UPSC Exam: Comprehensive News Analysis - February 02

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Senior Citizens welfare in Budget
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. New Roster System for case allocation
2. MPs’ salaries to be revised automatically every 5 years
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS
1. Budget Allocation for MEA
HEALTH ISSUES
1. Ayushman Bharat programme
2. Blood test for Alzheimer’s
EDUCATION
1. Budget for education
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. e-way bill
2. Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) programme
3. Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN)
4. Operation Greens
5. Re-structured National Bamboo Mission
6. Budget for Agriculture
7. Budget for Railways
8. Centre does not consider cryptocurrencies a legal tender
9. Budget 2018 strikes a reasonable balance
SECURITY
1. Key amendments in Prevention of Money-Laundering Act
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Budget for Space programs
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Senior Citizens welfare in Budget

  • An effort would be made to ease the cash flows of senior citizens that are largely dependent on interest income. The exemption limit on interest income on bank and post office deposits has been raised from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 a year.
  • The deduction available for health insurance premium and medical expenditure has been raised from ₹30,000 to ₹50,000.
  • Deductions for medical expenditure on certain critical illnesses have been hiked to ₹1 lakh for all senior citizens, up from the prevailing levels of ₹60,000 for senior citizens and ₹80,000 for very senior citizens.
  • While these concessions are worth ₹4,000 crore, the government also extended the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March 2020, which assures an 8% return, and raised the investment cap from ₹7.5 lakh to ₹15 lakh.

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. New Roster System for case allocation

  • The publication of the judges’ roster of case allocation is for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court.
  • The move follows a decision of a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Misra declaring the Chief Justice of India’s dominance as the master of the roster in order to protect the Supreme Court from “anarchy”.

How is the distribution done?

  • Under the new system, effective 5 February, cases will be allocated based on the subject matter they entail, according to a posting on the official website of the Supreme Court.
  • Under the new roster system, the CJI will hear all special leave petitions (SLPs), and matters related to public interest, social justice, elections, arbitration, and criminal matters, among others. These form a big chunk of the important matters heard by the apex court.
  • Left for the other judges to hear are matters related to labour disputes, taxation matters, compensation matters, consumer protection matters, maritime law matters, mortgage matters, personal law matters, family law matters, land acquisition matters, service matters, company matters etc.

Titbit

  • Cases on medical and engineering college admissions/transfer cases, allocation of 15% All India quota in medical admissions/transfers and establishment and recognition of educational institutions would be heard by Justice Arun Mishra’s Bench.
  • Justice S.A. Bobde, the seventh senior most judge and in line to be the Chief Justice of India, gets a share of cases on medical/engineering admissions and transfer. Justice Bobde’s Bench would also be allocated academic matters and cases dealing admissions to educational institutions other than medical and engineering.
  • Justice Rohinton Nariman’s Bench has also been given cases of establishment and recognition of education institutions.
  • Justice Chelameswar includes labour, matters pertaining to judicial officers, simple money and mortgage cases, land acquisition, consumer protection, criminal cases, among others.
  • Justice Gogoi has been allocated labour cases, company law, contempt of court, personal law, criminal matters, among others.
  • Justice Kurian’s roster has cases on family law, personal law, disputes about religious and charitable endowments, land laws and agriculture.

Context

  • The letter had cited the irregular manner of assigning of cases by Misra as a particular matter of concern that forced the four senior-most Supreme Court judges to publicly question his leadership.

Background

  • Roster is defined as a system to allocate different tasks to all the members in order to achieve higher efficiency.
  • ‘Master of the Roster’ refers to the privilege of the Chief Justice to constitute Benches to hear cases.
  • This privilege was emphasised in November 2017, when a Constitution Bench, led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, declared that “the Chief Justice is the master of the roster and he alone has the prerogative to constitute the Benches of the Court and allocate cases to the Benches so constituted.”

What is the position of the four judges on the ‘master of the roster’ issue?

