Daily Current Affairs-20th July 2018

www.iasinsights.in; www.iasgyaan.com posts UPSC Daily current Affairs -20th July 2018. This info is taken from News papers, PIB, AIR News and Summarized for your easy understanding.

Daily Current Affairs -20th July 2018

GS-I (Geography)

Lava from Kilauea ‘collapse explosion’ destroys Hawaii structures
  • A “collapse explosion” at the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano sent a surge of lava
  • The blast sparked by the gradual collapse of the volcano’s crater was equivalent to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake and caused lava to burst from a fissure 25 miles (40 km) east.
  • These lava surges on Hawaii’s Big Island have become an increased concern during the volcano’s 11-week eruption.
  • Geologists say such explosions may be due, in part, to large volumes of lava rapidly flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Big Island has grown by about 700 acres (283 hectares), the size of around 400 soccer fields, as lava enters the sea. It briefly formed a small island last week.

Kilauea volcano  Image result for kilauea volcano

  • It is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi.
  • It is the second youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot and the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain
  • Kīlauea has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983.


B.K Dutt, revolutionary freedom fighter passed away on 20th July 2018

Batukeshwar Dutt, also known as B K Dutt, revolutionary freedom fighter who was involved in the Central Legislative Assembly bombing case of 1929, passed away on 20th July 1965 after an illness at the age of 54.

Biography Image result for B K Dutta

  • Batukeshwar Dutt was born on 18th November 1910 in a village called Oari located in District Purba Bardhaman in West Bengal.
  • He studied in PPN High School in Kanpur.
  • It was in Kanpur that he met legendary revolutionary leader Bhagat Singh. Dutt was also friends with Chandrasekhar Azad.
  • He joined the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and learnt how to make bombs.
  • Dutt is most remembered for his role as Bhagat Singh’s associate in the Central Assembly Bombing Case.
  • The plan, which was proposed by Bhagat Singh, was that Dutt and Singh would explode a bomb in the Central Assembly at Delhi. This was planned in response to the British decision to pass the Defence of India Act 1915 which widely increased the powers of the police.
  • On 8th April, 1929, Singh and Dutt threw 2 bombs from the Visitor’s Gallery.
  • As smoke filled the hall, both the young radicals shouted ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (Long live the revolution). They also threw pamphlets which stated that the incident was done to prevent the Trade Disputes and the Public Safety Bill which was being presented in the Assembly. It also said that it was in retaliation for the death of nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • Apart from a few injuries, nobody was killed in the bombing which was as per plan. The revolutionaries only wanted attention towards their activities and demands. Both Singh and Dutt courted arrest. Their stated motive was to ‘make the deaf hear’.
  • Dutt’s trial started in May 1929. He was defended by lawyer Asaf Ali. The verdict was out in June.
  • Both Singh and Dutt were sentenced to life imprisonment and deported to the Cellular Jail in Port Blair.
  • Bhagat Singh was also tried for his involvement in the murder of British police officer John Saunders, along with Rajguru and Sukhdev. He was sentenced to death and executed on 23rd March 1931.
  • After Dutt’s release, he took part in the freedom struggle notably in the Quit India Movement. He was jailed again for four years.
  • After 1947, he married a girl and settled down. He received no recognition or support from the Indian government after independence. He had to find his livelihood in a transport business.
  • Despite being involved in one of the most illustrious episodes of the revolutionary freedom struggle, he led a non-political life afterwards. He became India’s forgotten hero.
  • He contracted an illness and died in a hospital in Delhi in 1965. He was cremated beside the place where his comrades Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were cremated decades earlier.


Rajya Sabha passes amendments to anti-corruption law

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2013. It amends the archaic Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The bill will now go to the Lok Sabha for the Lower House’s nod.

