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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th February 2021

  • IASbaba
  • February 19, 2021
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th February 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Infrastructural projects to be inaugurated in Kerala

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Infrastructure

In news

320 KV Pugalur (Tamil Nadu) – Thrissur (Kerala) power transmission project: 

  • It is India’s first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Project 
  • It will facilitate transfer of 2000 MW power from the western region and help meet the growth in load for Kerala.
  • It will also ensure a 35-40% less land footprint compared to a conventional HVDC system.

50 MW Kasaragod Solar Power Project

  • It has been developed under the National Solar Energy Mission.

Integrated Command and Control Centre at Thiruvananthapuram

  • It is being set up to host Smart Solutions for Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation,
  • It will act as a common point of action during emergency situations to facilitate coordinated action, and decision making among various agencies like police, civil supplies, revenue, health and fire fighting

Smart Roads Project in Thiruvananthapuram

  • The project envisages converting 37 Kms of existing roads to world-class smart roads by bringing all overhead utilities underneath and undertaking road and junction improvements.
  • It will have features like safe pathways, storm water drains, underground ducts for electrical, and communication lines.

Water Treatment Plant at Aruvikkara 

  • It is being built under the AMRUT Mission.
  • It will boost supply of drinking water to Thiruvananthapuram 

Important value additions

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 

  • It was launched in 2015.
  • Aim: to establish infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewage networks and water supply for urban transformation by implementing urban revival projects. 

The National Solar Mission 

  • Objectives: To promote solar power. 
  • The mission is one of the several policies of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • The program was inaugurated as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in 2010 with a target of 20 GW by 2022. 
  • This was later increased to 100 GW in 2015 to be achieved by 2030.
  • India increased its solar power generation capacity by nearly 5 times from 2,650 MW in 2014 to almost 12,000 MW in 2017. 
  • The original target of 20 GW was surpassed in 2018, four years ahead of the 2022 deadline.

Related articles:

  • Urban infrastructure projects AMRUT Yojana: Click here
  • Inauguration of 750 MW Rewa Solar Project: Click here

PLI Scheme For Telecom And Networking Products

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Manufacturing; Economy

In news

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Telecom and Networking Products (T&N Products) with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 12,195 crore.

Key takeaways

  • The Scheme intends to promote the manufacture of T&N Products in India.
  • It proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investments in the target segments in order to encourage Make in India.
  • The scheme will also encourage exports.
  • There will be a minimum investment threshold of Rs.10 crore for MSME with incentives from 7% to 4 % and Rs. 100 crore for others with incentives from 6% to 4 % over 5 year above Base Year.
  • The applicants with higher investments than specified threshold under MSME and Non MSME categories will be selected through transparent process

Related articles:

  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme approved for 10 more sectors: Click here
  • PLI Schemes For Promoting Domestic Manufacturing Of Bulk Drugs & Medical Devices revised: Click here

Comprehensive Economic Cooperation And Partnership Agreement (CECPA)

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

In news

  • The Union Cabinet has approved signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between India and Mauritius.

Key takeaways

  • The India-Mauritius CECPA will be the first trade Agreement to be signed by India with any African country.
  • It is a limited agreement.
  • It will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas.
  • CECPA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.
  • Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited number of highly sensitive products within two years of the Signing of the Agreement.


(Mains Focus)


HEALTH/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Lessons from COVID-19 for TB Control 

Context: The WHO reports that there are more than 10 million active TB cases in India. The country loses more than 4,00,000 lives every year due to TB (COVID-19 Pandemic resulted 1,54,000 deaths over one-year period).

Tuberculosis is a social disease because of following reasons

  • Due to overcrowding and malnutrition, it disproportionately affects the poor and the marginalised.
  • The stigma and myths associated with this disease lead to underreporting and under-diagnosis. 
  • The long-drawn multi-drug treatment leads to poor compliance and drug-resistance, which hamper recovery.
  • Complications increase with a pre-existing illness like diabetes or co-infection with HIV. 
  • Finally, the chronic nature of the disease and propensity to damage multiple organs increase mortality risk.

