06 September 2021 – Daily Current Affairs

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Questions

1)How do pressure groups influence governance in India?

  1. Contesting in political elections by fielding their candidates
  2. Influencing policies by lobbying for them

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1 only

 b) 2 only

 c) Both 1 and 2

 d) Neither 1 nor 2

2)Article 310 and Article 311 of the constitution, sometimes seen in news, are concerned with

 a) Election to Rajya Sabha

 b) President’s power of pardoning

 c) Instruction in Mother tongue

 d) Service conditions of Civil Services

3)With regards to media, election and political rights, consider the following statements.

  1. Media persons are given special passes to enter polling stations to cover the poll process and the counting halls during the actual counting of votes.
  2. All recognised National and State parties are allowed free access to the state owned electronic media scale for their campaigns for a certain duration during elections.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1 only

 b) 2 only

 c) Both 1 and 2

 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Prelims Specific News Items

  1. About Nipah Virus :-

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Nipah virus was first discovered in 1999 following an outbreak of the disease in pigs and people in Malaysia and Singapore.

As per CDC, there have been no other known outbreaks of the Nipah virus in Malaysia and Singapore since 1999, but have been recorded almost annually in some parts of Asia since then, primarily in India and Bangladesh.

Symptoms :- 

A person infected with NiV may have a fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing and vomiting.

Severe symptoms include disorientation, drowsiness, or confusion, seizures, coma and brain swelling (encephalitis).

A person can be infected with the Nipah virus due to direct contact with infected animals, such as bats or pigs, or their body fluids (such as blood, urine or saliva).

A person can also be infected after consuming food products that have been contaminated by the body fluids of infected animals (such as palm sap or fruit contaminated by an infected bat).

The Nipah virus can also be transmitted due to close contact with a person infected with NiV or their body fluids (including nasal or respiratory droplets, urine, or blood).

Nipah Virus

2) Only locals in Ladakh to get ‘Resident Certificate’ :- The Ladakh administration has decided to issue “Resident Certificate” only to the Permanent Resident Certificate holders of the region, unlike J&K where new domicile laws allowed outsiders too to apply for jobs, land and other facilities.

According to the Ladakh Resident Certificate Order 2021 passed on Saturday, “any person who possesses a Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) issued by the competent authority in the districts of Leh and Kargil or belongs to a category of persons who would have been eligible to be issued PRC shall be eligible to receive the ‘Resident Certificate’.”

All tehsildars have been authorised as the competent authority to issue the ‘Resident Certificate’.

“The upper age limit has been enhanced for the reserved category candidates from 43 years to 45 years, for the general category candidates from 40 to 42 years and for the physically challenged candidates from 42 to 44 years.”

3) Paralympics: Noida DM bags silver, family elated :- “I am thrilled. The entire country is appreciating my son. What else could a mother want” the mother of Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer Suhas L.Y. who won the silver medal in Paralympics in Tokyo.

India’s Best ever Paralympics Performance :-

4) Basic Idea of HOUTHIs :-

The Houthis are a large clan originating from Yemen’s northwestern Saada province. They practice the Zaydi form of Shiism. Zaydis make up around 35 percent of Yemen’s population.

A Zaydi imamate ruled Yemen for 1,000 years, before being overthrown in 1962. Since then, the Zaydis – stripped of their political power – have struggled to restore their authority and influence in Yemen. In the 1980s, the Houthi clan began a movement to revive Zaydi traditions, feeling threatened by state-funded Salafist preachers who established a base in Houthi areas. Not all Zaydis, however, align with the Houthi movement.

Houthi insurgents have clashed with Yemen’s government for more than a decade. Since 2011, the Houthi movement has expanded beyond its Zaydi roots and become a wider movement opposed to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. The insurgents have also begun referring to themselves as Ansarullah, or “Party of God.”

