Daily Current Affairs: 27th October 2019: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
Nagaland Peace Accord
Context: The most probable announcement of aNaga peace accordnext week has led the administrations inNagaland andManipur to issue a series of orders that include one cautioning people againsthoarding fuelandessential commodities.
The Naga Movement is the oldest movement for self-determination in India and is also the longest surviving insurgency. The movement began during the British rule and continued after 1947. Even after the formation of a separate state of Nagaland in 1963, the movement didn’t die down.
The distribution of Naga population in various states of the North-East such as Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, and Nagaland, as well as in adjoining Myanmar further trivializes the issue of carving the ‘Greater Nagalim’ or a separate state for all the Nagas in the region.
In August 2015, Government of India signed a Framework Agreement with National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) IM to resolve the long-standing Naga issue in a peaceful manner in the form of Naga Peace Accord.
Timeline of Major Events
- 1918: Formation of Naga club.
- 1929: Recommendation to Simon Commission emphasizing the need for Naga independence.
- 1946: Naga National Council (NNC) was formed by A. Z. Phizo.
- 1947: Phizo declared Nagaland as an independent state on August 14, 1947.
- 1958: Counter-insurgency operations through AFSPA by Government of India.
- 1960: Sixteen point Agreement between Naga People s Congress and Government of India.
- 1963: Formation of independent state Nagaland.
- 1975: The Shillong Agreement. NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms.
- 1980: Formation of NSCN.
- 1988: Split in NSCN. NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) were formed.
- 1997: Ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM).
- 2007: Indefinite extension of the ceasefire agreement between NSCN (IM) and Government of India.
- 2015: Naga Peace Accord.
What are the major demands of NSCN (IM)?
NSCN(IM) demands a Greater Nagalim comprising of all contiguous Naga areas spread across the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur along with a large tract in Myanmar (before independence, the British demarcated Indo- Burma boundary. Due to which some Naga areas went into Myanmar). The Greater Nagalim area as demanded by NSCN (IM) comprises of 1,20, 000 sq km while the present Nagaland state is of 16,257 sq km. The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the Greater Nagaland demand as many as five times.
The road to Peace Accord
- The Naga-Akbar Hydari Agreement, which was signed in 1947, recognized the right of Nagas to develop according to their own wishes.
- The 16-point Agreement was signed in 1960 with the Naga People’s Convention which led to the formation of a separate state of Nagaland in 1963 and the incorporation of Article 371A into the Constitution which recognized the special rights of Naga people.
- A Ceasefire Agreement was signed in 1964 which paved the way for the Shillong Accord a decade later, in 1975.
- The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN-IM in 1997, and with NSCN-K in 2001.
- In 2015, the NSCN-IM faction signed an agreement with the government which was termed as the “Naga Peace Accord”.
Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP)
Context: Exactly after an year of launch of the KARSAP, the plan seems to lose its momentum.
The state of Kerala was the first Indian state to launch an Action Plan for containing Antimicrobial Resistance. The Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP) was released at a ceremony held at the city of Thiruvananthapuram on 25th October 2018.
The action plan was aimed at giving a strategic direction to the various activities undertaken to tackle antimicrobial resistance in the state. The action plan is truly “One-Health” in its approach and was developed through a collaborative exercise involving human, non-human and environment sectors.
The Action Plan was drafted with help from World Health Organization’s Country Office, who led the efforts to bring together various stakeholders.
Further, KARSAP is a follow-up to the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, which was brought out by the Government of India. But the size of the country and the complexities involved in the overall implementation process, called for such decentralized plans at the state level.
What are the issues face by the Plan?
The Plan seemed to fail in ‘Awareness creation and Knowledge,’ which is the first strategic priority in the action plan. Apart from this, another major issue is that the State government is yet to allocate a budget for the implementation of Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP).
What is Antimicrobial Resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe. The resistant microbes are more difficult to treat, requiring alternative medications or higher doses of antimicrobials. These approaches may be more expensive, more toxic or both.
Microbes resistant to multiple antimicrobials are called multidrug resistant (MDR). Those considered extensively drug resistant (XDR) or totally drug-resistant (TDR) are sometimes called “superbugs”.
