02 Sep 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Cholanaikkan Tribe
CULTURE
1. Currency Building and Metcalfe Hall
B. GS2 Related
HEALTH
1. The END of new-age smoking?
C. GS3 Related
ENVIRONMENT
1. Sangai/Antlered Deer
2. West Bengal loss of land due to erosion
SECURITY
1. Maoist Structure
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Sea food waste prevents steel corrosion
D. GS4 Related
ETHICS
1. Deep sociability: sharing sacred spaces
E. Editorials
F. Tidbits
1. SC judge Indira Banerjee says Attempts were made to influence her
G. Prelims Fact
1. Bar Council of India (BCI)
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Cholanaikkan Tribe

 

  • They are an ethnic group in the state of Kerala specially Silent Valley National Park
  • They speak the Cholanaikkan language, which belongs to the Dravidian family.
    • Around half of them also have a basic knowledge of Malayalam.
  • The Cholanaikkan call themselves as ‘Malanaikan’ or ‘Sholanaikan’. They are called Cholanaikan because they inhabit the interior forests. ‘Chola’ or ‘shoals’ means deep ever green forest, and ‘naikan’ means King.

Way of life

  • They have traditionally collected minor forest produce, such as honey, which they brought into town to sell. In turn, they bought essentials and returned, happy in their green abode.

Context

  • Kerala’s reclusive Chola Naikar tribe is leaving the forests for the plains after the devastating floods of Kerala.

Category: CULTURE

1. Currency Building and Metcalfe Hall

 Context

  • Two of Kolkata’s oldest colonial buildings, Currency Building and Metcalfe Hall, both built in the 19th century, will soon become museums and galleries showcasing art and urban history.

Currency Building

  • The three-storied Currency Building in Dalhousie Square was built in 1833.
  • Designed in the Italian style with Venetian windows and cast iron gates,
  • It was built for housing the Agra Bank and later, the Government of India occupied large parts of the building for housing and issuing paper currency
    • Archaeologists say the Currency Building was not a mint but a place where currency was kept.
  • Till 1937, the building served as the first office of the Reserve Bank of India
  • It was built when the Lord William Bentinck was the Governor General of the British India.
  • The cast iron gates, large brick arches and Venetian windows with intricate designs are the main attractions of the building. The roof is arched with iron joists and the floor is covered with marble and chunar sandstone.
  • But now the western wing is all set to become the office of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). The Currency Building will now host an exhibition of sketches and sculptures by Ramkinkar Baij, a pioneer of modern Indian sculpture.

Metcalfe Hall

  • It is a heritage building situated in Kolkata.
  • It was built in the years 1840-1844 with 30 Corinthian pillars
  • The design was prepared by the city magistrate, C.K. Robinson and named after Sir Charles T. Metcalfe, the Governor-General of India, in honour of his efforts towards a free press.
  • The architecture is reflective of the British imperial architecture facing the Hooghly river on the West.

B. GS2 Related

Category: HEALTH

1. The END of new-age smoking?

Context

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has issued a directive to stop the stopped the manufacture, sale, distribution, import, trade and advertisement of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes, vaping devices, e-sheesha, e-nicotine-flavoured hookah and heat-not-burn devices, citing the risk posed to children, adolescents and women in the reproductive age.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

It is a medically-approved way to take nicotine by means other than tobacco. It is used to help with quitting smoking or stopping chewing tobacco. It increases the chance of quitting smoking by about 50% to 70%. Often it is used along with other behavioral techniques.

  • ENDS are often misunderstood as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for those who aspire to quit tobacco use
  • But Nicotine gums and patches formulated under a valid drug manufacturing licence (with 2 mg and 4 mg of nicotine content) are the only approved forms of NRT currently.

A misconception

  • In most ENDS, instead of tobacco, nicotine is used in a chemical form. Thus, users of these devices believe that they are not smoking tobacco, but in reality, they continue to have the addictive chemical.
  • People believe that the cancer-causing element is absent in the devices and are simply getting the pleasure of smoking. But several studies have found that use of ENDS leads to initiation of smoking
  • The available scientific evidence indicated that ENDS and similar technologies encouraged tobacco use, were hazardous for active as well as passive users, and had an adverse impact on public health.

Cost Analysis

  • A cigarette contains four to six milligrams of nicotine whereas most cartridges used in ENDS contain an equivalent of 10 mg of nicotine, but in liquid form.
  • While the cost of a cigarette starts from ₹7, a cartridge costs at least ₹200.
  • Now cos the cost of ENDS is more when it begins to pinch the pocket, most ENDS users go back to cigarettes.

