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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd August 2022

  • IASbaba
  • August 4, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Mission Amrit Sarovar

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs
  • Mains – GS 1 (Geography); GS 3 (Environment)

In News: Union Minister of State for Rural Development gave a written reply in Lok Sabha on the question related to Mission Amrit Sarovar

Mission Amrit Sarovar

  • With a view to conserve water for the future, the Prime Minister launched a new Mission on Amrit Sarovar on 24th April 2022.
  • The Mission is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country as a part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • In total, it would lead to creation of 50,000 water bodies of a size of about an Acre or more.
  • This Mission has been launched with a whole of Government Approach in which 6 Ministries/Department namely Dept of Rural Development , Department of land resources, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Water resources, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate changes.
  • Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N) has been engaged as Technical partner for the Mission.
  • The Mission works through the States and Districts, through refocusing of various schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, XV Finance Commission Grants, PMKSY sub schemes such as Watershed Development Component, Har Khet Ko Pani besides States’ own schemes.
  • The Mission encourages mobilisation of citizen and non-government resources for supplementing these efforts.
  • The Mission Amrit Sarovar is to be completed by 15th August 2023.
  • Each of the Amrit Sarovar will have area of 1 acre with a water holding capacity of 10,000 cubic meter.
  • People’s participation in the Mission is the focal point.
  • Local freedom fighter, their family members, Martyr’s family members, Padma Awardee and citizens of the local area wherein an Amrit Sarovar is to be constructed, will be engaged at all stages.
  • On every 15th August, National Flag hoisting will be organised on every Amrit Sarovar site.
  • States were requested to form the water structure user association and impart required training for better development of the Amrit Sarovars.

Current Status

So far, 12,241 sites are finalised for construction of Amrit Sarovars by States/Districts, out of which works has started on 4,856 Amrit Sarovars.

Source: Pib.Gov

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana’ has been launched for (2015)

  1. providing housing loan to poor people at cheaper interest rates
  2. promoting women’s Self-Help Groups in backward areas
  3. promoting financial inclusion in the country
  4. providing financial help to the marginalized communities

Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & Technology

In News: The whitefly attacks have led to the spread of cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) across the cotton belt of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD)

  • CLCuD is a viral disease that affects the overall growth of the cotton plant and hits its yield.
  • Leaves of infected cotton curl both upward and downward.
  • When whiteflies attack the crop, the CLCuD is expected because they transmit the virus further.

  • During the survey, cotton farmers informed that they have done two or three sprays to control the white flies.
  • Farmers also indicated that they have sown CLCuD-resistant hybrids and even after that the attack of the virus is prevalent.

Source: Indian Express


Exercise Pitch Black

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: IAF to participate in multilateral exercise ‘Pitch Black’ in Australia.

  • Continuing the series of military exercises with countries in the Indo-Pacific, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will join 16 other nations, including Quad partner countries.

Exercise Pitch Black

  • It is the biennial exercise hosted by the Australian Air Force.
  • About 100 aircraft and 2,500 military personnel from 17 nations will arrive in the Northern Territory in two weeks to commence Exercise Pitch Black 2022.
  • With a four-year hiatus since the last Pitch Black due to the global pandemic, this year’s exercise will see a return of the combined force to Australian skies, enhancing interoperability and strengthening relationships,
  • The participants this year are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, the U.K. and the U.S.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is sometimes mentioned in the news in the context of the affairs of (2016)

  1. Africa Union
  2. Brazil
  3. European Union
  4. China

Pingali Venkayya

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History

In News: August 2nd marked the 146th birth anniversary celebrations of Pingali Venkaiah, the architect of the national flag.

  • The present-day national flag is inspired by the design of Pingali Venkayya.

Early Life of Pingali Venkayya

  • Pingali Venkayya was born and brought up in a Telegu Brahmin family to a father, Hanumantaraidu, and mother, Venkatratanama in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • After completing his high school studies in Madras, he went to Cambridge University to pursue graduation.
  • He had a fondness for geology and agriculture.
  • He was not only a freedom fighter but a staunch Gandhian, educationist, agriculturist, geologist, linguist, and writer, who is remembered for his contributions to India’s freedom struggle.

