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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 3 June 2020

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Cyclonic Storm ‘NISARGA’.

2. Sun’s Corona.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. One Nation-One Ration Card scheme.

2. Electronics incentive schemes launched.

3. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).

2. What is OTT (over-the-top) streaming?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. National Productivity Council (NPC).

2. National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC).

3. Depsang

4. Global Economic Prospects.

5. Changpa community.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Cyclonic Storm ‘NISARGA’

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Tropical Cyclones- factors responsible, the process, naming and impact.

Context: Cyclonic Storm formed over East central Arabian Sea has been named Nisarga. The name in the new list was suggested by Bangladesh.

The cyclone track — issued by India Meteorological Department (IMD) authorities — show that Nisarga will cross very close to the Mumbai coast while entering the land. Maharashtra and Gujarat are on pre-cyclone alert as very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall is expected in parts of the states.

What’s next?

Conditions are favourable for intensification of the cyclone because the sea surface temperature is about 30 to 32 degrees Celsius, as compared to a normal of 28 degrees Celsius during this season. It is very likely to intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours.

What is a cyclone?

Tropical Cyclone is any large system of winds that circulates about a center of low atmospheric pressure in a counter-clockwise direction north of the Equator and in a clockwise direction to the south. 

india_metrological_dep

Cyclone formation:

  1. Cyclone is the formation of very low-pressure system with very high-speed winds revolving around it.
  2. Factors like wind speed, wind direction, temperature and humidity contribute to the development of cyclones.
  3. Before cloud formation, water takes up heat from the atmosphere to change into vapour. When water vapour changes back to liquid form as raindrops, this heat is released to the atmosphere.
  4. The heat released to the atmosphere warms the air around. The air tends to rise and causes a drop in pressure. More air rushes to the centre of the storm. This cycle is repeated.

Additional facts:

  • Cyclones around the world are named by Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres. There are a total of six RSMCs and five TCWCs, including the India Meteorological Department.
  • The Indian weather bureau has been mandated with the duty to name cyclones that develop over the North Indian ocean, including Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, by following a standard procedure.
  • IMD released a list of cyclone names in April 2020 as suggested by the 13 countries.
  • The next few cyclones will be named Gati (named by India), Nivar (Iran), Burevi (Maldives), Tauktae (Myanmar) and Yaas (Oman).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of cyclones.
  2. Naming of cyclones in various regions of the world.
  3. Why more cyclones in Eastern coast of India?
  4. What is coriolis force?
  5. What is latent heat of condensation?

Mains Link:

Discuss the factors responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones. All about tropical cyclones:

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Sun’s Corona

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Corona- location, features, effects.

Context: Scientists have recently discovered tiny flashes of radio light emanating from all over the Sun, which they say could help in explaining the long-pending coronal heating problem.

The data was collected with the help of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope.

 What is it?

The radio lights or signals under study result from beams of electrons accelerated in the aftermath of a magnetic explosion on the Sun.

These observations are the strongest evidence till date that the tiny magnetic explosions, originally referred to as ‘nanoflares’ by eminent American solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker.

Researchers believe that these explosions could indeed be heating up the corona.

What Is the Sun’s Corona?

The Sun’s corona is the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere. The corona is usually hidden by the bright light of the Sun’s surface. That makes it difficult to see without using special instruments. However, the corona can be viewed during a total solar eclipse.

Features:

The corona is about 10 million times less dense than the Sun’s surface. This low density makes the corona much less bright than the surface of the Sun.

Why is the corona so hot?

The corona’s high temperatures are a bit of a mystery. Astronomers have been trying to solve this mystery for a long time. The corona is in the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere—far from its surface. Yet the corona is hundreds of times hotter than the Sun’s surface.

How does the corona cause solar winds?

The corona extends far out into space. From it comes the solar wind that travels through our solar system. The corona’s temperature causes its particles to move at very high speeds. These speeds are so high that the particles can escape the Sun’s gravity.

corona

About Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope:

  • It is a joint project between an international consortium of organisations to construct and operate a low-frequency radio array.
  • Operating in the frequency range 70–300 MHz, the main scientific goals of the MWA are to detect neutral atomic Hydrogen emission from the cosmological Epoch of Reionization (EoR), to study the sun, the heliosphere, the Earth’s ionosphere, and radio transient phenomena, as well as map the extragalactic radio sky.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where is MWA radio telescope located?
  2. What are radio waves?
  3. Different layers of sun?
  4. What are solar flares?
  5. What are Sunspots?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

One Nation-One Ration Card scheme

What to study?

For prelims: key features of the proposed scheme, PDS.

