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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 13th June 2022

  • IASbaba
  • June 13, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Election Commission

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity
  • Mains – GS 2 (Polity & Constitution)

In News: The EC sent six key proposals to the Law Ministry

  • Linking of Aadhaar with voter IDs
  • Allowing four qualifying dates for eligible people to register as voters
  • Ban on exit polls and opinion polls and said there should be some restriction on conducting and disseminating the results of opinion polls right from the day of the first notification of an election till the completion of the election in all its phases
  • Also recommended limiting the seats from which a candidate can contest to just one
  • The EC has also sought powers to deregister political parties
  • EC has sought the modification of Form 24A to mandate the disclosure of all donations above Rs 2,000 instead of Rs 20,000

Linking Aadhaar with voter IDs

  • In December 2021, Parliament passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 enabling “the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem”

Enrollment

  • As of now, for an election to be held in a particular year, only an individual who has attained the age of 18 years as on January 1 of that year or before is eligible to be enrolled in the voters’ list.
  • The ECI had told the government that the January 1 cut-off date set for the purpose deprives several youngsters from participating in the electoral exercise held in a particular year.

What are exit & opinion polls?

  • An opinion poll is a pre-election survey to gather voters’ views on a range of election-related issues.
  • An exit poll is conducted immediately after people have voted, and assesses the support for political parties and their candidates.

Why is the Election Commission (EC) against these polls?

  • Both kinds of polls can be controversial if the agency conducting them is perceived to be biased.
  • The projections of these surveys can be influenced by the choice, wording and timing of the questions, and by the nature of the sample drawn.
  • Political parties often allege that many opinion and exit polls are motivated and sponsored by their rivals, and could have a distorting effect on the choices voters make in a protracted election, rather than simply reflecting public sentiment or views.

Number of Seats

  • The EC has sought an amendment of Section 33(7) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to restrict the number of seats a candidate can contest from.
  • The Act currently allows a person to contest a general election or a group of by-elections or biennial elections from up to two constituencies.

Registration and De registration

  • Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowers the commission to register associations and bodies as political parties.
  • However, there is no constitutional or statutory provision that gives power to the EC to deregister parties.
  • Many political parties get registered, but never contest election. Such parties exist only on paper.
  • The possibility of forming political parties with an eye on availing the benefit of income tax exemption also cannot be ruled out.
  • It would only be logical that the commission which has the power to register political parties is also empowered to deregister in appropriate cases

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to the Union Government, consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
  2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and by-elections.
  3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognized political parties.

Select the correct code:

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

State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2021-22

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

In News: the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2021-22

What is the SFSI?

  • The index aims to measure the performance of states and Union Territories on selected “parameters” of food safety.
  • The index is aimed at encouraging states and UTs to “improve their performance and work towards establishing a proper food safety ecosystem in their jurisdiction
  • The SFSI is released annually for a financial year.
  • This is the fourth edition of the SFSI since its inception in 2018-19.

Parameters

The SFSI takes into account the performance of the states on five key parameters, each of which is assigned a different weightage in the assessment.

  • Human Resources and Institutional Data
  • Weightage: 20%
  • Measures the availability of human resources like number of Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers facility of adjudications and appellate tribunals, functioning of State/ District level Steering Committees etc
  • Compilance
  • Weightage: 30%.
  • Measures overall coverage of food businesses in licensing & registration commensurate with size and population of the State/UTs, special drives and camps organized, yearly increase, promptness and effectiveness in issue of state licenses/ registrations
  • Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance
  • Weightage: 20%
  • Measures the availability of adequate testing infrastructure with trained manpower in the States/ UTs for testing food samples
  • Training and Capacity Building
  • Weightage: 10%.
  • It measures states’ performance on training and capacity building of regulatory staff.
  • Consumer Empowerment
  • Weightage: 20%.
  • It evaluates the states and UTs on their performance on various consumer empowering initiatives of FSSAI, such as participation in Food Fortification, Eat Right Campus plus state initiatives

Assessment

  • The states and Union Territories are segregated into three categories — large states, small states and UTs— and assessed separately within their respective categories, based on their performance on the selected food safety parameters.

