Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 24th August 2019

90% Batteries ending up in informal sector

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Image result for 90% batteries ending up in informal sector

Context

  • According to a report titled ‘Loaded batteries:Mapping the toxic waste trail”, more than 90% of the lead-acid batteries disposed off are ending up with the informal sector. 
  • This means they are not only being unscientifically disposed and dismantled but are also polluting the environment in a major way.  

Background

  • The reasons for shops giving away lead-acid batteries to informal sector workers were 
(a)convenience of pick-up 
(b)lack of storage space 
(c) billing issues as it involves time consuming paperwork.
  • Further, the E-Waste management Rules, 2016 also specifies extended producer responsibility (EPR).
  • Under EPR, responsibility of collection of used batteries is entrusted upon producers, importers and brand owners. 

Highlights

  • The report also revealed that most workers in the informal sector were operating without protective equipment like gloves, masks, aprons and and shoes which leaves them at risk of lead poisoning. 
  • Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and young children are particularly vulnerable to it.
  • However,consumer awareness in general is poor regarding disposal and processing concerns of used lead acid batteries as well as about the rules.

Source: The Hindu.


IMF warns against rate cuts currency intervention to improve trade balance

Focus: GS2. 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Context

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the United States and China that higher bilateral tariffs are unlikely to reduce aggregate trade imbalances as they mainly divert trade to other countries.
  • Instead, they are likely to harm both domestic and global growth by affecting business confidence and investment and disrupting global supply chains.

Background

  • The IMF has also cautioned countries against focusing on weakening a country’s currency exchange rate.
  • It said that this would hurt the functioning of the international monetary system and will affect all countries. 

About IMF

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization headquartered in Washington,US.
  • It consists of 189 countries.
  • It was formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference.
  • IMF has been established to (a)foster global monetary cooperation (b)secure financial stability, (c)facilitate international trade (d)promote high employment (e) sustainable economic growth and (f)reduce poverty around the world.

Source: The Hindu.


Government to set up a committee to study corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Context

  • The government has decided to set up a high-level committee to recommend restructuring of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
  • The committee will recommend changes required at making the (a) OFB accountable and efficient (b) increase their production capacity and (c)ensure timely supply of products.

Background

  • This committee was formed as OFB with 41 factories functions under the Department of Defence Production.
  • Due to this every decision and action needs the approval of the Cabinet.
  • On the other hand, the Defence Public Sector Undertakings(DPSU) do not have such requirements and have been establishing joint ventures and partnerships for technology development and other things. 

About Ordnance Factory Board

  • Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) consisting of the Indian Ordnance Factories is a defense contractor owned by the Indian government.
  • It is the world’s largest government-operated production organisation.
  • OFB predates all the other organisations like the Indian Army and the Indian Railways by over a century.
  • The first Indian ordnance factory can trace its origins back to the year 1712 when the Dutch Company established a GunPowder Factory in Ichapur, West Bengal.

Source: The Hindu.


Mobile Metallic Rampto

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Context

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has handed over the design of Mobile Metallic Ramp (MMR) to the Indian Army.
  • MMR has been designed and developed by DRDO’s premier research laboratory called Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES). 

Background

  • MMR has a load bearing capacity of 70 metric ton (MT).
  • It has been designed and developed on requirements projected by Army.
  • Further, it is also portable and modular in design which can be easily assembled or disassembled.
  • This will provide the strategic mobility for Armoured and Mechanized units and formations of the Army. 

About DRDO

  • DRDO was established in 1958 by the government of India.
  • It is under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Defence.
  • DRDO aims to enhance India’s self-reliance in Defence Systems.
  • It undertakes design & development leading to the production of a world-class weapon system.

Source: The Hindu. 


Sabka Vishwas – Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Image result for Sabka Vishwas – Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme

Why in News?

  • In Budget 2019-20, Government had announced the Sabka Vishwas legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019.
  • The Scheme has now been notified and will be operationalized from 1st September 2019. 

Objective and Components

  • The objective of the scheme is to free the large number of small taxpayers of their pending disputes with the tax administration.
  • The two main components of the Scheme are dispute resolution and amnesty.

Highlights

  • The dispute resolution component is aimed at liquidating the legacy cases of Central Excise and Service Tax that are subsumed in GST and are pending in litigation at various forums. 
  • The amnesty component of the Scheme offers an opportunity to the taxpayers to pay the outstanding tax and be free of any other consequences under the law.
  • For all the cases pending in adjudication or appeal in any forum – this Scheme offers a relief of 70% from the duty demand if it is Rs.50 lakhs or less and 50% if it is more than Rs. 50 lakhs.
  • The most attractive aspect of the Scheme is that it provides substantial relief in the tax dues for all categories of cases as well as full waiver of interest, fine, penalty.
  • There is also a complete amnesty from prosecution 

Source: The Hindu.


What is Oxytocin and why does the government want to ban its commercial use?

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

Image result for Oxytocin

Context

  • The Supreme Court has referred the matter to a larger bench to decide on whether to impose a ban on private companies to manufacture the drug Oxytocin and restrict its manufacture to a single public sector undertaking.
  • This decision comes after a petition was filed against government ban on private drug manufacturers from producing Oxytocin. 

About Oxytocin

  • Oxytocin also known as the ‘love hormone’ is a hormone secreted by the pituitary glands during sex, childbirth, lactation or social bonding. 
  • However,it can also be chemically manufactured and sold by pharma companies for use during childbirth.
  • It is administered either as an injection or a nasal solution. 

Highlights

  • Oxytocin helps contract the uterus and induce delivery, control bleeding, and promote the release of breast milk.
  • Its use is especially crucial to prevent new mothers from excessively bleeding after giving birth which is  a common cause of maternal deaths.
  • However, the drug has been misused in the dairy industry where livestock is injected with Oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers.

Source: The Hindu.


Map of the Day–Kazakhstan

Image result for kazakhstan map


Quote for the Day

"Silence is a true friend who never betrays” – Confucius


Mains Answer Writing

1.According to a report, more than 90% of the lead-acid batteries disposed off are ending up with the informal sector. Discuss the reasons behind this and suggest some measures to reduce this trend.
2.Explain the contributions of Ordnance Factory for defence services.
3.Critically Analyse the need for Sabka Vishwas legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019.

 


Test your Knowledge

1. Consider the following statements 

1.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has it’s headquarters in Venice.
2.It consists of 189 countries.
3.It was formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above

2. Consider the following statements:

1.Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) the world’s largest government-operated production organisation.
2.The first Indian ordnance factory can trace its origins back to the year 1712.
3.The British Company established a Gun Powder Factory in Ichapur, West Bengal.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

3. Consider the following statements:

1.Mobile Metallic Ramp (MMR) has been designed and developed by DRDO.
2.It has been designed and developed on requirements projected by Airforce.
3.It is under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

4.Consider the following statements:

1.Oxytocin also known as the ‘love hormone’.
2.It is a hormone secreted by the pituitary glands during sex, childbirth, lactation or social bonding. 
3.It is administered either as an injection or a nasal solution.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

5.Which of the following countries does not border Caspian Sea?

a.Kazakhstan
b.Azerbaijan
c.Turkmenistan
d.Tajikistan

Answers

1.B 2.A 3.A 4.D 5.D