27 May 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Mamata, Hasina talk culture and education
POLITY
1. Irish poll has resonance in Belagavi
2. Arunachal moves to keep out migrants
C. GS3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. IISc team synthesises artificial enzyme
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Govt’s infra boost  has shown results
2. Strengthen markets to aid farmers
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Mamata, Hasina talk culture and education

 

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasised the cultural ties between Bengal and Bangladesh but maintained silence on the crucial issue of sharing of Teesta river water.

Improving relations

  • West Bengal Chief Minister and the Bangladeshi Prime Minister discussed issues relating to culture and education, and how to improve relations between two countries.
  • Teesta may have figured in the talks between Ms. Hasina and Ms. Banerjee, but they may not want to go public with the issue, which remains sensitive to both sides of the border.
  • The West Bengal Chief Minister proposed setting up a museum on ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Kolkata.
  • Prime Minister emphasised the “secular” mindset of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh.

Poverty and terrorism

  • Hasina said that her government was striving to rid Bangladesh of poverty, which is a barrier to development, and terrorism, besides protecting youth from the menace of drug abuse.

Watch BYJU’S video on India-Bangladesh relations.

Category: POLITY

1. Irish poll has resonance in Belagavi

Context

  • Ireland voted by an overwhelming majority to overturn a constitutional ban on abortion in a historic referendum in this traditionally Catholic country.

Laws currently

  • Under the current law, an unborn child has the same right to life as the mother – and the maximum penalty for accessing an illegal abortion is 14 years in prison.

Reformation in the past

  • The outcome will be the latest milestone on a path of change for a country which only legalised divorce by a razor thin majority in 1995 and is the first in the world to adopt gay marriage by popular vote three years ago.

Background

  • Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who had sought abortion and been denied an abortion before she died after a miscarriage in a Galway hospital.
  • Indian immigrant was refused a termination because doctors denied to carry out an abortion when the foetal heartbeat could be heard.

2. Arunachal moves to keep out migrants

 

  • More than 350 Inner Line Permit (ILP) violators were recently pushed out of Arunachal Pradesh.

Inner Line Permit

  • A British-era system, the ILP is a travel document that Indian citizens need to possess to enter the frontier States of north-eastern India: Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • It is issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, to regulate the movement of people who do not belong to these States.
  • The ILP is valid for a week but can be extended. People who frequent these States for work can opt for a special ILP renewable annually.
  • Since the ILP is mandatory for Indians and the Protected Area Permit for foreigners, the fact that the labourers ejected from Arunachal Pradesh did not possess the permit put their nationality under a cloud.

National Register of Citizens

  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) contains names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951.
  • The draft will be published by June 30 which may leave 5 to 10 lakh people, mostly those with the ‘Bangladeshi’ tag, stateless. Assam’s neighbours fear some of those declared non-citizens may relocate to their territories to cash in on the demand for cheap labour.
  • For the same reason, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu ordered the police to strengthen vigil along the border with Assam.
  • The sister States often blame Assam for their problems with “illegal migrants” who are ironically indispensable as skilled and unskilled workers. 

Read more on National Register of Citizens

C. GS3 Related

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. IISc team synthesises artificial enzyme

 

  • Nanomaterials that can behave like human enzymes have now been successfully synthesized by a team of researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
  • They produced the new nanozyme — nanomaterial with enzyme-like activity — by using vanadium pentoxide nanocrystals of just 150-200 nm size.
  • The nanozyme was able to act like the natural antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in our body and help maintain the hydrogen peroxide levels within the threshold.
  • The enzyme glutathione peroxidase maintains the levels of hydrogen peroxide in our body and prevents cell damage. But under oxidative stress condition, the amount of enzyme is not sufficient to maintain the hydrogen peroxide level.
  • Under these circumstances, the nanozyme that precisely functions as the natural enzyme can be used. Kinetics and spectroscopy studies showed that the nanozyme was able to bring down the level of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Nanozymes with tunable catalytic properties are emerging as the next generation of artificial enzymes that find applications in neuroprotection, cardio-protection and cancer therapy.
  • Nanozymes have been widely explored for various applications, such as biosensing, bioimaging, tumour diagnosis and therapy, antibiofouling.

Read more on Nanotechnology.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. Govt’s infra boost has shown results

Significance

  • Concerted  focus in revamping the governance structure, create an enabling framework.Top of Form
  • Bottom of Form
  • The road sector has seen growth rate of 25% CAGR from 11km/day to over 26km/day over the last four years.
  • The infrastructure sector has received significant attention in the last four years of the present government.
  • There has been a concerted focus in revamping the governance structure and create an enabling framework that would spur the rate of growth of development.
  • The road sector has probably been one of the most significant growth stories in the last four years.
  • It has seen a rate of growth of almost 25% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 11km/day to over 26km/day over the last four years.

Disputes

  • Disputes between contractors and the government have been largely addressed, thereby freeing unproductive assets, enabling fast-track completion of pending projects and generating capacities with EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) players to be able to achieve an enviable rate of more than 30km/day.
  • Allocation from the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (erstwhile Central Roads Fund) for inland waterways has given the long pending impetus to a green and viable alternative to the fast choking road/rail network.

