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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th March 2020

  • IASbaba
  • March 9, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th March 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th March 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


International Women’s day(IWD) 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Society; GS-II- Polity

In News:

  • It is celebrated on the 8th of March every year to help forge a gender equal world, celebrate women’s achievements and increasing visibility. 
  • The theme of 2020 was “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
  • IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
  • The day is not country, group or organization specific – and belongs to all groups collectively everywhere

Do You Know?

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative was launched in 2015 to ensure survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child.
  • The objectives of this initiative are to prevent of gender biased sex selective elimination, and to ensure survival and protection of the girl child.
  • After the launch of the scheme, the sex ratio at birth has improved from 923 to 931

Red Panda

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment

In News:

  • Hunting of Red Panda has decreased as per study by wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, indicative of the success of awareness campaigns.
  • Red panda is endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas.
  • Native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
  • It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects
  • Habitat: Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and northern Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Threat: Hunted for meat and fur, besides illegal capture for the pet trade. 
  • IUCN Status: Endangered 
  • Significance: Red panda’s survival is crucial for the eastern and north-eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests and the eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests
  • Estimated Population: 14,500 animals in the wild across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and Myanmar.
  • It is the state animal of Sikkim

Protected areas

  • Kanchendzonga National Park (NP) — Sikkim
  • Neora Valley NP – West Bengal
  • Namdapha National Park – Arunachal Pradesh
  • Singalila National Park – West Bengal

SAWEN (South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- International Affairs; GS-III- Environment

In News:

  • It is a Regional network comprised of eight countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 
  • It aims at working as a strong regional inter¬governmental body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.

New Space India Ltd.

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy

In News:

  • It is the Department of Space’s second commercial arm (after Antrix) that was announced in Budget 2019.
  • Its objective is to use research and development carried out by ISRO over the years for commercial purposes through Indian industry partners.
  • One of the mandates of NSIL aims to mass-produce and manufacture the SSLV and the more powerful PSLV in partnership with the private sector in India through technology transfers.
  • It differs from ISRO’s existing commercial arm Antrix Corporation:
    • Antrix will handle ISRO’s commercial deals for satellites and launch vehicles with foreign customers.
    • NSIL will deal with capacity building of local industry for space manufacturing.

Women Transforming India Awards (WTI)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I-Society; GS-II- Polity

In News:

  • The fourth edition of WTI Awards was organised by NITI Aayog
  • Objective of Awards: To highlight the commendable and ground-breaking endeavours of India’s women leaders and changemakers.
  • Since 2018, the Awards have been hosted under the aegis of NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform (NAWEP) with a special focus on entrepreneurship.
  • NAWEP has become a forum dedicated to educating, enabling and empowering women entrepreneurs. 

Nari Shakti Puraskar

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Society

In News:

  • This award is instituted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, are “National Award in recognition of exceptional work for women empowerment.”
  • The National Award is given annually on March 8th to individuals, groups, institutions in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of women empowerment, especially for vulnerable and marginalized women.

Namda- Traditional craft of Kashmir

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Art & Culture

In News:

  • Achievements of Arifa Jaan from Jammu and Kashmir- who revived the traditional Namda craft of carpet weaving- were shared on Social media by PM Modi under #SheInspiresUs.
  • Namda is a form of matting. 
  • They are made from wool by practice of felting the wool rather than weaving it. The Felted carpets are predominantly made of pure wool
  • Namda is usually a sandwich of many layers of wool flattened over each other. After a layer is spread, it is sprinkled homogenously with water and pressed with a tool known as ‘pinjra’(woven willow wicker)
  • It is said to have originated in the 11th century when Akbar ordered for asuitable coverage for his horse who was affected by biting cold
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th March 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th March 2020

Pic Source: Hindustan Times


(MAINS FOCUS)


Economy

Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

Yes Bank Crisis

Story so far:

  • The government has put private sector lender Yes Bank under moratorium till April 3rd 2020 and capped deposit withdrawal at ₹50,000/month
  • Subsequently, the RBI superseded the Yes Banks board and appointed Prashant Kumar (Dy. MD of SBI) as an administrator. 
  • The RBI has also proposed a reconstruction scheme under which SBI could take a maximum 49% stake in the restructured capital of the bank.

