UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis – December 29

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Bill criminalizing triple talaq passed in Lok Sabha
B. GS2 Related
HEALTH ISSUES
1. WHO to classify ‘gaming disorder’ as mental health condition
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘India leads in global milk production’
2. NPA Status in India
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. More scientists coming back now
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY
1. Bali declares ‘garbage emergency’ amid sea of waste
2. Implementation of CAMPA, 2016
INTERNAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE RELATED
1. Endo-atmospheric interceptor missile successfully tested
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

 

A. GS1 Related

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Bill criminalizing triple talaq passed in Lok Sabha

 In news:

  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill: The Lok Sabha passed by voice vote the Bill that makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years.
  • The bill was cleared on the same day that it was introduced – something that was possible because the BJP government has a brute majority in the Lower House.
  • The proposed law would be applicable to the entire country, except in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It would make instant talaq punishable and would be a cognisable, non-bailable offence.
  • Key fact: 22 Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, had regulated instant triple talaq, there was no effective law in India. 

B. GS2 Related

Category: HEALTH ISSUES

1. WHO to classify ‘gaming disorder’ as mental health condition

 In news:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) is all set to classify gaming disorder as a mental health condition next year.
  • More and more youngsters getting hooked on video games, both online and offline
  • Nearly 7% of population studied for gaming and internet addiction studied exhibited symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders -V, a diagnostic bible for mental health professionals published by the American Psychiatric Association, has already classified gaming disorder as a mental health condition.

Common affects noticed:

  • Psychosocial and behavioural changes affecting daily activities
  • Physical health problems (disturbance in sleep pattern and eating habits)
  • Psychological problems have become a major concern for their family members.
  • Internet addiction also has an effect on social performance and lifestyle
  • Addictive use of Internet has an adverse effect in the form of irregular dietary habits and physical problems.
  • It is also associated with insomnia, sleep apnea and nightmares.
  • Among adults, it leads one to disregard crucial daily responsibilities such as work, academic, family, or social obligations

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. ‘India leads in global milk production’

 Key Facts:

  • During the past three years, India has outpaced the global milk production with an annual growth rate of 5.53% compared with the 2.09% achieved globally.
  • India has been the largest producer of milk in the world for the past 15 years.
  • Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 163.7 million tonnes in 2016-17. Particularly, it has increased by 19% during 2016-17 in comparison to the year 2013-14.
  • Similarly, per capita availability of milk has increased from 307 grams in 2013-14 to 351 grams in the year 2016-17. Similarly, the income of dairy farmers increased by 23.77% in 2014-17 compared to 2011-14.

What next?

  • To meet future challenges, it is necessary to gradually shift towards a technology-driven environment.

National Action Plan Vision 2022:

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Daily Farming is working on a National Action Plan Vision 2022

Objectives:

  • Enhancing the outreach of dairy cooperatives to additional villages and milk producers.
  • Building of additional milk processing infrastructure for processing additional volume of milk expected on account of higher milk production and meeting the increased demand for value-added products.

2. NPA Status in India

 

  • The Central government has been working hard to address India’s twin balance sheet problem, but it hasn’t had much to show in the form of results.
  • The Financial Stability Report released by the Reserve Bank of India, for one, suggests that India is still far away from solving the troubles ailing its banks and large business corporations.
  • According to the report released last week, gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking system as a whole rose to 10.2% at the end of September, from 9.6% at the end of March.
  • This, according to a research report released by CARE Ratings, puts India fifth among significant economies with the most NPAs.
  • The RBI stated further that it expects NPAs to continue to rise to as high as 11.1% of total outstanding loans by September 2018, so the end to the bad loans mess seems nowhere near.
  • The bad loans problem has also not spared private sector banks – these lenders have seen their asset quality deteriorate at a faster pace than public sector banks. Private bank NPAs increased by almost 41%, as compared to 17% in the case of public sector banks at the end of September.
  • Non-banking financial companies that compete against banks also saw a jump in NPAs. There are, however, some signs of hope as credit growth has begun to turn the corner and shown faster growth on a year-on-year basis when compared to March.
  • Reforms undertaken until now though may not be good enough to tackle the problem. The resolution of bankruptcy cases, particularly against large borrowers that contribute a major share of bank NPAs, under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code should help bring the NPA situation under some control.
  • In fact, despite its many imperfections and the slow pace of resolutions by the National Company Law Tribunal, the Code can be helpful in cleaning up bank books in future credit cycles.
  • The recapitalisation of public sector banks too can help increase the capital cushion of banks and induce them to lend more and boost economic activity. But bad debt resolution and recapitalisation are only part of the solution as they, by themselves, can do very little to rein in reckless lending that has pushed the Indian banking system to its current sorry state.
  • Unless there are systemic reforms that address the problem of unsustainable lending, future credit cycles will continue to stress the banking system.
  • In this regard, the government will do well to consider the recent advice of the International Monetary Fund to reduce its ownership stake in banks and give greater powers to the RBI to regulate public sector banks efficiently. Structural reforms are the only long-term solution.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. More scientists coming back now

