January 11th, 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS 1 Related B. GS 2 Related C. GS 3 Related ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1. Waterbird census in A.P. INTERNAL SECURITY 1. Steel mesh to replace fences on the borders 2. Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) ECONOMY 1. National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2. Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) D. GS 4 Related E. Editorials POLITY AND GOVERNANCE 1. Eloquently reticent HEALTH 1. Taking a holistic approach to dengue 2. A health emergency F. Tidbits 1. SC stays NCLAT order reinstating Cyrus Mistry G. Prelims Facts 1. Mandovi River/ Mahadayi/Mhadei River 2. Kabir Yatra 3. Tata Vadya or Stringed Instruments (Chordophones) H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS 1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
B. GS 2 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
C. GS 3 Related
- The Annual Bird Census will commence in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) and surrounding wetlands in the Godavari mangrove cover on the east coast of India.
- Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is Located in Andhra Pradesh.
- It is part of the Godavari estuary.
- It will be a two-day census of the avian species which will access the threats and challenges being faced by the water birds.
- The census aims at documentation of migratory and resident birds to be able to prepare a better management plan of the complex ecosystem that supports the waterbird species.
- It will give a picture of its present state and results of the conservation being done in the wildlife sanctuary and outside.
- It is a waterbird.
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable.
- It has started visiting the Godavari mangroves. It can also be sighted at Chambal River in Central India.
- India shares 4,096.7 km border with Bangladesh and 3,323 km border with Pakistan. The border currently has barbed wires which will be replaced with meshed fence made of steel and coated with anti-rust paint.
- This will be a complete overhaul of the security system.
- The Border Security Force (BSF) that is deployed along the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders has been tasked to ensure that the fence is installed in a time-bound manner.
- The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is implementing the project.
- Measures also include strengthening Indian defences along Pakistan, mapping of infiltration prone areas along the two borders.
- BSF is pushing the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to get the latest technology to disable drones in the region.
- Surveillance drone flights are very frequent. But load-carrying drones are a grave threat. In fact, that’s the future of warfare.
- The assassination of Iranian Major General Qasim Suleimani in Iraq by a US drone strike is an instance.
- They have requested for a drone disabling technology that can cut radio frequency and disable
Global Positioning System (GPS) — the two key technologies guiding most of the drones.
- It will plug vulnerable and infiltration-prone patches along India’s sensitive borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
- The I4C is a multipronged system, which includes
- National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit,
- National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal,
- National Cyber Crime Training Centre,
- Cyber Crime Ecosystem Management Unit,
- National Cyber Crime Research and Innovation Centre,
- National Cyber Crime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem and
- Platform for Joint Cyber Crime Investigation
- The portal enables citizens to report online content with specific focus on crimes against women, children, particularly child pornography, child sex abuse material, online content pertaining to rapes/gang rapes.
- The portal can boost the capacity of the law enforcement agencies to investigate cases and will improve the success rate of prosecutions.
- The portal will improve coordination among the law enforcement agencies of different states, districts and police stations for dealing with cyber-crimes in a coordinated and effective manner.
- Union Home Minister inaugurated the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has outlined an ambitious strategy for financial inclusion till 2024.
- Financial inclusion is recognized as a key driver of economic growth and poverty alleviation world over.
- Access to formal finance can boost job creation, reduce vulnerability to economic shocks and increase investments in human capital.
- Seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of 2030 view financial inclusion as a key enabler for achieving sustainable development worldwide.
- To achieve the above objectives in a coordinated and time-bound manner National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) is essential.
- It sets forth the vision and key objectives of the Financial Inclusion policies in India to expand the reach and sustain the efforts by a convergence approach involving all the stakeholders in the financial sector.
- It aims to strengthen the ecosystem for various modes of digital financial services in all Tier-II to Tier VI centers to create the necessary infrastructure to move towards a less-cash society by March 2022.
- The goal is also to see that every adult had access to a financial service provider through a mobile device by March 2024.
- One of the objectives is to increase outreach of banking outlets so as to provide banking access to every village within a 5-km radius or a hamlet of 500 households in hilly areas by March 2020.
Steps taken by the Government:
The government has been trying to take steps to provide access to credit at an affordable cost and financial instruments to the low-income group and the weaker sections of the society.
