26 November, 2020

  • GS MTS & QIP Classes Announcement
  • Heavy rain, as cyclone Nivar approaches coast (Physical Geography)
  • We dont need no EdTech control - (Social Development)
  • Moment of reckoning - (Polity & Governance)
  • Govt. allocates Rs 2000 Cr for Infrastructure funding - (Indian Economy)
  • Prelims Summary
  • Question for the day (Social Development)

Prelims Quiz

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    UPSC Current Affairs: Heavy rain, as cyclone Nivar approaches coast| Page 01

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Cyclones | Mains: GS Paper III: Environment

    Sub Theme: Cyclones | Nivar  |View of Supreme Court on Sedition in Kedar Nath | UPSC

    About cyclones

    • Cyclones are rapid inward air circulation around a low-pressure area. The air circulates in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.
    • Cyclones are usually accompanied by violent storms and bad weather.

    There are two types of cyclones:

    • Tropical cyclones;and
    • Extra Tropical cyclones(also called Temperate cyclones or middle latitude cyclones or Frontal cyclones or Wave Cyclones).

    How does a cyclone form?

    There are six factors responsible for the formation of the cyclone:

    • Sufficient warm temperature at sea surface
    • atmospheric instability
    • impact area of Coriolis force so that low pressure can be developed
    • high humidity in the lower to middle levels of the troposphere
    • a pre-existing low-level focus or disturbance
    • low vertical wind shear.
    • The development cycle of tropical cyclones may be divided into three stages:

    Formation and Initial Development Stage

    • The formation and initial development of a cyclonic storm depends upon the transfer of water vapour and heat from the warm ocean to the overlying air, primarily by evaporation from the sea surface.
    • It encourages formation of massive vertical cumulus clouds due to convection with condensation of rising air above the ocean surface.

    Mature Stage

    • When a tropical storm intensifies, the air rises in vigorous thunderstorms and tends to spread out horizontally at the tropopause level. Once air spreads out, a positive pressure at high levels is produced, which accelerates the downward motion of air due to convection.
    • With the inducement of subsidence, air warms up by compression and a warm ‘Eye’ (Low pressure centre) is generated. The main physical feature of a mature tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean is a concentric pattern of highly turbulent giant cumulus thundercloud bands.

    Modification and Decay

    • A tropical cyclone begins to weaken in terms of its central low pressure, internal warmth and extremely high speeds, as soon as its source of warm moist air begins to ebb or is abruptly cut off.
    • This happens after its landfall or when it passes over cold waters.                     

    Why no cyclone near equator?

    • The Coriolis force that compels the surface winds to spiral towards the low-pressure system. As Coriolis force is negligible in the equatorial belt between latitudes 5 degrees north and 5 degrees south, cyclonic systems do not develop in this region.

    Naming of cyclone?

    • The naming of tropical cyclones is a recent phenomenon. The process of naming cyclones involves several countries in the region and is done under the aegis of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
    • For the Indian Ocean region, a formula for naming cyclones was agreed upon in 2004. Eight countries in the region - Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand - all contributed a set of names which are assigned sequentially whenever a cyclonic storm develops.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Moment of Reckoning | Page 06

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II| Polity and Governance

    Sub Theme: | | |UPSC

    As political parties are the most crucial actors of Indian democracy, their democratic functioning becomes inextricably inter-linked to the health and vibrancy of the former.

    The lack of democratic functioning of the parties is mainly manifested in two fundamental aspects.