Funding

  • This revenue source for the Inland Waterways Authority of India along with World Bank funding on a number of waterways has generated confidence and witnessed active participation by international players in the development of allied infrastructure for shipbuilding, port and terminal handling, navigation, and LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals among others.

Joint ventures

  • Creation of a JV (joint venture) like Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd, to address last-mile connectivity at ports to increase the viability of port projects through faster and seamless evacuation of cargo at lower costs, has resulted in the offtake of multiple projects with investments of over Rs15,000 crore in progress and in the pipeline.
  • In the urban infrastructure sector, the Smart Cities mission, coupled with the project-based AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) programme to improve lives of citizens, after the initial slow start, has started showing traction.
  • The themes covered under the mission include affordable housing, water and electricity supply, sanitation, mobility and urban transport, telecommunication, and security.
  • The mission, which is expected to bring in investments of around Rs1 trillion from central, state and local bodies, is attracting participation by top global technology and urban development players.

Railway modernization

  • The railways has had one of the largest allocations in the budget this year. The commissioning of the first stages of the dedicated freight corridors, the take-off of the high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, modernization of the network and connectivity of satellite towns with metros are significant achievements for the sector.

Conclusion

  • While the intent and action by the government has been commendable and a robust framework has been created, the sentiment of private investors in the schemes through active participation and in the development of supporting infrastructure has not matched the government’s enthusiasm.
  • Demonetization and a yet-to-stabilize goods and services tax regime have possibly impacted confidence.
  • Maybe what is needed is an assurance that the political environment and predictable continuity shall be maintained.

2. Strengthen markets to aid farmers

Context

  • The govt’s aim of doubling farmers’ income continues to remain a distant dream.
  • India had record food production in 2017-18, but farmers’ income remained low and stagnant.
  • India had record food production in 2017-18, but farmers’ income remained low and stagnant.
  • The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s renaming of ministry of agriculture as the ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, and the promise to double farmers’ income by 2022, signals a clear shift in India’s agricultural policy.

Focus

  • The shift in focus from food production and productivity to farmers’ income and welfare was essential.
  • While increasing productivity is one way to increase farmers’ income, it is even more important to ensure remunerative farm harvest prices.
  • Else, bumper production can often turn into farmers’ nightmare as prices crash.
  • India had record food production in 2017-18, but farmers’ income remained low and stagnant.
  • However, in the four years it has been in power, the NDA government’s aim to doubling farmers’ income remains a distant dream and agriculture continues to be a high-risk, low-return enterprise.

 Reforms

  • Meanwhile, it has initiated many other reforms and launched new schemes to benefit the agrarian community, but with little effect.
  • For instance, the NITI Aayog’s proposed Model APMC Act and renewed efforts to deregulate the wholesale agricultural market, did not find many takers with most states showing no interest.
  • The National Agriculture Market, or E-NAM, was yet another initiative to create a unified national market where farmers and traders from across India could buy and sell their produce easily.
  • Though E-NAM covers 90 commodities across 470 APMC mandis, little has changed on the ground—the markets are far from getting integrated and most farmers are still dealing with local traders.
  • The government’s recent move to raise the minimum support price (MSP) to ensure better returns to farmers has also received muted response, as it procures only rice, wheat and some pulses at MSP.
  • In 2013-14, less than 10% farmers had sold their crop at MSP.

Example

  • Madhya Pradesh tried Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY) to ensure farmers got at least the MSP even for crops that are not publicly procured.
  • Less than one-fourth of the farm community in the state benefitted from the scheme.
  • Extending BBY to all crops across India may not also be financially viable and may help traders more than the farmers. In fact, controlling prices, through public procurement, or BBY, may not be the way to increase farmers’ income.

Conclusion

  • We must invest in market reforms and new aggregation models for smallholders to increase their bargaining power and reduce transaction costs.
  • While attempting market reforms, the government continues to use old draconian measures, including stocking restrictions and bans on exports and futures trading, in a knee-jerk reaction to even small increase in food prices.
  • Such steps may bring temporary relief to consumers, but end up hurting farmers. Experience shows that what hurts farmers today, almost always hurts the consumers tomorrow.
  • To help farmers and consumers, the government must strengthen markets.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements with respect to Inner Line Permit (ILP).
  1. Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  2. It can be used for travel purposes only.
  3. Visitors are not allowed to purchase property in these regions.

Which of the above statement/s is/are incorrect?

  1. i) only
  2. ii) only
  3. iii) only
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 2. Which of the following statements regarding Land Boundary Agreement adopted 
by India and Bangladesh is incorrect?
  1. It was the first ever Land boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh.
  2. India transferred 111 border enclaves to Bangladesh in exchange for 51 enclaves.
  3. Constitutional amendment had to be made to operationalise the agreement.
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Which of the following statements regarding enzymes is incorrect?
  1. Enzymes are biological catalysts which accelerate reactions.
  2. The study of enzymes is called enzymology.
  3. Pepsin is one of the main digestive enzymes in the digestive systems of humans.
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 4. United Nations agency dealing with social protection, and work opportunities
for all is
  1. International Labor organization (ILO)
  2. UNESCO
  3. WHO
  4. United Nations General Assembly

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The practice of science, since independence, has transformed India well. Comment.

  2. Discuss the recent shift in focus of the Indian government towards revamping the governance structure, in the light of Infrastructure boom.

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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