Table of Contents:
A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:
D. GS4 Related:
Useful News Articles
A. GS1 Related
Category: History and International Relations
Topic: Post – Independence India and India-USA relations
- Five years before Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had prepared a very detailed and thorough “brief” on what would happen if he is assassinated or makes an “abrupt departure” from the Indian political scene.
- A 23-page report, titled “India After Rajiv …” was put out as early as in March 1986 for comments from other senior CIA officials. The “sanitised” report was declassified recently by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The report, whose complete title is not entirely available as it is part deleted, was prepared on the basis of inputs available to the CIA till January 1986.
- It also dealt with the threats posed to Gandhi’s life by various extremist groups at that time and the likely fallout of his murder.
B. GS2 Related
Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Digital payment systems have been in existence for a while, the last few weeks have witnessed an explosive growth in their use. While many welcome the idea of trackable, transparent and frictionless monetary transactions, there are significant risks associated with moving to these systems.
- Vulnerabilities associated with payments systems exist and hence signal the need for caution. Examples follow.
1) Compromised applications: The most plausible vulnerability with payment applications is the presence of other applications on a consumer’s mobile phone. With some payment wallets, anyone having casual access to a user’s mobile phone could be a vulnerability as application PINs are not set up.
2) Denial of service: A vulnerability associated with all forms of payment systems is a denial of service attack on the network as whole.
3) Man-in-middle vulnerability: In this scenario, a hacker gets access to either the servers on the telecom network, the payment wallet or the bank’s networks.
- While the government has put its weight behind the concept of a cashless economy, it needs to invest sufficiently in securing the network as well as educating the population on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. There should be a robust training programme, especially focusing on the old and illiterate who will be affected the most by this transition. Lastly, it must revisit laws and establish a special mechanism to ensure that entities stealing data or preventing legitimate digital transactions are dealt with severely and swiftly in a manner apparent to the public.
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- application.
What is the Aadhaar Bill?
- Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill,Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill,2016, has been passed by Parliament, to provide for efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services.
- It will enable the govt. to reset the subsidy regime and deliver state benefits directly to their intended beneficiaries,plugging leakages.
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has cautioned people about sharing their personal information with unauthorized agencies for printing Aadhaar numbers on a plastic card, while stressing that the Aadhaar letter, with its cutaway portion or the downloaded version, on an ordinary paper is “perfectly valid.”
C. GS3 Related
Topic: Environmental pollution and degradation
- A thick oily tide from the sea lapped at the coast of several fishing hamlets in north Chennai, a day after two cargo ships, one of them an oil tanker, collided off Kamarajar Port in Ennore.
- Several dead turtles and hatchlings coated with the black oil were washed ashore and discovered among the boulders
- Since there was a spill from the oil vessel, the Ennore Kamarajar Port authorities placed containment booms around the ships.
- A Pollution Response team from the Coast Guard that had been alerted by the TNPCB reached the spot and used oil mop skimmers and sponge-like absorbents.
Category: Science and Technology
Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
What is the NAVIC?
- The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with an operational name of NAVIC is an autonomous regionalsatellite navigation system that is being set up by India, that will be used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and the region extending to 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) around India. The NAVIC system will consist of a constellation of 3 satellites in Geostationary orbit (GEO), 4 satellites in Geosynchronous orbit (GSO), approximately 36,000 kilometres (22,000 mi) altitude above earth surface.
- NavIC, the indigenously built satellite- based positioning system, has developed a technical snag in the atomic clocks on its first satellite.
- The troubled IRNSS-1A spacecraft was put in space in July 2013 and has an expected life span of 10 years. The seventh navigation satellite, IRNSS-1G, was launched in April 2016.
Topic: Government Budgeting, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
- The dedicated rail safety fund is proposed to be utilized for track improvement, bridge rehabilitation work, rolling stock replacement, human resource development, improved inspection system and safety work at level-crossings, among other things.
- The Railway Ministry had requested the Finance Ministry to create a ‘non-lapsable’ safety fund named ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ over five years.
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
- The preliminary finding of the Commission of Railway Safety that the derailment of the Indore-Rajendranagar Express near Kanpur in November 2016 that killed over 140 people was primarily caused by carriage and wagon defects.
