Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS,09th February 2019

2nd Phase of river info system

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc.

Image result for 2nd phase of River Information System

Why in News?

To boost cargo movement on Ganga, Union Transport Minister has inaugurated the second phase of river information system (RIS) between Farakka and Patna. 

About River Information System (RIS)

  • RIS is a combination of tracking and meteorological equipment with specialized software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
  • The system enables swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information so as to ensure navigation safety in inland waterways.
  • It also provides virtual navigational aids to guide the vessel during navigation.
  • It will help in crisis management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship-bridge collisions, groundings etc. 

Highlights

  • The project is aimed at boosting the movement of cargo and fishery development in river Ganga.
  • Under phase II, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna.
  • Hilsa has a history of migrating to Allahabad in the Ganga river system from Bangladesh.
  • Though it’s a saltwater fish, it migrates to sweet waters of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal.
  • It travels upstream of the river during the mating seasons and returns to its natural abode after spawning.
  • Fish pass/Fish way is a structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, locks and waterfalls) to facilitate natural fish migration.

Source: PIB.

GeM, CCI sign MoU to check corruption in procurement

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Image result for GeM and CCI Sign MoU

Why in News?

Government e-marketplace (GeM), the Commerce & Industry Ministry's online platform for public procurement, and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) have got together to fight corruption in procurement including cartelisation. 

Highlights

  • Both CCI and GeM appreciate the importance of advanced analytical tools and processes for identification of malpractices like cartelisation. 
  • In order to pool their knowledge of the public procurement domain for detection of anti-competitive practices the MoU has been signed.
  • GeM has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.

Source: Hindu Business Line.

U.S. may end zero-tariffs for India

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Image result for U.S. may end zero-tariffs for India

Why in News?

India could lose a vital U.S. trade concession, under which it enjoys zero tariffs on $5.6 billion of exports to the United States, amid a widening dispute over its trade and investment policies, people with close knowledge of the matter said. 

Background

  • A move to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) from India, the world’s largest beneficiary of a scheme that has been in force since the 1970s, would be the strongest punitive action against India since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, vowing to reduce the U.S. deficit with large economies. 
  • Mr. Trump has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has courted foreign investment as part of his Make-in-India campaign to turn India into a manufacturing hub and deliver jobs to the millions of youth. 
  • Mr. Trump, for his part, has pushed for U.S. manufacturing to return home as part of his Make America Great Again campaign. 
  • The trigger for the latest downturn in trade ties was India’s new rules on e-commerce that restrict the way Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart-backed Flipkart do business in a rapidly growing online market set to touch $200 billion by 2027. 

Highlights

  • That, coming on top of a drive to force global card payments companies such as Mastercard and Visa to move their data to India and the imposition of higher tariffs on electronic products and smartphones, left a broader trade package the two sides were working on through last year in tatters.
  • The GSP was tied to the trade package and since that deal had slipped further away, the U.S. was considering withdrawing or scaling back the preferential arrangement, people familiar with the matter said.

Source: The Hindu. 

Govt. grants divisional status to Ladakh

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Development processes.

Image result for government grants divisional status to ladakh

Why in News?

  • Jammu and Kashmir Governor granted Ladakh a divisional status, thus creating three administrative units of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the State.
  • The J&K government has approved the creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh. 
  • It will comprise Leh and Kargil districts, with headquarters at Leh.

Background

Earlier, Ladakh was a part of the Kashmir division. A section in Leh has been demanding Union Territory status and it was backed by the BJP. 

Significance

  • The move leaves the Kashmir valley geographically the smallest division at 15,948 sq. km, Jammu division at 26,293 sq. km and Ladakh, the biggest division, at 86,909 sq. km.
  • Ladakh will now get its own Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police.
  • During the winter months, the entire Ladakh region remains cut-off from the rest of the country for almost six months.
  • The remoteness and inaccessibility of the area makes it eligible for establishing a separate division. 

Keypoints

  • Ladakh’s Kargil and Leh districts already have separate hill development councils for local administrative powers.
  • The Governor’s decision has fuelled demands for similar status to Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions.

Source: The Hindu.

US-led Cutlass Express exercise focuses on seagoing crime off Africa

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Image result for Exercise Cutlass Express

Why in News?

A U.S.-led exercise is helping East African and Indian Ocean nations combat maritime crime, while building a stronger coalition amid competition for influence in the region. 

Background

Cutlass Express brought together 15 countries to improve cooperation in policing waters plagued by drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal fishing and other crimes that fund violent extremists and cause suffering in the region.

