26 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Judges seek to fortify top court
EDUCATION
1. More institutions to work for rural development
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Cryptocurrency ban could cost India dear
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. Is global warming killing the Great Barrier Reef ?
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY
1. Revisit AFSPA
GOVERNANCE
1. Tech blind spot
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Judges seek to fortify top court

 

  • Supreme Court judges have asked the Chief Justice of India to hold a ‘Full Court’ once in a while and also initiate frequent informal discussions where ideas can be shared freely among them.
  • At a recent meeting, the judges proposed to Chief Justice Dipak Misra that only a frank and free exchange of ideas among themselves would improve “institutional strength.”
  • When Chief Justice Misra asked the judges if they had any particular issues in mind, they said there was no need to prepare an agenda for meeting one another. Rather, they should meet often to “exchange ideas, discuss, to strengthen the institution.”
  • This may signal a thaw in the strained relationship within the highest judiciary with judges rallying together after the failed removal motion against Chief Justice Misra.
  • Trouble had started with the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court — Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph — holding a press conference to complain about the selective allocation of nationally important cases to certain Benches.
  • The judges had said that Chief Justice Misra did not act despite repeated entreaties from them, thus forcing them to bring the issue into the public domain.
  • Further, it has been over two years since the Supreme Court asked the government to finalise the Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges.
  • The government’s reluctance to clear the Collegium recommendations of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K.M. Joseph and senior advocate Indu Malhotra challenged the Supreme Court’s authority.
  • To cap it all, the failed removal motion by Opposition parties against the CJI has scarred the judicial institution.

Category: EDUCATION

1. More institutions to work for rural development

 

  • The second stage of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan — a scheme of the Centre aimed at making higher education institutions provide solutions for problems of villages — is set to take off with a much wider spread than its first stage.
  • While just 143 premier institutions like IITs and NITs took part in the first stage, UBA 2.0 will see open and much wider participation from many higher educational institutions.Both technical and non-technical institutions have been invited to build systems in villages as per their strengths.

Two-way learning

  • The idea is to have a coordinated approach where the government and institutions work together to facilitate rural development.
  • The key points include helping villages achieve 100% school results, creating 25 jobs each in four sectors in each village where work would take place, increasing rural incomes, providing drinking water and sanitation to villages, disposing village garbage, among other things.

Background

  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India programme to uplift rural India. The programme is being launched in collaboration with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTTRs)and other leading Government Engineering Institutes like College of Engineering, Pune across the country.
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is being coordinated and steered by IIT Delhi. The programme involve engaging with neighbouring communities and using technologies for their upliftment.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Cryptocurrency ban could cost India dear

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to bar banks and non-banking financial companies from having any links to firms or individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies could lead to millions, if not billions of dollars leaving the country, according to a cryptocurrency company looking to enter the Indian market later this year.
  • As per the RBI’s policy, a citizen of India is allowed to remit $250,000, which is Rs. 1.5 crore. If people start sending money out of India just to trade cryptocurrencies, is the RBI or the government of India ready to lose those million or billions out of India?
  • Indians do trade extensively on international exchanges and will continue to do so even if the RBI cuts off their link to the fiat currency since it has not banned people from trading one cryptocurrency for another.
  • Even if the RBI cuts off the fiat currency supply to the industry, people will trade cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency, which they have not banned.

 Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. Is global warming killing the Great Barrier Reef ?

 

  • Corals on Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef experienced a catastrophic die-off following the extended marine heatwave of 2016, a study has found.
  • Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) in Australia mapped the geographical pattern of heat exposure from satellites.
  • They measured coral survival along the 2,300 kilometre length of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system, following the extreme marine heatwave of 2016.
  • The study published in the journal Nature found that 29 per cent of the 3,863 reefs comprising the world’s largest reef system lost two-thirds or more of their corals, transforming the ability of these reefs to sustain full ecological functioning.
  • When corals bleach from a heatwave, they can either survive and regain their colour slowly as the temperature drops, or they can die.
  • The amount of coral death the researchers measured was closely linked to the amount of bleaching and level of heat exposure, with the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef being the most severely affected.
  • As part of a global heat and coral bleaching event spanning 2014-2017, the Great Barrier Reef experienced severe heat stress and bleaching again in 2017, this time affecting the central region of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • These findings reinforce the need for assessing the risk of a wide-scale collapse of reef ecosystems, especially if global action on climate change fails to limit warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • The study is unique because it tests the emerging framework for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems, which seeks to classify vulnerable ecosystems as ‘safe,’ ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered.’
  • The Great Barrier Reef is certainly threatened by climate change, but it is not doomed if we deal very quickly with greenhouse gas emissions. The study shows that coral reefs are already shifting radically in response to unprecedented heatwaves.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: POLITY

1. Revisit AFSPA

 

