Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - November 27, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Five technologies recommended in Drinking Water and Sanitation to provide Field Level Solutions to the States

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • A multi-disciplinary Technical Committee in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has recommended five technologies in Drinking Water and Sanitation to provide Field Level Solutions to the States.
  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti gives importance to the infusion and deployment of innovative technological solutions to realize the objective of the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide Functional Household Tap Connection to every rural home by 2024.

Background

  • Jal Jeevan Mission envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • It focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.

About the technology

  • The first technology recommended is Grundfos AQpure, a solar energy based water treatment plant based on ultra-filtration.
  • The Second is Janajal Water on Wheel, an IoT based electric vehicle based on GPS location to enable delivery of safe water to the doorstep of households.
  • Another technology is Presto Online Chlorinator, a non-electricity dependent online chlorinator for disinfection of water for removal of bacterial contamination.
  • Johkasou technology recommended is an inbuilt sewage and Kitchen and bath water treatment system having advanced anaerobic-aerobic configuration that can be installed underground.
  • The last innovative technology is FBTec®, a site assembled in a decentralised sewage treatment system using fixed filter media.

Source: AIR News.

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates 80th All India Presiding Officers’ Conference in Kevadia, Gujarat

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Context

  • President, Ram Nath Kovind on November 25, 2020, visited Kevadia in Gujarat for inaugurating the 80th All India Presiding Officers’ Conference.
  • The two-day conference has been organized by Lok Sabha to celebrate Constitution Day on November 26.

About the theme

  • The theme of the conference is Harmonious Coordination of Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary- Key to Vibrant Democracy.
  • The valedictory session of the conference will be addressed by Prime Minister Modi on November 26 to mark the celebration of Constitution Day.

About the conference

  • All the presiding officers and Secretaries of Legislatures will take a pledge for making the legislature more accountable while empowering and strengthening them according to Constitutional Value.
  • The Presiding Officers of the Legislatures, during the conference, will discuss the need for better coordination and cooperation between three pillars of democracy for strengthening the Indian democracy and to make it more effective.
  • The ways for ensuring effective constitutional accountability of the legislature and executive of people will be discussed.
  • The issues related to the working of legislatures in a disciplined and orderly fashion will also be the topic of the conference.
  • The day is celebrated on November 26 to mark the adoption of the Indian Constitution by the Constituent Assembly on this day in 1949.
  • The Constitution then came into force on January 26, 1950, which marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the Indian Republic.

Source: PIB.

India International Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.


Context

  • India International Cherry Blossom Festival, the calendar event of Meghalaya which attracts record number of tourists annually in Shillong, has been cancelled this year in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The capital, Shillong hosts the only Cherry Blossoms festival in India.

Background

  • These beautiful flowers can be spotted across Meghalaya during this time of the year.
  • It is expected that the flowers will continue to bloom till the end of November.
  • But people of Meghalaya celebrate festivals through virtual mode.
  • COVID-19 might have restricted humans to their homes but it has no control over nature.

About the festival

  • The beautiful hill station Shillong in Meghalaya has turned pink with blooming cherry blossoms.
  • Every year, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong hosts a plethora of events like fitness art, fashion show, rock concerts and much more.
  • This time, the pomp and fervour of the festival will be missed.
  • Due to the COVID -19 pandemic, the Cherry Blossom Festival held annually in Shillong has been cancelled this year.
  • But, the wispy pink-and-white blooms that adorn the town’s trees around this time of the year have kept their promise, bringing cheer to the people.
  • Local tourist is happy to see blooming cherry flowers and they are sharing the latest pictures and videos about cherry blossom on a social media platform for friends and relatives.
  • Everyone hopes if everything will be normal that they will celebrate the cherry blossom festival next year.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Meghalaya government is currently allowing travelers, with a COVID-19 Negative report from a recognised laboratory.
  • Only symptomatic patients will be required to undergo mandatory paid quarantine.

Source: AIR News.

SITMEX-20

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • Indian Navy Ships including indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette INS Kamorta and missile corvette INS Karmuk participated in the second edition of India, Singapore and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20. 
  • Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the two days maritime drill was conducted as a 'non-contact, at sea only'and was concluded in the Andaman Sea. 

Background

  • In June 2018, during his address at Shangri-La Dialogue,Prime Minister Modi announced about the annual trilateral maritime drill between India, Singapore and Thailand.
  • In 2019, the first edition of Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SIMTEX) was hosted by Indian Navy (IN)and was conducted off Port Blair. 
  • It is in line with vision SAGAR. 

Highlights

  • The 2020 edition of the trilateral maritime exercise was hosted by Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
  • RSN was represented bythe ‘Formidable’ Class frigate ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank ‘Endeavour’ in the maritime drill.
  • RTN was represented bythe ‘Chao Phraya’ Class frigate ‘Kraburi’ in the naval exercise.
  • The maritime drill witnessed a variety of exercises includingnaval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapon firings.

Source: The Hindu.

Punjab’s claim over Chandigarh is stronger than that of Haryana

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Context

Earlier this month, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister said it would be better if both Haryana and Punjab agreed on Chandigarh as a Union Territory and make their independent capitals and Benches of High Courts. 

