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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 February 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 February 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Prachi Valley

Context: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered pottery pieces, and tools made of stones and bones believed to be of the pre-Christian era from a mound in Jalalpur village of Cuttack district, Odisha. Discoveries of ancient artefacts indicated that a rural settlement might have thrived in that period. These settlements could have had cultural and trade ties with other settlements in the Prachi Valley that had come up around the Prachi river, which gradually disappeared.


Facts for Prelims:

Prachi Valley civilisation is believed to be earlier than that of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro flourished on the banks of Prachi river. Prachi Valley civilisation has contributed a lot towards amalgamation, assimilation and proliferation of different religious faiths and cults.

The Prachi river, a tributary of Mahanadi, originates about 10 km away from Bhubaneswar. The river flows through Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur districts and it is this region that is called the Prachi Valley.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2:

Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Citizenship Act

Context: The Supreme Court has decided to refer to a fresh Constitution Bench pleas to examine the validity of various aspects of a provision of the Citizenship Act 1955, including the cut-off date for awarding citizenship to Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam. Section 6A of the Act relates to provisions for citizenship of people covered by the Assam Accord.



In December 2014, a two-judge Bench of the apex court had framed 13 questions, for deliberation by a larger Bench, which included whether Section 6A violates the Articles of the Constitution by diluting the political rights of residents of Assam. It had also framed a question about the scope of fundamental right contained in Article 29(1), relating to the right to conserve a distinct language, script or culture, and also about the meaning of expressions ‘culture’ and ‘conserve.’


Assam Accord:

The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985. The accord brought an end to the Assam Agitation and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.

As per the Accord, those Bangladeshis who came between 1966 and 1971 will be barred from voting for ten years. The Accord also mentions that the international borders will be sealed and all persons who crossed over from Bangladesh after 1971 are to be deported.

Though the accord brought an end to the agitation, some of the key clauses are yet to be implemented, which has kept some of the issues festering.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.


Laghu Udyog Bharati

Context: A national level meeting was recently convened by the Government of India with the members of Laghu Udyog Bharati.


About Laghu Udyog Bharati:

Laghu Udyog Bharati is a registered all India organization of Micro and Small Industries in India since 1994. Today, Laghu udyog Bharati has its membership spread over the length and breadth of the country. It has membership in more than 400 Districts with 250 Branches all over the Country. In a genuine effort to organise MSE sector Laghu Udyog Bharati is fighting the various ills plaguing the sector and to remove impediments coming in the way to MSEs.


Laghu Udyog Bharati render assistance to small scale industries as follows:

  • Removal of inspector raj & simplification procedures.
  • Availability & distribution of power.
  • Guidance for improving productivity.
  • Quality & technological upgradation & modernisation.
  • Sales promotion & marketing assistance.
  • Encouraging women entrepreneurs.
  • Creating congenial environment for better entrepreneur, worker and customer relations.
  • Making various panels for better representation.
  • Participation in Trade-Fairs and Exhibitions for better product exposure.


Significance of MSE sector:

Worldwide, micro and small enterprises (MSEs) have been accepted as the engine of economic growth and for promoting equitable development. MSEs constitute over 95% of total enterprises in most of the economies and are credited with generating the highest rates of employment growth and account for a major share of industrial production and exports. It contributes more than 45% of total manufacturing production and 40% of exports, while employing 10 crores people, it suits the Indian conditions in the following manner:

  • It is only source which has the potential to absorb about 10 million new youths which enter the workforce every year, as there are hardly any job opportunities in Government sector; the agriculture sector is already super saturated; and the large / corporate sector has had less employment growth in last 2 decades.
  • For country like India which has very scarce capital, promoting MSE is essential as only one tenth of capital investment is required to generate one employment in MSE sector as compared to investment required per capita employment in large sector. It mitigates the problem of migration to cities and slum dwellings in urban areas. It also ensure inclusive growth.


Sources: pib.

Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.


Atal doctrine


Context: The J&K government has asked the Centre to revisit former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s doctrine to defuse tension with Pakistan. The state government believes that dialogue and reconciliation is the only way to restore peace along the borders and on the mainland.


Atal Doctrine:

The Atal doctrine on Kashmir called for peace, progress and prosperity in the Valley by imbibing the spirit of Insaniyat (Humanity), Jamhuriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Identity of the people of Kashmir). The doctrine was universally acclaimed by all segments across of political spectrum in the state, including the extremist elements in the Valley.

