UPSC Daily Current Affairs-13th July 2018

www.iasinsights.in; www.iasgyaan.com posts UPSC Daily current Affairs -13th July 2018. This info is taken from News papers, PIB, AIR News and Summarized for your easy understanding.

Daily Current Affairs -13th July 2018

GS-I (Geography)

South Pole Lab Finds Ancient Blazar at End of Cosmic Rays Mystery
  • For the first time, scientists have been able to trace the origins of a ghostly subatomic particle that traveled 3.7 billion light-years to Earth.
  • The tiny, high-energy cosmic particle is called a neutrino, and it was found by sensors deep in the Antarctic ice in the IceCube detector.
  • Scientists and observatories around the world were able to trace the neutrino to a galaxy with a super massive, rapidly spinning black hole at its center, known as a blazar.
  • The galaxy sits to the left of Orion’s shoulder in his constellation and is about 4 billion light-years from Earth.Image result for ancient blazar

Background:

  • Scientists working at detector, called IceCube, reported a curious finding in 2013.
  • They had identified 28 high-energy variants of particles called neutrinos between 2010 and 2012 coming from a source outside the Solar System.
  • They were of such high energy that they couldn’t have come from the only two extraterrestrial objects we knew were capable of emitting them: the Sun and a supernova known as 1987A, about 168,000 light years away.

What are neutrinos, cosmic rays and blazars?

  • Neutrinos are referred to as ghostly because they are extremely volatile, or vaporous, particles that can pass through any kind of matter without changing. They have almost no mass. They can travel through the most extreme environments, like stars, planets and entire galaxies, and remain the same. Before the new studies, only two sources had been found: the sun and a supernova.
  • Cosmic rays, the most highly energetic particles in the universe, bombard Earth from space. Their ionizing particles in our atmosphere were detected for the first time more than a hundred years ago, in 1912, by physicist Victor Hess. He determined that they came from space.
  • Cosmic rays are mostly made up of protons or atomic nuclei, and they’re launched across the universe because whatever produces them is such a powerful particle accelerator that it dwarfs the capabilities of the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.

What is Blazar?

  • A blazar is defined by the laser-like beam of high-energy radiation that it sometimes shoots out along its poles, travelling at near lightspeed towards Earth.
  • The super massive black hole at the center of a blazar is thought to be the source of these beams, called relativistic jets.
  • When a blazar emits a relativistic jet, it is said to be flaring. Scientists don’t fully understand how these jets are emitted, although they are thought to arise from super-hot matter falling into the black hole.
  • The blazar currently in the limelight, designated TXS 0506+056, is located 4.6 billion light years away from Earth.
  • The discovery is exciting for multiple reasons. One is that this blazar produced relativistic jets so powerful that the neutrinos in them had enough energy to travel 40,000 billion billion km and reach Earth to give the precocious field of neutrino astronomy its first pièce de resistance.

Icecube detector

  • The IceCube detector became operational at the South Pole in 2010.
  • Largely funded by the National Science Foundation, as well as contributions from around the world, IceCube was built to detect high-energy neutrinos. It is the largest detector of its kind.
  • It monitors the sky and detects about 200 neutrinos per day, but most are low-energy, created when cosmic rays interact with Earth’s atmosphere.

GS-I (History)

Pakistan’s Buddha of Swat smiles 11 years after Taliban blasted him
Image result for buddha of swat
Image result for buddha of swat
  • The iconic Buddha of Swat, carved on a cliff in the 7th century, has been restored to its almost original form with Italian assistance in northwestern Pakistan,nearly 11 years after it was dynamited by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan during their control over the area.
  • The Buddha seated in a meditative posture, considered one of the largest rock sculptures in South Asia, was attacked in September 2007 by the Taliban militants, who blew up half the statue’s face by drilling holes into the face and shoulders and inserting explosives, triggering a worldwide anger.

Buddhism in Pakistan:

  • It took root some 2,300 years ago under the Mauryan king Ashoka, whom Nehru once called “greater than any king or emperor.
  • It has a long history in the Pakistan region — over time being part of areas within Bactria, the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the Kushan Empire.Ancient India with the Maurya Empire of Ashoka, the Pala Empire; the Punjab region, and Indus River Valley cultures — areas now within the present day nation of Pakistan. Buddhist scholar Kumāralabdha of the Taxila was comparable to Aryadeva, Aśvaghoṣa and Nagarjuna.

