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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 7th January 2020

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  • January 7, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 7th January 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


UJALA: Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Governance

In News

  • UJALA and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) of the central government has completed five successful years on January 5, 2020.
  • Through the UJALA initiative, over 36.13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed across India. This has resulted in estimated energy savings of 46.92 billion kWh per year and an estimated GHG emission reduction of 38 million t CO2 annually. 
  • Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) is the world’s largest streetlight replacement programme. Nearly 1.03 crore smart LED streetlights have been installed till date, enabling an estimated energy savings of 6.97 billion kWh per year
  • Both have been spearheaded and implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.

JUS COGENS

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains II- Indian Polity, International affairs

In News

  • JUS COGENS meaning “compelling law” in Latin, are rules in international law that are peremptory or authoritative, and from which states cannot deviate
  • These norms cannot be offset by a separate treaty between parties intending to do so, since they hold fundamental values. Today, most states and international organisations accept the principle of jus cogens, which dates back to Roman times.
  • So far, an exhaustive list of jus cogens rules does not exist. However, the prohibition of slavery, genocide, racial discrimination, torture, and the right to self-determination are recognised norms.

Great Indian Bustard

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

In News

  • The Great Indian Bustard (GIB), is one of the heaviest flying birds, and is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent. Barely 150 of these birds are estimated to be surviving now globally
  • Today, its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Small population also occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Along with chick-rearing centre for GIB in Jaisalmer, Sorsan in Rajasthan has been identified as the most conducive site for their rearing, due to availability of grasslands, access to roads and well suited climatic conditions
  • Vanishing grasslands, uncontrolled use of pesticides and insecticides in farms which has impacted their food habitat, attacks by dogs & foxes, poaching and presence of high voltage power lines are a major threat to the GIB
  • Conservation status:
    • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972,
    • Listed in Appendix I of CITES
  • Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List

Gurudwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- History

In News

  • Gurdwara Janam Asthan (also called Nankana Sahib Gurdwara) is built over the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was believed to be born in 1469
  • The Janam Asthan shrine was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, after he visited Nankana Sahib in 1818-19 while returning from the Battle of Multan.
  • During British rule, the Gurdwara Janam Asthan was the site of a violent episode when in 1921, over 130 Akali Sikhs were killed after they were attacked by the Mahant of the shrine. 
  • The incident is regarded as one of the key milestones in the Gurdwara Reform Movement, which led to the passing of the Sikh Gurdwara Act in 1925 that ended the Mahant control of Gurdwaras.

Farmers’ Innovation Fund: To be set up by ICAR

Part of: GS Prelims and GS II- Governance

In News

  • The fund will be used to scientifically validate, scale up and propagate the innovations of progressive farmers
  • The intention was to link farmers and farming with science and to ensure that their farm practices were science-based
  • Innovations of farmers were already being documented by the Krishi Vigyan Kendras, however, the additional system would encourage farmers to continue their work. 

About The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

  • It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. 
  • The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. 
  • With 101 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.

Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS)

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

In News

  • India plans to bring in its own system of space-to-space tracking and communication of its space assets by putting up a new satellite series called IDRSS. It is basically a set of satellites that will track, send and receive information from other satellites.
  • The two-satellite IDRSS is planned to track and be constantly in touch with Indian satellites, in particular those in low-earth orbits which have limited coverage of earth
  • IDRSS satellites of the 2,000 kg class would be launched on the GSLV launcher to geostationary orbits around 36,000 km away
  • The first beneficiary would be the prospective crew members of the Gaganyaan mission of 2022 who can be fully and continuously in touch with mission control throughout their travel.
  • It will be useful in monitoring launches and vital for ISRO which has planned in future several advanced Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions such as space docking, space station, as well as distant expeditions to moon, Mars and Venus

Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSD)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Health

In News

  • The lysosomes are primary digestive units within cells. Their function is to break down complex components into simpler ones. They degrade complex components such as proteins (substrates) into simpler components
  • When this process does not take place due to enzyme deficiency, the  toxic substrates begin to accumulate in the cells. That is why these diseases are called “storage diseases”. 
  • Therefore, Lysosomal storage diseases are inherited metabolic diseases that are characterized by an abnormal build-up of various toxic materials in the body’s cells as a result of enzyme deficiencies.
  • Most lysosomal storage disorders are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner.
  • There are nearly 50 of these disorders altogether, and they may affect different parts of the body, including the skeleton, brain, skin, heart, and central nervous system
  • There is currently no approved treatment for many lysosomal storage diseases.

(MAINS FOCUS)


CYBER SECURITY

TOPIC:General Studies 3:

  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks

Data privacy law : California’s new privacy law — the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) (Part-1) 

Context:

California’s new privacy law — the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — is first-of-its-kind data legislation went into effect recently.

Need :

  • Data are increasingly commodified by technology conglomerates

California’s new privacy law gives right to users:

  • Users have the right to see what personal information businesses collect about them, and the purpose and process of the collection. Personal information refers to any information that can be linked back to the user.
  • User can request and view what inferences the businesses make about them,
  • User  have the right to see details about their personal information being sold or given to a third party.
  • Users can make businesses delete their personal information, and opt out of having their data sold to third parties. 
  • Users can get a copy of the collected personal information for free. 
  • Parents have to give permission to companies before the companies can sell the data of their children under the age of 13 to third parties.

