25 July 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

July 25th, 2019 CNA:-Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A.GS1 Related
B.GS2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Opposition wants select panel scrutiny of key Bills
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China says it wants security & stability along India border
C.GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. India rises in global innovation ranking
2. Centre notifies pension scheme for small traders
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Milky Way’s violent birth decoded
2. India, China to overtake U.S. in tech innovation: survey
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. India’s first dragon blood-oozing tree
2. Large-scale burning of grasslands detrimental to invertebrates: study
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Having the last word on ‘population control’
F. Tidbits
1. Chandrayaan-2 gets first orbit boost around earth
2. Human-elephant conflicts: power poles should have spikes to keep away jumbos, says panel
G. Prelims Facts
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. Opposition wants select panel scrutiny of key Bills

Context:

Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha have told the government that they wanted seven key legislations to be sent to a Select Committee of Parliament for further scrutiny.

Details:

  • The seven Bills that the opposition has demanded be sent to a standing committee are the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2019; Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Code Wages Bill, 2019; Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2019; Inter State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019; DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019.
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill. 2019, and the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 have been cleared by the Lok Sabha in the current session of Parliament.

Concerns:

  • The current session has had highest productivity so far, clearing 15 Bills, however, not a single Bill has gone to a select or a standing committee.
  • In every session more or less, Bills go to the standing committee but this is the first session where not a single legislation has gone for scrutiny.
  • TMC leader Derek O’Brien opined that said if Rajya Sabha lets through the RTI Bill, the Council of States would be failing in its duty to uphold the spirit of federalism.
  • While the government plans to extend the session, it is opined by the opposition that passing more Bills without scrutiny would be a futile exercise.

Why should the bill be referred to a Standing Committee?

  • When a Bill is referred to a standing committee or a select committee, there will be wider consultation.
  • The standing committees were conceived so that laws are not made just on the basis of the individual opinion of the MPs.

Why have parliamentary committees?

  • In a parliamentary democracy, Parliament has broadly two functions, which are lawmaking and oversight of the executive branch of the government. Parliament is the embodiment of the people’s will.
  • Committees are an instrument of Parliament for its own effective functioning.
  • Given the volume of legislative business, discussing all Bills under the consideration of Parliament in detail on the floor of the House is impossible.
  • Committees are platforms for threadbare discussion on a proposed law.
  • At least in principle, the assumption is that the smaller cohort of lawmakers, assembled on the basis of the proportional strength of individual parties and interests and expertise of individual lawmakers, could have more open, intensive and better informed discussions.
  • Committee meetings are ‘closed door’ and members are not bound by party whips, which allows them the latitude for a more meaningful exchange of views as against discussions in full and open Houses where grandstanding and party positions invariably take precedence.
  • Disruptive changes in technology and the expansion of trade, commerce and economy in general throw up new policy challenges that require a constant reform of legal and institutional structures.
  • While law making gets increasingly complex, lawmakers cannot infinitely expand their knowledge into ever expanding areas of human activities.
  • Members of Parliament may have great acumen but they would require the assistance of experts in dealing with such situations. It is through committees that such expertise is drawn into lawmaking.
  • Executive accountability to the legislature is enforced through questions in Parliament also, which are answered by ministers.
  • However, department standing committees go one step further and hear from senior officials of the government in a closed setting, allowing for more detailed discussions.
  • This mechanism also enables parliamentarians to understand the executive processes closely.

What are the types of committees?

  • Most committees are ‘standing’ as their existence is uninterrupted and usually reconstituted on an annual basis.
  • Some are ‘select’ committees formed for a specific purpose, for instance, to deliberate on a particular bill. Once the Bill is disposed of, that select committee ceases to exist.
  • Some standing committees are departmentally related, an example being the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development. A Bill related to education could either be considered by the department standing committee or a select committee that will be specifically set up.
  • The chair uses her discretion to refer a matter to a parliamentary committee but this is usually done in consultation with leaders of parties in the House.
  • Financial control is a critical tool for Parliament’s authority over the executive; hence finance committees are considered to be particularly powerful.
  • The three financial committees are the Public Accounts Committee, the Estimates Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings.
  • Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).
  • Committee reports are usually exhaustive and provide authentic information on matters related to governance. Bills that are referred to committees are returned to the House with significant value addition.