Pingali Venkayya’s design

  • Pingali Venkayya had designed a flag, known as the Swaraj Flag that now forms the basis of India’s present-day national flag.
  • It consisted of red and green bands to symbolize the two major communities in the country- Hindus and Muslims.
  • His design had given an identity to India and its people.
  • Back in the days of freedom struggle, the flag helped in uniting and giving rise to the spirit of independence.
  • On the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, Pingali Venkayya added a white band over red over green with a charkha design onto Khadi bunting.
  • The white represented peace and the rest of the communities living in India, and the spinning wheel symbolized the progress of the country.
  • Though the first tricolor was not officially accepted by the All India Congress Committee (AICC), it began to be hoisted on all Congress occasions.
  • Gandhiji’s approval had made it sufficiently popular and it was in use till 1931.
  • The flag, however, had raised communal concerns after which a Flag Committee was set up in 1931.
  • The Congress Working Committee (CWC) came up with a new tricolor which was called the Purna Swaraj.
  • The flag replaced the red color with saffron the white band was shifted in the middle, from over white over green emblazoned with a blue charkha in the centre.
  • It implied that the colors stood for qualities, not communities; the saffron for courage and sacrifice, white for truth and peace, and green for faith and strength.
  • The charkha stood for the welfare of the masses.
  • Pingali Venkayya breathed his last on July 4, 1963.
  • Even in the days of his death, he was an unselfish patriarch who sought to cover the flag on his body.
  • He shall be remembered in all the victories of our great nation.

Little known facts:

  • Pingali Venkayya was an avid flag enthusiast who also came up with a booklet titled ‘A National Flag for India’ in 1916, wherein he presented twenty-four flag designs.

Recognition:

  • Pingali Venkayya was posthumously honored with a postage stamp in 2009 for his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.
  • In 2014, his name was also proposed for the Bharat Ratna.

Source: Newsonair.com

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Who among the following is associated with ‘Songs from Prison’, a translation of ancient Indian religious lyrics in English? (2021)

  1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru
  3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  4. Sarojini Naidu

Appointment of Chief Justice of India

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Syllabus

  • Prelims –Polity

In News: Supreme Court collegium meets on next CJI.

  • The five-judge Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, met and discussed kickstarting the process of appointment of the next Chief Justice as the CJI is set to retire on August 26.
  • Besides the CJI, the collegium includes Justices U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abdul Nazeer.
  • As per the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), the document governing the process of appointment of judges and appointment of the CJI, the Law Minister asks the outgoing Chief Justice of India to recommend the next CJI.
  • The MoP states that the CJI should be the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office.
  • Although the MoP says that the CJI’s views must be sought “at the appropriate time” and does not specify a timeline for the process, it normally takes place a month before the retirement of the incumbent CJI.
  • Justice Lalit, who is the seniormost judge of the SC is next in line to be appointed the CJI. He is expected to have a tenure of three months, retiring on November 8, 2022.

Appointment of Chief Justice

  • The CJI and the Judges of the SC are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.
  • From 1950 to 1973, the practice has been to appoint the senior most judge of the SC as the CJI.
  • This established convention was violated in 1973 when A N Ray was appointed as the Chief Justice of India by superseding three senior judges.
  • Again in 1977, M U Beg was appointed as the chief justice of India by superseding the then senior-most judge.
  • This discretion of the government was curtailed by the SC in the Second Judges Case (1993), in which the SC ruled that the senior most judge should alone be appointed to the office of the CJI.

Must Read: Judicial Appointments

Source: Indian Express


Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021

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Syllabus

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

In News: Lok Sabha on passed by voice vote the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 that seeks to provide for implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Key features of the Bill include:

CITES:

  • The Convention requires countries to regulate the trade of all listed specimens through permits.
  • It also seeks to regulate the possession of live animal specimens.
  • The Bill seeks to implement these provisions of CITES.

Rationalising schedules:

  • Currently, the Act has six schedules for specially protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and vermin species (one).
  • The Bill reduces the total number of schedules to four by:
  • reducing the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two
  • removes the schedule for vermin species, and
  • inserts a new schedule for specimens listed in the Appendices under CITES.

Obligations under CITES:

  • The Bill provides for the central government to designate a:
  • Management Authority, which grants export or import permits for trade of specimens, and
  • Scientific Authority, which gives advice on aspects related to impact on the survival of the specimens being traded.
  • Every person engaging in trade of a scheduled specimen must report the details of the transaction to the Management Authority.
  • As per CITES, the Management Authority may use an identification mark for a specimen.
  • The Bill prohibits any person from modifying or removing the identification mark of the specimen.
  • Additionally, every person possessing live specimens of scheduled animals must obtain a registration certificate from the Management Authority.

Invasive alien species:

  • The Bills empowers the central government to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession or proliferation of invasive alien species.
  • The central government may authorise an officer to seize and dispose the invasive species.

