16 Dec 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. NGT sets aside Sterlite’s ‘unjustifiable’ closure
C. GS3 Related
ENERGY
1. Both countries are keen on starting the Jaitapur nuclear project as soon as possible
ENVIRONMENT
1. Poachers kill rhino in Kaziranga
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Now, graphene can detect brain disorders
2. IIT researchers 3D bioprint load-bearing bones
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka are sparring over Mekedatu
2. The lowdown on Kashmir strategy (J&K Political Crisis)
F. Tidbits
1. Border forces lack basic amenities
2. Will induct women in the military police: Army chief
G. Prelims Fact
1. India, Nepal and Bhutan plan task force to protect wildlife
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. NGT sets aside Sterlite’s ‘unjustifiable’ closure

Context

  • The National Green Tribunal has set aside the Tamil Nadu government’s order for the closure of Sterlite’s copper smelter in Thoothukudi, terming the decision “unjustifiable.”
  • Responding to the NGT order, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said the State government would file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the ruling. The State had ordered the permanent closure of the plant over alleged pollution after violent protests in May

Sterlite Copper

  • Sterlite Copper is a copper smelting unit and is a subsidiary of the London-based Vedanta Group. Sterlite produces non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium and zinc, along with chemicals such as sulphuric acid and phosporic acid.
  • The plant in Thoothukudi is one of two copper plants in the country, the other one being in Silvassa, Daman & Diu.
  • The copper unit in Tuticorin has the capacity to produce 400,000 tonnes of copper cathode a year.
  • The company plans to double its production, increasing it up to 800,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year.

Why are the residents protesting against the copper production unit?

  • Residents have been protesting for the immediate closure of the unit since February this year. They allege that the pollution generated by the unit has contaminated the water bodies in the region, claiming that they are facing severe health problems.
  • Environmental activists have also expressed concern since copper smelting leads to various kinds of pollution and they must be located far away from the residential areas.

Sterlite Copper’s response to the protest

  • Responding to the allegations against it, the company said that the plant has received necessary permits and has not violated any norms.
  • The company had offered to open its gates for people to see for themselves than believe rumours and half-truths.
  • However, the offer was turned down by activists insisting that it was not what happened inside the factory, but the environmental damage caused by it.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ENERGY

1. Both countries are keen on starting the Jaitapur nuclear project as soon as possible

Context

  • India and France are moving fast towards operationalising the nuclear power project at Jaitapur, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.
  • Addressing presspersons after holding discussions with her French counterpart, Ms. Swaraj said both sides were working in the field of energy and also intensifying international developmental and counter-terrorism cooperation.

Background – Nuclear Power in India

  • India has a largely indigenous nuclear power programme.
  • The Indian government is committed to growing its nuclear power capacity as part of its massive infrastructure development programme. The government has set ambitious targets to grow nuclear capacity.
  • Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons programme, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant and materials, which hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009.
  • Due to earlier trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium.
  • Since 2010, a fundamental incompatibility between India’s civil liability law and international conventions limits foreign technology provision.

Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

  • It is proposed 9900 MW nuclear power project to come at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra (west coast of India).
  • State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is builder and operator of this plant.
  • It will be built under Indo-France Civil Nuclear Deal signed in December 2010.
  • It will have 6 EPR designed and developed by Areva of France, each of 1650 MW, thus totalling 9900 MW. EPR is third generation pressurised water reactors (PWR).
  • The estimated cost of this project was around US $15 billion (Rs. 1,000 billion). Consortium of French financial institutions will finance this project as a loan.
  • On completion, Jaitapur power plant would be world’s largest nuclear power generating station by net electrical power rating.
  • It will also play pivotal role in achieving Union Government’s ambitious target of 22,480 mw nuclear power generation capacity by 2031.

Category: ENVIRONMENT

1. Poachers kill rhino in Kaziranga

Context

  • The carcass (the dead body of an animal) of an adult male rhino, its horn missing, was spotted by a tourist group at National Park in upper Assam on Saturday, a senior forest department official said.
  • On March 3, a female adult rhino was killed outside the Kaziranga National Park area at Lohore Chapori in the State’s Majuli district.
  • Another rhino was killed at Polokata Tapu near Sitamari under the jurisdiction of Lahorijan forest camp on the midnight of February 11.

