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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th JUNE 2020

  • IASbaba
  • June 19, 2020
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IASBABA’S INTEGRATED LEARNING PROGRAMME (ILP)

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th June 2020

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


10% reservation allowed for economically weaker sections in Sikkim

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – Welfare schemes

In News:

  • In Sikkim, the State Cabinet has recently decided to allow Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of people who do not fall in the reserved category of ST, SC and OBC for 10% Central reservation.
  • The notification regarding the entitlements to the reservation will be issued soon.

Key takeaways 

  • Eligible persons should:
    • have an annual family income of less than Rs. 8 lakhs; or
    • who possess less than five acres of land; or 
    • who possess less than 1,000 Sq. ft. residential flat in any municipal area; or
    • who possess less than 100 square yards of residential plot in a municipal area; or 
    • who possess less than 200 square yards of residential plot outside municipal area along the roadside or in commercial areas.
  • The reservation will not apply to technical and scientific posts and other such posts which are outside the purview of the Central services. 

Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Sanitary Napkins being made available 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-I – Social Issues & GS- II – Health

In News:

  • Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Sanitary Napkin shall be available at numerous Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushdhi Pariyojna (PMBJP) Kendras across the country at a minimum price of Rs.1/- per pad. 
  • Earlier the price was Rs. 2.50 per pad. 

Important value additions 

Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Sanitary Napkin

  • The launch of “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin” for women of India was announced on the eve of World Environment Day in 2018.
  • It is biodegradable. 
  • This means that upon discarding, it is totally biodegradable once it comes in contact with oxygen indicating that they are environmental friendly.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) 

  • It is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendras known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra. 
  • PMBJP Kendra is set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs. 
  • BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals for co-coordinating in procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs. 

Joint liaison office blown up in Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC)

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – International Relations

In News:

  • North Korea blew up the joint liaison office (communication channel) with South Korea in Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). 
  • The demolition follows a recent deterioration in relations between North and South Korea.

Important value additions 

The Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) 

  • It is located inside North Korea just across the demilitarised zone from South Korea.
  • It was launched in 2004, largely financed by the South Korea to increase cooperation.
  • The purpose of the KIC was to develop an industrial park where South Korean companies could manufacture their products using North Korean labour.
  • It is a duty-free zone
  • There are no restrictions on the use of foreign currency or credit cards
  • No visa is required to enter the complex.
  • It is argued that KIC would help North Korea start to reform its economy, which is in a dire state, and ease tensions between the two Koreas. 
  • It is one of the last remaining points of peaceful engagement between North and South Korea.

Image source: Click here 


Miscellaneous 

miR-155

  • A team of researchers from IIT Madras, IISc Bengaluru and few other institutes have identified a specific microRNA (miRNAs) called ‘miR-155’ that is over-expressed in tongue cancer.
  • MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small Ribo Nucleic Acid.
  • They are non-coding RNAs involved in the regulation of a variety of biological and pathological processes, including the formation and development of cancer.
  • This finding is important in that molecular strategies can potentially be devised to manipulate miR-155 expression to develop therapeutics for tongue cancer. 

Axone

  • The movie “Axone: A recipe for disaster” was recently released on NETFLIX.
  • Axone (spelled akhuni) is a fermented soya bean of Nagaland, known for its distinctive flavour and smell.
  • It is used to make pickles and chutneys, or curries of pork, fish, chicken, beef etc.
  • It is particularly popular among the Sumi (also Sema) tribe.

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL/ SECURITY

Topic: General Studies 2,3:

  • India and its neighborhood- relations
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas 

Galwan: Postscript to a tragedy

Context: The Indo-China border clash at Galwan Valley of Ladakh led to loss of twenty Indian Army personnel.

For a brief background on the issue: click here and here 

Significance of the Galwan valley incident

  • Failure of Diplomacy: After the Corps Commander-level talks between the two sides on June 6, it was thought that there would be a de-escalation of the confrontation
  • Watershed moment: The incident marks the end of a 45-year chapter which saw no armed confrontation involving loss of lives on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • Calculus of Bilateral relationship changed: The business as usual approach with China after this incident will be under strain particularly the economic relationship
  • Bilateral relations in other areas will be under considerable strain: In areas that impinge on national security, as in the cyber field, telecommunications & 5G, clampdowns can be expected in the treatment & entry of Chinese companies in India.

Similarity of situation during late 1950s

  • The atmosphere between India-China were complicated by the revolt in Tibet and the granting of asylum by India to the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama in March 1959
  • In October 1959, there was a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Kongka La(in Ladakh). Nine Indian soldiers were killed and three soldiers were detained then
  • It was after Kongka La incident that the national mood turned against the Chinese in full measure which eventually broke down the diplomatic correspondence to resolve the boundary question leading to 1962 war
  • The conflict in 1962 inflicted wounds on the national soul and prestige from which India took time to recover.
  • Nearly three-decade long cold relationship between India & China began to recover after former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in December 1988.

So, will there be a repeat of 1962 war? 

  • 2020 is not 1959. India and China are in a very different place in their history as nations today. 
  • They have grown immensely in strength and stature on the world stage and their relations have substance and a diversity of content in a manner absent in the 1950s
  • To assume that India is towards a full-blown conflict with China may therefore be an oversimplification

What India needs to do now?

