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

Govt announces 3rd phase of 'Back to Village' programme from October 2 to 12 in J&K

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the government announced the third phase of ambitious Back to Village (B2V) programme from October 2 to 12, this year.
  • The announcement was made by Principal Secretary, Power Development and Information Departments, Rohit Kansal who is also government spokesperson, at a press conference in Srinagar.

Background

Terming the first two phases of Back to Village (B2V) as huge success, Mr Kansal said it is a unique programme which received  tremendous respect from the people when 4000 Gazetted Officers from J&K administration visited each and every Panchayat of J&K.

About the Highlights

  • Phase-I of the B2V was an introductory and interactive programme to understand the people’s grievances and demands, while Phase-II focused on the devolution of powers to panchayats and tried to understand how these panchayats are functioning and what are the grievances and demands.
  • Phase-III has been designed on the format for grievance redressal.
  • The three pillars will be the redressal of public grievances (Jan Sunvaiyee), public service delivery (Adhikar Abhiyan) and the delivery of development at Gram Panchayat level (Unat Gram Abhiyan).
  • Before the beginning of Phase-III, the government will analyse the first two phases “to make sure that the works during [the previous] two phases were executed and completed. For these works, the funds have already been released to all DCs to finish the works taken under these two phases of B2V,”

About the programme

  • The Phase-I of B2V was an introductory and interactive programme to understand the people’s grievances and demands.
  • While Phase-II focused on the devolution of powers to panchayats and tried to understand how these panchayats are functioning and what are the grievances and demands,” he said and added “the Phase-III has been designed on the format for grievance redressal.”
  • He said that next month will be a festival of public grievance redressal, festival of public service delivery and festival of delivery of development at gram Panchayat level.

Source: AIR News.

Project Dolphin

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • In his Independence Day Speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government’s planto launch a Project Dolphin.
  • The proposed project is aimed at saving both river and marine dolphins.
Background
  • Modi said in his speech that Project Dolphin will be on the lines of Project Tiger, which has helped increase the tiger population.
  • Such an initiative got in-principle approval in December last year itself, at the first meeting of the National Ganga Council (NGC), headed by the Prime Minister.

About the Highlights

  • “Special Conservation program needs to be taken up for Gangetic Dolphin which is national aquatic animal and also indicator species for the river Ganga spread over several states,” state the minutes of meeting.
  • So far, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), which implements the government’s flagship scheme Namami Gange, has been taking some initiatives for saving dolphins.
  • Now, Project Dolphin is expected to be implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

About the Gangetic Dolphin

  • The Gangetic river system is home to a vast variety of aquatic life, including the Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica).
  • The Gangetic dolphin is one of five species of river dolphin found around the world.
  • It is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems.
  • The Conservation Action Plan for the Ganges River Dolphin, 2010-2020, describes male dolphins as being about 2-2.2 metres long and females as a little longer at 2.4-2.6 m.
  • An adult dolphin could weigh between 70 kg and 90 kg.
  • The breeding season of the Gangetic dolphin extends from January to June. They feed on several species of fishes, invertebrates etc.
  • There was a time when Gangetic dolphins could be spotted in the Ganga at several places, from its delta in the Bay of Bengal to upstream in the Himalayan foothills.
  • It was also found in the Ganga’s tributaries.

Source: Indian Express.

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Chandrayaan-3 launch likely in early 2021, says Minister of State for Space Dr Jitendra Singh

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Context

  • Minister of State for Space Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the launch of Chandrayaan-3 may now take place somewhere in early 2021.
  • Chandrayaan-3 will be a mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 and will include a Lander and Rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2, but will not have an orbiter.

Background

  • Dr Singh also said that meanwhile, preparations are on for India’s first ever Human Space Mission Gaganyaan.
  • He said, constraints due to Covid pandemic led to some disruptions in the plan for Gaganyaan but efforts are going on to stick to the timeline of around 2022.

About the Chandrayaan-3

  • Chandrayaan-3 is a planned third lunar exploration mission by Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • Following Chandrayaan-2 where a snag in the communication led to subsequent failure of soft landing attempt after a successful orbital insertion, another lunar mission for demonstrating soft landing was proposed.
  • Chandrayaan-3 will be mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 and will only include a lander and a rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2 and will not have an orbiter.
  • Realisation within schedule will make ISRO the world's fourth space agency to conduct soft lunar landing after the administration of former USSR, NASA and CNSA.
  • In the second phase of the Chandrayaan programme to demonstrate soft landing on lunar surface, ISRO launched Chandrayaan-2 onboard a GSLV Mk III rocket consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
  • The lander was scheduled to touchdown the lunar surface in September to deploy the rover Pragyan.

Source: PIB.