Why was the moratorium imposed?

  • Decline in Yes Bank’s financial position mainly due to the lender’s inability to raise adequate capital to make provisions for potential non-performing assets.
  • This failing resulted in downgrades by credit rating agencies, which in turn made capital raising even more difficult — a vicious cycle that further worsened its financials.
  • Also, there were serious lapses in corporate governance.
  • RBI’s even tried to facilitate a regulatory restructuring process and gave adequate opportunity to the bank’s management to draw up a credible revival plan, which did not materialise.

When did it all start?

Bank Loans Deposit
31st March 2014 ₹55,633 crore ₹74,192 crore.
30th Sep 2019 ₹2.24 Lakh crore ₹2.09 Lakh crore
  • The above table indicates that Bank loans increased without substantial increase in Bank deposits.
  • Asset quality also worsened during the period with gross non-performing assets sharply rising from 0.31% as on March 31, 2014, to 7.39% at the end of September 2019.
  • Seeing the rapid rise in bank’s exposure to troubled borrowers, RBI had refused to grant its then MD and CEO Rana Kapoor (also Banks’s co-founder) another three-year term after his tenure ended in August 2018. 
  • RBI did not make the decision public but finally agreed to give extension till end-January 2019.
  • The tipping point probably came earlier this year when one of the bank’s independent directors and chairman of the board’s audit committee, Uttam Prakash Agarwal, resigned from the board in January citing governance issues.

What will be the likely impact on depositors?

  • While deposit withdrawals have been capped at ₹50,000, there are exceptions (like medical emergency, marriages) under which a higher amount can be withdrawn, with the permission of the RBI.
  • While the deposit insurance cover was ₹1 lakh till recently, this was increased to ₹5 lakh in the aftermath of the crisis at the PMC Bank crisis
  • Confidence in the banking system will take a hit especially with previous Nirav Modi fiasco and PMC Bank crisis

Will the developments at Yes Bank pose a systemic risk?

  • Ratings agency Fitch Ratings said the latest developments spotlight the governance risks in India’s banking sector.
  • However, the government and the regulator have asserted that the problem is solely related to this particular bank.

Way Forward:

  • Depositors: RBI has come up with a draft reconstruction plan for Yes Bank which proposes that depositors’ funds would be protected. 
  • Employees – They would have the same service conditions, including remuneration, at least for one year. 
  • Key managerial personnel – the new board would be empowered to take a call.
  • Restructuring: The SBI, which has received board approval to invest in Yes Bank, will have to pick up to 49% stake, according to the scheme, at a price that is not less than ₹10 for each share having a face value of ₹2.
  • Conditions: The investor bank (SBI) also cannot reduce its holding below 26% before the completion of three years from the date of infusion of the capital.

Connecting the dots

  • PMC Bank Crisis
  • 2008 US Financial Crisis

Governance

Topic: General Studies 2:

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

Sex-Selective Abortion

  • Context: Recent case of infanticide in Tamil Nadu’s Usilampatti, historically notorious for its crude methods of killing female babies. 
  • The killing of one-month child took place through inhuman practice of feeding female infants with the toxic milk of a local herb

Sexselective abortion is the practice of terminating a pregnancy based upon the predicted sex of the infant. It usually happens when a female child is detected during pregnancy.

Present Scenario 

  • Data on sex ratio at birth (SRB) culled from the Civil Registration System, show an alarming fall over the years. From 903 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2007, it dropped to 877 in 2016.
  • Four States have an SRB equal to or below 840: Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan (806), Bihar (837), Uttarakhand (825) and Tamil Nadu (840). 
  • While infanticide may have come down, sex selective abortion at scan centres continues as the preferred vehicle for parents obsessed with son preference.

