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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st October 2020

  • IASbaba
  • October 1, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st October 2020
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Guidelines to Support Artisans in Beekeeping & Pottery Activities released

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Industries

In news

  • The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, has announced new guidelines to support artisans in Beekeeping and Pottery activity.

Beekeeping guidelines

  • Government will provide assistance with Bee boxes and Tool kits. 
  • Under this scheme, Bee boxes will also be distributed to Migrant workers in Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan districts.
  • A five-day beekeeping training will also be provided.
  • Objective: (1) To create sustainable employment; (2) To create awareness about Honey and other Hive Products etc.
  • During 2020-21, the scheme proposes to cover a total of 2,050 Beekeepers, Entrepreneurs, Farmers, Unemployed Youth, Adivasis.
  • Additional amount of 50 crore rupees has also been kept for developing Beekeeping honey clusters under the ‘SFURTI‘ scheme of the Ministry.

Pottery Guidelines

  • Government will provide assistance with pottery wheel, Clay Blunger, Granulator etc.
  • It will also provide Wheel Pottery Training for traditional pottery artisans and Press Pottery training for pottery as well as non-pottery artisans in Self- Help Groups.
  • Jigger-Jolly training programme shall also be provided.
  • A total of 6,075 Traditional and others non-traditional pottery artisans, Rural Unemployed youth, Migrant Labourers will get benefited.

JK-IGRAMS & National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS)

Launched

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Executive

In news

  • Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) launched the Jammu and Kashmir Integrated Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (JK-IGRAMS) in order to create an interface with the public and focus on governance issues in the Union Territory.
  • The National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) was also launched.

Key takeaways

Jammu and Kashmir Integrated Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (JK-IGRAMS)

  • The system is being launched on a pilot basis in three districts — Jammu, Srinagar, and Reasi. 
  • It will gradually be rolled out in the remaining districts by October 2. 
  • It will make the existing mechanism more robust and efficient.
  • Action will follow if any delay is found while addressing people’s grievances.
  • District Collectors and Deputy Commissioners will be the primary nodes for receiving, disposing and monitoring grievances.

National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS)

  • J&K will be the 10th among States and UTs to become part of NGDRS.
  • NGDRS represents a major shift from the existing manual registration system to online registration of all transactions in sale-purchase and transfer of land.
  • Stamp papers have been replaced by e-stamps which have been incorporated in coordination with Stockholding Corporation of India.

Phytoplankton Biomass in Bay of Bengal

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity

In news

  • A team of scientists from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) have discovered a way to measure the quantity of chlorophyll-a that indicates abundance of phytoplanktons in the Bay of Bengal in real-time.

Key takeaways

  • Study of phytoplankton biomass is done by analyzing chlorophyll-a. It is a dominant pigment found in phytoplankton cells.
  • The scientists closely tracked the long-term trends of chlorophyll-a in the northwestern Bay of Bengal.
  • Findings: There were two peaks of chlorophyll-a — the primary peak occurred during the pre-southwest monsoon due to the recurrent phytoplankton bloom in the coastal water and the secondary peak occurred during the end of the southwest monsoon, spreading to far offshore areas.
  • Reasons: (1) Increase in phytoplanktons; (2) Physical forces such as upwelling, wind-induced vertical mixing, convective overturn and chemicals from various sources including river runoff.

Important value additions

Phytoplanktons

  • They are tiny microscopic floating plants found in water bodies.
  • Significance of Phytoplanktons: (1) They contribute more than half of the oxygen in the environment; (2) They reduce global warming by absorbing human-induced carbon dioxide; (3) They also serve as the base of the ocean food chain; (4) They are important bio indicators regulating life in oceans; (5) Their abundance determines the overall health of the ocean ecosystem.

Morphological Phenotypic Plasticity in Kalinga Frog

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity

In news

  • Recently, Indian scientists from the Zoological Survey of India, Pune have reported a first-of-its-kind discovery of morphological phenotypic plasticity (MPP) in the Kalinga cricket frog.
  • Phenotypic plasticity refers to some of the changes in an organism’s behaviour, morphology and physiology in response to a unique environment.
  • It was the only genetic analysis that helped prove that physically different-looking frogs from Eastern and Western Ghats were the same.