Who chairs the committees?

  • Of the 24 committees, 16 are administered by Lok Sabha and eight by Rajya Sabha. The chairperson is from the respective house.
  • Political parties are allocated chairs based on their strength in Parliament.
  • Some committees such as home affairs, finance and external affairs are customarily chaired by a senior member of an opposition party.

Are the committee’s recommendations binding?

  • Parliament is not bound by the recommendations of committees.
  • It is the role of all MPs in each house of Parliament to examine the recommendations and move suitable amendments.
  • Following this, Parliament can vote on these amendments, and finalise the bill.

What are its origins?

  • As is the case with several other practices of Indian parliamentary democracy, the institution of Parliamentary Committees also has its origins in the British Parliament.
  • The first Parliamentary Committee was constituted in 1571 in Britain.
  • The Public Accounts Committee was established in 1861.
  • In India, the first Public Accounts Committee was constituted in April 1950.
  • According to P.D.T. Achary, former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha, “The practice of regularly referring bills to committees began in 1989 after government departments started forming their own standing committees. Prior to that, select committees or joint committees of the houses were only set up to scrutinise in detail some very important bills, but this was few and far between.”

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. China says it wants security & stability along India border

Context:

A white paper titled ‘China’s National Defence in the New Era’, was released by the Chinese Defence Ministry.

Details:

  • China’s military signalled that ties with India were improving.
  • The white paper said Beijing was striving to promote security and stability along the India-China
  • It has also created favourable conditions to peacefully resolve the Doklam military standoff.
  • Beijing has called Taiwan “the most important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations”.
  • It has warned the U.S. that it should not test Beijing’s one-China policy over Taiwan.
  • The paper pointed out that the U.S. deployment of a missile defence system in South Korea had severely undermined the regional strategic balance.
  • Tensions between China and the U.S. heightened earlier this month, after the State Department cleared $2.2 billion worth weapons sales, including 108 General Dynamics Corp. M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, apart from other weapons.
  • In turn, China has threatened to impose sanctions on U.S. companies engaged in arms trade with Taiwan.
  • The paper accused the U.S. of adopting unilateral policies.

Issue of Separatism:

  • Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the threat of Taiwan separatism is growing.
  • He asserted that if anyone dared to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military would certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s sovereign unity and territorial integrity.
  • China also stressed its resolve to counter supporters of separatism in Tibet as well as the Xinjiang region.

Doklam Issue:

  • The standoff between India and China at the Doklam plateau which lies at a tri-junction between India, China, and Bhutan has gained much attention.
  • It had turned into the biggest military stand-off between the two armies in years.
  • It started when India (Indian Army) objected a road construction by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in the Doklam plateau which China claims to be a part of its Donglang region. However, India and Bhutan recognise it as Doklam, a Bhutan territory.
  • Later, China accused Indian troops of entering in its territory and India accused the Chinese of destroying its bunkers (People’s Liberation Army bulldozed an old bunker of the Indian army stationed in Doklam).
  • Although a military standoff was averted, diplomatic negotiations have not yielded many results to cool-off the passions across the border.
  • The disputed region is very close to India’s Siliguri Corridor which connects the seven northeastern states to the Indian mainland.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. India rises in global innovation ranking

Context:

India has jumped five places to rank 52 in the Global Innovation Index 2019, up from the 57 it had in last year’s rankings.

Details:

  • India’s rise in the rankings has been a consistent trend over the last few years. It had ranked 81 in 2015, which rose to 66 in 2016, 60 in 2017 and 57 in 2018.
  • India continues to be the most innovative economy in central and southern Asia — a distinction held since 2011.
  • India is consistently among the top in the world in innovation drivers such as ICT services exports, graduates in science and engineering, the quality of universities, gross capital formation — a measure of economy-wide investments — and creative goods exports.
  • The report also highlighted that India stands out in the world’s top science and technology clusters, with Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi featuring among the top 100 global clusters.

