UPSC Daily Current Affairs-11th July 2018

www.iasinsights.in; www.iasgyaan.com posts UPSC Daily current Affairs -11th July 2018. This info is taken from News papers, PIB, AIR News and Summarized for your easy understanding.

Daily Current Affairs -11th July 2018

GS-II (Governance)

Rajya Sabha members can use all 22 scheduled languages

  • It is decided that RS members can speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages from the monsoon session of Parliament beginning on July 18.
  • For this purpose the Secretariat inducted a panel of interpreters.
  • Of the 22 languages, the Rajya Sabha already has simultaneous interpretation for Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
  • The interpreters of the Lok Sabha are being deployed for Bodo, Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi and Nepali.
  • Additionally the Secretariat arranging interpretation for five more languages: Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Santhali and Sindhi.
  • The members have to give notice of a reasonable period for the interpreter.

Note:

Indian constitutions recognizes 22 languages as on today which are placed under Schedule 8.

Venkaiah Naidu becomes first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign an MOU

  • Rajya Sabha has, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.
  • Venkaiah Naidu become the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such an agreement when he inked an MOU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza.

Details of MOU: Image result for rwanda

  • The MOU with 6 articles of cooperation seeks to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, Capacity building of parliamentary staff, Organization of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programs, workshops and exchanges, Collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.

Facts about Rwanda:

  • The Parliament of Rwanda for having 60% of women legislatures.
  • The special role of the Senate of Rwanda in monitoring and punishing those responsible for the genocide policy in the country that resulted in the killing of about one million people and also overseeing implementation of the social justice programs.
  • Rwanda for being elected as the Chair of the African Union
  • It also signed the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.

GS-II (Law)

Sec 377 is a Victorian morality, need to be strike down: SC

  • Supreme Court on Tuesday stated that there is a need to strike down Sec 377 as it is violation of Art 21 under Fundamental Rights.
  • Sec 377 is about criminalizing the choice of having same sex partner.
  • SC observed that Choice of having same sex partner can also be implied in Art 21 as one’s choice of “partner would include same sex partner too”

 GS-III( Economy)

India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre Inaugurated

  • The India-Korea Technology Exchange Centre has been established at the National Small Industries Corporation premises in New Delhi.
  • A MoU was signed between the Small Business Corporation (SBC) of Korea and the NSIC for cooperation in the field of MSME Sector.
  • The SBC will mobilize the South Korean MSMEs for technical and business alliances with their counterparts in India and organize partner matching events in Korea for Indian delegations.

Purpose of the center:

It helps in identifying

  • Indian technologies which can be exported to Korea and find suitable Korean partners for the same,
  • Initiating various cooperative MSME projects complimenting each other’s strengths in MSME sector,
  • Creating Technology Data Bank from each side to encourage technology transfers,
  • Production of high quality products in India and
  • Encouraging Joint Ventures and business matching between Indian and Korean SMEs.

Government formulates action plan for Cruise tourism.

  • To formulate an action plan for realizing the full potential of Cruise Tourism in the country, an interactive session was conducted among various stake holders.
  • The Action Plan that has emerged from these deliberations focuses on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad; ensuring cleanliness and operational efficiency.
  • Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise Tourism in the country.

Government of India has taken several steps to promote Cruise Tourism in the country. These include

  • Certainty of berth to cruise ships.
  • Ousting charges have been removed – this has reduced overall cost
  • Discount of 42-66 % allowed in Port Charges
  • Simplified SOPs issued for processes to be observed by multiple agencies like port authorities, Customs, Immigration, Security, State Govt, Ship Agents, Tour Operators etc
  • E-Landing card system is ready for ease of travelling among Indian ports
  • E- visa introduced for online and on arrival visa facilities
  • Cabotage waived for foreign cruise vessels on Indian shores enabling passengers to board the vessel at Indian Ports for voyage along Indian shores.
  • Cruise terminals upgraded with more passenger amenities
  • New cruise terminals to be constructed
  • Reputed consultant appointed by Shipping Ministry to draw up a road map for Cruise Tourism in India. They have projected that the number of tourists is likely to go up to 4.5 million by 2042-43.

4th National Conclave on Mines and Minerals to take place.

  • The 4th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals will be held on 13th July, 2018 at Indore for showcasing blocks which will be auctioned by the states in FY 2018-19 to the potential investors.

