Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - October 10, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Nobel Prize in Literature 2020

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 has been awarded to the USA poet Louise Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."
  • Established by Alfred Nobel in 1895, the Nobel Prize in Literature is one of six awards that also span physics, chemistry, medicine or physiology, peace and economic sciences.

Background

  • For 2020, Nobel Prizes for Chemistry, Physics and Medicine have already been announced.
  • The Nobel Prize comes with a medal and a prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor.

About Gluck

  • Glück, born 1943 in New York, lives in Massachusetts and is also professor of English at Yale University.
  • Her poetry focuses on the painful reality of being human, dealing with themes such as death, childhood, and family life.
  • She is the fourth woman to win the prize for literature since 2010, and only the 16th since the Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1901.
  • The last American to win was Bob Dylan in 2016.
  • Glück won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris and the National Book Award in 2014.

Source: Indian Express.

Bhai Taru Singh

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.


Context

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has bowed to Bhai Taru Singh Ji, on the occasion of his 300th birth anniversary.
  • He was a prominent Sikh Martyr known for sacrificing his life for protecting Sikh values, having had his head scalped rather than cutting his hair or converting to Islam.

About Bhai Taru Singh

  • He was born in 1720 in Amritsar during the reign of Mughal Empire.
  • He was engaged in agriculture at Poolha, Tehsil Kasur, in the Lahore district during the period when Sikhs were heavily persecuted by the Mughal Empire.
  • Upon watching Sikh fighters save a poor girl from the clutches of the Mughal oppressors Bhai Taru Singh decided to become a Sikh and initiated into the Khalsa.
  • During this time, Sikh revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of the Mughal governor of Punjab, Zakaria Khan.
  • Bhai Taru Singh and his sister gave food and other aid to the Gursikhs (Devout Sikhs of the Guru).
  • An informant reported them to Zakaria Khan and the two were arrested for treason.
  • Though his sister’s freedom was bribed for by the villagers, Singh refused to seek a pardon.

Source: The Hindu.

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SVAMITVA Scheme

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.


Context

In a historic move set to transform rural India and empower millions of Indians, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will launch the physical distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme.

Objective

  • The launch will enable around one lakh property holders to download their Property Cards through the SMS link delivered on their mobile phones.
  • This would be followed by physical distribution of the Property Cards by the respective State governments.
  • The move will pave the way for using property as a financial asset by villagers for taking loans and other financial benefits.
  • Also, this is the first time ever that such a large-scale exercise involving the most modern means of technology is being carried out to benefit millions of rural property owners.

About the Scheme

  • SVAMITVA is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, which was launched by the Prime Minister on National Panchayati Raj Day, 24th April 2020.
  • The scheme aims to provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural areas and issue Property Cards.
  • The Scheme is being implemented across the country in a phased manner over a period of four years (2020-2024) and would eventually cover around 6.62 lakh villages of the country.
  • About 1 lakh villages in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Karnataka, and few border villages of Punjab & Rajasthan, along with establishment of Continuous Operating System (CORS) stations’ network across Punjab & Rajasthan, are being covered in the Pilot phase (2020-21).

Source: AIR News.

Anti Radiation Missile (RUDRAM) 

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • New generationAnti Radiation Missile (RUDRAM) was successfully Flight tested onto a radiation target located on Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.
  • The missile was launched from SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft. 

About RUDRAM

  • The RUDRAM is first indigenous anti-radiation missile of the country for Indian Air Force (IAF), being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The missile is integrated on SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft as the launch platform, having capability of varying ranges based on launch conditions.
  • It has INS-GPS navigation with Passive Homing Head for the final attack. The RUDRAM hit the radiation target with pin-point accuracy. 
  • The missile is a potent weapon for IAF for Suppression of Enemy Air Defence effectively from large stand-off ranges. 
  • This first-of-its-kind missile in the IAF arsenal and can also be integrated with Mirage 2000, Jaguar, HAL Tejas and HAL Tejas Mark 2 in future. Currently, its primary test platform is Sukhoi Su-30MKI.
  • This new-generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM) with a strike range of around 100 to 150 km is the first indigenous air-to-ground missile developed by the DRDO, after the supersonic BrahMos, which has been developed jointly with Russia.

Source: AIR News.

Nobel Peace Prize 2020

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

Recently, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 to the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger and for its contributions to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for preventing the use of hunger being weaponised in war and conflict.

About Nobel Peace Prize

  • In his will, signed by Alfred Nobel on November 27, 1985, he mentioned that one part of his fortune that went towards the Nobel Prizes would be dedicated to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.
  • The Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901 and was not awarded on 19 occasions including 1914-1916, 1918, 1939-1943 among some other years.

