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, 13th September 2019


A suicide every 40 seconds, taking stock of global trends

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Image result for suicide statistics in india

Context

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a study which shows that suicides account for one death every 40 seconds.
  • The study has shown that close to 8 lakh people die due to suicide every year.
  • In other words, suicides account for one death every 40 seconds. 

Background

  • The global age-standardized suicide rate for 2016 was 10.5 per 100,000.
  • The study has shown that 79% of the world’s suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
  • But high-income countries also had the highest rate at 11.5 per 100 000.
  • Further, nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in high-income countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rate is more equal.
  • The study has also said that suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years after road injury. 

Recommendations

The key interventions that have shown success in reducing suicides are 

  • restricting access to means
  • educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide
  • implementing programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses
  • Early identification, management and follow-up of people at risk of suicide. 

Highlights

  • Parliament had passed the Mental health care Act in 2017.
  • This act had brought changes in Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (which criminalized attempted suicide).
  • The act says that a person who attempts to commit suicide will be presumed to be suffering from severe stress and shall not be subjected to any investigation or prosecution.
  • The act also envisages the establishment of Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authority.

Source: The Hindu.


World University Rankings

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Image result for world university rankings

Context

  • The Times Higher Education has ranked 1,300 universities from 92 countries.
  • Times Higher Education has released the World University Rankings 2020.

Highlights

  • The University of Oxford retained the top position for the consecutive fourth year.
  • Times has also included 56 Indian institutions into the table this year, making India the fifth most-represented country in the list and the third in Asia (behind Japan and China).
  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore topped the Indian universities on the list.
  • However, its ranking fell from the 251-300 group in 2019 to the 301-350 bracket in 2020.
  • Further, this is for the first time since 2012 that an Indian university has not featured in the top 300 of the ranking.
  • According to THE, the best Indian institutions are generally characterized by relatively strong scores for teaching environment and industry income, but when it comes to an international outlook they perform poorly. 

About TIMES

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine.
  • The world university rankings are based on marks allotted under areas such as teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook with a maximum of 100 marks in each category and for overall performance.

Source: The Hindu.


Market Intervention Scheme (MIS)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Context

  • Government is planning to procure almost 12 lakh metric tonnes of apple from Kashmir under the Market Intervention Price Scheme.
  • Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State Governments.

About MIS

  • The scheme aims for procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices. 
  • MIS is implemented by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Government of India.
  • The Scheme is implemented when there is at least 10% increase in production or 10% decrease in the ruling rates over the previous normal year.
  • The objective of MIS is to protect the growers of these horticultural or agricultural commodities from making distress sale in the event of bumper crop during the peak arrival period when prices fall to a very low level. 

Source: The Hindu.


India’s oil demand to rise at fastest pace in world: OPEC

Focus: GS3.

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

Image result for India’s oil demand

Context

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has released the World Oil Demand report.
  • The report has said that India’s oil demand will rise by the fastest pace globally in 2019 and 2020 even as its economic expansion has slowed down. 

Background

  • However, the report also highlighted that India has experienced lower than expected growth rates for first half of 2019 amid ongoing structural challenges.
  • The report has said that structural reforms covering labour laws, taxation and the legal system can ease the path for India’s businesses in the coming year. 

About OPEC

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization.
  • It was created at the Baghdad Conference in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • It has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
  • OPEC aims to manage the supply of oil in an effort to set the price of oil on the world market and to avoid fluctuations that might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries.
  • According to its statutes, OPEC membership is open to any country that is a substantial exporter of oil and which shares the ideals of the organization.
  • The current OPEC members are: (a)Algeria (b)Angola (c)Ecuador (d)Equatorial Guinea (e)Gabon (f)Iran (g)Iraq (h)Kuwait, (I)Libya (j)Nigeria (k)the Republic of the Congo (l)Saudi Arabia (j)United Arab Emirates and (k)Venezuela.

Source: The Hindu. 


U.K.opens up two-year post-study work permit visa again

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Why in News?

  • United Kingdom has decided to re-introduce the two-year post-study work visa for international students.
  • The new visa rules will allow International students to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find a job. 

