13 January, 2020
33 Min Read
|GS-I||Bojjannakonda: Buddhist Site||Modern History|
|GS-II||Competition Commission of India (CCI)|
|Right to property|
|United Nations (UN) report on ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’|
|Libya ceasefire||International Relations|
|GS-III||Marginal Cost Of Funds-based Lending Rate (MCLR)||Economic Issues|
|Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS)- Annie Besant||Miscellaneous|
|Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary|
Syllabus subtopic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the ritual and the Buddhist sites associated; about INTACH and its role in conserving Indian heritage
News: After a sustained campaign, heritage lovers and officials have been successful in almost stopping the stone-pelting ritual at Bojjannakonda, a famous Buddhist site at Sankaram, 3.5 km from Anakapalle and 41 km from Visakhapatnam.
About the ritual on Kanuma day
The villagers, as a part of an ancient ritual, would throw stones at a belly-shaped object at the site, believing it to be a part of a demon.
About the Buddhist sites
Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC. These sites have seen three forms of Buddhism —
The name Sankaram is derived from the term, ‘Sangharama’. The site is famous for many votive stupas, rockcut caves, brickbuilt edifices, early historic pottery, and Satavahana coins that date back to the 1st century AD.
Efforts of NTACH to protect the site from damage
Following the intervention of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the practice carried out on the Kanuma day during Sankranti has almost been done away with. With the support of the police and the district administration, it has been able to stop pelting of stones for the past few years.
Syllabus subtopic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
Prelims and Mains focus: about the govt.’s move; M&As and their impact on competition in the market; about CCI and its functions
News: Global mergers and acquisitions (M&As) among technology giants that could disturb the competition landscape in India may soon require clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
About the move and its significance
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is working on a bill to amend the nearly two decade-old Competition Act of 2002, which is likely to be introduced in the budget session of Parliament.
What is the present scenario?
Impacts of M&As deals on competition
About Competition Commission of India:
It is a statutory body of the Government of India, responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition.
Competition Act 2002
The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
Syllabus subtopic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the failure in implementation of BharatNet project and the govt.’s move to address it; about BharatNet scheme
News: The central government’s flagship BharatNet scheme, which aims to provide last mile internet connectivity to all villages and gram panchayats (GP), has missed the targets set for phase one.
Reasons given by the DoT
In its defence, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) — the nodal agency for implementation of the project — has blamed the network architecture, the connectivity to old BSNL fibre in part of the network operation and maintenance through BSNL as some of the reasons which had held back optimal utilisation of the network.
What govt. plans to do now?
Details of the PPP model suggested by the Niti Aayog
Challenges in PPP model
Though the Niti Aayog suggested the PPP model, it also flagged some likely challenges if the government opts to rope in private players.
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the SC judgement; Constitutional provisions related to right of property
News: A citizen’s right to own private property is a fundamental right. The State cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law, the Supreme Court held in a judgment on January 8.
About the case
Details of the SC judgement
Constitutional provisons regarding Right to property
Exception of 44th amendment for classes who still enjoy right to property
Fundamental Rights V/S Legal Rights
Six Fundamental Rights in India
Article 14 – 18 Right to Equality
Article 19 – 22 Right to Freedom
Article 23 – 24 Right against Exploitation
Article 25 – 28 Right to Freedom of Religion
Article 29 – 30 Cultural & Education Rights
Article 32 – 35 Right to Constitutional Remedies
Syllabus subtopic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the UN report and its significance; child mortality in India and govt.’s efforts to address it
News: India is among the few countries in the world where, in 2018, the mortality for girls under 5 years of age exceeded that of boys, according to the ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ report by the United Nations (UN) interagency group for child mortality.
Key findings of the report
State specific mortality burden in India
What did UNICEF say about child mortality in India?
Syllabus subtopic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.
Prelims and Mains focus: About the crisis in Libya and its impact on the regional and global geopolitics
News: Both sides in Libya’s conflict agreed to a ceasefire from Sunday to end nine months of fighting following weeks of international diplomacy and calls for a truce by powerbrokers Russia and Turkey.
The oilrich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a NATObacked uprising killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with multiple foreign powers now involved.
Events leading to ceasefire
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Prelims and Mains focus: about MCLR and its significance; resaons for private banks not passing on the benefits of interest rate cuts to it customers compared to other banks
News: Private banks were the slowest to pass on the benefits of falling interest rates to their customers in 2019 compared to their state-run and foreign rivals, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed.
The process of setting interest rates by banks is at the core of transmission and the central bank has for several years been trying to make it more transparent. This has led to the change from benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) to base rate to MCLR and finally to external benchmark-based lending rates.
What does the RBI data show?
Why are private banks showing so much reluctance?
Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Prelims and Mains focus: about Wular lake and its conservation; Ramsar convention and its significance; WTI
News: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has embarked on a project to cut over 20 lakh trees to “reclaim” the shrinking Wular Lake spread across north Kashmir’s Bandipore and Baramulla districts.
About the move
The Wular Conservation and Management Authority (WUCMA) has started cutting trees on the Ramsar wetland — an area of international importance and once Asia’s largest freshwater lake. The project was started on the basis of a 2007 report by Wetlands International South-Asia, a non-profit organisation that works to sustain and restore wetlands.
In its 2007 report, Wetlands International had suggested removing all trees from inside the lake boundary. Most trees to be cut, fall in Ningli forest range. “Ningli plantation, currently occupying 27.30 sq km, needs to be removed for enhancement of water holding capacity. The removal would help enhancement of water level by at least one meter, which is critical to restoration of biodiversity,” the report states.
About Wular lake
About Ramsar convention:
About Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)
It is a leading Indian nature conservation organisation committed to the service of nature. Its mission is to conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals, in partnership with communities and governments. WTI’s team of 150 dedicated professionals work towards achieving its vision of a secure natural heritage of India, in six priority landscapes, knit holistically together by nine key strategies or Big Ideas.
Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) currently runs 44 projects across India.
Syllabus subtopic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
Prelims and Mains focus: details of the two ICGS; contributions of Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur; about Indian Coast Guard
News: Two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) — Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur — second and third in the series of five Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV) were commissioned by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar at Kolkata on Sunday
About the ships
About Indian Coast Guard
Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Prelims and Mains focus: about the findings of the survey and its significance; about Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary: flora and fauna found in it
News: Kaziranga recorded 96 species of wetland birds — one of the highest for wildlife reserves in India, according to the second wetland bird count conducted on January 9-10.
The first wetland bird survey in Kaziranga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, was conducted in 2018. Rabindra Sarma, the park's research officer said avian surveys could have been done in the 115year-old Kaziranga earlier, but no records were maintained.
Key findings of the census
Significance of the survey
Data on avian wealth is important because the wetlands nourish Kaziranga's ecosystem. Increase or decrease in the number of birds is indicative of the park's health.
About Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
About UNESCO World Heritage Site
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