About National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance
The National Action Plan is comprehensive and aligns well with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Action Plan for Anti-Microbial Resistance. The plan covers all the 5 major objectives as listed in the GAP and adds an additional objective related to strengthening India’s leadership on AMR. The plan proposes to target several key aspects of AMR in both human and non-human sectors (such as agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, and environment) incorporating the ‘one health approach’. The target periods for the components of various objectives have been listed as short-term (within 1 year), medium-term (from 1 to 3 years), and long-term (more than 3 years). Priorities outlined in the National Action Plan for antimicrobial resistance in India:
- Strategic priority 1: Improve awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education, and training.
- Strategic priority 2: Strengthen knowledge and evidence through surveillance.
- Strategic priority 3: Reduce the incidence of infection through effective infection, prevention, and control.
- Strategic priority 4: Optimize the use of antimicrobial agents in all sectors.
- Strategic priority 5: Promote investments for AMR activities, research, and innovations.
- Strategic priority 6: Strengthen India’s leadership on AMR by means of collaborations on AMR at international, national, and sub-national levels.
What are the key initiatives taken by India before and after National Action Plan?
- The Health minister of India along with the Health ministers of all member states of the WHO South-East Asia Region adopted the “Jaipur Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance” in September 2011.
- The “National Programme on Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance” was launched under the 12th five-year plan (2012-2017), which included Schedule H1.
- An international conference on AMR – “Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: A Public Health Challenge and Priority” was jointly organized by the Government of India and the WHO in February 2016 and the “Medicines with the Red Line” media campaign was launched.
- The National Action Plan on AMR was adopted in April 2017.
- To begin the implementation phase of the NAP, a meeting titled “National Consultation to Operationalize Action Plan for AMR Containment” was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and WHO Country Office for India, State health ministries and other relevant stakeholders during 24th – 25th August 2017 in New Delhi.
- Strengthening AMR surveillance network for key pathogens and enrolment in WHO Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS).
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released “Antibiotic Residues limits” in food from animal origin.
- The Indian Network for Fisheries and Animals Antimicrobial Resistance has been established with Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) assistance.
- ICMR launched Antibiotic Stewardship initiative, released treatment guidelines for antimicrobial use in common conditions and the hospital infection control guidelines were made available on the NCDC website, in addition to the NCDC guidelines for antimicrobial use.
- Draft standards for antibiotic residues in pharmaceutical industrial effluent and common effluent treatment plants were developed by the Central Pollution Control Board.
- Kerala became the first state to adopt the sub national State Action Plan in October 2018.
SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE TUNNEL
Context: Chenani Nashri Tunnel on NH 44 in Jammu & Kashmir is planned to be renamed as Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee Tunnel by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways.
Importance of Tunnel
This 9 km tunnel is the longest such state of art tunnel in the country, connecting Udhampur to Ramban in Jammu.
It holds importance as it cuts down 31 km of travel distance and reduces the travel time between the two points by about two hours, in addition to substantial saving in fuel cost.
About Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee
Syama Prasad Mukherjee (1901 – 1953) was an Indian politician who served as the Minister for Industry and Supply in Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet. He quit Congress because of differences of opinion with Nehru led government on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir. He founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor to the Bharatiya Janata Party, in 1951. About 66 years ago, Dr Mukherjee was arrested illegally from Lakhanpur, and was taken to Srinagar through Chenani Nashari. Dr Mukherjee was a sitting member of Lok Sabha at that time.
Since BJP is the successor party of Bhartiya Jana Sangh, Mukherjee is regarded as the founder of BJP too.
Guidelines for Granting Authorization to market Transportation Fuels
Context: Marking a major reform of the guidelines for marketing of petrol and diesel, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the Review of Guidelines for Granting Authorization to market Transportation Fuels.
Key Highlights of the Guidelines According to the guidelines, non-oil companies can also invest in setting up retail outlets for fuel, regardless of whether they have prior investments in the oil and gas sector. Further, there is much lower entry barrier for private players. The entities seeking authorisation would need to have a minimum net worth of Rs.250 crore with regard to the current requirement of Rs. 2000 crore prior investment. The companies have been given flexibility in setting up a Joint Venture or Subsidiary for market authorisation. In addition to conventional fuels, the authorized entities are required to install facilities for marketing at least one new generation alternate fuel, like CNG, LNG, biofuels, electric charging, etc. at their proposed retail outlets within 3 years of operationalization of the said outlet The authorised entities are required to set up minimum 5% of the total retail outlets in the notified remote areas within 5 years of grant of authorisation.
The new policy will give a fillip to ‘ease of doing business’, with transparent policy guidelines and will also boost direct and indirect employment in the sector. Setting up of more retail outlets (ROs) will result in better competition and better services for consumers.
