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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 26 September 2019


Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 26 September 2019


Table of contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

  1. Paika Rebellion.

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. How a US President can be impeached?
  2. Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month).
  3. ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ campaign.
  4. Nuclear Suppliers Group.

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Quantum Supremacy.
  2. National Water Mission.

 

Facts for Prelims:

  1. Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
  2. Sardar Patel National Unity Award.
  3. Varaha
  4. ICC’s demerit point system.
  5. World Maritime Day 2019.

GS Paper 1:

 

Topics covered:

  1. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

Paika Rebellion

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Paika Rebellion- what when and why?

 

Context: President Ram Nath Kovind to lay the foundation of a memorial dedicated to the 1817 Paika Rebellion.

 

Who are Paikas?

Paikas had been recruited since the 16th century by kings in Odisha from a variety of social groups to render martial services in return for rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) and titles. They were the traditional land-owning militia of Odisha and served as warriors.

 

How the rebellion began?

  1. When armies of the East India Company overran most of Odisha in 1803, the Raja of Khurda lost his primacy and the power and prestige of the Paikas went on a decline.
  2. The British were not comfortable with these aggressive, warlike new subjects and set up a commission under Walter Ewer to look into the issue.
  3. The commission recommended that the hereditary rent-free lands granted to the Paikas be taken over by the British administration and this recommendation was zealously adhered to. They revolted against the British.
  4. Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bharamarbar Rai, the highest-ranking military general of King of Khorda Mukund Dev II, led the Paikas to join the uprising.
  5. However, the rebellion had several other underlying causes – like the rise in the price of salt, abolition of the cowrie currency for payment of taxes and an overtly extortionist land revenue policy.
  6. Although initially the Company struggled to respond they managed to put down the rebellion by May 1817. Many of the Paik leaders were hung or deported. Jagabandhu surrendered in 1825.

 

Nationalist movement or a peasant rebellion?

The Paika Rebellion is one among the peasant rebellions that took place in India when the British East India Company was expanding its military enterprise. Because these uprisings violently clashed with European colonialists and missionaries on many occasions, their resistance is sometimes seen as the first expression of resistance against colonial rule — and therefore considered to be “nationalist” in nature.

 

Sources: Indian Express.

 


 

GS Paper 2:

 

Topics Covered:

Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

 

How a US President can be impeached?

 

What to study?

For Prelims: How is US President impeached?

For Mains: Impeachment process in India.

 

Context: US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently announced that the House would launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, over his alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, Trump’s potential rival in the 2020 elections.

 

Background:

No US President has ever been removed as a direct result of impeachment. The House did impeach two Presidents — Andrew Johnson (1968) and Bill Clinton (1998) — but the Senate did not convict them. In between, President Richard Nixon (1974) resigned before he could be removed.

 

What is Impeachment?

Impeachment is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States.

Under the US Constitution:

  1. The House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.
  2. The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

Grounds for impeachment:

  1. The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.
  2. Essentially, it means an abuse of power by a high-level public official. This does not necessarily have to be a violation of an ordinary criminal statute. Historically, in the US, it has encompassed corruption and other abuses, including trying to obstruct judicial proceedings.

The process:

  1. It begins with an investigation by a House committee. If they find that there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, it will refer the matter to the full House.
  2. HOUSE VOTE:When the full House votes, if one or more of the articles of impeachment gets a majority vote, the President is impeached. Next, the proceedings move to the Senate.
  3. SENATE TRIAL & VOTE: The Senate holds a trial, overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors. The President has defence lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury. If at least two-thirds of the Senators present find the President guilty, he is removed and the Vice President takes over as President.

 

What next?

Numbers in the Houses: The House has 235 Democrats, 199 Republicans, and one independent. The Democrats could, therefore, impeach Trump with no Republican support.

The Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who usually vote with the Democrats. Conviction of the President would require 67 votes, which cannot happen unless some Republicans vote against him.

 

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics covered:

  1. Issues related to health and Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre.

 

Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month)

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Poshan Maah and POSHAN Abhiyan – features.

