IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th November 2019
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II -Health
- China has approved the first home-grown drug “Oligomannate (GV-971)” for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
- Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that typically affects people older than 65. When it affects younger individuals, it is considered early onset.
- The disease destroys brain cells and nerves, and disrupts the message-carrying neurotransmitters. Eventually, a person with Alzheimer’s loses the ability to perform day-to-day activities.
- Symptoms include memory loss, difficulty in completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, problems in speaking and writing, decreased or poor judgment, and changes in mood and personality.
- There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, because its exact causes are not known.
- Most drugs being developed try to slow down or stop the progression of the disease.
Disqualification of MLAs
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Polity
- President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected a petition demanding disqualification of 11 AAP MLAs of Delhi Legislative assembly for allegedly holding office of profit.
- The decision of the President rejecting the plea is based on an opinion rendered by the Election Commission.
- In March 2017, a man had filed a petition seeking disqualification of 11 AAP MLAs, claiming that they were enjoying office of profit by being co-chairpersons of district disaster management authorities in 11 Delhi districts.
Economic slowdown may lighten India’s carbon burden
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy
- Carbon dioxide emissions are poised to grow at their slowest — a 2% rise from last year — since 2001 due to a lower demand for coal in power and manufacturing sector
- The rise in C02 emissions from India saw wild swings — from 7.7% in 2014 to 3.5% the next year and then back to 7.8% in 2018. This is the first time that emissions are expected to grow below 3% from the previous year.
- The combined total of coal sales from state-owned mines to consumers outside the power sector and imports of coking coal and coke fell 14% in 2017 and rose 15% in 2018. But it increased by just 3% in the first eight months of 2019,
Do You Know?
- Wind generation rose by 17% in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier, with solar up 30% and hydro increasing by 22%
- According to International Energy Emissions Agency: India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden. The U.S., the largest emitter, contributed 14%.
- As per its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, India has promised to reduce the emission intensity of its economy by 33-35% of 2005 levels by 2030. It has also committed to having 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
Ban proposed on sale, ads of junk food in schools
Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II – Health
- Aimed at enabling children to eat and grow healthy, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released draft regulations titled Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019.
- It has proposed to restrict the sale and the advertisement of food products, which are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), in school premises and within 50 meters of the school campus.
- HFSS food includes deep fried foods such as french fries, fried chips, sugar-sweetened carbonated or non-carbonated beverages, ready-to-eat foods, noodles, burgers, pizzas and confectionery items among others.
- Schools should adopt a comprehensive programme for promoting healthy diets among children. The school campus should be converted into ‘Eat Right School’ focussing on local and seasonal food and no food waste as per the specified benchmarks.
- As about 8% of schoolchildren are obese, FSSAI has also proposed that children have to be encouraged to consume balanced diet in the school as per the guidelines issued by the National Institute of Nutrition.
- The regulator has also proposed setting up a sub-committee by the State Level Advisory Committee to monitor the implementation of these regulations and to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food to school children in the draft regulations.
- It is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI.
- It lays down science based standards for articles of food and regulating manufacturing, processing, distribution, sale and import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
Indian lungs under extreme stress
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II – Health
- Acute respiratory infections (ARI) accounted for 69.47% of morbidity (the condition of being diseased) last year which was the highest in the communicable disease category, leading to 27.21% mortality.
- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal reported a large number of patients and fatalities due to ARI as per the National Health Profile-2019.
- ARI includes respiratory illness such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, asthma, wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing.
- According to World Health Organisation, acute respiratory infection is a serious ailment that prevents normal breathing function and kills an estimated 2.6 million children annually every year worldwide.
- The foetus receives oxygen from the mother, and if she is breathing polluted air, it can increase the health risk of unborn babies. Pregnant women in the first trimester need to be more careful as risk increases and pollution can cause a medical condition called intrauterine inflammation.
- Prenatal exposure to pollutants increases risk of pre-term delivery and low birth weight, factors that can lead to developmental disabilities later on
About National Health Profile
- 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.
For more details on NHP 2019, refer to https://iasbaba.com/2019/11/daily-current-affairs-ias-upsc-prelims-and-mains-exam-1st-november-2019/#National_Health_Profile_NHP_2019
Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill’
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III – Security
- President has given his assent to the GCTOC Bill, which was considered as controversial anti-terror legislation passed by the Gujarat State in March 2015.
- The Bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill, failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004 when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the State.
- In 2015, the Gujarat government re-introduced the Bill by renaming it the GCTOC, but retained controversial provisions such as empowering the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence
- The provisions of the Bill would prove crucial in dealing with terrorism and organised crimes such as contract killing, ponzi schemes, narcotics trade and extortion rackets.
