29 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
1. Adopt a Heritage Scheme 
B. GS2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. U.S. Trade Representative again places India on ‘watch list’
C. GS3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Tejas 
2. Rabies 
ECONOMY
1. Draft National Energy Storage Mission
SECURITY
1. Fidayeen 
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
F. Prelims Fact
1. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 
2. i-motif 
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

B. GS1 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Adopt a Heritage Scheme

  • The ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ of Ministry of Tourism was launched on World Tourism Day i.e. 27th September, 2017 by the President of India. 
  • It will allow private and public sector corporations to adopt most of India’s top heritage sites.
    • The response to the project has been very encouraging as the agencies who have come forward for adoption includes not only public and private industry/individuals but also schools and law firms.
  • These agencies are referred as Monument Mitras
    • It is clarified that ‘The Adopt a Heritage’ is essentially a non-revenue generating project.
    • The agency will be selected on the basis of unique concept of vision bid and no financial bid is involved.
  • The companies will be responsible for building, operating and maintaining tourism infrastructure at 105 monuments and natural heritage sites up for adoption.
  • This scheme is a unique endeavour of Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which envisages developing monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India and making them tourist friendly to enhance their tourism potential and cultural importance, in a planned and phased manner. 
  • Power of termination of MoU of Monument Mitras in case of noncompliance of guidelines and EoI, or any other reason of non-performance.

Company’s Action Plan

  • The project primarily focuses on development and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities which includes basic civic amenities and advanced amenities like Cleanliness, Public Conveniences, Ease of access, secure environment, illumination and night viewing facilities for an overall inclusive tourist experience that will result in more footfall from both domestic and foreign tourists.

Advantages for Govt

  • Modi administration’s plan to allow corporate control of some monuments and heritage sites, so that their maintenance and operations could be handled more professionally.

Advantages for a company

  • Agency with best vision for the heritage site will be given an opportunity to associate pride with their CSR activities.
  • They would also get limited visibility in the premises and the Incredible India website.

 

Dalmia Bharat Group bagged the deal to adopt the iconic Red

  • As per the MoU, the Dalmia Bharat Group would maintain the monument and build basic infrastructure around it within a budget of Rs 25 crore for the next five years.
  • The Dalmia Bharat group won the contract by beating IndiGo Airlines and the GMR group in the race to bag one of the most prestigious contracts under the Indian government’s ‘Adopt A Heritage’ scheme.

What company intends to do?

  • Keeping in mind the easy accessibility to the differently-abled visitors, there will be ramps and toilet facilities for the differently-abled. Facilities like wheelchairs, battery-operated vehicles, braille signages are some of the key additions, which will make the Red Fort a barrier-free monument.
  • advanced surveillance system like pan-tilt-zoom CCTV cameras will be installed
  • It will also assist in controlling the advanced tourist flow management system linked with carrying capacity of the monuments, including light and sound shows with regular cultural shows and facilitation of night visits to the monuments.

Charges

  • The Dalmia Bharat group will charge people visiting the Red Fort after getting specific clearances from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Any revenue generated through the activities planned by the corporate house would also have to be ploughed back into the Fort’s development and maintenance.
  • The Dalmia Bharat Group would be allowed to charge visitors for semi-commercial activities that it plans to conduct.
    • All revenues generated from these “semi-commercial activities” would need to be deposited in a separate bank account that would be used only for developing and maintaining the monument.
  • The “reasonability of the rates charged for the services” would be determined by a joint committee headed by representatives of the Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture and the Dalmia Bharat Group.

Criticism

  • The Congress questioned the Centre’s commitment to the “idea” and history of India in the wake of a private entity bagging a contract to maintain the iconic Red Fort through an agreement with the Tourism Ministry
  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it was a “sad and dark day in our history”. “Why can’t the Government even take care of our historic Lal Qila ? Red Fort is a symbol of our nation. It is where India’s flag is hoisted on Independence Day. Why should it be leased out ? Sad and dark day in our history,”

 

B. GS2 Related

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. U.S. Trade Representative again places India on ‘watch list’

  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has once again placed India on ‘Priority Watch List’ in its annual Special 301 Report on the state of intellectual property protection.
    • Office of US Trade representative (USTR) prepares a list of countries, whose IPR regime has negative impact on American products.
    • Section 306: US government can put sanctions on such countries listed under Section 301 report
  • The report has slammed the Indian health ministry for “creating uncertainty in the pharmaceutical market” by demanding that pharmaceutical companies provide details of how they were using the granted patents.

Why is it placed?

