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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 21st September 2022

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2022

Q) Consider the following statements regarding EWS Reservation

  1. The EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a commission headed by Major General (retd) S R Sinho.
  2. EWS Reservation was granted through 103rd Constitution Amendment Act which modified Articles 15(5) and 16(5) to provide 10% reservation.
  3. This reservation would benefit economically weaker sections across the categories without distinctions.

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1 only

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 22nd September 2022

Explanation:

Context: A Constitution Bench is hearing petitions against the 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections in government jobs and admissions.

  • It is examining whether the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act violates the basic structure of the Constitution.

About 103rd Constitution Amendment Act

  • It inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution to provide up to 10 per cent reservation to EWS other than backward classes, SCs, and STs in higher educational institutions and initial recruitment in government jobs. (Statement 2 is not correct)
    • Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
    • Article 16 guarantees equal opportunity in matters of public employment.
    • The additional clauses gave Parliament the power to make special laws for EWS like it does for SCs, STs, and OBCs.
  • It empowered state governments to provide reservation on the basis of economic backwardness.
  • Sinho Commission: The EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a commission headed by Major General (retd) S R Sinho. (Statement 1 is correct)
  • It recommended that all below-poverty-line (BPL) families within the general category as notified from time to time. (Statement 3 is not correct)
  • Total population of Economically Weaker Sections of this country is 25%. 18.2% of the total population is Economically Weaker Sections of the Open/General category.

Q) Consider the following statements regarding Basic Structure Doctrine

  1. Supreme Court in in Kesavananda Bharati judgement (1973), upheld the amending power of Parliament but added a caveat that, no amendment was permissible if it altered “the basic structure or framework of the Constitution”.
  2. In Waman Rao v. UOI – Rule of law was declared as a part of the basic structure.
  3. In S.R. Bommai v. UOI – Federalism, Secularism and Democracy were declared part of the basic structure.

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1 only

Explanation:

About Basic Structure Doctrine

  • Article 368: It empower Parliament to amend the Constitution.
    • Constitution of a country is the fundamental law of the land.
    • It is based on this document that all other laws are made and enforced.
    • Under some Constitutions, certain parts are immune from amendments, and are given a special status compared to other provisions.
evolution
evolution
  • Role of Judiciary: Courts are empowered under our Constitution to invalidate not only executive orders, but also legislative enactments that violate any part of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution (Bill of Rights).
  • Supreme Court in in Kesavananda Bharati judgement (1973), upheld the amending power of Parliament but added a caveat that, no amendment was permissible if it altered “the basic structure or framework of the Constitution”. (Statement 1 is correct)
    • However, court did not define the ‘basic structure’, and only listed a few principles — federalism, secularism, democracy — as being its part.
    • Evolution of ‘basic structure’ doctrine: It has since been interpreted to include the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law, Independence of the judiciary, doctrine of separation of powers, federalism, secularism, sovereign democratic republic, the parliamentary system of government, the principle of free and fair elections, welfare state, etc.

Q) Consider the following statements regarding Hurricane

  1. Hurricanes, known generically as tropical cyclones, are low-pressure systems with organized thunderstorm activity that form over tropical or subtropical waters.
  2. Specifically, storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or central and western North Pacific are called “hurricanes” when their wind speeds reach at least 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour). Up to that point, they’re known as “tropical storms.”

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 2 only
  2. 1 only
  3. None
  4. Both

Explanation:

About:

  • Hurricanes, known generically as tropical cyclones, are low-pressure systems with organized thunderstorm activity that form over tropical or subtropical waters. (Statement 1 is correct)
  • Tropical storms are called by different names in the different regions of the world as shown in the diagram.
  • Specifically, storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or central and eastern North Pacific are called “hurricanes” when their wind speeds reach at least 74 miles per hour (119 kilometres per hour). Up to that point, they’re known as “tropical storms.” (Statement 2 is not correct)
Climate Change India
Climate Change India

Q) Consider the following statements regarding the concerns in Belt and Road Initiative

  1. A 2017 report by the IPCC noted that, as many as 1,739 Important Bird Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas are at risk due to considerable overlap between BRI projects and sensitive environments.
  2. The CPEC violates Indian territorial integrity as it passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
  3. Even though most contractors of these projects are local firms but the main control is retained by the Chinese government and officials.