One-horned rhinoceros

  • The greater one-horned rhinoceros is the largest of the three Asian rhinos and, together with African white rhinos, is the largest of all rhino species.
  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. With at least half of the total population, India’s Kaziranga National Park remains the key reserve for this species.
  • The Indian rhinoceros once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, but excessive hunting and agricultural development reduced their range drastically to 11 sites in northern India and southern Nepal

What drives poaching?

  • Kaziranga and its rhinos still remain very much in the grip of both commercial and political interests.
  • Rhino is far easier to poach than, say, a tiger or an elephant, and far more valuable in that sense.
  • A carton of horns fetches as much as a carload of tiger derivatives or tusks would.
  • These factors perpetuate the interest in rhino poaching, posing a challenge for controlling them.
  • This interest had in the past made it easy for local insurgent groups to strike cashless arms deals with operators in Myanmar.

What are the administrative and legal shortfalls?

  • Killing Poachers – Hundreds of alleged poachers have been gunned down and the number of poachers killed is on the rise. In 2010, Assam extended legal protection against prosecution to staff who kill poachers. Resultantly, from a decadal count of just 17 between 2001 and 2010, the number of poachers killed raised to over 50 in the next 5 years.
  • Neighbourhood – The anti-migrant rhetoric against alleged Bangladeshis have alienated the minority population in villages around the park. Resultantly, rhino protection does not enjoy much goodwill in its neighbourhood. Winning their support over time can be the best insurance against poaching.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Now, graphene can detect brain disorders

Context

  • Graphene, a form of carbon and a super-strong, ultra-light material discovered in 2004, enables flexible electronic components, enhances solar cell capacity, and promises to revolutionise batteries. Now scientists have added one more use to this list.
  • They have found a potential new application of this material for detecting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — a progressive brain disorder for which there is currently “no objective diagnostic test.” This is described in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces of the American Chemical Society.

About Graphene

  • Graphene has been touted in the global electronics industry as a “miracle material” given its strength, electrical conductivity and elasticity, and has been seen as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries since its discovery in 2004.
  • It is a form of carbon that can be used to develop smaller, slimmer batteries but with higher capacity.
  • Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick. Its thin composition and high conductivity means it is used in applications ranging from miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices.
  • These properties also enable thinner wire connections; providing extensive benefits for computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.
  • The potential applications of graphene include water filtration and purification, renewable energy, sensors, personalised healthcare and medicine, to name a few.
  • Graphene has excellent electronic, mechanical, thermal and optical properties as well. Its uses range from improving battery performance in energy devices, to cheaper solar panels.

2. IIT researchers 3D bioprint load-bearing bones

Context

  • Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and IIT Kanpur have used a different approach to mimic the development biology pathway by which adult load-bearing, long bones are formed.
  • The bone construct was fabricated by combining tissue engineering and 3D bioprinting. The study also helped in understanding the detailed gene expression and sequential signaling pathways that get upregulated when embryonic-stage cartilage becomes bone-like cells.

Bioprinting

  • Bioprinting is the three-dimensional printing of biological tissue and organs through the layering of living cells.
  • While this area of manufacturing is still in the experimental stage and is currently used primarily in scientific study rather than applied science, the possibility of creating functional replacement tissues or organs could one day transform medical treatment.
  • Bioprinting begins with creating an architectural design based on the fundamental composition of the target tissue or organ.
  • In a laboratory environment, a bioprinter then uses that design and deposits thin layers of cells using a bioprint head, which moves either left and right or up and down in the required configuration.
  • Bioprinters use bio-ink, or bioprocess protocols, to build these organic materials. They also dispense a dissolvable hydrogel to support and protect cells as tissues are constructed vertically, to act as fillers to fill empty spaces within the tissues.
  • Other uses for bioprinting include transplants, surgical therapy, tissue engineering and reconstructive surgery.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka are sparring over Mekedatu

Editorial Analysis:

A Look at the Problem:

  • Irritants resurfaced in relations between the riparian States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka last month after the Central Water Commission (CWC) allowed the Karnataka Cauvery Neeravari Nigam to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) on a nearly Rs. 6,000 crore plan to build a balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project across the Cauvery at Mekedatu.
  • The project envisages building a balancing reservoir with a storage of 67 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), which would also supply drinking water to Bengaluru and Ramanagaram districts, besides generating power.
  • The proposal received the Karnataka Cabinet’s approval in February 2017 and the feasibility report was submitted to the CWC.
  • The project could be completed in 2-3 years after construction begins, if all approvals are in place.

Why does Karnataka want this?

