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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020

  • IASbaba
  • January 29, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD): New agreement signed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Federalism

In News

  • Agreement signed between Ministry of Home Affairs, Bodo Groups and Assam government which has following provisions:
    • Renaming: From BTAD to Bodoland Territorial Region.
    • Redrawing Boundaries: Villages dominated by Bodos that were presently outside the BTAD would be included and those with non-Bodo population would be excluded
    • Bodos living in the hills would be granted Scheduled Hill Tribe status.
    • Bodo language with Devnagri script will become associate official language for entire of Assam and a separate directorate for Bodo medium schools will be set up.
    • Development Package of ₹1500 crore by the Centre for the development of Bodo areas
  • The agreement also involved rehabilitation of members of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) factions- over 1500 armed cadres will abjure violence and join the mainstream

3rd GLOBAL POTATO CONCLAVE: Held in Gujarat

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy, Agriculture

In News

  • The Conclave is being organized by Indian Potato Association (IPA) in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, and ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla and International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru.
  • Gujarat is one of the leading producers of Potato in the country with highest productivity of more than 30t/ha.
  • In the last eleven years alone, while the area under potato in India, has increased by 19%, it has increased by about 170% in Gujarat.
  • During last two decades two Global Potato Conferences were organized during 1999, and 2008

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance

In News

  • The index is prepared annually by the Germany-based Transparency International.
  •  India has slipped two spots to number 80 in the CPI, with its score remaining the same at 41 (Zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean)
  • The average 2019 score is 43, with more than two-thirds of countries scoring below 50.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020

Source: Indian Express


Nagardhan excavations : Insights into Vakataka dynasty

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Art & Culture; Ancient History

In News

  • Vakatakas ruled parts of Central and South India between the third and fifth centuries. 
  • Nagardhan (nea Pune) served as the capital of the Vakataka kingdom. 
  • Some of the findings of Archaeological excavations are
    • First time clay sealings have been excavated from Nagardhan.
    • Belonged to period when Prabhavatigupta was the queen of the Vakataka dynasty. 
    • The sealing is 1500 years old and bears the queens name in Brahmi script, along with depiction of conch 
    • The presence of the conch is regarded as a sign of the Vaishnava affiliation that the Guptas held.
    • An intact idol of Lord Ganesha, which had no ornaments adorned, too was found from the site. This confirmed that the elephant god was a commonly worshipped deity in those times

Queen Prabhavatigupta

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Ancient History

In News

  • She is the daughter of Chandragupta-II and granddaughter of Samudragupta.
  • Vakataka rulers of Central India forged several matrimonial alliances with Guptas  of North India so as to maintain harmonious relations.
  • Prabhavatigupta was married to Vakataka king Rudrasena II and enjoyed the position of Chief Queen. 
  • After sudden death of the King, Queen Prabhavatigupta ruled for about 10 years until her son Pravarasena II succeeded
  • Vakataka rulers followed the Shaivism while the Guptas were staunch Vaishnavites.
  • She had a pivotal role in propagation of Vaishnava practices in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

AUSCHWITZ – 75th Anniversary of its liberation 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- World History

In News

  • During the II World War, the government of Nazi Germany killed approximately 17 million people across Europe in camps specifically designated for killings.
  • The camp at Auschwitz (in German-occupied Poland), was the largest in size which became centre of Holocaust History
  • Allied forces liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, finding hundreds of sick, starving and exhausted prisoners, who had somehow survived. 
  • In 2005, the UN-designated January 27 as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

(MAINS FOCUS)


Agriculture & Environment

Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country,
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;
  • Awareness in the fields of Bio-technology
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Case for Biotechnology adoption

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th January 2020

Pic Source: The Hindu

Context

Arguments made against Bt Cotton seeds vis-à-vis variety seeds in the article India’s Cotton Story .

The article brings out difference between Hybrid Bt seeds vs Varieties and points out to various advantages of High Density Planting of non-Bt varietal cotton seeds – low cost labour, higher producivity, non-dependence on foreign seed companies, less use of pesticides and suitable for India’s climatic conditions.

The following are the counter-arguments made in support of Bt Hybrid Cotton seeds.

Argument 1: GM cotton covers 95% of the area under cotton and that there are no choices for farmers.