- PM Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) seeks to provide universal banking services for every unbanked household
- Pension scheme such as Atal Pension Yojana and Insurances schemes such as PM Suraksha Bima Yojana are some of the schemes launched by the government to ensure financial inclusion.
- India has largely benefited from the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar- Mobile (JAM) trinity over the last few years, steps are needed to strengthen the digital financial services’ ecosystem including increased awareness on usage of digital modes of transactions, increased acceptance infrastructure and a safe environment incorporating the principles of consent and privacy
- EEPC India is the premier trade and investment promotion organisation in India. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- As an advisory body it actively contributes to the policies of the Government of India and acts as an interface between the engineering industry and the government.
What are Engineering Goods?
- Iron and Steel and Products made of Iron and Steel.
- Non-Ferrous Metals and Products made of Non-Ferrous Metals.
- Industrial Machinery.
- Boilers, parts, etc. Internal Combustion (IC) Engines and Parts Pumps of all types Air condition and Refrigerators Industrial Machinery for dairy, food processing, textiles etc.
- Machine Tools.
- Machinery for Injection molding, valves and ATMs.
- Motor Vehicle/cars; Two and Three Wheelers; Auto Components/Part; Aircrafts and Spacecraft parts and products; Ships Boats and Floating products and parts.
- Other engineering products
- Medical and Scientific instruments; Railway Transport; Hand Tools & Cutting Tools; Electrodes Accumulators.
- Keep in constant communication with Chambers of Commerce and other mercantile and public bodies throughout the world with a view to taking appropriate and necessary measures for maintaining or increasing the exports of engineering goods;
- Support upgradation of technology to boost India’s engineering exports and establish synergy between industry and academia;
- EEPC India facilitates sourcing from India and encourages MSMEs to raise their standard at par with international best practices.
- Engineering exports for (2019-2020) are expected to be almost the same as that of last year (2018-2019), according to chairman of EEPC India.
Region wise engineering export
- The U.S. and the EU are major destinations for engineering exports and China’s supplies have come down drastically due to several reasons such as pollution issues, high labour cost, anti-dumping duties.
- European clients had approached Indian companies in the beginning of this financial year as Chinese supplies had reduced. But, India did not have adequate capacity.
D. GS 4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
The Supreme Court (SC) verdict on the petitions challenging the Government’s move to suspend Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Following the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the government had suspended telecom and Internet services in the valley since August 5th, 2019.
- The government claimed that the move was taken amid apprehensions that vested interests might misuse the internet-enabled social media platforms for instigating violence in the valley. The government had cited the extensive reach and impact of the Internet as a medium in order to restrict it. The government had defended its move for a blanket suspension of Internet services in the valley citing the lack of technology to allow selective online access.
- Given the importance of the Internet in the present system, the shutdown in the valley has impacted the lives of the people and the economy of the valley. Petitioners Anuradha Bhasin, Kashmir Times editor and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had claimed that the government’s shutdown of Internet and telecom services had cut off Kashmir from the rest of the world.
- The move to impose internet suspension in the valley was challenged in the Supreme Court. A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice N.V. Ramana, has come out with its verdict in the case.
Access to the Internet as a right:
- The apex court has upheld the freedom of free speech, expression and trade or business on the Internet as fundamental rights under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the need for it to be constitutionally protected.
- The Court has stated that the right to trade, occupation or commerce dependent on the Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g) given that in a globalized Indian economy, right of trade through Internet fostered consumerism and availability of choice.
- The court clarified that the right to free speech and expression includes the right to disseminate information.
- However, the court verdict has fallen short of exclusively recognizing access to Internet as a fundamental right.
Need for proportionate measures:
- The Supreme Court rejected the argument of the government which had cited the lack of technology to allow selective online access as justification for the blanket suspension of Internet services in the valley.
- The Court while acknowledging the government’s argument that Internet could be used to propagate terrorism in J&K and thus challenge the sovereignty and integrity of the nation has stated that peace in J&K should be achieved without excessively burdening the fundamental right of free speech and has called for proportionate measures.
- The court has held that a restriction imposed on fundamental rights without appropriate justification was disproportionate. The degree and scope of a restriction should be proportionate to the intended objectives and necessity for such a measure.
