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, 21st January 2020


NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM & LIBRARY

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

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Context 

The Central Government has appointed Nripendra Misra, former principal secretary to the Prime Minister, as the Chairman of the Executive Council (EC) of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML). 

Background 

  • This has been done after the Government decided to reconstitute the 8-member Executive Council of the NMML society. 
  • This comes at a time when the institution is finalising plans to set up a Museum of Prime Ministers.
  • A Surya Prakash, who is the Chairman of Prasar Bharati, has been appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Council. 
  • Meanwhile, two senior officials of the Ministry of Culture and Director of NMML will serve as ex-officio members in the EC. 

Highlights 

  • The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) was set up in 1966 as an autonomous institution under the Culture Ministry.
  • Located at the Teen Murti Bhavan in Delhi, Nehru’s official residence as Prime Minister, it houses his papers and others related to the freedom movement and other aspects of modern history. 

Source: The Hindu. 


PULSE POLIO PROGRAMME

Focus: GS2.

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

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Context 

The Union health ministry launched this year’s Pulse Polio Programme. Polio or poliomyelitis is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. 

About Polio 

  • The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  • Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. 
  • In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent.
  • There is no cure for polio; it can only be prevented by immunization. 

About Pulse Polio Programme 

  • India launched the Pulse Polio immunisation programme in 1995, after a resolution for a global initiative of polio eradication was adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1988.
  • Children in the age group of 0-5 years are administered polio drops during national and sub-national immunisation rounds (in high-risk areas) every year.
  • The last polio case in the country was reported from Howrah district of West Bengal in 2011. 
  • The WHO in 2012, removed India from the list of countries with active endemic wild polio virus transmission. In 2014, the South-East Asia Region of the WHO, of which India is a part, was certified as polio-free.
  • To prevent the virus from coming to India, the government has since March 2014 made the Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) mandatory for those travelling between India and polio-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Syria and Cameroon.

Source: Indian Express. 


DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS (DMA)

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

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Context 

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the rules of business for the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA), headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). 

About DMA 

  • The DMA is the fifth department in the MoD — the others being the Department of Defence, the Department of Defence Production, the Department of Defence Research and Development and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.
  • The DMA, headed by Gen. Bipin Rawat, will have two Joint Secretaries, 13 Deputy Secretaries, 25 Under Secretaries and 22 Section officers.
  • The Services have been brought under the ambit of the DMA, in addition to the Territorial Army and works relating to the three Services and procurement exclusive to the Services, except capital acquisitions. 
  • The training policy, most of the training establishments and cadre management of the Services would be under the purview of the DMA.
  • The DMA’s mandate includes promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services; facilitating a restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands, and promoting the use of indigenous equipment.
  • The defence ministry has shifted administrative and revenue procurement matters of the armed services to the DMA, but any important matter related to defence policy will be dealt by the defence secretary.  

Highlights 

  • The orders have also specified that the secretariat of the high powered Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which looks after large capital procurements, will be moved to the Department of Defence (DoD), in a change from the past when it functioned under the tri-services headquarters. 

Source: Economic Times.

INTEREST RATE FUTURES (IRF) CONTRACTS

Focus: GS3.

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


Context 

The Metropolitan Stock Exchange (MSE) has become the first bourse to get a regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch weekly interest rate futures (IRF) contracts.

About the contracts

  • Interest Rate Futures (IRFs) are futures contracts wherein the underlying financial instrument pays interest.
  • In the Indian market, exchange traded IRFs are based on 6-year, 10-year and 13-year government bonds and 91-day government treasury bills. 

Highlights

  • Currently, both the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the BSE offer trading facilities in such instruments but the contracts have a monthly tenor.
  • It is expected that weekly contracts would give market players an avenue to hedge their risk exposure in the short term, especially during events such as central bank policy reviews, growth data releases and certain global events that can have a bearing on the interest rates in the domestic market. 

Source: The Hindu.


NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY WEEK

Focus: GS3.

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

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Context 

  • Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways alongwith National Safety Council of India (NSC) observed the 31st National Road Safety Week from 11th January to 17th January 2020 for generating awareness about safe road usage. 
  • The theme of this year was "Bringing Change through Youth". 

About National Safety Council of India (NSC) 

  • National Safety Council (NSC) was set up by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India (GOI) in 1966 to generate, develop and sustain a voluntary movement on Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) at the national level.
  • It is an apex nonprofit making, autonomous body, registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950.
  • It is managed by a tripartite 51-member Board of Governors headed by the Chairman, nominated by the Government of India.

Source: PIB.


NATIONAL HIGHWAYS EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Focus: GS3.

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

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Context 

  • Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways presented the ‘National Highways Excellence Awards’ to outstanding performers in National Highways (NH) sector.
  • ‘National Highways Excellence Awards’ were instituted in the year 2018. 
  • Following the success of the first cycle of awards in 2018, the Ministry decided to make the National Highways Excellence Awards an annual feature. 

About the awards 

  • The aim is to recognise companies which are performing exceptionally well in the construction, operations, maintenance and tolling stages of highway development as well as in the arena of road safety.
  • The seven award categories are:
    • Excellence in Project Management,
    • Excellence in Operation and Maintenance,
    • Excellence in Toll Management,
    • Excellence in Highway Safety,
    • Innovation,
    • Outstanding Work in Challenging Conditions, and
    • Green Highway.  

