Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020

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  • February 17, 2020
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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020



Masood Azhar & family missing, Pak. tells financial watchdog FATF

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- International organization

In news:

  • Pakistan has informed the  Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that Masood Azhar, founder of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and his family are “missing”.
  • Listed as a designated terrorist by the United Nations Security Council 1267 Committee
  • The FATF is now reviewing Pakistan’s case to see if it fulfils the global standards criteria to combat terror-financing. 
  • The FATF is chaired by China.
  • JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 last year when 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a car bombing.


Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020

Src: the hindu

From Prelims Point of View:

FATF (Financial Action Task Force)

  • Established in 1989 by a Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Paris
  • To examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
  • Recently in 2012 it expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing,
  • Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris. 

United Nations Security Council resolution 1267

  • Adopted unanimously on1999
  • the Council designated Osama bin Laden and associates as terrorists 
  • Established a sanctions regime to cover individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located

NH 66 expansion hit more lives, ecology than estimated 

Part of: GS Prelims –Economy and GS-III- Infrastructure 

In news:

  • The expansion of National Highway 66 (NH 66) from Karwar to Kundapura has impacted many more lives and livelihoods of coastal families of Uttara Kannada
  • It was argued that the construction of the highway would bring development in all areas it passed through and led to economic growth of the region
  • The project Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report did not estimate the population that would be affected by environmental impacts, instead giving only the estimate of people who would be affected by land acquisition for the project.

From Prelims Point of View:

NH 66

  • Runs roughly north–south along the western coast of India 
  • Connects Panvel (a city south of Mumbai) to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari),
  • Passing through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Elephantine conflict 

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

In news:

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

  • West Bengal, Odisha and Assam — account for about half of both human and elephant deaths in the overall human-elephant conflict in the country,. 
  • Past five years 2,361 human deaths were recorded in elephant attacks across the country ,48% fatalities were from these three States,
  • Unnatural deaths of elephants (mainly due to poaching, train accidents, electrocution and poisoning), 53% occurred in these three States alone.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2020

Src: the hindu

Baba’s Value addition:

The Indian elephant

  • One of three extant recognised subspecies of the Asian elephant and native to mainland Asia
  • Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List 
  • the wild population has declined by at least 50% since the 1930s to 1940s
  • Threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.

Project Elephant.

  • Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF)flagship elephant conservation programme — Project Elephant.
  • Launched in 1992,  Centrally-sponsored scheme
  • Primarily aimed at protecting elephant, their habitats and corridors
  • Addressing issues of man-animal conflict and welfare of domesticated elephants.
  • Recent years project has run aground.

Convention on Migratory Species

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

In news:

  • India will host the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP13)
  • A major United Nations wildlife conference
  • Theme“Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home”.

From Prelims Point of View

  • Signed in 1979 in Germany and is known as the Bonn Convention
  • Environmental treaty of the UN that provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats
  • Only global convention specialising in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.
  • Appendix I of the Convention lists ‘Threatened Migratory Species’.
  • Appendix II lists ‘Migratory Species requiring international cooperation’


International Affairs

Topic: General Studies 2:

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

Indo- US relationship: Developed Tag on India & its implications


U.S. has removed more than a dozen countries, including India, from its list of countries that are classified as “developing” for trade purposes

These countries will now be classified instead as “developed” economies, thus stripping them of various trade benefits.

What is developing country status?

  • The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) maintains a list of countries that it classifies as developing, developed, and least-developed. 
  • Countries that are classified as developing are allowed to export certain goods to the U.S. without being hit by punitive tariffs that are usually imposed on goods from developed countries
  • The “developing country” status owes its origin to the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, which authorised the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to help poor countries develop faster. 
  • These benefits were extended further under the World Trade Organization wherein rich countries agreed to grant trade benefits to countries that classified themselves as poor.
  • About two-thirds of countries that are members of the WTO classify themselves as “developing” countries and avail benefits.

Benefits of GSP to India

  1. Indian exporters benefit indirectly – through the benefit that accrues to the importer by way of reduced tariff or duty free entry of eligible Indian products
  2. Reduction or removal of import duty on an Indian product makes it more competitive to the importer – other things (e.g. quality) being equal.
  3. This tariff preference helps new exporters to penetrate a market and established exporters to increase their market share and to improve upon the profit margins, in the donor country.