Fire onboard oil tanker off Sri Lanka's coast completely extinguished

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Context

  • The fire on board an oil tanker off Sri Lanka's eastern waters has been completely extinguished, nearly 79 hours after the incident was reported, the Navy said.
  • The ship was carrying 270,000 metric tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to India and caught fire.

Background

  • The Sri Lankan Navy confirmed that a Filipino sailor died in the boiler explosion in the engine room of the Panama registered tanker MT New Diamond.
  • Indian ships supported the Lankan Navy to douse the flames on the tanker off the coast of Sangamankanda in the eastern district of Ampara.

About the Highlights

  • The ship was sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point when it caught fire with an explosion in a boiler in the ship's main engine room.
  • The Navy said the Dry Chemical Powder (DCP) sacks tested by the Sri Lanka Air Force delivered successful results to smother the raging flames onboard.
  • However, the Navy warned that although the fire has now been completely extinguished, there is a possibility of a recurrence of the fire due to the high temperature inside the ship and environmental influences.
  • A team of 10 British and Netherlands experts, including salvage operations experts, assessors and a legal adviser arrived in Sri Lanka under the facilitation of the company that works as the commercial and technical operator of the tanker.
  • The team of experts will make an assessment of the damage caused to the ship.
  • Accordingly, the proceedings regarding the ship will be decided on their recommendations.

Source: LiveMint.

The Wagon Tragedy and Malabar Rebellion

Focus: GS1.

Topic: The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.


Context

  • A report submitted to the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) in 2016 had recommended the removal of the Wagon Tragedy victims and Malabar Rebellion leaders Ali Musliyar and Variamkunnath Ahmad Haji, and Haji’s two brothers from a book on martyrs of India’s freedom struggle.
  • The report sought the removal of names of 387 ‘Moplah rioters’ from the list of martyrs.
  • The book, Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle 1857-1947, was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week.
About the Wagon tragedy of 1921
  • In this incident, at least 60 prisoners suffocating to death in a windowless freight wagon. 
  • These men were among 90 rebels, all Muslims, who had been sent by British officials to a prison in Pothanur near Coimbatore. They died in transit. 
  • The Wagon Tragedy incident, which took place on November 20, 1921, two years after the Jalianwala Bagh massacre, is remembered as the Jalian Wallabagh of the South.
  • The British Raj tried to cover up this heinous event but finally relented to the pressure and gave a solatium of Rs 300 to the families of those who were killed.
  • The Sergeant of the Malabar Police who ordered the farmers to be transported in this inhuman way to the prisons in Coimbatore and Bellary was called Richard Harvard Hitchcock.

Source: Indian Express.

PM expresses grief over the passing away of Kesavananda Bharati

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Context

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has expressed grief over the passing away of  Kesavananda Bharati Ji.
  • The Prime Minister said, "We will always remember Pujya Kesavananda Bharati Ji for his contributions towards community service and empowering the downtrodden. He was deeply attached to India’s rich culture and our great Constitution. He will continue to inspire generations. Om Shanti."

Background

  • The 79-year-old Bharati, the head of the Edneer Math in Kerala's Kasargod, passed away.
  • In 1973, Kesavananda had filed a case challenging the Kerala government’s attempts to impose restrictions over the mutt property.

About the case

  • The Supreme Court in a 7-6 majority verdict over the case had pronounced that while Parliament had “wide” powers, it cannot alter the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • The case was heard by the largest ever SC bench of 13 judges for 68 days and holds the record for the longest hearing ever to have taken place.
  • The hearing in the case started on 31 October 1972 and concluded on 23 March 1973.

Source: PIB.

Home Ministry Suspends FCRA Licenses of Four Christian Associations

Focus: GS3.                                 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.


Context

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) this year has suspended the licenses of six non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010, of which four are Christian associations.
  • An FCRA licence is mandatory for a non-profit organisation to receive foreign funds.

Background

  • The four Christian groups whose FCRA was suspended are Ecreosoculis North Western Gossner Evangelical in Jharkhand, the Evangelical Churches Association (ECA) in Manipur, Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jharkhand and New Life Fellowship Association (NLFA) in Mumbai.
  • The reasons for the suspension or violation were not specified, the report said.

About the Highlights

  • At least two US-based Christian donors are also under the MHA’s scanner for funding NGOs and groups here, the report said, quoting a senior government official.
  • “Concerns have been raised regarding the impact of US-based evangelical donors including Seventh Day Adventist Church and Baptist Church in regard to Indian associations; a probe is on,” the official told.

Source: PIB.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Gurjari:
  1. The Union Cabinet recently approved the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, proposing to also make Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi and English official languages of the Union Territory.
  2. Gurjari, also known as Gojri and Gujri is a variety of Indo-Aryan spoken by the Gurjars and other tribes of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
  3. The language is mainly spoken in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and other parts of India.

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: D

  1. Patrika Gate is located in:

      A. New Delhi
      B. Jaipur
      C. Hyderabad
      D. Bhopal

Solution: B

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