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6 june 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair

 

SL. NO.

TOPICS

THE HINDU

PAGE NO.

1

Indian Navy steams ahead with its go ‘green’ plans in eco-friendly push

13

2

Imperative to test all pregnant women for gestational diabetes

09

3

Needed: a solar manufacturing strategy

11

4

Hindi or English, comparing apples and oranges

10

5

India’s services sector activity growth slips to 12-month low

15

6

India, France to hold mega air exercise in July

13

 

Title

1.   Indian Navy steams ahead with its go ‘green’ plans in eco-friendly push (The Hindu, Page 13)     

Syllabus

Prelims: Environment, Ecology & Biodiversity

Mains: GS Paper III – Environment

Theme

Biofeuls

Highlights

 

Introduction
The Indian Navy is a well-balanced and cohesive three-dimensional force, capable of operating above, on and under the surface of the oceans, efficiently safeguarding our national interests carrying the motto of – ‘Shaṃ No Varunaḥ (May the Lord of the Water be auspicious unto us)’.

As guardians of maritime frontiers, the Indian Navy deploys ships, submarines and aircraft that consume energy resources for operational roles. With diminishing energy resources, price volatility and to minimise the impact of fossil fuels on the environment, there is an emerging and compelling need to ensure optimal utilisation of these resources and ‘stretch each rupee to the maximum’ by increasing operational efficiency of maritime platforms and associated administrative processes within the Navy. Accordingly, the Indian Navy has embarked on an ambitious path of whole heartedly embracing ‘Green Initiatives’. 

In sync with it, Indian Navy has come up with “Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap”.

Salient provisions are:

  • The roadmap envisions ‘reduction in energy consumption’ and ‘diversification of energy supply’ as the key result areas,”. Under the INECR, numerous policies aimed at reduction of energy consumption and environment sustenance have been formulated and disseminated to all ships, as well as shore establishments.

  • Indian Navy has pledged 1.5% of its ‘Works’ budget towards renewable energy generation.

  • 24 MW of Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) projects consisting of both rooftop and land-based solar panels are under execution at various shore establishments of the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

  • Pilot projects utilizing wind or a mix of both solar and wind (hybrid) are also being taken up progressively which would not only reduce the carbon footprint but also help achieve self-sustenance in energy security.

  • To promote use of biodiesel, the Navy is planning to replace High Speed Diesel (HSD) (annual usage of 6,300 kL) with B5 blend of HSD. This would result in a direct savings of 5% of HSD, which translates to approximately 315 kL annual savings of HSD.

  • Afforestation drives at Naval stations, under which more than 18,000 plants have been planted over the past one year, would mitigate an estimated 365 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

  • With an aim to achieve zero carbon foot print, ‘Energy Efficiency’ concept of sustainable green technologies/norms based on GRIHA, LEEDS, Green Fuels, MARPOL compliance and alternative energy resources are being adopted in all future plans for augmentation and acquisition of assets/ infrastructure.

  • Other measures being propagated include promoting renewable energy usage on all bases and ships, segregated waste collection and improved waste management techniques. 

IMO adopts strategy for mitigating maritime climate change

 
  • Shipping in recent years has been responsible for about 800 million tons annually of carbon dioxide emissions. Shipping’s emissions are 2.3 percent of the global total.

  • Hence, United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London have adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, setting out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century. 

  • The strategy embraced by a committee of the International Maritime Organization would lower emissions from container ships, oil tankers, bulk carriers and other vessels by at least 50 percent by the year 2050 vs. where they stood in 2008.

  • For shipping to decarbonize, current fuel oils would have to be replaced by biofuels or, perhaps ultimately, hydrogen or batteries. But such innovations so far are being tested only in smaller ships, rather than the largest vessels

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Title

2. Imperative to test all pregnant women for gestational diabetes  (The Hindu, Page 09)     

Syllabus

Mains: GS III – Science & technology

Theme

  lifestyle diseases

Highlights

A recent paper published Journal of the Association of Physicians, has said that every pregnant woman be screened for high blood glucose even if no symptoms are exhibited.

This is essential in order to prevent children from becoming predisposed to diabetes or other non-communicable diseases (NCD)

 

Importance of Intra-uterine period diagnosis

  • David Barker’s ‘Fetal Origin of Adult Diseases’ theory, says that the body’s susceptibility to lifestyle diseases is programmed in the intra-uterine period.

