UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 6th May 2020

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IASbhai DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS  (THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS2020.

You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.– Babe Ruth

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Open Market Sales Scheme

      HEADLINES:

FCI stocks comfortable even after fulfilling extra commitments during the lockdown: Shri Ram Vilas Paswan

      WHY IN NEWS:

FCI sold 4.50 LMT wheat and 5.61 LMT rice through Open Market Sales Scheme during the lockdown, says Minister

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:FCI

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS we have given a clear picture of what is open market sales scheme .

For MAINS go with the issues revolving around FCI .

      ISSUE: 

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has given detailed information about the various steps taken by the government and the total stocks of food grains and pulses available with the government and sent to the states till now.
  • About 60 LMT food grains is required for a month under NFSA and other welfare schemes.
  • Since the lockdown, about 69.52 LMT food grains have been lifted and transported through 2483 rail rakes.
  • A total of 137.62 LMT has been transported.

FCI currently has 276.61 LMT rice and 353.49 LMT wheat.

Hence a total of 630.10 LMT food grain stock is available.

OPEN MARKET SALES SCHEME OVERVIEW

AIM:

  • FCI releases wheat and rice at predetermined prices in the open market from time to time to enhance the supply of wheat and rice especially during the lean season to moderate the open market prices.
  • Presently FCI is undertaking sale of wheat and Raw Rice Grade ‘A’ to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.
  • The State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations are also  allowed to participate in the e-auction, if they require wheat and rice.

BIDDING :

  • State Governments have to register for e-auction with NSPOT through FCI Regional Office and obtain the user id and password for participation in the bids.
  • The States are allowed to participate as a single unit.

UPPER AND LOWER LIMITS : 

  • The minimum and maximum quantity of wheat that a bulk consumer/trader can bid in an e-auction conducted by a Region for a State/UT is 100 MT and 5000 MT respectively.
  • The limits for States per e-auction has been  fixed at 100 MT to 40000 MT per state.
  • The minimum and maximum quantity of Raw Rice Grade-A that a bulk consumer/trader can bid in an e-auction conducted by a Region for a State/UT is 50 MT and 3500 MT respectively.
  • The limits for States per e-auction shall be fixed at 50 MT to 15,000 MT per state.

      IASbhai WINDUP:  

The present form of OMSS(D) comprises of 3 schemes as under:

(i)Sale of wheat to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.

(ii)Sale of wheat to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction by dedicated movement.

(iii) Sale of Raw Rice Grade ‘A’ to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Operation “Samudra Setu”

      HEADLINES:

Indian Navy launches Operation “Samudra Setu”

      WHY IN NEWS:

Indian Navy has launched Operation “Samudra Setu” – meaning “Sea Bridge, as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas.

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Defence

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is a very important initiative under ministry of defence .Keep an eye on all the INSV .

For MAINS nothing much here .

      ISSUE: 

Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar are presently enroute to the port of Malè, Republic of Maldives to commence evacuation operations from 08 May 2020 as part of Phase-1.
Operation-Samudra-Setu upsc

  • The Basic amenities, medical facilities will be arranged during sea passage.
  • The evacuation operations will start on May 8 as part of Phase 1 efforts, the Navy said on Tuesday.

  •  INS Shardul and INS Airavat had set sail to the UAE.
  • INS Jalashwa can normally accommodate 1,000 people but will take 800.
  • The other three amphibious ships are landing ship tanks (LST) and can normally accommodate 500 people each but the capacity will be reduced to 300-350, officials said.

INS AIRAVAT :

It is the third Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel of the Indian Navy.
  • It was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata at Yard.
  • On 19 May 2009, she was commissioned at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.
  • The meaning of Airavat in Hindi is the mount of god Indra, the elephant Airavata, as mentioned in the Rigveda.

 FEATURES

  • Airavat consists of an anti-roll flume stabilisation system.
  • It has smoke curtains to hinder the spreading of smoke and toxic gases in case of fire.

Battle damage control systems.