 In news:

  • Department of Science and Technology stats: The number of Indian-origin scientists working internationally and returning to India between 2012 and 2017 has jumped 70% from that from 2007 to 2012

Brain drain to Brain gain:

  • Long plagued by “brain drain”, India has over the last decade ramped up schemes to attract Indian- origin scientists
  • This trend is primarily due to schemes such as the Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme and the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme and the Ramalingaswami re-entry fellowship scheme coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
  • These schemes allow “high-caliber” Indian researchers working abroad to relocate to Indian institutes and universities of their respective interest and domain
Basic Information:

Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme

  • The fellowship is meant for brilliant scientists and engineers from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India, i.e. for those scientists who want to return to India from abroad
  • Ramanujan Fellowship are only for those candidates who are doing Post Doctoral abroad and not for the people who already have permanent position in a scientific organization in the country
  • The fellowships are scientist-specific and very selective
  • All Areas of Science (in the broadest terms) are covered by this Fellowship
  • The Ramanujan Fellowship duration is for 5 years only
  • The Ramanujan Fellows could work in any of the scientific institutions and universities in the country
  • They would be eligible for receiving regular research grants through the extramural funding schemes of various S&T agencies of the Government of India
  • This scheme is managed by Science and Engineering Research Board under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India

Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme

  • INSPIRE is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to Science
  • The basic objective of INSPIRE is to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base
  • A striking feature of the programme is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level
  • It believes in and relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for identification of talent
  • INSPIRE has three components:
    1. Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)
    2. Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
    3. Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC)

Category: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY

1. Bali declares ‘garbage emergency’ amid sea of waste

 In news:

  • World’s second-biggest contributor to marine debris: A colossal 1.29 million metric tons is estimated to be produced annually by Indonesia
  • The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is the world’s second-biggest contributor to marine debris after China

Plastic wastes:

  • The waves of plastic flooding into rivers and oceans have been causing problems for years.It has been clogging waterways in cities, increasing the risk of floods, and injuring or killing marine animals that ingest or become trapped by plastic packaging
  • Microplastics can contaminate fish which, if eaten by humans, could cause health problems including cancer
  • The problem has grown so bad that officials in Bali last month declared a “garbage emergency” across a six-kilometer stretch of coast

Clean Seas campaign

  • Indonesia is one of nearly 40 countries that are part of UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign
  • As part of its commitment, the Indonesian government has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 % by 2025
Basic Information:

UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign

  • The campaign aims to halt the tide of plastic trash polluting the oceans
  • UN Environment launched #CleanSeas in February 2017, with the aim of engaging governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter
  • Over the next five years, UNEP will address the root-cause of marine litter by targeting the production and consumption of non-recoverable and single-use plastic
  • The campaign contributes to the goals of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, a voluntary open-ended partnership for international agencies, governments, businesses, academia, local authorities and non-governmental organizations hosted by UN Environment

