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21 June 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair

 

SL. NO.

TOPICS

THE HINDU

PAGE NO.

1

Kaleshwaram Project

01

2

President bats for simultaneous polls

01

3

Ungendering Kutiyattam (Friday Review)

03

4

Fed’s signals

10

5

WHO writes new prescription to prevent misuse of antibiotics

22

6

NHRC questions frailty of health infrastructure

09





 

Title

1.   Kaleshwaram Project (The Hindu, Page 01)     

Syllabus

Mains: GS Paper III  Economy

Theme

  Irrigation system

Highlights

Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project is built on River Godavari at Kannepalli village, Mahadevpur Mandal, Jayasankar Bhupalapalli district of Telangana.

Salient features:

  • It harnesses the flood waters of the Godavari hence aimed at making Telangana drought-proof.

  • The project with 45,000 acres of ayacut (the area served by an irrigation project such as a canal, dam or a tank.) aims at lift irrigate almost 235 TMC of water from river Godavari. 

  • Under this waters of the Godavari will be tapped by reverse pumping and storage, thereby facilitating agriculture on over 38 lakh acres, including creating about 18 lakh acres of new ayacut, helping rejuvenate thousands of tanks, providing water for industries, and supplying drinking water including to Hyderabad and Secunderabad by creating a series of storage tanks and a network of pipelines.

  • The world’s largest pumping station has been set up underground and has a 81-km tunnel running between Yellampalli barrage and Mallanna Sagar reservoir. The tunnel can carry 2 TMC water (22,000 cusecs) continuously.

  • The Kaleshwaram project will support Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha schemes designed to provide drinking water to many villages and improve the capacities of tanks.

https://bl.thgim.com/economy/agri-business/bkayjx/article28088317.ece/alternates/FREE_615/BL21Kaleshwaramschematiccol

 

Benefits

  • The project will change the face and fate of Telangana particularly northern parts i.e. Karimnagar, Rajanna Siricilla, Siddipet, Medak, Yadadri, Nalgonda, Sangareddy, Nizamabad, Jagityala, Kamareddy, Nirmal, Medchal and Peddapalli districts.

  • This will directly benefit farmers through improving irrigation and allayed and rural improvement activity.

  • Project benefits include increased agriculture yield, guarantee crop, increasing of crop intensity and area, agriculture diversification, commercial crops improvement and fish production increasing is possible.

  • This project will give assurance for employment, crop production, food security, poverty eradication, improvement of health and nutrition and socio-economic conditions of farmers and villagers apart from livelihood.

  • The project can supply irrigation water to 13 districts by diverting 180 TMC of Godavari flood water.

  • It will also provide drinking water supply to Hyderabad and Secundrabad cities and villages.

About Lift Irrigation Project

Lift irrigation is a method of irrigation in which water is not transported by natural flow, (as in gravity-fed canal) but is lifted with pumps or surge pools etc.

Lift irrigation schemes must accomplish two main tasks: first, to carry water by means of pumps from the water source to the main delivery chamber, which is situated at the top most point in the command area. Second, they must distribute this water to the field of the beneficiary farmers by means of a suitable and proper distribution system. The source is mainly groundwater, river streams, contour canals, ponds and lakes.

Advantages of Lift Irrigation

  • Lift irrigation made irrigation possible at higher level.

  • Land acquisition problem is less.

  • Water losses are low.

  • Man power is less used.

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Title

2.  President bats for simultaneous polls (The Hindu, Page 01)     

Syllabus

Mains: GS II – Indian Poity

Theme

Special Address by the President

Highlights

Context: As per Article 87 of the Indian Constitution, President of India jointly addressed both the Houses of Parliament at the commencement of first session of 17th Lok Sabha in the year commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.     

Special Address by the President - Article 87 - At the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.   