Global Innovation Index:

The Global Innovation Index (GII) is a global ranking for their success in and capacity for innovation. It is published by a specialized agency of the United Nations – the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in association with Cornell University and graduate business school INSEAD.

  • The index ranks countries based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to Research and Development, online creativity, mobile application creation, computer software spending, education spending, scientific & technical publications and ease of starting a business.
  • The GII was published for the first time in 2007. The Index is published annually ever since.
  • GII is considered a leading benchmarking tool for policymakers, business executives and the others looking for insight into the state of innovation around the globe.
  • The index is being used by them to evaluate progress on a continual basis.

India’s Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is one of the knowledge partners which assists the GII team in bringing out the annual ranking.

2. Centre notifies pension scheme for small traders

Context:

The Centre has notified the Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-Dhan Yojana and is being introduced on a trial basis.

Details:

  • Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan Yojana is a pension scheme for small traders.
  • The formal launch of the scheme is likely to be done by the Prime Minister soon.
  • While the scheme would be applicable from 22nd of July 2019, the online portal for applicants would be rolled out in a few days.
  • However, the applicants can apply through the 3.5 lakh common service centres, which were set up for the government’s other pension schemes including the one for unorganised workers.

Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-Dhan Yojana:

  • Under the scheme, those who are self-employed and working as shop-owners, retail traders, rice mill owners, oil mill owners, workshop owners, commission agents, real estate brokers, small hotel owners, restaurant owners and other small traders will be eligible for pension.
  • Small traders between 18 and 40 years of age, having an annual turnover of less than Rs.1.5 crore would qualify to apply for the scheme.
  • To be eligible, the applicants should not be covered under the National Pension Scheme, Employees’ State Insurance Scheme and the Employees’ Provident Fund or be an Income Tax assessee.
  • The scheme gives the subscribers Rs. 3,000 a month after they turn 60, once they have contributed to the scheme every month from the time of enrolment and till that age.
  • The government will make a matching contribution in the subscribers’ account, an amount that would depend on the age at which the applicant enters the scheme. For example, an 18-year-old would have to pay Rs. 55 a month, while a 40-year-old would need to pay Rs. 200 a month.
  • The government will establish a pension fund to run the scheme.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India has been chosen as pension fund manager responsible for managing the pension fund, central recordkeeping agency and responsible for pension pay out.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Milky Way’s violent birth decoded

Context:

Scientists have decoded the birth of Milky Way galaxy stating that it was shaped as a result of collision with another smaller galaxy 10 bn years ago.

Details:

  • High-precision measurements of the position, brightness and distance of around a million stars within 6,500 light years of the sun, obtained by the Gaia space telescope, helped pinpoint stars present before the merger and those that formed afterward.
  • Galaxies of all types began to form relatively soon after the Big Bang explosion that marked the beginning of the universe some 13.8 billion years ago.
  • Initially the galaxies were smaller than those seen today and were forming stars at a rapid rate.
  • Galactic mergers were instrumental in configuring galaxies existing now.
  • The distances between stars in a galaxy are so huge.
  • When two galaxies intermix, change their global shape, more star formation may happen in one, and maybe the small one stops forming stars.

Milky Way – Gaia-Enceladus merger:

  • The Milky Way, home to our sun and billions of other stars. The galaxy merged with another smaller galaxy in a colossal cosmic collision roughly 10 billion years ago, scientists said, based on data from the Gaia space observatory.
  • The union of the Milky Way and the so-called dwarf galaxy Gaia-Enceladus increased our galaxy’s mass by about a quarter and triggered a period of accelerated star formation lasting about 2 to 4 billion years.
  • It was found that certain stars with higher content of elements other than hydrogen or helium arose in the Milky Way, and others with lower such content originated in Gaia-Enceladus, owing to its smaller mass.
  • The merger was dramatic and helped shape the Milky Way.
  • However, it was not a star-destroying calamity.

2. India, China to overtake U.S. in tech innovation: survey

Context:

According to Bloomberg New Economy Global Survey, India and China will surpass the U.S. as the World’s Centers of Tech Innovation by 2035.