Background

  • The move reverses a decision made in 2012 by the UK Government that forced overseas students to leave four months after finishing a degree.
  • The change will apply to international students in the UK who start courses at the undergraduate level or above from 2020.
  • This decision is aimed at attracting the brightest and the best students around the world and a sign of the UK’s ambition once the Brexit happens. 

About Brexit

  • Brexit is a term used to define United Kingdom coming out of European Union (EU).
  • During a referendum in 2016, UK voted by a narrow margin in favour of Brexit.
  • Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any European Union (EU) member state the right to quit unilaterally and outlines the procedure for doing so.
  • The treaty gives the leaving country two years to negotiate an exit deal. 

About European Union

  • The European Union is an international organization made up of 28 European countries.
  • It governs common economic, social and security policies of its member states.
  • It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.
  • The 19 EU countries use EURO as their official currency.
  • But nine EU members namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom do not use the euro. 

About European Economic Area (EEA)

  • EEA brings together the EU Member States and the three EEA EFTA States namely Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in a single market referred to as the Internal Market.
  • Switzerland is not part of the EEA Agreement.
  • The relations between Switzerland and the EU are framed by a series of bilateral treaties whereby the Switzerland has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union’s single market without joining as a member state.

Source: The Hindu.


RBI panel to firm up mechanism for assessing adequacy of forex reserves

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Image result for RBI  forex reserves

Context

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed an internal group to assess whether foreign exchange reserves are adequate.
  • The panel is expected to study how much reserves are adequate to cover various risks. 

About the committee

  • According to Bimal Jalan Committee report, the RBI’s foreign exchange reserves in 2008 were higher than the country’s external debt.
  • But this position has reversed in 2019.
  • At present, India’s foreign exchange reserves (more than $400 billion) are significantly lower than the country’s total external liabilities ($1 trillion) and even lower than total external debt ($500 billion). 
  • This position is opposite to that in 2008 when India’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded the then total external debt.
  • Therefore, RBI may be required to increase the size of its forex reserves with its accompanying implications for the balance sheet, risks and desired economic capital.  

About Foreign exchange reserves

  • Foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank in foreign currencies.
  • These reserves are used to back liabilities and influence monetary policy.
  • These assets serve many purposes but are most significantly held to ensure that a central government agency has backup funds if their national currency rapidly devalues or becomes altogether insolvent.
  • The Foreign exchange reserves of India consists of four categories which are (a)Foreign Currency Assets (b)Gold (c)Special Drawing Rights(SDRs) and (d)Reserve Tranche Position. 

Highlights

  • A reserve tranche is a portion of the required quota of currency each member country must provide to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that can be withdrawn at any time without any interest during critical situations of a country. 
  • The Special drawing rights(SDR) is an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries official reserves.
  • The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF.
  • The SDR basket Includes five currencies namely the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.

Source: The Hindu.


Map of the Day–Tropic of Cancer countries


Image result for tropic of cancer countries


Quote for the Day


"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." – Confucius


Mains Answer Writing


1.A study by WHO shows that suicides account for one death every 40 seconds. Discuss the reasons behind this trends and steps to be taken.
2.What is Market Intervention Scheme? How will it impact on economy? Explain.
3.The report has said that India’s oil demand will rise by the fastest pace globally in 2019 and 2020 even as its economic expansion has slowed down. Comment.

 

Test your Knowledge


1. Consider the following statements 

1.The World Energy Congress is a triennial event organised by the London-based World Energy Council.
2.The Congress took place for the first time in 1924 in Paris.
3.The 24th World Energy Congress will take place in Abu Dhabi.

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.The “CHC Farm Machinery” is a mobile app.
2.The application will allow the farmers to avail the services of Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) located in a radius of 500 km.
3.Marginal farmers (Farmers whose land holdings are less than two hectares of land), by virtue of their economic condition are unable to own farm machinery on their own or through institutional credit. 

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.Snow leopards are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
2.They are also listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
3.Project snow leopard is a centrally-supported programme launched in 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

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.The exercise HimVijay will take place in Ladakh.
2.Mountain Strike corps is India’s first dedicated strike corps for mountain operations.
3.It focuses on the eastern end of the contested border to bolster India’s defence.

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.Tropic of Cancer does not pass through?

a.North America
b.Africa
c.Europe
d.Asia

 

Answers

  1. C 2.C 3.B 4.B 5.C