For mains: Need for, significance of the scheme and challenges in its implementation.

Context: Three more States included in One Nation One Card scheme- Odisha, Sikkim and Mizoram. The facility so far is enabled in 17 States/UTs.

About the scheme:

One Nation One Ration Card (RC) will ensure all beneficiaries especially migrants can access PDS across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice.

Benefits: no poor person is deprived of getting subsidised foodgrains under the food security scheme when they shift from one place to another. It also aims to remove the chance of anyone holding more than one ration card to avail benefits from different states.

Significance: This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption.

Standard format of ‘one nation, one ration card’:

A standard format for ration card has been prepared after taking into account the format used by different states.

  • For national portability, the state governments have been asked to issue the ration card in bi-lingual format, wherein besides the local langauge, the other language could be Hindi or English.
  • The states have also been told to have a 10-digit standard ration card number, wherein first two digits will be state code and the next two digits will be running ration card numbers.
  • Besides this, a set of another two digits will be appended with ration card number to create unique member IDs for each member of the household in a ration card.

Challenges:

Prone to corruption: Every state has its own rules for Public Distribution System (PDS). If ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ is implemented, it will further boost corruption in an already corrupted Public Distribution System.

The scheme will increase the woes of the common man and, the middlemen and corrupt PDS shop owners will exploit them.

Tamil Nadu has opposed the proposal of the Centre, saying it would result in undesirable consequences and is against federalism.

 Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is PDS?
  2. What is NFSA? Eligibility? Benefits?
  3. How are fair price shops established?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of One Nation One Ration Card scheme.

Sources: pib.

 

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

Electronics incentive schemes launched

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features, need for, significance of the schemes, potential of the sector.

Context: The government has launched three incentive schemes with a total outlay of about ₹48,000 crore to boost large-scale manufacturing of electronics in the country.

The schemes are:

  1. Production Linked Incentive:

Targeted at mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components. The government initially plans to incentivise 10 firms — five global and five local.

This Scheme shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under the target segments, to eligible companies, for a period of five years subsequent to the base year.

  1. Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS):

It shall provide financial incentive of 25% on capital expenditure for the identified list of electronic goods, i.e., electronic components, semiconductor/ display fabrication units, Assembly, Test, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units, specialized sub-assemblies and capital goods for manufacture of aforesaid goods.

  1. Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0) Scheme:

It shall provide support for creation of world class infrastructure along with common facilities and amenities, including Ready Built Factory (RBF) sheds / Plug and Play facilities for attracting major global electronics manufacturers, along with their supply chains.

Significance:

With the three new schemes, the government aims to manufacture electronics worth ₹8 lakh crore, while generating employment for about 10 lakh people in the next five years.

Potential:

India has been able to achieve “modest success” in electronics manufacturing. India has emerged as the second largest mobile manufacturer of the world.

In 2014-15, the value of mobiles produced was ₹18,992 crore with six crore units. This increased to ₹1.7 lakh crore in value and 30 crore in terms of units in 2018-19.

Conclusion:

This is a step towards self-reliant India. A self-reliant India is not an India of isolation. It is not an inward looking India. It is one which enhances its capacity and develops an ecosystem as an asset to the global economy.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of CPEC.

For Mains: India’s concerns, ways to address them and global implications of the project.

Context: China under the multi-billion-dollar CPEC will set up a 1,124-megawatt power project- Kohala Hydropower Project- in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir despite India’s objection to it.

A tripartite agreement has been finalised among China’s Three Gorges Corporation, the authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the PPIB to implement the 1,124-megawatt Kohala hydroelectric power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. 

Details:

  • The project will be built on the Jhelum River and aims at annually providing more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity for consumers in Pakistan.
  • This marks one of the largest investments of USD 2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in the region. 

About CPEC:

The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.

The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of highways, railways, and pipelines.

CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.

The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans, that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banks.

But, why is India concerned?

It passes through PoK.

CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.

It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.

Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both. As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is CPEC?
  2. What is BRI initiative?
  3. What is string of pearls initiative?
  4. Where Gilgit- Baltistan?
  5. Important ports in Pakistan and Iran.

Mains Link:

Discuss India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. Suggest how India should tackle the challenges posed by this alliance?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

Minimum Support Prices (MSPs)

What to study?

For Prelims: MSP- crops covered, how is it decided.

For Mains: MSP- need, significance, concerns and rectifying measures.

 Context: CCEA has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Kharif crops for marketing season 2020-21.

