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Insights Daily Current Events, 10 October 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 10 October 2015


Paper 3 Topic: conservation.

West Bengal to get India’s first dolphin reserve

India’s first community reserve to protect the endangered Gangetic river dolphins will come up in West Bengal. This decision was taken at the recently held State Wildlife Board meeting in WB.

  • The reserve will be set up in the Hooghly river.
  • The methodology to develop the community reserve is being chalked out by a separate committee. The committee will take a decision based on inputs from all stakeholders since it’s a community reserve.

About Gangetic Dolphin: Ganges river dolphin, Bangladesh

  • The Ganges River dolphin, or susu, inhabits the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. It is a freshwater
  • Once found in thousands, there are fewer than 2,000 Gangetic dolphins left in the country in the entire distribution range along the Ganga and Brahamaputra river system.
  • It was declared as the National Aquatic Animal in 2010.
  • One of the main threats to the species is loss of habitat due in large part to the creation of dams and irrigation projects. It is also threatened by removal of river water and siltation arising from deforestation, pollution and entanglement in fisheries nets.
  • This species is also referred to as the “blind dolphin“.
  • It has been classified as “endangered” by the IUCN.

sources: the hindu, wiki.


Paper 3 Topic: Agriculture, space.

Farm sector sure to gain from space tech

Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar has indicated that the country’s agriculture sector would increasingly reap the benefits of space technology in the coming years through various upcoming projects, including the Indo-US NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite.

About NISAR:

  • The Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is a joint project between NASA and ISRO to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite.
  • The satellite will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency and it is planned to be used for remote sensing to observe and understand natural processes of the Earth.
  • It is slated to be launched in 2020-21.
  • NISAR would provide information about a place more frequently than older satellites orbiting the Earth at present.
  • Among the objectives of NISAR are estimation of soil moisture, agriculture and forest biomass.
  • It is also designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet’s most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

sources: the hindu, wiki, isro.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

BRICS to establish liberal visa regime among member countries

The BRICS nations have decided to allow free movement of “skilled professionals” among member countries by setting up a liberalised visa regime. This joint declaration was issued at the first-ever ministerial meeting on migration held recently in Sochi, Russia.

Other outcomes of the meeting:

  • The BRICS countries have joined hands to combat and prevent organised human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and have promised to strengthen dialogue and cooperation among the member countries.
  • They have also resolved to combat and prevent transnational organised crime.
  • The nations have affirmed their interest in exchanging of views and sharing of experience on migration issues.
  • They have accepted the inter-relationship between transnational migration and development; and the need to deal with the opportunities and challenges that migration presents and take advantage of its positive impacts.
  • The meeting was also attended by representatives of Shanghai Cooperation Council, the Commonwealth of Independent States and other international bodies working on migration.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

No decision at MTCR meeting

The meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR) concluded recently in the Netherlands. But, the decision on India’s membership is still pending.

  • India has already said that its inclusion would further strengthen global non- proliferation objectives.
  • India wants to gain entry into MCTR favouring non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
  • India has an application under submission since June 2015 to be a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)..
  • While countries like the United States and Sweden have been backing India’s bid, other nations like Italy and China are not too enthusiastic about granting it membership.

About MCTR: quick facts

  • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal and voluntary partnership between 34 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying a 500 kg payload for at least 300 km.
  • It was established in April 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States.
  • China is not a member of the MTCR.

In 2002, the MTCR was supplemented by the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC), also known as the Hague Code of Conduct, which calls for restraint and care in the proliferation of ballistic missile systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and has 119 members, thus working parallel to the MTCR with less specific restrictions but with a greater membership.

sources: the hindu, wiki.


Paper 1 Topic: World History and General awareness.

Tunisian mediators win Nobel Peace Prize

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet. It has been selected for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.

The quartet comprises four organisations:tunisia

  1. the Tunisian General Labour Union.
  2. the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts.
  3. the Tunisian Human Rights League.
  4. and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

But the Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasized that the prize is awarded to this quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such.

About National Dialogue Quartet:

  • The quartet has played a key role in mediating between the different parties in the country’s post-Arab Spring government.
  • It was created in 2013, two years after the revolution, when security in the country was threatened following the assassination of two key politicians and deadly clashes between Islamists and secular parts of society.
  • The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in 2010 and 2011, but it quickly spread to other countries in North African and the Middle East. In many of these countries, the struggle for democracy and human rights has come to a standstill or suffered setbacks. Tunisia, however, has seen a democratic transition based on vibrant civil society, with demands for respect of basic human rights.
  • Tunisia’s uprising was the first and most successful of the Arab Spring.

sources: the hindu, bbc, wiki.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Revision of Piracy High Risk Area (HRA)

European Union Chair of the Contact Group of Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) has announced the revision of the limits of the piracy High Risk Area (HRA).

  • With this, India’s west coast has been excluded from piracy High Risk Area (HRA).
  • The decision will come into effect from December 1.


  • Consequent to the spread of piracy to the East Arabian Sea, the international shipping industry had extended the eastern limit of piracy HRA in June 2010 to 78oE longitude, thereby including the west coast of India within its ambit.

Why was india concerned about this?piracy zone

  • This extension had led to security concerns on account of the presence of private security personnel onboard merchant vessels transiting the piracy HRA, and the presence of floating armouries off the Indian coast.
  • The shipping industry also incurred additional costs for insurance and implementation of various recommendations for transit through the piracy HRA.
  • The extended HRA also came near the Indian coastline up to as close as about 35 nautical miles from the baseline. This was an unwarranted encroachment into India’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

What made this revision necessary?

  • Affirmative action and increased surveillance contributed towards the decline of piracy incidents in the East Arabian Sea. The last reported piratical activity in the East Arabian Sea was in March, 2012.
  • In addition to deployment of Indian Naval ships in the Gulf of Aden since October 2008 for anti-piracy patrols, robust action by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard led to the arrest of 120 pirates from four pirate ‘mother-ships’ between January-March 2011.
  • The absence of piracy in Indian maritime zones led to India seeking a review with support from many other countries.

This revision of the HRA boundary back to its original state should thus greatly reduce the insurance costs of Indian shipping companies. In total, this could save the industry $25 million.

sources: the hindu, pib.