  • Karnataka has been contending that there is a need to augment capacity to store excess water in monsoon surplus years.
  • The recent heavy rain and floods resulted in Karnataka releasing excess water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu.
  • This led to the State intensifying its efforts to build the Mekedatu reservoir. Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar said the reservoir would help store excess water which can be released to Tamil Nadu during dry months, besides taking care of drinking water requirements of cities and towns of Karnataka.
  • The excess water is of no use even to Tamil Nadu as it would run off into the sea. The project would not affect water release to Tamil Nadu, nor would it be used for irrigation, he maintained.

Reasons as to why Tamil Nadu is opposing it?

  • Tamil Nadu fears that Karnataka’s move to create more storage facilities would effectively prevent the flow in the Cauvery.
  • It is important to note that the Cauvery river is the lifeline for agriculture in delta districts, besides also being a major drinking water source for several districts.
  • Furthermore, Farmers’ organisations fear this could turn the fertile Cauvery delta into a desert.
  • It is important to note that “The reservoir is not just for drinking water alone, as claimed by Karnataka, but also to increase the extent of irrigation, which is in violation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s award, as affirmed by the Supreme Court,” Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking withdrawal of the permission given to Karnataka.
  • The State was quick to move the Supreme Court for a direction to the CWC to withdraw its letter of permission and restrain Karnataka from proceeding with the preparation of the DPR.
  • The State also sought to initiate contempt proceedings against the CWC chairman, the Karnataka Water Resource Minister and others for “wilful disobedience” of the Supreme Court and Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal verdicts. Tamil Nadu said the Supreme Court had noted that the existing storages in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka should be taken into account for ensuring water releases to Tamil Nadu from June to January.
  • “Construction of any new dam by Karnataka would alter the adjudication to the distribution of 10 daily/monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
  • This amounts to interference with the adjudication, which is in contempt of the Supreme Court judgment of February 16, 2018,” the petition said. Many parties rallied behind the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s protest in Tiruchi; the government convened a special session of the Assembly to pass a unanimous resolution calling upon the Centre to direct the CWC to withdraw the permission.

What was Karnataka’s response?

  • Karnataka termed the challenge “misconceived, obstructive and factually baseless.” It rejected Tamil Nadu’s claims that the tribunal order barred the project and maintained that the reservoir would not affect the downstream flow in the river or jeopardise the livelihood of farmers.

The Way Forward:

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and Karnataka to respond to the petition filed by Tamil Nadu.
  • It is important to note that the court said it would not, at present, go into the aspect of contempt of court.
  • The Supreme Court also sought the responses of the Centre and the state of Karnataka to Tamil Nadu’s challenge to the Centre’s decision to give CWC chief S. Masood Husain additional charge as Chairman of the Cauvery Water Management Authority.

2. The lowdown on Kashmir strategy (J&K Political Crisis)

Note to Students:

Article 35A has been featured in this section. Students can go through the detailed video based analysis on this article from a video released by BYJU’S which is as below:

In the news analysis presented below, we take into consideration the points mentioned in the Article, “The lowdown on Kashmir strategy” on the 16th of December, 2018 as well as points from another article, namely, “The warning signs are loud and clear” published on the 15th of December, 2018.

Larger Background:

  • After remaining in suspended animation for five months, the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was dissolved by Governor Satya Pal Malik in the month of November, 2018.
  • It is important to note that after the November-December 2014 elections to the State Assembly, which produced a fractured mandate, J&K had some years of a Peoples Democratic Party-BJP coalition government, interspersed with a spell of Governor’s rule.
  • In June 2018, the BJP pulled out of this alliance. In November, when the PDP, the Congress and the National Conference had almost reached an understanding to form a government, the Governor decided to dissolve the Assembly.
  • The Situation on the ground:
  • It is important to note that four years of mismanaged politics have plunged J&K into its worst ever cycle of violence and confusion.
  • Further, Kashmir today is not merely volatile, but is drifting inexorably into anarchy. Violence is the dominant factor.
  • Also, the numbers of militants and security personnel killed dominate newspaper headlines.
  • Moreover, during the course of the past three years, South Kashmir had been the main epicentre of violence, but more recently, North and Central Kashmir have also emerged as violence prone.
  • The year, 2018 has witnessed some of the highest levels of violence since 1989. Areas such as Srinagar which had previously been declared a ‘militancy free zone’ have again witnessed a series of militant attacks.

Growing Divide?

