Weekly Current Affairs Prelims (3rd to 9th June, 2019)
(Info graphic Summary at the end)
Topic : Minister for Social Justice took part in ‘2nd Global Disability Summit’ in Argentina
Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs
The second Global Disability Summit will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The summit seeks to strengthen the commitment of Latin America and the world to ensure the full inclusion of people with disabilities and guarantee their rights, freedoms and human dignity.
To deliberate on issues across the world concerning empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and to work out a mechanism for enabling them to live an independent and dignified life.
‘1st Global Disability Summit’ was held in London in July 2018.
The Global leaders attending the summit express their commitments towards eliminating stigma and discrimination against PwDs and to work towards promoting inclusive education, economic empowerment, technology and innovation in assistive devices, data desegregation etc. for them.
After the Summit, Indian delegation will also be participating in bilateral discussions with Argentina Government for developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between two countries on 9 June to 10 June 2019
The International Disability Alliance (IDA)
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is an alliance of eight global and six regional organisations of persons with disabilities. They advocate at the United Nations for a more inclusive global environment for persons with disabilities and their organisations. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is their touchstone.
2nd Global Disability Summit’ was held in
b) Buenos Aires
Topic : Delhi Metro becomes India’s first project to receive power from waste-to-energy
Topic in Syllabus: Economy – Infrastructure
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) receiving 2 MW power from a 12 MW capacity waste-to-energy plant set up in Ghazipur.It is being utilized at the Vinod Nagar Receiving Substation (RSS) for meeting the operational requirements of Pink Line of Delhi Metro.
East Delhi Waste Processing Company Limited:
- East Delhi Waste Processing Company Limited(EDWPCL) is the body responsible for setting up the plant, and it involves a partnership between EDWPCL, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and the Delhi government.
- It can process above 1,500 tonnes per day (TPD) of waste and generate 12MW of green power. It is India’s first Euro norms compliant waste-to-energyfacility.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC):
- Currently, DMRC is producing 28 MW of solar power from the various rooftop solar power plants.
- The DMRC has also started to receive solar power from the off-site solar power plant at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh.
- During construction also, DMRC plants 10 trees for each tree that is cut for site work. Close to four lakh vehicles are being removed from the streets because of the Delhi metro.
- This initiative will help contribute to the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, while also helping create awareness among citizens about waste management.
- It will mitigate over 8 million tons of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) over the life ofthe project, thus combating global warming.
- Delhi Metro is working continuously towards conservation of environmentsince the inception of the organisation.
- It is the first ever rail basedorganisation in the world to claim carbon credits.
Other Initiatives by Delhi Metro:
- It has commissioned facility at Rohini on PPP model with IL&FS EnvironmentalInfrastructure & Services Ltd (IEISL) for recycling of Construction andDemolition (C&D) waste with capacity of 150 tons per day.
- Currently, it is producing 28 MW of solar power from the various rooftopsolar power plants, which have been set up in its stations, depots andresidential premises.
- It also has started to receive solar power from the o-site solar power plantat Rewa in Madhya Pradesh.
Which among the below is responsible to setupfrom waste-to-energy plant in ghazipur?
a). Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)
b). East Delhi Waste Processing Company Limited
Topic : Gujarat launches India’s first Emission Trading Scheme to combat particulate air pollution
Topic in Syllabus: Ecology & Environment
Gujarat programme is the first in the world to regulate particulate air pollution.
Under existing regulations, every industry has to meet a certain maximum concentration of pollutants when it is operating. They are tested occasionally and manually (one or two times a year). However, there is widespread non-compliance across India. This is partly because penalties are rarely applied, in large part because they involve punishments such as closing down the entire plant which is not necessarily appropriate for small violations.
- It is a market-based system where the government sets a cap on emissions and allows industries to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap.
- Being initiated in Surat by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).
Cap and trade system:
- Under the cap and trade system, the regulator first defines the total mass of pollution that can be put into the air over a defined period by all factories put together.
- Then, a set of permits is created, each of which allows a certain amount of pollution, and the total is equal to the cap.
- These permits are the quantity that is bought and sold. Each factory is allocated a share of these permits (this could be equal or based on size or some other rule).
- After this, plants can trade permits with each other, just like any other commodity on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
- The reason for trading is that in a cap and trade market, the regulator will measure pollution over a period of time and industries must own enough permits to cover their total emissions.
- Factories who find it very expensive to reduce pollution, will seek to buy more permits. Those who can easily reduce pollution are encouraged to do so because then they have excess permits to sell.