Why Right to ask for deletion?

  • The more a company knows about you, the more power it has to shape your daily life. 
  • Such as showing you a shoe ad, to selecting your job, your housing, or helping to shape what candidate you support in an election.

Exceptions:

  • The law lays out some exceptions, such as information necessary for completing transactions, providing a service, protecting consumer security, and protecting freedom of speech.

Affects of this law:

  • Many firms are finding it easier to make the legal changes for all users rather than trying to distinguish users from California. Microsoft will roll out changes for all Americans, and Mozilla (which owns the Firefox browser) will make changes for all their users.
  •  The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) too, shifted the entire Internet economy, not just that of the EU

Criticisms:

  • The Act gives users the right to stop the selling of their data, but not the collection of their data. 
  • It does not do much to affect companies like Facebook and Google that make most of their money by collecting the data, not by selling it. Advertisers pay Facebook to target ads to users based off that data; they don’t pay Facebook for the data itself.
  • The act places the burden of navigating this complex economy on users. 
  • Many of the provisions are vaguely worded — leaving concepts such as “third-party sharing” or “selling” up to interpretation. 

Conclusion:

  • Users get right to access the data, the right to ask for its deletion, and the right to prevent its sale to third parties. Because of the global nature of the Internet, these changes will affect users worldwide.

Connecting the dots:

  • What are the challenges regarding data protection and how can they be addressed?
  • Do you think Data protection is one of the key elements for a robust cyber policy?

POLITY

TOPIC:General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Iran nuclear deal :  Iran has stepped away from the nuclear deal

Context:

  • Iran said it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, refusing to adhere to the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with six major powers, but would continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
  • Iran’s announcement comes after its top security and intelligence commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US drone attack in Baghdad

Timeline:

  • Iran ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970, and planned to expand its nuclear power.
  • After the Islamic Revolution, these plans were discontinued, and in the late 1980s, Iran established an undeclared nuclear weapons program called the AMAD project. 
  • In 2003, under international pressure, Iran halted the program, and signed an Additional Protocol to its NPT safeguards agreement, giving the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) greater powers in verifying the program.
  • In 2006, the US, Russia and China joined Britain, France and Germany to form the P5+1 group of nations trying to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program.
  • In 2009, under President Barack Obama, the US conducted extensive one-on-one talks with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator.
  • In 2013, Iran and the six powers announced an interim agreement that temporarily curbed Tehran’s nuclear program and unfreezed some Iranian assets, setting the stage for extended negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear accord.
  • in 2015, the Iran nuclear deal (formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was signed between Iran and the P5 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) plus Germany and the European Union.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Nuclear deal:

  • Under JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. 
  • For the next 15 years Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. 
  • Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time. 
  • Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years.
  •  Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks. 
  • To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic

What will Iran get in return?

  • Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council nuclear-related sanctions.

Reason behind the US decision to withdraw from Nuclear deal:

  • Mr. Trump’s decision is not about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. If it was the actual concern, it would have supported a deal that closes the path towards nuclear weapons for Iran.
  • Instead, the bigger concern for Mr. Trump as well as Washington’s closest allies in West Asia — Israel and Saudi Arabia — is Iran’s re-accommodation in the global economic mainstream.
  • They fear that if Iran’s economic profile rises, it will embolden it to increase its regional presence, posing a strategic threat to the interests of the U.S.-Saudi-Israel axis.

How does it affect India?

  • The reintroduction of sanctions against Iran is bad news. Iran is now India’s third largest source of oil. 
  • Apart from supply disruptions, a further surge in crude prices will worsen India’s current account imbalance and fuel inflation, at a time when the economy is just beginning to show signs of returning to a high growth trajectory.
  • For global corporations too, there will be considerable pain. For example, there are said to be around 200 French companies operating in Iran and some like Renault have plants there. They will now have a 90-day period to wind down operations. 
  • India’s Chabahar port project in Iran, which was just showing signs of moving forward, could be in trouble.

Conclusion:

  • US-Iran ties have continued to worsen since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions on Iran.
  • Relations between the two countries first became acrimonious during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which brought Iran’s pro-West monarchy to an end, and replaced it with an Islamic Republic

Connecting the dots: 

  • How do you think this affects India?
  • What do you think might be the solution ?

(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 UJALA Scheme

  1. The main objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment which reduce electricity bills and help preserve environment
  2. The scheme is being implemented by NITI Aayog in collaboration with State governments.

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 Great Indian Bustard

  1. It is the state bird of state of Rajasthan
  2. It is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List

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 Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS)

  1. Without data relay satellites, ISRO would have to create a large number ground stations everywhere or hire them globally 
  2. IDRSS satellites are of the 2,000 kg class that would be launched on the GSLV launcher to geostationary orbits around 36,000 km away.

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 Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR)

  1. It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. 
  2. It is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire 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

ANSWERS FOR 06 JAN 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 B
3 C
4 A

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