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

What are the challenges being faced by BRI?

  • Poor implementation: While Chinese speed in approving loans and starting projects was often attractive, in practice this meant poor coordination and oversight from Chinese authorities and an even poorer selection of projects.
    • This has resulted in loss of revenue for China and large debt levels for developing countries.
  • Neglecting interests of local populations: An estimated 89% of contractors in China’s BRI projects happen to be Chinese companies. This means local firms seem to benefit little from these investments. (Statement 3 is not correct)
    • E.g. BRI’s investments in Gwadar port in Pakistan has enraged local fishing communities who have seen their business drop substantially with no perceivable benefits.
  • Lack of transparency: The accusations of debt trap diplomacy, the lack of transparency and unreasonable loan conditions have made the scheme extremely unpopular.
    • E.g. In 2018, Pakistan pulled out from a deal to build Diamer-Bhasha dam with China. The reason cited was strict deal conditions.
  • Environmental concerns:
    • A 2017 report by the WWF noted that, as many as 1,739 Important Bird Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas are at risk due to considerable overlap between BRI projects and sensitive environments. (Statement 1 is not correct)
    • According to a recent study, BRI could potentially introduce more than 800 alien invasive species into several countries along its many routes and developments, threatening their ecosystems.
  • Separatist movement and ethnic tensions: particularly in Xinjiang province prove to be a primary challenge for the development of BRI.
    • Also, the regional disparity between the eastern and western regions of China complicates the use of the western region to connect to neighboring countries.

How BRI affects India?

  • Violation of India’s Sovereignty. The CPEC violates Indian territorial integrity as it passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. (Statement 2 is correct)
  • Militarization of India’s Neighbourhood: India’s strategic and national interests are closely linked to peace and stability in the lOR (Indian Ocean Region). However, IOR is witnessing unprecedented militarization due to Chinese support in the form of military technology, fighter aircraft, warships and submarines.
  • BCIM-EC and North East India. India is also sensitive to the possible security concerns arising out of linking its restive North East to the Yunnan province of China through the BCIM-EC.
    • The Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) is proposed as part of BRI in 2015.

Q) Consider the following statements regarding India-Saudi Arabia strategic partnership council

  1. The Strategic Partnership Council was set up in October, 2019 during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  2. The council is headed by the Finance Minister of India and Prince Abdulaziz Al-Wasil and meets every two years.
  3. The cooperation are limited to social, cultural and economical.

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 1 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

India-Saudi Arabia strategic partnership council:

  • The Strategic Partnership Council was set up in October 2019 during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Statement 1 is correct)
  • The council is headed by the Prime Minister of India and Crown Prince Mohammed and meets every two years. (Statement 2 is not correct)
  • Two main pillars of the council:
    • Political, Security, Social and Cultural Committee (Statement 3 is not correct)
    • Committee on Economy and Investments
  • Significance: Saudi Arabia is now only the fourth country after Germany, Russia, and Japan with whom India has an intergovernmental mechanism headed by the Prime Minister of India

Q) Consider the following statements regarding Anti-cow slaughter laws across states

  1. Assam has passed an absolute ban on slaughter of any cattle in 2021.
  2. Karnataka has banned slaughter and transport of cows, bulls, and bullocks of all ages in 2020.
  3. UP has passed most stringent cow protection law with punishment up to 10 years in 2017.