- Eventually, after buying and selling by plants that find it cheap to cut pollution and those for whom it is expensive, most pollution is taken care of. Whatever the final allocation, the total number of permits does not change so the total pollution is still equal to the predefined cap. And yet the costs to industry are decreased.
Consider the following statements
- The transport sector is largest contributor to GHG emissions.
- Co2 concentration is higher than any other GHG.
Select the correct answer from the following codes
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation: The energy sector is the largest contributor to GHG emissions and, within this, CO2
emissions from combustion of fuels have the largest share.
Topic : UdChalo Initiative
Topic in Syllabus: Indian Society
In a bid to make wounded soldiers, who are now confined to wheelchairs, self-reliant, an initiative ‘UdChalo’ is all set to take off at the Army’s Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) in Punjab’s Mohali.
- ‘UdChalo’ is a travel portal, that caters for the personal travel of the military and paramilitary forces personnel by aggregating defence fares and getting exclusive discounts.
- The Army’s Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) has joined hands with UdChalo with an aim to empower the disabled military veterans
Army’s Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre:
- Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre is a charitable organization registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950.
- Mission is to ensure the best after care and rehabilitation of personnel of the Armed Forces of India (Army, Navy & Air Force) who are medically boarded out i.e. retired from service due to Spinal Cord injury while serving the Nation.
- The initiative is unique and has given a new lease of life of these soldiers who are now confined to wheelchairs.
- PRC provides institutionalised care to soldiers, who are wounded in military or insurgency operations and can’t adequately provide for themselves the constant medical care associated with quadriplegia and paraplegia.
What is Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre(PRC)?
a). PRC provides institutionalised care to soldiers, who are wounded in military or insurgency operations
b). PRC provides institutionalised care to disabled people, who can’t adequately provide for themselves the constant medical care associated with quadriplegia and paraplegia
Topic : Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Adviser
Topic in Syllabus: Security Issues
The role and significance of NSA has varied with changing regime. In recent time it has emerged as powerful body for policy matters related to security.
National Security Advisor:
- The NSA is the senior official on the National Security Council (NSC) of India, and the chief adviser to the Prime Minister of India on national and international security policy. Presently NSA is most powerful bureaucrat in the Government of India.
- The National Security Adviser (NSA) is tasked with regularly advising the Prime Minister of India on all matters relating to internal and external threats and opportunities to India, and oversees strategic and sensitive issues on behalf of the Prime Minister.
- The NSA of India also serves as thePrime Minister’s Special Interlocutor with China as well as the envoy to Pakistan and Israel on security affairs.
- The NSA receives all intelligence reports and co-ordinates themto present before the Prime Minister. NSA is assisted by the Deputy National Security Advisers.
In December 1998, on the recommendations of K C Pant task force, a three-tier structure was set up, consisting of;
- The National Security Council (NSC)(NSA as its secretary).
- Strategic Policy Group (SPG) and
- National Security Advisory Board (NSAB).
National Security Council (NSC)
- The National Security Council (NSC) of India is a three-tiered organization that oversees political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern.
- NSC is chaired by the Prime Minister and consisting of important members of his Cabinet directly concerned with national security issues and NSA is its Secretary.
- It is an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister’s Office on matters of national security and strategic interest.
Strategy Policy Group(SPG)
- The SPG will assist the NSC and undertake among other tasks a long term strategic Defence review.
- The SPG shall be the principal mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of relevant inputs in the formulation of national security policies
National Security Advisory Board(NSAB)
- The first NSAB was set up in 1998 with K Subrahmanyam as its convener. It was the brainchild of the first National Security Advisor(NSA), Brajesh Mishra, a former member of Indian Foreign Service.
- Its principal objective is to undertake long-term analysis of and provide perspectives on issues of national security.
- The policy recommendations and options proposed by the NSAB are conveyed to the National Security Council for its consideration.
- The NSAB deals with internal and external security, foreign affairs, defence, science and technology and economic affairs and normally meets at least once a month.
- Recently the NSAB has been reconstituted with P Raghavan, former Ambassador to Russia as its head. The new NSAB will succeed the previous Board headed by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, whose tenure ended in January 2015.
National Security Council was set up on the recommendation of task force led by
b) K C Panth
c) Shyam Saran
d) None of the Above
Topic : G20 agrees to push ahead with digital tax
Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs
Proposals to tax big tech companies that focus on making it more difficult to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions, and to introduce a minimum corporate tax.
Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other large technology firms face criticism for cutting their tax bills by booking profits in low-tax countries regardless of the location of the end customer. Such practices are seen by many as unfair.
The new rules would mean higher tax burdens for large multinational firms but would also make it harder for countries like Ireland to attract foreign direct investment with the promise of ultra-low corporate tax rates.
The first pillar is dividing up the rights to tax a company where its goods or services are sold even if it does not have a physical presence in that country.
If companies are still able to find a way to book profits in low tax or offshore havens, countries could then apply a global minimum tax rate to be agreed under the second pillar.
The path to a final agreement is still fraught with difficulty because of disagreement on a common definition of a digital business and on how to distribute tax authority among different countries.
- G20 is an international forum for the governmentsand central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.
- Founded in 1999 with the aim to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability, the G20 has expanded its agenda since 2008 and heads of governmentor heads of state, as well as finance ministers and foreign ministers, have periodically conferred at summits ever since.
- It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.
Digital Business :
Unlike traditional businesses, digital businesses have three distinct characteristics:
(a) They are not physically established – for example, Facebook, can offer all of their services with limited or no physical presence.
(b) They heavily rely on intellectual property assets (which can be quite mobile) and are typically located in, or worse shifted to, a low-tax jurisdiction.
(c) They are able to generate value through highly engaged ‘user participation’ from the source country market.
Which among the following are the members of G-20 Countries.
- Saudi Arabia
- New Zealand
Choose the correct option:
(a) 2, 3, 4, 5
(b) 2, 3, 4
(c) 1, 2, 3, 4
Topic : Parthenogenesis
Topic in Syllabus: Science & Technology
- About a week ago, the New England Aquarium in the US announced that a “virgin” anaconda had given birth during the winter.
- This is Immaculate Conception in Catholicism; in scientific terminology, it is parthenogenesis.
- This is only the second known case of parthenogenesis in green anacondas. It is not unknown in snakes, but undocumented enough to make it to scientific journals.
- The term parthenogenesis is an amalgam of the Greek words parthenos meaning virgin and genesis meaning origin.
- About 2,000 species are known to reproduce through parthenogenesis, which is one of the known means of asexual reproduction.
- It is a reproductive strategy that involves development of a female (rarely a male) gamete (sex cell) without fertililisation.
- It occurs commonly among lower plants and invertebrate animals (particularly rotifers, aphids, ants, wasps and bees) and rarely among higher vertebrates”.
- A gamete is the egg in females and the sperm in males. In animals, parthenogenesis means development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg cell.
- Many species that reproduce through parthenogenesis do not reproduce sexually. Others switch between the two modes taking cues from the environment.
How are the babies?
- Babies born through parthenogenesis are clones of the mother, as has now been confirmed by the aquarium through DNA tests.
- Parthenogenetic offspring tend to be clones of the parent because there has been no exchange and rearrangement of genetic information with another individual as happens in case of a sexual reproductive process.
- In some species, offspring born by parthenogenesis from a mother can also be male but it lacks one X chromosome.
- Parthenogenesis is a reproductive strategy that involves development of a female (rarely a male) gamete (sex cell) without fertilization.
- It occurs commonly among lower plants and invertebrate animals particularly rotifers, aphids, ants, wasps and bees and rarely among higher vertebrates.
- A gamete is the egg in females and the sperm in males.
- In animals, parthenogenesis means development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg cell.
- Many species that reproduce through parthenogenesis do not reproduce sexually.
- Parthenogenesis is one of the known means of asexual reproduction. Grafting (of plants) is also a type of asexual reproduction.
- Parthenogenetic offspring tend to be clones of the parent, as there has been no exchange and rearrangement of genetic information with another individual as happens in case of a sexual reproductive process.
- Parthenogenesis is rare in higher vertebrates like snake, but recently a green anaconda in USA had gave birth to a Parthenogenetic offspring.
Consider following statements about Parthenogenesis
- Parthenogenesis means development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg cell
- Many species that reproduce through parthenogenesis do not reproduce sexually
Which of the above statement/s is/are Correct
a). 1 only
b). 2 only
Topic : Nilgiri Tribals Tensed Over Destruction of Rock Art
Topic in Syllabus: Art & Culture
- 40%of the rock paintings in Karikiyoor at KilKotagiri in the Nilgiri forests have been destroyed by trekkers, tourists, and vandals.
