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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 9th June 2022

  • IASbaba
  • June 9, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Government announces hike in MSP for Kharif season

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Agriculture
  • Mains – GS 3 (Agriculture)

In News: The Union Cabinet hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for 2022-23 Kharif season. The rates for 14 Kharif crops have been increased, the hikes ranging from 4% to 8%.

MSP

  • The MSP is the rate at which the government purchases crops from farmers, and is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by the farmers.
  • The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) recommends MSPs for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane.
  • CACP is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The mandated crops include 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 rabi crops and 2 other commercial crops.
  • In addition, the MSPs of toria and de-husked coconut are fixed on the basis of the MSPs of rapeseed/mustard and copra, respectively.

Factors for Recommending the MSP:

The CACP considers various factors while recommending the MSP for a commodity, it considers following factors

  • Cost of production
  • Changes in input prices
  • Input-output price parity
  • Trends in market prices
  • Demand and supply
  • Inter-crop price parity
  • Effect on industrial cost structure
  • Effect on cost of living
  • Effect on general price level
  • International price situation
  • Parity between prices paid and prices received by the farmers
  • Effect on issue prices and implications for subsidy

Crops covered

The list of crops is as follows.

  • Cereals (7) – paddy, wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, maize and ragi
  • Pulses (5) – gram, arhar/tur, moong, urad and lentil
  • Oilseeds (8) – groundnut, rapeseed/mustard, toria, soyabean, sunflower seed, sesamum, safflower seed and nigerseed
  • Raw cotton
  • Raw jute
  • Copra
  • De-husked coconut
  • Sugarcane (Fair and remunerative price)
  • Virginia flu cured (VFC) tobacco

Source: The Hindu


Kheer Bhavani Temple

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: Around 18,000 Kashmiri Pandits and other devotees visited the Kheer Bhavani temple in Kashmir Valley’s Ganderbal district on Jyeshtha Ashtami.

  • The religious sanctity of the Mata Kheer Bhavani temple, built atop a holy spring, has a special spiritual significance among Kashmir Pandit devotees across the world.

About Kheer Bhavani temple

  • Mata Kheerbhawani temple at Tulmulla in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.
  • The temple is dedicated to the goddess Ragnya Devi.
  • Situated 30 km from Srinagar city, it is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Kashmiri Hindus.
  • The temple gets its name from kheer, or milk and rice pudding, that pilgrims pour into the spring inside the temple complex as an offering to the goddess.
  • Legend has it that the water of the temple’s spring changes colour from white to red and black.
  • The colour of the water is said to predict the impending future.
  • Maharaja Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir and Maharaja Hari Singh contributed to building and renovating the temple.

Source: The Hindu , Indian Expres


Environment Performance Index

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 3 (Environment)

In News: Environment Performance Index-2022, an international ranking system that measures environmental health and sustainability of countries

India’s Performance

  • India was ranked last among 180 countries that have been ranked
  • With a score of 18.9, India’s 180th ranking comes after Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar — the bottom five together make up the poorest performing countries for environmental health.
  • India has also scored low on rule of law, control of corruption and government effectiveness
  • India was ranked 168th in EPI-2020, with a score of 27.6

About EPI

  • The EPI, a biennial index, was started in 2002 as Environmental Sustainability Index.
  • EPI is published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Columbia University Center for International Earth Science Information Network
  • Using 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories, EPI ranks 180 countries on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality.
  • Top five rank holders this year are – Denmark, UK, Finland, Malta and Sweden

Findings of the report

  • It has found that good policy results are associated with wealth, meaning economic prosperity makes it possible for nations to invest in policies and programmes that lead to desirable outcomes
  • This is especially true under environmental health, as building the necessary infrastructure to provide clean drinking water and sanitation, reduce air pollution, control hazardous waste etc yields large returns for human well-being
  • The report says that top-performing countries have paid attention to all areas of sustainability, while their lagging peers tend to have uneven performance.
  • It highlights that countries making concerted efforts to decarbonize their electricity sectors have made the greatest gains in combating climate change, with associated benefits for ecosystems and human health.