    • First, the procedure for determining the leadership and composition of the parties are not completely open and inclusive.
      • It has been observed that the leadership is mostly decided by a coterie of party functionaries who holds sway over the party administration.
      • Even when elections take place in which the members of the national organisational or decision-making body of the party participate, the pre-determined choice of the party elite is merely supported by the other members.
      • Most of the times, the elections to leadership positions are uncontested and unanimously decided. In many instances, the ceremonial rubber stamp organisational elections are also held after long intervals with serious irregularities.
      • This adversely impacts the constitutional right of all citizens to equal political opportunity to participate in politics and contest elections.
    • Second, the centralised mode of functioning of the political parties and the stringent anti-defection law of 1985 deters party legislators from voting in the national and state legislatures according to their individual preferences.
      • The anti-defection legislation requires the elected representatives to strictly follow the party whip during legislative voting. Failure of do so results in the disqualification of their membership from the legislature.
      • The Act has done damage to the cause of inner-party democracy as “the obligatory whip that the act imposes on the party legislators compels them to adhere to the directives of their party high-command in the legislature. Therefore, the discretional autonomy of the legislators becomes hostage to the whims of the party leadership”. Hence, the elected representatives are likely to remain accountable and answerable to their party leadership and its authority rather than to the electoral constituency which has elected the candidate to the legislature.
    • Cult Personality
      • The composition of the party elite in the political parties is also a major concern in India. Multiple research findings have suggested that centralised and ambiguous working of the parties that led to distribution of party ticket to certain sections of the population and excluding the rest of the society.
      • Reports suggest that party members with adequate social and financial resources are given primacy while distributing tickets for contesting elections.

    Thus, the lack of transparency and accountability in the inner functioning of the political parties in India have serious consequences for the steady functioning of parliamentary democracy in the country. Lack of free and fair internal elections, questionable procedure of distributing party tickets, the lack of information regarding the candidates contesting elections and the murky domain of campaign finance urgently requires a serious public deliberation regarding the increasing need for political party reforms.

    As this article has pointed out, there is a number of suggestions on electoral reforms that has been put forward “by several government constituted committees like the Dinesh Goswami Committee, the Tarkunde Committee and Indrajit Gupta Committee, which strongly argued for more transparent working of the political parties in the country. The 1999 Law Commission Report strongly recommended the introduction of a regulatory framework for governing the internal structures and inner party democracy of the political parties. Even, a draft Political Parties (Registration and Regulation of Affairs) Act, 2011 was submitted to the Union Law Ministry.

    The draft envisaged the creation of an Executive Committee for every political party whose members would be elected by the members of the local committees of the state units of the party. The latter, in turn, would elect the office-bearers of the party from amongst themselves, without accepting any nomination.

    Political parties control the levers of governance in a democracy. So only strong political will emanating from irrefutable electoral demands for inner-party democracy can only lead India towards the process of democratising its political parties.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Govt. allots Rs 2000 Cr for infra funding | Page 12

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III –  Economy

    Sub Theme: NIIF | Sovereign Wealth Fund | UPSC

    Context:

    The Union Cabinet has recently given its approval to the proposal for equity infusion by Government of Rs 6000 crores in NIIF Debt Platform which is sponsored by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). This is set to boost National Infrastructure pipeline (NIP) which proposes to invest around Rs 102 lakh crore in economic and social infrastructure over the next 5 years.

    What is Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF)?

    A Sovereign Wealth Fund is an investment fund set up by some of the countries in order to invest in global market in the form of shares, bonds, real estate projects etc.  This fund is mainly funded through the foreign exchange reserves held by the countries. Further, the money is invested globally so as to make optimum profits through the SWF.

    For example, Norway is operating the world's largest SWF (Government Pension Fund) with a corpus of around $ 1 trillion dollars. Similarly, China has also set up Chinese Investment Corporation (CIC) in the form of SWF. Further, oil exporting countries of west Asia such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar etc. have also set up their own SWF.

    What is NIIF?

    It is a quasi-SWF established by the Indian government in 2015. Unlike the SWFs of other countries which are 100% owned by the Governments, the NIIF is 49% owned by the Indian Government.

    The remaining 51% is to be owned by domestic and foreign investors. In 2017, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority became the first international investor in NIIF.

    What is the role of NIIF?

    It provides equity support to those NBFCs and Financial Institutions (FIs) that are engaged mainly in infrastructure financing. These institutions will be able to leverage this equity support and provide debt to the selected infrastructure projects. Presently, NIIF manages three funds with distinctive mandates:

    Master Fund: Infrastructure fund primarily investing in core infrastructure sectors such as roads, ports, airports, power etc. It invests in mature businesses with long-term track record, often operating in regulated environments or under concession or long-term agreements.

    Fund of Funds focuses on social infrastructure sectors services such as healthcare, education, digital etc.

    Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF):  Aimed at investing in growth and development stage investments in companies and sectors that are strategically important to the Indian economy.

