Daily Current Affairs: 9th 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.
RAFALE FIGHTER JET
Context: Defence Minister of India formally received the first Rafale fighter jet which was built for Indian Air Force in France. He was handed over the first Indian Aircraft, RB-001, where RB stands for Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, who played a significant role in negotiations for procuring 36 Rafale jets in the flyaway condition.
The first batch of Rafale Jets are planned to arrive in India in May 2020. Background In September 2016, India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at an overall cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. In October 2016, Reliance Group and Dassault Aviation issued a joint statement that announced the creation of a 51:49 joint venture named Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) to focus on aero structures, electronics and engine components as well as to foster research and development projects under the “Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured” (IDDM) initiative. About Rafale Aircraft It is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. It is equipped with a wide range of weapons, and is intended to perform in-depth strike, anti-ship and nuclear deterrence missions. It was introduced in 2001 and is being produced by the French Air Force and has been selected for the purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force and the Qatar Air Force. It has been used in combat over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.
Read More: Rafale Deal Controversy
NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS
Context: This year, the Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to three scientists named James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz to recognize their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of universe and earth’s place in the cosmos.
The one-half of the prize has been won by Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles, for his theoretical work to help understand how the universe evolved after the BIG BANG. His work is mainly focused on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. The other half of the prize went to Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for their discovery of an exoplanet that challenged preconceived ideas about exoplanets. With the help of a spectrograph, ELODIE, they predicted the planet by observing the “Doppler Effect” – when the star wobbles as an effect of a planet’s gravity on its observed light. About Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation The cosmic microwave background (CMB), in Big Bang cosmology, is an electromagnetic radiation as a remnant from an early stage of the universe, also known as “relic radiation”. It is a faint cosmic background radiation that fills up all the space and is an important source of data on the early universe because it is the oldest electromagnetic radiation in the universe, dating to the epoch of recombination. With the help of a traditional optical telescope, the space between stars and galaxies (the background) is completely dark. But when view by a sufficiently sensitive radio telescope, a faint background noise, or glow, which is almost isotropic, and not associated with any star, galaxy, or other object is observed which is strongest in the microwave region of the radio spectrum.
Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey
Context: The recently released Comprehensive National Nutritional Survey by the government revealed that the children in the rural household are breastfed more as compared to their urban counterparts.
The is the first ever nutritional survey which has been conducted by the Government of India. Key findings
- The study shows that 83% of children between 12 and 15 months continued to be breastfed, as compared to urban areas (76%), a higher proportion of children in this age group residing in rural areas are breastfed (85%).
- The study also pointed out that the rural children receive meals more frequently in a day at 44% as compared to 37% of urban children. Also, a higher proportion of children residing in urban areas (26.9%) are provided with an adequately diverse diet as compared to those in rural areas (19%).
- According to the findings, children and adolescents who resides in urban areas also have a higher (40.6%) prevalence of iron deficiency as compared to their rural counterparts (29%).
- Further, the Sub-scapular Skinfold Thickness (SSFT) for the age of children shows that the children in urban areas are also overweight and obese.
- While 14.5% of children belonging to the age group of 5-9 years in cities had higher SSFT than 5.3% in rural areas, 10.4% of adolescents surveyed in urban areas in the age group of 10-19 had higher SSFT than 4.3% in rural areas.
- It was also founded by the study that malnutrition among children in urban India is characterized by relatively poor levels of breastfeeding, higher prevalence of iron and Vitamin D deficiency as well as obesity due to long commute by working mothers, prosperity and lifestyle patterns while rural parts of the country see higher percentage of children suffering from stunting, underweight and wasting and lower consumption of milk products.
- The study also found that rural children lag in intake of zinc which causes diarrhoea, growth retardation, loss of appetite and impaired immune function. Among children aged 1-4 years, zinc deficiency is more common in rural areas (20%) compared to urban areas (16%).
- As per the study, rural areas also witness higher prevalence of stunting (37% in rural versus 27% in urban), underweight (36% in rural versus 26% in urban) and severe acute malnutrition (34.7% in rural areas for children in 5-9 years versus 23.7% in urban areas and 27.4% in urban areas for adolescents in 10-19 years versus 32.4% in rural areas).
Third Pole of Earth
Context: India has planned to work with China and Pakistan to gauge impact of climate change. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will collaborate with meteorological agencies in China and Pakistan to provide climate forecast services to countries in the HINDU-KUSH-HIMALAYAN (HKH) region.
It will be under the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and take a few years to take shape. About Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region The Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region which is also sometimes considered as the Third Pole spans Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It is the source of 10 large Asian river systems – the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra (Yarlungtsanpo), Irrawaddy, Salween (Nu), Mekong (Lancang), Yangtse (Jinsha), Yellow River (Huanghe), and Tarim (Dayan) – and provides water, ecosystem services, and the basis for livelihoods to a population of around 240 million people in the region. The Third Pole, which contains vast cryospheric zones, is also the world’s largest store of snow and ice outside the polar region, and the source of 10 major rivers, and, therefore, particularly sensitive to climate change.
SUPREME COURT ON TRAFFIC OFFENCES
Context: According to a ruling by SC, if someone commits traffic offences like speeding or rash driving, one can be charged under the provisions of both- The Motor Vehicles (MV) Act as well as the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The verdict has been passed by the bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna noted that there is no provision under the MV Act which separately deals with offences causing death, or grievous hurt, or hurt by a motor vehicle in cases of motor vehicle accidents. Highlights of the verdict According to the SC verdict, “there is no conflict between the provisions of the IPC and the MV Act.” and “both the statues operate in entirely different spheres”. The court has held that the Motor Vehicles Act is a complete code in itself in so far as motor vehicles are concerned. However, there is no bar under the Motor Vehicles Act or otherwise, to try and prosecute offences under the IPC for an offence relating to motor vehicle accidents. With this, the court struck down an order of the Guwahati High Court, which had directed that the ‘road traffic offences shall be dealt with only under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988‘, and that “in cases of road traffic or motor vehicle offences, prosecution under the provision of IPC, 1860 is without sanction of law.”
Also Read: MOTOR VEHICLES (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019
Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI)
Context: The corporate tax rate cuts which has been announced by the government last month has had only a marginal effect on foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), according to a study, who have been net sellers in most trading sessions since the reduction in the levy was announced. As per data from the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), FPIs were net buyers at an alarming Rs. 2,856.51 crore on September 23, the first trading session post the tax rate cuts. About Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPI) A foreign portfolio investment is a combined asset that may include stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents and are held directly by an investor or managed by financial professionals. Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) consists of securities and other financial assets held by investors in another country. It does not provide the investor with direct ownership of a company’s assets and is relatively liquid depending on the volatility of the market. Along with foreign direct investment (FDI), FPI is also one of the common ways to invest in an overseas economy. FDI and FPI are both very important sources of funding for most economies. How is it different from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)? In the case of Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), like the portfolio investment in general, an investor is not actively involved in managing the investments or the companies that issue the investments. In other words, they do not have direct control over the assets or the businesses. While, a foreign direct investment (FDI) allows an investor to purchase a direct business interest in a foreign country. So, Foreign Portfolio Investments are more liquid as compared to Foreign Direct Investments and offers the investor a chance for a quicker return on his money. But, just like the case with most investments that offers a short-term horizon, FPI assets can suffer from volatility. FPIs are more suitable to the average retail investor, while Foreign Direct Investments is more suitable for the province of institutional investors, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and companies.
According to the experts, all the historical references indicate that the origin of the Urdu had taken plane in Punjab about several centuries back. It has been argued that the language had developed and flourished in Delhi during the period of ‘Delhi Sultanate’ from 12th to 16th century and then during the ‘Mughal Empire’ in Delhi from 16th – 18th century. It is also to be noted that before being called as URDU, it was familiar with other names including Hindustani, Hindavi, Dehlavi and Rekhta. This language has a similarity with Punjabi Shahmukhi in a manner that it is also written from right to left just like the Punjabi. Talking about its Official status, it is one of the official languages of India under the Indian Constitution and among the 15 Indian Languages which are written on the Indian Currency notes. It is also one of the official languages in the States like Kashmir, Telangana, UP, Bihar, New Delhi and West Bengal. It also have a regulatory authority, the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) which is an autonomous body under the M/o HRD, Govt. of India, set up to promote, develop and propagate Urdu language. The Council started operation in Delhi in 1996.
Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR)
A report has been released by the ADR, which analyzed the assets and liabilities declared by the regional parties in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
- As per the findings of the report, the number of regional parties who declared their holding has increased from 39 in 2016-17 to 41 in 2017-18.
- About 46% of all the assets declared by all 41 parties in 2017-18 is comprised by Samajwadi Party alone with a total holdings of Rs 583 crores.
- Among the regional parties of Tamil Nadu, DMK and AAIDMK holds another 15% each, at Rs 191.6 crore and Rs 189.5 crore respectively.
- The assets so declared are basically revealed under six major categories i.e., fixed assets, loans & advances, FDR/deposits, TDS, investments and other assets.
This is a potential drug which has been developed by researchers to treat heart attack and prevent heart failures for which there is currently no cure available. The drug, SR 9009, works by capitalizing on the circadian clock inside the heart – the genes that turn on and off at specific times to regulate heart rate, blood pressure and other functions. The research has been carried out by researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada. The drug, SR9009, works by disrupting genes that would normally activate immune responses after a heart attack.
New moons of Saturn
Twenty new moons have been found to be orbiting Saturn. These new moons are each about 3 miles in diameter and 17 orbit Saturn backwards, or in the opposite direction the planet rotates around its own axis. With this discovery, the total count of moons around Saturn has taken over that of Jupiter’s 79 moons and now have a total of 82 moons orbiting the planet.
It was also found that the majority of the moons take more than 3 years to complete an orbit around the gas giant, while two of the prograde moons, which are located closer to the planet, circle around it in just about 2 years. The 20 new moons were seen utilizing the Subaru telescope which is located on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea by a team led by scientist Scott S. Sheppard. According to the NASA’s report, 53 of Saturn’s moons are confirmed and has been named, while 29 are awaiting confirmation “of discovery and official naming“.