Motion of Thanks The first session after each general election and the first session of every fiscal year is addressed by the president. In this address, the president outlines the policies and programmes of the government in the preceding year and ensuing year. This address of the president, which corresponds to the ‘speech from the Throne in Britain’, is discussed in both

the Houses of Parliament on a motion called the ‘Motion of Thanks’. At the end of the discussion, the motion is put to vote. This motion must be passed in the House. Otherwise, it amounts to the defeat of the government. This inaugural speech of the president is an occasion available to the members of

Parliament to raise discussions and debates to examine and criticise the government and administration for its lapses and failures.

In this backdrop, let us go through the important highlights of President’s Speech

  • More than 61 crore voters of the country set a new record by casting their votes and enhanced the credibility of India’s democracy in the world through participation.

  • This time 78 women MPs have been elected which is the highest number in the history of Lok Sabha, presents the picture of a New India.              

  • Members of Parliament elected in 17th Lok Sabha reflect the rich diversity of Indian culture and ethos. Members hail from villages and cities belonging to different profession including business, education, medical profession whereas some are associated with social service as well as agriculture. Even there are MPs who have made their mark in the world of cinema, art, literature and culture.       

  • Having a clear mandate, the government is dedicated to the goal of  improving the lives of all citizens, addressing their problems arising out of mis-governance and providing all basic amenities to the last person standing at the margins of society thereby providing the platform for a New India.

  • The government wants to make the people conscious, capable, well-provided and unfettered to such an extent that that they do not feel the “Burden, Force, or Absence” of the Government in their daily life. Thus, the government is moving forward towards realising the aspirations of people to build a Strong, Safe, Prosperous and All-inclusive India.        

  • This New India’s vision is motivated by the noble thoughts of Shri Narayana Guru who is Kerala’s great spiritual figure, social reformer and poet which says that an ideal place is one where people live like brothers free from the discrimination of caste and religion.

  • This New India, will move forward towards that ideal state envisioned by Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore - where the mind of the people is without fear and the head is held high with self-esteem. In Gurudev’s words: “Chitto Jetha Bhay-Shunno, Uchcho Jetha Shir.”         

  • Due to the efforts of the Government, India’s philosophy, culture and achievements have got a distinct recognition at the global stage.  This year, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will provide a fillip to India’s ‘Thought Leadership’. Similarly, programmes related to the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, will help spread the light of India’s spiritual wisdom throughout the world.   

  • New India is on its way towards a golden feature and strives to achieve the following when it completes 75 years of independence in 2022 –

  • Strong and empowered rural and urban India

  • Achieving new heights by entrepreneurial India thereby fulfilling dreams of people

  • Making systems transparent for better and efficient functioning thereby easing  people’s burden

  • Creation of infrastructure for 21st century thereby mobilizing resources and creating economic growth and social well being.

  • In collaboration with States, India will be close to becoming a $ 5 trillion economy

Various Policy Decisions taken by the Government

  • Government has introduced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, a pension scheme to provide assured income support to every small and marginal farmer in the country.    

  • The Cabinet in its first meeting approved a separate ‘Pension Scheme’ for small shopkeepers and retail traders.   

  • The government has increased the amount of scholarship under ‘National Defence Fund’ to protect the future of children who have lost their parents safeguarding this country.

  • The government realises the seriousness of global warming leading to climate change including water crisis and has therefore shown seriousness in implementing Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

  • To solve water crisis, the government has created new Ministry of Jalshakti as this will help in having a systematic water conservation and management methods with support from State Governments and Sarpanches at the village level.

  • To strengthen co-operative federalism, the union government is taking states all along in major policy decision with respect to different aspects of the economy including structural reforms in agriculture.

  • The government with the aim to double the income of farmers by 2022 have taken various steps like

  • Increasing MSP of crops

  • approval for 100 percent FDI in food processing

  • completion of the irrigation projects pending for decades

  • extension of ‘Crop Insurance Scheme’

  • providing Soil Health Card

  • providing 100% neem coating of urea

  • providing storage facility for farm produce through ‘Grameen Bhandaran Yojana’.

  • Benefits of co-operatives is being availed in dairy business by creating new ‘Farmer Producer Organisations’ to benefit the farmers.

