News: June 15, 2020

Sub: Geography
Topic: India Physical Setiings
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/8

Lakes and Rivers in focus

Lakes

  • Ladakh
    • Pangong Tso lake
  • Maharashtra
    • Lonar lake
      • Lonar lake in Buldhana district had turned pink.
      • CSIR-NEERI and Geological Survey of India will give their findings in 4 weeks, about glass formation  on surface of lake
      • As per study by Pune based institute, the pink coloration is due to Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea bacteria. the bacteria is found in salt saturated water bodies. The coloration is supposed to be temporary

Rivers

Himalayan rivers

  • Brahmaputra River
    • Originates from Angsi glacier near Mansarovar Lake, and enters India along the eastern side of Namcha Barwa mountains
    • Tributaries : Subansiri, Bhareli, Manas, Sankos, Jaldhaka, Tista on right bank; Dibang, Lohit, Dhansiri, Kolong on left bank
  • Indus River
    • Tributaries
      • Shyok River - Flows through northern Ladakh and enters Gilgit Baltistan. Originates in Siachen Glacier
  • Ganges
    • Tributaries
      • Ghaghra River
        • Tributaries
          • Kali River (Mahakali, Sharda) - originates in the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand, and flows along western boundary of Nepal. Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh lies in its basin

Peninsular rivers

East flowing rivers

  • Godavari
    • Largest river of peninsular India, it rises in Western Ghats near Nasik.
    • Major tributaries from left are Purna, Maner, Penganga, Pranhita (the combined Wardha and Wainganga), Indravati, Tal, and Sabri. Major tributary from right is Manjira
    • The delta is characterized by extensive mangrove swamps, mud-flats, lagoons and barrier splits
  • Krishna
    • Originates in Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar
    • Major tributaries: Bhima, Tungbhadra
      • Tungbhadra:  Tungabhadra River is formed by the confluence of the Tunga River and the Bhadra River at Koodli which flow down the eastern slope of the Western Ghats in Karnataka. It joins Krishna River near Alampur Village in Telangana near Sangameshwara temple and Jogulamba temple
    • Dams - Nagarjuna Sagar dam
    • The delta is characterized by extensive mangrove swamps, mud-flats, lagoons and barrier splits
West flowing rivers
  • Sharavathi - West flowing river, which originates and flows entirely within Karnataka, and it houses Jog Falls
  • Periyar
    • It originates from the Sivagiri peaks of Sundaramala in Tamil Nadu.
    • Dams: Iduki dam,  Mullaperiyar dam
    • Tributaries - Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, Edamala, Chalakudy
      • Chalakudy
        • The river has its origin in the Anamalai region of Tamil Nadu. The river hosts Athirappilly hydroelectric project

Other rivers

  • Nag river - The river gives Nagpur city its name, and originates in Lava hills. There is a lobby which places its origin further below at Ambazari dam, so as to carry with industrialization in upper stretch.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Union government is going to take stock of water utilisation from the Krishna and Godavari rivers following Telangana to assess whether there will be surplus water for new projects
  • July, 20
    • Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court takes note of pollution in Nag river.
  • Aug, 20
    • With a considerable increase in the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam following heavy rain, Kerala has asked Tamil Nadu to initiate urgent measures to keep the storage in the dam at a manageable level
    • Heavy rainfall in Krishna, Bhima, Tungabhadra basin areas of Maharashtra is expected to increase inflows to various dams and barrages in the neighbouring state.

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Policies and Welfare schemes
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/8

CAA and NRC

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

  • History
    • The National Register of Citizens was first prepared in Assam in 1951.
    • The 1951 NRC is said to have covered each and every person enumerated during the Census of 1951 in Assam.
    • The demands to update the NRC in Assam were first raised by the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) in 1975 which ended with signing of  Assam Accord in 1985. As per accord, an Assamese citizen is one who:
      • had entered the state before 1966
      • came between 1966 and March 25, 1971. They would be disenfranchised for 10 years.
      • had their names in 1951 NRC
    • In 1997 Election Commission decided to add 'D' (D voters) against names of voters whose claim to Indian citizenship is doubtful.
    • In 2013, Supreme Court directed Centre to update NRC. A NRC State Coordinator Office was set up and updated NRC was finally released in 2019.
    • Those excluded from list could apply to the foreigners' tribunals.
      • Foreigners' Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies established as per the Foreigners' Tribunal Order, 1964 and the Foreigners' Act, 1946
  • Assam is the only state that has implemented NRC.