- Some of the key provisions of the act are:
- The intercepted telephonic conversations would now be considered legitimate evidence
- Creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors.
- The bill provides for attachment of properties acquired through organised crimes. It also empowers authorities to cancel transfer of properties.
- Other provisions of the Act is the admissibility of confession made before a police officer as evidence.
Nomad film festival
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-I – Society
- “Challenging the stigma. Changing the narrative” is the motto of the Nomad Film Festival.
- One of India’s most sharply focussed, the festival is dedicated to showcasing films dealing with the de-notified and nomadic tribes of the country.
- The idea is to harness cinema in directing focus on their struggles and problems, to change the mindset of people about them and help fight the slurs and blots associated with them; misconceptions like they are criminal tribes, thieves and law-breakers.
- The films could be about identity politics but the larger aim is to help the tribal people find a strong creative voice.
- However, the acuteness of the festival’s vision and its commitment also makes it disadvantaged in another way because there are very few films made on the de-notified tribes, nomads or gypsies.
About Denotified tribes
- The term, ‘De-notified and Nomadic Tribes’, can be traced to the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871.
- The colonial government notified nearly 200 tribal communities to be hereditary criminals and subjecting them to constant harassment by the administration.
- After India gained Independence, these tribes were ‘de-notified’ from the list of Criminal Tribes, and, hence, the term
- The CTA was repealed and the Habitual Offenders Act (HOA) was enacted in various States.
- Given their centuries-old tradition of constant movement, they often do not possess any residential proof, which leaves them out of the majority of the government’s schemes.
- To address various issues faced by them, the first National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was constituted in 2003, and reconstituted two years later under the chairpersonship of Balkrishna Renke, which submitted its report in 2008.
- The recommendations found an echo in the Idate Commission, constituted with the similar mandate in 2015.
TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
A victory for the dairy sector
- India’s withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is considered as a major victory for the farmer’s organisations, trade unions, MSME organisations and civil society groups, which had protested against the free trade agreement.
- RCEP would have proven suicidal for India’s dairy sector.
- India’s average bound tariff for dairy products is about 63.8% while its average applied tariff is 34.8%. Joining RCEP would have bound India to reduce that level to zero within the next 15 years
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP):
- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its six FTA partners (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).
- RCEP negotiations started in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
- RCEP member states accounted for a population of 3.5 billion people with a total (GDP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 39 percent of the world’s GDP
- RCEP will be the world’s largest economic bloc.
Global Milk Trade scenario
- Developed countries account for 79% of the total world export of milk. Major players are the U.S., the EU, Australia and New Zealand.
- A country like New Zealand exports 93% of its milk production.
- On the other hand, developing countries account for 80% of the world’s total milk imports.
- Though India is self-sufficient in milk production, China imports about 30% of its milk requirement.
- About 51% of the global trade of milk, 45% of the global trade of skimmed milk powder (SMP), 38% of the global trade of butter oil, 35% of the global trade of cheese takes place in the RCEP region. Thus, some of the major players in the global milk trade are in the RCEP region.
Why Australia and New Zealand have deep interest in RCEP agreement?
- They were deprived of the lucrative markets in the U.S. after the demise of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), have had a deep interest in the RCEP agreement.
- Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was the proposed trade deal among the 12 Pacific Rim nations – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
- However, US withdrew from the deal in Jan 2017.
India’s dairy Sector – A self-sufficient sector
- India’s dairy sector provides livelihood to about 70 million households. A key feature of India’s dairy sector is the predominance of small producers.
- In 2017, if the average herd size in a dairy farm was 191 in the U.S., 355 in Oceania, 148 in the U.K. and 160 in Denmark, it was just 2 in India
- Yet, due to Operation Flood after the 1960s, India’s contribution to world milk production rose from 5% in 1970 to 20% in 2018.
- As a result, India does not import or export milk in any significant quantity.
- In 2033, India’s milk production would rise to 330 MMT while its milk demand would be 292 MMT. Thus, India is likely to be a milk-surplus country by 2033
RCEP and possible impact on India’s dairy sector
- In recent years, private players particularly multi-national firms are opening shops in India. Swiss firm Nestlé was the largest private purchaser of milk in India in 2019. The French milk firm Lactalis entered India in 2014 and has taken over Tirumala Milk Products in Hyderabad, Anik Industries in Indore, and Prabhat Dairy.
- At present, these firms are forced to buy milk from Indian farmers. The reason is that the applied tariff for dairy products in India is about 35%.