Details:

  • The findings are based on the views of 2,000 business professionals in 20 markets.
  • Indian respondents are particularly confident in China and India’s future role as global innovation centers — with 64% of those surveyed agreeing the countries will surpass the U.S. by 2035.
  • Respondents also expressed strong enthusiasm for self-driving cars, with 65% agreeing they will dominate the future automobile market.
  • Overall, data shows that business professionals in emerging countries are more optimistic than those in developed markets about change, and have markedly higher expectations for the role that technology will play in the economy, business and daily life in decades to come.
  • Developing countries, in general, see technology more as an opportunity while the developed world has a greater sense of technology as a threat.

Issues:

  • The majority of business professionals across the world agree that by 2035, we will be reaching the point of no return on climate change.
  • There is strong global consensus that if there is another world war, then it is likely to be a cyber war.
  • Most global business professionals also agree that rising sea levels will have already wiped the first low-lying country off the map by 2035.
  • There are fears that Artificial Intelligence will destroy manual jobs. However, a majority around the world believe that lifelong learning can mitigate the threat.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. India’s first dragon blood-oozing tree

Researchers have discovered Dracaena cambodiana – a Dragon tree species in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong dist.

Details:

  • The plant yields dragon’s blood — a bright red resin.
  • This is for the first time that a dragon tree species has been reported from India.
  • A dragon tree species’ sap turns bright red after coming in contact with air.
  • The Dracaena genus belonging to the family Asparagaceae is represented by nine species and two varieties in the Himalayan region, the northeast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • However, the study highlighted that Dracaena cambodianais the only true dragon tree species.

Dragon’s Blood:

  • Dragon blood is used since ancient times as medicine, body oil, varnish, incense and dye.
  • Dragon’s blood, a precious traditional medicine in China. Several antifungal and antibacterial compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids, etc., have been extracted from various parts of the plant.

Concerns:

  • Recent overexploitation to meet the increasing demand for dragon’s blood has resulted in rapid depletion of the plant.
  • The species is already listed in the inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of China.
  • The Dracaena seeds are usually dispersed by birds. But due to the large fruit size, only a few species of birds are able to swallow the fruits, thus limiting the scope of its natural conservation.
  • The study advocates conservation programme for Dracaena cambodianain view of its medicinal, ornamental and ecological values.

2. Large-scale burning of grasslands detrimental to invertebrates: study

Context:

A recent study on prescribed burning of large tracts of grassland for the conservation of threatened ungulates in the Eravikulam National Park reveals that such burning is detrimental to endemic invertebrates.

Ungulates:

  • Ungulates are any members of a diverse group of primarily large mammal, which includes odd-toed ungulates such as horses and rhinoceroses, and even-toed ungulates such as cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, deer, and hippopotamuses, as well as sub-ungulates such as elephants.
  • Ungulates term refers to hoofed animals.

Prescribed burning:

  • Prescribed burning is a controversially debated method to manage open habitat types.
  • This method is practised as a tool to manage the habitat of the endangered Nilgiri tahr,  at a large scale (50 ha grids) in Eravikulam National Park.

Details:

  • Traditionally, the grasslands of the park are managed by prescribed cold burning (i.e, cold season burning) with the help of the local tribal community.
  • Burning is practised on 90 sq. km. of the park by dividing it into 50 hectare grids to ensure palatable fodder for the Nilgiri tahr and has been practised since the British colonial time.
  • However, the impact of burning of Nilgiri tahr habitats on other biota has never been documented.
  • The recent study indicates that burning practiced is detrimental to endemic invertebrates.
  • Grasshoppers are sensitive to grasslands management and an indicator of grasslands quality, health and restoration success.
  • As grasshoppers represent a major faunal component of grasslands, effects of fire on them can be easily studied in grassland habitats.
  • The endemic and wingless creatures are sensitive to environmental change and exhibit a high extinction risk. Hence, their response to fire management is of high interest,” said a member of the IUCN Grasshopper Specialist Group, said.
  • The recovery plan for the animal stresses the need for systematic monitoring of the impact of fire on its habitats in the ENP.

