IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB: 25th NOVEMBER

 

“Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” ― Lebron James   

 

Swachh Bharat ODF claims

       HEADLINES:

NSO survey debunks Swachh Bharat ODF claims

       WHY IN NEWS?  

NSO survey rolls in ! 

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 1:2:3:Social issues:Public Health:Issues related to Sanitation

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS observe the status of ODF states

For MAINS note down the pros and cons of SBM.

       ISSUE: 

The latest National Statistical Office (NSO) survey on sanitation debunked(exposed) the claims of an open defecation-free or ODF India made by the Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat scheme, although it did record great progress in toilet access and use in rural areas.
 
What is the reality then ?
 
  • The results, released on Saturday, showed that about 71% of rural households had access to toilets at a time when the Centre was claiming 95% had access.
  • The survey was carried out between July and December 2018, with a reference date of October 1.
  • Large States which had been declared ODF — that is, 100% access to toilets and 100% usage — even before the survey began included Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
  • Others which were declared ODF during the survey included Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • According to the NSO, almost 42% of the rural households in Jharkhand had no access to a toilet at that time. In Tamil Nadu, the gap was 37%, followed by 34% in Rajasthan.
  • In Gujarat, which was one of the earliest States declared ODF, back in October 2017, almost a quarter of all rural households had no toilet access, the NSO data showed.
  • The other major States listed also had significant gaps: Karnataka (30%), Madhya Pradesh (29%), Andhra Pradesh (22%) and Maharashtra (22%).
  • In the first week of October 2018, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen) said 25 States and Union Territories had been declared ODF, while toilet access across the country touched 95%.
  • In reality, the NSO said 28.7% of rural households had no toilet access at the time
       IASbhai Windup:  
 
With regard to this data, the NSO noted, “There may be respondent bias in the reporting of access to latrine as question on benefits received by the households from government schemes was asked prior to the question on access of households to latrine.”
 
  • The 71% access to toilets was still a significant improvement over the situation during the last survey period in 2012, when only 40% of the rural households had access to toilets.
  • The NSO’s statistics on toilet usage were also encouraging. It said 95% of people with access to toilets in rural India used them regularly, indicating that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s efforts to change behaviour had borne fruit.
  • Only 3.5% of those with toilet access in rural India said they never used them.
 
 

Suggested reading : http://www.mospi.gov.in/national-statistical-office-nso

 

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

 

Floor test 

       HEADLINES:

Floor test plea: SC wants Governor’s order, Fadnavis letter

       WHY IN NEWS?    

Bench asks Union government to produce Maharashtra records at 10.30 a.m. today, rejects Solicitor General’s plea for time till Tuesday

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 2:Floor testing : Governance 

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is not an important issue

For MAINS you have to understand what are the different types of methods used by parties to prove their majority in the house .

       ISSUE: 

The Supreme Court on Sunday put on hold a plea for ordering a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly till it examined records that might shed light on what led Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis to form the government and later swear him in as the Chief Minister on November 23. 
 
So What is a Floor test :
 
  • A floor test is a constitutional mechanism. It is used to determine if the incumbent government enjoys the support of the legislature. This voting process happen in the state’s Legislative Assembly or the Lok Sabha at the central level.

HOW FLOOR TEST WORKS ?

  • Technically, the chief minister of a state is appointed by the Governor. The appointed chief minister usually belongs to the single largest party or the coalition which has the ‘magic number’. The magic number is the total number of seats required to form a government, or stay in power. It is the half-way mark, plus one. In case of a tie, the Speaker casts the deciding vote.
  • However, at times, a government’s majority can be questioned. The leader of the party claiming majority has to move a vote of confidence.
  • If some MLAs remain absent or abstain from voting, the majority is counted on the basis of those present and voting. This effectively reduces the strength of the House and in turn brings down the majority-mark.
  • The voting process can happen orally, with electronic gadgets or a ballot process.
  • The Governor can also ask the Chief Minister to prove his or her majority in the House if the stability of the government comes into question.
       IASbhai Windup:  
 
Deeper conscience of floor test: It checks whether executive enjoys the confidence of legislature or not .

