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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th December 2019

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  • December 24, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th December 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Financial Action Task Force (FATF): Grills Pakistan

In News

  • FATF has asked Pakistan more questions on the action it has taken against madrassas run by proscribed outfits.
  • The FATF has kept Pakistan on the Grey List until February 2020 and warned that it would be put to black list (along with Iran & North Korea) if it did not take requisite actions.
  • FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. 
  • Its objective is to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system

US Space Force: China raises objection

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II- International Relations

In News

  • 2020 National Defence Authorization Actwas signed byU.S. President Donald Trump,which creates a new branch of the U.S. military – Space Force
  • The Space Force will be the sixth formal force of the U.S. military, after the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard
  • The new branch will be stood up over the next 18 months. The Space Force would comprise around 16,000 Air Force and civilian personnel.
  • It is not intended to put troops into orbit, but will protect US assets – such as the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.
  • China has criticised US of turning the cosmos into a battlefield and pursuing the weaponisation of outer space

Sarvatra Kavach: Indigenously developed Bullet-proof jacket

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Security

In News

  • Major Anoop Mishra was felicitated by Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat with the Army Design Bureau (ADB) excellence award for indigenously developing Sarvatra Kavach.
  • Sarvatra Kavach is a bulletproof jacket that can provide protection against various ammunition including that of sniper rifles.
  • The suit was named Sarvatra Kawach as it provides protection from neck to ankle and upper arms
  • The project was sanctioned in June 2017 and initially the design and development of a Level IIIA soft body armour suit was sanctioned and was subsequently revised to include a Level IV hard armour panel inserts
  • The ADB was set up to liaise with the industry and the academia and develop indigenous solutions for the Army 

EcoClub Programme: To sensitize children about Environmental issues

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III- Environment Conservation

In News

  • Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) is acentral sector scheme of the Ministry of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change started in 1983-84 
  • It aims to promote environmental awareness and mobilize student’s participation for environment conservation.
  • Under the scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) ‘Ecoclub’ programme was initiated in 2001-2002 with the objective to impart knowledge to school children through hands on experience about their immediate environment, interactions within it and the problems therein.
  • The programme aims to inculcate proper attitude towards environment and sensitize children on issues related to environment and development.
  • It is envisaged that number of Ecoclubs shall be enhanced from about 1.5 lakh at present to 2 lakh in the ensuing year 2020-21. 

Miscellaneous

  • One-third of global coal exports come from Australia, accounting for 7% of global carbon emissions. The country is the largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas in the world, and the energy sector is an important employer here.
  • Sivaramakrishnan Committee, constituted by the Central government to suggest choices for the capital of Andhra Pradesh State (post-bifurcation in 2014), did not favour one ‘super-capital’ and pitched for decentralised development.

(MAINS FOCUS)


POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019: Consequences on the domestic and foreign policy

Context:

  • In India, widespread protests that began in the Northeast are now raging across the country.
  • Two Bangladesh ministers cancelled their visit to India, the Japanese Prime Minister postponed his visit to the country and the annual India-Japan summit was cancelled.

JAPAN’s Investment in North- East :

  • As part of its Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, Japan has been investing in the Northeast in a big way. 
  • Recently Japan  decided to invest Rs 13,000 crore in different projects in the Northeast. 
  • Building Northeast road network connectivity, water supply projects and economic modernisation of the region.
  •  It will be financing the construction of India’s longest bridge between Dhubri in Assam and Phulbari in Meghalaya
  • Japan has contributed official development assistance loans for the North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project.
  •  Private Japanese organisations are also financing a host of developmental projects in the region. 

Impact of CAA on Japan India relations:

  • The CAA protests and Internet shutdowns in the region have come as a huge shock to Japan and its investment plans in the region which hinge on stability and a business-friendly environment conducive.
  • If Japan has to rethink on these development projects, it will do so keeping in mind not  only the Northeast but the rest of India too. (Japan  is involved in various big-ticket infrastructure projects in Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Odisha, etc.)
  • The volatility of the Northeast can possibly be a setback to the collaborative efforts between India and Japan in providing an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Japan is also a member of the Quad, which came into existence to counter Chinese economic prowess and unlock India’s potential in the Indo-Pacific. 