  • India remains on the Priority Watch List for long-standing challenges in its IP framework and lack of sufficient measurable improvements, particularly with respect to patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and enforcement, as well as for new issues that have negatively affected U.S. right holders
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has also demanded the elimination of ‘Form 27’ — a statutory requirement unique to India’s patent law that mandates patent holders to declare how a monopoly is being exercised in the country.
  • The report called India’s implementation of the patent act as restrictive because of threat emanating from compulsory licensing and patent revocations

Support for India

  • Humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said report has unfairly targeted India at the urging of pharmaceutical corporations as the country is the “pharmacy of the developing world” and supplies affordable quality generic medicines globally.
  • At a time when people all over the world are struggling to afford their medicines, it’s outrageous that the U.S. government is doing pharma’s bidding and bullying other countries into taking actions that would restrict generic competition and limit access to affordable, lifesaving drugs.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Draft National Energy Storage Mission

Context

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has set up the Energy Storage Expert Committee to propose creation of the National Energy Storage Mission for India.
  • The draft National Energy Storage Mission expects to kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, set up a regulatory framework, and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries
  • the mission will focus on seven verticals: indigenous manufacturing; an assessment of technology and cost trends; a policy and regulatory framework; financing, business models and market creation; research and development; standards and testing; and grid planning for energy storage.

Issues

  • solar energy generation may be at its peak at noon, but unless stored, it will not be available when needed
  • renewable sources are inherently intermittent: there are days when the wind doesn’t blow or the sky is cloudy

So, Batteries could help store surplus energy during peak generation times

The NITI Aayog has proposed a three-stage solution for promoting battery manufacturing in the country

  • The incentives on offer include land grants for direct awarding of land free of charge or at highly discounted cost to companies to develop manufacturing capacity
  • Sales and use tax exemptions, or tax credits per job created and lowering the number of permits required or making them available through just one or two “clearing house” agencies by lowering bureaucratic hurdles have also been proposed
  • Before scaling up the battery manufacturing facilities, the NITI Aayog has insisted on developing a common technological roadmap for the battery manufacturing industry.
    • This will allow consistency and easier adoption of the electric vehicles with minimal modifications in charging stations.

Significance

  • We need a viable commercial plan for storing renewable energy and we will be able to significantly cut down import of fossil fuels once the storage of renewable energy is commercially viable.

Challenges

  • Low mineral reserves
    • India has small reserves of key minerals required for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
    • In Li-ion batteries, cathode materials vary, but common formulations include minerals such as lithium, aluminium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel, while the anode is made of graphite.
    • India does not have reserves of some of the most important Li-ion components including lithium, cobalt, nickel, nor, for that matter, of the copper used in conductors, cables, and busbars
  • High perceived risk
    • Due to the uncoordinated efforts by different stakeholder groups and the relatively nascent stage of battery manufacturing in India, investment risks in this sector are considered to be high.
  • Lack of coordination among stakeholders
    • Strong coordination between various stakeholder groups in cell manufacturing and battery assembly can support the development of a robust and competitive battery manufacturing supply chain in India.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Tejas

Context

  • Tejas has successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual (BVR) range missile, demonstrating its overall capability as an effective combat jet

Details

  • It is indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)
  • The aircraft is developed by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It is single-seat, single-jet engine, multirole light fighter
  • LCA was officially named “Tejas” in 2003, meaning “Radiant” in Sanskrit by the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Advantages

  • It reacts very smoothly, fly-by-wire, its turn radius is very good, maneuverability is very good
  • The aircraft is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, bombs and rockets. It is considered to be the lightest multi-role supersonic aircraft of its class.
  • It is meant to facilitate all weather use

Limitation

  • it is a light combatant
  • It cannot go into deep penetration
  • It is mostly good for dogfights in our own sky or to degrade the opponent Army’s command posts.

 

2. Rabies

  •   It is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion.

Stats

  • More than 26,000 people in the region die of rabies every year.
  • Eight of the 11 countries in the region account for around 45% of the world’s rabies burden, with over 1.5 billion people at risk of exposure.
  • More than 6 million patients receive at least one dose of the rabies vaccine every year.

Initiatives

  • Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Thailand have sharply cut rabies-related infection and mortality using mass canine vaccination campaigns and improving access to life-savingPost-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) treatments.
  • In India, similar initiatives in Goa, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu have saved countless lives.
  • All World Health Organisation-South East Asia countries have, meanwhile, phased out the production and use of nerve-tissue vaccines; six have introduced cost-effective, intradermal vaccination schedules to improve the accessibility, affordability and availability of the modern rabies vaccine.

Control Measures

  • vaccinating dogs, a prime reservoir of rabies, is a good point to start from
  • This requires countries to develop efficient vaccine procurement systems as well as sustainable logistics and infrastructure for canine vaccination.
  • It requires leaders to fully grasp that mass canine vaccination and animal birth control is the most efficient way to prevent dog-mediated rabies.
  • Public information campaigns are critical to building awareness of what responsible dog ownership looks like, and preventing and treating bites or scratches when they occur.
  • awareness campaigns should be tailored to the needs of children who are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

 

Category: SECURITY

1. Fidayeen

  • The term fedayi is derived from Arabic literally meaning: “those who sacrifice themselves”
  • The fidayeen attack is a term used to describe suicidal strikes that are launched by militants
  • Theologically, the suicide bombings and fidayeen attacks are a Salafi tradition.

