22 December, 2020

48 Min Read

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions
Khelo India Scheme

Haryana to host 4th edition of Khelo India Programme

The Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four indigenous sports:

Gatka , Kalaripayattu, Thang­Ta and Mallakhamba in the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2021, scheduled to take place in Haryana.

Kalaripayattu has its origin in Kerala and has practitioners all over the world, Bollywood actor Vidyut Jammwal being one.

Mallakhamba, mean- while, has been well­ known across India. Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been the hotspots of this sport.

Gatka originates from the state of Punjab and this traditional fighting style of the Nihang Sikh warriors is used both as self­ defence as well as a sport.

Thang­-Ta, a Manipur marital art has passed into oblivion in the recent decades.

About Khelo India Programme

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme with 12 components and achieving twin objectives of NYP, 2001: broadbasing sports and achieving excellence in sports.
  • It is under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • It was introduced to revive the sports culture in India at grass root level.
  • Talented players will be given annual financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakh/ year for 8 years.
  • It was launched after merging Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, Urban Sports Infra Scheme (USIS) and National Sports Talent Search System Programme.
  • 12 components include: Community coaching, annual sports competition, State level centers, sports infra, physical fitness, women, PwD, peace and development and indigenous/ tribal games.

Source: India Year Book

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GS-II : International Relations Nepal
Nepal Political crisis explained.

Nepal Political crisis

India - Nepal issue is the emerging issue in UPSC Mains Examination 2021. It is highly important for UPSC GS Paper II Mains for International Relations.

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s recommendation to dissolve Parliament, which has been duly approved by President Bidya Devi Bhandari, has pushed the young democracy into an unprecedented constitutional crisis and political turmoil.

Mr. Oli belongs to Nepal Communist Party with a near two thirds majority in Parliament. He took such drastic steps because he came under increasing pressure from his own party to withdraw an ordinance his government issued last week. The ordinance to amend the Constitutional Council Act would undermine the checks and balances in the system and give PM unprecedented powers in appointments. Mr. Oli agreed to withdraw the appointment but his Cabinet unexpectedly made a move to recommend dissolution of Parliament.

What does the Nepal Constitution say?

Nepal’s 2015 Constitution allows the dissolution of the House before its five year term ends only if there is a hung assembly and no party manages to form a government. Now that the President has cleared the dissolution, the matter would be decided by the Supreme Court.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Developmental Issues
House panel moots law to keep a check on private hospitals

House panel moots law to keep a check on private hospitals

Health is an important topic under UPSC GS Paper II (Governance) and UPSC GS Paper III (Developmental issues) of UPSC Mains Examination. Every year UPSC asks minimum 1 question both in Prelims and Mains. Its utilization is also in Essay for UPSC Mains Examination.

What is Health?

According to WHO, Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Read: National Health Policy, 2017 and Problems in Health

For WHO One Health Policy: click here

Complete India Year Book Lecture on Health by Director Sir click here

According to Adam Smith, Health is a Public Good. Health is a State subject. Article 21 and 47 of the Constitution deals with Health.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health stated that there should be a comprehensive Public Health Act with suitable legal provisions to keep checks and controls over private hospitals in times of a pandemic and to curb black marketing of medicines.

This is in line with Cuban Model of Healthcare system.

What is Cuba’s Healthcare system?

The Cuban health system is recognized worldwide for its excellence and its efficiency. Cuba’s health care system is based on preventive medicine and the results achieved are outstanding. Despite extremely limited resources and the dramatic impact caused by the economic sanctions imposed by the United States for more than half a century, Cuba has managed to guarantee access to care for all segments of the population and obtain results similar to those of the most developed nations.

The Cuban healthcare system, borne out of its revolutionary socialist ideology, regards accessibility to healthcare as a fundamental right of its citizens. It focuses heavily on a preventative approach to medicine and offering the simplest check-up to the most complex surgery, free of charge. Dental care, medicines and even home visits from doctors are all covered by the system.

Cuban expertise in the field of health also benefits the people of the Third World. Indeed, since 1963, Cuba has sent doctors and other health workers throughout the Third World to treat the poor. Currently, nearly 30,000 Cuban medical staff are working in over 60 countries around the world.