- The bound tariff would have fallen to zero if the RCEP had come into effect. It would have then been far more profitable for firms to import milk from New Zealand or Australia rather than buy it from Indian farmers.
- The unit cost of milk production is relatively low in countries like New Zealand because of extensive grazing lands (which reduce feed costs), mechanised operations and the advantages of economies of large-scale production, and the high productivity of milch animals
- According to estimations made by Amul, if free imports of skimmed milk powder from New Zealand are permitted, the average price for milk received by an Indian dairy farmer would fall to ₹19/l (presently it is ₹30/l).
- Also livelihoods of people would be impacted. There are 70 million households dependent on dairy in India, the corresponding number is just 10,000 in New Zealand and 6,300 in Australia.
- India needs to reduce the unit cost of milk production improved feeds, mechanised operations and increasing the productivity of milch animals.
- India should ensure that its concerns are addressed if it wants to join RCEP in future, by providing adequate room for India government to protect Indian farmers.
Connecting the dots:
- Joining RCEP would have had high socio-economic costs on Indian dairy farmers. Elaborate.
TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- On Nov 5th, 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind signed a warrant to appoint Justice Sharad A. Bobde as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).
- The appointment of Justice Bobde as the CJI gives fresh hope to all the stakeholders in the administration of justice.
- It comes at a time when the Supreme Court’s standing amongst the people has greatly eroded.
The Contemporary Controversies
- Multiple controversies in the realm of judicial appointments and transfers have surfaced in the past four-five years raising concerns about the faltering institutional autonomy of the members of higher judiciary in India’s constitutional democracy.
- Judiciary has stopped being the protector of the fundamental and other constitutional rights.
- Judiciary has failed to act as the guardian of the rule of law.
- Its biased role and involvement in politically sensitive cases (involving citizens, opposition parties, activists and executive actions in day-to-day governance) is criticized.
- It has failed to restore constitutional rights and values in letter and spirit.
- The absolute power of the CJI to constitute benches and allocate cases as the master of the roster is often criticized.
B R Ambedkar was right in saying that although the CJI is a very eminent, person, “the Chief Justice is a man with all the failings, all the sentiments and all the prejudices which we as common people have…”
- An independent and strong judiciary is a basic feature of the Constitution.
- The Restatement of Values of Judicial Life (as adopted by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court on May 7, 1997) states that “justice must not be merely done but also must be seen to be done.”
- The behaviour and conduct of members of the higher judiciary must re-affirm people’s faith in the impartiality of the judiciary.
- Every judge must at all times be conscious that he/she is under the public gaze.
- “Elected political executives are considered as the chief threat to democracy today”.
The way ahead/Conclusion
- The new CJI should function as the master of the roster in an independent and objective manner.
- It is high time that the judiciary steps up to fulfil its constitutional defence role and ensure that the Constitution is not reduced to just another legal document.
- The SC is held in the highest regard and must live up to its legacy by making necessary corrections.
Connecting the dots:
- If the judiciary is strong, the constitutional values of India can be successfully upheld. Critically examine.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
- 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) Consider the following statements about Alzheimer Disease
- It is a progressive brain disorder whereby a person loses the ability to perform day-to-day activities.
- India has approved the first home-grown drug “Oligomannate (GV-971)” for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Select the correct statements
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) Consider the following statements
- The decision on a petition under the anti-defection law is taken by the Chairman/Speaker of the House, while a decision on disqualification petition on office of profit under government allegedly being held by a member is taken by the Election Commission
- Decisions by Chairman/Speaker regarding disqualification of members under anti-defection law is outside the purview of Judicial review.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.3) Consider the following statements
- India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden.
- India has promised to reduce the emission intensity of its economy by 33-35% by 2030, compared to 1991 levels
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.4) Idate Commission and Renke Commission dealt with which of the following areas?
- Reorganisation of States on linguistic basis
- Repealing of AFSPA in North-eastern India and Kashmir.
- Identification & welfare of De-Notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities
- Women and Child empowerment
Q.5) Consider the following statements about Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- It is established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- Recently it has proposed that foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to children in school canteens/mess premises/hostel kitchens or within 50 m of the school campus.
- Ministry of Food processing is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI.
Select the correct answer from the codes given below
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- All of the above
ANSWERS FOR 05 Nov 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)
What makes doing business easier
Safe, for now: On India opting out of RCEP
Back to the blackboard: On NEET crisis
Providing sexuality education
Corridor of hope
Signing the RCEP agreement would have given more substance to India’s Act East policy
In RCEP negotiations, Delhi has been consistent. It is right to put its own interests first
The truth about air pollution in Delhi
RCEP didn’t make much sense for India