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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th JULY 2020

  • IASbaba
  • July 10, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th July 2020

Archives


(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission extended

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Govt schemes and initiatives; Welfare schemes; Food security

In news:

  • Central government has extended the deadline for distribution of free food grains under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission allocated to State governments till August 31.

About Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission

  • Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package, 5 kg of free food grains per person and 1 kg of free whole gram per family has been distributed to migrant labourers, stranded and needy families, who are not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) or State scheme PDS cards.

About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)

  • Under this scheme, free distribution of food grains is meant to be given as additional entitlement to the beneficiaries at the rate of five kg per month for five months — July to November.
  • Beneficiaries include Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH) cardholders. 

WHO alert on airborne spread of virus

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Health issue; Role of international organizations

In news:

  • After earlier denials, the WHO now said there is evidence emerging of the airborne transmission of the coronavirus.
  • WHO indicated that the virus may be airborne, after over 230 scientists across the world urged the global body to update its guidance.

Note: From the image below, try to know the difference between Droplet Transmission and Airborne Transmission

Airborne transmission is defined as the spread of an infectious agent caused by the dissemination of droplet nuclei or aerosols that remain infectious when suspended in air over long distances and time. Aerosols are less than 5 micrometers or five-thousandth of a millimetre in size. 

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th July 2020

Pic: SARS-COV-2

Do you know?

  • WHO has set up an Independent panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response – which will be headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister and former Liberian president.
  • The panel will probe WHO’s virus response. 

Nepal blacks out Indian news channels

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and its neighbours

In news:

  • Nepal banned private Indian news channels, claiming that the channels had been telecasting content hurting its national sentiments.
  • Only state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan will be allowed to continue beaming into Nepal.

India-Nepal concerns:

  • Tensions between India and Nepal have escalated over Nepal’s claim over the Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura areas.
  • Nepal maintains that India has claimed the disputed region by building the Darchula-Lipulekh link road despite repeated objections. 
  • India, on the other hand, said that the road falls within its territory.
  • Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli has also claimed that the Indian government and his political rivals were plotting to oust him from power.

Malabar exercise: May include Australia

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – International relations; Defence

In news:

  • India to decide whether  to include Australia in the Malabar exercises with Japan and the U.S. 
  • The decision, if taken, could bring all Quad countries together as part of the annual war games.
  • After years of reluctance, India said it was open to Australia’s inclusion in the Malabar as an observer. 

About Malabar Exercise

  • Malabar is an annual military exercise between the navies of India, Japan and the U.S. held alternately in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 
  • The annual Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral event between the navies of India and the United States. 
  • It was expanded into a trilateral format with the inclusion of Japan in 2015.

Do you know?

  • Australia’s inclusion would be seen as a possible first step towards the militarisation of the Quad coalition, something Beijing has opposed in the past.
  • Japan and US have been keen on Australia’s inclusion and have been pushing India to consider it.

Miscellaneous:

Country of origin tag is must for e-commerce portals

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Govt schemes and initiatives; Economy

In news:

  • Ministry of Consumer Affairs has said that all e-commerce portals should ensure that the “country of origin” of the products being sold by them should be mentioned as part of mandatory declarations.
  • The move is aimed to give push to ‘Made in India’ products and to help the consumers make an informed choice. (Boycott China-made goods)
  • As per Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 – it is mandatory for all manufacturers to declare the package name and address of the manufacturer, common and generic name of commodity, net quantity, month and year of manufacturing, MRP and consumer care details.

PM’s inaugural address at India Global Week 2020

Part of: GS Mains III – Indian Economy; Growth and Development

In news:

PM @India Global Week

  • The story of global revival will have India playing a leading role, as Indians are natural reformers.
  • He also highlighted India’s efforts towards self-reliance with global inclusiveness.

India Global Week 2020 theme: ‘Be The Revival: India and a Better New World’


(MAINS FOCUS)


ELECTIONS/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Elections: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act

Owning up to criminalisation in politics

Context: A February 2020 Supreme Court judgment on criminalisation in politics will first be implemented in the Bihar elections in October 2020.

Increase in the incidence of criminals in politics – An ever-present silent crisis

Year Percentage of MPs with Criminal Cases pending against them
2004 24%
2009 30%
2014 34%
2019 43%

Impact of Criminalisation of Politics

  • Mockery of election outcomes
  • Deterioration in Politics Whereby Values are compromised for winnability of candidate
  • Politicization of Bureaucracy
  • Bad governance leading to Corruption
  • Dominance of Politics over civil society & business – restricts rights & freedom
  • Institutional (legislature & executive) decline of Democracy

What were the key pronouncement of Feb 2020 SC Judgement? 

  • It shall be mandatory for political parties to upload on their respective websites and print as well as electronic media, detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases, who have been selected as candidates. 
  • They also have to mention reasons for such selection over people with clean background
  • The reasons as to selection of candidates shall be with reference to the qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned, and not mere “winnability” at the polls
  • These details shall be published within 48 hours of the selection of the candidate or not less than two weeks before the first date for filing of nominations.
  • The political party concerned shall then submit a report of compliance with these directions with the Election Commission within 72 hours of the selection of the said candidate.
  • Non-compliance of these directions shall be brought to notice of SC by Election Commission on the grounds of Contempt of Court

Merits of the Judgement

  • Accountability: The political party and its leadership would for the first time have to publicly own up to criminalisation of politics
  • Electoral Reforms: It is in line with a series of judgments aimed at preserving the purity of the election process: Asset disclosure, NOTA option, Special courts for quick disposal of cases involving elected representatives
  • Informed Citizenry: It increases the information available for Citizens which enables him to take well thought-out decision while choosing his representative.

