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, 16th November 2019


GHUMAR AND AL-BAQOURA

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.

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Context 

King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that Jordan has decided to terminate annexes of ‘Baquoura and Ghumar’ in the peace agreement signed between Jordan and the Israeli. 

About the treaty 

  • Under the 1994 Wadi Araba Peace Treaty with Israel, Jordan leased Baqura and Ghumar areas, formally under Jordanian sovereignty, to Israel for a period of 25 years that allowed Israeli farmers to cultivate in two pieces of agricultural land.
  • Baqura is a border area of six square kilometers in Jordan's northern Irbid province, while Ghumar covers four square kilometers in the southern Aqaba province.

Source: The Hindu.


FROM THE STATES

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

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Context 

In the last few days, there have been key developments that occurred in the states which are as follows: 

  • Sisseri River Bridge: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Sisseri River Bridge on the Pasighat-Ranaghat-Roing Road in East Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • North East Industrial Corridor: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that Government is planning to set up a North East Industrial Corridor, with the Arunachal corridor acting as a bridge between India and southeast Asia, in a bid to provide employment opportunities and promote trade and tourism in the region.
  • National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA): It was launched in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. NISHTHA is a National Mission which aims to build the capacities of 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of Schools at elementary level in all Government Schools across the country, faculty members of SIEs/SCERTs, DIETs etc.
  • e-Ganna app, web portal: Uttar Pradesh government has launched a dedicated web portal and a mobile application, e-Ganna App, for sugarcane farmers of the state. It will ensure transparency in the process of getting slips, and facilitate sugarcane supply by farmers to mills and check irregularities. 

Source: The Hindu, AIR.


TRACE BRIBERY MATRIX

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

India ranked 78th in the Global Bribery Risk Index

Context

India has been placed in a better position than neighbouring China in this year’s Trace Bribery Matrix.

TRACE is a US based organisation which provides ranking to various countries in terms of the risk of bribery companies face in doing business in those countries.

About the Matrix 

  • The Trace Bribery Matrix evaluates 200 countries under four parameters which are (1) business interaction with the government, (2) anti-bribery deterrence, (3) transparency and (4) civil society oversight.
  • With a total risk score of 48, India is ranked higher than neighbouring China whose score is 59.
  • Among the BRICS nations, South Africa is ahead of other countries with a score of 42.
  • Bangladesh has the highest business bribery risk among South Asian courtiers. 
  • Bangladesh has been placed at 178 position among 200 countries.
  • Overall, Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Yemen and Venezuela presented the highest risk of bribe demands. 
  • New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland presented the lowest bribery risk. 

Source: The Hindu. 


11TH BRICS SUMMIT

Focus: GS2.

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

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Context 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Brasilia, Brazil on 13th - 14th November 2019 to attend the 11th BRICS summit.

The theme of the BRICS summit this year was "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.”

Highlights of the summit 

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2020.
  • PM Modi has called for an early opening of New Development Bank's (NDB’s) regional office in India.
  • He urged the BRICS countries and NDB to join and strengthen the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
  • He also proposed to hold first BRICS water minister meet in India to find solutions for sustainable water management and sanitation issues.
  • PM Modi expressed hope that MOU between trade promotion agencies of BRICS will help achieving the target of 500 billion US dollars intra BRICS trade.
  • During the 4th BRICS-Young Scientist Forum (YSF), 2019, Ravi Prakash, an Indian scholar has won the 25,000 US Dollar BRICS-Young Innovator Prize for inventing an affordable indigenous milk chilling unit for smaller and marginal rural dairy farmers. 

About BRICS 

  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • BRICS brings together five major emerging economies comprising 42 % of the world's population, having 23 % of the global GDP and around 17 % of the share and world trade.
  • Timeline: Originally the first four were grouped as "BRIC" (or "the BRICs"), before the induction of South Africa in 2010. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.
  • The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states.
  • The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is a framework for providing protection against global liquidity pressures.

Source: The Hindu, AIR.


DEPOSITOR EDUCATION AND AWARENESS FUND (DEA FUND)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

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Context 

RBI released guidelines on the criteria for registering institutions ‘on tap’ for grant of financial assistance from the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEA Fund).

Highlights

  • Section 26A in the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 empowers the RBI to establish Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEA Fund).
  • Accordingly, a Scheme was formulated and notified in the Official Gazette In 2014. 
  • The Scheme envisages registration of institutions and grant of financial assistance to them for promotion of depositors’ awareness.
  • With a view to widening and deepening depositor awareness efforts, it has now been decided to invite applications ‘on tap’ for registration of eligible entities. 

Source: Business Standard.


TAPAN RAY WORKING GROUP

Focus: GS3.

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


Context 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Report of the Working Group (WG) to Review the Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Core Investment Companies (CICs).

The working group was chaired by Tapan Ray, former Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

About the recommendations

  • Capital contribution by a CIC in a step-down CIC, over and above 10% of its owned funds, should be deducted from its Adjusted Networth, as applicable to other NBFCs. Further, step-down CICs may not be permitted to invest in any other CIC.
  • The number of layers of CICs in a group should be restricted to two.
  • Every Group having a CIC should have a Group Risk Management Committee (GRMC).
  • Constitution of the Board level committees viz., Audit Committee and Nomination and Remuneration Committee should be mandated.
  • Offsite returns may be designed by the RBI and may be prescribed for the CICs on the lines of other NBFCs.
  • Onsite inspection of CICs maybe conducted periodically. 