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

 

 

Backlog of cases

       HEADLINES:

HC lays stress on mediation to reduce backlog of cases

       WHY IN NEWS?    

Mediation is an effective tool to redress disputes: Justice Tandon


SYLLABUS COVERED
: GS 2:Judiciary

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there is nothing much here.

For MAINS go through the article which highlights how mediation helps in resolving issues before the parties approach the court.

       ISSUE: 

 
Whooping Cases :
 
  • With the number of pending litigations before it touching 2.29 lakh, the Calcutta High Court is stressing on alternative dispute redressal mechanism like mediation to reduce the backlog.
  • The High Court is encouraging litigants involved in various disputes, from commercial to matrimonial issues, to go for mediation to resolve their differences, instead of fighting their cases in the courts that may take a long time before any outcome is reached.
  • As Justice Harish Tandon of the Calcutta High Court put it, “-Mediation is an effective tool for redressal of disputes between contesting litigants, where parties can settle their differences in a win-win situation.”
  • “We have been facing problem in tackling huge pendency of cases,” Justice Tandon said in an interaction with mediapersons on mediation as an effective alternative dispute redressal system.
  • Though the Arbitration and Conciliation Act has been in place since 1996, giving settlement of disputes through mediation a legal sanction, it has not been quite popular among the people, mainly owing to a lack of knowledge about it.
  • Raising awareness To raise awareness among people, the Mediation and Conciliation Committee of the high court organised a four-day workshop from November 15 in association with the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives (FSRI) of the U.S .and CAMP Arbitration and Mediation Practices of Bengaluru.
  • The programme was aimed at augmenting the process of mediation across West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and bringing down the ever-increasing pile of pending cases in different courts within this region.
  • It was designed to spread awareness and interact with all kinds of stakeholders in the field of mediation, including the mediators themselves, the litigants, advocates, law firms and referral judges of different district and sub-divisions of West Bengal.
 
       IASbhai Windup:  
 
  • “The concept of pre-litigation mediation in the field of commercial and matrimonial disputes were also discussed,” he said. To achieve the desired exposure of mediation as an effective tool for dispute resolution, the stakeholders decided that awareness programmes would be held to sensitise people at the grassroot level.
  • On June 30 this year, there were 2,29,103 cases pending before the Calcutta High Court, of which the majority were civil cases at 1,89,976, according to data provided in its website

 

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

 

 

ILP

       HEADLINES:

Governor to seek opinion on visitors’ registration

       WHY IN NEWS?    

Ordinance makes it mandatory for visitors to register before entering State



SYLLABUS COVERED
: GS 2:Powers of Governor:Legislature:Executive

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS revise the special power of Governors with respect to ILP.

For MAINS what are the merits and demerits of such ordinances . Should all Indian states have ILP ?

 

       ISSUE: 

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy will seek legal opinion before consenting to a “controversial” ordinance that would make it mandatory for visitors to register before entering the hill State. The National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government had on November 1 brought in an ordinance to amend the Meghalaya Residents, Safety and Security Act, 2016.
  • The government claimed the ordinance was in the interest of the people of the State.
  • The ordinance is seen as a variant of the Inner-Line Permit (ILP) operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, which requires a visitor to possess a permit before entering these States.
  • In the case of Meghalaya, visitors will have to inform the government if they wish to stay beyond 24 hours in the State
 
What is ILP ?
 

Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.

  • It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
  • The document is an effort by the government to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
  • This is an offshoot of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, which protected Crown’s interest in the tea, oil and elephant trade by prohibiting “British subjects” from entering into these “Protected Areas” (to prevent them from establishing any commercial venture that could rival the Crown’s agents).
  • The word “British subjects” was replaced by Citizen of India in 1950.
  • Despite the fact that the ILP was originally created by the British to safeguard their commercial interests, it continues to be used in India, officially to protect tribal cultures in northeastern India.
  • There are different kinds of ILP’s, one for tourists and others for people who intend to stay for long-term periods, often for employment purposes.

ILP’s valid for tourism purposes are granted as a matter of routine.

Which are the states practising ILP ?