The lessons learned during the COVID-19 battle can do a lot in controlling TB i.e. Community driven efforts can help government’s target of TB-free India by 2025

  • Since TB spreads through droplets of infected persons, physical distancing can reduce disease transmission.
  • Patients with TB must wear a mask to prevent the spread of infection, and persons in the patient’s regular contact should wear a mask for self-protection.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to success. One should use new diagnostic techniques that gives rapid and ultraprecise results compared to the traditional sputum test. 
  • Finally, instant case notification helps in better case tracking and contact monitoring.
  • The fight against COVID-19 has led to increased awareness of respiratory infections, which may help remove the stigma associated with TB. 
  •  India’s efforts to contain the coronavirus succeeded due to improved coordination among central and state governments and innovative media campaigns which can be replicated for TB

Conclusion

A successful community-driven strategy, as shown during the Swachh Bharat campaign or COVID-19 control, if dovetailed with the existing TB control programme, which provides free diagnosis and treatment, can accelerate TB elimination. 


SOCIETY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. 

Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act

Context: Union Cabinet ushered in some major amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 in a bid to bring in clarity and also entrust more responsibilities on bureaucrats when it comes to implementing provisions of the law.

What is the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2015?

  • Updated Legislation: It was introduced and passed in Parliament in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000. 
  • Change in nomenclature: The Act changes the nomenclature from Juvenile to child or ‘child in conflict with law’. Also, it removes the negative connotation associated with the word “juvenile”.
  • Special Provisions for Age 16-18 years: One of the main provisions of the new Act was that juveniles charged with heinous crimes and who are between the ages of 16-18 years would be tried as adults and processed through the adult justice system. This provision received an impetus after the 2012 Delhi gangrape in which one of the accused was just short of 18 years, and was therefore tried as a juvenile.
  • Juvenile Justice Board: The nature of the crime, and whether the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child, was to be determined by a Juvenile Justice Board (set up in every district). Also Child Welfare Committees must be set up in every district. Both must have at least one woman member each.
  • Adoption Related Clauses: Another major provision was that the Act streamlined adoption procedures for orphans, abandoned and surrendered children and the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively
  • Inclusion of New Offences: The Act included several new offences committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.

What are the amendments passed by the Union Cabinet?

  1. The inclusion of serious crimes apart from heinous crimes
  • It has included for the first time the category of “serious crimes” differentiating it from heinous crimes, while retaining heinous crimes. Both heinous and serious crimes have also been clarified for the first time, removing any ambiguity.
  • What this means is that for a juvenile to be tried for a heinous crime as an adult, the punishment of the crime should not only have a maximum sentence of seven years or more, but also a minimum sentence of seven years.
  • This provision has been made to ensure that children, as much as possible, are protected and kept out of the adult justice system. 
  • Heinous crimes with a minimum imprisonment of seven years pertain mostly to sexual offences and violent sexual crimes. Crime like the possession and sale of an illegal substance, such as drugs or alcohol, will now fall under the ambit of a “serious crime’’.
  1. Expanding the purview of district and additional district magistrates
  • The NCPCR report pf 2019-19 had found that not a single Child Care Institution in the country was found to be 100 per cent compliant to the provisions of the JJ Act.
  • DM and ADMs will monitor the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act in every district. This includes the Child Welfare Committees, the Juvenile Justice Boards, the District Child Protection Units and the Special juvenile Protection Units.
  • Amendment says that no new children’s home can be opened without the sanction of the DM. They are also responsible now for ensuring that CCIs falling in their district are following all norms and procedures (earlier the process was relaxed and lacked effective oversight)
  • The DM will also carry out background checks of Child Welfare Committee members, who are usually social welfare activists, including educational qualifications, as there is no such provision currently to check if a person has a case of girl child abuse against him.
  • To hasten the process of adoption and ensure the swift rehabilitation of children into homes and foster homes, the amendment further provides that the DM will also now be in charge of sanctioning adoptions, removing the lengthy court process.

Conclusion

While the amendments have been welcomed by most, in its attempt to provide better protection to children in need of care, the challenge perceived is that of having given too many responsibilities to the DM


(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 statements is/are correct about AMRUT scheme?

  1. AMRUT and Smart Cities Mission missions are interlinked.
  2. AMRUT will lay the foundation for smart cities to grow and develop.

Select the correct code:

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

Q.2 What is the purpose of AMRUT?

  1. Providing basic infrastructure
  2. Provide affordable housing loans
  3. Ensuring quality infrastructure
  4. Ensuring clean and sustainable environment

Q.3 National Solar Mission envisages installed solar energy generation capacity of about:

  1. 100 GW 
  2. 150 GW
  3. 1000 GW
  4. 10 GW

Q.4 Comprehensive Economic Cooperation And Partnership Agreement (CECPA) was recently signed by India with which of the following African country?

  1. Nigeria
  2. Ghana
  3. Mauritius
  4. Morocco

ANSWERS FOR 18th February 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 B
3 C
4 B

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