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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th December 2019

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  • December 30, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th December 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


SnowEx: To assess how much water does snow contain

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

In News

  • In order to better understand how water is contained in each winter’s snowfall and how much will be available when it melts in the spring, NASA has launched a seasonal campaign called SnowEx.
  •  The goal is to address the most important gaps in our snow remote sensing knowledge, and thus lay the groundwork for a future snow satellite mission.
  • SnowEx assesses where snow has fallen, how much there is and how its characteristics change as it melts. It uses airborne measurements, ground measurements and computer modelling
  • The geographical focus of SnowEx is proposed as North America which contains the six broad snow climate categories identified in the literature: tundra (alpine or Arctic), taiga (Boreal forest), warm (temperate) forest, maritime, prairie, and ephemeral.

Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I- Culture

In News

  • The country’s highest film honour, the DadasahebPhalke award, was presented this year to Amitabh Bachchan
  • The award comes in the year that marks Mr. Bachchan’s golden jubilee in cinema, who made his debut in 1969
  • DadasahebPhalke (1870–1944), was an Indian film-maker who directed India’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913). He is regarded as “the father of Indian cinema.”
  • The award is given to people for their “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema”.
  • It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals (an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting).
  • The award prize consists of a golden lotus, a cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a shawl.
  • The award was first presented in 1969. The first recipient of the award was actress Devika Rani, “the first lady of Indian cinema.” 

Bandhavgarh Forest: Gets its first Elephant Colony

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

In News

  • Bandhavgarh National Park is spread at vindhya hills in Madhya Pradesh. It is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India.
  • Bandhavgarh National Park consists of mixed vegetation ranging from tall grasslands to thick Sal forest and so is the perfect habitat of variety of animals and birds.
  • Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968 and then became Tiger Reserve in 1993.
  • The word Bandhavgarh is a combination of two words: Bandhav+ Garh where Bandhav means brother and Garh means Fort. 
  • The name Bandhavgarh given to the reserve is due to the presence of an ancient fort in the hillock of the Vindhya ranges of Umaria. It has been believed that Lord Rama gifted this amazing fort to his younger brother Lakshmana. 
  • In the 2019 census Madhya Pradesh state recorded the most number of estimated tigers at 526, thus earning the title “Tiger State”

Red sand boa snake: Rare Snake rescued in Madhya Pradesh

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III- Environment

In News

  • Red Sand Boa Snake which worth around ₹1.25 crore, was rescued from five persons, who were trying to sell it in Madhya Pradesh 
  • The rare non-poisonous snakes are used for making certain medicines, cosmetics and in black magic, and are in huge demand in the international market
  • They are also believed to bring good luck and wealth.
  • Persons were charged under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

Value addition for Prelims

  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for protection of plants and animal species.
  • Article 48-A of the Constitution says that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country. 
  • Article 51A (g) imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen of India to protect and improve the environment and have compassion for living creatures.

Poshan Abhiyaan: Merely 30% of the funds used after 3 years

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III- Governance & Health

In News

  • Barring Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, none of the state governments used even half of the sum granted in the past three years, according to an analysis of the data shared in Parliament.
  • Average utilization of the funds allotted under the scheme, in the country is 29.97%

Value addition for Prelims

  • The Poshan Abhiyaan, the Centrally sponsored scheme, is aimed at improving nutritional outcomes among pregnant women, lactating mothers and children 
  • 50% of the funding comes through budgetary support while remaining 50% is from the World Bank or other multilateral development banks. 
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.
  • Target:Reducing stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.

US astronaut Christina Koch

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

In News

  • US astronaut Christina Koch set the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman when she reached, and crossed, 289 days in her current mission at the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Having reached the ISS in March this year, she is expected to spend a total of 328 days on board before returning to Earth in February 2020.
  •  In October 2019, she was part of the first all-female spacewalk, together with Jessica Meir

Did you Know?

  • Gennady Padalka of Russia holds the record longest cumulative time spent in space by any astronaut, male or female, accumulating the 878 days (about 2½ years) across five spaceflights between 1998 and 2015.
  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. 
  • The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements

(MAINS FOCUS)


ECONOMY

TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

Economic crisis: economy in bad shape

Context:

  • Growth in the quarter from July to September had slipped to 4.5%.(lowest level recorded in six years) 
  • 6.1% nominal GDP growth (real growth plus inflation) the slowest in a decade. 
  • Fixed investment slumped to 1%, private consumption growth halved year on year, and manufacturing activity contracted by 1%.

Evidences for Slowdown:

  • The 12.2% decline in electricity generation( it is a good barometer of demand generated by all economic activity, not just industrial production.) 
  • Metrics one would usually look at to assess economic activity and consumption such as Imports, merchandise exports, automobile sales, bank credit…, are indicating warning
  • Bank credit growth is expected to hit a 58-year low in 2019-2020.