  • The Centre’s decision to revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Meghalaya and reduce its ambit in Arunachal Pradesh is welcome insofar as it signifies a willingness to reconsider the use of the special law as and when the ground situation improves.
  • The extent of ‘disturbed areas’ in Meghalaya was earlier limited to within 20 km of its border with Assam.
  • The whole of Nagaland, most of Assam, and Manipur excluding the areas falling under seven Assembly constituencies in Imphal, continue to be under the law, which provides protection to the point of total immunity from prosecution for the security forces operating in the notified areas.
  • In Arunachal, the areas under AFSPA have been reduced to the limits of eight police stations, instead of the previous 16, in three districts bordering Assam.
  • It was only last month that the Act was extended for six months in Assam, even though the Union Home Ministry has said the situation has improved considerably. AFSPA was extended in Nagaland by six months from January.
  • There is no sign that the vigour of the law will be diluted, but the area of its use may be progressively curtailed over time. It was withdrawn in Tripura in 2015.
  • Assam has been empowered to decide on how long it needs the cover of AFSPA. Even though there is ample evidence that the law has created a sense of impunity among the security forces wherever it has been invoked, the Centre is still far from abrogating the Act, mainly because the Army favours its continuance.
  • Manipur had borne the brunt of Army excesses over the years. In a rare intervention in a matter concerning internal security, in 2016 the Supreme Court had ruled that the armed forces cannot escape investigation for excesses committed in the discharge of their duties even in ‘disturbed areas’.
  • It ordered a probe into specific cases. In other words, accountability for human rights violations is sacrosanct and the legal protection offered by AFSPA cannot be absolute.
  • During the Budget session, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that the government was considering a proposal to make AFSPA more “operationally effective and humane”.

Jeevan Reddy Committee

  • In 2005, a committee headed by former Supreme Court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy was tasked by the then United Progressive Alliance government with suggesting amendments to AFSPA.
  • The committee recommended that the law be repealed altogether, and that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act be amended in a manner that would enable insurgency and conflict to be tackled legally.
  • Now that there is some degree of official recognition that special laws for protecting armed forces personnel from the legal consequences of their operations and excesses need not continue indefinitely, it is time for the Centre to revisit the Jeevan Reddy committee report and find ways of humanising AFSPA, if not revoking it altogether.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Tech blind spot

 

  • The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the U.S. Congress has unleashed a wave of outrage against the social networking giant. But Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley titan facing difficult questions about ethics and trust.
  • Earlier this year, about 3,100 Google employees signed and internally circulated a letter protesting Google’s involvement with Project Maven, a Pentagon program. As a partner in the project, Google will help develop advanced Artificial Intelligence capabilities for military drones.
  • Yet another instance of a backlash involves YouTube. On April 3, Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 38, entered the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, and opened fire, injuring three people, before shooting herself.
  • While investigations are still on, it has been reported that her motive was to hit back at YouTube for its new ‘demonetisation policy’. Aghdam had a channel on YouTube.
  • As a participant in the YouTube Partner Program, she apparently earned a decent income from monetising her content through advertisements. But YouTube recently tightened its rules for video content that is eligible for monetisation, raising the bar from 10,000 lifetime views to 4,000 viewing hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. This straightaway disqualified a huge number of smaller YouTubers.
  • While Aghdam was later characterised as being mentally unstable, it may be that her principal complaint had been her belief that YouTube had unfairly suppressed content creators.
  • Lastly we have Uber, which is no stranger to controversy. In March, around 650 taxi drivers blocked traffic and set off fireworks in front of the EU headquarters in Brussels to protest against the Belgian government’s draft legislation that would give cab licences to individuals instead of firms, a move that they feared would favour Uber and destroy local taxi companies.
  • The drivers believed, and correctly so, that Uber’s employee-less workforce and incentive-based payment system could decimate their unions and protected wages.
  • These cases, involving four of the tech world’s most valuable businesses, suggest a pattern of profound inability among Silicon Valley majors to recognise certain humanistic concerns of the communities they profess to serve.
  • It remains to be seen whether the pushback by users will succeed in educating these cash-rich behemoths on the social costs of their business decisions.

 

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project:
  1. The initiative will be supported by Ministry of Finance and World Bank.

  2. The objective of project is to nurture indigenous innovation, foster local product development and accelerate commercialization process in biopharmaceutical and medical devices industry in India.

Which of the above statements are correct?

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

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan:
  1. It is central government scheme that aims at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.

  2. Its intended objective is to train and build capacity of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

Which of the above statements are correct?

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

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements about Kaziranga national park:
  1. Kaziranga national park is located in Assam.

  2. The park is a home to two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.

Which of the above statements are correct?

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

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 
 General Studies II
  1. Should personal laws be replaced with Uniform Civil Code. If yes, why? Justify your view.

General Studies III

  1. How does fracking work, what are the environmental concerns? Discuss its implications.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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