The centrepiece of this system is the community-based polyclinic, each of the 498 nationwide serving a catchment area of between 30 000 and 60 000 people. The polyclinics act also as the organizational hub for 20 to 40 neighbourhood-based family doctor-and-nurse offices, and as accredited research and teaching centres for medical, nursing and allied health sciences students. These are the backbone of Cuba’s health system.

Recently the Parliamentary Standing Committee suggested that there should be a comprehensive Public Health Act with suitable provisions. Other recommendations are given below.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Economic Issues Insolvency and bankruptcy act
Suspension of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act - UPSC NPA Topic

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act, 2016

Banking is an important topic under UPSC Mains for Economy and every year around 3-4 Questions come in Prelims related to Banking and terminologies. Hence, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act, 2016 is important.

What is in the news?

The Government has decided to extend the suspension of the IBC till March 31, 2021 to help businesses cope with the lingering difficulties posed by the CoVID 19 Pandemic.

What is the IBC Act, 2016?

  • Administration is under Ministry of Corporate Affairs since 2016.
  • It deals with debt default of companies and limited liability entities, partnership firms and individuals.
  • It was based on T K Vishwanathan Committee on Bankruptcy Law Reforms Committee (BLRC) in 2014.

It proposes a framework to ensure

  • Early detection of stress in a business,
  • Initation of insolvency resolution process by debtor, financial creditor or operational creditor;
  • Liquidation of unviable business and
  • Avoiding destruction of value of failed business.

5 Objectives of the IBC, 2016

  • Promote Entrepreneurship
  • Availability of the credit
  • Balance the interests of all stakeholders.
  • Maximization of the values of assets
  • Greater clarity in law.

IBC separates commercial aspects of the insolvency proceedings from judicial aspects.

  • Insolvency Professionals will deal with commercial aspects such as affairs of corporate debtor, committee of creditors.
  • Judicial issues will be handled by proposed Adjudicating Authorities (National Company Law Tribunal /Debt Recovery Tribunal).
  • ‘Information Utility’ is created which would store financial information in electronic databases.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is set up.

  • IBBI is a unique regulator i.e. It regulates both professions and transactions.
  • It has regulatory oversight over IPs, IPAs and IUs.
  • IBBI has set up U K Sinha Panel to go into the concept of ‘Group Insolvency'.

About National Company Law Tribunal, 2013

  • It is a successor body to the Company Law Board.
  • It is based on Justice Erandi Committee wrt Insolvency and winding up of companies.
  • It is a quasi judicial body set up to govern companies established under Companies Act, 2013.
  • Powers
  1. Mismanagement and Oppression
  2. Revival of Sick companies
  3. Winding up of Companies
  • Once NCLT admits the case for insolvency process under IBC, 2016 the case cannot be withdrawn even if the payment decide to settle. But SC using Art 142 (extraordinary constitutional provisions) allowed it.

Other provisions of IBC

  • The Code also provides a fast track insolvency resolution process for corporates and LLPs. This will be an enabler for start-ups and SMEs to complete the resolution process in 90 days (extendable to 45 days).
  • When a corporate entity defaults on its debt, control shifts from shareholders/ promoters to Committee of Creditors (CoC). CoC have 180 days to evaluate the case (90 days extendable).
  • IBC empowers operational creditors (workmen, suppliers etc.) also to initiate insolvency proceedings.
  • During waterfall (liquidation) Financial debts owed to unsecured creditors are kept above Govt dues.
  • Recently India amended IBC and prohibited near relatives, their CA, Promoters in Bidding process during Insolvency.
  • Even RBI allowed ECB for re bidding under IBC.
  • RBI allowed faulty organizations to bid for their subsidiary organization if they pay interest over loan in which default is taken place.
  • IBC was spearheaded by Ministry of Finance but now from 2016, the administration is transferred to Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

New IBC Amendment, 2019

  • Time bound resolution, voting rules for financial creditors
  • Homebuyers are made as creditors. They can initiate proceedings.
  • Creditors who voted against majority can receive minimum liquidation value, Resolution plan to be binding on all.