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 amends the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • The Act covers the offence of giving a bribe to a public servant under abetment.  The Bill makes specific provisions related to giving a bribe to a public servant, and giving a bribe by a commercial organisation.
  • The Bill redefines criminal misconduct to only cover misappropriation of property and possession of disproportionate assets.
  • The Bill modifies the definitions and penalties for offences related to taking a bribe, being a habitual offender and abetting an offence.
  • Powers and procedures for the attachment and forfeiture of property of public servants accused of corruption have been introduced in the Bill.
  • The Act requires prior sanction to prosecute serving public officials.  The Bill extends this protection to former officials.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The Bill makes giving a bribe a specific offence.  There are diverging views on whether bribe giving under all circumstances must be penalised.   Some have argued that a coerced bribe giver must be distinguished from a collusive bribe giver.
  • The Bill has deleted the provision that protects a bribe giver from prosecution, for any statement made by him during a corruption trial.  This may deter bribe givers from appearing as witnesses in court.
  • The Bill has replaced the definition of criminal misconduct.   It now requires that the intention to acquire assets disproportionate to income also be proved, in addition to possession of such assets.  Thus, the threshold to establish the offence of possession of disproportionate assets has been increased by the Bill.
  • By redefining the offence of criminal misconduct, the Bill does not cover circumstances where the public official: (i) uses illegal means, (ii) abuses his position, or (iii) disregards public interest and obtains a valuable thing or reward for himself or another person.
  • Under the Act, the guilt of the person is presumed for the offences of taking a bribe, being a habitual offender or abetting an offence.  The Bill amends this provision to only cover the offence of taking a bribe.
No proposal to ‘invade’ individual’s right to privacy: Govt on social media hub plans


  • Whether the government has proposed to set up a Social Media Communication Hub to monitor, collect and analyse data across all major social media platforms.
  • This question became significant when the Supreme Court asked the government whether its move to create a Social Media Hub was to tap people’s WhatsApp messages, observing that it will be like creating a “surveillance state

GoI reply:

  • The government proposes to set up the hub to “facilitate information flow regarding its polices and programmes through social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc.
  • However there is no proposal to “invade” an individual’s right to privacy and freedom of speech as stated by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore.
Naga Accord: Prepare rehab scheme for cadres who surrender, House panel tells MHA
  • A parliamentary standing committee asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to prepare a detailed and generous rehabilitation-cum-settlement scheme for the NCSN-IM cadres who will surrender as per of the Naga Accord.
  • The panel also expressed deep concern over the large number of kidnappings in Assam, mostly of women, and surge in insurgency in Arunachal Pradesh, which it termed as “alarming”, more than 81 per cent, of victims are women.
  •  It recommended that an inter-state investigation may be carried out to find out reasons for this high rate of kidnappings of women.
  • It recommended that the “government should, nevertheless, proactively, stay prepared for any kind of scenario that may emerge in the aftermath of the agreement, and keep the security forces and intelligence agencies on the alert.
EC inaugurates a new Manufacturing Facility For EVM Production At Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore.
  • The Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora has established state-of-the-art secure manufacturing facilities for manufacture of digital certified EVM/VVPATs as per the advise of Technical Experts Committee of ECI
  • During this occasion Braille EPI Cards were also Distributed for the First Time in Karnataka to Visually Impaired Voters 

GS-II(International Affairs)

Russia tests new nuclear weapons after summit with Trump
  • Russia’s military is testing an array of new nuclear and other weapons, from a high-powered laser weapon system to a nuclear-powered cruise missile with “unlimited” range.
  • It has tested the Burevestnik cruise missile on the ground and is now readying flight tests.
  • Also they are practicing use of the Peresvet high-powered laser weapon system, and launching trials of the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone.
  • This comes after the meeting happened between Trump and Putin about continuing START treaty.

Burevestnik cruise missile:

  • The Burevestnik (Stormbringer in English) or “Unstoppable” as it was named in Western media, is an intercontinental cruise missile designed to attack a variety of important enemy targets, such as command posts, missile defence bases, and radars. It is a new type of strategic weapons that do not use ballistic flight paths on the way to the target.
  • The main purpose of the new cruise missiles is the suppression of the operational bases of the probable enemy and the destruction of interceptor-based missile defenсe systems or group of ships with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defenсe System.
  • The missile has an intercontinental range in excess of 10,000+ kilometers (probably close to 20,000 kilometers) and may be equipped with a nuclear warhead.
  • The key element of the cruise missile is a nuclear power unit which allegedly provides an intercontinental range. The missile is expected to follow any trajectory to reach its intended target. The first test firing of the Burevestnik cruise missile occurred in late 2017.