Citizenship Amendment Act, CAA (CAA)

Citizenship Act, 1955 

  • Regulated who may acquire Indian citizenship on grounds of birth, descent, registration, naturalization, and incorporation of territory
  • A natural citizen is one who has stayed in India for at least 11 years

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019

  • The Act prohibits illegal migrants from acquiring Indian citizenship. Illegal migrants are foreigners who enter India without a valid passport or travel document, or stay beyond the permitted time.  
  • The Act provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be treated as illegal migrants.
    • In order to get this benefit, they must have also been exempted from the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 by the central government.
    • The 1920 Act mandates foreigners to carry passport, while the1946 Act regulates the entry and departure of foreigners in India. 
    • The provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. 
  • The Act reduces period to five years for citizenship by naturalization
  • On acquiring citizenship all legal proceedings against them in respect of their illegal migration or citizenship will be closed.
  • The Act provides that the central government may cancel registration of OCIs on grounds of registration through fraud, showing disaffection to the Constitution, engaging with the enemy during war, necessity in the interest of State, or if within five years of registration the OCI has been sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more.

Illegal migrants can be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. 

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • India rejects US religious freedom report that takes note of CAA, NRC and Article 370
  • Aug, 20
    • Home Ministry has sought an extension of three months to frame the rules of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Biology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/8

Conditions and diseases in focus

Diseases

  • MRSA Super bug / Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - MRSA super bug is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It's tougher to treat because it develops quick resistance to antibiotics. It is naturally found in nose and on skin.
  • Canine distemper / footpad disease (CDV) - A viral disease that affect a wide variety of animal families. It is caused by a single-stranded RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, and it is highly contagious via inhalation.
  • Pneumonia
    • Caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is both preventable and curable.
    • India had the second-highest number of deaths of children under the age of five in 2018 due to pneumonia, after Nigeria in 2019
    • Responsible for 15 per cent of deaths in children under the age of five
    • Serum institute has developed first fully indigenously conjugate vaccine for pneumonia
  • Swine flu
    • Respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs.
    • In 2009 a strain of swine flu called H1N1 infected many people around the world.
    • Influenza viruses can transmit between human to human, human to pigs, and pigs to humans, mainly through coughing and sneezing
    • G4 flu virus
      • A new strain G4 Eurasian-Avian like (EA) H1N1 has been discovered infecting pigs in China
      • G4 strain has the capability of binding to human-type receptors (like, the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to ACE2 receptors in humans)

Tuberculosis

  • Caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, TB is a contagious infection that usually attacks your lungs. It can spread to other parts of your body, like your brain and spine.
  • Symptoms include - cough, fever, blood coughing, night seats, weight loss.
  • There are two types of drug resistant TB
    • Multi drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) : MDR TB is the name given to TB when the bacteria that are causing it are resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, two of the most effective TB drugs
    • Extensively drug resistant tuberculosis  (XDR-TB) : XDR-TB is a form of TB caused by bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin, and other most effective anti-TB drugs. XDR-TB strains, rare, arose after the mismanagement of individuals with MDR-TB.
  • Treatment
    • Directly Observed Treatment - Short Course (DOTS) - Its a treatment strategy recommended by WHO. The strategy has five components - Government component (finance and accountability), detecting bacteria through sputum smear microscopy followed by culture and drug susceptibility test (DST), Supervised treatment, Drug supply, and Monitoring and evaluation
  • India
    • India has highest number of TB cases, about 2.7 million
    • Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) - The National TB Programme (NTP) was started by government in 1962, which was renamed to Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) in 1993
      • Managed by Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s (MOHFW)
      • Released a ‘National strategic plan for tuberculosis 2017-2025’ (NSP) for the control and elimination of TB in India by 2025. 
        • NSP focuses on private sector engagement
        • Project PEET - By PATH (non-profit) and private providers which connected patients in the private sector with free TB drugs in the public sector for increased case notifications and treatment outcomes
        • Project JEET  - By CHRI (non-profit) and Ministry of Health, focusing on access to affordable TB diagnostics in the private sector, as well as helping patients to stay on treatment until it is completed, while reducing the cost of that treatment
      • NIKSHAY: Web based TB surveillance system

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • CDV that killed 36 lions in Gir, Gujarat in 2018, still prevails
  • July, 20
    • Report of a new strain of H1N1 infecting workers in china, transmitted from pig
    • Serum institute has developed first fully indigenously conjugate vaccine for pneumonia

 

