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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 Examination


News Analysis: 09-08-2018

National News

General Studies-I : Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


Welcome clouds

  • The forecast is optimistic, but changing monsoon trends are a challenge

Why in news?

  • The most recent assessment put out by the India Meteorological Department, that the southwest monsoon will be “normal” after a short break, comes as a relief.

  • At the end of two months the total rainfall has met the criteria for ‘normality,’ although there are wide variations in the patterns of showers, leaving some districts hit by drought as others face floods.

  • Official data show that the realisation of 384.7 mm of rain as of July 25 is only a 3% negative departure from the Long Period Average.

  • Yet, within this phase of the monsoon, some districts of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Vidarbha experienced deficits ranging from 20% to 59%.

  • In the case of Gujarat, it has been a story of both deficiency and heavy rainfall within the State.

  • As with many previous monsoons, this rainy season has so far witnessed a lot of death and destruction: at least 465 people have died this year.

  • Roads and infrastructure have been destroyed, and it will take massive investments to rebuild them. Thousands of people have had to shift to relief camps as floods have ruined their houses. Such displaced families urgently need relief to resume normal life.

  • The rainfall patterns, with their spatial variations, have major implications for agriculture and groundwater recharge as well.

  • The IMD has issued a “normal” outlook for August, which is encouraging, and there are signs of fresh monsoon activity in Odisha, south Chhattisgarh, north coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Telangana.

  • If the forecast is accurate, and the trend of favourable climate conditions in the Indian Ocean continue, a further normal course of the season through September can be expected.

  • Water is the key determinant of India’s agricultural output and the National Commission on Farmers chaired by the scientist, Professor M.S. Swaminathan, had several recommendations for its optimal use.

Way Forward:

  • Given that 60% of the 192 million hectares of gross sown area assessed by the Commission was found to be rainfed, an accelerated programme to harness the monsoon is vital.

  • State programmes must take all measures to expand surface water storage, launch more minor irrigation schemes, and improve the recharge of groundwater.

  • Altered rainfall trends in terms of intensity and variations across regions pose a new challenge.

  • Scientists contend that the alluvial soil of the northern States benefit more from slow precipitation, while the hard-rock geography of the south needs heavy showers for groundwater recharge.

  • Yet, many districts have been receiving short, heavy spells and not steady rain.

  • A future-ready approach should therefore focus on augmented storage and greater participation of the farming community in managing the vital resource.

Source: The Hindu

General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


SC constitutes panel to look into issues plaguing jails in country

Why in news?

  • The court was trying to resolve issues plaguing the nation and expects to utilise available funds wisely.

  • The court was examining ways to end the over-crowding of prisons and condition of undertrial prisoners languishing in jails. It also wanted to set up a committee to look into the conditions in prisons.

  • The court focussed on issues like prison conditions, child rights, women rights. The government has been able to receive several crore of revenue from the Supreme Court's orders in cases like mining, etc.

  • The court said it could not abandon its duty to protect the citizens’ fundamental right to life and dignity. Justice Lokur said the court and the government were not adversaries.

  • The court then ordered setting up of a committee to be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge and assisted by “two or three other officers” to look into the issues of prison conditions.

Source: The Hindu


General Studies-II : Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu launches Mobile App Niryat Mitra


  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched Niryat Mitra – mobile App in New Delhi today.

  • The app developed by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is available both on Android and on IOS platforms.

  • It provides wide range of information required to undertake international trade right from the policy provisions for export and import, applicable GST rate, available export incentives, tariff, preferential tariff, market access requirements – SPS and TBT measures.

  • The most interesting part is that all the information is available at tariff line.

  • The app works internally to map the ITC HS code of other countries with that of India and provides all the required data without the users bothering about the HS code of any country. Presently the app comes with the data of 87 countries.

Source: The Hindu

General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Strengthen PSB boards, IMF tells govt.


  • India needs to improve the way state-owned banks are run by bolstering board-level autonomy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report, adding that the government should consider eventually privatising them.

  • Projecting India’s economic growth to recover in 2018/19 and strengthen in 2019/20 as stability-oriented macroeconomic policies and progress on structural reforms continue to bear fruit, the IMF said that high foreign reserve buffers and strong FDI inflows had helped contain external vulnerabilities.

  • The IMF said risks to the outlook were, however, tilted to the “downside.” The Fund listed “higher global oil prices and tighter global financial conditions” as key external risks that had grown in recent months.

  • “Domestic risks include tax revenue shortfalls and delays in addressing the twin bank-corporate balance sheet problems,” the IMF added.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would need to gradually tighten monetary policy further due to rising inflation, driven mainly driven by higher oil prices and a falling rupee

Source: The Hindu

 General Studies-III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.


Alarm as deadly maize pest seen in Karnataka

Way Forward:

  • The first line of defence against the Fall Armyworm will be insecticides like lambda-cyhalothrin.

  • It’s efficacy is currently being studied in field trials. Also, the researchers have found some natural predators such as coccinellid beetles, that can aid biological control.

  • A fungal species called Nomuraea rileyi also infects the Fall Armyworm. But these natural enemies may not be as effective as insecticides


Source: The Hindu

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