Purpose and benefits:

  • It will carry forward the efforts of the Government for strengthening the mineral auction regime as well as help in expediting auctions and bring in greater participation from the stakeholders.
  • Central and State Governments have been working in coordination with each other to further strengthen the auction regime, and to identify more and more mineral blocks for auction to increase domestic mineral production.
  • Presentations on the different stages in auctioning of a mineral block and its operationalization such as identification and preparation of a mineral block for auction, steps involved in approval of mining plan and grant of statutory clearances, will also be organized.

History:

  • The Ministry of Mines organized the 1st National Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 4-5 July, 2016 at Raipur, 2nd National Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 15th Feb, 2017 at New Delhi and 3rd National Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 20th March, 2018 at New Delhi.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana Top Rankers in Ease of Doing Business

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, released the final rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business in New Delhi
  • DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all States and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP)
  • The top rankers are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana. Jharkhand and Gujarat stood fourth and fifth respectively.

Purpose of BRAP:

  • The aim of this exercise is to improve delivery of various Central Government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.
  • The reform plan has expanded from 285 to 372 action points till 2017.
  • BRAP 2017 is based on a combined score consisting of Reform evidence score that is based on evidences uploaded by the States and UTs and Feedback score that is based on the feedback garnered from the actual users of the services provided to the businesses.

Parameters under reforms:

States and UTs have enacted reforms in and by

  • Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act to enforce the timelines on registrations and approvals.
  • labor,
  • Environmental clearances,
  • Single window system,
  • Construction permits,
  • Contract enforcement,
  • Registering property and inspections. 

 GS-II(International Affairs)

India & Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) reaffirm their commitment

  • India and Marshall islands reviewed bilateral relations and reaffirmed their commitment to further advance ties in a host of areas such as blue economy, adaptation-mitigation practices for climate change, disaster preparedness, health, education, renewable energy among others.

Topics discussed: Image result for marshall islands

  • RMI side showed keenness in disseminating yoga to youth through schools and to also tap into India’s expertise in overcoming physical connectivity challenges through tele-medicine and tele-education.
  • RMI also shared its interest to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the earliest.
  • On the issue of UNSC reforms, RMI acknowledged the need for early reform of the Council and expressed strong support for India’s permanent membership at the reformed UNSC.
  • India committed to extend a grant of USD 300,000 for a Water and Sanitation Project Proposal of Aur Atoll Local Government. Since 2005, India has extended grant assistance to the tune of USD 1.35 million for various projects relating to purchase of equipment, disaster relief, national export strategy, community and local government projects harnessing solar energy among others.
  • India also offers five slots to nationals of RMI at the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
  • Also discussed ways to cooperate under the framework of Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC). India engages with the Pacific Island Countries on a wide range of issues including climate change.

What is FIPIC?

  • FIPIC was formed in November 2014, to strengthen India’s relationship with the Pacific Island Countries.
  • The first FIPIC summit was held at the level of Heads of Government in November 2014 in Suva, Fiji,
  • The FIPIC-II summit held in August 2015, in Jaipur, India.
  • Government of India also hosted an ‘India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference’ in Suva, Fiji from 25 to 26 May, 2017.

Significance of the visit:

  • This is the first ever ministerial visit from India to Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).
  • India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) in April 1995.

Pact signed, Indian marine exports eye South Korea market

  • India signed Early Harvest Package of the Upgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with South Korea. Image result for south korea map
  • They both agreed to expand bilateral trade, including through the early conclusion of ongoing negotiations to upgrade the ROK-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
  • They have goal of raising bilateral trade to $ 50 billion by 2030. Currently, bilateral trade stands at $ 20 billion.
  • India and South Korea already have a “special strategic partnership”.
  • The two sides signed 11 agreements covering a broad spectrum of areas for cooperation, including artificial intelligence, biotechnology, railways, culture and trade.
  • To ensure peace and stability in the region, they agreed to explore further possibilities to coordinate efforts in the defense and strategic spheres.
  • Initiatives for peaceful resolution of conflict through dialogue, underlying the centrality of sovereignty and territorial integrity, in accordance with the universally-recognized principles of international law is expected from both nations.
  • They also agreed to explore a tripartite partnership for development in third countries, beginning with capacity building programs in Afghanistan.
  • While there was no mention of South Korea’s position on India’s bid to become a permanent member of United Nations Security Council, the joint statement expressed broad support for India’s bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group

India imposes anti-dumping duty on Chinese polyester yarn

  • India has imposed anti-dumping duty of up to USD 528 per tonne for 5 years on a Chinese polyester yarn used in automobile and other industries.
  • The move will provide a level playing field to domestic players and guard them against below-cost imports.
  • The finance ministry has imposed the duty on the product after considering the recommendations of Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).

