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Goaltide Daily Current Afffairs 2021

Oct 05, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Need to double infra spending

 

To deal with Economic slowdown, the Union Budget 2021-22 has substantially enhanced the Capital Expenditure to ensure multiplier effect, boost both demand and supply, crowd-in private sector investment, revive the animal spirits and kickstart Indian economy. However, it is easier said than done. The ability of capital expenditure to boost long-term growth is saddled with multi-faceted challenges.

The share of revenue expenditure in the total expenditure has increased from 73% in 1990 to 84% in 2021.

However, the share of Capital Expenditure has reduced from 27% in 1990 to 12% in 2019-20. Similarly, a higher share of our borrowings (Fiscal Deficit) is used for funding Revenue Expenditure rather than Capital Expenditure. This shows a consistent decline in the quality of Fiscal Deficit in India.
 

 

 

Current Affair 2:
What is molecular ecology and how does it help in conservation?

 

Read full paragraphs.

As urbanisation, deforestation, loss of wildlife, and human-wildlife conflicts continue to spiral up, there is a need to use every available tool available, to help protect what is left of the natural world. Molecular ecology is one such tool for conservation and can help in wildlife disease management and forensics in illegal trade.

What is molecular ecology?

Molecular ecology is a hybrid field that combines molecular biology techniques with ecological data to make sense of natural processes such as the growth or decline of populations, formation of new species, extinctions and invasiveness.

Molecular ecology is used to estimate population genetic diversities to aid wildlife breeding and conservation efforts, define species for conservation policy, track diseases, and combat poaching.

What are genetic data and population genetic diversity?

Genetic data from organisms is collected in the form of ‘molecular markers,’ which are biological molecules that may be used to distinguish between species, populations, or individuals.

By studying and documenting the variations in the genes and molecular markers, one can measure the genetic diversity of a population of animals with the help of statistics.

Why is genetic variation important for wildlife breeding and conservation efforts?

Genetic diversity is the fuel for natural selection. It is a source of inheritable variations in characteristics that can allow populations to survive changing environments. Higher the genetic diversity of a population, higher the chance that some individuals in that population can adapt to new environmental conditions. Thus, the population will not go extinct due to any changes.

Large populations typically have high genetic diversities, whereas small populations have low genetic diversities. If the population size of a species drops sharply due to natural disasters or human negligence and anthropogenic activities, its genetic diversity is reduced, creating a genetic bottleneck. When this happens, not only is the population robbed of its potential to survive, it also becomes vulnerable to inbreeding. Inbreeding occurs in small populations, where genetically related individuals are more likely to mate with each other.

Over time, such populations suffer from ‘inbreeding depression’, a condition where genetic variants with harmful mutations begin to accumulate.

Current Affair 3:
Purchasing Managers Index.

 

News – PMI for the month of February has been releases which shows a 14-month high and stands at 53.4. It has increased due to increase in sale, output and due to increase in employment.

What is PMI?

It is an indicator of economic health for the manufacturing and services sector.

Who measures PMI?

It is compiled and constructed by Market economics and is published by Nikkei.

How is it measured?

PMI does not track the volume of production but rather tracks the investors sentiment through a survey of 500 private sector companies (PSUs excluded)

There are 5 broad indicators – New orders, Inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and employment.

How to interpret the reading?

Reading over 50 means expansion, whereas below 50 means contraction.

Importance pf PMI

It is releases at the start of the month unlike other indicators which are released mid-month that too for previous months. Since it is based on perceptions and released in the beginning of the month, it is a leading indicator of the economic activity.

 

Current Affair 4:
Legislative History of National Awards in India

 

After independence from British Rule, titles were abolished by Article 18 of the Constitution of India, thereby prohibiting any title conferred by the state with 2 exceptions- 'military or academic'.

Once red Article 18:

If we go bit in History:

National Awards and Honours had been adopted even before the Constitution of India was formally drafted. On February 13, 1948, the Prime Minister's Committee on Honours and Awards was set up under the Chairmanship of the Constitutional Adviser to the Government of India, Sir B.N. Rau. Its purpose was to recommend the number and nature of civil and military awards; the machinery for making recommendations for the granting of these awards; the frequency with which they were to be awarded, etc.

Based on the report on March 9, the National Awards were formally instituted in January, 1954 by Presidential Notifications.

Constitutional Challenge in the Supreme Court of India

In 1995 the Challenge to the National Awards was heard by a constitution bench of 5 Judges of the Supreme Court of India in the case of Balaji Raghavan vs Union of India reported in 1996 (1) SCC 361.

The question formulated by the Court was "Whether the Awards, Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri (hereinafter called "The National Awards") are "Titles" within the meaning of Article 18(1) of the Constitution of India?"

The challenge to the National Awards was on 2 grounds: One, that Article 18 prohibits any title to be awarded by the State which bar would extend to National Awards and Two that there is a hierarchy of awards namely Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padam Shri etc. which creates inequality and hence violative of "Equality' guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution of India

The Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutional validity of the National Awards, and directed that a High-Level Committee be set up to fix guidelines for conferring the Awards. It was also observed by the Supreme Court that the Committee can take into account the experience over the years regarding National awards and how to prevent their misuse, suggesting restricting of the number of awards that may be granted.

 

A national level committee be appointed by the Prime Minister in consultation with the President of India and it may comprise other constitutional functionaries like Chief Justice of India, leader of Opposition. Also, at State Level it may be appointed by the Chief Minister in consultation with the Governor and such other persons deemed fit which shall recommend the names to the Central government Committee. The State Government Committee would only be a recommendatory body and the Central Government Committee would be the final authority which will confer the awards.

Conclusion:

National Awards should be conferred on relevant considerations of Merit and Extraordinary Contributions in the field of Arts, Culture and Science because they encourage the citizens of India to excel in their respective fields. Persons involved in the conferring of awards should not be influenced by extraneous considerations like favour to political party in power or preference to a particular region, class or community. National Awards have the noble object of promoting excellence necessary for the nation building.

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