Daily Current affairs for UPSC |SSC | RRB 25 october 2018

Daily Current Affairs

[EDITORIAL] The Allahabad in Prayagraj

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Syllabus

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The tradition of renaming cities/places by governments in India and how it is not in the best interest of people


Context

Renaming syndrome

  1. Recently, several cities, as well as streets and bazaars in the country, have been renamed
  2. Modern communication methods ensure that such changes in nomenclature have an instant impact
  3. Cities, streets and bazaars evolve their own identities with time. In doing so, they reflect historical experiences and changes
  4. Re-naming results in tangible changes, but several intangible aspects of places continue to be associated with the lived reality of communities
  5. This is why the public often resist the overt manipulation of renaming

Political aims

  1. Such projects are deeply political and aim to politicise community memories
  2. New names are cultural tools to overcome the fears of economic subordination by adventurous immigrants
  3. The changes create fissures in local and regional political arenas and make them rife for conflict

Impact of renaming

  1. Enormous resources and paperwork is required to establish the new political/official identity of not only the city but of the entire district
  2. The renaming could create confusion
  3. It also overlooks memories of the city’s cultural identity
  4. Renaming cities results in economic and logistical upheaval
  5. A large amount of the tax payer’s money is spent on changing signboards on public properties such as railways, metros, buses and street signs, not to mention the time and energy invested in bureaucratic, administrative and legal procedures
  6. Maps have to keep pace with the frequent renaming
  7. Satellite cartographic networks often fail to keep up with the frequency of changed ground realities and people and transporters waste time to reach their destinations

Way forward

  1. The naming and renaming of places is not new in India
  2. In the absence of a comprehensive cultural policy, the politics of renaming is inimical to urban community consciousness

[EDITORIAL] At digital war

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Syllabus

Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Challenges to internal security through communication networks

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: PRISM, AFNET

Mains level: Need for having indigenous technological equipment in India


Context

The vision of a Digital Armed Force

  1. The government has sanctioned the raising of a cyber agency that will steer the planning and conduct of cyber warfare in the military
  2. Once the doctrine has matured, the cyber agency will be expanded to a much-needed cyber command

Snooping via technology companies

  1. The existence of the PRISM programme, under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collected data from internet communications, was revealed by Edward Snowden in June 2013
  2. The program used US technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Apple for data interception
  3. NSA employees also intercepted Cisco routers, intended for organisations targeted for surveillance, and implanted them with backdoors before shipping them on
  4. A recent Bloomberg report pointed out that China’s intelligence services had ordered subcontractors in China to plant malicious chips in Supermicro server motherboards bound for the US

The ban on imported communication equipments

  1. Faced with these dangers, countries have moved to restrict foreign products from use in critical networks
  2. In 2014, Beijing banned government offices from buying Microsoft Windows, and security software from Symantec and Kaspersky Lab
  3. One year later, the ban was also applied to Cisco and Apple products
  4. In August 2018, President Trump signed a bill banning the use of Chinese Huawei and ZTE technology by the US government
  5. Australia has banned Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G mobile network, citing national security risks

Usage still prevalent in India

  1. In India, though, we seem oblivious to the vulnerabilities that exist in our critical networks due to foreign hardware and software
  2. Over 60 per cent of software and hardware being used by BSNL is sourced from either Huawei or ZTE
  3. This is despite Huawei being probed for hacking a BSNL network in 2014
  4. In September 2017, BSNL signed a memorandum of understanding with ZTE for research and commercialisation of future 5G technology
  5. The Air Force Network (AFNET) was launched in 2010 & Cisco was a major supplier of equipment for AFNET
  6. The army’s latest communication backbone, Network for Spectrum (NFS), also uses Cisco equipment
  7. The Indian Army mostly uses the Microsoft Windows operating system on its official computers

Threats for India

  1. Windows is an outstanding system but is a closed-source software owned by a company that is bound by US laws and historically tied to the American intelligence community
  2. India is a prime target for American spying. In the overall list of countries targeted by PRISM, India stood at the fifth place

