Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 12 January 2019
Paper 1 and 3:
- Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
- Disaster and disaster management.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: How magnetic field is generated around the Earth? Its effects and implications of shift in magnetic poles.
Context: Researchers say Earth’s magnetic North Pole is ‘skittering’ away from Canada, towards Siberia.
The problem has got so bad, researchers around the world are scrambling to update a global model of the fields. Called the World Magnetic Model, it underlies all modern navigation, from the systems that steer ships at sea to Google Maps on smartphones.
WHY ARE THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELDS MOVING?
The problem lies partly with the moving pole and partly with other shifts deep within the planet.
Liquid churning in Earth’s core generates most of the magnetic field, which varies over time as the deep flows change.
- In 2016, for instance, part of the magnetic field temporarily accelerated deep under northern South America and the eastern Pacific Ocean. Satellites such as the European Space Agency’s Swarm mission tracked the shift.
WHAT IS THE WORLD MAGNETIC MODEL?
The charts, known as the World Magnetic Model (WMM), are used to convert between compass measurements of magnetic north and true north and can be found in the navigation systems of ships and airplanes as well as geological applications (such as drilling and mining).
- The WMM is also part of map applications in smartphones, including the Google Maps App.
- Researchers from the U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintain the WMM.
WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO EARTH IF ITS POLES FLIPPED?
Scientists in recent years have predicted that Earth’s magnetic field could be gearing up to ‘flip’ – a shift in which the magnetic south pole would become magnetic north, and vice versa. Such an event could have catastrophic effects, wreaking havoc on the electric grid and leaving life at the surface exposed to higher amounts of solar radiation.
Electric grid collapse from severe solar storms is a major risk. As the magnetic field continues to weaken, scientists are highlighting the importance off-the grid energy systems using renewable energy sources to protect the Earth against a black out.
- Very highly charged particles can have a deleterious effect on the satellites and astronauts.
- The Earth’s climate could also change. A recent Danish study has found that the earth’s weather has been significantly affected by the planet’s magnetic field.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
What to study?
- For Prelims: About Section 126 of the RP Act and other key features of RP Act.
- For Mains: Need for reforms and measures suggested by the Panel.
Context: A Committee constituted to review and suggest modifications and changes in the provisions of the Section 126 and other sections of the RP Act 1951 and provisions of Model Code of Conduct has submitted its report. The panel was headed by senior deputy election commissioner Umesh Sinha.
What Section 126 of RP Act, 1951 states?
Section 126 of the RP Act prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency.
“Election matter” has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election.
The provision prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of their results during the period mentioned therein, in the hour fixed for commencement of polls in the first phase and half hour after the time fixed for close of poll for the last phase in all the States.
Violation of the provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment upto a period of two years, or with fine or both.
What has been suggested?
Internet service providers and social media companies should take down content violating the 48-hour ban on campaigning prior to polling, instantly and latest within 3 hours of EC issuing such a direction.
Amend Section 126(1) of R P Act to impose the “campaign silence period” on print, electronic media and intermediaries. The definition of intermediaries, as per Section 2(w) of the Information Technology Act, includes telecom service providers, internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, etc.
Bring in changes in the model code of conduct to ensure that parties release their manifesto at least 72 hours prior to polling (or 72 hours prior to polling for first phase in a multi-phase election).
Star campaigners should desist from addressing press conferences or giving interviews on election matters during silence period. Also, in a multi-phased election, there should be no direct or indirect reference seeking support for parties/candidates in constitutencies observing silence period.
Intermediaries should ensure that their platforms are not misused to vitiate free and fair polls. This would include a notification mechanism by which EC may notify the platform of potential violations of Section 126 of R P Act.
While EC will appoint an officer to liaise with the intermediaries, the latter should open a special grievance redressal channel for EC and have a dedicated team during election period to interface with and take quick action on receipt of EC order to take down or disable content in violation of R P Act.
Intermediaries should report to the Commission on measures taken to prevent abuse of their platforms, including generating publicly-available action taken reports. All political advertisements may be clearly labelled as such and be pre-approved by a EC-appointed content monitoring committee.
The intermediaries would also need to maintain a repository of political advertisements with information on their sponsors, expenditure and targeted reach.
Significance and implications:
The recommendations made by the Committee, when implemented will help in minimizing the possible interference of activities which aim at indirectly influencing voters during the valuable silence period of 48 hours provided to them.