- The CRS report merits serious consideration: it has specifically identified a variation in the wheel gauges of two coaches, and found carriages being run beyond their useful life
Problems and wayforward
- Replacing ageing and unsafe carriages with modern Linke Hofmann Busch coaches is a five-year-old Kakodkar panel recommendation, but supply has not kept pace with requirement.Travel demand has, meanwhile, continued to leap as economic growth both needs and encourages greater mobility.
- Raising the performance of the Indian Railways needs a clear vision for both service and financing, with zero tolerance for accidents. Along with technologies such as ultrasonic flaw detection to keep tracks safe, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and his team must look at ways to carry more passengers safely.
Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;
- Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY), previously Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), is a social welfare flagship programme, created by the Indian Government, to provide housing for the rural poor in India. A similar scheme for urban poor was launched in 2015 as Housing for All by 2022.
- In the current financial year, on 20th November, 2016, Hon’ble Prime Minister formally launched Pradhan MantriAwaasYojana (Gramin) – PMAY(G), with an original approval for33 lakhs new PMAY Gramin houses, which has now been increased to 44 lakhs.
- Under PMAY, the cost of unit assistance is to be shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and hilly states.
- Identification of beneficiaries eligible for assistance and their prioritisation to be done using information from Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) ensuring total transparency and objectivity.
Category: Important aspects of governance.
Topic: civil services in a democracy.
- PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation in his monthly radio address’Mann Ki Baat’. This was first episode in the new year. On ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Modi shares his thoughts with citizens. The programme was initiated with an aim to reach out to people in remote corners of the country. In his last address, PM Modi had announced his government will introduce a strong law to effectively deal with ‘benami’ or proxy-owned properties. “This is just the beginning of our fight,” he had said, asserting that there is no going back on the fight against corruption and black money after the notes ban. Today, he spoke to the young students who are preparing for the upcoming Board Exams. He said, “A happy mind is the secret for a good mark sheet. When you are tensed, knowledge takes a back seat.” The Board Exams of Class 10 and 12 will begin from March 9.
- Mann ki Baat – to students, telling them that exams can bring out the best in them only when they are “celebrated as festivals”. “A happy mind is the secret for a good mark sheet,”the Prime Minister said. When a student is under tension, knowledge takes a back seat. “Do not let that happen,” he told students.
Topic : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- The Union Textiles Minister inaugurates the first ever North East Investors Summit dedicated to the textiles sector, in the history of our country. She said that the wide participation of export houses, councils and investors would ensure that support is given to local industries across the North Eastern Region, in marketing facilities, technical guidance, design intervention and also in areas that require expertise, especially in relation to exports. Smt. Irani also expressed her happiness in seeing the support for hand looms and handicrafts, which she said is a legacy of the North Eastern Region.
- Focussed on manufacturing in textiles and allied sectors, the two–day summit themed ‘Exploring Opportunities in North East Region’ (NER) will explore the possibility of bringing in convergence of efforts of various central ministries and states in the region to attract investments.
- The north eastern region has huge potential for investments, particularly in the fields of textiles and handicrafts.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
- Oil Spill
- Digital Economy
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements,
- NAVIC system consists of a constellation of 4 satellites in Geostationary orbit (GEO), 3 satellites in Geosynchronous orbit (GSO).
- It will be used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and the region extending to 1,500 kilometres around India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
Question 2: Consider the following statements
- India is the only country in the world producing all the four known commercial varieties of silk.
- About 80% of the silk produced in the country is of mulberry silk, majority of which is produced in the southern states.
Which of the above statements is/are not correct?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
Question 3: Consider the following statements related to Oil spill,
- As oil spill, it floats on water and prevents sunlight to pass through it. The shiny substance that you see sometimes on top layer of water is nothing but oil which makes it difficult for plants to survive.
- Oil Spills make the water deficient in oxygen. This causes problem for the marine animals.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
Question 4: The Amended Technology Up gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) aims to give a boost to
a) Steel sector
b) Textile sector
c) Power sector
d) Aviation sector
Question 5: The first port in the country to implement logistics data tagging of containers with the help of RFID – Radio frequency Identification tag is
a) Para dip port, Odish
b) Jawaharlal Nehru port, Maharashtra
c) Mangalore port, Karnataka
d) Vishakhapatnam port, Andhra Pradesh
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