Source: PIB. 


DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT SERVICES TO STATES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS (D3S-i)

Focus: GS3.

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

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Context 

NITI Aayog entered into a MoU with the UT of Ladakh for Development of Infrastructure Projects in the UT through its key initiative ‘Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects (D3S-i)’. 

About the projects

  • NITI Aayog has implemented a structured initiative for “Development Support Services for States (DSSS) for Infrastructure Projects” with a vision to achieve transformational, sustained delivery of infrastructure projects with state of art capacity disseminated at all levels of governance.
  • The key objective behind the objective is creating PPP success stories and rebooting infrastructure project delivery models.
  • The DSSS Infrastructure initiative involves providing project level support from Concept plan till financial closure to State Governments / UTs. 

Source: PIB. 


ASSAM INLAND WATER TRANSPORT PROJECT

Focus: GS3.

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

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Context

The Government of India, the Government of Assam and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of $88 million for the implementation of Assam Inland Water Transport Project.

Highlights 

  • Assam has the largest network of navigable waterways in India.
  • Under the Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP), the infrastructure of passenger ferry services will be improved and the capacity of institutions running the inland water transport will be strengthened. 
  • The project will support the Government of Assam’s efforts to corporatise its own ferry activities.
  • Loan of $88 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years including a grace period of five years. 

Source: Economic Times. 


NORTHERN WHITE RHINOS

Focus: GS3.

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

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Context 

Researchers have created another embryo — the third — of the nearly extinct northern white rhino, a remarkable success in an ongoing global mission to keep the species from going extinct. 

About the Rhino 

  • The death of Sudan in 2018, who was earlier at the Dvur Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, left the world with only two northern white rhinos, Najin, 30, and Fatu, 19 — both female.
  • The northern white is one of the two subspecies of the white (or square-lipped) rhinocerous, which once roamed several African countries south of the Sahara.
  • According to IUCN, the subspecies is considered Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild).
  • The other subspecies, the southern white is, by contrast, the most numerous subspecies of rhino, and is found primarily in South Africa. 
  • There is also the black (or hook-lipped) rhinocerous in Africa, which too, is fighting for survival, and at least three of whose subspecies are already extinct.  

Highlights 

  • The Indian rhinocerous is different from its African cousins, most prominently in that it has only one horn.
  • There is also a Javan rhino, which too, has one horn, and a Sumatran rhino which, like the African rhinos, has two horns.  

Source: Indian Express.


CENTRE FOR EXCELLENCE IN BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

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 

National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru, Karnataka. 

About the technology 

  • Blockchain technology is upcoming & niche technology and adoption of the same in sectors such as health, finance, agriculture and various other sectors would aid the government in implementing various programmes and provide trust and immutability to the assets.
  • The CoE has developed Blockchain based Proof of Concepts (PoCs) for select government use cases to understand potential benefits provided by this emerging technology.
  • With National Informatics Centre (NIC) providing a robust and an agile infrastructure, the CoE shall also provide Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) for efficient hosting of Blockchain network.  

Source: AIR.

Map of the Day–Australia

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Quote for the Day

“Clothes do not make the man.”

Mains Answer Writing

  1. Examine the need for a shift to renewable energy. Mention the challenges and suggest solutions in achieving the same. (250 Words).
  2. Mahatma Gandhi’s work spreads far beyond merely Indian independence movement. Comment. (250 Words).
  3. Climate change has been producing rising temperatures every year. Comment on the need to control it. (250 Words).

 

Test your Knowledge

1.With reference to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2019 ‘Early Years’, consider the following statements:
  1. At least 85% of school children in the four-eight age group do not have age-appropriate cognitive and numeracy skills.
  2. According to the report, just 37.4% of children below six are able to recognize at least letters and only 25.6% can do additions.
  3. More than a quarter of Class 1 students in government schools are only 4 or 5 years old, younger than the recommended age.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a.1 and 2 only
b.2 and 3 only
c.3 only
d.1, 2 and 3
2.With reference to the Yada Yada Virus (YYV), consider the following statements:
  1. It is an alphavirus which poses severe threat to human beings.
  2. Recently the virus was detected in mosquitoes trapped in three locations in Victoria, Australia.
  3. It can be transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and (are) pathogenic in their vertebrate hosts.

Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?

a.1 and 2 only
b.2 and 3 only
c.3 only
d.1, 2 and 3

  

3.With reference to the southwest monsoon, consider the following statements:
  1. It brings as much as 70 % of the country’s annual rainfall.
  2. It officially begins on July 1, with the onset over Kerala, and ends on September 30.
  3. The main reason for the revision in the normal dates is the changes in precipitation patterns that have been taking place over the last many years.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a.1 and 2 only
b.3 only
c.1 and 3 only
d.1, 2 and 3

 

4.Surya Prakash committee, recently seen in news, is related to:

a.the merger of Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) and Lok Sabha Television (LSTV)
b.assess the PPP in India and Tax Structure Reforms
c.curb the malpractices in banks
d.suggest the best technologies for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

5.Justice SN Dhingra Special Investigation Team (SIT), recently seen in news, is related to:

a.1984 anti-Sikh riots
b.Black Money
c.2002 Gujarat riots
d.Disha case

Answers

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