ASI issues order to permit photography within the premises of centrally protected monuments/sites.

  • The Archaeological Survey of India, an organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, in an order issued today, decided to allow photography within the premises of all centrally protected monuments/sites (except 3).

The 3 monuments/sites in which the photography would not be permitted are

  1. Ajanta Caves
  2. Leh Palace having paintings.
  3. Mausoleum of Taj Mahal, Agra.

 GS-II (Governance)

Delay in Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman polls goes against norms
  • RS Deputy chairman polls getting delayed due to opposition and ruling parties.
  • The position fell vacant after the retirement of P.J. Kurien on June 30.
  • Though there is no provision in the rules to do away with the position of RS Deputy Chairman and delaying the election is against parliamentary propriety.
  • It implies the position is not optional.

Other info about RS:

  • Recently the Rajya Sabha administration is busy finalizing several changes in the existing rules to ensure smooth functioning of the house.
  • A review committee headed by former Secretary General of Rajya Sabha V.K. Agnihotri has submitted its interim report.
  • The important recommendations are
  1. The automatic suspension of a wilful disruptor.
  2. If an errant member is suspended at the end of the day, then he will be barred from entering the house the next day too
  3. The suspended member will be treated as absent and the members will not get dearness allowance for that day.
  4. A bill should be allowed to be passed amidst a din(prolonged noise), as there is a convention that if there is a din in the House, the bill must not be passed.
Aligarh Muslim University must follow quotas: National SC panel

What is the issue?

  • The AMU’s refusal to provide the quota prescribed in the Constitution has denied seats to 5 lakh students belonging to SC/ST/OBC section since 1951, when it was made a national university through an amendment in Parliament.

Update:

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Castes will order Aligarh Muslim University to implement the reservation policy, as required by all central universities, unless the AMU submits documents to prove its minority status by August.
  • By the end of August, the full committee (of the SC/ST panel) will meet and issue an order asking the university to provide the quota as required by all central universities.
  • The university has around 30,000 students and 15 per cent of these seats should have gone to SC students and 7.5 per cent to ST’s.
  • If AMU fails to provide the documents, it will have to admit 4,500 Dalit students and 2,250 tribal students.

History:

  • It does not qualify to be a minority institution under Article 30 (1) and this has been upheld by the Supreme Court ruling of 1968.
  • The institute was granted the National University status by a Parliament Act in 1951.
  • In 1981, the then Congress government brought in an amendment to grant minority status but the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision in 2005.
  • The amendment was overturned by the Allahabad High Court but the Supreme Court in 2005 stayed the High Court order and therefore the amendment Act is still in force.

Use of Aadhaar in Ayushman Bharat – Desirable and not “Must”

  • Notification of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission being issued by MoHFW under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, merely enables the implementation agencies to ask for the beneficiary Aadhaar Card to authenticate their identity.
  • In order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries accurately, the use of Aadhaar card is preferable, but it is not a “must”. There shall be no denial of benefit for want of Aadhaar number.

GS-II (Law)

Father’s name in birth certificate is optional: HC
  • Good news for single mothers.
  • Madras High Court has ruled that there is no legal obligation on the part of a mother to disclose the name of the father at the time of registering her child’s birth.
  • It was sufficient for her to file a sworn affidavit that the child was born from her womb.
  • Even women who had been deserted by their husbands could obtain birth certificates for their children without mentioning the name of their father.
  • Women who bring up children with their own income source could not be compelled to name the deserters in birth certificates.

GS-II(International Affairs)

UN chief Antonio Guterres hints at support for human rights probe in Kashmir
  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hinted his support for the UN human rights chief’s call for an independent international investigation into the situation in J&K and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying the Human Rights High Commissioner’s action “represents the voice of the UN” on the issue.
  • India had rejected the human rights report on Kashmir by the UN rights chief, who had called for a commission of inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council to conduct a an independent, international investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.
Vladimir Putin extends ban on Western food imports
  • Putin has extended a ban on Western food imports for another 18 months after the European Union’s decision to prolong its broader, punitive sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
  • Putin’s Thursday decree keeps the food ban in place until December 31, 2019.