Brands Available

  • Most ENDS available in India are of Chinese make and non-branded
  • Well-known companies like ITC and Philip Morris International (PMI) have ENDS in the form of an e-cigarette called EON and a heat-not-burn device called iQOS, respectively.
  • PMI calls iQOS its breakthrough — it “heats the tobacco just enough to release a flavourful nicotine-containing vapour but without burning the tobacco”

But a launch in India is now unlikely.

Health Concerns

  • The Health Ministry’s notification highlights that nicotine can have adverse effects on the development of the foetus, may contribute to cardiovascular diseases and could function as a “tumour promoter”.
  • Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure may have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ENVIRONMENT

1. Sangai/Antlered Deer

 

  • IUCN: critically endangered
  • The sangai is an endemic, rare and endangered subspecies of brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur
  • It is also the state animal of Manipur. Its habitat is located in the southern parts of the Loktak Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in eastern India.
  • It is also one of the seven Ramsar sites of international importance.
  • The habitat of the sangai is now protected as the Keibul Lamjao(Kei- Tiger, Bul – vast, Lamjao-Land) National Park. Keibal Lamjao is the only floating national park in India.
    • Phumdi is the floating mass of entangled vegetation formed by the accumulation of organic debris and biomass with soil.
  • The sangai was believed to be almost extinct by 1951. Habitat destruction and poaching are two major threats to sangai.

Why it is called “dancing deer”?

  • While walking on the floating biomass, Sangai often balances itself which looks as if it is dancing on the green grassland and therefore popularly called as “dancing deer” of Manipur.

Second home?

  • In a bid to save and help them multiply, there is a demand for a second home for the deer.
  • Government plans to keep the deer at the Phumlenat Lake but there are concerns that are raised.
    • The Phumlenpat in Thoubal district is quite different from the Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district. There is no plant or grass or floating bio mass in the Phumlenpat Lake which means the deer will starve to death.
    • The villagers in Thoubal district have been launching sit-in protests and taking out torch light processions almost every night, saying that they should not be deprived of their livelihood by opening a second home for this deer at Phumlenpat Lake in the district.
      • Women of villages surrounding the Phumlenpat say that for generations they have been depending on fish, other water living beings and edible water plants in this lake. The villagers who will be denied entry in the lake will starve.

2. West Bengal loss of land due to erosion

Context

  • A report by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, released recently said West Bengal recorded the maximum erosion of 63%, followed by Puducherry 57%, Kerala 45%, and Tamil Nadu 41%.

Why is the State vulnerable?

  • The coastal stretch of West Bengal, bordering Bangladesh and located on the eastern end of the Indian peninsula, is one of the largest deltaic regions of the world.
  • The coastline has numerous rivers and the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangroves
  • The 534 sq km coastline of West Bengal, regularly hit by tides, tropical cyclones and storm surges, has suffered 63% erosion.
  • Other than the natural process, like storms and sea level rise, anthropogenic issues like aquaculture, port construction and other developmental activities also lead to coastal erosion

Facts

  • Between 1990 and 2016, West Bengal lost 99 sq km land due to coastal erosion
  • Sagar, the biggest island of the Sunderbans archipelago, which is home to almost 2 lakh people, is facing severe erosion on its western and south eastern parts.
  • Islands like Ghoramara and Mousuni are also facing erosion.
  • The same trend has been observed at Jambudweep Island and Henry Island in the Sunderbans.

What will be the impact?

West Bengal is a land-starved State with the fourth highest population in the country. It is also the second most densely populated State. According to the 2011 census, 1,029 people live in each square kilometre of West Bengal. The Sunderbans, which comprises most of the coastline in the State, has about 1,000 people living per sq km.

  • The loss of more than 80 sq km of coastal land puts further pressure on the population of the island, who are dependent on economic activities centred on the coastline.
  • This stress leads to migration from these coastal areas and islands.
  • Climate Change Refugees
  • Researchers call the people moving out of the Sunderbans “climate change refugees.”
  • The erosion of coastal areas, coupled with climate change, is a major cause of migration from the Sunderbans, which is one of the most backward regions of the State. Reports say that of the 1,000 inhabitants of the Sunderbans, 190 eat just one meal a day and 510 are malnourished.
  • According to NCCR researchers, the report on the national survey of coastline will provide inputs for framing policies to address the stress of the people residing in coastal areas, especially in the Sunderbans.

Is it happening only in Bengal?

