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The Hindu 20 August 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair







Crouching tiger, hidden data



The far right’s disruption of globalisation



Can a CDS act as a catalyst for further defence reforms



Dr. Reddy’s launches cancer drug in India



Crucial manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 today




Crouching tiger, hidden data (The Hindu Page 11)


Mains GS paper III: Environment 


Tiger census  


Author has raised concerns about the reliability of tiger census data and has highlighted the reasons for this lack of authenticity.


  • In the beginning the forest bureaucracy relied on the ‘pug-mark census method’ 

  • However this was criticised as not being scientific in nature. 

  • In 1990s new scientific methods were developed for example the ‘Double sampling’ technique. However till 2005 the forest bureaucracy was not ready to accept these new techniques and relied on the pug mark approach. 

  • The unreliability of this technique was reflected in 2005 when whole Tiger population of sariska was wiped out even when the official census claimed that tiger population was intact. 

  • Further what has lacked is tiger population surveys by independent, qualified scientists. 

  • The present system also reflects a conflict of interest. the bureaucracy which is responsible for tiger conservation is also responsible for tiger estimation. 

  • The need of the hour is a public private partnership based framework  led by qualified scientists to conduct independent monitoring. 

  • Another flaw is that officials have failed to provide an annual update on the Tiger numbers, survival rates etc. 

  • Also the new methodology provides a very flexible estimate of the tiger population. Thus there are chances of misleading numbers shown by the bureaucracy. 

  • The habitat potential of tigers in India is about 10000-15000. However the forest officials have provided a conservative estimate of this potential to only about 3500. 






The far right’s disruption of globalisation (The Hindu -Page.10)


Mains GS paper I: Globalization 






Can a CDS act as a catalyst for further defence reforms? (p11) 


Mains: GS Paper III : Security 


Chief of Defense Staff.


Recent Context: PM Modi recently announced the formation of the office of the Chief of Defense Staff. However, the tenure, and who will hold the post, will have to be decided soon. 

  • The CDS is expected to bridge gaps between the three services and also reduce response time by ensuring coordination between the three services.better link, terms of planning, coordination and execution. 

  • it is envisaged the CDS will keep the Defence Minister, continuously and fully briefed and effectively advised and may become a part part of the adjunct apparatus of the Cabinet Committee on Security Affairs.

  • The position of the CDS with emphasis on defence policy and planning will allow the three service chiefs to further focus on administrative functioning of their arms of the forces more efficiently. 

  • Another opportunity is to bring the strategic forces under the CDS as well, which allow to integrate the disconnected intelligence apparatus in India.



  • A CDS will require to balance national interests, shed his own service affiliations, and look after the interests of all the three services.

  • CDS needs to be a bridge among the bureaucracy of MoD, Cabinet Committee on Security and the military branches. This will happen only after years of joint-service assignments, an exposure to working with government and educational interludes in a military career. 

  • CDS needs to be aware of the security environment across India's geopolitical sphere world view and also requires political awareness necessary to engage with diverse stakeholders that includes other countries, organisations, etc. 

  • India currently faces multiple security challenges. However, India security atmosphere is tilted towards the Indian army due to a mindset shaped by territorial conflicts with Pakistan and China, skirmishes on Myanmar and other borders, and continuous internal armed conflicts, India’s security landscape has been naturally dominated by the Indian Army. CDS would need to balance this reality with a realisation that both maritime and air power are going to play an increasingly important role in India’s rise as a leading power.

  • CDS would need to steer the creation of integrated battle groups for various contingencies. This would be a precursor to validating the concept of theatre commands, if implemented in future.

  • These challenges needed to be overcomes by CDS would also require political will, a support missing to the earlier formed Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.




Dr. Reddy’s launches cancer drug in India (The Hindu -Page.15)


Prelims: Science and Technology 





  • A biosimilars is a biologic medical product that is almost an identical copy of an original product that is manufactured by a different company.

  • Biosimilars are officially approved versions of original "innovator" products and can be manufactured when the original product's patent expires.

  • Unlike most chemically-derived small-molecule drugs, biological products are generally derived from a living organism, such as humans, animals, microorganisms or yeast. 

  • Clinically, they are used to treat patients with cancer, kidney diseases and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.




Crucial manoevure for Chandrayaan-2 today (The Hindu -Page.09)


Prelims: Science and Technology 

Mains GS paper III: Space technology 


Chandrayaan II


History of Moon Missions

  • India’s first moon mission was launched on October 22, 2008, from Sriharikota, using the

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), India became the fourth country to plant its flag on the lunar surface.

  • It detected traces of water along with magnesium, aluminium and silicon

  • The first moon landing occurred on July 20, 1969, on the Apollo 11 mission 

  • Almost 50 years after first moon landing and decade after Chandrayaan 1,  India will launch its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2, on July 15, 2019, again from Sriharikota, using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III rocket.


Purpose of Moon mission 

  • The Moon is the closest cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented. 

  • It is also a promising test bed to demonstrate technologies required for deep-space missions. 

  • Chandrayaan 2 attempts to foster a new age of discovery, increase our understanding of space, stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances, and inspire a future generation of explorers and scientists.


Special feature of Chandrayaan 2 

  • The Chandrayaan-2 is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lunar mission comprising an orbiter and lander (Vikram) carrying a rover (Pragyan).

  • This is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's south polar region which has a lunar surface area much larger than that of the North Pole and remains in shadow.

  • The GSLV Mk-III which will carry Chandrayaan 2 to its designated orbit is India;s most powerful launcher to date.

  • Chandrayaan-2 will have 14 Indian payloads or study devices including scientific ones to study topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution, and surface chemical composition.


What are the scientific objectives of Chandrayaan 2? Why explore the Lunar South


  • Moon provides the best linkage to Earth’s early history. It offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner Solar system environment.

  • Extensive mapping of lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon. 

  • Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires further studies on the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface and in the tenuous lunar exosphere to address the origin of water on Moon.

  • The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole.

  • There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System.

  • Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft land the lander -Vikram and rover- Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south.


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