For Mains: Significance of the campaign and government efforts to address malnutrition in the country.

 

Context: The Government is celebrating the month of September, 2019 as the National Nutrition Month under the Poshan Abhiyan.

 

About Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month):

Objective: To take the messages of POSHAN to the grass root level.

The programme is an initiative of WCD Ministry and NITI Aayog is supported by 18 line Ministries/Departments/Government Organizations.

  • It seeks to synergise all efforts by leveraging technology and intends to take nutrition awareness to the level of Jan Andolan or People’s Movement.
  • The programme focuses on 8 themes – Antenatal Care, Optimal Breastfeeding (Early & Exclusive), Complementary Feeding, Anemia, Growth Monitoring, Girls-education, diet, right age of Marriage, Hygiene & Sanitation, Food Fortification.

 

About POSHAN Abhiyan:

POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched on 8th March, 2018.

Objectives: The programme through use of technology, a targeted approach and convergence strives to reduce the level of Stunting, Under-nutrition, Anaemia and Low Birth Weight in Children, as also, focus on Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers, thus holistically addressing malnutrition.

Aims: POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to ensure service delivery and interventions by use of technology, behavioural change through convergence and lays-down specific targets to be achieved across different monitoring parameters over the next few years.

Coverage: To ensure a holistic approach, all 36 States/UTs and 718 districts will be covered in a phased manner by the year 2020.

 

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to health and Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre.

 

‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ campaign

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: TB related facts, concerns for India and what needs to be done to achieve the proposed target?

 

Context: ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign’ has been launched with an aim to eliminate tuberculosis from India.

 

About ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ Campaign:

  • Campaign aims to improve and expand the reach of TB care services across the country, by 2022.
  • Three pillars of the campaign- clinical approach, public health component and active community participation.
  • Supporting aspects of the campaign – patient support, private sector engagement, political and administrative commitment at all levels.
  • The government will ensure that all patients, at private or public hospitals, receive free-of-cost and high-quality TB care.

Background:

United Nations has marked 2030 as a global target to eliminate TB worldwide but the Government of India has made 2025 as its target to eliminate tuberculosis from the country

 

Why is Tuberculosis a major cause of concern?

  • TB is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS.
  • TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • It typically affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other sites.
  • The disease is spread when people who are sick with pulmonary TB expel bacteria into the air, for example by coughing.
  • Broader influences on the TB epidemic include levels of poverty, HIV infection, under nutrition and smoking.
  • Diagnostic tests for TB disease include – Rapid molecular test, Sputum smear microscopy, Culture-based methods
  • Without treatment, the mortality rate from TB is high.

 

SDG:

The consolidated goal on health is SDG 3. One of these targets, (Target 3.3), explicitly mentions TB.

SDG 3 also includes a target (Target 3.8) related to universal health coverage (UHC) in which TB is explicitly mentioned. This includes an indicator on the coverage of essential prevention, treatment and care interventions.

 

India TB report 2019- key findings:

  1. The number of HIV-infected people who go on to develop Tuberculosis (TB) is increasing in India.
  2. TB is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among People Living with HIV (PLHIV). This group is 21 times more likely to develop TB than persons without the virus.
  3. India is the third-highest HIV burden country in the world, with an adult prevalence of 0.22 per cent.
  4. India ranks second in the world as far as TB-related mortality is concerned.
  5. The highest percentage of patients who tested positive for TB and were also infected with HIV came from Nagaland (15.6 per cent), followed by Karnataka (10 per cent).
  6. The co-morbidity of TB don’t come in form of HIV only. Diabetes and tobacco-related ailments too play a role.
  7. Overall, the TB burden in India is highest in Uttar Pradesh.
  8. Percentage of pediatric tuberculosis (TB among the population aged less than 15 years) cases have also slightly gone up.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Topics Covered:

  1. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  2. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Nuclear Suppliers Group

 

What to study?

For Prelims: NSG- key facts.