Why is India being stripped of this status?

  • India has traditionally been one of the largest beneficiaries under the GSP, with over 2,000 goods having been exempted from import tariffs (until it was stripped off in 2019). This has also been one of the reasons for India having trade surplus with USA, whereby the Trump administration wants to reduce the gap
  • Trump administration has argued that countries like India and China have witnessed significant growth in the last few decades and thus are not more developing countries
  • USA has further cited the share of global trade enjoyed by India and China and their membership in the G20 club to argue that they enjoy significant economic power

Impact of US decision

  • The task of reclaiming the lost GSP benefits now becomes even harder.
  • It will increase the overall tax burden on Indian goods entering USA, thus making it costlier than before.
  • It will pressurize India to open its market to US goods Ex:  India offered to scale back tariffs on American dairy and other products after the U.S. complained about the restricted access that American companies have. 
  • It will add further pressure on the global economy, which has already witnessed a slowing of growth this year.
  • It may further lead to entrenched Trade war if those countries which were stripped off their developing status, also increases tariffs on US goods


With both the U.S. and its various warring trading partners looking to protect their domestic producers rather than consumers who benefit from lower tariffs, escalations of trade war seem likely.

Connecting the dots!

  • US-China Trade war
  • Developing Status – should it be based on mere economic progress or on broader socio-economic indicators?


Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

  • Awareness in the fields of IT

Data Encryption: Its impact on Child Safety Online


After Facebook announced end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger and Instagram, a coalition of child protection organisations and experts from all over the world sent a letter to its CEO expressing concerns about company’s proposals.

The encryption proposed will not impact Facebook’s main social platform but all its Messaging services like Facebook Messanger, Instagram Direct and Whatsapp.

What is end-to-end encryption?

  • It is a system of locking messages wherein only those who are communicating can view them. 
  • Encryption kicks in the minute the message is sent, and only unravels for the intended recipient. 
  • No third party can decrypt the message, including platform administrators and law enforcement agencies. 
  • It can only be shared through screenshots. 
  • The advantage with this kind of encryption is that it ensures online privacy.

What it is being criticised?

  • Protection to anti-social content: Paedophiles and persons who wish to exchange child sex abuse material are permanently shielded, as are terrorists and an infinite variety of scam artists.
  • It will be difficult to trace distributors of child pornography/terrorist content.  Such a move will not allow the due process of monitoring for content that is not safe for children.
  • Contradictory provision of Service: Limiting the ability of companies themselves to detect and prevent behaviour which contravenes their own terms of services is wrong and makes a mockery of the very idea of having terms of service in the first place


The true test will be to pick that mode of encryption that will ensure privacy but address concerns of online safety too

Did You know?

  • The Rajya Sabha ad-hoc committee that went into the issue of pornography on social media and its effect on children has called specifically to permit breaking of end-to-end encryption to trace distributors of child pornography. 
  • In 2018, Facebook made 16.8 million reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), leading to 2,500 arrests and 3,000 children being safeguarded in the U.K alone.

Connecting the dots!

  • Privacy Vs Ability to monitor anti-social content (Ethical Dilemma for Societies)
  • Justice Sri Krishna Committee on Data protection
  • Facebook’s Free Basics Campaign and Issue of Net Neutrality 


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. A present group of nations known as G-8 started first as G-7. Which one among the following was not one of them?

  1.  Canada 
  2. Italy 
  3. Japan 
  4. Russia

Q 2. With reference to Indian transport systems, consider the following statements

  1. Indian railway system is the largest in the world
  2. National Highways cater to 45 percent of the total and transport demand
  3. National Highway No. 7 is the longest in the country

Which of these statements are correct ?

  1. 1 and 2 
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3 
  4. 1 , 2 and 3

Q 3. Which among the following National Highway routes is the longest? 

  1. Agra-Mumbai
  2. Chennai-Thane
  3. Kolkata-Hajira
  4. Pune-Machilipatnam


1 A
2 A
3 C
4 D

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