Context

  • Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) has the new strategy of recruiting and training young, local boys for fidayeen attacks.
  • The outfit was first to introduce local fidayeen on November 3, 1999
  • An internal report of the Jammu and Kashmir police, details the outfit’s game plan of recruiting youth and indoctrinating them to fight the state and the police.
    • The youth are asked to join jehad, saying there is no freedom without sacrifice.
    • Jem has gained strength and is now focused on the induction of locals into the fidayeen squads
    • Inducting local youth as fidayeen, the report said, has become relatively easier in south Kashmir, where there is considerable support for militancy.
  • Media reports point out that militant outfits like the JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have so far turned to Pakistani militants to carry out these attacks as they better trained, specially in the use of ammunition.

Issues

The outfit’s stronghold remains Tral-Awantipora-Pulwama belt in south Kashmir. The adjacent Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has thus become vulnerable to attacks.

  • The challenge now is to keep the Jaish confined to this area and not allow it to spread, the report says. If it were to expand to Srinagar, the security costs it would impose would be severe, the report warns.
  • JeM has carried out four major fidayeen attacks in the past 12 months, including attacks on the Pulwama District Police Lines, the CRPF camp at Humhama and the Sunjuwan Army Camp attack in Jammu.

 

 

F. Prelims Fact

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

  • The Ministry of HRD has launched a programme with an aim to connect institutions of higher education, including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) etc. with local communities to address the development challenges through appropriate technologies.
  • It is being coordinated and steered by IIT Delhi.
  • Building institutional capacity in Institutes of higher education in research & training relevant to the needs of rural India.
  • Provide rural India with professional resource support from institutes of higher education ,especially those which have acquired academic excellence in the field of Science, Engineering & Technology  and Management
  • Institutes through their faculty and students, will carry out studies of living conditions in the adopted villages, assess the local problems and needs, workout the possibilities of leveraging the technological interventions and the need to improve the processes in implementation of various government schemes, prepare workable action plans for the selected villages.
  • The institutes would be expected to closely coordinate with the district administration, elected public representatives of panchayat/villages and other stakeholders and will become a part of the process of development planning and implementation.

Significance

  • Students will learn about the basic challenges faced by the rural people and to bring out practical solutions for their betterment.
  • India had witnessed the migration of rural population this will help to reverse this migration

 

i-motif

  • A new DNA structure inside human cells known as the “i-motif”, has been identified by scientists.
  • This form resembles a twisted “knot” of DNA, instead of the well-known double helix
  • The scientists are not exactly sure what the function the i-motif is, but they suspect it is involved with the process of “reading” DNA sequences and converting them into useful substances.

How is it different?

  • “The i-motif is a four-stranded ‘knot’ of DNA,”.
  • “In the knot structure, C [cytosine] letters on the same strand of DNA bind to each other – so this is very different from a double helix, where ‘letters’ on opposite strands recognise each other, and where Cs bind to Gs [guanines].”
 

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Polnet is related to 
  1. An app where people can suggest policies to Govt
  2. A satellite-based network to connect police stations
  3. Improving ease of business
  4. helps in addressing customer grievance

See

Answer
 
Question 2. Consider the following statements about Adopt a Heritage Scheme
  1. It is an initiative of Ministry of culture
  2. It is a revenue generating Project
  3. Agency will be selected on the basis of financial bid

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

  1. All of the above
  2. Only 1 and 3
  3. Only 2 and 3
  4. Only 1

See

Answer
 
Question 3. Look at the following statements with reference to I motif
  1. They have a twisted “knot” of DNA, instead of the well-known double helix
  2. The i-motif is a four-stranded ‘knot’ of DNA

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 4. With reference to colistin usage in animals, 
  1. China has banned the use of colistin in veterinary use,
  2. the use of antibiotic growth promoters in animals is banned in the European Union since 2006.
  3. Colistin-resistance in humans is mainly due to antibiotic use in veterinary feed
  4. India does not have laws prohibiting this

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 1, 3 and 4
  3. All of the above
  4. Only 2, 3 and 4

See

Answer
 
Question 5. Read the following statements about Rabies 
  1. Rabies is a bacterial illness spread via the saliva of an infected animal.
  2. The virus has also been found in cows, cats, ferrets, and horses.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither of them

See

Answer
 

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 
 General Studies I
  1. What is Adopt a Heritage Project? Is it right for the govt to dispense its work to Private firms? Critically comment.

General Studies III

  1. USA has placed India under  Priority Watch List (PWL). What are the reasons for this move and how will this impact India?
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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