- Irula tribal community, who have an ancestral link to the Nilgiri forest’s rock art site, are extremely angered at the damage by illegal trekkers.
About Irula Tribe
- Irula people reside in northern districts of Tamil Naduand in some parts of Kerala.
- Tribes have their origin from ethnic groups of Southeast Asia and Australia.
- They speak Irula language that is closely related to Dravidian languagelike Kannada and Tamil.
- Irulas are among the Particularly vulnerable tribal group.
Particularly vulnerable tribal group:
- The PVTGs are the marginalized sectionof the Scheduled tribes of India and are relatively isolated, educationally and socio-economically backward, living in a habitat far away from amenities.
- PVTG is not a constitutional category,nor are these constitutionally recognized communities.
- It is a Government of India’s classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with particularly low development.
- Scripts on the rock paintings in Karikiyoor resemble the script found in Indus civilization sites of northern India.
- The rock paintings serve, as a “historical record”, detailing the hunting habits and ways of life of the local communities.
- Rock arts are used for ritualistic purpose by local residents.
- Tribal communities rely on the rock arts for deriving their cultural connections by following the customs engraved in the rock art.
Rock art in India is extensively found in the caves of:
a). Bhimbetka caves
b). Bagh caves
c). Jogimara caves
d). All of the Above
Topic : Decolonising the Chagos archipelago
Topic in Syllabus: Indian Geography
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted last month by a huge majority (116 out of 193 members) to demand that the U.K. “withdraw its colonial administration” within six months over the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean in favour of Mauritius.
What is the issue?
- For several decades the Chagos archipelago has been the cause of a dispute between Mauritius and the U.K., over the decision in 1965 to separate Diego Garcia from the rest of the archipelago for setting up the military base, in collaboration with the U.S. Mauritius, a British colony, achieved independence in 1968 but the U.K. refused to return the Chagos archipelago, claiming sovereignty over the islands.
- The U.K. depopulated Diego Garcia by expelling all its inhabitants, to facilitate the building of the military base, paying just £4 million as compensation to Mauritius.
- In contravention of international human rights laws, from 1967 to 1973, the U.K. forcibly moved around 1,500 Chagossians to Mauritius and the Seychelles, and prevented them from returning to their homes.
- The dispute festered over the decades, with Mauritius, as per its Constitution, rightly claimed sovereignty over Chagos and challenged the U.K.’s stand.
- Recently, both UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice pressured the UK to withdraw its colonial administration from Chagos archipelago.
- Since the late-1960s, the U.S. has maintained a military base on one of them, Diego Garcia. In 2016, Britain extended the lease to the U.S.
- The agreement to allow Britain to administer the Chagos islands came in 1965, three years before Mauritius gained independence. Mauritius says Britain had made it a pre-condition for independence.
About Chagos Archipelago
- The land area of the islands is 56.13 km and the largest island, Diego Garcia. The total area, including lagoons within atolls, is more than 15,000 km, of which most of it is accounted by the Great Chagos Bank, the largest acknowledged atoll structure of the world (the completely submerged Saya de Malha Bank is larger, but its status as an atoll is uncertain).
- This archipelago group is a combination of different coralline rock structures topping a submarine ridge running southwards across the centre of the Indian Ocean, formed by volcanoes above the Réunion hotspot.
- In this archipelago there is no clearly discernible pattern in the atoll arrangement,which makes the whole archipelago look somewhat chaotic. Most of the coralline structures of the Chagos are submerged reefs.
- It The Chagos contain the world’s largest coral atoll, The Great Chagos Bank, which supports half the total area of good quality reefs in the Indian Ocean.
- Chagos as issue is important not just due to the ICJ ruling but also because it forms part of Indian Ocean which is gaining importance in recent times.
- India can play a pivotal role in bringing about an agreement among Mauritius, the U.S. and the U.K.
Which are the neighbouring islands surrounding Chagos Archipelago?
- Rodrigues Island
- Cocos Island
Select the Correct answer below
a). 1 and 2 only
b). 3 and 4 only
c). All of the Above
d). None of the Above
Topic : 30 years of Tiananmen Square Protest
Topic in Syllabus: World History
Tiananmen Square incident is a major event in modern World History. It defined to the world the peculiar form of Communism which got established in China post-Mao which integrates a form of market capitalism with an authoritarian government.
About Tiananmen Square Protest:
30 years ago in 1989, hundreds of thousands of students and workers gathered in Tiananmen Square, in the heart of the Chinese capital, to call for greater democracy as well as political and social reforms.
