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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th November 2019

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  • November 5, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th November 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


NRC exercise

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Federalism

In News

  1. Chief Justice of India said that the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) process, meant to identify illegal migrants was “neither a new or novel idea” but only an attempt to update the 1951 list.
  2. The court’s intervention led to the publication of the final citizenship list on August 31.
  3. Over 19 lakh out of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were excluded from the final NRC list.
  4. These people face uncertain days ahead trying to prove their Indian citizenship through appeals filed in foreigners’ tribunals.
  5. NRC is the register containing names of Indian Citizens. It was prepared first in 1951 after the conduct of the Census of 1951.
  6. It is used to identify who is a bona fide Indian citizen and those who fail to enlist in the register will be deemed illegal migrants.

For more details on NRC issue, refer https://iasbaba.com/2019/09/all-india-radio-air-ias-upsc-national-register-of-citizens/


Lone wolf attacks

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Security

In News

  • A high alert has been issued to security forces across the country by central intelligence agencies, warning of possible ‘lone wolf’ attacks by Islamic State (IS) operatives
  • A “lone wolf” is a terrorist who carry out attacks alone without having any direct contact with any organisation.
  • Home Ministry has noted the reported nexus between home-grown terror outfits and Pakistan-based extremist organisations in terms of procurement of weapons, technology and training has added a new dimension to the threat scenario.
  • The recent withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Articles 370 and 35A and the earlier pre-emptive air strike on non-military targets inside Pakistan by Indian Air Force had considerably enhanced the threat from terror outfits

DUSTLIK-2019

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Security

In News

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart presided over the Curtain Raiser of the first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise – Dustlik-2019.
  • The joint military exercise focused on counter-terrorism starts on November 4 and will continue till November 13, at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent.
  • The exercise will enable sharing of best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries and would lead to greater operational effectiveness.
  • India and Uzbekistan also concluded an MoU on cooperation in the field of Military Medicine between the Armed Forces of the two countries.

GAGAN – GPS aided geo-augmented navigation

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Federalism 

In News

  • About 500 passenger locomotives of the South Central Railway (SCR) have been fitted with the newly developed Real-time Train Information System (RTIS) to monitor precise speeds and movement throughout the journey
  • It has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CIRE) with the help ofGAGAN system
  • The new system has facilitated automatic transmission of details on speed and movement of trains to the central control office.

About GAGAN

  • GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN), developed by ISRO and Airports Authority of India(AAI) is a regional Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS).
  • The GAGAN’s goal is to provide a navigation system to assist aircraft in accurate landing over the Indian airspace and in the adjoining area and applicable to safety-to-life civil operations. 
  • GAGAN is inter-operable with other international SBAS systems.
  • GAGAN covers the area from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region.
  • GAGAN makes airline operations more efficient and effective, increase air safety, and fuel efficiency.

Dhanush regiment

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Security

In News

  • The Army, which began inducting the indigenously upgraded Dhanush artillery guns, will have the first regiment in place by March 2020 and will get all 114 guns by 2022
  • Dhanush is the indigenously upgraded variant of the Swedish Bofors gun imported in the 1980s.
  • Dhanush is a 155 mm, 45-calibre towed artillery gun with a range of 36km and has demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialised ammunition. 
  • It is fitted with an inertial navigation system having global positioning system-based gun recording and auto-laying, an enhanced tactical computer for on-board ballistic computations, an on-board muzzle velocity recording, an automated gun sighting system equipped with camera, thermal imaging, and laser range finder.

NavIC

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

In News

  • ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. are poised to commercialise India’s regional navigation satellite system, NavIC.
  • Antrixhas recently floated two separate tenders to identify industries that can develop dedicated NavIC-based hardware and systems.
  • NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) is the Indian system of eight satellites that is aimed at telling business and individual users where they are, or how their products and services are moving. 
  • The indigenous positioning or location based service (LBS) works just like the established and popular U.S. Global Positioning System or GPS, but within a 1,500-km radius over the sub-continent.
  • The early set of commercial NavIC users would potentially be transporters of resources such as mined ore, coal and sand in various States, who are presently using GPS system
  • In 2018, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways mandated that all national-permit vehicles must have such tracking devices. As a pilot, many fishing boats have been fitted with these devices that have a unique texting facility.

Positive developments

  • ISRO announced that Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a leading producer of semiconductor chips, had developed and tested NavIC-friendly chipsets across its user bases and that it would add NavIC to them.
  • Certification of the Indian NAVIC system by the 3GPP (The 3rd Generation Partnership Project), a global body for coordinating mobile telephony standards.

(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.

Telecom sector and (Adjusted gross revenue) AGR

Context:

  • On October 24, the Supreme Court upheld the Department of Telecom (DoT)’s interpretation of “adjusted gross revenue” (AGR), which came as a huge blow to telecom service providers. 
  • Following the order, the telcos are now staring at dues of an estimated Rs 1.4 lakh crore, which needs to be paid to the government within three months. 
  • Most industry players and analysts have argued that the payout of the huge amount could be the finishing touch for the already distressed sector.