Issue:

  • Habitat management strategies across the globe are often focusing on flagship species, such as large threatened mammals.
  • Since the target of the management is to improve the status of mammal species, the impact on other groups, especially invertebrates, has been neglected.
  • There are 130 species of grasshoppers reported in Kerala, of which 54 species were found in PKMTR and 18 species were found in the ENP.
  • It is suspected that prescribed burning in the park for the past many decades is a major cause for the decline of grasshoppers.

Way forward:

  • Prescribed burning was experimentally introduced in the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (PKMTR) recently, another habitat of the Nilgiri tahr.
  • However, it was practised on a smaller scale (10 m. × 10 m.).
  • The study suggested that the interval of burning should be extended to more than five years, and the area of burning should be made only in small plots of 25 m. X 25 m. or 50 m. X 50 m., with unburned adjacent areas between plots.
  • It showed that burning small patches in a mosaic pattern facilitated rapid recovery of grasshopper communities.
  • Burning management can be optimized to benefit both, the flagship vertebrate species as well as species-rich invertebrate communities.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Having the last word on ‘population control’

World Population Day

  • It is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.
  • The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.
  • World Population Day aims to increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

Context

  • A Union Minister recently on World Population day had expressed apprehension of what he called the “population explosion” in the country, wanting all political parties to enact population control laws and annulling the voting rights of those having more than two children.
  • A prominent businessman-yoga guru wanted the government to enact a law where “the third child should not be allowed to vote and enjoy facilities provided by the government”. This, according to him, would ensure that people would not give birth to more children

Economic Survey (ES) 2018-19

  • Both these demands are wayward and represent distorted thinking which has been rebutted well in the Economic Survey 2018-19.
  • The Survey notes that India is set to witness a “sharp slowdown in population growth in the next two decades”.
  • The fact is that by the 2030s, some States will start transitioning to an ageing society as part of a well-studied process of “demographic transition” which sees nations slowly move toward a stable population as fertility rates fall with an improvement in social and economic development indices over time.

The demand for control on number of children can have negative impact on Society

  • It feeds on the perception that a large and growing population is at the root of a nation’s problems as more and more people chase fewer and fewer resources.
  • This image is so ingrained in the minds of people that it does not take much to whip up public sentiment which in turn can quickly degenerate into a deep class or religious conflict that pits the poor, the weak, the downtrodden and the minorities against the more privileged sections.
  • This will lead to ugliest kind of discrimination, worse than physical attacks or social prejudice because it breaks the poor and the weak bit by bit, and in a very insidious way.
  • China had introduced one-child policy, which forced parents to pay fines, submit to abortions and raise children in secret. In 2015, a two-child policy was introduced to compensate, but the damage was done: China now faces a labor shortage and a rapidly aging population without enough caregivers, or taxpayers.

What should be the state policy?

  • National Population Policy (NPP) was introduced in 2000 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The essence of the policy was the government’s commitment to “voluntary and informed choice and consent of citizens while availing of reproductive health care services” along with a “target free approach in administering family planning services”.
  • In fact in the year 2017 the then Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare in a written reply in the Lok Sabha noted that the “family Planning programme in India is target free and voluntary in nature and it is the prerogative of the clients to choose a family planning method best suited to them as per their reproductive right”.

Misconceptions about rising population

  • Family health, child survival and the number of children a woman has are closely tied to the levels of health and education of the parents, and in particular the woman; so the poorer the couple, the more the children they tend to have.
  • This is a relation that has little to do with religion and everything to do with opportunities, choices and services that are available to the people.
  • The poor tend to have more children because child survival is low, son preference remains high, children lend a helping hand in economic activity for poorer households and so support the economic as well as emotional needs of the family. This is well known, well understood and well established.
  • As the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) notes, women in the lowest wealth quintile have an average of 1.6 more children than women in the highest wealth quintile, translating to a total fertility rate of 3.2 children versus 1.5 children moving from the wealthiest to the poorest.
    • Similarly, the number of children per woman declines with a woman’s level of schooling. Women with no schooling have an average 3.1 children, compared with 1.7 children for women with 12 or more years of schooling.
    • This reveals the depth of the connections between health, education and inequality, with those having little access to health and education being caught in a cycle of poverty, leading to more and more children, and the burden that state control on number of children could impose on the weakest.
  • As the latest Economic Survey points out, States with high population growth are also the ones with the lowest per capita availability of hospital beds.