Some of the reasons attributed to sex-selective abortion & female infanticide:

  •  Preference for Boys: In a Patriarchal society girls are generally considered liability until they are married off.
  • Availability of latest technology
  • Lack of effective implementation of existing laws designed against such crimes
  • Absence of family planning tools
  • Absence of Women in decision making

Impact of female foeticide:

  • Decline in Sex ratio
  • Early marriages of women often at the cost of their educational empowerment
  • Trafficking of women for sexual work and marriage. 
  • Increased crimes against women like sexual harassment, lewd remarks against women, and instances of eve teasing.
  • Increased fragmentation of land due to increase in male members in household
  • Decline in moral & ethical standards of the society as a whole
  • Perpetuation of Patriarchy and gender inequality

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act

  • The act was enacted in 1994 in response to the decline in Sex ratio in India, which deteriorated from 972 in 1901 to 927 in 1991
  • The main purpose of the act is ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortion.

Salient features of the act:

  • It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound and amniocentesis by allowing them their use only to detect few cases.
  • No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
  • No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
  • Advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities will attract fine of Rs 10000 and imprisonment upto 3 years.
  • The Act mandates compulsory registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics
  • The Act was amended to bring the technique of pre conception sex selection and ultrasound technique within the ambit of the act. 
  • The 2003 amendment also empowered the central supervisory board and state level supervisory board was constituted.

Other measure taken by government to improve condition of females:

  • ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign 
  • The objectives of this initiative are to prevent of gender biased sex selective elimination, and to ensure survival and protection of the girl child. The strategies involved in this scheme are:
    • Implement a sustained Social Mobilization and Communication Campaign to create equal value for the girl child & promote her education.
    • Place the issue of decline in CSR/SRB in public discourse, improvement of which would be a indicator for good governance.
    • Focus on Gender Critical Districts and Cities low on CSR for intensive & integrated action.
    • Mobilize & Train Panchayati Raj Institutions/Urban local bodies/ Grassroot workers as catalysts for social change, in partnership with local community/women’s/youth groups.
  • Legislations for creating a safe and secure environment for females.
    • POCSO Act (Prevention of Children from Sexual offences)
    • Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 
    • Changes in the Criminal Law on the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee
  • Enhanced Focus on Health & Education of Child
    • Provision of better nutrition through ICDS, MDM, 
    • Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram 
    • Scholarship schemes like Pragati  
    • Special girl’s school like Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas 
  • Political Empowerment: Reservation of seats for women in Panchayats and Urban Local bodies are provided to enhance the decision making powers of women which leads to increased awareness among women about their rights especially reproductive rights

Way Forward:

  • Need to ramp up awareness building exercises 
  • Use technology to monitor every single pregnant woman right down to taluk levels until at least one year after birth.
  • Stricter enforcement of the PCNDT act
  • Reservation for women in State Legislative Assemblies and Parliament

Conclusion

While punitive aspects might offer a measure of deterrence, true change can only be brought about by a change in attitude. 

Connecting the dots

  • Reproductive rights of women
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and its recent amendments 

(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 suspension of MP

  1. The Speaker of Lok Sabha is empowered to place a Member under suspension, however, the authority for revocation of this order is not vested in her
  2. Unlike the Speaker, however, the Rajya Sabha Chairman does not have the power to suspend a Member

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 2. Nari Shakti Puraskar is instituted by which Union Ministry/Body?

  1. NITI Aayog
  2. Ministry of Finance
  3. Ministry of Women & Child Development
  4. President’s Office

Q 3. Namda is a traditional craft of which region of the country?

  1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Kashmir
  4. None of the above

Q 4. Which of the following are the member countries of SAWEN (South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network)?

  1. India
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Myanmar
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Bhutan

Select the correct answer from the codes given below

  1. 1,2 and 3 Only
  2. 1,2,3 and 4 Only
  3. 1,2,4 and 5 Only 
  4. 1,2,3,4 and 5

Q 5. Consider the following statements about New Space India Limited (NSIL)

  1. It is the Department of Space’s second commercial arm.
  2. NSIL will deal with capacity building of local industry for space manufacturing.

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 07 March 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 C
3 C
4 C

Must Read

About Adivasi Struggle:

The Hindu

About Indian Economy:

The Hindu

About Women Empowerment:

The Indian Express

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