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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 October 2016



Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 October 2016


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


Cabinet approves MoU between India and European Union on water cooperation


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the signing of MoU between India and European Union in the field of water resources.India and European Union on water cooperation


Key facts:

  • The MoU envisages strengthening the technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the European Union in the field of water management on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.
  • It provides technical exchange on water issues, including on integrated water resource management plans within river basins and through study visits.
  • The MoU aims to identify key environmental issues and approaches to sustainable development where exchange of experiences and cooperation could be mutually beneficial to strengthen and further develop cooperation between India and the European Union in the field of water management.
  • It envisions a more sustainable management of water resources in India with an objective of tackling the challenges posed by water management in the context of growing population, competing water demands and a changing climate.
  • A Joint Working Group is also proposed to be formed to monitor the activities to be carried out in fulfillment of the MoU.



The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management through sharing of policy and technical expertise, conducting of training courses, workshops, scientific and technical symposia, exchange of experts and study tours.

The EU States have adopted water pricing policies to provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently thereby contributing to environmental objectives.

Sources: pib.


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


Memorandum of Understanding with AARDO


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the African Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) for capacity building programmes in the field of rural development.


Key facts:

  • The MoU for the triennium 2015 – 2017 is being signed under which capacity building programmes for AARDO member countries will be organized every year during the triennium at various Institutions of Excellence in India such as National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRD & PR), institutions governed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and others.
  • The duration of each training programme shall be of two to three weeks. The Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Development Management Course at NIRD & PR under this scheme is for one year.


About AARDO:

The AARDO, which has its headquarters in New Delhi, is an autonomous, inter-Governmental organization established in 1962 with the objective of promoting cooperation among the countries of the African – Asian Region in the direction of eradicating thirst, hunger, illiteracy, disease and poverty in the region. AARDO currently has 31 countries of the African – Asian Region under its fold.


India and AARDO:

India is one of the Founder Members of the Organization and is the largest contributor in terms of membership contribution of US$ 141,100 apart from contributing by way of providing 70 fully paid training scholarships for Human Resource Development Programme under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) to the Organization.

  • India has also provided a building for housing the AARDO Secretariat in Delhi and considerable financial assistance is given to AARDO for maintenance of the building.
  • Since the year 2009, India is continuing to provide an Additional Contribution of US$ 600,000 to AARDO for each triennium 2009-2011 to expand its scale and scope of the Capacity Building Programmes of AARDO for the benefit of Member Countries.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Cabinet approves amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014


The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014. This comes after the NDA government in July revived the bill to look into its flaws.

  • The Bill was first introduced in Parliament by the UPA government in its last days in 2014 and aimed to make anti-retroviral treatment a legal right of HIV/AIDS patients.
  • The HIV and AIDS Bill, 2014 has been drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV.


Key provisions in the bill:

The provisions of the Bill seek to address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.


Role of governments:  

  • Under the Bill, central and state governments are obliged to provide for anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and management of opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of weakness in the immune system and occur frequently).
  • The bill also prohibits specific acts of discrimination by the state, or any other person, against HIV-positive people, or those living with such people.


Provisions related to discrimination:

  • The Bill lays down penal provisions for any discrimination practised against a person with HIV/AIDS and breach of confidentiality.
  • The protection mandated in the Bill extends to the fields of employment, healthcare services, educational services, public facilities, property rights, holding public office, and insurance.
  • It also provides for confidentiality of HIV-related information and makes it necessary to get informed consent for undertaking HIV tests, medical treatment and research.


Provisions related to ombudsman:

  • The bill also provides for an ombudsman. According to the provisions of the Bill, an ombudsman shall be appointed by each state government to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and the provision of health care services.
  • The ombudsman shall submit a report to the state government every six months stating the number and nature of complaints received, the actions taken and orders passed.


Provisions related to guardianship:

  • Provisions related to guardianship are also specified. A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age.
  • The guardianship will apply in matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.


Role of courts:

  • Cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on a priority basis.
  • In any legal proceeding, if an HIV infected or affected person is a party, the court may pass orders that the proceedings be conducted (a) by suppressing the identity of the person, (b) in camera, and (c) to restrain any person from publishing information that discloses the identity of the applicant.
  • When passing any order with regard to a maintenance application filed by an HIV infected or affected person, the court shall take into account the medical expenses incurred by the applicant.



There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India and the percentage of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment currently stands at a mere 25.82% as against the global percentage of 41%, according to the 2015 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD).

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Automation threatens 69% jobs in India: World Bank


According to a World Bank research, automation threatens 69% of the jobs in India, while 77% in China.


Highlights of the research:

  • The research paper has said that technology could fundamentally disrupt the pattern of traditional economic path in developing countries.
  • Technology has and will continue to fundamentally reshape the world. But the traditional economic path from increasing productivity of agriculture to light manufacturing and then to full-scale industrialisation may not be possible for all developing countries.
  • In large parts of Africa, it is likely that technology could fundamentally disrupt this pattern.


Way ahead:

Developing countries are going to lose many jobs due to technological development. Therefore, it is necessary to understand what paths to economic growth will be available for these countries and then adapt our approach to infrastructure accordingly.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.


UN court rejects disarmament case against India


The United Nations’ highest court has rejected nuclear disarmament cases filed by the Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands against Britain, India and Pakistan, saying it did not have jurisdiction.


What has the court said?

The International Court of Justice ruled that the Marshall Islands had failed to prove that a legal dispute over disarmament existed between it and the three nuclear powers before the case was filed in 2014, and that “consequently the court lacks jurisdiction.”


What was the case about?

The Marshall Islands had sued India, Pakistan and Britain, and had sought to persuade the UN’s highest court to take up a lawsuit, accusing the countries of failing to halt the nuclear arms race.



  • In 2014, the Marshall Islands – a Pacific Ocean territory with 55,000 people – accused nine countries of “not fulfilling their obligations with respect to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”. They included China, Britain, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
  • Eight of the nine countries originally targeted in the lawsuits have officially admitted to possessing a nuclear weapon. Israel has never acknowledged having one, though observers believe it is the sole nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East.
  • The government, based in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro, said by not stopping the nuclear arms race, the countries continued to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – even if the treaty has not been signed by countries such as India and Pakistan.
  • The Marshall Islands government says it had decided to sue the world’s nuclear heavyweights as it has a particular awareness of the dire consequences of nuclear weapons. Between 1946 and 1958 the United States conducted repeated nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands.


In March 2014 the Marshall Islands marked 60 years since the devastating hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll that laid waste on the island and exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout. The 15-megatonne test on 1 March, 1954 was part of the intense cold war nuclear arms race and 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to builders of molecular machines


The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2016 has been awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for developing molecular machines.


Key facts:

  • The 2016 Nobel laureates in Chemistry have miniaturised machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension.
  • They have developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added.
  • The development of computing demonstrates how the miniaturisation of technology can lead to a revolution.
  • These molecular machines will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems.


What are Molecular Machines?

Molecular machines are single-molecules that behave much like the machines people encounter every day: They have controllable movements and can perform a task with the input of energy.

Examples include a tiny elevator that goes up and down with changes in pH and a super-small motor that spins in one direction when exposed to light and heat.


Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

  • BRICS U-17 Football Tournament: India is hosting the first BRICS U-17 Football Tournament. It is being held in Goa. The BRICS U – 17 Football Tournament will be played among the ‘BRICS’ countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.