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 2 and 3 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

Explanation:

Anti-cow slaughter laws across states:

Uttar Pradesh:

 

  • The state government passed India’s most stringent cow protection law in 2017. (Statement 3 is correct)
  • Punishment: Cow slaughter is punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine up to Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Illegal transportation of cows and other bovines was made a criminal offence.
  • A fine of Rs. 1 lakh, extendable to Rs. 3 lakh may be imposed additionally.
Karnataka:

 

  • Karnataka has banned the slaughter of cows, bulls, and bullocks of all ages in December 2020. (Statement 2 is correct)
  • Restrictions have been imposed on intra-State and inter-State transport of these animals for slaughter.
Assam:

 

  • The state of Assam passed a cow protection law in 2021. It bans the slaughter of any cattle without a certificate from a government-registered Veterinary Officer. (Statement 1 is not correct)
  • Transportation of cattle to and from Assam without a permit is prohibited.

Q) Recently in news, the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels has been developed by –

  1. IPCC
  2. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
  3. The International Energy Agency
  4. None of the above

Explanation:

  • It is the world’s first public database of fossil fuel production, reserves and emissions.
  • It is developed by Carbon Tracker, a non-profit think tank that researches the energy transition’s effect on financial markets, and the Global Energy Monitor, an organization that tracks a variety of energy projects around the globe.
  • It includes data from over 50,000 oil, gas and coal fields in 89 countries.
  • It covers 75% of global reserves, production and emissions, and is available for public use.
    • Producing and combusting the world’s reserves would yield over 3.5 trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, over seven times the remaining carbon budget for 1.5 degrees Celsius and more than all emissions produced since the industrial revolution.

Q) Consider the following statements regarding Klobuchar Bill

  1. It is a legislation introduced in United Kingdom.
  2. It seeks to rein in Big Tech firms through an anti-trust legislation.

Which of these statements are correct?

  1. 2 only
  2. 1 only
  3. None
  4. Both

Explanation:

Context: A group of companies have urged the US Congress to approve a bill, dubbed Klobuchar bill, designed to rein in Big Tech firms. (Statement 2 is correct)

About the bill:

  • The antitrust legislation is known officially as the American Innovation and Choice Online (AICO) Act. It was co-sponsored by Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Republican Chuck Grassley. (Statement 1 is not correct)
  • Companies such as Mozilla, Proton and DuckDuckGo have been urging the US Congress to approve the bill.
  • Objective: The bill seeks to prevent Big Techs from promoting their own products, services or line of business over rivals, modifying search results in their favour, limiting rivals’ access to platform data, etc.

Q) Consider the following statements regarding Asia-pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development (AIBD)

  1. It is a regional inter-governmental organization that is mandated to serve the countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in field of electronic media development.
  2. It was established in 1977 under auspices of UN-ESCAP.
  3. It is hosted by Government of Indonesia and its secretariat is located in Jakarta.

Which of these statements are incorrect?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. None

Explanation:

Context: The member countries of AIBD have taken a unanimous decision to extend India’s presidency for one more year.

Asia-pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development (AIBD)

About

  • It is a regional inter-governmental organization that is mandated to serve the countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in field of electronic media development. (Statement 1 is correct)
  • It was established in 1977 under auspices of UNESCO. (Statement 2 is not correct)
  • Location: It is hosted by Government of Malaysia and its secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur. (Statement 3 is not correct)
  • Members: Currently it has 26 countries as full members represented by 43 organizations, and 52 affiliate members.

Q) Recently in news, the SCALE app has been launched by –

  1. Ministry of Education
  2. Ministry of Skill Development
  3. Both
  4. None

Explanation:

  • Union Minister for Education and Skill Development has launched the SCALE (Skill Certification Assessment for Leather Employees) app for skill development in the leather sector.

About SCALE app

  • It provides a one-stop solution for the skilling, learning, assessment, and employment needs of the leather industry.
  • It is designed and developed by the Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC).
  • The SCALE studio App developed by LSSC allows people from all age groups interested in leather craft to access online live streamed classes from the state-of-the-art studio at its office.

 

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