- The court has noted that the State should resort to the least restrictive measure while taking into consideration the facts and circumstances.
- The court cautions against the excessive use of the proportionality doctrine by the state in matters of national security.
Government to review orders:
- The Supreme Court ordered the government to immediately review any existing orders suspending Internet services in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. The court has stated that any such order, found to violate the law should be revoked at once.
- The government has been asked to consider restoring government websites, localized/limited e-banking facilities, hospital services and other essential services in areas in the Union Territory, given the lesser potential for its misuse.
Government to publish orders:
- The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for the government to publish each of its orders that sought to restrict some of the fundamental freedoms of the people in the valley, including the suspension of telecom and Internet services.
- The court has significantly upheld the principle that there can be no ‘secret orders’. The government is bound to publish all orders it passes regarding such restrictions so that they can be challenged in the court of law.
- Publication of these orders would now enable the affected persons to challenge their legality in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court or before any other appropriate forum.
- The court has held that any restriction imposed by the state should be supported by sufficient material and is amenable to judicial review.
Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules, 2017:
- The court has held that suspending Internet services indefinitely is impermissible under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services [Public Emergency or Public Service] Rules, 2017.
- A complete suspension of telecom and Internet services should be resorted to only as the last option in unavoidable situations. The suspension should be for a temporary duration only.
Setting right the lacunae in the 2017 rules:
- The court has taken note of the lacunae in the 2017 Rules that the word “temporary” has not been defined, meaning that there was no time-limit prescribed in the rules.
- The court observes that this loophole has enabled the government to continue with the suspension of Internet services indefinitely. The court has asked the legislature to correct this lacuna. Till then, any order of Internet suspension under the 2017 rules would be reviewed by the Courts within one week of its issuance.
Misuse of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code:
- Referring to the submissions by petitioners that the police were still restricting the movement of people during the day in Jammu and Kashmir, the court has called the state to follow due procedure, taking into consideration the rights of citizens, and pass only appropriate and need-based restrictive orders.
- Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 authorises the state to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such ‘unlawful assembly’ can be booked for engaging in rioting.
- Section 144 is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property. Section 144 of CrPC generally prohibits public gathering.
- The court by stating that repetitive orders under Section 144 CrPC were an abuse of power, has held that the government cannot take recourse to Section 144 CrPC as a tool to prevent the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance. Section 144 CrPC should also not be used to prevent the exercise of any legitimate democratic rights.
- On the contention, whether Section 144 could be invoked against the public in general or against specific groups or persons, the court referred to the Madhu Limaye judgment that a general order could be passed if the number of persons was so large that a distinction could not be made without risk.
Government to review restrictions on J&K:
- The Court has refused to delve into the correctness of the government’s move to abrogate Article 370. The court said it merely sought to balance citizens’ liberty and their security via the verdict.
Failure as a court of Justice:
- The court through the verdict has done well in interpreting the law of the land and laying down norms for the exercise of executive power. But, it falls short, by restraining itself from deciding on the validity of curbs imposed in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The apex court is duty-bound to enforce the fundamental rights of the citizens. By choosing to only interpret the law and laying down norms for the executive it has failed to rule whether the state violated the fundamental rights of its citizens.
Failure to hold the state accountable:
- The verdict fails to hold the government to account for the manner in which it exercised its powers. The court’s failure to give a ruling on the validity of the government’s actions is a cause of concern.
- The court has held that every order imposing a restriction should state the reason, the exigency that necessitated it and the features that make it clear that it is the least intrusive measure. The absence of such an order in the public domain is an evidence that the state failed to demonstrate its necessity. The court fails to strike them down on that ground.
Lack of remedial actions:
- Though the court states categorically, that an indefinite ban on the Internet is impermissible, it fails to direct the restoration of services.
- The court though cautions against the misuse of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, yet, it does not direct the authorities to review all their orders and restrictions immediately.
- There are concerns being raised that the apex court in its judgment in a fundamental rights case appears to have the character of an advisory opinion.
For more information on this issue refer to 21st December Comprehensive News Analysis.
The advent of a new vaccine against the dengue virus.
- Dengue is essentially a tropical disease that occurs in the countries around the Equator.
- Hot weather and high humidity aided by intermittent rainfalls favour the sustenance of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (a minor contributor)- the vectors transmitting the dengue virus.