Stagflation:

  • With retail inflation hitting a 40-month high of 5.54% in November and Food inflation hit 10%, vegetables (onions) and pulses. 
  • This has led to worries about India entering a phase of stagflation, (persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand in a country’s economy)
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th December 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th December 2019

SRC: Wall street

Concerns:

  • The current slowdown is closer in nature to what was faced as far back as 1991 — the year India liberalised.
  • India’s current crisis is driven by both cyclical and structural factors
  • Problems in finance have exacerbated the slowdown.
  • The World Bank has said this cyclical slowdown is severe. 
  • Demand collapsing due to reasons ranging from poor rural income growth, 
  • The ghosts of demonetisation and a hastily implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Point to be noted:

  • India’s growth recovered after global financial crisis 2008 without fixing the problems 
  • Series of fortuitous developments such as lower oil prices and a boom in credit from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) which may be partly driven by demonetisation sending more cash into the formal financial system.
  • With the collapse of IL&FS in late 2018,this support also ended . 
  • Now the twin balance sheet crisis (of stressed banks and corporates with infrastructure bets) raised

Way forward:

  • Reserve Bank of India must cut interest rates for spurring growth out of the equation.
  • Increase public expenditure by investing in agriculture
  • raise funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
  • Investment in  Skill , Education and Health

Conclusion:

  • This is a cyclical phenomenon and will pass like the circle of life… what goes up, must come down, but govt must also address the concerns of economy

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think economy seems headed for the intensive care unit?
  • Do you think Demonetisation is responsible for the current slowdown?

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC): Pakistan to host OIC meet on Kashmir, CAA

Context:

    • Pakistan will hold a ministerial meeting with Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jammu and Kashmir in April 2020, 
  • The development is linked to a broader Saudi-Pakistan deal.
  • Focus on the “human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of an CAA in India”

Recent developments:

  • The announcement came days after recently-appointed Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud visited Islamabad and met with the Pakistani leadership, including Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi 
  • Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad had convened the “Kuala Lumpur” summit, with the leaders of Turkey, Iran and Qatar, calling for reforms in the Muslim world.

About OIC:

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th December 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th December 2019

Src: MOW

  • The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations
  • It has membership of 57 states spread over four continents.
  • It is an organisation of the collective voice of the Muslim world.

Objectives:

  • The main motive of the organisation is to the safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.
  • The Organization was established upon a decision of the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco 25 September 1969 as a result of criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

India and Islamic World

  • In the last few years, India has improved ties with the Islamic world from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, while building on good relations with countries like Qatar and Oman.
  • While it was Bangladesh that floated the idea of India becoming an observer at the OIC in 2018, the UAE invite offered India an opportunity to address the forum.
  • The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), was a very special Chief Guest at the 68th Republic Day celebrations in 2017, the first time that India laid out the Republic Day red carpet for a leader who was neither a Head of State nor Head of Government.
  • The Crown Prince MBZ had earlier visited India in February 2016, following a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in August 2015.
  • Recently, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman visited India.

India – OIC Relation:

  • India’s relationship with Pakistan has always been tense and has a direct impact on India-OIC relations, with Pakistan being a founding member of the OIC. India has pushed for the OIC to accept India as a member, Pakistan opposes India’s entry into the OIC
  • For the first time in five decades, the United Arab Emirates invited foreign minister of India Sushma Swaraj to attend the inaugural plenary 46th meeting of OIC foreign ministers. (Pakistan boycotted the meet)
  • From the mid-1990s, when this Contact Group was formed, it has issued several statements on behalf of Pakistan (on Kashmir issue)
  • The United Arab Emirates, for instance, conferred the Order of “Zayed”, its highest civilian award on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more than a week after New Delhi’s moves on Article 370, and declared that Kashmir was India’s internal matter.

Conclusion:

  • Saudi Arabia leads OIC nations to showcase its control of the Islamic world, while allowing its members to use the forum to attack their own rivals, While OIC resolutions mean very little in real terms, Pakistan wants to use the forum against India

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think CAA impacts India- Saudi relations?
  • Do you think Pakistan will get any support from OIC on Kashmir issue?

(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

  1. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for protection of only animal species
  2. Article 51A (g) imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen of India to protect and improve the environment and have compassion for living creatures.

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

  1. Dadasaheb Phalke award is given to people for their outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.
  2. The award first presented in 1951 is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals 

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) Which of the following are the participating space agencies of International Space Station

  1. ISRO(India)
  2. NASA (USA)
  3. Roscosmos (Russia)
  4. JAXA (Japan)
  5. Canadian Space Agency

Select the correct answer from the codes given below

  1. 1,2,3 and 4 only
  2. 2,3,4 and 5 only
  3. 2,3 and 4 only
  4. 1,2,3,4 and 5

Q.4) Consider the following statements about Poshan Abhiyan

  1. It is a Central sector scheme aimed at improving nutritional outcomes among pregnant women, lactating mothers and children 
  2. Average utilization of the funds allotted under the scheme has been high at 89.97%, indicating success of the abhiyan.

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 28 DEC 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 A
2 C
3 A

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