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Daily Current affairs 09 June 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair






How will a 5G network power the future



Golden Langur to get fruits of MGNREGA  



India, Maldives sign six key agreements



Scientists create a global map of where groundwater meets oceans



U.P.’s Chaukhandi stupa declared ‘ protected area’




How will a 5G network power the future (The Hindu Page 14)


Prelims: science and technology

Mains GS paper III: science and technology


5G technology


Context: The government plans to start trials for next generation cellular tech this year. The government plans to start 5G trials in the next 100 days or by mid-September.


What is 5G?

  • It is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra-low latency.

  • With 5G the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gigabit per second (Gbps).


Who does it benefit?

  • With 5G technology, consumers will be able to download data heavy content such as 8K movies and games with better graphics in just a few seconds.

  • 5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications.

  • Also, it would be supporting a much larger range of applications and services, including driverless vehicles, tele-surgery and real time data analytics.

  • The ultra-low latency offered by 5G makes the technology desirable for such use cases.


What is latency

  • Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.

  • The technology will extend the use of wireless technologies — for the first time — across completely new sectors of the economy from industrial to commercial, educational, health care, agricultural, financial and social sectors.

  • 5G’s value for India may be even higher than in advanced countries because of the lower levels of investments in physical infrastructure.

  • 5G may offer ‘leapfrog’ opportunities by providing ‘smart infrastructure’ that offers lower cost and faster infrastructure delivery.

  • One of the primary applications of 5G will be implementation of sensor-embedded network that will allow real time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture. 

  • It can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart by enabling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.


What will be the economic impact?

  • 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035

  • Also, the revenue potential in India will be above $27 billion by 2026.


When will it be launched?

  • In April, South Korea and the U.S. became the first countries to commercially launch 5G services. 

  • The Central government had set a target of 2020 for the commercial launch of 5G services, largely in line with rest of the world. 

  • The government plans to undertake spectrum auction in the current calendar year. 


Are there any apprehensions?

  • Two of the three private telcos, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone have expressed concern about auction stating that the reserve price of these airwaves is very high.

  • Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

  • Besides the spectrum, 5G will require a fundamental change to the core architecture of the communication system. 

  • A report has stated that industry might require an additional investment of $60-70 billion to seamlessly implement 5G networks.


High Level Forum on 5G India 2020 

  • The economic benefits from the 5G technology are also quite immense. As per the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Committee on Digital Economic Policy, it has been stated that 5G technologies rollout will help in,

a) Increasing GDP

b) Creating Employment

c) Digitizing the economy.

  • For India, 5G provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. Worldwide countries have launched similar Forums and thus, India has joined the race in 5G technologies. We are open for collaboration with them. 

  • Government has constituted High Level 5G India 2020 Forum with three Secretaries of key Ministries/Departments Telecom, Meity and DST, and also comprising of renowned experts.  

  • The Term of Reference of the High Level Forum for 5G India 2020 shall be: -

a) Vision Mission and Goals for the 5G India 2020, and

b) Evaluate, approve roadmaps & action plans for 5G India 2020.

  • The primary goals of the forum are to achieve:

·   early deployment of 5G in India

·  a globally competitive product development and manufacturing ecosystem targeting 50% of India market and 10% of global market over next 5 to 7 years.

  • The forum will complement the eco-system by focused actions in the following areas:

·   Research Ecosystem – for IPR development, standards development and proof of concepts through research projects, PPP projects, testbeds and pilot roll-outs.

·  Regulatory Framework – including spectrum assignments and a start-up friendly regulatory environment to enable leap-frog and embracing of innovative technologies.

·  Inclusive Business environment – with special focus on investment incentives favourable to start-ups and innovators and enablement of Venture capitalists


National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has  approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the "Digital Communications Commission”.



  • The NDCP-2018 envisions supporting India's transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable digital communications infrastructure and services. 

  • The ‘Customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ NDCP-2018 shall lead to new ideas and innovations, after the launch of advanced technology such as 5G, IOT, M2M, etc. which shall govern the telecom sector of India.



The key objectives of the policy are:


  1. Broadband for all;

  2. Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector;

  3. Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India's GDP from ~ 6% in 2017;

  4. Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017;

  5. Enhancing India's contribution to Global Value Chains; and

  6. Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.