2. Implementation of CAMPA, 2016

 CAMPA

  • CAMPA Actor Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority bill is a legislation that seeks to provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization in efficient and transparent manner of amounts realised in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose which would mitigate impact of diversion of such forest land.
  • The disclosure in Parliament that the Centre is not ready with the rules to implement the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 demonstrates that the government’s resolve to meet a variety of environmental objectives, including major commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals, remains woefully weak.
  • It is, of course, debatable whether the Act, with the disbursal mechanism through national and State funds that it mandates, is a sound remedy for loss of rich forests that continues to occur because of developmental and biotic pressures.
  • The evidence on compensatory afforestation in a big project such as the Sardar Sarovar Dam, for instance, is not encouraging.
  • About 13,000 hectares were compensated there, but only with patchy outcomes: healthy monoculture plantations having low biodiversity value came up in some places, while others resulted in unhealthy plantations with few trees.
  • Be that as it may, diversion of forests for non-forest use seems inevitable to some degree, and the accumulation of about Rs. 40,000 crore in compensatory funds clearly points to significant annexation of important habitats.
  • The task is to make an assessment of suitable lands, preferably contiguous with protected areas that can be turned over for management to a joint apparatus consisting of forest department staff and scientific experts.
  • Putting in place a scientific national plan to expand good green cover is essential, since the sequestration of carbon through sustainably managed forests is a key component of the commitment made under the Paris Agreement.
  • There is already a Green India Mission, which is distinct from the framework envisaged for compensatory afforestation. What the Centre needs to do is to enable independent audit of all connected programmes, in order to sensibly deploy the financial resources now available.
  • It must be emphasised, however, that replacing a natural forest with a plantation does not really serve the cause of nature, wildlife, or the forest-dwelling communities who depend on it, because of the sheer loss of biodiversity.
  • Yet, there is immense potential to augment the services of forests through a careful choice of plants and trees under the afforestation programme. All this can make a beginning only with the actualisation of the law passed in 2016.
  • It is worth pointing out that the method used to calculate the net present value of forests, taking into account all ecosystem services they provide, is far from perfect, as many scientists point out.
  • Some of the momentum for compensatory afforestation has come from judicial directives, but now that there is a new law in place, it should be given a foundation of rules that rest on scientific credibility.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE RELATED

1. Endo-atmospheric interceptor missile successfully tested

 In news

  • India successfully test-fired an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, capable of destroying enemy ballistic missiles at low altitude
  • The missile is being developed as part the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system and it was the third successful test this year

Importance:

  • The endo-atmospheric missile is capable of intercepting missiles at altitudes of 15-30 km
  • Shooting down an incoming missile at lower altitudes is more complicated than shooting at higher altitudes due to the higher velocity of the missile

Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system

  • The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) for exo-atmospheric ranges and the Advanced Area Defence (AAD) missile for endo-atmosphere or lower altitudes

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

E. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements with reference to the Ramanujan 
Fellowship scheme:
  1. Ramanujan Fellowship are only for those candidates who are doing Post Doctoral abroad.
  2. Only Mathematics related research area is covered by this Fellowship.
  3. The Ramanujan Fellows could work only in few selected scientific institutions and universities in the country.

Choose the correct statements from the options given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. All are correct

See

Answer

 

Question 2. Consider the following statements with reference to UN Environment’s Clean 
Seas campaign:
  1. The campaign aims to halt the tide of plastic trash polluting the oceans
  2. UN Environment launched #CleanSeas in February 2017, with the aim of engaging governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter
  3. The campaign contributes to the goals of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter

Choose the correct statements from the options given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. All are correct

See

Answer

 

Question 3. Consider the following statements with reference to the Innovation in Science 
Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme:
  1. INSPIRE is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to Science
  2. A striking feature of the programme is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level

Choose the correct statements from the options given below.

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

See

Answer

 

Question 4. The Betla National Park (BNP) is located in which state?
  1. Punjab
  2. Jharkhand
  3. Haryana
  4. Himachal Pradesh

See

Answer

 

Question 5. Edaphology is concerned with the ______?
  1. Influence of human development on soil
  2. Influence of soils on human development
  3. Influence of soils on living things
  4. None of the above

See

Answer

 

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper I

TOPIC: WORLD HISTORY

  1. Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse.
GS Paper IV

TOPIC: THEORY RELATED

  1. What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service?

 

Integrity
Perseverance
Spirit of service
Commitment
Courage of conviction

 

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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