About Core Investment Companies (CICs)

  • Core investment companies are non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) holding not less than 90% of their net assets in the form of investment in equity shares, preference shares, bonds, debentures, debt or loans in group companies.
  • In August 2019, there were 63 CICs registered with RBI.
  • Experts have been seeking a review of CIC guidelines ever since defaults by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), a large systemically important core investment company.

Source: LiveMint.


ARROKOTH

Focus: GS3.

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

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Context 

In a fitting tribute to the farthest flyby ever conducted by spacecraft, the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 has been officially named Arrokoth, a Native American term meaning “sky” in the Powhatan/Algonquian language.

About the object 

  • About 6.6 billion km from Earth in the Kuiper Belt beyond the orbit of Neptune, a rock moves in slow orbit around the Sun, once every 297 years. 
  • It’s odd shape consists of two lobes, respectively measuring 21 km and 15 km across, which create an appearance of a doughnut.
  • Provisionally named 2014 MU69 based on the year of its discovery, it was given the nickname ‘Ultima Thule’ last year following public suggestions made to NASA.
  • Now, it has got an official name — Arrokoth. 
  • Arrokoth is the term for “sky” in the Native American languages Powhatan and Algonquian.
  • NASA proposed the name to the International Astronomical Union and Minor Planets Centre, the authority responsible for naming objects that lie in the Kuiper Belt. 
  • The Belt consists of a mass of icy objects that include Pluto, the dwarf planet. 

About NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft 

  • It was launched in January 2006.
  • It sped past the object in January this year. 
  • It is the most primitive and distant object to have been encountered by a spacecraft.

Source: Indian Express.


WIND AUGMENTATION PURIFYING UNIT (WAYU)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

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Context 

Union Environment Ministry said that Roadside air purifiers (WAYU) have failed to address air pollution at traffic intersections and dense traffic zones in Delhi.

The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a Nagpur-based laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), had developed WAYU to address air pollution at traffic intersections and dense traffic zones.

About the device

  • Prototypes of the device had been installed at the ITO Junction and Mukarba Chowk in north Delhi. 
  • Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiled the prototypes in September 2018.
  • It comprises a fan that sucks in air and sieves out dust and particulate matter using three filters of varying sizes. 
  • The air then moves into another chamber where carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are oxidised into the less harmful carbon dioxide using activated carbon coated with titanium dioxide. 
  • The purified air is then released back into the atmosphere.
  • Developers of WAYU claimed that the devices could reduce PM10 values from 600 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) to 100 ug/m3; and PM2.5 values from 300 ug/m3 to 60 ug/m3 in 30 minutes. 

About Pariyayantra

  • Along with WAYU, former Environment Minister Dr. Vardhan had, last December, also launched Pariyayantra in Delhi. 
  • These were a fleet of 30 buses with air filter units mounted on the roof.
  • As the vehicle moves, air passes through the holes in front of the device. 
  • The filters inside the unit trap the pollutants. What comes out is clean air. 

Source: The Hindu.


Map of the Day –Bangladesh

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Quote for the Day


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”. – Winston Churchill

Mains Answer Writing


1.Geography, including the open border, for one, is in India’s favour but winning back Nepal and the confidence of its people is the challenge. Critically analyse. (250 Words).

2.India faces big climate challenges in adhering to Paris Climate Deal which tries to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees over the pre-industrial levels by 2030. Discuss. (250 Words).

3.“Mr T.N. Seshan’s tenure as the Chief Election Commissioner is considered a “turning point” in the history of Election Commission. “Comment. (250 Words).

Test your Knowledge


1.With reference to the ‘Global Cooling Prize’ (GCP), consider the following statements:

1. It aims to spur development of a residential cooling solution that has at least five times (5x) less climate impact than today's standard products.

2. It is an initiative of NITI Aayog.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a.1 only

b.2 only

c.1 and 2 only

d.NOTA


2.With reference to the National Cancer Institute, AIIMS Jhajjar campus, consider the following statements:

1.National Cancer Institute is the largest investment by the Government of India in a single hospital project.
2.The Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines will help deliver precise high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the patient's tumor.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a.1 only

b.2 only

c.1 and 2 only

d.NOTA 


3.What is ‘Acqua alta’, recently seen in news?

a.It is the term used in Veneto for the exceptional tide peaks that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea.

b.It is the term used for the high tides in Planet Mars.

c.It is a spinning column of air and mist that forms on lakes, rivers, and at sea.

d.None of the above 


4.With reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC), consider the following statements:

 1.It can exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes.

2.The Court's official seat is in New York, but its proceedings may take place anywhere.

Which of the following is the correct answer as per information given below?

a.1 only

b.2 only

c.1 and 2 only

d.NOTA 


5.The Sabarimala temple is a temple complex located at Sabarimala inside which of the following Tiger Reserve?

a.Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

b.Periyar Tiger Reserve

c.Anamalai Tiger Reserve

d.Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

 

Answers

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