Daily Current affairs 28 May 2019UPSC - Daily Current Affair
Relevant articles from pib:
- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: contributions made by Veer Saga else.
Context: On May 28, 2019, birth anniversary of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was observed.
Key facts- important contributions to the Indian freedom movement:
- In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
- He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party. His instigating patriotic speeches and activities incensed the British Government. As a result the British Government withdrew his B.A. degree.
- In June 1906, Veer Savarkar, left for London to become Barrister. However, once in London, he united and inflamed the Indian students in England against British rule in India. He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom. He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.
- In 1908, brought out an authentic informative researched work on The Great Indian Revolt, which the British termed as “Sepoy Mutiny” of 1857. The book was called “The Indian War of Independence 1857”. The British government immediately enforced a ban on the publication in both Britain and India. Later, it was published by Madame Bhikaiji Cama in Holland, and was smuggled into India to reach revolutionaries working across the country against British rule.
- When the then British Collector of Nasik, A.M.T. Jackson was shot by a youth, Veer Savarkar finally fell under the net of the British authorities. He was implicated in the murder citing his connections with India House. Savarkar was arrested in London on March 13, 1910 and sent to India.
- In 1920, many prominent freedom fighters including Vithalbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded the release of Savarkar. On May 2, 1921, Savarkar was moved to Ratnagiri jail, and from there to the Yeravada jail. In Ratnagiri jail Savarkar wrote the book ‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’
- Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943. When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
Context: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile.
- This is surface to air anti-aircraft missile with a strike range of 25 km and capability to carry warhead of 60 kilogram.
- It can reach an altitude of 18 km and can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.
- The missile is guided by a phased array fire control radar called ‘Rajendra’ which is termed as Battery Level Radar (BLR) with a tracking range of about 60 km.
- The Akash-MK-1S is capable of striking down enemy fighter jets and drones very effectively and accurately.
- The Akash surface-to-air missile was designed to intercept enemy aircraft and missiles from a distance of 18 to 30 km.
Relevant articles from various news sources:
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: BIMSTEC- members, objectives, significance and need for reforms.
Context: By inviting leaders from the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries, Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius at his swearing-in ceremony on May 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a carefully calibrated diplomatic move that signals a major outreach to India’s neighbourhood from the Bay of Bengal to Central Asia, as well as the Indian diaspora across the world.
What is BIMSTEC?
In an effort to integrate the region, the grouping was formed in 1997, originally with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and later included Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. BIMSTEC, which now includes five countries from South Asia and two from ASEAN, is a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes all the major countries of South Asia, except Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Why the region matters?
- The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay in the world. Over one-fifth (22%) of the world’s population live in the seven countries around it, and they have a combined GDP close to $2.7 trillion.
- Despite economic challenges, all the countries in the region have been able to sustain average annual rates of economic growth between 3.4% and 7.5% from 2012 to 2016.
- The Bay also has vast untapped natural resources. One-fourth of the world’s traded goods cross the Bay every year.
- As the region’s largest economy, India has a lot at stake. BIMSTEC connects not only South and Southeast Asia, but also the ecologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. For India, it is a natural platform to fulfil our key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’.
- For New Delhi, one key reason for engagement is in the vast potential that is unlocked with stronger connectivity. Almost 300 million people, or roughly one-quarter of India’s population, live in the four coastal states adjacent to the Bay of Bengal (Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal). And, about 45 million people, who live in landlocked Northeastern states, will have the opportunity to connect via the Bay of Bengal to Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, opening up possibilities in terms of development.
- From the strategic perspective, the Bay of Bengal, a funnel to the Malacca straits, has emerged a key theatre for an increasingly assertive China in maintaining its access route to the Indian Ocean.
- As China mounts assertive activities in the Bay of Bengal region, with increased submarine movement and ship visits in the Indian Ocean, it is in India’s interest to consolidate its internal engagement among the BIMSTEC countries.
Sources: Indian Express.
- Issues related to women.
What to study?
For prelims: About ILO.
For mains: Key findings, concerns and reforms needed.
Context: The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently released its second global report, titled Women in Business and Management: The business case for change.
- A critical mass of 30 per cent women is need by the enterprises in order to reap the benefits of gender diversity.
- Almost half of the surveyed enterprises reported women holding less than 30 per cent of entry-level management positions.
- In 60 per cent of companies, fewer than 30 per cent of senior managers and top executives are women.
- Across the world, men are still more likely to participate in the labour market than women. The average global labour force participation rate of women in 2018 stood at 48.5 per cent, while that of men was 75 per cent. This equates to a 26.5 percentage point gender gap in labour force participation.
- Just for Asia and the Pacific, the average female labour force participation rate has declined from 52.9 in 1991 to 45.3 per cent in 2018, dropping by 7.6 percentage points.
Benefits associated with gender-inclusive cultures:
- Enterprises with gender-inclusive cultures “are over 60 per cent more likely to have improved profits and productivity”. Such businesses are “9 per cent more likely to have improved business performance”.
- A study by the World Economic Forum has predicted that “if the global gender gap in labour market participation is closed by 25 per cent by 2025, an additional $5.3 trillion would be added to GDP globally”.
In an era of skill shortages, women represent a formidable talent pool that companies aren’t making enough of. Smart companies who want to be successful in the global economy should make genuine gender diversity a key ingredient of their business strategy. Representative business organizations and employer and business membership organizations must take a lead, promoting both effective policies and genuine implementation.