These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.





Golden Langur to get fruits of MGNREGA  (The Hindu -Page.01)


Prelims: Environment  


Golden Langur  


Context : For the first time since it became law in 2005, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) will have non-human beneficiaries — the rare golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) in a reserve forest in western Assam’s Bongaigaon district.

  • The district authorities have started project under MGNREGA to plant guava, mango, blackberry and other fruit trees to ensure that the resident golden langurs do not have to risk their lives to find food.

  • This is the first time MGNREGA is being used with a focus on food for a primate species.


About golden langur (Trachypithecus geei)

  • This species is found in moist evergreen, dipterocarp, riverine, and moist deciduous forests.

  • In forest fragments they may depend on cultivated crops such as tapioca, betel, and guava.

  • This species occurs only in Bhutan and north-eastern India (Assam).

  • It is confined to a forest belt in western Assam between the Manas River in the east, Sankosh in the west and Brahmaputra in the south along the Indo-Bhutan border.

  • Its distribution in Bhutan is limited to the foothills of the Black Mountains.

  • The population in India is highly fragmented, with the southern population completely separated from the northern population due to the effects of human activities

  • It is diurnal and arboreal.

  • Listed as Endangered as per IUCN.

  • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972



  • Habitat destruction is the major threat to this species in India 

  • Electrocution from power lines and hunting by dogs are local threats, which are affecting the population.

  • Although commercial logging is banned in reserves where this species is found, illegal encroachment and woodcutting have severely affected these forest reserves

  • Stone quarrying and its associated noise pollution, as well as artillery firing practices in the may also have a negative effect.

  • Golden langur troops suffer from resource crunch which compels them to descend to the ground, making them vulnerable to accidental death while crossing the road through the forested areas.







India, Maldives sign six key agreements (The Hindu -Page. 01)


Mains: GS Paper II: Bilateral relations Of India


Indo-Maldives relations      


Context: India and Maldives sign a list of agreement for cooperation.


The Backdrop

  • After years of witnessing souring relations during President Abdulla Yameen’s term from 2013-2018, New Delhi and Male reset ties last year after President Solih was elected as its President.

  • PM Modi attended President Solih’s inaugural ceremony in Male in November 2018, and this was reciprocated by President Solih after assuming office as he made his first foreign visit to India in December 2018.

  • In April 2019, Mr. Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) swept general polls securing an impressive majority in parliament. Even PM Modi swept the general election recently in May 2019.

  • The respective victories are seen as having strengthened prospects for continuity in strong ties, which is a stark shift from Mr. Yameen’s time when New Delhi grew increasingly concerned over his apparent tilt towards China.

  • PM Modi on his first foreign visit has arrived in the Indian Ocean archipelago after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. 

  • Even President Solih has reaffirmed his “India-First Policy”, pledging his government’s “full support towards deepening the multifaceted, mutually beneficial partnership” between India and the Maldives.


PM Modi in Maldives

  • PM of India Narendra Modi arrived in the Indian Ocean archipelago on his first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. 


The initiatives with Maldives

  • The visit has been marked by the signing of six key agreements, and substantive bilateral level talks, reaffirming cooperation between the two countries.

  • The two countries agreed to start a ferry service between Kochi and the Maldives. PM Modi also launched RuPay Card in the Maldives and said that it will give a boost to tourism in the island nation.

  • Mr. Modi and Maldivian President Solih jointly inaugurated a ‘Coastal Surveillance Radar System’ and a training facility of the Maldives National Defence Force, by remote link.

  • India and Maldives welcomed the signing of $800 million Line of Credit Agreement in March 2019, for assisting the Maldives to achieve sustainable social and economic development.

  • The leaders stressed the need to work towards expeditious implementation of people-centric and socio-economic projects.

  • Both leaders reaffirmed their unequivocal and uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.


Maldives conferred highest honour to our PM

  • In a gesture of goodwill, showing Male’s regard for the Indian Prime Minister, the Maldivian government honoured Narendra Modi with ‘The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen’, the highest honour conferred by Male on foreign dignitaries.


The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) includes:

  • Co-operation in the fields of hydrography.

  • Establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea,

  • A coastal surveillance radar system and a composite training centre for the Maldives defence forces.

  • Co-operation in customs capacity building between the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of India and the Maldives Customs Service.

