TABLE OF CONTENT
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related POLITY 1. Modi to meet Xi to repair bilateral ties 2. Only PSUs may be let to make Oxytocin INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. $1 mn fund to bolster BRICS media C. GS3 Related ECONOMY 1. Come next weekend, fuel prices will change daily 2. Products used by common man to cost less: Centre SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 1. The neutrino opportunity D. GS4 Related E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
UPSC Current Affairs 2017: News Analysis
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for Today!!!
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Astana, Kazakhstan on the sidelines of a major security summit.
- Meeting is crucial for India:
- India is keen on membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the plenary session of which is being held in Geneva on June 19.
- June 30 deadline for the U.N. Security Council committee to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist. China has been blocking both.
- The Drug Controller will soon restrict manufacturing of controversial hormone drug Oxytocin to public sector undertakings (PSUs).
- Oxytocin at present is banned in the retail markets after it was found that indiscriminate use of Oxytocin in milch animals and by farmers was causing irreversible hormone damage.
- Controversial usage: The drug is used by diary owners and farmers to boost milk production and make vegetables look bigger and fresher.
- Oxytocin is a hormone known to trigger a wide variety of physical and psychological effects and is commonly used to facilitate childbirth.
Context: Inaugural session of the BRICS Media Forum in the Chinese capital, Cai Mingzhao.
- The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping has signalled its intent to expand its footprint in the global media space.
- President of Xinhua News Agency and executive president of the BRICS Media Forum, announced that the news agency will invest $1 million for boosting media cooperation in the five-nation grouping.
- The BRICS media forum is the result of a joint initiative by Xinhua News Agency, Brazil’s CMA Group, Russia’s Sputnik News Agency and Radio, The Hindu group of publications from India, and South Africa’s Independent Media.
- The plan will promote six objectives, including “balanced reporting”.
C. GS3 Related
- Retail prices for petrol and diesel would be revised on a daily basis starting from June 16, compared to the present system where oil marketing companies usually adjust prices on a fortnightly basis.
- The public sector oil marketeers — Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum — launched a pilot project in May for daily dynamic pricing at petrol pumps in Udaipur, Puducherry, Visakhapatnam, Jamshedpur and Chandigarh.
- Based on the ‘successful implementation’ of the pilot project, the firms have decided to start daily revision across the country.
- Daily revisions will make retail prices more reflective of the current market conditions.
- Minimises the volatility in the retail sales price of petrol and diesel.
- Increased transparency
- Several consumer goods purchased on a daily basis by the common man would become cheaper once the GST is implemented
- Branded foodgrains and flours will attract a 5% GST.
- No tax: Cereals, pulses and atta, fresh milk, vegetables and fruits, puffed rice, common salt, animal feed, organic manure, fire wood, raw silk, wool and jute will be tax-free.
- Effectiveness of GST:
- GST is the most important tax reform since independence and is going to substantially ease doing of business in India which will promote new investment and contribute to the overall GDP growth.
- It will also help in removing the cascading effect of taxation and will give relief to the common man by leading to reduction in prices especially of essential consumer goods.
- India’s wait to join the elite club of countries undertaking neutrino research suffered a procedural delay
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)
- It was ordered it to file a fresh application for clearance
- The proposed INO project primarily aims to study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300-m deep cavern in the Bodi West Hills in Theni district, Tamil Nadu
- If completed, the INO would house the largest magnet in the world
- It will be four times more massive than the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN’s Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector’s magnet
- Neutrinos are tiny particles
- They are almost massless
- They travel at near light speeds
- They are born from violent astrophysical events such as exploding stars and gamma ray bursts
- Therefore, they are abundant in the universe, and can move as easily through matter as we move through air
- They are notoriously difficult to track down
- If you hold your hand towards the sunlight for one second, about a billion neutrinos from the sun will pass through it
- This is because they are the by-products of nuclear fusion in the sun
- Aim of the INO project: It aims to use to understand some of the unsolved mysteries of the universe
Setback of delayed project
- The suspension of INO’s environmental clearance is a setback
- The scientific community hopes these procedural lapses will be addressed in an earnest and time-bound manner
- The NGT’s March 2017 order further delays the start of the project
- Now the earliest conceivable completion date is projected as 2022
- The INO will fall further behind other facilities including China’s Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO), expected to open in 2019
Criticism of INO Project
- The explosives used in construction are a threat to the highly sensitive ecology of the Western Ghats
- The relevant radiation safety studies for carrying out the long baseline neutrino experiment in the second phase of INO have not been done
- There are further allegations that neutrinos are radioactive particles
- The INO will double up the storage of nuclear waste
The better side of the story
- The proposed excavation is planned to be carried out by a controlled blast, limiting the impact of vibrations with the help of computer simulations
- Additionally, building the INO involves constructing an underground lab accessed by a 2 km-long horizontal access tunnel, resembling a road tunnel
- Such tunnels have been built extensively in India and the relevant studies show that the environmental impact (mainly dust and noise in the initial phase) have been managed
- For those who argue that Rs. 1,500 crore is a waste of money, it might be instructive to look back at the enormous achievements 20th century has brought in on the pillars of relativity and quantum mechanics
- In the second phase, the INO project initially had planned to be set up as a far detector for the Neutrino Factory
- It is a proposed particle accelerator
- The radiation from the neutrino beam alone on an average would be one in 100 millionth of the natural radiation, which is negligible
Long history of research
- In the 1960s and 1970s, a group of scientists led by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research detected some unusual experimental observations
- They were the Kolar events in the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka
- Half a century later these events remain as science fiction, yet to be explained and unraveled
- From the 1980s, neutrino enthusiasts discussed the possibility of a neutrino observatory located in India
- In 2002, a document was presented to the Department of Atomic Energy which laid out an ambitious plan to establish the INO
- On January 5, 2015, the Union cabinet gave its approval to establish the INO at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,500 crore, the most expensive basic science project in India
Nothing here for Today!!!
Schemes in News
|About the Schemes|
‘DigiYatra’- A New Digital Experience for Air Travellers
Question 1: The Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is located in which state?
- Tamil Nadu
Question 2: The Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary is located in which state?
- Uttar Pradesh
Question 3: Which of the following were the main gases in the initial atmosphere of Protoearth?
- Hydrogen and Helium
- Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide
- Hydrogen and Nitrogen
- Oxygen and Carbon dioxide
Question 4: Which hormone is used as a medication to facilitate child birth?
“Proper Current Affairs preparation is the key to success in the UPSC- Civil Services Examination. We have now launched a comprehensive ‘Online Current Affairs Crash Course’. Limited seats available. Click here to Know More.”
Practice More: Enroll for India’s Largest All-India Test Series