Significance of the Discovery

  • The behavioural studies of many anuran (frog or toad) species will help in generating information on the selection of breeding sites, courtship patterns and ecological adaptations.
  • The information will help to trace the distribution of these species along the peninsular region of India and can be used to evaluate the possible links with other species that were found in the Northeast region.

Important value additions

Kalinga Cricket Frog

  • Scientific Name: Fejervarya kalinga.
  • It is a recently identified species which was documented in 2018.
  • It was thought to be endemic only to the higher-elevation hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • However, it has been reported from the central Western Ghats, with the evidence of considerable MPP.
  • Its physical characteristics are entirely different from the other known Fejervaraya/Minervarya species from the Western Ghats.
  • Cricket frogs are indicators of a healthy ecosystem and live in wide habitat ranges in agricultural fields, streams, swamps and wetlands.

India successfully test-fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Defence; Security

In news

  • India successfully test-fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile recently.

Key takeaways

  • Carried out by: Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO from Balasore in Odisha.
  • BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile features indigenous Booster and Airframe Section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems.
  • The BrahMos Land-Attack Cruise Missile was cruising at a top speed of Mach 2.8. 
  • It is one more major step in enhancing the indigenous content.
  • This successful launch has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful BrahMos Weapon System.

Initiatives for Farmers launched

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

In news

  • Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers launched POS 3.1 software, SMS Gateway and Home Delivery facility of Fertilizers (RBK) for farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

Key takeaways

  • Under POS 3.1 version: Contactless OTP based authentication option has been introduced. Farmers will be able to purchase fertilizers without touching finger print sensors.
  • SMS Gateway will periodically send SMS to farmers about availability of fertilizers at retail outlets from where he last purchased the fertilizer.
  • Under an initiative of Home delivery of Fertilizers in Andhra Pradesh through Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBK) state Government has launched 10,641 Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBKs) in all gram panchayats to provide farmers with quality inputs and allied services.
  • Under this system, farmers after biometric authentication can order fertilizers from RBK (Rythu Bharosa Kendra) in their village and fertilizer will be delivered at their door step.

Cat Que Virus (CQV)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biotechnology

In news

  • In a study published in July, 2020 in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, scientists have noted the presence of antibodies against the Cat Que virus (CQV) in two human serum samples.

Key takeaways

  • The presence of the Cat Que virus has been largely reported in Culex mosquitoes in China and in pigs in Vietnam.
  • For CQV, domestic pigs are considered to be the primary mammalian hosts. 
  • Antibodies against the virus have been reported in swine reared locally in China, which indicates that the virus has formed a “natural cycle” in the local area and has the ability to spread in pigs and other animal populations through mosquitoes.
  • CQV belongs to the Simbu serogroup and infects both humans and economically important livestock species.

Miscellaneous

SPICe+ Portal

  • SPICe+ Portal was recently in the news.
  • Ministry: Ministry for Finance & Ministry of Corporate Affairs 
  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has notified and deployed a web-form namely ‘SPICe+’ (pronounced SPICe Plus) effective from February, 2020 as a part of Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) initiatives.
  • The web-form offers 10 services by three Central Government Ministries and Departments (Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance), one State Government (Maharashtra) and various Banks, thereby saving procedures, time and cost for Starting a Business in India.
  • Services include: Name reservation, incorporation, mandatory issue of PAN, mandatory issue of EPFO registration, etc.

Mekedatu Project

  • Mekedatu Project was recently in the news.
  • Mekedatu, meaning goat’s leap, is a deep gorge situated at the confluence of the rivers Cauvery and its tributary Arkavathi.
  • Ontigondlu is the proposed reservoir site, situated at Ramanagara district in Karnataka about 100 km away from Bengaluru. 
  • It is the midst of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The Rs. 9,000 crore project aims to store and supply water for drinking purposes for the Bengaluru city. 
  • Around 400 megawatts (MW) of power is also proposed to be generated through the project.