  • Higher glucose transfer to the foetus, when the mother has high blood sugar, stimulates the foetal pancreatic cells to start secreting insulin earlier and in higher quantities.

  • Once initiated, it becomes self perpetuating.

  • In addition, when the maternal glucose reading is over 110 mg/dl, the amniotic fluid becomes glucose enriched, and after 20 weeks, when the foetus begins to swallow the amniotic fluid, which further stimulates production of insulin.

 

National guidelines

  • The Ministry of Health has developed national guidelines for testing, diagnosis and management of hyperglycaemia in pregnancy, and they recommend early testing at the time of contact (during the first trimester) and if the test is negative, yet another test should be done between 24-28 weeks.

  • Uttar Pradesh has implemented this programme extremely well. They are even using advanced testing equipment not seen in other parts of the country

 

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Title

3. Needed: a solar manufacturing strategy  (The Hindu Page 11)   

Syllabus

Prelims: ENVIRONMENT

Mains: GS Paper III – ENVIRONMENT, ECOLOGY &  BIODIVERSITY

Theme

Renewable sources of energy

Highlights

Background: The unit costs of solar power have fallen leading to solar energy becoming competitive with alternative sources of energy. 
India expanded its solar generation capacity eight times from 2,650 MW in May, 2014 to  28.18 GW in March, 2019. The government had an initial target of 20 GW of solar capacity by 2022, which was achieved four years ahead of schedule. In 2015, the target was raised to 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

Problem:
India is not a solar panel manufacturer and one of the reason is that there is no real plan in place to ensure solar panel manufacture. 
Moreover, low-cost Chinese imports have hampered India's ability to develop its own solar technology suppliers whereby Chinese Imports mostly from China accounted for 90% in 2017.

Solution:
The supply chain of solar photovoltaic panel manufacturing is as follows: silicon production from silicates (sand); production of solar grade silicon ingots; solar wafer manufacturing; and PV module assembly. 
The capital expenditure and technical know-how needed for these processes decreases from the first item to the last, i.e. silicon production is more capital-intensive than module assembly. 
Most Indian companies are engaged in only module assembly or wafer manufacturing and module assembly. No Indian company is involved in silicon production, although a few are making strides towards it.
Substituting for imports requires human capabilities, technological capabilities and capital in the form of finance. 

The safeguard duty now puts locally made panels on par with imported ones in terms of cost. One solution in future is Public procurement. The government can issue bids for solar power plants with the requirement that these be made fully in India. This will not violate any World Trade Organization commitment. However, no bids will be received as manufacturing facilities for these do not exist in the country. 
However, if the bids were large enough with supplies spread over years, which gives enough time for a green field investment to be made for manufacturing in India, then bidders will emerge and local manufacturing can begin.

India needs to develop core competence in solar technology manufacturing. State governments need to support semiconductor production as part of a determined industrial policy to develop this capacity for the future.

Indian govt. needs to ensure cost advantage for greenfield projects in solar manufacturing in form of subsidised land acquisition, raw material, labour and export, and mainly easier access to capital.

Indian government allows 100% foreign investment as equity and it qualifies for automatic approval. The government is also encouraging foreign investors to set up renewable energy-based power generation projects on build-own-operate basis.

 

 



 

 

Title

4. Hindi or English, comparing apples and oranges (The Hindu Page 10)   

Syllabus

Mains: GS Paper II– Polity & Governance

Theme

Official language issue  

Highlights

  • Recent Context:
    The three-language formula (TLF) under the draft National Education Policy introduced a provision for compulsory teaching of Hindi as part of the Three language Formula. However this proposal was opposed in several states in India whereby it was considered a mean to impose Hindi into non-Hindi States. This has now been modified to mean: mother tongue and English compulsory everywhere till class X, and Hindi in non-Hindi States and non-Hindi languages in Hindi States to be taught. 

 
  • Problems with TLF:
    The objective of TLF is that an Indian must have fluency in two Indian languages, in addition to English. However, Hindi-speaking States have not implemented the three language formula properly so as to promote non-Hindi languages within their States. 
     
    English has evolved into a global language in field of science and technology, world politics, among other fields. It therefore continues within India as mode of higher education, engagement with outside world, etc and therefore English become a language of mobility and empowerment. Within that context, English should not be compared with Indian languages, since Indian languages are languages of identity and cultural expression whereas English is a language of mobility and empowerment.

