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, 7th July 2020

CENTRE SEEKS PARAMILITARY’S VIEW ON HIRING TRANSGENDERS


Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

  • The Home Ministry has asked all paramilitary forces to submit their opinion on the inclusion of the transgender category in an upcoming recruitment exam.

  • There is long confusion related to the matter, but we have sought comments from CAPF.

About the Background

  • As per a letter, the Home Ministry has sought views on incorporating transgender as the third gender, along with males and females in Rules of CAPF (Assistant Commandant) examination 2020.

  • Central Armed Police Forces - Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force and Sashastra Seema Bal - are making a careful examination of the issue.

About the Highlights

  • The Gazetted Officers (GO) join these forces at the rank of Assistant Commandant and the entrance examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

  • According to the data placed by home ministry in the Parliament earlier this year, paramilitary forces are facing a shortage of 2,695 Gazetted Officers.

  • The combined shortage of subordinate officers and other ranks is said to be close to 1 lakh. 

  • The total sanctioned strength of these six forces is more than 10 lakh out of which only about 3 per cent are women.

  • The move aimed to diversify the forces comes four months after the Supreme Court finally ordered setting up a permanent commission for women officers.

  • As per a study conducted by the National Human Rights Commission, about 92 per cent of transgenders are deprived of the right to participate in any form of economic activity in the country.

  • The community consist of 4,90,000 people as per 2011 census.

 

Source: NDTV.

 

PRASAR BHARATI SETS UP RECRUITMENT BOARD


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context

  • Three decades after its was set up, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati finally managed to form its own recruitment board that would address hiring needs.

  • According to an official order, Jagdish Upasane, who is director of Bharat Prakashan , would be the first chairperson of the six member Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board (PBRB).

About the Background

  • Despite being an autonomous body, India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati did not have a recruitment board -- a key step towards addressing the staffing needs of Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), according to people familiar with the matter.

  • A significant step towards strengthening the autonomy of Prasar Bharati which was pending for 23 years. 

  • PB can now recruit officials of a certain category on full-time basis.

About Prasar Bharati

  • Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990, laid down the establishment of one or more recruitment boards, but it did not materialise because over the years the Union government and the public broadcaster were not on the same page over the modalities of setting up such a board.

  • Prasar Bharati is supposed to be an autonomous body, yet it does not have a mechanism to hire its employees. 

  • Consequently, government officers belonging to other services generally come to work in Prasar Bharati on deputation. 

  • Over decades, the Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board could never be set up because the I&B ministry and the public broadcaster often had differences over its structure, or may be this reason or that.


Source: Indian Express.

 

AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT APP INNOVATION CHALLENGE


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Context

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ''Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge'' to facilitate the techies and start-up community to create world-class Made in India Apps. 

  • The challenge is an endeavour of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Atal Innovation Mission. 

  • Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister said that there is immense enthusiasm among the tech and start-up community to create world class Made in India Apps.

About the Objective

In his LinkedIn post, PM Modi wrote, "Nowadays, we are seeing huge interest and enthusiasm among the start-up and tech ecosystem to innovate, develop and promote homegrown apps. Today, when the entire nation is working towards creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, it is a good opportunity to give direction to their efforts, momentum to their hard-work and mentorship to their talent to evolve Apps which can satisfy our market as well as compete with the world."

About the Challenge

  • He wrote that this challenge would run in two tracks - promotion of existing apps and development of new apps.

  • "Track-01 will work in mission mode for identifying good quality Apps for the leader-board and shall be completed in around a month. Track-02 initiative will work to help create new champions in India by providing support in ideation, incubation, prototyping and roll out along with market access," he wrote in the post.’

  • The outcome of this challenge will be to give better visibility and clarity to existing Apps to achieve their goals, and to create tech products to find solutions to tech conundrums with the help of mentorship, tech support and guidance during the entire life-cycle, he wrote.

  • Prime Minister Modi in his post said that there is tremendous scope among these sectors for new apps that solve specific issues for India and the world.

  • "Can we think of making traditional Indian games more popular via Apps? Can we develop Apps with targeted and smart access to the right age group for learning, gaming, etc? Can we develop gaming apps for people in rehabilitation or getting counselling to help them in their journey? There are many such questions and technology alone can give answers in a creative manner," said PM Modi.


Source: NDTV.


UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) ACT


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

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Context

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed chargesheet against Davinder Singh, former Deputy Superintendent of J&K Police and his five associates under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in Jammu's NIA court.

About the Background

  • Davinder Singh is currently lodged in Kathua's Heeranagar Jail.

  • He was arrested along with Hizbul Mujhadeen terrorist Naved Mushtaq alias Naved Babu and Rafi Ahmad Rather from a checkpoint on the National Highway near Wanpoh area of Kulgam district of South Kashmir.

  • The three others include Irfan Shafi Mir, Tanveer Ahmad Wani and Syed Ifran Ahmed. Tanveer Ahamd Wani was chargesheeted for funding Hizbul terrorist Naved Mushtaq alias Naved Babu.

