04 April, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • Changes in the DRS System (Science & Technology)
  • H1B Visa Issue (Economy)
  • Reference
  • Question for the Day

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    UPSC Current Affairs: Umpire’s call retained amid DRS tweaks  | Page – 12      

    UPSC Syllabus: GS Paper III – Science & Technology

    Sub Theme:  Decision Review System | UPSC  

    What is DRS?

     It is a technology-based system used in cricket to assist the match officials with their decision-making.

    On-field umpires may choose to consult with the third umpire (known as an Umpire Review), and players may request that the third umpire consider a decision of the on-field umpires (known as a Player Review).

    It uses television replays, technology that tracks the path of the ball and predicts what it would have done, microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits bat or pad, and infra-red imaging to detect temperature changes as the ball hits the bat or pad.

    What was the issue with the silicone tape on the bat?

    Hot Spot did not show a mark on the bat after a noise was heard on Snickometer. This led to the allegation that Batsmen were using silicon tape to fool the system.

     What is Hot spot technology in cricket?

     Hot Spot is an infrared imaging system used in cricket to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad.

    Thermal imaging cameras measure minute amounts of heat generated from the energy transfer when the ball hits another object. This is seen as a white spot when a negative image is then produced.

    Silicone Tape on bats

    The laws of cricket allow for tape to protect and repair bats and fibreglass tape, which contains silica rather than silicone.

    Silicone is used as an insulator in the motor industry and has medical applications.  It is transparent. Theoretically silicone and silica have low thermal conductivity that could reduce heat transfer and friction.

     Why changes were required in the DRS system?

     Under DRS, 50% of the ball should predictively hit the “wicket zone” for an on-field not-out decision to be reversed.

     So if the ball-tracking simulation showed the ball to be clipping the bails, the on-field verdict, even if it was not out, stood because the “wicket zone” ended below the bails

    So two balls, both predictively shown to be hitting the stumps, can both be out and not out depending on the on-field umpire’s call.

     What is umpire’s call?

     Umpire’s call is about the DRS giving the benefit of the doubt to the decision taken by the on-field umpire. In LBW decisions, as per the existing rule, at least 50 per cent of the ball has to hit any part of a stump. If it is less than 50 per cent, then a batsman will survive on umpire’s call if the on-field decision is not out.

     MIT study on limitations of DRS system

     The error in predicting the height can be as high as 23 mm and width 8 mm. The requirement that half the ball (the radius of a cricket ball can range from 35.6 mm to 36.4 mm) should predictively hit the “wicket zone” is to cover for this possible error. There should be enough time between a ball bouncing and striking the batsman — four uninterrupted frames The size of ball changes during the course of the match.  Faster and fuller deliveries will have fewer frames of video available.

     Tennis vs cricket - Hawk Eye Use

    In Tennis the ball actually hits the ground before a decision is made, whereas, in cricket, it is purely a prediction.

    Even in tennis, the use of Hawk-Eye for calls as close as 1 mm, (in or out) when the figure for maximum error in the technology is around 3.6 mm has invited criticism.


    UPSC Current Affairs: Reversing a ban | Pg 12

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains: GS Paper II: International Relations 

    Sub Theme: H1- B Visa in USA| UPSC         

    News Context:

    The administration of former President Donald Trump, a Republican, halted the issuance of non-immigrant work visas of several types, including the skilled worker visa, or H-1B.

    What was the Objective of such a ban?

    The aim of the policy was to stop foreign workers from cornering American jobs during the economic distress and consequent shortage of economic opportunities brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    The overall unemployment rate in the country nearly quadrupled between February and May 2020 to a little over 13%

    Time period of the order -

     The original order was valid until December 31, 2020, it was extended by the Trump administration to be valid until March 31, 2021.

    Impact of the Ban

    It did not lead to any effective improvement in the employment scenario because of the Pandemic led economic slowdown. U.S. firms relying on skilled foreign nationals may have anyway been unable to make new hires.