This is to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce. The highest increase in MSP is proposed for nigerseed (Rs 755 per quintal) followed by sesamum (Rs 370 per quintal), urad (Rs 300 per quintal) and cotton (long staple) (Rs 275 per quintal). The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.

About MSP:

What is it?

In theory, an MSP is the minimum price set by the Government at which farmers can expect to sell their produce for the season. When market prices fall below the announced MSPs, procurement agencies step in to procure the crop and ‘support’ the prices.

Who announces?

The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs announces MSP for various crops at the beginning of each sowing season based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The CACP takes into account demand and supply, the cost of production and price trends in the market among other things when fixing MSPs.

Why is it important?

Price volatility makes life difficult for farmers. Though prices of agri commodities may soar while in short supply, during years of bumper production, prices of the very same commodities plummet. MSPs ensure that farmers get a minimum price for their produce in adverse markets. MSPs have also been used as a tool by the Government to incentivise farmers to grow crops that are in short supply.

Factors taken into consideration for fixing MSP include:

  1. Demand and supply;
  2. Cost of production;
  3. Price trends in the market, both domestic and international;
  4. Inter-crop price parity;
  5. Terms of trade between agriculture and non-agriculture;
  6. A minimum of 50% as the margin over cost of production; and
  7. Likely implications of MSP on consumers of that product.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Composition of CCEA.
  2. What is CACP?
  3. How many crops are covered under MSP scheme?
  4. Who announces MSP?
  5. Difference between Kharif and Rabi crops.

Sources: pib.

 

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

What is OTT (over-the-top) streaming?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Features, significance and concerns associated.

Context: Majority producers in the Malayalam film industry declared that they do not prefer online release for their movies amid COVID-19 outbreak.

What’s the issue?

As the theatres remain closed amid the pandemic, the release of many movies were postponed for over three months. Following this, a few producers announced OTT release for their movies. The announcement irked theatre owners and they declared that they will boycott movies of the producer and actor if they go with the online release.

WHAT IS OTT?

An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product. The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.

OTT services circumvent traditional media distribution channels such as telecommunications networks or cable television providers.

As long as you have access to an internet connection — either locally or through a mobile network — you can access the complete service at your leisure.

WHY USE OTT?

  1. High-value content at low cost.
  2. Original content like Netflix and Amazon prime.
  3. Compatibility with multiple devices.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


National Productivity Council (NPC):

NPC is national level organization to promote productivity culture in India.

Established by the Ministry of Industry, Government of India in 1958.

  • It is an autonomous, multipartite, non-profit organizationwith equal representation from employers’ & workers’ organizations and Government, apart from technical & professional institutions and other interests.
  • NPC is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO),an Inter Governmental Body, of which the Government of India is a founder member.
  • Functions: NPC teams up with its clients to work out solutions towards accelerating productivity, enhancing competitiveness, increasing profits, augmenting safety and reliability and ensuring better quality. It provides reliable database for decision-making, improved systems and procedures, work culture as well as customer satisfaction both internal & external.

productivity_day

National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC):

For effective implementation of relief measures in the wake of natural calamities, the Government of India has set up a Standing National Crisis Management Committee with Cabinet Secretary as Chairman.

Key functions:

  • Oversee the Command, Control and Coordination of the disaster response.
  • Give direction to the Crisis Management Group (CMG) as deemed necessary.

Depsang:

It is an area at a crucial dip (called the Bulge) on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

  • The Chinese Army occupied most of the plains in 1962.
  • India controls the western portion of the plains as part of Ladakh, whereas the eastern portion is part of the Aksai Chin region, which is controlled by China and claimed by India.

Why in News?

There have been reports of a heavy Chinese presence at Depsang.

The “Depsang plain” is one of the few places in the Western Sector where light armour (vehicles) would have ease of manoeuvre, so any Chinese buildup there is a cause for concern.

depsang

Global Economic Prospects:

  • It is the World Bank’s semi-annual flagship publication on the state of the world economy.
  • It examines global economic developments and prospects, with a special focus on emerging market and developing economies.
  • It is issued twice a year, in January and June. The January edition includes in-depth analyses of topical policy challenges while the June edition contains shorter analytical pieces.

Changpa community:

Why in News?

The Chinese Army’s intrusion in Chumur and Demchok since January has left Ladakh’s nomadic herding Changpa community cut off from large parts of summer pastures.

This has also resulted in a sharp rise in deaths of young Pashmina goats this year in the Korzok-Chumur belt of Changthang plateau in Ladakh.

About Changthangi or Pashmina goat:

  1. It is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high-altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
  2. They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven.
  3. These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh.
  4. The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. SC to hear petition on nation’s name.

 


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper