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THE HINDU DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS 8TH JANUARY 2020

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Q.1 Consider the following pairs:
Vector                                  Disease
1. Anapheles Mosquito     Japanese Encephalitis
2. Sandflies                         Kala Azar
3. Aedes mosquito           Rift Valley fever
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly
matched?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana
(PM-KMY):
1. It is a Central Sector Scheme
administered by the Department of
Finance, Ministry of Finance.
2. The Life Insurance Corporation of India
(LIC) is the Pension Fund Manager for
the scheme and responsible for Pension
pay out.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.3  NISHTHA, recently seen in news is:
(a) A scholarship Scheme for encouraging
economically weaker differently abled
students to pursue technical education
at Diploma and Degree levels.
(b) A capacity building programme for
Improving Quality of School Education
through Integrated Teacher Training.
(c) A registration portal for new start-ups
related to green projects.
(d) A mobile application which serves as a
single window for information regarding
passenger amenities available at the
railway stations.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

NEWS:

The government expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a slower pace of 5% for the full year 2019-20, as compared to 6.8% in the previous year, according to the first advance estimates released by the Statistics Ministry on Tuesday.

This estimate is in line with projections made by the Reserve Bank of India, which had revised GDP growth downwards to 5% for 2019-20 from 6.1% during its October policy.

As per the data, the manufacturing sector is estimated to grow by 2% as compared to a robust growth of 6.9% in 2018-19. Likewise, the growth in the construction sector for the fiscal is expected to see a sharp decline to 3.2% as against a growth of 8.7% in the previous year.

ABOUT GDP

Gross Domestic Product is the value of the all final goods and services produced within the boundary of a nation during one year period.

For India, this calendar year is from 1st April to 31st March.

The different uses of the concept of GDP are

  1. Per annum percentage change in it is the growth rate of an economy.
  2. It is a quantitative concept and its volume/ size indicates the internal strength of the economy. But it does not say anything about the qualitative aspects of the produced goods and services.
  3. It is used by the IMF/WB in the comparative analyses of its member nations.

 

NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL

NEWS:

The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and Faridabad District Magistrate to furnish a factual and action taken report on sewage overflowing on the Delhi-Agra Highway.

Taking cognisance of a report published by The Hindu on safety concerns being raised due to the overflowing sewage on National Highway-19, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed authorities to furnish the report within one month.

ABOUT NGT:

National Green Tribunal was formed under the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010. Act was enacted under the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21 which assures the citizens of India the right to healthy environment.

Tribunal has been created for effective and expeditious disposal of the cases relating to environmental protection and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

Tribunal is mandated to make endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals filing within 6 months of the filing of the same.

Chairman of the tribunal must be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or judge of the Supreme Court of India. 

The tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice. 

New Delhi is the principle place of sitting of the tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkatta and Chennai are other four places of sitting of the tribunal.

Present NGT Chairperson is Justice (Retired) Adarsh Kumar Goel. 

GENOME OF INDIAN COBRA

A consortium of scientists, including some from India, have mapped the genome of the Indian Cobra, among the most poisonous snakes in the country.

Knowing the sequence of genes could aid in understanding the chemical constituents of the venom and contribute to development of new anti-venom therapies, which have remained practically unchanged for over a century.

Every year, approximately five million people worldwide are bitten by venomous snakes resulting in about 400,000 amputations and more than 100,000 deaths.

High-quality genomes of venomous snakes… will enable generation of a comprehensive catalogue of venom-gland-specific toxin genes that can be used for the development of synthetic anti-venom of defined composition,

India is the snakebite capital of the world.

ABOUT INDIAN COBRA

The Indian cobra (Naja naja), also known as the spectacled cobraAsian cobra, or binocellate cobra, is a species of the genus Naja found, in India , PakistanBangladeshSri LankaNepal, and Bhutan, and a member of the “big four” species that inflict the most snakebites on humans in India.

It is now protected in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

 

AMARTYA SEN

Amarty Sen is an Indian economist and philosopher, who since 1972 has taught and worked in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Sen has made contributions to welfare economicssocial choice theoryeconomic and social justice, economic theories of famines, decision theory, development economics, public health and measures of well-being of countries.

He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 and India’s Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics

The following points highlight the seven main contributions of Amartya Kumar Sen to Economics. The contributions are: 1. Poverty and Famines 2. Poverty and Inequality 3. The Concept of Capability 4. Entitlement 5. Choice of Technique 6. The Time Series Criterion 7. Other Economic Ideas.