For Mains: Why India should be given NSG membership, challenges involved and what needs to be done.

 

Context: At the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

 

What is NSG?

  • Brought in 1974– in response to the Indian nuclear test (smiling Buddha).
  • It is a Multilateral export control regime.
  • It is a Group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
  • The NSG first met in November 1975 in London, and is thus popularly referred to as the “London Club”.
  • It is Not a formal organization, and its guidelines are not binding. Decisions, including on membership, are made by consensus.
  • Membership: 48 supplier states.

 

Criteria for membership:

  1. Ability to supply items (including items in transit) covered by the annexes to Parts 1 and 2 of the NSG Guidelines;
  2. Adherence to the Guidelines and action in accordance with them;
  3. Enforcement of a legally based domestic export control system which gives effect to the commitment to act in accordance with the Guidelines;
  4. Full compliance with the obligations of one or more of nuclear non-proliferation agreement.
  5. Support of international efforts towards non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of their delivery vehicle.

 

Why the membership is important for India?

  1. Membership will increase India’s access to state-of-the-art technology from the other members of the Group.
  2. Access to technology and being allowed to produce nuclear equipment will give a boost to the Make in India program. That will, in turn, boost the economic growth of our country.
  3. As per India’s INDC under the Paris Climate agreement, we have committed to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and ensuring that 40% of its energy is sourced from renewable and clean sources. In order to achieve this target, we need to scale up nuclear power production. This can only happen if India gains access to the NSG.
  4. India will get an opportunity to voice it’s concern if in case of change in the provision of the NSG guidelines.

 

Other Benefits associated with NSG membership- Once admitted, an NSG member state gets:

  1. Timely information on nuclear matters.
  2. Contributes by way of information.
  3. Has confirmed credentials.
  4. Can act as an instrument of harmonization and coordination.
  5. Is part of a very transparent process.

 

Sources: the Hindu.

 


 

GS Paper 3:

 

Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Quantum Supremacy

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: What is it? Significance.

 

Context: Google researchers claim to have achieved a major milestone in computer science known as “quantum supremacy.”

 

What is quantum supremacy?

It means only that researchers have been able to use a quantum computer to perform a single calculation that no conventional computer, even the biggest supercomputer, can perform in a reasonable amount of time.

 

The case of Google:

  1. This calculation involved checking whether the output of an algorithm for generating random numbers was truly random.
  2. The researchers were able to use a quantum computer to perform this complex mathematical calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds, according to the paper.
  3. They say it would have taken Summit 3—an IBM-built machine that is the world’s most powerful commercially-available conventional computer—about 10,000 years to perform the same task.

 

How do quantum computers work?

Quantum computers work by harnessing the properties of quantum mechanics.

Quantum computers use logical units called quantum bits, or qubits for short, that can be put into a quantum state where they can simultaneously represent both 0 and 1.

 

Difference between classical and quantum computers?

  1. Classical computers process information in a binary format, called bits, which can represent either a 0 or 1.
  2. While the bits in a classical computer all operate independently from one another, in a quantum computer, the status of one qubit effects the status of all the other qubits in the system, so they can all work together to achieve a solution.

 

How the result I’d obtained?

But while a conventional computer outputs the same answer to a problem every time you run a calculation, the outputs of a quantum computer are probabilistic. That means it does not always produce the same answer. So to use a quantum computer, you have to run a calculation through the system thousands or even millions of times, and the array of outputs converge around the answer that is most likely to be correct.

 

Sources: Indian Express.

 


 

Topics Covered:

  1. Conservation related issues.

 

National Water Mission

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features and targets of the mission, Overview of National Water Policy.

 

Context: National Water Mission Awards-2019 awarded.

  • The awards are given to incentivise an organisation/company through awards recognising excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices.
  • The awards are given in 10 categories defined under five goals of the NWM.

 

About National Water Mission:

It is one of the eight missions launched under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) for combating the threats of global warming.

Under the mission, the National Water Policy would be revisited in consultation with States to ensure basin level management strategies to deal with variability in rainfall and river flows due to climate change.

