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Daily current affairs

Daily current affairs

Daily current affairs

Investment issues

GS III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Why in the news?Fear stalling investment: Montek

  • Fear factor, a cumbersome tax regime and tax laws criminalising defaults have depressed private investments, noted economist and former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
  • For a cyclical revival you have to look at the demand side and I don’t think the actions taken so far will actually have the impact expected on the demand side.
  • Private investment is subdued because of a lack of animal spirits. Banks are not extending credit because they’re very cautious.  People have also talked of a fear factor depressing investment. Many people say that our tax laws have become so complex that people are discouraged from adopting a high profile. 
  • To reach the $5 trillion target by 2024­25, the economy has to grow at something close to 9% starting with 2019­20. [But] We are going to end the year 2019­20 with growth below 5%. The economy may have bottomed out and next year, growth will be somewhere between 5% and 6% on optimistic assumptions.
  • Bottoming out just means that next year will be better than 4.5%.
  • To have bottomed out if growth next year is above 5%. But it would be wrong, on that basis, to say the economy is not in trouble. What people are now looking for is a quick and strong recovery.  
  • For a cyclical revival to have a look at the demand side, the actions taken so far will actually have the impact that is expected on the demand side.
  • Investors, who have the capacity to invest, are not able to get credit from the banks. Banks are not extending credit because they are very cautious. Some people have also talked of a fear factor depressing investment.

~Source The Hindu

Monkey menace

GS III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Why in the news?Chicken-killing monkeys trigger rethink on leopards

  • Some parts of rural eastern Assam are becoming more lenient towards the leopard. One of the reasons is“unmanageable”troops of monkeys that even kill chicken for food.
  • A deeper study revealed the macaque“population explosion”was correlated to the dwindling population of leopards as well as the transformation in the landscape. This was because of small tea gardens and commercial crops replacing the sugarcane fields and traditional kathoni small backyard patches of fruit trees where leopards thrived. 
  • Both macaques and leopards are highly adaptive and live close to humans. 
  • The kathonis sustained monkeys in the past, not requiring them to raid homes, while leopards preyed on the monkeys.
  • 15 years ago, there were about 12,000 leopards in Assam. The figure is likely to be less than 5,000 now. 
  • There is a correlation between monkeys and leopards although the changing landscape and availability of garbage have been major factors in the increase in monkey population across India.
  • Macaques such as the rhesus, Assamese and bonnet are omnivorous. But they might not kill chickens for their flesh.
  • Six-­seven leopards used to be killed in Noragaon in Golaghat. People now let the leopards be or have them captured and released in the wild.

~Source The Hindu

Cyrtodactylus urbanus

GS III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

 

Why in the news?New species of urban lizard found in Guwahati

  • Guwahati, the largest city in the Northeast, has yielded a new species of lizard – the urban bent­ toed gecko.
  • The new species of lizard, zoologically named  Cyrtodactylus urbanus, is markedly different in molecular structure, blotch and colour from the  Cyrtodactylus guwahatiensis, or the Guwahati bent ­toed gecko, that was discovered two years ago.
  • All bent­ toed geckos in Northeast India were thought to be a single species, the Cyrtodactylus khasiensisfound primarily in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.
  • Though the urban bent toed gecko falls within the khasiensis group, it differs from other members of this group in mitochondrial sequence data as well as aspects of morphology such as the number and arrangement of certain pores in males, the number of midventral scales and colour pattern.
  • The study on the urban bent ­toed gecko also provided additional information on the Guwahati bent­ toed gecko, the first of the two Cyrtodactylus endemic to the areas covered by the city and the fourth from Assam.  
  • It was also the 12th recorded gecko from the Northeast.
  • Guwahati is home to 26 species of amphibians, 57 species of reptiles, 214 species of birds and 36 species of mammals. The city provides that edge for urban biodiversity to thrive because it encompasses 18 hills, eight reserve forests, two wildlife sanctuaries and a Ramsar site (wetland) besides the Brahmaputra river. 