  • If fully loaded, she can operate independently at high seas for up to 45 days.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Navy said the ships had been suitably provisioned for the evacuation and those evacuated would be provided basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea passage.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Atal Tunnel

      HEADLINES:

BRO perseveres with Atal Tunnel work through the lockdown, to complete it by September 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

Atal Tunnel is being constructed since Manali-Sarchu-Leh road remains closed for six months every year due to Rohtang Pass being completely snow bound between November and May.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Infrastructure

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS note down the geographical importance and locate this in map right now.

For MAINS tunnels are more susceptible to landslides in J&K. What are necessary measure to be taken while designing the same ?

      ISSUE: 

The tunnel will connect Manali to Lahaul Valley throughout the year and will reduce the road length of Manali-Rohtang Pass Sarchu-Leh road by 46 kilometres.
  • Besides connecting the people of Lahual to rest of India through the year the tunnel will aid the forward connectivity offering the security forces a major strategic advantage.
  • Proactive measures are being taken by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to complete the work on strategic Atal Tunnel in the Pir Panjal ranges of Himachal Pradesh, which is at the crucial stage of construction.
  • Road surface works, installation of electro-mechanic fittings including lighting, ventilation and intelligent traffic control systems are being executed.

The 8.8-kilometre-long Atal tunnel under Rohtang Pass is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres. It has a fireproof emergency tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.

    • Rohtang Pass (elevation 3,978 m) is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
    • It is present on the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas.
    • It connects the Kullu Valley with Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh.
    • The Ravi river rises west of the Rohtang pass in the Kullu hills of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It will provide all-weather connectivity to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh which otherwise remained cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The tunnel will help to promote tourism in the region.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Global Energy Review 2020 : IEA Report

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: Daily electricity demand dips 15% globally, says report

      WHY IN NEWS:

There is, however, a spike in residential demand for electricity, because of people staying and working from home

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Report

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is an important report ! Remember the publisher and worthy points if you want to note down in your Prelims book .

For MAINS why are service sector driven economies utilizing less power than manufacturing economies as per the report ?

      ISSUE: 

The daily demand for electricity dipped at least 15 per cent across the globe, according to Global Energy Review 2020: The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on global energy demand and CO2 emissions, a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in April 2020.

GLOBAL ENERGY REVIEW 2020:

  • The report collated data from 30 countries, including India and China, that showed partial and full lockdown measures adopted by them were responsible for this decrease.
  • Full lockdowns in countries — including France, Italy, India, Spain, the United Kingdom and the midwest region of the United States (US) — reduced this demand for electricity.

Source: Global Energy Review 2020: The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on global energy demand and CO2 emissions, IEA

DRIVERS OF THE FALL

  • There was spike in residential demand for electricity as a result of people staying and working from home.

This increase in residential demand, though, was not enough to compensate for reduced demand from industrial and commercial operations.

  • The extent of reduction depended not only on the duration and stringency of the lockdown, but also on the nature of the economy of the countries — predominantly service- or industry-based .
  • A higher decline in electricity demand was noted in countries where the service sector — including retail, hospitality, education, tourism compared to countries that had industrial economies.
  • Italy— the worst-affected country from COVID-19 — saw a decline greater than 25 per cent when compared to figures from last year.

REDUCED FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCY

  • Almost all of the reduction in demand was reportedly because of the shutting down of fossil fuel-based power generation.
  • This was due to a natural increase in wind and photovoltaic power generation compared to 2019 along with a drop in overall electricity demand that forced electricity producers from non-renewable sources to decrease their supplies.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Power System Operation Corporation of India also reported that electricity production from coal — India’s primary source of electricity — fell by 32.2 per cent to 1.91 billion units (kilowatt-hours) per day, compared to the 2019 levels.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

The trial of a bat

      HEADLINES:

The trial of a bat

      WHY IN NEWS:

Bats are more than mere virus carriers; As pollinators, they play a key role in ensuring food security

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Fauna : Conservation of Biodiversity

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS kindly read this anecdote in downtoearth blog section , Its funny and relevant ! And yes we have collected qualitative key points for you as well !

For MAINS do you think COVID-19  is a  human-made challenge blamed on Bats ?

      ISSUE: 

A deep mistrust regarding bats has resurfaced after some theories traced the origin of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the winged mammal.