    NIIF Debt Platform

    NIIF Strategic Opportunities Fund has set up a Debt Platform comprising of NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited (NIIF IFL) and Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited (AIFL).

    Ownership: NIIF has already invested nearly Rs 2000 cr. in equity of the Platform. The Government will invest Rs 6000 cr. as equity. Rest of equity will be raised from private investors.

    Government's Proposal: The NIIF AIFL and IFL will raise Rs 95,000 crores debt from market, including through project bonds. By 2025, they will be able to provide infra project financing of Rs 1.10 lakh crores.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: We don’t need no EdTech control | Page - 07

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II – Social issues

    Sub Theme: Importance of Technology in Education | SWAYAM PRABHA | UPSC   

    We don’t need no EdTech control

    With schools being closed for nearly eight months due to the pandemic, parents are worried about their children’s education. New EdTech companies has seen the period of lockdown as an opportunity to do aggressive marketing.

    In this context the author is raising the question that do people know what children should study at a young age? What kind of computer science education is appropriate for them?

    In this context we shall discuss the importance of technology in education and steps taken by government in this regard.

    Importance of technology in education

    1. Collaborative education - Online platform acts as effective stage for studying and discussion.
    2. Remote learning - The rural and hilly area population can get the high quality material at their place.
    3. Useful for disabled students - The disabled students can get the education at their place.
    4. Place of storage of education material at one place.
    5. Access to international study material - thus enhancing the overall quality of study.
    6. Anytime learning -Just a click will link anyone anytime and at anyplace to learning.
    7. faster up-dation - Data on internet updates at faster pace against the textbook

    Steps taken by government to promote technology aided education

    1. PM e-VIDYA- A programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education has been launched; consisting of:
      1. DIKSHA for school education in states/UTs: e-content and QR coded Energized Textbooks for all grades (one nation, one digital platform)
      2. SWAYAM PRABHA TV Channels - One earmarked TV channel per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel)
      3. Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired.
      4. Top 100 universities have been be permitted to automatically start online courses.
    2. Manodarpan - An   initiative for psychosocial support of students, teachers and families for mental healt and emotional wellbeing to be launched immediately.
    • SARANSH is a tool for comprehensive self-review and analysis for CBSE affiliated schools and parents. It enables them to analyse students’ performance in order to take remedial measures. SARANSH brings schools, teachers and parents closer, so that they can monitor the progress of students and help them improve their performance.
    1. A scheme Operation Digital Board (ODB) for establishing Smart Classrooms in classes IX to XII of Government and Government aided schools

    National Education Policy 2020 has recommended creation of an autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Jallikattu is India’s entry for Oscar awards| Page - 08

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Art and Culture

    Sub Theme: Jallikattu  | UPSC  

    Jallikattu is India’s entry for Oscar awards

    Malayalam film Jallikattu has been selected as India’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category for the 93rd Academy Awards.

    So for the award at the Oscar has been won by Lagaan in 2001, Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay (1988) had made the grade.

    The film that explores the human psyche follows a buffalo that escapes the butcher’s hold when he is about to slaughter it. The beast runs helter-skelter, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Before long, the entire village, located in the wild high ranges, is out to trap the elusive buffalo. With every mile that it covers, the buffalo unravels the animosities, the violence, and the selfish interests simmering beneath in the village, which betrays the calm on its surface.

    Jallikattu

    • Jallikattu is a traditional bull-taming event that is organised in the state every year as part of the harvest festival Pongal.
    • The sport requires fighters to pounce on a running bull, try to hold on to its hump and move along with the animal without falling or getting hurt.
    • Jallikattu is an old tradition. An ancient reference to bull taming is found in a seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, which is dated between 2,500 BC and 1,800 BC. 
    • There are references about Jallikattu in Silappatikaram.
    • In 2014, the Supreme Court had banned the event after a plea filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
    • However, the state government insisted that Jallikattu is a crucial part of its culture and identity. The ban was lifted in January 2017 after massive protests in Chennai.
    • Although there are systems in place to check treatment of the bulls and ensure safety of participants and spectators, activists allege that animal cruelty still continues.