Adjusted Gross Revenue  AGR:

  • Adjusted Gross Revenue refers to gross income adjusted for standard deductions.
  •  In India, AGR has specifically become important for telecom companies since the payment made to the government is on the basis of the AGR. 

Crux:

  • The definition of AGR has been under litigation for 14 years.
  • The telecom companies currently argue that AGR should include income only from telecom operations and not include income from other activities such as rent, sale etc. 
  • As per DoT, the charges are calculated based on all revenues earned by a telco – including non-telecom related sources such as deposit interests and asset sales.
  • Telcos, on their part, insist that AGR should comprise only the revenues generated from telecom services.
  • Currently, telecom operators pay 8% of the AGR as licence fee, while spectrum usage charges (SUC) vary between 3-5% of AGR.

Current status:

  • The total amount to the government is to be paid  by about 15 operators.
  • 10 of them have either closed operations or are undergoing insolvency proceedings in the last 14 years.
  • So the government is unlikely to recover the entire amount of dues owed to it.

Telecom stress:

  • The telecom industry is under a debt of over Rs  4 lakh crore 
  • Seeking a relief package from the government.

Way forward:

  • The government recently announced setting up of a Committee of Secretaries to examine the financial stress in the sector, and recommend measures to mitigate it.
  • The Committee of Secretaries, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, will have Secretaries of Ministries of Finance, Telecommunication and Law, among others as members and look at “all aspects” of the financial stress. 
  • It will also consider some of the long-standing demands of the industry, including granting a delay in payment of dues for spectrum for the next two financial years (2020-21 and 2021-22). 
  • The committee will also look at demand of a reduction in the SUC and universal service obligation fund levy.

What if no relief?

  • If the government does not announce any relief measures for the sector, Vodafone Idea would be in a “precarious situation”, adding that there is a strong possibility that the Indian telecom market could eventually have only two private players.

Connecting the dots:

  • Supreme Court order backing the Department of Telecom’s definition of adjusted gross revenue hit the telcos. Critically Analyse

ENVIRONMENT 

TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment 

Air pollution in Delhi (part 2)

Context:

  • All schools in Delhi will be shut until  (November 5) ,after the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) ordered a complete shutdown of construction in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida.

Causes of poor air quality

  • Lack of active monitoring 
  • Motor vehicle emissions
  • wood-burning fires, fires on agricultural land, exhaust from diesel generators, dust from construction sites, burning garbage.
  • The Badarpur Thermal Power Station, a coal-fired power plant, is another major source of air pollution in Delhi. 
  • In view of the detrimental effect to the environment, the power plant has been permanently shut down since 15 October 2018 
  •  The drift/mist emissions from the wet cooling towers is also a source of particulate matter as they are widely used in industry and other sectors for dissipating heat in cooling systems.
  • 10% of Delhi population uses wood, crop residue, cow dung, and coal for cooking. (Census-India, 2011}
  •  Agricultural stubble burning  
  •  Heavy metal rich fire-crackers

Effects:

  • Nearly 2.2 million children in Delhi have irreversible lung damage due to the poor quality of the air.  
  • Pollution can lower children’s immune system and increase the risks of cancer, epilepsy, diabetes and even adult-onset diseases like multiple sclerosis
  • Poor air quality is a cause of reduced lung capacity, headaches, sore throats, coughs, fatigue, lung cancer, and early death.

Control measures:

  • All Delhi schools will remain shut for few days
  • No construction and demolition work for next few days
  • All diesel generator sets banned for the next few days, except at hospitals and in emergencies.
  •  The coal-based Badarpur power plant shut down.    
  • The Environment Department will launch an app to monitor the burning of leaves
  • Vacuum cleaning of roads 
  • Water sprinkling.

   Significant incident 

  • In December 2017 during a test match between Sri Lankan and Indian cricket teams in New Delhi, Sri Lanka players began to feel breathing problems and several players vomited both in the rest rooms and in the field and had to use face masks until the match was stopped.

Connecting the dots:

  • Urgent correctives are needed, or lethal winter pollution will become the new normal. 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) Consider the following statements about GAGAN – GPS Aided geo-augmented navigation.

  1. It was developed by ISRO and Airports Authority of India(AAI) 
  2. It covers the area from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region.
  3. It makes airline operations more efficient and effective, increase air safety, and fuel efficiency.

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All of the above

Q.2) Consider the following statements about NaVIC

  1. It is India’s own Regional Navigation Satellite System
  2. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary

Select the correct statements

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Dhanush artillery gun

  1. It is the indigenously upgraded variant of the Swedish Bofors gun imported in the 1980s.
  2. It has a range of nearly 150 kms

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

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

Q.4) DUSTLIK is join military exercise conducted between India and _________

  1. Kazakhstan
  2. Turkmenistan 
  3. Uzbekistan
  4. Mongolia

Q.5) Consider the following statements about National Register of Citizens (NRC)

  1. NRC is the register containing names of Indian Citizens. It was prepared first in 1963 after the conduct of the Census of 1961.
  2. Over 19 lakh out of the 3.29 crore applicants were excluded from the updated NRC list (in Assam) published in August 2019.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

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

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