    • In addition to escalating violence, it is important to note that a distinctive feature of the situation in Kashmir today is the divide between the administration and the populace, which is possibly at its widest today.
    • The turnout in local body elections in urban areas dropped is a negligible percentage. Retrieving the situation in J&K would thus prove extremely difficult.
  • Experts opine that J&K appears to be at a tipping point and needs to be handled with extreme care.
  • A series of miscalculations by governments in both J&K and at the Centre have led to the present impasse.
  • A look at the recent miscalculations:
  • The first was Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s belief that his brand of ‘sleight-of-hand’ politics (which he used to practise with the Congress) could be replicated with the BJP, and hope thereby to sustain his legacy as a consummate politician.
  • The hope, however, proved short-lived. After his death in January 2016, daughter Mehbooba Mufti had to be persuaded to continue with the arrangement, but increasing levels of violence after her takeover witnessed the coalition partners viewing the situation from very different angles.
  • In the wake of the growing political dissonance, other miscalculations have also occurred. One was a misplaced belief in the virtues of an ‘unilateral ceasefire’ during Ramzan 2018, replicating the Ramzan ceasefire during the period of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atavistic reasoning is, however, no substitute for a carefully constructed and calibrated ceasefire. Militants used the ceasefire to regroup, just when the security forces seemed to gain the upper hand.
  • Pakistan also acted as a spoiler, carrying out a series of border attacks during this same period.
  • Compounding this situation was the controversy generated over Article 35A of the Constitution, accompanied by demands that it should be revoked. It led to widespread apprehension that the Centre was trying to undermine the special concessions granted to J&K which were embedded in the Constitution. A crisis of confidence in Delhi’s intentions followed, precisely when the State was reeling under a wave of militant protests.
  • The gravest miscalculation arose on how best to deal with the rising crescendo of violence engulfing the Valley.
  • Critics opine that the absence of political guidance, belief in the virtues of a ‘muscular policy’ to stamp out militancy, eschewing of all softer options, and an irrevocable breakdown in communications led to a widening chasm between the people of Kashmir and the administration.
  • Once the PDP-BJP coalition collapsed under the weight of its inherent contradictions, reintroduction of Governor’s rule (that is, rule by the Centre) turned out to be a case of the remedy being worse than the disease.

Looking back at a difficult year:

    • Even as 2018 turned out to be highly violence prone, militants adopted a variety of new tactics to create fear.
  • Militants targeted the families of policemen, in addition to concentrating on off-duty policemen, especially when they went home on leave. This led to a fear psychosis. The year has turned out to be the worst for the J&K police, with nearly 50 policemen being killed.
    • As a matter of fact, in many respects, the killing of militant Burhan Wani in mid-2016 has been a watershed in the troubled security situation in J&K. Additions to militant ranks went up, and 2018 has possibly seen the largest accretion of local youth into militant ranks.
  • According to one estimate, every third day a youth took up arms in Kashmir. The profile of those joining the ranks of the militants is also changing, with many more educated Kashmiri youth (including engineering and other graduates) signing up.
    • Kashmir thus stands today at the cusp of a new and dangerous phase. Opinions in J&K have become further inflamed following the Governor’s decision to dissolve the J&K Assembly, without giving an opportunity to any of the claimants to form a government.
  • The Governor’s reasoning that a government formed by parties with ‘opposing political ideologies’ would not be stable has been widely attacked and has been the subject of controversy.
  • Experts opine that it is too early to surmise when elections will be held. Attitudes are meanwhile hardening. The Pro-Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, has been anointed with a new leader, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai.
  • Further, the Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammad, has made a comeback in J&K after a gap of several years, and is poised to revive its terror attacks.
  • It is also important to note that the Hizbul Mujahideen has become stronger during the past year, and its ‘supreme commander’ based in Pakistan, Syed Salahuddin, appears confident of being able to revive the momentum of the struggle to the level that existed in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Changing profile of militancy in J&K:

    • The profile of militancy in J&K is meanwhile undergoing a drastic change, with recruits to militant ranks increasingly being young educated locals. The approach of the latter to the Kashmir question is vastly different from those of the past. It would not be surprising if some among them are inspired by the ‘Arab Spring’ fervour that rocked West Asia a few years back.
    • Experts opine that the earlier there is recognition that Kashmir militancy is beginning to resemble a ‘black hole’ that is attracting more and more young militants, the better the chances of retrieving the situation.
    • Further, not enough research has been done as to why the Burhan Wani killing in July 2016 became a turning point in the history of militancy in J&K.
  • Similarly, a more detailed analysis is required as to why Operation All Out – an offshoot of the muscular offensive adopted in 2017 – altered the character of the insurgency in Kashmir.
    • Intelligence agencies also need to ferret out more details of what Pakistan is planning in J&K, even while talking of peace in Kartarpur and elsewhere. It is important to note that there are many stray indications that official agencies and jihadi organisations in Pakistan are collaborating in training recruits to be sent into Kashmir.
    • The training curriculum includes: weapons training, survival techniques, high altitude acclimatisation, combat training and the like.
  • India cannot afford to be caught off-guard with another 26/11 situation, which was the outcome of a similar combined effort.

