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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2019

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  • November 9, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


SAMUDRA SHAKTI

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Security

In News

  • Samudra Shakti is a Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of India and Indonesia.
  • The second edition of this joint exercise includes manoeuvres, Surface Warfare exercises, Air Defence exercises, Weapon firing drills, Helicopter Operations and Boarding Operations.
  • The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.
  • The strategic partnership between India and Indonesia was elevated to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ during the visit of Prime Minister of India in May 2018 and Defence co-operation has been a significant pillar in this partnership. 

Gender Equality

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Society

In News

  • The Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to allow Sikh women to sing hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
  • Only Sikh men perform ‘kirtan’ at the Golden Temple as of now.
  • The resolution passed states that “Guru Nanak Dev had visualised a society in which there would be no place for discrimination or distinction on the basis of caste or creed, social status or gender, a society that is to be based upon the principle of egalitarianism and committed to welfare of all”

Do You Know?

  • The Supreme Court had struck down a rule that disallowed girls and women in the 10-50 age group from entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. 
  • The rules which mandate the ban were listed in Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules of 1965.
  • Chief Justice Dipak Misra-headed Constitution bench in a 4-1 verdict said the temple rule violated their right to equality and right to worship

NH-766

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Environmental Conservation 

In News

  • The Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding the Union government to lift the travel restrictions on NH-766 linking Kerala and Karnataka and safeguard the right of the people of north Kerala to move freely.
  • The 9 p.m.to 6 a.m. travelon this main artery passing through the Bandipur National Park had been banned since 2009 in the name of protecting wildlife.
  • The NH 766 is a survival route for the people of Wayanad, which lacks rail and connectivity and water routes.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve:

  • Spread over 990.51 sq km, Bandipur Tiger Reserve is part of interconnected forests that include Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu), Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) and Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka).
  • A large variety of wildlife including the elephant moves from one stretch to another, cutting the states.

Do You Know?

  • Night traffic would affect behaviour biology such as breeding and parental care of animals, disrupt their life cycle and make them stray to human habitats.

Dhrupad

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I – Culture

In News

  • Dhrupad maestro and Padma Shri awardee Ramakant Gundecha, 56, is no more.
  • Dhrupad is a genre in Hindustani classical music. It is one of oldest forms of compositions in classical Indian music. 
  • Dhrupad is a Sanskrit name, derived from words dhruva (permanent) and pad (verse) and in combination it means “pillar”.
  • The roots of Dhrupad are ancient and it is mentioned in Natyashastra (200 BCE – 200 CE). It is also described in other ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts, such as Bhagavata Purana (~800–1000 CE).
  • The nature of Dhrupad music is spiritual and does not seek to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and spirituality in the listener. It is primarily a form of worship, in which offerings are made to the divine through sound or Nada.
  • Dhrupad was initially sung only in the temples, the singer facing the Lord. From this early chanting, it evolved into a sophisticated classical form of music. One significant characteristic of Dhrupad is the emphasis on maintaining purity of the Raga.

Maternal death rate declining

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II -Health

In News

  • India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has seen a decline from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-2016 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-2017.
  • The figure has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016 and to 122 in 2015-17, registering a 6.15 per cent reduction since the last survey figures of 2014-2016.
  • This is good news for India as nearly 2,000 maternal deaths have been averted per year
  • While Karnataka has shown the highest percentage decline in MMR, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have shown an increase by 15 points each in MMR.
  • Retaining its first position, Kerala has reduced its MMR from 46 in 2014-2016 to 42 in 2015-2017. Likewise, Maharashtra retained its second position with 55 (down from 61) and Tamil Nadu its third position with 63 (down from 66).
  • The decline is important for India as 11 States have achieved the National Health Policy target of MMR 100 per lakh live births well ahead of 2020. 
  • This has been possible in view of the gains made in institutional deliveries and focused approach towards aspirational districts and inter-sectoral action to reach the most marginalised and vulnerable mothers
  • Public health initiatives under the National Health Mission such as LaQshya, Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, Janani Suraksha Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana have contributed to this decline,

Do You Know?

  • India is now committed to ensuring that not a single mother or newborn dies due to a preventable cause and move towards zero preventable maternal and newborn deaths through the recently launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan Initiative (SUMAN).
  • The WHO had last year lauded India’s progress in reducing the MMR, saying the progress puts the country on track towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of an MMR below 70 by 2030.