  • They regard it as “one of the well-settled principles” and a convention that is important for an orderly transaction of business.
  • According to the Supreme Court Rules, 2017[3]. Chapter V: Powers, Duties and Functions of the Registrar, Rule 29, expressly states that the Registrar shall prepare roster under the directions of the Chief Justice of India, and all such powers, duties and functions of the registrar are subjected to any further special or general orders of the Chief Justice of India.
  • But, they write in the letter, it isn’t a recognition of superior authority of the Chief Justice over his colleagues. Their point is that the Chief Justice is only the “first among equals,” a phrase that Chief Justice Misra himself had used in the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms vs. Union of India order.
  • In their letter, the four judges have also written that there are “well-settled and time honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice” in the determination of the roster, including those about the strength of the Bench to deal with a particular case.
  • There have been instances where cases having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justice of this Court selectively to the Benches “of their preferences” without any rational basis for such assignment.

2. MPs’ salaries to be revised automatically every 5 years

  • Union finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that their salaries will be automatically revised every five years indexed to inflation.
  • He also said that the government would bring in a new policy on salaries of lawmakers, effective April 1.

Under the present system, a Parliamentary committee having members from both Houses of Parliament makes its recommendations on the salaries and allowances of MPs, and the government takes appropriate decision and brings an amendment bill. Such amendment proposals are usually approved with consensus in Parliament.

Category: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS

1. Budget Allocation for MEA

  • Under the general budget, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been allocated ₹15,011 crore, which indicates a marginal increase of ₹1,321 crore over the previous year’s grant
  • Large allocation has been made for the prominent cultural arm of the MEA, Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), which has received an increased allocation of ₹20 crore to touch ₹255 crores.

Neighbourhood First

For India’s developmental and diplomatic engagement under the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the Budget has allocated ₹5545 crore.

  • Bhutan is traditionally the largest recipient of MEA’s allocation. It has maintained the same position even as the allocation increased by ₹71 crore to touch ₹2650 crore.
  • Nepal which received ₹650 crore from the MEA. This year’s allocation is the third consecutive and the largest increase in the allocation for Kathmandu.
  • At ₹280 crore, Myanmar’s allocation too has improved from ₹220 crore of last year.

Category: HEALTH ISSUES

1. Ayushman Bharat programme

The Government today announced two major initiatives in health sector, as part of Ayushman Bharat Programme.

Health and Wellness Centre:-

  • The National Health Policy, 2017 has envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system.
  • Under this 5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people.
  • These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.
  • These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
  • The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme. Contribution of private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.

National Health Protection Scheme:-

  • The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme.
  • Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.
  • The mega health insurance scheme for the poor will give the sector a big boost but could cost over Rs 1 lakh crore

Other Details

  • The Finance Minister said, that in order to further enhance accessibility of quality medical education and health care, 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up, by up-grading existing district hospitals in the country.
  • This would ensure that there is at least 1 Medical College for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and at least 1 Government Medical College in each State of the country

The Finance Minister further said, that these two health sector initiatives under Ayushman Bharat Programme will build a New India 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, wellbeing and avert wage loss and impoverishment. These Schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.

Economic survey

  • The Economic Survey had flagged the heavy cost that treatment at private hospitals had imposed on people two years ago, underlining that the average cost of treatment in private hospitals was about four times than that of public healthcare facilities.
  • Citing a national survey report, the Economic Survey had pointed that people had to spend an average Rs. 26,000 for treatment per hospitalised case in private facilities.

2. Blood test for Alzheimer’s

  • Researchers in Japan and Australia say they have made important progress in developing a blood test that could in future help doctors detect who might go on to get Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Scientists said the test can detect a toxic protein known as amyloid beta, linked to Alzheimer’s.

Stats

  • Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common form, affects close to 50 million people worldwide and is expected to affect more than 131 million by 2050.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.

How are tests performed currently?

  • Currently, doctors use brain scans or invasive cerebrospinal fluid testing, also known as a spinal tap, to try and see whether patients have a build-up of amyloid beta in the brain.
  • But these tests are invasive, expensive and may only show results when the disease has already started to progress.

Category: EDUCATION

1. Budget for education

Ekalavya Model Residential School

  • to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment
  • By the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Ekalavya Model Residential School.
  • Ekalavya schools will be on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas and will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.

Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)

  • The scheme known as RISE will be launched in the country with a total investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in the next four years.

Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme

  • Under the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme, 1,000 best B.Tech students will be selected from premier institutions each year and facilities will be provided to them to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. e-way bill

What is it?

  • E-way bill is an electronic document (available to supplier / recipient / transporter) generated on the common portal evidencing movement of goods of consignment value more than Rs. 50000/-.
  • It has two components-
    • Part A comprising of details of GSTIN of supplier & recipient, place of delivery (indicating PIN Code also), document (Tax invoice, Bill of Supply, Delivery Challan or Bill of Entry) number and date, value of goods, HSN code, and reasons for transportation.
    • Part B comprises of transport details – transport document number (Goods Receipt Number or Railway Receipt Number or Airway Bill Number or Bill of Lading Number) and Vehicle number for road.

What were the issues?

  • The Govt said “In view of difficulties faced by the trade in generating e-way bill due to initial tech glitches, it has been decided to extend the trial phase for generation of e-way bill, both for inter and intra-State movement of goods.”
  • It shall be made compulsory from a date to be announced.

2. Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) programme

  • Public sector banks (PSBs) will get an additional leeway of Rs 5 lakh crore because of the government’s Rs 2.11 lakh crore recapitalisation plan coupled with the “ambitious reforms agenda”
  • The PSBs are to raise Rs 80,000 crore by issuing bonds, which are part of the Rs 2.11 lakh crore package
  • The reform agenda is aimed at EASE — Enhanced Access and Service Excellence — focusing on six themes of customer responsiveness, responsible banking, credit offtake, PSBs (public sector banks) as Udyami Mitra, deepening financial inclusion and digitalisation and developing personnel for brand PSB.

3. Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN)

  • In an effort to make the villages open defecation free and improving the lives of villagers, the Finance Minister in his budget speech announced the launch of GOBAR-DHAN
  • This will manage and convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, bio-gas and bio-CNG.

4. Operation Greens

  • Operation Greens aims to promote farmer producers organisations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management. The operation aims to aid farmers and help control and limit the erratic fluctuations in the prices of onions, potatoes and tomatoes.
  • Jaitley proposed that it would be launched with an allocation of Rs 500 crore
  • The idea behind Operation Greens is to double the income of farmers by the end of 2022. Operation is essentially a price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers are given the right price for their produce. The MSP regulation has a key role to play here.
    • The announcement to set minimum support price of all kharif crops at 1.5 times the cost of production will increase the farmers’ income and for consumers, tax incentives will be given under Operation Greens.
  • Operation Greens will work to increase demand in the economy as well with its demand forecasting model.
    • To help in the structural and infrastructure part of the scheme, Jaitley announced that as many as 470 agriculture market committee (APMCs) promoted markets will now be connected to the e-nam platform while the government will help in development of 22,000 agricultural markets.

5. Re-structured National Bamboo Mission

  • It has an outlay of Rs.1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner.
  • Bamboo is ‘Green Gold’.
  • The National Bamboo Mission is a wholly-sponsored central scheme.

How will it advance the economy?

  • Bamboo is essentially a type of grass, but its classification as a tree for 90 years prevented the northeast, which grows 67% of India’s bamboo, from exploiting it
  • The inclusion of bamboo in forest produce items has affected its marketability as bamboo grown by farmers could not be harvested
  • The introduction of a new policy for transit of bamboo from non-forest areas will further boost the bamboo sector in the Northeast, where more than 50 per cent of India’s bamboo resources are available

Issues

  • The flowering of bamboo every 50-55 years leads to dramatic increase in the population of rats that destroy crops triggering famine, locally called mautam.
  • There have also been instances of bamboo cartels shedding blood while competing for limited commercial opportunities

What needs to be done?

  • Restructured NBM needs to be more focussed on value-chain management and value-addition of bamboo at community level which will bring more income to the bamboo farmers and bamboo processors.