    Bihar had opted for Telugu as the third language; Haryana opted for Tamil while Andhra Pradesh chose Hindi. However, all States with time deemphasized the Third Indian language formula whereby it did not provide them with skills required for employment or higher education. Several schools have now introduced a foreign third language like French or Spanish which students are opting for. 

    Some States in India have imposed a one language formula whereby the admin work of State govt is carried out in local language and govt schools also only teach local language. This further causes the citizens esp. students to be at a dis- advantage than those who know a 2nd language especially English.

    The objective in post-independence India was replacing English with Hindi as India's link language. However, it must be understood that this objective cannot be achieved now.

     

  • Author's recommendation:
    India ought to introduce English throughout school and college education so that all Indians will be conversant in their mother tongue and English.

 

 

Title

5. India’s services sector activity growth slips to 12-month low  (The Hindu Page 15)   

Syllabus

Prelims: Economy

Mains: GS Paper III – Economy      

Theme

Indian economy

Highlights

Context – PMI for the month of February has been releases which shows a 14-month high and stands at 53.4

➢ It has increased due to increase in sale, output and due to increase in employment.

What is PMI?

➢ It is an indicator of economic health for the manufacturing and services sector.

Who measures PMI?

➢ It is compiled and constructed by Market economics and is published by Nikkei.

 

How is it measured?

➢ PMI does not track the volume of production but rather tracks the investors sentiment

through a survey of 500 private sector companies (PSUs excluded)

➢ There are 5 broad indicators – New orders, Inventory levels, production, supplier

Deliveries and employment.

How to interpret the reading?

➢ Reading over 50 means expansion, whereas below 50 means contraction.

Importance pf PMI

➢ It is releases at the start of the month unlike other indicators which are released mid-month that too for previous months.

➢ Since it is based on perceptions and released in the beginning of the month, it is a leading indicator of the economic activity

 



 

Title

6. India, France to hold mega air exercise in July   (The Hindu Page 13)   

Syllabus

Prelims: International relations

Mains: GS Paper II – International relations

Theme

Defense exercise  

Highlights

 

Introduction

The Indian Navy is a well-balanced and cohesive three-dimensional force, capable of operating above, on and under the surface of the oceans, efficiently safeguarding our national interests carrying the motto of – ‘Shaṃ No Varunaḥ (May the Lord of the Water be auspicious unto us)’.

As guardians of maritime frontiers, the Indian Navy deploys ships, submarines and aircraft that consume energy resources for operational roles. With diminishing energy resources, price volatility and to minimise the impact of fossil fuels on the environment, there is an emerging and compelling need to ensure optimal utilisation of these resources and ‘stretch each rupee to the maximum’ by increasing operational efficiency of maritime platforms and associated administrative processes within the Navy. Accordingly, the Indian Navy has embarked on an ambitious path of whole heartedly embracing ‘Green Initiatives’. 

In sync with it, Indian Navy has come up with “Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap”.

Salient provisions are:

  • The roadmap envisions ‘reduction in energy consumption’ and ‘diversification of energy supply’ as the key result areas,”. Under the INECR, numerous policies aimed at reduction of energy consumption and environment sustenance have been formulated and disseminated to all ships, as well as shore establishments.

  • Indian Navy has pledged 1.5% of its ‘Works’ budget towards renewable energy generation.

  • 24 MW of Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) projects consisting of both rooftop and land-based solar panels are under execution at various shore establishments of the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

  • Pilot projects utilizing wind or a mix of both solar and wind (hybrid) are also being taken up progressively which would not only reduce the carbon footprint but also help achieve self-sustenance in energy security.

  • To promote use of biodiesel, the Navy is planning to replace High Speed Diesel (HSD) (annual usage of 6,300 kL) with B5 blend of HSD. This would result in a direct savings of 5% of HSD, which translates to approximately 315 kL annual savings of HSD.

  • Afforestation drives at Naval stations, under which more than 18,000 plants have been planted over the past one year, would mitigate an estimated 365 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

  • With an aim to achieve zero carbon foot print, ‘Energy Efficiency’ concept of sustainable green technologies/norms based on GRIHA, LEEDS, Green Fuels, MARPOL compliance and alternative energy resources are being adopted in all future plans for augmentation and acquisition of assets/ infrastructure.

  • Other measures being propagated include promoting renewable energy usage on all bases and ships, segregated waste collection and improved waste management techniques. 