IBC’s Track Record: Click here

IBC Act in News: Click here

Source: TH

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GS-III : Economic Issues Agriculture
Traditional Irrigation Models of India

New irrigation model to help desert villagers

Irrigation is an important topic UPSC GS Paper III - Agriculture: Major crops and cropping patterns, Irrigation techniques. Many questions are also asked in UPSC Prelims.

What is the news?

A new model of minor irrigation through sub-surface porous vessels (SSPV) being developed here is set to benefit the farmers with small land holdings in the villages of the Thar desert. Experiments have indicated a higher yield of farm produce and improvement in the nutrient value of soil after the installation of frustum-shaped vessels at the mounds formed on land.

Other Traditional methods of irrigation

Traditional methods of irrigation are the oldest method used in the earlier years., which are more affordable, efficient than the modern methods. Some of these methods of irrigation are still followed today.

The traditional methods of irrigation include the following:

• Strip Irrigation Method

• Basin Irrigation Method

• Furrow Irrigation Method

• Check Basin Method

Furrow Irrigation

Furrow irrigation is very prominent in crops planted in rows. ‘Dol’ (meaning: to sprout) is formed along the sides of the rows and the water flows between two ‘Dols’.

If the furrow is filled, there is no need to provide water again. It is comparatively cheap but is labour-intensive. Food crops planted in large areas get a huge amount of water by this method.

Check Basin Method

It is one of the best methods of irrigation for levelled fields. The field is divided into basins according to the water capacity. A small drain connects the basin. The basin size is as per the water inflow. The topmost place in the field is the main source of water.

This method does not require any technique. Also, it is rather inexpensive. It prevents soil erosion as the rainwater stays in the basin. A large area can be efficiently irrigated by this method.

Strip Irrigation

The fields are divided into strips of different sizes. The strips are constructed according to the slope. The structure of the land determines the size of the strips. It is an easy irrigation method and requires less labour.

Basin Irrigation Method

A raised platform is created around the trees and bushes. They are then connected with drains. This method is useful for irrigating trees and bushes and not suitable for crops. However, a lot of water is wasted in this method.

This is how water from the lakes, wells, and canals is carried to irrigate the fields. The traditional methods are cheaper and require less labour, but are quite inefficient. Therefore, modern methods of irrigation are implemented for better yields.

Source: TH

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GS-III : S&T Achievements of Indians in S&T
Achievements of Indians in S&T – S Ramanujan's Birth Anniversary

Achievements of Indians in S&T – S Ramanujan

S Ramanujan (1887 - 1920) was an Indian mathematician who lived during the British Rule in India. He was born on 22 December, 1887. Ramanujan was extremely intelligent and had also built a vast knowledge in subjects besides mathematics. He was self taught and had no formal training in Mathematics. He attained distinctions among his peers in arithmetic, English, geography, and Tamil in 1897.

Ramanujam made substantial contributions to the analytical theory of numbers and worked on elliptic functions, continued fractions and infinite 1900 he began to work on his own on mathematics summing geometric and arithmetic series.

He compiled as many as 3900 results and identities in his lifetime. The most important contributions were to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.

His work on Ramanujan prime, the Ramanujan theta function, partition formulae and mock theta functions continue to open new areas of research.

Among the most famous are Ramanujan Number- also called the magic number which is 1729. It is the smallest number that can be expressed as a sum of cubes of two different sets of numbers. Ramanuja Square is another mathematical puzzle that enthralls all.

A self-taught mathematician who made extraordinary contributions, S Ramanujan was one of the most influential mathematicians of his time.

He worked on divergent series. He sent 120 theorems on imply divisibility properties of the partition function.

He gave a meaning to eulerian second integral for all values of n (negative, positive and fractional). He proved that the integral of xn-1 e-7= ¡ (gamma) is true for all values of gamma.

Goldbach’s conjecture: Goldbach’s conjecture is one of the important illustrations of ramanujan contribution towards the proof of the conjecture. The statement is every even integer greater that two is the sum of two primes, that is, 6=3+3 : Ramanujan and his associates had shown that every large integer could be written as the sum of at most four (Example: 43=2+5+17+19).

Journal of the Indian mathematical society: Ramanujan continued to develop his mathematical ideas and began to pose problems and solve problems in the journal of the Indian mathematical society. He developed relations between elliptic modular equations in 1910.