  1. Nagaland
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Mizoram
       IASbhai Windup:  
 

Suggested reading : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_Line_Permit

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU

 

 

Railway institute opens in Hyderabad

 

       HEADLINES:

Railway institute opens in Hyderabad

       WHY IN NEWS?    

Classes for probationers from Dec.

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 3:Indian Railways

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS location and purpose of such institute is important

For MAINS this is not an important issue.

       ISSUE: 

  • The Indian Railways has been giving a lot of importance to the human resource development and training of its personnel and towards this end, it wants to integrate functioning of all the top Central training institutes with the Railway University at Vadodara for developing world class training.
  • A good training institute needed proper infrastructure and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) had shown the way in building the world-class infrastructure at the Indian Railways Institute of Financial Management (IRIFM) here. 
  • It can handle 150 trainees at a time.
  • Eco-friendly campus Designed by famed architect Hafeez Contractor,
  • IRIFM will meet 90% of its electricity needs through solar power, is covered with rainwater harvesting structures and has a 100% waste water treatment plant. It has 10 different blocks.
       IASbhai Windup:  
 

The institute has been a long felt dream of the Indian Railways Accounts Service (IRAS) and classes for the new probationers here would begin from next month itself.

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

Ken-Betwa

       HEADLINES:

Centre nudging M.P., U.P. on Ken-Betwa

       WHY IN NEWS?  

The ₹18,000-crore river interlinking project has been mired in controversy

 

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 2:Interlinking of rivers

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS CWC , Inter state water dispute (Laxmikant) are very important

For MAINS follow this issue and note down some points.

       ISSUE: 

The project involves transferring surplus water from Ken river in Madhya Pradesh to the Betwa in Uttar Pradesh and irrigate 3.64 lakh hectares in the Bundelkhand region of both States. The ₹18,000 crore project has been mired in several controversies.

  • The government has said it is pushing Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to make progress on the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project, according to a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha last week. 
  • The most recent one is a disagreement between the States on the share of water.
  • ‘Consultative manner’: “The government is pursuing the interlinking programme in a consultative manner.

Major Obstructions for KEN-BETWA:

  •  The project was “still on” but posed environmental challenges. “Other than differences between the States, there are outstanding environmental obstructions too.
  • It is not an easy road ahead.” The project involves building a 77 metre tall and a 2 km wide Dhaudhan dam and a 230 km canal.
  • Originally, this phase envisaged irrigating 6,35,661 hectares annually (3,69,881 ha in M.P. and 2,65,780 ha in U.P.).
  • In addition, the project was to provide 49 million cubic metres for drinking water supply en route.

‘No longer valid’: While there is a 2005 agreement between the two States on how water would be shared, Madhya Pradesh says these assumptions are no longer valid and the only way to meet the increased water requirements would be to include local management projects — the Kotha barrage, Lower Orr and Bina complex that were envisaged in the second phase of the project — in the first phase.

 
 
       IASbhai Windup:  
 

Suggested reading :   https://india.mongabay.com/2019/09/ken-betwa-river-linking-project-may-be-economically-unviable-says-supreme-courts-committee/

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

 

 

UAPA cases list

       HEADLINES:

Manipur, J&K top UAPA cases list

       WHY IN NEWS?    

Uttar Pradesh records highest number of arrests made under the Act

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 2:3:Bills:NCRB

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand what is Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)

For MAINS analyse the whole issue and tell us UAPA has achieved its goal ? 

       ISSUE: 

 

  • More than 35% of the cases registered under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) were recorded in Manipur, show the National Crime Records Data (NCRB).
  • The State registered 330 cases in 2017 in which 352 persons were arrested.
  • With 156 cases, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) recorded 17% of such cases, followed by Assam (133) which reported 14% of all cases registered under it in 2017 in the entire country.
  • Uttar Pradesh (109 cases) recorded 12% and Bihar (52) accounted for 5%.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a chargesheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.
  • The anti-terror Act has death penalty and life imprisonment as maximum punishment.
  • The NCRB is yet to publish the crime report for 2018. The data reveal that though U.P. has recorded only 12% of the cases, it topped the States in the number of arrests made.
  • According to rules, the competent authority in the Home Ministry or the State government has to give sanction to file a chargesheet in seven days after being approached by the investigating agency.  
 