 

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Relevant articles from PIB:

Paper 2:

Topics covered:

  1. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

 

Cabinet committees

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Cabinet committees- establishment, mandate, composition, functions and significance.

 

Context: The Government reconstituted eight key cabinet committees under the Transaction of Business Rules.

 

What are they?

The Cabinet Committee are organizations which are instrumental in reducing the workload of the Cabinet. These committees are extra-constitutional in nature and are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution.

 

Types and Composition of Cabinet Committees:

Standing Cabinet Committee: These are permanent in nature with a specific job. The Cabinet Ministers are called its ‘members’ while the people without the rank of Cabinet Committee are called ‘special invitees’.

Ad-hoc Cabinet Committee: These are temporary in nature and are formed time to time to deal with specific tasks.

Composition: The composition of a Cabinet Committee varies from 3 to 8 people. Even Ministers who are not the part of the Cabinet can be added to a Cabinet Committee. Usually, each cabinet committee has at least one Cabinet Minister. The members of the Cabinet Committee can be from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.


Paper 2:

Topics covered:

  1. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

 

Economic Census

 

What to study?

Fo Prelims and Mains: What is Economic Census, who conducts and coordinates, uses and significance.

 

Context: The 7th Economic Census -2019 is being conducted by MoSPI to provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.

Implementing agency: MoSPI has partnered with Common Service Centres, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the MEITY as the implementing agency.

 

About Economic Censuses:

Launched in 1976 as a plan scheme.

Coverage: All entrepreneurial units in the country which are involved in any economic activities of either agricultural or non-agricultural sector which are engaged in production and/or distribution of goods and/or services not for the sole purpose of own consumption.

Objective: It provides detailed information on operational and other characteristics such as number of establishments, number of persons employed, source of finance, type of ownership etc.

Significance: This information used for micro level/ decentralized planning and to assess contribution of various sectors of the economy in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Total Six Economic Censuses (EC) have been conducted till date. First one was conducted in 1977 by CSO.


Paper 2:

Topic covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

2nd Global Disability Summit at Buenos Aires

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: key features, location, mandate and significance of the summit.

 

Context: 2nd Global Disability Summit is being held at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

About the Summit:

The objectives of the summit is to deliberate on issues across the world concerning empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and to work out a mechanism for enabling them to live an independent and dignified life.

The first-ever Global Disability Summit was held at London, United Kingdom (UK) in 2018. It was hosted by UK Department for International Development (UK DFID), along with the co-hosts International Disability Alliance (IDA) and Government of Kenya.

Mandate: The Global leaders attending the summit express their commitments towards eliminating stigma and discrimination against PwDs and to work towards promoting inclusive education, economic empowerment, technology and innovation in assistive devices, data desegregation etc. for them.

 

Mains Question: OUR UNDERSTANDING OF DISABILITY MUST EXPAND TO INCLUDE PEOPLE WITH INVISIBLE DISABILITIES. EXAMINE.


Relevant articles from various news sources:

Paper 2:

Topics covered:

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

 

Gujarat launches India’s first trading programme to combat particulate air pollution

 

What to study?

For prelims: key features of the program.

For mains: significance, need and potential of such programs, challenges ahead and ways to address them.

 

ContextGujarat has launched India’s first trading programme to combat particulate air pollution-the emission trading scheme (ETS)

 – on World Environment Day 2019, which has air pollution as its theme.

 

Key features of the programme:

  • It is a market-based system where the government sets a cap on emissions and allows industries to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap.
  • Being initiated in Surat by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).
  • Gujarat programme is the first in the world to regulate particulate air pollution.

 

How it works?

  • Under the cap and trade system, the regulator first defines the total mass of pollution that can be put into the air over a defined period by all factories put together. 
  • Then, a set of permits is created, each of which allows a certain amount of pollution, and the total is equal to the cap.
  • These permits are the quantity that is bought and sold. Each factory is allocated a share of these permits (this could be equal or based on size or some other rule).
  • After this, plants can trade permits with each other, just like any other commodity on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).

 

Significance and benefits:

  • The reason for trading is that in a cap and trade market, the regulator will measure pollution over a period of time and industries must own enough permits to cover their total emissions.
  • Factories who find it very expensive to reduce pollution, will seek to buy more permits. Those who can easily reduce pollution are encouraged to do so because then they have excess permits to sell.
  • Eventually, after buying and selling by plants that find it cheap to cut pollution and those for whom it is expensive, most pollution is taken care of. Whatever the final allocation, the total number of permits does not change so the total pollution is still equal to the predefined cap. And yet the costs to industry are decreased.

