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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st December 2019

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  • December 31, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st December 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Kerala is in the top slot

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Federalism; GS-III- Sustainable Development

In News

  • NITI Aayog has released its latest SDG India Index 2019, which assesses each state and Union Territory’s achievement on 16 sustainable development goals (SDG). 
  • A score of 100 implies that the state/ UT has achieved targets set for 2030
  • Kerala is in the top slot with a score of 70, while Bihar is at the bottom with 50.
  • Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim have joined the four southern States among the front-runners, which scored over 65 points out of a possible 100
  • Ending hunger and achieving gender equality are the areas where most States fall far short, with the all-India scores at a dismal 35 and 42 points respectively. 

Value Addition for Prelims

  • The SDGs are a set of 17 broad-based global goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, and intended to be achieved by 2030
  • The UN has developed 232 indicators to measure compliance by member nations. The NITI Aayog has adapted the monitoring approach to the Indian context, with 100 indicators of its own for the Index.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st December 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st December 2019

Src: click here


Chief of Defence Staff: Gen. Rawat Appointed as first CDS

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III- Security

In News

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a high military office that oversees and coordinates the working of the three Services
  • He offers seamless tri-service views and single-point advice to the Executive ( Prime Minister) on long-term defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment and strategy, and above all, “jointsmanship” in operations.
  •  The upper age limit for the CDS has been fixed at 65 years.
  • Service chiefs have a tenure of three years or 62 years, whichever is earlier. However, the tenure of CDS has not been fixed
  • Read more here: https://iasbaba.com/2019/12/chief-of-defence-staff-cds-union-cabinet-gives-approval/

Regional Reservations: Karnataka Students in National Law School

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II- Federalism, Development

In News

  • In order to provide reservation to those students who have studied in Karnataka for at least 10 years, Karnataka government is mulling passing a bill that provide 25% reservation to such students in National Law School of India University (NLSIU)
  • A similar Bill, proposing 50% reservation to Kannadigas, was passed in 2017. However, the Governor sent it back, saying that such a regional reservation could not be accepted.
  • NLSIU at Bangalore was established was established by a statute passed by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Karnataka (NLSIU Karnataka Act 22 of 1986). The statute states that Chief Justice of India serves as the school’s chancellor.

Electro-kinetic streaming: To produce energy from flowing or stagnant water

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

In News

  • Researchers at the IIT-Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed materials that can produce energy from flowing or stagnant water in households.
  • Electro-kinetic streaming potential: When fluids stream through tiny channels(made up of special semiconducting material) that are charged, they can generate an electrical voltage, which may be harnessed through miniaturised generators.
  • Devices with doped graphene flakes was also fabricated for generating power by dipping it in a bucket of water or any stagnant water source to “complementary charge transfer activities”
  • Graphene is the sheet produced by oxidation followed by reduction of natural graphite flakes.

Value Addition for Prelims – Graphene:

  • Graphene is a form of carbon and a super-strong, ultra-light material discovered in 2004
  • Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, each atom bound to its neighbours by chemical bonds. 
  • It enables flexible electronic components, enhances solar cell capacity, and promises to revolutionise batteries.

Indian State of Forest Report 2019 (ISFR)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS II- Governance; GS-III- Environment

In News

  • The ISFR is a biennial publication of Forest Survey of India (FSI) an organization under the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change Government of India
  • The report assesses the forest and tree cover, bamboo resources, carbon stock and forest fires. 
  • At 7,12,249 sqkm, the forest cover constituted 21.67% of the nation’s geographical area or 0.12% more than last year.
  • The forest cover in the country increased by 3,976 square kilometres (sqkm) but with the sharpest declines in the northeastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram.
  • However, these states have higher proportion of forest than most States — Mizoram (85.4%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%) and Nagaland (75%
  • The top three States showing an increase in forest cover are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  • Tree cover, defined as patches of trees less than 1 hectare and occurring outside the recorded forest area, grew by 1,212 sqkm
  • Tree and forest cover together made up 25.56% of India’s area. In the last assessment it was 24.39%.
  • Quality of forest — in terms of the canopy density of the trees comprising forest patches — is wavering.
  • National Forest Policy, 1988 had envisaged 33% of total area to be under tree and forest cover.
  • Ujjwala scheme, which provides free cooking gas to extremely poor families, has had a positive impact on reducing the demand for fuelwood.

(MAINS FOCUS)


HISTORY

TOPIC: General Studies 1:

  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country

Inter- state border dispute : Maharashtra-Karnataka Belgaum tension (Part-1)

In news:

  • Recently Bus services between Kolhapur and Belgaum were suspended after the decades-old border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka flared up again.
  • Various Kannada organisations had staged a protest in Belgaum and burnt the effigy of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Do you know?