    Arguments in favour of Jallikattu

    • Culture:Tamils consider it symbolic of Tamilian pride as it is an ancient tradition. Organizers of bullock cart races have argued that extreme care and precaution is exercised to prevent pain from bullocks.
      • However, the court had noted that even the ancient culture and tradition do not support Jallikattu in the form they are conducted today; Tamil culture and tradition is about worshipping the bull considered the vehicle of Lord Shiva.
    • Saving Native Bulls:Proponents of Jallikattu argue that only native bulls are allowed to participate in Jallikattu and these bulls will become extinct if Jallikattu is not allowed to happen; there were more than one million Kangayam bulls in 1990 but now the number is just 15,000.

    Arguments against Jallikattu

    • Violation of constitution and law: The practice of jallikattu is violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act, 1960.
    • Also, the article 51A of the constitution which includes our fundamental duties and states that citizens should safeguard the wildlife and forests and have compassion for living creatures.
    • Animal rights issues: Some people consider bullfighting a cruel sport in which the bull suffers severe torture. Many animal rights activists often protest against it, citing the needless endangerment of the life of the animal and the fighter.
    • The animal welfare body through its studies and reports had highlighted that bulls were physically and mentally tortured for human pleasure.

    Note - Kambala is a traditional bull buffalo race which generally takes place in coastal Karnataka from November to March. The PETA has alleged that Kambala too involves acts of cruelty on animals which are not physiologically suited for racing.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: More trilateral naval exercises on the cards | Page - 09

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Geography

    Sub Theme: Cyclone  | UPSC  

    Indian Armed Forces conduct/participates in various bilateral and multilateral military exercises with foreign countries.

     

    Sl. No.

    Country

    Exercises

    1.

    Australia

    Ex Austra Hind, Ex Ausindex, Ex Pitch Black

    2.

    Bangladesh

    Ex Sampriti, In-bn Corpat, In-bn Bilat,

    In-Bn Sf Exercise, Table Top Ex, Samvedna

    3.

    Brazil & South Africa

    IBSAMAR

    4.

    China

    Ex Hand In Hand

    5.

    Egypt

    Ex Cyclone

    6.

    France

    Ex Shakti, Ex Varuna, Garuda

    7.

    Indonesia

    Ex Garuda Shakti, Ind-Indo Corpat

    Ind-indo Bilat

    8.

    Israel

    Ex Blue Flag

    9.

    Japan

    Ex Dharma Guardian, Ex Jimex

    10.

    Kazakhstan

    Ex Kazind

    11.

    Kyrgyzstan

    Ex Khanjar

    12.

    Malaysia

    Ex Harimau Shakti, Ex In-rmn Bilat, Hop Ex

    13.

    Maldives

    Ex Ekuverin, Ex Ekatha

    14.

    Mongolia

    Ex Nomadic Elephant

    15.

    Myanmar

    Ex Imbex, Imcor, In-Mn Bilat, Table Top Ex

    16.

    Nepal

    Ex Surya Kiran

    17.

    Oman

    Ex AL Nagah, Naseem-al-Bahr, Ex Eastern Bridge

    18.

    Qatar

    Za’Ir Al Bahr

    19.

    Russia

    Ex Indra, Ex Aviaindra

    20.

    Seychelles

    Ex Lamitiye

    21.

    Singapore

    Simbex, Joint Military Training

    22.

    Sri Lanka

    Ex Mitra Shakti, Slinex, In-sln Sf Ex, Samvedna

    23.

    Thailand

    Ex Maitree, Indo-Thai Corpat, Ex Siam Bharat

    24.

    UAE

    Desert Eagle

    25.

    UK

    Ex Ajey Warrior, Konkan, Indradhanush

    26.

    USA

    Ex Yudhabhayas, Ex Vajra Prahar, Spitting Cobra, Sangam (In-usn Eod Ex), Red Flag, Ex Cope India

    27.

    Uzbekistan

    Ex Dustlik

    28.

    Vietnam

    VINBAX, In-VPN Bilat

    Comments

    Raghu N 1 month ago

    Hello Rau's IAS,

    The notes attached along with 26 Nov 2020 DNS is different !!

    -Raghu



    PRAKHAR GUPTA 1 month ago

    notes attached are of different dns

    Kshitish Mishra 1 month ago

    No word file attached for this DNS. Kindly upload the same...