 

Current practice and issues associated:

Under existing regulations, every industry has to meet a certain maximum concentration of pollutants when it is operating. They are tested occasionally and manually (one or two times a year). However, there is widespread non-compliance across India. This is partly because penalties are rarely applied, in large part because they involve punishments such as closing down the entire plant which is not necessarily appropriate for small violations.

 

Sources: down to earth.


Paper 2:

Topics covered:

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

 

IRENA report ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018’

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Key findings of the report, challenges and concerns raised, ways and measures to address them.

 

ContextInternational Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a report titled ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018’.

For the study, IRENA analysed eight major solar PV markets from 2010 to 2018. These countries include China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.

 

Key findings:

India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar power globally. total installed costs of utility-scale solar PV in India is as low as $793 per kilowatt (kW) in 2018 which is 27 per cent lower than for projects commissioned in 2017. Costs have dropped by 80 per cent in India.

Canada has the highest cost at $2,427 per kW.

Renewable energy sources have witnessed cost decline globally

 

Reasons behind the low cost:

  • India has high solar potential that leads to improved asset utilization.
  • The country imports majority of hardware for installation from China which is cheaper and helps cut the cost by a huge margin.
  • As the cost of land and labor is cheaper than the rest of the world, it also contributes to low-cost production of solar power in India.

 

About IRENA:

It is an intergovernmental organisation mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.

It is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energy, addressing needs in both industrialized and developing countries.

It was founded in 2009 & its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010 and is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

IRENA is an official United Nations observer.

 

Sources: down to earth.


Paper 3:

Topic covered:

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

 

Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) launched by CII

 

What to study?

For prelims:About CII, components of your PI.

For mains: Significance and the need for such index.

 

ContextConfederation of Indian Industry (CII) has launched a Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) to assess state and central budgets.

 

Components of CII:

The Index incorporates qualitative assessments of revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, revenues, fiscal prudence and the level of public debt.

 

Key findings:

  • The CII has used this index to analyse state and central budgets from 2004-05 to 2016-17.
  • The study found that despite improvement a reduction in the fiscal deficit between FY13 and FY18, the overall performance of the budget has been remained steady with improvements only in FY16 and FY17.
  • This is largely due to moderation in the revenue, capital expenditure and and net tax revenues indices. 
  • The analysis also shows that the combine performance of all state budgets has improved despite worsening of fiscal deficit numbers because of improvements in revenue and capital expenditure indices. 
  • The study also points out that relatively high income states including Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra which are presumed to have good fiscal health because of low fiscal deficit to GDP ratio do not perform well on the composite FPI because of poor expenditure and revenue quality compared to other states.
  • Other states including, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have done well on the FPI because of their good performance in revenue and capital expenditure indices. 

 

Need for FPI:

A single criterion such as the ‘fiscal deficit to GDP ratio’ does not tell us anything about the quality of the Budget. Hence, the Government should use multiple indicators to measure the quality of Budgets at the Central and the State levels rather than a single indicator.

 

Way ahead- recommendations from CII:

the government should attempt to broaden the tax base, increase investments in education and healthcare as well as maintenance of assets and well as increase investments in infrastructure, affordable housing and encourage public sector undertakings to also increase capital expenditure by limiting dividends to the government. 

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Paper 2:

Topics covered:

  1. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

 

Rule 49MA


What to study?

For prelims: related provisions in News.

For mains: need for protection of electors, concerns over misuse and reforms needed.

 

Context: The Election Commission may “revisit” the rule for prosecution of a voter for making a false complaint of malfunction of an electronic voting machine or a voter verifiable paper audit trail machine- Rule 49MA.

 

Background:

The Supreme Court, in April 2029, sought a response from the Election Commission on a plea seeking abolition of a provision in election rules that provides for prosecution of an elector if a complaint alleging malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPATs turns out to be false.

 

What is rule 49MA?

Rule 49MA is mentioned under ‘The Conduct of Elections Rules’ .