The Two Child Norm
Context: As per the small family norm, Assam Cabinet has decided that no government jobs will be given to persons having more than two children after January 1, 2021.
The move comes 2 months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged the issue of “population explosion” in his Independence Day speech. According to the records, in 2013, Assam recorded a Total Fertility Rate of 2.3 against a target for replacement level fertility rate of 2.1.
In 2017, the Assam Assembly had passed the ‘Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam’ that specified that job candidates with two children only would be eligible for government employment and the existing government staff were to strictly follow the two children family norm. Other states that already have a two-child norm for government jobs in place includes Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra The two-child norm for Panchayat elections: Assam is also among the states that have a similar norm in place for Panchayat elections. In 2018, Assam had passed the Assam Panchayat (Amendment) Act, 2018, according to which those contesting panchayat polls cannot have more than two children. Other states which have similar norms for local body polls include Uttarakhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
What is it?
The Two-Child Norm is one of target-oriented, family-size control policies of India, which encourages parents to limit their families to two children and creates disadvantages for couples with more than two children. Disadvantages of this policy include:
- Disqualification from panchayat councilpositions.
- Denial of certain public services and government welfare programs, including maternal and child health programs (more information on denied services, below).
The two-child policy was modeled on China’s one-child policy (1979), under which couples were forbidden from having more than one child. Politicians and leaders are expected to set an example for others by adopting this norm themselves, influencing the villages to follow suit.
WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INDICATORS (WIPI) 2019
Context: As per the WIPO’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report, China accounted for nearly half global patent filings in 2018.
Key Findings of WIPO
In all, innovators worldwide filed 3.3 million patent applications (up 5.2% for a ninth straight yearly increase), 3 million trademark applications, and 1.3 million industrial design applications. Asia has become a global hub for innovation. Asia accounted for more than 2/3rd of all patent, trademark and industrial design applications in 2018. China ranked 1st in all 3 categories and had as many patent filings as the next 10 places combined, including Japan (3rd), South Korea (4th) and the European Patent Office (5th). As per the findings of the WIPO, China accounted for nearly half of global patent filings last year, with a record 1.54 million applications, led by telecoms and computer technology. Number of patents filed by China increased by 11.6 % in 2018 from 2017. The US ranked 2nd with almost 600,000 patent applications, down 1.6% on the previous year and the first drop in a decade.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). It is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. WIPO assists its 192 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs.
Context: An agreement has been signed by a Chinese company to lease an entire island in theSolomon Islands.
About the Agreement The Solomons’ Central Province made a “strategic cooperation agreement” on Tulagi island with the state-owned China Sam Enterprise Group for the development of the special economic zone.
The agreement with China Sam mentions developing a refinery on the island, but its potential for dual use as a Chinese military base is certain to raise concerns with the United States and Australia. Recently, China and the Solomons officially established diplomatic relations after China persuaded the impoverished Pacific nation to sever ties with Taiwan and become its ally. Days later another Taiwan loyalist in the region, Kiribati, did likewise.
About Tulagi Island
Tulagi, an island about 2 sq. km with a population of 1,200, is the site of a former Japanese naval base and was the scene of fierce fighting in World War II.
The island of Tulagi served as a South Pacific headquarters for Britain and then Japan. During Second World War, its natural deepwater harbour across from Guadalcanal was coveted by the military.
EX EASTERN BRIDGE-V
Context: Indian Air Force participated in a Bilateral Joint exercise with Royal Air Force Oman (RAFO), named EX EASTERN BRIDGE-V, scheduled from 17-26 Oct 19, at Air Force Base Masirah.
The previous edition of the exercise, EX EASTERN BRIDGE-IV was held in 2017 at Jamnagar. IAF contingent comprises of MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft. Besides strengthening bilateral relations, the exercise will enhance inter-operability during mutual operations between the two Air Forces and will provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices.
Defence of Andaman & Nicobar Islands 2019 (DANX-19)
Context: The second edition of Defence of Andaman & Nicobar Islands 2019 (DANX-19), large scale joint services exercise was recently conducted by the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
The exercise spanning over a period of 5 days, components of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard carried out mobilisation and field manoeuvres to validate defensive plans of Headquarters ANC towards ensuring territorial integrity of the A&N Islands. In addition to internal forces from Andaman and Nicobar Command, accretional forces from Mainland comprising ships and aircraft, Special Forces from the newly formed Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD), also participated in this edition.