Please wait...

The Hindu 1 August 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair
The Hindu August 2019







Fortifying the Africa outreach



Transforming livelihoods through farm ponds



Beyond Talaq (Editorial)



Index of Eight Core Industries



A Prayer in Stone (Sanchi Stupa)



Amazon Fund




  1. Fortifying the Africa outreach (The Hindu, Page – 10)


Mains: GS Paper II : International Relations


India’s engagement with Africa


Editorial focus: the editorial first highlights the trends in economic cooperation between India and Africa. Secondly, the author highlights there is a difference between India’s developmental assistance and reciprocal economic engagement by Africa.



1. In the India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015, India agreed to provide concessional credit worth $10 billion & by 2017, India had cumulatively extended 152 Lines of Credit worth $8 billion to 44 African countries. 

2. India unilaterally provides free access to its market for the exports of 33 least developed African countries. 

3. India's economic engagement with Africa is countercyclical, wherein India increased its developmental assistance to Africa even though commodity prices are low. Other countries such as China reduced their developmental assistance. 

4. India's trade with Africa is around $64 billion in 2018-19. India recently overtook U.S. as the third largest trading partner of Africa. Indian investment in Africa is around $50 billion.


According to the author, India requires sustainable engagement with Africa wherein India's developmental engagement with Africa has not produced the required reciprocal economic engagement by Africa. 

Acc. to the author, India is neither a rich country nor has India colonised and exploited Africa. Therefore, India's aid should not be considered as entitlement. It is required on Africa's behalf to reciprocate Indian aid with economic projects in Africa.


To do this, author highlights measures India needs to undertake:

  • Take direct control of our development programme instead of handing funds to intermediaries such as the African Union & others, whose priorities are often different from India’s. 

  • Indian aid should be disbursed bilaterally and aligned with national priorities of the recipient state

  • India’s development assistance should prefer the countries in which India has substantial interests in terms of accepting Indian imports and provides access to raw material, natural resources, commodities and large markets

  • India should route its aid through public sector to ensure transparency

  • Indian Head of Mission in the recipient African state must be an integral part of the aid stream including project selection, co-ordination and implementation. The person would ensure better harmonisation between India's aid and economic objectives.

  • India should continue to fulfil its duty to provide the needed humanitarian assistance to Africa.



  1. Transforming livelihoods through farm ponds – (The Hindu, Page-11)

Area of interest

Mains: GS Paper 2 under Indian Economy


Importance of Farm Ponds


Farm ponds can be cost-effective structures that transform rural livelihoods. 

  • They can help enhance water control, contribute to agriculture intensification and boost farm incomes

  • This is possible only if they act as rainwater harvesting structures

  • They can act as recharge points, contributing to groundwater replenishment. 

  • They can help in providing supplemental irrigation in the kharif season and an enhanced irrigation coverage in Rabi.

  • Farm ponds retain water for 8-10 months of the year; thus farmers could enhance cropping intensity and crop diversification within and across season

  • They are financially viable 


Wrong practices which could accelerate depletion of Groundwater 

  • Most of the ponds are being constructed with walls raised above the ground surface. As such there is no inlet for the excess water to be harvested during the rain. 

  • Farmers line them at the bottom with plastic, restricting seepage and converting the ponds into intermediate storage points.

  • Further they are being used as intermediate storage points, accelerating groundwater depletion and increasing evaporation losses 



Farm ponds can act as effective harvesting structures and also yield healthy financial returns. But if they are promoted merely for on-farm storage of groundwater and canal water, they could accelerate, rather than reduce, the water crisis in the countryside.


  1. Beyond Talaq (Editorial) (The Hindu, Page-10)


Mains: GS Paper 2: Polity & Governance


Triple Talaq


In news-Both Houses of Parliament have passed a Bill making instant triple talaq a criminal offence, amidst persistent doubts whether it ought to be treated as a crime or just a civil case.

Main objective-is to give effect to the Supreme Court’s 2017 verdict declaring instant triple talaq illegal.


  • According to the author, In the light of the Supreme Court ruling on its validity, there is really no need to declare instant triple talaq a criminal offence as the practice has no approval in Islamic tenets, and is indeed considered abhorrent.

  • Secondly, once it has been declared illegal, pronouncing talaq obviously does not have the effect of “instantaneous and irrevocable divorce” as this Bill claims in its definition of ‘talaq’.