6. Budget for Agriculture

  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FAIDF) for fisheries sector and an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) for financing infrastructure requirement of animal husbandry sector. Total Corpus of these two new Funds would be Rs.10,000 crore.
  • Finance minister announces raising institutional credit for agriculture sector to Rs.11 Lakh crore for 2018-19 from Rs.10 Lakh Crore in 2017-18
  • 22,000 rural Haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin agricultural markets (grams) for farmers to directly sell to consumers and bulk purchasers
  • Doubling allocation for food processing sector to Rs.1400 Crore, government to promote establishment of specialized agro-processing financial institutions
  • Special scheme to be implemented to support haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue
  • Rs.200 Crore allocated to support organized cultivation of highly specialized medicinal and aromatic plants and associated industry
  • Government will extend a favourable taxation treatment to Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs) for helping farmers aggregate their needs of inputs, farm services, processing and sale operations.

7. Budget for Railways

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 assured that adequate funds would be made available under the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh.

  • There will be increased use of technology like ‘Fog Safe’ and ‘Train Protection and Warning System’.
  • CCTVs will be provided at all stations, and on trains, to enhance security for passengers.
  • All stations with more than 25,000 footfalls will have escalators. All railway stations and trains will be progressively provided with Wi-Fi.
  • The government has decided to eliminate 4,267 unmanned level crossings in the broad gauge network in the next two years. This is to prevent accidents.
  • It has also decided to upgrade infrastructure at the goods sheds, and fast track commissioning of private sidings.

8. Centre does not consider cryptocurrencies a legal tender

9. Budget 2018 strikes a reasonable balance

  • The prevalent economic and political situation had increased the difficulty of crafting an effective budget for Union finance minister.
  • This budget was difficult balancing act between addressing rural distress, which is bound to have electoral consequences for a democratically-elected government, and maintaining the record on fiscal discipline.
  • The focus of this year’s budget was agriculture and the rural sector.
  • It was the need to address growing farm distress; the finance minister announced that minimum support prices (MSP) would be fixed at 1.5 times the production cost.
  • NITI Aayog will work with the Central and state governments to put forward a mechanism to adequately compensate farmers in case the government is not able to buy their produce and the prices slip below the MSP.
  • Mechanism is to be carefully designed to avoid exclusion and is not manipulated at the mandi level.
  • The government also works on increasing the scope of futures and options—so that farmers have a better understanding of demand and prices in the post-harvest period. This will help farmers make more informed decisions and get better prices for their produce.
  • The electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) will also help the farm community.Hence the budgetary promise will require improving existing processes and frameworks.
  • Government will also spend on rural infrastructure, which is crucial for helping boost growth and supporting employment.
  • The finance minister also announced an ambitious health protection scheme for 100 million poor households. However, the question is actually will it be able to insure the medical needs of the poor and vulnerable sections of society.
  • The reintroduction of the long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) on equity disappointed investors.
  • Overall, the increase in expenditure and reduction in taxes have meant that the fiscal consolidation will be slower than initial targets.
  • The government has accepted the recommendations of the fiscal reform and budget management committee and the fiscal deficit is now projected to reach 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020-21.
  • The government will now be targeting a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP in the next fiscal, compared to the revised estimate of 3.5% in the current year.
  • Continued higher oil prices could also put pressure on the government to cut taxes on petroleum products, which could affect revenue. It will be important that all efforts are made to stabilize the goods and services tax system, which will augment revenue, to keep the fiscal deficit in check.
  • To be sure, it will be important that the government pulls other policy levers to push growth, which will also help keep its finances on track.
  • For instance, it is critical that public-sector bank recapitalisation be accompanied by wider governance reforms, which will lead to better allocation of resources.
  • Further, the government will need to build on gains in the area of ease of doing business in order to push investment and growth.
  • The rural economy is to be strengthened through greater government welfare intervention. Improved rural infrastructure (particularly sanitation, housing, roads) and health insurance are the key focus.
  • Given the emphasis on the rural economy, the obvious thing for the government to do to alleviate immediate stress would have been to increase public investment in rural infrastructure.
  • Budget for the ministry of rural development got a mere 4% increase in allocation. Importantly, Swachh Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) saw no real change in budgetary allocation. In fact, allocations for Swachh Bharat and PMAY have fallen by 9% compared to revised estimates of the previous year.
  • For the last three years, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)—spuriously claiming that the government had made the highest ever allocations to the scheme last year.
  • MGNREGA has received an allocation of Rs55,000 crore in 2018-19 which is the same as the previous year’s revised estimate, despite a backlog of pending payments.
  • The government is to construct, 18.8 million toilets and 5.1 million new rural houses this year.
  • In the absence of increased allocations, this seems no more than an empty promise.
  • And National Health Protection Scheme to cover 100 million poor and vulnerable families with a coverage of up to Rs5 lakh per family. This will be the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme.
  • The government of India has been running the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) since 2008 and many state governments have their own insurance programmes.
  • Evaluations of these schemes have been few and far between but the limited available evidence seems to suggest that the effects on health outcomes are unclear and perhaps more crucially haven’t done much to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure.
  • An important reason for these limited gains is that the three key pre-conditions of a successful insurance programme have not been met.
  • First, access and awareness.
  • Second, any attempt at improving tertiary healthcare will only be successful if its foundations, i.e. primary healthcare, are strong.
  • This is necessary both to prevent minor illnesses from reaching hospitals and to ensure efficient referral for those who genuinely need hospital care.
  • Finally, the push for an insurance-based public-private partnership, such as what the government is currently proposing, is premised on the assumption that a state that has failed to get basic provision right can perform the far more complex task of regulation.
  • The first step to improving healthcare is reforms in primary care and getting doctors to work. Health insurance programmes that are not embedded in a health system reform effort are unlikely to achieve this.