    Until now, the U.S. issued 85,000 H-1B visas annually, of which 20,000 went to graduate students and 65,000 to private sector applicants, and Indian nationals would garner approximately 70% of these.

    Analysts predicted that around 2,19,000 workers around the world might have been prevented from taking up work in the U.S.

     What is the Policy under new administration?

     The new administration has allowed the ban on H-1B visa issuance to expire,

    What would be the Impact?

    Potentially it will bring relief to a large number of Indian nationals, especially IT workers who are prospective applicants for the visa. It might restore the inflow of skilled workers into the U.S., a source of productivity-increase for its labour force.

    Understanding the H1 B Controversy

    The US Economy has been severely hit by COVID-19 leading to increase in the unemployment rate to around 13%. In response, the Trump Administration has decided to restrict the issuance of various categories of non-immigrant work visa, including H1 B Visa for the rest of the calendar year.

    The idea behind such a move is to restrict the entry of foreign workers into USA and instead promote greater employment opportunities for the US youths. Now, even though such a move is temporary and valid until the end of the year, such a move would have adverse impact on both Indian and US based IT Companies.

    Understanding the H1B Visa

    The H1B Visa is a special form of non-immigrant work visa. It enables the companies based in USA to temporary employ the foreign employees for the specialized job designation. They can hire the non-residential worker in the specialized occupations like architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine which requires technical expertise. Further, the students who are pursuing their higher Education in USA can also get H1B Visa to work in USA after their graduation.

    Apart from the H-1B visas, the US government also issues L1 visas which allows companies to transfer highly skilled workers to US to work for a certain duration.

    Increasing Importance of H1B Visa for India and USA

    The rapid growth of the technology and Internet during the 1990s increased the demand for the highly skilled work force in USA. Accordingly, the number of Indians entering into US on H1B visa also steadily increased. Presently, the Indian nationals receive nearly 70% of the 85,000 H1-B visas issued each year. These Indians are hired in USA by both Indian based Companies (Infosys, TCS, WIPRO etc) as well as the US based companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft etc. This benefits almost all the stakeholders:

    1. The US-based Companies are able to have access to highly skilled workforce from India at relatively lower wages.
    2. The Indian-based IT Companies are mainly export-oriented wherein they get number of work contracts from USA. These IT Companies are able to send their employees from India to USA to work on the client site for a temporary period through the H1B Visa. The cost of hiring Indian workers is much lower for the Indian IT Companies as compared to hiring American workers. Hence, H1B Visa significantly reduces their operating cost, enables them to efficiently manage their employees and improve their productivity.
    3. It provides for employment opportunities to highly skilled Indians to work in USA.
    4. It enables the Indian students who obtain Masters/Ph.D. degree in USA to work on H1B Visa

    Why is there an opposition to H1B Visa Regime in USA?

    Rising Unemployment: The Trump Administration believes that the H1B Visa has led to replacement of US workers with the foreign workers who have H1B Visa.

    Misuse of H1B Visa: The majority of the work done by H1B employers is really not specialist work. In spite of having less years of experience, they go on to work for large IT companies in USA.

    How the recent move would have an impact on various Stakeholders?

    Indian IT Companies: As you can be seen in the figure, the Indian Companies are the major beneficiaries of the H-1B visa programme. Thus, such a move by the Trump Administration would force them to employ US Nationals at much higher wages leading to increase in their operating costs.

    US Based Companies: The US Based companies such as Google have also opposed the Trump Administration's move. The US based Companies have highlighted that it is immigration through H1B visa which has led to America's economic success making it the leader in Technology. Hence, such a move is counterproductive.

    Reduced Employment Opportunities for Indian Nationals in USA: As on April 1, 2020, USA had received around 2.5 lakh applications for H1B Visa. Out of this, Indians alone accounted for 1.84 lakh applications. Hence, the recent move by Trump Administration would lead to reduced Employment Opportunities for Indian Nationals in USA.

    Indians Pursuing Higher Education in USA: The new move would make it difficult for the Indian nationals pursuing their higher Education in USA to gain employment in USA after their graduation.