  • For Blue Revolution – the government aims to increase income of farmers through marine fish industry and inland fisheries. A separate Department has been constituted for integrated development of fisheries. Similarly, a special fund has been created to develop infrastructure related to fishing industry.    

  • The government after success of financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yojana, is now working to bring the banking services to the doorsteps of the people. About 1.5 lakh post offices in the country are being prepared to provide banking services through ‘India Post Payment Bank’. 

  • The government introduced ‘Ayushman Bharat Yojana’ as a health care scheme. In order to provide medicines at affordable rates, ‘Jan Aushadhi Kendras’ have also been opened.

  • The government aims to secure equal rights for every sister and daughter in the country by eradication of social evils like ‘Triple Talaq’ and ‘Nikah-Halala’.   

  • The Government has made provision of 10 per cent reservation for youth from economically weaker section of the general category. This will enable them to get more opportunities in employment and education.

  • Research is being encouraged in higher educational institutions. To further strengthen this effort, it is proposed to establish a ‘National Research Foundation’. This proposed foundation will work as a bridge between different Departments of the Central Government, science laboratories, higher educational institutions and industrial institutions.

  • The government is striving to increase the number of seats in the country’s Higher Education System by one-and-a-half times by 2024. 

  • to provide appropriate opportunities, environment and quality education to enhance the talent of children, ‘Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme’ will be started.

  • To attract children at an early age towards technology, suitable infrastructure is being created through the ‘Atal Innovation Mission’, Atal Tinkering Labs and Atal Incubation Centres.

  • Keeping in View of economic growth, New Industrial Policy will be announced soon.

  • In ‘Ease of Doing Business’, India has leap-frogged 65 positions during the past 5 years, from a ranking of 142 in 2014 to 77. Now our goal is to be among the top 50 countries of the world. 

  • In order to achieve this, process of simplification of rules will be further expedited in collaboration with the States. In this sequence, necessary amendments are also being brought in the Companies Law.

  • Keeping in view the interests of small traders, ‘National Traders Welfare Board’ will be constituted and ‘National Retail Trade Policy’ will be formulated to promote retail business.  Accident insurance of up to Rs. 10 lakh will also be provided to all traders registered under GST.   

  • Urban transport infrastructure is being created to cater to present and future requirements.  While developing infrastructure, attention is also being given to addressing the challenges posed by pollution. 

  • The facility of ‘One Nation, One Card’ has been launched to realize the dream of seamless mobility. Similarly, electric vehicles are being promoted to reduce vehicular pollution. The network of electric charging stations is also being expanded rapidly.

  • Modern amenities like gas-grid and I-Ways are being developed at a rapid pace. PNG based domestic fuel and CNG based transportation systems are being developed including special emphasis on production of bio-fuel.

  • Under the ‘Namami Gange’ scheme, the Government will further accelerate the campaign for closure of drains releasing effluents in the river Ganga. On the lines of river Ganga, the Government will also endeavour to clean up other rivers such as Kaveri, Periyar, Narmada, Yamuna, Mahanadi and Godavari.

  • To address the challenges posed by air pollution, ‘National Clean Air Programme’ has been started in 102 cities.

  • Solar energy plays an important role in reducing the adverse effects of Climate Change and Global Warming. Proactive efforts of India have resulted in the formation of the International Solar Alliance. Through this organization, India is contributing significantly to the development of solar energy in the developing countries of the world.  

  • India is making progress in space technology as it intends to send Chandrayaan 2 which will land on moon and Gaganyaan’ by 2022. India is more secured in space after successful completion of Mission Shakti.

  • The role of technology in the field of security is expanding continuously. Keeping this in view, work is in progress to establish three joint service agencies for space, cyber and special forces. These collaborative efforts will strengthen the security of the country.    

  • India’s Neighborhood First” policy is an evidence of our approach of according priority to South Asia and countries in the adjoining region. India will play a crucial role in the progress of this region. Accordingly, trade, connectivity and people-to-people contact are being encouraged in this region. The presence of Heads of States and Heads of Governments of ‘BIMSTEC’ countries, Kyrgyzstan – the current chair of ‘Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’ and Mauritius during the swearing-in of the new Government is a reflection of this policy.      

  • Illegal infiltrators pose a major threat to our internal security. This is leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country, as well as putting a huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities. The Government has decided to implement the process of ‘National Register of Citizens’ on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration. Security along the border will be further strengthened to prevent infiltration.   

  • Special emphasis is being accorded by the Government to manufacture of modern armaments under ‘Make in India’. The policy of indigenously manufacturing weapons such as modern rifles and cannons, tanks and combat aircrafts is being carried forward successfully. ‘Defence Corridors’ coming up in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will further strengthen this mission. While fulfilling our security requirements, export of defence equipment is also being encouraged.   

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Title

3. Ungendering Kutiyattam (Friday Review) (Page 03)   

Syllabus

Prelims: History & culture

Mains: GS Paper I – History & culture

Theme

Art form

Highlights

Kutiyattam is an old form of theatre, which until recently has been performed solely in the temple theatres, kootampalas, of Kerala, a state with an exceptionally strong Sanskrit tradition. Kutiyattam (lit. “acting and dancing together”) is traditionally performed by men of the Chakiar caste, and the music is played by men of the Nambiar caste, while the women of the Nambiar families, Nangiars, play the female roles.

 

In 2001, Koodiyattam was officially recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

 

Traditionally, the chief musical instrument used to accompany Koodiyattam is the Mizhavu, a large percussion instrument played by a person of the Ambalavasi Nambiar caste, accompanied by Nangyaramma (women of the Nambiar caste) playing the kuzhithalam (a type of cymbal). The drums, which have important symbolic significance, set the tempo and the mood, and heighten the drama. Other instruments used are the Edakka (an hour-glass shaped drum), kuzhal (an oboe-like wind instrument), and the shankh (conch shell).

Kutiyattam is a performed by a community of male actors called Chakyars and female performers called Nangiars, assisted by drummers called Nambiars, in theatre houses called Kuttampalams. Kutiyattam is an inclusive term that refers to more than one art form—apart from Kutiyattam, the mode of theatre in which the Chakyars and the Nangiars take part together, it also integrates Nangiarkoothu, the theatre exclusively performed by the Nangiars, and Prabandha koothu (or merely Chakyar koothu, as it is otherwise known), the verbal narrative drama of the Chakyars. The prefix kuti in Malayalam language primarily means 'combined' or 'together', and attam means 'acting': therefore, the word 'kutiyattam' means 'combined acting.'  Simply put, it is a theatre in which several characters come together on the stage. Apart from this primary meaning, perhaps there are several other layers of meaning embedded in the term 'kuti'. It is a combination of elements drawn from the local Dravidian and the pan-Indian performance traditions. It integrates the histrionic aspect of the elaborate acting of the hero and the other main characters based on classical Sanskrit and the verbal narration of the Vidushaka, the comic character, in the regional language of Malayalam.

 

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Title

4. Fed’s signals (The Hindu Page 10)   

Syllabus

Mains: GS III – Economy

Theme

monetary policy

Highlights

Context:

This article highlights that the Central banks across the world are giving up the policy of normalization in interest rates in their monetary policies.

It is to be remembered that the Central Banks started following unconventional monetary policies such as Zero Interest rate Policy and Negative Interest rate policy in response to 2008 financial Crisis.

Subsequently, the Central banks adopted the policy of normalization in interest rates when their economy came back on track.

However, due to fears of global economic slowdown and tensions due to trade war, the Central banks have decided to put an end to increase in the interest rates.

 

 Background
∙ In order to combat the 2008 global economic recession, the developed
countries across the world followed unconventional monetary policies such as
Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) and Negative Interest rate policy.
∙ Subsequently, due to pick up in the growth momentum, countries such as USA
tried to normalize its monetary policy stance whereby it started increasing the
interest rates.
∙ However, some of the economists have argued that this normalization of
monetary policy stance has an adverse impact on the US Economy. There are
signs of Slowdown in GDP growth rate accompanied by slowdown in the job
creation. Because of this, the US fed Bank has decided to put a brake on the
increase in the interest rates.

