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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th January 2020

  • IASbaba
  • January 4, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th January 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Lord Curzon

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Modern history

In News

  • Lord Curzon, India’s Viceroy between 1899 and 1905, was one of the most controversial and consequential holders of that post. 
  • The partition of the undivided Bengal Presidency in 1905 was one of Curzon’s most criticised moves, which gave impetus to the freedom movement (Swadeshi movement)
  • Partition was finally reversed in 1911 by Lord Hardinge in the face of unrelenting opposition.
  • He became the youngest Viceroy of India in 1899 at age 39, and remained in office until his resignation in 1905.

NORTHEAST (WINTER) MONSOON

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I- Geography

In News

  • The northeast, or winter, monsoon has ended on a high, with an overall surplus rainfall being recorded for the season.
  • North-East monsoonpermanent a feature of the Indian subcontinent’s climate system – from October to December – rainfall is experienced over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, along with some parts of Telangana and Karnataka
  • Winter monsoon season contributes only 11 per cent to India’s annual rainfall of 1,187 mm. South-west Summer monsoon season between June-September bring about 75 per cent of India’s annual rainfall (the remaining rain comes in other non-monsoon months).
  • Many other parts of the country, like the Gangetic plains and northern states, also receive some rain in November and December but this is not due to the northeast monsoon. It is caused mainly by the Western Disturbances.
  • Western Disturbance: It is an eastward-moving rain-bearing wind system that originates beyond Afghanistan and Iran, picking up moisture from as far as the Mediterranean Sea, even the Atlantic Ocean.

Savitribai Phule

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains –I- Modern history, Society

In News

  • Savitribai Phule, the social reformer who is considered to be one of India’s first modern feminists, was born on January 3, 1831
  • Both Savitribai Phule & her husband Jyotirao Phule went on to found India’s first school for girls called Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848.
  • The Phules started the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society for Truth-Seeking), through which they wanted to initiate the practice of Satyashodhak marriage, in which no dowry was taken.
  • The Phules also started the Literacy Mission in India between 1854-55
  • Savitribai Phule is especially remembered for being India’s first female teacher who worked for the upliftment of women and untouchables in the field of education and literacy.

Extraocular vision

Part of: GS Prelims

In News

  • The ability to see without eyes is known as extraocular vision
  • Latest research shows that species of brittle stars, which are relatives of starfish, can see even though it does not have eyes. It becomes only the second creature, after a sea urchin species, known to have this ability
  • The brittle star sees with the help of light-sensing cells that cover its entire body. These light-sensing cells give the brittle star visual stimuli, allowing it to recognise coarse structures such as rocks

National Human Rights Commission

Part of: GS Prelims and GS II- Indian Polity

In News

  • NHRC issued a notice to the Rajasthan government in connection with the deaths of over 100 children at the government-run hospital in Kota, Rajasthan in December 2019.

Value Addition for Prelims

  • NHRC of India is an independent statutory body established in 1993 as per provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, later amended in 2006.
  • It was established in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted for the promotion and protection of human rights in Paris (October, 1991) and endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 December, 1993.
  • NHRC is a multi-member body which consists of a Chairman and seven other members appointed by the President, on recommendation of high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister. Out of the seven members, three are ex-officio member.
  • NHRC can only make recommendations, without the power to enforce decisions.
  • NHRC does not have any mechanism of investigation. In majority cases, it asks the concerned Central and State Governments to investigate the cases of the violation of Human Rights

Zonal Councils

Part of: GS Prelims and GS II- Indian Polity

In News

  • The 25th meeting of the Western Zonal Council, to be chaired by Union Home Minister, will be co-chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister 

Value Addition for Prelims

  • The Zonal Councils are the statutory (and not the constitutional) bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
  • The act divided the country into five zones (Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern) and provided a zonal council for each zone. The Union Home Minister is the common chairman of the five Zonal Councils
  • While forming these zones, several factors have been taken into account which include: the natural divisions of the country, the river systems and means of communication, the cultural and linguistic affinity and the requirements of economic development, security and law and order.
  • In addition to the above Zonal Councils, a North-Eastern Council was created by a separate Act of Parliament—the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971.
  • These are advisory bodies that will discuss and make recommendations with regard to any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning between the Centre and States.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora

US-Iran: Qassem Soleimani , the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force Killed

Context:

  • Tensions between the United States and Iran escalated after a US air raid killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, or PMF.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th January 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th January 2020

SRC: TOI

Consequences:

  • These deaths are a potential turning point in the Middle East and are expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and the forces it backs in the region against Israel and US interests.