- The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations calling for democracy, free speech and a free press in China.
- Pro-democracy protesters, mostly students, initially marched through Beijing to Tiananmen Square following the death of Hu Yaobang. Hu, a former Communist Party leader, had worked to introduce democratic reform in China.
- In mourning Hu, the students called for a more open, democratic government. Eventually, thousands of people joined the students in Tiananmen Square, with the protest’s numbers increasing to the tens of thousands by mid-May.
- During the protest at the height of the protests, it seemed like they could be successful, forcing a government that was already pursuing economic reform to also accept limited political liberalization. But hardliners won an internal battle within the ruling Communist Party and a crackdown was ordered. That decision changed China forever, ending hopes of a gradual move towards democracy.
Reasons for protest:
- There was a frustration with thelimits on political freedom in the country—given its one-party form of government, with the Communist Party holding sway—and ongoing economic troubles.
- Although China’s government had instituted a number of reforms in the 1980s that established a limited form of capitalism in the country, the poor and working-class Chinese still faced significant challenges, including lack of jobs and increased poverty.
- The students also argued that China’s educational system did not adequately prepare them for an economic system with elements of free-market capitalism.
- The Chinese government declared Martial law to suppress the protests
- After seven weeks of protests by students and workers, soldiers and tanks chased and killed demonstrators and onlookers in the streets leading to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
- While the initial presence of the military failed to quell the protests, the Chinese authorities decided to increase their aggression. In June, Chinese soldiers and police stormed Tiananmen Square, firing live rounds into the crowd. Consequently, Hundreds, or possibly more than 1,000, were killed, although the precise number of deaths remains unknown
- Critics say the Tiananmen crackdown, which left hundreds, possibly thousands, dead, set the ruling Communist Party on its present course of ruthless suppression, summary incarceration and the frequent use of violence against opponents in the name of “stability maintenance.”
- Recently China defended the bloody Tiananmen crackdown on student protesters in a rare public acknowledgement of the event.
The protestors at Tiananmen Square were mostly
b. foreign nationals
c. communist party members
Topic : Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2019
Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs
Global Entrepreneurship summit held in Hague(this is the first summit in European Union)hosted by the governments of the United States of America and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
About Global Entrepreneurship summit
It is an event that serves as a forum to celebrate and nurture entrepreneurship besides providing opportunities to network.
Global Entrepreneurship summit-2019
- The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 is a worldwide platform of inspirational keynote speakers, matchmaking, debate and ideas about how to build a future and promote free and fair trade and prosperity for all.
- A marketplace for breakthrough technologies where innovators, investors, the private-sector and entrepreneurs come together to form new and unlikely coalitions to accelerate and scale up workable, market-ready solutions.
- The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 is an investment in our future generations, with worldwide gains that will last far beyond the event itself.
Key Highlights of the GES summit
- It was the 9th edition of the summit
- With The Future Now as the overarching theme, GES 2019 empowered entrepreneurs to pursue solutions to global challenges in the following sectors: Agri/Food, Connectivity, Energy, Health, and Water.
- To reach these goals, investors from across the capital continuum, ranging from venture capital firms to family offices, intersected with scientists and entrepreneurs to harness industries of the future such as 5G, advanced manufacturing, and artificial intelligence.
- Investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers all have important roles in harnessing these technologies to bring solutions to market, and GES 2019 brought these groups together to create the next wave of innovation.
- GES 2019 illustrated how investment in new technologies and businesses is spurring innovation now and building the foundation for future advancement.
- The 9th edition of GES isbeing organised jointly by the US Department of State and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The US delegation will be headed by Secretary of State. As the Netherlands is co-host, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will chair the Summit.
Goal of the summit:
- It is held annually to promote entrepreneurship worldwide.
- The Summit helps innovators establish links with foreign investors who can assist in scaling up internationally.
- At GES 2019, policymakers form governments will also attend. This way, GES offers a unique, international platform for companies to demonstrate their innovative solutions to major challenges facing the world today.
Significance of the summit
GES 2019 presents an excellent opportunity for the Netherlands to bolster their ties with the United States and underscore their position as the Gateway to Europe. It also allows Netherland to showcase their strengths with regard to entrepreneurship and innovation.
A Micro Enterprise is an enterprise where investment in plant and machinery does not exceed
a) 25 lakhs
b) 50 lakhs
c) 1 crore
d) 5 crore
Info graphic Summary