  • Coastal erosion has been noticed in nine States and two Union Territories.
  • The NCCR report said
    • 34% of India’s coastline underwent varying degrees of erosion
    • 28% of the shoreline showed accretion
    • 38% of the country’s coastline remained stable.
  • A State-wise analysis of the coastal erosion suggests that more than 40% erosion was observed in four States and Union Territories.
  • The report states that the west coast has relatively been stable with erosion in minor pockets like Kerala. In the west, 48% of the coastline is stable, whereas only 28% of the eastern coast has been deemed stable.
  • When it comes to accretion, States such as Odisha (51%) and Andhra Pradesh (42%) recorded the maximum gain owing to coastline changes.
  • Goa and Maharashtra have the most stable coastlines in the country.

Category: SECURITY

1. Maoist Structure

Background

  • Naxalite movement was started by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal in West Bengal in 1967 under the banner of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Current Status

  • The movement has changed many banners over the past four decades and is now called the CPI (Maoist), which is a banned organisation in the country.
  • The CPI (Maoist) was formed in 2004 with the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War, commonly known as the People’s War Group, and the Maoist Communist Centre of India.

Organizational structure

They follow the ‘need to know’ principle for the flow of information. Each unit within the structure has its role and area of operation cut out.

  • The core body is the Central Committee (CC)
  • The CC is supported by the Polit Bureau (PB) and the Central Military Commission (CMC).
  • The Polit Bureau is the think tank of the organisation
    • The PB’s role is basically to keep in touch with the over-ground frontal organisations, operators and sympathisers and formulate long-term policy and strategy.
    • The PB keeps in touch with like-minded political parties and sympathisers and plays a major role in developing logistical support, which includes getting legal help for cadres, funding, spreading the ideology and finding safe houses for cadres.
  • The Central Military Commission’s role is to design operational plans that include attacks on security forces, recruiting cadres and funding through extortion.

The CC is supported by the four regional bureaus — central, east, north and south.

  • The central bureau spans the Dandkaranya zone, the Andhra-Odisha border special zone and the state committees of Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The eastern bureau consists of the zonal committees of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The northern bureau comprises Punjab and Uttarakhand
  • The southern bureau controls the whole of the Western Ghats region.

Local Division

Each of the bureaus and the zonal committees is headed by a CC member.

  • Under the zonal committees, there are regional committees.
  • The regional committees are further divided into divisional committees, area committees and finally the local area committees, which focus on one or two tribal villages each.

Strategy meetings

  • Every year the CC and the PB members try to meet at least on two occasions: the Martyrs’ Week, which begins on July 28, and the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week, usually the first week of December.
    • The PLGA week is being observed since 2000 from the first anniversary of killing of three members of its Central committee members in Koyyuru forest area in Karimnagar district on December 2, 1999.
    • Party’s concentration during the week is generally on recruitment to swell its cadres
  • It is during these two meetings that the year-long policy is drafted.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Sea food waste prevents steel corrosion

Introduction

  • Mild steel used in a wide range of industries easily develops rust and the corrosion causes huge economic loss every year.
  • As chemical corrosion inhibitors are detrimental to the environment, there is an urgent need to develop green inhibitors.
  • So researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, have successfully produced a chitosan-based corrosion inhibitor that shows over 90% efficiency.

Chitosan

  • Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide found in the shell of crab, shrimp and also in the cell wall of fungi.
  • The solubility of chitosan in water is poor, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) was incorporated to it and a novel PEG-crosslinked chitosan was developed.
  • PEG is non-toxic and has been approved by the FDA even for internal consumption

Results

  • Usually when steel is treated with anti-corrosive agents there is a change in its surface and it tends to get rough. But Chitosan as inhibitor did not alter the surface. In fact, there was a significant improvement in the surface smoothness
  • The shells of the shrimps are usually discarded as waste and if we can use them and develop such eco-friendly products it will be a good way to convert waste material to a useful application.

D. GS4 Related

Category: ETHICS

1. Deep sociability: sharing sacred spaces

Introduction

  • We live in dark times, perhaps among the darkest in memory. Not a single day passes without news of rape or lynching’s, treacherous lies, vitriolic rumors, venomous threats, fearmongering, hatred and violence.
  • And then, apart from these human misdemeanors, there is the devastation caused by nature’s fury.
  • But amidst this gloom and destruction, one is also blessed to witness acts of exemplary courage, care and compassion.