~Source The Hindu

Wayanad Tiger Reserve

Why in the news?Wayanad Tiger Reserve proposal fails to find favour

  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, though home to more than half the number of tigers present in Kerala, may not be notified as a tiger reserve as the proposal lacks public support. 
  • The Status of Tigers in India report released last year had estimated the tiger population of Wayanad as between 75 and 80 individuals. Periyar Tiger Reserve, the first one in Kerala, has an estimated population of 30 to 35 big cats whereas Parambikulam, the second reserve, has a population of 20 to 25 tigers.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), better conservation and management of the tiger population and help generate more employment opportunities failed to impress the State authorities.
  • Cattle lifting by the ailing tigers and their straying into human habitations have often triggered widespread public protests in the district. The department had to backtrack from its earlier attempts to notify the reserve following stiff public resistance.

About Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS): 

  • It is located in Wayanad, Kerala. 
  • This biodiversity hotspot is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is bounded by the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka in the northeast, and on the southeast by Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu. 
  • The wildlife sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant. 

~Source The Hindu

India Russia defence deal

GS II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests

Why in the news?India inks 14 MoUs with Russia for defence support, spares

  • In a step forward towards addressing the issue of regular spares and support for Russian military equipment with the armed forces, 14 MoUs were signed between Indian and Russian companies for setting up joint ventures covering a range of equipment from modern T­90 tanks to legacy Pechora air defence systems.
  • The MoUs were signed during the 5th India Russia military industry conference held during the Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow. They come under the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on joint manufacturing of spares in India signed last September for mutual cooperation in manufacturing of spares, components, aggregates and other material related to Russian or Soviet­ origin arms and defence equipment.
  • Lack of timely spares and support has been a constant issue faced by the military, a major part of which consists of Russian defence hardware.  
  • The first ‘Request for Proposal’ for manufacturing of parts in India under the provision of IGA was also handed over by the Navy to the identified Indian industry.
  • There are also agreements on emerging technologies — Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain and robotics based on Russian technologies under the proposed Indo­Russian Joint Venture ICT Center of Excellence.

~Source The Hindu

GISAT­1

GS III: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Why the news?  ISRO making preparations  to launch GISAT­1 in March 

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to launch GISAT­1, a new earth observation satellite, in the first week of March.
  • GISAT­1 Geo Imaging Satellite will be the first of two planned Indian EO spacecraft to be placed in a geostationary orbit of around 36,000 km. It will apparently be in a fixed spot looking over the Indian continent at all times.
  • All Indian EOs have been placed so far in a 600­ odd km orbits and circle the earth pole to pole. GISAT­1 will be launched from the Sriharikota satellite launch centre. “With this satellite, which has high­ resolution cameras, India can keep a constant watch on our borders, monitor any changes in the geographical condition of the country, etc.,
  • ISRO is expected to develop its own space station within a decade. ISRO scientists are making every effort to develop our own space station. Hopefully, in the next ten years, India will have its own space station like the U.S. and China.
  • To achieve this gigantic target, preparations are already under way at ISRO. 
  • ISRO had planned to first send two unmanned spacecraft within a couple of years, and later a crewed mission in the third phase.

~Source The Hindu

Aadhaar linked electronic voting system

GS III: 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.

Why in the news?Poll panel working on remote voting system

  • The model of an Aadhaar linked electronic voting system, which will enable electors to cast their votes from any part of the country irrespective of where they are registered to vote or even abroad, is being prepared for the Election Commission of India by the Indian Institute of Technology­Madras (IIT­M).
  • The model is likely to be presented before the Commission next month and if approved, a prototype can be readied by the year­end or early next year.
  • The IIT­M is developing a system for two­ way remote voting in a controlled environment using blockchain technology. It will have to be integrated with our ERO Net so if a person votes remotely, the electoral roll will reflect that.
  • With the proposed linking of Aadhaar with voter IDs at an advanced stage, the two ­way system would be possible only when the linking is complete.
  • The ECI had used a one way electronic system for service electors for the first time in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • The postal ballots were transmitted electronically to the service electors, which led to an increased turnout or 60.14%.

~Source The Hindu

India Pakistan relations 

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

Why in the news?India rejects Guterres mediation offer

  • The government has rejected the latest offer by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, saying that it would only discuss the matter bilaterally.
  • The issue of [Jammu and Kashmir] that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan. Further issues, if any, would be discussed bilaterally. There is no role or scope for third party mediation.
  • Emphasise on the imperative for Pakistan to take credible, sustained and irreversible action to put an end to cross­border terrorism against India.

~Source The Hindu

Daily current affairs