Performance

  • In the category of the 20 large states, Tamil Nadu with an overall score of 82 out of 100 has performed the best and been ranked 1st on SFSI 2021-22, while Andhra Pradesh with an overall score of 26 has been ranked at the bottom —17th place
  • Following Tamil Nadu in the rankings of the larger states are Gujarat (rank 2nd with a score 77.5), Maharashtra (3rd with 70), Himachal Pradesh (4th with 65.5) and West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh (sharing 5th with a score of 58.5).
  • Among the eight small states, Goa with a score of 56 has been ranked at the top, while Arunachal Pradesh (rank 8th and score 21) is at the bottom.
  • Among the eight Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir with a score of 68.5 has been ranked 1st and Lakshadweep (score 16) as the bottom. Delhi with a score of 66 has been ranked at 2nd place.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which one of the following issues the ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report periodically? (2015)

  1. The Asian Development Bank
  2. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  3. The US Federal Reserve Bank
  4. The World Bank

Abnormal’ dinosaur egg in India

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography – Evolution

In News: A team of researchers from the University of Delhi has discovered a unique set of fossilised dinosaur eggs, with one egg nesting within the other at the Dinosaur Fossil National Park, in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh.

  • While eggs-within-eggs are rare phenomena, they are so far known to occur only in birds and have never known in reptiles.
  • This discovery brings out newer connections between reptilian and avian evolution.
  • Dinosaurs of the Sauropod family were among the largest land animals that have ever lived and were widespread millions of years ago in the territory that is now India.
  • Fossils of these animals have been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh as well as Meghalaya.
  • Latest findings, documented 52 titanosaurid sauropod nests near Padlya village close to Bagh town in Madhya Pradesh. One of these nests consisted of 10 eggs, one of which was the “abnormal” egg.
  • The egg has two continuous and circular eggshell layers separated by a wide gap like that observed in birds.

  • It was believed that dinosaurs had a reproductive function similar to that of turtles and other reptiles (unsegmented oviduct) in contrast to segmented reproductive tract of crocodiles and birds with separate regions of membrane and shell deposition.
  • The finding of ovum-in-ovo egg from a titanosaurid nest opens up the possibility that sauropod dinosaurs had an oviduct morphology similar to those of crocodiles or birds and they may have adapted to a mode of an egg-laying characteristic of birds

The new find highlights the fact that Central and Western India hold great potential for dinosaur fossils which may offer important information on dinosaur diversity, nesting behaviour and reproductive biology, the authors note.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to (2019)

  1. fossils of a kind of dinosaurs
  2. an early human species
  3. a cave system found in North-East India
  4. a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs – Health

What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome (herpes zoster oticus) occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears.
  • In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – the varicella-zoster virus (VZV)
  • After chickenpox clears up, the virus still lives in your nerves.
  • Years later, it may reactivate. When it does, it can affect your facial nerves

Symptoms

The two main signs and symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome are:

  • A painful red rash with fluid-filled blisters on, in and around one ear
  • Facial weakness or paralysis on the same side as the affected ear

Risk factors

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome can occur in anyone who has had chickenpox.
  • It’s more common in older adults, typically affecting people older than 60.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome is rare in children.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome isn’t contagious.
  • However, reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus can cause chickenpox in people who haven’t previously had chickenpox or been vaccinated for it.
  • The infection can be serious for people who have immune system problems.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. In tropical regions, Zika virus disease is transmitted by ‘the same mosquito that transmits dengue.
  2. Sexual transmission of Zika virus disease is possible.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

BrahMos

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Science and Technology; Security)

Context: On June 12, 2001, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was first tested from a land-based launcher in Chandipur.

  • In the 21 years since, BrahMos has been upgraded several times, with versions tested on land, air and sea platforms.

 A look at the 21-year journey of the versatile asset

  • In the early 1990s, India’s strategic leadership felt the need for cruise missiles — guided missiles that traverse the majority of their flight path at almost constant speed and deliver large warheads over long distances with high precision. The need was felt primarily following the use of cruise missiles in the Gulf War.
  • An Inter-Governmental Agreement was signed with Russia in Moscow in 1998 by Dr Kalam, who headed the DRDO and N V Mikhailov, Russia’s then Deputy Defence Minister.
  • This led to the formation of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between DRDO and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), the Indian side holding 50.5% and the Russians 49.5%.
  • In 1999, work on development of missiles began in labs of DRDO and NPOM after BrahMos Aerospace received funds from the two governments.
  • The first successful test in 2001 was conducted from a specially designed land-based launcher.

The missile system has since reached some key milestones, with the first major export order of $375 million received from the Philippines Navy this year.