Impact on India’s International relations:

  • UN human rights office has described the CAA as “fundamentally discriminatory”. 
  • The U.S., the U.K., Canada and others have issued travel advisories to those visiting the Northeast.

Way forward:

  • The government should  utilise diplomatic channels to put forth its views before the stakeholders in the international community

Conclusion:

  • The government should analyse how such a decision like CAA would affect the economic development of the Northeast.

Connecting the dots:

  • When Kashmir is already volatile, can India afford to open another frontier of vulnerability in the Northeast?
  • What are the side effects on the country’s relationship with foreign stakeholders heavily invested in the Northeast?

HEALTH

TOPIC: 

General Studies 2 :

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

General Studies 3

  • Food processing and related industries in India

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE): CSE  has alleged excessive and “dangerous” level of salt

Context:

  • A new report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has alleged excessive and “dangerous” level of salt and under reporting of transfats in various well-known packaged foods brands.
  • The report has said the levels of salt are much higher than the thresholds set by industry body Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA):

  • To calculate this, the organisation relied on the concept of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), a daily ceiling on the amount of salt, fat, carbohydrate and trans-fat.
  •  It says that, ideally, an adult should consume no more than 5g of salt, 60g of fat, 300g carbohydrate and 2.2 g of transfats every day. 
  • the RDA from breakfast, lunch and dinner should not be more than 25% and that from snacks (assumed to be those munched between meals), must be no more than 10%. Thus, a snack should ideally have no more than 0.5g of salt and 6g of fat.

Food Safety and Standards:

  • Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 only require companies to disclose energy (kilo calories), protein, carbohydrates, total fat, trans-fat and saturated fat contained per 100g or per millilitre or per serve.
  • In 2018, the FSSAI came up with a draft law, the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018. 
  • The draft recommended that a packet should have clear information on how much each nutrient, such as salt, sugar, contributed to the RDA. 
  • The draft said salt must be declared as sodium chloride for instance, and that those ingredients which breached the RDA should be marked in ‘red’.
  • Food companies had reservations mainly because they felt ‘red’ signified danger, fearing that this would give consumers the impression that they were consuming toxic food.

Draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2019:

  • A  third committee was formed, headed by B. Sesikeran, a new draft (Draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2019) was prepared.
  • This replaced sodium chloride with salt, total fat with saturated fat and total sugar with added sugar which CSE says, dilutes information on the health harm posed by packaged foods.
  • The proposed law allows companies three years to adjust to the new laws. the contribution of each individual nutrient to the RDA and whether it is breaching safe limits will have to be displayed on the front of the package
  • The CSE’s calculations are based on recommended nutritional values in the draft versions of these laws.

Chile example:

  • Chile, has a system where a black hexagon in a white border appears on the front of a package. In the hexagon is a phrase that says a product is “high in salt” or “high in trans-fat.” The more the hexagons the less desirable the product becomes for the consume

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think companies agree  with the new law ?
  • Do you think children are becoming more conscious about the health impact of their favourite snacks and influencing parents’ buying choices?

(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) Consider the following statements with regard to Financial Action Task Force

  1. FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering 
  2. India is a member of FATF since 2010

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

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements about US Space Force

  1. It is intended to put US troops into orbit, particularly in International Space Station, so as to protect US Space assets
  2. China has criticised US of turning the cosmos into a battlefield and pursuing the weaponisation of outer space

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.3) Consider the following statements about Environment Education Awareness and Training

  1. It is a centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change started in 2014 
  2. It aims to promote environmental awareness and mobilize student’s participation for environment conservation.

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) Sivaramakrishnan Committee recently seen in news was constituted for which purpose?

  1. Financial Inclusion
  2. Defence Indigenisation
  3. To Suggest choice for Capital of Andhra Pradesh
  4. None of the above

ANSWERS FOR 23 DEC 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 C
3 B
4 D
5 A

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