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, 19th November 2020

CRISIS OF PERU


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.

Photodollar • Peruvians Take to the Streets to Protest Ouster of President  | [Nov 14, 2020] - Thousands of Peruvians took part in nationwide marches  Thursday night ...

Context

  • Peru’s fifth president in five years, Manuel Merino, was forced out of power, just five days after taking office, as massive protests swept the South American country– which remains without a leader as of Monday. 

  • The turmoil began on November 9, when centrist Martin Vizcarra, Merino’s popular predecessor in office, was impeached by the Peruvian legislature on grounds of “permanent moral incapacity” over unproven charges of corruption.

 

Background

 

  • The countrywide demonstrations that have rocked the nation since have been compared with the unrest that marked the turbulent era of authoritarian President Alberto Fujimori from 1990 to 2000. 

  • Violent clashes have so far led to two deaths, scores of injured and over 40 missing, and the government’s hardfisted response has drawn criticism from several quarters, including a scathing rebuke by Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

 

Highlights

 

  • The 57-year-old engineer, Martin Vizcarra, a centrist figure who is not affiliated with any political party, became the “first” vice-president of the Andean country (there are two) in July 2016, and became president in March 2018 after then-incumbent Pedro Kuczynski resigned over corruption charges.

  • Vizcarra promised an anti-graft agenda, initiating reforms to tackle corruption in the legislative and judicial branches of government, and vowed not to entertain another bid for the presidency when his term ended in 2021. 

  • Through his tenure, Vizcarra was able to garner support nationally.

  • Ever since he assumed office, however, Vizcarra had a fraught relationship with Congress, Peru’s 130-member unicameral legislative body, and had it dissolved in 2019, triggering a constitutional crisis. 

  • To his dismay, snap elections in January this year again saw parties opposed to his rule return to a dominating position.

  • Since the election, the Peruvian Congress has sought to remove Vizcarra from office twice. 

  • In September this year, after the release of audio recordings allegedly implicating Vizcarra in an influence-peddling scam, Congress launched its first impeachment bid. 

  • Vizcarra denied the charges, and the bid failed due to lack of support.

 

Source: Indian Express.

INDIA-KAZAKHSTAN TIES

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

India and Kazakhstan held the seventh round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) via digital video-conference and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation within the framework of their Strategic Partnership, the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry (MEA) said.

Background

"During the consultations, the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation within the framework of their Strategic Partnership. The consultations covered political, economic and commercial, energy, defence, space, consular and cultural matters. They also shared views and experiences on combating the COVID-19 pandemic," MEA said.

Highlights

  • The statement said that the two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and agreed to enhance cooperation in the multilateral arena, including during the forthcoming stint of India in the UN Security Council for the period 2021-22.

  • As announced by the External Affairs Minister during the recent India-Central Asia Dialogue, an MoU on "Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects in Kazakhstan" was signed between both sides coinciding with the FoC.

  • During the talks, both sides agreed to hold the next consultations in a physical format at a mutually convenient date.

Source: Business World.

ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF INDIA OPTING OUT OF RCEP

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

Even as India opted to stay out after walking out of discussions last year, the new trading bloc has made it clear that the door will remain open for India to return to the negotiating table.

 

Background

 

  • India decided to exit RCEP negotiations over “significant outstanding issues”.

  • Its decision was to safeguard the interests of industries like agriculture and dairy and to give an advantage to the country’s services sector.

  • The current structure of RCEP still does not address these issues and concerns.

 

Highlights

 

  • There are concerns that India’s decision would impact its bilateral trade ties with RCEP member nations, as they may be more inclined to focus on bolstering economic ties within the bloc.

  • The move could potentially leave India with less scope to tap the large market that RCEP presents —the size of the deal is mammoth, as the countries involved account for over 2 billion of the world’s population.

  • Given attempts by countries like Japan to get India back into the deal, there are also worries that India’s decision could impact the Australia-India-Japan network in the Indo-Pacific.

  • India, as an original negotiating participant of RCEP, has the option of joining the agreement without having to wait 18 months as stipulated for new members in the terms of the pact.

  • RCEP signatory states said they plan to commence negotiations with India once it submits a request of its intention to join and it may participate in meetings as an observer prior to its accession.

 

Source: Indian Express.

NEW ADDITION TO RAMSAR SITES

Focus: GS3.

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

Lonar crater, Sur Sarovar declared as Ramsar sites | Nagpur News - Times of  India

Context

  • India has added two more Ramsar sites.

  • They are Lonar lake in Maharashtra which is the only crater lake of the country while the other is Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake in Agra of Uttar Pradesh.

 

Background

 

  • Wetlands are the world's natural water filters and one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet.

  • The Ramsar Convention signed on 2nd February, 1971, is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by member countries to preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance.

 

Highlights

 

  • The aim of the Ramsar list is to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits.

  • Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines of the convention.


Source: AIR News.


PINCER CATALYTIC SYSTEMS

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

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have formulated efficient “pincer” catalytic systems that transform industrial or biomass wastes into valuable chemicals.

 

Background

 

  • According to the team, tiny amounts of these “pincer catalysts” repeatedly convert large amounts of industrial waste such as glycerol into lactic acid and hydrogen. 

  • Such catalysts also efficiently convert bioethanol, a low-energy density fuel, into high-energy density butanol.

 

Highlights

 

  • Pincer catalysts are complex molecules in which, an organic moiety holds on tightly to a metal core, much like the claws of a crab. 

  • Such an arrangement not only confers stability to the catalyst, but also selectivity to bring about the intended transformations.

