Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 8th January 2020

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  • January 8, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 8th January 2020



GDP growth rate for 2019-20 expected to be 5% (previous fiscal 6.8%)

Part of: GS Prelims – National Income and GS-III- Economy

 In News

  • GDP decline in 2019-20 s attributed to slowdown in Manufacturing (2%) and Construction sector (3.2%)
  • Gross Domestic product(GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.
  • Gross value Addition (GVA) is the sum of a country’s GDP and net of subsidies and taxes in the economy (​GVA=GDP+ Subsidies on Products−Taxes on Products)
  • GVA gives a picture of the state of economy from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective

Genome of Indian Cobra mapped

Part of: GS Prelims- Government Schemes and GS Mains III-Science & Technology

In News

  • Researchers have mapped the genome of cobra which will help in understanding the chemical constituents of the snake venom and contribute to development of new anti-venom therapies.

What is Gene?

  • Gene is part of chromosome, a unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring.
  • A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes

Value addition for Prelims

  • Genome India Initiative is a project by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology that involves scanning of 20,000 Indian individual’s genomes (in the next five years 2019-24)
  • Objective: To develop diagnostic tests and effective therapies for treating diseases (such as cancer)

GOCO model: Government Owned Contractor Operated Model

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains –III- Security, Investment Models

In News

  • In order to improve operational efficiency, Indian army is looking to implement the Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model for its maintenance of its Army Base workshops
  • The GOCO model was one of the recommendations of the Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar committee to enhance combat capability and re-balance defence expenditure.

Infant Mortality Rate: Outrage over deaths of infants in Gujarat & Rajasthan

Part of: GS Prelims – Health Statistics and GS-II- Health

In News

  • The Infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths per 1,000live births of children under one year of age. Currently (2017) India’s IMR stands at 33 per 1,000 live births
  • India has an annual birth cohort of approximately 26 million
  • Every day, there is an estimated death of 2,350 babies aged less than one year(annually 8.5 lakh deaths)
  • According to the National Family Health Survey-4, only 78.9% births in India happen in a facility. This means 21.1% or about 54 lakh births in a year still happen outside of a facility where hygiene levels are low and/or without the help of a trained health worker.

Value Additions

  • India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) was launched in 2014 to make concerted efforts towards attainment of the goals of “Single Digit Neonatal Mortality Rate” and “Single Digit Still birth Rate,”
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) was started to promote institutional deliveries so as to reduce IMR

10% reservation Quota for Economically Weaker Sections

Part of: GS Prelims – Articles of Constitution and GS II- Governance

In News

  • Centre has held that it is States’ prerogative to provide 10% economic reservation in government jobs and admission to education institutions.

Do You Know?

  • It was 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act that introduced provide 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and education (except in minority educational institutions) to economically backward section in the general category
  • The act inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution that provided for these reservations.
  • Article 46 of the Constitution (DPSP) enjoins that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people.

National Pension System (NPS)

Part of: GS Prelims – Government Initiatives and GS-III- Economy

In News

  • 7,000 corporates in the country are currently registered with PFRDA, but only 10 lakh employees from this corporate sector are covered under the NPS.
  • NPS currently has a total subscriber base of 3.25 crore, (with ₹4 lakh crore under investment as on December 31)

About NPS

  • National Pension System (NPS) is a government-sponsored pension scheme launched in January 2004 for government employees. However, in 2009, it was opened to all sections.
  • Implementation Agency: NPS is being implemented and regulated by PFRDA(Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) – a statutory body established by PFRDA Act, 2013

Who can join NPS?

  • Any Indian citizen (Both Resident and Non-Resident) between 18 and 60 years can join NPS. The only condition is that the person must comply with know your customer (KYC) norms.
  • However, OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card holders and Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs) are not eligible for opening of NPS account.

Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Geography, Climatology

In News

  • SASE which is a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has issued an Avalanche warning to Leh in Ladakh region.
  • SASE’s objective: To be a centre of excellence in ‘Cryospheric Science and Technology’ to facilitate high operational mobility for troops in snow bound regions of Indian Himalayas.
  • HQ of SASE is located near Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
  • The cryosphereis the frozen water part of the Earth system. Thus it includes those portions of Earth’s surface where water is in solid form, including sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, and frozen ground.



TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Indian Democracy and related issues
  • Governance issues
  • Indian Polity 

Concept of Democracy, then and now


  • We are all familiar with the idea that democracy is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
  • Today, the most common form of democracy is representative democracy, in which citizens elect officials to make political decisions, formulate laws, and administer programmes for the public good.

