TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related POLITY 1. Government gives green light for single-judge NGT Benches 2. Panchayat certificate no proof of citizenship: Supreme Court 3. SC calls for regulating hefty fees of lawyers 4. Dispose pleas to debar MPs in 3 months, says Venkaiah Naidu INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS 1. Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel capital 2. UAE and Saudi form new group separate from GCC 3. To make issuing visas a breeze, UAE to open new consular offices in India 4. China, India vow to protect globalization 5. Pakistan textbooks glorifying war: UNESCO C. GS3 Related ECONOMY 1. Rs.8,450 crore package to boost exports post GST ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY 1. Arctic sea ice melt to exacerbate California droughts: study 2. 2 kiwi birds are rare bright spot in grim extinction report D. GS4 Related E. Prelims Fact F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS1 Related
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B. GS2 Related
- In a bid to address the festering problem of vacancies in the National Green Tribunal, the government has amended rules to allow the court to constitute single member Benches.
- Current rules require that every Bench of the NGT consist of “two or more” members and made up of at least one judicial and one expert member.
- The balance of judicial and independent experts was necessary to ensure that technical aspects of disputes were adequately addressed.
- The NGT specialises in adjudicating on matters relating to environment, forests and harm to people or property due to the neglect of environmental obligations of infrastructure projects.
- The Supreme Court held that a certificate issued by the Gram Panchayat secretary or the executive magistrate by itself was “no proof of citizenship” unless it established the legacy linkages with a person who was an Indian citizen.
- The top court said the certificates issued by the Gram Panchayat secretary merely acknowledged shifting of residence of a married woman from one village to another.
Supreme Court observation:
- Judgment: The astronomical fees charged by lawyers and the commercialisation of the legal profession is a violation of the fundamental right of the poor to get equal justice.
- Neither the Bar nor the judiciary have made any move to regularise the hefty fees charged by lawyers from the poor and the needy.
- The very essence of the legal profession is to provide inexpensive access to justice.
- The apex court urged for a law to check the violation of professional ethics by lawyers.
- B. Sunitha, a woman from Telangana whose husband died in a road accident.
- She was made to sign a cheque for Rs.Three lakh by a lawyer who represented her accident claims case in the lower court This was over and above the Rs.10 lakh she had already paid to him.
- Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has, in his order disqualifying senior Janata Dal (U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar from the Rajya Sabha, said that issues of disqualification of MPs should be decided by the presiding officers within a period of three months.
Voice of majority
- He also explained, in the order, as to why the disqualification petition had not been referred to the committee of privileges.
- He said the procedural requirements of the committee often took a longer time frame for conduct of preliminary enquiry and submission of a final report, a delay which was “tantamount to subverting the essence of the anti-defection law, namely to curb the menace of defection, by allowing a member to continue his membership without facing the consequences of defection.”
- President Donald Trump is all set to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests.
- Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, U.S. officials said.
- The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be an acknowledgement of “historical and current reality” rather than a political statement and said the city’s physical and political borders will not be compromised.
- Key fact: Jerusalem includes the holiest ground in Judaism. But it’s also home to Islam’s third-holiest shrine and major Christian sites, and forms the combustible center of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Any perceived harm to Muslim claims to the city has triggered volatile protests in the past, both in the Holy Land and across the Muslim world.
- The UAE announced it has formed a new economic and partnership group with Saudi Arabia, separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a move that could undermine the council amid a diplomatic crisis with Qatar.
- The new committee is assigned to cooperate and coordinate between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others, in the interest of the two countries.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a new mobile app aimed to help visitors from both nations (India and UAE).
- UAE also announced opening of three new consular offices in India in an effort to reach out and make visa applications for Indians easy.
- For Indian nationals, the app provides visa and attestation information to help bridge the information gap and smoothen the overall process.
- Key Fact: The UAE is home to around 2.8 million expatriate Indians, many of whom are blue collar workers in the infrastructure sector.
- Top economic planners of India and China met and set the goal of leading a new wave of globalisation by synchronising their emerging economies.
- NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and his Chinese counterpart Li Wei, president of the Development Research Council (DRC) — the Chinese Cabinet’s top official think tank — began talks based on a firm common understanding.
- They agreed that the two countries must work together to rescue globalisation from neoprotectionist tendencies in the U.S., Europe or anywhere else in the world.
- Strengthened cooperation between China and India will jointly safeguard and improve the multilateral system and mechanism and promote a new type of globalization.