Conclusion

  • The damage done when mishandling issues of population growth is long-lasting. Let us not forget that the scars of the Emergency are still with us.
  • Men used to be part of the family planning initiatives then but after the excesses of forced sterilizations, they continue to remain completely out of family planning programmes even today.
  • The government now mostly works with woman and child health programmes.
  • Mistakes of the Emergency-kind are not what a new government with a robust electoral mandate might like to repeat. So it is time to ask some of the prejudiced voices within the government and ruling party not to venture into terrain they may not fully understand.
  • Therefore larger population growth rates is a consequence of dire poverty and restrictions on women’s ability to control their own fertility. Raising living standards globally, eradicating hunger and poverty, improving health care, providing access to education and achieving greater equality for women are all necessary to ensure there are lower birth rates.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Trump & Kashmir Issue:
https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/upsc-exam-comprehensive-news-analysis-jul24-2019/#Editorials

RTI:
https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/upsc-exam-comprehensive-news-analysis-jul22-2019/#Editorials

Chennai Water crisis:
The Topic has been explained in June Monthly Magazine. Kindly refer. Monthly Magazine

F. Tidbits

1. Chandrayaan-2 gets first orbit boost around earth

  • Chandrayaan-2 blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at on 22nd July, and was injected into the Earth Parking orbit within the next 16.5 minutes.
  • It has successfully made its first earth-bound maneuver and is now revolving around the Earth in a new orbit higher than the where it was placed when launched.
  • Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the moon and consists of an integrated module- the Orbiter, Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyan.
  • Over the next 20 days, it would remain in the Earth’s sphere of influence, but its orbit would be continuously raised using the onboard propulsion system.
  • A series of 15 critical maneuvers would be performed to help Chandrayaan-2 move closer to the moon, which is revolving around the earth at a distance of nearly 3.4 lakh kms.
  • The soft landing on the moon would be attempted on September 7.

2. Human-elephant conflicts: power poles should have spikes to keep away jumbos, says panel

  • A committee set up by the Union Environment Ministry has recommended that Electric poles in forests and wildlife sanctuaries need to have spikes to discourage elephants from uprooting them and getting electrocuted.
  • Its suggestions were presented to the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), an apex advisory board.
  • Elephant deaths from electrocution have emerged as a major challenge.
  • There are about 50 reported Elephant deaths each year owing to electrocution.
  • The committee’s report, which was deliberated upon by NBWL members, recommends that as far as possible transmission lines should be buried underground and those overhead ought to be insulated and kept out of reach of elephants.
  • A nationwide strategy should be developed and supported to undertake the long-term planning of electricity grid networks as a priority.
  • The board recommends that planning should include the use of state-of-the-art wildlife protection equipment, and burying low to medium-voltage transmission lines below ground where feasible.
  • The Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd., (PGCIL), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), and State Electricity Boards (SEBs) have been asked by the committee to fix sagging transmission lines and cables in protected areas on a priority basis.
  • The committee says that there ought to be a joint inspection of every transmission line passing through the protected areas or vicinity at least thrice a year.

G. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Khelo India programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
  2. Promotion of sports amongst people with disabilities is a component of the Khelo India programme.
  3. It is a centrally sponsored scheme.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. 1 and 2 only
d. 1 and 3 only

See
Answer
 Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. Gharials inhabit both freshwater and saltwater habitats.
  2. Gharial is the only crocodilian species native to India.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

See
Answer
 Q3. Consider the following statements:
  1. Ibadat Khana was built by Akbar at his palace in Fatehpur Sikri.
  2. Ibadat Khana was an exclusive place for sacrifices.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

See
Answer
 Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. Mudiyettu is a traditional ritual theatre and folk dance drama from Tamil Nadu.
  2. It is included in UNESCO’s intangible heritages list.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. India must deregulate the space sector to encourage private enterprise if she is to compete in the new space economy. Critically Analyse. (15 Marks, 250 Words)
  2. Evaluate the various resources of the oceans that can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world. (15 Marks, 250 Words)

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