  • Cool-headed thinking is the need of the hour as India is facing multiple crisis now:
    • COVID-19 crisis demands the full attention of the government
    • The economy needs to recover from the stagnancy of the last few quarters
    • The tensions with Pakistan and the Kashmir issue persists
    • A dispute over territory with Nepal in the Lipulekh/Kalapani area has to be handled
  • Therefore, battlefront with China cannot be blindly embraced, however much national pride and prestige are at stake.
  • Strong political direction, mature deliberation and coherence are keys to handling the situation.
    • The Army can make tactical adjustments and manoeuvres to deter the Chinese
    • Also, a comprehensive China strategy must be evolved along with effective strategic communication from top level
    • Be proactive: India that should take the initiative to insist on a timely and early clarification of the LAC.
    • Temporary resolutions: Pockets of difference of alignment as perceived by each side have to be clearly identified and these areas demilitarised by both sides through joint agreement pending a settlement of the boundary
  • Realignment of Foreign Policy
    • The events in Galwan Valley should be a wake-up call to many of India’s Asian friends and partners about Chinese aggressiveness
    • This is also an opportunity for India to align its interests much more strongly and unequivocally with the U.S. as a principal strategic partner and infuse more energy into its relations with Japan, Australia, and the ASEAN

Conclusion

Apart from insisting on a timely and early clarification of the LAC, India should take a long view of its South Asia policy

Connecting the dots:

  • Act East Policy
  • RCEP and why India opted out of it

INTERNATIONAL/ SECURITY

Topic: General Studies 2,3:

  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 

At the high table: On India’s U.N. Security Council win

Context: India was elected to the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member

Functions and Powers of UNSC

  • To maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations;
  • To investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction;
  • To recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement;
  • To determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;
  • To take military action against an aggressor;
  • To call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;
  • To recommend the admission of new Members;
  • To exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in “strategic areas”;
  • To recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges of the International Court of Justice.

Composition of UNSC

  • Five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States – who enjoy Veto power
  • Ten non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly 
  • The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms — so every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members out of the total 10.
  • Non-permanent member has to secure the votes of two-thirds of the members present and voting (secret ballot) at the General Assembly session — which is a minimum of 129 votes, if all 193 member states participate.
  • These 10 seats are distributed among the regions of the world: 
    • Five seats for African and Asian countries; (3 are for Africa and 2 for Asia)
    • One for Eastern European countries; 
    • Two for Latin American and Caribbean countries; and 
    • Two for Western European and Other Countries
  • Also, there is an informal understanding between the Asia & Africa groups to reserve one seat for an Arab country. They take turns every two years to put up an Arab candidate.

What happened at the election that India won?

  • India won 184 votes in the 193-strong UN General Assembly
  • Ahead of the vote, India had launched a campaign brochure which highlighted 
    • Its demand for transparency in mandates for UN peacekeeping missions 
    • Push for the India-led Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
    • Demand for joint efforts for UN reform and expansion of the Security Council
  • India begins its term in the beginning of 2021, and will hold the position until the end of 2022.

Did You Know?

  • In 2020, India was the only candidate for the vacancy from the Asia Pacific and was endorsed unanimously by the Asia Pacific group, which comprises 55 countries, including Pakistan and China.
  • India has earlier been a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85, 1991-92 and 2011-12.

Significance of India’s win 

  • India’s Growing Credibility: Broad based support for India’s candidature means world places faith on India’s commitment to multilateralism and reforms.
  • Diplomacy with agenda: A “new orientation for a reformed multilateral system” (NORMS), as laid out by India’s Minister of External Affairs, would be India’s overall objective during the two-year tenure
  • Voice of developing countries: UN’s agenda has often been hijacked by the interests of five permanent members. India win means that it has got a platform to voice the issues of emerging countries.

Source: Ministry of External Affairs

Challenges Ahead

  • Implementation hurdles: Achieving the objective laid out in NORMS, would depend on how India will conduct diplomacy in the global body, build alliances and raise issues that go beyond the interests of the big five
  • Declining Multilateralism: The COVID-19 pandemic has already shaken up the global order and sharpened the rivalry between the U.S. and China. This has opened up fresh debates on strengthening multilateralism and multilateral institutions. 
  • Polarised world: India should avoid the temptation of taking sides at a time when the Security Council is getting more and more polarised, especially in the wake of US-China tensions

Conclusion

  • To serve India’s interests and push for its agenda of multilateralism and reforms, India should adopt value-based positions that are not transactional

(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 Which of the following persons will be eligible for 10% Central reservation recently allowed by State of Sikkim? 

  1. His Annual family income should be less than 8 lakhs.
  2. He should possess less than 2 acres of land.
  3. He should possess less than 1000 square feet residential flat in any Municipal area.

Select the correct code: 

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

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojna: 

  1. It is a campaign launched by Department of Science and Technology.
  2. PMBJP Kendra provides generic drugs at affordable prices. 
  3. Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India is responsible for coordinating in procurement, supplying and marketing of generic drugs. 

Which of the above is/are correct? 

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

Q.3 Which of the following is not a permanent member of United Nation security council?

  1. China 
  2. Russia 
  3. USA 
  4. Saudi Arabia 

Q.4 Sumi tribe belongs to which of the following state of India? 

  1. Assam 
  2. Nagaland
  3.  Manipur 
  4. Mizoram

ANSWERS FOR 18th June 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 D
3
4 A
5 D

Must Read

About fuel price hikes:

The Hindu

About India decoupling itself from Chinese manufacturing:

The Hindu

About Probity in Rajya Sabha Elections:

The Indian Express

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