About the Highlights

  • The NIA's investigation has revealed that the accused were part of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based terrorist organization Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Pakistani state agencies to commit violent acts and to wage war against India.

  • The investigation has also revealed that the accused were obtaining weapons and ammunition from across the border with the help of arms smugglers and accused Devender Singh.

  • These weapons were later used for terrorist activities.

 

Source: AIR News.


GLOBBA ANDERSONII


Focus: GS3.

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

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Context

  • Recently, a team of researchers from Pune and Kerala have “rediscovered” a rare and critically endangered plant species called Globba andersonii.

  • The plant commonly known as Dancing Ladies or Swan flower and classified as “critically endangered” and “narrowly endemic” was thought to have been extinct until its “re-collection”, for the first time since 1875.

About the plant

  • Globba andersonii is characterised by white flowers, non-appendaged anthers (the part of a stamen that contains the pollen) and a “yellowish lip”. 

  • The species is restricted mainly to the Teesta River Valley region which includes the Sikkim Himalayas and Darjeeling hill ranges.

  • The plant usually grows in a dense colony as a lithophyte (plant growing on bare rock or stone) on rocky slopes in the outskirts of evergreen forests.

  • It is especially prevalent near small waterfalls along the roadside leading to these hill forests, which are 400-800 m. above sea level.

  • Micro-propagation, tissue culture of this taxon and multiplication of this species and its re-introduction in the natural habitat could be the key for it to survive and thrive in the future.

 

Source: The Hindu.


ENRICA LEXIE CASE


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

The government of India has filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court on July 3 seeking disposal of all criminal proceedings against the two Italian marines in the eight-year-old Enrica Lexie case in which a fishing boat was fired at off the shores of Kerala on February 2012, resulting in the death of two Indian fishermen.

About the Background

  • The government said that it had “decided to accept and abide” by the order passed by the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which held on July 2 that “India is precluded from exercising its jurisdiction over the marines and entitled to claim compensation from Italy”.

  • In September 2015, the Supreme Court had ordered a stay on all proceedings in Indian courts during the pendency of the case filed by Italy before the international tribunal.

About the case

  • On February 15, 2012, Italian marines on board the commercial oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie shot and killed two of the 11 crew members of the Indian fishing vessel. 

  • The vessel was seized by the Coast Guard after it was redirected to the Kochi port. 

  • The two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were on guard duty at the time of the incident, were arrested on February 19 on the charge of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Valentine Jalastine (45) from Kollam and Ajesh Binki (25) from Kanyakumari, the fishermen who died, became the first known victims of irresponsible action by security units deployed in merchant vessels to tackle piracy in the high seas.

  • The case also put the focus on the implications of military personnel being dispatched for such work instead of private security guards and the command structure they would work under on the high seas that excluded the master of the ship.

  • Other issues also came to fore such as armed personnel from merchant vessels getting in and out of ports of call; the possibility of infiltration of terrorists or other unlawful elements in such security units; the possibility of injury to or death of innocent fishermen and seafarers and resulting issues of liability; and the implications of such ships passing through the territorial waters of coastal states.


Source: The Hindu.


PRIVATE RAILWAYS


Focus: GS3.

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

Private trains have 20 companies interested in running them - The ...

Context

  • Indian Railways said it has invited proposals from private companies to run 151 modern passenger trains. 

  • The railways will shortlist bidders to run train operations on 109 pairs of routes across the country. 

  • The project would entail private sector investment of about 30,000 crore, the Indian Railways said in a statement. 

  • This will be the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over Indian Railways network, the railway ministry said.

About the objective

"The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector," the railways said.

About the Highlights

  • Indian Railways has prepared a list of around 100 routes for the introduction of 150 private trains across India. The 100 routes have been split into 10-12 clusters.

  • Mumbai-New Delhi, Chennai to New Delhi, New Delhi to Howrah, Shalimar to Pune, New Delhi to Patna are some of the routes where the private trains will operate. Once the dedicated freight corridors will be completed in 2021, additional paths will be available for operation of passenger trains on some routes.

  • Each new train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches. The maximum number of coaches shall not exceed the longest passenger train operating on the respective route. Passengers trains are allowed to run on a maximum speed of 160 kmph.

  • Niti Aayog draft said the time taken by a private train to complete a path shall be comparable to the fastest train of Indian Railways operating on that path with a variation of plus or minus 10%.

  • Private trains running on a particular route will have a head start of 15 minutes on other trains running on the same route. "No similar scheduled regular train will depart in the same origin destination route within 15 minutes of the scheduled operation of the concessionaires (private players) train," the document said.

  • Private entities are encouraged to use the latest technologies and top quality features in the trains. From passenger safety to modern GPS enabled announcement system, Indian Railways has made a list of the new technologies that private trains may include in them.

 

Source: LiveMint.

 

INDIA’S EXTERNAL DEBT

 

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

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Context

  • India's external debt stood at USD 558.5 billion in March, an increase of USD 15.4 billion compared to the year-ago period, according to RBI data.

  • Commercial borrowings remained the largest component of the external debt, with a share of 39.4 percent, followed by non-resident deposits at 23.4 percent and short-term trade credit at 18.2 percent.

