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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st November 2019

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  • November 1, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st November 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


PEGASUS

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Cyber Security

In News

  • It has been reported that the popular messaging platform WhatsApp was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists in India earlier this year. 
  • The surveillance was carried out using an Israeli spyware tool called Pegasus.
  • Most of those targeted in India were journalists, Dalit and human rights activists and lawyers.
  • It has been developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm, NSO Group. The NSO Group is a Tel Aviv-based cyber-security company that specialises in “surveillance technology” and claims to help governments and law enforcement agencies across the world fight crime and terrorism. 
  • How does Pegasus come to your phone?
    • The code is transmitted via WhatsApp call. The code enters the phone even if the call is not answered.
  • What does it do?
    • It sends the targets contacts, calls and messages to its controller. It can also turn the phone into a spy device by switching on the camera or microphone.

BAMBOO TECHNOLOGY PARKS

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Geography

In News

  • Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) announced that Bamboo Technology Parks would be set up in the two new Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) under North Eastern Council (NEC) will implement the project.
  • the model for bamboo cultivation, harvesting and utilisation currently existing in the North Eastern Region shall be replicated in the two new Union Territories to give a fillip to the sector. 
  • The project for setting up three new Bamboo Technology Parks in Jammu, Srinagar and Leh would be in consonance with the National Bamboo Mission (NBM).
  • A Bamboo Industrial Park has already been approved to be set up in the Dima Hasao district of Assam.

Cyclone Maha

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-I – Geography

In News

  • The Lakshadweep Islands and, to a relatively lesser extent, the coastal districts of Kerala bore the brunt of Cyclone Maha, which continues to cut a furious swathe across the Arabian Sea.
  • The depression that had developed in the Comorin Sea intensified into a cyclonic storm and will move along India’s western coast without making landfall. 
  • IMD has advised fishermen not to venture out to the southeast and the east-central Arabian Sea during the period
  • This is one of the rare occasions when there were two back-to-back cyclones in the Arabian Sea. 
  • Kyarr which was the strongest cyclone in the Arabian Sea in 12 years weakened into a ”severe cyclonic storm” as it continues its movement towards the Oman coast.

Do you Know?

  • Kanyakumari was called Cape Comorin during British rule in India. 
  • Comorin is a ‘rocky mainland‘ on the Indian Ocean in the State of Tamil Nadu and located at the Southern Most tip of the Indian Subcontinent. Many call it KOODAL meaning it is situated at the Confluence of three oceans Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

UNESCO Creative City

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – International Affairs

In News

  • Two Indian cities has now been officially designated as a Unesco Creative City– Hyderabad in Gastronomy category, Mumbai in Film category.
  • It is among the 66 new cities named by the Unesco in the list of new Creative Cities, which aims at pushing the Sustainable Development Goals through innovative thinking and action.
  • The designation of Hyderabad in the creative cities’ list would bring new opportunities and turn the focus on the city’s rich culinary heritage and tradition.
  • The industry employs 12% of the Hyderabad city’s population either directly or indirectly.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  • UCCN was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. 
  • The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

National Health Profile (NHP) 2019

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Health 

In News

  • NHP is an annual publication of the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI)
  • The NHP covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, human resources in the health sector and health infrastructure. It is also an important source of information on various communicable and non-communicable diseases that are not covered under any other major programmes.
  • Some of the key findings of the report are:
    • Sex ratio (number of females per 1,000 males) in the country has improved from 933 in 2001 to 943 in 2011.
    • In rural areas the sex ratio has increased from 946 to 949.
    • The corresponding increase in urban areas has been of 29 points from 900 to 929. 
    • Kerala has recorded the highest sex ratio in respect of total population (1,084), rural population (1,078) and urban (1,091). The lowest sex ratio in rural areas has been recorded in Chandigarh (690)
    • The estimated birth rate reduced from 25.8 in 2000 to 20.4 in 2016 while the death rate declined from 8.5 to 6.4 per 1,000 populations over the same period. 
    • The total fertility rate (average number of children that will be born to a woman during her lifetime) in 12 States has fallen below two children per woman and nine States have reached replacement levels of 2.1 and above.
    • The total number of registered allopathic doctors (up to 2018) is 11,54,686. Number of dental surgeons registered with Central/State Dental Councils of India was 2,54,283.

About Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI)

  • CBHI is the National Nodal agency for Health Intelligence in the Directorate General of Health Services (Dte.GHS), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and Government of India.
  • CBHI is committed to build an integrated health informatics platform which can provide reliable, accurate, and relevant national health information and enable evidence based policy formulation and decision making.

Dharma Guardian-2019

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III – Security

In News

  • The second edition of the bilateral annual military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian-2019’ between Indian and Japanese Army culminated on October 31 at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) at Vairengte in Mizoram.
  • The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents in counter-insurgency and counter- terrorism operations in mountainous terrain
  • As part of the exercise, lectures, demonstrations and drills related to counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations were conducted
  • Besides fostering mutual understanding and trust, the joint exercise marks reaffirmation of India and Japan to further bolster bilateral security and defence cooperation

MPs grill officials on DNA Bill

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Health 

In News

  • A parliamentary panel headed by MP Jairam Ramesh began hearing the contentious DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 with members grilling officials from the Department of Biotechnology on scope for violations of privacy in the proposed DNA data bank.
  • The Bill seeks to create a national data bank, and regional data banks which will have DNA samples of undertrials, suspects, missing persons and unknown deceased persons. 
  • It has proposed DNA sampling and profiling of citizens accused of crime or reported missing, and storing their unique genetic information for administrative purposes.