Background:

  • The US and the EU introduced several rounds of sanctions to punish Russia for the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
  • They made lifting restrictions contingent on the progress of a 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine.
  • Russia argues that the peace agreement has floundered at Ukraine’s fault.
  • The sanctions have hurt the Russian economy, restricting access to global financial markets and cutting imports of key technologies.

India to ease visa curbs for Bangladesh citizens 

  • India will sign a pact with Bangladesh to ease visa restrictions for citizens from the neighboring country.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on revised travel arrangements will be signed during Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s three-day visit to Dhaka.
  • Bangladesh has demanded that travel restrictions for senior citizens be eased and further concessions be given to Muktijoddhas — those who participated in the 1971 Liberation War.
UN official says North Korean children are stunted due to malnutrition
  • About 20 per cent of North Korean children are stunted because of malnutrition, and half the children in rural areas are drinking unsafe water.
  • Besides malnutrition and water, it also highlighted a shortage of drugs and medical supplies and equipment.
  • The United Nations is trying to raise $111 million to meet health, water and sanitation and food security needs for about 6 million people in North Korea. Only 10 per cent has been raised so far.
  • The proportion of children affected by stunting, a failure to develop physically and cognitively, has fallen to 20 percent from 28 percent in 2011.

GS-III(Economy) 

India replaces France as world’s 6th biggest economy

  • India has become the world’s sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place, according to updated World Bank figures for 2017.
  • India’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France.
  • India, with around 1.34 billion inhabitants, is poised to become the world’s most populous nation, whereas the French population stands at 67 million.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund, India is projected to generate growth of 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019, boosted by household spending and a tax reform. This compares to the world’s expected average growth of 3.9%.
  • India had a good chance to become the world’s third-biggest economy by 2032.
  • At the end of 2017, Britain was still the world’s fifth-biggest economy with a GDP of $2.622 trillion. The US is the world’s top economy, followed by China, Japan and Germany.

Reasons for increase:

  • Manufacturing output
  • Consumer growth
  • Implementation of a new harmonized goods and service tax regime.

RBI flags states fiscal stress

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has pointed to the fiscal stress that States are facing due to several factors including farm loan waivers and said higher borrowing by them could crowd out private investment.

The report

  • In a report ‘State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2017-18 and 2018-19,’ the central bank noted that States’ consolidated gross fiscal deficit (GFD) overshot the budget estimates in 2017-18 due to shortfalls in own tax revenues and higher revenue expenditure.
  • In contrast, the capital account has helped to contain the GFD.
  • While States together have projected a revenue surplus and a lower consolidated GFD of 2.6% of GDP in 2018-19, 11 States have budgeted for fiscal deficits above the threshold of 3% of GDP.

Concerns

  • Since the combined GFP to GDP was at 6.4% as compared with the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Committee’s (FRBM) medium-term target of 5%, there is a risk that private investment gets crowded out of the finite pool of financial resources.
  • Risks are also likely to emanate from possible higher pre-election expenditure in more than 10 States and implementation of the balance pay commission awards, particularly to the extent that they are not fully provided for under the budgeted expenditure.
  • Capital expenditure may have to bear the brunt of the fiscal correction like the past two years.

GS-III(Environment)

Environment Ministry to launch three pilot projects to tackle air pollution

  • The Environment Ministry has lined up a host of measures to tackle dust pollution, including three launching three pilot projects — mounting filters on buses, using dust separation chemical sprays and installing equipment to suck in particulate matters.
  • It is also said the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is likely to be finalized by the end of this month and sent to states so that they can make plans to curb air pollution.
  • A draft NCAP with an objective to come up with a comprehensive plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution, and to augment the air quality monitoring network across the country
  • The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute will run the pilot project on installing equipment to suck in particulate matters.
  • These schemes have come up keeping in mind November and December months when air pollution is high in Delhi.
Wayanad sanctuary plays host to Chousingha
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary proved to be a safe haven for the four-horned antelope or Chousingha (Tetracerus quadricornis).
  • This is the first time the animal was photographed in the forest area of the State.

About Wayanad sanctuary:

  • It is an animal sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala, India
  • Established in 1973, the sanctuary is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  • A variety of large wild animals such as Indian bison, elephant, deer and tiger are found there.
  • There are also quite a few unusual birds in the sanctuary. In particular, peafowl tend to be very common in the area. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.
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