Serial Interval and Covid-19

  • China was able to contain Covid-19 due to its ability to manage the serial interval.
  • In simple terms, the serial interval is the gap between the onset of Covid-19 symptoms in Person A and Person B, who is infected by Person A.
  • It depends on epidemiological parameters such as the incubation period and the reproduction rate or R nought.
  • It helps to gauge the effectiveness of infection control interventions besides indicating rising population immunity and forecast future incidence.
  • Thus, the more quickly people who contracted Covid-19 are identified and isolated, the shorter the serial interval becomes and cuts down opportunities for transmission of the virus.

Sawantwadi Toy

  • To mark the occasion of 151 years of postcards in India, Maharashtra Circle of India Post has released picture postcards on ‘Sawantwadi Toys’ (October 1). 

  • It refers to hand made works of art made of wood in Sawantwadi, a town in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.
  • These toys are made from the wood of the Indian Coral tree (Erythrina variegata).
  • Craftsmen who make these toys belong to the Chittari community.

(MAINS FOCUS)


MODERN HISTORY/ POLITY

Topic: General Studies 2,3:

  • Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure 
  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions 

Is one language enough?

Context: New Education Policy and how it deals with the issues of language.

Development of National Language in Indonesia

  • Here, hundreds of languages were spoken across thousands of islands that now comprise the modern nations of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
  • During Colonial rule, Malay became an accepted language of communication as it was grammatically simple, non-hierarchical, and easier to learn than other regional languages.
  • Over centuries of Colonial rule, Malay had evolved due to the need in maritime Southeast Asia for a lingua franca for trade and other exchanges
  • While negotiating independence from Dutch colonial rule, Indonesian nationalists decided that a reformed version of Malay (renamed Bahasa Indonesia) would become the official language
  • Bahasa Indonesia aimed to bring more than 300 ethnic groups together with no one ethnic group, including the Javanese, overshadowing the rest. 
  • From the outset of its independence, Indonesia recognised the importance of avoiding the inequality that was likely to occur by imposing the language of one dominant ethnic group over others.

Debates in the Indian Constituent Assembly about Language

  • In contrast, the issue of adopting a national language could not be resolved when the Constituent Assembly began drafting India’s Constitution. 
  • The adoption of a national language, the language in which the Constitution was to be written, and the language in which the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly were to be conducted were the main questions debated. 
  • On the one side were members from the Hindi-speaking provinces who argued for adopting Hindi as the sole national language
  • One of the member (R.V. Dhulekar), declared “People who do not know Hindustani have no right to stay in India…. and those who do not know Hindi are not worthy to be members of this Assembly.” 
  • To counter such an argument, a member of the Assembly from the south said “This kind of intolerance makes us fear that the strong Centre which we need… will also mean the enslavement of people who do not speak the language of the Centre.”

How was the issue of National Language resolved then?

  • Widespread resistance to the imposition of Hindi on non-native speakers, especially in Tamil Nadu, led to the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1963, which provided for the continued use of English for all official purposes. 
  • Hindi became the sole working language of the Union government by 1965 with the State governments free to function in the language of their choice. 
  • Meanwhile, the constitutional directive for the Union government to encourage the spread of Hindi was retained 
  • Later, Hindi speakers from the IT, construction and other sectors began moving for jobs to the south which led to Hindi as the fastest growing language.

Loss of Languages

  • According to the 2001 Census, India has 30 languages that are spoken by more than a million people each. 
  • The Constitution lists 22 languages and protects them in the eighth schedule. Many languages are kept out of this schedule even if they deserve to be included. 
  • This includes Tulu which is spoken by over 1.8 million people and has inscriptions dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. 
  • Hindi language came to replace prestige dialects such as Awadhi, Maithili and Braj. The literary value of these dialects diminished in due course.

Consequences 

  • When a refined language loses its status in literary and daily interactions, the way of life associated with it also vanishes.
  • It we don’t protect and promote other well-evolved or endangered and indigenous languages, our future generations may end up never understanding their ‘real’ roots and culture.

Conclusion

Instead of focusing on one national language, one can try to learn a language beyond one’s mother tongue and get to know a different way of life too.

