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, 17th June 2019

India set to join heavyweight torpedo club

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Why in News?

  • The Indian Navy has decided to induct the indigenously developed heavyweight torpedo “Varunastra” into its arsenal. 
  • This will put India in a group of only eight countries that have the capability to manufacture heavyweight torpedoes.

About Torpedo

Torpedo is self-propelled underwater missile, launched from a submarine, surface vessel, or airplane and designed for exploding upon contact with the target. 

About “Varunastra”

  • Varunastra has been developed by the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NTSL), Visakhapatnam. 
  • NTSL is a premiere laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Varunastra can be launched from ships and submarines. 
  • It can also be launched from ashore. 
  • It is equipped with one of the most advanced automatic and remote-controlled guidance systems. 
  • The weapon system uses its own intelligence in tracing the target.
  • It is seven to eight metres long, weighs 1,500 kg and has a diameter of 533 mm. 
  • When fired it can travel at 40 knots, or 74 kmph. 
  • The operational range is 40 km and it can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg.

Source: The Hindu.

In Arunachal, the golden cat wears new colours

Focus: GS3.

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

Image result for In Arunachal, the golden cat wears new colours

Context

  • Scientists have discovered six different ‘colour morphs’ (cinnamon, golden, grey, melanistic, ocelot and tightly rosette) of the Asiatic golden cat in Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • This may be the world’s greatest number of different-colored wild cat species ever reported in one area. 

About the study

  • The study was carried out by scientists from Zoological Society of London, and University College London. 
  • It has been published in Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecology. 

Highlights

  • Colour morphs are occurrence of two or more discrete colour forms of the animal within a population, due to a genetic mutation.
  • For example- Black Panther is a colour morph of the common leopard.
  • The colour morphs are not classified as different sub-species as they may live in the same area and even inter-breed.
  • Asiatic Golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat. 
  • It is found in Nepal, Bhutan, north-east India, Myanmar, China, and South East Asia (Thailand, Sumatra and Indonesia). 
  • It is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Source: The Hindu.

Centre reduces contribution rate for ESI

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Image result for Centre reduces contribution rate for ESI

Context

  • The government of India has announced reduction in the rate of contribution under the Employees’ State Insurance (Act) from 6.5% to 4%.
  • The employers’ contribution has been reduced from 4.75% to 3.25% and employees’ contribution has been reduced from 1.75% to 0.75%.

Background

  • The move is aimed at formalising India’s informal workforce and expanding social security coverage. 
  • Further, reduction in the share of contribution of employers will reduce the financial liability of the establishments leading to improved viability of these establishments.
  • It is also expected that reduction in rate of ESI contribution will lead to improved compliance of law.

About ESI

  • The Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948 (the ESI Act) provides for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to the Insured Persons under the Act. 
  • The ESI Act is administered by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • Benefits provided under the ESI Act are funded by the contributions made by the employers and the employees. 
  • The Government of India through Ministry of Labour and Employment decides the rate of contribution under the ESI Act.
  • The ESI Act, 1948, applies to organisations with 10 or more employees, drawing a salary of up to Rs. 21,000/ month (Rs 25000/ month in case of persons with disabilities). 
  • The threshold for coverage of establishments is 20 employees in Maharashtra and Chandigarh.

Source: The Hindu.

Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.

Context

  • The Punjab State Health Minister has said that the state government will launch its flagship universal health insurance scheme ‘Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana’ from July.
  • It is a first of its kind in the state. 

Background

  • The scheme will provide an annual health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family. 
  • Around 43.18 lakh families in Punjab will be covered under the scheme. 

Highlights

  • Out of 43.18 lakh families, there are 14.86 lakh Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) families. 
  • The cost of the premium for families covered under PMJAY would be borne by the Union Government and the State Government in 60:40 ratio.  
  • For the rest of beneficiaries all the cost would be borne by the State Government
  • Beneficiaries could avail the cashless secondary care and tertiary treatment in empanelled public and private hospitals of Punjab and Chandigarh.
  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is a centrally sponsored scheme which seeks to provide coverage of up to ₹5 lakh (per family per year) for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

Source: The Hindu.