  • The most efficient pincer catalyst was found to be one that had least crowding around the metal centre. 

  • Such an arrangement enabled easy removal of hydrogen from the starting materials, glycerol and ethanol, and their selective conversion into lactic acid and butanol, respectively.

  • The findings of the time have also been featured in the Royal Society of Chemistry journals--Chemical Communications and Catalysis Science and Technology. 


Source: Hindustan Times.

FDI IN DIGITAL MEDIA

Focus: GS3.

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

I&B Ministry asks digital news media to comply with FDI policy - The  Economic Times

Context

  • The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has requested compliance of policy on FDI in digital media within a month.

  • The Ministry issued a public notice to facilitate eligible entities involved in uploading and streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, to comply with the decision of the Government, which had permitted 26 percent FDI under the Government approval route.

Background

  • The entities having foreign investment below 26 percent may furnish intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month.

  • They have to provide details of the company, entity and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its Directors and shareholders. 

Highlights

  • The names and addresses of Promoters and Significant Beneficial Owners. 

  • Permanent Account Number and the latest audited or unaudited Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet along with the Auditor report.

  • The Ministry said, entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26 per cent will give similar details to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month.

  • It said, any entity which intends to bring fresh foreign investment in the country has to seek prior approval of the Central Government,  through the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal of DPIIT.

  • The Ministry said, every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of Board of Directors and of the Chief Executive Officers.

  • The entities are required to obtain security clearance for all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or any other capacity for functioning of the entity, prior to their deployment.


Source: AIR News.

DIPAM INKS AGREEMENT WITH WORLD BANK


Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, DIPAM signed an agreement with the World Bank.

  • Under the agreement, the World Bank is to provide advisory services to DIPAM for asset monetization.

About DIPAM

 

  • DIPAM is mandated with facilitating monetization of non-core assets of government CPSEs under strategic disinvestment or closure and enemy property of value of Rs. 100 crore and above.

  • DIPAM has a framework for monetizing non-core assets.

  • The World Bank advisory project, approved by the Finance Minister, is aimed at analyzing public asset monetization in India and benchmarking its institutional and business models against international best practices as well as supporting development of operational guidelines and capacity building for their implementation.


Source: AIR News.

 

INTERNATIONAL CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR THE SEMI-ARID TROPICS (ICRISAT)

 

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.


Context

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics(ICRISAT), Hyderabad, Telangana for the deployment of drones for agricultural research activities.

About ICRISAT

  • ICRISAT is an international organization which conducts agricultural research for rural development.

  • It is headquartered in Patancheru (Hyderabad, Telangana) with several regional centers (Bamako (Mali), Nairobi (Kenya)) and research stations (Niamey (Niger), Kano (Nigeria), Lilongwe (Malawi), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)).

  • It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP.

  • Since its inception, host country India has granted a special status to ICRISAT as a UN Organization operating in the Indian territory making it eligible for special immunities and tax privileges.

  • ICRISAT is managed by a full-time Director General functioning under the overall guidance of an international Governing Board.


Source: AIR News.


HURRICANE IOTA


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua in Central America on Monday night  and has developed into a category five storm.

Context

Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua in Central America on Monday night and has developed into a category five storm.

Background

  • Iota was spotted as a tropical depression last week in the Central Caribbean Sea by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

  • The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June to November and covers the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, while the Eastern Pacific Hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.

Highlights

  • Tropical cyclones or hurricanes use warm, moist air as fuel, and therefore form over warm ocean waters near the equator.

  • The tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes and the ones that form in the Northwest Pacific are called typhoons. 

  • Tropical storms that form in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea are called cyclones.

  • Hurricanes are categorised on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed.

  • Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are called ‘major hurricanes’ because of their potential to cause devastating damage to life and property. Iota is a category five storm.

 

Source: Indian Express.

 

Map of the Day–Peru

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Quote for the Day

“Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.” — Will Smith 

Mains Answer Writing


  1. Analyse in detail the India’s position in RCEP and the rationale behind it. (250 Words).

  2. Explain the menace of fake news in the country and discuss the need to have a mechanism to address the misinformation being caused due to fake news in the country. (250 Words).

  3. Analyse the issues and concerns associated with having multiple state capitals for an Indian State. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge


  1. Which of the following countries forms part of The Pacific Pumas?

    1. Peru

    2. Cuba

    3. USA

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. With reference to the Ramsar Convention, consider the following statements:

    1. It is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by member countries to preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance.

    2. The Asan Conservation Reserve in Dehradun, the second wetland from Uttarakhand to be recognised by Ramsar convention.

    3. The aim of the Ramsar list is to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits.

Select the correct 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. With reference to the “pincer” catalytic systems, consider the following statements:

    1. Tiny amounts of these “pincer catalysts” repeatedly convert large amounts of industrial waste such as glycerol into lactic acid and Oxygen.

    2. Such catalysts also efficiently convert bioethanol, a low-energy density fuel, into high-energy density butanol.

    3. The conversion of valuable intermediates such as glycerol and ethanol, produced during the processing of biomass, into industrially useful chemicals has elicited much interest worldwide.

Select the correct 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. The Prime Minister unveiled ‘Statue of Peace’ to mark the 151st Birth Anniversary celebrations of:


      1. Jainacharya Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj

      2. Indrabhuti Gautama

      3. Bhadrabahu

      4. Sudharma Swami

 

  1. Recently an MoU on “Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects” was signed with which of the following countries?

 

      1. Sri lanka

      2. Vietnam

      3. Kazakhstan

      4. Qatar


Answers

  1. A2.B3.C4.A5.C