What are the challenges w.r.t the above judgement? 

  • Enforcement Challenges: Several laws and court judgments have not helped much, the reason being lack of enforcement of laws and judgments
  • Unclear on punishment for violations:  It is also not clear what penalty would be imposed if the recent orders are not followed. It is not clear if top political leaders will be guilty or election be set aside.
  • Menace of Fake News: Misinformation, trolling, and fanciful claims may drown out the little that citizens can do with actual information given out. Campaigns may continue to be more and more personal and even abusive
  • Inadequate deterrence: The election & judicial system is still unable to ban people with serious criminal charges from contesting elections, due to legal and technical constraints. The judgement puts onus on voters to make better choices with newly available information.

Way Ahead

  • Effective monitoring the affidavits of candidates by Civil Society and working with ECI to ensure that information is promptly available on their websites, and widely circulating this information to voters
  • Voters also need to be vigilant about misuse of money, gifts and other inducements during elections.

Connecting the dots:

  • Internal Democracy of the Political Parties
  • Decline in the institution of Parliament

GOVERNANCE/ SCIENCE & TECH/ POLITY

Topic: General Studies 2,3:

  • Executive and its functioning 
  • e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential 
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, 

Digitisation of Government Financial working

Context: A case for three-phase transition to mandatory digital payments, accounting, and transactions for government proposed by the CAG under a new project and law called DATA (Digital Accountability and Transparency Act) 

What are the goals of DATA?

  • The starting point is mandatory and common data standards for all entities receiving government funds in all forms of funding 
  • The endpoint is a single searchable website to ascertain total government funding by element and entity

What steps are needed to make DATA a reality?

Covering the distance between these needs three elements: 

  1. 100 per cent end-to-end electronic data capture: All receipts and expenditure transactions including demands, assessment, and invoices should be received, processed, and paid electronically.
  2. Data governance for standards across all government entities: Data standards are rules for describing and recording data elements with precise meanings and semantics that enable integration, sharing, and interoperability.
  3. Technology architecture that must ensure that all IT government systems should conform to a prescribed open architecture framework (for instance, IndEA) while ensuring robust security and maintaining privacy.

What are the advantages of DATA?

  1. Long Overdue reform:
    • The Union budget grew from Rs 197 crore in 1947 to Rs 30 lakh crore in 2020 and total government expenditure may be higher than Rs 70 lakh crore.
    • But the form and manner of keeping accounts have more or less remained unchanged since Independence
  1. Reduce errors 
    • Manual transactions and manual payments often lead to manually entered data at different stages in different databases on different systems which makes to unreliable & vulnerable to errors
    • DATA ensures Business continuity (electronic records cannot be lost or misplaced like files or paper records) and an incontrovertible audit trail
  1. Enhance transparency & accountability
    • It makes all government revenue and expenditure data electronic, machine-readable, granular, comprehensive, purpose linked, non-repudiable, reliable, accessible and searchable.
    • It will enable legislatures to draw “assurance” that each rupee due to the government has been collected, and each rupee has been spent for the purpose it was allocated.
  1. Addresses the problem of siloed IT systems 
    • Government computerisation has often mechanised manual processes rather than “re-engineered processes”.
    • This has created siloed IT systems with individual databases that lack modern data sharing protocols, which DATA tries to solve
  1. Addresses concerns of fiscal data
    • Due to siloed IT systems, fiscal data was being
      • Incomparable – as basic as salary expenditure across states
      • Obscure – large expenditures booked under omnibus head called other
      • Non-traceable – actual expenditure against temporary advances drawn or funds drawn on contingent bills
      • Misclassification – grants in aid as capital expenditure and bookings under suspense heads
  1. Enables the use of cognitive intelligence tools 
    • DATA will provide with huge information which will enable tools like Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning to use it for policy making
    • This in turn will support the establishment of budget baselines, detecting anomalies, data-driven project costing, performance comparisons across departments.
  1. Cost efficiency
    • Bad behaviour currently costs the RBI Rs 4,000 crore in bank agency commissions because many parts of the government do not use the RBI’s free e-kuber system

Connecting the dots:

  • Justice B.N Srikrishna Committee recommendation on Data protection

(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) ‘Rohingyas’ are

  1. Muslim refugees from eastern Sri Lanka settled in Tamil Nadu
  2. An anti-communist political group in Syria
  3. A political group fighting for autonomy in Catalonia
  4. Muslim refugees migrating from Myanmar to Bangladesh

Q.2) The government-appointed committee related to preparing a data protection framework was headed by

  1. BN Srikrishna
  2. Ratan Watal
  3. Rajiv Kumar
  4. Arvind Panagariya

Q.3) Exercise MALABAR is a joint military exercise between which of the following given countries?

  1. India, USA, and Indonesia
  2. India, Japan and USA
  3. Japan, India, and Sri Lanka
  4. India, USA and France

Q.4) Which of the following are valid grounds to impose reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the freedom of speech and expression?

  1. Security of state
  2. Contempt of court
  3. Morality
  4. Defamation

Choose the appropriate option from code given below:

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

ANSWERS FOR 9th July 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 A
2 D
3 C
4 A

Must Read

About US withdrawal from WHO:

The Hindu

About Chinese app ban: Internet freedom Vs National Security:

The Hindu

About Parliament functioning amidst pandemic:

The Indian Express

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