Category: SECURITY

1. Key amendments in Prevention of Money-Laundering Act

  • The Central government has proposed changes to various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) through the Finance Bill, including a crucial amendment that empowers the Special Court to restore confiscated assets to the rightful claimants even during the trial.

What are the Intended Amendments?

  • The amendment to Section 8(8) allows the Special Court, if it deems fit, to consider the claims for the purposes of restoration of such properties also during the trial.
    • Earlier, the assets could be restored only after completion of the trial.
  • Amendment in definition of “proceeds of crime”: The definition of “proceeds of crime” in PMLA was amended in 2015 to include “property equivalent held within the country” in case proceeds of crime is taken out or held “outside the country”. The present amendment shall allow to proceed against property equivalent to proceeds to crime held outside the country also.
  • Provisions relating to Bail: Amendment has been proposed to Section 45 which prescribes offences to be cognizable and non-bailable. Under the proposed amendment, No person accused of an offence under this Act shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless satisfying two conditions:-
    • the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release;
    • where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail
  • Section 45(1) has been amended to include a person who is accused on his own or along with other co-accused of money-laundering a sum of less than Rs. 1 Crore may be released on bail, if Special Court so directs.
    • Currently there is no such monetary limit for categorizing offence as bailable or non-bailable
    • Amendment proposed in Section 45(1) would make the applicability of bail conditions uniform to all the offences under PMLA, instead of only those offences under the schedule which are liable to imprisonment of more than 3 years.
  • Corporate frauds included as Scheduled offence: Section 447 of Companies Act is being included as scheduled offence under PMLA so that Registrar of Companies in suitable cases would be able to report such cases for action by Enforcement Directorate under the PMLA provisions. This provision shall strengthen the PMLA with respect to Corporate frauds
  • Section 5(1) of the Act provides that every order of provisional attachment passed by an officer of Enforcement Directorate shall cease to have effect after 180 days from the date of the provisional attachment order, unless confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority under PMLA within that period.
    • The section is proposed to be amended to include the period of stay in this time limit of 180 days and also further period of not more than 30 days to take care of delays if any in communication of judicial orders.
  • Under the existing provision of Section 8(3), presently, the Directorate is required to file prosecution immediately after confirmation by Adjudicating Authority. Proposed amendment gives 90 days more for investigation to ED, before prosecution is filed.
  • New sub-section (2) of section 66 is being introduced to provide for clear guidelines to share the information relating to contraventions of other laws noticed during investigation by ED, with concerned authorities under the said Acts. This shall enable exchange of information among agencies and enhance effectiveness of efforts against black money.