Besides his published work, ramanujan left behind several notebooks filled with theorems that mathematicians have continued to study. The English Mathematician G.N Watson, from 1918 to 1951, published 14 papers under the general title theorems stated by Ramanujan and in all he published nearly 30 papers which were inspired by ramanjan work. In 1997 ramanujan journal was launched to publish work in areas mathematics influenced by Ramanujan”.

Ramanujan returned to India in 1919 and a year later, he breathed his last at the age of 32. Ramanujan passed away after a long battle with tuberculosis. Many of his mathematical theorems are still in use today.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Internal security Internal security
Information Fusion Center - Indian Ocean Region (IFC - IOR)

Information Fusion Center - Indian Ocean Region (IFC - IOR)

IFC IOR set up by Indian Navy in 2018 within premises of Information Management and Analysis Center (IMAC), Gurugram to track maritime movements in the region. It is for coastal surveillance and monitoring.

It is a single point center linking all coastal radar chains to generate a seamless realtime picture of 7500 km coastline. France is the 1st country to deploy LO at IFC-IOR followed by USA, Australia, Japan etc.

IMAC is a joint initiative of Navy, Coast Guard and BEL and functions under National Security Adviser. It is located in Gurugram. It is the single point center linking all coastal radar chain networks along 7500 km Indian coastline and in some neighboring countries.

IFC tracks and monitors 75000 to 1.5 lakh shipping vessels in real time round the clock.

It interacts with maritime community and has built linkages with 19 countries and 15 multinational and maritime security centers in Horn of Africa, Anti Piracy centers, IFC-Singapore etc.

Source: Sanjeevani Notes

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GS-I : Indian Geography Indian Geography
What is Chillai Kalan?

What is Chillai Kalan?

The most severe part of the winter in Kashmir consists of three months. It is divided into three parts called the Chilas:- The Chillai Kalan, the Chillai Khurd, and the Challai Bache.

Chillai-Kalan, is the 40-day period of harsh winter. Chillai-Kalan begins from December 21 and ends on January 31 next year.

Chillai-Kalan is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) that occurs between January 31 and February 19 and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold) which is from February 20 to March 2.

Chillai Kalan usually brings snowfall, sub-zero temperatures causing freezing of water bodies including the Dal lake, closure of highways, etc. The Chillai Kalan which concludes by January end has many interesting traditional aspects related to it.

During Chillai-Kalan, the weather in Kashmir valley continues to remain dry and cold with minimum temperatures hovering below the freezing point.

Source: TH

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A new variety of Coronavirus in UK?

New variant of Coronavirus in UK?

Coronavirus is a highly important topic for UPSC Mains and Prelims examination 2021. It is a part of GS Paper II and GS Paper III under Science and Technology.

The first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020 (VUI – 202012/01), also known as lineage B.1.1.7, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in October 2020 from a sample taken the previous month, and it quickly began to spread by mid-December. It is correlated with a significant increase in the rate of COVID-19 infection in England; this increase is thought to be at least partly because of mutation N501Y inside the spike glycoprotein's receptor-binding domain, which is needed for binding to ACE2 in human cells.

The new virus strains spread 70% faster with similar lethal effect; Cases reported in South Africa, Australia, Italy, Spain and parts of Europe.

This variant includes a mutation in the ‘spike’ protein. Changes in this part of the spike protein may result in the virus becoming more infectious and spreading more easily between people.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Internal security Internal security
Super Hornet Jets being tested for Navy's use

Super Hornet fighter jets being tested for Navy use

The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is the world’s most lethal, advanced, combat-proven, multi-role frontline fighter-jet.

The Block III version which is currently being manufactured for the United States Navy will enable the Indian armed forces to challenge the next generation of adversaries.

Hornet would do well with the Indian Navy’s Short Takeoff but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) system and validate earlier simulation studies done over the last 2 years.

The F/A18 Block III Super Hornet would not only provide superior warfighting capability to the Indian Navy but also create opportunities for cooperation in naval aviation between the US and India.

Both the Navy’s sole carrier in service, INS Vikramaditya, and the underconstruction indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)I, Vikrant, have a skijump with the STOBAR mechanism.

Source: TH

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