Control of sanctuaries:

  • The Act entrusts the Chief Wild Life Warden to control, manage and maintain all sanctuaries in a state.
  • The Bill specifies that actions of the Chief Warden must be in accordance with the management plans for the sanctuary.
  • These plans will be prepared as per guidelines of the central government, and as approved by the Chief Warden.
  • For sanctuaries falling under special areas, the management plan must be prepared after due consultation with the concerned Gram Sabha.
  • Special areas include a Scheduled Area or areas where the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is applicable

Conservation reserves:

  • Under the Act, state governments may declare areas adjacent to national parks and sanctuaries as a conservation reserve, for protecting flora and fauna, and their habitat.
  • The Bill empowers the central government to also notify a conservation reserve.

Surrender of captive animals:

  • The Bill provides for any person to voluntarily surrender any captive animals or animal products to the Chief Wild Life Warden.
  • The surrendered items become property of the state government.

Penalties: The Act prescribes imprisonment terms and fines for violating the provisions of the Act.  The Bill increases these fines.

CITES

  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement to which States organizations adhere voluntarily.
  • CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • CITES entered into force in July 1975.

Objective:

  • Ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Structure:

  • The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP (The United Nations Environment Programme) and is located at Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It plays a coordinating, advisory and servicing role in the working of the Convention.
  • The Conference of the Parties to CITES is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention and comprises all its Parties.
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws.

Functions

  • The CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.
  • All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.
  • Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.
  • Appendices I, II and III to the Convention are lists of species afforded different levels or types of protection from over-exploitation.

Source: Hindustantimes.com

Indianexpress.com

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. A coastal state has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baseline determined in accordance with the convention.
  2. Ships of all states, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea.
  3. The Exclusive Economic Zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.2) With reference to Indian laws about wildlife protection, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. Wild animals are the sole property of the government.
  2. When a wild animal is declared protected, such animal is entitled for equal protection whether it is found in protected areas or outside.
  3. Apprehension of a protected wild animal becoming a danger to human life is sufficient ground for its capture or killing.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Hellfire R9X missile

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science & Technology

In News: Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US strike last weekend.

  • The US military used its ‘secret weapon’, the Hellfire R9X missile, to kill Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

What is the Hellfire R9X missile?

  • Better known in military circles as the AGM-114 R9X, the Hellfire R9X is a US-origin missile known to cause minimum collateral damage while engaging individual targets.
  • Also known as the ‘Ninja Missile’, this weapon does not carry a warhead and instead deploys razor-sharp blades at the terminal stage of its attack trajectory.
  • This helps it to break through even thick steel sheets and cut down the target using the kinetic energy of its propulsion without causing any damage to the persons in the general vicinity or to the structure of the building.
  • The blades pop out of the missile and cut down the intended target without causing the massive damage to the surroundings which would be the case with a missile carrying an explosive warhead.

When did the Hellfire missile enter active service?

  • The Hellfire 9RX missile is known to have been in active service since 2017. However, its existence became public knowledge two years later in 2019.
  • The Hellfire families of missiles, including the ‘Ninja Missile’, are armed on Combat Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones that the US Military uses in offensive military operations around the world.

What is known about the other Hellfire missile variants?

  • Hellfire is actually an acronym for Heliborne, Laser, Fire and Forget Missile and it was developed in the US initially to target tanks from the Apache AH-64 attack helicopters.
  • Developed by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, the Hellfire missile has other variants such as ‘Longbow’ and ‘Romeo’ apart from the ‘Ninja’.

Source: Indianexpress

Previous Year Question

Q.1) What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news? (2018)

  1. An Israeli radar system
  2. India’s indigenous anti-missile programme
  3. An American anti-missile system
  4. A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea.

Financial inclusion index

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy – Current Affairs

In News: The RBI developed the composite financial inclusion index to capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country by including details of banking, investments, insurance, postal as well as the pension sector.

  • The RBI said that India’s financial inclusion index (FI-Index) for the year ended March 31, 2022 improved to 56.4 from 53.9 in the previous year, with growth seen across all its sub-indices.
  • The index is published annually in July.
  • The central bank had in April 2021 announced that it will form the index for measuring financial inclusion, which is the focus area for the government, central bank and other regulators.
  • The index comprises of three parameters including access, usage and quality.
  • The FI-Index is responsive to ease of access, availability and usage of services and quality of services, consisting of 97 indicators.
  • The quality parameter includes aspects such as financial literacy, consumer protection, and inequalities and deficiencies in services.
  • The index has been constructed without any base year and reflects cumulative efforts of all stakeholders over the years towards financial inclusion.