Source: Indian Express


India and Vietnam relations

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Syllabus

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

In News: India and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual logistics support

  • Also signed the ‘Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’, which will significantly enhance the scope and scale of existing defence cooperation
  • And agreed for early finalization of $US 500 million Defence Line of Credit extended to Vietnam

What are Logistics agreements?

  • Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India.

India- Vietnam Relations

  • Relations between India and Vietnam have been governed by several areas of shared political interests.

Areas of Cooperation:

Economic ties:

  • India is now the 8 th largest trading partner of Vietnam.
  • Vietnam is the 4th largest trading partner of India among ASEAN countries
  • Vietnam is also the second largest export destination for India after Singapore in the ASEAN region.
  • India is investing in development and capacity assistance for Vietnam through quick impact projects (QIP), proposals in the area of water resource management in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and digital connectivity.

Defence Cooperation:

  • The relations between the two countries especially defence ties, benefited extensively from India’s Look East policy.
  • Vietnam is interested in India’s Akash surface-to-air systems and Dhruv advanced light helicopters and Brahmos missiles.
  • Apart from this, the defence relations include capacity building, dealing with common security concerns, training of personnel, and cooperation in defence R&D.
  • Both countries reaffirm the strong India-Vietnam Defence cooperation which is a key pillar of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Strategic partnership:

  • Bilateral relations were upgraded to a “Strategic Partnership” in 2017, and upgraded to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” in 2016
  • Cooperation in the UN Security Council has been exemplary. The shared respect for international law, including UNCLOS 1982, and a rules-based order is a strong commonality.

Cooperation at Multiple Fora:

  • India and Vietnam closely cooperate in various regional forums such as East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), and UNSC.

Tourism:

  • Around 169,000 Indians visited Vietnam and over 31,000 Vietnamese visited India in 2019, recording a growth of 28% and 32% over 2018 respectively.
  • India is a favored spiritual destination for many Vietnamese because it is home to many famous Buddhist temples

China factor:

  • Both countries have border problems with China.
  • China aggressively continues to encroach in the territories of the two countries.
  • Hence, it is natural for both the countries to come closer with a view to restrain China from its aggressive actions.

Way Forward

  • Mutual Co-ordination and Co-operation: Considering the unique challenges of Indo-Pacific region, both the countries should work in close coordination at multiple forums
  • Promoting Common areas: India and Vietnam both can mutually benefit each other in the arena of Blue Economy and ocean security.
  • Providing financial resources, improving connectivity and establishing good relations in the region, helps both the country to fight Chinese presence in the region

Source: The Hindu


Next-generation Corvettes

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Syllabus

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

In News: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for several capital acquisition projects of the Indian defence forces.

  • This includes the procurement of next-generation Corvettes for the Indian Navy at an approximate cost of Rs 36,000 crore.

What is a Corvette?

  • A Corvette is the smallest class of naval ships and it falls below the warship class of a frigate.
  • These are highly agile ships and are categorised as missile boats, anti-submarine ships, coastal patrol crafts and fast attack naval vessels.
  • The word corvette itself is derived from French and Dutch origin.
  • Corvettes date back to the 18th and the 19th century when they were extensively used in the naval warfare duels that were fought at high seas
  • During World War II, the term Corvette was used to describe vessels which had anti-submarine roles assigned to them.
  • Modern Corvettes can go up to 2,000 tons in displacement which helps in keeping them agile.

What kind of Corvettes does the Indian Navy possess?

  • The Indian Navy at present has the Kamorta Class Corvettes, which are also known as Project 28.
  • These ships have an anti-submarine role and are manufactured at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata.
  • The four Kamorta Class Corvettes that the Indian Navy possesses are named INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt, INS Kiltan and INS Kavaratti.
  • The first of these was commissioned in 2014 and the last one in 2020.

What new capabilities will the new generation Corvettes have?

  • The next-generation Corvettes will be manufactured for various roles like surveillance missions, escort operations, deterrence, surface action group operations, search and attack and coastal defence.
  • As per the AoN accorded by the DAC, these next-generation generation Corvettes will be constructed based on new in-house design of the Indian Navy using latest technology of ship buildings and would contribute to further the government’s initiative of Security and Growth for all in the region (SAGAR).

Source: Indian Express


Treatment of Mismatch repair deficient cancer

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Syllabus

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

In News: In a medical trial, 12 patients in the United States were completely cured of rectal cancer without requiring any surgery or chemotherapy.

  • The trial used a monoclonal antibody called dostarlimab every three weeks for six months for the treatment of a particular kind of stage two or three rectal cancer.
  • The trial showed that immunotherapy alonewithout any chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery that have been staples of cancer treatment – could completely cure the patients with a particular kind of rectal cancer called ‘mismatch repair deficient’ cancer”.
  • No cases of progression or recurrence had been reported during the follow-up

What is this deficiency, and how was it cured?

  • Mismatch repair deficient’ cancer is most common among colorectal, gastrointestinal, and endometrial cancers.
  • Patients suffering from this condition lack the genes to correct typos in the DNA that occur naturally while cells make copies.
  • The immunotherapy belongs to a category called PD1 blockades that are now recommended for the treatment of such cancers rather than chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • PD1 is a type of protein that regulates certain functions of the immune system, including by suppressing T cell activity, and PD1 blockade therapy looks to release the T cells from this suppression.
  • By giving the PD1 blockades, we release and T cells to destroy the cancerous growth

If PD1 therapy was already in use, what’s new in the trial?

  • Earlier, this therapy was used post-surgery, but the study has shown that a surgery may not be required.
  • Although the therapy is usually used for cancers that have metastasised (spread to locations other than where the cancer formed), it is now recommended for all mismatch repair deficient cancers as they result in quicker improvement and lesser toxicity as compared to traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • This study shows that even the surgery was not needed in these patients

Cost is a concern

  • Immunotherapies are expensive and unaffordable for most people in India
  • An immunotherapy treatment can cost around Rs 4 lakh per month, with patients needing the treatment for six months to a year.

Source: Indian Express


Repo Rate

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy – Banking

In News: In its bi-monthly review the Reserve Bank of India hiked the repo rate by another 50 basis points.

  • Also RBI removed the word “accommodative” from the policy stance

Why has RBI hiked the repo rate?

  • The 50-basis-point hike, which follows a 40-basis-point hike in May has been done with a view to taming inflation
  • The RBI aims to bring inflation down to its targeted 4% (±2%).
  • The two hikes in repo rates over the last five weeks, totalling 90 bps, takes the rate to 4.9%.

How will it impact borrowers and depositors?

  • Banks and housing finance companies, which have already raised their lending rates between 40 bps and 50 bps points following the 40 bps hike in repo rate in May, are now expected to raise the rates again.
  • Both borrowers and depositors are expected to see a hike in lending rates and offering on deposit rates, respectively

What will be the impact of withdrawing the accommodative policy?

  • RBI removed the word “accommodative” from the policy stance.
  • RBI has decided to remain focused on withdrawal of accommodation to ensure that inflation remains within the target.
  • The RBI had pumped huge liquidity into the system in 2020 to counter the impact of the pandemic.
  • While this did support economic recovery, it has also been the main reason for the rise in inflation.
  • Recent RBI’s market operations had led to a decline in liquidity in May.
  • Still, overall system liquidity remains in large surplus, with the average daily absorption under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) moderating in consonance with the policy of gradual withdrawal of accommodation.
  • The withdrawal will also put upward pressure on interest rates.

Will consumer spending be impacted?

  • The policy withdrawal and the rate hike are expected to impact consumption and demand in the economy.
  • The impact is likely to be more pronounced in non-discretionary spending by consumers.
  • According to the RBI policy panel, the forecast of a normal monsoon should boost kharif sowing and agricultural output. This will support rural consumption.
  • The rebound in contact-intensive services is expected to sustain urban consumption. RBI’s surveys suggest further improvement in consumer confidence and households’ optimism for the outlook a year ahead.