News: 4/8

Global maritime agencies and agreements

MASE Programme

  • Funded by the European Union, MASE Programme is a regional programme that supports implementation of the Regional Strategy and Action Plan to fight piracy and promote maritime security in the Eastern and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean.
  • The MASE countries involve four main regional organisations:
    • The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
    • East Africa Community (EAC)
    • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
    • Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)
      • IOC is a regional forum in the Southwest Indian Ocean, comprising five nations: Comoros, France (Reunion), Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelle
      • It was created in 1982 and instiutionalized in 1984, and funded by EU-MASE (European Union Marine Security) Programme
      • IOC is the only African regional organization composed entirely of islands
      • It focuses on trade, tourism and marine conservation
      • IOC has 7 observer members - India, China, Malta, European Union, International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), Japan, and United Nations
  • Through the MASE Programme, the EU supports equipment and training for
    • Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar, which works on gathering and analysing data
    • Regional Coordination of Operations Centre (RCOC) in Seychelles, which works on coordinating the regional response based on information from RMIFC

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

  • Came into operation in 1982, UNCLOS defines the rights and responsibilities of a nation over oceans
  • UN has no direct operational role in the implementation of the Convention.
  • The convention has been ratified by 168 parties. India ratified the convention in 1985
  • Dispute Resolution: Under Article 28,  a State shall be free to choose, by means of a written declaration, one or more of the following means for the settlement of disputes 
    • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)
    • International Court of Justice
    • ad hoc arbitration (in accordance with Annex VII)
      • If there is no preference, Annex VII will be the default means of dispute settlement 
      • Most of the cases have been arbitrated by Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
    • a special arbitral tribunal constituted for certain categories of disputes under Annex VIII
  • UNCLOS established three institutions:
    • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) - ITLOS is the specialized international judicial body for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of UNCLOS. The decisions of the Tribunal are final and binding and the parties to the dispute are required to comply with them. However, the Tribunal has no means of enforcing its decisions. 
    • International Seabed Authority (ISA) - regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
    • Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) - CCLS established the rights of a sovereign state over the continental shelf surrounding it, if there be any.
  • Maritime Zones : UNCLOS divides marine areas into five main zones, each with a different legal status
    1. Internal Waters : Internal Waters include littoral areas such as ports, rivers, inlets and other marine spaces landward of the baseline (low-water line) where the port state has jurisdiction to enforce domestic regulations. 
    2. Territorial Sea : In the Territorial Sea, a coastal state has unlimited jurisdiction over all (including foreign) activities unless restrictions are imposed by law. All coastal states have the right to a territorial sea extending 12 nautical miles from the baseline.
    3. Contiguous Zone : The Contiguous Zone is an intermediary zone between the territorial sea and the high seas extending enforcement jurisdiction of the coastal state to a maximum of 24 nautical miles from baselines. Coastal state can take measures to prevent or regulate armed maritime security activities 
    4. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) :  EEZ is an intermediary zone, lying between the territorial sea (12 nautical miles) and the high seas to the maximum extent of 200 nautical miles. In this zone the coastal state retains exclusive sovereignty over exploring, exploiting and conserving all natural resources.
    5. High Seas :  High Seas lie beyond 200 nautical miles from shore, open and freely available to everyone, governed by the principle of equal rights for all.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • SAGAR initiative, India-Africa Maritime Cooperation
  • July, 20
    • India loses jurisdiction over Italian marines case
  • Aug, 20
    • Supreme Court asking for hefty compensation for fishermen

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Operations and Initiatives
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/8

Indian maritime agencies and agreements

Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)

  • IFC has been established at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) Gurugram, and is jointly administered by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard
  • IFC-IOR is established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region, and acting as a maritime information hub for the region
  • IFC-IOR hosts Liaison Officers from partner countries

Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002

  • Extends to whole of India and its maritime zones
  • Penalty
    • If the suspect or accused is present in Indian territory and has not been extradited by any convention or protocol, he shall be tried with in India in accordance with provisions of Act
    • Acts of violence are punishable with upto 10 years of imprisonment and fine.
    • An offence causing death shall be punished with death
  • For speedy trial, a special court may be designated by state government in concurrence with Chief Justice

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • IFC-IOR trying to post Navy Liasion Officers at RMIFC
    • Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)
  • July, 20
    • India loses jurisdiction over Italian marines case

 

Sub: Economics
Topic: Development Energy and Resources
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/8

Electricity

Acts

Electricity Act, 2003

  • The Act delicenses power generation completely (except for all nuclear and hydro-power projects over a certain size).
  • As per the Act, 10 per cent of the power supplied by suppliers and distributors to the consumers has to be generated using renewable and non-conventional sources of energy so that the energy is reliable.
  • Setting up State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) has been made mandatory
  • Central government to prepare National Electricity Policy and Tariff Policy.

Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  • Power tariff to be determined with no subsidy component
  • Opens power distribution to franchisee and sub-licensee business
  • Setting up a new regulatory body, Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority, for resolving disputes. Also Appellate Tribunal of Electricity to have powers similar to that to a Civil Court

Bodies

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)

CERC is a statutory body under Ministry of Power, functioning as per Electricity Act 2003.

 

Power projects in focus

Hydro project

  • Kholongchu Hydro Enery project - First ever 50:50 joint venture project between India and Bhutan in Trashiyangtse, Bhutan, to be completed by 2025
  • Etalin Hydropower Project - On going project in dibang valley, Arunachal Pradesh

Solar project

  • Rewa Ultra Mega Solar - 750 MW solar power project in Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • States and power sector workforce protesting against privatisation and subsidy removal in new Draft Electricity Amendment Bill
  • July, 20
    • CERC proposes to ease norms for renewable energy projects

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Prevention and Security
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 7/8

Detention, Prevention, And Security Laws

National Security Laws

* Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) was repealed in 1995, Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was repealed in 2004, 

National Security Act, 1980

  • The National security Act, empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner against the welfare and security of the country, damaging the Indian relations with foreign countries, obstructing the maintenance and supply of essential services to the community
  • The suspect can be kept in jail for 12 months without any charge under the NSA. This period can further be extended.
  • A suspect can be kept in captivity for 5 days without assigning any reason; and up to 12 days after getting permission from state government
  • The arrested person is not entitled to the aid of any legal practitioner in any 

Public Safety Act

  • Public Security Act is equivalent to National Security Act in Jammu and Kashmir region.
  • Under the act, a person can be held for 2 years without trial and they need not be produced before a court
  • Any person can be booked under PSA when an administrative order is passed either by Divisional Commissioner (DC) or the District Magistrate (DM).  The District Magistrate (DM) communicates to the person within five days and informs him about the reason for the detention.
  • A person detained under the PSA shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 24 hours

[In News]

  • NSA in Uttar Pradesh, and PSA in Jammu and Kashmir

Sub: History
Topic: Art & Culture Language, Religion, and Culture
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 8/8

Hindu Schools Of Philosophy

There are six schools of hindu philosophy - Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta

Vedanta

The Vedanta essentially refers to the philosophy pronounced in the Upanishads, the final parts of the Vedas. In a broad sense, the Vedanta covers the fundamental philosophy enunciated by the  the Upanishads, the Brahma-Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita

Shamkaracharya, Ramanujacharya and  Madhavacharya wrote commentaries on the Brahma-Sutra. This lead to the rise of three schools of  the Vedanta:

  1. Advaita Vedanta : It is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy, which believes there is no difference between atman and brahaman.
    • The philosophy evolved in 9th century AD by Shankaracharya.
    • Shankaracharya used four sentences called Mahavakyas (Great Sayings) to establish the identity of Atman and Brahman as scriptural truth:
      1. Prajnanam brahma - Consciousness is Brahman (Aitareya Upanishad)
      2. Aham brahmāsmi - I am Brahman (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
      3. Tat tvam asi - That Thou art (Chandogya Upanishad)
      4. Ayamatma brahma - This Atman is Brahman (Mandukya Upanishad)
    • The two Advaita writings of pre-Shankara period are - the Vakyapadiya by Bhartṛhari, and the Mandukya karika by Gaudapada 
    • Siddhi-literature of Advaita: The term ‘siddhi’ stands for a conclusive conclusion after careful investigation. There are four famous ‘siddhi’ texts in advaita vedanta:
      • brahma siddhi of mandaṇa mishra: It discusses brahman as infinite unsurpassed unlimited 
      • naiṣhkarmya siddhi of sureshvar acharya: It discusses the opposition between karma and gyana, and establishes gyana as the sole means of mokṣha.
      • ishta siddhi of vimuktatman: It discusses avidya
      • advaita siddhi of madhusudana sarasvati: It refutes criticisms by dvaita scholars
  2. Vishishtadvaita Vedanta : It is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy, which believes atman to be part of brahaman, and hence are similar but not identical.
    • There are three key principles of Vishishtadvaita:
      1. Tattva: The knowledge of the 3 real entities namely, jiva (living souls; the sentient); ajiva (the nonsentient) and Ishvara (Vishnu-Narayana or Parahbrahman, Supreme-self and the cause of all manifestations and in-dwelling giver of grace based on Karma).
      2. Hita: The means of realization, as through bhakti (devotion) and prapatti (self-surrender).
      3. Purushartha: The goal to be attained, as moksha or liberation from bondage.
  3. Dvaita Vedanta : all individual souls (jīvātmans) and matter as eternal and mutually separate entities.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Mahavakyas
  • July, 20
    • Siddhi literature - naiṣhkarmya siddhi

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