 

Concerns and Challenges:

Difficult to adopt unconventional monetary policies due to higher debt levels ( USA- 105%, Japan-250% etc).

Autonomy of the central banks under threat due to political pressure on them to reduce the policy rates.

Difficult to ascertain if the policy cuts would boost Economic Growth.

 

 

 

Unconventional Monetary Policies
∙ Zero Interest Rate Policy: this type of policy is pursued by USA. Under this the US
Federal Bank provides loans at almost 0% to the banks in USA which eventually
leads to lower rate of interest on loans.
∙ Negative Interest Rate Policy: under conventional monetary policy, the normal
banks keep surplus reserves with the central banks and in turn central banks pays
the normal banks interest on such surplus reserve. But under NIRP, the normal
banks have to pay interest rate to the central bank to keep their surplus reserve.

 

Way Forward

Need to explore other unconventional monetary policies ( such as Helicopter Money)

Need to bring about structural reforms to tackle the present slowdown.

 

Dated: 05.Jan.2019 DNS Notes

Hence the idea behind NIRP is that normal banks will be discouraged to keep
surplus with central bank and would use that surplus to give out more loan to the
people which also lead to lower rate of interest on loans (as banks would have
surplus)
∙ Helicopter money: It was proposed Milton Freidman and is used when ZIRP and
NIRP fail to boost economy. Under this the government prints currency notes and
distributes these notes free of cost amongst the people. It is different form ZIRP
and NIRP, as under these two the people get loans ate cheaper rate which
increases the debt liability. But in helicopter money since people receive money
free of cost, it does not lead to increase in debt liability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Title

5. WHO writes new prescription to prevent misuse of antibiotics (The Hindu Page 22)   

Syllabus

Mains: GS II –Issues relating to health

Theme

Antibiotic resistance

Highlights

This is the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) prescription to combat the growing menace of antibiotic abuse and burgeoning resistance worldwide.

  • WHO has suggested the adoption of ‘Access, Watch and Reserve’, an approach that specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections, which ones ought to be available at all times in the healthcare system, and those that must be used sparingly, or reserved and used only as a last resort.

  • WHO estimates that more than 50% of antibiotics in many countries are used inappropriately for treatment of viruses, thus contributing to the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

  • The new campaign aims to increase the proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in the ‘Access’ group to at least 60%, and to reduce use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance.

  • Using ‘Access’ antibiotics lowers the risk of resistance because they are ‘narrow-spectrum’ antibiotics (that target a specific microorganism rather than several). They are also less costly because they are available in generic formulations.

  • In India, the Health Ministry has made it mandatory to display a 5mm-thick red vertical band on the packaging of prescription-only drugs to sensitize people to be cautious while buying these medicines that are widely sold without prescriptions.

WHO has now urged all countries to adopt the Access, Watch and Reserve guidelines to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs.

 

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Title

6. NHRC questions frailty of health infrastructure (The Hindu Page 09)   

Syllabus

Mains: GS II –Polity & Governance

Theme

National Human Rights Commission

Highlights

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notices to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry and all States and Union Territories, over what it termed was the “deplorable public health infrastructure in the country”.

 

The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 provides for the constitution of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Members:MEMBERS

NHRC shall consists of:

a Chairperson who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

• one Member who is or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court

• one Member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court

• Two Members to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.

 

The Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities, the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes and the National Commission for Women shall be deemed to be Members of NHRC for the discharge of its functions.

 

There shall be a Secretary-General who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission.

• He/she shall exercise such powers and discharge such functions of as may be delegated to him by the Commission or the Chairperson.

• He/she shall not exercise judicial functions and shall not have power to make regulations.

 

The Chairperson and the Members shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

• Such appointments shall be made after obtaining recommendations of a Committee consisting of:

The Prime Minister — Chairperson

Speaker of the House of the People — Member

Minister in-charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Government of India — Member

ο Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People — Member

ο Leader of the Opposition in the Council of States — Member

ο Deputy Chairman of the Council of States — Member

• Sitting Judge of Supreme Court or sitting Chief Justice of a High Court shall not be appointed except after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

 

Removal

The Chairperson or any Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the President of India, resign his office. They shall be removed on grounds of misbehavior or incapacity only after an enquiry held by Supreme Court. On ceasing to hold office, a Chairperson or a Member shall be ineligible for further employment under the Government of

India or under the Government of any State.