  • The provisions that allow a woman to claim a subsistence allowance from the man and seek custody of her children can be implemented in the event of the husband abandoning her, even without the man’s arrest.

  • The author states that If triple talaq, in any form, is void, how the questions of children’s custody and subsistence allowance arise while the marriage subsists, is not clear.

  • The practical question is how a man can provide a subsistence allowance while he is imprisoned. It has been argued by the Bill’s proponents that dowry harassment and cruelty towards wives are treated as criminal offences even while the marriage subsists. However according to the author it’s patently wrong comparison, as those acts involve violence and cruelty and are rightly treated as criminal offences. The same cannot be said of a man invoking a prohibited form of divorce.


About Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal.  

  • It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce.

  • Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.

  • Offence and penalty:  The Bill make declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine.

  • The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by:

    • the married woman (against whom talaq has been declared), or

    • any person related to her by blood or marriage.  

  • Bail-The Bill provides that the Magistrate may grant bail to the accused.  The bail may be granted only after hearing the woman (against whom talaq has been pronounced), and if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.

  • Compounding- The offence may be compounded by the Magistrate upon the request of the woman (against whom talaq has been declared). Compounding refers to the procedure where the two sides agree to stop legal proceedings, and settle the dispute. The terms and conditions of the compounding of the offence will be determined by the Magistrate.

  • Allowance:  A Muslim woman against whom talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children.  The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate.

  • Custody:  A Muslim woman against whom such talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children. The manner of custody will be determined by the Magistrate.


4. Index of Eight Core Industries  (The Hindu, Page-15)


Prelims: Indian Economy


Index of Eight core Industries


The growth of eight core industries has dropped to 0.2% in June mainly due to a contraction in oil-related sectors as well as in cement production.



  • In India there are eight core sectors comprising of coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity. 

  • The eight core industries constitute 40.27% of the total index of industrial production (IIP).

  • This index is prepared by Office of the Economic Advisor, Ministry of commerce of and Industry and is published monthly with the base year as 2011-12.

  • Highest Weightage: Petroleum Refinery production.

  • Lowest Weightage: Fertilizers production.


Note: It is to be noted that IIP is prepared by National Statistical Office (earlier CSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation.


5. A Prayer in Stone (The Hindu, Page-18)


Prelims: Art and Culture


About Sanchi Stupa


  • Sanchi, about 50 km from Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a world heritage site. Along with other relatively small stupas, there are three main stupas at Sanchi.

  • Stupa-1 is presumed to have the relics of the Buddha, Stupa-2, the relics of ten less famous arhats belonging to three different generations. Their names are found on the relic casket. Stupa-3 has the relics of Sariputta and Mahamougalayana.

  • The Ashokan lion-capital pillar with an inscription is found on the southern side of the stupa, indicating how Sanchi became a centre of monastic and artistic activities. The south gateway was made first followed by the others. 

  • The pradakshinapath around the stupa is covered with the vedika. There is also the upper pradakshinapath which is unique to this site. The four gateways are decorated profusely with sculptures.

  • Buddha is shown symbolically as an empty throne, feet, chhatra, stupas, etc.

  • Toranas are constructed in all four directions. There are guardian images on pillars and the shalbhanjika (i.e., lady holding the branch of a tree) sculptures are remarkable in their treatment of volume. The rigidity of the earlier sculptures of Stupa-2 is no more there. 

  • Each torana consists of two vertical pillars and three horizontal bars on the top. Each horizontal bar is decorated with different sculptural themes on the front as well as at the back. Supporting the extensions of the lowermost horizontal.



6. Amazon Fund (The Hindu, Page-10)


Prelims: Environment


About Amazon Fund


Amazon Fund (Fundo Amazônia)

• Administered by Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) 

• Area of focus - Mitigation - REDD
• Date operational – 2009


The Amazon Fund was created to raise donations so that investments can be made in efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Amazon Biome. 



The United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (or UN-REDD Programme) is a collaborative programme of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).




Map Gap - 20 Feb 2020

its more effective & content

Map Gap - 20 Feb 2020

can you provide in Hindi language please

Rahul singh - 01 Sep 2019

Thanku very much sir 🙏🙏


Thank you sir.