Editorial Analysis:

  • Experts opine that as Jammu and Kashmir comes under President’s rule on December 20, 2018, the State has witnessed interventions by government as well as non-governmental players with no clear picture emerging.
  • It is important to note that before and after the State came under Governor’s rule on June 20 this year, 2018, the strategy in the Kashmir Valley has mostly veered around the gun.
  • As a matter of fact, till December 2nd, 2018, the State witnessed 587 terrorist-related incidents, which have been the highest in the last six years.
  • Also according to the Home Ministry, 238 militants and 86 security personnel were killed in various operations this year, again the highest in six years.
  • It is important to note that the assembly was dissolved on November 21, 2018 by Governor Satya Pal Malik amid allegations of horse-trading.

An Important Perspective

  • It is important to note that only in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, President’s rule is imposed after six months of Governor’s rule.
  • Further, the proclamation has to be ratified by Parliament within two months.
  • Also, when the State is under Governor’s rule, the legislative power rests with the Governor and during President’s rule it is with Parliament.
  • It is also important to note that the State had faced another crisis when it was placed under Governor’s rule on June 20, 2018 after the BJP pulled out of an alliance with the People’s Democratic Party after the government said on June 17, 2018 that it would not continue the ‘suspension of operations’ or ‘cease-ops’ that was announced to provide relief to people in the month of Ramzan.
  • In May, 2018, it is important to note that Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that security operations would be suspended for a month to provide relief to the people during Ramzan.
  • However, a month later, the government revoked the decision after the killing of Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari on June 14.

A Look at Recent Developments:

  • Last month, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s NGO Art of Living Foundation arranged a meeting of former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Mangne Bondevik with hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar.
  • This meeting raised eyebrows as India has always opposed intervention by a third country and insisted that all violence in Kashmir is perpetrated by Pakistan.
  • However, some experts point out that the meeting of the NGO members and the Norwegian delegation at Hyderpora, the fortified residence of Mr. Geelani, wouldn’t have been possible without the tacit support of the Centre.
  • It is important to note that Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma, who was appointed last year to carry forward the dialogue with all stakeholders in Kashmir, was not part of the meeting.
  • It is also important to note that after the State came under Governor’s rule, 356 people, including security men, were injured during counter-terror operations and stone-throwing incidents in the Valley. During the same period, 136 militants were killed in operations by security forces. Around 250 militants are said to be active in the Valley, an official said.
  • Recently, Mudasir Rashid Parray, 14, from Hajin in north Kashmir, once a militancy-free area, became the youngest militant of the Lashkar-e-Taiba to have been killed after an 18-hour encounter with security forces. The police have maintained that recruitment to militant groups was at a record low and some teenagers joining terrorist ranks was not a trend but “deviant behaviour.”

Concluding Remarks:

    • With winter setting in and the panchayat elections over, the State will now prepare for the Assembly election that is most likely to be held around the 2019 general election in March-April next year.
    • Experts point out that the Supreme Court is expected to resume hearing the petition challenging Article 35A in January 2019.
  • The constitutional validity of Article 35A, which prohibits a non-J&K resident from buying property in the State and ensures job reservation for J&K residents and lets the legislature decide the permanent residents of the State, has been challenged through a PIL petition.
  • Lastly, the National Conference and the PDP, the two main parties, have cautioned against any tinkering with the law. It is important to note that the Home Ministry informed Parliament last year (2017) that there was no proposal for abolition of Articles 35A and 370, which give special status to the State.

F. Tidbits

1. Border forces lack basic amenities

Situation at the borders based on the 214th Report on ‘Working Conditions in Border Guarding Forces (Assam Rifles, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo Tibetan Border Police and Border Security Force)’.