About the Background

  • The data released showed that valuation gains due to the appreciation of the US dollar against the Indian rupee and other major currencies were at USD 16.6 billion.

  • "Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been USD 32 billion instead of USD 15.4 billion at end-March 2020 over end-March 2019," the RBI said.

About the Highlights

  • At the end of March, long-term debt, with original maturity of above one year, was placed at USD 451.7 billion, a rise of USD 17 billion over the level recorded in March 2019.

  • Short-term debt on residual maturity basis constituted 42.4 per cent of total external debt and 49.5 per cent of foreign exchange reserve at the end of March.

  • "US dollar denominated debt continued to be the largest component of India's external debt, with a share of 53.7 per cent at end-March 2020, followed by the Indian rupee (31.9 per cent), yen (5.6 per cent), SDR (4.5 per cent) and the euro (3.5 per cent)” the RBI said.

  • The borrower-wise classification showed that the outstanding debt of general government decreased while that of non-government sector increased at March end.

  • The share of outstanding debt of non-financial corporations in total external debt was the highest at 42 per cent, followed by deposit-taking corporations at 28.3 per cent, general government at 18.1 per cent and other financial corporations at 7.5 per cent.

  • In terms of instrument-wise classification, loans were the largest component of external debt, with a share of 34.8 per cent, followed by currency and deposits at 24 per cent, trade credit and advances at 18.7 per cent and debt securities at 17.4 percent.

  • The RBI also said debt service (principal repayments plus interest payments) increased marginally to 6.5 per cent of current receipts at the end of March compared to 6.4 per cent in the same period a year ago. 

  • This reflects higher interest payments on commercial borrowings and lower current receipts, it added.

Source: The Hindu.


2017 INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON PROGRAM


Focus: GS3.

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

Purchasing Power Parities and the Size of World Economies ...

Context

The World Bank has released new Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for reference year 2017, under International Comparison Program (ICP), that adjust for differences in the cost of living across economies of the World. Globally 176 economies participated in 2017 cycle of ICP.

About the program

  • The International Comparison Program (ICP) is the largest worldwide data-collection initiative, under the guidance of UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), with the goal of producing PPPs which are vital for converting measures of economic activities to be comparable across economies.

  • Along with the PPPs, the ICP also produces Price Level Indices (PLI) and other regionally comparable aggregates of GDP expenditure.

  • India has participated in almost all ICP rounds since its inception in 1970. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is the National Implementing Agency (NIA) for India, which has the responsibility of planning, coordinating and implementing national ICP activities.

Highlights

  • The Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) of Indian Rupee per US$ at Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level is now 20.65 in 2017 from 15.55 in 2011.

  • The Exchange Rate of US Dollar to Indian Rupee is now 65.12 from 46.67 during the same period.

  • The Price Level Index (PLI) – the ratio of a PPP to its corresponding market exchange rate, which is used to compare the price levels of economies – improved to 47.55 in 2017 from 42.99 in 2011.

  • In 2017, India retained its global position as the third largest economy, accounted for 6.7 % ($8,051 billion out of World total of $119,547 billion) of global GDP in terms of PPPs as against China (16.4 %) and United States (16.3 %), respectively.

  • India is also third largest economy in terms of its PPP-based share in global Actual Individual Consumption and Global Gross Capital Formation.

 

Source: Times of India


Map of the Day–Bahrain

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Quote for the Day


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” – Steve Jobs 

Mains Answer Writing


  1. Discuss the contributing factors for such a high IMR despite the range of efforts taken by the government in this direction. (250 Words).

  2. Discuss the general impact of COVID-19 on the education system of the country. (250 Words).

  3. Explain the Situation of rural Women workers before COVID-19 briefly. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge



  1. The proposed Chambal Expressway project, once completed, will be passing through which of the following states:

    1. Madhya Pradesh

    2. Gujarat

    3. Uttar Pradesh

    4. Rajasthan

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1, 3 and 4 only

      2. 2, 3 and 4 only

      3. 3 and 4 only

      4. 1 and 2

 

  1. Consider the following statements:

    1. Children with Covid-19 are mostly asymptomatic.

    2. Strawberry tongue is a symptom of Blueberry disease.

    3. Kawasaki disease symptoms are red eyes, rashes, and a swollen tongue with reddened lips.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 only

      2. 1 and 2 only

      3. 1 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Consider the following statements with reference to  National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA):

    1. It is a statutory body.

    2. It is an independent body functioning under the Ministry of Health and Family welfare.

    3. It fixes ceiling price of essential medicines that are listed in Schedule I of Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO), 2013.

Select the incorrect answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Which of the following is the longest train ever to run on Indian Railways?

      1. Vivek Express

      2. Trivandrum Rajdhani

      3. Aronai Superfast Express

      4. SheshNaag

  2. Which of the following has started the broadcast of its first ever news magazine programme named “Sanskrit Saptahiki” in Sanskrit?

      1. All India Radio

      2. Doordarshan

      3. India Today

      4. Sony TV


Answers

  1. A 2.C 3.A4.D 5.A


 
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