- Dengue is mostly an asymptomatic infection, and only a very few develop severe disease. Those very young or very old and those who have chronic ailment are at a greater risk of developing severe disease. The worldwide Dengue case fatality rate is as low as 0.3%.
- The advent of a new tetravalent vaccine against the dengue virus has thrown new light into the evidence-based management of dengue.
- The studies and trials have indicated that this vaccine confers about 80% protection to children vaccinated between 4 and 16 years of age without any major side effects.
Challenges associated with Dengue:
- Urbanisation, poor town planning, and improper sanitation are the major risk factors for the multiplication of the vector mosquitoes. The rapid and unplanned urbanization in India has only amplified the challenges for the public health system
- Aedes eggs can remain dormant for more than a year and will hatch once they come in contact with water.
Shortage of skilled manpower:
- Source reduction activities like preventing water stagnation and using chemical larvicides and adulticides are often recommended. These chemicals need to be applied in periodic cycles to kill the larvae that remain even after the first spray.
- However given the scale of operations required and the shortage of skilled workers available for such measures, the above options are rarely used.
- Many posts in government departments remain vacant despite there being a dire public health need. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Program notes that the deficiency of manpower has led to a lack of active surveillance in India which has severely impeded India’s actions against Dengue.
- Dengue cases are often under-reported due to political reasons, fearing political backlash by the voters in subsequent elections.
- The state also considers under-reporting of cases to avoid spreading panic among the common people.
Lack of Co-ordination:
- There is a lack of coordination between the local bodies and health departments in the delivery of public health measures. This has resulted in piecemeal efforts from the stakeholders thus depriving the community the benefit that would arise from synergy.
- The lack of proportionate targets and resources to the different levels of public health system has resulted in overburdening of the grass root levels.
Alternative medicine drugs:
- Despite the guidelines for the management of dengue cases by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indian government, the usage of complementary medicines like Nilavembu kudineer (a Siddha medicine) and papaya leaf extract are rampant among the people.
- For any medicine, safety is more important than efficacy. Every modern medicine drug has come out after rigorous safety and efficacy studies for around 10 years, with an informed declaration of the side effects. There has been a lack of such studies with respect to the above alternative drugs.
- The studies on which alternative drugs are being promoted are based on very primitive forms of research like case reports, in-vitro studies, and animal studies.
- A meta-analysis of various studies has shown that there is no credible evidence for the use of papaya extract in dengue fever. However, some pharmaceutical companies are still marketing papaya extract pills. There are case reports which point out to many side effects due to the usage of these medicines.
More comprehensive approach:
- A comprehensive mechanism is required in the efforts against Dengue. Apart from promoting the use of the vaccine, gaining control over dengue will require a more holistic approach. An integrated approach against Dengue should also include within its ambit vector control and proper case management.
- Aedes mosquitoes have a limited range as it cannot fly beyond a hundred meters. Keeping the surroundings clean and hygienic can help prevent the breeding of the vector mosquitoes.
- Considering that the vector mosquitoes bite during the daytime, keeping the windows shut in the day hours is a simple yet effective measure to reduce dengue incidence.
- Epidemiological measures are essential in the management of communicable diseases like Dengue.
- Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.
- Singapore uses one successful model of mapping and analysing data on dengue, using Geographical Information System (GIS). This involves mapping the streets with dengue cases for vector densities. It helps the state to focus attention on such areas for more effective interventions.
Proper Case Management:
- Fluid management is the cornerstone in the management of severe diseases like dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. There is a need to adhere to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), given that, it is based on elaborate studies and trials.
Need for studies on alternative medicines:
- Alternative medicines need to undergo rigorous testing before its wide-scale usage.
The World Health Organization’s announcement on risks regarding polio.
- The World Health Organization has announced that polio will continue to remain a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the next three months.
- Polio was declared as PHEIC in 2014 and has continued to remain one since then.
- The decision was taken based on the recommendation of the emergency committee. The committee arrived at the unanimous decision based on the “rising risk” of international spread of wild poliovirus type-1.
- Polio remains a concern despite concerted efforts across the world. There has been an increase in the number of cases of wild polio type-1 cases in 2019, compared to 2018.