  • The dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over Belgaum and other border areas is a longstanding issue between the two states, and has been pending before the Supreme Court for many years.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st December 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st December 2019

Src: Frontline  

History:

  • In 1947, the Belgaum district  became a part of the Bombay State. 
  • In 1948, the Belgaum Municipality that was dominated by Marathi speaking politicians requested Indian Constituent Assembly and the Boundary Commission to include the Belgaum in the proposed Maharashtra state for the Marathi speakers.
  • In accordance to the established policy of bifurcation on linguistic majority basis, in 1956, the Belgaum district was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore state (now Karnataka) with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act(The Act, reorganised India’s states along linguistic and administrative lines)
  • Adjoining areas which had majority of Marathi speaking citizens were included in the newly formed Maharashtra state. included Belgaum in the Kannada-majority Karnataka, the district had most of the Marathi-speaking population hence the ‘dispute’ arised.

Data:

  • In the 1881 census, Belgaum had 864,014 people of which 556,397 were Kannada-speaking (64.39%), while 225,008 were Marathi-speaking (26.04%)

Mahajan committee:

  • The Government of India constituted Mahajan Committee in 1960 to look into the case,But it failed to reach an agreement

Summary  of the Mahajan committee report:

  • Belgaum to continue in Karnataka
  • Around 247 villages/places including Jatta, Akkalakote, Sholapur to be part of Karnataka
  • Around 264 villages/places including Nandagad, Nippani Khanapur to be part of Maharashtra
  • Kasaragod (of Kerala) to be part of Karnataka

Response to the report:

  • The Maharashtra and Kerala government refuted the recommendations of the report and demanded another review of the issue. 
  • Maharashtra government termed the findings of the reports as biased and self-contradictory because the “formula” applied for Kasaragod was not applied for Belgaum. 
  • Maharashtra Government insisted that the report is against the “wish of people” of Belgaum. 
  • Kerala, on the other hand, refused to hand over Kasaragod to Karnataka. The Karnataka government, continued to press for the implementation of the report or maintaining status quo.

What Maharashtra wanted?

Maharashtra wanted to apply following points and agreed to hand over Kannada majority villages to Karnataka:

  • Villages as a unit
  • Geographical proximity/integrity
  • Marathi or Kannada speakers “relative majority”; in case of villages with no population, it should be merged with that state where the owners of that land reside
  • People’s wish

Karnataka Government, wanted status quo to be maintained.

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think this dispute is detrimental for the integrity of the country?
  • How do you think the dispute can be resolved?

TECHNOLOGY

TOPIC: General Studies 3:

  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Internet rights: Internet shutdown in India

In news:

  • In Kashmir, the government imposed a complete.
  • The enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act led to protests all over the country and State governments responded by suspending the Internet. 
  • The Software Freedom Law Centre data says there have been more than a 100 Internet shutdowns in different parts of India in 2019 alone.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • Internationally, the right to access to the Internet can be rooted in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Human Rights Council

  • The Human Rights Council of the United Nations Resolution dated 2018, noted with concern the various forms of undue restriction on freedom of opinion and expression online, including where countries have manipulated or suppressed online expression in violation of international law.

Recommendation by: Justice BN Srikrishna Committee

  • The appropriateness of a right to be forgotten in specific circumstances would require that the right to privacy be balanced with the freedom of speech
  • It called right to confirmation, access and correction to be included in the data protection law.

Kerala High Court:

  • In Faheema Shirin v. State of Kerala, the Kerala High Court declared the right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution
  • This  judgment acknowledges the role of the right to access Internet in accessing other fundamental rights

Observations by the Court

  • The Court observed that the internet acts as a learning tool and nobody can impose restrictions on it, citing discipline.
  • The petitioner argued that the restriction on the use of internet amounted to a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
  • The Kerala HC in response cited the Supreme Court judgment in the S. Rengarajan and others v/s P. Jagjivan Ram case (1989) that the fundamental freedom under Article 19(1)(a) can be reasonably restricted only for the purposes mentioned in the Article 19(2).

Conclusion:

  • Internet broadband and mobile Internet services are a lifeline to people in India from all walks of life. While the Internet is certainly a main source of information and communication and access to social media, it is so much more than that. Hence it is high time to recognise the right to Internet access as a fundamental right.

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think Internet access should be a basic human right?
  • What do you think about Kerala high court decision?

(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 about Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

  1. The upper age limit for the CDS has been fixed at 65 years.
  2. Similar to Service Chiefs, the tenure of CDS has been fixed at three years.

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 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

  1. The SDGs are a set of 17 broad-based global goals adopted at Rio+2- conference in 2012, and intended to be achieved by 2030
  2. Kerala tops the States in progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while Bihar is at the bottom of the NITI Aayog’s SDG Index.

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

  1. The Indian State of Forest Report is a biennial publication of NITI Aayog which assesses the forest and tree cover, bamboo resources, carbon stock and forest fires
  2. National Forest Policy, 1988 has envisaged 33% of India’s total geographical area to be under tree and forest cover.

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) Consider the following statements about Graphene

  1. Graphene is a form of silicon and a super-strong, ultra-light material discovered in 2004
  2. It enables flexible electronic components, enhances solar cell capacity, and promises to revolutionise batteries.

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 30 DEC 2019 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 A
3 B
4 D

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