- An open, liberal and rule-based globalisation, wherein India and China could play a defining role, was necessary for prosperity and global political stability.
- China-India cooperation — routed through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the G-20, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) — “will further improve the global governance system.
- India could benefit from Chinese experience gained from innovation-based “fourth industrial revolution” that focussed on advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, electric vehicles and internet-of-things.
- India could learn from China’s rich experience in developing infrastructure.
Highlights of Global Education Monitoring Report 2017-18 :
- Released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- Report expressed concern over school textbooks in many countries glorifying war and military heroes rather than teaching peace, non-violence and reconciliation.
- It says that that just 10% of the textbooks across the world include explicit statements on the need for conflict prevention and resolution.
- Textbooks in many countries fail to deal comprehensively with concepts that are crucial for social cohesion and political stability, including peace and non-violence.
- Textbooks in Pakistan that focus on militarism, wars with India and differences between Hindus and Muslims.
- In Pakistan, textbooks have been criticised for normalising militarism and war and including biases and historical errors and distortions. Prominent Pakistanis other than military heroes and nationalist movement leaders are often excluded.
- Pakistani textbooks published after a 2006 curriculum reform still emphasised wars with India and largely ignored peace initiatives. They also perpetuated a narrative of conflict and historic grievances between Muslims and Hindus, rather than discussing the potential for conflict resolution and reconciliation.
- Indian history textbooks from 2002 put the blame on Pakistan and contained clear bias against Muslim elements in the region’s history.
C. GS3 Related
- The government announced incentives worth ₹8,450 crore to boost exports of goods and services — mainly from labour-intensive segments and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises — and to increase employment generation and value-addition.
- The incentives were announced as part of the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).
- The move comes at a time when India’s shipments shrank in October — the first after 14 consecutive months of positive growth — due to the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- The FTP for the period 2015-2020 had set an ambitious target of $900 billion for India’s exports of goods and services by 2019-20.
- It also aimed to raise India’s share in world exports from 2% to 3.5%.
Highlights of a new study:
- Melting Arctic sea ice could render sun-soaked California vulnerable to a recurrence of the severe drought suffered in recent years as it is likely to cause high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms.
- As temperatures rise, the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice-free within two or three decades, resulting in more of the sun’s heat being stored in the Arctic Ocean, leading to atmospheric circulation changes and cloud formations in the tropical Pacific that move north.
- That will lead to the building of high pressure system known as an atmospheric ridge in the northern Pacific off California’s coast, steering storms north into Alaska and Canada.
- Modeling by the scientists showed that the loss of sea ice could cause a 10 to 15 percent decrease in California’s rainfall when considering a 20-year mean, with some years becoming much drier and others becoming wetter.
- The recent five-year drought cost California’s farmers billions of dollars in lost production, slashed seasonal agriculture jobs by the thousands, and spiked electricity bills for residents as hydroelectric systems failed.
- Key Point: California’s temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century and the warmer air holds more water, sucking moisture out of soil, rivers and streams.
- The International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgraded the Okarito kiwi and the Northern Brown kiwi from endangered to vulnerable.
- Credits to New Zealand’s progress in controlling predators like stoats and cats.
- Three reptile species are now considered extinct in the wild. The whiptail-skink, the blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko from Australia’s Christmas Island all have mysteriously disappeared. The group said a disease or the arrival of an invasive species, the yellow crazy ant, might be to blame.
D. GS4 Related
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E. PRELIMS FACT
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F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1. Consider the following statements:
- A ridge is an elongated region of relatively high atmospheric pressure.
- A ridge is an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure.
- In hydrologic terms, a ridge is a line or wall of broken ice forced up by pressure.
Identify the correct statements
- 1 only
- 2 only
- 1 and 3
- 2 and 3
Question 2. The Global Education Monitoring Report is published by
- Education International
- World Bank
- Institute of International Education
Question 3. Identify the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council
- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
- Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates
Question 4. The 52nd amendment to the Constitution added
- Tenth schedule
- Ninth Schedule
- Eighth Schedule
- Eleventh Schedule
Question 5. The Tropic of Capricorn passes through which one of the following countries in African continent?
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
GS Paper I
- “Textbooks that glorify war and military heroes, exclude pluralistic perspectives or undermine other peoples or ethnicities can make teaching peace, non-violence and reconciliation difficult.” Comment.
GS Paper II
“The confidence of the public in the legal profession is integral to the confidence of the public in the legal system.” Discuss.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis
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