DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 18th November 2020

  • IASbaba
  • November 18, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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Arunachal Pradesh records the best sex ratio

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Society

In news

  • The three north-eastern states top the 2018 report on “Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System (CRS)”.
  • Prepared by: The Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India
  • Arunachal Pradesh has recently recorded the best sex ratio in India with 1,084 females born per 1000 males.
  • It is followed by Nagaland at 965 females and Mizoram at 964.

Key takeaways 

  • The sex ratio is the number of females per 1000 males. 
  • It is an important indicator to map the gender gap of a population.
  • Lowest sex ratio has been reported by Manipur (757), Lakshadweep (839) and Daman & Diu (877), followed by Punjab (896). 
  • Other North-Eastern states: Assam- 904, Meghalaya – 942 and Tripura – 945.

Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) signed between Japan and Australia 

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

In news

  • Japan and Australia have signed a landmark defence deal in a bid to counter China’s growing influence in the South China Sea and over the Pacific island nations.

Key takeaways 

  • Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) comes weeks after foreign ministers of the Quad alliance, which includes the US and India, met in Tokyo.
  • The pact allows Japanese and Australian troops to visit each other’s countries and conduct training and joint operations. 
  • Australian Prime Minister said that the treaty will strengthen their security ties and facilitate cooperation between defence forces.
  • The two sides also agreed on the need for a framework to allow Japanese military to protect Australian forces if needed.

BRICS adopts new Counter-Terrorism Strategy

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

In news

  • The five-nation grouping BRICS has adopted a new counter-terrorism strategy to effectively deal with terrorism.

Key takeaways 

  • Objective: (1) To complement and strengthen the existing bilateral and multilateral ties among the BRICS countries; (2) To make a meaningful contribution to the global efforts of preventing and combating the threat of terrorism.
  • The BRICS countries reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any act of terrorism committed is a crime and has no justification.
  • They also recognized that the international community should take the necessary steps to enhance cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism, including cross-border movement of terrorists.

Do you know? 

  • BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Additional Judges appointed as Permanent Judges of Allahabad HC under Article 217

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Constitution

In news

  • President of India recently appointed 28 Additional Judges as Permanent Judges of Allahabad High Court through Article 217(1) of the Indian Constitution. 

Important value additions 

Article 217 (1)

  • Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the chief Justice, the chief Justice of the High court.
  • Every Judge of a High Court shall hold office, in the case of an additional or acting Judge, as provided in Article 224, and in any other case, until he attains the age of sixty two years Provided that
    • a Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office;
    • a Judge may be removed from his office by the President in the manner provided in clause ( 4 ) of Article 124 for the removal of a Judge of the Supreme Court;
    • the office of a Judge shall be vacated by his being appointed by the President to be a Judge of the Supreme Court or by his being transferred by the President to any other High Court within the territory of India.



Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary

Supreme Court interpretation of Article 32 over the years

Context: Recently, Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde observed that it is “trying to discourage” individuals from filing petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution. 

The observation came during the hearing of a petition seeking the release of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested with three others while on their way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on an alleged gangrape and murder.

What is Article 32?

  • It is one of the fundamental rights listed in the Constitution that each citizen is entitled. 
  • Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, or affirms the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution.
  • It states that the Supreme Court “shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part”
  • The Article cannot be suspended except during the period of Emergency.

Significance of Article 32

  • The Article is included in Part III of the Constitution with other fundamental rights including to Equality, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Life and Personal Liberty, and Freedom of Religion. 
  • Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
  • In the Constituent Assembly debates, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said that without article 32 this Constitution would be a nullity. He further said that “It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it”
  • Article 32 is one of the greatest safeguards that can be provided for the safety and security of the individual.
  • Since Article 32 gives a person the right to approach the Supreme Court as a remedy if fundamental rights are violated, “it is a right fundamental to all the fundamental rights” guaranteed under the Constitution.

Can High Courts be approached in cases of violation of fundamental rights?

  • Both the High Courts and the Supreme Court can be approached for violation or enactment of fundamental rights through five kinds of writs
  • In civil or criminal matters, the first remedy available to an aggrieved person is that of trial courts, followed by an appeal in the High Court and then the Supreme Court.
  • When it comes to violation of fundamental rights, an individual can approach the High Court under Article 226 or the Supreme Court directly under Article 32. Article 226, however, is not a fundamental right like Article 32.

What have been the Supreme Court’s observations on Article 32?

  • In Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras (1950), the Supreme Court observed that Article 32 provides a “guaranteed” (SC cannot refuse) remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
  • During the Emergency, in Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur vs S S Shukla (1976), the Supreme Court had said that the citizen loses his right to approach the court under Article 32

Recent trends

  • In the case of the journalist Siddique Kappan, the court asked why the petitioners could not go to the High Court. It has sought responses from the Centre and the UP government, and will hear the case later this week.
  • In another case invoking Article 32, filed by a Nagpur-based man arrested in three cases for alleged defamatory content against Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and others, the same Bench directed him to approach the High Court first.
  • In another matter, three-judge Bench of SC had issued a contempt notice to the Assistant Secretary of the Maharashtra Assembly who, in a letter to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, had questioned him for approaching the top court against the breach-of-privilege notice. The court had then said that the right to approach the Supreme Court under Article 32 is itself a fundamental right 
  • The above instances have been cited by Citizen Activists to criticize the working of Judiciary where access to Justice at apex level is liable to influence and power.