India to have its own space station: ISRO

Focus: GS3.

Topic: indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Image result for India to have its own space station: ISRO

Context

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has said that India is planning to have its own space station. 
  • The modalities for it will be worked out after Gaganyaan Mission- India’s first Human Space Flight Programme which is scheduled to be launched by 2022. 

Background

  • A space station is a habitable artificial satellite. 
  • It is capable of hosting crew members for an extended period of time, and provides facilities for experiments and support vehicles to dock. 

Highlights

  • ISRO has said that India’s space station would be small with weight of the space station likely to be 20 tonnes. 
  • It will have a provision for people to live for 15-20 days. 
  • It will be used for studies including microgravity tests.
  • ISRO has been working on ‘space docking experiment’ (Spadex).
  • It seeks to demonstrate autonomous docking. It involves transfer of material between the 2 satellites, in order to demonstrate the potential for refuelling capability between spacecraft. 
  • The Department of Space had allocated 10 crore for Spadex.
  • Currently, there is only one fully functional space station in the Earth’s lower orbit, the International Space Station. 
  • The ISS is a partnership between European Union (European Space Agency), the United States (NASA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and Russia (Roscosmos).
  • Further, China has also announced that its Tiangong or “Heavenly Palace”, a space station, will go into orbit in 2022.

Source: The Hindu.

Trade deficit widens to $15.36 bn in May

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Image result for Trade deficit widens to $15.36 bn in May

Context

  • According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce, India’s trade deficit has widened to a six-month high of $15.4 billion in May,2019.
  • The trade deficit has widened due to import growth outpacing export growth following a 37% jump in gold imports. 

Background

The rising crude oil prices due to sanctions on Iranian oil imports could further increase imports and put pressure on India’s current account deficit. 

Highlights

  • Further, India’s exports also grew by 3.93% following a growth in many key sectors such as engineering goods, iron ore and leather products.
  • However, escalating trade war between the US and China and rising protectionism have cast a shadow on India’s prospects for higher exports.
  • A trade deficit is an economic measure of international trade in which a country’s imports exceed its exports. 
  • A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets.

Source: The Hindu.

Map of the Day – Strait of Hormuz

Image result for strait of hormuz

Data check

Piracy attacks

Image result for pirates statistics Indian ocean

Quote for the Day

“I do not like carving the world into segments; we are one world” – Indira Gandhi

Mains Answer Writing

1.Explain how heavyweight torpedo “Varunastra” can be a strength to Indian arsenal.
2.The government of India has announced reduction in the rate of contribution under the Employees’ State Insurance (Act) from 6.5% to 4%. Critically analyse it’s impacts.
3.Discuss the challenges and impacts of India having an own space station.

 

Test your Knowledge

1. Consider the following statements 

1.Torpedo is self-propelled underwater missile.
2.It can be launched only from submarine.
3.It is designed for exploding upon contact with the target.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above

2. Consider the following statements:

1.Varunastra has been developed by the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NTSL), Visakhapatnam.
2.NTSL is a premiere laboratory of ISRO.
3.Varunastra can be launched from ashore.  

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

3. Consider the following statements:

1.Colour morphs are occurrence of two or more discrete colour forms of the animal within a population, due to a genetic mutation.
2.The colour morphs are not classified as different sub-species as they may live in the same area and even inter-breed.
3.Asiatic Golden cat is listed as ‘Critically endangered’. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

4.The ESI Act is administered by  

a.Ministry of Home Affairs
b.Ministry of Labour and Employment 
c.Ministry of Finance
d.Ministry of Commerce 

5.Heavenly Palace is a space station by

a.Russia 
b.Japan
c.Canada 
d.China


Answers

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