About the exercise

  • As part of the exercise hosted by U.S. Africa Command and Naval Forces Europe and Africa, navies worked together to spot, raid and search participating ships during simulations near Djibouti, Mozambique and Seychelles.
  • The exercise, is one of three regional drills meant to strengthen collaborative policing in seas surrounding Africa, along with Obangame Express in West Africa and Phoenix Express in the Mediterranean.
  • Extremist threats are ongoing in Somalia and across the Gulf of Aden in Yemen, and drug smugglers often transit the region’s waters on their way to Europe with Afghan heroin.
  • Countries participating in Cutlass Express this year alongside the U.S. are Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Portugal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, and the Netherlands.
  • The exercise  has evolved since its inception almost a decade ago as African nations have improved their technology and participants have learned to better communicate and work together.

Source: PIB.

Climate crisis, and the culprits

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

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Why in News?

Degeneration of the atmosphere is mainly because of modern mechanical devices which have become part of our daily living. 

Background

  • As schoolchildren, we started reading alphabets not as mere graphical forms, but as the starting letter of a larger word.
  • Imagine, if we were to start the same again to check what impacts ecology the most, it could be a bad start.
  • A can be for Atmosphere, but soon we may follow it with A for Agriculture, Accommodation and Administration, all of which in the ancient times effected ecology where human actions altered the landscape to cultivate; consumed resources to construct; and created systems to govern society with capital and operational expenditures.

Key points

  • In modern times, A can stand for Advanced Lifestyle, but equally well for Automobile, Air travel and Air conditioners.
  • Incidentally, these three are strongly advocated by modernity to become the aspirations of every low and middle income family, who constitute approximately 75 to 80% of the Indian population.
  • These three are also among the major human actions adversely affecting nature and leading to climate crisis. 
  • For common people they may not appear to do so directly, but are the indirect causes due to their production, operation, energy consumption and finally waste generation upon discarding. 
  • Even the climate subject experts do not go to the depths of varied components of lifestyle, their attributes and implications on atmosphere, but gloss over them broadly saying human actions are causing the climate crisis. 
  • Then of course, there are many people who do not fully agree with this position too.
  • Take automobiles, for example. Though the first car was patented in 1886, the next 20 years would not have seen more than 200 cars on the road. There was an increased production, but between the World Wars more car companies were closed than founded. The handful few from Europe, U.S. and Japan survived into the 1940s when the real mass production of cars flourished.
  • As such, it is less than 75 years now that people are driving cars and less than 50 years with worldwide spread. 
  • Most poor regions have very few cars, while more than 90% of Indians still own no vehicle at all. 
  • Yet, the havoc the automobile industry has caused to millions of years of fragile nature is frightening. 
  • Hundreds of pages of data pours in today, yet none of which has reduced either car production or car sales.

Measuring the damage

  • In the U.S. alone, 75% of carbon monoxide and 25% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by cars, besides many other toxic gases including ground-level ozone. 
  • Nearly three-fourth of all of U.S. gas consumption goes for cars. 
  • The resources consumed and waste generated in their production, sales, operation and finally scrapping or dumping are virtually immeasurable.

Source: The Hindu.

Map of the Day

Ladakh

Image result for ladakh map

Quote of the Day

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” - Mark Caine.

Mains Answer Writing

  1. Critically analyse the significance of river information system (RIS).
  2. Discuss the issues associated with widening dispute over its trade and investment policies between India and US.
  3. Explain the importance of granting a divisional status to Ladakh.

Test your Knowledge

1. Consider the following statements 

1.Under POSHAN Abhiyaan, all districts of 36 States/UTs have been covered.
2.Government has fixed targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively under this initiative.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 and 2

2. Consider the following statements 

1.India has been the only high burden country to show a significant decline.
2.Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent and lethal of the malaria parasites infecting humans

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 and 2

3. Consider the following statements

1.Gir forest in the western state of Gujarat is the only home to Asiatic lions.
2.Asiatic Lion is listed in Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and to be accorded the highest degree of protection.
3.On the IUCN Red List it is listed as critically endangered

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 and 2 only

[B] 2 and 3 only

[C] 1 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3 only

4. The purpose of cVIGIL App is

[A] To helps citizens to locate the nearest police station based on their location 

[B] Allow users to learn about government initiatives about startups and also learn about incubators 

[C] To provide evidence based proof of Model Code of Conduct 

[D] App links to various services of the Income Tax department such as paying taxes online, applying for PAN online

5. Giri River is a tributary of

[A] Chenab 

[B] Beas 

[C] Satluej

[D] Indus

Answers

1.C 2.C 3.C 4.C 5.B