Some measures taken by India

  1. In 2015, the Northern Command of the army decided to adopt the Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS) for all its official computers
  2. BOSS is an indigenously developed open-source system by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, an R&D organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Way forward

  1. Despite the clear dangers in cyberspace, we remain inexorably tied to past practices and show little desire to make changes that are essential to protect our national interests
  2. A policy decision to indigenise our cyberspace will have greater and more far-reaching national security implications

Internal Security Architecture Shortcomings – Key Forces, NIA, IB, CCTNS, etc.

SC bans sale of BS-IV vehicles from 2020

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE HINDU

Image result for bharat stage emission norms

Syllabus

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Bharat Stage Emission standards

Mains level: Need of regulating rising air pollution across India


News

No sale of BS-IV vehicles

  1. The Supreme Court has banned the sale and registration of motor vehicles conforming to the emission standard Bharat Stage-IV in the entire country from April 1, 2020
  2. Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles
  3. SC quoted that India has the dubious distinction of having 15 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world and thus such measure was necessary
  4. The problem of pollution is not limited to the NCR of Delhi but it is a problem which has engulfed the entire country especially the major cities
  5. BSVI compliant vehicles are going to be more expensive than BSIV compliant vehicles and people have a tendency to buy cheaper vehicle(s) even from a neighbouring city

Shift to BS-VI norms

  1. The country will have to shift to the cleaner Bharat- VI fuel from April 1, 2020
  2. The BS-IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017
  3. In 2016, the Centre had announced the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020

Bharat Emission Standards

Indian monsoons influence Atlantic hurricanes: study

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE HINDU

An Indian monsoon steers tropical cyclones across the Atlantic

Syllabus

Mains Paper 1: Geography | Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian, Atlantic Ocean (Features & location), Indian monsoon, El Nino, La Nina, Hurricanes

Mains level: Indian monsoon impact on various other geographical features


News

Indian monsoon impact

  1. Strong monsoons in the Indian Ocean can induce easterly winds that push Atlantic Ocean hurricanes westward, increasing the likelihood they will make landfall in the Americas
  2. The newly-discovered relationship could help scientists better predict the path of oncoming hurricanes, especially in late summer months like September, when Atlantic hurricane activity peaks
  3. As the climate continues to warm, the monsoon could have an increasing influence on the paths of Atlantic hurricanes

How the phenomenon works

  1. In years where summer rainstorms in India are stronger, Atlantic hurricanes move further westward towards land
  2. In years where the rains are not as strong, hurricanes tend to curve northward earlier and fizzle out in the North Atlantic Ocean
  3. Strong monsoons influence hurricane steering by enhancing the effects of the North Atlantic subtropical high, a centre of high atmospheric pressure in the Atlantic Ocean
  4. When the subtropical high increases, stronger winds come from the east and push hurricanes westward

Effect of El Nino & La Nina

  1. Previous research has attributed changes in hurricane steering to El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature and air pressure in the equatorial Pacific Ocean
  2. Scientists have traditionally relied on the La Nina cool phase of ENSO to make predictions about how strong a particular Atlantic hurricane season will be, but have trouble forecasting the paths of individual hurricanes
  3. La Nina and the Indian monsoon are correlated, but the strength of the monsoon influences the steering of hurricanes independently of La Nina fluctuations, which are responsible for changes in hurricane frequency
  4. La Nina fluctuations may result in more Atlantic hurricanes, but strong Indian monsoons steer them further westward, making it more likely they will make landfall in the Americas

Global Geological And Climatic Events

Adjudicating body for benami cases cleared

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Syllabus

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency & accountability

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Features of the Tribunals

Mains level:  Legal Provisions for speedy trial of Black Money cases in India


News

Appellate Tribunals against Benami Transactions

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of Appellate Tribunal and Adjudicating Authority for speedy disposal of cases related to benami transactions.
  2. Earlier the cabinet had notified sessions courts in 34 states and Union Territories, which will act as special courts for trial of offences under the benami transaction law.
  3. The rules and all the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act came into force on November 1, 2016.