For more details on the bill, refer:  https://iasbaba.com/2019/07/rstv-ias-upsc-dna-technology-bill/


(MAINS FOCUS)


POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation 

Merger of  BSNL and MTNL

Context:

  • The government decided to merge BSNL and MTNL
  • In order to revive loss-making telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL
  • Revival package includes raising sovereign bonds, monetising assets and voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees, MTNL will be merged with BSNL. 
  • Government wants to make the two state-owned telecom companies more competitive by putting in Rs 29,937 crore.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL):

  •  State-owned telecommunications company headquartered in New Delhi. 
  • Incorporated on 1 October 2000 
  • BSNL  is the fourth largest mobile telephony provider in India 
  • BSNL is India’s oldest communication service provider and its history can be traced back to the British era.
  • After the bifurcation of post and Telegraph department in 1980s, the creation of Department of Telecom by 1990s eventually led to the emergence of the State owned telegraph and telephone company BSNL. 
  • BSNL shut down telegraph services on 15 July 2013.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL):

  • MTNL is a state-owned telecommunications service provider in the metro cities of Mumbai and New Delhi in India and in Mauritius in Africa. 
  • The company had a monopoly in Mumbai and New Delhi until 1992
  • “Transparency makes us different” is the motto of the company
  • The Government of India currently holds 57% stock in the company
  • The company’s shares are listed on Bombay Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.
  • As of January 2019, it has 6.71 million subscribers

Revival reasons:

  • Telecom sector is facing financial stress due to stiff competition and reduction in tariffs. 
  • The competition in the mobile segment, high employee costs and absence of 4G services in the data-centric telecom market has eroded the competitive strength of BSNL and MTNL.

Financial position of BSNL & MTNL:

  • Losses continuously since 2009-10. 
  • BSNL has 1.65 lakh employees across India, and MTNL has 22,000.
  •  BSNL’s provisional loss was Rs 4,859 crore in 2015-16, Rs 4,793 crore in 2016-17, Rs 7,993 crore in 2017-18. 
  • The loss is estimated to grow  to Rs 14,202 crore in 2018-19.

Way forward:

  • The Cabinet proposal clears the way for the administrative allotment of spectrum for 4G services to BSNL and MTNL, to enable them to provide broadband and other data services.
  • The telecom companies will be able to deliver 4G services and compete in the market.

Connecting the dots:

  • Will merging BSNL and MTNL pull the two companies out of their problems? Analyse.

POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 1:

  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

Context:

  • To mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, National Unity Day will be celebrated on 31st October
  • The official statement for Rashtriya Ekta Diwas by the Home Ministry cites “will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country”

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel  born on 31 October 1875
  • Served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. 
  • Senior leader of the Indian National Congress 
  • Organised peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience 
  • Founding father of the Republic of India 
  • Played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence
  • He was appointed as the 49th President of Indian National Congress, 
  • Promoted the Quit India Movement. 
  • He acted as Home Minister during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
  • As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief efforts for refugees fleeing to Punjab and Delhi from Pakistan and worked to restore peace.
  • Patel persuaded almost every princely state to accede to India. 
  • His commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, earning him the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. 
  • He is also remembered as the “patron saint of India’s civil servants” for having established the modern all-India services system. 
  • He is also called the “Unifier of India”. 
  • The Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, was dedicated to him on 31 October 2018 which is approximately 182 metres (597 ft) in height in Gujarat

India without sardar:

  • Subcontinent would be divided into two regions, one part a democratic India surrounded by the other part—close to 560 smaller states ruled by kings and their descendants. 
  • Half of the Indians would be living under a democratic set-up with freedoms and the rest living under some monarchy. 
  • The principle of Unity, Liberty, Equality enshrined in the Constitution would exist in one part and not in the other.
  • There would be restrictions on travelling and transporting goods from one part to another.
  • one part of India would be governed by the ideas of Justice and Liberty, whereas the other would have survived devoid of these ideas. 
  • Chaos and anarchy would have followed, and the idea of India would have failed at the very start of its journey.

More about Sardar:

  • He was completely vested in the idea of India, and all his efforts were initially focused on the attainment of its independence. 
  • Once that had been achieved, he relentlessly followed the idea of uniting and integrating the nation at a time when it was suffering from partition, communalisation and the refugee crisis. 
  • He was determined to commit himself towards building one India by uniting 562 princely states (constituting 48% of area).

Criticisms:

  • Patel’s idea of unity was incomplete. 
  • He may have created a united India, but this India remains full of contradictions and inequalities, both social and economic.
  • Politically, we may be equal and united, but socially and economically we are not.

Connecting the dots:

  • The strong man of India who made Idea of India possible was Sardar Patel—‘the Bismarck and architect of modern India’. Substantiate

(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) Dharma Guardian is military exercise conducted between India and which other country?

  1. USA
  2. Srilanka
  3. Japan
  4. None of the above

Q.2) National Health Profile is released which body/organisation?

  1. NITI Aayog
  2. WHO in collaboration with Ministry of Statistics & Programme implementation
  3. Central Bureau of Health Intelligence 
  4. None of the above

Q.3) Consider the following statementsabout the proposed DNA Technology

  1. The Bill seeks to create a national data bank, and regional data banks which will have DNA samples of undertrials, suspects, missing persons and unknown deceased persons. 
  2. It has proposed DNA sampling and profiling of citizens accused of crime or reported missing, and storing their unique genetic information for administrative purposes

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.4) Consider the following statements about UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  1. UCCN was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development
  2. Hyderabad and Bengaluru has now been officially designated as a UNESCO Creative City

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 Kanyakumari

  1. It was called Cape Comorin during British rule in India. 
  2. Many also call it as Koodal as it is situated at the confluence of three oceans Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

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

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