Norms eased for onion imports

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III – Economy

In News

  • To keep a lid on rising retail prices of onion which have skyrocketed up to Rs 100 per kg, the Centre decided to import “substantial” quantity of onions from Dubai and other countries to augment the domestic availability.
  • The government is also trying to facilitate import of onion through private traders from Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, for which phytosanitary and fumigation norms have been liberalised till November 30
  • NAFED had a 55,000-tonne buffer stock. The continued high prices have resulted in this buffer dwindling to 1,500 tonnes
  • The tight supply was caused mostly by late rains destroying the early kharif harvest and disrupting storage and transport, even as last season’s rabi stocks ran out. 

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED), 

  • It was established in 1958, is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act.
  • Composition: Agricultural farmers are the main members of Nafed, who have the authority to say in the form of members of the General Body in the working of Nafed.
  • The objectives of the NAFED shall be to organize, promote and develop marketing, processing and storage of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce, distribution of agricultural machinery, implements and other inputs, undertake inter-state, import and export trade etc.
  • It functions under Ministry of Agriculture.
  • NAFED is now one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India.  
  • In 2008, it had established, National Spot Exchange, a Commodities exchange as a joint venture of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd. (FTIL).

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNAL SECURITY

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.

Rise and Fall of ISIS (PART 2)

Context:

  • President Donald Trump declared that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead after a US military raid in northwest Syria over.
  • The President said a US special operations forces mission went after the ISIS leader and there were no US deaths during the operation.
  • The death of Baghdadi marks the culmination of a years-long hunt to find one of the most wanted terrorists in the world and the man who declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014. 

ISIS and Sharia Law

  • ISIS rule spread quickly throughout Iraq and Syria. The group focused on creating an Islamic state and implementing sharia law—a strict religious code based on traditional Islamic rules and practices.
  • In 2014, ISIS took control of Falluja, Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq, and declared itself a caliphate, which is a political and religious territory ruled by a leader known as a caliph.
  • ISIS fighters attacked a northern town in Iraq that was home to the Yazidis, a minority religious group, in August 2014. They killed hundreds of people, sold women into slavery, forced religious conversions and caused tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee from their homes.
  • The attack sparked international media coverage and brought attention to the brutal tactics employed by ISIS. Also in 2014, al Qaeda broke ties with ISIS, formally rejecting the group and disavowing their activities.

One Group, Many Names:

ISIL: This acronym stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” The Levant is a broad geographical region that includes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan. 

IS: The shortened “IS” simply means “Islamic State.” In 2014, the militant group announced they were officially calling themselves IS because their goals for an Islamic state reached beyond the areas identified in other titles.

Daesh: Many Middle Eastern and European governments have used this Arabic acronym for “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham,” which translates to “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” to address the group. However, ISIS doesn’t approve of the name, and in 2014, threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone who called them Daesh in public.

India and ISIS:

  • The Paris terror attacks by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)in 2015  have quite naturally fueled concerns about the threat posed by this group to India. 
  • The concerns deepen given the backdrop that India has been the target of various terror outfits in different geographies for nearly thirty years. 
  • A recent report by the Global Terrorism Index 2018 (GTI) ranked India 7th out of 162 nations most affected by terrorism in 2018.
  • First, in mid 2014, Daeesh ISIS showed its interest in the Indian sub-continent when it issued a map depicting the western part of the India to be a part of the Islamic State of Khorasan.
  • Second, Mehdi Biswas, a resident of Bengaluru was arrested in December 2014 on account of evangelising for the Islamic State through his twitter account @Shamiwitness. 
  • Third and most recently, an assessment by security agencies revealed that there are close to 23 Indians fighting with the terror group in Syria and Iraq. 
  • At the same time, we have also witnessed widespread opposition to the ISIS ideology and barbarity. For instance, the Maulana of Jama Masjid in Bengaluru and several other clerics have repeatedly issued alerts to the Muslim community to be wary of the ISIS.