Salient Features

  1. Under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act of 1998, the government will appoint Adjudicating Authority Appellate Tribunal.
  2. The officials will come from the existing posts at the same level from the Income Tax Department and the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
  3. The Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal will be based in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD).
  4. Benches of Adjudicating Authority may sit in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, and the necessary notification in this regard will be issued after consultation with the Chairperson of the proposed Adjudicating Authority.

Benefits of the Tribunals

  1. The approval will result in effective and better administration of cases referred to the Adjudicating Authority and speedy disposal of appeals filed against the order of the Adjudicating Authority before the Appellate Tribunal.
  2. It would provide first stage review of administrative action under the PBPT Act.
  3. Establishment of the proposed Appellate Tribunal would provide an appellate mechanism for the order passed by the Adjudicating Authority under the PBPT Act.

Black Money – Domestic and International Efforts

Invest India wins UN award for excellence in promoting investments in sustainable development

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE HINDU

Syllabus

Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy| Investment models

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Make in India, Invest India, Particulars of the UN Award

Mains level: Evaluating the success of Make in India initiatives.


News

UN Award to Invest India

  1. Invest India, the country’s investment promotion body, has won the UN Award for excellence in promoting investments in sustainable development.
  2. The awards is organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at World Investment Forum, Geneva.
  3. It honours investment promotion agencies (IPAs) and their governments for their achievements and showcases best practices in attracting investment into SDG-related projects.

What’s the project all about?

  1. Invest India received the award for excellence in servicing and supporting a major global wind turbines company in the establishment of a blade manufacturing plant in India.
  2. The company committed to train local staff and produce 1 gigawatt of renewable energy.
  3. Implementation of the project is expected to reduce India’s wind energy cost significantly.

Back2Basics

Invest India

  1. Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and acts as the first point of reference for investors in India.
  2. It is set up as a nonprofit venture under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India.
  3. Operationalized in early 2010, Invest India is set up as a joint venture company between the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry (35% equity), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) (51% equity), and State Governments of India (0.5% each).
  4. Thus, essentially, Invest India is a private company, unlike India Brand Equity Foundation – another investment promotion agency in India set up by the same Ministry – Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  5. Invest India’s specialists provide multiple forms of support such as market entry strategies, deep dive industry analysis, partner search and location assessment, and policy advocacy with decision makers.
  6. Functions:
  • The core mandate of Invest India is investment promotion and facilitation.
  • It provides sector-specific and state-specific information to a foreign investor, assists in expediting regulatory approvals, and offers hand-holding services.
  • Its mandate also includes assisting Indian investors to make informed choices about investment opportunities overseas.
  • Its experts, specializing across different countries, Indian states and sectors, handhold investors.

Make in India: Challenges & Prospects

PM conferred with Seoul Peace Prize

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Syllabus

Mains Paper 3: Indian Economy| Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Seoul Peace Prize

Mains level: Recognition to Indian economic and foreign policy reforms across the world


News

Awarding the Modi Doctrine

  1. The award recognizes PM Modi’s contribution to the growth of Indian and global economies, crediting ‘Modinomics’ for reducing social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor.
  2. The committee lauded PM’s initiatives to make the government cleaner through anti-corruption measures and demonetization.
  3. The committee also credited him for his contribution towards regional and global peace through a proactive Foreign Policy with countries around the world under the ‘Modi doctrine’ and the act east policy.

About the Seoul Peace Prize

  1. The prize has been awarded to those who have made their mark through contributions to the harmony of mankind, reconciliation between nations and to world peace.
  2. Established in 1990, the Seoul Peace Prize was an effort to crystallise the Korean people’s yearning for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the rest of the world.
  3. It was initially established to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul, Republic of Korea – an event in which 160 nations from across the world took part, creating harmony and friendship and a worldwide atmosphere of peace and reconciliation.
  4. Previous winners of the award include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and renowned international relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.

