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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd January 2020

  • IASbaba
  • January 3, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd January 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI)

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

In News

  • RBI has launched a mobile app, Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI) to help visually challenged people to identify denomination of currency notes.
  • Through the downloaded app, users can scan the notes using the camera. The audio output will give the result in Hindi and English.
  • The app can also work offline once it is installed.

Aadhaar: Must for Welfare Pension in Odisha

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II- Governance 

In News

  • The Odisha government has announced that only beneficiaries with Aadhaar card will be given pension under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and the Madhubabu Pension Yojana (MBPY).
  • NSAP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Government of India that provides financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions. 
  • NSAP at present, comprises of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS), Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and Annapurna.
  • NSAP represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 of the Constitution
  • The MBPY beneficiaries, who include elderly, widows, persons with disabilities and HIV/AIDS-affected patients, get ₹500 to ₹700 per month. But they must not be part of any Central schemes

DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories (DYSL)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains -III- Security

In News

  • Five defence laboratories led by under-35 directors and young military scientists were formally launched by Government
  • Objective: To drive the country’s war technologies of the future under the Defence Research & Development Organisation.
  • The labs operating in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad will each pursue a key technology necessary for developing the nation’s next generation of defence systems.
  • There would be no fund constraints for the new labs and the new leaders enjoy the same administrative and financial powers as the directors of existing defence labs

Indian Science Congress: 107th Edition to begin in Bengaluru

Part of: GS Prelims and GS II- Education

In News

  • 107th Indian Science Congress, will be held from January 3 to 7, 2020 at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru
  • The main focus of this year’s congress will be on Rural Development through Science and Technology
  • Farmers Congress: for the first time in the history of ISC, a Farmers Science Congress is being held. It will cover themes ranging from farmers innovation on integrated agriculture and entrepreneurship for doubling farmers income, climate change, bio-diversity, conservation, agrarian distress etc.
  • Children’s Science Congress: The aim is to provide a unique opportunity for children to view selected projects and listen, interact with eminent scientists and Nobel Laureates.
  • Organisers have also taken “special care” to ensure that ‘pseudo-scientific’ articles or talks did not creep in during this Congress.
  • Indian Science Congress Association is a premier scientific organisation of India with headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal. The association started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and it meets annually in the first week of January

Sugar production fallen

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III- Economy

In News

  • The country’s sugar production has fallen sharply by 30.22% to 7.79 million tonne (MT) in the first three months of current marketing year ending September
  • Sugar production has been pegged lower at 26 MT this year from 33.16 MT in 2018-19.
  • The average sugar recovery in Maharashtra has declined to 10% from 10.5% achieved in the year-ago period due to loss of sucrose content in the flood-affected sugarcane crop

Value Addition for Prelims

  • Price of sugarcane is fixed by the centre/State, while the price of sugar is market determined
  • Fair and remunerative price (FRP) is the minimum price at which rate sugarcane is to be purchased by sugar mills from farmers
  • The FRP is fixed by Union government on the basis of recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). 
  • FRP assures margins to farmers, irrespective of whether sugar mills generate a profit or not. 
  • This will be uniformly applicable all over the country. Besides FRP, some states such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, UP and TN announce a State Advised Price, which is generally higher than the FRP. 

(MAINS FOCUS)


POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Role of civil services in a democracy

Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS): Trimming of the Railway Board, the powerful body that governs the Indian Railways

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd January 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd January 2020

SRC: Twitter

Context:

  • The Cabinet recently approved trimming of the Railway Board, the powerful body that governs the Indian Railways. From nine, the Board will now have only five Members.
  • The Cabinet also decided to merge all central service cadres of Railways officers into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS). 

What does it mean?

  • Any eligible officer could occupy any post, including Board Member posts, irrespective of training and specialisation, since they will all belong to IRMS.
  • The five members of the Board, other than a Chairman-cum-CEO, will now be the Members Infrastructure, Finance, Rolling Stock, Track, and Operations and Business Development.

Present system:

  • The Indian Railways is governed by a pool of officers, among whom engineers are recruited after the Indian Engineering Service Examination, and civil servants through the Civil Services Examination. 
  • The civil servants are in the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS), Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) and Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS). The engineers are in five technical service cadres — Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE) and the Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS).
  • Until the 1950s, the Railways system was run by officers from just three main streams: Traffic, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical. The other streams emerged as separate services over time.

Why reforms?

  • End inter-departmental rivalries, which it says have been hindering growth for decades 
  • Bibek Debroy committee in 2015 have noted that “departmentalism” is a major problem in the system and recommended merging of railways
  • A separate exam under the Union Public Service Commission is proposed to be instituted in 2021 to induct IRMS officers.

Why opposition?

  • The merger is unscientific and against established norms, because it proposes to merge two fundamentally dissimilar entities, with multiple disparities.
  • Various studies have noted that engineers join the Railways around the age of 22-23, while the civil servants join when they are around 26, barring exceptions. The age difference starts to pinch at the later stages of their careers, when higher-grade posts are fewer. There are more engineers than civil servants.
  • Protesters are also saying that the merger is against the service conditions which civil servants sign up for while choosing an alternative if they cannot make it to IAS.

Conclusion:

  • This methodology involves interpolation of officers of various services in a combined list, arranged in proportion to total strength of each service. The service with the largest number of officers will form the base. At the top of the combined list, toppers of all services will be placed in order of their date of birth—those born earlier being assigned higher seniority. Thereafter, officers of various services will be interpolated in between the officers of the base service in the ratio of the number of officers in that service vis-à-vis the number of officers in the base service

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think restructuring of Indian railways impact Indian civil services?
  • How do you think it impacts Employment?

POLITY

TOPIC:General Studies 2:

  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary -Ministries and Departments of the Government

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS): The dual-hatted role

Context:

  • General Bipin Rawat taking over as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on New Year’s Day, a new structure is being created in the Defence Ministry. 

The dual-hatted role:

  • The dual-hatted role refers to the two hats the CDS wears: one of the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which has the three service chiefs as members, and the other of the head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the ministry. 
  • The former is a military role while the latter is a role in the government.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd January 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd January 2020

SRC: IE

The Army, the Navy and the Air Force — not departments of the ministry:

  • The Army, the Navy and the Air Force used to come under the Department of Defence so far, but will now fall under the ambit of DMA, and will have an appropriate mix of civilian and military officers at every level.
  • Attached offices are generally responsible for providing executive direction required in implementation of policies laid down by the department to which they are attached, in this case now the DMA.

Working:

  • CDS acts the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister only on tri-services matters. In fact, the three service chiefs will continue to advise the Defence Minister, as done so far, on matters exclusively concerning their respective services. 
  • CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three service chiefs.
  • The service chiefs will be members of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, which will be headed by the CDS.

Conclusion:

  • The Department of Defence — headed by the Defence Secretary — will be responsible for the “defence of India and every part thereof, including defence policy and preparation for defence and all such acts as may be conducive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective demobilisation”.

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think CDS brings structural changes in army?
  • What is the   relationship between the new four-star general and the ministry?

(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 DRDO Young Defence Laboratories

  1. These are led by under-35 directors and young military scientists
  2. The aim is to drive the country’s war technologies of the future under the Defence Research & Development Organisation.

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 Fair and remunerative price (FRP)

  1. FRP is fixed by Union government on the basis of recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.
  2. This will be uniformly applicable only in the sugar producing states which are Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu .

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 National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

  1. NSAP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Government of India that provides financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions
  2. It represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 of the Constitution

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 02 JAN 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 C
3 D
4 C

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