AKBAR PADMASEE

NEWS:Noted painter and artist Akbar Padamsee died at the Isha Yoga Center near Coimbatore late on Monday night. He was 91.

Padamsee refused to be restricted to any artistic categories. He had once said, “Do not label me or my art.” His paintings extensively depicted the elements and senses.

Though Akbar Padamsee was known for his radical paintings, he was also a photographer, sculptor, filmmaker, engraver and lithographer.

But Padamsee was most recognized and decorated for his paintings which have found a place of prominence in eminent galleries in India and around the world. His brother was the late filmmaker and adman Alyque Padamsee.

 

GOCO MODEL OF ARMY

The Army has started identifying potential industry partners to implement the Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model for its base workshops and ordnance depots.

A Request For Information was issued on December 19, 2019 to shortlist service providers with experience in “warehousing, logistics and supply chain management” for Central Ordnance Depot, Kanpur. The Army has also started evaluating the GOCO model for Army Base Workshops (ABW) to drive “higher operational efficiencies”.

The GOCO model was one of the recommendations of the Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar (Retd.) committee to “enhance combat capability and re-balance defence expenditure.”

LEAD ARTICLE: RETRIEVING IDEAS OF DEMOCRACY AND NATION

Post independent India embraced constitutional democracy and held periodic elections under universal adult franchise.

WHY IDEA OF DEMOCRACY AND NATION IS BEING DISCUSSED?

Interestingly, certain measures that the current government has embraced in the name of constitutional rectitude have reopened new fissures.

The rise of the BJP has placed a particular notion of the nation on the political agenda, and it has sought to refract constitutional democracy and elections through it. It has confined constitutional democracy to the bare letter of the law and periodic elections to merely subserve a majority in the House. In the process it has shorn them off from even residual considerations of democracy as the self-rule of the citizen community and the nation as the outcome of this process.

One of the most ominous expressions of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s version of the nation is found in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, or the CAA, 2019 and the National Register of Citizens.

CAA calls into question the foundations of citizenship in India, the role and place of the majority in a political democracy and minority rights and reorders them to suit the notion of the nation the current ruling dispensation cherishes.

In the Northeast, there is a widespread feeling that the CAA has watered down the autonomy that they sought for their culture, language, and land rights and very forcefully voiced before the Bordoloi Committee of the Constituent Assembly. The large-scale participation of Muslims in this upsurge demonstrates that they do not want to be kept out but be treated as equal citizens.

ISSUE: PROBLEMS IN THE POST OF CHIEF OF DEFENSE STAFF

Firstly, what is the role of CDS

The following areas will be dealt by the Department of Military Affairs headed by CDS:

The Armed Forces of the Union, namely, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence comprising Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, Air Headquarters and Defence Staff Headquarters, the Territorial Army. Works relating to the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Procurement exclusive to the Services except capital acquisitions, as per prevalent rules and procedures.”

The Chief of Defence Staff, apart from being the head of the Department of Military Affairs, will also be the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to the Raksha Mantri [RM] on all tri-Services matters. The three Chiefs will continue to advise RM on matters exclusively concerning their respective Services. CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three Service Chiefs, so as to be able to provide impartial advice to the political leadership.”

PROBLEMS WITH THE POST

SUBORDINATION: As Secretary in charge of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and having superintendence over the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, there would be an implied subordination of the three service chiefs to the CDS notwithstanding any declaration to the contrary. As Secretary of the DMA, the CDS is tasked with facilitating the restructuring of military commands, bringing about jointness in operations including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands.

This will invariably encroach upon the domain of the service chiefs.

The CDS, as Permanent Chairperson of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, would outrank the three service chiefs even though theoretically all are four star. Moreover the advice of the CDS could override the advice of the respective Service Chiefs on critical tactical and perhaps even strategic issues.

ANOTHER LAYER CREATED: With the creation of the DMA on most issues, the reporting structure of the three services to the Defence Minister would now be through the CDS; if not immediately it would become the norm over time. Even today while in theory the service chiefs report directly to the Defence Minister, in practice all files and decisions are routed through the Defence Secretary.

EROSION OF CIVILIAN SUPREMACY: However most problematic is the erosion of civilian supremacy over the defence establishment in the Ministry of Defence itself. This impacts on the first principles of constitutionalism and has implications for our democratic polity also.

CONCLUSION

Since the DMA would exercise control over the three services, it virtually makes the CDS the ‘Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces’. A new czar has risen.