Sources: the Hindu.
- Issues related to health
What to study?
For prelims and mains: ICD- features, need and significance, overview of ICD- 11.
Context: The World Health Organization has for the first time recognised “burn-out” in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers.
The decision could help put to rest decades of debate among experts over how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition.
What is burn- out?
In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, WHO defines burn-out as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The syndrome is characterised by three dimensions: “1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy.”
The updated ICD list, dubbed ICD-11, was drafted last year following recommendations from health experts around the world. The ICD-11, which is to take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of “compulsive sexual behaviour” as a mental disorder, although it stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviours.
What is ICD?
The ICD is the global health information standard for mortality and morbidity statistics. The first international classification edition, known as the International List of Causes of Death, was adopted by the International Statistical Institute in 1893. WHO was entrusted with the ICD at its creation in 1948. The ICD is revised periodically and is currently in its 10th revision.
- ICD is increasingly used in clinical care and research to define diseases and study disease patterns, as well as manage health care, monitor outcomes and allocate resources. ICD has been translated into 43 languages.
- More than 100 countries use the system to report mortality data, a primary indicator of health status. This system helps to monitor death and disease rates worldwide and measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
- About 70% of the world’s health expenditures (USD $ 3.5 billion) are allocated using ICD for reimbursement and resource allocation.
Highlights of ICD- 11:
- ICD-11 identifies health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55,000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death.
- ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides significant improvements on previous versions.
- Also for the first time, it is completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format. And there has been unprecedented involvement of health care workers who have joined collaborative meetings and submitted proposals.
- The new ICD-11 also reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding. For example, the codes relating to antimicrobial resistance are more closely in line with the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS).
- ICD-11 is also able to better capture data regarding safety in health care, which means that unnecessary events that may harm health – such as unsafe workflows in hospitals can be identified and reduced.
- The new ICD also includes new chapters- one on traditional medicine and another new chapter on sexual health.
- Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders.
ICD purpose and uses:
- The ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally. It is the international standard for defining and reporting diseases and health conditions. It allows the world to compare and share health information using a common language.
- The ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions. These entities are listed in a comprehensive way so that everything is covered. It organizes information into standard groupings of diseases, which allows for:
- Easy storage, retrieval and analysis of health information for evidenced-based decision-making;
- Sharing and comparing health information between hospitals, regions, settings and countries; and
- Data comparisons in the same location across different time periods.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: key features, significance and need for the programme.
Context: The ‘Social and Labor Convergence Programme (SLCP),’ an initiative to have a standard-neutral, converged assessment framework for the textile and clothing industry, will be launched in India shortly.
Key features of the programme:
- The SLCP is not a code of conduct or compliance programme.
- The converged assessment framework is a tool developed by the SLCP, which provides a data set with no value judgment or scoring.
- It is, however, compatible with existing audit systems and codes of conduct. This means that the same data set can be used by a wide-range of stakeholders. It eliminates the need for repetitive audits to be carried out on the same facility.
- The initiative is led by world’s leading manufacturers, brands, retailers, industry groups, non-governmental organisations and service providers.
- The objective of the initiative Its aim is to improve the working conditions in textile units by allowing resources that were previously designated for compliance audits to be redirected towards the improvement of social and labour conditions.
- This is a voluntary adoption by the textile and clothing makers.
For the exporting units, it will reduce the number of social audits and facilitate measuring of employment practices, thus improving working conditions and employee relations. It also redeploys resources towards improvement actions and fosters collaboration between supply chain partners.
Sources: the Hindu.
Summaries of important Editorials:
Farm price challenge:
Context: Most of the commodities for which the government fixes minimum support prices (MSPs) are being traded at 10 to 30 per cent below these rates in the ongoing rabi marketing season.
Reasons for price meltdown:
- consistent surplus production in the last couple of years
- subdued global commodity prices
- unfavourable domestic and external trade policies concerning agri-commodities
- offloading previously procured stocks
- permitting imports while the domestic crops are still being marketed
Performance of PM-AASHA:
The government’s flagship price support scheme, PM-AASHA (Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan), has remained virtually a non-starter.
Issues with PM-AASHA:
- Physical procurement of stocks at MSPs, price deficiency payment of the kind tried out in Madhya Pradesh, and a few other states, and the participation of private trade in the procurement and management of farm produce on a fixed-commission basis.
- The system of open-ended procurement of staple cereals, notably rice and wheat, has been in operation for decades and has served well to run the world’s largest public distribution system but at a huge cost to the exchequer.
- It has, however, remained confined primarily to parts of a handful of states where the procurement infrastructure exists.
- The price deficiency payment system, too, has failed to deliver the results because of a cumbersome registration procedure; mandatory sale through the regulated mandis dominated by manipulative middlemen; and capping total purchases at 25 per cent of production.
- The third option of roping in private traders in price support operations has found no takers chiefly because the proposed commission of 15 per cent of the MSP for the operation involving buying, bagging, transporting, storing and disposing of the stocks is too meagre for the task.
- An export window as an outlet for surplus stocks. This can be created by modifying import-export tariffs with an eye on boosting agri-exports.
- The farmers need to be incentivised to diversify their production by growing high-value crops, which could yield better returns without the government’s intervention.
- The overarching objective of the policy regime has to be to strike a balance between the farmers’ interests and inflation management.