Different definitions of Democracy –

  • “Democracy is a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”
  • – Abraham Lincoln
  • “Democracy really means nothing more or less than the rule of the whole people, expressing their sovereign will by their votes.”
  • – Bryce
  • “Democracy is not a way of governing, whether by majority or otherwise, but primarily a way of determining, who shall govern, and broadly to what ends.”
  • – Maclver

Idea of Democracy during British India and Post-independence

Mahatma Gandhi on Democracy

  • “Democracy must mean the art of science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of all the various sections of people in the service of the common good for all.”
  • “To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect and their oneness, and should insist upon choosing as their representatives only such persons as are good and true.”

Gandhian concept of Self Rule means Swaraj is real democracy, where people’s power rests in the individuals and each one realizes that he or she is the real master of one’s self.

Nehru on Democracy

  • “Democracy, if it means anything, means equality; not merely the equality of possessing a vote but economic and social equality.”

Karachi resolution

  • In 1931, the resolution at the Karachi session reflected the vision of democracy that meant not just formal holding of elections but a substantive reworking of the Indian social structure in order to have a genuine democratic society.

The framers of the Indian Constitution were inspired by principles of social equality and political justice to introduce adult suffrage immediately–a big step forward to protect our Indian Democracy.

After independence, India decided to have democratic political sys­tem. This system is characterised by three elements: one, there is a high degree of autonomy; two, economic agents and religious organisations are free from political interference; and three, competition between various orders does not endanger integration but helps it.

The first generation of Indian leaders wanted their country to be a liberal democracy, in which a person’s faith—or language, or caste, or gender—didn’t earn her better or worse treatment by the state.

Positive aspects of Democracy

Positively, democracy seeks to maintain and assert the below rights:

  • the right to free expression of opinion and of opposition and criticism of the Government of the day;
  • the right to change the Governments of which the people disapprove through constitutional means;
  • protection from arbitrary interference on the part of the authorities, primary safeguards against arbitrary arrest and prosecution;
  • fundamental rights of citizens, subject to their duties to the state;
  • the right of minorities to be protected with equal justice under law;
  • equal treatment and fair play for the poor as well as the rich, for private persons as well as Government officials;
  • The right to hold unpopular or dissident beliefs.

Modern day democracy on decline

Since independence, India has managed to stay on the democratic path in a way unprecedented among states freed from colonialism during the last century.

The makers of our Constitution designed the institutions of our democracy with great care and attention to detail. They were designed to endure and it was expected that these institutions will strengthen the democracy in India.

Recently, however, the dominance of the Hindu nationalists and the manner in which they have ruled – has given rise to claims that India’s democracy and its minorities are in grave danger.

Freedom of expression has been curtailed; institutions of democracy are weakened and diminished; democratic deliberation has been bypassed; attacks on religious minorities have been carried out.

At a time when politics almost everywhere is leaning dangerously towards a centralised, authoritarian, national security state with a strong leader committed to the ideology of cultural nationalism, the values and ideas of democracy provided by early leaders becomes important.

The values and democratic principles embraced by them are relevant not yesterday or today but forever!!

Connecting the dots:

  • Examine the democratic principles that took a concrete shape post British India rule.
  • Is the future of Indian democracy secure? Critically analyze.


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • 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) Bandar Abbas, the Iranian port city is located on the Strait of Hormuz. This strait connects which two water bodies?

  1. Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden
  2. Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman
  3. Red Sea and Gulf of Aden
  4. Red Sea and Gulf of Oman

Q.2) Cryosphere often seen in the news is related to which of the following?

  1. Inner core part of earth system consisting of radioactive materials
  2. Outer atmospheric part of earth system
  3. Frozen water part of the earth system
  4. None of the above

Q.3) Consider the following statements about National Pension system(NPS)

  1. It is being implemented by Ministry of Labour
  2. Non-Resident India(NRI), OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card holders and Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs) are eligible for opening of NPS account

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 Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

  1. It is a Statutory body established under Companies Act, 2013.
  2. It regulates National Pension System (NPS) and other pension schemes subscribed by employees of public and private sector of India.

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) Article 46 of the Constitution deals with which of the following?

  1. Freedom of Speech
  2. Martial Law
  3. Uniform Civil Code
  4. None of the above

Q.6) Shekatkar committee often seen in the news deals with which of the following?

  1. Military Modernisation
  2. Financial Inclusion
  3. Doubling of Farmers Income
  4. Improving relations with Pakistan

Q.7) Consider the following statements about GDP and Gross value Addition (GVA)

  1. GVA is the sum of a country’s GDP and net of subsidies and taxes in the economy
  2. GDP gives a picture of the state of economy from the producers’ side or supply side, whereas GVA gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective

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


1 A
2 C
3 C
4 C


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