 

Goals of the National Water Mission:

  1. Comprehensive water data base in public domain and assessment of the impact of climate change on water resource.
  2. Promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation.
  3. Focused attention to vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas.
  4. Increasing water use efficiency by 20%.
  5. Promotion of basin level integrated water resources management.

 

Objective of the National Water Mission:

  1. To conserve water.
  2. To minimise the wastage of the water.
  3. To ensure equitable distribution across the country and within States through integrated water resources management.

 

Need of the hour:

  1. Using Reverse Osmosis for sea water and brackish water desalinization.
  2. Recycle of water and reuse wherever possible.
  3. Technologies for water purification.
  4. Enhancing storage capacities in multipurpose hydro projects, and integration of drainage with irrigation infrastructures.
  5. Mandating water harvesting.

 

Major provisions under the National Water policy are:

  1. Envisages to establish a standardized national information system with a network of data banks and data bases.
  2. Guidelines for the safety of storage dams and other water-related structures.
  3. Regulate exploitation of groundwater.
  4. Setting water allocation priorities in the following order: Drinking water, Irrigation, Hydropower, Navigation, Industrial and other uses.
  5. The water rates for surface water and ground water should be rationalized with due regard to the interests of small and marginal farmers.
  6. The policy also deals with participation of farmers and voluntary agencies, water quality, water zoning, conservation of water, flood and drought management, erosion etc.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Facts for prelims:

 

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM):

  • EAC-PM is an independent body constituted to give advice on economic and related issues to the Government of India, specifically to the Prime Minister.
  • The terms of reference of EAC-PM include analyzing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon, addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the Prime Minister.
  • These could be either suo-motu or on reference from the Prime Minister or anyone else. It also includes attending to any other task as may be desired by the Prime Minister from time to time.

 

Sardar Patel National Unity Award:

Context: A notification instituting the Sardar Patel National Unity Award was recently issued by Ministry of Home Affairs.

Key facts:

  • It is the Highest Civilian Award for contribution to Unity and Integrity of India.
  • The Award seeks to recognize notable and inspiring contributions to promote the cause of national unity and integrity and to reinforce the value of a strong and united India.
  • The award will be announced on the occasion of the National Unity Day, i.e. the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st October.
  • The Award shall be conferred by the President by a Sanad under his hand and seal and presented by him in a presentation ceremony along with the Padma award presentation ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • An Award Committee would be constituted by the Prime Minister, which would include the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the President, Home Secretary as Members and three-four eminent persons selected by the Prime Minister.
  • The Award would consist of a medal and a citation. No monetary grant or cash award would be attached to this Award.
  • Not more than three Awards would be given in a year.
  • It would not be conferred posthumously except in very rare and highly deserving cases.
  • Eligibility: Any Indian national or institution or organization based in India would be able to nominate an individual for consideration for this Award. Individuals may also nominate themselves. State Governments, UT Administrations and Ministries of Government of India may also send nominations.

Varaha:

  • It is an Indian Coast Guard Ship commissioned recently.
  • It will enhance the surveillance and patrolling capabilities of Indian Coast Guard and reinforce their role as ‘Sentinels of our Seas’.
  • It is the fourth in series of seven 98-m Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) of Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • It has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at its Katupalli ship building yard in North Chennai.

 

ICC’s demerit point system:

Context: The Indian skipper has accumulated three demerit points since he received his first in the Centurion Test on January 15, 2018. 

What is it?

  • ICC’s demerit points system is a player’s personal disciplinary record. They get expunged after a 24-month time period.
  • When a player reaches four or more demerit points within 24 months, the demerit points are converted into suspension points leading to a player getting suspended from international cricket.

 

World Maritime Day 2019:

Context: It is being observed on September 26 to celebrate the maritime industry’s contribution to the global economy.

It emphasises on the importance of maritime security, marine environment and shipping safety.

Theme: “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.

This day marks date of adaptation of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention in 1958. The day was first observed in 1978.