What is a Scheduled Offence?

  • Scheduled offence means an offence specified under Part A or Part C of the Schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
  • Scheduled offences are the activities that have been deemed illegal by law. For example robbery, homicide, tax evasion etc.

The Amendments aim at further enhancing the effectiveness of the Act, widen its scope and take care of certain procedural difficulties faced by the Enforcement Directorate in prosecution of PMLA cases.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Budget for Space programs

  • At ₹ 10,783 crore, the Department of Space (DoS) gets its biggest outlay to date and also the best yearly increase in five years — of 18.6%.
  • It also surpasses ₹10,000 crore — well above the ₹9,093 crore that was allocated to it last February.
  • Looking at only the outlays since 2013, the DoS sequentially received an increase of 40%, 6.6% 2%, 8%, 14% and now, 18.6% over the respective previous year.
  • This segment includes money towards centres involved in satellites, launch vehicles, propulsion, launch, post-launch satellite tracking; besides operational projects and those under development.

Details

  • Under Space Sciences, ₹230 crore has been earmarked together for the proposed second Mars Orbiter Mission, a Venus mission plan, a space docking experiment, small satellites, X-ray polarimeter satellite called XpoSat, climate programme and sponsored research.
  • The INSAT, GSAT satellite systems got an outlay of ₹411.6 crore, but lower than last year’s ₹ 530 crore. This covers satellites, transponder lease and overseas launch contracts for heavy satellites.
  • ‘Space applications’, which include payload development, remote sensing and disaster management related support, received ₹1,746.25 (higher than last year’s ₹1,586.46.)

Global comparison

  • Indian Space Research Organisation ranks at no. 9 after China
  • For 2017-18, NASA led the stack at $19.5 billion; European Space Agency at $6.2 billion, Russia’s Roscosmos at $3.3 billion, French CNES, German DLR and Japan’s JAXA each topping $2 billion; and ISRO at $1.4 billion

Why is it important?

  • The satellites are the backbone of national and social activities such as communication, television and radio broadcasts, telephony, Internet connectivity, location and disaster relief support, military security, resource mapping, planning, decision making and to set up big infrastructure projects. Around 100 departments have begun to intensively tap satellite-based information.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Prelims Fact

Minke Whales

  • The minke whale is a type of baleen whale.
  • The two species of minke whale are the common (or northern) minke whale and the Antarctic (or southern) minke whale.
  • IUCN: Least Concern

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. With respect to Legion of Honour, consider the following statements
  1. It is an award initiated by Germany Govt.
  2. This was given to Soumitra Chatterjee of India recently.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both are correct
  4. None of them is correct

See

Answer
Question 2. With reference to Project 75I, consider the following statements
  1. Indian Navy intends to acquire 6 diesel-electric submarines
  2. INS Druva is the second Submarine after Kalavari
  3. Kalavari is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces

Select the incorrect answer using the code given below.

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

See

Answer
Question 3. Hill Area Development Programme was initiated for 
  1. Himachal Pradesh
  2. North East
  3. Darjeeling
  4. Naxal affected Areas

See

Answer
Question 4. Safe Harbour Regime was notified by
  1. Ministry of Water resources
  2. Ministry of Finance
  3. Ministry of Shipping
  4. Ministry of Commerce

See

Answer
Question 5. ANUGA is related to
  1. Military exercise between India and Australia
  2. Food Exhibition
  3. Youth Festival
  4. Defense Summit

See

Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper I

Social Issues

    1. Is death Penalty an answer to Child rape? Critically Analyze. Also discuss Justice Verma committee recommendation and its recommendations on Rape.
GS Paper II

Polity

    1. Arun Jaitley in the budget has said that MP’s salary will be worked on a rational basis. In the light of this Statement what are criticism the present scheme faces, compare this with other countries and also suggest ways to overcome this issue.

 

GS Paper III

Economy

    1. Budget has ensured ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘ease of living’. Explain.

 

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

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