About BrahMos

  • Name: BrahMos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
  • Multiplatform Missile: it can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions
  • BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine.
  • Its first stage brings the missile to supersonic speed and then gets separated.
  • The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to three times the speed of sound in cruise phase.
  • The missile has a very low radar signature, making it stealthy, and can achieve a variety of trajectories.
  • Fire and Forgets Principle: It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle i.e. it does not require further guidance after launch.
  • Cruise missiles such as BrahMos, called “standoff range weapons”, are fired from a range far enough to allow the attacker to evade defensive counter-fire.
  • The BrahMos has three times the speed, 2.5 times flight range and higher range compared to subsonic cruise missiles.
  • With missiles made available for export, the platform is also seen as a key asset in defence diplomacy.
  • An extended range version of the BrahMos air-launched missile was tested from a Sukhoi-30 MKI recently.
  • In January 2022, an advanced sea-to-sea variant of BrahMos was tested from the newly commissioned INS Visakhapatnam.

Current Status

  • With requirements evolving in multi-dimensional warfare, the BrahMos is undergoing a number of upgrades and work is on to develop versions with higher ranges, manoeuvrability and accuracy.
  • Versions currently being tested include ranges up to 350 km, as compared to the original’s 290 km.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to the Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct? (2014)

  1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
  2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
  3. It can deliver a one-tonne nuclear warhead about 7500 km away.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

In News: The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “condemned and denounced” the comments on Prophet Muhammed made by two erstwhile national spokespersons of the ruling party

What is the OIC?

  • The OIC (57-nation grouping) was established at a 1969 summit in Rabat (Morocco).
  • It endeavours to establish solidarity among member states, support restoration of complete sovereignty and territorial integrity of any member state under occupation; protect, defend and combat defamation of Islam, prevent growing dissention in Muslim societies and work to ensure that member states take a united stand on the international stage.
  • The OIC has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organisations to protect the interest of Muslims

How does the OIC function?

  • The Islamic Summit, composed of Kings and heads of state, is the supreme authority of the organisation.
  • Convening every two years, it deliberates, takes policy decisions, provides guidance on issues relevant to the organisation
  • The Council of Foreign Ministers is the chief decision-making body and meets annually to decide on how to implement the OIC’s general policies.
  • The council also appoints, for a period of five years, the Secretary General, who is the chief administrative officer of the grouping.
  • UN members with a Muslim majority can join the organisation.
  • The membership is to be ratified with full consensus at the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers. The same provisions apply for acquiring an observer status.
  • The OIC is financed by the member states proportionate to their national incomes.

What has been the nature of India’s relationship with the OIC?

  • India’s association with the 57-nation grouping has not been easy.
  • Even though the country has good relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, its membership and engagement has been constantly challenged by Pakistan.
  • In 1969, Islamabad’s opposition to Indian participation at the first OIC Plenary resulted in the Indian delegation being turned back from the venue at the last minute.
  • In 2018, Bangladesh had proposed India be given the observer status at the OIC considering its sizeable Muslim population – a move which received support from Turkey but was opposed by Pakistan.
  • About 50 years later, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the OIC Plenary of Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour. The invitation was extended by the UAE’s Foreign Minister
  • Islamabad’s apprehension stems from the fear that India’s involvement in the grouping could influence the opinion of other Muslim states — not boding well for its influence.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC)’, consider the following statements: (2015)

  1. It was established very recently in response to incidents of piracy and accidents of oil spills.
  2. It is an alliance meant for maritime security only

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Baba’s Explainer – Ukraine War and the Global Food Crisis

Ukraine War and the Global Food Crisis

Syllabus

  • GS-2Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

Context: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions on its economy have sent global food prices soaring, threatening to push millions of people, especially those in low-income countries, into starvation.

  • As the war, in its fourth month now, is still raging in Ukraine’s east with no political solution on the horizon, the United Nations and Turkey have initiated talks with the Russian leadership to facilitate the exports of grains and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine.

Read Complete Details on Ukraine War and the Global Food Crisis


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) State Food Safety Index (SFSI) 2021-22, is published by?

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  2. NITI AAYOG
  3. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
  4. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

Q.2) Consider the following statements

  1. Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by varicella-zoster bacteria
  2. Ramsay Hunt syndrome is very common in children
  3. It can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear

Choose the incorrect statements:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None

Q.3) Consider the following statements

  1. BrahMos is a three-stage missile
  2. It does not require further guidance after launch
  3. It is a multiplatform missile that can be launched from land, air, and sea

Choose the correct statements:

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

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’13th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 11th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – d

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