Source: Indianexpress

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following is/are the indicator/indicators used by IFPRI to compute the Global Hunger Index Report? (2016)

  1. Undernourishment
  2. Child stunting
  3. Child mortality

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

India-Maldives

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Syllabus

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

Context: President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, is on an Official visit to India

  • During this visit, he met Indian PM Modi and discussed strategic ties and the status of infrastructure agreements and sign a number of MoUs.

MoUs signed

  • Both sides exchanged agreements covering areas like women and child development, disaster management, cyber security and infrastructure development.
  • To strengthen Maldivian maritime capacity, India has announced the gifting of a second landing assault craft to the Maldives National Defence Force.

India-Maldives Relations

Historical:

  • India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links.
  • India was among the first to recognize the Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established its mission at Male in 1972.
  • They officially and amicably decided their maritime boundary in 1976.

Geo-Strategic Importance:

Location

  • Maldives, located at the southern and northern parts of this island chain lies the two important Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs).
  • These SLOCs are critical for maritime trade flow between the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Hormuz in West Asia and the Strait of Malacca in Southeast Asia.
  • Nearly 50% of India’s external trade and 80% of its energy imports transit these SLOCs in the Arabian Sea.

Multi-forum Engagement

  • Maldives is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC).
  • Under the Colombo Security Conclave, which is a maritime security grouping of India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Mauritius which is to forge closer cooperation on maritime and security matters among these Indian Ocean countries
  • Mauritius was included as a new member of the conclave during the fifth meeting of national security advisers of the Colombo Security Conclave.

Cooperation between India & Maldives:

  • Security Cooperation: Through the decades, India has rushed emergency assistance to the Maldives, whenever sought.
  • India and Maldive conduct the joint military exercise ‘Ekuverin’.
  • Assistances: The 2004 tsunami and the drinking water crisis in Male a decade later were other occasions when India rushed assistance.
  • The Maldives has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Covid-19 assistance and vaccines delivered by India among India’s all neighbouring countries.
  • The Maldives was the first beneficiary of India’s Vaccine Maitri initiative.

People To People Contact:

  • Maldivian students attend educational institutions in India and patients fly here for superspeciality healthcare, aided by a liberal visa-free regime extended by India.

Economic Cooperation:

  • Tourism is the mainstay of Maldivian economy. The country is now a major tourist destination for some Indians and a job destination for others.

Challenges

  • Political Instability: India’s major concern has been the impact of political instability in the neighbourhood on its security and development.
  • Radicalisation: In the past decade or so, the number of Maldivians drawn towards terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS) and Pakistan-based madrassas and jihadist groups has been increasing.
  • This gives rise to the possibility of Pakistan based terror groups using remote Maldivian islands as a launch pad for terror attacks against India and Indian interests.
  • China Angle: China’s strategic footprint in India’s neighbourhood has increased. The Maldives has emerged as an important ‘pearl’ in China’s “String of Pearls” construct in South Asia.
  • Given the uncertain dynamics of Sino-Indian relations, China’s strategic presence in the Maldives remains a concern.
  • Also, the Maldives have started using the China card to bargain with India.

Way Forward

  • India-Maldives are perfectly placed to complement each other’s strategic interests.
  • Hence, deeper Socio-Economic and Defence engagement can help both to propagate mutual interests at Global Platform.

In accordance with the “Neighbourhood First Policy” of the government, India remains a committed development partner for a stable, prosperous and peaceful Maldives.

Source: Thehindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Recently, India signed a deal known as ‘Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field’ with which of the following countries? (2019)

  1. Japan
  2. Russia
  3. The United Kingdom
  4. The United States of America

Baba’s Explainer – US-China’s tussle on Taiwan

US-China's tussle on Taiwan

Syllabus

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

Context: The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, landed in Taiwan on August 2 evening, ignoring Chinese threats and a warning by President Xi Jinping.

  • Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is the highest-level visit by an American official to the island in a quarter century.
  • The senior US politician has been critical of China on multiple fronts over the decades.

Read Complete Details on US-China’s tussle on Taiwan


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Exercise Pitch Black, a multilateral exercise recently seen in news is organised by which of the following organization/country?

  1. BMISTEC
  2. ASEAN
  3. Australia
  4. Vietnam

Q.2) Consider the following statements

  1. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat is administered by United Nations Environment Programme.
  2. The Conference of the Parties to CITES is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention.
  3. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws.

Choose the correct statements:

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Mission Amrit Sarovar

  1. The Mission is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country.
  2. Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N) has been engaged as Technical partner for the Mission.

Choose the incorrect statements:

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’3rd August 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 2nd August 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – c

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