About World Food Programme

  • The WFP, which was established in 1961 at the behest of the US president Dwight Eisenhower, is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation (certified as the largest by the Guinness World Records in 2002) committed towards its global goal of ending hunger by the year 2030.
  • Eisenhower proposed to the UN General Assembly on September 1, 1960, that a, “workable scheme should be devised for providing food aid through the UN system.”
  • WFP provides food assistance in two ways, either by way of providing food or by meeting people’s food-needs by providing cash-based transfers.
  • The cash-based transfers were launched for the first time in 2005 in response to the tsunami in Sri Lanka.
  • In 2019, WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people spread across 88 countries by supplying them with over 4.2 million metric tonnes of food and $1.2 billion in cash and vouchers.

Source: AIR News.

RBI projects 9.5 per cent GDP fall, sees revival promise in Q4

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

  • India could see its worst recession ever this financial year with the economy contracting by 9.5%, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) predicted in its first projection for economic growth since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in March.
  • The committee left the key interest rate unchanged at 4%.

Background

  • Things are already becoming better, the MPC’s comments suggested: the Indian economy bottomed out in the April-June quarter and has started a process of sequential recovery with gradual removal of lockdown restrictions, the newly constituted committee noted in its first meeting which concluded.
  • The economy is expected to witness a deceleration in contraction – 9.8% in the September quarter, 5.6% in the December quarter – and enter positive territory (a growth of 0.5%) in the March quarter.

Highlights

  • The next financial year will begin with a 20.6% growth, largely on account of the base effect given a 23.9% contraction in the June quarter of the current fiscal year.
  • However, this also means that the economic activity will not come back to its pre-Covid levels until June next year.
  • According to Thursday’s Work Bank projections, India’s 2021-22 GDP could be significantly short of 2019-20 levels, as GDP growth in 2021-22 is likely to be 5.4% against a 9.6% contraction in 2020-21.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das underlined that even this recovery could be jeopardised if there is a second wave of infections in the country.
  • While MPC’s decisions are on expected lines, experts believe that the RBI could face a tough challenge in preserving its credibility in controlling inflation while trying to push growth.
  • A Reuters poll of economists expects headline inflation to have climbed up further in the month of September.
  • The MPC resolution saw the current spurt in inflation as a result of supply shocks which would dissipate with unlocking and concluded that “theycouldlook through at this juncture”.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Roads Ministry enhances fund allocation for developing roads in NE India

Focus: GS3.                                

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • India, which is among the 17 megadiverse countries of the world, hosts nearly 1,400species of butterflies.
  • One of the most amazing things about this insect is how they change form from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Background

  • Butterflies are ambassadors of nature conservation and they are important biological indicators that reflect the health of our environment.
  • To create awareness about butterflies among the citizens of India and to celebrate our national natural treasures, these butterfly enthusiasts and nature-lovers from all over the country have gathered as a National Butterfly Campaign Consortium to nominate India’s National Butterfly.

Highlights

  • Considering the ecological importance, conservation significance and growing popularity of butterflies among the general public, it is high time to nominate the National Butterfly.
  • In a truly democratic manner, that is, Voting for National Butterfly.
  • Prominent stalwarts in the field of butterfly biology and conservation across India came together on a single platform to derive the following criteria for selecting the National Butterfly:
    • The butterfly should have cultural, ecological and conservation significance for the nation as well as internationally.
    • The butterfly should be charismatic.
    • The butterfly should have an inherently attractive biological aspect that is engaging to the public.
    • The butterfly should be easily identified, observed and remembered.
    • The species should not have multiple forms.
    • The butterfly caterpillars should not be harmful or a pest.
    • The butterfly should not be too commonplace.
    • Avoid species which are already designated as a State Butterfly.
  • Considering the above criteria, the Consortium arrived at a final list of about 50 butterfly species.
  • From these, a scoring system was used in voting by all the Consortium members to shortlist the final seven species given below.

Source: The Hindu.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘UN World Food Programme’?

 

  • It was founded in the year 1948 by the UNGA Resolution 46/1825.
  • It aims to provide food assistance either by way of providing food or by meeting people’s food-needs by providing cash-based transfers.
  • It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2020.

 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

    A. 1 and 2 only
    B. 2 and 3 only
    C. 1 and 3 only
    D. AOTA

Solution: B

  • The WFP, which was established in 1961at the behest of the US president Dwight Eisenhower, is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation (certified as the largest by the Guinness World Records in 2002) committed towards its global goal of ending hunger by the year 2030. 

  1. The SVAMITVA Scheme falls under the:
      A. Ministry of Rural Development
      B. Ministry of Panchayati Raj
      C. Ministry of Jal Shakti
      D. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare

Solution: B

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