Poseidon underwater drone

  • Poseidon or Status-6 or Kanyon (American code name)) is a nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed unmanned underwater vehicle under development by the Russian Federation that can deliver conventional and nuclear payloads.
  • It may be able to deliver a thermonuclear cobalt bomb of up to 100 megatonnes against enemy’s naval ports and coastal cities.
  • In 2018, the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review stated that Russia is developing a “new intercontinental, nuclear armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo”.
  • The Poseidon weapon is designed to create a tsunami wave up to 500 metres (1,600 ft) tall, which would contaminate a wide area on an enemy’s coast with radioactive isotopes, as well as being immune to anti-missile defence systems such as anti-ballistic missiles, laser weapons and railguns that might disable an ICBM or a SLBM.
North Korea, Eritrea have highest rates of modern slavery: Report
  • 2018 Global Slavery Index published by the human rights group Walk Free Foundation stated that North Korea and Eritrea have the world’s highest rates of enslaved people.
  • In North Korea, one in 10 people are in modern slavery with the clear majority forced to work by the state.
  • The Central African nation of Burundi also has a high prevalence of slavery.
  • Each of these three countries has state-sponsored forced labor, where their government puts its own people to work for its own benefit.
  • More than 40 million people were enslaved around the world as of 2016
  • India was home to the largest total number with an estimated 18.4 million slaves among its 1.3 billion population, according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2016 index.
  • China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan rounded out the top five nations, accounting for about 58 per cent of people living in slavery globally.
  • Other countries with the highest rates of modern slavery were the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan.
Djibouti ask United Nations to end border dispute with Eritrea
  • Djibouti’s UN ambassador, Mohamed Siad Doualeh, asked Guterres in a letter circulated Wednesday to work with the Security Council to bring his tiny port nation and Eritrea together.
  • He said Djibouti’s preference would be to refer the dispute “to judicial settlement or arbitration” that would be legally binding.Related image


  • Djibouti’s appeal to the U.N. chief follows the dramatic diplomatic thaw to one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts that began last month when Ethiopia’s reformist new prime minister fully accepted a peace deal that ended a 1998-2000 border war with Eritrea that killed tens of thousands.
  • the Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 “because of its aggression against Djibouti and its refusal to withdraw its troops from the disputed area, and its rejection of all efforts aimed at mediating between the two parties.
  • Between 2010 and 2017 Qatar attempted to mediate a settlement but that effort failed, and Qatar withdrew its 450 peacekeeping troops from the border. Djibouti accused Eritrean troops of occupying the Dumeira mountain area shortly after the peacekeepers left on June 13, 2017, and lodged a formal complaint with the African Union.
  • Eritrean forces continue to occupy Djiboutian territory, prisoners of war remain unaccounted for, threats of force continue to emanate from the Eritrean side and the risk of violent confrontation is once again high.
BRICS news portal soon
  • A decision to establish a BRICS Media Academy and a BRICS news portal were among those taken at the 2018 BRICS Media Forum at Cape Town in South Africa 
  • The Forum, a high-level dialogue among media organisations from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, was held over two days under the theme — ‘Fostering an Inclusive, Just World Order’.
  • It pledged to strive to create a media landscape that upholds the integrity of news that is created and shared through the BRICS nations.
  • It also committed itself to limit the spread and effect of fake news and increase people-to-people exchanges between journalists and others employed in the media.


Fugitive offenders Bill passed
  • The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, which will now replace the Ordinance by the same name promulgated by the President in April.
  • The Bill empowers special courts to direct the Central government to confiscate all the assets belonging to a fugitive economic offender, including those assets that are proceeds of the crime and that do not belong to the offender.
  • The legislation gains importance against the background of high-profile cases where individuals such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi escaped the country.


Sea trials of Vikrant expected to commence by 2020
  • Sea trials of the indigenously built aircraft carrier, Vikrant, are expected to commence by early 2020
  • The ship was launched in August 2013 and presently, the main propulsion plant, power generation equipment, deck machinery and auxiliary equipment have been installed and integrated on board.
  • Outfitting of various aviation equipment, navigation and communication equipment, weapons and sensors are progressing.


India Accounts for a Fifth of Global Deaths From Floods
  • World Bank study that says climate change will lower the standards of living of nearly half of India’s population by 2050.
  • India accounts for one-fifth of global deaths due to floods
  • As many as 107,487 people died due to heavy rains and floods across India over 64 years between 1953 and 2017, according to Central Water Commission data presented to the Rajya Sabha (Parliament’s upper house) on March 19, 2018.
  • Damage to crops, houses and public utilities was reported to be Rs 365,860 crore – or as much as 3% of India’s current gross domestic product as the data shows.
  • India could see a six-fold increase in population exposed to the risk of severe floods by 2040, with the number of people at risk rising to 25 million from 3.7 million between 1971 and 2004.
  • Out of the total geographical area of 329 million hectares (mha), more than 40 mha is flood prone.”
  • Most deaths (11,316) due to floods/heavy rains in India were reported in 1977, while the least were recorded in 1953 (37).

Reasons for high floods:

  1.  high intensity rainfall in short duration,
  2. poor or inadequate drainage capacity,
  3. unplanned reservoir regulation and
  4. failure of flood control structures

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