OP-ED PAGE

LEAD ARTICLE: BUSH FIRE IN AUSTRALIA

Wildfires in Australia have destroyed more than 12 million hectares of land, native flora, killing thousands of wild animals, including endangered species, and displacing residents and tourists

Author highlights that New Delhi and Canberra have a rare opportunity: to translate their rapidly converging interests and coalescing of values into a formidable partnership for the 21st century.

Australia today is ground zero for the climate catastrophe. Great Barrier Reef “is dying”, the “world-heritage rain forests are burning”, giant kelp forests have disappeared, “numerous towns have run out of water or are about to, and now the vast continent is burning on a scale never before seen.

WHAT INDIA AND AUSTRALIA CAN DO?

As two economies with a great stakeholding in fossil fuels, it is critical for India and Australia to ensure that their dialogue on energy acquires momentum. This will require a joint scientific task force to disinter the latest evidence linking climate change and extreme climatic events with fossil fuels and to study the promise and potential of “clean” coal technology. Both countries must simultaneously strengthen the International Solar Alliance and the search for other alternative green fuels.

From water management to trauma research to skills and higher education, from maritime and cybersecurity to counterterrorism, a world of opportunities awaits the two countries if they can work in coordination.

A few years ago, the Australia-India Institute at the University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Sydney-based Lowy Institute, commissioned one of the most comprehensive surveys of Indian public opinion on key foreign policy issues and critical challenges of governance. Indians ranked Australia in the top four nations towards which they feel most warmly. Only the U.S., Singapore and Japan ranked higher. Today, Indians feel warmer towards Australia than towards European countries and BRICS nations.

Apart from being two English-speaking, multicultural, federal democracies that believe in and respect the rule of law, both have a strategic interest in ensuring a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region in which the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity are ensured.

CONCLUSION

After more than six decades characterised by misperception, lack of trust, neglect, missed opportunities and even hostility, a new chapter in India’s relations with Australia has well and truly begun.

 

SECOND ARTICLE: ROAD TO RADICALIZATION

MOST COMMON MODEL OF RADICALIZATION:

Radicalisation has four steps.

The first stage, pre-radicalisation, assumes an individual to be a blank slate, at best, or an eager receptor, at worst.

This is followed by self-identification where he or she realises the uniqueness of his or her identity.

Then comes the stage of indoctrination and, finally, jihadisation.

Author highlights that we should not consider consider radicalisation as a linear process where the individual goes through a number of stages.

Author highlights that a significant number of attacks have been carried out by second generation or later generations of immigrants.

The patriarchal nature of the immigrants’ families may be one of the reasons behind this phenomena and this needs to be investigated further. However, the state’s right to intrude into the family has been limited by a number of regulations that afford all citizens the right to privacy and considerable autonomy.

CONCLUSION

Categorising violence is important, but if it is done without due thought or diligence, it could end up harming the affected state or community and lead to vastly different policy imperatives.

No society can benefit by oversimplifying the factors that push an individual towards violence. Oversimplification will mean that we will be left with poor policies.

 NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION

NEWS:

Germany moved 35 soldiers serving in Iraq to neighboring Jordan and Kuwait on Tuesday, while NATO said it was also shifting some of its troops out of the country.

Germany has a small contingent of some 120 soldiers in Iraq, though the majority are not stationed in Taji and Baghdad but elsewhere.

The NATO has around 500 troops in Iraq — mostly from Canada, Spain and Turkey — who are helping to train and build Iraq’s security forces so they can combat the Islamic State group on their own.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization (North Atlantic Alliance):

  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance.
  • Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
  • Objectives:
  • Political –NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
  • Military –NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.

SEBASTIAN KURZ

The leader of Austria’s conservatives Sebastian Kurz was sworn in on Tuesday as the world’s youngest democratically elected leader, at the head of a coalition with the Greens following the collapse of his previous alliance with the far-right.

Vowing to “protect the climate and the borders”, the 33-year-old has become Chancellor of the Alpine country’s first government to include the Greens, an arrangement called “exotic” and “unlikely” by Austrian media.

CREATION OF JOBS

NEWS: The country needs to significantly increase employment and productivity levels to achieve a $5 trillion economy by 2024, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore, a renowned economist and a political personality, said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the aim to achieve a $5 trillion dollar economy by 2024. But dwindling economic growth has made the task much tougher than thought earlier.

Productivity growth needed to be in the order of 7-8% per year, he said, while delivering the Third Suresh Tendulkar Memorial Lecture at the Reserve Bank of India.

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