  • Under the rule, where printer for paper trail is used, if an elector after having recorded his vote under rule 49M alleges that the paper slip generated by the printer has shown the name or symbol of a candidate other than the one he voted for, the presiding officer shall obtain a written declaration from the elector as to the allegation, after warning the elector about the consequence of making a false declaration.
  • The rules outline that if after investigation, the allegation of EVM malfunctioning is found to be false or incorrect, then the complainant can be prosecuted under Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code for “furnishing false information”.
  • In such a case, a jail term of six months or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both is guaranteed.

 

Arguments against Rule 49MA:

  • It is unconstitutional as it criminalises reporting of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails
  • The obligation of proving an allegation cannot be on the voter when machines used for voting showed ‘arbitrary deviant behaviour’. 
    Putting the responsibility on the elector in cases of arbitrary deviant behaviour of machines used in the election process, infringes upon a citizen’s right to freedom of expression under the Constitution.
  • When an elector is asked to cast test vote as prescribed under Rule 49MA, he may not be able to reproduce the same result which he was complaining about, one more time in a sequence, because of the pre-programmed deviant behaviour of the electronic machines.
  • Therefore,  holding an elector accountable for deviant behaviours of EVMs and VVPATs could deter them from coming forth and making any complaint, which is essential for improving the process.
  • Since only an elector could be a witness to the secrecy of his vote cast, it would violate Article 20(3) of the Constitution which says that no person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

 

Sources: The Hindu.


Facts for prelims:

 

BrahMos:

The Anti-ship version of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was test fired from the launch complex-3 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.

  • The name BrahMos is formed from names of two riverse. Indian river Brahmaputraand the Moskva River of Russia.
  • Manufactured at BrahMos Aerospace Limited which is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).
  • The medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile has a strike range of about 290 km.
  • The BrahMos is the fastest cruise missile of its class in the world.

 

Kharga Prahar:

What is it? It is a major training exercise conducted by the Indian Army.

The latest edition was undertaken in plains of Punjab by various units and formations of Army’s Kharga Corps.

II Corps is a corps of the Indian Army, based in Ambala and known as Kharga Corps.

 

Confetti:

What is It? it’s a first interactive game show Launched by Facebook in India.

  • It will air from Wednesday to Sunday on Facebook Watch, Facebook’s dedicated video platform.
  • The participants stand a chance to win Rs.3 lakh as cash prize everyday on challenge of answering pop culture trivia questions.
  • It seeks to enable its users to engage better and bring communities together around exceptional, interactive video experiences on Facebook.
  • The interactive game was first launched in the United States (US) and is already available in other parts of the world the UK, Mexico, Canada, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand.

Facebook Watch: It is Facebook’s video-on-demand service. It was globally rolled out by the social networking giant in 2018, in an attempt to take on its rival YouTube. It allows users to enjoy videos from different genres in their personalised Watch Feed (carries recent videos collection from pages followed).

 

Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR):

Context: The Navy is pressing ahead with its eco-friendly programme, the Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR).

  • INECR that comprises specific action plans covering the gamut of operations, maintenance, administration, infrastructure and community living.
  • The road map envisions ‘reduction in energy consumption’ and ‘diversification of energy supply’ as the key result areas.
  • Under the INECR, numerous policies aimed at reduction of energy consumption and environment sustenance have been formulated and disseminated to all ships, as well as shore establishments.

Summaries of important Editorials:

 

OIC’s reference to J&K and India’s response to it:

 

Context: India has rejected the reference to J&K by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

 

India’s response:

India said, OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to J&K being an integral part of India.

India reiterated that OIC should refrain from making such unwarranted references.

 

What did the OIC say?

  • The OIC affirmed its support for the people of J&K for the realization of their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.
  • It condemned the recent outbreaks of violence in the region and invited India to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions to settle its protracted conflict with its neighbour.
  • It also called for the expedited establishment of a UN commission of inquiry to investigate into the alleged HR violations in Kashmir.
  • It called on India to allow this proposed commission and international human rights organizations to access Indian-occupied Kashmir.
  • It approved the appointment of Saudi Arabia’s Yousef Aldobeay as its Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir.

 

India and the OIC:

Last year, Bangladesh had suggested that India, where more than 10% of the world’s Muslims live, should be given Observer status, but Pakistan had opposed the proposal.

However, EAM Sushma Swaraj had addressed the Inaugural Plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC in Abu Dhabi on March 1 this year.

 

Way ahead for India:

India has consistently and emphatically underlined that Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India.

The strength with which India has made this assertion has varied slightly at times, but never the core message. OIC having no locus standi on J&K itself is stronger statement.

 

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