Background

  • On November 1, Haryana was celebrating 54 years of its formation as a separate state after it was carved out of undivided Punjab in 1966.
  • The statement once again brought into focus the long-simmering dispute between the two states over one of India’s most modern cities.
  • But Punjab has always refuted Haryana’s claims over Chandigarh. 

About Punjab’s claim

  • The-then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had announced that Haryana, in due course, would have its own capital and Chandigarh would go to Punjab.
  • As per documents submitted in the Lok Sabha, the Centre had even issued a formal communication is this regard on January 29, 1970, almost three years after Haryana came into being.
  • “After very carefully weighing the claims of the two states, the capital project area of Chandigarh should, as a whole, go to Punjab,” says the note.
  • Again, in 1985, under the Rajiv-Longowal accord, Chandigarh was to be handed over to Punjab on January 26, 1986, but the Rajiv Gandhi government withdrew at the last minute.

About Haryana’s counter-claim

  • As per the 1970 documents, the Centre had considered various alternatives for settling the matter, including dividing the city.
  • But that wasn’t feasible since Chandigarh was built as a planned city to serve as the capital of one state.
  • Haryana was told to use the office and residential accommodation in Chandigarh only for five years till it shifts to its own new capital.
  • The Centre had offered Rs 10 crore grant to Haryana and an equal amount of loan for setting up the new capital.
  • In 2018, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar suggested to set up a special body for development of Chandigarh, but the Punjab CM rejected it, saying the city “indisputably belonged to Punjab”.
  • Haryana, on its part, has been demanding a separate High Court and even locked horns with Punjab by passing a resolution in the Vidhan Sabha demanding 20 rooms in the Vidhan Sabha complex that have been in the possession of Punjab.

Source: Indian Express.

‘On People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

More than a year after the abrogation of the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and its reorganisation, a number of mainstream political parties of Kashmir have come up with a joint response in the form of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

Background

  • The formation of the alliance follows the spirit of the Gupkar Declaration that was adopted on 4 August 2019, a day before the changes in the structure of the state were announced in Parliament.
  • Amidst the rumours that the Government of India was going to take some unprecedented steps in relation to J&K, the representatives of six mainstream parties of Kashmir had resolved that modification, abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370, or unconstitutional delimitation, or trifurcation of the state would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • It was therefore resolved that all parties be united to protect and defend identity, autonomy and the special status of J&K.

Highlights

  • On August 4, 2019, the first Gupkar declaration was signed after an all-party meeting at the Gupkar Road residence of NC supremo Farooq Abdullah.
  • The signatories were reportedly members of the NC, PDP, CPI(M), Congress, J&K Peoples Conference and Awami National Conference.
  • The resolution had parties unanimously agreeing to unify in their efforts to protect and defend the identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Just a day after this, on 5 August 2019 however, the central government revoked the special status under Article 370 and split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
  • The Article 35A, which guaranteed specific rights to permanent residents of the former state was also repealed.
  • What followed was a complete lockdown in J&K, with communications within the then state blocked out.
  • Senior political leaders from most parties were placed under house arrest.
  • With most political leaders now released from detention, efforts are on to renew the movement by signing the Gupkar Declaration 2.0.

Source: Times of India.

Govt Approves Merging of Lakshmi Vilas Bank With DBS Bank India, Revokes Cap on Withdrawal Limit

Focus: GS3.                                

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

Context

  • Days after RBI proposed a scheme to merge the two banks, the Union Cabinet approved the amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India.
  • An announcement to this effect was made by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Background

  • Addressing a press conference, Javadekar said that the Centre has approved the scheme of amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Limited.
  • “With this, there’ll be no further restrictions on depositors regarding the withdrawal of their deposits,” he said. 

Highlights

  • The Union Minister said that the Centre has asked the RBI to take action against the people in the management who drives banks to the brink of collapse.
  • The Centre has also approved equity infusion of Rs 6000 crores in NIIF Debt Platform sponsored by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, comprising of Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited.
  • Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had proposed the Centre a draft scheme of amalgamation of the beleaguered Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DBS Bank Ltd, Singapore.

Source: Indian Express.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements with reference to Shalya and Shalakya tantra:
  • According to Acharya Sushruta, it is best to use Shalya tantra when the problem with the body is beyond merely medicinal repair.
  • The treatment not only gives faster relief to the person suffering but is also beneficial in circumstances when the internal medicine fails to cure.
  • It also deals with the causes, diagnosis and curative procedures of the diseases pertaining to organs of the Head, above the shoulder - Eyes, Ears, Lips, Nose, Throat, Teeth, Skull, Central Nervous System and Brain.

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: A

  • Shalakya Tantra Department functioning under the stewardship of Doctors, an acknowledged expert in treating Shalakya infirmities and distress conditions. Shalakya tantra encompasses the treatment for the diseases affecting the body parts located above the neck.
  • This branch of Ayurveda deals with the causes, diagnosis and curative procedures of the diseases pertaining to organs of the Head, above the shoulder - Eyes, Ears, Lips, Nose, Throat, Teeth, Skull, Central Nervous System and Brain.
  1. Exercise SIMBEX-20 is between India and?

    A. Singapore
    B. SriLanka
    C. Thailand
    D. Mangolia

Solution: A

 

 

 

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