- Apart from the increase in the number of cases, there were instances of the wild type-1 virus getting exported from Pakistan to Iran and Afghanistan. The increase in the area currently under threat possess challenges to the countries given the lack of resources in these countries.
- Other parts of the region that have been free of the virus in the past are at risk of outbreaks.
- The virus causing polio has been found in the environment in Pakistan and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan. This is a concern considering the fact that the number of children not vaccinated in Afghanistan has been increasing. These children would be vulnerable to the Poliovirus present in the environment.
- A major cause of concern has been the outbreak of vaccine-derived poliovirus cases in 16 countries.
- A country is said to have eradicated polio when no new case of wild poliovirus is reported for three successive years. Nigeria is all set to be declared as having eradicated polio in 2020, and in turn, the entire African region will become free of wild poliovirus.
- In another reversal in the Tata Sons versus Cyrus Mistry case, the Supreme Court (SC) has stayed the order passed by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) reinstating Mistry as executive chairman.
- The SC bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde questioned the “judicial attitude” with which NCLAT passed the December 18th order reinstating Cyrus Mistry.
- The judges said the attitude of NCLAT was “sorely lacking” with regard to the order.
The background has been covered in 22nd December 2019 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click Here to read.
G. Prelims Facts
- It is the west-flowing inter-state river which rises in the Western Ghats from Karnataka’s Belagavi district.
- The river travels 35 km in Karnataka; 82 km in Goa before joining the Arabian Sea.
- Migratory seagulls are seen arriving along the Mandovi river at Betim in Goa
2. Kabir Yatra
- It is organized by Lokayan in partnership with Rajasthan Tourism and Rajasthan Police.
- The Rajasthan Kabir Yatra is a musical gala aimed at celebrating the philosophies and teachings of the Bhakti and Sufi saint poets such as Kabir, Mira, Bulleh Shah etc.
- The festival aims to create an inclusive space where artists, scholars and students from different genres can come together to celebrate Bhaktism and Sufism.
- The festival wants to promote love and harmony and dissolve all barriers of caste, class, religion and identity.
- The tata vadya is a category of instruments in which sound is produced by the vibration of a string or chord. These vibrations are caused by plucking or by bowing on the string which has been pulled taut.
- The length of the vibrating string or wire, the degree to which it has been tightened, determines the pitch of the note and also to some extent the duration of the sound.
- The Chordophones can again be classified into two groups:
- Further subdivided into the fretted and non-fretted variety.
- It is used as the sole method of playing the instruments such as the banjo, guitar, harp, lute, mandolin, oud, sitar, and either by a finger or thumb, or by some type of plectrum.
- It is a method used in some string instruments, including the violin, viola.
- The bow consists of a stick with many hairs stretched between its ends.
- It is a one-stringed musical instrument.
- In origin the ektara was a regular string instrument of wandering bards and minstrels from India and is plucked with one finger.
- The ektara is a common instrument in Baul music from Bengal.
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
Q1. Which among the following is/are not Stringed instruments?
a. 1, 2 and 3
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 2 only
d. 3 only
Q2. "Brickfielder" in Geography refers to:
a. Showers that help crops grow during spring.
b. Grasslands in Mid Africa.
c. Hot, dry and dusty winds in Southern Australia.
d. A rift valley lake.See
Q3. Which of the following are offences against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes?
- Compelling a member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or to dig graves.
- Garlanding with footwear or parading naked or semi-naked, a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe.
- Corrupting the water of any spring, reservoir or any other source ordinarily used by members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes.
- Destroying, damaging or defiling any object generally known to be held sacred or in high esteem by members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes.
a. 1, 2 and 3 only
b. 1, 2 and 4 only
c. 1, 2, 3 and 4
d. 2, 3 and 4 only
Q4. With reference to Vembanad Lake, consider the following statements:
- It is the largest lake in Tamil Nadu.
- The Vembanad Wetland system is included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention.
Which of the given statement/s is/are incorrect?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
- Financial inclusion without financial literacy has no meaning. With reference to this statement, explain the role of Technology in Financial Inclusion.(15 Marks, 250 Words).
- Discuss how the Right to Internet access as a fundamental right strikes a balance between liberty and security. (10 Marks, 150 Words).
January 11th, 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here
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