What is UAPA ?
 
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is an Indian law aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India. Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • The National Integration Council appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to look into, the aspect of putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • Pursuant to the acceptance of recommendations of the Committee, the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963 was enacted to impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India. In order to implement the provisions of 1963 Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill was introduced in the Parliament.
 
       IASbhai Windup:  
 

If we sum up UAPA can be defined as reasonable restrictions on :

  1. Freedom of Speech and Expression;
  2. Right to Assemble peaceably and without arms; and
  3. Right to Form Associations or Unions.

#When there is threat to integrity or sovereignty of the nation. 

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

U.P. primary health centres

       HEADLINES:

U.P. primary health centres ailing, Centre says in LS

       WHY IN NEWS?  

State has the worst patient-doctor ratio and most number of centres without electricity, water supply or good roads

 

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 1:2:Public health

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS open NCERTS and revise what is PHC.

For MAINS for issues like PHC you can note some wonderful points here.

       ISSUE: 

Facing a shortfall of 2,277 doctors, Uttar Pradesh’s primary health centres (PHCs) have the worst patient-doctor ratio. With 942 of these centres working without electricity, regular water supply or all-weather motorable approach roads, the State’s PHCs has the worst infrastructure in the country.
 
 

 

  •  The States that have shown poor PHC ratings include Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka and Bihar, show the Rural Health Statistics, 2018, quoted by the Ministry.
  • The data note that while Uttar Pradesh requires 3,621 doctors for its PHCs, the backbone of health delivery, it has only 1,344 doctors, showing a deficit of 2,277.
  • Though the sanctioned strength is 4,509, there are 3,165 vacancies.
  • The State also has the worst infrastructure with 213 centres without electricity supply, 270 without regular water supply and 459 without all-weather motorable approach roads.
  • The States that have poor infrastructure based on the same parameters include Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam and Uttarakhand.
  • Public health and hospitals being a State subject, all administrative and personnel matters, including recruitment of doctors at the PHCs, lie with the State governments.
 
       IASbhai Windup:  
 
  • The shortage of doctors in public health facilities varies from State to State, depending on their policies and context. Financial support under the National Health Mission (NHM), financial and technical support is provided to the States and Union Territories to strengthen their healthcare systems,
  • including support for recruitment of doctors on contract, based on the requirements posed by them in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) within their overall resource envelope.
  • The Ministry noted that measures to improve the availability of doctors through establishment of new government colleges and increase of seats at existing government medical colleges under a Centrally sponsored scheme and rationalisation of norms for government medical colleges in terms of faculty and land have been done. The number of MBBS seats have been increased by more than 29,000 in the past five years. 
  • Under the Budget announcement of 2017-18, 1.5 lakh sub-health centres and PHCs were being transformed into health and wellness centres under Ayushman Bharat for provision of comprehensive primary care that includes preventive healthcare and health promotion at the community level with a continuum-of-care approach.

      SOURCES:   THE HINDU  

 

MGNREGS

       HEADLINES:

What MGNREGS can tell us about the slowdown

 

       WHY IN NEWS?    

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 1:2:Social empowerment: Schemes

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have look in little depth of this issue

For MAINS scheme has been compared with the present economic turmoil.

       ISSUE: 

 
 
 
Many high-frequency economic indicators suggest that India is in the midst of a severe economic slowdown. The increase in the number of people working under MGNREGS also seems to indicate that rural India is not in great shape.
 
How many people have used the scheme?
 
  • A total of 60.3 million individuals have worked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) till 23 November of fiscal year 2019-20.
  • If this pace holds till the end of the financial year, the number will shoot up to about 90 million.
  • This will be 16% higher than the total number of people who worked under MGNREGS in 2018-19. This clearly tells us that things aren’t well in rural India.

What has its trend been since FY15?