Back2basics

Modinomics

The term Modinomics is often used to refer landmark economic reforms carried out under PM Modi. Few of them are mentioned below:

  • Introduction and implementation of GST Framework
  • Setting up of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
  • Demonetization
  • New hydrocarbon exploration licensing policy
  • Trinity of JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) etc.

Nobel and other Prizes

[pib] Cabinet approves MoU amongst BRICS nations regarding cooperation in the social and labour sphere

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | PIB

Syllabus

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BRICS LEM Meeting

Mains level:  BRICS and its mandate for Labour and Employment


News

Context

  1. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU among BRICS nations regarding Cooperation in the Social and Labour Sphere.
  2. The MoU was signed on 3rd August, 2018 during BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers (LEM) Meeting.

BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers (LEM) Meeting

  1. The BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial meeting took place in August, 2018 at the South African Presidency in Durban, South Africa.
  2. The Draft MoU between BRICS countries regarding cooperation in the social and labour sphere was discussed deliberated and finalized and was signed by respective labour Ministers of BRICS member countries.
  3. The provisions of the MoU clearly indicate its objectives as cooperation in the nature of successful sharing of policy measures; exchange programmes; consultations; expert meetings and conference etc. in the social and labour sphere.

What MoU brings in?

  1. The parties including India have agreed to cooperate and hold mutual events in the prominent areas viz. labour legislation and enforcement, protection of workers’ rights with focus on vulnerable groups.
  2. It would focus on Employment and labour market policies, Professional education, skills and training and social protection.
  3. The member countries may utilize the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes and BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework for cooperation on Social Security and other labour issues. T
  4. The MoU is not an International Treaty and does not create rights and obligations for the parties governed by international law.

Benefits of the MoU

  1. The MoU provides a mechanism for cooperation, collaboration and maximum synergy amongst BRICS member countries with the common objective of inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the new industrial revolution.
  2. This would facilitate member countries to share knowledge and also implement joint programmes on matter of Labour and Employment, Social Security and Social dialogue.
  3. This would also ensure networking of international Training Centre of International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the BRICS Network of Labour Institutes which includes National Labour Institute of India.
  4. This network would specifically focus on the theme of youth employment and research on new forms of employment.
  5. This network will also explore new learning technologies, including virtual network to deepen cooperation, exchange of information and capacity building.

BRICS Summits

[pib] Cabinet nod for Indian Institute of Skills

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | PIB

Syllabus

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian Institute of Skills, Skill India Mission

Mains level: State of skill development institutes in the country


News

IISs at different locations

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) at different locations across the country in PPP.
  2. The PPP Models will be explored for promotion of IIS at select locations based on demand and available infrastructure.

Benefits of IISs

  1. The IISs shall providing high quality skill training, applied research education and a direct and meaningful connection with industry.
  2. The setting up of IISs shall augment the global competitiveness of key sectors of Indian economy
  3. It will provide opportunity to aspiring youth across the country to have access to highly skilled training.
  4. By leveraging advantages of private sector enterprise and public capital in terms of Government land, it would create new institutes of expertise, knowledge and competitiveness.

Skilling India – Skill India Mission,PMKVY, NSDC, etc.

[pib] Main Nahin Hum Portal and App

POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018 | PIB

Syllabus

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Main Nahin Hum Portal, Self4Society Portal

Mains level: Various ICT initiatives promoting CSR activities in India


News

Main Nahin Hum Portal and App

  1. PM Modi has launched the “Main Nahin Hum” Portal and App for IT Professionals.
  2. It works on the theme “Self4Society”.
  3. The portal will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society, on one platform.
  4. The portal is expected to help catalyse greater collaboration towards the service of the weaker sections of society, especially by leveraging the benefits of technology.
  5. It is also expected to generate wider participation of interested people who are motivated to work for the benefit of society