Counter Arguments

  • Farmer adopts technologies which are beneficial to him and does not go by the recommendations of the industry or any other persons. 
  • Also, farmers grow varietal crops in 90-100% of the area in the case of rice, mustard, many oilseeds, and pulses. If seed companies were powerful, they would have pushed farmers to adopt hybrid varieties in these crops as well.
  • This shows that farmers adopt only those technologies which yield him benefits. Attributing too much power to seed companies w.r.t. curbing choice of farmers is unreasonable

Argument 2: Low productivity of India’s Bt Cotton as compared to other Countries

Counter Arguments

  • Hybrid Bt Cotton has helped increase cotton yields by over 1.8 times — from 241 kg/hectare in 2002-2003 to 541 kg/hectare in 2018-2019. 
  • Additionally, increase in yield is not just dependent on technology but also on other factors like knowledge of cultivation and correct agronomic practices, where there is scope for improvement in case of India
  • New technology introduction has stopped in India since 2005, affecting growth of yields.

Argument 3: Availability of low cost manual labour for adoption of non-bt varietal cotton seed

Counter Argument

  • Today, labour accounts for over 58% of a farmer’s cost of cultivation per acre. India’s farmers instead need the best technologies to remain competitive.

Argument 4: Indian farmers need to buy seeds repeatedly. 

Counter Arguments

  • The fact is that not just biotech cotton, but all hybrid seeds lose their benefits if replanted, creating reduced and erratic yields. 
  • New seeds help farmers sustain high yields year on year.

Other arguments/facts in support of Bt Cotton Seeds are:

  1. India’s cotton yields which were at 169 kg/hectare in 1980-81 increased to 278 kg/hectare in 2000-01 and then 542 kg/ hectare in 2016-17 (Cotton Advisory Board data)
  2. Increased Revenues: Highest production of 398 lakh bales of cotton in India was achieved in 2013-14, valued at around Rs. 72,000 crore. 
  3. Additional incomes were generated from cotton seeds oil (1.3 million tons) and cotton seed oilmeal (11 million tons) worth Rs. 13,000 crore and Rs. 22,000 crore, respectively. 
  4. Meagre Bt Cotton Seed market: It is about Rs. 3,000 crore, making it hardly 2.5% of the total value generated.
  5. Global acceptance: Cotton Production (source USDA) – 2017-18  -India (35million bales), China (28m bales), the U.S. (21m bales), Brazil (9m bales) and Australia (5m bales). All of them are GM cotton countries, contributing to more than 90% of global cotton production.
  6. Helps conserve biodiversity: with higher production from the same area, the expansion of agricultural land into forest areas has been slowed.
  7. Socio-economic ripple benefits reaped by hybrid Bt cotton seed farmers:
  • 85% of them invested in better education for children; 
  • 77% reported better intake of nutritious food; 
  • 75% reported better health of their family members;
  • 64% invested on the health of livestock; 
  • Female workers on Bt cotton fields earned an average 55% higher income; 
  • 42.4 crore additional days of rural employment have been generated, thereby doubling cotton production.

Way forward

  • New technology introduction that has been stopped in India since 2005, should be restarted.
  • Research extension services should be strengthened.
  • Farmers need to be provided with updated knowledge with regard to adoption of best agronomic practices.

Connecting the Dots:

  • Bt Brinjal and Bt Mustard
  • Genetic engineering Appraisal committee

(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 Prabhavatigupta

  1. She was the granddaughter of Samudragupta who married Vakataka king Rudrasena II
  2. She had a pivotal role in propagation of Vaishnava practices in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra

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) Corruption Perception Index is prepared by

  1. World Economic Forum
  2. World Bank
  3. IMF
  4. Transparency International

Q.3) Which of the following states enjoy special provision under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution

  1. Assam
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Tripura
  5. Mizoram

Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

  1. 1,2 and 3 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1,3,4 and 5 only
  4. All of them

Q.4) Consider the following statements about Global Potato Conclave 

  1. The First such edition is being held in Gujarat, India from 28th Jan 2020 – 31st Jan 2020
  2. In the last eleven years alone, while the area under potato in India, has increased by 19%, it has increased by about 170% in Gujarat.

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

  1. Between third and fifth centuries, Vakatakas were ruling the North-Western Part of India while the more powerful Guptas were ruling the Central & Deccan part of India
  2. Vakataka rulers followed the Shaivism while the Guptas were staunch Vaishnavites.

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 27 JAN 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 B
3 A
4 B
5 C

MUST READ

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