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The UPSC Daily


3rd & 4th August 2017

-Achievers IAS Academy

Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS,BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com,Hindustan Times, Telegraph,The Times ,WTO,New Indian express , The guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC prelims and mains


    In news :India’s foreign policy is at its best at this time : Govt

India’s foreign policy is at its best at this time and India has good relations with the US, Russia , Germany and France,Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought honour to the country at the global level and he has become a leader who shapes global agenda.

Responding to members’ concern on India-China stand off on Doklam, Mrs Swaraj said,the issue can be resolved through dialogue and war is no solution. She said, India will continue to engage with Chinese side through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue.

She said, India always believes peace and tranquility along India-China border areas are pre-requisite for smooth development of bilateral relations. Mrs Swaraj said, New Delhi will also continue to maintain close consultation and coordination with Bhutan.

On relations with Pakistan, she said, India had chalked out a roadmap for peace and friendship but it can not be one sided adding terror and talks can not go together. She said, the situation worsened after the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared LeT terrorist Burhan Wani as martyr who was killed in an encounter with Indian security forces.

She said,India can not accept one belt one road initiative of China as it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir which is an integral part of India.

On Sri Lanka, Mrs Swaraj said, India always takes fishermen issues strongly with Sri Lankan authorities and there is no question of being soft.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Anand Sharma of the Congress called for maintaining country’s supreme interest without diluting its time-tested foreign policy.

He said whenever New Delhi engages with any country, it should always keep in mind that there is a balance in the foreign relations mutually beneficial to both the sides. Referring to the current stand-off between India and China at tri-junction in Doklam, Mr Sharma said diplomacy must be given a chance to resolve the dispute.

He said China is being unusually aggressive and seems to be closing the door of diplomacy. Mr Sharma stressed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should share the outcome of his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jingping with the members. He said Mr Modi cannot remain silent on the matters of strategic interest.

Mr Sharma also expressed concern over the increasing partnership of China in economic and military sphere with Pakistan. He said External Affairs Minister enlighten the House how the government will handle One Belt One Road, which passes through the Indian territory in Pak-occupied Kashmir.

He said even India’s strategic partners like Japan, Korea, Russia and the US participated in the conference held in Beijing. Referring to Indo-US, Mr Sharma said the NDA government failed protect its interests and could not get any assurance for H1B1 Visa for IT professionals.

He also criticized the government for instability in relations with Pakistan saying that after Prime Minister’s unscheduled visit to Lahore, a series of terror attacks followed. He urged the government to honour the commitments made with neighbouring countries.

He alleged that after Prime Minister’s plan to address rallies in Nepal during his second visit, there have been increased anti-India feelings. Mr Sharma also expressed concern over China’s increasing influence in Sri Lanka. He said of late, Russia, India’s time-tested friend is getting closer to Pakistan which is detrimental to New Delhi. He also suggested for maintaining balance in India’s relations with Israel and Palestine.

In news :Maha govt launches two online portals MahaDBT, MahaVASTU

Maharashtra Government has launched two online portals MahaDBT and MahaVASTU to streamline the process of direct benefit transfer and to bring in more transparency in construction sector.

Expanding the DBT ambit from MGNREGA wages, old age pension, gas and food grain subsidies, the MahaDBT portal will enable direct transfer of benefits for over 40 schemes currently implemented by state’s Higher and Technical Education, Tribal Affairs, Social Justice and Women and Child departments. MahaDBT’s design is based on central government's direct transfer benefit scheme and Aadhaar will be mandatory to claim benefits through this portal.

On the other hand, MahaVASTU portal is an online building permission management system, through which construction approvals will be sanctioned with full transparency.

Speaking to reporters after launching the two portals in Mumbai on Thursday morning, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Maharashtra is the first state to launch such a system that will provide direct benefits with Aadhaar authentication.

He said, this move will speed up transfer of benefits and ensure transparency by minimising human intervention. He added that Maharashtra will bring all building permissions online by end of this year in all municipal councils.


In news :More than 25 cr LEDs bulb distributed under UJALA Scheme


  • The main objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment which reduce electricity bills and help preserve environment.
  • Every grid-connected consumer having a metered connection from their respective Electricity Distribution Company can get the LED bulbs at about 40% of the market price under the UJALA Scheme
  • Through the UJALA scheme consumers can avail from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 10 LED bulbs, depending on the region.

Why Ujala?

  • An ordinary bulb is an extremely energy inefficient form of lighting with just 5% of the electricity input converted to light.
  • Efficient light bulbs like Light-emitting Diode (LEDs) consumes only one-tenth of energy used by ordinary bulb to provide the same or better light output.
  • However, high cost of LEDs has been a barrier in adoption of such efficient lighting systems. The DELP on-bill financing scheme proposes to overcome this cost barrier. The scheme is being named "UJALA" - an acronym for UnnatJyoti by Affordable LEDs for All.

In news :Supreme Court refuses to stay Election Commission's notification for NOTA in Rajya Sabha polls

The Supreme Court today refused to stay the Election Commission's notification allowing none of the above (NOTA) option in the ballot paper for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls on a plea of the Congress which has fielded sitting MP Ahmed Patel from Gujarat.

Sixty-eight-year-old Patel, a seven-time MP from Gujarat and political advisor of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is fighting for a Rajya Sabha berth from the state where four candidates are in fray for three seats.

The BJP has named its national president Amit Shah, Union minister Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput for the polls which are scheduled on August 8.

In what could be a setback for the party, the court rejected the contention of Congress's chief whip in the Gujarat Assembly, Shailesh Manubhai Parmar that the notification be stayed, otherwise it would "encourage corruption" and the MLAs might opt the NOTA option.

The apex court said that the party had not challenged it earlier because the notification suited it.

A bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, however, agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the NOTA provision in Rajya Sabha polls, saying that the issue needed to be debated.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had enabled the NOTA provision in 2014, which came into effect in 2015. You (Congress) did not challenge the provision when it suited you," the bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, said and issued notice to the poll panel.

The bench said it was not going to stay the ECI's notification and would like to test the constitutional validity of NOTA in the present context.

"We are not going to stay the notificat ....READ MORE

In news :The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Arun Jaitley, on July 24, 2017.  It seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets.  Stressed assets are loans where the borrower has defaulted in repayment or where the loan has been restructured (such as by changing the repayment schedule).  It will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.
  • Initiating insolvency proceedings:  The central government may authorise the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue directions to banks for initiating proceedings in case of a default in loan repayment.  These proceedings would be under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • Issuing directions on stressed assets:  The RBI may, from time to time, issue directions to banks for resolution of stressed assets.
  • Committee to advise banks:  The RBI may specify authorities or committees to advise banks on resolution of stressed assets.  The members on such committees will be appointed or approved by the RBI.
  • Applicability to State Bank of India: The Bill inserts a provision to state that it will also be applicable to the State Bank of India, its subsidiaries, and Regional Rural Banks.


1.The NOTA principle: On Rajya Sabha polls

2.A half-done reform: On LPG subsidy

3.It’s time to enact an anti-lynching law

4.Is India a good neighbour?

5.Restoring Parliament’s primacy