The task of maintaining campaign silence during last 48 hours before the conclusion of polling is becoming increasingly onerous in the light of the increasing influence of digital media. So, apart from the regulation by law and ECI instructions, the resolve, proactive support and sustained effort by all stake holders is necessary to contain the evil impact.
Mains Question: Why is there a need for electoral reforms in India? Discuss measures already taken to bring reforms in electoral politics.
- e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Features and significance of SIDCOP, about NASSCOM.
Context: The Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP) has been launched by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) in association with Municipal Governments of Guiyang and Dalian.
About the SIDCOP:
The initiative aims to bring Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises closer to each other on a single AI enabled platform. This platform will be managed by a joint venture comprising of one Indian and Chinese company.
The initiative aims to encash the expertise of Indian IT enterprises in business transformation and operational optimization by using IT tools in complex business environments.
It offers a boundary-less marketplace for Chinese enterprises in order to assist them in operational optimization and adopting industry best practices in business solutions by connecting with Indian enterprises.
National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM):
NASSCOM is a not-for-profit industry association and is the apex body for the Indian IT-BPM industry.
- The membership of the NASSCOM is open for Companies registered in India and are focused on providing IT-BPM products and services.
- NASSCOM aims to make sure that service quality and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights have been properly implemented in the Indian software and BPM industry.
Sources: the hindu.
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: The summit- objectives, features and significance.
Context: The 25th edition of the Partnership Summit will be held in Mumbai.
It is being organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, State Government of Maharashtra and Confederation of Indian Industry.
What is it?
- The Partnership Summit provides for a global platform to dialogue, debate, deliberate and engage Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India.
- It is expected to build new partnerships and explore investment opportunities through high level exchanges and B2B meetings.
- It will showcase India in the present landscape of an emerging “New India”, the “New Global Economic Address”.
Confederation of Indian Industry –
- CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process.
- Founded in 1895, India’s premier business association has around 9000 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs.
- CII works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.
Sources: the hindu, PIB.
Paper 2 and 3:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Features, benefits, location and significance of the dam.
Context: The Centre has signed an agreement with Chief Ministers of five States — Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh — to restart construction of the Renuka multipurpose dam project in the Upper Yamuna Basin.
About the Renuka dam project:
The Renuka dam project has been conceived as a storage project on the Giri river (a tributary of the Yamuna) in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
- The project envisages making a 148-metre-high dam for supplying water to Delhi and other basin States. It will also generate 40 MW of power.
- Funding: Around 90% of the cost of irrigation/drinking water component of the project i.e. ₹3,892.83 crore will be provided by the Central government and the remaining ₹432.54 crore by the rest of the basin States.
Significance and impacts:
- After the construction of the dam, the flow of the Giri river will increase by about 110%, which will help meet the drinking water needs of Delhi and other basin States.
- Water from the Renuka dam will be used by U.P., Haryana and National Capital Territory of Delhi from Hathnikund barrage, by the NCT of Delhi from Wazirabad barrage and by U.P., Haryana and Rajasthan from the Okhla barrage.
Sources: the hindu.
- History of the World – events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc. their forms and effect on the society.
The Armed Forces are celebrating the Veterans Day on 14 Jan to honour the veterans the Army, Navy and Air Force.
- This special day started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day.
- It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
- However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to ‘Veterans Day’ in order to account for all veterans in all wars.
In India –
For the first time the Indian Armed Forces celebrated the Veteran’s Day on 14th January 2015, the day on which the first Field Marshall General KM Cariappa retired from service.
Facts for Prelims:
Indus Food 2019:
Context: INDUS FOOD-II will be held on 14th and 15th January, 2019, at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
Theme: ‘World Food Supermarket’.
About INDUS FOOD:
- INDUS FOOD is a platform of its kind exclusively devoted to enhancing Indian exports in F&B sector. The event is aimed at promoting India as a strong and reliable exporter of food and beverage products to the world.
- It enables B2B engagements of buyers and suppliers, after careful business matchmaking, which takes care of precise business requirements of each participant, and enables him to pick and choose whom to meet.
Army Tech Seminar (ARTECH 2019)
In its quest for modernization through optimum use of emerging technologies, Indian Army organized the Army Technology Seminar – 2019 (ARTECH 2019) on the theme “Disruptive Impact of Emerging Technologies on Land Warfare” at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.
Aim of the Seminar – The aim is to bring together stakeholders in the military, academia and industry to provide perspective on the available and emerging technologies which could have an impact on warfighting.