-4 work authorisation is also not at fault

H-1B visa:

  • The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • Allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. 
  • A specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of work experience.
  • The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six years
  • Laws limit the number of H-1B visas issued each year: 85000
  • Employers must generally withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from the wages paid to employees in H-1B status.

H-4 visa:

  • An H-4 visa is a visa issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members of the H-1B visa holders.
  • These visas are usually issued at the local US consulate office abroad. 
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.
  •  H-4 dependent spouses are also eligible to receive social security numbers•(Barack Obama-era 2015)

India and H1- B visa:

  • Since the law was instituted, a total of 1,20,514 H-4 visas have been granted, of which 1,10,649 have come from India.
  •  Out of the 90,946 that were initially approved, 84,935 were for women.
  •  Out of the 4,19,637 H-1B applications in 2018, 74% came from India. (most from IT)
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th November 2019

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

Src: Indian Express

H-1B visa in trump administration:

  • Higher H-1B denials, under the executive order “Buy American and Hire American”.
  • H-4 visas issued at a much lower rate, with initial approvals dipping from 31,017 in 2016 to 27, 6,800 in 2019.
  • Indian outsourcing corporates such as Tata, Infosys, and Wipro faced denial rates of 28%-46% from 2015-19. 
  • U S-based companies such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and Cognizant saw 18%-52% rejection rates
  • Big Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook faced little change in H-1B visa.

Connecting the dots:

  • Trump administration wants to make it more difficult for well-educated foreign nationals to work in America in science and engineering fields and it will have a negative impact on India too. Substantiate

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


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

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1) SurangaBawadi system of water management found in Northern Karnatakawas built during which ruler’s period?

  1. Rashtrakutas
  2. Kakatiyas
  3. AdilShahis
  4. Chalukyas

Q.2) Which of the following are the focus areas of research of ICAR?

  1. Genetic potential enhancement of agricultural commodities.
  2. Agricultural productivity, efficiency and profitability improvement.
  3. Improve Nutritional food, and health security.
  4. Bio-security emerging from gene piracy and cross-border vector borne diseases.

Select the correct answer from codes given below

  1. 1,2 and 3 Only
  2. 2,3 and 4Only
  3. 1,3 and 4 Only
  4. 1,2,3 and 4

Q.3) Index of Industrial Production is released by which body/ministry?

  1. Central Statistical Organisation
  2. Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  3. NITI Aayog
  4. None of the above

Q.4) Consider the following statementsabout KrishiVigyan Kendra (KVK)

  1. They are agricultural extension centres created by erstwhile Planning Commission
  2. The mandate of KVK is Technology Assessment and Demonstration for its Application and Capacity Development of famers.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

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

Q.5) Consider the following statements about National Water Policy 2012

  1. Major innovation of this policy was the concept of an Integrated Water Resources Management approach that took the “river basin/ sub-basin” as a unit for planning, development and management of water resources.
  2. It proposed that a portion of river flows ought to be kept aside to meet ecological needs.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

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

ANSWERS FOR 11 Nov 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 B
3 D
4 B
5 B

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