About Soleimani:

  • Soleimani, had a unique celebrity status among Iran’s military leaders, was highly popular among the hardliners. 
  • He was very close to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who once called him a “living martyr of the revolution”. 
  • He  was also the main architect of Iran’s recent foreign operations, mainly in Syria and Iraq, which were crucial in saving the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and defeating the Islamic State (IS) in both countries.

Impacts:

  • The attack has already killed off even the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal. 
  • Iran might see this as an act of war like any sovereign country would do.
  • It could trigger multiple attacks across the region, destabilising it further, cause heavy casualties and help the jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and the IS regroup and re-emerge.
  • Resumed attacks on oil tankers and other low hanging but high value economic targets, particularly in the oil sector

Impact on India:

  • India need to be on the right side of the U.S., our ties with Iran, have their own geostrategic logic.
  • Rises India’s oil import bill
  • Creates difficulties in supplies, 
  • The safety of an estimated eight million expatriates in the Gulf may be affected.
  • Iran has the capacity to influence the U.S.-Taliban peace process in Afghanistan which could impact India
  • The possibility of some of Shia Muslims being radicalised by this event cannot be ruled out. 

Conclusion:

  • U.S. President Donald Trump is responsible for where U.S.-Iran ties stand today as he single-handedly destroyed the co-operation between the two nations established by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by unilaterally pulling the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 and reimposing sanctions on Iran. 
  • By sabotaging the fragile peace  negotiated over years between world powers, Mr. Trump, in a single act, pushed both the U.S. and Iran down a dangerous slope.

Connecting the dots:

  • How to think Iran – US relations Impacts India?
  • What would be the next step of Iran?

GOVERNANCE

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures

Civic technology: An Indian Case 

Context:

  • Civic technology, or civic tech, enhances the relationship between the people and government with software for communications, decision-making, service delivery, and political process. 
  • It includes information and communications technology supporting government with software built by community-led teams of volunteers, non-profits, consultants, and private companies.

India’s Case: IChangeMyCity

  • In the Indian context, civic technology can broadly be divided into two themes—tools aimed at improving civic engagement, and those directed at streamlining government services.
  • In 2012, IChangeMyCity enabled citizens to share complaints about civic issues through its platform. 
  • It also provided municipalities with real-time grievance data to resolve. 
  • Organizations such as Reap Benefit, through their online platform, work with young people to create solutions for civic problems such as low-cost sanitation systems from discarded plastic.

Foreign Example:

  • Since 2014, the vTaiwan project, which started out as a citizen movement, has been working to build consensus among Taiwanese citizens about contentious issues.
  • Consensus derived through vTaiwan is utilized to draft new laws and regulations for citizens.
  • In the US, Vote.org uses technology to register voters and increase voter turnout.

Case study:

  • A field worker for his local corporator in Mumbai, notices that in his slum dengue claims several lives every monsoon. Authorities turn a blind eye because the deaths are often not documented. 
  • Field worker uses an online tool, designed to conduct surveys in low literacy areas, to gather feedback from his community.
  • He presents his corporator with data that states that 94% of residents in his slum are aware of the causes of dengue, yet, the disease remains widespread because of uncovered sewage lines. 
  • The corporator presents this data to the municipality and the sewage lines are promptly covered, preventing further dengue deaths.

Conclusion:

  • In India, a growing number of internet users is coupled with a young population, accustomed to demanding participation in all facets of their lives, including greater participation in governance. This combination is pushing governments to be more participatory and efficient.

Connecting the dots:

  • How do you think Civic Technology leads to good governance?
  • Do you think it brings in transparency into the system?

(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 Lord

  1. He became the youngest Viceroy of India in 1899 at age 39, and remained in office until his resignation in 1905
  2. It was during his tenure as Viceroy that Bengal was partitioned in 1905 which was finally reversed in 1911 by Lord Hardinge

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 Northeast monsoons

  1. It does not have anything to do with India’s Northeast, even though a part of the system does originate from the area above it. Rather, it derives its name from the direction in which it travels — from the northeast to the southwest.
  2. The northeast monsoon brings rain to just five of the 36 meteorological divisions in the country

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) Satyashodhak Samaj was started by _________ 

  1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  2. Raja Ram Mohan Roy
  3. Dayananda Saraswati
  4. Savitribai Phule & Jyotiba Phule

Q.4) Consider the following statements about Zonal Councils

  1. They are the statutory bodies established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956 & North-Eastern Council Act of 1971.
  2. Prime Minister is the Common Chairman of all Zonal COuncils

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 about National Human Rights Commission(NHRC)

  1. It is a Constitutional Body established under Article 338-A
  2. It has its own institutionalised mechanism for investigation of Human rights abuses and also the power to enforce its decisions.

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 03 JAN 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 A
3 C

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