 
  • Between 2014-15 and 2019-20, the number of people working under MGNREGS would have gone up from 62.2 million to more than 90 million—an increase of 45%.
  • This scheme is self-selecting and only those who want to do manual unskilled work can volunteer for it.
  • So what does the rise tell us? It means that people come looking for work under MGNREGS only when they do not get other jobs.
  • With an expected increase of 16% in the number of people working under MGNREGS this year, we can conclude that there aren’t enough other jobs going around, forcing people to resort to the employment scheme.

How much money is the govt spending under it?

  • The Union government has released ₹53,571 crore for the employment scheme so far this fiscal.
  • If this pace is maintained, the total amount of money released for MGNREGS during the financial year will likely cross ₹80,000 crore.
  • This will be a jump of close to 29% from 2018-19, when ₹62,125 crore had been released for the scheme.
  • So what’s the problem with MGNREGS? With more people opting to work under MGNREGS, the Central government has obviously allocated more money to the scheme.
  • However, the average cost per person per day to run the scheme—of which the daily wages paid to people working under the scheme is a major part—has grown at a very slow pace since 2014-15, from ₹206 to ₹249 per day, at the rate of 3.9% per year.
  • This has barely kept pace with the rate of inflation in the country.
  • In fact, in real terms, the payments made per person have shrunk. Can the govt spend its way out of the slump? Higher spending under MGNREGS can, at best, act as a palliative to the current economic slowdown. 
 
       IASbhai Windup:  
 
If solving problems was just about spending more money, things would have been very simple—which they clearly aren’t. To get the country out of the current slowdown, a series of structural reforms are needed on many fronts. Over and above this, the Union government needs to carry out proper allocation of capital and spend money in areas that have the most social and economic benefits.

 

      SOURCES:   THE LIVEMINT

 

Gene therapy, cell therapy

       HEADLINES:  

‘WE’RE INNOVATING, NOW WE NEED TO MONETIZE’

       WHY IN NEWS?    

SYLLABUS COVERED: 
GS 3:biotechnology

       LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS nothing much here

For MAINS you will be able to complete the issue gene and cell therapy through this article.

       ISSUE: 

 
GENE AND CELL THERAPY
 
How India can be a global leader ?
  • India could become a global hub for affordable high-end therapies if we invest in gene therapy, cell therapy and gene editing technologies.
  • About 6,000 diseases are caused by genetic mutations, and more than 95% of those have little or no therapeutic options.
  • We have seen success in cancer treatment through immunotherapy, which weaponizes immune cells to destroy specific targets such as cancer cells.
  • Gene editing technology such as CRISPR has helped accelerate innovation not just in biotechnology and life sciences, but across industries such as food and agriculture, energy, and defence.
     

BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS ?

  • Digital and data-driven technologies are transforming businesses and India needs more of these technologies to transform our life sciences and biotechnology businesses.
  • Digital technology and big data analytics can make research and development more efficient by analysing billions of datasets from multiple sources, accelerate the discovery process and reduce error rates.
  • They can help bring down the cost of expensive diagnostics for Indians. These technologies can bring about a tectonic shift in the biotechnology and life sciences landscape.

FOCUS ON PATENTING ?

  • India needs to focus more on patenting and intellectual property protection to become a global hub for new technologies.
  • We need strong patenting laws, in line with global ones, to derive value from our innovations.
  • A strong patenting regime will allow us to monetise our innovations at a global level.

INCREASE INVESTMENTS IN R&D :

  • We need to successfully convert ideas into reality to become a global innovation hub.
  • To take a lead in cutting-edge technologies, India needs to increase investment in research and development (R&D).
  • India’s investment in R&D has stagnated at 0.6% to 0.7% of GDP, much lower than US, China and Israel.
  • India has to invest in creating world-class research institutions and infrastructure, high-end technical skills, and incentivise private investments in R&D.
 
       IASbhai Windup:  
 
RIGHT REGULATIONS In addition to investments, India needs to articulate the right regulations in new areas such as diagnostics. Liberal regulations with the right degree of control and oversight will signal the government’s ‘positive intent’ to various stakeholders, which in turn will attract investments, spur R&D, and also remove
 
      SOURCES:   THE LIVEMINT

 

 
 

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