Constitutional experts say that it is eventually at the discretion of the Supreme Court and each individual judge to decide whether an intervention is warranted in a case, which could also be heard by the High Court first.

Connecting the dots:


Topic: General Studies 2, 3:

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Shifting sands for Asian economies

Context: Discussions on the post-pandemic global economy have often predicted that China’s appeal as a business destination would fade, losing favour as the global manufacturing hub.

What was the expectation about realigning global supply chains?

  • Dispersing of Production locations away from China: Arguments have been made that production would be dispersed to other appealing locations mostly in Asia, and even to those outside. 
  • Shift to labour Abundant economies: It was expected that this relocation of production would benefit emerging labour-abundant economies, as labour costs in China are increasing.
  • China+1 Strategy: The combination of trade war and the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in firms establishing relatively small-scale operations elsewhere. This is perceived as a buffer against being completely dependent on China, referred to as the ‘China +1’ strategy.

Some labour-intensive industries, such as textiles and apparels, have been moving to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but trends in other industries show that businesses have mostly remained in China.

Why China still retains dominance in Global Supply Chain?

There are three reasons for firms to remain in China but wants to purse China+1 Strategy:

  • Ease of Business in China: First, starting an enterprise and maintaining operations in China are much easier than elsewhere. 
  • Agility: Second, Chinese firms are nimble and fast, which is evident from the quick recovery of Chinese manufacturing after the lockdown. 
  • Shifting production centres requires time: Third, many global companies have spent decades building supply chains in China. Hence, getting out would mean moving the entire ecosystem, which involves time and expenditure. 

This China+1 strategy of global firms has led to an intensification of competition among Asian economies to be that ‘plus one’ in the emerging manufacturing landscape. India faces three challenges in this race.

  1. Task of increasing Domestic Public Investment
  • According to the IMF, increasing public investment by 1% of GDP could boost GDP by 2.7%, private investment by 10%, and employment by 1.2%, if investments are of high quality and if existing public and private debt burdens do not weaken the response of the private sector.
  •  In India, even before the pandemic, the growth in domestic investments had been weak, and this seems to be the opportune time to bolster public investments as interest rates are low globally and savings are available. 
  • Private investments would continue to be depressed, due to the uncertainty on the future economic outlook, which underscores the need to undertake high-quality public investments.
  1. India Needs Overhaul in Trade Policy
  • Presently, world trade had been rattled by tendencies of rising economic nationalism and unilateralism leading to the return of protectionist policies. 
  • A revamped trade policy needs to take into cognisance the possibility of two effects of the RCEP: the ‘Walmart effect’ and a ‘switching effect’. 
  • Walmart Effect: This would sustain demand for basic products and help in keeping employee productivity at an optimum level, but may also reduce wages and competition due to sourcing from multiple vendors at competitive rates. 
  • Switching effects would be an outcome of developed economies scouting for new sources to fulfil import demands, which requires firms to be nimble and competitive.
  • Trade policy has to recognise the pitfalls of the present two-track mode, one for firms operating in the ‘free trade enclaves’ and another for the rest. A major fallout of this ‘policy dualism’ is the dampening of export diversification. 
  • The challenge is to make exporting activity more attractive for all firms in the economy.
  1. Need to increase women’s participation in the labour force. 
  • While India’s GDP has grown by around 6% to 7% per year on an average in the recent years, educational levels of women have risen, and fertility rates have fallen, women’s labour force participation rate has fallen from 42.7% in 2004–05 to 23.3% in 2017–18.
  • This means that three out of four Indian women are neither working nor seeking paid work. 
  • Globally, India ranks among the bottom ten countries in terms of women’s workforce participation. 
  • When Bangladesh’s GDP grew at an average rate of 5.5% during 1991 and 2017, women’s participation in the labour force increased from 24% to 36%.
  • India could gain hugely if barriers to women’s participation in the workforce are removed, for which the manufacturing sector should create labour-intensive jobs that rural and semi-urban women are qualified for.


  • The intensity of competition is evident from the fact that after India passed three labour code Bills on September 23, Indonesian Parliament on October 5 passed a legislation that slashes regulations contained in more than 70 separate existing laws, to open up the country to more foreign investment. 
  • India’s approach to the changed scenario needs to be well-calibrated. 

Connecting the dots:


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 Consider the following statements regarding report on Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System 

  1. Arunachal Pradesh has recorded the highest sex ratio in India. 
  2. Daman and Diu has recorded the lowest sex ratio in India.

Which of the above is/are correct?

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

Q.2 Reciprocal Access Agreement was recently signed between which of the following countries? 

  1. Japan and Australia 
  2. USA and Australia 
  3. India and USA 
  4. India and Japan

Q.3 Which of the following country is not a part of BRICS? 

  1. Brazil 
  2. Russia 
  3. China 
  4. Japan


1 C
2 D
3 C
4 A

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