India’s concerns:

  • India becoming a recruiting ground for ISIS to conduct its operations in India and elsewhere in the world. 
  • The threat perception for this level is medium to high. 
  • The reason being that India has more than 350 million people who are connected to the internet and it is likely that some of them will fall prey to ISIS’ ingenious ways of luring Muslim youths through their online propaganda.
  • The biggest threat that ISIS poses to India is that it will act as a totem for local Indian terror outfits. Such groups would want to claim association with ISIS regardless of whether they agree or know about the ISIS ideology. 
  • The biggest threat to India’s national security still comes from the jihadi elements of the Pakistani military-jihadi complex.

Way forward:

  • It would be appropriate to keep a close watch and monitor developments.
  • Tackling the challenge of local Indian terror outfits seeking an ISIS badge would essentially require India to eradicate the discontent amongst Muslims in India
  • Dismantling the  military-jihadi complex in Pakistan and putting an end to majoritarianism back home will ensure that foreign terror outfits, whether Pakistani or Arabs, will find it difficult to challenge the idea of India.

Conclusion:

  • The death of its “Caliph” is certainly a blow to the terrorist group. But the IS is ideologically stronger to survive the fall of its leader, and the geopolitical conditions that led to the rise of the group remain more or less intact

Connecting the dots:

  • Religious indoctrination via digital media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous for the internal security of our country?(UPSC 2015)

POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

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

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(contd….)

Context:

  • India decided to hold the signing off of  Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) until “significant outstanding issues” were resolved, when all other 15 countries involved in the negotiations stated that they were ready to sign the mega trade deal in 2020.

PM narendra modi’s statement:

 “When I measure the RCEP Agreement with respect to the interests of all Indians, I do not get a positive answer. Therefore, neither the Talisman of Gandhiji nor my own conscience permit me to join RCEP,” .

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP):

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2019

Img: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/RCEP.png/500px-RCEP.png

  • 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.

Trade deficits :

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th November 2019

Img : sent by mail

  • India runs large trade deficits with at least 11 of the 15 RCEP members
  • China accounts for $53 billion of India’s $105 billion trade deficit with these.

China – India  & RCEP:

  • At a time of escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions, China was keen to see a successful conclusion of the RCEP summit and had been vigorously pushing for that.
  •  This is where the problem for India lay as well. 
  • India’s demands at the RCEP negotiations included shifting the base year for tariff cuts from 2014 to 2019
  • Avoiding a sudden surge in imports from China by including a large number of items in an auto-trigger mechanism
  • Calling for stricter rules of origin to prevent dumping from China
  • A better deal in services. 
  • The China factor, , was key to India’s assessment of costs and benefits.
  • China’s clout has been growing in the region
  • ASEAN member states have tried to keep the U.S. engaged in the region as well. But with the Trump administration giving mixed signals about US’s commitment towards the region, ASEAN has been looking at India with a renewed sense of anticipation.

Concerns:

  • India’s decision to keep away from the RCEP will, cause concerns about its larger game plan vis-a-vis the region.
  • India’s entire Indo-Pacific strategy might be open to question if steps are not taken to restore India’s profile in the region
  • China set to dominate the Indo-Pacific, which may not be good news for the region and India.

Way forward:

  • India will have to prepare itself more fully to take advantage of such pacts. 
  • Domestic reforms will be the need of the hour.
  • China’s rise has to be tackled both politically and economically.

Conclusion:

  • India needs a strategy that brings together the economic and political aspects of its strategic thinking at this time where global economy is in challenge

Connecting the dots:

  • Economic isolation is not an option for India and It must move  towards bilateral trade pacts. Analyse.

(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) NH 766 often seen in news passes through which of the following States of India?

  1. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Gujarat and Maharashtra
  3. Karnataka and Kerala
  4. None of the above

Q.2) Consider the following statements about National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED), 

  1. It was established during the 1991 economic reform period so as to give impetus to agriculture production and marketing.
  2. It functions under Ministry of Agriculture.
  3. It is now one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India.  

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

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

Q.3) SAMUDRA SHAKTI is a bilateral naval exercise between India and ___________

  1. Malaysia
  2. Indonesia
  3. Mauritius 
  4. Sri Lanka

Q.4) Consider the following statements

  1. India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has seen a decline from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-2016 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-2017.
  2. The progress puts the country on track towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of an MMR below 70 by 2030.

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 Dhrupad

  1. It is a genre in Carnatic classical music.
  2. The nature of Dhrupad music is spiritual and does not seek to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and spirituality in the listener

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 08 Nov 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 d
2 b
3 b
4 b
5 c

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