Act of Religious Kindness

  • Two groups of fasting Muslim youths reportedly spent the second day of the Haj pilgrimage removing post-flood slush and silt from temples in Wayanad and Malappuram
  • In Mannarkad, the Sunni Students’ Federation washed clean the Ayyappa temple
  • In Thrissur, where masjids were inundated with water, the Purappillikavu Rakteshwari temple hall was thrown open to Muslims to offer Eid namaz.
  • The Sri Krishna Mutt of Udupi held an Iftar party in its premises
  • In 2017 when the ground in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath was submerged under rainwater, the local Sikhs offered their gurudwara to Muslims for Eid prayers
  • The religious organisations funded the Sikh-run Khalsa Aid to hold langars on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border for Rohingya refugees.

The magic of empathy

  • We as humans are restricted to a state of self, body or expansion of self that encompasses our children, parents, best friends, coworkers, linguistic, religious or cultural community
  • But when faced with an unprecedented, superlative achievement by other humans or the most intense human suffering, we are propelled to completely identify with them.
  • When that happens, we virtually become the other, seeing no difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Boundaries collapse and we begin to feel each other’s pain and joy as our own
  • Empathy is a fundamental human attribute and only someone who has gone through psychopathic training or sociopathic misfortune is left without any trace of it.

Deep Sociability

  • People value good relationships with others not only for instrumental reasons, but also for intrinsic ones.
  • They do not merely wish to cooperate with others for mutual benefit. They wish to be with others, to do things together because they find it enjoyable, fulfilling, uplifting. This is why they also wish to be recognised and accepted by others.
  • If so, disagreement on some issues, even some important ones, motivates people to look for agreement in other domains. People have a capacity for unconditional sociability that compels them to set aside disagreement or minimise the significance of radical difference.
  • Put generally, because we are born radically incomplete, we achieve completion only with and by others. So, all our lives we strive for this other-dependent completion.
  • Deep sociability is the motor driving us towards fulfilment.

Conclusion

  • The humanitarian ethics — a deeply compassionate response to extreme human suffering — is alive and kicking among ordinary Indians despite the violence and hate-mongering reported every day. And that every act of anger and animosity that is reported has its counterpart in an act of care and compassion that goes unreported.
  • For, these are not instances of religious tolerance or religious acceptance; they are symptomatic of a deep respect for humanity. Sometimes, in moments of unspeakable tragedy, we get a glimpse of our own humanity, or, perhaps, our own divinity is revealed to us.

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Nothing here for today!!!

F. Tidbits

1. SC judge Indira Banerjee says Attempts were made to influence her

Context

  • Supreme Court judge Justice Indira Banerjee has revealed in an open court that an effort was made to influence her in a case related to Hotel Royal Plaza.

Details

  • Justice Mishra said that the attempt to influence the judge amounted to contempt of court.

G. Prelims Fact

1. Bar Council of India (BCI)

 

  • It is a statutory body established under the section 4 of Advocates Act 1961 that regulates the legal practice and legal education in India.
  • Its members are elected from amongst the lawyers in India and as such represents the Indian bar.

Functions

  • It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquettes and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar.
  • It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as a qualification for students to enroll themselves as advocates upon graduation.
  • To safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of advocates.
  • To promote and support law reform
  • To organise legal aid to the poor.
  • To manage and invest the funds of the Bar Council.

Composition

  • As per the Advocates Act, the Bar Council of India consists of members elected from each state bar council, and the Attorney General of India and the Solicitor General of India who are ex officio members.
  • The members from the state bar councils are elected for a period of five years.
  • The council elects its own Chairman and Vice-Chairman for a period of two years from amongst its members. Assisted by the various committees of the Council, the chairman acts as the chief executive and director of the Council.

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. The Global Investment Trends Monitor is published by
 
  1. World economic Forum
  2. UNCTAD
  3. World Bank
  4. WTO

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about Aranmula:
  1. It is celebrated in Tamilnadu

  2. It is a dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
 
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 3. Look at the following statements about Fields medal:
  1. It is called as mathematician’s “Nobel Prize”.

  2. It is awarded annually to mathematicians under 40 years of age.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
 
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 4. The Vishakha Guidelines is related to:
 
 
  1. Sexual harassment
  2. Child Marriage
  3. Dowry
  4. Online media control

See

Answer

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. India’s criminal justice system is in ICU. Analyze.

  2. Mergers of school initiated by the Government is negligence on the part of the government. Critically examine.
  3. The pink bollworm is a disaster to the farmers who are already under the pressure of loan and abnormal Monsoons. Discuss the implications and steps that needs to be taken.

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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