Why Anti-dumping duty?

  • The duty is also aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers with regard to foreign producers and exporters.
  • India has already imposed anti-dumping duty on several products to check cheap imports from countries including China, with which India has a major concern of widening trade deficit.
Iran Warns India Reducing Oil Imports Could Lead to Withdrawal of ‘Special Privileges’
  • US recently announced sanctions on oil import from Iran.Shipping to Iran and ports in the country also fall under the US sanctions.
  • US has told India and other countries to cut oil imports from Iran to “zero” by November 4 or face sanctions. The Trump administration brought back sanctions against Iran after pulling out the US from the Iran nuclear deal.
  • India was in dilemma how to handle US sanctions as Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018
  • Iran criticized India for not fulfilling its promise of making investments in the expansion of the strategically-located Chabahar port and said New Delhi would stand to lose “special privileges” if it cuts import of Iranian oil.

About Chabahar port: Related image

  • The Chabahar port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi.
  • In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan had inked a pact which entailed the establishment of a Transit and Transport Corridor among the three countries using Chabahar port as one of the regional hubs for sea transportation in Iran, besides multi-modal transport of goods and passengers across the three nations.

What to be done?

  • India is expected to convey to the US the importance of the Chabahar port project considering that it could be a major link for trade with war-ravaged Afghanistan.
  • Also suggested that a regional dialogue forum should be set up in the Persian Gulf and West Asia to resolve regional crises.
  • Tehran had agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow international inspectors in return for lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

GS-III (Environment)

Western Ghats bags 4th best tourist spot in Lonely Planet’s best Asia destinations list

  • The Western Ghats has figured in Lonely Planet’s top five “2018 Best in Asia” list, a collection of 10 of the best destinations to visit in the continent for the year.
  • Hottest Biodiversity Hotspots and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Western Ghats has come 4th in the list of the Lonely Planet.

Significance of Western Ghats: Image result for western Ghats

  • Western Ghats are similar to Shimla and Darjeeling, with added jungle appeal.
  • It is spread across Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, are UNESCO listed as one of the top spots for biodiversity in the world, protecting everything from wild elephants and tigers to the Neelakurinji flower, which blooms only once every 12 years.
  • It supports the life of 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insect species and 290 freshwater fish species.

Odisha orders ban on plastic in some areas from October 2

  • Odisha CM announces complete ban on use of plastic in several parts of Odisha starting from October 2, this year.
  • The first phase of the ban would include cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, and Rourkela
  • The entire state would be made plastic-free over the next two years.

GS-III (Science and Technology)

Long-Sought Higgs Boson Detail Finally Confirmed

  • The Higgs boson has finally been observed decaying into the particles called a bottom quark, six years after it was discovered.
  • The reason for this delay was noise.
  • The Higgs boson was discovered indirectly. Detectors didn’t spot it directly as much as spotted a few particles in the collision fray that could only have come from a decaying Higgs boson. These were two photons and particles called W and Z bosons.
  • The Higgs boson has a tendency to decay into pairs of a fermion and an anti-fermion Moreover, it is likelier to decay into heavier fermions than into lighter fermions because it interacts more strongly with the former.
  • The heaviest fermion is the top quark, but it is too heavy itself for the Higgs to decay into.
  • The next is the bottom quark – and theoretical calculations suggest the Higgs should decay into a bottom quark and anti-quark 60% of the time.
  • The third is the tau particle, which weighs almost half as much as the bottom quark and to which the boson decays only 6% of the time.

Evolution of Higgs Boson:

  • The announcement of its discovery was made in July 2012.
  • By knowing that the Higgs boson exists, physicists were able to ascertain that the theory pegged to this particle, which discusses how elementary particles get their mass, is valid. This is why Peter Higgs and Francois Englert were awarded the physics Nobel Prize in 2013.

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