Connecting the dots:


INTERNATIONAL/ SECURITY

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

On the Quad, define the idea, chart a path

Context: It is reported that the second Ministerial meeting of the four countries (India, USA, Japan & Australia) under the Quad will be held in Japan

Background

  • The grouping’s informal origins can be traced to 2004.
  • In the wake of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, Australia, India, Japan and the US launched an ad-hoc humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) mission, which allowed them to come together operationally. Since then the four navies have worked together on several occasions.
  • The Quad was formally initiated in 2007 at the prompting of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.
  • Formal Quad meetings were not possible following strong objections from China in 2007.

What were the other reasons which made QUAD a non-starter in 2007?

  • The American establishment still believed that it could, somehow, persuade China to become a ‘responsible stake-holder’ 
  • US also required Chinese goodwill in dealing with America’s priorities — the nuclear issue with North Korea and Iran, and the War on Terror – and did not want to antagonize China with QUAD
  • Japan and Australia were riding the China Boom to prosperity. 
  • If India was ambivalent at the time, it was because this mirrored the uncertainties of others.
  • As a result, the idea merely remained on the table and there was no clearly enunciated concept or proposed structures.

What was the real intention behind China’s objection?

  • Dubbed it as Cold-War Type Coalition: The Chinese, however, labelled it as an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 
  • QUAD would interfere with China’s Indo-Pacific plans: The real reason for China’s hyper-reaction was out of concern that such a grouping would “out” China’s plans for naval expansion by focusing on the Indo-Pacific maritime space. 
  • Grand Maritime Plans: China was hoping that its naval build-up might slip under the radar if QUAD become a non-starter because the Americans were distracted by continental challenges including Russia, Afghanistan and Iran, and would not look sea-ward.

What happened once the idea of Quad 1.0 had died down?

China gained in confidence to reveal its hand. 

  • It advanced a new claim — the Nine-Dash Line — in the South China Sea.
  • China undertook the rapid kind of warship building activity reminiscent of Germany before 1914.
  • China built its first overseas base in Djibouti.
  • It also started systematically to explore the surface and sub-surface environment in the Indian Ocean beyond the Malacca Straits. 

What led to revival of QUAD 2.0?

  • The manner of China’s dismissal of the Arbitral Award in the dispute with the Philippines on the South China Sea and brazen militarization of islands by China once again brought the four countries onto the same page.
  • In 2015 Japan was formally admitted to make Malabar (India-US naval exercise) a tri-lateral event
  • In 2020, India has invited Australia to join the trilateral exercise, thus completing QUAD

How is China responding to QUAD 2.0?

  • China’s endeavour is to conflate the Quad with the Indo-Pacific vision, and link both to the so-called China Containment Theory, which is actually not the case.
  • The Indo-Pacific Vision is an overarching framework that is being discussed in a transparent manner, with the objective of advancing everyone’s economic and security interests. 
  • The Quad, on the other hand, is a plurilateral mechanism between countries that share interest on specific matters. There are other such mechanisms in the region. 
  • In 2016, China itself established a Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
  • More recently, China has established Quadrilateral Cooperation with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal.

Challenges Ahead

  • The global pandemic and the faltering global economy are taking a toll on the region’s growth and prosperity. 
  • The two major Pacific powers (China and America), are moving into a more adversarial phase of their relationship

Way Ahead

  • Other countries might be invited to join QUAD in the future given that India has many other partners in the Indo-Pacific.
  • A positive agenda built around collective action in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, monitoring shipping for search and rescue or anti-piracy operations, infrastructure assistance to climatically vulnerable states, connectivity initiatives and similar activities, will re-assure the littoral States that the Quad will be a factor for regional benefit and not military alliance as alleged by China

Connecting the dots:


(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 significance of Phytoplanktons:

  1. Their reduction determines the overall health of the ocean ecosystem
  2. They contribute more than half of the oxygen in the environment 
  3. They reduce global warming by absorbing human-induced carbon dioxide

Which of the above is/are correct?

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

Q.2 Consider the following statements about Kalinga Cricket Frog:

  1. Morphological phenotypic plasticity (MPP) was recently reported in the Kalinga cricket frog.
  2. It is endemic only to the Eastern Ghats.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS FOR 30th September 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 C
3 A
4 A

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