  • Between the National Centre for Good Governance, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Maldives Civil Service Commission on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian civil servants.

  • A technical agreement on sharing white shipping information between the Indian Navy and the Maldives National Defence Force.





Scientists create a global map of where groundwater meets oceans  (The Hindu -Page.15)


Prelims: Geography/ Environment


Groundwater flow to the coast        


Context:  Scientists have created high-resolution maps of points around the globe where groundwater meets the oceans — the first such analysis of its kind that may help protect both drinking water and the seas.  The researchers combined the topographical data from satellites and climate models to show the flow of groundwater around the world’s coasts.


What’s the finding ?

  • Nearly one-half of fresh submarine groundwater discharge flows into the ocean near the tropics.

  • regions near active fault lines send greater volumes of groundwater into the ocean than regions that are tectonically stable.

  • Dry and arid regions have very little groundwater discharge but this makes such areas more vulnerable to saltwater intrusion in their already limited groundwater resources


Benefits of the finding


1. Better monitoring of groundwater - the first near-global and spatially distributed high-resolution map of fresh groundwater flow to the coast, could give scientists better clues about where to monitor groundwater discharge.


2. Managing freshwater -  The findings may help coastal communities better protect and manage their drinking water,  because freshwater-groundwater discharge is a natural line of defense against saltwater intrusion and knowing where and in what quantities water is getting discharged can help to take remedial measures.


3. Better understanding of the quality of water :

  • Hitherto whenever researchers though about the quality of coastal water and the bio chemical make-up of lakes and oceans,  they always considered only rivers and streams as being the major factor causing change in quality of water

  • However, groundwater plays an important role, too as it carries minerals and, in some cases, pollutants, to surface bodies of water.

  • Further Groundwater effects not only the temperatures of the surface water but also affects its chemistry.

  • The study found that in some parts of the world, groundwater could be polluting oceans and lakes with nutrients and other chemicals.

  • Groundwater, for example, can carry higher concentrations of nitrates — a key contributor of the types of harmful algal blooms — as well as high concentrations of mercury.


4. Better policy decisions -

  • Understanding how and where groundwater gets to surface water could help policy-makers create better plans to improve those bodies of water.

  • The study also found that climate heavily influences groundwater flow, and that cities in dry areas are especially vulnerable to salt water contamination of aquifers.




U.P.’s Chaukhandi stupa declared ‘ protected area’ (The Hindu -Page.09)


Prelims: History    


Chaukhandi stupa / Protected Monumnets  


Context: An ancient Buddhist site in UP’s Sarnath known as Chaukhandi stupa has been declared as a protected area by the Archaeological survey of India .


What are the protected monument?

  • Protected Area: Protected Area means any archaeological site and remains which is declared to be of national importance by or under the act.

  • All ancient and historical monuments / sites which have been declared by the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951, or by section 126 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 to be of national importance shall also be deemed to be protected monuments/ areas for the purposes of this Act.


How a monument is declared protected?

  • Where the Central Government is of opinion that any ancient monument is of national importance it issues a notification (preliminary) in the Official Gazette, of its intention to declare such ancient monument to be of national importance.

  • A copy of every such notification shall be affixed in a conspicuous place near the monument. The notification gives two months’ notice.

  • After the issue of the notification, any person, who may be, interested in any such ancient monument may, object to the declaration within two months. After considering the objections, received during this period, the Central Government may declare the ancient monument to be of national importance by publishing the notification (final) in the Official Gazette.A notification published under section 4 (3) makes the ancient monument to be of national importance for the purposes of this Act


About Chaukhandi stupa


  • Chaukhandi Stupa is one of the important Buddhist Stupas at Sarnath.

  • It is a lofty mound of brick, whose square edifice is surrounded by an octagonal tower.

  • Chaukhandi Stupa was built to mark the place where Lord Buddha met his first disciples as he traveled from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath

  • Govardhan, the son of Raja Todarmal, gave the present shape to the Chaukhandi Stupa. He built an octagonal tower to commemorate the visit of Humayun, the great Mughal ruler.

  • Today, the Chaukhandi stupa is  well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

  • It is considered as a gateway to the Buddhist city of Sarnath because it is the first site one encounters if one enters Sarnath from Varansai side