The trial of a bat

IMPORTANCE OF BATS  AND NATURE :

  • A chemical known as desmoteplase, which is found in vampire bat saliva, helps break down blood clots.
  • It is also used for medicinal purposes, especially to treat patients who have suffered from a heart attack.”
  • Almost 70 per cent of bat species feed on insects and help control the real vampires: mosquitoes, whose nasty bites are not just annoying but spread diseases, like the West Nile virus!”
  • A single little brown bat can eat around 1,000 insects every hour.
  • Bats are also the master pollinators.
  • Fruit bats, also called mega bats because of their large size, are important for their role in plant pollination.

The cave nectar bat is the only pollinator of the durian fruit in Southeast Asia.

  • Like many other animals, bats can also be the carrier of the disease-causing rabies virus.
  • But it is also true that less than 0.5% of all bats carry this virus.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Bats all over the world are threatened by damage done to our homes, that is, mangrove swamps, old-growth forests and, of course, bat caves.”
  • Mr Bat continued to speak in his defense and said, “Next comes the human-induced climate change and habitat destruction.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Iran to get a new currency

      HEADLINES:

Amid high inflation, Iran to get a new currency

      WHY IN NEWS:

Each toman, which has been cleared by Parliament, will be worth 10,000 rials under the new system

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Currency devaluation

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the Pros and Cons of Devaluation .

For MAINS do you think India should devalue its currency now ?

      ISSUE: 

For many years, Iran’s government debated changing the national currency, the rial, by basically slashing four zeros off its face value — an acknowledgement of how American sanctions and economic mismanagement have contributed to inflation in the country.

Currency makeover: A dealer selling different denominations of Iran’s rials in Tehran earlier this year.
  • Iranian Parliament essentially took that step, authorising the replacement of the rial with another basic unit of currency called the toman.
  • Each toman will be worth 10,000 rials under the new system.

TWO VIEWS :

SUPPORTERS :

Slashing the extra zeros would vastly simplify financial calculations in Iran by eliminating the need for Iranian shoppers to carry loads of rials to make purchases, which they must do now because of inflation.

OPPONENTS ARGUED THAT

  • The plan was an added expense at a time when the government was already facing a budget deficit of between 30-50% for this coming fiscal year.
  • The effect of the currency change, the critics said, amounted to just cosmetic window dressing.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The government is in a financial bind with no prospect of financial aid coming from outside or from inside so they are trying this.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Long March 5B

      HEADLINES:

China launches new rocket, spacecraft

      WHY IN NEWS:

It will be used to transport astronauts to country’s own space station

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Space Missions

      ISSUE: 

China on Tuesday successfully launched a new rocket and prototype spacecraft in a major test of the country’s ambitions to operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the Moon.

 

New horizons: The ‘Long March-5B’ rocket blasting off from the Wenchang Space Centre in Hainan on Tuesday.
  • The Long March 5B’ rocket took off from the Wenchang launch site in the southern island of Hainan and eight minutes later an unmanned prototype spaceship successfully separated and entered its planned orbit.
  • A test version of a cargo return capsule also separated from the rocket.
The spaceship will one day transport astronauts to a space station that China plans to complete by 2022 — and eventually to the Moon. It will have capacity for a crew of six.

RETURN ON FRIDAY :

  • The spaceship and capsule are slated to return to a landing site by Friday after completing their test flights.
  • This will  “strengthen confidence and determination” for the next stages of China’s space programme.
  • The United States is so far the only country to have successfully sent humans to the Moon.
 “China plans to send an astronaut to the Moon in about a decade and then build a base there.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The new spaceship will give China an advantage in the area of human spaceflight over Japan and Europe,” said Chen Lan, an independent analyst at GoTaikonauts.com. Assembly of the Tiangong space station is expected to begin this year and finish in 2022.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Respirator

      HEADLINES:

Ashok Leyland develops low-cost ventilator

      WHY IN NEWS:

Production to start by early June

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and technology :Recent Innovations

      ISSUE: 

Ashok Leyland Ltd. (ALL), the flagship company of the Hinduja Group, has developed a low-cost ventilator which it would start manufacturing by early June 2020.
  • ALL developed a first-mile ventilator.
  • Usually, it is called a respirator.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

ALL has mechanised it and converted it into a ventilator using sensors and controls. 

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Let us ‘Discuss’

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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