 

Functions

Inquire into violations of human rights

  • Intervene in any proceedings involving human rights violations pending before a Court of law.

  • Jail visits to ensure proper treatment, reformation or protection of those languished in jails.

  • Review safeguards for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.

  • Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make suitable recommendations.

  • Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness

  • Encourage the efforts of non-governmental organizations and institutions working in the field of human rights.


 

Relevant articles from PIB:

Paper 2:

Topics covered:

  1. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

 

National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB)

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: about NABCB, roles, objectives and significance of accreditation.

 

Context: The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body, has secured international equivalence for its accreditation programme for personnel certification bodies.

 

Background:

NABCB signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) for its accreditation programme based on international standard, ISO/IEC 17024. 

ISO/IEC 17024: Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons specifies criteria for the operation of a Personnel Certification Bodies (also known as a certification body for persons). The standard includes requirements for the development and maintenance of the certification schemes for persons upon which the certification is based.

 

Significance:

  • With the above recognition, NABCB hopes to facilitate export of Indian services and skills into the world market by attesting that persons are certified following international standards by the certifying bodies.
  • Personnel Certification would support many professionals in India, especially those who do not have formal education or certificate programme.
  • Any person carrying ISO/IEC 17024 certificate with NABCB logo will be recognized internationally.
  • It can also be used by regulators for establishing confidence in certified personnel for different activities. 
  • This signifies that the accreditation of personnel certification bodies by NABCB is now accepted as equivalent at international level. 

 

About NABCB:

NABCB, a constituent Board of the Quality Council of India, an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible for accreditation of certification/inspection bodies as per applicable international standards under an international system of equivalence.

 

Significance of accreditation:

Accreditation reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring that accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) are competent to carry out the work they undertake within their scope of accreditation.

 

The Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC):

It was established on 1 January 2019 by the amalgamation of two former regional accreditation cooperations – the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).

APAC ‘s primary role is to manage and expand a mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) among accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific region. 

The MRA facilitates the acceptance of conformity assessment results (e.g. test reports, test certificates, inspection reports, and certification) across the region and with other regions around the world.

APAC’s members include accreditation bodies, accreditation focal points and other organisations that have an interest in accredited conformity assessment results.

 


Relevant articles from various news sources:

Paper 3:

Topics Covered:

  1. IPR related issues.

 

Namma Kolhapuri chappal gets GI boost

 

What to study?

For Prelims: GI tags and about Kolhapuri chappal.

For Mains: Significance of GI tags.

 

Context: Namma Kolhapuri chappal gets GI boost.

The approval for GI tag was jointly received by Karnataka and Maharashtra recently for making these chappals. There is a perception that these artisans are from Maharashtra alone, but a large number of them are from Karnataka, and have been making these chappals for centuries. 

These leather chappals are hand-crafted and tanned using vegetable dyes. The art of making them is passed down one generation to another.

 

About GI tag:

What is it? A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

Significance of a GI tag: Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Security: Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

Provisions in this regard: GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.

At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In India, Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 governs it.

 

Registrar of Geographical Indications:

  1. The Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks appointed under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, shall be the Registrar of Geographical Indications.
  2. The Central Government may appoint such officers with such designations as it thinks fit for the purpose of discharging, under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar, such functions of the Registrar under this Act, as he may from time to time authorise them to discharge.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Paper 2:

Topics covered:

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


‘Back to Village’ program begins in J&K

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: key features and significance of the program.

 

Context: The ambitious “back to village” programme has begun in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

The ambitious programme has four main goals:

  1. energising panchayats.
  2. collecting feedback on delivery of government schemes and programmes.
  3. capturing specific economic potential.
  4. undertaking assessment of needs of villages.