  • Nearly 82% of Border Outposts (BOPs) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), deployed along the inhospitable and rugged China border, do not have access to clean drinking water. Over 40% are unconnected by road.
  • There are 177 BOPs of the ITBP, of which only 24% have a regular supply of electricity. The rest (76%) are dependent on generators.
  • 82% of the [ITBP] BOPs, drinking water is obtained from rivulets and springs which are polluted… at some places the level of contamination is alarming. Clean drinking water is a fundamental right.”
  • According to MHA data, in the past three years alone, over 500 were said to be suffering from High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPO), Acute Cerebral Edema and loss of memory. There were over 400 personnel suffering from snow blindness and trench foot.
  • The Ministry further informed that the average recovery time for HAPO, Acute Cerebral Edema, loss of memory is six to 12 months. The average recovery time for trench foot and snow blindness is seven to 15 days.
  • According to a study done by the ITBP, approximately 20% of personnel were suffering from high altitude induced hypertension.
  • Moreover, the Committee observed that there was a large number of vacancies in the medical the report said team and this has adversely impacted the forces.
  • Basic training and right equipment are fundamental to any fighting force. The Committee pulled up the Government for not providing basic training equipment to the ITBP personnel.

2. Will induct women in the military police: Army chief

  • Chief of the Army Staff Bipin Rawat on Saturday said the Army would induct women jawans in the corps of military police, and further scope of recruiting women in Army posts would be explored thereafter.
  • There were several other fields where the Army was thinking of inducting women. Last year, the Army chief had announced that women would be recruited in ranks other than officers, citing various reasons. It was expected that the Army would induct 800 women military police.
  • Earlier, Gen. Rawat said the Indian Air Force was the best among the air forces of the world and would continue to touch the skies with glory. As many as 139 trainee officers, including 24 women, joined the elite cadre of the Air Force as commissioned officers.

G. Prelims Fact

1. India, Nepal and Bhutan plan task force to protect wildlife

  • The governments of India, Nepal and Bhutan are actively considering having a joint task force for allowing free movement of wildlife across political boundaries and checking smuggling of wildlife across the Kanchenjunga Landscape, a trans-boundary region spread across Nepal, India and Bhutan.
  • The development comes after forest officials and representatives of non-governmental organisation of the three countries visited parts of the landscape and later held a meeting at Siliguri in north Bengal earlier this month.
  • P. Pandey of SPOAR, a north Bengal-based wildlife organisation, said that every few months there were cases of elephants, rhino, gaurs and other mammals crossing over political boundaries, triggering panic among locals across the border and also posing a danger to the wildlife.

Related Organisation – National Board for Wildlife

  • Due to the rapid decline in wildlife population, the Government of India during 1952 had constituted an advisory body designated as the Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL).
  • The Indian Board for Wildlife is chaired by the Prime Minister. Since its inception, more than twenty meetings have been convened and several important decisions relating to conservation of wildlife has been taken by the Board.
  • During the 1970’s the Government of India appointed a committee for recommending legislative measures and administrative machinery for ensuring environmental protection.
  • Accordingly, a comprehensive central legislation was enacted in 1972 called the Wildlife (Protection) Act for providing special legal protection to our wildlife and to the endangered species of fauna in particular. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 has been amended, the latest being in 2006.
  • As per the amendment of the Act in 2002, a provision was incorporated for the constitution of the National Board for Wildlife, replacing the Indian Board for Wildlife.
  • National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is a statutory Board constituted on 22nd September 2003 under Section 5 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The NBWL is chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. At present, which of the following states has/have a bicameral system of state 
legislature?
  1. Uttar Pradesh
  2. Telangana
  3. Andhra Pradesh

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

See

Answer
Question 2. Which one of the following statements with reference to the Chief Minister (CM) of a 
state is incorrect?

 

  1. A sitting Member of Parliament can be appointed as a CM
  2. A person who is not a member of a state legislature can be appointed as CM for six months, within which time, he should be elected to the State Legislature
  3. According to the Constitution, the CM must be a member of the State Legislative Assembly
  4. The CM is the de facto executive of the state

See

Answer
Question 3. The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011, related to co-operative societies, 
made changes to which of the following parts of the Constitution? 
  1. Fundamental Rights
  2. Directive Principles of State Policy
  3. Part IX

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

See

Answer

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. India and France are moving fast towards operationalising the nuclear power project at Jaitapur. In this context critically analyse the need for nuclear energy in India. (150 words, 10 Marks)
  2. Graphene, a form of carbon and a super-strong, ultra-light material discovered in 2004, enables flexible electronic components, enhances solar cell capacity, and promises to revolutionise batteries. Explain. (150 words, 10 Marks)

See previous CNA

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