Vajpayee’s mantra included resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including that of Jammu and Kashmir issue in a peaceful manner through bilateral dialogue without any third party intervention. Vajpayee extended a hand of friendship on the basis of reciprocity and mutual trust and called for collective fight against poverty in the Indian subcontinent devoid of terrorism and drug-trafficking.

Vajpayee also signed a Lahore Declaration with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on February 21, 1999. As part of the declaration, Pakistan agreed to resolve all bilateral issues between the two countries, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a peaceful manner and through dialogue and to promote people to people contact.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Fifth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference

Context: 5th South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference is being held at New Delhi. The Government of India (GOI), through the Public Procurement Division (PPD) of the Ministry of Finance and All India Management Association (AIMA) are hosting the Conference.

The theme of the Fifth Conference is: “Public Procurement and Service Delivery”.


About the conference:

The objective of the Conference is to enable the Heads of Public Procurement and other key stakeholders in the eight South Asian countries to meet and learn from one another and from experts in the field of public procurement. The knowledge thus acquired would help various South Asian Governments to consider enhancements and innovations in their public procurement systems, enabling efficient utilization of public resources, ensuring quality and timeliness in delivery of services.

The Conference is held under the auspices of the South Asia Region Public Procurement Network (SARPPN), which is sponsored and facilitated by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank. The First Conference was held in Kathmandu in 2010, the second in Islamabad in 2014, the third in Dhaka 2015 and the fourth in Sri Lanka 2017.


Way ahead:

All eight SAR countries spend approximately US$550 billion equivalent on public procurement of goods, works and services, which eventually convert to public services. The Fifth Conference will deliberate upon key aspects of public procurement that help ensure delivery of these services; and identify and address areas that need improvement.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


UN World Food Programme


Context: Sweden and the United Nations World Food Programme have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement committing an unprecedented $370 million dollars to WFP over the next four years. The contribution for the period 2018-2021 is the biggest ever made by a donor within a WFP Strategic Partnership Agreement.


About WFP:

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. The WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.

Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. The WFP is governed by an Executive Board which consists of representatives from member states.

The WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations from world governments, corporations and private donors. WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV and AIDS.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3:

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


India Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC)

Context: In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y. S. Chowdary stated that latest scientific techniques have been added to ITEWC to provide early warnings for an impending tsunami to all countries in the Indian Ocean region.


About ITEWC:

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) established at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Sciences, (INCOIS – ESSO) Hyderabad, is an autonomous body under Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Indian Tsunami Early Warning System comprises a real-time seismic monitoring network of broadband seismic stations. ITEWC receives data in real time from 350 seismic stations, 50 tsunami buoys and 300 tide gauges established in the Indian as well as the other oceans by other countries and international agencies.

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO has designated ITEWC as the Tsunami Service Provider (TSP) for the entire Indian Ocean Region. Since 2012, ITEWC is providing tsunami advisories and related services to about 25 countries”.



On December 26, 2004, one of the deadliest earthquakes (9.3 magnitude), epicentred off the West coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a tsunami that killed over 2.3 lakh people across 14 countries, including 11,000 in India. Since then, India has made rapid strides in establishing an early warning system with the help of various organisations, and partnered with international agencies involved in the study of earthquakes, tsunami and other ocean-related natural disasters.


Generation of Tsunami:

Even though tsunamis can be generated by various phenomenon, the most destructive tsunamis are generated from large, shallow earthquakes at subduction zones. Major tsunamis are produced by large earthquakes of magnitude greater than 7.0 associated with the movement of oceanic and continental plates. The waves can travel great distances from the source region, spreading destruction along their path. More than 80% of the world’s tsunamis occur in the Pacific along its Ring of Fire subduction zones. Tsunamis are not as common in the Indian Ocean as in the Pacific. As compared to average eight tsunamis per year in the Pacific, Indian Ocean has one in three years or so.


Sources: pib.




Facts for Prelims:


Sherin’s Law:

What is it? It is a new proposed law in the US state of Texas. The Law’ would make it a felony to leave a child at home alone. The Law would also require that any adult who witnesses or has personal knowledge of an abused child report it to authorities within 48 hours.

Background: The law is drafted in Sherin Mathews’ name. The 3-year-old was found dead last October with her adoptive parents facing charges in her death.