 

Key features of the program:

Under the program, the entire administrative apparatus of the state government is going to visit all the 4483 Panchayat halqas to get the grassroots level feedback from general public.

The government has deployed one gazetted officer as nodal officer in each panchayat halqa, who will interact with panchayat members, general public to get the general feedback.

The program is primarily aimed at directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation and to create in the rural masses an earnest desire for decent standard of living.

 

Sources: Indian Express.


Paper 1:

Topics covered:

  1. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

 

Summer solstice 2019

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: All about summer Solstice- its occurrence, why it occurs, significance and changes associated.

 

Context: 21 June marks the beginning of Summer Season. June 21 is the longest day of the year 2019 as it marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

What does ‘solstice’ mean?

The term ‘solstice’ derives from the Latin word ‘solstitium’, meaning ‘Sun standing still’. On this day the Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction as it reaches its southernmost position as seen from the Earth. Some prefer the more teutonic term ‘sunturn’ to describe the event.

What causes this?

Solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun.

At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that our world’s North Pole is leaning most toward the sun. As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23 1/2 degrees north of the equator, at an imaginary line encircling the globe known as the Tropic of Cancer – named after the constellation Cancer the Crab. This is as far north as the sun ever gets.

 

Implications:

All locations north of the equator have days longer than 12 hours at the June solstice. Meanwhile, all locations south of the equator have days shorter than 12 hours.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Paper 3:

Topics covered:

  1. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Kaleswaram project

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: key features and significance of the project.

 

ContextThe world’s largest irrigation and drinking water system—Kaleshwaram Multipurpose Lift Irrigation Project—was recently inaugurated by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.

 

What’s the project?

The Kaleshwaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Schemetaken up by the Congress government in 2007 when Andhra Pradesh was not divided.

After the formation of Telangana in 2014, the TRS government redesigned the project on the ground that the original plan had too many environmental obstacles and had very low water storage provision — only about 16.5 tmc ft.

After conducting a highly advanced Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey for a couple of months, the government separated the original component serving the Adilabad area as the Pranahitha project and renamed the rest as Kaleshwaram by redesigning the head works, storage capacity and the canal system based on the data of availability of water at different locations along the course of the Godavari and its tributaries.

 

Impact:

The Kaleshwaram project has provision for the storage of about 148 tmc ft with plans of utilising 180 tmc ft by lifting at least 2 tmc ft water every day for 90 flood days. The project is designed to irrigate 7,38,851 hectares (over 18.47 lakh acres) uplands in the erstwhile districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy.

 

What’s unique?

According to engineers, KLIP has many unique features, including the longest tunnel to carry water in Asia, running up to 81 km, between the Yellampally barrage and the Mallannasagar reservoir. The project would also utilise the highest capacity pumps, up to 139 MW, in the country to lift water.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Facts for prelims:

 

Varunastra torpedoes:

Context: Indian Navy and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) have signed a contract for supply of heavyweight torpedo Varunastra to Indian Navy.

  • Varunastra is basically a ship-launched, electrically-propelled underwater weapon equipped with one of the most advanced automatic and remote-controlled guidance systems.
  • It is the only torpedo in the world to have a GPS-based locating aid.
  • The anti-submarine electric torpedo when fired can travel at 40 knots, or 74 kmph.
  • The operational range is 40 km and it can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg.
  • The weapon has been jointly developed by the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NTSL), Visakhapatnam and the Bharat Dynamics Limited -BDL (Hyderabad).

 

Operation Sankalp:

Indian Navy launched Operation Sankalp in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to reassure Indian flagged vessels transiting through the area following the recent maritime incidents in the region.

The operation has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers were attacked last week.

 

International Yoga Day 2018:

The International Yoga Day is celebrated every year on June 21. It was first introduced by the United Nations on June 21, 2015.

The main aim is to create an awareness worldwide on the importance of staying fit and healthy.

Why was June 21 selected to be International Yoga Day? June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed this date at the United Nations General Assembly 2014.

2019 Theme: Yoga for Climate Action.


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