Monetary Policy Measures

  • Monetary policy refers to the policy of the central Bank with regard to use of monetary instruments under its control to manage money supply and interest rates.
  • In 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 was amended to provide a statutory basis for the implementation of the flexible inflation targeting framework.
  • Under amended RBI Act, 1934, the central government is empowered to constitute a six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
  • Composition: the MPC shall consist of 6 members:
  • RBI Governor as its ex officio chairperson,
  • Deputy Governor in charge of monetary policy,
  • An officer of the Bank to be nominated by the Central Board,
  • Three persons to be appointed by the central government
Tools Features
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) The average daily balance that a bank is required to maintain with the Reserve Bank as a share of such per cent of its Net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) that the Reserve Bank may notify from time to time.
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) The share of NDTL that a bank is required to maintain in safe and liquid assets, such as, government securities, cash and gold.
Repo Rate The interest rate at which the Reserve Bank provides overnight liquidity to banks against the collateral of government and other approved securities under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF).
Reverse Repo Rate The interest rate at which the Reserve Bank absorbs liquidity, on an overnight basis, from banks against the collateral of eligible government securities under the LAF.
Marginal Standing facility (MSF) It is the rate at which Banks can borrow short term funds from RBI. Under MSF, banks can borrow funds from the RBI by pledging government securities within the limits of the SLR.
Open Market Operations (OMOs) These include both, outright purchase and sale of government securities, for injection and absorption of durable liquidity, respectively.
Market Stabilisation Scheme (MSS)  It is a monetary policy intervention by the RBI to withdraw excess liquidity (or money supply) by selling government securities in the economy, the mobilised cash is held in a separate government account with the Reserve Bank.

Source: Indian Express


Linking Credit cards with UPI

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy

In News: The Reserve Bank of India has proposed to allow the linking of credit cards with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

  • RBI also stated integration will first begin with the indigenous RuPay credit cards.

What is the significance of the move?

  • Experts believe that the linkage of UPI and credit cards could possibly result in credit card usage zooming up in India given UPI’s widespread adoption.
  • The integration also opens up avenues to build credit on UPI through credit cards in India, where in the last few years, a number of startups have emerged
  • The move could also be a push to increase adoption by banking on UPI’s large user base.
  • So far, UPI could only be linked to debit cards and bank accounts.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI):

  • It is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)- round–the-clock funds transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother.
  • UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application  merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
  • UPI is currently the biggest among the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) operated systems including National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS), Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), RuPay etc.
  • The top UPI apps today include PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay and BHIM, the latter being the Government offering.
  • NPCI launched UPI with 21 member banks in 2016

Source: Indian Express


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1)The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) considers various factors while recommending the MSP for a commodity, which among the following factors are considered by CACP

  1. Changes in input prices
  2. Effect on cost of living
  3. International price situation
  4. Inter-crop price parity
  5. Effect on issue prices and implications for subsidy

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2, 4 and 5
  3. 1, 3, 4 and 5
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Corvette

  1. It is the smallest class of naval ships
  2. It falls below the warship class of a frigate
  3. It is categorised as missile boats and anti-submarine ships
  4. Presently there are no corvette ships with Indian Navy

Choose the correct code:

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

Q.3) The term PD1 recently seen in news, is related to?

  1. A type of protein that regulates certain functions of the immune system
  2. Radio collar for wildlife tracking
  3. New Genetically modified variety of Wheat
  4. Pesticide to fight Bacterial blight of cotton

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

ANSWERS FOR ‘9th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


Baba’s Explainer – War Crimes

War Crimes

Syllabus

  • GS-2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Context: On May 23, a domestic court in Ukraine sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for committing war crimes. The soldier had shot dead an unarmed civilian in Ukraine. This was the first conviction related to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.

Since the war began, Ukrainian authorities have claimed commission of around 10,000 war crimes by the Russian soldiers.

Read Complete Details on War Crimes


ANSWERS FOR 8th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – c

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