Like other Shiites, Zaydis believe that only descendants of the Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, have the right to lead the Muslim community as imams – divinely-appointed successors of the Prophet. Most adherents of Zaydism reside in Yemen, and Zaydis make up around eight percent of the world’s 70 million Shiites.

5) UAE unveils new visa, investment plans :- The United Arab Emirates announced on Sunday a major plan to stimulate its economy and liberalise stringent residency rules for foreigners, as the country seeks to overhaul its finances and attract visitors and investment.

Two new visa categories — one for freelancers and one for entrepreneurs and skilled workers — will be created to attract and retain foreigners with desirable skills.

6)Guinea in turmoil: soldiers say govt. dissolved, borders closed :- Turmoil engulfed the impoverished west African nation of Guinea again on Sunday as Army putschists said they had captured the President and staged a coup, and the government insisted it has repelled the attack.

7) Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS) :-

India is all set to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement with Russia soon while the agreement with the U.K. is in the final stages of conclusion.

What is Logistics Agreement?

  • The agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India.
  • India has signed several logistics agreements with all Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S. in 2016.

Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS)

  • RELOS gives India access to Russian facilities in the Arctic region which is seeing increased global activity as new shipping routes open up and India’s own investments in the Russian Far East.
  • In addition, it comes at a time when both nations are looking at significantly scaling up the already broad military-to-military cooperation.

The RELOS is likely to be signed in a month or two while the one with the U.K. is in the final stages and should see a conclusion soon.

Foundational agreements with US

  • India has now signed all four foundational agreements with the US, LEMOA in 2016, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018 and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA)in 2020.
  • While the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed a long time ago, an extension to it, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed in 2019.
  • India now has access to encrypted communication systems from the U.S. under COMCASA and to geospatial information through BECA which cumulatively have been beneficial.
  • The agreements with the US and those with Australia and Japan have been especially beneficial as they also operate several common military platforms along with India’s increasing share of U.S. origin platforms.

BECA

  • BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
  • Through the sharing of information on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting.

LEMOA

  • LEMOA was the first of the three pacts to be signed in August 2016.
  • LEMOA allows the militaries of the US and India to replenish from each other’s bases, and access supplies, spare parts and services from each other’s land facilities, air bases, and ports, which can then be reimbursed.
  • LEMOA is extremely useful for India-US Navy-to-Navy cooperation since the two countries are cooperating closely in the Indo-Pacific.

COMCASA

  • COMCASA was signed in September 2018, after the first 2+2 dialogue during Mrs. Swarajs’ term as EAM.
  • The pact allows the US to provide India with its encrypted communications equipment and systems so that Indian and US military commanders, and the aircraft and ships of the two countries, can communicate through secure networks during times of both peace and war.
  • The signing of COMCASA paved the way for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India to facilitate “interoperability” between their forces.

8) National Monetisation Pipeline and the infrastructure deficit:- A significant criticism of the NMP is that the transfer would end up creating monopolies, leading to a rise in price. The creation of monopolies through public policy would be an embarrassment alright. However, the claim of an inevitable monopolisation is exaggerated as the outcome would differ according to the type of infrastructure.

Monopolisation is inevitable in the case of highways and railway lines, while it is not in the case of warehouses as all the warehouses need not be sold to a single bidder.

Author also says that it is not sure whether Private Players will show any interest in the Monetization plan as they have showed in the past like Sale of Air India and disinvestment targets.

Author also says that PPP Model that has been suggested for the NMP has failed in the past for many events and has bee considered as the main reason for the rising NPA’s of the banks so how much is it going to be helpful is a big question.

Author also says that The important consideration in an evaluation of the NMP would be the volume of funds expected to be generated.

The government has announced an indicative value of ₹6 lakh crore accruing over four years. This is extraordinarily low in relation to two comparators. First, it is only 10% higher than the budgeted capital expenditure of the Government of India actually for 2021-22.

Next, see it in relation to the figure of ₹100 lakh crore estimated as the infrastructural investment India needs.

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